This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," January 14, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): There is little or no sentiment in Republican Conference for a motion to dismiss. Our members feel that we have an obligation to listen to the arguments. That means listening to the case, not dismissing the case.
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NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Well, the White House wants to dismiss it. The Senate Republicans are saying, there simply are not enough votes for it, so get ready to get on with it. Impeachment is on in the U.S. Senate as early as next Tuesday. So be there or be square, but squarely now in the Senate chamber of the United States of America. Welcome, everybody. I'm Neil Cavuto. As the House and the Senate spar over potential witnesses, we are getting our first glimpse at how the president plans to fight back. We're all over it with Mike Emanuel on Capitol Hill, where it's all going down, and John Roberts at the White House on how the president's legal team is shaping up. We begin with Mike. Hey, Mike.
MIKE EMANUEL, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Neil, good afternoon. The expectation is, there will be some procedural steps in the Senate trial this week, with the trial launching next Tuesday. Today, the Senate majority leader said they will take it one step at a time.
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MCCONNELL: We will be dealing with the witness issue at the appropriate time into the trial. And I think it's certainly appropriate to point out that both sides would want to call witnesses that they wanted to hear from.
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EMANUEL: After many House Democrats argued it was an urgent matter to impeach the president before Christmas, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has held up the articles of impeachment for about four weeks. Now Pelosi says, tomorrow, the House will vote to transmit, and she's expected to announce her impeachment managers, the lawmakers who will prosecute the case in the Senate. Top Democrats continue trying to pressure moderate Republicans to vote for more witnesses and documents.
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SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), MINORITY LEADER: We're soon going to have an opportunity to see where my Republican colleagues really stand on the question of witnesses testifying and documents being added. The president and the American people deserve nothing less than a fair, full and honest process.
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EMANUEL: Estimates from numerous sources are no witnesses could mean about a two-week trial. If you had witnesses, we're hearing it could run about six weeks -- Neil.
CAVUTO: Six weeks. Wow, all right. The president expects to be fully exonerated, no matter how long it takes in the Senate, that today from the White House. John Roberts is there -- John.
JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Neil, good afternoon to you. We were wondering if we are going to hear from the president later on this hour, when he departs the White House headed for a campaign rally in Wisconsin, but the weather put the kibosh on that. The ceiling is too low to fly the helicopter, so he will motorcade to Joint Base Andrews, which means no press availability. Meantime, his legal team is putting the finishing touches on the case that they will present to the Senate as soon as next week. As we told you several weeks ago, the White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, will be leading off the president's legal team with the assistance of his deputies Michael Purpura and Patrick Philbin. Jay Sekulow, the president's lead outside counsel, will also be taking a prominent role. In fact, he could make the closing arguments before the Senate. And the Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz is also still under serious consideration to be a part of the team. Last night, Senator Lindsey Graham talked to the president about the upcoming trial. Here's what Graham said about the president's state of mind. Listen here.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): He's frustrated. He didn't think he did anything wrong, but I told him, there's a process. You will come out of this thing politically stronger. I hate that you had to go through it, but I feel very confident, and he will be acquitted in the end.
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ROBERTS: The president tweeted yesterday that he supports a motion to dismiss the articles before the trial begins, saying that a trial will only give legitimacy to the articles that were approved by Democrats in the House. But the way the process will proceed is that a motion to dismiss could not be introduced until after the House managers and the president's lawyers have presented their case. While Senator Mitch McConnell said that there was no appetite or hardly any for any kind of motion to dismiss, it wouldn't come, again, until after the case is heard. So they may entertain it then. Senator Ted Cruz, though, said today that he supports taking the matter all the way to a vote, which he believes will be a not-guilty vote, a vote to acquit the president, Senator Cruz believing that the president will be in a much stronger position politically, if, rather than dismiss the case before they hear it, that it goes all the way, and then the president is acquitted. And in a real point of irony here as well, Neil, as the trial gets under way in the Senate, the president will be touching down in Davos, Switzerland, to make an appearance at the World Economic Forum there. So here is another case where the president will be over there while all the news is right here -- Neil.
CAVUTO: Isn't that his first Davos appearance as president?
ROBERTS: No, second.
CAVUTO: Oh, second, OK. I lost track.
ROBERTS: Yes, he was there in 2018.
CAVUTO: All right. All right. Thank you my friend very, very much, John Roberts. All right, my next guest was on the short list to be part of the president's legal team. I'm talking about former federal prosecutor Congressman Trey Gowdy, who joins us right now. Sir, good to have you.
TREY GOWDY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you, Neil.
CAVUTO: Let's discuss what the strategy could be here and the issue of witnesses. We have a number of Republicans, as I'm sure you're aware -- and I will be raising this with a Republican senator -- open to the prospect of witnesses. But it isn't that simple, right? It can get pretty involved, right?
GOWDY: I mean, which witnesses, the ones the House could have called, but failed to? What's the standard by which you get to decide whether to call a witness? Is it relevancy? That's a pretty low standard. So you can't just call a couple. There may be a senator who wants to hear from some witness you and I have never thought up before. So what's the standard by which you judge whether or not to add witnesses? My position is, it is the House is job to investigate. And if they didn't think enough to call a witness during the investigation, then why should the Senate do it?
CAVUTO: All right, so they counter that they tried a number of people, and that the president was preventing them from speaking. But it nevertheless raises an issue. If they get John Bolton, obviously, Republicans will want Joe Biden and/or Hunter Biden, right? And on and on, we go.
GOWDY: Yes, but, Neil, I mean, so you get John Bolton I mean, does the executive privilege still apply? You can't call a witness that you know is going to invoke privilege. It's a terrible optic. You can't do it in a courtroom. You shouldn't be able to do it in an impeachment proceeding. I mean, are you going to call a witness that you know is going to invoke the Fifth? Are you going to call a witness that is going to invoke attorney-client privilege? If you're not going to do that, and you can't do that in the real world, then why would you call a witness simply for the optic of having that witness say, I can't answer based on executive privilege?
GOWDY: I mean, I get people don't like privileges, but there's a reason we have them. And we have them because the relationship is more important than the information. And that's true with every kind of privilege we have in our culture.
CAVUTO: I'm sorry, sir. How do they do it then? It wouldn't be live Senate testimony. If it goes back to the Clinton sort of motif, they have the deposition, and the senators then read from prepared remarks in those depositions, right? I mean, it's not the person, him or herself, talking, right?
GOWDY: But you know what, Neil? If you have ever served on a jury, to be able to determine whether or not someone's telling the truth means you need to eyeball them. You need to watch their demeanor, the hesitancy or the speed with which they answer questions. How the hell do you do that in a deposition? I mean, I can't think of anything more boring than having Adam Schiff read deposition excerpts to me. So how's that going to help you determine whether or not the person's credible? You know what he or she said, but how do you determine credibility based on that?
CAVUTO: All right, so when you hear that six-week time frame, that it could go on a while, that would take us past not only the Iowa caucuses, but the New Hampshire primary, into Super Tuesday potentially. This could really be a mess, right?
GOWDY: It could be. I don't think it's going six weeks. I don't think anyone -- I mean, talk about cruel and unusual punishment to my fellow citizens. Make them watch this group for six weeks quasi-litigate a case. That is torture. It's not going to last six weeks. I don't support the motion to dismiss, because people don't like things being summarily dismissed. Let the House present its case, Neil. I mean, they don't they have the burden of persuasion? They're the ones that want to remove a duly elected president. They have the burden of persuasion. Let them go. Then you can entertain a motion to dismiss. I like it at the end. Go ahead, present your case. Vote on it. Vote on it like a regular jury votes on it, and then, if the voters want to weigh in, they can do that in November.
CAVUTO: It's a good point. Trey Gowdy, thank you very, very much. Appreciate it.
GOWDY: Yes, sir. Yes, sir.
CAVUTO: Meanwhile, the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, all but dismissing talk of having more witnesses in the Senate trial. But, as I have been mentioning here, there are at least four Republicans who are open to the prospect of hearing from witnesses. Is my next guest one of them, Indiana Republican Senator Mike Braun? Senator, boy, you are getting a baptism by fire in your first year on Capitol Hill here. But so this will be your first impeachment. And some of your colleagues have talked increasingly about entertaining witnesses or being open to them. Are you?
SEN. MIKE BRAUN (R-IN): Well, I think, in listening to Trey there, when you talk about witnesses in the abstract, I think anybody is going to say, yes, if it gets to that point and you mutually agree on it. But then the process falls apart, because they have only been talking about it in a vacuum of Bolton, Mulvaney. And I'm nearly certain even the ones that are interested in witnesses, that it would be reciprocal if you ever got there. And then I think it becomes a faux argument, because, of course, they're not going to want to bring in Hunter Biden or the whistle-blower or Joe Biden. So, I think that's a lot of posturing, when we do know probably all the information that we're going to really need is there. We're going to get through phase one. I was at the lunch today. And there are 53 Republicans that are unanimous in that we go through phase one, just like we did in the Clinton trial. And if we need more information, I say you be flexible to it. I think, also, I heard Trey refer to the fact that the public might say, hey, it's been ad nauseam way back before we even got to Ukraine. I mean, we had the Mueller report. We had talk of impeachment before the president's inauguration. To me, that tainted the process. And I think, finally, at last, we're here. Pelosi was between a rock and a hard place politically, when the polls went south on her, to where Trump was beating the Democrats in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. It's her worst nightmare. She bowed over to the left side of her party. And at least now we're here and we're going to get it started.
CAVUTO: Are you worried, though, Senator, that some are looking at this process, however tilted and along party lines it was in the House, that it will be just the same in the Senate? That, I cannot imagine -- maybe you can -- a Republican would vote to impeach the president, so it would be the reverse of what happened in the House. And this makes you wonder where all of this went.
BRAUN: I think so. I think that part of what we need to do -- it's been a long journey to get here. But the one thing it's going to be different is, it is going to be balanced. You now have the prosecution coming from the House, and you have got the full-throated defense coming from the president. And we have not had that before. And I think, if his attorneys do the job, that they're probably, even among the ones that have been talking about flexibility on witnesses, may say, enough is enough. The case has been made now that it's here in the Senate. Any of the weaknesses, any of the rushing, any of the peculiarities that have come from the House, that's part and parcel of what happens when you're on a predetermined mission from the moment the president got inaugurated to get to this point. And it's political. We all know it. It's in the House -- or it's here now in the Senate. Let's go through the process and see what happens.
CAVUTO: Do you know, Senator -- now, the president was eager to see if this whole thing could be dismissed? And maybe Mitch McConnell, colleagues, yourself, decided, no, you can't do that. What was the thinking behind saying, no, we can't just dismiss it out of hand?
BRAUN: The only time I was really looking at dismissing it as if they didn't bring it over here in a timely manner. I have been from the get-go -- and I think the president's really been there as well -- for full vindication, you have got to have the full process of his defense team making the case. So I think it is a hollow victory if you move to a vote to dismiss, but moving in a measured, somewhat speedy way, after you have heard both sides, to a vote on acquittal or conviction, I think, is what the American public wants. And I think we need to get this behind us, because there's so much other stuff on the shelf when it comes to health care, infrastructure, the things I came here for that we need to get busy with.
CAVUTO: All right, Senator, thank you very much. We will see how it all goes.
CAVUTO: All right, in the meantime, Iran is announcing some arrests over that downed Ukrainian jetliner. But protesters continue to take to the streets. One world leader, though, not blaming it exclusively on Iran, and this world leader, I think, is the United States' friend.
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JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: I think, if there were no tensions, if there was no escalation recently in the region, those Canadians would be right now home with their families. This is something that happens when you have conflict and war.
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CAVUTO: Did Pierre Trudeau just exonerate the Iranians and kind of throw us in the mix here? Protests continuing right now after the downing of that jetliner and the government trying to corral those who it says are responsible for it, but the prime minister, as I just told you, Justin Trudeau -- I apologize -- is not putting the blame exclusively on Iran. FOX News foreign affairs analyst Walid Phares joins us. Walid, what he's saying is that there was this act of war in place. Anything could and did and sadly ultimately happened. What do you make of that?
WALID PHARES, FOX NEWS NATIONAL SECURITY AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS ANALYST: I respectfully disagree with the prime minister of Canada. The demonstrations have been going on at least -- and it's archived -- since the end of 2017, 2018, 2019, and all the way to now. But more important was the fact that the Iranian militia, which was involved in suppressing the Iran protest, was the one that started their military actions against our forces, forcing us, forcing the president to respond. So, in the framework of all that conflict, when the Iranian regime and its bureaucracy fail in making sure that they're not shooting at civilian airplanes at the time that they shut down their air to all other civilian airplanes, and they commit that action that killed dozens of people, I don't understand how a prime minister or other leaders would blame America even half, even 1 percent. It's -- all the blame is to the regime.
CAVUTO: So, dealing with the protesters, it's very different than 40 years ago, at the time of the Iran hostage crisis, isn't it, Walid, where the government then of Ayatollah Khomeini used the great Satan of America as a deflection against a tumbling economy and rallying people in the country behind Iran, against the United States. They have been trying the same thing now, to little success. What do you make of the difference now?
PHARES: Well, the difference is huge. It's a historical, diametrical difference. It's the difference between the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 and the Anti-bolshevik Revolution in Eastern Europe 1989 and '90. It's that big, that large. Those who are rising now, most of them were not even born after the Cold War, and certainly nobody was there during the communist age. I'm talking about the young people. What they're calling for is beyond the reformation, beyond the fact that they lack of everything -- the list is very long -- economics, health, political suppression, they want an actual change of that government, of that regime. And these are not Americans. These are Iranians who are calling for it. So, I believe, Neil, that this is irreversible. The regime can push back, can do violence, but they have to be very careful, because at this point in time, and unlike last year and the year before, the United States, its president and others in the region have committed to monitor what's happening, which means that there will be actions, including legal and other, against those who are engaged in violence against the protesters.
CAVUTO: You know, we already know, Walid, that Britain, France and Germany have launched a dispute over Iran challenging the nuclear accord, walking away from it. They're not accepting that. So, in a way, they're countering Iran and us at the same time. It's weird.
PHARES: It is weird, but it is transitional. I will explain why very quickly. The Europeans, the core, Germany, France, Italy, and Britain, the European Commission, in general terms was committed to the Iran deal for economic reasons. Essentially, their companies are -- have been making, will be making money because of that and because of a theory that, if you engage economically with this regime, it's going to mollify, become moderate, so on and so forth. All of this was proven wrong, but the Europeans continue to be committed. What is changing right now, Neil, is the fact that they see that this regime may not last. And in good calculations, they understand, if the majority of the population is not with the regime, give it one year, two years, maybe much lesser than that, it will change, and they need to cut a deal with the next government. So they are doing those calculations at this point in time.
CAVUTO: Walid, thank you very, very much, Walid Phares. Meanwhile, I want to take you to Milwaukee and Des Moines, two very different cities, two very different events, a rally for the president of the United States, a debate for Democrats who want to be the next president of the United States -- after this.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CAVUTO: All right, you might call it a Democratic six-pack in Des Moines, Iowa, tonight, the final debate ahead of the Iowa caucuses themselves. But it's a pair of contenders who could be making the most noise. To FOX's Peter Doocy and the growing feud between Bernie Sanders and Liz Warren. This will likely come up tonight, won't it?
PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: It could. And it would really be something, Neil, because the Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren platforms are among the most progressive on the stage tonight, but now Warren is accusing Bernie Sanders of telling her at a private dinner in 2018 that only a man can beat President Trump. She remembers their one-on-one a year-and-a-half ago like this."Among the topics that came up was, what would happen if Democrats nominated a female candidate? I thought a woman could win. He disagreed." Sanders now says that's ludicrous. And he adds: "It's sad that three weeks before the Iowa caucus and a year after that private conversation, staff who weren't in the room are lying about what happened." There were no witnesses to this dinner between old friends. So it is a classic he said/she said that some activists on the left now are worried about hurting their chances next year. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee says this back and forth is counterproductive for progressives. They want everybody working together to try to beat President Trump in the general election. And this is going to be the first debate tonight since President Trump ordered the drone strike to take out the Iranian General Soleimani. And we had expected there to be a lot of talk about foreign policy on the stage, but now they have got this too -- Neil.
CAVUTO: All right, Peter, thank you very, very much, Peter Doocy. Let's go to Lee Carter right now and look at the fallout from all of this. It is regarding a dinner that was just two people, two very different takes on it.
LEE CARTER, REPUBLICAN POLLSTER: Yes.
CAVUTO: They might not mention it. I already got a sense that Elizabeth Warren didn't want to. But she relayed this. So will the others mention it?
CARTER: The others could mention it. I think it's a losing -- it's a losing topic for any of them, because Democrats are supposed to be the party of women, for women. And I think trying to take one of their own down through this kind of a conversation is just unnecessary.
CAVUTO: Can you picture Bernie Sanders saying that, though? Say whatever you will of him. He's as progressive as they get.
CARTER: Well, you know what? I can't tell you how many people have asked me. I for a while was saying I expect Elizabeth Warren to be the candidate. And I can't tell you how many people have said to me, do you think America is ready for a woman? Do you think a woman could beat Donald Trump? These are women that are asking me. These are very progressive people who are asking me. These are people I would never say are sexist.
CAVUTO: Excuse me.
CARTER: It's a legitimate question that people have. And a lot of people are saying, look, I -- there's many people who still believe the reason that Hillary Clinton didn't win is because she was a woman. I would totally disagree with that. But there are many people who would say that. And just because they say that doesn't mean they themselves are sexist. So I don't think that, even if this comes out, even if it were true, that you could say that Bernie Sanders is -- it's a long way to go to say, he said this comment, I'm not sure that a woman could beat Donald Trump, and that means, therefore that he's a sexist. I think the right woman could absolutely beat Donald Trump. And that's a conversation worth having. If I were advising Elizabeth Warren, I would say that's the conversation should have. Show that you are the woman that can.
CAVUTO: But they're not having that conversation. You were choking me up, just what you were saying.
CAVUTO: But I would say this. We have a lot of female senators, governors, congresswomen. I think it besmirches the American people to think that they are against a woman coming in. We just haven't found the right woman maybe. And the world, the irony is, where we have had prominent female leaders over history, from Golda Meir in Israel to Maggie Thatcher in Britain, Angela Merkel in Germany.
CARTER: That's right.
CAVUTO: There is precedent for it. The irony would be that they tend to be from the right. But I just think that notion is a little out of date.
CARTER: I think that notion is absolutely out of date. I think if Nikki Haley were running, we wouldn't be having this conversation. I think if Michelle Obama were running, we wouldn't have that conversation. You have that conversation when a candidate is weak. And I think that's the problem that many people have. They point to that thing which seems easy to point out, when it's not, in fact, the issue.
CAVUTO: But maybe they take themselves out tonight over this argument. Of course, it's Sanders who is gaining some traction, right? And someone else can emerge. Or do the others leave it alone and see if these two can fry themselves?
CARTER: I think that this is a time -- they're six people on stage. What needs to happen right now is, these six people, they need to define themselves and what they're going to do for America. That hasn't been done. I think Bernie Sanders has his swim lane. Elizabeth Warren has clearly established hers. The other candidates have some work to do. I don't know what America looks like if they're president of the United States. Their job right now is to paint a vision of what makes them different, what makes them compelling. I don't think it's smart for them just to be trying to take each other down.
CAVUTO: Yes. All right, it's going to be interesting, to put it mildly. Lee Carter, thank you very, very much. In the meantime, protection vs. privacy. The attorney general wants Apple to unlock the phones of the Pensacola shooter. But, so far, Apple is not biting -- after this.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CAVUTO: You're looking live right now in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the president heading there for a big rally tonight, at a time he has said, I'm eager to get this impeachment thing done and over with. It might not be quick, but it could go in his favor -- after this.
CAVUTO: The Justice Department stepping up pressure on Apple, trying to get into the iPhones of the Pensacola Navy base shooter. The Department of Justice saying today, a federal judge has authorized the Department of Justice to access the contents of the dead terrorist's phones. Apple designed these phones, implemented their encryption. It's a simple front-door request. Will Apple help us get into the shooter's phones or not? All rise for Judge Andrew Napolitano. Now, Apple has released a statement, the gist of which is, we have been helpful, we have been there, but not on this, not going this far.
ANDREW NAPOLITANO, FOX NEWS SENIOR JUDICIAL ANALYST: All right, so, front- door request means, they just want the code on this phone. And they don't want to know and don't need to know how the code is derived from the phone. Backdoor request means they want access to all phones. So...
CAVUTO: Right. So, it'd be like, if I wanted your phone, you're the government. I'm going to unlock it, I work at Apple, I give it back to you, don't know how the heck I did it.
NAPOLITANO: Correct. Correct.
CAVUTO: What's the problem?
NAPOLITANO: Well, the problem is that that would violate Apple's P.R. representations to its customers that it will never do that. Now, in this case, the customer is dead. The...
CAVUTO: And he's a murderer.
NAPOLITANO: Correct. There's a lot of case law that says the right to privacy ends with death, because there's no one around to be harmed.
CAVUTO: But Apple isn't saying that.
NAPOLITANO: No, Apple is saying, we have a commitment to our customers living or dead. We have a commitment to our billion customers around the world. I'm guessing at that number.
CAVUTO: Right. Right.
NAPOLITANO: And we're going to stick by it. So I would be quite surprised if a judge, which has given the government access to the phone, says to Apple, thou shalt open it. Now, there's two ways the government can open it without going to Apple. They can go to another branch of the government which has the code. That's the NSA. But the NSA probably will not admit that it has the code. Therefore, it doesn't want to give it to them.
CAVUTO: What about any smart kid who is good with devices who could do it for them?
NAPOLITANO: They could probably find a smart kid. When the Comey FBI was facing this with the San Bernardino husband and wife killers, they were dead. They had two cell phones. They went to a team of Israeli experts in Tel Aviv, and they opened it. And they gave the government access to it. What is the government looking for? The government wants to know if this killing in Pensacola was the tip of a conspiracy. Were there other people involved? And, quite frankly, it's kind of scary that they can't find that out.
CAVUTO: What if we have another horrific event that could have been all spelled out on this guy's phone or phones, and Apple wasn't helpful?
NAPOLITANO: You're going to find a lot of pressure on Apple. If somebody dies because Apple didn't give the feds what they wanted, there would be a lot of pressure on Apple. But there's no legal mechanism to force Apple, and Tim Cook knows that. He also knows that one of the reasons particularly young people go for this device -- I'm holding up my Apple iPhone -- is because of this promise that the manufacturer will not break into it.
CAVUTO: But I think even young people, recognizing the value of their safety and the difference between themselves and a terrorist, would draw that distinction, wouldn't they?
NAPOLITANO: You would have to ask Tim Cook. But his people believe steadfastly that they don't want to go down a slippery slope and they don't want to make an exception at all, because they know that the government knows this. Go to the NSA. Ask them. They have it.
CAVUTO: But not Apple?
NAPOLITANO: Not Apple. Apple is not going to help them.
CAVUTO: All right, Judge, thank you very, very much.
NAPOLITANO: You're welcome.
CAVUTO: Judge Andrew Napolitano. More bad news for Boeing. American Airlines will keep the 737 MAX grounded until at least June. That wasn't the only bad news -- some revelations that are staggering. And a former top Navy SEAL who says these problems were predictable -- after this.
CAVUTO: Well, it was a bad day for Boeing. American Airlines says it will ground all 737 MAX flights through at least June 3. Maybe the company's new CEO then should listen to this guy. Former U.S. Navy SEAL officer Jocko Willink is out with a new book, "Leadership Strategy and Tactics." He goes into just describing the kind of things that can make this sort of crisis that Boeing is having avoidable in the first place. It's a little late for them, Jocko. It's good to see you. But I was thinking of you and some of the warnings that you have about having an open atmosphere, being willing to challenge the boss, people talking openly and freely with each other. This seemed to be like just a cancerous environment that fed on itself.
JOCKO WILLINK, FORMER U.S. NAVY SEAL: It did. And then it all results in the company not really taking and the leadership of the company not taking ownership for these mistakes and saying, look, this is absolutely my fault. This is what happened. And I will not allow it to happen again. And here are the steps I'm going to take to prevent it. And then you got to make sure some drastic changes. So, absolutely, it's a failure in leadership. And it's hard to watch.
CAVUTO: But, normally, you try to deal with that before it gets out of control. Now, in Boeing's case, it was faulted for only responding after two crashes, which now we find out with e-mails and communications were well- telegraphed, engineers saying that all of these guys were jokes, the bosses were clueless, and the CEO himself was out to lunch. So it was just feeding on itself.
WILLINK: Yes. And when I'm in charge of something, if I'm not receiving pushback from my team, if they're not raising their hands and saying, hey, boss, we don't agree with this, I'm wary right then, because that means they're afraid to tell me what's really going on. So I need to, like you said, open up my door, go down, talk to the troops, find out what exactly is going on, and make sure that there's no problems going on below me in the chain of command that I'm not hearing about.
CAVUTO: Well, it sounds to me like a lot of clueless leaders. Now, it wouldn't be the first company. And I'm not meaning to just single out Boeing. There are countless political and corporate stories of the same, where the chief didn't know what was going on. What produces that? What kind of environment makes that happen?
WILLINK: Look, if you're -- if you're creating an environment where you, as the leader, don't openly accept criticism or just input or feedback from people, they're going to stop talking to you. All you have to do is crucify one of your subordinates that raises his hand and said something. You crucify them. You're not going to hear anything else. Maybe that happened for a couple years, and they just stopped talking.
CAVUTO: But you talk a little bit about communication at the end of your book, where you keep the troops informed. You say: "I realized that the further back of the patrol you were, the less you knew." But, sometimes, like you coming from Navy SEALs, I mean, that's the toughest of the tough. That's just life. So, whose responsibility is it to know what's going on? Do you -- are you really going to communicate to the guy or gal in the furthest back to make sure they're all on the same page? You don't have time.
WILLINK: You, well, you better make time. You better make time to pass out -- look, we live in technology age. If you can't make a video that sends out to all hands of the people in your company, I don't care if -- we work with companies at Echelon Front that have 20,000, 30,000, 100,000 employees. There's technology today to be able to communicate to everyone the important things, the important strategies, the important changes that you're making within your company. You put that word out. Yes, it's absolutely mandatory for the leader to spread that word all the way through the chain of command.
CAVUTO: Now, you also talk about people who work for -- they're afraid to take him on. You say you would welcome, and I guess, in your experiences, you did welcome people who challenged you and all of that. But a lot of bosses are not that way. I think they like yes-men. The rap against this president, for example -- I'm not meaning to disparage him. I'm just saying that he doesn't like those who challenge him. You never mention the president. You never mention individuals, per se, like this. But you did say: "This concept sometimes worries a leader, because essentially what I'm saying here, subordinates should always be pushing back against their leaders, always asking their leaders why things are being done a certain way. Some leaders would rather just have their subordinates do exactly what they are told to do. And when someone challenges them, there is hell to pay."
WILLINK: Yes. Well, what happens is, their ego is offended. And so, yes...
CAVUTO: Do you think the president does that?
WILLINK: I think so, yes.
CAVUTO: But you blame the Democrats also for responding in kind.
WILLINK: Well, I think one of the...
CAVUTO: You didn't say that. I'm just...
WILLINK: Well, I think one of the mistakes that the Democrats have made is to just attack the president. Look, I -- if you're a Democrat, and you maybe have different views on policies that the president has, OK, well, let's at least try and form a relationship with the president, talk to him about things that are going on and try and find some compromise, instead of attacking his ego. And guess what? Yes, sure, obviously, President Trump has got an ego. And what happens to people when you attack their ego? They attack back. They dig in. They defend even harder. They go on the attack. And so that's what we end up with here, where we have got two sides that aren't talking to each other.
CAVUTO: But does it just stir the pot needlessly? I mean, are we too far past? In your military days in the Navy SEALs and obviously in your corporate success and avenues, you're going to rub people the wrong way. But you tend to treat them with respect, and they respond in kind. Are those days gone in Washington and a lot of corporate America, where, whenever troubles come up -- we mentioned Boeing -- they're attacking each other like serpents.
WILLINK: Yes. I certainly hope that, as we move forward as a country, we start to look at each other and say, hey, wait, this is not the way to exist. What we need to do is open up lines of communication back and forth, come to compromises, figure out how we can move the country forward, instead of just figuring out how we can move...
CAVUTO: But we don't. We don't. You mentioned that right at the conclusion. You say: "It's all on you. It's not about you. But I haven't met a leader on the left or right who hasn't been of the opinion, ultimately, it's about him or her."
WILLINK: And I think, eventually, the American people are going to get fed up with these really extreme views and not being able to communicate, not being able to talk, and we're going to look for leadership that actually thinks and listens and treats both sides with respect. I think we will get there in the future.
CAVUTO: All right. But when you're in battle, and you talk about wanting to hear from everyone, and you want to talk about everyone being engaged, and everyone can challenge you if you're the leader, and -- but eventually they have to go with you. Right?
WILLINK: Well, in an in extremis situation, if we're in a gunfight, and we're taking fire from across the street, and I look at you and say, Neil, you need to move to that other building now, you don't look back at me and say, well, boss, I'd like you to actually explain me why we're doing this.
CAVUTO: You see, I'm not a runner. Is that a problem?
WILLINK: But the thing is, we have built up trust.
WILLINK: And over time, there's been countless times where we have gone through training, and you have questioned me, and I have given you the answer.
CAVUTO: But you talked about admitting mistakes. John Kennedy famously admitted after the Bay of Pigs, it was on him. And I never thought there was anything wrong with that, Jocko. Just, we're all human. I think Americans respond to that. What, he shot up 10 points in the polls when he admitted that. And we have seen it again and again. But I don't know whether it's our legalese today, or we're always afraid of being sued. We cover our you know what.
WILLINK: Yes, well, what we do is, we cover our ego more than our you know what. No one wants to say, look, I was in charge of this. I made the decision. It was -- it didn't go the way I wanted it to. Here's why I made the decision. And here's why I won't make it again. And like you just said, the points for Kennedy went up after he took the blame for the Bay of Pigs. But we -- every time, a leader today goes, no, it wasn't my fault, it was their fault, it was the generals' fault, it was the troops' fault.
CAVUTO: So, Iran is a good example, right? Now, they owned up to the fact -- of course, there was film and tape that they couldn't deny -- that they shot down this jet accidentally. But they're already dialing it back to say it's kind of on the United States. If not for the state of war, that it's on them. So they took a golden opportunity to just admit a mistake and move on and maybe advance this whole tragedy.
WILLINK: They could have, and they didn't, just like you said. We shot down the Iranian airliner the -- from the USS Vincennes in 1988.
CAVUTO: 1988. I remember that very well.
WILLINK: And we did apologize for what happened. And there was a lot of escalations there.
WILLINK: There had been a lot of things that had unfolded. And President Reagan sent a letter that said, hey, this was our mistake and...
CAVUTO: But admitting a mistake is often seen as weakness.
WILLINK: And it shouldn't be. That is -- again, it's an ego trap. You think that if I blame everyone else, no one's going to notice, when actually the whole world notices, and the world's level of respect goes down for you. So, when you make a mistake, you own it, and people say, OK, it wasn't a great move, but at least he's owning it. And it's probably not going to happen. If I make a mistake and then I say, it wasn't my fault, you look at me and say, well, he's going to do that again, whereas, if I say, hey, made the mistake, this is my fault, here's why I won't let it happen again, then you actually say, OK.
CAVUTO: It's the again part, because my father always used to say to me, Neil, I don't mind you making a mistake. You just seem to keep making the same mistake.
CAVUTO: "Leadership, Strategy and Tactics." Jocko Willink is the guy. He makes you think. He puts it back. I added the context of these news developments, but I highly, highly recommend it. He doesn't trash anybody in that book. I try to.
CAVUTO: All right, we will have more after this.
CAVUTO: All right, you have heard Senate impeachment trial set likely to begin next Tuesday. Will it be Republicans delaying it until after the New Hampshire primary? Could this go on for a while? I'm happy to introduce to you now a fellow you know, but with a very nice title, the FOX News congressional correspondent, Chad Pergram. Congratulations, Chad. Well-deserved.
CHAD PERGRAM, FOX NEWS CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Thank you, Neil. Thank you, Neil. Thank you very much.
CAVUTO: So, play this timeline out, my friend. What are we looking at here?
PERGRAM: Well, we have some breaking news here, Neil, in just the past couple of minutes. So this is what I have been told to expect. Now, we had some indication earlier in the day that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would send the articles of impeachment to the Senate tomorrow. Now, what I have been told is that that short debate and vote probably happens in the early part of the afternoon. There is a Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony in the -- in Statuary Hall here at the Capitol late tomorrow afternoon. And so they will probably do that early in the day. And the tentative plan -- and this is all subject to change -- is that they would then have the procession where they walk the articles of impeachment over to the Senate late in the day on Wednesday. And then, on Thursday, according to the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, he indicates that that's when they would actually start with the first day of the trial, bring the chief justice of the United States, John Roberts, across the street, and actually receive the impeachment managers. We will find out who they are tomorrow, and also formally start the trial. Now, the meat and potatoes of the trial, the heart of the trial probably does not start until next Tuesday. And just today, Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, indicated that vote to set the parameters for the trial, kind of adhering to the Clinton model, having 24 hours of the prosecution, 24 hours of the defense, and then 16 hours for senators to pose questions through the chief justice, they would probably vote on that Tuesday. But there's some people who don't know -- there's a lot of people here who don't know how long this trial might last. And we think it might go well through the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary -- Neil.
CAVUTO: Wow. All right, Chad, you're going to be busy, but I'm very happy to see you in your new role being that busy. Well-deserved, my friend.
PERGRAM: Thank you, Neil. Thank you.
CAVUTO: The hardest working man in all of Washington. Thank you very, very much.
PERGRAM: Thank you.
CAVUTO: In the meantime, before the House takes to the floor tomorrow, President Trump will be taking to the stage in Wisconsin tonight. A live update -- after this.
CAVUTO: All right hours away now from the president taking the stage in Wisconsin tonight. FOX News' Kristin Fisher on what we can expect there. Crucial state, certainly.
KRISTIN FISHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Crucial state, Neil. And President Trump is set to begin speaking just one hour before tonight's Democratic debate, the last debate before the first votes in that primary. So expect that to be a very big focus tonight, Bernie Sanders in particular, because the Trump campaign now believes that Bernie Sanders is the indisputable front-runner among the Democrats. So, really watch for that. And here in Wisconsin, according to the latest FOX News polling, Sanders is ahead by four points in a head-to-head matchup with the president. That's down a point from October. Joe Biden, he's up by five points. But the president has really closed the gap pretty significantly over the last three months. So the Trump campaign really has its work cut out for them in this state, a state that Hillary Clinton famously forgot about in 2016, so much so that Democrats are determined not to make the same mistake in 2020. This city, Milwaukee, is where they're going to be holding their convention this summer in July, but President Trump really has a strong economy on his side. And take a look at this video from overnight. This is a group of supporters who waited outside to get in here to this rally overnight in freezing temperatures in a little bit of snow. Hundreds, thousands of people now inside, but it just goes to show you, Neil, if they're willing to wait outside in the Milwaukee winter, you know that they will go to the polls on Election Day -- Neil.
CAVUTO: All right, Kristin Fisher, thank you very, very much. Just a quick peek at how we ended up in stocks today. The Dow was up about 33 points. We were at 29000 for the third time in the last four trading days. So, it's obviously trying to get there. Much-better-than-expected earnings on the banking front. We're early on into that. Things look good. We will see you tomorrow. Here's "The Five."
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