This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," May 8, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Good evening, I'm Bret Baier. "BREAKING TONIGHT, two major stories, new indications of the political battle lines over the next coronavirus rescue plan from the government and more devastating unemployment news because of the outbreak.
The April jobless rate was 14.7 percent, the highest since the Great Depression. 20-1/2 million people lost their jobs last month. Nearly 33-1/2 million Americans have applied for unemployment benefits in the past seven weeks.
Today's news comes on a milestone day concerning another worldwide mobilization effort that changed America forever. Correspondent Kristin Fisher is at the White House tonight. Good evening, Kristin.
KRISTIN FISHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Bret. Despite the devastating jobs report that dropped today, President Trump is still optimistic that the U.S. economy will rebound by the end of this year.
He says what happened 75 years ago today is a reminder that no challenge is greater than the resolve of the American spirit.
FISHER: As President Trump marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe, he believes the current attack from the coronavirus is worse than the event that got the U.S. into that war -- Pearl Harbor.
Today, the Labor Department dropped the worst jobs report in U.S. history. 20.5 million Americans lost their jobs last month, pushing the unemployment rate to 14.7 percent, the highest since the Great Depression. And the administration is warning that this may not be the end of it.
LARRY KUDLOW, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: There's no question, this is the number full of heartbreak and hardship and there's no way to get around it. Regarding the next month or two, which you're really going to transition into a reopening of economy, who's to say the numbers will not get worse.
FISHER: The White House's top economic adviser Larry Kudlow, says formal negotiations over a phase four stimulus package will not resume for about a month. But the Democratic leadership says the country needs another monster economic relief package passed now.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is slamming the administration for pressing the pause button on securing more funding for state and local governments. "Republicans who choose inaction in the face of these historic economic and health crises will be taking the same misguided path as Herbert Hoover."
But during a meeting at the White House today with 19 Republican members of Congress, President Trump, said he wants to wait.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're in a rush.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You see -- rush.
TRUMP: The Democrats -- the Democrats have to do what they have to do, but I would say we're not looking -- we want to see what they have, but I can't say that we're in a rush.
FISHER: The White House also is not in a rush to get out new CDC guidelines about reopening to states. After reports those guidelines had been shelved, the White House press secretary said today, they're simply being revised.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Those CDC guidelines are going through an editing process. And when we have those, you guys will be the first to know.
FISHER: The press secretary also confirmed a second person who works in the West Wing has tested positive for the coronavirus and President Trump himself gave reporters a big hint about who that staffer is.
TRUMP: And she's a wonderful young woman, Katie, she tested very good for a long period of time. And then all of a sudden today she tested positive. She hasn't come into contact with me, spend some time with the vice president. It's -- I believe the press person, right? Say, press person. So, she tested positive.
FISHER: Now, the Katie that President Trump was referring to is Katie Miller. She is the vice president's press secretary and she's also the wife of one of the president's senior advisors Stephen Miller. And of course, this news comes just one day after we learned that one of the president's valets has also tested positive. Bret?
BAIER: Kristin Fisher, live at the North Lawn. Kristin, thank you.
The jobs news did not keep Wall Street from having a strong Friday. The Dow surged 455 today. The S&P 500 was up 49. The NASDAQ jumped 142. For the week, the Dow gained 2-1/2 percentage points. The S&P 500 finished ahead 3- 1/2. The NASDAQ surged six percent.
We're getting additional information tonight about transcripts of interviews conducted during the Russia collusion investigation. The news is being interpreted along, as you can imagine, extremely partisan viewpoints. Congressional correspondent Chad Pergram is following the story for us tonight.
TRUMP: We've been beating him for a long time and they cannot accept it.
CHAD PERGRAM, FOX NEWS CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: President Trump, today keeping up the pressure on House Democrats, as newly released documents show, in his words, a corrupt deal. As new questions emerge about who knew what, during the early phases of the Russia investigation.
President Trump turned his attention on the FBI director who came aboard after James Comey's ouster.
TRUMP: A lot of things are going to be told over the next couple of weeks and let's see what happens. He was appointed by Rod Rosenstein. Let's see what happens with him. Look, the jury is still out with regard to that.
PERGRAM: Whether the aftermath of the Russia investigation claims, another victim is unknown. But we're learning new details tonight on what former President Barack Obama knew in the early stages.
New documents showed that in the waning days of President Obama's term, he has surprised acting Attorney General Sally Yates that he was familiar with cause between Michael Flynn and Russian ambassador to Washington, Sergey Kislyak.
And in another development, just released messages from former FBI lovers, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page show, they push to keep the Michael Flynn investigation open. Even though the bureau suggested it lacked derogatory information.
President Trump praised A.G. Barr for ending the Flynn prosecution. A decision that didn't sit well with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who excoriated Barr. Saying, "Flynn pled guilty lying to the FBI about his illicit Russian contacts. His lies now do not become truths, but it does incriminate Bill Barr."
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, took it a step further. He wants the Justice Department inspector general to investigate Barr. Barr defended his decision.
WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I was concerned that people were feeling there were two standards of justice in this country.
PERGRAM: The House transcripts also revealed some witnesses tried to paint their own version of reality on T.V. in sharp contrast to what they told investigators.
Former Obama director of National Intelligence James Clapper, testified he never saw any direct empirical link that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia. But Clapper painted a different picture last year.
DON LEMON, HOST, CNN: Do you agree with Andrew McCabe as possible that this -- the president of the United States -- the president is a Russian asset?
LT. GEN. JAMES CLAPPER (RET.), FORMER DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Well, the way I completely agree with the way Andy characterized it, you know, that it is -- it is a possibility. And I would add to that caveat that whether witting or unwitting.
PERGRAM: Attorney General Barr, says there could be consequences for those who push the Russia collusion narrative too far.
BARR: Well, history is written by the winners. So, it's largely depends on who's writing the history.
PERGRAM: The transcripts and the end of Flynn's prosecution undercuts the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The House has long tried to get Mueller's grand jury testimony, and just today, Chief Justice John Roberts temporarily delayed that. Bret.
BAIER: All right, Chad, we'll follow it. Thank you.
In tonight's "DEMOCRACY 2020" report, a blast from the past that could be another explosive blow to the Joe Biden presidential campaign. It comes in the form of new evidence appearing to bolster the sexual assault claim against Biden by a former member of his Senate staff.
Correspondent Peter Doocy shows us tonight.
PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Behind the scenes, Joe Biden isn't taking any chances.
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Good afternoon. This morning we received the worst job report in history.
DOOCY: But there's a new distraction for Biden. Tara Reade, who accuses him of raping her on Capitol grounds in 1993, got divorced in 1996, and according to court documents published by the San Luis Obispo Tribune, her ex-husband wrote then that she spoke of sexual harassment in the Biden office and that she, "eventually struck a deal with the chief of staff of the Senator's office and left her position."
As Reade gains visibility, the Biden campaign keeps pushing back. Now claiming, "Every day, more and more inconsistencies arise. Women must receive the benefit of the doubt. They must be able to come forward and share their stories without fear of retribution or harm, and we all have a responsibility to ensure that."
And the commander in chief is not rushing to conclusions.
TRUMP: I don't know if it's false or not. I mean, Joe's going to have to be able to prove whatever he has to prove, or she has to prove it, but that's a battle he has to fight.
DOOCY: President Trump is also offering to level the playing field by loaning his Democratic opponent rapid coronavirus testing equipment. So, he can hit the campaign trail.
TRUMP: Yes, 100 percent I'd love to see him get out of the basement so he can speak because, you know, he's locked in a basement somewhere and he -- every time he's -- every time he talks, it's like a good thing.
DOOCY: For now, Biden is staying put, even though he's limited by the same technological headaches as everyone else working from home.
BIDEN: Introduce me -- good evening, Tampa. Thank you so much for tuning in. I wish we could have done this together and had gone a little more smoothly. But I'm grateful we were able to connect virtually.
DOOCY: Any minute, another clip of Tara Reade's interview with Megyn Kelly is going to drop. We've seen the clip, and in it, Tara Reade, says she's very discouraged that prominent Democrats were siding with Biden. Never even cared to ask her about her experience with him.
And now, she's got a pointed question for those prominent Dems about how survivors should proceed. This is a quote, "We can come forward unless it's a Democrat? Is that the message we are sending." Bret.
BAIER: All right, as we get that tape, we'll bring it to you here on SPECIAL REPORT. Peter, thank you.
Two white men accused of murdering a black man running in their southern Georgia neighborhood are in jail tonight. Their arrest last night comes amid national outrage following the release of video, showing the incident that happened back in February.
Correspondent Steve Harrigan has the latest on the story tonight from Atlanta.
STEVE HARRIGAN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: 74 days after the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, the father and son caught on camera chasing down and shooting the 25-year-old black man on a residential street have been charged with murder.
In their first court appearance today, former police officer Gregory McMichael and his son Travis will read their rights issued no plea and were denied bond. The shooting back in February did not get national attention until this week when a video is posted of the incident.
The incident escalating, following a 911 call from unidentified man about a black man running through a suburban neighborhood.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's running right in there. There he goes right in there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE), OK, what is he doing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's running down the street.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a black male, running down the street.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Satilla -- where, where at -- where at Satilla Shores?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know what street roles. Stop (INAUDIBLE) damn it, stop. Travis!
HARRIGAN: What happened next captured on tape. Purportedly showing that McMichael's armed with a shotgun and a handgun pursuing Arbery in a pickup truck, and attempting to cut him off.
The younger McMichael is seen exiting the cab. And in a scuffle over the shotgun, three shots were fired killing Arbery. The two men involved were not charged for 10 weeks. But within 48 hours of becoming involved, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took the McMichaels into custody and said more arrests might becoming, including the person who filmed the encounter.
VIC REYNOLDS, DIRECTOR, GEORGIA BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION: We're going to go wherever the evidence takes us. Let's say, hypothetically, if we believe, tomorrow, or in a week, or three weeks, there's probable cause for an arrest, then, we'll do it. If we don't believe there is, then we won't.
HARRIGAN: The case has the attention of the president.
Trump: It's a very disturbing situation to me and I just -- you know, my heart goes out to the parents and the family and the friends.
HARRIGAN: The case is now on its third prosecutor. The first two recuse themselves to the ties to the former policeman.
HARRIGAN: The former high school football player would have turned 26 today. Bret.
BAIER: Steve, thank you.
A federal judge is refusing to dismiss charges against actress Lori Loughlin, her fashion designer husband as well, and other prominent parents, accused of cheating the college admission's process. The judge sided with prosecutors who deny investigators fabricated evidence.
As we mentioned earlier, this is the 75th anniversary of the Nazi surrender, ending WORLD WAR II in Europe. We showed you how President Trump marked the solemn occasion with the first lady.
Right now, correspondent Benjamin Hall has the sights and sounds from observances in Europe.
BENJAMIN HALL, FOX NEWS FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: 75 years ago today, the world celebrated Nazi defeat as victory in Europe was declared. Although the battle in the Pacific still raged on, millions took to the streets in the U.S. and the U.K.
WINSTON CHURCHILL, FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing. Today is Victory in Europe Day.
HALL: Today, because of a new enemy, celebrations were muted. And instead of vast crowds, the streets of London and The Cenotaph lay empty. But the U.K. found other ways to remember. Up and down the country, small concerts and street parties in observance with social distancing rules were encouraged by the government, while wartime songs reminded the nation of their greatest generation.
75 years ago, King George II broadcast a speech to a tired nation. Exactly 75 years later, to the minute, his daughter, Queen Elizabeth II did the same.
QUEEN ELIZABETH II, QUEEN OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: But our streets are not empty, they are filled with the love and the care.
HALL: There were flyovers up and down the U.K. Red Arrows, the British aerobatics team over London, and World War II Spitfires over the Cliffs of Dover. In Scotland, Prince Charles laid a wreath on behalf of the Queen. And in Downing Street, Boris Johnson observed two minutes silence. Veterans also shared their memories.
KEN HAY, VETERAN, WORLD WAR II: And then some, but some of these -- some girls called out, hey, soldier, give us a kiss. All the women were sort of coming around kissing you. I never had so many kisses it never had since.
HALL: Today is about remembering the millions of lives that were lost, and also celebrate that great victory. But it is also important now more than ever to remember how countries came together to defeat a common foe. Bret.
BAIER: Benjamin Hall in London. Benjamin, thank you.
Up next, you might be surprised which world leader is taking a popularity hit because of the coronavirus. We'll bring you there.
First here is what some of our Fox affiliates around this country are covering tonight.
Fox 7 in Austin as a man is struck and killed by a commercial jet landing on a runway at Austin Airport. Federal Aviation Administration, says the pilot of a Southwest Airlines flight arriving Thursday night from Dallas, reported seeing a person on the runway shortly after touching down.
Fox 29 in San Antonio, where the city council there unanimously passes a resolution denouncing the use of terms such as Chinese virus to describe the coronavirus. The resolution calls such language, hate speech.
Fox 17 in Des Moines, as Vice President Mike Pence meets with faith leaders there to discuss the resumption of in-person church services. Pence also met with grocery and agricultural leaders to talk about the food supply in the U.S.
And this is a live look at Kansas City from our affiliate Fox 4 there. One of the big stories there tonight, the release of the 2020 scheduled for the Super Bowl champion Chiefs. Features five prime time games, the NFL plans to start the season on time. And as of now, with fans in the stands. We will see how that all comes together.
That's tonight's live look "OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY" from SPECIAL REPORT. We'll be right back.
BAIER: President Trump is maintaining the U.S. government was not behind a bungled incursion into Venezuela this week. The president telling Fox News, "If we ever did anything with Venezuela, it wouldn't be that way. It would be slightly different. It would be called an invasion.
Venezuela, says it is detaining two American former Special Forces fighters in connection with that plot.
The coronavirus pandemic has been tough politically on many world leaders, one of them is Russian President Vladimir Putin. Senior foreign affairs correspondent Greg Palkot looks at the numbers tonight.
GREG PALKOT, FOX NEWS SENIOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: COVID-19 is hitting Russia hard. President Vladimir Putin could be one of its casualties. Initially, Russia thought it was getting off easy with the coronavirus and even sent supplies to the United States.
But since April, it's gotten worse. Emergency workers telling citizens to stay at home and observe the quarantine. The whole country is in lockdown. There are some 10,000 new cases a day. Even the prime minister has it. While deaths are low at some 2,000, experts say that's an undercount.
EDWARD LUCAS, AUTHOR, THE NEW COLD WAR: Putin's handling it badly and it's creating the biggest political problems he's had for years Russians are scared of the crisis, the public health system isn't working. I'm not blaming him.
PALKOT: New polls put Putin's approval rating at his lowest in 20 years, 59 percent. It was 89 percent a few months ago. Putin is mostly delegating the job to others and pushing for a reopening.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): I believe plans to reopen most industrial plants and construction sites are justified. It goes without saying that has to be done in coordination with health officials.
PALKOT: Not helping things, the oil price war he's wage, which has seen crucial energy revenues drop. The Russian economy is expected to decline by at least 10 percent this year.
Because of COVID, Putin canceled a referendum aimed at keeping him in power for years. And a WORLD WAR II victory in Europe event with leaders set to attend. Still, many are not ruling the Russian president out. The pandemic could pass and oil prices could rise.
HEATHER CONLEY, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: He certainly is poised to survive, but some of these forces really will profoundly challenge his leadership.
PALKOT: Putin spoke with the President Trump by phone yesterday. COVID-19 came up. The president offered to send Putin supplies. He accept it. Bret.
BAIER: Greg, thank you.
"BREAKING TONIGHT", as we heard from Peter Doocy, we are hearing more tonight from Biden accuser, former Senate staff member Tara Reade. Just received a clip more of her interview with Megyn Kelly just being released.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MEGYN KELLY, AMERICAN JOURNALIST: This is about politics.
TARA READE, FORMER BIDEN SENATE STAFFER: No, actually it's not. It -- well -- I think everything is political, like, maybe I'll take that back. Everything is political, right? But this is deeper than that. This is about watching the person that assaulted me, be elevated to the highest office in the land. He's running on a platform of character and I just -- I found that it's gross. I know what he's like, I experienced what he was like, and I wanted people to know.
KELLY: But if you brought it to, for example, the Elizabeth Warren campaign, right? To try to get them to do something with it, and the Kamala Harris campaign.
READE: I did.
KELLY: Isn't that inherently political? I mean, doesn't that suggest, in fact, this is all political?
READE: I tried to reach out to them, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: Again, we're getting more of that interview. We'll continue to follow that story as well.
Up next, how the coronavirus lockdown is decimating another big industry. First, "BEYOND OUR BORDERS" tonight. North Korea threatening to retaliate against South Korea for what it calls reckless military drills near their disputed sea boundary.
South Korea denies any training in the immediate area, which has been the scene of several bloody naval skirmishes in recent years.
Hundreds of protesters in Kenya blocked one of Nairobi's major highways with burning tires today. They were protesting government demolitions of the homes of more than 7,000 people and the closure of an adjacent food market. Police used tear gas and water cannons on those protesters.
A Dutch privacy watchdog says it will investigate how Chinese own social media app TikTok handles the data of millions of young users. Young users like this app, but it's become hugely popular during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This move comes amid growing U.S. scrutiny of the app, which allows users to create and share short videos of themselves with millions of people worldwide.
Scuffles broke out at Hong Kong's legislature today. Security guards ejected several pro-democracy lawmakers, including one carried out on a stretcher after he was injured in the fight.
Tempers flared when a pro-Beijing lawmaker inserted herself as chair of a committee meeting to try to end a month's long impasse that has resulted in a backlog of legislation.
Just some of the other stories "BEYOND OUR BORDERS" tonight. We'll be right back.
BAIER: The Office of the Special Counsel is recommending the temporary reinstatement of the vaccine expert fired after he complained about the government's response to the coronavirus.
The watchdog group wants Rick Bright, given his old job back as director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, while the office investigates Bright's whistleblower claim. In other words, giving --
One business that is suffering mightily during the coronavirus lockdown is the crab industry. Correspondent Doug Mckelway reports from Fishing Creek, Maryland tonight. The pandemic has made an already bad situation much worse.
DOT RUARK, OWNER, W.T. RUARK & COMPANY: We're closed. They're calling here for crab mate and we don't have any. We have to tell them we don't have any.
DOUG MCKELWAY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: It is all new and uncomfortable for Dot Ruark, as uncomfortable as wearing a mask in the crisp air of the Chesapeake Bay.
Across the creek at Russell Hall Seafood, there is also great unease. This is the land of plentiful fish, oysters, where 50 percent of the nation's supply of blue crabs are harvested.
HARRY PHILLIPS, OWNER, RUSSELL HALL SEAFOOD: It slowed everything down. Our sales aren't what they were before due to the restaurants being closed and everybody is just worried about the -- getting the disease.
MCKELWAY: Worse for Chesapeake Bay waterman, COVID-19 has added insult to a deeper injury, they can't find enough workers to pick the crabmeat.
PHILLIPS: It's pretty much got to be hand-picked to keep the shell out. Very, very tedious for skillful work.
JACK BROOKS, CHESAPEAKE BAY SEAFOOD INDUSTRIES: These are jobs that the local people unfortunately just won't take anymore.
MCKELWAY: Migrant laborers will do this seasonal work, but that H-2B Visa system, in place long before the Trump administration, caps seasonal workers to 66,000 nationwide, and the Trump administration is resisting any changes to the cap while the COVID pandemic is ongoing.
BROOKS: You'll find communities like this all around the bay that are suffering right now because the cap has been met and we are not staffed. We don't open.
MCKELWAY: Thursday, President Trump did sign an executive order protecting the American seafood ministry from unfair foreign competition, but it did not include lifting the cap on migrant workers.
MCKELWAY: One survey conducted for the Department of Agriculture found that the H-2B visa lottery system was costing the Maryland economy anywhere between $100 million to $150 million a year. That survey was conducted in early March before the full effects of the COVID-19 virus were understood. Bret?
BAIER: Doug McKelway in Fishing Creek. Doug, thanks.
As if the coronavirus is not enough to worry about, hurricane season is approaching, and that will put an incredible strain on already stressed federal emergency managers. Correspondent Gillian Turner shows us how tonight.
GILLIAN TURNER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: As coronavirus continues claiming an average of 2,000 American lives per day, crisis response teams are now bracing for another added threat.
CHAD WOLF, ACTING HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: The team is already responding to tornadoes and earthquakes that have occurred this year. As you mentioned, June 1st is hurricane season. They have to be prepared at the same time they are responding to COVID.
TURNER: The combination creates a threat landscape the Homeland Security chief calls unprecedented.
WOLF: What FEMA is doing now is coordinating response in 50 states, territories, all hitting at the same time. And they haven't done that in their 41-year history before now.
TURNER: FEMA's administrator says it also creates a logistics puzzle.
PETE GAYNOR, FEMA ADMINISTRATOR: Part of the mission was to accelerate the movement of PPE from around the world. So wherever we can find it is get it to the United States.
TURNER: Over the past month, DHS built a new crisis coordination response center. It's called the Surge, where 150 officials will oversee hurricane search, rescue, and evacuation operations, all while keeping Americans safe from contracting coronavirus.
WOLF: How do you shelter individuals from a natural disaster in a COVID environment? You can't. You're going to have to do things a little differently.
TURNER: The surge is meant to support the hundreds of crisis response cells already operating at FEMA headquarters. It will only fill up as needed, so they hope it never has to.
You guys are planning for all kinds of scenarios. What is the worst-case scenario you're anticipating?
WOLF: A worst-case scenario would be a very hectic hurricane season, that would see multiple hurricanes hitting at the same time or very similar, close by, that FEMA is having to respond to at the same time as COVID. That's not to say they can't do it. They absolutely can do it.
TURNER: Fifteen Americans died in hurricanes last season, and so far over 76,000 Americans have died in the COVID-19 pandemic. Bret?
BAIER: Gillian, thank you.
Up next, the panel on another alarming jobs report in the COVID economy, and what comes next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KUDLOW, NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL DIRECTOR: I don't know if it's as bad as it gets. I don't think this pandemic contraction has yet fully run its course. This is a number that's full of heartbreak. It's a number that's full of hardship.
JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The unemployment rate is now 14.7 percent, the highest it's been since the Great Depression. It's an economic disaster worse than any we have in decades. And it's all made worse because it didn't have to be this way. Donald Trump utterly failed to prepare us for this pandemic.
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to build our country back, and we are going to build it back fast.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: That jobs report was shocking, the April jobs report, at 14.7 percent. A lot of people expected, but still to see the number, shedding more than 20 million and a half jobs in April, and in total, 33 million. More than 33 million Americans have filed jobless claims since the outbreak started. This as states across the country are trying to figure out how to open up, when to open up, and how to do it safely.
Let's bring in our panel, Charles Hurt, opinion editor for "The Washington Times," former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford Jr., currently chairman of RxSaver, and former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer.
Ari, if you had a jobs report like that, that takes your breath away, even though they knew it was coming. And trying to get out of it really is all about reopening the country.
ARI FLEISCHER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Yes, it takes your breath away because the government took your job away, and the government had very little choice but to do that. And that's what we are trying to figure out now, isn't it, how do you turn up one dial while another dial may or may not be on its way down.
But Bret, the depth of this is just shockingly bad. It's the millions upon millions who have lost their jobs which always hurts, and in this case it particularly hurt low-income workers and minorities the most, people who have the smallest cushion to be able to get by. But it's also hurt many people who are working who have had their -- I know many who have their salaries cut, who have accepted diminutions in what they receive just to stay and make the company they work for stay whole.
So this hurting everybody everywhere in every way, and I don't think this is going to rebound as fast as the administration thinks it will. This seems to have legs. When you go bankrupt, it's hard to come back. Big stores, giant corporations going bankrupt. And I live in a small town, small town stores, mom-and-pop operations here, are already shuttering, closing their doors never to come back. It's sad.
BAIER: Yes. I asked the Treasury Secretary and President Trump about creating demand in this economy as opposed to handing out -- obviously people need these life preservers of money and the PPP program. However, the demand in getting back open. Here is the president dealing with -- talking about governors making the decisions when to open up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If I see something wrong, I will clamp down on it very hard and very strongly, but I'm relying on 50 very talented governors.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What happens, though, if the infections go, spike once the government --
TRUMP: You have to put out the fires. Then you're going to have to put out the fires, and the governors should be able to do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: Harold, it is federalism in action here. But your thoughts on where we are today?
HAROLD FORD JR. (D) FORMER TENNESSEE REPRESENTATIVE: I don't disagree a lot with Ari's analysis of this. I would add one caveat. I think that the public health issues and the revitalization of the economy are coming back in some ways. They are inextricably linked.
I do think, to your question, Bret, about demand is how you create that. One of the reasons I'm a huge proponent of another CARES Act being large, helping states, more money for small businesses, and even changing the ratio for how the money can be spent or what money can be forgiven. Right now its' a 75-25 split with three quarters having to be spent on payroll. I think it should be changed to 50-50.
I think some of the ideas the president laid out around liability insurance relief and finding ways in which to perhaps extend the 2019 tax deadline are all smart things. But if you allow states to go bankrupt, if you don't ensure that every household in America, whether they be rich or poor, because we are all in this together, gets $4,000, $5,000, $6,000, $7,000 over the next several weeks or the next few weeks, that's the way you ensure that there's demand when the public health issue becomes improved and people feel more confident and comfortable going back to work.
Finally, I disagree with Ari just a little bit. I don't think the government is solely responsible for the shutdown. I think people, and maybe Ari feels this way as well, but I think people, until they feel confident going to a restaurant or a theater or taking their kids on an airplane, and that probably won't come until we have a therapeutic or vaccine, we're going to have a long time in which we are dealing with this. You have got to give people resources to survive.
BAIER: Charlie, I want to ask you about, we're getting ready to have whatever phase four looks like. Democrats are in the process of writing some kind of legislation. We've long since forgotten deficits and debts collectively, both parties have. But this could be something to see once it's unveiled, probably next week.
CHARLES HURT, OPINION EDITOR, "WASHINGTON TIMES": Yes, and obviously they are responding to something that is truly unprecedented. But at the end of the day, the federal government can't spend its way out of this crisis. The only way that we are going to get out of the crisis is by growing out of the crisis, and the way we do that is by figuring out a way, while keeping public health, obviously, forefront in our minds, figure out how to open the economy back up and growing out of the problem.
Of course, the problem with all this spending is added to what you just noted, which is that, of course, we are doing all of this on top of tens of trillions of dollars worth of debt that both parties have heaped on taxpayers, on American citizens, before now. And that debt is looking a whole lot more dangerous today than it did even a year ago.
But one other point that I think that all politicians in both parties should be careful about, and that clip you just played of Joe Biden. Voters will forgive politicians for making mistakes, errors, in an unprecedented crisis like this. Politicians have to be very, very, very careful about trying to play politics or trying to take political advantage in a crisis like this, because if voters view them as trying to make some sort of personal advantage out of this, it will come back to bite them very badly. And I think this goes for President Trump, Joe Biden, Democrats, Republicans, everybody needs to be very careful that voters right now feel like we all are in this together right now, and anybody viewed as trying to capitalize on this in some unseemly way will get punished harshly at the polls for it.
BAIER: All right, gentlemen, stand by. Next up, the Friday lightning round and Winners and Losers, of course. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you doing the presidents' bidding in General Flynn's case?
WILLIAM BARR, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: No, I am doing the law's bidding. I'm doing my duty under the law as I see it.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF, (D-CA) CHAIRMAN, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: I think we've lost 50 years of ground and solidifying the independence of the Justice Department after Watergate. This really puts us back in the category of almost an emerging democracy where the rule of law is not firmly established, where prosecutorial decisions are made on the basis of politics.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: A lot of fallout, reaction to the decision by the DOJ to not move forward with the prosecution of Lieutenant General Michael Flynn. We're back with the panel. Charlie, your thoughts on this. Bill Barr saying to CBS last night, listen, there was no crime here, and they were trying to make up a crime, yet he is taking a lot of heat, obviously, from the left on this decision.
HURT: Yes, and I don't think he particularly cares about how much heat he's taking. He's doing what he thinks is right, and what we are beginning to see is the fact that you have the previous administration, operatives inside the previous administration launching not only an investigation into a political campaign at the height of an election, but continuing that pursuit of members of this incoming administration after they got elected, and that raises all sorts of very important constitutional questions. And the fact that Attorney General Bill Barr is doing this is a very important step.
BAIER: Here is Barr on the crime can't be established.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM BARR, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Once I saw all the facts and some of the tactics used by the FBI in this instance, and also the legal problems with the case, it was an easy decision. A crime cannot be established here. They did not have a basis for a counterintelligence investigation against Flynn at that stage.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: Harold, it's interesting to see that the reaction pretty much falls along party lines.
FORD: Look, I don't wish any harm to General Flynn, but you can't have two forums of justice. You can't have a forum of justice to the president's friends and allies, and people who are not. Remember, General Flynn pled guilty. It seems like his real quarrel might be with his original lawyers. At the end of the day, this matter will be resolved by Judge Sullivan, and I'll be curious to see if he asks those prosecutors to come in and explain what accounted for, what attributes to this about-face in this case.
BAIER: Ari, they make another argument there, but let's turn to the House transcripts on the Intel Committee that some of these figures who were talking openly about the investigation, about collusion, said a lot of different things behind closed doors under oath, like James Clapper and others.
FLEISCHER: It makes you wonder what was all this about? When the top Obama administration officials said in private testimony they had no evidence, there was no empirical evidence tying the president and his campaign to Russia. Why did we go through three years of misery over Russia collusion allegations against President Trump? It's as if the outgoing Obama administration just wanted to plant landmines all around the incoming Trump administration, the facts be damned. And that's what we've now learned with these no transcripts coming out. There was no evidence. Yet a special prosecutor was appointed anyway to pursue what we know was a lack of evidence.
BAIER: All right, a lightning Winners and Losers. Charlie first, go.
HURT: The winner of the week is Bill Barr for cleaning house at DOJ. Loser of the week is the judge down in Texas for putting somebody, a salon owner in jail for violating his restraining order and opening up her salon.
BAIER: Harold, winner and loser?
FORD: Winner, an organization, Multiplying Good. It's CEO Hillary Schafer, they are honoring at least a million Americans in organizations through acts of bravery and generosity, changing America and bringing us together. The loser, it's really a loss for the country. My prayers go out to Ahmaud Arbery's family. As the facts come out, it's even worse of a tragedy. He would have turned 26 this week. Happy birthday to him, and my best to his family in that community in Georgia.
BAIER: Horrible story. Ari, winner and loser?
FLEISCHER: Winner, those who fought for us in World War II and our allies who brought us today V-E Day, the defeat of the Nazis, victory in Europe.
The loser, Marty Tolchin, former "New York Times" reporter, prominent man around town, who wrote a letter to the editor that "The Times" printed that said we shouldn't investigate Tara Reade because if it turns out to be true it could hurt in the defeat of Donald Trump. The biggest loser of the week.
BAIER: All rights, the winner, our technical staff that puts these shows on every week, every day. And I think somebody on this panel has mail. I think it just popped up. I'm not sure.
Have a great weekend, and we'll see you next week. When we come back, "Notable Quotables."
BAIER: Finally tonight, it is Friday. It's Friday, how about that? Here's "Notable Quotables."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're all warriors together. I am, you are, we all are.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you finally hit on something that really means something to you, that is something that stays with you the rest of your life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want to thank our teachers who do so much for us all year.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you think to yourself, this is a world filled with possibility, and I am steeled and ready for the challenge.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Doctors, nurses, and health care workers literally taking the place of family and loved ones.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Each have an incredible story of what it has been like in the service of others at the front line.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That gives me so much hope. And I'm proud.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With all the support that we have here, it keeps us going, it keeps us motivated, and we are just here to save lives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: That is great stuff, one week. And we are one day closer to getting this all behind us. We are in this together, so hang in there.
This weekend on "FOX News Sunday," Chris Wallace will speak with Dr. Tom Inglesby, the director for the Center of Health Security at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. And here's a reminder, if you forgot, this Sunday is Mother's Day. Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there. Amy, the mother of my two children, my wife, Amy, my mom, Pat, my mother-in-law Barbie. Thank you to all the mothers out there.
Thank you for inviting us into your home tonight. That's it for this SPECIAL REPORT.
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