This is a rush transcript from “Fox News Sunday," August 9, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I'm Chris Wallace.
President Trump sidesteps Congress to provide coronavirus relief after Democratic leaders and White House negotiators fail to cut a deal.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're doing that without the Democrats. We should have been able to do it very easily with them but they want all of these additional things that have nothing to do with helping people.
WALLACE: We'll drill down on what caused the deadline, leaving the president to take executive action.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We are there representing the kitchen table needs, kitchen table needs of the American people. They are there representing the board conference room table, and that is a different perspective.
WALLACE: And we'll ask, will millions of laid-off workers get the support they need, or will it all end up in court?
This hour, we'll talk with key players on both sides, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Pelosi and Mnuchin, only on "FOX News Sunday".
Then, the campaign heats up, with less than three months to Election Day.
TRUMP: He's against God, he's against guns, he's against energy, our kind of energy.
WALLACE: And Joe Biden hits back as a reporter who asked if he's taken a cognitive test.
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Why the hell I'd take a test? Come on, man!
WALLACE: We'll ask our Sunday panel about the gaffes and attacks as Biden prepares to announce his running mate.
All, right now, on "FOX News Sunday."
WALLACE: And hello again from FOX News in Washington.
Well, President Trump made good on his threat to take executive action in the face of a stalemate over coronavirus relief between Democrats and his negotiators on Capitol Hill. He signed executive orders yesterday to extend unemployment benefits, but at a lower level, to continue a moratorium on evictions, to provide relief for student loans. And to suspend payroll taxes. But the moves could prompt a court fight by Democrats.
In a moment, we'll discuss what happens now with how Speaker Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin.
But first, let's bring in Mark Meredith traveling with the president in New Jersey, with a closer look at the executive action -- Mark.
MARK MEREDITH, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Chris, President Trump is taking a wide range of executive actions to address the economic crisis and while some Republicans are starting to cheer these moves, Democrats insist this will do little to help Americans that are struggling to make ends meet.
MEREDITH (voice-over): At his New Jersey golf club, President Trump signed executive actions to boost the economy while accusing Democrats of stonewalling stimulus negotiations.
TRUMP: Democrats have obstructed people from getting desperately needed money.
MEREDITH: The president is ordering the government to help protect people from being evicted and defaulting on student loans. He's also temporarily suspend in collection of the payroll tax for some workers and diverting money from FEMA's disaster relief fund to restart enhanced federal unemployment insurance.
TRUMP: I'm taking action to provide an additional or an extra $400 per week.
MEREDITH: But the federal government will only pay part of the tab. States will be required to pay 25 percent or $100 on top of state benefits for unemployed worker per week.
Democrats dismissed the actions as meager and reiterated calls for the president to send his staff back to Capitol Hill to negotiate.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Meet us in the middle, for God's sakes, please, for the sake of America, meet us in the middle.
TRUMP: Thank you very much.
MEREDITH: The president admits lawsuits could delay his orders from going to affect, but he says he felt he had no choice but to act.
MEREDITH: The latest jobs numbers also give us an idea of where things stand with the economy going into the November election. Last month, employers created more jobs, but it was a noticeable slow down from the month prior -- Chris.
WALLACE: Mark Meredith reporting from Bridgewater, New Jersey -- Mark, thank you.
And joining us now, the speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.
Madam Speaker, welcome back to "FOX News Sunday."
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: My pleasure to be with you. Good morning, Chris.
WALLACE: President Trump says while you and congressional Democrats were pushing your agenda, he acted yesterday to help people in need.
Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have chosen to hold this vital assistance hostage on behalf of very extreme partisan demands and the radical left, Democrats, and we just can't do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: However it came about, and I know you don't like the executive action, won't millions of Americans now get some extended federal unemployment relief and some protection from evictions, get that now, rather than getting nothing at all?
PELOSI: No, in fact, what the president did is, I agree what the Republican senator said, it was unconstitutional slop. While it has the illusion of saying, we're going to have a moratorium on evictions, it says, I'm going to ask the folks in charge to study if that's feasible. When he says he's going to do the payroll tax, what he's doing is undermining Social Security and Medicare.
So these are illusions, and they really do not -- what he calls in our bill unnecessary, let's just review the difference. First of all, millions of children in our country are food insecure. Our bill addresses that with tens of billions of dollars, to feed the children.
The Republican bill has $250,000. Well, our bill addresses those who are on the brink of eviction, we use the numbers from the Princeton Eviction Lab and the Low Income Housing Coalition to show how many people will be evicted and what their needs are and that comes to -- it could come to tens of billions of dollars. The Republican bill has nothing.
This being a Sunday morning, I just recall a prayer that says: Pray for those who are hungry, pray harder for those who will not feed them. Pray for those who are homeless, pray harder for those who will not give them shelter. Pray for those who are sick and lonely, pray harder for those who will not give them comfort.
WALLACE: But --
PELOSI: What the president did does not address schools, all of the issues that are contained in the legislation. We can go through that, but you said give short answers.
WALLACE: But, Speaker, I understand that the president's executive action doesn't do all the things that you want but having no bill at all, not coming to any agreement wasn't going to provide any of the things that you want either.
You're known as a master negotiator, but didn't you mess this one up? Because you talk about all the things that the president -- let me just finish, if I may, Speaker. Now, because there's no deal at all, cities and states won't get any money, there's no money for the Post Office, there's no money for hospitals, there's no money for state boards of election.
You knew that the president was threatening to take this executive action. I understand that you weren't going to get everything you wanted and didn't get everything you wanted, but should you have cut a deal? And are you ready to go back into talks to try to come up with a fuller package?
PELOSI: Well, clearly, you don't have an understanding of what is happening here both in the weakness of the president's executive order, which don't give the money, enhanced benefit, but with the complicated formula there will take a while if at all to accomplish, to put money in the pockets of the American people.
What we have said, we're going to honor our heroes -- state and local, health care workers, et cetera, first responders, teachers and the rest. And as part of our argument, how much are they willing to do?
Secondly, we are going to stop the --
WALLACE: But, Speaker --
PELOSI: I allowed you to finish, you allow me to finish. They're going to -- let's open our economy by addressing -- addressing the virus, which the president has ignored for months now, to do the right thing, scientifically-based.
And third, let's put money in the pockets of the American people.
So what the president did doesn't even accomplish what he sets out to do in the categories he did.
But we said to them, we'll come down a trillion, you go up a trillion. Meet us halfway and we'll be able to have an agreement that meets the needs of the American people.
WALLACE: I understand, Speaker, but the point I'm trying to -- I'm trying to make is, you -- they were offering $150 billion for cities and states. You wanted $900 billion. The result of no deal is that the states and cities, which we all agree do need some money, are going to get nothing.
I guess the question is -- and I'm not saying it's all your fault anymore than it's all the Republicans' fault, but the failure to make a deal is going to result in a lot of people and a lot of entities that were in need ending up with nothing.
PELOSI: Well, how do you -- how do you justify, tens of billions of dollars to feed the hungry to $250,000, to understand how far apart we are? Just by that example.
Let's bring all of that together. You contend that they're putting up money for elections. No, no. You contend they're helping with the Post Office. None of that is in their bill.
So, when you look at the amounts that are in their bill, it doesn't have any of that. Our bill does. But let's put it this way. We have to reach an agreement.
Children are food insecure, families at the risk of being evicted. The virus is moving like a freight train even though the president once has ignored and delayed and distorted what that is. Something is wrong.
When you look at those executive orders, either the kindest thing I could say is he doesn't know what he's talking about or something is wrong there, something is very, very wrong there. So to characterize them as even accomplishing what they set out to do as something that is -- that would take the place of an agreement is just not so.
WALLACE: You suggested that President Trump does not have the legal authority to do what he did yesterday. Are you talking about going to court? Because if you do, you must know that a practical effect of that would be, if you're successful, that you would be blocking -- I know you think that they should be $600 rather than $400, but you would be blocking, if you were successful, the millions of unemployed workers from getting any federal benefit.
PELOSI: But, two things, first of all, your last point. What the president put forth was a complicated formula which said that the states should put up 25 percent of the money. States don't have the money to do that. They have expenses from the coronavirus. They have lost revenue from shelter in place and the fact that people are not being able to go out and spend money, inject demand into the economy, as they would normally.
But apart from that, the constitutionality of that is a different question. Right now, we need to come to agreement. We got to meet halfway. We've got to make it -- do the best we can for the American people. But what they are putting forth does not meet that standard. It could. It could.
And we care so much about the fact that people are in need. Our children want to go to school. Our parents want them to go.
As a grandmother and a mom, I understand the angst that is with that, but what -- the president didn't do anything about that.
So the president's meager, weak, and unconstitutional actions further demand that we have an agreement. And any constitutional question is a separate issue.
WALLACE: Separate -- Speaker, I wanted to do -- get two questions in. If you do resume talks, and you say you want to -- and I'm not saying that this is all on you as opposed to the Republicans, but why should we expect the talks will be any more successful than the last two weeks that went nowhere? Would the Democrats be willing to be more flexible?
PELOSI: Well, we said we would -- we would come down a trillion. Now, it doesn't mean that we have things in there that would cut out. It means that we could talk about how long our provisions would be in effect. So we can take things down, instead of the end of September of next year, a shorter period of time and we'll revisit all of it next year anyway.
So, by changing some of the timing, we can come down.
PELOSI: But, by and large, what we have in the bill addresses the needs of the American people and we have just -- and part of the time it has taken for us to go back and forth is to demonstrate to Republican negotiators the justification, the documentation of what it means in terms of what we need for feeding the hungry, what we need for helping people who are going to be evicted.
WALLACE: Speaker --
PELOSI: What we need for schools.
WALLACE: Speaker, I -- I understand all that. I've got one last question I'd like to get in in the time on a completely different subject.
The intelligence community came out with a report this week that says that the Russians are taking, their words, a range of measures to undercut Joe Biden and to help President Trump get reelected. But they also said that China and Iran very much want to see the president defeated.
Are you worried about foreign interference from both sides?
PELOSI: No. In fact, what I'm concerned about in the intelligence report, and we have Leader Schumer -- excuse me, Schumer and I, Chairman Schiff and vice chairman, whatever they call it in the Senate, Warner, have written to say you have to release the information. Not sources and methods, but the American people need to know what the Russians are doing in this case and the American people believe that they should decide who the next president is, not Vladimir Putin.
They try to blanket it with -- the Chinese, they said, prefer Biden -- we don't know that, but that's what they're saying, but they're not really getting involved in the presidential election. I've been a critic of China for over 30 years. I take no second place to no one on my criticism of China.
PELOSI: But they -- for them to give some equivalence is not right. It doesn't really tell the story.
But as long as they tell the whole story about Russia, then they can hide it any way they want, but the American people need to know.
This is our sacred right, this is our elections, and in every way, we must make sure the American people have -- remove obstacles of participation and obstacles in terms of intelligence to make sure they know what's at stake.
WALLACE: Speaker -- Speaker, in the hopes of negotiations, I'm going to take you off the stage and put Secretary Mnuchin on so he gets to talk as well.
Thank you so much. Thank you for your time.
PELOSI: My pleasure. Always a pleasure.
WALLACE: Always good to talk with you.
PELOSI: My pleasure. Thank you, Chris. Good morning.
WALLACE: Up next, we'll get reaction from one of the lead White House negotiators, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin joins us next.
WALLACE: White House negotiators and Democratic congressional leaders met 11 times to discuss the coronavirus relief package before President Trump took his executive action yesterday.
Joining us now from the White House, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Mr. Secretary, welcome back to FOX NEWS SUNDAY.
STEVEN MNUCHIN, TREASURY SECRETARY: Thank you, Chris, it's good to be with you.
WALLACE: You just heard Speaker Pelosi's reaction to the steps that President Trump took yesterday.
MNUCHIN: Well, first of all, let me just say, it was the president's first choice for us to go up and negotiate a fair deal. So Mark Meadows and I negotiated nonstop. We went through every single line item with them for two weeks. Let me just give you a sense of this. On education, they wanted $100 billion. We agreed to $105 billion. They then raised their number to 400 billion. As the speaker just said, they wanted money for food, we compromised on food. We actually reached an agreement on that.
We had the postmaster general up. We compromised --
WALLACE: Well, wait, wait, let me ask you about -- Mr. Secretary, let me just ask you about that because she kept referring to $250,000 for food relief.
Is that true?
MNUCHIN: No, we came up to a very fair compromise. We actually reached an agreement on what they wanted without long-term changes on policy and we knocked that off the list.
But let me just tell you what they've refused to negotiate on. We said, tell us you are on a compromise or state and local. They said, we're at a trillion dollars. We said, tell us where you are on enhanced unemployment. We told the American people we'll keep it at 600 while we negotiate for a week or two. They refused to do that. Those two issues, they've refused any compromise on mostly every single other issue we've reached in agreement.
And what happened on Friday was, they say, well, call us back. We said to the president, look, now you've got to move forward with an executive action so that you can help American workers and American people.
WALLACE: But, Mr. Secretary, let's talk about what the president's actions that he took yesterday, and we've talked about they did, let's talk about what they don't do.
They don't provide another $1,200 direct payment to people. They don't restore the Payroll Protection Program, which helps small businesses. That ran out yesterday.
Here's what Democrats said during the negotiations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): There are real needs. American knows they have needs. The public is on our side. But they seem not to be willing to go in a direction that would meet those needs.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): It's hard when your values are so different in terms of bubble up from the working class families instead of trickle down from above.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Mr. Secretary, you heard Speaker Pelosi say she would like to resume talks. Are you ready to do so? And, frankly, given these differences in what you heard from her today, why should we think that negotiations this week would go any better than the failed negotiations of the last two weeks?
MNUCHIN: Well, Chris, I've told the speaker and Senator Schumer, any time they have a new proposal, I'm willing to listen.
But let me just say, you're right, we agreed with the Democrats. We both want to send more checks to the American workers. We want to send more PPP to those hardest hit businesses. We've said, let's pass legislation on the things that we agree on and knock these off one at a time. And they've refused to do that until they get their trillion dollars for the states.
I've also spoke to many governors over the last few days. We offered more money for the states. They still have 150 billion from last time. Oust of them haven't even used half the money. The governors are saying, we need more money for education. We need help. And the president said, we'll give it to you, but not a trillion dollars.
WALLACE: Mr. Secretary, I want to refer to something that -- that Speaker Pelosi reference, and that was the comment from Republican Senator Ben Sasse that this governing by executive action is, his words, unconstitutional slop.
What makes you think that spending over $100 billion that Congress has not appropriated for these specific purposes is legal, and what happens if there's a court suit and all of the actions that the president took yesterday are blocked by a federal court?
MNUCHIN: Well, Chris, let me just say, we've cleared with the Office of Legal Counsel all these actions before they went to the president. The president knew unemployment insurance was ending. He said, let's continue at $400. By the way, the 25 percent from the states, they can either take that out of the money we've already given them or the president can waive that.
We've been told by the states they can get this up and running immediately. And I would say, if the Democrats want to challenge us in court and hold up unemployment benefits to those hardworking Americans that are out of a job because of Covid, they're going to have a lot of explaining to do.
WALLACE: As we say, you have cut the federal unemployment benefit from $600 to $400, $300 from the feds. $100 -- this is a week, $100 from states, but you say a lot of that would come from federal money they've already received.
Do you really think that the -- that the hundreds of millions of -- that the millions of families that lost jobs because of the virus don't need that money, that they don't need the extra $200 a week?
MNUCHIN: Chris, let me be clear, first of all, on the 25 percent, that's coming from money we already gave the states. So this is effectively 100 percent paid for by the federal government.
Let me also remind you that Obama, during the financial crisis, paid a $25 top up.
So this has never been done in the history of time. We thought $400 was a fair compromise. But let me just also say, we offered to continue to pay $600 while we negotiate and the Democrats turned that down. So the president had to act.
WALLACE: But, wait, sir, that was -- that was only for one week. That was only for one week.
MNUCHIN: Actually, Chris, we extended it to two weeks. But they made perfectly clear they're not going to agree on a piecemeal deal. They want to hold up the American public from getting the money they need until they get everything they want, which is just a bad outcome, as I said.
WALLACE: All right, let -- let -- let's talk about another issue, and that is the suspension of payroll taxes, which even a number of Republican senators opposed. There -- two issues there seem to be here.
First of all, suspending payroll taxes doesn't help the -- the millions of people who are out of jobs and don't have to pay payroll taxes, so they don't get a benefit there. And it's also not a payroll tax cut, it's a payroll tax suspension.
Isn't there a danger that a lot of businesses won't pass this -- these savings through to workers because they're going to hold onto the money inasmuch as, at some point, according to this executive action by the end of the year, those payroll taxes are going to have to be paid anyway?
MNUCHIN: Well, Chris, we -- the president wanted to do a payroll tax cut. We could do the payroll tax deferral. He's going to go to the American people and tell them that when he's reelected he -- he will push through legislation to forgive that. So, in essence, it will turn into a payroll tax cut.
But let me just also say, for the hardworking people that don't have jobs, that's what we've extended the $400. What we should be doing is let's pass legislation on 70 or 80 percent of the things that we agree on so we can get money immediately to the American public.
Schools need to reopen safely. I've spoken to many of the governors, both Democrats and Republicans. They need this money. We have more than enough money to give it to them. And they're -- the -- the speaker is holding that up.
WALLACE: I want to pick up on what you just said, that if the president's reelected he would like to cut the payroll tax. The payroll tax is what finances Social Security. The payroll tax is what finances Medicare. Democrats are now saying, if President Trump is re-elected, he's going to gut those programs because he's going to gut the tax that pays for them.
MNUCHIN: Chris, that's not the case. There would be an automatic contribution from the general fund to those trust funds. The president, in no way, wants to harm those trust funds. So they'd be reimbursed just as they've always been in the past when we've done these types of things.
WALLACE: So -- so you're saying that there would be no payroll tax cut. There would be an income tax -- what, increase, because we're all running - - already running huge deficits. So how are you going to pay for it from the general fund?
MNUCHIN: No, no -- Chris -- Chris, there's a payroll tax cut, which is like any other tax cut to hardworking Americans. And you just have a transfer from the general fund.
So during fiscal times, we're -- we're focused on tax cuts, regulatory relief, direct payments to Americans. We'll deal with the -- the -- the budget deficit when we get the economy back to where it was before. Right now we're focused on delivering very needed relief to American families that been -- have been impacted by this terrible Covid economic issue.
WALLACE: I -- just to be clear here, though, the Democrats are saying the result of a payroll tax cut is it would mean a cut in benefits for Social Security and Medicare, to which you say --
MNUCHIN: That's just factually inaccurate. There would be no reduction to those benefits. And the president's made that very clear.
But the issue here is, let's pass legislation on things that we agree on. Let's not hold up money to education for kids getting back to -- to school safely. Let's not hold up money to state and local governments where they need it.
The Democrats have to come off of a ridiculous trillion dollar number to state and local governments to bail out some of the states that were poorly managed.
WALLACE: Well, let me just ask briefly on -- on that, they're talking 900 billion, not quite a trillion, but $900 billion. You're talking $150 billion. Is there a place in between there for aid to states and cities?
MNUCHIN: Chris, they're actually asking for 915 plus the reversal of SALT, which get you over to a trillion. But, on us, we gave 150 in the last bill. We'll give another 150 billion more.
We can deal with in January, if there's ongoing issues, we can pass more legislation. This will be the fifth bill. We don't have to get everything done at once. What we should do is get things done for the American public now, come back for another bill afterwards.
WALLACE: All right, I've got about a minute left and I got a big question and I'm going to count on you to give me a quick answer.
Let's turn to the economy and the latest jobs numbers. Let's put them up on the screen.
In May, we added 2.8 million jobs. We added 4.8 million in June. But in July, only 1.8 million. That's still -- so, clearly, the job creation is slowing down and that's still less than half of the jobs that were lost in March and April.
Now we see a resurgence of the virus, a spike in the virus and parts of the country. Reopenings are slowing down or even stopping.
Isn't the vitality of this recovery being threatened? Isn't the v-shaped turning into some other letter of the alphabet?
MNUCHIN: Chris, as you know, we literally shut down the U.S. economy. We're bringing back jobs. We brought back a lot. The president's work's not done until we get all the jobs back and that's what he wants to continue to send money to the American public so this economy comes back and everybody gets their jobs back.
WALLACE: Mr. Secretary, thank you. Thanks for joining us. You're always welcome here, sir.
MNUCHIN: Thank you, Chris.
WALLACE: Up next, the latest on the presidential race. We'll bring in our Sunday group to discuss gaffes by both candidates this week and who will Joe Biden pick for his running mate? We'll get the panel's predictions when we come right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Unlike the African-American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No religion, no anything, hurt the Bible, hurt God. He's against God. He's against guns. He's against energy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Joe Biden facing backlash for his comments about African-American voters while President Trump attacked Biden's faith.
And it's time now for our Sunday group. Senator Mitch McConnell's former chief of staff, Josh Holmes of Cavalry Consultants, Marie Harf, executive director of the Serve America PAC, and former Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz.
Congressman Chaffetz, both of these candidates are prone to making comments, some would call them gaffes, that -- that make you shake your head of the very least.
What role do you think these kinds of misstatements will play in this campaign?
JASON CHAFFETZ, FORMER CONGRESSMAN (R-UT) AND FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I think it does affect the voters. When you hear Joe Biden, in the comfort of his basement with a teleprompter struggling to make cognitive, you know, statements in a coherent way, I mean it's almost a daily basis that this happens.
Donald Trump controls his own media agenda. The way he's able to go out there on social media and go out there and command the presence from the White House, with Air Force One, from the podium of the White House, I think has much more control of this. But it does affect them. And it's a real question for Joe Biden.
WALLACE: Well, Marie, I suspect that you would say it's a question for both of them. But here's the difference, I think. We hear what President Trump says every day for better or worse. We -- we tend to have gotten used to it. But because of the lower profile that he has struck, it does come as more of a shock when Joe Biden says some of these things.
Here is what the former vice president said when he was asked whether or not he's taken a cognitive test.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Why the hell would I take a test? Come on, man! That's like saying to you, before you got on this program, did you take a test where you're taking cocaine or not. What do you think, huh? Are you a junkie?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Marie, the former vice president is 77. If he's elected, he would be 78 on Inauguration Day. It's been traditional for presidential candidates to release their full medical records, although Donald Trump did not do that in 2016.
But given the age of both of these men, should they both release a mental acuity records there -- you know, what doctors have found, before we get to the election?
MARIE HARF, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF SERVE AMERICA PAC AND FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Absolutely, Chris. And I -- I would call on both of them to do so. I am skeptical that Donald Trump will after his reluctance to do so in the past.
But here's the thing, the American people know Joe Biden and they know Donald Trump. Who these men are and how they talk publicly is baked in. And a lot of voters actually say that they like Joe Biden's style, even if they don't love everything he says. And I'm sure Donald Trump's base would say the same thing about him. That's why think it's really going to come down to how -- the issues and how Donald Trump is dealing with these huge catastrophes that our country is dealing with and how Joe Biden says he will do it differently because Americans know them, Chris. These are not unknown figures to the American people.
WALLACE: Josh, I want to pick up though on this question of style and gaffes and misstatements because the president and his team have gone to such lengths to talk about how Joe Biden is out of it. And I wonder if that could backfire on them in the debates.
Is there a danger that they are lowering expectations too much for how the former vice president does when he's on the debate stage with President Trump?
JOSH HOLMES, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL AND PRESIDENT AND FOUNDING PARTNER, CAVALRY: Look, I think it matters if it's a two hour debate or a one hour debate. I think Joe Biden showed in the primary debates that he's probably good for the first 30 minutes and then after that it gets a little dicey.
Look, I -- I was pretty skeptical of this sort of narrative about Joe Biden coming in because I didn't think -- I thought it would -- could be easily disproven. But I think what you've seen over the last couple of months is a real liability, a significant one. Every single time Joe Biden comes out of the basement, he has a very regrettable experience that the campaign wishes that he did not embark upon. I can't imagine that that's going to change.
I will say like maybe for the one person in all of America that the coronavirus is actually working for is Joe Biden because he's able to stay off the stage, stay out of the limelight, have these sort of pre-produced packages that the American people can see. And I will say for Marie, I don't think the American people have a very good idea of Joe Biden at this stage because evidently that they've seen has been pre-packaged, pre- produced and put in front of them in a way that, honestly, he can't do himself.
WALLACE: All right.
All right, let's turn to the big news that's going to come finally this week, maybe as early as tomorrow. Joe Biden is finally going to pick his running mate. I want each of you to give me who you think the vice president should pick and who he will pick and give me one sentence for both of them.
Congressman Chaffetz, let's start with you.
CHAFFETZ: Massive enthusiasm gap for Joe Biden. Who he should pick is probably Michelle Obama, although I don't think she would possibly even entertain it. I do think he will end up picking the mayor from Atlanta, Mayor Bottoms. She's had a pretty good profile and has no voting record.
WALLACE: But does she pass the presidential test, that she's ready to step in?
CHAFFETZ: No. No, she doesn't. That's why I think Donald Trump's going to win the election.
WALLACE: And particularly if he picks Mayor Bottoms.
All right, thank you.
Marie, same thing, who do you think that Joe Biden should pick and will pick?
HARF: Well, when you're a candidate like Joe Biden who's winning it all of the polls across the board, what you need to do is pick someone who can shore up your ticket, who bring something to it and who is trusted and known. And I said he's going to both pick Kamala Harris and that he should pick Kamala Harris. She has been vetted on a national stage. She brings enthusiasm. People, whether or not they like her, know that she's competent and know that she could step in and be president, which is the key to picking a vice president. She has her own political constituency that she would bring to the ticket. She could do very well against Mike Pence and I think she would really fire up the Democratic Party even more than they already are and would really add something to this ticket.
WALLACE: All right.
Josh, same question for you, should pick, will pick?
HOLMES: Well, I -- I agree with Marie on the who she should pick -- who he should pick. He should pick Kamala Harris. But, you know, I don't think he's going to. I think he's going to end up picking Karen Bass for the following reason. Karen Bass checks a lot of really important boxes in the Democratic constituency. She also has just gotten a letter on Friday from 300 key delegates at the Democratic National Convention saying that she should be the pick. But, also, she's not going to overshadow Joe Biden, with that -- which I think is a very real concern for this campaign. If you had somebody like Harris out there, there's no question she would bring a lot more energy than Joe Biden, and that could be trouble for them.
WALLACE: And -- and the other obvious point is when -- when Obama picked Biden, he said, view this as the capstone, the pinnacle of your career from the moment. And -- and let me just ask you very briefly, and 30 seconds, Marie, if a Biden-Harris ticket is elected, doesn't Kamala Harris begin running for president on day one?
HARF: I think every vice president thinks about running for president as soon as they're selected.
But, look, I think that she -- she was very close with Beau Biden. She's close with the Biden family. I think she would be a really good partner to him and is probably -- would be looking eight years from now, but every vice president does that, I think.
WALLACE: All right, panel, it's true, Joe Biden was thought seriously of running in 2016 and who knew that he'd run in 2020.
We have to take a quick break here, but when we come back, fallout from the virus relief stalemate. Did Nancy Pelosi misplayed her hand? And new talk of foreign interference in the 2020 election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think this is going to go very rapidly through the courts.
QUESTION: Is this the political theater (ph)?
TRUMP: This will go very -- if --
QUESTION: But, I mean, giving people false hope --
TRUMP: If we get sued, maybe we won't get sued. If we get sued, it's somebody that doesn't want people to get money, OK? And that's not going to be a very popular thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: President Trump defending his authority to go around Congress with executive orders for coronavirus relief.
And we're back now with the panel.
Congressman Chaffetz, what do you think of -- of President Trump's actions yesterday? And put yourself back in the position when you were a Republican member of Congress, what would your reaction have been if Barack Obama, as president, had gone around Congress and, by executive action, spent $100 billion that Congress had not approved for those specific purposes?
CHAFFETZ: I've always been concerned that they have redirected money time and time again, but the president now has a court case behind him in a Supreme Court where he was able to transfer money from the Pentagon to build the wall.
And the president is taking the right action here. I do believe he is doing the -- the right thing here. He has really boxed and the Democrats. They will offer relief.
And let's remember, we have a $4.2 trillion budget and there's been $3 trillion on top of that. So, you know, $7 trillion and there's more money that the Democrats want? It's never enough for the Democrats.
WALLACE: Which brings me, Marie, to you.
Did Speaker Pelosi misplayed this? I know that the -- the Republican offer and what the president has done in these executive actions is not nearly as much as she thinks that the country needs, but now she's still not getting the money for a lot of programs that she wanted and President Trump gets some measure of credit for bailing out millions of unemployed people.
HARF: Well, Chris, what's so frustrating is the Democrats passed a bill in May that would have addressed this cliff we knew was coming at the end of July. And Mitch McConnell and the Republicans in the Senate did not come to the table through all of June and all of July until the 23rd hour. And we knew these talks were going to be difficult. What we've seen play out over the last several weeks was totally predictable.
I do think both sides need to compromise, but that compromise would have been much easier for millions of Americans back in June after the Democrats passed something. And so now you have a situation where President Trump has put forward legally dubious executive action which will help some people, temporarily, but that does not go nearly far enough and that actually hurts things like Social Security with cutting the payroll tax cut.
I was so interested in your exchange with Steve Mnuchin on that because it seemed kind of like funny math to me that they don't have an answer for where that money will come from.
HARF: They need to make a deal, but the Republicans have really driven us over this cliff here.
WALLACE: Josh, what about -- and I want to get to this constitutional issue here and I -- and I think your -- be particularly interesting talking about this given the fact that you worked in the Senate for Mitch McConnell for so many years.
What about the constitutional issue, the separation of powers, the idea that a president, even one from your own party, just decides I'm going to go unilaterally and spend about $100 billion that Congress did not appropriate for those purposes? Does that bother you at all on an institutional basis?
HOLMES: Oh, I think it -- it bothers any -- everybody. But -- but, Chris, the president has absolutely no choice. I mean we're looking at -- with Speaker Pelosi, the way that she made this bet, she -- she made a bet very early that she would never be held accountable if she chose the politics of a bad economy over relief for the American people, and that is very clearly what has played out here over the last three months. And so if you're looking at this from the president's perspective, either you provide unemployment benefits or you don't. Dealing with Nancy Pelosi, as we've seen over the last three weeks, was not going to produce a darn thing. So you would much rather have -- if you -- if you believe that these benefits were essential, which he does, and which I think most people do, then you've got to do something.
And so -- so, yes, it's not my favorite thing in the world. I don't think it's the president's favorite thing in the world. But it had to be done given the circumstances.
WALLACE: All right, let's turn to that troubling intelligence report that came out this week that I discussed with Speaker Pelosi. The intelligence community saying that Russia is using a, quote, range of measures to interfere in the election to try to help President Trump by denigrating Joe Biden. But also their conclusion that China and Iran want to see Biden elected and the president defeated.
Marie, are we -- should we expect -- I understand we don't accept it, but I mean it seems that there's going to be foreign interference on both sides.
HARF: Well, Chris, I've talked to some of my former colleagues in the intelligence community since that report came out and they -- they stress the point with me that what Russia is doing is a -- a concerted effort where they are already undertaking action to hurt Vice President Biden. They are providing derogatory information to Republicans, including in Congress, that they are on a -- in a place right now where they are actually undertaking this action. China and Iran have a preference and that that is a -- a big difference. We are, obviously, concerned about all three of them, but the scope and the scale and the activity of what Russia is doing to hurt the vice president from a purely intelligence perspective is very different than China and Iran, although we should, obviously, be concerned about all of it.
WALLACE: Congressman, it's not surprising to see a foreign adversary, and Russia is certainly that, wanting to see the elected president defeated.
Is it surprising, though, even troubling, when, according to the intelligence community, a foreign adversary, in this case Russia, wants to see the president re-elected?
CHAFFETZ: I get concerned with any outside influence.
But the issue here that I think is immediate is it runs totally counter to what the Democrats are trying to do. What we should be doing as a country is -- is to authenticate the vote. Democrats don't want voter identification. They want to be able to go out and do ballot harvesting where you send ballots out en masse and people can gather those ballots and bring them back in.
If you're so concerned about Russia and their influence, then you've got to authenticate the vote.
WALLACE: All right. Well, all right, but -- but can you -- I understand all that, but that has -- but -- but, forgive me, that has nothing to do -- Congressman, that has nothing to do with foreign interference.
CHAFFETZ: Yes, it does.
WALLACE: I'm asking you about the fact that according to the intelligence community that --
CHAFFETZ: It does.
WALLACE: Well, not necessarily because there are lots of ways that the Russians interfered in 2016 without it actually happening in terms of ballots or a vote count. They did a lot of things to try to push what they wanted in the election.
CHAFFETZ: But the -- but, at the end of the day, you want to make sure that you're getting the actual authenticated vote. That is the most important issue. The Democrats cannot point to one vote in the last election that was actually changed or manipulated.
But if you're going to do ballot harvesting and gather those en masse without any authentication, then you're running the risk that outside influence actually shows up in a ballot box.
WALLACE: Marie, you've got 15 seconds.
HARF: Well, Donald Trump hasn't taken Russia interference seriously since 2015 and 2016 and I'm concerned that he's no today either. We should all be concerned about this, Chris.
WALLACE: Thank you, panel. See you next Sunday.
Up next, our "Power Player of the Week," the dedication it takes to escort the nations bravest to their final resting place.
WALLACE: There's a special military unit we first told you about last fall that makes it their mission to perfect the final tribute to the men and women who have defended our freedom.
Here's our "Power Player of the Week."
CAPTAIN ZACKARY STEELMAN, U.S. ARMY OLD GUARD CAISSON PLATOON: It's our honor to be able to provide them the best ceremony that -- that they deserve and that their families deserve, to just pay it back to them the way that they've paid it to us.
WALLACE (voice over): Captain Zackary Steelman is talking about the Old Guard Caisson Platoon that bears the casket for military funerals at Arlington National Cemetery.
Two teams go out, one with white horses, one with black. Each participating in as many as four funerals a day. But the platoon is determined every one will be special.
STEELMAN: That family isn't going to get a second funeral. We have to put as much effort and time into making sure every detail of what we do is the best we can make it.
Do what you've got to do.
WALLACE: A squad is up at 4:30 each morning to make sure it's perfect. The horses are sprayed till they glean. The tack is shined. And so is the caisson that carried a canon back in the First World War.
Then, the horses are hitched up. The lead team that takes the caisson through the cemetery, the swing team that gets around tight corners, and the wheel team that acts as breaks. Then, they call out the mission.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Attention to orders! Zero nine, grant (ph) the 12 alpha, colonel, United States Air Force.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ready!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lead?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ready!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wheel?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ready!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Caisson forward! Out!
WALLACE (on camera): Why do you have to do all of that?
STEELMAN: Well, it's not that we have to do any of those things, sir, it's really that we get to do those things. We're about to perform a funeral and we're about to perform a mission for that family and we want to make sure that we're doing it to the absolute best ability that we have for them.
WALLACE (voice over): The caisson platoon is part of presidential funerals. A riderless horse named Black Jack was in John Kennedy's procession. When he stepped on his handlers toe, the soldier kept marching.
Captain Steelman signed up for the Army's Armor Branch. When he joined the Caisson Platoon, he had never been on a horse. Now he thinks it's as important as any other mission.
WALLACE (on camera): How long do you want to keep being in the Caisson Platoon?
STEELMAN: If I could, sir, I'd be here for the rest of my life. I absolutely love this job.
I get to see soldiers every single day put in a lot of hard work for someone they really don't even know. I'm honored to be able to bring them to their final resting place. And it's just an honor to be a part of that specific mission.
WALLACE: And even during the pandemic, the platoon still participates in some 30 burials each week.
And that's it for today, have a great week and we'll see you next FOX NEWS SUNDAY.
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