This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," February 10, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: I'm Chris Wallace.
President Trump pushes his agenda for 2019, while at the same time warning House Democrats.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation.
REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF., SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We will not surrender our constitutional responsibility for oversight.
WALLACE: What are the chances Washington will get anything done this year? We'll ask White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.
TRUMP: We need border security. We have to have it. It's not an option.
WALLACE: With the deadline for another government shutdown now just five days away, will there be a deal on border security?
We'll ask two members of the bipartisan panel trying to find a compromise. Republican Senator Richard Shelby and Democrat Jon Tester, together, only on "FOX News Sunday".
Plus, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos accuses the "National Enquirer" of trying to blackmail him, threatening to publish intimate photos. We'll ask our Sunday panel about the battle between the tabloid and the world's richest man.
And our "Power Player of the Week", the woman behind a national bestseller on her remarkable journey.
You never went to grade school or high school, why not?
All, right now, on "Fox News Sunday."
WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.
There are reports today that congressional negotiators are closing in on a border security deal that would prevent another government shutdown next weekend. But any compromise is likely to fell well short of the $5.7 billion President Trump wants to build a wall.
The big question, will the president agree to that deal?
In a moment, we'll speak with acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, who brought house members to Camp David this weekend looking for areas of common ground.
But, first, let's get the latest from chief congressional correspondent Mike Emanuel -- Mike.
MIKE EMANUEL, CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Chris.
Democratic sources say their side will not accept more than $2 billion for physical border barriers. They say the range under consideration is between $1.3 billion and $2 billion. President Trump insists the wall will get built one way or the other.
EMANUEL: With funding talks at a critical stage, President Trump has not been drawing red lines for congressional negotiators.
TRUMP: They are working on something on both sides are moving along. We'll see what happens. We need border security. We have to have it.
EMANUEL: The Senate Appropriations chairman sounded hopeful heading into this important weekend of talks.
SEN. RICHARD SHELBY, R-ALA.: After the meeting with the president and the vice president, I believe we got some latitude to hopefully conclude this.
EMANUEL: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters leave it to the negotiators, she's staying out of it.
PELOSI: I have asked the administration to be as noninterventionist as I am on that, just let them do their work.
EMANUEL: Vice President Pence is signaling this border security battle won't end with this funding fight.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT: We are going to build that wall one way or the other, I promise.
EMANUEL: Time is precious. Congressional negotiators recognize they need a deal by tomorrow in order to pass it through the House and Senate by the end of the week -- Chris.
WALLACE: Mike, thank you.
Joining us now, the White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney.
Welcome back to "FOX News Sunday".
MICK MULVANEY, ACTING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Good morning. It's good to be here.
WALLACE: Well, as we just heard Mike report, apparently that the number that congressional negotiators are talking about is somewhere between $1.3 billion and $2 billion of the most. In any case, less than half the $5.7 billion the president wants for new border barriers.
Will the president signed a deal at that number?
MULVANEY: I have to laugh because I've heard those numbers. I've also heard zero for a border barrier or wall. $800 million was a number I've heard. I've also heard 2.5 or 2.6 and I'm looking forward to actually watching interview after I'm off of this show because I just don't know where the Democrats are, and I think that's a reflection, Chris, of where their party is.
I don't think they know where they stand on this particular issue and that's one of the reasons I think we're having difficulty coming to a deal. To answer your question, the president is going to build the wall. You saw what the vice president said there and that's our attitude at this point, which is, we'll take as much money as you can give us and then we will go off and find the money someplace else legally in order to secure that southern barrier. But this is going to get built with or without Congress.
WALLACE: OK. So, I want to unpack because you set a lot of stuff there. You're saying he will take whatever congressional negotiators give me. You are saying then if they agree -- let's take the numbers that's been mostly reported -- $2 billion, he will sign a bill and then try to find more money?
MULVANEY: A couple different things, I'm not saying what the president will or won't sign because keep in mind, there's a lot of things that don't get discussed, which is what else is in the bill. You could give a number that the president might like but take away something he doesn't like.
I was talking with Senator Shelby. I understand a new issue has come up in the last couple of hours that he's going to discuss with you in a couple of minutes regarding detention beds. So, there's going to be a lot of different moving pieces. So I'm not in a position to say the president will absolutely son or will not sign.
Here's what we do know: the president has to sign a piece of legislation in order to keep the government open. He cannot sign anything that they put in front of him -- excuse me, he cannot sign everything they put in front of him. There'll be some things that simply we couldn't agree to. So the government shutdown is technically still on the table. We do not want it to come to that, but that option is still open to the president and will remain so.
WALLACE: I want to pick up because the president tweeted, we'll build the wall one way or the other and as you pointed out, Mike Pence has also said that over the weekend.
What does that mean? Let's say you get $2 billion from the Congress and you agree to that, can he repurpose money that Congress has appropriated for other purposes and spend that on the wall, or does he have to declare a national emergency?
MULVANEY: The answer to the question is yes and no. Yes, there are other funds of money that are available to him through what we call reprogramming. There is money that he can get at and is legally allowed to spend.
And I think it needs to be said again and again: all of this is going to be legal. There are statutes on the books as to how any president can do this.
WALLACE: And he can do that without declaring a national emergency?
MULVANEY: There are certain funds of money he can get to without declaring a national emergency, and other funds that he can only get to after declaring a national emergency. So --
WALLACE: How much good to get without declaring?
MULVANEY: That remains to be seen. Let's talk about the whole pot. The whole pot is well north of $5.7 billion.
WALLACE: Now, it's clear that a lot of Republican leaders, including Senate Majority Leader McConnell are saying, don't declare an emergency, there's going to be a resolution of disapproval, a lot of Republicans are going to break with you. It sets a bad precedent.
WALLACE: Is his -- does he -- is the national emergency, declaring a national emergency still on the table or has he been persuaded by some of his fellow Republicans, let's not go that way?
MULVANEY: It's absolutely on the table and it's not a precedent. OK? This is the law, the law as it exists today. I think we've had 58 declaration of national emergencies since the National Emergency Act was passed in the 1970s.
So, this is not a case, Chris, as many folks think it is of the president is not getting what he wants, so just going off and magically declaring a national emergency and getting all the money he wants. There are certain things that every president must do in order to trigger the rights that he has to sort of move money around.
So, yes, there's a lot of Republicans who don't want to do it. Face it, the president doesn't really want to do it. That's why we have to go through the shutdown. That's what he's let Congress do what they've done for the last three weeks.
He would prefer legislation because it's the right way to go and is the proper way to spend money in this country. But if that doesn't happen, the president proceeds. His number one priority is national security. He will then look at the National Emergencies Act as a way to do his job.
WALLACE: In his State of the Union Address, the president warned about the dangers of illegal immigration. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Tolerance for illegal immigration is not compassionate. It is actually very cruel.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: But, "The Washington Post" reports this weekend, the Trump Golf Club in New Jersey has employed a steady stream of illegal immigrants for years and that the managers at the club knew they were illegal.
How do you explain this apparent hypocrisy by President Trump and by his business?
MULVANEY: One of the things you and I have talked about with my job is what I call compartmentalization, which is that I deal with running the White House. We deal with running the government.
What you just put up, it's a fair question, but it's a question that goes to the Trump Organization and not to the Trump White House. We are not involved with the operation of those facilities.
WALLACE: Yes. But has the president ever discussed the fact that there was apparently a stream of illegals working for him?
MULVANEY: No, I don't talk with the president about his business. I know that sounds unusual to people, but we have so much to do running the government. We don't get into these other matters.
WALLACE: All right. You brought a small group of House members, Republicans and Democrats, to Camp David Friday, Saturday to discuss potential areas for common ground that you can actually do business in. Did you find any?
MULVANEY: A little bit, I think so. I found out I can beat John Yarmuth at bowling even though he beats me in golf. That was fun. But I also found out that John Yarmuth and Peter Welch, good friends of mine when I was in the House, are interested in talk about things such as border security, such as prescription drug pricing.
So, yes, in fact, I think were going to have at least one meeting this week on drug pricing that grew out of that get-together Friday night. I think we need to do more of that, spend more time focusing on -- if you and I disagree 90 percent of the time that means we agree 10 percent of the time, maybe our time is better spent trying to figure out how to work on the 10 percent.
WALLACE: President Trump said this week in his State of the Union speech that if House Democrats conduct what he called, quote, "ridiculous partisan investigations" that nothing will get done.
I want to play for you some clips from the president, from intelligence committee chair Adam Schiff and then the Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker at a hearing on Friday. Here they are.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF, D-CALIF.: We are not going to be intimidated or threatened by the president to withhold any legislative advancement.
REP. JERROLD NADLER, D-N.Y.: Have you ever been asked to approve any request or action to be taken by the special counsel?
MATTHEW WHITAKER, ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL: Mr. Chairman, I see that your five minutes is up. And so --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: People see you laughing at that.
Two questions. One, does the president recognize that Congress has a legitimate oversight role in addition to its legislative role and it's an aggressive legislative role? And two, what did he think of Attorney General Whitaker's behavior in that hearing?
MULVANEY: The president absolutely agrees with the concept that the Congress has the right to do oversight. It's one of the constitutional jobs. That's not his point. He's not trying to discourage them from doing it.
What he saying is, look, you have a choice. We can either work together on legislation or we can spend all our time with you doing investigations, but you can't do both.
WALLACE: Wait, you can do both and presidents have done both plenty of times.
MULVANEY: Right. But don't -- again, it's not reasonable to expect the president to work with you on Monday on a big infrastructure bill, and then on Tuesday, have you punch him in the face over 15 different investigations.
WALLACE: You were in Congress for six years, are you aware -- you were.
WALLACE: You were there, of what the Republicans did to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on Benghazi, on Fast and Furious. And they got some things done despite the fact that these were aggressive partisan investigations.
MULVANEY: Well, we didn't get very much done. Listen, I'll be the first to admit that when the Tea Party wave, of which I was one, got here in 2011, the last thing we were interested in was giving President Obama legislative successes. That's where the Democrat Party is right now.
The difference between then and now is that so many of these Democrats got here by saying they wanted to reach across the aisle and they wanted to work with the president. A lot of those swing district folks are in there saying, you know, we're not really interested in investigations. We want to work with our friends across the aisle.
We're giving them a chance to do that, but we're telling them is you can't do both. You can't go home and tell the voters back home that you're going to work for the president and then come to Washington and do nothing but investigate the president. So --
WALLACE: If they want to investigate, no oversight, no investigations?
MULVANEY: If they want to -- no, if they investigate, there will be. But that's their choice.
WALLACE: No, I'm saying. If they want to legislate, no investigations?
MULVANEY: It's very difficult to do both. I just think that's human nature.
WALLACE: All right. In his speech -- I'm running out of time here, so I want to get to a couple of things quickly. In his speech, the president warned Democrats about socialist policies and he issued this declaration.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: I understand the president opposes the "New Green Deal", but does he think that's the view of a wing of the party or does he think that's the prevailing opinion of Democratic leaders?
MULVANEY: I don't think anybody knows. I think that's one of the big questions of the day, is where is the center of gravity in the Democrat Party? You're going to have Jon Tester on a little bit, who's widely perceived as being sort of a conservative within the party. I'd be curious to know where he is on the "Green New Deal".
I think that roughly half of the president -- announced presidential candidates, the Democrats have supported this even though they are not sure what it is, the other half is not. So, I don't know where the Democrat Party is on this.
I know where the Republican Party is, and by the way, it's fun to be in a party where we are united and the other side is divided. We are against the "Green New Deal".
WALLACE: No. But that is without any question, that is true.
President Trump has repeatedly gone after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. And here's a tweet from last month after the "National Enquirer" reported that Bezos was having an extramarital affair.
So sorry to hear the news about Jeff Bozo being taken down by a competitor whose -- that's the "Enquirer" -- whose reporting I understand is far more accurate than the reporting in his lobbyist newspaper, the Amazon "Washington Post".
Given his support for the inquirer, how does he feel about Bezos saying that the "Enquirer" was threatening to blackmail him with intimate photos?
MULVANEY: Yes. I don't think there's any question. There is no lost between the president of the United States and Mr. Bezos or "The Washington Post".
But in all fairness I never asked him that question. If I back to the point that while these things make news and a lot of the folks in the media are interested in them, it's not what we do in the West Wing. We run the government --
WALLACE: Are you troubled with the idea that the "Enquirer" would threaten to expose explicit photos unless Bezos dropped an investigation?
MULVANEY: Take me out of my role as chief of staff and I think it's a very interesting question. The -- I think -- what little I've read about was the "National Enquirer" is asserting a First Amendment privilege to do that. Mr. Bezos is saying he's been blackmailed. It's going to be very interesting to see that constitutional issue play out in the courts.
WALLACE: But it's not the question of whether they have the right, it's that they are saying if you don't drop the investigation and don't say there's any political motive, we are going to do this, that would seem to be extortion.
MULVANEY: Again, yes, and that's the allegation Mr. Bezos is making. You and I are not going to resolve those issues here today.
WALLACE: We could try.
Anyway, final question, how close are you to finding the person or persons who leaked the president's private schedule? And if you do, what are you going to do to him or her?
MULVANEY: Here's why this is important to me as the acting chief of staff. The stuff in the memos is not that confidential, about 400 people get that. There's much more private schedules that I see, for example, as the chief of staff.
So, it's not the content. It's the fact that someone within the White House spent three months collecting this information, which is really, really hard to do.
It also shed light on the fact that many people who work for us weren't hired for us. It would be like Maxine Waters taking over the Financial Services Committee in the House and having to keep Jeb Hensarling's staff. We need civil service reform so the president can trust everyone working for him and we're not there right now.
WALLACE: And how close are you to finding who did it?
MULVANEY: Hoping to have a resolution on that this week.
WALLACE: So, you're really close?
MULVANEY: Yes, sir.
WALLACE: So, when you find that person or persons --
MULVANEY: We're going to find the person or persons, and it's likely going to be a career staffer. You're going to learn a lot about how hard it is to fire federal workers.
WALLACE: You're saying that you may not to be able to fire ‘em?
MULVANEY: I'm saying that I know from work at CFPB, it's nearly impossible to fire a federal worker.
WALLACE: Mick, thank you. Thanks for coming in. I got to say, I ask you a question, I get an answer.
MULVANEY: It's always a good time.
WALLACE: Always good to talk to you, sir.
WALLACE: Up next, two members of the Conference Committee working to bring a deal to the president. They will give us the latest on where negotiations stand.
WALLACE: A congressional conference committee is up against the clock looking for a compromise on border security President Trump will sign to avoid another government shutdown in just five days.
Joining us now, two leading members of the panel: the Republican chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Richard Shelby, and Democratic Senator Jon Tester.
Gentlemen, welcome to "FOX News Sunday".
Senator Tester, let me start with you, has the conference committee reached agreement at least on the number of reported barriers? And these reports that it's going to be south of $2 billion, is that true?
SEN. JON TESTER, D-MONT.: We are still in negotiations, Chris, and I think that when you're talking about border security. It includes more than just a barrier. It includes technology. It includes what we are going to do with the ports, manpower, aircraft, the works.
We are not to a point where we can announce a deal, negotiations are still going on. There are good people on this committee, so I have confidence that hopefully we'll get something done very soon.
WALLACE: Yes. Senator Shelby, I hope you heard Chief of Staff Mulvaney just before you say that apparently an issue has come up and at the talks are in jeopardy. Tell me what that is.
SEN. RICHARD SHELBY, R-ALA.: I think the talks are stalled right now. I'm hoping we can get off the dime later today or in the morning because time is ticking away. But we got some problems with the Democrats dealing with ICE, that is detaining criminals that come into the U.S. and they want a cap on them, we don't want a cap on that.
We haven't, as Jon Tester said, we haven't reached a number on the barrier yet, but we're working and we're hoping we can get there. But we've got to get fluid again. We got to start movement.
WALLACE: I'm going to get to Senator Tester and this idea that the talks are stalled. But on this question of the number, you met with President Trump on Thursday and you came out and said that you were more optimistic than you have been. If -- for the sake of this argument, for the sake of this discussion, if the number is $2 billion, substantially less than the $5.7 billion, did the president give you any assurance that he's willing to go along with that number to avoid another government shutdown?
SHELBY: Well, the president -- our talks with the president are confidential, but I came out of the meeting thinking we could make a deal with the Democrats if they are willing to meet us halfway. Secondly, the president basically in the conversation gave us some latitude to talk and that's what we're trying to do to get to yes today?
WALLACE: Senator Tester, what do you -- do you agree with Senator Shelby that the talks are stalled, and specifically this deal of detention. There has been talk that Democrats want fewer detention beds, which raises the question if you can detain fewer people, doesn't that mean you have to catch and release more, which raises the possibility more of them won't show up for their court hearings?
TESTER: Chris, it's negotiations, OK? Negotiations seldom go smooth all the way through. It's give-and-take. It's compromise. It's the way government is supposed to work.
We got good people in this conference committee -- Chairman Shelby, John Hoeven, Blunt, Capito, you know, Durbin, I can go down the list. The bottom line is, is that we got people who aren't bomb throwers. They are people who know how to work together and get a deal.
I'm not positive we'll end up with a deal, but with this group of people and the folks from the House, I think we are going to end up with something that deals with detention beds, with barriers, with technology, with the challenges we have on the southern border in a common sense way.
Chairman Shelby is correct. Time is of the essence, we need to move forward, we need to keep our eyes on this. But I'm very hopeful, not positive, but very hopeful we can come to an agreement.
WALLACE: Why would you want to limit the number of detention beds if the idea is you want to detain them rather than catch and release them and then they emerge into the country?
TESTER: I can tell you -- until we get a final number, I'm not sure we are doing any of that.
WALLACE: But on principle, why would you want --
TESTER: We've got to come to a final number and it's a negotiated process. I think what everybody wants, including the people I serve with on both sides of the aisle, they want to make sure that southern border is secure, there's many ways to do that -- whether it's detention, whether it's technology, whether it's a barrier.
And I think that we'll come up -- we can't do everything all at once by the way. We have to prioritize and move forward. And I think this committee is fully capable of prioritizing expenditures and hopefully will get something the House -- that the House can pass, the Senate can pass and the president will sign.
WALLACE: Senator Shelby, let me bring you back into this. Obviously, time is of the essence, the government runs out of money, at least some agencies do, at midnight Friday night and because a variety of rules, and I love -- one of them is that the house actually wants time to read whatever you guys come up with. The thought has been that you have to make a deal, you have to announce something by tomorrow.
Do you feel that's the deadline, and how confident are you that you can reach a deal by tomorrow?
SHELBY: Chris, that is a deadline. I'm not confident were going to get there. I'm hoping we will get there.
But the House has some leeway as far as they've got rules. That's true. They wave rules. Sometimes that's difficult.
But I think the next 24 -- I said the other day, it was 72 hours. I think the next 24 hours are crucial. We could close some deals but they've got to be good to secure our borders.
WALLACE: Let me just pursue that for a second. You're saying it's got to be a good deal, obviously.
What if you can't make a deal in 24 hours? Do you give up? Do you keep going? What happens?
SHELBY: I don't think we ever give up, but the president will have some options, perhaps we will have some options but short of a deal, they're not good options.
WALLACE: Let me just pick up on that with you, Senator Shelby. I'll bring in Senator Tester in a moment. What is your attitude at this point towards a government shutdown? Is that just completely off the table?
And there's been talk that there are a lot of Republicans, particularly in the Senate, who really don't like the idea of declaring a national emergency despite what Mick Mulvaney said, fearing that it will set a precedent for a Democratic president.
SHELBY: Well, shutting down the government should always be off the table. We would like of it to be off the table. We've worked hard to fund the government. We're going to continue to work hard in these negotiations. But the specter of a shutdown is always out there.
WALLACE: And what about national emergency?
SHELBY: Well, I think the president has some powers under the Constitution and also under the statute. But I would rather we reach a legislative conclusion to this. That's our job. I'm going to do everything I can to do it, but we've got to do it both ways. It's got to be a double-edged sword here.
WALLACE: I -- you know, the interesting thing is, Senator Tester, there was quite a lot of optimism as recently as this weekend that you guys were going to have a deal, you are going to announce something. Yes, the president was going to have to eat considerably less money for a border barrier.
How much trouble is this in right now?
TESTER: I think Chairman Shelby put his finger on it. I mean, if we stay focused on getting a deal and we negotiate in good faith on border security, I think we'll end up with something that can work and keep the government open and give certainty for not only the public employees, but for the safety of the country. And I think that's the bottom line.
And nobody wants a shutdown. Nobody wants the president to use some kind of emergency powers. We just need to do our job and we can do it.
And look, every negotiation -- almost every negotiation out there hit bumps in the roads. There are bumps on the road but as long as we stay focused in a bipartisan way, bicameral way to get this done, I'm hopeful we can get it done.
Is it a done deal? No, it isn't, and we could end up in a train wreck. It's happened before. But I don't think anybody has an appetite for government shutdown and I think everybody wants to make sure borders are secured.
WALLACE: Do you want to give me some odds on the idea that you get -- is it 50/50, better, worse that you're going to have a deal tomorrow?
TESTER: I'm a farmer. I never make the right decision when I'm selling my grain. I'm not a good poker player either.
SHELBY: I will say 50/50 we get a deal. I hope and pray we do.
TESTER: So, the glass is half-full.
WALLACE: Well, it depends on how you look at that, isn't it, Senator?
I want to ask about one more question, gentlemen. While there's no question that illegal immigration is a real problem, there are charges, particularly from Democrats, that President Trump is exaggerating it.
And I want to talk about a specific issue. The president goes to El Paso tomorrow for a big rally and here's what he said about the situation in El Paso at the State of the Union.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The border city of El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crime. With a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of the safest cities in our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: But let's look at the facts. From 1993 to 2006, the number of violent crimes in El Paso -- and this is before the wall was built -- fell 34 percent. Construction of the wall didn't start until 2008.
And from 2006 to ‘11, before the wall was built until after the wall was built, the violent crime rate in El Paso actually rose 17 percent. So, it fell before the wall, rose during and after the wall.
Senator Shelby, is the president misleading or exaggerating the threat to Americans?
SHELBY: Well, I don't think he's misleading or exaggerating. We've got real problems along our borders. We've got millions of illegal immigrants in this country. We've had a lot of drug dealers, gangs and everything come across that border.
He's not exaggerating it. We've got to secure the border. We've made progress, but we can do better than this. I think we owe it to the American people.
WALLACE: Senator Shelby, Senator Tester, thank you both. Thanks for your time. Always good to talk with you. And we'll be following what happens in the next 24 hours, 50/50.
TESTER: Thank you, Chris.
WALLACE: Up next, we'll bring in our Sunday group to discuss President Trump setting the stage for 2020 and his run against Democrats and socialism.
WALLACE: Coming up, President Trump looks to brand Democrats as socialists heading into 2020.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CORY BOOKER, D-N.J.: We, as House Democrats, support what I would term compassionate capitalism.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: We'll as our Sunday panel how the issue will play on the presidential campaign trail, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We are alarmed by the new calls to adopt socialism in our country.
REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, D-N.Y.: Climate change and our environmental challenges are one of the biggest existential threats to our way of life.
REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF., SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I do know that it's enthusiastic and we welcome all the enthusiasms that are out there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: President Trump trying to wrap Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez's green new deal around Democrats necks as a push for socialism, while House Speaker Pelosi keeps her distance.
And it's time now for our Sunday group. Rich Lowry of "National Review," columnist for "The Hill" Juan Williams, former Democratic Congresswoman Donna Edwards, now a columnist for "The Washington Post," and former National Security Council spokesman, Michael Anton, author of the new book "After the Flight 93 Election."
Well, Rich, from the president on down, Republicans are salivating at the prospect of painting Democrats as backing a socialist agenda. How good an issue is that for them as we gear up for 2020?
RICH LOWRY, "NATIONAL REVIEW": I think it's very good. I think you have a lot of Democrats who have signed on to various aspects of a frankly socialist agenda, including the green new deal, including Medicare for all, at least the Bernie Sanders version, without any thought given to how it would play in a general election, especially in the crucial upper Midwest.
And the green new deal, it's hard to think of a more radical proposal for an utter transformation of our society that has ever been proposed in a Democratic country.
WALLACE: Well, let's take a look at some of the specifics of the green new deal that was unveiled this week by Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and some other Democratic leaders. One hundred percent of U.S. power demand by 2030 from clean, renewable and zero emission energy sources. Upgrade all existing buildings. Expand high-speed rail so most air travel is obsolete. And it goes on and on.
Congresswoman Edwards, isn't that pretty radical and, in fact, couldn't you call it socialist?
DONNA EDWARDS, D-MD., FORMER CONGRESSWOMAN: Well, first of all, the Democrats are not socialist, they're Democrats. and so I think what you see is that the House has proposed a new select committee on the climate crisis. I think all of the ideas, including the ideas for a green new deal are going to be part of that conversation. And then we're going to go to the relevant committees, Energy and Commerce, to -- to do it.
WALLACE: All right. But -- but -- but, all renewable energy, basically do away with the internal combustion engine by 2030. Medicare for all. Free college tuition. Guaranteed jobs. You -- couldn't you argue that's pretty radical and possibly socialist?
EDWARDS: It may be radical, but it's not socialist. It's -- it's at --
WALLACE: Why -- why not?
EDWARDS: No, because I think that, you know, people said that Medicare was socialist and, of course, it wasn't. And, you know, John Dingell, who just past, reminded us of that. And so any time you have bold, new proposals, they have to go through the process and we'll see what we come out with. But, I mean, there's nothing radical about saying that we have a climate crisis and that it's important for us to structure our economy, develop resiliency in communities to make sure that we deal with this crisis.
WALLACE: Michael, Democrats think this conceivably could be a win-win for them because, for instance, Nancy Pelosi keeps her distance from those specifics. She even has called it a green dream. So the argument is, you can -- you can energize the -- the -- the -- a lot of voters, particularly young voters who are particularly concerned about climate change, but it's just aspirational, so you don't have to be held to account for the specifics.
MICHAEL ANTON, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL SPOKESMAN: Well, I would say we should all hope so because the real problem with this is not whether or not it socialist, it's that it -- my view -- it just can't work. Does anybody remember George W. Bush in 2003 promising the hydrogen economy and hydrogen cars. We're 16 years later. We don't have it.
These technologies seem to be much further off than the plan presupposes. And whether they can be achieved or not, the one thing I'm pretty sure of is that the government's not going to achieve them, the private sector innovation and research is going to achieve it. So forcing timetables isn't going to make this happen.
WALLACE: So, Juan, according to the polls, there is a growing percentage of Americans, particularly young people, who say they support socialism over capitalism. And Republicans say it may sound good but wait until you find out what that actually means, how that would actually affect your life and the -- the bigger role the government would play in business and in your lives. Where does that come down?
JUAN WILLIAMS, POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think, obviously, for Republicans, they point to Venezuela and say, look at that. Look at the chaos. Look at things falling apart. You young people don't understand.
But the numbers, the polls you referred to, Chris, are pretty overwhelming. It's 51 percent of people under 30 say yes to socialism. Americans. And remember, you have 70 percent of all Americans who say yes to Medicare for all, right, and at the same time you have like 70 percent in the Fox poll who say that we should have higher marginal tax rates on people who earn more than 10 million -- I think it's 65 percent, people who earn just more than a million.
So you could label this as socialism, but to lots of people, at a time of income inequality, rising income inequality where 1 percent of Americans, the very richest 1 percent, control 40 percent of all the wealth in the country, you can understand what young people, especially those with high college tuition debt, who know about the high cost of Medicare may not have health insurance are saying we need to change the structure of this economy to respond to our needs.
WALLACE: So, Rich, if all of that is true and at least according to the polls that's what people feel now, why do Republicans think this is such a good issue for them?
LOWRY: Because when you get down to the details, I -- I think this is an eminently winnable debate for Republicans.
And it's not just young people. There's a Gallup poll showing a majority of Democrats feel warmer towards socialism than they do towards capitalism.
But going back to the green new deal, this thing would be more costly. The interstate highway system, more costly than the Apollo moon program, more costly even than the new deal. It will cost tens of trillions of dollars. And you get down to the details of that case, it's one that's eminently winnable for Republicans.
WALLACE: All right. We have to take a break here, panel.
When we come back, growing scandals in Virginia lead to calls for the top three state officials all to step down. And now the lieutenant governor is accused of sexual assault by a second woman.
And what do you want to ask the panel about Jeff Bezos accusing the "National Enquirer" of blackmail? Just go to FaceBook or Twitter, @foxnewssunday, and we may use your question on the air.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: He wants political influence so that Amazon will benefit from it. That's not right. And, believe me, if I become president, oh do they have problems. They're going to have such problems.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Well, that's Donald Trump on the campaign trail well back in 2016 going after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos for buying "The Washington Post." This week Bezos accused the "National Enquirer" of trying to blackmail him, threatening to publish explicit photos if he didn't back off investigating the tabloid. And we're back now with the panel.
All right, Juan, let me start with you.
Did "The Enquirer" try to blackmail Bezos, one, and, two, should federal prosecutors in New York, who had a cooperation agreement with "The Enquirer's" parent company, AMI, for their role in paying hush money to at least one woman who claims to have had an affair with President Trump, should they drop their agreement and go after "The Enquirer"?
WILLIAMS: Well, on the first point, Jeff Bezos writing in medium, not "The Washington Post," and puts out this statement in which he releases e-mails that have bright dots connecting a demand from a representative of the "National Enquirer." For him to drop the charge that there's anything political about their story on him and his alleged mistress in exchange for killing salacious photos, terrible photos of him --
WALLACE: So is that blackmail?
WILLIAMS: I think that's, you know, a prima facie case of what looked like blackmail. I'll leave that to the prosecutors. But the prosecutors do have a right here to look, and especially given what you described, which is that there's a previous deal between the prosecutors and AMI, the "National Enquirer's holding company, that says they are not to engage in this type of behavior. And, again, this is linked to the parents of Karen McDougall - -
WILLIAMS: Catching and kill, where the "Enquirer" would get the story and kill it. Kill unflattering stories about President Trump.
WALLACE: We asked you for questions for the panel and on the whole Bezos controversy with the "Enquirer," Lynn Latta tweeted this, why would AMI -- again the parent company of the "National Enquirer" -- why would AMI be so dumb -- I think it's a pretty good question -- as to send a letter describing images and threaten to publish them?
Michael, how do you answer Lynn and how do you answer the controversy. And we saw a case of it there. And -- and the tweet that I played -- that I read to Mick Mulvaney where the president and the "Enquirer" have kind of been together on a lot of these things?
ANTON: The question is, how could they be so dumb. It's because this is, in a way, their business model. They've done it before and it's worked before. They get salacious material, they go to the source and they say, hey, work with us and maybe we'll get you out of this. You do a cover story in another one of our magazines, we'll kill your story in this magazine. So this is what they've been doing for years.
And I note it's always useful when reading a story about Bezos or "The Washington Post" to read what "The New York Times" says, what the competition says. "The New York Times" reports that some of Bezos' own lawyers, the people that he's hired to help him in this controversy, have actually negotiated such deals on behalf of others in the past. So I think the "National Enquirer" just thought it was doing what it always did. That's what it looks like to me
WALLACE: And do you think it's wrong?
ANTON: I -- listen, it's a sleazy tabloid. It always has been. It's not something I've ever read. But this is their --
WALLACE: Well, maybe at the checkout counter, but --
ANTON: This is their -- this is -- this is their -- this is their bread and butter is to post salacious stories about -- about prominent (ph) figures. And the world's richest man is a prominent figure. He's newsworthy for that reason. I don't believe the Bezos line that this is in any way politically motivated. I don't think it would matter what his politics were. A supermarket tabloid, if it gets wind of an affair by the world's richest man, that's their bread and butter and they're going to run with it.
WALLACE: All right, let's turn to the other big story this week, and that is that all three top officials, state officials in Virginia, are -- are in trouble. Governor Northam, who admits that he wore blackface back in the '80s, now says that he will not resign.
But Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax faces a second woman who says that he sexually assaulted her back when they were both in college, which is leading to calls for impeachment. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PATRICK HOPE, D-VIRGINIA HOUSE OF DELEGATES: He needs to resign immediately. Should the lieutenant governor fail to do so, on Monday, I intend to introduce articles of impeachment on Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Congresswoman Edwards, what do you make of all this and of, at this point, the fact that -- that Northam, Fairfax and also the attorney general, Mark Herring, who also has admitted that he wore blackface back when he was in college, that they're all refusing to resign?
EDWARDS: Well, they're refusing to resign, but I think they ought to. I mean Virginia needs a restart.
WALLACE: You think all three should?
EDWARDS: I -- I really do. And I think Virginia needs a restart. I mean they need to figure out the timing of which one resigns because you want to uphold the will of the voters that Democrats are, you know, in control of the -- of the state. But at the same time --
WALLACE: Let -- can I just interrupt for a second, because if they all resigned at the same time --
WALLACE: Then the governor would be the speaker of the house, who's a Republican. So you're saying --
EDWARDS: That's why I say timing is really important.
WALLACE: But there has to be a process for that. And, look, you know, I'm basically the same age as these guys. And so I'm wondering why it is that it was OK, even at 19 or 24 or, you know, 59 to do this kind of thing. And I think that Virginia can't tolerate it. The nation can't. And, frankly, Democrats can't tolerate it. We can't have one standard for Steve King and another standard for Ralph Northam.
WALLACE: And -- and -- and what about the argument -- look, in -- in the case of Northam and Herring, they both admitted that they did it, so there's no real due process. You can argue whether it's -- it should -- it's disqualifying or not.
In the case of Fairfax, he denies that he had these incidents, these sexual assaults of these women. What about due process for him?
EDWARDS: Well, I mean, look, I think there's always a tricky balance of due process. And, frankly, that process might come through in an impeachment hearing where, you know, these women, who both have said that they want to come forward and tell their stories. And when I look at the statements of both women, it -- it's very persuasive. And so I think that Justin Fairfax has a problem.
At the same time, you know, you look at Northam. It's amazing that the blackface incident will get a pass and they would continue to hold office while the guy who's alleged with sexual assault, the black guy, is gone. I think the entire thing is untenable. And we cannot be in a position, I think as Democrats, of that kind of hypocrisy. And so it's really important to right it. And, again, I believe that there is a structured way that that can happen so that you still maintain the politics and the will of the voters, but you have a clean slate.
LOWRY: It just seems obvious to me, the alleged offense, in the case of Justin Fairfax, is much more serious than what Northam and Herring have confessed to, which is dumb and offensive acts 30 or 40 years ago that weren't crimes, that didn't involve subjecting someone to a coercive act.
Now, I do believe there should be an element of due process here, even though the allegations now are much more serious than what Blasey Ford alleged of Brett Kavanaugh because her allegation was vague, there was absolutely no contemporaneous corroboration of it. This is much more serious. But, still, he deserve some sort of hearing. There should be some sort of fact-finding. The question is, what would that look like? And it's probably going to have to be in an impeachment inquiry.
WALLACE: You kind of were shaking her head at -- at -- at Rich. Why?
EDWARDS: Well, I was because it was very dismissive of the allegations of Dr. Ford against Brett Kavanaugh. And I think that she was very credible. The fact that he ended up on the Supreme Court, well, go figure, that's politics. But I don't want to dismiss her as, you know, as a victim and survivor. And, at the same time, not dismiss the Doctor Tyson, I guess it is.
EDWARDS: And -- and Ms. Watson.
LOWRY: But there's -- there's no --
EDWARDS: And -- and -- and --
WALLACE: Let me just -- because I've got 20 seconds. Go.
LOWRY: There's no evidence that Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh ever even met each other with -- in the case of Vanessa Tyson, they were -- they were in the same room. Their -- they actually --
EDWARDS: Except her word.
LOWRY: There was a sexual act involved.
WALLACE: All right.
LOWRY: So this -- he's -- he's in a much tougher place, Fairfax, than Kavanaugh ever was.
WALLACE: No, he's in a tough place.
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 a year. You'll meet her when we come right back.
WALLACE: As of today it's been on "The New York Times" bestseller list for 49 weeks. And, 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 and my life and -- and be in any way respectful of myself.
WALLACE: Tara Westover is describing her journey, the story she tells an "Educated," which has been on the bestseller list for almost 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 Bucks Peak, Idaho, one of seven children. Their dad was a Mormon survivalist who believed the government had been taken over by an evil organization.
WALLACE (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's 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 her brother to a hospital.
WESTOVER: I could tell I was going in one direction and he was going in the other direction. And it was not 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 - - that I went to, I raised my hand and asked the lecturer what the Holocaust was. I -- I 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 -- 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, you know, I wasn't going to stop until I kind of run out of road.
WALLACE: Tara got a fellowship to Harvard and ended up with a PhD from Cambridge University in England.
But it wasn't easy breaking away from Bucks Peak.
WALLACE (on camera): At 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 way?
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 ideal 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 talk 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. Whatever her next project, it should be interesting.
And now, this program note. Be sure to tune in next week for our annual sit-down with Rush Limbaugh. You won't want to miss it.
And that's it for today. Have a great week and we'll see you next "Fox News Sunday."
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