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Democratic reaction to Hillary Clinton private email scandal; US moves forward with Iran nuclear talks
Written by Chris Wallace / Published March 08, 2015 / Fox News Sunday
Special Guests: Sen. Ron Johnson, Lanny Davis, Mike Huckabee
This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," March 8, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I'm Chris Wallace. Hillary Clinton on her way to the Democratic presidential nomination. Or is she?
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Don't you someday want to see a woman president of the United States of America?
WALLACE: A new firestorm over Clinton using a private e-mail account while she was secretary of state.
REP. TREY GOWDY, R – S.C.: It was only last week that we discovered they can't produce all of her e-mails to us because they don't have all of her e-mails.
WALLACE: We'll discuss the fallout with Mike Huckabee, a Clinton critic since his days as governor of Arkansas. And former White House special counsel during the Clinton years, Lanny Davis. Then, the U.S. moves forward with Iran nuclear talks, despite warnings from Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: This is a bad deal. We're better off without it.
WALLACE: As the deadline for a deal closes in, what will Congress do? We'll talk with two key senators, Ron Johnson and Bill Nelson. And, race in America. The Department of Justice clears Officer Darren Wilson, but accuses the Ferguson police of violating the Constitution.
ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL: Both policing and municipal court practices were found to be disproportionately harmful to African-American residents. WALLACE: Our Sunday panel weighs in. Plus -- 50 years after Bloody Sunday, how far have we come? Our power player of the week, Georgia Congressman John Lewis, remembers his march from Selma.
REP. JOHN LEWIS, D - GA: There was a sense of righteous indignation in America.
WALLACE: All right now on "Fox News Sunday."
WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington. We begin with some breaking news, in the Hillary Clinton private e-mail controversy. President Obama has commented on it for the first time in an interview with CBS News.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
INTERVIEWER: Mr. President, when did you first learn that Hillary Clinton used an e-mail system outside the U.S. government for official business while she was secretary of state?
PRESIDENET BARACK OBAMA: The same time everybody else learned it through news reports.
INTERVIEWER: Were you disappointed?
OBAMA: The policy by administration is to encourage transparency. And that's why my e-mails -- the Blackberry that I carry around -- all those records, are available, and archived, and I'm glad that Hillary has instructed that those e-mails that had to do with official business need to be disclosed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: We'll talk with a former Clinton lawyer in a moment. But, first, Mike Huckabee, who's dealt with the Clintons since before his days as governor of Arkansas. Governor, Secretary Clinton's spokesman, Nick Merrill, says that she abided by, quote, "both the letter and spirit of the rules." And State Department official Marie Harf said even if she waited two years after she left office to turn over all of her e-mails, that's all right. Here she is.
(BEGIN VIDEOI CLIKP)
MARIE HARF, STATE DEPARTMENT DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON: I do know that at that time, there was no time requirement. Now there is. And she has given everything according to her staff to the State Department.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: So, Governor, what did Hillary Clinton do wrong?
FORMER GOV. MIKE HUCKABEE, R-AR: Well, there's a protocol that she didn't follow. That it was a directive from within the Obama administration. I think there's also some legal issues about whether or not it's a good idea, even a lawful idea, to store top secret information -- to which a secretary of state would be privy to -- on a personal server in a personal home, away from all the firewalls that the government would provide. And whether or not she's given all the e-mails -- I mean the fact is, we really don't know, because if she's the only one who has access to them, she can redact what she wants. I think that's problematic for her, more in explanation, even if she does turn them over. There's going to be accusations that that's not all there is.
WALLACE: And why do you think that Secretary Clinton did it?
HUCKABEE: That, I can't answer other than there were things that she just didn't want to have in the public eye. I think anybody who's ever been in politics would love to keep a lot of things quiet, not because they're necessarily evil, or criminal, but just because people want the candor of conversation. But I think that in the position of secretary of state, one has to understand that -- that they would be a serious target for being hacked. And we've seen how easy it is for some of these foreign entities, and even domestic entities, to hack into private e-mail accounts. I think that's problematic, and it could compromise national security.
WALLACE: You talk about the fact that we don't know what we don't know. There are a number of congressional committees. There are a number of private lawsuits, that have sought all the records, all the e-mails, related to their various cases, from Secretary Clinton, since it was her team that decided what to turn over to the State Department. How will we ever know whether that's a complete record?
HUCKABEE: That's exactly the point, Chris. We don't. And if you're depending upon somebody who is under investigation to be in charge of the investigation, you don't have much of an investigation. It just doesn't have the credibility. And that's what I find interesting, as well as the fact that it appears that from the president to Robert Gibbs, from John Kerry, there are people in the administration that are walking away from Hillary Clinton on this and kind of leaving her out there twisting in the wind. I find that as interesting as I do the fact that these e-mails were kept in her private server, in her home, somewhere away from public view, and that her private e-mail account was the one with which she did official business. That's what makes it problematic. If she –
WALLACE: Let me ask you, Governor, about –
HUCKABEE: -- of shopping on Amazon, that would have been different, Chris.
WALLACE: Let me ask you about that, though. It's been suggested that a neutral party, an inspector general, a retired judge, should be able to have access to go through her entire private server to make sure that she has turned over everything that's relevant. What do you think of that idea?
HUCKABEE: Well, it may be what she's forced to have to do just to eliminate all the questions. Not that they will ever all be eliminated, because once this shadow of doubt has been placed, I think it's going to linger throughout a presidential campaign, should she decide to run.
WALLACE: Finally, you, as we said, were the governor of Arkansas, and came into office four years after Bill Clinton left office. But you had a lot of dealings before and during your term with the Clintons. How familiar does all this seem to you?
HUCKABEE: Very familiar. And let me be very clear: Bill Clinton, or Hillary Clinton, has been on the ballot in Arkansas or the nation every two years since 1974, except for 1988 and then the time, once Bill Clinton was elected president, then it was every four years. Hillary Clinton was on the ballot, of course, to be U.S. senator, and then U.S. president. So, we've had a Clinton on the ballot in over 13 elections over the period of the past 41 years. That means that when Bill Clinton was governor, he made about 1,200 appointments a year. That's an incredible political machine. Every campaign I was ever in, the Clintons personally campaigned for my opponent. I know what it is to face what is an extraordinary political machine. I'm not bitter about it, because frankly my attitude has been -- look, these are people who know how to play politics. They play to win. They use every tool at their disposal to win. I've always had a decent personal relationship with the Clintons. Still do. I look at it like Michael Corleone once looked at the business he was in. It's not personal, it's just business.
HUCKABEE: But, Chris, it is a tough business, and when you challenge the Clinton political machine, whether it's in Arkansas, or anywhere else, you better be up for one heck of a fight.
WALLACE: Well, I'm glad in the comparison to "The Godfather" that there was no disparagement. Governor Huckabee, thank you. Thanks for joining us. Always good to talk with you, sir.
HUCKABEE: Thank you, Chris.
WALLACE: Now, we want to bring in former White House special counsel Lanny Davis, who handled legal troubles in the Clinton White House, including campaign finance, and impeachment. Lanny, you said repeatedly Friday, and this was your quote, "Hillary Clinton did nothing wrong." I can understand saying she didn't break the law. But do you really believe she did nothing wrong?
LANNY DAVIS, FORMER CLINTON SPECIAL COUNSEL: I do. But let me correct my friend Governor Huckabee. I don't want to hurt his political chances, but he is a really good man, and a capable man, but he's wrong on the law. The director of litigation –
WALLACE: I have -- you can answer my question. I'm asking specifically do you think she did anything wrong?
DAVIS: I said no. But she also did nothing illegal and Governor Huckabee suggested that she might. The reason I don't think she did anything wrong is that, number one, there's plenty of precedent. General Colin Powell did exactly the same thing. Number two –
WALLACE: The rules were completely different.
DAVIS: The rules were not completely different –
WALLACE: Yes, there were. There was a new rule in 2009 that came in.
DAVIS: In fact, the rule in 2009 only talked about preservation, which she has followed. And in 2014 the rules changed.
WALLACE: All right.
DAVIS: The rules were the same –
WALLACE: No, let me go through if I may. A list of the various rules, regulations, laws, that she may have violated. Let's put them up on the screen.
DAVIS: May have violated.
WALLACE: If I may finish, sir. The State Department's foreign affairs manual said employees must use secure department approved computer systems. The agency that regulates the Federal Records Act, that's a law, said e-mails must be, quote, "preserved in the appropriate agency." The Obama White House said private e-mails must be preserved, and later, 2011 when she was still secretary of state, that all work should be conducted on government email. And you say Hillary Clinton did nothing wrong? DAVIS: So, you interrupted me when I said or about to say that the director of litigation for the very agency you just quoted, the National Archives Administration said she did nothing illegal or violated any of those rules you just quoted. Not one. And indeed, Colin Powell was subject to those rules because they began in 1995 -- and the word you used, you said "may", everything is "may" -- is preserved and she did –
WALLACE: I want to ask you about preserved. Because when the government said preserved -- do you think they had in mind someone who never turned over any records during the entire four years that she was secretary of state, never turned over any records when she left as secretary of state, did not, in fact, turn over any records until almost two years after she left as secretary of state? Do you think that's what the rules meant when President Obama, when the Federal Records Act, when the foreign manual all talked about preserving records?
DAVIS: The answer is yes, and you –
WALLACE: Two years after, that's what they meant?
DAVIS: And you, Chris Wallace, may have a subjective belief of what might have been the case, I hear the word "may". I'm talking about what is the case. Those records are preserved. Governor Huckabee said, well, maybe they were deleted. Last time I looked you cannot delete on a hard drive. There can be a neutral party to review all these records. Nothing unlawful –
WALLACE: You'd like to have a neutral party?
DAVIS: I said there can be –
WALLACE: Obviously, there can be. I understand that. I'm asking, do you think that's a reasonable idea?
DAVIS: Ii think it is a reasonable idea if anybody has any doubts that there's a delete on a hard drive –
WALLACE: To have an independent –
WALLACE: -- go inspect her private e-mail?
DAVIS: I think there is a reasonable idea. If the State Department asks, she will say yes. If there's a subpoena, she must say yes. This is a bogus notion that what might be the case versus what is the case.
WALLACE: How about the Obama White House in 2011 saying that all work should be conducted on government e-mails?
DAVIS: In fact, the Obama White House has been unclear about what the policy is, because there are many –
WALLACE: The president was talking about with Bill Plante. He didn't say it was unclear.
DAVIS: You know, Chris, what the president said was he didn't know even though the White House knew and the president then went on to support Hillary Clinton. So, if you just let me finish, the fact is, nobody says it's illegal. She's turned over all of her e-mails, the first secretary of state to ever do that. And going forward –
WALLACE: When did she turn them over?
DAVIS: She turned them over last -- well she said she –
WALLACE: Turned them over in December?
DAVIS: To turn everything to the public over. She turned them over last December, yes.
WALLACE: Right, which was almost two years after she left office.
DAVIS: And exactly consistent with the law and the law changed in 2014, which I forgot to mention, and The New York Times –
WALLACE: No, I didn't say that -- I didn't say it hadn't changed. I said it also changed in 2009. Let me ask you a question, Lanny –
DAVIS: It changed in 2009 and it was complied with –
WALLACE: If Clinton did nothing wrong, why did she send out a memo, why did she send out a memo in 2011 to all State Department posts with this directive, avoid conducting official department business from your personal e-mail accounts. Why was it so important for every other member of the State Department, but it was a directive that she ignored?
DAVIS: I can explain that by saying that a secretary of state traveling to 111 countries might be needing to have one e-mail system versus people in the department who should use the official system. I wonder why you –
WALLACE: No, no, no. I don't understand that. You're saying it's such a burden to have to use state.gov?
DAVIS: I didn't say such a burden. You said such a burden. I said that it's understandable –
DAVIS: -- as the secretary –
DAVIS: For the same reason Jeb Bush had 3 million –
WALLACE: No, no, no. You're talking about Jeb Bush and I've heard you play this game before.
DAVIS: You don't know.
WALLACE: I've heard you play this Jeb Bush game before. It's like the Republicans doing Watergate saying, well, Lyndon Johnson wiretapped people, too. It's completely irrelevant, and, please, let's not play that game.
DAVIS: Well, let's not interrupt me and let me explain. What Jeb Bush –
WALLACE: I'm not asking about Jeb Bush. I'm asking why it was that Hillary Clinton in 2011 told all State Department officials use government e-mails and she continued to refuse to do it?
DAVIS: Chris, I gave you that answer that she as secretary of state had a good reason –
WALLACE: What was the good reason? DAVIS: I gave you the reason, you're apparently not listening.
WALLACE: You said -- I don't understand somehow it was going to be more convenient?
DAVIS: Maybe you don't understand because you're not letting me finish. As a secretary of state, she might feel the need –
DAVIS: -- traveling all over –
DAVIS: -- with a handheld device –
WALLACE: Why is state.gov not adequate?
DAVIS: She may feel the need as secretary of state to have that –
WALLACE: Secretary Kerry doesn't feel that.
DAVIS: -- as opposed to people in the department. But you won't let me finish. I think Jeb Bush is a fine man and did nothing wrong. But you won't ask the same question of why does he not use state.gov –
WALLACE: Why don't we talk –
DAVIS: -- with 3 million e-mails. It's just a double standard.
WALLACE: No, it is like, again, it's like the Republicans talking about Lyndon Johnson during Watergate. If Hillary Clinton –
DAVIS: No, it is not, because I don't think he did anything wrong.
WALLACE: If Hillary Clinton did nothing wrong, explain to me this comment from her in 2007.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Our Constitution is being shredded. We know about the secret wiretaps. We know about the secret military tribunals. The secret White House e-mail accounts. It is a stunning record of secrecy and corruption, of cronyism, run amok.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Lanny, she certainly thought private e-mails were a problem then. She said the Constitution was being shredded.
DAVIS: She listed a number of secrecy acts –
WALLACE: Including private e-mails.
DAVIS: And she has now done the unprecedented, maybe we should -- White House did the same unprecedented, no secretary of state has ever volunteered to turn over all her e-mails –
WALLACE: She didn't volunteer. She had to negotiate for four months with the State Department lawyers, lawyer to lawyer, before she turned them over, from August of last year until December. Why was it so outrageous for the Bush White House to use private e-mails, but for her it's OK?
DAVIS: So, I keep answering your question. There were other things she just listed that she said were outrageous.
WALLACE: But she included that.
DAVIS: But she did volunteer to release public all of those e-mails. No other secretary of state, including Colin Powell, who used official and personal e-mails, the same way that Hillary Clinton did, she's the only secretary of state to openly ask the public to look at all these e-mails, and wants them public right now.
WALLACE: Finally, as we said at the beginning, you served in the Clinton White House handing legal matters like campaign finance, like impeachment. Do you ever get tired of cleaning up after the Clintons?
DAVIS: No, you say cleaning up because you have a certain perspective. I am proud, given the public career and the public good of Bill and Hillary Clinton, as reflected by the popular goodwill they have across the country. Unlike Chris Wallace, I don't regard it as –
WALLACE: When you say unlike Chris Wallace, unlike me in what way?
DAVIS: Well, you call it cleaning up. You're entitled to your viewpoint. I am proud to defend a great public servant.
DAVIS: Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton –
WALLACE: Proud of Monica Lewinsky? Proud of campaign finance? Proud of the private e-mails? So, those are moments of pride for the Clintons?
DAVIS: There've been mistakes. The last time you got very heated about the Clintons was Whitewater for four years –
WALLACE: I never discussed Whitewater, my friend.
DAVIS: You never decided that Whitewater is a scandal?
DAVIS: All right. Well, then you're about the only person that I know –
WALLACE: Nope, I never did.
DAVIS: -- in the business of the media.
DAVIS: Remember Whitewater. This is another bogus –
WALLACE: I thought campaign finance was a scandal.
DAVIS: And what precisely ever happened with the Clintons on campaign finance.
WALLACE: Do you think that that was a great moment? Johnny Chung? You really want to re-litigate that? Do you want to re-litigate Monica Lewinsky, and misleading a grand jury and disbarment? Do you want to re-litigate all of that?
DAVIS: You ask me whether I'm proud, you call it cleanup. I don't call it cleanup. After all that you just mentioned, Bill Clinton left with a 65 percent approval rating. Hillary Clinton today is the most popular politician in the country. And you're discussing a non-scandal, nothing illegal, full access. And it's all politics.
WALLACE: Lanny, thank you. Thank you for, as always, whatever you call it, you've been doing it for a long time. Thank you we'll stay on top of this.
DAVIS: Thank you.
WALLACE: Up next, will we ever get the full story of the Clinton e-mails? Our Sunday group joins the conversation. Plus, what would you like to ask the panel about Hillary Clinton's private e-mails? Just go to Facebook or Twitter, @FoxNewsSunday, and we may use your question on the air.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOWDY: The former secretary was responsible for setting the standards for preserving agency records. And knowing this, it does raise the question, if the secretary was doing what she was supposed to do, under the law, why would the State Department have to ask her for her e-mails back?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy, chair of the House Committee on Benghazi, with this week subpoenaed all of Hillary Clinton's private e-mails related to Libya. And it's time now for our Sunday group. Syndicated columnist George Will, Neera Tanden, president of the liberal think tank, the Center for American Progress, Kimberley Strassel from The Wall Street Journal and Fox News political analyst, Juan Williams. Kim, you wrote a column in today's Wall Street Journal under the headline, things -- or rather "Hillary's E-mail Escapade". And I want to ask you about one line in that, "This email caper is pure Clinton". Explain.
KIMBERLEY STRASSEL, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Look, I mean, Governor Huckabee was right. The Clintons play for keeps. They will do whatever they have to do. And her decision to keep her e-mail where it was, it was purposeful. It was with an eye to the future. It was about retaining control. Look, I mean, has there been a political family that has played more cat and mouse games over the years with documents? I mean, you just ran through a list of some of them with Lanny Davis. And that was in her head as she went through that confirmation hearing to become secretary of state. She knew that she was probably going to run for president again. She wanted control of these e-mails. And here's the other thing, she's a lawyer, OK? And so you just heard Lanny Davis talk all about how she didn't break the law. The Federal Records Act is advisory. There are no penalties for breaking it. And she knew that she could probably do this and get away with it. It was classic Clinton.
WALLACE: We asked you for questions for the panel. We got this on Facebook from Mark Dorsey who writes, "Why does she, Clinton, think that the rules we live by don't apply to her? Why couldn't she use the government's e-mail address? What didn't she want the public to see?" Neera, you worked in the Clinton White House. You worked for Senator Clinton. How do you answer Mark?
NEERA TANDEN, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: I would say that she doesn't see herself as above the law, and that's why -- or different from everyone else. That's why, you know, she was following previous secretary of states and now, she's putting forward her email, which is going above and beyond. You know, I think it's fascinating how there is people who can read every view of Hillary. I was talking to Hillary back in 2009. She didn't say she was ever going to run for president again back then, and I think that these presumptions of, you know, nefarious activities are just that, presumptions. And now, we'll know because she's putting forward her e-mails, we're going to go –
WALLACE: But let me just ask you this "preserved" question, because this is, I think, what bugs people. That the rules were pretty clear, your e-mails should be preserved. You really think when they wrote preserved -- I'm not talking about breaking the law. I'm talking about Nick Merrill, her spokesman, said living up to the spirit and the letter of the law. You think that's with keeping of the spirit if you don't turn these over while you're secretary of state, you don't turn them over when you leave as secretary of state? You don't turn them over until two years after you leave, and it's only after the State Department lawyers confront you?
TANDEN: OK, that's also faster than any previous secretary of state passed over the e-mails. So, obviously, she handed over e-mails previous secretaries of state didn't hand over their emails –
WALLACE: That's not true. John Kerry uses the government e-mail. So, they're all contemporaneously preserved.
TANDEN: I was saying previous. Previous to Hillary Clinton –
WALLACE: But that's I think because Condi Rice didn't use a government e-mail. She didn't use any e-mail.
TANDEN: Right. And Colin Powell used an e-mail. Other people used email. There were private e-mails. So, I'm saying that now we'll be able to see, turned over, taking the act of actually turning over the e-mails to the public. I think let's, you know, I know it's hard to imagine, but let's take a breath, she what are in those e-mails and then decide.
STRASSEL: Well, the e-mails she's chosen to give to the State Department.
TANDEN: Well, just to be clear about this. If a cabinet secretary today was using private and public e-mail, right, and the other cabinet secretary, they're making the decision when they decide to use public e-mail, right? So, that's the decision they're making. There's no private -- there's no public record of their private e-mail.
STRASSEL: Which is exactly why the Obama administration said use your government e-mail –
TANDEN: Where appropriate –
STRASSEL: -- because these e-mails belong to the public. They don't belong to them.
TANDEN: Exactly. And she's turning them over. So, that's what we'll see.
STRASSEL: The ones she chose to turn in.
WALLACE: Let me –
TANDEN: Again like any other cabinet secretary –
WALLACE: Let me George in, because if I'm going to ask you the question the folks keep asking me. How big a deal is this? And given the fact we're in March of 2015, how big a deal is this when we're talking about an election that isn't until November of 2016?
GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: It's big because it is axiomatic that the worst political scandals are those that reinforce a pre-existing negative perception, which Kim has documented at length. The Clintons come trailing clouds of entitlement and concealment, and legalistic, Jesuitical reasoning, the kind of people who could find a loophole in a stop sign. The -- her obvious motive was to conceal. You conceal in order to control. And that's what makes this literally, strictly speaking, Orwellian. In George Orwell's novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four", Oceania's regime, the totalitarian regime had an axiom, "He who controls the past controls the future. And he who controls the present controls the past." This is a way of controlling what we will know about the history of our country and it is deeply sinister.
TANDEN: Orwell, sinister, I mean, why don't we ask her, instead of attacking and deriding. See the e-mail and then make judgment.
STRASSEL: Why do you think she did it?
WALLACE: But don't you agree that there's a problem –
TANDEN: This is unbelievable to me, Orwellian. We can all use these words –
WALLACE: -- when the e-mails we're going to see, these 55,000 pages, are only what she and her lawyers decided to turn over.
TANDEN: Again, they're the public e-mails. She has e-mails I'm sure about the bridesmaids dresses. Do we have a right to see those e-mails? She has friends like me that said, how is my sister doing? Do we have the right to see those?
WALLACE: No, but I'm saying to you that she sat there -- what if there's an e-mail about Benghazi and she gets –
TANDEN: And that's what the lawyers will see those, exactly.
WALLACE: Not if she didn't turn them over.
TANDEN: The State Department going to see those e-mails and any e-mail on Benghazi to a public e-mail, other people had documentation as well.
STRASSEL: So, you're saying the State Department is going to see her server?
TANDEN: No, I'm saying that –
WALLACE: What do you think bout the idea of allowing an independent person to go in as you heard Lanny Davis talk about to see her server?
TANDEN: So, I would just see what the e-mails we have are and make decisions on that. We have two years into a presidential cycle, why don't we actually get these e-mails out in the public and see if there's a -- we will have more public e-mails. We'll have more e-mails public than any secretaries of state in the history –
STRASSEL: Possibly none that actually matter?
TANDEN: No, not possibly none that actually matter.
WALLACE: Let me bring Juan in-- Juan.
JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I must say first of all, Hillary Clinton seems to me to be very entitled and privileged and she broke the rules. So, I don't think there are any questions. As to whether or not she broke the law, that's not clear.
WALLACE: I agree.
WILLIAMS: But I will say this, in terms of the politics of 2016, which is really what I think we're driving at here, is that Hillary Clinton scares Republicans to death. I think that's what we've seen. Initially Democrats, including the Obama White House this week, did not defend Hillary Clinton, because the Obama White House wanted to make it clear they had set a clear rules of the road for Hillary Clinton, and they backed off. There was radio silence. I was over there this week. Radio silence on this. But by the end of the week, with all of this talk of subpoenas on Benghazi, and then all of the stuff about, doesn't this remind you of how technical and Orwellian the Clintons are -- suddenly, the Democrats, and we see this with Neera this morning, have become more defensive. And I think the idea is, you know what? Republicans are feasting, they are in a frenzy. They think this is Watergate redux, and it's not.
WALLACE: OK. But you know sometimes when you feast, it's Thanksgiving.
WILLIAMS: Yes, that's right.
(INAUDIBLE) particularly here.
WALLACE: We have to take a break. We'll see you guys a little later in the panel. Up next, the Obama administration continues its nuclear talks with Iran after Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's warning. We'll ask two senators whether Congress will block a deal. And what do you think about negotiating with Iran? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter @FoxNewsSunday and use #fns.
WALLACE: The deadline to work out a deal with Iran to limit its nuclear program is now just weeks away. And the Obama administration continues to negotiate, despite strong opposition from Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. If there is a deal, what role will Congress play? Joining us now Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, a member of the foreign relations committee and from Florida, Senator Bill Nelson who sits on the Armed Services Committee. Gentlemen, let's start with something that the two of you may agree on. If the U.S., and its allies work out a deal with Iran, Senator Johnson, will Congress have to approve it?
SEN. RON JOHNSON, R-WI, FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: Good morning, Chris. I certainly hope so. And that's certainly what the Kirk and Menendez bill is going to lay out and we'll hopefully mark that up in committee next week. The Iranian parliament will get to say yes or no on this deal. I think the United States Congress should have that exact same input into the process.
WALLACE: Senator Nelson, you, of course, are a Democrat. This Kirk or Menendez bill, which would mandate that Congress be given a right to vote up or down on any deal with Iran, the president has said he will veto it. Question, if he does veto it, if there is a deal and if he vetoes it, will you vote as a Democrat to override the president's veto? Will you vote against the president?
SEN. BILL NELSON, D-FL, ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: Well, first of all, what is the Kirk or Menendez of which I'm an original co-sponsor, it is to prevent by voting the lifting of congressional sanctions. That's not an up or down vote on the whole deal. It is a major part of the deal. And so your question, will I vote to override depends on the context of the whole deal, which we don't know until March 24th, when the administration will announce if their negotiations are successful or not.
WALLACE: All right. Let's talk, gentlemen, about a deal, because there are some general outlines, obviously not the details, but some general outlines that have come out. Let's put them up on the screen. A freeze on sensitive nuclear activity for at least ten years. A cap on centrifuges and enriched uranium and intrusive inspections. Senator Nelson, briefly, obviously, the devil is in the details, but that outline that I just laid out there, and what you've heard about it, could you accept a deal like that?
NELSON: Well, again, we don't know what the final deal is. But, the key part of what you mentioned, if that's true, is the intrusive and unannounced inspections. The only way that you're going to keep Iran, which you can't trust any more than a rattlesnake, the only way you're going to make sure that they are not developing a bomb, is the intrusive and unexpected inspections. That's what's going to be key.
WALLACE: Let me ask you, Senator Johnson, about Prime Minister Netanyahu's statement in his powerful speech to Congress this week, in which he tried to link any possible deal to Iran's behavior. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: If the world powers are not prepared to insist that Iran change its behavior before a deal is signed, at the very least, they should insist that Iran change its behavior before a deal expires.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Senator Johnson, is that reasonable?
SEN. RON JOHNSON, R-WI, FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: It really is. And as an extraordinary speech, it is a courageous speech. Because Prime Minister Netanyahu came to America to alert Congress and America to what he views as the next central threat to the state of Israel and Iran is the primary sponsor state - there are state sponsor of terrorism around the world. Its influence is growing in the region. And this deal as it's being described with a sunset provision, doesn't stop nuclear proliferation. It will probably hasten it as we're already hearing Saudi Arabia has met with Pakistan, they'll just purchase a nuclear weapon, and this region will become even more dangerous. So this is a bad deal. I agree with Prime Minister Netanyahu and he was just coming here to America to learn it, and he paid a political price for doing so, but it was real courageous act of his.
WALLACE: Here was President Obama's response to the Netanyahu speech. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: What I can guarantee is that if it's a deal I've signed off on, I will be able to prove that it is the best way for us to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. And for us to pass up on that potential opportunity would be a grave mistake.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Senator Johnson, this sort of is where the rubber hits the road here. I understand that you just don't want any deal, but isn't there a price to be paid if these negotiations fall apart? And I know at this point you're very suspicious, as a lot of people are. About the deal the president's working out. But if you don't get a deal, and you can argue this isn't a perfect deal, or far from it, Iran ramps up its nuclear program. We are then, we've said that we would take out that program. Are you prepared for the possibility of the U.S. going back to war in the Middle East?
JOHNSON: Well, Chris, as everybody's been saying that Iran cannot be allowed to get a nuclear weapon. I agree with that. This negotiation was lost at the start when this administration basically allowed Iran to continue to enrich uranium. Contrary to every U.N. resolution for the last decade that says that Iran has to suspend the enrichment of uranium. And so, this paves the way, as Prime Minister Netanyahu said, for Iran to become basically weaponized its nuclear program. There's no peaceful nuclear program in Iran. There's no reason for them to enrich uranium other than for a weapon. So President Obama in this instance, again, is just denying the reality of the situation. And that's what Prime Minister Netanyahu basically pointed out with good clarity. Here's who Iran is, they're evil.
WALLACE: OK, but I just want to - so you're saying he's already lost the deal. So basically you're saying ...
JOHNSON: He has.
WALLACE: Whatever he comes up with here you think is a bad deal and the U.S. shouldn't make?
JOHNSON: Well, listen. We'll see what deal it is because I really don't know the details. But a sunset provision allowing maybe 6500 centrifuges to continue to spin, that is not a deal that's acceptable.
WALLACE: So then what happens?
JOHNSON: Well, then what we are going to have to - what we should do is we should institute some severe sanctions and that's what, of course, President Obama did, is he relaxed those sanctions. We do not want an economically strong Iran, as well as a strong state sponsor of terrorism around the world. Look at their influence expand in the region. This is getting very dangerous. President Obama's denying that reality.
WALLACE: And if Iran decides to ramp up its program because the negotiations have fallen apart? What should we do then?
JOHNSON: We cannot allow them to have a nuclear weapon. If that means military action, that's what it will end up taking. And if Israel believes it's threatened and it takes military action, the United States has got to back our strong ally.
WALLACE: Senator Nelson you've got the final word.
NELSON: Well thank you, Chris. I disagree with my colleague. That he seems to know what the deal is. And I disagree with the prime minister that he would come and try to kill a negotiation while the very negotiation is going on in Geneva. I don't think that's right. And I don't think it's right, also, that he would come in front of the U.S. Congress as the representative of the American people two weeks before an election. That's not right. So let's get through all of this, let's see what the negotiation produces.
NELSON: Let's hope there's an alternative to war, but at this point we don't know.
WALLACE: Senator Nelson, Senator Johnson, I want to thank you both. Thank you so much for joining us today. And we will stay on top of these negotiations.
NELSON: Let it be, Chris.
WALLACE: The nation marks 50 years since the civil rights marches in Selma. But the aftershock of Bloody Sunday remains. We'll bring back the panel to discuss race in America. And the Justice Department findings of racial bias in the Ferguson police department. That's next.
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WALLACE: The nation's first black president joining a crowd of thousands in Selma, Alabama, this weekend, to mark 50 years since Bloody Sunday. When state troopers attacked marchers seeking voting rights for all. President Obama said the struggle for equality continues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We just need to open our eyes and our ears and our hearts to know that this nation's racial history still casts its long shadow upon us. We know the march is not yet over. We know the race is not yet won.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: And, indeed, all this the same week the Justice Department issued a blistering report about racial bias in the Ferguson, Missouri, police department, and we're back now with a panel. Before we get to the larger issue of race in America, I just want to know that the Justice Department cleared Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson of any wrongdoing in the shooting death of Michael Brown, just as the Missouri grand jury did. George, after seven months of investigations and protests, it turns out that hands up, don't shoot, apparently never happened.
GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: No. But it did -- it was convenient, because it was congruent with a liberal interpretation of things. And it's the third time we've seen this. It began in a sense with the Duke Lacrosse case. Another hoax, the rape never happened, but it fed the narrative that male athletes particularly are a testosterone, crazed menaces to society. Then came "The Rolling Stone" University of Virginia rape hoax. Again, fraternities are pools of testosterone and dangerous, and it all fits so conveniently. Then, we get to Ferguson. And Ferguson, don't shoot fed the narrative about how the police are inherently dangerous to minorities. What the report demonstrates, by the way, is not, it seems to me, bias, but disparate impact which is a different --
WALLACE: And we're going to get into that. Juan, I want to know, you wrote, eyes on the prize, one of the most important books written, ever written, about the civil rights movement. How do you put together Selma, and Ferguson, and race in America? What are your thoughts this week?
JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Selma is a great point of reference for looking at where we are on civil rights. When you look back at Selma, people crossing the bridge, Chris, you know, there's a moment when you see Americans willing to stand in the face of violence to bring to reality, you know, the more perfect union, the declaration of independence has promised that all men are created equal. But what you see today is, I think, we've lost moral clarity. Because it's moral clarity when you have the Jim Clarks and the Bull Connors beating people who simply want to register to vote as Americans.
WALLACE: These were police down south --
WILLIAMS: Right, right. And today you compare that, we have lost moral clarity. I think what we've got now is civil rights has basically become black people as a special interest group. A key constituency for Democrats. Making demands on the system. And treated as such. I think you've lost moral clarity, obviously, when you can't fix the Voting Rights Act in this day and age, 2015, to guarantee that all Americans. Instead you see people engage in what I think are efforts to diminish the vote of not only blacks, but Latinos, young people, seniors. And I think you also see diminishment of moral clarity on the part of black leadership in this country when they won't pay attention to some of the issues with regard to family breakdown, crime, bad schools, instead always pointing again to the white communities of white guilt is going to carry you to the next plateau. Just not realistic. So we've lost moral clarity in terms of dealing with slavery, reconstruction, the fight against legal segregation in this country.
WALLACE: Well, but - It's interesting, but part of what you're saying is, as hard as that was, and as brave as those people were, that was kind of easy, pardon the expression, black and white, and now it gets really complicated.
KIMBERLEY STRASSEL, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Well I mean it's like George said about the narrative. One of the unfortunate things about the speech the president gave at Selma, and most of it was great, he actually made really good points, it was very rousing. But he just felt compelled to have to throw in this argument that they are still having problem because of voter I.D. laws across the country. And that feeds another one of these narratives, which is just simply not true. It's not a central focus. If you look at 2012, black voter turnout exceeded that of white voter turnout, and in states with the strictest voter I.D. laws.
NEERA TANDEN, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: But that's because --
TANDEN: Then can become hurdles. I mean I think what's surprising about this debate is, we haven't talked at all about the other Ferguson report. I mean we talk about moral clarity. There's moral clarity in the Ferguson report when they describe instances, in which African-Americans are selected by --
WALLACE: Let me just - let me interrupt for a second. Because I'm going to put - we have some statistics up on the screen.
TANDEN: It's not just the statistics --
WALLACE: This is a report about the general police department there in Ferguson. Please put it up on the screen. Blacks make up or made up 67 percent of the population in Ferguson, but they accounted for 93 percent of the arrests there. And 88 percent of cases where there was a use of force. And here was Attorney General Holder releasing the report.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL: These policing practices disproportionately harm African-American residents. In fact, our view of the evidence found no -- no alternative explanation for the disproportionate impact on African-American residents other than implicit and explicit racial bias.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Neera, continue.
TANDEN: Exactly there's disparate impacts. But you have instance after instance of police officers with outright racist attitudes policing African-Americans, disproportionately versus the white population. They have racist e-mails. They have racist language. And that's why people distrusted perhaps the police. So I agree that some issues are ones that are more difficult. But these are issues in which we should actually speak with one more united voice. I think that issues Ferguson last week, it was good that we have the Justice Department that cleared the police officer. We can have trust in that. You understand why people were protesting because they didn't have faith in their police because the police department specifically goes after ....
WALLACE: This is specific narrative - the specific narrative about Darren Wilson was not true.
TANDEN: Right. There was a specific narrative that wasn't true. And it was good that we have the Justice Department we can trust. But why people were distrustful, was because we've now learned that they have a police department that targets African-Americans. And I would hope that all of us would see, and Selma 50 years later, that there's still challenges we face as a country, and I thought that's what was so important about the president's remarks, was to say, you know, these are things that we still have to tackle and I hope we all do.
WALLACE: Kim, less than a minute.
STRASSEL: Are we going to trust the Justice Department? Again Eric Holder came out and said we're not going to stop until we fix these things here.
TANDEN: Yes, we should not stop until we fix these things.
STRASSEL: But does anyone actually think that the Justice Department is best positioned to be doing that?
TANDEN: As opposed to what? Ferguson itself, in which there are police that are -- clearly they're not self-policing because they've had racist police officers for a long time doing these things and no one has cared.
STRASSEL: No ...
TANDEN: Isn't that why we have this Justice Department because we've had -- we have these laws that aren't being enforced at the local level?
STRASSEL: Again, I mean I think that report was actually incredibly complicated. It got into things like productivity quotas and things, too - it was tough.
WALLACE: To be continued. And the debate will go on. Thank you, panel. See you all next Sunday.
Up next our power player of the week. And you won't want to miss it. A civil rights legend looks back half a century at Bloody Sunday.
WALLACE: He was leading the march on Bloody Sunday and he still has the scar on his forehead to show for it. He's the last person still alive who spoke at the march on Washington. And so it was my great honor this week to discuss where we've come as a nation and where we still have to go with our power player of the week.
JOHN LEWIS: They came toward us. Beating us with nightsticks. Tramping us with horses.
WALLACE: John Lewis is talking about Bloody Sunday. March 7th, 1965. When 600 protesters tried to march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, to demand their voting rights. It's a key scene in the movie "Selma." John Lewis was the man in the white trench coat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The people! The people! The people! The people! The people!
WALLACE: But it's not a movie for Lewis. It's a memory that still burns half a century later.
LEWIS: Trying to protect my head. I really thought I was going to die there.
WALLACE (on camera): When did you realize that Bloody Sunday was a turning point?
LEWIS: The American people saw what happened, they couldn't take it. There was a sense of righteous indignation in America.
WALLACE (voice over): On March 15th, President Lyndon Johnson addressed the joint session of Congress. And introduced the Voting Rights Act.
LYNDON JOHNSON: And we shall overcome.
WALLACE: Lewis was watching on TV, along with Martin Luther King.
LEWIS: I looked at Dr. King, tears came down his face, and he said we will make it from Selma to Montgomery. And the Voting Rights Act will pass. And he was right.
WALLACE: John Lewis grew up in rural Alabama. Went to segregated schools and saw the signs for whites and coloreds. Then he brings up something that happened to the kids in his family when he was 16.
LEWIS: Trying to get library cards, attempting to check out some books. We were told by the librarian that the library was for whites only, and not for coloreds.
WALLACE: So, was voting. By 1965 that was the focus of the civil rights movement. Lewis says Selma selected itself.
LEWIS: The county was more than 80 percent African-American. Dallas (ph) County. There was not a single registered African-American voter in the county.
WALLACE: Lewis has been a member of Congress now for 28 years. But he goes back to Selma every year.
LEWIS: Selma helped free and liberate not just American South, but helped liberate our country.
WALLACE (on camera): On the issue of race, how far have we come since Selma?
LEWIS: As a nation we've come a great distance. White, colored signs are gone. The only place that we would see those signs today would be in a book, in a museum, or on a video.
WALLACE: How far do we still have to go?
LEWIS: We still have a distance to travel before we lay down the burden of race.
We're not there yet. We'll be on our way and there will not be any turning back.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: John Lewis is 75 now, and as we said, he served almost three decades in Congress. But there's not even a hint he's leaving the march. And that's it for today. Have a great week and we'll see you next "Fox News Sunday."
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