Published June 09, 2019
This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," June 9, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: I'm Bret Baier, in for Chris Wallace.
President Trump backs off his terror threat with Mexico and the two countries announced a deal on migrants.
BAIER: Mexico, faced with a 5 percent tax on goods to the U.S., agreeing to help reduce the flow of migrants from Central America. We'll discuss the agreement and whether Mexico can hold up its end of the bargain with Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, R-KY: There is not much support in my conference for tariffs, that's for sure.
BAIER: How much of a role did Republican defiance play in the president's plans? We'll ask Senate Homeland Security Chair Ron Johnson.
Plus, House Democrats plan to move forward with contempt votes against Attorney General William Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi faces increasing pressure to start an impeachment inquiry.
REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF., HOUSE SPEAKER: I respect their patients, is important.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: She's a nasty, vindictive, horrible person.
BAIER: We are joined by Congressman David Cicilline, a key member of the House Judiciary Committee.
JOE BIDEN, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If I believe health care is a right as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone's zip code.
BAIER: Joe Biden flips on federal abortion funding after a backlash from Democrats.
We'll ask our Sunday panel about Biden's move to win over the liberal left in 2020.
All, right now, on "Fox News Sunday".
BAIER: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.
President Trump has put the brakes on his plan to begin imposing tariffs tomorrow on all goods from Mexico. In return, Mexico says it will take in strong to reduce the flow of migrants from Central America across the U.S. southern border.
The agreement, staving off an economic and diplomatic crisis with this country's largest trading partner, at least for now. In a moment, we'll speak with the acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan.
But, first, we'll begin with David Spunt, who has the latest from the North Lawn of the White House -- David.
DAVID SPUNT, CORRESPONDENT: President Trump is back at the White House this morning after spending a week in Europe. When he got home Friday night, just a few after arriving her the White House, he announced this trade deal that not only stops tariffs, but has put significant pressure on Mexico to secure its own borders.
SPUNT: President Trump greeting supporters on the south lawn late Friday afternoon. Just three hours later, he made the official announcement, tweeting: The tariffs scheduled to be implement it by the U.S. on Monday against Mexico are hereby indefinitely suspended.
The specifics include Mexico deploying 6,000 trips to its southern border with Guatemala, migrants waiting in Mexico for the asylum process to play out, Mexico offering migrants jobs, health care and education, and taking action against human smuggling and trafficking operations.
Saturday afternoon, Mexico's president held a rally in Tijuana to celebrate the deal with the United States, but not everyone is celebrating. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sarcastically tweeting: Now that the problem is solved, I'm sure we won't be hearing anymore about in the future.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told reporters Saturday the administration could still impose tariffs if Mexico doesn't live up to its end of the deal. But even the president's close allies in the Senate have no interest in another tariffs fight with Mexico.
SEN. JONI ERNST, R-IA: I would probably push back depending on the circumstances. Again, Mexico is typically a very, very good trade partner. I do support the president's efforts with tariffs against China.
SPUNT: Mnuchin and his team are in Japan right now ahead of the G20 summit at the end of the month. President Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, the president of China, expected to talk about those Chinese tariffs when they meet they meet face to face in just a few weeks -- Bret.
BAIER: David Spunt reporting from the White House -- David, thank you.
Joining me now, the acting secretary of homeland security, Kevin McAleenan.
Welcome to "Fox News Sunday."
KEVIN MCALEENAN, ACTING SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: Good to see you, Bret.
BAIER: Mr. Secretary, we heard the specifics there in David's piece, but how much of this is new?
MCALEENAN: All of it is new. I mean, we've heard commitments before from Mexico to do more on their southern border. The last time they deployed down there is about four or 500 officers. This is more than a tenfold commitment to increase their security in Chiapas. That's where people are entering from Guatemala and southern Mexico.
BAIER: Your predecessor, Secretary Nielsen, testified that these things were happening to the House Judiciary Committee. There were talks about moving National Guard troops to the southern border with Guatemala. You're saying this is different than that?
MCALEENAN: It is very different. The president put a charge in his whole dialogue with Mexico with the tariff threats, brought them to the table. The foreign minister of Mexico arrived within hours. He arrived the next day with real proposals on the table.
This is the first time we've heard anything like this kind of number of law enforcement being deployed in Mexico to address migrations. Not just at the southern border but also on transportation routes to the northern border and in coordinated patrols in key areas around our southwest border.
BAIER: The president tweeted this morning that any stories that said this was not -- this was not new, as you're saying, or false, but he said there are some important things not mentioned in yesterday's press release. One in particular.
MCALEENAN: Yes. So, the president tweeted out that this tariff has been suspended. Secretary Mnuchin pointed out that there's a mechanism to make sure that they do with a promise to do, that there's an actual result, that we see a vast reduction in those numbers. And as the State Department announced, there are going to be further actions, further dialogue with Mexico in immigration, on how to manage the asylum flow in the region, which is a small percentage of the total flow. This is, by and large, an economic migrations, that we need to stop with enforcement. We need to be able to repatriate people successfully.
BAIER: So, is the administration's point of view that this tactic worked as far as this threat of tariffs? You have the speaker of the House with a release that says, threats and temper tantrums are in no way to negotiate foreign policy.
You're saying that this threat worked?
MCALEENAN: People can disagree with the tactics. Mexico came to the table with real proposals. We have an agreement that if the implement will be effective.
BAIER: I want to talk about the specifics. A quote from administration, customs and border officials as we are bursting at the seams, it's unsustainable and can't continue. These numbers --
BAIER: -- can you put them in context for people at home?
MCALEENAN: So, we had two prior surges of families and children of the border, 2014 and 2016. At that time, President Obama called it a humanitarian crisis. In the last two months alone, we have more than doubled those two full years of crisis.
So, to give you a sense of how many people are crossing the border, 144,000 last month. When I was in Guatemala last week, a man came up to me and said we know that bringing a child is a passport for migration to the United States. The smugglers are advertising it.
This flow is not going to stop without coordinated efforts with Mexico, but also we still need Congress to act. We still need help both on the fundamental legal loopholes and the framework, but also on funding, to manage this situation that you heard about from CBP.
BAIER: But, specifically on the asylum what you need Congress to change?
MCALEENAN: No question. We need three specific changes in law.
One, we are not able to detain families through an immigration proceeding. We have to release them within 20 days by court order. That needs to change. Families can be held together in an appropriate setting for a fair and transparent hearing, and then they can be repatriated if they don't have an asylum claim, that's one.
Two, we want to be able to repatriate unaccompanied children, just like we do in Mexico and Canada, even if they're from Central America or further away, but also offer children a safe way to apply for asylum in the country. That's a balance policy that we'd like to implement.
And three, we need to change the asylum standard so that that front bar that where we sign credible fear is not so automatic, so that 89 percent of people get that while only 10 percent get asylum at the end of the court proceeding. We need to align that more closely with what it might actually be a successful claim.
BAIER: Last year, the administration separated more than 2,500 children from parents as part of this policy, to prosecute anyone crossing into the United States illegally.
BAIER: How many separations are there now?
MCALEENAN: So, now, both on the president's executive order from June 20th last year and court order, separations occur when there are any interests of the safety of the child. A serious criminal prosecution unrelated to the unlawful crossing, communicable disease, and emergency situation where we have to bring the child or parent to the hospital. These are the kind of circumstances we are seeing.
And very sadly and very tragically, situations where there is abuse and were a child's safety is threatened by the adult they are traveling with.
BAIER: So, the inspector general found that there's dangerous overcrowding and unsanitary conditions at processing facilities along the border, is that still the case?
MCALEENAN: That's absolutely the case. I testify to that in December of last year and since then, we've have more than doubled the number of crossings. Went down March 27th and said we have a crisis that we are at the breaking point at the border, we don't have room for the people arriving.
We asked Congress five and a half weeks ago for supplemental funding to manage this overcrowding concern and get health and human services the money they need to take on unaccompanied children expeditiously. We have seen no action on those requests.
BAIER: You are the acting homeland security secretary, how much time you spend on this as opposed to homeland security overall?
MCALEENAN: Yes. So, DHS is a multi-mission department. And we've got to stay on our toes preparing for hurricane season. I was with the vice president in Oklahoma looking at the disaster and FEMA's response on Tuesday from the flooding.
We have to do it all. We had a big election security set of briefings on Friday and we're going to maintain momentum there.
But this is a crisis, and a crisis means that management time and leadership effort has to be focused on that. We're getting good support from across the cabinet and, obviously, the president of the United States is dialed in and focused on this issue every single day and trying to make sure that we can secure that border and change this dynamic.
BAIER: You mentioned elections, is that moving forward? Do you feel comfortable that come election time that the U.S. is going to be secure?
MCALEENAN: I think we've got a great strategy, working with all 50 states, trying to get to all 8,800 jurisdictions that oversee elections at a local level. This is just like a FEMA-style management structure. The federal government supports states and governments that administer this, and we got great tools to help them prepare, to make sure the systems are ready, to make sure there's been no intrusions, and to help educate on new threats and new emerging challenges in cyber world.
BAIER: Mr. Secretary, we appreciate your time.
MCALEENAN: Thank you. Good to see you.
BAIER: Well, joining me here now, Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson. He's the chair of the Homeland Security Committee.
Senator, there's a lot of pushback about this tactic of using tariffs, specifically tariffs against a trading partner like Mexico.
Here is the president talking about Republican senators pushing back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: A lot of people, senators included, they have no idea what they're talking about when it comes to tariffs. They have no -- absolutely no idea.
When you have the money, when you have the product, you have the thing that everybody wants, you're in a position to do very well with tariffs and that's where we are. We're the piggybank. United States is the piggybank, it has all the money that others want to take from us, but they're not taking it so easy anymore. It's a lot different.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: So, what was the behind the scenes?
SEN. RON JOHNSON, R-WIS.: I think, just in general, Republicans understand that tariffs are attacks on American consumers and we don't want to see them in place long-term, nor do I believe President Trump does either. He's using tariffs as leverage in trade negotiations and I think he used them as leverage in the situation brilliantly, quite honestly.
I know for my part, after those news reports were published last week, I call the Mexican ambassador and said regardless of what you read in the press, understand if the president imposes tariffs and he's been serious about this, there are not votes to override. So, take that threat very seriously. You know you have to do more.
This is an uncontrolled situation of the board. I think the acting secretary is doing excellent job. I agree with everything he said an interview, but this is completely out of control. We've had groups of the thousand migrants just in El Paso sector alone. I was in McAllen, Texas, their biggest day is 2,400.
And, Brett, one thing that's not being talked about enough is the involuntary servitude associated with this, the human trafficking. It's out of control. When we were down at the border just last week, 25 to 33 percent of these families are fraudulent families. It's an adult using a child, sometimes these are prearranged, but there was one little 3-year-old boy we were told about abandoned in a hot Texas field. That's a dimension that really we are talking about enough in terms of this problem.
BAIER: You see the specifics in this deal. Do you think it is new? I mean, it had been talked about from Secretary Nielsen for quite some time, specific thing.
JOHNSON: Sure. I mean, Mexico has always talked about beefing up enforcement on the southern border but they haven't done it. The numbers we are talking about, 6,000 National Guard troops, would be significant. Opening up the migrant protection protocol to more individuals. Right now, they've only taken a little more than 8,000 of people waiting for asylum in Mexico.
But again, what we need to do is we need to change our laws so that we can rapidly and more accurately determine those individuals that clearly don't have a valid asylum claim and safely return them to the home country. There has to be a consequence. We can't let this go uncontrolled the way it is.
BAIER: The toll the president uses now with these tariffs is having an effect. If you look at "The Washington Post," hiring slowed sharply in May as companies industries hardest hit by the president's trade wars, basically manufacturing and construction sought anemic job growth in May and they point directly to this tool.
Are you concerned about that?
JOHNSON: I am concerned. Businesses both farmers and manufacturers in Wisconsin that are definitely feeling the short term pain here but what's interesting, Bret, is when I talk to these individuals, feeling that short- term pain, their last comments, and almost always is, but I support what the president is trying do.
We have not been treated fairly by our trading partners -- whether it's Europe, whether it's Mexico, whether it's China. Of course, China is the main abuser here. So, we -- the president had to get their attention, but I think the president also realizes that the clock is running out. We need to conclude these deals because some of those damage will be long-term.
You might see manufacturing start moving overseas to, for example, supply their customers overseas of many manufacturing business. So, we got to conclude these trade dealers so we can bring certainty back to the economy that the president provided by stop adding to the regulatory burden and more competitive tax system.
BAIER: It seems the pushback for the Mexico potential tariffs was much more than it had been for China and holding the line against China. When it comes to China and Huawei in particular, is that a national security issue in your mind, or a trade issue?
JOHNSON: It's both. Their involvement there in telecommunications represents a massive security issue for all of our allies, as well the United States. Plus, when you take a look at what China has done economically, because of their economic industrial policies, they grossly massively increased capacity in the steel industry and put a lot of pressure on steel industries throughout the world.
Their Made in China 2025 initiative will target 10 of their industries that way. Will they also bankrupt those 10 industries as well?
So, no, China is aggressively using their industrial policy, it's causing a great deal of harm economically throughout the world, and China has to recognize that they have to follow the World Trade Organization rules. They have to stop stealing our intellectual property by cyber theft, through espionage and through forced technology transfers.
They are the main abusers of the system. I'd rather have a united world demanding that China abide by the rules, but at the same time, we do need to make sure other trading partners treat us fairly and with real reciprocal treatment.
BAIER: If these tariffs had gone forward, the deal not struck on Friday night with Mexico, will GOP senators ready to stand up against the president?
JOHNSON: Well, again, we indicated that we do not want tariffs long term with Mexico. They are a valued trading partner. It could have increased the cost to our economy, $70.5 billion at 5 percent, to $87.5, all the way up to 25 percent. So, again, I believe tariffs are a tax on consumers.
BAIER: No, I'm asking about the caucus.
JOHNSON: No --
BAIER: Was the GOP caucus ready to say --
JOHNSON: Listen, I think the caucus definitely supports the president and his use of tariffs as leverage to get our trading partners to treat us fairly with reciprocal treatment and I think they also supported him in this case. This is out of control.
You've seen the chart I've shown -- 400,000 individuals as families or unaccompanied children have already come in for the first eight months of this year. If we continue at May's pace, it will be $800,000 and acting secretary was saying --
BAIER: Eight hundred thousand people.
JOHNSON: Eight hundred thousand people in 2014 when President Obama did declare the humanitarian crisis, it was 120,000. So, this is out of control. It's growing exponentially.
And that's why the president had to act because Mexico has not been acting and certainly Congress is not.
We really are calling on Democrats, work with us. This is not a manufactured crisis. This is a problem we have to solve and it's growing out of control.
BAIER: Senator Johnson, we appreciate your time.
JOHNSON: Thank you.
BAIER: Up next, we'll bring in our Sunday group to discuss the U.S.-Mexico border deal and what it could mean for ongoing trade talks with China.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: They are coming up by the millions. Mexico can stop it, they have to stop it. Otherwise, we just won't be able to do business.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: Mexico's president on the border Saturday celebrating the agreement between the U.S. and Mexico. And President Trump earlier this week demanding Mexico do its part.
It's time now for our Sunday group. Jason Riley of "The Wall Street Journal"; Neera Tanden, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress; Josh Holmes, former chief of staff for Senator Mitch McConnell; and Anne Gearan, White House reporter for "The Washington Post."
Anne, let me start with you. This deal late Friday, it was a deadline. Now, there's questions about what exactly it means and is it new?
ANNE GEARAN, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, the president denied this morning that it's old, that these are things that have already been agreed to. Some of them not known before now but already agreed to as "The New York Times" reported yesterday.
What we do know is that none of the things that are part of the package that has been so far released really would fully address the problem the president himself has diagnosed of a huge number of families attempting to cross the border, as you discussed with McAleenan earlier. It puts the onus on Mexico in a way that the president is claiming is a victory for him, but it also clearly was a political setback for the president because he didn't get everything he wanted.
BAIER: Josh, I mean, it was a political tight rope with GOP senators announcing a pushback before it even happened.
JOSH HOLMES, FOUNDER, CAVALRY: Yes, you know, it's interesting. I think when you look at the humanitarian crisis on the border, which is very real, and the border crossing issue, which is very real, there's basically two big obstacles to getting this done. First is the Mexican government, the second is the congressional Democrats, and I think by choosing tariffs, what the president said, overwhelmingly, is that it's easier to deal with the Mexicans than it is with the Democrats.
So, what we have here, you fast-forward, is real action that is happening on behalf of the Mexican people to try and stem this at birth the southern border and the northern border, which, you know, say what you will, that is progress.
BAIER: Neera, your response to document specifically about Democrats, because we hear that a lot. Why aren't Democrats coming to the table with some kind of solution on immigration front?
NEERA TANDEN, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: Democrats just passed a Dream bill. They have actually been willing to negotiate on immigration -- as Josh will well remember, even a year and a half ago there was the proposal that Schumer laid out to deal with immigration he thought he had a deal that actually supported a wall, the White House wouldn't do it.
So the idea that Democrats are negotiating is I think patently false. But I think most importantly, I think what actually motivated the president to make what seems to be a very weak deal was the job numbers on Friday. You know, his tariffs are ready. The existing tariffs with China seem to be producing the weakening in manufacturing and retail and obviously in agriculture, and then this idea that the second round of tariffs, you saw not just congressional Republicans, but the Chamber of Commerce, business leaders say this is going to be an economic shock not to Mexicans, but to Americans.
And I think the president saw the job numbers, 75,000, very disappointing, and recognized that he had advice and he took a bad deal. A deal that really does not have any new enforcement, and if you do care but immigration as a top issue, then you should do those things that actually work which is actually ensuring that you're working with the countries to address the problems instead of cutting funding which the Trump administration has done.
BAIER: Short of a comprehensive big deal at has been talked about before, dealing with the asylum issue specifically, you think Democrats are willing to give the president and win on that front?
TANDEN: I think the issue -- there have been discussions for years now that more judges to adjudicate these claims, other issues like this -- Ted Cruz talked more judges to adjudicate these claims. There are issues that we can work on. In fact, more money was put towards securing the border even in the last deal.
BAIER: It sounded like it's a big a deal, though.
Go ahead, Jason.
JASON RILEY, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: It is a big deal. And it's interesting, Democrats typically talk about immigration in humanitarian terms and the facts show overwhelmingly that there is a humanitarian crisis down, the system was not built to handle children. It was meant to handle mainly single men crossing the border illegally.
And they are overwhelmed. The personnel is overwhelmed. There aren't enough detention facilities and so forth.
But I do think that long term, this could be a political win for the president, partly because of what you said. In other words, if you look at Trump's overall job approval numbers, they are in the mid to low 40s, but on the economy, they are well above 50 percent and have been for some time. And to the extent that he avoids tariffs with our largest trading partner, he avoids an uncertainty that comes with that and further worsening a tenuous economic situation.
BAIER: It is already having an effect.
TANDEN: We have an existing tariff structure bearing
RILEY: But this one exacerbated that problem.
GEARAN: And the markets were already spooked on Thursday and Friday at the prospect of additional tariffs on Mexico.
BAIER: Is the sense that this is one of the pillars of the president is going to run on, immigration being one of them, the economy, not socialism, and maybe abortion?
GEARAN: Yes. I mean, we haven't heard as much socialism talk from the president over the last month and he's always been saying that he is going to run on economy. How could you impeach -- as anti-impeachment argument, how could you impeach a president who has the greatest economy ever and so forth?
It's now becoming clear that the two main things he wants to focus on and run on, unless the economy goes south, are immigration and economic turnaround that he takes credit for.
BAIER: Is not a win? Is that a winning issue?
HOLMES: Oh, absolutely. I mean, the economy is always a winning issue if it's going --
HOLMES: Well, and I think he's made that a cornerstone since he first came down the escalator. I mean, that's his number one issue in terms of how his voters and the broader American public see his candidacy and our presidency.
And so, this is something's going to be focused on throughout. But, you know, this is far beyond a political issue, as Jason said. There is a genuine humanitarian crisis of the border right now. And there was a request that came up to Congress for $3 billion or $4 billion to address that that was supposed to go into a disaster aid bill when Democrats asked that that come out.
Now, you can ask why that comes out. My guess is because they wanted as leverage for the Dream Act or other things that Neera has talked about. But none of that addresses this core problem that the administration is trying to get at.
TANDEN: I think the issue her for the president is now he's an incumbent and when he faces reelection, he's going to have a set of facts. If the set of facts are that there are more border crossings now than there were two or three years ago, and that his policies so far have not succeeded. He argued -- in fact, I will make -- he argued to the American people, his administration argued family separation would be a strategy that succeeds, and it has so far not succeeded. Now, he's trying to do these things with Mexico.
The strategy that would actually work and did actually have results at the end of the Obama administration was dealing with these countries and their problems internally and trying to support actually keeping their economies working where they are.
BAIER: For the longest time, Democrats on the Hill and elsewhere said this was not a crisis, it was in fact manufactured. So, now, there are Democrats who can concede it is a crisis.
TANDEN: As Jason said, every Democrat has recognized that was happening of the border is a crisis. Lots of Democrats have talked it -- set it a minute ago. Democrats have been saying is a humanitarian crisis.
RILEY: Out of political expediency, Democrats are now ignoring the humanitarian crisis --
TANDEN: They are not. Lots of Democrats have talked about. They just have a different strategy.
RILEY: The system -- the asylum system is being gamed and Democrats know it. They know that people are showing up other people are showing up on the border with kids because they know they will get into the country and be released.
RILEY: And most of those people released will not show up at their hearing. Democrats know that is happening.
TANDEN: That is actually false. When you have the family policies, right, we actually have family policies under Obama, 80, 85, 90 percent of people were showing up for their hearings. The idea that people just leave is absolutely false. That is not accurate and not backed up by the numbers.
BAIER: But the numbers are increasing every day and there's not a solution up on the Hill.
TANDEN: My -- I think a lot of Democrats have a lot of presidential candidates are actually talking about sane immigration policies that actually deal with these problems in the country so you don't have these migrations. We saw some of those policies at the end of the apartment administration.
What's weird is that the president cut funding for this program and has had a punitive policy that is not succeeding, and I think this will be a challenge for him as he faces reelection. And why is he's trying to do these things? Because he recognizes he promised people that we would stop seeing immigration and we have seen it.
BAIER: Last word.
HOLMES: Yes, let me say that I don't think sanctuary cities or any sort of an mass amnesty is going to be a enough deterrence for the problem that we've seen, which is basically what we're hearing.
TANDEN: That's not the argument. That's not what they're arguing.
HOLMES: So, look, there's going to have to be some enforcement. But more importantly, Democrats are really going to have to get out the ball and deal with the humanitarian crisis here.
BAIER: Panel, we had to take a break here.
Up next, the ongoing fallout from the Mueller report, House Democrats prepared to vote on a resolution to hold Attorney General William Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn in contempt of Congress. A key Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee joins us next.
BAIER: Coming up, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi cautions her caucus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF.: When you're impeaching somebody, you want to make sure you have the strongest possible indictment because it's not the means to the end that people think.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: We'll ask a Democratic leader about the speaker's strategy, next.
BAIER: Democrats in the House are moving closer to suing in federal court to obtain access to the full Mueller report, testimony from key officials and President Trump's tax returns.
Joining us now from Rhode Island, Congressman David Cicilline, who serves on the Judiciary Committee and is a House Democratic leader.
Congressman, welcome back to “Fox News Sunday.”
CONGRESSMAN DAVID CICILLINE, D-R.I.: Good morning. Good morning, Bret.
BAIER: I want to start where we left off with the immigration issue, this deal with Mexico. This is John Sanders, the acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, talking about the issue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN SANDERS, ACTING CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION COMMISSIONER: We are in a full-blown emergency and I cannot say this stronger, the system is broken. This ongoing crisis has placed a tremendous strain on our limited resources and operational effectiveness. To address these unprecedented numbers of family units and unaccompanied children up to 60 percent of our agents are being pulled away from law enforcement operations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: President Trump said the other day, of Democrats in Congress were willing to make some changes, we could solve this problem.
CICILLINE: Well, I think, look, this is a very complicated issue. We, in fact, appropriated significant additional resources in the last appropriations bill. We may have to do more. We need to be sure that we have enough immigration judges that people can be processed quickly.
But the problem has been made worse by many of the policies of this administration. What the president promised was to fix this problem. He's made it worse. And, frankly, we need to address the underlying causes for migration. That's part of the challenge. The president proposed and has made deep cuts in the countries in Central America that are the causes of this migration. That will only make the problem worse.
So we need to work together in a bipartisan way to respond to this challenge, but some of these policies of this administration have actually made the problem significantly worse.
BAIER: But quickly on this issue of asylum, is a possible that Democrats could get around some change to the asylum law?
CICILLINE: Well, look, we should recognize asylum is the crown jewel of our immigration system. America has always been a place that welcomes people were fleeing violence and war and famine and unspeakable conditions. And we have a system to adjudicate those claims. We ought to honor that system. They reflect our values as a country. But we ought to make sure that it's being done expeditiously and that people are not gaming the system of course.
CICILLINE: But that we need comprehensive of immigration reform. We need to devote more resources to it. But we need a president who understands the complexity of the problem and stops using this issue as a political prop to advance a political agenda.
BAIER: Obviously they argue that you're using it the other way.
Let's move on to these investigations.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, quoted by "Politico," as saying to Democratic caucus members that she wants to see President Trump in prison. I don't want to see him impeached, I want to see him in prison.
Number one, did she say that? Number two, do you agree with her?
CICILLINE: Well, first of all, I was not in that meeting. I know it's been reported.
But let's remember this, we have reviewed the Mueller report. The president of the United States directed Don McGahn to fire the special counsel and then to prepare false documents to deny that he was told to do that. He directed an outside person, Cory Lewandowski, to direct the attorney general to limit the special counsel's investigation and a number of other instances of obstruction of justice that are detailed in this report. These are specific things the president did.
That's the purpose of our hearing Monday. These are criminal acts, obstruction of justice, clearly impeachable offenses. And so, you know, it's kind of rich to hear the president complain about this when he began a campaign with lock her up as his bumper sticker and, you know, led an effort to delegitimize the first African-American president by claiming he wasn't born in this country.
BAIER: So you agree with Speaker Pelosi?
CICILLINE: Look -- look, I don't have any difficulty with those words. I think what we're really -- what is really at stake here is the responsibility of the Judiciary Committee to conduct oversight, to demonstrate to the American people that no one is above the law --
BAIER: Well, here's --
CICILLINE: Including the president of the United States. We're going to get to the truth and we're going to demonstrate that this president must be accountable for his own conduct.
BAIER: Here's the problem, the first line of that sentence, I don't want to see him impeached, whereas many of the members you're talking about, now up to 59 members who have said publicly they would like to see the president impeached. The speaker is not one of them.
So is Jerry Nadler trying to pressure Speaker Pelosi to start impeachment?
CICILLINE: Bret, I -- I think there's two things to -- really, there's unanimous consent within the Democratic caucus on two issues. Number one, that we have to continue to move forward on the agenda for the American people. We've passed 250 pieces of legislation that range in everything from legislation to drive down the cost of prescription drugs, to protect - - protection for pre-existing conditions, to tax relief for gold star families, to child care access for vets, to restoring net neutrality, a really robust agenda to raise family incomes. We've begun work on an infrastructure bill. We've got to deliver on those things.
There's also complete agreement in the Democratic caucus that this president must be held accountable, that no one is above the law, that we have a responsibility to conduct oversight, to follow the facts where they lead. And we're not going to let the president --
BAIER: But there's not agreement on impeachment.
CICILLINE: No, we're not going to let the president engage in a cover-up and prevent the American people from learning the truth.
Now, there is some discussion about what's the best vehicle to do it? Is it through our normal oversight proceedings or is it through the opening of an impeachment inquiry? That's really a process question. But what we really want the American people to know is that the president of the United States directed individuals to create false documents, to give -- to lie to investigators, to try to prevent this investigation from going forward. Those are very specific acts which --
BAIER: Even though it the attorney general came to his conclusion after the Mueller report and it was his decision to make according to the -- the rules of the special counsel?
CICILLINE: No, actually it wasn't his decision to make. The special counsel says very clearly, this is the responsibility of Congress. We certainly know that William Barr audition for this job by completing a memorandum of law that suggested the president could never be charged with obstruction of justice. A very expensive view. The president hires him when he hears that wonderful view. And he delivers on that promise when, in a very short time, he mischaracterizes the special counsel's report. In fact, so much so --
BAIER: Right, because he says there was no underlying crime. And that's -- that's where the argument is.
CICILLINE: Right, in fact, so much so -- right. Right, in fact so much so that -- that the special counsel saw the need to write a letter and then ultimately have a press conference to set the record straight. And that's what's going to happen on Monday. The American people are going to begin to see the real story and understand the conduct of this president.
BAIER: Well, congressman, there is also a political question here. If you look at -- there are 41 House Democrats who hold seats currently in districts where President Trump won. Republicans specifically are targeting 13 Democratic districts that went for President Trump by at least six points. Those are the ones in the yellow on the screen. The politics of this, for those folks, impeachment does not play in those districts, at least when you ask them and you get them on the record.
CICILLINE: Bret, I think that's the -- the wrong question. Look, the speaker has said, and I agree with her completely, we should never proceed with impeachment for political reasons. We should never refuse to proceed with impeachment for political reasons. This is about defending the Constitution and the rule of law. It's not just about this president, it's about future presidents and how they will regard their responsibilities in office. The American people expect us to hold this president accountable, to follow the facts wherever they lead us. And the impeachment question will be decided by the facts and what those facts require. It should not and cannot be a political consideration.
BAIER: Congressman, I want to ask you about another issue, and that is anti-trust.
BAIER: You're going forward with these hearings about FaceBook and Google. Why are you setting up this investigation for services that -- that essentially are free and most people -- most people like?
CICILLINE: Well, it's important to recognize, this is a broad investigation of the digital marketplace, the dominance of large technology platforms. You know, for example, Google controls 94 percent of searches on mobile phones. FaceBook has 2.7 billion users, the largest social network in the world. These are monopolies.
And one of the things that I think we're very concerned about is the impact on consumers. It -- you say they're free. The truth is, the data that's collected and there attention is then used to generate revenue. So it's not really free. There have been significant reductions in privacy. There have been very -- you know, substantial evidence of misuse of data, of extinguishing rivals and engaging in anticompetitive conduct. There's reducing innovation, reducing entrepreneurship. So there are real challenges in this marketplace.
CICILLINE: It's not working well and this is an opportunity to really study it to understand, how do we bring more competition into this space to protect workers and consumers and be sure that we have access to the best products and that new people can enter the market.
So, I think, you know, we've seen some examples of the excesses of this consolidation. Competition is important. Anti-trust applies even when services are free and want competition.
BAIER: I guess the question -- the question, congressman, is -- is -- is how do you define success here with this effort and how does it differ from the FDC or the DOJ and their anti-trust efforts?
CICILLINE: So it's quite different in that it's not a prosecution. This is an investigation to collect the best data, the best information so we can make informed public policy judgments and draft legislation that will respond to the challenges. And so we're going to hear from the best technologists in the country who have been studying this issue and thinking about it. We'll have the opportunity to depose witnesses and do witness interviews and do roundtables and do hearings to bring in the -- kind of the best thinking about, how do we address this challenge? We know the problems. They're easy to diagnose. Shaping the solutions is going to be more difficult.
So this investigation will all ow us --
BAIER: And potentially regulation?
CICILLINE: Oh, absolutely. Potential regulation. Certainly legislation. We want to make sure we get it right. I don't have any preconceived ideas about what the right answer is, but we want to be sure that we're using the best information, the best data and that we really understand how these markets are failing.
Congressman Cicilline, we appreciate your time.
CICILLINE: Thanks for having me.
BAIER: We'll be monitoring the action on The Hill this week.
Coming up, Speaker Nancy Pelosi resists the growing calls of impeachment by Democrats as President Trump latches on to a report she wants to see him behind bars. We just discussed that. What does the war of words really mean for the continuing gridlock in Washington? The Sunday panel is back, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF.: We know exactly what path we're on. We know exactly what actions we need to take.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: She's incapable of doing deals. She's a nasty, vindictive, horrible person.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holding the line against impeachment, while President Trump responds to that report that Pelosi wants to see him in prison.
Now we're back with our panel.
All right, Jason, thoughts on all of this?
JASON RILEY, "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL": This is impeachment life. Nancy Pelosi's dilemma is that most Americans oppose impeachment. In fact, most of her caucus currently is not a board for impeachment.
Impeachment is about as popular in the Democratic caucus as Mexican tariffs are in the Republican caucus right now. And it's not going anywhere since the Republicans control the Senate.
So what she's looking for are ways to let her progressives vent. And so these -- these hearings that are being held in these contempt threats and so forth are just ways for her members to be able to let off a little steam about this without actually pulling the trigger with formal impeachment hearings because they remain so unpopular.
BAIER: Here's Representative Emanuel Cleaver.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMANUEL CLEAVER, D-MO: I don't think it's right if somebody is shouting "lock her up." I don't think it's right that if we're talking about "lock him up."
I think -- I think the leak -- the speaker was in a private meeting where information was leaked. I don't -- I don't think she would say that publicly.
The president ought to -- ought to have a little appreciation for Nancy Pelosi because she's the only thing standing in the way of a full-scale move toward impeachment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: Neera, you think that full-scale move is going to happen?
NEERA TANDEN, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: I don't know. I think actually what Nancy Pelosi is doing is the proper role of oversight of the administration. And I think Democrats went in high numbers to the polls. And not just Democrats, moderates. The House majority was built on -- in part on dealing with account -- some level of accountability, not necessarily impeachment, but accountability of this administration.
And I think that what's odd about the situation we're in is, actually support for impeachment is growing. It's at 41 percent according to some polls. It's not a majority. But, really importantly, a majority of Americans seem to believe the president acted criminally. Sixty percent believe he obstructed justice. And that was before Mueller testified. So I think the -- the Democratic plan to go forward is to do what they promised the American people they would do, which is hold the president accountable, actually try to get to an airing of the Mueller report and see if they see -- if they determine more illegal activity.
BAIER: So the first line, I don't want to see him impeached, but I do want to see him in prison.
TANDEN: I mean, I don't know the actual quotes, but I think the oddity of the -- of the president who chanted "lock her up" for years, it's a little weird for Republicans to take umbrage at the rhetoric.
JOSH HOLMES, FOUNDER, CAVALRY: Look, I think suggesting the president of the United States be thrown in prison probably breaches the confines of oversight as we've typically defined it in the House of Representatives.
But, look, I -- I think Nancy Pelosi is in a tough situation here. She reminded me sort of like a -- a zookeeper trying to keep the lion at bay. She's throwing little pieces of meat, trying to keep him back in his cage. The impeachment lion is -- is not going anywhere. Unfortunately, she has to keep escalating her rhetoric time after time to get people, I don't know, essentially distracted from what they really want to do, which is impeach the president. And I think she's absolutely right that it is a political disaster for the Democrats. Every poll would suggest that. I don't -- have not seen any suggestion that the American people are coming around on the issue of impeachment. It is wrong --
TANDEN: And it's moved up in the polls from 35 to 40, 42.
HOLMES: It has long been -- impeachment has long been seen as the ultimate of -- of extreme moves in Congress. Republicans have had this bite them on their end. Now Democrats are seeing it turn around.
ANNE GEARAN, "THE WASHINGTON POST": But -- but, Josh, what she's doing is actually more complicated than that because there -- there are at least three distinct camps among House Democrats, those who want to go for it, you know, hell-for-leather, those who see it as a -- as she apparently does, as a political loser, and -- and those in the middle. And she's actually trying to manage all three of those equities at once, which is an extraordinarily difficult thing to do. And one way she's trying to do that is, as you say, throw bits of -- of meat to the lion, but she also has to keep the -- everybody else on the same train.
And, yes, have as many investigative hearings as they can schedule. There are two big ones coming up this week, either of which could lead -- lay the groundwork for -- for Mueller's testimony and, which, obviously, you know, touch on impeachment-related activities without fully going there.
TANDEN: And I think --
BAIER: Jason, it's a little tougher to explain to the American people the obstruction part that clearly Mueller leaves to Congress when the underlying part of the conspiracy, working with Russia, there were no indictments that came from that. So it's a tough thing to explain why they're going down this road, isn't it?
TANDEN: Ah --
BAIER: I mean I'm asking Jason.
TANDEN: Yes. Go ahead.
RILEY: I think it's impossible to reconcile, not just tough. You know, what was obstructed? And this is -- you know, this is prosecutorial discretion what is -- you know, it matters what your motives are. And it -- someone who -- who knows they're innocent and -- and -- and says something misleading to a prosecutor is different from someone who knows they're guilty and says something misleading to a prosecutor --
TANDEN: I think --
RILEY: Or is later found to be guilty of the underlying crime.
TANDEN: The thousand possible --
RILEY: So I think it's -- it's -- it's prosecutors discretion. The Mueller report exercised discretion. And -- and here we are and Democrats won't except that result any more than they seem to --
TANDEN: I mean --
RILEY: Seemingly won't accept the results of the 2016 election.
TANDEN: We -- we -- we'd like to act like nothing has happened here. Mueller testified -- basically went to the cameras to say that the president was not exonerated on obstruction of justice. Why did he do that? Because the attorney general wrote a misleading memo which is saying essentially what you said. And it is actually false, because in this situation, just to remind everybody, the actual law is that you can obstruct justice if you're trying to cover up. And the president of the United States, and his campaign team, had nine, 11, 12 indictments. That is -- that is incentive enough for a cover-up.
HOLMES: None of which had anything to do with the underlying investigation, I might add, right? All of the indictment --
TANDEN: That's not true. Flynn -- Flynn had some -- what do you -- how are you saying this? Flynn had something to do with the underlying investigation. Manafort did.
BAIER: No, but they didn't find indictments on the conspiracy with Russia.
TANDEN: Yes, they found indictments on (INAUDIBLE) of a range of illegal (INAUDIBLE).
RILEY: Why -- why is the standard -- why is the standard exoneration on one side and -- and simply finding evidence of wrongdoing on the other?
HOLMES: Well, you're asking a career prosecutor, right, to switch the standard of justice, not to find whether or not there is reason to prosecute, but to actually exonerate. That's not just not -- not what they do.
TANDEN: That's not my language, that's the president's language. He said he was exonerated. I'm just saying what he said, and it's false!
BAIER: All right. Well, we will see where the House goes. There will be hearings and we will cover it all.
BAIER: Panel, thank you very much.
Up next, a look back at some of the most poignant moments of this past week as world leaders gathered to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
BAIER: Finally today, the president is back from his five-day state visit to the U.K., Ireland, and France, where he met with world leaders, weighed in on Brexit and marked 75 years since D-Day.
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: The president suggested that I sued the European Union, which we didn't do. We went into negotiations and we came out with a good deal.
TRUMP: I would have sued and settled, maybe, but you never know. She's probably a better negotiator than I am.
QUEEN ELIZABETH: Seventy-five years ago, hundreds of thousands of young soldiers, sailors and airmen left these shores in the cause of freedom.
TRUMP: This was something that was -- we read about it all our lives, Normandy.
EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT: Thanks for the friendship.
TRUMP: Thank you very much.
MACRON: Thanks for what your country did for my country and thanks for what we will do together.
TRUMP: All the heroes are buried here. The sacrifice that they made did not just win a battle, it did not just win a war. Those who fought here won a future for our nation.
You are among the very greatest Americans who will ever live. And we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
BAIER: More than 150,000 allied troops stormed the beaches at Normandy. Our thanks for all they did to secure peace for the world.
That's it for today, Chris will be back next Sunday.
I'll see you tomorrow for "Special Report," 6:00 p.m. Eastern, on Fox news Channel.
And this Thursday I hope you'll join Martha MacCallum and me for a live town hall with Democratic Presidential Candidate Julian Castro in Phoenix, Arizona. That's 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Fox News Channel.
Make it a great week. We'll see you next “Fox News Sunday.”
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