TRANSCRIPT

Exclusive: Sen. Graham on Charlottesville, North Korea, and the GOP agenda

Republican lawmaker speaks out on 'Fox News Sunday'

 

This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," August 13, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

CHRIS WALLACE, "FOX NEWS SUNDAY" HOST: I'm Chris Wallace.

A white nationalist rally in Virginia turns violent with one counter protester run down and killed.

And President Trump sends a message to North Korea's Kim Jong-un: the U.S. military is locked and loaded.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: North Korea better get their act together or they're going to be in trouble like a few nations ever have been in trouble in this world.

WALLACE: We'll talk live with one of President Trump's top intelligence officials, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, to breakdown the situation in North Korea. Mike Pompeo in his first Sunday show interview since taking the post.

Then as tensions ramp up, will the U.S. launch a preemptive attack on North Korea? We'll discuss the president's military options with one of the top national security voices in Congress, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham. It's a "Fox News Sunday" exclusive. Plus, the president speaks against the violence in Charlottesville, but fails to call out the white supremacists.

TRUMP: We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. On many sides.

WALLACE (voice-over): We'll ask our Sunday panel whether the president's comments went far enough.

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

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.

The war of words between President Trump and North Korea keeps escalating, with growing concern it will become a military confrontation.

In a few minutes, we'll talk with Mike Pompeo, director of the CIA about the situation on the Korean peninsula.

But this weekend, the president is dealing with a new problem and another controversy. A white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned violent when a car rammed into a crowd of counter protesters, killing one and injuring dozens. And a number of Republican leaders have criticized the president for failing to condemn the white supremacist.

Kristin Fisher is covering the president as he continues his time at his golf club in New Jersey -- Kristin.

KRISTIN FISHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Chris, it's not so much what President Trump said, it's what he didn't say, on Twitter and in person. He never even mentioned the white supremacists that had gathered in Charlottesville ostensibly to protest the removal of a Confederate statue.

But the FBI and the Justice Department have already launched a civil rights investigation and the governor of Virginia has declared a state of emergency.

One woman is dead, 19 other injured after a car plowed into the crowd of people who came to protest against the white supremacists. Police suspect a 20-year-old James Alex Field was behind the wheel. He's been charged with second-degree murder and other counts. Two Virginia state troopers were also killed when their helicopter crashed while patrolling the protest.

President Trump now calling for unity and denouncing the violence.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FISHER: So, President Trump is declining to take sides while a growing course of Republican lawmakers are urging him to call it what it is. Senator Cory Gardner said, quote, Mr. President, we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacist and this was domestic terrorism.

But no one can accuse president Trump of not talking tough enough to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: If he does anything with respect to Guam or anyplace else that's an American territory or an American ally, he will truly regret it.

(END VIDEO CLI)

FISHER: Over the weekend, President Trump told the governor of Guam, we are with you 1,000 percent. He also spoke with the Chinese President Xi Jinping, who urged Mr. Trump to show restraint. But despite this escalating war of words, the U.S. military's posture towards Pyongyang hasn't really changed, no deployments of ships or troops, no evacuation of American citizens from South Korea, all signs that this may be more talk than action, at least for now, Chris.

WALLACE: We will have much more on the violence in Virginia later in the program.

Kristin, thank you.

Joining me now for his first Sunday show interview is director of the CIA, Mike Pompeo.

And welcome to "Fox News Sunday."

MIKE POMPEO, CIA DIRECTOR: Chris, it's great to be with you this morning.

WALLACE: With the news this week, and it call came this week, the North Korea can now put a warhead on a missile, how close is that regime to being able to deploy a nuclear weapon that can hit the U.S. mainland?

POMPEO: Well, Chris, I don't want to get into specifics but it is the case, they are closer. They've been growing closer for two decades plus now. Previous administrations haven't taken this on. President Trump has made clear that it is his intention to protect the American people.

And you saw this past week, we've made real progress. My hats off to the president, Secretary Tillerson, Ambassador Haley. They have united the world with sanctions against North Korea, 15-0 vote. That's real progress.

We'd seen the Chinese now say for among the first times that they believe the correct answer has to be denuclearized peninsula. And that's exactly the policy of the Trump administration.

And from my perspective as the director of the CIA, we have been given the resources we need to perform our mission, to collect intelligence, to understand the threat and make sure we can deliver that to policy makers.

WALLACE: When you say they're closer, are we talking months? Are we still talking years?

POMPEO: So, it's difficult to put a timeline to these things, Chris. But each time they test another missile or if they should conduct a nuclear weapons test, they develop expertise, they expand the envelope. And so, it is probably fair to say that they are moving towards that at an ever alarming rate.

WALLACE: I want to pick up on that because there's been criticism that the intelligence community, including the Central Intelligence Agency, has been surprised over and over by how fast North Korea is moving with its weapons program.

Here's former U.N. Ambassador Bill Richardson.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL RICHARDSON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: That worries me because we should have been on this long ago. We were caught off guard. North Korea was way more advanced than our intelligence people told us. That's a massive intelligence failure that should never happen again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Why were we surprised when North Korea a couple of weeks ago, we found they had an ICBM capability, why were we surprised to learn that they could put a warhead on a missile? Are those, as Bill Richardson says, intelligence balers?

POMPEO: With all due respect to Governor Richardson, he's just flat out wrong. The intelligence community wasn't surprised. Policymakers weren't surprised. This was before my time. Most of this work, I've been doing this just a handful of months now.

The intelligence community has done remarkable work to deliver the policymakers the progress that the North Korean regime has been making. But it doesn't surprise me that folks who came before me now act surprised. They did nothing.

The intelligence community has delivered a consistent message about Kim Jong-un himself, his capacity to develop missiles, his intent and so I don't think there's any surprised by policymakers who often following the progress the regime has been making to put an ICBM, into -- to launch an ICBM with a nuclear warhead.

WALLACE: What is your psychological profile of Kim Jong-un?

POMPEO: Well, he's pretty isolated today. For the first time, we now have the Chinese and the Russians --

WALLACE: Yes, but you give a political answer.

POMPEO: These aren't political answers. This is about what he's thinking. This is what he is observing. We are creating conditions for the leader there to make it clear to him that it's just going to be unacceptable to continue to develop his missile program.

WALLACE: But what is your psychological profile of him? Is he rational? Is he disciplined? Is -- you tell me.

POMPEO: He -- I would describe him as rational. He responds to adverse circumstances and as the Trump administration continues to put diplomatic pressure on the regime, I'm confident that he will see that and that the people around him will see that, they will become ever more isolated and will get to the denuclearized peninsula that this administration intends to achieve.

WALLACE: Well, you say he's rational and he responds to outside situations. Given that, I want to play some of what President Trump has been saying this week. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.

Let me hear Kim Jong-un say it, OK? He's not saying it. He hasn't been saying much for the last three days.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Can you be sure how Kim will react to statements like those, including some that call him out personally?

POMPEO: The president has made it very clear to the North Korean regime how America will respond if certain actions are taken. We are hopeful that the leader of that country will understand them in precisely the way they are intended, to permit him a place to get where we can get the nuclear weapons off the peninsula. It's that straightforward.

What we need -- from an intelligence perspective, what is most important is that our communications are clear that the fella who intends to inflict pain on the United States of America understands the U.S. position in an unambiguous way. That's the best message you can deliver to someone who's putting America at risk.

WALLACE: But -- I think it's fair to say the whole world is kind of worried, is concerned. I talked to regular folks about, are we headed for nuclear confrontation?

As the head of the CIA, your best intelligence -- because a lot of this depends. The president has set a number of redlines, how confident can you be as to whether he's going to step back from those red lines or step over them?

POMPEO: I can't get into the details about what we know, exactly the message is being received but make no mistake about it, Chris, this administration has made our policy very clear. We've engaged the world to support that policy.

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: But I was asking about the reaction in Pyongyang.

POMPEO: Yes. So, the reaction in North Korea that we are intending to get is an understanding that America is no longer going to have the strategic patients that attached, that has permitted him to continue to develop his weapons program. It's that straightforward.

WALLACE: But can you be confident that he's going to play your game?

POMPEO: It's a very difficult situation in North Korea.

WALLACE: So, how worried should people be?

POMPEO: Nothing imminent. We've seen what the Defense Department has said on our side. You've seen the reporting about what the North Koreans are doing and not doing. There's nothing imminent today. But make no mistake about it, the continuation, the increased chance that there will be a nuclear missile in Denver is a very serious threat and the administration is going to treat as such.

WALLACE: You say that there's nothing imminent, but you can only talk from the U.S. side. Can you be sure there's nothing imminent from the North Koreans side?

POMPEO: We have a pretty good idea.

WALLACE: And what's your idea?

POMPEO: I can't -- can't share with you about the information we have about what's going on in North Korea. But make no mistake, the intelligence community does excellent work on understanding what's going on on the North Korean side.

WALLACE: Just --

POMPEO: That's dangerous border (ph).

WALLACE: Just to press, because, obviously, this is something that's of huge concern and interest to people all around the world. You are saying that you don't believe there's anything imminent in terms of North Korean action, another missile test, another nuclear test following those muscles towards one?

POMPEO: Chris, I'm quite confident that he will continue to try to develop his missile program. So, it wouldn't surprise me if there was another test. He conducted two in July. So, it wouldn't surprise me if there was another missile test.

WALLACE: But when you say --

POMPEO: Well, there's no but to that.

WALLACE: But when you say that there's nothing imminent.

POMPEO: What I'm talking about is I've heard folks talking about that we being on the cusp of a nuclear war, I've seen no intelligence that would indicate that we're in that place today.

WALLACE: OK. I want to talk to about another issue which kind of came out of the blue on Friday. President Trump talked about the increasingly repressive regime of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Here he is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Venezuela is not very far away and the people are suffering and they are dying. We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military action if necessary.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Given the troubled history of U.S. intervention in Latin America, wouldn't a U.S. military option in Venezuela create a huge uproar? And what is the justification for it in terms of U.S. national security?

POMPEO: Well, I'll leave the Defense Department piece of this to Secretary Mattis. I'm confident that he could answer that question. From an intelligence perspective, we have watched in my seven months in office continued deterioration. Maduro continuing to assert more power, inflict more pain on the people of Venezuela, you can see the beginning of fissures amongst various groups.

And what I believe the president was trying to accomplish this week was to give the Venezuelan people hope and opportunity to create a situation where democracy can be restored in Venezuela. The intelligence makes very, very clear that the Maduro regime continues to put snipers in towers and do things that are horrible, repressive and the American policy is to work with our Latin American partners to try and restore democracy to that important country.

WALLACE: Could that (ph) -- would involve a military option for the U.S.? I mean, it's a civil war, I understand it's a terrible situation. But ultimately, why is it our problem?

POMPEO: Oh, look, Venezuela could very much become a risk to the United States of America. The Cubans are there. The Russians are there. The Iranians, Hezbollah are there.

This is -- this is something that has a risk of getting to a very, very bad place. And so, America needs to take this very seriously.

WALLACE: We don't get the CIA director on this program very often, so I'm going to take advantage of your -- the fact that you are here to do a lightning round. Quick questions, quick answers so we can cover a bunch of territory

POMPEO: Oh, I'm going to do my best, Chris.

WALLACE: Is it true that you went to Afghanistan last week and that you left quite disturbed by the lack of confidence of the Afghan leadership?

POMPEO: No. So, the predicate to your question is correct. I did go to Afghanistan. I did not leave disturbed.

The United States is going to, in a relatively short period of time, develop the Trump administration's policy for Afghanistan and I want to be able to talk about what the CIA is doing there and how we can be a part of achieving a good objective for America.

WALLACE: After 16 years of war, why do you believe sending in more U.S. troops will make a difference?

POMPEO: The president will make that decision. We are presenting a wide range of options to the president of the United States and to cover a broad range of different alternative so that we can fundamentally change the trajectory of what's going on in Afghanistan.

WALLACE: And what if we don't send in more troops, what will the situation in Afghanistan be?

POMPEO: It depends what other situations get made alongside of that. There are questions not only about the number of troops, but authorities, capacity, the way we coordinate, how we bring in allies and partners to achieve the objective that we're trying to. So, it's not just about U.S. force numbers and getting the objective we hope to get to in Afghanistan.

WALLACE: Before taking this job, you are a member of the House Benghazi Committee. A federal judge has just asked the State Department to look again to see what emails were sent, particularly by Hillary Clinton with regard to Benghazi. Do you believe that we have gotten to the bottom of the Benghazi attack and Hillary Clinton's role?

POMPEO: Chris, I will leave FOIA litigation to others. I'm pretty busy at the CIA these days.

WALLACE: As CIA director, well, let me ask you about a different one. This one is more directly in your wheelhouse now. I assume that you have seen the unmasking requests by members, officials of the Obama administration. Was there an effort by people and the Obama administration to spy either on the Trump campaign or the Trump transition?

POMPEO: So, there's an active investigation going on all across Capitol Hill. We have done our job as a CIA. We provided information in response to inquiries for multiple committees on Senate and House side. We'll continue to do that to make sure that they can perform their oversight functions properly.

WALLACE: Have you seen all the requests for unmasking that were made by Obama administration officials to find out when a Trump person was caught up in foreign surveillance to try to find out who that person was? Have you seen all those requests?

POMPEO: Yes.

WALLACE: Are you satisfied that they were all legitimate?

POMPEO: We provided that information to Capitol Hill.

WALLACE: But you won't tell us?

POMPEO: There's an active investigation going on, Chris. We'll let them -- we'll let them complete their work.

WALLACE: Do you think it merits more investigation?

POMPEO: I think that -- as a former member of Congress, I want to give them all the headroom they possibly could want.

WALLACE: Finally, there has been criticism, you know about them. I'm not telling you something you don't know, that you are too political and that instead of being the honest broker of intelligence the CIA director always is, that sometimes you try to bolster the views and the opinions, the policies of President Trump. Your response to that, sir?

POMPEO: Yes, it's just fundamentally false. I do have biases, there's no doubt about that. I'm going to be aggressive and we're going to win. And we're going to perform our function.

We are going to be the premier espionage organization in the history of the world. That's my only bias, Chris.

WALLACE: In terms of being too political?

POMPEO: My team does their job. We deliver truth to the president. I get a chance almost every day to be with the president and deliver this exquisite information, the truth as best the CIA and intelligence community can understand it. We do great work.

The president is incredibly demanding of us for that great work. He relies on what we do at the CIA and when we've asked for money or authorities, he has given it to us. He finds the intelligence community incredibly important part of his capacity to deliver national security for the American people.

WALLACE: Director Pompeo, thank you. Thanks for your time.

POMPEO: Thank you.

WALLACE: Please come back, sir.

POMPEO: I will, sir. Thank you.

WALLACE: Up next, is President Trump's rhetoric inflaming the standoff with North Korea or helping to resolve it? One of the Senate's top national security voices, Lindsey Graham, talks about that and the white nationalist rally in Virginia.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALLACE: A look outside the beltway at the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge in Charleston, South Carolina.

As tension ramps up between the U.S. and North Korea, President Trump says our military is locked and loaded.

Joining us now, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who's one of the key members of the Senate on national security issues.

Senator, let's start, before we get to North Korea, with that white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Saturday. Thousands of people including neo-Nazis and members of the Klan marching to, quote, take America back.

Your reaction?

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-SOUTH CAROLINA: Well, it's a nod to domestic terrorism and the groups you just mentioned are hateful groups. They're enemies of freedom. I'd like to see a task force and the Department of Justice and Homeland Security to look at the size and scope of these groups, report back to Congress to see if we need to do more in terms of suppressing them.

But when it comes to President Trump, I'm with Cory Gardner. He missed an opportunity to be very explicit here. These groups seem to believe they have a friend in Donald Trump in the White House. I don't know why they believe that, but they don't see me as a friend in the Senate, and I would urge the president to dissuade these groups that he's their friend.

WALLACE: Well, let's talk about that, because as you point out the president is being criticized for falling -- failing to call out the white supremacist, the white nationalist.

GRAHAM: Yes.

WALLACE: Here he is yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Why do you think the president said that, on many sides and never referred to white supremacist, never referred to neo-Nazis? And do you think -- you say that some of them feel they have a friend of the White House, do you think that this president, who has no problem talking tough to a lot of people, is somehow not willing to take on that, maybe a small part, but that part of his base?

GRAHAM: Let me say this, I'm glad they don't like me. I'm glad they believe that Lindsey Graham is not their friend. It would bother me a lot if they did. So, if I were president of the United States and these people showed sympathy toward me and my agenda, it would bother me.

And I would urge the president to dissuade them of the fact that he's sympathetic to their cause, because their cause -- it's hate, it is un-American. They are domestic terrorists. And we need more from our president on this issue.

WALLACE: And do you have any thought as to why he didn't do that yesterday?

GRAHAM: I like President Trump. It's up to him to correct the record here, not me. I know they don't consider me as their friend and I think the president can be clear when he wants to be. He needs to be clear here.

WALLACE: Let's turn to North Korea. How close are we to a military confrontation? There has been no movement of troops toward South Korea or even the region. There's been no evacuation of Americans from South Korea. So, is this all just talk?

GRAHAM: I don't think there's an -- military action is imminent, but we are on a collision course with North Korea. President Trump inherited a mess. All those smart people who are criticizing his rhetoric and his policy, how well did you do?

So, I'm very pleased that Donald Trump has different rhetoric and different policies towards North Korea. His policy is never to allow the North Koreans the ability to hit the home land with a nuclear-tipped ICBM. That is the right policy.

WALLACE: You have called Kim Jong-un -- you yourself have -- a quote, crazy man. And I know that you --

GRAHAM: Yes.

WALLACE: -- you have met with President Trump on this issue. Here are some more about the president said this week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: And he's not going to threaten the United States and he is not going to threaten Japan and he's not going to threaten South Korea. No, that's not a dare, as you say. That is a statement of fact.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: I take your point that all of the efforts by the wise men of the Clinton regime --

GRAHAM: Right.

WALLACE: -- the Clinton administration and the Bush 43 administration and the Obama administration have -- the result of that is that they are closer to a nuclear weapon that could hit the U.S. mainland than they ever were. But is that the best way to deal with a crazy man? And more specifically, you hear the president there setting redlines about Kim making threats. Well, he's continued to make threats and the president hasn't acted.

GRAHAM: I think it's absolutely the right rhetoric. I have President Trump's back on this. It would be insane to talk the same and act the same as you have for the last 20 years, because you're going to get more of the same.

Do you understand what President Trump is trying to tell Kim Jong-un? I do, and I think he does too. And more importantly, so do the Chinese.

The next time that President Trump gets lectured by the Chinese president about how he talks regarding North Korea, I hope you will remind the Chinese president that you're 100 percent responsible, China is, for North Korea in its current state. You owned their economy.

And hold China 100 percent accountable for what happens in the future. Without China's help and empowerment, there would be no nuclear North Korea. So, it's now time to take the gloves off in terms of how we're going to deal with the threat to the homeland.

I'm 100 percent certain that Donald Trump and his military force as a last resort to stop North Korea from developing a missile to hit the American homeland. I know he will do that, I hope North Korea understands it. I hope China understands it. And quite frankly, he has no other choice and idea (ph).

WALLACE: I want to turn to another subject. As I discussed with Director Pompeo, out of the blue, the president raise the possibility on Friday of military option, one assumes military intervention, in Venezuela.

GRAHAM: Yes.

WALLACE: With the socialist regime of Nicolas Maduro. Why would we want to get involved militarily in what is, in effect, a civil war there? And would Congress support that?

GRAHAM: I have no idea why we would use military force in Venezuela. I'm a pretty hawkish guy. I know if we don't send more troops to Afghanistan, it's going to fail, and every soldier in Afghanistan is an insurance policy against 9/11.

I know why we have troops in Iraq and Syria, to train people to destroy ISIL. I know why we have troops in South Korea and Europe to protect us against threats like North Korea and Russian expansion.

I have no idea why we would use military force in Venezuela. I'm open-minded to a reason, but at the end of the day, our military should be deployed when there's a national security interest that can be articulated to the American people. I don't see one in Venezuela in terms of the military force.

WALLACE: Let me turn to another issue. President Trump has been going after your Republican leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell.

GRAHAM: Yes.

WALLACE: Raising the possibility that perhaps he should step down or at least not closing that off. Here he is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I said Mitch, get to work and let's get it done. They should have had this last one done. They lost by one vote. For a thing like that to happen is a disgrace.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Is McConnell's job in any trouble? Ultimately, it's you Republican senators who decide whether he's going to be your leader, is his job at any trouble? And do these attacks help or hurt the effort to get done all the things you're going to have to get done in September?

GRAHAM: Mitch McConnell is not in any trouble in terms of his members. We all like Mitch. We believe he's a good solid leader.

All of us are in trouble as Republicans for promising for seven years we'd repeal and replace Obamacare and failing miserably. I don't mind the president being upset with us. At the end of the day, if we don't deliver in repealing and replacing Obamacare, we're all going to be in trouble, including the president.

I didn't -- I don't want to go from repeal and replace to prop up. That's why I have a new idea to block grant all the money back to the states that we would spend on Obamacare. I hope the Republican leadership will embrace it and help me get it on the floor in September.

If we move on and just ignore our failure on health care, repealing and replacing Obamacare, we're going to fail miserably in 2018 and 2020.

WALLACE: I just want to ask you one last question about your health care plan, which you said basically we would be federalizing, giving the money to the states and letting them decide what they want to set up.

(CROSSTALK)

GRAHAM: Yes.

WALLACE: Have you gotten any commitment from Senate leadership that they will bring this to the floor in September when you come back, rather than moving on to other subjects? And how many cosponsors do you have?

GRAHAM: Well, I think -- Senator Cassidy is my chief cosponsor. I believe there's 50 votes for this. I'm hoping to have 25 Republican governors come out the next couple of weeks for the block grant approach, taking all the money and power out of Washington and sending it back to the states. By 2026, every state gets the same contribution from the federal government.

I think federalism is the right approach here. Lamar Alexander is going to allow hearing on our bill if we can put it together. There will be a tremendous amount of pressure on Republican leadership to take this up. I think Mitch will.

But I want to stress again, for seven years we've promise to repeal and replace. We just can't move on. I think it would be a disaster to move on. And the president is right to call us all out. Mitch McConnell's job is not in jeopardy, but the future of the Republican Party's in jeopardy.

WALLACE: Senator Graham, thank you. Thanks for sharing your Sunday with us. Always good to talk with you, sir.

GRAHAM: Thank you.

WALLACE: Up next, we'll bring in the Sunday group to discuss the backlash President Trump is facing following yesterday's tragic events in Charlottesville.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALLACE: Coming up, President Trump gets tough on North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: If anything happens to Guam, there's going to be big, big trouble in North Korea.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: We'll ask our Sunday panel whether it's just rhetoric or a first step toward a military conflict.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALLACE: The moment when a car rammed into a crowd of counter protesters in Charlottesville Saturday killing at least one and injuring 19.

And it's time now for our Sunday group.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Marie Harf, State Department spokesperson in the Obama administration, former Democratic Congresswoman Donna Edwards, and Tom Rogan from "The Washington Examiner."

Congresswoman Edwards, let me start with you. Your thoughts about the rally in Charlottesville yesterday, the violence and the criticism that President Trump is receiving for not calling out white nationalist specifically?

DONNA EDWARDS, FORMER U.S. CONGRESSWOMAN (D-MD): Well, we start -- obviously the violence is not acceptable. But what is more unacceptable is the fact that the president could not name this for what it was, driven by white nationalist, the KKK, white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

And the fact that the president of the United States cannot say this out loud, instead basically gives a green light to those who continue to perpetrate hate and violence in his name. And they said it decidedly that it was done in his name in support of his efforts to, quote, make America great again. I think it's unacceptable. There were Republican leaders across the board who spoke out and named this violence and he could not.

WALLACE: And why do you think he didn't?

EDWARDS: Well, I think he views those people as part of his base. They stood out and said that they supported him and that they were doing this in his name. And what an American president should do is stiff arm them and say, I don't care whether they say that they support me. I don't support them and what they stand for. And this president of the United States failed to do that and he failed the American people.

WALLACE: Speaker Gingrich?

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: Well, first of all, I do think the president should speak up more clearly. And I suspect today or tomorrow he will.

I do think if you're -- if you're fair to him, the statement itself was pretty strong and pretty direct about condemning the violence, condemning bigotry. I mean he talks very specifically about condemning racism. But I agree, I think that clearly he should talk out much more aggressively about it.

I'd also point out, though, from a conservative perspective, we've been watching a rising tide of violence in this country for good while now. And, you know, when -- when the chancellor of the University of California-Berkeley is spending $9,000 for an escape door because they assume students will occupy his offense, that just tells you that we have this pattern that's building and its building -- it's on both sides. It's dangerous.

I'm delighted Attorney General Sessions has sent a Justice Department team down there. Every person engaged in violence in Charlottesville should be, frankly, locked up. But the truth is the same on college campuses. It's true (ph) across the country. We have to decide violence is unacceptable, even in free speech, but you can't have violence.

WALLACE: I want to point out, I'm sure some people think that there's an overreaction to what President Trump said or didn't say. I want to put up a tweet that Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter, put out this morning.

She says, one, "there should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-Nazis. We must all come together as Americans -- and be one country UNITED. #Charlottesville."

It's interesting, a number of Republicans -- I'll include Ivanka Trump in that -- have -- have criticized the president for what he failed to say. I want to put up some of those.

Republican Senator Cory Gardner tweeted, "Mr. President - we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists this was domestic terrorism."

Governor Chris Christie, a staunch Trump supporter, wrote, "we rejected the racism and violence of white nationalists like the one acting out in Charlottesville. Everyone in leadership must speak out."

When you hear those, whether explicitly or not, it's pretty clear they're saying the president didn't do enough, Marie.

MARIE HARF, FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: And Senator Graham was actually pretty explicit when you just spoke to him, we need to hear the president say domestic terrorism. And if you go back to Ronald Reagan or Bob Dole, leaders of the party who explicitly condemned the KKK, Nazi-affiliated groups, bigoted groups, when they tried to align themselves with the Republican Party, this president hasn't.

And I think he missed an opportunity to show leadership. If he comes out three days later and calls it domestic terrorism, that will not have the same impacts, although I think it would be -- be helpful for him to do.

But I don't want to get in a place in this country where we're equating violence on any side and basically saying it's the same thing as bigoted and racist speech. Because what I want to see happen, even if there was no violence yesterday, the president and his team should call out bigotry, should call out hatred, should call out these Nazis and --

WALLACE: Well, they did say that, but then they said, on many sides.

HARF: But by name -- but by name, to call out these KKK-affiliated groups and not do this false, moral equivalence with the left or even some very extremist, you know, elements on the left. There is no equivalence, and that needs to be made clear.

WALLACE: Tom, is this politics? Clearly these groups, these hate groups, are a very, very small part of the -- of the millions of people who supported Donald Trump, but they are a part of it. The alt-right has been supportive. Is this president unwilling to take them on?

TOM ROGAN, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: I think to a degree that is true. And I think there is the element of the liberal protest movement on college campuses that is perceived by conservatives as a problem. The issue is, though, I think, from the left it's this idea of silencing speakers they don't like. From the right, this specific element that has to be identified as part of the right, there is a problem with virulent hatred against people.

Now, I think there's a further point here. The president is the commander in chief. A role that he likes to play and is filling into. But if you look at the tradition of the United States, it was American service members, whether in the air above Germany or in the landing beaches at Normandy who destroyed Nazism. They had never traveled outside small-town America and they did that. And so the president has to look at the patriotic notion of country against Nazism. And I think he, for that reason, as much as anything else, he should have articulated why this ideology is protected by free speech, but so despicable.

WALLACE: I want to pick up on that with you. The -- and Marie mentioned the missed opportunities, speaker, because we remember in the '92 campaign Bill Clinton and the Sister Souljah moment where he distanced himself from a violent rapper, a black rapper. And, to a certain degree said, I'm not going to be -- and the Democratic Party is not going to be part of that in any way. Did this president miss an opportunity to say, look, I understand conservativism, I understand conservative -- problems with liberals and some of the problems you've talked about on the left, but there is no traffic -- there's not going to be any -- any relationship with that kind of speech and that kind of political belief?

GINGRICH: Yes, he missed an opportunity and I think he, in the next day or two, will fill that out.

But let me also point out, Trump explicitly repudiated the KKK in the campaign. I mean the elite (ph) media may not want to believe it. Go back and look at the videotape. He explicitly repudiated it. He explicitly repudiated David Duke. It is a falsehood to suggest the conservatism, which believes in liberty, has anything to do with Nazism. Nazism is an anti --

ROGAN: But -- but --

HARF: Well, then why doesn't -- then why doesn't the president come out and say that?

GINGRICH: He should say it. He should.

ROGAN: Right.

HARF: Yes.

EDWARDS: And the fact is, it took him days to repudiate David Duke. And now you're telling us that it's going to be a couple of days and he'll come out and say, we should --

GINGRICH: I think --

EDWARDS: Distance ourselves from the KKK --

GINGRICH: Well, look -- OK.

EDWARDS: And white supremacists.

GINGRICH: First -- first of all --

EDWARDS: This is not acceptable for a president of the United States.

GINGRICH: First of all -- first of all, in his inaugural he said, all of us bleed the same blood. He said there's no grounds for racism. He said it is unpatriotic to be racism. You cannot be a good American and be a racist. That's the inaugural.

EDWARDS: And yesterday, when racism was on the street, he didn't say it.

GINGRICH: And then yesterday -- and yesterday he came out and he said he was against all -- all of the bigotry. He was against racism. If you read it, he didn't -- the one thing he didn't say was, I condemn white race supremacists.

HARF: He has weighted (ph) the two sides --

WALLACE: Oh, OK.

HARF: Which I think (INAUDIBLE) --

GINGRICH: Which I'll be glad to -- I'll debate you on that another time.

HARF: Sounds good.

WALLACE: Well, we can do it during the commercial. They are usually pretty interesting here.

But we do have to take a break.

When we come back, we've got to get to other big stories. The panel's take on where we stand with North Korea, and President Trump's surprise statement he's considering military options in Venezuela.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: They've been doing this to our country for a long time, for many years, and it's about time that somebody stuck up for the people of this country and for the people of other countries. So, if anything, maybe that statement wasn't tough enough.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: President Trump refusing to back off his warning, North Korea will face fire and fury if it continues to threaten the U.S.

And we're back now with the panel.

Mr. Speaker, you heard my conversation with CIA Director Pompeo. What do you make of the threat from North Korea and is the president's very sharp rhetoric this week helping or hurting?

GINGRICH: Well, I think the sharp rhetoric is trying to get through to Kim Jong-un that we are deadly serious. And I -- and General Mattis, Secretary of Defense Mattis, said this week, we are militarily prepared if we have to move. I mean those are fairly dramatic statements.

I worry a great deal about where we're at. I -- we've had 23 years since Clinton first announced that we had a deal, OK? And in 23 years, the North Korean model's been to nod yes and keep building nuclear weapons, nod yes and keep building ballistic missiles. And I -- I don't think people yet -- even in the administration -- have fully appreciated how hard this is going to be.

I'm in the process of doing a series of papers. I did one yesterday at Gingrich Productions and Fox News just looking at one nuclear event in one city because we -- I think we've gotten numb to how really bad this will be. And I think that we have to take seriously that we can push him hard.

We pushed the Japanese hard in 1941. They decided to go to war. When we cut off their supply of petroleum, their answer was Pearl Harbor. And I think we need to understand, yes, maybe we can really squeeze him. Then he has two options, cave or flight. We have no proof today that he would necessarily cave. And I think we have to see this as an extraordinarily dangerous moment in history. And I would like to see a lot more intense effort on defensive preparations on our side to make sure that we minimize any chance of a single weapon reaching the United States.

WALLACE: Meaning anti-ballistic missiles?

GINGRICH: Much more anti-ballistic missiles, much more civil difference preparation. Understanding this is one bomb in one city that would be the most horrendous event in American history and I think that --

WALLACE: And you think we need to prepare for that?

GINGRICH: Yes, sir, absolutely. One hundred percent.

WALLACE: On that happy note, Congresswoman Edwards, I know a lot of Democrats are upset with the president's rhetoric this week and challenging Kim Jong-un, sometimes in personal terms. On the other hand, as I've discussed earlier, you've had three presidents, two Democrats, one Republican. They've tried almost everything else, enlisting regional neighbors, they had six party talks, sending secretary of state over to Pyongyang, the sanctions. All kinds of things and we're closer to a nuclear armed, ICBM-armed Pyongyang than ever before. So what's wrong with this?

EDWARDS: Well, I mean, I've been very disturbed by the rhetoric as well. But I do think that we're at a moment where we may begin to think in terms of containment and deterrence, unlike we've thought before.

And I -- I have to tell you, I mean, giving a warning to Guam to, you know, Guamanians to, you know, go and -- run inside and hide is not an answer to a response for nuclear attack.

And, you know, it is clear that we haven't changed our defensive posture in the region and on the peninsula, but it's always at a high posture because of the nature of the threat from North Korea. And I think it's important for us to try to at least allow -- I mean the sanctions -- new sanctions haven't even been in place for the better part of a week yet.

I think the response from China was a helpful one to send to the North Koreans that they can't expect help from the Chinese when they act offensively. But we're in a very dangerous moment.

WALLACE: I want to -- I want to turn to another surprising moment, and that was the president's comment this week. I've - I've discussed it with -- with CIA Director Pompeo and with Senator Graham, Tom, and that is the president volunteering -- raising out of the blue the idea of a military option dealing with the Maduro regime in Venezuela. You heard Pompeo say absolutely makes sense, talks about Castro, talks about Hezbollah, other extremist groups there. And you heard Lindsey Graham say it doesn't make any sense at all.

ROGAN: In policy terms it doesn't make any sense at all. I suspect what the president is doing there is that he asked in the national security briefings, do we have a plan for Venezuela? And, of course, the plan at the J5 at the Pentagon is, yes, we have a plan for everything. We have a plan for probably bombing France.

But what I think also might be going on there is that a lot of the language on potential conflict, whether it be Venezuela or North Korea, is targeted at China. China, China, China. And I think with the president is trying to do behind the scenes is tell the Chinese, whether it be with the islands in the south and east China Seas, whether it be in terms of South Korea and Japan potentially developing nuclear programs, that if you don't deal with us on this, the consequences for your regional environment and your (INAUDIBLE) of power are incredibly catastrophic.

And the advantage he has in making these threats is, it's the -- perhaps the one good side of the tweets is the unpredictability is a force that compels the Chinese to think, maybe he's just serious. And at any other level, the United States does remain the world's superpower and that prospection of threat remains serious.

WALLACE: Marie, as a former spokesperson for the State Department under John Kerry, what are some of the military problems and the diplomatic problems with us getting involved with a military option, as the president put it, in Venezuela?

HARF: Well, I think there's almost zero chance we will get involved militarily in Venezuela. It makes no sense. And the Department of Defense, actually this week, had to come out and basically say that.

Going to what Tom said, unpredictability can be a good tactic if underlying that there's a very clear strategy that the whole national security team has in place. I'm not sure they do when it comes to Venezuela and I think the president's off-the-cuff remarks this week sort of belied that fact.

But on Venezuela, we could put more economic pressure on them. We've avoided sanctioning oil, in large part because doing so would probably drive our gas prices up here. So there are more economic levers we could use.

But this kind of sort of bombastic rhetoric that everyone knows really isn't based in a solid policy foundation doesn't help a regional situation that, quite frankly, is engulfed in flames, could have really serious impacts for regional security.

WALLACE: I -- we've got less than a minute left, speaker. But if you believe that this was just off-the-cuff by the president, that we're not seriously going to get involved in Venezuela, does that undercut his credibility when he's talking about a much more serious situation that we might get involved in, like North Korea?

GINGRICH: Well, 44 nations in the western hemisphere have unanimously condemned Maduro. And I think there's a real sense of isolation.

My guess is, if there's any meaning to this, it is a signal in part of the Venezuelan military that if you decide you want to take out Maduro, we're with you. And I think that's our goal. Our goal is to have the Venezuela military kick out the Cubans, kick out Maduro, and go back to a middle-class democracy, which they had prior to Chavez.

WALLACE: But I take it you -- you wouldn't support U.S. troops --

GINGRICH: I wouldn't encourage U.S. troops going in, unless they went in as part of an organization of American states unified effort, such as we did in the Dominican Republic in '65.

WALLACE: All right, panel, thank you. See you next Sunday.

Up next, our "Power Player of the Week." A behind the scenes look at one of the hidden perks of the White House.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALLACE: In case you missed it, yesterday was National Bowling Day, which brings us to a White House gem that's been around since the 1940s. As we told you in March, the Trump team is inviting members of Congress to enjoy it and maybe pick up some support. Here's our "Power Player of the Week."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JENNIFER KORN, WHITE HOUSE OFFICE OF PUBLIC LIAISON DEPUTY DIRECTOR: Welcome to the Harry Truman Bowling Alley. Come on in.

WALLACE: Thank you. I can't wait. Oh, my gosh.

KORN: We are in the basement of the Executive Eisenhower Office Building.

WALLACE: Right.

KORN: And here is one of the pins that was signed by President Nixon himself.

WALLACE (voice-over): Jennifer Korn, who's deputy director of the Office of Public Liaison, was our guide to the White House bowling alley.

KORN: This is President Truman. And he was the first president to bring bowling to the White House.

WALLACE (on camera): Although he bowled in a suit, which is --

KORN: He did. Very formal.

WALLACE: I covered the White House for six years. I never knew this facility existed.

KORN: It's a wonderful facility and we're really happy to have you here. Let's go bowl.

WALLACE (voice-over): But before bowling, Jennifer told us about the alley's rich history.

KORN: President Nixon was the most avid bowler of all presidents. It is said that he took four hours at a time to bowl.

WALLACE (on camera): Who can bowl for four hours straight?

KORN: I don't know, because I can't, but the president did. He -- I guess that's the way he let off steam.

WALLACE (voice-over): There's even video of Nixon. His high score, 229. And some first ladies also hit the lanes.

WALLACE (on camera): Here's Lady Bird herself. I love it, they had their own bowling bags.

KORN: They had their own bowling bags and also see that they are bowling in their dresses.

WALLACE (voice-over): President Trump hasn't visited yet, but his staff uses the alley often to make its pitch to members of Congress and outside groups.

WALLACE (on camera): When you invite somebody to come bowl at the White House, how many of them say no?

KORN: So far we haven't had anybody say no.

WALLACE (voice-over): But does it translate into political support?

KORN: I think it's less about the actual bowling and the personal touch, the engagement.

WALLACE: House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is playing the Grinch here, calling the Trump charm offensive, offensive.

REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-MINORITY LEADER: I think he's making fools of his own people, quite frankly. You don't agree philosophically in what the legislation is, let's go bowling at the White House.

KORN: That's a very simplistic way to look at it. You can't pass good legislation without having a great conversations.

WALLACE: I couldn't put it off any longer, but I just want to say, I haven't bold in 15 years.

Not bad, but then I tried to pick up the spare.

WALLACE (on camera): Oh, that was terrible. All right.

WALLACE (voice-over): Then, it was Jennifer's turn.

KORN: Are you ready to talk about the Affordable Care Act?

WALLACE (on camera): Oh, you've softened me up.

That was good.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALLACE: Jennifer did not pick up that spare. And during my time at the White House, I didn't knock down many pins either. But I did come away with this, which sits in my office, a souvenir from what is officially called the Truman Bowling Alley.

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

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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