Green New Deal could cost up to $93 trillion over 10 years

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," Februay 26, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, ahead of the big summit, a little sightseeing.

You're looking at a motorcade carrying the president of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, his security detail running in pace. I hope they didn't have to go very far. They seem to be going at a pretty good clip, but getting ready for the big meeting and a big at least optimism about what will come of it.

Welcome, everybody. I'm Neil Cavuto.

I don't think John Roberts had to run aside any of these limos. But he has been running around a very busy Hanoi ahead of the big powwow.

John, what's the latest?

JOHN ROBERTS, CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Reminds me of a scene out of "In the Line of Fire" with Clint Eastwood and Rene Russo, when he was jogging up Pennsylvania Avenue trying to make it.

The president begins his day in about six hours' time. He has got a meeting with Vietnam's President Nguyen Phu Trong. He will meet later on this afternoon as well with the prime minister of Vietnam, and then tonight he will be meeting with Kim Jong-un. He will have a short one-on-one meeting in the 6:00 hour, Vietnam time.

And then after that, he will be joined by the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, and the acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, for what the White House is calling a social dinner with Kim Jong-un. And then the big meetings begin, of course, on Thursday, Vietnam time.

The big question, is Kim any closer to making good on his pledge to dismantle his nuclear program? Pressure is building on President Trump from both sides of the congressional aisle to push him to do that. Listen here.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-N.Y., MINORITY LEADER: His goal should be complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of Korea.

An agreement that includes significant sanctions relief in exchange for something short of that will be woefully insufficient.

SEN. CORY GARDNER, R-COLO.: We need a clear, concrete road map to complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization. What the United States must do is continue to apply our pressure, every bit of maximum pressure we can, and make sure that North Korea doesn't do what they have done for decades. And that is give a little, get a lot.


ROBERTS: There is some concern within the administration that the whole idea of denuclearization has now become a negotiating point, when it should be an absolutely non-negotiable item, and that the United States seems on a path to give concessions to Kim to move him down that road.

President Trump insists that sanctions will stay on North Korea until Kim does something to start actually dismantling his nuclear program. Of course, he shutdown a rocket motor facility. He also blew up the entrances to his nuclear testing facility. But he didn't need either one of those anyways.

But President Trump says that the sanctions will continue to stay on. Now, Kim growing increasingly desperate to get those sanctions off. And, Neil, some North Korea experts believe that this whole idea of denuclearization is not something that Kim is negotiating. What he is negotiating is continuing North Korea's livelihood.

There's also an idea among North Korea experts that some sort of success has already been baked into this summit cake, so that both leaders can declare some sort of success at the end of it, but that the definition of success doesn't include anything about denuclearization.

So we will see if they're right or if President Trump comes out with something at the end of all this -- Neil.

CAVUTO: That's very interesting. All right, John Roberts, thank you. Be safe, my friend, John Roberts in Hanoi.

So denuclearization, what does it mean to you? Well, a naive read like mine would be, well, get rid of anything nuclear. But, again, as John indicated, it's not that simple.

Ari Fleischer is joining us, the former White House press secretary. We have got Robert Charles, the former assistant secretary of state, and last, but not least, Alayna Treene.

Alayna, end it with you. Get your take on what you think denuclearization will mean, because there's no way in heck, we're told, that the North Korean president is going to do it lickety-split, if he does it at all. Then what?

ALAYNA TREENE, AXIOS: That's exactly the problem.

And this is something that Trump administration officials have conceded. In a call with reporters last week, they said that there are different definitions between what North Korea and of course what the U.S. think is denuclearization, and that's the biggest issue here, is defining what that is and how verifiable that is.

And I think that the goal here is, the U.S. has been pushing for decades North Korea to choose between becoming an economic power or a nuclear one. And, of course, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un wants both.

But -- and I think something that President Trump has said, as well as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, is that they will not give any economic sanctions relief until there is that complete and verifiable denuclearization.

But if there is any sort of leaning on that, it would be a win for North Korea to get any sort of sanctions relief, because their goal is to have both of those powers.

CAVUTO: Robert Charles, from the secretary of state's stance, you got to wonder. Mike Pompeo has been telling the president, it's one thing for them to have stopped the missile testing. That's great. But they can always restart that.

And we don't know where a lot of these missiles and other weaponry are. And he has urged the president to kind of hold their feet to the fire. He has as well. But what does hold the feet to the fire mean here? What would have to be verified to leave this summit and score it a success?

ROBERT CHARLES, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, first, remember, nuclear diplomacy is a long -- historically, a long and drawn-out process, no matter what country is on the other side.

I would say success out of a summit -- and this only has to -- this is all about the principals. Things aren't going to happen without the two principals here, because that's the definition of this particular type, this country's diplomacy.

But success would be continued dialogue, to me. It would be no more -- continued secession of missile launches and testing. Wild success would be you start to see a commitment end the actual dismantling of the uranium and plutonium processing facilities. You get an actual definition on paper, by agreement, of what denuclearization is.

The long-term dialogue here between these two countries is about economic transformation. And it's no coincidence that they're in Vietnam. The per capita income of a North Korean average citizen is about $1,300 a year. Vietnam's per capita income is twice that.

South Korea's is 20 times that. So what you're trying to do is show them that there's a way out of this hole. The other thing to remember is that the big win would be to have them realize that holding nuclear weapons is actually a strategic liability, that if they move back to conventional, which is hard -- since 1953, they have been strategically aligned by their nuclear policy.

But I think if you could back them out of that slowly over the next couple of years, you end up seeing real success, and this president's got them further than most presidents have gotten them.

CAVUTO: Ari, I'm wondering too, on the part of the president here, obviously, Vietnam, the White House weighed in on that location, and to the assistant secretary's point, that it is a model for a former fierce enemy that becomes an economic friend and customer and client of the United States, supplying a lot of goods that make it one of the more vibrant economies in Asia now, and that this too could be North Korea's.

What do you think of that?

ARI FLEISCHER, CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it's fascinating, but here's the problem with it.

We speak a different language than the Koreans. And I don't mean English and Korean. I mean, we believe in economic development. We believe in the advancement of people. I'm not sure North Korea does. They certainly have no history of it.

And so, so long as Kim Jong-un on and the power brokers around him, his military especially, so long as they are in power, I don't think they really care about their people. At least, that's been the decades-long history of North Korea.

They will impoverish their people. Their people will be in prison camps. And does the government care? No, because they keep getting away with it. So the question is, is Kim Jong-un that different from his father and his grandfather? Will he be the Korean who says, I want to be like South Korea or like Vietnam, economically free and successful?

I have seen no evidence that he is indeed like that. What he wants to do is stay in power. So, it's a beautiful image. It's the right image. It's what the West should hope for. I just don't know that we have a participant who speaks the same language.

CAVUTO: All right, well, we will get a sense of that in the next two days.

Guys, I want to thank you all very, very much.

In the middle of this, you have a nation that's going to be transfixed on the fixer, because the president's former personal attorney Michael Cohen is testifying behind closed doors in Washington, D.C., today, tomorrow open to the public, when all of this is going on half-a-world away.

Catherine Herridge in Washington on what we can expect.

Hey, Catherine.


We're entering the seventh hour that Michael Cohen has been behind closed doors here at the Senate Hart Office Building. For context, last time he was here about two years ago, that interview went on for nearly 11 hours.

Cohen arrived earlier today. He took a back entrance that largely shielded him from reporters. What we heard from Republicans and Democrats is that they want Cohen to explain why he lied when he was here in 2017 about a Moscow real estate project during the presidential campaign and when those discussions ended.

Cohen testified the talk stopped in January of 2016. But the paper trail shows that, in fact, those discussions went on much longer. And it was that lie that led to the prosecution of Cohen by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Lawmakers want to understand whether Cohen initiated this lie or whether he was directed to do so and why, because the underlying act of the business dealings in Moscow, there was nothing criminal about it, and the project never went ahead.

Earlier today, the White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, a statement about Cohen's testimony this week on the Hill that states: "Disgraced felon Michael Cohen is going to prison for lying to Congress and making other false statements. It's laughable that anyone would take a convicted liar like Cohen at his word, and pathetic to see him given yet another opportunity to spread his lies."

What we heard from Republicans and Democrats on the Senate is that they have very different views about Cohen. Republicans have a lot of questions about his credibility. And the Democrats are very much focused on the money trail.


SEN. JOHN KENNEDY, R-LA: I'm just not impressed. Anything he says, I think that the American people need to be very, very skeptical.

SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, D-CONN.: We're at another inflection point where American justice is either vindicated or desecrated. And Michael Cohen has answers to some of the questions that the American people need to know.


HERRIDGE: So, if Cohen's previous testimony is anything to go by, we could be here well into the early evening, Neil. And then tomorrow is arguably the big day, because it's the public testimony before the House Oversight Committee.

But it's important to note that hearing is going to focus on issues that grew out of the prosecution of Cohen in the Southern District of New York. So those are largely business issues, not issues related to alleged Russia collusion -- Neil.

CAVUTO: All right, Catherine Herridge, thank you very, very much.

A lot going on in Washington today.

They make the drugs that make America well, or hope to, but right now, when a lot of the big drug company CEOs were talking before a Senate committee, they were the ones who probably needed the drugs -- after this.


SEN. CHARLES GRASSLEY, R-IA: Do you consider the risk of negative public opinion and the pricing of that drug?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is ridiculous, that we are getting gouged, when people around the world are getting a better deal.

SEN. MARIA CANTWELL, D-WASH.: If it's a hard question to answer, it just tells me something about how willing you are going to be to help us with this problem.

SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ, D-N.J.: If you do not make a meaningful action to reduce prescription drug prices, policy-makers are inevitably going to do it for you.


CAVUTO: And that was some of the nicer stuff, the Senate Finance Committee today grilling major pharmaceutical bosses who were on Capitol Hill over these soaring drug prices.

Some saying they went so far as to collude soar those prices, but they include some of the most popular drugs and treatments for anything from diabetes to cancer to just the common head cold.

Let's go to FOX Business Network's Hillary Vaughn on what went down today - - Hillary.


Well, senators today searing the seven CEOs in the hot seat, saying they don't want lip service or -- quote -- "happy talk." They want it in writing that they will drop drug prices for patients.

Senators accusing big pharma of price-gouging and taking advantage of American taxpayers by accepting government handouts and in return ripping patients off at the counter by hiking prices.


SEN. BILL CASSIDY, R-LA: The taxpayer is paying that money for something which over the counter is 200 bucks a month, and we're paying $2,600 a month. It is almost as if the taxpayer has stupid written on their face.

SEN. DEBBIE STABENOW, D-MICH.: I think that you charge more here because you can. And American taxpayers are subsidizing all of you.

The people in Michigan and across the country deserve better. They need to be able to afford the medicine and not have to go to another country to get it.


VAUGHN: Executives from FISA, Johnson & Johnson, Bristol-Myers and other companies actually agreed that high prices are a problem. But they say it's up to Congress to fix it. They want the government to get rid of rebates, because they say the middleman that negotiates supply between the drug makers and the insurers and the pharmacies are scooping up savings that should be passed down to consumers.


KENNETH C. FRAZIER, CEO, MERCK: No one company can unilaterally lower list prices without running into financial and operating disadvantages that make it impossible to do that.

PASCAL SORIOT, CEO, ASTRAZENECA: Nobody in the system can do anything, can fix it by themselves. The government has to step up and change the rules. And the rebates have to go.


VAUGHN: And, Neil, it seems like the government is stepping up. There is a proposal on the table to get rid of these rebates, but they want it in writing that that will be passed down to consumers -- Neil.

CAVUTO: All right, Hillary, thank you very much, Hillary Vaughn.

So, did Chuck Grassley, the chairman of this august committee, get the answers he want -- he wanted?

He joins us right now.

Senator, were you satisfied with these guys' answers?

GRASSLEY: Partly satisfied with the answers.

But the more important thing is, they all admitted there need to be some changes made. There wasn't as much finger-pointing to others as I thought there would be. And they made a commitment to work with us.

But, remember, this is just one step that we're taking with the pharmaceutical companies. In a little -- few days or weeks we're going to have the pharmacy benefit managers in. They're the ones involved in -- mostly in the rebate issue.

There's $170 billion difference between list price and what the price the consumer pays.


CAVUTO: Well, I know a lot of those drug company CEOs, sir, were the ones fingering some of the pharma benefit managers that coordinate rates between insurers and employers, and that the drug company guys -- this is what they're saying -- are stuck holding the bag.

Did you believe them?


But I'm not going to put all the blame on the pharmaceutical companies, because we're going to have to have this hearing coming up, and we're going to have to go through the whole -- from the manufacturer to the consumer. And the government plays a role in this.

And we need to solve this issue from top to bottom.

CAVUTO: Do you think that our medical care today, Senator, is geared to the wealthy?

In other words, if you have a tough disease, and you're wealthy, you have better prospects than if you are not, and that's why there's an allure to cheaper drugs, the same sometimes drugs that sell here or abroad much cheaper, that compels Americans to go abroad to get the same thing?

GRASSLEY: Yes, I think the -- the only place I agree with you on the wealthy vs. lower-income people, wealthy have more options, whereas, if you're on government programs, you're pretty much in a position where Washington, D.C., is going to dictate.



CAVUTO: So, you would not be for the approach some of your Democratic colleagues are espousing, that Medicare handle this, and given its heft and size, it could negotiate or use that to leverage these guys for lower prices?

GRASSLEY: Well -- well, first of all, you're talking about Part D.

CAVUTO: Right.

GRASSLEY: Part -- I was chairman of the committee 15 years ago.

The last time I was chairman, we -- I led the effort to get Part D in. And it's the only program I have been involved in that has come in under budget and still under budget.

So, when I see something working, then, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. And I think we also have letters from Congressional Budget Office. Now, maybe these are older letters, but I'm going to get some updates on it, that says that the government negotiates, it really doesn't save money in the end.

And worse yet, when the government negotiates, the government really dictates, and then you have smaller formularies, so that what your doctor says you ought to have may not be on the formulary.

And so with a lot of different plans that people can go into, and with different formularies on different plans, then you have more choices, whereas the government runs something, as they do in the VA, you have probably two-thirds the pills on the formulary, because the government is dictating exactly what...


CAVUTO: But let's say -- you don't even have to worry about a government plan.

Now, I don't hide this from people, Senator. I have multiple sclerosis. I'm fortunate enough to be able to afford the drugs and, thanks to my insurance, to treat me and to do OK.

Now, there are people who have conditions just like mine who don't have access to that because of these sky-high prices that only some can pay. It's not even a government issue.

Should something be done about that, if it isn't reined in?

GRASSLEY: Well, yes.

I think, for instance, the extent to which I have legislation in to do away with a pay-for-delay scheme, or the acronym -- another bill, CREATES.


GRASSLEY: Get generics on the market faster. Have more competition.

CAVUTO: All right, all good ideas.

Senator, thank you very, very much. It's good catching up with you,.

GRASSLEY: You bet. Goodbye.

CAVUTO: All right.

And he says there are going to be more meetings, and there should be, because this should not be a means-based system. We are all human. We all have to get well. And it shouldn't depend on our wallet.

Stay with us.


CAVUTO: A lot of green for that green, up to 93 trillion bucks over 10 years. It would work out to about $600,000 at a minimum for each of us.

The group's president that came up with this, the former Congressional Budget Office director, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, with me now.

Doug, as soon as that came out, Ed Markey, the co-sponsor of all of this, with Congresswoman Cortez, was saying the analysis includes artificially inflated numbers that rely on lazy assumptions.

What do you think?


We took the Green New Deal seriously as a policy proposal and did what we do with any policy proposal. We looked at the specific projects that they had included in the Green New Deal, whether it was a transportation system with zero net emissions of carbon or an electricity grid entirely powered by renewables, guaranteed jobs that include paid family leave, retirement benefits, health benefits, paid vacations, a variety of things that you could then go to the data and ask, how much would this cost?

And it turns out that those are some fairly large numbers, to say the least.

CAVUTO: All right, so from low carbon electricity grid, you estimate that would be $5.4 trillion. Net zero emissions transportation system, doing it without the commercial jets and all, up to $2.7 trillion. Guaranteed jobs, I don't know how that works out, but it's a wide range, anywhere from $7 trillion to $44 trillion.

So you can kind of see a little bit what Senator Markey is getting at here. There are wide swings in estimates and variables in your criticism that was part of the same criticism of their plan.

HOLTZ-EAKIN: So there are big ranges. And I would not say anything other than it. And that's because there's a lack of detail in the plan.

So we took the best information we had. And we didn't want to pretend that it was the biggest number. We also gave the low estimate. So if you look at guaranteed jobs, you can say, all right, let's just find the people who are unemployed, put them in a job as described in the Green New Deal. And that's what it costs.

Or you could imagine, gee, if we do that, the people who aren't working might go back into the labor force. That would cost even more. And then if you really look, there are some people working right now, they aren't in jobs that make as much as the Green New Deal envisions. They don't have paid vacation. They don't have paid family leave. They don't have retirement benefits.

CAVUTO: So, that's where you calculated the...


HOLTZ-EAKIN: So, you keep adding it up.

CAVUTO: The economic impact.


CAVUTO: Now, Kamala Harris, who was for a lot of this, although not to every detail, said, this is not about a cost, but rather an investment.

What do you say?

HOLTZ-EAKIN: Investments costs money. They have benefits out there in the future. And they can make the case for these benefits.

Every policy that a politician puts forward presumably has benefits. It's their job to advocate for those benefits, say, this will be a greater nation if we do this. We're simply adding up the costs. Someone's going to foot this bill. We want to know how big it is, and it tells you how big the benefits have to be to make it worthwhile.

CAVUTO: The only difficulty with it, as you said, it was a little vague when it came to the cost for doing a lot of this itself or how they would pay for a lot of this.


CAVUTO: So, then how do you go backwards and try to put pen to paper on costs that not even they were able to outline?

HOLTZ-EAKIN: So, for example, there's universal health care, says everyone will have health care. Well, that's not a particularly precise description. I would admit that.

So we went to a specific piece of legislation that does that, the Medicare for all legislation that Bernie Sanders introduced last year, and we priced that. And that has been lots of detail. It's a legislative proposal.

So where we needed to, we went to previous work that did that kind of thing.


Now, is it your sense from this that Democrats rallying around this are making a mistake? Because they come back and say, well, that's fine of Republicans to criticize this, considering the fact that they have been running up the debt with abandon, they have been spending on things completely without reason or rationale. So who are they to judge?

You say?

HOLTZ-EAKIN: This was not a partisan judgment. I am a registered Republican. And, as you know, I worked for Senator McCain's presidential campaign.

But this is just a policy analysis. And it doesn't say we shouldn't do it. It just says, if you want to do this, you're going to have to come up with, at the upper end, 93, at the bottom and $51 trillion over the next 10 years.

So you need $5 trillion a year. That's a lot of money. They may be willing to do that. That's their call.

CAVUTO: OK. Doug, very good seeing you. Thank you very, very much.


CAVUTO: Fair and balanced, we did call Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, also Senator Markey for a comment about this study. The best we could do were these tweets from Senator Markey, where he has outlined that this criticism is not justified and the math is not fair. That's the best we can do.

We hope to hear back from either or both of them. When we do, they're on. They're always on. Fair and balanced.

Meanwhile, I just want to let you know, before we go to a quick break here, that the Justice Department now has decided not to challenge an appeals court ruling that will uphold that AT&T can go ahead and purchase Time Warner. So that's going to go. It's not going to be stopped.

And regulators have just fined Wynn Resorts a record $20 million for failing to investigate the sexual misconduct claims against its founder and owner, Steve Wynn, a $20 million fine there.

We will have more after this.


CAVUTO: Does anyone want Amazon to set up shop in their neighborhood?

Now we're hearing from Northern Virginia and a rebellious group with ties to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez not happy with Amazon coming there, for us, not Amazon, demanding that they not come -- after this.


CAVUTO: All right, the president has said that there's a national emergency at the border, and we got to do something about it.

The House is soon set up to take up a resolution aimed at overturning that national emergency declaration, said it would be a mistake. It's being led by Democrats, some Republicans.

The same battle will follow up in the Senate, where at least three Republicans, Susan Collins and Thom Tillis and Lisa Murkowski, are signaling they would back something like that.

Let's get the read from Democratic Alabama Senator Doug Jones, who joins us right now.

Senator, good to see you.

SEN. DOUG JONES, D-ALA.: Good to see you, Neil. Thank you.

CAVUTO: What do you think of this emergency measure? How would you vote?

JONES: I'm going to probably vote against the emergency measure. I don't think there is a national emergency. I think those need to be declared for true emergencies that put Americans at risk top to bottom.

I think we're going down a slippery slope when we start looking at the southern border, where there is a crisis, I don't think there's any questions. And I want to secure the borders. I want to make sure that we deal with that crisis.

But I think, constitutionally, that's our job in Congress, and we ought to be adults and do that, and sit down at the table and talk about it, and not do it through a national emergency that may take a lot of money away from construction projects in the state of Alabama.

I just don't think it's wise.

CAVUTO: All right, now, many of your colleagues agree. It could be a close vote. It might actually be approved in the Senate. I don't know if it got that far, but that the president has said he would veto it and that there aren't enough votes to override him.

Do you agree with that?

JONES: I think that it would be tough to override a veto.

But I think it still sends a strong message, if both the House and the Senate were to pass that in -- I still think it sends a powerful message. And, sometimes, you have to put those measures up and send them for a vote, whether they can override a veto or not. It still sends an important message, I think, to the American people and to the administration.

CAVUTO: Senator, while I have you here, you have spoken on this situation regarding Hoda Muthana, the so-called ISIS bride, who is trying to get back into this country.

The administration said first she's not a citizen, she's not welcome back, her father a diplomat at the time. They're arguing back and forth on the legalities of that. But given her incendiary phrases and comments about the United States and Americans dying, and having been married to at least two ISIS fighters, she's not wanted here.

You think that's a bad idea. You think she should come here, mete out her punishment in the American courts. Is that right?


Well, first of all, Neil, I can't speak to her citizenship. And obviously that's an issue that the courts are going to decide.

But the fact is, all of those things that you just rattled off, I think is the -- all the more reason that she should come back and face the American system of justice.

I mean, every day in this country, there are people that commit crimes against this -- the people of the United States. And if she does not come back to this country, she's going to be free to walk around in the Middle East or somewhere else, potentially get involved again with other ISIS fighters, commit more crimes against this country.

I have this abiding faith. I'm a prosecutor, old prosecutor, Neil. I have put domestic terrorists in prison before, unlike most of my colleagues in the House and the Senate. I have actually been there. And I have this faith in the system.

And I think it sends a really bad message to people in this country right now that are looking to be radicalized. And let's face it. Even as we speak, you understand that there are people out there that are being radicalized on the Internet and elsewhere.

CAVUTO: Then wouldn't you want, all the more, sir, for them to be doing whatever they're going to do over there, and not over here?

JONES: In a prison, they're not going to be able to do very much.

I believe in this system.

CAVUTO: But what if she doesn't go to prison?

JONES: Oh, she will go to prison, Neil.

I have got -- apparently, I have got apparently I have got a lot more faith in our system of justice, in the attorney general of the United States and his Department of Justice, than a lot of these people.


CAVUTO: But hasn't 9/11 and all the violent incidents since and all the ISIS stuff since, Senator, given us some pause that it's not the same old thing, it's not the same old, our court system is great, we can go through it?

And I have no doubt that it is, but that this is a clear, threatening series of comments and tweets and languages, it called death for Americans, the great Western world is fake.


CAVUTO: And why welcome that sentiment back here?

JONES: You don't welcome that -- you do not welcome that sentiment back.

I don't think anybody that brings her back and puts her in front of a court of law and a jury of their peers is saying that you're welcome back. I don't think that we're going to be throwing ticker tape parades.

CAVUTO: But if you roll the dice and she were able to get off some way, how would you feel?

JONES: Well, we're not -- we're not rolling the dice when she is over in another country. We got people living in another country. She can get back into this country at some point, somehow, some way.


CAVUTO: No, but I'm rolling -- rolling the dice on our legal system here and somehow -- you know how our court system works. And you were a great prosecutor before you got to the Senate -- people slip through.

JONES: It's very rare when people slip through.

And they don't slip through when there is overwhelming evidence. And there's overwhelming evidence of this woman's crimes against this. We have to have a faith in this system, as opposed to just letting her run free in another country.

And there is no telling. That's not rolling the dice. That's giving her a free hand and saying, play it do, whatever you want to.

I would much rather take the chances in our court system, with Bill Barr as the attorney general and this Department of Justice, and how it will play out over here, not welcoming her, by any stretch of the imagination.

But I don't think we ought to start getting soft on these terrorists or soft on crime like this and letting them run free in another country.

CAVUTO: All right, Senator Doug Jones, I knew I threw a lot at you today, a lot of breaking news.

JONES: You did.

CAVUTO: But thank you very much, sir. Very good seeing you.

JONES: My pleasure, Neil. Thank you.

CAVUTO: All right.

All right, we have a lot more coming up here, including the latest on this criticism of this new green strategy that could run into the trillions of dollars, over $93 trillion, if we believe this latest estimate.

Why not everyone is, but they do know it's going to be expensive -- after this.


CAVUTO: All right, $93 trillion for that green dream.

Now, of course, the folks who back it -- there you see the congresswoman with Senator Markey -- that it's nothing near that and the numbers don't add up on their side.

Whatever the case, we're going to go to Republican strategist Ash Wright. We have got Democratic strategist David Morey.

The fact that matter, David, it's hard to price something that isn't really detailed. And in all fairness to all sides here, it's hard to put a price tag on something that is kind of big pie in the sky stuff.

The fact that so many Democrats now are distancing themselves from this, not the broad goals of some green initiatives, but these specific initiatives, what does that tell you?


That's exactly right. This is an aspiration more than a strategy. And put it in the bigger context. In the next 10 years, by 2029, the debt is going to go to $33 trillion, double from where it is today, bigger than our economy at the time, another $49 trillion in terms of fully funding Medicare and Medicaid, extrapolating.

So a trillion here, a trillion there starts to add up.

CAVUTO: No, you're right. It does.

And neither party has addressed those over-the-decades spending issues.

But, Ash, I'm just wondering, here, where does this go? We just had all these drugs CEOs being questioned on Capitol Hill for sky-high medical prices, sky-high drug prices. They point the finger at the system. They point the finger at insurance companies and benefit care managers and the rest.

But it gets out of control. Isn't that part and parcel of what's wrong?

ASH WRIGHT, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Absolutely, and thanks for having me on.

But this is absolutely out of control. And I think that's exactly what this speaks to. I mean, even if you take it, today's estimate of the $93 trillion, that is still quadrupling our national debt in one single bill.

I mean, that would take -- if you take the average American home and increase their tax rate each year annually by 10 percent, it would take them 100 years to pay back the Green New Deal.

And I think that's the problem with this is, it's an overhaul of health care. It's an overhaul of our transportation and the way we live our daily lives. And Americans aren't going to buy it. I think this is a problem going into 2020 for Democrats.

I think they need to step back, take it off the table, do a little bit more research, and come back with a more thought-out and detailed plan that Americans can actually look at and research and understand it completely and fully the first time they release it.

CAVUTO: Then let me ask you about that, David.

If a thought-out plan is required here, and the fear is that it's going to be involving a lot of taxes on a lot of folks, and it's going to actually be a drain on the economy, what do you think of that?

MOREY: Well, what we have to do is, we start with vision. All the great leaders and change leaders in our history, Lincoln, Reagan, FDR, they all begin with vision.

So we have to start with vision.


CAVUTO: But you wouldn't say -- you wouldn't compare the folks who have proposed this week with Lincoln or FDR?

MOREY: No. No.

But I would also say, Neil, that deny, deny, deny is not a strategy from the White House, nor is letting China lead on this issue. So what we're going to have to do is bring innovation into the center of it.


CAVUTO: Lead on the green issue, because I don't see China leading on anything green here.

MOREY: Oh, China's got a lot of revolutionary motion in terms of the green efforts, because, at some point, they're going to have to do it because of their citizenship.

CAVUTO: Well, they're second only to India as one of the filthiest countries on Earth, right?

MOREY: But they're also marching ahead in terms of their technology.


MOREY: We can't let them do that. We got to use what America does well, best. That is bringing innovation to the center of it.

CAVUTO: Fair enough.

So, Ash, what do you think of that? We could just -- if the Republican instinct could be to look at the business side of this and capitalize on what we as a capitalist society could do to incentivize dealing with this, then what?

WRIGHT: Well, look, this isn't just a Republican and Democrat issue. If you quadruple our national debt, we're already over our gross production ratio compared to the national debt.

If you quadruple that, it's going to make lenders that lend to America like China not want to, because they're not -- they're going to believe that we cannot pay back our debt.

And so, as you do that, it's going to make it tougher for corporate companies in America and private companies to take out loans and actually invest in these Green New Deal products that are pushed in it.

So it's kind of like -- it's like the New Green Deal is working against itself.

CAVUTO: All right, gentlemen, you argue your cases very eloquently. Thank you very, very much. We will see what happens on this front.

MOREY: Thanks, Neil.

WRIGHT: Thanks.

CAVUTO: All right, now, as you know, the president is in Vietnam right now getting ready for that big sit-down with Kim Jong-un. There are a lot of expectations for this back and forth.

But the fact of the matter is, our relations with North Korea have never been so good. And that's why a lot of people are saying we have to thank the person who's responsible.

What if I told you not just the president of the United States, our former ambassador to the United Nations, Bill Richardson?

He's next.


CAVUTO: All right, I don't know if the president will get a Nobel Peace Prize for his constant efforts to try to bring peace to North Korea, but I do know a few people have already nominated this next fellow for the same exact honor.

I'm talking the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson, responsible over the decades for freeing so many who were imprisoned there and abused there. And one of them, family of Kayla Mueller, had said of the ambassador that he was and is instrumental, when all others give up hope.

With us right now, the former New Mexico Governor and U.S. Ambassador Bill Richardson.

Good to see you.

BILL RICHARDSON, D-N.M., FORMER GOVERNOR: Thank you, Neil. And thanks for the nice words. Thank you.

CAVUTO: That came out of nowhere, right? All of a sudden, so many of your colleagues are saying, we nominate him.

RICHARDSON: Yes. Well, 25 of my -- that was very nice, unexpected, but I appreciated that. It was very nice.

And it wasn't in competition with the president.

CAVUTO: No, no, no.


RICHARDSON: ... some people say. No, no, no.

CAVUTO: Can you both win if it ever came to it?

RICHARDSON: No. No. It's one.

CAVUTO: One or the other.

RICHARDSON: And there's hundreds of nominations.

CAVUTO: I know. I know.

RICHARDSON: It's going to be tough, I think, for either one of us to win, because...

CAVUTO: It would be a big deal. But he would be furious.

RICHARDSON: He would. He probably would.

CAVUTO: I'm kidding.

But what do you make of what's going on there right now and the pressure on the president? Has gone obviously much more than halfway to do something here but you got to get something back, right?

RICHARDSON: That's right.

And I really want him to do well. My worry is that the North Koreans -- on denuclearization, since the last summit, they have done nothing. They have blown up some sites. They have said they're going to terminate a nuclear reactor, Yongbyon.

CAVUTO: Do we have proof that they did that?

RICHARDSON: They didn't allow the press in. No, we don't have proof.

They may allow inspectors into those two sites. But that's not enough. I mean, they have maybe 40 nuclear weapons, missiles, weapons of mass destruction. They committed in the first summit to destroy those sites. And they haven't done anything.

I know how they are. They want you to go first in the negotiation.

CAVUTO: Well, the president says they haven't been launching any missiles. They haven't been doing any of that. They have been returning higher, at a more rapid rate, a number of American remains.

And I know you were involved in that years back as well. But it's a go- slow kind of the approach that they take, it seems. And it's frustrating even to the president. So he apparently is sending the message, you have got to move faster.


And I give him credit for having the summit with Kim Jong-un in June. The tension is less there. It's good that leaders are talking to each other. What I don't want the president is to have too many expectations that they're going to do much.

I think they're slow-rolling this. I think they're -- deep down, they want to keep a bunch of their nuclear weapons, because they know that's what keeps Kim Jong-un in power.

CAVUTO: That's why I wonder, if they lost that, they would lose a key bargaining chip.

RICHARDSON: Right. It's like Libya.

CAVUTO: Right.


CAVUTO: And they remember Libya. They remember Libya.

RICHARDSON: They remember Libya.

But my hope is that the region is less tense today. We have got to protect Japan. Japan hasn't been part of these negotiations. And a missile could hit Japan. A missile eventually could hit us.

So this is why we have to curb the missile -- not just freeze missile development, but destroy many of these. They committed to do that. And if they get that, I think sanction -- if they do that, we would release sanctions.

CAVUTO: Do you think this -- the son is different than his father, is different than his father?

RICHARDSON: Yes, I think this son is more strategic.

The father was like a -- I won't call him a rug merchant, but he'd say, OK, you want this prisoner out, send President Clinton to get him. It was like quid pro quo. I think this guy has a broader vision.

It's a vision that scares me a bit, because he's -- not just -- not doing more on nuclear and missile development since the summit. He's actually increased this capacity since the last summit.

CAVUTO: So, when you dealt with this regime or the father before that, when it was with hostages or just negotiating, period, did you just not believe anything they said?

RICHARDSON: Yes. And you have got outlast them.

CAVUTO: How did you get people out, then?

RICHARDSON: Well, I would -- I would scheme. I would wait. I would say, I'm going to stay here over Christmas unless you let them out.

And they were aware of that publicity. But they always want you to go first. But when I got those two American pilots out, they said to me -- and they were very clear. They said, we want you, the United States, to pay for the ammunition that shot them down. And I said, no, we're not going to do that.

But they really believe that. They don't think like us, Neil. They're isolated.

CAVUTO: But they need the sense that we're conceding something. What could we concede?

RICHARDSON: That's right.

Well, we did concede.

CAVUTO: Stop joint military exercises.

RICHARDSON: No, in South Korea, we did concede that.

They want sanctions relief. But, mostly, I think Kim Jong-un sees himself on the world stage with the most powerful man in the world, the president of the United States. So it's a lot of internal prestige for him, regional prestige.

They always used to say to me, look, we're the big guys in the region, the U.S. and North Korea, not Japan, not China. Let's make a deal.

CAVUTO: All right.

RICHARDSON: And so they have this stage.

CAVUTO: We shall see.

And it was very good having you on ours, Bill Richardson.

Could be up for a Nobel Peace Prize. They don't go out easily. I don't know. But, if he does, it would be nice to go to Europe just to see the whole thing go down.

We will have much more after this.


CAVUTO: All right, now, Nancy Pelosi speaking on the floor of the House right now.

They're taking up this counter to the president declaring a national emergency at the border. They don't want it -- the vote soon.

We will see.

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