This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," March 10, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: I'm Chris Wallace.
A record trade deficit, a weak jobs report, and a trade deal with China now in doubt.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: If we don't make a very good deal for a country, I wouldn't make a deal.
WALLACE: This hour, we're going to discuss the president's economic policies, tax cuts, tariffs, and talks with China, with Larry Kudlow, the chief White House economic advisor, only on "Fox News Sunday".
TRUMP: The Democrats have become an anti-Israel party. They become an anti-Jewish party.
WALLACE: Democrats divided over how to handle a congresswoman's comments about support for Israel.
REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF., SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I do not believe that she understood the full weight of her words.
WALLACE: We'll ask whether the party can come back together.
REP. DEVIN NUNES, R-CALIF.: They met with Cohen. They clearly were trying to devise how they're going to roll out a new narrative.
WALLACE: Plus, Michael Cohen coached by Democrats ahead of his testimony before Congress.
Freshman Democrat Katie Hill joins us.
Plus, Democrats exclude Fox News from hosting any 2020 primary debates. We'll ask our Sunday panel whether the move will help or hurt the party.
And our "Power Player of the Week," Cal Ripken and I talk famous fathers and their sons.
CAL RIPKEN, BASEBALL HALL OF FAMER: I'm trying to say be you, don't be me.
WALLACE: All, right now, on "Fox News Sunday."
WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.
President Trump is set to unveil his 2020 budget tomorrow. Amid a growing federal deficit and an economy that may be showing signs of slowing down.
In a moment, we'll talk with White House chief economic advisor Larry Kudlow about that and prospects for a trade deal with China.
But first, the other fights on Capitol Hill. The controversy over whether Michael has lied to Congress again. And Democrats still divided up after passing a resolution responding to Congresswoman Ilhan Omar's comments on Israel.
Here's chief congressional correspondent Mike Emanuel.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The resolution is agreed to and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
MIKE EMANUEL, CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Democrats expanded the measure to condemn anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism and other forms of bigotry and only indirectly references Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.
REP. LIZ CHENEY, R-WY, HOUSE REPUBLICAN CONFERENCE CHAIR: This resolution really ended up really being an effort to protect her and it was completely watered down.
EMANUEL: The controversy taking attention away from Democrats' passing of a massive election reform bill.
PELOSI: Let us look to the Senate and say, when we pass this bill, it's not just what happens on this floor. It's the message it sends to the American people.
EMANUEL: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that the bill is dead on arrival.
Meanwhile, House Republicans are questioning Democratic staff spending hours with Michael Cohen prior to his testimony last week. Some Republicans charge it was an effort to coach a witness while Democrats say it was normal preparation. And there were more questions about whether Cohen, who is slated to begin a three-year prison sentence in May, for crimes including lying to Congress, lied again.
MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: I have never asked for, nor would I accept a pardon from President Trump.
TRUMP: It's a stone cold lie and he lied about a lot of things. But when he lied about the pardon, that was really a lie.
EMANUEL: And in a pair of weak economic reports, the U.S. trade deficit and goods reached its highest level last year as the U.S. imported a record number of products including from China, undermining the president's promise to cut the imbalance and bring back jobs.
In February, the U.S. added just 20,000 new jobs, the fewest in nearly a year and a half -- Chris.
WALLACE: Mike, thank you.
Joining us now, President Trump's top White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow.
Larry, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."
LARRY KUDLOW, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISER: Thank you.
WALLACE: All right. The president sends a new budget to Congress tomorrow that will reportedly call for stiff domestic spending cuts in environmental programs, transportation, antipoverty programs, at the same time that it's calling for a big increase in defense spending and you've still got those tax cuts.
Why do that on the domestic side?
KUDLOW: Why not? I mean, if you want to deal with budget deficits, you've got rapid growth, which means keep the tax cuts in place. We believe the 3 percent growth rate of 2018 will continue in 2019, and beyond 2020 and so forth.
I think the other element is always to limit spending and the president is proposing roughly a 5 percent across-the-board reduction in domestic spending accounts. It will be a tough budget. We are doing our own caps this year and I think it's long overdue. Some of these recent budgets have not been favorable toward spending.
So, I think it's exactly the right prescription.
WALLACE: All right. You say that you're going to have a 5 percent domestic spending cuts. On the other hand, reportedly, you're going to ask for another $8.6 billion from DHS, Homeland Security and the Pentagon to build a wall. So there's going to be another budget fight over the wall?
KUDLOW: Well, I suppose there will be. I would just say that the whole issue of the wall and border security is of paramount importance. We have a crisis down there. I think the president has made that case very effectively.
It's a crisis of economics. It's a crisis of crime and drugs. It's a crisis of humanity. We have to be much tougher and have more constructive immigration policy, which we will be developing over a period of time.
So, yes, he's going to stay with us while and he's going to stay with the border security and I think it's essential.
WALLACE: OK. Here's the problem with this. You talk about balancing the budget and the way you're going to do it is by cutting 5 percent in all domestic spending. But you know that if you take entitlements off the table, that you just can't get enough from domestic discretionary spending to cut the budget and your new budget is a case in point.
Traditionally, Republican presidents have said we are going to balance the budget and the budget they projected out that it's going to balance the budget in ten years. Your new budget doesn't balance the budget until 15 years, until the 2030s.
And the question I have is -- you and I have known each other a long time. When I covered you in the Reagan years, you cared and you thought that deficits and debt matter. What happened?
KUDLOW: Not overwhelmingly so, by the way, during the Reagan years.
Look, I don't think -- I don't think good growth policies have to obsess necessarily about the budget deficits and so forth. Look, Chris, my view and I believe the view of the administration, we are going to point a study guide path towards lower federal spending and federal borrowing as a share of the economy, as a share of GDP. That lowers the burden --
WALLACE: The deficit increased by an enormous amount in the first few months of this fiscal year, I think 70 percent.
KUDLOW: We are going to run I think about 4-1/2 to percent of GDP. That's a very modest number compared to even the recent past and with our --
WALLACE: It could be close to a trillion dollars.
KUDLOW: Perhaps so, but the economy is $20 trillion and net worth today, household net worth is about $100 trillion. So I don't think that's a burden on the economy.
And I think all the incoming data. Look, here's something, let's go to the financial markets. You have a 10-year treasury bond right now that's about 2.60 percent, 2.63 I think at the close on Friday.
If the markets were overwhelmingly worried about our budgets and our spending and our deficits, you would see that interest rate rise and be a greater penalty. I don't see it right now.
And again , long run, we do want to reduce the burden of spending and borrowing, absolutely, but always as a share of GDP.
KUDLOW: I put that -- that's the same policies, that's the same approach we had during the Reagan years.
WALLACE: OK, let's talk about something the markets were worried about a friend and that's the fact that you got a bad jobs report. And let's take a look at it. Only 20,000 jobs added in February. The projection had been 180,000 jobs. Good news, wages rose 3.4 percent, which was the fastest in almost ten years.
Question, are we reaching -- reaching full employment weather just aren't going to be that many people who want jobs because they already have jobs?
KUDLOW: Well, let me say on that number on Friday, the payroll numbers from the establishment survey was only 20,000 -- a very fluky number. It has a lot to do with the government shutdown and the timing of jobs.
WALLACE: You didn't say that when her 330,000 jobs a month before.
KUDLOW: Well, we didn't have the shutdown issue the month before.
WALLACE: But my point is, the number was the number and you --
KUDLOW: And the household survey from which unemployment is derived, 255,000. So, that's a big home run. The unemployment rate fell from 4 percent to 3.8, which is very, very important. You noted correctly, wages are up 3.4 percent. That's a terrific sign.
And what's happening as wages have been rising, people are coming out, moving back into the labor force. They're now only coming off unemployment to work at the higher wage rates, but they're actually sort of coming out of the woodwork. People who were not part of the labor force are now coming back. And I think is very important.
Participation rates are very high and that's a signal that we still have lots of labor resources. By the way, the biggest category of improvement, people coming back to work and supplying the labor, women across the board and I think that's very --
WALLACE: That was a great number this month.
The other concern is that after ten years of growth, is the economy slowing down? I want to put up some numbers on this. Growth in 2018 went from 4.2 percent in the second quarter, you can see down in his third quarter and all the way down to 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter.
And with the economies in Europe and China slowing, there is a growing consensus among experts, you're not going to make 2 percent for the first quarter this year. Do you agree with that, that you're going to be in the ones for the first quarter of 2019?
KUDLOW: I'm not going to score it just yet. I'll take the over on that forecast. As I have -- as I generally do, by the way.
WALLACE: I was going to say.
KUDLOW: I would just say, as long as we keep our policies intact -- low tax rates for individuals and businesses, across the board deregulation, lighten the paperwork burden, let small businesses breathe and get a good rate of return.
The president has ended the war on business. The president has provided incentives for economic growth. We've opened up the energy sector.
Our policies are strong and I think the growth rates this coming year will exceed these estimates just as they had last year, in 2018.
WALLACE: The Fed says 2.3 percent this year. You and the president say 3 percent growth as far as the eye can see.
WALLACE: The Fed says 2.3 percent.
KUDLOW: But we'll see. We had this -- we had this conflict last year and the president was right. The Fed was wrong. My colleague, CEA Chair Kevin Hassett, is strongly endorsing his forecast -
WALLACE: The Council of Economic Advisors.
KUDLOW: Indeed, a good friend of mine, and I'm in Kevin's camp. And again, the investment incentives are so strong that I think they're being underrated.
Can I just get one number in?
WALLACE: All right. Then I want to move to trade deficit.
KUDLOW: Yes, sir. Productivity output per hour, which is in a good market capitalist economy, Democrats take note, productivity is the center of it. OK? One-point-eight percent increase in product -- I couldn't help myself -- 1.8 percent increase in productivity, that's the highest number in many years. We've gone from zero to nearly 2 percent.
So, I'm going to argue growth and jobs will continue to expand.
WALLACE: You also got some bad news this week on the trade deficit. Here's what President Trump said last June.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We have massive trade deficits with almost every country. We will straighten that out. And I'll tell you what, it's what I do. It won't even be hard.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: He says it won't even be hard but despite his tough policies and tariffs, the trade deficit in goods worldwide yet last year was $891 billion, that's the biggest trade deficit worldwide in U.S. history and despite our trade war with China, the deficit and goods there hit a record $419 billion. Some experts say the problem is if you just can't tariff away deficits, that the real issue is macro economics.
And to a degree, what they're saying is that you are a victim of your own success. The tax cuts gave people more disposable income, they spent that buying more foreign goods. Rising interest rates strengthen the dollar. That made U.S. exports more expensive in foreign countries, made imports into this country, U.S. imports cheaper.
And, basically, what they're saying is that the president has it backwards, trade deficits are not the sign of a weak economy. They're the part of the byproduct of a strong economy.
KUDLOW: Well, a couple things.
First of all, the president's trade former policies which in my judgment are succeeding better than anyone thought. He's really talking about free, fair and reciprocal trade among nations. And we've accomplished the U.S. MCA, the so-called NAFTA 2.0.
We're getting closer. We'll make a lot of headway on the China trade deal. Perhaps we'll talk about it in another minute. We are negotiating with Europe and we're talking and negotiating with Japan.
So, I think his trade policies are succeeding. He's been tough and sometimes he will use tariffs, something I've learned that will bring people to the table.
Second point, on a trade deficit per se, Chris, I don't think it's either good or bad, OK? Your point is well taken. You have incentives for investments and economic growth. The U.S. is bound to have a trade deficit in goods with the rest of the world because we are growing much faster than they are growing and so we are buying more of their goods.
With respect to Europe, for example, almost flat on its back near recession, we are the only demand stimulus they have. So, that's yes. On the other hand, we have trade surplus on services and we have a surplus on net investment income coming into the USA.
WALLACE: I got --
KUDLOW: I don't want to get too hung up on that. It's neither good nor bad, it just is, but we have to have tough reciprocal trading policies with our neighbors.
WALLACE: OK. Finally, China, as you predicted. Here is the president about -- in January, about a trade deal with China and a much less optimistic assessment this week. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We're going to have a great trade deal with China if it all works out, and we look forward to it. It's going to be great for both countries.
Yes, I'm confident but if we don't make a very good deal for our country, I wouldn't make a deal. If this isn't a great deal, I won't make a deal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: So, let's look. The Chinese have reportedly removed a trip to Mar-a-Lago for a signing ceremony in March.
KUDLOW: No, you can't cancel something that wasn't scheduled. That's not true.
WALLACE: Supposedly, according to the reports, that it's on Xi's schedule, and it's now been taken off. Number one.
Number two, the key enforcement issue, enforcing what the Chinese are going to represent (ph) has not been hammered out.
And three, the Chinese are reportedly concerned that if there is a summit with Xi, that the president, if he doesn't like the deal, will walk away like he did with Kim in Vietnam.
Simple question, how much trouble is a trade deal with China in?
KUDLOW: I think we're making great progress. Look, as the president said, across the board, the deal has to be good for the United States and for our workers and our farmers and our manufacturers. It's got to be good. It's got to be fair and reciprocal, and it has to be enforceable. That's an important point.
Secondly, we made great headway when the Chinese were here two weeks ago. In the past week, we've been in communications with them every day by teleconferencing and so forth, working out some of the difficult final points. I think that's where we are in the successful negotiations.
I don't want to predict, it's up to the president and not to me, but I think the headway has been good. This morning headline, China has accepted our currency proposals to have stable currencies and transparent interventions --
WALLACE: All right.
KUDLOW: -- so that they won't devalue --
WALLACE: I'm running out of time. A simple question, will there be a signing ceremony between the two leaders either in March or April?
KUDLOW: I will play that from the optimistic side. I will take the over on that, which is with economic growth.
WALLACE: Over meaning?
KUDLOW: Over meaning good, yes, positive.
WALLACE: OK, sometime either this month or next.
WALLACE: All right. Thank you. Thanks for your time. It's always fun to talk to you.
KUDLOW: But it has to be a good deal. It has to be a good deal.
WALLACE: And we'll watch the roll out of the president's budget tomorrow. Thank you, sir.
KUDLOW: Thanks, Chris. I appreciate it.
Up next, we'll bring in our Sunday group to discuss new accusations of lying to Congress by former Trump fixer Michael Cohen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Michael Cohen lied about the pardon. That was a stone cold lie and he's lied about a lot of things but when he lied about the pardon, that was really a lie.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: President Trump on Friday reacting to former fixer Michael Cohen's sworn testimony to Congress he never sought a pardon for several crimes he pleaded guilty to committing.
And it's time now for our Sunday group. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich who has a new podcast called "Newt's World"; columnist for "The Hill," Juan Williams; Jonathan Swan, who covers the White House for "Axios"; and Shelby Holliday of "The Wall Street Journal."
Well, Speaker Gingrich, let me start with you. Did Michael Cohen lie to Congress when he said, quote, he never asked for a pardon for president Trump? And if he did, what should Congress do about it?
NEWT GINGRICH, R-FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Well, Chris, first of all, who knows? I mean, this guy has routinely lied. He's been convicted of lying. He probably lied. His own lawyer said, oh, yes, he did apply for a pardon but that was before I was his lawyer -- the lawyer who, by the way, is Hillary Clinton's close friend.
I mean, Cohen is just a circus. And, OK, probably technically they ought to go after him on the grounds of perjury, but this guy is pathetic. He's already been convicted. He's already going to go to jail. I don't know if you need an extra pound of flesh. He's a fool. He shouldn't be on the national stage.
WALLACE: OK. Strong letter to follow.
Juan, if Cohen lied and I'm going to be less equivocal about it than the speaker is, it sure looked like he lied, does it discredit everything else he said in those hours of testimony about Donald Trump?
JUAN WILLIAMS, POLITICAL ANALYST: No, because he freely admits to having lied. He pled guilty. So this becomes a matter of documentation.
You don't have to believe his words. You can say the man is a liar, but in black and white, we have documentation in terms of checks with Donald Trump's EKG signature permanently displayed, and we also have tape recordings and, of course, you can go with the American people. The American people overwhelmingly say they believe Cohen, not Trump in terms of the recent testimony.
And I think the reason for that is that they see him now as having turned and he has the information. He was Trump's fixer, he's the inside guy, and he's really subjected to tremendous pressure if it's found that he lied again.
WALLACE: Jonathan, let me pick up on this because you've got good sources in the White House. How upset are they about what Michael Cohen told the House Oversight Committee and the kind of breadcrumbs he laid out to further investigations?
JONATHAN SWAN, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, AXIOS: The thing that disturbs them the most is when he gives inside information about the Trump organization and seems to lead investigators down the path. So, when he said -- didn't pick up as much attention as other things he said but when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was questioning him at the end of the testimony and she said to your knowledge, did the Trump Organization commit insurance fraud? You know, did they inflate assets, and he said yes, and he said you should talk to Allen Weisselberg and, you know, he names another executive.
He had no evidence of that, by the way. But you are now hearing that the House was going to look into this and followed his lead. So, that's the thing that irritates and the most.
Just to pick up on Juan's point, the thing I found interesting about this before testimony, this is his redemption hurry and he puts up a hand, I'm going to tell the truth. There are two things as far as I can tell that he lied about. There was the pardon and that's a trivial lie, but I know for my own reporting, he also lied about not wanting to join the White House. He desperately wanted to do on the White House and was making a real effort for it.
So, I just for the life of me can't understand -- this was the redemption hearing and yes, I agree with his documents you can prove it, but anything that he says that's not supported by documentation -- documentary evidence, and less is getting his tongue notarized, I'm not going to take it to the bank.
WALLACE: All right, good line.
Then there is another member of the Trump camp, at least former member, his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort who this week was sentenced to 47 months in prison. And here was the president's reaction to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I feel very badly for Paul Manafort. I think it's been a very, very tough time for him but if you notice, both his lawyer, a highly respected man and a very highly respected judge, the judge said there was no collusion with Russia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Now, Shelby, we've got to correct that, because the judge said that there was no -- that trial that he specifically heard was not about collusion with Russia. He didn't give the president a clean bill of health when it came to collusion with Russia and Manafort faces another judge this week.
SHELBY HOLLIDAY, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: He faces another tough judge and she could sentence him to ten years. That could be a concurrent sentence, so he could be looking at a total of 14 years in prison. A lot of the president's supporters want him to pardon Paul Manafort but I think it's worth looking back in 2016.
We are talking about the president's campaign chairman at the time overseeing a convention in which one day, an entire day was dedicated to the theme of law and order, and President Trump supporters love it. They love it that he was a law and order candidate.
Now, fast forward to where we are today, Paul Manafort has pleaded guilty or been convicted of crimes spanning more than a decade, including bank fraud, money laundering, witness tampering, conspiracy against the United States, working here on behalf of a foreign power illegally.
WALLACE: Now, the Trump people would say, but all of this happened before he got into the Trump camp.
HOLLIDAY: They would say that but I do think to say that it's not collusion is like saying just because it's manslaughter doesn't matter, it wasn't premeditated murder. I mean, collusion is a ten on the scale of 1 to 10 but he committed a vast array of crimes. And I think when you -- I do think the president's supporters think it would be easy for them to pardon him, I don't think it would be as easy as a calculation.
WALLACE: All right. Let me pick up with you, Jonathan, on that. Do you think from what you hear that the president will at some point pardon Paul Manafort and as somebody -- I will say it, with maybe the best sources in town, when is the Robert Mueller report going to finally get released because we have had so many people report it's coming this way, it's coming this weekend, I actually -- I think maybe you stole a line from me, I keep using the same line as Larry Kudlow, take the over.
SWAN: Yes. Well, I have to disappoint you on both scores, Chris. I have no idea when the president will pardon Paul Manafort. People close to a belief you certainly won't do anything before the reelection, so it would be second term if it happen.
As for the Mueller report, the Trump lawyers don't know when it's coming out. The defense attorneys representing key witnesses don't know when it's coming out. They are all reading the same tea leaves that we are, which is people who are working with Mueller or going back to their old jobs, the grand jury has been an active and no substantive questions are going to the White House.
So, it's soon, it's imminent, but is it tomorrow? Is a three weeks? I have no idea.
WILLIAMS: A better question might be, will we ever see it? Even if it's released, will Bill Barr, the current attorney general, release the report because he's under no obligation to do so? And what does that mean then when we get an edited version in which we say -- well, the presidents people say there's no collusion, nothing happened except process crimes like lying and obstruction?
And they will try to spin this. I think this is dangerous. It should be released to the American people.
WALLACE: Speaker, let me have you in the excitement with exactly that point because under the regulations, the report is confidential, it goes from Mueller to Barr, the new Attorney General Bill Barr, and he decides what to release.
Just as a matter of public policy, do you think he should release as much as he can without giving up any --
GINGRICH: Exactly, except for classification or people who are totally innocent but we had named in passing, you ought to release the whole report. I mean, in the end, this is -- the American people who've got to decide, the American people ought to have complete access, and there's no really good valid reason except for classification and in the case of some innocent people who just named in passing but in fact aren't in any way involved.
WALLACE: All right, panel. We have to take a break here.
Up next, we'll ask Democratic Congresswoman Katie Hill, vice chair of the House Oversight Committee, whether Michael Cohen lied to that panel and about splits already in the new Democratic House Majority.
WALLACE: Coming up, a new congresswoman's comments rock Democratic leaders.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-N.Y., MINORITY LEADER: What Congresswoman Omar said I thought was wrong and hurtful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: We'll ask one of her House freshman colleagues how the rhetoric is distracting Democrats, next.
WALLACE: This week, House Democrats struggled over how to deal with comments about support for Israel made by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. The controversy tested Democrats' unity and exposed divisions between the party's older and younger lawmakers.
Joining us now, California Congresswoman Katie Hill, a freshman liaison to House Democratic leaders.
Congresswoman, welcome to “Fox News Sunday.”
REP. KATIE HILL, D-CALIF.: Thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here.
WALLACE: Thank you.
House Democrats, as I say, spent much of last week arguing about Omar's comments about why people support Israel and finally passing a resolution condemning not only anti-Semitism but all forms of hate.
And here was President Trump's reaction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I thought yesterday's vote by the House was disgraceful, because it's become -- the Democrats have become an anti-Israel party. They've become an anti-Jewish party.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Does the president have a point here given the fact that the whole debate was about Omar's comments that seemed to question why some Americans support Israel and was viewed by some of your colleagues is anti-Semitic and yet the resolution that was finally passed doesn't even mention her?
HILL: No, I don't think that there's any validity to what he's saying. A first of all, it was a completely bipartisan resolution. All but 23 members of Congress, all -- the 23 that voted against it were all Republican. It was -- it was completely supported. So it was something that, you know, if you're going to call -- if you're going call something -- you're going to call it something that's, you know, bigoted, whether it's anti-Semitic or anything else, then we should -- we should say that this -- all of this is unacceptable. And that's what we did. And that was -- that was really what the debate was about was, you know, if we're going to condemn one sort of behavior, then, you know, why should we isolated it to one group. We should -- we should condemn all forms.
WALLACE: You say that you -- and you -- I should say that you come from a purple district in California and for 40 of the last 50 years has been represented by Republicans. So this is a very swing district. You say that you came to Washington not to engage in partisan bickering but to get things done. But -- but I want to look briefly, and we'll move on, at Congresswoman Omar and the degree to which she has distracted Democrats.
First, she said this about congressional support for Israel. It's all about the Benjamins, baby. And she later questioned why it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country. Now she's gone after Barack Obama, saying, President Trump's policies are bad, but many of the people who came before him also had really bad policies, they were just more polished than he was.
I know that Democrats have passed some bills in the time you've -- you've been here. You passed an -- a major election reform bill this week. Last week you passed a gun control bill. But you've got to admit that there's -- your spending, it's not just the media, you guys are spending a lot of time having to deal with Congresswoman Omar and Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez.
HILL: Yes, I think that we really want to stay focused on our agenda. There's always going to be distractions. We -- it's 435 people who are really their own boss. They're able to say whatever they want in the world of social media. It's something where you can't control people's speech. Each person has their own priorities and their own opinions. And we have elected a lot of strong -- strong-willed and very opinionated people. So I think what we have to figure out how to do is to say, OK, this isn't the views of everybody in Congress, these are not the priorities of the entire caucus, but how do we maintain focus on our agenda as a whole and, you know, demonstrate that this is not -- this is not indicative of -- of what our agenda is completely.
WALLACE: All right, you are a vice chair of the House Oversight Committee. And here's what the chairman, Elijah Cummings, said at the start of the Cohen hearing week before last.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS, D-MD: I said to Mr. Cohen that if he came in here and lied, I would nail him to the cross. Didn't I? Did I tell you that?
MICHAEL COHEN, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S FORMER ATTORNEY: Yes, you -- yes, you do, more than once.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: In that hearing, Michael Cohen made this categorical statement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COHEN: I have never asked for nor would I accept a pardon from President Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: But now Cohen's lawyer, Lanny Davis, says this. He, Cohen, directed his attorney, his prior attorney, to explore possibilities of a pardon at one point with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, as well as other lawyers advising President Trump.
Question, did Michael Cohen lie to your committee and do you support referring Cohen to the Justice Department for committing perjury?
HILL: So I -- I don't know if he lied or not. I think that this is -- Mr. Cummings -- Chairman Cummings is incredibly deliberate. I know that he's reviewing the entire testimony, all the transcripts with Mr. Jordan, who is also -- is going to make sure that this -- that we get to the bottom of this to whatever extent it's possible.
WALLACE: Let me just ask, how can you say you're not sure whether he lied? He said I never asked for a pardon and his lawyer says he directed his lawyer to talk about a pardon.
HILL: Yes, again, you know, I don't know how that went down exactly. I don't know if, you know, if Lanny Davis heard something.
Look, probably, yes, I would imagine that in the -- in, you know, the panic that was going on when you're about to go down, right, that you're going to say that, yes, we'll figure out whatever you can do. So, probably.
And I -- and I imagine that -- that Chairman Cummings will end up referring him. That's just my -- just my guess. When he says -- when Chairman Cummings says something like, I'm going to nail you to the cross, he means it. I mean I've seen him in action and he's -- he is not going to -- to let this go. So, yes.
WALLACE: The House Judiciary Committee, not your committee, the Judiciary Committee, sent documents last week, document requests last week, to 81 people and entities asking for information about everything from hush money payments to potential insurance fraud.
As someone who says that you didn't come to Washington for partisan bickering, as I just pointed out, one, is this a fishing expedition when you're sending information on all these things to 81 different people and entities and, again, aren't you almost ensuring that the next year, two years are going to be involved with these hearings that don't actually -- I mean I understand oversight, but that don't get things done for the American people?
HILL: Well, I think that we're capable of working on many things at once. The issue is that for two years Congress didn't perform oversight of the executive branch. And we're constitutionally mandated to do so. So the Republicans, while they were in charge, simply just didn't do it and -- despite the fact that we saw so many red flags of different -- different crimes that could have been committed, different issues that we really needed to be providing oversight on and they just simply pushed it under the rug. They didn't do any kind of investigations.
Whereas, under the Obama administration, just under -- for the tax -- for the IRS investigation, 1.3 million documents were provided -- 1.3 million - - and that was under Republican request and the White House, they cooperated. So I think it's really disingenuous to say, oh, 81 were requested and this is some big deal. This is just total partisanship. It's not true. It's that we have to make up for two years of a lack of investigation and a lack of oversight.
WALLACE: As you sit here right now, do you feel that you have seen hard evidence that Donald Trump, either in the campaign or as president, committed a crime? And, if so, a crime that rises to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors for impeachment?
HILL: I believe that I have seen enough that makes me feel like we need to continue down this path. I don't feel like there is enough of -- I feel like impeachment is as much of a political process as it is anything else. And I think that we have to make sure that we are providing all of the information, airing it all out so that the public can feel with as much certainty as -- as, you know, members of Congress, that -- that that's the case and that we need to continue down this path.
So I -- I really think that this is about getting to the truth, about showing it to the American people and then we go from there. But, at the end of the day, if -- if people, you know, the citizens of the United States don't believe that it has risen to that level, then we can't go anywhere. So -- so really it's about exposing the truth and it's about getting to the bottom of this and it's about asking the questions of, is this the kind of government, is this the kind of leadership that we want to see? Is this OK? Is this the kind of state that we want to leave our democracy and to our -- to our children? And -- and right now I just don't believe that it is. That's why I ran for Congress. That's why so many of my colleagues ran for Congress. And I, frankly, think that that's why we were elected.
WALLACE: Finally, I got about a minute left. In case you haven't noticed, you're on Fox News right here.
HILL: I am.
WALLACE: As you well know, this week the DNC chair, Tom Perez, announced that they are not going to give any of the 12 scheduled Democratic primary debates over the next year to Fox News.
What do you think of that decision?
HILL: Well, I think it's the Democratic primary and I think we know that there are basically no Democrats who watch Fox News. So, to me, that's pretty fair.
WALLACE: That's not true, actually.
HILL: Well --
WALLACE: I mean --
HILL: I don't know any.
WALLACE: There are a lot of Democrats that watch Fox News and a lot of independents who watch Fox News.
HILL: Certainly independents, yes, but most -- mostly there's -- it's become more and more partisan. And that's unfortunate. I'm here because I do represent a purple district and it's turning out that more and more of my clothes are purple. I don't know what happened with that. But -- but a - - you know, I think that -- I think that there is not a feeling right now that there's a lack of bias and I'm hoping that we can change that. I feel like you're treating me with -- without bias and I appreciate that. And I think that this is something that we have to change.
You know I personally don't think it helps when we're saying we're not going to have any of the debates on Fox News. I can't -- I don't know how much of that was driven by the candidates, how much of it was driven by the party. You know, I'd -- I'd like to see all of that change. I want to see the media become as unbiased as possible. But, you know, I don't know that we're in that state right now, which is really unfortunate.
WALLACE: Congresswoman Hill, thank you.
HILL: Thank you. I appreciate you having me.
WALLACE: Thanks for coming in today. Please come back.
HILL: Absolutely. Thanks so much.
WALLACE: You're always welcome on Fox News.
HILL: I will come back.
Up next, the Democratic National Committee announces it will bar Fox News from hosting any of the 2020 presidential debates. What would you like to ask the panel about that decision. Just go to FaceBook or Twitter @foxnewssunday, and we may use your question on the air.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM PEREZ, CHAIRMAN, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: I do not have the confidence that we need to take such an important part of the nomination process, these debates, and -- and trust them to folks who, at the top levels, are consulting Donald Trump before they do anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Well, that's DNC Chair Tom Perez making it official, Fox News is out, excluded from hosting any of the 12 Democratic primary debates over the next year.
And we're back now with the panel.
Well, as I was preparing for this panel, Jonathan, I realize you're the only one here who has no ties either to Fox News or to the Murdoch's, so I'm going to let you start.
JONATHAN SWAN, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, "AXIOS": Rupert's Australian, though. So --
WALLACE: Yes, it's -- and you're both Australian, right?
SWAN: Yes, sir.
WALLACE: So, here's the question. What do you think of the DNC move, both as practical politics and on the merit? And I -- I seriously -- say what you think. Don't worry about hurting our feelings.
SWAN: Sure. Well, I wasn't surprised by it. It showed to me that he -- I mean I expected that he might do something like this.
WALLACE: He, Tom Perez?
SWAN: Tom Perez, the DNC chairman. We've seen, since the 2016 election, the Democratic activist and the primary voters. It's not just Fox they've rail against. They've rail against "The New York Times" for publishing the Hillary e-mails. They blamed -- you know, I see some of my competitors at "The New York Times" getting blamed for Donald Trump this day. We saw the backlash when CNN hired Sarah Iska Florez (ph) from the Justice Department. They've now changed her role. So the decision didn't surprise me.
What I thought was disingenuous was his explanation. He said, you know, we wanted to see if we could expand the -- you know, we want to reach out to all voters. And then he said, but, you know, this "New Yorker" story came out that changed everything. The idea that it was a secret that there are certain anchors on your network, Sean Hannity would be one that I name, that are very, very close to the president and that you could say, you know, he went on stage at a rally, you could say he's an extension the administration, this was not changed -- there were no material facts in that "New Yorker" story that changed anything we already knew. And Sean Hannity's not moderating the debate. So to me it was just a political decision that he made to satisfy his activists.
WALLACE: We asked you for questions for the panel and on the DNC decision to exclude Fox from any of the debates, we got this on Twitter from Royce Van Blaricome, what message should this sent to the public at large when the number one leading news network by far for quite some time is denied a debate by an entire political party because that party believes it cannot be treated fairly by that network? What does that say and speak to?
Juan, a pretty good question. What's your answer?
JUAN WILLIAMS, POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think that the -- what we have to deal with is we're living in a time when the people who are Trump supporters tend to watch Fox, people who are antagonist towards the president tend to watch CNN or MSNBC. The audiences are divided. I think the base, the Democratic base, wants nothing to do with Fox because of the strident pro-Trump voices in the prime time hour.
But, you know, I'm going to answer this very personally, Chris, and I think you could as well. I'm a Democrat and I worked at Fox for 23 years. I think nobody tells me what to say here. I think it's very important that Democrats penetrate the bubble, if you will, on the right and speak truth as well as it can be spoken. I think the debate, to pick up on Jonathan's point, would be moderated by real journalists. I'm not -- you're my friend but I'm not saying this because you're my friend, I think you're a real journalist. I think Martha MacCallum, Dana Perino, I think I'm a real journalist, Bret Baier. Those are real people who I think would conduct a fair debate.
Newt Gingrich, who's sitting here with me, Newt Gingrich and I have been in a Fox debate and Newt has attacked me and I've gone at Newt. I think that it's -- you can do this. But keep in mind, Fox is the most-watched cable channel. So we're going to reach a lot of independent, what I call Reagan Democrats in the rust belt who I think might respond to the Democratic message. And I think it's going to be very important.
WALLACE: Let me -- let me pick up on that with you, Speaker Gingrich. As a matter of practical politics, is -- did Tom Perez, the DNC chair, make a smart move if only because he is bowing to the will of a large and perhaps the most vocal part of his base?
NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: Let me just point out, even though I used to work for Fox before I ran, I got hammered by both you guys in debates. So I think I --
WALLACE: Do we really want to go back to Ames, Iowa, and how you went after me?
GINGRICH: No, no, no. No, no, I'm just saying I can -- I can attest that you guys will be professional and will go after any weakness in either party.
But -- but the bigger issue here is, here's the number one cable news channel. So its reach is bigger than the others. And if you want to be competitive -- let's take some examples. Wisconsin. Michigan. Ohio, Pennsylvania, and you don't want to be on Fox, you're just giving -- you can only go so far with -- with the blue states on the coast on MSNBC and CNN. I think it's a major mistake to say, we're now going to shrink as a party because we're afraid to be on Fox. And that's what he said.
SHELBY HOLLIDAY, "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL": Well, I --
WALLACE: All right, let me -- I'm going to switch, Shelby, to another subject.
HOLLIDAY: All right.
WALLACE: I sort of -- like enough about us. Now -- now what about me?
I want to turn to the controversy over Congresswoman Omar this week and her statements about why people in this country, and particularly people -- members of Congress support Israel. This consumed a lot of oxygen on Capitol Hill this week. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF., HOUSE SPEAKER: I feel confident that her words were not based on any anti-Semitic attitude, but that she didn't have a full appreciation of how they landed on other people where this -- these words have a history.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, R-KY, MAJORITY LEADER: Support for Israel isn't about the Benjamins, it's about the hearts and minds of the American people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: I asked Congresswoman Hill about this. How disruptive do you think this fight with Omar, with Tlaib, with Ocasio-Cortez, how disruptive is it for House Democrats?
HOLLIDAY: It was a major distraction for them, certainly. Heard a lot of -- not just Nancy Pelosi, but I heard a lot of Democratic candidates for president asked about this on the campaign trail. These are not questions they want to be answering at this point.
Democrats wanted to focus on their big campaign finance reform bill this week. They didn't have an opportunity to do that. It sucked all of the oxygen out of the room. But I also think, at the end of the day, when this bill passed -- or when this resolution passed and it condemned all hate, that may have been a mistake because it allowed Congresswoman Omar to claim victory. She went out on Twitter and said, this is a great day. Islamophobia has been condemned. This was a great step. This was great progress. And at the end of the day, the resolution seemed to backfire a little bit because what they wanted to condemn was ultimately celebrated by the person who made those comments.
WALLACE: Speaker Gingrich, we've got about a minute left. You were in this job as speaker. Did you have times -- I was trying to remember when you were speaker -- where you had members that would go off on their own and would destruct -- disrupt or --
GINGRICH: Well, sure. Yes, occasionally -- occasionally you didn't and occasionally you tried to handle it. But what -- what --
WALLACE: And how did you deal with them?
GINGRICH: Well, not always successfully. I mean -- I mean individually elected members who are willing to be tough have access to the media. They can be important in their own way. We're in a -- we're in a different era than the Sam Rayburn era. But what I -- what I will say, what (INAUDIBLE) this week, not just on this but a whole range of issues, is that you have, in the three top Democrats, people who are grandparents. And so these folks are all almost 80 years old. And now you have people in their 20s coming and -- and looking around and going, wait, you're the people who failed. And I think Pelosi's going to have a very hard time getting moral authority over her younger members.
WALLACE: Thank you, panel, see you next Sunday.
I don't know, she seems -- these -- those leaders seem young and vigorous to me.
Up next, our "Power Player of the Week," "Iron Man" Cal Ripken on the challenge of living up to the family legacy.
WALLACE: I had a special experience this week I want to share with you.
WALLACE (voice over): I did a fundraising event at St. John's College in Annapolis. A liberal arts school that has taught the great book since 1696. It was a conversation with Cal Ripken, baseball's "Iron Man," who broke Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games played.
Our discussion turned to one of the few things the Hall of Famer and I have in common. We both went into our dad's business. Cal Sr. was a minor league coach who eventually managed his son for the Baltimore Orioles. And Cal's son Ryan now plays for the Orioles in the minors.
CAL RIPKEN JR., BASEBALL HALL OF FAMER: I chose to go into the same business as -- as my dad. And I know that my son chose to go into the same business as me. And I think he's got it really, really bad.
What were some of the challenges that you had to deal with by having the last name Wallace?
WALLACE: Well, it is -- you know, it's hard to say that it's a problem, but it is a problem. I mean it's a nice problem in the sense that you're exposed to the business.
On the other hand, you labor and I -- maybe I had this more than you -- I think maybe in a sense I'm more like Ryan than you were --
WALLACE: Because my father was a superstar and, you know, sometimes people call you Mike instead of Chris and that kind of -- or whatever. And -- and -- and at one point -- I mean I -- I certainly dealt with it. And at one point -- and it was well into my career, I remember saying to myself, you know what, you're probably never going to be Mike Wallace, but neither is anybody else. And from that minute on, I was OK with it.
RIPKEN: My son -- and I've tried to -- I can't protect him from the last name. The expectations have been great, you know, his whole time. When he was 12 years old, I'd go to a tournament in Minnesota and I'd go over there to watch him and I'm just sitting in the stands watching him play baseball and all the other kids from the other fields come up and then they -- you can hear them, they go, OK, which one is he, you know? And then -- so he'll go out there and he'll pop up or do something else and they'll go, he's not that good, and then they'll kind of walk away. So there was this feeling that happened all the time.
And so the hard part was, I'm trying to say, be you. Don't -- don't be me. You know, don't try to be me. You're a big, tall, left-handed hitting first baseman. You have a certain set of skills. But I'm trying to get that point across to him, but it doesn't resonate. And so that's why I'm really interested, how did you just turn the screw and say, OK, I'm not, I'll just be me?
WALLACE: Thirty years of therapy.
No, no, that's not true. You match yourself against an impossible standard if you sit there and say, well, am I going to be as good as Cal Ripken, or am I going to be as good as Mike Wallace? And, you know, as you say, part of it is, just live your life, but part of it is also to realize the standard which you're comparing yourself to is almost an impossible standard. I mean how many, frankly, Cal Ripkens are there?
WALLACE: Cal he now runs the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation named for his father, which conducts sports programs for at risk kids and builds fields across the country for young people to play on. You can find more on our home page, foxnewssunday.com.
And that's it for today. Have a great week and we'll see you next “Fox News Sunday.”
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