This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," March 31, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, ANCHOR: I'm Chris Wallace.
Congress will get to see the Mueller report within two weeks as President Trump continues to celebrate the special counsel's findings.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: After three years of lies and smears and slander, the Russia hoax is finally dead.
WALLACE: But how much of the almost 400 page report will Attorney General William Barr release?
REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF., SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Show us the report and we can draw our own conclusions.
WALLACE: We'll discuss the president's victory lap and a sharp turn back to health care.
TRUMP: We're going to get rid of Obamacare. The Republican Party will become a party of great health care.
WALLACE: With White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, only on "Fox News Sunday."
Then, Democrats wrestled with what to do next.
REP. RASHIDA TLAIB, D-MICH.: We need to look and investigate possibly into these impeachable offenses.
REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES, D-N.Y.: Protecting people with pre-existing conditions, increased pay at a real infrastructure plan -- that's what House Democrats are focused on.
WALLACE: We'll break down where House Democrats stand in the post-Mueller- report world and get reaction to the attorney general's plan to release the report from Congressman Jim Himes, a top member of the House Intelligence Committee.
TRUMP: 401(k)s, and all these stocks (ph) and all the things that you -- and you want to see them deflate? Put a good socialist in this position.
WALLACE: We'll ask our Sunday panel about the president's strategy to take apart the 2020 Democratic field.
All, right now, on "Fox News Sunday."
WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.
We now know Attorney General William Barr's timeline to release the Mueller report on the Russia investigation. The A.G. says he will send a redacted copy to Congress by mid-April and won't share it with the White House beforehand.
But House Democrats say their deadline still stands to get the report by this Tuesday, and Barr's plan does not satisfy their demand to see the full report.
Joining us now for an exclusive interview, White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway.
Kellyanne, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday".
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Chris.
WALLACE: We're going to get to the Mueller report in a moment. But we're going to start with a fast-moving political story. It involves a woman named Lucy Flores.
She was a state legislator in Nevada who was running for lieutenant general in 2014. She says that during a rally, the real you are seeing here but off-camera, that then Vice President Joe Biden touched her inappropriately. Biden's staff says he doesn't remember it that way.
This morning, here's what Lucy Flores said to ABC News.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
LUCY FLORES, FORMER NEVADA ASSEMBLYMAN: At that point, it wasn't even Joe Biden, it was the second most powerful man in the country, the vice president of the United States of America, is touching me and kissing me and smelling my hair.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
WALLACE: And to give you a sense of how quickly this is moving, we're going to put up on a screen, this is a statement that has just come out from former Vice President Biden. He says: In my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support, and comfort, and not once, never, that I believe I acted inappropriately. If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully, but it was never my intention.
Kellyanne, you have shared the fact that you were a victim of sexual assault much earlier in your life. I know this doesn't rise to that level, but your reaction to what we are hearing now about this incident?
CONWAY: First of all, this woman Lucy is very bold to come forward and I would remind the audience that she shares Joe Biden's political party. He was there to help the Democratic party of Nevada and her candidacy. So it's quite bold for her to go up against the highest levels of her own political party.
But all of these post-#MeToo allegations and insinuations really don't comport with probably Joe Biden's conduct over the years. If anybody just types in "Creepy Uncle Joe videos' you come up with a treasure trove. Far more evidentiary information and videos and we saw one Brett Kavanaugh's nomination was trying to be derailed and him as an individual and his family being destroyed by folks who had no evidence of what had allegedly happened 34 years earlier.
And I think Joe Biden has a big problem here because he calls it affection and handshakes. His party because it completely inappropriate. And the other thing that Biden really has is a problem is Stacey Abrams, who I look upon as a big future part of the Democratic Party. She is very compelling --
WALLACE: Let me, if I may --
CONWAY: She rebuffed his advances to be on his ticket pretty much. She said: If I'm going to run, I'm going to run for the whole thing.
So, he's had a bad couple of weeks. He doesn't have President Obama, the men he served for eight years as vice president.
CONWAY: He apparently doesn't have his endorsement.
WALLACE: Let's --
CONWAY: So I think he's had the worst non-rollout for any would-be 2020 candidate on the Democratic side. This doesn't help.
WALLACE: Let me ask you about one more question and we move on, we've got a lot to cover here this morning, Kellyanne. I'm sure a lot of folks are saying there are women who have said much worse about your boss, President Trump, in terms of touching them inappropriately.
CONWAY: We've certainly covered that ad infinitum during the campaign, the transition practically every day. But look what's happened to the people who alleged all that and who think you have to speak about that repetitively and ubiquitously. Now, they have to -- they have to really grapple with what's going on in their own party with a man who was vice president of the United States until two years ago.
And so, let's have that conversation and I do think, as somebody who is very affectionate, I am, I tend to hug people, I tend to put on my head because I guess we're not supposed to do that. I do think that we should examine appropriate conduct in the public sphere.
But Joe Biden's intent is only partly or maybe not at all, relevant here. It's really how that woman felt. She feels that it was unwelcome.
WALLACE: Again (ph) -- right.
CONWAY: And she's coming forward with it because she doesn't want, I supposed she doesn't want this man to continue to advance in public life. Joe Biden this week was apologizing to Anita Hill for his role --
WALLACE: OK, all right. You're going to have plenty of time to go after him on other issues.
CONWAY: Why didn't he apologize to Lucy? Why didn't he apologize to this woman? Why didn't he do that? They never apologize to the individual.
And I think the way the media covered everything from collusion to Kavanaugh to the Covington kids means they ought to be able to cover issues like this with the same time of vigor.
WALLACE: Well, that's why I'm asking you about it at the beginning of our interview.
Let's turn to what the president is telling Americans about the Mueller report. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: The special counsel completed its report and found no collusion and no obstruction, total exoneration. Complete vindication.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Now, the special counsel cleared the president on collusion -- absolutely, no question about it. But he expressly did not clear him on the question of obstruction. So, why is the president telling Americans something that is not true?
CONWAY: Well, the Barr memo talks about no obstructive conduct. It also says something -- I don't think it's enough coverage, which answers your question in part, Chris, which is that also nobody in the Department of Justice felt like the investigation was interfered with, that Mr. Mueller couldn't do the job he wanted to do.
So for all the times I was asked, the president was asked, we were all asked, will he protect Mueller? Will he fire Bob Mueller? Will he impede the investigation? Will he fire this (ph)? The Department of Justice feels --
WALLACE: Right. But --
CONWAY: -- that Mr. Mueller was able to do that. Now, he also didn't say the president obstructed --
WALLACE: Kellyanne, I'm asking you specifically about obstruction and I don't mean to interrupt but --
CONWAY: Well, it's not in there.
WALLACE: I do want to keep you on point. Here is the summary that Attorney General Barr sent to Congress about the issue of obstruction. I want to put it up on the screen. This is Barr summarizing the special counsel.
For each of the relevant actions investigated, the reports they found evidence on both sides of the question, the special counsel states that, quote, while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime of obstruction, it also does not exonerate him.
So when the president says that its total exoneration on obstruction, Kellyanne, that's just not true.
CONWAY: Well, the president is probably comparing that report and the ultimate conclusions of no conspiracy, no collusion, no contact with any Russian at a campaign that I managed into its final successful phases and have always been offended than anybody would think that we would cheat, lie, steal or talk to any Russians. That's ridiculous and always was. We wasted a lot of money and a lot of time in people's anxiety over it.
But the president is also saying, look, people were out there as recently as a week or days before the Barr memo characterizing the Mueller report was released by saying that the evidence of collusion was in plain sight, that the president had committed a crime, that Elizabeth Warren said we don't even know if you will be a free man.
WALLACE: Look -- take yes for an answer, I'm agreeing with you on collusion. I'm asking you
CONWAY: I'm always going to take yes for an answer on the Barr report.
WALLACE: I'm asking about obstruction, though.
CONWAY: We will see with the full report says but there's nowhere in the Barr report that says the president obstructed justice. There's nowhere in the Barr memo that says you or I (ph) obstructed justice. And remember, we --
WALLACE: Well, there was no Barr report. Barr is simply summarizing --
CONWAY: The Barr memo summarizing, but I think --
WALLACE: Mueller. And Mueller says it did not exonerate him.
CONWAY: Well, it said many things and most importantly, it said that this president and his campaign did not commit a crime, that there was no conspiracy, no collusion and people vomited collusion for two straight years --
CONWAY: -- and wasted taxpayer dollars and people's anxiety and got into - - and by the way, Adam Schiff is completely compromised. You want to find one person who is compromised, he's the head of the House Intelligence Committee, spent more time on TV than at committee over the last how many years and all nine Republican members have asked for his resignation. I certainly did it a week ago, the president has done.
WALLACE: All right.
CONWAY: He cannot be fair. That is one of the most important positions in the United States House of Representatives. He sees all the nation's secrets and he ought to step down.
WALLACE: We're going to talk about Adam Schiff with Jim Himes, his number two, in a moment -- in a couple of minutes.
I do want to ask about Mexico because the president is now threatening to close the border between the U.S. and Mexico this week if it doesn't stop the migrant caravans coming from Mexico. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: If they don't stop them, we are closing the border. We'll close it. And we'll keep it closed for a long time. I'm not playing games.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Mexico, Kellyanne, is our third-largest trading partner. There's a half a trillion dollars of goods that comes back and forth across the border. Thousands of Americans every day go back and forth across the border.
Is the president really serious about closing the border this week with all the disruption to our economy or is this just a bluff?
CONWAY: It certainly isn't a bluff. You can take the president seriously, and here's why. You're giving those metrics. What he's looking at is that 4,000 migrants apprehended in one day recently. We're on track this month for close to 100,000.
We have never seen a surge like this coming from the Northern Triangle company (ph). Some of these kids are already separated by their parents from their parents before they even arrive here. Congress can fix this, Chris, in an hour.
They can give us a fix for the Flores agreement that a court said there's only so much we can do. We have 20 days and then we have to release unaccompanied minors into the interior. Congress can fix the problem of immigration they failed to fix. And this president is looking at the metrics.
Secretary Nielsen saying we are in a meltdown. We are at the breaking point.
CONWAY: And the Customs and Border Patrol head saying we've never seen a surge like this and even, give credit to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson under President Obama said we have a crisis at the border.
WALLACE: I understand that and I want to ask about that surge because the president is also now going to cut off all foreign aid to three countries in Central America -- Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador -- including aid for things like gang prevention.
The argument that a lot of people is making is if you cut off all those aid -- all that aid for all things that might improve conditions in what's called the triangle, those northern Central American countries, you're only going to make things worse and you're only going to spur more migration.
So, isn't it counterproductive?
CONWAY: Well, Chris, this is the classic case of let's talk about what may happen and what we are looking for, versus what's right in front of us. How can people deny what they see, which is these caravans day by day, that people coming from the Northern Triangle countries and trying to come to this country, and they are at very deplorable conditions that many of them are facing. The DHS says --
WALLACE: You're going to make the conditions worse, Kellyanne, if you cut off foreign aid.
CONWAY: The conditions are really awful. The conditions are already awful. We have back-to-back homeland security secretary, President Obama and President Trump saying that we have a crisis. We are over the melting point.
We have to -- Congress must act. The executive branch has done so much to try to mitigate these awful circumstances and we need to send a message back to these countries too. Be honest with people. They are being promising in giving their life savings to coyotes and they are being promised something that cannot be once they get here.
CONWAY: And we have to just got off the drugs. You know that we've interdicted drugs through the ports of entry, outside of the points of entry, enough fentanyl to kill every American in this country. And people are just denying what they should see in front of them.
WALLACE: All right. We are blowing --
CONWAY: And, by the way, on trade, this president has the USMCA. Get Congress to get a vote and put it into law. He struck a great --
WALLACE: A lot of people think this is going to hurt them (ph).
I want to move onto Obamacare because the president also announced this week that he wants to kill Obamacare, through the courts, including what it does to protect people with pre-existing conditions. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: If the Supreme Court rules that Obamacare is out, we will have a plan that's far better than Obamacare.
(END VIDEO CLIP
WALLACE: Simple question, Kellyanne, what's the Republican plan?
CONWAY: The Republican plan is manifold. And let me just begin by saying even the president's current budget, pre-existing conditions are accounted for. He has said time and again for years including this week that he --
WALLACE: You had two years -- you had two years with Republicans control of the House --
WALLACE: -- and the Senate and the White House and you could never -- the GOP -- could never come up with a plan that they could all agree on and passed. So --
CONWAY: Well, they need to come and here's why -- by the way, the Democrats are opposed to Obamacare also. President Obama last fall said he likes Medicare-for-All. If the Democrats actually liked Obamacare, they would all be running on Obamacare. Instead they are running on Medicare- for-All, which is a health version of the Green New Deal which got exactly zero votes in the Senate this week.
Why? Because people make noise about it on the campaign trail and then when I have to vote on nonsense like Medicare-for-All and Green New Deal, they vote present. They didn't get a single positive vote in Medicare-for- All. What (ph) Medicare-for-All would mean choices for none and apart from the monetary costs, the moral costs are abhorrent. We'd be pushing more people out of the system.
You're going to do away with private insurance, 180 million Americans would lose their insurance, more than half of the country.
CONWAY: Obamacare has been a failure because one-third of the country had one insurance option, which is no option at all.
CONWAY: The cost $50 billion a year in subsidies.
WALALCE: Kellyanne, I hate interrupting, but if I didn't, I think you might going.
CONWAY: We're going to offer higher quality, lower -- lower cost, more choices and less hassle.
WALLACE: But there is no plan right now?
CONWAY: There is a plan. We've been working on a plan for a long time. And we hope that Congress would come along.
WALLACE: Right, nine years but you've never actually come up with a whole plan.
CONWAY: Well, Donald Trump has been president for two years. So, give us a chance and we'll have --
CONWAY: -- we are working on a plan at the White House.
WALLACE: Finally, I'm going to get into something I don't like talking about, I know you don't talk about but I have to tell you that when we announced that you are going to be on the show, more people asked me to ask you about this than any other question. You know where I'm headed here and that is --
CONWAY: I don't.
WALLACE: Yes, you do. This is the state of your marriage with George Conway.
I'm going to put up some of the things that your husband has said about President Trump. Just this month, March 5th: Wherever he goes and whatever he does, Trump will always be summa cum liar. Let me try that again, always be summa cum liar.
March 19th: Once someone understands narcissistic personality disorder, they understand you.
March 26th: If the charge were on fitness for office, the verdict would already be in: guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Here's how the president responded.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I don't know him, he's a whack job, there's no question about it and I call him Mr. Kellyanne. The fact is that he's doing a tremendous disservice to a wife and family. She's a wonderful woman.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Why is your husband attacking your boss?
CONWAY: Well, you could ask my husband. But it doesn't affect my job because my job is to be counsel to the president and do the best job I can do to provide information --
WALLACE: Do you think -- do you think that he is -- come on, you've obviously thought about this. Do you think he's cyberbullying here to try to get you to quit? Do you think he's jealous of your high-profile?
CONWAY: Some people think that. And they certainly do.
My first line of protection in this world is and will always be my four children. So I don't really like to discuss this publicly. What I will tell you is that George was very supportive of President Trump, cried on election night in his MAGA hat, blocks away from her at the Hilton in New York, wanted to take a job in the Trump administration and changed his mind, and was a guest of the president and first lady months after he withdrew himself from consideration.
WALLACE: I understand that.
CONWAY: -- at the White House.
And when he withdrew his name, he said he would still support the president and his agenda and, quote, his wonderful wife's work.
So, if that's changed, I haven't changed.
WALLACE: Can I just ask --
CONWAY: I will tell you that it's unusual for Washington too because I think that many women get -- tend to get their power and their position through the men in their lives and this is a little bit different and I'm sure the feminists are going to throw me a parade at some point.
WALLACE: Finally, and you have said that you believe that this has hurt your four children, and understandably, nobody would want to see their mom and dad fighting out in public.
CONWAY: But that's not true, some people would like us to fight.
WALLACE: I don't --
CONWAY: Some people take a little bit too much glee over the situation.
WALLACE: I don't your children want you to fight.
I guess the question I have to ask, bottom line, final question, has this hurt your marriage?
CONWAY: Oh, Chris, what are you, Oprah now? I mean, what am I, on a couch and you are a psychiatrist? I think it's a really inappropriate question, and here's why. That's the line over which nobody should have crossed.
So if you want to talk about policy issues, policy disagreements, the fact that George Conway, my husband, would prefer that I not work in the White House, I guess you can ask those questions. The president has weighed in. I've weighed in, as modestly as I can.
But now, you're asking a very personal question and I would say to you, you should go ask it of many people.
CONWAY: Because I see messy lives living in glass houses all over both cities in which I live.
WALLACE: I would only point out -- and look, this is not something I'm comfortable talking about, your boss.
CONWAY: I'm surprised you would ask that.
WALLACE: The president did call him the husband from hell, so it's out there.
CONWAY: I'm surprised that people would ask that question. I have seen home wreckers on TV as marital experts, all of a sudden. It's very amusing to me.
But I think people knew they crossed the line when they're talking about people's marriages. All the stuff about leave us alone in my private life. My family has a right to their private life also.
CONWAY: I have children who are 14, 14, 11 and 9. And the reasons get so much coverage, particularly by the mainstream media is because George Conway now agrees with them. He shares the views about President Trump and their goals.
WALLACE: Kellyanne --
CONWAY: But you know what? If you read George's op-ed in "The Washington Post," the headlines didn't match the op-ed. He was talking about the Mueller report, the Barr memo and I think that they just -- they take glee in this and people should have thought thrice before they crossed a certain line over the last couple of days (ph).
WALLACE: Kellyanne, I -- you know, as I said, I'm not comfortable people asking it, it is what people are talking about. If I offended you, I'm sorry.
CONWAY: I'm sure. Thank you.
WALLACE: Thank you. Thanks for your time. Always good to talk with you. Please come back.
CONWAY: You got it.
WALLACE: Up next, we'll get reaction from a top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Congressman Jim Himes, joins us next.
WALLACE: Democrats are threatening to issue a subpoena unless Attorney General Barr sends them the full Mueller report by this Tuesday.
So what did they make of Barr's plan now to send it to Congress by mid- April if not sooner?
Joining us from Connecticut, Congressman Jim Himes, the number two Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
Congressman, let's start with what you told your local newspaper in Connecticut this week about whether the Mueller report clears the president on the issue of collusion with the Russians. Here's what you told them.
I'm not sure I would break out a lot of champagne. They try to make the case that the Mueller report says there's no evidence of collusion. There's plenty of evidence.
But, Congressman, now I'm taking the counterargument to what I was discussing with Kellyanne. It doesn't say there's plenty of evidence of collusion.
REP. JIM HIMES, D-CT: No, what the Mueller -- well, first of all, nobody knows what the Mueller report says, because we haven't seen it. We've got the four-page Barr summary.
And even though my Republican friends are attacking Adam Schiff and others by saying that the Mueller report says no evidence, that's not at all what it says. If you read the Barr letter, the Barr letter says that the investigation was not able to establish. So, Chris, two things --
WALLACE: No, excuse me. With all due respect, sir, that's absolutely incorrect. I'm going to put up on the screen because we know that this probably was going to come up, the specific quote from Attorney General Barr.
Here's what he says: The special counsel did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts despite multiple offers from Russian affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.
So, specifically the special counsel is not saying there is insufficient evidence to prosecute. He saying it didn't happen.
HIMES: Right. So, again, two things are possible at the same time. Number one, whatever happened, and there's 400 pages of report that we are going to see, so something happened or it wouldn't be 400 pages long. But whatever happened, the conclusion is that it's not a chargeable offense.
WALLACE: No, again, sir, respectable, he didn't say it's not a chargeable offense. He said the report did not find that the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated.
WALLACE: On the issue of obstruction, he said, I've got some issues as to whether it's a prosecutable offense. He didn't say that when it came to collusion.
HIMES: Right, Chris, but my own quote, which you read back to me, was saying that there was not a finding of no evidence. And that is also true. So, the conclusion is that there was not explicit collusion, conspiracy, but that does not mean that there is no evidence, OK?
Now, that's sort of a fine point. But here's the big picture -- we are accepting that, and Adam Schiff and his famous speech of last week said, we are accepting the conclusion of Bob Mueller -- something. of course, that the Republicans did not do on Benghazi, on Uranium One, on Clinton emails.
We are accepting that and we want to see the report and this is why I say I wouldn't break out the champagne just yet, for two reasons. One, the conclusion, despite what Kellyanne Conway just told you, is not clear on obstruction, and number two, again, at 400 pages, we are all speculating about what's in there, but we know about Don Jr.'s meeting in Trump Tower.
HIMES: We know about many people going to jail for lying about Russia. My guess is that when you see the whole report, you will see good reasons, good reasons for why a number of people, a lot of people were concerned by the possibility, since disproved, that the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians.
WALLACE: OK, let's move onto another subject, and that is that House Democrats are demanding that Attorney General Barr turnover the entire Mueller report by this Tuesday, two days from now.
Here is basically Barr's response to that. Barr says that you're going to get it by mid-April, which is two weeks from now, if not sooner. He says he's going to redact grand jury testimony and intelligence material but he says the White House won't get to review it for executive privilege. No White House review for executive of which, which I know it's a big concern of yours.
Isn't that a reasonable plan, Congressman?
HIMES: Well, I'll say a couple things. Number one, it is absolutely reasonable that they remove all classified information from a report. My guess is it contains a lot of classified information because it pertains to Russia. Absolutely reasonable.
Grand jury information, a little more ambiguous. Congress theoretically has the right to that. And then there's that third category, which you didn't mention of information that may be potentially embarrassing to third parties. And then -- but remember, we're talking about a difference of ten days here or so, and so my guess is that this is going to be something that can be negotiated away so that we wind up, as everybody agrees we should, with the Mueller report.
WALLACE: So, in other words, if it's just a matter of ten days or so, this Tuesday as opposed to two weeks from then, you're saying that there won't be a subpoena and you'll take yes for an answer.
HIMES: Well, we'll see. I think -- my guess is that Jerry Nadler and others are probably actually in communication with Barr and with the Department of Justice on the nature of what is slowing them down.
Now, remember, Congress can and does see classified information, so it's also possible that the Department of Justice can convey the report just to Congress in a closed environment.
But by the way, just to come back to the executive privilege thing, remember, what Barr said was that the president has publicly indicated that he wants the report released and therefore we don't anticipate executive privilege claims. But, look, this could get reversed tomorrow morning if the president decides that he wants to change his mind on that. This is a president who has changed his mind in the past. So, we are sensitive to that possibility.
WALLACE: All right. Let's move on to Adam Schiff, who you talked about and also Kellyanne Conway talked about.
The president and House Republicans, particularly Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee, are going after Adam Schiff. He, of course, is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. You're the number two Democrat on that committee. Take a look at their -- what they're saying.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: Little pencil neck Adam Schiff.
There could still have been some Russia collusion. Sick. Sick. These are sick people.
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY, R-CALIF., HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: All Americans should be concerned with a chairman of the House Intelligence Committee taking the position of judge and jury.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: So, House Republicans are saying that Schiff should step down as chairman of House Intelligence. The president has tweeted that he thinks that Schiff should be forced to resign from Congress.
HIMES: Well, look, the American people will need to decide what they think about a president who poisons our political dialogue by going after people's physical characteristics, calling him pencil neck, et cetera.
On the substance here, you just need to watch what Adam Schiff said last week in the committee. First of all, he is we accept Mueller's findings. Something the Republicans could never find it in their hearts or minds to do with respect to Benghazi, the Clinton e-mails, Uranium One, I could go on and on. He said we accept the findings. We're not going to do ten investigations the way they did on Benghazi.
Second, he said, I do not believe it is appropriate for people to lie about contacts with Russians. When the report comes out, what the American people will learn was that there was plenty of reason to be concerned about the nature of those contacts and the possibility of what those contacts might have meant.
WALLACE: But --
HIMES: So I don't see Adam Schiff as having done anything at all wrong. And, in fact --
WALLACE: Well, it --
HIMES: Purporting (ph) himself far more responsibly than the Republicans ever did on Benghazi and the many ginned-up (ph) scandals that they had.
WALLACE: Well, let me -- let me -- let me point out what I think sticks in a lot of Republicans craws, and that's what they say Adam Schiff, in the run-up to the Mueller report, said repeatedly that he thought there was a good chance that President Trump had committed a crime. Here's some clips of Adam Schiff in just the last couple of months.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHIFF.: My takeaways is there's a very real prospect that on the day Donald Trump leaves office the Justice Department may indict him.
So there's clear evidence on the issue of collusion and this adds to that body of evidence.
The bigger pardon question may come down the road as the next president has to determine whether to pardon Donald Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Is that appropriate for the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which is basically and traditionally been seen as non-partisan, above politics -- not always, and I agree in recent years not at all -- but above politics, a fact-finding committee to be talking openly about the president being indicted, the next president having to pardon him before he even knew the results of the report?
HIMES: Well, we don't need to have the conversation we had previously about whether there was reason to be concerned, evidence or reason, whatever you want to call it, that the president's campaign might be compromised. You know, we -- it's all out there for people to see from the Don Junior meeting, to so many people lying about contacts with Russia. There was reason for this investigation.
Now, when -- when Adam Schiff says that there is a possibility that the president might be indicted after his presidency, remember, Chris, as we sit here today, any number of U.S. attorneys in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere continue their investigations of the president.
WALLACE: So -- so basically you're not -- I understand that. So basically you're not troubled by that?
HIMES: Well, again, I don't think Adam said anything that wasn't factual.
Adam never said the president is guilty of this. He himself is a former prosecutor. He is more careful than that. He said there was evidence. Again, the American people can judge the facts that they know today before the report has been released. As to whether they would have criticized Barack Obama if Barack Obama's daughter had met with Russians looking for dirt on Barack Obama's political foes.
HIMES: They can make that judgment. But until the full report is out, people should reserve judgment on what Adam Schiff knows or doesn't know, because Adam Schiff, as chairman of that committee, had access to lots of information that the public does not yet have.
WALLACE: Congress --
HIMES: Again, I don't say that because I think there's a surprise. We accept the conclusion of the report. But I don't think Adam Schiff said anything that wasn't true in his -- in the statements you played there.
WALLACE: Congressman Himes, thank you. Thanks for sharing part of your weekend with us. Always good to talk with you, sir, and we'll stay on top of what your committee does next.
HIMES: Thank you, Chris.
WALLACE: Coming up, we'll bring in our Sunday group to discuss the president's decision to revive the fight over the Affordable Care Act.
Plus, what would you like to ask the panel about President Trump's promise about a new health plan that is better than Obamacare? Just go to FaceBook or Twitter, @foxnewssunday, and we may use your question on the air.
WALLACE: Coming up, the end of the Mueller investigation hasn't ended the partisan bickering around it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: There has to be accountability, because it's all lies.
PELOSI: I think they're just scaredy cats. They just don't know what to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: We'll ask our Sunday panel if what the attorney general plans to send Congress is good enough.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The Democrats have to now decide whether they will continue defrauding the public with ridiculous bull (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Well, President Trump, in his own way, telling a rally in Michigan this week Democrats owe the country an apology for pushing the Russia investigation for more than two years.
And it's time now for our Sunday group. The co-host of "Benson and Harf" on Fox News Radio, Guy Benson, Charles Lane from "The Washington Post," author of the new book "Freedom's Detective," Julie Pace, Washington bureau chief for "The Associated Press," and Josh Holmes, Senator Mitch McConnell's former chief of staff.
So, Julie, some folks, especially Democrats, say that the president is jumping the gun going on this victory tour declaring complete victory on the Mueller report and that when it finally comes out there will be a bunch of stuff in there that he's not going to like and that they're going to have to explain. What's the feeling in the White House, let's just take the good news and if there's bad news later we'll deal with it later?
JULIE PACE, "THE ASSOCIATED PRESS": Pretty much. I mean I think there have always been legal questions and political questions when it comes to the -- to the Mueller investigation. And from the legal perspective, this is indisputably good news for the president. You know, we always believed that Mueller was never going to be able to charge him because of Justice Department guidelines about a sitting president, but there were real questions that surrounded other people in the president's orbit, including his son, Donald Trump Junior. And the Mueller investigation ended with no additional criminal charges. That is good news for the White House. There is no other way to spin that.
On the political question, I think we don't completely know yet how this will cut. I think that if you look at the totality of the investigation, it certainly hasn't been good for the president. His national security advisor had to plead guilty. His campaign chairman is going to be in jail for several years. But I do think that the president sees this as a way to rally his base heading into his reelection, to cast this investigation as politically motivated and to get some of his voters really energized heading into 2020.
WALLACE: Guy, whatever we end up reading, and they're probably -- I mean you can tell from the summary of the Mueller report from Barr, there's evidence on both sides on obstruction, not on collusion. Whatever we end up reading in the report, isn't this a big victory for Donald Trump, both politically and legally in the sense he was being -- he was investigated for more than two years by federal authorities and they end up finding no evidence apparently of collusion and apparently no criminal evidence, nothing prosecutable, when it comes to obstruction.
GUY BENSON, CO-HOST, "BENSON AND HARF": Of course it's a huge victory for him. I'd also say it's a victory for the American people that the president and his team did not collude with a hostile foreign government to steal an election. That is something we should all be celebrating. There's some glum faces around Washington, which I think is telling.
But, yes, the president has been not only accused of being a criminal for the last two years, but in a lot of precincts of being some sort of a traitor. And now we see from Bob Mueller, who was determined to be the gold standard, and I actually have always agreed with that, no conspiracy and no coordination. I think a lot of Democrats are focusing on the word "conspiracy," look we heard from your last guest, well, this isn't a crime necessarily. The word "coordination" was also ruled out by the special counsel. To me that is very significant.
I think we should wait for the entire report to come forward. I think the full football spiking might be premature. There's going to be some embarrassing stuff in there, no question. But the bottom line on the central thrust of what Mueller was investigated for two years, it's a vindication broadly for the president.
WALLACE: Then there was the president's decision -- surprising decision this week to jump into a court case that would strike down all of Obamacare if it is -- this was a judgment by a district judge in Texas -- if it goes through the appeals process. Here was the back-and-forth on that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: They are going to work together to come up with something that's really spectacular. Maybe we'll even get support in the House from Democrats. But it's going to be far better than Obamacare.
CHUCK SCHUMER, D-N.Y., SENATE MINORITY LEADER: The president wants to go back to repeal and replace again? Make our day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: We asked you for questions for the panel, and on this question of the president's promise to produce a new GOP health plan, we got this on FaceBook from Jacob Staven, why, after nine years, do the Republicans not have any replacement plan? Why after two years does Trump not have a replacement plan? All they have is repeal. That's not a plan.
Josh, you expressed big concerns this week about President Trump and the White House deciding to go back and re-litigate Obamacare. How do you answer Jacob?
JOSH HOLMES, FOUNDER, CAVALRY: Well, look, I think there's a practical problem here and there's a political problem here. The practical problem is, unless you believe that Speaker Pelosi is going to work hand in glove with the Trump administration and Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to repeal Obamacare and come up with a replacement, we're talking about an exercise in futility. The second piece of this, which I think is more broadly concerning, is the fact that the issue selection is not exactly where it needs to be here. They're fighting a battle that has been waged for eight years and largely decided in August of 2017.
Where we're at now is Democrats full-throated embrace of a Medicare for all policy. And I've got to tell you, the one biggest political liability that you can accrue in politics is separating families from coverage that they have, despite the efforts of their federal government, be able to navigate and provide for their families. That's where Democrats are right now and that's really where the Trump administration and all Republicans out to focus.
WALLACE: So how big a gift was the president's decision to get back into the Obamacare fight to Democrats?
CHARLES LANE, "THE WASHINGTON POST": It could be a big gift if they persist in it. If it is a one-off thing that just sort of popped out of the White House in the wake of the Mueller thing because as --
WALLACE: And when you say if they persist, you mean the -- the president?
LANE: The White House.
LANE: You know, Mick Mulvaney thought what's -- now's our chance to get at -- at Obamacare.
It's very important to understand that the Republicans actually -- they may not have a whole repeal and replace plan for Obamacare, but they have plans for health care, which include things like work requirements for Medicaid, which are not super popular around the country. That it's -- there's a good case to be made that the 2018 election went overwhelmingly in the House for the Democrats because they harped on pre-existing conditions. It republicans are threatening your pre-existing conditions. And that's what Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer see coming -- coming back. It's just fallen right back into their laps. Here comes the Republican administration threatening that again. And, you know, they're going to -- I think if they're smart, the White House will backpedal quickly and this will be a passing thing.
PACE: And this is partially why Republicans were so frustrated because they thought that the debate had changed. They thought at least they had gotten the president and a lot of their vulnerable lawmakers to the place where they could accept pre-existing conditions, where they could accept the provisions of Obamacare that let people stay on their parent's health insurance until they're 26. Those are broadly popular. There's very little appetite anywhere in -- in either party to do away with those right now. And suddenly the administration is out there saying we want to get rid of the whole thing again.
WALLACE: So we'll see what -- because the -- the Democratic presidential candidates are talking about Medicare for all, which is a much more controversial issue. But protecting Obamacare has become increasingly popular.
All right, panel, take a break here. When we come back, Beto O'Rourke has his official launch and Joe Biden faces new scrutiny as he makes a decision whether to run. We'll check in on where the 2020 Democratic race stands now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: When Anita Hill came to testify, she faced a committee that didn't fully understand what the hell it was all about. To this day, I regret I couldn't come up with a way to get her the kind of hearing she deserved.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Well, former Vice President Joe Biden apologizing this week for the way he handled Anita Hill's testimony in the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearing for the Supreme Court in 1991.
And we're back now with the panel.
We're going to get to the other part of the Biden story in a moment. But, Josh, Biden had a tough week this week, even without this latest allegation from Lucy Flores in Nevada. First, his comments about Anita Hill and the hearing in which he seemed to apologize for being a white guy and that all the members of the committee at that time were white guys, and then to say that he apologized for not giving her the hearing she deserved. After all, he was the chairman of the committee.
HOLMES: Right. And he's not even in the race yet, Chris. I mean this is going to get worse. And I think what we're watching from Joe Biden at this point is twisting himself into a pretzel trying to appeal to a primary electorate on the Democratic side that frankly has moved far beyond the Joe Bidens of the world.
What he's talking about now is basically a world apology tour. And that's not going to work. That's not going to sell in Iowa, New Hampshire or anywhere else. Ultimately what the challenges that he faces is that he is no longer representative of that core primary electorate that will determine who the next Democratic nominee for president is.
WALLACE: Now, there is also, as we've been discussing this morning with Kellyanne Conway, potentially a much more serious problem, that involves a woman named Lucy Flores. She was a state legislator in Nevada running for lieutenant governor in 2014. Joe Biden there with her on the stage at a rally supporting her.
But, it turns out, she alleges that before, in private, off camera, he came up behind her, he touched her shoulders, then he came in and kissed the back of her head. He says, or his staff says, that he doesn't recall the incident. He put out a statement this morning to say, I'm a huggy guy. I certainly didn't think I'd ever bothered anybody.
But here is the reaction from another Democratic candidate already, Senator Elizabeth Warren.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, D-MASS., 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I believe Lucy Flores. And Joe Biden needs to give an answer.
QUESTION: Should he not run as a result?
WARREN: That's for Joe Biden to decide.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Julie, you have covered the vice president for years. Are you surprised that this would come up about the -- the -- the issue of inappropriate touching?
PACE: I'm not surprised. Joe Biden -- anybody who has covered him has seen these -- these moments. He is quite an affectionate person. There are moments where he's been on camera in front of big crowds and he's put his hands on women's shoulders. He nuzzles them. It's -- it's part of what people have -- have called kind of the Uncle Joe persona.
I think the challenge for Joe Biden is, you know, due those moments look different in 2019 when we are in a place where we've gone through the Me Too movement, which has really, I think, cause people to take a fresh look at the -- at the behavior of men in powerful positions. You know, this is not necessarily sexual assault, but if he was making women feel uncomfortable, if he was using his position of authority to do that, that is not going to be looked at favorably, certainly by this Democratic electorate.
WALLACE: Well, it reminded a lot of people of this incident, let's put it up on the screen. This is 2015. And they you see Ash Carter being sworn in as defense secretary and Joe Biden is touching the wife of Ash Carter, puts his hand on her shoulders, nuzzles in and asks her -- says something -- whispers something into her -- into her ear.
Guy, could this be a problem, a serious problem, especially, as Julie points out, in the Me Too movement, period.
BENSON: Yes, it could be for him. And I think a lot of conservatives are saying, hang -- hang on a second. All of a sudden it's news that Joe Biden is handsy with women. This has been a conservative meme for eight years at least. And that video you just played is one of many examples.
I think it's very clear that Joe Biden is not going to win a wokeness primary. And if he tries to, he's going to fail. And I think between -- not necessarily this story, but a lot of the shots being fired already, these are warning signals from the left that if he gets in, they are going to make his life miserable. And I think he needs to be fully aware of that if he decides to jump in.
LANE: I'm going to just take the other side of this for a moment politically with two words for anyone who thinks Joe Biden is finished. Ralph Northam. We thought he was finished and he's still around. These things have --
WALLACE: Well, wait, wait, but there's a difference.
LANE: No, no, the difference --
WALLACE: Ralph -- Ralph Northam is the governor. It's a question of kicking him out. The other guys' got to actually win a primary.
LANE: I'm just saying, people have a way of surviving things that you think they can't survive. And so we should all just be prepared for that possibility.
But I do think this -- what this -- let -- and the other point I would make is he's still well above the rest of the field in the polls. So at least he came into this with a reservoir of good will. But it was inevitable that Democrats would have to go negative on one another in such a large field. And being the front runner, you're the one everyone's going to target.
So I guess the hope for Biden would be that he's still not officially candidate, but that this will somehow get processed before he is one and he'll be in some way inoculated against it. But I just wouldn't rule out the possibility that he's not finished, you know, already.
WALLACE: Does anybody at this table think that Joe Biden won't get into the race?
PACE: I think there's a chance.
WALLACE: Say it again.
PACE: I mean we have -- I think there's a chance he doesn't get in. I mean Joe Biden has this operation around him right now that is completely set up, waiting for him to turn to them and say, I'm ready, and he hasn't said that yet. And he's been pushing this deadline back and back and back. We're now talking possibly late April is the -- is the new timeframe that some people around him are using.
And Joe Biden knows better than anybody what this would entail. You know, what is the thing that he is going to learn over the next couple of weeks that will push him over the finish line? I think the longer that this goes on, yes, it leaves open the possibility that he doesn't do this ultimately.
HOLMES: He might be at the point of no return. I think the draft Biden movement has gotten big enough where it's going to be very, very difficult for him to walk that back. But I -- you know, to the point that Guy made earlier, I think that's honestly a mistake. I don't think that he can compete in this primary electorate.
LANE: Well, if he doesn't get it, it will be a real watershed in the history of the Democratic Party because it will be the end of that whole generation of leaders and they'll be moving into sort of an unknown new -- new land with this whole bunch of newcomers, ideologically very different, diverse from one another and it would be a real free-for-all.
WALLACE: You've still got Bernie Sanders, who's, what, 77 years old. So -- and -- and Elizabeth Warren's 69, so it's not completely a generational shift yet, Guy.
BENSON: But a different kind of Democrat. I mean there's a world of difference between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, who isn't even really technically a Democrat. He's kind of a socialist. And I don't think, Charles, that Biden is done or finished. I just think we've gotten a taste in the last few weeks of what's coming his way if he gets in and he might be sitting there thinking, do I want to put myself through this?
WALLACE: And -- and you've got to figure, yes, he'd love to be president. Does he want to run for president a third time and lose for a third time?
All right, panel, thank you. See you all next Sunday. God, it's great covering politics.
We'll be back with a final word.
WALLACE: For the latest on the Joe Biden story and Attorney General Barr's plan to release the Mueller report to Congress, 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.”
Content and Programming Copyright 2019 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2019 ASC Services II Media, LLC. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.