The O'Reilly Factor
A daily summary of segments aired on The O'Reilly Factor. A preview of the evening's rundown is posted before the show airs each weeknight.
Monday, March 20, 2017
The Factor Rundown
Top Story
Talking Points Memo & Top Story
Impact Segment
Hume Zone
Factor Mail
Tip of the Day
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Live Trump Rally
The Factor began Monday's show with live excerpts from Donald Trump's rally in Kentucky, where he focused on trade, the economy, national security, and health care. "We will be a rich nation once again," the president told the crowd, "and we will not allow other nations to take advantage of us ... I am following through on my promise to secure, protect and defend the borders of the United States. We will build a great, great border wall and we will stop the drugs that are pouring into our country ... We are also working to protect our citizens from terrorism. The way to protect our country from foreign terrorists is to keep these terrorists from entering the country in the first place. We will stop radical Islamic terrorism!" President Trump promised to enact a massive tax cut and to help craft a new health care bill that will pass both the House and the Senate. He repeatedly blasted ObamaCare as a "catastrophe" and focused on how that law is adversely affecting Kentucky. The president wrapped up his rally without mentioning Monday's House Intelligence Committee hearings.
What Happened at the House Intelligence Committee Hearing
"The House Intelligence Committee spent a few hours Monday talking with FBI chief James Comey and NSA boss Admiral Mike Rogers. It was clear from the beginning that there was a political agenda, as there always is. Republicans in Congress wanted to know about the leakers - people within government giving classified information to reporters. On the Democratic side, it was the Obama tap, the allegation that President Trump tweeted out. At this point, after today's testimony, there is absolutely no evidence President Obama tapped the Trump Tower. In addition to the tap business, Democrats zeroed in on two former members of the Trump Campaign, hoping to link them to the Russians. First was a man named Roger Stone, who worked for Mr. Trump for two months in 2015. The second was Paul Manafort, who worked for the Trump campaign for approximately five months but did have a powerful position as campaign chairman. Democrats insinuated that both men were involved in some kind of corrupt scheme, but the admiral and Mr. Comey would not take the bait, saying that the investigation is ongoing and they cannot comment. Talking Points will be surprised if anything comes of this Russian deal. However, that controversy is what drove President Trump to accuse President Obama. Mr. Trump is so infuriated that the media has obsessed on the alleged Russia connection that he lashed out, trying to create a firestorm over the Obama administration's surveillance history. Problem is, there is no evidence that anything happened at the Trump Tower. The accusation that President Obama was actively involved in harming the Trump Campaign has now harmed the president himself. He needs the American people to focus on the economy, the new healthcare proposal and border security, not alleged conspiracies. In the future, the president would be wise to embrace only facts in his pronouncements. The issue of leaks is of vital importance, and both Comey and Rogers acknowledged that today. It was instructive to see that no Democrat on the committee really zeroed in on the leakers. Talking Points expects the FBI to find not only who leaked stuff about General Flynn and the Russian ambassador, but also who violated the White House protocol by putting out the president's conversations with the prime minister of Australia and the president of Mexico. If the FBI cannot do that and cannot arrest the leakers, this country is in major trouble. Summing up, Republicans want to get away from the tap thing, while Democrats continue to peddle the Russia/Trump campaign situation."

The Factor solicited reaction from Fox News correspondent James Rosen. "What we saw on display today," Rosen reported, "was the difficulty that lawmakers have in holding James Comey to a consistent, coherent standard about what he discloses about FBI investigations. Director Comey seems at times to make up 'Comey's rules' as he goes along. He confirmed that FBI agents are investigating coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. But when it came to aspects of this story that are of equal public interest, such as whether Obama aides improperly accessed the names of Americans swept up in foreign surveillance, or whether they leaked classified material to the press, Comey's own criteria of unusual circumstances and public interest suddenly didn't apply. He couldn't confirm whether FBI agents are also investigating these things."

FNC's Catherine Herridge then entered the No Spin Zone with her reaction to Monday's hearings. "One of the things that jumped out at me," she said, "was near the end of the hearing when Republican Chairman Devin Nunes seemed exasperated and even castigated the FBI director for confirming that there is an open counter-intelligence investigation but giving no indication whether there is evidence of collusion. The congressman said James Comey has put 'a big grey cloud' over the current administration. We may have a very long road ahead here."

The Factor turned to Mike Emanuel for the latest on Monday's confirmation hearing for prospective Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. "The highlight seemed to be when Neil Gorsuch made his opening statement," Emanuel said. "He talked about his career as a judge and his family, and people were finally able to hear his voice and his own words. Judge Gorsuch rejected the idea that judges are politicians wearing robes, he sounded like someone who is committed to enforcing the Constitution." Nevertheless, The Factor predicted, "Most Democrats will vote against him because he is not a liberal."
Krauthammer on Today's Intel Hearings
Charles Krauthammer analyzed the day's events on Capitol Hill. "The most important thing I heard," he said, "is that the Gorsuch hearings, which should have been a triumphant moment for the Trump administration, got buried by the other hearings. Gorsuch was completely overshadowed, in part because of the tweet that Trump put out about the wiretap. That is a self-inflicted wound and it is symbolic of how he has stepped all over his presidency, particularly the good things he has done. Also lost in the shuffle is that we are just a few days away from a health care vote, which should be at the forefront. This shows how the static generated by Trump's eccentricities are getting in the way of what could be a very effective presidency."
Punishment for Printing Classified Info?
Fox News analyst Brit Hume examined the question of whether a reporter can and should be punished for publishing classified information. "If a reporter receives a leak of classified information," Hume began, "and writes a story about it, I doubt very seriously that the reporter would be prosecuted. If, however, the reporter were to come by the leak through a burglary or some other crime, that would be a different matter entirely. The mere act of reporting or publishing is protected by the First Amendment."
Viewers Sound Off
Factor Words of the Day
Hicham Karazi, Casablanca, Morocco: "Bill, you're getting a little soft. You should not have let Bernie Goldberg speculate about President Trump releasing his own tax return."

Jules Riding, New Zealand: "Bill, okay, the spin stops here, but it's a pity the rudeness does not. Of all the Fox News interviewers, you are the rudest."

Jules Kroeker, British Columbia, Canada: "Bill, you say the press war against President Trump is just getting started. I think the war will backfire on the media."
Unbridled Generosity
When an air traveler unexpectedly learned that he would have to pay $749 for his 2-year-old infant to board the plane, a woman named Debbie Bolton stepped forward to pay for the child's ticket. It was generosity above and beyond the call of duty.
© 2017 BillOReilly.com
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