Sean Spicer: The president’s base is with him through thick and thin

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," March 1, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, it's a bit of a squeaker at the corner of Wall and Broad. It looks like the quest for 10 up weeks in a row might just stop a little short. But, again, this isn't official until a few minutes after the trading day.

Welcome, everybody. I'm Neil Cavuto.

Let's run down where we stand right now. The Dow just coming up a little short of the gain it would have to have to have a 10th straight winning week. And I mean by just a few points. That's why it's not quite official yesterday. The S&P 500 also missing by a mark.

We have the NASDAQ that did have an appreciable advance today, enough to garner 10 straight wins of its own. But, again, it is the Dow that is in doubt. Had it scored another weekly gain, it would have been 10. It would have been the strongest since 1995.

We would still have to go back to the Clinton administration to see a streak like this. Again, it's not official just yet, but it does look we came up a little bit shy. The Dow, the S&P 500 both on track for a 12 percent gain this year, the NASDAQ about a 14.5 percent gain, one of the fastest starts we have had to a new year in decades.

Usually, how the first two months go of the year, the other 10 months tend to follow, 91 percent of the time, in case you're keeping track. So, we will keep an eye on that.

Also keeping an eye on the president and what he had to say about Michael Cohen's testimony. He says totally discredited. Now Democrats are targeting president's finances, and they're promising more witnesses and a lot more digging. So should the president be worrying? We're on that in just a moment.

First to FOX Business Network's Blake Burman on how the White House is responding to all of the above.

Hey, Blake.


President Trump landed back here at the White House last night after his trip to Vietnam. And he spent part of this morning taking to Twitter to absolutely slam his former personal attorney Michael Cohen.

Among the five tweets that President Trump sent out this morning, he reacted to a report that Cohen had been shopping a book that would have portrayed the president positively. One of the tweets here -- quote -- "Congress must demand the transcript of Michael Cohen's new book given to publishers a short time ago. Your heads will spin when you see the lies, misrepresentations and contradictions against his Thursday testimony, like a different person. He is totally discredited."

That from the president. Meantime, here at the White House today, they are having to defend comments from the president's press conference on Thursday in Vietnam. After meeting with Kim Jong-un, the president said he doesn't believe the North Korean dictator knew at the time about the treatment of Otto Warmbier. The 22-year-old college student was detained in North Korea for nearly 18 months.

He was released back to the U.S. in June of 2017, but died a handful of days later, as doctors said he was unresponsive and suffered from brain damage. Warmbier's family released a statement today, taking issue with the president's comments.

This is what they said in full -- quote -- "We have been respectful during the summit process. Now we must speak out. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death of our son Otto. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity. No excuses or lavish praise can change that."

The White House, though, is not backing off the president's initial comments.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP SENIOR ADVISER: He has deep affection and shares the grief of the Warmbier family. That will never end, as will not the president agreeing with the Warmbier family that North Korea is responsible.

But Chairman Kim did not know the -- what the president is saying is that there's no indication Chairman Kim what happened to Otto Warmbier when it happened.


BURMAN: That, of course, Kellyanne Conway at the CPAC gathering here in Washington earlier today.

Nikki Haley, the president's former U.N. ambassador, among those, Neil, who has singled out the North Korean regime for Otto Warmbier's death -- Neil.

CAVUTO: All right, thank you, Blake, very much.

Well, it looks like Democrats are gearing up for more hearings on Capitol Hill, not on Russian collusion, but on pretty much anything having to do with the president's finances, in some cases going back years, decades before he became president.

What does my next guest think about all of this?

Arizona Republican Congress Andy Biggs, a key member of the House Judiciary Committee.

Good to have you, sir.

REP. ANDY BIGGS, R-ARIZ.: Thanks, Neil. Good to be with you.

CAVUTO: This does look like a long, long check into the president's finances long before he became president. Is that accurate?

BIGGS: That's accurate.

They have been clamoring for his tax returns since the campaign. And now they want to expand the scope to include his family members, basically going all the way back to, I'm sure, what his grades looked like in elementary school.

And that's -- this is just harassment, naked harassment. That's what this is.

CAVUTO: Do you get a feeling -- I know you and I have discussed this -- again, that this has morphed into something more than collusion?

I don't know what the Mueller report will say, but almost everything you hear out of the Southern District court in New York and Michael Cohen seemed to intimate that in his testimony, what he could say and what he couldn't say.

But when questions veered into what the Southern District was doing, you got the distinct idea that it had nothing to do with collusion and everything to do with those business relationships.

BIGGS: No, that's the way it comes across to me as well, that they're going to try to paint him as some kind of a bad businessman and with bad business practices.

That's where I think they're -- they're going. But it gets back to this one point that I think most legal scholars agree with me on, is how do you indict a sitting president, especially for things that happened perhaps years and years before he ever even campaigned for office?

Even Mr. Cohen claiming that it was his idea that he run for office. So there's so much going on. And Mr. Cohen himself is discredited. And that's the president's term. I view him as being an incredible witness, one that I would love to have on the stand against my client.

CAVUTO: So where do you think this goes?

I mean, we get the Mueller report out. And while everyone was focused on that, we miss what I think Chris Christie had said would be the real worry for the president, this Southern District court of New York finding.

BIGGS: Well, the Mueller report, nobody really knows what's going on there but I suspect that it's sometime soon. I also suspect it will be anticlimactic in many ways.

We don't really know what's going on in the Southern District of New York either, except for they're -- they're trying to widen this net, which I find really intriguing, that they're widening the net to basically the president's family and anybody that was in his circle.

And I suspect at some point they're going to actually go beyond that and expand the circle, and even more. So it becomes more and more dangerous for those who support the president.

CAVUTO: While I have you here, Congressman, if you don't mind my bringing up, Otto Warmbier's family has...


CAVUTO: ... rebuked the president on the North Korean leader not knowing anything about the plight of their son or his eventual deterioration, to the point where he died when he got back home, shortly after he got back home.

And they sound angry at the president.


CAVUTO: What did you make of that?

BIGGS: Well, I think that I understand exactly.

I -- well, no one understands the heartbreak and -- that they went through, but I think I understand what they're getting at. Kim Jong-un was the dictator, the leader of this nation that committed this horrific atrocity against their son.

I mean, it is -- it's an awful, awful thing, inhumane. And the president, I -- you know, I don't know what he knows. He's met with Kim Jong-un. And for all I know...

CAVUTO: Well, he believes Kim Jong-un, right, just like he believed and trusted Vladimir Putin...


CAVUTO: ... when Putin argued that he had no interference or role in our presidential election.

Do you think he accepts at face value people who are known liars?

BIGGS: Well, maybe.

I don't -- I don't know. I -- all's I can tell you is this. I don't know what happened in the -- in the -- Kim Jong-un's -- his -- his regime.

I mean, we don't know how it's run even, how it's fully organized. We suspect we know.

CAVUTO: But it would be -- you would be hard-pressed to think that he wouldn't know something about a pretty high-profile American who's in their country and being abused in that country, that he wouldn't know that.

BIGGS: It's -- it -- let's put it this way. I don't know how big their bureaucracy is, and I don't know how big their secret police apparatus is, because that's where I think the fault is going to ultimately lie.

We -- we need to peel back the layers, which is one thing I'm happy that the president's meeting with Kim Jong-un, because we got to move them to a more open, transparent state, as we're -- as he's negotiating, because we simply don't know what happened in the Otto Warmbier...

CAVUTO: So, you -- you don't think the president is too trusting of pretty bad guys?

BIGGS: No, I -- I don't think he's -- I think -- I don't think he's naive.

I -- let's let -- and here's -- here's why I think that. The fact that he would just walk away from that negotiation, I think, indicates pretty clearly that, if he feels like -- like something's not going the way it should, he's not afraid to just walk away.

CAVUTO: But he's also not afraid to go ahead and continue to stop all joint military exercise with the South Koreans. So it's not as if he left without doing something that the North likes, right?

BIGGS: Right. Right.

But I think we don't know what the next step in this negotiation is going to be. And I -- and I hope it continues. It continues.

CAVUTO: Fair enough. Fair enough.

Congressman, thank you for taking the time. I appreciate it.

BIGGS: Thanks, Neil.

CAVUTO: All right.

As we told you at the outset, we came close, but we weren't able to close and make it 10 straight weeks of advances for the Dow Jones industrials, nevertheless, the fastest start to a new year in the better part of 20 years, and some say, depending on the average, 30-plus years.

Let's go to Deirdre Bolton, who has been crunching the numbers.

Hey, Deirdre.


So, so close, five points for the Dow to make it, but, OK, we didn't get there.

I do want to highlight that the Nasdaq got there, 10 straight weeks, and if you look at the S&P 500, five weeks. So to your point, Neil, there is certainly momentum. One of the things that really hurt the Dow -- and it was earlier on in the session -- the Atlanta Fed, according to its modeling, said U.S. GDP for the first quarter would only hit 0.3 percent.

And that's where our viewers can see on the screen clearly the low point of the day. That hurt sentiment. But there's a lot of enthusiasm for some companies that aren't even yet public. Lyft, I'm thinking of that. That will be listing on the Nasdaq, LYFT, not too imaginative there with the ticker, but there you have it, as early possibly as April.

But I think one of the larger outstanding questions, Neil, this company, as we learned today through the paperwork, made in sales $2.2 billion last year, but it still has problems with earnings. So it has sales, but no earnings. Uber is the same.

So a big question for both of these companies going forward is whether or not investors will show enthusiasm for that kind of balance sheet.

I want to highlight Tesla. The stock fell. Model 3 car, just sort of saying, OK, it'll be available for $35,000. As one analyst said, this was the un-iPhone moment, essentially. A lot of analysts and even traders that I was speaking with here felt like Elon Musk really hyped this announcement. And then when it came out it was kind of like, huh, OK.

Store closures as well. Musk saying that Tesla is closing most of its stores and laying off retail workers to make it financially possible to hit that $35,000-per-vehicle target, which the company has clearly been struggling with for a while.

I want to leave you on a retail story as well. Gap separating from Old Navy. And there are so many analysts who are saying, this should have happened years ago. Old Navy is a brand that really resonates with people in its discounting, in its branding. And Old Navy's stand-alone brand last year had sales of $8 billion.

So, Gap -- if you add up Gap and all of its brands, made about $9 billion. So, I mean, they're pretty much equal weight as far as the sales that they're doing. And a lot of people saying that Old Navy was shackled and weighed down by Gap's kind of old world problems, which were decreasing mall traffic and a decrease of traffic in brick and mortar stores.

So those are some of the stories we were following all day here, Neil -- in the meantime, back to you in the studio.

CAVUTO: All right, Deirdre, thank you very, very much.


CAVUTO: Just a few minutes ago, we were talking to the good congressman about Otto Warmbier and his parents very upset about the president saying that he didn't think and trusted at face value the North Korean leader's argument that he didn't know about Otto Warmbier's issues.

The president saying: "I never liked being misinterpreted, but especially when it comes Otto Warmbier and his great family. Remember, I got Otto out, along with three others. The previous administration did nothing. And he was taken on their watch. Of course I hold North Korea responsible."

Of course, the issue is that not North Korea were responsible. We always take that as a given. Whether Kim Jong-un knew anything about it. The president took him at his word that he didn't. His parents are saying he did.

More after this.


CAVUTO: Well, she's making a list and actually checking it twice, some would say even thrice, because, according to a new report, freshman Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is wanting moderate Democrats they will be on a list for primary challenges if they keep voting with Republicans, this coming after at least 26 Democrats sided with the Grand Old Party, voting against a gun control measure.

Let's go to Politico reporter Melanie Zanona. We have also got Republican strategist Ken Chase, Democratic strategist Robert Patillo.

Melanie, what do you make of this?

MELANIE ZANONA, POLITICO: Look, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has a huge megaphone right now. And Democrats are terrified to go after her publicly, even though, privately, they were fuming yesterday because they said she doesn't know our district, she has no right to call us out and to threaten us this way.

But they wouldn't go on the record. None of the lawmakers we talked to at Politico were willing to stand up to her. And that's because they are afraid that her activist,s her army of Twitter followers -- she has over three million Twitter followers -- are going to come after her. And they are certainly afraid of being primaried from the Justice Democrats, which is the group that helped her come to victory in last year's midterms.

CAVUTO: Melanie had mentioned, Robert, about people who are on the record concerned about that. Off the record, I have talked to a number Democrats who are concerned about Congresswoman Cortez and want to primary her, because they think she's dragging the party down.

Do you think she's dragging the party down?

ROBERT PATILLO, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I think she's doing what is appropriate for her district and for her constituency.

She's a Democratic socialist. So she's not a mainstream Democrat. And for red state Democrats such as myself, gun rights are very important. Economic rights are very important. We don't have the same set of issues and same set of values as somebody who is from a district in New York.

So I think if she stays in her lane, works on motivating those young people, that base, and doesn't interfere and damage Democrats in other districts, we have a great chance in 2020 to take back the Senate and also take back the White House.

But as long as what we're doing is civil war and fracturing, then we're going to be looking at eight to 12 more years of Trump and then Trump Jr. and whoever else is after that. So let's bring the party together, instead of trying to fracture and separate.

CAVUTO: I am wondering, though, Ken, whether the threats to primary those who don't 100 percent agree with you could backfire, much like it did a number of otherwise very electable Republican nominees who were primaried and challenged back in 2010 and 2012, and ultimately went down to defeat.

What do you think?


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the gift that keeps on giving for the Trump administration. On a day when the president's personal lawyer, the former personal lawyer, is airing every piece of dirty laundry about the president under the sun, the Democrats can't stay on message.

And instead they're cannibalizing each other. That's going to make for a red year in 2020, if that continues.

CAVUTO: Melanie, when you hear this back and forth, I'm reminded of Cortez having run-ins with the likes of Dianne Feinstein, remember, when Dianne Feinstein took on those kids who visited her at her offices. They were saying vote for this Green New Deal, whatever, and she was trying to remind them, well, there has to be some balance here to get stuck through.

Obviously, the message that Cortez had afterwards was, you have had 30 years to do something on this and you haven't. But even Dick Durbin, I think a slightly left-of-center senator, was saying the same thing, like be careful with this approach.

Is she risking or damaging the party?

ZANONA: I think there is a lot of concern among Democrats that there is that risk, that she could be putting a lot of these moderates in a really tough spot.

And, look, I think this whole situation is just a really good early preview of the tensions that we are going to see, especially in the House, as the majority tries to tackle issues like climate change, Medicare for all.

But what you are seeing is that Speaker Nancy Pelosi is actually looking out for her moderates. It's pretty quietly being done. But she is not moving ahead full-steam with the Green New Deal. She's been sort of dismissive of it. She's not allowing every committee to have hearings on Medicare -- Medicare for all.

She didn't agree to back off of the -- she did agree to allow the ICE funding for detention beds in the spending deal. So there are signs that Nancy Pelosi is looking out for those moderates, and not necessarily going full steam ahead with some of these progressive priorities.

CAVUTO: All right, guys, thank you very, very much. We will see where all of this goes.

In the meantime, heading to a showdown in Venezuela, but providing goody bags just to close the deal. We will connect, you decide.


CAVUTO: All right, this should be interesting in Venezuela.

The opposition leader, the one we recognize as the legitimate president of that country, Juan Guaido, is promising to return to Venezuela in the coming days. Now, he broke a law by leaving the country. So he could conceivably be arrested by Nicolas Maduro and his government if he tries to get back in.

So, if and when he does return, let's just say it will add some drama to a country that hardly needs it.

Steve Harrigan in the middle of all of this in Caracas.

Hey, Steve.

STEVE HARRIGAN, CORRESPONDENT: Neil, you do have the highly unusual situation where the man recognized as president of Venezuela by the U.S., by more than 50 other countries might not even be able to get back into Venezuela.

Juan Guaido, the opposition leader, is in Paraguay today. He was in Brazil yesterday, Colombia before that. He's going to Ecuador. He's going Argentina. The question is, when is he going to come back here to Venezuela?

The Maduro government had put a travel ban on him. He disobeyed that ban. So if and how he comes back, he might be facing arrest. It's not clear which side that arrest would benefit, but Guaido said he's going to be back by Monday.

He said he's going to start carrying out the duties of president. It's not clear at all how he's going to do that, with Maduro still in control of the military and the police.

As far as sanctions going, they are really starting to hit hard here in Venezuela. The U.S. has oil sanctions against Venezuela, no longer buying any of Venezuela's oil. So their exports have declined 40 percent in the last month. That's the key source of cash for this Maduro regime. It is hitting the regime hard.

And we could see the effects trickle down to the streets in the coming days ahead -- Neil, back to you.

CAVUTO: All right, Steve, be safe, my friend, Steve Harrigan in the middle of it all in Caracas.

So, how will all this play out?

Asymmetrica president Vanessa Neumann with us right now.

Vanessa, let's say that Guaido makes his way back into the country, or tries to get back in.


CAVUTO: Will he be arrested?

NEUMANN: Well, it depends. It depends.

I called some sources down there in Caracas who are actually close to the government. And I said, are you going to arrest him when he comes back in? And they said that they're going to try to.'

Now, what had happened was, he got a -- he did get an extension of his authorization to leave the country. So the National Assembly doesn't recognize the order of him to stay in the country, because we don't recognize Maduro is president.

So whatever he says is null and void. However, he had only permission to leave the country for five days. And that ran out on the 27th. But, on the 27th, they extended his permission to be outside the country, following the constitution, so that he can carry out this regional tour for support, which will also help to protect him.

So now we think he will not be arrested.

CAVUTO: You have reminded me, Vanessa, that if you really want to know what's going on, watch the military. Watch the soldiers who are loyal, by and large, to the Maduro government.

Now, I -- that, as you also reminded me, depends on which soldiers we're talking about, not necessarily all of the 300-plus who have abandoned Maduro, but how many of them are top-ranking generals who will influence the debate.

So the breakdown now seems to be that most of the chiefs are sticking with Maduro still, right?

NEUMANN: Yes, they are.

But we are getting more and more sort of defections every day. But they tend to be sort of lower ranking and middle ranking. So the issue is the generals will slowly -- we are having an attrition.

By some counts, there's even -- if you count the ones that even started before the humanitarian aid blockade on the 23rd, we're actually up to 547 military defections.

CAVUTO: Oh, wow.

NEUMANN: So, that's -- and that continues to grow.

The idea is, we do expect that the senior military leaders will eventually see the light. And we hope that they will help in a peaceful transition to Venezuela. But we're not surprised that they're still sticking with Maduro, because they don't believe in the amnesty. And I think that there's so deeply involved in the criminality.

It's hard always in these situations to really understand when your number is up.

CAVUTO: In the meantime, Vanessa, I don't know where the money is coming from to provide these so-called emergency goody bags -- I'm calling them goody bags because I can't think of another name for them -- that the Maduro government is providing Venezuelans.

I guess it has everything from rice and basic staples to oil, milk.


CAVUTO: And I'm wondering how that will be received. No other aid or anything else is being allowed into the country.


CAVUTO: How will Venezuelans as respond to this? I mean, they will take whatever they can get, right?

NEUMANN: Yes, of course they will take whatever they can get.

So, the reason why you had the humanitarian blockade from Maduro, while it instilled such panic in the regime, is not because of military intervention at all. It's because it's a loss of control, and it's a loss of funding.

So they have set up this paternalistic system, where they will keep you as a beggar to the Maduro regime, because you have sort of an oath to fealty to get your box of food, literally slavery. And then off those -- the distribution network of the food is the military.

And you have layers upon layers of corruption. So, 70 percent of the value of what the government is paying for that box of food, which the boxes are assembled in Mexico, actually comes -- it actually goes to fund the military. So it's a loss of control in two ways.

And so that's why they don't want the -- they don't want the humanitarian aid. And that's been going on for a while, but I think that will become more difficult now.

CAVUTO: All right, Vanessa, thank you very much, and for your incredible read on what's happening back in Venezuela.

NEUMANN: Thank you.

CAVUTO: Vanessa Neumann, Asymmetrica president.

All right, in the meantime, back closer to home here, point, click, please come back. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on why he's pleading.


CAVUTO: All right, former Vice President Joe Biden is in a world of hurt within his own party. Some liberals are furious at him, saying he's not the guy to be their nominee, and all because he had the nerve to say Mike Pence is a decent guy?



GOV. ANDREW CUOMO, D-N.Y.: You need an economy. You need a tax base. You want to attract young people? They need to know they have opportunity here.

You want to keep young people? They have to know that businesses are coming in, and this is the place to be.


CAVUTO: All right, well, that's one last desperate effort on the part of New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo to say, Amazon, please, please, please change your mind, reconsider going elsewhere, and come back to New York, where most rational politicians think you are a good deal for our city, our people, everybody else.

My next guest is among them, Josh Bowen. He is the owner of a Long Island City restaurant. Keep in mind, these Amazon headquarters here would have gone to this Long Island City. In fact, it would have been right on this guy's same block.

He joins me right now, Josh Bowen, John Brown Smokehouse owner.

Josh, good to have you.


CAVUTO: So, you hope the governor succeeds, right? You think this is a big mistake for Amazon to bolt, and given the political sniping that prompted that bolting?

BOWEN: Absolutely. Absolutely.

I mean, this wasn't a matter of business. This is a matter of, they turned it into politics. They turned a business deal into politics.

CAVUTO: These local politicians, not all the politicians.

BOWEN: Correct. Correct.

CAVUTO: Like, obviously...

BOWEN: The dumb politicians turned this into politics.


Now, obviously, the reason why Amazon bolted was because of that political dust-up. Do you really think, no matter the mea culpas we're getting from powerful figures in the city, that they're going to change their mind?

BOWEN: I can't really speak to, are they going to change their mind?

But I do know they really want to be here. I mean, they really wanted to be here.

CAVUTO: How do you know? You met with some of these...

BOWEN: I met with some of their executives up there. And...

CAVUTO: Post their decision to bolt?

BOWEN: I'm sorry?

CAVUTO: Post their decision to bolt?

BOWEN: Correct. Correct. Last Monday, I actually spoke with them.

And it was informal, but, I mean, they want to be here. That's the whole point of it. I mean, that they didn't pick New York just as some, like, oh, that will do. I mean, they wanted to be in New York, they wanted it to be in Queens. They wanted to be at the end of my block, which is -- has a Superfund site there, basically.

There's been $100 million to clean up the toxic waste under the paint factory that's right there, that now our local politicians have preserved for us.

CAVUTO: One of those local politicians is Councilman Van Bramer, who says you have sent him a hostile text over Amazon, that you threatened him. Is that true?

BOWEN: I didn't threaten him.

He's trying to say I threatened him in some physical way or whatever, because Jimmy loves to be the victim. He asked me if I was going to beat him up when I saw him on February 14 on my block, I mean, which he would have loved, I'm sure.

But, no, it was...

CAVUTO: But you never threatened physical harm?

BOWEN: He's my councilman -- he is not -- no, I'm -- obviously not.

He's my councilman. He's not done his job at all. I mean, I don't understand why he thinks he did his job, when we have a large business wants to move to the community that he's the representative of, and he never communicated with them at all.

I literally had to do his job for him. And I'm not getting any reimbursement for it.

CAVUTO: All right. OK.

One of the things that he cites on his site that: "You can be at the back of the parade, in front of the firing squad. If they come back, you may get elected dogcatcher. If they don't, you're in the history books. Call now, and I can stop the growing forces that will end Councilman Van job killer's career."

Back forth and back and forth.

BOWEN: Correct, because, basically, as I have become, like, sort of a lightning rod for all this stuff, many groups have gotten ahold of me about defeat Gianaris. I mean, Jimmy Van Bramer is termed out. That's the reason he cares nothing about his own community, because he just wants another job.

CAVUTO: How many of these local officials were against it?

I can't imagine they thought that Amazon would -- would suddenly bolt, so they were caught off-guard.

BOWEN: They didn't mean to win. They're just trying to play -- like, they want to burnish their progressive...

CAVUTO: So they're saying the city is better off, Long Island City is better off without them. You're saying just the opposite, right?


I mean, I have never heard of a politician running on, I killed jobs. But we have Jimmy Van job killer as our representative. And now apparently he's going after me because -- destroy -- and, basically, he's basically tried to entrap one of the businesses on our neighborhood. He's tore down an art museum in our neighborhood.

And he's -- everybody out of the Citibank Tower is going to be leaving now because of Amazon. And at the end of my block, Amazon is gone. So I'm the only one there on the block now. I guess he has to kill the last job he can.


CAVUTO: A lot of people were very excited about this. Rents were already moving up. Real estate was looking more attractive. It was already very attractive, but it was particularly picking up steam on the notion to Amazon was coming in.

What has happened since they said no?

BOWEN: I mean, I can't really speak to real estate, because as much as people might think, like, I own a restaurant, I rent. I don't own anything, other than a guitar or two.


BOWEN: But as far as...

CAVUTO: But you would have seen a lot more business, right? That was it.

BOWEN: Perhaps, but they wouldn't even break ground for four years.

This was all about my borough. This was about Queens. I want Queens to dominate. I want Queens to be the borough of the future, we can look down on Manhattan as being like that old borough from the past.

I mean, we wanted to make this something special, something revolutionary. But a bunch of yapping idiots just decided that, like, they want to make -- and just so you know, just real quick...


BOWEN: ... I'm a progressive Democrat. Being on FOX News almost makes me queasy.


BOWEN: But for my borough, for like -- for my daughter...

CAVUTO: But you don't lump us all together. You don't lump us all together. Do you?

BOWEN: Well, yes, I do.



CAVUTO: All right. All right.

BOWEN: You're actually a pretty nice guy, but please don't put me in Sean Hannity's show.


CAVUTO: But let me ask you. He's a nice guy.

But let me ask you. Do you think, if this comes to pass, that this doesn't come to pass, and now given similar dust-ups going on in Virginia, where there's also some local angst about Amazon coming in, that they could kill the baby, destroy the bathroom, drain the bathwater, the whole nine yards?

BOWEN: I mean, I guess that's their goal. Or I don't even know, because the thing is, they never had a backup plan, because, as I said, I don't think they meant to win this.

They just wanted to be that guy that fought the good fight and show all their friends, all their activist friends that they really tried hard, but it didn't work.

Because Mike Gianaris told me personally he just wasn't going to call them like right after the thing happened. I knew -- these people had predetermined their views on this without negotiating. I have never heard of a business deal that has happened without a negotiation.

I have -- if Mike and Jimmy in our district had talked with Amazon, and have real disagreements with them, then we would have a whole different story here. But they didn't.

They went and hid behind activists screaming as loud as they could with a bunch of lies and misinformation about a company that is -- from my understanding, are really nice people.

I mean, the owners of Amazon...

CAVUTO: Well, they would have provided a nice number jobs, right?

BOWEN: Yes. Yes.

And Amazon is about as progressive company you can get, unless, like, The Washington Post or something just turns into a Republican paper. I think Jeff Bezos is a pretty progressive guy.

And one of the things, the issues that I have too is that this has exploded. And basically February 14 is now a GOP national holiday. It's job-killing day. And we basically, as a progressive Democrat, have handed a nuclear weapon to the Republicans.

All those...

CAVUTO: That's the day all of this imploded, when they bolted. All right.


I mean, the 50/50 districts out in Long Island and Upstate are not cool with this.

CAVUTO: A lot of people are not cool with it. In New York, it has not been treated favorably.



And when Donald Trump was talking about Mike Gianaris on the campaign trail, I'm trying to get rid of that embarrassment of, like, having to deal with that. I do not want to have that happen because my district was that stupid.

CAVUTO: And you're so passionate about it, you have come to FOX to state your point of view.

BOWEN: I did, indeed.

CAVUTO: All right, thank you very much, Josh Bowen, John Brown Smokehouse owner, under great duress coming here.


CAVUTO: But we're glad he did.

We will have a lot more after this.


CAVUTO: All right, the big conservative powwow continues right now in our nation's capital, but the biggest of their speakers will be that guy, the president of the United States.

What can we expect?

Sean Spicer joins us right now.

Sean, there's a lot of pressure right now on the president these days, but it does seem like his base is still very, very much with him.


I mean, it's not just with him. It's rock-solid. It's one thing to have a high approval rating, but you always want to look at how deep and how strong it is. The president's basis with him through thick and thin.

And I think going to CPAC will be an opportunity for him, much like he did at the State of the Union, but much more on issues that are important conservatives, reaffirm the accomplishments that he's been able to do over the last two years, and get those guys fired up heading into a crucial election year.

So, this is an opportunity for the president to really fire up those folks, get them reenergized, make sure that they understand the litany of things that he's been able to accomplish.

I think the vice president did a really good job of laying that out today, kind of being the warmup act for the president. I know that he wouldn't take offense to that, because he's been a phenomenal, loyal and effective vice president to President Trump.

CAVUTO: Do you think -- Chris Christie was among those saying, when the Cohen hearings were going on, Sean, that more Republicans that didn't challenge him on the substance of the remarks that Cohen was raising, that the president is a racist, and he was a crooked business guy and all of this stuff.

They challenged his reliability. And all that's fine. But they were surprised that, on the remarks themselves, not much. What did you make of that?

SPICER: Well I think -- look, I actually agreed with the tactics that Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows and others did on the Republican side, which was to basically remind people who this individual was.

I mean, it's hard to go back and forth. Michael Cohen was bringing up experiences and instances that he's had over a decade there.

CAVUTO: Right.

SPICER: So, you can't say you weren't -- they weren't there.

So it's hard to challenge them and say, well, that couldn't have happened. They weren't there. Michael Cohen was.

And I think what they sought to do was really to remind people that he was a convicted liar that had sought to win favor with the president, that wanted to go to the administration, that was always with him, his loyal supporter and defender, until he got caught.

And then suddenly he's looking for redemption amongst the liberals. So I - - look, I get the criticism, but I think they played this thing right, which was to try to figure out, how do you make sure that people understand the lines here?

Democrats have -- I think one of the things that also got lost, Neil, yesterday in the Cohen testimony was, this whole thing all stemmed from these allegations of collusion with Russia, right? So you have had the House committee come out and say that there was no collusion.

The Senate committee that everyone said, well, that's bipartisan, that's come out and say, nothing. And then Cohen, this convicted liar that the Democrats put forward, they what -- they want everyone to believe him.

Well, if you're going to believe him, then believe what he said about Russia, which is, there was no collusion, number one. Number two, he wasn't in Prague, which undermines the premise -- one of the main premise of the Steele dossier.

So if you want to believe him, as the Democrats would have you, then you have to believe all of those other points, which is, there are no collusions.

And now the Democrats have almost forgotten to talk about Russia anymore. And now they want to talk about the Trump business, the Trump personal thing.

You -- they have almost -- remember, it was almost like, OK, forget about all the Russia stuff. Now we're going to move on to the personal finances, some of the associations they have had.

But this all stemmed from this premise of Russia collusion. And once now that they found out -- they have gotten three entities, the House, the Senate, and their star witness, Michael Cohen, have all said there was no collusion.

So they quietly just moved on to a fishing expedition about the president's personal finances, his associations, his business, et cetera.

CAVUTO: Sean, we will see what happens. America First Action senior adviser, bestselling author, former White House press secretary, so much more.

Good seeing you again.

SPICER: You bet, Neil. Have a great weekend.

CAVUTO: You, too.

All right, Apple's big shareholder meeting going on today in California, but politics came up as well.

We will explain right after this.


CAVUTO: All right, Apple meeting with shareholders today.

The CEO, Tim Cook, is saying that it is very concerned about privacy violations in the technology industry. He's going to do something about it.

Susan Li in Cupertino with the very latest -- Susan.

SUSAN LI, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, lots discussed today, Neil.

So, yes, shareholders gathering in this brand new $5 billion Apple campus here in Cupertino, California. And they were here to hear from a management team trying to reignite a stock that has really stalled since it crossed a trillion dollars in market cap back in the summer months.

So we did have the nominees for the board approved by shareholders today, overwhelmingly, and that includes Tim Cook himself, Bob Iger of Disney, and also Al Gore as well. And Apple talking about the new initiatives for 2019, what they're going to focus on in order to get that stock price back up.

And they talked about Apple Pay once again, also services expected to double by the year 2020. And then we also have wearables as well, with watch sales up some 50 percent last year. Now, interestingly enough, there's also discussions about conservative bias and conservative views here in Silicon Valley, amongst the liberal bias, and being asked about what a conservative should do if they work for Apple.

Tim Cook says, hey, come talk to us. We do not believe in a polarized world and they are not political. In fact, he says that: "We don't have a PAC. We do not donate a penny to a political campaign."

So there was a lot to talk about today -- back to you.

CAVUTO: Thank you, Susan, very, very much.

All right, that privacy quest, do young people buy it?

We have got "Your World" audio technician Dion Baia via here. We have got FOX News contributor Kat Timpf, entrepreneur Michael Parrish DuDell, and last, but not least, Emily Compagno.

Emily, do you buy what Apple is saying, that it means what it says when it wants to wipe out anyone's privacy concerns, right now, that we mean it, we're not going to violate it?

EMILY COMPAGNO, ATTORNEY: They likely mean it, given the fact that they have had a spotlight placed on them, especially before Congress and on the Hill, with having to be the forefront of that movement.

So I think I will believe it in terms of the execution when we actually see it. But they have been tasked by it on the Hill in those hearings to actually do something about it.

CAVUTO: All right, they can talk a good game.

A lot of companies do, Kat, but they don't deliver the goods. They make a lot of money, not Apple, I'm saying, on plowing through this data and getting as much as they can on their customers.

KATHERINE TIMPF, CONTRIBUTOR: I think that in most cases it is always best to remain extremely paranoid.


TIMPF: I think that maybe they're going to do their best, but there could just be one rogue employee that says, hey, I want to look at all your stuff. Hey, maybe I want to sell your stuff.

We can't be sure. Nothing is private. We -- all of our data is being sold all over the place anyway. Nothing's private anymore. There's no such thing as privacy.


DION BAIA, CONTRIBUTOR: She has a good point, because, nowadays, no one's ever proactive about hiding our stuff.

And in this day and age, once it gets out there, there's no way -- real way to get it back. So, when you have these data breaches and leaks, our stuff is everywhere, credit cards, everything like that. And there's no real way or answer for us to be able to take it back and get it back.

And it's just hard nowadays. How can you not be jaded?


CAVUTO: You make me jaded.


CAVUTO: I do want...


CAVUTO: But on a different subject.

Michael, in case, you didn't hear, the former Vice President Joe Biden is in a world of hurt right now because he had the nerve to say something nice about Joe Biden, that he's decent.


CAVUTO: About Joe -- not Joe Biden. He was talking about the vice president.

DUDELL: Right.

CAVUTO: And now liberals are saying, take that back.

DUDELL: Yes, I think it's ridiculous.

I mean, we have talked so many times before that the Democrats and the conservatives are just fighting with each other over and over and over again. You can't say one nice thing without somebody from the party saying, hey, wait a second. This is offensive. This is wrong.

The fact of the matter is, Joe Biden is a career politician. He's been in the business a long time. He has allies on both sides. Saying somebody is decent is not saying that you endorse their entire platform.


TIMPF: Saying someone's a decent guy isn't -- it's about the lowest level compliment you can give someone. It's saying, OK, he's not a total jerk.


TIMPF: You have to call people jerks in order to be acceptable to your own party? I mean, come on.

BAIA: It's the civility that's gone now.

In the old days, you would hear that people would go out and have a beer together if you were on different sides of the aisle, and now they're even actively discouraging people coming together and doing things.

Ocasio-Cortez was saying something now where she was going to go after people who vote moderate or go -- it's just...

CAVUTO: She will primary them.

BAIA: Yes.

And it's very weird, because now you're furthering these divides, which isn't very good in our country.

DUDELL: And you have to remember that this is in context of President Trump, who he's saying he's not a decent guy. Pence, at least compared to President Trump, is a decent guy.


DUDELL: No, actually, that's what he was saying. Exactly. It was a dig on Trump.


TIMPF: He said he's decent. If someone said I was just decent, I would be insulted.


CAVUTO: Cory Booker is making some news. He has introduced a bill to legalize marijuana across the country.

You're young. You guys are always is high as kites.

So what do you think of that?


COMPAGNO: I object.

Just to paint a picture of the climate, I think right now it's particularly ripe. Last year, we saw multibillion-dollar investments by the parent companies of Svedka vodka and Corona and Marlboro into the marijuana industry.

We had seven bills going through Congress with different policy being put forth, right, removing it off Schedule 1, moving it to Schedule 2, et cetera.

CAVUTO: So, it's a good thing, for this...

COMPAGNO: It's a good thing. It's about time, but it's important to reconcile the federal and state approach.


BAIA: But they're only wanting it now because they can make money off of it. They want to tax the crap the tax out of it.


TIMPF: I take it, though, no, because people still get locked up over it.

BAIA: That's a good point, yes.


TIMPF: Getting locked up over a plant, how is that happening?


CAVUTO: Any of you worried about the debt or any of you worried about entitlement programs? Just weed, I guess.



DUDELL: All we're concerned about is weed. No, I think it's a good thing. I think it's time.


Well, I want to thank you all very, very much. I know we were rushed here. But I'm glad we were.


CAVUTO: That will do it here.

"The Five" is coming up. We will see you.

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