This is a rush transcript from "Fox News Sunday," March 24, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I'm Chris Wallace.
The Russia investigation that cast a cloud over the term presidency for two years is over. When will we find out what the final report says?
REP. STEVE SCALISE, R-LA, HOUSE MINORITY WHIP: If there is no collusion that was found, then it strongly vindicates President Trump.
SEN. CHRIS COONS, D-DEL.: I think we need to do a responsible job of oversight, see with the conclusions are and move forward.
WALLACE: Special Counsel Robert Mueller ends his probe with no new charges. Now Democrats demand Attorney General William Barr release the full report.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-N.Y., SENATE MINORITY LEADER: The president himself has called, without qualification, for the report to be made public.
WALLACE: Will the White House prepares for a possible counteroffensive?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: There was no collusion. There was no obstruction. Everybody knows it. It's all a big hoax.
WALLACE: We'll discuss what comes next with the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Democratic Congressman Jerrold Nadler, and the committee's top Republican, Congressman Doug Collins. Nadler and Collins only on "Fox News Sunday."
Plus, we'll ask our Sunday panel what impact the special counsel's findings will have on the 2020 campaign.
And our "Power Player of the Week" taking advanced medical treatment for children to places where it doesn't exist.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our motto is: heal a child, change the world.
WALLACE: All, right now, on "Fox News Sunday".
WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.
After more than 22 months, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has completed his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. But what did he find? And how much of his final report will we see?
We're going to drill down on that and we have new Fox News polling out today on the 2020 election and what you think of the Mueller investigation. We'll get to politics later, but first, the special counsel's report. In a moment, we'll speak with the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerrold Nadler, and the top Republican, Doug Collins.
But we begin with Kevin Corke at the White House on where things stand right now -- Kevin.
KEVIN CORKE, CORRESPONDENT: Chris, a working weekend here in the nation's capital for the Attorney General Bill Barr and his deputy Rod Rosenstein as the two men pore over the principal conclusions of the Mueller report with the hopes obviously of delivering a summary of that report by day's end. But even before seeing Barr's summation, congressional Democrats are demanding more.
CORKE: A carefree stroll with his wife appeared to be Special Counsel Robert Mueller's reward following a 22-month long probe into the president, his associates and the Trump 2016 campaign.
TRUMP: There was no collusion. There was no obstruction. Everybody knows it. It's all a big hoax.
CORKE: Now, it's up to Attorney General Bill Barr to summarize the report's findings, as he spent hours Saturday sifting through the conclusions drawn by the special counsel, he did so knowing there would be no additional indictments. News held by the president's supporters as vindication of the president's long-standing position. Still, congressional Democrats insist the full report be made public, including his underlying evidence, which ultimately could spark a battle between Capitol Hill and the White House over executive privilege, and the Justice Department over precisely what lawmakers have a right to see.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF, D-CALIF.: If necessary, we will call Bob Mueller or others before our committee.
CORKE: This is the latest Fox News poll found that 52 percent of those surveyed say they approve of the Mueller investigation, an overwhelming majority, 80 percent think the report ought to be made public.
CORKE: That same survey, Chris, found that just 21 percent of those questions thought that the report would have any impact on changing their minds about the Mueller probe, 41 percent in fact said it would have no chance of changing their minds at all -- Chris.
WALLACE: Kevin Corke reporting from the White House -- Kevin, thank you.
Now, let's bring in the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerrold Nadler.
Congressman, welcome to "Fox News Sunday".
REP. JERROLD NADLER, D-N.Y.: Good morning.
WALLACE: Attorney General Barr says he will provide, quote, the principal conclusions of the Mueller report to you and two other top members of Congress. Have you been given any advance notice as to when specifically, and how detailed that summary will be?
NADLER: As to how detailed, no. As to when, in the letter he wrote to us on Friday, he said maybe as early as the weekend. And that's all we know.
WALLACE: Do you expect the White House to get a review of the summary before you do for any executive privilege issues and would you have any problem with that?
NADLER: I certainly hope that does not happen and I certainly do have a problem with that. This is an investigation of the White House, of the president, of the people around them for alleged misconduct in various different ways and for subverting the Constitution in various different ways. As we know from the Nixon tapes case, which the Supreme Court decided 9-0, executive privilege cannot be used to shield wrongdoing and certainly they should not get an advance look at the report. The report should go public in its entirety and see what the chips fall.
WALLACE: Let's do a little tea leaf reading on the little bit we know now. The Justice Department says that the special counsel is not recommending any new indictments. That means that no one will have been or has been or will have been charged with collusion with the Russians and President Trump clearly couldn't do that himself. So, in effect, isn't it a logical assumption that the special counsel did not find any criminal collusion with the Kremlin?
NADLER: Well, the -- all we know is that the special counsel -- what we think we know -- is that the special counsel is not bringing criminal indictments for collusion. There are other investigations going on which he has farmed out to the Southern District of New York, Eastern District of Virginia and they may or may not.
We do know, remember, in plain sight of a lot of collusion. We know, for example, that the president's son and his campaign manager were present in the meeting with the Russians to receive information which they were told in the invitation was part of the Russian government's attempt to help them in the election. We know that the campaign manager give targeting data, political targeting data to an agent of the Russian government.
WALLACE: But --
NADLER: We know a lot of things and maybe it's not indictable, but we know there was collusion. The question is to what degree and for a purpose --
WALLACE: Excuse me, that's the point I was going to make. Jared Kushner was not charged for that, Paul Manafort wasn't charged. Don Jr. wasn't charged. So it would seem that there was no criminal collusion among them, so it would seem to clear the president, wouldn't it, on that issue?
NADLER: No, it would not. "The Washington Post" has a story today which says that in counterintelligence investigations, because of the way they are done and because of way counterintelligence works, very often, they do not lead to criminal prosecutions. But we -- these are additional reasons we have to see the report. The entire country, the public needs to see the entire report so we can see what the special prosecutor says about these questions. Right now, it's very speculative.
WALLACE: OK, you've made it very clear that you want to see not only the report, but all of the underlying material, all of the investigative material.
Here's what Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said last month.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROD ROSENSTEIN, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: If we aren't prepared to prove our case beyond reasonable doubt in court, then we have no business making allegations against American citizens.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Mr. Chairman, given how upset Democrats were in 2016 when then- FBI Director James Comey said he was not going to recommend charging Hillary Clinton but then that laid out the case against her, why should Attorney General Barr make the same mistake if he's not going to bring a case against Donald Trump and lay out all the information against him?
NADLER: There's a fundamental difference. The Justice Department believes -- normally, that's a very good rule. If you don't have enough evidence to charge someone with a crime, you shouldn't sully their name.
However, the Justice Department believes that as a matter of law, the president, no matter what the evidence, can never be indicted for anything simply because he is the president. If that is the case, then they can't hold him accountable, and the only institution that can hold the president accountable is Congress and Congress therefore needs the evidence and the information.
Once you say that a president cannot be held -- cannot be indictable the matter with the evidence as a matter of law, to then follow the principle that you can't then comment on evidence or publicize is to convert that into a cover-up.
WALLACE: Well, I want to pick up on that. You say if the attorney general does not turn over everything to the special counsel, that's a cover-up, which is a pretty charged phrase. I mean, couldn't it just be that he reads the regulations differently than you do, that it's not a cover-up of a crime?
And secondly, I understand they're going to be two differences of opinions here, what are you prepared to do to get all the information you want?
NADLER: Well, again, if the president cannot be indicted because as a matter of law, then the only way a president can be held accountable is for Congress to consider it an act if warranted. And Congress can only do that if it has the information. And for the department to take the position that we are not going to give information because he's not indicted like a normal person is not indicted because of lack of evidence is equivalent to a cover-up and subverts the only ability to hold the president accountable. And the president, more than anybody else, cannot be above the law.
As to whether we will use subpoenas, we will if necessary. We, as you know, put out a lot of document requests to people. We are getting a good response on that. Not from the White House, but from a lot of other people.
And we'll use subpoenas if and when we think we have to.
WALLACE: You have made it clear that your committee is going to keep investigating the president regardless of what is in the Mueller report. You just recently sent out a document request 281 people and entities for information.
But if the special counsel -- and I understand this is speculative. If the special counsel after two years basically does not find criminal activity - - obviously, you say they're not going to charge them with a crime. If they find no evidence of criminal activity by the president after this long investigation on collusion or obstruction of justice, how do you think the American people will react to House Democrats continuing to investigate the president for the rest of his time in office, the next two years? I understand why it might be good politically.
NADLER: I don't know -- if I don't know --
WALLACE: Keep him under a cloud. But is it good for the country, sir?
NADLER: I don't know if it's good politically or not, and I don't know if it will take the next few years. But what I do know is that the job of Congress is much broader than the job of special counsel. The special counsel was looking and can only look for crimes.
We have to protect the rule of law. We have to look for abuses of power. We have to look for obstructions of justice. We have to look for corruption in the exercise of power, which may not be crimes. They may be, but they may not be crimes.
We have a much broader mandate and we have to exercise that mandate to protect the integrity of government and protect the integrity of liberty and the country.
WALLACE: As you will know, there are some Republicans who believe the real scandal here is the bias, the misdeeds, overreach by the FBI, by the Justice Department, by the special counsel. Do you have any intention of investigating them, sir?
NADLER: Well, when the Republicans controlled the Judiciary Committee and the Oversight Committee in the last two years, there was an extensive investigation of that. And nothing relevant was found. Yes, it turns out that some FBI agents have political opinions that they didn't like the president. Other FBI agents love the president.
But the inspector general found that no actions were taken that were influenced by political opinions. You know, it's against the law for the FBI or any other government agency to inquire as to the political opinions of people you're going to hire, as a head check. So, no, I don't see the necessity for any further investigation.
It is part of a sustained attack by the administration and its allies on the integrity of law enforcement agencies, the FBI, special prosecutor for the last two years to try to undermine the integrity and the credibility of our law enforcement institutions, and that's something that's very damaging to the country. And one of the things that we have to rectify.
Let me add, again, regardless of whether the special prosecutor finds crimes, we know certain things. The public knows certain things. We know that the president asked the FBI director to go easy and to stop investigating some of his close associates like Michael Flynn. We know that the president fired the FBI director because he wouldn't give him the personal loyalty he demanded and because as he put it to NBC News, of the Russian thing.
We know that a lot of the president's closest associates, his campaign manager, deputy campaign manager, national security advisor have been indicted and convicted of various crimes and we know the sustained attacks on our law enforcement institutions. These are very dangerous to the rule of law and we have to try to rectify it.
WALLACE: So -- and I've got about 30 seconds left, what you seem to be saying is whatever is in the Mueller report, not saying you're going to do it, but that impeachment is still on the table.
NADLER: It's way too early to talk about impeachment or not. We have to look at -- as I said, our mandate is not to impeach the president or anything like that. Our mandate is to defend the rule of law and to vindicate our constitutional liberties and to buck up the institutions that have been weakened by the attacks of this administration, the institutions that we depend on for our democratic form of government.
So, we have to look into abuse of power, we have to look into obstructions of justice. And that we will do and we'll see where it goes -- we'll see where the facts take us.
WALLACE: Chairman Nadler, thank you. Thanks for your time. We'll stay on top of what your committee does now.
NADLER: Thank you.
WALLACE: Up next, reaction from the top Republican on House Judiciary, Congressman Doug Collins.
WALLACE: A Senate Democrat says the wrap up of the Mueller investigation is not the beginning of the end, but just the end of the beginning.
Joining us now from Atlanta, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, Doug Collins.
Congressman, welcome to "Fox News Sunday".
REP. DOUG COLLINS, R-GA: Good morning, Chris. Good to be with you.
WALLACE: To what degree -- I understand it's very early -- to what degree do you think what we have heard so far about the special counsel's report clears the president, especially the fact that there's been a decision made it not only not to indict the president, but also not to indict for instance on issues of collusion, any of the top people around him?
COLLINS: I believe it goes to what we've been talking about for the long time. What the president has been saying from the beginning, that there was no collusion. What we have so far and the indications out of the Department of Justice that there's no more indictments, I'm waiting to see the conclusion that Bill Barr is going to give us hopefully as early as today.
As we see those, then we can actually show to the American people what the investigation meant and how far it went, and also the fact that now we can hopefully begin to move on in these to your cloud of an investigation in which a lot was gone into to prove the president. Now, we are saying that the collusion is not, and now, we can move forward.
WALLACE: You say move on. You just heard my interview with your chairman, Jerrold Nadler. He makes it clear he intends to keep investigating not only other issues but also to keep investigating collusion, obstruction of justice, all of the issues the special counsel was looking at.
COLLINS: Well, that's all they have. Obviously, we've seen on the first two months of this Congress, they really don't have a policy agenda. They have an agenda against the president. They have an agenda to try to win 2020.
And so, what we're seeing is, is they think that they can go into the Judiciary Committee or any other committee and have a limited budget, limited subpoena power, limited staff and go up against an investigation that lasted 22 months, had unlimited power, unlimited subpoena power, had plenty of investigators and they think they can find something more than what they did, then I think they are sadly mistaken, and I think the American people will see through that.
WALLACE: What about the argument that you heard from Chairman Nadler -- look, the special counsel has his role, we have -- we, the Democrats, the Congress has its role, which is different and broader?
COLLINS: I think it might just be a different -- what he's saying if he keeps going by the rule of law and they're different for purposes. If Mr. Nadler is saying that our committee is supposed to be a paintbrush that just simply tries to taint the presidency and paint the presidency with doubt and innuendo, then I would disagree with that. That's an abuse of power.
That's not something the committee ought to be doing and I think we also have to respect what the Department of Justice and Mr. Mueller has been doing. If we do that, then the American people can see we are respecting the will of law.
WALLACE: Now, as we were just talking about, Democrats are demanding not only the release of the full report, but also all underlying materials. You have said the same thing, but you have added this phrase that you want to see it all released, quote, to the maximum extent permitted by the law.
What do you think are the limits permitted by the law?
COLLINS: Well, the limits -- no, Chris, I think that's a great question. I think the American people deserve to understand.
It's amazing to hear my chairman say that he wants everything out there. Well, I would ask my chairman: does it include classified information, which has never been released to the American public? Would it include 6(e), which is grand jury information, things that are normally never released to the public outside -- really outside of a special order from the court? Would he want to do the things that, you know, would actually get into ongoing investigations?
I think the problem is that the Democrats and my chairman have a problem. They thought that this report was going to show something they can impeach the president on. That is not seemingly going to happen.
Now, they have to figure out some way around that and I think when you understand that for him to make a broad statement of what they want released, that's not fair to the American public and we believe they are trying to taint what is coming out by not saying what should not come out to the public, because of what I've just listed.
WALLACE: But, you know, there are other areas besides grand jury testimony, classified material. Democrats say the president is any unique legal position. They say on the one hand, that the Justice Department regulations they don't release information on people they're not going to charge, but also the department regulations say they can't charge the president.
So, you know, there is, as I say, this kind of self-contradictory basis there. Isn't it legitimate to argue that even if there is damaging information to the president that does not rise to the level of an indictment, that it should be turned over to Congress to take a look at?
COLLINS: Well, it's not the Department of Justice's job to give Chairman Nadler and House Judiciary, or any committee on the House or the Senate for that matter, you know, what they want to do to go off on a purely partisan investigation to lead towards impeachment. Let's also understand, clearly, these were findings that have not been made yet. There was been no findings that that was the reason that you couldn't indict a sitting president, the reason why there's no more indictments coming forward.
Let's be honest with the facts and say probably with the facts showed was that there was no collusion. Let's go to the logical choice that nothing happened. It was sort of amazing to hear the chairman say things that we do know.
Again, basically, when you talk about collusion was happening, meetings were happening, that all of this was going on again to simply sully what they have been called the best investigation around and not to touch the Mueller investigation. When it comes back not what they want, now they've decided that they can just try to go around it and draw implications so that others can doubt it. That's just wrong.
WALLACE: Congressman Collins, President Trump tweeted and called Mueller investigation a witch hunt, something called the "Trump Twitter archive" says that in his presidency, he has tweeted that phrase, witch hunt, 183 times.
But let's look at what the Mueller investigation has found. His team indicted, convicted or got guilty pleas from 34 people and three companies. His former national security advisor pleaded guilty. So did his former fixer. His former campaign chairman was convicted and a long-time advisor, Roger Stone, faces charges of lying to Congress.
Congressman Collins, I agree that there has been no action and apparently will be no action taken against the president by the Justice Department, but would you agree that this was no hoax?
COLLINS: I think what the president was saying was -- is since he was elected, there have been calls for impeachment and every kind of investigation, and I think that what he was lashing out was saying, look, this is not -- we won election and he won the election in many opinions, fair and square, doing what people do to win recollections, going to convince people to vote for him and visit every state in the Union and not skip states.
What we see here, though, is an investigation which people who lied were held accountable, people who were investigated are now being held under the rule of law. At what point does that not make the investigation any less valid in the sense that they did what they saw on others, but also found that in their main core of the collusion or investigation or obstruction, they are seemingly coming to the point that the president and those around him had nothing to do with this?
The other charges, except for those indicted with the Russians, which will probably never see in court in the United States, that is the core finding, at least if what we're seeing so far. Remember, that report and those findings are still coming out and we'll see. But at this point, the president has been proved right. I think he was obviously frustrated during this time and rightfully so, as this report seems to show.
WALLACE: But Michael Flynn was convicted of lying about his dealings with the Russians. Michael Cohen was convicted of lying about his dealings with the Russians. Roger Stone has been indicted for allegedly lying about his contacts with WikiLeaks, which got information from the Russians.
Don't you find that -- again, not saying that this proves anything about the president, but don't you find it curious that three people so close to the president allegedly or have been convicted of lying for their dealings with the Russians?
COLLINS: I think it just shows you had three people who chose to lie to investigators when nobody told them to lie to investigators as far as anything has been pointed out. When you have people lie to the investigators, when you have people lie to the FBI, Department of Justice, then there's going to be consequences to pay for that. To go into the reasons why they chose to lie is simply something that you'd need to ask all three of them. We still need the larger picture, which the Democrats want to just paint the president with, with these others, is the simple fact that at the end of the day, if this report comes back, as it seems to be coming back, that there was no collusion on the president or the part of the campaign, then that is the part that we need to take and move from here.
Why people lie? Chris, that's a discussion for them and their lawyers, and why they chose to do that.
WALLACE: And I've got about 30 seconds left. What do you think the reaction of the American people is going to be if the House Democrats, as intended, seem -- continue investigations for the next year or so?
COLLINS: I think it's going to play badly for ‘em, but if that's where they choose to make their case to the American people that they deserve to be in power in the House, then that's something that they're going to have to concentrate on. We're going to continue to concentrate on one of the greatest economies that we've seen in years. We're going to concentrate on the fact that deregulation works, and I think if they want to go down this path, we're going to meet them with strong resistance because there is a certain time that this is just a rabbit chase that they are wanting to go on a fishing expedition and we will be meeting that as it comes up. Surely, the American people will see through political stunts like that.
WALLACE: I like rabbit chases as well as fishing expeditions.
WALLACE: Congressman Collins, thank you. Thanks for joining us today. Please come back, sir.
COLLINS: Chris, look forward to it. Take care.
WALLACE: Up next, we'll bring in our Sunday group to discuss the legal and the political fallout from the Mueller report.
WALLACE: Coming up, Democrats call for the release of the full Mueller report, plus all related materials from the investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHUMER: The American people have a right to the truth. The watchword is transparency.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: We'll ask our Sunday panel how much information Congress should get, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Let it come out. Let people see it. That's up to the attorney general. We have a very good attorney general. He's a very highly respected man. And we'll see what happens.
SCHUMER: The president himself has called, without qualification, for the report to be made public. There is no reason on God's green earth why Attorney General Barr should do any less.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: President Trump and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer seeming to agree the full Mueller report should be released to the public.
And it's time now for our Sunday group.
Former Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz, columnist for "The Hill," Juan Williams, former Democratic Congresswoman Donna Edwards, now a columnist for "The Washington Post," and former Republican Congresswoman Barbara Comstock.
I was thinking with three former members of Congress, we could form her own committee here and hold hearings.
Congressman Chaffetz, from the information that you have -- and it's pretty sketchy, but what we've heard so far about the Mueller report as we await the summary and then whatever else more we're going to get over time, what do you think we can say about President Trump's actions, his -- and his jeopardy down the line to impeachment?
JASON CHAFFETZ, CONTRIBUTOR: I think impeachment is a ridiculous notion at this point. If the Mueller probe, with everything they have and all the resources -- and, by the way, we need to still read the report, but they have no more indictments coming and not a single person in relation to actual collusion, it's really kind of ridiculous to even be talking about impeachment.
And if the Democrats continue to overreach, if they continue with this power grab to try to delegitimize the president, I think America turns that out. They keep screaming wolf, wolf, wolf and then they -- it ends up that they have nothing. What Adam Schiff and others promised that they had seen personally under the guise that they had classified information and they got to see things other people didn't and they've got nothing at this point.
WALLACE: Congresswoman Edwards?
DONNA EDWARDS, D-MD, FORMER CONGRESSWOMAN: Well, the president does a lot to delegitimize himself. But I think that what Democrats are calling for -- and, frankly, what the American people want is for the full report to be released so that they can get the benefit of the -- of the investigation and see what really went on. And the fact that the -- there are no more indictments does not exonerate the president of the United States. And we have to see that report.
We don't know, for example --
WALLACE: Well, explain. Why does -- why doesn't it exonerate?
EDWARDS: Well, because we don't know, for example, that the reason that the president himself wasn't indicted is because Robert Mueller was following a long-standing Department of Justice precedent and that there may have been, in fact, conspiracy on the part of the president. There may have been obstruction of justice on the part of the president. And, of course, Mueller wouldn't indict.
What he would do is write a full report that the Congress needs to see, that the American people need to see, so that we can make a judgment for ourselves. And I'm not going to prejudge what's in that report, but we need to see it.
WALLACE: Well, I agree with that. But I take your point when it comes to obstruction because that could be something just involving president. But the president couldn't collude with Russia by himself. There would have to be other people involved. And -- and the people, frankly, that a lot of us were wondering about, like Jared Kushner, like Paul Manafort, like Don Junior, none of them were indicted, and they're not protected from being indicted. So wouldn't that seem to indicate that there wasn't collusion?
EDWARDS: Well, I don't know. And Robert Mueller, I think, his mandate, one, was very limited, but he may have made a decision that he's going to put -- put what happened in the report and then allow the political process, the constitutional process, to play out with respect to what happens next.
I don't know, but we need to see the full report. The American people deserve it. The American people are asking for it. And the Congress unanimously passed a -- the House passed a resolution, 420-0, to release the full report, release the underlying data and let us see where that leads.
WALLACE: Congresswoman Comstock, you know, it hasn't just been the 22 months of the Mueller investigation because the FBI investigation started in July of 2016. So this has been going on in terms of investigating the president and the Trump campaign and ties to Russia for almost three years now.
So -- and again, obviously, we're -- we're talking before we get a lot of information. But the fact that there are have -- are no indictments on collusion, not only not of the president but any of the people around, how much does that put the president in the clear on that issue? And what do you think about the idea -- and we heard it from Chairman Nadler, House Democrats are going to keep investigating.
BARBARA COMSTOCK, R-VA, FORMER CONGRESSWOMAN: Well, as a former Justice Department official also, I really have a lot of confidence in how Bill Barr, the attorney general, is handling this. I thought the letter was just perfect. He made clear he's going to work both with Bob Mueller and Rod Rosenstein, who's staying on a little bit longer to go through this process. So what I feel like we need to now let this process go forward, let people actually read this. I know the polls indicate people are already going to have their opinions and it's not going to be changed, but I think it's important that we do read this and I think it's important that we really look at it with fresh eyes and not, you know, the inherent bias that everyone brings in from a partisan standpoint.
And we are very fortunate, I think, with Bill Barr being there right now, he has a national security background, a White House staffer background. He worked at the White House also. And when he was attorney general, he appointed independent counsel's himself. So I think he's going to look at this with fresh eyes and -- and I am confident that it's going to be transparent and we're going to get to see it.
WALLACE: Juan, do -- and you heard this from Congressman Collins, do Democrats run the risk of a backlash if they continue to investigate, assuming that the report doesn't show a smoking gun with regard to President Trump. I mean I guess what I'm asking is, do you think there might be a sense if after the Mueller investigation is over there, you know, basically -- and obviously we have to read it, there's no there there or not much there there. Are people going to say, leave the guy alone, let's run the country?
JUAN WILLIAMS, POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think the president's going to encourage a backlash of sorts because he wanted it as leverage to shutdown the congressional investigations, specifically the one Jerry Nadler talked to you about this morning, Chris.
But I think you have to understand that the president was trying to shut down the Mueller investigation at times. I mean he was making the case it's a witch hunt, there's a deep state here, the FBI is corrupt, CIA, everybody. The -- you know, the Mueller team is filled with Democrats. they're not going to be fair. On Friday I think he said to our colleagues Maria Bartiromo, whose Rod Rosenstein? He didn't get any votes to ask somebody to investigate me. There shouldn't be a report. So that kind of undermining is going to go forward.
But I think you have to understand, I think the American people will understand, Congress is an equal branch of government. They have a right to act as a check on the executive and to have these investigations. The question is whether or not you are doing so with a political motive, which is to prevent the president from functioning. If that's the case, there will be, I think, a legitimate backlash.
But right now, if you look at the American people, they think Mueller was a legitimate investigation and Congress has a right to check this president.
CHAFFETZ: But -- but that's exactly why Democrats won't be able to accept this. Mueller has all the credibility in the world and there are no indictments. No, we've got to read it.
WALLACE: I've got to say -- and I just want to put this out there, you say he has all the credibility in the world. You realize the president, for two years, has been saying --
WILLIAMS: Yes, he has no credibility.
WALLACE: Exactly the opposite.
EDWARDS: He has no credibility.
CHAFFETZ: No, but if you look at the polling of what the American people believe, the president will walk out of this stronger than ever politically because now with this behind him and no indictments and no collusion, exactly what the president said, polar opposite of what the Democrats and Adam Schiff have been saying, I do think, though, 90 days from now, there is going to be an inspector general report that could be very damning about the highest echelons within the FBI and what they were doing. And I think that is -- that may have the most consequences --
WILLIAMS: But, congressman -- but, congressman, just looking at what we've seen so far, I don't think anybody at this juncture would say, oh, this was a witch hunt. Look, he's just throwing out indictments left and right. To the contrary, it seems as he's exercised some restraint.
CHAFFETZ: How did it -- how did it originate? How did they go to the FISA court and get, you know, (INAUDIBLE)?
WALLACE: Well, wait, wait -- no, no, no, no. No, I'm not going to -- yes, we're not going to go there.
EDWARDS: Look, but their --
WALLACE: It originated -- it originated because Donald Trump fired James Comey.
EDWARDS: That's right.
COMSTOCK: And it's important --
WALLACE: And -- and then he said to Lester Holt --
CHAFFETZ: And that Democrats --
WALLACE: And then he said to Lester Holt on NBC, it's the Russia thing.
WILLIAMS: He sure did.
COMSTOCK: But then it's important to note he --
WALLACE: Well, wait, I want to hear the congressman.
CHAFFETZ: No, but it the -- the president --
WALLACE: That's why -- that's why there was a special counsel.
CHAFFETZ: That every single Democrat in this town wanted to fire James Comey. He had Rod Rosenstein. It -- absolutely.
WALLACE: Yes, but they didn't fire him because of his involvement in the -- in the Russia investigation.
CHAFFETZ: The president got a -- a memo from Rod Rosenstein to actually do the --
WALLACE: Oh, please, he'd already decided --
CHAFFETZ: Come on, yes, please.
WALLACE: He'd already decided to do that. He'd already decided. He was up at Bedminster the weekend before.
CHAFFETZ: He has a constitutional opportunity and duty to do that.
WALLACE: That's a different issue. But he -- he fired him because he said because of the Russia thing.
EDWARDS: He said because of the Russia thing. Look --
CHAFFETZ: No, I -- I think you play back that tape. You even had Brit Hume, I think, put out a tweet saying, I went back and watched this.
WILLIAMS: No, come on.
EDWARDS: Come on. Look, Jason, come on. All of the -- the American --
CHAFFETZ: Roll the tape.
EDWARDS: The American people saw the tape. We played it over and over.
WALLACE: We played the -- the tape has been playing since May of 2017. He said Russia thing was part of it.
CHAFFETZ: The president -- but he has a constitutional duty -- an --
WALLACE: You keep switching the argument, congressman.
CHAFFETZ: No, I'm not. He -- he can fire him and I'm saying that Democrats were all in favor of that as well.
COMSTOCK: It's important to note he can't (INAUDIBLE) -- fired him because of Russia.
WALLACE: All right. You're just eating into the next segment. I -- we'll argue during the commercial. You want to get those special scanners.
We have to take a break here. But when we come back, the race for the 2020 Democratic nomination. We have a new Fox poll on where the candidates stand against each other and against President Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, I-VT, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is absolutely imperative that the Trump administration make that report public as soon as possible.
BETO O'ROURKE, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Republicans and Democrats should do whatever they can to make sure that their constituents, the American people, can read that report.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Two of the leading Democratic candidates, Bernie Sanders and Beto O'Rourke, wasting no time calling for the release of the Mueller report.
As Democrats jockey for position on the campaign trail, we have brand-new Fox News polling out today on how they stack up against each other and against President Trump.
SANDERS: We are going to transform this country.
WALLACE: Democratic voters are starting to sort through a field that may reach 20 candidates, or even more. And at this point, name recognition seems to be the biggest factor. Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are in the top tier in our polls with Kamala Harris and Beto O'Rourke in the next group. Followed by Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren.
TRUMP: Democrat lawmakers are now embracing socialism.
WALLACE: For all the president's talk about Democrats moving far left, the party's primary voters say they'll be practical. Fifty-one percent say it's more important to back a candidate who can beat Mr. Trump, while 36 percent say they will support the one they like the most. When it comes to policy - -
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS, D-CALIF., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Which is why I support Medicare for all.
O'ROURKE: Some will criticize the green new deal for being too bold.
WALLACE: Two-thirds of Democratic voters say they're very likely to back a candidate who supports Medicare for all. More than half back a 70 percent tax on income over $10 million. But other ideas, like the green new deal in reparations and abolishing ICE are supported by a third of Democratic voters or less.
TRUMP: I'd love to have Biden. I'd love to have Bernie. I'd love to have Beto.
WALLACE: President Trump says he can't wait to face the top candidates in our Fox News poll. But if the election were held today, registered voters say they would pick Biden by a margin of seven points. Sanders also wins and Warren and Harris trail narrowly. All three of them within the margin of error.
WALLACE: Congressman Edwards, what stance out for you in that Fox poll?
EDWARDS: Well, the Democrats are being very clear about the objective, and the objective being to defeat Donald Trump. They want to choose a candidate that they agree with, but they want somebody who can go toe-to-toe and beat -- and beat this president. And I think that that -- you know, it's rare that you see Democrats are acting in such a very sort of pragmatic way in terms of their -- their thinking, but that's what this year has brought.
And also I think a lot of people don't even know these candidates. That's really what stands out for me in this poll. And that's why it's important to go through this primary process. And I'm looking forward to Joe Biden jumping in.
WALLACE: Congressman Comstock, let's look at the field of Democratic candidates, at least the front runners. Put it up on the screen. Here are the top six in the Fox poll. And, as we said, Biden and Sanders obviously enjoyed a big advantage in name recognition. But would you say that those are the six front runners now that the Democratic nominee is likely to be in that group?
COMSTOCK: I do think so. And I think I was a little surprised by the practical approach of the Democrats who are sort of going with their head more than their heart because what we're seeing on TV and in Congress often is this lurch to the left. But certainly -- we haven't seen Biden in yet, but I think it comes down to it's all about Pennsylvania, I think, and people have realized that the guy, you know, who always likes to talk about Scranton has an edge in a very key state for the president. I think you're going to see any of these candidates are not going to do what Hillary Clinton did and not go to Michigan or Wisconsin. So I'm a little surprised by the practical approach, but I think that is -- I think it's likely they come through there.
But these others have been very undivided. The fact that Joe Biden, who has been fairly vetted over the years from all his campaign, and the president, the way they stack up there, that has to be encouraging to the Democrats. But as these others come on, you know, people like Beto, who, you know, a lot of bizarre stories there. I think the -- the psycho shower scene is certainly going to -- we were talking about it before, that -- that -- that is -- kind of lost me how you can think that's a funny thing to play a joke on somebody with that and some of his other things. So I do think we're going to lean interestingly enough, two 70-year-old men, Biden or Bernie, and we're not going to --
WALLACE: Closer to 80, actually.
WALLACE: Then there is a horse race, whoever the Democratic nominee is, against President Trump. And let's take a look at that pole. As you can see there, Biden beats the president by seven points. Sanders beats him slightly. But Sanders, Warren and Harris are all within the margin of error with the president.
Juan, look, let's be honest, this is ridiculously early. We're a year and a half before. But what does that tell you about the chances Democrats have whoever it ends up being, of beating Donald Trump in November of 2020?
WILLIAMS: Well, I think it's going to be a tough race. And I think anybody who thinks anything else is really in a fantasy.
You know, what you see there, by the way, I think, is evidence of name ideas you pointed out. But, keep in mind, there have only been five presidents I think in history who have not won a second term. Donald Trump not only has the bully pulpit, he has the bully Twitter. And so he's out there and he sets the media agenda. He's going to comment on every Democratic debate. He's going to be putting down, nicknaming candidates.
But I would keep in mind that you also have it very clear here, 60 -- I think it's more than two-thirds of Democrats want Joe Biden in the race. They know who Joe Biden is because of name ID. He's going to have a tough race, by the way, on criminal -- police -- criminal -- crime reform in the '90s, Anita Hill testimony. All that is going to come up and going to challenge him with the left wing of the party.
But when it comes to the policy issues that you highlighted, Chris, things like Medicare for all, it's overwhelming. The American people want these things. When it comes to things that are deemed socialist by President Trump, these are not winning issues.
So there's lots there for the Democrats to have hope about, but it's not going to be an easy race.
COMSTOCK: But the Democrats are talking about things like getting rid of the Electoral College and packing the court instead of a lot of these -- you know, people want to talk about jobs and education and, you know, things like infrastructure and they're not talking about that. So I think that's a (INAUDIBLE).
WALLACE: Let me -- let me -- let me bring in Congressman Chaffetz, who is - - I was going to make some joke about Chaffeting (ph) at the bit, but, all right.
So 2018 was not a good year for the Republicans. I understand Donald Trump wasn't on the ballot, but suburban women went against him. Minorities went against him. Young people went against him or went against the party. Independents. And he kept saying he was on the ballot.
How concerned are you when you see -- I understand it's early -- Biden, seven points up, a number of these others neck and neck. I mean doesn't it indicate -- not that he's in trouble necessarily, but it's going to be a tough race?
CHAFFETZ: Well, I would remind you that President Obama had a worse -- far worse midterm election than Donald Trump did, but Donald Trump is a unique person. He has this dynamism. He can draw these crowds. He can talk directly from his heart. I don't see anybody on that list who has the authenticity and the dynamism that Donald Trump has in order to win an election. When 30 of the 50 states went with Donald Trump and you combine that with a thriving economy, world peace that I think is moving in the right direction, I think Donald Trump does have the upper hand, certainly is the incumbent.
WALLACE: I -- I want to ask you -- we've got about two minutes left, Congressman Edwards. There's talk that Biden is going to get into the race probably next month and that there's also talk -- the concerned that he's not going to have big grassroots excitement at that he is an older guy, he's going to be close to 80 if he's elected president, and it may be early on he would name a running mate, like Stacey Abrams, younger, women, minority. Do you think that's a good idea, or do you think, in fact, it only is a sign of weakness, gee, I got to prep myself up here?
EDWARDS: Well, I'm not going to say who he's going to name, but I actually --
WALLACE: No, I don't mean Stacey Abrams, but the idea of a running mate?
EDWARDS: No, but -- no, but I've been -- I've actually been quite an advocate early on. I think, you know, months ago I said I thought that that would be a great strategy for him because I think that it also signals to people where the future of the party is and lays the groundwork for a team that's going to run and challenge Donald Trump. It would be unconventional, but I think it would give him a lift that, you know, is needed in this kind of multicandidate field, even with Joe Biden.
And I don't think it's a sign of weakness. In fact, I think it demonstrates his strength and his belief that he can carry a ticket that can win in states like Pennsylvania and Michigan and Wisconsin.
COMSTOCK: But it's the Ted Cruz strategy that we -- Carley Fiorina that didn't work. I think it is a sign of weakness. And it's also -- Reagan in '76 tried to do it and it didn't work. So it doesn't have a history of working. I do think --
CHAFFETZ: And none of the other people are actually planning to become the vice president. And so I think he becomes even more of a target.
WILLIAMS: But, remember, the number one goal for Democrats, beat --
COMSTOCK: Beat --
WILLIAMS: Donald Trump. And any strategy right there I think you will find people buying into it. And it's why they're such interest in a fairly establishment candidate like Joe Biden.
WALLACE: All right, thank you, panel. We've only got about 18 months more to chew over all of this and I can't wait. See you next Sunday.
Up next, our "Power Player of the Week." Working to save children in places where hope is running out.
WALLACE: It's every parent's worst nightmare, your child needs major surgery. But now imagine you live in a part of the world where doctors and hospitals are not equipped to treat the problem. Here's our "Power Player of the Week."
SUSAN RICKMAN, CEO, WORLD PEDIATRIC PROJECT: Our motto is "heal a child, change the world." These are amazing kids and they deserve as a basic human rights to have access to advanced health care.
WALLACE: Susan Rickman is head of the World Pediatric Project, which sends medical teams to 12 countries in Central America and the Caribbean to treat children with serious health problems.
RICKMAN: Nine out of 10 people in the world have no access to surgical care. And when you look at the countries we work into, it's almost 10 out of 10 children that don't have access to pediatric care.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get a prosthesis for that.
WALLACE: Doctors and nurses volunteer to spend a week treating as many kids as they can in their specialty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fibula there and there's no tibia bone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fix the hurt (ph). See what they sound like.
RICKMAN: If it's an open heart surgery team that goes down, like to our Honduras, they do about eight open heart surgeries in a week. if it's a plastic team going down, it may be 50 cases that they do by the weeks.
WALLACE: Doctors like Jeffrey Lukish, a pediatric surgeon at Children's National Health System in Washington, who's been volunteering for WPP for seven years.
DR. JEFFREY LUKISH, CHILDREN'S NATIONAL HEALTH SYSTEM: To go into an environment where children are so very needy and would be without surgical care and be chronically in pain, it is a wonderful experience.
WALLACE: But sometimes a child's problems are too serious to be treated in their country.
RICKMAN: At the end of the week they can look at a child and say, I couldn't do you here, but bring you up to one of our facilities (ph) in the United States, I can return you as a healthy child.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a large (INAUDIBLE) defect.
WALLACE: Maccoll Hall (ph) from the island of St. Vincent was 12 years old when doctors saw him. He was flown to St. Louis to one of WPP's 17 partner hospitals to have open heart surgery that will let him lead a full life.
WALLACE (on camera): You say the biggest challenge is to build trust in these countries. Why is that such a challenge?
RICKMAN: Because I think there's been a lot of distrust earned in these countries with groups that have gone in and have not stayed.
WALLACE (voice over): WPP started in 2001 and the numbers are impressive. Fifty-five medical teams travel to the region each year, treat some 2,500 children and fly 100 more back to the U.S.
Over the last 18 years, they've cared for 13,000 kids. The funding comes entirely from private donations, but that doesn't tell the full story.
WALLACE (on camera): You raised $5 million last year but you provided $25 million in services. How does that work?
RICKMAN: Because of our doctors and our nurses, you know, donating and giving of their time. We have medical supply companies that are giving us hundreds of thousands of dollars of supplies for us to take down without our surgical team.
WALLACE: Susan Rickman has been part of WPP since the start. She says there's nothing she would rather do.
RICKMAN: I think anytime that you can look at a child's face that has been healed and you look at them and say, you are fine now, I can't imagine any better bottom line to work for.
WALLACE: Rickman says the World Pediatric Project has an ambitious goal, that every child in the eastern Caribbean will have access to critical care by the year 2023.
And that's it for today. Have a great week and we'll see you next “Fox News Sunday.”
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