Priebus: We will not let media 'delegitimize this president'; McConnell on confirmation fights over Trump's Cabinet picks

This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," January 22, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


Donald Trump takes office as the 45th president.  Can he unite a divided country?


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Today, we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another, or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and getting it back to you, the people.

WALLACE:  But hundreds of thousands of people march on Washington in cities across the country, protesting Trump policies.

We will look at the dramatic change he promises and the executive orders he starts signing tomorrow with White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.  It's a "Fox News Sunday" exclusive.

Then, the Senate approves two of Mr. Trump's cabinet fix, but battles rage over more members of the president’s team.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-N.Y., MINORITY LEADER:  We intend to have a full and rigorous debate on the president-elect's remaining nominees.

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  If you look at the questions that are being asked in his confirmation hearings, it's not about substance.

WALLACE:  We’ll discuss the fights ahead on nominees and the Trump agenda with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, only on "Fox News Sunday."

Plus, we’ll ask our Sunday panel what President Trump's top legislative priority should be in the new Congress.

TRUMP:  From this day forward, it's going to be only America first.  America first.

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


WALLACE:  And hello again from Fox News in Washington.

Donald Trump's inaugural celebration was barely over when hundreds of thousands of women took to the streets of Washington and cities around the world to protest against the president.  Meanwhile, Mr. Trump went to the CIA to repair a rift with the intelligence community, but also attacked the news media -- an attack his press secretary Sean Spicer continued last night.

In a moment, we’ll have an exclusive interview with new White House chief of staff Reince Priebus.  But, first, let's bring in FOX News chief White House correspondent John Roberts with a continuing debate over the Trump presidency -- John.


It was quite an afternoon yesterday, and the Trump administration -- the new Trump administration showing that it is quickly going to push back hard against any press reports that are either incorrect or even not to their liking.  In his first official statement from the Brady briefing room yesterday, Press Secretary Sean Spicer ripped the press for a false report that President Trump had removed the bust of MLK from the office, and for reports that the Trump’s inauguration appeared far smaller than those of President Obama in 2009.


SPICER:  These attempts to lessen the enthusiasm of the inauguration are shameful and wrong.


ROBERTS:  It was a theme that his boss had hit on earlier, speaking to 400 employees at the CIA.  Despite his repeated statements calling into question the quality of U.S. intelligence, President Trump insists that any feud with the intelligence community was a fake news story invented by a hostile media.


TRUMP:  They sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community, and I just want to let you know, the reason you’re number one stop, it is exactly the opposite.


ROBERTS:  But the fact that he talked about the size of the crowd in front of the stars of the fallen incensed outgoing CIA Director John Brennan who was, quote, "deeply saddened and angered at Trump's despicable display of self-aggrandizement."

Outside the White House, meanwhile, and in cities across America, millions of women took to the street to voice their displeasure with President Trump election at the women's march.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I have a daughter, and our feeling is that what we saw an election really demonstrated an attitude towards women that is, you know, pervasive and unpleasant, and we really need to show our solidarity against that.


ROBERTS:  And a short time ago, President Trump offered his own assessment of his visit to the CIA, tweeting, quote, "Had a great meeting at CIA headquarters yesterday.  Packed house, paid great respect to the wall, long-standing ovations, amazing people.  Win" -- Chris.

WALLACE:  John Roberts reporting from the White House -- John, thanks.

We’re joined now in studio for an exclusive interview by President Trump's new White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.

Reince, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."


WALLACE:  I want to start with Sean Spicer's extraordinary press briefing late yesterday afternoon where he excoriated reporters for their stories about the relative crowd size at the Trump inauguration and said they should instead be talking about Democratic delays to the confirmation of Trump nominees.  Here he is.


SPICER:  That's what you guys should be writing and covering, that this -- instead of sowing division about tweets and false narratives.  The president is committed to unifying our country, and that was the focus of his inaugural address.  This kind of dishonesty in the media, the challenging, the bringing about our nation together, is making it more difficult.


WALLACE:  Then, Spicer walked out without taking a single question from reporters.

Reince, President Trump said in his inaugural address said that every decision he makes will be to benefit American families.  How does arguing about crowd size do that?

PRIEBUS:  Because it's really not about crowd size.  What it's about is honesty in the media.  What it's about from day one after winning this election, and President Trump talking about bringing America together, having a unified American public around unified ideas, not Republican or Democrat, he's ready to get to work.  However, the media, from day one, has been talking about delegitimizing the election, talking about the Russians, talking about everything you can imagine, except the fact that we need to move this country forward.

Now, we get done with the inauguration.  First thing out of the media is that president Trump removed the bust of Martin Luther King Jr. out of the Oval Office. This is an explosive accusation which could have had incredible ramifications, given the history of the press and on this subject matter.

It turns out, it's completely false.  I walked back into the Oval Office, saw the MLK bust to there, and what did the media say?  The media said, oh, our bad, someone was standing in front of the bust. We didn't see it.

Can you imagine tweeting that President Trump removed the MLK bust?  So, that’s the first day.  Day one.  Not even day -- I mean, day like hour three.

Then, the next day, they put a picture, big story, before the speech actually began, showing all of this white space.  It wasn't true. The New York Times then put a picture in the middle section showing the fact that the entire mall was completely full.

The point is not the crowd size, the point is that the attacks and the attempts to delegitimize this president in one day -- and we’re not going to sit around and take it.  Sean has been doing press briefings every single day.  This was a press --

WALLACE:  This is his first one at the White House podium.

PRIEBUS:  Press update.  His first official press briefing for Q&A, and the press can ask him a million questions is going to be on Monday.

WALLACE:  OK, you talk about honesty and say that this was about honesty.  Well, there's another issue here, though, Reince, and that is the president's honesty, because two things that he said yesterday were just flat wrong, and I want to talk about them.

First, crowd size.  I’m going to put up, take a look at these pictures.  We’ve got monitors here.

PRIEBUS:  But there’s another picture.

WALLACE:  Wait, let’s take -- take a look at those pictures.  On the left, you've got the Obama inaugural crowd.  On the right, you've got the Trump inaugural crowd.  Which one is bigger?

PRIEBUS:  Listen, you are also not saying that that picture was taken before he was even speaking.  I mean, you can --


WALLACE:  I was there.  I was there in the Mall.

PRIEBUS:  I was there, too, Chris.

WALLACE:  Let me say, first of all, I think this is a ridiculous conversation.

PRIEBUS:  Right.

WALLACE:  But there were huge areas -- he said that there were crowds all the way to the Washington Monument.

PRIEBUS:  There was.  Yes, there was.  I was sitting there --


WALLACE:  Look, I mean, put up the picture again.


PRIEBUS:  You can keep putting the picture, but I can take a picture -- an aerial picture right now and I can say look at the difference.  If you’re not comparing apples to apples, it doesn't matter.

WALLACE:  I’m telling you, that there were huge --

PRIEBUS:  You can keep telling me what you want to tell me.

WALLACE:  All right.  Let me --

PRIEBUS:  The point is, is that instead of talking about the substance of what President Trump actually said --

WALLACE:  You’re the ones who did.  He could have given --


PRIEBUS:  No, we then do it.

WALLACE:  Wait a minute, he could have given a news conference yesterday, talked about the agenda, talked about the signing, the executive actions he's going to sign, his legislative agenda.  He talks about crowd size.  Let me ask you about one --

PRIEBUS:  Wait a minute, wait a minute.  Let's back up.  We didn't tweet out that MLK Jr.'s bust was removed from the Oval Office.  We didn’t --


WALLACE:  Wait a minute, the reporter made a mistake, he apologized.  And Spicer sent him a tweet back saying "apology accepted".

PRIEBUS:  Right, so these are the mistakes that are made.  A reporter shoots first, aims later.  I think the magnitude --

WALLACE:  Are you saying there's a conspiracy here?

PRIEBUS:  I’m saying there's an obsession by the media to delegitimize this president, and we are not going to sit around and let it happen.  We’re going to fight back tooth and nail every day, and twice on Sunday.

WALLACE:  OK, let me talk about another thing.

Mr. Trump said that the CIA talked of the feud between him and the intelligence community was a media invention.

Reince, it was Donald Trump at his news conference in New York who compared what the leaking of the Russia dossier, said it was the intelligence community who had done it, it was disgraced, and compared it to Nazi Germany.  That was not a media invention.

PRIEBUS:  We don't know who leaked the documents, Chris.

WALLACE: But wait a minute.  That's beside the point.  Mr. Trump said, he compared it to Nazi Germany.

PRIEBUS:  Listen, someone leaked the document, some leaked the document, and you don't know if it wasn't someone in the intelligence community.  But some bad actor -- the point is this, one bad actor in the intelligence community doesn't taint President Trump's view of the entire intelligence community.  I was there yesterday.  I’m telling you, it was a love fest if you are in the room.

These are men and women that President Trump loves and respects, and the reason he went there first was to tell them I don't want you to believe the media, that I don't respect you all as intelligence officers.

WALLACE:  It's not the media.  It's what he's saying.

PRIEBUS:  Because there has been a created -- no, but it's also an obsession.  I mean, the fact is, we didn't like the document.  That Russian document --

WALLACE:  You don’t know if the intelligence community --


PRIEBUS:  You don't know that they didn't.

WALLACE:  I know, but the point is, it was Mr. Trump who’s compared it to Nazi Germany.

PRIEBUS:  Well, you -- listen, what is it?  I mean, if you have confidential top-secret information being leaked to the public --

WALLACE:  It’s not Nazi Germany.

PRIEBUS:  Well, it's something that's pretty rotten.

WALLACE:  I agree to that.

PRIEBUS:  OK.  Well, good.


PRIEBUS:  And the other thing I’d say is that speech yesterday to the CIA, there’s the obsession over what he said in front of the memorial wall, but he's trying to explain to the folks there -- and I’ll tell you what, these were people who, after we get on with these meetings, it was very clear to the president that they wanted to do their job.  They were already to go, but something is holding them back.

WALLACE:  What you think of John Brennan calling it a despicable display?

PRIEBUS:  I think that John Brennan has a lot of things that he should answer for in regards to these leaked documents.  I find the whole thing despicable.  I think that it's unprofessional.

I think perhaps he is bitter. You know, he was replaced the day before.  He was not asked to hold over, like Clapper was.  I don't know what's in his head.

But what I do know is that the president wanted to make it clear to the folks in that room, and I want to make this clear for everyone why we talked about the things we talked about, is he wants to say, look, what I went through the last two days with the MLK bust, the attack on the crowd size instead of the substance of what I was talking about, is in the same way what you’ve been hearing about me in the intelligence community, don't believe it.  I love you, I want to work with you, and we’re going to be a great team.

WALLACE:  All right.  Let's move forward.  Hundreds of thousands of people, mostly women, marched on Washington yesterday and across the country to protest Trump policy.  Here’s a taste of that.


AMERICA FERRERA, ACTRESS:  The platform of hate and division assumes power yesterday.  But the president is not America.

GLORIA STEINEM, ACTIVIST:  Do not try to divide us.  If you force Muslims to register, we will all register as Muslims.


WALLACE:  Now, President Trump's tweet, or Twitter, was alive and awake at 7:47 this morning.  He wrote this, "Watch protests yesterday, but was under the impression that we just had an election.  Why didn't these people vote?  Celebs hurt the cause badly."

First of all, what is his reaction of the fact that so many people, maybe a million people, marched across the country and expressed real concern that he’s going to rollback women's rights?

PRIEBUS:  Well, first of all, I can tell you, President Trump is -- he wants to be president for all people, including every one of those marchers yesterday, and I think over time, many of those people are going to be proud of this president.  But, secondly, it's no different than what happened right after the election.  I mean, it’s the same marchers that showed up on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

And the last thing is, in regard to some of these folks from Hollywood and elsewhere.  I mean, some of the things that were said yesterday, I’m not going to give the person any credit, but one of the actors said that -- or one of the singers said she wanted to blow up the White House.  I mean, can you imagine saying that about President Obama?

WALLACE:  It was terrible.

PRIEBUS:  Or that, you know, this person is not -- doesn't represent America?  He sure does.  And American people are looking for someone that is going to be their voice and the White House.  Not another plasticized Washington predictable politician.  That's why President Trump is there, because people wanted someone that was genuine, with a pure heart, that is going to make a difference.  And yes, be authentic and real, which town isn't used to.

WALLACE:  Let's turn to what he’s going to actually be doing this week.  Monday, he says it’s his first full day of work, although he’s already done quite a lot already.  What -- do you know what executive actions he’s going to sign tomorrow and this week?  And specifically, and is he going to undo DACA, the Obama executive action to defer deportation for the 700,000 so-called DREAMers who were brought into this country illegally as children?

PRIEBUS:  Well, on the last one, I think we’re going to work with House and Senate leadership as well to get a long-term solution on that issue, but --

WALLACE:  So, you won’t undo DACA until --

PRIEBUS:  I’m not going to make any commitments to you, but I’ve, you know, I’m obviously foreshadowed there a little bit.  But I think this week, we’re going to talk about trade.  I think we’re going to talk about that a little bit more tomorrow.  I think we’re going to talk about immigration this week and we’re going to have a time of national security, a conversation about that, obviously, with General Mattis.

WALLACE:  Will he undo some of the Obama executive orders?

PRIEBUS:  I think you’re going to see more of that coming, perhaps this week.  Executive orders on those three topics.  Thursday, we’re expecting to make an appearance at the Senate House Leadership Conference in Philadelphia.

So, it’s going to be a full week.  And this president is going to work hard.  I mean, I’ve never seen anyone work harder and have more energy than this president.

WALLACE:  President Trump also has an extraordinarily ambitious legislative agenda.  I just want to put some of it off, from Obamacare, to tax reform, to building a wall, to infrastructure.  Curious, because one of the things that the president made clear in his inaugural address was that he was going to take the hide off the Washington establishment.

Here's a clip.


TRUMP:  Their victories have not been your victories.  Their triumphs have not been your triumphs.  And while they celebrated in our nation's capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.


WALLACE:  But, Reince, those folks on the platform are exactly the people he needs congressional leaders to pass his agenda.  So, how he is going to work with folks who he has just accused of having celebrated, done well for themselves but have forgotten millions of Americans?

PRIEBUS:  Well, I think that some of those folks, especially the majority in the House and the Senate feel the same way, that they can't get their agenda done.  They’re blocked.

Look at what’s happening with our cabinet.  I mean, you have Mike Pompeo.  You have people that we need for the security of this country that are sitting around languishing in the Senate because we can't get unanimous consent.  I mean, we have two cabinet picks that have been -- that have been sent through.

It's a shameful situation that’s happening in the Senate and Senator Schumer should do something about it.  The fact is --

WALLACE:  When he talked about the establishment in D.C. that’s forgotten American, is he just talking about Democrats?

PRIEBUS:  No, he’s not.  He’s talking about a number of people, just enough of people here in Washington that block real things from getting done.

But it's not going to be that way anymore, because we have a majority in the House and the Senate.  We have a tool called reconciliation.  We can get a lot of things done on Obamacare and repeal and replace, but through reconciliation and through Tom Price, and the secretary of Health and Human Services.  We have tax reform that we finally can get through.

And working with Paul Ryan and leadership and the team that President Trump has put together, it's given us a formula to finally get big things done in this country.

WALLACE:  Finally, give us a little color.  How is President Trump adjusting to the White House?  What were his first moments like in the Oval Office?

PRIEBUS:  I think it's pretty inspiring.  I think when he walked in, it's something that's enormous, and I think the weight of that enormity was felt by him.  He’s still the same person, remarkably very consistent.

And -- but I certainly think the feeling of being president, walking in that Oval Office was something that him, obviously, but everyone, walk through their felt -- responsibility to this country and the people that put him there.  He knows it, and it's in his heart, and I can promise you, he wants to make people proud.

WALLACE:  Reince, thank you.  Thanks for your time on this very busy week.  We’ll be busy trying to keep up with all that you guys are doing at the White House.

PRIEBUS:  You bet.  Thank you, Chris.

WALLACE:  Thank you.

Up next, we’ll sit down with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to discuss Mr. Trump’s attack on the Washington establishment.  Plus, the delay in confirming most of the Trump cabinet picks.


WALLACE:  A live look at the Capitol dome after the inauguration of Donald Trump as our nation’s 45th president.

Joining us now to discuss just how much of his agenda Mr. Trump will be able to get through Congress is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Senator, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, R-KY, MAJORITY LEADER:  Glad to be with you, Chris.

WALLACE:  I want to start with a central theme of the Trump inaugural address.  Here it is.


TRUMP:  Washington flourished, but the people did not share in this wealth.  Politicians prospered, but the jobs left and the factories closed.  The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country.


WALLACE:  Senator, he's talking about you.  Not personally, but --


WALLACE:  No, but let me finish, Washington leaders who he says have done well here but have ignored millions of Americans.  How do you work with a president who seems to have such little regard and really some animosity to the Washington establishment?

MCCONNELL:  Well, let's look at the election.  The so-called establishment in the Congress did very well.  We held the House, held the Senate.  Republicans had a very good day.

And after eight years of Barack Obama, there are more elected Republicans at every level of government, that’s local, state and federal, than at any time since the 1920s.  So, I believe the president is talking about the outgoing Obama administration.

You have to have a president who will sign bills that you pass.  And the only way to change the country was to get a president who would sign the bills that will be passed by the Republican Congress that the American people continued in last November's election.

WALLACE:  I discussed the Trump agenda with Reince Priebus.  Have you decided in what order you are going to take things off in the Senate, and given how extraordinarily broad and ambitious this agenda is, are you worried at all about overloading the circuits?

MCCONNELL:  Well, if you’re talking about the Senate, we have this whole area of responsibility that the House doesn't have.  There are over 1200 executive branch appointments that have to be confirmed.  So, we’re starting off here after passing the Obamacare repeal resolution, which we did before President Trump took office, trying to get his cabinet nominations in place, and subsequently, we’ll have a Supreme Court nomination as well.  So, that’s a Senate-only activity.

The broader legislative agenda, we have an actual chance of achieving, repealing and replacing ObamaCare in connection with the administration.  President Obama implemented a lot of ObamaCare himself, so President Trump will be able to undo a lot of it himself.  We also expect to be able to do comprehensive tax reform.  Under the Constitution, that will start in the House later this year.

So, yes, I think we’ll able to address almost all of what the president is emphasizing that he would like to do.

WALLACE:  Let's talk specifically about ObamaCare, because President Trump has said he wants to repeal and replace at the same time.  One, is that possible, given the fact that repealing is a lot easier than replacing?  And two, as you sit here today as the Senate majority leader, do you know what the Republican replacement plan is?

MCCONNELL:  We’re working in connection with the administration to have an orderly process of repealing ObamaCare and replacing it.

So, let me talk a minute about the status quo.  What did Bill Clinton say about ObamaCare last year?  He says it's the craziest thing you've ever seen.

Eight out of 10 Americans, Chris, eight out of 10 want it entirely replaced or dramatically changed.  So, even if Hillary Clinton had won the election, we’d be revisiting ObamaCare.  The status quo is not an option.

So, we’re going to move carefully, in conjunction with the administration to repeal and replace it with things like health savings accounts and interstate health insurance sales, and high risk pools at the state level to take care of people who have pre-existing conditions.  All of these things can work.  We want to move the power out to the states and allow them to develop health care programs that work for them.

WALLACE:  Let's turn to the confirmation.  You pointed out that’s a Senate-only responsibility.  The confirmation of the Trump cabinet, the Senate has approved only two nominees so far.  We got them up on the screen, General James Mattis for defense, John Kelly for homeland security.  We’ll get to what the Democrats are doing to try to slow this down in a moment.

But as you sit here today, do you know as the Senate majority leader that you have the votes to pass all the other Trump nominees?

MCCONNELL:  I’m confident we will, yes.  What's been unfortunate is that all I asked for of my colleague, Senator Schumer, was to treat President Trump the same way we treated President Obama.  Obviously, we were not happy with any of his nominees either.  But he got seven of them on the first day.  We got two.

They even delayed the CIA.  Delayed the CIA until Monday for some inexplicable reason.

WALLACE:  I’m just -- I’m going to get to Schumer in a second, but do you believe you have the votes to confirm all them once you get into an actual vote?

MCCONNELL:  I believe we’ll be able to confirm the president’s entire cabinet.  There’s great enthusiasm.

WALLACE:  Even Rex Tillerson for state, who -- three Republicans have expressed reservations about?

MCCONNELL:  I’m optimistic we’ll get every member of the cabinet.

WALLACE:  Let's talk about Senator Schumer, because he says that he has concerns about eight nominees, and he says he believes that there needs to be more discussion about them, about ethics questions or their qualifications.  Here he is.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-N.Y., MINORITY LEADER:  The president-elect's cabinet is a swamp cabinet full of billionaires and bankers that have conflicts of interest and ethical lapses as far as the eye can see.


WALLACE:  What's wrong with him saying this?

MCCONNELL:  Selective outrage.  Jack Lew, the outgoing treasury secretary, had an account in the Cayman Islands.  Geithner, who was the treasury secretary before him, failed to pay taxes.  At that point, Schumer said, well, it's just a mistake.  Everybody makes mistakes.

So, this kind of selective outrage against the kind of mistakes that people inherently make strikes me as just another delaying tactic.  Senator Schumer would even complain about not having enough seats in the hearing room.  These are all kind of manufactured reasons, Chris, to slow down the process, because they don't want this administration to be treated like other administrations, and being given the opportunity to get up and get started.

WALLACE:  But, Senator, weren’t you guilty of some selective outrage back in 2009?  I want to point out, there was a case -- Tom Daschle, former Senate majority leader, we learned that he failed to pay back taxes through a car and a driver.  There was a big fuss about that.

Here is you -- here you are in 2009.


MCCONNELL:  It does raise some questions about the vetting process.  This is now the second time we had a similar incident.  First with the nominee for secretary of the treasury, and now, with Senator Daschle.  I think the administration ought to take a look at its vetting process.


WALLACE:  And in the end, they had to withdraw the Daschle nomination.  What's the difference between you upset about Daschle and them upset about some of the Trump nominees, for instance Mick Mulvaney, congressman who has been named to be the budget director, we now have learned that he failed to pay $15,000 in taxes on his household help?

MCCONNELL:  Well, Daschle decided not to go forward.  Geithner did go forward and he had a tax problem as well.  I mean, the administration, in the end, decided not to go forward with Daschle.  We don't know whether that would have been a decisive mistake or not.

WALLACE:  But my point is, you made a fuss in 2009 about Daschle, they are making a fuss about some people today.

MCCONNELL:  Look, you can complain about whatever you choose to, ultimately though, the administration decides who submitted and members decide whether these kinds of mistakes that people make from time to time are decisive in determining how they're going to vote.

WALLACE:  Finally, President Trump says he wants to name a Supreme Court nominee.  He's talked about doing it within two weeks.  And Senator Schumer has said that they’re going to block anyone that they don't like, that they feel is outside the mainstream.

As Senate rules now stand, because the -- the nuclear option was -- was extended, it -- on a partial level in 2013 by the Democrats, you can confirm lower court judges with just 51 votes.


WALLACE:  A simple majority, not a -- a supermajority of 60 votes. If the Democrats block a Supreme Court nominee, are you going to extend the nuclear option to Supreme Court nominees because now they still need 60 votes?

MCCONNELL: Well, let me just say, I’m confident we’ll get a Supreme Court nominees confirmed. I expect an outstanding nominee sometime soon. I think it's noteworthy to look at how the Republican minority handled Bill Clinton the first -- in his first administration. Both -- both of his first two nominees, Ginsburg and Breyer, no filibuster. Obama, in his first term, to go, no filibuster. We think our nominee ought to be treated the same way. If he is not treated that way, then, under the current Senate rule, we would have to get cloture. That is, we’d have to get 60 votes. We had to do that when the Democrats objecting to Justice Alito 10 years ago, but cloture was invoked. Sorry for the long answer. I think the short answer is, the nominee will be confirmed.

WALLACE:  But would you consider extending the nuclear option and saying, even for Supreme Court justices, just a simple majority?

MCCONNELL: The nominee will be confirmed.

WALLACE:  One thing I’ve learned with you, Senator McConnell, is once you've given an answer, you’re going to stick with that.

Thank you.

MCCONNELL: Thank you.

WALLACE:  Thanks for coming in today. Busy times ahead, sir.

MCCONNELL: OK, thanks.

WALLACE: Up ahead, we’ll bring in our Sunday group to discuss how much of President Trump's inaugural speech was rhetoric and how much he’ll be able to pull off.

Plus, what do you want to ask the panel about what Mr. Trump’s top legislative priority should be? Just go to Facebook or Twitter, @foxnewssunday, and we may use your question on the air.


WALLACE:  Coming up on "Fox News Sunday," President Trump strikes a populist tone in his inaugural address.


TRUMP: This moment is your moment. It belongs to you.


WALLACE:  We’ll ask our Sunday panel what it tells us about how Mr. Trump will govern. That’s coming up next.



TRUMP: Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families.


WALLACE:  President Trump laying out his vision for America first in his inaugural address.

And it's time now for our Sunday group. The anger of "Special Report," Bret Baier, author of the new book "Three Days in January," already on bestsellers lists, Fox News political analyst and columnist for The Hill, Juan Williams, Mo Elleithee, executive director of Georgetown University's Institute of Politics and Public Service, and from The Wall Street Journal, Kimberley Strassel.

Kim, there's a great deal of analysis of President Trump's inaugural address and what it says about how he’ll govern. Did you see a blueprint for his administration in what he laid out on Friday on the west front of the Capitol?

KIMBERLEY STRASSEL, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Yes, I think he was very clear. This was a very Trumpian speech. People have called it dark, but I think it was actually a speech for our time. The American public right now does not want to have a president who went out with fancy language and sort of soaring rhetoric. A lot of them are indeed feeling forgotten. And basically those few words he said, every decision will be about you, suggests that he's going to be very attuned to public sentiment, and that’s what’s going to be driving him.

Look, he’s not a very ideological president. This is somebody who is going to be very attuned to -- to public sentiment.

WALLACE:  And to problem solving?

STRASSEL: And problem solving. And -- and don't underestimate the amount of low-hanging fruit that there is there. I mean just with his cabinet picks alone, the amount of things that can be done on day one, when they get installed in office in terms of regulations, and that’s before you even get to the congressional actions.

CAW: Juan, you were critical, I think it’s fair to say, of the president’s speech. But in the speech, and I’ve read it several times since Friday when we all listen to it together. He talked about schools. He talked about restoring the inner cities. He talked about a new jobs push, safety in our streets. What's wrong with that?

JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Nothing. In fact, I would -- I would applaud it because I think I'm so glad that he raised these important issues and pointed out that a child in Nebraska, you know, in the plains, or a child in the inner city looks up at the same night sky. That may have been the most poetic part of his speech.

The problem, Chris, is that he exaggerated. He talked about American carnage in what he called inner cities. I suppose he's calling black areas of our metropolitan areas. And, to me, that’s alarmist. It’s an exaggeration. It's not reality. I mean it sounds to me almost like Mad Max and the Thunderdome is what he’s describing as on America’s streets.

WALLACE:  Speaking of exaggerating.

WILLIAMS: Yes, but, I mean, the reality is, crime is down, unemployment is at 4.7. I think that's the lowest since '08. I mean you look at the growth in the black middle class in this country. So, yes, we can have a discussion and it's necessary about improving schools in particular about lack of economic opportunity --

WALLACE:  About safety in the streets in cities like Chicago.

WILLIAMS: Sur, but that's a specific problem. But, again, it sounds as if you are demeaning a whole group of people in order to present yourself as a savior, and also in terms of what he said during the campaign when he asked the question, what the hell do black people have to lose? Why don't you vote for me?

WALLACE:  We asked you for questions for the panel and on this issue of how Mr. Trump is going to deal with Congress, we got this on Twitter. "What clashes do you see from his prior ability to make his own decisions versus now dealing with a co-equal branch of government?"

Bret, how do you answer that, especially given, and I’ve talked about this with both Reince Priebus and Mitch McConnell, given how we went after the Washington establishment in that speech?

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR, "SPECIAL REPORT": Yes, he is a dealmaker, but I think Kim is right, this was a populist speech. It wasn't Reagan. It wasn't looking back at different speeches before. It wasn’t even Roosevelt. It was Donald Trump. And it was about laying it out. It was a campaign-type speech, but it was what they wanted. That is what Donald Trump and Steve Bannon wanted. And that’s actually want his supporters want. They want a total change of Washington. They say both parties aren’t working. And the message was to the establishment, this is a new deal. This is how we are going to run this place. And in order to get from point A to point B, we’re going to have to break some china.

WALLACE:  But he -- but he painted a pretty dark picture of the Washington establishment, basically said, they’re worried about themselves and ignoring America's problems.

BAIER: But, I mean, you could make that case, that that’s been the case for many, many years.

WALLACE:  Right, but how does he deal with that?

BAIER: Well, he has to deal with them saying, I have the popular sentiment behind me. That's what the populace part comes in. This is -- this is why he was elected. And he was elected to change Washington.

WALLACE:  I want to play another clip from Mr. Trump’s inaugural address. Here it is.


TRUMP: Today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another, or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the people.


WALLACE:  Mo, a liberal Democrat could have said that and my guess is you would have applauded it. Even Bernie Sanders could have said that. So what's the catch?

MO ELLEITHEE, FORMER DNC COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: I mean Barack Obama, in 2008, we are the change we've been waiting for, right? I mean it's not a very unique or original thought. That --

WALLACE:  That’s not my point. My point is, so what’s wrong with it?

ELLEITHEE: What I think was wrong with his speech -- look, I give him a lot of credit on that speech for a couple of reasons. One, he was very consistent. It was very trumpian. This was the message that got him here, and it was targeted to the same people who voted for him. But that wasn't a majority of the country. I'm not saying he wasn’t elected president, right. I mean he was elected president of the United States. But a majority of the American people did not vote for him. And I heard very little in that speech that would actually appeal to those people.

This was a very good, very Trump speech for a narrow -- or narrow is not the right word -- but for a specific audience. His supporters. Will he begin to appeal and bring more people in? He’s entering office with the lowest approval ratings of any president ever in the history of polling. That should be a bit of a concern for him, rather than just play to his supporters, which I think he did very, very well.

WALLACE:  Kim, I want to -- do you agree with that or --

STRASSEL: So, here’s the thing. You go out and look in the country while the majority of people may not have voted for him, popular vote. What is widespread across the country is an incredible disgust with Washington and the inability to get things done. And I think that you --


CAW: And also a sense, if I may, of -- of tremendous economic dislocation, that people are being left behind.

STRASSEL: Exactly. So in that regard, I do think his speech was speaking to more than just those who voted for him because that is a unifying theme out there. You talk to the Trump people, you talk to congressional Republicans, and what they are banking on is that you come in and you get some things done immediately, some big things that people can see, and that that is what is going to end up moving some people in his favor, more than words of unity in a is speech.

WALLACE:  All right, we have to take a break here, panel, but when we come back, President Trump visits the CIA and says any talk of a feud is a media invention. We’ll discuss his relationship with the intelligence community and the press when we come right back.



TRUMP: I get up this morning, I turn on one of the networks and they show an empty field. I said, wait a minute, I made a speech. I looked out. The field was -- it looked like a million, 1.5 million people. They showed a field where there was practically nobody standing there.


WALLACE:  President Trump complaining about reports on the size of the crowd at his inauguration while speaking at the CIA in front of the memorial to officers who died while serving our country.

And we’re back now with the panel.

Well, Bret, you and I both covered the White House for years. And when White House press secretaries call special briefings, especially late in the afternoon, especially late in the afternoon on a Saturday afternoon, it's a big deal. It's a big personnel announcement. It's a big policy announcement. In your years covering, I can tell you not in mine, have you ever seen a White House press secretary coming in to excoriate the press for their reports on crowd size?

BAIER: No. And yesterday we were, you know, preparing for some big announcement on policy or some -- something, but then it was this excoriating message from Sean Spicer. One thing is clear, if anybody doubts that he’s speaking on his own, and not on behalf of the president of the United States, that's not true. He's -- clearly was told to get out there and do this because of -- after the remarks by President Trump early on.

I think it was unusual. It was very different. I talked to people in the Briefing Room. They were shocked. But people at home, they said -- the supporters said, this is exactly what we want. Break the china. Forget it. You know, how he deals with the press.

This is the completion of the takeover of the Republican Party, and I don’t say hostile takeover because people want willingly, because of the actions of the Obama administration and Republicans. And part of that is dealing with the press, as shocking as Washington is going to have to come to grips with. But I’ll tell you, it was shocking yesterday.

WALLACE:  I was going to say, I wish that there had been a reverse shot showing the reporters in the Briefing Room, because my guess is their jaws would have dropped. It would have been a look of complete astonishment.

Juan, you were also a White House reporter. You’ve sat in that briefing room. What did you make of it?

WILLIAMS: Sean Spicer’s a good solider. I think just as Bret said, he was sent out there, I think much the way that he was sent out at one of the news conferences in New York to deal with the Russian allegations.

But when I think back to press secretaries, from Larry Speakes, to Tony Snow, Dana Perino, John Earnest, Robert Gibbs, I've never seen anything like him. I mean that’s just -- I mean I’m just being straight with you guys. It suggested to me the question, where do you go from here? If that was the opening bid, if that's the way you feel, if the president is calling the press a bunch of dishonest human beings, and Spicer’s sent out to scream and performing in that manner, to say to the press, you have no cred -- if you -- I suspect this is about legitimacy. That they are very fearful and uptight about the idea that they are being delegitimized from day one.

WALLACE:  Well, you heard that from Reince Priebus.

WILLIAMS: Indeed, today on this show. But I think that this response is so out-of-the-box that it adds to questions about presidential behavior. Do they -- are they acting like a White House that we'd seen before? Well, if they want to say, it's unique, it's different, they’re breaking the china, fine, but they’re also hurting their standing, I think, not only with a press, but with the American people.

WALLACE:  Well, there's another aspect to what happened yesterday that, to me, is even more troubling, and that is that the president said several things that just weren't true. First of all, at the CIA he said that all the reports of his rift with the intelligence community were a media invention. As I discussed with Reince Priebus, that’s not true. I mean he was the one who said it was disgraceful what the intelligence community did and compared it to Nazi Germany. And then through Spicer he said that this was the biggest audience ever to attend an inauguration. That’s also not true.

ELLEITHEE: The president of the United States yesterday stood on hallowed ground, in front of a memorial wall of fallen CIA officers, and he looked at the American people and he lied. He lied more than once. He lied about something of substance, his relationship with the CIA and what he has said in the past, and he lied about the most trivial of things he possibly could lie about, crowd sizes at an inaugural.

We talked about the Spicer pieces. There’s -- even more troubling than that, they shut down the National Park Service’s communications tool, its Twitter, because the national Park Service tweeted out the crowd size estimates. This should be of concern to everybody, not just to the press, but to everybody. If people already are feeling a lack of trust in our government, this is not going to make it better. This is a Nixonian (ph) politics in the Twitter area.

WALLACE:  Wow. Wow. Day two -- day three and we’re in Nixonian politics?

ELLEITHEE: On day one, on the first full day. This should worry everybody.

WALLACE:  Kim, is that over-the-top?

STRASSEL: Here's what you have to understand though. Yes, people lack trust in institutions. And you want to know one of the major institutions they lack trust in? The media. So, you know, the president isn't going to stop this. He feels that there's no downside to this. This is a time-honored tradition, especially among Republican presidents, to talk about the media as a foil.

And the media did itself no benefits in the run-up to the election. I mean I'm not saying everyone around this table accepted, obviously. But --

WALLACE:  Well, not -- four of the five of us.

STRASSEL: But, you know, all of the predictions of Donald Trump could not win, all of the stories, the day-to-day coverage some of the major newspapers and promotions of Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump. And Donald Trump believes that, you know, if he goes to war with the media, and he likes to feud with people, who better than to feud with in the media because the public --

WALLACE:  But -- but do you agree with that? Do you really think he pays no price for what went on yesterday?

STRASSEL: I don't know. I mean, again, you have to believe that the American public has more trust in the media than they do in the new president, and I'm not sure that's a clear cut bet.

BAIER: I will just say that in the campaign there was -- towards the end this thought, here comes the pivot, here's the pivot where he turns more presidential.

WALLACE:  Right.

BAIER: And, you know, it -- it just didn’t -- can’t come. He -- he went to the teleprompter at the end. Then he gets to be president-elect and he says sometimes presidential is going to look different. I'm going to do presidential different. Well, if people are looking for it to be different, I don't think it's going to happen. The one issue is that when he goes on the rifts (ph), words do matter. And Eisenhower said, less is more, back in his day from the Oval Office. So it's not just the U.S. and his supporters who are looking at it, but there are countries around the world who are analyzing every word and what they mean.

WALLACE:  And -- and, Juan, you know, I -- I wonder if -- whether President Trump -- far be it for me to tell him what to do or who’s right -- but I think that he thinks because he won that he didn't pay any price during the campaign. But you look back at some of the -- the moment when he got into the fight with a gold star family, when he went after the Mexican-American judge, he did pay a price. Yes, he ended up winning the election in the end, some would say because Hillary Clinton was a -- a -- a bad candidate, but you can't defy the laws of political gravity forever.

WILLIAMS: No. And what’s intriguing to me is, traditionally, an inaugural speech really is sort of a unifying effort by the victor saying come together America, I am your president, I am your leader. In giving the speech that he gave and the behavior that he’s displayed and his press secretary displayed on the very first day, I think it is a defiance. I think it's first pumping. I think it’s very proud, OK, but there's no sense in which, oh, my gosh, look at all those protesters in the street. Oh, my gosh, I acknowledge that there are some issues here and I want to bring us together. I just don't see that.

I mean, you know, we were talking about press secretaries earlier. I used to get calls from press secretaries, White House press secretaries, and they’d be like, why did that story leaked? You’re out of the loop. We’re not -- you know, very personal. The idea that you would stand and lecture the whole American press, no matter how badly they may think of us, Kim, we play an important role in American democracy, and you can't just throw the whole thing out. I just felt like, wow, what is going -- it made me concerned?

WALLACE:  Fifteen seconds. Should he be concerned?

STRASSEL: Look, I think that Donald Trump is not going to -- he’s comparing himself to his predecessor. It's not about unity, the words, it’s about his actions in the end.

WALLACE:  All right.

BAIER: (INAUDIBLE) way to win.

WALLACE:  Yes, we’re going to be talking about this for a while my guess is.

Thank you, panel. See you all next Sunday.

Up next, a look at the Trump inaugural from both supporters and opponents.


WALLACE:  The peaceful transition of power is one of the treasures of our nation. But while things went smoothly on the inaugural platform, there was plenty of dissent in the streets. Here’s a look back at a remarkable weekend in Washington.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) for the 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump. I salute you.

CROWD: (INAUDIBLE) off our streets (ph).

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Mr. President-elect, how are you? Good to see you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president-elect of the United States, Donald John Trump.


TRUMP: So help me God.

ROBERTS: Congratulations, Mr. President.

TRUMP: The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.

Very, very honored when I heard that President Bill Clinton and Secretary Hillary Clinton was coming today.

This is for General Mattis.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Trump, I did not vote for you!

And I want to be able to support you. But first, I ask that you support me.

TRUMP: There's nobody I respect more. You’re going to do a fantastic job. And we’re going to start winning again. And you’re going to be leading the charge.


WALLACE:  And all that on the first weekend of the Trump era.

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

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