Senators press Rod Rosenstein on approving Carter Page surveillance

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," June 3, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Hey, Dana, thank you. Good evening. I'm Bret Baier. Breaking tonight, a knew and more severe criminal charge against the Minneapolis police officer who knelt on George Floyd's neck leading to his death and sparking more than a week of protest that many times have devolved into violent looting or rioting across the country.

Prosecutors are now charging former officer Derek Chauvin with second- degree murder. They're also leveling charges against the three other officers involved in arresting and restraining George Floyd.

This comes on the same day, President Trump's defense secretary breaks ranks. Says, he doesn't support the use of the Insurrection Act now to use active duty U.S. military to protect U.S. cities.

Secretary Mark Esper told reporters this afternoon, the military should only be used as a last resort.

But late this afternoon, after a meeting of the White House, Esper reversed an earlier decision to send about 200 active-duty soldiers home from the Washington, D.C. region.

I'll speak with acting secretary of Homeland Security in just a few minutes about all of this.

We have "FOX TEAM COVERAGE" coverage. Kristin Fisher is at the White House with reaction to what the defense secretary is saying and doing, and reaction from the president.

Jonathan Hunt in Los Angeles with violent aggression against police officers around the country. But we begin with senior correspondent Mike Tobin in Minneapolis and those new criminal charges for those officers. Good evening, Mike.

MIKE TOBIN, FOX NEWS CHANNEL SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Bret. The developments of today are some of what the demonstrators have been demanding, an upgrade of charges against Derek Chauvin and new charges in the arrests of the other officers here at the scene of George Floyd's death.

Now, the upgrade of the charges against Derek Chauvin is now the upgrade to third-degree -- from third-degree to second-degree felony murder. It stops short of first-degree which the family wants, but in Minnesota requires premeditation and deliberation.

The other officers at the scene, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding abetting second-degree manslaughter. Maximum penalties are 50 years in prison and a fine of $20,000 bond is set at $1 million.


KEITH ELLISON, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF MINNESOTA: Every single link in the prosecutorial chain must be strong. It needs to be strong because trying this case will not be an easy thing. Winning a conviction will be hard.


TOBIN: Jail records show only that J. Alexander Kueng is now in custody. The others are expected. Kueng has a court appearance at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow. The federal civil rights case continues to be investigated in parallel, and now we wait to see if the new charges combined with a heavy police presence are enough to restore calm.

Minnesota has seen four nights of curfew with three nights of enforcement. The curfew has now been extended for another two nights. Bret.

BAIER: Mike Tobin in Minneapolis. Mike, thank you. President Trump's press secretary is not saying whether her boss continues to have confidence in Defense Secretary Mark Esper tonight.

This comes after Esper, said he would not support using troops to quell protests and rioting over the George Floyd death. Using those as a last resort active duty military said today.

But then late this afternoon, Esper reversed a decision to send some of those active-duty troops home. Correspondent Kristin Fisher is at the White House tonight with the very latest. Good evening, Kristin.

KRISTIN FISHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Bret. Tonight, there are serious questions about the defense secretary standing in the Trump administration after he stood up to President Trump, and said that the U.S. military should not be used to quell these protests.

But about an hour ago, the Pentagon chief reversed his decision from earlier in the day and will no longer be sending home the active-duty troops that have been staging in the D.C. area.


FISHER: After days of President Trump threatening to invoke the Insurrection Act which would allow him to deploy active-duty troops on U.S. soil. Today, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, said he would not support it.

MARK ESPER, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: The option to use active duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire of situations. We are not in one of those situations now.

FISHER: The statement was one of many made today by Secretary Esper that was at odds with the president's response to protests across the country. And when asked if the president still had confidence in Secretary Esper, the White House press secretary would only say --

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: As of right now, Secretary Esper is still Secretary Esper, and should the president lose faith, we will all learn about that some in the future.

FISHER: Today, Secretary Esper, also tried to distance himself from what happened in Lafayette Square on Monday night, by saying he did not know what was happening to those protesters or what President Trump would be doing when they got to St. John's Church.

ESPER: I was not aware of a photo op was happening. Of course, the president drags a large press pool along with him. And look, I do everything I can to try stay apolitical and to try and stay out of situations that may appear political.

FISHER: President Trump, also says that he did not know about the plan to push back protesters, even though, it could be heard happening during his Rose Garden remarks. And the White House is now placing the responsibility for that decision squarely on the attorney general shoulders.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (via telephone): When I said go to the church, I didn't know protesters or not -- nobody tells me that. They say, yes, sir, we'll go to the church. Now, when I went, I didn't say, Oh, move them out. I didn't know who was there. I figured I was going to walk over the church, very nearby.

FISHER: President Trump is now confirming that he also walked down into the White House's underground bunker on Friday, but not at night during the height of the protests.

TRUP: I went down during the day, and I was there for a tiny, little, short period of time, and it was much more for an inspection. There was no problem during the day. And I read about it like a big thing.

FISHER: Last night was the calmest across the country in days. For that reason, the White House says it will continue to allow governors to try to restore order. But if they don't, the Insurrection Act is still in play.

MCENANY: The president has the sole authority. I mean, if needed, he will use it.


FIISHER: And now that Lafayette Square is entirely blocked off to protesters, they can't get anywhere close to the White House. Tonight, many of them are now on the move across the city, including right outside the Trump Hotel. Bret.

BAIER: Kristin Fisher, live in the North Lawn. Kristin, thank you.

More peaceful protests planned tonight in Southern California, but many of these peaceful protests around the country have after dark, eventually, become violent, including attacks on law enforcement.

Chief correspondent Jonathan Hunt takes a look tonight from Los Angeles.


JONATHAN HUNT, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CHIEF CORRESPONDENT: From coast to coast, Washington to Los Angeles, peaceful protesters making their voices heard. The violent clashes of the weekend and Monday largely giving way over the last 48 hours to loud, passionate, but calm marches as police National Guard and the thousands of protesters in so many cities seemed to find a way to coexist, albeit, in tense fashion at times.

The vast majority of arrests in New York City and elsewhere Tuesday night, the result of curfew violations rather than violent looting. In Portland, protesters made a stunning visual point. Thousands laying hands behind their back on a downtown bridge.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is happening to drop in the way --

HUNT: But the peaceful nature of that protest turning to sporadic violence as many, then ignored the city's curfew. And the tragic results of previous violence are keenly felt among police departments across the country.

In Las Vegas, a man is charged with the attempted murder of a young patrol officer. While in St. Louis, 77-year-old, retired police captain, David Dorn was killed by looters as he tried to defend a store.

President Trump tweeting a tribute, Dorn's daughter-in-law speaking for the family.

VANESSA POWELL, DAUGHTER-IN-LAW OF DAVID DORN: I just hope that the person that did this that they come forth or whatever because this is just so senseless. And I'm just -- I'm tired of it. I'm just -- I'm tired.


HUNT: Back here in Los Angeles, the police and sheriff's departments have adopted a policy of giving protesters time and space to express their anger. And then, asking that they head home peacefully.

That policy appears to be working again today on large rallies, several thousand strong that we spent hours in, already well before curfew. Violence -- again, the National Guard is here and stands ready.

BAIER: Jonathan Hunt in Los Angeles. Jonathan, thank you.

Let's get some insight into how the George Floyd protests and also the Rudy -- the looting and the riots are affecting local law enforcement and the situation across the country.

Joining us tonight, Chad Wolf, he is the acting homeland security secretary. Mr. Secretary, thank you very much for being here. Your assessment, first of all, on, you know, the several nights we've watched this unfold.

CHAD WOLF, ACTING SECRETARY, HOMELAND SECURITY: Well, absolutely. And thanks for having me on, Bret. I think what we've seen over the last three, four, or five days is unfortunate.

And obviously, the American people are very outraged over the death of George Floyd. It's legitimate, it's right to be concerned, and push for reform in that system. But I think we do need to do that and make sure that we don't do that in a violent way.

And what we've seen at the department is we see a lot of these nonviolent protests, we see violent protesters taking part of that, infiltrating those nonviolent protests, and that's really where we have cause and concern.

And specifically, as it relates in targeting federal law enforcement officers, local, and state law enforcement officers, and that's something that we can't have. And then, that's really what we've been concerned about at the Department of Homeland Security, making sure that we support our state and local federal officials, law enforcement officers pushing information to them, intelligence to them, and personnel, and resources to them.

So, I think there's a way that we can do this. As you indicated, some of that violence has subsided over the last several days, we hope that continues. At the same time, if those legitimate protesters want to do so in a non-violent way, exercise their First Amendment, they should be able to do that. The department supports that.

But when we talk about violence, that's where we have to draw the line and we have to be very forceful and very clear that that's not appropriate.

BAIER: You mentioned some of the organized nature to some of this.

WOLF: Right.

BAIER: I want you to take a listen to the New York Police Department Commissioner about some of the staging for that staged by someone. Take a listen.


DERMOT SHEA, POLICE COMMISSIONER, NEW YORK CITY via telephone): Pre-staged bricks are being placed and then transported to "peaceful protests", which are peaceful protests, but then used by that criminal group within to sow fear. We've had construction site burglarized in recent days in Manhattan, and it's interesting. You know, a construction site burglary is not that uncommon, but during a riot. It's interesting what was taken, bricks.


BAIER: So, who is behind this, specifically?

WOLF: Yes, and I will say that's also very similar to what the department has seen and what the Intel that we are seeing as well. During the day, what you see is coordination using phone calls, you see meetings, and then, you see caches of weapons -- homemade weapons mainly, being stashed around different metropolitan area. So, at night, when these protests become more violent, those weapons are at hand.

I think overall, what we have seen as far as taking place sort of boots on the ground in these metropolitan areas, are the groups like Antifa or anarchist in general. And those are the -- those are the types of people that we see. That's the Intel that we're getting back, primarily moving these violent protests and these organizations in a certain way usually occurs after nightfall.

So, during the day we usually see the nonviolent protests occurring. And then when it gets to the night, we see the more violent protests starting to happen. Criminals starting to take place, organized -- loosely organized during the day to achieve a specific goal.

BAIER: So, is there an effort to go after the leaders of this? Effort? I mean, is it -- can you see it across states? Is it organized in different cities across the country? And is there an effort to target who's responsible and who's financing it as well?

WOLF: Yes, absolutely. I think what we're seeing right now, it's loosely organized within a metropolitan city. As it being -- is it being organized across the country in an organized way? I don't think that we see that yet, but again, we're continuing to analyze the intelligence, and really getting the feedback from the state and local law enforcement officials in these individual cities. So, we'll continue to look at.

We are partnering -- we have a number of investigators at the department that are working with DOJ and working with FBI. We know that they've opened up a number of cases specifically targeting some of the leaders of Antifa and other organizations that are involved. So, I know they're already going down that path.

The department is a strong partner with DOJ. And again, we have assets, we have investigators that are helping the department of justice in that.

BAIER: Where is the COVID situation right now? We're seeing all of these protests, we're seeing a lot of people gathering together. I know your department also dealt with the situation with COVID-19.

If you look at the U.S. coronavirus daily new cases, the kind of the rolling average and the new cases graphic, you can see that it's kind of rolling down in a little bit of a spike but what about that in context to all of this?

WOLF: Sure, I think overall, I think we're still on a downward trend. We see a number of states and localities continuing to open up. The economy is continuing to open up. So, whether you're in phase one or phase two or somewhere in between, I think we're seeing progress there.

I think it's very important that we open up that economy and we do so in a safe and responsible way. And we've put out guidelines. White House Coronavirus Task Force has put out guidelines on how to reopen the economy and provided those resources to state governors and other officials there. So, we continue to look at that.

I think, as we look at the civil unrest over the last several days and we see these large groups, I think we see a lot of mass. But obviously, we're not doing the social distancing that we've been talking about over the last several months. So, that's a little concerning to a variety of us. And we'll have to see if there's any impact -- long-term impact to that.

But I think, overall, we're on the right trajectory -- downward trajectory. But we still have got to do a number of things across the country, continuing to mitigate, continuing to do some of that social distancing, but we got to do so in a responsible manner.

But one, that we got to get the economy back up and running. We need to open up back America. I think the president is been very clear about that, and will continue to do that, and we're on the right path.

BAIER: There's a piece by James Mattis, the first defense secretary for President Trump, in which he's writing some pretty stark language. Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people, does not even pretend to try, instead he tries to divide us. And we're witnessing the consequence of three years of this deliberate effort. That's from General Jim Mattis. Your thoughts on that tonight.

WOLF: Well, I think if you look at the remarks that the president made, whether he made it down in Florida shortly after the launch, made in the Rose Garden, made in a couple of different places, I think his language had been very specific regarding the tragic events in Minneapolis. What he thinks about that.

But it has also been very clear about law and order, the rule of law, and needing to establish that. So, I know the media likes to focus on some harsh words and some direct words that can be delivered at times, and I think that's needed at times.

But I encourage the American people and really everyone to look at his comments as a whole, and I think you will see that they have been balanced, and he has taken the right tone regarding the events in Minneapolis. But making sure he's going to stand up for law and order. He's going to stand up for the law enforcement officials that are being targeted over the last several days. And I think that's the right approach and the president is been very clear on that.

BAIER: Mr. Secretary, we appreciate your time tonight.

WOLF: All right, thank you.

BAIER: In tonight's "DEMOCRACY 2020" report. New Fox polls indicate Joe Biden leads President Trump in three major battleground states. Wisconsin registered voters prefer the Democrat by nine percentage points. The margin is four in Arizona. Two, in Ohio.

Also tonight, Republicans are now seeking a new home for this summer's nominating convention for real, not just talking about it. Here is correspondent Peter Doocy.


PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: In all three swing states where Biden leads Trump, Arizona, Ohio, and Wisconsin, voters in a Fox News poll have something in common. The exact same percentage of people in each place, 65 percent think it's important for President Trump to set an example and wear a mask in public.

And in all three states, Biden leads with voters who say they are extremely motivated to vote in the election. This comes as another swing state, North Carolina is losing a convention.

President Trump, tweets, "Governor Cooper is still in shelter-in-place mode and not allowing us to occupy the arena as originally anticipated and promised. Would have showcased beautiful North Carolina to the world and brought in hundreds of millions of dollars and jobs for the state. Because of N.C. governor, we are now forced to seek another state to host the 2020 Republican National Convention."

Some being considered, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Nevada. One of them gets the high profile events like the president accepting the nomination. Charlotte just keeps the convention's official business meetings, and Republicans there say that's devastating.

DAN FOREST, LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR OF NORTH CAROLINA: Especially for those folks that are employed in the hospitality industry who have been shut down and shut out of work.

DOOCY: A DNC spokeswoman, calls this a distraction. Saying about Trump, "He has abandoned the people of North Carolina while refusing to acknowledge the severity of this pandemic."

Joe Biden is trying to lead the way on reforming police tactics like where to shoot the suspect.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The idea that instead of standing there and teaching the cop when there's an unarmed person that coming at them with a knife or something to shoot them in the leg instead in the heart is a very different thing.

DOOCY: But, Republicans call that irresponsible.

SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): Next thing, you know, somebody will suggest, well, just shoot the weapon out of their hand. Not only happens in the movies.


DOOCY: One of the groups up for grabs in the new Fox polls out tonight, suburban white voters. In Arizona, they like Trump. In Wisconsin, they like Biden. In Ohio, they're split, but a lot can change between now and the election five months from today. Bret.

BAIER: Peter Doocy, thank you.

Longtime Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King will soon be out of a job. King lost his primary contest last night. State Senator Randy Feenstra won the five-way race after arguing the nine-term Representative had cost the district of voicing Congress by losing his committee assignments.

King was disciplined by Republicans after comments in a 2018 New York Times story that seemed to defend white nationalism. The chairwoman of the GOP congratulated the winner and said King's white supremacist rhetoric is inconsistent with the party.

A survey from payroll processor ADP, found private employers cut nearly 2.8 million jobs last month, less than was expected. Well, that could be a good sign that possibly job losses may have peaked. We'll have more on the employment picture ahead of Friday's unemployment rate release later in the program.

But investors loved the news. The Dow jumping 527 today. The S&P 500 rose 42. Both the Dow and the S&P finished at the highest closing value since March 4th. The NASDAQ finished ahead 75 and is less than two percent off its record closed in February.

The government official who authorized surveillance against a former Trump campaign aide, says he would not do things the same way again. That story is next.


BAIER: Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, says he would not have signed off on a request for surveillance on a former Trump campaign aide if he knew then what he knows now.

Correspondent David Spunt has more of Rosenstein's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.


DAVID SPUNT, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: One year after leaving office, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was back in the hot seat.

SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R-MO): Who are we to hold responsible? You're saying it's not you.

ROD ROSENSTEIN, FORMER UNITED STATES DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: No, no, I'm saying, Senator, that I am accountable for it. But the question is why did it happen?

SPUNT: Senate Judiciary chairman Lindsey Graham, called the hearing into the origins of the Russia investigation almost 14 months, after former special counsel Robert Mueller released his report to the public.

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): Do you consider it to be an utterly baseless, corrupt, criminal investigation, as you reflect on it today?

ROSENSTEIN: I do not consider the investigation to be corrupt, Senator. But I certainly understand, you know, I understand the president's frustration given the outcome.

SPUNT: Rosenstein was repeatedly pressed about signing an extension of a FISA warrant on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page. Intelligence officials were concerned Page may have been a Russian asset in 2016, though no hard evidence has come to light to prove that allegation.

Last December, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, found at least, 17 significant errors or omissions in the Page applications.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): If you knew then what you know now, would you have signed the warrant application?

ROSENSTEIN: No, I would not.

GRAHAM: And the reason you wouldn't have is because Mr. Horowitz found that exculpatory information was withheld from the court, is that correct?

ROSENSTEIN: Among other reason.

SPUNT: Rosenstein denied proposing the idea to wear a wire in the White House or relying on the 25th amendment to remove President Trump from office. He was pressed on the Justice Department's handling of the case against former National Security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty twice to lying to the FBI.

Flynn withdrew his plea earlier this year. And last month, Attorney General Bill Barr announced his intention to drop the case.

SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D-RI): I hope that we can receive appropriate assurances here that whatever investigation we undertake will not be controlled by the Trump White House.


SPUNT: Tomorrow morning, two Senate committees will vote to authorize multiple subpoenas on the matter, more hearings are expected this summer. This, as U.S Attorney John Durham continues his internal criminal probe. Bret.

BAIER: David Spunt, outside DOJ. David, thanks.

Ousted State Department Inspector General Steve Linick, says he faithfully carried out his duties to conduct independent and impartial oversight. Linick was interviewed behind closed doors today by members and staff of two House committees and one from the Senate.

Linick was fired last month as he was investigating conduct by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Up next, hopeful signs about job losses and the U.S. economy in the coronavirus pandemic.

First, here is what some of our Fox affiliates around the country are covering tonight. FOX 28 in Columbus, Ohio as the state Supreme Court hears arguments in a case filed by news media groups, seeking school records about the man who gunned down nine people in Dayton last August.

They say the records could provide information on whether authorities properly handled warning signs from gunman Connor Betts.

FOX 29 in Philadelphia where the statue of controversial former mayor and police commissioner Frank Rizzo has been removed from the plaza, in front of the municipal services building.

Current mayor, Jim Kenney, tweeted the statue represented bigotry, hatred, and oppression for too many people for too long.

And this is a live look at Orlando from FOX 35, our affiliate there. One of the big stories there tonight. SpaceX prepares for its first launch since sending two American astronauts to the International Space Station over the weekend.

The unmanned Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to take off from Kennedy Space Center tonight. It is carrying Starlink satellites into space.

A lot of action down there. That's tonight's live look "OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY" from SPECIAL REPORT. We'll be right back.


BAIER: The Trump administration is blocking Chinese airlines from flying to the U.S. in an escalation of trade and travel tensions between the two countries. The Transportation Department says it will -- it is continuing to suspend passenger flights of four Chinese airlines in response to the situation.

Meantime, the economy, turning now to the economy, the situation with jobs. It's actually not as bad as predicted. Grady Trimble is in Chicago with the latest on the U.S. economy. Grady?

GRADY TRIMBLE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Bret, employers continued to cut jobs in May, but millions fewer than expected. The latest ADP numbers show private employers cut 2.7 million jobs in May. That's a lot, but not nearly as bad as Wall Street feared. The street was expecting employers to cut 9 million jobs. White House Economic Adviser Kevin Hassett says the numbers are so good he wonders whether they'll hold up as accurate. We could get a better gage wen the labor department releases its unemployment numbers Friday. Today's figures potentially signal the economy is bouncing back as states reopen.


KEVIN HASSETT, WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC ADVISER: What it means is people are getting back to work at a much faster rate than we expected.


TRIMBLE: Meanwhile, cities like Chicago continuing reopening amid the pandemic and in the wake of violence, destruction, and large protests. Some states like South Carolina and Alabama have already seen an increase in coronavirus cases in recent weeks after easing social distancing restrictions. Now, Dr. Deborah Birx and other health officials worry the crowds could lead to another spike.

Even as restaurants welcome diners again in the windy city for outside ding only, business owners say they are not out of the woods.


BRAD ALAQUI, ROANOKE RESTAURANT MANAGING PARTNER: We've been trying to be resilient and be -- try to stay strong and be positive for the future. But for the time being it's just day in and day out, trying to grind it out.


TRIMBLE: In Chicago, retail stores can reopen today at 50 percent capacity. But here on the famed Magnificent Mile, almost every store is boarded up and at zero percent capacity. Bret?

BAIER: Grady Trimble in Chicago, Grady, thanks.

Up next, what police reform might look like in the wake of the George Floyd death and the response. We'll bring you that.

First, Beyond our Borders tonight. British police say a German man has been identified as a suspect in the case of a three-year-old British girl who disappeared 13 years ago while on holiday in Portugal. They say the unidentified 43-year-old was in the area at the time Madeleine McCann disappeared. German police are treating the case as a murder investigation, but Britain's metropolitan police have always considered it a missing persons inquiry.

More than 400 migrants are living aboard pleasure cruise vessels in the sea off Malta after being rescued from human traffickers. They are waiting for European Union countries to offer to take them in. So far, only France has stepped forward, pledging to accept some of the asylum-seekers.

One of the largest banks in the world is supporting China's imposition of a national security law in Hong Kong. HSBC is a British multinational investment bank and financial holding services company. It's position breaks past policy of political neutrality.

Just some of the other stores Beyond our Borders tonight. We'll be right back.


BAIER: Welcome back. Thousands of people demonstrated in London today against police violence and racial injustice following the George Floyd killing. Protestors blocked traffic. There were no signs of violence, although some sprayed graffiti on walls. Some protesters converged on parliament and the nearby office of Prime Minister Boris Johnson at 10 Downing Street.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is being very careful about what he says concerning the protests and rioting in the U.S. He says Canadians are watching what is unfolding with horror and consternation. But when asked about President Trump, his threat to deploy the military and the alleged use of teargas against protesters, they said it wasn't teargas but it was pepper spray, Trudeau paused for 21 seconds before saying, quote, "It is time to pull people together."

The subject of police reform is front and center tonight amid the reaction to the George Floyd death. This evening, correspondent Doug McKelway looks at the possibilities.


DOUG MCKELWAY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: A picture tells 1,000 words, they say. Less impactful are the pictures that follow -- of the Las Vegas cop shot in the head, four others shot in St. Louis, and countless tense stand- offs.

In this atmosphere of heightened danger and tense scrutiny and outright hatred, the normal stress of police work has skyrocketed. Big changes may await as citizens and politicians demand them.

SCHUMER: That systemic racism is a knee pressing on the necks of tens of millions of African-Americans.

MCKELWAY: Asked today about Joe Biden's vow to set up a police oversight board if elected, the White House was noncommittal.

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: There's been discussion of various proposals that we can look at, but no announcements on that front just yet.

MCKELWAY: Blame is also being cast on the police unions, often accused of protecting bad cops. Lawyer and former D.C. homicide detective Ted Williams says bad cops exist, but are fewer in an era of cellphones and greater accountability.

TED WILLIAMS, FORMER D.C. POLICE DETECTIVE: I can tell you, it is only so long can those people survive in a police department.

MCKELWAY: In 2019, according to a "Washington Post" study, police were involved in fatal shootings 1,004 times, 41 victims were unarmed, 20 of those unarmed were white, 10 were black, but blacks are only a 13 percent of the population, so represent a higher percentage of victims. If history is a guide, cities that face tougher scrutiny see fewer patrols, fewer frisks, and less contact in crime-ridden neighborhoods.

STUART TAYLOR, FEDERALIST SOCIETY: And one consequence of that, according to a study done by a great Harvard economist Roland Fryer, who happens to be black, by the way, is that more black people get killed.

MCKELWAY: That's what happened with the deaths of Freddie Gray in Baltimore and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

JASON RILEY, "WALL STREET JOURNAL" COLUMNIST: You see this in city after city after city. And so you lose a Laquan McDonald, a Michael Brown, a Freddie Gray, and then in the aftermath you lose 1,000 more people.


MCKELWAY: According to "The Baltimore Sun," that study saw 348 homicides last year, the highest total since 1993 when the population was a 125,000 more people. Bret?

BAIER: Doug, thank you.

Next up, the panel on the George Floyd protest, Rod Rosenstein's comments today about the Russia collusion investigation, and the defense secretary current and past.



MARK ESPER, DEFENSE SECRETARY: The option to use active duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire of situations. We are not in one of those situations now. I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act.

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If a city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.


BAIER: Well, the Defense Secretary Mark Esper breaking ranks today, saying what he said to reporters this afternoon. Then late in the afternoon returning, reversing a decision to send some 200 active duty military that are around the Washington D.C. area back to their home base.

What now? There are reports that the White House, the administration, the president, upset with Esper. What's going to happen? Let's bring in our panel, Mo Elleithee, executive director of the Georgetown Institute of Politics, Mara Liasson, national political correspondent for National Public Radio, and former White House press secretary, Ari Fleischer. Mara, it was interesting to watch this, the press conference, kind of a walk back of sorts, and then a change.

MARA LIASSON, NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO:  Yes, I was stunned, actually. I wouldn't have expected the defense secretary to break with the president like this. I don't really understand what the later moved to bring back those troops means. But he read from a statement. This was not off the cuff. He is breaking with the president on the Insurrection Act. He also has clearly had second thoughts about accompanying the president on that walkthrough Lafayette Park. He did refer to it as a photo-op. It's hard to imagine how he can stay on in the cabinet after this.

But we'll see. The White House was very careful today. Kayleigh McEnany did not say the president had faith in him, just we have to wait to see what happens.

BAIER: Ari, you have been through administrations where there's a turnover of different officials, but now you have a former defense secretary, the first defense secretary for President Trump, with this scathing commentary in "The Atlantic," Jim Mattis, saying "Donald Trump is the first president of my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people, does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us." He goes on in a pretty lengthy article. Ari, would do make of this deliberate effort, he says, of drawing the country apart?

ARI FLEISCHER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Scathing is right. That piece was very tough on the president, and it got right to the greatest fault line in our society, how divisive the president can be, how divisive the times we live in are. I think people are equally divisive back to the president.

But clearly for General Mattis, he reached has breaking point. And he is uncomfortable with what he's seen. It's extraordinary that a former member of the president's cabinet would criticize the man who gave him that position in such blunt terms. It's a sign of the trouble that the president is in. You don't want to be a president when you have such great division where you are losing former allies, especially in an election year. So I do think this is a troublesome sign of people who once supported the president.

BAIER: The law and order pitch, the president says you have to dominate the streets, Mo. You've heard the former vice president denounce the rioting and the looting but obviously support protesters. The president said similar words about a peaceful protest. But it seems like it's kind of one versus the other now. How do you see this as we get ready for this election?

MO ELLEITHEE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GEORGETOWN INSTITUTE OF POLITICS: Yes, and I think one of the challenges the president has is he says the right things about peaceful protests, but then in front of the whole world with cameras rolling, authorizes militarized law enforcement to use excessive force against peaceful protesters on his way to the church. So it's a real problem.

Look, I get why the president is speaking about law and order, right. I may be a Democrat, but I don't like the rioting in the streets. That needs to stop. Those people need to be fully prosecuted, but not at the expense of our ability to peacefully protest.

And I think where the president may be miscalculating a bit is while the tough law and order comments, he may believe can help him politically, I think there's something that's a little bit more at defining right there for a lot of people, and that is chaos. That is the complete and total sense of chaos in our government, where the president is trying to deal with two incredibly difficult crises, with the pandemic and the racial trouble and the riots, two incredibly difficult situations, and can't get his hands around him, right. This seems to be getting away from our federal government, and on top of that the economy is starting to go into freefall.

And so the political calculus may be that law and order works, but I think there are a lot of folks out there who are just saying I'm done with the chaos. We need a steady hand of leadership.

BAIER: Well, the last part about, the economy going into free fall, there are positive signs that actually the job losses are less than predicted, and the market really loved that today. So there may be kind of turning the corner. We'll see how the rest of the week looks.

Here is the president talking to Brian Kilmeade this morning.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They burned down the church the day before. I heard how nice and wonderful the protestors were over there. Really? Then why did they burn down the church the day before?

They didn't use teargas. They didn't use -- they moved them out. When I went, I didn't say oh, move them out. I didn't know who was there. I figured I was going to walk over to the church very nearby. Most religious leaders loved it.


BAIER: Mara, they didn't use teargas. They used pepper spray pellets --

LIASSON: Right, they used pepper spray.

BAIER: And there's all this nuance about what was used. But they cleared them out.

LIASSON: Yes, they cleared the mob. There was smoke in the air, and people were coughing and tearing up.

Look, the president has been trying to send two messages. It's just that one is much louder than the other -- the law and order message versus the healing message. He actually has a YouTube ad up today with his remarks from the space lunch which were all about healing. But you don't hear that. What you hear is the tough law and order messages.

In terms of religious leaders loving it, there were a lot of religious leaders who criticized it, including the religious leaders whose church that is. So the president is trying to have it both ways. And maybe it will work. In the past, law and order messages have worked for Republicans and against Democrats when there are violent protests.

But Mo made a really important point. The president is not just the law and order president. He is the president of chaos and disruption. And that's something that people might just be exhausted by.

BAIER: Yes, Ari, it was just interesting to see all of the pushback about that walk across the street, obviously, from even the religious leaders from that church, but not a lot of talk about the burning church. We talked about that last night. Last word here?

FLEISCHER: Can you imagine of the Tea Party surrounded the White House when President Obama was in office, and the worst elements burnt down or burnt the basement of St. John's Church across the street from the White House, and President Obama said I want to go visit that church, and they moved people away so he could visit. He would be praised by the media for sending every right message. What a hero. And you know the press would be all over those Tea Party protesters at the White House. And they would say it's entirely appropriate that the White House -- the Secret Service, I'm sorry -- moved the protesters so that the president could go to the church with his Bible.

This is hypocrisy at the highest order. I thought, frankly, Bret, the president going to the church, he marched for people who want to go to church. There is another part of the symbolism of that. Quite important.

BAIER: OK, we'll see how it plays, big picture. Thank you all. I've got to run, Mo.


BAIER: I know, you think it was a bad stunt, and you've made your point clear. I get it. We have all sides here. But I've got a run, because a commercial break is coming.

When we come back, some good news, the brighter side.


BAIER: Finally tonight, the brighter side, coming together. Hundreds of people gathered outside the U.S. Capitol today to peacefully protest. After pleas from individuals to take a knee, a few officers did. They lowered to the ground, and the crowd erupted in applause.

In Nashville, police officer Garren Hoskins started talking with a peaceful protester there about their shared faith. Hoskins asked him if he'd like to pray. The protester put down his sign and the two embraced and prayed together. Good news.

That's it for us. Fair, balanced, unafraid. Here's Martha.

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