This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," September 10, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS HOST: I’m Chris Wallace.
Breaking now, Irma makes landfall in Florida as a powerful category four hurricane.
GOV. RICK SCOTT, R-FLORIDA: This is a deadly, major storm and our state has never seen anything like it.
BROCK LONG, FEMA ADMINISTRATOR: Unfortunately, I don't believe all systems understand the magnitude of what’s about to happen.
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WALLACE (voice-over): We’re live in the storm zone with the latest on Irma, where it's headed, the potential danger, and we’ll find out how authorities will respond from Florida Governor Rick Scott and FEMA chief Brock Long.
Then, the president strikes a surprise deal with the Democrats.
REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALI., HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, he can speak New York to the president.
WALLACE: We’ll discuss what it means for the president's relationship with the GOP and the Trump agenda with Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan, founding member of the hard-line House Freedom Caucus.
Plus, what should we make of the president’s new alliance with Chuck and Nancy? We’ll ask our Sunday panel how long it will last.
All, right now, on "Fox News Sunday."
WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.
Here’s where we stand with Hurricane Irma right now. The eye of the most powerful Atlantic hurricane ever recorded now moving across the Florida Keys, with maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour. The storm expected to inflict damage not seen in Florida since Hurricane Andrew 25 years ago, a record 7 million people in Florida and neighboring states under evacuation orders. Its path projected along Florida's gulf coast from Naples to Tampa Bay.
In the moment, we’ll discuss the threat and the response with FEMA Administrator Brock Long and Florida Governor Rick Scott.
But, first, we have Fox team coverage. Chief meteorologist Rick Reichmuth tells us where Irma is headed. Bill Hemmer on the emergency facing Florida.
But we begin with Adam Housley in Key Largo, in the storm's crosshairs right now -- Adam.
ADAM HOUSLEY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Chris, you talk about the storm's crosshairs, here in Key Largo, the winds have been battering this part of Florida for more than 24 hours. In fact, at 10:30 yesterday morning, we lost power here and the winds have not died down and have continued to grow. Right now, you can tell that the wind is gusting over 100 miles per hour from where I’m standing.
If I’m going to step away for a second to give you an idea of the storm’s wrath and the rage of the storm. The eye is going to pass about 40 miles we believe to our west, so we’re right on the side of the storm. You can see trees split in half, across our parking lot from the secure location that we are located to the tree about four feet around. It stands about 10 feet above ground.
You know, I’ve been in 10 hurricanes, but I’ve got to tell you, this one is the most powerful one that I felt this far away from the center and it’s been just nonstop. The storms here in Key Largo started yesterday at about 11:00 p.m. We left the area on the ocean side storm, the east side of the Key, the water has already come up about three feet and was headed towards the interstate.
Here on the bayside, it has not yet gotten that high at all. The wind and rain is battering us. We know that also evacuations here began several days ago. People that stay for Andrew 25 years ago saw the picture, saw the video coming out of the Caribbean and said this time they were going to stay.
Chris, very few people left here in Key Largo, thankfully, as this storm comes ashore.
WALLACE: Adam Housley reporting from the Florida Keys, right now in the center of the storm -- Adam, stay safe.
Now, let's turn to Bill Hemmer in Orlando -- Bill.
BILL HEMMER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Chris, good morning from Orlando, where the worst is yet to arrive, a much different picture for now here in the central part of the state. Sixty-seven counties in the state of Florida, 58 of the 67 counties, Chris, are under hurricane warning, that is just extraordinary.
And now, it's become a guessing game after hitting landfall in the Keys as to where Irma goes next. Twenty-four hours ago, all the attention on the storm shifted to the west coast and now, towns like Naples and Fort Myers and Sarasota and Saint Pete's and Tampa out now bracing for the possibility of severe impact.
We were in Tampa yesterday and again last night, in downtown was nearly empty. Evacuation orders given out for more than 6 million statewide and the Governor Rick Scott had this final message late yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT: I’m a dad and I’m a grandfather. I love my family more than anything and I cannot imagine life without them. Do not put your life or your family's life at risk. Right now is the right time to do the right thing for your family.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HEMMER: And the president and his team watching from Camp David over the weekend, tweeting late last night: The U.S. Coast Guard, FEMA and all federal and state brave people are ready. Here comes Irma. God bless everyone, end tweet.
Hotels are sold out. More than 400 shelters have opened housing more than 120,000 Floridians. And these numbers are massive.
Chris, you can drive 50 miles to the east, the Atlantic Ocean in Daytona Beach, or you can drive 80 miles to the west and Tampa, Florida, and the Gulf of Mexico. It is likely over the next 24 hours, the entire width of the state of Florida it will feel hurricane force winds. Never in recorded history has the United States had two cat four hurricanes hit in the same season. But yet it is happening now as we wait here in Orlando.
Chris, back to you in Washington.
WALLACE: Bill Hemmer reporting from Orlando and the calm before the storm there -- Bill, thank you.
Now, let's get the latest track on Irma's path over the next few hours. Chief meteorologist Rick Reichmuth is in the Fox Weather Center in New York -- Rick.
RICK REICHMUTH, FOX NEWS CHIEF METEOROLOGIST: Hi, Chris.
So, first of all, today is the statistical peak of hurricane season, September 10th, very appropriate. We are watching the storm right now on our shores continuing to pull up towards the north, a little bit towards the northwest and that means we’re going to be watching. We’ve had the first landfall in the Keys, we’re going to see another landfall later on today, a little bit farther up the coast.
I tell you what, things are just going to get worse. We have hurricane warnings in effect throughout the entire state of Florida, except the far western panhandle but hurricane warnings go all the way into Georgia. Albany, Georgia, Tipton, towards way across in Valdosta, hurricane warnings in effect. Tropical storm warnings in fact all the way towards the North Georgia mountains. So, by tomorrow evening, we are probably seeing wins 60-70 miles per hour as far north as Atlanta.
Here you go, we always are talking about this track and this is why it's so misleading. The strong winds extend very far out. We’ll see hurricane force winds likely all the way up the state of Florida and then extending in towards Georgia.
We’re also going to watch a lot of onshore flow. The wind will continue to pull on the east shore of Florida and that's where we’re going to see the storm surge extending all the way into Georgia and South Carolina.
But take a look at the wind gusts, we are watching them in the 100 range, up to 145 in Marathon, Key. By noon, we're looking at wins at 115 miles per hour in Naples. This continues by 5:00, still over 100 miles an hour in Naples. By tonight, over hurricane force winds in Tampa and then by tomorrow morning into the afternoon, we’re going to be seeing hurricane force gusts all the way in towards southern Georgia.
So, it’s a long duration event. About 36 hours before this finally winds down across the state of Georgia and Alabama -- Chris.
WALLACE: Rick, thank you.
Joining us now live from FEMA headquarters here in Washington is Brock Long, the head of that agency.
Mr. Long, how has Irma's swing farther to the west changed your assessment of the storm? Has it become more dangerous or less dangerous?
LONG: This is a worst-case scenario for Monroe County, Florida Keys in the west coast of Florida. Any time you’re in that northeast quadrant, as the storm is moving forward, that's where the maximum radius winds are that defined the intensity of the storm, that's where storm surge is most prevalent.
And, you know, the inland winds are going to be tough. And also, you know, 80 percent of your landfall in hurricane bring with them tornado. So, we are already seeing some tornado watches and warnings spread across the state.
WALLACE: Does Irma's new course put more people in jeopardy? Are folks now in Alabama and Georgia, are they more -- now in more danger with this new path?
LONG: So, we’re in good communication with Alabama as well. And they are definitely watching the storm. Any shift to the west has implications for them and we’re also in great communication with Georgia as well, because as this thing moves inland, you know, that tornado threat is going to persist. In land range are going to -- are going to persist as well.
So, we are moving very quickly. The president has been in great communication not only with me but been moving very swiftly to put proper declarations in place. And so, today, it’s all about, you know, as the president requested from last night, he said, do everything you can to take care of people, and that's what we're doing. We’re positioning as many teams and commodities in place today and ready to go.
WALLACE: Over the next few hours, Mr. Long, what is your biggest immediate concern and does the fact that the storm is going up the Gulf Coast, which means bigger storm surges, how big a concern is that right now?
LONG: Storm surge has the highest potential to kill the highest amount of people and cause the most amount of damage. And so, you know, my biggest concern is when people fail to heed a warning early from local government officials and then they make a last-minute ditch to try to get to a shelter or into a facility to withstand the winds. And in some cases, the water starts to rise and they get trapped because they didn't heed the warning early and that's my greatest concern.
You know, we care about people and try to put that message out, and sometimes, people listen and sometimes they don't.
WALLACE: Is it too late for people to try to get out? And I’m talking about people now let's say up to Naples, is it too late? Or Fort Myers, should they shelter in place?
LONG: Well, it's too late for folks in the Monroe County, Florida Keys, maximum radius winds moving over as we speak right now. It's going to be very hard to get out of the Keys. I’m sure, you know, if you are going to move and leave southwest Florida from Marco Island on up the coast your time is running out. In some cases, if the water starts to rise around you and you become isolated, try to get into a facility that you think can withstand the winds and get elevated, and get out of the storm surge.
WALLACE: One of the big changes in FEMA since Hurricane Katrina is that you folks are now a more proactive in terms of positioning personnel, positioning equipment than then FEMA used to be before. But I wonder with this change, because we kept thinking until, what, the last 24 hours, it was up headed up to the East Coast, the Atlantic Coast, now to the Gulf Coast -- does not mean that you -- some of our equipment and people are out of position? Is that going to create a new problem?
LONG: No, not at all. You know, we've been in great position. We are leading way far forward. And we’ve had people in teams in place. I actually have liaisons in 11 counties, you know, on the west side of Florida, working directly with local emergency managers to make sure we understand what the state's demands are and what the local demands are so that we can help back their capabilities.
We pushed three days' worth of commodities and ready to go. But, you know, it's going to take some time, this is a complex event because of the south and north trajectory of the storm. The power is going to be out for a long time. It’s going to be tough for us to get in to perform search and rescue in south Florida. We have to wait until that -- you know, until all the elements pass through.
This is a complex event, but as far as positioning goes, you know, we've done pretty much all weekend.
WALLACE: Finally, sir, you, of course, are still dealing with Hurricane Harvey and Congress just passed $15 billion in disaster relief to deal with that. But do you have the money you need, do you have the people you need to deal with the situation in the southeast United States, Florida and neighboring states post-Irma?
LONG: Sure. So, the Congress did its due diligence and, you know, passed the supplemental to allow us to keep moving. And as I’ve been saying, paperwork and money should not get in the way of saving lives and I believe the Congress recognizes that. There's great communication between the White House and the Congress in regards to emergency management.
So, right now, we are moving forward. I have all the authorities from the president that I need to be able to move forward as well. And, you know, once this system passes through, it’s going be a race to save lives and sustain lives.
WALLACE: Mr. Long, thank you. Thanks for talking to us on this very tough morning, sir.
LONG: Thank you.
WALLACE: And joining us now from the state capital of Tallahassee is Florida Governor Rick Scott.
Governor, does this new path for Irma mean that folks on the Atlantic Coast, the east coast, like in Miami, have dodged a bullet and folks on the Gulf Coast, the west coast are now in the crosshairs?
GOV. RICK SCOTT, R-FLORIDA: Well, this is going to impact our whole state. You know, you’re going to get the wind and the rain on the east coast, but right now, it's impacting the Keys. It's going to impact my home town of Naples, Florida, all of the west coast.
And what’s scary is the unbelievable storm surge potentially in my own town, 15 feet of storm surge above ground level. And we are talking about that and some thing with the keys. So, we’re going to -- you know, people have asked what can we do, the first thing I tell them is pray, pray for everybody in Florida. They can donate to disaster, text disaster at 2022.
Or, we need volunteers. And we have over 400 shelters open now. I need more volunteers for my shelters. I need more volunteers helping distribute food after the fact. We need nurses for special needs patients.
So, we’re -- but, I’ll tell you, Chris, this is a great state. People are going to come together. We’re going to protect everybody. We’re going to work together and we’re going to do everything we can to make sure everybody survives this and get back to a normal life.
WALLACE: I want to talk about the storm surge. We all become amateur hurricane experts. And one of the things that I’ve learned in the last 24 hours is the danger of the storm surge is greater in the shallower Gulf of Mexico than it is over and the Atlantic Coast where there is a steeper drop off. If you're talking about 10, 12, 15 feet storm surge -- I know Naples, I know Tampa -- what impact is that going to have on the coastline?
SCOTT: I was talking to the president this morning, he called to see how we were doing and I told him the story of a hurricane we had last year in the panhandle, and there was a lady along the coast, she didn't want to evacuate, and she had probably -- you know, it was a one-story house, an older house, she didn't want to evacuate because of her pets. When it got to three feet, she knew she was not going to survive because the water was rushing in.
Thank God that somebody was -- as she left her home to try to get to safety, there was a high water vehicle that leaving for the last time and she was able to get in it and they were able to drive out. She would have died.
This water is going to come in very quickly. It’s going to cover your first floor potentially or more, and then, eventually, it's going to come out.
I don't know how you're going to survive that. You don't know what it's going to do to the structure of your home. So, my concern right now is people are -- hopefully everyone has evacuated. I looked at our traffic cameras around the state this morning.
People are off the roads. I just hope everybody has evacuated and gotten to safety. So, I hope everybody will pray for us.
WALLACE: I want to talk about this not an individual level but on a bigger level. The last time that a major hurricane hit Tampa Bay was in 1921 when there were 10,000 people living in that low-lying area. There are now 4 million people living in that same area.
So, what happens when a 10-foot storm surge comes into Tampa Bay?
SCOTT: You know, all along the coast where we are getting the storm surges, we didn’t -- you know, had the evacuation zone, I hope everybody listen. It's going to be devastating to these areas. We’re going to -- we’re going to rebuild. We have wonderful people. This is a wonderful state.
But right now, with these storm surges, everybody is going to make sure they hunker down and take care of each other. So, but I’m very concerned about the west coast. Now, I’m concerned about the whole state because of all the wind that we are going to get, but the storm surge is absolutely life-threatening.
WALLACE: Every storm in Florida is compared to Hurricane Andrew. That was a cat five that hit 25 years ago, killing 61 people, causing $26 billion in damage -- the costliest U.S. storm until Katrina.
How does Irma compare to Andrew, sir?
SCOTT: Oh, it's so much bigger. I mean, just the size of the storm is coast-to-coast and, Andrew, I was in the hospital business back then. I evacuated two hospitals. And I actually moved patients to another hospital, that eventually was completely -- completely rebuilt because all windows blow open, lost the power, everything. But we didn't have an Andrew. We didn’t have a storm surge.
And that’s when I was talking to the president. The president said, look, I will provide for whatever resources you need. When I talk to him, I talk to him pretty much every day. But I said, here is the hardest in this one, is when it’s covered, it's impacting our whole state and the storm surge is just life-threatening on the west coast and through the keys.
WALLACE: One last question, sir, because I know you've done so much to try to get people to evacuate. You tried to put shelters up, put people in place. But now that the storm has hit, let's say over these next 12 hours, how much can you do, are you basically sitting there waiting it out?
SCOTT: We’re -- you know, well, we can pray, that's one thing we can do, we can pray. But right now, with the first responders can't get out because of the wind and the rain and in the west coast as the storm surge comes up. So, hopefully, everybody's got into their shelters or got into a safe place.
But I can tell you, we will do everything we can to keep everybody safe. The moment we can get out there to save somebody's life, you know, our first responders will be there. I’ve called up, 7,000 members of the National Guard will be there. The federal government has resources down here.
We will do everything we can. We will spare no expense to say every life in the state.
WALLACE: Governor Scott, thank you. Thanks for your time today. And I -- you know our thoughts are with everyone in Florida and in the path of the storm, sir.
SCOTT: Thank you, Chris.
WALLACE: We’ll have more on Irma later this hour as it begins it's destructible on up Florida's west coast. But when we come back, that head-scratching deal between President Trump and Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. Did the president's snub his own party? We’ll ask House Freedom Caucus member Jim Jordan, that's next.
WALLACE: President Trump has infuriated Republicans and surprised Democrats with his decision this week on how to get funding for Hurricane Harvey through Congress.
But how real is his new partnership with Chuck and Nancy?
Joining me here in Washington is Congressman Jim Jordan, a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, of hard-line conservatives.
Congressman, welcome back to FOX NEWS SUNDAY.
REP. JIM JORDAN, R-OHIO, HOUSE FREEDOM CAUCUS CO-FOUNDER: Good to be with you, Chris.
WALLACE: I want to start with the deal that shook Washington. President Trump siding with Pelosi and Schumer over his own Republican leaders, over his own treasury secretary and his effort to link Harvey disaster relief funding to a three-month extension, a three-month extension of government funding and the debt limit, and even talking about a deal on DACA.
Here's the president on Air Force One.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Chuck and Nancy would like to see something happen and so do I. And I said, if we can get something to happen, we’re going to sign it and we're going to make it -- we’re going to make a lot of happy people.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
WALLACE: Congressman, are you one of those happy people?
JORDAN: No, I don't think this is a good deal for the American taxpayer. We didn't do anything to address the underlying $20 trillion debt problem. But, frankly, what options did the president have in front of him?
The first time the Republican Conference talked about the debt ceiling was Wednesday morning. And the Freedom Caucus, we had called for nine and a half weeks ago, Chris. We did a press conference and said, don't leave town until you actually have a plan on the debt ceiling and outlines the tax reform plan that we are going to do and until we deal with health care. And instead, we went home for the longest August recess in a nonelection year, longest break in the nonelection year for more than the last decade.
So, the break was even longer than some breaks you have an election year. You know how politicians like to be home at election time. So, that was -- we should have stayed here and put together a plan.
We offered ideas in the Freedom Caucus. I said let's cap spending at the percentage of GDP and raise the debt ceiling. So, the problem is we didn't address the underlying problem. The problem wasn’t a three-month, six-month time frame.
You know, I learned a long time ago that when you fail to prepare, you get a bad outcome. And that's what happened here.
WALLACE: There are two issues. One is your concern and the concern of a lot of conservatives that you didn't get anything in return for raising the debt limit. That you didn’t get --
JORDAN: That is almost every other time you raise the debt limit.
WALLACE: And you get spending cuts.
There's another issue, and that is the significance of giving Schumer and Pelosi all this leverage when the issue comes up again in the case of government funding in December and maybe shortly thereafter on the debt limit. And the question I have for you, giving the Democrats, the Democratic leadership more leverage, is that good or bad for the Trump agenda when it comes to tax cuts and immigration and ObamaCare?
JORDAN: I don’t -- I don't look at it that way, I look at it, is it a good or bad for the American people? You know, I say this all the time. Our job is pretty basic. What did we tell the American people were going to do at election time, what they did elect us here, send us here to accomplish, let's focus on that.
So, I don't think it's good for the American taxpayer. I don’t think it’s good for the American people. That to me is the focus.
WALLACE: Why isn’t it good?
JORDAN: Well, when you just raise the debt ceiling and don't do anything to address the underlying problem, I mean, this is like your kid in college who’s got your credit card and he is spending more than he takes in and he's already piled up a lot of debt and he gets to say, oh, for the next three months, I’ve got unlimited borrowing authority, I think if that was your son or my son, we’d have a problem with that. That’s what this deal in essence did. So, that’s why it’s not good for the taxpayers.
WALLACE: What about the fact that you’re giving the Democrats another bite at the apple on all those issues in December?
JORDAN: Chris, I’m an American. You have to be an optimist. So, I look at this way -- we get another bite at the apple.
We’re going to put forward a plan that says, let's cap spending. This is where we -- the Freedom Caucus, we took a position. Let's cap spending as a percentage of GDP, let's bring it back down to its modern times historic norm, below 20 percent of gross domestic product, and then let's get this economy growing.
I do agree with the president. We do need to focus on tax cuts. We need that, because that's going to get us the kind of growth we need to deal with it $20 trillion debt burden.
But I look at this as an optimistic from the Republican side as well, we have a chance now to put together a plan, take that case to the American people early, not wait until the last minute like we did before and sell that plan to the American people and pass that.
WALLACE: But what do you think of the idea of this alliance between the president and as he calls them Chuck and Nancy? Do you see -- are you concerned about the possibility that he might go with him?
JORDAN: I think -- I think the president is focused on doing what he told the American people he was going to do, cutting their taxes, building a border security while dealing with ObamaCare. All those issues --
WALLACE: Wait, wait, wait, Chuck and Nancy are against repealing ObamaCare. Chuck and Nancy are against funding for the wall. Chuck and Nancy have a very different idea of tax cuts than the president does and you do.
JORDAN: I know, and that's why we’ve got to get our plan out there and push it early and take the case to the American people. I think if we do that we can win.
I think this was a unique situation where unfortunately there wasn’t any good options presented to the -- you know, I learned a long time, my background sport is wrestling, you don't prepare -- you don't to the preparation and go -- we didn't even have a practice to figure out what we were going to do to give a good plan to the president. So, that's the problem.
I think this is a unique situation, not what's going to happen in the future. What's going to happen in the future I think with this president and certainly with us conservatives in the House, we are solely and totally focused on what the American people elected us to do.
WALLACE: I just want to press this one more time because there were always doubts about whether or not this president was a true conservative. You heard it from a lot of folks on the right, members of the Freedom Caucus.
Do you worry that he may be more interested now in scoring victories than he is in pushing a true conservative agenda?
JORDAN: What I worry about is -- I hate to keep saying it but it's what drives -- our mission statement of the Freedom Caucus is the countless number of people who feel like this town is forgotten them, our job is to remember them and fight for them. I think President Trump has that same vision, that same focus.
In this situation he wasn't presented in good options. He does want to get focus on tax reform, I get all that. So, we’ve got to make sure we push forward the things the American people elected us to do. Give those options to the president and I’m confident that when that happens, he will pick those options that are conservative and are consistent with what the American people elected us to accomplish.
WALLACE: Given what you just said, do you have full confidence in House Speaker Paul Ryan?
JORDAN: Yes. No one -- I mean, there’s these stories that -- what one story said Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan met with the speaker. I mean, that's hardly news. We meet with the speaker every single week.
No one is talking about changing the leadership. What we are talking about is just what I said. What was the -- what was the agenda at the American people voted for on November 8th, let's get that done.
WALLACE: But you say there’s no interest in changing the speaker, and I’m not pushing you to do so. But you're saying you offered ideas, you wanted to stay in session in August to come up with a solid, serious plan to tie raising the debt limit to spending cuts --
WALLACE: -- the House and Senate leadership of your party didn't come up with that.
JORDAN: Right, and that was a mistake.
WALLACE: Whose mistake is it?
JORDAN: I think in hindsight -- well, it wasn't ours because we called for staying.
WALLACE: Whose is it?
JORDAN: Well, you know, leadership makes the schedule, not Jim Jordan. So, we should have stayed here. I think if you ask the American people, should we stay here and get done what you sent is here to get done, I think they would overwhelmingly say, well, heck yes, you should, and the fact that you didn't -- again, the longest nonelection year break in over a decade. That's really what we are supposed to be doing when we are trying to get these critical things done at a time when we got a $20 trillion debt, at a time when our border security is not where it needs to be according -- I mean, that's the kind of thing we’ve got to focus on.
WALLACE: On Friday, the treasury secretary, this is before you guys took the vote and you were one of the 90 Republicans who voted against --
WALLACE: -- the whole package, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and the Budget Chief Mick Mulvaney came to meet with House Republicans to try to get you to pass the Harvey package.
A couple questions I want to ask you. Widely reported, is it true that Mnuchin asked the caucus to pass the debt limit for him?
JORDAN: I don't recall it being framed that way. I do recall them making a, you know, a strong case for us to vote for it. Of course, there were -- there was pushback from members, like you would expect, because when you have a $20 trillion problem, you probably shouldn't just allow unlimited borrowing authority for the federal government for the next three months without doing anything to address the $20 trillion problem.
Now, to me, that is just common sense. But, again, that's where we wound up. They were pushing for it and, you know, 90 of us said this is not a good deal for the American taxpayer (INAUDIBLE).
WALLACE: Well, that brings me to my final question. Mick Mulvaney, who used to be a member of the House Freedom Caucus --
CAW: A budget hawk (ph). I emphasize -- I see the smiling on your face. Used to be. He wouldn't commit, as I understand it, that when the debt limit comes up again in December or shortly thereafter, that you will tie it to spending cuts. And I want to ask you about that, one. And two, the fact that the president is now talking with Chuck Schumer about doing away with any vote on the debt limit. You basically lose the opportunity to use that as a tool.
JORDAN: Well, that's -- yes, that's a -- that's a bad idea. I mean, again, you go back to the example of the -- your college son has got the credit card. He -- he wants to say, I want to raise the limit, dad, and I don't want to even -- have to even talk to you about it. I think that is just a -- but particularly when you have the debt burden that we currently have. So that -- that is a -- a bad idea.
Look, all the more reason why we need to have a plan early. I mean this is politics. You put together your argument, your plan, and you take the case to the American people. And I'm confident if you said to the American people, we are going to raise the debt ceiling. That is important -- or if there's -- the financial markets out there, we understand how important that is. But we are not going to do that unless we address the problem. Why don't we cap spending and get it back down to the historic levels in modern times below 20 percent of GDP. I think that makes a lot of sense. It's a phase down. That's the kind of -- you take that case to the American people, you do it early enough, you do the preparation early enough, you can actually win the match.
WALLACE: Congressman Jordan, thank you.
JORDAN: Thank you.
WALLACE: And, I tell you, I'm going to make sure my kids -- I'm taking all their credit cards away.
JORDAN: Good -- good move (ph).
WALLACE: Up next, we'll bring in our Sunday group to discuss the new balance of power in Washington.
Plus, what would you like to ask the panel about President Trump's deal with the Democrats? Just go to Facebook or Twitter @foxnewssunday and we may use your question on the air.
WALLACE: Coming up, President Trump with a new take on the art of the deal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We have a -- a great respect for the sanctity of the debt ceiling and Chuck does and Nancy does and we all do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: We'll ask our Sunday panel how the move affects his relationship with his own party.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We had a great meeting with Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and the whole Republican leadership group. And I'll tell you what, we walked out of there, Mitch and Paul and everybody, Kevin, and we walked out and everybody was happy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: President Trump bragging after his deal with Democrats to link Harvey aid to a short-term plan to fund the government and lift the debt ceiling.
And it's time now for our Sunday group. Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume. Columnist for "The Hill," Juan Williams. Mo Elleithee of Georgetown University's Institute of Politics and Public Service. And former National Security Council staffer Gillian Turner.
Brit, I want to follow up with what my conversation with the congressman. What do you make of the president siding with -- and I can't say it enough -- Chuck and Nancy -- I love that phrase -- and undercutting not only Republican senators but his own treasury secretary. He was in the middle of making his pitch in the Oval Office when the president sided when them?
BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Not everybody was happy. I think no doubt Chuck and Nancy were happy. He got rolled. The president got rolled. And his administration therefore got rolled because, as you pointed out correctly, doing this short-term deal attached to the Hurricane Harvey money, which was a must pass, and therefore a good vehicle to do a longer debt limit extension and perhaps other things as well, is now a three month deal and we're right back where we started except without the Hurricane Harvey leverage when December rolls around. So it's a terrible deal. And I think the president, he wanted to sign something, so he got something to sign, but he got -- he got rolled.
WALLACE: Is it a one-time thing or do you believe that --
HUME: Well, I -- look, you listed correctly for your guests the different issues that now are coming along, you know, tax reform, the border wall and the rest of it.
HUME: ObamaCare. Chuck and Nancy are not going to be with him on those things. So this -- this -- this new so-called alliance it seems to me is more likely to be a one-off than it is the beginning of some new coalition that's going to last and abolishes a New York Times headline to get today, two party rule. It's ridiculous.
WALLACE: I -- I talked with a number of Republicans on The Hill over the last few days and the two words that I kept hearing from them worth "flabbergasted" and "seething." And I would definitely put Republican Senator Ben Sasse in the latter category. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BEN SASSE, R-NEBRASKA: Chuck Schumer, whose title is minority leader, not majority leader, just made himself the most powerful man in America for the month of December. This is an embarrassing moment for a Republican-controlled Congress and a Republican administration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Well, extending the debt limit and funding for just three months, how much leverage does that give Pelosi and Schumer?
MO ELLEITHEE, FORMER DNC COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Look, I think -- I think Brit was -- was right in that the president has just lost a lot of leverage moving forward on the Republican Party has just lost a lot of leverage moving forward. I don't think anyone should be all that surprised by what the president did, and for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is, he proved during the campaign that he was not a partisan or an ideologically driven kind of guy. That he was the kind of guy who was going to kind of look out for himself first. And here he was with the ability to cut a deal with the Democrats that would be completely antithetical to what his own party would want. And, frankly, antithetical to what he himself in the past had said, right? I mean it just wasn't that long ago that he was out there tweeting, attacking the Republicans in Congress when they did a four month deal to extend the debt ceiling difference saying it was -- he was a terrible negotiator.
Look, I know -- I'm with Brit in the sense that I don't think this is a new alliance. I don't think this is a new balance of power. I don't think Democrats are going to get everything that they want from this president moving forward.
But I think what it showed is that this president's not as strong of a negotiator as he made himself out to be. And that is something that the Democrats are probably going to try to take advantage of as much as they possibly can.
WALLACE: We asked you for questions for the panel and on this issue of the president's deal with the Democrats a lot of you were as surprised as we were. @BeerPOTUS tweeted, will this lead to bipartisan legislation in the future, or did the Dems just pull one over on Trump with this deal?
But Rick Connor sent this on Facebook. Since the Republicans have dragged their feet on every bit of the president's agenda, who can blame him for trying to find someone in D.C. that will help him.
Gillian, how do you answer them?
GILLIAN TURNER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL: I would say I agree with Mo and Brit that the president has given up some leverage here in the short-term. But to me, that's a tactical problem and I think this deal really is a strategic victory for the president, in the sense that --
HUME: What, for three months. For a three month strategic victory?
TURNER: Because I think at this -- at this moment, the terms of this particular deal are less important than the fact that the president is showing that he can make a deal. This has been the -- the sad story of the first six, seven, eight months of administration has been somebody who ran on the platform of being a dealmaker, has been unable to cut deals when it really matters for the American people so far on health care, gearing up for a big battle on the national economy.
I think for the American people, forget the political class in Washington. They don't care so much as we do as the -- you know, the question you discussed a few moments ago with the congressman, is the president a true conservative? For them the question is, is the president a true dealmaker? Is he really going to be able to prove his mettle on these issues where -- where we need him to come forward? We -- they want him to be bipartisan. I think that is more important here than the particulars that went into this.
WALLACE: But -- but the question to me, Juan, is, what is the deal about? And -- and if you're talking about deal -- working with Chuck and Nancy, their positions on issues that people care about a lot more than whether or not the president got a deal on border security, on ObamaCare, on tax cuts, they're diametrically opposed, I think.
JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: I agree with you. I mean so if we were to pick out one point where you would say there is some common ground, it would be infrastructure spending. But again, Republicans are going to stay say, wait a minute, what about the cost? And how are you going to compensate if you're going to put a big lump of money into infrastructure. But on, as you pointed out, tax reform, he wants cuts for upper brackets and the corporations. They want tax reform that would benefit middle class voters. You think about the wall. Clearly they don't support the wall. And ObamaCare looms large. He wants to repeal it. They want to improve it.
But I would say this. I -- I am taken by the idea that this president -- we've heard so much talk for my fellow panelists this morning about the notion that he's a dealmaker. But I just got to wonder, you know, we're going into an election year, 2018. I don't see that he's going to get any better deal from the Democrats in an election year and certainly not at Christmas time when everybody's dying to get out of town. It seems to me, if you look forward, and I guess I'm speaking to you, Gillian, but he just gave up all leverage that the deal is coming on the budget will not have anything for the Republicans or for conservative.
TURNER: But I --
HUME: You can always make a deal if you're willing to capitulate to the other side's demands, which is essentially what the president did. So I don't think it says very much that -- or is -- or (INAUDIBLE) to his favor that he made this deal, because it's such a bad deal.
WALLACE: All right, I guess we've all weighed in on that. A strong letter to follow.
Panel, we're going to take a break here.
When we come back, a lot of focus this week on Irma and the president's deal with the Democrats, but there is other news. Hillary Clinton talks and so does Steve Bannon.
And North Korea surprises the world by not launching a missile. We'll get to all that.
Plus, we'll go back live to the storm zone for the latest on the hurricane.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I think my composure, which I have developed over years being in the public eye, has well-equipped me for being a leader. But I think in this time we're in, particularly in this campaign, you know, maybe I missed a few chances.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton pushing her new book, "What Happened," expressing regret she didn't tell Donald Trump to back off when he crowded her in their second debate.
And we're back now with the panel.
Well, Mo, in the book Hillary Clinton blames almost everything on almost everybody, from the Russians, to James Comey, Bernie Sanders to Matt Lauer. Occasionally, rarely, she takes personal responsibility. How happy are Democrats that Mrs. Clinton's going to be spending the next two months rehashing her defeat?
ELLEITHEE: So first let me say, I think, you know, in an election that was decided by, what, 70,000 votes over just a couple of states, it's all right. Everything had an impact. Whether it was Russia. Whether it was the Comey. And, yes, her own strategic mistakes, which, from the excerpts I've seen of this book, she is speaking about more candidly than she has up till this point. And so you're seeing, I think, her take more responsibility for the loss, but also pointing to some of the other -- some of the other factors.
And I think that's what people have been criticizing her for not doing up till now. (INAUDIBLE) before --
WALLACE: Do you think that will help the Democrats to revisit the Clinton defeat?
ELLEITHEE: You know, I think there's going to a huge Russia publicity around this now. I think, moving forward, Democrats need to be looking forward. So I don't think there's a problem with reflecting on what happened if we're truly learning from those mistakes. And I think the parts that she's taking responsibility for, about the fact that, you know, some of the excerpts I read where she talked about how she missed the -- the mood of the country right now, that is something Democrats do need to understand before we head into 2018 so that they don't make those same mistakes again.
WALLACE: Juan, why do you think she's doing it? Do you think it -- she's trying to make a buck and there's nothing wrong with that? That she's trying to rehabilitate her legacy? And, will it work?
WILLIAMS: Well, you know how these reporters are, they're -- they're like wolves, Chris. And (INAUDIBLE).
Yes, it was money. Yes, I think money -- apparently pre-sales for the book are off the chart. So, you know, but -- and also I think attention. I think she and her husband love the limelight and it certainly is (INAUDIBLE) and we're having this conversation here.
WALLACE: Do you think it's helpful for the Democrats?
WILLIAMS: Well, I think if Camilla Harris (ph) and Corey Booker and Elizabeth Warren and Patty Murray, you know -- you know, Amy Klobuchar, if they can't get out there and establish themselves in this environment, they're not going to do it. I don't see the Clintons seeding power or prominence in the party as a convenience to them.
I think from the political standpoint, I pick up on something Mo was talking about, which is I think Hillary Clinton believes in buyer's remorse and thinks that a lot of voters, especially in those swing states, we're talking Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, have gone back. So you get a lot of people who were -- were so-called Reagan Democrats, swing voters who now say, you know, boy, Donald Trump hasn't delivered for me and they're hope -- I think that gives Clinton hope that she may have a future here, which is --
WALLACE: A future?
WILLIAMS: Yes, that's what --
WALLACE: You think she'll run again?
WILLIAMS: I don't know, I'm just thinking to myself. Today -- last night I was having a conversation like that with somebody who says, this may be the introduction to the Hillary Clinton 0.2.
WALLACE: Oh, boy.
Let's switch subjects.
Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon is also talking this week in the self-proclaimed enemy of the establishment, the swamp, the mainstream media, is coming up this weekend on "60 Minutes" of all places to say that he is going to lead the charge against the establishment. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE BANNON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST: They do not support the president's program. It's an open secret on Capitol Hill. Everybody in the city knows it. Obviously --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And so therefore, now that you're out of the White House, you're going to war with it (ph)?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Brit, how much of a player do you think Steve Bannon's going to be in national politics? How much clout do you think he'll have?
HUME: I think much less of a player than a lot of media accounts and current speculation suggests. Breitbart News, which is a popular website, is not the same as being in the White House. His microphone is tiny by comparison to what he might once have had, although he, you know, didn't do a lot of public talking in the White House. I think he mostly did leaking. But I just don't think he's as big a factor as one thinks. He'll get -- you know, the "60 Minutes" interview will generate some discussion as indeed it already has. But I don't think from the platform at Breitbart News he's going to be able to wage much of a war against the so-called swamp.
WALLACE: Do you agree with that, Gillian?
TURNER: Yes, I do. I agree with that. I think -- you know, I also think that everybody wants to be the master of their own universe and the center of their own story and this is a way for him to really create a narrative that puts him at the center of all these things, that creates a narrative for him where he was the one, you know, cherry picking cabinet members for the administration. So it's a little bit of a self-serving journey that he's on right now.
WALLACE: It is interesting too that this guy, who talked about the mainstream media, comes out on "60 Minutes" and --
HUME: Exactly right.
WALLACE: And does an interview with The New York Times.
CAW: What do you make of that?
HUME: Well, I mean, he's going where the numbers are. He's going where the viewers and the readers are. The New York Times, for whatever we may think of it in terms of its fairness, is still a very big voice in this town and in this country. And the same is true of "60 Minutes," which is, you know, a massively successful and hugely watched, so that's where he went. You noticed he didn't -- you know, we don't know what he's been saying lately on Breitbart News because, well, it's not The New York Times and it's not "60 Minutes."
ELLEITHEE: I still think he's speaking to an audience of one more than any though. He knows that this president is moved by media coverage and what he reads in the media more than anything else. And I don't know if the president watches "60 Minutes," but he does get those Breitbart News clips in the morning. And if he sees -- maybe he believes that if he can stir up enough there, that the president may -- may react.
WALLACE: I want to get to one more subject, and that is North Korea.
Gillian, there were a lot of predictions that this weekend that the North Koreans were going to launch a missile. It's the 69th anniversary of the founding of that country. And that's the kind of thing that Kim likes to do to celebrate an anniversary. He didn't. But the Trump administration kept up it's tough talk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: Nuclear powers understand their responsibilities. Kim Jong-un shows no such understanding. His abusive use of missiles and his nuclear threats show that he is begging for war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Gillian, does this administration have a clear policy on North Korea?
TURNER: I think we've got a clear ultimate goal. "We" meaning the United States has a clear, ultimate goal, which is not to be captain obvious here but to avoid a nuclear showdown that produces nuclear holocaust. I think the strategy is fairly clear. The strategy is to emphasize diplomacy and keep that front and center, but also to maintain a credible threat of military force. And in that sense the Trump administration strategy is not different from the Obama administration, from the Bush administration, even going back to the Clinton administration. We've been fairly consistent.
WALLACE: So you don't take this tough talk that seriously?
TURNER: I take it seriously, but I think that it's a rhetorical difference. I don't think it's a substantive policy difference between President Trump and his predecessors.
WALLACE: Thank you, panel. See you next Sunday.
We'll be right back with a live report from Miami on the latest with Hurricane Irma.
WALLACE: A look at the wind picking up in Tampa as Hurricane Irma comes ashore this morning.
Let's check in with Phil Keating live in Miami on Florida's East Coast with the latest there.
PHIL KEATING, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good very miserable morning to you, Chris. It's been like this for 12 hours now in south Florida, Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties. Pounding rains, howling winds, and it's going to go on for at least another 12 hours.
We just had a report of a 100-mile-an-hour wind gust at Miami International Airport. Seventy-mile-an-hour gusts have been reported up in Fort Lauderdale as well. These are spawning tornadoes. At least two confirmed so far since last night.
As far as power outages, very widespread already. More than a million Floridians now without power. And Florida Power and Light, a major utility, estimates by the end of it all, 3 million of its accounts will be without power. That probably means about 5 million people there, Duke Energy also says a million of its accounts will be off-line before this storm goes away. And the utility crews aren't coming out to fix anything until after everything has gone and moved through.
Tornadoes have been reported. The one was reported at Homestead International Raceway. And if you take a look at this one piece of video from the last hurricane hunter flight into Hurricane Irma, from up above the system, it looks like a monster because it is a monster. Look at that eye wall. And the worst thing is, for all of the people that now live due north of the center of the storm as the eye wall has blasted through Key West, (INAUDIBLE) early this morning around 8:00 a.m., it's now moving up towards Everglades National Park, Marco Island, Fort Myers, Sarasota and then the Tampa Bay region. Things could be potentially devastating with a storm surge of up to 15 feet.
Chris, back to you.
WALLACE: Phil Keating reporting from Miami. Phil, thank you. And we say to the whole Fox News crew and everybody in Florida, please stay safe.
Here's one more look at Irma as it moves up the west coast of Florida. Please stay tuned to Fox News Channel for all-day coverage of the hurricane. Our thoughts are with all of you in the storm's path.
And that's it for today. Have a great week. And we'll see you next "Fox News Sunday."
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