This is a rush transcript from "The Story," July 31, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS HOST: Hey Bret. Good to see you, sir. Thank you.
And Good evening, everyone. I'm Trace Gallagher in for Martha MacCallum and this is "The Story."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As a result of the outrageous attacks on law enforcement, violent crime has surged in certain Democrat run cities. In cities across the nation we've also seen police officers assaulted with bricks, rocks, bats, Molotov cocktails, frozen bottles of water.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: President Trump addressing police leaders from across the nation earlier today saying, recent attacks on law enforcement are the reason violent crime is surging in major U.S. cities.
Indeed, crime is up in cities like New York where one week in July saw a
277 percent rise in shootings compared to the same time last year. "The Chicago Sun Times" reporting that yesterday alone saw 13 people wounded in shootings across Chicago. And in Minneapolis homicides up 94 percent from this time in 2019.
This comes as America's prisons are releasing more and more inmates, some convicted of violent crimes, over COVID-19 concerns. For example, in California to Terebea Williams, who was sentenced to 84 years to life in prison for first degree murder in 2001, is now out of prison.
The California Department of Corrections releasing a statement that reads in part, "Terebea Williams was released under a government code which allows prisoners to be released in the case of an emergency that endangers their life." Her release, clearly, devastating the family of Kevin John Ruska, whom Williams murdered back in 1998.
Tonight, the California District Attorney who is sounding the alarm, saying, "violent people are being released without any input on behalf of the victims."
But let's begin tonight with John Ruska's his sister, Dena love. And Dena, thank you so much for joining us. We know this has got to be heartrending for you. We just want to let people know that back in 1998 your brother John was carjacked. He was placed into a trunk. He was shot in the abdomen.
That wound initially was not fatal. He was driven 700 miles to a hotel were Terebea Williams put him in a chair in a hotel tied him up and he was found dead 10 hours later and now she's been released because of health concerns.
It is unbelievable.
DENA LOVE, SISTER OF KEVIN "JOHN" RUSKA JR: It's absolutely devastating, and mindboggling that this has happened. And here we are 22 years after his horrific murder and we're it we're right back to it. We're right back in that same place that we were 22 years ago.
GALLAGHER: Yes, and it's I think important to note that Terebea Williams did not know your brother. She never gave a reason for doing what she did.
I want you to listen to California Governor Gavin Newsom saying this about the families of inmates. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): Just want folks to know, advocates for urgency to know your voices are being heard, for family members or loved ones in those facilities, to know your voices are being heard, and know that we are committed to meeting our responsibilities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: It's got to be extremely frustrating when you hear about the families of the inmates and the concerns for them. And what about the families of the victims, or the people who are victimized by the people who are being released because of COVID-19 concerns?
LOVE: Exactly. They should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this to happen. The rights of the prisoners are more important than the rights of the victims and the victims' families. And it's absolutely shameful that this is being allowed to happen.
I'm - gratefully, I am not living in the State of California, but I feel immensely for the communities that these inmates are being released in, specifically in San Jose, where she has been released to. She is a convicted murderer - first degree, so there's no reason why she should have been released over someone - over some petty crime - criminal. Absolutely no reason.
GALLAGHER: And the environment Dena that we're dealing with here in California and Sacramento, "The Sacramento Bee" kind of really backed up Governor Gavin Newsom, and it wrote.
Quoting here, "Newsom must now pursue bold and unprecedented solutions to address this unfolding humanitarian disaster." Meaning, COVID in prisons and jails. "If he fails to act, the governor who sought to end the death penalty may end up overseeing the execution by pandemic of more prisoners than any governor in modern history."
Again, there is this pushback. Finally - and we're going to hear about this in a few minutes. But you are you are facing resistance in California when it comes to these types of cases. How difficult is that for you?
LOVE: You know, when you've had your loved one brutally murdered, then let's talk. 22 years of this heart wrenching trauma that our family has gone through. It's not as if he died of old age or in a car accident or some sort some sort of accident. He was intentionally murdered.
She had no remorse. She was - she had this plan. She had garbage bags filled with her clothes, pictures of her family and their frames ready to go and there's absolutely no remorse from her. There's no reason why this happened. I don't understand.
GALLAGHER: Yes, and lot of people don't understand. Dena love, thank you so much. The best to you and your family.
LOVE: Thank you very much for the opportunity for his voice to be heard.
GALLAGHER: Thank you. Let's bring in Melinda Aiello. She is the Assistant Chief Deputy District Attorney in Yolo County, California. And I think Dena Love really had the best comment there. She said, look, when you have lost a loved one to crime, let's talk.
MELINDA AIELLO, ASSISTANT CHIEF DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY IN YOLO COUNTY:
Exactly, I think she said it best. And as a career prosecutor, I cannot emphasize enough how horrific of a conversation I had to have with Dena's family to deliver them the shocking news that Terebea Williams was going to be released and that they had absolutely no say in the matter.
GALLAGHER: Yes, I just want to put this screen up. Californians for Safety and Justice, kind of an odd name for a group that really is kind of open to letting these people out of jails.
It wrote, quoting here," We're glad the governor is taking action to release more people. This is absolutely critical for the health and safety of every Californian. Too many people are incarcerated for too long and facilities that spread poor health. Supporting the health and safety of all Californians means releasing people unnecessarily incarcerated and transforming our justice system." Unnecessarily incarcerated, would not be a description that fits to Terebea Williams very well.
AIELLO: I agree. I agree. And I want to emphasize that as prosecutors were absolutely appalled at the lack of transparency at the release decisions that are being made on the state level, CDCR has already released over
10,000 inmates who were convicted and sentenced to what we call a determinant term. They had a determined outdate.
But now CDCR has expanded their efforts, and they're including violent criminals, including murderers, and that's the situation that we have here with Terebea Williams. And victim--
GALLAGHER: I'm sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt you. But you talk about violent criminals there, and the question has to be next, Melinda, who's next? I mean, is the Golden State killer, next? Look, he's 74 years old.
He's got underlying conditions. He killed 13 people. Are they going to tell us next month, we're so sorry, but the Golden State killer, his health is at risk here and we need to let him go. What's the next step in this?
AIELLO: Well, I don't know what the next step is, because again of the lack of transparency. There does not seem to be a lot of inmates who are off the table in terms of being granted an early release. And if we're now including murderers, what is next? Is it a double murderer or is it a triple murderer? I don't know where we go. But we have to put the focus back on victims and victims' rights and stop trampling on those victims to fix a problem in the prison system.
GALLAGHER: I just want to give a tip of the hat to you, because in your in your op-ed in - on California's zero dollar bail, you write the following.
I'm quoting here, "As a society we can never lose sight of the fact that nearly every crime, even those dubbed 'low level', has a victim. Simply dismissing a crime as low levels diminishes the very real and life altering impact that these crimes have on victims lives."
There should be a conversation about letting, maybe, low level - I don't know, people who are in jail and they've got two weeks to go, three weeks to go, you let them out. Maybe there's a maybe there's a consensus there.
But what we're talking about is the fact that you're forgetting about these families who have victims who have been killed and injured by these people who are being set free.
AIELLO: Correct. Correct. And I think one of the other things that is just truly shocking about the process is, unless victims are registered with the California Department of Corrections, they are not going to get notice from the Department of Corrections.
So my office receives an e-mail that says, this inmate is going to be released immediately. We are having to track down victims who were told decades ago that their perpetrator would spend the rest of his or her life in prison, and that perpetrator is now being released. And the cruelty and the callousness is just - it's forgivable. And I appreciate the fact that you have allowed Dena to speak up on behalf of her brother and for victims everywhere.
GALLAGHER: Well, she's befuddled. A lot of families are befuddled in California. They just don't quite get it. Melinda Aiello, thank you so much for your time. We appreciate it.
AIELLO: Thank you very much.
GALLAGHER: Well, right now Hurricane Isaias is moving closer to the Florida Coast. The entire East Coast now bracing for the storm that has already battered the Caribbean. We'll have live team coverage on the impending hurricane. Next.
GALLAGHER: Well, Hurricane Isaias barreling toward Florida tonight. The Eastern Seaboard now bracing for the brunt of the storm expected to strengthen before hitting the Sunshine State by tomorrow. We have live Team Coverage. Meteorologist Rick Reichmuth is tracking the storm, but we begin with Phil Keating, he's live on the ground in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Phil, good evening.
PHIL KEATING, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Trace. A hurricane warning is now in effect from Boca Raton up to Brevard County where we are and that includes Palm Beach and President Trump's Mar-a-Lago.
Florida's governor issued a state of emergency today for the entire state.
Even though he does not anticipate any shelters will be needed at all.
Hurricane Hunters say Category 1, Isaias is more organized and blown through the Bahamas on its way to Florida. Tropical storm impacts are expected in Miami and Fort Lauderdale by tomorrow.
Isaias is forecast to skim the entire Florida Peninsula and mostly remain out in the Atlantic. Many state coronavirus testing sites packed up due to the storm threat. Today, a fourth straight record-breaking day for COVID-19 fatalities. Today's new case numbers show 257 deaths and about 9,000 new cases. For the sixth day in a row under 10,000, suggesting the state may be plateauing.
Puerto Rico's governor visited some of the damage the tropical storm caused there and the Dominican Republic as well. After several inches of rain, a lot of wind and some mudslides. Florida's governor addressed the state from the Emergency Operations Center.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): It's a very fluid situation. We hope that it stays off our shores. We've got to be prepared to have impacts in the State of Florida.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEATING: South Floridians have begun sandbagging to protect their homes and businesses. Everyone's encouraged to have a week's worth of food, water, batteries and supplies as is always the case during hurricane season. But - and particularly right now, because just in case the hurricane wobbles a little bit more West, impacting the heavily populated Eastern Seaboard of the State of Florida.
The beaches in Miami-Dade County closed all day to day. They will be all weekend. Here, obviously, it's open. It's just about time for a lovely beach sunset. Probably the last one for a couple of days. Trace.
GALLAGHER: Likely, yes. Phil Keating live along the Space Coast. Phil, thank you. Our Chief Meteorologist Rick Reichmuth right now is tracking the Hurricane's path. Rick.
RICK REICHMUTH, CHIEF METEOROLOGIST: They'll probably get that sunset back by about Sunday night, so couple of days where we're not going to have it.
Here is Isaias. It's still a 75 mile an hour hurricane. A lot of times the last few years we've seen a lot of hurricanes strengthening.
This one - the waters plenty warm, but there's a lot of upper level winds that kind of rip apart a storm. It's at least one of the things that will inhibit it, we think, from growing significantly over the next, say, 24 to
Center of this storm right there to the North of Cuba, just to the west of Turks and Caicos and then towards the Bahamas. All of our model are in really good agreement of this kind of curve that you see. It's just that curve hugs the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. and a very slowly deviation one way or the other will have really big impacts.
The hurricane force winds, you stand out 35 miles from the center of the storm. So if the storm gets really close to the coast, you can have hurricane force winds. If you get just a little farther off the coast, you might just see tropical storm force winds.
This is the latest official track as a 5:00 o'clock it did nudge a little bit farther back towards West, getting very, very close to the coast. So this is a Saturday night into Sunday morning, probably at its closest path here in the coast of Florida, possibly could make a little bit of a landfall there.
The worst of the energy is going to be to the East side of this, so that's where the worst of energy, storm surge would be. The coast is probably spared from that. But certainly a battering across Florida Coastline tomorrow evening into Sunday morning.
Notice this, by Monday afternoon, we've got some interaction here with the Carolinas. Likely seeing some sort of landfall in the Carolinas. Hurricane, tropical storm, we'll see some impacts there. Definitely a lot of rain.
And then notice this, Trace, also moving in across parts of the Northeast and New York, not necessarily as a hurricane and tropical storm, but Tuesday and Wednesday could have very strong winds across parts of the Northeast and a significant amount of rain as well. Trace?
GALLAGHER: Going to be a rugged week. Rick Reichmuth live for us in the Fox Weather Center. Rick, back to you with any breaking news. Thank you. A lot going on in Florida tonight. President Trump is in the swing state as his campaign takes an advertising timeout to fine-tune their strategy. Plus, Trump 2020 Campaign National Press Secretary Hogan Gidley will join us here next.
GALLAGHER: With just under 100 days until the election, the Trump campaign is temporarily pausing their ad spending to review and "fine-tune its messaging." The decision comes amid a shakeup of leaders in the campaign.
And a recent Fox News poll shows Joe Biden leading the president in three key battleground states. We're talking about Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Minnesota.
With us now Hogan Gidley, Trump 2020 Campaign National Press Secretary.
Just for context, Hogan - and thank you for joining us. We very much appreciate it. Joe Biden over the past couple of days spent about $4 million. The Trump campaign spent very little.
And now we're being told by our Chief White House Correspondent, the reason being is because the campaign wants to make sure the campaign was advertising in the right place, at the right time to the right people.
What's the message that's being reworked, Hogan?
HOGAN GIDLEY, TRUMP 2020 CAMPAIGN NATIONAL PRESS SECRETARY: Well, you make some great points there. But listen, we have 95 days until this election.
36 days before a lot of people start seeing ballots come in the mail.
So it makes sense that a newly minted campaign manager stepping up from the deputy role and want to look at things and take inventory and figure out where you want to move with some targeting strategic messaging. So that's exactly what we're doing. And so he pulls them for a few days.
I know the DC chattering class and the Beltway bureaucrats and political pundits care so much about that. But who cares, no big deal. We're going up full force with some targeted ad buys the first part of next week, and they're really going to show the difference. Elections are about choices.
And when our ads go up, you're going to see Joe Biden's 50 year failed career in elected office, but also that he is an empty vessel, being filled by the socialist wing of his party, the Ilhan Omars, the Rashida Tlaibs, the Bernie Sanders. And they're the ones that are actually pulling in that direction. He's now embraced it, wanting to remake America.
Some of the plans he's putting out aren't American at all. They read more like a socialist manifesto and so if I--
GALLAGHER: So, if I--
GIDLEY: The ad campaigned, you're going to see will absolutely highlight that and point out how successful Donald Trump has been and what a failure Joe Biden is--
GALLAGHER: So, if I'm clear on this Hogan, what you're saying is, they're going to back away from the whole law and order campaign advertising thing and they're going to go on to what Joe Biden is being drifting and being drawn farther to the Left.
Let me just put up the President's tweet from earlier, if I can, and I'll get your reaction to that. "We just got 50 percent in Rasmussen, and much higher in our internal polls. We are doing a new ad campaign on Sleepy Joe Biden that will be out on Monday. He has been brought even further Left than Crazy Bernie Sanders ever thought possible. By the way, Bernie's people love me on trade."
So the line of sight (ph) is, we're going to go after a new thing that Joe Biden is being - is being taken hostage by the Far Left.
GIDLEY: Well, he is. But there's more than just that. I talked about two different issues. But, absolutely, law and order and safety and security is a very big issue for the American people. They're the ones in these communities, watching their city streets devolve into lawlessness, with criminals taking over, mayor's allowing this type of behavior to continue, people being beaten, stores being burned, churches being burned, cops being attacked.
This is a complete difference between what this President Donald Trump wants to do in protecting these communities and actually standing up for law enforcement, as opposed to Joe Biden who just pops his head out of his hidey hole every once in a while to say defund the police.
And let's be clear, what we've now seen are massive amounts of police unions that supported Joe Biden in the past, now openly supporting Donald Trump, because in their words--
GIDLEY: --they were sick of being beaten up by the Left. And now people like Joe Biden say that the law enforcement are the enemy. They're siding with the people who are committing violence as opposed to the ones we're trying to stop--
GALLAGHER: Just for clarification, Hogan. Again, he didn't call for defunding police. He called for--
GIDLEY: No, no, Trace.
GALLAGHER: He called reallocating--
GIDLEY: Trace, redirecting.
GALLAGHER: He called for reallocating money.
GIDLEY: He said redirect - the word was redirect. If you don't think redirect is the same thing as defund, then let me redirect your next paycheck into my bank account. It is the exact same thing and America people know.
GALLAGHER: I'm here clarifying the language - just clarifying the language instead of defund the police, he wants money reallocated. You know, look, you may be right, and there's a lot of people parsing this saying, yes, it's kind of one of the same.
Let me move on. I know you said this week to Maria Bartiromo that Fox polls were junk. No offense taken Hogan. We're going to throw these two polls out. This is Rasmussen. I take that back. Quinnipiac poll.
Do you think President Trump is helping or hurting efforts to slow the spread of Coronavirus? 62 percent, hurting; 31 percent, helping. Let me just roll the next poll in there. This is AP-NORC. Has Trump's presidency made the country more united or more divided? And there you have it, 64 percent divided. The numbers are the numbers are discouraging, are they not?
GIDLEY: No, not at all. Because the fact is this President has taken bold, decisive leadership in a time of unprecedented issues with China, sending over a virus to this country that has absolutely hurt the American people, hurt the job creation as well.
The President rebuilt the economy once he'll do it again. But the difference is in an election cycle, when it comes down to our choices. And when you look at what this president did with a pandemic.
Remember, Joe Biden was the one mocking the president for shutting down flights from China and from you're calling him racist and xenophobia, that's what ultimately saved lives. The doctors on the on the Task Force including Fauci and Birx and Redfield all said this.
In fact, Joe Biden even had to come out and say, yes, I guess Donald Trump was right it actually did save lives. So, when we get down to it --
GALLAGHER: Yes, I got to --
GIDLEY: -- we'll make those distinctions and the American people will see that Joe Biden has been an abject failure and this president made their lives better.
GALLAGHER: Hogan, I got to go, next stimulus bill having trouble it's kind of a little battle on Capitol Hill. Now the White House coming out saying, you know what, we're actually in favor of the $600 a week unemployment benefits. You know, a lot of Republican say you can't pay people more to not work than to work. White House now coming in favor of that way.
GIDLEY: Yes. I saw that and they are absolutely right. And that was one of the things that the White House heard from a lot of the small businesses was, it's very difficult to get our workers back into our ranks to get things back open up and running again. Because the government has now come up with this universal wage and it's making them --
GIDLEY: -- the workers, not want to get off the couch and come back to work. And why would you? If the government is paying you more then the business than your job would --
GALLAGHER: But the White House now supports the $600.
GIDLEY: -- it makes a lot of sense.
GALLAGHER: But the White House supports the $600 now.
GIDLEY: I'm sorry, in what way?
GALLAGHER: The White House just came out and said they support the $600.
GIDLEY: Right. Right. But the Democrats want way more than that amount for the American people.
GALLAGHER: Well --
GIDLEY: And also, this is like the fourth or fifth tranche of money. We're talking about trillions of dollars we've actually spent --
GIDLEY: -- to try and keep this country open to allow the American people some form of relief. It's been the Democrats who not only blocked this at every turn --
GALLAGHER: Got it.
GIDLEY: -- but it played politics with people's lives and the people out there, the ones who are hurting because the government force them to shut down. They force their lives to be up ended.
GIDLEY: And now the Democrats are saying we're not going to fix it. That's a serious problem --
GALLAGHER: Hogan Gidley --
GIDLEY: -- and it's another instance where the president has shown a real leadership.
GALLAGHER: We -- we got to go. Thank you, sir. We appreciate your time.
GIDLEY: Thank you.
GALLAGHER: Well, the V.P. stakes are heating up as Joe Biden moves closer to pick a running mate. So, who are the latest signs pointing to? Charlie Kirk and Richard Fowler are here to debate that next.
GALLAGHER: While anticipation building over who former Vice President Joe Biden will choose to be his V.P., pundits replacing their bets and contenders are jockeying for position as recent analysis from NBC News points to a safe pick likely winning the V.P. stakes.
Quote, "If recent history is any guide, the safe bet is that Biden's selection will be pretty conventional when it comes to experience, qualifications, and name identification. For the most part, candidates who are ahead in the presidential contest go with the safe conventional choice.
Whether that ultimately works out for them or not."
Here now, Charlie Kirk, he's a founder and president of Turning Point USA, and Richard Fowler is a senior fellow at New Leaders Council and a Fox News contributor.
Gentlemen, welcome to you both.
I want to put this Suffolk poll up there. This is about V.P. candidates and who's excited for who. And it has Kamala Harris, right, the California senator at the top of list, 35 percent excited, 33 percent say acceptable.
Then you go down and you have Susan Rice, the former national security advisor really kind of running in second there, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is third.
What do you think of that? I mean, that seems to be the tone and tenor of where we're going, Richard. Your thoughts?
RICHARD FOWLER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Listen, if I had to pick two today, my two would either be Keisha Lance Bottoms, the mayor of Atlanta or the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Karen Bass.
Now the reason why both of those two women speak to me is top contenders, one, the reason why Karen Bass speaks to me is as we're thinking about a leader in this moment that can handle what this country is going through which is COVID-19 and this global pandemic, you think of somebody like Karen Bass the position's assistant who came of age and worked in the L.A.
County hospital during the HIV/AIDS epidemic. She is the go-to candidates.
And you think about somebody like Keisha Lance Bottoms is somebody who understands what it is to govern a city, who understands how the reins of government work.
FOWLER: She was also a judge and a city council person so she understands how government works, how all three branches works. So those are three really good contenders for the vice president. Both have great stories.
Both of their stories are the American story how they came from nothing to become something, and so I think those are both great contenders or choices for the vice president.
GALLAGHER: And Charlie, he brings up a good point, because you talk about the California Congressman Karen Bass, and the Sacramento Bee came out and said, you know, everybody is talking about Kamala Harris but really, if you're going to pick one, maybe that's the one to pick. She's 66, going to be 67 years old here in next month or so.
And the Sacramento Bee writes, and I'm quoting here, "If Biden chooses the California V.P., he likely won't pick Karen Bass. Clearly, however, the community activists whose passion for service lead others to draft her into electoral politics is the better choice."
Interesting, Charlie, if nothing else, right?
CHARLIE KIRK, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT, TURNING POINT USA: I'll say, and I'm going to put on my Democratic strategist hat, I rarely do that, and kind of look at this race and see, well first, you know, as someone who's a Trump supporter I'm actually excited to make sure that Joe Biden has a running mate.
I think that most of the times a vice president is supposed to be additive.
I think that there is a pretty conventionally accepted right now that Joe Biden adding a vice president such as potentially someone like Senator Harris who's not well-liked especially amongst the Midwest, I think it could hurt him in some of these polls.
As a Trump supporter, I'm actually kind of excited that Joe Biden who is perceived, I think wrongly so, but he is perceived as a moderate amongst a lot of people in the industrial Midwest and all of a sudden you add either Congresswoman Bass or Senator Harris and I think that all of a sudden saying California values coming to the Midwest.
And look, Joe Biden, whether, you know, the Biden campaign wants to admit this or not, his capacity to be able to give speeches and be able to interact with people has been limited. And I think it's going to be a lot about the vice president pick. I think this vice-presidential selection is going to be one of the most important in recent American politics.
GALLAGHER: I wonder, Richard, why in this conversation we're having here we've talked about Karen Bass, we've talked about Kamala Harris and Keisha Lance Bottoms, but really nothing about the former national security advisor Susan Rice. And she's really running second in most polls for the person that people believe should be Joe Biden's running mate and really not in the hierarchy of the conversation. What are your thoughts on that?
FOWLER: Listen, I think because Susan Rice does bring a lot of foreign policies in a ticket, but that's not something that's necessarily for this
-- for Joe Biden. Joe Biden has a well-performed policy experience.
Remember, when Donald Trump was picking Mike Pence, he picks somebody who need it because he needs a Washington experience.
Joe Biden doesn't need Washington experience, he doesn't need foreign policy experience, he needs a governing partner. And when you think about somebody who would help Joe Biden govern, you think of somebody who understands how governments work. You think about somebody who understands how leadership works.
And both Karen Bass and Keisha Lance Bottoms are two women who get how governments work, they get how leadership work and they also understand how the American community works. Both of these women come from communities the Atlanta community and the Los Angeles community, and they understand how you can work through community to create change.
For Karen Bass that started by being a position's assistant. For Keisha Lance Bottoms that started being a student at Penn-U and she worked her way up at first as a judge then as a council member in the Atlanta City Council to being the mayor.
FOWLER: These women get it. They understand how to make this country work
GALLAGHER: Let me --
FOWLER: -- and that's what they are both too great contenders.
GALLAGHER: Let me give Charlie the last word. I don't have time to read the op-ed, but the Washington Post coming out saying, because she won't apologize, Kamala Harris might hurt her chances, Charlie, of becoming Joe Biden's V.P. candidate.
KIRK: Yes. Super quick, I'll look, look, I think that this race is going to continue to tighten and I think if Joe Biden picks incorrectly, this could be a very big boost for the Trump campaign. We look forward to his election.
GALLAGHER: Charlie Kirk, Richard Fowler, gentlemen, good to see you both.
FOWLER: Listen --
GALLAGHER: I'm out -- Richard, I'm out of time. But thank you both.
Up next, after months of protests, Seattle getting really to decide whether or not to defund its police. And it looks like the tide of public opinion might be turning.
GALLAGHER: Fox News alert, the federal government has just charged an 18- year-old, reportedly a member of antifa, for being part of the group that set fire to the U.S. courthouse in Portland. The U.S. attorney in Oregon saying Gabriel Agard-Berryhill was caught on security cameras throwing a large explosive device at the Marquette field federal courthouse late Tuesday night. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.
Well, as the Seattle City Council gets closer to voting on whether or not to slash police funding by 50 percent, residents are starting to push back with a stop defunding position collecting over 75,000 signatures and some upset locals calling into a budget meeting to express their concerns.
(BEGIN VOICE CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Defunding SPD is a radical experiment that will hurt the vulnerable.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: SPD is already understaffed and with the city growing rapidly, calls for service are increasing. I do not want less officers, I want more officers who are able to respond to priority calls in seven minutes or less. We don't live in Utopia.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Seattle City Council, you are irresponsibly not fully representing your constituents by making the reckless decision to defund our police department by 50 percent.
(END VOICE CLIP)
GALLAGHER: Joining me now, Emmy Award winning broadcast journalist and former Washington State GOP chair, Susan Hutchison. Susan, thank you for joining us. I greatly appreciate it.
You know, it's interesting when you read and you listen to those voice mails. The tide is turning a little bit in Seattle. I mean, you had weeks and weeks of vandalism and violence in the chop zone and so forth, and you know, it was going on and going on and it was kind of painted as, these are mostly peaceful. People are kind of fed up and they are saying we don't need fewer police. We need more of them.
SUSAN HUTCHISON, EMMY AWARD WINNING JOURNALIST: Yes, it's absolutely right. And of course, the troublemakers are the ones that get the attention but Seattle is a city of neighborhoods. We have a downtown core and people live there. But we also have tree lined streets and people who are really happy to call Seattle their home. Until now.
And it frightens every mom and dad and every single person out there to think that they could call the police and they would not get a response.
And that is what's fueling what's going on right now.
GALLAGHER: Yes, you talk to a lot of businesses there during this chop zone hold out and they were saying you know, I can't get anybody to respond to me, I don't know what to do, we've called 911 we're getting nothing.
You know, you have the quote from Carmen Best, the Seattle police chief.
And she says, quoting here, "we support everyone's First Amendment right for free speech and to gather and assemble in such a way. But what we saw today -- she's talking about last week -- was not peaceful. It was not peaceful demonstration at all and criminal acts were occurring throughout the city and many people were at risk."
Look, she kind of started off you know, leading toward the mayor a little bit and then after a while she's like, this is not right. This is not right happening in the city.
HUTCHISON: That's right. And I think that the city council needs to be called on the fact that even though she has asked them to be part of the process to allow her to be part of the process, they have not included her at all.
GALLAGHER: Yes. I want to put it up on the screen there, these are supporters of defunding police. This is what they want to reinvest the money in first. Susan, let me get your take on the civilian controlled 911 system, community-based responses to crises, research process to figure out life beyond policing, and median investments in housing.
On the flip side, this is what they want to cut. They want to cut the training budget, they want a massive reduction in patrol staff, cut recruitment and retention budget, and end overtime pay. In other words, you know, that would be decimating to the Seattle Police Department.
HUTCHISON: Well, you know, in the class 2020 entering the police department this year, it is 50 percent people of color. So, it is the most diverse police class ever. And that's because using a $1.5 million investment they really went into the neighborhood and encouraged people to join as part of a mission for their city.
So, if this cut goes into effect, we would be cutting about 800 police officers in Seattle which is more than two-thirds of the force. And those cuts would be not of the old hands, the folks who have been there forever.
HUTCHISON: But as always, first hired, first fired. And so, the whole goal in Seattle policing is to have our police look more like the people they are policing, and that would go totally against that. And they are so many other issues that you just read and are just ridiculous. But there are some where the police have been very forthright and said hey, look, if you want to do addiction and mental health, those are good things for community social workers to be involved in --
GALLAGHER: Yes. Right.
HUTCHISON: -- in partnership with the police.
GALLAGHER: Yes. Again, Susan Hutchison, great of you. Thank you for joining us. I appreciate it.
GALLAGHER: Coming up, Trader Joe's saying no to brand shaming. The grocery chain pushing back on claims that some of its branding is racist. Dennis Prager here to talk about that. Next.
GALLAGHER: Well, tonight Trader Joe's is pushing back on claims that some of its branding is racist. The grocery chains label some international foods with names like Trader Jose's for Mexican items or Trader Mings for Asian dishes.
Now with an online petition, a California student is demanding those names go away, claiming they perpetuate harmful stereotypes.
Earlier this month, there were reports Trader Joe's would rebrand but now the company says it does not make decisions based on petitions. And writes, quoting, "We have heard from many customers reaffirming that these name variations are largely viewed in exactly the way they were intended as an attempt to have fun with our product marketing." It maintains products that sell will remain on the shelves.
With us now Dennis Prager, national host of -- a radio host and author and co-founder of PragerU. Dennis, it's always great to see you.
DENNIS PRAGER, CO-FOUNDER, PRAGERU: Good to see you, too.
GALLAGHER: I'm wondering if Trader Joe's really stood firm here because they came out first saying, you know, those brands, we were going to change those brands anyway with or without the petition. And now they see this petition only has a few thousand signatures and now they are saying look, we don't -- we don't base our brand names on petitions.
So, are they standing firm? Or are they're like, well, nobody really signed up for this?
PRAGER: Hey, listen, I don't care why. It is so rare for a company in America to do the right thing. This time, morally right, logically right thing. I don't care what the reason. It is something to celebrate.
I want to make a point here that's really critical. I wrote an article which is available obviously for free. I'm not selling anything. It's on the internet. Five arguments that America is not racist.
One of them is the amount of nonsense that's declared racist. If you are really racist, if a country really is or a company, then you have real evidence. Uncle Ben is racist. Trader Ming or Trader Jose is racist? Do you understand they have to invent things in order to make the argument that companies or America are racist?
This is truly important for people to realize. The Redskins was not racist.
American-Indians, Native Americans were polled both by the University of Pennsylvania and the Washington Post. Ninety percent said we have no problem or we like the name Redskins.
GALLAGHER: Yes. And that is true by the way.
PRAGER: What they --
GALLAGHER: And that is true. And I just want to put up this quote from Briones Bedell. She is the high school student who started this Trader Joe's petition. She says, quoting here, "I think that the central issue at the heart of all this is that when any community is not allowed to control or control over their representation harmful stereotypes and caricatures are allowed to be perpetuated." Your quick thoughts on that, Dennis.
PRAGER: Joe is a Spanish name. What is possibly, what could -- it's conceivably wrong with that? If in Colombia or in Argentina, they had an equivalent and they say Trader Bob --
PRAGER: -- or whatever the word Trader is in Spanish, would that be anti- American? I mean, actually this is a wonderful thing. We want to include everybody.
GALLAGHER: I want to get your thoughts on this because I want to move on to the NBA. They started last night. Some great games out there. Charles Barkley said this about the national anthem, got a little pushback. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLES BARKLEY, NBA HALL OF FAMER: The national anthem means different things to different people. I'm glad these guys are unified. But if people, if people don't kneel, they're not a bad person. I want to make that perfectly clear. I'm glad they had unity but if we have a guy who doesn't want to kneel because the anthem means something to him, he should not be vilified.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: I mean, Drew Brees had to apologize, Dennis, four times for saying that he respects the flag.
PRAGER: That's right. It was one of the saddest chapters in American sports history, what Drew Brees ultimately said.
Listen, the dishonesty is as bad as the act. Of course, it is an insult to the flag. The notion of, I don't mean to insult the flag when everyone is asked to stand for the anthem and some people deliberately do not, then that is a statement about the anthem. If they do it before the anthem, I have no issue. But if they do it during it.
And finally, I just have to say to NBA and NFL and Major League Baseball fans, why you would go to games or watch games where the players announce how despicable you are is a puzzle.
GALLAGHER: Yes. Dennis Prager, always good to see you, sir. Thank you so much.
PRAGER: Thank you. Thank you.
GALLAGHER: Well, that is "The Story" of Friday, July 31st, 2020. July 31st. Tomorrow, August 1, the summer is going. I'm Trace Gallagher in Los Angeles. Have a great weekend, everyone.
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