TRANSCRIPT

Mick Mulvaney on looming budget deadline, ObamaCare repeal

White House budget director sits down with Chris Wallace in a 'Fox News Sunday' exclusive

 

This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," April 23, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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

As President Trump races towards the first 100-day mark, he looks for a big win on ObamaCare and to keep the government running.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The plan gets better and better and better, and it's gotten really, really good. I think we want to keep the government open, don't you agree?

WALLACE: Could his demands for border wall funding and other Trump priorities derailed talks with Democrats and force a government shutdown? We’ll talk with White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney about the budget deadline and a new push for a repeal and replace. It's a "Fox News Sunday" exclusive.

Then, as Congress returns to a packed agenda, are some Republicans losing patience with the president?

SEN. JONI ERNST, R-IOWA: With the trips to Florida, I do wish that he would spend more time in Washington, D.C.

WALLACE: Senator James Lankford on GOP criticism of Mr. Trump and his call for the president to release his tax returns.

Plus --

JAMES MATTIS, DEFENSE SECRETARY: Everywhere you look, if there's trouble in the region, you find Iran.

WALLACE: We’ll ask our Sunday panel about the administration's bold foreign policy agenda on Iran, North Korea and Syria.

And our power player of the week, Jane Goodall's relentless mission to protect the planet.

JANE GOODALL: (INAUDIBLE) the nary bit to that end (ph). And I still got so much to do.

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

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.

The nation's capital seems headed for a major logjam this week as President Trump tries to put points on the board before he reaches 100 days in office next Saturday. The president is talking about getting a bill through the House to repeal and replace ObamaCare and he says he will unveil a plan for massive tax cuts. But lawmakers returning from a two-week break face a more urgent deadline, keeping the government open.

In a moment, we’ll speak with White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney.

But, first, let's bring in Kristin Fisher at the White House with a look at the presidents look for a big win ahead of that symbolic 100-day mark -- Kristin.

KRISTIN FISHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Chris, there's really only two paths for President Trump to score a big legislative win before his first 100 days are up. He can either get funding for his border wall included in the spending bill, or he can convince House Republicans to vote on the revised plan to replace ObamaCare.

The problem is, Democrats say funding for the border wall is a deal breaker and House Speaker Paul Ryan says he doesn't have the votes or the time to pass health care reform by Friday. In a conference call with House Republicans yesterday, Speaker Ryan said his top priority this week is avoiding a government shutdown. Negotiations now hinge on if President Trump will insist that the spending bill include $1 billion down payment on a border wall.

When asked on Friday if you would sign the bill without it, President Trump said, "I don't know yet. People want the border wall, my base definitely wants the border wall."

But his homeland security secretary who toured the border last week told CNN this morning that he believes the president will not sign a bill that doesn't include funding for his most famous campaign promise.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN KELLY, SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: It goes without saying that the president has been pretty straightforward about his desire and the need for a border wall. So, I would suspect he will do the right thing for sure. I suspect he will be insistent on the funding.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FISHER: And President Trump is now adding tax reform to next week’s to-do list. Treasury officials are racing to finalize his plans for massive tax cuts in time for Wednesday's announcement, a deadline that is self-imposed by President Trump -- Chris.

WALLACE: Kristin Fisher reporting from the White House -- Kristin, thanks for that.

Now, let's bring in the director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney.

Welcome to "Fox News Sunday."

MICK MULVANEY, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET: Thanks and good morning.

WALLACE: President Trump has talked about a number of items that he would like to see in this government funding bill. Which are so important that he's willing to see the government shutdown if he doesn't get them?

MULVANEY: I don't think anybody is trying to get to a shutdown. Shutdown is not a desired end. It’s not a tool. It's not something that we want to have.

We want our priorities funded and one of the biggest priorities during the campaign was border security, keeping Americans safe and part of that was a border wall.

And we don't understand why the Democrats are so wholeheartedly against it. They voted for it in 2006, then-Senator Obama voted for it. Senator Schumer voted for, Senator Clinton voted for it.

So, I don't understand why Democrats apply in politics just because Donald Trump is in office.

WALLACE: I want to ask you a direct question, sir.

MULVANEY: Sure.

WALLACE: Will he sign a government funding bill that does not include funding for the border wall?

MULVANEY: Yes, and I think you saw his answer in your lead in, which is, we don't know yet. We are asking for our priorities.

And, importantly, we are offering to give Democrats some of their priorities as well. They made it very clear that they want these cost-sharing reduction payments as part of ObamaCare. We don't like those very much, but we have offered to open the discussions to give the Democrats something they want in order to get something we want.

WALLACE: OK. Well, let me pick up on that because on Friday, you did offer Democrats a trade, funding for the border wall in return for continuing subsidies, the subsidies that already exist, continuing subsidies to insurance companies to help pay for lower income people who get health insurance. Here you are.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MULVANEY: We’d offer them $1 of CSR payments for $1 of wall payments. Right now, that's the offer we’ve given to our Democratic colleagues.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Democrats say that is a nonstarter and what you are in effect doing with that trade is that you are holding hostage health insurance for millions of lower income Americans.

MULVANEY: Actually, what I would say is that they are holding hostage national security. Again, something they've supported in the recent past when President Obama was in the Senate. So, we don't understand why this is breaking down like this, and we are worried, Chris, that this is sending a message that this is going to be the next four years, that Neil Gorsuch was not just a one-off thing, the Democrats will oppose everything this president wants to do, which is stunning to us, especially when we are offering them something they want in return.

WALLACE: But some people wonder, Director, how much leverage do you have? I mean, if what you’re saying is, give us what we want, and if you don't, we’re going to cut off funding that would provide health insurance for millions of lower income Americans, are you -- are you willing to take that political hit?

MULVANEY: We are trying to get a border wall to protect millions of low income Americans against folks who aren't supposed to be here. So, it’s a national security --

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: But are you willing to cut off the funding?

MULVANEY: We are willing to talk about the things that we want and things that they want. That's how Washington is supposed to work and used to work on up until the recent past.

WALLACE: Your agency has told federal departments as you have to do, the Office of Management and Budget has told the government to prepare for a shutdown. You have to get ready for it. What would stop, what services that all of us have would end if we have a shutdown next Saturday?

MULVANEY: It's hypothetical. Again, you’re right. We have to have that phone call on Friday, it's the law, even if we believe that appropriations and spending will be passed next seven days.

But you've seen these things before, what they’re called nonessential services would shut down. All the essential services would continue, Social Security checks would still go out, Medicare payments would still be funded.

WALLACE: But what --

MULVANEY: Government -- national defense would still take place. But, again, no one -- I don't think anybody foresees or expects or wants a shutdown next week.

WALLACE: But you are holding open -- I don't want to press it too hard, but you were holding up on the possibility, if you don’t get funding for the border wall -- I mean, I don't understand.

MULVANEY: Yes.

WALLACE: The president is saying, look, this is -- as you say, this is where we’re going to set the marker for the next four years, can he backed down on the border wall given the fact that you have set this up?

MULVANEY: Sure. Let me put it to you this way, I'd like you and I met you a couple times, I’m not going to negotiate with you on national television on Sunday. We’ll negotiate with the Democrats. And the negotiations are not finished yet.

We think we've given them a reasonable set of choices, things that they want in exchange for what we want. That's how it's supposed to work, and for some reason, we think this Democratic obstruction is not working.

WALLACE: Let's talk about the president's 100th date which coincidentally would also happen on Saturday, the day you might get a shutdown. On Friday, the president tweeted this, "No matter how much I accomplished during the ridiculous standard of the first 100 days, and there has been a lot, including Supreme Court, media will kill."

But it’s Mr. Trump who has been talking since the transition about the 100-day marker. Here is just a sample.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

TRUMP: Today, I would like to provide the American people with an update on the White House transition and our policy plans for the first 100 days.

Now, I got it done in the first 100 days, that’s even nice.

I don't think that there is a presidential period of time in the first 100 days where anybody’s done nearly what we've been able to do.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

WALLACE: Is that why the president is in such a rush to get the ObamaCare repeal and replace, we will talk about that in a moment, past this week to unveil his big tax cut because he wants to have more to show for his first 100 days?

MULVANEY: You look at that week, what it says is regardless of what we would do, it would still be downplayed by the media, some media, not all. I think he’s right about that. What I think folks don't realize is that we’ve signed more legislation into law in the first 100 days than anybody in the last 50 years, we put up more executive orders than any previous administration in the last 50 years.

And importantly, these are not creating laws. Most of these are laws regulations getting rid of other laws. Regulations getting rid of other regulations. We’re reducing the role of government in your life during the first 100 days and we are doing so on truly historic basis.

You add Justice Gorsuch, no president has ever had a Supreme Court justice confirmed in 100 days, we’re talking about historic accomplishments by this administration in the first 100 days, but all anybody wants to talk about is health care.

WALLACE: Well, I’m going to talk about something other than health care because the president shocked most of Washington on Friday when he is going to unveil his tax plan on Wednesday.

Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We’ll be having a big announcement on Wednesday having to do with tax reform, the process has begun long ago, but it really formally begins on Wednesday. So, go to it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: I’m trying to get more of the sense of this, will be announced the size of the tax cut? Will he announce whether or not he's going to play for it? Or how he will pay for it?

Will it be revenue neutral or will it add to the debt?

MULVANEY: I think what you’re going to see on Wednesday is some specific governing principles, some guidance. Also some indication of what the rates are going to be. I don't think you’re going to see something and I don’t think anybody expects us to rollout bill language on Wednesday. In fact, we don't want to do that.

So, what you’re going to see on Wednesday is for the first time is, here’s what our principles are, here are some of the ideas that we like, some of the ideas we don't like and we can talk about that more if you want to. Here are some of the rates we’re talking about.

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: So, he’s going to say whether or not it’s going to be revenue-neutral or whether it’s going to add to the debt?

MULVANEY: I don’t think we’ve decided that part yet. Keep in mind, we have it’s a balancing act in that, Chris. You can either have a small tax cut that’s permanent or a large tax cut that is short-term. I don't think we decided that. But you’ll know more on Wednesday.

WALLACE: And you said the other day you don't think you'll see a real plan, specifics, meet on the bone until June.

MULVANEY: I think that’s still probably fair. Again, we want to start working and have already started working with the committee's in the House and the Senate as we try and build some momentum for this tax plan.

WALLACE: Let's turn to repeal and replace health care, you say the thing that everybody wants to talk about.

MULVANEY: Yes.

WALLACE: All you have is this one piece of paper. It is an outline. There is no legislation. There is no legislative language yet in terms of what this new 2.0 health care will be. There’s not Congressional Budget Office score of what it will cost or how it will affect, whether more or fewer people will have health insurance.

House Speaker Ryan had a conference call with members yesterday and he said, look, our top, our sole priority this week to keep the government funded. Health care is going to have to wait.

Are you OK with that?

MULVANEY: A couple of different things, we’ve got a lot more than just that piece of paper. There is bill language. In fact, we know -- I believe that the Senate Budget Committee, which is helping us write this language, delivered some language to the House last night, detailed.

And keep in mind, these are all tweaks to the bill that was taken up about four -- discussed four weeks ago which it does in exist in bill form and was scored by the CBO. So, I don't think it's entirely fair to say that all we have is that piece of paper.

Regarding whether or not it gets done this week, I think what you saw Mr. Ryan say is if they have the votes this week, they’ll vote this week. And that’s what we expect.

WALLACE: Yes, but the flip side of it, is he said, look, our top priority is getting the government funded and he really didn't talk in any length at all about health care. It sounded very much like he's going to let that slip into the following week or later.

MULVANEY: Well, and we’ve also heard rumors of the House and Senate might stay until Saturday, which would be great, and allow things to get done this week. We don't think there's any structural reason that the House and the Senate cannot do both things in a week. If we can have an agreement by the end of the day on keeping the government open, that can be done this week. And if the House at least can get its folks, its ducks in a row to vote this week on health care, they can do that as well.

WALLACE: You say get an agreement on keeping the government funded today, why are they --

MULVANEY: Negotiations going on as we sit here and speak.

WALLACE: And is there some reason to think that this question of health care funding and return for the border wall --

MULVANEY: That offer has been on the table for a couple of weeks. We understand that the House Democrat leadership now wants to get involved, which is fine, that's part of the government as well. They were looking at some of the proposals last night.

So, just because you and I are sitting here on -- I sat in the office all day Saturday and did this. So, the negotiations are ongoing and there’s no reason we can’t have an agreement there as early as today.

WALLACE: Finally, tens of thousands of people held a March for Science in cities across the country. You can see the crowds were really quite striking.

And one of the things they are protesting our big budget cuts that the president is proposing. The administration wants a 20 percent cut, almost $6 billion, for the National Institutes of Health, a 31 percent cut for the Environmental Protection Agency.

Question: Can you guarantee those folks, those tens of thousands of people who were marching, that those cuts will have no effect on medical research or on protection of the air and water we have?

MULVANEY: Yes. The air that you breathe and the air that my triplets will breathe, and my kids drink is going to be just as clean, even with those reductions. When we looked at those, we targeted those agencies amongst others for things of duplication of process, things that the government -- mission creep, for example. The EPA is doing stuff that it's not supposed to do.

What we’d make sure is the EPA will have enough money to perform its core function.

WALLACE: And you’re saying -- and you are saying that the $6 billion that you're taking out of NIH, or want to take out of the NIH, that’s going to have no impact on medical research?

MULVANEY: It will certainly have some impact on medical researchers, but we don't think it will materially impact the quality of research that’s coming out.

WALLACE: And if they say, or people -- environmentalists say you're wrong?

MULVANEY: My guess is a lot of people are going to say we are wrong, but step back and talk about we did on the project, we reprioritize. And what we said is that defending the nation, including securing the southern border, is the primary function of this government, it should be a priority of this government under this administration and funding for the National Institute of Health needs to take a backseat for that.

WALLACE: Finally, I’m going to give you 30 seconds to call out your -- one of your kids did something great last -- yesterday. You've missed it because you’re working? So, what was it?

MULVANEY: And it broke my heart. My 17-year-old son James had a walk-off grand slam home run last night to win his baseball game at Indian Land, South Carolina. Pretty proud dad and thanks for letting me say something about it.

WALLACE: Director, thank you.

MULVANEY: Thank you.

WALLACE: Thanks very much for talking to us.

We’ll try to keep up with everything you're doing this week. It’s going to be busy.

Coming up, a growing list of GOP lawmakers are putting some distance between themselves and President Trump. We’ll Republican Senator James Lankford why he's adding his name to that list.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALLACE: A look outside the beltway at Oklahoma City where they marked 22 years since the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building.

Republican lawmakers are facing tough crowds at town halls back home during their two-week recess. And some have distanced themselves from President Trump.

Joining us now from Oklahoma City, Senator James Lankford, who this week called on the president to release his tax returns.

Senator, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."

SEN. JAMES LANKFORD, R-OKLAHOMA: Glad to be with you, Chris.

WALLACE: Let's start big picture, you were not a fan of this president during the campaign, although you did support him. How do you think he's done in his first 100 days?

LANKFORD: He’s tried to lay out a lot of his agenda and tried to be able to get as much as he can legislatively. I heard Mick Mulvaney earlier talk about the regulatory issues. We’ve actually done more congressional review acts than any other time -- any presidency in that. We've done about 15 of those. There was one total over the decades in the past and getting Neil Gorsuch on board in the Supreme Court is incredibly significant.

Obviously, there are some fumbles out of the gate with trying to deal with the executive order on immigration and trying to get the language right and pulling it back and trying to go back again. Some of those things and some other statements, they're getting their feet on the ground. I think, personally, the biggest issue that got us to get their staff together. There still a lot of undersecretary they’re going to be able to nominate and be able to put in place so we can get those finished up and getting the team together.

WALLACE: You made some news this week after the White House really basically made it clear the president doesn't intend to ever release his tax returns. Take a look at that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS: Is it time to say, once and for all, the president is never going to release his tax returns?

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We’ll have to get back to you on that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: You said the president should keep his promise and release his returns. Why does that matter, especially at a time as beginning this week, you -- the government is going to begin to consider tax reform?

LANKFORD: Right. I just don't have an issue with anyone in the campaign time saying, "Yes, I’m going to do it, I promise to do that, will take care of that, will go through an audit", to then say, the American people expect you to fulfill your word and to be able to do that. I don't see that as an issue.

Now, the president has legally done everything he's required to do with the financial disclosures. And I do not in any way think that Congress should in any way think the Congress should step in and compel that with some piece of legislation. I just think the president should be able to keep his word and be able to move on.

This will be a distraction through his presidency all the way through, that he can settle it.

WALLACE: You think it's important that he do it if you’re going to talk about changing loopholes, deductions, lowering rates that people see how that would affect the president?

LANKFORD: No, I really don't. I think the bigger issue is, he said he was going to do it during the campaign time period, he has the power to be able to do that, and he should go ahead and follow through on that. It’s nothing more than trying to be able to say follow through in what you said you were going to do, and so, the American people can just move on.

WALLACE: You were also skeptical this week about the ObamaCare repeal and replace bill that the president and House Republicans are trying to push through the House this week.

Here you are at a town hall meeting in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, this week.

(BEGIN VIDE CLIP)

LANKFORD: The bill they put out initially, the part of the reason it failed is, they cover twice as many people with half as much dollars. So, people on the lower end did not have enough subsidies to be able to cover them anymore. That's a problem.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Senator, what’s your concern with what is being discussed now and what do you think about this push? And Director Mulvaney didn't back off it today, to try to get this to the House this week before the first 100 days?

LANKFORD: No, I think it's a terrific idea to get it through the House during the first 100 days. If that's possible to be able to get finish, we can move it over to the Senate, we can take a look at it and try to get it done and then get it to the president's desk, that would be terrific.

My biggest issue of several issue, as of several issues, is how do we deal with the cost increases for those folks that are right now 400 percent of property and up. They have dramatic cost increases. In my state in Oklahoma, on the individual markets, the rates went up last year, 76 percent for those individuals in the individual market. In addition to that, we have one insurance carrier in the state.

So, President Obama's promise of an exchange that brought competition has obviously failed and trying to bring rates down has failed dramatically in my state. So, we’ve got to be able to deal with the cost aspects. And we would also have got to deal with the safety net.

When the original House plan came out, it expanded the subsidies from 400 percent of poverty to 850 percent of poverty, but cut down the amount significantly. So, basically, people at 800 percent of poverty that have no subsidies now would get new subsidies, but those folks on the lower end would get much less. That's not reasonable to me to say, if we’re going to have it, let's keep it at the same amount that the Affordable Care Act had and, by all means, let's not double the amount of subsidies that are going to the number of people that are out there. Let's keep it to where it was, at least at that spot to be able to fulfill that promise that those that are on it now and have coverage now would still continue to have that protection days ahead, but not expanded.

WALLACE: Given your concern about the safety net, what's your reaction to Director Mulvaney, that the administration using as a bargaining chip, these cost saving reductions, the idea that subsidies that help get insurance coverage for the lower income people?

LANKFORD: So, they’re in the process of budget negotiations. Obviously, they are trying to put everything out there, they want to be able to put out in the White House. It's part of the give and the take of the entire budget process.

My biggest frustration, Chris, is that right at this point again, period. We've, since the budget act was passed in 1974, there’s been four times since 1974 we’ve actually gotten it done correctly and on time as the law was written. Now, as you know well, there's no president's budget that’s ever been signed into law.

So, the things that the president's budget out there become the baseline for the argument, but they don’t actually become law. But we have a real issue in the process of budgeting and how we do it, we are never going to get another product until we fix the process. There's a group of us in the Senate that have been pushing hard to change the way we do budgeting so we can actually get this done right and not have these cliffs all the time.

WALLACE: Let's talk about what seems to be a greater willingness among some Republicans in Congress, yourself included, to criticize this president. There are a dozen of you who have said the president should keep his promise and release his tax returns. There are some Republican senators and congressmen in border states who are really questioning whether or not you need a full border wall.

And I want to play for you Senator Joni Ernst in a town hall meeting this week in Iowa. Here she is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JONI ERNST, R-IOWA: With the trip to Florida, I do wish that would spend more time in Washington, D.C. That's what we have the White House for.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Senator, what's going on with this increased willingness of Republican members of Congress, including yourself, to criticize this president?

LANKFORD: I think, quite frankly, it’s what Republican said we will do a few years ago when people challenge us and said, if you had someone in the White House of your own party, would you hold them into account the same way that you're holding President Obama account? You're finding out that's actually true, that Republicans are consistent to go both ways in this.

Now, listen, in the town hall meetings that I’ve had in the last two weeks and I’ve had 16 of them, in the town hall meetings that I’ve had in the last weeks, I’ve heard some of the same arguments, just with an opposite. Now, people are saying they demand to see Trump's tax returns.

Three years ago, these people were saying they demand to see President Obama’s birth certificate. Three years ago, people are saying President Obama’s traveling all the time, playing golf and he’s played more golf than any president in history. Now, I have progressive constituents saying that President Trump is out there traveling and how much are his costs on it.

So, the same type of arguments are coming up back and forth, but I think what you're finding is, Republicans are being consistent. They are playing it straight to say, if there's an issue, let's raise the issue, regardless of who’s in the White House and be able to help solve the issues that we got. So, I don't see that is inconsistent for us.

WALLACE: There are new polls out today, particularly one in The Washington Post that show that this president at this point in 100 days in has the lowest approval rating of any post-war president. When you combine that with a very tightly contested special elections in red states like Kansas and Georgia, yes, the Republicans -- well, they won in Kansas and in Georgia, there’s going to be a runoff.

Do you worry at all about the 2018 midterms and Republican prospects?

LANKFORD: I think it's very early to worry about the 2018 prospects. I think there’s a long way to go. I do think we’ll get health care done in the next couple of months. We have to -- again, with the rates going up so dramatically, we’ve got to be able to deal with that.

I do think we’ll get tax reform done. I do think we’ll deal with budget issues. We have to deal with half a trillion dollars of overspending just this year.

You start to actually get a lot of these things done, I think the American people can say it's messy, it's noisy, the language wasn't always artful in the process, the tweets at 1:00 a.m. aren’t always my favorite, but we are actually getting things done, we are making progress.

The American people were extremely frustrated, I think the international community was frustrated that the previous and administration was seemed to be sitting still and seemed at the gridlocked, not getting anything done. If we can prove we can get things done, I think the American people will say, "Great, at least we're getting things done and we’re moving."

WALLACE: A couple of questions, I’m going to ask you to put on your other hat as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. As you know, an American citizen was taken prisoner today in Pyongyang, in North Korea, and coincidentally, you had been talking to the administration about trying to set up a new policy for how to deal with Americans who were detained by the North Koreans.

Any suggestions as to what they should do?

LANKFORD: I have. Actually, that is our third American that’s currently being held by the North Koreans right now. So, it's not just an issue about how do we deal with the issue of North Koreans, but trying to get a policy in place for all people that are either prisoners of conscience or just Americans, period.

We don't have a clear policy across the entire federal government about how we handle America prisoners, what the process will be on the ground region to region. So, it's kind of an ad hoc process as we go through it. I do think we need a clear policy and that we need to put up again the clear statement from America that it seemed to be President Obama took down that we wouldn't negotiate for people that were being held prisoner by another country, especially a state-sponsored of terrorism.

So, we’ve got to be able to have those guidelines back out there again. And again, North Korea again for no reason is holding another American, trying to have some sort of bargaining chip and they show what an irrational international player they really are.

WALLACE: Finally, and I got less than one minute left. As a member of the Senate Intelligence, are we any closer to getting an answer on whether there was any collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign on election and whether or not, there was any improper surveillance by the Obama administration of Mr. Trump and his associates?

LANKFORD: Chris, we are closer every day on that. We go through a lot of documents. We go through interviews, we are going through all the process but we are doing it quiet. I heard many people say the Senate Intelligence Committee just started, we actually started more than five months ago in this process.

We're just working quiet through things that are like this. We are handling sensitive documents and source documents that were not going to get out but we are continuing on that. We have multiple meetings and lots of research every single week.

So, yes, we are moving closer, but we are doing it the right way and we are going to go with the facts go. That will be the consistent part of it for us, because at the end of it, we’ve got to put out a report the American people are going to look at and trust.

WALLACE: Senator Lankford, thank you. Thanks for joining us this Sunday.

LANKFORD: Thank you.

WALLACE: Up next, we’ll bring in our Sunday group to discuss Washington's traffic jam this week.

Plus, what would you like to ask the panel about President Trump's first 100 days? Just go to Facebook or Twitter, @FoxNewsSunday, and we may use your question on the air.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALLACE: Coming up, President Trump accuses Iran of skirting the landmark nuclear deal with world powers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Iran has not lived up to the spirit of the agreement. And they have to do that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Will ask our Sunday panel about the administration's soft tone on foreign policy coming up on "Fox News Sunday."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We'll see what happens. No particular rush, but we'll -- will see what happens. But health care is coming along well. Government is coming along really well. A lot of good things are happening. Thank you, folks.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You’re going to get a health care vote next week?

TRUMP: Don’t know. It doesn't matter if it's next week. Next week doesn't matter.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: President Trump on Friday denying he's trying to jam through legislation before the symbolic 100-day mark, which he'll reach next Saturday.

And it's time now for our Sunday group. GOP strategist Karl Rove, Charles Lane at The Washington Post, Peter Baker, who covers the White House for The New York Times, and from The Wall Street Journal, Kimberley Strassel.

Karl, how much emphasis did Bush 43 and all of you put on racking up victories in your first 100 days and how do you think President Trump has done in his first 100 days?

KARL ROVE, FORMER BUSH WHITE HOUSE ADVISOR: We put very little effort into it. I mean, this is a completely phony measure. It's derived from Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

WALLACE: Right.

ROVE: He -- he was inaugurated six weeks later on March 4th. He had 60 members of the Senate, 35 Republicans versus him. He had 322 Democrats to 109 Republicans and the country was in the middle of a depression.

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: I want to point out. You did not know I was going to ask that question.

ROVE: Yes. Well, look, it is not -- this is completely phony. And I agree with the president, it's ridiculous. Having said that, we’re at 100 days and we're going to have to measure. And he's got a number of successes, Cabinet, Supreme Court nomination.

You heard it from Lankford, 13 congressional regulatory act bill signed, two more on the way of him. Veterans' choice bill getting limited choice to veterans in getting their health care. His actions on jobs for Carrier and Ford. Twenty-four executive orders. Some pretty good meetings with foreign leaders.

But look, some big -- some big setbacks. The executive -- the travel ban executive order, a mess. Now fixed but a mess. ObamaCare repeal and replace, failed to get it done. And that's difficult to do, but pressed it early.

I think the issue, though, is expectations. The president has dismissed the 100 days, but too often he has said well, we're going to get it done because it's easier, we're going to get it done because it's quick or it's going to happen now. And this town doesn't work that way. You may be able to cut a real estate deal that way but you can't govern the country that way.

WALLACE: We ask you for questions for the panel and on the issue of the president's first 100 days, Glenn English sent this on Facebook. "Why is the Republican Congress still one of his," President Trump's, "biggest obstacles when they currently the majority."

Peter, how do you answer Glenn and why hasn't the president been able to do a better job of keeping his own troops on Capitol Hill and why?

PETER BAKER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, there are two things. First of all, just because you control Congress doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be easy. Look at President Obama's first year, when he did health care it took him a full year and he had an even stronger majority than President Trump in the Senate, for instance. Secondly, this is a player who isn't really a Republican standard-bearer. You know, he is in some ways a first independent president we've had in the sense that he sometimes fight with his own party as much as he does with the other party. So he doesn't have that base of long-standing support and allies, and credibility among his own. They are more willing to fight among themselves and with him, as you just showed with your interview with Senator Lankford, then he might want. And he hasn't necessarily worked to cultivate that.

So I think basically that doesn't mean he's not going to get there, it's only 100 days. Most big legislation if you look at presidents in the 50 or 60 years, it didn't happen in the first 100. And I think the first 100 days was not necessarily a good measure of what a presidency would turn out to be. If you look at George W. Bus's first 100 days, that would not have been a measure of what his presidency would be over eight years. You wouldn't have understood what would become the most important elements. So I think it is sort of a ridiculous standard, but it is one that he set. He himself repeated as you showed on your clips used the 100-day marker until he got close to it and obviously felt a little annoyed by it.

WALLACE: Kim, let's talk about the logjams that's coming up this week. First of all, government funding, that has to get done or we have a shutdown next Saturday. You've heard Mick Mulvaney, they are continuing to push to try to get something done on ObamaCare repeal and replace, and now suddenly, kind of a shock, they've announced that he's going to have at least some outline of his principles on tax reform.

Is this all about trying to put something for us to talk about the first 100 days and how do you think it's going to shake out?

KIMBERLEY STRASSEL, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: No. I think the important thing here is the 100-day mark doesn't matter but there are other deadlines that do matter. All the way back in the fault they came up with a budget revolution that was going to expire at the end of April, they have to get that done. They've also decided to do health care, if they get it done through this budget reconciliation process, they passed that reconciliation. That's going to inspire soon. The authority to do it under that. So they've got to hit these deadlines.

Look, I think one thing that people don't realize is we're witnessing a return to the way politics used to be done. We are so used to eight years and having a president that said I'm going to issue a regulation and it will just happen that way and now you've got all these Republicans, it's a very diverse coalition, they're negotiating. They're going back and forth and, you know, you member, it makes me think of the 1986 Reagan tax reform. People said that that bill was dead about 12 times until it wasn't dead and it got passed.

So there's going to be a lot -- it can be a slow process and times. But this is how you get bills and they get better along the way and you get to consensus.

WALLACE: For all of you out there who are getting really tired of our talking about the 100 days, I want to point out that candidate Trump during the campaign issued a contract with the American voters, let's put it up on the screen. And in this he talked about all of the things he said he was going to get done in the first 100 days. Some of it he has done, more of it he hasn't.

Chuck, how do you -- how do you score what the president has done so far, and what still needs to be done for that?

CHARLES LANE, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, you know, to Kim's point, this is a guy who very often used the word quickly. Remember that in the campaign, how he would say this or that is going to get done and it's going to get done quickly. We're going to defeat ISIS quickly. We're going to fix health care quickly.

He presented himself as somebody who had these extraordinary capabilities to transcend all this normal politics that has now come to bear. So to the extent that people are judging them harshly on the first 100 days, I would say it's the expectation that he himself created.

I just want to emphasize one point that we've gone over a little bit here, which is a real problem in these 100 days, which is staffing up this administration. They are way behind on that job. They do not have the political appointees confirmed, not even very many of them nominated. I think we were talking before this. Only about 10 percent have even been --

ROVE: 95 out of 970.

LANE: Have even been nominated, and, you know, he can't get anything done to the extent he wants to get it done unless he has the personnel in place to do it.

WALLACE: I've got less than a minute left in this segment, Karl, I want to ask if you have 10 minutes, but you've got to summarize it for less than a minute, 10 minutes in the Oval Office with the president, what was your advice be for him for the next 100 days?

ROVE: Lower the expectation. Stop saying, as Chuck said, quickly and easily. Second of all, stop tweeting. I was in front of a group this week, 90 percent of whom voted for Trump. I was asked a similar question, what you think he should do differently? I said stop tweeting, the entire crowd began spontaneously started to apply. They want him to be president. And they want to be successful. Third, put small process in there. You need to have -- one of the reasons they're behind on appointments, there is no organized process that regularly shows up in that office where they say, Mr. President, we agreed that we would come to you today with these recommendations and we got them ready. So the policy and personnel he needs more process.

WALLACE: All right. We have to take a break here. Up next, President Trump puts North Korea and now Iran on notice. We will discuss a big change in foreign policy from this president when we come right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States of America will always seek peace. But under President Trump, the shield stands guard. And the sword stands ready.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Vice President Mike Pence on his tour through Asia issuing another stern warning to North Korea about his weapons program.

And we're back now with the panel. Kim, how do you assess the president's foreign policy -- foreign policy so far, especially when it comes to North Korea?

STRASSEL: Yes, I mean, I think we've learned two things. There was a lot of fear when he was out on the trail that he's an isolationist president. Absolutely not. And in fact what we're seeing is a president who rejects the Obama philosophy that this is a paradigm in which you either have to go in and put troops on the ground and that's the only way to deal with a hot spot, versus we do nothing. So this is a president, again, you know, take out a Syrian air base, drop a giant bomb in Afghanistan, and engage with a lot of diplomacy in sticks and carrots. So that's one thing that we've learned is that he's going to take action.

The other one I think is if there's any sort of a Trump doctrine, and it would be a stretch to go that far, but this is a transactional president. Much in the same way he does things domestically, he wants to make a deal. You see this is how he is working in the global sphere as well, too, linking priorities of countries with national security. So we saw that with China, saying, well, maybe I won't name you a currency manipulator if you do something about North Korea. And I think that's how we’re going to see him go moving forward.

WALLACE: There was also an interesting developer this week when it came to Iran. The State Department had to certify that Iran is complying with the nuclear deal but then there was a lot of tough talk from top administration officials indicating they’re going to take a tougher line on Iran. Here they are.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: It is another example of buying off a power who has nuclear ambitions, we buy them off for a short period of time and then someone has to deal with it later.

MATTIS: Everywhere you look, if there's trouble in the region you find Iran.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Peter, is that just rhetoric or do your sources indicate to you the president really intends to crack down, take sanctions against Iran outside of the nuclear deal for things like their support from terror?

BAKER: Yes, I think, first of all, it's interesting, why did they do that this week? Because of the fact as you mentioned the deadline for certifying whether or not Iran was in compliance with the deal. They have no evidence at this point to suggest that they're not even though obviously everybody is suspicious and so they had to make that certification. They didn't want that to be the message. They didn't want the message -- the headline to be, you know, Trump says Iran is doing fine.

So they had to come out and say look, we understand Iran is doing terrible things when it comes to terrorism, coming and destabilizing the region when it comes to its missile program, and we’re going to take action. I don't think there's anything imminent that you can look at. But they’re going to look at sanctions, they're going to look at other ways of trying to, you know, hem in or contain Iran as it will.

I think part of the goal is in some ways it kind of provoke Iran so if the deal goes away, it will be Iran's fault, not the United States' fault so that Europeans wouldn't vault away from, you know, an American ally.

WALLACE: Meanwhile, today, in France today they are holding the first round of a presidential election in the wake of that terror attack on the Melenchon in Paris this week. President Trump tweeted Friday, "The people of France will not take much more of this. It will have a big effect on the presidential election." And he's made little secret of the fact that he favors Marine Le Pen, head of the far-right, anti-immigrant National Front Party.

But, Karl, if Le Pen were to actually win, wouldn't that have a dramatic effect on Europe and the European Union?

ROVE: Certainly. And in fact if three of the candidates win it will have a dramatic effect. We have Le Pen on the far right, we have Melenchon on the far left, both saying out of NATO. Restructure the European Union. You have three candidates, the Republican Francois Fillon, saying -- Fillon saying we think we ought to have a better relationship with Putin. So this is -- they have a two-stage election. So we're going to have the first round, two people will be selected by tomorrow. And then on May 7th we'll have two that are going to run off.

Right now in all of the matchups, Marine Le Pen, if she gets into the runoff, which she's likely to do, loses to all the other candidates. The woman that she is closest to is Fillon who's plagued by a scandal. But there is a populism sweeping through France with more ferocity than it swept through American politics last year.

WALLACE: Charles, we should point out that if nobody gets through, and it's unlikely they get 50 percent of the vote today, they have a runoff on May 7th, two weeks from now, what's at stake in this selection, in effect why should we care in terms of the impact it's going to have on U.S. and our relationship with the world?

LAKE: There's a lot of reasons to care. I mean, starting with the fact that a victory for Le Pen or Melenchon would be a real shock to global markets because each of them as people have indicated, are very skeptical about the whole euro and the European union. It would be a real unsettling of expectations economically.

But more importantly, the entire security architecture of the Western world depends on a stable France in alliance with the rest of the European Union.

And as Karl pointed out, this extraordinary upsurge of populism in such a major country would create all kinds of unpredictable circumstances and, you know, I think what we are also learning here is that Europe has postponed solving its problems a long time now. And France is exhibit A of that. They have 10 percent unemployment. They have chronic terrorism. They can't seem to get their arms around either of those problems year after year after year. And finally, the political bill is starting to come due for that.

Europe may dodge this bullet, in fact I would -- if I had to bet I'd say they will this time. But it may be -- they get a second chance after this one, it will be their last second chance. And everybody in the whole world should be very concerned that that situation becomes unstable.

WALLACE: So, Peter, if Chuck is right, and we have to consider that possibility, that he is actually right.

(LAUGHTER)

BAKER: It happens, yes.

(LAUGHTER)

WALLACE: And it's certainly out there. Why would President Trump, if this endangers our national security in terms of NATO and endangers Europe, why is President Trump in effect supporting Le Pen?

BAKER: Obviously he doesn't see it that way. He sees her as a, you know, like-minded avatar of populist unhappiness with the system, smash the system. And if she wins then in his view it's a reaffirmation of the political forces that brought him to power. Remember, he's feeling very insecure about his election, that's why you still see them talking a lot about how many electoral votes he won and so forth. What he's looking there for I think is for some sort of popular expression of disenchantment that will ratify what he's doing here.

WALLACE: Well, I just want to say I asked to cover the primary from Paris, but wiser heads prevailed. All right. Panel, see you next Sunday.

Up next, Jane Goodall on her decades-long work with chimpanzees and her continuing mission to save the planet.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALLACE: A look at Monterey Bay, California, where the aquarium there held its own march for science with several of its African penguins. There's an old saying, never meet your heroes, the thinking is they will invariably disappoint you.

Well, I got to meet one of my heroes recently and she was even more impressive than I imagined. Here's a special "Power Player of the Week."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DR. JANE GOODALL, ACTIVIST AND PRIMATOLOGIST: I'm away from home about 300 days a year. And that's, you know, all over the world.

WALLACE: Jane Goodall is 83 now, but she is still on a mission. Raising awareness and money to protect the planet and the animals who live here.

GOODALL: One of the greatest rewards I have is the number of people around the world who say, thank you, Jane, you taught me that because you did it, I can do it, too.

WALLACE (on camera): Why are you still keeping up such a schedule?

GOODALL: Because we humans, the most intellectual beings who have ever walked the planet, are very bitterly destroying our only home. How is that possible?

WALLACE (voice-over): It was 1961 Goodall, then 26, set out for the Gumby Animal Preserve in what is now Tanzania. She was trying to find the link between man and ape.

GOODALL: Exciting moment when I first saw a chimpanzee eating meat.

WALLACE: Observing chimpanzees in the jungle by herself, she discovered a number of links. That chimps can show compassion or wage war, but most important the way they used twigs to hunt for termites.

GOODALL: A chimpanzee when he stripped leaves off of ex-wife is actually modifying a natural object to suited to a specific purpose.

WALLACE (on camera): Why was that such an important discovery?

GOODALL: Because science thought at that time that humans and only humans used and made tools. We were defined as man, the toolmaker.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Read through the possible redefinition of the word, man.

WALLACE: In 1965, National Geographic did a film about Goodall's work. That created a sensation.

GOODALL: It was kind of "Beauty and the Beast," I mean, the whole thing wasn't really about the science, it was about this young woman going out into the jungle, I became the geographic cover girl.

WALLACE (on camera): The fact that you were such a striking girl didn't hurt either, did it?

GOODALL: It didn't hurt at all.

(LAUGHTER)

WALLACE (voice-over): As Goodall bonded with a chimpanzee, she even learned their language.

Goodall: If I'm greeting you, dominant male, because males are dominant, and I would be --

WALLACE: And if you are laughing? That's a laugh?

GOODALL: Yes. That as if I'm being tickled.

WALLACE: Goodall ended her career as a field biologist 30 years ago, but she set up the Goodall Institute to continue research on chimps. As well as roots to turn young people and 98 countries into conservation activists. And she returns to Gumby for a few days twice a year.

GOODALL: It's not really enough, but at least I get out into the forest and I need that, to reinvigorate my spirit.

WALLACE: Time is something Goodall thinks about now.

GOODALL: I don't know how long I have. I don't know how far it is to the end. But the end that the older you get, the nearer you get to that end, I've still got so much to do.

WALLACE: When I said thank you, this astonishing woman had one more surprise. Showing me how the chimps would do it.

GOODALL: I wouldn’t have held up my head, and he would have patted it like that.

WALLACE (on camera): Like that?

GOODALL: Yes.

WALLACE: And that would be a nice thank you.

WALLACE: Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALLACE: Goodall says as a child she was inspired by the stories of Dr. Doolittle and Tarzan, adding Tarzan chose the wrong Jane. He sure did.

Before we go, a program note. Be sure to catch the new primetime lineup starting Monday night on Fox News Channel. Tucker Carlson tonight at 8:00 p.m. has an exclusive interview with Caitlyn Jenner, followed by "The Five" at 9:00.

And that's it for today, have a great week and we will see you next "Fox News Sunday."

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