This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," July 22, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS HOST: I'm Bret Baier in for Chris Wallace.
President Trump invites Vladimir Putin to the White House for a round two after he walks back comments about Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have President Putin. He just said it's not Russia. I will say this: I don't see any reason why it would be.
The sentence should have been I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russia, and I think that probably clarifies things pretty good by itself.
BAIER: We'll discuss the fallout from the Helsinki summit, including the rift within the president's own party with Congressman Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Oversight Committee.
SEN. BOB MENENDEZ, D-NEW JERSEY: We cannot wait to see whether Russia attacked us in the 2018 election. We know that they are in the midst of making that a reality.
BAIER: Democrats seek details about what happened in Putin and Trumps one- on-one and call for tough new sanctions. We will discuss with New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on Foreign Relations Committee.
And in case you missed it --
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS HOST: I have here the indictment that was presented on Friday from the special counsel Robert Mueller. May I give this to you to look at, sir?
BAIER: Highlights from Chris' exclusive interview with the Russian leader. And insight and analysis from our Sunday panel.
All, right now, on "Fox News Sunday".
BAIER HOST: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.
The tension following President Trump's meeting with Vladimir Putin continues to rise this weekend as the president faces widespread criticism over his handling of Russia after he seemed to side with Putin's denials of election interference, at least at first.
Joining me now from South Carolina, Congressman Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Oversight Committee.
Mr. Chairman, thanks for being here.
REP. TREY GOWDY, R-S.C., CHAIRMAN, HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: Yes, sir. Thank you.
BAIER: You know, after the president's meeting with Vladimir Putin and that much analyzed press conference in Helsinki, your colleague, Republican colleague from Texas, Congressman Will Hurd, a former CIA officer wrote an op-ed for The New York Times and it was entitled, "Trump is Being Manipulated by Putin. What should we do?"
And in it, the Texas Republican writes, quote: Over the course of my career as an undercover officer in the CIA, I saw Russian intelligence manipulate many people. I never thought I would see the day when an American president would be one of them.
So, do you agree with Congressman Hurd? Is the president being manipulated by Vladimir Putin?
GOWDY: Well, Will has a background as a CIA officer. I defer to him on manipulation.
I can tell you this, Bret, the president has access to every bit of evidence, even more than those of us on House Intel. And Will and I serve on Intel. He has access to Pompeo and Chris Wray and Dan Coats and Nikki Haley.
The evidence is overwhelming. It can be proven beyond any evidentiary burden that Russia is not our friend and they tried to attack us in 2016. So, the president either needs to rely on the people that he has chosen to advise him, or those advisors need to reevaluate whether or not they can serve in this administration.
But the disconnect cannot continue. The evidence is overwhelming and the president needs to say that and act like it.
BAIER: So, he eventually set it through the week, Congressman, but what do you think was the evolution there? Why the hesitation?
GOWDY: I don't know. I watched the press conference. It wasn't just that line. It was -- the president missed, I think, a really good opportunity to distinguish the United States from any other country, but especially from Russia, and I don't know what was said in a private conversation.
But I do know this -- we got a classified briefing this week, Bret. There is no way you can listen to the evidence and not conclude, not that the Democrats were the victims, but the United States of America were the victims. We were the victims of what Russia did in 2016, and it ought to be a source of unity and rallying around the fact that we are never going to allow this to happen again and we're going to punish those who try to do it.
And there was this equivocation during the press conference that I'm glad he corrected it, but when you're the leader of the free world, every syllable matters and you really shouldn't be having to correct it when you're the leader of the free world.
BAIER: As you mentioned, after several days of kind of dealing with the rhetorical walk-back, the White House announced on Twitter that the senior task had been tasked to set up a second summit, Vladimir Putin coming to Washington this fall. And that obviously caught many here in Washington by surprise.
It also caught the president's director of national intelligence by surprise, who is doing an interview in Aspen at the time. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS: The White House has announced on Twitter that Vladimir Putin is coming to the White House in the fall.
DAN COATS, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Say that again?
COATS: That's going to be special.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: Now, the DNI released a statement last night apologizing, saying he didn't mean to be critical or disrespectful in his reaction and response. But do you think it's strange that the director of national intelligence didn't know about the invite before it went out?
GOWDY: I do think it's strange. I also think this, Bret, I think that the United States of America sometimes has to meet with people that we don't have anything in common with. I think our president has to meet with the leader of North Korea. We have to lead -- meet with the leader from Iran.
But it's very different to issue an invitation. This country is different. We do things differently. We set the moral standard for the rest of the world.
The fact that we have to talk to you about Syria or other matters is very different from issuing an invitation. Those should be reserved for, I think, our allies like Great Britain and Canada and Australia and those who are with us day in and day out.
They should -- I think we should be very judicious in who we invite and place that in perimeter (ph) of acceptance on. So, I would hope the president would keep that in mind if we are issuing invitations to foreign leaders.
BAIER: I want to return to the investigation. Overnight, responding to Freedom of Information requests, the Department of Justice released a heavily redacted FISA court request by the FBI, asking for permission to surveil or listen into Carter Page. A fairly low-level figure in the Trump campaign or orbit but one the FBI suspected, according to these documents, of colluding with Russian agents and may be being one.
I know you read this months ago, but it's the first time one of these kind of documents is out in the public domain, even heavily redacted. What is your take on this?
GOWDY: My take is that Carter Page is more like Inspector Gadget then he is Jason Bourne or James Bond. Trump never met him. Trump never had a conversation with him. I'm sure he's been on the FBI's radar for a long time, well before 2016.
Here's what we'll never know, Bret -- we'll never know whether or not the FBI had enough without the dossier, the unvetted DNC-funded dossier because they included it and everyone who reads this FISA application sees the amount of reliance they placed on this product funded by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the DNC. So, that's point number one, is the dossier and its use.
The other thing I hope my fellow citizens will take note of is the FBI missed a really good opportunity to tell the judge exactly who paid for that. If you look at the footnote, it takes a lot more effort to define it the way they did, where you have no idea who funded it, then just to come right out and say the DNC hired Perkins Coie who hired Fusion GPS who hired Christopher Steele.
There, done. That's an easy footnote, everybody can follow it. But for whatever reason, the FBI decided not to represent that to a court.
BAIER: So, Carter Page is never indicted. He hasn't been brought in.
GOWDY: Not yet.
BAIER: He is still walking around.
GOWDY: Yes, and that -- I mean, look, this is an investigation. All investigations don't lead to indictments. There have been two dozen indictments in this case but Carter Page is not one of them.
I have a different standard between investigating something and someone. And keep in mind, and counterintelligence investigations are never designed to become public. So, you and I were not supposed to be having a conversation about Carter Page on national television.
This case is different. He has not been indicted. He is presumed innocent. He'll be presumed innocent even if he is indicted. I don't have an issue with looking into people that have cozy relationships with Russia. That's fine. That's what law enforcement supposed to do.
I do have an issue when you rely on political opposition research that is unvetted and you represent that to a court and use it to spy on an American.
BAIER: You have seen this document long ago, but are there documents that you know exist that you have yet to see?
GOWDY: Some. The McCabe memos, which came up during the Lisa Page interview.
BAIER: Andrew McCabe, number two at the FBI who became acting director after Comey leaves.
GOWDY: Right. As soon as you become acting director, apparently, you make a decision to memorialize all of your conversations with the president, even while you are applying for the job I hasten to add. But I have not seen the McCabe memos. There were other references that Lisa Page made the documents and files that I think Congress is entitled to see.
I've seen as much if not more than any other member of Congress, which is why I am so adamant that Russia is not our friend and they tried to attack us.
BAIER: Are you equally adamant that the president is not -- has not colluded with Russia?
GOWDY: I have not seen one scintilla of evidence that this president colluded, conspired, confederated with Russia. And neither has anyone else, or you may rest assured Adam Schiff would have leaked it. So, that's why they've moved off of collusion onto obstruction of justice, which is now their current preoccupation.
BAIER: You mentioned Lisa Page. She and Peter Strzok, these two figures, FBI agent and FBI attorney, who had been texting back and forth. They were lovers, had some very heated, aggressive anti-Trump texts.
One that said we can't take a risk, it's an insurance policy. Another that said an investigation leading to impeachment, you and I both know the odds are nothing. I thought -- If I thought it was likely there would be no question I would go over to Bob Mueller, that's what he's talking about. I hesitate in part because my gut sense and concern is there's no big there there.
Lisa Page was up on Capitol Hill. Did she say they were talking about there's no there there in the Russia case?
GOWDY: -- it can be. She was a much better witness than Peter Strzok. Look, she hates Republicans, including the one you are talking to, but she had a credibility about herself and how she answered our questions that Peter Strzok never bothered to have.
Take a look at that text. That's from Peter Strzok and he's concerned that there is no big there there. He's not optimistic that there is not, he's not hopeful there's not. This is a career counterintelligence agent who is concerned that this investigation will not lead to impeachment.
So, it's already led to indictments. It's already led to our understanding that Russia is not our friend. You have a wonderful opportunity to safeguard our 2018 elections.
None of that was enough for him, Bret. It had to be impeachment, and that was his concern is that there was no big there there. And that's why he was not sure he wanted to participate in this investigation.
That is sad. It is pathetic that a career FBI agent would only be interested in impeachment, which is why he has no credibility and she actually does have some.
BAIER: So, Trump supporters look at that, former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey, what he said, what they've said. And they say they understand why the president feels a little inquisitive about where things are going.
GOWDY: Yes, Bret, you don't even have to be a Trump supporter to be mindful of the fact that John Brennan thinks he's guilty of a crime for which he can be hanged, that John Brennan thinks he should be in the dustbin of history, that Jim Comey thinks impeachment is too good of a remedy and Jim Comey now thinks that everyone should vote Democrat so Bernie Sanders will be the head of the budget committee and Dianne Feinstein will be the head of intel.
I mean, these are the people that were supposed to be dispassionately, objectively investigating a fact pattern and they have much animus against Donald Trump as anything I have seen in my eight years in politics. Add into that, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page and the other unidentified FBI agents who also wanted him to resign or be impeached or thought he was destabilizing.
So if you are Donald Trump and you see all of these people in positions of responsibility that think you ought to be -- that you're guilty of treason, a crime for which you can be put to death, by the way. That's what John Brennan said.
So, what I would encourage the president, those are all people from yesterday. You have your own people in place now and it is possible to conclude that Russia interfered with us and it still does not delegitimize your presidency. That's where I would encourage the president to go.
Russia is not our friend. We need to be very careful dealing with them but that does not take away from the fact that he won the 2016 election, much to the chagrin of Brennan, Comey and all the rest.
BAIER: Congressman Gowdy, thanks for your time today.
GOWDY: Yes, sir. Thank you.
BAIER: Up next, did President Trump put the interest of Russia above the United States in his summit with Vladimir Putin? We'll talk to one of the top Democrats demanding answers. Senator Bob Menendez joins us, next.
BAIER: Top Democrats called on President Trump to cancel his summit with Vladimir Putin after the indictments of 12 Russian military intelligence officers for interfering in the 2016 election. Now, many are demanding answers to what really happened in Helsinki, calling for increased sanctions on Russia, for the president's national security team to testify and for President Trump to press Putin to extradite those 12 agents.
Joining me now, New Jersey Democratic Senator Bob Menendez. He's the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Welcome back to "Fox News Sunday," Senator.
SEN. BOB MENENDEZ, D-N.J., SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: Good to be with you, Bret.
BAIER: Thanks for being here.
You know, a lot has been made obviously about this meeting and the news conference in Helsinki, but here's what the president said this week about actual U.S. policy after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Look at the sanctions I've put on. Look at the diplomats I threw out. Look at all of the things that I've done, nobody else did what I've done.
Obama didn't do it. Obama was a patsy for Russia. He was a total patsy. Look at the statement he made where he thought the mikes were turned off, OK? A stupid statement he made.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility.
DMITRY MEDVEDEV, RUSSIAN PRIME MINISTER: I understand. I transmit this information to Vladimir.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: So, Senator, do you think U.S. policy towards Russia was tougher under the Obama administration or under the Trump administration?
MENENDEZ: Well, certainly, President Obama created the European deterrence initiative after Russia invaded, and annexed Crimea. He recommitted to the 2008 commitments NATO made to having Georgia be part of NATO, once they were ready and developed. He actually imposed a series of sanctions supported by the Freedom Support Act that I helped write and did a series of executive orders.
So, it was incredibly strong at the time. I have to say that when I listened to President Trump say he's been stronger, we had to bring him kicking and screaming to the CAATSA sanctions, the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, that had a 98-2 vote in the Senate, overwhelming vote in the House that he didn't want to sign, he was forced to sign because they had veto-proof majorities.
And even so, there are about seven mandatory provisions of that law as it relates to Russia that the administration has not pursued. So, I would simply say that what I saw in Helsinki at a moment that the president could have challenged President Putin about the reality that his 17 intelligence agencies all unanimously agreed that Russia interfered in the 2016 elections, that they are in the midst of doing that as we speak in these elections, 108 days away. That was a moment to challenge him on that, on Ukraine, on what's happening in Syria.
And instead the president did not show the strength that an American president, I believe, should have shown at that moment.
BAIER: He says that he said that behind closed doors in that CBS interview with Jeff Glor. He -- what would you like -- have preferred him do in the news conference publicly?
MENENDEZ: Well, I would have liked him to have said, look, President Putin, we know that you interfered in our 2016 elections and that you are doing it now and that's not a question, that's a statement and here are consequences to it. If you want to rejoin the world order and observe international law and stop invading sovereign nations like Ukraine, then we can have a pathway forward.
But at the end of the day, there will be real consequences and I'm glad that we're talking, but there are real consequences to your constant engagement in our elections that undermine our democracy. I would have liked, Bret, for him to do what Chris Wallace, your colleague, did in his interview with President Putin.
BAIER: Which we'll see in just a moment.
I guess his supporters say he may have done that behind the scenes. He may have not set the right things on the news conference.
MENENDEZ: No one knows what he said behind the scenes because he took an extraordinary -- over two hours with only an interpreter. Not even the secretary of state --
BAIER: Do you think there's any upside --
MENENDEZ: -- the head of national intelligence.
BAIER: Is there any upside to talking to Putin?
MENENDEZ: Look, it depends if you challenge him. Now, we are going to give him, you know, a red carpet treatment and invite him to Washington. To me, that's beyond comprehension.
You can speak to adversaries, but at the end of the day, you have to do it in a way in which you challenge them. The president seems to want to be chummy with Putin instead of challenging him.
He should be challenging him about violating international law. He should be challenging him about the massacre that's taking place in Syria. He should be challenging him about the annexation of Crimea, and say, we will never recognize the annexation of Crimea.
BAIER: But, Senator, you know that you don't know that he didn't do that behind closed doors.
MENENDEZ: None of us know.
BAIER: OK, so let's --
MENENDEZ: I have no idea. But when you had an opportunity to show the world, all of our allies, show NATO, show the free world that you would in fact were not supplicant to Vladimir Putin, but a challenge to him, you failed to do so. And then to come back, you know, it's too late, too little and the wrong continent, and now change your tune once you're here versus when you are there standing alongside Putin.
BAIER: Let's turn to domestic politics. Supreme Court nominee that the president put up, Brett Kavanaugh, you have said that you will not vote for him. Democrats are obviously pushing back.
Do you believe Democrats can stop the Kavanaugh confirmation?
MENENDEZ: Well, I think if the American people understand Judge Kavanaugh's record, they will rise up and that will stop his nomination. Look, here is a judge who has written that in fact the president is above the law, that he can decide what laws are constitutional or not, which I always believed was reserved for the Supreme Court under our system of government and therefore not obey a law if, in fact, he believes it's unconstitutional.
He believes the president cannot be investigated while in office. This is someone who spent four years with Ken Starr investigating the Clinton administration. It's amazing to me that he has the view that a president cannot be investigated. And so --
BAIER: So, where are the votes going to come on the pushback?
MENENDEZ: And so, he has a series of challenges. I think that when the people in the country know, they will raise their concerns with their members of the Senate, including Republicans. Look, our colleagues --
BAIER: Do Democrats have regrets that --
MENENDEZ: Our colleagues Dean Heller in Nevada, of course, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski who care about women's health and others I think will have an opportunity to express themselves as to whether they want to support someone who in fact would erode those basic rights.
BAIER: Do Democrats have regrets that Senator Harry Reid moved that vote to only requiring 51 for confirmation?
MENENDEZ: I think Republicans will regret to moving to 51 on Supreme Court nominees. There will come a moment in which they'll regret that and, you know, if this continues, we are going to have a Senate not as the Founders of the Constitution and the Framers of the Constitution imagined, it will just be a majority vote institution like the House of Representatives and that will dramatically change the country.
BAIER: Senator, you are up for reelection in New Jersey this year. You could face a real race in blue New Jersey, but the energy and passion and really the grassroots of your party is on the progressive side. Just over the past few days, Senator Bernie Sanders has been campaigning with the newest superstar of your party, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York. She was campaigning they were campaigning in Kansas.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has said that capitalism will eventually come to an end. She said she doesn't mind being called a socialist. In her words, there's an Israeli occupation of Palestine, and they say, Sanders and Ocasio- Cortez, that their agenda is now the Democratic mainstream agenda.
MENENDEZ: Look, that's their agenda. And, you know, under our democracy, everybody has their agenda. I've seen an extreme right wing agendas that I disagree with equally as well.
Look, our agenda as Democrats is about ultimately making sure that we have an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthiest, not just big corporations. Our agenda is making sure that we secure our nation, including our sacred right to vote, that it cannot be affected by countries like Russia outside of the world. Our agenda is making sure that every family goes to sleep at night knowing that they have the health care they need to keep their family healthy and secure. That's our agenda.
BAIER: So, you don't think there will be this progressive litmus test in your party?
MENENDEZ: Listen, you know, I think that people care about whether or not they have an economy that helps them meet their hopes and dreams and aspirations, whether they have health care for their family, whether they can get their kid educated without being under a mountain of debt, to get a college education. Those are the things that Democrats have been fighting for. We'll continue to do so and I think that has universal appeal.
BAIER: Well, Senator Menendez, thanks again for joining us on "Fox News Sunday".
MENENDEZ: Thank you, Bret.
BAIER: Up next, Chris Wallace presses Russian President Putin on many topics after the Helsinki summit. We'll have the highlights of that incredible interview, next.
BAIER: Coming up, the Democratic socialist movement becoming a significant force in national Democratic politics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, D-N.Y., CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Wherever there is working-class people, there is hope for the progressive movement.
(END VDEO CLIP)
BAIER: We'll ask our Sunday panel what the leftward shift could mean for the Democrat Party, coming on "Fox News Sunday".
BAIER: Following the president's summit with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Chris Wallace sat down with the Russian leader for an extensive interview. Here are some of the key exchanges.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Mr. President, one of the issues that is standing in the way of more progress, as you know, are the allegations of Russian interference in the U.S. election. You have repeatedly said, and you said again today that this was not the action of the Russian state, but if it was anything, it was patriotic Russian individuals.
I have here the indictment that was presented on Friday from the special counsel Robert Mueller that says that 12 members of Russian military intelligence, the GRU, and they talk specifically about units 26, 165 and 74-455. They say -- you smile, let me finish -- they say that these units were specifically involved in hacking into Democratic Party computers, stealing information, and spreading it to the world to try to disrupt the American election.
May I give this to you to look at, sir? Here.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Well, let me start answering your question with something a little bit different. Let's have a look at it this way. People are talking about interference of Russia with the election process in the United States.
I have mentioned this in 2016 and I want to say it now again and I really wish for your American listeners to listen to what I say.
First of all, Russia as a state has never interfered with the internal affairs of the United States, let alone its elections.
WALLACE: But sir, this is the indictment. It shows -- I have 12 names here. It talks about specific units of the GRU, Russian military intelligence. Is the GRU not part of the Russian state?
PUTIN: I'll get to it. Just have a little bit of patience and you will get a full answer to your question.
Interference with domestic affairs of the United States, do you really believe that someone acting from the Russian territory could have influenced the United States and influenced the choice of millions of Americans?
WALLACE: I'm not asking if they influenced -- I'm asking whether they tried.
PUTIN: I'm about to answer. This was the first point that I'm trying to make. If you have some patience, you will hear the entire response.
I said this in 2016 and I say it now -- the idea was about hacking an e- mail account of a Democratic candidate. Was it some rigging of facts? Was it some forgery of facts?
That's the important thing that I'm trying -- point that I'm trying to make. Was there any false information planted? No, it wasn't.
These hackers that are being discussed -- I will get back to it, just bear with me for a moment. As we're getting told, they hacked a certain e-mail account and there was an information about manipulations conducted within the Democratic Party to incline the process in favor of one candidate.
And as far as I know the entire party leadership resigned. They admitted the fact of their manipulation, so that's one thing. Manipulation of the public opinion should stop and an apology should be made to the public at large --
PUTIN: -- instead of looking for those responsible or the party at fault.
And now to the mentioned things. As I said in the press conference --
WALLACE: But Mr. President, may I just say, you are indicating that they stole real money --
PUTIN: Don't you like my answer?
WALLACE: -- not counterfeit money. So, are you saying it's OK because of the fact that they took from the DNC, from John Podesta. It was their real e-mails, so it's OK to hack and spread this information out and interfere with the election?
PUTIN: Listen to me, please? The information that I am aware of, there's nothing false about it. Every single grain of it is true and the Democratic leadership admitted it, first point.
Now the second point, if you don't like my answer, you can give it to me straightaway, and I'll just keep silence. And if you want Americans to listen to my opinions could you just wait for a little bit?
And now for the specific accusations. First of all, special counsel Mueller has accused a certain private company in Russia that is not even a very big enterprise. The core area of competence is a restaurant. And now this company hired American lawyers and defending its integrity and reputation in American court.
So far, American court has not discovered any trace of interference whatsoever. Do you know it or not? Millions of Americans know about it.
And now to the individuals from the indictment act. We with the United States, we have a treaty for assistance in criminal cases, an existing treaty that exists from 1999. It is still in force and it works efficiently.
Today, I referred an example of its sufficient work.
WALLACE: And I'm not trying to interrupt --
PUTIN: Why would Mr. Mueller --
WALLACE: I'm not trying to interrupt -- be disrespectful --
PUTIN: Well, let me finish. Just let me finish. You are trying to interrupt but I will finish.
Why wouldn't special counsel Mueller send us an official request within the framework of this agreement? Our investigators will be acting in accordance with this treaty. They will question each individual that American partners are suspected of something.
Why not a singular request was filed? Nobody sent us a single formal letter, formal request.
WALLACE: Let me just say, I don't want to interrupt. And I want to ask one question -- I'm trying to move on to other subjects.
Why do you think Robert Mueller issued this indictment three days before you and President Trump met here at the summit?
PUTIN: I'm not interested in this issue a single bit. It's the internal political games of the United States. Don't make the relationship between Russia and the United States -- don't hold it hostage of this internal political struggle.
And it's quite clear to me that this is just an internal political struggle and it's nothing to be proud of for American democracy to use such dirty methods and political rivalry.
WALLACE: Last year, Defense Secretary Mattis said that Russia is the greatest threat, Russia is the greatest threat to the United States, and he has since made it clear, an even greater threat than terrorism.
In March, you introduced a new generation of Russian missiles, including what you called in invincible missile you said that could evade, defeat all of our missile defenses, and you even released a video that showed the super missile flying over the United States and hitting Florida very near where President Trump's estate is at Mar-a-Lago.
Aren't you escalating the arms race, and aren't you being deliberately provocative?
PUTIN: As far as the footage is concerned, they did not specify that the missile is about to hit the United States. You have to look at it more carefully.
WALLACE: It shows Florida.
PUTIN: There was not sign Florida. There was not a caption saying Florida. Take a more careful look at it. It was never a caption Florida.
WALLACE: No, but you can see it on the map.
PUTIN: It was clear it was flying over the eastern coast of -- no, no, no, it couldn't be seen on the map. Just take a closer look.
And I'm not trying to scare your population with make believe threats. I'm pretty sure I can give you as a present this footage.
And now to the offensive weapons. They were not born out of nowhere. They were born as a response to the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the ABM treaty.
From the very beginning, we've been warning our American counterparts that we aren't going to join the global antimissile system, we see no purpose for it, but we'll do everything to have means to overcome it.
Well, the response of our counterparts was that the United States designed this antimissile defense system because it is against -- it's not designed to be guided against you. In 2003 or 2004, I think I mentioned one of those systems, and there was no response from our American counterparts.
So what we did now, we just demonstrated that we do have means to overcome the system. It's just a negotiating item. I do hope that in terms of strategic stability, we'll be able to find a mutually acceptable solution for both sides, and that applies to the INF treaty under the intermediate and shorter range missiles as well.
WALLACE: I need to ask you, domestically, not internationally, domestically inside Russia, why is it that so many of the people that opposed Vladimir Putin end up dead or close to it?
Former Russian spy and double agent Sergei Skripal, the victim of a nerve agent attack in England. Boris Nemtsov, a political opponent, gunned down near the Kremlin. Investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya murdered in an apartment building.
Why is it that so many people who were political enemies of Vladimir Putin are attacked?
PUTIN (through translator): Well, first of all, all of us have plenty of political rivals. I'm pretty sure President Trump has plenty of political rivals.
WALLACE: But they don't end up dead.
PUTIN (through translator): Not always. Well, haven't presidents been killed in the United States? Have you forgotten about -- well, has Kennedy been killed in Russia or in the United States? Or Mr. King? What happens in the clashes between police and civil society and some several ethnic groups? Well, that is something that happens on the U.S. soil.
All of us have our own set of domestic problems. But going back to what happened in Russia, yes, we do have crime and unfortunately there are still some crimes. And some extent, Russia's statehood is maturing and there are some side effects. And we persecute people responsible for these crimes.
But since you've mentioned the Skripal case, we would like to get at least some sort of a document, evidence about it, but nobody gives it to us. It's the same thing as the accusations with meddling in the election process in America.
BAIER: You can watch Chris's full interview with Vladimir Putin on foxnewssunday.com. We do know where Chris is, and he will be back next week.
Up next, we'll bring in our Sunday group to discuss the fallout from Helsinki and the Russian investigation going forward.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Dan Coats came to me and some others, they said they think it's Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it's not Russia. I will say this, I don't see any reason why it would be.
The sentence should have been, I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russia.
QUESTION: Is Russia...
QUESTION: Is Russia still targeting the U.S., Mr. President?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Press, let's go, make your way out.
SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president was -- said, thank you very much and was saying no to answering questions.
TRUMP: I let him know we can't have this. We are not going to have it. And that's the way it's going to be.
Getting along with Russia is a positive, not a negative. Now with that being said, if that doesn't work out, I will be the worst enemy he's ever had, the worst he's ever had.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: The evolution this week of President Trump's position regarding Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election. It's time now for our Sunday group. FOX News senior political analyst Brit Hume, columnist for The Hill Juan Williams, and the co-hosts of "Benson and Harf" on FOX News radio, Marie Harf and Guy Benson.
All right, Brit, the president has been very active on Twitter this morning, just a few moments ago saying: "I had a great meeting with Putin and the fake news used every bit of their energy to to try and disparage it. So bad for our country."
BRIT HUME, FOX SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, what do we know about that meeting? Well, we know very little because there's no record of it of any kind that we know of except in the memories of the two participants and their translators, unless Russia, of course, taped it.
So we don't have any real way to assess that other than what Trump claimed about it. And of course, his performance, as you just showed, at the press conference with Putin in Helsinki, was, I think, Newt Gingrich stated correctly, the worst moment of his presidency and one that I think despite his walking it back and repeatedly saying other things in its aftermath, I don't think he is going to live that down any time soon.
BAIER: Juan, a lot of Trump supporters point to that there's no substantive policy changes. They say it was a bad press conference, but as far as being aggressive against Russia, this administration still is.
JUAN WILLIAMS, COLUMNIST, THE HILL: I hope they are. I mean, obviously the president kind of slow-walked the sanctions. We couldn't figure out why it took so long to implement the sanctions. But, yes, there are sanctions in place. But let's not bury the lede on this story, Brit, which is I think as Newt Gingrich said, as others have said, Trey Gowdy said on your interview with him this morning, this is a national disgrace.
This is unbelievable. And the one thing we do know that came out of this meeting was a discussion between President Trump and Vladimir Putin about possibly talking or interviewing Michael McFaul, our former ambassador to Russia that the Russians think was overly aggressive on the human rights front.
So to me, that's extremely troubling. I think that all of us have to say, hey, we understand that President Trump doesn't want to delegitimize his election, but, again, to reiterate something Trey Gowdy said this morning, this is about America being under attack and being under attack heading into the midterms in terms of our election and democratic process.
GUY BENSON, CO-HOST, "BENSON & HARF": Well, I think it's difficult for the president to go on Twitter, it's easy for him, but for us to digest, him blaming all of this on the fake news because the fake news simply played in its entirety the press conference that he himself participated in.
And it was a very, very low moment. I do think that his pivot eventually to what we saw in the CNBC interview was the thing that the administration ought to be doing, which is highlighting not just the sanctions, but the diplomatic expulsions, the lethal aid to Ukraine, and other elements that are much more robust of the policy as opposed to the rhetoric that we saw when the president was standing with Vladimir Putin, which was, again, I think indefensible.
BAIER: Right. But as the week went on, in Middle America, how do you think this plays?
MARIE HARF, CO-HOST, "BENSON & HARF": Well, I think Middle America has tuned out a lot of the conversation about foreign policy because they're worried about the economy, they're worried about education and health care costs. So that's a separate conversation.
But it is still very important to digest what President Trump is doing on foreign policy. Put that Helsinki press conference in the context of how he treated our NATO allies, right? He went to Europe. He treated our NATO allies very hostilely. He really attacked them publicly, and then did the opposite, and was very weak standing next to President Putin in terms of his language.
So I don't think this was a rhetorical screw-up. I think that President Trump wants American foreign policy to go in a different direction vis-a- vis our allies and Russia. And I think that has influenced the fact that he is not trying to protect the United States now from this happening again.
And for all Americans, that should be a concern because we know Russia is trying to do it right now. And his blinders to Russian interference makes countering it harder.
BAIER: OK, Brit, just last thing on this. Here's what the administration says and his supporters. NATO has increased its military spending, largely because of Trump's pressure. The U.S. has put in heavy military equipment into Ukraine. Not something that Russia would like.
HUME: More now.
BAIER: We have helped liquid natural gas in Eastern Europe that is destabilizing Russia. There are things they are doing much beyond, this is what his supporters would say, the Obama administration.
HUME: Well, those points are correct. These things are all -- are in fact happening, which is why this is such a paradox between the president's behavior in the presence of Vladimir Putin and the actions he has taken. They point in different directions. There's no getting around that.
But I think, you know, until we finally know, if we ever do, what has actually been said in the meeting with Putin and what may be said in the next one that apparently is going to be forthcoming this fall, it will be impossible to assess this correctly.
BAIER: So the president doesn't often like polls, but a new Washington Post/ABC poll said, post-summit, his handling of the summit, 33 percent Americans approve of the president's handling of the meeting with Putin, 50 percent disapprove, just to give you a moment in time from that sense.
Let's talk, Guy, about this Carter Page FISA document that comes out overnight, which is pretty -- well, it's just very rare to see a FISA document at all, heavily classified. This one heavily redacted. What does it tell us? What does it mean?
BENSON: Well, I will confess that I did not spend all night reading 400 pages of this. But I did...
BAIER: We expected you to.
BENSON: Yes, I know. I will never be invited back. I could lie, oh, I read the whole thing, it's amazing.
The redactions are the key point. I've seen, scrolling through Twitter, partisans on both sides claiming vindication from context clues. Oh, this means we are right, this means that's correct. There is so much, the substance -- some of the substance is just blacked out for pages.
So I think the one take-away that Trump supporters will not like is the degree to which the Steele dossier was relied on very heavily to secure this FISA warrant against a U.S. citizen and a Trump associate. Whether there was more substance underneath that, that the FBI was able to verify in terms of Mr. Page's past conduct with the Russians, which I think is deeply suspect, remains to be seen.
BAIER: The president again tweeting: "Looking more and more like the Trump campaign for president was illegally spied upon. Surveillance for political gain of crooked Hillary Clinton and the DNC. Ask her how that worked out. She did better with crazy Bernie. Republicans must get tough now. An illegal scam."
HUME: Not illegal as far as I can tell. It was approved by the judge, which is the process it has to go through. I mean, I think it may well have been improper. And I think that, as Guy suggests, and as the document reveals, there is stuff in that FISA warrant application that has no business being there. That does not make it illegal, it may make it improper.
HARF: And it was removed three times, which means you had to get independent evidence that it was producing usable intelligence. And I will say, this is not a witch hunt. This is not the only thing that is part of the Russia investigation. And the FISA application wasn't put in for Carter Page until he left the Trump campaign.
So the idea that this is part of "spying on the Trump campaign" just isn't backed up by the timeline.
BAIER: Yes. I mean, Trey Gowdy said that Carter Page in reality is more like Inspector Gadget than he is Jason Bourne. He is still walking the earth and giving interviews.
Juan, I want to turn quickly to politics, and this real focus on the left. You had the Vermont senator, Bernie Sanders, and the new star, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez campaigning in Kansas. Is the progressive wing of the party driving the Democratic Party?
WILLIAMS: Oh, I don't think there's any question the energy is in what I would call the far left base of the party, still injured over Donald Trump's election, still can't believe it, right, and thinking that the way that you do politics now has to be Trump-like.
You have to be aggressive, some would say bullying. You have to name-call. You have to set out a very clear, aggressive agenda.
So to me it was astounding to see Bernie Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez in Kansas, a state that trump won plus-20, Bret. So but they are there and they are relying on an agenda that I think lots of Democrats think that the Democratic establishment is reluctant to embrace.
Things like health care. Things like tuition assistance for young people with heavy student loans. Things like a minimum wage hike. All of this is true but at the same time this week we had a poll that showed most Democrats want a fresh face and that fresh face is, guess who, Joe Biden. He's the top. I think he has like 35 percent support as the next candidate for the Democrats.
BAIER: Speaking of which, the president weighing in on Joe Biden this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I dream about Biden. That's a dream. Look, Joe Biden ran three times. He never got more than 1 percent. And President Obama took him out of the garbage heap and everybody was shocked that he did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BENSON: Well, I'm going to go back to the far left here, because that's fun. But the fact of the matter is there are 194 House Democrats, 122 of them have signed on as cosponsors to Medicare-for-all, which is single- payer health care, which would cost $32 trillion.
This is a mainstream, totally fantastical view that is taken root in the Democratic Party and it's frightening.
HARF: But I will say the Democratic Party is running candidates across the Midwest, in Michigan and Ohio and Pennsylvania, that are moderate and that fit their districts.
BAIER: But they are answering questions now on what Ocasio-Cortez says day by day, that capitalism is going to fall and that, you know, socialism is OK.
HARF: But that's not what they are running on. And if Republicans think that all these challengers in these swing districts across the Midwest are all democratic socialists, they are going to be in for a big wake-up call in November.
BAIER: Quickly, Brit.
HUME: The far left of the Democratic Party is Donald Trump's best hope for reelection. And if they nominate for president the next time around, someone from that part of the party, holding the views that, you know, we've just been talking about, that would be of inestimable benefit to whoever the Republican nominee is, I presume Trump.
BAIER: Panel, thank you.
Chris Wallace will be back next Sunday, I promise. And we will be back with a final word.
BAIER: Keep it here on your local Fox station and Fox News Channel for more reaction to the Trump-Putin summit and all the day's news. And don't forget "Special Report," I have a part in that, 6:00 p.m. Eastern tomorrow and every week night on Fox News Channel.
That's it for us today on "Fox News Sunday." Have a great week. Chris will be back next week and we will see you next "Fox News Sunday."
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