This is a rush transcript from "Your World," October 8, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, ANCHOR: All right, nice way to just segue to me. All right, thank you, Shepard, very, very much.
We are at sessions lows, friends, the Dow finishing off more than 316 points. Now, this was a late-breaking development on the part of the administration to put added restrictions on Chinese officials over abuses reported of Muslims in that country, particularly in Jinjiang.
The reason why this was taken as a surprise is because it is. The administration just added this to the host of issues it wants to discuss when Chinese officials are in town beginning on Thursday to discuss the trade front.
Now, you know back and forth that the Chinese have put restrictions of their own, including stopping all NBA pregames in China. That's a separate little soap opera going on there.
The U.S. is similarly targeting a number of Chinese investments that they want to limit in the United States, including looking to de-list some of those investments and limit how much government-run pension funds can have in them.
This back and forth continues, as well as the impeachment fight. We're going to have an update on that.
In the meantime, I want to go to Jim Jordan, the Republican from the beautiful state of Ohio who sits on the House Judiciary Committee.
A lot to discuss, Congressman, so I appreciate you...
REP. JIM JORDAN, R-OH: You bet.
CAVUTO: ... maybe weighing in first on this trade stuff.
The president has added a couple of doozies in here that might be warranted, but the market interprets that as no trade deal likely. Do you agree with that?
JORDAN: Well, we will have to wait and see, Neil.
All I know is, no president's been tougher on China than President Trump. And he's trying to deal with the real problems of China stealing our intellectual property, not abiding by international trade norms, and a host of other issues that China's guilty of.
So I haven't followed this that closely today, because I have been focused on this whole crazy impeachment process, unfair process that the Democrats are involved with.
But I do know this. The president always has the American people's best interests at heart. And that's what he's trying to get accomplished in a new trade agreement with -- long-term trade agreement with China.
CAVUTO: You know, there's this other news that Gordon Sondland, who was supposed to testify today on Capitol Hill...
CAVUTO: .. of course, our former ambassador to the E.U. -- present ambassador, I should say.
CAVUTO: And it was shelved at the last second.
Do you know -- or where does this stand now?
JORDAN: Well, he didn't come because the process is so darn unfair.
The administration saw what happened to special envoy Ambassador Volker when he testified for almost nine hours last Thursday. When he testified, Adam Schiff selectively leaked parts of his testimony, 67 pages of text messages, Neil, and they pick a handful, pull them out of context, and put those out there, but they won't release the full transcript.
So the White House basically said, we're not going to -- we're not going to subject the next person, the next witness, Ambassador Sondland, current Ambassador Sondland to the E.U., to the same treatment, because they understand the process Adam Schiff is running.
I mean, this is Adam Schiff, who met -- whose staff met with the whistle- blower prior to the whistle-blower even filing the complaint, and didn't tell anyone, same Adam Schiff whose staff met with Michael Cohen, the first big hearing the Democrats had this Congress, met with Michael Cohen -- his staff met with Michael Cohen for 10 hours before he testified.
Then we kicked off this Congress. So I think that's what the administration sees. And, frankly, I don't blame them.
CAVUTO: The president's tweeted on this, saying that: "I would love to send Ambassador Sondland, a really good man and a great American, to testify, but, unfortunately," again, to your point, sir, "he would be testifying before a totally compromised kangaroo court, where Republicans' rights have been taken away and true facts are not allowed out for the public to see."
CAVUTO: "Importantly, Ambassador Sondland's tweet, which few reports stated, 'I believe you are incorrect about President Trump's intentions. The president has been crystal clear, no quid pro quo of any kind.' That says it all."
JORDAN: Crystal clear.
CAVUTO: Now, of course, he's referring to back and forth at the time with Kurt Volker, right?
CAVUTO: And that seems to maybe be the source of a lot of the president's agita with this.
The process seems stacked one way, that the Democrats seem to think that it's going their way, that they have the votes, they're not holding a general vote to start a formal inquiry.
Where do you think that part stands?
JORDAN: Well, yes.
And if they would release the transcript from Ambassador Volker's testimony and interview last week, you would see that Ambassador Volker backs up exactly what you just said. There was no quid pro quo.
There was no linkage between security assistance dollars and any meeting at the White House with President Zelensky and President Trump or any meeting in the United States with President Zelensky or President Trump, and certainly no linkage between security assistance dollars and any type of investigation.
Ambassador Volker was clear on that. Ambassador Sondland said the same thing in the text messages. But that's not the one that Democrats wanted people to see out there.
So that's what's unfair about this process and why the administration said, we're not going to have Ambassador Sondland come today.
Think about what they're trying to do, Neil. The Democrats are trying to impeach the president of the United States 13 months before an election, based on an anonymous whistle-blower with no firsthand knowledge and who has a bias against the president. And it's being run by Adam Schiff and the speaker of the House, who said, we need to strike while the iron is hot.
So they don't want the facts and the truth, as evidenced by the fact that they're not releasing the transcript. That's the process. And the White House says, if that's the process, we're not subjecting any more of our State Department personnel to that faulty process and this unfair -- unfair process that Mr. Schiff is undergoing.
CAVUTO: So if they formally vote to have an impeachment inquiry, the next step being then coordinating all of these subpoenas and everything else, would that satisfy you or give grounds for them to pursue and subpoena not only documents, but individuals, including the ambassador, to testify on Capitol Hill?
JORDAN: Well, we don't know what the Democrats will do.
If they have a vote to do a formal impeachment inquiry, historically, precedent is such that, yes, then everyone gets the right -- minority gets the -- the minority party gets rights. Certainly, the White House gets rights. The president gets rights that aren't there now.
But we don't know. Maybe they would have a formal vote to move forward with a formal impeachment inquiry, and not...
CAVUTO: But is it your understanding -- is it your understanding that, once an inquiry is voted on, if they go that route -- and you're right. In the last two occasions with Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, they -- that's how it all started.
CAVUTO: With Johnson back in 1868, it was a different beast, different time.
JORDAN: Right. Right.
CAVUTO: But do you think that then would allow them to force the issue, to go ahead and subpoena anyone they want to testify?
JORDAN: It -- it may.
But, frankly, Neil, these guys are making it up as they go along. So, even if they do that formal inquiry vote, I don't know that they extend the same rights that have historically been extended to the minority party and to the White House.
And I don't know what it means for them exactly, because they have been, as I said, just kind of winging this as they go, but doing it in a way that furthers their narrative and, frankly, doesn't further the truth.
CAVUTO: So, let me then go into this issue about what the president said quite publicly last week about suggesting the Chinese look into this and look into the Biden stuff and all that.
How did you feel about that? A lot of people say, that was a big no-no, but he did it in the light of day.
JORDAN: Well, I said this earlier this week. I think the president was saying, frankly, what's on the mind of Americans.
I don't think he actually expects the Chinese to do a formal investigation. I think he was saying what so many Americans see in reference to China, that how did -- how did Joe Biden's son get this job? How did this all happen? What's going on there?
And I do think, in the broader sense, it is -- it is exactly what the president of the United States needs to be doing. When he's thinking about the hard-earned tax dollars of the American people going to a foreign country, he has an obligation, he has a duty, as the president of the United States, to make sure that money is going to a nation that is not corrupt, making sure they have cleaned up their act.
And that's what he was exactly trying to figure out with his call with President Zelensky.
CAVUTO: So, you don't think, on any level, just the appearance of that, or pressuring a foreign country to intervene potentially in a presidential candidate, someone who might oppose him in the next election, that, on any level, that that is dangerous?
Because it's already gotten talk that, when the Chinese come to discuss trade, maybe they feel they have to bring some of this information in the trade talks.
JORDAN: Neil, I think the president is focused on corruption. And I think he's focused on how the American tax dollars are going to be spent to further the interests of the United States, and in the case of Ukraine, to make -- and to help Ukraine deal with the Russian aggression that is happening on their border.
So I think that's what he's focused on. And I think that's what the American people expect from the commander in chief, expect from the president, when it's about their tax dollars and when it's about a corruption issue.
CAVUTO: Congressman, thank you very much for taking the time.
JORDAN: You bet.
CAVUTO: Sorry to throw the market stuff at you in the beginning, but I like following the markets, Congressman.
JORDAN: No problem.
CAVUTO: Never a problem.
JORDAN: I understand. I understand.
CAVUTO: All right, thank you very, very much.
In the meantime, in the president's mind, this is a kangaroo court, and, for now, he is not going to cooperate, again, for now. Does he have to? That depends.
Former U.S. attorney Andrew McCarthy on that.
Andrew, good to have you.
Does he have to cooperate, the way things are now, without an inquiry for an impeachment?
ANDREW MCCARTHY, CONTRIBUTOR: No, Neil.
This is a dispute between the two political branches. And even though it's being played out in kind of a legal setting, or at least with a lot of legal analysis around it, it really is ultimately a political struggle.
And, no, he doesn't have to cooperate, and they can continue to conduct their -- they want to call it an investigation -- conduct their impeachment inquiry in the way that they are conducting it.
And I think what will happen is, if the president convinces the public that what's going on is a kangaroo-type proceeding, he won't be hurt by the fact that he won't cooperate with it, and it may induce the Democrats to do what Congressman Jordan just referred to, and give the minority some rights, the president some rights, and make this a more legitimate proceeding.
CAVUTO: It wouldn't be a bipartisan one thus far.
We know of a couple of Republican senators who have their doubts and their concerns. Mitt Romney comes to mind, Susan Collins. But, by and large, in the House, not a single House member on the right has gone along with this.
And so whatever votes that gather to reach 218, Nancy Pelosi would have to do it with just Democrats. Is that your sense as well?
MCCARTHY: Yes, it is.
I think what's happening here is, the Democrats have decided that the president is unfit, and they are looking for something they can hang their hat on in the way of an article of impeachment. So that's kind of the reverse of the way the situation usually is, where you actually get a serious, egregious episode of executive misconduct, and from that you deduce that the president is unfit.
Here, they're -- they're trying to come up with something that they can use to basically be the predicate of a conclusion they have already drawn.
CAVUTO: Now, I was raising this with the congressman. And, Andy, maybe you can help me with this.
Legally, then, if they -- the House votes for -- to begin an impeachment inquiry, and they were to subpoena the ambassador, European ambassador, our ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, to appear, at that point, he has to appear, does he not?
MCCARTHY: Well, again, they can defy the subpoenas.
I think what's happening now, Neil, is that the Democrats are asking for a lot of things that they know the administration won't provide. Many of them are -- when you're dealing with foreign policy, that's an area where, under the Constitution, the president has a very high degree of authority.
MCCARTHY: So he probably has a lot of privilege to not comply, but they're trying to set up an article of impeachment that goes to the president's refusal to cooperate with the congressional investigation.
So they are asking for things that they expect him not to comply with. That's sort of the game.
CAVUTO: So let me get your sense then of the tax thing.
It's a separate issue, that the Southern District court in New York, Cyrus Vance Jr. is trying to get eight years of tax returns. He almost had them yesterday, when a judge ruled that he could go ahead and get them. There's been a stay as this is appealed.
It seems to me -- and you're closer to this, Andy, than I will ever be -- but that he's going to get them, Vance is going to get them. Then the fear becomes, at least on the part of the White House, that that gets -- that gets leaked out. A lot of people see them. A grand jury would see them.
CAVUTO: Play that out for me.
MCCARTHY: Well, I think what you have, Neil, is a situation where a state, where the government is very opposed to President Trump, has really politicized a criminal investigation.
But if they can cover it that it's a legitimate grand jury investigation, or at least it's a plausibly legitimate grand jury investigation, it's going to be hard for the federal courts to come in and say, no, you don't get that. So the state will probably continue to pursue it.
And the president will be in a position of either complying or being held in contempt of the state court.
CAVUTO: Man, oh, man.
All right, Andy McCarthy, former U.S. attorney, fine legal mind, much appreciated, my friend. Thank you.
MCCARTHY: Thanks, Neil.
CAVUTO: So many controversies, so little time.
Turkey comes to mind, not bowing to the president's warning about attacking Kurdish troops in Syria. This is exactly what some Republicans feared. But do the Turks actually fear this president even more?
CAVUTO: The Pentagon says it has moved U.S. troops out of the path of a potential Turkey incursion in Northern Syria. But it has not reduced troop size in Syria at this moment.
We're told about 1,000 troops are in Northern Syria and, some in the area of concern around the Kurds, about 50. Hard to say for sure.
Former Green Beret commander General Jerry Boykin with us right now.
General, are those numbers about right? I mean, if all 1,000 go -- and at this point they have not -- they're moving, though -- then what?
LT. GEN. JERRY BOYKIN, RET., U.S. ARMY: Yes, well, you're going to see a genocide. You're going to see a genocide of Kurds, but you're also going to see a genocide of Christians.
Neil, in that Northeast Syrian sector, there are -- the oldest sect of Christians in the world actually lives there. They call them Syriacs. They still speak Aramaic. And up until the time that ISIS had been really defeated by U.S. forces with their Kurdish allies, those Syriac Christians were brutalized, they were decimated by ISIS.
I think what you're going to see is not only a genocide, but you're going to see a resurgence of ISIS.
CAVUTO: The president begs to differ.
He tweeted earlier today on this decision, in part saying: "We may be in the process of leaving Syria, but in no way have we abandoned the Kurds, who are special people, wonderful fighters. While we only had 50 soldiers remaining in that section of Syria, and they have been removed, any unforced or unnecessary fighting by Turkey will be devastating to their economy and to their very fragile currency."
He seems to be intimating there, General, an economic response, not a military one, if they were to get provocative.
BOYKIN: No, I think that's exactly what he's saying.
But, look, there's been a lot of mixed messages that have come out in the last, what, 48 to 72 hours.
And I must tell you, Neil, I, for one, am confused by the messages that have come out. I think that it's been very clear that the president has acquiesced to a Syrian incursion into that area, under the notion that they're going to establish a safe zone, where they can push a million refugees back across the border into Syria.
But it's also a very good excuse for them to posture and be ready to strike the Kurds. This has been going on for decades, that they have been after the Kurds.
And, Neil, I was in Northern Iraq up in Kurdistan in May. And I went all the way up to the Turkish border, and the Kurds there showed me a school that had been bombed by the Kurds. This is a remote area with just small villages in it. And this school had been bombed by the Turks and killed 13 children.
And I said, why did they do this? And they said, simply because we're Kurds.
And as far as they are concerned, all Kurds are PKK. So if you think that the Kurds are not going to be attacked by the Turks if the Turks come in there, you better rethink that.
CAVUTO: So if the president is saying he's going to keep an eye on this and punish, economically, again, it seems, if they try that, if the Turks try that, you think they still will.
And you think that this is a green light for them to do that?
BOYKIN: Yes, I do, Neil.
I mean, I don't know how you can look at it any other way. Look, it's confusing because the president has been tough on Turkey in many ways. He canceled their by of the Joint Strike Fighters, the F-35.
CAVUTO: Right. I remember that.
BOYKIN: So that was a very tough position he took with them.
and I think he's also denied them air defense systems, U.S. air defense system -- Patriot systems. But at the same time, now we're literally moving off the border, moving out of Northeast Syria.
And I think just looking at the rhetoric that has gone on between he and Erdogan, it appears to me that Erdogan says, I'm coming across that border, I'm going after the Kurds. And Mr. Trump has said, well, the Kurds need to sort this out, they need to figure this out for themselves.
And then there was another message that came out that said, no, we're not abandoning the Kurds. So I'm not sure what their true message is here. But what I can tell you is, on the surface of it, it looks like we're walking away from a longstanding ally that has stood with us from 2003 all the way through our pullout in 2011.
And when we could find nobody else to fight ISIS in that part of the world, it was the Kurds that stepped up and said, here we are, we will fight. And they lost about 11,000 people as a result of that. Now, it's in their best interest to do it as well.
CAVUTO: All right, General, good words of warning. Always enjoy having you. Thank you, sir.
BOYKIN: Thank you.
CAVUTO: Meanwhile, you know how bad things are getting with China when even "South Park" -- yes, "South Park," the cartoon -- is involved.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADAM SILVER, NBA COMMISSIONER: The long-held values of the NBA are to support freedom of expression, and certainly freedom of expression by members of the NBA community.
And in this case, Daryl Morey, as the general manager of the Houston Rockets, enjoys that right as one of our employees.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAVUTO: Well, I'm relieved. I was worried there.
Anyway, the NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, defending the Houston Rockets' general manager's tweet supporting the Hong Kong protesters.
China responding by canceling the broadcasts for all the remaining NBA preseason games that are played in China.
So how do you think all this plays out?
FOX News Headlines' Jared Max, FOX Business' Susan Li, and FOX Nation's Abby Hornacek.
Abby, end with you, begin with you.
So what happened to that? Obviously, they were hoping that China would reconfigure or reassess. It's not happening.
ABBY HORNACEK, "PARK'D" HOST: Right.
I think this to me is really a battle of words and just how powerful words are. For Chinese state television to pull out and say, we're no longer airing preseason games -- and then a lot of people aren't even mentioning Tencent, which has a huge partnership with the NBA, $1.5 billion deal over the next five years.
CAVUTO: Is that in jeopardy?
HORNACEK: They're also saying they're not going to air these preseason games.
So it just puts into perspective just how important this relationship is with China with the NBA and how much power China also has. This is, again, a really tough line to walk, because you have freedom of speech. They also have what freedom of speech can mean in the grand scheme of things, because this is really damaging the relationship that the NBA has been building up over time with China.
So it's very complicated.
CAVUTO: Why don't they tell them, go to hell?
JARED MAX, CORRESPONDENT: Since 1987, the NBA has basically been on in China.
Neil, consider this -- 300 million people in China play basketball. Yao Ming is really the one big Chinese star we have had. Basketball, born in Springfield, Massachusetts, it's an American sport. Who needs who more, the NBA or China?
Now, I would argue China might need the NBA more than the NBA needs China, because it was doing just fine before, say, it went there in 1987. This is all part of growing globally.
MAX: But what happens when friends of ours or your favorite team, the games get taken off your local cable or satellite provider? We start going bonkers.
But imagine, in a repressed nation, where this is a great outlet, and people get to watch this and buy the products. You can't even find Houston Rockets gear now through Alibaba or other...
SUSAN LI, CORRESPONDENT: I would argue also that the reason why NBA -- the NBA had this calculus was because they understand that China is a big market, right?
Yes, they grew up on the 1987 Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan in that era, and it's been on TV in China for 30 years now. And so, yes, I would say the NBA has done...
CAVUTO: But I thought we were beyond sucking up to them. I mean, a lot of U.S. corporations have found ways around this and spreading out their manufacturing to Vietnam, Thailand, all this. And we're back to the same thing that they were faulted on.
MAX: I think Adam Silver, the commissioner, first -- his first comments really rubbed a lot of people here in the States the wrong way, people on both sides of the aisle politically and a lot of folks who said, are you just feckless?
Now are you wishy-washy, going back and forth?
CAVUTO: Well, it sounded more wishy-washy today.
HORNACEK: Today, he definitely went back.
And a lot of people are looking at this as America retreating to China, because they do have such a dominant power over us in the business world. And Adam Silver at first was saying, look, Daryl Morey, we stand by him, we have freedom of speech.
But to what extent does freedom of speech -- freedom of speech go when...
CAVUTO: It only goes so far with China.
CAVUTO: So what's the message we're sending?
We need you more than you clearly need us.
MAX: I also wonder if this is -- if more is being made of this than there's really such offense. Where's the offense? Is that the offense to the business model?
Or is it in the process where we have a trade war going on right now?
CAVUTO: China stopped all these pregames. That's their first act.
MAX: Does this help potential negotiations somehow in a trade war with the United States?
LI: There has been a history with U.S. companies having problems in China.
For instance, Starbucks used to have the cafe in the Forbidden City in the palace. And one of the broadcasters say, why do we have a foreign company literally in our historical emperor's palace?
And so that was removed. And there was a boycott of Starbucks for a while.
CAVUTO: But they all agreed to it in the past because it was better to do business there. You wanted access.
In this case, you said to all these of kids playing basketball, you wanted access to that $1.5 billion market. I get that.
But the whole point of the trade talks -- this is different, I grant you -- is that we're going to stop playing those games.
LI: It's hard when you're Disney and you invest $6 billion in a Shanghai Disney World, right?
LI: When you have already had these committed, I guess, dollars and cents already...
CAVUTO: And they know it. China knows it, right? They know it.
MAX: I think China also knows that they can maybe prey on Americans and know we have a great weakness here, in that somebody says, I'm offended, and we will just bow to them.
LI: Actually also take away the fact that American culture has penetrated China so deeply; 600 million stream the NBA, not to mention the hundreds of millions, if not a billion...
HORNACEK: The top sports league, I should say, in China.
NBA is so important. And if you haven't read...
CAVUTO: But what if they walked away? What if they said, we're not going to put up with this?
HORNACEK: We would lose -- Adam Silver already implied, we have lost huge economically just from the last two days.
CAVUTO: But wouldn't China lose in the long run? We have lost the NBA. What have we got, the European basketball league?
MAX: Right. Exactly.
Who are they really looking up to? Who are they paying to watch? And what's interesting is, the Chinese president went to a Lakers game, rooting for Kobe Bryant not long ago. I was thinking about this earlier, that you have the Chinese president connected with the NBA.
Vladimir Putin, who's a huge hockey fan, hockey is huge in Russia. Basketball is getting bigger. But you don't have Chinese basketball stars in the NBA. You do have Russian hockey stars in the NHL.
LI: I should point out it's also selling jerseys, with Nike getting almost 20 percent of the revenue from this.
CAVUTO: It's all about the money.
HORNACEK: It really is.
MAX: We all pray to that one God of the dollar.
CAVUTO: Yes, indeed we do. Not me. I just found out anchors here are paid. And I'm not happy about it.
CAVUTO: All right, in the meantime, this makes the entire impeachment fight pale by compassion, but we will update you on that.
It's getting nasty -- after this.
CAVUTO: All right, think quick, America. What is more controversial than this picture of President Bush with Ellen DeGeneres and the controversy it has raised globally?
Me pontificating about it later on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF, D-CALIF.: The failure to produce this witness, the failure to produce these documents, we consider yet additional strong evidence of obstruction of the constitutional functions of Congress, a co-equal branch of government.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAVUTO: Well, call it obstruction or delaying. Call it whatever you want.
How is this playing out politically for the White House and the president directly?
Democratic strategist Kevin Cate, The Washington Examiner's Emily Larsen, and GOP strategist Holly Turner.
Holly, you talk to a lot of Republicans. Are they worried yet, getting anxious? What do you think?
HOLLY TURNER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think we're just getting excited about November 2020 getting here.
I mean, look, the polls out there that the mainstream media likes to portray voters as being on board with this, but the reality is, for Democrats, this is a really dangerous game they're playing. Independents are split on this. And Democrats need independents in 2020.
The other group that is not excited about this is suburban Democrats. So all of those women that voted Democrat in 2016, they are split on this issue. And, honestly, they're just tired of hearing about it.
I mean, this has been going on for almost three years now. Since before the president was elected, we have been hearing about impeachment, and I think everyone is just ready to move on. They have seen that the Democrats have not delivered on anything, and they're ready for some real solutions
CAVUTO: Well, not all polls back that up.
Kevin Cate, one of the ones that I found interesting was that more Americans,a majority now, are at least open to impeachment hearings. And of that, half of them are convinced the president should be impeached. Still represents a quarter of the American electorate. So it could change. But it is moving up.
So is it your sense that Democrats are playing a let's keep doing this because it is going to gain traction? Because that's a risky strategy.
KEVIN CATE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I don't think it is at all.
I mean, is it shocking that people are not a big, huge fan of treason? I don't think so. I think that what the Republicans are trying to do is...
CAVUTO: Well, if they were concerned about treason, I think everyone would have been supporting impeaching the guy right now, right?
But, so far, polls don't indicate that.
CATE: Well, it's growing. And time sanctifies everything. That is a Will Durant quote. He's a historian.
I think what the Republicans are trying to do is delay, delay, delay. But it's not going to work. And I know, last time, I gave you a Taylor Swift quote. So I'm going to give you -- I'm going to expand the base here. I know you have an eclectic taste of music.
I'm going to go with a Lizzo quote, and basically say that this has been a DNA test for Donald Trump. He just took a DNA test on Ukraine. And it turns out he's 100 percent that corrupt.
And so that's what the American people are saying.
CAVUTO: All right, I see where you're going there.
So, Emily, I'm just wondering where the chips ultimately fall. I think the far greater worry for the president right now might be what's happening in the Southern District of New York, where Cyrus Vance Jr. is trying to get his hot hands on the president's taxes.
He's being stymied right now by an appeals court that's weighing the matter. But it's very close to happening. Is that a worry?
EMILY LARSEN, THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Well, certainly it's a worry.
I mean, Donald Trump has been trying to fight the release of his tax returns for years. And so this development is certainly worrying. But I think that all eyes in the White House are certainly on impeachment right now, because that is what's taking most of the space of what people are talking about.
And this tactic that we were talking about, about the White House tried to delay, I think that strategy, they're hoping that there might be some uptick in support for impeachment right now, but the public got very disillusioned with the Mueller investigation and the drip, drip, drip of Russia, little pieces coming out that the general populace couldn't really follow.
And so they're hoping that if they can have that same thing happen, then some perhaps support among independents and Republicans for impeachment will tick down, which would spell trouble for the Democrats.
CAVUTO: All right, guys, I want to thank you.
We have some breaking news we want to share here right now, an update on the college admissions situation. The parents, the Abbotts, just sentenced right now.
The judge ha asked Gregory Abbott to stand, formally sentences him to one month in federal prison, supervised release for a year, and 250 hours of community service, on top of a $45,000 fine. The judge separately asked Mrs. Marcia Abbott to stand, formally sentenced her to a month in federal prison, supervised release for one year, like her husband, 250 hours of community service and a $45,000 fine.
We will have more after this.
CAVUTO: All right, Chinese officials limiting the scope of high-level trade talks, we're told, with the U.S., that seems to have investors on edge.
We do a lot of sort of last-minute things too, targeting that the Chinese have to do something with this Muslim sect that's mistreated in the country, and back and forth on a lot of stuff that just seems to be getting sort of added on, piled on here.
FOX Business Network's Charles Payne had a chance to talk to Peter Navarro at the White House today. It was great TV.
CAVUTO: But the bottom line, I guess -- and welcome, my friend -- was that you were trying to get to the bottom of what the strategy is, right?
CHARLES PAYNE, HOST, "MAKING MONEY": Right. Right.
CAVUTO: And what did you find out?
PAYNE: Not much.
But here's the thing, Peter Navarro suggesting that the blacklist -- blacklisting Chinese companies associated with the harsh treatment of the Uyghurs, right, the Muslim minority there, had nothing, nothing to do with trade talks.
CAVUTO: Right. Right.
PAYNE: Now, here's the problem with that.
It's cool if it did, to me, right, because this administration has promised maximum pressure. And I think what a lot of commentators and observers get wrong about this is that the Trump administration is going about this wrong way.
Listen, they threw out the old statecraft and diplomacy crap book a long time ago.
PAYNE: President Trump and those around him to believe that, first of all, the Chinese respect toughness that they would actually respond to this in a better way.
So when these things happen, I don't think that's necessarily a coincidence. Here's where I think it opens it up.
CAVUTO: But he was saying there isn't…
PAYNE: That it was a coincidence.
CAVUTO: Is that the one we have, guys? Because it was a great interview.
But this is with Peter Navarro earlier, Charles Payne. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAYNE: I'm listening to the president sound like he wants to get there, that he's more ready to get there than at any time since this began.
PETER NAVARRO, DIRECTOR, WHITE HOUSE OFFICE OF TRADE AND MANUFACTURING POLICY: Of course he wants a deal.
But it's not any different from the days back to Mar-a-Lago. He wants a great deal for the American people. And he's been -- look, this is a man of steely resolve on this issue. He's standing up to China.
NAVARRO: And I will -- like, look, investors just need to relax for a couple days and see what happens, rather than get fidgety and trade around the margins here.
PAYNE: All right.
If you could just answer one of my questions, they might relax a little bit more, Peter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAVUTO: Someone had some nasty juice.
CAVUTO: What the heck?
But investors are a little concerned, to your point.
PAYNE: They are concerned.
It was a crazy day, because this news made investors nervous. And then we had a chance...
CAVUTO: It made them nervous why, again, because we don't know what we're putting on the table?
PAYNE: Wall Street wants to see -- Wall Street wants to see something come out of these trade talks, not a deal, but I would think, at a minimum, pushing off the October 15 and December 15 tariffs until next year, saying that they went well enough that we don't have to do these.
CAVUTO: What if they don't, though?
PAYNE: Well, they don't, that's going to be problems for the stock market.
So this is what...
CAVUTO: Wall Street, in its heart of hearts, any deal is better than no deal, right?
PAYNE: If we said we would cut a deal with China, and they were going -- we were going to actually help them build the next manmade island and help them militarize it, Wall Street wouldn't care, as long as the headline said, deal done.
CAVUTO: Is that right? Yes.
PAYNE: I mean, listen, to a degree, they care. But this is a bottom-line group we're talking about.
For President Trump now, I think he has the full support of the American public on this. And people know what's going on. I think a lot of folks didn't know what was happening, the depth, the degree of this.
And we are questioning ourselves as a nation. The NBA controversy brings that up.
CAVUTO: That's incredible.
PAYNE: Do we really want to be in bed with these -- with the country that treats millions of people a certain way because of their religion?
CAVUTO: But we're still sucking up to the Chinese, aren't we? I'm not talking the administration.
CAVUTO: But you see it in the NBA. You see it in all these companies like Google that redesigns its entire program to accommodate the Chinese, right?
PAYNE: That's the Faustian deal is up. The comeuppance is up. And now a lot of companies are going to have to rethink, particularly in this era where the Business Roundtable claims that there's more to business than just profits.
So we will see if they put their actions where their mouths are. But, still, Neil, I do want to make the point, I still believe that we could see something very positive at the end of these talks.
And Navarro sort of hinted at it.
PAYNE: Yesterday, President Trump said he had an inclination for this giant deal.
CAVUTO: Yes. He was open to other ideas. Yes. All right.
CAVUTO: Well, you were very rude to Peter.
PAYNE: I know.
CAVUTO: You sounded like a never-Trumper there.
PAYNE: Believe me, I will hear about it later.
CAVUTO: Yes. Yes. Oh, please.
All right, he's the best.
Meanwhile, why Democratic donors are starting to say, oh no to Joe -- after this.
CAVUTO: Well, Democratic donors who previously backed Joe Biden are starting to back out.
FOX Business' Hillary Vaughn on Capitol Hill with the latest on this.
What the heck is going on, Hillary?
HILLARY VAUGHN, CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Neil.
Well, Elizabeth Warren has officially unseated Joe Biden as the front- runner. The real -- new RealClearPolitics average updated with the latest Quinnipiac poll out has now Warren 0.2 percent ahead of Biden, Biden now in second place.
Biden donors were worried about Warren as the number one candidate that came up the most at a donor retreat in Philadelphia over the weekend. The New York Times reports some of Joe Biden's donors are disappointed, after the Biden camp reported fund-raising numbers way behind his Democratic rivals.
For end of summer fund-raising, Bernie Sanders came out the fund-raising front-runner. Biden followed up in fourth place. The weaker numbers forecast trouble for the campaign that goes deeper than donors' deep pockets.
The Hill reports donors are frustrated with Biden's candidacy, writing this -- quote -- "Donors complain that a string of verbal gaffes and inconsistent debate performances have contributed to a sense of worry about the strength of his candidacy."
Also distracting donors, Biden playing defense over his son's overseas business deals and President Trump's calls for an investigation. Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has accused Biden of corrupt overseas business deals, and now he may get his chance to testify about it in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
And some of Biden's 2020 rivals are welcoming the witness. Senators Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar and Cory Booker all sit on the committee. And Harris has tweeted about a potential Giuliani appearance, saying she thinks it's good and she has a lot of questions for him -- Neil.
CAVUTO: Through this, though, in battle states, he's holding his own, right?
So we're -- at least Lindsey Graham has invited Giuliani to appear. We don't know yet if it would be a closed or open committee.
CAVUTO: Got it. All right.
Hillary Vaughn, thank you on Capitol Hill following this and following the money.
Again, he's at a limit right now because all his big donors, they're kind of frozen in place. They have given the max, so he's going to rely on others. We will see how that works.
More after this.
CAVUTO: It was the image that launched 1,000 tweets, actually a lot more than just 1,000, daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres seen sitting next to former President George W. Bush.
Now, if that wasn't enough to set off a tweetstorm, her calling the former president a friend only added fuel to the fire.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELLEN DEGENERES, HOST, "THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW": People were upset.
They thought, why is a gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to conservative Republican president?
DEGENERES: Didn't even notice I'm holding the brand-new iPhone 11.
DEGENERES: And I'm friends with George Bush. In fact, I'm friends with a lot of people who don't share the same beliefs that I have.
We're all different. And I think that we have forgotten that that's OK that we're all different.
But just because I don't agree with someone on everything doesn't mean that I'm not going to be friends with them. When I say be kind to one another, I don't mean only the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone.
It doesn't matter.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAVUTO: Now, it all seems fairly harmless to me, but it got me thinking. It happens sometimes.
We live in a very polarizing world. Now, I don't think all that is new. What's new this time is how polarizing things are, so much so, sides don't just disagree. They must be disagreeable, and they must stick to script.
A liberal must never sit with a conservative. A conservative must never utter a kind word about a liberal. It's the same reason why a never- Trumper can't be a, well, now-and-then-Trumper. You're either all in or just out.
Say one thing bad, you're just bad.
So, never mind, for example, I have commended this president for markets and economy, for which he should take a bow. More remember when I have cited behavior for which he shouldn't.
Some on the left say one thing good about the president in a panel discussion, well, good luck getting booked for the next panel discussion.
These are the parts that people play, the roles they play. So you better play. Think professional wrestling, but everyone shows up in a business suit. It looks real, it sounds real, but it's fake, because behind all the huffing and puffing are human beings who really are not that bad.
I'm not talking about how they feel about this president or the last president, but who they are themselves, like Ellen, like President Bush. They're more than what you see or what you think you see or what you think you know.
It's true. They may sound polarizing, but I'm telling you, they're not. I guess I'm saying we're not. None of us are, just like none of you are.
Take cable news. Now, I know a lot of the characters here and elsewhere, some better than others, some more of them than about them. Let me tell you something. Most are good people. In fact, most are really good people.
I'm really surprised so many are surprised when I say that, but it's true. Now, some of you may not want to know Shepard Smith has a big heart and is one of the kindest and most decent people in any profession, but he is, or that Sean Hannity would give you the shirt off his back if you were down and out, whether you were a liberal or a conservative, but he would, or that Brian Kilmeade has an audacious sense of humor and a rapid-fire wit that would put most comics to shame, but he does.
Or that Steve Doocy's biggest bragging point is his family, but it is, or that Bret Baier's devotion to fairness borders on an obsession, but it does, or that Martha MacCallum has a moral compass the likes of which is rare in this business.
Same with the Bill Hemmer, whose infectious goodwill toward liberals and conservatives is just as much a standout in any business.
And it's not just here at FOX. Though I don't know them all personally, I can personally vouch for how good Rachel Maddow is to her staff, because they tell me, and how much she cares for what she does, because they tell me that too. And that's important.
Or how funny Don Lemon can be making fun of himself, or how even funnier Chris Cuomo can be making fun of Don.
I have already left out many names for whom I share the same respect, some I know well, some I know of well.
That's why I bristle when colleagues anywhere are called fake. No wonder we have all gotten to the point where we can't seem to discern what is real, maybe because what you see isn't the entirety of what you get.
As Jessica Rabbit, famously voiced by Kathleen Turner, so coolly put it in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit": "I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way."
Maybe that's why Ellen spoke out. She didn't like the way she was drawn. Like she said, there is nothing wrong with having conservative and liberal friends. There is everything wrong with thinking there is.
Life is too short. But that, my friends, doesn't mean we have to be.
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