This is a rush transcript from "Your World," February 28, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: It was a very interesting two days. And I think, actually, it was a very productive two days. But, sometimes, you have to walk. And this was just one of those times.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: President Trump walks away from talks with Kim Jong-un, or was it the other way around? Everybody is confused.
Now reports the North Korean leader may have lost the will for further negotiations. So where is all of this headed?
Welcome, everybody. Glad to have you. I'm Neil Cavuto. And this is "Your World."
And a lot of fast-moving developments this hour. The North Koreas now say that they were not asking for complete sanctions, as the White House claims.
What does the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee think of all this? We will talk to Rhode Island Democrat Jack Reed in just a moment.
First to Blake Burman at the finger-pointing that has a lot of those talks with the North appearing to head south, and fast -- Blake.
BLAKE BURMAN, CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Neil. You're right.
The back and forth is now beginning between the United States and North Korea. Earlier today, though, President Trump described Kim Jong-un as -- quote -- "quite a character," said their discussions were productive.
But a signing ceremony that was planned between the U.S. and North Korea was scrapped today as well, as the president essentially said, at some point, you just have to walk away from a negotiation. And this was one of those times.
In a press conference after the talks with the North Korean dictator, the president saying the main sticking point was the level of sanctions relief that Kim Jong-un on was seeking.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety. And we couldn't do that. They were willing to de-nuke a large portion of the areas that we wanted. But we couldn't give up all of the sanctions for that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURMAN: North Korea's foreign minister is now disputing those comments right there. And he did so during an incredibly rare news conference, one that actually took place around midnight earlier today in Vietnam.
He described the North Korean proposal as -- quote -- "realistic." North Korea is claiming they were looking for the U.S. to remove just part of the sanctions.
Meantime, back here in Washington, Nancy Pelosi was among those today who said they were pleased the president walked vs. taking a bad deal. But she also criticized President Trump for giving the North Korean dictator a platform, as she said the prospects for success were dim.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF., SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I guess it took two meetings for him to realize that Kim Jong-un is not on the level. He was a big winner, Kim Jong-un, in getting to sit face to face with the most powerful person in the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURMAN: President Trump also said today, Neil, that a third meeting, a third potential meeting between himself and Kim Jong-un, is not set, though the two countries are expected to continue their discussions.
The question is, of course, what happens from here, Neil?
CAVUTO: All right. Thank you, my friend.
In the meantime, New Jersey Democratic Senator Bob Menendez blasting the president's summit performance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ, D-N.J.: I think what we saw in Vietnam is amateur hour, but with nuclear weapons at stake.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAVUTO: That's a little odd. Amateur hour. Was it amateur hour when Ronald Reagan walked away from talks with Mikhail Gorbachev, only to achieve an even bigger deal with Russia later on, or John F. Kennedy's first dismal meeting with Nikita Khrushchev back in the early 1960s, only to have convincing meetings and change world history after the Cuban Missile Crisis?
So, some knee-jerk reads of events have a way of changing.
Hudson Institute senior fellow Rebeccah Heinrichs, Fred Fleitz, the former chief of staff for National Security Adviser John Bolton.
Rebeccah, your thoughts on this? Mixed reads from what happened there. You almost get the impression the North Koreans were trying to say it didn't go down the way the president said it went down, and that they were almost rethinking the wisdom of continuing a summit at all right.
REBECCAH HEINRICHS, THE HUDSON INSTITUTE: Right.
I think we should believe the president of the United States, and not the regime of North Korea. At this point, remember, Neil, we just had this conversation just a couple of days ago. And I said no deal is better than a bad deal. So I am relieved that President Trump had the wherewithal, with all of this mounting pressure on him to get something, anything, for him to say no.
The thing that makes the Trump approach to North Korea different than previous American presidents is he's not giving sanctions relief up front. He -- what he has given Kim is two summits, given him international prestige, the pageantry.
And at this point, it's Kim's responsibility to do something now, to dismantle. He has chosen not to. And he had a lot of gall to say that he wants all of the sanctions relief in exchange for partial dismantlement.
CAVUTO: All right, well, now the take is, Fred Fleitz, that they didn't demand that. The North Koreans said some sanctions relief.
Again, you don't know who to believe, not owing alliances to one or the other. I'm just saying that they're both giving very different takes on this meeting.
Do you think that maybe they were -- and that is the North Koreans -- annoyed by the way Donald Trump and the American delegation presented leaving?
FRED FLEITZ, FORMER CIA ANALYST: Well, first of all, Neil, this was really an extraordinary act of leadership by the president walk away.
In my career, this almost never happens. President Reagan did it in Reykjavik. John Bolton did it concerning the biological weapons convention in 2001. Diplomats never walk away from a potential deal.
But there's something here no one's talking about. Why did leader Kim think he could get away with this? And this dovetails with things we have been hearing on this channel and on other outlets, that there are lower- level people at the State Department who were raising issues that we would have been giving away too much to the North Koreans.
And I worry, in the run-up to the summit, the North Koreans were told by lower-level officials that they might have been able to get more than the president will give them.
And I think the president has to look at what these lower-level officials have been saying to North Koreans, so this kind of thing doesn't happen again.
CAVUTO: I might have a more sinister view of this, Rebeccah.
What if there were those in North Korea who were fearful that their leader wasn't up to the job and they were dialing him back?
HEINRICHS: Well, it's possible that they were trying to do that
To your previous question, though, too, I would say if we don't know who is telling the truth here, Kim Jong-un has sole authority in his country. If he really wanted to dismantle -- and if he claims that the terms of a deal were different than what President Trump is saying, he can just write that down and say, this is what my terms are.
But he's not doing that.
CAVUTO: And the fact is, he didn't do it prior to the sit-down, which raise questions about why the president then had to go to all the trouble going halfway around the world. This guy took a two-hour train ride.
I understand the reasons why. My point is, it sounds like the North Korean leader then botched it in that regard, that he either anticipated something or didn't know much about the diplomatic process, that if you're especially going to have a second meeting, it's a good idea to have ahead of time an idea of signing off on something.
HEINRICHS: Or maybe he thought he could get President Trump in the room by himself, and that he could get some sort of deal, in which President Trump would be willing to relieve all of these sanctions in exchange for partial dismantlement that would be reversible.
That's probably what Kim Jong-un thought. And when President Trump said, no, that's not my understanding, I have given you now two summits. I have given you everything that you have wanted to this point here, all of this prestige, normalcy between our two countries to a large degree.
HEINRICHS: But the goal is still dismantlement. You have got to give us an inventory.
We don't even have a common understanding of what the goal is with denuclearization between the two countries at this point, Neil. So this is really the blame rests with Kim Jong-un for this thing falling apart.
CAVUTO: Do you think, Fred -- there are separate reports that had secretary of state reviewing whatever they had agreed to, at least in broad parameters, and saying, Mr. President, this is a joke.
FLEITZ: Well, I -- first of all, I don't believe what the North Koreans said.
But you know what I think? They're looking at what happened during the second Bush administration, when there were negotiations between North Korea and basically Condi Rice and her representatives. And the North Koreans didn't agree to anything. They basically -- we gave concession after concession to get a deal.
And I think the North Koreans have been looking at the way multiple Republican and Democratic administrations have handled situations like this in every instance, and especially concerning the flawed nuclear deal with Iran. When the rogue state would make trouble, we would simply give in.
I think that's what the North Koreans thought we would do.
CAVUTO: Well, there's a different message coming out of this one. Quite the opposite.
FLEITZ: That's right.
CAVUTO: All right, guys, thank you both very, very much.
Well, the president was also sending a signal to China on all of this. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I am always prepared to walk. I'm never afraid to walk from a deal. And I would do that with China too if it didn't work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAVUTO: All right, that could explain why stocks were a little antsy today, or investors were, over the prospects that trade talks that looked like they were given might not be a given or an immediate given on this, the final trading day of the month, by the way.
The Dow shut up about 3.7 percent. We had about a 3.5 percent uptick in the S&P 500, and about a little bit more than 3.5 percent for the Nasdaq. This continues two successful months, winning months in a row for both the Dow and the S&P. Three of the last four months have been positive.
The Nasdaq on pace for two months, the best two months as since February of 2012.
Gerry Baker joins us right now, the host of "Wall Street Journal at Large."
Gerry, good to see you.
GERRY BAKER, HOST, "WALL STREET JOURNAL AT LARGE": Thank you.
CAVUTO: That was the immediate reaction. Forget about North Korea. Now we're worried about whether we got ahead of ourselves on China. What do you think?
BAKER: I think there is -- look, the president, I'm sure, would like to do a deal.
He's seen how favorably the stock market, how favorably investors have reacted over the last month or two to suggestions of a deal. And I think he would be right to think that there would be a very positive reception if he got a deal with China.
But, again, I think what he probably has very helpfully underscored today with the failure of -- to get a deal with North Korea is that it's not a deal at any price.
And I think the fear among some in the administration who've been really restraining the president on a deal, people like Bob Lighthizer, the U.S. trade representative, is that, look, don't sign up to something that we don't have any real clear means of verifying.
And the fear always with China, as it's always been for the last 20 years, is they will say they're going to do this, they will say they're going to make concessions on intellectual property and on technology and all these things, and then there's no real enforcement mechanism to make sure it happens.
So the president, I think, doesn't want to find himself in that position where he trumpets a deal, and then we discover a year down the road that China has done nothing. So I think it's helpful what happened in a way in North Korea today, to send a signal to the Chinese, look, I want a deal, but I don't want a deal so badly that I will just sign up to anything.
I'm prepared to walk away. And he said those very words in that press conference.
I also wonder. Normally, something get some heft and importance when the two leaders meet. So there was a sense maybe after Singapore and people wondered, well, what came of that, that in this second personal meet and greet, that it would be more than a meet and greet.
BAKER: Right. Right.
CAVUTO: And now the expectations are, the president wants to meet sometime next month, the latter part of next month, probably in Mar-a-Lago with Xi Jinping, the Chinese leader, with the expectations that surely something similar will happen.
CAVUTO: But now -- now this proves not necessarily.
I mean, it is pretty unusual to be in this situation. You mentioned rightly that there have been previous occasions Reagan in Reykjavik with Gorbachev most famously.
BAKER: When leaders get together and they fail, because, normally, by the time -- the way these things work is, by the time the leaders are there ready to meet, it's really just a question of signing off. There's not a lot of negotiation that -- usually done.
It's almost -- it's almost symbolic. So it is striking that the president goes all the way to Hanoi, building up the possibility of a deal with North Korea, and then comes away and says no, and now prepares to welcome, as we believe, Xi Jinping to Mar-a-Lago at some point in the next month or so, and again leaving open the possibility that, look, I like Xi Jinping, I have got a good relationship, because that's the other thing he's been careful with -- with -- controversially, with Kim, with leader Kim, in North Korea.
To say, look, I like the guy. I have got a good relationship with him.
CAVUTO: He handled it, I thought, very, very well, to say, you know, we still like each other. He's an amazing guy.
BAKER: Yes. Yes.
And it's the same with Xi. He's got a very good -- he seems to have a good, warm personal relationship with Xi.
But he's kind of -- the message at the back is, we'd like a deal, but it's not absolutely essential.
I do think there is more at stake economically in terms of a deal and in terms of the markets with a deal. I think if we did get -- if we get in Mar-a-Lago later in March, we get the same -- get a repeat of what happened in Hanoi yesterday, then you're probably talking 1,000 points off the Dow straight away.
CAVUTO: Is that right?
BAKER: Well, I mean, who knows?
BAKER: Who knows?
But there has been for the last two months now steadily rising expectations that there will be a deal, that these tariffs will be taken off the table, certainly the next round of tariffs will be taken off the table.
If that doesn't happen, I think there will be quite a lot of disappointment and a lot of nervousness that actually this economic relationship is going to get worse, there's going to be more tariffs, it's going to get tougher.
And that -- the market won't like that.
CAVUTO: I have a feeling I could see your show on Friday, 9:30 p.m. Eastern time, on FOX Business Network. He gets to the bottom of it all, "Wall Street Journal at Large with Gerry Baker."
All right, in the meantime here, so there's no deal on denuclearization, whatever that means, because that apparently has been a source of great frustration and confusion.
We will get the read from a ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed. He's here. He's next.
CAVUTO: All right, with President Trump walking away from his sit-down with the North Korean leader, a lot of people are asking then, what happens next? Is there going to be a third meeting? Is there a need for third meeting? Would it be a waste of time?
Let's go to Senate Armed Services Committee ranking member, Democratic Senator Jack Reed.
Senator, good to have you.
SEN. JACK REED, D-R.I.: Thank you, Neil.
CAVUTO: So what do you think? Should there be a third meeting, or not?
REED: Well, I think the negotiation process, diplomacy, should continue.
But I think what's critical right now is to reestablish the maximum pressure campaign, to make sure that the North Koreans understand that we're willing to talk, but we're also willing to put pressure on their regime.
That will require ensuring that China and the other regional powers cooperate with us. But that's the next real step, of reapplying the pressure.
If they come back to the table, they will come back to the table willing to deal, not just for the sake of a photo-op.
CAVUTO: Senator, there are a lot of people making a big deal of the president walking away from this. Of course, Ronald Reagan walked away at Reykjavik in Iceland back in 1985, came back to secure a better deal.
If you think about it, John F. Kennedy as a new incoming president had a rough first meeting with Nikita Khrushchev. I think it's fair to say that little more than a year-and-a-half later, he had righted that ship with a very strong response during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
So I'm wondering if we're prejudging this. What's your sense of where this puts the president on the global stage?
REED: Well, I think there's two critical mistakes that were made.
Despite the great work of the special envoy, Steve Biegun, to set the meeting up, there was no detailed listing of the nuclear sites and the nuclear facilities that are really the heart of our discussions.
Typically, for a meeting -- and President Reagan had many meetings with Gorbachev, but they went in with pretty detailed sort of, if you will, guidelines or pathways that they were going to pursue. They didn't have this in this case.
And the second mistake is, in Singapore, President Trump, I think, sent the signal to Kim Jong-un that this is all going to be a one-on-one private conversation. You can ask me, and I will give it to you, particularly with respect to our military exercises.
When the president conceded off the cuff that we wouldn't have military exercises, in fact, described them as provocative war exercises, I think that sent the wrong signal to Kim Jong-un. I think he said, I don't need this preliminary negotiation. I'm just going to sit down with him. I'm going to ask him to take off sanctions, he will probably do it.
And so the setting was all wrong for anything...
CAVUTO: But he miscalculated, right? I mean, it's fair to say he miscalculated.
REED: He continually miscalculates.
CAVUTO: What I'm wondering, Senator -- and you're closer to this than I am -- but is there a sense you have that maybe there's confusion within the North Korean leadership, that they say, for example, that they didn't ask for dropping all sanctions, just some, and then set the stage quid pro quo to remove others.
We don't know. What we do know is, to your point, no deal was made.
CAVUTO: Do you think if they were -- if there were to be a future meeting, that that should be outlined and almost signed off on before either leader goes to wherever they go?
REED: Oh, absolutely.
I think, again, successful summits are generally just the ratification of a pretty defined deal by the leaders, not, let's talk about some topics that are interesting or important, et cetera.
CAVUTO: But things change, right? Someone tries to zoom the other and -- or embarrass the other.
We learned that with John F. Kennedy and Khrushchev. We learned that but Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan.
CAVUTO: So how do you prepare for that?
REED: Well, I think -- actually, I think when -- your comment with President Kennedy, when he met Khrushchev in Vienna, it was, he assumed, more of a get-to-know-you meeting.
REED: And Khrushchev sort of turned it on its head.
When Reagan and Gorbachev met, they had a pretty well-defined sort of spectrum. Gorbachev and Reagan were really ready to announce kind of a going to zero in terms of nuclear weapons.
CAVUTO: But Gorbachev, if I remember, sir, suddenly threw in there, by the way, whatever you're doing with this Star Wars defense initiative, that's got to stop.
And that was just like a paragraph added at the last second, and Reagan bolted.
REED: That's exactly right, Neil.
CAVUTO: But you're quite right. There is a difference here.
But how do you avoid that?
REED: Well, you avoid it by doing the preliminary work.
Again, it goes to my first point. Had there been something that looked like an outline, a detailed outline of agreements, or at least points of disagreement, and the president knew that, and his team was meeting in a structured way to deal with them, that's a lot different than sitting down one-on-one and sort of, let's talk about a deal. What do you want?
You have got to avoid that to get any type of comprehensive agreement. The next step, as I suggested, is, we have got to get this maximum pressure campaign, because if the North Koreans walk away thinking they have got -- they have won, that they're now a recognized nuclear power, they have met twice with the president of the United States, Kim Jong-un is a world leader, nothing can take him off that pedestal, and, gradually they will see they were sanctions regime begin to erode, then they have won.
And, frankly, that would be unfortunate.
CAVUTO: All right, well, we're not at that point yet. But we will watch it very closely.
Senator Jack Reed, great seeing you.
REED: Thanks, Neil.
CAVUTO: Thank you, sir. All right.
All right, these border wall prototypes, I know that they look very, very impressive. Well, they're all coming down. They're being destroyed.
And it's what's going up in its place that has a lot of people saying, what?
CAVUTO: All right, remember these?
They're very impressive border wall, I guess, prototypes. They were meant to see what we could come up with to make the border more secure. Well, they're taking them all down. Remember, these were prototypes. They were not going to be actual walls.
But a lot of people are saying, oh, man, what a waste of money here. Bottom line is, we're hearing all of this just as border agents were resting nearly 200 illegal immigrants crossing into Mexico just in the past week.
With us here in the flesh -- I have talked to him remotely so many times -- we're glad to see him in person, the former acting ICE Director Thomas Homan.
Thomas, good to see you.
THOMAS HOMAN, CONTRIBUTOR: Good to see you.
CAVUTO: So this was planned, right?
But, I mean, a lot of those prototypes looked really, really impressive. And now we're led to believe that the replacement isn't going to be nearly as impressive. What's the truth?
HOMAN: Well, look, they have had a lot of prototypes. They had eight there. They actually had over 100 responses from the private sector on what they think could help on the border.
CAVUTO: Is that how the process went, Tom?
CAVUTO: They take -- weigh all of this in and then cost it out?
HOMAN: The Border Patrol already had their ideas.
They wanted the private sector to say, you come up with technology, something that will help, a barrier to help slow illegal immigration.
They picked the top eight and these prototypes were built. And these prototypes were built for a couple reasons. They want them to be tested. The Border Patrol had a special operations team. Can you climb them? Can you dig under him? Can you drill through them? Can you break them apart?
And what they did during this -- all this testing by the special ops teams, they found some had good attributes, some didn't. They liked attributes in maybe several of them.
So what they're going to do is take that technology and attributes from several different prototypes and create the perfect prototype.
CAVUTO: But it wouldn't be the same thing. As you were telling me, along the Rio Grande, you obviously have to be very careful vs. if you were at San Diego-Tijuana border.
HOMAN: For instance, if it's a levee, and it's going to hold water back, they got to have a solid structure.
HOMAN: But Border Patrol would much rather have them balusters, where they can see through, with a solid top, which make them anti-climb.
And plus there's also coming anti-dig technology. I won't get into specifics. It's law enforcement-sensitive. But if they're going to dig under it, they're going to know about it in advance.
CAVUTO: All right, it still sounds expensive, though. Do you risk not getting as much wall built because the type of wall you want, to your point, might be pricey?
HOMAN: It needs to be effective, right?
The wall is going to pay for itself in a number of years, right? I was director of ICE. It's almost a $8 billion budget, with half of that for detention beds. Less illegal aliens arrested means less detention beds. It means less immigration judges. It means less transportation contracts.
It means less social services that some illegal aliens use. Last year, they put the cost at $816 billion a year for illegal immigration. So when they slow the illegal immigration down, it's going to save money, which would pay for this wall.
The wall is expensive, but it has to be effective.
CAVUTO: Excuse me.
The emergency thing, where do you think that stands?
HOMAN: I think the president was in a tough spot, right? He was given two options, sign the bill that isn't really good and hopefully take some executive action and declare an emergency to fix it, because it wasn't a good bill, or shut the government down.
The Democrats knew exactly the position they put the president in. I think he picked the lesser of two evils. He's going to say, OK, I will sign this bill, because there's some things are good in it, some things bad. And he's going to try to fix it with executive actions.
It's unfortunate the president is put in this position once again because Congress has failed to do their job. I have been doing this for 34 years. Congress has never taken seriously on securing this border.
This president has taken it seriously. He talked the talk during the election and now he's walking the walk. He actually has ideas taken from experts, myself, the Border Patrol, ICE agents who have been on that line and done this for decades.
This can be addressed, and we finally got a president that wants to address. Unfortunately, a lot of Congress isn't with him on it.
CAVUTO: Well, the House overwhelmingly rejects the idea of an emergency. In the Senate, whenever it comes up for a vote there, we could have three or four Republicans flip, now, not by the numbers you would need to override a presidential veto, which the president promises.
What do you think of all that?
HOMAN: Well, I think President Obama declared an emergency in the swine flu which killed 12,000 people. Opioids, that now kills 72,000. So that's not an emergency?
You're talking about the president declared -- President Obama declared a national emergency on the criminal cartels on the northern border of Mexico because of cross-border crime and drug smuggling. This president has doubled down on that, because we still have the issue of cartels smuggling drugs, raping one-third of the women that are smuggled up to the border.
Children are dying. I mean, how many bodies we got to keep burying until the Democrats realize that there's an issue on the border? And as we talked previously, there is no downside. I don't care if you're Republican or a Democrat, independent.
Someone needs to explain to me, what's the downside in securing our border? What's the downside on less immigration?
CAVUTO: And they tell you, we will even agree that in some points there is an emergency of the border. We just don't think a wall is the answer.
HOMAN: Every place a barrier has been built, 100 percent of the time, every place they built a barrier illegal, illegal immigration went down. The data is clear.
But the Democratic leadership is ignoring the data. The data is there. They can look at it. They can talk to the experts. President Trump didn't pull this wall out of his pocket. He talked to the men and women on the front line, including myself, who have been there.
We have stood on that line in the middle of the night taken on drug smugglers and people who come across. You sit in the middle of that trail, 3:00 in the morning, the sensors goes off. You don't know if it's an illegal alien looking for a job or a heavily armed drug smuggler.
These Border Patrol agents need work -- they need help, and they got the ideas, and the president has listened to them.
CAVUTO: You going to join the administration?
HOMAN: Well, we will see.
CAVUTO: OK. I don't like to follow up with tough questions, because your handshake alone was able to break my hand. And so I'm going to be very -- I will leave it at that.
HOMAN: Be nice.
CAVUTO: Be nice.
CAVUTO: All right, Thomas Homan, the former acting ICE director, FOX News contributor, so much more. Who knows how much more.
All right, in the meantime, a judge set -- just granting a motion as we're talking here to unseal documents in this whole Trump dossier defamation case against BuzzFeed. It gets confusing, but it's getting even weirder -- after this.
CAVUTO: All right, for a third day, Michael Cohen is talking to those on the House Intelligence Committee. This one's behind closed doors.
What's coming of these back-and-forths, if anything?
CAVUTO: Man, when it rains, it pours.
Some breaking news now on the Trump dossier defamation case. Remember, again, BuzzFeed?
Catherine Herridge has the very latest -- Catherine.
CATHERINE HERRIDGE, CHIEF INTELLIGENCE CORRESPONDENT: OK, so, Neil, we have had a decision from one of the courts that they will unseal the deposition of Christopher Steele.
Christopher Steele was a former British spy who was the primary author for the anti-Trump dossier that was funded by the DNC and the Clinton campaign through this opposition research firm Fusion GPS. And the dossier matters because it was also a foundational piece for securing the surveillance warrant for a Trump campaign aide.
What we expect when these documents are unsealed is, we will get kind of a road map as to how the dossier got to the FBI through multiple different channels in 2016. We know that the British spy Christopher Steele provided parts of the dossier to the FBI directly.
We also know that once his contact was cut off with the FBI, he used a back channel through a senior Justice Department official. We also know through transcripts of interviews done here in Congress that at least one journalist provided pieces of the dossier to the FBI.
But one of the missing links here has been the late Senator John McCain and the role of his associate, David Kramer, how they worked together to get the dossier to the FBI and also whether Kramer may have been the one to provide the dossier to BuzzFeed.
And, remember, it was the report in BuzzFeed that kind of open the Pandora's box in January of 2017 that sort of helped kick-start the whole public discussion about Russian collusion -- Neil.
CAVUTO: Catherine, thank you very, very much, Catherine Herridge.
HERRIDGE: You're welcome.
CAVUTO: And, meantime, there's this from our judge on, well, Michael Cohen. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREW NAPOLITANO, JUDICIAL ANALYST: The president could fire the attorney general, could shut down Bob Mueller tomorrow. Neither of them can shut down the prosecutors in the Southern District. And they are not political prosecutors. They are career, lifetime, full-time, apolitical prosecutors.
CAVUTO: And that office is not so much interested in collusion, as going back years and years with business transactions.
NAPOLITANO: It -- I can tell you what it's in to. It's in to bank fraud with Deutsche Bank. And it's into campaign finance fraud with the payments of hush money.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAVUTO: All right, the upshot of that is, with the administration much more focused on the Bob Mueller investigation, what our Judge Napolitano is saying, hearing Michael Cohen responding to questioning yesterday at that public hearing, that he couldn't jeopardize an answer because it would conflict with the Southern District court of New York is doing.
Is that a sign that that is the bigger fear for the administration, as folks like Chris Christie have pointed out, right now in the middle of a book tour?
Former federal prosecutor Jon Sale on that.
Jon, what do you think? Not so much Mueller to worry about, but what's going on not too far from where I sit?
JON SALE, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, I agree with my friend Judge Napolitano.
The Mueller rules or their charter is limited as to what they're looking at. And I don't think we should assume that they're done, because my childhood hero, Yogi Berra, said, it ain't over until it's over.
And I think that's the -- that's what we say about Mueller. But the Southern District, where I'm an alumni of, their only limited by anything that might have taken place in their jurisdiction and the statute of limitations.
They're not limited to collusion. They can look at any violation of federal law. And, Neil, what can they do? I mean, they're not continuing to investigate the president in order to just do nothing. They will look at these two Office of Legal Opinion opinions, legal counsel opinions, and they will say, hey, we agree with them, or we don't agree with them.
If they don't agree with them, maybe they will do what we did in Watergate. Maybe they will file through the court a road map and ask the court to give it directly to the Judiciary Committee. Or another thing, they could bring a civil action.
In the case involving Paula Jones, the Supreme Court said the president can be sued civilly. They could bring a civil RICO case against the Trump Organization, and they could tie up all their assets as proceeds of crime.
So they're not called the sovereign district for nothing. And that's usually a term of respect, to tell you the truth.
CAVUTO: No, I get what you're saying.
But, Jon, what I also hear what you're saying is, the irony could be a much of the attention of the public has been on collusion, did anyone in the Trump team, the president even himself, do something to collude directly with the Russians to force the election in his favor?
Now it's going into all other areas that have nothing to do potentially with collusion and everything to do with business deals that could go back decades.
SALE: Well, Michael Cohen knew the whole world is watching him for three days, like they did John Dean. He really didn't add anything to the collusion, so that didn't advance the ball at all.
But that's correct. And that's why the Southern District of New York is a threat. And there is nothing the president can do about it. It's an institution. And firing the U.S. attorney, which he could do, that wouldn't matter. They're going to continue in the tradition of an honest investigation.
Much like President Nixon, President Trump goes on foreign trips. He's on the world stage. And he comes back and all he is going to hear about from the press is Russian collusion, Southern District of New York.
It's just difficult for him to get away from. I think the country needs some closure, though, to tell you the truth.
CAVUTO: Yes, and on and on and more complicated it goes.
Jon Sale, former federal prosecutor, good seeing you again. Thank you.
SALE: Good to see you, Neil. Thanks for having me.
CAVUTO: All right, Joe Biden is set to speak very soon in Nebraska in a few minutes. We're going to be looking for signs of a 2020 shakeup and who he's talking to reach out to the young -- after this.
CAVUTO: All right, Joe Biden is at an event going on right now in Omaha, Nebraska, still is sort of dangling and thinking and torturing himself over whether he should run for president and all.
We do know that he's spoken to advisers. We do know as well that he's getting advice from social media companies on exactly how to connect with younger voters.
What would a presidential bid then mean in an already crowded field, especially with a relatively older guy reaching out to try to get younger guys? But, then again, Bernie Sanders has been very effective at that.
Let's go to Democratic strategist Jessica Tarlov, RealClearPolitics' A.B. Stoddard, and Republican strategist Evan Siegfried.
A.B., to you first on this reaching out that is to get young people going for you. It would be -- it would seem counterintuitive for an old guy to do that. But then we learned from Bernie Sanders it was very effective.
So what do you think?
A.B. STODDARD, REALCLEARPOLITICS: Well, I think no matter -- that Joe Biden is a separate candidate than anyone else in the field.
Of course, he can get it on his own time and he has an entirely different strength than any of the other candidates. But he's not going to just separate himself by being the only one who isn't attempting to have an Instagram game. So it's not like he's going to be doing a lot of pasta cooking with a streaming feed.
But I think that he wants to be able to cut across the coalition. He won't be reaching for young people maybe the way Beto O'Rourke would be or even Bernie in terms of his sort of pie in the sky, free lunch, socialism things that candidates like Biden are not going to back.
But he could have fun with videos and memes and try to sort of be a good time guy, without pretending that he's really Mr. Twitter.
CAVUTO: There can be some savvy with that, Jessica, but I'm wondering.
The base of the party, whatever you want to call it these days, they have great respect for the vice president, the former vice president, but they also face a very crowded field of their own. We just mentioned -- A.B. just did -- Beto O'Rourke, young guy, if he enters this race.
JESSICA TARLOV, CONTRIBUTOR: Right.
CAVUTO: What happens to that young vote?
TARLOV: Well, the young vote will split amongst a few candidates.
And this is incredibly early. A lot of people who are going to declare aren't even in yet at this point. Young people did fuel the 2018 midterms alongside seniors, who might also like Joe Biden, by the way, putting that out there.
But the young people are going to split amongst who they like, what proposals they're interested in. But I think this is an incredibly smart thing for Joe Biden to do. One of the companies that he's meeting with, NowThis News, which is basically responsible for Beto O'Rourke's viral effect across the nation, when they televised his defense of football players kneeling during the national anthem at games, that company reaches 70 percent of millennials across the nation right now.
TARLOV: And there are other candidates going to meet with them as well, including Bernie Sanders, who, as we all can assume, didn't wake up one day and know how to wield social media control at the level that he did in 2016.
He had a lot of advisers and probably had a lot of meetings with people to build that social media strategy. So the young will disperse, but it's very smart of Joe Biden to be doing this.
CAVUTO: So, Evan, what I just don't understand right now, I guess who you meet with social media events. Are they acting as advisers, which might concern me a little bit here, or are they just sort of saying, this is how it works with our medium, this is how you connect?
What are they doing?
EVAN SIEGFRIED, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, I think that the Biden team would probably be wanting to find out what do young people talk about right now on social media platforms, what appeals to them?
CAVUTO: Usually, I find interest rates and stocks.
CAVUTO: I don't know what it is. These kids are crazy.
SIEGFRIED: I'm sure they're really into APR and all of that, in addition to the cutest pug memes that are going around.
SIEGFRIED: But I think that, for Bernie Sanders, he was smart in 2016, in that he spoke to the issues that young people actually cared about.
And Joe Biden doesn't want to just say, these are the things I care about. He should be talking about what they care about. And, remember, Joe Biden, his presidential campaign strategy for the primaries would have to be based upon pulling certain percentages of each constituency, African-Americans, Hispanics, whites, millennials, baby boomers, out and getting them to vote for him.
He doesn't need to win the entire overall youth vote.
CAVUTO: No, you're right about that.
SIEGFRIED: But he has to eat into Bernie Sanders' presumed lead and the Beto O'Rourke lead.
CAVUTO: The one thing I -- when I looked at Bernie Sanders and his appeal, he's direct and a genuine article, A.B.
And one of the things that -- I don't think this is pegged to any age -- people respect someone who has been either consistent, his own man or woman, and a long history of being just that. I mean, he was hip into all this stuff before it became hip on all of this stuff.
So I'm wondering if we overthink this, that if you need a social media person to tell you how to connect with Jessica, then something's wrong. What do you think?
STODDARD: Well, you should still attempt -- as Jessica said, it's smart because you need to be where they are and then you need to get them to listen.
So it's not something that Joe Biden can ignore.
CAVUTO: So you're going to that audience and where they electronically gather, right?
STODDARD: Because they don't watch cable news. And they don't watch -- they probably don't even watch a lot of the debates, so you are really going to have to capture their attention in innovative ways.
And then, again, you're going to be competing message wise with Bernie Sanders. I think Bernie Sanders, he had some great numbers out of New Hampshire day. He certainly has a very devoted following who have sent tons of money this first week.
I don't know that he's going to be one of the final contenders next spring, that party officials expect this to go until May.
CAVUTO: You never know. You never know.
STODDARD: But, you know, like Evan said, I mean, as long as Biden cuts into everyone's strength and builds the biggest coalition, he with the most numbers wins.
CAVUTO: All right, Jessica, just please tell me that no young person watches cable news, it's -- that's not true, is it?
TARLOV: A couple of my friends tune in to make sure that I'm all right on a daily basis.
CAVUTO: That's good enough. That's good enough.
TARLOV: So, you have got them.
CAVUTO: I'll tell you, I am deeply hurt, A.B.
CAVUTO: All right, guys, I want to thank you all very, very much.
TARLOV: Thanks, Neil.
SIEGFRIED: Thank you.
CAVUTO: Meanwhile, we're focusing on Venezuela.
Nicolas Maduro, say what you will of him, he's still holding on to that power. We have had a number of military types defecting, but not the right military types.
I will explain after this.
CAVUTO: All right, a U.S. draft resolution that called for a new presidential election in Venezuela has failed a U.N. Security Council vote, following vetoes by Russia and China.
Fox News correspondent Steve Harrigan is in Caracas with the very latest.
How's it looking there today.
STEVE HARRIGAN, CORRESPONDENT: Neil, some desperate scenes on the border between Venezuela and Colombia.
With the borders closed by the embattled President Nicolas Maduro, desperate Venezuelans are trying to get out any way they can, some crossing the river into Colombia carrying their children or whatever household goods they can manage just to get out of this country.
The opposition leader, Juan Guaido, had promised to bring in massive amounts of humanitarian aid from around the world last weekend. He failed to do that. Maduro instead blocked the borders. There have been efforts to peel away the senior military leadership from Maduro. That up until now has also failed, Maduro still firmly in control on the ground here.
As for Juan Guaido, the man backed as president of Venezuela by the U.S. and more than 50 other nations, he's in Brazil today, and he might have a challenging time even getting back into the country where he claims to be president -- Neil, back to you.
CAVUTO: Steve thank you very much, Steve Harrigan in Caracas.
All right, even Nancy Pelosi is beginning to ask, this single-payer health care system, how do you pay for it?
CAVUTO: All right, Nancy Pelosi is wondering how you pay for a single- payer health care system, something that a lot of the liberals in her party want to see.
King's College business Professor Brian Brenberg joins us right now.
Brian, that's interesting, the latest one to say, like your ideas, I want to find out more about how you're going to pay for them.
BRIAN BRENBERG, ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS PROFESSOR: Well, look, Nancy Pelosi is smart enough to know that you can't pay for these things simply by taxing the rich, which is what everybody in the Democratic Party in the House is saying.
So she knows when somebody starts asking the tough questions, it'll probably come from the Republican side. They will say, the only way you're going to pay for this is raising taxes on the middle class. And that's an election loser.
I don't care who's running for president on the Democrat side. So it's funny to see her in the shoes of the fiscal conservative. She's not. But in today's Democratic Party, that's the role she gets to play.
CAVUTO: I think she is, as are others like Dick Durbin, not exactly conservatives, saying, we have got to find a way this is cost-effective, talking about Congresswoman Cortez's spending plans, green initiatives and the like.
But I'm wondering whether this represents something more significant within the Democratic Party.
BRENBERG: Yes, I think there's an imagination problem in the Democratic Party.
I mean, some on the right would say Democrats haven't had an original idea on any major policy issue for a very long time. They have got plenty of ideas now. The problem is they're totally unworkable.
So, yes, Nancy Pelosi is fighting a losing battle because her opposition is capturing the imagination of the youth of their party and she's having a hard time beating it back right now. And it looks like desperation from her position.
CAVUTO: The backdrop here is a good economy. We had surprising growth in the fourth quarter, 2.6 percent. Do you see that continuing?
BRENBERG: Look, yes.
I think it's very possible it will continue next year, if we get some policy changes, especially on trade. I think if trade gets done, the economy pops. But it's a very open question right now. And that is going to be a big issue going into 2020.
But I do think Democrats put themselves in a bad position, even if the economy slows, if they're talking about $30 trillion price tags, because if the economy is slowing, consumers especially then, taxpayers especially then don't want to be paying more taxes for big government programs.
CAVUTO: Professor, thank you very much, Brian Brenberg out at King's College, the chair of business and finance, crunching the numbers and, as he was saying, long before you had it from many in the parties, they don't add up.
And that could be a very big clarion call in the next presidential campaign. We shall see.
Certainly, we can figure out the number of people running for president is going to be significant, probably equal to the debt.
"The Five" starts now.
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