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Fruits and nuts media furor over crackpot democrat Muslim lawmakers

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Leroy N. Soetoro

Aug 24, 2019, 3:11:29 PM8/24/19

This is a rush transcript from "Media Buzz," August 18, 2019. This copy
may not be in its final form and may be updated.

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST: On the Buzz Meter this Sunday, after a major plunge in
the Dow, President Trump blames the media for wanting to correct the
economy, and some pundits fault him for the markets' decline.


NICOLLE WALLACE, MSNBC HOST: The Dow closing over 800 points down today.
Has Donald Trump's political weakness, foreign policy cluelessness, and
abdication of American leadership on the world stage is on full and stark

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Trump's market meltdown. The president frustrated
and concerned tonight, worried about reelection.

LOU DOBBS, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK HOST: Good evening, everybody. Wall Street
firms and the leftist national media talking down the Trump's stock market
the Trump economy today.


KURTZ: Where was all of the reporting when Trump's bull market was
soaring? As journalists keep reporting and speculating about Jeffrey
Epstein's suicide, many are hammering the president for retweeting
conspiracy theory and then linking the sexual predator's staff to a former


CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Where does the president get the chutzpah and
just say to throw out Bill Clinton and try to trash his name into this
Presidents of the United States don't retweet blatantly false, conspiracy
theories about their predecessors.

GREG GUTFELD, FOX NEW HOST: Others in the press scold anyone else for
their own suspicions. Was it Trump's tweets? Maybe. But these are the same
clowns who spent two years chasing collusion.


KURTZ: But hold on. Should people in the news business also avoid
trafficking and wild theories? Plus, we will talk to a reporter who
interviewed Epstein just months ago.

The press is also lambasting the president for helping persuade Israel to
bar business by two democratic congresswomen who are Muslims. Is this
really about Trump getting the press to focus on these freshman Democrats?

And Anthony Scaramucci launches a media blitz against his former boss,
saying he is so divisive Republicans should dump him while the president
calls him a neurotic, nervous wreck, blasts "The Mooch" and a top White
House spokesman about the bitter breakup. I'm Howard Kurtz and this is
"Media Buzz."

President Trump dominating headlines yet again with a new attack on two
democratic congresswomen who are Muslims by successfully urging Bibi
Netanyahu to bar the lawmakers who backed a global effort to boycott
Israel from visiting the Jewish state.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: They want to do boycotts. They said horrible
things about Jewish people. I think it will be a terrible thing, frankly,
for Israel to let these two people, who speak so badly about Israel, come


KURTZ: In the global media storm that followed Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan
Omar denounce Israel for the decision and when Israel backtracked, Tlaib
rejected an offer to visit her grandmother on the West Bank under strict

Joining us now to analyze the coverage: Guy Benson, political editor at
Townhall, a Fox News contributor, and host of "The Guy Benson Radio Show";
Beverly Hallberg, president of District Media and a former television
producer; and Clarence Page, columnist for The Chicago Tribune.

Guy, it's obviously up to Israel to decide whether to admit these two
members of Congress, just as clearly Bibi was influenced by his friend
Donald, I think most people would agree. Whatever your views of these
lawmakers, and I've criticizes Omar sharply for history of anti-Semitic
comments, is it fair for the press to slam the president for taking a
position on this?

HOST: This story isn't about Donald Trump or doesn't have to be. I think
he is drawing attention to it which is part of his secret sauce here,
forcing the press to cover something that they don't want to wouldn't have
otherwise, which is looking into, for example, the group Miftah, this
organization sponsoring the trip for Omar and Tlaib, had they gone to
Palestine which is what was the word on their itinerary.

This is a very radical organization that has backed terrorists in the
past, has published all sorts of extremely anti-Semitic screens.

KURTZ: It doesn't believe the Jewish state has a right to exist.

BENSON: Correct.

KURTZ: This has been glossed over in so many media reports.

BENSON: That is the story and it was not being reported on by virtually
anyone in the press and the scrutiny from the president forced everyone to
talk about it.

KURTZ: Beverly, is this another instance that President Trump is drawing
enormous media attention on these minority lawmakers as part of what you
might call a culture war campaign for reelection?

benefits him when the "Squad" is the spotlight. We know Nancy Pelosi
doesn't like because it doesn't help Democrats. For President Trump, he
thinks this is a benefit to him especially in the upcoming election
because if he can put the Democrats as far left progressives, as far as
what their agenda is, it benefits him.

I would like to say, when it goes back to the BDS movement and we are
seeing, I do give Bill Maher credit on his show on Friday night. He
actually pointed out the connection that these congresswomen had to the
anti-Semitic movement, so I appreciate that as we are learning more people
are finally -- BENSON: And by the way, in that segment from Bill Maher, he
specifically criticized the press. He said all of these pieces of
information about BDS somehow never get reported in this context.

KURTZ: Yeah, Maher is a liberal, sometimes takes on the left.
Interestingly, Rashida Tlaib in response said, "Maybe people should
boycott his HBO show."


KURTZ: You know President Trump also said of these two women, "Amazingly,
they have become the face of the Democratic Party." So Clarence, how much
has he making them and AOC and the others the face of the Democratic
Party? They have no real power in the House because they're freshman. Is
the press following Trump's lead in elevating these lawmakers?

not have to make this such a personal issue but he has because he sees a
political advantage and further polarizing Democrats and Israel. In the
past, both parties have competed, who can show the love for Israel more
right now?

But it hasn't really changed much outside of the two members of the
"Squad" we are talking about. They do have a more extreme view but we have
had others like Paul Findley, the late Illinois representative who was
also harsh critic of Israel and somewhat kind of controversy at that time.

KURTZ: Right.

PAGE: This is not new in that regard. What is new is having a president
who deliberately stokes those fires of division.

KURTZ: Well, those fires of division where there to some extent, anyway,
who Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats --

PAGE: Stoking the fire.

KURTZ: Yes, I agree. I'm just giving a little historical context here. The
resolution, they voted on resolution, Democrats denouncing some of anti-
Semitic language by Omar.

Let's move on to the economy because there was a pretty dramatic day this
past Wednesday when the Dow plummeted more than 800 points. Guy, I'm
watching all these anchors and liberal commentators saying this is the
Trump meltdown. Obviously, there's been a slight of about 2,000 points
over the last couple of weeks and obviously the president's trade battle
and war with China has contributed to this. No question about it.

But I did not notice the press rushing to celebrate the Trump market when
it went from 18,005, the day he was elected, to more than 27,000 before
the recent retrenchment.

BENSON: Of course not! They are gleeful now because the economy might be
going south in some respects, and I do actually blame the president's
policies on trade for part of it. I think that's reality that he needs to
think about politically and just for the country.

KURTZ: Yeah.

BENSON: Yeah, for sure. But the press is in some cases -- openly we've
been cheering Bill Maher. He has said on his show repeatedly on the other
end of the stink, saying that he is rooting, openly rooting for a
recession to help Trump lose. I think that sentiments run relatively deep
in newsrooms even if they may not come out and say it. Their coverage
reflects the same time of instinct.

KURTZ: At least give him credit for honesty. He just comes out and --

BENSON: Yeah, sure.

KURTZ: At the same time, the president's conservative supporters in the
media, Clarence, who constantly blame the press for not talking up to
Trump bull market when everybody's 401ks were soaring, not having much to
say about this latest line on Wall Street.

PAGE: I think we need to be careful of our language. We talked about
coverage versus opinion. There's a big difference. Yeah, among the opinion
people, you are going to find some folks who are going to be on both
sides, whether recession is good for the country or not.

But the fact, this one, you got -- every president brags about a good
economy and credits themselves. When the economy goes bad, they find
others to blame. Donald Trump was already finding people to blame, the
media and the Federal Reserve.

BENSON: Clarence, you said that there are people on both sides of the
question of whether or not a recession is good for the country.

PAGE: Yes.

BENSON: In what way is a recession good for the country? People lose their

PAGE: I will explain it to you. Because --

BENSON: Because of the way how (ph) Trump lose?

PAGE: Trump -- by the way, I do not agree with Bill Maher on this. I also
have a 401(k), by the way. Many members of the media do. But let's be
realistic here. It's news. When the economy goes down at this point,
especially when Trump is trying so hard to scuttle it --

KURTZ: Well, sometimes recessions are inevitable in the business cycle.
But talk about looking for people to blame. Let us put the tweet up from
the president. He says the other day, "The fake news media is doing
everything they can to crash the economy because they think that would be
bad for me and my reelection. The problem they have is the economy is way
too strong."

Beverly, what is he talking about the media crashing the economy?

HALLBERG: Well, you can even look to Joe Biden. Of course, he has been
covered since he is the leader in the democratic nomination race right now
who likes to talk about the economy when it is doing well, saying it's
Obama's economy, and then once it starts having issues in the stock
market, he blames it on Trump.

We are seeing the media do the same thing but here is what they are not
covering this much. Well, we are seeing the volatility in the market. I
agree with Guy. I think there is reason we can point to Trump and the
trade war. Trump also points out the Fed and what he's unhappy about when
it comes to them, their interest rates and how they've handled it.

We do see that unemployment is an all-time low, especially among African
Americans. We see that wages are going up. So there are so many positives.
The media aren't reporting on the positives that all Americans are seeing
on a daily basis. It's not going to work in their favor.

KURTZ: What you say is true. And, of course, it seems to me that -- we are
talking here about is there a recession down the road or certain Wall
Street indicators that may or may not happen. But it's remarkable to me,
when the market goes down you have people blaming everything in the world
on Donald Trump. Well, he screwed up Hong Kong. He is not taking a
stronger stand. Well, the market thing is his fault. They just can't wait
to pounce.

Let me turn to one more topic before we go to break and that is the
following: President Trump also joins the media surprise over Jeffrey
Epstein's prison suicide for retweeting a conspiracy theory by self-
described actor and comedian Terrence K. Williams, who floated a link
between the death and Bill Clinton with the hashtags Clinton body count
and Clinton crime family. The president defended the move with reporters.


TRUMP: The retweet, which is what it was -- it was a retweet -- was from
somebody what's a very respected, conservative pundit. So I think that was

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Do you really think the Clintons are
involved in Jeffrey Epstein's death?

TRUMP: I have no idea. I know he was on his plane 27 times and he said he
was on the plane four times. So you have to ask, did Bill Clinton go to
the island? That's the question.


KURTZ: Whether or not this guy is a respected pundit, is the media
criticism fair or unfair in saying the president should have declined to
spread to his 62 million Twitter followers?

BENSON: Fair, of course. Of course, the president should not have done
this. Some of the questions he asked about Bill Clinton and the plane and
the island, I think those are fair game. But to come out as the president
of the United States to link your political opponents and your predecessor
in the White House to this suicide or death, I think, is really

Then again, he also accused Ted Cruz's father of killing John F. Kennedy
during the 2016 campaign. So, this is par for the course.

KURTZ: He didn't accuse him. He pointed to reports and the National
Enquirer --

BENSON: No, it's the same type of thing.

KURTZ: But look --

PAGE: Respected journalists at National Enquirer.


BENSON: Many people -- right.

KURTZ: Look, Bill Clinton was a friend of Jeffrey Epstein many years ago
and did fly in his plane. I mean, Donald Trump was also a friend many
years ago. We're talking here 15 or 20 years ago. That does not mean that
either of them was involved in what the medical examiner has now ruled was
a suicide by Epstein in prison.

PAGE: So why does Donald Trump care about it so much? Because he wants to,
once again, put not just the two "Squad" members' faces on the Democratic
Party but also Jeffrey Epstein. The fact this is Donald Trump, asked the
question on Bill Clinton, said he don't know, what about Donald Trump? But
then again, what is the question? Who cares?

KURTZ: They were not on the plane together. Look, Donald Trump is not the
only person to weigh in to this question of what really happened with
Epstein, who was of course a convicted sexual predator and accused of
being a sex trafficker.

Many people in the media have indulged in all the speculation and
conspiracy theories. One of Epstein's powerful friends must have him
killed. Now, we know from the autopsy that he hung himself. So, what do
you make of the press performance on this matter?

HALLBERG: I think they love to follow the president on Twitter. I think
the president knew that putting this out was a little bit controversial
because he did not add a comment to it. It was a retweet. He didn't have
comment to it.

KURTZ: Right.

HALLBERG: But I would say, with all of this, the president is using this
as pointing to the press, always points out conspiracy theories. He had a
follow-up tweet taking about, of course, what they did with Russia. So I
think that Trump loves to weigh into this because he know the media are
going to cover it and he's always going to point it back to Russia.

KURTZ: He knows it is (INAUDIBLE) for the media and so often that is true.
Let me get a break here. When we come back, the press is making Joe
Biden's gaffes a front and center issue with ample help from Donald Trump
on occasion.

Later, Charlie Gasparino and his interview with Jeffrey Epstein a few
months before his death in prison.


KURTZ: Joe Biden has been making gaffes for a long time. Trust me. I've
covered him for a long time. But now that the 76-year-old former VP is the
democratic front runner, the press is focusing on these missteps, raising
new questions about his age.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We choose unity over division. We
choose science over fiction. We choose truth over facts.

Those kids from Parkland came up to see when I was vice president. I knew
that some of you covered it.

We have this notion that somehow if you are poor, you cannot do it. Poor
kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids, wealthy kids,
black kids, Asian kids.


KURTZ: President Trump is seizing on each mistake and clearly suggesting
that Biden is over the hill.


TRUMP: Joe Biden has truly lost his fastball. Joe Biden is not playing
with a full deck.


KURTZ: Guy, Biden makes a fair number of gaffes. He met with the Sandy
Hook elementary students when he was vice president, not Parkland High
School. He talked about Margaret Thatcher when he meant Theresa May. The
press is now really pouncing on this and linking it to his age. Is it
being overplayed?

BENSON: I am not sure it is being overplayed, but as you referenced
earlier, it shouldn't surprise anyone. The man has been a gaffe factory
for his entire career spanning decades. So, whether it is his age or just
who he is as a candidate and the person, of course he is going to get this
extra attention because he is the frontrunner.

I am more surprised by the age or leaking to the press about how concerned
they are. Why would you go and work for Joe Biden is you are terribly
worried about gaffes?

KURTZ: Beverly, some Biden aides and allies are actually saying this very
thing, he has been making these gaffes for so long that it has nothing to
do with age. He's always been this way, like, that is their defense. I
think that is interesting. It doesn't mean it's not true, but they are
trying to knock down the notion that at 76, he has lost a few steps.

HALLBERG: Yeah, they are trying to play this as part of his charm. But I
think when you saw him in the democratic debate and how he wasn't able to
take on Kamala Harris, people became concerned. I am seeing the media also

KURTZ: But he did bounce back --

HALLBERG: He did bounce back. Also, focus on this in comparison to Donald
Trump and how Donald Trump speaks. There is a main difference though. The
mistakes that Joe Biden makes, he doesn't mean to make them their gaffes.
He means to say something else.

Donald Trump always means to say what he says. So, I think, if they are
going to do the comparison of mental fitness, it is not going to work
because they are coming from different perspectives.

KURTZ: Sometimes, there are misstatements. When President Trump, who is
73, questioned on Twitter whether Biden is mentally fit to be president,
he used that phrase. He is saying he is too old. Is the press taking the
bait when the president -- you know, we cover everything he tweets, right?

PAGE: What's bait, Howard? It's news. We are talking about the president
and his leading challenger. I will be happy to do a tally of gaffes of
Biden versus Trump. I will bet you that Biden comes out ahead in that
comparison. Difference is that Donald Trump never admits to making a
mistake. I think he did backpedal a bit after the Access Hollywood tapes
came out.

KURTZ: Said it was locker room talk.

PAGE: Yeah. He also apologized kind of generically.


KURTZ: Right. Let's me get to another thing, which is it is not only
Republicans who are unhappy and depressed, Democrats also. Here is Bernie
Sanders a few days in New Hampshire.


Washington Post, which is owned by Jeff Bezos, who owns Amazon, doesn't
write particularly good articles about me. I don't know why.


SANDERS: But I guess maybe there is a connection.


KURTZ: The senator later backed off, Guy, saying, "Do I think Jeff Bezos
is on the phone telling the editors what to do? Absolutely not." The
editors all say Bezos doesn't do that. He is blaming the corporate media
now. That was his defense.

BENSON: Bernie is cranky, right, campaign sputtering. I also think there's
a sense of entitlement among Democrats. They almost always get favorable
press from the media compared to Republicans. And when it strays from
that, when their coverage isn't quite so glowing, they get upset about it.
We have seen this from progressive Twitter in the last couple days.

KURTZ: Very quickly, do you agree with that?

PAGE: No, of course not!


KURTZ: You don't agree that the Democrats have more of an expectation that
the press would be at least neutral?

PAGE: You know --

KURTZ: Antagonistic?

PAGE: They both -- I've been chewed up by Obama. I've been chewed out by
candidates of both parties. Bill Clinton, good Lord. I mean, you know,
when you're out on the front lines, this sort of thing, you know better.
But, you know, people are going to have their beliefs. I accept that.

KURTZ: Clarence has been around the track a few times. By the way,
President Trump was touting this week that The New York Times had demoted
deputy Washington editor Jonathan Weisman. He said, for bad reporting, he
said Weisman should be fired. It is actually for bad tweets, in part about
Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, saying they are not really from the Midwest.
Times is saying serious lapses in judgement. Be careful on that Twitter.

Clarence Page, Beverly Hallberg, Guy Benson, great to see you all this
Sunday. Ahead, Anthony Scaramucci responds to criticism that he turned on
President Trump to boost his media standing. But first, CNN anchor Chris
Cuomo was drawn drawn into a profanity laced confrontation over what he
saw as an anti-Italian slur.


KURTZ: CNN anchor Chris Cuomo is clearly provoked by a stranger who got
the viral video he wanted. Cuomo was on vacation with his family and the
man called him "Fredo," the name of the middle Corleone brother in "The
Godfather" movie. Cuomo sad that was like the N-word for Italians, that
drew some flak, and things quickly escalated from there.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: The (bleep) you called me Fredo. It's like I call
you punk (bleep). You like that? You want that to be your nickname?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you going to do about it?

CUOMO: I'm going to (bleep) ruin your (bleep). If (bleep) throw you down
these stairs like a (bleep) punk.


KURTZ: President Trump, not exactly a fan of CNN, didn't mince words when
reporters asked him about the incident.


TRUMP: What Chris Cuomo did was horrible. His language was horrible. He
looked like a total out of control animal. He lost it. And frankly, I
don't think anybody should defend him because he spews lies every night.


KURTZ: Joining us now from Connecticut is Charlie Gasparino, senior
correspondent for Fox Business Network. Charlie, clearly, Chris Cuomo was
provoked. His 9-year-old daughter was there. Now, did he lose his temper
and should have walked away sooner? Of course. But even though the guy
claimed that he thought his name was "Fredo," from listening to Rush
Limbaugh which I sort of doubt, he kept beating him.

Listen, I just want to say disclose I'm friends with Chris. I knew his dad
very well. I covered him. I actually liked the old man. I admired him. As
a fellow Italian American, I can tell you, "Fredo" is not an ethnic slur.
I remember there is a prominent Jewish family in New York, political
family, the least capable of the brothers, there was like three brothers
that were all in politics, we used to refer to them as "Fredo." It is

I do think that the guy deserved -- listen, if I'm with my kids and you
come up to me in a provocative way, there is a good chance that if I think
I'm threatened, I'm going to knock you out, OK? And I think in that sense,
Chris Cuomo, you know, showed admirable restraint.

KURTZ: Right.

GASPARINO: That guy deserved to be smacked. There's no doubt.


GASPARINO: You're with your kids. KURTZ: OK. No blows were exchanged, it
was all verbal.


KURTZ: Let me read for the audience Chris Cuomo expressing some regret on
Twitter, saying, "The truth is, I should be better than the guys baiting
me. This happens all the time these days. Often in front of my family."
The lesson, he says, "No need to add to the ugliness. I should be better
than what I oppose."

But, you know, I also covered former governor, the late governor, Mario
Cuomo, and Chris grew up having to read about these ugly unsubstantiated
rumors when Cuomo was considering, when his father, Mario Cuomo, was
considering higher office about --

GASPARINO: Oh, yeah.

KURTZ: The family have mob ties. And so I can see him being sensitive to
something like "Fredo."

GASPARINO: Yes, yes. But, you know, I mean, let us be real clear here. Let
us not even equate this to the historical defamation of the N-word. I
mean, it is not even close. Chris should know better on that. I will say
this, though. If you are -- if you think -- because of social media and
all the barriers between people on T.V. and the general public, they kind
of like - - they have been eroded. And people think they can come up to
you and say just about anything.

KURTZ: Right.

GASPARINO: I am telling you that this happened to me a lot during the
financial crisis when I covered a lot of Wall Street guys, they did not
like my coverage, and they would get in my face. Now, no blows were
exchanged, thank God.

KURTZ: Don't get in my face but I got to cut you off here.

GASPARINO: But it almost did!


KURTZ: OK. I believe you, Charlie. By the way, the Trump campaign is
selling t-shirts, "Fredo Unhinged" with Chris Cuomo's face, and I think --


KURTZ: -- it is kind of a low blow. Well, you are laughing. If it was your
face, you might not laugh.

GASPARINO: It is funny, come on!

KURTZ: We will see you later, Charlie. White House spokesman Hogan Gidley
is live to respond to media criticism of the president on the stock
market, Jeffrey Epstein, and much more. There he is. Stay with us.


KURTZ: Now from the administrations point of view on several controversies
that have been dominating the news, joining us from New Jersey, near the
president's golf club is Hogan Gidley, the deputy White House secretary.

And Hogan, the economy is still booming, I think we can all agree on that.
On the other hand, there's been some volatility in the stock market. What
did President Trump mean when he tweeted, the fake news media is doing
everything they can to crash the economy because they think that will be
bad for me and my reelection?

have tried systematically to destroy this president even before he was
sworn into office. You saw it with the marches on Washington, D.C., before
he had passed a policy, or push some type of proposal. It happened from
sun up until sundown. The media has complicit and compliant with those

But listen, first they push Russia, then they racism, and now they're
pushing a recession. The fact is this economy is doing better than it ever
has before.


KURTZ: Hold on, hold on. Hogan, I'm not disagreeing with that. How are
they pushing a recession, he says they're trying to crash the economy?

GIDLEY: Well, because every economic indicator shows that we are doing
incredibly well in his country, setting records for unemployment. More
people are employed than ever before. More jobs available than are people
to fill them.

Seven million people off of food stamps. African-Americans, Asian
Americans, Hispanic-Americans, all record low unemployment. Women
employment at record numbers for the first time in like 70 years.

And they continue to push this narrative that somehow the economy is
faltering and it is not.

KURTZ: All right.

GIDLEY: When you look at it on a global scale, other economies are
faltering, ours is not, we are moving forward but the media refuse to
report it.

KURTZ: Let me ask you about a tweet this morning from the present. He said
that journalism, not fake news, but journalism and evil propaganda machine
for the Democrat Party, a very sick joke. I'm going to go on a limb here
and say the president is running against the media, as well as the
Democrats in 2020.

GIDLEY: Well, look I don't want to speak to obviously any campaign slogans
or any move on the campaign because that's not my role. I can speak to the
official capacity of the president.

And the fact is we have been fighting with journalists for a long time in
this administration because they continue to push fake news, they continue
to push falsehoods and we've seen it countless, on occasions, as I said
before, whether it's Russia. Whether it's the economy, they refused to
report what is real and what is factual.

Instead, they go to push policy intrigue. They don't want to talk about
policy and what he's done to uplift the African-American community, for
example, with opportunity zones and criminal justice reform that have seen
record low unemployment in that community. And in fact, wage increases for
the first time in 30 years in this country.

Eight percent to a higher degree in the opportunity zones. In these our
cities. They don't want to talk about that. They want to push a racist
narrative because they think if they can somehow tie that to the
president, that it's not going to allow the American people to see what is


KURTZ: Since you bring it up --

GIDLEY: This president has uplifted all Americans.

KURTZ: Since you bring up the question of race, we spoke earlier in the
program about the president suggesting that Israel bar the two Muslim
Congresswomen, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, from visiting. Saying that
they hate Israel. And the press has widely condemned this, as I said, the
president is using his power to try to punish his political opponents.
Your response.

GIDLEY: Of course, they have. And Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar are now
saying the reason Israel will not let them is because they are Muslim.
Twenty percent of the people in Israel are Muslim. One of the languages
that they recognize as an official language is Arabic.

There are people in the Knesset whose desires to see the death and
destruction of Israel. They don't care about dissension in that country
but they care about the laws on the books. And the laws


KURTZ: The question is --

GIDLEY: -- prevent people from coming in from other countries.

KURTZ: The question is not about Israel's decision. Obviously, Israel can
do whatever it wants. The question is about --


GIDLEY: Of course.

KURTZ: -- the president weighing in and saying that these two women are
becoming the face of Democratic Party.

GIDLEY: Yes, they are the face of the Democratic Party. No one is calling
them out on it but what matters though here is, Howie, is the media
coverage surrounding it.

They consistently post anti-Semitic things on their social media. They
have anti-Semitic relationships and associations. Anti-Semitic tropes.
They make anti-Semitic comments consistently.

But every time the media reports on it, they say something like well,
they're opening a conversation about Israel's control on the world. They
characterize it in the most positive light instead of calling out what it
is. Anti-Semitism. The president calls it out. And he calls out the media
for refusing to cover it in the proper manner and use the proper terms.

KURTZ: As you know, Anthony Scaramucci has turned on the president for
whom he once worked, he has -- he says Donald Trump is going off the
rails. He is unfit, he is racially divisive, Republicans should dump him
from the ticket. What's your response to someone who was such a long-time
defender of this president?

GIDLEY: Well, he was a long-time defender of the president but he was a
short time employee, as you know. He was in the White House for just 11
days and then he was fired.


GIDLEY: And the media still didn't call him credible. They still mocked
him and derided him because he did support the president because he did
say so many going things, but I'll tell you what. You can watch this town,
Washington, D.C. and you can watch New York City. It is covered with
people who are trying to profit off of Donald Trump's name.

And they are considered persona non grata if they are in Donald Trump's
orbit and support this president, but the moment they say something bad
about the president, they all of a sudden become the toast of the town.

I have seen it time and time again it's instantaneous. And we have a
chance to make money and profiteer off of the mocking and pushing against
the president, people do it all the time and this instance is no

KURTZ: So you're saying flat out that Anthony Scaramucci rather suddenly
realizing that he can no longer support the president as he says and we'll
hear him from the next segment, you're saying that he's doing that he's
saying this to profit himself financially and in terms of his reputation
even after being such a longtime supporter of the president.

GIDLEY: Well, only he can answer for why he is doing it. All I can tell
you is I know because I watch the media coverage. They tear us all apart.
The ones who support this president's agenda, the ones who support men and
women from sea to shining sea who had been forgotten too long in this
country. They mock us all of the time.

But as soon as you come out of the administration, they still don't like
you unless you are willing to say something negative about this president.

And when they do, they welcome you with open arms and push you to the
highest -- to the highest order and promote your agenda because they want
people that will join in their effort to destroy this president, and it
seems like Anthony Scaramucci is one of those people now.

KURTZ: All right. Hogan Gidley, we appreciate you standing out in the heat
there in Bedminster. Thanks very much for joining us.

GIDLEY: Thanks so much.

KURTZ: Good to see you. After the break, the aforementioned Anthony
Scaramucci. Well, he defended the president on this program many times.
Now he'll explain why he suddenly crusading against his one-time boss.

And later we'll hear from one of the last reporters to interview Jeffrey


KURTZ: Anthony Scaramucci who has now broken with President Trump began to
criticize his rhetoric on this program among others late last month.


racist comments. Period. Full stop. The fact that we have to even debate
it means that the president is in trouble on this.


KURTZ: Scaramucci escalated his criticism, the president hit back,
tweeting that the Mooch was totally incapable of handling his White House
job and then with reporters.


is really somebody that's very much out of control. He's a nervous
neurotic wreck. He called so much, and I said, Anthony, I'm sorry. I can't
do that. I can't take you in. And I said, you got to stop all of these
phones calls. Too many calls, Anthony.


KURTZ: Joining us now from Long Island is Anthony Scaramucci who of course
served briefly as the White House communications director. And you've
largely been defending the president for years. How did you go in the few
days from saying Trump needs to tone down his rhetoric to calling him a
jackass, crazy, off the rails, narcissistic and saying that Republicans
should dump him in 2020?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, I mean, those are probably words that his entire staff
is saying about him but they're just unfortunately not willing to come out
in public and say them. And the last thing you saw there with the press
break you could add that to the Washington Post 10,000 lies.

And if any journalist just wants to do this, just go look at the White
House phone records you'll see that I didn't call him that many times and
it also point out I haven't given any money to his campaign or asked him
for my job back. So, he can continue to live in that world of delusional
activity but --


KURTZ: But I'm trying to understand -- I'm trying to understand why you


KURTZ: Because you just didn't come out and say I can't support him.

SCARAMUCCI: Yes, so I will be --

KURTZ: You are now basically kind of campaigning against him.

SCARAMUCCI: Because he's gone off the rails, Howie. Because he's acting in
a way that's completely unstable. It is an issue of leadership and the
culture of serving the leadership. He is literally, we've gone 42
presidents since George Washington, he's literally the opposite of George

When he looks at a news feed or news search, he is focusing on the name
Trump and not the name of the United States of America. And so, the guy is
completely lost it.

Moreover, as it relates to the culture of leadership inside the White
House, the cabinet, the people that he is leading, he does not lead them,
he thinks his personal charm is going to fix the China situation, or the
North Korea situation. When in fact it's the very opposite.

And so, now, we are in this perilous situation where he is blending racism
into the leadership culture. And so, for me, I'm a very --


KURTZ: But here --

SCARAMUCCI: But let me just finish one more sentence.

KURTZ: OK. One more sentence.

SCARAMUCCI: Go ahead. Go ahead.

No, I'm just saying I'm a very loyal guy. Hogan pointed out that I was
fired, no problem. I stayed loyal to him for two years. I broke gradually
on several specific things. They're taking babies, four-month-old babies
away from breastfeeding moms in ICE attacks.

KURTZ: All right.

SCARAMUCCI: I mean, come on, guys. This is not the United States we grew

KURTZ: Let me jump in. Because some of your critics, especially on the
left, they're saying this. The president has used divisive language from
the beginning they believe and they're saying you largely defended him.
Yes, you are tough on certain issues including on this program, including
harsh some of his harsher rhetoric against the press but you largely
defended him, you wrote a book largely praising him. And now they are
saying what took you so long.

SCARAMUCCI: A thing is a very justifiable criticism and I will be, I will
have an editorial in the Washington Post this week that fully elicit it.
Frankly, I don't have enough time on your show to fully elicit it but
here's what I would say to those people on the left.

We recognize that the president is a clear and present danger to the
American society, the American culture. There are many people inside the
White House and in the cabinet, I would ask the left to let's create an
off-ramp for those people because when you're trying to deprogram people
from a cult, one of the first things you have to do is allow them to
change your mind. And you have to allow them to have the space to change
her mind.

So, me, it was a very gradual process and they can be very critical of me
for that. I frankly owned that. But trust me, there's a ton of people
inside that White House, inside the government, up on Capitol Hill to feel
the exact same way.

And I would just caution those people on Capitol Hill. When their poll
numbers start to go in the direction of the president's, I know they're
intimidated by his bullying now and I know they are intimidated by the
force of his personality and his nonsense but don't be.


KURTZ: All right. Well, I know that --

SCARAMUCCI: Because this what happens. Once you beat up on a bully a
little bit, they start to crack. So --


KURTZ: I know that you're saying --

SCARAMUCCI: -- let's just speak the truth now.

KURTZ: I know that you're saying that you speak for some Republicans who
were -- aren't willing to say these things publicly. But look, you have
been a very popular guy this week. You been all over MSNBC and CNN. You
sat down with Don Lemon when the premiere of Trump bashes on cable news
and you are on MSNBC with Omarosa.

Sean Spicer says your defection is, I'm quoting here, "catnip for the
left- wing media to go out and use somebody like you to create a
controversy." Does he have a point?

SCARAMUCCI: Well, he has a point and I think it's a very good talking
point. But you know, listen, people can see through the camera, in their
living rooms, that that's not really my personality.

I got brutally fired by the guy, if I was going to break from the guy why
would I just have broken right then and there? I tried to stay loyal to
his agenda and his mission but I'm also balanced today.

I'm also pointing out there's a lot of things that he's done as it relates
to the economy, has been very helpful. The racial stuff has been very
hurtful. And what I would say to Sean Spicer and others, ripping the
social fabric of the country is a cancer, it's a metastatic cancer. Having
a recession here or there, that's a bone break we can survive it.

But what he is doing and the way he is processing that, and I said it on
your show a few weeks ago, I said, please stop doing that. It is un-
American. And it's not good for our country.


KURTZ: But when you said --

SCARAMUCCI: And by the way --

KURTZ: But when you say -- hold on.

SCARAMUCCI: -- the other thing, I need -- I need this sort of something
like a hole in my head too, by the way. I'm looking at the country, my
five children, I'm looking at where we are culturally.


KURTZ: I hear you but I got to get another question.

SCARAMUCCI: And we have to end the (Inaudible), Howie. Go ahead.

KURTZ: When you now say all of these things, you also called him a cult
leader which is pretty incendiary language. So, were you just swallowing
all of this while you are largely -- and you informally spoke to him
sometimes, you largely a defender on television?

Were you just sort of, I mean, did you have terrible judgment? Because now
you're coming out expecting all of us to believe the guy is a terrible
leader, the guy who you supported.

SCARAMUCCI: I didn't really call him a cult leader. What I said is that --


KURTZ: You said members of the cult.

SCARAMUCCI: -- people who are on this need to -- OK, people in cult need
to be deprogramed so therefore you have to create an off-ramp for them.

But on this specific question, again, I'll say the exact the same thing to
you that I said three weeks ago so that you can see it's consistent.
There's a lot of things that the president has done. Economically,
delayering the administers state, deregulation, the tax reform by and
large has helped corporate America become more competitive. There are a
lot of things that he has done.

But as I said on this show three or four weeks ago, if he continues down
the path of projecting racism to try to split the country, people like
myself will break from him.

So, this is a, you know, to me, it's been a gradual, painful process,
frankly. And if you want to question my judgment, that's fine.

KURTZ: All right.

SCARAMUCCI: But 60 percent of the American people don't like what he's

KURTZ: Mooch, I've literally got 20 to 30 seconds. In terms of your -- I
want you to be able to respond to what Hogan Gidley said about people like
you, when they see a moment they can profit personally from turning on the
president, because it makes them more popular with the rest of the media.

SCARAMUCCI: Right. Hogan Gidley has seen my S-86, which is my financial
disclosure. I'm not interested in anything like that. What I'm interested
in is real leadership and less division. And I think that's the most
important thing for the country.

So, Hogan can say that, I get that, he's got a very tough job. I don't
even take it personally. I'm sure he's terrorized in fear most of the day
dealing with the guy.

KURTZ: Well, let's not impugn --

SCARAMUCCI: So, I get it, it's fine.

KURTZ: Let's not impugn motives to him, but I wanted to get both sides.


KURTZ: Fair and balance. Anthony Scaramucci, thanks for coming on.

SCARAMUCCI: Totally fair. Totally fair.

KURTZ: Good to see you.

SCARAMUCCI: Thank you.

KURTZ: Still to come, in the wake of Jeffrey Epstein's death, Charlie
Gasparino on how he was interviewing him about business and what the late
predator ended up telling him about sex with young girls. Stay with us.


KURTZ: The sea of speculation about Jeffrey Epstein's death in prison.
Let's turn to one of the few reporters who actually spoke to the sex
predator early this year.

And Charlie Gasparino is back with us. You talked to him in March several
times on background. Obviously, that's out the window he is dead. I know
you called on a business story, but you ended up talking to him about the
actual sex crimes which he was convicted. And you asked him to describe
the sex acts that landed him in jail. Can you tell us about that?

this is interesting, because a lot of young reporters I speak to, when
they call somebody, they say, when they have to make a call to the
subject, I often hear he is going to say no comment anyway.


GASPARINO: The federal government have no comment, why bother.

KURTZ: Why bother.

GASPARINO: All this call. And that's kind of how I went into this. I was
doing a story about him, and whether he was a government witness on Wall
Street related crimes which accounted for his lenient sentence back in
2009. I called his lawyers. I called prosecutors. I called people that
were involved in some of the prosecutions.

KURTZ: Right.

GASPARINO: And then my last call was to him.

KURTZ: Right.

GASPARINO: And guess what? He called me back.

KURTZ: Right.

GASPARINO: And what was fascinating about it is listen, it's part and
parcel of the story, what did you do. What I basically said was this.
Jeffrey, in your words explain to me what went down?

And that's when he explained to me that, he said, listen, Charlie, I'm not
a pedophile. He said the only thing worse than being called a pedophile is
be called a hedge -- is being called a hedge fund manager. I'm not one of
those either. He always describes himself as high-end money manager not a
hedge fund manager.

KURTZ: Right. But he was sort of dismissive with you --


KURTZ: -- about what he had been accused of, and you asked him point-blank
were these underage girls?

GASPARINO: Yes. And I said this to him. I said, I'm assuming, you didn't
really know. And he was yes, yes, sure. And then he said, listen Charlie,
this isn't all that much different than what happened to Bob Kraft.
Remember Robert Kraft earlier in the year was charged with soliciting a

KURTZ: The owner of the New England Patriots of course.

GASPARINO: Right. Right. Right. And he said, you know, Kraft went to a
place, they came to me. Of course, it's a lot of difference including age.
I mean, they were older, obviously older women involved with Kraft.

KURTZ: Right. But you also quoted Jeffrey Epstein as saying that these
were basically erotic massages.


KURTZ: Now obviously, his accusers say it's a lot more serious than that,
that this was actually rape. And the girls had to service other of his
friends. So, I've got about a half a minute left for you to fill us in on
the conversation.

GASPARINO: Yes. I mean, listen, it was a dismissive conversation. I really
think, I mean, what's fascinating about Epstein -- and I have another
piece on that's going to be posted soon -- is it was his
arrogance that allowed him to think he can get away with anything. That
allowed him to basically have a business career, push forward throughout
his business career, re-establish himself largely, even after he got out
of jail.


GASPARINO: I mean, he didn't care. And I think this dismissiveness kind of
allowed him to live with himself obviously until the end, where the doors
where everything was closing in around him.


GASPARINO: I really believe he committed suicide, by the way. I don't
believe he was killed.

KURTZ: Yes. And some people think he got away with it one final time.


KURTZ: Charlie, great to see you. I got to go.

GASPARINO: Thanks, Howie.

KURTZ: That's it for this edition of Media Buzz. I'm Howard Kurtz. Check
out my podcast Media Buzz Meter. We kick around the day's hot up stories.
And you can subscribe at Apple iTunes or Google Play or Let's have this conversation on twitter. A lot of
topics there today. I look forward to hearing from you. Like our Facebook
page. You can also read my daily columns and watch the web videos there.

They're telling me I'm out of time. So back here next Sunday at 11 Eastern
with the latest buzz.

No collusion - Special Counsel Robert Swan Mueller III, March 2019.

Donald J. Trump, 304 electoral votes to 227, defeated compulsive liar in
denial Hillary Rodham Clinton on December 19th, 2016. The clown car
parade of the democrat party ran out of gas and got run over by a Trump

Congratulations President Trump. Thank you for cleaning up the disaster
of the Obama presidency.

The Obama-led Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)
approved Uranium One in fall 2010. With a little luck, we'll see
compulsive liar Hillary Clinton in jail before she dies.

Under Barack Obama's leadership, the United States of America became the
The World According To Garp.

Obama increased total debt from $10 trillion to $20 trillion in the eight
years he was in office, and sold out heterosexuals for Hollywood queer
liberal democrat donors.
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