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Fox News Sunday

Mike Huckabee lays out path to 2016 Republican nomination; Amb. John Bolton talks NSA surveillance, growth of ISIS

This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," May 24, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

CHRIS WALLACE, ANCHOR: I'm Chris Wallace.

Mike Huckabee won Iowa eight years ago. But now, he has a new strategy. And we have the exclusive interview.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MIKE HUCKABEE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My goal is not to win a straw poll that doesn't mean something. It's to win the election that means everything for the future of the country.

WALLACE: Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee lays out his path to the 2016 Republican nomination, only on "Fox News Sunday."

Then, Rand Paul spends almost 11 hours on the Senate floor, opposing renewal of the Patriot Act.

SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KY.: I think we can be safe and have our freedom as well.

WALLACE: We'll ask a Sunday panel about the government's bulk collection of our phone records, and the release of some of Hillary Clinton's private emails.

Plus, the White House defends its strategy for countering ISIS, as the terror group seizes the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra and tightens its hold on Ramadi.

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Are we going to lit our hair on fire every time that there is a set back in the campaign against ISIL?

WALLACE: We'll sit down with former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, who says we're losing the war against ISIS.

And our Power Player of the Week, honoring our nation's veterans with the proper military farewell.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want every family to have live taps at that going away presentation of their veteran.

WALLACE: All right now on "Fox News Sunday."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.

Well, it's not just barbecue on the menu this Memorial Day weekend. There's also politics and national security.

We begin with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who ran second for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008, became a star on FOX News Channel, but then left television to run again.

Governor Huckabee joins us now.

And welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."

HUCKABEE: Thank you, Chris. Great to be back.

WALLACE: I want to start with a couple of breaking stories. First of all, the release on Friday by the State Department of 296 Hillary Clinton's emails concerning Benghazi.

Here's the reaction that you gave: "We expect these charades and masquerades in USSR," that's the old Soviet Union, "not the USA."

Governor, explain what you mean by that.

HUCKABEE: Well, the secrecy with which this government has operated, and specifically, Hillary Clinton using a private email server outside the bounds of normal State Department protocol is very troubling, especially because we have yet to get an answer to what happened in Benghazi. And while I know that that sounds like something, an old broken record, we need to know why did four different times an ambassador called for help and no help came.

The one thing American soldiers and American diplomats need to know wherever they're stationed across the world is when they're under fire and being shot at, we will move heaven and earth to try to get them, to rescue them and to protect them.

And we didn't do that on the night of Benghazi. Hillary's phone rang at 3:00 in the morning and she let it go to voice mail. We need to know why.

WALLACE: Let me ask you about another breaking question: Congress is more deadlocked than ever about what to do about the NSA's bulk data collection of phone records with the program set to expire on June 1st. Here's what you had to say about that this week:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HUCKABEE: Does the Constitution allow the government to read the mail and to listen to the phone calls, even to collect them without a warrant or probable cause? And I think the obvious answer is no, it does not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Couple of points here, Governor. First of all, Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which is the section that is going to expire on June 1st, has nothing to do with listening in on phone calls. It's just recording the fact that my phone number called your phone number. So, aren't you, one, wrong there when you talk about listening in? And secondly, what would you do? What do you think we need to do about this bulk data collection?

HUCKABEE: Well, I think the Constitution already provides what we should do. If you have probable cause, to suspect that Chris Wallace is acting in some nefarious manner, you go to a judge, you get a warrant, and then you listen in on his calls, because now, you've got the other branch of government that's constitutionally required to be a part of that process.

You don't just give the executive branch unlimited resources, unlimited power. Our founders were very concerned about too much power being invested in any one, in any branch. The balance of power is fundamental to our system.

And I don't want to be made unsafe. But, Chris, 225 different terrorist plots over the past years since 9/11 and so far, not one of them has been tied directly to the NSA's collection of metadata. So, if this is so effective, how come it hasn't resulted in the foiled terrorist plots? Those have been foiled by old fashion good police work, old fashion human intelligence. It seems like we're spending billions of dollars on whiz-bang technology and not enough money on human resources, which really is proven to be the most effective way of stopping terrorism.

WALLACE: All right. Let's turn now to your candidacy. You announced that about three weeks ago, and I was struck listening to your campaign announcement. You laid some very bold policies and I want to drill down into those.

You said, first of all, no cuts, no changes to Medicare or Social Security. Here you are.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HUCKABEE: If Congress wants to take away someone's retirement, let them in their own congressional pensions, not your Social Security.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: But government trustees say, without any changes, for instance Medicare's hospital insurance fund will run out of money by 2030, and the Social Security trust fund will run out of money by 2033.

Governor, don't we have to find some way either raising the eligibility age or cutting perhaps for the wealthier people to try to keep these programs solvent? I'm not saying for current retirees, but for people, a lot of reformers say, 55 and younger.

HUCKABEE: Well, but the problem with people even 55 and younger, they've been paying in for 40 years. This was not a voluntary extraction from their paycheck. It was involuntarily lifted from them, under the guise that the government would then provide for them their money back in that Social Security or Medicare fund.

This is not an entitlement as much as it is an earned benefit that people have paid in.

Now, there are some factors here. One of the reasons, Chris, that I'm for the fair tax is that it means that everybody will help fund Social Security and Medicare, not just the working people of America, because right now, the only people paying in are the people that work for wages, people who get their money off dividends, they're not paying anything in.

So, Social Security and Medicare funds are being short-drifted (ph) because we limit the manner which people pay in. If everybody was under a consumption tax, which is what the fair tax does, all of Americans would be contributing, even people who make their money solely --

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: Sir, I'm going to get to the fair tax in a minute. But I want to just stay on this entitlement reform, because back in to 2011, here is what you told Neil Cavuto about reform of entitlements.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HUCKABEE: We keep saying that, you know, 60 is the new 40. OK. Well, let's treat 60 like it's the new 40. Let's raise that eligibility age up to 70 for the people under 55.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: You favored reforms to entitlements back then, sir. What's changed?

HUCKABEE: Well, the main thing I feel like that has happened, as I understand, if we start breaking promises to people and we start making changes in a program people have been into for years, I think it adds to the distrust we have of government.

And, frankly, there's never been a time in my lifetime where people are more distrustful of government.

WALLACE: But, sir --

HUCKABEE: Now, if we have to make those changes, I'd say go back to people who are 14 and 15 who are just entering the work force. And here's another suggestion that I have, Chris.

WALLACE: But, sir, if I may briefly, it was only four years ago you were saying, yes, we do need to change it for people who were 55 and younger, because frankly people are living longer.

HUCKABEE: And I think the fact is that we can't make those changes because, as I talk to people across the country, they feel like that is a gut punch, and if we're going to make the changes -- look, let the individual. For example, if you want to give me the option to take my retirement benefits in one lump sum, but let me make that choice, OK, give me the tax-free benefits. But I don't think you can go and give seniors the sense that everything they have been involuntarily paying in for is now going to be taken from them.

WALLACE: OK. Let's talk about the fair tax which you just brought up. You want to abolish the income tax, you want to abolish the IRS and create a fair tax, as you say, is a national sales tax.

But critics say the problem with that is it's too regressive. The Tax Policy Center said this, that the average rate for the lowest income group would exceed 33 percent, while the average for the top group would fall to less than 16 percent. The argument, Governor, is that the rich who spend less of their income are going to end up making out pretty well under this. And the poor who spend almost all their income and are going to be paying this sales tax are going to pay the most, or at least the highest percentage.

HUCKABEE: They have it exactly wrong. In fact, it's the bottom third of the economy who benefit the most from the fair tax. The people of the top third of the economy benefit the least, although everybody benefits some.

That tax study is one that has been discredited by the people who spend over $20 million, very thorough, thoughtful economic study developing the fair tax. It's not just some political idea. It's a thoughtfully presented economic plan.

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: Doesn't it just stand to reason if I make $5,000, I'm going to spend a higher percentage of my income just for the necessities, and if I make $1 million, I probably am not going to spend as much a percentage of my income because I've got a lot of income.

HUCKABEE: Well, the difference is, though, and this is where a lot of people don't understand, the fair tax has what's called the prebate, which untaxes people for their necessities. So, if you're at the bottom third, chances are you really don't pay any effective tax whatsoever in the consumption tax because you are consuming less and you're getting a prebate, which is a rebate in advance for that what you would have spent.

So, that's why the poorest people end up coming out better. I would recommend people going to the fair tax Web site, reading books on the fair tax, but getting it from people who actually know what it does rather than those who don't want to see the fair tax. Because I'll tell you what the fair tax does, it empowers the consumer and it lets people have their whole paycheck and it takes the power out of the hands of Congress and puts it in the hands of the consumer. That's power to the people.

WALLACE: Governor, I want to keep moving along, because as I say, there are a lot of things you said in your announcement. You also seemed to indicate that as president, you wouldn't necessarily obey court rulings, even the Supreme Court. Here you are.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HUCKABEE: Many of our politicians have surrendered to the false god of judicial supremacy, which would allow black robed and unelected judges the power to make law as well as enforce it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: But, Governor, we have operated under the principle of judicial review since the Marbury versus Madison case in 1803.

HUCKABEE: Judicial review is actually what we've operated under. We have not operated under judicial supremacy. Presidents Lincoln, Jefferson, Jackson, presidents have understood that the Supreme Court cannot make a law. They cannot make it. The legislature has to make it, the executive branch has to sign it and enforce it.

And the notion that the Supreme Court comes up with the ruling and that automatically subjects the two other branches to following it defies everything there is about the three equal branches of government. Chris, the Supreme Court is not the supreme branch. And for God's sake, it isn't the Supreme Being. It is the Supreme Court.

WALLACE: But, sir, George Will, the conservative columnist, has pointed out that back in 1957, another governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus, decided to disregard and refuse to obey the ruling to desegregate schools. President Eisenhower had to call in the 101st Airborne.

Are you saying President Huckabee might decide he wasn't going to obey the ruling on desegregation, or like President Nixon to turn over the tapes? You know, it's up in the air as to whether you're going to obey the Supreme Court?

HUCKABEE: Well, Chris, as you know, George Will is no fan of mine. He's not very fond of me. He recently called me appalling. So, I'm not surprised he would make such a false comparison.

But the point is, in that case, the Supreme Court had ruled the legislature and the executive branch had agreed with the Supreme Court, and precisely what happened is what should happen. The president ordered the airborne to come in and enforce the law, the law that did exist.

WALLACE: But --

HUCKABEE: It wasn't that the president defied the law. The president was carrying out the law and using all the forces at his resource to do it.

WALLACE: But, OK, let's say the president decided, "I don't like the Supreme Court's ruling on that," let's say Nixon had said, for instance, in Watergate, "I don't want to turn over the tapes and the court can't make me"?

HUCKABEE: Well, the president has to follow whatever the law is. Does Congress have a law that tells him what he is going to do? In that case, the Congress was ready to impeach Nixon and he ultimately resigned.

I want to get back to the main point here. It's a matter of balance of power. If the Supreme Court could just make a ruling and everybody has to bow down and fall on their faces and worship that law, it isn't a law because it hasn't been yet passed.

Then, what if the Supreme Court ruled they were going to make the decision as to who was going to be the next president and save the taxpayers and voter from all the expense and trouble of voting, and they'll just pick a president? Well, we would say, "Well, they can't do that." Why can't they do it? They can't do it because it's not in the law.

We are sworn to uphold the Constitution and law. And it has to be consistent and agreed upon with three branches of government -- one can't overrule the other two. That's all I'm saying. We learned that in ninth grade civics, but I'm convinced a lot of Ivy League law schools must have forgotten that simple basic civics lessons along the way.

WALLACE: Governor Huckabee, as I said, an awful lot of interesting things you said in your own announcement. I'm sure a lot of interesting things you're going to say in this campaign.

Thank you for coming in today. Thank you for sharing your holiday weekend with us. We'll see you on the campaign trail.

HUCKABEE: Thank you.

WALLACE: And we'll keep asking you questions.

HUCKABEE: All right, Chris. Thanks.

WALLACE: Up next, with ISIS growing as a threat, is this any time to shut down the government's surveillance program? We'll talk with Ambassador John Bolton, a leading supporter of bulk data collection when we come right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALLACE: The debate over extending that controversial NSA surveillance program will drag on at least one more week, after the Senate defeated a string a proposals. The Senate doesn't go back into session until next Sunday. That's just hours before key provisions of the Patriot Act expire.

Joining us now, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, who was a strong supporter of the NSA program.

Ambassador, welcome to "Fox News Sunday."

JOHN BOLTON, FORMER U.N. AMBASSADOR: Glad to be with you.

WALLACE: As I say, you're a strong supporter. You believe that bulk data collection of our phone records is vital to protecting the country. In fact, you have a foundation, it's running an ad here in Washington, trying to convince members of Congress to vote for it.

Here's a play.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP, RADIO AD)

BOLTON: I strongly support NSA efforts that protect America's interest in the digital world. Without NSA, we're vulnerable and blind.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

WALLACE: Ambassador, how worried are you now that Congress won't even take up whether or not to extend this program until next Sunday, just hours before the lights go out?

BOLTON: Well, I think ultimately, some aspect of it will be extended. I think there is no question about that.

The number of people who actually want to shut the program down entirely is really very small. The issue for me is getting the debate pushed forward two or three years until we get into a presidency where many Republicans, I think, would have greater faith that a new president is not going to endanger American civil liberties.

I think there's a lot of hype and hysteria about this program. But it's compounded by basic distrust of Barack Obama.

WALLACE: I want to pick up on something that Governor Huckabee said, and that is that the Justice Department's inspector general this week issued a report that said the FBI can't report to a single terrorist plot that was broken up as a result of this program. Isn't that a fairly strong argument against it?

BOLTON: Well, I think that report covers only a small piece of the total picture. That is to say what the FBI is looking at. NSA and others, former CIA officials, have said that many recent terrorist incidents affecting the homeland, that the bulk data collection program has been a factor in every one of them.

Let's be clear how intelligence works. Very rare that one piece of intelligence dictates the ultimate conclusion. This NSA program is part of a lot of efforts and it is very important.

WALLACE: You talk about the hysteria, what you say is the hysteria against it. You also have said that critics of the program are engaging in McCarthyite tactics, like Joe McCarthy back in the '50s, trying to scare the American public. Now, this week Senator Rand Paul took to the Senate floor almost 11 hours to speak out against continuing the NSA record program. Here's how he later explained it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDDIATE: I'm for getting terrorist. I'm for looking at the records of terrorist. I just want to use the Constitution.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Is Senator Paul guilty of McCarthyism?

BOLTON: Well, that statement was not McCarthyism. I agree with it. But I think the -- giving the implication that Americans are having the NSA listen to their phone calls, read their e-mails, the information's presented in such a confusing and confused way, that I think there is a lot of demagoguery going on here. And I think that's one reason why the votes in Congress are so up in the air. Because even many members don't fully appreciate how this program works, what it does, and what protections are built into it.

WALLACE: While Congress debates how to protect us, the threat from ISIS only grows. After the terror group took the Anwar capital of Ramadi, this was the comment from White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN: Are we going light our hair on fire every time that there is a setback in the campaigning as ISIL?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: And President Obama said this: "I don't think we're losing. There is no doubt there was a tactical setback."

Ambassador Bolton, what do you think is going on in the White House?

BOLTON: I think they're in denial, but I don't think that's anything new. I think they've been in denial about the war on terror for the last six plus years. They don't want to admit we're in a war. They'd rather treat it as a law enforcement matter. That's palpably wrong. I think their unwillingness to understand the nature of the ideological threats we face from the likes of ISIS, paralyzes them in ability to deal with it effectively. And we are losing. There is no doubt about it.

WALLACE: So, I mean, if we are losing, and you see what happened in Ramadi, in Palmyra, and the border crossing, the last border crossing that ISIS didn't control, what is it that they're not seeing? And how do you explain their not seeing it?

BOLTON: I think they're blinded by their own ideology. I think they see this as something that would inevitably lead to more American involvement and they don't want to do it. And they just simply will not acknowledge that ISIS is a threat, not simply in the region, although it certainly is to the oil-producing monarchies of the Arabian Peninsula, but with thousands of American citizens, citizens of European countries, joining ISIS in Iraq and Syria, that poses a direct terrorist threat in the very near future right here in America.

WALLACE: You have laid out some controversial ideas about what to do. One of the things you say is that the state, these are your words, the state of Iraq has ceased to exist. You also say that we need a sizable increase in U.S. troops on the ground in Iraq -- not a reinvasion. But you make it clear more than just an injection of some special forces. So explain. What is your plan for victory?

BOLTON: I think that Turkey and the Arab states nearby have a huge stake in working with us to destroy ISIS before it really consolidates its control over the territory it holds, rips up the post-World War I map of the Middle East, and creates a new state, which is its objective.

Those Arab forces and the Turks can't do it alone. They need American leadership. They need us there with them. It's wrong to say it's their problem, let them handle it. Are we really saying we're going to put American security in the hands of the Saudi defense ministry? I don't think so. What I've said is very unpleasant to hear. Politicians shy away from it. I think it's inevitable.

WALLACE: But when you say the state of Iraq has ceased to exist -- one, what does that mean? Two, what are the ramifications? Does it mean we're not going to put Humpty Dumpty back together again?

BOLTON: Precisely. Look, the Kurds now are de facto independent. They're not going back into Iraq under any circumstances voluntarily and I don't know anyone who's going to push them back. The Arabs divided between Sunnis and Shias -- I think the Sunni Arabs are never going to agree to be in a state where the Shia outnumber them 3-1. That's what ISIS has been able to take advantage of.

I think our objective should be a new Sunni state out of the western part of Iraq, the eastern part of Syria run by moderates or at least authoritarians who are not radical Islamists. What's left of the state of Iraq, as of right now, is simply a satellite of the Ayatollahs in Tehran. It's not anything we should try to aid.

WALLACE: All right, let's talk in the time we have remaining a little bit about 2016. You're the one person on earth who was thinking of running for president and isn't going to run for president on the Republican side. You'd seriously considered a run. You said this week that you can't because you say it's not feasible for someone like you to run. What does that mean?

BOLTON: Well, I think the reality is that, unless you're an elected official at the senatorial level or gubernatorial level, or former official at that level, very hard to overcome the conventional wisdom that you simply can't get attention and win. And I think for a long time I also faced a headwind of trying to make national security the central issue. I think I've seen that part of the problem overcome. But I think you've got to be a realist about this. I wasn't in this primarily for myself anyway; I was in it to accomplish the objective of getting foreign defense policy, the first job of the presidency, to be the center of the debate.

WALLACE: All right. As you say, you would have run, had you run, as a national security hawk. Now that you're out of the race, are there any people that are currently in or look likely to be in who you are comfortable with on those issues? And any that you're very much uncomfortable with on those issues? I'm talking about on the Republican side.

BOLTON: Right. Well, I don't want to be, for this point, anyway, the S&P rating service for the other Republican candidates. My aim is to push all of them to talk a lot more about how they feel about national security because that is the president's top job. It's not enough to read a speech; it's not enough to have glib talking points. I think the candidates have to demonstrate in their guts that they understand that protecting the country is job one.

I think most of the candidates are moving in the right direction. I think there's one conspicuously not moving in that direction and that is Rand Paul.

WALLACE: And your feelings about him on national security?

BOLTON: Well, I don't know where he is on any given day. I think his philosophy is in competition with his ambitions. But I also believe in redemption. I think there might be hope for him yet.

WALLACE: Ambassador Bolton, thank you. Thanks for coming in on this holiday weekend.

BLOTON: Glad to do it.

WALLACE: Good to talk with you, sir.

Up next, our Sunday group joins the conversation on the war against ISIS and the fate of the Patriot Act.

Plus, what would you like to ask the panel about government surveillance? Just go to Facebook or Twitter @FoxNewsSunday and we may use your questions on the air.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Iraq's progress against ISIL -- incomplete, but significant and growing. Iraq's resilience and unity in confronting the crisis many predicted would split them apart, it's not over yet. But the momentum is in the right direction.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Vice President Biden just over a month ago sounding optimistic about how the war against ISIS was going.

And it's time now for our Sunday group: FOX News senior political analyst, Brit Hume; Susan Page, Washington bureau chief of "USA Today"; syndicated columnist George Will; and Bob Woodward from "The Washington Post" and a featured author in Osama bin Laden's book club.

It turns out that Bob's book, "Obama's War," was on bin Laden's book shelf when the Navy SEAL team came in.

How do you feel about that?

BOB WOODWARD, THE WASHINGTON POST: You know, First Amendment even applied to him. I think he didn't read it because if he had, he could have realized he was in danger because Obama really believes in those special operations strikes which killed him.

WALLACE: Which took him out.

WOODWARD: Yes.

WALLACE: You should have -- he didn't read the book.

All right. Let's talk about ISIS. I think we would agree, despite the hopeful words a month ago from Joe Biden, it was a bad week for ISIS. They took the key --

BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Good week.

WALLACE: Pardon?

HUME: Good week for ISIS.

WALLACE: Yes, bad week in the war against ISIS. Please, thank you for correcting me.

They captured the Iraqi city of Ramadi, you can see. They took the Syrian city of Palmyra. They took the last border crossing between the two countries that was not under their control.

But, Brit, President Obama says, we're not losing.

HUME: Well, I think we are losing. And that doesn't mean that's the end of it. But that's where the matter stands now.

And it wasn't only a Biden a month ago who was saying this was all going well. Some of the military -- senior military people were saying the same thing. They were wrong. This is clearly going badly.

And one senses here, the president is not going to change his approach because I believe firmly that the president does not think that ISIS is anything other than a regional threat. An atrocious set of actions upset the world and caught the eye of many Americans and required him for political reasons to do something or at least seemed to be doing something.

But once again, Obama is letting the tools he will use determine the mission he will undertake. And he is trying to fight ISIS by limited means. It isn't working. More American involvement will be required to defeat this force. But I don't think he's prepared to do it and I'm not sure he ever will be.

WALLACE: Well, I want to pick up on that, because it's not just the rhetoric from the president we're not losing, it's also his action and there's no indication that he's changing his strategy, that he is going to significantly increase the number of U.S. troops in Iraq or change the mission of the U.S. troops in Iraq.

And that raises the question, Bob, is that, do you see any way we can win this war given the current strategy?

WOODWARD: Well, it's going to be difficult. I mean, first of all, there's kind of the leadership problem on this that in the White House, in many White Houses, and -- you know, let's take this as a really hard case. There is a tendency to crisis manage.

And crisis management theory of the case leads you to the things Obama said about Syria. Oh, Assad must go or there is a red line. And he said we're going to destroy ISIS.

Well, that is -- you know, that is a monumental task. I think there also is a difficulty here in how you apply the military -- what's the lesson from World War II and Vietnam? You can't do it just from the air. We have essentially an air-only campaign.

I think it's quite likely, also, Obama is going to have a General Dempsey problem, who is the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, who said, if we need ground forces, I'll ask for 'em. And we now have a ground force war going on. So that -- what's going to happen --

WALLACE: Do you see Obama either increasing the number of U.S. forces or changing the mission there on the ground in Iraq?

WOODWARD: Only with great difficulty. I mean, he does not want to have another major ground force war. I think, probably, most people would agree with him, but he stuck his toe in the water here when he said, we're going to destroy them. I mean, that is -- that is a giant task.

So, there's going to be the two sides of Obama as we see on many issues.

WALLACE: Let's talk about the other big foreign policy story or national security story this weekend. That is that Congress is tied up in knots about what to do about the NSA's bulk data collection.

We asked you for questions for the panel and we got this on Facebook from Deborah Raynes about the NSA program. "I believe it's illegal. There should be a reason and a name to put in a warrant. Let's be honest. Did the NSA stop Ft. Hood, Boston? No. It's all crazy and violates my rights."

George, how do you answer Deborah?

GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, beginning with a familiar joke.

A man goes out every morning on his front porch and says, "Tigers, get out of here." After months of this, his wife says, "What are you talking about? There are no tigers within 8,000 miles." And he says, "See, it's working."

It's very difficult to establish with counterterrorism a negative. What would have happened without? That's the paradox. The more successful the measures are, the less necessary they seem.

Now, it's not clear that they are successful. We don't know.

It could be that our adversaries don't want to do anything smaller than 9/11. So, they are stymied.

It could be that they are distracted with Islamic State and other matters in the Middle East. And therefore in this calm -- and it is breathtaking that we haven't been attacked again since 9/11 -- privacy rights begin to emerge as competing with national security as a concern.

The argument, however, remains for the collection of metadata, which is if you're looking for terrorists like a needle on a haystack, you have to assemble the haystack. And that's what the metadata is. So, we're going to continue to have this argument in the absence of proof either way.

WALLACE: So, here's where things stand. The Senate had a variety of alternatives on Friday night and Saturday morning to just continue the program as it is, to change it where the telephone company, the telecoms would hold the data and the government would have to get it to extend it for a few days, to extend it for a few months.

All of that failed. Congress in its infinite wisdom went home. Senate returns next Sunday, a week from today, just hours before the program runs out at midnight. The House doesn't come back until Monday -- which raises the question, Susan, is this going to expire?

SUSAN PAGE, USA TODAY: Well, it may expire. And, in fact, the administration says they are already winding down the program in the expectation that Congress won't act.

But there does seem to be a compromise that could fly in Congress, which is this USA Freedom Act that passed the House and has significant bipartisan support in the Senate.

WALLACE: Briefly explain what that is.

PAGE: Which would have the telephone companies hold the data and would put additional requirements on the administration to search the haystack, but it would allow the haystack continue. It just wouldn't be held by the NSA.

WALLACE: But the Senate overwhelmingly defeated that.

PAGE: But Mitch McConnell opposes this. He wants a straight up extension and it's clearly not going to happen. So, I think the question is, does the Senate leadership, Senate Republican leadership, agree to this deal that's passed the House. It's sitting on the table for them to take up.

WALLACE: So, Brit, I mean, as we discussed with Ambassador Bolton and this gets to the tiger on the front porch or not on the front porch, the Justice Department says, the inspector general, that the FBI can't point to a specific terror plot that was broken up as a result of this. On the other hand, it is close to expiring. I mean, they really are going to get to that deadline.

How worried are you about the possibility that we might not have this creation of the haystack?

HUME: I am worried about it. I think being able to do a search of haystack, which is so vast that it's hard to imagine, is a useful tool. The flip side of the fact that the FBI can't point to a single terrorist attack stopped it thinks was stopped by this program, is that no one can point to a single victim of this program either whose rights were damaged whose interests were harmed, whose private life was exposed.

So far as we know, it has never happened. And the mythology about it, listening to phone calls, reading emails, is just that mythology, and so, the argument goes on. It's too bad it is so -- in so many cases, so poorly informed.

WALLACE: All right. We have to take a break here. But when we come back, the State Department releases 296 of Hillary Clinton's private e-mails. What do they tell us about the 2012 attack in Benghazi?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Iraq's progress against ISIL -- incomplete, but significant and growing. Iraq's resilience and unity in confronting the crisis many predicted would split them apart, it's not over yet. But the momentum is in the right direction.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Vice President Biden just over a month ago sounding optimistic about how the war against ISIS was going.

And it's time now for our Sunday group: FOX News senior political analyst, Brit Hume; Susan Page, Washington bureau chief of "USA Today"; syndicated columnist George Will; and Bob Woodward from "The Washington Post" and a featured author in Osama bin Laden's book club.

It turns out that Bob's book, "Obama's War," was on bin Laden's book shelf when the Navy SEAL team came in.

How do you feel about that?

BOB WOODWARD, THE WASHINGTON POST: You know, First Amendment even applied to him. I think he didn't read it because if he had, he could have realized he was in danger because Obama really believes in those special operations strikes which killed him.

WALLACE: Which took him out.

WOODWARD: Yes.

WALLACE: You should have -- he didn't read the book.

All right. Let's talk about ISIS. I think we would agree, despite the hopeful words a month ago from Joe Biden, it was a bad week for ISIS. They took the key --

BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Good week.

WALLACE: Pardon?

HUME: Good week for ISIS.

WALLACE: Yes, bad week in the war against ISIS. Please, thank you for correcting me.

They captured the Iraqi city of Ramadi, you can see. They took the Syrian city of Palmyra. They took the last border crossing between the two countries that was not under their control.

But, Brit, President Obama says, we're not losing.

HUME: Well, I think we are losing. And that doesn't mean that's the end of it. But that's where the matter stands now.

And it wasn't only a Biden a month ago who was saying this was all going well. Some of the military -- senior military people were saying the same thing. They were wrong. This is clearly going badly.

And one senses here, the president is not going to change his approach because I believe firmly that the president does not think that ISIS is anything other than a regional threat. An atrocious set of actions upset the world and caught the eye of many Americans and required him for political reasons to do something or at least seemed to be doing something.

But once again, Obama is letting the tools he will use determine the mission he will undertake. And he is trying to fight ISIS by limited means. It isn't working. More American involvement will be required to defeat this force. But I don't think he's prepared to do it and I'm not sure he ever will be.

WALLACE: Well, I want to pick up on that, because it's not just the rhetoric from the president we're not losing, it's also his action and there's no indication that he's changing his strategy, that he is going to significantly increase the number of U.S. troops in Iraq or change the mission of the U.S. troops in Iraq.

And that raises the question, Bob, is that, do you see any way we can win this war given the current strategy?

WOODWARD: Well, it's going to be difficult. I mean, first of all, there's kind of the leadership problem on this that in the White House, in many White Houses, and -- you know, let's take this as a really hard case. There is a tendency to crisis manage.

And crisis management theory of the case leads you to the things Obama said about Syria. Oh, Assad must go or there is a red line. And he said we're going to destroy ISIS.

Well, that is -- you know, that is a monumental task. I think there also is a difficulty here in how you apply the military -- what's the lesson from World War II and Vietnam? You can't do it just from the air. We have essentially an air-only campaign.

I think it's quite likely, also, Obama is going to have a General Dempsey problem, who is the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, who said, if we need ground forces, I'll ask for 'em. And we now have a ground force war going on. So that -- what's going to happen --

WALLACE: Do you see Obama either increasing the number of U.S. forces or changing the mission there on the ground in Iraq?

WOODWARD: Only with great difficulty. I mean, he does not want to have another major ground force war. I think, probably, most people would agree with him, but he stuck his toe in the water here when he said, we're going to destroy them. I mean, that is -- that is a giant task.

So, there's going to be the two sides of Obama as we see on many issues.

WALLACE: Let's talk about the other big foreign policy story or national security story this weekend. That is that Congress is tied up in knots about what to do about the NSA's bulk data collection.

We asked you for questions for the panel and we got this on Facebook from Deborah Raynes about the NSA program. "I believe it's illegal. There should be a reason and a name to put in a warrant. Let's be honest. Did the NSA stop Ft. Hood, Boston? No. It's all crazy and violates my rights."

George, how do you answer Deborah?

GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, beginning with a familiar joke.

A man goes out every morning on his front porch and says, "Tigers, get out of here." After months of this, his wife says, "What are you talking about? There are no tigers within 8,000 miles." And he says, "See, it's working."

It's very difficult to establish with counterterrorism a negative. What would have happened without? That's the paradox. The more successful the measures are, the less necessary they seem.

Now, it's not clear that they are successful. We don't know.

It could be that our adversaries don't want to do anything smaller than 9/11. So, they are stymied.

It could be that they are distracted with Islamic State and other matters in the Middle East. And therefore in this calm -- and it is breathtaking that we haven't been attacked again since 9/11 -- privacy rights begin to emerge as competing with national security as a concern.

The argument, however, remains for the collection of metadata, which is if you're looking for terrorists like a needle on a haystack, you have to assemble the haystack. And that's what the metadata is. So, we're going to continue to have this argument in the absence of proof either way.

WALLACE: So, here's where things stand. The Senate had a variety of alternatives on Friday night and Saturday morning to just continue the program as it is, to change it where the telephone company, the telecoms would hold the data and the government would have to get it to extend it for a few days, to extend it for a few months.

All of that failed. Congress in its infinite wisdom went home. Senate returns next Sunday, a week from today, just hours before the program runs out at midnight. The House doesn't come back until Monday -- which raises the question, Susan, is this going to expire?

SUSAN PAGE, USA TODAY: Well, it may expire. And, in fact, the administration says they are already winding down the program in the expectation that Congress won't act.

But there does seem to be a compromise that could fly in Congress, which is this USA Freedom Act that passed the House and has significant bipartisan support in the Senate.

WALLACE: Briefly explain what that is.

PAGE: Which would have the telephone companies hold the data and would put additional requirements on the administration to search the haystack, but it would allow the haystack continue. It just wouldn't be held by the NSA.

WALLACE: But the Senate overwhelmingly defeated that.

PAGE: But Mitch McConnell opposes this. He wants a straight up extension and it's clearly not going to happen. So, I think the question is, does the Senate leadership, Senate Republican leadership, agree to this deal that's passed the House. It's sitting on the table for them to take up.

WALLACE: So, Brit, I mean, as we discussed with Ambassador Bolton and this gets to the tiger on the front porch or not on the front porch, the Justice Department says, the inspector general, that the FBI can't point to a specific terror plot that was broken up as a result of this. On the other hand, it is close to expiring. I mean, they really are going to get to that deadline.

How worried are you about the possibility that we might not have this creation of the haystack?

HUME: I am worried about it. I think being able to do a search of haystack, which is so vast that it's hard to imagine, is a useful tool. The flip side of the fact that the FBI can't point to a single terrorist attack stopped it thinks was stopped by this program, is that no one can point to a single victim of this program either whose rights were damaged whose interests were harmed, whose private life was exposed.

So far as we know, it has never happened. And the mythology about it, listening to phone calls, reading emails, is just that mythology, and so, the argument goes on. It's too bad it is so -- in so many cases, so poorly informed.

WALLACE: All right. We have to take a break here. But when we come back, the State Department releases 296 of Hillary Clinton's private e-mails. What do they tell us about the 2012 attack in Benghazi? And what do you think about the Clinton e-mails? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter @Fox News Sunday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON: I want people to be able to see all of them, and it is the fact that we have released all of them that have any government relationship whatsoever.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Hillary Clinton saying on Friday she's been transparent with the American people about her work emails as Secretary of State and we are back now with the panel.

So, Brit, what are we to make about the release on Friday afternoon of this one holiday week ten of these Benghazi emails given the fact that one, they all came from Clinton's private e-mail server and two, that the ones who were turned over to the State Department for this release had all been vetted by Clinton and by her lawyer.

HUME: Well, it's a subset of a subset that came out on Friday. A tiny subset of those she didn't delete. Which means that it's somewhat unsurprising that there were no smoking guns or other bombshells in them. There were some interesting tidbits and details and so on. We found out a little bit more about the relationship, for example, with Sid Blumenthal. But by and large, this is what you would expect, Chris: it's an incomplete set of data. And it's -- that's -- it's just a part of a part.

WALLACE: I want to pick up on Sydney Blumenthal. There were some interesting e-mails that came out. And the most interesting involved Sidney Blumenthal who was a Clinton political operative. So controversial that the Clinton -- that the Obama White House banned Clinton from hiring him as an aide in her State Department. On September 13, 2012, that's two days after Benghazi. Blumenthal sent Clinton an e-mail making these points. "The attack had been led by Ansar al-Sharia, an offshoot of al Qaeda and it had been planned for a month. Clinton told a top aide, we should get this around ASAP, and yet the next day here is what Clinton had to say to the families of the four victims at Andres Air Force Base and to the nation. Here she is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON: We've seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men. We've seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Susan, despite Blumenthal's e-mail and much more importantly, a lot of opinion from both the military and AFRICOM and also the intelligence community, there she is three days after Benghazi still pushing the narrative that it was all about the video.

PAGE: Which now we know was not the case and which has made -- raised questions about whether the administration is being candid with the America people, was it a political decision because they wanted to make the case that al Qaeda was on the run? So, in that way, yes, I think, this raises questions about Hillary Clinton. Now, the Hillary Clinton people argue that as you said, no smoking gun. There's nothing that you can really hold up that puts to lie these things that she said, but as Brit said, pretty unpersuasive, given that no one now or perhaps ever will be able to see the full group of e-mails that she was sending as Secretary of State using that private server.

WALLACE: I want to turn to a different subject in the time we have left. And that is the politics of Iraq which has gotten a lot of attention in the last couple of weeks with Jeb Bush, with Marco Rubio and a bunch of other people, and these questions, of was it a mistake to go in in 2003? Was it a mistake to get out in 2011? And what impact this could have both on the Republican race and also the Democratic race. Bob, I know you want to talk about it because you've written a lot and reported extensively on this.

WOODWARD: Yes. Well, I mean Iraq is a symbol. And you certainly can make a persuasive argument it was a mistake. But there is a time that line going along that Bush and the other people lied about this. I spent 18 months looking at how Bush decided to invade Iraq. And lots of mistakes, but it was Bush telling George Tenet, the CIA director, don't let anyone stretch the case on WMD. And he was the one who was skeptical. And if you try to summarize why we went into Iraq, it was momentum. The war plan kept getting better and easier, and finally at the end, people were saying, hey, look, it will only take a week or two. And early on it looked like it was going to take a year or 18 months. And so Bush pulled the trigger. A mistake certainly can be argued, and there is an abundance of evidence. But there was no lying in this that I could find.

WALLACE: And what about 2011 and Obama's decision to pull all the troops out? There had been the status of forces agreement between Bush and the Iraqi government that provided for a follow on force. The Pentagon was talking about somewhere between 10,000 or 20,000. And a lot of people think, although, Obama says well, we tried to negotiate and we didn't. A lot of people think he really didn't want to keep any troops there.

WOODWARD: Well, I think he didn't. Look, Obama does not like war. But as you look back on this, the argument from the military was, let's keep 10,000, 15,000 troops there as an insurance policy. And we all know insurance policies make sense. We have 30,000 troops or more in South Korea still 65 years or so after the war. When you are a superpower, you have to buy these insurance policies. And he didn't in this case. I don't think you can say everything is because of that decision, but clearly a factor.

WALLACE: So George, with that as trailer, what's the lesson that we should take from Iraq, and particularly as it comes to future U.S. policy?

WILL: Four lessons, I think. First, the government has to choose always on the basis of imperfect information. I agree with Bob. There were no lies here. It was a colossal failure to know what we didn't know. Second, the failure to ask Admiral Yamamoto's question. When he was asked by the government of Japan could he take a fleet stealthily across the Pacific and strike Pearl Harbor, he said yeah, but then what? He knew they would have on their hands an enormous problem in the United States. Third, Colin Powell's pottery barn rule, if you break it, you own it. Just as when the Kennedy administration in November 1963 was complicit in the coup against Diem, in South Vietnam, we owned South Vietnam ever after. But fourth and most important, the phrase nation-building is as absurd as the phrase orchid building. Orchids are complex, organic things. So are nations. And we do not know how to build nations any more than we know how to fix English-speaking home grown Detroit.

WALLACE: So, where does that leave us? And where does that leave -- and where does that leave the debate in 2015 and '16 about what we need to do with all the Middle East going to hell in a hand basket and Putin and, you know, all the threats that we all know about?

WILL: Well, various Republicans are being -- and presidential candidates are being drawn by the logic of their criticism of Barack Obama and the same, we should go back in with ground troops. And you have to credit the sincerity and logical nature.

WALLACE: Most of them are not talking about a reinvasion. They are talking about 10,000 or 20,000.

WILL: That would count as an invasion, it seems, 20,000 people going back into a country. But leaving that aside, beyond that, the lesson is that ISIS and the Islamic State is a big problem for Barack Obama. The more they criticize him it's going to be a big problem for Republicans who are going to be challenged, if you will, to end -- you have to will the means to that end and what are your means?

WALLACE: Susan?

PAGE: Well, in fact, both these topics, ISIS and Iraq are going to be big issues for whoever the next president is. There is no way the battle against ISIS will be over by the time President Obama leaves office. The next president is going to have to deal with it. And under the pottery barn theory, you can't get -- you can't extricate yourself from Iraq more broadly. So, this is clearly going to be a big part of the debate in 2016. Not just on the Republican side, but what would Hillary Clinton do on these two big issues? And would she be different from Barack Obama?

HUME: And wouldn't it be nice if the questions being asked about whether you would have done what George W. Bush did in 2003 were similarly asked of Hillary Clinton about what happened in 2011 when we decided to pull -- president decided to pull all the troops out? George suggests that nation-building is an impossibility, but we were not -- we were kind of far along the road there, it looked like. And even the Obama administration was claiming as you noted earlier, this was an achievement. Nation building is obviously extremely difficult and should not be undertaken lightly. On the other hand, if you are in a situation like that, and your troops are stabilizing force, and the country is making progress, aren't there questions to be asked about the effect of pulling them out? It seems to me (INAUDIBLE).

WALLACE: We have about 30 seconds. Let Susan and I figure -- you had the best contacts in the Clinton campaign at this table. Is she going to engage? I mean, you know, this thing where she gets a gaggle of reporters and she has all the power deciding I'm going to take this question, I'm not going to take this question. I can walk away any time I want, is she going to sit down and have serious conversations with reporters? And how soon?

PAGE: I think that -- the lessons that she is taken at the moment from the Republican side, it's very dangerous to take questions from reporters. Because you get yourself into a fix -- she is going to participate in the debates. I assume she'll participate -- she'll take more questions. But I don't think this is going to be a campaign marked by a lot of entertainment with reporters. No.

WALLACE: Thank you, panel. See you next Sunday. Up next, our Power Player of the Week. Honoring American's fallen with 24 musical notes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALLACE: I look at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in the San Diego. It's a holiday tradition here that we profile a man who created his own special program to make every day a Memorial Day for our fallen heroes. Once again, he is our power player of the week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOM DAY, BUGLES ACROSS AMERICA: You're playing it. It's only 24 notes, but it's so meaningful to that family.

WALLACE: Tom Day is talking about playing "Taps" at the funerals of military veterans and he should know. He's the founder and president of an organization called Bugles across America.

(on camera): All told, how many funerals have you done since you started Bugles across America?

DAY: 200,000.

WALLACE: Really?

DAY: In ten years. Right.

WALLACE (voice over): It started back in 2000 when Congress gave every vet the right to a funeral with military honors, including two uniformed officers to present a flag and play Taps. The problem was the military only had 500 buglers. So, they sent someone to play a recorded Taps on a boom box or an electronic device inside a bugle. Tom Day who played in the Marines in the '50s didn't like it.

DAY: I call it stolen dignity that these veterans can't get live Taps when we are out there ready to perform live taps.

WALLACE: So he started his organization, recruiting 400 horn players within a year.

DAY: Now we have 6,270 horn players and we are doing 2,200 funerals a month.

WALLACE: It becomes quite an operation that Day runs out of his basement near Chicago. Families can go on his website to ask for a bugler. A message is sent to every horn player within 100 miles of the funeral. Day gives away bugles and helps with uniforms. While he gets support from foundations, he runs a deficit every year.

(on camera): How do you make up for the shortfall?

DAY: I kind of make it up myself.

WALLACE: $15,000, $20,000 a year?

DAY: Probably $10,000.

You finish the last of the 24 notes, you put the horn down and the flag has been presented, then the family comes over, the kisses, the handshakes from these families. There is nothing, no amount of money could ever buy the feeling that I get from the family once I finish the 24 notes.

WALLACE (voice over): With soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, plus 1,800 veterans of World War II dying every day, there is a flood of military funerals. Day says he wants to keep going until he dies. Then leave his organization in solid shape to carry on.

DAY: I want every family to have live Taps at that going away presentation of their veteran. And it kind of tells the Marines who are guarding the gates in heaven, live Taps, we are going to let this veteran right in.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALLACE: Since we first ran this story six years ago, Tom Day's organization has grown to more than 7,000 active members who play at more than 2,300 funerals a month. If you want to learn more, go to our website, FoxNewsSunday.com. And that's it for today. We hope you'll take a moment this weekend to remember all the men and women who have given their lives defending our freedom. And we'll see you next "Fox News Sunday."

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Chris Wallace is the anchor of FOX News Sunday (FNS), Fox Broadcasting Company's Sunday morning public affairs program. He joined FOX News Channel (FNC) in 2003 and is based in Washington, D.C. Click here for more information on Chris Wallace