This is a rush transcript of “Fox News Sunday” on June 20, 2021. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I’m Chris Wallace.
President Biden returns from his first foreign trip to find his domestic agenda at risk.
WALLACE (voice-over): From talk of a compromise on infrastructure, facing pushback from the Democrat left.
REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): We want a big, bold package and we want it quickly.
WALLACE: To gridlock over election reports.
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): I’ve been working across the aisle with all the Republicans, trying to get people to understand that that’s the bedrock of our democracy.
WALLACE: Democrats debate dealing with Republicans or pushing the Biden agenda on a straight party line vote.
We’ll ask GOP Senator Lindsey Graham about prospects for compromise.
Then, President Biden warns Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
JOSEPH R. BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Certain critical infrastructure should be off-limits to attack, period.
WALLACE: As North Korea prepares for talks or confrontation with the U.S.
We’ll ask White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan where Joe Biden foreign policy goes from here.
Plus, the Supreme Court on two major rulings and surprising unity on Obamacare and religious liberty. We’ll ask our Sunday panel about more big decisions to come, and liberal pressure on Justice Breyer to step down.
UNIDENTIFIED BOY: We love you, guys.
WALLACE: Our “Power Player of the Week”. This Father’s Day, former NFL star Greg Olsen on his son’s life-saving heart transplant.
All, right now, on “FOX News Sunday”.
WALLACE (on camera): Hello again and Happy Father’s Day from FOX News in Washington.
If President Biden thought dealing with Vladimir Putin last week was tough, he faces a whole new set of challenges now trying to push his domestic agenda through Congress. With bipartisanship in short supply and Democrats sharply divided between the center and the far left, big items like infrastructure and voting rights, tax policy, and policing, all face an uncertain future.
In a moment, we’ll talk about the disarray in Congress with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who is pushing a trillion dollar compromise on infrastructure.
But, first, let’s bring in Rich Edson traveling with the president in Wilmington, Delaware — Rich.
RICH EDSON, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Chris, when President Biden returns to Washington, the White House says he will resume negotiations as an attempt to reach an agreement with Republicans or maybe just with his own party.
EDSON (voice-over): A bipartisan group of senators is working to secure a nearly $1 trillion infrastructure plan. The sticking point? How to finance it.
Republicans have pushed spending unused COVID relief funds. Democrats have generally called for tax increases on wealthier Americans and corporations.
SEN. ROB PORTMAN (R-OH): My hope is that he will be willing to work with us on a different kind of package that doesn’t have taxes but does a deal with these core infrastructure challenges we have as a country.
EDSON: Democratic Senator Joe Manchin says the bipartisan negotiators will release their framework Wednesday at the latest. Some progressive Democrats have attacked that bipartisan effort as too modest and are demanding Democrats abandon Republicans.
SEN. ED MARKEY (D-MA): We need to move forward with 50 Democratic votes now that the Republicans have shown us that they are not serious about creating clean energy jobs.
EDSON: Democrats have that option thanks to a budget procedure known as reconciliation, which lowers the threshold in the Senate to pass a bill from 60 to 51. Democrats have also scheduled a vote this week on their expansive voting bill, an effort lacking the support to pass.
Manchin has released a memo outlining a potential compromise.
The response from Republicans?
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Totally inappropriate. All Republicans I think will oppose that as well.
EDSON (on camera): If Democrats want to pass a voting bill, they may have to make major changes to Senate rules, do away with the filibuster and that 60-vote threshold — Chris.
WALLACE: Rich Edson reporting from Delaware — Rich, thank you.
And joining us now from South Carolina, GOP Senator Lindsey Graham, who is working with Democrats in at least one area.
Senator, welcome back to “FOX News Sunday”.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): Thank you.
WALLACE: You’re a member of the so-called bipartisan Group of 21, which is
10 Democratic senators and 11 Republican senators, who’ve come up with a roughly $1 trillion package on infrastructure.
A couple of questions. First of all, how close are you to a deal with the White House? And what’s the effective deadline for reaching an agreement?
GRAHAM: Well, I think — I’m the newest member so I got a call from Rob Portman, would you like to join the group? And I said, yes, because I’d like to get something done.
I think the difference between this negotiation and the earlier negotiation is that we’re willing to add more new money to infrastructure in this package and I am hopeful if the White House and Joe Biden stay involved, we can get there.
I would just say this: President Biden, if you want an infrastructure deal of a trillion dollars, it’s there for the taking. You just need to get involved and lead.
WALLACE: Democrats on the left say — again, on the left say that the only way they’ll agree to this bipartisan infrastructure package is if there’s another, separate, much bigger, maybe even $6 trillion —
WALLACE: — spending and tax package —
WALLACE: — that would be passed on a straight party line vote through the Senate. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): I think it would be very difficult to find the votes for that in the House unless there was a simultaneous movement and agreement of the full reconciliation package with 50 votes in the Senate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Question, Senator: would you support — will you support and infrastructure compromise with Democrats if you understand that at the same time, they may pass a separate $6 trillion spending and big tax package on a straight party line vote in the Senate?
GRAHAM: That could be very problematic. I’m going to sit down and talk with my colleagues.
But $6 trillion being spent through reconciliation is more money than we spent two win World War II. Infrastructure to me is roads and bridges and ports — and electrical vehicles are fine. I don’t want to raise taxes to pay for it.
But the gas tax hasn’t been adjusted for inflation, the federal gas tax, since the 1990s. I would be willing to do that. An infrastructure bank is on the table, using unspent COVID money.
So I would just say to President Biden, you’ve got a party that’s divided.
You’ve got a Republican Party that’s willing to meet you in the middle for a trillion dollars of infrastructure that could fundamentally change the way America does business in roads, ports, and bridges and accelerate electrical vehicles. You’ve got to decide what kind of president you are and what kind of presidency you want.
So, if you want to work with Republicans to spend a trillion dollars of — on infrastructure, it’s available to you. If you don’t want to go that route and you pick a $6 trillion reconciliation package, I think you’ll get a lot of pushback from every Republican.
WALLACE: So just to button this up, you’re saying that you could not vote for the compromise in one area if there’s this other big spending and tax package in another?
GRAHAM: That would be a problem for me. I’ll have to talk to the rest of my colleagues but that is a — that will be a very big sticking point because $6 trillion is more than we spent on World War II. And what they’re calling infrastructure, the liberal left, to me, is not remotely related to what’s traditionally been called infrastructure. It’s just — it’s just a power grab by the Democratic Party in every area of our lives.
WALLACE: So let me move on to another area because Senator Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader, is going to bring up a voting rights bill this week and the centrist moderate, always, maybe the most powerful man in the Senate, Joe Manchin, is going to offer —
GRAHAM: Right, right.
WALLACE: — his stripped-down version of that bill this week.
And I want to put up the main elements of the Manchin proposal.
Make election to a holiday. Mandate at least 15 days of early voting. Ban partisan gerrymandering, and use computer models and require a voter ID.
Now, Senator, Manchin took out a lot of the basic Senate plans, S-1, the For the People Act, like —
WALLACE: — public financing of congressional elections. Can you go along with the Manchin stripped-down version? And if not, why not?
GRAHAM: Well, one, I like Joe Manchin a lot, but we had the largest turnout in the history of the United States and states are in charge of voting in America.
So I don’t like the idea of taking the power to redistrict away from state legislators. You’re having people move from red — blue states to red states. Under this proposal, you would have some kind of commission, redraw the new districts, and I don’t like that. I want states where people are moving to have control over how to allocate new congressional seats.
So, as much as I like Joe Manchin, the answer would be no.
In my view, SR-1 is the biggest power grab in the history of the country.
It mandates ballot harvesting, no voter ID. It does away with the states being able to redistrict when you have population shifts. And it’s just a bad idea and it’s a problem that most Republicans are not going to sign — they’re trying to fix a problem most Republicans have a different view of.
WALLACE: Now, Joe Manchin would say, look, a lot of the stuff that you just objected to is not in my bill.
WALLACE: — his is a stripped-down version and he doesn’t talk about an independent commission. He just says ban partisan gerrymandering.
WALLACE: And as you know, the Constitution does provide for federal oversight of state elections.
WALLACE: Here’s the practical question here. If you kill vote — if Republicans vote, as it appears you’re going to, to kill the Manchin version of voting rights, you’ve already, Republicans voted to kill the bipartisan January 6th commission looking into the insurrection of the Capitol, do you run the risk that Manchin and a couple of other moderate senators will eventually say, look, bipartisanship isn’t working and, you know what, we’re not going to kill the filibuster but we’re going to reduce the number of votes you need to stop a debate from 60 to 55? Do you run that risk?
GRAHAM: I hope not because I was in Joe Manchin’s shoes. I like Joe Manchin. I’m willing work with him and infrastructure. We’re very close on police reform.
We haven’t talked about police reform but I think that we can get there. I think Tim Scott and Cory Booker and the rest of us are very close to a police reform package that would be bipartisan.
But when we had the House and the Senate and the White House under President Trump, I had a bunch of Democrats wanting to sign a letter with me protecting the filibuster. Every one of those Democrats have fled for the Hills.
So I was beat on every day. Why don’t you give in and agree with President Trump to change the rules so we can get the Trump agenda through? I said, no, I don’t think it would be good for the country.
Never once did I go to Joe Manchin or any other Democrat and say, if you don’t do some of the things I want, I’m going to agree with Trump to change the rules.
I’m not going to be extorted here. I’m asking no more of my Democratic colleagues then I ask of myself. It was very unpleasant to be beat on every day by the president of the United States, President Trump, and his allies, to try to change the rules in the Senate to have their way. I said no because it’s bad for the Senate.
I hope these Democrats understand it’s bad for the Senate to change the rules, and I don’t want to be extorted. I’ve got to give two or three things before they will not change the rules.
I don’t like that at all. I didn’t do that to them and I wish they would not do this to me.
WALLACE: All right. I’ve got two questions I want to squeeze in in the next three minutes. So, let’s try — let’s try to do that.
GRAHAM: Right, we can do it.
WALLACE: The Supreme Court voted 7-2 — all right — the Supreme Court voted 7-2 to uphold Obamacare and two of the justices named by Donald Trump, Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh, voted along to uphold Obamacare.
Now, were you disappointed in that?
GRAHAM: Right. Well, I was a bit surprised but I accept the outcome.
So much for Amy Coney Barrett being a religious zealot at all the demagoguery attached to her nomination. So I think what the justices did, say that once you zero out the individual mandate or zero tax, the states complaining about it really could show injury.
From a conservative point of view, that decision made sense to me. I’d love to get rid of Obamacare, but the standing issue decided the case and Barrett and Kavanaugh took a very reasoned, conservative approach. So there you go.
WALLACE: That’s right. Listen —
GRAHAM: — too (ph) bad, too (ph) bad. And it ain’t going to change.
WALLACE: Finally, foreign policy. A hard-liner, Ebrahim Raisi, has been elected the new president of Iran.
The Biden administration reportedly wants to conclude a nuclear deal before Raisi takes office in six weeks.
How do you think his election affects those talks?
GRAHAM: Well, number one, a moderate member — there are no moderates on the ballot in Iran. The ayatollah is a religious Nazi, he controls the place. Religious zealots run the place. Why in the world do you want to give massive enrichment capability to the most — the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world, I don’t know.
There’s a better way Iran can have nuclear power. We’ll have an international fuel bank. They don’t need to make their own fuel. I think the Arabs would agree to that construct.
So the idea of going back into negotiations with the ayatollah and his henchmen is insane. The Israelis hate this, right, center, left. The Arabs are scared to death. They’re going to be in the nuclear arms race.
If you go back into this deal with the Iranians, you’re going to have a nuclear arms race in the Mideast and you’re going to put Israel in a box so they have to use military force.
To my friends on the Biden demonstration, there’s a better way. If they want nuclear power, the Iranians, they can have it. If they want a bomb, they’re not going to get it. They don’t need to enrich to have nuclear power.
WALLACE: Senator Graham, thank you. Thanks for your time this week. And I must say you’re in a very good mood.
GRAHAM: Thank you.
WALLACE: It’s always good to talk with you.
GRAHAM: Thank you very much.
WALLACE: Up next, we’ll bring in our Sunday group to discuss President Biden’s big tax-and-spend domestic agenda. How much trouble is it in?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): If a bipartisan deal sucks up trillions in bridges to nowhere, because it makes people feel good, then that’s going to be a huge concern.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: There aren’t rifts. We’re a Democratic Party. We’re not a lockstep, rubber-stamp. Who would want to belong to a party like that? You can cross the aisle and do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Nancy Pelosi throwing some shade and she and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez showing just how divided Democrats in Congress are over President Biden’s legislative agenda.
Time now for our Sunday group. GOP strategist Karl Rove, Susan Page of “USA Today” and FOX News political analyst Juan Williams.
Karl, when you look at the split inside the Democratic Party, over infrastructure and over passing of multitrillion dollar plan beyond, through a straight party line vote through reconciliation and also the clash over voting rights, how much trouble is the Biden domestic agenda in right now?
KARL ROVE, FORMER BUSH WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: Well, I think a lot and it’s for two reasons. The first reason is that it’s very hard to get these gigantic transformational measures passed when you have a 5-vote margin in the U.S. House and a 50/50 Senate. It’s just — all it takes is a handful of people objecting to a provision.
Take a look at the tax measure, capital gains goes from 23.8 to 43.4 and you’ve got Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, Warner of Virginia, raising concerns about it.
Taxing the gain and assets of death have got all the farm state senators and 12 farm state Democrat House members last week said we’re not for that.
Corporate taxes, international tax framework to raise a trillion dollars — all of these have Democrats on the record saying they’ve got a problem.
Second issue, time. After Thursday, the House will be in session nine days through the middle of September and the Senate will be in for a handful of days more. Trying to jam these measures through in a quick measure — in a quick time with very slim margin is going to be awfully, awfully difficult.
WALLACE: Now, in fairness, we can say that the congressional schedule is not written in stone. It can be changed by Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.
But, Juan, doesn’t Karl — I know he’s not rooting for the success of the Biden agenda, but does he have a point that it’s going to be awfully tough when you’ve got this split between people on the center right like Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, people on the far left in the Senate like Bernie Sanders and Ed Markey? Isn’t it going to be awfully hard to one, negotiate this infrastructure deal as a bipartisan deal, plus the multitrillion dollar reconciliation deal and there’s also a possibility, as you heard from Lindsey Graham, the bipartisan infrastructure deal could fall apart?
JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think, you know, stop the presses, Karl is right. I think, you know, realistically, we’ve got a two week window here, Chris, until a July 4th recess.
If you don’t see some kind of bipartisan deal take shape in that time frame, I think we are not — it’s not going to succeed. I think it’s most likely to fail given that they really can’t agree on a price tag and they can’t agree, as Karl laid out for you, on how to pay for it. But the fact is that this proposition, the Biden bill, remains popular with the voters, even many Republicans. It’s popular in the polls.
The stimulus package that passed with just Democratic votes, it’s still very popular. I think that’s why there’s — it’s good news that you have 10 Republican senators who are willing to sit at the table and try to reach some kind of deal, because they see that they have a political self- interest in showing that they’re willing work with the president.
Unlike though — and this is another negative — Senator Mitch McConnell who remains 100 percent, in his own words, focused on denying Biden a win.
But I think that right now, you know, if you had to bet, you’d say this is not likely to come together. I will say on the Democratic side really quickly, the fact that Dick Durbin, the number two Democrat in the Senate, and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, a real strong voice among the Democrats, the fact that they are at the table suggests that they are making an effort to reach a deal.
WALLACE: So, Susan, you solve this for us. One, what you think of the chances of this bipartisan deal, and, you know, I thought it was interesting that Lindsey Graham said, I’m not going for the bipartisan infrastructure deal if they are then going to pass up a multitrillion dollar reconciliation bill on a straight party line vote.
So what are the chances for that compromise? And if it all falls apart, what are the chances that Biden can get through a big tax-and-spend package when you’ve got people on the center that are saying it’s too much and people in the left saying it’s not enough?
SUSAN PAGE, USA TODAY: You know, it’s always safer to bet on stalemate and gridlock, but actually I think these bipartisan negotiations in the Senate are pretty encouraging. I think you heard that tone from Senator Graham in your interview with him. Eleven Republican senators, that is — that is stronger bipartisan showing than we’ve seen in the negotiations that took place in the past.
And, you know, you showed Speaker Pelosi. She’s been in a situation like this before with passage of the Affordable Care Act where she had to push an unpopular version of that through the House in that final vote with a written commitment from the senators that they would pass a follow-on bill that something that House Democrats, more liberal Democrats, wanted to see happen and she did that.
It’s a hard thing to do. You have to thread a needle but I guess I am more optimistic than the others on the panel that we’re going to see a bipartisan bill get through and then a follow on reconciliation bill. It’s not going to be $6 trillion. That is the Bernie Sanders wish list, but a bill that is $2 trillion, a follow-on bill that’s $2 trillion, that is still a substantial amount of money.
WALLACE: Karl, what are the chances, and what are the risks to Republicans that if Chuck Schumer keeps bringing up packages that Joe Manchin — I hate to bring it down to him, but you kind of have to — that Joe Manchin likes.
For instance, his version of voting rights and if Republicans keep killing them, that Manchin and a couple of those other center right Democrats might say, you know what, we’re not going to kill the filibuster but we’re going to reduce the number of votes it takes to end debate from 60 to 55?
Remember, it used to be 67, then they took it to 60. So it’s not the end of the world to drop it from 60 to 55.
ROVE: Well, there’s always that risk with not only Manchin but with Kyrsten Sinema, who has expressed an opposition to changing the rules. You also have others who have expressed concerns about — about changing the filibuster, Dianne Feinstein made some comments recently. Jeanne Shaheen, whom you mentioned, expressed concerns about changing it, but yeah, we run that risk.
But I would — I would support Susan. I’m recently optimistic about getting an infrastructure bipartisan agreement. We also saw last week, a bipartisan bill on challenging China. We are likely to see bipartisanship on a Dreamers bill. And Lindsey Graham put his finger on it, we can get a bipartisan police reform bill.
There may be enough, if you take it all, step back for a moment and take a look at it, that the Congress is doing enough in a bipartisan fashion that these extreme measures that the administration is pushing, 6 — you know,
$4.2 trillion in new taxes. And you’re right, Bernie Sanders is $6 trillion, but the administration is not far behind.
WALLACE: All right, panel. We’re going to have to take a break here. We will see you later in the hour.
Up next, we’ll sit with the president’s national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, to discuss Iran’s new president, how to get China to open up about COVID and what Joe Biden actually got out of his summit with Vladimir Putin.
WALLACE: President Biden tells Vladimir Putin to crackdown on hackers, or else.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: Responsible countries need to take action against criminals who conduct ransomware activities on their territory.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: We’ll ask National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan about that, next.
WALLACE: Our next guest was in the room where it happened when President Biden sat down with Vladimir Putin in Geneva this week. But what really happened in that room and what about breaking developments in Iran and North Korea?
Here now to discuss all that, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.
Jake, let’s start with Iran, where, as we’ve noted, an Iranian hardliner, Ebrahim Raisi, has just been elected the new president of Iran. We should note that Raisi is under U.S. sanctions for his involvement in mass execution of political prisoners back about three decades ago.
Question, what does Joe Biden think of Raisi?
JAKE SULLIVAN, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Well, of course, we vigorously object to the worldview and the outlook that Raisi has put forward. We don’t share his values. We don’t share his interests.
But, Chris, we also have to keep our eye on the ball. The person who will call the shots on Iran’s nuclear program is not Raisi. It’s the supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, which you heard earlier from Lindsey Graham.
He’s the guy ultimately who will make the decision about whether Iran accepts the constraints on its nuclear program that will ensure that it does not get a nuclear weapon. That’s what we are testing right now. That’s what our diplomacy is all about. And we are determined to prevent Iran from ever acquiring a nuclear weapon.
WALLACE: Now, there are reports that the administration wants to get a deal with Iran before Raisi takes office in about six weeks. I want to ask you about that.
President Biden talks about a deal that is, quote, longer and stronger, than the existing JCPOA, the existing nuclear deal that Donald Trump pulled out of.
Will extending the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program, which are supposed to sunset in 2030, which was 15 years when it was agreed on but is now only nine years away, will extending that sunset provision and also including Iran’s nuclear missile program, will that be part of this deal or are you going to have a second deal to handle those issues?
SULLIVAN: What we’re intending to do is to reimpose the constraints that put Iran’s nuclear program in a box. The limits on enrichment, the limits on stockpile, the intensive verification measures, all of which were included in the original Iran nuclear deal. Once we go back into that deal, Chris, the idea is to negotiate a follow-on agreement that will make for a longer and stronger agreement. That is the next step that U.S. policy will take alongside our partners in the P5+1.
WALLACE: But isn’t it going to be harder to get a deal — in other words, we’re not — the sunset will then stay at 2030, which is only nine years from now. Is it going to be harder to negotiate a longer, stronger deal when we have lifted our sanctions on Iran?
SULLIVAN: Well, I would say two things about that. The first is that we have proven now over the course of the past few years that we can reimpose sanctions in a devastating way and the Iranians understand that. So we retain substantial leverage.
Second, there are many more things that Iran wants in the way of sanction relief that go above and beyond what’s in the original Iran nuclear deal.
So we will come to the table, not just with sanctions leverage, but with a united front of the world powers that will pose to Iran a choice, either negotiate in good faith on a longer and stronger deal and make the commitments necessary to ensure that Iran never gets a nuclear weapon, or they will face not just pressure from the United States but isolation in the international community. The alternative strategy, Chris, which is the strategy that Senator Graham advocated for, this tragedy that President Trump pursued, has put Iran closer to a nuclear weapon and even more destabilizing in the region. So continuing to go down that road is a recipe ultimately for failure.
WALLACE: Let’s turn to the summit with Russian President Putin.
Why did the Senate freeze a military aid package to Ukraine in — shortly before President Biden met with — with Russian President Putin? Now I know that there was a $150 million aid package, military aid package, including lethal weapons to Ukraine, that went through, but why, in the weeks before the summit, did you freeze another $100 million package that a lot of people in the administration thought should also go through?
SULLIVAN: Chris, I’m glad you asked this question because there’s been some real confusion in the reporting here.
Congress appropriated $275 million for aid to Ukraine this year to be spent by September. It is June. We have spent every dime of every dollar of that
$275 million for Ukraine. Joe Biden has kept his commitment to Ukraine sovereignty and territorial integrity by sending them the entire amount of the security assistance that — that had been authorized.
The additional $100 million was a contingency package in the event that there was a further Russian incursion into Ukraine. That’s money over and above the $275 million. And it was created when there were tens of thousands of Russian troops massed on Ukraine’s border. When those troops pulled back and didn’t go into Ukraine, we have held that package in reserve in the event that it may become necessary in the future. So it is they and the Russians know it’s there and the Ukrainians know it’s there, but the idea that we have withheld any security assistance from Ukraine is simply nonsense.
WALLACE: The pushback from Republicans is that Joe Biden displayed weakness in his summit with Vladimir Putin. They talk about waiving the sanctions on the Nord Stream Pipeline, allowing it to be completed. They talk about freezing, whether it was a contingency or whatever, $100 million aid package for Ukraine that had been ready to go and that the NSC froze. And then there’s also the criticism that Joe Biden keeps talking about Vladimir Putin and his standing in the world when they say, the GOP does, Vladimir Putin doesn’t care about his standing in the world.
Here is former Trump Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: They see American weakness, a president who — who — who blanches at even the ability to put pressure on Vladimir Putin in a private meeting. Right, Putin said himself, he didn’t feel any pressure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: In the summit, just to take one quick example, President Biden said here are 16 areas of critical infrastructure I don’t want you to attack, which seems to — seemed to imply, well, if you attack the 17th area of critical infrastructure, that’s OK.
Why didn’t Biden say to Putin, look, no more cyberattacks period or you’re going to face the consequences?
SULLIVAN: So, first of all, it’s pretty extraordinary to hear Donald Trump’s secretary of state talking about weakness in the face of Vladimir Putin when we all saw what happened in Helsinki. And the summit in Geneva was a study in contrast to what happened in Helsinki.
Privately in the room, President Biden communicated to President Putin that there would be costs and consequences if harmful activities against the United States continued. Publicly, in his press conference, he not only spoke out about that quite directly, mincing no words, but he also spoke about American values, something the last president never talked about.
He spoke about Alexey Navalny. He spoke about radio free Europe. He spoke about standing up for our democratic allies and partners. And one week before the summit, one week, he sent $150 million security assistance to Ukraine.
He pulled no punches. He did nothing but stand up for American interests and values in an emphatic and sound way.
And I would also add, Chris, that he entered and exited this summit in Geneva as the leader of the free world, a mantle that Donald Trump had given away and that Joe Biden reclaimed on behalf of this country. Flanked by allies, supported by democratic partners, and then willing to push back hard on Vladimir Putin, which he did in the meeting, while also saying that there are areas where the United States and Russia must work together for the benefit of our two people.
That is practical. That is clear eyed. That is principled. That is Joe Biden’s foreign policy.
WALLACE: Jake, I’ve got one minute left and I got one more question I want to ask you, which is about China.
When asked how he’s going to get China to come clean, to be more transparent about the origins of COVID, the president, President Biden, again talked about China’s standing on the world.
Here is a clip from President Biden this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: The world’s attitude towards China as it develops. China’s trying very hard to project itself as a responsible and — and very, very forthcoming nation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Does Joe Biden think that that is enough, China’s effort to be seen in a certain way on the world stage, that’s enough to get access to what happened in Wuhan and is the president willing to let the WHO conduct a second investigation when there is compromises they are or is he going to insist that if there is an investigation, if China cooperates, it’s an independent investigation?
SULLIVAN: What Joe Biden did in Europe this week was rally the democratic world to speak with a common voice on this issue for the first time since COVID broke out. President Trump wasn’t able to do it. President Biden was.
He got the G7 to endorse a statement saying in unison that China must allow an investigation to proceed within its territory. And it is that diplomatic spade work, rallying the nations of the world, imposing political and diplomatic pressure on China, that is a core part of the effort we are undertaking to ultimately face China with a stark choice, either they will allow, in a responsible way, investigators in to do the real work of figuring out where this came from, or they will face isolation in the international community.
And, finally, the president reserves the right, through our own analysis, our own intelligence community’s efforts that he has directed, and through other work that we will do with allies and partners to continue pressing on every front until we get to the bottom of how this virus came into the world and who has accountability for that.
WALLACE: Jake, thank you. Thanks for joining us today. Please come back.
Up next, we’ll bring in our Sunday group, bring them back to discuss some surprising rulings by the Supreme Court, especially the votes from a couple of justices appointed by former President Trump. And, will one member of the court announce his retirement under some political pressure?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (October 12, 2020): I do believe this hearing is a clear attempt to jam through a Supreme Court nominee who will take health care away from millions of people.
SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): The future of the Affordable Care Act and so many other issues hang in the balance.
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WALLACE: Two Democratic senators warning during the 2020 confirmation hearing for Amy Coney Barrett she would be a sure vote on the Supreme Court to kill Obamacare. But this week, that’s not how it — things turned out.
And we’re back now with the panel.
So, Susan, are you surprised that two justices named by President Trump, the aforementioned Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh, both voted to uphold Obamacare? And given that this is the third time the Supreme Court heard a case about the Affordable Care Act and the third time it declined to overturn it, how safe do you think Obamacare is now both in the courts and in Congress?
SUSAN PAGE, “USA TODAY”: Well, Chris, I was surprised. I bet Donald Trump was surprised too. It’s a lesson presidents have learned. You can point who you want to the Supreme Court but you can’t make them do what you want once they’re — once they’re on the — on the bench there.
I think this means the Affordable Care Act is here to say, after an incredible decade of controversy. And you and I know how even after the Affordable Care Act was passed, what a weapon it was for Republicans in a series of elections serving their interests in raising money and winning congressional seats.
This is now safely ensconced. It may be revised, expanded, amended. But the Affordable Care Act now is here, I think, to stay.
WALLACE: Juan, there was a lot of talk beyond this specific issue. There was a lot of talk this week about these two votes, the vote margins in the Supreme Court, 7-2 on the Affordable Care Act, 9-0 on an issue of religious liberties, that maybe the court isn’t so ideologically divided.
But here are some of the issues that are coming up in the last week or two of this session on voting rights, on free speech, and on campaign finance disclosure.
Juan, for all the optimistic talk this week, do you think that the 6-3 conservative majority is still going to exert its will on this court?
JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Chris, I think Chief Justice Roberts has made a real effort to produce consensus, to take big issues, narrow them where possible, to allow the justices to come together with those 7-2 unanimous rulings that you just referenced.
I think, though, that you have 15 cases remaining in the last two weeks of the court and the three that you highlighted, I think, Democrats may soon be reminded of why they’re so concerned about that 6-3 conservative majority.
The voting rights case comes out of Arizona and deals with people collecting ballots from remote areas, allowing people who have voted in the wrong precinct to have that vote counted. There I think the justices have been pretty consistent in siding with states setting the rules and not interfering with it. So I think Democrats would be upset.
In the second case, what you have is a California law that requires donors to non-profits, private non-profits I should say, as well as to charitable trusts to identify themselves. In the past, the court has been pretty clear, they see this as a free speech issue for those donors to remain anonymous. Of course, for the Democrats, they see this as dark money and, you know, a hidden hand of influence in politics.
WILLIAMS: The courts’ past rulings would indicate they’re going to make Democrats unhappy here.
WALLACE: Maybe the biggest issue for the court doesn’t involve any of those cases. Maybe the biggest issue is whether or not 82-year-old Justice Stephen Breyer is going to step down. Just this week, 13 liberal groups released this advertisement calling on Breyer to retire so President Biden can name his successor while the Democrats are in control of the Senate.
Karl, do you see anything wrong with that?
KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I do. We have an independent judiciary.
Put — put your — put the hat on the other side. What if Republicans had run a — a series of ads calling on a member of the court to resign so that they could be replaced by a Republican president? There would be a little bit of consternation at least in the editorial rooms of “The Washington Post” and “The New York Times.”
You know, this is just ridiculous, in my opinion. Justice Breyer is going to retire when he thinks he should retire, when he thinks he can no longer give, you know, a service to the country with all of his mental powers intact. And the idea that somehow or another they’re either going to pressure him to retire — this almost makes it impossible for him to retire early. It’s ridiculous. What are they going to do, reward him with a speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention? And on the other hand, if he doesn’t retire, what are they going to? They’re not going to invite him to the next squad meeting to have coffee with AOC?
You know, the court has had the — members of the court have strongly held, they’re going to retire when they want to retire and they tend to surprise presidents when they do.
I remember 2005 went out of the blue, on the final day of the session, 2005 I believe it was, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor retired. Gave no heads up, no discussion, there was no public pressure, she just decided that was the moment that she needed to leave. And she did. And the same will happen with Justice Breyer.
WALLACE: But — but, Susan, the stakes for this have clearly been heightened. One, because of the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the fact that Donald Trump was able to push her replacement through the court in about a month, and, two, because you’ve got Mitch McConnell, who after what happened with Merrick Garland back in 2016, has this week indicated that if he takes back — if Republicans take back the Senate and he’s the Senate majority leader in 2024, the final year of Joe Biden’s term, that he might block a Biden appointment. So both of those make the question of whether or not Breyer steps down now a little bit more pressing.
PAGE: Yes, it’s really focused the attention of — of Democrats.
You know, I agree with Karl that an ad in “Politico” is not likely to convince Justice Breyer to step down. But keep this in mind, who does Justice Breyer know very well? Joe Biden. Joe Biden was a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee when — when Stephen Breyer was a counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee. They’ve known each other for decades.
And, of course, this is an issue that must be — would certainly be approached with some delicacy, but I don’t think it’s impossible that Justice Breyer, at age 82, would take into account this — this timetable that Mitch McConnell has set, saying not in 2024, no confirmation, maybe not in 2023. That really has put this clock ticking.
WALLACE: Susan, I’ve got less than 30 seconds left.
I always remember, back in 2012 I had the great good fortune to interview Antonin Scalia when he was on the court. And I said to him, will you take into account with the president is when you decide to retire? Do you — would you take into account you want you, as a conservative justice, to be replaced by another conservative justice? He said, if I have to tell you that, you must think I’m a fool. Do you think that will be Breyer’s reasoning?
PAGE: Well, it could — could be. Could be. I guess we’ll find out.
WALLACE: Well, to be continued. Yes, we’ll find out in the next couple of weeks.
Thank you, panel, see you next Sunday.
Up next, our “Power Player of the Week.” A former NFL star gets the best Father’s Day present ever. You won’t want to miss it.
WALLACE: On this Father’s Day, we want to tell you about one dad who faced every parent’s worst nightmare. He took us along on his family’s journey and shared how he’s using the lessons he’s learned to help other kids like his. Here’s our “Power Player of the Week.”
GREG OLSEN, FORMER NFL PLAYER: The outpouring of support, the people that we’ve heard from, it was beyond belief.
T.J. OLSEN: You know how I need a heart transplant?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
T.J. OLSEN: And they’ve been trying to find one?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They got one?
T.J. OLSEN: Today, this morning, they found one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Yes.
WALLACE (voice over): NFL star tight end Greg Olsen talking about the viral moment when his eight-year-old son T.J. told his brother and twin sister he had a heart donor. It was a life-saving gift Olsen wasn’t sure would arrive in time.
WALLACE (on camera): A month ago you tweeted, unfortunately, it seems his heart has reached its end. You and your wife must’ve just been scared to death.
G. OLSEN: It was — it was crushing, Chris. We sat in the — in the heart center and just cried. And it just didn’t feel real.
WALLACE (voice over): But it’s been the Olsen family’s reality since before T.J. was born.
G. OLSEN: He was only going to have half of a heart and if left untreated or, you know, without any sort of intervention, he — he would just pass away. So he underwent an open heart surgery to stabilize his heart at two days old.
WALLACE: T.J. had been leading a pretty normal life.
G. OLSEN: We thought we had a couple decades of his heart being able to function in it’s, you know, kind of modified capacity and, you know, unfortunately, that’s just not what was in the cards. And it just came as a huge shock. You know, you never think it’s going to be you.
WALLACE: Two weeks ago, T.J. had the transplant.
T.J. OLSEN: Hi, everybody. Thank you for thinking of me. Thank you for praying with me.
WALLACE: Throughout T.J.’s journey, Olsen has shared the highs and lows with all of us.
G. OLSEN: All right, buddy, here we go.
That bell symbolizes it’s time to go home.
All right, buddy!
And to watch him do it and to feel how proud he was of himself, even saying it, you know, gives me chills. It’s — it’s something that still is sinking in by the day.
WALLACE (on camera): How is T.J. doing?
G. OLSEN: He’s actually doing really well. The fact that we were able to bring him home yesterday and make our family whole again was just such a blessing.
WALLACE (voice over): Olsen retired from the NFL in January.
G. OLSEN: My time in the NFL now has come to an end. I’m excited for the next chapter.
WALLACE: Joining Fox Sports as an analyst and focusing on The Heartest Yard fund, a charity he and his wife Kara created to help families with children like T.J.
G. OLSEN: Come on out. You’ll have the opportunity to get yourself one of these bennies.
Since the moment he’s been born, whether he knew it or not, he has been the inspiration and the — and the backbone of so much of the charitable work we’ve done.
WALLACE: The fund raised millions for a pediatric cardiac center in Charlotte.
G. OLSEN: Here we are, six month after we open the doors and cut the ribbon, we are going to now bring our son there very regularly for the rest of his life.
WALLACE (on camera): What did you learn these last weeks about being a father, about being a dad?
G. OLSEN: The biggest lesson I took was, enjoy every day, make the most of every day. If things don’t go exactly how you want them or wish they went, that’s OK.
WALLACE: Greg, I can’t think of a better or more fitting way to end this than to say, Happy Father’s Day.
G. OLSEN: Thank you so much, Chris, Happy Father’s Day!
WALLACE: If you want to find out more about Olsen family’s Heartest Yard fund, go to receptionsforresearch.org.
And that’s it for today.
For all you dads, have a Happy Father’s Day. For your children, especially mine, call your old man.
Have a great week and we’ll see you next FOX NEWS SUNDAY.
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