Vice president-elect Mike Pence talks transition; Sen. Schumer on working with Trump administration

This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," November 20, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


All eyes are on Trump Tower as the transition goes full speed ahead.


SEN. JEFF SESSIONS , R-ALA.: This is such an exciting time, I’ve got to tell you.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP SENIOR ADVISER: A lot of activity going on upstairs.

GEN. MIKE FLYNN (RET), U.S. ARMY: The president-elect is in full control, believe me.

WALLACE: We'll talk with Vice President-elect Mike Pence about Trump's picks so far and what his role will be in the Trump White House.

VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT MIKE PENCE: He's a man of action. I’m just humbled to be a part of it.

WALLACE: Mike Pence live, only on "Fox News Sunday."

Plus, we'll hear from our Sunday group, including Laura Ingraham, who's being considered for White House press secretary.

Then, how will Democrats work with President Trump?

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-N.Y.: We challenge him -- work with us and keep your promises to blue-collar America.

WALLACE: Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer on his party's agenda and how Democrats will try to recover from a tough election.

Plus, a symbol of our democracy gets a facelift, just in time for the inauguration. This is a view you don't see any place else in this city.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's so true, isn’t it?

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


WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.

Well, just two days after The New York Times said the Trump transition was in disarray, the president-elect named much of his national security team. That's far ahead of the timeline of other incoming presidents.

Congressman Mike Pompeo to lead the CIA, Senator Jeff Sessions as attorney general, and General Michael Flynn to be national security adviser.

In a moment, we'll speak live with the vice president-elect, Governor Mike Pence, who's leading the transition team about what's next.

But we begin with Fox News correspondent Bryan Llenas outside Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, where Mr. Trump is conducting job interviews this weekend -- Bryan.


Well, Governor Mitt Romney met with President-elect Trump yesterday here in his New Jersey golf clubhouse for nearly 90 minutes. The Trump team characterizing the conversation as extremely positive and productive. Romney, who called Trump a conman during the campaign could be a candidate for secretary of state.


MITT ROMNEY, FORMER REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We had a far-reaching conversation with regards to the various theaters in the world where there are interests of the United States of real significant. We discussed those areas and exchanged our views on those topics.


LLENAS: Mr. Trump and his Vice President-elect Mike Pence met with seven others, including Retired Marine General James Mattis. They discussed ISIS, China and NATO.

A senior Trump official tells Fox News Mattis is a strong candidate to be defense secretary.

Today, the president-elect will meet with seven others, including Governor Chris Christie, who was recently ousted as chairman of Trump's transition team, and Mayor Rudy Giuliani, both Trump loyalists eyeing cabinet positions.

After a week of nonstop meetings, Mr. Trump gave reporters two thumbs up last night when asked how the transition was going.


PRESIDENT-ELECT DONALD TRUMP: We're seeing tremendous talent, people that, as I say, we would make America great again.


LLENAS: The president-elect says there's a good possibility we can expect to hear more cabinet announcements today -- Chris.

WALLACE: Bryan, thanks for that.

Joining us now live is the head of the transition, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, for his first interview since the election.

And, Governor, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday," and congratulations, sir.

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

And I couldn't be more honored and humbled to have the opportunity to serve with President-elect Donald Trump and to see the energy that he's brought, the leadership he's brought to this effort since literally hours after the election was called has been truly inspiring.

WALLACE: As we just reported, the president-elect met with a wide range of people yesterday, everyone from Mitt Romney to Michelle Rhee. But so far, the people that he has appointed have all been loyalists and frankly all white men.

My question, sir, is: Will we see a diversity of opinion in the Trump administration? And frankly, will we see a diversity of gender and race?

PENCE: Well, clearly the president-elect is a man who knows his mind. He knows where he wants to take this country. He laid out an agenda to make America great again, to have America standing tall in the world, to revive the American economy. He's going to surround himself with men and women from diverse backgrounds who are going to help him move that agenda forward.

But I have to tell you, to be alongside him in these meetings, to be here at Trump National yesterday, to see men and women coming through with extraordinary backgrounds, another round of those today, we have been working at his direction headlong to bring together people from all across this country who will help him on day one to begin to move that agenda to really result in a stronger and more prosperous America. I couldn't be more honored to be a part of it, Chris.

WALLACE: Well, let me see if I can get you to make some news. Someone close to the transition tells me that the meeting with Mitt Romney yesterday actually went better than expected given their history with each other and that he's now a contender for secretary of state, although Rudy Giuliani may be the front runner still. And Retired General James Mattis is, quote, "likely for secretary of defense."

I want to put up a tweet that Donald Trump sent out this morning. "General James 'Mad Dog' Mattis, who is being considered for secretary of defense, was very impressive yesterday, a true general's general."

It sounds like he's got the job, sir.

PENCE: Well -- well, stay tuned as the president-elect works through all of those decisions. I can tell you that they'll be coming forward.

I think you said it at the top of the show, though. You know, while some in the national media were wringing their hands early this week, we've been working from literally hours after the election was called to move this transition forward. I’m honored to be serving as the chair of it.

And to have someone like General Mattis to sit before us yesterday, someone with a legendary military career and to be able to talk to him about the challenges facing America and our national security -- and I can tell you that the president-elect was very grateful.

Governor Mitt Romney came in. They had a good meeting. It was a warm and substantive exchange. I know he's under active consideration to be the secretary of state of the United States along with other distinguished Americans.

WALLACE: Just one quick thing on Romney. Was there any talk about the terrible things they said about each other?

PENCE: Well, we spent about an hour together with the team, the president-elect and I on one side of the table and some of the team on the other side with Governor Romney. And we talked through a lot of substantive issues. They did have some private time together, and you can ask either one of them what they talked about.

But, look, these are two people that earned their party's nomination. One was successful and won a mandate from the American people earlier this month to make America great again. Another one fought hard to do that four years ago.

And I can just report to you that it was a -- it was a cordial meeting. But more importantly, the American people, it was a very substantive conversation. I know the president-elect was grateful that Mitt Romney came here to Trump National and spent some time and is willing to be considered for this important role at such an important time in the life of our nation.

WALLACE: Well, let's talk about your role, because the president-elect has made you the head of the transition. You seem from your visits to be his main link to Congress. Some are comparing you to Dick Cheney, who played a big role in introducing another newcomer to Washington back in 2000, George W. Bush.

What do you think of the Cheney comparison?

PENCE: Well, I have high regard for the service that Vice President Cheney provided to the United States, but the person that will define my role is the president-elect of the United States of America --


WALLACE: And what has he said about that --


WALLACE: I mean, some people have said that he's going to be the CEO, and you're going to be the COO, the chief operating officer.

PENCE: Well, let me be very clear. President-elect Donald Trump, when he becomes President Donald Trump on January 20th, will be the one leading the Trump administration. And I'll be providing a supporting role.

But I do think -- I do think the president-elect has a great appreciation for my relationships with members of Congress. He and I both went to Capitol Hill last week and sat down with leaders of the House and the Senate.

Part of this transition, Chris, is not just surrounding the president-elect with men and women from whom he can choose the personnel that will people an administration, but we're also laying out an aggressive policy agenda, working with leaders frankly in both chambers and in both political parties. I went back to Capitol Hill this week and not only met with leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan, but I also was grateful to have the opportunity to sit down with leader Pelosi and leader Schumer.

We had a substantive conversation. We're working with the majorities in the House and Senate to move forward an aggressive agenda. Decisions have been made that -- by the president-elect that he wants to focus out of the gate on repealing Obamacare and beginning the process of replacing Obamacare with the kind of free market solutions that he campaigned on.

From there, we'll work on issues ranging from ending illegal immigration, reviving our economy through tax reform, rebuilding the military, restoring the infrastructure of this country. But I do hope to continue to play a supportive role to take President-elect Donald Trump's agenda to Capitol Hill and work with leaders frankly in both political parties to move the country forward and make America great again.

WALLACE: Well, let me ask you about one potential flash point. We interviewed Senate Democratic leader Schumer on Friday. He's going to be in our next segment. And he said that there's going to be a, quote, "very thorough vetting of Donald Trump's choice for attorney general." That's Senator Jeff Sessions.

Back in 1986, looking at the record, sessions was rejected by the Senate as a federal judge because of troubling actions and statements on race, and as a senator, Sessions supported rolling back the Voting Rights Act and voted against laws to protect gays and guarantee equal pay for women.

The question is, are you prepared to fight Democrats to make Sessions the nation's chief law enforcement officer?

PENCE: I think -- I think everyone who knows Senator Jeff Sessions knows that he's going to be an outstanding attorney general. He is a man of integrity. He stood shoulder to shoulder with our president-elect through this campaign, championing not only the rule of law but confronting the scourge of illegal immigration.

And for many Americans, this is a very anxious time relative to the Justice Department. They know that Jeff Sessions will restore integrity there.


WALLACE: What about that record when it comes to race and gays and women?

PENCE: Yes. Well, I’m very confident that in the course of the confirmation hearings that his record in its totality will come out. This is a man who prosecuted the KKK in his own home state. This is someone who demonstrated personal courage.

And I think you’re going to see -- you're going to see an outpouring of support from diverse voices, including the African-American community, in his home state and across the country.

I’m very confident Senator Jeff Sessions will be the next attorney general of the United States.

WALLACE: During the campaign, Donald Trump attacked Hillary Clinton for blurring the lines with the Clinton Foundation. Here's what he said.


TRUMP: It is impossible to figure out where the Clinton foundation ends and the State Department begins. It is now abundantly clear that the Clintons set up a business to profit from public office.


WALLACE: But, Governor, now there's heavy criticism from all sides about Donald Trump's intention to turn over his real estate empire to his children. And the argument is that any company, any foreign government that wants to curry favor with the president will just make a deal with the Trump Organization. In fact, one top Republican said to me, this could be the Clinton Foundation on steroids.

How do you deal with that?

PENCE: Well, I’m very confident working with the best legal minds in the country, that the president-elect and his family will create the proper separation from his business as he goes forward.

But look, one of the reasons why Donald Trump just won a mandate from the American people, winning states that Republicans hadn't won for a generation, is because he brought that business background. He didn't come out of a long political career. He came out of a career building things, creating things.

WALLACE: Sir, I understand that.


PENCE: I’m very confident, and he's very confident we'll be able to create the proper separation.


WALLACE: But it's not just a legal question --


PENCE: I will tell you, Chris, he’s completely focused on the people’s business.

WALLACE: If I may just ask a question, sir, briefly -- if his kids are running the business, and we're talking about buildings here. If he doesn't divest himself of the business, a lot of people are saying turn it into cash, he's going to know who the kids are doing business with. In fact, there was just a meeting in the last few days with some of his business partners from India. Doesn't that create a tremendous danger of a conflict of interest?

PENCE: Well, I can tell you, in a recent interview after the election, the president-elect summed up his view of his interest in his business life with two words. He said, "Who cares?"

And I can tell you, sitting shoulder to shoulder with him through these interviews, watching him talk to world leaders on the phone, one after another, from hours after the election, the president-elect of the United States, Donald Trump, is completely focused on the people's business. And I promise you, and I can assure the public that they'll have the proper separation from their business enterprise.

You know, you've met all of his kids. They're extraordinary men and women, fully capable of leading that enterprise. I know he's going to lead America with 110 percent of his focus.

WALLACE: Finally, I’ve got about a minute left. I got to ask you about the subject everybody is talking about today. You know what it is. And that is the fact that you went to see the Broadway musical "Hamilton" on Friday night.

And afterwards, the cast addressed you as you were walking out of the theater about their concerns as to whether Mr. Trump will protect diversity in our nation. Here he is.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us. All of us.


WALLACE: Now, Saturday morning, Mr. Trump tweeted this, "The cast of ‘Hamilton’ was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize." And he tweeted about it again at 6:23 this morning.

Governor, what did you think of the cast's comments, and did you consider it rude?

PENCE: Well, first off, my daughter and I and her cousins really enjoyed the show. "Hamilton" is just an incredible production, incredibly talented people. And it was a real joy to be there.

You know, when we arrived, we heard -- we heard a few boos, we heard some cheers. And I nudged my kids and reminded them that's what freedom sounds like.

And -- but at the end, you know, I did hear what was said from the stage, and I can tell you, I wasn't offended by what was said. I'll leave to others whether that was the appropriate venue to say it.

But I do want to say that the basic element, the center of that message is one that I want to address. That is, I know this is a very disappointing time for people that did not see their candidate win in this national election. I know this is a very anxious time for some people.

And I just want to reassure people that what President-elect Donald Trump said on election night, he absolutely meant from the bottom of his heart. He is preparing to be the president of all of the people of the United States of America.

And to watch him bringing together people of diverse views, bringing together people that differed with him strongly, seeing him talk to leaders around the world, I just want to -- I just want to reassure every American that in the days ahead, I’m very confident that they’re going to see -- that they're going to see President-elect Donald Trump be a president for all of the people, and we embrace that principle and we're going to work hard to make that principle every day that we serve.

WALLACE: And just to button Hamilton-gate up, do you want or expect an apology?

PENCE: Well, as I said, I would just -- I would leave that to others, whether that was the appropriate venue for that. But, you know, I will tell you, Chris, if you haven't seen the show, go to see it. It is a great, great show.

You know, I’m a real history buff. So I -- my daughter and I and her cousins really enjoyed it.

WALLACE: Well, I’ve seen it too. We can say Pence and Wallace, two thumbs up.

Governor Pence, we want to thank you. Thank you for joining us. Always good to talk with you, sir.

PENCE: Thank you.

WALLACE: Up next, we'll sit down with a top Democrat in Washington, Senate leader Chuck Schumer. Where can he work with Mr. Trump, and where will he fight him?


WALLACE: Democrats fought Donald Trump bitterly during the campaign, but it turns out they're turning to a surprising tactic now that he's the new president, looking for areas to work with him.

We found that out Friday when we went to Capitol Hill to talk with the Democrats' new leader in the Senate, Chuck Schumer.


WALLACE: Senator Schumer, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."

SCHUMER: Glad to be back.

WALLACE: How many times have you spoken to President-elect Trump since the election?

SCHUMER: A few. And, you know, the first time says congratulations, let's work together. The second time we talked a little about infrastructure. I do think it's possible under certain terms we could get a major infrastructure bill done. But maybe even in the first 100 days.

But that infrastructure bill has to have certain things for us to support it. It can't just be tax credits. That won't be enough.

It has to be large and bold. Trump has talked about a trillion dollars. Good. And we're not going to --

WALLACE: Meaning federal spending?

SCHUMER: Federal spending, exactly, not just tax expenditures. And it can't cut the basics like Medicare and education and other things to pay for it.

But if he wants to do a major infrastructure bill focused on infrastructure and with those criteria, it's very possible.

WALLACE: Well, let's do a lightning round, quick questions, quick answers --


WALLACE: -- on a number of items in the Trump agenda.

There’s been talk about a possible deal on infrastructure, which Democrats would like, and some Republicans, but in return tax reform, corporate tax reforms is also a way to get some of those trillions of dollars back to this country.

SCHUMER: Look, it's not something that I'd take off the table. And I did some negotiations with Paul Ryan about this. But to get the kind of infrastructure money that Donald Trump is talking about, then you'd -- you'd have to a lot more than international tax reform to get it done. It just doesn't bring in the dollars you need.

WALLACE: What about trade deals, killing some of -- renegotiating some of the --


WALLACE: -- trade deals?

SCHUMER: These are good questions -- these are very good questions.

WALLACE: Thank you.

SCHUMER: On -- surprisingly, on several different issues, Donald Trump, in his campaign, echoed the views of Democrats, not Republicans -- massive transportation bill, trade, getting rid of the carried interest loophole, cleaning up the swamp.

And on those issues where he agrees with us and the Republican establishment and the hard right doesn't, we challenge him -- work with us and keep your promises to blue collar America.

I think blue collar voted for Donald Trump more on Democratic issues than on Republican issues, which he professed. And we will work with him on those issues --


SCHUMER: Absolutely.

WALLACE: Kill the Pacific trade partnership, which seems like it’s --

SCHUMER: It's gone already, but I'm glad it is. I opposed it.

WALLACE: Paid maternity leave.

SCHUMER: We should work out something that's strong and good, but I -- I'm open to it.

WALLACE: So, this is a kumbaya moment here we're talking about.

SCHUMER: No, because there are many issues where we'll oppose him tooth and nail. When he goes against our values, goes with special interests. Let me give you three right off the bat.

He's going to try to repeal ACA, he won't be able to do it.

WALLACE: Obamacare.

SCHUMER: Obamacare.

He won't be able to do it, because now even he, after his meeting with President Obama, said, "Oh, I want to keep the good things." Well, you can't keep the good things without keeping ACA.

Forget about repealing or modifying Dodd-Frank. Dodd-Frank is the law --

WALLACE: Financial regulation.

SCHUMER: Financial regulation after the bank interests and everybody else helped drive us to a great recession. We're not going to undo it, period. And I have the votes. I think we have the votes to block it. He should forget about it.

And this idea of a wall, we already passed -- John McCain and Chuck Schumer, bipartisan, an immigration bill that was comprehensive, that did a lot and was much tougher on the border than a wall would be.

So, on that -- and when he opposes --

WALLACE: Yes, but wait a minute -- what he's saying, Senator, is secure the border first, build the wall and then you can start worrying about immigration reform.

SCHUMER: No. Put it all together.

WALLACE: And if he says wall first?

SCHUMER: We'll say do it all. If we were to just do the wall, we'd never get the rest. It's got to be all together.

WALLACE: Let's talk about a name, because President Trump has named Senator Jeff Sessions to be his attorney general.

Now, back in 1986, the Senate refused to confirm Jeff Sessions to be a federal judge.

Will he have any problems getting through the Senate now?

And is it because of his record and statements and actions on civil rights, will he have any trouble getting through the Senate now?

SCHUMER: Look, he's going to need a very thorough vetting. Many of those statements, they're old, but they're still troubling.

And the idea that Jeff Sessions is -- just because he's a senator, he should get through without a series of very tough questions, particularly given those early sit -- early things, no way.

There are lots of questions that have to be asked. Let me give you one that relates to the old statements. What does he intend to do with the Civil Rights Division?

I wouldn't want to support him unless I was convinced that we would still have a strong Civil Rights Division in the Justice Department.

So, for any of these nominees, I think the watchword is thorough, thorough vetting. Don't say "absolutely not", but they have to answer and satisfy the American people about a whole lot of questions, even if you're a senator.

WALLACE: Let's talk about an issue where you won't agree and that is that Donald Trump intends to name a conservative, a real conservative, to the Supreme Court.


WALLACE: If you think that it's the wrong person, are you prepared -- and will Democrats be prepared to filibuster that nomination, which has only happened once in the history of the Senate.

SCHUMER: I would hope first and foremost that President Trump nominates a mainstream nominee capable of getting bipartisan support.

If he does, then we'll give it just a very, very thorough vetting, but we won't ipso facto say no.

If it's out of the mainstream, yes, we're going to fight that nominee tooth and nail. And let's remember two things. Let's --

WALLACE: But wait. Fight -- does that mean filibuster?

SCHUMER: Let me say two things.

First, we -- when we had power, we changed the rules, but I argued with Harry Reid not to change it for Supreme Court, because it should get that bipartisan support.

So, it's still 60 votes. We didn't change the rules. If they, you know, I hope our Republicans won't.

And second, when our Republican colleagues say, "Let's do this quickly, without filibuster," they don't come here with clear, clean hands. After what they did to Merrick Garland and held him up for a whole year, a bipartisan nominee who Senator Hatch, conservative Republican, Utah, former head of Judiciary, said would be a very good nominee.

So, let's -- let's try to get a mainstream nominee, but let's not jump to conclusions, because what the Republicans did, past is sometimes prologue.

WALLACE: Let's go back to the history you mentioned. Because back in 2013, it was the Democrats who changed the rules and said that the filibuster was gone for lower court district judicial --

SCHUMER: Exactly right.

WALLACE: -- nominees, that it no longer had to be a super majority, a simple minority of 51.

Here is how you defended it at the time.


SCHUMER: It's a new world. People demand action. The old rules need to be modified and that's what we have done today.


WALLACE: Last month, when it looked like Hillary Clinton was going to win, you refused to close the door on extending --

SCHUMER: Correct.

WALLACE: -- the nuclear option to sort of filibuster the Supreme Court nominees and the vice presidential nominee, Tim Kaine, openly threatened to go nuclear to get her nominees to the court.

So, if it's fair for you, why isn't it far for the Republicans?

SCHUMER: What I said at the time is I hope we won't get to it. I say the same thing now. I hope we won't get to it.

WALLACE: But you left the possibility open?

SCHUMER: Well, I said --

WALLACE: You opened the door.

SCHUMER: I did not say we'd do it. I said I hope we won't get to it. That's sort of --

WALLACE: But you didn’t say you wouldn't do it.

SCHUMER: -- that's hoping -- well, OK, we can cut -- we can split hairs. I did not say I was for it or say I think we should do it.

WALLACE: Why do you think Hillary Clinton lost?

SCHUMER: You know, when you lose the way we lost, you can't blink, you can't look away. You've got to stare the election in the face. And there were a lot of reasons and we'll still examine it for a while.

But one above all, our economic message was not sharp enough, was not bold enough, was not strong enough. And people -- even though I believed that for all those blue collar voters who voted for Donald Trump, even many who had voted for Obama, they thought he was the change agent, even though our actual policies are much closer to what they believe than the Republican policies.

We are going to have a bold, strong message. And it will appeal to both groups. You don't need to say well, who do Democrats appeal to, the Obama coalition or the blue collar people?

A bold, strong economic message will appeal to all -- to both, to the factory worker in Scranton, to the college student in Los Angeles, to the single mom on minimum wage in Harlem.

WALLACE: How specifically do you appeal to working class white voters in the Midwest and bring them back?

SCHUMER: OK, on issues, some of which Trump campaigned on -- trade, change the trade laws. Democrats have been far more eager to change the trade laws than Republicans, but they voted Republican because Donald Trump himself was issuing a message of change trade.

A large infrastructure bill. Republicans have opposed it. We had to squeeze to get a small one. Donald Trump’s for a big one. We're for a big one.

We challenge him. You won blue collar voters, President-elect Trump, because you happened to support a lot of Democratic issues. Don't break your promise to the blue collar voter. Work with us. Just because it's President Trump, we will work with you to get those things done if we -- you stick to the principles you enunciated in the campaign.

WALLACE: But why should that blue collar worker go to you when he's got the original Donald Trump who was saying it to him --

SCHUMER: Because he needs -- because we're far more on his side than the Republican senators and the Republican establishment. They were for free trade. They’re against an infrastructure bill. They're against carry -- closing the carried interest loophole.

WALLACE: Yes, but not Donald Trump.

SCHUMER: We've been for all those. We're telling Trump -- we're challenging him. Work with us. Don't break your promise to them. There's a lot of people telling Donald Trump, now go adopt the Republican mainstream line. It's against what he campaigned on.

WALLACE: Senator --

SCHUMER: Nice to see you.

WALLACE: Always good to talk to you. Thank you for your time, sir.

SCHUMER: Thank you.


WALLACE: Up next, we'll bring in our Sunday group, including Laura Ingraham, who is said to be on the short list for White House press secretary.

Plus, what would you like to ask the panel about Mr. Trump's picks? Just go to FaceBook or twitter @foxnewssunday, and we may use your question on the air.


WALLACE: Coming up, President-elect Trump makes his first cabinet picks.


PENCE: We're beginning what we’re very confident will be a smooth transition.


WALLACE: With more appointments to come, we'll ask our Sunday panel what we've learned so far about the direction of the Trump administration, next on "Fox News Sunday."



PENCE: We've got a great number of men and women, with great qualifications, come forward and serve this new administration. And I'm just humbled to be a part of it.


WALLACE: Vice President-elect Mike Pence talking about the transition at Trump Tower this week.

And it's time now for our Sunday group. Laura Ingraham, editor of LifeZette, Fox News political analyst Juan Williams, Bob Woodward from "The Washington Post," and "Washington Examiner" contributor Lisa Boothe.

Well, Laura, we got to start this discussion about personnel picks with you about you because as has been widely reported -- I know, you're shaking your head -- you are under consideration to be the White House press secretary. Two quick questions. Have you talked with Donald Trump since the election? And are you -- is it still a possibility?

LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST, "THE LAURA INGRAHAM SHOW": Yes and I guess so. I really don't have anything new to say about it other than the fact that, you know, it's an intriguing idea and it really is a great privilege to be considered. They have a really good team. You know, Kellyanne, obviously, is phenomenal. First woman to run a presidential campaign. And I know Sean Spicer’s over there doing great stuff. And -- and, if you like Jason Miller. So, they’ve got a lot of good people out there, but it’s -- it’s nice to be considered and, you know, I'm always open to new adventures, so.

WALLACE: Let me ask you a broader question on the issue. There's been a lot of criticism about Donald Trump's relationship with the press, that he's targeted reporters during the campaign, that he's ditched his press pool. Do you think he understands the role that the media plays, particularly now, covering a president?

INGRAHAM: I think he does. And I think what a lot of folks after this election cycle ended believe is that the press really was stacking the deck in their own way against Trump. Every public opinion survey reveals that. I've had conversations with network chiefs over the last week who themselves have admitted that they missed the boat on this and they were operating inside their own bubbles and not talking to enough Americans.

So I think, you know, without pointing fingers, I think there's a lot to be learned from this election. I think the press needs to learn more. I think some of us in the commentator class need to keep our eyes and ears open. Respect, I think, is really important. And I think there are reporters who do great work out there. And sometimes they're not from the traditional networks. Sometimes they're from new media. But I think it's -- it’s important that we have a vigorous press and a fair press. And I think that's all people really should expect.

WALLACE: Bob, the big picks so far have been on the national security side. I want to run through them quickly. Congressman Pompeo for CIA director, Senator Sessions for attorney general, and General Flynn for national security adviser. And we're now hearing that it's likely he will pick -- Trump will pick retired Marine General James Mattis for secretary of defense. What do those choices tell you so far? And we don't have a defense pick set. We don't have the secretary of state. What do they tell you about how you think Mr. Trump’s going to deal with the world?

BOB WOODWARD, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, those are people close to him. They are hard liners. But I think, as Laura was suggesting, in presenting -- in talking about these people, when you dig into who they are and they have controversial pasts, presenting them is one dimensional, is a giant mistake. These are complex people. And in line with what she was saying about Trump, you know, there's a paradox in Trump. He has a thin skin, as everyone knows. But he also has a thick skin. And I know that personally when months ago we had a long interview with him and did a story which was tough, instead of tweeting against us or denouncing us, he said it was fair and accurate.

WALLACE: Wow, I got to get the secrets Bob Woodward sauce there.

We asked you for questions for the panel and we got a bunch on this issue of Trump's picks. We got this from Monica Neis on FaceBook. "President Trump's selections at this point are very clear. Laws will be enforced. Democrats can get on board or get out of the way. America is on her way to being re-established in the world view as tough but fair."

Juan, more of a statement than a question, but how do you answer Monica?

JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think the United States already is tough and fair. I think we're exceptional already and we're dominant in terms of our military and our economic prowess. I don't think that's in dispute.

I think the question really is about the appointments and the appointment process. So you have people who I would say don't fit into exactly a team of rivals, but to many people a team of radicals. A team of radicals in terms of, what are these people representing? Flynn, Mike Flynn, I don't think he could be confirmed, but so he's getting the -- the national security advisor job.

WALLACE: Because --

WILLIAMS: I think his past at national -- in national security and the number of people --

WALLACE: The Defense Intelligence Agency.

WILLIAMS: Yes. Specifically as head of defense intelligence.


WILLIAMS: And the way that he left there and questions about his management style and about sharing information and what some in the intelligence community call "Flynn facts," which is facts that don't comport with what others in the intelligence community believe to be true. Colin Powell writing in the WikiLeaks leak that he thought he was unhinged. I think this tells you this -- it would be very difficult.

Jeff Sessions, who went after Elena Kagan when she was appointed to the court because of her radical associations and cited former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. I wrote a biography of Marshall. Sessions said, well, you're associated with these kind of activist judges who are more after their own political ends than justice. Well, if you apply that to Jeff Sessions and the fact that he was rejected for a federal judgeship 30 years ago. We didn't have very sensitive race relations 30 years ago as compared to today, and he was rejected then.

WALLACE: All right, let me bring in Lisa. You want to push back on that?

LISA BOOTHE, "WASHINGTON EXAMINER" CONTRIBUTOR: Well, yes. I mean as U.S. attorney general, he brought cases to desegregate schools and also led the prosecution against --

WALLACE: U.S. attorney.

BOOTHE: U.S. attorney, yes. And he also brought cases against -- to desegregate schools. And he also prosecuted and got the death penalty as attorney general of Alabama for a Klansman. So I think that's ridiculous. And if you actually look at the choice that Donald Trump has made so far, he ran a campaign about being a maverick, of going to Washington, D.C., to shake things up. And the people that he's bringing alongside him are also known for shaking things up. And I think the message that it sends by looking at someone like Lieutenant General Flynn sends that -- he’s -- or Mattis, as well, General Mattis, is that he's going to go after ISIS.

You look at what Flynn did alongside with General McChrystal, they turned the JSOC into one of the most lethal terrorist hunting organizations. So I think it sends a strong message that we're going to go after ISIS, we’re going to go after ISIS strong and hard.

And another point that a lot of people aren't making, I think his conversation that he is having with the likes of Mitt Romney and Ted Cruz also sends a strong signal to the Republican Party that we are united right now. And the irony of that is the duration of the general election, everyone was talking about how Donald Trump's going to lead Republicans into the wilderness for generations. Well, guess what, guess which party’s in the wilderness right now. It's the Democratic Party who's had to delay nominations because they don't know what the future looks like for them.

WILLIAMS: Well, I think when you think about someone like Flynn, Americans, Lisa, are concerned when you look at his ties to Russia, his ties to Vladimir Putin. When they think about his ties to Turkey --

INGRAHAM: What are they, Juan? What are you talking about?

WILLIAMS: Well, remember, he went --

INGRAHAM: Are you just throwing out --

WALLACE: He went -- he did go to a dinner.

WILLIAMS: Thank you. He not only go to a dinner, he went to a dinner for Russia Today and was with Putin and he was taking money from the Turkish government. These are facts, Laura.

INGRAHAM: Yes. Well, he’s -- here’s what -- what I think --

WALLACE: We’re almost out of time, so a quick answer.

INGRAHAM: Yes. OK. Well, there was a lot said by Juan. But you said team of radicals. This is the kind of stuff that has turned people against Washington, D.C. And these type -- this -- these types of lines against true patriots, who sacrificed for their country, who are beloved among the men and women in the military, who actually do the heavy lifting for all of us. Mattis, General Mattis, is one of the most beloved Marines of the last 50 years. General Flynn is considered one of the pre-eminent intelligence experts of our age. So to throw out these lines, a team of radicals, that serves nobody's interest. If you have a substantive disagreement with their approach to fighting terror or their approach to intelligence, that's fine. But these blithe comments, I think, have poisoned political discussion in this country, and I think it's exactly why people despise this city.

WALLACE: Well, I'm glad we wrapped that up.

All right, panel, thank you.

Let's take a break here. When we come back, growing questions about Donald Trump's intention to put his business empire in a blind trust run by his children. How will that work? We'll ask our Sunday group.



MARIA BARTIROMO, MODERATOR: Would you put your assets in a blind trust?

TRUMP: I would put it in a blind test -- well, I don't know if it's a blind trust if Ivanka, Don and Eric run it, but is that a blind trust, I don’t know.


WALLACE: Donald Trump having some questions himself during a primary debate about handing his business empire over to his children and calling that a blind trust.

And we're back now with the panel.

Well, Bob, this is a growing concern about the left and the right. If President Trump turns his business over to his children, who have been running it with him already, as he says he's going to do, he's going to know what's going on, and it certainly raises the real possibility that foreign countries may try to do business with the Trump Organization to curry favor with him. As I discussed with Vice President-elect Pence, some people are calling this the Clinton Foundation on steroids.

WOODWARD: Well, it's a serious problem, and Trump has to deal with it. And the idea that his kids are going to do this and that makes it a blind trust is not true. And Pence was saying the lawyers will figure this out. But this is a case where Trump's going to then have to cede some authority to somebody else beyond his kids and to lawyers because, you know, the -- as we look for themes in all of this, the power of the presidency has grown. It is giant. And he's going to be watched every step of the way. And you don't want to have -- I suspect he's not going to want to have a weekly or monthly story about this deal going down and asking that ancient question, when did he know about it and what did he know.

WALLACE: Or what did he know and when did he know it, to quote Watergate properly.


WALLACE: Lisa, there's also the question, the minor matter of the Constitution, because there's a clause, the Emoluments Clause, which bans public officials from accepting any gifts, any money, any presents from foreign countries. And one could argue if the Trump Organization is doing business, let's say, with India, that you're breaking that clause.

BOOTHE: Well, I do think there's a danger politically here for Donald Trump. And I think partly which is going to be difficult for him is, even if he takes the proper precautions, you know, to try to divest himself of his business dealings and putting things into a blind trust, there’s still the—he’s the richest commander in chief in American history. And so there's still decades of business dealings that he's done, both internationally and domestically, and so I think these problems are going to come up.

But if I'm him, I'm also looking at 2018 and 2020. And what he doesn't want to do is to give the media a reason or to give the electorate a reason to hold him accountable or to go against him. And he also -- if he doesn't have Republican majorities in 2018 and 2020, then he also opens himself up to, you know, congressional hearings and investigations. So I think he needs to be very careful here.

WALLACE: Laura, I'm going to switch subjects with you. President Obama made his final overseas trip this week and seemed to go to great lengths to manage to play down the amount of change he thinks that Donald Trump will bring to the Obama legacy. Here's a clip.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't think he is ideological. I think, ultimately, is, he's pragmatic.


WALLACE: Do you think the president is right and that Mr. Trump will see things as a great deal more complicated once he gets into the Oval Office?

INGRAHAM: No, I think so. I think he’s a -- he’s a -- more of a conservative populist. And I think there's a lot of pragmatism we need in Washington today.

I do find it quite rich that President Obama, oversees, the, really, I think, evisceration of his party on the state level, losing, what, 13 Senate seats over the last eight years, and then proceeds to follow what was his apology tour in 2009, in 2016 kind of a victory tour almost. Like he said at one point, well, you know, look at those approval ratings in the United States. My policies are really popular. Completely missing the point.

The public voted through our Electoral College to turn the page. The policies aren't working. Wealth was not created for the middle class and the working poor. People wanted change, law enforcement, they want the borders to be enforced, trade deals to be a little fairer. But he’s -- he’s just -- he’s like, you got to invite him on the "Fox News Sunday" panel, because he's a pundit now. He’s a -- and I think he’s going to continue this. The presidential pundit.

WALLACE: You hear that, Mr. President? Come on.

INGRAHAM: Well, it would be fun to sit around the table with him, but it looks like he's going to be commenting for many years to come, unlike George W. Bush, who kind of kept his powder dry.

WALLACE: No. And, in fact, he just said that he -- because he's going to be here in Washington because his daughter’s finishing high school. And he says that if Trump tries to undo his legacy, he's going to comment on it.

Which brings me to you, Juan. Do you think that Obama really believes he can somehow maneuver Trump and educate him on the complexities of some of these things, like repealing Obamacare, or do you think he's just putting the best face on what, in effect, as Laura says, was a repudiation of the voters?

WILLIAMS: I don't know that it was a repudiation. I don’t know if there --

WALLACE: Well, he said legacy was on the ballot, and he lost.

WILLIAMS: Well, he did. But I don’t know if it -- as Laura pointed out, his ratings -- his approval ratings are still pretty good. I don't know if it had been Obama versus Trump, I don’t know the outcome here.

But I do think that he's gone on this world tour and I don't think it was any apology, but I think that he was saying to world leaders, don't take Donald Trump at his word. He's the pragmatist. In terms of military commitments, NATO, the nuclear shield, in terms of Japan and South Korea, don't worry -- Donald Trump's a pragmatist. I think he's trying to calm foreign fears. The climate deal, trade arrangements, global commerce, I think he's trying to say to them, give Donald Trump a chance. And I think that's a pretty class act on the part of the incumbent president.

WALLACE: Or it's denial.

WILLIAMS: Could be. Well, yes. Well, that’s fair.

BOOTHE: Also, the irony that you -- President Obama’s the one that set himself up for this interesting predicament because he was the one that hit global podiums across the country denouncing Donald Trump as a presidential candidate. And now he's in the unique position where he was rejected on the ballot. And you look at Politico exit polling and voters were twice as likely to vote for a strong leader than they were in 2020. So I think this was a direct reflection of his weakness on the world stage.

BLITZER: All right. Again, we settled that today.

Thank you, panel. See you next Sunday.

Up next, our "Power Player of the Week." A symbol of our nation gets a makeover just in time for the Trump inauguration.


WALLACE: The key word in Washington these days is "new." A new president, a new Congress, and a newly restored Capitol dome. Here is our "Power Player of the Week."


WALLACE: What kind of shape was the dome in?

STEPHEN AYERS: The dome was in terrible shape. It's a bucket of rust.

WALLACE (voice-over): Stephen Ayers is the architect of the Capitol. And in 2014, he faced a big problem. The Capitol dome, symbol of American democracy, was falling apart. The cast iron structure was built during the Civil War, but the project Lincoln pursued to show the strength of our union was in trouble.

AYERS: There were 1,300 cracks in the dome. Each of them representing a water leak.

WALLACE: So Ayers led a $97 million restoration that took two and a half years. They put up 25 levels of scaffolding around the dome, 1 million pounds, with what amounted to 52 miles of pipe.

AYERS: We're about to enter the interstitial space, the space between the inner dome and the outer dome.

WALLACE: Ayers took us behind the scenes to see the remarkable work his team of 1,000 did. First, taking off all the paint, going back to the 1860s.

AYERS: On the outside of the dome, there were 13 layers of lead-based paint.

WALLACE: Then they removed the pieces that had rusted away. They closed those hundreds of cracks using something calls a lock and stitch technique, not unlike a surgeon stitching up a wound. And while all that was going on, they set up a half-million pound scaffold to repair the separate cast iron rotunda. Ayers took us to the very top inside.

AYERS: From this level all the way to the ground was completely scaffolded. And we took all of the paint off the rotunda, repaired all of the cast iron cracks that were in here, and repainted it and took that scaffolding work down.

WALLACE: Finally, after climbing through that space between the inner and outer domes, we reached the top.

AYERS: So here we are outside.


AYERS: And this is the National Mall.

WALLACE (on camera): This is a view you don't see any place else in this city.

WALLACE (voice-over): But the decay of the dome started at the top.

AYERS: This space was in the worst shape. In fact, this ballastry (ph) was completely rusted out, was completely rebuilt, and shipped back.

WALLACE: From up here we could see Ayers' new project, building the platform for the January inauguration. He says they're a month ahead of schedule.

In September, Donald Trump questioned whether they would get the dome restoration finished on time, whether the scaffolding would be gone.

TRUMP: I told them, I said, why don't you just move faster? Work faster.

WALLACE (on camera): When Trump said that, did you take that as a kind of challenge?

AYERS: I'll pass.

WALLACE (voice-over): And standing at the top of the newly restored Capitol dome, that sort of controversy disappears.

AYERS: Not only are we preserving our nation's history, but we're also creating history at the same time. This dome has been here 150 years. And if we've done our job right, it'll be here another 150 years.


WALLACE: And there's one more thing Donald Trump will like. Ayers says the dome restoration project came in ahead of schedule and under budget.

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

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