This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," March 3, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: I'm Chris Wallace.
President Trump faces stiff new challenges after a failed summit in Vietnam and his former fixer accuses him of crimes in the Oval Office.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: It was a very interesting two days and I think actually it was a very productive two days but sometimes you have to walk.
WALLACE: We'll sit down with White House national security advisor John Bolton to discuss what's next in the effort to end North Korea's nuclear threat. And back in Washington.
MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER TRUMP LAWYER: I'm here under oath to correct the record.
WALLACE: Michael Cohen returns to Congress this week to call out his former boss.
COHEN: I am ashamed, because I know what Mr. Trump is. He is a racist, he is a con man, and he is a cheat.
WALLACE: We'll talk with Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, a House Democratic leader about the road map Cohen laid out for investigating the president and we'll ask our Sunday panel who from Trump's inner circle Democrats will zero in on next.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF, D-CALIF.: We have to look at these on a case-by-case basis. We are going to try to do as much as we can.
WALLACE: All, right now, on "Fox News Sunday."
WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.
President Trump is coming off a rough week and the collapse of his summit with Kim Jong-un is just part of it. On Capitol Hill, Michael Cohen called his former boss a criminal. "The New York Times" reports the president ordered a top-secret security clearance for son-in-law Jared Kushner over his staff's objections.
And there's outrage over the president saying he believes the North Korean leader's claim he didn't know about the savage treatment of Otto Warmbier. In a moment, we'll speak with national security advisor John Bolton, who was in the final session in Vietnam between the president and Kim.
But first, here's chief congressional correspondent Mike Emanuel on Mr. Trump's rocky ride.
TRUMP: Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn't do that that.
MIKE EMANUEL, CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: President Trump walked away from negotiations with Kim Jong-un in Vietnam, cutting their second summit short. In the end, each side gave conflicting accounts of its terms for denuclearization in North Korea.
TRUMP: They were willing to denuke a large portion of the areas that we wanted, but we couldn't give up all of the sanctions for that.
RI YONG-HO, NORTH KOREAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): What we proposed was not the removal of all sanctions, but their partial removal.
EMANUEL: Half a world away in Washington.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you swear or affirm that --
EMANUEL: His former attorney Michael Cohen testified in front of Congress, calling the president a racist and a con man.
COHEN: Over time, I saw his true character revealed.
EMANUEL: Cohen admitted he did not know of any direct evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia but said Mr. Trump had potentially committed criminal activities since becoming president. President Trump disputed Cohen's testimony in a series of tweets, claiming that Cohen reportedly shopped the book which directly contradicts his testimony, calling it "a love letter to Trump".
House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff said Cohen will be back next Wednesday for more closed-door testimony.
SCHIFF: He was fully cooperative and answered all of our questions.
EMANUEL: The committee will also publicly question a promoter of the Trump Tower-Moscow project, Felix Sater. Meanwhile, the House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings had suggested his panel will reach out to the president's children and Trump organization finance chief Allen Weisselberg for potential testimony -- Chris.
WALLACE: Mike, thank you.
Joining me now, just back from Vietnam, is the president's national security advisor John Bolton.
Ambassador, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday".
WALLACE: Well, following the failed summit in Vietnam, where does diplomacy stand between the U.S. and North Korea? What is President Trump looking for and what is he willing to give?
JOHN BOLTON, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Well, I don't agree at all that it was a failed summit. I think the obligation of the president of the United States is to defend and advance American national security interest and I think he did that, by rejecting a bad deal and by trying again to persuade Kim Jong-un to take the big deal that really could make a difference for North Korea. As the president said, sometimes you have to walk away and I think he made a very important point to North Korea and to other countries around the world about negotiating with him.
He's not desperate for a deal, not with North Korea, not with anybody -- if it's contrary to American national interest.
WALLACE: Well, I want to pick up on that, though, because apparently it had become clear in the negotiations over the preceding weeks and finally days before Hanoi that the North Koreans were asking for a much greater sanctions relief in the president was willing to give. Under those circumstances, did it make sense to even hold the summit?
BOLTON: Well, you never know what the North Koreans are actually going to come with or if they're going to adhere to it. A big part of the problem here in all these discussions were the experts are saying, well, the North Koreans will give a part of their program and the U.S. will release some of the economic sanctions that has bedeviled prior administrations if the problem of incommensurability, that we are talking about things that don't have common measurements. And what North Korea has done consistently in the past is promised to denuclearize and then, by the way, not do it, to get economic benefits, which provide their economy a lifeline, get them out of the trouble they are in and then allow them to go back to the nuclear program.
That kind of mistake is exactly what President Trump said he would not permit in his administration and he did not do it.
WALLACE: You didn't really answer my first question, I'm now realizing, which is where do things stand and what does the president -- what does he want and what's he willing to give?
BOLTON: What he has said from the beginning, that North Korea, if it makes a strategic decision to denuclearize, can have a prospect of a very, very bright economic future. The president held the door open for North Korea and Singapore. They didn't walk through. He held it open for them again in Hanoi, they didn't walk through it.
He is ready to hold it open again, no fixed date for a third summit but he's turned traditional diplomacy on its head and after all in the case of North Korea, why not, traditional diplomacy has failed in the last three administrations.
WALLACE: You would agree that it's failed so far with you too?
BOLTON: Well, after eight months. I mean, he's got a record of 24 years of failure to stop North Korea for making progress on its nuclear program.
WALLACE: But would you agree that so far this move with Kim has failed?
BOLTON: I don't think we are in any worse shape than they were in past demonstrations. I think in fact we are in a stronger position because the maximum pressure campaign, as it's been called, of putting tighter economic sanctions on North Korea and enforcing those sanctions more effectively is what brought them to this point. And that program of maximum pressure will continue and I think have a real impact on Kim Jong-un.
WALLACE: I want to ask you about exactly that because before Singapore, the president said that he would not accept North Korea as a nuclear power and here's what you told me last April.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Is there any possibility that the U.S. would accept North Korea as a nuclear power and allow them to keep some of their infrastructure?
BOLTON: I don't see how that's possible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: But this week the president kept saying over and over again, there's no rush for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, to give up its missiles, the key is no testing and according to intelligence reports, U.S. intelligence reports, in the last year while they have not tested, North Korea has produced enough nuclear fuel for five to seven more nuclear weapons.
So I guess the question is, in effect, despite what you said, despite with the president said, aren't you accepting North Korea as a nuclear power, and haven't you, in fact, given a big concession, which is that in return for no testing, you've agreed to cancel major joint exercises with the South Koreans?
BOLTON: I don't think the president sees it that way at all. The objective of making sure that North Korea denuclearizes is still the policy of the administration. And I think --
WALLACE: Then why does he say no rush?
BOLTON: That the fact is that at the moment, the leverage is on the side of the United States, the economic sanctions continued to take hold.
There's no doubt over a protracted period of time, that the time does work in favor of the proliferator. But I think our judgment right now is that time works in the favor of the president's position as North Korea sees the effective of these sanctions taking greater effect.
WALLACE: And just briefly, can you give us a little of the mood music? You're in that meeting, you're at that table, you and the president and the secretary of state and the White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, at the same time with Kim and the other people, how did it fall apart? Who said what?
BOLTON: I don't think it fell apart. I think --
WALLACE: How did they end up leaving?
BOLTON: Well, they left on good terms and I think that was part of what the president wanted. He has --
WALLACE: You can look at this picture, were they -- at that meeting, who said what?
BOLTON: Look, there were several meanings that would take a long time, but I can tell you this, the president stressed to Kim Jong-un, he thought progress had been made. He thought that there were still negotiations that were possible. I would say the North Koreans were very disappointed we didn't buy their bad deal. You know, that's life in the big city.
WALLACE: Did Kim say anything? I mean, you remember famously Gorbachev and Reagan and Gorbachev said, what more could I have said and Reagan said, you could have said yes on SDI in Iceland. Any moment like that?
BOLTON: Well, I think there were several. The president kept saying take what he called the big deal -- denuclearization, make a decision, give up the nuclear chemical and biological weapons, give up the ballistic missiles.
He handed Kim Jong-un a piece of paper -- actually two, one in Korean and one English -- that laid out what we expected there. And in exchange for that, you get this well-placed piece of real estate as the president charges it from his business experience, that could have an extraordinary economic future.
WALLACE: What did Kim say?
BOLTON: He walked away from it.
WALLACE: All right. Meanwhile, the president seemed to absolve Kim Jong- un of any responsibility in the torture and death of Otto Warmbier. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: In those prisons and those camps, you have a lot of people and some really bad things happened to Otto, some really, really bad things. But he tells me -- he tells me that he didn't know about it, and I will take him at his word.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Well, the Warmbier family was shocked at that and so were top Republicans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CORY GARDNER, R-COLO.: The blood of Otto Warmbier is on the hands of Kim Jong-un.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: And the Warmbiers issue this statement: Kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death of our son Otto. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity. No excuses or lavish praise can change that.
Question, why did the president take Kim's word that he didn't know?
BOLTON: Look, the president has been very clear both in public and I've heard him in private in the Oval Office that he considers what happened to Otto Warmbier to be despicable and barbaric. And I think he made that clear in Hanoi and made it clear subsequently. I think the best thing --
WALLACE: Let me just interrupt for a second. He says -- I mean, I'm just going to read you the quote back again that we just played. He, Kim, tells me that he didn't know it and I will take about his work.
WALLACE: Why did he say that?
BOLTON: You know, what he's trying to convey is that he's got a difficult line to walk to negotiate with Kim Jong-un and at the same time demand what I think North Korea would find very much in its own best interests -- give us a complete accounting of who was responsible for what happened to Otto Warmbier. That would go a long way to improving relations.
WALLACE: But this is not the first time that the president has taken the word of an autocrat over outside evidence.
BOLTON: It's not taking the word. He said I'm going to take -- when he says, "I'm going to take him at his word," it doesn't mean that he accepted as reality, it means that he accepts that's what Kim Jong-un said.
WALLACE: So when he says "I take him at his word", it doesn't mean that he believes Kim Jong-un?
BOLTON: Well, that's what he said -- I think one way to prove that is to give the United States a complete accounting.
WALLACE: OK, regardless of it -- this is not the first time president has sided with an autocrat over outside evidence. Here's what the president said about the murder, the Saudi murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I hate the crime, I hate what's done, I hate the cover-up. And I will tell you this, the crown prince hates it more than I do and they have vehemently denied it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: And here is the president at the Helsinki Summit with Putin on whether Russia interfered in the 2016 election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I have great confidence in my intelligence people but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Why does the president trust Putin and MBS and Kim over U.S. intelligence?
BOLTON: I don't think that's what he's saying. And again, if you take the case of Khashoggi, he and others in the administration have said repeatedly we want from Saudi Arabia a complete top to bottom explanation of what happened.
WALLACE: It's been months and you haven't gotten it, and the Senate has been calling for stricter sanctions and you guys are opposing it. It certainly would happen in the case of Putin. He specifically said U.S. intelligence says this, but Putin says no.
BOLTON: And, fundamentally, in the case of all three of those countries, we've got to pursue American national interests. And that involves matters much weightier, much more important than some of these statements by the leaders.
Look, foreign leaders who are friends of ours lie to our face as well. This is nothing new in international relations.
WALLACE: But forgive me, and you go back to the Reagan years, too, as do I. Ronald Reagan, when he was dealing with Mikhail Gorbachev over the most sensitive issues continue to call him out on human rights and the abuses in the Soviet gulags. He didn't shy away from confronting Gorbachev with the tough issues
BOLTON: And I don't think President Trump has either. Certainly, as you heard, even in the tapes you played again on the Khashoggi thing, or on Otto Warmbier, he's decried the acts that we are concerned about as barbaric.
WALLACE: OK. There are reporters. I got to say, there's a lot of stuff to talk to you about today. Two more issues. One there are reports, none denied so far the president Trump ordered the White House to give a top- secret security clearance to Jared Kushner over the objections of the White House Chief of Staff John Kelly over the White House counsel, Don McGahn, and over the CIA. As national security advisor, do you have any concerns about Jared Kushner having access to the nation's top secrets?
BOLTON: I don't have any concerns. I deal with Jared all the time on the Middle East peace process in a number of other issues. I trust him.
I have no idea what the story is on the security clearance, it's not something that falls within my area of responsibility. But if asked, do I trust Jared Kushner? The answer is yes.
WALLACE: You do not think is a security risk?
BOLTON: I do not.
WALLACE: Other question on that, though, will the White House meet a deadline tomorrow to turn over to the House all documents that they are seeking on White House security clearances?
BOLTON: Well, you know, I'm involved in that since they have some nonsensical ideas about me, which I will one day be free to discuss as a private citizen, but as a White House official, all I can say is the White House counsel in the Department of Justice are handling that and whether I like it or not, I will leave it to them.
WALLACE: Meaning what when you say whether you like it --
BOLTON: What they are going to respond to the Congress.
WALLACE: Do you -- do you know whether they are going to turn over the papers or not?
BOLTON: I don't know. I think it's up to them. As I say, if I were a private citizen, I'd have a lot to say about this.
WALLACE: Well --
WALLACE: You know me too well. It's like you've dangled a piece of meat in front of me. Do you think that Congress doesn't have a right to that information?
BOLTON: I think, look, I think -- I've been, from my days at the Justice Department, a strong proponent of executive privilege and the ability of the executive branch to function free from unwarranted congressional interference. So, if by chance that's a stance that the White House counsel and the Justice Department take, I'll be fine with that as a matter of constitutional law.
I'm just saying, if I were unfettered by my official response abilities I'd be delighted to take on these allegations about me.
WALLACE: OK. Final question, Venezuela, for all the declarations from you and from other top White House officials and the quote is Maduro must go, the fact is he continues to hold onto power, there was this big face-off last week about humanitarian aid coming in or not.
They were able to block it generally speaking with some defections. The generals in the military are standing by him.
One, what you do next to try to force him out? And two, if the opposition leader Juan Guaido returns to Venezuela and the next day or so and is arrested, what will the U.S. response be?
BOLTON: Look, the opposition is very united. I think Maduro made a big mistake by trying to block the aid. And let's be clear, it wasn't so much of the regular Venezuelan military that blocked the aid coming across the borders, it was the colectivos, these bands of motorcycle gangs organized and trained and financed by Cuba. That's really one of the big problems in Venezuela, which in parts of Latin America they call "Cubazuela" because of the influence of the Cubans that we need to get rid of.
Now, let me just say with respect to the military, there are countless conversations going on below the surface as to where the military will go. I think Maduro's position is very precarious. We want to see a peaceful transition of power.
WALLACE: If Guaido was arrested, what will the U.S. response be?
BOLTON: Well, I -- we're going to -- we are going to watch what happens. I think we warned Maduro and his henchmen and the Cubans very clearly, but the opposition is united in ways unprecedented over the last 20 years and if Maduro took that step, I think it would just hasten the day that he leaves.
WALLACE: Ambassador Bolton, thank you. Thanks for answering all questions, always good to talk with you, sir.
BOLTON: Glad to be with you.
WALLACE: Up next, we will bring in our center group to discuss the fallout from the Trump-Kim summit.
Plus, what would you like to ask the panel about President Trump demanding top-secret clearance for Jared Kushner? Just go to Facebook or Twitter, @FoxNewsSunday, and we may use your question on the air.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We actually had papers ready to be signed but it just wasn't appropriate. I want to do it right. I'd much rather do it right than do it fast.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: President Trump on why he did not strike a deal with Kim Jong-un at the Vietnam summit.
And it's time now for our Sunday group. The cofounder of the web magazine "The Federalist", Ben Domenech; Marie Harf, co-host of "Benson and Harf" on Fox News Radio; former Democratic Congresswoman Jane Harman, director of the Woodrow Wilson Center, and Fox News correspondent Gillian Turner.
Well, Congresswoman Harman, there are reports before the two leaders ever got together in Vietnam and I talked about this with John Bolton, that the North Koreans were demanding a lot more in terms of sanctions relief than the White House was ever willing to give. Two questions basically that I asked Ambassador Bolton. One, should the summit have ever been held? And two, does its failure -- how much does it setback U.S.-North Korean relations?
JANE HARMAN, D-CALIF., FORMER CONGRESSWOMAN: Well, should have been held now? No, it wasn't ready and Bolton is right that over three administrations the efforts to negotiate a good deal with North Korea have failed. Does it hurt U.S.-North Korean relations? I don't really think so.
I think if you look at it in terms of North Korea, they won. I mean, here is Kim on his 2,000-mile trek on his train going to a state visit in Vietnam after the summit and now going back in meeting with Xi Jinping and he keeps all his nukes and he is an operator on the world stage. So -- and he's got a closer relationship with China then he used to have, so I'd call that a win for Kim, and I don't see how that hurts his view of us.
It does hurt us on the world stage. People are looking at this and I think it makes our leverage even les than it has been in other parts of the world.
WALLACE: Yes, I want to pick up on that with you, Ben, and specifically were terms of U.S.-North Korean relations because what the president walked away from the summit, it does appear that he is softening his terms. Originally, they were talking about no concessions until North Korea gives up everything and now they seem to be saying, well, this was too big and ask what we would give up some things, corresponding measures it's called, in return for some progress on denuclearization.
BEN DOMENECH, THE FEDERALIST: First, Chris, just to be clear, the North Koreans are never going to give up their nuclear program. It is -- they're never going to fully denuclearize and that's something that I think that the intelligence community has very much agreed on and I'm not always in agreement with them, but I think in this case it's very true.
Second, I think that the frame of this whole sort of conversation around this summit was a little bit inaccurate from the get-go. All of the analysis going and was warning against the idea that the president was going to be willing to agree to a bad deal, just in order to have it win in terms of the frame of what this was viewed out on the world stage and here at home.
I think, clearly, this sort of surprised a number of people who went in there expecting that the president would give up a lot as opposed to doing what he did, which was walk away, which I think was the right decision in this context. I do consider the congresswoman to be correct when she says this is a temporary win for Kim, but I think in the grander scheme of things, we would have been much more hurt by a bad deal in this instance than taking a step back and saying, let's come at this again, particularly after withdrawal from the INF.
We have the ability to potentially deploy a lot different sort of material around that region than we did when we were part of that agreement.
WALLACE: Material is one way of saying intermediate ranged nuclear missiles.
We asked you for questions for the panel and on another issue, the issue of President Trump reportedly ordering his staff to give Jared Kushner a top- secret clearance, Brian Castaldo tweeted this: What does Jared actually bring to the table that demands he have a security clearance? Marie, how do you answer Brian both on the question of the security clearance and on Kushner's performance on the international stage?
MARIE HARF, CO-HOST, "BENSON & HARF": Well, there's nothing that Jared Kushner brings to the table in terms of substantive expertise or history or knowledge of these issues that require he have a clearance and work on these issues. The president does have the ability to say Jared, you are my guy on Middle East peace, I want you to work on that. The president also has the authority to give him a security clearance over the expressed wishes of the intelligence community.
But it raises two questions, the first is, should the president have done that? He had the authority, but was it in the U.S. national security interest to do so? Congress is investigating that right now and hopefully they will get some answers. The second question it raises is why the president and other people keep lying about it publicly. That is a problem I think for national security interest and just for the president's credibility.
WALLACE: And when you say that, we should point out the president denied an interview in "The New York Times" that he had done anything to interfere or to push Kushner's security clearance and so did Ivanka Trump.
HARF: Exactly, so for those of us who have gone through the tedious process of documenting every foreign contact of filling out these security clearance forms, there's a reason they are adjudicated the way they are and we need from Donald Trump and his administration a clear answer why Jared is so needed to have this clearance that they overrode the CIA's concerns about Jared and his foreign contacts.
WALLACE: What about the argument, hey, on the president, I got elected, I trust him?
HARF: He has the authority to do it, Chris, you're right. He got elected, he can do it. It doesn't mean he should do it and it certainly doesn't mean that Congress should not ask tough questions about why Jared so needed to have this clearance.
And this just shows another complication with hiring family members. It can cloud your judgment.
Did he override in any other cases? There's reporting that in at least 40 cases, people were denied security clearances. Were those overridden as well? There's a process for a reason here, and it's to protect national security.
DOMENECH: Marie, you know that Ben Rhodes was denied a clearance, OK? He's a vacuous fool (ph) --
WALLACE: We should point out. Ben Rhodes was on the national security council staff for Barack Obama.
DOMENECH: Look, this is all about the president being able to hire who he wants and have them in the position that he wants. This is a basic executive --
HARF: Basic process is unnecessary?
WALLACE: All right. Wait, wait, guys, let me bring in Gillian who is --
GILLIAN TURNER, CORRESPONDENT: The key that nobody is talking about, I am been able to confirm it. As far as the reporting I've looked at, nobody else has been able to confirm this -- the key question is whether Jared Kushner actually ever took a polygraph and whether he passed or failed.
So, as somebody who had a top-secret security clearance for five years, an important part of that process for 95 percent of the people who get that clearance ultimately is whether they passed or the polygraph. If Jared Kushner passed a polygraph test and it was then the judgment of the CIA and the intel community he shouldn't get the clearance and the president overrode it, that is one matter. If Jared Kushner failed a polygraph test and then the president overrode the decision of the intel community to deny him a clearance anyway, that is an entirely different issue.
WALLACE: I have to -- I have to say, that's a pretty explosive -- I'm not saying you're alleging it, but even to bring up, why would you even bring that up?
TURNER: Well, because -- I bring it up because again, as somebody who had a security clearance, this is -- I know that that's a major component of the process. And a lot of people --
HARMAN: Not all the time, right?
TURNER: I said, about 90 percent of the time.
HARMAN: Because I have one, I served on the Defense Policy Board and I served on the CIA board, and that was not a requirement.
TURNER: Right. As I said, about 90 percent of people who have a TS/SCI security clearance also undergo a polygraph test as part of that.
WALLACE: And what do you think -- the question I asked Marie. I mean, all of this is because the president thinks this guy, I really trust. So far in the two years that he's been a top advisor to the president, how do you think Jared Kushner has done? Saudi Arabia, China, now the Mideast, he's supposedly is the architect of the Mideast peace deal?
TURNER: Well, we haven't seen a deal yet. We haven't seen the proposal, so we don't know really what avenue he's going to launch from. I mean, we've been hearing for two years that the deal on the U.S. side, proposals are sort of nearing conclusion and that Jared has been traveling to the Middle East to talk about it with both sides of -- you know, the Israelis and the Palestinians, but we haven't seen exactly --
WALLACE: Congresswoman, you got 45 seconds, final word.
HARMAN: How he performs is not the issue. The issue is whether he is a threat to national security because of relationships he has with foreign governments. So, I -- you know, I didn't know Ben Rhodes didn't have a security clearance, but -- and I don't know why he didn't have a security clearance, but I don't think --
DOMENECH: He's denied initially by the FBI.
HARMAN: I don't think it's relevant how he performed.
DOMENECH: I agree.
HARMAN: I think it's relevant what foreign ties he had and whether he's deemed a national security threat.
WALLACE: Well, let me just say as we end this conversation, I seem to be the only one on this panel who has never had a national security top secret clearance and probably with good reason, because I can't (INAUDIBLE) very well.
WALLACE: All right, panel. We have to take a break here.
Up next, what impact does former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's testimony have on future investigations into the president's private and public conduct? We'll talk with a member of House Democratic leadership, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, next.
WALLACE: Coming up, President Trump continues to go after the Russia investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: There's no collusion. So now they go and morph into, let's inspect every deal he's ever done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: We'll ask a top Democrat what to expect from her party once the Mueller report is finally released.
WALLACE: Michael Cohen's testimony is just the tip of the iceberg of what House Democrats plan for investigating the president.
Joining me now to discuss what comes next, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell. If she co-chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee.
And, congresswoman, welcome back to “Fox News Sunday.”
REP. DEBBIE DINGELL, D-MICH.: Chris, it's good to be with you.
WALLACE: This is the first time that I've had a chance to see you and to talk with you since you lost your wonderful husband of 38 years, John Dingell. I know I speak for a lot of people, how are you doing?
DINGELL: It's hard. You know, I -- but I can hear him in my ear saying get back out there and work. He was a great man and we had a love affair -- you know the love affair we had. You were there when I -- I remember talking to you about whether I should accept that first date with him. And we were -- he was my love.
WALLACE: And what did I say?
DINGELL: Well, you didn't want me to marry him. It -- most people don't know that you and I lived next door to each other.
WALLACE: Yes, we did. And -- and you were very -- you were like the -- the -- the fairy godmother to my children. I didn't want you to move out of town.
DINGELL: And I didn't want to move. So that was hard. But we had a love affair and you know the love affair we had and I've got a hole in my heart.
WALLACE: Good. Good. Well, we -- it's a hole in a lot of our hearts and you have a lot of friends.
DINGELL: Thank you.
WALLACE: President Trump spoke at CPAC yesterday and he said with the Russia investigation, his terms, now basically falling apart, House Democrats want to go after him on a bunch of other things. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: So they don't have anything with Russia. There's no collusion. So now they go and morph into, let's inspect every deal he's ever done. We're going to go into his finances. We're going to check his deals. We're going to check -- these people are sick.
Right now we have people in Congress that hate our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: And, in fact, there are at least six House committees, got them up on the screen, looking into various areas, from Russia, to Mr. Trump's tax returns, to his charitable foundation. I know that the House Democratic majority is also passing bills -- you passed the gun control bill this week -- but do you really want Trump investigations to take up so much of the time and drown out so much of the other things you're doing?
DINGELL: So I'm going to actually say that we, as a Congress, not just Democrats, Democrats and Republicans, can walk and chew gum at the same time. Congress has a fundamental responsibility for oversight and investigations. And I think we have abdicated it the last two years.
At the same time we have a fundamental responsibility to the people that elected us to be for the people. And I think that we've got to make sure we're -- we did guns this week, which is a subject that matters deeply to me. It's very complicated for me, as you well know too.
But we've got to do something about health care. There isn't a Republican that cannot care as much as we as Democrats do about how much the cost of insulin is. We need to do something about our broken infrastructure. The president said he would work with us. We need to do something about pensions and trade and a lot of other -- we can do both.
WALLACE: But -- but the fact is, even -- even though you passed the gun control bill this week, most people don't even know that because the only thing that got attention from the news media, and I think rightly so, was the Cohen hearing.
DINGELL: So, I -- look, I think the Cohen hearing is a first step in a very legitimate oversight process where we need to understand. I don't think -- I don't quite agree with the president. I don't know what the Mueller investigation is going to say. I'm staying -- I'm waiting for facts. I think we need to get the facts. People are asking questions. And not all oversight needs to be, as you see, Chairman Schiff is holding closed-door hearings. They're gathering the facts. They're getting the information. That's legitimate.
But we are also, and need to, deliver for the American people.
DINGELL: And they're holding us accountable. Do you think that people across this country aren't worried about what's happening to the cost of insulin, which has gone up like $300, $400 a month? We need to do something on drug prices and that's something we should be able to agree on.
WALLACE: All right, you talked about the Mueller report. The president spoke out very graphically and forcefully yesterday at CPAC about the Mueller special counsel investigation. In fact, we had to bleep out some of this. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: All of a sudden they're trying to take you out with bull (EXPLETIVE DELETED), OK. With bull (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: You've said -- before this you've said that -- that Democrats moving to impeach the president could, in your words, tear the country apart.
Where are you on impeachment now? More importantly, where is the House Democratic leadership? Is that off the table?
DINGELL: I think that we're waiting for the facts. I've always said that. And I do not think an impeachment should ever be a partisan event. I think we need to have Republicans and Democrats or it will tear this country apart. It's a very serious movement. But that's why oversight's a legitimate function. This investigation is a legitimate function.
You know, one of the things that I thought about as everybody started talking about, why do we need to know about Russia or why do -- you know, during this government shutdown, I met with TSA, FBI, Custom and Border Patrol, Secret Service, and all of them were scared to death that their credit rating could be impacted and they could lose their job. And why would they lose their job? Because people think that they might be subject to some kind of blackmail.
So, if we're going to hold a TSA or an FBI or s Secret Service who puts their life on the line, isn't that a legitimate role of government to make sure that our top leaders are not -- that we're just getting the facts to make sure that there isn't any interference in this Russia -- by Russia in our election process or there isn't something that's being held over the head of any elected official?
WALLACE: You talk about a bipartisan effort, but the fact is in that five hours, whatever it was a factual running time, House Oversight Committee hearing, every Republican with the possible exception of your fellow Michigander Justin Amash, sided strongly with the president and went after Michael Cohen. There was no bipartisan agreement about even looking into the allegations that Cohen was making.
DINGELL: So we want --
WALLACE: Are you disappointed that Republicans aren't --
DINGELL: I -- I think that Republicans have -- you know, I -- we talked about John at the beginning of this show. He was equally hard on members of his own party as he was too Republicans. He believed that that was one of the most fundamental responsibilities of our Congress is to hold people accountable.
I don't know what's going on behind closed doors with Chairman Schiff. I have talked to Republicans who are concerned that there not be interference by Russia. I think that some people need to get the courage to ask questions. And I think that we've got to ask the questions and build the case. And we've got to do it objectively and fairly. And the more we do it together, the better this country is.
WALLACE: OK. So you ask about asking questions. And that raises the question, how far should Democrats be willing to go? For instance, should House Democrats move -- even if it takes a subpoena -- to get the president's tax records? Should they, particularly given the testimony that we heard from Michael Cohen this week, should they require that the president's kids, Eric, Don Junior, Ivanka, come up and testify?
DINGELL: Well, I think that people are going to have to really do some strong thinking about that. I think that there's some reason to think that they may have answers to questions or have been part of discussions.
I think these tax returns are a very interesting discussion. You know, we have financial disclosure on The Hill. We have to -- well, we have it in the executive branch as well. And when you're seeing the kinds of discussions that you are seeing, it's a very legitimate question and we have to talk about it. I think that if he makes his tax returns public, a lot of people, if you're running for president, do you need to make your tax returns -- I think it --
DINGELL: I mean becomes a question, should everybody have to make them?
WALLACE: Last month Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota suggested on Twitter that Israel supporters in Congress are, in effect, being brought by pro-Israel lobbies. She said this, it's all about the Benjamin's, baby.
Omar apologized for that, but this week she was at it again. She said at a town hall, I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it's OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.
The -- the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said that those more recent comments by Omar are anti-Semitic.
Will the House Democratic leadership discipline Congresswoman Omar?
DINGELL: You know, I'm going to say what I'm worried about in this country, which is what -- this fear and hatred that we're seeing. Anti-Semitism is not OK. We can never forget what happened in Germany and we have to remember that.
But, you know, I come from -- my -- I represent the largest Muslim population in this country too. And the hatred and the targeting we're seeing. One of the most fundamental pillars of our Constitution is under attack. And that is freedom of religion. And we have got to make sure on both sides that everybody is being very careful.
When you look at what happened to her in West Virginia on Friday. Congressman Omar was not all right either. She needs to be careful of her language. We should -- cannot attack -- we have to be very, very careful of anti-Semitism.
And I think -- have talked to Nancy and Steny on Monday and see what they're -- what -- you know, how we all bring ourselves together. But I see it on both sides.
DINGELL: I see too much hatred, period.
WALLACE: Finally, 2020, you're not running for president, are you?
DINGELL: I am not running for president.
WALLACE: OK. You're the only one of the Democratic Party who isn't.
You are, relatively speaking, in the center. One of the more moderate -- I know you're part of the Progressive Caucus, but in his group, you're relatively moderate in the Democratic Party.
Do you worry that some of these candidates, announced candidates for president, are moving so far to the left and proposing programs that are so expensive that you could conceivably open up an avenue and make it easier for Donald Trump to win re-election?
DINGELL: I'm a pragmatist, by the way, just for the record. I told you two years ago Donald Trump could win, and you all thought I was crazy. And he could win re-election. We have got to be very smart about running this election.
I'm a pragmatist. I am for universal health care, Medicare for all, but I want to get there. If you don't have the vision, you're not going to get there.
We've got a problem with global climate change. I -- you know, people are mad at me all the time. The auto industry's mad at me because I say we need to set 30 fuel economy standards for 2030.
WALLACE: To remind -- to remind people, you are a congresswoman for Michigan.
DINGELL: Michigan. And -- an auto person. But -- and -- you know, but -- so what I do is I went to AOC and said, AOC, we want to go to a carbonless society. Will you work with me to build an electric infrastructure that will help give confidence for people to buy electric vehicles?
WALLACE: And -- and -- and we're running out of time. What did she say?
DINGELL: She's coming to Detroit. I invited her to Detroit and she's going to work with me. That's why we -- everything's got to be like this. Why can't we work together for common goals?
WALLACE: Congresswoman Dingell, again, we are so sorry for your loss. John Dingell, you know, you pointed out --
DINGELL: Was my love.
WALLACE: We were personal friends. You and I have been friends for a long time. He's a remarkable -- was a remarkable man. Thank you for coming in today. And we -- we share in your loss.
DINGELL: Thank you, Chris.
WALLACE: When we return, we'll bring back our Sunday group to discuss President Trump's comments about the increased scrutiny he's facing from congressional Democrats, who, as you just heard says they hate the country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: He lied a lot, but it was very interesting because he didn't lie about one thing. He said no collusion with the Russian hoax.
MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: He doesn't give you orders. He speaks in a code. And I understand the code because I've been around him for a decade.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Michael Cohen and President Trump with very different takes on what the president's former fixer said this week.
And we're back now with the panel.
Ben, Michael Cohen, as the president said, he said a lot about campaign contributions, about potential bank fraud, insurance fraud, tax fraud, but he had almost nothing to offer when it came to alleged collusion with the Russians. So, in the end, how much do you think he hurt the president?
BEN DOMENECH, "THE FEDERALIST": Well, I don't think that he actually told us a lot that was new, but it was a circus and it was salacious, which is why it got as much attention as it did. Certainly entertaining at various points.
I think that Michael Cohen indicates where things are going in terms of the conversation about the legal situation surrounding the president, which is that we're shifting away from this collusion narrative that we've been given for the last two years and instead talking about campaign finance issues and things that are much more under the purview of the Southern District of New York. And that's going to be, I think, the legal challenge for the president moving forward.
In terms of what Democrats on Capitol Hill are going to do with this information, this all is taking place in the context of the push backed by the Democratic base for impeachment of the president, impeachment, which is, I think, unlikely to happen given the leadership of the Democrats and what they want to have going forward. The risks that they think would be entailed with pursuing impeachment in a situation as they have it today.
WALLACE: All right, we're going to get more into impeachment in the moment.
But, Marie, what about this argument -- and the president said it and Ben suggested it as well, that the Russia collusion, obstruction of justice, is basically a dry hole. So Democrats are shifting the terms of the debate to basically what the president did before he ever came to office as citizens Trump.
MARIE HARF, CO-HOST, "BENSON AND HARF": I think that's wishful thinking on the part of a lot of Republicans and the president. There are two big buckets of things that we heard from Michael Cohen this week that -- that will be important going forward. The first is about the Russia investigation. Michael Cohen testified that Donald Trump had advance knowledge of WikiLeaks releasing information it had gotten from the Russians that they had stolen. Donald --
WALLACE: Wait, wait, wait. I mean he claims that he overheard a conversation --
HARF: Right. Exactly.
WALLACE: Between Roger Stone and the president.
WALLACE: But there's no backup for that. I mean it's his word.
HARF: So -- so it opens the door. It doesn't answer any questions, but it puts a lot more on the table. Donald Trump has said under oath, in answers to Bob Mueller, that he never discussed WikiLeaks with Roger Stone. So, again, not an answer, but more questions about Donald Trump, WikiLeaks and the Russians.
Also, not all the criminal conduct that was alleged in that hearing was from before Donald Trump became president. Some of it, including with -- with checks, with -- with documentary evidence is from when Donald Trump was in office. Michael Cohen testifying he knows of other criminal behavior that is being investigated currently by the Southern District of New York that Donald Trump undertook. Those are two big places where going forward we are going to be focused. Russia absolutely still a key part of that, Chris.
WALLACE: Let's take -- step back and take a look at the big picture.
Congresswoman, you were in Congress in 1998 when the Republicans were hell- bent on impeaching Bill Clinton. They did and they ended up facing a big backlash for doing it. It was seen as an overreach.
How do you think Democrats handle impeachment and what about all these investigations of Trump, six -- at least six committees looking into every part of the president's dealings, both as a private citizen and as president?
JANE HARMAN, FORMER CONGRESSWOMAN: Well, let me say first that during my nine terms in Congress, I served with John Dingell. He was the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee on which I served. He was a magical, magnificent leader. And Debbie is such a worthy successor. It was really touching to see your interview.
On this, yes, I was there and I was also there as a young lawyer in the early '70s during the Saturday Night Massacre and when Richard Nixon was impeached. And two very different scenes. But in the late '90s, everything stopped and it was viewed as totally political. And during that time, let's understand, that al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden grew in strength. I mean there had been the attacks right before that on the African embassy. So everyone took our collective eye off of critically important national security things to focus on this impeachment. And it was damaging. Yes, it was damaging to one party, but I'd rather say it was damaging to the country to go through the exercise. I'm not saying impeachment is never worth it, it has to happen, it's a constitutional remedy, but segue to now with all these investigations going on.
I think the good news about that is that Nancy Pelosi is an adult and she's exercising an iron hand over where all this is going and keeping people in -- in their -- in their places. And are a few people already favoring impeachment? Yes, they are. But I think Bob Mueller is going to have a major work --
WALLACE: Well, yes, and --
HARMAN: Here when his report in some form comes out.
WALLACE: And I want to pick up on that with you, Gillian, because we are talking about all this in perfect ignorance of what's going to be in the Mueller report and, you know, it was supposed to come out last week. Now people talking maybe this week or whenever. We don't know what he's going to say and what he's going to find out how hard the evidence is going to be about possible collusion, possible obstruction of justice.
We also don't know what Bill Barr -- because he gives the, quote, confidential report to the attorney general, then the attorney general decides what to share with Congress.
GILLIAN TURNER, CORRESPONDENT: We don't know if we'll ever get to see anything. We, the American people. We may not get a bite at this report ever.
But I think the best possible scenario, based on what the law spells out here, is that, you know, it goes from Mueller to Barr, Barr to Congress, and they decide to release some portions of it or some heavily redacted portions of it.
My worry for the country with that scenario, with that likely scenario, is, is this report ever going to amount to anything more than a Rorschach test for the two political sides anyway? Is it going to -- short of collusion in the form of, we've got video of President Trump talking to President Putin about the -- about WikiLeaks. Something short of that direct, both sides will take from this report what they want to see and retreat to their corners and we will be exactly where we are today now having had the report released behind us. I think that will be very toxic for -- for the country.
WALLACE: And, congressman, if, and I want to repeat, this is just speculative, but it's a legitimate issue. If Bill Barr, because under the regulations he decides what to release to Congress and therefore what to release to the public, if he decides to limit what he's going to release, particularly if Mueller says there's not the basis to indict the president, for instance, what will Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats do?
HARMAN: Well, I can't speak for them, but I --
WALLACE: Right. Your guess?
HARMAN: I -- I think that Congress is an independent branch of government. I think they will demand to see as much as possible of the report. And we don't know what would be in it. And there may be some indictments -- more indictments that come down before the report. And, remember, he's very good, Mueller, at these speaking indictments. So you learn a lot through each indictment. But whatever that is, I think what she will do in some very coordinated and disciplined way is exercise the oversight responsibilities of Congress, do the investigations, where they lead, and there are investigations about the connection to Russia and there are reasons to think there might have been a connection to Russia and there are reasons to think there may have -- might have been a connection to Russia. And -- and then we'll see. But I'm hoping that the country sticks together, that the toxic partisanship starts to somehow magically disappear.
WALLACE: Good luck with that.
Thanks, panel. See you next Sunday.
And we'll be back with a final word.
WALLACE: For the latest on the fallout from the summit with North Korea and from Michael Cohen's continuing testimony on Capitol Hill, keep it on this Fox station and Fox News Channel.
And that's it for today. Have a great week and we'll see you next “Fox News Sunday.”
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