This is a rush transcript from “Fox News Sunday,” April 28, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, ANCHOR: I’m Chris Wallace.
Another deadly shooting at a house of worship in this country, and President Trump faces new foreign policy challenges from Iran and North Korea.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: I just want to let you know, no money was paid for Otto.
WALLACE: The president denied the U.S. paid $2 million to secure the release of Otto Warmbier, while North Korea’s Kim Jong-un holds a summit with Russian President Putin. And a year after pulling out of the nuclear deal with Iran, the Trump administration ramps up pressure on the Islamic republic.
MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: Any nation or entity interacting with Iran should use its diligence and err on the side of caution.
WALLACE: We sit down with Iran’s top diplomat to discuss a new ban on allowing other countries to buy oil from Iran.
Do you see that as part of the effort to bring Iran to its knees?
And designating Iran’s nuclear guard as a terrorist group.
They say you’re not the victim here, you’re the villain.
WALLACE: We go one-on-one with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and get reaction from White House national security advisor John Bolton. Bolton and Zarif, only on “Fox News Sunday”.
Plus, the fallout from the Mueller report is felt on the campaign trail as a familiar face enters the race. We will ask our Sunday panel about Joe Biden’s chances of beating Mr. Trump in 2020.
And our Power Player of the Week, a master guitar maker turned high tech guru.
All, right now, on “Fox News Sunday”.
WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.
We begin with breaking news. A gunman opened fire at a synagogue in the southern California on the last day of Passover. One person is dead and three are injured, including an 8-year-old girl. It happened as President Trump was headed to Wisconsin for a political rally, where he addressed the violence.
Kevin Corke has the latest from the White House — Kevin.
KEVIN CORKE, CORRESPONDENT: Chris, the president forcefully condemned that attack and that suburban San Diego synagogue, just the latest assault on America’s Jewish community, and that actually comes as the president’s record on race is being questioned by one of his potential 2020 opponents.
CORKE: Hours after a gunman opened fire at a synagogue in suburban San Diego, President Trump denounced the attack at a campaign-style rally in Green Bay.
TRUMP: We forcefully condemn the evil of anti-Semitism and hate.
CORKE: His remarks coming a day after Mr. Trump again defended his comments about, quote, very fine people on both sides when describing those who attended 2017’s racially charged protest in Charlottesville, Virginia,.
TRUMP: I was talking to people that went because they felt very strongly about the monument to Robert E. Lee.
CORKE: That defense, prompted by former Vice President Joe Biden’s launch video for latest bid.
JOE BIDEN, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The president of the United States assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it.
CORKE: Meanwhile, for the further you know my third year in a row, President Trump skipped the annual White House Correspondents dinner in Washington, choosing instead to roast his potential 2020 foes amid a sea of red hats in Green Bay.
TRUMP: Can you imagine Sleepy Joe, Crazy Bernie — I think Pocahontas, she is finished, she is out.
CORKE: White House officials tell Fox News that on the heels of that strong GDP report last week, we should expect the president to turn his attention to trade this week, pointing to the fact that the Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are heading to Beijing to ramp up trade negotiations — Chris.
WALLACE: Kevin Corke reporting from the White House — Kevin, thanks for that.
White House National Security Advisor John Bolton is here to talk foreign policy.
But, Ambassador, before we get to that, I don’t want to ask about that terrible shooting near San Diego last night. What more, if anything, can you tell us about the shooter and any possible links to other groups or to other hate crimes?
JOHN BOLTON, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Well, it was an atrocious and utterly inexcusable action. I think the president spoke very forcefully on it. At this point, we don’t know anything more than what law-enforcement has already announced publicly, we don’t see a connection to other groups.
It was a hate crime, no doubt about it, but the investigation will continue. We’ll see what happens.
WALLACE: All right. Ambassador Bolton, please stay with us.
The ambassador is here for an exclusive interview because there was foreign policy news this week on several fronts.
On Friday, we traveled to New York to sit down with Iran’s foreign minister and discuss his contention that what he calls the B team, including Mr. Mr. Bolton, is trying to provoke a war between Iran and the U.S.
Mr. Bolton agreed to join us to watch the interview and then respond. We begin with Javad Zarif.
WALLACE: Foreign Minister Zarif, welcome to “Fox News Sunday.”
MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF, IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Good to be with you.
WALLACE: You say there is a small group of American and Mideast officials who are trying to steer President Trump into a conflict with Iran. Who and why?
ZARIF: Well, I base my statement on their own statements. Mr. Netanyahu has said time and again that he encouraged President Trump to designate Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. He has said that he was the sole opposition to the JCPOA.
WALLACE: The nuclear deal
ZARIF: The nuclear deal, and he encouraged the United States to leave that deal.
Mr. Bolton has said publicly before he became national security advisor, in a rally that was organized by an Iranian terrorist organization, that was on the list of terror groups by the United States State Department and Mr. Bolton was on the payroll, that he would celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Islamic revolution in Tehran with a terrorist organization. He’s on the record after receiving $50,000 from them to say that. He has set it again as national security advisor.
WALLACE: So, you think it’s Israel, Bolton, Mohammed Bin Salman —
ZARIF: Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates.
WALLACE: All trying to exercise regime change?
ZARIF: At least, at least. They want — they have all shown an interest in and dragging the United States into a conflict. I do not believe that President Trump wants to do that.
I believe President Trump ran on a campaign promise of not bringing the United States into another work, but I believe President Trump’s intention to put pressure, the policy of maximum pressure on Iran in order to bring Iran to its knees so that we would succumb to pressure is doomed to failure. And I think these four individuals know this.
WALLACE: The U.S. has just announced that it is ending waivers for countries — five countries that were continuing to buy oil from Iran.
Do you see that as part of the effort to bring Iran to its knees? And do you have an understanding, with the two buyers, China and Turkey, that they’re going to ignore the U.S. and continue to buy your oil?
ZARIF: Well, the intention of the United States has put as much pressure as it can on the Iranian people. You know that we had huge floods that affected almost the entire country. In the United States, through its banking regulations prevented even Iranian expatriates to assist their countrymen because they couldn’t send any money.
WALLACE: What about oil?
ZARIF: So, it’s a policy that is directed against Iranian people. They want to put Iranian people under enough pressure, and this is been said by both Mr. Bolton as well as Secretary Pompeo, that they want to put pressure on the Iranian people so that they would take action against the government.
They are wrong in their analysis. They are wrong in their hope and illusions. It would put pressure on the Iranian people, the outcome of that pressure, the consequence of that pressure is that it would make Iranians more determined to resist that pressure.
On your second question, nobody is happy with the fact that the United States is trying to impose its will on the rest of the international community. You know that. This is coercion, pure and simple.
People are not happy. China is not happy, Turkey is not happy, Russia is not happy. France is not happy. U.S. allies are not happy that this is happening and they say that they will find ways of resisting it.
How they will do it, it’s up to them. And it’s up to them looking at their own future, whether they want to have their lives ruled by the United States.
WALLACE: But, Mr. Foreign Minister, you make it sound as if Iran is the victim in all of this. President Trump says that Iran has been a bad actor for decades.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Iran’s leaders sow chaos, death, and destruction. They do not respect their neighbors or borders, or the sovereign rights of nations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: The IRGC has killed more than 600 American soldiers in Iraq. Iran spends almost a billion dollars a year supporting terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas.
And the U.S. says you are violating U.N. Resolution 2231 in continuing to test ballistic missiles. They say you’re not the victim here, you’re the villain.
ZARIF: First of all, let’s start from the last. The United States is the country that left the nuclear deal. 2231 is a resolution that has two annexes. First annex is the entire JCPOA, which President Trump decided to withdraw from. I don’t think that would put Iran in the bad light and the United States in the good category of law abiding.
Secondly, 2231’s language on missiles is very clear. It says that Iran will not develop missiles that are designed to be capable of carrying nuclear weapons. We do not design any of our missiles.
WALLACE: But you just tried to launch a missile to put a satellite into space.
ZARIF: Yes —
WALLACE: They say that’s a missile that’s designed.
ZARIF: It’s designed to put a satellite into space.
WALLACE: It also is a ballistic missile.
ZARIF: No, it’s not. It’s a ballistic missile, but it’s not designed to carry a nuclear weapon. And the Security Council resolution is very clear. I negotiated it, so I know what’s in it. President Trump has hardly read that resolution.
So let’s go to the second one. IRGC has never killed Americans. IRGC is there to fight terrorism. Yesterday, in Iraq, there was a commemoration of 300 IRGC personnel who were killed alongside the Iraqis in fighting ISIS.
President Trump himself said during the debate, I think it was the debate that you moderated, that Iran is killing ISIS in response to Hillary Clinton —
WALLACE: Do you deny that you have provided weapons to pro-Iranian militia that end up in the death of 608 Americans?
ZARIF: I mean, that’s a new charge that the United States — and it’s a very dangerous accusation because I believe the B team wants to actually push the United States, lure President Trump into a confrontation that he doesn’t want.
Now, let’s deal with the other issue. You talk about money. President Trump himself has said that you spend $7 trillion in our region. We are in our own region. The United States came to our region, spends $7 trillion, and the only outcome of that was that we have more terror, we have more insecurity, we have more instability.
People in our region are making the determination that the presence of the United States is inherently destabilizing. I think President Trump agrees with that.
WALLACE: When the moderates, so-called moderates like yourself and President Rouhani took over, the idea was you’re going to have outreach to the west and Iran’s economy would benefit. Since the U.S. has pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, Iran’s economy has gone into recession.
You try to resign in fact in February in large part we are told because you felt the hardliners were keeping you out of diplomacy. Here’s my question: are the so-called moderates, are you losing your struggle for power in Iran to the hardliners, and what happens if the hardliners take back control? What will happen to U.S. relations?
ZARIF: I think when President Trump came to office, there were a bigger purge of the people who worked in the National Security Council than there has ever been a purge in Iran.
People have different views in Iran. And these different views are presented to the public, and they vote for them. They vote for moderates. They vote for people with different views.
So, that’s the policy process, but you should be used to. I mean, the difference between president —
WALLACE: There is a difference between the Republicans and Democrats, between the moderates and hardliners. Are you losing to the hardliners?
ZARIF: The point is engagement is not producing results in Iran. President Trump has made sure that the people of Iran would not believe in engagement.
We approached the international community in good faith. We reached an agreement with the international community, with the United States, six other powers. President Trump, just because he disliked President Obama just left that agreement without having read it.
And people of Iran started to feel and started to see that engagement does not have dividends. That’s a very bad message not only that you are sending to the people of Iran, but you’re sending to the rest of the world. That they should not rely on the signature of the president of the United States.
So, it’s just the message that the United States is not reliable. Maybe he believes in America first, but America cannot be first in a globally insecure environment. We all need to work together in a global environment that is safe, and you can only live in a safe global environment if you respect yourself by respecting your signature.
WALLACE: Mr. Foreign Minister, thank you.
ZARIF: Good to be with you.
WALLACE: And when we come back, we’ll get reaction to the foreign minister in an exclusive interview with White House National Security Advisor John Bolton, only on “Fox News Sunday.”
WALLACE: You just heard Iran’s top diplomat charge the president’s national security advisor is working with key leaders in the Middle East to bring about regime change in Iran.
And joining us now to respond, John Bolton.
Ambassador, as you just heard. Foreign Minister Zarif says you’re part of the B team, a small group of leaders, you in the U.S., others in the Middle East — Bibi Netanyahu, bin Salman, bin Zayed — who are working to try to steer President Trump into a conflict with Iran.
JOHN BOLTON, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Well, he also said in another interview, he wished he were working with the 18. You know, in the past few days, the North Koreans have also called me dim-sighted. The Cubans have said I’m a pathological liar.
I say I’ve had a pretty good week.
WALLACE: And your response to his allegation though that you and some Middle East leaders are trying to foment a conflict between the U.S. and Iran?
BOLTON: You know, it’s completely ridiculous. I think with that interview showed was a carefully prepared propaganda script by the Iranians. This is their effort to try and sow disinformation in the American body politic.
The fact is the president of foster’s policy on the run has been clear while before I arrived in the administration. It is to put maximum pressure on the regime to get it to change its behavior. And I think it’s working and I think that’s what they’re worried about.
WALLACE: Well, Zarif is right about one thing. In 2017, as he said, you did give a speech to MEK, an opposition group, which at one point — not now, but at one point was listed as a terrorist group in which you talked about regime change in Iran and celebrating in Tehran with MEK in 2019 this year, which is the, what, 40th anniversary of the overthrow of the Islamic Revolution.
Which raises the question: do you really — I know when — Pompeo was asked this, Secretary of State Pompeo. He also says, no, we really want behavior change.
Do you think this regime is capable of behavior change?
BOLTON: Well, I think we’ll have to see.
Let me just say on MEK. Do you know who took the MEK off the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations? Hillary Clinton, that well-known right- wing Republican.
Look, the fact is that the Iranian regime continues to oppress its own people. It continues to be the world’s largest financer of international terrorism. It continues to pursue ballistic missiles. The only real purpose of which is to deliver nuclear weapons when they get that capability.
There’s no doubt this regime is a threat in the region and globally. And that’s why we think the pressure campaign has had a significant impact on their ability to carry these tasks out.
If they want to get together and speak with the president, he said almost exactly a year ago when French President Emmanuel Macron came to Washington and he told him we were going to get out of the Iran nuclear deal that he wanted to see our negotiation over all of these things. The nuclear program, the ballistic missile program, the support for terrorism and Iran’s other malign behavior. When they’re ready to talk, the president would be ready to talk.
WALLACE: I understand all of that, but honestly, don’t you want to see regime change? Isn’t that the only way to get an Iran that isn’t a threat to the neighborhood (ph)? You just laid out a real deal in particular why it’s such a bad actor in the region.
BOLTON: Yes. Well, look, the people of Iran, I think, deserve a better government. There’s absolutely no doubt about it. The trouble is, it’s not just a theological dictatorship. It’s the military dictatorship too. That’s a very difficult circumstance.
We’ll see what happens is the economic pressure continues to grow.
WALLACE: Well, let’s talk about the economic pressure, because Zarif says that despite the administration announcement this week that you are ending the waiver on five nations that were still buying oil from Iran, and that as of — I guess it’s May 2nd, that the waiver is over, the ban goes into effect. He says that China and Turkey are saying that they’re going to continue to buy oil from Iran.
BOLTON: Well, we’ll see what happens. I think it’s been clear for a year now from the time President Trump announced he was getting out of the Iran deal, that we were going to return to sanctions and impose pressure on the regime there, and it’s had a very significant effect. And by Iran’s own estimates, the end of these waivers will have an even more significant effect.
I’m touched that Zarif is worried that our allies are sometimes impatient with us on this point, but as I say, we’ve made clear — our objective is the elimination of Iran’s nuclear program, making sure it’s ballistic missile program is under control. Europe is the region most threatened right now by Iran’s ballistic missile capabilities. So, we have worked for the past year that I’ve been in the administration very closely with all of our European allies.
And I think that glimmer of disagreement that Zarif said is mostly in his own eye.
WALLACE: Well, let me just ask you about that because at least publicly, both Turkey and China have said they are not going to be pushed around. They’re not going to be forced by the U.S. to stop buying oil.
Have you gotten some kind of private insurance?
BOLTON: Look, there have been statements by Chinese companies that have been importing Iranian oil, that they are going to stop. I met, as did Mike Pompeo, with the Turkish foreign minister some weeks back who was already talking about the steps they were going to take to avoid buying Iranian oil.
We’ll see how it plays out. We made our position clear.
WALLACE: OK, let’s turn to North Korea. President Trump said Friday said that talks to get North Korea to fully denuclearize are still on track. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: I think there’s a lot of excitement towards getting a deal done with North Korea.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: But North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held a summit with Russian President Putin this week. Afterwards, Putin said that Kim wants security guarantees for his regime not just from the U.S., but a bunch of other nations and that in terms of denuclearization, that Kim wants a step-by- step approach, some denuclearization in return for some relief on sanctions.
Are either of those acceptable to the U.S.?
BOLTON: Well, the idea of taking one step on each side was what Kim proposed in Hanoi, President Trump responded with what he called the big deal to try and persuade Kim Jong-un to walk through the door he had opened in Singapore last year to a much brighter economic future for North Korea. That door is still open. The president is still ready to have a third summit when the time is right.
WALLACE: But the president ended up breaking off the summit because Kim wouldn’t agree to much greater denuclearization. Is a step-by-step approach any more attractive to the president now?
BOLTON: I think if you look at the past policies, the answer to that is no. The past policies that have tried a step-by-step approach have all failed. Kim or his father have gotten economic relief and then somehow have never gotten around to that commitment to denuclearize they’ve now made five times expressly in the past 25 years.
WALLACE: All right. Putin also suggested a return to multilateral six party talks, which is what the U.S. has been engaged in with North Korea, South Korea, China, other countries in the region in the past. Would the president go along with that, or does he still think one-on-one diplomacy with Kim is the best approach?
BOLTON: Well, I think he still looks for the possibility of a third summit with Kim. He feels pretty strongly about it. He said repeatedly he thinks he has a good relationship with Kim Jong-un. And the six-party approach failed in the past.
That doesn’t mean we don’t consult, as the president just did on Friday very closely with Prime Minister Abe of Japan. We consult with the Russians, the Chinese, obviously the South Koreans. President Moon Jae-in was here just a few weeks ago.
So, it’s not like they are excluded but I think it’s not just what our preference is. I think Kim Jong-un, at least up until now, has wanted the one-on-one contact with the United States, which is what he has gotten.
WALLACE: Do you think Vladimir Putin is being helpful in this process or do you think he’s looking out for Russia and trying to get them back into the conversation?
BOLTON: I think Vladimir Putin always looks out for Russia, which is exactly what you would expect a Russian leader to do and exactly what you would expect an American leader to do.
WALLACE: Is it being unhelpful though?
BOLTON: Well, I think both Russia and China could tighten up their enforcement of the sanctions. I think they’ve been pretty good about it in recent months but I think they could always tighten up. That would help keep the pressure on North Korea, which after all is what brought them to negotiate with President Trump to begin with.
But I think President Putin would love to see the possibility of a rail link between Russia and South Korea. Not North Korea, there’s not much trade there, but I think he sees advantages and I have no doubt he is pursuing them.
I think that’s very typical of Putin. He knows exactly what rush’s interests are and he goes after them.
WALLACE: There was -0 I like to think I’m pretty sophisticated but there was a shocking report even to me this week that before North Korea released Otto Warmbier, that they demanded that the U.S. pay $2 million for his medical care even though he seemed to suffer greatly once he was taken prisoner there.
Here’s what the president said about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We did not pay money for our great Otto. There was no money paid. There was a fake news report that money was paid.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: A few quick questions, did North Korea demand money for the release of Otto Warmbier?
BOLTON: It appears that they did. This occurred before I came into the administration, but that’s my understanding, yes.
WALLACE: Did the U.S. official who was there to get him out of the country, Joseph Yun, did he sign a document pledging the money in order to get him out?
BOLTON: That is what I’m told, yes.
WALLACE: And I guess the bottom line question is, did the U.S. pay any money to North Korea however it was disguised, after he was released?
BOLTON: Absolutely not, and I think that’s the key point. The president has been very successful in getting for 20-plus hostages released from imprisonment around the world and hasn’t paid anything for any of them.
WALLACE: So basically we signed the document fully intending not to honor it?
BOLTON: Well, I don’t know the circumstances. I think when people leave government, sometimes their recollection of things that happened inside tend to be a little bit different from what actually happened, but I — it’s very clear to me from my looking into it in the past few days, no money was paid, that is clear.
WALLACE: Ambassador Bolton, thank you. Thanks for coming in today. Always good to talk with you.
BOLTON: Glad to be with you.
WALLACE: Up next, Former Vice President Biden enters the race and takes off the gloves to go after President Trump. We’ll bring in our Sunday group to discuss the Democratic contest and how much the latest economic numbers will help the president in 2020.
WALLACE: Coming up, President Trump says he will fight Democrats over investigations in Congress.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We finish, no collusion, no obstruction, right? And then I get out, the first day they are saying let’s do it again, and I said that’s enough.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: We’ll ask our Sunday panel about the high stakes subpoena battle.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: If we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation, who we are. And I cannot stand by and watch that happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Presidential candidate Joe Biden in his announcement video warning of the dangers of a two-term Trump presidency.
And it’s time now for our Sunday group.
GOP strategist Karl Rove. Columnist for “The Hill,” Juan Williams. Former DNC chair, Donna Brazile. Welcome to “Fox News Sunday.”
DONNA BRAZILE, CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Chris.
And former Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz.
Well, Karl, let me start with you.
What did you think — what do you think of Biden’s rollout so far, his message, and the $6.3 million he raised in the first 24 hours, which just slightly beat all of the other candidates in the Democratic race?
KARL ROVE, CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I thought the message is emblematic of why in the six polls since March 20th he is leading President Trump by an average of eight points. It was a message where he was more conventional Democrat and basically said to the people who are going to decide this selection, American independent voters, I’m going to restore a sense of calm and normalcy to the White House.
On the other hand, you know, it was a good announcement. We had the — the — the video. We now do this all by video. We all do this now by e-mail. The surprise was that he had access to the Obama fundraising list. And even though it is now ancient in Internet times, it’s going on six years old, he raised a bundle of money, which was one of the questions, see he the old fashioned bundler, you know, getting checks, $2,800? Is he going to be able to compete in an — in an age in which you get $40 and $50 contributions over the Internet. And — and that — that played out.
Having said that, the polls say that he leads the Democratic primary, but “The Washington Post”/ABC poll had an interesting thing. They said, name a candidate you could before for, for the Democratic nomination for president, and 54 percent couldn’t come up with a name, which means this thing is wide open. He starts the leader, but this thing is wide open.
WALLACE: Well, and in addition, while he and Bernie have 100 percent name recognition, some of the other candidates have much less — lower name recognition.
Juan, let me start — pick up with you.
One big difference for Biden, I thought, was while almost all of the other Democrats got into the race and talked about their policies, their plans for the future, Biden cast himself entirely as the alternative to Trump and that they — you can’t — the country can’t take four more years of Donald Trump, and he’s the answer.
JUAN WILLIAMS, POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, electability’s the number one issue for Democrats. Who can beat Trump? And as Karl just said, the polls right now — I think there was a Hill-HarrisX (ph) poll this week had Biden as the one candidate right now with the lead over Trump. It’s way early, but, again, that gives you a sense of why Democrats might react positively to the idea. And I think from — from Biden’s perspective, this type — kind of takes him above the fray with other Democrats, the kind of, you know, intramural elbow throwing and says, you know what, let’s focus on what really matters here, the general election, and I’m the guy that can beat Donald Trump.
I will add this, that Donald Trump, this week, came out and said sleepy Joe, he’s not the sharpest drawer in the knife — knife in a drawer, right? And you think to yourself, well, Joe Biden’s been around. I mean six terms in the Senate. Vice president of the United States. Obviously good enough for Barack Obama to put on the ticket and win with. And yet — so these things aren’t true. But I think that —
WALLACE: And like that has — that has stopped the president?
WILLIAMS: But, but, I think when Charlottesville — then when it comes to the video and he uses Charlottesville effectively, I think it’s evidence that somebody smart’s playing on the Biden team because what we see is Trump on the defensive having to defend Robert E. Lee. That’s kind of tough.
WALLACE: All right. Well, Biden was also on the defensive a bit, and I want to talk about that because his first big TV appearance was on “The View” on Friday, and a lot of time was spent re-litigating the 1991 Clarence Thomas Anita Hill hearing in which Joe Biden was the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Here’s a clip from “The View.”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: I am sorry she was treated the way she was treated. I wish we could have figured out a better way to get this thing done.
If you go back and look what I said and didn’t say, I — I — I don’t think I treated her badly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Donna, Biden, it turns out, called Anita Hill earlier this month to talk about that event. And she put out the fact that she was not satisfied with the conversation. The surprise to me was that he didn’t call her for more than 25 years. You would think he would have had — made this call two decades ago instead of two weeks ago.
BRAZILE: Well, he understands that this is a far different Democratic Party than the party he first engaged at the presidential level in 1988. By the way, we were on the same team with the Dukakis campaign. Things have changed.
JASON CHAFFETZ, CONTRIBUTOR: I’ve learned. I’ve learned to read and write (INAUDIBLE).
BRAZILE: That’s right. Maybe you lost your spirit, but that’s OK.
But there’s also a different party from the one that Barack Obama won in 2008. So Joe Biden has to run in lanes, the lane that gives him a lot of momentum and resources, as Karl Rove pointed out, but also a lane that has a –a — a younger generation of Americans, and the Me Too movement matters in the Democratic primary. And the fact that he called Anita Hill — Professor Hill — and, by the way, she deserved to have her moment of truth — but he must show that he has learned from that period of time. If — if not, he’s going to have a hard time not only galvanizing those in the middle of the Democratic primary, but also those on the left, where all the energy is.
WALLACE: Congressman Chaffetz, some would argue that Bien’s entry was not the biggest political story this week. That the biggest political story was the economic news and the fact that — that growth in the first quarter for 2019 was 3.2 percent GDP growth, much bigger than all the economists had — had projected, and that it seemed to really damp down talk about a recession in 2020. That — those are very impressive numbers.
CHAFFETZ: They’re impressive numbers and it’s the best case for Donald Trump that the economy is zooming, that people feel comfortable and more safe. There are — there are opportunities and jobs and job growth. I mean the economy really is the strong point for Donald Trump. You can do the tweets and all this other noise that are out there, but when people feel good at home, they’re going to stick with the person who has the White House.
And when — when — when Biden can’t even get somebody to come, you know, to a rally and Donald Trump is there in Wisconsin with tens of thousands of people —
WALLACE: He hasn’t had a rally yet. What are you talking about?
CHAFFETZ: Because I don’t think he can actually get a crowd. And I think Donald Trump’s magic has always been his ability to — to galvanize —
WALLACE: Shouldn’t we wait and see what actually happens?
CHAFFETZ: In his first week he was going to — you know that he was going to go to several places and he didn’t do that. And for him to say that he called President Obama and said, please, don’t endorse me, I don’t think anybody’s buying that.
WALLACE: OK. I just — one last question on the economy. We’ve got to move on, Juan.
Exactly to the congressman’s point, if the economy stays this strong, can anybody beat Donald Trump?
WILLIAMS: Oh, yes, there’s a wide road open. It’s — and the reason is simple, the stock market is doing great. GDP is doing great, as you just pointed out. But that’s for people who have money to invest for people who own companies, big business.
Remember, the tax cut was supposed to be Donald Trump —
WALLACE: (INAUDIBLE) 3.8 percent unemployment.
WILLIAMS: Listen, the reality is — and, you know, Jamie Dimon at Goldman Sachs points out in a newsletter to shareholders this month, that’s something like 40 percent of Americans don’t make more than $15 an hour. Economic anxiety among the middle class on housing issues, student loans, health care is tremendous. So even as we talk about the economy booming for the very wealthy in this country, the economic anxiety is opening the door to Elizabeth Warren saying, here’s how we deal with burdening — the burden of student loan debt.
WILLIAMS: Here’s how we deal with health care costs in the country.
WALLACE: A lot easier to make that case if growth is 1.8 percent, not 3.2 – –
WILLIAMS: If your family’s feeling it. But if you a family and you aren’t feeling it, you’re anxious.
WALLACE: We have to take a break here, panel.
When we come back, Democrats keep investigating the president after the Mueller report, but Mr. Trump says he’s ready to take them to court.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Corruption at the highest level, a disgrace. Spying, surveillance, trying for an overthrow, and we caught them. We caught them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: President Trump accusing his opponents of attempting a coup to overturn his victory in the 2016 election.
And we’re back now with the panel.
Karl, I understand the president’s outrage. The Russia investigation put a cloud over his presidency for the first two years. And apparently there was no collusion.
But as a political matter, does it make sense for him to keep hitting the Mueller report as much as he did this past week, or should he move on to other issues?
ROVE: Well, count me in the move on category. He’s — first of all, he’s never going to be able to fully move on because the Democrats will not move on. There are going to be investigations conducted by Judiciary, by Intelligence, by Oversight, by Financial Services. We can watch all of those Democrat chairman obscure any chance of the Democrats having a positive message coming out of the House for 2020., and he’s going to get drawn into that.
But — but let’s go back to the economy. The president’s doing well on the economy. And not only is he doing well on the economy, but in the new “Washington Post”/ABC poll, six out of every ten independent say, I’m done with a whole impeachment thing. So he’s got a chance to use the economy to grab those people who look — those independents who looked at the Mueller report and concluded the president — no collusion and — and — and — and — and no — no effort, no obstruction, and let’s go — let’s go pay attention to things that matter to my family and my community.
WALLACE: Donna, I don’t usually ask you to give political advice to Donald Trump, but the fact is, this is an issue that does animate his base, who feel very strongly that this was an attempted coup by the deep state.
BRAZILE: Well, since I’ve spent a lot of time dealing with this issue, not just politically, but emotionally, because I became chair for the second time as a result of the hacking of — of our democracy. And so my advice to the president is, acknowledge what happened and then begin to —
WALLACE: Well, he said — what do you mean, acknowledge what happened? He says it didn’t happen.
BRAZILE: Acknowledge — acknowledge the Russians —
BRAZILE: You know, came after our —
BRAZILE: Our country and then spend the next 18 months helping to — to defend our country against future attacks and make sure that this never happens again. The — the problem with the president is that he can’t turn the page because he’s caught right in the middle of — of one of the biggest historical blunders I think of all times. And that is a foreign — a hostile foreign country came after us. And the president’s sitting here thinking about himself and not the — the country he took the oath to defend.
WALLACE: But, well, wait — wait, I mean, what about the argument that it was Obama who failed to defend the country in 2016? He was president, not Donald Trump.
BRAZILE: President Obama, of course, went to Mr. Putin during that summit in China and said, stop it. He also imposed sanctions.
ROVE: I’m sure that scared Putin.
BRAZILE: No, no, he imposed sanctions.
ROVE: I’m really sure that scared Putin. Yes. No, he changed immediately.
BRAZILE: He began to — he — he got the Homeland Security department to — to —
WALLACE: But it happened on his watch is my point.
BRAZILE: Of course it happened on his watch because the Russians were hell- bent on attacking our country.
I want to — I want to move on because if the president isn’t too interested in moving on, as Karl pointed out, neither are Democrats who want to keep investigating the president, who indicates he’s going to fight every subpoena and take them to court.
Here was some of that back and forth this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We’re fighting all the subpoenas. Look, these aren’t like impartial people. The Democrats are trying to win 2020.
REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS, D-MD: It’s impossible to hold him accountable if we don’t get any information. And he’s trampling on the Constitution, no doubt about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Congressman Chaffetz, I know you think that House Democrats are playing politics here, but the fact is that at some point — maybe it will be ’21, maybe ’25, whenever, there is going to be a president who’s a Democrat in the White House.
Do you worry at all that by this president refusing every subpoena, every request for a document, every request for a witness, that it does — it’s going to do damage to congressional oversight?
CHAFFETZ: Well, I used to chair that committee. I issued dozens of subpoenas against President Obama and his administration. Most were just viewed as suggestions. Little to no response. So this is a new phenomenon for the Democrats to take this position.
I do think the Democrats, in their quest, this power grab, have overstepped their hands. To try to get Don McGahn, the general counseling in, to try to get Stephen Miller in —
WALLACE: The White House counsel.
CHAFFETZ: The White House counsel, yes. To try to get them to come before the committee, the president’s clearly has executive privilege. So they can flail about that, but they’re aiming at the wrong targets and they’re overshooting their hand and they know they can’t win, but they want the rhetorical point of say, oh, see, we’re trying to get these people to come before Congress and they won’t. You know darn well there’s no general counsel for a president who’s going to testify before Congress.
WALLACE: Do you think that the president’s stonewalled though, as he said there, I’m going to fight all the subpoenas. Is that him overstepping?
CHAFFETZ: I — no, because I think the fight that you see within oversight trying to get the security chief to come in, they issued a subpoena, but the White House has signaled that they want him to come in involuntarily. And there’s a difference, because if he comes in involuntarily, he can have counsel with him. But the Oversight chairman has said, no, you can’t come in involuntarily, you have to come in under subpoena.
WALLACE: No, no, no, they apparently have agreed now.
ROVE: Yes, that’s right.
WALLACE: Carl Kline, who is the White —
CHAFFETZ: But do you see how we started this.
WALLACE: Yes. Right.
CHAFFETZ: And —
WALLACE: But Carl — let me just quickly say, Carl Kline, who is the White House personnel director, and Elijah Cummings, wants him in there to talk about the security clearances and they’ve now agreed he’s going to come in voluntarily, testify, and that’s going to be a transcribed interview.
CHAFFETZ: And I do think that that is a legitimate role of oversight. But you can see how they first shot and they started with two weeks of stories out there saying, well, they won’t respond. And you played a clip from Elijah Cummings. But the reality is, they’re overshooting their hand. They’ve got to shoot for the right folks and then there are legitimate things that you can do oversight on.
WALLACE: Where do you come down on this, Juan?
WILLIAMS: It’s so clear that the law is on the Congress’ side. Congress, in the Constitution of these United States is an equal branch of government and they have oversight responsibilities. I’m sitting next to Congressman Chaffetz, who issued subpoenas and successfully got subpoenas from the U.S. Justice Department under Eric Holder on fast and furious. In fact, Holder was —
CHAFFETZ: No we didn’t.
WILLIAMS: Yes, you did. And later Holder was held in contempt of Congress for fight — for fighting you.
CHAFFETZ: Ten years after the fact —
WILLIAMS: But I’m —
CHAFFETZ: Congress still doesn’t have those documents.
WILLIAMS: Oh, stop.
But I’m saying that what you get —
CHAFFETZ: It’s true.
WILLIAMS: What you get here is a situation where the president says this is partisan, this is a coup, this is not legitimate, but the law is very clear. Now, he can try and slow walk this and just make it so difficult that they don’t get anything before the election cycle kicks in and the like, but essentially what he is doing is undermining our democratic principles.
CHAFFETZ: No. I think there is a legitimate role for oversight. But if you’re going to sight fast and furious, they still don’t have those documents.
WILLIAMS: Well, I could cite Benghazi, Lois Lerner. How many times — you talk about partisan.
CHAFFETZ: You don’t think those were legitimate investigations?
WILLIAMS: No, I — this is much more legitimate. Are you kidding me?
CHAFFETZ: People died in those cases.
WILLIAMS: That was — no, all I’m saying to you is, that was partisan. That’s the definition of a partisan attack. And this is not.
WALLACE: Well, to end any discussion of partisanship, let’s bring in Karl Rove.
No, but I do want to — I do want to ask you this, because you actually had to deal with these issues inside the White House in Bush 43. What’s the right answer here?
ROVE: Once again, I’m forced to set the record straight that it is try — an attempt by Juan to establish it.
Look, the president’s going to win some of these issues, he’s going to lose some of these issues. He’s going to win it when they have, as Jason pointed out, overreach by trying to get people in the White House staff. But this is all going to be litigated out. And the belief that the president is doing something unconstitutional or antidemocratic by saying no, no, no, I’m not going to respond to these and agree to do all of these, he’s got a right to object and let’s resolve this in the courts. Let’s lower the temperature. The president is not doing anything unconstitutional. The Congress is not doing anything unconstitutional. But the — the constant pressure between the two branches is going to be litigated out in court where it belongs.
WALLACE: But — but when you talk about litigating it out in court, that’s going to just push it past 2020.
ROVE: It — it may or may not. In all likelihood, these things are going to be resolved quickly one way or the other. Quickly in — in meaning — meaning in a matter of months, not a matter of years.
BRAZILE: But, meanwhile, the attorney general has gone up to Capitol Hill this week. Hopefully Mr. Mueller will go up at some point. That is going to give Congress, I think, enough information for them to figure out if this should go further.
WALLACE: Interestingly enough, Bill Barr, the attorney general, says he won’t testify before House Judiciary because Jerry Nadler is setting groundless, which we don’t quite understand yet, and he says I’m not going to go talk to them if those of the ground rules.
So, to be continued. This panel will not, however, be continued. See you next Sunday.
Up next, our “Power Player of the Week.” The master guitar maker who may have invented the latest in spy technology.
WALLACE: It’s not easy to have fans ranging from world famous musicians to a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It takes someone special, like our “Power Player of the Week.”
PAUL REED SMITH, FOUNDER, PRS GUITARS AND DIGITAL HARMONIC: I’m rotating parts in my head graphically, like a video game, and the entire thing with digital harmonics is all math, and it was all invented graphically.
WALLACE (voice over): Paul Reed Smith is explaining the remarkable work he does in two different worlds, guitars and high tech. He’s a big success at both.
WALLACE (on camera): Everyone from Carlos Santana to U.S. special operations command wants your products. Why?
SMITH: They need a tool to do a job so they can have clarity to make good decisions. It’s the same thing. It’s a tool to do a job.
WALLACE (voice over): Let’s start with guitars, because that’s where Smith started. PRS is now the third biggest electric guitar manufacturer in the U.S., behind only Fender and Gibson. He showed us one of his top end models.
WALLACE (on camera): Don’t wreck your guitar.
SMITH: I’m not wrecking anything. I’m not wrecking anything. Look how beautiful this is.
WALLACE: Oh, my. Oh, my.
SMITH: So when it gets it — it’s clear coated, it almost explodes with color.
WALLACE (voice over): Smith not only makes them, he plays them.
WALLACE (on camera): You’re telling me that’s mathematics?
SMITH: Look, it’s art and math mixed and — and woodworking and spraying and finishing, but, for me, I’m rotating the part in my head. I can see it.
WALLACE (voice over): Which brings us to the second part of our story.
Almost 20 years ago, Smith and his father, who was a retired Navy mathematician, were working on a synthesizer that turns digital data into sound. They discovered they could make it do a lot more than that, amplifying information you can’t hear or see.
SMITH: So here’s an x-ray that’s done with low radiation. It’s very, very hazy, all right. And we were able to dig the information out of that file so that doctors can see what’s going on in there. And here it is.
WALLACE (on camera): Now I can see —
SMITH: Because of our math.
WALLACE (voice over): Smith set up Digital Harmonic in 2015. It now has almost 100 registered and pending trademarks and almost two dozen patents, and they keep testing its limits.
SMITH: For example, we sent up a drone at night, OK, and then we are putting it through the algorithm. Machine learning is deciding what to do with this thing.
WALLACE (on camera): Whoa.
SMITH: And you can see detailed, you just can’t see her. The fascinating part for me is, it’s in color. It’s not in black and white.
WALLACE: Well, the fascinating thing for me is you can see houses here that you didn’t know existed.
SMITH: The trees and cars and all kinds of things that aren’t there.
WALLACE (voice over): If you still don’t understand how it works, don’t worry, neither did I.
WALLACE (on camera): How can the computer see it?
SMITH: Because it looks at all the numbers and says, oh, that one’s higher.
WALLACE: So it’s math?
SMITH: It’s math. It’s graphic math. It’s almost like tic-tac-toe and chess.
WALLACE: Is it fair to say that the U.S. military and the intelligence community are interested in what you do?
SMITH: I think the intelligence community is very interested.
WALLACE (voice over): Which brings up one final question.
WALLACE (on camera): Which is more satisfying for you, the music or the high-tech?
SMITH: That’s not fair. You watching Carlos Santana play on stage, playing a PRS, sorry, that’s good. I’m looking at information that I know no one’s ever seen before, that’s good too. You can’t compare the two. That — both are good. And what’s the best interview you ever did? That’s not fair.
WALLACE: Well, it was a good question.
Smith says there are three stages to anything new, strong opposition, kind of against, and acceptance. He says reaction to his new technology is near the end of stage two.
And that’s it for today. Have a great week and we’ll see you next “Fox News Sunday.”
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