This is a rush transcript from “Fox News Sunday," July 26, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I'm Chris Wallace.
It is now 100 days until the election and voters must decide who they trust more to deal with the coronavirus, the economic fallout, and violence in our cities.
STEVEN MNUCHIN, TREASURY SECRETARY: The president, again, is focused on money and American workers and American pockets.
WALLACE: The White House and Senate Republicans are still at odds over how to shore up the economy as some key benefits expire. We'll ask treasury secretary and lead administration negotiator Steven Mnuchin when we'll get answers about new funding for workers and businesses. It's a "FOX News Sunday" exclusive.
Then, President Trump changes tactics as the White House tries to get a handle on the virus.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It will probably unfortunately get worse before it gets better.
WALLACE: As states re-impose restrictions and hospitals filled to capacity, we'll discuss the latest with former CDC director, Dr. Tom Frieden.
TRUMP: I'm announcing a surge of federal law enforcement into American communities plagued by violent crime.
WALLACE: Violent spikes in major cities, and the administration beefs up the federal presence on the ground despite local resistance.
We'll talk with Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas about what his city needs from Washington.
And the president cancels his convention acceptance speech in Florida over virus concerns. We'll ask our Sunday panel how both campaigns can generate momentum in the home stretch.
All, right now, on "FOX News Sunday".
WALLACE: And hello again from FOX News in Washington.
In 100 days, Americans had to the polls amid a pandemic and economic uncertainty. The numbers tell a grim story. This week, the U.S. surpassed 4 million cases and near as 150,000 dead, and 1.4 million Americans filed for first-time unemployment benefits.
In a moment, we'll talk with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin about when the White House and Congress will agree on a new relief plan to keep the U.S. economy afloat.
But first, David Spunt is traveling with President Trump in Bridgewater, New Jersey, with the latest on those negotiations -- David.
DAVID SPUNT, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Chris, the president spent his weekend here in New Jersey meeting with friends and supporters, but his economic team stayed in Washington working to make a deal.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pass the bill.
SPUNT: This weekend, a gut punch for millions of out-of-work Americans as their last $600 weekly pandemic unemployment checks went out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pass the bill and get the checks out there to people who really need it.
SPUNT: White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spent Saturday in talks.
Senate Republicans reportedly want unemployment checks to drop to $200 a week, along with $16 billion for COVID testing, and $105 billion for schools. Democrats want benefits to stay at $600 a week, while including rental and mortgage assistance.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: What are we doing here if we are not addressing the needs of people who lost their jobs through no fault of their own?
SPUNT: The president pushed for a payroll tax cut, but Democrats and some Republicans nixed it. The deadlock comes as the president canceled his RNC acceptance speech planned for next month in Florida. A reversal from six weeks ago when the speech was moved to Florida because North Carolina officials said no to a big crowd.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'll still do a convention speech in a different form.
SPUNT: And overnight, more unrest in cities. In Seattle, authorities declaring a riot, arrested more than two dozen people. Police in neighboring Portland, Oregon, are preparing to mark 60 straight nights of unrest.
SPUNT: As for the COVID relief money, the clock is ticking as millions of Americans grow anxious and the August recess looms, Chris.
WALLACE: David Spunt, reporting from Bridgewater, New Jersey, David, thank you.
And joining us now, secretary of the treasury, Steven Mnuchin.
Mr. Secretary, welcome back to "FOX News Sunday."
STEVEN MNUCHIN, TREASURY SECRETARY: Thank you. It's good to be with you.
WALLACE: House Democrats passed their relief bill back in May, fully two months ago. But here we are the last week in July and the White House and Senate Republicans still can't agree on just a GOP package.
Meanwhile, a federal ban on evictions ran out yesterday, federal unemployment benefits run out on Friday and the first -- the last checks have already gone out, and the Payroll Protection Program for businesses is running out early next month.
Here is Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: They have been so divided, so disorganized, so unprepared, that they have struggled to even draft a partisan proposal. Within their own conference, they can't come together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Won't millions of Americans, and millions of businesses pay the price, because the White House and Senate Republicans can't get your act together?
MNUCHIN: Well, Chris, first, let me say, I think that's unfair characterization. The administration and the Senate Republicans are completely on the same page. Mark Meadows and I were up yesterday just working on technical issues in the drafts. We had previously agreed on all these issues earlier in the week.
We want to move forward quickly. The bill will be introduced Monday and we're prepared to act quickly.
This is all about kids and jobs. This is our focus and we want to make sure something gets passed quickly so that we deal with the unemployment and all the other issues -- Paycheck Protection Plan, tax credits to rehire people and money for schools.
WALLACE: But, Mr. Secretary, the plan was supposed to be announced on Wednesday, then Thursday, now, it's next week. And it's two months after the Democrats came up with their plan. Now, you're going to have to start negotiating with Democrats now that you have a Republican plan.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday: Hopefully, we can come together behind some package we can agree on in the next few weeks.
And here's White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK MEADOWS, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: We're trying to make sure that we hit the immediate needs first and then continue to negotiate perhaps throughout most of August until we get something finished.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: So, do you have a GOP plan that will be announced tomorrow? And then, what are laid-off workers and what are struggling businesses supposed to do while you spend, as the White House chief of staff just said, until sometime in August negotiating with Democrats?
MNUCHIN: Well, let me first say, we do have an entire plan, it's a trillion dollars. And let me just remind everybody that of the $3 trillion we've already passed, we have about a trillion to a trillion and a half still left to put into the economy. So these are very, very large amount of money, working with Congress to support this.
And what Mark Meadows was saying is that within the trillion dollar package, there are certain things that have time frames that are bigger priority, so we could look at doing an entire deal, we could also look at doing parts.
So, obviously, the most pressing issues are the fact that we have unemployment insurance running out. We need to make sure that we don't have frivolous lawsuits for schools and universities. We want to make sure with the expiring unemployment insurance, we have the technical fix, so people don't get paid more to stay home than they do to work.
And we can move very quickly with the Democrats on these issues. We've moved quickly before and I see no reason why we can't move quickly again. And if there are issues that take longer, we'll -- we'll deal with those as well.
WALLACE: But, Mr. Secretary, you know, because Nancy Pelosi has made very clear, she's not going to agree to a piecemeal plan because the things that you want immediately are the things that you want, and there are things they want. They're not going to agree to some things until everything is agreed to.
Let's focus, if we can, specifically, on the unemployment benefits, because that seems to be the big holdup, certainly among Republicans. The plan that is just running out now provided a federal employment benefit on top of state unemployment benefits, a federal benefit of $600 a week.
You're saying that's too much. How much do you plan to reduce it and why?
MNUCHIN: Well, Chris, just remember, when we did the last plan -- and let me say, when you talk about piecemeal, this will be the fifth set of legislation. So there's no reason why we can't have number five, six, and seven as we need to deal with issues, and obviously, anything we knew -- we do, we need bipartisan support.
But as it relates to unemployment insurance, we knew there was going to be large unemployment. We had a technical issue with the states and how they were going to be able to do this. So, we picked a number that on the average looked OK, but what we've seen is now that we want to have the technical correction -- and we want to have something which pays people about 70 percent wage replacement, which I think is a very fair level.
So it's not a fixed number, it's something that pays you a percentage of your wages that are lost.
And let me just say, last time people thought we would have 40 or 50 million people unemployed, the good news is we never got anything like that. And matter of fact, we've created and brought back an enormous number of jobs.
So, all these different pieces have to work together, whether it's the Paycheck Protection Program, or whether it's the direct payments we send, or whether it's the money to schools, all this works together.
So, U.I. is just a component of the overall economic package, which everybody wants the same thing, which is, let's get kids back to school where it's safe, and let's get workers back to their jobs.
WALLACE: When I did my interview with President Trump last week, he said that he might veto a bill that did not include a payroll tax cut. That now has gone from all the discussions. Why did the administration cave on that so quickly?
MNUCHIN: Well, in our conversations with Pelosi and Schumer, it was very clear that the Democrats were not going to give us a payroll tax cut. So that's something the president will come back and look at later in the year, though the money goes --
WALLACE: But sir, in fair -- if I may, if I may, just briefly, it wasn't just Democrats. There were a number of Republicans who rejected this. I want to put them up on the screen.
Some of the top Republican leaders in the Senate: John Thune, John Cornyn, Chuck Grassley, the head of Senate Finance, they all said they had no interest in that as well.
So, you got -- you got blowback not just from Democrats, but from some top Republicans as well.
MNUCHIN: There are other Republicans that supported it, and let me just say -- again, we know we need bipartisan support. We have tax credits that we put in here to incentivize people to get back to work and small businesses to hire people. We have the direct payments.
And as you know, the direct payments are much quicker way of effectively giving everybody a tax cut and it's much quicker than the payroll tax cut.
WALLACE: Meanwhile, 32 -- you say we don't have 40 million unemployed, we do have 32 million people unemployed and more people applied for jobless benefits last week, 1.4 million, that had applied the week before. So, new unemployment is going up, not down.
Meanwhile, we're seeing this surge in the virus and more and more states are the delaying or actually rolling back some of their reopenings. Isn't this going to have an effect on the recovery? And is there a possibility of a double dip recession?
MNUCHIN: Well, Chris, let me just point out, as you said, we got to 30, we never got to 40 or 50, that's a huge difference, and we've created almost 10 million jobs since.
So, what -- we are in a very different situation. There are parts of the economy that are doing very well. There are parts of the economy that aren't. And there are places like New York and New Jersey, which were very big problems at the time, have recovered significantly. And there's other areas where there's an issue.
So, yes, we are going to put more money in the economy. We want to support workers, small business, kids going back to school, and those are all priorities.
WALLACE: GDP numbers will be released for the second quarter on Thursday, and the Atlanta Fed is projecting that the GDP number for the second quarter nationally will not be the plus 1 or 2 or 3 percent that we normally see, but instead, for the second quarter will be something like minus 33 percent.
One, is that what we should expect to see, a contraction of the economy by a third in the second quarter? And secondly, if it's anything like that, why would you want to cut back on the $600 stimulus payments, the unemployment benefits? Because there are projections that even if you cut it to around $200, which is basically what I think you're talking about, with a 70, 75 percent of wages, there are estimates that that's going to cost millions of jobs.
MNUCHIN: Well, Chris, we always have the second quarter was going to be a very bad quarter. Again, that's not for economic reasons. That's for health reasons. We literally shut down the entire economy.
And I think as we've said, we expect the third quarter, the consensus is 17 percent GDP, so we do think you're going to see a very big rebound.
I might just also comment on June retail sales. We're 1 percent higher than June of last year. So all that money we pumped into the economy, it worked. People went out and spent.
And on -- as it relates to the unemployment insurance, again, I think workers and Americans understand the concept that you shouldn't be paid more to stay home than to work. That the fair thing is to replace wages and it just wouldn't be fair to use taxpayer dollars to pay more people to sit home than they would get working and get a job.
WALLACE: Secretary Mnuchin, thank you. Thanks for your time. Always good to talk with you, sir.
MNUCHIN: Thank you, Chris.
WALLACE: Up next, the U.S. continues to see near record numbers of new coronavirus cases every day. We'll talk with the former head of the CDC about the continued spread and new guidance for reopening schools.
WALLACE: As COVID cases continue to spike across the Sun Belt, health experts are warning Americans to change their behavior to clamp down on the spreading virus.
Joining us now, former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden.
Doctor, let's start with schools, because your old agency, the CDC, put out new guidance this week that emphasized the importance of in-class education for students, and, also, downplayed the risk of young people, children, in school either getting or transmitting the virus. Is that the right message to be sending out to parents?
DR. TOM FRIEDEN, FORMER CDC DIRECTOR: Chris, it's really a question of leveling with people, being straight about what we know and what we don't know. One thing we know is that kids are way, way less likely to get seriously ill from COVID, about a thousand times less likely than older adults. And, in addition, the severity of COVID is fairly similar to the severity of a seasonal influenza, for kids. But that's just one part of the equation.
What about the staff? What about the teachers? What about people in the homes of kids, grandparents and others, who those kids could infect? So, one thing the guideline says is if the risk in the community is low you may be able to operate the schools safely.
Chris, the bottom line is any community can open schools. The hard part is opening them and keeping them open. And only a community that both controls COVID and opens schools carefully is going to be able to do that.
WALLACE: I want to pick up though on the second part, which we didn't -- you didn't quite touch on. How clear -- you talk about that the science seems to be pretty clear about the risk to children of getting the virus and what the effects will be, how clear is the science about the risk of children, particularly older children over 10, transmitting the virus?
DR. FRIEDEN: So, here there's more uncertainty. Kids appear to be somewhat less likely to get infected than adults, so there's different evidence on that from different parts of the world, and kids may be less likely to spread the virus to others, but there's very little evidence about that. And some of the science, some of the virus studies, suggest that older kids, 10, 12, and up, behave a lot like adults in their ability to spread the disease. We don't know for sure. What we do know is that if you have a lot of COVID in the community, you're going to have a lot of COVID in the school.
WALLACE: I want to put up two charts and get you to comment on them. Let's put up the first chart.
First, the huge spike in new cases, as you can see from the yellow line, they are almost double where they were during the earlier spike in April, that big increase over there on the right side of the screen. And then, let's look at deaths from the virus. That's now the yellow line. As you can see from this yellow line, they went down dramatically from the peak in April, but now they are back up to more than 1,000 deaths a day.
Dr. Frieden, where are we at this point with this virus? And why do you say, as you did I think this week, that this pandemic is going to be with us, quote, for years?
DR. FRIEDEN: Well, the virus clearly has the upper hand in the U.S. And what we're learning around the world is it doesn't go away. Unless you are an island and able to keep it out entirely, the best-case scenario is a community that rapidly finds cases and rapidly stops them and prevents the kind of explosive spread that we have in the U.S.
It's really clear that there's a lot of spread in bars, probably a lot of spread in indoor dining and restaurants, so really we've got a choice, do we want to close the bars and probably the indoor dining and give our kids a chance to learn in person in the fall or not? That's our choice. And in the Northeast, basically, we've made that choice, cases remain low and, if it keeps low, we'll be able to start some form of in-person schooling in many communities in the fall.
WALLACE: I want to talk about the U.S. in terms of this international approach. I'm not talking about a country like New Zealand, which is so very different. Some countries were able to flatten the curve and keep it really low and including some countries in Europe. Where does the U.S. stand, compared with other big industrialized nations, in terms of its handling of the pandemic?
DR. FRIEDEN: Well, I'll be frank, we are a laggard. We are one of the top in the world in terms of accumulative death rate. Unlike many other countries, that have high death rates, ours is continuing to increase; we are continuing to have many new deaths.
And, Chris, one of the things that concerns me most is that we're not on the same page. My group looked at all 50 states, what's on their website and most of the essential information isn't there. Every person in this country should be able to know very easily what's the risk in my community and how well is my community doing bringing that risk down so I and my family can be safer?
To do that, we need simple things like not how many tests are being done, that's a useless number. How many tests are being done that come back within 24 and 48 hours, that's important. And we need to know things like of the cases that were diagnosed today, how many of them were isolated within 48 hours, 72 hours, because that's how you stop chains of transmission.
Of the people diagnosed today, how many of those have been identified as contacts, warned and entered quarantine so they didn't spread it to others? That's how other countries are getting a handle on this epidemic and we can do that here also, but we need to be on the same page.
We need to focus on measurements that matter, we need to make those publicly available and hold all of us accountable for improving our performance so we can get our economy back, get our kids to school and save tens of thousands of lives, because that's what's in the balance.
WALLACE: Now, you have been very critical of what you call national leadership. There was a dramatic change that I think all of us noticed in the president's approach, his talk about the virus this week, after spending weeks talking about how the virus was going to disappear, he took a much more sober and, some would say, realistic approach this week.
Take a look at the president.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Some areas of our country are doing very well, others are doing less well. It will probably, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better, something I don't like saying about things, but that's the way it is.
WALLACE: How much did the president's months of the different approach, some would say his months of denial, hurt our national response to the pandemic? And how much of a difference could this new approach, if the president keeps it up and weaponizes (ph) it, mobilizes it, how much of a difference could that make going forward?
DR. FRIEDEN: It's really important that we all get on the same page. There's not going to be one solution to this pandemic and we need to level with people. We don't have enough tests, so we have to prioritize that. We don't have enough protective equipment for healthcare workers, so we need to safely reuse and use more of the routinely reusable equipment. And if and when a vaccine comes, we are going to have to face difficult decisions about who gets it first, how confident are we in its safety, how quickly will it be available?
One of the things that has hampered us is this idea that one thing is going to stop this. No one thing is going to stop it. It's here for a while but we're in it together, and if we unite in our effort against it while keeping physically apart, we can get our lives and our livelihoods back.
WALLACE: I want to pick up on this question of vaccines and I've got about a minute here, Dr. Frieden. There's a lot of talk and a lot of optimism now about two dozen different vaccines and that they're all entering the third stage of trials and that they all are looking good.
How -- realistically, how optimistic are you that we are going to get a vaccine? What's the earliest realistic time frame that we would get that? And will that -- when we do get a vaccine, will that end the pandemic threat here in the country?
DR. FRIEDEN: Well, first, we have to see if they work. And there is encouraging news that some of them might. Second, we have to make sure that they're safe and we cannot cut any corners on safety. And third, we have to make sure that we can get them into people's arms, and that means ensuring that there's trust.
Chris, there are two crucial things to watch here. There is an FDA and a CDC public advisory committee. The FDA determines whether to approve the vaccine, the CDC approve -- the ACIP, it's called, approves whether -- who should get it and when.
Those two bodies are really good. They're open, they're transparent, they're open to the public, there are no secrets here. It's very important that we maintain, gain, increase trust in this whole process or people are going to be confused, concerned and they're not going to take the vaccine.
But even with a vaccine --
WALLACE: And real quickly --
DR. FRIEDEN: -- still have the disease.
WALLACE: Realistically, what's the soonest that we might see a vaccine widely available?
DR. FRIEDEN: Well, you might see signals that the vaccine is protective sometime in the fall. You might see announcements from companies that they can make a lot of it. But between knowing it works and knowing it's safe, effective and available, that's going to be sometime next year, in all likelihood, if we're fortunate.
WALLACE: Dr. Frieden, thank you. Thanks for talking with us. We appreciate your straight talk. Please come back, sir.
Up next, as American cities see a rise in violence, this summer the debate grows over whether Washington should step in. We'll talk with the mayor of Kansas City, Missouri, when we come right back.
WALLACE: Coming up, President Trump hits Democratic mayors as they push back on plans to send in federal law enforcement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: This rampage of violence shocks the conscious of our nation and we will not stand by and watch it happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: We'll talk with the mayor of Kansas City about federal officers in his city.
WALLACE: Tensions remain high between Democratic mayors and President Trump over his law and order rhetoric and plans to deploy federal officers to combat violent crime in major cities.
Joining us now, the Democratic mayor of Kansas City, Quinton Lucas.
Mayor, you began this year with a commitment that you were going to keep a number of homicides in Kansas City in 2020 below 100. But here we are, still in July, and Kansas City has already seen more than 100 murders.
How bad is the homicide problem in your city and how do you explain it?
MAYOR QUINTON LUCAS (D), KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI: You know, I think there's a significant challenge in Kansas City and a number of American cities that actually started long before Black Lives Matter protests, long before Covid-19, where we have an increase in homicides, more activity relating to illegal gun trafficking in our communities and enhanced and increased gang activities. So it's a very significant challenge, one which we have been very honest about with federal officials, our governor and others in saying that we want to find a multifaceted approach to how to address it, but we recognize just more patrols isn't necessarily the way.
WALLACE: Do you think that the Covid-19 and the reaction to the George Floyd killing and anti-police feeling in communities, that that has added to the homicide problem in Kansas City and other urban centers?
LUCAS: You know, I do not think it has. And, actually, I was pretty frustrated this week, the president, at his press conference, mentioned the George Floyd protests, mentioned the Black Lives Matter movement, mentioned in anti-police sentiment as the reason for an increase in shootings in homicides. That is not the case in Kansas City. We've had year-over-year increases. We've had positive relationships in years past with the Department of Justice in collaborative programs. And, frankly, what we need help on is actually clearing some of the unsolved murders. Unsolved murders as distinct from protests.
And so I think where you see the activities of federal agents in Portland, places like Seattle as well, that's detrimental, whereas here in Kansas City, we can just use help solving our -- our murders that have happened so far this year, 39 percent of which are currently uncleared.
WALLACE: I want to pick up on exactly that, because this week President Trump and Attorney General Barr announced that they have sent 200 more agents to Kansas City and are sending hundreds more to other cities like Chicago and Albuquerque. But your response to the -- to all of this, or at least one of your responses, is your complaint that you learned about Operation LeGend, as this is called, on Twitter.
I -- I can understand that maybe that's not the best way to communicate, but shouldn't you, given the problem of homicides in Kansas City, be embracing an increase in the number of officers who are going to do just what you said, work on unsolved cases, work on gangs, work on illegal guns in your -- in your center?
LUCAS: Yes. And let me make sure I keep the record clear. Our local U.S. attorney had contacted my office the day before a White House press briefing and said, would you like federal support? Typically we work with federal agencies all the time.
The question is, what type of support is it? And when we heard from the press secretary in a press conference, no real heads up on the nature of the operation, the scope and how long, there was some surprise there. So I -- I would put it this way, yes, would we like help solving a violent crime? Absolutely. For example, an FBI profiler, if you have a serial killer in your city, but do you want a thousand agents on let's say the border of Kansas City with the state of Kansas? The answer to that would be no.
There's a lot in between. And so what I think I'm saying, and other mayors, particularly Democrats around the country, are saying is, let's actually try to have a pinpointed, targeted focus on solving murders, not just doing a citywide warrant check of every individual possible. I mean we're -- we're in a fairly tense situation with how we police right now in America. And just, I think, pouring fuel on the fire and stoking division, which is what the white House, the attorney general, I think, in their statements have done, is not helping us actually get more people to trust the police and want to talk about folks that are picking up arms and killing people in Kansas City.
WALLACE: Well, let me pick up on -- on this, Mayor, because I -- it seems to me part of the problem with all of this is there are politics on both sides.
Here's President Trump this week talking about Operation LeGend and then here is Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot reacting.
Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The effort to shut down policing in their own communities has led to a shocking explosion of shootings, killings, murders, and heinous crimes of violence. This bloodshed must end. This bloodshed will end.
MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT (D), CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: The president is trying to divert attention from his failed leadership on Covid-19.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Mayor, I understand we're in the middle of a heated campaign, but as it's constituted, with federal agents coming in, FBI, DEA, ATF, to work in joint tax forces with local police, isn't Operation LeGend good for the people of Kansas City and good for the people of Chicago and other cities?
LUCAS: I think if you listen to recent statements for myself, from Mayor Lori Lightfoot, from Mayor Keller in Albuquerque, we've all said that we are happy to work with federal agents in a limited scope.
I think the president's rhetoric often is part of the problem in terms of - - of what we're seeing in cities. If you have a press conference where you say that cities have failed, were you, I think, are really following dog whistle politics, then you'll get responses where people in our communities, and I've heard it loud and clear from a number of Kansas Citians, have grave concern with the nature of the operation. Whereas, if you actually work collaboratively, not trying to make this important issue, our cities pain a core campaign issue in November, then I think you actually will have great agreements.
So, right now, I have been working with a local U.S. attorney, our police department's working with them, but we want to make sure that this is solving murders. There were about 60 unsolved murders in Kansas City as we speak, but they've sent 225 federal agents to do any number of things. I just assume have each of them match with an unsolved case, and that's how we can get through this, instead of using this as a moment to try and create divisive rhetoric that I think is being exploited for the presidential election.
WALLACE: But -- but part of the problem here may be that the -- there are two things that are getting mixed up. One is Operation LeGend, which seems to be much more about solving crime, the thing that you're talking about. There's a separate operation in Portland and -- and, you know, we'll put up some of the video there on the screen of -- of the terrible protests that have been going on there for more than eight weeks now protecting federal property. Federal agents there, a lot of them from DHS.
You're one of 15 mayors that this week sent a letter to the Trump administration saying this deployment is unconstitutional. One, I'd like to ask you on what grounds it's unconstitutional for federal authorities to protect federal property. And, second, you've got federal officers who have been injured, federal property that's been damaged. I understand this is a different operation than Operation LeGend in your city, crime fighting, but -- but it's the fed's fault if they defend property against protesters who are throwing, you know, various objects at them, throwing Molotov cocktails at them?
LUCAS: You know, I think it's both unconstitutional and unwise. I mean I'm old enough to remember during the Tea Party movement we were talking about powers reserved to states and localities. And what we're seeing now, I think, if you look at the Portland video is not operations that are limited purely to protecting federal courthouses and federal installations, but instead taking part in broad-based police activity and riot control without an invitation from their mayor their or their governor. I think that is the type of activity that is -- is not actually lawful. And I stand with those who have brought challenges to it. That's different, I understand, from what we're seeing in Operation LeGend.
And then in terms of, is it wise or not, right? Each mayor in America -- and, by the way, you don't get elected mayor as some radical in most cases. Most of us are folks that -- that work with law enforcement often, that run law enforcement departments in our city and they have told me as well, right, we have this under control. What we don't need is more fuel on the fire from federal agents to make it, I think, an exciting political issue.
LUCAS: In Portland, you already see that the Republican Party in -- in both Oregon and Washington, actually, with Seattle too, are using this as an advantageous position for the November election.
WALLACE: All right, well I -- Mayor Lucas, thank you. I hope we've at least cleared up the confusion between Operation LeGend and the deployment of -- of riot police in cities like Portland and Seattle. I have to say, it was confusing to me and I'm glad we covered -- we cleared that part of it up.
Mayor Lucas, thank you. Thanks for joining us. Good to speak with you, sir.
LUCAS: Thank you.
WALLACE: Up next, just weeks before the national conventions, the president cancels plans for a big bash in Jacksonville, Florida. We'll bring in our Sunday group to discuss a presidential campaign unlike any we've ever seen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The flair-up in Florida. To have a big convention, it's not the right time. It's really something that for me, I have to protect the American people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: In a surprise announcement, President Trump says he's canceling his big acceptance speech next month in Jacksonville, Florida.
And it's time now for our Sunday group.
Guy Benson of Fox News Radio, Fox News correspondent Gillian Turner, and Fox News political analyst Juan Williams.
Guy, you know that President Trump hated to pull the plug on his big acceptance speech, the big extravaganza in -- in Jacksonville. One, why do you think he really did it? And -- and, two, what impact do you think it's going to have really for both of these candidates that they're not going to get the kind of big momentum, the big push from the convention that candidates normally get in July and August?
GUY BENSON, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, the four-day infomercial is gone. And that's another very unusual thing in a very unusual election year.
But, Chris, you called it a surprise announcement. I guess that's true in the sense that we didn't know it was coming in that moment. But I think it was the correct decision, an inevitable decision. And, frankly, it was a concession to reality more than anything else. With the pandemic still being a serious issue, hitting Florida, it looks like things may be leveling off their, but, knock on wood, we'll have to wait and see.
All of a sudden, you know, it's going to be August very soon. And, Chris, when I would have guests on the radio who had been very involved in convention planning in the past and I would ask them, how do you actually work out the logistics of moving cities and states at the very last minute, in the middle of an environment like this, there was a lot of hemming and hawing. And, frankly, when you actually even dug into how we could cover it, asking questions about basic, where are we going to stay, journalist who were planning maybe to go down to Jacksonville --
BENSON: You would hear reports about the purgatory of endless phone calls and conference calls and no real answers. And I think they'd run out of real estate here and did what they had to do.
WALLACE: As I discussed with Dr. Frieden, there was a dramatic change in the president's approach to the virus this week. Less talk about reopening, more talk about dealing with the continuing problem.
Here is the shift over the months, including this week, on the president on wearing masks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (April 3, 2020): Well, I don't want to wear one myself. It's a recommendation. They recommended it. I'm feeling good.
TRUMP (May 26, 2020): Can you take it off, because I cannot hear you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll -- I'll just speak louder, sir. This -- this --
TRUMP: Oh, OK, because you want to be politically correct. Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, sir, I just want to wear the mask.
TRUMP: Go ahead.
TRUMP (July 21, 2020): I have no problem with the masks. I view it this way, anything that potentially can help -- and that certainly can potentially help -- is a good thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Gillian, how do you explain the president's I think fairly substantial change this week and how -- what affect do you think it will have both on virus policy and on the president's political standing?
GILLIAN TURNER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris, talking to sources on the Trump campaign, at the RNC and in the administration, I can tell you no one is going to say or acknowledge we are reversing course, but they are, in fact, reversing course. It may not be as dramatic in the coming weeks as it was this week, but I will say to -- based on sourcing, to expect more action like this.
Now, the official story on Jacksonville is that CDC officials had really been hoping that over the summer the virus was going to ease up and so then CDC guidelines would be changed to reflect that. That would make sort of the convention issue and maybe even the facial mask issue obsolete by the time President Trump actually had to push pedal to the metal.
The real story here is that a handful of officials inside the administration and the campaign got hold of the president and really convinced him that his moves were hurting him in the polls and that part of the reason he's been sliding lately is because he was not -- not that he wasn't attuned to Americans' real concerns about the virus, but that he wasn't attuned to how extreme and dramatic they were becoming with this new surge.
TURNER: And so that's what we're seeing this reversal.
WALLACE: Meanwhile, Joe Biden pulled out his biggest gun this week, having -- putting out a video of his first face-to-face, in person, not virtual, appearance, joint appearance, with President Obama. And here is some of that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: You can't separate out the public health crisis from the economy. If you want the economy growing again, people have to feel safe.
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What you did and what all great presidents do is they not only lead, they persuade.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Juan, how effective do you think Barack Obama can be in helping Joe Biden? To what degree can he translate, transfer is very considerable popularity among Democrats and independents to Joe Biden?
JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think that he can have a tremendous effect for just the reason that you articulated, Chris, which is that he remains quite popular with Democrats and independents and people also see him as quite presidential, which is quite a contrast at times to the popular view of President Trump as provocative, entertaining, divisive. So that's quite a contrast at this moment.
As you said, the president -- President Trump has made big changes within this last week, the convention, on the masks, even now resuming the briefings on the coronavirus in the White House. He's even now trying to start telling the truth in some cases, saying that the virus will get worse.
But in both -- both in terms of the -- the public health challenge and the political challenge, these things are coming late in the game.
WILLIAMS: As Gillian was saying, what you see is that he's down, I think it's eight points in the Washington -- eight points in the Fox poll, ten points in "The Washington Post" polling.
WILLIAMS: So he's down in a big way and feels the need for a reset.
The problem is, the coronavirus is the number one issue politically right now and, two-thirds of the American people don't trust him.
WALLACE: Juan -- Juan, I'm going to break -- I'm going to break in -- Juan, I'm going to break in because we got about a minute and a half left and I want to -- you give got to give me about a 20 second answer.
Joe Biden is reportedly scheduled to announce his vice presidential pick next Saturday, August 1st.
Juan, let's start with you, go down. Who you think it's going to be?
WILLIAMS: Well, the dark horse that's emerged this past week, Chris, is Karen Bass, congresswoman from California, former head of the assembly there. But don't take your eye off of Kamala Harris, Susan Rice. And, of course, when you think about Elizabeth Warren, she's very popular with all Democrats, both black-and-white.
WALLACE: You --
WILLIAMS: So even black Democrats who want a black woman are saying, well, we want to woman most of all.
WALLACE: You -- all right. I'm asking you -- I'm asking you to go quickly. Much quicker than that.
Gillian, who do you think is going to be the pick? And I have to say, Juan did not go -- settle on one choice.
Go ahead, Gillian, give us one.
TURNER: No. Well, Kamala Harris is the frontrunner pick according to Democrats today. She doesn't have it in the bag. This could change. But she is definitely the frontrunner talking to sources this week. But they also say she might not be progressive enough.
And, Guy, your thoughts about who do you think the vice president's going to pick?
BENSON: There's a bit of a boomlet now for Susan Rice. Tammy Duckworth, the senator from Illinois, she's in the conversation. My money is still probably on Kamala Harris. She feels, I think, from the Biden campaign's perspective like the safest pick and they're running a very safe campaign.
WALLACE: Thank -- and I will say one other thing, Kamala Harris has really been off the screen and I remember Joe Biden went completely dark just before he was picked, so that's an indication of something, maybe.
Thank you, panel. See you next Sunday.
Up next, our "Power Player of the Week." He's known for merging punk with piano. Now he's getting a musical matchup of classical and pop.
WALLACE: It's a constant test for symphony orchestras, how to bring in fresh ideas and fans without alienating the diehards. As we first told you in February, the guy who brought piano to the punk scene is taking on that challenge, and he's our "Power Player of the Week."
BEN FOLDS, MUSICIAN AND AUTHOR: Because there seems to be a hierarchy, which you would think exists where the symphony is the great thing and then -- the -- the rockers are the dumb ones, but it's not that simple and -- and each have something to offer the other.
WALLACE (voice over): Ben Folds is all about breaking down barriers, musical barriers, between pop and classical.
As artistic adviser to the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, his late night, sold out, declassified concerts are the platform for his special mix.
FOLDS: It's about unformalizing the symphony orchestra in a way that doesn't intimidate people. People go to the symphony and they think, oh, how do I dress? They don't even know. So, you know, we make it informal in a way for them to feel comfortable to be there.
WALLACE: He's been blending genres since the '90s, when he started Ben Folds Five, which hit the charts with the ballad "Brick."
FOLDS: She's a brick and I'm drowning slowly.
WALLACE (on camera): No guitar?
FOLDS: No guitar. No. In an -- in an era that was all about the guitar. That was the grunge era.
WALLACE: You called it punk rock for sissies.
FOLDS: Yes, maybe nerds would have been a little better word.
I realized that everyone could relate to piano music, but it just wasn't cool at the moment.
WALLACE: Walk us through, when you're sitting at a piano, how you come up with an idea.
FOLDS: I don't know. You know, like I'm -- if I was going to say, hello, Chris Wallace, you know, then I'd find it. So it would be, hello, Chris Wallace, how are you today. You know, like then I would -- I would find it on the piano.
WALLACE: That's the Chris Wallace song?
FOLDS: That's the Chris Wallace song.
WALLACE: Well, let -- let me hear that again.
FOLDS: Here's the happy version. Hello, Chris Wallace, how are you today? We make it minor and it becomes sad because he has more work to do.
You know, I just -- you find it.
WALLACE: I love that.
WALLACE: (voice over): Folds shares his creative process in this memoir. The title refers to a childhood dream where he spread joy by catching lightning bugs for others.
FOLDS: As an artist, what I do is I capture the thing that I see, the thing that interests me. My job is putting that idea in a bottle, which I've taken my whole life to do, and to share that with other people.
WALLACE: He's still sharing his lightning bugs and spreading joy.
WALLACE: In our interview last week with President Trump, he question whether his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, could handle a similar encounter. Well, this week we asked the Biden campaign for an interview and they said the former vice president was not available. We'll keep asking every week.
And that's it for today, have a great week and we'll see you next FOX NEWS SUNDAY.
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