'Fox News Sunday' on June 13, 2021
This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday" on June 13, 2021. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I'm Chris Wallace.
President Biden takes his "America is back" policy on the road, hoping our
adversaries feel the heat and our allies fall in line.
JOSEPH R. BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Democracies of the world
are standing together.
WALLACE (voice-over): In his first international trip as President, Mr.
Biden turns the page from the Trump "America first" policy, rallying Europe
against Russia and China, and promising American leadership in the global
BIDEN: In times of trouble, Americans reach out.
WALLACE: Today, we'll speak with the current and previous secretaries of
First, Antony Blinken, about Mr. Biden's promise that democracy can
deliver, and this week's high-stakes sit-down with Russian President Putin.
Then, we'll get reaction from former Trump Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Blinken and Pompeo, only on "FOX News Sunday".
Plus, Vice President Harris hits the global stage with a message to
migrants to rethink dangerous travel to the U.S. border.
KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Do not come.
WALLACE: We'll ask our Sunday panel about the blowback she is getting from
the right and left.
And our "Power Player of the Week," an Olympic gold medalist on the debate
over transgender athletes in women's sports.
All, right now, on "FOX News Sunday".
WALLACE (on camera): And hello again from FOX News in Washington.
President Biden continues to meet with American allies in Europe hoping to
rally them to join the U.S. in countering Russia and China. He's trying to
engage them on trade and human rights, on COVID and climate change,
pledging "America is back" is a better partner than it was under President
All this before the main event of the trip when he sits down with Russian
President Putin in Geneva on Wednesday.
This hour, a fascinating exchange as we talk with both Secretary of State
Antony Blinken and his immediate predecessor, former Secretary Mike Pompeo
about the change in foreign policy from Trump to Biden.
But first, let's bring in Peter Doocy with the latest on the president's
meeting with other leaders of the G7 industrial democracies.
BIDEN: The U.S. is back.
PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Back, trying
to make nice with leaders in Europe.
EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT: It's great to have the U.S. president
part of the club.
DOOCY: The G7 featured a lot of photo ops and some major announcements,
like a plan to donate a billion COVID-19 doses to low income countries and
to confront problems on the horizon.
BIDEN: The key challenges of this century, cybersecurity, emerging
technologies, global health, and climate change.
DOOCY: The full G7 is planning to sign a joint communique Sunday,
condemning China for unfair trade practices and human rights abuses. From
the G7, Biden heads to NATO headquarters in Belgium with Russian aggression
on the agenda. Then, flies to Geneva for a meeting with the Russian
BIDEN: We're not seeking conflict with Russia.
DOOCY: Putin is already sizing Biden up.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): President Biden,
of course, is radically different from Trump because President Biden is a
career man. He spent virtually his entire adulthood and politics.
DOOCY: President Biden doesn't want to give too much away publicly.
REPORTER: What's your message to Putin?
BIDEN: I'll tell you after I deliver it.
DOOCY (on camera): So, it doesn't sound as though that meeting will be
like this one, with lots of joking and elbow bumping. The U.S. and Russia
are both already outlining major issues with one another. They want to
discuss and there will not be a joint press conference afterwards.
The White House tells us the president is going to come out and explain how
he thinks it went with Putin solo -- Chris.
WALLACE: Peter Doocy traveling with the president in England -- Peter,
thanks for that.
And joining us now, the secretary of state, Antony Blinken.
Mr. Secretary, welcome back to "FOX News Sunday."
BLINKEN: Thanks, Chris. It's great to be with you.
WALLACE: This trip is building up to, I guess, the climax, the meeting
with Russian President Putin in Geneva on Wednesday. Here's what Putin said
this week about relations between the U.S. and Russia.
Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): We have a
bilateral relationship and that deteriorated to its lowest point in recent
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Do you agree that relations between the U.S. and Russia are at
the lowest point in recent years?
BLINKEN: Well, that may be the one thing that I'd agree with President
Putin on. And one of the things that President Biden will begin to test is
whether Russia is interested in a more stable, predictable relationship,
which would be to everyone's benefit. But if not, if it continues to take
reckless and aggressive actions directed at us or our allies and partners,
the president is going to make clear that we'll respond forcefully, as we
did in the case of election interference, the Solar Winds cyber hack, the
attempt to murder Mr. Navalny.
So this is the beginning of testing the proposition about whether Russia
wants a more stable relationship itself, and whether in some areas where
there is mutual interest we can find some ways to cooperate.
WALLACE: When the president arrived in Europe earlier this week, he was
pretty general about the message he intends to convey to Mr. Putin. Take a
look at what he said then.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: Then to meet with Mr. Putin to let him know what I want him to
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: So let's get more specific. Putin just said -- or was reported
that he said this morning that he is willing to hand over cyber criminals
to the U.S. if we hand over cyber criminals we're harboring to him. Is that
a satisfactory resolution to the ransomware problem?
BLINKEN: Chris, I don't want to get ahead of the president. But let me say
this. When it comes to ransomware, no responsible country should be in the
business of harboring criminal organizations engaged in those practices.
And that is something that the president very much intends to take up with
President Putin. That's very much on the agenda.
WALLACE: But what can he do about it, Mr. Secretary? I mean, I know he can
say there are these gangs, they're shutting down our pipelines, they're
shutting down our food supply. But other than complaining about it, what
can the president do?
BLINKEN: Look, let me take one step back for a second. We're not coming
into -- the president is not coming into this meeting with President Putin
in a void. We're coming off of a G-7 summit, a NATO summit, a meeting with
E.U. leadership. And what we're demonstrating in each of these meetings and
summits is that democracies can come together and work effectively to
actually deliver results for our people, and by the way, for people around
the world, and also when we're working together militarily, economically,
diplomatically, politically, we're a very powerful force.
There was a major poll that just came out that showed that across those
countries, 75 percent of the people on average now have confidence in
American leadership and in President Biden. That's up from 17 percent a
year ago. So we're now in a position where when it comes to dealing with
Russia and the challenges it poses, or dealing with China and the
challenges it poses, we can come with a much more united front.
And so I think you'll see, and again, I'm not going to get ahead of the
president, but when it comes to looking for action to deal with things like
ransomware, we are in a stronger position with tools of our own and the
international community with us to elicit that action.
WALLACE: Why did the president decide to hold a solo news conference after
his summit with Putin on Wednesday as opposed to the joint press
conferences that he usually holds with foreign leaders and the joint press
conference that President Trump and Putin held after their summit in 2018?
BLINKEN: Chris, I think it's the most effective way for the president to
be able to talk with the free press and to share, for as long he can, what
was discussed in the meeting with President Putin, as well as to cover the
entire week, to talk about what we've accomplished over the course of the
G-7, the NATO meetings, the E.U. meetings.
By the way, he's doing a solo press conference I think almost right now in
the U.K. after the G-7. So this is not a rare practice.
WALLACE: One of the president's main objectives on this trip is to get the
allies, both the G7, the EU, NATO, to join together -- I guess not NATO,
but the others to join together in calling out China for dumping its
exports at unfair trade -- unfair low prices and also to call out China for
human rights abuses.
Now I know there's a communique, but I want to ask you the practical
effect, have the U.S. and the allies agreed that they are going to condemn
forced labor, for instance by the Uyghurs, have they agreed that they're
going to go to the WTO and ask for duties on China for dumping exports?
BLINKEN: First, Chris, it's important in and of itself that the
communique, this document that comes out of the G7 and talks about what the
G7 leaders have agreed on, it's important in and of itself that there's a
focus on China. Go back to 2018, the last time these leaders came together,
no mention of China in the documents summing what the G7 was focused on.
Going forward, we had very detailed discussions about the kind of work that
could be done, the kind of actions that could be taken. For example, in
preventing the export of products made with forced labor in China, or for
that matter, preventing the export of products that could be used to
repress people in China. All of that was on the table and I think you can
expect to see going forward different countries taking action across those
But one other thing's really important, I just want to spend a second on it
-- one of the things that the leaders agreed to was this so-called Build
Back Better for the World. And that is an agreement to work -- to start to
pull all of our resources, our development resources, make investments in
low and middle income countries, get the privates sector to make these
investments, to build up their healthcare systems, infrastructure
technology, which will be a strong market for our products. But to do it in
a way that's a race to the top, not the bottom in terms of the standards,
in terms of respect for workers, for environment, for privacy. All of these
That's a very powerful positive alternative to what China is doing with its
so-called Belt and Road Initiative. We're demonstrating that we --
WALLACE: That's also --
BLINKEN: -- positive alternative vision in the -- for the future and
bringing countries along.
WALLACE: There's also the continuing controversy over the origins of
COVID. I know the president has ordered this 90-day review of U.S.
intelligence on what we know. But one assumes if we knew anything we'd
already know it. And I guess the more important question is what is the
president prepared to do unilaterally, not through the WHO, which is
already been hit (ph) by the Chinese, what is he prepared to do
unilaterally to press China to provide, to share more evidence, more
information, especially from the Wuhan lab?
BLINKEN: Well first, Chris, you're -- the premise of your question is
entirely correct, which is we need to get to the bottom of what happened.
We need accountability, but we also need to understand what happened, why
it happened, how it happened if we're going to be able to put in place the
necessary measures to prevent it from happening again, or at least to be in
a better place to mitigate the next pandemic if we can't fully prevent one.
And so we need -- we need this transparency. We need this information.
So WHO, you're right, the first study that they put out was highly
deficient. The leaders of the G7 had come together insisting that China
cooperate with the so-called Phase 2 study by the WHO to really get to the
bottom of what happened. But that is -- that's not enough. The president
ordered this 90-day sprint (ph).
We looked at this very hard. He ordered back in March that we try to
determine for ourselves the origins of the -- of COVID-19. And we came up
with two plausible explanations. One is the so-called natural occurrence
going from animal to human, the other was a lab leak. But we couldn't
determine with any degree of certainty which one it was.
But the president's order now is to -- with the intelligence community
bringing all of the different agencies of government, and also our national
labs, other experts, bringing all of that expertise to bare (ph), to look
at every piece of information we have to see if we can make a
Going forward, the thing that is most critical, besides accountability, is
again making sure that every country, including China, cooperates with the
international community in making sure that we have the transparency, we
have access for experts in real time, we have information sharing so that
if something starts to percolate again, we're on top of it.
WALLACE: Finally, your immediate predecessor, Secretary Pompeo, is waiting
on the wings. He's going to be coming up in the next segment.
Briefly, what would you tell him is the biggest difference between Biden
foreign policy and Trump foreign policy?
BLINKEN: Chris, I'm resolutely looking forward, not backward. Please say
hello to Mike. We've had a lot of good conversations and I look forward to
the next one. But we're focused on the future and moving forward. We've had
a very good couple of days with the G7 in actually demonstrating the
democracies can come together and deliver for people in real ways, real
A billion shots in arms, that's remarkable. Dealing more effectively with
climate change, prohibiting financing of coal fired plants, which is the
biggest single contributor to emissions. This Build Back Better for the
World that I talked about. The 15 percent global cooperate minimum hacks
that's going to give countries around the world a stronger tax space,
stronger markets for us, ultimately.
So that's what we're focused on, as well as strengthening NATO and working
with the EU and dealing with Mr. Putin. So please say hi to Mike.
WALLACE: That is a very diplomatic answer for the Secretary of State.
Secretary Blinken, thank you. Thanks for your time in the midst of the
president's trip and please come back, sir.
Up next, we'll get reaction from Secretary Blinken's predecessor. Former
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo joins us next.
WALLACE: On Wednesday, Joe Biden will become the fifth U.S. president to
sit down with Russian President Putin. And as usual in these summits, there
are a number of critical issues.
Joining us now, former secretary of state under President Trump, Mike
Mr. Secretary, welcome back.
MIKE POMPEO, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Good morning, Chris. It's great to
be with you again, sir.
WALLACE: You just heard my conversation with Secretary Blinken. Your
POMPEO: Well, generically, when I hear the administration talking about
taking America back, they're talking about back to what President Obama did
for eight years where America was weak.
We might have been like, they seem (ph) -- a lot of people talk about how
they're having this really fun time over at the G7, everybody likes
President Biden. What's important is not that they like America but that
they respect us, that we deliver good outcomes for the American people. We
need to focus on the things that matter most to America.
When I hear that they have raised climate change to the singular most
important topic that they're going to cover when the great European
economies and the great economy, the United States of America, meet
together to have a chance to grow and create prosperity and build out peace
throughout the world, when I hear the Green New Deal is the top of the
agenda, I worry that we have -- we've raised an issue that is not the thing
that will make lives better for the American people most quickly and most
WALLACE: As we've said, the centerpiece of this trip is this coming
Wednesday in Geneva when President Biden sits down with Russian President
Putin. You have been critical of Biden as being too soft on Russia. You
criticized the fact that he renewed the START 5 (ph) nuclear arms treaty,
you criticized the fact that he also lifted the sanctions that allow
completion of the Nord Stream gas pipeline between Russia and Germany.
When these two men sit down on Tuesday -- on Wednesday, rather, are you
worried about what's going to happen?
POMPEO: Well, I heard Secretary Blinken say the right words, right? That
we want to find the places we can work alongside the Russians. We try to do
But there was no administration that was tougher on Russia. We worked
diligently to support Ukraine with defensive weapon systems. We built up
the United States military.
Chris, we left NATO $400 billion stronger than we took over. We built out
that relationship between the United States and NATO in a way that really
put pressure on Vladimir Putin.
What I will look for is the actions. It won't be about what is said, it
won't be about whether the tone is right. It will be about the actions that
the United States government is prepared to take, to preserve and defend
American interests and stop Russian malign activity around the world.
You'll recall, when you hear President Biden talk about taking us back,
back is the Russians taking Crimea on the watch of President Obama, a fifth
of Ukraine. That's not a back that the United States can afford to allow to
happen. We need to move forward and we need to continue to defend the
United States against the threats that Vladimir Putin may pose, whether
it's cyber or kinetic or any of the other information efforts that Vladimir
Putin will try to foist upon America if President Biden is weak.
WALLACE: Well, let me ask you about a specific issue and I think it's
right now at the top of the agenda, and that is ransomware, these attacks
on vital U.S. infrastructure coming from gangs out of Russia. I asked
Secretary Blinken about that and he said, with the support of all the
allies that the U.S. is prepared to take action. He wouldn't say what it
was, but to take action if Russia is going to continue to harbor these
What action should President Biden be willing to take to?
POMPEO: So, Chris, that's really a tale of three pipelines, right? We shut
down 10,000 jobs with the Keystone Pipeline here in the United States of
America and then they permitted the Russian pipeline to continue to be
built that will threaten the heart of Europe's energy infrastructure, and,
of course, you were referring to the cyber attack on the Colonial Pipeline.
President Trump and our team were very clear about what we would do in
response to cyberattacks. We changed -- it's a pretty arcane idea but we
change the NSPM, the rules that permitted us to respond to these attacks. I
hope that the Biden demonstration will use the tools that we provided.
We've got the capacity to respond to this in a way that imposes costs of
not only on the perpetrators themselves, sometimes criminal gangs,
sometimes state-sponsored -- state-backed entities, but make sure we impose
those costs in a place that Vladimir Putin who is allowing this to take
place, from (INAUDIBLE), can actually feel the cost and convince him that
it's in his best interest to stop this from happening and stop attacking
America through this cyber tool that is not much different than other kinds
of attacks on the United States.
WALLACE: But, Mr. Secretary, let's look back at the Trump record of --
under President Trump, the administration didn't stop Russia from
completing -- and they continued during the Trump administration to build
the Nord Stream pipeline. By the end of the administration, it was 90
percent completed. And President Trump never condemned Russia for the
poisoning of Alexey Navalny or his arrest. And both of those happened on
POMPEO: Well, Chris, you said it yourself, they didn't complete the
pipeline. We had imposed real sanctions on the ships that were doing the
construction, the insurers that were underwriting. We made clear that that
pipeline was not going to be completed.
It would not have been completed had we had four more years, I'm very, very
confident of that.
And with respect to human rights, I -- we take a backseat to no one. I
heard Secretary Blinken talk abut the work they're doing to try and
convince the Europeans to stand alongside us on human rights violations in
China and the work that they've done defending human rights against Russian
We were tough there too, Chris. I'm proud of the work we did there. It was
good work. It was serious work and it made a difference.
WALLACE: You also criticized President Biden for not pushing hard enough
on China to learn the origins of the coronavirus.
But I want to again go back to your administration and the record there.
President Trump and his team, including you, had almost a year after COVID-
19 first came on the scene, to really press Beijing on what the origins
were, when the evidence was much fresher.
Now, there's no question that the president pulled back from the WHO, the
World Health Organization.
But what did President Trump and his administration, including the
secretary of state, do to press China harder to get the evidence on where
the COVID-19 virus came from? Because we still don't know.
POMPEO: Chris, the predicate of your question is all wrong. We have a
really good idea of what happened here. There's an enormous amount of
evidence that there was a leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
There's a -- there's a pile of evidence hundred feet high. I have -- I have
high confidence that that's the case.
We pressed the Chinese Communist Party really hard, not just the State
Department, but our CDC and others, too. We withdrew from the WHO, which
had become politicized.
This administration chose to get back in that. I don't know what tools they
think they are going to use.
But we were serious in this endeavor. We made clear that there would be
real cost of the Chinese Communist Party.
We built that Operation Warp Speed. I was thrilled to hear they are going
to distribute these vaccines around the world to countries that need it.
They couldn't do that but for the work that happened on the Project Warp
Speed. It was remarkable and historic work.
We put real pressure on the Chinese Communist Party and we got very close
to being able to make a lay down case for what actually happened and how
this virus came to kill millions of people around the world and destroy
billions of dollars in wealth.
We know enough now. The cover-up continues. And it's time for
WALLACE: So, just to button this up, I want to ask about one more
question. Do you believe that the virus came from a lab leak from the Wuhan
POMPEO: I do.
WALLACE: Finally, let's turn to the illegal immigration crisis on the
border and Vice President Harris' trip this week to Guatemala and to
Mexico. She says the key is dealing with the root causes in those countries
south of the American border and she dismisses a trip to our southern
border as, her words, a grand gesture.
Does she have a point in the sense that as long as the conditions in Mexico
and the Northern Triangle countries are so bad, people are going to keep
POMPEO: Chris, the conditions down there are no different than they were
in January of this year and we've had multiples and multiples of people
come across the border. So it's not the conditions down there that have
caused the current crisis at the border. It is the policies of the Biden
We knew how to make it work. I negotiated "Remain in Mexico". We convinced
the Mexicans and the Central American countries this was in their best
interest as well.
Don't take my word for it. This week, the Mexican leadership and the
Guatemalan leadership said this problem is a direct result of team Biden's
foreign policy and its immigration policy.
Now, this -- the conditions are pretty static down there. We should the
things we can to make them better. But the first responsibility is to keep
our southern border secure.
We had it done, Chris. We got there -- it's just simple math, 180,000 in
May. It's the highest in 20 years.
This is the result of a bad border policy. It's a created a crisis. It's
caused enormous devastation to human beings that are being trapped across
This is not only bad for them. It's really bad for the United States and
it's not a result of what's happening in Central America. It's a result of
what's happening in Washington, D.C.
WALLACE: Secretary Pompeo, thank you. Thanks for coming in today. Always
good to talk with you, sir.
POMPEO: Chris, thank you.
Up next, we'll bring in our Sunday group to preview the Biden-Putin summit
and to review Vice President Harris' trip to Mexico and Guatemala this
week. Why is she getting such blowback from both the right and left?
WALLACE: Coming up, Vice President Harris took some hits from liberals
this week for her comments on immigration.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARRIS: Do not come. Do not come.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: We'll ask our Sunday panel about that and if she'll finally visit
the southern border, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're going to make it clear
that the United States is back and democracies of the world are standing
together to tackle the toughest challenges and the issues that matter most
to our future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Joe Biden setting the stage for what he
hopes to accomplish in his first foreign trip as president, rallying
American allies before he confronts a U.S. adversary, Russian President
And it's time now for our Sunday group.
Marc Thiessen of the American Enterprise Institute, Catherine Lucey, who
covers the White House for "The Wall Street Journal," and former Democratic
Congressman Harold Ford Jr.
So, Marc, let me start with you.
How do we think that President Biden's foreign trip is going so far and
what do you expect from this much-anticipated summit with Vladimir Putin?
MARC THIESSEN, RESIDENT FELLOW, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE, "WASHINGTON
POST" COLUMNIST AND FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it shouldn't be hard for
Biden to have a smooth trip with our European allies because all he has to
do is not be Donald Trump. They -- they -- I'm sure they're thrilled not to
be being challenged on their trade practices, not being challenged on -- on
meeting their NATO commitments and I'm sure Germany loves not being pushed
to cancel it Nord Stream 2 pipeline with Russia that's going to make Russia
-- Europe more dependent on Russia for -- for natural gas.
The -- you know, in terms of China, you'll notice that Secretary Blinken
didn't answer your question when you ask him, are you going to get a
communique that -- that condemns Chinese slave labor. He hasn't been able
to get the European allies to meaningfully challenge China in any way. And
the reason is, is because the European Union has huge trade and investment
ties with Beijing and they're not willing to -- they're not willing to --
to risk those. So, so far not so good.
WALLACE: Catherine, the most immediate problem, I think, maybe not long-
term, but the most immediate problem that Biden faces when he sits down
with Putin for these ransomware attacks coming from Russia onto the U.S.
two major parts of our infrastructure, whether it's oil pipelines or the
A couple of questions, talking to your sources in the White House, how much
control do they think that Putin has over these Russian gangs that are
launching these cyberware -- ransomware attacks and how tough do you get
the sense, because all that -- that Secretary Blinken would say if they're
prepared to take action -- how tough do you think Biden is prepared to get
with Putin in terms of what if you don't root these gangs out?
CATHERINE LUCEY, "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL": I think that is the question,
right, Chris? And the -- the White House certainly is saying this is going
to be a candid meeting, this is going to be a tough meeting. They expect
the president to send tough messages on, you know, issues like ransomware,
on issues like aggression at the Ukrainian border. So they are saying that
he's prepared to do that.
But they are also, as you heard the secretary, talking about how, you know,
they -- they also want to talk about areas where there could be
cooperation. So I think one key question is, sort of how do you -- how do
you walk that line? How do you try and present that there's both
opportunities for working together, as well as sending these tough
You know, another thing that you spoke about with the secretary, obviously,
is the fact that there will not be a joint press conference at the end of
this. So we will hear from President Biden, but we won't see the two of
them together sending any kind of messages to each other publicly.
WALLACE: Harold, how vulnerable do you think President Biden is to the --
to the comments you heard from Secretary Pompeo and others and kind of
implied by our panelist Marc Thiessen here, that Biden is too weak when it
comes to dealing with Russia and China?
HAROLD FORD JR., FORMER CONGRESSMAN (D-TN) AND FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well,
I don't -- I don't think much. I heard both secretaries, as we all did, and
you did a great job with them. It's -- it's clear that they're both -- both
-- particularly Secretary Pompeo, and even some of Marc's comments
suggested people are trying to draw competition between President Biden and
former President Trump. That competition happened last November and
President Biden won.
If you listen to our allies at the G7 meeting, particularly President
Macron and others, who said, look, we welcome this new relationship, not
because he's not Donald Trump, but because this president realizes that
leadership on the global stage, President Biden, involves partnership and
We can't win this new cold war against China. We can't stop cyberattacks
from Russia and even aggression on the part of Russia without having
partners and allies around -- around the globe.
I think it's interesting, when we do talk about -- if we do look back for
moment, we have to realize that we live in a messy and a dangerous world,
even under President Trump, whose tone against China I supported, but his
policies and rhetoric never really lined up. We lost Hong Kong. He slapped
some sanctions on but we didn't really make the progress we wanted to make
on that front. Again, I give him credit for his tone.
With regard to Russia, one of the most massive cyberattacks the country
ever faced, we face in the second half of 2020. In fact, Secretary Pompeo
cited it and President Trump wouldn't let the State Department release a
statement saying -- assigning blame to Russia. He wanted to sign it to
So instead of looking back, let's do what Secretary Blinken said,
resolutely look forward. I anticipate a very strong and direct and candid
meeting between President Biden and President Putin and I'm pleased to see
that they're not going to stand side-by-side and have -- have a press
conference afterwards unless there's something meaningful to stand side-by-
side to talk about with.
WALLACE: Let's turn to Vice President Harris' turn on the international
stage this week with her -- her visit to Guatemala and to Mexico. And it
was -- there was a lot of criticism of -- of the trip.
This may have been the low point. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This whole thing about
the border, we've been to the border. We've been to the border.
LESTER HOLT, NBC NEWS: You haven't been to the border.
HARRIS: I -- and I haven't been to Europe. And, I mean, I don't -- I don't
understand the point that you're making. I'm not discounting the importance
of the border.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Marc, how fair is the criticism that Vice President Harris is
getting, interestingly enough, from both the right and the left for her
trip this week?
THIESSEN: Very fair. I mean, first of all, how can you not be prepared for
that question and have a good answer? I mean that's the most obvious
question that was going to be asked and that's just communication
But, look, it's been 82 days since President Biden assigned her to be in
charge of dealing with this border crisis. This is her first trip to
Central America and she still hasn't been to the southern border.
You know, there's a very easy way, if she's getting annoyed to being asked
about, why don't you go to the southern border, there's a real easy way to
solve that, go to the southern border. It's not that hard. But why doesn't
she want to go to the southern border? Because she's going to get the same
criticism on that trip that she's gotten on this trip, which is the left is
going to be up -- if she focuses on border security and what they're doing
to secure the border, then the left's going to attack her. And -- and if
she can't show that, that they're securing the border, then the right is
going to point out that what's happening on the southern border is, as
Secretary Pompeo rightly pointed out, a direct result of -- of lifting the
Trump policies which had prevented this surge of migrants.
WALLACE: Catherine, there are reports that that the Biden White House was
not too happy about Vice President Harris' trip. They were disappointed in
I guess two questions. One, is that true? And, secondly, what can you tell
us about the relationship between Biden and his team and Harris and her
team? Is their trust? Is there respect?
LUCEY: Well, certainly what we know for our reporting is that there was
some confusion among some people at the White House about the way the vice
president handled that question, that moment in that interview, and some
concern that that could, you know, overshadow other aspects of the trip and
the policy announcements she was there to make.
But certainly, you know, broadly, we've heard people say that they felt the
trip went well. You know, her aides really think that she, you know, did
what she was supposed to do, deliver the messages she was supposed to
deliver. You know, one moment they will point to is her giving a press
conference with the leader of Guatemala, sending a strong message about,
you know, corruption there. And folks certainly also argue that, you know,
this was always going to be a tough assignment. You know, the vice
president said that herself, you know, when she did a press conference at
the end of this, that -- that this wasn't going to be solved in just one
visit. And, you know, she framed this as a success.
You know, and we hear from people, you know, that they -- the president and
the vice president, you know, do work closely together. We see them
together a lot. She is engaged on some top issues for the administration.
You know, she, obviously, has, though, a lot of tough assignments, you
know, migration being one of them, also voting rights. You know, so she is
-- she is taking on a lot of, you know, difficult issues, you know, for the
WALLACE: And -- and real quickly, Catherine, when they give her these
assignments, they seem like no-win assignments like voting rights and the
border. Are -- are they happy with that, the Harris team, or did they feel
like, gee, you're giving us all -- all the tough stuff, all the hot
LUCEY: Well, certainly they're not complaining publicly, Chris. I mean I
think, you know, this is the vice president's job, right? I mean you saw
this when, you know, Joe Biden was vice president himself, often they do
take on some of the thornier things. And, you know, one of the things, you
know, that the vice president is doing is trying -- is showing that she's a
team player as she does these.
WALLACE: All right, panel, we have to take a break here. But when we come
back, there are now calls for two attorneys general who served under
President Trump to testify about why the Justice Department sought the
phone and email records of two members of Congress. We'll discuss the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): This looks like a patent abuse of the department.
Yet another example of the president politicizing using the Department of
Justice as a cudgel to go after his enemies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff reacting to news that the Trump
Justice Department subpoenaed the phone and email records for him and
Congressman Eric Swalwell as part of a leak investigation.
And we're back now with the panel.
Harold, as a former member of Congress yourself, what do you think of the
idea of the Department of Justice issuing subpoenas for metadata, the phone
records, the email records, not the content, but who they called, who they
emailed, of not only two members, sitting members of Congress, but also
members of their staff and their families?
FORD: Well, you don't have to be a former member of Congress to read this
reporting and realize it's something that could be really, really wrong
here. No political official, regardless of what he or she -- where he or
she sits in government, local, state, or federal, should be able to use his
or her power to enact or to bring about political retribution. I hope they
get to the bottom of this.
One of the things that we will find, I think, in some of these things,
Chris, is that the subpoena power of the Congress needs to be strengthened.
It appears that Democrat and Republican administrations alike have -- have
-- have flouted these subpoenas and -- and allowed for years or a year or
two to go by when people have forgotten about this or it's no longer
relevant in the eye -- in the minds of most Americans. That should be
And, two, the guardrails that President Trump was able to blow by,
oftentimes in terms of just the norms of government, what's accepted and
not, perhaps Congress needs to codify more, not for a Republican, for
Democrat's to go at the Republican or vice versa, but for the American
people to have confidence that powers is not being abused.
WALLACE: Marc, I understand leaks -- pursuing leaks of national security
information, which was the allegation here, but when you have the
Department of Justice seeking the phone records and the email records of
two members of Congress, doesn't this raise serious questions about the --
the separation of powers and also about using the Department of Justice as
a political weapon?
THIESSEN: Well, first of all, Inspector General Michael Horowitz is looking
into this and he's the same guy, speaking of abuses of power, who uncovered
the Obama administration's abuse of the FISA process. So he's a straight
shooter. I'm sure we'll get the facts and he'll have an objective report.
But, you know, the -- and we also don't know what specifically they were
and what they -- what the investigation was about, what kind of leaks were
-- were being done. So we -- we need more information.
But the reality is, members of Congress have a responsibility to protect
classified information and they do not have immunity to -- from -- from
being investigated for -- for the -- because leaking classified information
is a crime. They don't have immunity for being investigated for a subpoena
-- grand jury subpoenas for bribery, for influence peddling, for other
crimes, so why should they have immunity for investigation when it comes to
leaking classified information?
Members of congressmen don't have declassification authority, neither do
journalists, and so, you know, these leaks are -- are a serious issue and
let's find out what this was about, with the underlying issue was before we
WALLACE: But, Marc, how about the fact that apparently the investigation is
over and they never found any evidence against these numbers of Congress,
their staffs, or their families?
Well then maybe -- again, we don't know the full details but maybe -- then
maybe they investigated and found that there was nothing wrong. But the
Justice Department does that all the time.
But, again, I repeat, members of Congress are not -- do not have immunity
from being investigated by the Justice Department for criminal acts. If --
if -- if either of these congressmen had been involved in bribery, if they
were involved in influence peddling, if they had been involved in other --
other illegal activity, then no one would question it. The FBI has -- has
investigated and, in fact, jailed, and arrested and imprisoned members of
Congress for those kinds of crimes. Leaking classified information is a
very, very serious crime and members of Congress have a -- a moral and
legal responsibility to protect classified information they're privileged
WALLACE: Catherine, Jeff Sessions and William Barr were both in charge over
the course of the Trump administration while these subpoenas were being
enforced, along with gag orders that prevented Apple from informing the
members of Congress. Both men -- both men say they knew nothing about this.
Now, in the case of Sessions, you can say, well, he recused himself from
the Russia investigation, which is supposedly what these leaks were about.
But his deputy, the man in charge of the Russia investigation, Rod
Rosenstein, says he didn't know anything about it either. Is that possible?
LUCEY: Well, that is the question, right, Chris, and that's obviously what
Democrats are trying to get to the bottom of. You know, Senate Democrats
want both of them to come before the Judiciary Committee to -- to go over
this and, yes, Bill Barr said that he told "The Wall Street Journal" that,
you know, he wasn't aware and this could have happened before he was in the
job. Sessions also has, you know, people close to Sessions have said that
he was not aware of anything.
But certainly these are serious questions Democrats are looking into this.
There is also that inspector general report. And we're going to have to
see, you know, what more comes out on this.
WALLACE: There is another controversy on Capitol Hill about Congresswoman
Ilhan Omar. After a hearing that she was involved in with Secretary of
State Blinken she tweeted this, we have seen unthinkable atrocities
committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan and the Taliban.
Some Jewish members objected strongly to comparing Israel to terrorist
groups. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOSH GOTTHEIMER (D-NJ): There's a -- a long history of comments here
that I have found unacceptable and deeply concerning. And this just adds to
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Harold, how serious is the split inside the House Democratic
caucus? This is not the first time that you've had the so-called squad,
particularly Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar in -- in a war of words with some
members of Congress. How serious is the split and how important is that
when the Democrats only have a four vote majority in the House?
FORD: Well, naturally, you want to find ways to bring your party together
and it sounds like in -- there are a number of caucuses within the
Democratic caucus that may need a peacemaker caucus here soon to bring
everyone back together.
I think that those who have substantive views and substantive criticism of
current foreign policy or domestic policy have every right to voice their
concerns. But they should understand that free speech does not entitle to
you to not being analyzed or not being critically judged by your
I thought the reaction of the congresswoman after, rightly so, the
leadership issued a statement and some members -- some of the -- some --
supporters of Congresswoman Omar suggested that this was somehow some
racist or -- or terrible way to treat certain people of Congress. I thought
that was just out of place. If you want to have a substantive debate, have
a substantive debate.
Democrats will reunite around this issue. We have been strongly in our
support of Israel, strong in our support of our greatest ally in that
region and I don't think any of that will change. But a debate around how
we do better I think should come about and hopefully it will.
WALLACE: Marc, your thoughts about the -- this -- this controversy, pretty
-- pretty heartfelt controversy between Ilhan Omar and particularly some of
the Jewish Democratic members of the House and also is it a little bit of a
danger for Republicans in the House to go after Omar, they're talking about
trying to strip her of her involvement in the House Foreign Affairs
Committee, when they've got people like Marjorie Taylor Green in their
THIESSEN: Well, I don't think they should have Marjorie Taylor Green in
their caucus and they should be stronger on that. But I'll tell -- but I
will tell you, the -- the -- to have a member of the House Foreign Affairs
Committee, who believes in moral equivalence between the United States,
Israel, the Taliban, and -- and Hamas, who says they're all equally
responsible for atrocities, she shouldn't be have -- have any role in this
setting U.S. policy towards Israel or U.S. foreign policy.
WALLACE: And you're -- you're feeling -- I mean you say Marjorie Taylor
Green shouldn't be in the caucus. Are you saying she should be kicked out
of Congress? And what do you think the sanctions should be for Ilhan Omar?
THIESSEN: Well, the -- the Republicans should be treating her the same way
they treated Congressman Steve King. Remember when Congressman Steve King
made racist remarks about -- about immigrants from Central America. He was
stripped of all of his committees by the Republican caucus. The idea that
you have a woman on the -- on the -- on the House Foreign Affairs Committee
who has said that Israel hypnotizes the world, who supports the BDS
movement, who said that our U.S. support for Israel is all about the
benjamins and that members of Congress who support Israel are showing
loyalty to a foreign power, who introduced a resolution comparing Israel to
the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, that she actually has a role in setting
U.S. policy towards -- towards Israel, it's shocking and she should be --
they need to police their movement.
WALLACE: Thank you, panel. See you next Sunday.
Up next, our "Power Player of the Week," the one-time Olympic golden girl
whose long fight for women athletes now has her confronting the controversy
over transwomen in sports.
WALLACE: This year alone eight states have banned trans girls from
competing in girls high school sports. Our "Power Player of the Week" is a
long-time advocate for women athletes, who's marched into this debate in
search of a policy that works for everyone.
DONNA DE VARONA, OLYMPIAN GOLD MEDALIST: We need clear thinking and policy,
so we don't demonize women athletes who want to protect their space or
transgender athletes who want to find a home and get the values from
competing on the field of play.
WALLACE (voice over): Former Olympic star Donna De Varona on the growing
controversy over transgender participation in women's sports.
DE VARONA: I've been working for over a year to find a middle way. Before
puberty, boys and girls play together all the time. You see that in soccer
fields across America. After puberty, you have to take into account sex-
WALLACE: For De Varona, this is the latest chapter in her long battle for
women in sports that started 60 years ago in the swimming pool.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (speaking in foreign language).
WALLACE: At age 13, she was the youngest member of the U.S. team at the
1960 Rome Olympics.
DE VARONA: My best friends that I made there we Mohammed Ali, Wilma
Rudolph. It was a magical time.
WALLACE: Four years later, she won two gold medals in Tokyo. But that's
where her career ended.
WALLACE (on camera): You retired at the age of 17, which raises the
question, how limited were opportunities for female athletes back then?
DE VARONA: You had no opportunity after high school to get a college
scholarship. That didn't exist. Title IX was far off in the future.
WALLACE (voice over): She became a leading advocate for Title IX, which
mandates the sexes must to treated equally in school programs.
WALLACE (on camera): How big a difference has that made over the last 40
years for women's sports?
DE VARONA: If you watched the last Olympics, our women won more gold medals
in the Olympics than men. And that's because the training ground that
colleges offer are the best in the world. And that is a result of the
progress of Title IX.
My experience in 1960 of getting to be friends with the great African-
American athletes of our time and then going home at age 13 and seeing how
they were discriminated against just changed the trajectory of my life.
WALLACE (voice over): The question now is De Varona pushing for a level
playing field or discriminating herself?
She's part of a working group that supports letting trans girls compete if
they suppress testosterone for a year. For those who don't, they suggest
DE VARONA: I'm not in favor of the bans and the legislation sweeping the
country to ban transgender individuals from competing in sports all
together. But I think we need policies. We're really in an emerging
environment where we have to think carefully and not rush to judgment too
WALLACE: De Varona says she hopes these policies provide that middle way,
even if they don't please everyone.
WALLACE (on camera): How do you respond to the criticism you're going to
DE VARONA: All you have to do is look at us as individuals and look how far
and how hard we work for providing a fair playing field for athletes in the
Olympics and in the NCAA. We're trying to find a middle ground.
WALLACE: This issue may take on new prominence in the Tokyo Olympics next
month, where a transgender woman weightlifter from New Zealand is hopping
to compete for a gold medal.
One final note. If you're still looking for a gift for Father's Day, I've
got a good suggestion, my book, "Countdown 1945: The Extraordinary Story of
the Atomic Bomb and the 116 Days That Changed the World" is now out in
paperback. It's a history thriller that I think your dad will enjoy.
And that's it for today. Have a great week, and we'll see you next FOX NEWS
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