This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," July 12, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, ANCHOR: I'm Chris Wallace.
President Trump pushes for the nation's students to return to the classroom even as the coronavirus spikes.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We have to get our schools opened and stop this political nonsense.
WALLACE: Parents, students and teachers debate the risk of prolonged virtual learning versus the risk from the virus itself while the Trump administration threatens to cut funding for schools that stay closed.
BETSY DEVOS, SECRETARY OF EDUCATION: Why should they receive funds for something they're not going to do?
WALLACE: We'll ask Education Secretary Betsy DeVos about the challenge of starting the new school year in the midst of a pandemic.
Then, states dial back on reopening as coronavirus cases hit new highs. We'll ask Dr. Tom Inglesby, director for the Center of Health Security, what's driving the latest surge.
And President Trump commutes the sentence of longtime ally Roger Stone, just days before he was set to go to prison. We'll ask our Sunday panel about the president's latest intervention in the criminal justice system.
All, right now, on "Fox News Sunday".
WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.
In the face of falling poll numbers and rising coronavirus cases, President Trump is doubling down on his push to reopen the country and that means increased pressure on schools to bring students back for in-person learning this fall.
In a moment, we'll speak with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos about the challenges ahead.
But first, let's bring in Mark Meredith at the White House with the latest on the move by the president to save a political ally from prison -- Mark.
MARK MEREDITH, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Chris, on Friday, President Trump commuted the prison sentence of his longtime friend and political consultant Roger Stone. The move has Democrats and a growing number of Republicans up on Capitol Hill outraged.
TRUMP: Roger Stone was not treated properly.
MEREDITH: Sixty-seven-year-old Roger Stone was supposed to go to prison this week after being convicted of witness tampering and lying to Congress. Instead, he'll remain a free man after President Trump commuted his 40- month sentence.
ROGER STONE, TRUMP'S LONGTIME FRIEND AND POLITICAL CONSULTANT: He thought that I had been treated unfairly.
MEREDITH: Democrats say the commutation constitutes abuse of power.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF, D-CALIF., HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: There are now two standards of justice in this country, one for the criminal pals of the president and one for everybody else.
MEREDITH: Republican Senator Mitt Romney was equally outraged, tweeting: Unprecedented, historic corruption.
GOP Senator Pat Toomey called it a mistake.
The president seemed unfazed by the criticism during a visit to (AUDIO GAP) Medical Center last night. Cameras capture the president wearing a blue face mask stamped with the presidential seal. The photo-op came as the White House continues to aggressively push for America's schools to reopen this fall.
TRUMP: We are very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools.
MEREDITH: But some fear reopening within weeks without a vaccine ready could expose more students, parents and staff to coronavirus.
MEREDITH: The president's campaign scrubbed a rally in New Hampshire last night claiming bad weather, not the virus, forced the postponement. However, the weather up in Portsmouth was fine yesterday and it's unclear, Chris, when that rally may be rescheduled -- Chris.
WALLACE: And we'll have more of the Roger Stone case later in the program.
Mark Meredith reporting from the White House -- Mark, thanks.
Joining us now, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
Secretary, you say that there should be exceptions in hot spots around the country but that the rule, the general rule should be that schools should be fully operational and fully open in the fall.
What does that mean when you talk about fully open, does that mean in person, five days a week?
BETSY DEVOS, SECRETARY OF EDUCATION: Well, Chris, we know that for kids, getting back to school and getting back to learning, getting back with their peers, with their teachers, is really imperative. And fully operational and fully functioning means that kids can be back there and if four families that need their kids in school in person five days a week, that has to be an option.
But for -- and so the point needs to be, how do kids get back to learning in the fall full-time and how do we ensure that they get a full-year-plus of learning? They've fallen behind this spring, we need to ensure they're back in a classroom situation wherever possible and whenever possible and fully functioning, fully learning.
WALLACE: Since President Trump and you started calling -- and you may really increase the push this week for full school reopenings, there has been sharp pushback from governors and mayors and teachers unions.
Here is some of that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO, D-N.Y.: If anybody sat here today and told you that they could reopen the school in September, that would be reckless and negligent of that person.
LILY ESKELSEN GARCIA, NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT: I double dog dare Donald Trump to sit in a class of 39 sixth-graders and breathe that air without any preparation for how we're going to bring our kids back safely.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Reckless and negligent. Secretary, how do you respond?
DEVOS: Well, Chris, there's nothing in the data that suggests that kids being in school is in any way dangerous. We know that children contract and have the virus at far lower incidence than any other part of the population and we know that other countries around the world have reopened their schools and have done so successfully and safely, and kids there are going back to school every day. And so, that has got to be the posture here.
Parents are expecting that this fall, their kids are going to have a full- time experience with their learning and we need to follow through on that promise.
WALLACE: All right, let's pick up on this whole issue and I want to get to the other countries and what's the experience is there in a moment. But this week, the president called out the CDC guidance that has been issued about reopening schools. He put this tweet -- I want to put the tweet up. He called the guidance by the CDC on reopening schools, quote, very tough and expensive and very impractical.
So, let's go through specifically what the CDC is calling for. They say wash her hands regularly, stay six feet apart and wear a mask.
Is that tough, expensive, and impractical, Secretary?
DEVOS: Well, these seem to be measures that we're taking pretty much everywhere else in life, and they're common sense approaches. And as Dr. Redfield has noted, the guidelines are also that, guidelines. They're meant to be helpful in a posture of how you actually do things and how you actually move ahead and ensure that kids can get back into school.
And as he's also noted, the CDC never recommended that schools close in the first place. And so, I think we need to be oriented around how do we do this, not if we do. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of how we reopen schools and how kids get back to learning full-time.
WALLACE: But, Secretary, I want to get -- I want to get to this issue of - - because the president of the United States said that the CDC guidelines were tough, expensive and impractical. I want to look at some of the other CDC guidance. They talked about putting up shielding in places where six foot -- six feet of distance is not possible, plastic shielding. They talked about staggered drop-offs and pickups.
Is that tough, expensive, and impractical?
DEVOS: Well, again, all of the guidelines are meant to be helpful, to help local education leaders decide and work on how they are going to accomplish what they need to do, and that is getting kids back in school based on their situation and their realities. We know that schools across the country look very different and that there's not going to be a one-size- fits-all approach to everything. But the key is, there has to be a posture of doing something, of action, of getting things going, putting a plan together for your specific school, for your specific district or for your classroom that ensures that kids are going to start learning again this fall.
WALLACE: Well, I think we all agree that kids need to learn and to the degree possible we want to get them back to school, the question is, how do you balance safety and learning? You had cited the American Academy of Pediatrics and a report that they issued which said indeed that school -- that students do need to get back to school and that there are real costs to the students in terms of not getting back to the school.
But that association issued a new report on Friday, along with the teachers union. And I want to put up what they said there.
They said: Science should drive decision-making on safely reopening schools. Public health agencies must make recommendations based on evidence, not politics.
They say leave it to the health experts to say when schools should reopen in various localities.
DEVOS: Well, I'm glad you cited the American Academy of Pediatrics because they also have noted that this whole question of school and going back to school in the fall is one of health for students. And there are multiple measures for student health.
We know and as Secretary Azar said, this is a question of health versus health, not health versus something else. We know that kids are suffering mentally with many mental issues. We know that kids are suffering with emotional learning issues. We know that kids from vulnerable populations and homes have been suffering by not being in school and by not continuing their learning.
All of those are measures that have to be weighed along with the risk of a virus and we know again from the data that kids don't get this virus the same way adults do. And so, again, the posture needs to be around going back to school --
WALLACE: Do we know about how they spread the virus? Because I've been told the science there isn't -- isn't so clear, Secretary. How they spread the virus conceivably to their parents, to their grandparents, to teachers in the school, to custodians in the school, do we know that?
DEVOS: Well, that is something that is obviously continuing to be looked at and studied, and there's -- again, a lot of data that suggests that kids are not spreaders. But the point is that kids have got to get back to school and we can do that safely. And every community, every school, can look at what their actual physical circumstances are and figure out ways to do this safely.
We're doing it in many other areas of life. If we can get back in other areas of life, we certainly need to get back to schools. Kids cannot afford --
WALLACE: Well --
DEVOS: -- to not continue learning.
Our nation can't afford to have kids not learning and preparing for the future.
WALLACE: But, Secretary DeVos --
DEVOS: Because it's our future.
WALLACE: -- we have found the costs of getting back to regular life. I mean, we, in a lot of states, particularly in the South, in the Southwest, we reopen the bars, we reopen restaurants, we reopened gyms, and we've seen a spike in cases that is almost doubled what we had in the height of the spring.
So it's not like reopening is an answer. In many cases, it creates new problems.
You mentioned earlier about other countries. You and the president have both said, well, other countries are reopening. So let's look at the statistics there if we can. Let's put them up on the screen.
Germany reported 378 new cases on Friday. Denmark, 30, Norway, 11. Meanwhile, the U.S. reported 68,226 new cases on Friday.
Question, is it really fair, is it reasonable to compare the situation in countries that have 20 new cases in a day with a -- with a country that has 68,000 new cases in a day?
DEVOS: Well, we're talking about schools and other countries experiences with reopening schools. And it has been shown to be very successful. Kids have gone back to learning environments and have done so safely and helpfully --
WALLACE: But schools happen in an environment. If there's -- if there's 30 cases in a state -- in a country, that's very different than a place where it's out of control and there are 70,000 new cases in a day.
DEVOS: And we're not talking about places where it's, quote, out of control. We're talking about the world, not the exception.
And where there are hot spots in the future, in the fall, of course, that has to be dealt with differently. And I -- I would reference Miami-Dade County which has a very robust continuity of learning plan that was put into place in anticipation of hurricanes, but it's very appropriate here.
The state of Florida has said in the fall, parents and students need to be able to count on a five-day-a-week, in-person school situation. And where those parents or where that situation suggests something else for a short period of time, there has to be plans to have learning continue 100 percent of the time, full-time in a different setting.
So, Miami-Dade has multi --
WALLACE: I have one -- I have one last --
DEVOS: -- students to continue to learn.
WALLACE: I have one last question, Secretary DeVos, because both you and the president have threatened to cut off funding for school systems that don't open fully in the fall. Here you are.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEVOS: The schools aren't going to reopen again. That's, you know, breaking that promise. And so, why should they receive funds for something they're not going to do?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: And President Trump tweeted Friday: Schools must be open in the fall. If not open, why would the federal government give funding? It won't.
Two quick questions and I need a quick answer if I can from you, Secretary DeVos.
One, under what authority are you and the president going to unilaterally cut off funding, funding that's been approved from Congress and most of the money goes to disadvantaged students or students with disabilities? And secondly, isn't cutting off funding exactly the wrong answer? Don't you want to spend more money to make schools safer, whether it's with plastic shields or health checks, various other systems? Does it make more sense to increase funding for schools where it's unsafe rather than cut off funding?
DEVOS: Look, American investment in education is a promise to students and their families. If schools aren't going to reopen and not fulfill that promise, they shouldn't get the funds, and give it to the families to decide to go to a school that is going to meet that promise.
WALLACE: Well, you can't do that.
DEVOS: It's promise to the American people. That's --
WALLACE: I know you support vouchers and that's -- I know you support vouchers, and that's a -- that's a reasonable argument. But you can't do that unilaterally, you have to do that through Congress.
DEVOS: Well, we're looking at all the options because it's a promise to the American people, to students and their families, and we want to make sure that promise is followed through on.
WALLACE: Secretary DeVos, thank you, thanks for your time. Please come back. This is an important subject.
DEVOS: Thank you, Chris.
WALLACE: A lot of parents care about it.
Up next, the new debate over whether to reimpose coronavirus restrictions as the U.S. hits another single day record for new cases. We'll talk with a top public health expert.
WALLACE: This week, the country shattered the record for an increase in coronavirus cases, surging to more than 68,000 new infections in a single day. And we are now seeing more hospitalizations and deaths from cases diagnosed weeks ago.
Joining us once again from Baltimore, Dr. Tom Inglesby, director for the Center of Health Security at Johns Hopkins University.
Doctor, what do you think of the president's push this week to reopen schools fully, and also his complaint that the CDC guidelines are too tough, too expensive and too impractical?
DR. TOM INGLESBY, JOHNS HOPKINS BLOOMBERG SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: Well, I think the first thing to say is that probably all Americans share the goal of opening schools safely as soon as they can be. So I don't think that's even a matter of debate in the country. I do think that there are going to be many challenges to opening schools safely and just kind of asserting that just because they want to open safely doesn't make it so. It's going to be pretty -- pretty difficult for many schools.
States around the country have been preparing for this. So it's not like nothing has been going on to that effect, but there are still some uncertainties about transmission in schools. As you said earlier, it's true that many schools have been opened successfully in different parts of the world, but in those places, most of those places, there was much less transmission than is going on now.
So I think we should move ahead with plans --
WALLACE: Well, let me -- let me just ask you, because there have been outbreaks --
WALLACE: -- in some summer camps around the country this summer.
WALLACE: Let me go back to the question that I asked Secretary DeVos. Where is the science here? What do we know about the risk of kids getting the illness and what do we know about the risk of kids spreading the illness?
INGLESBY: So, we do know that kids are at much lower risk of serious infections than adults, but not zero. There are -- there have been deaths in the United States of children, including tragically at death yesterday in South Carolina of a 5-year-old. So there are serious outcomes in children, but far, far less than adults.
What's less clear is how efficiently kids will spread the virus in school both to each other and to teachers, adults, and parents. In some places in the world, it seems like that has been relatively uncommon, but there are examples such as in Israel in the last couple of months, there have been a large -- there was a large outbreak in schools when they reopened.
And so, I think there still is uncertainty that we're going to have to live with. We probably won't know all the answers when we started in the fall but we'll have to watch very carefully and react to what we find.
WALLACE: What to think of the president and Secretary DeVos' threat to cut school funding for schools systems that don't reopen fully?
INGLESBY: Yeah, no, I think issuing an ultimatum for schools opening is the wrong approach. I think guiding schools and helping schools with financial support and encouraging schools to follow CDC guidance and state health department guidance is the right way to go.
I think our incentives are all aligned in the sense that everyone really does want schools to open safely, but mandating it under a very tight timeline such as what happens in Florida this week where they're required to open schools five days a week in 30 days before the state has really even had a chance to review schools plans seems really like the wrong approach to me.
WALLACE: Let's step back from schools and look at this whole resurgence of the virus in new parts of the country, especially along the Sun Belt. I want to put up a graph of the wave of cases. Note (ph) at the height of the pandemic this spring, we recorded -- this is at the height -- 36,000 new cases in a single day. On Friday, we saw 68,000 new cases in a single day.
And I want you to take a look at this chart and the yellow line. You can see that as we were all patting ourselves on the back, we bent the curve of new cases in mid-April and after going down from the peak, the new case increase -- it started to plateau. But since mid-June, really for a month now, we have seen that huge spike on the left part of the screen.
Doctor, how serious is this surge in new cases and how do you explain it?
INGLESBY: It's really serious. I think the country is not in a good place with respect to COVID right now. I think -- of course, there are places in the country where there are states doing well, but as you said, across the South and in California and in a variety of other states, we're having sharp increases in cases, sharp increases in hospitalizations and ventilator use and now increases in deaths.
So I think there are number of explanations and it probably depends on the particular location but in general, I think we don't have unity of message. We've been getting conflicting messages about mask use at the White House level, at -- from state governors. We've had insufficient attention to indoor large gatherings and too many people are meeting for social gatherings in large numbers.
We've got to get back to the basics. Wearing face coverings, six feet apart, telecommuting, avoiding large gatherings and really having a strong central message and in places where they're having serious hot spots, I think we should be given consideration to stepping back from reopening, moving -- moving back a phase.
It doesn't need to look like exactly like it looked in March or April, I think we should still try to have people going to work. But this idea that we can normalize large social gatherings again, that's just not right, and we're going to have to change course or we're going to continue to see these rises.
WALLACE: Let me talk about another aspect of this surge, and that is what's happening with not new cases, but deaths. And I want to put up the same chart, but with a focus on a different line. Again, look at the yellow line here. That's not the new cases, that's the number of deaths, you can see that that spiked in mid-April, has come down sharply, although there has been an increase in deaths in the last week -- more than 800 the last few days.
How much comfort should we take, Doctor, in the decrease in deaths against this huge increase in cases?
INGLESBY: I don't think we should take any comfort in that number. It's wonderful that the number of deaths went down to into the 200 for a time, but we're now back to 800 to 900 deaths a day in the United States. If you compare that to the numbers in Europe, for example, Germany had six deaths yesterday. France had deaths in the teens in the last couple of days.
And there are parts of the world where there are no deaths. Vietnam has had no deaths from coronavirus since the beginning. Thailand has had no deaths in six weeks. New Zealand has had very, very little mortality from this.
So, it is not normal -- we should not accept as normal the 800 or 900 deaths that we have in this country. We can do better. We can actually make this disease much, much less serious in this country.
WALLACE: Finally, President Trump wore a mask in public for the first time yesterday during a visit to Walter Reed Medical Center. You talked earlier about the mixed messages coming from Washington, the White House, various levels of government.
Do you think it would have made a difference if President Trump and Vice President Pence had started wearing masks months ago? And what you think of this debate, the argument that wearing a mask is a matter of personal freedom?
INGLESBY: I do think it would have been better to have started wearing masks, demonstrating wearing masks at the highest levels of government a long time ago when CDC came out with the original guidance, but at this point, I think the most important thing is to look forward and to think about what will make the most difference.
And I think that having the president, the vice president, and governors wearing masks when they're out in public is the right thing to do.
I don't think we should think about this as a personal choice. We don't think it's a personal choice to drive through a neighborhood at 80 miles an hour. We agreed to slow down because we want to protect kids.
The same thing is true here. We want to wear masks to protect our neighbors.
WALLACE: Dr. Inglesby, thank you. Thanks once again for joining us. Always good to talk with you.
Up next, President Trump commutes Roger Stone's prison sentence, drawing blowback from Democrats and even a few Republicans. We'll bring in our Sunday group to discuss that, plus the Supreme Court ruling on whether investigators can see the president's tax records.
WALLACE: Coming up, Joe Biden lays out his buy American economic plan and the president responds.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: It's a plan that is very radical left but he says the right things because he's copying what I've done.
WALLACE: We'll ask our panel about the new face-off and the race for the White House, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROGER STONE: So the president has saved my life. And he's given me the opportunity to fight for vindication.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Longtime Trump ally Roger Stone celebrating Friday night after the president commuted his prison sentence just days before Stone was set to be locked up.
And it's time now for our Sunday group.
GOP Strategist Karl Rove, former Democratic Congresswoman Jane Harman, director of the Wilson Center, and Senator Mitch McConnell's former chief of staff, Josh Holmes of Cavalry Consultants.
Karl, Roger Stone was convicted of lying to Congress and obstructing justice in the investigation of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. The special counsel, of course, found that there was no collusion. But Mitt Romney, Republican Senator Mitt Romney, said of the president's commutation of Roger Stone, he tweeted yesterday, it is historic corruption. Is it?
KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I don't think so. It may be unpleasant. You left out witness tampering, which was the third charge in which he was found guilty. I thought it was interesting the president didn't pardon Roger Stone but he commuted his sentence. So Roger Stone remains convicted of those three charges. Attorney General Barr defendant the prosecution in a congressional hearing recently by calling it righteous and appropriate and saying that the sentence was fair.
So I thought what was interesting was that on Friday night when this occurred, the Biden campaign sent out a spokesman who issued a statement and we haven't heard from Biden since. I think that's smart. I think he realizes that this is not going to change much. If you didn't like Donald Trump, you don't like this decision. If you like Donald Trump, you like this decision. And in the 115 days left in the campaign, Joe Biden has decided apparently that it's more important for him to talk about coronavirus and the economy and trade and buy America than it is to talk about Roger Stone. I think that would be good advice for the president as well, and I think it would be good advice for Roger Stone if he cares about his friend Donald Trump to -- to equally remain silent.
WALLACE: Well, let's talk about the merits of this commutation. The White House says that Stone -- the Stone prosecution was carried out by, quote, overzealous prosecutors who were investigating the Russia hoax. Interestingly enough, the commutation, however, got the special counsel, Robert Mueller, to write an op-ed piece in "The Washington Post" today, and he writes about Stone. He communicated in 2016 with individuals known to us to be Russian intelligence officers and he claimed advanced knowledge of WikiLeaks' release of e-mails stolen by those Russian intelligence officers.
Congresswoman Harman, did the president commute Roger Stone's sentence because Roger Stone covered for him during the investigation?
JANE HARMAN, FORMER CONGRESSWOMAN (D-CA) AND DIRECTOR, WILSON CENTER: Well, only the president can answer that, but it certainly looks like that. I thought Mueller's op-ed was compelling. And the fact that Attorney General Barr, as Karl just said, called this prosecution righteous, ought to make clear that there wasn't -- there weren't many people in the White House certainly, or in the pardon process, which was not followed, who thought this was a good idea.
Trump has issued very few pardons. According to "The Washington Post" today, 36, 31 of them are too political or personal friends. And that's a low number of pardons, but the process he has followed -- or the lack of process is shocking.
And let me just say one more thing. We'll get to the Supreme Court decision. I know we will. But there is an issue about whether, along the way, President Trump can pardon himself, maybe after the election. Let's imagine. There was an office of legal counsel opinion August 5, 1974, just before Nixon resigned, that said the president cannot pardon himself. Congress might be able to pardon. But that's something, I think, we ought to be anticipating at this point.
WALLACE: Well, except I'm not sure what he would pardon himself for, since nobody has found that he committed a crime.
HARMAN: Well --
WALLACE: Of course we're not talking about pardons here either, we're talking about commutation.
Josh, let me bring you into the conversation.
As we have pointed out, Attorney General Barr, who has stuck pretty close to President Trump ever since he was appointed, did call the prosecution righteous. He did call the sentence, the reduced sentence, which he pushed for 40 months, fair. So how do Senate Republicans, when they're asked about it, how do they defend this commutation?
JOSH HOLMES, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO MITCH MCCONNELL AND PRESIDENT AND FOUNDING PARTNER, CAVALRY: Well, I think you've got to approach it in the context of everything that -- that is happening in the world. I mean the idea that we're sort of expressing outrage or taking time over the plight of a 67-year-old washed up political consultant in the backdrop of 120,000 Americans losing their lives to coronavirus and 20 million people being unemployed seems a bit small. It seems a bit ridiculous. And so I think Senate Republicans are really smart to focus on what matters here. And what matters to their constituents and the voters ultimately in 2020 are what are you doing to get this -- this country back -- back on track?
The more time, frankly, that the president (INAUDIBLE) spend on litigating and relitigating the 2016 election, the worse off everybody is because, frankly, nobody's interested in that any longer.
WALLACE: All right, let's turn to the other big court case this week.
The Supreme Court, by a vote of 7-2, including the two Trump appointees, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, voting with the majority, ruled that the president does not have absolute immunity from any investigations. However, they did send the -- the case, the investigation, of whether or not the subpoenas into his tax records back to lower courts to adjudicate. Here was the reaction from President Trump and House Speaker Pelosi.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: This is a political witch hunt, the likes of which nobody's ever seen before. It's a pure witch hunt. It's a hoax.
REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF.: We have a path that the Supreme Court has laid out that we certainly will not ignore. And we will never stop our oversight.
WALLACE: Karl, your thoughts about this Supreme Court ruling and he fact that on a number of hot button issues this -- this term of the Supreme Court, they dealt setbacks to the president despite the conservative majority, whether it was DACA or gay rights or -- or this ruling on his -- his immunity issue?
ROVE: Well, there are actually two issues this week decided by the court on his immunity issue. One involved the subpoena by the new -- by the Manhattan prosecutor who's looking into the payments to the so-called hush payments and in that case the court held that that the -- that the prosecutor could move forward with requesting those documents, but that the president had the same rights that anybody else had in those kind of situations, meaning that there are going to be lots of court challenges, lots of arguments. And those -- the prosecutor is unlikely to see those tax returns, if he ever sees them, until well after the November election.
ROVE: And the other one, the House Democrats were dealt a severe blow. They wanted to, quote, use the president's tax turns as, quote, a case study for creating legislation, maybe on ethics, maybe on tax reform. And the court held by a 7-2 margin that that just is -- it didn't fly, that they did not have an unbridled ability to force the president to compel the production of documents for -- for legislative purposes. They actually had to show that those documents were critical and they weren't allowed to use the president as, quote, a case study, for the preparation of legislation.
The U.S. House of Representatives -- I don't know what Speaker Pelosi thinks she's got in the wave options, but I've read that decision. That's a very tough decision, 7-2, and it -- it -- it basically, I think, ends the ability of the House of Representatives to get a hold of those tax documents without -- without the -- new circumstances arising, which, again, are not likely to occur between now and the election.
WALLACE: All right, panel, we're going to have to take a break here, but when we come back, President Trump announces an about-face on DACA while Joe Biden unveils an economic plan that sounds awfully familiar. We'll have the latest on the 2020 state of play.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: One of the aspects of the bill is going to be DACA. We are going have a road to citizenship.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: President Trump revealing he plans to sign an executive order, and work with Congress on immigration reform that would, among other things, protect the so-called dreamers who were brought to the U.S. as children.
And we're back now with the panel.
Congresswoman Harman, President Trump has worked for years to end the DACA program.
WALLACE: And, in fact, during this term of the Supreme Court they said they struck down the way he was trying to do. Now, less than four months before the election, he says he wants to protect the so-called dreamers and even give them a path to citizenship.
What's going on here?
HARMAN: Well, I think election is going on here. And I think the fact that some of his -- some Republican senators in tough states are not popular with Latinos is -- is going on here. I don't see any chance that -- that he will follow through with that promise.
George W. Bush came close. He had a very good proposal which lost in Congress just by a few votes. It was tragic when that happened. That's been out there for years. Congress agrees on almost nothing, so I don't see this as a logical, sadly, or likely result of -- of -- of his latest statement.
WALLACE: Karl, as a political strategist and mastermind, when you've been opposing DACA and protection for the dreamers for years, can you sell that you're now the -- the protector of the dreamers in the last 115 days before the election?
ROVE: You know, you ask a political question, may I give you a non- political answer. For God's sakes, let's say yes. Let's have the Democrats and the Republicans in Congress and the president of the United States do something that we vitally need, which is a legislative solution to the situation faced by thousand -- by millions of young Americans who came here at a young age, who know no other country except ours, who do -- who -- who need a path to citizenship.
So, yes, is it likely to happen, I agree with Congressman Harmon, unlikely to happen. I don't really care whether the president is credible on this or not. He has said yes. I wish to God we could find a way to say yes.
ROVE: But after what happened with Tim Scott's bill, where the Democrats in the Senate refused to even take up the measure and allow it to be debated so that we could maybe find a compromise language between the House and Senate on -- on reform of law enforcement in the aftermath of George Floyd's death, I -- I -- I'm -- I'm with the Congresswoman, I think it's unlikely. But for God's sake, I wish it was.
WALLACE: Yes, of course, the -- the Tim Scott legislation you're talking about had to do with policing reform.
WALLACE: Josh, you're our expert on Congress. There's some things the president can do through executive order, but the path to citizenship he's talking about, wouldn't that have to be passed by Congress? And what are the realistic prospects for any kind of immigration reform between now and November 3rd?
HOLMES: Yes, I mean, I certainly hope that it requires legislation. I imagine if there's another Democratic administration at some point they would love the ability to try to weave in a whole bunch of illegal immigrants through executive fiat. It's -- it's not possible to do that.
The prospect of legislation, however, I think is pretty dim for the -- for the reasons that Karl pointed out, if you can't get something like police reform done, where 70 percent of the package is entirely bipartisan and they won't even -- Senate Democrats won't even debate it out of rampant fear that Republicans might get an accomplishment in an election year, the prospect of doing something as grand as immigration reform seem pretty dim for precisely those same reason.
I think the president has had an appetite to do this for several years now. And he's talked about wanting to get this to some kind of a congressional consideration. Unfortunately, there's so much politics here and I think Democrats, particularly at this point in the election cycle, think it's a better issue than -- than a solution.
WALLACE: All right, let's switch subjects because speaking of shape shifting, Joe Biden, the I guess almost certain Democratic nominee for president, issued his economic plan for 2020 and beyond this week. And it had a familiar ring to it, buy American. Here is some of the vice president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When the federal government spends taxpayers' money, we should use it to buy American products and support American jobs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Karl, President Trump accused Joe Biden of stealing his America first plan and it was noteworthy that in this long speech about his economic plans, Joe Biden made no mention of his support over the years for international trade deals like NAFTA and the Pacific trade partnership.
ROVE: Yes. Well, you know, he -- his first campaign for president was thrown off the rails by plagiarism. He plagiarized a British Labour Party candidates' speeches. He's apparently now plagiarizing Donald Trump's economic plan.
But he's also going back to the old favorites. Part of this sounded like the old stimulus bill. We're going to take hundreds of billions of dollars and give it to favored industries.
HARMAN: No. No.
ROVE: And we're going to give monies to companies that do good things like Solyndra.
But there's also, in 110 pages, a lot of stuff that's sort of interesting. For example, he picked up on something that's a big favorite of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren's. He -- he calls it the end of shareholder capitalism. In other words, we're going to no longer have companies be concerned about the people who own stock in their companies. We're going to take away the power from the people who own stock in companies and give it instead to people who don't own those companies, namely government and unions and interest groups --
HARMAN: Absolutely not.
ROVE: And they will sit down with -- with managers of -- of companies and arrive at an understanding as to how those companies are going to operate, particularly with -- with -- with regard to social issues and economic issues.
WALLACE: OK, let me -- let me bring -- let me bring in Congresswoman Harman before her head swivels right off -- off her neck.
HARMAN: I think it might.
WALLACE: She's shaking her head so much back and forth.
But let me -- let me ask you this question, Congresswoman, can Joe Biden campaign credibly as an economic nationalist?
HARMAN: Well, that's part of his plan. Build Back Better is a good tagline. It also could be capitalism for all. I mean let's -- let's understand, Karl, that stockholders are not the only people who matter in America. They do matter. But workers and education of workers and our R&D and high-tech future matter and the transition to new work matters. And I think that's where Biden is going with this. I personally did not vote for NAFTA, by the way, but I salute Democrats and Republicans, Josh, they can work together on the recent U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement. That's a very good trade agreement and it is tech savvy and it will build jobs in three countries.
So I'm saying trade is a good thing. I don't think Biden disagrees with that. Certainly the Democratic Party doesn't disagree with that under fair circumstances. And I think that this new economic plan is better than anything we've seen and it's modestly -- it has modest cost and it's paid for. He has three more pieces to come out by the rollback of the $4 trillion deficit-busting tax cuts that were enacted recently by Congress.
WALLACE: All right, let me bring -- I want to get Josh, but -- but, Karl, quick response to Congresswoman Harman?
ROVE: Well, it's not that he says he's going to have others join in with the stockholders. The -- the -- the plan is called the end of shareholder capitalism. They don't want the shareholders to matter anymore. Instead they want crony capitalism --
HARMAN: I don't agree.
ROVE: They want crony capitalism --
WALLACE: OK. All right. All right, I heard -- I heard this.
ROVE: IN which managers, unions and interest groups and they say that -- and government -- and they say that explicitly in the plan. Go read it, 110 pages.
WALLACE: Josh, I'm going to -- OK, Josh, I want to -- I want to push to something else.
And while the president is trailing in the polls, a lot of Senate Republicans, your old home, they're in trouble as well. Let me put it this graphic on the screen because there are a half-dozen Senate incumbents, Senate Republican incumbents, according to Real Clear Politics, who we -- are either losing or are in toss-ups. We've got less than 2 minutes. Is your old boss, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, about to become the Senate minority leader?
HOLMES: Well, I think the most important thing to start with is we're -- we're 114 days until the election. And if you look back 114 days, Chris, we were just beginning, in the middle of March, an economic shutdown due to coronavirus. The politics of today weren't even envisioned. So I think that my point there is that in the Trump era, 114 days is a long time. There is an awful lot that is going to happen. And I think the -- the issues that govern what voters are looking at in November may be entirely different from what they're looking at now.
Let me just say at the outset, the one piece that's concerning for Senate Republicans is that at the candidate level, Democrats are raising a ton of money. They are outraising Republicans by a significant amount.
On the other side, what's -- what Republicans have going for them is that they do have superior candidates here. That '14 -- 2014 class that was elected as a very strong class. They've got people like Cory Gardner, Joni Ernst, Thom Tillis, that extremely, extremely -- Susan Collins -- extremely strong candidates.
WALLACE: Yes, of course. I think almost everyone you mentioned there is either in a toss-up or in a state that's now leaning Democrat.
We will continue this conversation. We've got 115 days according to Karl Rove.
Thank you, panel. See you next Sunday.
Up next, our "Power Player of the Week." She's tops in her craft, creating stylish hats and still going strong at the century mark.
WALLACE: She's 100 years old, the hat maker for generations of style conscious Washington women. And as we first told you in March, she has no intention of slowing down.
Here is our "Power Player of the Week."
VANILLA BEANE, BENE MILLINERY OWNER: This is my home. My second home.
Let's try this one.
WALLACE (voice over): Vanilla Beane's second home is her famed hat shop, a special part of Washington for 40 years.
WALLACE (on camera): Why do you think hats are important for women?
BEANE: Cause it completes the outfit.
WALLACE (voice over): Her creations are beautiful and intricate, no two are alike, and each one makes a statement.
WALLACE (on camera): What's a proper church hat?
BEANE: Well, any hat that's not too fancy, not too wide.
Look at that.
WALLACE: Beane's hats completed the look for famous customers like civil rights leader Dorothy Height, whose hats were so iconic, then President Obama singled them out at her funeral.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: And we loved those hats that she wore like a crown.
BEANE: She would come in when she needed something to match the outfit.
WALLACE (on camera): There's a famous picture of Dorothy Height that is now a U.S. stamp. It's your hat that was --
WALLACE: That she's wearing there.
BEANE: It feels good.
WALLACE (voice over): Hats became Beane's hobby in the 1950s when she worked as an elevator operator in a building with a hat shop.
BEANE: I got a lot of encouragement. So I kept going.
WALLACE: She opened Bene Millinery when she retired. Today, her works can run upwards of $500. They've been featured in the National Museum of African-American History and Culture and in paintings by artist Ben Ferry.
When she turned 100 last fall, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser declared it Vanilla Beane Day, an occasion which, of course, called for a new hat.
BEANE: It was a quick job.
WALLACE (on camera): A quick job.
WALLACE: Last minute.
WALLACE: For your 100th birthday?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) Vanilla Beane!
WALLACE (voice over): But it's not just her hats that make a statement.
WALLACE (on camera): When did you realize that your married name was Vanilla Beane?
BEANE: I was in the drugstore and the pharmacy said, do you know there is a vanilla bean?
WALLACE: And what did you think when you realize (INAUDIBLE)?
BEANE: I said I guess it was meant to be.
WALLACE (voice over): Vanilla Beane is still creating and still taking inspiration from advice she got as a child.
BEANE: Love many, trust few, learn to power your own canoe.
WALLACE (on camera): Any thoughts about retiring?
WALLACE: Why not?
BEANE: Because I -- this is my life.
WALLACE: Are you happy with where life has taken you?
BEANE: It's been good. I can't complain.
WALLACE: In these challenging times, it's nice to know there are still some constants in the world, like Vanilla Beane.
And that's it for today, have a great week and we'll see you next "Fox News Sunday."
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