This is a rush transcript from "Your World," June 19, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Thank you, Shepard.
The president of the United States has just returned from his trip to Florida now. Then he was talking about an economy that's firing on all cylinders. Today, a gift from the chairman of the Federal Reserve, that he's going to do his darndest to keep it going.
Welcome, everybody. I'm Neil Cavuto, and this is "Your World."
And it comes down to this. The Federal Reserve is all but telegraphing a cut in interest rates, maybe as soon as next month. Didn't happen today, but the stage is set for just that and an event that could certainly help the president politically and reelection chances that, depending on the poll, look everything from dicey to pretty good.
We have got one latest poll here that shows the president doing quite well, thank you.
But ahead of all of that, let's go to Blake Burman at the White House, with the White House getting a little from the Federal Reserve.
BLAKE BURMAN, CORRESPONDENT: Hi, there, Neil. Hi there, Neil.
And we heard from the Fed chair, Jay Powell, earlier today, and he reacted for the first time about those headlines that came out of the White House yesterday, in which the White House earlier this year looked into the possibility of potentially demoting the Fed chair.
Now, yesterday, the White House didn't deny that they looked into that earlier this year. And when President Trump was asked whether or not he wants to demote Powell, he responded in part by saying -- quote -- "Well, let's see what he does."
The Fed, as you know, didn't cut rates today. And at his press conference earlier this afternoon, Powell suggested that he feels very safe in his current role.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEROME POWELL, FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN: I think the law is clear that I have a four-year term, and I fully intend to serve it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURMAN: Now, in the lead-up to the latest Fed meeting, the president has continued his attacks on Powell and the Fed for not cutting rates, but the Fed's forecast suggests that only one rate cut is projected to happen between now and the next presidential election by the end of next year.
However, the futures market is pricing in a 100 percent probability that a cut occurs at the end of next month's meeting.
Neil, by the way, Powell was also asked whether or not a possible trade deal between the U.S. and China, if that would have an effect on whether or not a rate cut would be taken off the table, Powell suggested that there are a host of factors that they are looking out there.
He acknowledged that the market is very much -- at least the sentiment of the market is very much driven right now by trade headlines, but he also said they are looking at global growth -- Neil.
CAVUTO: All right, Blake, thank you very much, Blake Burman.
Again, Wall Street did like this. Of course, it was as expected. They didn't really see a cut coming today, but the prospect of one coming, and apparently with or without a trade deal with China, was good news to them.
The president got some more good news after his kickoff to his reelection efforts in Orlando yesterday by announcing that he raked in, in 24 hours, about $25 million. Just to put that in comparison to the haul that Joe Biden took it in, in his first 24 hours, more like about $6.3 billion for him, so four times that amount, several times those of any of the Democratic challengers in their first go-round.
And then we have this. It's a national poll just out by "USA Today" that does fly in the face of some regional and state polls that show the president in some trouble; 49 percent of Americans approve of the job he's doing, 48 percent disapprove. That's one of the highest approval levels the president has had of his presidency.
So the impact of all of this with Republican strategist Deneen Borelli. We have got Iona College political science Professor Jeanne Zaino, and, last but not least, FOX Business Network's Kennedy.
Kennedy, you look at all these developments, and then you look at the Federal Reserve maybe giving a potential assist on the economy with a cut in rates, that's got to be good news for the president.
KENNEDY, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK CORRESPONDENT: It's good news for the president.
And the president complains when the Fed is too involved in the economy, and I share his frustration. But I also -- I don't think that the Fed should be playing favorites at any point. I don't think we should have the Fed. I think we should end the Fed.
But that's beside the point.
CAVUTO: That's beside the -- that's a whole 'nother show.
KENNEDY: But this happens to be one of those days where there is a concentration of good news and great momentum for the president.
And what he has to do is ruminate in those great feelings and know that he needs a series of these good feeling days in order to propel him to reelection. So he needs to not be impulsive and not react to anybody for like the next six days.
CAVUTO: Or don't let word get out that you're thinking of demoting the guy who might be helping you on that front.
Now, of course, we shouldn't say there are no political sinister intentions that we know of here to name. But we do know that the Federal Reserve chairman was fearing about headwinds from potential trade battles with China, what have you.
But he's open to that. That would obviously give this recovery more of a shelf life. Right?
DENEEN BORELLI, CONSERVATIVE REVIEW: Well, listen, the president, I think, is doing all he can, especially when it comes to China, just like you mentioned with the Fed looking at that issue.
Everyone is looking at it. I have people coming up to me talking about, what's going on with China? So the president has basically put this problem on the map. And I think more and more people are involved and are engaged -- and engaged and are talking about issues that are affecting our country.
And don't forget, the president ran on the America first agenda. So, America first, whatever that means, jobs, the economy, our national security, our border security. And the excitement and the enthusiasm at yesterday's rally in Florida, I wish I was there, because the people are really engaged.
CAVUTO: Well, it was very humid. And it was very, very hot.
CAVUTO: You're near Disney World. You are that.
And you got a chance to see the president of the United States. I get that.
Jeanne, you know, what's interesting about this, though, the president set a goal as, I want to raise $7 million by the end of the night. Of course, you get almost four times that, that's a pretty good haul.
And then he gets this good news on the approval front, albeit one poll. It's a national one. It's "USA Today." But it's in favor of people approving, rather than disapproving, and I believe about the highest is scored on that front for quite a while here. So it doesn't quite jibe with some of these state polls that show otherwise.
What do you believe?
JEANNE ZAINO, IONA COLLEGE: Well, I think we get so caught up in the happenings of each day, that we forget, historically, it is very tough to beat an incumbent president.
In the 19th -- in the 20th century, 80 percent of incumbent presidents are reelected. That's very good odds for an incumbent president. And it's even higher when the economy is good. So President Trump has an awful lot of good news as he moves into 2020.
And I think Democrats have to be very, very careful, I tell my friends, about looking at these approval ratings, because what do we hear? If he doesn't break 50 percent, very hard for him to win. But that's not actually the case.
ZAINO: George W. Bush wins without hitting an approval rating of 50 percent. And so you have to be very careful about these approval ratings and these polls, particularly now, because this is a race against a Democrat.
You look at 2018, that was a referendum on Trump, but you look at 2020, that's Trump against somebody. And so a lot depends also on who the Democrats choose. And even though they have got 23, finding one that can beat an incumbent president is not as easy as they think.
CAVUTO: And you're right. And we over obsess about these polls and who is leading and all, and with Biden doing very, very well, and all of that. But the fact of the matter is, it's still way early.
But, Kennedy, one of the things I'm seeing here is if, let's say, the Federal Reserve were to cut interest rates, this long recovery, which really dates back to the early days of the Obama administration, which you would argue would be puckering out at this stage, could gain some steam.
KENNEDY: Which part?
CAVUTO: The economy, the recovery.
KENNEDY: The economy is very important.
And it's interesting because we're not used to being in a sustained economic boom, because the recovery took forever to finally get here.
KENNEDY: And it's always curious to see what the relationship is between the elements that the president can't control and the ones that he actually can.
And so if the elements that he can't control and the parts of the economy that really matter to people's lives, if those continue to improve, I really think that outweighs the elements of his personality that inspire...
CAVUTO: Well, that's the only thing keeping him down. Otherwise, he should be up by 10 points, right?
KENNEDY: And, to her point, he's never -- he's never been above 50 percent.
But the question is -- and I call it passion into action. So you have so much passion. And you saw that from the people who filled that arena last night. They absolutely love him. And they wanted to show those who tell them how to feel about the president, you don't get to tell me how I feel about politics or any one politician.
But then you have the people who are so passionate against Trump. And I think, if the economy continues to improve, it really neutralizes that second group.
CAVUTO: Do you ever worry that people get used to a good thing? In other words, they move on to other things. They just assume the economy will always be steady and sure and grow.
And this president certainly added to that. Then they look at the market and say, you buy on the dips, and you're richly rewarded no matter what's going on. So you go with that, and that they then have time to move on to other things or worries, about his demeanor, his tweeting and all of this.
So, ironically, the very economic and market environment he's provided is the thing that distracts people into assuming that that's just a given.
BORELLI: Well, to your point, the president made that case last night, I think, at the rally, because do you want to go back to what we had with the previous administration, a stagnant economy, high unemployment numbers?
Many, many people are getting higher wages. There are more jobs than people to fill them. The economy is doing really well. Manufacturing jobs are up. So that's the dynamics that we're looking at, then vs. now.
CAVUTO: But it's hard to fight a good economy, right, bottom line, right?
BORELLI: What it is, the Democrats have a really tough battle ahead of them, I think, because the economy is doing so well, because all they're talking about is investigate and insult the president.
CAVUTO: You know the one time a good economy didn't help? 1892.
BORELLI: I wasn't around.
CAVUTO: Grover Cleveland seized the office. I did. I covered it.
CAVUTO: And you know what stopped it? It was high tariffs for the incumbent administration, Republican administration, of up to 48 percent an otherwise good economy. He's out of there. Grover Cleveland steps in, first president to serve two non-concurrent terms.
ZAINO: I love it.
CAVUTO: There will be a quiz, Kennedy.
CAVUTO: Oh, it's all right. It's what I do. Basic cable, free of charge.
All right, we have lot more coming up, the president facing some pushback on his call to deport millions of illegal immigrants. The problem with that is how you go about it. We have got Republican Senator from Louisiana John Kennedy on that -- after this.
CAVUTO: All right, the president is just back from Florida right now at Joint Base Andrews, Air Force One touching down a few minutes ago.
He had a very successful trip there, first of all, that big speech, the kickoff speech to his second-term campaign. That was a sellout crowd of thousands more outside, despite the heat, the humidity, the rain all these people put up with. It was a golden moment for them, and, for the president, an opportunity to raise a lot of money.
In the span a little more than 24 hours -- this has got to be a record -- close to $25 million, four times, for example, what any of the prominent, indeed, the most prominent Democrats raised in their first 24 hours.
Now, I know it's a little different when you're talking the president of the United States, but it's still a considerable haul, and all of this when we get news from USA Today that the president's approval numbers might be at or near a record, 49 percent saying he's doing -- approving of the job he's doing, 48 percent disapproving.
We have normally not seen those aggregate numbers that way. Normally, he get high marks on the economy, not so much on some other things, but interesting developments just the same.
And, of course, word today that the Federal Reserve might have given a gift or a promised gift that could develop next month, when it's all but certain, everyone seems to think, that it's going to cut rates.
Louisiana Republican Senator John Kennedy on all these developments.
What do you make of it, Senator?
SEN. JOHN KENNEDY, R-LA: Oh, gosh, which one?
The economy, I'm not sure we need a rate cut right now. I would -- I would accept one. But our economy's doing great.
Immigration? Look, we got a huge problem. I think even our Democratic friends are finally recognizing that.
What's frustrating to me about the immigration issue, when the president decides to enforce the law and to deport people, he's accused of doing something wrong.
You either believe in the rule of all, Neil, or you don't.
CAVUTO: Then what did you think, Senator, when Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the treatment of those in these border facilities, is akin to a concentration camp?
J. KENNEDY: I think she has no basis for saying that, because it's not true.
We're doing everything -- and by we, I mean our authorities in the Department of Homeland Security -- are doing everything they can to deal with between 4,000 and 5,000 people who are breaking the law and coming into our country illegally.
Let me say it again. You believe in the rule of law or you don't. Now, apparently, Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez believes that illegal immigration is a moral good.
And I followed her. She believes that socialism, abortion and illegal immigration are moral goods. I don't agree with her. And I don't think the American people agree with her.
CAVUTO: But she went one step further than that. I mean, she compared the treatment there to concentration camps.
J. KENNEDY: She knows better. She knows better than that.
I mean, look, let's just -- let's face it. The congresswoman -- and this is America -- you're entitled to believe what you want. She just believes the border is nuisance, we ought to have open borders.
Now, this is America. Her opinion counts, just not to me.
CAVUTO: All right.
Let me talk about the deportations you mentioned. The president wants millions who are here illegally to be deported. That apparently is tough to do. Is it tough to do?
J. KENNEDY: It can be done.
The Department of Homeland Security is -- and our health authorities are quickly running out of money. We passed a bill today in the Appropriations Committee in the Senate to give our agencies additional money to deal with the crisis at the border.
But I have every expectation and belief that our authorities will do the enforcement and deport the folks who are here illegally appropriately.
CAVUTO: But do we have enough manpower for that, Senator, because, if you think about it, I mean, they're having...
J. KENNEDY: It will take a while.
CAVUTO: ... a tough time just dealing with the waves of migrants who are coming here?
J. KENNEDY: They are.
We're having -- we have between 4,000 and 5,000 people who are coming across our border illegally. Now, we admit more people than anybody in the world into the country. We welcome a million people across the world to become naturalized citizens in America every year.
A lot of people won't come here, Neil. I'm flattered with that. When's the last time you heard of anybody trying to sneak into China?
But we also have 500,000 people who come here illegally. And let me say it again. Illegal immigration is illegal. Duh. Some of my colleagues around here apparently think it's not illegal. It is.
And all the president is doing is enforcing the law. It's called the rule of law. It's one of our bedrock principles in America.
CAVUTO: All right, we will watch it very closely, Senator. Thank you for taking the time. Good seeing you again.
J. KENNEDY: Thanks, Neil.
CAVUTO: Senator Kennedy.
All right, he's considered the bond king, probably because he owns more bonds than anyone on the planet, save, I don't know, maybe the government - - the government of the United States.
Anyway, billionaire investor Jeffrey Gundlach is very worried about something else happening in the middle of this euphoria over possible trade deals, interest rates coming down. He says we're headed into a recession, and he bases it on something you're not seeing -- after this.
CAVUTO: All right, you want to keep this bull market going? And it is going and going.
Well, President Trump says, keep him office, or there is going to be a market crash.
It's something I raised with billionaire investor and CEO of the DoubleLine Capital, Jeffrey Gundlach, on my FBN show earlier today, his reaction to that.
JEFFREY GUNDLACH, CEO, DOUBLELINE CAPITAL: I don't know about a crash.
I mean, he's always fond of hyperbole. But one thing that really is interesting is a lot of the current polls that have come out -- I know it's very, very early for 2020 presidential polls -- but a lot of candidates in the Democratic field are polling substantially stronger than the president is right now.
And at some point, I think if those polls start become more believable, the market is going to have to start pricing in the fact that the corporate tax cut that buoyed the stock market, obviously, would go away.
I mean, many of the Democratic candidates are vilifying corporate America. And, obviously, as part of that vilification, eliminating the tax cut would be a prime policy idea.
So I think that the stock market would drop if there was more confidence in a Democratic candidate winning, because the tax plan would be reversed.
CAVUTO: I know it's a mug's game at this point, but do you think the president will get reelected?
GUNDLACH: It depends on the economy.
I'm not even sure he's going to really run. I mean, if the economy goes into recession, and he can't pull it out by removing the tariffs, there's very little for him to run on.
But if the economy is strong...
CAVUTO: Well, it's looks like he's running. He started it yesterday.
So you think, in that case, he might pull out?
GUNDLACH: Well, Lyndon Johnson ran for a while too...
CAVUTO: Very good point.
GUNDLACH: ... and then pulled out because of the war problems.
CAVUTO: No, you're right.
GUNDLACH: I mean, things can change.
GUNDLACH: But, I mean, the base case, if the economy doesn't slip, the president will win reelection.
And I think the fact that the market is hovering near its highs, in spite of the fact that these Democrats are polling, some of them, 10 points higher in some of the polls than President Trump, suggests that the market simply doesn't believe these polls, at least at this juncture.
CAVUTO: Joe Biden, you would have -- he is the Democratic front-runner right now. He is the one who leads in all these states against the president. That could change.
But you did note that his flip-flops and playing to conservatives, playing to liberals, do you think he will end up being the nominee?
GUNDLACH: No, I don't.
I think Joe Biden is kind of like a placeholder type of candidate. Joe Biden's been running for president for 32 years. And in those 32 years, he ran two official campaigns. And he did a couple of trial balloons. He chose not to run. But in those 32 years, he's amassed exactly zero delegates.
So it's almost hilarious that he's called this electable candidate, because he dropped out in 1998 on a scandal. And then he made it to Iowa in 2008 and got less than 1 percent of the vote.
I think Joe's time has passed. I have a nickname for him, Jurassic Joe. It's not a -- it's not a reference to his age. It's a reference to the fact that he's a politician from a different era.
And the progressive movement left in the party I think is going to be problematic. I have been reading recently that the mainstream of the party, the old establishment, is now starting to warm up a little bit more to a little bit left-leaning, but not so socialist candidate like Elizabeth Warren.
I think she has a better chance than Joe Biden. I also think Buttigieg has a reasonable chance too.
CAVUTO: Interesting. You're referring to his first run, that is, Joe Biden's 1988 run, when he was charged with copying speeches.
GUNDLACH: '88, yes, '88.
CAVUTO: Let me get your final sense then where of the whole market is right now.
You know this president pays a great deal of attention to it. It's oftentimes conflated with the economy. If you're right on this market, and that it's going to head into something worse, that can't be good for the economy. So, whoever wins in 2020, they have got a mess on their hands.
If the market does drop, it would probably be quite consistent with that recession coming before the election. And when the next recession comes, there's going to be a really big problem, as I said earlier, with the national debt.
And they're going to have to go into some sort of extraordinary situation of basically money printing, I think, to combat the next recession, universal basic income, which some Democrats are already running on.
I think that sort of thing has to become a reality in the next recession. So you're absolutely right. In the next -- in the next recession, the people in power across the developed world are going to have a lot of difficulty on their hands.
And so, unfortunately, that's the consequence of a debt-based economic system that we have had in place for over 35 years.
CAVUTO: All right. That was Jeffrey Gundlach.
The full interview is on the FOXBusiness.com site here. Rarely does he talk to the press. When he does, he drops some bombshells. There are a quite a few in that interview, the billionaire investor reading in on a possible recession and a no-go for Joe Biden.
By the way, we're getting word now that the Mexican senate has overwhelmingly voted to ratify the USMCA trade agreement with the United States and Canada. Canada has all but done the same. It's only in the United States that it has been held up. Nancy Pelosi has been indicating she wants more guarantees for U.S. workers.
Still no word on when a vote would come to pass, but at least for two out of the three countries, it is all but a done deal.
Meanwhile, Taylor not so Swift? Why her new video telling people to calm down is anything but, including the way she seems to be portraying Trump supporters?
CAVUTO: All right, Taylor Swift is out with a video that seems to portray those who don't agree with her political point of views as, well, baboons. But is she also making a statement about Trump supporters?
Wow -- after this.
CAVUTO: Kind of has a catchy tune.
Taylor Swift releasing a new music video of her new single, "You Need to Calm Down," this week, which has some fans telling the pop star maybe she needs to calm down, all but kind of hinting in this video -- I don't want to give the whole thing away -- that those who don't agree with her are essentially clueless boobs.
Now, whether there's a political statement there or just an intolerant statement there, The Federalist's Emily Jashinsky has called the video itself breathtakingly elitist. And that's the problem.
She joins me now to discuss.
Emily, your article was so direct and to the point. You weren't even talking politics, just about the indifference and the intolerance that seems to come through in this video, that, if you don't agree with her -- these are some of the characters who clearly do not -- then you're a moron.
EMILY JASHINSKY, THE FEDERALIST: Right.
Yes, the depictions of the two sides are really stark. On the one side, you have these wealthy, beautiful, fabulous, glamorous celebrities enjoying their life in this utopian trailer park. And on the other side, you have what appear to be gay marriage protesters who are all sort of ill-dressed, they're toothless, they have misspelled signs.
And it's just this really crude stereotyping that you think we could have left behind. But, of course, Taylor Swift has to bring it back up all in this video that's telling us all that we need to calm down, we need to have a rational conversation, we need to relax, and maybe put some of the immaturity and all of the heat in our debates aside.
And yet what does she do in that video? She relies on these caricatures and crude stereotypes. I think it was just really unfortunate.
CAVUTO: You left out the good thing, and that she seems to make up with Katy Perry. But I digress.
CAVUTO: What I did...
JASHINSKY: I knew you would think about that one, Neil.
CAVUTO: You see that?
CAVUTO: But I did wonder. There's no -- no one's calling them out to be Trump voters. No one is calling them out.
But, obviously, they're thick-skulled ingrates who do not have a compassionate view of society, inclusive view of society, all but inferring that they're anti pretty much anything that's modern or decent.
And I'm just wondering, that's lumping a lot in there.
JASHINSKY: Yes, it is.
And, yes, it's also they're stupid and they're poor. And I do think it fits this larger elite narrative, that people who don't buy into the progressive agenda are backwards and they're living in the Dark Ages and they are unsophisticated.
And, yes, I think that -- I think this does absolutely fit that larger narrative, which is, again, why it's unfortunate in a song that I think the message of you need to calm down, well, we all need to calm down. That was a real opportunity, I think, to convey a much healthier message.
And this actually was a step backwards, not a step forwards.
CAVUTO: The original intent, from what I could see, Emily, was to be more open on gay marriage, on gays in general. Maybe there were other things that I missed in the video. It's a catchy tune, don't get me wrong.
But I did start wondering about the tolerance issue, because, if you're characterizing, I guess, some of these protesters to be intolerant, then the very tone and the approach of the video shows an intolerance to those who don't believe that.
JASHINSKY: Yes, and it's unfortunate.
And it's -- again, this is something that we do see time and again, and we can't just put our differences aside. And, again, this is a song that's kind of about that. So, yes, it's upsetting, because, yes, this is -- it is this crude stereotyping of people who disagree with you on a political issue.
It's so needless, it's classist, and it's classless. And it was just completely an unnecessary swipe, punching down. Really unfortunate to see from somebody as talented and as powerful and influential as Taylor Swift.
CAVUTO: Well, what I just find upsetting is, if you don't like the president, that's fine, but if you're going to rip his supporters for being whatever, that's not fine. I mean, they're free to make their choice, just as you're free to make yours, and move on, you know?
JASHINSKY: Well, and that's -- this is someone who's taking the swipe from a country -- this is someone who's famous dependent on the country music fandom.
JASHINSKY: And so, again, this is why it's all the more unfortunate. She should have more respect for people from different backgrounds, so just a real swing and a miss, I think, from Taylor Swift here.
CAVUTO: Is it me, Emily? I can't picture Adele doing this, you know?
JASHINSKY: No, I couldn't either.
But, like you said, I am glad she made up with Katy Perry. I think that's a -- that was a healthy message.
CAVUTO: I am. My world is complete. But if Adele weighs in, we called, trying to listen to her say hello.
CAVUTO: That joke never gets old for me, never gets old for me.
CAVUTO: Emily, thank you very, very much. Good seeing you.
JASHINSKY: Thanks, Neil. You too.
CAVUTO: Meanwhile, another acting defense secretary is out, and another 1,000 troops moving in.
What is going on? For the new guy coming in, growing questions as to whether he's going to have way too much to handle.
CAVUTO: How did this happen?
New questions today over whether officials were kept in the dark about acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan's past.
Kevin Corke on how the White House is dealing with all this.
KEVIN CORKE, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good to be with you.
You're right, a rare moment of bipartisanship here in Washington, Neil, people wondering how in the world this could happen. We're talking about the disclosures involving acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and his family, those disclosures leading to the withdrawal of his candidacy from that post on a permanent basis.
The questions surrounding it are like this: How did this not come out before now? And if it was known before now, why wasn't it disqualifying then, if it's now disqualifying?
Members on Capitol Hill, where Shanahan was approved by a 92-7 vote back in 2017, want answers from the White House.
Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, whose own background check problems would seem to leave him a little vulnerable here to criticism, says he wants a DOD inspector general to investigate whether Shanahan committed a criminal act by withholding that information.
Others are more cautious.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SMITH, D-WASH.: I don't know. I really don't know. I know the media's looked into it. I don't know what the White House did or didn't know. I mean, they don't usually release information from background checks.
Yes, they assess it and make their own evaluation. And there's too much -- too much I don't know about it to comment intelligently about that.
I just hope that if Mark Esper is going to be the defense secretary, that they get him up to the Senate and get him confirmed as soon as possible. It really does matter to have a fully confirmed secretary of defense. We can't have an acting defense secretary for too much longer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CORKE: More on Esper's background in just a moment, but, very quickly, Neil, I want to share the Shanahan statement.
It reads, in part: "Our story is not dissimilar to those of many families facing the difficult challenges that come when a loved one struggles with substance abuse and other emotional issues, as is the case with my former wife. I wish nothing but the best for her and regret that my children's privacy has been violated. They're being forced to relive a tragic situation that we have worked so hard as a family to put behind us."
I mentioned Mark Esper, the former soldier who served in Operation Desert Shield and later worked as a lobbyist for Raytheon. He now steps up. He's the Army secretary. He was confirmed, by the way, just 19 months ago, by an 89-6 vote.
We will see where that all leads, that as we also continue to watch what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has to say about what's been happening in Iran, some movement there about whether or not the U.S. is prepared to go all in militarily.
The U.S. is warning -- I shouldn't say threatening -- I should say warning the regime there to knock it off. We will keep you posted if we hear anything from our perch here -- but, for now, Neil, back to you.
CAVUTO: All right, Kevin, thank you very much, Kevin Corke.
Well, for Mark Esper, right, the Army secretary, now the new acting defense secretary, boy, you just had a bunch of stuff dumped on your lap. What do you do?
The read from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Cory Gardner, who's here -- after this.
CAVUTO: All right, if you're keeping up, another acting defense secretary is out. You know that. Meanwhile, the Trump administration is moving another 1,000 troops into the Middle East to try and reel Iran in.
Colorado Republican Senator, member of the Foreign Relations Committee, Cory Gardner with us now.
Senator, always nice to have you. Thank you for taking the time.
SEN. CORY GARDNER, R-COLO.: Good afternoon, Neil. Thank you.
CAVUTO: Boy, I guess the Army secretary, Mark Esper, has his work cut out for him.
But on the 1,000-troop commitment, do we know any more, sir, about what they're going to do?
GARDNER: Well, I think we can build on what we have heard from our intelligence community and what we have seen in the papers, that Iran, through its proxies and others, was talking about additional attacks on U.S. interests and allies.
We have seen the video of the ship and the mine. And I think this is about force protection. This is about making sure that we protect ourselves, as we should, our troops, our men and women in uniform overseas, and our facilities and other interests that we have.
CAVUTO: You know, yesterday, we had your colleague Rand Paul here, who says be very, very careful about yet another entanglement that could go way far from what was intended, very concerned about what these troops are going to do and what message the president, who he doesn't think is going to get involved in any sort of a quagmire, does.
But how do you make sure of that?
GARDNER: Well, I think there's a couple things that are clear here.
Number one, this is a force protection measure. These are troops that are going over there to make sure that our allies, our interests, our men and women are safe. That's something that didn't always seem to rise to the level of a priority in the past years.
In fact, we know that Iran is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans. And they acted unchecked, so to speak, many times. And so this is a new administration with a new policy that is going to stand up to the kind of malign influence that Iran has had and the kind of actions they have taken.
CAVUTO: So, they will be stationed around American interests, either American tankers, American personnel, to make sure that they're not targeted?
GARDNER: That's right. They're protecting American interests. That's right.
GARDNER: That's right.
They are going to be protecting our assets, our allies, our investments, and our interests.
CAVUTO: All right.
So, in the meantime, we know that the Iranians are practically bragging about building up their uranium to levels that they would essentially be back in the nuclear game. What do we do about that?
GARDNER: Well, if you look at what the Iran nuclear deal was allowing anyway, in just a few months, a matter of a few months, they would be allowed to do many number of things, including release from sanctions.
Individuals who have perpetrated horrible acts against the United States and others around the globe will be relieved from sanctions, certain sanctions, under the agreement. That's the agreement that -- as it would be enforced.
And so we know that this wouldn't have ended their nuclear program. We know that, in a decade or less than a decade, they would have been able to continue unfettered, unchecked with their program.
What we need to have is a program that actually stops them, a deal that actually stops them, that Congress can agree to, that our allies can enforce, because what you were left with an Iran nuclear deal was something that simply wasn't going to prevent them from continuing the harm that they inflict, not only regionally, but around the globe.
CAVUTO: If I could switch gears, sir, if you will indulge me, today, as you know, the Federal Reserve seemed to hint that it could cut rates as soon as next month, presumably because of the trade situation, potential tariffs, assuming that a China deal isn't still had.
The president has apparently been looking at ways, everything from firing Jerome Powell to demoting him. He can't apparently do either. How do you feel about that relationship? Does it worry you? Do you think the president is right to be dissatisfied with him? What?
GARDNER: Well, look, I think we need to make sure that we allow our Federal Reserve to operate in a way that is free of politics, free of influence.
And I think that's exactly what Jerome Powell has committed himself to do. I have had the opportunity to meet with him prior to his confirmation. I have met with him after the confirmation.
And we need to make sure that he is allowed to manage the economy in a way that he believes is best free of politics, free of pressure. And I think he's given me that commitment. And I think that's exactly what we should expect from our Federal Reserve chair.
CAVUTO: So, should the president lay off?
GARDNER: Well, I think it's -- it's -- the president is going to continue to do what the president's going to continue to do.
But I think Jerome Powell is very committed to his independence and making sure that he makes the right decisions, as he believes them to be.
CAVUTO: All right, Senator, thank you very much, Cory Gardner, Republican from the beautiful state of Colorado, Foreign Relations Committee member, much, much more.
GARDNER: Thank you.
CAVUTO: All right.
We are going to discuss that a little bit, because Jerome Powell did indicate he is ready to do something the president has been actually calling for, for quite some time, cut interest rates.
He didn't cut today. He seemed to hint that he will very soon, maybe next month.
The political box he's in -- after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GUNDLACH: I think Joe Biden is kind of like a placeholder type of candidate. Joe Biden's been running for president for 32 years. He's amassed exactly zero delegates.
So it's almost hilarious that he's called this electable candidate.
I think Joe's time has passed. I have a nickname for him, Jurassic Joe. It's not a -- it's not a reference to his age. It's a reference to the fact that he's a politician from a different era.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAVUTO: All right, before you dismiss a moneyman, a millionaire investor, a guy who has been known as the bond king because he owns so many bonds weighing in on political matters, keep in mind that Jeffrey Gundlach correctly predicted the ascent of one Barack Obama and the emergence of Donald Trump.
So, dismiss at your own peril. He is saying here, essentially, that, even though Joe Biden seems to be the prohibitive favorite in the Democratic Party, he will not end up with the nomination. He didn't say who would. He looks at a surging passion for candidates like Elizabeth Warren and that, but all of this backdrop here with an economy that he says -- that Gundlach is saying is going to be in a recession next year.
In the meantime, we are looking -- that is right -- Hope Hicks has just left this testimony on Capitol Hill. We don't know what was said, what questions were asked. She's done with that testimony right now.
Keep in mind, she's an executive vice president in charge of communications here at Fox Corporation, our parent company. That's based in L.A. She no doubt will be returning to L.A.
But let's listen in on this.
QUESTION: Are you coming back a second day?
QUESTION: Are you concerned about a court case?
QUESTION: Does the president have anything to be concerned about with your testimony today, Ms. Hicks?
CAVUTO: All right, we wanted to keep listening to that, because you never know, but Hope Hicks not responding to questions peppered at her by some of the reporters on the scene here.
But, again, she will return to L.A, and, again, as executive vice president of communications in charge here at Fox Corporation. That should be that.
Now, of course, whether they ask her to come back or another committee asks her to come back, that is anyone's guess.
That's sort of the noise in the background to the developments that we heard today, and we heard a lot of people talking about.
We have got Gary Kaltbaum here, John Layfield deal here, and Jackie DeAngelis here.
Jackie, end it with you, but we -- we saw the Hope Hicks stuff. We saw what's going on with the economy and a billionaire investor saying, I see a slowdown coming.
This is all the kind of noise that, if you're in the White House, you worry about, but he did say right now that he doesn't see any of this being detrimental to Donald Trump for now.
When you talk to traders and the rest, of course, they seem to think it's Joe Biden as the nominee. Here's a guy who is saying no. They seem to think the whole investigation stuff is over, going nowhere. He seems to say it will probably fester a little bit, but ultimately not hurt the president.
Lot of different vibes, you know?
JACKIE DEANGELIS, FOX BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: A lot of different vibes out there, certainly, and so much that spectators are watching and waiting to see, especially in the economic landscape.
A big thing happened today, Neil, with the Fed, right?
DEANGELIS: The Fed came out and said, we are not going to cut today, but we took that patient language out, and we are willing to cut, eight members saying they want to see a cut this year.
So the Fed is watching very closely to see what happens with China. And that's going to be so important to President Trump. And, obviously, his opponents are going to be watching that closely too.
CAVUTO: You know, John Layfield, you could look at this, and that the Federal Reserve will clearly have the president's back, and maybe the economy's back in general, if you're going to keep -- cut rates to address a potential slowdown from tariffs and the like.
That's got to be welcome news for the president.
JOHN LAYFIELD, CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, it does.
And that's what the president is so worried about. The president is a former real estate investor. And so he likes low interest rates. Every president likes low interest rates. He wants to grease the skids a little bit here to make sure that the economy's doing well.
And the easiest way to do that is put pressure on the Fed to keep rates low. And it looks like the Fed is going to do that. I understand we are due a recession, but I'm just not sure it's going to come before the next election.
CAVUTO: What do you think, Gary? Normally, when the Fed is cutting rates, people have to start worrying, because they're cutting them for a reason.
What do you think?
GARY KALTBAUM, CONTRIBUTOR: All I know, Neil, is, unemployment in the 3's. The markets at all-time highs. And they're looking to cut rates.
Beats the heck out of me why. But all I can tell you is, nothing bad happens when rates come down. By the way, the 10 years of 2 percent, which really helps the mortgages and oil prices, have also plunged.
But, very simply, in 500 days, if we're in recession, Donald Trump is in big trouble. If the economy's in good shape and the market is in good shape, I think Trump wins, no matter who wins on the left at that point in time. But it's 500 days away, and there's going to be a lot of things going on.
CAVUTO: All right, guys, I want to thank you very much.
Apologize for breaking news, but we told you that Hope Hicks has left this testimony she was giving behind closed doors.
The minority member, the ranking minority member of that House Judiciary Committee, is speaking.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
QUESTION: Do you want special counsel Mueller to come testify?
REP. DOUG COLLINS, R-GA: I have already said that I would like to, but my chairman doesn't want that to happen.
QUESTION: Do you think he will come and testify?
COLLINS: No idea. You will have to ask the chairman.
QUESTION: Were there any substantive instances or questions about her time in the White House that she was willing to answer?
COLLINS: No, I think that was covered under -- that was in the immunity clause that they were not going to talk about the time in the White House, which was known beforehand.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) FOX News.
Some of the Democrats indicated that they feel it will be now time to go to court. Did you get any sense that that was the right move today?
COLLINS: I think that's all they have been trying to do. OK?
I think they have been trying to move this to court. They have no -- they have no basis. If you go back and you look for the five-and-a-half months that we have been going through event after event, they have -- they have gained nothing in their investigations. The Mueller report didn't give what they wanted.
And, frankly, they have seemed to start stuff and forget them, 81 letters sent out. Nothing really happened. So I think they're trying to get to court start with.
QUESTION: Just to follow up, just to be clear, is there a basis for the Democrats to challenge her testimony today, based on this constitutional immunity and the implication that executive privilege may have been in play?
COLLINS: Well, again, executive privilege was not in play today. They took the OLC opinion of the immunity...
CAVUTO: All right, you're listening to Doug Collins, the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, who thought essentially that Hope Hicks having to testify there was a waste of time.
"The Five" is now.
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