This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," April 11, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


The surge in illegal immigration escalates and so does the standoff between
the Biden administration and the state of Texas.


GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R), TEXAS: Neither the president nor the vice president
have showed up down at the border to see the catastrophe that they have

WALLACE (voice-over): Governor Greg Abbott calling the situation at one
location housing unaccompanied minors a nightmare.

ABBOTT: Children at this facility are being sexually assaulted.

WALLACE: We'll ask the governor about that and how his state has avoided a
COVID rebound after lifting mask mandates and lockdowns.

And --

country is an epidemic.

WALLACE: Get his reaction to Mr. Biden's executive action on guns, Texas
Governor Greg Abbott, only on "FOX News Sunday."

Then --

BIDEN: The idea of infrastructure has always evolved to meet the
aspirations of the American people and their needs.

WALLACE: The president's American Jobs Plan goes far beyond fixing bridges
and roads. We'll discuss his bid to win bipartisan support with Secretary
of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and get reaction from the number two
Republican in the Senate, John Thune.

Plus, President Biden creates a commission to study reforms to the Supreme
Court. We'll ask our Sunday panel about concern among conservatives about
altering one of the three branches of government.

And our "Power Player of the Week," the top law enforcement officer in the
Senate on being called to serve after the horror of the Capitol.

All, right now, on "FOX News Sunday".



WALLACE (on camera): And hello again from FOX News in Washington.

If there's a ground zero in the battle between President Biden and his
conservative critics, it's the state of Texas. That's where the surge of
illegal immigration across our border is happening. It's where you'll find
the strongest pushback to White House calls for mask mandates and continued
lockdowns, and it's where you'll hear the loudest challenges to the
president's executive action on guns.

Today, our lead guest is the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott. In a moment,
we'll have an exclusive interview.

But first, let's bring in Rich Edson from McAllen, Texas, on the border
with Mexico on the growing tensions between the nation's capital and the
Lone Star State.

RICH EDSON, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Chris, this border surge is at the
center of Texas Republicans' biggest fight with the Biden administration so


EDSON (voice-over): Customs and Border Protection says agents picked up
nearly 19,000 unaccompanied children last month, a record, and stressing
government holding facilities.

REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL (R-TX): This is a self-inflicted wound, a manufactured
crisis brought on by President Biden. We're going to see more migrant surge
then I think I've ever seen.

EDSON: Texas officials say they're investigating reports of abuse of
children at a migrant facility. The federal Department of Health and Human
Services says it will continue investigating incidents.

Across the state in Arlington, baseball's opening day that looked normal.
That's unique. The Texas Rangers is the Major's only team to open a full
house after Governor Greg Abbott allowed businesses to operate at full

Texas, also home to another American shooting. Authorities are charging the
accused gunman of murder and other charges after killing a man and wounding
others at a cabinet company where he worked -- as President Biden announced
a series of gun executive orders.

BIDEN: I'm going to use all the resources at my disposal as president to
keep the American people safe from gun violence.


EDSON (on camera): The president also called on Congress to approve a
series of gun measures. Here at the border, a third trip for the Homeland
Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Local reports say he'll visit two
Texas border town Thursday -- Chris.

WALLACE: Rich Edson reporting from the border in McAllen, Texas -- Rich,
thank you.

And joining us now, Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

Governor, let's start with the surge of illegal immigration across the
border. In March, more than 172,000 border stops across the state, that's
the highest in 20 years, more than 20,000 unaccompanied minors now in
federal custody. And there is a report of "The New York Times," Governor,
that the government now projects more than 35,000 unaccompanied minors in
federal custody by June.

One, could it get that bad? And, two, what's the biggest single thing that
President Biden could do to stop the surge?

ABBOTT: First, Chris, I will tell you that, candidly, I expect that number
to be far higher.

I do want to go back to something you said initially. You talked about the
conservative critics of the Biden administration. This is a bipartisan
response to the Biden administration because you have Democrat members of
the United States Congress, you have Democrat members of the state
legislature, as well as Democrat local officials who are pushing back
against the Biden demonstration as much as conservatives in the state of

But, Chris, this problem will continue to get worse because of the policies
that have been adopted by the Biden administration. What the president
could do is to immediately put back in place the "remain in Mexico"
protocols that were established in the prior administration. He could
continue to build the wall along the border in South Texas. He could send a
stronger message that these people should not be coming here.

Remember this, and that is one of the reasons why there are so my people
coming here is if you go back to the Democrat presidential debates, every
single one of the Democrat candidates said if they are elected, they will
have open borders and they will be giving things for free to anybody coming
across the board.

They were doing exactly what they promised during the course of the
campaign and this is exactly why we're seeing the flood and the Biden
administration was simply unprepared to deal with the massive in flood that
were coming in, which is why they have so haphazardly responded to it, and
that's why we've seen the dire consequences for these kids, for the adults,
and especially for the state of Texas, and it will only get worse, Chris.

WALLACE: Let's talk about those dire consequences. You made news this week
reporting that there are cases of sexual abuse at the Freeman Coliseum in
San Antonio, Texas, that houses right now more than 1,600 children.

But the head of a nonprofit that provides legal services to immigrants said
this: The only reason why Abbott is now acting like he cares about the
children in these facilities is for political reasons.

Governor, there were thousands of complaints of sexual abuse at migrant
shelters during the Trump years, not to say that what's going on now is
right, but we couldn't find one instance of you complaining and calling
that out when President Trump was president.

ABBOTT: Sure. There are multiple differences between what happened in the
Trump administration and what is happening now. First, the Trump
administration remained in constant communication with me and with my
office and let us know what was going on. Second, I saw reports about
exactly what you're talking about and saw that those reports were filed
with federal agencies.

The one that I talked about earlier this past week were reports that were
filed with state agencies, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission
and the Department of Protective and Child Services, which is basically
Child Protective Services.

And so, we had a duty to respond to any complaint about child sexual abuse
in Texas as well as to investigate it, and that's exactly what I did to
make sure it was addressed.

Chris, also, however, I must make clear that in addition to the complaints
that we received, also the Bexar County sheriff's office, Bexar County is
where San Antonio and the Freeman Coliseum is, they have already responded
to at least three complaints of sexual abuse taking place there in San

But don't fall prey to Democrats -- 


ABBOTT: -- and others saying, well, Abbott didn't complain up at this in
the past.

What they need to focus on is exactly what I called attention to last month
in Dallas, Texas, where I pointed out then that there were going to be
instances of child sexual abuse taking place. And today, the Biden
demonstration has done nothing to address these situations that would lead
only two more allegations of child sexual abuse.

WALLACE: Governor, I want to switch subjects on you. The president
announced regulations this week on ghost guns. He wants the Justice
Department to publish model red flag legislation for states to consider.

You tweeted this after the president's action: Biden is threatening our
Second Amendment rights. He just announced a new liberal power grab to take
away our guns.

The president anticipated that argument that you made there. Take a look.


recommend in any way impinges on the Second Amendment. They are phony


WALLACE: Governor, is there any gun control, any limits on guns that you
would accept?

ABBOTT: Let me mention a couple things. One is I think that there is no
acceptable way that a president by executive order can infringe upon Second
Amendment rights or alter Second Amendment rights. Now, second, if the
president wanted to do something more than show -- if the president really
wanted to do something substantively, what he really could do by executive
order is to eliminate the backlog of complaints that have already been
filed about gun crimes that have taken place.

You probably know what NICS is, which is the background check organization.
Back in 2018, NICS received 122,000 complaints about people providing false
information when they tried to buy a gun. They sent those to the ATF. The
ATF sent 12,000 -- 

WALLACE: Governor -- 

ABBOTT: This is important. They sent 12,000 on two U.S. attorneys, U.S.
attorneys prosecuted 12.

Here's my point, by executive action -- 

WALLACE: But -- 

ABBOTT: -- the president could cut down on gun crimes if all he did was
tell his executive branch to start prosecuting the gun crimes that have
already been sent to the federal government.

WALLACE: But, Governor, the reason he has to go to executive action is
because Republicans in Congress will block any legislation.

I -- let's put up the numbers of what we're talking about here. There have
already been 10 mass killings by gun already this year and we're just in
April. In each of those cases, at least four victims died.

Just this week in your state, of Bryan, Texas, a gunman killed one person
and wounded at least five others.

Let's not talk about executive action. Whether it's expanding background
checks, whether it is passing red flag laws, is there anything that you
would accept?

ABBOTT: Well, first, let me tell you about Bryan, Texas. And I'm going to
tell you about something that happened in Bryan, Texas, that will answer
your question. The shooting in Bryan, Texas, I went to the hospital where
victims and their families were the night of the shooting, and we hugged
and we cried and we talked to them about it.

As I was talking to family members of one of the victims, they said,
Governor, please, do not allow this shooting to strip us of our Second
Amendment rights and they explained exactly why. They said the Second
Amendment is there for the purpose of self-defense and we need that self-
defense now more than ever because of the cartels coming into our state,
because of gangs that are operating in neighborhoods, because of the
defunding the police that made communities more vulnerable and because of
failed policies that were leased people who are very dangerous criminals
back out on the streets.

Texans and Americans know they need their Second Amendment rights to defend
themselves at a time when the United States government and other
governments are doing less to defend our fellow Americans, and that is
exactly why we should not have any further limitations of our Second
Amendment rights.

WALLACE: I want to get to a success story in Texas. Back on March 2nd, you
lifted the mask mandate. You lifted the limit on gatherings, 100 percent
capacity at restaurants and gyms and all other facilities.

There were a lot of doubters, I've got to say, including me, but let's put
up the numbers. Cases, hospitalizations and deaths in Texas are all down.
Now, having said that, Governor, we've seen these regional spikes and drops
over the last year plus, the Midwest is getting hit right now.

And I want to put up -- play a sound bite for you that President Biden made
this week on this subject. Take a look.


BIDEN: The virus is spreading because we have too many people who see the
end in sight think we're at the finish line already. Let me be deadly
earnest with you. We aren't at the finish line.


WALLACE: But the Texas Rangers, as we reported earlier, opened their
season to a full house of more than 38,000 fans, many of them not wearing
masks. I've got about a minute left here, Governor. One, how do you explain
the success in Texas despite the fact that you're going against the
conventional wisdom? And two, any concerns that you're moving too fast?

ABBOTT: We absolutely are not declaring victory at this time, we remain
very vigilant and guarded and proactive in our response. But there is
simple math behind the reason why we still continue to have success.
Yesterday, we had the second lowest number of hospitalizations in ten
months. We have the fourth lowest positivity rate in a year and the highest
number of vaccinations ever administered --


WALLACE: Why is that, sir?

ABBOTT: It's because when you add all the number of vaccinations that have
taken place, as well as all of the acquired immunity from all of the Texans
who have been exposed and recovered from COVID-19, it means very simply
it's a whole lot more difficult for COVID-19 to be spreading to other
people in the state of Texas.


ABBOTT: And I've got to this real quick, Chris, and that is we did an
excellent job -- 

WALLACE: Go ahead.

ABBOTT: -- of vaccinating our senior population that is most vulnerable to
getting COVID-19.

WALLACE: Real quick, do you think that you have herd immunity in Texas

ABBOTT: When you look at the senior population, for example, 70 -- more
than 70 percent of our seniors have received a vaccine shot, more than 50
percent of those who are 50 to 65 have received a vaccine shot. I don't
know what you herd immunity is but when you add that to the people who have
acquired immunity, it looks like it could be very close to herd immunity.

WALLACE: Good news is good news.

Governor Abbott, thank you. Thanks for your time this weekend. Please come
back, sir.

Up next, critics of Joe Biden's new infrastructure plan say most of it has
nothing to do with real infrastructure. We'll ask the Secretary of
Transportation Pete Buttigieg about the plan. That's next.


WALLACE: President Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure package has run into
a buzzsaw of opposition not only from Republicans but even from some
Democrats. And the White House is already talking about negotiation and

Joining us now, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
Mr. Secretary, welcome back.
WALLACE: I want to start with a fact check of how the Biden administration
is selling this plan.

You all like to say that U.S. infrastructure is ranked 13th in the world,
but our colleague Chuck Lane of "The Washington Post" did some interesting
research. Three of the nations ahead of us on that list are Singapore, Hong
Kong, and the United Arab Emirates, which are tiny states and hardly
comparable. Of the 10 largest countries geographically, including China and
Russia, the U.S. actually ranks first.
So, Secretary, not to say that everything is fine, but why not be straight
about the actual conditions here in the U.S. to the American people?
BUTTIGIEG: Well, the American people already know that our infrastructure
needs a lot of work. That's one of the reasons why there's such strong
support for the president's American Jobs Plan.

Look, the American Society of Civil Engineers rates our infrastructure,
we've been getting a lot of Cs and Ds. But you know don't need an
engineering report to know that driving on American roads, they're not the
way they should be. Our bridges need work. We've got thousands upon
thousands that are either in poor condition or even structurally deficient.
If you go to U.S. airports and you compare them to airports in other
countries, other developed countries, you know that the U.S. is not at a
high standard. We don't have a lot of work to do to persuade the American
people that U.S. infrastructure needs major improvement. The American
people already know it.

And that's one of the reasons why there's such extraordinary Republican and
independent and Democratic support for this package among the American
WALLACE: Not necessarily in Congress, however.

I want to give you another fact check. All of you in the Biden
administration have been selling this plan as a huge jobs creator. Here you
are just last Sunday.
BUTTIGIEG: The American Jobs Plan is about a generational investment. It's
going to create 19 million jobs. And we're talking about economic growth
that's going to go on for years and years.
WALLACE: But it turns out the study you're citing from Moody's Analytics
says the economy will add 16.3 million jobs without the infrastructure
bill, and 2.7 million more with it. So it doesn't, as you said last Sunday,
create 19 million jobs.
Again, Secretary Buttigieg, why misled folks? 
BUTTIGIEG: Well, you're right, I should have been more precise. The 19
million jobs that will be created are more than the jobs that will be
created if we don't do the plan. And it's very important to make this
point, as you've just showed us.
WALLACE: Right, but 2 million -- 2 million is not 19 million.
BUTTIGIEG: Now Moody's is saying that we will create 2.7 million -- yes,
exactly, it will create 2.7 million more jobs than if we don't do it. And
that's very important, because there are people on this network and others
saying with a straight face that this would somehow reduce the number of

In fact, at least according to that Moody's analysis, 2.7 million
additional jobs if we pass this package, just further proof that it's good
for the economy, and taken as a whole, it's going to add jobs compared to
doing nothing. 
WALLACE: But would you agree that you and the president and Brian Deese,
the economic adviser on this program last week, you all exaggerated the
jobs impact?
BUTTIGIEG: Look, there are a lot of different analyses about just how many
million jobs this is going to create. I saw a Georgetown study, I think it
said an investment of this type will create or save 10 to 15 million --
WALLACE: But, Secretary, you're the one who recited Moody's --
BUTTIGIEG: The point is it's going to create millions of jobs.
WALLACE: -- Analytics as 19 million, and it's actually 2.7 million, which
is a bunch but it's not what you said.
BUTTIGIEG: It's part of a scenario that Moody's says will create 19
million jobs.

But the bottom line is, it's going to add jobs. And this is a direct
refutation of people who are saying otherwise. So, yes, you're right, I
should be very precise. The difference in jobs that that particular
analysis suggests is 2.7 million more. That is a great place to be, why
wouldn't we want America to create 2.7 million more jobs?
And I want to say something else about the jobs that's very important. The
majority of them, according to a lot of the studies we've seen, will be for
people who don't necessarily have college degrees. So there's a time when
you've got a blue collar communities that are hurting, a lot of questions
about the future of union jobs, construction jobs, manufacturing jobs.
These are exactly the kind of jobs we need to be creating.

And it's part of why, again, the American Jobs Plan has such remarkable
support among Republicans, independents, and Democrats across the country,
maybe not yet in the Republican establishment here in Washington, but
around the country, this bill is already enormously popular.
WALLACE: All right. But as you said, it's not enormously popular in
Washington among Republicans or even among some Democrats. I'm going to get
to that in a moment.

But the president seems to recognize that. He has said that he's going to
meet tomorrow with a number of members of Congress, both parties, both
houses in the Oval Office.
Question, are the size of the package, $2.25 trillion, or the way to pay
for it, raise the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent to raise
$2 trillion in taxes over 15 years, are all of those negotiable?
BUTTIGIEG: Well, I think the president will have an open mind and be
interested to hear other ideas on every dimension of the package. But as he
said, doing nothing is not an option. And we also can't wait too long. So
he's got an expectation of major progress in Congress by Memorial Day.
But, of course, a plan gets better when you take input on board from our
party, from the other party, from both Houses, and that's the process
that's underway right now.
WALLACE: Well, but let's talk about that because you do have defections
already from the Democratic side. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin says he's
not willing to go to 28 percent tax increase. He wants to go to only 25
percent, which means you wouldn't raise nearly as much money. He also says
he opposes the idea of reconciliation, jamming this through on a straight
party line vote.
And there is Senator Chris Coons, who's very close -- from Delaware, who's
very close to Joe Biden. He said this, this week.
SENATOR CHRIS COONS, (D-DE): I do think that there is an opportunity here
for us to come together around a smaller package. And by smaller I mean
hundreds of billions of dollars that is directly targeted at hard
WALLACE: So he's not talking about $2.25 trillion, he's talking about
hundreds of billions. Don't you have to go back to the drawing board,
BUTTIGIEG: Well, I certainly don't think we have to go back to the drawing
board given that the American people want this to happen. I mean, we got
two-thirds of the American people, often Republicans, supporting the
provisions in this plan, when you break them down. That tells us we're on
the right track.
Of course there are different ways -- shapes this could take in terms of
the legislative packages. Of course there are different ideas about exactly
how to target the programming or exactly how to fund it. And that's the
conversation that's underway right now. It's what a negotiation is.
But there's certainly -- I've got tons of respect for Senator Manchin,
Senator Coons, others who are bringing forward ideas in the Senate. We got
some fellow Democrats in the House who are saying this isn't big enough,
you got to do more.
We're going to find the right path but I think what the president has laid
out, and so far, it's still the most specific proposal that we've seen here
in Washington, is a really, really well thought out proposal and that's why
American wants it done.
I mean, it's very rare to find any legislation that this high of a
proportion of Republicans, independents, and Democrats across the country
believe we ought to pass. So that tells us we've got to be on the right
track here.
WALLACE: Secretary Buttigieg, thank you. Thanks for coming in today.
Always good to talk with you, sir.
BUTTIGIEG: Thank you.

WALLACE: Up next, the number two Republican in the Senate, John Thune,
with a GOP response to the president's $2 trillion jobs plan. Is there a
deal to be made?

WALLACE: Coming up, President Biden pushes back against critics who say
his infrastructure bill goes too far.


BIDEN: We are America. We don't just fix for today, we build for tomorrow.


WALLACE: We'll ask the number two Senate Republican John Thune what he
thinks of the plan, next.


CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: As we said, President Biden meets tomorrow with a
bipartisan group of lawmakers to discuss his American Jobs Plan. And
joining us now from South Dakota, the number two Republican in the Senate,
John Thune. 

Senator, you just heard my conversation with Secretary Buttigieg. They say
they're willing to compromise. How far are you willing to go? How high up
in an infrastructure plan? And how are Republicans willing to pay for it? 

SEN. JOHN THUNE (R-SD), MINORITY WHIP: Well, good morning, Chris. There
are Republicans were interested in an infrastructure plan, infrastructure
in the past has always been bipartisan when it's confined to
infrastructure. The plan that you heard Secretary Buttigieg talk about is
a massive expansion of the government, only about 6 percent of the
president's proposal actually goes to what the American people, I think
everyday Americans, would describe as infrastructure. If they're
interested in roads and bridges and highways and perhaps broadband, there
is a deal to be had there. 

But I think what we ought to be looking at this in terms of is having a,
let's do an infrastructure bill, the president wants to do in
infrastructure bill. The sort of big, bold, utopian European-style
socialism proposal that they've laid out there is something they can try
and do another time. But if they're sincere about doing something on
infrastructure I think there are Republicans who would vote for it. And
how we pay for it, I think we ought to re-purpose some of the money that
has already been spent or appropriate it at least and hasn't been spent in
all of these previous COVID bills. We just did $350 billion to a lot of
states out there and this would be a good use for those funds. 

WALLACE: Well, let's look at the state of infrastructure, traditional
infrastructure in your state. According to studies, South Dakota has the
fourth-highest rate of structurally deficient bridges in the country, clean
drinking water needs are $730 million. You say 6 percent of this bill is
infrastructure, we had Senator Roy Blunt, another member of Republican
leadership, on last Sunday, he said about a third of the bill he thinks is
infrastructure and talked about $600-700 billion of the 2.25 trillion. 

Is there something in that neighborhood or even higher that you would be
willing to go for? And why are raising taxes on corporations, why is that
just off the table as a way to pay for this? 

THUNE: Well, first off, in terms of the actual components of a bill, yes,
I think water, wastewater, I said highways, roads, bridges, perhaps
broadband can all be included in that category. You know, our state of
South Dakota obviously depends upon the highway bill funding in order to
upkeep and maintain a lot of the roads and bridges in our state. And we
would welcome, as I said before, an infrastructure bill, which we do about
every five years. 

I think that the tax increases that are included in here are something that
would be very crushing to the economy. You're talking about increasing the
rate from 21 percent to 28 percent or 33 percent tax increase on businesses
in this country who are looking to create jobs. It doesn't make sense
after we just reformed the tax code in 2017 and tried to make our tax code
more competitive in the global marketplace to then raise taxes and make the
United States the highest taxed place to do business in the world. 

I don't think that's a good way to grow our economy. It's not a good way
to create jobs. And the Democrat idea always includes increasing taxes. 
There aren't very many times in history where I think you would look at and
say, let's raise taxes to grow the economy and create jobs. 

If we want to do that, Chris, we want to keep taxes low so our businesses
can compete globally. And there is certainly no need to -- for a big fat
tax increase on businesses either on the publicly held corporations or the
pass-throughs, which would also be hit by the increase in individual income

WALLACE: Let me change subjects on you. Let's talk about the crisis at
the border, which you visited recently. President Biden says he is not
going to just expel the unaccompanied minors who come from Central America
and send them back. How do you respond to that? And what do you think is
the single biggest thing the president could do to alleviate this crisis? 

THUNE: I think, you know, restore funding to build the wall. The Border
Patrol down there says how critical that is to border security. I think
restoring the MPP, the Migrant Protection Plan, which was essentially a
program which was essentially keeping those who were seeking asylum in
Mexico until such time as their cases can be heard and adjudicated. Now we
are bringing everybody into the United States. We don't -- you know, we
don't have the capacity to hear those cases and so they're being released
and told to come back at a later time and most don't. 

So, I mean, there were policies in place under the previous administration,
Trump policies, that were effective and that were working. This
administration made a decision early on, we want to do opposite of what
President Trump did. They were warned by the Border Patrol in advance that
if you do these things, this is what's going to happen. This is now what
has happened. We've got the highest number of people coming illegally
across the border that we've seen in 15 years. 

So they can fix this, Chris. They've got to fix it. And it's going to
take willingness on the part of the current of administration probably to
eat a little crow and say that all of these abrupt changes from existing
policies were wrong. But we have a major crisis down there and it's
worsening by the day. 

WALLACE: I want to squeeze two more questions in. First of all, on guns. 
Back in 2013, after the tragedy at Sandy Hook, you voted against the
Toomey-Manchin backgrounds checks compromise, and in 2019, after another
one of these mass shootings, you said you were confident that Congress
would do something about red flag laws. Nothing happened. 

Isn't the argument that you hear, we heard earlier from Governor Abbott,
you hear it from a lot of Republicans in the Senate, they're coming after
our guns, they're going to end the Second Amendment, isn't that an excuse
for doing nothing? 

THUNE: I don't think so. I do think there the perception, I can tell you
out here in South Dakota and other places around the country where the
Second Amendment is something that's deeply cherished and valued, is that
the government is coming after people's firearms. And that's the reason
you can't find any ammo or any firearms in a lot of our sporting goods
stores here in South Dakota. 

But to your point, Chris, there were some things that we did do in 2018 to
strengthen the background check system. I don't think Republicans are
averse to doing smart things, reasonable things if they are actually
addressing the issue. What Republicans don't want to do is, you know,
adopt policies that have nothing to do with solving the problem but put
additional burdens on law-abiding citizens who are trying to exercise their
Second Amendment rights. 

And this administration, and, frankly, to be fair and to be honest, people
on the far left for a long time have been very hostile to the Second
Amendment, to people in this country who are gun owners and have been
looking for every opportunity to get their guns. 

WALLACE: Finally, you're up for re-election next year but after -- in
December you said that you were not going to block the efforts to certify
Joe Biden's win for the presidency and in fact that that would go down like
a "shot dog" in the Senate. President Trump responded with this tweet. 
Let's put it up. 

"RINO, Republican in name only John Thune, Mitch's boy, should just let it
play out. South Dakota doesn't like weakness. He will be primaried in
2022. Political career over."

And last night, speaking to a reception of big Republican donors at Mar-a-
Lago, President Trump called Republican leader McConnell a "dumb SOB,"
except he didn't say SOB. A couple of questions, first of all, your
reaction to the president's attacks on you and other Republican leaders as
recently as last night? And, two, are you definitely going to run for re-
election next year? And if so, is the president's opposition, President
Trump's opposition, going to be a problem for you? 

THUNE: Well, first off, I am not -- I will announce something on my re-
election plans as I typically do later in the year. I think these
campaigns are way too long, cost way too much, and I think the American
people, I know people in South Dakota get weary of it. So I'm going to
focus on doing the job, which I think is the best way to run for re-
election in any election cycle. 

And the -- you know, who gets in against me is not going to be a factor in
that decision. Chris, I've been through wars in South Dakota, political
wars with my own party when I ran the first time, with the Democrats in a
couple of hotly contested Senate races, so being afraid of a fight or
somebody coming after me is not something that's going to influence that

But I do think that Republicans are much better off when we're united and
working to defeat Democrats. And I think the one thing that should unite
President Trump, Mitch McConnell, myself, others were running for
reelection this year, is getting candidates on the field who are electable
in a general election. That should unite us because the best thing we can
do to save this country is to get the majority back in the United States
Senate in 2022. 

I think -- I hope in the end, all of the rhetoric aside right now and some
of the things flying back and forth, that that's the thing that we'll be
focused on and I believe that will unite the president and -- former
president at least in the rest of Republicans in the United States Senate. 

WALLACE: And, real quickly, your reaction to President Trump at a meeting
of the RNC big donors in Florida yesterday, calling Mitch McConnell a dumb

THUNE: Right, right. Well, look, I mean, it's just -- it's like I said, I
think a lot of that rhetoric is -- you know, it's part of the style and
tone that comes with the former president. But I think he and Mitch
McConnell have a common goal, and that is getting the majority back in 2022
and in the end hopefully that will be the thing that unites us, because if
we want to defeat and succeed against the Democrats and get that majority
back, that's the best way to do it. 

WALLACE: Senator Thune, thank you, thanks for coming in today, always good
to talk to you. And we'll be watching how those talks over the jobs plan
go this week. 

Up next, we will bring in our Sunday group to discuss President Biden's new
panel to study changes to the Supreme Court. Will the nine justices on the
court get some more colleagues? 

But first, as we've been telling you, "FOX News Sunday" turns a quarter of
a century at the end of this month. And ahead of that we've been sharing
some memorable moments. Usually it's pretty serious here, but every once
in a while there are some surprising moments. 





WALLACE: You know, nobody has called me that in a couple of weeks.

BRADSHAW: If I call you Bub, you are in my circle, OK? 

WALLACE: All right. 


WALLACE: I am your "Mahome-y"?

BRADSHAW: You are my "Mahome-y."


WALLACE: Old? What are you, 40...


WALLACE: What am I? 

TYSON: A dinosaur. 


DICK CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: That they would do that without...


CHENEY: Without doing...


WALLACE: Mrs. Cheney is giving you a call. 

CHENEY: Yes, right. 


WALLACE: That's the first time on "FOX News Sunday."




STEPHEN BREYER, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: A trust that the court is guided by
legal principle, not politics, structural alteration motivated by the
perception of political influence can only feed that latter perception,
further eroding that trust. 


WALLACE: Justice Stephen Breyer strongly arguing against expanding the
size of the Supreme Court, something a commission President Biden is
setting up will look at. And it's time now for our Sunday group. GOP
strategist Karl Rove, FOX News correspondent Gillian Turner, and Mo
Elleithee of Georgetown University's Institute of Politics and Public

Mo, the commission the president is talking about has 180 days to study the
structure of the Supreme Court, how many justices, how long they should
serve, maybe not a full lifetime appointment. Given the fact that
Democratic Senator Joe Manchin has already said he is not going to vote to
pack the court, is this really a serious effort or just a political ploy to
satisfy the left wing of the Democratic base? 

SERVICE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, look, if this was only about
satisfying the left wing of the Democratic base, I doubt he would have as
many conservative jurists and scholars on the commission as he did. It's a
very balanced commission that has got folks from both sides of the aisle. 
And I think you make the point, Chris, that it's not just looking at the
size of the court, but it is looking at some other structural issues, like
whether or not there should be an 18-year term limit on the court, which
would allow both parties more opportunities to appoint people over time. 

So I think it reflects Joe Biden's sort of thoughtful approach to handling
some of these big questions. I think it is unlikely that you'll see under
the current composition of Congress a huge growth in the court, but they're
going to look at some other things and we will see what comes of it. 

WALLACE: Meanwhile, Karl, some Democratic activists are pretty
aggressively calling on Justice Breyer, who we just saw, who is 82, to
retire while the Democrats still have a majority in the Senate. So two
questions for you, first of all, what you think of the Biden commission? 
And, secondly, as somebody who worked on this when you were in the Bush 43
White House, how delicate is it to usher out a retiring Supreme Court
justice and to usher in a new one? 

idea that this is a balanced commission is laughable. There are 36
members. I've identified four conservatives or libertarians, and the rest
are Democrats. The co-chairman of the committee, one of them signed an
inflammatory letter calling for the defeat of Justice Kavanaugh, the other
has served twice as the Democratic National Committee's general counsel and
general counsel to the Obama campaign in 2008 and '12, and played Donald
Trump and Joe Biden's debate prep last year. I did a cursory check of the
members and their contribution patterns in the last two election cycles, 16
Democrats on the commission gave 110 gifts in the last two election cycles
totaling $112,000. 


ROVE: Of the conservatives on the panel, one gave one Republican
contribution and one gave a libertarian contribution. 

WALLACE: And what about my second question. You've convinced me that the
commission is not balanced. What about the question of the delicacy of
trying to get a senior Supreme Court justice out? 

ROVE: I think that's completely inappropriate. I mean, this is an
independent branch of the government and an attempt by the executive to
sort of usher somebody out, please leave now, I think breaks the decorum
and undermines the independence of the court. The court must be outside of
politics to the degree that we can allow it to be outside of politics. And
that would be plunging it into partisan politics. And I think that's why
Justice Breyer's two hour-long address, well worth watching, is a warning
that this is a bad road to go down. 

Now, of course, the Justice Democrats, the left-wing Democrats, they're
going to want that and they're going to keep pressuring. I hope the White
House doesn't make an attempt to because I think, frankly, it's not going
to work with Justice Breyer. He was sending down a signal, I will make a
decision when I want to leave when I want to leave, and this should not be
about politics. 

WALLACE: Yes, let's, Gillian, get into this whole question of politics and
the Supreme Court. The justices maintain, very insistent they are not Bush
justices and Obama justices and Trump justices, they are all justices of
the Supreme Court. But back in 2012 I had an exchange with the late
Justice Antonin Scalia about whether he would -- how he would feel about
having -- being replaced by someone who didn't agree with his judicial
views. Take a look at this exchange. 


ANTONIN SCALIA, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: I would not like to be replaced by
someone who immediately sets about undoing everything that I've tried to do
for 25 years, 26 years. Sure. But, I mean, I shouldn't have to tell you


SCALIA: Unless you think I'm a fool! 




WALLACE: That was a great interview. 

Gillian, is there any way to take the politics out of the Supreme Court? 

that's also -- I mean, first of all, for Justice Scalia, can you blame him? 
Who would want their career and their legacy to be undone the moment they
walk out the door? But that's, to a point, what made Justice Breyer's
message so powerful this week and I think ultimately what's going to make
it his word, his message carry more weight than anything this presidential
commission is going to be -- is going to put forward mainly because Breyer
himself has served on the bench for 25 years, also because he is very
highly regarded on both sides of the aisle. 

His message, Chris, if we pick it apart for a second, to Democrats and
Republicans this week, was stop trying to gunk up this bench with your
political agenda. But more interestingly than that, if you kind of read
the subtext, what he was telling Democrats was, if you want my seat for a
young whippersnapper diversity pick, you better not be trying to pack this
court because I'm not going to allow you to do it and I'm, right now, the
bastion that stands between you and the ability to get that done. That's
the reality, it's the political reality. 

WALLACE: And in 10 seconds -- in 10 seconds, Gillian, we saw what happens
with Ruth Bader Ginsburg. This guy is 82 years old and in 2023 you could
have a Republican Senate. 

TURNER: You could, but I agree with Karl. You know, it's not about who
appoints you, it's about your record of jurisprudence. 

WALLACE: Thank you, panel, see you next Sunday. 

Up next, our "Power Player of the Week," the senate's chief law enforcement
officer on keeping the Capitol secure after January 6th.


WALLACE: In the weeks since the Capitol riot, security for Congress is
getting an overhaul. Our "Power Player of the Week" is on the new
frontlines, rebuilding safety while maintaining access in the people's


philosophy is, you don't get to complain about things unless you're willing
to be part of the solution. 

Very good, thanks. 

WALLACE (voice-over): Retired Army Lieutenant General Karen Gibson,
stepping up after the horror of the Capitol riot. 

GIBSON: I've deployed several times to unstable countries around the
world, and I never thought that I would see a physical attack on the center
of our government by American citizens. And I was very angry. 

WALLACE: In the wake of the January 6th attack, the sergeants at arms of
both the House and Senate were asked to resign. Gibson, who spent 33 years
in the military volunteered to be part of the official security review. 

(on camera): What did you conclude was the biggest security failure that
led to the breach of the Capitol?

GIBSON: There was, in part, I think, a failure of imagination in terms of
thinking that a demonstration, rather than leading to violence between
opposing groups, might actually be directed at the government itself.

WALLACE (voice-over): Given Gibson's background in intelligence, Senate
Majority Leader Chuck Schumer asked her to be the new sergeant at arms.
(on camera): You were at part-time professor at Georgetown, you were
planning to retire back home in Montana; what happened?

GIBSON: As someone who wanted to do anything that I might be able to do to
improve the situation here and ensure it didn't happen again, it's very
hard to say no when you're offered the opportunity to continue that work. 

WALLACE (voice-over): The sergeant at arms is the Senate's chief law
enforcement officer in charge of security. 

GIBSON: Good afternoon, are we ready? 

WALLACE: Gibson's deputy and her chief of staff round out the office's
first all-female leadership. After January 6th, the role got even more

GIBSON: I'm confident we can strike a balance that will keep the members
and the building secure while still meeting that need to be open,
transparent, and accessible to American constituents. 

WALLACE: The task force recommended the Capitol hire 800 more police
officers, install mobile fencing, and make it easier to summon a rapid
response team from the National Guard. It's early, but so far there have
been no new hires. And the Capitol Police say they're down more than 200

Just one day after our interview last week, a disturbed man rammed his car
into two Capitol Police officers, killing 18-year veteran Billy Evans. 
Once again, safety in the people's house is in question. 

(on camera): Can you say that the Capitol is now secure? That January 6th
couldn't happen again?

GIBSON: I would say the U.S. Capitol Police are certainly prepared to
defend the Capitol now against that kind of mob in a way that they were not
on January 6th.

I would say that we would prevent such a breach, yes.


WALLACE: General Gibson spent the years since 9/11 focused on foreign
terrorism. Now she says her job centers on the threat from domestic

And that's it for today, have a great week. And we will see you next "FOX
News Sunday."

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