This is a rush transcript from "The Ingraham Angle," July 6, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
PETE HEGSETH, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Good evening from New York City, this is "The Ingraham Angle." I'm Pete Hegseth in for Laura tonight. A lot of major news developments going on right now including new details about intense institutional intentional pressure applied by the FBI at the highest levels to investigate the Trump campaign. New details, we're going to bring them to you. Plus, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, they're getting scorched from the left over the Trump - Maxine Waters feud but what you are not going to believe is why. And a big trade war between the US and China is underway, or at least the first shots have been lobbied. But President Trump may have already won the first battle, we'll explain that later in the program.
But first, the White House doubling down in its support if ICE. Calls to abolish the agency, they're spreading like wildfire as you know throughout the left. And earlier today Vice President Mike Pence became the latest administration official, when the number two comes into the defense you know they're bringing the big guns, to draw a line in the sand against the onslaught, listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well I stand before you today at a time when some people are actually calling for the abolition of ICE. In this White House let me be clear, we are with you 100 percent. The American people have every right to engage in peaceful protests but these threats against ICE officers and their families must stop and they must stop now. Under President Donald Trump, we will never abolish ICE.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HEGSETH: It's about as strong as I've seen Mike Pence in the last year and a half starting a hashtag, `I stand with ICE'. Well abolish ICE supporters are praying to make this wedge issue as the midterm elections approach. But is it going to blow up in their faces or might it work? Joining us now with reaction is Fox News contributor Rachel Campos-Duffy, along with immigration attorney Francisco Hernandez and Democratic pollster and Fox News contributor Doug Schoen. Doug you've got the home court advantage since you're here in studio so we'll go to you first. You say it's not a set issue that abolish ICE is good for Democrats and that there's not much consensus here on that.
DOUG SCHOEN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well I think its bad issue. I think it's well outside the mainstream of what the American people want. They want border enforcement, many want a wall. The number who want open borders or to relax scrutiny of those coming in at a time of terror and illegal immigrants coming from Central America is very small. I think it's the far left in the Democratic Party high jacking, effectively the mainstream narrative, to the ultimate detriment I believe, of the party if this carries on.
HEGSETH: Interesting. Rachel to you there's a poll that came out from Reuters, and we're going to put it up on our screen, that showed that the most important issue currently for registered voters is immigration at 15 percent not out of majority, just out of plurality, well that a different poll but we'll roll with this anyway. Look at this, here we go, here's the poll we want 15 percent, however, for Democrats it's only seven percent it's their highest issue so it appears. And for Republicans 26 percent of Republicans believe that it's the most important issue. So a lot of intensity on the Republican side, less so on the Democratic side. It almost feels like the far extreme of the Democratic Party is driving this abolish ICE narrative and potentially in a really bad direction for that party.
RACHEL CAMPOS-DUFFY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Absolutely Doug is right, abolishing ICE is well outside the mainstream. But the Democrat Party is well outside the mainstream. I live in Middle America, I'll tell you what concerns people about the border and what's coming across the border, it's really about drugs. I'm mean Pete you're from the Midwest, you know where these forgotten communities are that are finally coming back thanks to the Trump economy but their still suffering because of so much drugs that are devastating our communities, devastating families. That's the majority that's coming over the southern border, that's important to them.
Let me just say 127,000 undocumented criminals were arrested by ICE last year. Almost 2,000 of those were homicides, 78,000 of those arrests were for drug so, again, abolish ICE, what happens to those 127,000 criminal illegal immigrants?
HEGSETH: No that's a great point. Francisco if you were to watch the so-called mainstream media, this was going to be Trump's Katrina. This was the zero policy at the border was going to tank his numbers. I'm going to put the poll up that we showed briefly earlier, it was the wrong one at first but now we'll get it right. Trump's approval rating among Hispanics since that policy has been in place has increased by 10 percent counter intuitive to costal elites, but to Hispanics that came here legally, it's offensive to think that immigration is the only issue that matters to them. The economy's improved, their lives are improving and they think lives ought to matter. Does that surprise you at all that the numbers have gone up so much?
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY: Well the numbers don't matter anything, let's keep out eye on the ball. The President and Congress have done zero, zero on immigration was promised, it was sworn to in blood there would be a press--
HEGSETH: Whoa whoa, are you saying the president has done nothing yet the entire left wing has premised its existence on the Trump administration doing everything, doing too much at the border.
HERNANDEZ: Nothing. No they haven't even got a single dollar to out the first brick on the border wall.
HEGSETH: Now that's not true.
HERNANDEZ: I mean come on guys, they've done zero and everything that's going on now--
SCHOEN: Wasn't there an allocation in the budget?
HEGSETH: There was an allocation in the budget, it wasn't as much as Trump supporters would want but $1,6 billion dollars is not chunk change.
HERNANDEZ: It was for repairs. It was for repairs for the stuff that fell when we tried to fix it in 2001. Okay guys we still can't even buy the property for a wall. What happened with Congress acting? What happened with the dreamers? What happened with the immigration reform? What happened with, "We're going to fix this"? We're in a labor shortage in this country, the worst labor shortage we've had in the last hundred years for sure and we can't pass immigration, Congress is sitting there. Now we're blaming ICE. do you guy realize how irresponsible it is to blame ICE? Peoples' live ae in danger and we're sitting here talking about--
SCHOEN: Thank goodness. There's a difference, those are very different issues.
HEGSETH: Of course. Thank you for pointing that out because ICE has become sort of the catch all resistance to this administration, conflation everywhere.
HERNANDEZ: Yes, absolutely, ICE is only doing what Congress told it to do.
HEGSETH: Conflation everywhere. Doug to your point has the president ever had a willing partner on getting anything seriously done on immigration?
HERNANDEZ: They have a majority, Republicans have a majority.
SCHEON: Can you let someone else talk other than you?
SCHOEN: Look I'm all for immigration reform but I'm also for civility and to have civility requires negotiation. You can do the wall, you can do the dreamers but you need compromise to do it. Francisco was right to the extent that there's nothing going on in Congress but really your point's exactly right Pete, if ICE becomes the issue-
HERNANDEZ: But they've got the majority.
SCHOEN: Francisco, you've got to give people a break.
HEGSETH: We'll get back to you, let Doug speak okay.
SCHOEN: But if ICE becomes the proxy for immigration, a - the Democrats hurt themselves, b - there's no immigration form and ultimately the party could be marginalized in the midterms and going forward to 2020.
HEGSETH: Rachel can the Democrats overcome identity politics to be serious in this issue?
CAMPOS-DUFFY: No I mean Pete, you brought this up at the beginning of the segment, you said the vice president speaking so strongly. There is a reason why the Vice President is doubling down what the president said earlier. His speech this week he said, "The Democrat Party wants anarchy", that is absolutely true. This is where the Democrat Party are. They are the party of socialists, they are the party of anarchy and we have never had a President, a leader of the Republican Party with the, I don't want to use the word but you know what I'm talking about, the gumption to say the truth and it's resonating.
People love law enforcement, people want rule of law including Hispanics which is why that poll, that you mentioned earlier, up by 10 percent. If you live in Central America you know exactly what happens when there is no rule of law. You know exactly what happens when you have a government that can't control its borders and can't control corruption. So yes this is a winning issue for the president, that is why he's doubling down on it. That is why the vice president is doubling down on it and the Democrats are fools to go with this abolish ICE message.
HEGSETH: Francisco you've been chopping up a bit, where do you want to start?
HERNANDEZ: I've been chopping up a bit. We need the President to lead the Republican majority of Congress to pass some immigration reform. Did we forget the Republicans have majority in both the House and the Senate and they both afraid of the Democratic filibuster? Let them filibuster, let them show the other side of that coin, let them show the double face, it'll make them filibuster.
HEGSETH: What's the other side of the coin they're going to show? Is it open borders, is it amnesty without reciprocation of a wall? They don't want a wall, they don't want mirror faced immigration. Go for it.
HERNANDEZ: No. No. No, one year. Single employment permits renewable year to year, making sure they're paying their taxes, they're not committing crimes. They are fully employed and paying taxes and not for welfare. Year to year renewable work permits.
HEGSETH: Doug, year to year renewable cards on a yearly basis--
CAMPOS-DUFFY: Green cards a great idea.
SCHOEN: I'm for immigration reform and I'm a Democrat, I'm not an anarchist. There is a civil wing of the Democratic Party that's rational, Judge Jones, Conor Lamb
CAMPOS-DUFFY: Where are you, other than you Doug?
SCHOEN: I'm right here. I'm with you tonight.
HEGSETH: Rachel that's the question to pose. Where's the leadership on this with that approach?
SCHOEN: That's the problem, we don't have vocal leadership. Connor Lamb won a Congressional race. Doug Jones won in Alabama, there are centrists but it's sadly the case. We don't have leadership to compromise, to do what Francisco wants to do which is to get comprehensive immigration reform, get the border done, get guest workers and get a pathway to citizenship for the dreamers.
HERNANDEZ: But you don't have to compromise, you have a majority, Republicans have a majority, you don't need compromise.
SCHEON: We're a country, we're one nation.
HEGSETH: Well of course. That's a strongman argument, you know you need to beat a filibuster in the Senate so ultimately you need something the Democrats would ever vote for and they're not going to. Rachel give us the last word on this.
CAMPOS-DUFFY: I would just say thanks to very radical turn and the freedom that's they have to now expose themselves as the radicals that they are on the Democrats side, I think that we may get that majority that we need in the Senate during this midterm. I don't think this is going to be a blue wave at all. I think these kinds of positions the Democrats are taking are going to lead us to get the majority we need to pass the four pillars that Donald Trump wants to solve immigration, especially help out the kids.
HEGSETH: Rachel I think you're right. In a common sense American where they there's still enough common sense amongst the electorate, if the issue is immigration, the economy's going well, the other issue is immigration. You've got "I stand with ICE versus abolish ICE, I want borders versus open borders", I just feel like that cuts in the President's direction but all of you, thank you very much.
SCHOEN: But the Republicans are behind by about nine points in recent polls. The Democrats have a chance, if and only if, it's a big if, the centrists like me emerge.
CAMPOS-DUFFY: They were behind also when President Trump won.
HEGSETH: All those Doug Schoen centrists, come forth for the polls for Election Day.
SCHOEN: Absolutely, come join me.
CAMPOS-DUFFY: A lot of them are becoming Republicans.
HEGSETH: Yes a lot of them are becoming Republicans, great point Rachel.
HEGSETH: Thank you very much for your time, we appreciate it, fiery debate. Well coming up next, newly released memos that are raising questions about FBI pressure, institutional pressure, intentional pressure to investigate the Trump campaign. The new details you're not going to want to miss coming up next. Welcome back, we're just getting warmed up so stick with us. New light is being cast on FBI's efforts to investigate the Trump campaign. John Solomon's latest piece in the Hill Newspaper details internal bureau memos about the pressure applied to justice department investigators and their effort to get a warrant on former Trump campaign advisor Cater Page. An email exchange between infamous FBI agent Peter Strzok and his lover Lisa Page from October 14th of 2016, just a few weeks before the election. So is there desire to create talking points for the FBI Director Andrew Andy McCabe to help secure that permit.
One email from Strzok reads in part and I quote, "At minimum that keeps the hurry the `f' up pressure on McCabe" and believe it or not that is just the tip of the iceberg. Joining us now with reaction is Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch. Tom thank you joining us this morning. We buried the lead on this, I'm going to put another quote up from Peter Strzok, this is from September 26 of 2016. He said and I quote, "At a minimum, the letter that Carter Page wrote, provides us a pretext to interview him", pretext is code for an excuse to interview Carter Page, how explosive is all this?
TIM FITTON, PRESIDENT OF THE JUDICIAL WATCH: Oh it's further the confirmation that the Trump Russian investigation wasn't affected by this hyper-political bias in President Trump where they were looking for excuses to target his team. He had Page write a letter complaining about an improper FBI leak and the response from one of the top FBI officials, "Well let's use this as an excuse to bring him in and interview him" And then they follow that up with the infamous Pfizer warrants which were supported which would never have been approved but for their reliance on the Clinton DNC Dossier.
And then another aspect of this which is also in Solomon's piece is that right after the election the day after the election, President Trump's elected, they focus on, "Well we have to get the people tied to Paul Manafort and compare notes and figure out what we're going to do there" Well they thought Paul Manafort is being targeted, not because he did anything he did wrong, but the trigger is President Trump's election. Paul Manafort by the way, right now is in solitary confinement. President Trump should really think about ordering his justice department to at least this Mueller down or pause it, given all the corruption in its formation in the FBI in 2016.
HEGSETH: Yes. You're referring to an email from Strzok to Page saying, "We need all their names to scrub and we should give them ours for the same purposes" Scrubbing after the election, never a good look. Carter Page was actually on this network a couple of hours ago on Tucker's program speaking for himself. Listen to what Carter Page said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Do you expect that you're going to be charged after all of this?
CARTER PAGE, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN ADVISOR: Tucker I couldn't imagine anything that I could potentially be charged with. Particularly after seeing John Solomon's article today, it just becomes, using the term from that quite that you had, pretext. The pretext was absolutely outrageous, ridiculous.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HEGSETH: So they found a pretext, then they surveilled the guy for year. That sounds like a guy that's seems pretty confident they didn't found anything. Is this indeed the witch hunt the President accuses them of?
FITTON: Carter Page was a cooperating informant of the FBI and Strzok knew that, that's why the use the phrase `pretext' and the spying on Carter Page was a convenient vehicle to get at the Trump operation and who knows what other Pfizer warrants and applications were corruptly sent over to the court as well. Carter Page isn't going to be prosecuted, there is no Russia collusion and the only collusion that we're aware of with respect to Russia is Hillary Clinton using fusion GPS to gather Russian intelligence to smear Donald Trump. Mueller ought to be investigating how his investigation started if he's looking for Russia collusion.
HEGSETH: Tom help us for a second though, according to most recent statement of expenditures, Mueller's operation is ramping up. What does that say to you?
FITTON: Oh there are no controls over Mueller practically speaking. Not only does he have other lawyers that he's hired, all of which are registered Democrats, no registered Republicans. He's actually going into the justice department and as needed using other resources informally. So that budget is just a pretend number because the justice department's at Mueller's beck and call, an out of control investigation that is really abusive in its targeting and of not only President Trump but people around him.
HEGSETH: I love, I don't know about you but I love pretend numbers, they're my favorite. Tom Fitton thank you very much, appreciate your time.
FITTON: You're welcome Peter.
HEGSETH: Well joining us now for reaction from the other side is Julian Epstein, a Democratic strategist and former counsel of on the House Judiciary Committee. Julian thanks of joining us. So you've been on the House Judiciary, you've been on these committees that seek documents. Let's say this was the inverse, let's say this was a Democratic, now president who was a candidate spied on by an agency controlled by bias toward Republicans. Wouldn't you want committees fighting for every document that they can get and now these committees are showing us that the bias we saw on the text messages, what could have just been fun, but now they've been institutionalized into pretext, into pressure, into hurry the `f' up. Does this not take private exchanges and turn them into institutional bias?
JULIAN EPSTEIN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Look, I've been on the staff director and chief of both of these committees and what I would tell the committee chair if I was serving there is let's look at the big picture here and allow me to just give you some context. The Republican Chaired Senate Intelligence Committee this week came out and said, "Yes, the Russians interfered in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump, the evidence is overwhelming". So the idea that this is a biased investigation--
HEGSETH: But that's not collusion, we know about Russian interference. Go ahead.
EPSTEIN: You didn't interfere with Tom, let me just finish. There may or may not be collusion. We know that there was interference so the idea that we shouldn't be investigation this is somehow illegitimate is just false, that's one. Two, in terms of the collusion question, we know that Donald Trump Junior, we know that Paul Manafort, we know that others, Kushner met with people who they believe to be representatives of the Russian government who were giving dirt on the Clintons. So whether there was a violation of criminal law, we don't know but there certainly is some smoke there.
Let me just finish for one second, there had been 19 indictments of individuals. Three indictments of Trump campaign officials, five guilty pleas. The idea that this was some kind of bogus investigation is just ridiculous. And the IG said on the Peter Strzok, to get to your question, yeah Peter Strzok may have been a bad actor but Strzok did not influence any of the major decisions of the FBI.
HEGSETH: Hold on a second. So you just did a masterful job of rattling off every single left wing talking point as it pertains this investigation. No no, you did a nice job.
EPSTEIN: Facts, facts.
HEGSETH: Then you said Peter's just this small guy over here. No Peter Strzok was in charge of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. Peter Strzok was in charge of the Trump investigation, he was the agent in charge.
EPSTEIN: No no. He was the lead investigator.
HEGSETH: Oh I'm sorry I stand corrected, lead investigator. I'm happy to use whatever term you'd like to use. He was dismissed from the Mueller probe for anti-Trump bias. Yet now we learn he wanted to stop Trump, he wanted to find a pretext. How can you sit there as someone who has had wanted to find the facts from these committees before and say this isn't relevant? And by the way, we wouldn't know this information if not for committees and the IG unearthing it. Of course, if Hillary wanted we'd never know. I just can't understand why you won't admit at one moment that sometimes this looks really bad for the institution of the FBI and what they were doing politically.
EPSTEIN: So I think Peter Strzok was a bad actor and he shouldn't have been there to begin with, but I refer you back to the IG, which this network has touted repeatedly, and the inspector general said yes he was a bad actor but he did not influence the final decisions of the FBI which was not to charge, look let me put it to you this way. Nobody in their right minds, no Republican consultant thinks the FBI helped Hillary Clinton and hurt Donald Trump. On the contrary the FBI hurt Hillary Clinton by putting information out a week--
HEGSETH: Well accidentally, if they did.
EPSTEIN: No it wasn't accidental. James Comey put out a week before--
HEGSETH: They said that they believed she was the next President of the United States and they dint want to make her look bad.
EPSTEIN: You don't interrupt Tom, you don't interrupt Tom, allow me to finish.
HEGSETH: Tom made sense.
EPSTEIN: Oh so you don't want to hear the facts? You just said inadvertently
HEGSETH: I'm happy to. I read your information for the segment, you said a lot of this was debunked by the IG. The IG covered the Hillary Clinton server issue. This information covers the Trump issue. IG hasn't exonerated Peter Strzok on the Trump investigation?
EPSTEIN: Excuse me, excuse me. Let's just go and roll back the tape, you just said inadvertently, you're factually wrong about that. James Comey came out the week before the election and said he was reopening the investigation to Hillary.
HEGSETH: To try to hurt Hillary? No. he didn't want to discredit it on election night.
EPSTEIN: It hurt Hillary. Whoa whoa whoa, there's no question that that hurt Hillary--
HEGSETH: But it wasn't his intent.
EPSTEIN: The FBI did not talk about the Donald Trump investigation before the election so if there was any bias it was an anti-Hillary before the election.
HEGSETH: Because they didn't think he was going to win. Because they didn't think he was going to win, they thought she was going to--
EPSTEIN: Whatever you may think. To your thesis--
HEGSETH: These are actually the facts.
EPSTEIN: Hold on a second, your thesis is that the FBI was trying to hurt Donald Trump and help Hillary Clinton, the opposite is true.
HEGSETH: Wait I don't know how you read stopped Trump in text messages, "Let's find a pretext. Hurry the `f' up and put pressure on him". If those aren't plain English in front of you that there was bias, then I don't know what is. And you should be applauding the Hill for pressing these institutions for actually getting the information the public would otherwise not know.
EPSTEIN: Let's stick to the facts here. Look, try and stick to the facts. I mean we can be repetitive as long as you want to be and let me just say it again, Peter Strzok had no business being inside the FBI and was the wrong guy to be inside the FBI. But the inspector general said, and there were probably 200 investigators working on this investigation--
HEGSETH: Only one guy was charged though.
EPSTEIN: Okay, of which he was one, right. So Peter Stzok went around and organized a conspiracy with 200 other FBI in investigators. That is such a silly conspiracy, lame brain theory.
HEGSETH: Well this is an investigation handled in lame brain theory, you know this. This isn't about indicting all the investigators.
EPSTEIN: Excuse me, this was an investigation that was handled by a Republican head of the FBI and the actions that he took before the election hurt Hillary Clinton and helped Donald Trump.
HEGSETH: Doubt that. This is some great spin. Did James Comey actually want to take down Hillary Clinton to support Donald Trump? That's the doozy if I've ever heard since we came out and started to talk about facts, I appreciate that.
EPSTEIN: Find me a Republican consultant that will say that James Comey's actions before the election helped Hillary Clinton and hurt Donald Trump.
HEGSTEIN: You're talking about intent. I'm not talking about whether or not it hurt, you said he wanted to. We're going to have to--
EPSTEIN: I'm talking about the impact, you're putting words in my mouth. I never said the FBI hurt Hillary Clinton and helped Donald Trump before the election and I called out to you. And I pointed out that while Stzrok may have been wrong. The fact that you have 19 indictments including indictments of Trump campaign aids--
HEGSETH: After being called which you said which I appreciate. If this were the other way around you'd be saying Peter Strzok was in charge of the investigation, oh just one guy of 200, just one guy down here in HQ, the guy wasn't really doing much. The guy was in charge.
EPSTEIN: I wouldn't be. I would be saying. Let me repeat it to you again, as someone who's had experience with the FBI, James Comey Republican, was in charge of the FBI investigation. And all of Mueller's indictments, the fact that Cohen now seems to be ready to flip on Trump, everything else seems to be quite validating the seriousness of the investigation. Including, look, read the Republican Intelligence Committee Report.
HEGSETH: Well I don't think he would own that label. Well we'll see. I feel like if they had anything it would have been leaked by now. At this point it would have to the mainstream favorite newspaper, the New York Times. We'll see, we have. Julian thank you for your time, we got to move on. The left mounts a jaw dropping new defense of Maxine Waters and her feud with President Trump and you won't believe who they're throwing under the bus. We'll be back with that in a moment.
Welcome back. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are now under fire from the left over their handling of President Trumps' feud with Maxine Waters. A letter signed by about 200 black female leaders and their allies, meaning men, blast Pelosi and Schumer for distancing themselves from the Congresswoman after she advocated the harassment of Trump officials.
They're letter reads in part and I quote, "Disparaging or failing to support Congressman Waters is a front to her and black women across the country and telegraphs a message that the Democratic Party can ill afford, that it does not respect black women's leadership and political power. And it discounts the impact of black women and millennial voters"
Not sure, not clear what millennial voters have to do with this but maybe we'll get to that. Have they not heard a single thing Congresswoman Waters has said recently? Joining us now with reaction, radio talk show host, and Fox News contributor Kevin Jackson, along with Erica Thomas, a Democratic State Representative for the state of Georgia, thank you both for joining us. Kevin I'm going to start with you. Maxine Waters has said, `Impeach 45.'
She's talked about harassing Trump supporters, she said shoot straight, be careful, the wounded animal. Yet we can't criticize here, and these leaders say that she hasn't been defended sufficiently. What do you make this?
KEVIN JACKSON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I say what a great time to be a conservative in America, Pete, to watch the Democrats finally eat their own, and it's in public view. Look, Maxine Waters has been one of the most incendiary people on the Democrats' side. She's now firmly representative of the left. And I can see why Schumer and Pelosi would distance themselves from her because she's strange beyond definition.
And, look, she's reaping what she sowed over the years. So her wanting to impeach President Trump, who's done an amazing job for blacks, while watching those numbers drop -- and that's what Pelosi and Schumer watched. They've watched the black population slowly shift toward the Republicans. They've watched this walkaway movement from the Democrats take form. They've watched Hispanics -- we've seen the latest polls on them. They're for Trump. The millennials are for President Trump. Women are for President Trump. And the reason is very simple. Trump has performed. And looking at his record in comparison to Barack Obama, and Maxine Waters is living on the muscle memory of that, you're seeing the outcome.
HEGSETH: Erica, so obviously President Trump has taken on Maxine Waters. Maxine Waters has also said some very incendiary things about him and Trump supporters. Why does a letter like this have to focus on discounting the impact of black women, that this is an affront on black women? Whether she was black or white or Hispanic, the things she says about this president are worthy of fair critique. So why does this letter go straight to identity politics?
ERICA THOMAS, D-GEORGIA STATE REPRESENTATIVE: Thank you for that, but first I want to go back to what Kevin Jackson said and how there's polls out there saying Hispanics are more for Republicans and now black women are now more for Republicans. I'd like to see those polls.
JACKSON: That's what I said.
THOMAS: Because I don't know any Hispanics that I talk to right now that are more for Trump.
JACKSON: I've said they're shifting toward Trump.
THOMAS: And that are shifting towards Republicans in this state. I would love for you to tell me where the facts are because --
HEGSETH: Support for the president among Hispanics has increased 10 percent over the last month. That's from a poll, a Harvard-Harris poll. But carry on. I asked you a question about identity politics. Why is this about her gender and her race as opposed to calling out harassment of Trump supporters which has nothing to do with race?
THOMAS: So I want to say I am not saying that inciting harassment to any person is what we need to be doing. Not at all. We need to be denouncing harassment. Every time I'm on FOX News, I have so many different people that do not like my difference in opinion that are always on my Facebook, my Instagram, saying things that are threatening me. But I let them have their free speech, because that is the number one amendment. I let them have their free speech because they are entitled to that.
But I will never say at any point you can't have your free speech because I don't agree with what you're saying. And at the end of the day, we have to make sure that we let people have their free speech.
JACKSON: I'm happy to answer the question, Pete, because she won't. The reason they played the race card is because that's all they've got. Maxine Waters and Congressional Black -- I call them the Congressional black circus clowns -- are driving blacks and other Democrats from the party because of the things that they're doing. Maxine Waters essentially put a target on the Trump administration employees and said it's OK to go after these people because their opinions differ. That's the crux of this whole thing. Maxine Waters and the left don't want our opinions to be heard. The only way they can get any traction --
THOMAS: Kevin, are you calling black people clowns? I just heard you say that black people are clowns. That's what I heard you say.
HEGSETH: He's talking about the caucus. He's talking about the caucus --
THOMAS: Please tell me who is a clown. I would love to know who is a clown in this, and tell me how the Republican Party --
HEGSETH: Do you think Maxine Waters is a good representative for the modern Democratic Party? Does she help your side?
THOMAS: So what I would like to say is that Congresswoman Maxine Waters has her opinion, and she has her freedom of speech.
HEGSETH: Of course.
THOMAS: And I do not believe that Chuck Schumer -- Senator Chuck Schumer, I would tell him, I would say what his name is, he should not be on the Senate floor denouncing his own party member.
HEGSETH: He said what she said was un-American.
THOMAS: That was not right, anyway.
HEGSETH: He said what she said --
THOMAS: Just like I don't think Kevin Jackson should be calling black people clowns.
JACKSON: Chuck Schumer said what many Americans in this country think, and he said his opinion as well. Chuck Schumer has no obligation to take up for Maxine Waters when she essentially puts a target on the backs of the Trump administration and any other conservative in this country. And I repeat, Maxine Waters and the Congressional Black Caucus are nothing but a bunch of circus clowns, and it's time that people start calling them out, and blacks in America --
THOMAS: So tell me, Kevin Jackson, you're a black man. You're a black man, so tell me who's representing you in Congress that's black.
JACKSON: I don't need people representing me in Congress about being black.
HEGSETH: The question to you, Erica, is what does skin color have to do with representation? Tim Scott is a black man from South Carolina who I think represents my interests very well, just like white men and black women. Why is that the definitive characteristic of the left?
JACKSON: That's all they have.
THOMAS: I'm asking him, since you want to call people out and say that black people are clowns.
JACKSON: I'm represented as a human being. I'm represented as a human being.
THOMAS: I would love to know how you are being represented in Congress. How are you being represented, Kevin? I will not sit here on this television show and let you call black people clowns. I won't have it.
HEGSETH: That's an oversimplification, but we're going to have to leave it right there. Thank you both for your time tonight. We appreciate it.
It's being called the biggest trade war in economic history. Not sure who said that, but they must know who they're talking about. And it's now underway between the U.S. and China. Is President Trump, although, is he already winning it? We're going to explain that coming up next.
HEGSETH: Welcome back. Well, the trade war between the U.S. and China has officially begun, at least the first shots fired. Today the Trump administration slapped $34 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods, with China immediately retaliating with tariffs of its own, targeting not just the U.S. but areas where Trump got the most support.
But is President Trump actually winning this war already? There are signs of an increasingly weak Chinese economy. Meanwhile the U.S. Labor Department reported another strong month for American jobs in the economy in June.
Joining us now with more is Tori Whiting of the Heritage Foundation along with Eric Beach, co-chair of the pro-Trump Great America PAC. Thank you for joining us this evening. Tori, so let me start with you. You're not a fan of this tariff strategy, but the administration would say, listen, we're fair traders and free traders, and the path to fair trade and free trade is staring down China and others who have had a slanted playing field. And if you don't follow-through at the beginning you won't get anything to change.
TORI WHITING, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Thanks so much for having me on tonight, Pete. I think one of the biggest things we need to talk about is the great policies in the Trump administration that are actually developing and leading us in this area. We're having great jobs numbers coming out this week, and on top of that, good economic growth for two quarters last year. We saw growth above three percent for two quarters last year.
I think these are coming from policies like tax reform and regulatory reform that are actually straight out of the Heritage Foundation's economic growth playbook.
HEGSETH: Sure, but I know trade is not out of your playbook.
WHITING: What's in our playbook right now, Pete, are all these great trade policies the Heritage Foundation has been promoting for several years. And we have found that our economic policies work for growth. We've seen that already. And we want to see them do even more with our policies.
HEGSETH: Eric, she laid out why the economic policies domestically have been successful, yet I feel you and others would argue that the slanted playing field in the long term is going to hurt us, especially against China who says it wants to expand, it wants to eventually overtake America.
ERIC BEACH, CO-CHAIR, GREAT AMERICA PAC: Not just China, Pete, but there's a $800 billion goods trade deficit between the U.S. and the entire world. So at some point we have to level the playing field. I think what President Trump represents, what he did in the campaign and what he's following through with as president is that he represents the America worker. The idea that we have this tax deficit that goes over, this tax money that comes from the workers that goes over and these big deficits with these other countries, $400 billion with China, is just irresponsible. I think the president knows exactly what he's doing, and he's speaking right to middle America.
HEGSETH: Tori, would you acknowledge that if it's not fair trade that it's truly free? If we're living in a world where, put is simply, our stuff is getting taxed on the way in and their stuff is not getting taxed on the way into our country, ultimately that's not something we should have to put up with.
WHITING: First of all I'm going to throw out there and it's actually fundamentally untrue that the United States does not tax imports.
HEGSETH: Well, we have some, but it's imbalanced. The point is it's imbalanced.
WHITING: We have plenty of imports taxes, we have several, and we also have very high subsidies for a lot of agricultural products. Now what I want to correct here is on the issue of the trade deficit. The trade deficit does not matter. It is not a budget deficit like we have over in Congress they can't do anything about.
BEACH: It matters to the American workers.
HEGSETH: Sure it matters.
WHITING: It does not to the American workers. And let me tell you about this. I travel all around this country talking about the benefits of trade. I was actually just in Minnesota a couple weeks ago. And farmers in Minnesota are so worried about the president's trade policies because guess who is getting attacked by China right now as a result of these trade policies -- our farmers and ranchers.
HEGSETH: The president would make the point, Eric, to you, the president would make the point that we've already been attacked, industry after industry, by countries taking advantage of our intellectual property, of our open markets. And yes, now they're counterattacking us on agriculture, but we need to follow through and stare them down for this standoff to actually work.
BEACH: Pete, the president said it clear. The reason we don't have a fair level of trade is because no one has ever asked. And the president is asking. He's asking the other countries and say, look, let's level the playing field. It reminds me a lot of the Paris Accord. Let's not burden all Americans --
WHITING: The president is not asking for this to happen. The president is saying, I'm going to tax the American people to --
BEACH: Tori, what's the response? We keep hearing from some Republicans and many Democrats that the response is going to be catastrophic. The Dow is up 100 points today.
WHITING: Listen, we're not talking about the impact on the market. Yes, watching the market is important, but when I travel around to middle America, Eric, I see that this is hurting people. When I hear from tool manufacturers in the state of Michigan who are laying off their workers right now because of high steel prices.
HEGSETH: You travel around middle America, you're going to see entire industries that are gone because they've been offshored, tori, entire that have been -- of course, but entire towns that are gone because industries have gone overseas.
WHITING: And we're going to see more of that with these bad trade policies.
HEGSETH: OK, I guess, if we continue with what's been going on, I guess we're going to get the same results.
WHITING: We're having great pro-growth coming from this fantastic playbook. And I'm not here to say the administration is doing a bad job on economic growth. Tax policy, regulatory policy, fantastic, A-plus. But when you have to have the whole entire playbook to have sustainable three percent or higher growth.
HEGSETH: But I'm sorry, Tori, that's where I feel like what President Trump is talking about is the whole entire playbook. It's let cut taxes, let's cut regulation, and then let's stare down our geopolitical opponents who have been taking advantage of us for a generation. Eric, last word.
WHITING: Let's sit at the table with them.
BEACH: Pete, this is something that --
HEGSETH: It's your playbook. It doesn't mean it has to be the playbook. Go ahead, Eric.
BEACH: As Donald Trump has said 20 years ago, this is part of his political core. He has been talking about tariffs for a long time. Don't forget, we've had tariffs between 1787 and 1914.
WHITING: That's before we had an income tax.
BEACH: I understand. So we segued to the federal income tax, which also should be revamped.
WHITING: Let's get rid of the income tax. I'm for that.
BEACH: So the idea that Donald Trump has is to make sure that we let our allies and everybody know around the world that we're not going to be taken advantage of. We're for the American worker, and that's what these tariffs are going to do, and we've seen response in the short term.
HEGSETH: We will end where you started, Tori. Ultimately this month job numbers up 213,000. Previous month revised up. Wages are up. These are all good signs that something is being done that's working. Thank you both for your time this evening. Appreciate it. Thank you, guys.
Will Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hold Kim Jong-un's feet to the fire and get North Korea to ditch their nukes? New details on the make or break, that's really what it is, these negotiations that are underway right now coming up next.
HEGSETH: Our Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pushing for a breakthrough in denuclearization talks with North Korea. The secretary of state is meeting with top officials in the hermit kingdom, but fresh questions are now being raised about its commitment to actually ditch their nuclear weapons. There are new reports today that the hermit kingdom is working on a submarine capable of firing nuclear-armed missiles. Not a great sign.
Joining us now to analyze is Gordon Chang, author of "Nuclear Showdown, North Korea Takes on the world," along with David Tafuri, a former department official during the Obama administration. Thank you both for being here. Gordon, I'll start with you. You say they have got one shot, which the president has said. What has to happen on this trip for secretary of state?
GORDON CHANG, AUTHOR, "NUCLEAR SHOWDOWN": I think the secretary of state needs to come back with a written commitment from Kim saying, look, giving up nukes, giving up missiles, going to dismantle the weapons infrastructure, and agree to the most intrusive inspections regime on earth. We need this now because we've seen all the reports, not only the ones about the submarines, but also the increased production of fissile material, working on their plutonium reactor, which has no peaceful purpose, all the rest of it. So we need to know where Kim stands.
HEGSETH: David, the last deal we struck, the Iran deal left a bad taste in a lot of our mouths. What can be done here to avoid the pitfalls, in my opinion, of that opinion?
DAVID TAFURI, FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Pete, I agree with Gordon. Pompeo has the hard work now of ironing out of the details of the agreement at the summit to denuclearize. That means he has to have a list of things that North Korea is going to do to denuclearize. And those have to be things that we can prove are happening, otherwise the President Trump and Pompeo cannot say that this is a success. I'm hopefully, I'm optimistic, but it means getting Kim Jong-un to really lock down on certainly things he's going to do, and then having him do those things.
HEGSETH: Gordon, David raises a good point. They've got to do it. What happens if, because we've seen these reports in the news media. They're still developing this, they're still doing that. What if we sign a great deal, Pompeo leaves, and then North Korea two or three weeks from now, it's clear that they're cheating, what do we do next?
CHANG: I think we go back to the maximum pressure campaign, which is the way Kim got to the bargaining table in the first place. So for instance that means tightening sanctions on North Korea, but more important, going after North Korea's major power sponsors, the Russians and the Chinese.
HEGSETH: Is China being helpful right now?
CHANG: No. And President Trump actually intimated that when he said that after that second summit between Kim and Xi Jinping, the Chinese ruler, that the North Korean attitude became much more difficult. Chinese has been busting sanctions, very open about it. Chinese banks have continued to launder money for the North Koreans. And we have not imposed the costs on Beijing, and we've got to do that.
HEGSETH: Absolutely. David, from the view of someone who worked for the Obama administration, do you feel like having folks that North Korea is worried about, whether it's John Bolton or Mike Pompeo, does that help at the table to help them realize if they don't do it they might see even more of the maximum pressure?
TAFURI: I worked on the Obama campaign. I'm not sure if that helps or not. That may have gotten us to this point, especially some of the rhetoric by Trump. And Pompeo's real shuttle diplomacy which has been really effective. But right now the only thing that's going to result in actual progress is having North Korea actually demonstrate that it's pulling out of certain things.
Now, we heard news this week that there's satellite imagery showing that North Korea is still using some of the nuclear sites, it's still actively using them. That's a bad sign, like the submarine example that you gave as well. So this is the hard work that Pompeo has to do.
HEGSETH: Absolutely. One of the things David just referred to is South Korean lawmaker said that it looks like they're developing a new submarine capable of launching nuclear-armed ballistic missiles. Is that a hedge in case this doesn't work, Gordon, or this is a thumbing of the nose?
CHANG: I think it's a thumbing of the nose. The North Koreans have been working on missiles launched from submarines for a very long time. They actually launched a missile from under the surface of Sea of the Japan August 24th, 2016. They have Russian technology to do this. So this has been a long-term project of theirs. I think now they're just accelerating what they've done before.
HEGSETH: David, I appreciate your fairmindedness on this as someone who has had to be defensive of certain things. As you look at the prospects of this deal, because we all want it to work, is it an over 50 percent chance that it happens, or are you pessimistic?
TAFURI: I think it's 50 percent chance that this is going to move forward in a productive way, but I think it's real high stakes for the Trump administration because this is now their number one foreign policy objective, and they don't have much else to show on the foreign policy front other than North Korea, which could be fantastic if North Korea really does take legitimate, identifiable steps to denuclearize -- 50 percent.
HEGSETH: And if the flipside is war, or the threat of war, you certainly don't want that side either. Appreciate you both. Great insight this evening.
The infamous Red Hen restaurant changing gears a bit. They tossed out Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Well, it reopened, and it's sounding a loud signal to anyone that may discriminate against Trump supporters. We're going to explain that, next.
HEGSETH: Well, as it turns out, extreme behavior against Trump officials temporarily proving to be great for business. Virginia's now infamous Red Hen restaurant which booted White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders last month, reopened its doors last night, fully booked with full reservations. If discriminating against Trump officials, or his supporters, proves such a boon for the bottom line, are more places going to follow suit?
Joining us now Cathy Areu, publisher of "Catalina" magazine along with Boston Herald columnist Ariana Cohen. Thank you both for being here. Cathy, OK, when I look at this, I see a bunch of left wingers who want to stand in solidarity with the resistance movement. They got reservations tonight, but they probably won't eat there tomorrow night.
CATHY AREU, PUBLISHER OF "CATALINA" MAGAZINE: Why not?
HEGSETH: Maybe they will. They can't eat there every night.
AREU: I heard it's a great restaurant. I heard people support it. The people like it.
HEGSETH: So you think resistance is good for business?
AREU: Resistance is making a statement. It's the American way. And apparently it is good for business. I didn't think it was a good move kicking her out. I thought that was very un-American. I thought as an owner, we should support our customers. But it seems to be working. So it's good for business here.
HEGSETH: Adriana, what does it say about the left that they stand in solidarity with a business that kicks out a paying customer just because of their political position?
ADRIANA COHEN, BOSTON HERALD COLUMNIST: It's really, really destructive, and it's disgraceful. First of all, it's textbook discrimination, which is wrong. It's a violation of Sarah Sanders' free speech and other Americans who have been harassed and accosted in public. And it's just un-American. We're a democracy that has a plurality of political parties. And so what does the left want exactly? Do they want to be a one-party state? Do they want to abolish the First Amendment?
All Americans have a right to vote for whoever the heck they want, and they're allowed to use their free speech. And it's a violation of all Americans' rights when you can't eat in a restaurant for simply using your constitutionally protected free speech every election cycle. It is a disgrace. And I don't know how this is going to be a winning tactic for Democrats come November.
HEGSETH: That's a good point, I don't feel like it is a winning point. But Cathy, you are famously Tucker's Sherpa, and I want you to help me into the liberal mind. A, I couldn't even fathom confronting a member of a Democratic member of an administration that way, and, B, or saying I'm going to go to that restaurant and stand with the person that confronted them. Why does the thinking go in that direction on the left?
AREU: I think they're learning it from President Trump.
HEGSETH: Not from Maxine Waters?
AREU: Maxine Waters came after the tweeter in chief. I mean, his behavior has been awful. He called Latinos horrible names. He started a long time ago. He's been saying horrible things on Twitter for years, at least five years. So it seems like the left is tired of maybe being the nice guy, and they're following their leader. And their leader is saying awful things. So they're just learning and taking it from the top.
HEGSETH: So the left has been nice guys for so long, now it's time to be tough. We've gotten underneath it.
COHEN: Oh, it's so ridiculous. The left has been such hypocrites. They preach diversity, they preach tolerance, but they're none of the above. If the liberals were truly tolerant they could handle other people with different viewpoints. Yes, our country has a plurality of different opinions and political parties. They should respect that.
And it's funny that the left can't handle some nonpolitically correct comments from President Trump, but -- and they get very upset when a gay couple, a cake isn't baked for them, but when Sarah Sanders, a working professional mom, gets kicked out of a restaurant, how many liberal lawmakers stood silent?
AREU: Wedding cakes are less important than Sarah Sanders?
HEGSETH: Why isn't Sarah Sanders being a female box check the identify politics of the left? She's a female, why should she be treated this way?
AREU: She should be treated that way. But also she came out against the restaurant. She tweeted, she used her power and tweeted against the restaurant, against an owner. So it was ugly on both sides, I believe.
HEGSETH: Exposure is fair play. We've got to leave it right there. Cathy, Adriana, we're running out of the clock. Appreciate your time this evening.
And as I just said, that's all the time we do indeed have. I'm Pete Hegseth with for Laura Ingraham who will thankfully be back on Monday. Be sure to catch me on "Fox & Friends Weekend." Ed Henry is about to host. He's hosting with me tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m. eastern right here on the Fox News Channel. As is said, Ed is filling in for Shannon Bream. That's up next. Goodnight from New York City.
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