This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," June 2, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: I'm Chris Wallace.
President Trump announces escalating tariffs on Mexico, trying to stop the flow of migrants across the border, but what will that mean for the U.S. economy?
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We have to do something to secure our border. If we have to make sure we are protecting the people of this country, and the president is looking at all options.
WALLACE: We'll discuss the president's decision and the impact it will have on consumers, illegal immigration, and the U.S.-Mexico trade deal, with White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.
Then, former special counsel Robert Mueller breaks his silence.
ROBERT MUELLER, SPECIAL COUNSEL: If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: Russia did not help me get elected. If you know who got elected? You know who got me elected? I got me elected.
WALLACE: But Mueller says he does not want to go before Congress.
MUELLER: The work speaks for itself and the report is my testimony.
WALLACE: We'll discuss what's next in the Russia investigation with Congressman Doug Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee.
REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF.: We want to do what is right and what gets results.
WALLACE: We'll ask our Sunday panel how long Speaker Pelosi can hold off Democratic calls for impeachment.
And some words of wisdom for the class of 2019.
OPRAH WINFREY, TV HOST: I was told that I was going to be taking off the evening news and put on a talk show. That actually worked out for me.
WALLACE: All, right now, on "Fox News Sunday".
WALLACE: And hello again today from the University of Dubuque, home of the Spartans, and tonight the sight of our townhome with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on Fox News Channel.
We came to the masterpiece on the Mississippi as it's called here, to get a sense of where the Democratic race stands here in Iowa, site of the first in the nation caucuses in just nine months.
But President Trump continues to dominate the news, this week with his surprise plan to use tariffs to pressure Mexico to stop the flood of migrants to the U.S. border. In a moment, we'll speak with White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.
But, first, Kevin Corke's live in London ahead of the president's state visit to the U.K. tomorrow -- Kevin.
KEVIN CORKE, CORRESPONDENT: Chris, the president's latest visit here to the U.K. comes at a time of political change here. As you know, Theresa May, the British prime minister, will very soon be stepping down from her post but it also comes amid growing political headwinds back home as there are now some Republicans that are panning the president's latest tariff threat.
CORKE: President Trump's visit to the United Kingdom couldn't offer a more stark contrast as he prepares to meet both Britain's longest-serving monarch and its soon-to-be departing prime minister. But before arriving, Mr. Trump made headlines here in the U.K. by throwing his support behind MP Boris Johnson, a favorite to replace the outgoing May, saying he'd make an excellent prime minister.
The president also suggested that the U.K. make a hard break with E.U., and no-deal Brexit with no $50 billion fee, adding the U.S. could quickly make a deal with the U.K. to help soften the blow.
Back in the States, tariff talk dominated the week with the president threatening to hit Mexico with escalating tariffs if the country didn't end its, quote, passive cooperation with the mass migration from Central America through Mexico to the U.S. southern border.
The tariffs would go into effect June 10th, climbing monthly in 5 percent increments all the way up to 25 percent by October 1st.
SANDERS: We are asking Mexico to enforce their own laws to help stop the people coming in from Central America.
CORKE: But the president's approach, linking mass migration with drug trafficking and now trade policy, is drawing sharp criticism from members of his own party. Iowa Senate Republican Chuck Grassley called it a misuse of presidential tariff authority. Fellow Iowa Senator Joni Ernst said the livelihoods of Iowa farmers and producers are at stake.
CORKE: All with USMCA hanging in the balance. On Wednesday, Chris, we expect the foreign minister of Mexico to be in Washington for a meeting with his counterpart, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, as the two sides try to tamp down that tariff threat -- Chris.
WALLACE: Kevin Corke reporting from London -- Kevin, thank you.
And joining me now from Washington, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.
Mick, how seriously should we take the president's threat to raise these tariffs?
Is this basically a negotiating ploy to get Mexico's attention or does he really mean it that if Mexico doesn't stop the flow of migrants across our southern border, that he will start imposing these tariffs on June 10th?
MICK MULVANEY, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Chris, good morning, and thank you for starting with such an easy question.
He's absolutely deadly serious. In fact, I fully expect these tariffs to go onto at least the five percent level on June 10th.
The president is deadly serious about fixing the situation at the southern border. This is not the first time I'm on your program talking about what's happening on the Mexican U.S. border. We've been talking about it for months.
Six months ago, we told everybody it was an emergency situation. Very few people believed us. In fact, I've talked with you about how the Democrats even refused to believe the facts six months ago.
So, it's real. We had a group of 1,000 people -- not in different times, one group of 1,000 people walk across the border just in the last couple of days, 2,500 people are coming over every single day as opposed to 700 just two years ago.
So, the numbers are huge. The situation is real. And the president is deadly serious about fixing the problem.
WALLACE: All right. The president says in his words that this problem must be, quote, "remedied", and the question is, what does that mean? What specifically do the Mexicans have to do? And how will he judge whether or not they've met his goal?
MULVANEY: A couple -- it's a couple different things they can do, and in fact, Bob Lighthizer is meeting with Mexicans this week, Mike Pompeo is meeting with the Mexican representatives this week along with Mr. Kushner, I believe.
And we are talking to them about specific things they can do, and they know these things. They can secure their southern border, their southern border with Guatemala and most of the people who are coming in through Mexico now are not Mexico -- not Mexicans, they are from Guatemala and El Salvador, other countries south of Mexico.
That border is only a quarter as long as the border with the United States. They could secure that border. They could go after their domestic terrorist organizations, their criminal organizations, who are in the business moving people across Mexico.
Keep in mind, at any one time, there's 100,000 migrants in Mexico making their way up to the United States. And lastly, they could make Mexico a safe place for these people to claim asylum.
Ordinarily when you leave a country like El Salvador and you claim asylum, you do that in the first safe country in which you arrive. Mexico is safe, the people should be able to stay there if they're really seeking asylum. So, the specific things that the Mexicans can do.
Regarding the measure, we intentionally left the declaration sort of ad hoc so that we could work with the Mexicans to make sure that things did get better. So there's no specific target, there's no specific percentage.
But things have to get better, they have to get dramatically better and they have to get better quickly.
WALLACE: All right. Let's talk about the possible downsides that a lot of people are raising. The U.S. imported last year $350 billion in Mexican goods -- everything from cars to avocados.
Now, if the president ends up imposing -- it's going to start as a five percent tariff by October if things haven't been remedied, that's a 25 percent tariff. That would amount to a $87 billion tax increase on American companies and consumers.
MULVANEY: Two different answers to that. First of all, that's sort of -- yes, I get that, that's the economic orthodoxy that when tariffs go up, consumer prices go up.
But the proof is in the pudding, there is no inflation. Prices have not gone up. We've put -- put tariffs on China, we're putting tariffs on Mexico, and inflation is still under control. That's because that old- fashioned economic orthodoxy doesn't work when it's relatively easy to substitute other goods.
Prices from China have gone up. American consumers have gone to products that are made in the United States, for example, that don't carry those tariffs. We think the same thing will happen here and American consumers will not pay for the burden of these -- of these tariffs.
Secondly, the second part to my answer is this -- is this which is, which is there's already a price associated with illegal immigration. American taxpayers are paying hundreds of billions of dollars for illegal immigrants. They're paying hundreds of billions of dollars for the drugs that come across the southern border. So, there's already a cost associated with this that we are trying to get off of the backs of ordinary Americans.
WALLACE: All right. Let me go to the next concern that people have, which is that this is going to blow up other trade deals. Congressional leaders of both parties, including Republicans say that this could end up killing congressional passage of the USMCA, the -- the re-write of NAFTA.
And they point a country like China, for instance, why make a deal with the U.S. if the president will then turn around and raise tariffs anyway because of some other issue?
MULVANEY: Let's deal with the Mexican situation before we talk about China. But the answer to that is this, is that we've been very specific from the minute that this proclamation went out that this was an immigration matter, it is not a trade matter.
So, the USMCA is a trade discussion. That's ongoing. That's why Bob Lighthizer is meeting with his Mexican counterparts this week.
This is an immigration matter and the two are separate. We can solve one, we hope we solve both, but the two are not interreactive (ph). We do -- excuse me, interrelated. We believe that the USMCA is a great deal to the United States of America.
We think it's also a good deal for our Mexican and Canadian partners and we hope that Congress would pass it. In fact, we believe very firmly that if Nancy Pelosi would simply give it a vote, it would pass because it's a good deal. So, we've put that in one category.
The immigration, the situation on the southern border, is a different issue. It's a national security issue and we'll deal with it separately than the USMCA.
WALLACE: But you talk about immigration, a lot of people said -- because the president even today has been tweeting, saying, look, what'll happen here if this goes on is that companies in Mexico will decide they don't want to pay the tariffs, they'll move back to the U.S., creating more jobs here. The flipside of that is then a lot of Mexicans lose their job and the concern is that a lot of them come over the border to the U.S. and that the whole end result of this is it creates more illegal immigration, not less.
MULVANEY: No, but it's -- what you've just described is a great reason for the Mexican government to engage to help fix the problem. In fact, you've seen in the last 24 hours, Mexican President Obrador has already reached out and said that he thinks they can do better, he thinks they will do better and they're sending up a delegation for the first part of this week.
So what you've just laid out is factually probably not inaccurate, but that is the exact reason we did this, to put pressure on Mexico to help us solve this situation.
We think they can do that. They've got tremendously strong immigration laws, much stronger than ours. They have the ability to do things that we cannot.
Congress will not help us fix our laws, so we're turning to Mexico to help us fix the situation on the border. And we think what you've just described is the exact reasons that they will help us.
WALLACE: All right. Let's turn to a few other issues in the time we have left. Let's start with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Here was the president's reaction today to his comments, Mueller's comments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think he's totally conflicted because as you know, he wanted to be the FBI director and I said no. As you know, I had a business dispute with him after he left the FBI, we had a business dispute. Not a nice one. He wasn't -- he wasn't happy with what I did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: But, Mick, the Mueller report says that that's not true. It quotes Steve Bannon as saying that -- that Mueller, yes he met with the president but he didn't want to return to being the FBI director and it also quotes Bannon as saying on this question of a conflict, which was about an initiation fee at a golf club, a Trump golf club, Bannon said any idea that that was a real conflict was ridiculous.
MULVANEY: Yes, I'm not familiar with that, I wasn't really that heavily involved in the transition. In fact, I was coming in as the director of the Office of Management and Budget when those discussions were coming on. And I'm not sure that Steve Bannon is the most reliable source for information about what was happening in the White House during that time. But --
WALLACE: He was testifying under oath.
MULVANEY: That's fine, my statement stands. I'm not sure Steve Bannon is the best source for information.
We'll look at it this way. The Mueller Report is finished, it's over, he closed down the shop this week. You've heard -- you've heard what we've had to say about this many times; it was clear, no collusion, no obstruction. The case is closed, it's over, Democrats want to keep going and that's fine but issues like this, we think, are behind us now.
WALLACE: All right. I want to squeeze two more things in. President Trump talks about his close relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong- un. Here's just one example.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We go back and forth, and then we fell in love, OK?
No, really. He wrote me beautiful letters. And they're great letters. We fell in love.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: But there are now reports that after the failed Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi that you attended, that Kim had some of the key members of his negotiating team for that failed summit, some of them were executed and others were sent to prison camps.
First of all, from the intelligence you have, is that true? And secondly, given all of that, does the president still feel he's in love with Chairman Kim?
MULVANEY: First thing's first. I don't believe we've confirmed that yet and I'm not going to speak about classified information that we may or may not have on that issue here. So let's just assume for sake of this discussion that those reports are true. There's still -- having a relationship with a person -- and you heard the president's language and for those of us who know the president, and we do, that's -- that's his manner, that's how he speaks.
And to have a good working relationship with somebody, with anybody, how is that ever a bad thing? How is having the ability to pick up the phone or write a letter, as the president referenced, and talk to another world leader, regardless of what they might be doing domestically or internationally, how is that a bad thing? We think that it helps the dialogue going forward.
But writ large --
WALLACE: Even if he's - even is he's a brutal dictator? Even if he kills members of his regime, let alone the people in his country?
MULVANEY: Chris, what's the central issue right now of North Korea? Why are we engaged North Korea? Because we're concerned about them having nuclear weapons. We do not want that to happen.
We do not want people who might even be accused of doing what Kim Jong-un is accused of doing to have nuclear weapons. That's why the president is doing this. Keep in mind, it's going slower than we expected but foreign policy is not about short-term political gains, it's about global and national US security. That's how we're addressing this.
Having a good working relationship with somebody is never a bad thing.
WALLACE: Finally, during the president's trip to -- or actually before he went to Japan, the White House military office sent this e-mail to the Navy and I want to read it.
USS John McCain needs to be out of sight.
Once the story became public, here was the president's reaction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: No. Somebody did it because they thought I didn't like him. OK? And they were well-meaning, I will say. I didn't know anything about it. I would never have done that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Two questions, and I got about 30 seconds for you. What does the president mean it was well-meaning? And second, have you, as White House chief of staff, determined how it was that somebody in the military office in the White House decided it would be a good idea to hide the ship of -- that is in honor of an American war hero?
MULVANEY: All right, in the 15 seconds you left me out of your 30, the president didn't know about it, I didn't know about it. Look, literally hundreds of people are involved in moving the president overseas.
The president's feelings about the former senator are well-known. The fact that a low-level person might have asked a question shouldn't surprise anybody. We think it's much ado about nothing.
WALLACE: Will somebody in the White House be disciplined?
MULVANEY: For what? For asking an innocuous question about that? No, if someone gets disciplined, it's Fox News for saying that so-and-so doesn't want to sit next to so-and-so at a meeting. No, again, this is a minor issue that we think media's trying to make into a larger matter.
WALLACE: Well, let me just say to pursue it, that the Pentagon chief, Shanahan, had his chief of staff call the White House to say that the Pentagon must not be politicized. So, apparently, Patrick Shanahan doesn't think it's a minor idea.
MULVANEY: But again, nothing happened because of it, someone asked a question during the preparation for a trip. Again, if you understood how many people were involved with this, you understand the number of folks who could have asked this question.
And if a 23 or 24-year-old person says look, is it really a good idea for this ship to be in the background, that is not an unreasonable question to have and it's certainly not something that takes up two minutes of national television on Sunday.
WALLACE: Well, all right, thank you, Mick. Thank you for time. Always good to talk with you, sir. Please come back.
MULVANEY: Thanks, Chris.
WALLACE: Up next, we'll bring in our Sunday group to discuss the policy and politics of the president's tariff threat, as "FOX News Sunday" reports from the University of Dubuque in Iowa.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: Anybody in this country, or frankly in the world that says they are surprised by this has been living under a rock and not paying attention. The president has been crystal clear.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders defending the president's threat to impose tariffs on all Mexican goods unless that country stops the flow of migrants to our southern border.
And it's time now for our Sunday group. GOP strategist Karl Rove, former Democratic Congresswoman Donna Edwards, former Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz, and columnist for "The Hill", Juan Williams.
Congressman Chaffetz, let me start with you.
What do you think of this threat from the president of across-the-board tariffs on all goods imported from Mexico? As you well know, a number of Republican senators think it's a bad and perhaps illegal idea.
JASON CHAFFETZ, CONTRIBUTOR: No, the two senators from Iowa don't think it's a good idea, but I do like the idea that the president is using every tool in his arsenal to fight back the hundreds of thousands of people that are flowing north on this -- across our borders. The president promised to do this. I think it's going to get the attention of the Mexican government. And as long as they do something, then these tariffs don't need to come into play, and I hope that's what we ultimately get to.
WALLACE: I' m going to get to that point in a moment.
But, Congresswoman Edwards, let me talk about the situation on the border that has the president so concerned, because there clearly is a crisis on the border, more than 100,000 people apprehended crossing the border in April. According to officials the number is going to be even higher in May.
And just this week, take a look at this video, on Wednesday, more than a thousand migrants apprehended crossing the border near El Paso, more than a thousand. It's the largest single group ever encountered in the history of the border patrol.
Congresswoman, can you understand what the president is fed up and wants Mexico to crack down?
DONNA EDWARDS, FORMER CONGRESSWOMAN, D-MD: What I do understand is that the president and this administration's policy around asylum and the inability to press asylum seekers a way that allows for their orderly movement across the border at entry points has exacerbated the problem. So, in some ways, I think the president has brought this on himself and I think it's appropriate for Democrats and Republicans to work together on an informed border policy and separate that from a trade policy.
I mean, ultimately, the American people, if there are tariffs imposed, are going to pay the price as consumers and conflating trade and immigration I think is entirely the wrong direction to go.
WALLACE: Karl, let me pick up on this with you and go back to what the congressman was talking about. The idea clearly as you make a tough threat, Mexico toughens up in the tariffs never go into effect. But that doesn't always work and in the fact in the case of China where the president made demands of them and they pushed back, they are a sovereign country, now we are in a trade war with China.
So, if you least have to consider the possibility, this doesn't end with Mexico knuckling under, it ends with the tariffs back and forth across the border.
KARL ROVE, FORMER BUSH WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: And I think that's right and because of it I think there's actually going to be some movement. We are seeing that. Look, if there's going to be economic and political impacts if these tariffs go into effect. We are going to have a problem with the border economies.
You look at my home state of Texas and Arizona and New Mexico, southern California, our economies are tied to Mexico. Mexico gets sick, we get sick too. So, there's going to be a problem there.
Our auto industry, nearly 30 percent of what goes into an American automobile comes from a Mexican plant and if you start raising prices there. Auto sales are already shaky in part because of the aluminum and steel tariffs. If they get shakier than the auto states like places of Michigan and Ohio and Indiana get really sick.
Then you have the egg states and as Jason pointed out, two senators from Iowa. They've already been hammered by China.
Having said that, I think that's why things are going to get done. If you take a look at what President Lopez Obrador said, for example, in the last 24 hours, they want to try and get something done. They are sending a high-level delegation her next week, the foreign minister is meeting with Pompeo. I think the Mexicans are going to say we want to get this done because they don't want a bad economic impact and they also understand that their own rule of law, all of these people are coming up through their country.
There is a price both in respect for the rule of law and economically for them to have that many people coming up from Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
WALLACE: Juan, do you share his optimism that Mexico, faced with all of this, is going to end up making the deal and cracking down on the people? And it isn't Mexicans coming across the border, its people from Central America. By a huge majority, coming from the southern border usually taking about three weeks and then getting to the U.S. border.
JUAN WILLIAMS, POLITICAL ANALYST: By the way, that's a very important point, just to pick up on something that Congresswoman Edwards said. You have different asylum rules for people who will be coming from Mexico anyway, and so they can't make the appeal, so it's a different set of incentives.
I think the key thing here and to pick up on what Karl was saying, it's going to have an impact on the American economy. If you think of this in terms of campaign promises, the president promised a crackdown on immigration, but he also promised that he would seek some equity in terms of trade deals, improve our trade deals.
Well, what's happened with NAFTA? We've gotten a new deal. Hmm. What's happening with China --
WALLACE: No, no, they have negotiated.
WILLIAMS: Yes, but they don't have it passed by Congress. And with China, obviously, you see a stalemate.
Did he promise higher prices? Home Depot, Walmart, everybody said their prices are going up.
Did he promise to slow down manufacturing for a lot of the so-called forgotten men and women that he was talking to on the campaign trail? We see a slow down in terms of sales of papers, textiles, chemicals.
Did he promise for the farmers that he would have to give them essentially welfare payments at the same time that we see a decline in exports of farm goods? And it's crushing their markets. Now, a lot of these countries that were buying soybeans from Iowa, that were buying corn, are now going to Brazil and other countries. They are establishing new markets.
CHAFFETZ: But you're ignoring the fact there's a huge price to be paid for illegal immigration. It's overwhelming our systems, our schools, our medical facilities. It cost us billions and billions and billions of dollars to have this flow of illegal immigration come across our borders. Not to mention the drug trade, the human trafficking.
All that gets left out of the equation from the Democrats. The USMCA is ready to go. Congress -- Nancy Pelosi --
WILLIAMS: Let me speak to the immigration point, Congressman. When you look at who's coming, it's not an invasion, which is what the president was saying. There is no military threat.
This is not about drugs or what you were just saying. This is about families running away, seeking to come to our country because of violence, lack of economic opportunity in our country, and that's a way to deal with it, not too great a campaign issue that polarizes it.
EDWARDS: Well, in years past, the way that asylum-seekers have handled this through a much more orderly process. They come through points of entry. They are processed through the system.
WALLACE: If I may, in years past, you never had this kind of an inflow. You didn't have 100,000 people. This is the highest number since 2007.
EDWARDS: Well, part of the reason for that is that it's being driven because of the clampdown in the United States around the process and people in Central America are seeing that and they are bringing their families thinking, well, maybe this is my last shot. This flow has been driven by the bad policies of this administration --
ROVE: No, absolutely not. Absolutely not. The same policies were in place under Bush, under Obama, under Clinton, are still in place today.
It is being driven by two factors. One is drugs because the drug cartels have figured out that they can charge people to bring them up from Central America and enhance their cash flow.
And second of all, it's broken by the fact that the volume is so much from Central America. In 2007, the last year we had this many people coming across the border, the vast preponderance of the more Mexicans, and we have the authority under our laws and under our agreements with Mexico to turn them around and them within 24 hours. They call them OTMs in the immigration language, other than Mexicans. We don't have those same authorities.
These laws were broken under Clinton, there were broken under Bush, they were broken under Obama. The problem is the flow today is crushing the system because of four and five times as many people coming from Central America, as they used to come.
WALLACE: All right. Great conversation and my guess is we will get to continue it in the future. This isn't going to get settled in the next week.
We have to take a break here. We'll see you all a little later, panel.
Up next, Robert Mueller says his report does not clear President Trump, setting of new calls for impeachment from Democrats. A top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee joins us next, as "FOX News Sunday" reports from the University of Dubuque in Iowa.
WALLACE: Coming up, Robert Mueller finally speaks and spurs talks of impeachment in Washington.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JERRY NADLER, D-N.Y.: With respect to the impeachment questions, at this point, all options are on the table.
TRUMP: To me it's a dirty word, the word impeach.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: We'll ask the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee if Congress will begin formal proceedings, next.
WALLACE: Welcome back to Dubuque, Iowa, where we'll be holding a town hall tonight with Democratic Presidential Candidate Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
Many Democrats interpreted Robert Mueller's remarks this week about President Trump as an impeachment referral to Congress. Joining us now from Georgia, Congressman Doug Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, where formal proceedings would begin.
Congressman, both Attorney General Barr and special counsel -- former Special Counsel Robert Mueller spoke this week and there were some contradictions. Here they are on whether President Obama (ph) committed obstruction of justice.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL (April 18, 2019): There is substantial evidence to show that the president was frustrated and angered by his sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents and fueled by illegal leaks.
ROBERT MUELLER, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL (May 29, 2019): If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: You side with the attorney general, and you say that the Mueller report shows that there was no obstruction. But when you listen to Robert Mueller there, that's not what he says.
REP. DOUG COLLINS, R-GA: Well, Chris, good morning.
And it's interesting for Robert Mueller that he starts from the premise that's so interestingly the wrong narrative for America is that your -- he's trying to take and say, we're proving innocence here and that you're guilty until we prove you innocent. It's really an interesting correlation here.
I think what happened is, is that report is now out. We see the report -- you had stated earlier that this was the call for the Democrats to start impeachment. They've been wanting to impeach this president since November of 2016. They've never liked him. They use any excuse to begin the impeachment process. But what we found was is no collusion. There was no charge of obstruction.
Remember, Bob -- Attorney General Barr and Rod Rosenstein, who was appointed under Obama, both came to the conclusion, taking under no pretense of any legal opinion, and said that there was no charges to be had when they made their final report after getting it from Bob Mueller. So I think what he said this week was, frankly, it was sort of frustrating for - - he wanted to just basically memorialize what he had already written down. And, again, to cause more questions for many of us that instead of finding answers, we still find more questions.
WALLACE: All right, then there's the issue of whether or not Mueller felt bound by the office of legal counsel, a part of the Department of Justice, by the OLC's ruling that a sitting president cannot be indicted for a crime. Here again are Barr and Mueller.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL (May 1, 2019): He reiterated several times in a -- in a group meeting that the -- he was not saying that but for the OLC opinion he would have found obstruction.
ROBERT MUELLER, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL (May 29, 2019): Under long-standing department policy, a present (ph) president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. That is unconstitutional.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Again, Barr says that the department guidelines was not the issue and Bob Mueller indicates that it was a central concern.
COLLINS: What Bob Mueller stated, this is nothing new. This is, again, has been out for now a while. It was actually written on the report. I mean a lot of folks -- people are saying that this was some kind of a new revelation from Bob Mueller this week. No, it was actually written into the report. We talked about it then. But Bill Barr also made it very clear that when he -- when -- when --
WALLACE: But -- but -- but it does -- in fairness, sir, it does -- it does contradict what -- it does contradict what Barr was saying, the attorney general, when he said that Mueller said that that wasn't an issue and Mueller says it was an issue. So it, at least, was setting the record straight with regard to what Attorney General Barr has been saying.
COLLINS: Well, and that's Mr. Mueller's, you know, decision. He made to, you know, to do his press conference this week, or his discussion about it. But also it was very clear that Bill Barr and Rod Rosenstein basically both said that they did not take that into account when they took the information from Bob Mueller, who, by the way, punted on a prosecutorial decision. He sent it back and said, we're not going to make a decision based on the evidence that they had found.
When we look at this, again, the frustration point is -- is the report has been out. Mr. Mueller decided he wanted to end his time and resign and go back into private life. He did so by going up and restating points that he picked from the report that he wanted to do on Wednesday.
Look, I respect him. He needs to go back to public life. That's what he wants to do. That's fine. But when we look at this report, there's also many things that were left unanswered on where it started, how they got the information, why they only pick and choose a little bit of the dossier to actually disprove, but yet not talk about the other issues around us. You know, like when did they stop and find that no collusion actually existed? When did they continue on with this continuation of looking into the president?
This is a continuation of a discussion that happened Wednesday that should have ended with the report. He now should be ended. And now, actually, I believe Bill Barr is right in saying, how did we get to this point to start with? This is the critical point because we've had two years of basically turmoil caused by a cabal that started at the FBI that we're now actually getting a chance to look into.
WALLACE: All right, I promise I'm going to get to that in a moment, but you have just raised a lot of questions that Robert Mueller could answer. In the past you have said that you would like them to testify before the committee. He made it clear this week he has no interest in doing so. Would you support a vote by Democrats on your committee, the House Judiciary Committee, to subpoena Robert Mueller so they can ask their questions and you can ask your questions?
COLLINS: Well, that would be an interesting question for Chairman Nadler because Chairman Nadler, this year, has shown that he is willing to subpoena anything that moves. And it's -- amazingly he's not talked about that with Robert Mueller. I don't believe he really wants to talk to Robert Mueller because it's better for him to continue a narrative that Robert Mueller said things or implied things that he's trying to imply to the American people as impeachment.
I was one of the first Republicans that said publicly, along with John Ratcliffe and others that said we would like to talk to Robert Mueller because we do have questions. I believe it's a twofold process. I believe Chairman Nadler likes to continue the innuendo and -- and doubts that has been placed, and then also, at the same point, Robert Mueller doesn't want to testify before Congress because he's going to get real questions about how the investigation was done, where it started, how it became, and why they sort of picked and choosed (ph), it seems, in the report, how this actually got going.
So I think it's a -- it's a two-way street here. We will see what Chairman Nadler does. He's got a -- he's -- he's been obsessed with subpoena since he became chairman. Let's see what he does now.
WALLACE: OK, let's get to the question you were raising.
Attorney General Barr has indicated that he has now launched an investigation into the origins of the Russia probe.
What is the single biggest question that you have that you would hope that this investigation would answer?
COLLINS: Mine is taking into account the -- what we have already seen as a pattern that seemed to be developed by what I've call the corrupt cabal with -- with Strzok, with Page, with Comey, with Baker, with McCabe that seemed to be at the picture in the center of everything going on from the mid-year investigation, the Clinton e-mail investigation that moved into the Russia investigation. The information that was given to the FISA court, the information of a dossier that was -- if Mr. Comey later said was a salacious and unverified, but yet he verified that it was accurate going before this court. These are the kinds of things that you look at and should concern every American, not just a Republicans, not just a Democrat or independent, this should consume (ph) every American that you had a group at the Department of Justice and FBI, not the whole block (ph), but a cabal that was saying, we don't like Donald Trump. We don't want to see him president. They even said in a text message, we'll have an insurance policy. They were going at seemingly a roundabout way to say, we're going to take it into our own hands. They should concern everybody when you use a court, such as the FISA court, which is a secret court, which is one in which they have seemingly --
COLLINS: Not used all the evidence that they could have done in that.
WALLACE: I -- I've got -- I've got -- let -- congressman, excuse me, I've got less than a minute left. I want to ask you one last question.
WALLACE: And this goes to the origins of the investigation.
James Comey says, look, they had information by July of 2016 that the Russians were hacking Democratic e-mails. And we know that George Papadopoulos, an advisor of some sort to the Trump campaign, was talking about that. Comey said they would have been derelict in their duty if they hadn't pursued that. Do you agree?
COLLINS: Jim Comey, right now, is trying to rewrite history. I believe his 15 minutes are up. He knows it. He's going everywhere, talking about the things that he did or should have done. And I think the interesting thing is here, he doesn't want, I believe, the light of investigations shined on what they were actually doing. I don't believe Strzok or Page or McCabe or Baker, any others wanted as well. So they're remaking themselves now.
When they go back and look at this, when you look at the information they had, which was essentially disproven and many times even through his own words were salacious and unverified, how do you take that with a straight face to the court?
Mr. Comey, your time's up. It's time to --
COLLINS: For us to find out how this started and go from there.
WALLACE: Congressman Collins, thank you. Thanks for joining us today. Please come back, sir.
COLLINS: We will, Chris. Thank you.
WALLACE: Up next, Nancy Pelosi faces new pressure from the left wing of her party to start impeachment proceedings against the president. How long can she hold out against those demands?
And watch what happens when a 2020 candidate for president speaking at California's Democratic Party convention pushes back on socialism.
All of that when our Sunday group returns here in Dubuque, Iowa.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT MUELLER, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL: The opinion says that the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing.
REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF., HOUSE SPEAKER: Maybe it's 38 of them out of 238 have said that they wanted to be outspoken on impeachment, and many of them are reflecting their views, as well as those of their constituents.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Robert Mueller appearing to hand the Trump investigation and the possibility of impeachment over to Congress, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is saying, not so fast. And we're back now with the panel.
Well, Karl, Speaker Pelosi got her numbers slightly wrong. We're going to put them up on the screen. It's actually 50 House Democrats out of 235, still 20 percent, who have called for starting the formal impeachment inquiry. But that's still a -- a very distinct minority. Is Pelosi right in deciding -- trying to hold this off? And how long do you think she can hold off the push for impeachment among her Democratic caucus?
KARL ROVE, CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I don't know how long she can hold it off, but I think she's right to be concerned about this. An interesting thing to me is that since the Mueller report came out, two things have happened. The president's approval rating has stabilized and the percentage of people who oppose impeachment has risen.
Harvard Harris poll, 65 percent oppose the House Democrats beginning impeachment proceedings. Nancy Pelosi is smart and tough and she knows that, first of all, this -- and talk of impeachment is obscuring everything the Democrats are trying to do in the House. Nobody knows what these bills are that they're passing. She also understands that given the fact that she is in the speakership because 31 Democrats flipped Republican seats in districts that Donald Trump won, those people are at risk. She loses two -- two out of every three of those Democrats who today hold Republican seats, she's no longer speaker. She loses less than that, it gets more difficult to govern the House given the fact that she's got this hard left faction that's giving her such problems. And she also understands with regards to 2020, the election is all about this group of independent swing voters who today are strongly opposed to impeachment.
WALLACE: Special Counsel Robert Mueller, now the former special counsel, made it very clear in his press conference this week he does not want to testify before Congress. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT MUELLER, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL (May 29, 2019): We chose those words carefully and the work speaks for itself. And the report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: But, Congresswoman Edwards, you have a column in "The Washington Post" this weekend where you say that -- that the House Judiciary Committee needs to get Robert Mueller to testify one way or the other. Why?
EDWARDS: I think they do. And, one, because I think it's important for him to put his report into some context to the American people. I mean, let's face it, most people haven't read 448 pages. I know all of us have, but most people haven't, and they need to be able to tell a story to the American public.
The other thing is that I think that Attorney General Barr's interviews over the last couple of days have actually raised more questions because the attorney general challenged the legal analysis of Bob Mueller. And so I think it -- now it becomes imperative for him to testify about his legal analysis given that it was -- it's been challenged and overruled, frankly, by the attorney general.
WALLACE: Just really quickly, because -- before we turn to another subject. You also want a made-for-TV spectacle, don't you?
EDWARDS: No -- I would not -- I did --
WALLACE: I mean, honestly?
EDWARDS: Well, no, I haven't described it as a spectacle, but I do think that television is powerful and live television is and I think to focus the American public on the whole story, it's really important from the Russian interference in the election, to the president's ten obstructive acts. And I don't think that you get that by spreading it over six committees, by multiple subpoenas and court proceedings.
WALLACE: OK. All right, let's turn to the -- another really interesting subject.
Something interesting happened at the California state Democratic Party convention in San Francisco yesterday. Former Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado, one of the two dozen Democrats running for president, was addressing the convention when he said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN HICKENLOOPER, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If we want to beat Donald Trump and achieve big, progressive goals, socialism is not the answer. I was re-elected --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Congressman Chaffetz, it went on from there. Here's John Hickenlooper, a centrist governor of Colorado when he was there, who governed and quite successfully with Republicans who controlled the state legislature, at least for the first part of his term, gets booed when he said socialism isn't the answer.
CHAFFETZ: Well, this is the problem the Democrats have is they have been moving towards socialism. You have Bernie Sanders right near the top of the poll who is not a registered Democrat, who is more of a -- in that socialist camp. And believe me, Republicans are going to go out and remind people what socialism is and what the policy and platform is of the Democrats.
Hickenlooper, I think, made a calculated move in that audience, but that's a radical group of -- of socialist in part that was there in California.
WALLACE: Well, I know you must be wanting to respond to that, but, I mean, the fact is we keep hearing, oh, look, Democrats, what they care about -- I'm talking about voters now, what they care about most is beating Donald Trump, care about that more than ideological purity. And then you get to a convention and here's John Hickenlooper and he says socialism isn't the answer and he gets booed.
WILLIAMS: Well, first of all, where was he? He's at the California state Democratic convention, so it's a very liberal group in San Francisco. So it's a very liberal group of people. I would say more than liberal, I'd say far left.
But the big point to me is that Republicans want to paint Democrats as socialist. And what Hickenlooper went on to say is, we can't let Republicans paint us into a corner. It would put us at a disadvantage in states like Wisconsin and Michigan, working people who would say, hey, what's this socialism about?
But the reality is, and this is what Hickenlooper also said, Chris, that we need to achieve -- Democrats need to achieve progressive goals because the American people, not only do they like the idea of dealing with income inequality, specifically high levels of student debt, problems with the health care system and, of course, we have things like Medicare and Social Security. That's not socialism. Those are means of moderating the excesses of capitalism. And Democrats in this era of income inequality want to deal with those issues.
So Hickenlooper's right. It's just that when you start using the term "socialism," I think you are caving to the caricature that Republicans are painting of Democrats in this moment.
WALLACE: I was going to say, though, I mean brother Williams may be right on every point he made, but, you know, that's a clip, and it's going to play out and does -- don't Democrats make it easier for the Republicans to make the case when they boo Hickenlooper saying socialism isn't the answer?
ROVE: Oh, yes, they do. Yes, yes, yes they do. And they also make it easier for Republicans when they put people like AOC forward, and Representative Omar and Representative Tlaib and Senator Warren, and when they embrace all of these nutty ideas. And there is a wealth of ammunition that they're providing. The key decision for the Democrats is going to be one that -- that Juan alluded to, are they going to pick somebody who is a more traditional Democrat, who says the answer is, we need to strengthen and -- and -- and protect the Affordable Care Act, or somebody who says, by God, we want single payer, we want the government to be in charge of all your health care decisions. And this is going to be a critical decision for the Democrats. If they end up picking somebody who's in the latter camp, it is a big, juicy target for Republicans because --
WILLIAMS: But don't call them nutty, Karl. They're not nutty (INAUDIBLE).
ROVE: Well, you know what, they -- they are cooky (ph) and nutty.
EDWARDS: And -- and, first of all, I mean we can't choose any more traditional candidate than the Republicans have a traditional candidate.
WILLIAMS: Well, yes, that's true.
EDWARDS: But, look, the point is --
WALLACE: You've got ten seconds.
EDWARDS: I think that the booing on socialism was because voters, Democrats, don't want to be painted that way and don't want to fall into the caricature, and so we don't need candidates that --
WALLACE: Well, that backfired on him.
All right, thank you, panel. See you next Sunday back in Washington.
Up next, some good advice for the class of 2019 from our "Power Players of the Week."
WALLACE: It's become an annual tradition here to sample the wise words college graduates are hearing at their commencement. This year the speakers include a pair of media moguls and a chart topping singer. And they're all our "Power Players of the Week."
OPRAH WINFREY: When I was 28, it wasn't working out for me on the news because I was too emotional. I'd go to cover stories and cry because people lost their houses or lost their children. I was told that I was going to be taken off the evening news and put on a talk show. That was a demotion for me at the time that actually worked out for me.
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: People have the tendency to assume the worst about those on the other side of the aisle. And when it comes to those on your side, they tend to see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil.
TRUMP: That is what your time at this great academy has been all about, preparing you to do whatever it takes to learn, to adapt, and to win, win, win. You know, win so much you're going to get so tired of winning, but not really.
TARA WESTOVER, AUTHOR, "EDUCATED": Sometimes I think that when we deny what is worst about ourselves, we also deny what is best. We repress our ignorance and thus we deny our capacity to learn. We repress our faults and thus we deny our capacity to change.
JENNIFER GARNER: At some point you will realize, there is no finish line to cross, there is no moment when you're just supposed to be happy. While you wait for those moments, while you wait for the perfect job, the MCAT score, the engagement ring, your life is happening, and isn't it enough? Happiness is your own responsibility, so attack it.
CYNDI LAUPER: Wow. And people got afraid when I got my driver's license. Now I'm a doctor.
WALLACE: And our best wishes as well to the students and parents of the class of 2019.
Now this program note. Join me back here at the University of Dubuque in Iowa tonight at 7:00 p.m. Eastern on Fox News Channel for a live town hall with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
But that's it for now. Have a great week and we'll see you next “Fox News Sunday.”
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