This is a rush transcript from "Your World," February 22, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: Speaking for the United States, I would say it's probably more likely that a deal does happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: And that clinched it, big time, making it nine straight weeks of advances for the Dow Jones industrials, something that we have not seen in close to a quarter-of-a-century. Other averages jumping as well, a good Friday, a good week, a good market.
Welcome, everybody. I'm Neil Cavuto.
President Trump and China's president now appear much more optimistic that a deal could be struck, as trade talks are extended for at least another couple of days. We're all over it with Kevin Corke at the White House, where the president just met with China's top trade negotiator and vice premier, and FOX Business Network's Ashley Webster on how the markets are reacting.
Let's just say, very nicely, thank you.
First to Kevin at the White House -- Kevin.
KEVIN CORKE, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Neil, what a day.
In perhaps his most optimistic language yet in describing the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China, President Trump today almost sounded just a bit, if you listen carefully, like the end of the ongoing trade dispute could be near.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Both parties want to make it a meaningful deal. We don't want to make a deal that doesn't -- I can speak for the vice premier. I can speak for President Xi. I can speak for myself.
Both parties want to make this a real deal. We want to make it a meaningful deal, not a deal that's done and doesn't mean anything. We want to make this a deal that's going to last for many, many years and a deal that's going to be good for both countries. But we want to make it meaningful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CORKE: You heard him say it there a couple times, Neil. He wants this to be meaningful.
The talks in Washington, of course, have been key to de-escalating the trade conflict between the world's largest economies. And, quite honestly, it's been really tough on China. You have seen their economy dramatically slow down. There's also been collateral damage here domestically, particularly in our ag sector.
Now, the president's rosy outlook was not only echoed by China's vice premier. It was also echoed by Steve Mnuchin, the treasury secretary, who today announced that Chinese negotiators would extend their visit to Washington by a couple of days in order to build on the progress that has been made this week.
Now, that meeting today in the Oval a very interesting one, wide-ranging comments afterwards. Of course, the president is also looking forward to a trip to Asia for the upcoming summit with Kim Jong-un, their second meeting, the last one over in Singapore, this time over in Vietnam.
Interesting times here at the White House, but again a big trade deal could be soon happening. Fingers crossed, Neil -- back to you.
CAVUTO: Yes, we have been there before.
CAVUTO: Thank you, Kevin, very, very much, Kevin Corke.
Well, FOX Business Network's Ashley Webster on how the markets responded to this.
Ashley Webster, we have talked about it so many times. The better it looks for a deal, the better stocks look. The more iffy, the more iffy stocks look. But they have been looking very, very fine lately.
ASHLEY WEBSTER, BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Very nice. Thank you very much, Neil.
You're right. So far, in fact, 2019 has been a rip-roaring winner for the U.S. markets. And after a rotten December, the markets have climbed steadily in part because Wall Street believes that eventually the U.S. and China will indeed find a way to seal the trade deal.
But, as we saw today, the markets very much headline-driven and the psyche can change quickly, today, very positive. That said, the major indexes are all up at least 11 percent. And consider these numbers. The Dow today hitting the 26000 level for the first time since November.
The Dow and Nasdaq have not had a negative week this year. They finished up nine straight weeks in a row and, by the way, the S&P recording its fourth straight positive weeks.
So what's going on, other than China? Well, we have a much more dovish Federal Reserve. Fears of more interest rate hikes now on the back burner, as job numbers, well, they remain strong and inflation is stable. All good news for the markets.
Also, as the rest of the world sees economic growth slowing down, well, the U.S. for the most part continues to roll along. In other words, we are the best game in town. And, lastly, with interest rates still low, high dividend-paying stocks look a lot more attractive.
And as long as these factors are still in place, Neil, investors will be bullish. But I have to say this, it's not all roses. Consider Warren Buffett. His Berkshire Hathaway today took a massive hit the. Shares of Kraft Heinz dived 27 percent of a number of negative reports.
That means the Oracle of Omaha has lost more than $4 billion in a single day. Ouch.
CAVUTO: It's only money.
WEBSTER: Yes. That's what they all say.
CAVUTO: I think he has $40 billion to go with that.
WEBSTER: That's true.
CAVUTO: All right, thank you, my friend. A lot of hard work from Ashley Webster this week.
WEBSTER: My pleasure.
CAVUTO: So where are we going from here?
Let's ask our market pros.
We got trader Alan Knuckman over at the CME, and Melissa Armo with The Stock Swoosh.
Melissa, last time you were here, you were very optimistic about the state of things, despite the volatility, and said that a lot of that volatility was overdone. Do you think that that's still the case?
MELISSA ARMO, THE STOCK SWOOSH: Yes.
And, look, look, how we rallied. I was right. December 26 was the last time we were near the lows, and really now we're only 3 percent off the high. So the Stock Swoosh tip of the day is follow the trend.
We never broke the uptrend, even when we sold off in December. And people got out. And now guess what? If we get a trade deal done any time in 2019, we could make new highs again and hit over that 27000 number, that number that's looming out there that the Dow got close to and didn't get over yet.
CAVUTO: All right, we should point out you're saying the Dow is within 3 percent of those highs reached back in September, the S&P close to that.
Alan Knuckman, one of the things that's interesting is looking about the advance early this year, because it's still relatively early in the year, is you have everyone going along for the ride, industrials, the industrial sector up 17 percent year to date, energy up 14 percent, technology 13 percent.
ALAN KNUCKMAN, BULLS EYE OPTION: Right.
CAVUTO: I could go on and on about the S&P 500 companies themselves, most of whom are now trading above their 50-day moving averages. Geniuses like you guys follow that stuff closely.
What do you make of what the underpinnings look like?
KNUCKMAN: Well, like you say, it is a broad bounce.
And I want to build on what you said at the open. It's not only been a good couple of weeks. It has been a good month and a good 2019. We're 20 percent off those lows from December in the Dow, the S&P and the Nasdaq. So it's been a complete reversal, and there's more upside potential here.
Now, I think the catalyst that Ashley referred to, we talked about a couple months back, if you will remember. In the other pit, we were talking about how the markets were forecasting no interest rate hikes in all the 2019.
When that commentary came out, since that time, the market has been in rally mode. If you look at the S&P, the broad market in general, that's our barometer. The S&P had a 600-point drop. If you add that 600 points, if we do get up to the top, we have a full recovery.
That target is 3500, which is 30 percent above. So there's still a lot more upside. So odds are that we could do what we have done every time in history where we have sold off and we bounce back and made new highs.
CAVUTO: Melissa, I am cognizant of what happened to Kraft Heinz losing a quarter of its market value today, very unique circumstances, I understand that, a huge write-down, problems getting the Kraft and Oscar Mayer businesses in synch and all of that. I get that.
But does it say anything to you about basic staples and consumer resistance, or is this a Kraft Heinz unique development?
ARMO: I think it's a Kraft Heinz unique development.
That stock gapped down and just tanked today. It was just -- fell off a planet.
ARMO: But I will tell -- I will say one thing.
When you look at the overall market and you look at the tech sector, which has been leading the way, 2016, 2017, 2018, like Apple, for example, which is one of the strongest stocks in the market, Apple doesn't look that great.
So let's just say tech comes and goes and makes new highs and starts to look strong again this year. You're going to see the market take off like a rocket, because really the market right now is what -- the overall market -- I'm saying them market ETFs. I'm saying the SPY, which is the S&P ETF. I'm saying the Diamonds, which is the Dow ETF.
Those -- those look stronger than specific stocks, which is very unusual, Neil. It's very unusual.
CAVUTO: That is unusual. No, you're right about that.
Another thing that's finally happening, Alan, and I don't know how free you are to talk about some of these specific examples, but the delayed IPOs, initial public offerings from companies that were stymied by the government shutdown, they couldn't be written off by the Securities and Exchange Commission, now they're on again.
So you have Pinterest coming to market, Lyft coming to market. These are going to be multi-10s of billions of dollar offerings here and more to come. What do you think?
KNUCKMAN: Yes, and it's all about timing, like everything else.
So, sometimes, they get skittish, when the markets are stalled out. Let's see what happens with the dollar. I think that's interesting, as we talked about interest rates. If the dollar doesn't have any rate hikes, it can't -- it's hard for the dollar to rise. So I think that could be another wind at the market's back.
But we have shifted sentiment. We went from wall of worry to now slope of hope, so let's see where we go. And you have seen every time the market sells off even a little bit, it bounces right back. So we have -- we have changed course as far as the mentality of the markets.
And look for this to continue. We have still got some very, very strong trends, and I think people are starting to appreciate what the fundamentals of the markets are, as opposed to so much politics and policy.
ARMO: I just want to caution one thing really quick, Neil, before we go.
ARMO: If Trump doesn't get a deal done by the next week, the deadline, I don't want people to panic again, because we have had a long ride up here since December. We could have some volatility if a deal doesn't get done.
The market is thinking a deal is going to get done by this deadline, one week from today. And I'm saying, if it doesn't, don't panic.
CAVUTO: All right, I'm going to focus on the slope of hope. That's a new one.
CAVUTO: So, guys, thank you both very, very much.
There was another battle going on today. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: Will you definitively veto that resolution that was introduced today that would block your national emergency, if it passes?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: On the wall?
TRUMP: Will I veto it? One hundred percent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAVUTO: Well, the House Democrats are still planning to introduce a resolution aimed at overturning the president's emergency declaration to build that wall.
We have got Florida Republican Senator Rick Scott joining us.
Senator, thank you for coming.
The president says he would stop that any way he could, but Democrats are still intent. And at least eight states and their attorneys general are looking to do just that. What do you make of all this?
SEN. RICK SCOTT, R-FLA.: Well, first off, I don't think it's the person's first choice was to use his emergency power, but his job is to keep us safe.
The Democrats, they will -- I have been -- I have been in D.C. for, what, a little less than two months. The Democrats will say, oh, we want border security. They just won't fund it. They say we want to take care of the DACA kids. They just won't do it.
So the president doesn't have a choice. We have to secure our border. I was down at the border a little -- a little over a week ago meeting with border security. And they said, we need more people. We need newer technology. Their technology is very old. And we need some barriers to direct people where they should be coming in, so we can make sure we have legal immigration and don't have illegal immigration.
So I think the president is in a tough position. But I believe he ought to be using his emergency power to keep us safe.
CAVUTO: All right, if I could switch gears a little bit, North Carolina is looking at a do-over on that congressional election, the only one that wasn't decided, as you know.
And Mark Harris has already said, yes, go ahead, call for a new election. It's all over absentee ballots, miscounts, a lot of that.
Are you worried for Republicans that this is either a tempest in a teapot or just an isolated incident and move on?
SCOTT: Well, I think, look, if you want to win elections, you have got to have a message and you have to work your tail off to give people a reason to vote for you.
So, you know, we have to make sure elections are honest, ethical, fair. And we don't want any fraud in them. That's we tried to do to, make sure we did in Florida, made sure that they were free and fair.
So, I think this is just one example of an election that didn't seem to work out right. So it appears they're doing the right thing.
CAVUTO: All right, so this idea that there's going to be more scrutinizing of absentee ballots in the future -- it might not apply here in this special election, whenever it is -- is it something that both parties should pay more attention to?
This was, again, the president and a lot of North Carolina officials are saying, in this district, isolated.
SCOTT: The sacred right to vote should never be diluted by somebody doing something wrong.
We have got to be very careful, especially when we have mail-in ballots, that there's no fraud involved. So, I think we have to be very careful with mail-in ballots and these absentee ballots.
Let me step back. And we were talking about the markets at the start of the show and the economy, optimism on the trade front and everything else.
What is your -- you gained your fortune, you know, in the health care arena and some of the promising signs and technologies that went with that. Some have said we're beginning to see that again now, and a lot of that is propelling this activity, that it was too far the other way back in December.
What are your thoughts on that?
SCOTT: Well, look, when I was in business, you know, I worked to make sure that I was -- tried to be at the leading edge of whatever -- whatever was going to take care of my customer.
The biggest company I ran was a large hospital company. And you wanted to make sure, how do I make sure I had the better -- best pricing, the best patient satisfaction, best outcomes for our patients?
And so technology can do that. If you look what's going on right now, it's exciting. Now, we do have to figure out how can we drive down the cost of drugs? We have to figure out how we have a delivery system that works better. We have got to make sure people get health care even if they have a preexisting condition.
But it's exciting, what is going on in technology, especially in the health care arena.
CAVUTO: Real quickly, Senator, Bill Weld, the former Massachusetts governor, is planning on challenging the president for the Republican nomination. Others could follow, maybe not a lot of others.
But what do you think of that?
SCOTT: Well, look, I think that the president has worked his -- worked his tail off to try to make it better.
He's living up to his campaign promises. Look at what has happened to our economy. I always tell him, he's doing what we did in Florida. He's cut taxes, reduced regulation, and jobs have come back.
We added 1.7 million jobs. They have added millions of jobs since President Trump was elected. So, that's the number one thing. And number two is, we got to make sure people are safe. He's trying his best to do that. We're building up the military again. He's working on border security.
I think it will be very difficult to beat him in a primary.
CAVUTO: All right, we will watch it closely.
Senator Scott, it's always a pressure.
SCOTT: Nice seeing you, Neil.
CAVUTO: All right.
All right, now to this border battle, not the one you're thinking about. I'm talking about the one with Venezuela and against Colombia and Brazil and trying to get aid to people. It erupted today.
One person is dead. Another dozen are injured, and everything could hit the fan all over again come tomorrow morning.
We will explain.
CAVUTO: All right, they were worried about something like this, violence erupting along the border of Venezuela and Brazil today.
You might recall that Nicolas Maduro, the ruling president, had shut down that border, so that aid couldn't come in. Well, two people were killed in this melee today, more than a dozen others injured.
And all of this hits the fan again tomorrow, when Juan Guaido -- Guaido, I should say -- the leader we recognize, the opposition leader we get recognize as the due leader of Venezuela, forces the issue and brings thousands of his closest friends to make sure that that aid can get in.
So, how's this all going to go down?
Let's go to retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel and Congressman Allen West.
Always good to see you, Colonel. Thank you for coming.
ALLEN WEST, CONTRIBUTOR: A pleasure. Thanks, Neil. Thanks for having me.
CAVUTO: What did we do? It's going to be interesting. It's a lot of our aid that is sort of stuck at these blockade points, and it sounds like Guaido is going to try to force the issue and make sure folks get it. Then what?
WEST: Well, I think one of the key things, we need to be pushing the United Nations to be ready to send some type of force in there to make sure that people are not being starved to death.
This is an international incident that we're looking at today because other countries are involved. The other thing is that Nicolas Maduro has been put any really bad box right now, because if he continues to enact violence against unarmed innocent civilians that are just looking to get food and medical aid, then he does put himself in the position that we all know that he is a socialist dictator and a despot.
And then any other country that aligns with him, well, they're in that same position as well, such as Iran and Russia and even Cuba. So I think that you're looking at the international community has to be able to make a response to this, and not just the United States of America, but we need to be prepared to provide whatever support that we can.
CAVUTO: All right.
You reminded me last time we chatted that, you want to know who gets through this process, look who has the military with them. And, right now, Nicolas Maduro does, although, today, another high-ranking former top general, Hugo Carvajal -- I hope I'm pronouncing that correctly -- had indicated that it's high time for Nicolas Maduro to go. He is urging just that, and other military leaders to follow him.
Do we need to see a lot more than that?
WEST: Well, of course you do, because the thing is, these generals are starting to realize that, without a doubt, Nicolas Maduro has a golden parachute.
And, as a matter of fact, much of his resources and gold are already being -- maybe being shipped out to Russia or elsewhere. But they're going to be left behind. They're going to be held accountable. And what happens for them?
When you look at the rank and file of the military, that the money is starting to dry out, and maybe even their families are the ones that are starving. Those generals are not going to be able to continue to make those soldiers obey their orders which they don't see as being lawful or just anymore.
CAVUTO: What I worry about, Colonel, is what happens when someone calls the order, whether it's from Maduro's office or not, shoot to kill if anyone tries to get their hands on that aid tomorrow?
WEST: Well, that's where I think you're going to see a bit of an issue. Are these really soldiers of the Venezuelan army, or could they be some of these Cuban agents that have been sent down there to try to provide some type of protection and also a buffer for Maduro to keep him safe?
So I think that's a critical issue. But I don't think the rank-and-file military will want to turn their guns on their own citizens and take their lives.
And then the other thing is, you could see Maduro allow this aid to come in, but then he just confiscates it later and tries to control it. And that's what we saw back in Mogadishu, Somalia, with the warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid.
CAVUTO: And we know how that turned out.
CAVUTO: We have got to be very careful.
Colonel, thank you very, very much.
WEST: You're welcome.
CAVUTO: By the way, all of this really hits the fan, presumably, tomorrow morning, when they're going to test this, try to get the aid.
We will be live with "Cavuto Live" tomorrow beginning at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time, monitoring that throughout the show, and how this whole thing goes down. It could be a crucial test of those generals and whether they still stick by a leader who might try to tell them, shoot those who try to get the aid.
That will be a very tough call, and that could be a very violent one as well.
We will have more after this.
CAVUTO: Well, the legal process might work itself out, but Jussie Smollett is now off the final two episodes of "Empire," after being charged with staging a hate crime.
Democratic presidential hopefuls rallied around the actor, you might recall, but they're not exactly backpedaling with the support. They're just being quiet on it right now.
Let's get a read on all this and how this could be factoring into the 2020 race. It might be premature for that.
But let's get a read from National Review contributor David Bahnsen. We have also got Politico reporter Gabby Orr and Democratic strategist David Burstein.
David, end with you, get your thoughts on how this shapes up in one way, politically. I think another year-plus is an eternity, but your thoughts?
DAVID BURSTEIN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, look, I can say with some certainty that I do not think the Jussie Smollett case will be the main issue of the 2020 campaign.
But I think the reality is, this is part of a problem,an emerging of pop culture in our politics, which has been going on for some time. It's front and center. You have to condemn these things.
But people should -- as they did at the beginning of this. But they have to be equally outspoken when something like this comes out. This is an atrocious...
CAVUTO: And they're not.
And this is exactly what President Trump talked about.
CAVUTO: But will people remember that, like the fair-weather kind of instant analysis?
BURSTEIN: I mean, they should, because it actually goes to character.
If people are going to -- and it plays right into the hands of everything people criticize about President Trump, saying things are fake news. This is actual fake news, unlike much of the other stuff that he says.
CAVUTO: All right, so, Gabby, one thing that has come up with this is, it's a trend, right, I mean, whether you look at the Covington student situation here, where people jump to a conclusion, then they have that dial that back.
But there's very little of the dialing back stuff.
GABBY ORR, POLITICO: There's very little of the dialing back stuff.
And on this issue in particular, look, I don't think that any voter is going to have this in their mind in November 2020 when they choose which candidate to support.
But what this does do right now is, it opens a lot of these Democratic candidates up to charges of political calculation. Jussie Smollett is black. He's gay. He is a member of Hollywood, which tends to skew to the left.
So it's obvious why they would have immediately jumped on this and issued the strongest condemnation of his alleged assailants.
ORR: And that's backfiring right now. As David just mentioned, many of these candidates have significant platforms. They have hundreds of thousands of supporters. They have millions of Twitter followers, and they are now spreading misinformation about something.
So I think they have to be careful on how they move forward. One of them who we have seen sort of learn a lesson through this is Kirsten Gillibrand, who said that she wants to wait going forward to issue any statement until she knows the exact facts of this case.
CAVUTO: So, now she is waiting.
ORR: Which is interesting.
CAVUTO: But, see, that's what happens, David.
As you have reminded me, you can pick and choose the things you want to be thoughtful about. But I think there was this rush to judgment. And I wonder. We live in an age where people play back tapes and everything else. Will that come back to say, well, you looked like you were pandering, and now you have dialed it back, and then you were pandering in another way?
DAVID BAHNSEN, NATIONAL REVIEW: Well, I mean, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris jumped out on this thing right away. It was pandering.
But they jumped out just as quickly and just as foolishly on AOC's whole Green New Deal proposal. There's a rush to get on the wrong side, as far as I'm concerned, of cultural Marxism. That's what I think is going on.
This issue will be forgotten in a year.
CAVUTO: But these are two dramatic -- you could say one is a costly boondoggle, right, but...
BAHNSEN: I agree. But I think it's symptomatic of the same thing.
I think that what is happening here, this idea that Mike Pence was to blame for this attack, those things are not going to be forgotten. The idea that there's this entire segment of the American population that is guilty of racism and homophobia every day just because they happen to be conservative Republicans, that's the issue that I think moves elections.
And I don't think that will be forgotten in 2020.
CAVUTO: I'm wondering too in this environment where a lot of celebrities and everyone, we have just seen what's been with happening to everybody from Kraft, to R. Kelly, and all this other stuff, that this is a time where people are looking at it and say, well, who is your allegiance to?
You know what I mean? And it's beyond party, but what do you think?
BURSTEIN: well, look, I mean, this actually should be an opportunity for, in a world of so much noise, and who's good and who's bad, presidential candidates should actually stand up and be judicious about what they want to comment on.
I mean, I don't even know that something like this is worthy of this -- of statements from presidential candidates on something like this. And we have gotten into...
CAVUTO: But they dive into it, right?
BURSTEIN: Exactly, because it's too tempting. And we're in a social media-dominated conversation.
We have left the station of the policy debate. And I think it's really problematic going forward, because it opens people up to a lot of exposure. As a strategist, I wouldn't want my candidate out commenting on these kinds of things.
CAVUTO: But we live in a 24/7 news cycle, right, and the Internet everything else.
So they feel compelled. They're asked these questions. They do -- but what -- I don't think it would be wrong if someone said, you know, I have heard about this, I don't know what to make of it.
I think most Americans are fairly pragmatic and open-minded. And they just say, well, I'm with you. You're confused. I'm confused.
ORR: I mean, ideally, you would, if you're running to be the leader of this country, you would demonstrate your leadership by having the patience to await the conclusions of a police investigation in an instance like this.
CAVUTO: Right, or just to say, I don't know.
ORR: Well, absolutely.
And I think the problem here is less strategists behind these candidates, their allies encouraging them to speak out, and more the demand of the Democratic base. The Democrats what progressive -- progressive individuals who are in this base want these candidates to speak out.
And if they don't, they will be chastised for not speaking out. And that has become a problem.
CAVUTO: Well, that's an interesting point. Will they be chastised for not?
Or, in other words, they will go on record and say, I supported someone who I thought was telling the truth. And, by the way, we don't know the full story yet. And they let me down.
I think that, in this particular case, they would have had better cover to have not gotten into it, this issue. I mean, just even apart from how kind of loaded up this got with other issues, the whole idea of the hate and so forth, intellectually, it didn't make any sense.
Like, if you were going to comment, you would think in common with some degree of skepticism.
CAVUTO: It's incumbent on everybody, including those in the heat, the thick of the political moment in the media, better to be late and right than early and wrong.
BURSTEIN: I completely agree.
I'm going to pursue that whole journalism thing.
CAVUTO: All right, we have a lot more coming up.
The secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, says this Alabama woman who joined ISIS cannot return to the United States and assume all is forgiven.
Her dad is suing him. The lead attorney filing that suit is here.
CAVUTO: She says she's American. She says she married someone who joined ISIS, and then she joined ISIS. And now she wants to come back to this country.
The secretary of state is saying, no way, not happening.
Her lawyer next.
CAVUTO: The father of Hoda Muthana, the woman who left America to join ISIS, is now suing the United States to let her back, and her son back into the country as well.
The lawsuit comes after the Trump administration denied her entry and declared that she's not a U.S. citizen and, besides, she's a threat.
The attorney for the Muthana family, Charlie Swift, joins me right now.
Mr. Swift, thanks for taking the time.
CHARLIE SWIFT, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW CENTER FOR MUSLIMS IN AMERICA: Thank you for having me.
CAVUTO: All right, so, I think the administration viewpoint is, first of all, she's not a citizen. Is she?
SWIFT: Yes, she is.
CAVUTO: OK. So she was born in this country?
SWIFT: And the reason is -- she was.
CAVUTO: OK. She's the daughter of a diplomat, right?
SWIFT: She was born in New Jersey.
Her father had been discharged from being a diplomat on September 1, 1994. She was born in October 23 of 1994. And the reason I know that is the United States government, the mission to the U.N. by the U.S., sent a letter in 2004 indicating that's exactly what had happened.
That's part of the lawsuit.
CAVUTO: All right, did she, to your knowledge, Mr. Swift, ever say any threatening comments herself, let alone having been married to ISIS, you know, to ISIS elements?
SWIFT: I don't know.
CAVUTO: But that alone would raise concerns, right?
SWIFT: Right. That would raise concerns.
But the way we deal with that is not to bar -- let's say you're over in Paris, and the government decides it doesn't like what you say. Can they bar you from coming back?
You're a U.S. citizen.
CAVUTO: Well, if I had the tie to be married to someone who was in ISIS, it might get their attention. And I might understand that.
SWIFT: Well, you could get the attention, but could they strip you of your citizenship?
They can take away your passport.
CAVUTO: Well, they can keep you out. They can keep you out, right, because they're concerned for safety, right?
SWIFT: No, they can't. No, they can't.
The Supreme Court's been absolutely on the -- a U.S. citizen has the absolute right to enter.
What they can do is arrest you. They can absolutely arrest you. If you have committed a crime, they can arrest you. But you can't bar a U.S. citizen from entry into the United States because you don't -- you think they might be a threat.
That would be incredibly dangerous. That would -- we would set a precedent here. And we always have to go -- whatever happens here, you ask, if they did this to me, would I be OK with it?
CAVUTO: All right, so she left.
SWIFT: Because I'm a U.S. citizen.
CAVUTO: All right, I understand.
But this history she has with ISIS, I mean, that alone raises concerns. Right?
SWIFT: Sure, it does.
CAVUTO: So how close -- do you know close that association was?
SWIFT: Part of that, as a constitutional lawyer, that one doesn't concern me.
I'm confident in two things, the United States courts' ability to deal with criminal actions. On these ISIS cases, I think 176 and one. I represented the one person that was acquitted.
But that was Noor Salman, and she hated ISIS, in the process and this. However, I'm confident in the government's ability and the FBI and to prosecute the case.
CAVUTO: Have you talked to her in any way, shape or form?
SWIFT: I have had brief conversations via WhatsApp.
The reason her father's an ex-friend is that don't have any regular access to her in the process, because she's had to borrow somebody's phone.
CAVUTO: So everything you know about her is really coming through whatever conversations you have had her with her dad, right?
SWIFT: That's correct.
CAVUTO: And the dad wants her to return, quite understandably. That's his daughter, that's his grandchild. So he wants them back.
But the ties alone in this environment are a little alarming, right?
SWIFT: Sure. But that's why we have a justice system. That's why we have a system in place to prosecute. U.S. courts -- one of the ironic things about we're fighting for here, if she's a U.S. citizen, it makes her eligible for prosecution.
CAVUTO: I know.
But we have been through this little thing called 9/11 and countless incidents since. So we're a little bit more sensitive to battles that we can avoid in the courts, when it might be just easier to say, we think you're a danger if you return here, especially with the things that you have allegedly said against this country and through your husband in the past against this country.
SWIFT: Sure. I hear what you're saying on the part -- but the Supreme Court has already spoken on that, absolutely.
CAVUTO: But do you really believe -- would you feel comfortable yourself knowing that an ISIS sympathizer, regardless of their place of birth, and that is disputed -- the administration says she was not born Here. So, I will just...
SWIFT: No, they don't say that, Neil. They don't say that at all.
CAVUTO: Well, they do. They're claiming -- is not a U.S. citizen, will not be admitted to the United States on that basis alone. This is coming...
SWIFT: Well, I understand on the part -- they're not saying she wasn't born here. She was born in New Jersey.
CAVUTO: All right. Well, then where are they saying that she's not a U.S. citizen?
SWIFT: They're claiming that her father was still a diplomat, they didn't know that her father wasn't a diplomat anymore. That's what the lawsuit is about. OK? It's not about whether she's a threat.
CAVUTO: No, no, I understand. I understand.
SWIFT: They have no basis to keep her off.
CAVUTO: But they're not even getting to the ISIS ties or anything else, that she has no actual...
SWIFT: Correct. And neither am I.
So, would you feel yourself, if she were to move back in your neighborhood, given that past, would you be OK with it? Would you say let them sort it out in the courts, but I'm perfectly fine her living down the block from me, everything is copacetic?
SWIFT: Well, I feel this.
And the FBI has been incredibly aggressive. That if she's committed a crime overseas, she's going to be arrested.
CAVUTO: If you commit a crime overseas, it is going to be difficult for you to get back in here.
SWIFT: No, actually, it isn't, Neil. It really isn't.
CAVUTO: But that's the kind of stuff they screen at customs.
SWIFT: At customs, they screen to see if you're bringing in things that are illegal. There's no right to bar a U.S. citizen from entry into the country.
There has never been. OK? The Supreme Court has called it a fundamental right. You have the fundamental right as a citizen to enter this country.
CAVUTO: And she had the fundamental right to say what she did attacking the United States and other things in the past.
And you don't think that is something that should be a legitimate concern to U.S. security officials greeting her at a plane at JFK or wherever?
SWIFT: I think it's an absolutely legitimate concern. It may place her on the no-fly list. It may place her in jail. It may place her in many things.
But it doesn't strip her of citizenship. Be very careful what you ask for, because the next administration or an administration after might not like your words, might say you're dangerous, might say, when you're overseas, I don't like what he said or how he criticized.
CAVUTO: No, it's very different saying the words that you said and being married to a soldier for ISIS. That's a little different, right?
SWIFT: Or I don't like who you married. I don't like that you married someone in the family of a government that I don't like.
Where do you draw the line?
CAVUTO: That's a little different. You're a very good lawyer, but that's a little different, right?
CAVUTO: Someone saying controversial comments...
CAVUTO: ... an organization whose intent was to destroy the United States, that is a little different, right?
SWIFT: The part -- not in terms of the Constitution, because the Constitution was set up to defend or protect the truly unpopular.
CAVUTO: All right, we will watch it closely.
SWIFT: That's why it matters.
CAVUTO: Got it.
CAVUTO: Charlie Swift, I want to thank you very much.
That break is coming, whether you and I are here or not, my friend. Thank you, though, very, very much.
We will monitor this, your reaction. E-mail us. We will have more after this.
CAVUTO: It's going to be a weird week next week.
The president will be meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Vietnam, right? At the same time, his former personal attorney Michael Cohen will be testifying before at least a couple of House committees. Awkward.
The Daily Mail's White House correspondent, Francesca Chambers.
Wow, timing is everything, but that's your weird timing. What do you think?
FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, THE DAILY MAIL: Well, the White House says that they're not concerned about that, Neil.
I was speaking to Kellyanne Conway a little bit ago and had a chance to ask her how concerned they were, right, because the president and the White House want the focus to be on is nuclear summit with Kim Jong-un.
But that will be taking place overnight in the United States. During the day, at least one of those days, we will be hearing directly from Michael Cohen, because while he is testifying three times, two times are behind closed doors, once is in a public hearing before the House Oversight Committee.
So we will be seeing that play out. Kellyanne Conway said that it's up to networks where they decide to take a split-screen. However, again, the summit itself will be overnight. And that hearing will be during the day in the United States.
CAVUTO: All of this comes amid these reports that the Mueller investigation is close to being wrapped up. There were reports it was going to be as soon as next week we might get a preliminary report. I don't know how they do this.
But now that was shelved and said, no, no, no, it won't be next week. But what are you wearing?
CHAMBERS: Well, if that report were to come out, that's another item that the president would be getting asked about again during that summit and potentially have a chance to overshadow what he wants the focus to be on.
But even speaking to the summit, Neil, the White House has been lowering expectations this entire week. First, it was that there could be some sort of a framework that could come out of it, but now Sarah Sanders saying today that they will just continue to talk at this summit and really saying that that was the expectation of the White House.
CAVUTO: All right, so this whole process, obviously, a report does come out. Democrats in the House can be the first to pick it apart and pursue whatever they want to do from that.
But, I mean, is it your sense that whatever is produced might not be the damage that some Republicans, for example, had feared?
CHAMBERS: Well, you also have to look to the president's comments this week, when he said that it would be up to the attorney general to decide whether a report would come out.
CHAMBERS: So he's not signaling -- signaling one way or the other.
But the fact that he seems to be saying that he wouldn't mind that it would -- whether it would come out or not, that it's in the attorney general's hands, I think, maybe suggest that they're less worried about it than they may have been a few months ago.
And, of course, the president reiterating today there is no collusion, there's no evidence of collusion. So, therefore, he should have nothing to be concerned about.
CAVUTO: Yes, I hadn't thought of that, the way they were saying this is going to be up to Bill Barr, whatever he wants to do.
All right, thank you very, very much, Francesca. Good seeing you again.
CHAMBERS: Thanks, Neil.
CAVUTO: All right, we're keeping our eyes on Venezuela tomorrow. It was already turning deadly today. It all has to do with that aid that can't get into the country, and they're going to force that issue big time tomorrow.
CAVUTO: All right, it wasn't that long ago Lieutenant Colonel Bob Maginnis was telling me, when it came to Venezuela, watch the military, watch what happens, and watch who follows orders.
Sure enough, it's going to be on tenterhooks tomorrow, after violence today, with a lot of folks trying to get their hands on that aid. Then the soldiers started shooting.
And now the candidate who is recognized as the president in our eyes, Juan Guaido, is testing that by bringing thousands of his friends to some of these checkpoints here that have been closed off to get the aid and force the issue.
Lieutenant Colonel Bob Maginnis back with us.
What do you -- what do you think happens, Bob?
LT. COL. BOB MAGINNIS (RET.), U.S. ARMY: It all depends, Neil, on what we have done behind the scenes with the six division commanders in that country.
I can tell you in other venues we have talked to people and have turned entire situations like this on its head. If we have them and promise them something such as sanctuary or that we're going to allow them to continue to have their units after Maduro leaves, that's important.
What I'm concerned about is that Maduro has surrounded himself by Wagner Group people. They belong to an oligarch that's close to Vladimir Putin. We killed a couple hundred of them in Syria last year.
So this is something that is unpredictable, plus the fact that the Cubans have gangs that are going to be reinforcements, like the Fedayeen that we faced in early 2003 going into Iraq. The same sorts of tactics are about to take place.
Hopefully, the military will not fire upon the aid deliverers, that the people will be able to get what they need. But this is...
CAVUTO: Well, two people are dead today. I don't know who started the firing or the violence, but obviously it got pretty raucous.
CAVUTO: It's going to be potentially much bigger crowds tomorrow, in fact, all over the country at these checkpoints that are blocked where aid simply can't come in.
I cannot imagine -- but you know this stuff better than I -- where they're trying to get that aid, and the soldiers are under orders shoot to kill, if they do.
MAGINNIS: Well, that's why I'm saying these outside influencers, China and Russia, and Hezbollah and others, the Cubans, are going to have a role here.
But it's behind the scenes. It's backing up Maduro. Now, if we find that Maduro is...
CAVUTO: So, these are groups beyond just the typical military elements that have backed the government thus far.
MAGINNIS: Oh, yes.
CAVUTO: Because some of those guys, those generals, retired and otherwise, they're peeling off, three at the latest count, most of them saying now's the time to look Juan Guaido as the duly deemed head of this country.
But you're saying these are other nefarious elements that could block that.
MAGINNIS: Well, they're the foreigners that are around Maduro.
And, once again, you go back to the combatant commanders, the commanders that have the troops with the rifles, Neil. If in fact those are the people that are still loyal to Maduro, then they will fire tomorrow.
If they are not loyal, and there's been some sort of deal behind the scenes, and Maduro's family's gone, and he has a plane warmed up on the runway, then he will leave. So these are the types of issues that we won't know about until well after the fact.
CAVUTO: We will be watching closely.
Colonel, thank you very, very much, Lieutenant Colonel Bob Maginnis, "Alliance of Evil" author.
All right, we will be following it very, very closely here. Indications are that Juan Guaido has not changed one item of that. He is going to go and force the issue in person with a lot of Venezuelans.
We will be on it -- more after this.
CAVUTO: We mentioned before that a very high-ranking former general in Venezuela, Hugo Carvajal, has broken ranks with President Nicolas Maduro and pledging his support for Juan Guaido.
And he will participate or says he will participate in this effort to try to get aid that is waiting at checkpoints all around the country into the country. But there aren't a lot of guys like him. There are a lot more soldiers who have guns who will be more poised to do quite the opposite.
We will be following that tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time, also the fallout from my interview with that lawyer who represents the father of an ISIS bride who wants back in the United States -- all live on "Cavuto" tomorrow.
It's going to be a busy two hours. I have a feeling it's going to be a very, very busy day. We're there for you. We have got you covered.
Now here comes "The Five."
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