This is a rush transcript from “The Story with Martha MacCallum,” January 10, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Robert O’Brien this weekend. I bet you that’ll be an interesting interview. Thanks for inviting us into your home tonight. That’s it for this “Special Report.” Fair, balanced and still unafraid, “The Story” hosted by Martha MacCallum starts right now. Martha, I put that Tom Brady side at the end just for you.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Thank you, Bret. Thank you. What a relief. Oh, my goodness. Tom stays in New England. I’m staying here. You stay in New England. How does that work? Thank you, Bret. Good to see you tonight. Happy weekend, everybody. But before we get to that tonight, the White House appears to be in full steam ahead mode in pursuit of some diplomacy now with Iran, despite the attempts by Democrats to put limits on the President’s actions. Good evening, everybody. I’m Martha MacCallum and this is “The Story.” President Trump giving more information to Laura Ingraham about the imminence of a tax plan by Qasem Soleimani. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS HOST: Did he have large scale attacks planned for other embassies and, if those were planned, why can’t we reveal that to the American people? Wouldn’t that help your case?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Laura, I can reveal that I believe it would have been four embassies–
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: In moments, we have members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, Republican Dan Crenshaw, and Democrat Debbie Dingell. Plus, Nancy Pelosi finally agreeing to send the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate. Byron York here on how that may play out. And a “Story” exclusive this evening, with Harvey Weinstein’s attorney Donna Rotunno, what it is like to be a woman representing the disgraced movie mogul, and why she says she believes he is innocent. But we begin tonight with Democrats, including Elizabeth Warren, saying that the strike on Soleimani have little to do with national security and everything to do with impeachment. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We’ve known about this for years. Why not a month ago? Why not a month from now? One of the questions I raised just right after this came out, is does this have anything to do with the fact that Donald Trump is right on the eve of an impeachment hearing?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Some Democrats blamed President Trump’s decision to kill Soleimani for the crash of the Ukrainian airplane that world officials increasingly believe was taken down by an Iranian missile. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JACKIE SPEIER (D-CA): This is yet another example of collateral damage from the actions that have been taken in a provocative way by the President of United States.
REP. TULSI GABBARD (D-HI), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is one of these consequences of this escalation and this state of war that we are in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: We begin tonight with Republican Congressman Dan Crenshaw from Texas. He’s a former Navy SEAL, who’ve served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he sits on the House Homeland Security Committee. Congressman, thank you for being here.
REP. DAN CRENSHAW (R-TX): Thanks for having me.
MACCALLUM: Let me start – kind of go backwards here with some of the points that we just made, starting with Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who says, this is the collateral damage of the state of war that we are in. What do you say to that?
CRENSHAW: That doesn’t mean anything. What does she mean by that? In a state of war that we’re in. We’re not at war with Iran. We’re not. The Democrats know that, but they keep using the straw man argument, like, “don’t send us to war.” We’re not going to war. This President has no intention of going to war. There isn’t this false choice between doing nothing and letting ourselves get punched in the face, letting our American citizens die, letting our embassies get attacked, and going to full scale war? There’s options in between, like taking out the guy who’s responsible for that attack and reestablishing our deterrence. I’m so tired of these false talking points and the sloganeering that is absolutely meaningless, and she knows it. That’s what’s so frustrating.
MACCALLUM: What about those, though, who say, look, it’s really too soon to say, what happens next, what other attacks could happen? And where we really are and this whole thing?
CRENSHAW: Yes, that’s fair. I mean, we should never be overly optimistic. But with all the facts that we have now, it does appear like we’ve reestablished deterrence in a pretty effective way. We’ve forced the Iranians to recalculate. We’ve drawn very clear red lines. They’re no longer escalating rapidly in violence. I saw that clip from Elizabeth Warren about “why now?” OK, Elizabeth Warren, I’ve got an answer for you. The reason why now is because Soleimani just orchestrated an attack on our embassy, killed an American citizen. And we had very good intel, from the CIA, from the DNI, from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They said it was the best – some of the best intel that ever seen that there was an imminent attack coming within days. So Elizabeth Warren, that is why.
MACCALLUM: So I was going to ask you the answer to that. So I’m glad you brought that up. In terms of Jackie Speier – Congresswoman Speier. She suggests that the action that the President took is more the reason for the tragic crash of this jet were 176 people killed, more so than then the Iranian missile that was – that the decision was made to send that Iranian missile or perhaps it was a system that was just seeking anything that was incoming.
CRENSHAW: That’s such a disgusting, and deplorable accusation. I’m reluctant to even address it, but we have to, because they keep saying it. Pete Buttigieg, a presidential candidate said something similar. The implication was similar, that somehow this is our fault. So this this relies on a false premise that history begins with Donald Trump’s actions. And the Democrats often believe this. So they don’t want to believe that Iran has this long history of escalations. Right? They want to believe that Trump started this fight. They don’t want to look back in history since 1979. They don’t want to look – since the JCPOA was signed, since they tested multiple nuclear capable missiles, since they quadrupled funding to Hezbollah, since they more than doubled their own funding to the IRGC, since they instigated multiple civil wars, the list goes on. And, again, started – killed an American citizen, took down a U.S. drone, boarded U.S. Navy vessels and orchestrated an attack against our embassy. They want to ignore all that. And when we finally react, when we finally say enough is enough, we are a superpower. We are the United States of America. We will not let this stand. The Democrats wring their hands and look to blame the United States. And when the Iranians make a very tragic mistake, and it is extremely tragic. It really is that they downed their own airliner and we know why it happened. But to blame us for that is so absurd, and frankly immoral, and they know it. And God, I tell you what, Martha, I’m absolutely sick of this. We shouldn’t be this way. We should be unified. Every member of Congress should be calling for free Iran. The Iranian people are more like us than you realize. The regime is so evil. But these people want freedom. 1,500 of them gave their lives fighting that regime not too long ago. They are not unified against United States. They are more emboldened now against their regime, and they will be even more emboldened if we would actually act like the freedom loving people that I know we are and supported them with moral support.
MACCALLUM: Congressman Dan Crenshaw, thank you very much for being here tonight. Good to have you with us, sir.
CRENSHAW: Good to be with you, Martha.
MACCALLUM: Thank you. So also here tonight to respond, Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Dingell from Michigan. She is Co-Chair of the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee. Congresswoman Dingell, thank you very much for being here tonight. Obviously, Dan Crenshaw, your colleague, very fired up about some of the responses that we’ve seen from your side of the aisle. What do you say to that?
REP. DEBBIE DINGELL (D-MI): First of all, I agree with him on one or two points.
DINGELL: One, is that we should be united as a country. But there is a response – there’s a very – a Senator – famed Senator – Republican Senator from Michigan, that was an isolationist, but in the late 40s, worked with President Truman and said, “politics should stop at the ocean’s edge.” But, I also think that the President’s got a responsibility to communicate with the Congress, which is not his strength. The – any escalation of military presence, the fact that we – there was discussion of going to war, people were fearful. Republicans and Democrats, Independent, Americans were worried about what the possible consequences would be. This general was a very evil man. He was responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent Americans and other people from around the world. But we don’t – its – peace requires diplomacy. It happens in a very bigger picture. President Bush, President Obama had looked at potential similar actions and were concerned about the consequences. So we learned today from – for the President talking to someone in the media that he was worried about four other embassies. Why couldn’t they have said that in the congressional briefing? I think it’s really important that we improve communication. And I do believe that any military escalation, any discussion of war has to come to the Congress, and I will do anything I can to prevent war.
MACCALLUM: All right. If the President says that he wants to prevent war too. And he says that this action was one that was required by an imminent threat, as you just mentioned. And he’s elaborated, given a little bit more information on that in an interview with Laura Ingraham that people will hear later tonight where he says, that according to the intelligence, that there were four embassies that were potentially the targets of all of this. So, you know, when you look at that information, and also what he said last night at the rally that he did in Ohio, where he felt that, if he had started going to members of Congress and saying, “Oh, look, we have this opportunity, should we meet? Should we talk about it later?” should we – he was afraid that it might leak that the moment which is considered to be a target of opportunity, as its termed by our intelligence agencies, could be missed.
DINGELL: So I would say to him, that there has been a precedent that you consult or you brief, the big – the eight, so that the four leaders of the House Intelligence and the Senate Intelligence Committee. I think that he should have simply have done that. We need to ensure that congressional leadership is included. And when people say that people don’t care, when I was home Monday, I had the mothers of men and women that are serving overseas scared to death. I had young people saying to me, is there going to be a draft? I left Michigan, going back to Washington very rattled at how worried just people were. So we need to remember that everybody was concerned and we should be concerned. But we need to be united because that we’re Americans. We are not Republicans or Dems.
MACCALLUM: But we’re so – you know, we are so divided, and the President brought up Adam Schiff by name, and he would have been included in that small group that you’re talking about. Do you believe that Adam Schiff and the President’s relationship could, you know, get past the differences that they’ve had over impeachment? And do you believe that Adam Schiff would have kept that information completely confidential and would have allowed the President to take the action that he felt was necessary based on the intelligence. Do you believe that I believe?
DINGELL: I believe that the Republicans and Democrats serving in the intelligent – in the leadership positions in the Intelligence Committee, love this country and know how important it is to treat classified information and would have done so.
MACCALLUM: Thank you very much. Representative Debbie Dingell, always a pleasure to have you with us tonight. Thank you very much.
DINGELL: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: We’ll see you soon.
DINGELL: Good being with you.
MACCALLUM: You too. So she has been hailed for her bravery and speaking out against the Iranian regime. But now Democrat Ilhan Omar is coming after Masih Alinejad. She is here exclusively to respond to Omar tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MASIH ALINEJAD, IRANIAN ACTIVIST: Not only President Trump, we want the EU. We want all the politicians to join and, you know, understand that these are criminals. These are terrorists. And I want to actually say that–
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Iranian journalists and activists, Masih Alinejad taking a lot of risks speaking out publicly against the Iranian regime. Many have applauded her for her bravery, refusing to stay silent even after her brother was taken prisoner by the Revolutionary Guard. But one member of Congress seems to have doubts. Democrat Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, implying via Twitter, that Masih may actually be parroting Trump talking points for her own financial gain. Masih Alinejad, author of the “Wind in My Hair,” “My Fight for Freedom in Modern Iran,” joins me now exclusively to respond to this story and to Ilhan Omar. Masih, welcome back. Good to have you here this evening. We’d like to present all sides of the stories here. And your side of the story, I think, is one that does not get told as much as the other side. So why is she coming after you?
ALINEJAD: I strongly believe that because of my article on “Washington Post.” I’ve criticized Soleimani and I said that many Iranians do not see him as a hero. They see him as a warmonger, as a war criminal. And that is why I got a lot of attacked by the Islamic lobbyist and she actually shared the, one of the defamatory article against me. But, Martha, what bothered me is that, I reached out there a lot. I sent a message to Ilhan Omar, I wrote on Twitter. I wrote an article on “Washington Post” and invited her to join us and show solidarity several time. Once when six women of White Wednesdays got arrested just because of protesting compulsory hijab and other time 29 women in Iran got arrested in one day just because of protesting compulsory hijab. And I asked Ilhan Omar to join us and show solidarity. She was silent. And another time when my brother was taken hostage by the Revolutionary Guard, I reached out her, silence again. And I – my mother was interrogated for three hours just because of my activities, again, she was silent. 1,500 people got killed. She was silent. Right now 176 people got killed in suspicious situation in Iran in a Ukrainian airplane. She’s silent.
MACCALLUM: So are you suggesting that she doesn’t care about the freedom that you’re fighting for? That she sides with the regime? That she agrees with these crackdowns?
ALINEJAD: No, what I want to say that is this. She break – she broke her silence when I criticized the Islamic Republic, because I am the same person I criticized President Trump in “Washington Post” about travel ban, which separated me from my son in the U.K. I haven’t seen my son for two years. When I criticized President Trump, why didn’t attack me? When I criticized President Trump when he said that he’s going to bomb cultural site, nobody attacked me. But as soon as I criticize the criminals of Islamic Republic, and I called them warmongers and I called them terrorists, I called them religious dictatorship, then the Islamic lobbyist here, they attack us–
MACCALLUM: They’ve crossed the line.
ALINEJAD: –and Ilhan Omar. Yes.
MACCALLUM: So she says that you’re pulling the wool over the media’s eyes, that you are with the VOA – The Voice of America. That you’re being paid by the government. What do you say to that?
ALINEJAD: Working as an independent contractor for VOA Persian Service was not a secret, because I’m a freelancer. I work for different media broadcasting in London. I worked for several media broadcasting here in America, including VOA, which is an American institution and she’s trying to delegitimize an American institution. I started my work when Obama was in power. And I have to say my dream is to be in my own country. The government of Iran kicked out a lot of journalists, and many journalists for BBC Persian, for Voice of America Persian, for radio free Persian for Manoto TV in London, for Iran International. That doesn’t mean that we are working for any kind of government. I criticized bravely President Trump. I took women’s march in the New York Street. That day was the best day in my life, because I thought this is the first time that I am protesting against the President, nobody kicked me out from my – the media that I work. I didn’t kicked out from Voice of America because of criticizing President Trump or Obama’s administration
MACCALLUM: But you agree with this policy with one thing and then they came after you with guns blazing.
ALINEJAD: What I want to say, please care about human rights. Human rights should not be lost in the political battles in America.
MACCALLUM: Masih Alinejad, thank you very much. Masih, good to see you.
ALINEJAD: Thank you so much.
MACCALLUM: Thank you for being here. Speaker Pelosi signals her hold out on impeachment is over. But did the delay provide her and her party a political gain in the end? Byron York here on his theory about how all of this is going to end up starting next week. Byron is up next.
MACCALLUM: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi coming up short in her battle with Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, finally ending her holdout and announcing plans to hold a vote next week that would send Articles of Impeachment to the Senate. This comes more than three weeks after Democrats voted to impeach the President, emphasizing the urgency then of the matter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Because the Inspector General has said that this is of urgent concern, it has accelerated the pace of how we go forward. We don’t have a choice. We’ll either support and defend the Constitution of the United States or we won’t. Our democracy is what is at stake. The President leaves us no choice but to act.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: No choice, but to act. They had to move fast, fast, fast in getting that impeachment through. Joining me now is Byron York, Chief Political Correspondent for “The Washington Examiner” and Fox News Contributor. Byron, good evening to you.
BYRON YORK, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Hi, Martha.
MACCALLUM: I think this is one of the most puzzling things about the way that this whole thing has been carried out. Because, we spoke to Democrats on this program, they all said, the President is going to do it again. He’s going to talk to another world leader, he’s going to affect the election for 2020. We need to impeach him right away. We can’t wait for these legal processes to play out for John Bolton or Mick Mulvaney or any of these witnesses. They can’t wait. Then all of the sudden it was like they had nothing but time?
YORK: I think a lot of people are still trying to figure out what this whole thing was all about. The fact is, Nancy Pelosi says that she will end this holdout, sounds like it’s going to be next week. Probably after the Democratic debate on Tuesday night, that she’ll end the holdout without getting what she said she had to get. And she wanted assurances. She wanted to know that the Senate trial will be quote, “fair.” And she had to know how the trial would work before she could appoint the managers and send the articles over, and that just didn’t happen. So what we’ve seen now that she has done sided to give in on this is, is that there have been various sort of declarations of victory by some Democrats who said, well, this hold – it prevented Mitch McConnell from summarily dismissing the whole impeachment, which was not going to happen anyway. It provided time for more evidence to emerge. Now, the evidence – there has been new evidence in this and it’s come out on its own and would come out anyway. I think maybe the most persuasive one is that some Democrats believe that Pelosi, by doing this, rattled the President, kind of got under his skin, messed with him a little bit, and maybe she just wanted to do that.
MACCALLUM: So here’s the President talking to Laura Ingraham about this whole process. Let’s play that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
INGRAHAM: And Mr. President, we just learned that Nancy Pelosi has announced, she’s sending Articles of Impeachment next week to the Senate. What’s your reaction?
TRUMP: Well, I think it’s ridiculous. She should have sent them a long time ago. It just – it belittles the process. Nancy Pelosi will go down as probably the least successful Speaker of the House in the history of our nation. She has done nothing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: It’s been real battle between those two Byron.
YORK: Well, Pelosi did give the President some ammunition in this. I mean, clearly, as you pointed out, she and other Democrats were saying this was an absolutely urgent matter. They were doing their constitutional duty. She was doing it prayerfully and with a heavy heart. And then, wow, it appeared that she was playing games with the timing on this. So you’re going to hear more about this from the President, even when she does finally send these articles over to the Senate and a trial begins. Republicans will say that this holdout, which didn’t seem to have a whole lot of purpose, show that Democrats – House Democrats who started this whole thing were not serious about what they were doing.
MACCALLUM: So the other issue is for the Senators who are running like Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, have all sort of made some comments about the impact on their campaigns of all of this as it plays out over the next few weeks. Elizabeth Warren said that she’s spent three and a half hours on a selfie line in Iowa and that’s how you have to reach people, Byron. So does this hamper them?
YORK: This is a huge deal for some Democrats. Because, remember, Mitch McConnell has said, when this trial begins, it will go six days a week, OK? Only Sunday off. They’re working the rest of the time, and they’ll have to be in the Senate. And remember, if the trial does start next week – the Clinton trial took four, five or six weeks to finish. And if it takes that long, and it easily could, that will go over the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. Two top Democrats, Sanders and Warren are going to be sitting in the Senate.
MACCALLUM: That’s right. We’ll be in Des Moines and they’ll be in Washington. Thank you very much, Byron.
YORK: Thank you, Martha.
MACCALLUM: Coming up next is YouTube. Some of President Trump’s frequent critics at MSNBC have taken a snipe at Republican Senator Lindsey Graham for daring to compare the President’s address to the nation on Iran to President Reagan’s “tear down this wall” speech. That’s next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST: One of the great speeches in the second half of the 20th century, one of the most significant, Ronald Reagan, telling Mr. Gorbachev to tear down the wall. I mean, does Lindsey really need primary votes that badly?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The civilized world must send a clear and unified message to the Iranian regime. Your campaign of terror, murder, mayhem will not be tolerated any longer. The United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So that was the president’s big speech this week on Wednesday. Many said it was forceful, others called it the escalatory in terms of Iran and it was widely held by a lot of Republican lawmakers including Senator Lindsey Graham.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): This is on par with tear down this wall, Mr. Gorbachev. This is resetting the relationship between the world and Iran, not just the United States. The president said there is an evil empire in Iran that’s been on destroying the world, killing the people in Israel and coming after us and I will no longer tolerate it. So, this is on par with Reagan’s tear down this wall speech.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Some of the folks at Morning Joe did not appreciate that comparison and they came back at Senator Graham like this. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: Lindsey, it’s just not worth it, Lindsey. It’s just not worth it.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI, MSNBC HOST: God.
SCARBOROUGH: Whatever you’re getting, it’s just not worth it.
BRZEZINSKI: What’s he got on you.
SCARBOROUGH: The Republican nomination in South Carolina? Not worth shaming yourself.
BRZEZINSKI: Also with us —
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lindsey Graham said the president’s speech was better than Reagan’s tear down this wall speech. So that’s where Lindsey Graham was yesterday in defending the president.
SCARBOROUGH: One of the great speeches in the second half of the 20th century, one of the most significant, Ronald Reagan telling Mr. Gorbachev to tear down the wall. I mean, does Lindsey really need primary votes that badly?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So here now to analyze, Fox News contributor Lisa Boothe who will be filling in as co-host on Fox and Friends tomorrow morning. She got on early morning. And Robert Zimmerman, a Democratic strategist and Democratic National Committee member. Lisa, let me start with you. What’s your reaction?
LISA BOOTHE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Look, I think it’s important to remember the context too that he doesn’t have the best relationship with the Morning Joe. So, they don’t really like the president. But, look, President Trump, and we’ll see how history grades the speech as well. But, look, President Trump subscribes to the same doctrine of peace through strength that Ronald Reagan did. And what’s interesting there was a David Brooks opinion piece in the New York Times —
BOOTHE: — talking about the fact that President Trump has actually use military force less than any other president than Jimmy Carter.
BOOTHE: But that being said, he is not afraid to, you know, flex that military muscle and send a message. And we’ve seen it even when he first took office, it was April 17, 2017, remember he sent those 59 tomahawk missiles to Syria after Assad crosses red line with chemical weapons, and then he also drop the mother of all bombs on ISIS in Afghanistan to send a message and then he just took out Soleimani in Iran. So, you know, he’s clearly sent a message that he is not messing around and he did it very early on throughout his presidency and I think that the world is listening and they’ve got the message.
MACCALLUM: Robert, what do you think?
ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think Joe Scarborough was cutting Lindsey Graham some slacking giving him a break here. Because the reality is —
MACCALLUM: How so?
ZIMMERMAN: — Lindsey Graham just a couple years ago was describing Donald Trump as a race baiting xenophobic religious bigot, said he was the ISIL, or the Islamic state man of the year. He said he was an embarrassment to the people of South Carolina. No one eviscerated Donald Trump more than Lindsey Graham. So why he would all of a sudden switch into a sycophantic way.
MACCALLUM: All of a sudden. I mean, he’s addressed that criticism a lot. I mean, you could look back at Ted Cruz as well who now —
ZIMMERMAN: That’s right.
MACCALLUM: I mean, people —
ZIMMERMAN: And you wonder —
MACCALLUM: — people grow on people over time and obviously the president has not grown on the folks at Morning Joe clearly. But what I find interesting is that there is this sort of guttural reaction. Like just even the suggestion that you could compare the two presidents. And I’m not saying — you know, what I’m saying is you have to look at policy. Right?
MACCALLUM: So, the comparison and we actually did a similar segment the other night on this show, it wasn’t comparing it to the tear down this wall speech. It was just saying, you know, is there a comparison in terms of the way their strategy works?
ZIMMERMAN: Absolutely not.
MACCALLUM: That the president is America first, strong defense, bulked up the military. That was also Ronald Reagan, and red lines.
MACCALLUM: If you cross the red line, there will be consequences.
ZIMMERMAN: Yes. Tell that, including, Martha —
MACCALLUM: I think that’s what he’s doing.
ZIMMERMAN: Tell that to the Kurdish — tell that to the Kurds who President Trump deserted and turned over northern Syria to Iran and to Russia on top of which President Trump was possible for thousands of ISIS – –
MACCALLUM: So, you’re upset about the potential —
ZIMMERMAN: Let me finish my point, please.
MACCALLUM: No, no. Let me ask you. You’re upset about the potential humanitarian side of that.
ZIMMERMAN: No, I’m not.
MACCALLUM: You’re not upset about the potential humanitarian side to —
ZIMMERMAN: I’m upset at — no.
MACCALLUM: — four embassies.
ZIMMERMAN: It’s not about humanitarianism. Yes, I’m concerned about humanitarianism, but I’m concerned about Donald Trump being responsible for releasing thousands of ISIS prisoners, hundreds of ISIS soldiers.
(CROSSTALK) BOOTHE: He destroyed ISIS because he loosens the rules of engagement —
ZIMMERMAN: And now as a result, destroyed ISIS?
BOOTHE: — that President Obama denied.
ZIMMERMAN: Even our generals —
BOOTHE: Here’s why — you’ve had an opportunity to talk.
ZIMMERMAN: I think so.
BOOTHE: Here’s also why you see Senator Graham and Republicans coming over to Donald Trump’s side. Because when he first took office or when he was running, they don’t really think he was going to be on the team. They didn’t think he was going to follow through with things like conservative judges. They didn’t think they are going to see this sort of military policy from him where he does exercise strength, he does flex that muscle. He’s not messing —
ZIMMERMAN: Why to the contrary — let me make a point here, Lisa.
BOOTHE: I’m not finished. And then also with Senator Graham.
ZIMMERMAN: You talk about the —
ZIMMERMAN: So now Senator Graham and other — you’ve had a long time to talk —
MACCALLUM: No, no, you have too, Lisa.
BOOTHE: So, I’m going to ask Senator Graham and other Republicans are coming around —
ZIMMERMAN: Lisa, no. A bunch of (Inaudible) made me correct.
MACCALLUM: Let’s get Robert a chance to —
BOOTHE: — going have a really hard time.
MACCALLUM: You love me both. Go ahead.
ZIMMERMAN: You said he destroyed ISIS. Our own generals in the field announced they had to dial back their strategy of going after ISIS to deal with the Iran aggression after the Soleimani killing.
MACCALLUM: Does ISIS that major issue at this moment?
ZIMMERMAN: ISIS is of course a profoundly major issue. It’s one of the leading terrorist organization —
MACCALLUM: But Soleimani is not?
ZIMMERMAN: That’s not the case. No one said he wasn’t.
MACCALLUM: So, I ask you a question. Si Soleimani did he present a threat to American citizens?
ZIMMERMAN: Yes, of course he represented a threat. But the question is, by killing him, and he was a terrorist and he was mass murderer, no question. By killing him did he make America safer? Did he make the world — does Donald Trump make —
MACCALLUM: I think the answer to that question remains to be seen.
ZIMMERMAN: And the answer proves to be quite to the contrary. You’re seeing already —
BOOTHE: And the fact you won’t even address the topic at hand —
BOOTHE: — and you’d gone to —
MACCALLUM: I’ve got to interrupt. I’m out of time. But I just want to say that you know what, it’s not how you sound, whether or not you are eloquent in your speech or whether or not you’re effective in your speech.
ZIMMERMAN: It’s about your power to —
MACCALLUM: The bottom line — no, it’s even bigger than that. It’s about your accomplishments in the end, and that’s what people look back at. So, the history will judge all of what we’re talking about right now and whether or not that comparison is an apt one. We’ll see. But making the comparison was certainly not something that —
ZIMMERMAN: All I can tell you is, Martha, I’ve seen — I’ve seen people in colts look more authentic than Lindsey Graham did in these comments.
BOOTHE: Have fun in 2020, I will just say.
MACCALLUM: Thank you, Lisa. Thank you, Robert.
ZIMMERMAN: Don’t let —
MACCALLUM: Coming up next, a feminist flash mob erupts outside the courtroom where disgrace movie producer Harvey Weinstein is on trial for sex crimes.
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MACCALLUM: So how does Weinstein’s female defense attorney answer to those women? She joins me exclusively when The Story continues right now.
MACCALLUM: The New York criminal trial against Harvey Weinstein kicking off with no shortage of drama this week. The jury’s selection process is now underway. More than 80 women have spoken out and accuse the disgrace movie mogul of sexual misconduct since bombshell allegations against Weinstein were first reported over two years ago. This trial — this trial though deals specifically with charges that Weinstein raped a woman in 2013 and sexually assaulted another in 2006. In moments we’ll be joined exclusively by Weinstein attorney Donna Rotunno. But first, chief breaking news correspondent Trace Gallagher.
TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Martha, even those who expected high drama during this trial were a bit surprised that the rapid-fire headlines generated in week one, which began with Harvey Weinstein entering court hunched over a walker. Legal analysts were undecided if the device was meant to gain sympathy for potential jurors, relief from a bad back, or a little of both. It certainly did not target the hard strings of Judge James Burke who aggressively called out Weinstein for using his cell phone in court saying, quote, “is this really the way you want to end up in jail for the rest of your life by texting and violating a court order?” That prompted Weinstein’s defense team to accuse the judge of bias and ask that he recuse himself. The judge refused saying, he’s not biased and was only trying to scare Weinstein. Of the 240 potential jurors who showed up, at least 100 have been dismissed for various reasons including some who know Weinstein’s family, friends, and others who in the post Me Too world said they could not be impartial. Still, the judge hopes to have 12 jurors and six alternates by late next week. But before a single juror in New York had been questioned, events in Los Angeles upended Weinstein’s legal team when the L.A. district attorney abruptly filed additional charges, alleging that Weinstein raped one woman and sexually assaulted another woman in separate incidents on consecutive days back in February of 2013. In New York, the disgraced movie producer is on trial for allegedly raping a woman at a Manhattan hotel in 2013 and performing a forcible sex act on a production assistant in 2006. The allege victim from 2006 will reportedly testify. Opening statements are expected later this month and the trial itself could take a few months. We saw the first delay this week when a prosecutor got something in her eye and had to make an emergency eye doctor run. Finally, the movie mogul’s trial might also include movie stars. Charlize Theron and Salma Hayek have been listed as possible witnesses. Martha?
MACCALLUM: Trace, thank you. Joining me now exclusively Donna Rotunno is an attorney for Harvey Weinstein. Donna, thank you very much for coming in tonight.
DONNA ROTUNNO, HARVEY WEINSTEIN’S ATTORNEY: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: I guess the first question that a lot of women have for you is how can you defend Harvey Weinstein?
ROTUNNO: And my answer is how can I not when you do the work that I do, you stand up and you defend people that are charged with crimes regardless of race, gender, any bias, race, religion. And so, it doesn’t make a difference to me whether I’m a woman and he’s a man or vice versa.
MACCALLUM: So, you have said something to the effect of, you know, you think that it will be helpful for him when you are cross-examining that you are a woman. Why?
ROTUNNO: I think the, really for me what makes it better to be a woman in the situation. Of course, my male, counterparts are just as competent as I am to do this work and just as skilled. But I think the effect is really on the listener. And I think when the juror in this case, the trier effect looks at my interaction with a female, I think they will view that conversation a little bit differently and I think I might be able to ask some questions that don’t seem as tough if they come from a woman as if they came from a man.
MACCALLUM: Interesting. And you also said something to the effect of, and correct me if I’m phrasing you incorrectly, that you know, if you go into a hotel room to talk to a man who is your boss or someone that you’re working with, you’re essentially making yourself vulnerable to this kind of situation. What do you mean by that?
ROTUNNO: Well, I think first of all, in my circumstance and in this case, we are talking about hotel meetings that weren’t happening at 10 or noon or one or two o’clock in the afternoon. These were things happening after parties, after being in bars, having drinks. This is not setting up a meeting at three o’clock in the afternoon and going to them. So, my comments are really about what’s happening in this case.
MACCALLUM: But do you think these women, you know, put themselves in that situation and then for that reason, they are to blame?
ROTUNNO: Well, I have to talk about this in a general sense because the judge is not allowing us to talk about specific witnesses in this case.
ROTUNNO: But when I do think that a woman makes a choice to put herself in a circumstance, it doesn’t mean that she deserves what happens if she does something that’s non-consensual. But we believe in these circumstances they are and consensual. So, if you put yourself in a situation and then enter into a consensual circumstance and then later change your mind, that’s kind of where that —
MACCALLUM: So, has Harvey Weinstein convinced you that he is innocent of these two cases that you are doing for him?
ROTUNNO: Absolutely. And it really isn’t about what Harvey has to convince me of, it’s about what the evidence has convinced me of.
MACCALLUM: And if you were not convinced would you defend — because you say, you know, everyone deserves a defense. If you were not convinced that he was innocent, would you still represent him?
ROTUNNO: I absolutely would still represent him because as you said, I do believe everyone has a right to a defense. But in this circumstance, I absolutely believe that Harvey Weinstein is not a rapist and I do not believe that he raped the women that are — the two women that are charging him —
MACCALLUM: So, you are saying that these women walked into the room with him and they should have known or they were, you know, just as — they were complicit in these acts? Because, you know, that’s the dynamic and they knew what they were walking into?
ROTUNNO: No. In this — in my case, in these cases, these women had relationship with Harvey that did not start the night that they walked into a hotel room. So, there’s a lot more in this story than I think meets the eye, and I think that the jurors will be surprised when they hear the evidence, especially given all the media coverage the case has not.
MACCALLUM: So, you know, you talk about hotel rooms and a lot of the — and you say you can speak generally, so that’s what I’m doing right now.
MACCALLUM: What about office situations? What about in some of the cases that we’ve all read about where people walk into an office and suddenly, you know, someone is trying to kiss them or someone is doing a lot more than that in some of the cases that we’ve heard about. Is a woman also putting herself in a vulnerable situation by allowing the door to close in that situation?
ROTUNNO: I think those are different circumstances and I think that when you work for someone, you’re in a different situation than if you have a relationship with someone. That’s different than working for them. And I think that it’s also different when you want to work for someone or you want something, they can offer you. So, this is not a situation at least in the cases that I’m handling where they were working in an office with Mr. Weinstein. These are women who had a relationship with Mr. Weinstein and —
MACCALLUM: So, you’re saying it was transactional on their part?
MACCALLUM: You know, a lot of people say believe all women. Do you believe any women?
ROTUNNO: I believe women who I believe the facts and evidence support their cases but I think it’s very dangerous to believe all women without looking at the back story, the rest of the evidence. And I think what this case is going to show us is that women made claims to the media in this case, but they told only part of the story. So we’ll be able to confront them with the story that they told live.
ROTUNNO: And then the other facts that they decided to leave out which I think will be very telling.
MACCALLUM: Well, I think it’s going be fascinating to watch all of this play out. And Donna Rotunno, thank you very much for coming in. I hope you’ll come back as we —
MACCALLUM: — watch this case unfold.
MACCALLUM: Thank you, Donna.
ROTUNNO: Thank you so much.
MACCALLUM: So, a report from London on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s breakup with the Royal Palace. This one is heating up, folks, when The Story continues.
MACCALLUM: New fallout tonight after the dramatic Megxit by the duke and duchess of Sussex. Buckingham Palace confirming that Meghan Markle returned to Canada while Prince Harry stayed back for discussion with the queen. That will be comfortable — who reportedly told them not to do this, not to go public with this announcement just yet. Here now, Neil Sean, U.K. media correspondent. He’s covered the royal family for years and years. Neil, good to see you tonight.
NEIL SEAN, U.K. MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Thanks.
MACCALLUM: So, word is that Prince Charles has sort of suggested that they could get cut off financially. They have marketing opportunities perhaps that they are investigating here. Who is to blame? Is this Meghan’s idea or Harry’s idea? What are you hearing?
SEAN: Well, yes. Martha, what a mess first of all.
SEAN: Apparently, though, it’s a joint idea. But what the feeling over here in England is simply this, you know, Harry is a bit of a sap, you know, he’s being played for all he’s worth. And consequently, if you look today, Meghan has gone back to Canada to see the baby, obviously look after the child. However, leaving Harry here to face the music and face the music he will because of course, her majesty, the queen now wants to see him in person alongside Prince Charles. So, I think if she had any merit and any thought about how this would be played out across, you know, the U.K. taxpaying public that fund the British royal family —
SEAN: — she should have stuck it out and stood next to him.
MACCALLUM: I mean, they haven’t been married that long. I mean, how about could it possibly be they’re not even, you know, used to this whole process yet? So, boy, that’s going to be quite a picture that somebody is going to want to snap in the British tabloids when he’s driving to Buckingham Palace to have this conversation. How serious is the queen about this? What you are hearing about her reaction?
SEAN: Well, obviously, you know, Martha, she’s disappointed. Simply because, you know, when you think about how she welcomed Meghan into the royal family, you know, she let Meghan stay at Sandringham at Christmas. That was the first, you know, never been done before.
MACCALLUM: Before they were married. Yes.
SEAN: Yes, precisely. And then, you know, we saw trying to integrate whether on the royal train — she’s done everything I think differently to what she did previously to try and make sure that there was a welcoming into the royal family. I think her majesty herself really is really disappointed by the way this is played out, but more disappointed, possibly I would believe, in Prince Harry. She’s always that a very soft-spoken. She’s always known that he is more vulnerable than William. And when you look also at Catherine and William, you know, that’s the reason why they fell out last year, that’s the real ongoing feud. This has been building and building. Apparently, though, William did sort of start this off.
SEAN: Because prior to the wedding he kept saying to Harry, are you sure you’re doing the right thing, is this what you want to do?
SEAN: So, it’s been building awhile and that’s what exploded the feud, really.
MACCALLUM: We’ll be following it with your help. Neil Sean, always good to see you, sir. Thank you very much.
SEAN: A pleasure. Thank you.
MACCALLUM: So that is The Story of Friday, January 10th. But as always, The Story goes on. That one is going to go on for some time. We’ll see you back here on Monday at 7. Have a great weekend, everybody.
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