President Macron on relations with the US, Syria and Russia

This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," April 22, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: I'm Chris Wallace.

We sit down with the president of France, Emmanuel Macron, for an exclusive interview on the eve of his state visit to Washington.


WALLACE: We ask him about France's relationship with the U.S. and the surprising friendship he has forged with President Trump.

I want to go back to your first meeting and the famous first handshake.

The allied missile strike on Syria.

Have you persuaded him to stay to help stabilize the situation there?

And relations with Russia.

What do you think of Vladimir?

Plus, the mass protest and labor strike President Macron faces at home as he pursues an aggressive reform agenda to jump-start the French economy.

We go in depth with the president of France in a "Fox News Sunday" exclusive.

Then, we'll ask our Sunday panel about CIA Director Mike Pompeo's secret trip to North Korea and what it means for a possible Trump-Kim summit.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hopefully, that meeting will be a great success and we are looking forward to it.

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


WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News, today in Paris.

We are reporting from the Elysee Palace, the residence and office of the French president, on the eve of Emmanuel Macron's state visit to the U.S., the first of the Trump presidency.

The two leaders, both political outsiders, both with ambitious reform agendas, have developed an unlikely friendship. This hour, we will explore their relationship and the dramatic differences on key issues they will try to resolve this week.

Our exclusive with President Macron in just a moment. But first, Fox News senior foreign affairs correspondent Greg Palkot with a look at Macron's astonishing rise to power and his controversial first year in office.


GREG PALKOT, FOX NEWS SENIOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Nearly one year ago, Emmanuel Macron strode onto the scene in France as president. Just 39 at the time, he was the youngest leader in France since Napoleon Bonaparte. The former investment banker got there by creating his own antiestablishment centrist political party and defeating a well-known populist challenger, Marine Le Pen, with two-thirds of the vote.

EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translator): I will do everything I can in the coming five years to make sure you never have a reason to vote for extremism again.

PALKOT: The members of his new party called La Republique En Marche or the Republic on the Move, also won a majority in the French parliament. Macron used his popularity to go against entrenched union to shake up a badly stagnating French economy, a battle raging today. He took a tough stand on the pressing immigration issue and honored an officer killed saving dozens in yet another terror attack in France.

His pro-European Union and internationalist approach getting the attention of leaders friendly and sometimes not so friendly. After a tough handshake at their first meeting and some outstanding differences on issues like climate change, (VIDEO GAP) become close friends and allies.

First lady Melania Trump also hitting it off with Macron's wife, Brigitte, some 24 years older than the French president. The two leader's business background and shared outsider status cementing the bond.

MACRON: Nothing will ever separate us.

PALKOT: French involvement in a U.S.-led missile strike against Syria in response to the alleged gas attack there is a good example of the new alliance. Macron has taken knocks for sometimes being too interested in P.R. and his bowling has dipped as he's been accused of being more interested in the perks of the job.

But in a world looking for fresh leaders, Emmanuel Macron often fits the global bill -- Chris.


WALLACE: Greg, thanks.

Our interview with President Macron came just one week after the U.S., France, and Britain launched a coordinated strike on the Assad regime in Syria. But on the eve of the state visit, there are still big issues that divide Presidents Macron and Trump.

I came to the Elysee Palace to talk with the French leader. Built in 1722 for a French nobleman, it was first used by the president of France in 1848 and the interview took place in the Salon Dore, the Golden Room, the French equivalent of the Oval Office.


WALLACE: Mr. President, thank you for speaking with us.

MACRON: Thank you very much for being here in my office. You're welcome.

WALLACE: Let's start with the state visit and your address to Congress. What message will you bring about relations between our two nations and what role the world would like to see the U.S. play?

MACRON: Look, first of all, I'm very humbled to come to your country at the invitation of President Trump and have the opportunity to discuss with him and going to the Congress for this address.

My objective is to highlight a long-term history between our two countries based on values. We are very much attached to the same values and especially liberty and peace. And I think the U.S. today has the very same role to play for peace in different regions of the world, and especially the Middle East, and I think it's one of the last resorts player for this peace and for multilateralism.

So, I will advocate for multilateralism and follow the Congress for that, which means playing altogether in order to reduce the international support (ph) of some rough state and very tough dictators obviously fight against terrorism together.

WALLACE: Many foreign leaders over the last year have come to Washington, but this would be the first state visit of the Trump presidency. How do you explain your special relationship with the president and some have called you the Trump whisperer?

MACRON: Look, I think we have this very special relationship because both of us are probably maverick (ph) of the systems on both sides. I think President Trump's election was unexpected in your country and probably my election wasn't expected in my country. We are not part of the classical political system.

Second, I think we are very much in line on some very critical issues of this world (ph) and especially combat terrorism and fight against ISIS.

Third, I think we have a strong personal relation based on the different meetings we've had and especially his visit, your president gave to my country for Bastille Day in 2017.

WALLACE: I want to go back to your first meeting and the famous first handshake between the two of you at the NATO summit in May of last year. It lasted six agonizing seconds and you said afterwards it was not an innocent moment, that it was a moment of truth.

How important do you think it was to establish that you are not going to be pushed around?

MACRON: Look, I think there's a very direct and -- yes, a very direct and lifting (ph) moment. When I say it's not innocent, it's to say we were sitting together and we had to shake hands and to say, now, we work well together.

WALLACE: But you also made it clear they were going to let him --

MACRON: Normally, it's especially (INAUDIBLE) --


MACRON: So, I was very -- I mean, seeing Prime Minister Abe and some of the different victims, I resisted. In fact, it was a very natural moment I have to say and a very friendly moment. Don't worry.

WALLACE: As you know, the special counsel is investigating President Trump. This week, the former FBI Director James Comey said that he was morally unfit to be president. Does this hurt President Trump's credibility and his effectiveness on the world stage?

MACRON: I don't think so, and (AUDIO GAP) back. I mean, People of the United States voted for President Trump and elected him. You have your system. You are a free country with a rule of law, which is -- I mean, very good, I have the same in my country.

This is an actual democracy with judges, with media, and with all the controversies. But here in this office, I'm not the one to judge and in a certain way to explain to people what should you be your president or to consider because of his controversies or because of his investigations, your president is less credible for me, for my people and for the rest of the world. I mean, I'm here to deal with the president of the United States and people of the United States elected Donald Trump.

WALLACE: Do you ever wonder whether he will serve his full term?

MACRON: I never wonder that. I mean, I work with him because both of us are very much at the service of our country in both side. And for me, that's why -- even when we have some disagreements on climate and on some issues, I think the most important thing is to -- I mean, just to remind that we are at the service of our people, that's our legitimacy.

And this service is to work for is a very long term history, history for freedom, for difference of our values and that's - I mean, LaFayette came, when you decided to be a free country. He came from France, he helped the United States to exist. During the First World War, during the Second World War, when we were attacked, when our liberty was attacked, thousands of your people came here and died here for my country. That's a story of our relationship. And President Trump and myself are, whatever happens, in the line of this (INAUDIBLE).

That's why my gift to your president will be oak taken in a very symbolic place, especially for your marines in north of France, that together -- I mean, we will put in his garden because that for me is a great symbol of this long term relationship.

WALLACE: (AUDIO GAP) the United States as a country of last resort. Your relationship with President Trump was a bit strained this week after the attack on Syria. Mr. Trump has made it clear that he wants to pull out.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We'll be coming out of Syria like very soon. Let the other people take care of it now.


WALLACE: After the missile strike, you said, we convinced him it was necessary to stay for the long term.

The White House pushed back. He wants U.S. forces to come home as quickly as possible.

So, Mr. President, which is it? Is President Trump going to pull out of Syria as soon as ISIS is defeated, or have you persuaded him to stay to help stabilize the situation there?

MACRON: It's not automatically U.S. forces, but that's U.S. diplomacy and that's your president. We will have to build the new Syria afterward, and that's why I think the U.S. hold is very important.

Why? I will be very blunt. The day we will finish this war against ISIS, if we leave, definitely and totally, even from a political point of view, we will leave the floor to the Iranian regime, Bashar al-Assad and his guys, and they will prepare the new war. They will fuel the new terrorists.

So, my point is to say, even after the end of the war against ISIS, the U.S., France, our allies, all the countries of the region, even Russia and Turkey, will have a very important role to play in order to create this new Syria and ensure Syrian people to decide for the future.

WALLACE: Let's do what we call a lightning round, quick questions, quick answers. When the president announced new tariffs on aluminum and steel for the European Union, you said, we will not negotiate with a gun pointed at her head.


WALLACE: There is now a May 1st deadline. Who is going to blink, President Trump or you?

MACRON: I hope -- I mean, he will not implement these new tariffs and he will decide for an exemption for the European Union. You don't make trade war with your ally.

WALLACE: But he has said that he is going to implement.

MACRON: He said exemptions through May 1st. Let's see what it will do on May 1st. I just say, where are your priorities? You cannot make a trade war with our ally.

I'm very -- I'm an easy guy. I'm very simple. I'm straightforward. It's too complicated -- if you make war against everybody. You make trade war against China, trade war against Europe, war in Syria, war against (INAUDIBLE) -- come on, it doesn't work. You need ally. We are the ally.

WALLACE: Iran, president has a May 12th deadline for deciding whether or not to life -- continue to lift the sanctions on Tehran. Would it be a mistake for the president to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal?

MACRON: If this (INAUDIBLE) JCPOA a perfect thing for our relationship with Iran, no. But for nuclear, what do you have as a better option? I don't see it. What is the what-if scenario or your plan B? I don't have any plan B for nuclear against Iran. So, that's the question we will discuss.

That's why I just want to say, on nuclear, let's preserve a framework because it's better than the (AUDIO GAP) of North Korean type of situation.

Second, I'm not satisfied with the situation with Iran. I want to fight against ballistic missile. I want to contain their influence in the region. My point is to say, don't leave now to JCPOA as long as you don't have a better option for nuclear and let's complete it with ballistic missile and a regional containment.

WALLACE: President Trump appears close to holding a summit meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong Un. Do you think that his threats, fire and fury, his insults, little rocket man, however unconventional they may be, brought Kim to the table?

MACRON: Look, I don't know. I'm not an expert about I would say rationality of the North Korean president and I think we always have to be very careful about this kind of declarations. But I think the pressure he brought to this region, plus the Chinese role in this region because President Trump worked very closely with President Xi (INAUDIBLE). But now, we will have to deliver.

WALLACE: During President Putin's visit here to France, you called him out on Russian interference in your election. What do you think of Vladimir Putin?

MACRON: I think he's a very strong man. He's a strong president. He wants a great Russia. People are proud with his policy.

He's (INAUDIBLE) with minorities and opens with an idea of democracy, which is not mine. But I have a permanent discussion with him, even if we don't-- we are disaligned on a lot of things. His taunt (ph) and (INAUDIBLE), but don't be naive. He's opposite (ph) by indifferences in our democracies.

That's why I do believe that we should never be weak with President Putin. When you are weak, he uses it. And it's fine, that's a game. That's -- he made a lot of fake news. He has a very strong propaganda and he intervenes everywhere along -- I mean, around Europe and the U.S. to fragilize (ph) our democracies because he thinks it's good for his country.

I respect him. I know him. I'm lucid (ph). I want to work with him knowing everything about that.


WALLACE: Coming up, much more of our exclusive interview with President Macron. We'll discuss his reform agenda for France, which has sent thousands of protesters into the streets, as "Fox News Sunday" reports from the Elysee Palace in Paris.


WALLACE: Coming up, we ask President Macron about criticism he rules France like a king.


WALLACE: Some in the French press compare you to Napoleon, some have compared you to Louis the 14th.


WALLACE: More of our exclusive interview with Emmanuel Macron, next on "Fox News Sunday."


WALLACE: Coming up, we ask President Macron about criticism he rules France like a king.


WALLACE: Some in the French press compare you to Napoleon, some have compared you to Louis the 14th.


WALLACE: More of our exclusive interview with Emmanuel Macron, next on "Fox News Sunday."

A welcoming ceremony for the president of Senegal at the Elysee Palace, home to the leaders of France since the 19th century.

And we're back now with more of our exclusive interview with French President Macron ahead of his state visit to Washington this week.

President Trump likes to call himself a disruptor, determined to transform the American economy. But when it comes to shaking things up, he has nothing on his French counterpart.


WALLACE: Let's talk about your political movement En Marche, on the move. How would you describe your reform agenda to Americans?

EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT: So, my reform agenda is to modernize the country. We fixed labor rule. We fixed corporate taxes. We are modernizing the different sectors, railway and some (ph). And we will pursue this agenda to the end, and at the same time, we launch with Germany a very strong approach in order to modernize the European Union and Eurozone agenda. That's -- I mean, that's my top priority, because I want this country to be both much stronger and totally adapted to the new challenges like digital and green economy.

WALLACE: When you came into office, the unemployment rate was 9.5 percent, it's now 8.9. Growth is at 2 percent, which is the fastest rate in 10 years. But your critics say you are the president of the rich. How do you plead?

MACRON: When you have 10 percent unemployment, are the rich victims? I'm not so sure. The more you decrease unemployment, the more you serve poor people because you provided jobs.

So, my policy is focused on job creation, helping business people and entrepreneurs in order to accelerate that job creation. My agenda, my emancipation agenda I would say, I want people coming from poor neighborhood, from middle classes to succeed through education and work in my country. When you have a country with a lot of public expenditure, with high unemployment, your victims are poor people and people coming from poor neighborhoods.

WALLACE: One of your main targets has been the national railway system. Jobs for life, guaranteed benefits for life, train engineers can retire at 52, but in your reform, you don't want to end that for the people who currently have it, only for future workers.

I must tell you, and you probably wouldn't hear this much in France, there are some American conservatives who say, why not go further?

MACRON: Look, I'm not running the U.S. They should (AUDIO GAP) France, because I know the situation, I know what is fair and unfair, and what can be delivered and what cannot be delivered. Why? Because I think the system is fine if (INAUDIBLE) current workers will preserve the situation. But given the fact that we will have to take a lot of new workers, we want to clarify the situation and hire them as a normal company.

You can always say, you should do more when you are not the one in charge of it. I'm in charge, believe me, I take some commitments, I delivered, but I delivered to make fair and efficient decisions, not to take unfair or inefficient decisions.

WALLACE: You talk about fairness. Let's talk about your tax reforms. You have dramatically cut the stiff tax on wealth, but you are taxing retirees more heavily. How is that fair?

MACRON: Look, first, indeed I kept the wealth tax, which was very -- which was strong advocate (ph) for the French economy. Why? Because when people succeeded with a company and so on, especially entrepreneurs, they had to leave the country if they wanted to escape. So, we lost a lot of opportunities (ph).

When they reinvest in the economy, when they create jobs, when they decide to reinvest in different listed or unlisted corporations, I don't want them to pay a wealth tax because they are good for the economy. So, I think this reform is both efficient and fair.

As for the retiring people, I ask them a small (INAUDIBLE). That's why it's fair, because in France, workers pay for retirement for retired people. That's the solidarity between generations. If I don't manage to push my country to have better results, more workers and more (INAUDIBLE) for my workers, I will jeopardize my capacity to pay retirement for retired people. So, that's fair. That's a fair deal.

I told my retired people, first, thank you. I told you during the campaign I will do it. It's not a surprise. I don't betray you.

And third, it is innocent (ph) and it is fair because when you look at the average in the society, retired people are richer than middle class -- working people and when you look at the situation between the different categories, 30 to 40 years ago people get retired at the same age as today, but living 15, 20 years less than today. So, that's the situation, there's a chance.

I ask (INAUDIBLE) I know it's difficult. You have always protests when you change something in the country, but I do endorse because I think it's fair and it's one again fair in general between different generations and efficient in order to increase my results.

WALLACE: One result of all this is that you have had major protests. You've had these two-day-a-week strikes. One demonstration, 200,000 people took to the streets. Any chance that you will back down?

MACRON: No chance. It's the classical way to proceed in France was to say we have an issue, we will put new public money in order to solve this issue, which is not the right way to fix the situation. What I told French citizens before the election is that I want to address the deep roots of our problems. It will take time sometimes. You will have to take bold decisions but we have to fix the situation in depths.

So, we will deliver and I have no other choice because if I stop here because some protests, they are legitimate, but they (AUDIO GAP). If I stop, do you think it will be able to modernize the country and make this future? It's finished. So, I will deliver because that's my duty and that's my commitment.

WALLACE: But your poll numbers are down. You were elected with 66 percent of the vote, and the latest poll, 58 percent disapprove of you, only 40 percent approve.

MACRON: You know, polls are not the one to tell you where you have to go when you are elected. If you follow the polls, you never reform, you never fix the situation, you never transform because you are always obsessed by following where people want to go.

I was elected on a very clear basis and a very clear mandate. I will deliver the mandate, and I will look at the polls in due time, not now.

WALLACE: You talk about what it takes to be a leader. You embrace symbols on your election victory night.

They played "the "Ode to Joy" at the Louvre.

The first time you addressed a French parliament, it was at Versailles, and you have even said that France to some degree is still a monarchy. Is that how you see your role as a leader?

MACRON: I don't want to be a monarch. I'm president of the French republic. I'm elected and (INAUDIBLE) of my people, which is very important to me because this is the only way to have a strong stimulus to work and to be -- to do your best. I mean, it puts a lot a pressure (ph) to meet on your own.

So, each day you have to think about that in the sort of symbolical burden you have because of the history and because of this place of the country. I do understand (ph).

WALLACE: Some in the French press compare you to Napoleon. Some have compared you to Louis the 14th. Your predecessor in this office and your former political patron Francois Hollande has that -- has warned you to remember that the French also cut off the head of the king.

Do you ever feel you need to guard against being arrogant?

MACRON: Definitely. But having authority, deciding, being aware of all the consequences of your decision and thinking that you have to stick to your decision to deliver when it's good for the country is not the same as being authoritarian or arrogant. So I try to preserve my (INAUDIBLE) -- I mean all of us are full of faults and weaknesses, but I think the situation of my country is the best for me (ph) of being arrogant, you're (INAUDIBLE) to do so.

I'm here to serve my people in my country and make it great again, as somebody I know very well could say. But that's a -- that's the whole story. And making great again means delivering good results, having more unity for the country and being fair with -- with the people.

So all this criticism you mentioned, I'm just here to say, now somebody decides and endorses. You have employment (ph) to (INAUDIBLE), you have election, you have a democratic system, well, one of the greatest democracies in this world. But here in this current situation, because all-- all of the challenges in France, in Europe, in our world, I have to take these responsibilities and I have to decide to endorse and to remain everyday both lucid (ph) and committed. And I am.

CHRIS WALLACE: Mr. President, thank you.

MACRON: Thank you.

WALLACE: Thank you for talking to us and safe travels to Washington.

MACRON: Thank you very much. Thanks to your people. And I will be very honored to -- to come visit your country and speak with your leaders. Thank you.

WALLACE: Thank you.


WALLACE: President Macron arrives in Washington tomorrow for his state visit. And he'll also make a rare address by a foreign leader to Congress.

Up next, we're back in Washington with our Sunday group to discuss what to expect from the Macron visit in the week's other major developments.

And later, a more personal look at the French president as he tells us what he likes most and least about his job.



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hopefully that meeting will be a great success. And we're looking forward to it. If I think that it's a meeting that is not going to be fruitful, we're not going to go. If the meeting, when I'm there, is not fruitful, I will respectfully leave the meeting.


WALLACE: President Trump clearly excited about a possible summit with North Korea's Kim Jong-un, but still leaving himself an exit ramp.

And we're back in Washington now with our Sunday group.

Former speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, columnist for The Hill, Juan Williams, former Democratic Congresswoman Jane Harman, director of the Woodrow Wilson Center, and former NSC spokesman, Michael Anton, now with Hillsdale College.

We'll talk about President Macron's visit in the next segment. But first we want to tackle the other big news this week.

Michael, let's start with Kim's surprise announcement on Saturday morning that he intends to freeze his missile program, his nuclear weapons program, but no talk about giving them up. So the question is, how significant a development is this?

MICHAEL ANTON, FORMER NSC SPOKESMAN: Well, he had -- he had already said that he would freeze the program. The -- the new news was he's going to close a certain site, which would be great if you he followed through. This is one of the things that will have to be worked out as the administration talks to him, get inspectors in there, insure that that's genuine and permanent. I think that this is a game plan that the North Koreans (INAUDIBLE) on the United States and others before feel the pressure, pretending (INAUDIBLE) game plan because it has been run so many times before. You know, as you saw, the president saying, he's ready to walk away if he doesn't feel the north (INAUDIBLE). And, in the meantime, he, you know, let's (INAUDIBLE) and see where they go and see how serious the North Koreans really are.

WALLACE: Congresswoman Harmon, the fact that we are so close to a Kim (INAUDIBLE) unthinkable two months ago. One of the questions that is, will, as the president -- and you heard him, yes, he did give himself the off ramp, but he also talked, and there is just this hype machine about the visit, will he feel pressure to make concessions on the U.S. side in order to come away with a big deal?

JANE HARMAN, FORMER U.S. CONGRESSWOMAN, D-CALIFORNIA: Well, I hope -- concessions, yes. Back concessions, I hope not. I mean a deal is concessions on both sides. But this is not going to be denuclearization. The best we can hope for is capping what Kim Jong-un has, and hopefully also capping the production of fissile material, which he hasn't offered to do (INAUDIBLE).

WALLACE: Wait, wait, because you said it's not going to be denuclearization. Kim has specifically talked about that. Are you saying that the best we can hope for is recognizing them as a nuclear state?

HARMAN: I -- I don't -- I think that is likely. I don't think he's going to give up his nuclear arsenal. I think we can make a better deal than we made with Iran if we do it correctly. But let's understand, denuclearization to him is us giving up our nuclear shield in Asia which protects South Korea, Japan. Abe was just here. And I don't think we're prepared to do that.

So what I'm saying, my bottom line is, talking is better than bombing. I think there is a good deal to reach with our allies. That's another piece of this. If Trump is very careful and if he -- if he has a deep bench of advisors, and that worries me because the National Security Council has been shaken up in the last few weeks and I don't know if we have the bench we need to do this deal properly.

WALLACE: Speaker Gingrich, what do you see as the risks and rewards of a Kim-Trump summit as it looks more and more likely that it's going to happen?

NEWT GINGRICH, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I mean, first of all there's always any risk when the most powerful nation in the world meets with a relatively small dictator because you're automatically giving him a level of prestige.

But let me remind everybody, one of the key moments at the end of the Cold War is Ronald Reagan at Reykjavik walking away, lecturing Gorbachev in public. You screwed this up. You failed to do this. It's your fault --

BLITZER: Reykjavik.

GINGRICH: Reykjavik. He walks away. Every senior Republican thought Reagan was wrong. They all come back and said, this is crazy. Six months later, Gorbachev has caved. Totally Reagan gained every single thing.

Donald Trump understands he wants his deal. And if he doesn't get his deal, he'll take no deal and he'll simply increase the pressure. I mean Trump, I think, is quite capable of saying, you know, you want more sanctions?

A key example, we almost intercepted three tankers full of oil and the Chinese begged us not to do it. So he is quite capable of saying to him, look you want me simply cut off all economic trade by sea with your country. That's your choice, big boy.

WALLACE: While we were in Paris, there were a number of developments in what we call, for better -- lack of a better word, the Russia investigation. Let's take a look at what happened just this week.

The Comey memos were released. Former mayor Giuliani joined the president's legal team. Mr. Trump tweeted James Comey illegally leaked classified documents to the press in order to generate a special counsel, therefore the special counsel was established based on an illegal act. Really, does everybody know what that means? And Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein reportedly told the president he is not a target of the investigation. But Congressman Trey Gowdy says that doesn't mean much.


TREY GOWDY, R-SOUTH CAROLINA CONGRESSMAN: I don't think the president is the target as you and I use that term in a non-legal sense. But in a legal sense, that can change with one witness, with one document.


WALLACE: So, Juan, you heard that list of developments just this week. Which of those developments really matters?

JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think, to a large extent, this last week was about the nervousness here in Washington about whether the president was going to fire the special counsel, Robert Mueller. And so if you look through all of the developments you listened, Chris, what was really important was Rod Rosenstein's act here. This -- Congress you saw -- Trump supporters in the Congress threatened him with subpoena if he didn't give them the memos that Jim Comey, the former FBI director had written, contemporaneously with visits with President Trump.

And now, having giving them the documents, I think that whole argument about whether he would be under subpoena weakened, more likely to be fired but President Trump, has somewhat calmed down and he -- as you saw he also said he's -- that the president is not a target of this investigation. Again, calming down the idea that the president would fire Rosenstein, put someone in that job who is willing then to either rein in or fire Mueller.

WALLACE: Speaker Gingrich, what's your take away? As you look at all of these developments, what's your take away on what matters, what --

GINGRICH: First -- first of all, I urge everybody to read the original Rosenstein memo about Comey, which Trump totally mishandled. What Trump should have done is released that memo in a state of shock. Let the country through Sunday talk shows deal with the memo. It's devastating. And it's clear that if you got that memo and you were the president, you'd have fired Comey.

Second, I don't know what Rosenstein's doing this week. The judge has indicated they're going to have -- probably going to have a special reviewer of all of this material, would come under lawyer confidentiality. They may not learn what's in that material till June. How --

WALLACE: You're -- you're talking about the Michael Cohen raid?

GINGRICH: The Michael Cohen stuff. How could -- how can Rosenstein go in and reassure the president about material they haven't looked at? How can they reassure him about anything? I mean this whole thing is a circus and I think we need to understand that. We're not dealing with a traditional, you know, legal process. We're dealing with a highly politicized process. And which the number two guy at justice just saw the president of the United States to tell himself he can't possibly know.

WALLACE: So, in other words, we have no idea where we stand?

GINGRICH: Well, I think this -- I think -- I think --

WALLACE: And -- and should the president keep tweeting or should he stop tweeting?

GINGRICH: Well, I wish he'd tweet about 20 percent less, but that's not going to happen. So, I mean, I've lost that fight.

WALLACE: All right, panel, we have to take a break here.

But when we come back, we'll preview this week's state visit. Can Presidents Trump and Macron work out their differences, next on this special edition of "Fox News Sunday."



EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT: I think the U.S. today has a small (ph) role to play for peace in different regions of the world and especially Middle East. And I think as one of the last resorts clear (ph) for this peace and for -- for military (INAUDIBLE).


WALLACE: President Macron saying the U.S. is still the indispensable player on the world stage.

And we're back now with our panel.

Speaker Gingrich, I thought it was very interesting that Macron would say that the U.S. is still the player of last resort, especially in the context of their disagreement of how long to stay in Syria. And -- and the question, I guess, I have is, how do you think they are going to resolve their very different views on the subject given the president's strong belief in America first?

GINGRICH: Well, I thought -- and, let me say, first of all, I thought it was a great interview. I thought you did a great job.

And I think that in that context what he said was, look, there's diplomatic presence, there's economic presence, there's always -- sorts of ways the U.S. can remain involved. And the president's been very clear. I mean if he could figure out a way to get a Saudi, Jordanian, Arab Emirates, Egyptian force, probably paid for by the Saudis, then he would -- he's trying to figure out a way to maximize impact while minimizing American risk.

But -- but I would just point out, we are involved everywhere on the planet. I mean people who talk about how we're going to withdraw somewhere, show me where we're withdrawing.

WALLACE: Well, let's talk about one area and -- because we see this split between Macron and Trump again over whether to stay in the Iran nuclear deal, Michael. And the president has, President Trump, has a deadline of May 12th to decide whether to renew the sanctions, which in effect would kill U.S. involvement in -- in the Iran nuclear deal. President Macron makes it clear he is going to try to press his friend not to do that.

Take a look.


MACRON: Is this agreement perfect and this JCPOA a perfect thing for our relationship with Iran? No. But for nuclear, what do you have as a better option? I don't see it.


WALLACE: Michael, how do you see this issue of whether to stay in the Iran deal or not, where President Trump seems to be on one side and all the European allies on the other, how do you see that being resolved?

ANTON: Well, I just noted, too, there's another -- if you go into that interview a little further, President Macron leaves the door open to what President Trump is asking for, which is not changing the Iran nuclear deal.
It's an follow-on agreement between the Europeans in the United States that Iran would not be a party to, that commits the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany to dealing with the ballistic missile program -


ANTON: Which President Macron mentioned, to, you know, eliminating a sunset clause, essentially to -- shoring up the flaws in the JCPOA, so that the United -- and if those flaws can be addressed, as the president said (INAUDIBLE) --

WALLACE: And -- and also Iran's acting as a bad --


WALLACE: As a bad actor on the regional issues.

ANTON: The president --

WALLACE: But is that something that you think that President Trump would accept, stay in the deal as long as there are these other elements?

ANTON: What he said he would do in January, he laid out conditions. He tasked his team to go negotiate with the Europeans to see if those conditions would be. And he made very clear that when the next sanctions waiver was up, if he didn't get those conditions meant, he would not do waiver and effectively take the United States out of the deal.

WALLACE: No, but what -- what impact does that have, if you have a deal between the U.S. and our allies in Europe but Iran is not party to that deal?

ANTON: It has a big impact because, remember, what the Iran most want is sanction relief. They're getting that sanctions relief under the terms of the JCPOA. This would be a -- a pledge between the United States and are allies to multilaterally re-impose sanctions if the Iranians went on a track toward a nuclear weapon.

WALLACE: Then there is trade and President Trump's threat to impose aluminum and steel sanctions on the European Union.

President Macron made it clear, he's not having any of that.


MACRON: If you make war against everybody, you make trade war against China, trade war against Europe, war in Syria, war against Iran, come on, it's not -- it doesn't work. You need ally. We are the ally.


WALLACE: Congresswoman Harman, your thoughts about the differences, despite their friendship, on the issues between these two men on all these issues.

Well, first of all, on Iran, Russia and China are also parties to the JCPOA. So we're talking (INAUDIBLE) basically with our friends, which I support. In Congress would -- our Congress would strongly support that. (INAUDIBLE). But if we de-certify the Iran deal, I think Trump blows up his chance for progress in North Korea. And I do think there is a chance for progress in North Korea.

On this, Macron is right, I mean why make war on your friends? We need Europe with us, especially as we try to tamp things down and exodus, that's what he's trying to do from the Middle East. We need a strategy with our allies. And what's missing, I think, in this world, and Obama didn't have it either, is a foreign policy strategy where we will engage, where we won't engage, what our values and interests are, what they're not, and that has to evolve with a changing world.

WALLACE: Juan, I was struck on the domestic side by how determined this president, Macron, is to enact his reform agenda. And because of the powers of his office, which are -- he's got a strong presidency and he's also got this extraordinary majority that was swept in right after he was elected in the parliament. He is determined to rejuvenate, to shake up, what has been a very troubled French economy.

WILLIAMS: Right. But you were also there to see that there are protests. That there are people in the streets. And so you have strikes by people who are involved with labor specifically in the public sector, Chris. People who are upset that his reforms seem directed at labor in terms of giving big employers more leeway in terms of negotiations, what they have to pay in case of layoffs, cutting back on public sector employment in France. He sees himself as taking the French economy into the 21st century and he's become a leader in Europe in just this way.

You've been talk about foreign affairs. He's a leader, obviously, in terms of what comes from the Iran deal. He's a leader in terms of the trade argument. He's a leader even now in terms of the North Korean deal. So, in all these ways. But he's got to deal with the fact that people at home, who gave them such support is, you know, fighting back the far right, now angry at him.

WALLACE: Interesting job (ph). But I will say, when I ask him, any chance of backing down, he went no chance.

WILLIAMS: Yes, I saw that. That was good.

WALLACE: Thanks, panel. See you next Sunday.

The first thing that President Macron told me before our interview was he wanted to extend his condolences to the Bush family and the American people over the death of Barbara Bush. On Saturday, some 1,500 mourners, including former presidents and their wives, said goodbye to Mrs. Bush in Houston.
And her son Jeb delivered the eulogy.


JEB BUSH, SON OF BARBARA BUSH: Barbara Bush filled our lives with laughter and joy. And in the case of her family, she was our teacher and role model on how to live a life of purpose and meaning.


WALLACE: Barbara Bush was 92.

Coming up, personal reflections on his first year in office from Emmanuel Macron as "Fox News Sunday" coverage of the French president's state visit continues.


WALLACE: Another look at Paris and boats on the (INAUDIBLE).

After our interview with President Macron, he walked me out of the Elysee Palace and I asked him to reflect on his eventful first year in office.


WALLACE: So what is the best part of being the president of France?

MACRON: Deciding (ph). You can decide when you are (INAUDIBLE). The decision is (INAUDIBLE). The one you believe in. You aren't (INAUDIBLE) and you can make it, which I think is great because I mean when you're a leader and when you want to transform our country, when you -- when you love your country, which is my case, I think there is nothing more strong and -- and great than that.

WALLACE: What is the worst part of being the president of France?

MACRON: You're never free. Your time and your life doesn't belong to you. You are always alone when you decide, but you are never free because there is such a level of constraint. So that's probably one of them.

WALLACE: Of course what --

MACRON: The main feeing (ph).

WALLACE: Someone would say is nobody forced you to run for president.

MACRON: That's why I never complain. I love this mission. This is not a job. This is a mission. I love it. I'm very proud of serving my people. I'm very proud of serving my country. I never complain. I will never complain. It's less difficult than being a worker in a plant and so on. That's my chance (ph).

WALLACE: Thank you, sir.

MACRON: Thank you. Thank you very much.


WALLACE: For more on the state visit to Washington, including where the Trumps are taking the Macrons for dinner tomorrow night, please go to our website,

And that's it for this special edition. Have a great week and we'll see you next "Fox News Sunday."


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