Mick Mulvaney on the political fallout from the government shutdown fight

This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," January 27, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I'm John Roberts, in for Chris Wallace.

The special counsel nets another member of the Trump campaign's orbit, and the shutdown fight comes to a temporary halt.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I will sign a bill to open our government for three weeks.

ROBERTS: But without funding for the border wall and with the new threats of action.

TRUMP: If we don't get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shut down or I will use the powers to address this emergency.

ROBERTS: We'll discuss the political fallout from the shutdown fight with acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and the path forward with Republican Senator Roy Blunt and Senator Joe Manchin, the lone Democrat to vote for the wall measure.

Plus --

ROGER STONE, LONGTIME TRUMP FRIEND & ADVISER: I will plead not guilty to these charges. I will defeat them in court.

ROBERTS: What is the indictment of longtime Trump friend and advisor Roger Stone mean for the Mueller investigation? We'll ask the Sunday panel how problematic this is for the president.

Then, the Democratic controlled House moves to block President Trump from pulling out of NATO.

REP. ELIOT ENGEL, D-N.Y.: It's quite simply the most successful political and military alliance in world history.

ROBERTS: We'll discuss the future of the U.S. role in the strategic alliance with Jen Stoltenberg, secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

All, right now, on "Fox News Sunday".


ROBERTS: And hello again from Washington.

The clock is reset in the battle over the border wall that led to the longest shutdown in U.S. history. Federal workers will soon be returning to the job, but their paychecks could be in jeopardy once again if Congress cannot strike a deal by February the 15th when the stopgap spending measure runs out.

If Congress comes back with a plan that does not include the $5.7 billion President Trump wants for his proposed wall or at least some percentage of that, he has threatened to let the government shut down again or declare a national emergency to bypass Congress.

Joining me not to talk more about this is the president's acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney.

Mick, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday". Thanks for taking the time. I know you got back to South Carolina to see your family for the first time since New Year's.

MICK MULVANEY, ACTING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: John, good morning. Thanks so much for having me as always.

ROBERTS: So, did the president cave to Democrats? I think a lot of Democrats think that he capitulated here because he really came away from 35 days of a government shutdown with nothing more than he could've had at least two weeks ago when Senator Graham propose the same thing and maybe even back to before this whole thing started.

MULVANEY: No, I think what you've seen here is the president seeing an opportunity. What he did -- why he did what he did was because many Democrats have come to us, some of them privately, many of them spoke out publicly that they are actually starting to agree with him on the necessity for a barrier on the southern border and they had come to us and said, look, we agree with you, you're winning the battle on the importance of a barrier on the southern border but we simply cannot work with you while the government is open. That's a marked different -- excuse me, while the government was closed.


MULVANEY: That's a marked difference from where the Democrat leadership was where they said they wouldn't talk to us about border security ever. Nancy Pelosi famously said that even if we open the government, she wouldn't give us a single dollar for the wall.

So, I think the president saw a chance here to try to take the Democrats at their word. Some of the rank and file, also some of the leadership, Dick Durbin said some decent things about border barrier, Jim Clyburn, my former colleague from South Carolina, said that the experts thought we really needed a barrier, he could vote for it.

So, let's give a chance for the Democrats to prove whether or not they really do believe in border security and are willing to go against Nancy Pelosi, or whether or not they are so beholden to their leadership that they are never going to vote for a barrier on the southern border.

ROBERTS: Now, the president is under no illusions, Mick, that this is going to be a difficult task ahead. He tweeted out yesterday: 21 days goes very quickly. Negotiations with Democrats will start immediately. It will not be easy to make a deal, both parties very dug in.

Nancy Pelosi is on record several times and you pointed out as saying, no money for a wall. How do you get Democrats to move her off of that position? I mean, she seems to have the solidarity of the Democratic Party behind her.

MULVANEY: I laugh at times she says there's no money for the wall. She actually just voted for almost a quarter billion dollars for a barrier on the southern border with this deal that just got approved last week. But I think what we simply do is go to the Democrats and say, look, are you telling the people the truth? When you look at your constituents back home and say you agree with the president that we have to do something about security at the southern border, are you telling the truth or are just doing something that's politically expedient?

This is a chance for them to let their actions speak louder than words. Keep in mind the last time the Democrats sort of follow Nancy Pelosi blindly down a path on policy, we ended up with Obamacare and bailouts and cap and trade, they lost control of the House.

So, the question is, is Nancy really leading the Democratic Party, or is she just being led by the hard left wing of her party, and will the rest of the Democrats follow her?

So, this is just the next step in the negotiation. We thought it was the exact right thing for the president to do at the time. And I think ultimately, he'll be judged by the end of -- by what happens at the end of this process, not by what happen this week.

ROBERTS: There is some money in the continuing resolution for border security, but that's to upgrade existing fencing and that's not for construction of new mileage of border wall, which is what you want, if you can stipulate that.

The request --

MULVANEY: Absolutely -- absolutely correct. But let me jump in very quickly, when you go from a 2-foot high barrier to a 30-foot high wall --

ROBERTS: It makes a difference.

MULVANEY: -- that counts. That counts as new security.

ROBERTS: All right. So, the president was asking for $5.7 billion. The vice president took the Congress day after Christmas and offer -- I think it was $2.4 billion. Are you stuck on the 5.7 or will you take less than that?

MULVANEY: I think the president wants his $5.7 billion. Keep in mind, why is that number? It's not a number that's made up. It's what the experts have told him. He's listened to DHS.

I have been on the meetings. He's listened to CBP. He's listened to ICE.

We have identified the top 17 highest priorities in terms of where we can put up barriers to discourage people from crossing the border illegally. It's about 243 miles. That's what driving this discussion. It's not a made a magical number of $5.7 billion. It's the wall, where we need it the most and where we need it the quickest. That's what driving this.

So, this not something where the president is married to a number, he is married to border security which is the right thing for the president of the United States to do.

ROBERTS: It's not lost on me that you shrewdly ducked my question. Will he take less than 5.7 in a negotiation?

MULVANEY: Oh, I wasn't ducking your question.


MULVANEY: Just I wasn't negotiating with you on TV. You know I never do that.

ROBERTS: But will -- is he prepared to take less than the 5.7? I mean, you were willing to take 2.6 going into Christmas, there was the offer of 2.4. I mean, clearly, he is not hard and fast on that number.

MULVANEY: Again, if I don't answer your question, I don't mean to dodge. Look, let's look at this way. The president has all ready gone to the Democrats and said, look, it's not a 2,000-mile sea to shining sea wall. It's not a giant 30-foot concrete barrier that so many Democrats seem to have difficulty with.

He even put DACA and TPS on the table at some point during this process and they refused to even engage. So I think the better question is, what are the Democrats willing to do?

The president from the very beginning here actually has been the one willing to negotiate. He was the one staying in Washington, D.C., when Nancy went to Hawaii. He's the one who stayed in D.C. when Democrats all went down to Puerto Rico. He was in D.C., which he tried to leave to go to Europe and the Middle East last week.

He wants to negotiate on the deal. The Democrat leadership simply refused to take him up on that.

ROBERTS: It is fortuitous that we have West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin coming up, Mick, because we will be able to ask a question about what Democrats plan to do.

Would you recommend another shut down to the president if there's no deal by February the 15th?

MULVANEY: Look, we look at it going backwards. What do we need to protect the country? And we need border security and that includes a barrier. Keep in mind, lost in all this other request that we made for things like more technology and improving ports of entry, all of the things that go into the --

ROBERTS: But would you recommend he shut down the government again?

MULVANEY: No one wants the government shutdown, John. It's not a desired end, but when the president vetoes a bill that is put in front of him on a spending package, sometimes that has the effect of shutting the government down. We don't go into this trying to shut the government down.

ROBERTS: He also threatened an emergency declaration and use money that's already appropriated to build the wall. OMB, which you used to head and still officially do, has been looking around for pots of money.

How much money did you find to build a wall?

MULVANEY: More than $5.7 billion. The president told us several months ago to try to find money in every nook and cranny, he told every member of the cabinet to do the exact same. OMB has been working on this for several months now and there's a lot more than a $5.7 billion.

It's better, John, to get it through legislation. That's the right way to do it, but at the end of the day, the president is going to secure the border one way or another.

ROBERTS: So, when the president comes to you and says, Mick, should I declare an emergency if you don't money for a wall and you don't want to shut down the government, would you recommend he'd do that? Because it would certainly almost immediately be adjoined by the courts and most likely a court in the jurisdiction of the 9th Circuit of Appeals, and that could be playing his last card.

MULVANEY: We are just as aware of all of those contingencies as you just laid out as everybody else's, so there is ways we can try to mitigate those risks. We certainly will. There were some pots of money that are easier to get to than to others.

So, again, this is not something we are shooting off at the hip. We've been working on this for months.

We have been hoping for months to do it through legislation with Democrats because that's the right way for the government to function, but the end of the day, the president's commitment is to defend the nation and he will do it either with or without Congress.

ROBERTS: The $5.7 billion, you want to build about 170 miles of border wall through Texas. One thing I find curious that nobody's talking about here is that in most places along the Rio Grande, you can't build a fence in the floodplain of the Rio Grande. So, you have to build it in land, anywhere from a couple of hundred yards, to in some places a mile, which might help you in interdicting drugs and human trafficking, the people who don't want to get caught.

But for all of those migrants, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, the Northern Triangle countries, they can still even with a border barrier get feet on U.S. soil and their goal is to be apprehended by the border patrol and get in the system.

So, how would building a barrier in Texas affect this problem of illegal immigration of the president talks about each and every day?

MULVANEY: That goes back to the larger discussion about border security. Yes, there is a barrier. Yes, there's technology and a part that sometimes gets forgotten about and something the president has talked about many, many times, which is to change our laws because you're absolutely right. If the border -- if the wall -- if the barrier is back one foot from the border and someone can get one foot on our soil depending on what country they're from, they can claim asylum and stay here almost indefinitely.

It's why some of the other things we've done that deal was negotiating with Mexico to allow folks who are claiming asylum here to have to go back to Mexico to wait while their asylum is being adjudicated. That's been a major improvement that I don't think has gotten the attention it deserves, but it does raise -- your point does raise the larger picture that we need to change the laws.

That's part and parcel of this comprehensive border security concept. It is not just about a barrier. It is not just about technology, it's about changing the laws that right now act as this giant poll.

We encourage people to come here from other countries to enter the country illegally because of the way our laws are structured and those need to be fixed as well as part of the larger national security package.

ROBERTS: We should also point out, though, that this remain in Mexico policy right now only applies to people who are entering from a port of entry, not people who cross the border illegally.

I got to ask you quickly before we go because time is running short. Venezuela, is the U.S. ruling out military action if Maduro refuses to cede leadership?

MULVANEY: I don't think any president of any party who is doing his or her job would be doing the job properly if they took anything off the table. So, I think the president of the United States is looking at this extraordinarily closely.

I can tell you, without giving away anything that shouldn't, that we are in constant communication with the secretary of state, constant communication with the other parts of the federal government to find out what's going on on the ground down there, making sure that our people and our property is safe down there. And also to make sure that we can do everything we can to encourage the Maduro government, which we consider to be illegitimate, to leave. And to back the new national assembly leadership that declared this week.

So, it's a very serious situation. The president takes it very seriously and I think it's fair to say that no options are off the table.

ROBERTS: We'll keep watching that.

Mick, thanks for taking time away from your family this weekend to be with us. Really appreciate it.

MULVANEY: Thanks, John.

ROBERTS: Up next, can Congress strike a deal on border security and avoid to return to where all this began with a government shutdown? Two key lawmakers from both sides of the aisle join us next.


ROBERTS: The clock is ticking on what could be three weeks of intense negotiations over border security before the stopgap spending measure the president signed into law expires.

Joining us here in Washington, Republican Senator Roy Blunt who is part of the bipartisan conference committee to try to hammer out a deal in next three weeks, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, the only Democratic senator to consistently vote and support for a funding to build a wall.

Senators, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."

SEN. ROY BLUNT, R-MO: Good to be with you.

SEN. JOE MANCHIN, D-W.V.: Thank you.

ROBERTS: Senator Manchin, let's start with you.

Mick Mulvaney posted a question in our last segment, what are Democrats willing to do here? What are Democrats willing --

MANCHIN: I think Democrats want to look at basically the holistic approach. Immigration reform, pathways forward for some people.

Basically, I've always said people came two ways, they came the wrong way for the right reason, wrong way for the wrong reason. The people came for the wrong reason, we want to make sure they go out and stay out. You need border security for that.

But I think that people that came for the right reason have been productive, ought to have a pathway forward. Some. That would change the whole complexion of this. The whole dialogue would change if that could be done.

As far as the $5.7 billion, if that's the number, we are figuring how do you split that up? And let the professionals. We have proven it's hard for us because with the president and White House and the legislature, we have locked horns on this thing -- no wall, all wall, halfway in between -- let the professionals tell us what it takes to keep us safe.

Drugs is a big problem in my state.

ROBERTS: Absolutely.

MANCHIN: Drugs are coming in. How do we stop the drugs? People the basically -- the terrorists and everything that's been reported. I don't know, I would talk to Will Hurd and ask Will, if you're having that problem in Texas?

So, we need to talk to people that understand on the front lines and also professionals that can kind of be a dealmaker, if you will, help us find the right path.

ROBERTS: So, Senator Blunt, are you going to be in on all of these negotiations, do you think that a compromise is possible here knowing that Nancy Pelosi has said time and time again no money for a border barrier?

BLUNT: I think compromise is the essence of what we do and I think the American people are tired of watching the government where people get locked down for no reason except maybe political reasons. I mean, clearly, the president showed -- shown real flexibility here for a guy who's not always that flexible. I mean, he has changed his view of this as he's gotten more information about how you secure the border, about ways to do that.

We have consistently said that barriers were part of that. The president went from talking about a wall along the entire southern border at one point during the campaign as part of the campaign discussion, to let's have barriers where they work and let's have something else where barriers wouldn't work as well.

Four presidents have build barriers. Joe and I have both supported that when we've been in the Congress, and I think there's certainly a way forward here. But part of the way forward is to look at the other issues that are out there too that need to be dealt with and deal with those, the spending issues that are going to be right in front of us as soon as we get this done.

One of the things we learned this year was if you do this the right way, you can -- you can have 100 percent of the government funded by the beginning of the fiscal year. At this time, we got 75 percent of the government funded. That should be one of the lessons we learn here.

What do we need to get on the table right now so that we get 100 percent of the government funded and how do we deal with the border as an issue? I've always thought securing the border first made the most sense and then I think the other problems related to immigration are much easier to solve and people think the government has done its fundamental job.

And, you know, nobody will ever had more credibility on this than President Trump. If he says the border is secure at the level that the American people should expect, then the other discussions about what are the legitimate workforce needs of the country, what do you do with people who came or stayed illegally -- about half the people not illegally here came legally, and then decided, gee, we're in the United States of America, this is a great place to be. Let's just not go back.

ROBERTS: Sounds like you've got a lot to talk about in the next 19 days --


BLUNT: We do, we do.

But I think these are not new issues is the other point, John.


BLUNT: These are not new issues that members of Congress don't know a lot about. There is nothing we're going to learn frankly in the next three weeks. We don't know right now. So, let's get started, let's find solutions, let's not continue to disappoint the people we work for by not showing the ability to work together.

ROBERTS: And Ronald Reagan learned back in the 1980s, the dangers of cutting a deal on one part of immigration before you get security --


MANCHIN: In 2013, we passed a major immigration reform, bipartisan bill, which took everything. It was a holistic approach. It was security -- $44 billion for security.


MANCHIN: It was a pathway forward. It was a cue number that you basically got in the back of the line. We did everything humanly possible to look at the whole immigration problem.

So on top of that, nobody, if they went through ten years of doing everything they were supposed to do, earn -- learn English, basically get a job, pay taxes, get in the back of the line. When your time came, you still couldn't be a citizen until we had the total border secured.


MANCHIN: But if we are going to have this fight back and forth, if we're not going to fix one and we would think one takes care of the other -- so security only without some pathway forward.

ROBERTS: But I think the president has indicated that he's willing to negotiate a bigger package on immigration, but here's the question I have for you, Senator Manchin. You have voted as we pointed out at the top of this consistently for a border barrier. Many of your Democratic colleagues, Nancy Pelosi in particular don't want anything to do with that.

What do you know that they don't see about a border barrier?

MANCHIN: The only thing I know is I had 800,000 people that were furloughed, or not getting paid. I had 12,000 in West Virginia. People were hurting.


ROBERTS: But why is a border barrier acceptable to you but it's not acceptable to so many of your Democrats? Why do you see value in a border?

MANCHIN: I can't speak -- I can't speak --

ROBERTS: What do you see value in a border barrier?

MANCHIN: I see value in a border because I have talked Custom and Border Patrol people, and these are the professionals that I rely on. They showed me and told me what needs to be done. There needs to be some. We already have 600-plus miles of some type of --

ROBERTS: So, why is that lost on all of your colleagues?

MANCHIN: Well, I think it's lost because now, it seems like the borders going to protect us within 700 miles or so of wall or a fencing or whatever, I'll call a secured structure, is going to be the catch all, do well.

That's not the case. There's an awful lot more. If we can stop -- most of our ports of entries is were all of our drugs are coming through. Can't we have the screening, the new sensors, things of that sort, ports of entry, where big container ships --

ROBERTS: But isn't that what the president is proposing, like a package that he puts (ph) all of that?

BLUNT: You know, Senator Manchin, we are good friends. He has been consistent on this. I frankly think, and this is -- his position has been consistent. Many of the Democrats in the last few months have looked at the president making this a big issue in his campaign and they have decided, well, we can't be for that anymore.

2013, virtually every Democrat who is still in the Senate voted for 700 miles of barriers and a whole lot more money than anybody is talking about right now, Speaker Pelosi has been for barriers in the past. You know, the whole idea that somehow 650 or 700 miles of barriers are appropriate, but 702 miles are immoral, that is an incredibly interesting place to draw your line about what's moral and what's not moral.

I think this debate got way too political. I do think -- let me say again, I think the president has shown more room -- willingness to move so far than others have, but we need to solve this. We need to solve it in three months. It may look like right now that Speaker Pelosi got what she wanted, open the government and we'll talk. The "we'll talk" part of that now is where we really are going to see the speaker either step up and talk, along with Senator Schumer, or find out that "we'll talk" really didn't mean anything. It just meant give us what we want and then you're not going to get what you want.

ROBERTS: You talked to the president a lot in December heading into the Christmas holiday just before the shut down. What were you telling him then?

MANCHIN: Well, basically, we talked -- I didn't think this would ever happen. I said, for the first time, Mr. President, you've got six bills ready to go, totally unanimous consent, and we all voted on. Mitch McConnell put it forward.

The breakdown came -- basically, the fiscal year 2019 budget for the homeland security was $1.6 billion. That was appropriated. Then it went to the House and the House has bumped it up to $5 billion and it became in contention. So they were going to put that one on the 30-day or let's say to February the 8th and put that one at 1.3 continuing resolution and then fight that one out.

I thought that's exactly where the president would go. He got pushed from the base. He jumped up and said we are not going to. Never before have I ever seen when we all agreed unanimously on six bills that we've kept 90 percent of the government open, 96 percent of all money flowing for the government to operate and hold that hostage and so much harm was done.

I don't know if anyone realized in the White House or the president how that would react and I think they saw the push back. We can't go down this road again. We need to --


BLUNT: Well, on $1.6 billion, which is frankly what the administration asked for this time last year, $1.6 billion, that clearly included walls or barriers or whatever. I think surely we can deal with the semantics of this and then the House stepped in with a much bigger number. The president like that number better.

ROBERTS: Yes, 5.7, that sounds better than 1.6.

BLUNT: Exactly, and lots of Democrats, John, in the last week .5.7 out there as a number they were willing to do, they just wanted to be a little more specific about how you do this. You know, under President George W. Bush, we had a major move going toward a virtual wall --


BLUNT: -- for the parts of the border that the president now says needs something like a virtual wall rather than an actual wall.

ROBERTS: Well, he says -- he uses the word smart wall.

BLUNT: Exactly.

ROBERTS: Look, the clock is running. So, time is running out.

BLUNT: Time is running, that's right.

ROBERTS: But, Senator Blunt, the president has threatened, either another government shutdown or an emergency declaration at the end of this if he doesn't get what he's looking for. You have said, quote: Shutdowns are bad politics and even worse government.

And on an emergency declaration, that precedent could create real problems in the future on other issues.

BLUNT: Right.

ROBERTS: So, I mean, are we looking at another shutdown?


BLUNT: -- that after 35 days of this, the president also thinks shutdowns are not such great politics and bad government.

I think -- I just heard Mick Mulvaney say the same thing, we would all prefer to see this negotiated the way it should be negotiated. I happen to agree with the president on barriers at the border and border security as an important first step. But there might be a future president that I don't agree with that thinks something else is an emergency.

I think it's a bad precedent. I hope the president doesn't have to go there. If we'll do our job, he won't even have to consider going there three weeks from now because we'll have reached the right --


MANCHIN: The only we can ever stop this, I have thought everything about how you ever stop this from happening, the shutdown, is it within three weeks, the one thing we can do to help the American society and the American economy and the American people is to make sure if a shutdown ever occurs by our own making, our pay stops immediately the day of the shutdown.

Trust me, there will not be a shutdown. Everything else we can talk about, all the policies. You stop the paycheck the same as everyone else got hurt -- the only people I caught her with all the people working for the government. Congress didn't get hurt, nobody felt the pain.

ROBERTS: Predict success or failure in this negotiation?

BLUNT: I'm reasonably optimistic. I think we've all seen everybody step out into the new world realm, Republican Senate, Democrat House, new speaker, Republican president, the initial touch of the gloves was not producing the kind of result that we need to produce here. So I am optimistic we need to work hard to see that we find how we can solve this in a way that the president gets what he needs but the American people fundamentally get the government that they deserve.

ROBERTS: We will see. I mean, the very fact that we got you two on together this morning is maybe a good start.


MANCHIN: We all want the same thing we want -- our borders to be safe and secure. We want to stop the flow of drugs. We want to keep the people who basically are coming for the wrong reasons and preying on our economy, keep them out -- I mean, take them out, make sure they don't come back.

All these things are said. But there's people that need a pathway forward that have been very productive and there should be some compassion towards that.

ROBERTS: We will see where this goes.

Senator Blunt, Senator Manchin, good to have you on this morning. Thank you.

Up next, we will bring in our Sunday group to discuss this week's winners and losers in the ongoing battle over the border.


ROBERTS: Coming up, the government is back open but the sticking point is the same.


TRUMP: It's just common sense. Walls work.

REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF., SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Have I not been clear on the wall? No, I have been very clear on the wall.


ROBERTS: We'll ask our Sunday panel which side is going to blink first, next on "FOX News Sunday".



TRUMP: After 36 days of spirited debate and dialogue, I have seen and heard from enough Democrats and Republicans that they are willing to put partisanship aside, I think.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-N.Y., MINORITY LEADER: That bodes well for finding an eventual agreement, the fact that we have so many areas where we can agree.


ROBERTS: President Trump and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer finding common ground on ending the longest government shutdown in history, but for how long and at what expense?

It's time now for our Sunday group.

Jason Riley from "The Wall Street Journal" is with us, along with columnist for "The Hill," Juan Williams, Julie Pace, the Washington bureau chief of "The Associated Press," and Fox News correspondent Gillian Turner.

I love that declarative statement by the president, they're willing to put aside partisanship, I think.

Winners and losers here. Jason, who won, who lost?

JASON RILEY, CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it's -- it's hard to see how this could have turned out any other way. The president said, if we shut down the government, I'll take the blame. The government shut down and he got blamed.

I think Nancy Pelosi is, obviously, the big winner here. You know, a month ago people were questioning whether she should even be speaker again. I think she's put that to rest. But they feel like they're on a roll here. They picked up the House majority, 40 seats or so. And the president's approval rating has declined significantly during the shutdown. So, clearly, they're the winner.

Now, the onus is now on Pelosi and the Democrats to negotiate, like they said they would, in good faith, if the government is reopened. And we'll see if they do that.

One thing that strikes me about this, the real losers here are the dreamers. I think those dreamer immigrants have just been treated like pawns, particularly by Pelosi and the Democrats.

ROBERTS: And I think as Senator Manchin was saying, they're looking for a bigger deal here --

RILEY: But -- but --

ROBERTS: Not -- not just protection, but a path to (INAUDIBLE).

RILEY: But, remember, dreamer -- but the dreamers were told -- you know, Nancy Pelosi keeps saying I'm -- I'm -- I'm negotiating on your behalf. I am putting you first. No, she's putting keeping funding for the wall away from Trump first. And I don't know that there are a lot of dreamers who agree with that priority.

ROBERTS: Right. But she certainly did seem to win, Julie, on that front in terms of keeping the money away from the president.

JULIE PACE, "THE ASSOCIATED PRESS": She absolutely did. I -- I share Jason's winner in this situation. It is definitely Nancy Pelosi, not only on the shutdown itself and how she negotiated with the White House. She comes out of this with her caucus more united than they were when they were sworn in as the new Democratic majority just a few weeks ago. She's got those freshmen who were emboldened coming out of their elections who are now firmly behind her because they see that she is willing to hold a tough line against the president.

And for the president, I think one of the things that -- that we really learned through this last few weeks is that he really does not have a strategy for dealing with a Democratic house majority, not just on the shutdown, but more broadly. This is the first time in his presidency that he has an opponent that has real power.

ROBERTS: Yes, he --

PACE: And he does not seem to know how to deal with that right now.

ROBERTS: He certainly doesn't seem to have a strategy for dealing with Nancy Pelosi.

GILLIAN TURNER, CORRESPONDENT: Well, so one of the losers I wanted to mention that people are not spending enough time on this week is U.S. cybersecurity defenses. I've had sources -- federal government sources ringing alarm bells all week every day for the last two weeks. One source even went so far as to say this particular week, the U.S. federal government, before the shutdown ended, was more venerable to foreign cyberattacks, phishing, spearing attacks and terrorism online than in any point in history. And it's also going to take the government -- the federal government now months to recoup the losses to get back to where they were 35 days ago.

ROBERTS: I think a mutual friend of ours was saying, if you were going to attack the United States if you were a terrorist, during the shutdown would be the time --

TURNER: Now is a great time.


So, Chuck Schumer goes into the negotiations really kind of saying, I told you so, Juan. Let's listen to what he said and then get your reaction.


SCHUMER: No one should ever underestimate the speaker, as Donald Trump has learned.

The unity of our two caucuses really worked because I believed the president himself believed and was told by a couple of his advisers, you've written about them, that, oh, just hold out and we'll get the Democrats to crack and join us. He was unable to do that.


ROBERTS: All right, so we've got 19 days of negotiations. Can the president get the Democrats to crack at all on funding for a border barrier?

JUAN WILLIAMS, POLITICAL ANALYST: I don't see it right now, John. I mean what we know from the polling, and we've had some recent polls indicating very clearly now, I think it's 54 percent of the American people don't favor the wall. So that the wall itself, which is a huge political symbol for this president, does not seem to have the political power that he thought. We've seen his numbers drop. The AP poll, Julie is here now, now him at 34 percent approval. So that's a drop for him.

I'm particularly in touch with the idea that independents, who I think are key as we look towards 2020 and the president and his team are increasingly focused on his re-election prospects, you look at the independents and what they're saying is disapproval of ten points now to 63 percent.

And so, overall, even just a general discussion of the topic of border security, Republicans historically hold the advantage. What we see now is that the two sides are equal. That 42 percent trust Pelosi and the Democrats to 40 percent trusting Trump and the Republicans.

But let me just add one quick point here. It's one thing to hear from people who, you know, are pretty critical of Trump about who won and who lost, but why don't you go ask the base and then you hear from people like Ann Coulter of the talk radio crowd and they think Trump lost.

ROBERTS: Oh, yes, they think he lost big time.

OK, so people are staking out positions. The president tweeting, quote, only fools or people with a political agenda don't want a wall or steel barrier to protect our country from crime, drugs and human trafficking. It will happen. It always does.

But listen to what Nancy Pelosi said on Friday.


PELOSI: Have I not been clear on a wall? OK. No, I have been very clear on the wall.


ROBERTS: so Mick Mulvaney, Jason, believes that pressure will arise from Democrats who say, you know, maybe -- like Senator Manchin, maybe we do need some sort of border barrier, but it doesn't sound like she's willing to give in and can she hold her coalition together?

RILEY: Well, the Democratic opposition to a wall is clearly situational, not principled. We know that because so many in the past have voted for a wall.

I -- I think some might -- might come around to that. I don't know that -- that -- that -- that Trump will get all of the money he wants, but I think he will get -- get something at the very least, and I think there will be pressure coming from -- from Democrats on Nancy Pelosi to do that.

The thing here for the president, though, he clearly believes that the -- that the border security was his ticket in 2016 and that it will be his ticket to re-election. The question is whether there are diminishing returns here for the president on this issue.

WILLIAMS: I don't think there's going to be a wall. There's not going to be any well. And what you hear from Democrats is talk about now, John, of a smart wall. More sensors, more drones, more border security agents, more immigration judges. They will take those steps.

And when it comes to the dreamers, to Jason's point, remember, it was President Trump who created the crisis by undoing what President Obama had done.

ROBERTS: So is this going to give him real trouble in 2020? Because he was claiming that's what this was all about was 2020.

PACE: I -- well, and I think a lot of it is all about 2020 for him at this point. I mean Trump is -- politically is in a situation where he has had, for the last two years, a solid base that has been behind him no matter what happens.

But, John, you were at these rallies in 2016, as I was, and I was constantly struck by the fact that a lot of Trump supporters, when he had the chance about build the wall, who will pay for it, that wasn't just a political talking point for a lot of these people.


PACE: They actually wanted the policy to be implemented.

ROBERTS: Exactly.

PACE: This was not just rhetoric. And so I think he knows that that base that has been so loyal, this is one issue where they could crumble.

ROBERTS: Gillian, really quick answer, if I could. Does this losses, as many people have put it to Nancy Pelosi, have coattails with his negotiations with Xi and with Kim and his approach to Putin? Are they going to look at him and say, wow, we've just got to wait him out and we'll beat him?

TURNER: I think that that is a calculation foreign leaders across the globe, from the Middle East and Latin America, are making this week. They're looking at this and they're saying, you know what, it turns out that the Democrats winning the House in the midterms actually did matter for the president's foreign policy agenda. Everybody was saying, regardless what happens, the prerogative remains with him. He fell -- the president fell on his sword on the wall issue. He sort of had to. But it's had some real-world consequences in terms of the U.S. foreign policy around the world.

ROBERTS: We'll bring you back to talk to us about some other pressing issues, Roger Stone, Venezuela.

But when we come back, the House sends a message to President Trump, stay in NATO. But is the president right, does the U.S. pay more than its share of the military burden? We'll ask the head of the alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, coming up next.



TRUMP: We're going to be with NATO 100 percent. But as I told the countries, you have to step up.

REP. JIMMY PANETTA, D-CALIF.: We have to realize is that NATO is not just a transactional relationship. Our sole focus can't just be on who pays what and who gets what.


ROBERTS: Democratic Congressman Jimmy Panetta, sponsor of the House bill reiterating strong congressional support of NATO after reports the president discussed pulling out of the military alliance over allies failing to pay their fair share.

Joining me now is Jens Stoltenberg, he's the secretary general of NATO.

Mr. Secretary General, thanks for being with us today.


ROBERT: I want to talk about NATO and spending and all of that.

But, first of all, another pressing issue, Venezuela. And it's one that a lot of NATO members are involved in. France, Spain, Germany, the U.K., pressuring Maduro to hold elections in seven days or they will recognize Juan Guaido as the legitimate leader of Venezuela. Maduro sort of laughing at the idea.

The situation in Venezuela, how tenuous you think it is and could it devolve into civil war?

STOLTENBERG: It is a very serious situation and many NATO allies are trying to help to find a solution. But I think that most important thing now is to avoid a civil war, avoid violence is -- has -- is going to be used. And, therefore, NATO ally support also for trying to find a negotiated solution.

ROBERTS: Recently here in Washington, D.C., the House voted overwhelmingly on a measure that would require congressional approval for the president to pull out of NATO because the president has threatened that he will pull out of NATO if other NATO nations don't live up to their financial commitment. He has since said, I'm 100 percent behind NATO.

Do you really have any concerns that President Trump would pull the United States out of the alliance?

STOLTENBERG: So President Trump has been very clear. He is committed to NATO. He's stated this clearly just a few days ago and it is also at the NATO Summit in -- in July.

But at the same time, he has clearly stated that NATO allies need to invest more and therefore at the summit in July, last year, we agreed to do more to step up, and now we see the results.

By the end of next year, NATO allies will add 100 -- 100 billion extra U.S. dollars for defense. So we see some real money and some real results and we see that the clear message from President Trump is having an impact. NATO allies have heard the president loud and clear and now NATO allies are stepping up.

So this is good news, meaning that we actually see more fair burden sharing.

ROBERTS: So that's interesting that you say that the NATO allies have heard the message and it -- and it's a good thing because President Trump gets loudly criticized here in the United States and abroad for being hostile to NATO, for putting too much pressure on them to live up to their financial commitments.

So from -- from your perspective, what he's saying, good thing or bad thing?

STOLTENBERG: There is no doubt that his very clear message is having an impact. The message on the summit last summer was very clear with all the leaders sitting around the table. And the message was -- was that the U.S., President Trump, he's committed to NATO, but we need fair burden sharing.

ROBERTS: Right, so are you happy with what he's saying? I mean did -- did NATO nations -- did NATO, as an organization, need a kick in the pants?

STOLTENBERG: I'm happy with the fact that he has helped us to now move the question of burden sharing within the alliance. And this is important for European allies, for a strong NATO. It's good for Europe. But it's also good for United States.

We have to remember that the only time we have invoked Article V of our collective defense clause was after an attack on the United States. And hundreds of thousands of Canadian, European soldiers have fought shoulder to shoulder with U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. We have worked together with U.S. in defeating Daesh, ISIS in Iraq and Syria. So it's a great advantage for the United States to have 28 allies. Russia doesn't have that. China doesn't have that. But the U.S. has allies and friends.

ROBERTS: You mentioned Russia. And one of the knocks on President Trump is what he says about President Putin and his criticisms of NATO is giving Putin a way to try to create divisions within NATO.

Listen to what Congressman Eliot Engel of New York said last week.


REP. ELIOT ENGEL, D-N.Y.: Today, NATO plays a critical role in keeping an increasingly aggressive Russia in check. And that's one of the reasons splintering the NATO alliance is one of Vladimir Putin's top goals. And that's why it's so disturbing, so troubling to see the United States sending mixed signals about our commitment to the alliance or treating it as a burden.


ROBERTS: Nancy Pelosi, the new speaker of the House, went so far as to tweet on Friday night, why has the Trump administration continued to discuss pulling the U.S. out of NATO, which would be a massive victory for Putin?

That could be connected to other issues regarding the president and Putin. But what President Trump is saying about NATO and the way he is saying it, is he giving an advantage to Putin here?

STOLTENBERG: What he's doing is to -- is to help us adapt the alliance, which we need, because we live in a more unpredictable world with more assert (ph) to Russia using violence or force against a neighbor, Ukraine, and therefore NATO has to adapt, partly (ph) by increase in the readiness (ph) of our forces, we are doing that, partly by stepping up our fight against terrorism, we are doing that. We had a new training mission in Iraq, but also partly by investing more. And you have to remember that the increase we now see in defense spending by European and NATO allies comes after years of decline. So before they were cutting billions. Now they're actually adding billions.

ROBERTS: So -- so you're not concerned that he's helping Putin splinter NATO, like so many of his critics are?

STOLTENBERG: What is see is that actually NATO is united because we are able to adapt to deliver. North America and Europe are doing more together now than before.

We have more U.S. troops in Europe and more exercises. So we welcome that. But we also welcome the fact that European allies are stepping up.

And this is a clear message to Russia and I think they see that.

ROBERTS: And, in your mind, Mr. Secretary General, what is -- what is the greater threat to NATO? Is it that Russia may move into the Baltic States or is it what's happening in the Black Sea, in the Balkan area?

STOLTENBERG: The challenge for NATO is that we are faced with many different threats at the same time. Russia, using violence against neighbors, but also Daesh, ISIL in the south, and in (INAUDIBLE) on nuclear weapons. So, therefore, we are now in the midst of the biggest reinforcement of NATO since the end of the Cold War.

ROBERTS: There is real concerns in some circles that Vladimir Putin may make a play on a little part of Estonia called Narva. If he were to do that, Estonia's a NATO member, would that invoke Article V?

STOLTENBERG: First of all, we don't see any imminent threat against any NATO ally, and that includes also Estonia.

And, second, the main reason why we have NATO is to prevent the conflict, is to prevent war, because as long as all NATO allies make it clear that an attack on one ally would trigger a response from the whole alliance, then no adversary would try to be aggressive against NATO because they know that we are by far the strongest alliance in the world, half of the world's economic might and half of the world's economic -- military might is within NATO. So as long as we stand together, we prevent conflict.

ROBERTS: Mr. Secretary General, thanks for being with us. We'll see you next December in Brussels.


ROBERTS: All right. Had a good meeting, by the way, with the defense minister next month.

Up next, longtime Trump advisor Roger Stone maintains his innocence as he faces arraignment next week and the Mueller investigation. We'll ask our Sunday panel about his arrest, the charges and what it tells us about the state of the probe.



ROGER STONE, FORMER ADVISER TO DONALD TRUMP: I intend to fight because this indictment is -- is -- is fabricated. This indictment is thin as -- as can be. My attorneys are highly confident that they can win an acquittal.


ROBERTS: Longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone talking to Tucker Carlson hours after his arrest by FBI agents on charges of lying, obstruction and witness tampering in Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

And we are back now with the panel.

The president tweeting about the saying CBS reports that in the Roger Stone indictment data was released during the 2016 election to damage Hillary Clinton. Oh, really? What about the fake and unverified dossier, totally phony conjob, that was paid for by crooked Hillary to damage me and the Trump campaign? Roger Stone didn't even work for me anywhere near the election.

So this indictment connects somebody close to the president with WikiLeaks, but doesn't make the connection all the way to Russia.


PACE: No, it doesn't. And that's certainly what the president and his allies are leaning on here that the charges against Stone relate to lying. And that's actually what we've seen with most of the people who Mueller has indicted through this process. It hasn't gotten to the core of -- of Russian interference in the election or any kind of conspiracy.

That being said, you know, one thing we know about Robert Mueller is that we don't know everything that he has right now --


PACE: And there is -- there is definitely a whole avenue in terms of the relationship between people around Trump and around Stone and WikiLeaks that haven't been touched yet. So I think it's an open question on whether the charges that we've seen filed against Stone thus far are the extent of those charges.

ROBERTS: Jason, is this --

WILLIAMS: Just to pick up on that just very quickly.


WILLIAMS: Why are all these people lying? Why did they feel they need to perjure themselves? What -- I mean it's like you think, oh, there's a lot of smoke here. I don't (INAUDIBLE) the fire.

ROBERTS: Yes, everybody keeps talking about this being process crimes with no underlying crimes.

RILEY: They are. I mean Roger Stone is a gadfly. He's a clown figure. We --

ROBERTS: But a process crime is still a serious crime.

RILEY: But to the -- to the president's tweet, the president's right, digging up dirt on a political opponent is called opposition research. It is not collusion. I mean it may be sleazy politics, but it is not criminal activity here.

ROBERTS: But, if you're working with an organization that's working with Russia.

PACE: But to John's point there, I mean the -- the issue here isn't that they were just trying to dig up opposition research, it's that they were trying to see what Roger Stone knew about WikiLeaks having information that they obtained via Russia. That's -- that's the hard press (ph).

RILEY: I think Roger Stone was trying to dig up dirt to impress the Trump campaign. And then he lied to Congress about it.

PACE: But you -- ultimately you're trying to -- ultimately if you're trying to work with a foreign government to do that, that's the problem.

TURNER: I think it's --

ROBERTS: Go ahead, Gillian.

TURNER: Despite that, both sides, I think, are to blame here. Republicans and Democrats both fell short on messaging. The Democrats had a real opportunity to go in for the kill here, but they stuck -- you know, Nancy Pelosi specifically stuck with this, well, you know, you can tell a lot about a person by their friends and President Trump doesn't have good friends. When it's incumbent upon them, as you said, John, to make the connection of collusion between Russia, between WikiLeaks, and between Roger Stone. The Republicans, by contrast, failed by saying, you know, the president -- they stuck to the tired line of no collusion, which everybody has heard a million times and didn't go any further.

ROBERTS: Let me connect a couple of dots here. All right, so this is a, quote, process crime. And Roger Stone says he's broke. Listen here.


STONE: No matter how much pressure they put on me, no matter what they say, I will not bear false witness against Donald Trump. I will not do what Michael Cohen has done and make up lies to ease the pressure on myself.


ROBERTS: That -- that -- that -- that -- that was actually the wrong sound. Let's play the right sound.


STONE: This has been financially devastating. The leaks from the general -- from the special counsel's office have devastated my private consulting business.

I am this close. I mean, in all honesty, I struggled to pay my lawyers, first and foremost, pay my rent, pay my taxes. It is not a fun existence.


ROBERTS: He's in exactly the position that Robert Mueller wants him in. I'm broke. I can't pay my taxes. I might have to sell my dog. So, oh, well, why don't we cut a deal and you tell me everything you know about President Trump?

RILEY: Roger Stone is in this position because of the action of Roger Stone. And I don't think people are going to be shedding a lot of crocodile tears for his situation.

I will overall though, John --

ROBERTS: But he's in the perfect position for Mueller to squeeze him.

RILEY: He is. He is in a position for Mueller to squeeze him. That's true. And what this also tells us is that Mueller isn't done yet. He's still out there searching for scalps (ph) and this is something -- this is going to be a cloud over the administration for the foreseeable future. And that is the -- the long-term consequences of this. These may be small fry figures, but it's going to keep this story in the press going forward and off of the president's agenda, to the extent that he has one.

ROBERTS: We've got limited time left. Let me just swing to another topic, Venezuela. Here's what the secretary of state said after a U.N. Security Council emergency meeting yesterday.


MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: Now it's time for every other nation to pick a side. No more delays. No more games. Either you stand with the forces of freedom or you're in a league with Maduro and his mayhem.


ROBERTS: All right, so we are between an irresistible force and an immovable object.

Gillian, Maduro says, you know what, you all -- I'm not going anywhere.

TURNER: You're either with us or you're against us. More sort of axis of evil talk.

I spoke to the National Security Council just as morning, John, and they told me they're putting a lot of stock this weekend in the fact that Venezuela's defense attache here in Washington yesterday publicly switch sides. He's now thrown his support away from Maduro. They're saying that, you know, armed -- the possibility of armed conflict, as Mick Mulvaney said earlier, is alive and well. This thing could go either way over the -- over the course of the next month (ph).

ROBERTS: Fifteen seconds, Juan. Make your point.

WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, we don't want to see American intervention, but I am a little put off by Russia telling us, given their experience with Ukraine, what we can't do. That's not good. And I think that might alarm President Trump. As to civil war within Venezuela, that also remains a possibility.

ROBERTS: All right. Great to see you all this weekend. Thanks so much for joining us. Appreciate it.

We'll see what's in store for next week. Chris will be back to continue the conversation.

That's it for today. Have yourself a great weekend. We will see you next “Fox News Sunday.”

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