This is a rush transcript from “The Story with Martha MacCallum," September 11, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MACCALLUM: Good to see you tonight.

BAIER: You too.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The 40 of Flight 93 did the most American of things. They took a vote and then they acted. Together, they charged the cockpit, they confronted the pure evil. And in their last act on this earth, they saved our capital.


MACCALLUM: Moving speech by President Trump today in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, remembering those brave United 93 passengers, who 19 years ago today took the first action against Al Qaeda when they took their own lives into their hands. They charged the cockpit and they stopped that plane from its destiny of slamming into the nation's capital.

Good evening, everybody. I'm Martha MacCallum. And this is The Story on the 19th anniversary of 9/11. But perhaps the bitter pill in today's remembrances is now becoming how we let the unity of those days that followed slip away from us.

Today, we have division, we have pandemic, we have unrest. And then comes this anniversary, which is dusted with our memories of terror and patriotism that pulled all of us together in that last dark time. But not so today. Not at all. Instead, as we look to the coming election, we are still learning about the efforts to undo the last one. And that has been one of the most divisive things that has happened.

New records show that the Mueller team wiped the data on at least several dozen of their phones before they turn them over to the inspector general. So, of course, that does raise a lot of legitimate questions tonight. Byron York literally wrote the book on that story, and he is here in a moment on that. And we're also going to get his reaction to this, a column today in the Federalist that suggests that it could happen all over again.

As a group that calls themselves the Transition Integrity Project has been wargaming how to respond to the election or potentially how to get President Trump out of the White House if this whole thing remains undecided for weeks, for real.

And take a look at this, this may be why some are getting nervous. A shifting Electoral College outlook from the Cook Report today shows that two states, Nevada, and Florida, appear to be moving out of the blue column and maybe towards that up area where they will be anybody's game. That diminishes the projection for Biden's lead from earlier this summer. At that point, they showed him likely having 308 electoral votes. He now has 279 to the president's 187, according to the Cook Analysis Report that came out today.

So, lots to talk about tonight with Byron York, Chief Political Correspondent for The Washington Examiner, Fox News Contributor, and the author of the great new book. Congratulations on it. It's called Obsession. Byron, it's good to have you here tonight. So, I guess the first thing I want to ask you about--


MACCALLUM: Is whether or not - thank you. Whether or not you see a shift happening when you analyze these numbers from Cook and other places that are putting out data.

YORK: Well, there's no doubt that the race does seem to be tightening in some of these key states, I mean, the states that a lot of people are looking at are Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, and a number of those, particularly Florida, the race is much closer than it was at midsummer. And in others, it's significantly closer than it was.

Now, caution here is remember the problem for pollsters in 2016, the national polls got the vote totals pretty much correct. Remember that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote then, but there were some state polls that had some real problems. And clearly a lot of pollsters, a lot of observers were surprised when Donald Trump won Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, all of them by very tight margins. But it wasn't showing up in the polls. Right now, we're having a bit more polls than we had last time for obvious reasons, and it does appear things are tightening.

MACCALLUM: So, obviously we all remember the outrage on the part of a lot of people that came after the outcome of that 2016 election, they were shocked that President Trump won. And then we saw a lot of effort that had begun actually during the campaign to undermine the outcome of that election. And we had a two-year investigation by the Mueller team.

So, now it's coming to light that some of the phones that they used, people like Lisa Page, for example, Andrew Weissman, who is one of the lead people, as you well know, in this investigation, that those phones were wiped several times. And they say, some of them say that it was an accident, that it was unintentional. What are you seeing in this story right now, tonight, Byron?

YORK: Well, look, it looks pretty fishy, it's actually if you look into the iPhone, it's kind of hard to erase all the data on your phone by entering an incorrect password too many times. They have measures in the iPhone to prevent you from doing that accidentally. So, it's a little bit fishy. I will say one of the things that I discovered in writing this book is that the Mueller organization was not a particularly transparent group. When Mueller testified before Congress on July 24th in 2019 clearly had cognitive issues.

It became clear that they had been covering for him quite a bit before that limiting access to him, not letting Trump people get him on the phone. So, this was kind of a tight and secretive group. So, I'm not totally shocked by what has happened here.

MACCALLUM: Yes, I mean, there were also phones that were never recoverable from earlier on in the investigation, as I remember, as part of all of the early part of this as well. So, I've had iPhones for many years. I'm sure most people at home have, and I've never had one that just erased when I tried to get into it several times. So, we'll see where that goes.

So, onto this other sort of theory that's kind of floating around out there. This is a piece by Fareed Zakaria, preparation for election month, not election night. He says, all of us need to start preparing for a deeply worrying scenario on November 3rd. President Trump will be ahead significantly in a majority of states. Over the next few days, mail-in- ballots will be counted, and the numbers could shift in Joe Biden's favor. But will Trump accept that outcome? Will the United States, he writes?

Then you've got this piece in the Federalist called The Left is setting the stage for a coup if Trump wins. And it talks about this group called the Transition Integrity Project, Byron, which says that they have Republicans and Democrats and that their goal is to make sure that there's a peaceful transition. What else do you is this group doing their wargaming different scenarios?

YORK: Yes, this is - the Transition Integrity Group is a group of former government officials, academics, journalists, they're all quite anti-Trump and they've been pushing this idea that President Trump will lose the election and will then refuse to leave the White House.

Now, the president did an interview, remember with Chris Wallace in July. And Chris asked him straight out, will you accept the results of the election? And Trump said, we'll see. So that did cause a lot of conversation.

But what the Transition Integrity Project did was they went through four scenarios. They got a bunch of people together. They all assigned each other to teams, and they went through four scenarios. And two of them were scenarios in which Biden won. He won big and then he won narrowly. And in both of those when Inauguration Day 2021 came around, Joe Biden was inaugurated president.

They had one scenario that was kind of weird in which nobody knew who won. And Inauguration Day came around and there was a lot of confusion. But then there was another scenario in which Trump won in 2020 just like he did in 2016. He lost the popular vote, but he won the Electoral College, which means he was elected president. And Democrats refused to accept that chaos followed, and they looked to the military to decide it by Election Day.

MACCALLUM: Well, we know that Hillary Clinton has advised Joe Biden to not concede on election night under any circumstances. So, we'll see. We'll see what happens. And I actually interviewed President Trump on 2016 on Election Day, and I asked him that same question because that was the discussion back then. You know, if you lose, which I think at that point people thought it was a likely scenario. And he said, we'll see at that point, too. So, we'll see. Thank you very much, Byron. Good to see you tonight.

YORK: Thank you, Martha.

MACCALLUM: So - you bet Obsession is the book. Pick it up, great book by Byron York, just out. So, President Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden made their cases to Michigan this week. So, how did they do with the undecided voters there? We brought back our group of undecided voters from Michigan. You're going to hear what they thought from those two men right after this.


MACCALLUM: The race to the White House with 53 days to go, President Trump and former VP Joe Biden both in Michigan this week, a state that President Trump won over Hillary Clinton in 2016 by a razor thin margin. He now trails 4.2 points in the RCP average behind Joe Biden. Here's a bit of what Michigan voters heard from them.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Donald Trump, Michigan lost auto jobs even before COVID did. What about offshoring? Has Trump delivered on stopping companies from shipping jobs overseas? American jobs? You already know the answer. Of course not.

TRUMP: Joe Biden devoted his career to offshoring Michigan's jobs, outsourcing Michigan's factories.


MACCALLUM: Three Michigan voters still undecided on who to vote for in November, Jerry Stepanovich is back with us tonight. Grace Keros and Andrew Rodney, good to have all of you with us. Jerry, let me start with you. We spoke earlier in the week, and since then, you've had both of these candidates in your state. Did you listen to what they had to say? And did it have any impact on your thinking?

JERRY STEPANOVICH, UNDECIDED MICHIGAN VOTER: Yes, I did, and it did have some impact on my thinking. I heard a lot of positive thoughts from our president and what I heard Mr. Biden was that he's trying to promise again what he claimed he would do eight years ago and for basically 47 years. So, my vote definitely has taken a swing far to the right.

MACCALLUM: Interesting, Grace, how about you, did you listen to both of them this week? Did you have time to do that? And was there any impact on your feelings?

GRACE KEROS, UNDECIDED MICHIGAN VOTERS: I had a little time to listen to a little bit of this, a little bit of that. And here's what I do know. I think it's just been a lot of noise and I'm more undecided now than I even was. So, they're not moving me. They're not reaching out to me and telling me something that's getting to me, that's making me say, oh, let me think of this side or that side. Not yet. And it's pretty sad.

MACCALLUM: Grace, like, what are you looking for? What do you think that might be? What's the most important issue to you?

KEROS: Well, there's so many issues. And we can start and dissect them and be here all day. But I'm waiting for them to actually talk to us instead of talking at us or telling us what we think we want to hear. Speak to us like we're just regular people, everyday people. Left or right, why can't we just be a regular middle person and we decide, just talk to us like we're real.

I feel like we're just getting all that political rhetoric, which is part of it. I get it. There's this. There's that. We all know that. But no one's touched me. And it's not just me that feels that there's many people. I don't feel confident either one of them at this point.

MACCALLUM: So, Andrew, let me just play a soundbite from Governor Whitmer. She's a flashpoint in all of this. People either feel strongly in favor of her or strongly against her. Here she is this week.


GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER (D-MI): The biggest threat to the American people is the American president right now. There has been so much more loss of life because we haven't had accurate, consistent medical information just coming out of the chief executive of our nation.


MACCALLUM: So, Andrew, that's her message on COVID, how do you feel about that topic, Bob Woodward book out this week that got a lot of attention that suggested that the president wanted to play it down? Does that impact your vote?

ANDREW RODNEY, UNDECIDED MICHIGAN VOTER: It doesn't. I'm with Grace in that listening to their speeches in Michigan and even listening to what Whitmer just said, I am just so sick and tired of the - attacking the other side as what you're offering. What you have to give is that this person is evil. And the speeches that they gave were similarly filled with untruths, filled with things that they both can't do and mainly just targeted each other and what they're going to do to us.

And as Whitmer was saying, the biggest threat to American people know being our president is just not true. But that was in both speeches that they gave filled with untruths, just attacking each other. It's not reaching me.

MACCALLUM: Andrew, I believe you voted for an independent candidate last time. There's not a prominent independent candidate this time. Do you feel like you're going to vote for one of these two individuals, either President Trump or Joe Biden?

RODNEY: Almost certainly not unless something really changes in in the next couple of months. I mean I'm still undecided. I could still go either way. But from what I'm seeing, it's just more of the same. At least when Trump ran in the first time, he was going after the establishment and now it's - that's not even there. Now he's just accepting it and just going after the other opponent like everybody has done before. So, there's no change here.

MACCALLUM: Interesting, Jerry, when you look at the nation on the right track or wrong track, this is a Detroit poll. 58 percent in this Detroit poll say they think that the nation is on the wrong track. 31 percent say it's on the right track. Which side of that are you on and why?

STEPANOVICH: I would think that we're on the right track. I'm going to go that we are trying to reopen. Our governor, in my view, is a complete failure. We are the only state in the country that has opened up high school sports. Yet the participants have to wear face masks, and even cross-country runners, whatever.

In my opinion, she's a complete failure. I think President Trump is moving us forward in bits and pieces. But I don't think that after 47 years in office, Joe Biden has the answer. If he had had the answer, he had given it to us 47 years ago. So, in my opinion, we are on the right track, we're working forward, we're moving forward, we're working to a solution. Is a vaccine viable right now? Maybe not, but I don't think that this virus is as deadly as the media would like us to believe.

MACCALLUM: OK. We'll look forward to checking back in with you folks. We've got two months to go, 50 some days to go. Andrew and Grace and Jerry, I appreciate all of you bringing your views to the table from Michigan. Thank you very much.

RODNEY: Thank you, Martha.

KEROS: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: Our thanks to them. We're going to talk to voters from across the country. But coming up next, we're going to talk to Michigan native Charlie LeDuff. We'll get his reaction to what's going on in his home state. Very tight contested state right now. And angry protesters take to the streets demanding food and drink off people's tables, then throwing the chairs around. They asked for people's houses, people's cash at this point, the scene outside the D.C. home of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday. What's going on out there? Watch this.




MACCALLUM: Angry protesters outside the home of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, they're demanding the $600 weekly enhanced unemployment aid that ran out on July 31st. We know that nothing that Congress has done has moved forward on any of these bills to give people more relief. But what you think of that protest is another matter. So that's a version of what we've seen in Rochester and in Pittsburgh on a different front, where rioters got in the faces of people and demanded that they give them things.


MACCALLUM: OK, so before she went away, she leaned over and drank the drink off that lady's table just to make her point with an exclamation point, I guess. Charlie LeDuff joins me now. Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and host of the No BS Newshour podcast. Charlie, great to have you with us tonight.

So, you've got two very different examples really there in a way. You've got a fairly peaceful protest, but it's outside of Mitch McConnell's house asking for an extension of unemployment benefits. Frustrated that that hasn't happened, I guess. And then you've got this other stuff, which is, people sitting outside at restaurants because of COVID-19 now have to fear that somebody is going to knock their table over and yell in their faces about the things that they want to be given.

CHARLIE LEDUFF, HOST, NO BS NEWSHOUR PODCAST: Yes. Well, congratulations to you. You've made Martha MacCallum, so mission accomplished. It doesn't get anything done. I will say this, Martha, outside of McConnell's house is appropriate if you're peaceful, right. Because you're going to the power. We're hungry out here. What's the real issue in America? I don't want to diminish police training, police violence. It's something we can work through.

But the question is green. It's green. What are the issues in this campaign? It is the economy. It's health care, it's COVID and it's the police. And they all have to do with green. There's no money. So, what does Congress do? What can we do in the short term? Congress went home on vacation to politic while everybody's checks ran out. That's what it looks like when America runs out of money.

The long-term solution, listening to your panelists just before. We don't know what the long-term solution is, because for a long time it feels like we've been sold out. Nobody knows that more than Michigan. Population loss, job loss, that cities are broke, the police have been defunded. We don't want violence. We want to eat. And nobody is hearing an honest solution to a problem that was created a long time ago by Congress and their masters, big business, and big banks. That's how people feel. Not necessarily how I feel.

MACCALLUM: I want to get your thoughts on what they had to say. The undecided voters in Michigan who we spoke to -- when you listen to them, they're obviously frustrated. I heard a lot of frustration in their voices about people, sort of talking past each other and not getting anything done which I hear in what you're saying as well.

And maybe dissatisfaction to an extent with the choices that they have in these two individuals. What's your take away? What do you hear in those voices, you talk to people in Michigan all the time?

CHARLIE LEDUFF, AUTHOR, SH*TSHOW: All the time, I know some people on that panel. This election is it seem -- and look, it's just me talking to people, this is what I have distilled, so take it for what it is.

This election is about Trump versus Trump, that is all it has been for four years. Is there anything real being offered? Like, how do we open up business, what about the 600 bucks, Ford's two big new products is going to be built in Mexico, G.M.'s two big products now are built in Korea, we never really got it back. Are we ever going to get it back? What are we really going to do?

MACCALLUM: But Charlie, let me jump in and ask you about that. Because the other night when President Trump was in Freeland Michigan, this is part of it, he was saying, you know, we brought so many jobs back, we open so many factories here, saying you know, you better vote for me, what did you think of all that?

LEDUFF: It's not true, not to any big extent, the Lordstown in Ohio is closed like two new big high selling vehicles in the last year, Ford, General Motors are built in Korea. So, it's people feel -- it's lip service, and that we are not even voting for that. It's my guy or your guy.

So, things are just getting lost and people are going insane. And look, Detroit is the brokers big city in America, they want their police chief to stay, there's a lot of pulse going around.


LEDUFF: They want him to stay. It's not his issue as to what's going on. It's the mayor, it's the governor, its Congress.

MACCALLUM: All right.

LEDUFF: It's the president, and that's just the way regular people see it laid out -- not all of them, so don't send me any hate mail.

MACCALLUM: Yes. Charlie LeDuff, always good to see you. Thank you very much, Charlie.

LEDUFF: And never forget.

MACCALLUM: So, coming up, at some point, will company -- absolutely. At some point, our companies going to get their workers out of their P.J.s and back to the office? That is starting to happen and President Trump is cheering it on. Andy Puzder when the Story continues.


MACCALLUM: So only in these times it's a big story when a big employer tells their workers that they need to actually come to the office. But JPMorgan is making what amounts to a bold move these days. They came out and told their staffers that they need to be back by September 21st.

And that made the competition take notice which is no surprise, Goldman Sachs quickly followed and then President Trump chimed in as well after the New York Post reported, quote, "no more trading in pajamas at JPMorgan Chase. Congratulations, wrote the president, to JPMorgan Chase for ordering everyone back to the office on September 21st, it will always be better than working from home."

So, joining me now is Andy Puzder, former CEO of CKE Restaurants and author of "Getting America Back to Work." Andy, always good to see you. So, we understand that this is --



MACCALLUM: -- you know, they're starting with some of the top folks at JPMorgan. A lot of people on the trading floors they want back there. And the reason that caught my attention was that they said they wanted them to come back for reasons of camaraderie and the development of junior staff which I thought was very interesting, Andy, what do you think?

PUZDER: Well, I think those things are important. I think what it really comes down to his productivity and culture which would include the elements you just mentioned. But productivity is huge. And when you're on the trading floor things happen very fast. They've got thousands of clients they need to get the information out quickly. And you really can't do that in a Zoom call or over Skype with any speed or efficiency.

So, when one bank did it. You knew when JPMorgan did it, Chase was going to follow, Goldman was going to follow, all of the banks will have to follow because it would be an incredible competitive advantage for JPMorgan or the banks that do open up if other banks don't open up, and it's great for the economy. It's great for President Trump who wants to see the economy come back.

New York -- I think the infection rate in New York from COVID is now under one percent and it has been for weeks.

MACCALLUM: Yes, that's right.

PUZDER: That's in the entire state or under 10 today and that's out of 19.5 million people. Not that any death is something to be ignored but it's a very low number and I'm sure there are people dying from suicide, drug addiction and alcoholism because of the shutdown.

MACCALLUM: That's for sure. Terrible.

PUZDER: So, we've got some offsetting things going on.


PUZDER: I think all in all it's a very positive for the president, not so much for Biden who would shut the economy down again, but I think it's good for the president.

MACCALLUM: Well, you know, I think it's interesting what you mentioned, that the competition between companies will be pressed by these moves, once -- one company --


MACCALLUM: -- or the restaurant, you know, down the street starts to open, if your restaurant is next door and you don't open too, you're going to be in trouble. I thought it was interesting that American express said people could stay home until 2021 if they wanted to.

And I should also point out that JPMorgan Chase is a saying, you know, if you have a compromising health condition or other situations, they're going to work with you on that which I think everyone would agree absolutely as it should be. But what I'm wondering if, you know, who starts to have trouble advancing, you know? Like if you take that 2021 option at American Express, how does that impede your career over time?

PUZDER: Well, I think -- I think, by the way, they also have to follow the protocols, not only did they let people stay home that are real, but you have to follow the safety protocols.

MACCALLUM: Absolutely.

PUZDER: But it really -- it really is a problem for younger people who want to learn, these professions -- who want to get out there and get the experience, if they don't get it now, they may never get it. So, this is a very positive move for American workers. I was really glad to see it. Jamie Dimon is a smart guy.

MACCALLUM: Yes, he certainly is and New York needs it as a, you know --


MACCALLUM: -- shot in the arm --


PUZDER: Yes, they do.

MACCALLUM: -- to get people back on the streets and moving around. And we hope that it certainly has that impact. Thank you very much, Andy. Good to have you with us tonight.

PUZDER: Thanks, Martha. Good to be here.

MACCALLUM: So still -- still ahead here, we've got General Jack Keane who will reflect on his memories, which are profound, of being at the Pentagon on September 11th. The heroism that he witnessed that day is a story that changed his life and had an impact on all of our lives.

Also coming up, my next guest was just nine years old when his father died in the World Trade Center. His struggle and his journey since then, is next.


MACCALLUM: September 11th is a day that we must never forget, we must share the meaning of this day with our children every single year. Believe it or not, there was almost no tower of lights this year at the sight of the World Trade Center but the Tunnel of Towers Foundation another stepped in to save it, then the decision was made to run a recording of the reading of the names rather than doing it live due to COVID-19.

So Tunnels the Towers offered their own alternative to keep that tradition alive making sure to read every single name out loud this morning including the father of my next guest.




MACCALLUM: John worked on the 105th floor of the World Trade Center after the first plane hit he called his wife to tell her that he was evacuating and he said, quote, "I don't know if you can hear me but you're the love of my life." John was survived by his four sons ages nine, seven, three, and a new baby.

John's oldest son Matthew John Bocchi joins me now. In the new book "Sway," he writes about his journey to learn more about his father and about his own struggle with addiction. He is now five years sober.

Matthew, thank you for being here today and our thoughts and remembrances to your family on what is always a difficult day for every one of these family members and we keep you all in our hearts.

As a little boy, when this happened, you write about this. You started to obsess over the videos of people jumping out of the building, what was that like for you? I can't imagine.

MATTHEW JOHN BOCCHI, SON OF 9/11 VICTIM: Well, first of all, it's an honor to be here, so thank you so much for having me, Martha.

MACCALLUM: Thank you.

BOCCHI: And I didn't really know too much about my dad's death and the particulars into exactly how he perished that day and I was determined to figure that out. I knew that my dad being on that 105th floor of the North Tower, there was a really good chance that he was one of those people that jumped to their deaths, there was no way out of the building.

And eventually, this quest of mind was starting to, you know, raise eyebrows of family members nearby and people didn't want to engage and continue to have those conversations I was asking, or the questions I was asking and basically telling me that this was just a horrible thing that I was doing and I was bringing myself down a dark path and one in which I wouldn't be able to come back from.

And so, eventually, an uncle through marriage expose that and he exploited my vulnerability telling me that my father jumped from the towers that day which was not true and that in turn led to him sexually abusing me for a period of time.

And all these feelings that I was dealing with, you know, instead of me wanting to speak out and tell everyone what I was going through and all the things that I was feeling and how I was suffering, I was so focused and fixated on trying to solve my father's death and really just trying to see if I could find him in one of those pictures.


BOCCHI: I'm being told that he was a jumper gave me sort of new life in the sense that I thought that I would be able to identify him one way or the other, knowing that at that time, thinking that I knew his fate, I was determined to figure -- to find him in one of those photos.

MACCALLUM: Yes. I mean, it's heartbreaking. And you are the first child of someone who was killed that day to write a book about what it's like growing up as a child of that experience. I think it is so important, such a difficult thing to manage as a young man. And I know that you had addiction that you have overcome and you have been sober for five years, so congratulations to you. What you want to share about that, Matthew, tonight?

BOCCHI: Thank you. You know, I think I speak for myself and other 9/11 children when I say that we -- I personally felt I was labeled as a child of 9/11 and that was something that bothered me for a really, really long time.

And my particular experiences of going through the abuse and those the death of my father in 9/11 and the abuse compounding onto one another just made me want to forget and numb the pain. And so, I used drugs and alcohol, the way to do that.

Yes, now I am sober and I am extremely grateful and proud of the fact that I was able to pull myself out of deep despair, but unfortunately, you know, I had a lot of friends along the way who didn't make it. And I -- I'm sorry -- and so my story is one that I think needs to be heard.

MACCALLUM: Well, Matthew, thank you for sharing that story and I think we are going to hear a lot more from the other children of 9/11 who have had a big cross to bear. And I'm glad you're doing well. And the book is called "Sway." And as I said, our thoughts with your family today. Thank you so much. Never forget.

BOCCHI: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: General Jack Keane was at the Pentagon September 11th ,2001 and he remembers watching that first plane hit the World Trade Center tower and then another. He knew instinctively that America was under attack. What he didn't know was that the next plane was headed for him and his close colleagues, he's next.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This morning, we also remember the 183 people who were killed in the attack on the Pentagon. And the remarkable service members who crawled straight through the raging blaze to rescue their comrades.




GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Secretary Rumsfeld told me when I talk to him, that he felt the blast shake the Pentagon. Even though he was on the other side of the building. The building rocked and now I know why.


MACCALLUM: Who can forget those moments? September 12, President Trump and on September 11th at 9.37 a.m. after two planes struck the north and south towers of the World Trade Center, Americans Airlines flight 77 smashed into the side of the Pentagon and killed 125 people inside and everyone on board that plane.

Fox News senior strategic analyst General Jack Keane was inside of the building that day and he joins me now. General, thank you for being here tonight. I always feel that your story helps us remember the sacrifice of the people at the Pentagon and I hope you will share some of us -- some of it with us tonight, sir.

JACK KEANE, FOX NEWS SENIOR STRATEGIC ANALYST: You know, certainly I'm delighted to do that, Martha. I mean, that was a shocking and a stunning day and certainly surprised by what the Al Qaeda were able to achieve. Frankly, the operation they conducted was brilliant, they did a cheap surprise, it was full of imagination and in turning American airplanes into weapons to kill the American people, taking Arabs who were non-pilots and having American flight instructors train as pilots to fly airplane, that concept is extraordinary.

They -- the sheer scale of it is really something. I believe they obviously achieved tactical success, Martha, but they had strategic failure and why is that? Because Osama bin Laden expected this one serious imaginative attack to force the collapse of the United States economy and also to break the will of the American people.

He believed that mainly because of the feeble response to the two embassies that he attacked in Africa in 1998 and it was feeble. And he believed that we would not shed our blood to protect the American people. He thought we were morally weak, full of racism, sexual perversion, crime, and violence and that we did not have the strength of character to stand up to the blow that he intended to deliver.

He was wrong about all of that, Martha. It united our country. We were determined, we had resolve. We had resiliency and it certainly did not harm us economically except for a few weeks. And it led to taking his safe haven away from him very quickly and the destruction of all of his leadership over time and too much of his network.

They are still out there because they have a powerful idea that attracts young people, to be sure, but I've never been more proud of America in terms of how we handle it that that day at the three locations that had to deal with it in the Pentagon, in New York City and in Pennsylvania, and also what our soldiers and troops and intelligence services did in the years to follow that.


KEANE: A remarkable achievement for the American people and a remarkable achievement for our military and the United States government. And the people involved that I saw that day, I saw fear in the faces of those evacuated and I saw their strength of character in responding the next day when all the civilians, largely in the Pentagon and the military came back to work on the 12th of September.

Despite the fact that their workplace had been partially destroyed by the attack and despite the fact that they knew their teammates were dead and many of them were wounded in the hospital, the five hospitals that I visited -- what a remarkable story that was and I was so gratified to see it.

They were shaken, to be sure but they knew we were at war and they were there to participate in that response, because they saw that as a fundamental duty that they were responding to.

MACCALLUM: You know, we are looking at a video right now of George W. Bush walking through, I believe he's is in the halls of the Pentagon on September 17th. You know, he was -- became a war president on that day, General Keane, and you were in those halls probably nearby at that moment.

KEANE: Yes. We all remember that day very vividly. We put people out in the hallways to see our president, to see our commander in chief, you know, so he could pat them on the back. And we knew that he was going to step up as a leader in a moment like that and respond very -- very effectively.

I think what he did is what most presidents would do to be frank, about take the politics out of this thing and respond strongly to such a horrific attack on the American people. And we were gratified by his response and the team the United States military put together to go after them.

It was truly a remarkable operation that's been -- that was conducted and is still being conducted to this day because they have the power of their ideology and we've got to stay involved in what they are pursuing.

MACCALLUM: General Jack Keane, a great leader for this country. Thank you so much, sir. That is The Story of Friday, September 11th. The Story goes on. We'll see you tomorrow.

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