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TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: Good evening and welcome to "Tucker Carlson Tonight."

2016 marked a long and violent year in the life of the city of Chicago. 3550 shootings, 762 murders, that's an average of more than two killings every single day and it's getting worse. This year's death toll marked a 57 percent increase over the year before. So what is going on in Chicago?

Well, to many politicians and activists, the answer is obvious. There are too many guns and not enough restrictions on those guns. But wait, Chicago already has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, and those laws have not gotten any looser. Could it be that the last central assumption about gun control is wrong?

Joining us now is Joshua Horwitz. He's the deputy director of Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.

Joshua, thanks for coming on.


CARLSON: So if you look at the numbers, and I have, there doesn't seem to be any direct correlation between gun ownership and acts of violence. So, more Americans own guns than they did 20 years ago. A lot more. And there are far more guns per person in America than there were 20 years ago. And the homicide rate has dropped dramatically. If gun control is the answer, how can that be right?

HORWITZ: Well, I think we got to talk about some of the assumptions that you made. First of all, gun ownership across the board is not up. Gun ownership concentrated in less individuals is, as you mention, owning more and more guns. But here's what's interesting.

I think in the last -- you know, in the last couple years, you have seen some of the results of our guns everywhere policies, in the number of different states. And we are seeing the murder rate and gun homicide rate go up. 14 to 15 and of course 15 to 16, one of the final numbers. But we can imagine that gun violence is, in fact, now going up.

So I think we have to sort of look at that and say, you know, what's going on in the United States. Have we loosened gun laws too much? Where are we with that? And I think, as we've discussed, I mean, I really believe gun ownership, per se, has an effect on the suicide rate. But I think that on the homicide rate, you have a much more complex picture.

CARLSON: Well, then, but wait. I mean, I have been told since I was a child that the reason there are so many murders in places like Detroit and Chicago is because there are not enough gun laws, or they are going across state lines to buy guns.

If that's true, if more guns concentrated results in more killings, then why do the states with the loosest gun laws have the lowest murder rates, which is true? (INAUDIBLE)


HORWITZ: So that's not true. I mean, there are some states that have loose gun laws that have low murder rates. But there are also some states, for instance, Louisiana, Arizona, --

CARLSON: South Carolina.

HORWITZ: Very lax gun laws and very high homicide rate.

CARLSON: But the highest -- but, look, I'm not arguing that there is a direct correlation between loose gun laws and low murder rates.


CARLSON: I'm merely arguing that gun control doesn't make you safer. That's pretty obvious based on the numbers. So why are you still running a gun-control organization?

HORWITZ: OK. So let me say just to give you an example. There is a really interesting study out of Missouri recently, OK?

So Missouri gets rid of their gun violence prevention laws, right? So that they have "a permit to purchase" law and they have some concealed carry restrictions. Those are all gone. And their homicide rate -- their gun homicide rate goes up 25 percent. So the evidence is getting closer and closer.

I mean, we really believe the evidence is showing that, in fact, not -- you know, a group of gun prevention laws, in fact, do lower the homicide rate.

CARLSON: OK, so, Chicago, 3500 shootings last year, 762 murders. What gun laws would have prevented that?

HORWITZ: So, Illinois has OK gun laws, OK? So they don't have the best, they don't have the worst. But what they do have is most of their -- 60 percent of their gun end up in crime come from other states. And most other states, of course, think about Wisconsin, Mississippi, Indiana leads both way there, right?

So those guns are coming in from those states with weak gun laws. And they are going across borders and they are ending up in crime in Chicago.

So what we really need to do is to make sure that the evidence-based laws that we think work, background checks, et cetera, that we have them on a national basis, because Illinois is in a very --

CARLSON: But, hold on, I've heard this argument. So New York City has seen a dramatic drop in gun crime, right?

HORWITZ: Right and they have great gun laws.

CARLSON: And it's right south of Vermont, which has the laxest gun laws in America. You can get in a car and drive up there. So why isn't that the same?

HORWITZ: Because, first of all, New York -- New York, first of all, same things in line -- where the crime and guns are coming from out of state. But New York is in a much safer neighborhood right? So you have to go quite some distance to get a firearm. You can't just go --

CARLSON: Really?

HORWITZ: Oh yes. Because it seems like everyone I know in New York has a weekend home in Vermont. Look, the point is this step doesn't work and you know it doesn't work.

HORWITZ: I think the evidence shows that it works and that's important.

CARLSON: Then why isn't it working in Chicago? I mean, really, is the real reason it's all the fault of Indiana? I mean, really?

HORWITZ: Let me ask you a question. Do you think we would be better off in Chicago with more firearms?

CARLSON: It depends. In the hands of whom?


CARLSON: I would be better off in Chicago with a firearm. And yet it's almost impossible for me to get one in Chicago because the laws are so -- there are gun stores in Chicago. I have to register it as if I'm a criminal.


HORWITZ: No, no, actually not. Illinois does not have registration. They only have license.

CARLSON: The city of Chicago does. Yes, it does. You have to buy a license to have a gun.

HORWITZ: Illinois has a license. And what you do is you get a license. Actually, it goes for ten years.

CARLSON: So I have to ask permission from the authorities. I'm -- look, the only point is, you are, for example, I go into your Web site and you say, one of the big problems is assault rifles. So of the 762 murders in Chicago, how many were kind of assault rifles?

HORWITZ: Well, I don't know if that's from my Web site, but let me tell you --


CARLSON: Well, yes, it is. I actually have it right here.

HORWITZ: So let me explain to you about assault weapons. Assault weapons make killing more lethal, OK? So what we have in that situation, assault weapons have more deaths per shooting. They don't necessarily cause more shootings. But when you use an assault weapon in a crime, you end up with more people dead.


CARLSON: But, OK, so in Chicago, there are 762 murders last year. How many were committed with so called assault weapons?

HORWITZ: But you know what, that's a small issue.

CARLSON: But what's the answer?

HORWITZ: Well, I don't know. I don't know.

CARLSON: But you run a gun control group. And you are approaching for right here -- semi-automatic, military-style firearms designed for one person to kill people. But we have the city with one of the highest murder rates in the country, and how many were committed with assault weapons?

HORWITZ: But I think the better question is how many guns were traffic without background checks? That's what I spend my day working on. I want to figure out how do we prevent guns from being traffic.

And let me give you another example. We have a terribly weak federally anti-trafficking law right now. And one of the biggest issues, and I'm sure you agree with me, and this is a bipartisan issue.

If you are trafficking firearms, there should be a real penalty for it. And you should -- and there should be federal deterrence. We don't have that in this country. And that's why a number of Republicans and --

CARLSON: You know, you haven't sold me. You haven't explained why a state like Vermont or Maine or Idaho or Wyoming, or Texas, where I can buy ammunition at a gas station have such low murder rates.

HORWITZ: I will tell you what, because the crime rate is low.

CARLSON: But why are the crimes? I mean, there is no direct correlation. This point I want to make you. I realize this is a complex question.


HORWITZ: It is very complex.


CARLSON: But gun-control is held up by the left as something we could do, we just don't have the will because the evil NRA is stopping us. And the truth is, there are more guns than people in America. If we pass every single law you wanted, do you really think that the murder rate in Chicago would drop?

HORWITZ: Yes, I absolutely do.

CARLSON: You really do?

HORWITZ: I do because the states that are supplying guns to Chicago would be forced to do background checks. We had a trafficking law. It would make as much --

CARLSON: And so criminals, many of these guns come from theft, as you know, or they are sold between people who don't obey the law. So, these people are by definition, beyond the reach of the law. A little naive to believe that they are going to obey these laws.

HORWITZ: Oh yes. I'm not -- it's on the law-abiding gun owner, right?

Here's the thing, right now, you can transfer a firearm, completely above board. You know, you can go on, sell it on an Internet site or whatever to someone without doing a background check. That person may be a criminal, may not be. But here is the thing. We want to make sure that the law- abiding gun owners not transferring into the criminal market.

Look, the law-abiding gun owners is going to -- will do the right thing. But it's really, it's really the issue of how do we not transfer guns in --

CARLSON: But what if the law-abiding gun owner wants to own what you called a military-style assault weapon? Why can't he do that? And, second, what is a military-style assault weapon?

HORWITZ: So let me give you the definition first. So it's a center fire rifle.


HORWITZ: OK? With a detachable magazine. OK? So above .22 caliber.


HORWITZ: Some fire detachable.


HORWITZ: With a grip below the stock and something on the front to hold it. So those are the definitions of assault --

CARLSON: Well, that's not so different from my .30-06, a deer rifle, so why --

HORWITZ: It is different to you. Do you have thumbhole stock on that and a detachable magazine and a --

CARLSON: Yes, it's got a detachable magazine.


HORWITZ: Let me tell you why --

CARLSON: Who cares what the stock is like? I mean, this suggest you don't know much about guns to me.

HORWITZ: I think it really matters. And I think maybe you haven't shot. Have you shot an AR-15?

CARLSON: Yes, I own one.

HORWITZ: OK, great. So what's important about an AR-15? An important about an AR-15 is you can keep your barrel, your muzzle on the target round after round after round. You don't have to reload. It's meant to kill people.

So here's what I think we should do. If you own one, I think we treat them the same way we treat machine guns. And people at the NRA says all the time, machine guns don't cause any crime.


HORWITZ: I believe, and this is a bill introduced by Representative Cicilline from Rhode Island that we should treat them just like any other class three weapon and have the same --

CARLSON: But the distinction or difference. Let me just ask you one final question. What round do you think is deadlier? The .223 that fires from the military-style assault weapon or the .30-06 or the .30-30 conventional.


HORWITZ: Well, I know which one -- I mean, I know which has more power. So the .30-30 obviously has more power. But .223 goes at a higher velocity, OK? No, it's serious. And it's meant to be antipersonnel. And you can put lots of them in the cartridge at the same time.

The .223 is an antipersonnel round. I'm not going to argue with you. Rifle rounds are powerful, too. Configure the way an assault weapon and you create something that's much more lethal.

CARLSON: Today, they don't show that at all. But it's nice to have you on. Thank you for your game defense.

HORWITZ: I hope I get to be back someday.

CARLSON: Nice to see you.

HORWITZ: All right.

CARLSON: President-elect Trump is planning to face off with reporters. He tweeted about it moments ago.

Correspondent Peter Doocy is live, as he often is, outside Trump Tower in New York City.


PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: And, Tucker, the next president has had many press availabilities where he answers a question or two on his way in or out of an event. But he has not had a full-blown press conference until now we know January 11th.

He just announced, "I will be having a general news conference on January 11th in NYC. Thank you."

Remember, last month, he had teased us with a press conference that was going to be time for him to stand there with his adult children and announce what he was going to do with his business interests. This is a general press conference. We don't know exactly -- we don't know anything else about it, just from the tweet. So that is one week from now. And it comes a few hours after we learned that 2017 starts with one American car company in the president-elect's good graces and one of them really not, because this morning, there was a shot on social media.

@RealDonaldTrump account said, "General Motors is ending Mexican-made model of Chevy Cruze to U.S. car dealers tax-free across border. Make in USA or pay big border tax.

Well, GM realized they may have a problem. So they quickly responded like this. "General Motors manufacturers of Chevrolet Cruze sedan in Lordstown, Ohio. All Chevrolet Cruze sedan sold in the U.S. are built in GM's assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio. GM built the Chevrolet Cruze hatchback for global markets in Mexico with a small number sold in the U.S."

Well, another American company, Ford, is actually doing something now that the president-elect called on them to do as a candidate. And that is stop building a factory in Mexico and invest more money here in the states.

Ford's CEO says the automaker is no longer going to build a new facility in Mexico instead, pumping $700 million into a Michigan factory, saving 700 jobs. Something Ford's president says was done with the next president's policies in mind.


MARK FIELDS, FORD MOTOR COMPANY CEO & PRESIDENT: When we look at some of the tax and regulatory reforms that he has been talking about, that gives us a lot of confidence. And this is a vote of confidence that he can deliver on those things.


DOOCY: All this action is happening, of course, before Mr. Trump has taken the oath of office. And we learned today that two of his predecessors have RSVPed for inauguration festivities. That would be George W. Bush and Bill Clinton and the person that Democrats were hoping would have their hand on the bible that day, getting sworn in, Hillary Clinton. She's going to be there on the front steps of the Capitol, too.


CARLSON: Peter Doocy live in Midtown, Manhattan outside Trump Tower. Thanks, Peter.

President Obama imposed sanctions on Russia recently in response to allegations that the Russian president hacked the election, as they are putting it. Not all Republicans disagree with that, in fact, some said President Obama didn't go far enough with those sanctions. That includes Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, a member of the Senate Intelligence Armed Services Committee. He joins us now from the Russell rotunda in the U.S. Capitol.

Sir, thanks a lot for joining us.

SEN. TOM COTTON (R-AK), SENATE INTELLIGENCE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: Thanks for having me, Tucker. Happy New Year to you and your viewers.

CARLSON: Thank you. Happy New Year to you. So the president imposed these sanctions and expel those 35 Russian diplomats in part because he believed and a lot of people in Washington believed, which is that Vladimir Putin weighed in in order to help President-elect Trump get elected. And yet, we are hearing now from people who would know, that that's not a certainty.

So here is the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence yesterday said and I'm quoting, "There is no proof we have from intelligence sources I've seen that show the Russians are directly trying to help Trump."

Then, this morning, Jim Woolsey, the former CIA director said this morning that it's not at all clear that Russia did this. And if it did, that it acted alone.

So my question is simple, do we know enough to act in the way we have with Russia? To impose these sanctions and expel the diplomats.

COTTON: Tucker, I don't think we know enough yet about exactly what happened with the hacking of the DNC and the dissemination of those emails.

Now, I have called for a long time for us to take a firmer line with Russia. So, while I think the president took some good, initial steps last week, it's not specifically about the hacking of the DNC. It's about Russia's behavior for the last eight years.

Why did they think they can get away with doing something like hacking into the DNC? It's because President Obama has consistently looked the other way on their aggression.

Remember, just months after Russia invaded Georgia in 2008, President Obama came to office and pressed the reset button with Vladimir Putin. In the middle of his campaign in 2012, he promised the Russian president to wait after the election, he would have more flexibility. And then when Mitt Romney called Russia one of our number geopolitical adversaries, he laughed and mocked him in a debate.

All of these things are reasons why Vladimir Putin thinks he can get away with acting contrary to the U.S. interest. He ought not, Russia ought not to have hacked into the DNC. They ought to pay a price for that, a steeper price and may have.

However, if you are to make a list of Russia's crimes and transgressions against the United States and our interest over the last eight years, that would be way down the list.

CARLSON: So, I mean, I think everything you said is totally defensible. I personally agree with all of it. And yet, there is a bigger picture. So, Russia is on our side fundamentally in the struggle that most of us recognize is the main one, which is against Islamic extremism, we share a common interest.

We see this and a lot of other countries. A lot of our allies spy on us. In fact, I think they all do. Israel, Great Britain, Germany. I mean, they have all broken into our computers and spied on us, and we are still allied with them because we have common interest. And we should be. So why wouldn't Russia fall into that category?

COTTON: Well, all those other countries don't do things like beat our diplomats in Moscow, when they are walking in the front door of our embassy. They don't harass our diplomats throughout Russia and the Middle East.

They don't invade sovereign countries in Europe like Russia did in Ukraine, like they did in Georgia.


COTTON: They don't supply missiles to rebels that use those missiles to shoot civilian aircraft out of the skies. They don't run illegal spy rings in our countries for decades that are then exposed.

These are just all examples of things that Russia has done over the last eight years. And this is a small measure because Barack Obama has -- again, has not just appeased Russia and then weakened Russia, he is actively undermined efforts by people in Congress like me to take a firmer line.


CARLSON: I agree with -- I mean, I agree with all of that. And there is no question that Russia has many decades long history of causing mischief around the world and here. I would say that a lot of our allies do run illegal spy rings in our country, as you know, and we look the other way. But it doesn't answer the bigger question, though, aren't we basically on the same side as the Russians on the question of Islamic terror?

It doesn't mean ignoring or excusing their awful behavior. But doesn't that outweigh that behavior?

COTTON: Well, Tucker, I wish it were so. But if you look at what Russia has done in Syria, they have taken the fight hardly at all to the Islamic State. They fought almost entirely the Syrian opposition that was fighting Bashar al-Assad. They haven't been bombing Raqqah, the capital of the Islamic State. They have been bombing Aleppo, which is the main opposition, was the main opposition hold out until it failed last month.

It would be a good thing if Russia would work with the rest of the civilized world to counteract the threat of Islamic extremism because they have their own Islamic extremists in the (INAUDIBLE).


COTTON: But they simply are not doing that in Syria. They're not doing much of it around the world, either.

CARLSON: So one of the explanations for Russia's behavior is the drop, as you know, in oil prices, which has made the country less stable, poorer, more desperate. And countries in that condition tend to act out, you see with the North Koreans.

Won't sanctions potentially exacerbate that? In other words, if Russia becomes even poorer and more cornered, the more its behavior become less predictable and more destructive?

COTTON: Well, I think the reason that Vladimir Putin has become more aggressive over the last eight years is that he doesn't have a sense of boundaries from President Obama.

You know, this goes back five years to his election as president for a third term after he had stepped aside for four years and become prime minister.

Throughout 2000, he enjoyed an oil boom and that was good for the Russian economy. But over the last five years, and his third term, he's had to whip up a nationalist frenzy in Russia.


COTTON: But that goes far back before the sanctions related to Ukraine. It goes back before the sanctions that President Obama imposed last week. What we need with Vladimir Putin is a new sense of boundaries. We need to impose new boundaries and we need to impose costs when he crosses those boundaries.

This is something that Ronald Reagan did. Ronald Reagan made the moral case against totalitarian communism and Soviet Union. But he also did some fundamental things to change the strategic equation like rebuilding our military, like deploying intermediate range missiles to Europe.


COTTON: Donald Trump promises to do those exact same things. In fact, he promised them in the campaign to rebuild our military and to upgrade our nuclear arsenal and to build missile defences. Hillary Clinton is the one that was promising policies in the campaign that actually would have emboldened Russia and given them even more strategic advantage.

CARLSON: But, I mean, Trump is out there -- I mean, Trump is out there basically saying nice things about Vladimir Putin on Twitter. As an avowed, you know, opponent of Putin, someone who thinks that sanctions should be even tougher, does that bother you?

COTTON: Well, I think Donald Trump views Russia and China and most other countries fundamentally from an American standpoint that we need to have a firmer line. We need to represent American interests. That's why he often uses the phrase, "America First."


COTTON: Ultimately -- ultimately, you often have to sit down and negotiate with your worst adversaries. And those worst adversaries are often pretty bad actors.

Ronald Reagan, after the build up and after drawing a firm line in his first administration sat down with Mikhail Gorbachev negotiated some pretty far-reaching treaties, and ultimately, that helped me to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

I think it's important to take a firm line, it's important to take a firm line with all of our adversaries. That doesn't mean in the end, though, that you can't negotiate from a position of strength, when you have genuine overlapping interest or you have something you can genuinely bargain for.

For eight years, though, Barack Obama has simply looked the other way. He tried to hold back people in the Congress who want to impose boundaries on Russia. And he's given away the shock to Russian.

CARLSON: Senator Cotton, thanks a lot for joining us. I appreciate it.

COTTON: Thanks, Tucker.

CARLSON: And now it's time for "Twitter Storm," our nightly forecast of social media's most powerful weather patterns.

Tonight, the eye of the storm on Bill and Hillary Clinton who reportedly will attend the new president's inauguration later this month. The news was met with mixed reaction on Twitter.

Buckey Breeder (ph) wrote this, "I'm so pleasantly surprise an adult behavior from the Clintons that I won't say anything snarky."

Shocked into silence.

Roger Kempt (ph) twitted this, "You can't win the election to be inaugurated. I guess being an spectator is second best."

Killian (ph) wrote, "Yuck! Why? Are there donors they can fleece? What possible good can they do? Again, yuck."

TruthHurts tweeted, "And I will be attending my root canal."

Bill Perkins wrote, "Are they sure they are invited?"

Alice R. (ph) tweeted, "Wow, I didn't expect that. I respect people who get back up after being defeated."

And finally Soaked Stone (ph) wrote, "Thank you for setting the example. Maybe other Democrats will follow."


That's tonight's "Twitter Storm."

Health care prices are spiralling out of control, of course. One former hospital head says he knows why they are shady business practices that in any other industry would qualify as fraud. We will meet him in just a minute.


CARLSON: Donald Trump has promised that as president he will repeal and replace Obamacare, and the public largely agrees that he ought to.

Many Americans have found the Affordable Care Act not so affordable after all.

Steven Weissman is a lawyer and a former president of a hospital in Miami. He's thought a lot about why going to the doctor is so expensive. He's got some ideas.

Recently, he sent the president-elect a petition suggesting what he can do about it and he joins us now.

Mr. Weissman, thanks a lot for coming.

STEVEN WEISSMAN, ATTORNEY: Thank you, Tucker. Great to be here.

CARLSON: You have written that the normal critique of health care, that there's no price transparency. It's not exactly right. Your point is there is really no pricing at all and no legitimate pricing at all. And what many health care companies are doing is practicing a species of fraud, as you said. Explain how that works.