Kerry addresses Russia-Ukraine standoff, Israel's Gaza offensive; Sens. Menendez, Corker discuss MH17 crash; Sen. Ted Cruz crafts border bill

Written by Chris Wallace / Published July 20, 2014 / Fox News Sunday

Special Guests: Secretary John Kerry, Sen. Bob Corker , Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Robert Menendez

This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," July 20, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS HOST: I'm Chris Wallace.

President Obama considers what to do next after U.S. intelligence says pro-Russian separatists shot down that Malaysian Airlines jet over Ukraine.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We know these separatists have received a steady flow of support from Russia. It includes heavy weapons, and it includes anti-aircraft weapons.

WALLACE: We'll look in depth at the investigation of the shoot down and how the U.S. and Europe will respond.

We'll talk with Secretary of State John Kerry and the leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: Chairman Robert Menendez and top Republican Bob Corker.

Plus, with a downed airliner, Israel's invasion of Gaza, and a four-month extension of nuclear talks with Iran, how responsible is President Obama for the crises overseas? Our Sunday panel weighs in.

Then, the surge of immigrant children across the border. Republicans blame the president.

SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS: The way you then kids you eliminate the magnet which is President Obama's amnesty.

WALLACE: We'll talk with Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who has his own plan to address the crisis.

All, right now, on Fox News Sunday.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALLACE: And hello again from FOX News in Washington.

It's been an extraordinary week on the world stage. Evidence mounts that pro-Russian rebels shot down that passenger jet over Ukraine. Israel continues its invasion on Gaza. And the U.S. extends nuclear talks with Iran another four months.

We'll talk with Secretary of State John Kerry and two key senators in a moment.

But we begin with Fox team coverage of the latest developments.

Senior White House correspondent Ed Henry and Steve Harrigan, who is at the crash site of the Malaysian airliner in Eastern Ukraine -- Steve.

STEVE HARRIGAN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Chris, video just released but taken two days ago appears to show the recovery of the flight video recorders taken from the plane. But two days later, it's not clear -- where are they, who has them? Russian-backed rebels in this territory say they don't have them.

Ukraine has released what it says are intercepted phone conversations that show the rebels talking about the voice data recorders that they have them, that they intend to keep them from foreign hands, that they are very important to Moscow.

What is clear is that this crash scene is still not secured. This is a flap from a wing behind me. Not only that, the bodies remained to be found and identified.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HARRIGAN: These men are local miners. They are trying to help find pieces of the plane as well as body parts.

We're going to have to be careful here with the images we show you. You'll have to take my word for it. Three days in, there's a terrible smell in this field, that's because bodies and body parts of a yet to be picked up.

We're not going to show you the image, but just off here to my right there's a piece of what looks like to be bone and intestine, blood charred and what looks to be a leg bone here to my left.

Here comes another body. We've been watching over the past few minutes, body after body come out of this wreckage. Keep in mind, this is day three. Slow, painstaking work by four or five men by hand.

Those bodies or body parts simply being bagged in plastic, dropped by the side of the road. Some have been taken to morgues on the Ukrainian side, some of them to the rebel side, most still now unidentified. A real source of pain for the victims' families.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HARRIGAN: We have seen today, European crash site experts from the OSCE on the ground and they have confirmed that evidence from the crash site has disappeared -- Chris.

WALLACE: Steve Harrigan reporting from eastern Ukraine -- Steve, thanks for that.

Now, let's get the latest on the administration's response from FOX News chief White House correspondent Ed Henry -- Ed.

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Chris, I'm told that the president's national security aides have several urgent meetings here at the White House in the last 24 hours, dealing with hot spots, from Gaza to Ukraine, and that the president at Camp David received multiple updates as well, especially the latest intelligence assessment of that downed jet airliner.

And that assessment, I'm told from two senior U.S. officials shows that Russia provided the separatists with sophisticated anti- aircraft systems in recent weeks.    And the message from here and the administration is, international investigators need unfettered access to that crash site that you just saw to preserve forensic evidence, and prevent a whitewash, a cover up from President Putin on the Russian side.

Now, meanwhile, on Gaza, top officials tell me the president will give Prime Minister Netanyahu in Israel some latitude to continue this offensive, so long as it's mostly focused on those tunnels, clearing out the tunnels that harbor Palestinian terrorists. If it extends far beyond that and more civilians die, you'll hear more noise from the administration.

Now, meanwhile, on nuclear talks that you mentioned with Iran -- the White House is defending their move to extend the deadline. That was supposed to be today. The president said they are close, closest in decades to a good deal to end Iran from getting nuclear weapons. They want Congress to give them four more months.

But there's pressure not just from Republicans but Democrats as well to issue immediately new sanctions against Iran.

The bottom line is this week started with top administration officials insisting the president's policies are making the world more tranquil. I spoke to them last night. They've realized there are problems. They say they are trying to turn them around, but you've seen Republicans in recent days suggest the president's policies are not about tranquility, but instead, they're showing weakness -- Chris.

WALLACE: Ed, thank you.

Joining us now to discuss all these issues is the secretary of state, John Kerry, who is in Boston.

Secretary Kerry, welcome back to Fox News Sunday.

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: Thank you, Chris. Good to be with you.

WALLACE: Pro-Russian separatists have reportedly removed almost 200 bodies from the crash site and are continuing to refuse to allow investigators full access to the site. Has this investigation already been compromised, sir?

KERRY: Well, it's been seriously compromised. You know, notwithstanding President Putin and Russia saying they would help to enforce the idea of a full investigation, that was -- that was -- it had integrity and access.

We haven't. On Friday, the monitors and the people trying to get in there to secure the site were given 75 minutes. Yesterday, they were given three hours.

Drunken -- I mean, literally drunken separatist soldiers are piling bodies into trucks unceremoniously. And disturbing the evidence, and disturbing the pattern that is there.

Anything that is removed -- and we understand some aircraft parts have been removed -- compromises the investigation.

So, we need full access and this is a moment of truth for Russia. You know, some of the leaders of the separatists are Russians. Russia arms these separatists. Russia trains these separatists. Russia supports these separatists.

Russia has spoken out and refused to call on them publicly to do the things that need to be done. So I think this is a fundamental moment of truth for Russia, for Mr. Putin. They need to exert all of the influences they have in order to protect the full integrity of this investigation.

WALLACE: Secretary Kerry, you say that they armed the separatists, they trained the separatists. I want to try to get your latest intelligence on what the Russian role was in this shoot down. Did they supply the missile that was used to shoot down this airliner? Did they have some complicity, direct or indirect, in the actual decision and the action of shooting down the missile?

KERRY: Well, Chris, nobody -- you know, you can't draw a final conclusion to an investigation before you had the investigation. But let me tell you what we know and people can begin to make their own assessments.

We know to a certainty within the last month, a major convoy of 150 vehicles, including tanks, artillery, multiple rocket launchers, and armored personnel carriers all crossed over from Russia into this area of Ukraine and these things were turned over to separatists. This is one instance.

We know to a certainty the separatists gained sufficiency in using sophisticated surface to air missiles and that they have shot down 12 aircraft in the last month, including two transport planes.

We know to a certainty that we saw the launch from this area of what we deemed to be an SA-11 because of the altitude, 33,000 feet, and because of the trajectory. We have the trajectory recorded. We know that it occurred at the very moment that this aircraft disappeared from the radar screen.

We know that very shortly thereafter, separatists were bragging in the social media about having shot down a transport plane. We know that the so-called defense minister of the People's Republic of Donetsk, Mr. Igor Strelkov, actually posted a bragging social media posting of having shot down a military transport. And then when it became apparent it was civilian they pulled it down from social media.

WALLACE: But, Secretary Kerry --

KERRY: We have -- we have voices that we have overheard of separatists in Russian bragging about the shoot down and then subsequently taking down social media and yesterday --

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: Secretary Kerry, you're presenting -- and I know you were a prosecutor in Massachusetts -- a very strong case with a lot of Russian involvement, which raises the question in the immediate aftermath of the shoot down on Friday, President Obama said he still is not going to provide military aid to Ukraine and he said that he is not going to impose new sanctions on Russia.

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: If I may finish my question, sir.

KERRY: Yes.

WALLACE: And I guess the question is, if this is an outrage of unspeakable proportion as the president said, why not impose a greater cost on Vladimir Putin?

KERRY: The president imposed a greater cost on Vladimir Putin the day before this shoot down took place. And what we are doing now is trying to bring our European counterparts along because we have 4 percent of Russia's trade is with the United States. Fifty percent of their engagement is with Europe.

So, we are trying to encourage our European friends to realize this is a wake up call and hopefully they will also join us in these tougher sanctions. The president --

WALLACE: But again, sir --

KERRY: Let me finish, let me finish.

The president is prepared to take additional steps, and we are discussing with the Ukrainians right now what they need, what else we can do, and I don't think anything except American troops going there, other things are on the table, Chris.

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: Sir, respectfully that's not true. You just gave a long list of what Putin is providing the separatists from surface to air missiles to tanks. We're providing the Ukrainian military with MREs, with military rations.

And you talk about putting pressure on the Europeans. In fact, the president on Friday didn't put any pressure on the Europeans. Instead, he said this. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We feel confident that at this point, the sanctions that we've put in place are imposing a cost on Russia, that their overall impact on the global economy is minimal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Secretary Kerry --

KERRY: That --

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: If I may ask my question. If the massacre of 300 civilians isn't enough, what is it going to take for the United States and Russia to go after entire sector, not individual companies or individuals, but entire sectors of the Russian economy?

KERRY: Chris, that particular little clip is really taken out of context. It refers to the sanctions that we've had in place already taking a cost. The president has not taken off the table the notion that there may be additional sanctions. In fact, he also said that there would be additional sanctions if we can't move this process forward.

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: But how about just to the fact that they shot down the plane? Why not sanctions for that?

KERRY: Chris, let me finish.

We are currently in discussions with our European allies precisely with respect to what the next steps will be. And rather than shoot from the hip, the president is going to do this in a thoughtful way where it's one day, two days later. We're just gathering more facts. And I think it takes facts for responsible leadership.

So, that's exactly what we're doing.

WALLACE: I have -- we obviously have limited time and there's a lot to talk to you about.

You announced Friday that the U.S. and the allies are extending talks, nuclear talks with Iran for another four months. But when those talks began six months ago, members of the administration promised that there would be new sanctions if there was not a deal, if there was not an agreement by the deadline which, in fact, is today.

Look at what various administration officials have said, sir.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: If Iran's leaders do not seize this opportunity, then I will be the first to call for more sanctions and stand ready to exercise all options to make sure Iran does not build a nuclear weapon.

JEN PSAKI, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: If the Iranians do get to a yes at the end of six months, we can put in place more sanctions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: But, Secretary Kerry, that last person was your spokesperson, Jen Psaki. But instead of sanctions, I is going to get $2.8 billion more in assets that we have frozen, instead of sanctions, even though there's no deal and they continue to -- their research and enrichment.

KERRY: Actually, Chris, they are reducing their enrichment. And the fact is that this is the first time in 10 years under this current deal that Iran's nuclear program is being rolled back.

And I know you and others don't ever want to give the Obama administration credit for almost anything. But the fact is this is the first administration to get a roll back in those 10 years, and right now, Israel and countries in the region and the world are safer because Iran's 20 percent enriched uranium is reduced to zero. And under this agreement to continue the negotiations for four months, Iran will further reduce the capacity of that enriched uranium to be used by turning it into fuel for the research reactor which makes it almost impossible to be used in a weapon.

In addition, we have inspectors in their facilities every single day. In addition to that, they have not been able to move forward on the Arak plutonium heavy water reactor.

WALLACE: But, sir, they can continue -- they can continue enrichment.

(CROSSTALK)

KERRY: No, no, Chris, you like to ask questions, but you don't like to get answers.

Let me finish my answer.

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: They are able to continue work on their centrifuges.

KERRY: Chris, I don't care how many questions you ask, I'm going to finish my answer. And I am telling you that everybody said at the beginning of this, the sanctions won't work, the sanctions regime won't hold, Iran won't do what it's supposed to -- and they are dead wrong.

Everything that Iran was supposed to do, they have done with respect to this, and we believe -- and the sanctions have held -- and we believe that it is smart to continue the negotiation as Israel even and others said don't rush to an agreement, a bad deal is worse than no deal and we agree. And so, we're trying to move but we are making some progress, Chris.

And we're not going to turn our back on that progress, we're going to try to continue for the next four months and I think what we're doing by holding their -- their nuclear program at a lower level, we've expanded the break out time, the world is safer, and this is a smart deal.

WALLACE: Finally, sir, and I wanted to give you and opportunity to answer the question there.   

KERRY: Finally, yes.

WALLACE: Listen, if -- the limits on time have been put on by your people. We'd talk to you all day. While -- you're doing a series of interviews with all of the networks -- and while you were on camera and while on microphone you spoke to one of your top aides between the interviews about the situation in Israel and the fact that 14 Israelis have either been shot or killed in an operation.

We want to play a clip of that conversation because it's an extraordinary moment of diplomacy. Take a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KERRY: It's a hell of a pinpoint operation. It's a hell of a pinpoint operation.

We got to get over there. Thank you, John. I think, John, we ought to go tonight. I think it's crazy to be sitting around.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Secretary Kerry, when you said it's a hell of a pinpoint operation your upset that the Israelis are going too far and, in fact, do you intend to go back to the Middle East tonight, sir?

KERRY: I think it's very difficult in these situations, obviously very difficult, Chris. You have people who have come out of tunnels. You have a right to go in and take out those tunnels. We completely support that. And we support Israel's right to defend itself against rockets continuing to come in.

Hamas has started this process of rocketing, after Israel was trying to find the people who killed three young -- you know, one American kid, three young Israeli citizens. It's disgraceful.

And so, yes, it's tough. It's tough to have this kind of operation. I reacted obviously in a way that, you know, anybody does with respect to young children and civilians.

But war is tough, and I said that publicly and I'll say it again. We defend Israel's right to do what it is doing in order to get at those tunnels. Israel has accepted a unilateral cease-fire. It's accepted the Egyptian plan which we also support.

And it is important for Hamas to now step up and be reasonable and understand that you accept the cease-fire, you save lives, and that's the way we can proceed to have a discussion about all of the underlying issues which President Obama has clearly indicated a willingness to do.

WALLACE: Secretary Kerry, we appreciate your answering all of our questions. Even if occasionally, I do interrupt. And thank you very much, sir. Safe travels.

KERRY: Thank you. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.    WALLACE: Now, let's get reaction from the two leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Joining us from New York, the chair of the committee, Senator Robert Menendez. And from Tennessee, the committee's top Republican, Senator Bob Corker.

Gentlemen, you just heard Secretary Kerry.

Senator Menendez, do you believe that the Obama administration is taking the right response in terms of sanctions, in terms of military aid to the shoot down of that Malaysian airliner or should the administration be doing more?

SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ, D-N.J., CHAIRMAN, FOREIGN RELATIONS: Well, look, the secretary and the president have a tough job. But I'll simply say before the shoot down, I was an advocate of further reaching sanctions to stop Russia's aggression and let Putin know the consequences of continuing that form of aggression.

And, clearly, President Putin created the set of circumstances and has supplied the recourses and armament to rebels, in which this tragedy could take place.

So, for me, I think that the West, including the United States, has to have a far more significant response than we've seen to date. It's what I thought before the shoot down and certainly this is a despicable act that needs to resolve by (ph) the West.

I'm not worried or thinking about what Putin will do. I've -- we've seen what he'll do. It's what we in the West will do.

WALLACE: Senator Corker, last week, before the shoot down, you said that you thought that the U.S. and West were acting like paper tigers in the way they dealt with Ukraine. Now, in the aftermath of this horrific shoot down, 300 people killed, the president still is not going to give military aid to Ukraine and no signs -- at least an immediate response -- that he's going to impose any sanctions.

How do you feel about that?

SEN. BOB CORKER, R-TENN., RANKING MEMBER, FOREIGN RELATIONS: Well, this incident is incredibly tragic to watch what's happening with these bodies, and I know the families are incredibly disturbed. But, Chris, what is also tragic is the response that the West has given up to this point, and in many ways, because of that cautious response Russia has continued to foment all the problems that they created in eastern Ukraine. And when that occurs and we said this for months now, incidents like this are going to happen.

So, I hope this will be a catalyst for the West to step forward. I've been incredibly discouraged by not only the U.S. response but candidly Europe's response. The night vision goggles, the bulletproof vests in a conversation this weekend with the State Department, I understand they're not even delivered yet to Ukraine.    So, look, I don't know how anybody can say our response has been anything but timid and cautious and has kept Putin from really hanging a price inside his country for the actions that have been taken. So, hopefully, again, on the positive side, this will galvanize the international community to take the kind of steps that should have been taken months ago to push back on Putin and to cause him to pay the kind of price that he should pay for this outrageous act.

WALLACE: Gentlemen, you both have been very skeptical about the West's nuclear talks with Iran.

Senator Menendez, you called the latest offer, offered by Iran this week a nonstarter. Do you feel that the progress so far justifies a four month extension of those talks into late November? And, Senator Menendez, do you think now is the time to impose new sanctions? Will you move for new sanctions to try to apply more pressure to Iran?

MENENDEZ: Well, look, I'm not a big proponent of paying to negotiate and the $2.8 billion that we are giving Iran in essence to continue to negotiate which is something in their own interest is pretty preposterous to me.

At the same time, from everything I understand from the status of the negotiations, there are very significant breaches between the position that I and I believe the majority of the Congress would hold as to what is a good deal versus where we're at. And I am increasingly worried that while I agree with the administration on the refrain, that no deal is better than a bad deal, that we are continuously moving in a direction in which bad deal may very well be viewed as a good deal, because when we started this process we were told that Arak had to be closed down. We were told that Fordow would have to close down and we are now talking about changing it.

WALLACE: Senator Menendez we have limited time. I don't mean to interrupt. I'm getting that wrap today, but I do have to ask you -- are you going to push for new sanctions between now and November?

MENENDEZ: Well, look, I have always been a proponent of the type of sanctions that we had devised in the latest legislation which are prospective, which sends Iran a message that if, in fact, they do not reach an agreement, an agreement that we would think is a good deal, that there are consequences and the consequences would be set up. I believe those before and I believe in them now.

WALLACE: Senator Corker, you said this week before the extension that you felt that Iran was rope-a-doping us, playing us for more time. Do you believe that there should be a four-month extension in the talks and are you now going to push for new sanctions to be imposed now to increase the pressure on Iran?

CORKER: Chris, as I said before when you look at the beginning points of our negotiations, and the agreement that was reached sometime ago and then having a built in extension I think all of us have known that there was going to be an extension.   

So, I do want us to reach a diplomatic end. Like Senator Menendez, I'm very concerned about the gaps that exist from what we think is a good deal and where we are today.

But look, all diplomatic efforts should be put in place. This maybe the biggest issue that our nation will deal with during the time that President Obama is president. I do want Congress to be able to weigh in.

And, obviously, I do want to see additional tougher sanctions put in place in the event that we do not don't reach an agreement this go- around. But we should be real clear there will be no more extensions and I think Senator Menendez and myself and so many others in congress have concern that Iran is playing us.

But look, let's carry this on out. I will say we had probably the best briefing that we've had on this topic on Thursday evening, and I'm still hopeful that somehow, despite a very, very bad start, almost agreeing to enrichment on the front end at the time, that we may get to a place that really does limit their abilities and I want to see that carried out.

WALLACE: Senator Corker, Senator Menendez, we want to thank you both so much. Thanks for joining us today, gentlemen.

MENENDEZ: A pleasure.

CORKER: Thank you.

WALLACE: Up next, our Sunday group weighs in on President Obama's response to the airline shooting -- shoot down, the extension of talks with Iran, and the Israeli invasion of Gaza.

Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SAMANTHA POWER, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: This war can be ended. Russia can end this war. Russia must end this war.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Russia, the separatists, and Ukraine all have the capacity to put an end to the fighting.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Our ambassador the U.N., Samantha Power, much tougher than President Obama in blaming Russia for the dramatic escalation of violence in Ukraine.

And it's time now for our Sunday group.

Syndicated columnist, George Will, Julie Pace, who covers the White House for "The Associated Press", Republican adviser Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard. And former Democratic Senator Evan Bayh.

Well, George, what do you think of President Obama's response to the airline shoot down? And even in the aftermath of this carnage, of continued refusal to provide military assistance to the Ukrainians and at least for now, to impose any new sanctions on the Russians.

GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, when the plane was first shot down, the first reaction was that this marked a new threshold in international anarchy, because a non-state actor, meaning the insurgents, the Russian insurgents in the eastern Ukraine, have brought down from perhaps 33,000 feet a commercial aircraft.

But there's no meaningful sense, Chris, in which these insurgents are non-state actors. They are appendages of the Russian government supplied by them and, for all we know, directed by them. So, in that sense, there's a gap between the president's rhetoric and what it is reasonable to infer about this. The president's reaction is what we need is a cease-fire. What we really need is lethal aid for the Ukrainians to win the war that is being waged to dismember their country.

WALLACE: Julie, as some of our eyes, and we have a bunch of eyes on the White House what are you picking up from the officials? Why is the president being so cautious?

JULIE PACE, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: I think there are a couple of reasons for this. On the military side of this they simply just don't see a benefit in handing over a bunch of lethal aid to the Ukrainian military at this point, in part because they don't feel like they have the training to be able to use it properly and there's a risk that then that military aid would fall into the hands of these rebels. On the economic front we have to be realistic about what kind of power the U.S. has with sanctions when you heard your earlier guests talking, they talked about the West. Europe has a much more robust economic relationship with Russia than the U.S. does and really, a lot of the attention needs to be on the Europeans right now because the Europeans have lagged behind even where Obama has been on sanctions. And so, I think you're going to see a lot of pressure on the Europeans over the next week or two to at least match where the U.S. is on sanctions. And then start a discussion on the full sector sanctions.

WALLACE: But Carly, in his news conference on Friday we didn't exactly hear the blaring of a trumpet, a call to arms, and pressure on the Europeans. In fact, he started talking about well, the effect on the global economy has been minimal. I mean is that the right way to get the Europeans off the dime?

CARLY FIORINA, FORMER CEO, HEWLETT PACKARD: No. It is not. And in my view, Obama should be doing three things. First, he should immediately stop talking to President Putin. And John Kerry should stop talking to his counterpart. In diplomacy silence is a meaningful message as well. The only thing that Russia can do now is change its behavior. All of this talk, talk. Second, unilateral sanctions that are as punishing as we can make them should be employed now as a signal of our resolve. And yet he should ratchet up the pressure on the Europeans.   

WALLACE: Even as the Europeans aren't going to go along with us?

FIORINA: Absolutely. Now I happen to believe that the U.S. should have imposed some unilateral sanctions when it might have made a difference way back when Russia went into the Crimea. However, now we must do something. He must do something because all of this rhetoric, grave concern, the equivalent that he put in those remarks you played between Ukraine, the separatists and Russia. They are not equivalent in terms of the damage they are causing. All of that signals a lack of resolve.

WALLACE: Senator Bayh, is President Obama being reasonable, presidential or is he being timid?

EVAN BAYH, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I think you've got to give him credit for coming out the day before this tragedy and calling for additional sanctions attempting to be strong. The problem, Chris, is we are attempting to play an inherently -- we're playing a weak hand. The Russians have strategic interest in Ukraine. They always are going to when a shooting (INAUDIBLE) in Ukrainians. The one weakness they have is their economy. We can only affect that some. We should do everything we possibly can to cripple their economy. But ultimately we need the Europeans. They have been very feckless. This terrible tragedy, perhaps, it will strengthen their -- or stiffen their spine to do things to weaken Russia's economy. That's really only leverage we have.

WALLACE: All right. We got a little bit of time left and I want to talk about one of the other big developments this week and that is the extension of talks with Iran. I know, George, you have always been skeptical of negotiations with Iran, but I know that you're also skeptical about any other alternative. Is this a good decision or not, to expand the talks till late November?

WILL: It's fine to extend the talks, just so long as we're planning to put in place containment and deterrence of a nuclear Iran. The fact is the United States policy has taught certain regimes the importance of having nuclear weapons. If Gadhafi had had them, he would still be in power. If Saddam Hussein had had them he would still be in power. The regime is in power in North Korea because it's got them. I'm afraid U.S. policy has indeed given an incentive for people to develop nuclear weapons. And there's no reason to believe that Iran is not going to get them and no reason to believe that we who deterred the Soviet Union for 45 years cannot contain and deter Iran.

WALLACE: So, that's -- what you think there's going a play out. They are going to get the weapon, the nuclear weapon and we are going to have to contain them.

WILL: That's right. Even though the Senate has voted 90-1 condemning a policy that will be our policy, containment.

WALLACE: All right. Panel, we have to take a break here. We'll see you a little bit later in the program. What are your thoughts about the situation in Ukraine and other foreign policy hot spots? Should President Obama be doing more? Join the conversation on Facebook with other FNS viewers.

Up next as the surge of children across our southern border continues we'll ask Senator Ted Cruz how he would deal with it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALLACE: The surge of Central American children crossing the Southern U.S. Border continues. On Saturday Texas Senator Ted Cruz toured the government facility in McAllen, Texas where unaccompanied minors are being housed. But before Cruz left for Texas we sat down to discuss his controversial plan to deal with the problem.

Senator Cruz, welcome back to Fox News Sunday.

SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Thank you, Chris. Great to be with you.

WALLACE: You want to block President Obama from taking more executive actions to allow some of the illegals who are already in this country to stay here. You want to do that before moving to deal with the new crisis of kids coming from Central America. Why?

CRUZ: What I want to do is solve the crisis. I agree with the president in one respect. We are seeing a humanitarian crisis. We're seeing tens of thousands of young children coming in illegally, being brutalized, being mistreated by global transnational drug cartels. And the cause of this crisis is the promise of amnesty. If you look at the history of this issue, in 2011 there were roughly 6,000 children apprehended coming in illegally. Then in 2012 President Obama unilaterally granted amnesty to some 800,000 people who were here illegally, who entered as children. The direct foreseeable consequence of that was the number of unaccompanied children skyrocketed so that this year the Obama administration is estimating 90,000 kids will come next year, 145,000. That's up from just 6,000 three years ago.

WALLACE: Senator, the result of this, Democrats say and I think most independent people believe rightly or wrongly is that would mean that nothing is going to get passed and even some of your fellow Republicans say that if nothing gets passed, if you're going to hold up any action on the immediate crisis to deal, to stop the president from his executive actions unrelated to this immediate crisis ...

CRUZ: Well ...

WALLACE: Let me just finish. That if you do that that means you're going to prevent more enforcement from getting to the border.

CRUZ: Well, let me be clear because perhaps it's been misunderstood. The legislation I've introduced doesn't address executive action concerning the IRS or concerning other areas. It's focused specifically on immigration. And what it does, is it prohibits President Obama from granting any more amnesty, because the only way to solve this crisis is to stop President Obama...

(CROSSTALK)  

WALLACE: If it blocks action on this immediate crisis.

CRUZ: I don't want to block action. What I want to do is have action that fixes the problem. If we pass a bill, let's take President Obama's proposed bill $3.7 billion. It does nothing to solve the problem.

WALLACE: You took that -- and they've indicated they are willing to consider also adding a change to the 2008 law, the Wilbur Force law and to enforce the idea that all of these unaccompanied children would get a hearing in seven days. Why isn't that enough?

CRUZ: But Chris, that wouldn't solve the problem. You know, one of the things the Obama administration is trying very hard to do is blame this crisis on the 2008 law. It's not complicated why. There's nothing the Obama administration enjoys more than blaming problems on President George W. Bush. And since the '08 law was signed by Bush they can blame it all on him. The problem with that theory is when the law was passed in '08 we didn't see the number of children coming in skyrocket. It didn't skyrocket in '09, it didn't skyrocket in '10, it didn't skyrocket in '11. The cause of this crisis isn't the '08 law. The cause of the crisis was in June of 2012, President Obama's granting amnesty.

WALLACE: I understand that argument. But what a lot of Republicans even are saying is, hey, look without dealing with that, if we change the law, if we get more judges, if we get the seven day deadline, if we get more money for border patrols, all of which would happen in the deal that looks like it's taking shape, that you want to throw -- that you want to block that in effect you're perhaps the enemy of the good in pursuit of the perfect.

CRUZ: No, what I'm interested in is fixing the problem. And it's only Washington. All of the proposals being floated are missing the cause of the problem.

WALLACE: So how would you deal with the problem? I mean I know you say, all right, let's stop the executive action, let's make -- send a clear word out there're no permisos, there are permits, you're not going to get amnesty. But is that going to deal with the problem?

CRUZ: Yes, and let's be clear, you know, one of the things in the course of a lot of debates in Washington is that sadly they are fact free. Several weeks ago the border patrol did a confidential study. They interviewed over 200 people who would come here illegally. They ask why are you coming. And a whistle blower passed this report on at the Senate Judiciary Committee. 95 percent of those coming in said we're coming because we believe we'll get amnesty, we believe we'll get as you said a permisso. If we don't fix that, the problem continues. And Chris, in my view it is the opposite of humane, it is the opposite of compassionate to continue this crisis. I don't want to see tens of thousands of little boys and little girls being physical assaulted, being sexually assaulted by drug dealers. The way to fix it, the bill I've introduced is very a simple bill. It is a page and a half. And it simply says the president cannot grant amnesty going forward. It prohibits the president from granting amnesty.

WALLACE: When you say amnesty, from allowing these deferred deportations.

CRUZ: From refusing to enforce our immigration laws. We've got immigration laws. And the reason that is going straight to the source -- I mean look, so much of Washington ignores what causes a problem and Washington likes to say we passed the bill. If the bill doesn't fix a problem. Then it's not helping the children. The objective here should be to help the kids. And the way you help the kids is you eliminate the magnet, which is President Obama's amnesty.

WALLACE: Some Democrats say, you talk about helping the children, but this is a humanitarian crisis above all else and the key is to help the children. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid blames you, attacked you this week saying radical Republicans are trying to hold these kids ransom and then he said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. HARRY REID, D-NEV., SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER: Had we done comprehensive immigration reform we wouldn't be having this issue and everyone here, the border is secure.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Senator, your reaction?

CRUZ: Well, you know, President -- President Obama and Harry Reid both engaging debates divorced from the facts and divorced from the reality. Harry Reid lives in the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C. And I'm sure from his perspective the border seems secure. I would invite Harry Reid to come with me down to Texas and see the border. On the border we are seeing the opposite of following the law. The border is not secured. 90,000 children are expected to come in to this country illegally this year and Harry Reid says the border is secure? I'll tell you who is holding these kids ransom, is Harry Reid and the president because their view is don't do anything to fix the problem.

He mentions comprehensive immigration reform. The Gang of Eight bill is one of the causes of this problem. Because what the kids are saying is they are coming because they believe they will get amnesty. Part of the Gang of Eight bill was promising them amnesty.

WALLACE: You keep talking about helping the kids. One question I have is how do you help the kids? I understand how it helps the United States not to allow them to come in to this country. How does it the kids to just say, hey, you have got to stay in Central America. You talk about the violence in Central America, the murder rate in some of these countries. I'm not saying it's our responsibility to help the kids, but it doesn't help the kids.

CRUZ: Because a child being entrusted to a vicious drug dealer, is being horrifically mistreated. You know, several weeks ago I was down at Lackland Air Force Base where there are about l200 children being kept there. And a senior official there described to me how these drug dealers, they have these kids. And sometimes in the process of bringing them illegally to this country they hold them for ransom. And they reach out to the families, they say, send more money. And if the families won't send money, horrifically they are cutting off body parts and sending it back to the families. And they are forcing little boys and little girls, they are putting the gun to the back of their head, and they are saying cut off the fingers, cut off the ears of another child. And if the child refuses they are shooting and killing that kid. And what this senior official said, is we're having kids arrive here, some of them are maimed, have been through horrific torture and others have enormous psychological trauma from being forced to carry that out on pain of death.

Continuing this regime where tens of thousands of kids are being brutalized by drug dealers is not humane, it's not compassion. And that's what Harry Reid and the Democrats want to do. They don't want to fix the problem. They want to keep having children come in a situation where they are brutalized. That doesn't make any sense, and it's not consistent with rule of law.

WALLACE: Senator, we got about two minutes left. I want to get into one last issue. Let's talk about the Malaysian Airliner. President Obama condemned the shoot down. He has called on Vladimir Putin to stop helping the separatist rebels in Eastern Ukraine, but as we talk and we were talking on Friday afternoon, he has not announced any new action against the Russians. How would President Cruz handle Vladimir Putin and the situation in Ukraine?

CRUZ: Well, the facts are still developing and our prayers are all with the families of those who were murdered on that airline. What we appear to know right now is it appears to have been a Buk Russian missile. That took out that passenger and murdered those people, and that kind of technology is not randomly found on the streets. That likely found its way into the hands of Russian rebels and Russian separatists in Ukraine because of Putin's direct involvement.

WALLACE: So, how would you get Putin to stop?

CRUZ: We should do a number of things. One, we need vigorous sanctions. We need sanctions that target the Russian energy sector, the Russian financial sector that put serious consequences for what Putin is doing. Two, we should immediately reinstate the antiballistic missile batteries in Eastern Europe that President Obama canceled in 2009 in an effort to appease Russia. And three, we need to open up the export of liquid natural gas, which will help liberate Ukraine and Eastern Europe and will also impose real financial penalties on Russia and will create jobs and economic growth back here. That's what leadership would look like. Standing up to Putin instead of demonstrating weakness because when Putin sees weakness, he demonstrates over and over again aggression and willingness to go after others.

WALLACE: Senator Cruz, thank you. Always good to talk with you, sir.

CRUZ: Thank you, Chris.

WALLACE: When we come back with crises across the globe from Ukraine to the Middle East to Asia there are growing doubts about U.S. global power. We'll bring our Sunday group back to discuss that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think that there have been a number of situations in which you've seen this administration intervene in a meaningful way, that has substantially furthered American interests and substantially improved the, you know, the tranquility of the global community.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: White House spokesman Josh Earnest insisting President Obama's policies are working on a week when global tranquility is in short supply and we're back now with the panel. George, there is growing talk that we have not seen this kind of instability and this kind of challenge, the U.S. power back since the '80s and we put these pictures up on the screen when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, when the Islamic radicals took over Iran. Do you see some parallels and how do you explain it?

WILL: Well, a few. But there's not a single global crisis here. Not a single cause of turmoil. There're a lot of little regional conflicts and other local conflicts. The Israelis, for example, it's the tragedy that they have to do this, but they are taking care of themselves and notice the dog that isn't barking. No one is rallying to Hamas. And no one, for a change, is doubting Israel's right of self-defense. We must be aware that the occasion like this, of what's been called narcissistic policy disorder that is the belief that everything in the world is about us. That it's something -- either we did or said something or didn't do or didn't say something, or if we did -- or said something, it would all be well. We can't do that. 

WALLACE: We asked you questions for the panel. And we got a bunch on Facebook that sounded a common thing. Let's put them up on the screen. Phil Holstadt asks "How many more fundraisers does he have planned?" Kim McDowell writes -- this is obviously about the president and his response for the shoot down, "Why is he still campaigning and fundraising when there are major world problems happening?"

Julie, why didn't the president change his schedule? You hear this from an awful lot of people. Why didn't he change his schedule after the shoot down and when you talk to people in the White House, do they see a downside to him conducting business as usual when things are going to hell.

PACE: It was a bit of an odd contrast in optics. The president out fundraising and at the same time that this plane had been shot down, that there is an Israeli ground operation in Gaza. You know, the White House says that there's a down side to cancelling events, to coming back to the White House, that it makes it look like something is perhaps even bigger than it really is, it causes unnecessary concern among the American people.

But, there is a downside to continuing on. It does make the president look in some ways like he's out of touch. Maybe it's just a matter of optics but optics matter.

WALLACE: You know, I want to pick up on George's point, Carly, about narcissistic policy disorder. It is a messy world. Russia was always going to want some involvement and some control over Ukraine, once you saw the civil split there, the Arab spring, the turmoil in the Arab world is greater than ever. Is it really fair to blame President Obama for much of this?

FIORINA: Yes, it is fair. Because American leadership matters in the world. American strength matters in the world. And it particularly matters when things are going wrong. I think President Obama has made two crucial errors. First, he confuses ending a war with securing the peace. And unfortunately, the way he ended the wars in Iraq and is attempting to end the war in Afghanistan are making both of those situations very, very troublesome. Secondly, he continues to believe that his words matter. And his words matter less and less because both our friends and our allies as well as our enemies have figured out that words do not signal intention. There is no execution behind them. And that creates a situation in which our allies believe they cannot count on us and our enemies believe they can ignore us.

WALLACE: Senator Bayh, one, is that fair. And secondly, from policy to optics what could this president be doing better?

BAYH: The truth, Chris, is that most of this instability is being caused by trends that predate this president and will probably haunt the next president as well. Which was -- also is that our ability to materially affect these things, what's going on inside Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, is somewhat at the margins. The truth also is, that while the American people want us to be strong they don't favor aggressive intervention abroad, which limits any president's ability to act. So, if you want to criticize him, should we have drawn a red line in Syria? No. Armed the rebels, probably, yes. The big strategic issue, we have got to stay strong with regard to the Iranians nuclear program.

If they get the nuclear bomb, that will change everything.

WALLACE: Thank you panel. See you next week. A final note when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALLACE: For the latest on the fast-moving situations in Ukraine and Gaza, stay tuned to this Fox station and Fox News channel. And that's it on a very busy day. Have a great week. And we'll see you next, Fox News Sunday.

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Sunday December 21, 2014

The FBI has confirmed that North Korea was behind the recent cyber-attack on Sony Pictures, and now the entertainment company has announced that it will no longer release the controversial comedy “The Interview” on Christmas Day, amid threats of violence and pressure from theater owners. Have we underestimated North Korea’s cyber capabilities? We’ll discuss exclusively with Rep Mike Rogers (R-MI), Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

U.S. contractor Alan Gross, who was a prisoner of the Cuban government since 2009, was freed this week in a deal many hope signals a new era in diplomatic relations between the two countries. President Obama announced plans to “normalize” ties with the Cuba, beginning with re-opening the U.S. embassy in Havana, easing travel restrictions and reviewing the country’s label as a state sponsor of terror. We’ll debate whether or not this is good policy with two members of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Sen Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Sen Ben Cardin (D-MD).