This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," September 1, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, ANCHOR: I'm Chris Wallace.
Another deadly mass shooting in Texas.
And tracking Hurricane Dorian -- millions in the storm's path as the powerful storm heads for the U.S. mainland.
GOV. RON DESANTIS, R-FLA.: Don't make any assumptions, remain vigilant and be prepared.
WALLACE: States of emergency declared in Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas, as residents get ready and get out of the way.
President Trump canceling a trip overseas to monitor the potentially monster storm.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: It's not looking good and it's one of the biggest hurricanes we've seen in a long time.
WALLACE: We'll have live reports on the ground and get an update on the federal response from FEMA Acting Administrator Pete Gaynor.
And we'll discuss the threat to those in the storm's path with Florida Senator Rick Scott.
RICHARD TRUMKA, AFL-CIO PRESIDENT: America's workers aren't interested in little slivers of change.
WALLACE: On this Labor Day weekend, the impact of the president's trade war with China. We'll sit down with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. It's a "FOX News Sunday" exclusive.
TRUMP: I thought the I.G. report was incredible. But I have total confidence in Bill Barr to do the right thing.
WALLACE: We'll ask our Sunday panel about the fallout from the I.G. report, sharply criticizing former FBI Director James Comey.
All, right now, on "FOX News Sunday".
WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.
We are following two breaking stories today. We'll have the latest on Hurricane Dorian, which is making its way towards the southeast U.S. and is now strengthened into a fierce category five storm.
But first, at least five are dead and more than 20 injured in another mass shooting in Texas. A gunman opened fire seemingly at random after a traffic stop.
Mike Tobin has the latest from Odessa, Texas,.
MICHAEL GERKE, ODESA, TX POLICE CHIEF: When the DPS trooper got the car stopped, he was then shot by the occupant of the car.
MIKE TOBIN, CORRESPONDENT: Failure to use the turn signal prompted a traffic stop in Midland by state troopers with the Texas Department of Public Safety.
That apparently set off the rampage. The gunman drove in the direction of Odessa, firing and striking a Midland police officer, then an Odessa cop. He shot another individual on I-20 and continued to East Odessa where he fired randomly.
Not knowing where he would strike next, people were evacuated from malls and restaurants. At some point, the gunman left his vehicle and stole a U.S. postal truck. This led police for a while to think there were two shooters.
He drove to the Cinergy Movie Theater, where police shot and killed him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're shooting right there. He hit the barrier. The cop just hit the barrier. Get down, get down, get down!
TOBIN: Among the 24 shot, a 17-month-old shot while strapped into a car seat. She was airlifted to Lubbock. Politicians wasted no time weighing in with exasperation and outrage, all agreeing that something needs to be done, no agreement on a plan.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT: The president and I and our administration remain absolutely determined to work with leaders of both parties at the Congress to take next steps before we can address and confront this scourge of mass atrocity.
TOBIN: Odessa police this morning that of the have confirmed this morning that of the five dead, that includes four victims, one gunman shot and killed by police. He is described only as a white male in his 30s. The last report from hospitals, of the injured, ten are in critical condition.
Chris, back to you.
WALLACE: Mike Tobin, reporting from Odessa -- Mike, thanks.
Now to Hurricane Dorian. Millions of people from Florida to the Carolinas potentially in the storm's crosshairs, now bearing down on the Bahamas, Dorian is gaining strength. But where it will hit the mainland and when is still not clear.
In a moment, we'll discuss the threat and response of Acting FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor and Florida Senator Rick Scott.
But we began with senior meteorologist Janice Dean live in the FOX Extreme Weather Center with the latest on Dorian's track -- Janice.
JANICE DEAN, SENIOR METEOROLOGIST: Chris, the Northwestern Bahamas has not seen a category five in their history. Andrew came close back in 1992, but this storm, packing 160 mile-per-hour winds, is forecast to slow down not just for a matter of hours, but for days. So, prayers out towards the Northwestern Bahamas.
The coast is not clear when it comes to Florida and Georgia and the Carolinas. The latest track has this storm weakening a little bit, but not by very much.
And I don't want you to focus on the center of the cone. I want you to focus on all of it. Because the potential is there, as the computer models are switching more westward. You are not out of the woods parts of southern, central, and north Florida and then up towards Georgia and the coast of the Carolinas.
The track has been very uncertain for days, and that's what the take-home message is, not only for Florida, but for Georgia and the Carolinas. We are talking about a hurricane into Friday, so this is not just going to be a 12-24-hour thing, this is going to be a week-long event, possibly affecting the northeast as we get into the weekend.
Here are the tropical models, the latest, and I will tell you, they have shifted westward, Chris, so that is not good news. I need everyone to pay close attention to your local forecasts and your local officials. We are not out of the woods across the southeast coast the U.S.
Back to you.
WALLACE: Janice, reporting from the FOX Weather Center, Janice, thank you.
Joining us now live from FEMA headquarters in Washington, Pete Gaynor, the acting head of that agency.
Mr. Gaynor, I just want to pick up on what Janice Dean said. What are the special challenges of dealing with this storm given the fact that its strength, its speed, and where or when it's going to hit the mainland keeps changing?
PETE GAYNOR, ACTING FEMA ADMINISTRATOR: Yes, I think Janice hit -- the keyword is uncertainty. And we've been dealing with uncertainty pretty much the entire time with Dorian. It's going to stall out tomorrow and into Tuesday, cat 5, 160-mile-an-hour winds, surge.
And I know people are getting tired because this has been a long duration storm and it hasn't even touched, you know, Florida or the East Coast.
So, we want people to -- you know, don't dismiss this storm. We are not out of it. Life-threatening dangerous surge, water, wind, is coming your way. Take the time now to prepare you and your family.
WALLACE: Yes, I want to talk about that because we keep looking at that diagram where it clears the Bahamas, heads towards Florida and then takes a sharp right turn. And, of course, all of this still subject to change.
Even if it doesn't hit the mainland of Florida, the East Coast, but just stays off the shore there, what potential damage to Florida, especially in terms of storm surge?
GAYNOR: Well, storm surge is one of the things that we worry about most. You know, the majority of -- 90 percent of all weather-related deaths come from water, flooding surge. Fifty percent of those deaths are people in cars driving through flooded waters.
So, you've got to take this storm seriously. I know watches and warnings will be going up here shortly for a lot of the coast of Florida.
And then into Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Georgia and the Carolinas, it's coming your way. Take time to prepare now.
WALLACE: Given that this keeps changing and could affect several states, how prepared is FEMA not just in Florida, which at first looked like it was going to be ground zero, but now, how prepared are you in Georgia and the Carolinas?
GAYNOR: Well, we are well-prepared. We've been at this for five or six days preparing. We've been activated in the National Response Coordination Center, which you can see behind me. We have food, water, generators, staff, helicopters, ambulances, from Florida all the way to North Carolina.
WALLACE: DHS decided a month ago to transfer some money, $155 million from FEMA disaster relief to build more immigration hearing sites on the southern border. Now, it now turns out in 2014, President Obama did roughly the same thing, transfer $270 million from disaster relief to deal with another migrant crisis.
But Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried put out a statement this week. Quote: The president must be out of his mind if he thinks it's a good idea to shift funds out of FEMA for immigrant detention at the border while a potential, then, category 3 hurricane bears down on the United States.
Mr. Gaynor, your response to that?
GAYNOR: We have plenty of money and resources to deal with 2017 and '18 disaster recoveries, and to include response in 2019, this season. You know, we live with risk every day, we assess risk. We assess that that $155 million is low risk and it's not affecting our preparedness whatsoever for Dorian.
WALLACE: And how much is the president directly involved in this? I know he's going to be spending time at FEMA headquarters with you later today. But how much is he monitoring this storm?
GAYNOR: Daily, hourly. If I'm not talking to his staff, we're talking to him. We did a VTC to Camp David yesterday. We're in his office, the Oval Office, a couple days ago. The vice president is involved. The entire staff is involved. He has -- he has his finger on the pulse.
WALLACE: One last quick question. You have a long history of handling these disasters, emergency management in Rhode Island. But this is going to be your first storm as an acting director of FEMA on the national level.
Just a natural human question -- any nerves?
GAYNOR: Well, I think -- you know, if you weren't nervous, I think you'd probably -- you're not -- you don't have your head right -- screwed on right.
So, it's just not about me. It's about the 20,000 employees that work for me directly and the entire federal family, which is represented behind me. So, everything from federal NGOs, our private partners (ph), state, local and individuals, this is a team effort.
Success when it comes to response recovery is a team effort. I have the full confidence in the team.
WALLACE: Pete Gaynor, thank you. Thanks for taking time to talk with us.
GAYNOR: You're welcome.
WALLACE: Joining me now, Florida Senator, and former governor, Rick Scott, who's been at Camp David with the president this weekend monitoring the situation in his home state.
Senator, as you assess all the data, the strength, the very slow speed of this storm and the constantly changing track, what worries you most about Dorian?
SEN. RICK SCOTT, R-FLA.: Well, what worries me is that everybody's going to look at that little track right in the middle instead of this sort of cone of uncertainty. I mean this thing -- it can still move right into Florida. The National Hurricane Center told me this morning that it has wobbled a little bit further to the west, so it's been -- come closer. So everybody's got to follow this.
The president, I know, is focused on it. FEMA has done a good job. You can download their app to get information. But I'm -- that's my biggest concern is people are going to think, oh, I'm -- they're -- we're off the hook. We are not off the hook.
WALLACE: When it makes that right turn, it still could --
SCOTT: Yes. Plus -- plus we've got -- we're going to get storm surge. We're going to get a lot of rain. The closer it gets to Florida or into Florida, we can get more rain. That can cause flooding. So take it seriously. Over prepare, don't under prepare.
WALLACE: What's the challenge of evacuation orders when you don't know where this storm is going and where it's going to hit?
SCOTT: This is like Matthew a couple of years ago. You -- we had to start evacuating, even though it stayed off the coast. We got to -- we had to over prepare because if it turns, it's too late, you can't get out. And so that's why I tell everybody to, you know, have your water, seven days, your food, your medicines. But also, if you think there's any chance you're going to have to evacuate, do it now and get ahead of the game.
WALLACE: As governor of Florida, you -- you're a veteran at this, you presided over a number of hurricanes, including just last year, Hurricane Michael, which hit as a category five in the panhandle, catastrophic -- what's your advice to your successor, Governor DeSantis, who -- this is his first hurricane as governor?
SCOTT: I've been talking to him. He's got a great team. We have great -- at the state and at the local level emergency management teams. You know, as governor, you need to listen. You need to stay ahead of it. As issues come up, every storm's a little bit different, the issues are different. Just react.
So I'm -- I'm continuing to talk to him and talking to his emergency management team. FEMA, I know, is down there full time. Gracia Szczech, who runs FEMA for the Southeast, is down there full time. So he's got a good team around him. I'm sure, you know, they're all focused.
WALLACE: One of the reasons, it seems, that -- that Dorian keeps growing is because it's traveling over so much warm water as it heads across the Caribbean, getting closer now to the Florida mainland.
You have expressed mixed feelings over the years about climate change and about the role that human activity plays, but it -- it sure seems like these hurricanes are getting bigger, stronger, more intense.
Do you see a connection?
SCOTT: Well, first off, we know the climate's changing, and then we know our storms seem to be getting bigger. I mean just in the -- in -- with the last four years as governor, I had four of them. Now we have them -- my first year out as governor. So we don't know what the cause is, but we've got to react to it. So, as governor, I mean, we put money into dealing with things like sea -- you know, sea level rise, more mitigation and -- and things like that. So we've got to continue to figure this out.
WALLACE: As a senator, is it a relief not to be in charge, not to be at ground zero, in charge of overseeing how the state responds to this hurricane, or is there a part of you, after eight years of doing it, that would kind of like to be in the command center running things right now?
SCOTT: Well, it doesn't change, Chris. Your heart goes out to everybody and you're worried about them. I mean I always tell everybody, you can rebuild your house but you can't rebuild your family.
I love my family and -- and -- and so, you know, and I'm -- I'm concerned about people and I'm concerned, are they taking this seriously enough. And that's not -- it doesn't change whether you're the governor or the -- or the senator. So in my job -- my role now is to make sure the federal government does their response. That's why I went to FEMA yesterday. I'll be going there with the president today. I went to Red Cross yesterday and their -- they -- they both know that they're in good -- in good shape to -- to do whatever comes around (ph).
WALLACE: And, briefly, you were at Camp David yesterday. How involved is the president? How often is he getting updates?
SCOTT: I was -- I was -- we got updates while I was there. We got updates -- I know we played golf yesterday and got updates while I was playing golf. Then we had a longer update at 4:00 and we talked about it after that. So he was constantly getting updates. FEMA's -- I mean he's -- he's been -- he's been speaking to Pete Gaynor, the administrator of FEMA. So - - I mean he's a -- he's a -- I -- and I've been talking to him every day about it. So he's very engaged.
WALLACE: Senator Scott, thank you. Thanks for coming in today. And our thoughts, of course, go out to all of the people, Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, all of the people in the storm zone. Thank you so much, sir.
SCOTT: Thanks, Chris.
WALLACE: Up next, the White House calls former FBI Director James Comey a proven liar and leaker after a DOJ watchdog finds he mishandled his memos about the president. We'll bring in our Sunday group to discuss the fallout from the inspector general's report.
Plus, what would you like to ask the panel about Comey not facing criminal charges for violating FBI rules? Just go to Facebook or Twitter @FoxNewsSunday and we may use your question on the air.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: I understood this to be my recollection recorded of my conversation with the president. As a private citizen, I felt free to share that. I thought it very important to get it out.
TRUMP: I thought the charges were unbelievably powerful. I thought the I.G. report was incredible, but certainly those were very serious charges.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Former FBI Director James Comey testifying before Congress in 2017 on how he handled memos he wrote about meetings with President Trump and the president reacting Friday to the inspector general's tough findings on Comey.
And it's time now for our Sunday group, FOX News senior political analyst Brit Hume, Charles Lane from "The Washington Post," former Democratic Party chair Donna Brazile, and Kristen Soltis Anderson of the "Washington Examiner."
Well, in a blistering report, the I.G. said that Comey set a, quote, dangerous example for the entire FBI and then he added this, that his, Comey's, own personal conception of what was necessary was not an appropriate basis for ignoring the policies and agreements governing the use of FBI records, but the I.G. report also states: we found no evidence that Comey or his attorneys released any of the classified information contained in any of the memos to members of the media.
So, Brit, to quote a favorite sports show that I like to watch, big deal, little deal, or no deal?
BRIT HUME, SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Pretty big deal. First of all, the argument that you heard advanced there by Mr. Comey in his testimony in 2017 was utterly dismissed by the inspector general as being invalid and left no doubt (ph) --
WALLACE: The idea that this was his --
HUME: His material. That was not -- it wasn't a plausible argument at the time and it was blown up really by this report.
In addition, it's worth remembering that the reason why he leaked this information through a friend to "The New York Times", that was the subject of much of this, was to trigger the investigation that actually came to pass by the independent counsel -- by the special counsel Robert Mueller. So, there've been other questions raised about the progeny of that investigation, whether it was legitimately based or not, whether there was improper conduct within course of it.
This only adds to the suspicion that this whole investigation, which ended up not finding the collusion that was a big piece of why the investigation was begun, was misbegotten from the start, so I think it's an important piece in this growing clear puzzle.
WALLACE: Donna, your reaction to the I.G. report and especially the fact that basically with the I.G. found, as he did in the Hillary Clinton case, is that James Comey decided that his moral order, his sense of what was right and appropriate, allowed him to just ignore FBI regulations.
DONNA BRAZILE, FORMER DNC CHAIR: Well, when I read the report, what I saw was an individual, an employee of the federal government, deciding to act on his own to release these reports. I mean, to his lawyers, his attorneys as well as to a friend who leaked it to the media.
It appears that he got a taste of his own medicine that he issued when he made that big, you know, speech about Hillary Clinton using classified information carelessly and so forth. Look, I think at the end of the day he did violate the procedures of his employment. It should not be prosecuted, I agree with Mr. Barr on that.
But at the same time, Mr. Comey was acting on his own and trying to get this information out, which plausibly was a violation.
WALLACE: We ask you for questions for the panel and we got this on Twitter from Robin Herman who writes and a lot of you wrote in. Why aren't they prosecuting James Comey? Can he be sued for his part in destroying the reputation and life of General Flynn -- Michael Flynn, former national security advisor, and others?
Chuck, how do you answer Robin?
CHARLES LANE, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, I don't think there's any lawsuit there because -- by Flynn, because the prosecution of Flynn was going on over here without this activity that's talked about in the I.G. report. And they're not prosecuting him because whatever he did with the classified information never reached the level of -- first of all, it's a very tiny amount. I think they were discussing, about six words involving a very low level of classification. So, this president's Justice Department is exercising its discretion not to prosecute that.
I think what this shows though is looking ahead to future investigations that are still coming down the road by this I.G., you know, I.G.s tend to issue critical reports. They find things, because that's what they are in business to do.
WALLACE: Sort of like special counsels do.
LANE: Exactly. And so, it gives me the idea that this I.G. is -- and he was very tough on McCabe and Comey in previous reports, he might be tough on them in the one that he has forthcoming, you know, about the whole FISA report.
WALLACE: Well, yes, I want to pick up on that, because there is a lot more to come out. The same inspector general, Michael Horowitz, has a report. We thought it was going to come at last spring. It now looks like it's going to come out this month, although who knows, on the origins of the FISA order, warrant, that allowed surveillance of Carter Page, a former campaign official, foreign policy advisor to the president.
And then you got, maybe even more seriously, John Durham, a U.S. attorney up in Connecticut who Bill Barr, the attorney general, has specially ordered, authorized, to look into the whole question of the origins of the Trump report.
Is it possible, and obviously, we don't know what they're going to find out, Kristen, that in the end, that the whole Russia investigation and all of the issues surrounding it could flip politically and this could end up being a strength, positive for President Trump and a big liability for Democrats?
KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, ECHELON INSIGHTS: Well, throughout this entire process, there have been a variety of flips, at least in the polls come on things like who believes that James Comey is the good guy or the bad guy, who believes Bob Mueller is the good guy or the bad guy. This is an issue where depending on who is sort of perceived as being up or down, who's being supportive of the president, or whether something is good or bad for the president, the polls tend to move all over the place.
So I do think in the end, I mean, President Trump has long asserted that he has been under siege from forces on the outside. He does this on the economy, saying the Fed is coming for me, politically saying the investigations have come for me. And when more evidence comes out suggesting that even pieces of his claims of being under siege may be justified, I do think that that has a potential to help them a little politically, though ultimately I think voters are making decisions based on other matters. Not this one.
WALLACE: But, you know, you got this interesting situation where more than half of the House Democratic Caucus is calling for at least an impeachment inquiry if not full impeachment. If you get damaging reports that raise real questions about the whole origins of the Russia investigation, that does kind of embarrassed Democrats.
SOLTIS ANDERSON: Well, even in the absence of that, I think there's a reason why Nancy Pelosi continues to say to everybody to hold back on the impeachment thing, because every time a Democrat comes out and says they are supportive of impeachment, Republicans are the ones celebrating. Politically, it's a dangerous road for Democrats to go down and reports like this just pose even further danger to them politically.
WALLACE: Brit, we just a little bit of time left and I want to pick up on this question of the decision by Bill Barr, the attorney general, not to prosecute James Comey. Now, the president on Friday said, well, that just shows how fair Bill Barr is.
This morning, he doesn't seem quite so in support of all of that. In fact, he's even retweeting comments from some people on FOX News, some commentators, maybe to Chief Justice Roberts should look into that. I've got to say, I don't quite know what his role would be. And also retweeting a comment that James Comey and Andrew McCabe are, quote, dirty cops.
HUME: Well, that's, you know, the kind of thing he says. My sense about this is that Barr made the decision not to prosecute on this basis because the size of the violation and the amount of material involved, as Chuck pointed out, was very small. And I -- and moreover, the report from the I.G. did not allege that he had leaked classified information to the media and only that he'd given it to his lawyers.
Well, I mean, I think that is a violation, but it's kind of a technical violation, so -- I mean, think Barr made a wide decision here and it does add to the impression that Barr is playing straight on this stuff. He wasn't going to prosecute Trump on obstruction of justice. He didn't prosecute Comey for leaking and for disobeying FBI rules, which is not a criminal violation anyway.
WALLACE: All right, panel, we have to take a break here. We'll see you all a little later.
Up next, the president imposes tariffs on another $112 billion of Chinese goods starting today. On this Labor Day weekend, we'll discuss the fallout with the head of the country's largest group of unions, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. That's next.
WALLACE: Coming up, the president faces opposition to his proposed Canada- Mexico trade deal from the head of the biggest U.S. labor federation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD TRUMKA, AFL-CIO PRESIDENT: We haven't seen a bill or a trade agreement yet that is actually good for workers and can be enforced by workers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: We'll ask Richard Trumka how the president's trade policy will play in 2020, next.
WALLACE: Despite pushback from a number of American companies, tariffs on more Chinese imports, including clothes and shoes, take effect today as the trade war between the world's two biggest economies escalates.
Joining us this Labor Day weekend to discuss the potential fallout for American workers is the president of the AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka.
Mr. Trumka, welcome back to “Fox News Sunday” and happy Labor Day.
RICHARD TRUMKA, PRESIDENT, AFL-CIO: Chris, thanks for having me on and happy Labor Day to you.
WALLACE: All right, let's start with the new trade deal with -- between the U.S. and Mexico and Canada that the president hopes to get through Congress this fall.
Here he is on Friday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: The USMCA has become very popular. That's our deal with Mexico and with Canada. Unions are liking it. Farmers are loving it. Manufacturers are really liking it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Unions are liking it, the president says.
As it stands today, do you support the USMCA?
TRUMKA: As it stands today, it's unenforceable and therefore we couldn't support it. We want to get to yes. We've been working with the -- trade rep Lighthizer to try to get there and hopefully we will.
WALLACE: What's unenforceable about it?
TRUMKA: Well --
WALLACE: Supposedly that was one of the big issues they -- they were going to solve with this.
TRUMKA: It's unenforceable on three levels. First of all, Mexico has always used a model -- an -- they've kept wages artificially low by using a thing called a protectionist contract. That's where a sham union comes in, negotiates a deal with a company, keeps wages low. Nabisco Mondelez --
WALLACE: All right, you're -- you're getting into the weeds here a little bit, but --
WALLACE: So basically --
TRUMKA: So -- so if -- if Mexico can't enforce their own agreement, their own laws, then this agreement will never work because their wages will be artificially low and they will suck jobs and capital out of the United States.
WALLACE: But let's look at some of the features of the deal, and I want to put them up.
According to the --
TRUMKA: There are -- there are two other levels, by the way.
WALLACE: OK, but I -- but I -- we -- we've only got limited time here, sir.
Let's look at some features of the deal.
According to the International Trade Commission, this deal, USMCA, will create 176,000 new jobs in the U.S. And the Trump administration says labor provisions, quote, have been incorporated into the core text of the agreement.
You are meeting this coming week with Mexican President Lopez Obrador. If you don't get what you want from them on these various issues, are you really going to block this deal?
TRUMKA: We won't have any choice because it's unenforceable. And an unenforceable trade agreement is a windfall for corporations and a disaster for workers. This isn't enforceable. If they can't enforce their laws, it doesn't work.
This agreement allows either party to stop the appointment of an arbitrator. So you and I have a dispute --
TRUMKA: We can't come to an agreement. We need an arbitrator. Either party can stop that from happening under this agreement. And the third thing is, dispute resolution has taken eight to ten years. This is not going to speed it up. And in the meantime, the product that's produced in violation of the agreement continues to come into the country. We think it ought to be stopped at the border. So those are the three levels of enforcement.
WALLACE: I was going to say, congratulations, you got your three points in.
Let's turn to China.
You say that the president is right to take on China, but he's not going about it the right way. Briefly, what's your complaint, and hasn't this president done a lot more to take on China than his immediate predecessors?
TRUMKA: He has. And I think it's -- it's a good thing taking on China. Unfortunately, he's done it the wrong way. To take on China there has to be a multilateral approach. One country can't take on China to try to dry up its overcapacity because they just send it through to you in other ways.
So if you're going to take on China, it has to be multilateral, it has to address human rights and labor rights violations. It has to address currency rebalancing, and it has to have a long-term slant towards good jobs in this country. That's not been the approach, unfortunately. We hope it becomes the approach, but not so yet.
WALLACE: President Trump says that he, generally, has support from union rank and file, that his problem are union leaders. He doesn't mention you specifically, but union leaders like yourself, who he says are out of touch with their own members.
Take a look at the president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: So I'm going to speak to some of your union leaders to say, I hope you're going to support Trump, OK. And if they don't, vote them the hell out of office because they're not doing their job. It's true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: A lot of union workers, a lot of your members, did vote for Trump in 2016. Where are you on the president these days?
TRUMKA: Well, look, he -- he got 4 percent more of our members then Mitt Romney did. He came to our members and said, I'm going to change the rules of the economy, and they believed him. And, quite frankly, I wish he would have changed the rules of the economy.
Unfortunately, the rules he's changing has hurt them. He's opposed every increase in the minimum wage. He's changed the regulation to take overtime away from a couple of million people. He's proposed a trillion dollar cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. He's done all -- he's rolled back health and safety standards towards workers.
I've tried to call balls and strikes with him. When he does something that's good for workers, I say so. When he does something that's bad for workers, I say so. And I have to say, unfortunately, while he may not even know what his administration is doing, they've done more things to hurt workers than they have to help them. And that's unfortunate.
WALLACE: But let's -- but let's look at some other parts of the Trump record that I think even you are going to agree are -- I don't know which is a ball and which is a strike, I -- but that you would say are good. And 57 million jobs created on his watch. Unemployment rate up 3.7 percent. Workers' wages up 3.2 percent over the last year.
You talk about the things that you don't like. Haven't all of those parts of the Trump policy benefited a lot of your members?
TRUMKA: Actually, real wages were down last quarter and they were down last year. They're being driven by rising health care costs and rising housing costs.
WALLACE: Well, according to our stats, they're up three -- over 3 percent over the last year.
TRUMKA: Not real wages. Real wages are down because of housing costs and health care. And his response to that was to propose a trillion dollar cut to Medicare and Medicaid, to oppose increases into the minimum wage.
Look, our members are still waiting for the supposed greatness of this economy to reach their kitchen tables. When they do, I'll cheer, they'll cheer and they'll all support the person who helped get it there.
WALLACE: OK, let's talk about the Democratic race for president and some of the ideas that Democratic candidates are proposing.
You are not on board with Medicare for All. You have expressed real reservations about it. And the plan that you have supported recently is much narrower. You're just saying Medicare for people going down from 65 to 55. How come?
TRUMKA: We think, ultimately, you're going to have to get to a single-payer plan. But there has to be a role for the hard-fought, high-quality plans that we've negotiated.
Look, it's just unfair to say to somebody, you've sacrificed over the last 40 years, you've given up wages, you've negotiated a good health care plan and now we're going to ask you to take 50 percent of the health care plan that you negotiated. If there isn't some way for us to have our plans integrated into the system, then we would have a tough time supporting it.
WALLACE: You have also expressed concerns about the Green New Deal, saying that as it's currently written -- I mean you support climate change, but the Green New Deal and all the ways in which it would dislocate the economy you say is currently written, it would be bad for you members. I guess the general question I have is this, do you have some concerns that some of the Democratic candidates, some would say most of the Democratic candidates that are still in the race, are taking the party too far to the left, too - - changes that are too dramatic and you'd like to see a more centrist, moderate position taken by the Democratic Party going into 2020?
TRUMKA: Now, look, the -- look, this economy has not worked for working people for 30 years.
Let me say this. Over the last 30 years, the wealth of the top 1 percent has increased $21 trillion. And during that same period of time, it's decreased from the bottom 50 percent by $900 million. Workers are being left behind. There needs to be massive changes to this economy. We need to talk to Wall Street and support Wall Street not -- not -- I mean main street, not Wall Street. When we do that, we'll get behind that candidate.
Are we going to have disagreements with people? Of course we are. But we will see who is going to create an economy that works for working people Who is going to strengthen our right to bargain collectively so we can get a fair share of what we produce with our employers, and who's going to take the Wall Street-dominated point of view that we have right now and change it so that main street gets more consideration.
WALLACE: Mr. Trumka, thank you. Thanks for sharing this holiday weekend with us. And, again, happy Labor Day, sir.
TRUMKA: Happy Labor Day to you.
And may I just say one last thing, Chris?
I offer my thoughts and our prayers to the victims and the families of the people, the shootings in Texas, and for those in the path of Dorian. We hope that they're safe. We hope that they're spared from any kind of really (ph) harm.
WALLACE: All of us here at Fox, all of our viewers share those sentiments.
Thank you again, Mr. Trumka.
TRUMKA: Thanks for having me.
WALLACE: When we come back, while Joe Biden's continuing verbal slipups catch up with him? We'll ask our Sunday panel how solid is Biden's frontrunner status?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's the God's truth, my word as a Biden. He stood his attention. I went to pin him. He said, sir, I don't want the damn thing. Do not pin it on me, sir. Please, sir, do not do that.
I was making the point how courageous these people are. How incredible they are. I don't know what the problem is. I mean what is it that I said wrong?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden recounting a story about a brave U.S. soldier, than having to deal with the fact he got almost all of the details of that story wrong.
And we're back now with the panel.
Well, Kristen, Joe Biden has had two poor to middling debates, I think we'd all agree. He has been dealing with just a flurry of stories about gaps, misstatements, odd moments. Yet he continues to lead this field by double digits. How come?
KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, ECHELON INSIGHTS: He's leading the field by double digits at the moment because he's a well-known figure in the Democratic Party and an awful lot of Democratic voters are saying, I will tune into this race once you have narrowed the field down to five, six people, then I will pay attention. But, for the moment, Joe Biden, he was Obama's guy. I like him. I'm with him.
But being at only about 30 percent of this Democratic field may be enough to sustain him through a contentious nomination process. But if he does not wind up winning in Iowa or in New Hampshire, if someone like an Elizabeth Warren, who has a lot of energy, whose campaign has seen a pretty good last six months can overtake him, I do think that he's vulnerable if these gaffes begin to really make Democratic voters worry about his potential electability a year and a half from now.
WALLACE: Donna, how do you explain the durability of Biden's lead and the fact that -- that his supporters continue -- you know, the 30 percent, to ignore what's been a pretty choppy performance on -- on the road. Do -- can he perform the way he is currently performing and when the nomination?
DONNA BRAZILE, CONTRIBUTOR: You know most voters know Joe Biden. They know his character, they know his values, and I think that's the reason why he's still steady in the polls. But I think you're absolutely right, if Elizabeth Warren is able to take him on and our -- and Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren in New Hampshire, we have a fight on our hands.
Joe Biden, we know that he will at times misspeak, but the -- the -- but the bottom line is, there's no alternative right now. It's an electability argument that most Democrats are using to say that he's the one that can beat Trump. Until we can find other candidates who can beat Trump, Joe Biden --
WALLACE: well, according to the polls, there are three or four of them that can beat Trump.
BRAZILE: There are at least four or five, of course. But Joe Biden, steady support is because people know him. He was Obama's guy. But, most important, they see him as the champion who can defeat Donald Trump.
WALLACE: I want to turn to another big subject that week, which appears to be the growing likelihood of a deal between the U.S. at the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Here is the president on Friday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We have very good negotiations going on with the Taliban. The Taliban is saying they're going to do things. We'll see if that's so.
We haven't made a deal yet, but we will be bringing it down to about 8,600.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Brit, first of all, the president seems to be giving away all of his leverage, because as part of the deal he would go down from 14,000 to 8,600 troops. He's basically saying, we're going to do that anyway.
And in addition, "The Washington Post" had a story yesterday that said that his hardline national security advisor, John Bolton, is largely being kept out of these discussions.
What's going on here?
BRIT HUME, SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, one thing what's going on is the 8,600 troops. I mean there was a time when he was ordering all troops out of Afghanistan and many of us thought that that was going to be the end result of these -- of these conversations and would make some kind of a deal with the Taliban and all our troops would come home.
To people who are worried that the United States will forsake its role in Afghanistan and open the place up to become another terrorist haven, that - - that is reassuring news. And I think that's -- I think that fact alone is the biggest thing that's come out of this week is the acknowledgment that we're going to leave a force there of some size. Obviously shrunk from what it -- what it has been. But I think that was -- I think that was important.
WALLACE: Chuck, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Joe Dunford, didn't seem quite so comfortable with -- about that. He said now -- maybe he was talking about total withdrawal, but he said, I'm not even going to use the withdrawal word and he said any pulldown of troops will be condition based. But this president really does seem to want to get most, if not all, of U.S. troops out. I mean it is -- was a big campaign promise in 2016.
CHARLES LANE, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Footnote, the 8,600 is how many troops that were in Afghanistan when Trump came into office.
LANE: So it's really not a withdrawal.
No, of course. And General Dunford is worried about squandering all the results, hard-won results on the battlefield.
But let me talk about polls and maybe this will help explain what the president's up to. Did a little research last night and last -- and this year, Pew research found that only 36 percent of the American people say that the war in Afghanistan was worth fighting. Last year they found that 49 percent of adults say the U.S. has, quote, mostly failed, in Afghanistan.
It's not a popular war. It seems endless. And I think to the extent that the president is eager to get out, he's got public backing, or at least passive support for that idea. And I think this is one of those situations where American patience has essentially run out with this endless project. And he will be doing something politically popular, which, let's face it, controls foreign policy.
Here's the risk. This all has a little bit of a post-Vietnam feel to me where we're negotiating a deal with the other guy behind the back of the local government that we were supporting. There's a big problem --
WALLACE: I just should point that out, that all of the negotiations so far have been between the Taliban and a fellow named Zalmay Khalilzad, who is the U.S. envoy. There had been no discussions between the Taliban and the Afghan government of Ashraf Ghani.
LANE: The Afghan government is terrified of being left alone with this Taliban, which just yesterday attacked a big town in Afghanistan. So there are perhaps political upsides to him for 2020 for the U.S. and its foreign policy and for Afghanistan itself. Big risk beyond that.
WALLACE: Yes, I want to pick up -- and maybe less politics and more the merits of the deal, Kristen, because what we're talking about is that we would take almost -- not quite, but almost half of our troops out and in return all the Taliban is agreeing is that they're going to renounce al Qaeda and that they won't let them regenerate and that they will talk to the current -- to the current Afghan government. But who knows, can you trust the Taliban. What happens if they say we're going to renounce al Qaeda but not ISIS, which seems to be a growing threat. And then, of course, there's the whole question of women, because women were completely subjugated under the Taliban for years in Afghanistan. What happens if the Taliban roars back in and suddenly we go back to the middle ages?
ANDERSON: This is one of the most heartbreaking pieces of all of this. I mean, in "The New York Times" coverage of the attacks that you mentioned, Chuck, in northern Afghanistan, I believe, they talked about a colonel who's 36 years old and who his role had been to do social media communications on behalf of the Afghan government. And he has passed away. Half of his lifetime has been consumed, as has anybody who was in their mid-30s, half of your lifetime the United States has been engaged in this conflict trying to combat the Taliban and their influence in Afghanistan. The fact that we're now 18 years in and still we may be ending this or walking away with the Taliban sort of taking a position of -- they're going to -- we're letting them have a role, it just -- it is astonishing to me and heartbreaking that there are going to be women who are going to be subjugated, that this is where things will be left.
HUME: This is called losing.
HUME: You know, if we completely ultimately abandoned that situation over there, partly because it's unpopular, partly because people are frustrated with it, partly because it's been going on so long, we're not likely to appreciate the results. And the public won't either. And public opinion on this is likely to turn quite sharply if the scenario that you describe comes to pass.
WALLACE: Well, that -- that -- that's exactly right. And, you know, we've put more troops in and we continue to lose. So, at a certain point, maybe you cut your losses. It is a really difficult situation.
Thank you, panel. See you next Sunday.
Up next our "Power Player of the Week," "Iron Man" Cal Ripken on the challenge of living up to the family legacy.
WALLACE: This summer we've been replaying some of our favorite "Power Players" from the past year. And this spring I had a special experience I want to share with you again.
WALLACE (voice over): I did a fundraising event at St. John's College in Annapolis. A liberal arts school that has taught the great book since 1696. It was a conversation with Cal Ripken, baseball's "Iron Man," who broke Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games played.
Our discussion turned to one of the few things the Hall of Famer and I have in common. We both went into our dad's business. Cal Sr. was a minor league coach who eventually managed his son for the Baltimore Orioles. And Cal's son Ryan now plays for the Orioles in the minors.
CAL RIPKEN JR., BASEBALL HALL OF FAMER: I chose to go into the same business as -- as my dad. And I know that my son chose to go into the same business as me. And I think he's got it really, really bad.
What were some of the challenges that you had to deal with by having the last name Wallace?
WALLACE (on camera): Well, it is -- you know, it's hard to say that it's a problem, but it is a problem. I mean it's a nice problem in the sense that you're exposed to the business.
On the other hand, you labor and I -- maybe I had this more than you -- I think maybe in a sense I'm more like Ryan than you were --
WALLACE: Because my father was a superstar and, you know, sometimes people call you Mike instead of Chris and that kind of -- or whatever. And -- and -- and at one point -- I mean I -- I certainly dealt with it. And at one point -- and it was well into my career, I remember saying to myself, you know what, you're probably never going to be Mike Wallace, but neither is anybody else. And from that minute on, I was OK with it.
RIPKEN: My son -- and I've tried to -- I can't protect him from the last name. The expectations have been great, you know, his whole time. When he was 12 years old, I'd go to a tournament in Minnesota and I'd go over there to watch him and I'm just sitting in the stands watching him play baseball and all the other kids from the other fields come up and then they -- you can hear them, they go, OK, which one is he, you know? And then -- so he'll go out there and he'll pop up or do something else and they'll go, he's not that good, and then they'll kind of walk away. So there was this feeling that happened all the time.
And so the hard part was, I'm trying to say, be you. Don't -- don't be me. You know, don't try to be me. You're a big, tall, left-handed hitting first baseman. You have a certain set of skills. But I'm trying to get that point across to him, but it doesn't resonate. And so that's why I'm really interested, how did you just turn the screw and say, OK, I'm not, I'll just be me?
WALLACE: Thirty years of therapy.
No, no, that's not true.
You match yourself against an impossible standard if you sit there and say, well, am I going to be as good as Cal Ripken, or am I going to be as good as Mike Wallace? And, you know, as you say, part of it is just, live your life. But part of it is also to realize the standard which you're comparing yourself to is almost an impossible standard. I mean how many, frankly, Cal Ripkens are there?
WALLACE: Cal now runs the Cal Ripken Senior Foundation, named for his father, which conducts sports programs for at risk kids. His son, Ryan, is on the Bowie Baysox and this year he's batting a solid .290.
Continuing coverage of Hurricane Dorian. Keep it to this Fox station on Fox News Channel.
And that's it for today. Have a great week and we'll see you next “Fox News Sunday.”
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