This week on Fox News Sunday: Haider al-Abadi, Prime Minister of Iraq, in an exclusive interview.
Ferguson fallout: Attorneys on both sides react to grand jury decision
Written by Chris Wallace / Published November 30, 2014 / Fox News Sunday
Special Guests: Neil Bruntrager, Daryl Parks, Rudy Giuliani, Marc Morial
This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," November 30, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, ANCHOR: I'm Chris Wallace. Fallout from Ferguson. Officer Darren Wilson resigns. But the grand jury's decision to bring no charges in the shooting death of Michael Brown leaves a community and a country divided.
WALLACE: We'll discuss the facts of the case and whether an indictment was warranted with attorneys on both sides. From Police Officer Darren Wilson's legal team, Neil Bruntrager, and from the family of Michael Brown, Daryl Parks.
Then, this week's indelible image. President Obama appeals for calm while the streets of Ferguson erupt.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That won't be done by throwing bottles and it certainly won't be done by hurting anybody.
WALLACE: How does the country ease the tension between race and law enforcement. We'll ask former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and the head of the National Urban League, Marc Morial.
Plus, what role does the media play in the turmoil surrounding Ferguson?
ROBERT MCCULLOCH, ST. LOUIS COUNTY PROSECUTOR: The most significant challenge encountered in this investigation has been the 24 hour you cycle and appetite for something, for anything to talk about.
WALLACE: Our Sunday panel weighs on that.
All, right now, on a special "Fox News Sunday."
WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.
Police Officer Darren Wilson announced late Saturday he has resigned from the Ferguson police force. But the decision not to indict him has left Ferguson and the nation in turmoil.
Today, we want to examine the fallout from several angles. We'll discuss the facts and the shooting death of Michael Brown with attorneys from both sides. What does the case say about racial discrimination in our police forces? We'll ask two leaders about the problem and possible reforms.
But, first, FOX News correspondent Mike Tobin with the latest from Ferguson -- Mike.
MIKE TOBIN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Chris, Darren Wilson explained in his resignation letter that he wanted to continue with police work, but the department was receiving threats if he remained on the force. He didn't want to put citizens or the police officers at risk and he now hopes his resignation will allow this community to heal.
TOBIN (voice-over): News of the resignation renewed vigor in the Ferguson demonstration.
TOBIN: Supporters of the NAACP set off on a 120-mile march they called The Journey for Justice.
CORNELL WILLIAMS BROOKS, PRESIDENT & CEO, NAACP: What we're seeking is a federal, state and even municipal legislation to bring about an end to racial profiling.
TOBIN: Demonstrators are staging die-ins where they play on the ground, at a county justice center in Clayton, Missouri, at a Missouri mall intended to disrupt holiday shopping. They did it in Seattle as well. That was also the tactic in Portland where police made arrests, where Reverend Jesse Jackson encouraged the crowd.
REV. JESSE JACKSON, PRESIDENT, RAINBOW PUSH COALITION: We've seen a mean-spirited backlash in our country, it did represent the best in us, we must fight it, in the case of Michael Brown.
TOBIN: Portland also produced a warm moment from the demonstration -- a photograph of a white police officer hugging a young black protest tore.
Back in Ferguson, volunteers pitch in and the people who made their livings in the burnt out stores wondered how they'll get back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Being without a job around Thanksgiving, then you don't have a job to buy your kids any Christmas presents or even to provide food. That's sad.
TOBIN: The state of Missouri has already spent $4 million for National Guard troops, $3.4 million on state troopers. And Governor Jay Nixon's office says it's not enough. He's calling for a special session of the general assembly to fund all of this -- Chris.
WALLACE: Mike Tobin reporting for Ferguson -- Mike, thanks for that.
Now, let's bring in members of the legal team on both sides for a sense of a trial that won't happen. Neil Bruntrager who's an attorney for Police Officer Darren Wilson, and one of the lawyers for Michael Brown's family, Daryl Parks.
Mr. Bruntrager, before we get to the shooting, I want to talk about the breaking news. Why did Darren Wilson decide to resign from the Ferguson police department and does he still fear for his life?
NEIL BRUNTRAGER, ATTORNEY FOR OFFICER WILSON: He decided to resign, Chris, because we had gotten information directly from the chief in Ferguson that they had information suggested there were going to be acts taken against either members of the department or the department itself related to his continued employment. And when Darren was told that, he simply said, that's enough. And it was time to resign.
So, he filed or somebody an oral resignation followed by a written resignation letter shortly thereafter.
WALLACE: Does he still feel he's in danger? Does he still feel he's a marked man in the St. Louis area?
BRUNTRAGER: He does, Chris. It's a shame. And that's something he's going to have to live with for quite some time.
WALLACE: All right. Mr. Parks, let's get to the evidence in this case. What do you think is the single biggest hole in Officer Wilson's testimony? What do you think is the strongest reason that that grand jury should have indicted him?
DARYL PARKS, ATTORNEY FOR MICHAEL BROWN'S FAMILY: I believe the strongest reason is the real reasonableness (ph) of his so-called fear as Michael approached him. For what I can tell in my investigation of this case, almost all of the gunshots that Michael received he could have lived from except for the head shot.
So the head shot, the kill shot was to the apex of his head. It's my opinion that given the fact where his head was positioned at the time of that shot, that this officer had other reasonable means that he could have subdued Michael and failed to do so.
WALLACE: Mr. Bruntrager, let me pick up on that, because there seems little question that Michael Brown attacked Officer Wilson in his car, grabbed for his gun. But here I think is the question that a lot of people ask. Why did Wilson get out of the car and follow Michael Brown? Why not just stay in his car, from him in the car and wait for backup when there would be more people and they could subdue him without a shooting death?
BRUNTRAGER: The information that we have is that Michael Brown, immediately after the shots are fired in the car, immediately after the scuffle in the car, Michael Brown takes off. Michael Brown is running away.
Darren Wilson's job is to keep his eyes on Michael Brown. He has said both in his statements on August 9th, on August 10th, in front of the grand jury, in his statements to the feds, he has said to them, listen, the reason I got out of the car was not to arrest Michael Brown. I couldn't -- he didn't believe for a minute that he could subdue Michael Brown by himself. His job getting out of the car was to keep eyes on him wherever he went.
He had to see he went because he believes Michael Brown post a threat to others.
WALLACE: Why not just follow him in his car and wait for the backup?
BRUNTRAGER: Well, because what if he gets off the road, what if he gets into the neighborhood which is exactly where he was going? You can't follow everywhere in the car itself.
WALLACE: Mr. Parks, your reaction?
BRUNTRAGER: And his job is to keep eyes on him.
PARKS: Well, a couple of problems, Chris. One, when the officer got out of the car, witnesses have testified that he continued to shoot at Michael as Michael was running away. And there are also witnesses --
WALLACE: Wait, wait. Mr. Parks, he wasn't shot in the back. He was shot in the front.
PARKS: OK. Let me this -- just because you shoot at him, doesn't mean you have to hit him, Chris. You're confusing two things, and that's part of the problem that's happened in this case. That just because I shoot at you -- it's obvious that a few of the shoots that the officer shot missed him. It is possible that one of the shots to his arm could have come from the back. Yes, witnesses say he shot at him. He may have missed him. At some point, Michael turned around.
So, other people glance over the aspect of the fact that what made Michael turn around. He didn't just turn around by happenstance, he turned around because he had been hit and the witnesses further testified that Michael said, hey, why you shooting? Quit shooting. And just trying to --
WALLACE: Mr. Bruntrager, was he turning around to give up or was he turning around to attack Officer Wilson?
BRUNTRAGER: He was turning around to attack Officer Wilson.
Look, Chris, everybody has a right to their opinions. They don't have the right to their own set of facts.
So, what we know, in my mind, the single most important piece of evidence is the blood spot that's about 25 to 35 feet away from his body. We know he went to a farthest point north because his blood is there. That's irrefutable. There is no question.
He has come back towards Officer Wilson and that's when he is shot. When he is shot, he's about eight to 10 feet. In the final shot that Mr. Parks referenced, he's about eight to 10 feet from Officer Wilson. We call that the kill zone. He can reach Officer Wilson.
And Officer Wilson indicated that he believed Michael Brown intended to kill him. Look at the shell casings on the ground, too.
WALLACE: Let me pick up on this, because, Mr. Parks, Missouri law is pretty clear. What it basically says is that a police officer is entitled to take deadly force if he, quote, "reasonably believes his life or someone else's life is in imminent danger."
Here is what Darren Wilson told ABC News.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DARREN WILSON, FERGUSON POLICE OFFICER: At that time, I gave myself another mental check, can I shoot this guy, you know, legally, can I? And the question I answered myself was, I have to. If I don't, he will kill me if he gets to me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Mr. Parks doesn't what you just heard there meet the legal threshold for an officer being allowed to use deadly force?
PARKS: Well, Chris, let's not confuse two things. Number one -- and I know we're going to deal with the issue of the grand jury's actions later in this show. However, that's a defense, whether or not his belief is reasonable.
All right. We believe number one, there should have been an indictment. There was enough here that the officer should have been indicted.
Number two, if you have an issue or have that defense, which is fine, have that defense before a jury so that the evidence can be properly presented by both sides in the case. We do not believe that the manner in which this was handled, where you have a prosecutor's officer, both one putting on evidence to indict, but also putting on other evidence that puts forth the possible defenses or actions or justifications in this case. You can't have it both ways. That's not how the process should work.
WALLACE: Let me -- Mr. Parks, let me pick up on that because you have called the decision not to indict, in your words, a travesty, and this prosecutor did something unusual but not unprecedented, which is that he simply presented all the evidence to the 12 grand jurors and let them make up their mind.
Why does the prosecutor have to seek an indictment? Why can't he leave it up to the grand jurors?
PARKS: Well, without question. I mean, I think, given the fact you have this process where he goes in -- if he goes in and one, just gives them all the evidence. I mean, it's not as if he's putting in a posture to get an indictment. I mean, from action, it appears that he does not want an indictment. Thus, they don't indict.
When a prosecutor wants an indictment, a prosecutor puts forth the evidence that is -- that will line up to get an indictment from the grand jury. And the prosecutor by his actions, whether verbal or nonverbal, indicates to the jury that I want an indictment in this case. It was rather clear in this case that was not the case in this case. That's why we should not be surprised by the fact that there was no indictment in this case.
WALLACE: Let me bring in Mr. Bruntrager, because the fact is that the legal standard in grand juries which is probable cause is a pretty low standard. And generally speaking, grand juries are instructed to indict if there is some evidence of guilt. Didn't they reach that standard? Obviously, the jurors didn't think so.
BRUNTRAGER: No, they didn't. But look, when you look at the Missouri statutes regarding grand juries, grand juries are formed for a number of reasons.
One of which is investigation. They can be called to do just what they did here, and that's to look at all this information and decide. I find it astonishing that we have criticism of this grand jury, because people say they were given way too much information. They were given way too much to think about. Now, these grand juries operate an entirely different way than what we call a petit jury. That would be a trial jury.
They're given the opportunity information, they can then leave. They have sometimes a week between sessions. They can ask questions if they want, unlike regular injuries. This grand jury clearly looked at everything. They asked questions. They were engaged.
I don't know how Mr. Parks says we get in the head of the prosecutor by perhaps some means to sort of figure out that impliedly they didn't want an indictment. I don't see that. I've read these transcripts. What I see is a prosecutor who put all this information in front of a grand jury and said, you decide.
WALLACE: Gentlemen, I got time for one more issue I want to get into with you. Mr. Parks --
PARKS: Chris, if I may, though, Chris --
WALLACE: Real quickly.
PARKS: We're not indicting the grand jury. I don't blame the members of the grand jury for what had resulted here. I think the process was flawed that was lead (ph) up by the prosecutor.
WALLACE: OK. Mr. Parks, is the Brown family, which you represent, are they going to file a civil lawsuit against Officer Wilson? And if so, on what grounds?
PARKS: Well, Chris, obviously, they have the option of a civil lawsuit, one, civil rights basis against Officer Wilson, two, against the police department of the city of Ferguson if that time comes.
Those are not issues that we discuss publicly upon our team. We will certainly give the parties a chance to work that out among the parties if they choose to. If and when we need to make it a publication, we will. As of now, it is not.
WALLACE: When you say "give the parties a chance to work it out", are you suggesting a possible settlement? PARKS: No, I mean, I think there's a chance to resolve whatever differences we may have. That could be a settlement. It could be some form of litigation if needed. But it just depends. I mean, they'll have a chance to do whatever they deem proper in the situation and we'll react.
WALLACE: Finally, Mr. Bruntrager, reacting to that, what do you think of the merits of a civil lawsuit by the Brown family against your client? And also, what do you think of the merits of a federal lawsuit if they decide to bring it which would have to prove that Officer Wilson intended to violate Michael Brown's civil rights?
BRUNTRAGER: Let me start with the latter. You've got a situation where we know there's still an ongoing federal investigation. If the feds decided that they're going to bring an action against Darren Wilson, it would have to be some sort of allegation that he violated the civil rights of Michael Brown.
In order to do that, you have to show that he intended to violate his civil rights. So, it's that just you intend to pull the trigger, is that you intend to actually violate his civil rights. That's a pretty high bar. That's going to be a difficult thing for them to do, particularly in light of the fact --
WALLACE: And what about the civil lawsuit?
BRUNTRAGER: Well, the civil lawsuits are an entirely different question. I mean, in most instances, it's really not directed to the individual, it's directed to the police department itself for a variety of reasons. Again, I think they're going to have a difficult row to hoe, but every American has the right to seek redress in the courts. And, of course, I would never begrudge that to anyone.
WALLACE: Mr. Bruntrager, Mr. Parks, we want to thank you both so much for joining us today.
PARKS: Thank you.
BRUNTRAGER: Thank you, Chris.
WALLACE: Up next, well examine the big picture. Tension between police and black communities when we sit down with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and the president of the National Urban League, Marc Morial.
And what do you think? What's the lesson from the events in Ferguson? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter @FoxNewsSunday, and use the hashtag, #fns.
WALLACE: The decision to bring no charges in the Michael Brown case has reopened old wounds of mistrust between law enforcement and the black community. We'll talk with the head of the National Urban League, Marc Morial in a moment.
But, first, former New York City mayor, Rudy Giuliani.
Mayor, I want to start with the federal investigation -- the federal investigation of Officer Wilson and also of the Ferguson Police Department. Here's what President Obama had to say this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The frustrations that we've seen are not just about a particular incident. They have deep roots in many communities of color who have a sense that our laws are not always being enforced uniformly or fairly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Mayor, do you see any basis for either investigation by Attorney General Holder and his Justice Department?
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: Having read the transcripts now of the grand jury, FBI interviews and all of that, and having been a prosecutor for 13 years, I don't see how this case normally would even have been brought to a grand jury. This is the kind of case had it not had the racial overtones and national publicity where a prosecutor would have come to the conclusion that there's not enough to evidence to present to the grand jury. There are seven witnesses who support the police officer's testimony.
When I was listening, what was left out is a key witness, an African-American witness, says that the officer was charged aggressively at the very end.
WALLACE: If I may, sir, the question, though, is what do you think now of it going to the federal level and Attorney General Holder investigating?
GIULIANI: It's the same testimony. I mean, it's the same witnesses. In other words, the Attorney General Holder is going to have to take a case in which a jury couldn't find probable cause to indict and he's going to have to find probable cause in front of a federal grand jury, when there are seven African-American witnesses supporting the police officer's testimony. The witnesses on the other side, not all, but almost all of them have impeachable testimony. In fact, a couple of them committed perjury, saying he was shot in the back when he clearly wasn't.
So, it's a very, very -- it's an impossible case to present to a grand jury. A federal grand jury in my experience, having been in front of hundreds of them, would find no true bill here, just like this grand jury did.
WALLACE: Mayor, I want -- Mayor, if I can --
GIULIANI: Nobody wants to read these transcripts.
WALLACE: OK, Mayor, let me move you onto the bigger issue, though, because I want to take a look at the poll that we found. Seventy percent of blacks say people in their community are treated less fairly than whites in dealing with the police. Only 37 percent of whites make the same complaint.
Question, do you think that blacks have a legitimate complaint about racial discrimination by police in their communities?
GIULIANI: Yes, I do. I do believe that there is more interaction and more unfair interaction among police officers, white and black, in the black community than in a white community. And I think some of that responsibility is on the police department. And on police departments to train their police officers better and to make their police departments much more diversified.
But I think just as much if not more responsibility is on the black community to reduce the reason why the police officers are assigned in such large numbers to the black community. It's because blacks commit murder eight times more per capita than any other group in our society.
And when I assign police officers with Commissioner Bratton and Commissioner Shaffer (ph), we did it based on statistics. We didn't do it based on race. If there were a lot of murders in a community, we put a lot of police officers there. If I put all my police officers on Park Avenue and none in Harlem, thousands and thousands more blacks would have killed during the eight years that I was mayor.
So, the police are there --
WALLACE: Mayor, we're running out of time. I do want to ask you about a specific case in Cleveland this week. We're going to put the video up, and I'm sure you're familiar with the case.
This was a 12-year-old boy who was walking around waving what turned out to be an air pistol. Police responded to a call and an officer comes up and shoots him dead in two seconds.
Mayor, I know it's one case, but does this give a sense of what the black communities complain about that police are on a hair trigger in their communities?
GIULIANI: I mean, there's no question that individual cases have situations that are unjustified. But you've got to put in proper context. Why is it happening? Why is it happening more often in the black community? And doesn't it actually logically make sense that it's going to happen more often in the community were there is five, six, seven, eight, nine times more violence than in another community?
So, if you want to work on the problem, you got to work on both sides. When the president talked about training, he talked about training police. I'm all with him. Train the police and make them better. I tried it hard, we have a diverse police department in New York.
You got to work on the other side of it, too. This is not a one- sided story and it is presented always as a one-sided story.
WALLACE: No, that's why -- that's why we're talking to you, sir. I've got one minute left. So, I'm going to ask you to try to confine with that. There are several reforms that the police are talking about -- now, I want to put them on the screen and get your reaction to them.
WALLACE: Putting body cameras on police, having a police force that reflects the racial makeup of a community, ending broken window and stop and frisk, what's called "aggressive policing."
Are those good ideas?
GIULIANI: Yes, yes, and no. Simple, I changed my mind on body cameras. At one time, I thought they were a mistake. Now, I believe they are a very good idea, because 90 percent, 95 percent of these situations, the police officers turn out to be justified. And had this police officer had a body camera, we would not be having this discussion.
WALLACE: But very briefly, if I can, sir, in 30 seconds -- what's wrong with the one you said no to, which is the aggressive policing?
GIULIANI: Aggressive policing --aggressive policing, stop and frisk means searching for guns. It's the reason why New York City reduced crime by 65 percent, 70 percent. If you're talking about massive stop and frisk, obviously that's wrong. Strop and frisk is based on a reasonable cause to believe somebody's committing a crime. It's in the Constitution, every police department does it. If you overdo it, and some police departments have, then it is wrong. So maybe the answer to that is: yes and no.
WALLACE: All right.
GIULIANI: The first two questions, the answer is yes.
WALLACE: Mayor Giuliani, we want to thank you so much for coming in and talking with us. I wish we have more time, sir.
GIULIANI: Thank you.
WALLACE: Now, let's bring in the president of the National Urban League and former mayor of New Orleans, Marc Morial.
I want to start with this question of black crime, Mr. Morial. Rudy Giuliani -- Mayor Giuliani likes to point out that 93 percent of blacks in America are killed by other blacks. So, the point he's making and I think a lot of people are making is when the protestors and civil rights leaders are focusing on the problem with police, aren't they ignoring the real problem in the black community?
MARC MORIAL, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE: Let's add another fact, and that is about 84 percent of all whites are murdered by other whites. And the concern about violence in the black community is pervasive. The advocacy, the rallies, the events that take place, it should be no mistake that black on black violence is not tolerated in the black community.
But the protests, Chris, are directed at the response of the system, to the killings of unarmed black men, in the case of Cleveland, a child and the lack of accountability when those events take place.
It's also the fact that we've had five high-profile incidents in this country in a short period of time, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Marlene Pinnock out in Los Angeles and now, the young boy down in -- out in Cleveland. And combined with the fact that the number of killings of citizens by police is at a two-decade high, all of this is a perfect storm of events which means that there's this response across the nation, peaceful protests for the most part, that says this must change.
WALLACE: Well, let's talk about possible reforms. The Urban League is calling for a number of reforms in the wake of Ferguson, including federal reviews -- federal reviews of every police killing. Why is that necessary?
MORIAL: I think --
WALLACE: Why can't the local community handle that, sir?
MORIAL: I think the history has been -- I heard Mayor Giuliani talk about this. But I want to make this important point. That in the Abner Louima case, in the Rodney King case, in the Danziger Bridge case in New Orleans, those are all cases where local prosecutors failed to either seek or secure an indictment or a conviction, where the federal government stepped in after the fact and secured justice for the victims.
The history is simply not good for local prosecutors and to some extent local police departments policing their own. That's why this is a time for us to change how we handle these incidences, and I think at the first instance, I support body cameras, I think there ought to be a national accreditation system for police officers, I think every city should review their deadly force policy. I think that cities should also completely revise how they train. They have to re- evaluate how they hire police officers.
This is a time when we've got to promote positive change. And I might add, I led a city, New Orleans, at the same time Rudy led New York. We reduced crime by 60 percent. We did it with community policing, and we also had a significant reduction in civil rights complaints against police departments.
So, this is a false, if you will, narrative, that you've got to be out there doing stop and frisk. You've got to be -- that there's a trade off between what I would call safety and violations of citizen's civil rights. I think you can do both, and I think that's the future we've got to embrace in this nation. WALLACE: Well, let's talk about that, because you just heard Mayor Giuliani, and I put a list of things he agreed with you about the body cams. He agreed about having a police force that more accurately reflects the racial makeup of a city. Obviously, that wasn't the case in Ferguson, where the city is two-thirds black and 50 of the 53 police officers were white.
Where he disagreed with you, or at least partially, was on the question of what's called aggressive police forcing. You have called for an end to the broken window kind of policing and stop-and-frisk, but don't those -- doesn't the crime rate actually go down? It certainly did in New York when they did "Stop and Frisk"?
MORIAL: You know, "Stop and Frisk," you selectively and in a targeted way is absolutely permissible and a valid police tool. Using it comprehensively all the way across the city. One of the experiences that caught my eye in New York was that many of these stops and these frisks did not yield -- did not yield the recovery of a gun or a prosecution or a conviction for -- for weapons charges. So it's an inefficient way. I think it's better, if you will, to embrace a proactive, and this is the term, proactive policing system where police officers are out on the beat, where they're building relationships with people in the community. Because after all, the way you bring down crime in a community is not simply by making arrest, but by preventing crime from occurring. And that's the essence of community policing. It focuses on prevention. So, my experiences in New Orleans in the 1990s was that you could combine an accountable police force with public safety, bring down crime and reduce friction between police officers and the community. Those are the kinds of things that the urban league embraces.
WALLACE: Mr. Morial, we want to thank you so much for coming into today, sir.
MORIAL: Thank you.
WALLACE: Up next, we take a closer look at President Obama's response this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: There are ways of channeling your concerns constructively and there are ways of channeling your concerns destructively.
WALLACE: The image that said so much this week. The president appealing for calm while Ferguson burns.
UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: Hand up, don't shoot! Hands up, don't shoot. Our Sunday group joins the conversation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OBAMA: There are productive ways of responding and expressing those frustrations and there are destructive ways of responding. Burning buildings, torching cars, destroying property, putting people at risk, that's destructive and there's no excuse for it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: President Obama trying repeatedly this week to put a lid on the anger that erupted across the country after the grand jury decided not to bring charges against the Ferguson police officer. And it's time now for our Sunday group. Kimberley Strassel from "The Wall Street Journal", Julie Pace who covers the White House for the Associated Press, the "Washington Post" Robert Costa and Bob Woodward also from the "Washington Post".
Julie, let's start with that infamous split screen from the night of the non-indictment. And the picture on the one side of President Obama urging calm and on the other side, the streets of Ferguson erupting. How much hand wringing was there at the White House after the fact about putting the president out so that split screen, a juxtaposition could be seen?
JULIE PACE, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: Well, I think the response that you saw from them was to have him go out and speak again on Tuesday, the clip that you just played. It was interesting the day that this indictment came down, or the non- indictment came down, the White House really wanted the president to be out there. They tapped (ph) reporters at the White House late. It's very unusual for him to speak that late into the evening. They wanted him to have a presence on this, and yet it created these awkward out sticks where you had the president calling for calm at the same time that you are seeing unrest. And they felt, though, that he needed to go back out again the next day. I actually think his remarks on Tuesday where much stronger, because you actually knew how the situation had played out. It was difficult just moments after we knew what had happened in this -- from this grand jury, for him to say something that really meant something, because we just didn't know yet how this was going to play out.
WALLACE: It wasn't just the president who came up -- some criticism. We asked you for questions for the panel and we got a lot of questions about media coverage. Take a look at this one. Ellen Canavan asked on Facebook, "Did wall-to-wall coverage help encourage outrageous behavior?" And Matthew Murray sent this on Twitter, "I know it is news, but some of the coverage seem to be rooting for the worst. When did tabloid mentality become the norm? Bob? Good questions. How do you answer? Bob Costa, how do you answer Ellen and Matthew?
ROBERT COSTA, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, I think the media criticism is somewhat fair, perhaps it was a bit heavy. But I think when you look at the people like "The St. Louis Post Dispatch," when you look at the "Washington Post" coverage, it has been solid throughout. And when it comes to timing, I think the blame perhaps could be on how the prosecutor handled this. The timing at the announcement of the grand jury night, that seemed to provoke a lot of interest and questions about timing. But I think the media coverage has been pretty deep, looking at the family, looking at the consequences not only within the town, but nationally and politically.
WALLACE: I suppose part of the question is, you put on TV lights, you put on the cameras, they're there, and you're going to attract a crowd.
COSTA: You are. And we saw that one burning car certainly got a lot of coverage on that one evening. But this is a major issue. It's a tragedy what happened to Mr. Brown. And I think this is causing a lot of discussion around the country about race, about politics, about even the media. And I think the media has been subject to some unfair criticism for going overboard when this has become a national issue.
WALLACE: I want to talk about that now, the bigger picture of it, Bob. Because we've seen this before. We saw it, for instance, in Los Angeles after the verdict exonerating -- first verdict exonerating the police officers in the Rodney King beating. And then there were terrible riots there. What do you take as the lesson here about tensions, not just in Ferguson, but generally between the police departments and the black communities where they enforce the law?
BOB WOODWARD, "THE WASHINGTON POST": There's always going to be criticism, but the media always has to cover it. And ...
WALLACE: But I'm not asking about the media, I'm asking about the tensions with -- between the black community and the police.
WOODWARD: Well, then you need to dig into and do stories about that. I think what's really interesting here is that the prosecutor put out all the grand jury testimony. And when you look at it, it is hopelessly contradictory. And he let people, hey, look, this is what we -- they started to say ...
WALLACE: Some people said he was shutting that back, some people said he was giving up, some people said he was charging like a bull.
WOODWARD: It is a classic case of, you know, how do you find out what happened. And they didn't and so we're seeing this all play out. But I -- I think that's fine. I think actually what Obama had to say was sensible and reasonable and the issue here is the racial division in this country which still exists which everyone needs to address. A case like this enflames it and focuses it, of course. But you can't walk away from that.
WALLACE: You know, the racial divisions do exist and one of the -- and persist. And one of the things can -- that was so striking was the tremendously different reactions in the white community and the black community to this. I mean the forensic evidence at least in terms of what went on inside that car all back Officer Wilson's story. Clearly, Rodney Wilson's DNA was inside, it was on Officer Wilson's body. It was on the gun. It seemed there clearly was a struggle that went on inside there. One can argue about whether Wilson should have gotten out. There's no question that the big threat to the black community is from other blacks. I found out this week the number one cause of homicide in the black community, young blacks ages 15 to 34 is homicide.
KIMBERLEY STRASSEL, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Right.
WALLACE: Homicide. But yet it all goes out the window when one of these cases happens.
STRASSEL: I think this is where there is some culpability in the White House in that. I agree with Bob. The president has said all the right things this week, once the grand jury decision was handed down. I think one of the questions, though, was leading up to it. In particular, Eric Holder's decision to launch his own investigation into the Wilson action and on a civil rights potential case which is a very high bar, as you heard, to do a separate probe into whether the actions of the entire Ferguson police department, to run their own autopsy. All of that led to the impression from the start that there was something not fair or right or suspect about what was going on in the justice system in Ferguson. And that has allowed a lot of people, a lot of the protesters to come out and say, and you get these varied, varied actions like reactions as you were saying. A lot of people just think that this was a sham from the beginning. And no matter what the evidence says, that is not breaking through. And I do think that that was the problem. And the president ought to also be talking about those issues that you mentioned. I mean the black on black crime in community is one of the hugest issues out there.
WALLACE: All right. We have to take a break here. But when we come back, there was other news this week. Chuck Hagel is out as Secretary of Defense, but no one seems to want to replace him. What it means for our war against ISIS, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: The last month Chuck came to me to discuss the final quarter of my presidency, and determined that having guided the department through this transition, it was an appropriate time for him to complete his service.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: President Obama putting the best face on what from all accounts was the forced resignation of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. We are back now with the panel. Bob, you have reported in depth about President Obama and his national security team. Aside from the personal stuff, Hagel didn't talk up in national security meetings, was does his ouster tell us about Obama and his policies in the last two years?
WOODWARD: Well, at first, it tells us that the world has changed. Hagel was brought in as a soul mate for Obama, somebody who wanted to get out of Iraq, out of Afghanistan, and no new war and the situation has changed. And to shrink the military and kind of not be one of the cabinet members. Now we have the ISIS problem and the new war as the president's declared. And people keep saying no. And the -- this is a tough one for Obama. He's got to find an authority figure. He's got to find somebody who immediately people will say, ah, that's a leader.
WALLACE: Wait, wait, wait. Some people say that first of all, we've seen a couple of the top choices like Jack Reed and Michele Flournoy say no. And there are a lot of people who say, you know, he really wants to run it from this White House and his National Security Council and no authority figure would want to take that job.
WOODWARD: Well, but that's what he's got to do. He's got to find -- one name that's been floated around, he is not going to be happy to hear this, is Colin Powell. Now, he is 77 years old, and -- but there is an authority figure. Somebody who served -- as the chief military adviser in the first Gulf war, when he was chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Secretary of State, somebody who's been the national security advisor. Somebody who could get up there and kind of -- he's friends with Obama. You know, 77, that's the old 67.
WALLACE: That's what we keep telling ourselves.
WALLACE: You wrote a column this week, in which -- you didn't sugarcoated it. You called Obama "A lousy boss." And you said, anybody who doesn't want to be a door mat and I assume Colin Powell doesn't want to be a door mat would be crazy to take this job.
STRASSEL: Well, you know.
STRASSEL: Look at the way Hagel was ousted. I mean the trash talking behind the scenes anonymously, blaming the Obama foreign policy failures on him. And if you look back over the history of the Obama administration, this is not an aberration. This is how this president rolls when they micromanage from the top when things go bad, they say they didn't know when they blame subordinates. Look at what happened with Obamacare. Look at what happened with Veterans Affairs. The president was asked a few months ago how were you so slow to recognize the ISIS threat. He blamed it on the director of his national intelligence agency. So, why would anybody want to come in and serve as a doormat? And I think that that is why a lot of people are, in fact, saying no.
WALLACE: Julie, one, do you think that's fair? And two, since we've had a trial balloon here for Colin Powell, do you think that's a serious possibility?
PACE: Well, I think -- I mean Kim is onto something with this. I mean if you look at Michele Flournoy who was a top choice after Hagel was pushed out, there are two reasons that people close to her have told me that she didn't want this job. Number one, is that she didn't want it if she was going to be restrained in the same that way Hagel was. She wanted to have more freedom. And number two, is she looked at this point that we're out at the presidency and said, hey, maybe I'll wait and see if I can get this job under Hillary Clinton, for example. Another Democratic president. You know, take it on at a time when the administration has a little more juice. When you talk about candidates, Colin Powell's name has been out there. People in the administration say that that's probably not where they are going to go on this. An interesting name that has been fluted, and the administration officials say they're looking at this person very seriously is Jay Johnson, who is the current Homeland Security secretary. He's well respected, both at the Pentagon where he came from and in the White House. The obvious downside of nominating him is that you risk having his confirmation hearing turn into a debate over immigration, which he's been deeply involved in. And
PACE: And opening at Homeland Security.
WALLACE: But why is it -- why is it -- because you've had Gates, you've had Panetta, now you've had Hagel, why is it that the secretaries of Defense under this president have had such unhappy experiences?
PACE: People at the Pentagon say that Obama in media, the national security media that Obama views the military very skeptically. It comes from his -- his views on the Iraq war, on the way that the Afghanistan war has been managed, that he just doesn't take their recommendations with maybe the same weight as some of his predecessors. Bob has written about this extensively.
STRASSEL: Not just the military. Defense.
PACE: His whole defense leadership. But particularly, you know, he is skeptical of military options that are put before him.
WALLACE: All right.
WOODWARD: He just doesn't like war. Obama doesn't like war. And that's -- that's reasonable, but he's declared one essentially now, so he's in a tight spot.
WALLACE: There was one other big foreign policy development this week. And that involved the West's nuclear talks with Iran. They had a deadline of last Friday. They didn't meet the deadline and they decided to extend the talks for another seven months. Here is what Secretary of State John Kerry had to say about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: We would be fools to walk away from a situation where the breakout time has already been expanded rather than narrowed and where the world is safer because this program is in place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Bob, they've already been talking for a year. Any reason to think that another seven months is going to break the launch in (ph)?
COSTA: Well, this could be the signature achievement for the president in his second term on foreign policy. I think they're going to continue to try to work in that direction. But Republicans are very critical of this. It's going to be hard to win a lot of widespread support for elongated talks. I think it's coming back to Bob's point about an authority figure on defense. You're going to have to work with a Republican Congress if you're the new Secretary of Defense. And you're going to have to get authorization for war, authorization for new troops. That's an important part of what the White House is thinking through right now.
WALLACE: And I'm not sure Colin Powell as Republican's favorite Republican after he endorsed Barack Obama.
COSTA: He has close relationships with McConnell and Boehner. I think he'd probably be a solid choice in that direction to help the president usher through his policies.
WALLACE: I want to ask you, Julie about another aspect of this: how worried are White House Republican -- is the White House about the fact that in next year when Republicans take over the House and Senate on this Iran issue that they may decide to impose new sanctions to try to ratchet up the pressure on Iran?
PACE: It's a big concern for the White House. Because even though the president could veto a sanctions bill, depending on how many votes it got, it's unclear whether the Republicans could override that. But they feel like even the act of Congress passing new sanctions, even if they were never implemented, could damage this extension that we're seeing right now. They do feel like the response from Capitol Hill over the last weeks has been OK. You've had some Republicans that have come out calling for new sanctions. But you've had people like Bob Corker not necessarily calling for immediate sanctions.
So, they do feel like maybe they are going to be able to keep a lid on this over the next couple of months.
WALLACE: In about 15 seconds, what about the argument that if you put new sanctions on it, it increases the pressure? It's a bargaining ...
PACE: Well, I mean that's the argument for people who want sanctions right now. We have Iran at the table. Let's keep new sanctions, let's put new sanctions on them, keep up the pressure and then they will be more likely to make a deal.
WALLACE: All right. Thank you, panel. See you next Sunday.
Up next, our "Power Player of the Week." Once again, I danced with the turkeys.
WALLACE: Here's a holiday riddle we ask every Thanksgiving. Who founded a huge tech company, created a successful cosmetic business and now raises turkeys like the Indians did? Here's our power player of the week. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDY LERNER: Farm with the land, farm with the seasons. Know your soil, know your rainfall, know your weather, know your animals.
WALLACE: Sandy Lerner is talking about sustainable farming. Raising livestock and growing vegetables without the chemicals that are so common in what she calls factory farming. (INAUDIBLE) she took me out to see and, yes, to dance, with her 1,300 turkeys. Heritage breeds that trace back to the Indians.
LERNER: Come on. Raise your arms. Gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble.
LERNER: Gobble, gobble, gobble.
WALLACE: Lerner is mistress of the Ayrshire Farm. 800 acres in Upperville, Virginia. But as interesting as her business is how she got here. She grew up on a farm in California, making enough from raising cattle to send herself to college.
LERNER: What I learned was to love work. I'm really happiest when I'm engaged and working and thinking and striving.
WALLACE: She got into computers. In 1984, she and her then husband started Cisco Systems that found a way to link networks of computers, the foundation of the Internet. But six years later, venture capital people were running Cisco.
WALLACE (on camera): How do you get fired from a company that you started?
LERNER: We just basically got taken to the cleaners. And part of that was, if you don't have an employment contract, I got fired by the same guy who fired Steve Jobs.
WALLACE (voice over): Lerner had a second act. She started a cosmetics company called Urban Decay with edgy colors for women like her. And in 1996, she bought Ayrshire Farm.
LERNER: It's historically been people who had disposable income who made strides in farming. Look at George Washington or look at Thomas Jefferson.
You are such a pretty girl. She's pretty ....
WALLACE: She raises shires, war horses that go back centuries. Scotch highland cattle and those turkeys which she says taste better because of the lives they live.
(on camera): How much does an Ayrshire turkey cost as compared to one I get at a grocery store? LERNER: Well, our turkeys are expensive. They are between -- I think they're running this year about $160 to $200.
WALLACE (voice over): At those prices, there are questions about how to make this kind of farming profitable. But while Lerner is determined to run a sound business, it's not just about the bottom line. There's a 40-room mansion on the farm.
(on camera): What's it like living there?
LERNER: I don't know.
WALLACE: What do you mean?
LERNER: I live in a little log cabin and I love it.
WALLACE: Do you think -- you are a bit eccentric?
LERNER: I'm now that I'm rich. I used to just be weird.
WALLACE (voice over): And so, just days before Thanksgiving, Sandy Lerner and I danced with the turkeys. She grew up on a family farm. And she wants to see those values live on.
LERNER: I'm a cowgirl. I can tell what cows are thinking. It's very much my success as a farmer which is what George Washington was. He wanted to be a really good farmer. And I think I've become a good farmer.
WALLACE: Sandy Lerner sold over a thousand turkeys this Thanksgiving and she donated almost 12,000 pounds of turkey to local charities.
And that's it for today. Have a great week and we'll see you next "Fox News Sunday."
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