This is a rush transcript from "Your World," January 3, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, at least it's over.
Welcome, everybody. I'm Neil Cavuto.
And FOX on top of China slowing down, investors bailing out, and Apple just down and out. And I mean really down and really far out.
FOX Business Network's Ashley Webster keeping track of it all.
Ashley, what the heck?
ASHLEY WEBSTER, CORRESPONDENT: Oh, how painful it is.
What the heck, indeed? We will use heck for television, Neil.
CAVUTO: Here we go.
WEBSTER: I think it's -- I think it's been clear that iPhone sales -- let's talk about bad Apple in China -- iPhone sales in China have been slowing down for some time. But it's the scale of the slowdown that has given the stock and the wider markets a jolt today.
Apple now expects revenue for its next fiscal quarter to be as much as $9 billion less than previous projections. Almost all of that, claims Apple CEO Tim Cook, can be put down to headwinds in China, a hugely important market for the company and others in the United States.
The slowing economy in China, combined with longer iPhone upgrade cycles, less subsidies from carriers, cheaper competing phones and cheaper battery upgrades, have all hurt sales. And, oh, yes, don't forget a stronger dollar, which hasn't helped either.
Apple losing close to $75 billion in market value just today. As you say, Neil, at least it's over for now. One analyst is calling Apple's revenue warning the darkest day in the iPhone era, which, by the way, began all the way back in 2007.
And, Neil, it's not only Apple getting hit hard in trading. We have seen shares of companies that supply components and technology to the iPhone also getting pummeled on a rough day down on broader Wall Street.
CAVUTO: You know what is amazing, Ashley?
Virtually every one of Apple's suppliers and all the chip and related stocks were down today, many of them by a like amount, which is starting, in and of itself.
WEBSTER: Yes, not pretty.
CAVUTO: All right, buddy, but you are. Thank you very, very much.
WEBSTER: Thank you, Neil.
CAVUTO: Be well, my friend.
All right, so what does the sell-off mean the markets and what is it signaling for this new year?
Scott Bauer at the CME with more on that.
Scott, what do you think?
SCOTT BAUER, CME TRADER: You know, what a tough start, right, not only the Apple news, but then the ISM Manufacturing news we got this morning, which throw the Apple news aside.
That is a bigger picture of what is going on and what the manufacturing sector really is looking at.
CAVUTO: You know this inside and out. I just want to remind our viewers you're referring to a manufacturing index that slid to 54.1.
CAVUTO: That is still showing an expanding economy, but it wasn't close to the 58 or 59 many were hoping for. And that startled them, right?
BAUER: No, it absolutely did, Neil, because what that is showing is that the slowdown that we have seen in China, the slowdown that we have seen throughout the Eurozone is maybe now starting seep in here.
So the market really got a huge double whammy today. Tomorrow is going to be a huge, huge day. The jobs number that we get tomorrow morning, this may be the most important one that we have seen in the last year coming off the heels of what we saw today.
CAVUTO: I don't know whether the jobs number is going to be greeted favorably if it's strong or if it's weak.
What do you think?
BAUER: Well, that's actually a big, big question.
But I think what the market now wants to see, Neil, is a very strong number. I wouldn't have said that a month ago. I probably wouldn't have said that two weeks ago. I say that now because coming off of the ISM Manufacturing number that we got this morning, coming off of the weakness in the overall marketplace, I think investors, I think the entire market is actually looking for some positive news that the economy is still on solid footing.
Yes, could it bring back some maybe questions about inflationary fears? Maybe. But I think that we really are looking for a strong, a hot number tomorrow, which, again, I wouldn't have said that two weeks ago, four weeks ago or three months ago.
CAVUTO: Real quickly, Kevin Hassett, the White House Council of Economic Advisers chairman, was saying it's going to be about a lot more than just Apple. There are a lot of companies that are exposed to China.
CAVUTO: And we're going to see their earnings statement.
The only good news there was any time Hassett talks, he's always smiling. So you're not too worried. But then you realize he's saying something that could have a pervasive effect way beyond just some of these few companies mentioned. Do you share that?
BAUER: Well, there's no question that accelerated the decline today. That news came out.
We did try to rally a little bit this afternoon. But we saw the acceleration. Any time you see someone of that prominence come out and say something like that, I think the market takes heed with that. Now, that being said, we do have earnings season coming up here very robustly in the next couple of weeks.
So the proof remains in the results that we're going to see. But just take a look what happened with the likes of a Caterpillar, the likes of a Boeing today, some of the other big multinationals that just really got dragged down on the heels of Apple and on the heels of that news.
CAVUTO: Whether justified or not. Sell first, ask questions later.
Thank you very, very much, Scott.
CAVUTO: Good catching up with you again.
BAUER: Take care.
CAVUTO: We know what has happened to Apple, right, 40 percent sliced off its top levels reached little more than, what, six or seven weeks ago.
We also know that it's no longer a trillion-dollar company. We also know that technology is shifting far and fast. And we also know that a lot of other technology companies are following along.
Let's get a read on all of this with Ryan Payne of Payne Capital management. We have Jonas Max Ferris. And we have Alicia Levine as well of the BNY Mellon Investment Management.
Alicia, end it with you.
Is this overdone? Or is there something to it? Is China an indication of something bigger?
ALICIA LEVINE, BNY MELLON INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT: So the narrative last year was that the rest of the world was slowing, while the U.S. was OK.
The reason it's not overdone is that the data out this morning showed in fact that the U.S. is slowing as well. And that's really the big fear, that the U.S. is going to import weakness from the rest of the world.
And as we saw with Apple this morning, it's going to be mediated through the U.S. companies.
CAVUTO: You have got to wonder if that's the case, Ryan, then all of a sudden we're hoping to score a trade deal with the Chinese. But wouldn't that be a kick if we don't get the bang for the buck from a deal because they're -- they're melting?
No, I think I think bottom line is good. Remember too that we're still very insulated from rest of the world.
I think it's hard to extrapolate just from Apple, which is one company.
CAVUTO: By the way, what did you make of that, what Apple was saying? Was it blaming China or what?
RYAN PAYNE, PAYNE CAPITAL MANAGEMENT: I think it's a little blaming.
I mean, let's face it. If you look at smartphone sales around the world, or shipments, they have been slowing the last couple quarters. They have got stiff competition now from Chinese mobile makers. So I think there's a lot more going on there than just it's a trade war. I think that was kind of laying the blame in one place. And I don't think that's the whole story.
You know, Jonas, it reminds of retailers, right, in the days when they had soft sales, and they blame the weather. But they have never credit the sun if they had good...
CAVUTO: But having said that, other companies will likely pounce on this. Ford already has, that it could be a big factor for them, driving down the numbers a little bit. Is that a big contagion issue?
JONAS MAX FERRIS, CONTRIBUTOR: I think it's a little blaming the China situation.
First of all, this -- let's back up a second. This Apple thing, when they -- a few weeks ago, as you mentioned, when it was worth a trillion dollars, they kind of snuck out the, well, we're not going to break out handset sales numbers anymore.
FERRIS: That was a really bad sign. And the stock already went down. And now that was because this was coming, basically.
They knew they're in trouble. And that may or may not mean, look, everyone's looking for a canary in the coal mine when you're an investor. And $1,000 handset sales is a good canary in the coal mine if you're forecasting it right.
But the Chinese are not buying those anymore. They don't buy them in India either. Could that -- if it's just an economic thing, yes, they're going to have lower sales, the economy is slowing globally, it'll spread to us, maybe, maybe not.
It could be an Apple thing, and it could be a tech thing exclusively. And what I mean is, the whole concept of $1,000 smartphone could be going away slowly and will eventually spread to our shores. It could be a place where we're going to have $200, $300 headsets, just like China. Maybe they're going to do privacy -- maybe they will be free with ads.
That's not going to be a world Apple is going to be dominant in. And everyone's like, oh, they have their services business. That's a high regulation business. You can't just keep squeezing more money out of the app center. That's a monopoly business.
You are allowed to sell a $5,000 handset. That is an unregulated business, because you have competitors. So this is a very touchy situation for the whole app economy that lives off the Apple ecosystem as well.
CAVUTO: All right, maybe it was something that Jonas said, but we're getting word now that there's going to be a White House press briefing in just a matter of minutes.
Sarah Sanders, when she speaks, we will go right there.
Ahead of that, I was mentioning the president. He had called the market plans yesterday a little glitch?
CAVUTO: Was it a little glitch? Is this a little glitch? I think I get the thrust of what he's saying, that things will settle out. What do you think?
LEVINE: So, I think the markets settles out when the earnings finally come in, because we're still at 8 percent earnings growth for 2019.
Nobody believes that. And the market certainly doesn't believe it.
CAVUTO: Nobody believes that it will be that good or that weak?
LEVINE: That it will be that strong.
PAYNE: I agree.
CAVUTO: So, if it's less than that, they're right to sell again?
LEVINE: What you're seeing now is the market pricing in essentially a 4 percent earnings growth here. You don't get a huge multiple on 4 percent earnings growth.
And, by the way, we haven't actually priced in any reduction in the energy patch. If you think of energy sitting at $45 a barrel for three or four months, those earnings are coming in. So you could get very close to no earnings growth for next year.
That's what the market is pricing in.
CAVUTO: There are a lot of people who follow looking at earnings on forward or in reverse, and say that the market has gotten a lot cheaper.
Has it gotten more affordable to you? And is this overdone or what?
PAYNE: I mean, I won't go insanely cheap at these levels. Come on. We're 14 times forward earnings.
I think, to Alicia's point, we're basically pricing in worst-case scenario. And, I mean, if you look just...
CAVUTO: The average is around 16 to 18, right?
PAYNE: I think, yes, 15 -- 15.7, if I'm going to be exact.
PAYNE: But right -- come on, we're splitting hairs, right?
CAVUTO: Got it.
PAYNE: So, 14 times earnings. I mean, you have dividend yields going up next year. You have revenue going up at about 5 percent, which that's organic growth.
I just feel like -- and you look outside, we're not going into a recession. So I just think we're at a point here right now where it's this big dislocation between what the economy's doing and what the market is doing.
FERRIS: I think investors, we're thinking, that's what they said in 2000 and 2006 too.
I also feel that...
CAVUTO: But does it feel like that to you?
FERRIS: No, this could be this 20 percent correction that comes back really strong. Like in '98, we had that, in 2011, with the euro crisis.
I do think what's made the stocks cheap isn't so much the almost 20 percent drop we just had briefly. It was that interest rates have gone from 3.75 10-year down to 2.55 today. That is a very dramatic, we're going into a recession move that make stocks -- Apple almost yields that much.
CAVUTO: But would it make the Federal Reserve less disposed to hiking rates this year, or at least the first half of the year?
PAYNE: So I think what we learned from the last Fed meeting and press conferences is that the Federal Reserve has its own models, and it's really less attuned to the financial markets.
So even though the market...
CAVUTO: They always say that, but they're not ignoring this, are they?
PAYNE: They're not ignoring it, but they're going to be more focused on the unemployment rate and the wage data, because that's what their models predict.
I will say this, that 10-year having come off the highs is actually very good for the real economy, and it's great for housing.
CAVUTO: That was the safe haven today.
CAVUTO: Do we expect it to continue to be?
PAYNE: I think just the fact that I think we slightly have an accommodative Fed at this point.
I kind of feel like they are pandering a little bit, if I was to be so bold. But I also think that having low interest rates is great for the economy, and now down to our 2.5 or 2.6 percent. It's amazing.
FERRIS: Look, I think people liked the president's comments more when the market was going up. But he was right about interest rates going up too high.
And it's very -- look, if the Federal Reserve was raising rates because they thought inflation was going to take off, that was a big mistake they made and they might have caused a recession. If they were doing because we were playing let's count the trillion-dollar tech companies and they didn't want to start another bubble like 2000, 2006, then that was a smart move.
But we don't really know what they were thinking at this stage of the game.
CAVUTO: So when you are looking at this, none of you are envisioning an immediate turnaround here.
LEVINE: So, three weeks ago, I thought we could have a decent start to the year, because you had all that tax loss selling in December, and you just had everybody running for the hills.
But I would say that, with the start to January, it's only been two days, I think it's going to be a roller-coaster year.
CAVUTO: All right.
LEVINE: So I think we go down first, and I think we move up later in the year.
CAVUTO: All right, the shutdown have any effect on anything that's still going on?
PAYNE: I don't know. That's par for the course, right?
I mean, the last five shutdowns, the market rallied. I think it's irrelevant.
CAVUTO: You're a very jaded young man.
CAVUTO: All right. All right.
We will see what's happening here. We're waiting for this Sarah Sanders briefing, presumably to address the new Congress taking hold today, the 116th Congress, with Democrats in charge of the House, Republicans in charge of the Senate, and, of course, the two far apart on how to resolve this partial shutdown that's now entering its 13th day.
The newly sworn-in Republican Senator from the beautiful state of North Dakota joins us right now, Kevin Cramer.
Senator, welcome to you. Congratulations.
SEN. KEVIN CRAMER, R-N.D.: Thank you, Neil. Good to be with you.
CAVUTO: Your defeat of Heidi Heitkamp was a big, big pickup for Republicans.
A lot of people saw this as a sign that at least that was the wall that Republicans would have to block whatever Democrats are doing in the House. Does that include this measure they have to end the government shutdown that, as it stands now, it's dead on arrival in the Senate?
CRAMER: Well, I suspect that there's a highly -- it's highly unlikely that it's going to -- it's going to have much of a hearing over here in the Senate.
We all know that Mitch McConnell is appropriately committed to not bringing something up that the president won't sign into law. And I think he's wise to do that.
So the president and Chuck Schumer, along with Nancy Pelosi, have to come to some agreement that's not only passable in the two chambers, but then he will sign into law. And until that happens, there's no point in bringing something to us.
CAVUTO: What is the middle ground on this, Senator?
CAVUTO: I know you're just sort of getting baptized in this process here.
CAVUTO: But the fact of the matter is, the two sides, you and Democrats, seem far, far apart on this issue.
So the president tries to change the tune of what is a wall vs. just security. There's hope that maybe he can come down what the $5.6 billion figure, but Democrats better come up from the 1.6.
But no -- neither seems to be budging beyond that.
CRAMER: I agree, Neil.
But I think the president's already made some movement, particularly in the semantics of the wall. But also remember it was the president who had the four pillars that included DACA reforms, things that the Democrats wanted.
I think we have to get back to less about what number is acceptable to Democrats in terms of what the number that goes toward the wall, and get more to, what do they want and need that we maybe could give them, if they'd give the president the money for the wall?
I don't think there's any reason for there to be losers in this. There can be all winners. I, Neil, am optimistic, in that I believe a divided government actually is the right environment for this type of compromise to take place.
CAVUTO: Yes. Usually, markets feel the same way.
What is your thought on Mitt Romney and his comments about the president, by the way?
CRAMER: Well, it's not the way I would have wanted to start my Senate career.
I would rather help the Senate -- help the president and our country be successful. But Mitt Romney's not a rookie. He might be a freshman, but he's not a rookie. I suspect he's positioned -- positioning himself for something. Or maybe that's just the way it flies in Utah.
Let me tell you, that op-ed would not fly well for me in North Dakota.
CAVUTO: You know, a lot of people were surprised, Senator, that here he was entertaining becoming the president's secretary of state, and now all of a sudden he seems to be zinging the guy. Do you think he's phony?
CRAMER: No. I like Mitt Romney a lot, frankly.
I have gotten to know him pretty well through this process. He's -- obviously, he's a strong leader. He has very strong feelings, strong moral positions. I think he's simply expressing his view and probably speaking for constituents.
CAVUTO: But to what end, Senator? A lot of people have made a big deal, this is the establishment vs. the Trumpsters. What do you think?
CRAMER: Yes. Yes.
Well, maybe he wants to represent that establishment in this fight in the long run. You always have to have a long-term view, just like you do with markets in this business, particularly the Senate. The Senate is built that way.
But I agree. I think that this is a business, like most businesses, of capital and how you spend capital, how you collect capital, how you save capital. And, personally, I don't think that spending all your capital on the first day on an op-ed beating up your president's a great way to do it. But who knows? We will see how it turns out for him in the long run.
CAVUTO: You think he's running for president?
CRAMER: I do not think he's running for president. And, by the way, neither am I.
CAVUTO: OK, that's good to know. You just got to the Senate.
CAVUTO: But you had an uphill battle and you scored a pretty decisive victory.
Let me get your sense of the markets. I know you're not a market guy.
CAVUTO: But a lot of politicians look at that and as a sort of a worry going forward, if this were to continue. Are you worried?
CRAMER: Well, we always like to see them going up, not going down.
On the other hand, I'm more of a fundamental person. I look at the fundamentals of the economy. I think that's a better barometer of the way things will ultimately turn out.
I see a lot of optimism in North Dakota and throughout the Midwest. The markets, Neil, one of the things that does concern me as an observer is that they have become more emotional than they used to be, it seems to me, whether it's geopolitics or whether it's one firm like Apple having a bad day, or something that goes on, a tweet from the White House.
Markets just seem way too emotional. And that's why I would prefer to look at the fundamentals of the economy in terms of the future. Now, the global aspects of it, I'm certainly not an expert on, but clearly that's at play here as well.
CAVUTO: That's a good deal of North Dakota common sense, Senator.
CAVUTO: Welcome to Washington and the soap opera that is our political epicenter. Congratulations.
CRAMER: Well, I spent six years in the House from North Dakota. The Senate is -- the Senate will be a new challenge, and I think a lot of fun.
CAVUTO: Yes, smaller beast, but can be beastly. We shall see.
CRAMER: That's right.
CAVUTO: Sir, thank you.
Kevin Corke now at the White House ahead of this Sarah Sanders briefing.
Do we know what this is about yet, Kevin?
KEVIN CORKE, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: We don't.
And, unfortunately, Neil, whenever you get sort of an overhead announcement like this, it lends itself to speculation. Clearly, this could be a chance for White House officials to acknowledge the new leadership on Capitol Hill.
It could certainly be a personnel announcement, which wouldn't surprise anyone in this room, because, as you know, after the first couple of years, you tend to have a great deal of turnover.
But without over speculating, I think it's safest and smartest, quite frankly, to simply wait this out. We will find out together in a couple of minutes.
I should add this. Given the government shutdown and given the ongoing negotiations between leaders here at the White House and those on Capitol Hill, it wouldn't surprise me to hear Sarah Sanders if she steps here to the podium shortly to address that as well.
But, again, your guess is as good as mine is right now -- Neil.
CAVUTO: You mentioned to me not too long ago how the president does watch the markets very, very closely.
CORKE: Yes, he does.
CAVUTO: He liked to talk about them when they were going up on.
They're still up a lot since his election, since his inauguration, but they're going down a lot, too.
CORKE: Yes, they certainly have.
CAVUTO: How fixated are they on that?
CORKE: I got to tell you, I asked the president a couple questions about that yesterday and, in fact, as we were leaving the Cabinet meeting yesterday, I said, what are you going to do about those markets?
And he said emphatically that he felt like they would be simply fine. He said, listen, we're working on a number of trade deals, Neil, as you and I have discussed on a number of occasions.
And so the feeling here is, once those deals get over the finish line, the market will respond. That said, given what's happening with the trade let's call it a dust-up with China -- I don't want to call it a trade war necessarily -- but given the ongoing trade dispute with China, we have seen what's happened to Apple today.
I don't think there's any doubt that that's something he's keeping a very close eye on. Maybe they talk about that, although it's still anyone's guess -- Neil.
CAVUTO: All right, Kevin, I know you have to wait for Sarah Sanders together there. Then you sit down for that.
We have got the former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer here, worked, of course, with President Bush.
Ari, we don't know what this will be about. We do know the context in which it's occurring, a 13-day-old government shutdown, a partial shutdown. But there's also talk about personnel changes and the like and in the markets. So there's a lot to get into, isn't there?
ARI FLEISCHER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, there always is. And I'm glad to see Sarah is doing this.
I think, with the infrequency by which the White House has decided to hold briefings by the press secretary, it's good to begin the year with Sarah raising that flag again.
It's important for her to be seen, to be visible. They have cut it back. And I understand why. But it's important they don't cut it back so much that people forget that Sarah is indeed the White House spokesperson with an important role to play. I'm glad she's out there.
CAVUTO: How was it decided, Ari, when you were in that capacity? Did the president say, I want you every day or every other day, I want you out there?
Or if there was a lot of controversial stuff going on, Ari, I want you to hang tight for a while?
FLEISCHER: No, frankly, it was very different from today's era.
We follow protocol. There was a longstanding custom where, if the president is not traveling or making major news himself, the press secretary briefs, which means you were briefing three, four days a week. And that's the way it always had been, and we simply followed that template, Neil.
It's a different template today.
CAVUTO: But would all of those be televised? I guess it would up to the networks monitoring at the time, but most often, especially with President Bush, they would be, right?
FLEISCHER: They were. They were -- most of my briefings were televised live by the cables.
And certainly after September 11, they were covered live by the networks and the cables.
FLEISCHER: And then the networks backed off after about a week, two weeks after that.
And then pretty much throughout my time, the cables took it almost live the entire time.
CAVUTO: There's been talk about this partial shutdown going on.
Some were even saying on our air, on FOX Business, which, Ari, if you don't get, you should demand, that this could go on for months. What then?
FLEISCHER: Well, it could.
And, to me, this is so frustrating, because everybody knows what the compromise is, Neil. The Senate wants $5 billion for a border wall. The House wants zero for a border wall. Pass it and pass it at $2.5 billion and be done with it.
That's what this should be. That's how government is supposed to work. And I think that, for Nancy Pelosi, congratulations to her on becoming speaker. But now she also has responsibility beyond resistance.
And the responsibility of leading is, she's part of getting things done. Compromise is how Washington must work. I have said that throughout all my years in Washington. It applies to Republicans and Democrats and Nancy Pelosi.
So zero is not and cannot be the answer. And at a certain point, this will start to backfire on the Democrats as well. But I feel terrible for the government workers. They shouldn't be the ones harmed by this who don't get paid. They work paycheck to paycheck, like many Americans do.
They're taking this on the chin.
CAVUTO: Who's more in your eyes looking to catch the heat for this?
FLEISCHER: Well, President Trump has said he would take the heat for it.
And then he started to blame Senator Schumer for it as well. But I think the president will be remembered for the first thing he said, which is: I'm proud to take the heat for this. I'm proud to shut it down.
And I'm proud to see the president fighting, frankly, because I do believe that, wherever the Border Patrol says we need a wall, there should be a wall.
If there was no wall between San Diego and Tijuana, can you imagine what would be happening? So there's no moral reason not to have a wall. It's practical.
And the solution again is a compromise on dollars, but in terms of what wall, where wall, leave it up to the Border Patrol. Take the Democrats and the Republicans in Congress out. Take President Trump out.
Let the Border Patrol say where they would put it. And that's the best way to do this in a way that's nonpolitical, neither party wins, but we actually protect the border where it's most vulnerable.
CAVUTO: That makes too much sense, Ari, so that's not going to happen.
CAVUTO: But, anyway, it's always good seeing you, my friend. Happy New Year.
FLEISCHER: Thank you, Neil.
CAVUTO: All right, we have got Democratic strategist Antjuan Seawright with us and Axios reporter Caitlin Owens.
Caitlin, to you on this and how long this shutdown drags out. Maybe, for all we know, Sarah Sanders is going to relay a proposal from the president to advance the ball here. Probably unlikely.
But what do you think?
CAITLIN OWENS, AXIOS: I agree with you, Neil.
I'm guessing -- again, I am -- I don't have any kind of advanced knowledge here, but I'm guessing she's going to put the pressure back on Democrats, as the White House has been continuously doing, saying, we need border security, we need this funding, give it to us, and then retaining that hard-line position.
CAVUTO: Antjuan, Nancy Pelosi taking over in the House today as speaker, the first since Sam Rayburn returned to that position back in 1955. I know you were covering it at the time, as was I. I'm talking about Sam Rayburn, not Nancy Pelosi.
CAVUTO: But is it your sense, Antjuan, that Democrats, at least in the House, are going to hold Nancy Pelosi to a far more liberal stance, which would put her more at odds with finding any compromise, certainly with the president, or, for that matter, the Republican Senate?
ANTJUAN SEAWRIGHT, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I don't think so, because the one thing we know about Nancy Pelosi, she knows how to count.
And she understands, while it's one thing to get to the majority, it's another gear to maintain the majority. And what Democrats have to do is respond to what the American people voiced their concerns for over the past two years.
And that's why we took back the majority. So I think you're going to see a laser-focused effort from this caucus on quality of life issues. The plays that they drew up in the midterm, I think you will see great execution from Pelosi and this caucus come the next two years.
CAVUTO: you know, Caitlin Owens, I'm beginning to wonder -- and maybe this is because I'm the nerd here at Fox and follow the markets so closely -- that these are beginning to weigh in on the political debate here, the more they continue.
Putting them in perspective, we're still up a lot since President Trump came into office. This is a 10-year-long bull market that obviously has a lot of staying power. It's getting bumped around pretty badly now, but I think it is hitting a lot of people the more they hear of these multi hundred-point, thousand-point swings in a day.
Is it resonating?
OWENS: Neil, I think it has to be.
And, first of all, let me point out that even when the economy seemed to be doing really well, when we were hearing only positive news about the economy, it was still a bad election in November for Republicans, at least in the House.
So Axios has been saying that this is new terrain for President Trump. If he is to lead in the next two years, and then face reelection in 2020 with the market that is not inspiring much confidence among voters, that could be problematic for him, yes.
CAVUTO: Go ahead, Antjuan. What were you going to say?
SEAWRIGHT: Neil, I just want to say that Trump owns the shutdown, and he owns this economy.
You remember the Republicans started this thing off as they wanted to make the economy the stock market. So, here we are. The stock market is in the tank. And now the Republicans want to run away from the idea that somehow this is theirs to own.
And so I think the American people know that. They understand that.
CAVUTO: Well, wait a minute, Antjuan. You weren't giving them any credit when it was running up, but now you will when it's going down?
SEAWRIGHT: No, no, I gave credit to the economy, but I didn't -- I separated the stock market economy on your show, my friend.
CAVUTO: All right.
CAVUTO: All right, Sarah Sanders now ready to talk to the press.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: ... my friends a minute to get in.
Thank you all for coming on short notice. And, certainly, happy new year. Welcome back. It's good to be back.
We're going to kick 2019 off just slightly differently.
And I'd like to welcome a very special guest for an appearance here in the BRIEFING ROOM, our very great President Donald J. Trump.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Hello, everybody. This is a beautiful place. I haven't seen it. Beautiful place.
QUESTION: Happy new year, sir.
TRUMP: Happy new year. Happy new year to everybody.
QUESTION: You're welcome here any time, Mr. President.
TRUMP: Well, thank you very much. I appreciate that. Thank you.
I just want to start off by congratulating Nancy Pelosi on being elected speaker of the House. It's a very, very great achievement, and hopefully we're going to work together and we're going to get lots of things done, like infrastructure and so much more. I know they want to do that very badly, and so do I.
So, hopefully, we're going to have a lot of things that we can get done together. And I think it's actually going to work out. I think it'll be a little bit different than a lot of people are thinking. So I congratulate Nancy. Tremendous, tremendous achievement.
And I just wanted to explain the folks that I'm with on the dais, people I've known very well over the last two years, people that have been extremely supportive of what we're doing on the border.
They're tough. They're smart. They think. They love our country. They have every quality.
And I will tell you what, I really know them well, and they have the kind of qualities that we need in our country. And they've done a fantastic job at the border. It's ICE and it's Border Patrol.
And a man who's really become a friend, in a sense, Brandon -- I will say this. Brandon Judd has been a stalwart in terms of justice for people, in terms of fairness, and in terms of the toughness you need. You have some pretty tough situations. It doesn't get much tougher. So I just want to thank Brandon and all of the folks.
I'm going to have them introduce themselves right now and also say a few words about the wall, about -- you can call it a barrier. You can call it whatever you want. But, essentially, we need protection in our country. We're going to make it good.
The people of our country want it. I have never had so much support, as I have in the last week over my stance for border security, for border control and for, frankly, the wall or the barrier.
I have never had anything like it in terms of calls coming in, in terms of people writing in and tweeting, and doing whatever they have to do. I have never had this much support. And we've done some things that, as you know, have been very popular.
So I'm going to ask Brandon Judd to just step forward and say a few words. This group has apprehended, last year, 17,000 criminals trying to get across the border. Seventeen thousand. And that's one category. There are plenty of others.
The other thing that has been so incredible is what they've done in terms of drugs and stopping drugs. And with that -- and with everything else -- plenty, unfortunately, come through our southern border.
But I'm going to ask Brandon to come up, say a few words, and maybe introduce our friends and some very brave people.
Brandon? Please. Thank you.
BRANDON JUDD, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL BORDER PATROL COUNCIL: Thank you, President.
TRUMP: Thank you.
JUDD: We really appreciate all the support that you've given the Border Patrol. We appreciate the support that you've given ICE.
My name is Brandon Judd. I'm the president of the National Border Patrol Council. I've been a Border Patrol agent for 21 years.
I can personally tell you, from the work that I have done on the southwest border, that physical barriers, that walls actually work. You hear a lot of talk from the expert that -- you hear a lot of talk that there are experts that say that walls don't work. I promise you that if you interview Border Patrol agents, they will tell you that walls work.
I worked in Naco, Arizona, for 10 years. We didn't have physical barriers in Naco, and illegal immigration and drug smuggling was absolutely out of control. We built those walls, those physical barriers, and illegal immigration dropped exponentially.
Anywhere that you look where we have built walls, they have worked. They have been an absolute necessity for Border Patrol agents in securing the border.
We need those physical barriers, and we appreciate President Trump and all of his efforts in getting us those physical barriers. There's also a lot of talk on this shutdown, that federal employees do not agree with the shutdown. I will tell you that's not true.
And with that, I'd like to introduce Art Del Cueto. He is the vice president of the National Border Patrol Council. He's also a longtime Border Patrol agent out of the Tucson Sector. And he'd like to say a few words about the shutdown.
ART DEL CUETO, PRESIDENT, LOCAL 2544 NATIONAL BORDER PATROL COUNCIL: Thank you. Thank you, everybody. Once again, my name is Art Del Cueto. I am vice president with the National Border Patrol Council.
And I want everybody to take the time to understand what's going on. We are all affected by this shutdown. We have skin in the game. However, it comes down to border security. And we are extremely grateful to President Trump, and we fully support what he is doing to take care of our nation's borders, to take care of the future of this United States.
It has nothing to do with political parties. You all got to ask yourself this question: If I come to your home, do you want me to knock on the front door, or do you want me to climb through that window?
We fully support the President and all his efforts to secure our nation's borders.
TRUMP: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
HECTOR GARZA, VICE PRESIDENT, NATIONAL BORDER PATROL COUNCIL: Hello, everyone. My name is Hector Garza. I'm the vice president of the National Border Patrol Council. I am also a Border Patrol agent on the Texas border.
I just want to talk about some of those criminals that Border Patrol agents apprehend on a daily basis. We're talking about murderers, rapists, people that commit very serious crimes in this country.
ICE has been doing an amazing job in deporting a lot of these people back to their countries. Unfortunately, once we deport these people, these people will not stay in their country. These criminal aliens that have been released from jail, that have been deported, will come right back into the United States. However, if we had a physical barrier, if we had a wall, we would be able to stop that.
Again, we want to thank President Trump for advocating for Border Patrol agents. And, again, we ask our congressmen to fund border security and fund the border wall.
TRUMP: So, this meeting was set up a long time ago. It just came at a very opportune time.
And I thought -- we were all sitting in the Oval Office, working on different plans and different ways of stopping the problems that we have in our country. And other countries have problems, but nobody like ours. The economy makes it even more so. The economy is bringing people in because we're doing so well with the economy.
Unemployment is now 3.7 percent, and that's among the lowest we've ever had, the lowest in 50 years. And among certain groups, it's the lowest historically.
So I just appreciate them being here. I said, let's go out, see the press. You can tell them about the importance of the wall. They basically said -- and I think I can take the word basically out -- without a wall, you cannot have border security. Without a very strong form of barrier -- call it what you will -- but without a wall, you cannot have border security. It won't work.
You see what's just been put out on social media, where thousands of people are rushing the border. Having a drone fly overhead -- and I think nobody knows much more about technology, this time of technology certainly, than I do.
Having drones and various other form of sensors, they're all fine, but they're not going to stop the problems that this country has.
We've never had more people wanting to come to the United States. And that has to do with the economy and it has to do with a lot of other things. We're doing great as a country. But the better we do, the more people want to come in.
So, folks, I just want to thank you very much. It's an honor to be with you. And I'm glad you came, and I'm glad we came out here. And first time I've ever done this. This is the first time I've done it. I've done it for you, and I'm very proud of that, because you've done a fantastic job. And I want to thank you all.
Chris, thank you very much.
Thank you all very much. Appreciate it. Thank you.
QUESTION: Are you not taking any questions at all?
QUESTION: The point of the Briefing Room is to take questions.
CAVUTO: All right, I don't know if Sarah Sanders is going to pick up the baton here and take any questions. It doesn't appear to be the case right now.
The president bringing out some border security folks to sort of say, look, this is important to them. We thought it was important for you to hear what they had to say.
Brandon Judd, by the way, the president of the National Border Patrol Council, will be my special guest Saturday on "Cavuto Live to talk about this.
But a lot of this is happening at a time when a lot of people are saying, where's this going?
Karl Rove with us right now.
Karl, what do you think?
KARL ROVE, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, we don't know where it's going, because we have sort of two people who are dug in.
The president wants to build, as he should, necessary portions of the wall along the southern border. And Nancy Pelosi, for political reasons, and a lot of Democrats in the leadership, including Chuck Schumer, have decided to make this a political battle, not base it on the merits of whether we need to do this or not, but simply say, let's deny President Trump what he wants.
I would remind Senator Schumer that he voted for 700 miles of wall in 2006. We built, I think, around 654 miles of wall along the southern border. And so we haven't even finished the task that he supported, along with 79 other members of the Senate, in 2006.
And if Nancy Pelosi believe so fervently that there shouldn't be any wall along the southern border, let her assign an early number. That is to say, bring up early a bill that calls for the removal of all the barriers and obstacles and fencing and wall that we have along our southern border.
And let's see how many Democrats are willing to follow her off the edge of the cliff on that one
CAVUTO: Karl, the one thing that I'm curious about is where this is going, because the two sides are far apart. To your point, Democrats aren't going to budge on anything for a wall or variation thereof.
The president has come down on his price tag for this. But, as you have reminded me in the past, it's a down payment on something further along. So we could be looking at a shutdown that could drag on for quite some time. ROVE: Well, look, I think the president to take the Democrat deal of saying, OK, we're going to fund the rest of the government except the Department of Homeland Security.
And that would focus entirely not on the national parks, not on the Agriculture Department, not on these other branches of the agencies of the federal government that are being hurt by the shutdown, but a focus on one thing, and one thing only, which is the defense of the homeland through the Department of Homeland Security, because, look, we need -- we need in certain places of the border to have a wall.
I have been -- early on, when the president was talking as a candidate about building a wall along the whole southern border, I, frankly, mocked it, because there's many parts along the 1,954-mile border with Mexico where we don't need a wall.
But there are places where we need fences or barriers to automobiles, or walls, or other forms of obstacles in order to keep people from coming across the border freely.
And there's no ifs, ands, or buts about it. But if the Democrats believe that the wall is wrong, that let them show the courage of their convictions by calling for the removal of -- passing a piece of legislation through the House that calls for the removal of the 654 miles of fencing and wall and obstacles that we have already erected.
CAVUTO: Karl, having worked with President Bush, it is unusual for the president to go out in the Briefing Room himself.
CAVUTO: Obviously, President Bush did it often enough, Barack Obama now and then.
This president, I believe the first time he was in the Briefing Room -- that doesn't mean he hasn't addressed reporters. Of course, he has many times. But what is the significance of that?
ROVE: Well, I think it's actually welcome, because one of the things that has been interesting in the last couple of weeks is that the White House has not used the bully pulpit to beat this issue harder.
And so the president, by coming out with members of the Border Patrol and our -- and our Homeland Security Department, I think, send a good message the country.
Imagine what he could have done had he had a meeting, if he wanted to embarrass Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, had a meeting where Chuck Schumer's across town and unwilling to come down to the White House, and Nancy Pelosi is in Hawaii and unwilling to come to the White House for meetings during the Christmas holidays to stop the shutdown by coming to some resolution to this.
I listened with interest to Ari Fleischer earlier. I think he is absolutely right. The normal course of these kind of controversies would to fine something that each side wants to have that it can't get without the other side giving on it, and let both sides have a win.
The Democrats, if they really cared about the dreamers, would say, you know what, we're willing to -- we gave him $1.6 billion for the wall last year, and we -- and our country didn't collapse. Let's give him $2 billion, $2.5 billion for the wall this year. But we want a fix for the dreamers, for the hundreds of thousands of people who were brought here as children, and know no country than the United States of America, but who have no pathway to citizenship.
They could -- they could easily come up with that. But, no, this is about politics. It's not about resolving the issue.
CAVUTO: No, I caught part of that interview that Nancy Pelosi has had with a number of sources.
One strikes me as rather revealing, her exchange with USA Today, in which she said her relationship with your old boss, George Bush, was respectful. She admired him, liked him.
She didn't seem to feel that way about President Trump. Now, I'm giving this short shrift, but that was the gist of her comment, that George Bush, whatever the differences she had with him, that he was grounded in truth, more or less saying that this president is not.
What did you think of that?
ROVE: Well, fine. She's entitled to her opinion.
But what does that mean with regard to getting things done? The object is not to simply score political points and to make yourself feel better by describing your opponent as you actually feel he ought to be described.
It's about getting things done for the country. And, again, I repeat, there is a deal that's possible here in which the Democrats get something they want and the Republicans, under Donald Trump, get something they want, and the country would be better off for it.
CAVUTO: All right, real quickly, the market has been all over the map, dropping big time today, a number of technology issues that everyone from sophisticated investors to average mom-and-pop investors at home have seen their holdings cut in half in some cases.
When does this escalate to become a worry, do you think, for both parties?
ROVE: Well, I have been worried about the markets for a while.
I'm not an expert in the markets, but it strikes me, when you have got slowing growth in China, when you have got the threat of a world trade war, when you have all the kind of instability that we have in the Middle East, when you have an aggressive China and an aggressive Russia, and when you have got a softening of the economy abroad, even the great American economic machine can't run its way all the way through all of that by itself.
And so I'm not an economy expert. I'm an investor. I'm investing for the long term. So I'm willing to -- I understand markets go down and markets come up. And I'm going to count over the long term them coming up more than they go down.
CAVUTO: You know, long term for me, Karl, is tomorrow, lunch.
CAVUTO: That's just my kind of take on things. All right, thank you.
ROVE: Mine is dinner. Mine is dinner tomorrow.
CAVUTO: Oh, good. Well, you have a longer-term horizon.
ROVE: I have got a longer horizon than you do.
CAVUTO: Absolutely. All right, thank you, my friend, very, very much.
Again, just to make it clear, we witnessed something rather unusual, this president for the first time in the White House Briefing Room arguing, with a lot of security folks in tow here, that, look, this is important. These guys who work on the border, know the border, know what's happening to our nation's security and risks at the border say this is worth the fight.
This is worth the partial shutdown, even though it's hurting some of them, and that Democrats have to realize this is about more than a partial government shutdown. This is about our nation's security -- after this.
CAVUTO: All right, in his own inimitable way, Kevin Corke kind of nailed it, right?
They are far apart, Democrats and Republicans, on this whole partial shutdown and whether we're going to get funding for a wall or whatever they want to call it, or the semantics they're using, bottom line, miles apart.
Kevin Corke at the White House now.
Kevin, what's happening?
CORKE: Quite the afternoon, right, I got to tell you.
CORKE: You and I talk on a great many occasions, my friend, and I have to tell you it's always a pleasure.
But every now and again, you and I get really lucky. Something will happen and something unusual. And in this case, it was the president of the United States coming here to the press Briefing Room.
Only spent about eight minutes here in all. And, quite honestly, if you listened carefully to what he had to say about border security, it really didn't change perhaps the minds of many.
But what was interesting was listening to some of the other stakeholders, the women and men of border -- of Border Patrol, of ICE, of DHS who were coming up very forcefully, Neil, and talking about the need for a barrier, be it a wall some, sort of a combination, slats, steel, you name it. They say they need something.
So I thought was very interesting and a very smart play on the White House's part to get a different voice to effectively sell the same message. So that's what he did here.
He also congratulated, as you saw, Nancy Pelosi on being elevated to speaker.
Just another quiet day in the neighborhood here at the White House, my friend.
CAVUTO: Yes, I hear you.
Thank you very, very much, Kevin. All right.
We have got with us now -- very happy to have -- the Alabama Democratic Senator Doug Jones, of course, who made history not too long ago.
Senator, very good to have you.
SEN. DOUG JONES, D-ALA.: Great to hear you, Neil. Thank you.
CAVUTO: I do want to get into China and the concern you have with this growing rift we have and whether it will ever be settled.
CAVUTO: But I did want to get your thoughts on the border wall and the fact the president says we need it. There's got to be some middle ground here. He didn't say that, but a lot of analysts are hoping there can be.
What do you think?
JONES: Well, look, the House is going to take up six bills today, or six or seven.
And at least six of those bills were Senate-passed bills. They passed the Senate 92-6. They passed the Senate Appropriations Committee 30-0. And those will fund most of the government. It will carve out Homeland Security.
Those are bipartisan bills. We need to go ahead and get those passed. And let's talk about what we need for border security with the homeland security.
For instance, what I would like to see and what we haven't seen thus far is, I would like to see all those people that the president just trotted out come to Capitol Hill and talk to us about what they see and what they need. We have never really seen those plans.
We hear a lot of media hype about a wall, about border security. And there's a lot of different issues that we can talk about. I also want to remind folks -- and you know this, Neil, -- that, last year, we tried to pass $25 billion worth of border security that the president didn't want.
So it -- we need a plan. And I would like to see those folks come to Capitol Hill as soon as possible, lay that plan out as to what exactly we're talking about.
CAVUTO: You know, because Mitch McConnell apparently has made it clear that, whatever the House comes up with, Senator, fearing that the president wouldn't sign it, he's not even going to offer it.
How do you feel about that?
JONES: Well, I wish -- I wish the Republicans in their caucus in the Senate would take another -- a good long look at this.
I understand where Senator McConnell is coming from. But, at the same time, these bills -- again, what's coming over has already passed the Senate. It passed the Senate overwhelmingly in a very bipartisan way.
CAVUTO: Well, so did border security funding from Democrats, right?
But these bills, the very same bills, these are not Democratic bills that are coming out of the House. These are bipartisan Senate bills that have passed overwhelmingly. Let's get those there and then talk to the president and see what we can do.
You know, Neil, it's almost like the old National Lampoon. You remember the National Lampoon cover that had a dog with a gun to his head that said, if you don't buy this magazine, we're going to shoot this dog?
Well, that's how folks feel these days. And we have got thousands and thousands of families that are hurting across this country. And it's costing taxpayers money every day, a lot of money, that I think we can fund most of the government.
And let's have a real dialogue and a real discussion that haven't been able to have over the course of the holidays about border security, because everyone wants secure borders.
CAVUTO: If I could switch gears, Senator, with this China trade tiff back and forth here, there are now signs that China's slowing down, so much so that Apple, as you know, came out to say, this is hurting us, our revenues are affected, that the number of phones that we're selling are affected.
Ford said something similar a couple of weeks back, and that China is the epicenter of it. Then Kevin Hassett at the White House, the president's economic adviser, was saying, you know, there are going to be a lot more corporations saying just that, and it's going to pop up in their earnings.
So is it your concern, and particularly Alabama, where there's a lot of auto related activity, that this is going to hit you hard?
Well, it's already hitting Alabama hard. The auto workers are uncertain. The automotive manufacturers are uncertain. Our soybean farmers are getting hit double now. It's already ready a concern.
This needs to try to come to an end. And if China is having that kind of problem, I would encourage the president, well, let's get this done now, get this trade war over with, so there can be some certainty.
It's already hitting U.S. markets as well. And you all talked about it. I heard you talking to Karl Rove about it a little bit. The markets are down in part because of all the uncertainty with the government, with the uncertainty with the tariffs and the trade.
We need to get this thing over with, because it's going to hurt everybody in the long run.
CAVUTO: When it comes to how we handle things with the Chinese here, there's a hint of a deal. But the irony might be that we get one, but China's too weak to deliver the goods on it, in other words, that they fall into a slowdown or worse, and the rest of the world with it.
Do you fear that?
JONES: I'm not sure about that.
I mean, look, China's pretty resilient. It's a big economy right now. Now, I'm not an economist. I will be the first to admit that that's just not where I have been in my career. So I can't say with a whole lot of certainty, but I just believe that, at the end of the day, if we can move this forward, and we can get this thing done, it will benefit the United States, it will benefit the global economy.
And that's what we want. So I just think that right now is a good time to act. We see these companies reacting. They have global markets. They have markets in China. They're going to get hurt. And so now is the time to act, when we see some weakness. I think now's the time to get this thing done, but do it in a responsible way that helps our folks as much as anything.
CAVUTO: You're a kind of middle-of-the-road. Moderate might be more a description, a good, apt description of you.
And there are those who say that Nancy Pelosi, having taken over the House today as speaker again, is kind of held captive to a far more aggressively left-wing group of Democrats who are going to carefully watch everything she does.
Do you think that's a justified fear? Are you worried that the House strives too, too far left?
JONES: No, I don't think so at all.
I do think that they will be -- look, you have got a lot of enthusiastic folks over there. But I think what you're seeing with the shutdown is Speaker Pelosi taking control of a very reasonable chance.
She is taking Republican bills and putting that in front of a Democratic Congress, Republican bills that came out of the Senate, putting it in front of a Democratic Congress. She's going to be a strong speaker, and I think that she will absolutely want to make sure she gets the right things done for the American people.
And I think she can do that. But to do that, she can't listen to the far left or the far right. She's got to reach across the middle, because that's where it is, where we have got a divided Congress now, especially with a divided Congress.
I think the road to progress for the United States is in the middle.
CAVUTO: Well, that's how you got elected a United States senator, isn't it?
JONES: I hope so. I hope so, Neil.
CAVUTO: All right. All right, happy new year, Senator. Thank you for taking the time.
JONES: Hey, my pleasure, Neil. Any time.
CAVUTO: Senator Doug Jones from the beautiful state of Alabama.
All right, we will have a lot more after this.
For those just tuning in, that's not a typo you're seeing on the bottom of your screen. The Dow was down about 660 points.
And Apple, a high-flyer little more than seven weeks ago, has been almost cut in half.
We will have more after this.
CAVUTO: All right.
Well, she's back. Nancy Pelosi, for the second time in a little more than a decade, will be the speaker of the House. Sam Rayburn the last to do that, Chad Pergram told me, back in 1955.
Chad was there. So was I.
(LAUGHTER) CAVUTO: He's on Capitol Hill right now.
How's it looking there?
CHAD PERGRAM, CORRESPONDENT: Well, we are waiting right now for the House sometime in the next couple of hours to debate two bills to avert this government shutdown, to put out the fires here.
We really don't think that they're going to be able to move anything through the Senate or get the president to sign this. But these two bills -- it's a two-bill approach in the House, a two-pronged approach.
One bill takes six of the appropriations bills, which are done for the rest of the year, puts them together, funds that portion of the government until September 30. The other one reopens the Department of Homeland Security on an interim basis through February 8, but doesn't include any wall funding.
Now, the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, has already declared these bills a -- quote -- "sideshow," a nonstarter. And when they send them over to the Senate, they are dead on arrival.
Something else we have learned in the past hour, Neil, is that there is in fact going to be a meeting tomorrow at the White House. Invitations have gone out from the White House to top congressional leaders here on Capitol Hill. The meeting, prospectively, is for 11:30.
I will tell you, though, that when I talked to some of the members here on Capitol Hill, there are votes scheduled tomorrow in the House at 11:30 on unrelated matters, and it could be a scheduling issue.
So just because they have asked for the meeting doesn't mean that it's going to happen, necessarily, Neil.
CAVUTO: All right, Chad, thank you very, very much. Great reporting throughout all of this.
Chad Pergram on Capitol Hill, where the House, of course, has one version to get this government shutdown done, and the Senate quite another version, saying that, if the president isn't likely to sign something like this, why should they waste the time with a vote?
Of course, the president making very clear at the top of this hour that this is important to border security.
And one of the people he featured was Brandon Judd, the president of the National Border Patrol Council. He was with the president today. He will be my special guest on Saturday morning on "Cavuto Live," as we pick apart a shutdown that will probably still be going on and on, and all over funding for a wall the president says is necessary and needed and important right now.
That does it for us right now.
Here's "The Five."
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