On ‘Fox News Sunday, ‘ “the member states national” security adviser reacts to apparent attack on President Maduro, questions surrounding a disconnect between the administration and President Trump on the issue.
This is a rush transcript from “Fox News Sunday, ” August 5, 2018. This transcript may not be in its final kind and may be updated .
CHRIS WALLACE, ANCHOR: I’m Chris Wallace.
The president and his administration send mixed signals on the election menace from Russia.
( BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
CHRIS WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: Russia attempted to interfere with the last election and continues to engage in malign influence operations to this day.
KIRSTJEN NIELSEN, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Our democracy itself is in the crosshairs.
WALLACE: But while top national security officials condemn Russian modeling, the president defends his meeting with Vladimir Putin.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I had a great meeting with Putin. We discussed everything. Now, we are being hindered by the Russian hoax. It’s a hoax.
WALLACE: We’ll discuss the apparent disconnect with the president’s national security consultant John Bolton, and with Marco Rubio, a top member of the Senate and Intelligence and Foreign Relations Committees. Bolton and Rubio only on “Fox News Sunday.”
Then, a federal judge blocks a Texas activist from putting blueprints online to attain plastic firearms on 3D printers. Cody Wilson joins us to explain why he thinks it’s a good idea.
Plus, only hours after this —
IVANKA TRUMP, FIRST DAUGHTER: I do not feel that the media is the enemy of the person or persons.
WALLACE: President Trump bashes journalists again.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Whatever happened to fair press? Whatever happened to honest reporters? They don’t report it. They merely make up tales.
WALLACE: We’ll ask our Sunday panel about the Trump family divide.
All, right now, on “Fox News Sunday.”
( END VIDEOTAPE)
WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.
While top national security officials say the threat from Russian meddling in the upcoming midterms is real, President Trump keeps calling it a hoax.
It’s just one of several issues along with North Korea and Iran where the president’s statements appear at odds with the rest of his administration. In a few moments, I’ll talking here the seeming disconnect with the president’s national security adviser John Bolton.
But, first let’s bring in Kristin Fisher in Columbus, Ohio, where President Trump held another of his highly charged rallies last night — Kristin.
KRISTIN FISHER, FOX NEWS: Well, Chris, this was President Trump’s second campaign rally since five members of his top national security officials stood side-by-side voicing the alarm that Russia is continuing to try to interfere in our elections. And yet at both rallies, President Trump did not back them up.
( BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
TRUMP: We got to stop meddling, we got to stop everybody from assaulting us, but there are a lot. Russia is there, China is there.
FISHER: President Trump once again refusing to place the blame squarely on Russia. But he had no problem taking China to task for smacking U.S. farmers with retaliatory tariffs.
TRUMP: China is targeting the American farmer. Because China is smart and they know the American farmers love Donald Trump and they say, what can we do to stop Donald Trump?
FISHER: The retaliatory tariffs are reaching one of the president’s key constituencies, inspiring a $12 billion bailout for farmers. The president’s lengthy defense of his tariffs inside a sweltering high school gymnasium made clear he is feeling the hot.
TRUMP: So much for my brand-new beautiful suit.
FISHER: The chairwoman and Republican are also feeling the hot heading into Tuesday special election for Ohio’s 12 th congressional district. It’s why President Trump came to this reliably Republican district, to rally his supporters around Troy Balderson, who’s locked in a tight race with Democrat Danny O’Connor.
TRUMP: A vote for Danny boy and the Democrats is about to let felons and drugs pour into our country and to let MS-1 3 run wild in our communities.
( END VIDEOTAPE)
FISHER: And that is exactly what we can expect more of heading into the midterms. This is President Trump’s third campaign rally this week and that pace is only expected to accelerate — Chris.
WALLACE: Kristin Fisher reporting from Columbus, Ohio — Kristin, thanks for that.
Joining me now, the president’s national security adviser, John Bolton.
And, Ambassador, welcome back to “Fox News Sunday.”
JOHN BOLTON, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Glad to be with you.
WALLACE: Let’s begin with transgressing news. What leftist Venezuelan president is calling an assassination endeavor against him yesterday.
Let’s put up this video. Pretty striking. The chairman, President Maduro, speaking at a military event when drones loaded with explosives exploded. You can see security protecting him with ballistic blankets and military — it was a national guard event at the event in Caracas, begin the stampede.
Question, did the U.S. play any role, and what’s our reaction to what he was calling an assassination attempt?
BOLTON: Well, I can say unequivocally “there dont” U.S. government involvement in this at all. Just within the past couple of hours, I have spoken with our charge in Caracas, the head diplomatic official down there. He and his staff were up much of the night making sure that Americans in Venezuela were safe. As of now, we think everybody notice to the embassy is in a secure stance. They’re going to will evaluate conditions today but they focused on that principle responsibility and as of now feel fairly confident that Americans are accounted for.
Now, with respect to what happened last afternoon, appear, it could be a lot of things from a pretext set up by the Maduro regime itself, or something else. He’s made accusations accusing the outgoing chairman of Columbia responsibility, what he calls the extreme right wing in Venezuela, that entails the vast opposition to his authoritarian role and he’s blamed unnamed fancers( ph) in the United States.
These are things he has said before and you have to take them for what they are worth. If the government of Venezuela has hard information that they want to present to us that would present a potential violation of U.S. criminal law, we’ll take a serious look at it. But in the meantime, I think what we really should focus on is the corruption and the oppression of the Maduro regime in Venezuela.
WALLACE: Let’s turn to the apparent — I suspect you’ll challenge this, the apparent unplug between what Trump administration officials are saying about Russian meddling in 2016 and in 2018 and what President Trump is saying about it. Here’s how DHS Secretary Nielsen described security threats this week and on the president merely hours later.
( BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
NIELSEN: Our republic itself is in the cross hairs.
TRUMP: I had a great meeting with Putin. We discussed everything. I had a great gratifying. Now, we are being hindered by the Russian hoax. It’s a hoax, OK?
( END VIDEO CLIPS)
WALLACE: So, Ambassador, which is it? Is Russian meddling a threat to our democracy or is it a hoax?
BOLTON: Look, I know that there’s this narrative in the press that there’s a distinction between the president and the rest of his administration. You know, I got to know Eugene McCarthy, the late Democratic senator, very well. He was a client of mine in Buckley against Valeo. He’s an iconoclastic guy.
He used to describe the press as a group of birds sitting on a telephone wire. One would fly off and then they’d all fly off. That’s what this narrative I think it is all about.
The president knew exactly what was going to be said at that press briefing on Thursday. He’s the one who directed it be held. It came as the result of a National Security Council meeting we had held the Friday before where heads of state of the operating agencies and departments before who attended the press briefing on Thursday and others told the president what it was doing, he felt it was important that the American people hear immediately from the people responsible for election security at the federal level, hear what they were up to, at the least in a non-classified surrounding.
So, that’s why we had the briefing.
WALLACE: — because they are saying this is a clear and present danger that Russia did it in 2016, they are still do it now. You have the secretary of homeland security with her hair on fire saying our republic is in the crosshairs and then you have President Trump saying we are being hindered by the Russian hoax.
That’s not the press constructing that up, that’s anybody who looks at it has got to see a difference there.
BOLTON: I think what he’s saying by the hoax is the idea that somehow the Russians directed and controlled his campaign or direct and control his administration, that there was some conspiracy or some violation of U.S. statute in 2016.
WALLACE: Mueller is also investigating( ph) Russian meddling. He’s handed down an indictment of 12 military intelligence officers of the GRU.
BOLTON: And there’s no question that that’s going on. That’s what everybody said on Thursday.
WALLACE: So, that’s the hoax?
BOLTON: The hoax is the concept that the Trump campaign was a recipient of a concerted effort together with the Russians to affect the 2016 election. As to that, I don’t think there’s any evidence publicly but everybody who participated in the press conference Thursday agreed, as has the president on several public occasions that the intelligence community assessment of Russian meddling in 2016 is valid.
WALLACE: But one of the most powerful styles that Mr. Trump can try to prevent any meddling in the 2018 election is to stand up in public and call out Vladimir Putin and say knock it off. I want to go back to Helsinki and to the joint summit press conference there.
( BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.
( END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: I know you say that it was the first issue, election meddling, that President Trump brought up with Putin in their one-on-one meeting. But why not stand there right along side Putin, with the whole world watching and say, we are not going to stand for anymore meddling?
BOLTON: Well, as the president said, he misspoke. The subsequent point in the press conference and that he intended to say simply that, he had a statement issued the next day that I guess made clear where he stood on the issue. And as I say, you can’t read any motive into what he did other than his deep concern about Russian election meddling than to put the four operating heads and myself out for that press briefing.
The whole point of that was to show what his administration was doing to counter Russian meddling and other broader influence operations.
WALLACE: But in Kristin Fisher’s piece about the rally last night, he talks about meddling and he said there was a lot of people involved. There was Russia, there was China, there was North Korea.
No, there wasn’t, it was Russia that was interfering. That’s what everybody’s been focusing on. That’s what you focused on in your briefing.
BOLTON: Right. There’s no question that Russia was the principal violator in 2016 and that their activity this year puts them in the lead, although as people said, activity so far at least is down from 2016. But it does not exclude the potential for others to meddle and the broader issue that I believe FBI Director Christopher Wray talked about in particular of influence attempts that go beyond the specifics of a particular election. I think that’s very troubling too and something we need more focus on.
WALLACE: I — you talked about the media and the idea that they all jump off the telephone line at this electric —
BOLTON: Not every one of them, but a lot of them.
WALLACE: But a lot of them do it at the same time.
In a much more direct route, the president critiqued the media. And I want to put up his tweet. He’s been on something of a Twitter tear today and this is one of them.
The fake news detests me saying that they are the enemy of the person or persons merely because they know it’s true. I am providing a great service by explaining this to the American people. They intentionally cause great division and distrust. They can also cause war. They are very dangerous and sick.
Ambassador, what wars have we started?
BOLTON: Looking, I believe the issue of press bias has been around for a long, long time. As a boy, I supported Barry Goldwater in 1964. I thought the press was biased against him. I don’t think it’s changed much since then.
WALLACE: I utterly concurred. There is press bias. People, you know, people get tales incorrect and people are called out for it. And we should be called out if we make a mistake.
Cause war? Sick, divisive? This is taking it to a completely different level.
BOLTON: Well, that’s the president’s opinion based on the attacks that the media made on him. There’ve been other administrations that have been highly critical of the press as well. You go back — I remember John Kennedy cutting off the White House subscription to The New York Times.
WALLACE: It was The Herald Tribune, but close.
BOLTON: Sorry, close enough. I was much younger, what can I say? But I think this kind of adversarial relationship is difficult.
WALLACE: OK. North Korea, this week, we learned that North Korea continues to produce plutonium, continues to build new missiles. There are reports that North Korea is transgressing international sanctions by ship to ship transfers. They’ve done it, it’s increasing. That China and Russia are stepping up their efforts to ease around the sanctions.
At what phase does the Trump administration say that Kim is playing us, that he isn’t serious about denuclearization and basically call him on this?
BOLTON: Yes. Well, that point may well come. As I’ve said to you and others before, there’s nobody in his administration starry eyed about the prospects of North Korea actually denuclearizing.
But I think what’s going on now is that the president is dedicating Kim Jong-un on a master class and how to hold a doorway open for somebody. And if the North Koreans can’t figure out how to walk through it, even the president’s fiercest critics will not be able to say it’s because he didn’t open it wide enough.
We are going to have to see a performance from the North Koreans. There’s no question about it.
WALLACE: How soon, though? I mean, there’s talk in his exchange of letters, they are discussing another summit.
BOLTON: Well, they are talking about in the exchange of letters what is necessary to get performance on the commitment that North Korea itself stimulated in Singapore to denuclearize. That’s the central issue for us. There’s a lot of interest in inter-Korean negotiations. They are looking at further discussions there. That’s important to them.
That’s not our priority, though. Our priority is North Korean denuclearization. Kim Jong-un promised South Korean President Moon Jae-in at Panmunjom on April 27 th that he would do it and that he would do it within a year. So, the focus here is getting Kim Jong-un to follow through on what he committed to the president at Singapore.
WALLACE: So, you’re willing to leave the door open for a year and that it closeds?
BOLTON: No, the year period — there’s been a lot of discussion about where the idea of complete this in a year comes from. It comes from Kim Jong-un. That if they make a strategic decision to give up nuclear weapons, they can do it within a year. We are waiting to see evidence that in fact that strategic decision has been stimulated.
WALLACE: Have you seen evidence of that strategic —
BOLTON: Regrettably, I can’t talking here intelligence whether it’s leaked into the news media or not. I’ll just say the president is doing everything he can beginning with the cinema that he demonstrated to Kim Jong-un in Singapore about what the future is to be able to if North Korea denuclearizes. He’s doing the best salesman job he can on that point.
WALLACE: We’re still a long way away from constructing condos on beaches in North Korea.
I have one last question, I’ve got a minute.
BOLTON: I don’t want a condo on a beach in North Korea under any circumstances.
WALLACE: That builds two of us.
I got one minute left. Remember your developing here in Tv. We seem to be starting an escalating trade war with China. I want to set these up on the screen. We’ve enforced or scheduled tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods. They have retaliated. Now, we are talking about 25 percent tariffs on $200 billion more in Chinese exports and they are threatening tariffs on another $60 billion of U.S. products.
Here’s White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow.
( BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KUDLOW, WHITE HOUSE ECONOMIC ADVISER: The chairwoman is impatient, you know? So, he has said to our squad take a seem, take a look at raising the tariff on the last 200 from 10 to 25. Take a seem.( INAUDIBLE) He’s impatient.
( END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: How far is President Trump prepared to go here in his standoff with China, and if Chinese President Xi doesn’t blink, doesn’t back up, how long is this — could this go on?
BOLTON: Well, I guess as Larry is saying, don’t underestimate President Trump’s resolve here. And the reason he’s so resolved is that for decades, China has been the principal malefactor trying to use free trade aspiration most of the rest of the world has, to pursue mercantilist aims. It steals American and European intellectual property. It engages —
WALLACE: How far are you prepared to take this?
BOLTON: Far enough to get China to change its behavior and they need to understand that.
WALLACE: And if they don’t change their behavior?
BOLTON: I guess the pressure will continue. I believe the president has built that very clear.
WALLACE: Ambassador Bolton, thank you. Thanks for your time. Always good to talk with you, sir.
BOLTON: Glad to be with you.
WALLACE: When we come back, Senator Marco Rubio joins us exclusively to talk about his pushing to make Russia if they meddle in our midterms, as well as his plan for paid household leave.
And a little afterwards, should blueprints to make a plastic handgun in your own home be available online? The debate over these homemade handguns and free speech, that’s all coming up.
( COMMERCIAL BREAK)
WALLACE: President Trump’s off-the-cuff statements about Russia, North Korea and Iran stand in contrast to the rest of his administration and much of the Republican Party.
We want to discuss that with Senator Marco Rubio, a key member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Intelligence Committees.
Senator, welcome back to “Fox News Sunday.”
SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA .: Thank you. Thanks for having me back.
WALLACE: You are trying to get the Senate to pass what you call the DETER Act, which would invoke automatic sanctions against Russia or any country that interferes with U.S. elections. Here’s what some top intel officials of the Trump administration said this week.
( BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: Russia attempted to interfere with the recent elections and continues to engage in malign influence operations to this day.
DAN COATS, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: It’s pervasive, is ongoing with the intent to achieve their intent, and that is drive a wedge and undermine our democratic values.
( END VIDEO CLIPS)
WALLACE: Senator, if you can get Congress to pass your legislation, devoted what we just heard there, should sanctions be imposed on Russia right now?
RUBIO: Well, there’s always calls for sanctions against Vladimir Putin’s government because of their consistent and ongoing violations of human rights and the likes, and there have already been sanctions in place. And to their credit, this administration has imposed tough sanctions already for what happened in 2016.
But what we’re hoping to do is deter future activity, in essence create a situation where Vladimir Putin has to weigh the cost and the benefits. We’re going to show him what the costs are by detailing them ahead and then when he weighs the cost and the benefits of taking similar action in 2018, hopefully, he’ll ascertain the costs are too high compared to the benefits.
I can’t guarantee that, but I can guarantee if we don’t do something, he will interfere again in multiple styles because right now, the costs are too unpredictable and too low.
WALLACE: Well, one interesting facet of your legislation as that it would — under the bill, it’s the director of national intelligence , not the president who would certify that interference had taken place. Devoted all the president’s talking here the Russia hoax, don’t you trust him to call out Kremlin meddling?
RUBIO: I do, especially if it happens in 2018. I believe — and that’s part of the bill that we’ll probably have to rework in some way. There’s some concern about it because we want to pass a bill. And so, our — the important thing we want to do is create an automatic route for sanctions to kick in.
Now, there likely is going to have to be an addition of a presidential waiver like all sanctions bill have and the like. The DNI will still play a key role. That’s the way we crafted it, but I know my — the partner I’m working with on this, Senator Van Hollen, a Democrat, and I are willing to make reasonable changes to the bill that allows us to pass it and that’s likely one of those that we heard a little bit of pushback on.
We want to get something done and we are willing to do whatever it takes to pass a statute that has real sanctions that will deter but at the same time can pass the House, pass the Senate and will be signed into statute by the White House.
WALLACE: President Trump this week tweeted this about the Russia investigation. I want to set it up on the screen. Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this rigged witch hunt right now before it continues to stain our country any further.
Afterwards, you said that special advise Robert Mueller should be allowed to finish his work and all the truth should come out. In pursuit of that truth, should President Trump sit down with a special advise to answer any questions about Russian collusion, about blockage of justice? And what if he refuses in a special attorney gets a subpoena?
RUBIO: Well, the second issue is truly for the president’s lawyers. I’m not in a position to give legal advice to the president about what the best thing to do or not do in those circumstances.
But let me talk about the first part of it and that is, the president — look, this is no mystery, OK? He believed strongly, he says he knows for a fact, patently, that he did not collude with the Russians, and he thinks this investigation that Mueller is conducting is exclusively about collusion, and that’s how he feels very strongly about that.
My position based on everything I know about this case is the following: I believe it’s in the best interest of the president and of the United States of America and the American people for that investigation to run the course for all the truth to come out, and for — I think it’s the best thing that could happen for him, and I think it’s the best thing that could happen for the country. Obviously, he is annoyed by that investigation continuing to go on because it’s about him, and he believes and has said repeatedly and emphatically that he did not collude with the Russians.
I’m limited to what I can say because the Senate is still doing our investigation but I am comfy in saying this, if there was evidence, strong evidence of collusion, I guarantee it would have been leaked by now, but let’s wait for the process to play itself out and I think that’s what should happen. Mueller should continue. He should finish his work and the truth should come out, and I think that’s in the best interest of everyone, including the president.
WALLACE: But as part of that process and you say the best interest of the president and the country, should he sit down and answer all questions?
RUBIO: Well, it’s easy to say that from a political realm but that’s not an interview, it’s an interview with a law enforcement official, with a special attorney. And there are plenty of people who are innocent, whose lawyers would tell them do not sitting there and answer questions from a prosecutor because there’s all sorts of other problems involved with that.
That’s a decision for the president to make alongside with his attorney. It’s my appreciation from what I’ve read in the press that he wants to do it. It’s attorneys who have questions about that, but there are plenty of innocent people whose lawyers tell them do not sit down with a prosecutor and answer questions. So, I don’t want to prejudge this or somehow had indicated that by not sitting down, he’s guilty of something.
WALLACE: Let’s turn to North Korea, do you think that the Kim regime is playing President Trump? Do you think they have any intention of giving up their nuclear and missile arsenal?
RUBIO: Well, I’m about to tell you I’m wrong about, but I do not believe that he is ever going to give up his nuclear arsenal. What I do believe he will do is a series of unilateral concessions that do not undermine his capabilities in the long term. For instance, I think he’s more than willing to tear apart facilities that are no longer necessary for old muscles because he’s got newer ones that work better. I believe he has undisclosed sites that he thinks he can shield from the world. I believe that he believes that even if he gets rid of some of the thing — new enrichment abilities he already has existing weapons and existing enriched abilities that he can hide from the remainder — from the world.
And every single time that he does one of these productions he is engendering goodwill internationally, which is ultimately his aim, to undermine international is supportive of sanctions by arguing, look at all these things I’m doing, the Americans are not reciprocating and undermining sanctions at the U.N. and internationally. That’s his goal in my opinion.
WALLACE: Well, Senator —
RUBIO: And I hope I’m incorrect.
WALLACE: Well, Senator, let me ask you about that because it appears to be working. We understand that North Korea is infringing the sanctions by doing ship to ship transfers. We now hear that Russia is doing business with North Korea, that they are bringing thousands of more guest employees into the country or in effect slaves who send fund back to the regime.
I mean, isn’t Kim succeeding in lowering the temperature, transgressing apart the alliance of sanctions and President Trump is being played?
RUBIO: Well, neither one of those two things are new. The laborers to Russia has been going on the whole time. The ship to ship transfer is the only way they’ve been able to evade.
I think what we need to be very careful about is undermining, for example, any split between us and South Korea. They’re going to try to exploit it.
I guess the Chinese been attempting to drag this out. The Chinese would love for this to be a step-by-step process that drags out. I think their biggest concern initially was that we would cut a deal with them directly.
I don’t know if the president is being played. I think he’s hoping for the best but prepared for the worst. The sanctions remained in place. We haven’t changed a single sanction on North Korea.
I think what they need to be more cautious about is we need to continue to engage our partners around the world so that they are fully aware of what’s actually happening in North Korea and what isn’t happening, what’s real and what isn’t real. That’s what I’d be very cautious about. I don’t have any concerns about anything they’ve done so far.
WALLACE: I want to ask you about one of your other big issues and that is you have introduced legislation to create paid family leave. You would take the money that would go to the parents of newborn children from Social Security pays they would get later on. Democrats say, one, the benefit is too small, two, it shouldn’t come out of retirement payments, and, third, they say that most people take family leave for illnesses, either their own or family members. They don’t take it for childbirth.
And, in fact, Ivanka Trump, who’s a big supporter of paid family leave, said there’s no chance this is going to happen in this Congress.
RUBIO: Well, we got — nothing is going to happen in this Congress other than the bills that are already stacked up and ready to go. This Congress ends in six months, five months, and we have elections in between.
This is a big issue. It’s a revolutionary notion and it’s going to take time to pass.
Now, here’s what it does. It’s very simple to understand. Number one, it’s an option. You don’t have to do this. Number two, the benefit is comparable to what you’re going to get in the private sector in terms of paid family leave for the birth of a child.
And number three, the concept is this, if you are interested in take paid household leave, at least six weeks up to 12 weeks, you can take — you are able to decide that some of your retirement benefits from your money, and Social Security, you can advance it and take it now instead of later. A section of it.
It’s up to you. It’s a selection you have. It’s an option you have. For the 85 percent of Americans that today have no alternative at all other than to skip paychecks, how many people can afford to skip one paycheck , not to mention four or five or six after the birth of a child?
WALLACE: Senator Rubio, thank you. Thanks for joining us.
RUBIO: Thank you.
WALLACE: Please come back, sir.
RUBIO: We will. Thank you so much.
WALLACE: Up next, we’ll bring in our Sunday group to discuss President Trump’s escalating assaults on the media. The face-off with reporters gets even more heated.
Plus, what would you like to ask the panel about the president’s menace to shut down the government before the midterm elections over funding for his perimeter wall? Just go to Facebook or Twitter, @FoxNewsSunday, and we may use your question on the air.
( COMMERCIAL BREAK)
WALLACE: Coming up, the latest combat over gun control. And this one’s in 3-D.
( BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ED MARKEY, D-MASS .: A 3-D printer cartridge has become as deadly as a firearm cartridge.
( END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: We’ll talk with the man behind the push to publish firearm blueprints online, next.
( COMMERCIAL BREAK)
( BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES: I’m a little torn myself. I would personally prefer before. But it — whether it’s before or after, we’re either getting it or we’re closing down government. We require border security!
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C .: It would be bad politics for the Republican Party to shut the government down. We’d get blamed.
( END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Senator Lindsey Graham warning President Trump not to shut down the government over question of immigration ahead of the November midterms.
And it’s period now for our Sunday group.
GOP strategist Karl Rove. Philippe Reines, former senior adviser to Hillary Clinton. Susan Page of USA Today, and Jason Riley from The Wall Street Journal.
Well, Karl, simple question, would shutting down the government over the wall and immigration issues helped or hurt Republicans in the midterms?
KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Hurt the Republicans. They’re seen as being in charge of the government. And they’ve got the presidency, the Senate and the House. And if they can’t get their act together, regardless of how strong the president describes the perpetrators as being the Democrats, it will hurt the Republicans.
Remember one thing, the president’s approving is 46-51 in the latest Fox poll. His approval in that poll on immigration is 43-55. He’s worse in immigration amongst the Americans than his overall acceptance rating.
WALLACE: So, don’t push immigration?
ROVE: Well, don’t shut down the government over immigration. Shut down — if you want to shut down the government, shut down the government over the economy, where he’s actually sees as doing the right thing. But people don’t believe, particularly when it comes to the wall, that it’s — that it’s the right thing. The wall — the wall is the — the weakest perimeter security is great. You’ll notice he has stopped talking about the wall and he’s talking about border security because even inside the White House they figured out the wall is not as popular as border security.
WALLACE: We asked you for questions for the panel and on the question of a possible shutdown we got this on Twitter from Independent0 2. If POTUS, the president, shutdown the government, how is he going to get his SCOTUS, Supreme court, picked confirmed? And should the Republicans be blamed if POTUS does this?
Philippe, how do you answer Independent0 2?
PHILIPPE REINES, FORMER HILLARY CLINTON SENIOR ADVISER: Well, as my insider knowledge of the GOP, I entail I think this is another example of the president pose a bigger problem to his own party than the Democrat, who most of the time are just innocent spectators to this.
I don’t know what he gets out of it, but I don’t think he cares what he gets out of it. You have — I don’t think he genuinely cares what happens in November of 2018.
WALLACE: Well, come along. Wait, wait, wait, of course he does. I mean he —
REINES: I don’t think he does, frankly.
WALLACE: He knows what happens to his agenda if he loses the House.
REINES: I think he knows that he gets to run against the House in 2020. I think he does not fear impeachment. It won’t be a problem. I don’t think he buys into it as much as maybe Karl does or the — his Republican colleagues in Congress do.
WALLACE: All right, I want to switch subjects. I know you want to weigh in on this but I’m going to switch subjects and turn to the presidents bashing in the media. I know it’s always all about us, but it seemed to made critical mass this week. I — I — you just heard my dialogue with Ambassador Bolton in which the president says the fake media can cause wars, they’re sick, divisive. We also had this fascinating contradiction this week between Ivanka Trump, who spoke about the fake media and then President Trump just hours later. Take a look.
( BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IVANKA TRUMP: I have some sensitivity around why people have concerns, and — and gripe, especially when they’re sort of feel targeted. But , no, I do not feel that the media is the foe of the people.
TRUMP: They can make anything bad because they are the fake, fake, disgusting news.
( END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: And, Susan, there was also that moment in the White House Briefing Room this week where CNN reporter Jim Acosta, some will say that he was grandstanding, I kind of agree with that, but he challenged Sarah Sanders, the press spokeswoman, to declare that the press, the media are not the adversary of the people, and she refused.
SUSAN PAGE, USA TODAY: You know, I care more about what the president says then I care about what the press secretary says. And for the — you know, Mr. Bolton, in your interview, said that an adversarial relationship with the White House is — is common with the press. And having encompassed six White Houses, that is true. No White House really likes the press.
But the rhetoric that the president is utilize, foe of the people, this is a phrase from Stalin, is chilling and unprecedented in modern times. It does not recognize the role that the founders find for a free and vigorous press to be — to hold officials accountable and to be the friend of the American people. And I think it’s — I think it’s enormously serious.
WALLACE: And, Jason, I — I — let me just ask you a question. You had U.N. officials who were in charge of freedom of expression around the world this week say that these kinds of comments — and, again, I don’t think we’re talking about criticism of the media. We’re talking about fake news, starting wars, foe of the people — that undermines the role of a free press around the world to hold governments accountable.
JASON RILEY, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Ivanka Trump is right. The press is not the enemy of the people. And — and — and you’re right that this — some of this — what — what this rhetoric coming out of the White House is unprecedented.
But so is some of the behavior of the media these days. Media that is supposed to be covering this White House objectively and is behaving much more like political activists than they are like objective journalists. This too, I suppose, has reached a new low in terms of the press behavior. And when that happens, I do believe that the press deserves to be called out here. The press should not be the story. The narrative should be what — making sure that the voters are informed. And — and too often these days, the press is inducing themselves the story.
WALLACE: But the president — wait, wait, but the president does make — the president does — well, wait a minute, the president induces them a story.
RILEY: And that’s this adversarial relationship that I think all administrations have. The problem here is that the press, too often, takes the bait and — and we get eventually( ph) cycles —
WALLACE: Well, I agree with that.
RILEY: And this is what we end up talking about. And the press loves — the press loves talking about the press.
PAGE: That is — that is incorrect. I — as a reporter, I do not love talking about the press. I wish the press could be in a more traditional role here.
I think what is happening — there are certainly things to criticize about the press. There’s no question about that. We ought to be held accountable for our mistakes. But I think what the president is doing is undermining faith in the institutions that stand to challenge him, and that would include the press and the( INAUDIBLE ).
RILEY( ph ): I believe the media —
WALLACE: Let me — wait, let me — let me bring in Karl, because as a White House official, you were, I’m sure, you felt the main victims of unjust coverage. Where’s the line between legitimately criticizing the media for things that, as Jason points out, we do wrong, whether it’s biased reporting and accurate reporting, and what the president is doing right now?
ROVE: Look, any White House has the right, if it disagrees with coverage, to be specific and precise in criticizing that coverage. If the wall — if “The New York Times” has a bad tale about the Trump administration, I don’t — I guess the administration ought to say, we think this is what’s incorrect. But, look, the veracity of these generalized slurs, if you will, against the press, and the frequency of them is disturbing to me.
I watched the speech and there was — I lost track about 18 or 19 periods that the president went after the press. And every time he did, that mob roared its approval. But that crowd represents the hard-core Trump base. This does not help him with his bigger problem.
Back to the — the Fox poll, 46 -5 1 approve. Twenty-eight percent strongly approve. Those were the people who were screaming their cheers when he said enemy of the person or persons. But 41 percentage strongly disapprove. That’s why the president’s numbers are so — he is enraging the opposition was simply reinforcing a much smaller base.
WALLACE: I — you were talking before about how maybe losing the midterms would be good, “wouldve been” smart politics, or at the least not caring. Is bashing the press smart politics for this president?
REINES: Perfectly. It’s working for him. But that doesn’t entail it’s right. And I think it’s part of a larger problem, that it’s part of a war on the truth. And to be honest with you, you know, I’ve been on the other side of this. I think you know that and Susan probably knows that. We —
WALLACE: Again, we should point out, you worked for Hillary Clinton.
REINES: I did. And, you know, the media is not always perfect. But, you know what, you get on the phone, “youre talking about” it. You don’t call them the adversary of the people. My — my beef now is, the media has to just accept that this is not normal behaviour and they have to realize that they are in combat and they have to start acting differently. They have to stop broadcasting the daily press briefings live, get rid of the soap opera facet of it, the grandstanding. They have to use the word lie when he lies, et cetera.
WALLACE: Well, I disagree with that.
Thank you, panel, see you next Sunday.
When we come back, the debate over 3-D printed firearms. Cody Wilson wants Americans to have the information to make handguns in personal privacy of their own homes. He joins us next.
( COMMERCIAL BREAK)
WALLACE: He’s been called one of the most hazardous people in the world for his move to put blueprints online to attain guns on 3-D printers. And now Cody Wilson is at the centre for human rights of a legal battle over building that information available to everyone on the Internet. Mr. Wilson, director of Defense Distributed, joins us now from Austin, Texas.
So, simple question, why on globe do you think putting these blueprints for plastic handguns online is a good notion?
CODY WILSON, DIRECTOR OF DEFENSE DISTRIBUTED: Hey, Chris.
So, I’ve put the blueprints for all types of handguns. All technological plans. All data. All blueprints, past and present. I put them all online, and that’s the right that I’ve procured. It’s not like I’m somehow merely fascinated by the idea of a printable firearm. That was just a mere technological demonstration of a much wider prospect of the digital production of handguns, which is in no way precluded by current statute.
WALLACE: But as I understand it, you say this is your First Amendment right. You’re talking about information that you’re putting online , not what happens after people receive that information. But I don’t have to tell you that the First Amendment is not an absolute right. You’re not allowed to cry flame in a crowded theater. Tribunals have — have exercised prior restraint to stop people from publishing troop motions in the time of war. It’s not an absolute right, Cody.
WILSON: So, Chris, as the hardest newsman in video games, I’d expect you to not propagate that ignorance, right? Fire in a crowded theater has not been good law for over 40 years. That example was replaced. The standard is, even the most inflammatory speech is protected by the First Amendment unless it produces immanently unlawful action, right, or direct provocation or is likely to produce imminent harm and — I entail these — these are not the standards. Like, we need to correct the people’s ignorance here. Fire in a crowded theater is a pseudo-profundity, OK? The First Amendment, without questions, protects this kind of data, lawfully created. It’s got a cognizant government authority. It’s directly related to another protected right of the person or persons, which is their Second Amendment. So speech about another amendment is even more protected than the use of like —
WALLACE: Well, well, wait, wait, first of all, we don’t know whether it’s protected, because, in fact, a judge issued a temporary restraining order. There’s going to be a court hearing about this, this week. And I know you’re going to — you’re going to be pursue this.
Here you talk about speech that — that provokes or makes the opportunity for illegal action. Here’s the problem with putting these blueprints about plastic firearms on the Internet. It allows people to create — to make guns that are untraceable. There’s no serial number. It allows them to build handguns that are undetectable. They’re all plastic. They could get through a metal detector. It also allows people who would be prohibited from having handguns, whether it’s someone with a history of mental illness, a offender, domestic abuse or even a terrorist, it allows them to induce guns. Take a look at — at — at Democratic Senator Ed Markey. Here he is.
( BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARKEY: These downloadable pistols are available even to those who could not pass a background check. It’s the ultimate handgun loophole.
( END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: The NRA has supported the law that attains these firearms, undetectable firearms, illegal for 30 years.
WILSON: So, Chris, I don’t suppose Ed Markey knew you could legally make a firearm in the country until last week. And I think that’s part of like what’s inflammatory to — at the least the Democratic establishment. This is also their discovery that it’s been legal in this country since its founding to make a gun for yourself. Well, I’m sorry that you just found that out, OK, but you should have — you should have made a statute, right? You’re Congress, make a statute. Induce it illegal to induce handguns in this country. I’d like to see that.
WALLACE: But — but — but they did made an Undetectable Firearms Act which passed 30 years ago, Cody.
WILSON: Right. And — and, appear, it’s legal to make a handgun if you include all requisite quantity of metal in it. And, Chris, like this is why I’m not in jail today, right, my printable firearms have the amount of metal in it. You know, there are security norms. I respect the norms. Of course, maybe even that type of law ultimately couldn’t survive Second Amendment scrutiny. But I’m not here to argue for — for — or against our security norms. I’m literally here to argue that what I won in court over five years in the western district of Texas was the right — and not just singularly, but all Americans have the right to share data for attaining pistols on the Internet.
This is not controversial. The progressive suit, the H-bomb nuclear — nuclear plans, these are all protected by the First Amendment. I’m sorry that some people are just waking up to the idea that the First Amendment protects scientific inquiry that doesn’t advantage, what, the gun control movement?
WALLACE: You first put blueprints online in 2013 and it was downloaded virtually 100,000 times before you were stopped by the government. Since you set the blueprint again, after a settlement with the federal government, online, it was downloaded more than 20,000 periods.
To us — is this — is the genie already out of the bottle? Is this information already out there and we’re arguing about something that’s already happened?
WILSON: Frankly, Chris, that’s — that’s the suit. When these attorneys general came into Washington, and they, your honor, he’s going to release all this stuff August 1. Well, look, in one sense I released it five years ago. In another sense, I released it July 27 th. I can’t make a judge read a brief, OK, but these are APA asserts. These aren’t gun control act claims. These — these attorneys general have no standing. The judge can’t even review the decision that the State Department made. So I’m just sitting here watching all these gun files already online and people arguing about what reality is when we both know that firearms are now downloadable and they have been repeatedly demonstrated to be.
WALLACE: To a certain degree I think you’re protecting — you’re saying, hey, I’m simply inducing the information provided. I’m not responsible for what people do once they get the information. But the fact is, Cody, there are real-world consequences here. What if someone takes your datum, makes a gun and then goes out and kills someone, potentially, God forbid, kills member of their own families, would there be — do you bear any responsibility? Do “youre feeling” — would you feel any compunction?
WILSON: So I credit the issues to as like an honest question. I — I credit your question is good faith, right? But I literally believe in the Second Amendment to the point of that it’s all right and it should be expected that there will be social costs for protecting a right like this. Why is the people’s right to hold and bear arms on the Bill of Right? Why is it even protected? Because we know that there are downsides and that there are outcomes to permitting free people to own the means of self-defense. I entail of course we should expect and have a mature attitude that bad things can happen.
WALLACE: But the government has stimulated decisions that, for the right — best of society, certain people should be prevented from having firearms, and that there should be — it should be easier to trace and easier to detect. You’re going around all of that, Cody.
WILSON: Oh, I disagree. With respect, I disagree. The government has regulated commercial manufacture of arms and the arms and transfer and interstate commerce, but the government has never governed the production of firearms that you’re have been able to own. An American, can to this day, right now, make a handgun and there’s no requirement to put a serial number on it. Again, I’m sorry that a bunch of legislators woke up to the reality of this just last week, but this is the way it’s always been.
WALLACE: Cody — Cody Wilson, thank you. Thanks for talking with us.
WILSON: A pleasure.
WALLACE: Up next our Power Player of the Week. The Army’s art collection sets powerful Nazi propaganda from World War II under lock and key.
( COMMERCIAL BREAK)
WALLACE: One of the highlights of this task is to to have seen historical treasure trove’s that aren’t open to the public. As we told you in February, the Army opened its doorways to show us one of its explosive collections.
Here is our Power Player of the Week 😛 TAGEND
( BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
CHARLES BOWERY, U.S. ARMY CENTER FOR MILITARY HISTORY: They used it to enhance, in their view, kind of the inviolability of the Nazi way of life.
WALLACE: Charles Bowery is the chief of Army history. And we met at a huge warehouse at Fort Belvoir outside Washington. It holds thousands of pieces of military art and artifacts.
The battle standard of an African-American regiment in the Civil War. A Taliban motorcycle. Norman Rockwell illustrations from World War II.
WALLACE( on camera ): Do you ever feel like you’re in that huge warehouse at the end of Indiana Jones?
BOWERY: We make that joke all the time.
WALLACE( voice over ): But we were there to see the Army’s stash of Nazi propaganda, 586 pieces confiscated during Hitler’s fall and sent back to the U.S.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hitler’s retreat at Berchtesgaden. The luxurious mountain residence.
WALLACE: The man in charge of the operation, Gordon Bilky( ph ), who was appointed by President Roosevelt.
WALLACE( on camera ): Why was it so important to remove this art from Germany postwar?
BOWERY: They believed that the fact that there is these pieces in German society could be essentially a powder keg that could kick off additional incidents of the rise of Nazism.
WALLACE( on camera ): Pieces like this 1937 painting, “In the Beginning Was the Word.”
BOWERY: The piece is very intentionally titled to mirror the first verse of the book of John in the Bible, and it very clearly equates Adolf Hitler with John the Baptist.
WALLACE( on camera ): It’s an nearly godlike figure and his disciples.
BOWERY: That’s correct.
WALLACE( voice over ): The Army seized another work called “The standard Bearer.”
BOWERY: It portrays Adolf Hitler as a medieval night. He’s carrying a Nazi flag. He’s mounted on a horse. And he is prepared to lead his people into combat.
WALLACE( on camera ): Now what is the hole there?
BOWERY: An American soldier up his rifle bayonet and he punched through the eye of Hitler as a direct message.
WALLACE( voice over ): The Army received this huge bust of Hitler in the eagles nest.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where the Nazi furor held meetings of victory in the mountains of Bavaria.
WALLACE: A grand corridor he used for key meetings.
BOWERY: The monumental scale of it imparts as personal power and the fact that this was a cult of personality that he led through individual magnetism.
WALLACE: Perhaps most fascinating are these watercolours painted by Hitler, an aspiring art student and then a soldier in World War I, long before his rise to power.
BOWERY: One of the comments on his early evaluations of his run was that while he was pretty good at depicting buildings and structures, he was not so good at depicting human life.
WALLACE: But opportunities are you will never get to see any of these works in person. The Army keeps them locked up in its mammoth storage facility.
WALLACE( on camera ): Is their concern that some of these pieces could be used as a rallying point for Neo-Nazis here in this country?
BOWERY: That’s the heart of the tight control that we maintain over the collect.
WALLACE: It could be potentially dangerous?
BOWERY: The word I like to use is powerful.
( END VIDEOTAPE)
WALLACE: The Army is constructing a national museum near Fort Belvoir to open in 2020 that will house many of the military artifacts now in that huge warehouse. But don’t expect to see any of the Nazi propaganda that glorifies a dictator.
And that’s it for today. Have a great week and we’ll see you next “Fox News Sunday.”
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