This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," June 12, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Good evening, I'm Bret Baier. Breaking tonight, a large section of Seattle remains occupied territory, with protesters taking over a police precinct and establishing what they call an autonomous zone. President Trump has labeled the demonstrators, anarchists and terrorists, and threatens to intervene. Seattle's mayor calls that prospect an illegal invasion.
We have FOX team coverage, Dan Springer is in Seattle, shows us what's happening on the ground right now. But we begin with chief White House correspondent John Roberts and what the President may do, live from the North Lawn. Good evening, John.
JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Bret, good evening to you. It's unclear, legally, what the President could do about the occupation that's going on in the city of Seattle. The city's mayor, as you pointed out, says it would be against the law for the President to deploy the military there, but it certainly hasn't stopped the President from speaking out about it.
ROBERTS: President Trump kept up the drumbeat against officials in Washington State today, tweeting Seattle Mayor says, about the anarchists' takeover of her city. It is a Summer of Love. These liberal Dems don't have a clue the terrorists burn and pillage our cities, and they think it's just wonderful, even the death. Must end this Seattle takeover now!
In an exclusive interview with FOX News' Harris Faulkner, the President doubling down on his threat to end the occupation if state and local officials don't.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If they don't straighten that situation out, we're going to straighten it out. Let the governor do it. He's got great National Guard troops, so he can do it. But one way or the other, it's going to get done. These people are not going to occupy a major portion of a great city.
ROBERTS: As Seattle protesters demand police reform, the President is promising an executive order next week to address reforming revitalization, which would include economic development in minority communities, confronting healthcare disparities, renewing calls for school choice and encouraging police departments to meet standards for the use of force.
JA'RON SMITH, DEPUTY ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT: We also are going to work with these police departments to give them the partnerships they need through partnerships with social services that would deal with mental health, addiction and things like homelessness. Those are ways to deescalate a situation.
ROBERTS: There was an escalation today in the battle over military bases named for Confederate generals, Joe Biden now joining the call to rename them in a statement Biden saying the names affixed to our military installations must honor the diverse heritage of leadership and sacrifice in our country's history. But in 2015, the Obama administration nixed the idea of changing names.
The Army's top spokesman at the time, General Malcolm Frost, saying these historic names represent individuals not causes or ideologies. It should be noted that the naming occurred in the spirit of reconciliation, not division.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants to go farther, demanding the removal of 11 Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol. But Pelosi has had no comment on what her father, Thomas D'Alesandro, did back in 1948. As mayor of Baltimore, D'Alesandro oversaw the dedication of statues of Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, saying with our nation beset by subversive groups and propaganda, which seeks to destroy our national unity, we can look for inspiration to the lives of Lee and Jackson to remind us to be resolute and determined in preserving our sacred institutions.
ROBERTS: The renaming issue will be very much on the President's mind when he delivers the commencement address at the West Point Military Academy tomorrow. One interesting historic point of reference, 294 West Point graduates served as officers in the Union Army, 151 joined the Confederacy including generals Robert E. Lee, Beauregard, Bragg, Hood, Pickett, Polk and A.P. Hill, all of whom have military bases named after them. Bret?
BAIER: John Roberts live in the North Lawn. John, thank you. Let's find out what's happening at this moment on the ground, in the occupied zone in Seattle. Correspondent Dan Springer is there tonight. Good evening, Dan.
DAN SPRINGER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Bret. A lot of these protesters have left the new territory that they've taken to take part in a Black Lives Matter march around the city, but they will be back, determined to hold their ground and keep the police out.
SPRINGER: The Capitol Hill autonomous zone in Seattle is part protest, part homeless encampment, and part anarchists. There are guns, but not many. Graffiti dominates the entire six blocks and barricades are manned by guards. Chief of Police Carmen Best entered the so-called, no cops zone, to get a look at the East precinct, which was abandoned Monday night. She says it was not her decision. And the precinct needs to be re occupied by the police.
CARMEN BEST, CHIEF OF POLICE, SEATTLE: Response times for crimes in progress were over 15 minutes, about three times as long as the average of every year. If that is your mother, your sister, your cousin, your neighbor's kid that is being raped, robbed, assaulted, and otherwise victimized, you're not going to want to have to report that it took the police three times longer to get there.
SPRINGER: But in her first public appearance, since part of her city was taken over by protesters, Mayor Jenny Durkan spent most of her time attacking President Trump for threatening to send the military in to restore order. She plans on meeting with protest leaders, but leadership appears fragmented. She compares the barricaded autonomous zone to a festival.
MAYOR JENNY DURKAN (D-WA), SEATTLE: What you'll see is a painting of Black Lives Matter along Pine Street, food trucks, spaghetti potlucks, teachings, movies, free granola bars.
SPRINGER: Most businesses in the area remain closed and boarded. Their owners too afraid to speak on camera, fearing more damage, and some residents are also fed up.
ROBERT FLAGG, RESIDENT OF SEATTLE: Every night, they turn this into a party. This is not a party. The police has abandoned this neighborhood. I guarantee, if this was a black neighborhood, they wouldn't abandon it.
SPRINGER: It's hard to see how this occupation will end. As you heard from John Roberts, Mayor Durkan said last night on CNN, that this could be the Summer of Love, but it will likely not end in tear gas or pepper spray. A federal judge just issued a ban on those tools for Seattle to use against peaceful protesters. Bret?
BAIER: Dan Springer, outside the autonomous zone in Seattle. Dan, thanks. We're learning additional details tonight about plans for police reform and the epicenter of the movement, Minnesota. Correspondent Matt Finn is in St. Paul, tonight.
ALONDRA CANO, MEMBER, MINNEAPOLIS, CITY COUNCIL: We would like to end the current policing system as we know it.
MATT FINN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Minneapolis City Council unanimously passed a resolution today, laying the foundation for dismantling the police department and transforming the city's public safety system.
ANDREA JENKINS, MEMBER, MINNEAPOLIS CITY COUNCIL: The winds of change have brought us to this moment.
CAM GORDON, MEMBER, MINNEAPOLIS CITY COUNCIL: I never would have imagined that we'd be where we are right now. I'm united behind this effort.
FINN: The resolution says police use of force is among the leading causes of death for young men of color and cost the city $24 million in settlements the past three years.
LISA BENDER, PRESIDENT, MINNEAPOLIS CITY COUNCIL: people in Minneapolis are tired of protesting in the streets every time police kill someone in our community.
FINN: The city council wants to stop police from responding to certain 911 calls.
But the police chief tells FOX News he's going to make sure ongoing discussions are fact-driven because 911 calls his officers are responding to are "life-saving."
MEDARIA ARRADONDO, CHIEF OF POLICE, MINNEAPOLIS: We are going to continue to show up. I am not going to allow this police department to abandon those people within our communities who still rely upon us and need us.
CROWD: We want justice.
FINN: In Louisville, Kentucky, City Council voted Thursday to ban no knock warrants. And Senator Rand Paul introduced a bill to end them nationwide as well. After 26-year-old emergency medical technician Breonna Taylor was shot by police while unarmed in her apartment during a no-knock warrant in March.
TAMIKA PALMER, MOTHER OF BREONNA TAYLOR: All Breonna wanted to do was save lives. So, it's important this law passes because with that, she'll get to continue to do that even in her death.
FINN: And in Chicago, 13 police officers are under investigation after a video emerged showing them making popcorn, drinking coffee and sleeping. And U.S. Representative Bobby Rush's ransacked office while nearby businesses were allegedly being looted at the same time.
FINN: In Minneapolis right now, hundreds of protesters are outside of the police union building, once again, demanding its controversial president, resign. And then also happening right now, here in St. Paul, there's an ongoing special session, but so far, no major movement on police reform. Bret?
BAIER: Matt Finn, live in St. Paul. Matt, thanks. The man suspected of ambushing and shooting a California sheriff's deputy is dead, after a shootout with police. 26-year-old Mason James Lira was accused of seriously injuring a San Luis Obispo sheriff's deputy and killing a transit man Wednesday. The attacks sent off massive manhunt from the California Coast Central area that ended Thursday, in that shootout.
Law enforcement officers all over the country are on the defensive tonight, amid calls for drastic changes in the way they try to keep the public safe. Tonight, a look at the police point of view. Lucas Tomlinson reports.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): Congratulations. The bills are signed.
LUCAS TOMLINSON, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Governor Cuomo wasting no time overhauling New York's finest.
CUOMO: The New York State Legislature has quickly passed the most aggressive reforms in the nation.
TOMLINSON: And President Trump himself wants to see more restraint in using chokeholds.
HARRIS FAULKNER, FOX NEWS HOST: It's a one on one fight for life.
TRUMP: Yes, and that does happen. And that does happen. So, you have to be careful. With that being said, it would be, I think, a very good thing that generally speaking, it should be ended.
TOMLINSON: Across the country, more protesters and politicians demanding change. But many cops are pushing back. The head of Chicago's powerful police union says now is not the time to defund the police.
JOHN CATANZARA, PRESIDENT, CHICAGO POLICE UNION: The politicians are making it that much worse. You know, the mayor's press conference today was all about bashing the police and pouring gasoline on a fire that was starting to smolder and die out.
MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT (D-IL), CHICAGO: These individuals did indeed abandon their responsibilities and their obligation and their oath to serve and protect. We should all be disgusted.
TOMLINSON: At least 600 law enforcement officers have been injured in the wake of George Floyd's death. Some have been killed, including former St. Louis police captain David Dorn and Patrick Underwood, a homeland security officer in Oakland. Underwood's sister says she wants justice for all.
ANGELA UNDERWOOD, SISTER OF PATRICK UNDERWOOD: There has been so much talk regarding George Floyd and his family, which is fine. However, I think, at the same time, that my brother should be recognized as well.
TOMLINSON: Houston's police chief agrees.
ART ACEVEDO, CHIEF OF POLICE, HOUSTON: Communities of color and poor communities need us more, need good policing more, than fluent communities and quite frankly, what they want is not less policing. They want good policing.
TOMLINSON: Some officers feel betrayed.
ROBERT NOCEDA, POLICE, CHICAGO: It's disheartening, demoralizing, it's upsetting. You're constantly being demonized in the media, our brothers and sisters. I've been out on those streets for many years, defending the citizens of Chicago.
TOMLINSON: President Trump says he spoke to David Dorn's widow last evening. So far, in the nation's capital, all is calm and peaceful. Bret?
BAIER: Lucas Tomlinson in Washington. Lucas, thank you. A ruling is expected in a few weeks on the Justice Department's efforts to force a federal judge to dismiss the criminal charges against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. A free -- three-judge appeals court panel heard oral arguments today. A majority of the court indicated the trial judge should continue having discretion to decide whether to drop the case as the government and defendant want or to proceed with sentencing. We'll follow that.
Up next, Republicans have picked a new city to host their summer convention. We'll tell you which one. First, with some of our FOX affiliates around the country are covering tonight. FOX 61 in Hartford, Connecticut, as the suspect in two killings who was arrested after city stays on the run, is arraigned on murder and numerous other charges. Police say University of Connecticut student Peter Manfredonia killed a 62-year- old man and fatally shot a high school acquaintance, two days later.
Fox 11 in Los Angeles, where the Oscars are implementing some big changes for the 2022 season, there will be 10 Best Picture nominees and to be determined representation and inclusion standards for eligibility. The sponsor says those requirements will have an eye toward diversity.
And this is a live look at New York from FOX 5, our affiliate there, one of the big stories there tonight. A collection of rare and valuable sports memorabilia is discovered among the possessions of a recently deceased 97- year-old New Jersey man. The collection is said to be worth several million dollars. That includes signed baseball cards from Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and many other stars. That's tonight's live look outside the Beltway from SPECIAL REPORT. We'll be right back.
BAIER: In tonight's "DEMOCRACY 2020" report, Republicans settle on a new city for their Republican convention. The decision comes as the man figured to be at the top of the ticket begin to move their campaigns forward from the coronavirus lockdown.
Here is correspondent Doug McKelway.
DOUG MCKELWAY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Jacksonville, Florida, it is for the Republican National Convention.
RONNA MCDANIEL, CHAIRWOMAN, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Their states open, America's open for business. So, we're going to have an arena, we're obviously going to put safety checks in place to make sure the convention- goers are safe.
MCKELWAY: The decision came after President Trump rejected host city Charlotte, North Carolina, as Democratic Governor Roy Cooper imposed restrictions on crowd size. Florida was among the first states to lift restrictions. Jacksonville Beach, in particular, was widely criticized when it reopen beaches in mid-April. As more testing occurs, statewide Florida has had back-to-back record day jumps in cases.
Now, Jacksonville's mayor welcomes the RNC in what he says is a twofer. Its T.V. market reaches Georgia and may help once solidly red northern Florida for Trump.
LENNY CURRY, MAYOR OF JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA: It's now a swing county. So, this is an incredibly important county and an incredibly important state.
MCKELWAY: The Trump campaign is banking on a resumption of its trademark rallies to regain momentum, with the RCP average showing Joe Biden up 8.1 percent nationally. Each candidate accusing the other of riding out the nation's multiple crises in their respective bunkers.
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald Trump too scared to face the people. He doesn't know what to do, so he hides in his bunker.
MCKELWAY: Just as that Biden ad came out --
BIDEN: Don't hear me clearly? Am I loud enough to this phone for you all?
MCKELWAY: Biden appeared in voice only at a union tell a town hall on the COVID crisis and racial injustice.
TRUMP: He's created his own sanctuary city in the basement of wherever he is, and he doesn't come out.
MCKELWAY: The first Trump rally is set for June 19th in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and it's already controversial. That is the date of Juneteenth, the commemoration of the freeing the slaves.
And potential attendees are being asked to sign legal waivers in the event, they come down with COVID-19. Bret.
BAIER: Doug, thank you. Up next, what the CDC says you need to do to stay safe as the coronavirus restrictions ease.
First, "BEYOND OUR BORDERS" tonight. At least four people die when a bomb explodes inside a mosque in western Kabul. An Afghan government official says the prayer was among those killed.
No group has claimed responsibility for that attack. The Taliban issued a statement condemning the bombing.
French police are protesting against at a new ban on chokeholds and limits to what they can do during arrests. The officers put their handcuffs on the ground last night outside some police stations around France and a symbolic protest.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attended a ceremony marking a national holiday. His first big public event since announcing a nationwide lockdown more than two months ago.
Putin observed the hoisting of the national flag at a memorial park in western Moscow, and then, took part in an award ceremony.
Just some of the other stories "BEYOND OUR BORDERS" tonight. We'll be right back.
BAIER: Stocks rebounded after a miserable Thursday. But a good day today, the Dow gained 477, the S&P 500 was up 39. The NASDAQ jumped 96. For the week, the Dow lost 5-1/2 percentage points. The S&P 500 dropped almost five. The NASDAQ fell 2-1/3.
Several states that have been among the most aggressive and relaxing coronavirus lockdown restrictions are now experiencing an increase in new infections. This comes as the nation's health protection agency comes up with some suggestions that might help now.
Correspondent Jonathan Serrie shows us tonight From Atlanta.
JONATHAN SERRIE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Guidelines for a new normal. This afternoon, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, issued recommendations to help Americans protect themselves and others as they venture out into a society where coronavirus is still spreading.
ROBERT REDFIELD, DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (via telephone): it's important that we remember that the situation is unprecedented and that the pandemic has not ended.
SERRIE: Among the key recommendations, limit the number and duration of social interactions, continue to wear face coverings in public places where physical distancing is difficult, and considered taking the stairs if you can't ride the elevator alone.
As infection rates ease in the northeast, many states in the south and west are seeing new spikes.
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D-NY), NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: And we had to be very, very careful of the danger this disease resurging the danger of the boomerang, the danger we're seeing playing out right now in states in this country that tragically, I think, move too fast without the right precautions.
SERRIE: Houston is considering a new stay-at-home order as cases rise in Texas. And Oregon Governor Kate Brown has placed a seven-day hold on new applications from counties wanting to reopen.
GOV. KATE BROWN (D-OR): The noticeable increase in COVID-19 infections in Oregon over the past week is certainly cause for concern.
SERRIE: Georgia, on the other hand, has lifted stay lifted stay-at-home orders for healthy elderly residents. Next Tuesday, the state will lift seething restrictions on restaurants, and bars can double their occupancy limit from 25 to 50.
The American biotech company, Moderna, says it's ready to begin wide-scale human trials of a potential coronavirus vaccine next month. Injecting 30,000 volunteers with either the vaccine or a placebo to see whether they build immunity.
SERRIE: Walter Reed medical center plans to begin human trials of another vaccine candidate later this year. And the CDC renewed its recommendation that Americans get vaccinated against influenza in case COVID-19 makes a comeback in the middle of the next flu season. Bret?
BAIER: Jonathan Serrie in Atlanta. Jonathan, thank you.
Tonight, we conclude our series on post-pandemic liberty. Within the look at the enormous amount of money being spent on economic recovery from the lockdown. The Federal Reserve is promising to use what it calls its full range of tools to pull the country out of its deep recession.
But will that be enough? Here is chief congressional correspondent Mike Emanuel.
MIKE EMANUEL, FOX NEWS CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Combating COVID- 19, many Americans have found the virus and methods to deal with it complicated and confusing, but what about costly?
The U.S. government has already spent trillions on COVID relief, adding to a federal debt that now exceeds the size of the entire U.S. economy. Earlier this week, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the federal budget deficit was about $1.9 trillion in the first eight months of fiscal year 2020 -- $1.2 trillion more than at the same time last year.
And estimates from the Manhattan Institute claimed that added costs and declining revenues stemming from COVID-19. The red bar in this chart will produce a 2020 budget deficit of $4.2 trillion.
JAMES CAPRETTA, RESIDENT FELLOW, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE: Certainly, it's a -- it's a very, very big problem.
EMANUEL: Many experts agree, while Congress did the right thing by acting decisively to provide COVID relief, particularly, for struggling businesses, our financial path was out of control well before this.
CAPRETTA: We kind of spent recklessly during the last two decades or so, and got ourselves into a position where we didn't have the room to handle a big crisis like this. Now, in the middle of the crisis, that's not the time to worry about the debt. But, a day of reckoning will come.
EMANUEL: What might that reckoning look like? Some have theorized that inflation could be lurking in the short term or that future generations could be saddled with impossible debts.
VERONIQUE DE RUGY, SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW, MERCATUS CENTER: Our children, if we don't actually take really serious measure after this is over, are going to be settled with more debt, slower economic growth, higher taxes, which leads to slower economic growth. But also a lot of programs that are left that create disincentive to actually invest, save, and produce. And that is a real problem.
EMANUEL: Back in May, my colleague Bret Baier asked President Trump, when enough would be enough?
BAIER: You have $25 trillion in debt as of today and there's more on the burner that's possibly coming down the pipe.
TRUMP: That's right. That's right. That's right.
BAIER: What's the number that's too much when you get to --
TRUMP: Well, we're going to cut, no, we're going to cut back very substantially. Plus, we're going to have great growth. This country is going to grow like crazy as soon as we get it going, and we're going to start making our products here.
EMANUEL: The chair of the Federal Reserve was recently asked about the source of funds.
SCOTT PELLEY, CBS NEWS ANCHOR: Where does it come from? Do you just print it?
JEROME POWELL, CHAIRMAN, FEDERAL RESERVE: We print it digitally. So we as a central bank, we have the ability to create money digitally, and we do that by buying treasury bills or bonds or other government guaranteed securities, and that actually increases the money supply. We also print actual currency and we distribute that through the Federal Reserve banks.
EMANUEL: Democrats have also defended the recent spending.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): What we're talking about now is about a stimulus to our economy at a time where people are crippled with concern about their physical well-being as well as their economic well-being.
EMANUEL: And what about after the crisis is over? Will the government have implemented vast new programs that can never be clawed back? That's what happened nearly a century ago when the Great Depression spawned expensive institutions like the Tennessee Valley Authority, crop subsidies, and Amtrak that are still with us today. From 1929 to 1941, the U.S. saw debt rise from $16.9 billion to almost $49 billion, an increase of 189 percent.
VERONIQUE DE RUGY, MERCATUS CENTER: Based on history we know while some of these measures are going to be scaled back when the crisis is over, a lot of them won't. And as a result, the size of government will be bigger and permanently bigger than it was before this crisis happened.
EMANUEL: The situation is, however, different from the recession that wreaked havoc on the U.S. economy just over a decade ago.
DE RUGY: This is not a great recession type of recession. This is not a one that is created by too little demand. This is one that is created by the fact that we have a pandemic and we are encouraging people not to consume.
EMANUEL: As businesses begin to reopen, economists believe we can likely avoid some of those impacts, though there may be other wider effects of continued unabated spending.
JAMES CAPRETTA, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE: The U.S.'s global position might start to slowly erode. CEOs have already said we are heading toward 180 percent GDP in debt by 2050, and that was before the pandemic. So with the pandemic we could be easily going towards 200 percent GDP. It's hard to imagine us doing that without a very, very substantial change of our global position.
EMANUEL: Narrowing the deficit between expected revenue and spending will require significant bipartisan cooperation. In a sharply divided Washington, that is expected to be a significant challenge. Bret?
BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Indeed, it will be. Mike, thank you.
The occupation of Seattle, downtown Seattle, continues, and so does the disagreement about how to possibly end it. We'll get some thoughts from the panel about all of this when we return.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They don't straighten that situation out, we're going to straighten it out. We're not going to let this happen in Seattle. If we have to go in, we're going to go in. The governor is either going to do it, let the governor do it. He's got great National Guard troops. He can do it. But one way or the other, it's going to get done. These people are not going to occupy a major portion of a great city.
DURKAN: There is no threat right now to the public, and we are looking, we're taking that very seriously. We're meeting with businesses and residents. But what the president threatened is illegal and unconstitutional. And the fact that he can think he can just tweet that and not have ramifications is just wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: The autonomous zone in downtown Seattle is the Capitol Hill area, it's about six blocks. Still no police there, the police precinct has been emptied out. You heard the mayor talking there. How long will this go on? The president says he wants to bring it to an end.
Let's bring in our panel, Byron York, chief political correspondent for the "Washington Examiner," Julie Pace is the Washington Bureau Chief for the Associated Press, and I think we have Steve Hayes, editor of "The Dispatch." Byron, let me start with you. The president saying this can't go on, but the mayor doesn't seem like it's an urgent matter.
BRYON YORK, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, "WASHINGTON EXAMINER": No, the mayor thinks it can go on. This is an outrageous situation, but I think what's really interesting about it is the president realizes that this is a problem, but the mayor of the city and the governor of the state don't seem to have any problem with it. The police chief does, by the way. We played earlier a quote of her saying that it's lead to longer police response times, which is going to end badly in some situation. So it's an extraordinary situation. I think a lot of Americans would be on President Trump's side, but, as we also learned during the coronavirus, lockdowns, these are decisions that governors and local leaders make. It is really not the president's decision what goes on in this autonomous zone in Seattle.
BAIER: Yes, Julie, I guess the question around the country is, if it happened there, can it happen in my city? Can it happen in downtown whatever, and what would happen on the state and local level if that did?
JULIE PACE, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, ASSOCIATED PRESS: This is ultimately a state and local issue, and we've been in this discussion, I think, for the last couple weeks really about what the federal role here is when you have a situation like this, or some of the protests elsewhere that we've seen, that did get violent.
And ultimately I think when it comes to whether the federal government can step in and use active duty military, we saw the side the Pentagon came down on with that, with Defense Secretary Esper saying it's not something that he's particularly comfortable except as a matter of last resort.
I do think that this is probably a situation at the moment that is a bit unique to Seattle. We haven't seen this popping up in any other cases. And I think for the most part I think people seem to understand that even if this moment where we are debating the role of law enforcement, I think most people understand that you have to find a way to coexist. I don't think we're going to end up in a lot of situations where the police are going to be abandoning cities, or even that a lot of people are going to be wanting police to abandon cities.
BAIER: Steve, I guess this is a little different, remember Occupy Wall Street, and there was all that effort, and -- but this seems like the city and even the state is saying, you know what, do your thing. Different.
STEVE HAYES, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, it certainly seems like that. The mayor almost seems, her comments almost seems like she enjoys this, where she sympathizes with the protestors.
Only a failure of leadership could lead to this kind of a situation. I think the president is probably happy with this as a political matter. He has had a brutal week from James Mattis to General Milley's apology for the Lafayette Square incident, to the polling that we've seen, to his tweet about the Buffalo protester, this has been a really, really rough week for President Trump. I'm sure he'd like to talk nothing more than about these protesters taking over a major chunk of Seattle.
BAIER: Yes, speaking of that, here is General Milley and the president reacting to that back and forth.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. MARK MILLEY, JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: I should not have been there. My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics. As a commissioned, uniformed officer, it was a mistake that I have learned from. And I sincerely hope we all can learn from it.
TRUMP: I think it was a beautiful picture. And I'll tell you, I think Christians think it was a beautiful picture.
If that's the way they feel, I think that's fine. I have good relationships with the military. I've rebuilt our military.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: Byron, thoughts?
YORK: Well, I think there's a couple things here. There's the Lafayette Square matter itself, and I do think the president certainly had the right to do what he did going to basically inspect the situation after protesters had set fire to a historic church not far away. The fact that the protesters were peaceful does not mean that they can block the entire city and the way of the president.
On the other hand, on the participation of General Milley, I can certainly understand his concerns about that, and it would've been better if he wasn't there. So I think the president was probably right to say, well, that's fine if they feel that way.
BAIER: Yes. Finally, there is this effort, not only statues, and the House Speaker has talked about that, but bringing down and changing the names of some of the U.S. military bases tied to Confederate heroes. Here is Nancy Pelosi on that issue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PELOSI: The American people know these names have to go. These names are white supremacist that said terrible things about our country. This is over 100 years -- after World War II, some of these names were given to these bases.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: Now, this isn't the first time there's been an effort to change these names. NPR had a report that "This is not the first time there's been a call to change the names of army bases. In 2015 after white supremacist Dylann Roof slaughtered black worshipers at South Carolina church, the Pentagon was pressed to remove the names of Confederate generals from its facilities. The Army wouldn't budge. "These historic names represent individuals, not causes or ideologies. It should be noted that the naming occurred in the spirit of reconciliation, not division." That is from the Brigadier General, the Army's spokesperson at the time.
Julie, it does seem different, the push seems greater now. Do you sense that this is going to lead to bigger changes?
PACE: I think certainly there's a desire among a really broad spectrum of people of all political parties and affiliations to reexamine this right now, and to just ask the question, is this the right thing? Is this the right way to recognize our history? I don't like anybody is talking about wiping away that history, but is it the right way to be recognizing that history?
The president, of course, has come down and said he does not want to take that step. And he, though, increasingly is an outlier. The Pentagon, again, another example of where the Pentagon does seem to be on the different side here with top military leaders, saying they are at least open to having this discussion.
BAIER: Yes, Steve, quickly, this is a big story and will continue to be, about where does this go, where does it go, where does it stop?
HAYES: Yes, it will be a big story. Look, some of the monuments and some of the buildings were not named in the spirit of reconciliation. In fact, they were named in a spirit of provocation. And I think it's far beyond time to have those buildings renamed. I think you would hope that we would do this in the spirit of deliberation and conversation. I suspect that that's probably not the way that this will unfold.
BAIER: We'll follow it either way. Panel, stand by. Next up, the Friday lightning round, moving the Republican Conversation, plus, winners and losers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: He's having a rally on Juneteenth in Arizona, and guess what, all the people coming to his rally, they have to sign a piece of paper saying if they get COVID in this, they will not sue the campaign. Come on, man.
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BAIER: The campaigns are moving forward, and the Trump campaign is going to Oklahoma, not Arizona. But they are moving forward.
Meantime, the convention has been moved to Jacksonville, Florida, where the nomination, re-nomination will happen for the president. But there will be some business in Charlotte, North Carolina.
We're back with the panel. Byron, what about this move by the Republicans, hurt North Carolina in the business area?
YORK: Certainly, it will. It will be a much scaled-down convention, or Republican presence in Charlotte as they do some of their business there. The idea of moving this is pretty audacious. It's June 12 and this thing is going to happen in late August. Parties plan these things for years.
On the other hand, as far as the virus is concerned, the country is much more open today than it was a month ago, and this is more than two months away. So hopefully the Republicans will be able to stage an event there without there being a danger to participants.
BAIER: Julie, there are some people piping up, many health experts are saying this is tough to watch these campaign events come back into form with a lot of people. However, they didn't really pipe up when all these protests were happening around the country. It seems like it's an interesting dichotomy.
PACE: Look, I think certainly, from a public health standpoint, any time you have people coming into a big group, no matter what purpose they are coming for, there's going to be some level of risk. I think that's fairly obvious at this point.
One thing we have had public health officials telling us about the rallies, but particularly a convention that does make it a bit different is a convention in particular, the idea is you take people from all over the country and you bring them into one concentrated place, then they leave and they go back all around the country. And so the potential for a spread not just in one community but really broadly is certainly higher when you add that kind of dynamic with so much travel involved in it.
BAIER: All right, Real Clear Politics average, Steve, has this race, Joe Biden up a little bit more than eight points, that's an average of recent polls. There's a lot of time yet. Do you think the president can turn the poll percentage around?
HAYES: Yes, look, I think if you look at what's happened over the past several months, to the extent that people are paying attention to politics, they're paying attention to a set of issues that is playing on Joe Biden's home turf, if you will. So it's not surprising. I think you combine that with, I think, unsteady leadership from the president in the midst of the coronavirus, with the briefings that I think turned off some people, and then I think several missteps over the past several weeks, it's not surprising that is lagging.
Joe Biden hasn't been very present on the campaign trail, as the Trump campaign has pointed out. I think when he is, it will give Donald Trump and his campaign want to punch back out.
BAIER: Yes. All right, let's do a quick Winners and Losers. Byron, your first, winner, then loser.
YORK: My winner is Senator Tom Cotton. All he did was write a mainstream op-ed for "The New York Times" but ended up causing the "Times" editorial board to just self-destruct. Very revealing about the state of modern journalism.
The loser is Christopher Columbus. At least three statues of the great explorer have been destroyed in recent days. But remember, the real losers here are the people who are doing the destroying.
BAIER: All right, Julie, winner and loser.
PACE: My winner is the Black Lives Matter movement. This is a group that as recently as a couple years ago was seen as pretty divisive and even extreme in some cases. It's a movement that has now gone very much mainstream. You're seeing that phrase brought up everywhere from Mitt Romney to NASCAR to the NFL right now.
My loser, the state of Georgia. Really had a lot of problems with voting earlier this week. This is a state that is poised to be a big general election battleground and is going to have a lot higher turnout in November to grapple with.
BAIER: All right, lightning, here you go. Winner and loser, Steve?
HAYES: My loser is Mayor Durkan of Seattle for obvious reasons that we discussed earlier. My winner is Tim Scott who has emerged as a strong spokesperson for Republicans not just on issues of race inequality. The longer he's a spokesperson for the Republican Party, the better the Republican Party will do.
BAIER: All right, panel, thank you very much. Make a great weekend. We'll see you.
When we come back, "Notable Quotables."
BAIER: Finally tonight, it is Friday, and you know what that means - "Notable Quotables."
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He didn't deserve to die over $20. Is that what a black man is worth, $20?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Until know the price for black life is the same for the price of white life, we're going to keep coming back to the situations over and over again.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our history as the greatest nation in the world will not be tampered with.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Masks can help, but it's masks plus physical separation. What we are seeing now is just an example of the kinds of things we were concerned about.
TRUMP: They took over a city, a city, a big city, Seattle, a chunk of it, a big chunk. Can't happen.
BIDEN: This president is going to try to steal this election.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Holding the entire police structure responsible for the actions of certain officers is wrong.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This isn't stained by someone in Minneapolis. It's still got a shine on it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Live PD" and "Cops," television shows, canceled. "Paw Patrol" was on the cutting board, too.
TRUMP: We want law and order. We have to have a lot of good things, but we have to have law and order.
REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D-CA) HOUSE SPEAKER: He seems to be the only person left who doesn't get it.
GEN. MARK MILLEY, JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: I should not have been there. My presence created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics. As a commissioned uniform officer, it was a mistake.
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BAIER: A lot can happen in one week of covering this time.
On "FOX News Sunday" this weekend with Chris Wallace, Ben Carson, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development among Chris's guests. Check your local listing for "FOX News Sunday."
Thanks for inviting us into your home tonight.
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