This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," April 18, 2021. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I'm Chris Wallace.
The president promises to end a forever war in Afghanistan and slaps Russia
with new sanctions in his biggest foreign policy week so far.
JOSEPH R. BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's time for American
troops to come home.
WALLACE (voice-over): After two decades and more than 2,000 troops killed,
Mr. Biden says he'll pull all American forces out in time to mark 20 years
hence 9/11. Critics say it could destabilize the region or even worse.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): With all due respect to President Biden, you
have not ended the war, you've extended it.
WALLACE: While the U.S. hits Russia with tough new sanctions and Russia
We'll talk with the president's National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan
about the emerging Biden foreign policy.
Then, Congress divided as lawmakers face-off over infrastructure and guns,
the filibuster, and Supreme Court. We'll ask Democratic Senator Chris Coons
and Republican Senator John Cornyn about the potential for compromise. It's
a rare bipartisan sit-down, only on "FOX News Sunday".
Plus, with one in five Americans fully vaccinated, the battle over safety
versus freedom boils over on Capitol Hill.
REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): The American people want Dr. Fauci to answer.
REP. JIM CLYBURN (D-SC): Well --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your time has expired, sir.
REP. MAXINE WATERS (D-CA): You need to respect the chair and shut your
WALLACE: We'll ask our Sunday panel about mixed messages as Americans
prepare for yet another new normal.
And our Power Player of the Week, Admiral William McRaven on what makes a
All, right now, on "FOX News Sunday".
WALLACE (on camera): And hello again from FOX News in Washington.
For the first months of this presidency, Joe Biden focused almost
exclusively on the pandemic, both the public health concerns and the
But this week, he turned to foreign policy. The U.S. will begin its final
full withdrawal of all military forces from Afghanistan. The White House
maintains it can deal with terrible threats from the region outside
Afghanistan, but critics warn that the president is handling the Taliban a
And the move comes as Mr. Biden hits Russia with new sanctions and pushes
back against China. In a moment, we'll sit down with the president's
national security advisor Jake Sullivan to discuss the emerging Biden
But first, let's bring in David Spunt traveling with the president in
Delaware with the latest on the consequential week -- David.
DAVID SPUNT, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Chris, with three major foreign
policy announcements in as many days, the president is redefining America's
role in the world.
BIDEN: Bin Laden is dead and al Qaeda it is degraded in Iraq, in
Afghanistan. And it's time to end the forever war.
SPUNT (voice-over): Almost 20 years after September 11th, President Biden
says he will pull U.S. troops from Afghanistan, a plan critics call
REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): Any withdrawal of forces that is not based on
conditions on the ground puts Americans' security at risk.
SPUNT: On Thursday, the president announced economic sanctions against
several Russian companies and individuals in response to attempts to
interfere in the 2020 election. The president says he's in talks to meet
with the Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Meanwhile, on Friday, he met with the Japanese prime minister to discuss a
growing problem for both countries. China.
Also Friday, after Democrats complained, the president backtracked on plans
to keep the Trump administration limit on refugee resettlement this fiscal
REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): He said in February that he was going to lift
the refugee cap and I believe that he needs to do that right now.
SPUNT (on camera): The White House clarified, said the president will
later increase the cap. Meanwhile, in ten days, he will address a joint
session of Congress on April 28th to mark his 100 days in office -- Chris.
WALLACE: David Spunt reporting from Delaware -- David, thank you.
And joining us now, the president's national security advisor, Jake
Jake, welcome back to "FOX News Sunday".
JAKE SULLIVAN, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: Thanks for having me.
WALLACE: Jake, as David just reported, on Friday morning, the president
indicated that he was going to stick with the refugee cap set by President
Trump last year. Not the 62,500 refugees the administration promised in
February to allow into the U.S., but instead just 15,000 refugees this
Then, under a storm of criticism, the president backed down within hours
Friday afternoon and said he will set a higher cap in May.
Jake, what happened?
SULLIVAN: Well, first of all, we faced two problems when we came in. There
was the problem of the cap, 15,000 and there was a problem of the
allocation, which was that the Trump administration had said zero people
can come from Africa, effectively zero people could come from the Middle
And so, the president wanted to go with this into steps. The first step was
to change the allocation so that people in Africa could literally get on
planes this week, and the second would be to raise the cap as we were
fixing the system and its processing.
He took the first step this past week, he will take the second step in the
weeks ahead, and I think there was some misunderstanding on Friday about
the import of his decision Friday morning, which was focused on the
allocation, not on the cap.
WALLACE: But in fact, in the presidential determination that the president
signed that was issued on Friday, it talked about 15,000. Yes, it did talk
about maybe going higher later, but it set the cap at 15,000 at this point.
And a lot of people have pointed out, including some Democrat senators like
Richard Blumenthal, handling refugees and handling the flow of illegal
immigration at the border are two separate paths held -- done by two
separate programs, and they suggest the real problem here, the real reason
you were sticking with the Trump cap until you got blowback was because you
got a crisis at the border and, suddenly, you didn't want that many
immigrants coming across the border into the country.
SULLIVAN: Well, first of all, the Office of Refugee Resettlement is the
same office that handles both unaccompanied children at the border and
refugees coming in from around the world.
And so, as it turns out, President Biden and his team had to dig into
whether we could allocate the resources effectively to be able to get folks
into the refugee pipeline and into the United States.
He is absolutely committed to making sure that not only is America
welcoming to refugees, not only do we get people on planes immediately by
changing those allocations, which were rooted in xenophobia and even
racism, but also that we raise the cap. He is committed to that and he will
follow through on that.
New subject -- there's been a lot of pushback to the president's decision
to pull all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by 9/11. Senate Republican
Leader Mitch McConnell says that we are opening the door for the Taliban to
come back and raising the possibility so will terror groups like ISIS and
Take a look at Senator McConnell.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: Apparently, we are to
help our adversaries ring in the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by gift-
wrapping the country and handing it right back to them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Why did the president overrule the Pentagon? And how can he be so
certain, given the fact that the Pentagon isn't and the CIA isn't, that al
Qaeda and Taliban -- ISIS won't reconstitute in a new Afghanistan?
And also, what happens to the millions of young Afghan women who have been
allowed to go to school and to lead full lives? What happens to them if the
Taliban takes over?
SULLIVAN: Well, Chris, that's a number of questions. Let me try to take
each of them in turn.
With respect to the terrorist threat from Afghanistan, President Biden is
not going to take his eye off the ball. He said in his speech that we would
maintain capabilities in the region to be able to deal with any threat that
reconstitutes and our intelligence community made clear this week in public
testimony that we will have months of warning before al Qaeda or ISIS could
have an external plotting capability from Afghanistan. So we are knocking
to take our eye off of all.
But then second, and this is really critical, the terrorist threat has
changed dramatically since we went to war in Afghanistan 20 years ago. Al
Qaeda is in Yemen and Syria and Somalia. ISIS is a cross that border region
in Iraq and Syria and in multiple countries in Africa.
So to really protect this country from the terrorist threat, we need to
allocate our resources and capabilities across a range of countries and
continents, not just focus them on Afghanistan.
And then, finally, on the question of women and girls, President Biden --
sorry, I can stop there if you'd like.
WALLACE: Well, real quickly if you can give me an answer to that, it's an
SULLIVAN: So on the issue of women and girls, President Biden said in his
speech that the United States would continue to provide civilian and
humanitarian assistance to help protect their rights, but more than that,
that the United States would continue to finance the Afghan national
defense and security forces.
We have trained and equipped 300,000 Afghan forces to defend their country
and their people. And seven years ago, NATO said that at the end of the
year, at the end of 2014, we would transition full responsibility to them.
President Biden determined that it is finally time to do so.
WALLACE: But, Joe Biden was just as confident back in 2011 about pulling
all U.S. forces out of Iraq. There he was then.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, THEN-U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: There were skeptics. Skeptics who
said, don't move too fast, what if the Iraqis aren't ready to take on this
But the Iraq security forces proved to be more than ready.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Jake, you know what happened as well as I do. ISIS grew, ended up
seizing 40 percent of the territory in Iraq and the U.S. ended up having to
send back 5,000 troops because they left too early.
Can you guarantee that won't happen in Afghanistan?
SULLIVAN: I can tell you that President Biden has no intention of sending
forces back to Afghanistan but at the same time, he has no intention of
taking our eye off the ball. We have the capacity from repositioning our
capabilities over the horizon to continue to suppress the terrorist threat
I can't make any guarantees about what will happen inside the country. No
one can. All the United States could do is provide the Afghan security
forces, the Afghan government and the Afghan people resources and
capabilities, training and equipping their forces, providing assistance to
their government. We have done that and now it is time for American troops
to come home and the Afghan people to step up to defend their own country.
WALLACE: Jake, you say that we -- that the president wants to focus on the
threats of 2021, not the threats of 2020. I want to talk to about one of
those, and that's Iran.
They say that they are making progress in talks indirect with the U.S. on
resuming the Iran nuclear deal. First of all, is that true? And secondly,
as part of a deal with Iran, would we be willing to engage in a step-by-
step process where we lift sanctions as they move back in compliance with
the agreement? Or do they have to resend all their violations, including
now 60 percent enrichment before we lift any sanctions?
SULLIVAN: So, first, the talks in Vienna have been constructive in the
sense that there is real effort underway there with the permanent five
members of the Security Council, plus Germany on the one hand, and Iran on
the other hand, to get on the table all of the issues related to both
sanctions and nuclear issues so that we could end up back in the deal on a
compliance or compliance basis.
I'm not going to negotiate on television on the question of how that
compliance for compliance issue plays out. What I will say is that the
United States is not going to lift sanctions unless we have clarity and
confidence that Iran will fully return to compliance with its obligations
under the deal, that it will put a lid on its nuclear program, that it will
expand its break up time, that it will reduce the level of enrichment and
the scope of enrichment in its country.
And until we have confidence in all of those things, the United States is
not going to make any concessions at all.
WALLACE: Finally, and I've got a minute left for this, what did we learn
this week about Joe Biden's foreign policy? Is there a Biden doctrine?
SULLIVAN: Well, I would like let president speak to that rather than try
to characterize it for him. But I will say this, Chris, President Biden
believes that the United States should be approaching the challenges of the
second quarter of the 21st century from a position of strength.
That means investing here at home so we have a strong foundation. It means
putting emphasis on our allies, like Japan, whose prime minister visited on
SULLIVAN: It means rejoining international institutions like the Paris
Climate Agreement so that the United States is writing roles and not
leaving them to be written by China.
And finally, it does mean ending the forever war in Afghanistan so that we
are set up to fight the battles of the next 20 years and not just the last
And under -- across all of these dimensions, President Biden has put values
front and center in his foreign policy. He believes that this is the moment
where democracies need to prove they can deliver for their citizens, that
ours is the system of government that will ultimately win out in the long
run, not autocracy.
WALLACE: Jake, thank you. Thanks for your time this Sunday. Please come
Up next, we'll talk with leading senators from both sides of aisle, a rare
joint interview on the possibilities and limits of bipartisanship in
WALLACE: Just three months into the Biden administration, promises of
bipartisanship are already fading. But there are some senators who are
trying to find issues where they can seek old-school compromise.
Joining us now, Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas and Democratic
Senator Chris Coons of Delaware.
Gentlemen, I'm going to begin with a bit of a back story.
Senator Coons, you and I were talking a few weeks ago and you suggested a
segment with Senator Cornyn and you about bipartisanship and specifically
about a plan you were both working on to take on China. However, in
preparing this week, I find that you're no longer together necessarily on
that China plan.
So let me start with you, Senator Coons, is this a lesson in
bipartisanship, or the exact opposite?
SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): Well, Chris, it's great to be on with you and
it's good to be on with my friend, Senator Cornyn of Texas.
We just talked about this yesterday. We are both hoping that in the next
few weeks, as we work through committee, that we will end up being together
on a bill that will invest in American competitiveness.
As Jake Sullivan just said in the last segment, we have to reinvest here at
home. And John led an effort in the last Congress with Senator Warner that
got signed into law to bring back to the United States the manufacturing of
semiconductor chips, something that we've seen recently is urgent if we're
going to keep manufacturing automobiles in this country. I support John's
initiative there and I'm working across the aisle on the Foreign Relations
Committee, which will have a mark-up this week.
So, actually, Chris, I wouldn't declare this dead yet. I think it is
positive and possible that we could work together still in the coming weeks
on investing in America to better compete with china.
WALLACE: Senator Cornyn, taking on China would seem to be something that
all Americans, let alone senators, can agree on. But there have been
reports that -- that you and a number of other Republican senators, after
making a big bipartisan push, are -- are beginning to back off.
What's the problem?
SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TX): Well, I think we were all encouraged when we
heard President Biden, on January the 20th, talking about healing the
divisions in the country and appealing to national unity.
Unfortunately, as I have complained to my friend Chris Coons, with 30
executive orders and a partisan $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill that
only 10 percent of which was actually COVID-19 relief, we're not off to a
Having said that, Chris and I are working together to try to come together
on some bipartisan bills. The truth is, it's very hard to get anything done
in the Senate unless it is bipartisan. There are some exceptions to the
rule. But in a 50/50 Senate, neither party has a mandate and so we simply
have to work together to make progress where we can. And I'm encouraged
that Chris is a good partner and willing to work with me to try to
accomplish some important things.
WALLACE: Well, let me -- let me pick up on that with you, Senator Cornyn,
because there are some areas where the two of you are working together. And
I want to put up a couple of them.
One is, the NICS Denial Notification Act, which would require federal
officials to notify state and local authorities if someone fails a
background check. Another one is the core act to expand AmeriCorps.
So, Senator Cornyn, what -- what do we learn here? Where are the areas
where there is a possibility of working together and where are the limits
to that possibility?
CORNYN: Well, what we've tried to do is identify areas where we agree. And
the truth is, the parties are not as divided on some of these issues as you
might imagine just from reading the papers or watching the news online or
on cable news. So we're trying to identify areas where we can make
I know a lot of concern about gun violence in the country, that's been a
chronic problem. I worked with Chris Murphy, the senator from Connecticut.
We passed something called the Fix NICS Bill, which has now resulted in
millions of new background checks being uploaded to the background check
system. And as I've told Chris, I'm very proud of our work together on that
because I believe it saved lives.
So Chris Coons and I have tried to identify those areas, like civics
education, like you said, the background check denial, report to local
police, AmeriCorps, things like that where we can make some progress and
hopefully sort of get -- bring back some of the muscle memory of previous
years when Congress actually worked better together.
WALLACE: I think it's fair to say that the biggest issue right now is
And, Senator Coons, you made an interesting proposal this week which is,
you know, take what everybody agrees is infrastructure, highways, bill --
bridges, roads, expanding broadband, comes to about $800 billion. Pass that
on a bipartisan basis, Republicans and Democrats, and then the rest of it,
which is another trillion dollars of much more questionable infrastructure
that -- that Democrats would pass that on a straight party line basis on
The question I have for you, Senator Coons, is, what's in it for
Republicans to agree to a plan in which Democrats can act bipartisan to
pass part of the bill, but then they ram the rest of it through on a party
line reconciliation vote?
COONS: Well, Chris, the broader question you're really asking is, what's
in it for our country and what's in it for the people we represent from our
states if Republicans and Democrats work together to solve problems? I
think that if we come together in a bipartisan way to pass that $800
billion hard infrastructure bill that you were talking about, that I've
been urging, then we show our people that we can solve their problems.
We've all agreed for a long time that we need to invest more in American
infrastructure, we just disagree about how to pay for it. And I think in
the next few weeks we should roll up our sleeves and sit down and find ways
that both parties can support to make these critically needed investments.
That's here at home.
But, Chris, it's also critical for our standing in the world. The worst
thing that could happen to Xi Jinping, that would ruin his day, would be
for him to see Republicans and Democrats working together in the Senate and
the House to solve the problems facing the American people, in partnership
with President Biden. That's showing that our framers' vision of principle,
compromise in Congress can still work.
And so whether it's working with John on a basic bill about teaching civics
in our schools, or it's working together with John on the more challenging
issues of immigration or mental health or gun violence or investing in
infrastructure, I think we have to show folks we can and will do our best
to work together.
Senator Cornyn, would Republicans ever agree to that? Yes, we'll play
bipartisan with you to pass $800 billion in hard infrastructure, but then
understand that you're going to go ahead and passed the rest of it, another
$1 trillion plus, raising taxes through a straight party line vote, ran it
CORNYN: Well, in the interest of bipartisanship, I'll agree that Senator
Coons is half right. There is a core infrastructure bill that we could pass
with appropriate pay-fors, like roads and bridges and even reaching out to
broadband, which we've -- this pandemic has exposed a great digital divide
in this country. We've advances in telemedicine. We've seen more people
learning online. I think we could all agree to that.
But I think that's -- that's the part we would agree on. So let's do it and
leave the rest for another day and another fight.
WALLACE: So you'd be willing to go for the -- for the $800 billion if you
could agree on a pay- for, regardless of what Democrats went on and did.
I want to end on this subject, Senator Cornyn.
I want to put up a tweet that you sent out this week. Here it is.
The president is not doing cable news interviews. Tweets from his account
are limited and, when they come, unimaginably conventional. The public
comments are largely scripted. Biden has opted for fewer sit down
interviews with mainstream outlets and reporters. Invites the question, is
he really in charge?
My question I guess is, Senator Cornyn, is that helpful to be sending out a
tweet questioning the -- President Biden's mental faculties?
CORNYN: Well, Chris, thank you for the question because I think there's
been a lot of confusion in the Twitterverse about that. That actually was a
quote from a "Politico" story that I pasted into a tweet and then I simply
asked a question.
What I'm trying to do is reconcile the Joe Biden we heard from on January
the 20th, the Joe Biden that many of us know of his previous service in the
-- in the United States Senate, from the Joe Biden we're seeing now jamming
through $1.9 trillion of spending bills.
You know, I've learned in Washington, you not only need to listen to what
people say, you need to watch what they do. And so far there's a conflict
that I'm trying to reconcile, and I bet I'm not the only one.
WALLACE: But, just real quickly, do you have questions as to whether Joe
Biden is really in charge and whether, frankly, he's up to the job?
CORNYN: I'm -- that -- that tweet was not meant to suggest anything about
the president's competency or physical or mental. I know some people have
suggested that. It certainly wasn't my intention. It's simply trying to
reconcile the rhetoric with the reality. And we need the reality to match
the rhetoric. And it's not be -- it's not matching right now.
WALLACE: I'm glad we cleared that up.
Senator Cornyn, Senator Coons, thank you both. Good luck on working
together and trying to get something done in Washington. Always good to
talk with you both.
CORNYN: Thank you.
WALLACE: Up next, we'll bring in our Sunday group to discuss that heated
exchange between Dr. Fauci and Congressman Jim Jordan amid the frustration
felt by millions of vaccinated Americans.
WALLACE: Coming up, critics say President Biden's plan to pull U.S. troops
out of Afghanistan will leave a vacuum.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): We know that this kind of a pullback is reckless,
it's dangerous, it puts Americans security at risk.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: We'll ask our Sunday panel about the impact on regional stability,
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): What measures have to be attained --
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS
JORDAN: Before Americans get their First Amendment liberties back? Three
FAUCI: Right now we have about 60,000 infections a day, which is a very
large risk for resurge. We're not talking but liberties, we're talking
about a pandemic that has killed 560,000 Americans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Republican Congressman Jim Jordan engaging in a heated back-and-
forth with Dr. Anthony Fauci over the tension between freedom and public
health as the pandemic continues.
And it's time now for our Sunday group.
Former chief of staff to Vice President Pence, Marc Short, Karen Tumulty of
"The Washington Post" and author of the new book "The Triumph of Nancy
Reagan." I've read it. It's great. And Marie Harf of the Serve America PAC.
Marc, you were deeply involved in the COVID task force in the White House
as the vice president's chief of staff. How do you think the Biden team is
doing so far in handling the pandemic and what about the decision to pause
disturbing the J&J vaccine?
MARC SHORT, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO MIKE PENCE: Well, Chris, I think it's
an incredibly dangerous decision to pause the distribution of the J&J
vaccination. The reality is that one in a thousand women can suffer blood
clots from a birth control pill but it's basically one in a million from
Johnson & Johnson. So it's a thousand times more likely to suffer blood
clots from a birth control pill, yet we're pausing it at a time when we
need to continue to deliver the vaccination.
And I think the bigger concern is you're going to create hesitancy for
people who should be getting the vaccination who now have doubts. And the
reality is that -- that the pause, I think, is an incredibly dangerous
WALLACE: Marie, I think it's fair to say it hasn't been an especially good
week for the Biden administration in the COVID area. First of all, the
pause in the J&J vaccine, which I think, as Marc points out, is going to
increase concerns about taking the vaccine. And -- and this week there were
hundreds of thousands of vaccine appointments that went unfilled. And then
in addition, the continuing confusion about what you can do and can't do,
especially after you are fully vaccinated.
Your thoughts on that?
MARIE HARF, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF SERVE AMERICA PAC AND FOX NEWS
CONTRIBUTOR: Well, Chris, the Biden administration is still very far ahead
of where they had promised to be in terms of vaccinating Americans. We are
setting records every single day for how many Americans are getting shots
in their arm. That is a good thing.
When it comes to the J&J vaccine, the administration made clear this week
that we have enough Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to vaccinate Americans. So
the J&J pause will not impact how many Americans are able to get
And I think it actually shows the opposite. I think it shows that when
there is a concern raised, when there is a question, that the experts are
taking a pause and getting to the bottom of it because we know that these
vaccines were developed in record time, we know they are incredibly
effective, we just want to make sure, as we get new evidence, that it is
taken into account. And that's what you heard from Dr. Fauci.
HARF: This is a disease that a year and a half ago none of us had ever
heard of. And so the facts and the data keep coming in. And as they get
information about what we can and can't do when vaccinated, they're going
to put it out there.
WALLACE: Karen, I want to pick up on that last point of Marie. The biggest
frustration I hear these days is from people who are fully vaccinated, who
don't know what they can do, what they can't do. To me, the -- the ultimate
case of that was a couple of weeks ago. The CDC said, if you're fully
vaccinated, it's safe to fly on an airplane as long as you observe the --
the safety restrictions, like continuing to wear a mask. But then they
added in the next sentence, but we urge you against any non-essential
How do you navigate the confusion there?
KAREN TUMULTY, POLITICAL COLUMNIST, "THE WASHINGTON POST": I just think
they're going to have to be a lot clearer. We have reached the point where
the end is in sight. This vaccine is our quickest, surest, straightest
route to that end.
I'm with Marie, I was actually reassured by this J&J pause. The figure that
Marc cited, the less than one in a million is talking about the population
at large. But in women of childbearing age the, you know, the risk of a
blood clot is actually higher than the risk of dying of COVID.
So are -- is it related to the vaccines? I listened to the CDC
presentation. Their logic made a lot of sense to me. And to me it says that
they're being cautious with this and they are looking at warning signs.
Let me switch subjects on you.
President Biden, as we've discussed earlier, had made a lot of news, big
news this week on foreign policy, announcing he is going to pull all U.S.
troops out of Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
Here's the president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm now the fourth United States
president to preside over American troop presence in Afghanistan.
I will not pass this responsibility on to a fifth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Marc, President Trump wanted to have all troops out by May 1st.
Putting aside the fact that it's not going to be four months later, in
September, did President Biden make the right move here?
SHORT: You know, Chris, I'm pleased that he's continuing the -- President
Trump's policy of withdrawing the troops. I think the two often were sort
of given a false choice, that either the war was a mistake or you must stay
there forever. I actually think it's important that when attacked we make
sure enemies know that we will pursue them until the ends of the earth. And
that -- that, I think, is accomplished killing Osama bin Laden and most of
his lieutenants and has helped us to -- to push back on the war on terror.
And we've had a lot of success.
But we're also not in a perilous nation. And I think it's appropriate for
us to be bringing our troops home at this time. We're not there to be -- to
be a nation-building force either. We're there to fight a war on terror.
We've had our success. It's time to bring our troops home.
WALLACE: But, Karen, as I discussed with Jake Sullivan, a lot can go wrong,
as we saw in Iraq, a terror group can reconstitute or a new terror group
like ISIS can form. And if the Taliban takes over, and that's certainly a
possibility, what happens to the life, the bright, fuller life that those
millions of Afghan women and girls were leading, do they end up having to
go back into the burqa?
TUMULTY: That is a very real concern and certainly one that you are hearing
and seeing in the reporting on the ground in Afghanistan. This policy that
President Biden announced this week is pretty much the exact same policy
that he was arguing for in 2009 when the -- when the Obama administration
did its bid review policy in Afghanistan. He lost that fight. They did a
troop surge, a drawdown and then discovered that the Afghan military was
completely ill-equipped for handling its own security.
So this is going to be Joe Biden's opportunity to discover whether a policy
that he himself has advocated for over a decade is going to work. And I --
I think it is -- you cannot help but be very concerned about the state of
what is going to happen on the ground there, and especially all these women
who were essentially imprisoned in their own homes, who, in the last 20
years, have been able to go to school and have careers and I -- I do think
this is more probably than humanitarian organizations are up to.
WALLACE: I'm going to break it up there. I will say, I talked to a top
White House official this week just before the president's speech, asked
that exact question, and this official said, look, we are sensitive and
we'll do everything we can to support women, but that's not the role of the
U.S. military to solve domestic problems inside Afghanistan.
All right, panel, we have to take a break here.
Up next, we'll discuss the trial of police officer Derek Chauvin as it
heads to the jury tomorrow.
But first, as we've been telling you, FOX NEWS SUNDAY turns 25 next week.
And as we look back, we've been sharing some memorable moments, including
our sit-downs with several presidents.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE (September 2006): Why didn't you do more to put bin Laden and al
Qaeda out of business?
BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT (September 2006): At least I tried.
That's the difference in me and some.
WALLACE (April 2016): Some people wonder, do you worry about terrorism and
feel the threat of terrorism the way they do?
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT (April 2016): There isn't a president
who's taken more terrorists off the field than me.
WALLACE (July 2020): We have the seventh highest mortality rate in the
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT (July 2020): But I think we have one of
the lowest mortality rates in the world.
WALLACE: That's not true, sir. We -- we -- we have a --
TRUMP: Well, we're going to take a look.
WALLACE: We had 900 deaths in a single day. Check it out.
TRUMP: We -- will you please get me the mortality rate?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
TRUMP: Kayleigh's right here.
WALLACE (November 2007): Do you feel a tremendous sense of pride when you
see not just her children, but your grandchildren carrying on the family
GEORGE H.W. BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT (November 2007): A total sense of
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC NELSON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Have you made a decision today whether you
intend to testify or whether you intend to invoke your Fifth Amendment
DEREK CHAUVIN, FORMER MINNEAPOLIS POLICE OFFICER: I will invoke my Fifth
Amendment privilege today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Police Officer Derek Chauvin deciding not to take the stand in his
murder trial for the death of George Floyd. Both sides make their closing
And we're back now with the panel.
Marie, the -- the -- as we say, the Chauvin case, closing arguments
tomorrow, then it goes to the jury. What are your thoughts about the trial
so far and the possible reaction to the verdict?
HARF: Well, history tells us that police officers are usually not convicted
when they are accused of these kinds of crimes. But we all saw that video.
And so many of us have watched this trial and heard testimony from expert
after expert who said George Floyd would be alive if Derek Chauvin had not
knelt on his knee -- put his knee on his neck for all of those minutes.
And so if he is not convicted, if Derek Chauvin is not convicted, it will
feel too many people like a gross miscarriage of justice. And just since
the trial started, Chris, we have seen more black -- young black men killed
at the hands of police officers, someone in their Army uniform harassed by
a police officer. This is bigger than this trial, but this trial represents
such an important moment to see if we can actually get justice when the
evidence is in front of us for all of us to see.
WALLACE: You know, but, Marc, and the judges has made this clear, all of
those events outside of Minneapolis, outside of the courtroom, are supposed
to be totally irrelevant and -- and justice is supposed to be blind.
Your thoughts about the trial and we all fear, obviously, what might happen
if there is either a hung jury or an acquittal in this case.
SHORT: You know, Chris, last year, after the riots, I had an opportunity to
travel with Vice President Pence to Minneapolis and some of the communities
that were ravaged by the riots. And the thing that I was struck with, we
met with minority business owners, Hispanic, Asian and African-American, is
how much they all pleaded with the police to protect them. They were the
police's biggest benefactors and biggest supporters and asked them to
please help protect our businesses from riots.
I think that in many cases the media has done an injustice here where in
some cases some networks are openly cheering for the prosecution. And as
opposed to letting the jury be the ones who make a decision here. And I
think it's creating a cauldron that -- that perhaps could boil over.
But I think it's also important in this moment for -- for your viewers to
remember that it was only a year ago that there was a bill offered on the
Senate floor for police reform. And that bill was filibustered by the very
same people today who are saying the filibuster is a relic of the Jim Crow
era and they killed Tim Scott's bill for police reform.
So, unfortunately, there's a lot of rhetoric here that is racially-based.
And I hope that -- that there can be a lot of healings in these communities
and I hope and pray that as the jury makes its decision, that the media
will actually report on the facts as opposed to opinions.
WALLACE: I want to pick up on -- on something that Marie said, because, in
fact, this week we had two more cases that we learned about of police
shooting young men of color and we were able to see both cases because of
police body cams.
I want to put the first video up right now.
First was the case of Daunte Wright, who died in a traffic stop in a suburb
of Minneapolis when the police officer said she mistook her gun for a laser
(ph). Then, there was 13-year-old Adam Toledo who was shot by a policeman
in Chicago responding to reports of gunfire in the neighborhood. And there
you see him at that moment.
And here was Vice President Harris on the Daunte Wright case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Law enforcement must be
held to the highest standards of accountability. At the same time, we know
that folks will keep dying if we don't fully address racial injustice and
inequities in our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Karen, these are split-second decisions that police have to make
with their lives at stake. Is it fair to blame what we saw in those two
videos on racial injustice and a broken system, as Vice President Harris
TUMULTY: Well, I mean, there certainly is a racial reckoning underway in
this country, but I do think that we also have to take a very hard look at
the training of our police officers that, you know, a veteran officer could
mistake her Taser for her gun. Should police really even be involved in
traffic stops that do not involve issues of public safety, because we've
seen so many of those episodes and tragically.
And what we saw in Chicago, another very perilous thing is when police are
involved in apprehending suspects on foot. These -- these foot chases have
also had some horrific results. So I think we do need to look as well at
the training our police officers are given and also, what is their mission?
I mean should they be out there dealing with mentally ill people,
substance-addicted people in ways that might, you know, be better handled
by medical professionals or social workers? I do think a big part of this,
we should be looking beyond the racial element to what we expect of our
police and how we train them.
Marc, you know, I -- I think we can all distinguish between Derek Chauvin
with his knee on the neck of George Floyd for nine and a half minutes when
Floyd's hands were handcuffed behind his back, and -- and those cases which
were very active situations where somebody was running away, shots had been
fired or in the Daunte Wright case where he was resisting arrest.
Your thoughts about Vice President Harris' comments and the comments of
other people in the Biden administration?
SHORT: Well, again, Chris, I just -- I just was so impacted by so many of
the minority business owners we met with who were asking for the police's
help. And I think the reality is, it's not helpful when you see someone
like Maxine Waters out today saying that there need to be more
confrontation in the streets.
The reality is that we need to -- we need to turn down the volume on this a
little bit. And the vast majority -- the vast, vast majority of police are
out there in our communities putting their lives on the line for us to
protect us. And, yes, maybe there's -- there's some bad apples and they
should be prosecuted. But the reality is, there should not be this broad
indictment of the police when the vast majority of them are protecting our
And, again, to Karen's point about reforms, that's exactly what Tim Scott
was proposing last year with more training and funding for that training.
And the same Democrats who now are alleging the Jim Crow allegations on the
filibuster use the filibuster to kill Tim Scott's bill for the exact things
that Karen's asking for.
Marie, you've got about 30 seconds. Final thought.
HARF: Well, the Democratic-led House past the George Floyd and Policing Act
to put in place actually more reforms than Tim Scott was proposing. I hope
Congress will take this issue seriously, take up that George Floyd Act and
come together to address this because it is -- it may not be everyone, it
certainly isn't, but it is too many and it is exhausting. And so hopefully
our communities, our police department and our Congress can actually do
something to make this problem better.
WALLACE: Thank you, Marie. Thank you, panel. See you all next Sunday.
Up next, our "Power Player of the Week," Admiral William McRaven. The
commander of U.S. special forces for some of its most daring operations.
He'll tell you what it takes to make a hero.
WALLACE: There's a popular meme online that says not all heroes where
capes, when an ordinary person pulls off something extraordinary. The idea
is we can all be heroes for those close to us. Our "Power Player of the
Week" tells us how.
ADM. WILLIAM MCRAVEN (RET.), AUTHOR, "THE HERO CODE": If you look at the
textbook definition of a hero, it's someone we admire for their noble
qualities. And I actually think that's a pretty good definition.
WALLACE (voice over): Admiral William McRaven knows about heroes. He was a
Navy SEAL for 37 years, then took command of the U.S. special forces that
rescued Captain Philips, captured Saddam Hussein and took down Osama bin
In his new book, "The Hero Code," McRaven offers a blueprint for finding
the hero in each of us.
WALLACE (on camera): Some of the qualities you talk about in "The Hero
Code" seem obvious, courage, sacrifice. But I think some may surprise
people, like compassion.
MCRAVEN: Yes, I do think when you take a look at compassion -- again, these
noble virtues are really about, are you making the people around you
WALLACE (voice over): McRaven gives the example of an actor who brought
compassion right into a meeting of top U.S. brass in Afghanistan.
MCRAVEN: In comes a civilian. He says, my name's Gary Sinise. And he went
on to make this very compassionate and this passionate plea to General
Abizaid to get some C-130s in order to bring the school supplies to the
children. And you could see the entire tenor of the room change. When you
see this compassion come forward, this, great, again, noble quality, it
really changes everything about, you know, your own internal belief and the
humanity of man.
WALLACE: McRaven tells of meeting another hero when he was late to brief
President Obama, and a young airman refused to let him into an area of
Bagram Airbase because he wasn't on her list.
MCRAVEN: And all of a sudden arms are flailing, watches are being tapped.
So, of course, I'm thinking, you know, I'm a three-star admiral, I'll take
care of this. And she looks me in the eye and she says, sir, I have a job
to do. You are not on the list of approved people to enter. Well, about 10
minutes later, you know, we get the word and we passed through.
Well, on the way back, we come back through the same gate. I stopped, I get
out of the car and I said, airman, do you know that I was 10 minutes late
briefing the president of the United States? Yes, sir. And I said, you can
come work for me anytime. And then she said something to me. She said, sir,
I was just doing my duty. Doing your duty in life and doing it to the best
of your ability is important. It is a noble virtue. It is a noble quality.
And I think it's what makes our heroes out there.
WALLACE (on camera): Finally, how do we tap into what you say is the hero
in all of us?
MCRAVEN: I'm hoping that as people read "The Hero Code," they will see that
these values can be learned. You can learn to be courageous. You can learn
to be humble. And I really hope that this younger generation will read this
book, they will see that these are learned qualities because we need them
to be our heroes. We need them to move us ahead as a society.
WALLACE: Admiral, thank you.
MCRAVEN: My pleasure, Chris. Thanks.
WALLACE: Just days from now, May 1st will mark the tenth anniversary of one
of McRaven's most daring and important missions, the raid that took down
Osama bin Laden.
And that's it for today. Have a great week and we'll see you next FOX NEWS
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This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," April 18, 2021. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.