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Fox News Sunday

Gingrich on Trump's attacks on Trump University judge; John Podesta on Clinton's strategies against Sanders, Trump

This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," June 5, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR:  I’m Chris Wallace.

The general election is game on as Clinton and Trump rip into each other.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Donald Trump's ideas aren't just different, they are dangerously incoherent.  

WALLACE:  Clinton says Trump is unfit to be president and the GOP's all but certain nominee fires back.  

DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Hillary Clinton has to go to jail.  OK?  She has to go to jail.  That was phony hit job.

WALLACE:  Today, an exclusive interview with the head of the Clinton campaign on the tight race against Bernie Sanders in California and her strategy for taking on Trump.  

CLINTON:   This isn't reality television, this is actual reality.  

WALLACE:  John Podesta, only on "Fox News Sunday."

Then, Trump calls out the media over his donations to veterans.  

TRUMP:  On behalf of the vets, the press should be ashamed of themselves.  

WALLACE:  Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a top Trump supporter and possible running mate, on the latest controversies and violent protests at Trump rallies.  

Plus, House Speaker Paul Ryan finally backs Trump.  

REP. PAUL RYAN, R-WIS., SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE:  My goal is to make sure that we're unified so that we can actually win the election.  

WALLACE:  We'll ask our Sunday group if his endorsement matters and about the continued conservative push for a Trump alternative.  

All right now on "Fox News Sunday."

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALLACE:  And hello again from Fox News in Washington.  

The November election still five months away and we won't have official party nominees until the national conventions in July.

But forget the formalities because the general election battle between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is on.  In a few minutes we'll talk with one of Trump's top supporters, potential running mate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

But, first, Clinton is looking to wrap up her primary battle with Bernie Sanders with a victory in California's primary Tuesday.  

This weekend, I spoke with the head of the Clinton campaign, John Podesta.  

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WALLACE: John, how important is California?  If Bernie Sanders wins there doesn’t he have every good reason to go onto the Democratic convention in July?

JOHN PODESTA, HILLARY FOR AMERICA CAMPAIGN CHAIR:  Well, California’s important.  And that’s why Hillary is crisscrossing the state.  And we are fighting to win here.  

But the reality is that she’s gotten three million more votes than Senator Sanders and that she has now 270 pledged delegate lead on him.  We expect that to even be the same or maybe expand by a little bit.  

We’ve got other elections over the weekend in Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.  We’ve got New Jersey and some other states next Tuesday.  So, we think we’re going to come out of Tuesday night with the delegates we need for her to be the first woman nominee on a major party ticket in the United States.  So, we’re looking forward to that.  

WALLACE:  But I guess the key question is this: whether or not at that point, whether he wins or loses California, Sanders should drop out.  

As you well know, there’ve been plenty of candidates over the years, Ted Kennedy, Gary Hart come to mind, who have in effect lost the nomination and their opponent has clinched it, and they stay in the race either to try to flip unbound delegates or to try to push their policies.  

Why shouldn’t Bernie Sanders do that all the way to the convention?

PODESTA:  Well, we’re not telling Bernie -- what Bernie Sanders left to do.  He needs to make his own mind up about that.  

What we’re saying is that she will have the delegates to be the nominee.  We’re going to do everything we can to reach out to appeal to his supporters, to appeal to his campaign and to him directly.  And we want to bring this party together because the country faces a major threat in Donald Trump.  And we hope that he will join us.  

You know he’s been out there saying that he wants to work seven days a week to stop Donald Trump.  And you know we hope that starting as soon as possible that he will go ahead and make -- and fulfill that commitment and work with us to make sure that she’s a successful candidate in November.

WALLACE:  All right.  Let’s turn to the general election.  And let me put up some numbers.  

The Real Clear Politics average of recent national polls has Clinton leading Trump 43.8 percent to 42.3 percent, well within the margin of error.  In the swing state of Florida, Clinton leads by just over 2 points. In Ohio, she leads by less than 1.5 points.  

Question: If Trump is unfit to be president as Clinton says, why is he running even with her in the national race and in the key swing states?

PODESTA:  Well, look, Chris.  The general election’s just coming into focus.  And I think that what we’ve seen over the last few weeks is that Donald Trump has been able to consolidate Republicans, including Speaker Ryan, who said he’d vote for him one day and then have to explain why he disagreed with him when he attacks the ethnicity of a federal judge the next day.  But he has consolidated the Republicans.  And that’s led to something of a tightening of a pulse.

But this has really just begun.  And that’s why Hillary Clinton on Thursday of this week went to San Diego and really laid out a strong case about why he’s unfit, why he can’t be -- he does not meet the commander-in-chief test.  

And what did she use to prove that point?  Really his own words, the things he said in this campaign from being in favor of expanding and proliferating weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons to pulling out of NATO to offending our allies and supporting dictators around the world.

WALLACE:  Let me, John --  

PODESTA:  So, I think that we’re just getting -- we’re just getting engaged in this race.  And I think over the, you know long term I think people are going to come to see him as not having the temperament to serve as president and commander-in-chief.

WALLACE:  Let me -- let me pick up on that because you’re certainly right.  Clinton took Trump apart on foreign policy this week.  But we’ll play some of those clips for Newt Gingrich.  But he also has been going after her on foreign policy.  Here is some of what he has said about her.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

TRUMP:  Her Libya invasion -- the Libya invasion was disgusting.  I mean, you know who has oil, ISIS has the oil.

She mentions that I’ll bring us into war.  She’s the one that wanted to go into Iraq.

She’s one of the worst secretaries of state in the history of our country.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

WALLACE:  John, Trump may be a target rich environment for Clinton.  But isn’t Clinton also a target rich environment for Trump?

PODESTA:  Well, OK, Chris, we’ll take that fight any day because I think when President Obama asked her to serve as secretary of state she did a terrific job for him.  She helped negotiate a deal to reduce nuclear weapons between Russia and the United States, and then got the votes in the United States Senate to ratify that agreement.  

She projected American values across the globe.  She did a deal to bring an end to hostility -- to bring an end to the fighting between Hamas and Israel.  

You know, she’s got a strong record to stand on when it comes to the question of Libya, which Trump likes to raise.  

You know what were we faced with there?  Muammar Gadhafi was about to slaughter thousands and thousands of his own citizens.  We were asked by our NATO allies, we were asked by the Arab League to intervene.  She recommended that intervention.  

WALLACE:  Let me --  

PODESTA:  And it took -- you know we still have to work at it.  But it was the right decision at the time.

WALLACE:  But, John, you know and look, we’re not going to litigate each one of these in this brief interview.  But whether it was voting to go into Iraq, whether it was agreeing with Obama to pull all of our troops out of Iraq, whether it was the intervention in Libya which has led to a failed state and the expansion of ISIS there, whether it’s Benghazi or the reset in Russia -- I mean, I’m not saying that you don’t have answers to all of those.  But there’s going to be plenty for him to criticize on her record, too.

PODESTA:  Well, I think, you know, what he likes to do is demean and name call.  But as I said, if we get into a serious debate about who has the values, the experience, the temperament to be commander-in-chief, that is debate I’m sure we’re going to win.  

And I think, again, if you look at the things he says, they’re incoherent and they’re dangerous.

WALLACE:  Then there is ethics.  And Clinton went after Trump this week on the delayed donation to the veterans, also on Trump University.  And again we’re going to play those clips and ask Newt Gingrich about them.  But Trump also has gone after Clinton on ethics.  

Here he is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP:  They were crooked with Whitewater.  They’ve been crooked from the beginning.  You look at that foundation, it’s pure theft and pure crookedness.  She broke federal law by putting her emails on a secret, private server that foreign countries could easily get to and hack.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE:  Now, again, I agree with you that Trump is going to have plenty to answer for.  But given all of her issues, isn’t it going to be Clinton to play the ethics card against Trump?

PODESTA:  You know I think the card we’re going to play against Trump is that he has always been for himself.  He’s a self-aggrandizer at the expense of literally thousands of people.  

And when it comes to Trump University, what we learned this week was even his own employees called it a fraudulent scheme.  It was an un-credited institution.  He built and milked elderly people, people whose -- you know had small savings.  They told people to max out on their credit cards.  

And I think when you look at Hillary’s record you know she said that.  For example on the email question she said it was a mistake. She’s apologized for it.  We’re trying to put that in some context.

But you look at Trump’s record as a businessperson, as what he’s done in terms of never making a positive difference for people.  I think we’ll match her record, lifetime of effort trying to help people from the day she left law school, trying to help children, trying to help women, trying to help families.  We’ll match that up against his.  

WALLACE:  Now, Trump says this week if the Justice Department doesn’t indict Clinton on the emails that you just mentioned, and he becomes president, he is going to ask his attorney general to look into the case.  Here he is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP:  Hillary Clinton has to go to jail, OK?  She has to go to jail.  Has to go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE:  Your reaction?

PODESTA:  He’s full of bluster.  You know I think that you know we’re anxious, obviously, for this case to wrap up.  She said that she would be happy to talk to the department so that it would wrap up.  

But you know we’ll see more of this.  It’s what Trump does.  You know it’s what he’s done for more than a year and probably for his whole career.  He tries to bully people, tries to knock them down with bluster.  

But you know we feel when all is said and done what she’s offering, the positive direction that she’s offering, the ability to bring people together, to create an inclusive economy that’s going to work for the middle class against his bluster.  You know we’re looking forward to that fight.

WALLACE:  John Podesta -- John, thank you for your time this weekend, and please come back.

PODESTA:  I appreciate it, Chris, and I’m happy to.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALLACE:  Up next, as Clinton blisters Trump's temperament and foreign policy, we'll talk with former Speaker Newt Gingrich who by all accounts is on Trump's short list of potential running mates.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALLACE:  A look outside the beltway of the California state capitol in Sacramento, just two days before the primary there.  

Joining me now here in Washington to discuss the escalating war of words between Clinton and Trump is one of Trump's big supporters, potential running mate and former house speaker, Newt Gingrich.  

Mr. Speaker, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."

NEWT GINGRICH, R-FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER:  Good to be back.  

WALLACE:  Clinton as we pointed out in the last segment went after Trump's temperament this week saying that he is unfit to be president.  One of the things that Trump did this week was repeatedly accuse the judge who is handling two Trump University fraud lawsuit cases of bias.  Here he is.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP:  We're building a wall.  He is a Mexican.  We're building a wall between here and Mexico.  The answer is he is giving us very unfair rulings -- rulings that people can't even believe.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE:  Are you comfortable with a potential president attacking a federal judge for his heritage?  

GINGRICH:  No.  This is one of the worst mistakes Trump has made and I think it's inexcusable.  He has every right to criticize a judge and he has every right to say certain decisions aren't right and his attorneys can file to move the venue from the judge.  

But, first of all, this judge was born in Indiana.  He is an American, period.  When you come to America, you get to become an American.  And Trump who has grandparents who came to the U.S. should understand this as much as anybody.  

Second, to characterize, you know -- if a liberal were to attack Justice Clarence Thomas on the grounds that he's black, we would all go crazy.  Every conservative would say it was wrong and it was racism.  

And Trump has got to, I think, move to a new level.  This is no longer the primaries.  He's no longer an interesting contender.  He is now the potential leader of the United States and he's got to move his game up to the level of being a potential leader.  

WALLACE:  Do you consider what this -- he did her racism?  

GINGRICH:  I think that it was a mistake.  I think that -- I hope it was sloppiness.  He says on other occasions that he has many Mexican friends, et cetera, but that's irrelevant.  This judge is not Mexican.  

This judge is an American citizen and deserves to be treated -- now, that means he can attack him as a judge and say he is a liberal and he is against me and doing things I don't agree with and he has lawyers who are supposed to be doing that.  If it's a good case they should file to change the venue.  

WALLACE:  Trump also attacked the media this week for trying to check up to find out whether, in fact, he had given the donations he promised to veterans groups. Here he is.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP:  What I don't want is when I raise millions of dollars have people say -- like this sleazy guy right over here from ABC, he is a sleaze in my book.  

REPORTER:  Why am I a sleaze?  

TRUMP:  You’re a sleaze, because you know the facts and you know the facts well.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE:  Now, you have been known to go after reporters, including me, but Trump has gone much further.  He is literally kicking reporters whose coverage he doesn't like out of public rallies.  

GINGRICH:  Yes.  

WALLACE:  Can you understand why some conservatives worry whether or not Trump understands the role of a free press and the First Amendment?  

GINGRICH:  You know, the thing that struck me, particularly after this event, FDR in the 1930s invented the Fireside radio chat to get past all the conservative newspapers.  Trump now has a big enough social media presence that he can take on most of the news media and it's a fair fight.  And I think part of what he's probably decided is that he wants to be very aggressive, to make sure that his supporters routinely discount any kind of news media attack.  

WALLACE:  Yes, but that I can understand.  Kicking reporters out of rallies?  

GINGRICH:  I think that's silly and I think it doesn't get him very far.  If they asked my advice, I'd say get used to the idea you're going to be reporters around you don't like and then you live with it.  That's part of being a public figure.  

WALLACE:  This brings us to Clinton's foreign policy speech this week where more than his ideas she went after his temperament, his fitness to be president.  Here she is.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  This is not someone who should ever have the nuclear codes because it's not hard to imagine Donald Trump leading us into a war just because somebody got under his very thin skin.  

Now, imagine Donald Trump sitting in the Situation Room, making life or death decisions on behalf of the United States.  

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

WALLACE:  When Trump -- let's review the bidding here -- attacks a judge for his heritage, when he kicks reporters out of open public rallies, when he attacks the Republican governor of New Mexico which you yourself said was destructive, doesn't that raise questions about his steadiness?  

GINGRICH:  Of course it does.  That's why Trump -- Trump is at one of the most interesting turning points in American history.  Think of it this way, he won the nomination as a golfer, it was him, he was the only guy in the field, he made all the decisions and he beat everybody.  I mean, it's one of the most amazing marches to a nomination in American history.

Now, he is in a team support, more like football.  I mean, Paul Ryan had the -- the speaker of the house has to know what Trump is doing.  Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Senate, has to know what Trump is doing.  Republican governors have to be able to relax around him and not worry about getting attacked.  

This is a fundamental change for Trump.  And we'll see.  I mean, I’ve been amazed at his speed of growth, how fast he learns.  I think he is now at a very key turning point.  

But Hillary also has a different problem and that is results rather than words.  The biggest story this week politically was 38,000 jobs being created, the lowest number in five years.  

The biggest problem for Hillary is her record.  You raised it yourself earlier, not to pick on you, but you said correctly, you know, Libya is a total disaster, the Russian reset is an absurdity, Syria is a complete mess, Iraq is still at the middle of a war, Afghanistan is in the middle of the war, Somalia has collapsed.  And by the way, we just found that Somalia and war criminal, alleged war criminal who was working as a security guard at Dulles airport.

I mean, there are enough things in the result zone that Hillary can’t deal with.  That while she’s winning on words, the reason she can’t put away the nomination is the results are so bad.

WALLACE:  You talk about Trump being at a turning point, too, because you have been a Trump supporter and there is talk about you as a potential running mate.  At some point, don’t you have to take stock?  I mean, you’ve raised a lot of questions about his behavior today and say whether or not you can continue to support this man.

GINGRICH:  Well, compared to Hillary Clinton, I can support Donald Trump all year.  Hillary Clinton will be an absolute disaster to the United States.  She’ll appoint left wing judges who will move this country for a century into a world I don’t believe in and her foreign policy, the results of her foreign policy are disaster.

WALLACE:  And despite the things we talked about, you would still --  

GINGRICH:  She is a much more flawed person than Donald.  I mean, first of all, somebody who will not release her speeches for which she got $250,000 a piece, accusing Trump of lack of transparency, shows you the chutzpah is at the core of the Clinton model.

WALLACE:  Well, one could argue his not releasing his tax returns have put -- that he’s got some chutzpah too.

GINGRICH:  But I also remember, and you remember this, in 1980, as late as Labor Day, Ronald Reagan had three or four days in a row that were a disaster.  And all of us who are for Reagan are going, oh my God, what’s going to happen?  

They got their act together, by mid-September, they were on the way to one of the biggest victories of an incumbent in American history.

WALLACE:  OK.  Let’s turn to another subject because Trump, as we pointed out, is attacking Clinton’s ethics, both Clintons back in the ‘90s, the Clinton Foundation, the private email servers, now, she is going after him.  Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON:  It turns out it wasn’t until the press shamed him that he actually made the donations he had promised.  He is trying to scam America the way he scammed all those people at Trump U.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE:  Just as I asked John Podesta about Clinton, won’t it be hard for Donald Trump to play the ethics card against Clinton?

GINGRICH:  Well, first of all, anybody who’s read "Clinton Cash", or anybody who has an understanding of Peter Schweizer’s work knows, for Hillary --  

WALLACE:  It’s about Clinton Foundation.  

GINGRICH:  It’s about the Clinton Foundation.  It’s about all sorts of deals.  It’s about the misuse of the State Department.  I mean, you have to love the degree to which Hillary lives in an alternative universe in which nothing she has done counts against whatever she says next.

And on Trump University, Trump has a simple assignment, find five people who are graduates who are willing to go on TV and say, you know, my life was improved, my income went up, it was a good experience.

If he does and his goal has to be that on results, he’s always better than Hillary, on words, she may occasionally be better.

WALLACE:  All right.  This week, we saw clearly the most violent protests yet against Trump, with brutal attacks and we have them up on the screen.  Brutal attacks against Trump supporters leaving rallies.  Clinton has condemned the violence and at least in San Jose, it seems the protests were organized by immigrants, not Democrats.

Question: if these violent anti-Trump rallies continue into the convention, into the fall, how do you see it factoring into the campaign?

GINGRICH:  The country will become enraged.  I mean, the fact is, you go look at Madison, Wisconsin, where there were huge demonstrations against the elected governor, Scott Walker, the elected legislature doing exactly what they want to legislate the election on.  

Donald Trump is serious about changing Washington.  Every federal employee of the Union will be in the streets, because the first thing you have to do to be serious is make it possible to fire corrupt, dishonest, and illegal workers.

WALLACE:  But you don’t think a conceivable backlash where people say, Trump is just too divisive?

GINGRICH:  No, I think -- when people see the American flag being burned, they don’t side with the people burning the American flag.  I think it drives Hillary and Sanders in a very narrow box.  This is 1968 all over again.  

This is the hard left saying, if you don’t do what we want, we’re going to be physically violent and we’re going to pick on some woman who can’t defend herself.  I don’t think that is sustainable and I think the American people will be repulsed by the idea that the hard left wants (ph) to dictate to the rest of us.

WALLACE:  Finally, you have said some very candid and tough things, critical things about Trump today.  Do you ever say that to him?

GINGRICH:  Sure.

WALLACE:  I mean, are you that candid?  You say you’d --  

GINGRICH:  Yes, the great thing about Donald Trump is that he listens, but he doesn’t necessarily obey.  I have to say, as a former teacher.  

But he’s very open to direct conversation.  He actually prefers people who are blunt and direct with him because he knows how big his ego is.  He knows how big a personality he is and knows it takes a fair amount to break through on that.  But I’m very comfortable being as direct with Trump as I am here.  

WALLACE:  After you’ve said it, does he then go back and do it again?  

GINGRICH:  There are some habits he has I don't agree with and there are some tactics he has I don’t agree with.  But I can also say there have been occasions where it's actually had an impact.  

So, I feel like it's a very good relationship.  I think that he is a remarkable leader.  I had no idea a year ago that we would be where we are now and I think that is almost entirely a personal achievement, in alliance with the American people who are sick of the current system.  

WALLACE:  Mr. Speaker, thank you.  Thanks for your time.  Always good to talk with you, sir.  

GINGRICH:  Good to be here.

WALLACE:  Up next, we’ll bring in our Sunday group to discuss Paul Ryan's endorsement of Trump and the continuing effort to recruit a conservative alternative to Donald Trump.  

Plus, what would you like to ask the panel about the impact a third party candidate would have on the race?  

Just go to Facebook or Twitter @FoxNewsSunday, and we may use your question on the air.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALLACE:  Coming up, protesters attack Trump supporters leaving rallies in California.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP:  They walk out and they get accosted by a bunch of thugs burning the American flag.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE:  We'll ask our Sunday panel about the violence and the political fallout next on "Fox News Sunday".

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RYAN:  This isn't a deal.  This isn't one of those.  It was basically getting a comfort level of our idea of where the country is headed and where it ought to go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: House Speaker Paul Ryan explaining his decision to finally endorse Donald Trump for president.

And it's time now for our Sunday group. Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume, Anne Gearan of The Washington Post, GOP strategist Karl Rove, and Charles Lane, also from The Washington Post.

Well, Brit, I think it's fair to say that Ryan's endorsement of Trump could not have been more tepid. There was no joint appearance. There was no talk about campaigning together. And, since then, he’s already called out Trump for his attack on that judge in the Trump University case. So what does the endorsement mean for Trump, for Ryan and for Trump’s – for, rather, Ryan's goal of trying to hold on to the House Republican majority?

BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS SENOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Tepid though it was, it does signify the desire of Republican leaders, and Republicans in general who are in politics, to get behind Trump. And they are all looking for an excuse or a reason or a way to do that. And Trump continues to make it hard for them. I mean no sooner does the Ryan endorsement come than the next day he makes – approximately at that time, he makes this incendiary attack on this judge, which, you know, clearly bordered, in the eyes of so many people, an outright racism. And so next thing you know, there’s Ryan saying, well, I – you know, I have – I don't want any part of that. You heard Newt Gingrich denounce it as well today as completely unacceptable. These are all people that are trying to move in Trump's direction.

Trump has this funded opportunity afforded by his earlier than expected locking up of the nomination to use the time to build his case against Hillary Clinton and to bring the – his party behind him. He seems to be squandering that opportunity by these outbursts that come that are out of phase with the idea of unifying his party and making him appealing – an appealing character to a larger base.

WALLACE:  As we've been saying, this week marks a kind of unofficial start to the general election campaign with Clinton turning her full fire on Trump and Trump firing back. Here’s a taste.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: I will leave it to the psychiatrists to explain his affection for tyrants.

TRUMP: Do you really believe that Hillary is presidential? This is not presidential material.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE:  Chuck, who got the better of round one?

CHARLES LANE, THE WASHINGTON POST: Wow. I think the press, because we're going to have a heck of a campaign to cover. But listening to Hillary's – or her speech, which was an extended attack on his temperament and fitness for commander in chief, I thought it was very effective in reminding people who are concerned about those things about those things. But my caveat would be that Jeb Bush tried the same attack against Donald Trump. Remember, he labeled him the chaos candidate and talked about how dangerous he was and it fell flat. That's point one.

And point two, Trump has a plausible rebuttal. He can say, she says I'm dangerous. She voted to send us into Iraq, and that didn't pan out. He picked on the actual aspects of her foreign policy record that, you know, let's face it, they’re real weaknesses. So, at the end of the week, I think what you see is a huge increase in the temperature, the heat around these issues, but I'm not sure either one of them, you know, made a whole lot of movement on the voters.

And, you know, it is true, though, that the big weakness Trump has with independents and many Republicans is the temperament point. So I expect to hear more from her on that issue.

WALLACE:  Then there was word this week that a writer for The National Review named David French is actively, seriously considering an independent run for president as a conservative alternative to Trump. If, like me, you had never heard of David French, here’s a clip.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID FRENCH (ph): You know what happens when it's in – in the House of Representatives? There’s other options. And Republicans will take that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE:  We asked you for questions for the panel and we got a bunch like these on Facebook from Lilly Elizabeth. She writes, "is French willing to take responsibility for Hillary or a socialist winning the election and sealing our fate for further decline of our nation? That's not a patriot."

Karl, who is David French and how do you answer Lilly?

KARL ROVE, FORMER BUSH WHITE HOUSE ADVISOR: Well, from all reports, he’s a wonderful human being. He volunteered for service in Iraq.

WALLACE:  But you don't know who he is either?

ROVE: I – I – well, I've read him over the years.

WALLACE:  Yes.

ROVE: He writes for The National Review.

WALLACE:  Right.

ROVE: He’s a lawyer in Tennessee. Constitutional scholar. Joined the military in his 30s in order to serve in Iraq. And by all accounts is a wonderful human being.

But this is – with all due respect to – to him, this is ridiculous. You – you – the deadline has passed to be on the ballot in Texas as an independent candidate. How can a center right independent candidate claim to be serious if the deadline has already been passed to be on the second most populous state, the biggest red state in the country on the ballot.

Tomorrow night at 5:00 you need to submit your name and 5,000 qualified signatures to be on the ballot in Colorado. By the – 19 days after that, you have to submit 90,000 names to be on the ballot in North Carolina. There’s no chance in heck that he's going to be on the ballot.

WALLACE:  All right. The – the – the suggestion that he made in that little clip there and what we're hearing is, he’s not going to be the president. But, conceivably he wins a few states, he throws it into the House of Representatives and then the House can decide.

ROVE: Nobody who is on the ballot in a few states, not all the states, is going to be taken serious as a candidate. And this is an Electoral College situation. You can get – like Ross Perot got 19 percent of the vote, he got zero Electoral College votes. This is – I don’t want to say a fools herring, because this is a smart, able man, but this is ridiculous and – and – and we ought to stop.

WALLACE:  So when Lilly says that he's just going to stop Trump and give the election to Hillary Clinton?

ROVE: Well, I'm not certain that he’ll get more than – look, if you – if you don't want Hillary Clinton and you don't want Donald Trump, you've already got an alternative in the libertarian party that's on all 50 state ballots. I just don't see where this is going. This is not going to be a way to get it to the House of Representatives and cause something else to happen. This is not, you know, what, was it 1824 when we last went to the – to the House of Representatives? I mean this is just simply not going to happen.

WALLACE:  Another development this week was the dramatic escalation in the protests against Trump outside his rallies, attacks on Trump supporters as they left the rallies. We discussed this with – with Speaker Gingrich and Hillary Clinton denounced the violence, but is her camp worried that as Gingrich said, that this is going to have a backlash and it actually could – could help Trump, not hurt him?

ANNE GEARAN, THE WASHINGTON POST: Yes, they – I mean she said she denounces it no matter where it – it came from. She has denounced violence previously inside Trump rallies, outside Trump rallies. And in – in this case, it – no matter the origin, she’s denouncing anti-Trump violence.

I – I think they are concerned that there is a potential for it to look like it was orchestrated by Democrats and those supporting – more likely to support her, even if they’re not actually politically active. These groups outside are – it's still not really totally clear who was protesting what, but anytime you have egg throwing on – on – being passed around on YouTube –

WALLACE:  A defenseless woman (ph).

GEARAN: Exactly, that draws unwanted attention to the kinds of – of voters outside who are protesting Trump. And that's not something they want.

WALLACE:  Brit, if – if these violent demonstrations continue, and there's every reason to believe that they will against Trump and against his supporters, in Cleveland at the convention, during the general election campaign, what affect do you see it having?

HUME: It helps Trump.

WALLACE:  It helps Trump?

HUME: Helps Trump.

WALLACE:  Do you agree with Gingrich that it's 1968 and people are upset at –

HUME: Well, it remains to be seen, but you can't rule it out. I mean, you know, the security situation in Cleveland is going to be – is going to have to be extremely intense in order to resist this kind of thing. And I think, you know, the more – it's so ugly and it’s so unacceptable and – and it’s such a turnoff to people that it – you know, to the extent that it helps – it helps Trump – now it may make some people look at him and say, look at the kind of stuff this guy stirs up, but those are the kind of people that, if they think that way about it, they were never going to vote for Trump anyway. So I think, on balance, it helps him, although I’m not sure how big a factor it is.

WALLACE:  Final word, Karl?

ROVE: It does make him a sympathetic figure. And I would recommend that The New York Times get somebody who’s conversant in conversational Spanish because the title of this event on Facebook they translate it as "tell Donald Trump to go to hell." Well, let me just tell you, having been in a couple of bar rooms in south Texas, the – what the name of this is, is far more offensive than simply telling Donald Trump to go to hell. I'd recommend next time The New York Times, before they reprint the name of the rally in Spanish on their front page, they check and make certain what they’ve just printed on the front page.

WALLACE:  Are you suggesting it was not all the news that’s fit to print?

ROVE: Oh, I’d say it’s a heck of a lot less fit to print than you could ever imagine.

WALLACE:  All right, panel, we have to take a break here, but when we come back, outrage grows over the State Department's editing of a briefing about the Iran nuclear deal.

Plus, what do you think, who ordered the official record to be doctored and why? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter @foxnewssunday and use #FNS.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BERNIE SANDERS, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are going to go marching into the Democratic Convention with enormous momentum. And I believe we'll come marching out with the Democratic nomination.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE:  Bernie Sanders saying he will continue his campaign beyond Tuesday's primaries, including the big prize of California, where the senator is now in a dead heat with Hillary Clinton.

And we're back now with the panel.

So, Anne, as our reporter in the field until yesterday, what's your sense of what Sanders will do after California and does it depend on whether or not he wins or loses there?

GEARAN: I think it changes slightly if he wins. I – if – if he wins California, he has a much stronger card to play to say, even though Hillary Clinton is likely to declare victory more or less on Tuesday, it should probably go over the top before California, whether – whether – with – with voting in New Jersey, and be able to say, I am now not only the Democratic nominee de facto, but the first woman to lead a major party in a national election.

Even as she says that, Sanders will say and be telling his supporters to say, not so fast because you don't actually have the full number of pledged delegates and super delegates could still change their mind between now and the convention. He’ll make some case for them to do that. All of this is about leverage so that he can go into the convention and try to exact changes in policy and platform and procedure. He’ll go ahead –

WALLACE:  So, bottom line, what does he want?

GEARAN: Everyone is asking that question. I – I think it's a combination of – of he wants some procedural changes to the way Democrats select their candidate. He seems to be making inroads on that. Elizabeth Warren said yesterday, I'm a super delegate and I oppose the super delegate system. I think he's – I think he’s getting through on that point.

He also wants to remain as leader of a social justice movement that – that extends beyond this election. And I think he's making a case for that now. And he’ll be able to make a very strong case for that assuming he gets a platform speech in July.

WALLACE:  Karl, how big a deal is this for Clinton? If, on Tuesday night, she clinches the nomination, she goes over the magic number of 2,383 delegates, how much does Sanders hurt her if he stays in the race until Philadelphia?

ROVE: Well, she will – I – I agree with Anne, she will go over the top when New Jersey is reported at 5:00 Pacific, 8:00 Eastern, which is going to be interesting to see what happens in the two remaining hours of voting in California. Do the Clinton people say, well, she's got it, I'm staying home, and Bernie's people turn out or do Bernie's people say, well, we’ve lost it and –

WALLACE:  Right.

ROVE: Therefore my sense is Bernie's people turn out.

Look, I think what matters here is not what he wants to get, it's what he doesn’t want – what he wants to claim that he wants that he doesn't get. He wants to lead a movement to transform the Democratic Party. You don't do that by winning at this convention. He knows he’s not going to win at this convention. So ask for things you know you cannot get in order to create a sense of resentment and longevity to this movement that he’s got.

And, look, he's very clear about this, I want to transform America and it needs to start by transforming the Democratic Party. So what's going to be interesting to me is, well, how many points of friction is he going to choose in Philadelphia that he knows are not going to be accepted. Get rid of the super delegates. Fine. Go ahead and try to do that. That ain't going to happen when you’ve got 720 super delegates sitting at that convention by the fact that they are super delegates. Ask for platform things you’re not going to get in order to give people a rallying point.

We need to remember –

WALLACE:  But you're saying the reverse of the "Godfather," he wants to give them an offer they can – that they have to refuse?

ROVE: That – that they have to refuse. Remember, this is a man –

HUME: (INAUDIBLE). Yes.

ROVE: This – this is a – the first Democratic National Convention or Democratic Convention of any sort he has ever attended. Every office that he has won, mayor of Burlington, U.S. Congress, U.S. Senate, his aborted run for governor, in every one of those, he is either defeated or been defeated by a Democratic. So he doesn’t care about the Democratic Party. He cares about the Democratic socialist movement that he wants to leave in place to move that party to the left and – and hence move America to the left.

WALLACE:  I want to turn to some other news this week, and that was that we learned the fact that the – someone, unknown at the State Department, scrubbed the video of an official briefing to delete an answer about the Iran nuclear deal. In February 2013 a spokesman denied there were any secret talks between the U.S. and Iran. But that December, when it turned out there had been talks, our James Rosen had this exchange with another spokesman, Jen Psaki.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES ROSEN, FOX NEWS: Is it the policy of the State Department, where the preservation of the secrecy of secret negotiations are concerned – is concerned, to lie in order to achieve that goal?

JEN PSAKI, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN: James, I think there are times where diplomacy needs privacy in order to progress. This is a good example of that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE:  Now, James discovered recently that that exchange had been deleted from the video record of the briefing. They keep a record of every briefing they do. The State Department's first explanation was it was because of a technical glitch. That's the word they used. But after some investigation, the State Department came out and said that someone, still unknown, had ordered that eight minutes of that tape be deleted.

Chuck, how big a deal?

LANE: A very big deal inside Washington. I would say lots of people across the board are upset at what this says about the credibility and integrity of the State Department. John Kerry himself has said it's a big deal and whoever did it shouldn't be working for me anymore.

There is a kind of formality to the State Department briefing. Anne’s been to many of them. It is the official word of the U.S. government. And the idea that it could be tinkered with for some kind of still unknown political or diplomatic reason, that there’s a memory hole at the State Department, is very disconcerting.

I guess what we're left with, though, is a – is an even bigger mystery. If this is such an outrage, even in the view of the secretary of state himself, why can't they get to the bottom of it? If it all went on within the four walls of foggy bottom, it should be pretty simple to find out who made the phone calls and who pressed the buttons. And so far Admiral Kirby from the podium has said, well, I got –

WALLACE:  He’s the chief spokesman for Kerry.

LANE: Correct. He said, I've gotten this far with the investigation and no further. And we've determined that, although it was a terrible thing, it didn't violate any rules.

WALLACE:  Case closed.

LANE: It’s --  yes, I don't think they’re going to be able to stop it there.

WALLACE:  Well, I – I want to pick up on that with you, Brit, because the State Department is saying that, you know, we've gotten as far as we can. We're going to basically stop and move – and what we're going to do is look – move forward. And there are congressional Republicans who are demanding more. They want some records. And they’re also saying that the State Department's inspector general should investigate. Your view, is this political or is there a legitimate concern here?

HUME: It's political and there’s a legitimate concern.

WALLACE:  Yes is the answer.

HUME: Yes – yes to the yes and yes.

Chuck suggested there’s an unknown purpose to the deletion. I – I think there was a known – there is a known purpose. Basically what Jen Psaki said was by clear implication that it is the policy, or at least the practice of the State Department at certain times, to lie, if necessary, to protect secret undertakings. Someone thought that ought not be on the official record. The historical record. And decided to delete it. Got caught. Now the person who was apparently – had – got the request said, I don't remember who that was, who asked me to do that. I don't believe that. I think this is something that – that – that they’re line of defense on this, the case closed, will not hold. An investigation will go forward and there is at least a good chance we’ll find out who did it and that person –

WALLACE:  Now, we should point out that Jen Psaki has absolutely flatly categorically denied that she had anything to do with this.

HUME: That's true and perhaps she didn't. However, she also went on to attack James Rosen personally for allegedly attacking her character. To my knowledge, and I've looked at what he has said about this, he never did that. So I don't even know what she's talking about. And that raises a question about her credibility.

WALLACE:  Karl, as someone who worked in government for six years, and at the – in the – in the White House, how does a State Department official come to call a technician and say, delete eight minutes of an official video of a State Department – a public State Department briefing?

ROVE: Well, I – I've thought about this. Either – either an idiot at the White House calls up the State Department and demands that it happens, or you fill the ranks of the State Department at the top with a bunch of political hacks whose interest is not in the representation of the United States record, but instead the protection of the secretary of state. And I – look, I don't know who did what on this thing, but it is reminiscent of the Soviet era when where (ph) you fell out of favor with Stalin, they – they erased you out of all of the official photographs. Charles – Chuck mentioned the memory hole. That's an illusion of 1984, Winston Smith in the ministry of truth who took all those documents and put them – shredded them, in essence, by – by removing them from the public record. And this is reprehensible and they better be serious about finding out who they – who did this and holding them responsible.

WALLACE:  Do you think that they will be able to – to hold this line, well, we're going to go forward. It wasn’t –

ROVE: They should – they shouldn't be able to. They should be held to account for this. This is reprehensible and a destruction of the public record.

WALLACE:  Thank you, panel. See you next Sunday.

Up next, some surprising advice for the class of 2016 from our "Power Players of the Week."

Plus, reflections on the life of Muhammad Ali.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALLACE:  It's become an annual tradition here, to sample some of the words of wisdom college graduates are getting at their commencements. This year the speakers include political figures, a Super Bowl winning quarterback, and the hottest star on Broadway. And they're all our "Power Players of the Week."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: When you find your passion, it's yours, not what someone else thinks it should be. There's no earthly reason that a black girl from Birmingham, Alabama, should be a Soviet specialist, but that's what I wanted to be. Don't let anyone else define your passion for you because of your gender or the color of your skin.

RUSSELL WILSON, SEATTLE SEAHAWKS QUARTERBACK: If you're dating a woman that's way out of your league, ask her to marry you. If you can throw a football 80 yards, for some reason people think that's pretty cool. And if you're playing the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl and you've got 26 seconds left and you're down by four and it's second and goal on their one yard line, try not to throw an interception.

SHERYL SANDBERG, FACEBOOK COO: David’s death changed me in very profound ways. I learned about the depths of sadness and the brutality of loss, but I also learned that when life sucks you under, you can kick against the bottom, find the surface and breathe again.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you disagree with somebody, bring them in and ask them tough questions. Hold their feet to the fire. Make them defend their positions. And by doing so, you’ll strengthen your own position. And you’ll hone your arguments. And maybe you’ll learn something and realize you don't know everything.

JOHN BOEHNER, FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: But I know a lot of you today are thinking about, what am I going to do? What am I going to do? Well, let me tell you something, you can think about that tomorrow, you can think about it next week and frankly you can think about it next year. But what you can think about right here, right now, is who do you want to be?

LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA, "HAMILTON" CREATOR AND STAR: In the year when politicians traffic it in anti-immigrant rhetoric, there is also a Broadway musical reminding us that a broke orphan immigrant from the west Indies built our financial system. A story that reminds us that since the beginning of the great unfinished symphony that is our American experiment, time and time again immigrants get the job done.

MATT DAMON, ACTOR: The real danger is all that smoke that's been blown up your graduation gowns about how freaking smart you are. Well, you are that smart, but don't believe the hype that's thrown at you.

The great philosopher Benjamin Affleck once said, judge me by how good my good ideas are, not how bad my bad ideas are. You've got to suit up in your armor. You’ve got to get ready to sound like a total fool. Not having an answer isn't embarrassing, it's an opportunity.

STEVEN SPIELBERG, DIRECTOR: I wish you all a true Hollywood-style happy ending. I hope you outrun the t-rex, catch the criminal and, for your parents' sake, maybe every now and then, just like E.T., go home. Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALLACE:  And our best wishes as well to the students and parents of the class of 2016.

Now this program note, be sure to tune to Fox News Channel on Tuesday for all day election coverage as six states, including California, head to the polls.

Finally, a word about Muhammad Ali. People under a certain age won't fully understand, but there was a time in the '60s and '70s when he was the most famous person on the planet, and the most controversial person in this country. His talent as a fighter was incandescent. No one had ever seen a big man as graceful and quick. But it was his fighting outside the ring that set him apart. His conversion to Islam, his refusal to fight in Vietnam. You could agree or disagree, but he walked his path, not ours.

I had the great good fortune to interview Ali a couple of times and he was funny and smart and gracious. My lasting memory of him is from 1996 when he lit the flame to start the Olympics in Atlanta. His once beautiful body riddled with Parkinson's, he struggled with the torch and the fire burned his arm, but he was going to finish the fight. In the end, this man who was once hated by many Americans became a symbol of the diversity and turbulence and resilience of this great nation. Each of us will have to decide if he was the greatest, but there's no question he was a giant.

And that's it for today. Have a great week. And we'll see you next "Fox News Sunday."

END

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