This is a rush transcript from "FOX News Sunday," July 21, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, ANCHOR: I'm Chris Wallace.
President Trump keeps attacking "The Squad," but says he disapproves of that angry chant.
CROWD: Send her back! Send her back!
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: I didn't say that. They did. But I disagree with it.
REP. ILHAN OMAR, D-MINN.: His nightmare is seeing a Somali immigrant refugee rise to Congress.
WALLACE: We'll discuss the week's debate over race and loyalty to country with senior advisor Stephen Miller, one of the president's immigration hardliners. It's a "FOX News Sunday" exclusive.
ROBERT MUELLER, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL: The report is my testimony.
WALLACE: Democrats prepared to question former Special Counsel Robert Mueller about his Russia investigation. We'll ask House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler about his party's strategy to get Mueller to go beyond his report.
Jerry Nadler only on "FOX News Sunday".
And, Iran seizure of a British oil tanker escalates tensions with the West. We'll ask our Sunday panel what happens next.
All, right now, on "FOX News Sunday".
WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.
"Send her back", that is the phrase and the debate that has consumed Washington and much of the country this week. Critics of the president's comments say, urging four congresswomen to go back where they came from is hateful. But Mr. Trump says he won't stand for some of the things the so- called "Squad" says about this country.
Joining us now, top White House advisor, Stephen Miller.
Stephen, welcome back to "FOX News Sunday".
STEPHEN MILLER, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE POLICY ADVISER: Great to be here. Thank you, Chris.
WALLACE: You are the president's senior policy advisor and his chief speechwriter.
His tweets this week about those for congresswomen, and let's put them up: Why don't they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came -- are the latest in a long string of controversial comments by Mr. Trump, some of which I know that you helped draft.
Here are a few.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: I want him to show his birth certificate. There's something on that birth certificate that he doesn't like.
They are bringing crime, they are rapists, and some I assume are good people.
Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.
You had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, OK? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Why shouldn't someone see all of that as racist?
MILLER: I think the term "racist", Chris, has become a label that is too often deployed by left, Democrats in this country simply to try to silence and punish and suppress people they disagree with, speech that they don't want to hear.
The reality is that this president has been a president for all Americans, whether you look at historically low black unemployment rates, historically low Hispanic unemployment rates, or if you look at what he's doing on immigration to protect safety, security, rising wages for all American citizens.
WALLACE: But when he questioned -- and let's -- there's a long record here, when he questioned whether or not Barack Obama was an American citizen, when he said the people, in his announcement, that the Mexico is sending this country are not their best, they are rapists, they are drug dealers and some are good people, when he called for total and complete shutdown of the Muslim ban, something I know you were very involved in -- that's not protecting the American people. That is playing the race card.
MILLER: I couldn't disagree more. I mean, let's take, for example, the issue of the recent indictment we saw of 22 MS-13 gang members in California.
WALLACE: Well, we're not talking about hardened criminals.
WALLACE: All right. Let's talk about the Obama and the birther. You don't think that questioning whether or not the president of United States, the first black president is an American, you don't think that there's a race quality to that?
MILLER: They raise questions about John McCain's circumstances of birth.
WALLACE: No, there were never raised questions about John McCain. There are questions about whether he was or born in the Panama Canal or not. There was never a race question about John McCain.
MILLER: I fundamentally disagree with the view that if you criticize somebody and they happen to be a different color skin, that that makes it racial criticism. In fact, you saw from -- you saw from --
WALLACE: He wasn't criticizing him. He was questioning whether he is an American.
MILLER: You saw from Congresswoman Pressley this week that she was saying that if you are -- if you're brown, you have to speak like a brown person; if you're black, you have to speak like a black person. That's the kind of ideology the president is rejecting.
If you want to have a color blind society, it means you can criticize immigration policy, you can criticize people's views, you can ask questions about where they're born and not have it be seen as racial.
WALLACE: And can you also say "go back where you came from"?
MILLER: The -- first of all -- and I'm glad we can now get to what I think we really want to focus on, with the "send her back" chant, the president was clear that he disagreed with it.
WALLACE: No, he was clear -- he was clear after the fact. He let --
WALLACE: Excuse me, he let it go one for 13 seconds and it was only when chant diminished that he started talking again.
MILLER: Right, but --
WALLACE: He said nothing there -- he said nothing in his tweet -- I promise I'm going to (INAUDIBLE), but he said nothing there or in his tweet after the rally that indicated any concern about the chant.
MILLER: Right, but I want to get to the core issue. The president was clear that he said he disagreed with that tweet, but the core issue is that all the people in that audience and millions of patriotic Americans all across this country are tired of being beat up, condescended to, looked down upon, talked down to by members of Congress on the left in Washington, D.C., and their allies in many corners of the media.
And let's get specific about it. You saw the quotes from Representative Omar saying some people did something at 9/11. And yes, if you watch it in context, its worst. You saw the quotes from Representative Omar talking about how, oh, well, we talk about al Qaeda in menacing tone -- and by the way, she's giggling throughout this interview, but we don't talk about the Army in a menacing tone. And, yes, if you watch it in context, which I have, it's even worse.
And perhaps the most shocking of all, with the comments made by Representative Ocasio-Cortez saying that our border agents are running concentration camps, and therefore they are Nazis, and therefore, everyone in that audience and you and me and everyone who supports our border patrol are by extension Nazis sympathizers. We support Nazis if we support border agents.
WALLACE: Let's --
MILLER: One more point on that that I have to say --
WALLACE: OK, go ahead.
MILLER: -- which is that I'm Jew.
As a Jew, as an American Jew, I am profoundly outraged by the comments from Ocasio-Cortez. It is a historical smear. It is a sinful comment.
It minimizes the death of 6 million of my Jewish brothers and sisters. It minimizes their suffering and it paints every patriotic law enforcement officer as a war criminal, and those are the comments, Chris, that we need to be focusing on.
WALLACE: All right (ph). The president says that the four congresswomen hate America.
Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I can tell you this: you can't talk that way about our country, not when I'm the president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: But, during his 2016 campaign, and even as president, Mr. Trump has been as critical of this country as anything "The Squad" has ever said.
Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
TRUMP: I think President Obama has been the most ignorant president in our history.
Nobody respects us. They are laughing at us. We don't know what we're doing.
Rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation.
We've got a lot of killers. What, you think our country is so innocent? You think our country is so innocent?
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
WALLACE: Why is what those congresswomen said -- and you pointed out some things and I'm not going to defend everything that "The Squad" has said. There are a lot of things they've said that I think are just wrong and very deeply troubling. But why is what those congresswomen have said in general any worse than what you just heard Donald Trump say -- President Obama is ignorant, this country is killers, on and on?
MILLER: It's a great question. So, I want to drill down on it because it's really the heart of the debate that we're having in this country right now.
Anybody who's running for office, right, left, or center, always points out where they think America can do better, where they think America needs to go. But there's a fundamental distinction between people who think that we need to lean into and strengthen America's core values, whether it'd be our constitutional values, the rule of law, the principles of Western Civilization, or people who think it would basically need to turn America into Venezuela.
For example --
WALLACE: Wait, wait, wait -
WALLACE: Wait. No, wait a minute. The fact of the matter is that people can have a legitimate difference of opinion about policies, whether we want to go one way, we want to go another. Under the Constitution that you so believe in and I believe in, the First Amendment allows everybody to say it.
We're not talking what constitutional rights. The president said that President Obama has been the most ignorant president in our history. When asked about Putin, he said, there are a lot of killers, you think our country is so innocent?
That isn't, you know, his view. That's being sharply critical of the United States, as critical as the four members of Congress -- of "The Squad" have been.
MILLER: What I'm saying is there's -- is there's a canyon-sized difference between saying that we need to have better enforcement of our immigration laws to protect U.S. citizens, that we need to have better trade deals to end the deindustrialization --
WALLACE: That is what I'm talking about. That's not what I'm talking about.
MILLER: Yes, it is, because the president ran a campaign that can be summarized into words: America First. There's a huge difference between America First and an ideology that runs down America. If you want --
WALLACE: You don't think the president ran down "lock her up." The president --
MILLER: America First is the core --
WALLACE: Look, I completely -- nobody has any problem --
WALLACE: -- with what the president's policies have been. It's when he goes into stoking racial fears.
I've never called -- I've never called any of his tweets racist, but there's no question that he is stoking racial divisions.
MILLER: Chris, the core element of the president's philosophy is America First. Saying that America needs to improve to get closer to an America First ideal, as the president did as a candidate, criticizing Obama, criticizing our trade deals, our foreign policies, our immigration policies, is out of love for America.
Saying, as Representative Ocasio-Cortez did, that illegal immigrants are in effect more American than Americans is fundamentally an anti-American statement.
WALLACE: Let's go to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The president is particularly upset with one particular slur by the congresswoman.
Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: When people are speaking so badly, when they call our country garbage -- think of that. That's worse than deplorables.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: But here's what Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez -- and he repeated that often, that somebody -- he didn't say it was AOC -- has called the country garbage.
Here's what you actually said talking about her proposals for the country: All of these things could sound radical compared to where we are, but where we are is not a good thing. And this idea of 10 percent better from garbage shouldn't be what we settle for.
She didn't say the country was garbage. She said some of the policies she opposes are garbage.
MILLER: It's impossible to read the quote that way. The quote -- what she's trying to say is --
WALLACE: She said: This idea of 10 percent better from garbage shouldn't be what we settle for.
She's talking about her proposal.
MILLER: It's literally impossible to read the quote that way. What she saying is there's a debate in the Democratic Party in which some people want to improve, in her mind, 10 percent from garbage, which maybe we'll say is Obamacare, where she wants to do, say Medicare-for-All, which she views being I guess 70 percent better than garbage.
Her point is where starting at garbage, so I want to go a little better than garbage.
WALLACE: I understand that. I understand it.
WALLACE: But she's talking about -- she's talking about policies.
MILLER: She's saying her starting point --
WALLACE: She's not talking about the country and the people.
Is garbage such a horrible word?
MILLER: She's saying that America in her view right now is garbage. But - -
WALLACE: No, no, I want to put something up in that regard because I want to put up a tweet from Donald Trump from 2014.
He wrote: The United States, under President Obama, has truly become the gang that couldn't shoot straight. Everything he touches turns to garbage.
Stephen, that isn't AOC. That's Donald J. Trump.
MILLER: Throughout this interview, Chris, you're continuing to conflate Donald Trump's criticisms of President Obama versus AOC's deep and systemic criticisms of the country itself.
And so, let me just cut to the heart of the issue. These four congresswomen detest America as it exists, as it is currently constructed. They want to tear down the structure of our country. They want it to be a socialist, open borders country.
If you, as Donald Trump says, want to destroy America with open borders, you cannot say you love your country. If you attack border agents the way that Ocasio-Cortez has, it means you have a deep-seated hatred of the nation as it exists. That's why you want to erase its borders, fundamentally transform the country and in the process, it doesn't matter if American citizens lose their jobs, lose their homes, lose their livelihoods, lose their health coverage and lose their very lives.
There's a gigantic, enormous distinction between Donald Trump saying I'm going to get on the world stage and put America first in every single thing we do, versus a view that says America should never come first and American citizens should never come first, which is their view, and that's what we're going to take to the ballot box.
WALLACE: Stephen, thank you. Thanks for your time.
I wanted to talk about immigration, but we didn't seem to get there. Please come back so we can discuss that as well because there are a lot of interesting and controversial things happening on that front.
MILLER: Thanks so much.
WALLACE: Thank you.
Up next, we'll bring in our Sunday group to discuss the president's attacks on those four congresswomen and their response. When does political debate in this country go too far?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I was not happy with it. I disagree with it, but again, I didn't say -- I didn't say that, they did.
It was a record crowd and I could have filled it ten times, as you know. Those are incredible people, those are incredible patriots.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: President Trump a day after trying to distance himself from those "send her back" chant at a rally, appearing to walk back his disavowal.
And it's time now for our Sunday group: Jason Riley of "The Wall Street Journal," Mo Elleithee of Georgetown University's Institute of Politics and Public Service, Jonathan Swan from Axios, and FOX News contributor Lisa Boothe.
Well, Jonathan, is this classic Trump where his political advisors and even his family try to get him to toe a more politically correct stance and then he balks out and goes back to what he really thinks?
JONATHAN SWAN, AXIOS NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes. That's a pretty succinct explanation of it. And I think one thing that's been missed in some of the coverage is, this is not President Trump sitting down wit come political advisors and going through the polling from the key states and see, well, if we only make, you know, black, non-college voters a little 5 percent more angry, we are going to win the election, this is President Trump watching this network, responding to a quick tweeting and doing everything really by instinct and his staff tried to pull him back. They're happy for him to talk about "The Squad." The point at which they get uncomfortable is when he says go back to your own countries.
WALLACE: I want to talk to Lisa about this. There was a lot of talk this week about whether or not this was politically smart, which it seems to me misses the real point, and that is, was this wrong? Was it over the line to say "go back where you came from"?
LISA BOOTHE, CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I wouldn't defend, necessarily, the tweet that he sent out but I would also point out there's been a lot of comparisons made to the late Senator John McCain when he did shut down hecklers who called President Obama an -- then-candidate Obama an Arab. But you have still Representative John Lewis then compare them to George Walsh and, you know, basically fostering an environment of hate when we saw 1963, white supremacist bombed a church.
WALLACE: Let's try to stick to Donald Trump and what he did this week.
BOOTHE: The point is, Chris, is that's the environment that we operate in where you've seen for a long time the left weaponize these words of racism or sexism against their political opponents.
We also saw that with Mitt Romney --
WALLACE: But you're not answer my question, which is, was it wrong for the president to say send them back to the country they go -- why don't you go back to the country from which you came? Was that wrong?
BOOTHE: But I'm a political analyst, Chris, that's not my job to say it was wrong or not.
WALLACE: So, you don't have a view?
BOOTHE: Ask his -- ask his White House and his campaign. It's my job to analyze the optics and the politics of this. And to Jonathan's point, I would say, I think President Trump has good instincts in looking at the electorate. He may not have looked at that "Axios" report that you guys reported on, the poll that shows that these four members of Congress, particularly Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Omar absolutely toxic with key groups of voters.
But he has political instincts, and we'd seen him set up and tee off 2020 as the left is anti-American, they are socialist, they are way too far extreme for America, and that's the direction they want to go in. And if you want to elevate four people to make that point, these four women meet those descriptions.
WALLACE: Was it over the line?
MO ELLEITHEE, GEORGETOWN INSTITUTE OF POLITICS & PUBLIC SERVICE: Yes. And it was wrong. As other people who will occasionally tweet at me after I come off the air telling me to go back to where I came from. They usually don't mean Arizona, right? They mean something else.
WALLACE: Literally you get that?
920 BOOTHE: And if you want to elevate four people to make that point, these four women meet those descriptions.
WALLACE: Was it over the line?
ELLEITHEE: Yes. And it was wrong. As other people who will occasionally tweet at me after I come off the air telling me to go back to where I came from. They usually don't mean Arizona, right? They mean something else.
WALLACE: Literally you get that?
ELLEITHEE: I literally get that in my Twitter feed. I will get it occasionally walking the street.
And so, it does mean something and it means something deep and profound and hurtful to a lot of Americans, that you are other. And that's what this is really about. This is really about the otherization of Americans.
The president is saying, if you do not see America the way I see America, you do not belong in America. That's what he's saying.
We can debate on policies --
WALLACE: Forgive me, he's not saying it to white men. He's saying it to women of color.
ELLEITHEE: And this is my point, right? My point is he saying -- he's not saying it to white critics, right? He saying it to these critics, but he's taking race and identity, general, right? In general, conflating those two things, and turning it into the great otherization of America, and that's where I think his problem is going to -- where it's going to become a political problem.
JASON RILEY, CONTRIBUTOR: Right now, I don't think it's a political problem for him. I think right now, it's working. He wants Ocasio-Cortez and company to be the face of the Democratic Party and right now, they are the face of the Democratic Party.
And so long as that is the case, Donald Trump thinks he's winning.
Nancy Pelosi is spending her time right now not on refuting President Trump and his policies. She's spending her time on trying to her party. And so long as she is preoccupied with that, I think Donald Trump thinks, I'm winning this race.
WALLACE: Are you troubled by him taking this tack?
RILEY: Chris, I've lost count of the number of times I've been troubled by something Donald Trump said or tweeted. Of course, but I don't think that's the point here, frankly. I think this is Donald Trump being Donald Trump and I add this to the pile of other things he said that I consider uncouth and unwise, frankly, and unhelpful in terms of --
WALLACE: But here's the reason I kind of disagree with you, because it seems to me that the unity of the country and the harmony of the country, and especially the racial harmony of the country, is important.
RILEY: Of course, it's important.
WALLACE: So, with the president said something, anybody says something --
RILEY: But no one looks to Donald Trump for racial harmony, and we haven't for the past two years. So, I don't -- I don't think that's the news here.
The news here is whether or not the Democrats are taking the bait here. And I don't think that his team, they are strategizing about this, but I think Trump has got a gut instinct here, which is that, I want to make the left wing Democrats the face of the party and he seems to be succeeding in doing that.
And if he is successful in doing that -- in other words, if he succeeds in making AOC and company the face of the party, I think that will work to his advantage because I don't think that's where most of the country is.
WALLACE: Let me pick up -- let me pick up on that because Ilhan Omar has been punching back, as of all the members of "The Squad", and here is a clip from her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OMAR: As much as he's spewing his fascist ideology on stage, telling you as citizens to go back because they don't agree with his detrimental policies for our country, we tell people that here in the United States dissent is patriotic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Mo, do you think that the Trump campaign officials or strategists are licking their chops when they see that kind of clip playing on the news?
ELLEITHEE: I stopped trying to predict what they think is good politics and not good politics. But to this question of, are Democrats taking the bait and are Democrats -- is this a winning strategy for Donald Trump, Donald Trump has one thing going for him right now electorally, right, as a political analyst, he's got one thing going for him. He's got a strong economy.
Every day he's not talking about that is a wasted opportunity for him politically. His unfavorable rating is at 55 percent. His job approval rating is even lower.
People don't like him, but a lot of people are willing to give them the benefit of the doubt because we are in good economic times. If he's not talking about that, I think he's taking the bait and handing the Democrats a huge favor.
WALLACE: I got about a minute, Lisa.
BOOTHE: Well, I was going to say, in fairness, we are in an environment where Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is essentially -- said that Nancy Pelosi is a racist, her chief of staff likened centrist Democrats to segregationists. You have the Congressional Black Caucus taking aim at the Justice Democrats and extension these four women, saying they are primarying people of color.
So, this is today's environment that we operate and where we use terms like racism so loosely and cavalierly. And I would say on the substance of President Trump's attacks on Representative Omar, they are absolutely correct in the categorization of the fact that she did, in fact, minimalize the 9/11 attacks that some people did something. She did indeed right a judge asking for leniency for men that were trying to join ISIS.
These statements that she made, these positions that she holds are true, and she's also led a movement with a boycott, divestment and sanctions movement that Nancy Pelosi has said that is bigoted and dangerous.
WALLACE: You get the final word.
SWAN: Generally speaking, the president's advisors are licking their chops not because they think they can make 2020 a referendum on "The Squad," but because when "The Squad" are in the national conversation, it's very easy for them to direct the conversation onto the things they want to talk about -- radicalism, socialism, immigration.
WALLACE: Very quickly to Mo's point, are they missing an opportunity where they are not talking about the economy?
SWAN: So, the funny thing is I've been told by advisors of the president during the midterm elections, they would say, you've got to talk about the economy, and he's like, yes, but when I do, my people get really bored. You know, when I do these events, they don't want you here about the economy.
WALLACE: And honestly, they do.
BOOTHE: We agree on that.
WALLACE: All right. Thank you, panel. We'll take a break here. Agreement on something.
Up next, Washington prepares for this week of positivist public hearings with former special counsel Robert Mueller. What does it mean for Democrats hoping to impeach the president?
House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler who will oversee one of the hearings, joins us next.
WALLACE: Coming up, the long-awaited testimony of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JERRY NADLER, D-N.Y.: I think it's very important that the American people here from Mr. Mueller as to what he did find, what the results of that two-year investigation were.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler joins us exclusively, next.
WALLACE: On Wednesday, former Special Counsel Robert Mueller faces five hours of questioning before two House Committees on his investigation of Russian interference in the 2020 campaign and possible obstruction of justice by President Trump. Some Democrats are counting on the testimony to convince Americans the House should impeach the president or at least to damage his chances for reelection. Joining us now exclusively from New York, Jerry Nadler. Mr. Chairman, Robert Mueller has made it clear he doesn't want to testify and he's not going to go beyond what he wrote in his report. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT MUELLER, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: We chose those words carefully and the work speaks for itself. And the report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: So, why are you putting Mueller and the country through this?
NADLER: Well, we want the American people to hear directly from Special Counsel Mueller what his investigation found. The president and the attorney general and others have spent the last few months systematically lying to the American people about what the investigation found, they've said that it found no collusion, that it found no obstruction, that it exonerated a president. All three of those statements are absolute lies. It found a great deal of collusion, it found a great deal of -- of obstruction of justice by the president and it found -- and it pointedly refused to exonerate the president.
We think it's very important for the American people to hear directly what the facts are because this is a president who has violated the law six ways from Sunday. If anyone else had been accused of what the report finds the president had done, they would have been indicted. It's important that -- that we not have a lawless administration and a lawless president, it's important that the people see where we're at and what we're doing, what we're dealing with.
WALLACE: I want to -- I want to follow up with what you just said, that he's violated the law six ways from Sunday, if he weren't the president he'd be indicted. You've read the 448 page report. Do you believe the president is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors, the marker for impeachment by the House?
NADLER: I think there is very substantial -- well, the report presents very substantial evidence that the president is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors and we have to present -- or let Mueller present those facts to the American people and then see where we go from there, because the administration must be held accountable and no president can be -- can be above the law.
WALLACE: Your committee, though, has said -- your committee staff has said that you expect that Mueller could be fairly uncooperative, could give yes- or-no answers, could refer -- when you ask a question about an incident, refer you to a specific page in -- in the report, look at page 224 in volume two. I understand that you're trying to educate the people -- people have said see the movie, not read the book, but what if this whole thing ends up being a dud?
NADLER: Well, we hope it won't end up being a dud and we're going to ask specific questions about look at page 344 paragraph two, please read it, does that describe obstruction of justice and did you -- did you find that the president did that, for example.
WALLACE: Meanwhile, Republicans say that they're going to use their time - - and they get equal time, five minutes along with each of your members -- to ask about what they call the corrupt cabal, and that's the idea that there was FBI misconduct in launching and then conducting the investigation of the president. Isn't there a real chance, since what you're asking about is stuff that's already in the report and they're going to ask about stuff that isn't in the report, that the Republicans could end up getting more out of this hearing than Democrats do?
NADLER: Well I doubt it, because the fact is that those charges have been investigated by the inspector general and have been found to be baseless. They will do whatever they can --
WALLACE: Well, wait, wait, wait. I mean, forgive me, sir, but they -- he -- they had -- the inspector general hasn't investigated or at least hasn't come out with his report on the conduct of the Trump investigation.
NADLER: Well, the inspector general came out with -- most of what they're talking about is the -- is the Hillary investigation and the beginning of the Trump investigation. And we have -- it's been very clear that the Trump investigation was not predicated on the so-called dossier that they're talking about. There was nothing wrong with the -- with the FISA application. All the things they're talking about have gone through. The inspector general found that there was nothing wrong with the other half of what they're talking about, which is the Hillary investigation. He's finishing it.
If they want to debate, or discuss, I should say, this irrelevancy, let them waste the time. But the -- the -- what's before the American people now is the conduct of this president and what Mueller found about the conduct of this president and where we go from here.
WALLACE: Some Democrats, including perhaps you, hope that this hearing will breathe new life into the possibility of impeaching the president. And here's what the president has to say about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: How many bites of the apple do you get? We've gone through 500 witnesses 2,500 subpoenas. I've let them interview my lawyers, I've let them -- because I had nothing to do with Russia. Now that's come out. There was no collusion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: And here's what a Wall Street Journal poll from earlier this month found. Twenty-one percent say there's enough evidence for Congress to begin impeachment hearings, 27 percent say Congress should continue investigating, but 50 percent say there should be no hearings and that Mr. Trump should finish his term as president. Chairman, hasn't the country largely moved on from the Trump investigation?
NADLER: No, the country has not moved on. I mean, they've -- the -- the president and the attorney general have lied to the American people about what was in the Mueller report, about the fact that -- you just heard the president saying they found no collusion. That was not true. That it found no obstruction, that is not true. And they've had months about lying to the American people, people don't read a 448 page report. I believe that when people hear what was in the Mueller report, then we'll be able -- we'll be in a position to begin holding the president accountable and to make this less of a lawless administration.
And the fact of the matter is that the president has also been lawless in telling all witnesses not to obey Congressional subpoenas, not to testify at all, and that is beyond the pale of the Constitution.
WALLACE: Well let me pick up on that, because regardless of what Mueller says, you have said that you intend to continue this investigation and one of the things that you very much want to do is to talk to former White House Counsel Don McGahn, who was involved in a number of these key incidents when, according to the Mueller report, the president told him to get the -- the special counsel's investigation ended. The White House has refused to make him available and you've suggested you're going to go to court after the Mueller hearing. How soon do you plan to take that before a judge?
NADLER: Within a couple of days. That -- if the House counsel weren't so busy enforcing subpoenas -- other subpoenas, we would've done that before. The fact is that we have never seen a situation where the president, the White House stonewalls Congress on subpoenas. That was article three of the Nixon impeachment, that they stonewalled subpoenas. Here the president said outright, out loud that he's stonewalling all subpoenas, which they are doing, and that's an invasion of the separation of powers and it's a -- and a core function of the -- of the duty of Congress to hold the administration accountable to the American people.
WALLACE: You are also ask Hope Hicks, who was a former top White House advisor and is now an executive vice president of Fox Corporation, you're asking her to come back before your committee to clarify earlier comments she made in testimony before your committee about her knowledge of the hush payments to Stormy Daniels. Her lawyer came out with a statement after you requested her to come back. He issued this statement. "Ms. Hicks stands by her truthful testimony that she first became aware of this issue in early November 2016 as the result of press inquiries. Does that satisfy you, Mr. Chairman?
NADLER: No, that does not, because that would seem to go against the evidence that -- that was released by the court in the -- in -- in -- in the Michael Cohen -- in -- in the -- I think it was the Michael Cohen case the other day. So we've asked her to clarify how her testimony was truthful given what the court -- the court filings reveal. But again, the key here is that all people owe the public their evidence, all witnesses all witnesses owe the public their evidence and it is our duty to make sure that people like McGahn testify, for example, because as the Mueller report showed, the president asked him to fire the special counsel so as to stop the investigation into the president.
He asked him to deny publicly they've done so. Both of those, if true, are criminal acts by the president.
WALLACE: But I just want to pick up on one last thing with regard to Hope Hicks. This information came out when the judge ordered it released after the prosecutor in New York indicated that the case -- the hush money case is closed and they're not going to bring charges against anyone else. So isn't that kind of a dry hole? Because according to reports, the prosecutor, in effect, found that there was not sufficient evidence to show that President Trump actually knowingly, intentionally violated campaign finance laws.
NADLER: Well first of all, there was no -- I don't think that was (ph) the latter finding. He could not consider indicting the president because it is the policy of the Justice Department pursuant to the office of legal counsel memo (ph) that a sitting president may not be indicted no matter what, no matter what the evidence. Now, the finding, you know, in that case -- Michael Cohen was sent to prison for these -- campaign finance violation, done at the behest of Donald Trump, in the interest of Donald Trump.
And the indictment said that Cohen did it at the request and direction of Individual 1, who has now been identified as President Trump.
So, from a legal point of view, he is subject to indictment for that after the election. The fact that they have closed the case doesn't mean that they found him not guilty in any way.
WALLACE: Chairman Nadler, thank you. Thanks for joining us.
And we will, of course, be watching your hearing on Wednesday.
NADLER: It should be interesting.
WALLACE: Yes. Let's hope it's not a dud.
When we come back: Iran seizes a British tanker in the Persian Gulf -- the latest in a tense standoff.
Plus, what would you like to ask the panel about the Mueller hearings this week? Just go to Facebook or Twitter @FoxNewsSunday, and we may use your question on the air.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: What happened to me with this witch-hunt should never be allowed to happen to another president of the United States, never, ever again.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: President Trump once again denouncing the Russia investigation ahead of Robert Mueller's much-anticipated testimony this week before Congress.
And we are back now with the panel.
Well, Jason, what do you expect from the Mueller hearings?
RILEY: Not much, Chris.
The Democrats spent two years telling us that the Mueller investigation would show obstruction and that it would show collusion. And it showed neither.
And I think this is more evidence these hearings, that the Democrats simply to refuse to accept that result. Mueller doesn't want to be there, he made that pretty clear in his press conference after this report was released and I don't think he's going to give them much.
WALLACE: We asked you for questions for the panel and on this issue of the Mueller hearings, Marilyn Simpson Clark posted this on Facebook. "Why are they going to conduct hearings when he's -- Mueller's -- already stated the report is his testimony and has nothing further to add"? Lisa, how do you answer Marilyn and what do you expect the effect of the Mueller hearings to be?
BOOTHE: Well I would echo that sentiment and I have the same question myself. In fact, I question why he ever gave a press conference in the first place. I mean, we already knew that his office was shutting down by the fact that the report had already been turned in. You had Attorney General Barr and Rod Rosenstein already reach the conclusion that they weren't going to move forward on obstruction of justice. Barr had already released the report, 90 percent, to the public and it had already been in the domain, so I don't know why he gave that press conference.
He also contradicted himself by originally saying that he would have cleared the president if he could have while simultaneously saying that he had decided that he wasn't going to reach a conclusion one way or another and then also giving a wink, wink, nod, nod, in my opinion, to Democrats by saying that the Constitution outlines -- essentially it's Congress's duty to find wrongdoing of a sitting president. So I think the entire reason he went out and gave the press conference was to give ammunition to Democrats.
WALLACE: Mo, what -- you know, it's going to be an interesting thing to see and we don't know how Mueller's going to perform, but certainly the -- the Democratic staff seems to think this could be like pulling teeth to get him to say things. If he's not a particularly forthcoming or cooperative witness, couldn't this be, well, to coin a phrase, a dud?
ELLEITHEE: Well, it could be. And -- and yes, he's already expressed that he doesn't want to be there. I think you're going to see Democrats, though, focus on three lines of questioning. One will be drilling down on the contacts the campaign had with the Russians. I don't know if there's anything new that'll come out of that. Two, the obstruction issue, which I think is going to be interesting because, again, Mueller said in the report -- or at least it's intimated from the report that the only reason he did not go further was because his hands were tied. And so Democrats trying to pin him down on that will be an interesting flash point.
And then number three, and this is the part that gets the least amount of attention but as an American, one I'm incredibly interested and freaked out by, that is Russian attempts -- forget the collusion for a second -- Russian attempts to infiltrate our electoral process, which this Congress has not really focused on as much. Democrats have passed some legislation but Republicans haven't been there, so seeing what they do on that.
SWAN: Chairman Nadler crystallized in your interview what this is all about. This is about television, it's about educating the American public through television. They don't expect anything new to come out. It's about stoking impeachment. We've done a lot of reporting on this, talking to members of both committees. There's a couple of quotes that members gave. One of them I want to read to you from Jackie Speier, this is to my colleague Alayna Treene. My fantasy is when I get my five minutes, I'm just going to have him read certain excerpts from his report and I think that will be very powerful.
Nadler actually sort of almost said the same thing.
WALLACE: No, he did say that.
SWAN: I mean, so you imagine this spectacle where they're basically having Robert Mueller read his own report because they know that no one read this report and they're trying now desperately through the television to beat the American people over the head and change those numbers that you put up on screen about impeachment.
WALLACE: OK. Let's -- let's talk about something that is exciting and actually even has pictures, and that is Iran seized a British tanker in the Persian Gulf this week and released this video, which is pretty interesting. You can see Iranian commandos in ski masks, they repelled from a helicopter onto the tanker and seized control. All of this of course after the U.S. shot down an Iranian drone that got too close. But President Trump's reaction to the seizing of this tanker was restrained.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: This only goes to show what I'm saying about Iran. Trouble. Nothing but trouble.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: It sounds -- that sounds like something out of a sitcom. Trouble, nothing but trouble. Jonathan, what are you hearing about where the president is on military action against Iran and what will it take -- what would it take for him to decide to pull the trigger?
SWAN: Call me naive, but I actually don't think that this president wants war with Iran. I really believe he doesn't want that. From talking to his advisors -- obviously he's said this publicly, but I really believe that he wants to avoid that. What some people who are more dovish, who talk to the president and worry about his national security advisor John Bolton, about his hawkish tendencies, what they were about his accidental conflict, that this escalation -- one thing happens here, they have to respond, there's a escalating letter of conflict and they might get a war that he actually doesn't want.
But I believe that he really wants to do everything he can to avoid -- certainly avoid a massive troop deployment in that region. He doesn't want that at all.
WALLACE: Mo, I assume you approve of the president's restraint on Iran?
ELLEITHEE: Yes. Look, I -- what -- I think he was right to show restraint here, I think he was right to show restraint when the first -- when they shot down the American drone the first time. But I think I would share the concern of his dovish advisors, which is that a lack of clarity in his policy towards Iran, plus Iran's increased provocation -- and I'm laying a lot of the blame at Iran, right? Like, 100 percent. But that those two things together could lead us to a very tricky situation that -- that he gets kind of pushed into or trips into.
RILEY: We can't confuse restraint with weakness, which is what Iran could be seeing from their advantage point. There have been a series of provocations in recent months. This is a result of these sanctions, which are crippling the Iranian economy and they're saying, if we can't trade our oil, we're going to make it hard for everyone else to engage in this business as well. And I think we're going to continue to see provocations until they get a meaningful response to them. Yes, we've sent some trips, yes, we said some tough things, but the Mullahs don't respond to that. They will respond to resolve on the part of the west and we have not really seen that yet.
WALLACE: Well I want to ask you about that, because a question I have is after the U.S. drone was shot down and the president apparently ordered a military strike and then at the last minute called it off, if he had gone ahead with that strike, would perhaps Iran not be taking the actions it is now?
RILEY: My guess is you're correct, they wouldn't be. We have some precedent for this. Back in the 1980s Iran was acting out in this way and Reagan took out some -- some oil platforms and they stopped. The Mullahs got the message. So there's not only a precedent for the way Iran is acting now, there is a precedent for how we could respond forcefully.
WALLACE: Thirty seconds, Jonathan. Any second-guessing or second thoughts in the White House about maybe they should have taken that action after the U.S. drone was shot down?
SWAN: Well there's plenty of second among the staff because they wanted him to take that action. I haven't got any evidence that the president himself has second-guessed it. In fact, he was talking to people about how he got great reviews from the media for -- for that action. I just think one more important thing to say, which is to the point -- wrecking the Iranian economy is a goal in and of itself for this White House. Their view is every dollar they deprive the Mullahs of is a dollar they can't spend on terrorism.
WALLACE: Thank you, panel. See you next Sunday. Up next, our power player of the week. Her journey from a survivalist family to the heights of academia has been a best seller for more than a year. You'll meet her when we come right back.
WALLACE: As of today, it's been on the New York Times best seller list for 73 weeks. As we told you in February, no, it's not a spy thriller or a Trump tell-all. Here's our power player of the week.
TARA WESTOVER, AUTHOR, "EDUCATED": I could not continue to have my family in my life and -- and be in any way respectful of myself.
WALLACE: Tara Westover is describing her journey. The story she tells in "Educated," which has been on the bestseller list for over a year.
WESTOVER: I think people want to believe that they can change.
WALLACE: It's a remarkable, but painful account that has captivated hundreds of thousands of readers.
Tara grew up in Buck's Peak, Idaho, one of seven children. Their dad was a Mormon survivalist who believed the government had been taken over by an evil organization.
(on camera): You never went to grade school or high school. Why not?
WESTOVER: He thought, if we went to school, that we would be brainwashed.
WALLACE: What is your birthday?
WESTOVER: I don't know my birthday.
WALLACE (voice-over): Tara describes a break when she was 16. Her father wouldn't let them see doctors, but after her brother was in a bad accident, she disobeyed her dad and took a brother to a hospital.
WESTOVER: I could tell I was going in one direction, and he was going the other direction. And it wasn't clear to me how the relationship was going to survive.
WALLACE: The next year, she began her formal education, passing an exam and attending Brigham Young University.
WESTOVER: I was pretty wildly unprepared.
One of my first lectures that I went to, I raised my hand and asked the lecturer what the Holocaust was. I had just never heard of it before.
WALLACE: But, with the help of some female classmates and a fierce drive to learn, Tara thrived.
WESTOVER: I think, for some of us, having not had access to education, when we finally got it, for me, anyway, there was a kind of obsessive quality for that.
And I wasn't going to stop until I had kind of run out of road.
WALLACE: Tara got a fellowship to Harvard and ended up with a Ph.D. from Cambridge University in England.
But it wasn't easy breaking away from Buck's Peak.
(on camera): One point in the book, you describe yourself as an ignorant girl who crawled out of the scrap heap.
Did you really think of yourself that we?
WESTOVER: I think I thought of myself that way and worse.
WALLACE (voice-over): Her family said her academic success came at the expense of her soul.
WESTOVER: That tension for a lot of years between this idea of myself as this [EXPLETIVE] and my idea of myself as a scholar was very difficult to reconcile.
WALLACE: And that led Tara to the final chapter of being educated.
WESTOVER: For me, I ended up discovering for myself that I could love my family and still choose to say goodbye to them.
WALLACE (on camera): When was the last time you talked to your mom or dad?
WESTOVER: The last time I saw my mother, it's probably been about a year- and-a-half since I saw her for maybe five minutes, and since I saw her for a real amount of time, four or five years.
WALLACE (voice-over): Tara hopes her story helps other people estranged from family understand they're not alone.
WESTOVER: I remember thinking to myself, I don't know how I can believe that I'm a good person, when I know that my mother doesn't think I'm a good person.
For me, it's about saying, this is not a good option. This is not a nice thing to have happen. But I do think there's a way to be at peace with it.
WALLACE: Tara Westover says she now wants to write about rural education and why even good students have trouble graduating from college.
Now this program note: Tune into Fox News Channel Wednesday for former special counsel Robert Mueller's testimony on Capitol Hill. Our coverage starts at 8:00 a.m. Eastern.
And that's it for today. Have a great week.
And we will see you next "FOX News Sunday."
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