Published May 27, 2018
This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," May 27, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
BILL HEMMER, FOX NEWS: I'm Bill Hammer in for Chris Wallace.
The on-again, off-again summit between President Trump and Kim Jong-un, will it still happen?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are looking at June 12th in Singapore. That hasn't changed, moving along pretty well.
HEMMER: We'll discuss the about-face by the president just day after canceling the high-stakes Singapore summit with two top senators, Republican Roy Blunt of Missouri and Democrat Chris Coons of Delaware.
Then, President Trump and his legal team call into question the Mueller investigation, suggesting the FBI improperly spied on his campaign.
TRUMP: If they had spies in my campaign, that would be a disgrace to this country. That would be one of the biggest insults that anyone has ever seen.
HEMMER: The president calls it spygate. What impact does this have on an interview with a special counsel? We'll ask one of the president's personal lawyers, Rudy Giuliani.
Plus, we'll ask our Sunday panel about a new warning for Tehran.
MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: To the ayatollah and to the President of Iraq Rouhani and to other Iranian leaders -- understand that your current activities will be met with steely resolve.
HEMMER: All, right now, on "Fox News Sunday".
HEMMER: And to our viewers and to our veterans on this Memorial Day weekend, welcome to Fox News in Washington.
There are fresh signs that the push is on to revive the historic summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Since Mr. Trump called off the meeting early Thursday morning, the sides have apparently been back in contact. North Korea and South Korea held a surprise second meeting on Saturday, along the DMZ, and a White House advance team is expected to leave possibly today for Singapore just in case.
Also this, the president saying last night, there is still a chance meeting on June 12th could still happen.
Correspondent Kevin Corke starts our coverage live from the White House.
KEVIN CORKE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Bill, hello. From the North's previous release of three American captives to its apparent decommissioning of a nuclear test site, the historic talks between the U.S. and North Korea appeared all but certain, and then unraveled, but perhaps now will happen after all.
CORKE: Take you back to Wednesday night, following U.S. references to the so-called Libyan model of denuclearization which in turn led to a letter from the North threatening a possible nuclear showdown with the U.S., President Trump huddled with his national security advisor John Bolton. It wasn't long after, in fact, Thursday morning that we all read the president's letter canceling the summit, adding that the U.S.'s nuclear capabilities were massive and that he prayed to God they never have to be used.
Then Friday, a mere 24 hours later, a glimmer of hope as both the president and defense secretary Jim Mattis seemed to signal optimism the talks could happen after all following conciliatory statements from Pyongyang. All that just ahead of Saturday's report that the leaders from the North and the South met and announced that Pyongyang's commitment to the meeting and full denuclearization remains resolute, about which President Trump said this last night.
TRUMP: I think there's a lot of goodwill. I think people want to see if we can get the meeting and get something done. If we've got that done and if we can be successful in the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula that would be a great thing for North Korea, it would be a great thing for South Korea, it would be great for Japan and great for the world.
CORKE: Bill, advanced teams from Washington and Pyongyang are set to be heading to the region perhaps as soon as today, in advance to that meeting. By the way, that date is an interesting one, June 12th, 1987. You may recall President Reagan famously told Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down this wall. Perhaps we'll see a repeat of history this June 12th.
HEMMER: And we'll see if it happens. Thank you, Kevin. Kevin Corke reporting from the White House today -- Kevin, thanks.
Joining me now is one of the president's personal lawyers, Rudy Giuliani.
Mr. Mayor, welcome to "Fox News Sunday."
HEMMER: I understand you spoke with the president just a few hours ago. Is he too eager for this moment to happen?
RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: Well, sure he is, and I think he's positioned it brilliantly. Even his opponents think (ph) of that.
I mean, he wouldn't submit to that ridiculous comment about a meeting on the nuclear battlefield. He canceled it and now we have Kim Jong-un back where he was before, talking about wanting to do it, meeting with the leader of South Korea. So, I don't want to raise expectations, but I think the president's strategy has played out really brilliantly in the most remarkable thing, he can do it with all these interruptions that I have to bring to him and Jay Sekulow, you know, this totally rigged investigation.
HEMMER: Yes, but did he express a level of optimism with you? And just back to my question, is he too eager to make the summit happen?
GIULIANI: Well, no. I mean, somebody who's too eager to do it wouldn't have turned it down, wouldn't have canceled it. I mean, he's playing this like Ronald Reagan played Reykjavik and I think his achievement would be as great or greater when it's all finished.
GIULIANI: And it might take six months. Reykjavik didn't happen in a day.
HEMMER: Right. You are right about that and there will be stops and starts along the way and we should be certainly aware of all that. But you said the summit needs to be decided before the Mueller matter moves forward, so let's move to the Mueller now.
This weekend, you said you would not go forward with Mueller until you understand what was happening with an informant with the Trump campaign.
So, sir, what was this person doing with the campaign?
GIULIANI: Well, I mean, I don't know that yet. I haven't been told that.
I mean, it just further reiterates what I've come to conclude after two months of being in this and the president obviously knew from very early on, which is this is rigged. I mean, you got 13 Democrats. You've got a focus on things that didn't happen, no Russia collusion, no obstruction, just defending yourself. And now, we are into the basis of it being illegitimate.
Look at Professor Calabresi's article just a few days ago about his question whether there should even be an investigation because of the fact that they switched over from counterintelligence to criminal, and we don't -- I want to know, did they get in the evidence in that counterintelligence probe? I think they didn't. So, you know, that was -- casts doubt.
HEMMER: So, you know, when you say they you don't think they did or they did not as you just referred to there. Do you have that on good information?
Because there were two classified briefings just on Thursday this week and I'm told no documents were shown, no one has talked about the briefing. There was a short statement that was given by Adam Schiff and he read it off of a piece of paper.
So, I -- what can you learn or perhaps now, what do you know about this informant?
GIULIANI: What I know is just what I speculate, not anything that has been said to me. No one has shared it with me. I'm positive they shared it with the president. But probably at this point, it's better that we don't know.
We have to know, however before we can recommend to the president whether to be interviewed (ph). When you look at the backdrop of this rigged investigation, when you look at how they treated Manafort, how they spun off into Cohen, how they are chasing things in the Middle East -- I mean, the reality is, we are not going to sit him down if this is a trap for perjury. And until -- we are convinced of that. And if they don't show us these documents, well, we are just going to have to say no.
Let me emphasize, he wants to explain that he did nothing wrong. It's us the lawyers who have to convince him that this is a trap.
HEMMER: So, take us inside that meeting with the president. What do you tell him? What does he ask you? What is that interchange then?
GIULIANI: First of all, my job has been to try and negotiate grounds for an interview. And we've been doing it. I mean, we have a team now not only with Jay, but with Jane Raskin and Marty Raskin. She's taken -- she has taken the load really of doing the negotiating with the Mueller people.
But the reality is that we have all become convinced, even though we began with the hope that this would be done in good faith that there's too much here. Now, some of it is Mueller's fault. Some isn't. The whole thing with this investigation that was going on which we consider spying was done before Mueller got involved. But it completely taints his investigation.
HEMMER: Entirely you believe?
GIULIANI: Yes. I mean, what's -- you've got to ask, what's the basis of the investigation. That and how about a leaked Comey report that turns out to come from a guy who is one of the biggest liars in the history of Washington.
HEMMER: Well, let me get back to Comey in a moment. James Clapper said this about what you are referring to on this informant this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES CLAPPER, FORMER DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: No, they were not. They were spying on -- a term I don't particularly like -- but on what the Russians were doing, trying to understand were the Russians infiltrating, trying to gain access, trying to gain leverage and influence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HEMMER: Well, you call it a spy, they call it an informant. What's wrong with the government --
HEMMER: What's wrong with the government trying to figure out what Russia was up to?
GIULIANI: Nothing wrong with the government doing that. Everything wrong with the government spying on a candidate of the opposition party. That's a Watergate, a spygate. I mean -- and without any warning to him.
And now, to compound that, to make it into a criminal investigation, Bill, that's why this is a rigged investigation. That's why the president has been right from the beginning. Way back when the president said there was surveillance of his campaign, it turns out he was right. It was -- it was human surveillance rather than technical surveillance, but surveillance nonetheless.
HEMMER: All right. So, strategy became clear back to James Comey. You're going to put the credibility of the president up against the credibility of James Comey. In almost every day this week, the president has referred to Comey. He said this just on Wednesday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The FBI is a fantastic institution, but some of the people at the top were rotten apples. James Comey was one of them. I have done a great service for this country by getting rid of him by firing him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HEMMER: So, on that same -- on that same day James Comey tweeted this. He said: Facts matter. The FBI's use of confidential human sources, the actual term, is tightly regulated and essential to protecting the country. Attacks on the FBI and lying about his work will do lasting damage to our country. How will Republicans explain this to their grandchildren?
So, you are putting James Comey on trial and now listening to your talk today, you are also putting the government on trial based on that investigation saying it's not legitimate. I understand where you're coming from, Mr. Mayor, but how does this end?
GIULIANI: Well, first of all, it isn't the government. It's James Comey, Clapper, Brendan, the people took this investigation and turned it on a candidate.
Look, you can't say you're spying on the Russians if what you're trying to do is to show the Russians are colluding, whatever the hell that means, with the Trump campaign. So, the spying turned on the Trump campaign.
When it did that, the president should have been briefed. If he wasn't, it'd be an outrage. And then at that point, the Trump campaign should have been briefed and be asked to cooperate, not treated like criminals when there was no proof of any collusion.
Now, we're a year and a half later and there's no proof of collusion. So, stop the investigation. Stop spending $20 million more.
HEMMER: If they do not -- if they do not do that, does the president have to fire someone?
GIULIANI: The president is not going to fire him because that'd be the playing into the hands of playing the victim, Watergate. They are the Watergate. The other people have committed the crimes.
What we have to do is go to court and seek protection from the court, if we have to do that. Our first thing is we sure as heck are not going to testify unless it's all straightened out, unless we learned the basis of that Russian investigation.
They are not going to tell us because the basis is going to turn up when expected to Trump to be unethical or illegal. They're going to have to tell us what they have found so far, the basis of the investigation -- Russian collusion.
Here's what they found: zero. Nada. Nothing.
The president -- gee, maybe they should wake up and realize the president is innocent. That's why he wants to testify and because of them, we don't want him to testify because they're not fair. They have rigged this investigation against him. Thirteen Democrats angry as heck and some of them there at Hillary Clinton's funeral --
GIULIANI: I mean, when she was supposed to have a victory party.
HEMMER: We are a long way from an interview, aren't we?
GIULIANI: Well, maybe we're not a long way from deciding we won't have one. And then they're going to have to go on what they have and everybody's going to find out there's not anything (ph).
HEMMER: Yes. But other than the week -- early in a week, you said if the summit matters decided, you could sit down in early July and may be part of Mueller's report comes out early September. Is that timeline still viable?
GIULIANI: It is if we could get over what seems to be fairly monumental problems that keep growing. Not -- we don't create them, Bill. They created the problem of this, what you want to call it, spygate, investigation, improper investigation of a candidate.
Why does everybody get all upset when they invade the Democratic National Committee, Republicans do, and now they've invaded the Trump campaign, nobody's angry?
HEMMER: Yes --
GIULIANI: They're not -- didn't warn (ph) them.
HEMMER: If you sit for an interview, you could walk into a perjury trap. If you delay or if you say no based on your description today, Democrats can use this against Republicans in the midterm. Are you essentially boxed in on that schedule?
GIULIANI: Well, could be, but I don't think so. I mean, here's where we are. We have to be lawyers. The four of us, five of us have to act like lawyers and we have to give him legal advice.
He can make the political judgment. Look, I could put a different hat on and talk about that too. His approval rating is the highest it's ever been.
I believe the Democrats are going up a wrong alley here. Republicans did this to Clinton and it backfired.
The reality is the American people have come to the conclusion everybody else has -- this investigation is rigged, it's unfair, and if they have to choose on impeachment or not, the president is going to be making peace with North Korea, God willing, and we should all be rooting for that, they are not probably, but we are. I don't see -- this could really turn on them and they are not going to have their impeachment congress that they want.
HEMMER: I have two more questions for you in that time I have left here. If you don't sit for an interview you could face a subpoena. And I know you said you'll challenge that subpoena all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court where you believe you will win because you believe you have the votes.
Who is the fifth vote at the Supreme Court for you today?
GIULIANI: Well, I think on the constitutional issue it's a close question. I think we win it, as does Ted Olson, who wrote an article about it in Weekly Standard, I think it was last week.
However, on the OLC question, mainly do they have the authority to do it? We can't lose. I think we get all votes, because the Justice Department defines the authority of the independent counsel. He doesn't have his own authority. The Justice Department says, cannot issue criminal process to a sitting president. That's the law basically all over the world for a head of state.
I can't see how we lose that, Bill. I mean, maybe in the ninth circuit, not in a fair court.
HEMMER: I pick one of your comments during the week, and you said he's more likely to sit with Chairman Kim then he is with Bob Mueller.
HEMMER: Listening -- you talk --
HEMMER: You described that as Korean perjury. I mean, just listening to, I don't believe this interview will ever happen. Am I wrong, sir?
GIULIANI: No! If they can satisfy us, it could happen. He wants to do it. So far, since I've been in this, all I see are obstacles that they are putting in the way. Starting with Cohen. I mean, what's that all about?
And then going off about something about the Middle East, which turned out to be a software that was turned down by the campaign. I mean -- and now the spygate, wow, we got to get -- and I don't think they're going to want to tell us about it because it's so damn embarrassing.
HEMMER: Last question.
GIULIANI: I want to emphasize one more time --
GIULIANI: Not to the FBI, leadership at the time.
HEMMER: Yes. Last question: do you think you'd give instruction to his defense since you came on board?
GIULIANI: Pardon me?
HEMMER: Do you have --
GIULIANI: I do. I think I did. I think I took over a good situation. I think Ty and John Dowd had really done a good job. They got out of the way, all the disclosure of documents, and now, we can sit in a position and say, you don't need them, also a way to resist the subpoena.
And I think they had -- they have pretty much defined the fact that this interview had to be on our terms or we can't do it.
So, I think maybe I gave it more structure. I kind of have knowledge of him probably better than they do. I mean, he and I are very good friends for 30 years.
HEMMER: Yes, very interesting.
GIULIANI: And I worked very heavily on his campaign, so I know -- I know this great desire he has to testify. But I also know this is an intelligent man who's got a lot of other things to do and I can't stand it, as this interview is over, late today, I will wait for them to call me. I can't interrupt what's going on with -- I can't interrupt a briefing with Bolton and Pompeo. This is not important enough.
HEMMER: Mayor Giuliani, thank you for your time. Thanks for spending part of your Memorial weekend with us.
GIULIANI: Thank you.
Up next, two key senators react to the uncertainty of whether or not the Singapore summit will or will not happen.
HEMMER: This week, President Trump canceled a long-awaited summit with Kim Jong-un, but hopes are still high that the two will meet. In a moment, we'll talk about that with Senator Chris Coons, a Democrat from Delaware, but first in studio with me here in Washington, Missouri Republican Senator Roy blunt on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
And, Senator Blunt, welcome back to "FOX News Sunday."
SEN. ROY BLUNT, R-MO., SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Good to be with you, Bill.
HEMMER: You were just listening to Rudy Giuliani. What did you hear in there that you think is important, Senator?
BLUNT: Well, you know, I did hear Rudy Giuliani mention again that the president is not going to do -- going to try to stop the Mueller investigation. He'd just like to have a come to a conclusion and I think that's pretty much where I am and the whole country is right now.
Let's get the facts, let's get this done, find out what there was to find out and move on. And I heard him once again say that just like I've said, I don't think we should make it impossible for the president to fire Mueller by congressional action because I don't think we have the right to do that. But I think it would be a foolish thing for the president to do to take that action that he probably has under the Constitution.
HEMMER: The mayor suggested he's not going to fire anyone.
HEMMER: The president refers to this FBI informant matter as spygate. Should the government have an informant connected with the national campaign?
BLUNT: I think it would be fine to find out what the Russians were doing. It would not be fine to find out what the campaign was doing. I'm frankly concerned about a lot of the things we saw happen between the FBI and both campaigns, getting involved with the Clinton campaign at two different times, both of which I thought reached questionable conclusions.
And then if you actually did have someone trying to find out from the campaign what was going on in the campaign and who they were talking to as opposed to legitimately having reasons to believe that they should be there, we'll see. It's taking a long time to get this information from the FBI and frankly from the national security team.
HEMMER: Yes. On North Korea, you said this past week that the North Koreans like to pretend to negotiate. What was all of this about this past week, was that just pretend?
BLUNT: Well, who knows? You know, it's right out of the North Korean playbook. We're in the three generations of that playbook now. Act like you want to negotiate and come up with some outlandish view of what that negotiation means and try to wind up with early benefits to your side and not following through on what you have agreed to do, so, it's not surprising I don't think.
What was probably surprising to them was the president's agreement initially to meet and then his willingness to say, hey, if this is the -- it is not a serious meeting, I don't want to have it. I do think some things need to happen here before we meet and hopefully they will.
HEMMER: May be the Korean leaders meeting yesterday was another one of the surprises in a long list of surprises. Your colleague, Democrat Bob Menendez, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, this came up on Thursday with Mike Pompeo and he said this about the Korean summit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BOB MENENDEZ, D-NJ, RANKING MEMBER, SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: The art of diplomacy is a lot harder than the art of the deal. The reality is, is that it's pretty amazing that the administration might be shocked that North Korea is acting as North Korea might very well normally act.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HEMMER: Sometimes I think that sounds like you would describe it. Is he right about that?
BLUNT: Well, I think the quote is not all that surprising that you'd suggest that somehow the president isn't reaching out the way he should.
I think the president has got the North Koreans in a place that any other president might not have managed to get done. He's very willing to reach out in new directions through the South Korean president, willing to meet with the North Korean president, but also willing to walk away. And I do think some things need to be decided before we have that meeting.
There needs to be a strong understanding of what both sides, what all three sides, frankly mean by denuclearization. We've got -- the South Korean president I believe providing a great benefit in this discussion, unless we are not all communicating in the same way. You know, what does denuclearization mean? What do they expect to see happen?
And I think these talks can produce results. We need results and they need to be very visible before the United States creates any benefits.
HEMMER: It's a very interesting comment, I think you need a bit of trust here to get that back on track. We'll see whether that happens.
On Iran, quickly, Mike Pompeo set out a dozen items that he wants the Iranian regime to go ahead and meet. Put them on screen, here's a few of them, and these are big issues too. Abandon the nuclear program. Provide full access to inspectors, end support for terror groups, and ballistic missile program, release U.S. citizens and on and on the list goes. A lot of demands.
Iran has said it has no incentive to negotiate with the U.S. government that rips up a nuclear deal. That seems like it's a stalemate.
If it is, what's plan B?
BLUNT: Well, first of all, the nuclear -- the agreement with Iran was an agreement that would allow them to eventually have a nuclear weapon and it was an agreement that our government ever entered into in the way government entered into agreements. It was an agreement that the president said he was for understanding the Congress would never verify the agreement we had just entered into and we have to learn from what's happened in 20 years with North Korea, what we don't want to allow to happen with Iran.
We do not want them to be able to have a nuclear weapon. The current deal allows that. We do not want them to be testing ballistic missiles, which they are doing. And they have to stop this worldwide effort to create terror activity all over the world.
HEMMER: And you pressure the Europeans to go along with that?
BLUNT: Well, we'll see how aggressive the president wants to be with the sanctions. It actually will depend on what we decide. Our sanctions will be against governments and businesses that deal with this Iranian government. It's the number one state sponsor of terrorism and frankly for the last several years, they have been financing that terrorism with the pallets full of money that we gave them back.
HEMMER: Senator, thank you for your time, especially on a holiday. Roy Blunt from Missouri, thank you, sir.
With me now from Wilmington, Delaware, Senator Chris Coons, a Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee.
And just to continue on Iran for a moment -- Senator, thank you for your time.
You've said the nuclear deal is not a perfect deal. But do you see what Iran has been doing? And you her what the senator just listed off here, what's wrong with putting pressure on Berlin and Brussels and Paris?
SEN. CHRIS COONS, D-DEL., SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: Well, Bill, I agree with Secretary Pompeo and Senator Blunt that a lot of Iran's behavior outside the nuclear deal in recent years has been alarming and compels us to take action.
What I had wished the president had done is to recognize the benefits we've gotten from the Iran nuclear deal in constraining their nuclear program and getting us searching inspections of Iran's nuclear activities and work more closely with our European allies, with the Germans, the French, the British to reach a second deal, a bigger deal that would rein in their ballistic missile program, their human rights violation in their support for terrorism.
I completely agree that Iran is a bad regime that threatens our allies and conducts itself in ways that are unacceptable. I just disagree about whether causing greater distance with our European allies by sanctioning them and some of their biggest companies is the right path forward.
HEMMER: But perhaps you could change minds, yes or no, Senator, on that?
COONS: Well, I hope that we will see President Trump end up proving himself to be a dealmaker and not a deal breaker. But in this instance, I've heard from the ambassadors from our key European allies that they are concerned that "America First" is turning into America alone and whether it's in the path towards the Singapore summit with North Korea where our South Korean close ally was not consulted before the announcement was made, or it's in the path forward towards trying to ask restrain Iran's behavior and Russia's behavior that the close relationship we use to enjoy with Germany and France and the United Kingdom is fraying a bit.
HEMMER: Well, all these stories intersect as you just indicated there, too.
On North Korea now. Mike Pompeo said this on Thursday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: I think the American team is fully prepared. I think we are rocking. I think we are ready. I think we are prepared for this meeting. I think President Trump is prepared for this meeting. We were fully, fully engaged over the past weeks to prepare for this meeting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HEMMER: Well, you know, it's not easy stuff and Kim has since taken a different tune of sorts. Do you think this summit can be put back together, Senator?
COONS: I think it's possible to have a constructive and positive summit, and I certainly prefer President Trump's choice now of diplomacy over threatening fire and fury, and I commend him and Secretary Pompeo for gaining the release of three Americans held in North Korea and recently another American released from Venezuela, and I certainly hope that he is successful.
But I would caution that if we go ahead without using every ounce of leverage we have over China, we're making a mistake. I was really struck that President Trump this past week was tweeting that he was going to work with Xi Jinping to release some of the pressure on ZTE.
Let me explain how these two connect. North Korea critically relies on China. If we don't have China putting maximum pressure on North Korea, I don't think the summit will succeed. ZTE is one of China's biggest telecom companies. They have repeatedly and intentionally violated our sanctions against North Korea and Iran, and the Department of Commerce just imposed a powerful sanctions against ZTE blocking them from getting U.S. material for six years. This is a moment where President Trump has China's attention and should use it to extract concessions both on North Korea and on China's ongoing theft of our inventions and innovations.
HEMMER: But you will agree --
COONS: I hope President Trump will show himself able to do that.
You would agree, though, with -- with the Chinese cooperation thus far, with James Mattis' pressure and the pressure from this president, we would not even be talking about a summit had all three of those things not even come together, correct?
COONS: That's correct. It is a significant concession to North Korea to offer a summit. They've never had an opportunity to meet with an American president. It's something they've long wanted to elevate them to an equal to the United States.
And it's important that North Korea has given up a number of American prisoners as a confidence building measure.
HEMMER: Understood. Yes.
COONS: But -- but let's be clear, twice before North Korea under Kim Jong-un's father, committed to full denuclearization in six party talks in 2005 in 2007, as Senator Blunt just referenced, only to then change their tune. So we're going to have to be very focused, very engaged. I am hopeful that Secretary Pompeo will brief and engage Congress. And I'm hopeful that we'll work together to make sure that this summit is a success.
HEMMER: Two more questions quickly.
If the president's correct, should the FBI have an informant connected with any national campaign, Democrat, Republican or otherwise, senator?
COONS: A critical role that the FBI provides its counterintelligence. And when they began getting evidence that the Russians were engaged in a broad campaign to try and influence the 2016 election, I think it was appropriate for them to use a confidential informant to investigate with the Russians were up to.
I'm struck that Rudy Giuliani continues to talk about 13 Democrats, 13 Democrats in a rigged election -- in a rigged investigation, as he just did on this show. Let me remind you, Robert Mueller, Rod Rosenstein, Chris Wray, this is the special counsel, the FBI director, the deputy attorney general, all lifelong Republicans, Robert Mueller, the special counsel, a decorated Marine combat veteran, someone who's been unanimously confirmed by the Senate for senior law enforcement positions under both Republican and Democratic positions. To continue to undermine the credibility of the FBI and the Department of Justice in this way does not serve (ph) the interest of law enforcement or the rule of law.
HEMMER: But his point was that President Trump -- yes, I apologize for the interruption, I'm trying to squeeze in one more question.
His point is that President Trump should have been told about it. What's wrong with that?
COONS: Because President Trump and his actions in the campaign are potentially the focus of an investigation into obstruction of justice and collusion. I don't think it would have been appropriate for there to be the revelation of investigatory information to President Trump or his personal lawyers, particularly classified information about a human intelligence source in advance of there being any decision about whether to move forward with any final conclusion by the Mueller investigation.
HEMMER: Well, final point here.
In a week where Jared Kushner was given his permanent security clearance returned to him, you were calling for Donald Trump Junior to come back to your committee and testify. You believe he's lying. That is a strong charge.
COONS: Well, I'm --
HEMMER: About what, senator?
COONS: I'm concerned that in reviewing the transcript of Donald Trump Junior's questioning by a staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee, that there's a clear tension between his firm answers that there was no efforts by a foreign power to provide assistance to the Trump campaign at recent reporting that there were meetings that he participated in where representatives of gulf states were offering some assistance to the Trump campaign. I do think that's worth our questioning Donald Trump Junior again in front of the judiciary committee and it's my hope that on a bipartisan basis we'll continue these investigations.
COONS: As Senator Blunt just said, it is in everyone's interest for these investigations to continue without interference.
HEMMER: Senator Coons, thank you for being here today, especially on this Memorial Day weekend.
COONS: Thank you.
HEMMER: Thank you.
COONS: Thanks, Bill.
HEMMER: In a moment here we'll bring in our Sunday group to talk about the state of that North Korean summit in the new terms for that Iran nuclear deal.
HEMMER: Coming up, will they or won't they? Just how serious are President Trump and Kim Jong-un about holding their historic summit?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: I think the American team is fully prepared. I think we are rocking (ph). I think we're ready.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HEMMER: We'll ask our Sunday panel what gets the meeting back on track. That's next here on "Fox News Sunday."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're talking to them now. They very much want to do it. We'd like to do it. We're going to see what happens.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HEMMER: President Trump striking a more optimistic tone on Friday, only 24 hours after he canceled that planned summit with North Korea.
Time now for our Sunday group.
Bret Baier, anchor of "Special Report," author of the new book "Three Days in Moscow." Adrienne Elrod, former director of strategic communications for Hillary Clinton's campaign. Gerald Seib from The Wall Street Journal. And Jonah Goldberg of The National Review.
Good to have you all on a Sunday and a holiday weekend at that.
ADRIENNE ELROD, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: (INAUDIBLE), Bill.
HEMMER: Happy Memorial Day.
Gerry, I think the question of the weekend is whether or not this summit happens.
What do you think?
GERALD F. SEIB, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL:: Yes, and nobody knows. Somebody in the administration told me yesterday it's back on track. I said, well, does that mean it's going to happen? He said, who knows. But I think it more likely than not because I think the one thing we've learned in the last 72 hours is that both of the leaders, Chairman Kim in North Korea and President Trump here really want this thing to happen. And so that's probably the most important thing and the dynamic.
Look, I think what was going on was the two sides were talking past each other in preparation for this and then they stopped talking to each other at all. Now they're back to talking to each other. So, I -- I don't think it's a certainty, I think it's a likelihood that it's going to happen.
HEMMER: I think your piece in The Wall Street Journal on Thursday said "lost in translation."
SEIB: "Lost in translation," yes.
HEMMER: A lot has happened since Thursday, Gerry.
HEMMER: Jonah, to you. I think the second biggest question is probably what Senator Blunt just referred to, and that is, can you get all three sides, North, South and the U.S., to agree to something before you sit down? Can that happen?
JONAH GOLDBERG, NATIONAL REVIEW: Yes. So I think it was Monday, which seems like a thousand years ago, I was on this little show you might have heard of called "Special Report" and the host, I forget his name, asked what was the likelihood the summit's going to happen and what was the likelihood that they'll get something out of it. And my prediction was 90 percent, which was probably too optimistic that we get the summit, and then it was canceled two days later. But also 90 percent they don't get any meaningful agreement that gets rid of nuclear weapons out of this thing. And I definitely stand by that.
North Korea has, for 20 years, defined denuclearization as basically getting America off the Korean peninsula for good, because, you know, America is a nuclear power. That's what they mean by it. The administration, except for John Bolton, publicly has been harping on the word denuclearization as if it means North Korea unilaterally just get rid of all of its nukes day one.
That ain't gonna happen. This has been the central driving, defining issue of North Korean foreign policy and domestic policy for over three decades. It's just -- you can't talk a nation out of abandoning what it sees as its strategic self-interest that way.
HEMMER: OK, so here is the president, Bret. He doesn't need a name tag here. You've got that. Here is the president on Thursday on this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our very strong sanctions, by far the strongest sanctions ever imposed, and maximum pressure campaign will continue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HEMMER: My point to Senator Coons was, without this president leading on this, without James Mattis with the military aspect of it, and without the Chinese agreeing to crackdown on trade, we're not even talking about a summit with North Korea.
BRET BAIER, CHIEF POLITICAL ANCHOR, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: Well, that's right. And some of the more aggressive language and some of those speeches get you to the point where possibly North Korea changed its attitude. But I think the China part was the linchpin and its three-dimensional chess here. You're talking trade with China, you're talking these sanctions against North Korea and all of that is a pressure campaign that continues if they don't sit down. I think they do sit down. But I agree with Jonah, North Korea's inherent existence is because of the weapons. So something dramatic we would have to change to change that scenario.
HEMMER: And what about that calculous? Adriane, do you give this administration points for trying?
ELROD: Sure, of course I give this administration points for trying. And, look, I mean, as an American citizen, there's a lot of things that I don't want President Trump to succeed at, as in his hardline immigration policy being one example. But I think all Americans want him to succeed in this, which is why we want him to go at this in a very smart way. Consult with your advisers. Don't wing it, like we've read in some reports that he was thinking about doing going into this summit. Like, let's actually make this work and let's try to solve this problem once and for all.
HEMMER: I think when we woke up on Saturday morning I think we were all surprised with the fact that the Korean leaders had a surprise second summit. I mean that's an indication I think to all of us that they -- they want something to happen here or something to move. What that end, I do not know.
Just quickly to all four of you.
Bret, you think they do sit down.
BAIER: Uh-huh. And I don't know --
HEMMER: So you think a summit happens?
BAIER: Yes, I do. And I actually think it might actually happen June 12th, which is hard to believe, but I think that there is a warrant by both President Trump and Kim -- Kim Jong-un to move this forward. Now, if they can do it quick enough, you wonder the results of that from a U.S. perspective.
HEMMER: Quickly, do you think it happens?
SEIB: I think it probably is going to happen. Again, nothing is certain in this business, least of all with these two leaders, but I think it's more likely than not.
HEMMER: Just to quickly --
GOLDBERG: I think it happens and I don't think it produces what we want it to produce.
ELROD: I think it --
HEMMER: Does not?
ELROD: And I think it happens. But I think there's going to be multiple cancellations along the way.
HEMMER: Well, Mayor Rudy Giuliani reminded us that Reykjavik took six months just to negotiate before they sat down. There's a good book about that. I've heard about that. And it wasn't three days in Reykjavik.
All right, Gerry, on the Iran matter. Mike Pompeo laid out a dozen things that they want the Iranians to do. It is a big, tall order. Can this administration squeeze the Europeans to come around to their side of things?
SEIB: Well, look, there's two -- two answers to that question. The European governments are not going to just fall in line and say, yes, we're with you on this. But on the ground, this is already happening. We had a story a few days ago that said European companies are already pulling back from Iran. They're starting to pull back on investments already made and they're not making new investments because they know that they could be sanctioned by the U.S. and they don't want to get caught between doing business with the U.S. and doing business with Iran.
So I don't think it's likely the European governments say, yes, we agree with you, let's -- let's ditch this deal. That's not going to happen. But on the ground, there is already a kind of a freeze in European, Iranian business happening.
HEMMER: Very interesting. We'll wait 90 or 180 days depending on the schedule as it's laid out now. Thank you.
Panel, let's get a break here. When we come back, President Trump and his team set their sights on James Comey. Can they derail the Bob Mueller-Russia investigation?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: This is rigged. Comey had to be fired. Rosenstein recommended it. Mueller starts off with some pretty serious conflicts of interest. Some of which haven't been explored yet, including some personal ones that he -- that maybe he's disclosed, maybe he hasn't. But the main -- one of the main ones being, he was in a room the day before with the president of the United States and Rosenstein, got rejected for the job of FBI director, and then gets chosen the next day to run the most sensitive investigation in America. I don't get it. Against the president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HEMMER: That's Rudy Giuliani earlier this hour. President Trump's personal attorney with us here. And we're back now with the panel.
And, Bret, you had James Comey on "Special Report" two weeks ago. What you think about what we heard from Rudy Giuliani?
BAIER: Well, I think a couple things. One is saying that the president is not going to fire anybody, that's pretty definitive I think in what Rudy Giuliani has said. Some of these interviews he says a number of different things about the investigation overall and what's going to happen, whether the president will sit for an interview or not, or it sounded like it's not leaning that way at this moment.
I'd be interested to know specifically what he's talking about on the conflicts of interest for Mueller. And something tells me that will play itself out either on Twitter or another interview.
HEMMER: It's clear they're going after James Comey. They're putting his credibility on the line. And as the mayor said, we're not going after the government, just certain individuals in the government.
Does that strategy work for them?
GOLDBERG: I think it's working this week. Look, I -- I think a lot of the things that Rudy Giuliani said this morning to you were factually, logically almost grotesque at times. And -- but the point is, is that he's not playing -- he's calling himself a lawyer, but what he is doing -- what he really is, is he's a -- this is -- this is war by other means. It's spin war. You've got -- he has very effective spin. This is the first time in a long time I think the Trump administration is actually starting to win some of these fights. I don't think it's necessarily grounded in a lot of facts.
And I think some of the things that Rudy Giuliani was doing today would not hold up to scrutiny saying, you know, of course we don't know -- he says, you know, Mueller hasn't found anything about collusion. And he may not have. But how would we know that? He says it as if we have already been -- that we already know that he's found nothing. The whole point of the investigation is waiting to see what the investigation finds. Giuliani is very effective a spinner her. I don't think he is a very effective debater on the facts.
HEMMER: With the argument on the informant, I thought he asked a very interesting question, what -- did the informant find anything? And they're -- they're waiting for that answer.
GOLDBERG: That's a good question.
Gerry, on Thursday, the president, as he is apt to do, gave us a nickname. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We now call it spygate. You're calling it spygate. A lot of bad things have happened. I want them all to get together. They'll sit in a room. Hopefully they'll be able to work it out among themselves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HEMMER: So there may be an IG report that comes out this week. It could be Tuesday or Wednesday, which could throw all of this back up in the air.
Is there a way, referring to Jonah's point he was making there, that they can turn this against Bob Mueller and his team effectively?
SEIB: Well, that's why I think we're at kind of an inflection point here because whether they can or they can't, clearly the effort by the president and Rudy Giuliani is to do exactly that, to -- and he used in the -- in the conversation with you, he used "illegitimate" and "rigged" multiple times as terms to describe what's going on here in reference to the Mueller investigation as much as anything else. So I think they believe if they can get the spygate narrative going, that discredits Jim Comey, it discredits Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, and by extension it will eventually discredit the Mueller investigation.
HEMMER: But it could be a problem for the Mueller side that you get there.
SEIB: Right. Exactly. Although you have to keep in mind that almost a year passed between the time this informant was used and Bob Mueller even came into existence as special counsel. So I -- on the -- on the merits of it, I think Mueller is not tainted by this. But in the -- in the public perception eyes, that may be a big problem.
There was an intelligence briefing, two of them, on Thursday of this week and you had members of Congress come out and no one's talked. Adam Schiff read from a piece of paper, Adrienne. This is what he said after that hearing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADAM SCHIFF, D-CALI., HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE RANKING MEMBER : Nothing we heard today has changed our view that there is no evidence to support any allegation that the FBI or any intelligence agency placed a spy in the Trump campaign or otherwise failed to follow appropriate procedures and protocols.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HEMMER: Now, Adam Schiff has done hundreds of interviews on cable news since the president was elected, and he's reading from a piece of paper and no one has suddenly leaked in this town. Suddenly Washington, D.C., is quiet. What are we to make of that?
ELROD: Well, I think, first of all, Adam Schiff is trying to be very careful in the words that he's using here. But he is simply saying, what we learned, what the Democrats, what Leader Pelosi and I learned in this meeting, for example, is that this was a very standard operating procedure that the FBI uses when they are investigating somebody. So in this case they sent in an informant because they had every reason to believe that they might gain something, might learn some information by sending somebody into this -- to the Trump campaign.
So, again, this is not a spy. This is an informant that the FBI uses all the time when they are investigating people, when they are investigating campaigns. Very standard operating procedure.
HEMMER: Jonah, quickly, what do you make of this or what are we to --
GOLDBERG: I think it's very interesting. It does feel like no one quite got what they wanted out of this meeting and that someone was told there's a reason why we want to keep this stuff quiet.
HEMMER: What do you think?
First of all, it's not usual to have somebody in or around a campaign while it's happening. I think the argument is that they were trying to figure out what Russia was doing. That's the argument. But we don't know all that he or she got from that.
It's good to see all of you.
Bret, Gerry, Jonah, Adrienne, have a great holiday weekend.
GOLDBERG: Thank you.
ELROD: Thanks, Bill. Take care.
SEIB: Thank you.
HEMMER: In a moment here, our "Power Player of the Week," honoring America's fallen with 24 musical notes.
HEMMER: American flags by the nearly quarter million grave markers at Arlington National Cemetery.
It is a holiday tradition here when we profile a man who created his own special program to make every day and Memorial Day for our fallen heroes.
Once again, he is our "Power Player of the Week."
TOM DAY, BUGLES ACROSS AMERICA: When you're playing it, it's only 24 notes, but it's so meaningful to that family.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX ANCHOR (voice over): Tom Day is talking about playing "Taps" at the funerals of military veterans, and he should know.
He's the founder and president of an organization called Bugles Across America.
WALLACE: (on camera): All told, how many funerals have you done since you started Bugles Across America?
DAY: At 200,000.
DAY: In ten years. Right.
WALLACE (voice over): It started back in 2000, when Congress gave every vet the right to a funeral with military honors, including two uniformed officers to present a flag and play "Taps." The problem was, the military only had 500 bugler's, so they sent someone to play a recorded "Taps" on a boom box or an electronic device inside a bugle.
Tom Day, who played in the Marines in the '50s, didn't like it.
DAY: I call it stolen dignity that these veterans can't get life "Taps" when we are out there ready to perform life "Taps."
WALLACE: So he started his organization, recruiting 400 horn players within
DAY: Now we have 6,270 horn players. And we're doing 2,200 funerals a month.
WALLACE: It's become quite an operation that Day runs out of his basement near Chicago. Families can go on his website to ask for a bugler. A message is sent to every horn player within 100 miles of the funeral. Day gives away bugles and helps with uniforms. While they get support from foundations, he runs a deficit every year.
WALLACE (on camera): How do you make up for the shortfall?
DAY: I kind of make it up myself.
WALLACE: $15,000, $20,000 a year?
DAY: Probably ten. You finish. You're the last of the 24 notes, you put the horn down and the flag has been presented and then the family comes over. The kisses, the handshakes from these families, there is nothing -- no amount of money could ever buy the feeling that I get from the family once I've finished the 24 notes.
WALLACE (voice over): With soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, plus 1,800 veterans of World War II dying every day, there is a flood of military funerals. Day, who is 69, says he wants to keep going until he dies, then leave his organization in solid shape to carry on.
DAY: I want every family to have life "Taps" at that going away presentation of their veteran. And it kind of tells the Marines who are guarding the gates in heaven, live "Taps," we're going to let this veteran right in.
HEMMER: Since we first ran that story nine years ago, Tom Day's organization has grown to more than 5,000 active members who play at 4,000 funerals every month.
If you want to learn more, go to our website, foxnewssunday.com and there is more information online for you now.
Chris is back next Sunday.
And that does it for this day. But on this day, take a moment to remember all the men and women who have given their lives defending our freedom. And we'll see you on the next "Fox News Sunday."
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