This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," June 10, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: That squirrel was classic. Thanks, Jesse.
Good evening. I'm Bret Baier. Breaking tonight, the search for bipartisan agreement on police reform in the wake of the George Floyd killing. President Trump expected to release his version soon.
The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing today featuring Floyd's brother to talk about the issue. This comes amid new poll numbers that cannot please the president. Gallup says the Trump approval rating has slipped to 39 points, down 10 from last month. His disapproval mark is now up nine points. He's lost seven points among Republicans and Independents.
Chief White House Correspondent John Roberts starts us off tonight, live from the North Lawn. Good evening, John.
JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Bret, good evening to you as well. There is no set timetable. We are only told that will happen soon but the president sometime in the next few days is expected to issue an executive order dealing with policing reform of the administration level, while Congress works on legislation.
ROBERTS: In the Cabinet Room today, President Trump meeting with African- American community representatives and talk show hosts. The president touting his record in helping minorities.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When you look at how well the black community has been doing under this administration, nobody's done anything like we've done.
ROBERTS: With police reform as a centerpiece, tomorrow in Dallas, President Trump will meet with religious, law enforcement and small business leaders to outline a plan for holistic revitalization and recovery in America.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The President has spent the last 10 days quietly and diligently working on proposals to address the issues that the protesters have raised across the country, legitimate issues. And that body of work I'm told is reaching its final edits and we hope to produce it for you in the coming days.
ROBERTS: As Senate Republicans formulate plans for police reform that could include independent investigations of police misconduct and a ban on choke holds, Democrats insist reforms need to go much further.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): We need wholesale reform, not piecemeal reform. We cannot approach this debate by cherry picking one or two reforms and calling the job complete. It's my worry that's what our Republican colleagues intend to do.
ROBERTS: In the House today, the Judiciary Committee hearing testimony on the need for reforms in law enforcement.
The marquee witness, Philonise Floyd who asked simply that his brother George's death not be in vain.
PHILONISE FLOYD, BROTHER OF GEORGE FLOYD: I'm tired. I'm tired of pain, pain you feel when you watch something like that, when you watch your big brother who you looked up to for your whole life die, die begging for his mom. I'm here to ask you to make it stop. Stop the pain. Stop us from being tired.
ROBERTS: Also at the hearing, Angela Underwood Jacobs whose brother Patrick, the federal protective officer was shot and killed in cold blood during Oakland's riots on May 29th.
ANGELA UNDERWOOD JACOBS, OFFICER SISTER: We will never solve generational systemic injustice with looting, burning, destruction of property and killing in the name of justice. We must find lawful, peaceful solutions that uplift and benefit everyone.
ROBERTS: The Trump campaign kept up its efforts to tie Democrats and their presume standard bearer Joe Biden to the defund police movement, insisting that while Biden may not support it, the party is moving in that direction.
TIM MURTAUGH, TRUMP CAMPAIGN COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Joe Biden is on the defund the police train whether he knows it or not and it has already left the Democrat station.
ROBERTS: President Trump also revealed today that he will restart his campaign rallies. The first one will be next Friday in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The president is also planning rallies in Florida, Texas, Phoenix, Arizona, and somewhere in North Carolina.
However, the president did confirm today that it looks like the main part of the Republican National Convention in late August will not be held in Charlotte. He says that Governor Roy Cooper just can't guarantee them that space will be available and so it looks like Bret, they're going to be moving that part of it at least to another city.
BAIER: We'll follow it. John Roberts, love the North Lawn. John, thanks.
President Trump is rejecting calls to rename U.S. military bases honoring Confederate war figures. He tweets, it has been suggested that we should rename as many as 10 of our legendary military bases such as Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Hood in Texas, Fort Benning in Georgia, etcetera. These monumental and very powerful bases have become part of a great American heritage, and a history of winning, victory, and freedom. The United States of America trained and deployed our heroes on these hallowed grounds, and won two World Wars.
Therefore, my administration will not even consider the renaming of these magnificent and fabled military institutions -- installations, I should say. Our history as the greatest nation in the world will not be tampered with. Respect our military.
Meantime, NASCAR just announced that it is moving in the opposite direction. The stock car racing organization is banning the confederate flag from all of its races and properties. NASCAR saying in a statement, the presence of the confederate flag at NASCAR events runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry.
The police chief in Minneapolis is already starting what he calls transformational reforms to his department. The city where George Floyd was killed will withdraw from contract negotiations with the police union and conduct new research aimed at spotting problem officers.
Senior correspondent Mike Tobin reports tonight from Minneapolis.
MIKE TOBIN, FOX NEWS CHANNEL SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Following weeks of riots and protests and saying the death of George Floyd must not be in vain, the chief of the Minneapolis Police Department announced new plans to overhaul police accountability, promising major reform to a system he called antiquated.
MEDARIA ARRADONDO, POLICE CHIEF, MINNEAPOLIS POLICE DEPARTMENT: Beginning today, as chief, I'm immediately withdrawing from the contract negotiations with the Minneapolis Police Federation.
TOBIN: Chief Arradondo said the Department will begin using real-time data to track potential problem officers so they can intervene quickly instead of letting issues get worse. Mayor Jacob Frey was quick to back him up.
JACOB FREY, MAYOR OF MINNEAPOLIS: Chief Arradondo has my 100 percent support. He is the right chief, he is the right leader at the right time to lead us forward.
TOBIN: Arradondo also defended his decision to order the evacuation of the third police precinct during a night of rioting after the death of George Floyd, save the preservation of life became his top priority.
ARRADONDO: They were surrounded. And if individuals had got inside and they were outnumbered, the individuals -- the officers in there would have been outnumbered. There was only a couple of ways that scenario would have ended and none of them would have been good.
TOBIN: We are learning more about former officer Derek Chauvin.
DAVID PINNEY, CO-WORKER OF DEREK CHAUVIN AND GEORGE FLOYD: No, no doubt in my mind, he knew exactly who George was.
TOBIN: A coworker says the former police officer charged with murdering George Floyd not only knew him but had a beef with him. Floyd and Chauvin had both work providing security at the El Nuevo Rodeo Restaurant which burned down in the riding. A coworker tells CBS News, Chauvin once falsely accused Floyd of shortchanging his pay.
PINNEY: It's not George's responsibility of what he receives as pay for moonlighting, that's the manager's job from the -- from the club.
TOBIN: Information from our Fox affiliate in Minneapolis says prosecutors and a lawyer for Chauvin were in negotiations for a plea deal that would have involved both federal and state charges. For reasons unknown, that deal fell apart and former officer Derek Chauvin was arrested the next day, Bret.
BAIER: Mike Tobin live in Minneapolis. Mike, thanks.
There is a new development tonight in the Michael Flynn case, the former judge hired by a current judge is backing that judge's position to dispute the Justice Department's decision to drop the charges. Correspondent Doug McKelway sorts that all out for us tonight.
DOUG MCKELWAY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: The brief from an outside counsel appointed by the judge in the Michael Flynn case was scathing, calling the Justice Department's abrupt decision to drop the case a quote, clear abuse of prosecutorial power.
John Gleeson, himself a former Bill Clinton appointed judge was asked to review the Justice Department's efforts to dismiss the criminal charges against the former national security advisor. Gleeson said the government's arguments were not credible and that it quote, has engaged in highly irregular conduct to benefit a political ally of the president. The facts of this case overcome the presumption of regularity.
Flynn pleaded guilty twice to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the former Russian ambassador to the U.S. during the 2016 presidential transition. He later tried to withdraw the plea, saying the FBI acted in bad faith.
The attorney general last month asked Judge Emmet Sullivan to drop the case saying federal agents had no good reason to question Flynn in the first place.
William Barr tells Fox News that judge was abusing his authority and that such discretion lies solely with the prosecution team.
WILLIAM BARR, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL: Is vested in the executive branch and not the courts. And he is essentially in our view trying to set himself up as an alternative prosecutor.
MCKELWAY: The dispute has created a deep internal rift within the Justice Department and within the judicial system itself.
TREY GOWDY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CONTRIBUTOR: Judges have a role in our system, it is not to prosecute cases. It doesn't matter how much they want to. Their job is to be impartial.
MCKELWAY: Gleeson himself has faced criticism of prejudging the issue, authoring a Washington Post op-ed two days before his May appointment. Where he said the prosecution's conduct quote, reeks of improper political influence. President Trump has not ruled out a pardon of his former top aide.
MCKELWAY: The final word may come here at the Federal Courthouse in Washington on Friday. That's when the Federal Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments as the U.S. government presents its motion to dismiss setting up a high-stakes showdown between two branches of government, Bret.
BAIER: Doug, thank you.
In tonight's democracy 2020 report, a very messy primary in Georgia has many people concerned about the prospect of major problems in November from long lines to voting machine malfunctions. Correspondent Peter Doocy tells us tonight there is plenty to worry about.
PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Some Georgians waited hours in line to either vote or find out about broken machines or missing ballots.
BRAD RAFFENSPERGER, GEORGIA SECRETARY OF STATE: We have a few counties and one in particular, Fulton County. Unfortunately, that's our largest county, they just had systemic failure.
DOOCY: The most affected precincts were in black neighborhoods and more tax payer money didn't help.
LIZ HAUSMANN, GEORGIA COMMISSIONER, FULTON COUNTY: We invested $15 million to have a smooth election. That's five million more than we've ever invested in one election cycle.
DOOCY: The Trump campaign blames COVID-19 explaining the chaos in Georgia is a direct result of the reduction in the number of in person polling places and overreliance on mail-in voting.
But political officials aren't the only ones talking about this. Lakers forward LeBron James tweets, everyone talking about how do we fix this, they say go out and vote. What about asking if how we vote is also structurally racist? That's as a key Biden ally argues officials made it hard in communities of color on purpose.
STACEY ABRAMS, FORMER GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE OF GEORGIA: The ability for voter suppression to work is almost complete. Georgia has seen this before. Yesterday was I think one of the most egregious examples.
DOOCY: Stacey Abrams is thought to be on the Biden V.P. short-list.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have the last two weeks affected how you will make that decision and who you will choose?
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No, they haven't.
DOOCY: Last night, a Biden virtual fund-raiser was co-headlined by Kamala Harris. Another V.P. short-lister who got an emotional shoutout when Biden talked about his late son telling Harris quote, you said I love you and I loved Beau. I won't forget that, adding another tea leaf to the V.P. stakes.
BIDEN: I want someone who's strong and someone who can -- who is ready to be president on day one.
DOOCY: Joe Biden thinks Georgia is in play and he can flip it. And since both of Georgia's Senate seats are up for grabs, if problems like they had in the primary are not fixed by November, there could be big delays in determining which party controls the White House and the Senate, Bret.
BAIER: The big story to watch. Peter, thank you.
Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney, a frequent critic of President Trump, his tweets, his statements says, he believes President Trump will win reelection in November. Romney also says his party will maintain control of the Senate after the November election.
Romney told reporters on Capitol Hill today, I'm confident that we will keep the majority in the Senate and I actually have long predicted the president will be reelected. I continue to think that's the case.
Let's break down where the general election prospects stand right now. "FOX NEWS SUNDAY" anchor Chris Wallace joins us tonight. Chris is also the author of a new book Countdown 1945: The Extraordinary Story of the Atomic Bomb and the 116 Days that Change the World.
Chris, good evening. I can't wait to read the book. I want to talk about it in just a minute but I want to get your thoughts about where this race stands right now considering we're through two major crises in the middle of them really, the pandemic and the race situation after the George Floyd killing.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Well, if you believe the polls and they are just a snapshot in time. They can obviously change over the next five months; I think you'd have to say that Joe Biden is ahead. I still think though that this story is going to be written over the next few months and especially as we get to September and October.
I do think the president has had a couple of tough weeks though because you look at the polls and when there people are asked, how the president has handled the protests, handled the whole George Floyd situation, by about a two to one margin, people disapprove of the way he's handled it.
And I'm not so sure it's the specifics of where he is on police or this specific proposal. I think there is just a feeling of that there's a lot of division in this country, a lot of polarization. And oftentimes we see presidents try to bind the wounds and bring the nation together and I think that there's a -- seems to be a feeling in this country that the -- this president is not doing that right now.
BAIER: You know, traditionally we've seen the economy obviously in every election place heavily, and then security. How people feel about if they're secure or not. Does the recent couple of weeks changed the dynamic do you think for independence, suburban voters, conservative Democrats, disaffected Republicans?
WALLACE: Well, we'll see. Clearly the economy and you saw a blunt president last Friday when we got those May jobs reports and everybody thought we we're going to lose eight million jobs. We ended up gaining 2.5 million. Thought we're going to go up 20 percent, we went down to 13 percent. That was a big boost for the president.
And you know, if -- I think -- you know, it's funny because you and I have talked about this before and I thought that the election would be a referendum on how this president was handling COVID and the economic fallout and I still think it may well be that. Not where it is now but where it will be in September and October. But now there is this question whether it's specifically about policing and George Floyd and racism or whether it's just about the question of unity in the country and who can heal the wounds. I think it could be a referendum on all those issues.
You know, at this point, the president is kind of out there by himself. Joe Biden is largely, not entirely anymore, but largely been sticking to his basement of his home in Delaware.
But at some point, he's going to have to get out on the campaign trail too. We've seen that that isn't always a smooth path for Joe Biden. So, I think this race is up for grabs. Biden is ahead but either one of these men could win it.
BAIER: Yes. Well, let's talk about your book. It's exciting. Obviously, I'm a lover of history. And this book Countdown is just really amazing if you look at the time period. It's already received Countdown 1945 some great reviews, reads like a tense thriller, Washington Post. Most exciting book I've read all year, Admiral Bill McRaven, and those are pretty good. Give us the elevator pitch here.
WALLACE: Yes, and let me say, I think you're somewhat to blame for me doing this because you wrote your Three Days in series and I saw you doing that and I kind of got the idea, well, why I'll try that, my hand at that.
You know, it's -- I'm delighted that somebody my favorite review was in the post with that you said. I know what happened in 1945 but it reads like a thriller.
And the 116 days, Countdown 1945, the story of the 116 days that changed the world, it begins on April 12th, 1945, exactly 75 years ago when Harry Truman has been vice president for less than three months is summoned to the White House. He thinks he's going to meet with President Roosevelt. When he gets there, he's told that Roosevelt is dead and now he's president. And that evening after he's sworn in, the Secretary of War takes him aside and says that we've got the Manhattan project and the bomb. He didn't know anything about that and there's one surprise after another. Whether it's Truman, whether it's the scientists at Los Alamos, the flight crew on Tinian Island who were worried that the bomb was going to -- when it landed at Hiroshima was going to blow their B-29 apart. So it's quite a thriller and I hope quite a page turner.
BAIER: Yes, history can be exciting. I can't wait to read it, Chris. Congratulations on the book.
WALLACE: Well, thank you very much. Thank you for having me.
BAIER: Stocks -- you bet -- you bet. Stocks were mixed today as the Fed says it plans to keep its benchmark short-term rate to near zero. The Dow lost 282, the S&P 500 was off 17. The NASDAQ gained 67 to post its first ever close over 10,000.
Up next, video evidence that the racial and cultural divide following the George Floyd killing still very much front and center in this country.
First, here's some of our Fox affiliates around the country are covering tonight. Fox 9 in Boise (INAUDIBLE), an Idaho man is charged with concealing or destroying two sets of human remains after authorities say they uncovered bodies at his home while investigating the disappearance of his wife's two children. Relatives say the remains found are the young boy and older sister missing since September.
Fox 35, our affiliate in Orlando as Major League Soccer announces its plan to restart the 2020 season with a tournament at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex. All 2016s will compete in the event beginning July 8th. No fans will be in attendance. The Disney facility will also host the NBA's comeback next month.
And this is a live look at Detroit from Fox 2, one of the big stories there tonight. Ford and Volkswagen will each offer a small city van, a large cargo van, a small pickup truck and an electric vehicle as part of their global alliance announced last year.
The automakers struck the deal amid the string of the industry partnerships and acquisitions to share the expensive cost of designing new vehicles and developing new technologies. That's tonight's live look outside the Beltway from SPECIAL REPORT. We'll be right back.
BAIER: Personal information of police officers across the U.S. is being leaked online. That's according to the Homeland Security Department. Meanwhile, we are seeing new video evidence tonight illustrating the emotions still very raw from the George Floyd killing. Correspondent Aishah Hasnie takes a look tonight.
AISHAH HASNIE, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: Outrage is growing tonight over a new video that shows two white New Jersey men mocking the killing of George Floyd as black lives matter protesters marched by.
A man named Jim DeMarco appears to yell, this is what happens when you don't comply with the cops as he kneels on his brother, Joe DeMarco a New Jersey correctional officer who is now suspended from his job.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy tweeting in part, mocking George Floyd's murder in effort to belittle that calls for justice from our black and brown communities is repugnant. Jim DeMarco's employer, FedEx, went even further and fired him, calling the video appalling and offensive.
This as police released new video of looters breaking into the Macy's flagship store in New York City last week. Police zoom in on multiple faces asking the public to help identify them.
And the quiet California town of Paso Robles went on lockdown Wednesday morning as police carrying rifles search for a gunman who shot his sheriff's deputy in the face. The deputy now in stable condition was responding to reports of someone firing shots at the police station. Police later discovered a dead body shot in the head, believed to be related to that shooting.
HASNIE: And that suspect is still at large at this hour. Here in New York City, protests continue but they remain calm and focused on reforming and defunding the police, Bret.
BAIER: Aishah, thank you.
Up next, as America reopens, coronavirus cases rebound. We'll bring you our series.
First beyond our borders tonight. Flooding in South and Central China causes more than a dozen deaths and forces hundreds of thousands of people from their homes. The government says initial damages are estimated at more than $500 million.
Demonstrators in Oxford England demand the removal of the statue of Cecil Rhodes who made a fortune from mines in South Africa and endowed Oxford University's Rhodes scholarships. Sunday protesters in Bristol toppled a statue of a merchant slave trader Edward Colston.
Russian authorities detained three top managers of an Arctic power plant that leaked 20,000 tons of diesel fuel into the ecologically fragile region. Much of the spill fuel fouled waterways in the areas and there is concern it could affect wildlife there or make its way into the Arctic Ocean.
Just some of the other headlines beyond our borders tonight. We'll be right back.
BAIER: More than a dozen states are now recording their highest average of new cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began as the country eases lockdown restrictions in order to revive the U.S. economy. But as correspondent Jonathan Serrie tells us tonight from Atlanta, the government is taking credit for keeping the outbreak from being much worse.
JONATHAN SERRIE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Extrapolating from a study on the impact of social distancing in Europe, the Trump administration says America's mitigation efforts saved lives.
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: As Dr. Birx noted to me, she said this to me just before I walked out here. She said, it suggests that the United States also prevented over 3 million deaths.
SERRIE: But Dr. Anthony Fauci says the coronavirus is still having a dramatic impact.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Now we have something that indeed turned out to be my worst nightmare. In the period of four months, it has devastated the world. Deaths and millions and millions of infections worldwide, and it isn't over yet.
SERRIE: As new infection rates fall in early hot spots such as New York, 14 states and Puerto Rico are reporting their highest seven-day averages since the pandemic began. Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina, and Arizona, have seen their daily averages jump 40 percent or more over the past week.
Public health officials warn dense crowds from ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd could further spread the virus, although the full effect may not be known for up to two weeks after each major gathering because of the incubation period. Despite these trends, the U.S. continues to slowly emerge from lockdown. Mall of America has reopened with limited hours and reduced seating. Major League Baseball players are pitching a July 10 start to their regular season. However, players and management have yet to agree on how to split the proceeds from a reduced number of games.
SERRIE: Public health officials say it's important to continue physical distancing and wearing face coverings in public regardless of your state's level of reopening. Bret?
BAIER: Jonathan, thank you.
In tonight's report on post pandemic liberty, the growing rift between and within the Republican Party over government spending. The GOP Senate and President Trump have signed off on huge relief packages in the coronavirus era. That has angered some traditional Republicans who favor free markets and less spending. Correspondent Mark Meredith has this evening's story.
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is better than a V. This is a rocket ship.
MARK MEREDITH, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: President Trump is positive the U.S. economy is rebounding from the coronavirus, while on Capitol Hill senior Republicans say they're in no rush to spend more taxpayer dollars.
MITCH MCCONNELL, (R) SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: We now have a debt the size of our economy. That hasn't happened since World War II. We can't keep on doing that.
MEREDITH: But experts say the coronavirus is forcing some Republicans to challenge the traditional conservative stance on the role of government, with lawmakers rethinking their positions on everything from direct payments to business bailouts.
BRIAN RIEDL, MANHATTAN INSTITUTE: If you represent a district or state that's doing pretty well, that's recovering, you're going to be a lot less urgent on the need for federal aid, in contrast, if you were, say, representing Las Vegas, which has been devastated by the hospitality industry. Of course, those lawmakers are going to be more aggressive.
MEREDITH: Last month all but one House Republican, retiring New York Congressman Peter King, voted against Democrats' $3 trillion stimulus bill. Senate leaders say they don't plan to vote on any additional relief measures until July at the earliest. For his part, President Trump continues to chart his own course by encouraging Congress to cut taxes.
TRUMP: We'll be going for a payroll tax cut.
MEREDITH: While also repeatedly endorsing increased spending.
TRUMP: They say we're going to do a big, big package on infrastructure.
MEREDITH: In the Senate, Republicans are already split on more spending.
SEN. RAND PAUL, (R-KY): We have no money. We have no rainy day account. We have no savings account.
SEN. JOSH HAWLEY, (R-MO): If you want to make the American economy strong, make the American worker strong.
MEREDITH: While Congress may eventually warm to the idea of spending more, Joel Griffith with the Heritage Foundation says conservatives should think twice.
JOEL GRIFFITH, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: We have many politicians that are really not keeping an eye to the future, they're not considering what this enormous new debt burden is going to mean for future economic growth, and how this will impact the next generation.
MEREDITH: Florida Senator Rick Scott says before he agrees to spend any more money, he wants to know taxpayers' dollars won't go to waste.
SEN. RICK SCOTT, (R-FL): I think we have to make sure the money is spent right. As we've seen, we've seen plenty of instances where people that didn't have a downturn in their business have used it.
MEREDITH: With trillions in spreading already approved this year, some experts believe Republicans may soon face some tough choices about which spending programs they think the country can still afford. Of course, it will be up to voters to decide what matters most come November. Bret?
BAIER: Mark Meredith up on Capitol Hill. Mark, thanks.
The brother of George Floyd talks to Congress about the topic of the day -- police reform. We'll get reaction from the panel when we come back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PHILONISE FLOYD, GEORGE FLOYD'S BROTHER: Hold them accountable when they do something wrong. Teach them what it means to treat people with empathy and respect. Teach them what necessary force is. Teach them that deadly force should be used rarely and only when life is at risk.
DAN BONGINO, FORMER SECRET SERVICE AGENT: Yes, as with any profession, there are officers, no question, who aren't suited for the job. Some will cause trouble, sometimes worse. We've seen that. But in my experience, it's rare and becoming rarer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: That's testimony on Capitol Hill today.
Meantime, we have some breaking news tonight. FOX News has just confirmed one of four fired Minneapolis police officers charged in the death of George Floyd has posted bail. Thomas Lane was released from jail this afternoon after being locked up for about a week. Lane had been held in lieu of a $750,000 cash bail.
Let's bring in the panel, talk about police reform, what's happening, what's not, Charles Hurt, opinion editor for "The Washington Times," former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford Jr., now currently the chairman of RX Saver, and Matthew Continetti, founding editor of the "Washington Free Beacon." Charlie, the president says he's coming out with some reforms, a list of reforms. The testimony today really dealt with a lot of different factors. Is there some bipartisan solution to this?
CHARLES HURT, OPINION EDITOR, "WASHINGTON TIMES": I think that there certainly are. Obviously, the devil is in the details. But that testimony from Mr. Floyd's brother I thought was remarkable, it was very powerful. And it was a reminder that the things that he talked about are things that I think just about everybody, certainly every politician that has talked about any of this stuff in America today would agree with.
And when he talked about the things that needed to be done, such as better training for police officers, and teaching -- and reinforcing the fact that deadly force must be rare and only when life is at stake, that's a far cry from some of the crazier things we are hearing some people talk about, about defunding police departments and things like that that.
I wish that the peaceful protesters and the Democrat Party, everybody would just turn to Mr. Floyd's brother and listen to him, because what he's talking about right there has support from 99 percent of Americans and is probably a very wise way to go forward from here.
BAIER: All right, here's the president today meeting in the cabinet room with some African-American leaders.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You go down the list of criminal justice reform and all of the things we've done, opportunity zones, the best unemployment rate in the history just before the plague came in, and it's going to be back again soon. But you look at all of the things we've done, we've now worked on prison reform, so important, and so many of the things.
But when you look at the economics, when you look at how well the black community has been doing under this administration, nobody's done anything like we've done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: There's a lot of questions about polls nowadays and which ones are good and which ones are bad. The Gallup poll has been cited by this president numerous times when his approval was high. This Gallup poll just out, he takes a 10-point hit from the beginning of May, and disapproval is up. And then on party identification, down seven among Republicans, independents down seven, Democrats down nine, but he's already down at the bottom of the barrel there. Harold, where you see this now as far as this president and what he does or doesn't have to do to change his situation?
HAROLD FORD JR. (D) FORMER TENNESSEE REPRESENTATIVE: Charlie laid out very well what the country, particularly Democrats should do with Mr. Floyd's brothers testimony, which I agree with Charlie was all the things he said plus raw and compelling, all very consistent with the Floyd family's eulogy of their brother and uncle and father.
I would hope the president would listen as well. It's my understanding that some senior members of the president's staff, including his son-in-law, was on the Hill meeting with Senator Scott, and President Trump was at the same time touting that he is opposed to banning chokeholds and lifting the limited liability protection that policemen, or cops enjoy. He should follow Mr. Floyd's brother's recommendation I think we could find an easy and quick and powerfully effective answer to the challenges that a lot of Americans are facing.
With regard to that polling and listening to what the president said in that meeting with some African-American leaders, it what's interesting, COVID unmasked and showed the fragility that a lot of black American households face, particularly working black households face, and the kinds of things we need to be thinking about, the kinds of investments we need to be thinking about as a nation.
So as much as the president is proud of the things he's done, and he should be, COVID-19 has revealed to us as a nation the kinds of things that particularly African-Americans and brown and black communities are facing, including the fact that black and brown households face a much, much harsher reality from COVID than other households. And in the poll numbers, I agree with you, Bret, they are real, at least at the moment. The president could easily come back.
But the most disturbing thing I saw on your show tonight was that family in New Jersey, the brothers that decided to reenact some episode that they believed happened in Minneapolis which we all saw on tape, as if that was some way to say to the country this is the right way to go. And although the president is not responsible for what they did, he does have some responsibility to denounce it since they all were wearing Trump t-shirts and Trump banners as they reenacted --
BAIER: Matt, let me get you to weigh in here.
MATTHEW CONTINETTI, EDITOR IN CHIEF, "WASHINGTON FREE BEACON": Look, Bret, I think the president is facing three interlocking crises. The crisis of the pandemic, the crisis of the economy, and now the crisis of the social unrest in the wake of the George Floyd killing. The public has turned against him on two of those three, the pandemic and the Floyd killing. And so it's very important for him, I think, to recover the lost ground by encouraging the bipartisan efforts of Senator Scott to work out some type of police reform bill.
BAIER: And Charlie, quickly, does he give a speech on this moment as far as a race speech?
HURT: I think he will, and I think he'll talk a lot about it between now and the election. And I think that he's got a very strong position to stick up for the police because the majority of police are very good people. They have very, very difficult jobs. And the fact -- the idea that you have an entire political party appearing to run off with this notion that police department should be burnt down or shut down or defunded or whatever, that's crazy. And if Donald Trump between now and the election is running against that, he's going to have a very, very strong hand.
BAIER: Panel, stand by. Next up, the latest on the Michael Flynn case, developments today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM BARR, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: It's always been understood that decisions whether to pursue an individual through the prosecution process or holding him accountable is vested in the executive branch and not the courts. And he is essentially, in our view, trying to set himself up as an alternative prosecutor.
I'm not aware of anything like this before, and I think that's why this is not being argued at the appellate stage in the District of Columbia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: The attorney general from our interview talking about the Michael Flynn case and the fact that Judge Sullivan is trying to get a decision to move forward with this even though the Justice Department wants to drop the charges. The amicus brief was filed today by another judge that Sullivan brought in which he said it is a gross abuse of prosecutorial power and the government has engaged in highly irregular conduct to benefit a political ally, the president of the United States.
We're back with our panel. Matthew, your thoughts on the case. It's a scathing amicus brief filed with the court, but the DOJ is going to the appellate court, saying forget this, Judge, we're going elsewhere.
CONTINETTI: The train wreck continues, Bret. I have had the shock of recognition reading this amicus brief because Judge Gleeson had basically written exactly the same thing for "The Washington Post" last month. And Judge Sullivan's selection of him to write this amicus was one of many unusual moves he's made in the course of this, as I say, judicial train wreck. I hope it's resolved, and with the weight of the precedent which lies with the DOJ's ability to terminate prosecution if it so chooses.
FORD: We have to remember, first of all, Gleeson and Sullivan, when you mess with a respected sitting judge and a respected retired judge, you're going to get a set of responses here. I'm still confused by what I'm hearing. The Justice Department got General Flynn to admit to a crime. He pled guilty. He then was sentenced. And now the Justice Department has come back to say we want to vacate this. They should have to defend that, and if they make a good case, they should win. If not, he should face his sentencing and probably be pardoned by the president. But the whole thing is curious to me.
BAIER: Here is Trey Gowdy on this whole operation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. TREY GOWDY, (R-SC): If judges want to be part of the executive branch, they should resign their jobs. Judges have a role in our system. It is not to prosecute cases. It doesn't matter how much they want to. Their job is to be impartial. For a judge to say I'm not going to grant the government's motion to dismiss an indictment, who's going to prosecute it, Judge? Are you going to take off your black robe and give up your afternoons at the golf course and go become a prosecutor? Everyone has their own lane. Prosecutors don't sentence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: Supporters of the judge, Charlie, say listen, he's pled guilty in his court.
HURT: Yes, but let's remember the reason that he pleaded guilty was because the Department of Justice was threatening his son with prosecution after the FBI had already determined that they didn't have a case against General Flynn. So the idea that they are going to turn around and take his guilty plea, which they forced them into, and use that as perjury, accuse him of perjury because he is now trying to withdraw his guilty plea, is insane. It is perfectly nuts.
And John Gleeson wants to talk about corrupt and politically motivated, he may as well have been talking about the original prosecution of Michael Flynn in the first place. This is just crazy. Somewhere Franz Kafka is smacking his palm to his forehead and saying why didn't I think of this? And it would be funny if it weren't so terrifying.
BAIER: All right, panel, as always, thank you. When we come back, the brighter side of things. We could use some good news.
BAIER: Finally tonight, the brighter side, helping each other out. When Antonio Gwynn saw protests turn destructive, he left his Buffalo, New York, house in the middle of the night to start singlehandedly cleaning up. And he started that effort. A charitable stranger heard of Gwynn's selfless act and decided to give him his prize 2004 Mustang convertible. Gwynn says he now has also been offered a full college scholarship. Good things come to good people.
The coronavirus pandemic has put some plans on pause for some businesses, but not La'rell Wysinger. The 13-year-old entrepreneur from Las Vegas is still going. He has got chili cupcakes, believe it or not. He's helping out is community one scoop of chili at a time. His business is flourishing, we're told. That's good news.
Thanks for inviting us into your home tonight. That's it for the SPECIAL REPORT. Fair, balanced and unafraid. "THE STORY" hosted by Martha MacCallum starts right now.
Content and Programming Copyright 2020 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2020 ASC Services II Media, LLC. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.