Guests: Jonathan Karl, Ed Rogers, Jennifer Palmieri, Max Kellerman
JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST, “SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY”: That‘s all the time we have for tonight, but right now, we have THE SITUATION with Tucker Carlson, Tucker right here in D.C. What‘s the situation?
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Thank you, Joe.
SCARBOROUGH: You‘ve got breaking news?
CARLSON: We do have breaking news. The “Washington Post” reporting on page one of its papers tomorrow two things. A piece called “Decision on Charges May Come Friday,” and that is the first fact in this. Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald expected to announce charges the day after tomorrow, Friday.
Second piece of information, Karl Rove, his legal team, according to the “Washington Post,” has been involved in what they describe as a furious effort to convince the prosecutor not to charge Karl Rove, the president‘s top advisor and long-time aide, with perjury, perjury committed during the course of this investigation.
According to the piece, Rove and his lawyers do not know at this hour, 11 p.m. Eastern, Wednesday night, whether or not Karl Rove will be charged with perjury or anything else in the investigation, but we will know Friday. Of course, that information could leak out, and I would say, having lived here a long time, likely to leak out tomorrow, Thursday, possibly even tonight, so stay tuned. Whatever happens we‘ll bring it to you, of course, as it does.
But first, we thought it would be worthwhile tonight to go back a little bit. A lot of people following the story haven‘t been following it, day in and day out, for two years. Most of America. So we put together a short package, a short piece of tape, explaining how we got to where we are today, talking about the president‘s chief advisor being charged with perjury. We put it together. Here it is.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There‘s an investigation going on. I‘ve made it very clear to the press that I‘m not going to discuss the investigation.
CARLSON (voice-over): An investigation that is rocking the Bush administration, because much of it now focuses on two major White House insiders.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is Washington in high scandal mode.
CARLSON: The roots of that scandal date back to February of 2002, when retired diplomat Joseph Wilson is sent on a fact-finding trip to Niger to investigate reports that Saddam Hussein is trying to acquire nuclear technology.
February 28, 2003, the president delivers a key selling point for invading Iraq.
BUSH: The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.
CARLSON: March 20, 2003. The United States launches Operation Iraqi Freedom. One of the war‘s most outspoken critics, Joe Wilson, insists there‘s no evidence Niger leaders were negotiating with Iraqi bomb-makers.
JOE WILSON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR: It would be a tragedy to think that we went to war over a conversation in which uranium was not discussed.
DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don‘t know Mr.
Wilson. I probably shouldn‘t judge him. I have no idea who hired him.
CARLSON: But according to “The New York Times,” Vice President Cheney does know that Wilson‘s wife, Valerie Plame, works for the CIA.
June 12, 2003. Cheney reportedly tells his chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, about the Plame-CIA connection, but Libby later testifies he learned it from reporters.
July 14, 2003. Plame‘s identity is revealed in a column by Robert Novak, one week after he meets with White House senior advisor, Karl Rove. The column implies that Joseph Wilson was sent to Niger because his wife works at the CIA.
WILSON: It‘s of keen interest to me to see whether or not we can get Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs.
CARLSON: September 29, 2003. White House reporters target Rove as a probable source of the CIA leak.
SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I‘ve made it clear that it simply is not true.
CARLSON: Plame and her husband are also discussed during three separate meetings between Libby and “New York Times” investigative reporter Judith Miller.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No comment.
CARLSON: July 7, 2005. Miller is jailed for refusing to cooperate with the grand jury investigating the Plame leak.
July 13, 2005. The White House continues to firmly support Karl Rove.
BUSH: It‘s very important for people not to prejudge the investigation based on media reports.
CARLSON: September 29, 2005. Miller is released from jail after agreeing to testify before the grand jury.
JUDITH MILLER, REPORTER, “NEW YORK TIMES”: Once I satisfied those principles, I was prepared to testify.
CARLSON: But will her testimony also implicate the vice president of the United States?
MCCLELLAN: Frankly, I think it‘s a ridiculous question.
JONATHAN TURLEY, CRIMINAL LAW PROFESSOR: For the vice president to be the source of this name, it puts him at risk of being an unindicted coconspirator, or even an indictment.
SOLOMON WISENBERG, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: One is the crime, and the other is the cover-up. As we know from Washington history, it‘s often the cover-up that gets you in trouble.
CARLSON: That gets you in trouble. Well, according to tomorrow‘s “Washington Post,” available just moments ago, in breaking news now, somebody is in trouble. “Washington Post” reporting tonight for tomorrow‘s papers that prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald will charge somebody—we don‘t know who—and announce it Friday.
In the meantime, Rove‘s legal team, the “Washington Post” says, fighting, trying to convince the prosecutor not to charge Rove with perjury.
Joining me now to discuss the latest in the leak investigation, someone who was at the courthouse this afternoon, a man renowned in Washington for knowing a lot about this case, ABC News senior foreign affairs correspondent, Capitol Hill veteran, Jonathan Karl.
Jon Karl, thanks for coming on.
JON KARL, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good to be on.
CARLSON: You‘ve been at the courthouse, an advantage that many of us don‘t have. What‘s it like there? What did you pick up today?
KARL: Well, it was interesting. You know, you had Fitzgerald there.
Fitzgerald, this is a guy that doesn‘t talk. He just doesn‘t talk at all.
KARL: Truly, truly does not talk. And you know, he went into his grand jury, and at about noon, the grand jury left. And Rove gave—I mean, Fitzgerald gave everybody the slip, and huge stakeout, right outside the grand jury room, waiting for him to come out. He gave everybody the slip.
We had kind of an approach where we had several people kind of watching different places he could be, and we noticed him go into Judge Hogan‘s office. Now Judge Hogan is the chief judge at district court.
KARL: And he was in there 45 minutes, which, you know, led to rampant speculation. I mean, what could he be doing with Hogan? He could be trying to extend the grand jury. He could be trying to talk about sealed indictments, or he could be simply giving him the timeline, or he could be saying, “Hello, how are you doing?” Who knows? But that‘s where we‘re at here. We‘re trying to read tea leaves.
CARLSON: But typically in these things, reporters who are covering this as a beat, like you are, end up rubbing shoulders with the prosecutor, and getting to know him, picking up body language. Is there any interaction between this guy and the press?
KARL: Tucker, today I rode an elevator with Patrick Fitzgerald. It was a great victory, outside of Hogan‘s office. He had come from the elevator, covering the capitol, get used to jumping on with senators. The guy will not give up anything.
The one thing he did tell me, we were talking to him about the fact—he has a spokesman, you know? This guy Randy Sanborn, who for 22 months has said nothing but “no comment.” You could ask this guy how is the weather in Chicago, and he‘ll say “no comment.”
CARLSON: But he‘s the spokesman? Pretty easy gig.
KARL: Yes, yes, exactly. So look, you know, he said something like, “Look, you have to talk to my spokesman.”
Your spokesman says only “no comment.”
“Really? I‘ve got to give him a raise.”
CARLSON: That‘s what he said?
KARL: Yes, yes.
CARLSON: So then if he doesn‘t—everybody I know who‘s been covering this says the same thing, he doesn‘t talk. But somebody very close to this investigation is leaking significant details to the “Washington Post” and to “The New York Times.”
And it just seems to me the kind of material that‘s being leaked is very unlikely to come from the lawyers of, say Scooter Libby or Karl Rove, because it doesn‘t help them. I don‘t see how it helps them. Is Fitzgerald leaking?
KARL: It‘s almost impossible to figure out who leaked that “New York Times” story about the vice president. Because I mean, it seems to put Scooter Libby in a horrible light.
CARLSON: Yes, it does.
KARL: It cites sources, you know, legal sources close to the investigation. Who knows? You know, it‘s possible. I mean, there are, you know, investigators on Fitzgerald‘s team. Fitzgerald himself doesn‘t have to be leaking. He‘s got deputies. He‘s got FBI agents working on this, but nobody can figure out the motivation for that leak.
CARLSON: Well, speaking of leaks, this “Washington Post” piece for tomorrow morning clearly is coming from someone who knows. There aren‘t too many people who could know. In fact, only the special prosecutor‘s office, it seems to me, could know definitively.
What does this mean, if it‘s true, and this information, the indictments—who‘s being indicted and for what—will be announced Friday? Will we have any sense tomorrow? Will we know?
KARL: Quite possibly not. The reason why it‘s not just the special prosecutor that would know this, we firmly believe that Fitzgerald will notify whoever it is that he is going to seek an indictment on, of that intention.
KARL: And notify that person 24 to 36 hours.
CARLSON: Is that required? Or is that a courtesy?
KARL: It‘s not required, but it‘s a courtesy. And everybody that I have talked to involved in the case believes that that would be the case this time. So the “Washington Post” story, if true, does not mean that that is the only indictment.
The people who I have spoken to, even as late as late this afternoon, involved in this, believe that Fitzgerald truly has not made up his mind about all his indictments. He may well have made up his mind as late as today on one of them, maybe more, but that he truly was not, even at this late date, making up his mind.
CARLSON: And finally...
KARL: Which is astounding if you think about it.
CARLSON: It is astounding, considering, as you put it, it‘s been 22 months, right? So he‘s had time to think this through and to gather quite a bit of information and interview basically everybody in the city of Washington.
But we‘ve been focusing on Libby and Rove, really at the exclusion of everyone else. Do you think—are you getting indications there are other people who might be in legal jeopardy?
KARL: You get crazy stuff, don‘t you? I mean, you must be getting some of this.
CARLSON: Yes, I am, but I can‘t tell what‘s real and what‘s not.
KARL: People, oh, there‘s going to be 22 indictments. I see no indication of widespread indictments on this, but it is quite possible that there have been people who have already, a person or two that‘s already pled guilty in this case and we wouldn‘t know about it. That‘s quite possible.
I mean, there is the much discussed Mr. X. Who was it that talked to Bob Novak the first time? Who was ultimately the first source that ended up getting this thing into print? The way some of the people around Rove and the White House talk about Mr. X, it‘s kind of like “The Fugitive,” you know, talking about the one-armed man. This is really the guilty person. And this is the question.
So who knows? Who knows who Novak‘s first source was? Has that person already been indicted? Has that person cooperated?
CARLSON: Mr. X.
KARL: Mr. X.
CARLSON: I love it. I hate to tout a competitor, but I have to say, if there‘s one man to look to for this case, Jonathan Karl, you may be him. Thanks.
KARL: Great to be on the show, Tucker. Thank you.
CARLSON: As the White House sits and waits for possible indictments, anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan is once again on the offensive against the Bush administration.
You might remember, Sheehan‘s son, Casey, was killed in Iraq. From her 26-day campout outside the president‘s ranch in Crawford, Texas. She did that, of course, to protest the war. She also held numerous candlelight vigils, started a cross-country bus tour that led to a recent arrest, and blasted Hillary Clinton over her support for the war. That‘s right, a left-winger blasting Hillary Clinton.
Well, tonight Sheehan was in protest mode once again. This time holding a die-in to mark the 2,000 American soldiers killed in Iraq. That number, of course, was reached today. She plans to continue to protest throughout the week. As you can see from these pictures, she‘s well on her way to reaching her goal of at least 2,000 protesters joining that effort.
She was arrested shortly after she laid down in front of the White House earlier today. She was at Arlington National Cemetery and said this about the war in Iraq.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CINDY SHEEHAN, LOST SON IN IRAQ: We are here to say that this war is illegal. This war is immoral. Our loved ones should still be alive. We all standing here know the cost of war. We know that war is ugly. We know that war is terrible. But especially wars that have no basis in reality.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: To discuss Cindy Sheehan and all things Washington, we welcome Air America stalwart and our favorite, Rachel Maddow. Rachel, thank you.
RACHEL MADDOW, AIR AMERICA: Hey, Tucker. Good to see you.
CARLSON: Nice to see you are in Washington, absolutely.
This is why Cindy Sheehan is probably a bad spokesman for the anti-war movement. The tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis that have been killed should still be alive. Doubtless, there have been some innocent Iraqis killed, but the fact is, a lot of these Iraqis who were killed are enemies, sworn blood enemies, who are killing Americans. 2,000 of them. Many more injured. And many more private contractors and nonmilitary civilians killed by the insurgency over there. I would like to se Cindy Sheehan raise her voice in protest against those killings Americans. She‘d have a lot of more credibility if she did so.
MADDOW: Tucker, 1,500 to 2,000 Iraqis killed every month. Right? About 60 to 70 U.S. troops. That‘s basically the estimates out there that seem to be the most incredible. Those are not all insurgents being killed.
CARLSON: No, they‘re not.
MADDOW: And you could say try to do what the military is doing like Vietnam, the enemy body count somehow shows that we‘re making some sort of progress here. But the fact remains, we‘re fighting an insurgency in Iraq that‘s 97 percent Iraqis.
CARLSON: We don‘t—that is a number we don‘t know.
MADDOW: The U.S. Military says insurgency is less than 5 percent foreign, so...
CARLSON: That‘s a number very open to question.
MADDOW: But that‘s—I am citing the Pentagon.
MADDOW: Let‘s say 95 percent Iraqi. We were not fighting any Iraqis before we invaded their country.
CARLSON: That‘s true, but here‘s the bottom line. They are killing Americans. You can be opposed to the war, as I am, and outraged by anybody who would even think of killing Americans.
And this is the problem with the anti-war left. It‘s anti-American, in many cases. It absolutely is. It has sympathy for America‘s enemies. And that‘s why it‘s discredited. And that‘s why people like me, who are opposed to the war, really are sad to watch these...
MADDOW: Are Iraqi America‘s enemies?
CARLSON: The ones who are attempting to kill Americans are America‘s enemies.
MADDOW: Civilians. They‘re not people fighting. People who are killed in the war.
CARLSON: By definition, every person we are fighting there is a civilian because we are not fighting a uniformed army. We are fighting an insurgency.
MADDOW: I thought we were there to liberate them and spread democracy.
CARLSON: As you know, I‘m opposed to why we‘re there. It‘s not a good reason to be there. However, that doesn‘t change the fact that we are fighting people who are trying to kill us, and in many cases are succeeding. They are evil for that reason and for that reason alone.
People who try to kill Americans are evil, period. Anti-war people say that, no one will agree with them.
MADDOW: Tucker, the people who are protesting the fact that 2,000 Americans have died in the war are not celebrating the fact that 2,000 Americans have died in the war. We‘re protesting the fact that we started this war under false pretenses. They still haven‘t leveled.
CARLSON: Yes, but don‘t young...
MADDOW: There‘s a war going on, that‘s killing Americans needlessly.
CARLSON: I agree with all of that, but don‘t you think it‘s vital for those who protest the war to point out that those killing Americans are wrong to be doing so. And when I read when Cindy Sheehan says. It‘s almost always an apologia for the insurgency. It‘s almost always a way of excusing their attacks on Americans. And there‘s no excuse for them. Our invasion may have been wrong but it‘s not an excuse for them to kill us.
MADDOW: Our invasion may have been wrong. We started a war. We‘re now fighting a war. Tens of thousands of their civilians have died on the other side. We can lament that fact, without feeling like we‘re apologizing for the fact that those people have been engaged.
CARLSON: Insurgent death.
MADDOW: Nobody mourns a single insurgent death, but it you can separate the insurgents from the civilians in body counts in Iraq you are a greater man.
CARLSON: They are all civilians. A lot of them are nasty people.
MADDOW: Two thousand Americans are dead. Everybody across the country mourning that fact. George Bush went to a fundraiser right after he heard the news, I think it was disgusting.
CARLSON: Doesn‘t change.
MADDOW: Thank you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
If GOP heads will roll in the wake of the CIA Leak scandal. Plus, the coach keeping his job, after comment he made about black athletes? THE SITUATION takes side on that debate.
It is Europeans hate almost everything about us, including one of our most sacred Halloween. What could you possibly not like about Halloween?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Welcome back. As members of the Republican Party attempt to spin the CIA leak investigation, or think through how they might spin it if the indictments come, President Bush may now be preparing for life without Karl Rove and Scooter Libby.
How will the possible indictments of these two top White House aides affect the Republican Party? What can Democrats do to capitalize on this situation?
Joining me now to discuss the subject, a man who worked for both Bush 41 and Ronald Reagan, GOP strategist Ed Rogers.
Ed, thanks for coming on.
ED ROGERS, GOP STRATEGIST: Good to be here.
CARLSON: So once these indictments, or an indictment, comes down this week? What do they say? What does the White House say? What‘s their line?
ROGERS: Well, let‘s face it. There‘s not a lot that they could spin, or anybody could spin at that point.
ROGERS: I‘m not totally reconciled to the notion that it‘s going to happen.
ROGERS: I mean, Washington is a frenzy of swirling speculation. It‘s not based on a whole lot of valid or authoritative information, so we don‘t know what‘s going to happen, and I don‘t want to sort of prejudge what the White House is going to do. Having said that, hey, if there‘s personnel changes coming.
I hope the administration takes the time to really take a look at the environment that they‘re in, take a look at the landscape, come up with a plan, and then for the president to move decisively and boldly, and go ahead and use this as a pivot point.
ROGERS: To do some bigger, bolder things better.
CARLSON: Certainly it‘s a pivot point no matter what.
ROGERS: The pivot point is coming.
If their own indictments. Plus is going to be coming.
CARLSON: But here‘s my question. There‘s going to be pivoting. Here‘s my question. The White House has already said that the president was angry at Karl Rove.
CARLSON: For talking to reporters about Valerie Plame. Revealing her identity, or in any case, talking about her. That suggests, or doesn‘t suggest, it states the president thinks it‘s wrong, what Karl Rove did. So how—having already said that, does the White House say, it‘s not wrong?
CARLSON: Don‘t they give up, and say, that‘s right, Karl Rove deserves to be indicted.
ROGERS: Well, I mean, who knows what‘s going to come out, and what Fitzgerald is going to say. I though the whole notion of Bush being angry at Karl Rove was greatly over reported and overstated. I was in and around the Reagan and Bush...
ROGERS: But the White House leaked that. They wanted people to think that.
CARLSON: But I was in and around the Reagan and Bush White House for 10 years. I had two presidents mad at me. I assumed Bush is mad at Karl Rove at least once a week, and here‘s. So the notion that he was angry, as if that is going to somehow shape ultimate...
CARLSON: Here‘s why...
CARLSON: I do not think—significant.
ROGERS: Obviously not that significant, he is still on staff.
ROGERS: I am sure he gets mad all the time, famously he does, in fact. Here‘s why it‘s significant. Because the president is admitting it‘s wrong. The White House is admitting what Karl Rove did is wrong, so once you‘ve admitted that, you can‘t very well pivot, as you said, and say, actually what he did was understandable.
I think it is understandable. I think you could make a great case, why it‘s totally reasonable they told reporters what Joe Wilson‘s wife does, because what his wife does is relevant to the story.
ROGERS: Part of what I hope they do is go back, and I hope the special counsel does clarify the original story. What was Joe Wilson, what did he do, what did he say before any of this started?
Having said that, getting back to your question about the president being angry at Karl Rove, the fact that he was angry doesn‘t mean that it was necessarily wrong. The president was probably angry that he‘s in this whole situation. His White House is now entangled in this. He‘s angry about it. Whether or not he has said anything wrong happened or anybody did anything that was necessarily wrong is a different—is a different story.
CARLSON: Now, this is all—this story is being spun by opponents of the White House. It‘s all about Iraq. But to some extent, it is all about Iraq, and reaction to it, in my view, is a lot of displaced emotion about Iraq.
Does the president have to change course on Iraq, given that the public, majority of the public no longer supports what we‘re doing there? And have you heard any talk at all about that happening?
ROGERS: Changing course on Iraq?
ROGERS: The only change there could be is some sort of capitulation, some sort of artificial pullout. And the president, I think, goes out of the way in turbulent times to be crystal clear that the only way to justify the death of 2,000 Americans so far is to finish the job, to do it right. This president has proven to be nothing—he is nothing if not resolved to finish the job in Iraq.
CARLSON: But I tend to agree with him. I agree. I don‘t think he is going to change course. I think he should change course.
But have you heard any talk among advisors to the president? Brent Scowcroft, who worked for his father and for your former boss, Bush 41, was interviewed in New York this week as saying that he‘s greatly dissatisfied with our Iraq policy. Have you heard other influential Republicans say that, trying to push the White House to this position?
ROGERS: Brent Scowcroft was a very wise man, and he was consistent about what he‘s had to say about Iraq. A lot of other Republicans, who are well credentialed, and in some cases well meaning, benefit from 20-20 hindsight, that things haven‘t got perfectly according to plan.
And so of course, in Washington, you only kick somebody when they‘re down. And so, yes, there‘s a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking. There‘s a lot of back seat driving going on. There‘s a lot of second guessing. But I think this president is uniquely immune to that. I don‘t see him changing his policy in Iraq one bit.
CARLSON: Well, for the record, I like to kick people when they‘re up.
ROGERS: That is true. Good for you.
CARLSON: I like it to hit a standing man.
ROGERS: Never kick a man when he‘s up.
CARLSON: Really, I enjoy it. Ed Rogers, thank you.
ROGERS: Thank you.
CARLSON: Still to come, a woman who helped steer the Clinton administration through the dark days of impeachment, tells us what she thinks President Bush ought to do next. Our special coverage on the CIA leak investigation continues from Washington after just a quick break.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Today White House press secretary Scott McClellan was doing his best to keep the focus on the president‘s agenda, and not the scandal swirling around his top aides. Good luck, Scott.
My next guest has unique insight into what McClellan and the White House communications department are going through these days. Jennifer Palmieri is an eight-year veteran in the Clinton administration. She was White House deputy press secretary during Clinton‘s impeachment. She now works at the Center for American Progress.
Jennifer Palmieri, thanks for joining us.
JENNIFER PALMIERI, FORMER DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Happy to be here, Tucker.
CARLSON: You have a lot of experience at this.
PALMIERI: I do.
CARLSON: So I want to ask you a spin-free question, having interviewed you countless times in spin-rich environments. What would you say? I mean, the indictments look like they‘re coming down Friday, according to the “Washington Post.” Monday morning there‘s going to be the briefing. Scott McClellan is going to be there. What should he say?
PALMIERI: I think that he should—I think that at that point, they need to have said that the people who are indicted are gone, and I think that, you know, this White House has a reluctance to do that, to admit mistakes. And they‘re very loyal to the president. The president is very loyal to the staff. And that‘s all very admirable, but these people are hurting the president, and they got to go.
CARLSON: So—but once you do that, I always thought that about Clinton, you know, why don‘t they admit, you know, little things and then just be done with it? And the attitude seemed to be, once you admit it, your enemies will never relent, and they‘ll keep hammering you. Never admit, always deny, always be aggressive.
PALMIERI: Well, they were right. The Clintons were right, because that is what happened. But I—but for better or worse, Democrats aren‘t as aggressive. I mean, I think that, because Democrats aren‘t so aggressive, it‘s why Bush is just now dealing with the bad scandal in the second term, and not having dealt with it in the first.
But I don‘t—so I think that in—because they didn‘t deal with one in the first term, I think they‘re really bad at this one. You know? It was really bad—it was really—it was a bad move for Scott McClellan to walk out to the podium and say categorically that these guys were not involved.
CARLSON: They should have hedged from the very beginning?
PALMIERI: You can‘t—you just can‘t—he‘s not just speaking for the president of the United States. He‘s speaking for the United States government. You know, the White House podium is—you know, it‘s the podium for the United States government.
PALMIERI: You can‘t—to go out there and categorically deny something like that, when he can‘t have personal knowledge. He cannot have personal knowledge.
CARLSON: That‘s right.
PALMIERI: And it‘s irresponsible. And I mean, I‘ve seen the clips of what he said, about Rove not being involved and Scooter not being involved. And they‘re devastating.
CARLSON: I thought that at the time. They‘d better be right.
So at what point—give us a timeline over the next week. At what point do Democrats come out and really, they‘ve held back, obviously, the past couple of months, but at what point do they come out and just really launch an attack, or do they?
PALMIERI: I think that the day will come. I think that you‘ll see people say, he needs to clean house. You know, like these people—indictments or no indictments, right, like it‘s obvious Karl lied. It‘s obvious that Scooter lied. McClellan was probably lied to. Andy Card has presided over—you know, he‘s been negligent at best.
PALMIERI: And that‘s what Reagan did, right? After Iran-Contra, he cleaned house.
CARLSON: This is like Christmas for the Democrats. Quickly, tell me, give me a quick reading of the mood. It‘s got to be just like gleeful.
PALMIERI: I wouldn‘t say gleeful.
CARLSON: Come on.
PALMIERI: I mean, personally, we talked about this before, I feel empathy for White House staff because I know how it‘s devastating, legal bills, it‘s devastating to your life. But there‘s a sense that what goes around comes around. And, you know, there‘s a lot of hubris with this White House staff. They think that they are not going to get busted on something, and they did.
CARLSON: I can‘t wait to catch people gloating. I can‘t wait.
PALMIERI: Gloat-free zone, Tucker.
CARLSON: You are not gloating, Jennifer. I didn‘t think you would.
You are not a gloater.
Thank you for coming on.
PALMIERI: My pleasure. Great to be here.
CARLSON: Coming up on THE SITUATION, just when you thought Europeans couldn‘t hate us any more than they do, taking shots at the holiday, when innocent kids dress up and collect candy. Guess who gets to defend Europe on this latest outrage? That‘s right, “The Outsider,” Max Kellerman. Stay tuned.
CARLSON: Welcome back. There‘s an old saying that goes, a single fact can spoil a good argument. And I am here to tell you that‘s true. We won‘t let that stop us tonight. Here now, a man who never met argument he didn‘t like or fact too inconvenient to ignore, he is “the Outsider.” Please welcome ESPN radio and HBO Boxing host Max Kellerman live from Las Vegas tonight.
MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO HOST: Those pesky little facts.
CARLSON: They do screw up your rhetoric, don‘t they? I‘ve had that problem many times.
KELLERMAN: Yes, they do.
CARLSON: Well, first up, a football coach is in hot water tonight, not for losing, but for what he said after a loss. Air Force coach Fisher DeBerry was reprimanded he made about black athletes. Here‘s what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FISHER DEBERRY, AIR FORCE FOOTBALL COACH: Well, it is very obvious to me the other day that the other team had a lot more Afro-American players than we did. And they ran a lot faster than we did. And it just seems to be that way, that Afro-American kids can run.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: DeBerry has apologized. And Academy officials say his job is safe. Max, I‘ll admit it, when I watch him say that, I cringe, there‘s something about it that makes me uncomfortable. However, what makes me more uncomfortable is the piling on the guy by people who don‘t explain what exactly is wrong with what he said. He didn‘t insult anybody. He didn‘t say anything hateful. He said it in public. He didn‘t whisper it to a friend, right, in some nefarious way. He said it out in the open. He clearly didn‘t say it with malice. And I don‘t know, I have no idea if it‘s true or not, but it wasn‘t an insult. So what‘s wrong with it.
KELLERMAN: First of all, he said African-American. I would have been OK if he said black. Black is OK, by the way. I know it‘s not completely politically correct...
CARLSON: He said Afro-American.
KELLERMAN: Did he say Afro-American, sounded like African? But I didn‘t cringe when I heard that. And I applaud the coach for saying what he felt, and what is also obviously true. And we can get into that in a second.
The problem is, you have to be smart enough to know if you are a college football coach, you are not allowed to say things like that, because unless you can articulate your position and you are in a position that the university wants you to articulate that position, in this country, we are not allowed to have an honest discussion about race, certainly not, you know, sparked by a college football coach.
CARLSON: Except, of course, you are absolutely right, empirically. But here‘s the exception that makes this particularly outrageous. This guy is the coach at the Air Force Academy, this is an institution designed to promote among other things, honesty. It demands honesty of its students, of its instructors, of its professors, of its administrators, and indeed of its coaches. You got to tell the truth at the Air Force Academy, period, or you get bounced. So this guy believes he is telling the truth. You can‘t possibly criticize him just because it‘s unfashionable.
KELLERMAN: No. But telling the truth is one thick, but the military and football, for that matter, militaristic game, is not about the individual speaking their mind. It‘s about the individual submerging their identity for the good of the team. And this is probably not good for the team. And so even from that point of view, I don‘t agree.
Look, black people and white people, Caucasian, African people develop in different places in this world, adapted to different climates, evolved differently, and there are certain physical differences. And for people who don‘t understand that, look at the corner backs in the NFL, the most athletic position, when there‘s a white corner back, he has to cover the wide receivers, it‘s very difficult, who is successful, Jason Sehorn comes to mind, couple of years ago, people are in shock. Oh, my god, a white corner back, a guy who can run well enough to cover wide receivers.
It‘s not as though what the coach was saying is untrue. I don‘t think he said it in an offensive way. But he needs to be smarter than that, because he should know we are not allowed, certainly he is not allowed to start that discussion in this country.
CARLSON: I think you are...
CARLSON: You are essentially right.
Well finally, Europeans are up in arms on what they are calling a bad American habit that, quote, “undermines our cultural identity.” What is this scourge? It‘s Halloween.
That‘s right, trick-or-treaters are being called the epitome of crass American commercialization. The holiday is becoming big business in Europe. The Germans alone spend nearly $170 million celebrating it. But critics call it bad. One Catholic youth group called Halloween a party in honor of Satan and hell end quote.
Max, as if we needed to get another region to invade Belgium and make these people stop criticizing us, here you have it.
I am glad that Halloween is infecting Europe. I want to send over Arbor Day and Secretaries Day, Saint Patrick‘s Day, every two-bit holiday we have, I want to impose on the European continent so they go to work, not at all, and we take them over completely.
KELLERMAN: Well, first of all, they have enough off days as it is over there Tucker. You sure you need more days where the labor force doesn‘t work?
Look, I agree with the Catholic youth group that it‘s a holiday from Satan. If you ever try to cross Fifth Avenue on October 31, you will know what I mean, Tucker. It‘s a nightmare.
CARLSON: You can‘t celebrate Halloween in Manhattan. Come on.
KELLERMAN: We have enough Hallmark holidays in this country already Mother‘s Day, Father‘s Day, Valentine‘s Day, I mean, come on.
Now, Halloween, I agree is a fun holiday, I like it, but if the Europeans don‘t want to have fun that‘s their prerogative. They don‘t have to have fun. We can‘t force them to have fun.
CARLSON: Europeans don‘t have fun by definition. Ok. The only fun a typical European has, when he is sitting around smoking unfiltered cigarettes, beating up on the United States. My only point...
KELLERMAN: Making sure not to wear deodorant, by the way.
CARLSON: That‘s exactly right. My only point, this is it. The final straw. You can criticize foreign policy bermuda shorts with black socks, you can criticize our eating habits. You criticize Halloween, your getting a continental ballistic missile.
KELLERMAN: Fine, we are invading Belgium, Tucker.
KELLERMAN: Tucker Carlson.
CARLSON: He‘s a sensible man. See you tomorrow.
Still ahead on THE SITUATION, would you eat at a restaurant owned by the man who started Hustler magazine? That man is betting you will. His name is Larry Flynt and he joins us next to talk porn, food and politics. Don‘t miss it.
CARLSON: Welcome back. You know my next guest is the famed publisher of Hustler magazine. You may also rember him as failed presidential candidate. But do you know Larry Flynt, the restaurateur? Didn‘t think so. Flynt is opening a chain of restaurants, called Hustler Bar and Grill. Here to discuss his ever expanding empire live from New York, it is Larry Flynt.
Larry Flynt, thanks for coming on.
LARRY FLYNT, FOUNDER, HUSTLER: Hi, Tucker. Glad to be here.
Now no offense or anything, if I was driving down the street and I saw Hustler restaurant, I would be afraid of getting chlamydia from a burger. I am not sure I would stop there. What‘s the idea behind the restaurant.
FLYNT: We have been branding the hustler name for the last 15 years. And that branding now amounts to about 30 percent of revenue. And night clubs, retail stores, erotic boutiques, we have opened around the country.
CARLSON: Well, I understand all that. I mean, I understand a night club or vibrator store, whatever but a restaurant seems kind of out of context a little bit for pornography.
FLYNT: Well, I doubt that you are going to catch anything when you...
CARLSON: I hope not.
FLYNT: When you dine at Hustler. Well, we want to give them a new version of Hooters, you know. A lot less hooter, and a little more beef.
CARLSON: So it‘s going to be tamer than Hooters? Like when I go in, let‘s just say for the sake of argument, I screwed up my courage and went into a Hustler Bar and Grill, what will I see that will keep me coming back?
FLYNT: You are going to see cladly dressed very, very beautiful women. But we are not going to have the focus on the silicone boobs, because I don‘t think that‘s appealing to men. And women should consult with them more to find that out.
But I think as far as the dress, that we find for the Hustler chain. And if we have good food, you know, then the Hustler Bar and Grill is going to succeed. That‘s what people want is good food, and they will try anything once.
CARLSON: They will try anything once. That‘s for sure. I know you are a big Democrat, or have been in the past. And Democrats are always pushing this idea of nondiscrimination law that protects everybody, and employers ought not be able to discriminate.
When you have, and you will have, a lawsuit from women who aren‘t pretty enough to get jobs, or who have silicone implants, and can‘t get hired at the Hustler restaurant, what are you going to say?
FLYNT: Well, I guess we will have to cross that bridge when we get to it, Tucker. We have never had a problem with that in our night club chains. We operate 10 of them in the U.S. and Europe.
CARLSON: Now, speaking of politics, I was reading, you gave $1,000 to Hillary clinton. Senator Hillary clinton of New York, and she sent it back to you.
FLYNT: Yes. And so did the D.N.C., send me back, $2,500. And I give much more than that to the party, because I have been a life-long Democrat. But that‘s the first time they have ever refused to take my money.
The Republicans take it all the time. But I never send them as much. I just send them enough so they will keep me on their mailing list for all their literature. And I can keep up with their platform.
CARLSON: I think of you as kind of embodiment of the modern Democratic party. It‘s sort of weird they would send the money back. What message are they sending, do you think?
FLYNT: I have nod idea. But you know I am going someplace else, if not to a strong third party, there‘s a couple of people that I could support in the Republican party. But I wasn‘t asking the Democratic party to endorse what I do. I only wanted to give them a contribution to help make the party stronger.
FLYNT: You know, so, I mean, it was Schumer and that bunch are just stupid.
CARLSON: I agree. It‘s pretty unfair. Larry Flynt, pornographer and restaurateur, and now spurned Democrat. Thanks very much for joining us. We appreciate it.
CARLSON: Coming up on THE SITUATION, what is wrong with this picture?
Do you think that Condi Rice on the left is looking satanic, you are right. We‘ll tell you which major newspaper published the doctored photograph when we come back.
CARLSON: Welcome back. Time for our voice mail segment where you call in and leave long, rambling, sometimes pretty smart, messages and we play them on the air.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CALLER: Hi, this is Robin from Texarkana, Arkansas. I just wanted to call and say that I am offended about the minivan remarks that were made on your show this evening. I drive a minivan. I have two children. And I‘m often taking other people‘s children from place to place. And there‘s absolutely nothing wrong with driving a minivan. You just made it sound like it was low-class or something. And I have news for you, Tucker, I‘m certainly not a low-class citizen.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CARLSON: Robin, I would love to argue with you but I can‘t. What I said was wrong and snobbish and stupid and reactionary. And madam, I just got my goat and I responded. I don‘t have a minivan, but there‘s nothing wrong with minivans. And I‘m sorry I implied there was. I truly am.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CALLER: Hi, Tucker, this is Jamie in Decatur, Illinois. About your underwear theft story last night. You said underwear aren‘t that expensive. Well, in the latest Victoria Secret catalog, there was a pair of underwear that cost $178. By the way, we like your show so much we named our turtle, Tucker.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CARLSON: Thank you, Jamie. I‘m flattered. And I have to say if there‘s a pair of underwear in the Victoria Secret catalogue that cost $172, I‘d bet you anything they‘re worth every dollar. Next up...
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
CALLER: Tucker, I got that Johnny Cochran quote for you. If the (INAUDIBLE) delicious, don‘t get you dishes.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
CARLSON: Very good. That in reference, of course, to the story we did last night or a couple nights ago about a home last man arrested for pretending his pumpkin, his jack-o-lantern, was a bomb. Of course, it wasn‘t. Johnny Cochran no longer with us, so he‘s not there to defend the man. But thank you for taking up the slack.
Let me know what you‘re thinking. You can call 1-877-TCARLSON, that‘s 1-877-822-7576. You can also send me your questions on our Web site. You can e-mail us at Tucker@MSNBC.com. And I will respond, I promise. Been a little busy, but I‘m going to get out from under it and write back. YOu can check the responses at Tucker.MSNBC.com.
Still ahead on THE SITUATION, what is this man doing to those delicious looking baked goods? Not sure you want to know. We‘ll tell you anyway when we visit “The Cutting Room Floor.”
CARLSON: Welcome back. Time once again for “The Cutting Room Floor.” Willie Geist back at MSNBC world headquarters, a location from which he controls the universe. Willie, what do you have?
WILLIE GEIST, MSNBC PRODUCER: Tucker, I have a SITUATION correction, first of all. We want to apologize for the first two voice mailers, the first was Robin from Texarkana, Arkansas, not Texarkana, Texas. I guess it‘s kind of a coin toss, Texas or Arkansas. We got it wrong.
And then the second one was from Decatur, Illinois, not Decatur, Georgia. Both lovely towns, I‘ve been to both of them. Wonderful places.
Anyway, so that‘s the apologies.
CARLSON: They‘re only about 1,000 miles apart. I can see..
GEIST: So, we‘re not good on geography. We‘re strong in some areas and weak in others.
CARLSON: We‘re working on it, but at least we admit it.
No matter your opinion of Condoleezza Rice, I think we can all agree she‘s not literally Satan. But taht‘s the way “USA Today” made her look on its Web site the other day. Check out the picture on the left and the piercing satanic eyes that the secretary of state appears to have. That‘s the one “USA Today” originally published. The photograph on the right is the actual Associated Press shot that was taken of Rice. The paper changed the picture today, saying the original did not meet its editorial standards.
GEIST: I guess not. In that apology, they apologized to Condi for giving her a, quote, unnatural appearance. Which I guess, making the secretary of state look like Lucifer, I guess that qualifies.
Although I will say, possessed or not, Condi Rice, a handsome woman.
CARLSON: She definitely is. I like the unpossesed version a little better.
GEIST: I prefer the unpossessed as well.
CARLSON: Well, if you‘re going to play James Bond, you‘re going to have to know your way around a gun. There‘s no way of getting around it. And that might be a problem for the newest Bond, Daniel Craig tells “OK” magazine, quote, I hate handguns. Handguns are used to shoot people. As long as they‘re around, people will shoot each other.
Nevertheless, he‘ll carry a Walter PPK in the new Bond movie, “Casino Royale.”
Can I just point out, he doesn‘t deserve this part because he‘s a simpering wuss, probably Belgian.
GEIST: Please, please—probably is Belgian. Just use the gun you‘ve been issued, chief. And spare us the gun control lecture. You‘re James Bond, start acting like it. This guy—he‘s on a short leash as far as I‘m concerned.
CARLSON: He‘s so awful. He the one who said the other day when he got the part, there wasn‘t enough feeling in the part, there was just too much action in James Bond films.
GEIST: Get the gun out and start shooting people, ask questions later. That‘s what James Bond does.
CARLSON: Get the girl and call it a day.
GEIST: Spare us the speech.
CARLSON: A warning now to our viewers who may have Belgium in their future travel plans. Belgium, it keeps coming back. Leave your fake Rolex at home.
A Belgian judge has sentenced a man to six months in prison for wearing a fake Rolex watch. A representative of the Swiss watchmaker noticed the man wearing a fake and reported him to the Belgian police.
GEIST: What‘s up with Belgium, Tucker? By the way, that has got to be the least col way of getting locked down. What are you in for? Wearing a fake Rolex. You might want to make something else up. It‘s not going to go over big in the prison yards.
CARLSON: A little bit of an uptight country.
Well, being an Elvis impersonator like these gentleman here, obviously requires one to be in peak physical condition. So when Chicao area impersonator Peter Tidd (ph) tore up his knee after stepping on a faulty manhole cover, he wanted some restitution from the city. And boy did he get it. A jury gave Tidd (ph) $600,00, because his injury prevented him for performing the kicks needed to put on a good Elvis show.
GEIST: Yeah, you know, ha, ha, ha, it‘s Elvis impersonators, but I think this sends a strong message, we value our Elvis impersonators, you know what I mean? You can‘t just leave loose manhole covers lying around and getting away with it.
CARLSON: We‘re not leaving a single Elvis impersonator behind.
GEIST: And we shouldn‘t.
CARLSON: Well, if you have any sense of decency whatsoever, and some of you do, you‘ll want to turn down the volume on your television for the next 15 seconds or so. A taxi driver in Dallas, Texas was captured on this surveillance sprinkling dried feces on baked goods at a local grocery store.
Customers complained that the store‘s bakery items smelled and tasted like manure. So management went to videotape. The man has been charged with tampering with consumer products. Willie, he ought to get the death penalty. And also, tasted like manure. If it smells like manure, you go and taste it?
GEIST: Let me just read a part of the story. The FBI arrested the man, but turned him over to local police when they determined it was not a matter of national security. And I don‘t think it was.
Although, my sources at the CIA are picking up some chatter about fecal terrorism, so let‘s keep our eye on that.
CARLSON: And scarier than dirty bombs as far as I‘m concerned.
That‘s THE SITUATION for tonight. We‘ll be here in Washingto for the rrest of the week as the leak investigations continues to unfold, and it will. We‘ll see you back here tomorrow night at 11:00.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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