Dems Attend Puerto Rico Retreat Amid Shutdown; Trump Blasts Dems For Puerto Rico Trip Amid Shutdown; Border Talks At Standstill As Shutdown
<Show: THE STORY WITH MARTHA MACCALLUM>
<Date: January 14, 2019>
<Head: Dems Attend Puerto Rico Retreat Amid Shutdown; Trump Blasts Dems For
Puerto Rico Trip Amid Shutdown; Border Talks At Standstill As Shutdown
Enters Day 25; Jayme Closs Kidnapping Suspect Makes First Court Appearance;
Kidnapping Survivor Reacts To Jayme Closs Case; A Report From “The New York
Times” Says President Trump May Be A Secret Russian Agent; Women In The
Military Once Again Being Debated After A “Wall Street Journal” Op-Ed
Surfaces That Women Have No Place In That Men’s World; One Democrat
Predicted That The Incident That Happened In Big-Time Democratic Donor Ed
Buck’s House Will Happen Again Because It Was Not Given Serious Attention
By The L.A. Police Department When They Found The First Black Man Who Died
In Buck’s Apartment; President Trump’s A.G. Pick, William Barr, Will Now
Face The Senate For His Confirmation Hearing - Part 1>
<Sect: News; Domestic>
<Byline: Martha MacCallum, Rob Schmitt, Geraldo Rivera>
<Guest: Ed Rendell, Dan Crenshaw, Ronna McDaniel, Heather McDonald, Amber
Smith, Jasmyne Cannick, Chuck Grassley>
<Spec: Chris Christie; Bob Menendez; Puerto Rico; Donald Trump; Tony
Cardenas; Hurricane Maria; Lin-Manuel Miranda; White House; Mitch
McConnell; Lindsey Graham; DREAMers; DACA; McAllen, Texas; Capitol Hill;
Jayme Closs; Michelle Knight; Politics; Women; Military; Death; Drugs;
BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: President Trump pull that all that stuffs in the midst of this partial government shutdown. Saying, he could have had them salad -- you know, for them to eat. But, he decided that the training table menu tonight, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, and Pizza, as you heard all paid for by the president. And those guys look pretty happy. That guy is looking for another Big Mac right there.
Thanks for inviting us into your home tonight. That’s it for this SPECIAL REPORT. Fair, balanced, and unafraid. “THE STORY” hosted by Martha MacCallum, starts right now. I don’t know about you, Martha, but I’m pretty hungry.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Yes. I mean, I hope -- I hope they ordered a lot because those guys probably eat about five or six cheeseburgers a piece, I’m guessing.
MACCALLUM: All right. Good for Clemson. Thanks, Brett. Good to see you. OK. So, it is often said that in politics, optics do matter. That for example is why the president can’t go to Mar-a-Lago for Christmas or for New Year’s this year. It’s why then-Governor Chris Christie was lambasted for this moment when he went to the beach when there was a government shutdown in New Jersey on the 4th of July.
And that is why tonight, perhaps, New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez is under a bit of fire. He went to a beach resort in Puerto Rico amid the longest government shutdown in history. Menendez and 30 plus Democrat lawmakers spent the weekend there on an annual winter retreat. They were joined by a 109 of their favorite lobbyists and corporate executives.
Good evening, everybody. I’m Martha MacCallum. And this is THE STORY that we start with tonight. So, as the Washington Examiner puts it, that is 3.6 lobbyists for each member of the House or the Senate. The itinerary included a meeting with the governor on business, of course. And Puerto Rico recovery all, you know, legitimate to discuss, of course.
All the meals were provided at this pricey seaside resort. They also had three parties for the members and a special performance of the musical Hamilton, which I think they paid for their own tickets for as the shutdown goes on. It is now the longest in history, 25 days. The president weighed in like this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I’ve been here all weekend. A lot of the Democrats were in Puerto Rico celebrating something. I don’t know, maybe they’re celebrating the shutdown.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: All right. So, in a moment, we’re going to hear from freshman Congressman Dan Crenshaw, who has some pretty important and unique thoughts on this matter. But first, Rob Schmidt is live in Puerto Rico with the back story on this whole event this weekend. Hi, Rob.
ROB SCHMITT, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Martha. Yes, beautiful Puerto Rico in January. Not a bad gig. This is more than 30 Democrats as you said -- as you said and their entire families flown down here on a private charter plane with a whole bunch of lobbyists. This is this winter retreat by a democratic political action committee to lobby for more money for this troubled island territory.
Of course, Puerto Rico has had a lot of debt for a number of years now, and then that was exacerbated by that terrible hurricane in 2017, Maria, in September of that year. And a number of meetings took place over this long weekend. But there was a lot of free time too, and you see that.
Evidence here by the picture of Bob Menendez. It’s making its way around the Internet. And he’s there on the beach. Looked like having a good time, got that gold in January 10 for a New Jersey Senator.
And today, we caught up with the Senator, and he didn’t want to talk to us. Check it out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHMITT: You could have had hour, and hours, and hours, of meetings. You chose one thing for an hour. Well, I’m -- no. I mean, I want to be fair - - I want to be fair. I just -- I just want to ask --
SEN. BOB MENENDEZ (D-NJ), SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: You’re neither fair nor balanced.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHMITT: OK. So, we had a whole number of these. We had all of them there in the same place. And a couple of them did want to talk to us. Tony Cardenas and Jerry Nadler were happy to defend the decision to come down here to Puerto Rico and have a pretty nice weekend amidst the government shutdown and all these people that aren’t getting paychecks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHMITT: A lot of people would say, “Well, why are these politicians being grieved by lobbyists in San Juan on the beach when there’s a government shutdown happening, what do you say to that?
REP. TONY CARDENAS (D-CA), CHAIRMAN, BOLD PAC: Well, I’ll tell you what. It was documented. They were -- we allowed press to be there when we had close to a five-hour hearing. When we spoke, we had presentations given to us by the governor of Puerto Rico and his team. We had mayors, we had not- for-profits that have been putting their elbows and their blood, sweat, and tears into helping people survive in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHMITT: And to their defense, these Democrats did have a lot of meetings. The day today was pretty packed. They had I think, 6 1/2 meeting -- 6-1/2 hours of meetings yesterday on a Sunday. So, was a busy schedule, but there was also free time and now they’re off back to Washington already. They took a 4:45 private charter back to D.C. Martha, back to you.
MACCALLUM: Rob, thank you very much. Here now, Geraldo Rivera, Fox News correspondent-at-large. And Ed Rendell, former Pennsylvania governor, and former Democratic National Committee Chairman. Gentlemen, welcome. Great to have both of you with us tonight. Geraldo, let me start with you.
GERALDO RIVERA, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT-AT-LARGE: Hi, Martha.
MACCALLUM: What do you think -- what do you think about the Puerto Rico thing. Business or boondoggle?
RIVERA: Well, I think they went to Puerto Rico because that was the only way they could get in to see Hamilton, which is sold out on Broadway. It’s the biggest hit in history.
MACCALLUM: Oh, it’s not that hard.
RIVERA: Making $3 million a week on Broadway. You know, I think that problem with the -- I mean, Puerto Rico has some horrible, horrible problems left over from Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria. But the biggest problem is the -- is the systemic corruption and ineptitude of the power authority.
Now, if they were serious about trying to find the root causes of what is inflicting so much misery on the poorest Puerto Rican people that would have been a good place to start, not at the beach or, you know, watching Lin-Manuel Miranda, who did a fabulous job, raised $15 million bucks for the -- for the cause.
MACCALLUM: Yes. I think he’s raised almost $50 million for Puerto Rico. Ed Rendell, I mean, this is a good look. You know, you got the President, on the other hand, at the White House and he’s saying I’m here. I’m waiting, come on in, let’s negotiate. And it’s not that people don’t understand that these meetings are scheduled and -- you know, but it doesn’t look good as we said at the top. Given what’s going on in these 800,000 federal workers.
ED RENDELL, FORMER CHAIRMAN, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Yes, it was my decision I would have postponed the trip. Although the trip had it according to your correspondent, 11 hours of hearings. So, that’s not exactly a boondoggle.
But the key factor here is that the House keeps passing bills that would open up different parts of the government. And Mitch McConnell won’t let anybody vote on them. So, why would anybody stick around Washington? Mitch McConnell won’t let the Senate date to vote on.
MACCALLUM: But, they just not include any security funding which the president has said is his -- that’s his opener. He wants people to come into the White House, sit down at the table, and negotiate. But we know that those bills don’t include anything.
So, right now, you’ve got everybody’s backed into their corner. And I think -- I think it doesn’t fly well with the American people. So, let me ask you this, Ed, what is wrong -- what is it that -- what do you think about the $5.6 billion. What do you object to in that expenditure, which is really very small?
RENDELL: Well, the expenditure is small. I don’t think the wall will do anything. But I like Lindsey Graham’s proposal. I think we should reopen the government for a three-week period or a month period, and try to negotiate. And what we should do is try to make some progress on some of the other issues that are involving immigration. Like doing something once and for all about the DREAMers, legalizing their status, giving them a path to citizenship. I think if the President and Mitch McConnell were willing to consider that, I think the Democrats would allow funding for the wall.
MACCALLUM: I think that -- yes. I mean, I think that every -- I mean -- and Nancy Pelosi said, she wouldn’t discuss DACA at all. And she doesn’t want to give -- she says she give $1 for the border fence. And you were in McAllen, Texas, Geraldo.
MACCALLUM: And you said you were pretty surprised by what comprised the group there, and that it was very split.
RIVERA: It is amazing, Martha. McAllen, Texas is an overwhelmingly Latino city, of 150,000. And I found -- and it’s just not my opinion, this is the opinion of people on both sides of the issue that the town is split right down the middle, 50-50. Those who want the wall and those who are opposed to it.
Now, I have to say that in McAllen, in one month, construction will start on a border wall that is already funded. Some of the same Democrats who are now opposed to even negotiating for more moral reasons, the funding for the world, the $5.6 billion already voted for it last March in the omnibus spending bill. They voted on 84 miles of border wall. 25 miles of which will be on top of a flood levee off the Rio Grande, and construction will start next month.
So, where is the morality now that didn’t exist then? It seems very, very disingenuous to me.
MACCALLUM: All right. Before I let you go, Ed, should they argue to have that taken down to not spend that money, and now that they’re against it?
RENDELL: No, I think this whole issue is a red herring. I think, if there are some things, some places on the border that lend itself to a wall or a steels slat, I think --
RIVERA: Exactly, exactly.
MACCALLUM: That’s exactly what the president said.
RENDELL: But, but, I think the Democrats have every right to demand progress on some of the more important issues, like what to do with the immigrants.
RIVERA: You know whose suffering? The $1.6 million DREAMers. They’re one -- they’re the ones who are suffering.
MACCALLUM: Sad to know that’s true.
RIVERA: They’re suffering more than the federal workers. They’re suffering more than the 800,000 federal workers. Federal workers will get paid. But those DREAMers that, governor, you -- I know sincerely care about.
RENDELL: But it’s an easy way to do it. It’s an easy way to do it.
RIVERA: They -- you care about them. Let -- the president has indicated, has given every signal that he will give them a path to legitimacy if the Democrats support him or backed him, some kind of compromise on the wall. You don’t like $5.6 billion? Pick a number. But freed the DREAMers --
MACCALLUM: All right. Well, it looks like everybody is back from the beach as Rob Schmitt, said. So, let’s get down to -- let’s get down to business here, and see what they can -- what they can figure out. Gentlemen, thank you very much. Ed Rendell, Geraldo Rivera, great to see both of you.
RIVERA: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: Thank you, gentlemen.
My next guest is a freshman congressman along with about 70 other lawmakers he is foregoing. His congressional salary until they figure this whole thing out and reopen that part of the government. Republican congressman Dan Crenshaw joins me now. Good to see you, sir. Thank you very much for being here.
REP. DAN CRENSHAW (R), TEXAS: It’s great to be here with you.
MACCALLUM: What’s your reaction to this Puerto Rico trip? Big deal or not a big deal?
CRENSHAW: Well, it sounds like they had a lot of fun, you know. But they’ve also been talking a lot about the plight that federal workers see themselves in. And now, they’re not wrong about that, but if we’re going to talk about that, then, I don’t know if these excursions to Puerto Rico are really the right way to handle that.
We should be negotiating. OK, Democrats, said $0 for any kind of barriers on the border, you know, weeks ago. And there’s still at $0. That’s not negotiating.
The president’s plan has -- it was initially a long border wall. He’s come down to about 234 miles of border wall. All right, we’ve gotten it from $25 billion to about $5.7 billion for any kind of physical barrier on the border. This is very reasonable. This is a mixed holistic approach to border security and it’s what we need to be doing.
MACCALLUM: I mean, you’re the one of the new guys on the block there. Are people pressuring the rest of your party to the rest of the Democrat Party and the rest of the members on the Hill to say, come on, let’s come together, let’s all work. Let’s show up every day. Let’s work on this until we can find some sort of deal.
CRENSHAW: Absolutely. I mean, I think that’s a -- that’s fundamentally what the American people want. And it’s certainly what a lot of federal workers want who are not getting paid right now.
Especially, that -- you know, I’ve been an airport right near my district and a lot of TSA folks are not getting paid. It’s why I wanted to forego my pay and withhold it until they get paid, as well. And I understand what that’s like. We need to negotiate on this.
And we’ve -- as a freshman class, we’ve started to reach out to our freshmen on the -- on the Democrat side, and say, you know, what are you willing to give on this? Because I mean, you guys you know, behind closed doors, we notice --
MACCALLUM: And what’s their response, what do they say?
CRENSHAW: We’re not hearing much a whole -- a whole lot yet. You know, it’s the word “wall” that, that triggers them. They’re like -- you know, well, then, let’s call it physical barriers. Let’s call it fencing.
MACCALLUM: You said you think that that’s very -- it’s silly.
CRENSHAW: Right, it’s semantics, you know. And any security expert will look at this and say, you really need a holistic approach, and physical barriers are very obvious part of that, all right? They mitigate the flow of people from point A to point B.
And, of course, you need more Border Patrol agents, you need technology, you need drones, you need the sensors. And in some places, you simply can’t put a physical barrier. We realize that. We’re very reasonable about this.
MACCALLUM: Things like (INAUDIBLE). I mean, everybody agrees on all that stuff. I mean -- I mean, you know which makes it more apparent than ever to the American people that it’s ridiculous, that they can’t come together on it.
Lindsey Graham suggested that maybe the president should float a deal to reopen the government for a few weeks, but make it a short period of time. And if it -- if you can’t work it out in that period of time, then, you know, it’s another shutdown.
The president is holding firm, though. He doesn’t want to do that. Do you agree with the president or with Lindsey Graham?
CRENSHAW: Well, I just have to live in the reality that I live in. If the president’s not wanted to budge on that but he’s not on the budge. And he has a good reason.
You know, there’s no indication that the Democrats have been willing to negotiate at all. There is no indication that if we -- if we had another continuing resolution that we would somehow get to an agreement, and be able to negotiate some kind of funding for physical barriers. So, you know, the president has a good point here.
MACCALLUM: So, the president -- there’s also been a suggestion that he might use some of the money that was allocated for Puerto Rico to build the wall. Because they’re -- you know, beating the bushes to find the money that’s already been allocated in a way that they can move it over. Would you approve of that?
CRENSHAW: It’s definitely not what I want to see. Because it -- listen, if you can use Puerto Rico money, you can also use Hurricane Harvey relief funding, which is very important to us in my district in Houston. So, what we would like to see again, is Democrats coming to the table. This is a highly reasonable solution and there’s no reason why we can’t solve this from Congress. That should not be something that the executive himself has to solve.
MACCALLUM: And I’m curious what it’s like for you to see how all the sausage is made now. You’ve been there a few weeks, right? I mean are you just illusion already, or are you hopeful? You know, how do you take all this in given you know, you were a Navy SEAL. I mean, you don’t mess around.
MACCALLUM: You get stuff done. Everybody chips in, and you complete your mission.
CRENSHAW: Right, and that’s how this should be too. Now, I don’t think I came up here so idealistic that I thought it was going to be easy. And I was mentally prepared for this. I knew what I was getting into. And you know what? It tells me every day that this is exactly why I came here in the first place because we’re making the right argument, we are on the right side of this, and we would like our colleagues on the other side of the aisle to just work with us. We’re just asking you to work with us. Let’s hear some proposals, and we will counter back and that’s how good government should run.
MACCALLUM: Good luck with that. No, I mean it. I mean it.
CRENSHAW: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: Congressman Dan Crenshaw, great to see you tonight. Thanks for being here as always.
CRENSHAW: Always great to be with you. Thank you.
MACCALLUM: You bet. So, this is a picture of Jayme Closs, this weekend with her aunt and her dog. Today, her alleged tormentor and the men believed to have murdered her parents made his first court appearance. Survivor Michelle Knight knows what it’s like to be held captive, and she has a message for Jayme, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE KNIGHT, KIDNAPPED SURVIVOR, CLEVELAND: I may have been through hell and back, but I am strong enough to walk through hell with a smile on my face. God has a plan for all of us. The plan that he gave me was to help others there have been the same situations I have been in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LYNN CLOSS, AUNT OF JAYME CLOSS: We don’t know what she went through, but to survive it and to get out of it, and to beat him in his own game and just survive and get out of there, I mean, wow.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Wow is right. The joy of the Closs family. They now have Jayme home after she was held captive in a dirty basement by a sick man for 88 days. The suspect we saw him today for the first time too. He was in court. He’s charged with two counts of first-degree homicide for the murder of Jayme’s parents and one count of kidnapping.
Jake Thomas Patterson reportedly spotted the young teenager waiting for the school bus one morning and he decided she would be the girl that he would take. He plotted her abduction according to what the prosecutors are saying trying twice and then coming back a third time to her house when it was quiet and the moment was right. He held her in this remote cabin seen here in photos obtained by the Daily Mail until her magnificently brave escape last week.
The case drawing parallels to that of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight who you know, remember this story in Cleveland. They spent nearly a decade as prisoners in a Cleveland house of horrors before they too managed to summon their courage and escape in 2013. Joining me now exclusively is Lily Rose Lee, formerly known as Michelle Knight, the Author of Life After Darkness, finding healing and happiness after the Cleveland kidnappings. Lily thank you so much for being here tonight. It’s good to have you on the program.
KNIGHT: It’s a pleasure.
MACCALLUM: You know, first I just want to ask you -- first of all, your name was Michelle Knight. Why did you change it and how did you choose your new beautiful name?
KNIGHT: It was a new beginning a journey to a new life full of happiness and love.
MACCALLUM: And how did you choose the names?
KNIGHT: Interesting. I love peace lilies. Peace lilies means love and pure of heart.
MACCALLUM: And you have a coffee that’s Lilies Ray of Hope that is a charity coffee to help women and girls who have suffered abuse. Just remind everybody you know, just in a -- you know, the shorthand version, what happened to you.
KNIGHT: Shorthand version -- oh my gosh, I went through eleven years of torture by a man that was my best friend’s father. I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen to me when I first walked into that House. I just thought it was my best friend’s father giving me a ride home. Little did I know I was going to spend 11-years in his house chained to the basement in multiple areas of his house and being abused every single day of my life.
MACCALLUM: When you look at where Jamie was, I’m sure it just brings back a lot of memories to you. What would you say to her and will you because I know you want to help women who’ve been through what you’ve been through, will you eventually when the time is right reach out to her?
KNIGHT: Yes, I most definitely would be happy to reach out to her or her to reach out to me. I would love that tremendously.
MACCALLUM: How do you, you know, give us sort of that the baby steps. You know, she’s home. Thank God. She’s with her dog, she’s with her aunts. She has to get over the murder of her parents. And according to these reports she was hiding with her mother in the bathroom. She saw her mother murdered before she was dragged out of there. She has a tremendous amount to deal with.
KNIGHT: It’s going to be a tremendous struggle for her. It’s going to be really hard for her to cope with her parents being gone now and not being able to give them a hug or be able to tell them I love you. It’s really difficult. And I know her parents loved her so much. And they didn’t deserve what they went through, nobody ever does. And you know, for the people that are in her life right now, just take time. Let her heal. Let her do two things that she needs to do to make it a happy journey through her healing process -- healing process. Make sure that you know, they don’t push, they don’t make her talk. You know, let her talk her home free will. And you know, they would -- you know, she would come to them. She will be there you know, with open arms ready to talk.
MACCALLUM: Lily, thank you. You’re an inspiration. And it’s -- no one should have to go through what you went through and what Jayme went through. And we just thank God that you’re alive and that she’s alive and that you have an after to celebrate and to enjoy.
KNIGHT: Yes. When I first heard about the story, I was so overwhelmed with tears of joy knowing that she’s finally saved them back home with her family.
MACCALLUM: It’s incredible.
KNIGHT: And not in the arms of person that would hurt him -- hurt her.
MACCALLUM: Thank God. Lily, thank you very much. Great to see you tonight. Thanks for being --
KNIGHT: You’re very welcome. Thank you.
MACCALLUM: So tonight there are questions that are coming up about the New York Times and Washington Post bombshells over the weekend. What exactly was new in them and what do they tell us about what ABC now says maybe an anticlimactic Mueller report? GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel here on what is exactly going on coming up next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONATHAN KARL, CORRESPONDENT, ABC NEWS: People who are closest to what Mueller has been doing of, interacting with the Special Counsel cautioned me that this report is almost certain to be anticlimactic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The whole thing is a hoax. It’s a big hoax and it’s very bad for our country. So what happened with the FBI, I have done a great service for our country when I fired James Comey because he was a bad cop and he was a dirty cop and he lied, he really lied.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Strong words today from the President and new questions tonight about the two reports that were bombshells basically over the weekend, both pushing the narrative that President Trump may be a secret Russian agent while simultaneously saying “The Times” report in paragraph nine that no actual evidence had emerged to support that FBI concern.
The reports in the New York Times and the Washington Post attributed to current and former U.S. officials, largely traveled over ground that we have seen in many of these stories over the course of the past year, that some in the FBI were outraged by James Comey’s firing and that they began digging deeper.
Former Trump lawyer, John Dowd, talked to Brian Kilmeade today and said that he thought that the Times piece made the FBI look bad. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VOICE CLIP)
JOHN DOWD, FORMER TRUMP LAWYER: It appears that they were all in it together. I mean, Rosenstein, Comey, Mueller, McCabe, the whole crowd and that they were out to get this president no matter what. I don’t think they sincerely believed anything about Russia. I take the New York Times article as an admission of their bad behavior.”
(END VOICE CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So, joining me now, RNC chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel. Ronna, thank you for coming in tonight. Good to see you. What was your reaction to these big stories?
And the other one I should point out is that the president went to great lengths to conceal his conversation with Vladimir Putin. He wanted the notes that were from the interpreter and the linguist he asked not to say anything about what he had heard or she had heard in that meeting?
RONNA MCDANIEL, CHAIRWOMAN, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Well, first of all, John Dowd, I completely agree with him. This article shows that the FBI has been out to get this president and there was no there-there just like there’s going to be there-there in the Mueller investigation. Nobody has shown any collusion. It is this musical chair of how do we hurt this president week after week.
There’s chaos in the White House, collusion with Russia, what else, unfit for office. They’re always putting something new because they don’t want to talk about the results of what this president and his administration has put forward for the American people, jobs, wages, all the good things that are out there.