This is a rush transcript from “Sunday Morning Futures,” July 8, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
BLAKE BURMAN, GUEST HOST: Hello. And good Sunday morning to you.
We will get back to those breaking developments out of Thailand in just a minute.
But, first, President Trump preparing for his historic Supreme Court announcement tomorrow night, as he also gets ready for what could be a tense meeting with NATO leaders and a sit-down next week with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.
Plus, the stage is set for yet another explosive hearing on Capitol Hill with the embattled FBI agent Peter Strzok, who is set to testify publicly for the very first time.
Hello, and good morning. I’m Blake Burman, in for Maria Bartiromo. And this is “Sunday Morning Futures.”
It’s just one day before President Trump announces his second Supreme Court nominee, and lawmakers are already raising concerns about some of the candidates.
I will sit down with John Malcolm, who helped put together the president’s initial judicial list.
And that leaders of our NATO allies are bracing for his arrival in Brussels later this week and the president’s upcoming summit with Vladimir Putin. I will get reaction to all that in an interview this morning with the U.S. ambassador to Germany, Ric Grenell.
Plus, all eyes will be on Capitol Hill Thursday, when Peter Strzok testifies publicly before the House Judiciary Committee about his anti- Trump text messages and his role in both the Clinton and Trump investigations. I will ask one committee member, Congressman Andy Biggs, what he wants to hear from Strzok, as we look ahead on “Sunday Morning Futures.”
But, first, right out of the gate this morning, this is a Fox News Alert.
At least four boys have now been recovered from that flooded cave in Northern Thailand. Thai navy SEALs backed by an international team of divers and experts pulling off a remarkable feat here in just the last couple hours.
And this dangerous rescue mission has just begun and could last for quite some time. President Trump tweeting out his support just moments ago, writing on Twitter — quote — “The U.S. is working very closely with the government of Thailand to help get all of the children out of the cave and to safety. Very brave and talented people.”
Jeff Paul is live on the ground in Mae Sai, Thailand, this morning with the breaking news.
Jeff, where does everything stand right now?
JEFF PAUL, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Blake, I’m just getting some new information into our hands, that another operation to free more boys will commence in 12 — 10 to 12 hours.
That’s according to the governor here in this province where we are; 50 foreign divers, 40 Thai divers are currently involved in that rescue operation that’s been confirmed now by the governor has freed at least four of the boys.
Obviously, they are trying to get them out as quickly as possible. It’s been very rainy out here, making those rescue operations only more complicated.
Yesterday, while we were out near the cave site, lots of mud out there, but certainly lots of resources, lots of people working around the clock to get these boys to safety.
Now, we do know that those boys who have been rescued are being taken to the hospital to be checked out. We do not know their condition. The governor said that he had spoken with at least one of them and said that they are in perfect — this is a perfect situation. He didn’t go into much detail about their condition.
But it sounds like they are getting the care they need right now, and more boys could be headed to safety very soon — Blake.
BURMAN: Jeff, great to hear this morning, a story we will follow all throughout the day here. Jeff Paul from Thailand this morning, Jeff, thanks.
Meantime, the countdown is still on this morning to President Trump’s Supreme Court nomination, as he prepares to name the second high court pick of his presidency. That will come tomorrow night, 9:00 p.m. here on the East Coast. Six appellate court judges are believed to be on the short list, with three, possibly maybe four candidates emerging as the top contenders.
The president also bracing for a confirmation fight, no doubt about it, that will come afterwards, with a very slim Republican majority in the Senate.
Joining me now, John Malcolm. He’s the vice president of the Institute for Constitutional Government at the Heritage Foundation and a former deputy assistant attorney general. He also compiled the list of Supreme Court justice recommendations in 2016.
Seven of the eight that you compiled ended up getting on to that list. Not a bad ratio.
JOHN MALCOLM, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Yes, no, not bad at all.
BURMAN: One of them was Brett Kavanaugh, so let’s start there. He’s 53 years old, Yale law graduate, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. So, he’s a local there, kind of on the farm team for the Supreme Court.
But there are also concerns from some that he is not conservative enough and that he has ties to the W. 43 Bush administration. We know what the president thinks about the Bushes in some cases.
Are the critiques that he’s not conservative enough accurate?
MALCOLM: Well, I don’t think so. I think the world of Brett Kavanaugh.
In addition to going Yale, he clerked for Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. He then worked for — under Ken Starr at the Office of Inspector General. For five years, he was a senior adviser to President Bush. And he’s written over 300 opinions in his 12 years on the D.C. Circuit.
He is highly regarded by judges across the country. He’s a committed textualist and an originalist, cares a lot about separation of powers, is not in favor of giving undue deference to agencies. There have been a couple of opinions in which he actually ruled the way conservatives would want him to rule in terms of reaching the right outcome, but he didn’t give the most pure conservative reasons for reaching that outcome.
And that’s caused some criticism. But he sits on a court with a majority of Democrats, and he has to appeal to the Supreme Court too.
BURMAN: Raymond Kethledge, 51 years old, out of the Sixth Circuit, he’s a University of Michigan law grad, so not necessarily in the mold of the Ivy League, of which the other eight justices are.
There was a story in The New York Times that Mitch McConnell has pointed to Kethledge as one of the two that possibly could have the easiest nomination path. Do you see it that way?
MALCOLM: Well, he hasn’t attracted the kind of criticism from a few conservatives that Brett Kavanaugh has.
And he certainly has a long judicial track record. He’s been on the Sixth Circuit, I think, for 10 years now, possibly a little bit longer, also clerked for Justice Kennedy. University of Michigan is a fine law school.
He also wrote a book recently about leadership that I think was well-done and attracted a lot of attention. He would also do a fine job as an associate justice.
BURMAN: Amy Coney Barrett, 46 years old, Seventh Circuit, she’s only been on the federal court of appeals for — since November, I believe, right?
So, you’re talking only seven, eight months. There’s some questions about whether or not her resume is long enough, a Notre Dame law graduate. Is the resume there?
MALCOLM: Well, she hasn’t been a judge for very long. But she’s been a very distinguished academic for a long time. She was at G.W. and then University of Virginia. And since 2002, she was at Notre Dame. She has compiled an impressive body of scholarship, was supported by scholars across the political aisle around the country during her confirmation hearing, and, of course, held up as grace under fire during her confirmation hearing.
BURMAN: And then there’s also Thomas Hardiman. We are led to believe that he finished second last go-around to Neil Gorsuch.
So, help me out with this. If you finished second last time, there’s an opening this time, why wouldn’t Hardiman be the pick, if you are the president?
MALCOLM: Well, the calculus changes with each pick and it’s a whole new ball game.
Tom Hardiman has actually been a judge the longest. He was a district court judge in 2003. And he’s sat on the Third Circuit since 2006, a very distinguished judge, close, of course, to the president’s sister, has written some very solid opinions on religious liberty, the Second Amendment.
So it doesn’t surprise me that he’s in that final list. Whether he will get the nod or not remains to be seen.
BURMAN: Democrats are rallying around Roe vs. Wade. There will be, if this nominee, whoever it is, goes through, a fifth nominee that was put on a high court by a Republican president.
Want you to take a listen here real quick to what then candidate Trump said on the trail during one of the debates. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS WALLACE, MODERATOR: Do you want to see the court overturn — you just said you want to see the court protect the Second Amendment. Do you want to see the court overturn Roe v. Wade?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, if we put another two or perhaps three justices on, that’s really what’s going to be — that will happen. And that’ll happen automatically, in my opinion, because I am putting pro-life justices on the court.
I will say this: It will go back to the states, and the states will then make a determination.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURMAN: If it is one of those three, what happens to Roe do you think?
MALCOLM: Well, I think that the concerns about Roe vs. Wade being overturned any time in the near future are sort of overblown.
There’s only one justice on the court, Clarence Thomas, who has called to revisit Roe. The justices move very slowly and incrementally with respect to any kind of precedent.
And, of course, with John Roberts on the court, you never know exactly which way he would go if Roe was squarely presented to the Supreme Court. And he’s also the president who has also said that he’s not going to have a litmus test, as have other past presidents. And I take him at his word.
BURMAN: There are some who say, I want to see a conservative woman on this court. That would be Amy Coney Barrett in this case.
Is that something — for someone like you, who watches the court and who compiles a list, is that something, if not in necessarily this instance, something that you would like to see happen at some point down the line?
MALCOLM: Well, I don’t tend to think in terms of genders and races. I look for qualities.
That having been said, I had a woman on my list, Diane Sykes. There are a number of highly qualified women on the president’s list, Allison Eid, Margaret Ryan, Amy Coney Barrett, Joan Larsen. And if he picked any of them, that would be great.
BURMAN: All right. Prediction time, who do you think the president will pick?
MALCOLM: Slight nod to Brett Kavanaugh, but it could…
MALCOLM: Experience, dealt with a lot of second — sits on the second most important court in the land, deals with a lot of the issues that will be — that the administration will care about.
But Amy Barrett and Raymond Kethledge are right up behind him.
BURMAN: Why is there this whisper campaign against Kavanaugh right now?
MALCOLM: I think that everybody in Washington has their favorites. It is a little bit like a cage match where only one person emerges.
And so whisper campaigns happen to promote their candidate and try to do in the others.
BURMAN: So, you think it will be Kavanaugh.
If you had the selection, who would you choose?
MALCOLM: If I had the selection, it would be Kavanaugh. But the others would also be outstanding.
BURMAN: Thank you very much, John Malcolm. We appreciate it. You put the initial list together. It might come to fruition with the Kavanaugh pick. We will see.
MALCOLM: We will see.
BURMAN: John Malcolm, thanks again this morning.
Meantime, it’s a big week ahead coming up for President Trump, as he prepares for two summits in Europe, with many of our allies, including Germany, concerned about what could come about with one of those meetings, with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.
We will have an exclusive interview with the U.S. ambassador to Germany, Ric Grenell, next.
Also, we continue to follow the developments out of Thailand, where four boys have now been rescued from that flooded cave. We just got word the next phase of the rescue operation will begin in about 10 to 12 hours from now. We will stay on top of this throughout the morning and throughout the day.
Stay ahead with us, as we look ahead on “Sunday Morning Futures.”
BURMAN: This is a FOX News Alert.
We continue to keep our eyes peeled in Thailand, Mae Sai, Thailand, the northern part of that country. The rescue operation there to save the boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave is now on pause. The next phase will begin, we are led to believe, here in about 10 to 12 hours or so, this first phase incredibly successful so far as four of those children have been rescued.
We will continue to watch the developments out of Thailand.
Meantime, it is a big week ahead on the world stage for President Trump as he prepares to leave for Europe Thursday — Tuesday, rather, starting with the NATO summit in Brussels. That will be followed by a visit to Great Britain, where he will meet with the Prime Minister, Theresa May, and, along with first lady, Queen Elizabeth.
Then, a week from tomorrow, he has his highly anticipated summit, his sit- down face-to-face with Vladimir Putin. That will happen in Finland.
Let’s bring in now the U.S. ambassador to Germany, Ric Grenell. He joins us from Berlin this morning.
Mr. Ambassador, thank you for joining us.
RICHARD GRENELL, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO GERMANY: Thanks, Blake. Thanks for having me.
BURMAN: So, there’s the NATO summit coming up in Brussels. The president has talked about wanting to extract more defense spending.
Specifically, the country that you are in right now, Germany, he talks about how they only spend 1 percent of their GDP on defense. Is the president going to continue to push for that? And, more so, specifically, what exactly can he do about it, considering it is the other nations who have to up their defense spending?
GRENELL: Well, look, this is a very important issue for the readiness of NATO, for the readiness of Europe. It is a very pro-Europe position to ask countries in Europe, specifically Germany, to increase their defense spending.
This is going to create a stronger transatlantic alliance. This is very pro-Europe. And, currently, the Germans don’t spend enough. As you know, they made this commitment — it’s called the Wales pledge — back in 2014, and they made a commitment that it would take 10 years to get their defense spending up to 2 percent of their GDP by the year 2024.
Currently, there’s a plan on the table to get defense spending up to 1.5 percent by 2024. And so what we are doing is urging the Germans to keep their commitment and other countries to keep their commitments to that NATO pledge, increase NATO spending by 2024.
That’s the commitment that they made. And although steps have been made, more needs to be done to keep that 2 percent commitment.
BURMAN: Let’s go around the world for a second, because, afterwards, the president from NATO then goes over to the U.K., as we spelled out, and then it’s over to Finland to meet with Vladimir Putin.
Where you’re sitting right now, in Germany, there are many who are saying that they are a bit uneasy that, after meeting with allies, the president is then going to go sit down with Vladimir Putin.
To those who have concerns in part of the world — in the part of the world where you are right now, should they be concerned?
GRENELL: Look, I see a lot of people here in Germany that are very pleased with the United States’ sanctions on Russia.
We have held the Russians and President Putin accountable for their malign activities. I think people see the facts. And it just makes sense to have a meeting and sit down to talk about issues where the president is going to be defending Americans’ national security.
But make no mistake about it. We have large sanctions on Russia, and those will continue.
BURMAN: Want to talk about something that you are very close to, which is the trade imbalance with the European Union.
The president spoke to Maria Bartiromo about this eight, nine, 10 days ago.
Listen here to what he said, and I will get your reaction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I love those counties, Germany and all of the countries.
MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST: Right.
TRUMP: Scotland. You know, you have Scotland. They’re still in there. They’re still hanging in there, right? We will see what happens with Brexit, but they treat us very badly.
They treat us very unfairly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURMAN: So, the president says they treat us unfairly. The E.U. has already retaliated with tariffs.
One of the things I know you are involved with is the possibility of the president deciding, hey, we need to put a 20 percent tariff on cars.
Could be zero, if walked back. Could be 20. What is the likely scenario, as you see it right now, on car imports into the U.S. from the E.U.?
GRENELL: Look, I think the likely scenario is unknown.
But the facts are that we inherited a broken trade policy. It’s — it’s just not fair. I think the president is exactly right, and I’m pleased that he’s focused on it.
Just take the car situation, the car tariffs. The facts are, Blake, that the E.U. puts 10 percent tariffs on us. And we have a 2.5 percent tariff on them when it comes to autos. So, of course they want to continue this process. They want the status quo.
But the president has been committed. He, in the campaign, committed to defend Americans’ interests. And the auto industry is one of those. So, what we’re trying to do is create some momentum. We’re talking to the government of Germany and the auto industry in Germany to try to see if there’s a path forward for zero percent tariffs.
We don’t know if there is. But what we’re trying to do is get the facts, talk to the industry, talk to the German government, which, obviously, this issue is all about the E.U. But what we’re trying to do here in Berlin is create some momentum, create some good news that could surround this E.U. trade deal.
And we think that the car industries are a huge part of this. I’m working very closely with Secretary Ross and those at the White House, Peter Navarro and others, to try to make sure that we get as much information from these industries to see if we can create a little momentum for the E.U. trade deal.
BURMAN: So, a TBD, I take it.
Let’s move on to Iran, because the U.S. government had said, as they stepped away from the nuclear deal, hey, to all the businesses in Europe, you shouldn’t be doing business with Iran. And I know this is something that you are in the middle of right now, trying to get businesses not to work with Iran, but to try to get them to pull back and to do business with the U.S.
What are the incentives right now for these companies in Germany to do this?
GRENELL: Look, to be honest, it is an easy sell.
When I talk to CEOs of large companies, they say, you know, there really isn’t a difference between the U.S. market or the Iranian market. And, again, they get to choose. They can either choose to do business in Iran, or they can choose to do business with the United States.
But we have made it clear that you’re not going to be able to do both. And so what I hear from large companies is, is that it’s a no-brainer. They are immediately choosing the United States and are walking that back within the time frame that they have been given.
What we’re trying to do in Berlin, though, is talk to the medium-sized and the small companies in Germany that are doing business in Iran. What we’d like to do is give them an incentive, give them a new market, like the United States’ market, get them to turn away automatically.
The small and medium-sized companies, just it makes sense that it is more difficult for them to turn away if they have contracts. And so what we’re trying to do is aggressively reach out to these companies to say, hey, what we would like to do is help you have access to a larger market in the United States. What — what can we do to help?
And we’re getting a pretty good response.
BURMAN: A lot going on, on that side of the Atlantic. And in the middle of it is all the U.S. ambassador to Germany, Ric Grenell.
Mr. Grenell, thank you for joining us this morning. We appreciate it.
And coming up: the FBI official Peter Strzok returning to Capitol Hill on Thursday. He will speak publicly at a joint House committee hearing.
Congressman Andy Biggs is one of the lawmakers who will pose questions to him. He will join me next, as we look ahead on “Sunday Morning Futures.”
Stay with us.
BURMAN: Welcome back.
The embattled FBI agent Peter Strzok heading back to Capitol Hill this week. He will testify Thursday, and do so in an open hearing at the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees following his 11-hour closed-door session with lawmakers last week.
Joining me now is Congressman Andy Biggs, who serves on the Judiciary Committee.
Congressman, thank you for joining us this morning.
REP. ANDY BIGGS (R), ARIZONA: Thanks for having me. Good to be with you.
BURMAN: So, Peter Strzok testified behind closed doors, did so for an incredible amount of time, 10, 11 hours, I believe.
What do you hope to learn from him this time around out in the opening — out in the open, considering you have already heard from him behind closed doors?
BIGGS: Well, don’t forget that, while he was sitting behind closed doors, he had two attorneys kind of filtering questions and answers. So, there’s a lot left to get too.
And I think we’re going to still go back and talk about this — the biases, how he conducted the investigation.
Don’t forget, he was the — the I.G. said he was the lead investigator on the Hillary Clinton investigation. He was the lead investigator on the Russia collusion. And then somehow he ended up on Mueller investigation. So, there’s still a lot of bone on that — a lot of meat on that bone regarding the bias and whether he actually was enacting some of that bias in his investigations.
BURMAN: Peter Strzok’s attorney has said there is a transcript. Before Peter Strzok testifies, release it out to the open, so everyone can see it.
What’s wrong with that?
BIGGS: Well, I don’t really have a problem with that, but I think you are talking — and his attorney knows this.
If you have ever done a deposition or worked with courts, getting a transcript done and getting it done right takes time, because, I mean, he was there for 11 hours. So it’s a lengthy transcript.
He gets to go through it and say, well, wait a second, that wasn’t quite right, typically, before it gets released publicly.
BURMAN: There is another investigation. Speaking of documents, the DOJ document request that yourself and others on the Hill have been calling for, saying you want more documents, they did produce more documents.
Are you satisfied with where things stand right now?
BIGGS: No, I’m completely dissatisfied.
I’m glad that they are finally dribbling them through. But just think about this. We have some requests that have been out almost a year now that they haven’t fully responded to.
But, you know, they are getting some out, but I think the public, just like me, are fed up. They want the documents. Let’s get them. Quit dribbling them out. Let us see them. So, I’m glad they are giving us some, but I’m for action.
If they are not going to give them to us, then we need to take the next steps. We can’t just beg them anymore.
BURMAN: Help me bridge the gap, though. If you want those documents quickly, but you say the transcript needs time. It sounds like, if you want everything quickly, shouldn’t the Strzok transcript be out there too?
BIGGS: Well, the Strzok transcript will be out there in a timely fashion, I think.
But — but don’t forget, like I say, some of these requests that we have made by subpoena to DOJ have been out there for almost a year now. That’s a long time. That’s longer than a week. So…
BURMAN: All right, let me ask you about a different investigation out there, and that is the one into the president.
The president’s — one of his top attorneys, Rudy Giuliani, saying in an interview with The New York Times over the weekend that basically there’s two conditions that he is setting forth for the president to sit down with Robert Mueller, one, that there is evidence that the president committed a crime, and,two, that it would be essential to ending the investigation.
Here’s what Rudy Giuliani told the New York Times. He said — quote — “If they can come to us and show us the basis, and that it is legitimate, and that they have uncovered something, we can go from there and assess their objectivity.”
Do you think that’s a smart — a smart play there from Mr. Giuliani and the president’s legal team?
BIGGS: Well, it may be a good P.R. move. I think it is a bad legal move myself.
I mean, the authority that’s out there is only if the president is — you know, if he’s committed a crime, then the remedy is impeachment, and then, once out of office, then you can proceed with the criminal investigation and conclusion to that.
I don’t think he should sit down. I don’t think that this is going to be objective in any way. I think it’s been skewed from the start. I mean, the fact — just take a look at the Mueller investigative team. They won’t even give us all the names of two people, but we know the people that are on there have been revealed to be highly biased against this president, which, to me, indicates that maybe the investigation itself is tainted.
And I wouldn’t — I wouldn’t subject the president to that interview.
BURMAN: Congressman, sit there right there, if you can, for a minute. I want to get your thoughts on immigration. I know you have been to the southern border recently, and to — your thoughts as well on one of your colleagues there in the House Freedom Caucus.
So, stay there with us.
Meantime, we continue to watch what is happening out in Thailand in the northern part of that country.
Stay — stay with us, and we will be right back here on “Sunday Morning Futures.”
BURMAN: Fox News alert, we continue to watch the rescue operation in Thailand to save several boys from — and their coach from that flooded cave.
The rescue mission right now is on pause, the next phase will begin in about 10 to 12 hours from now. However this first phase of at least the rescue part of getting children out, which has happened this morning has been incredibly successful because four boys have been pulled from that cave to safety.
That means there are currently eight more children and their soccer coach in that save. We will continue to watch this throughout the show and the morning. Meantime, we are back now with Congressman Andy Biggs who serves on the Judiciary Committee.
Congressman, thank you for — for sticking with us here. I know you were on the southern border recently. Curious for your thoughts as to what exactly you saw there and then there’s these reunification deadlines to put children back with their families under five years old by Tuesday, older than five, everyone else at that point, by July 16th.
Do you think that’s obtainable?
REP. ANDY BIGGS, R-ARIZONA: I think it’s going to be very hard to — to meet that goal and also we need to see where — where are you going to put these folks? Are you going to keep them in a federal — basically federal housing and — and — and where are they going to be located and are you reunifying the families into a tough situation and — and there’s a lot going on.
A lot of arm chair quarterbacking going on, but I think that the deadlines that are there are really difficult to — to fulfill.
BURMAN: What happens if they’re not met, the deadlines?
BIGGS: They can issue some sanctions, but the reality is they’re going to have to — to — to recognize that — that it’s kind of an unrealistic goal if you will. And so I think that the — the federal government’s going to continue to try to reunite these families, but it’s — it’s going to take a while.
It’s going to take a little bit of time.
BURMAN: I want to ask you now about ICE because there has been this push from Democrats to abolish ICE. Jeh Johnson who is the head of the Department of Homeland Security in the last term for President Obama came out in an op-ed just a couple days ago saying we should not abolish ICE, instead we should essentially reform it.
And here’s what he wrote, I want to write — read some of it to you. He said, quote, “if Americans don’t like ICE’s current enforcement policies, the public should demand a change in those policies, or a change in the leaders who promulgate those policies. During the Vietnam War, millions of Americans demanded an end to the war.
No one seriously demanded we abolish the entire Defense Department. Obviously that would have completely compromised national security. Do you agree with the former head of the Department of Homeland Security there?
Obviously you don’t think ICE should be abolished, but would you be willing to look at possibly reforming it to — to make the institution better in its current state?
BIGGS: Well certainly you can make some reforms, and I agree with him on that. But — but understand that — that Jeh Johnson and — and many people who — who are on that side on the issue opposite of where I am, they — they want — they want to perpetuate the catch and release.
And so when I see people that actually promulgated the catch and release under Mr. Johnson, under his predecessor Janet Napolitano, the — they’re now serving as supervisory positions even under this administration.
So you still have catch and release, and that’s — that’s one of the big incentives for people to come to this country illegally and to make statements asserting that they’re (ph) asylum and refugee status.
And so they know they’re going to be released into the interior, and that’s a problem. So some reforms have to be made, but they aren’t necessarily the ones that he might want to see.
BURMAN: And finally, Congressman, one of your members of the House Freedom Caucus, Jim Jordan, there are more allegations out this morning from members of the Ohio State wrestling team that during their days they say Congressman Jordan was aware of sexual abuse against some of those student athletes.
And a story in the Washington Post, others have come out and said Jim Jordan would not have known such a thing. The congressman denies knowing any of this. The allegations, though, do continue to mount one after the next.
Do you stand by Mr. Jordan and do you think that he should continue to potentially pursue the speakership of the House?
BIGGS: Yes, I stand — I stand with Jim, I’m all in (ph) with Jim all the way. I’ve talked with him, I believe him when he says he didn’t know, and I will just tell you that some of the allegations are coming out well he should have known or he must’ve known.
And that tells me a lot more about the accused than the — about the accuser rather than the accused, because those are just conclusory (ph) statements saying oh well I knew something so why didn’t he know or he should have known.
And I just don’t — I don’t buy into that, and I think that the timing suspect as well and I think Jim is a man of integrity and honor and I’m — I — I’m with him all the way.
BURMAN: Congressman Andy Biggs out of Arizona, we will see what happens with Congressman Jordan, but we appreciate you joining us this morning. Thank you very much, sir.
BIGGS: Thanks for having me, appreciate it.
BURMAN: In the meantime, the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, fresh off two days of talks in North Korea, claiming progress despite some alarming allegations, accusations rather from the Kim regime, calling the negotiations, quote, “deeply regrettable”, and saying the U.S. is making, quote, “gangster-like demands on the north”.
Let’s bring in a former governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson, he’s also a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and former secretary of energy under the Clinton administration and someone who knows this issue deeply. Thank you for joining us this morning.
BILL RICHARDSON, FORMER GOVERNOR, NEW MEXICO: Thank you, Blake.
BURMAN: So help me walk through the timeline here, because the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after the meetings came out and said they were productive. The North Koreans then after Pompeo made those comments said they were regrettable.
And then there was a Pompeo press conference in the overnight hours and he said the North Koreans know exactly what is on the table. Listen to the secretary of state here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE, TRUMP ADMINISTRATION: There’s no difference, but most importantly is what the North Koreans understand. We had lengthy discussions about the scope of what complete denuclearization means over the past two days.
They acknowledge that this is broad, this is — as my two colleagues have said, from weapons systems to missile (ph) material to the production facilities, enrichment facilities across the range of weapons and missiles.
It’s a broad definition of denuclearization, the North Koreans understand that and have not challenged that. Second, they also understand that denuclearization makes no sense absent (ph) verification.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
What’s going on here? Is this just negotiating tactics from the north?
RICHARDSON: This is typical negotiating tactics from the north. I’ve negotiated with them before, they bob and weave, they delay, then they lance this bellicose rhetoric gangster-like stuff.
But there’s still the problem here is that there’s significant gaps in what we want on denuclearization, missiles and what the North Koreans are prepared to do.
BURMAN: — if they’re significant?
RICHARDSON: Yes, I think they can be bridged, but it’s going to take years. It’s not going to be instantaneous. And I think Secretary Pompeo, I’m going to give him some credit, you know, he’s had three visits to North Korea.
He’s two out of three, in baseball parlance. The first two to set up the summit, were good, but this one, I — I don’t think turned out well because of the difference that we have in terms of what each side wants to achieve. And the North Koreans, you know, they — I think we made the mistake like going first and saying we’re going to stop some of the military exercises with South Korea.
The North Koreans always want you to go first and then when it’s their turn, Blake, they should have accounted for all their inventory of missiles, of nuclear activities, they should have given us some kind of deadlines timelines on when they’re going to destroy or find ways to curb the use, verification, which is the most important issue.
I think these were discussed but not much agreement. Now, even the MIA, the remains of our soldiers, they said they were going to hand over 200. They haven’t done that. Well, there’s a meeting in July 16. I’ve dealt with them on that issue, the North Koreans. They want payment for that. You know, so there’s just a lot of gaps.
But I think Secretary Pompeo needs to continue this effort. The president needs to back him up but the president has got to stop saying mission accomplished. It’s not. It hasn’t even started. So I think here’s a case where we’ve got to be patient, we’ve got to push forward. It’s going to be tough, the North Koreans will be playing games throughout but it’s worth pursuing because tensions have lessened in the peninsula.
BURMAN: Governor, stay right there. We want to get to this and more with you when we come right back. I also want to ask you about the highly anticipated meeting between the president and Vladimir Putin one week from tomorrow as we look ahead on Sunday Morning Futures. Stay with us.
BURMAN: Welcome back now. We are with the Former Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson once again. He’s also a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, former secretary of energy under the Clinton administration and a North Korea expert. Governor, thanks again for sticking with us. You had mentioned that you thought Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, was two for three in his visits to North Korea.
That would get you into the hall of fame in baseball, but some critics would say this was a pretty big strikeout in the sense that he did not meet face to face with Kim Jong-un himself this time. Why do you think Kim Jong-un made the decision not to meet with the secretary of state when he traveled over there to North Korea?
RICHARDSON: Well, he was sending a message. I don’t think it’s a devastating message but he was saying look, now it’s up to my secretary of state, your secretary of state, our technical people, our nuclear people. But it was a little bit of a jab. And — and I think this is what we have to understand. On the positive side, they did say the North Koreans, they still trusted the United States, President Trump, the results of the summit.
But I can tell you from negotiating with the North Koreans, they’re going to continue being difficult, shifty. Their — their existence depends, Blake, on keeping some nuclear weapons. They have about 60. But our objective and the world’s objective should be to curb their use, to have some stringent — stringent efforts to stop proliferation, to freeze some of those weapons, to find verification methods.
I mean, we have to continue this effort. But it’s going to take time. It’s not going to take one year. It could, maybe, over two years, significant efforts can be made. But you know, we’ve got to be patient. We’ve got to give Pompeo that flexibility to continue these efforts to push hard and — and see where we end up.
The status quo right now is — is really not a good option. Because there’s enormous tension in the peninsula, we’ve got troops in South Korea and Japan, we’ve got our allies Japan and South Korea right now, their populations are very vulnerable. And the United States too. Some of their missiles could hit our country or Guam or Alaska. So this is worth pursuing.
BURMAN: Real briefly, there is another summit that is coming up one week from tomorrow. President Trump set to meet with Vladimir Putin in Finland. The president was critical of the media coverage earlier this week during his rally in Montana and he said this and I want to get your reaction on the other side. Watch.
We — we don’t have that. But the president essentially said that Vladimir Putin, he’s going to be prepared and he said — the president said that he will be prepared. And he characterized Vladimir Putin as someone who is fine. We have it now. Watch now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Really be prepared. Really be prepared. And I might even end up having a good relationship but they’re going will President Trump be prepared. You know, President Putin is KGB and this and that. You know what? Putin’s fine. We’re all fine. We’re people.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BURMAN: Real briefly, is that the right message to send heading into this?
RICHARDSON: No, that’s not the right message, especially saying he’s fine. Now, I don’t have a problem with the president meeting with Putin. I know he’s been criticized for that. What I worry about is the content of the meeting. And my worry is this, Blake, that the president is going to make it a rosy summit like he did with Kim Jong-un and say maybe I’m going to take sanctions off. I’m glad the ambassador said he wouldn’t.
I think the president has to stick with our NATO allies. They’re worried about NATO. They’re worried about Putin. And — and we have to say to Putin look, you can’t meddle in U.S. elections anymore. Secondly, you’ve got to be sensible on Crimea. You’ve got to be sensible on Ukraine.
You’ve got to stop meddling in Syria, helping Assad. I mean, we’ve got a whole range of issues where if we work together, I think the situation worldwide, security-wise will improve. But I worry that the president goes into these summits, maybe not listening to his advisors, and — and — and gives away part of the store. And I’m really worried about the sanctions.
We’ve got to keep those sanctions on Russia or Russia is going to take full advantage of us as they have been, in my judgment.
BURMAN: Governor Bill Richardson, we have a Supreme Court pick coming up, a NATO trip, a meeting with the prime minister of the U.K. and then this. What a 10 days coming up. Thank you for joining us. We appreciate it.
RICHARDSON: Thank you.
BURMAN: Meantime, President Trump, as I said, making a primetime announcement tomorrow night on his choice to replace the Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. The panel is standing by for the politics of the Supreme Court pick in a midterm year. Stay with us.
BURMAN: Welcome back. As you probably know by now, the president will announce his nominee to replace the retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in a prime time address tomorrow night, which, of course, you can watch right here on the Fox News Channel.
Let’s bring in our panel. Ed Rollins is a former campaign manager for President Reagan, and James Freeman is the assistant editor at The Wall Street Journal editorial page, both Fox News contributors. Thank you for joining us this morning.
What a Sunday, huh?
ED ROLLINS, FORMER CAMPAIGN MANAGER FOR RONALD REAGAN: A lot of action to talk about.
BURMAN: Do you guys have a — I mean, we ran through the candidates. You know the top three at this point. Do you have any reservations of any of them?
ROLLINS: No. I think these are superb choice. I was on presidential selection on the Reagan administration. These are all conservatives. Every single one basically has a great record. If I had a choice, which obviously I don’t, I think Judge Barrett would be an extraordinary future candidate — but I mean, a good judge. And I think she would send a very loud message as a good conservative woman.
BURMAN: Does Kavanaugh worry you at all?
JAMES FREEMAN, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: A little bit. I would echo what Ed said in terms it is a great list. You are talking about very accomplished, bright, qualified — eminently qualified people, but there is a little bit of a concern about Kavanaugh, maybe a little too much in the Roberts mold of caring a lot what Beltway establishment thinks of him, possibly could be pressured toward the political consensus rather than the correct legal reasoning.
BURMAN: Roe versus Wade, the Democrats are bringing up as the issue, whoever the president puts up there, Democrats are going to fight it no matter what. They are going to try to tie this Roe versus Wade no matter what.
For that reason alone, do you think the president should just lock in on this and maybe nominate Barrett?
ROLLINS: Well, I would nominate Barrett no matter what, whether it’s — any judge that gets appointed basically would be if they had a choice would probably vote to overturn it, but that’s not going to probably happen. They are going to basically limit abortion and let the states see what comes before them.
But she’s attractive, articulate, woman candidate. We have never appointed a conservative. Sandra Day O’Connor was Reagan’s appointment, but she didn’t turn out to be conservative — right on must issues, but not all issues. I think this one would be a great, great judge.
FREEMAN: Yeah, I mean, she’s really got it all in terms of you are talking about formidable intellectual star who else, I think to Ed’s point, would play very well politically.
The rising attack from the media seems to be that she’s into some kind of weird cult, because she likes to gather for barbecues with Christians and maybe do some community service.
I think most of the country is going to look at her as a very welcome impressive addition to the court.
BURMAN: Do you worry at all that Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, maybe Shelly Moore Capito, whoever the pick is, that they might be an issue for the Republicans on this to get them on board?
ROLLINS: If the three women — two of them certainly will be supportive — if the three women basically go against her for some reason, we’re not going to win. But at the end of the day, I don’t think they will. I think at the end of the day, she’s a very persuasive, articulate candidate who has a very strong record, and I think it is a detriment to…
BURMAN: But I’m just saying in general do you think those three…
FREEMAN: I would say she’s qualified. I mean maybe there’s a concern about Collins, but I think you look at the record, very hard to say there’s a problem here unless you’re a single issue politician, trying to sort of impose your views on the law.
I think the problem is really on the Democratic side, where in these 10 Trump states where Democratic incumbents are seeking reelection, whether it’s Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota, John Tester, Montana, Joe Donnelly in Indiana where Professor Barrett is located, these are tough votes against her. So I think it’s probably more of a problem for Democrats.
BURMAN: I’ve got 10 seconds. Give me a last name, who the president picks.
ROLLINS: I think he picks her.
FREEMAN: Yeah, let’s go with Barrett.
BURMAN: We will see. And we’ll find out Monday night. Thank you very much for both of you. Appreciate it.
Meantime, that does it this morning for “Sunday Morning Futures.” I’m Blake Burman, in for Maria Bartiromo. She is back next weekend, by the way, and you can watch both of us during the week on the Fox Business Network. We will see you bright and early tomorrow morning. “MediaBuzz” with Howard Kurtz is up next after this quick break.
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