Home News 'Fox News Sunday' on September 19, 2021

'Fox News Sunday' on September 19, 2021

126
0


This is a rush transcript of “Fox News Sunday” on September 19, 2021. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR:  I’m Chris Wallace.

New FOX polls on President Biden’s handling of the pandemic, as confusion 

spreads over the rollout of vaccine boosters. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  Our objective is to be prepared 

should all of this process move forward. 

WALLACE (voice-over): The Biden administration saying it’s ready to go 

once a federal health officials sign off. 

DR. VIVEK MURTHY, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL:  We will follow that evaluation and 

their recommendations. 

WALLACE:  We’ll ask NIH director, Dr. Francis Collins, whether a third shot 

is needed and safe. 

Then — 

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  The decisions we’re about to 

make can change — literally change the trajectory of our nation. 

WALLACE:  The White House sounding the alarm on raising the nation’s debt 

limit warning Medicaid, food stamps, and disaster relief are all at stake. 

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER:  They are eager to jump 

through yet another massive multibillion-dollar reckless tax spending spree 

in an effort to move our country to the left. 

WALLACE:  While Democrats remain split over a $3.5 trillion social spending 

plan. 

We’ll talk with House Budget Committee Chair John Yarmuth about the 

deadlines and the split among Democrats. 

Plus, Joint Chiefs chair, General Mark Milley, under fire for his phone 

calls to ease China’s fears of an attack in the final days of the Trump 

administration. We’ll ask our Sunday panel whether his actions were 

responsible or over the line. 

And our “Power Player of the Week,” FOX Sports insider Jay Glazer tells the 

biggest stories in football and now he’s sharing his own.

All, right now, on “FOX News Sunday.” 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALLACE (on camera): And hello again from FOX News in Washington. 

We begin with breaking news. If you’re wondering what happened at that 

rally yesterday supporting people arrested in a January 6th capitol riot, 

police mobilized for the possibility of another disturbance, but a small 

crowd of only a few hundred people showed up, and they protested 

peacefully. No violence, just four arrests. 

Meanwhile, President Biden suffered a setback in his fight against COVID, 

an FDA advisory panel rejected his plan to offer booster shots to all 

adults, saying only seniors and those most at risk should get them. 

And we have new FOX polls on the issue. When it comes to teachers, 61 

percent favor mandatory vaccinations. 58 percent favor a mandate for all 

government workers and 56 percent agree with President Biden for businesses 

with more than 100 workers to mandate vaccines. Overall, 55 percent now 

approve of President Biden’s handling of the pandemic, 11 points more than 

those who disapprove. 

But in June, his approval margin was 30 points. We’ll have more FOX polls 

throughout the hour and we’ll discuss the controversy over vaccine boosters 

with Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health. 

But first, let’s get the latest from Mark Meredith traveling with the 

president in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware — Mark. 

MARK MEREDITH, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Chris, for months, the Biden 

administration has been making plans to distribute millions of COVID 

booster shots. The rollout was even set to begin this week. But now those 

plans, they are in limbo, as after a key group of scientists determine most 

Americans don’t need the shot. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MEREDITH (voice-over): With a 16-2 vote, an FDA advisory committee decided 

against recommending most Americans get a third dose of Pfizer’s 

coronavirus vaccine. 

DR. OFER LEVY, FDA ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER:  I just don’t think we’re there 

yet in terms of the data or more needs to be known about the correlates of 

protection.

MEREDITH:  In August, President Biden strongly endorsed booster shots will 

also warning the data was still under view. 

BIDEN:  It will make you safer, and for longer. And it will help us end the 

pandemic faster. 

MEREDITH:  While the advisory panel is rejecting boosters for most people, 

their recommendation is nonbinding, meaning the CDC and FDA will make a 

final call later this week. 

MURTHY:  We have always said that this initial plan would be contingent on 

the FDA and the CDC’s independent evaluation. But we will follow that 

evaluation and their recommendations.

MEREDITH:  Advisors are recommending Americans 65 and older and those at 

high risk for disease be eligible for a third shot. The Biden 

administration says, quote, we stand ready to provide booster shots to 

eligible Americans want the process concludes.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MEREDITH (on camera): This week the president is going to be making his way 

up to New York to address the U.N. General Assembly for the first time 

since taking office. He’s also can be convening a virtual COVID summit 

calling on world leaders to unite behind a common vision for ending the 

pandemic — Chris. 

WALLACE:  Mark Meredith reporting from Delaware, thank you. 

And joining us now, the director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. 

Francis Collins. 

Doctor, welcome back to “FOX News Sunday.” 

DR. FRANCIS COLLINS, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH:  Glad to be 

with you, Chris. There’s a lot to talk about this morning. 

WALLACE:  There is indeed. Let’s get to it. 

Let’s start with the FDA advisory panel, which as we said supported the 

idea of booster shots for people 65 and older, and those most at risk, but 

rejected the idea of booster shots for the general population. 

Here is what President Biden said last month. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  The plan is for every adult to 

get a booster shot eight months after you got your second shot. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE:  Dr. Collins, is the advisory panel right? Do you now agree with 

them on this limited booster program over what the president was proposing 

last month, the general population getting boosters, which he said was 

based on advice from his medical experts, including you? 

COLLINS:  You know, Chris, I think there’s less difference between where we 

were in the middle of August and what the advisory committee said this past 

Friday. They did encourage and vote for the administration of boosters to 

people over 65 and those at high risk of exposure. Those are the people who 

would be most likely to reach that eight-month period, because that’s how 

we prioritized initial immunizations back in January. So, I don’t think 

there’s huge differences here. 

I think the big news is that they actually did approve the initiation of 

boosters, and remember, they are taking a snapshot of right now. We’re 

going to see what happens in the coming weeks. It would surprise me if it 

does not become clear over the next few weeks that that administration of 

boosters may need to be enlarged. 

Based upon the data that was already seen both in the U.S. and in Israel, 

it’s clear the waning of the effectiveness of those vaccines is a reality, 

and we need to respond to it, but they looked at where we were on Friday 

and said here’s where the data is convincing to start now and we’ll see 

what CDC says later this week. 

WALLACE:  But just to be clear, what you’re saying is you still think and I 

understand that people furthered on the list, younger people, help your 

people, didn’t get their vaccines as early in the process. You still think 

we are going to near booster program for everyone? 

COLLINS:  I’m not sure about absolutely everyone. We’ll have to see what 

they say ultimately about the youngest individuals because of concerns 

about benefits and risks, but I will be surprised if boosters are not 

recommended for people under 65 going forward in the next few weeks, but 

we’ll wait and see. 

You know, Chris, what you’re seeing here is science playing out in a very 

transparent way. This is the way it ought to be. I’m a little troubled that 

people are complaining that the process isn’t working for them. The process 

is to look at the data, have the experts consider it and then make their 

best judgments — at that point, recognizing that the judgments may change. 

If people want an absolutely authoritative statement about here’s the right 

answer — well, that’s not what our country is all about. Move to China, 

you’ll get it there. 

WALLACE:  Yeah, but let — let me ask you about that, Dr. Collins, because 

President Biden said — he announced in August 18th that they were going to 

start (ph) — yes, he did have a line about pending approval of the FDA and 

the CDC, but he talked about starting a booster program on September 20th. 

That’s tomorrow. And he talked about giving it to all people, not just a 

limited group. 

Now, back during the campaign, he talked a lot about “follow the science”. 

Isn’t announcing a specific date and a specific plan for the general 

population before any of the regulators, the FDA, the CDC, have approved 

it, isn’t that the exact opposite of “follow the science”?

COLLINS:  Well, he was basically responding to a statement made by eight 

physician scientists including me, including the head of the FDA and the 

head of the CDC, saying we had looked at the data and it looked as if 

boosters were going to be a good thing for Americans to start to utilize, 

recognizing in that speech, he did say CDC and FDA’s advisory process has 

to kick in first. 

You know, I guess I’m a little troubled, Chris, about all of the buzz 

that’s happening right now about whether the process was perfect — of 

course, it’s not perfect. No process ever is. 

But have we lost track of the goals? The goals here are to try to protect 

Americans from dying from this disease — 670,000 have already. 

It does look from the review of the data, by people by myself, that we are 

going to need to provide boosters for people at risk in order to keep this 

surge from beginning to affect even those who are fully vaccinated. 

We’re trying to do the right thing, trying to look at the data as it 

evolves, recognize things are changing day by day. Maybe we ought to be 

talking more about that than about whether the president said this a month 

ago and FDA said this on Friday. Let’s try to get the science right and do 

it transparently and openly so everybody sees what the process looks like. 

WALLACE:  Let’s talk about another aspect of this. President Biden is 

convening a COVID summit for the world this week in New York as part of the 

U.N. General Assembly. The latest statistics are that 57 percent of the 

world’s population have not received a single dose of the vaccine. 

Is it moral for the president to be pushing a third booster dose for 

Americans when most of the world hasn’t received a single first dose? 

COLLINS:  Well, I think this is a false choice that’s being put forward. 

We have, of all the countries in the world, done the most to try to get 

doses to people in low and middle income countries across the world. We’ve 

already sent out 140 million doses, committed to another 500 million that 

are coming — contributed $4 billion to COVAX. So we are very invested in 

that. 

And watch and see what happens this week when the president meets with 

other countries, there may be more information there as well. 

The most that we might be talking about as far as boosters between now and 

the end of this year might be 100 million doses. It’s a pretty small, 

modest number compared to what we are already sending out to the rest of 

the world or have committed to do so. 

And again, let’s be clear, the United States, of all the countries in the 

world, has been the hardest hit with this. And if we were to step away from 

the need to actually protect people for whom the vaccine protection is 

waning and say, well, we just can’t help them because we got to send all 

those doses overseas, that wouldn’t be responsible either. 

WALLACE:  OSHA is currently writing a rule, it’s probably going to take a 

couple more weeks, to mandate that businesses over — with more than 100 

employees, mandate vaccines for them or at least if not, then they have to 

get a mandatory test every week. 

Meanwhile, 24 state attorneys general, all of them Republican, say that 

they plan to sue to block this mandate to private businesses saying that, 

one, it’s government overreach and, two, that it is simply fostering 

vaccine resistance. 

Don’t they have a point, Doctor? 

COLLINS:  Well, I’m not a politician and I’m not a lawyer. I do know that 

the law that Congress passed requires OSHA to take action when there is 

grave danger in the workplace of harm to employees. COVID-19 represents a 

grave danger. So a reasonable person would say they are not just supposed 

to act, they have to act in that space, and that is a justification for 

this rule. 

And I would just hope that those attorneys generals who are protesting 

against this would step back and ask themselves what is really going to be 

the best to save lives and are they on the right side of history or the 

wrong side of history by trying to resist this? 

WALLACE:  If the president wants to mandate vaccinations for basically all 

Americans, or as many as he can, why is there no mandate for people coming 

across the border illegally? The numbers are really bad. That people — 

illegal immigrants have come across the border, when they leave federal 

custody, one in five test positive for COVID. 

The White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked about that. Take a 

look. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  More people are vaccinated, 

whether they are migrants or whether they are workers, protects more people 

in the United States. 

PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT:  But it’s a requirement 

for people at a business with more than 100 people, it’s not a requirement 

for migrants at the southern border. Why? 

PSAKI:  That’s correct. Go ahead. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE:  Well, we didn’t get much of an answer from her. So let me ask 

you, Dr. Collins. No mandate for illegal immigrants crossing the border who 

have a really high incidence. 

Why not? 

COLLINS:  I can’t answer the question, Chris. I’m not in those 

conversations. I know that vaccines are being offered to people in that 

situation. I guess you’re asking, why is it not mandated? That would have 

to be a question for someone else. 

WALLACE:  Would — from a public health point of view, would that be 

healthier for the country to make sure that every person coming across the 

border illegally gets a vaccine? 

COLLINS:  Well, I would say whether they are coming across the border or 

they are somewhere else in the world, yes. As a public health person, I 

want everybody to be vaccinated and if a mandate would help with that, 

let’s do it. 

WALLACE:  Finally, pediatric COVID cases are rising. At one point, I saw 

that it was one in five of all the pediatric cases in the country. Where do 

we stand on getting approval to vaccinate children 5 to 11, the next group 

in line to be vaccinated? Where does that stand? How soon do you think it’s 

going to happen? 

COLLINS:  Well, first of all, kids 12 to 17 can be vaccinated. 

Unfortunately, only about half of them have been in. So, there’s an area 

where we have an opportunity to make progress, especially with schools 

open. 

The data submitted by Pfizer to FDA for kids 5 to 11 is supposed to arrive 

in FDA’s hands later this month. I know they will work 24/7 to go through 

it and try to assess whether it’s time to grant an approval and that will 

happen in weeks and not months, but exactly giving a precise date, I don’t 

think it would be a smart idea. 

But it will be coming, certainly, and I know many parents are worried about 

that. 

And I’m glad we’re talking about this as well, because the best way to 

protect those kids right now is to have the people around them vaccinated. 

So, Chris, before we left off — before we leave off your, could we one 

more time appeal to those 75 million unvaccinated people who still have not 

gotten their first dose. I know you’ve been very positive about the need 

for that, let’s not miss the chance one more time to say that’s the most 

important thing we should be doing about COVID-19 right now today, Sunday, 

September 19th. 

WALLACE:  Dr. Collins, thank you. Thanks for your time, and we’ll be 

tracking what happens next with those booster shots. Thank you, sir. 

COLLINS:  Thanks, Chris. Good to talk to you. 

WALLACE:  Up next, a logjam of work on Capitol Hill as Democrats raced to 

meet deadlines to fund the government, raise the debt ceiling, and also, to 

pass President Biden’s domestic agenda. We’ll ask Congressman John Yarmuth, 

chair of the House Budget Committee, what they will and won’t get done. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALLACE:  Congress has a lengthy to-do list by the end of the month. 

Failure to act could lead to a government shutdown and to defaulting on our 

debt obligations for the first time in history.

Meanwhile, the fate of President Biden’s $3.5 trillion economic agenda is 

in doubt.

Joining us now, Democratic Congressman and chair of the House Budget 

Committee, John Yarmuth.

Mr. Chairman, welcome.

REP. JOHN YARMUTH (D-KY): Thanks, Chris. Good to be with you.

WALLACE: Democratic leaders say that the House will consider this week a 

bill to fund the government and money for the government runs out a week 

from — rather ten days, September 30th, and also to raise the debt limit, 

and that’s going to be reached sometime about a month from now.

Will the houseboat vote to link the two, to combine them, so that they vote 

both to fund the government and to raise the debt limit at the same time?

YARMUTH:  Actually, Chris, I don’t think that decision’s been made yet. We 

have several options for raising the debt ceiling, which is absolutely 

mandatory. As you mentioned, we’ve never defaulted on our debt in history. 

This is really kind of a ridiculous position to be in. We’re the only 

country in the world that has a debt ceiling that works like this. We’ve 

raised it close to 100 times over the 104 years it’s been in existence. We 

ought to do away with it.

But the position that Republicans, primarily Senator Mitch McConnell, have 

taken is totally irresponsible and I hope that they come to their senses 

because, you know, Mitch has been running around Kentucky taking credit for 

a lot of the spending that is now requiring us to raise the debt limit. And 

— but Mitch doesn’t really care about seeming inconsistent or 

hypocritical. He says whatever is expedient. But basically —

WALLACE:  Let me — let me — let me interrupt, if I can, just for a 

moment, Chairman —

YARMUTH:  Sure.

WALLACE:  Because I — if people hadn’t gathered already, you and the 

Republican senator from your state of Kentucky, Mitch McConnell, are old 

political adversaries. He has taken a clear stand on the debt limit.

And let’s hear from him. Here he is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY):  Let me be crystal clear about this, 

Republicans are united in opposition to raising the debt ceiling.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE:  So I guess here’s the question. If you separate them, then 

McConnell and the Republicans in the Senate are going to vote to fund the 

government, but not for the debt limit. If you combine them, then wouldn’t 

that make it harder for Republicans to vote against it because if they vote 

against the debt limit, they’re voting to shut down the government as well?

YARMUTH:  Right. You know, I’m not sure which is worse. Since I’ve been in 

Congress, the Republicans have shut the government down once, the last time 

being in 2013. They — they were paying a pretty heavy political price for 

doing that until some things went wrong with the — the ACA implementation.

But, yes, I think people really need to focus on what Mitch just said. 

Mitch just said that every Republican in the United States Senate was 

prepared to vote to have the federal government default. That’s what he 

said. And that’s — I think that’s a violation of the constitutional oath. 

It would be financial havoc if — if we actually defaulted. The last time 

we threatened to, the — our credit rating as a country was lowered a 

little bit, financial markets did not appreciate that. So there are a lot 

of things at stake here.

But — but you’re right. And I — you know, I don’t know what the political 

calculation one way or the other is. I personally would like to see a clean 

vote on a debt ceiling so that Republicans actually have to go on the 

record on that vote only and not mix it with a funding measure, but 

ultimately, the most important thing is to get both of them done.

WALLACE:  Right.

Let me ask you about an issue that involves Democrats in the House. 

Democratic leaders say that the House will — and I thought the word choice 

was interesting — consider the bipartisan infrastructure deal a week from 

tomorrow, September 27th, which is what Speaker Pelosi promised the 

moderates in the Democratic caucus.

YARMUTH:  Right.

WALLACE:  I guess two questions. One, does “consider” mean “vote” on the — 

on the bipartisan bill? And — and the reason I ask, and you will know, is 

because some people in the left wing of your party say, hey, look if you 

put up the bipartisan bill in September and you don’t get to the $3.5 

trillion spending bill, which we’ll get to in a moment, we’re going to vote 

against the bipartisan bill.

So are you saying — is — is Speaker Pelosi saying they’re going to vote 

on the bipartisan bill next week and separate it from the big spending 

bill?

YARMUTH:  The only answer I can give you is that that is the current plan, 

to vote on the infrastructure bill in September 27. Now, there’s some other 

kind of qualifications to that under the — under the rules that the 

speaker does not have to actually advance the bill to the — if we pass it 

in the House, does not actually have to send it to the president for 

signature. She can hold onto that bill for a while. So there are — there’s 

some flexibility in terms of how we mesh the two — the two mandates.

WALLACE:  Right.

YARMUTH:  One of them is the vote on that on the 27th. The second one is to 

not pass one without the other.

WALLACE:  Let’s talk about the big tax and spending bill, $3.5 trillion. 

You’re going to pass it with just — if you can pass it — with just 

Democratic votes. And there are some serious splits between the House and 

Senate Democrats, among House Democrats.

First of all the size, $3.5 trillion. You’ve got Joe Manchin and some other 

Senate Democrats saying they won’t go for any more than half that. How do 

you resolve that issue?

YARMUTH:  Well, first of all, we — we’re not really focused on the top 

line of spending. I know a lot of people are. Because what we ought to be 

focused on is what the net investment in the — in the people of the United 

States will be. And as — as has been mentioned, the Ways and Means 

Committee has voted about $2 trillion worth of tax increases exclusively on 

wealthiest Americans and corporations during the ten years. So the net 

investment, if no other revenues are created, then that would be about a 

trillion and a half dollars if the total spending stayed at that $3.5 

trillion level.

But, most important, what we’re focused on is the fact that these are 

things that we absolutely have to do as country. These are not frivolous 

matters. We have a desperate deficiency in the social infrastructure in 

this country, access to affordable child care, the absence of early 

childhood education, the — the infrastructure for senior care. I mean we –

– we — we have lots of seniors, increasing every day, and — and living 

longer, and we want to do what we can to make sure they have a comfortable 

retirement.

WALLACE:  Chairman —

YARMUTH:  So there are a lot of — that — that — that’s what I think we 

need to focus on, not the — not the money.

WALLACE:  Well, a lot of people say money matters too.

YARMUTH:  Well, look —

WALLACE:  Your — your budget committee is going to have to try to put all 

of the different parts of the spending package together.

YARMUTH:  Right.

WALLACE:  I want to ask you briefly about one other big split among 

Democrats, and that is whether or not to allow Medicare to negotiate lower 

prices so you can expand Medicare benefits.

You had a — a number of the more moderate members of your carcass vote 

against that. How are you going to resolve that?

YARMUTH:  Right. Right. Well, I know that at least two of them have said 

they actually want negotiation with Medicare to take place, they just 

didn’t like the mechanism that was in the energy and commerce legislation. 

So there are ideas, I know, coming out of the Senate on this. I’m not sure 

there are very many in — in the Democratic caucus and I — on either side 

of the building that actually are opposed to negotiation on prices of 

prescription drugs. I just think it’s the methodology we use.

WALLACE:  Finally, I want to put up another Fox News poll, which has some 

interesting results.

President Biden’s overall job approval is now 50 percent approved to 49 

percent disapproved, or plus 1. In June, it was 56 percent to 43, or plus 

13. And other polls have the president’s job approval considerably lower, 

in the low 40s.

Won’t Joe Biden’s diminished standing with the American people make it 

harder for Congress, Democrats in Congress, to pass his agenda when, as I 

say, there’s less support for him generally. And this is a tough votes 

that’s going to — you’re going to have here for a lot of Democrats.

YARMUTH:  I don’t think it’s going to make it more difficult at all because 

what we’ve seen in polling on what we’re trying to accomplish, the American 

people are overwhelmingly in favor of the elements of the Build Back Better 

agenda. They want childcare, they want early childhood education, they want 

to do something about climate change, they want paid family leave, they 

want better senior care.

So we feel that we’re on very, very strong, political ground in — in 

pushing for these kind of investments and benefits to the American people.

WALLACE:  Real quick, what — when do you think the House will pass the big 

tax and spending bill, and what do you think the top line number will be?

YARMUTH:  OK. Well, I’m not going to — I’m not going to deal with the top 

line number. I suspect it will be somewhat less than 3.5 trillion. 

Remember, that’s over ten years and this is basically about 5 percent more 

than we’re going to spend anyway. That’s the — that’s what it means in 

context.

But in answer to your question, I would say we’re probably going to slip 

past the September 27th date, sometime into — into early October would be 

my best guess.

WALLACE:  Chairman Yarmuth, thank you. Thanks for coming in today.

YARMUTH:  Sure.

WALLACE:  And we’ll track how things go in the House this week, sir.

YARMUTH:  Thank you.

WALLACE:  Up next, we’ll bring in our Sunday group to discuss the critical, 

unfinished work facing Congress as the clock ticks down.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALLACE:  Coming up, the Pentagon admits a tragic error saying a U.S. drone 

killed civilians, not terrorists, in Afghanistan. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEN. KENNETH MCKENZIE, CENTCOM COMMANDER:  I offer my profound condolences 

to the family and friends of those who were killed. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE:  We’ll ask our Sunday panel what it says about U.S. 

capturabilities with no boots on the ground.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: All I’m asking is you pay your 

fair share. Pay your fair share. 

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): It’s the very last thing American workers 

need. It’s the last thing American families can afford. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: President Biden making the case for his massive tax and spending 

plan, while Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell pushes back, saying 

that $3.5 trillion price tag will crater the economy. 

And it’s time now for our Sunday group. 

Former chief of staff to Mike Pence, Marc Short. Julie Pace, making her 

first appearance here in her big new job as executive editor for the entire 

whole worldwide “Associated Press,” and Mo Elleithee of Georgetown 

University’s Institute of Politics and Politics Service. 

Julie, congratulations. We’re delighted that you still are deigning to 

speak with us. 

JULIE PACE, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, “ASSOCIATED PRESS”: I appreciate it. Always 

happy to be her, Chris. 

WALLACE: Great.

President Biden and congressional Democrats face, as we were talking about 

with Chairman Yarmuth, a brutal few weeks. They’ve got a vote to fund the 

government. They have to address the issue of raising the debt limit. 

They’ve got to decide whether they’re going to pass that bipartisan 

infrastructure plan. And then there’s that, by the way, $3.5 trillion tax 

and spending plan. 

Where are they? 

PACE: The scope of what is ahead for the Biden administration and for 

Democrats in Congress right now is really enormous. So much of Biden’s 

overall agenda as president is going to be tied up in what happens over the 

next couple weeks. And then, as you mentioned, there’s also that small 

matter of keeping the government actually funded. 

I think when it comes to passing the Biden priorities, Democrats want to 

get to yes. They have divisions to work through within the party, they have 

questions about the top line price tag. I think Democrats, though, are 

going to try to push to get to a place where they can pass something that 

may look a little different than what — where that package stands right 

now. 

But I think there’s a really big question on this idea of raising the debt 

limit and funding the government. That is always a really difficult hill 

for Washington to climb. It sounds like it’s something that should be 

pretty basic, but it is really difficult. And Mitch McConnell is holding a 

pretty firm line right now and Democrats are going to have to try to figure 

out how they can pull on the Senate side, in particular a few Republicans 

over, to try to get that debt limit increased and that government funded. 

WALLACE: Marc, I’m sure that you and your Republican colleagues are 

thoroughly enjoying watching all the infighting going on among Democrats, 

but isn’t Julie right, don’t Democrats have to get to yes, because if they 

don’t, if they don’t pass the Biden domestic agenda, and I know you don’t 

agree with it in policy, but Democrats do, wouldn’t that be disastrous for 

them in the 2022 midterms? 

MARC SORT, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO MIKE PENCE: Well, it may be disastrous 

for them if they fail, but I think it’s also going to be disastrous for 

them if they actually pass these massive tax increase, Chris. I mean I 

think it’s quite analogous to, if you recall when President Obama had 

control of both the House and the Senate, Nancy Pelosi and her friends 

passed through Obamacare. They passed a giant stimulus bill and they 

finally ran into a train wreck with cap and trade because she didn’t have 

the Senate votes. 

What you see right now is a similar play. She’s asking all of her members 

to come forth on a $3.5 trillion tax and spend plan, but there’s no 

evidence that there’s actually Senate votes for something that massive. And 

so these members that are in — that are in middle districts are going to 

have to kind of question is, what is their future and is this really what 

their constituents want, because her margin back in 2009 was quite big and 

yet it led to 63 Republicans coming in, in 2010. Right now her margin’s 

only four votes, only four votes, and there’s a lot of members in middle 

battleground districts who are going to be forced to walk the plank and say 

we’re going to do what Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden want us to do or we’re 

going to do what our constituents in our own district want us to do. 

So I think there’s a lot of peril for them on either path. 

WALLACE: I want to turn to the other big, domestic story this week, and it 

happened Friday afternoon when that — that FDA advisory panel voted 

against the president’s plan to offer boosters to all Americans and, in 

fact, made it a select group, people over 65, people at risk. 

Here’s Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on this. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): My sense would be, if Donald Trump was president, 

it would be the least tory. But you had two high-ranking FDA people 

resigned in protest over the push for these boosters. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Mo, as — as we’ve pointed out, back in mid-August, about a month 

ago, President Biden, yes, he said, well, it depends on FDA and CDC 

approval. But then he proceeded to announce a specific start date, which is 

tomorrow, and that was going to go out to the entire general population. 

How big an embarrassment, the fact that the FDA — this guys — the 

president has had follow the scientists. Well, here’s the FDA advisory 

panel saying we don’t agree.

MO ELLEITHEE, GEORGETOWN INSTITUTE OF POLITICS AND PUBLIC SERVICE: Yes, 

look, I think — I think people are confused. And I don’t think there’s any 

way around that. I think there’s some — I think it’s understandable 

though. I think we keep seeing that we’re trying to figure all of this out 

in real time, that they’re looking at the data in real time, the delta is 

evolving at a pace they didn’t expect it to and so they have to react to 

that in real time. And I think people are willing to give the benefit of 

the doubt up to a certain point. 

At the end of the day, I don’t think this will be the breaking point for 

them. I do think people get that the guidance is going to evolve a bit. I –

– the administration, I think, so long as it continues to focus its 

energies on the economic recovery from COVID, and on getting as many people 

vaccinated as possible and making that the primary focus, then I think, you 

know, they will continue to — to hold on to a majority of the public 

support. 

WALLACE: Right.

ELLEITHEE: And beyond that, people are going to give them the benefit of 

the doubt. 

WALLACE: Marc, you were deeply involved in the White House COVID task force 

under your then boss, Vice President Pence and President Trump, and you 

guys learned the hard way that the voters don’t like it if they think that 

decisions on COVID and dealing with the virus are being made because of 

politics rather than because of science. 

SHORT: Chris, I — I think that’s well said. I think the reality is that 

what I think the Biden administration is suffering from is the promise that 

they were going to follow the science and yet it seems that once again 

they’re getting ahead of the science and they’re making promises that even 

their own FDA doesn’t agree with. 

I also think last week it’s gotten less attention but the whole statement 

that we need to protect the vaccinated from the unvaccinated. I mean what 

the heck is that? If your — if your trust in the vaccine, then why is it 

that your need to — need to protect the vaccinated from the unvaccinated? 

And I think there’s a — I do still think there’s a lot of resistance to 

the federal government forcing mandates on people in — in businesses and 

saying we’re going to come in and mandate the — the employers and 

employee, at least 100 people require their employees get vaccinated when 

often you’re going to find that that’s going to create a competitive 

advantage for people who have less than a hundred employees because that’s 

where those people are going to go to. And I think there’s a lot of concern 

about the — the overreach of the federal government here. 

WALLACE: All right, panel, we have to take a break here, step aside for a 

moment. 

When we come back, it’s been a tough week for the Pentagon as the chairman 

of the Joint Chiefs faces calls to resign and the U.S. admits a terrible 

mistake in Afghanistan.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have what’s called over the 

horizon capabilities, which means we can strike terrorists and targets 

without American boots on the ground, or very few if needed. 

GENERAL FRANK MCKENZIE, COMMANDER OF U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND: I am now 

convinced that as many as ten civilians, including up to seven children, 

were tragically killed in that strike. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: President Biden arguing last month the military can fight 

terrorists from outside Afghanistan, and the head of U.S. Central Command, 

General Frank McKenzie, acknowledging Friday a drone strike, just as 

American troops were leaving, hit the wrong people. 

This comes as new numbers from our Fox poll show approval of President 

Biden’s handling of Afghanistan is now upside down. Sixty percent 

disapprove, while 36 percent approve. 

And we’re back now with the panel.

Julie, President Biden was, as we say, already in trouble with the American 

people and the way he’s handled Afghanistan. This tragic mistake with this 

drone strike is not going to increase public confidence in his handling. 

PACE: No, it’s certainly not and it is just a really horrific tragedy that 

this strike killed civilians in Afghanistan, including people who had 

worked closely with Americans during the course of the war. In some ways 

it’s almost a fitting end to the — the real — the real mess that we’ve 

seen in Afghanistan in the closing weeks of the U.S. presence there. And I 

think one of the things that the White House, you know, has kind of 

struggled to get their — their hands around here is the idea that actually 

the public has largely been supportive of the notion of getting American 

troops out of Afghanistan, but they have increasingly become frustrated and 

angry with the way that that drawdown has happened. 

And so the — the ultimate decision to leave may be seen as the right one 

by many people. The way it was handled continues to, I think, really — to 

frustrate, again, and anger a lot of Americans. And I think the question 

going forward is, what’s the situation on Afghanistan — in — on the 

ground in Afghanistan look like in a few months, in a few years? Because we 

now are increasingly hearing from military leaders that this could be a 

situation where al Qaeda or other extremist groups are able to reconstitute 

and pose a threat not just within Afghanistan, but to the western — to the 

western world. 

WALLACE: Mo, to back up what Julie just said, I want to put up another 

result from our Fox News poll. People approve of the policy decision to 

remove U.S. troops from Afghanistan, 55 percent to 40 percent. But as you 

see there on the rights, they disapprove of the way the president handled 

the withdrawal, 59 percent to 37 percent.

And you’ve got to think, Mo, that a drone strike that kills ten innocent 

civilians, including seven children, isn’t going to boost confidence in the 

president’s competence in Afghanistan. 

ELLEITHEE: No. Everything Julie said was right, this was an unmitigated 

disaster and a tragic loss of — of life of civilians. Look, the — the — 

the — the decision he’s on to withdraw, he’s on solid, political ground. 

We can have a robust discussion I think and debate about how it — how it 

occurred. There’s — there could be an argument to be made that, you know, 

this kind — and — and many Democrats are making the argument that this 

was always going to be chaotic, that there was nothing we could do that was 

going to avoid chaos. That’s a debate that I suspect we’ll be having for 

quite some time. 

But this? This incident? I — I find it hard to find words to defend what 

happened with this tragic mistake. And I expect you will see quite a bit of 

— you’ll see the — the oversight committees in Congress start to gear 

into — into overdrive pretty quick. 

WALLACE: Well, speaking of oversight, I want to turn to the controversy 

over the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, and 

reporting in a new book by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa that Milley called 

that top Chinese general to the right there two days after the Capitol riot 

to reassure him the U.S. had no intentions to attack. 

Here was reaction to that revelation this week. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): If General Milley had these communications with 

the Communist Party of China, he’s a smoked turkey, and he ought to be. 

GEN. JACK KEANE, RETIRED FOUR-STAR GENERAL: I don’t see anything that’s 

undermining civilian control of the military. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: Marc, Milley reportedly felt he had to reassure the Chinese 

because he was worried about Donald Trump’s instability and what he might 

do next. 

SHORT: Well, Chris, it’s hard to think of any active military leader who’s 

participated in more of these biographies of Donald Trump than Mark Milley. 

He certainly seems to be very concerned about what his public image is and 

perhaps that’s one of our problems. Instead, the focus should have been 

more on what we’re doing in Afghanistan and other foreign policy areas. 

I think that — I think that we need to wait for General Milley’s testimony 

before the Senate Armed Services’ Committee. I’m a little bit reluctant 

just to assume at face value and accept that comes out of Bob Woodward’s 

book. But I do think there — that if this is true, then I do think he 

needs to step aside. But I think we have to hold judgment till he actually 

has testimony and clarifies this for the American people.

WALLACE: Marc, while I have you here, I’m going to ask you about something 

you probably knew about directly because there is an account in the Bob 

Woodward book that late December, last year, when Vice President Pence was 

still in office, that he called former Vice President Dan Quayle to ask him 

to discuss whether or not he had the power, the ability, during — on 

January 6th, the certification day, to throw the election to Trump in the 

House. 

What do you know about that story? 

SHORT: Well, my recollection was that Dan Quayle called the vice president 

to offer his advice. And the reality is that the vice president, Pence, you 

know, always told President Trump he’d be happy to look at anything that 

was sent his way to review this, but he was pretty certain and confidence 

that there was no constitutional authority that would have ever given any 

one person some massive authority to overturn the results of the election, 

that — that we, as conservatives, believe that an election should be 

certified at the state level, and that’s exactly what happened in 2020, 

there were not a separate set of slates, a different set of certifications. 

And it think it’s rather un-American to think that any one person would 

have had the authority to have that much authority to overturn an election. 

I think the vice present was clear from day one, that’s what he thought his 

role was and I don’t think he ever wavered in that. 

WALLACE: Julie, let’s go back to the — to the Milley story. 

What have you found in your reporting? How chaotic was the Trump White 

House in the final days, and how much concern was there in the White House, 

in the government rite large, about the president’s stability? 

PACE: Marc knows this firsthand. I mean there — it is hard to overstate 

how on edge Washington was during that period of time, both the days after 

the election, and then certainly around January 6th. And that was a 

bipartisan concern. There — there were high-level Republicans who were 

really on edge about what the president’s next steps might be there. And 

Milley is just one of the people, now a very powerful person, but one of 

the people who was trying to mitigate a potential disaster there. 

Milley had said that he believes that his calls to his Chinese counterparts 

were within the bounds of his role as Joint Chiefs chairman. He is going to 

testify, I think in more detail, about this later in September. It will be 

fascinating to see him explain why he felt the need to take those steps. 

But, again, I think it’s important for people to remember that in those 

days in January, it was not just Mark Milley who was concerned about 

President Trump actions. That was a concern that was shared broadly across 

the capital. 

WALLACE: Let me just ask you quickly, because in the book, Woodward and 

Costa describe his call to the Chinese as a secret call. Milley, or his 

people, are telling reporters, hey, look, he made two calls, one in October 

with the express approval of then Defense Secretary Esper, and the second 

call he made on January 8th, two days after the riot, there were 15 people 

in the room. I mean was it secret or was this very much within channels? 

PACE: Milley is — is trying to argue that this was within proper channels. 

Now, it doesn’t appear as though these were calls — they certainly weren’t 

briefed out to the media at the time. They certainly weren’t calls, at 

least based on our current understanding, that President Trump and others 

at the top levels of the White House were aware of. But I think that’s one 

of the things that will be really interesting about his testimony later in 

September, exactly who within the administration knew that he was making 

those calls and where people essentially approving of him taking these 

steps. 

WALLACE: Mo, I’ve got about a minute left here. Whether what Milley did was 

right or wrong, I want to pick up on Marc Short’s comment. He seems to be 

in every one of these books, either talking directly or talking to somebody 

who talked to the authors, talk about how worried he was about Donald Trump 

and separating himself. 

Two political, too out front for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs?

ELLEITHEE: I — look, I don’t think so. I think Mark Milley — it’s 

interesting to see sort of the attacks on him right now. And — and — and 

I’m with everyone else. Let’s see what — what the testimony brings. 

It’s interesting to see people throwing around words like treasonous and, 

you know, calling on him to resign. Remember, this was in the wake of a — 

of an insurrection and he was trying to tamp down foreign concern. So we’ll 

see what happens, but I think he’ll be OK. 

WALLACE: Well, we will see. And that will be must-see TV September 28th. 

Thank you, panel. See you next Sunday. 

Up next, our “Power Player of the Week.” Fox Sports insider Jay Glazer on 

how he gets all those big scoops and his new focus off the field. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WALLACE: This time of year, Sunday’s mean doing this program, and then 

getting home in time to watch NFL football on Fox. A key member of the Fox 

Sports team is known for breaking big stories, and now for his important 

work off the field. 

Here’s our “Power Player of the Week.” 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAY GLAZER, FOX SPORTS ANALYST AND NFL INSIDER: Football is one of the only 

places where somebody could spill a beer on you in the first quarter and 

you’re hugging them in the second quarter. It just brings people together. 

With all of our family members here.

WALLACE (voice over): Bringing people together is a passion for Fox Sports 

insider Jay Glazer. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The NFL is back. 

WALLACE: Especially now that with COVID vaccines, stadiums will be filled 

again. 

GLAZER: Right before the start of the season, I went on a 35 NFL day 

training camp tour. And the fans were back. And it was so great to feel 

that again. You really don’t know what you have until you miss it. 

WALLACE: Glazer is part of the team at Fox Sports pregame show “FOX NFL 

SUNDAY.”

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What’s the latest with him? 

GLAZER: Well, Deshaun Watson, they’re at a standstill because —

WALLACE: His job, getting fans the inside track on the league’s big 

stories. 

GLAZER: I don’t know where they’re getting that from! 

WALLACE (on camera): Can Tom Brady do it again? Can he go to and win his 

eighth Super Bowl? 

GLAZER: We’ve seen what Tom can do. I’ve got no idea what he can’t do. 

This is starting to sound personal.

WALLACE (voice over): Glazer lives up to his insider rep, guest starring on 

HBO’s “Ballers.”

GLAZER: That is exactly what teams want to see. 

WALLACE: And breaking major stories like Spy-gate, when the New England 

Patriots secretly taped what other teams were doing. 

GLAZER: When I first came in the NFL in 1993, I said, man, how can I be 

different from everybody else. And I was going to start relationships in 

this league. 

WALLACE: Glazer says the relationships have evolved, from looking for news, 

to sharing his struggle with depression and anxiety. 

GLAZER: Because I’ve been so open about mental health, I’m having head 

coaches and general managers and players and guys I used to, you know, rely 

on for — for scoops and information, now calling for help on their end. 

WALLACE (on camera): What does living in the gray mean? 

GLAZER: First of all, it sucks. It’s a pain behind my rib cage, I guess, if 

you will. It’s kind of in my soul. So you see me all laughy and joking on 

TV. A lot of it is to find some laughter to overcome it. 

WALLACE (voice over): Using his background in mixed martial arts, Glazer 

open a high-caliber gym called Unbreakable Performance Center, where he now 

brings in therapists to focus on mental health. 

GLAZER: Just like you can go and get body worked on, a massage, on one side 

of the gym, you can go get some work on your soul on the other side. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are —

CROWD: MVP.

WALLACE: He also created Merging Vets and Players, or MVP, a charity where 

veterans and athletes talk about their shared struggle. 

GLAZER: Once the uniform comes off, a lot of times they feel like their 

identity is gone. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who’s got my back! 

CROWD: I’ve got your back.

GLAZER: Our results have really — they’ve really been beautiful. It’s 

incredible. And the bonds that they’ve had. The biggest thing is when you 

lose your team, it’s a scary world out there. And so I’m just trying to 

give them a team again. 

WALLACE: Glazer says the gray is a daily battle, one he will continue to 

speak up about so others can too. 

GLAZER: My friends like Michael Strahan and Howie Long and them would just 

say, oh, Jay’s crazy. And now we’re talking about mental health and we’re 

able to shine a light on it. So the more I can speak out about it, to show 

people they’re not alone, it’s almost build a team with all of us together, 

I say all of us, anybody and everybody, you don’t have to go through 

depression or anxiety. We’ve got to walk this walk together. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALLACE: This January, Glazer will be out with a new book called 

“Unbreakable: How I Turned my Depression and Anxiety into Motivation and 

You Can Too.” 

Speaking of books, my new one, “Countdown Bin Laden,” is number two on the 

latest “New York Times” bestseller list. Thank you for your support and for 

all the notes you’ve sent me about this history thriller.

And that’s it for today. Have a great week and we’ll see you next FOX NEWS 

SUNDAY.

Copy: Content and Programming Copyright 2021 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL 

RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2021 VIQ Media Transcription, Inc.  All 

materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not 

be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast 

without the prior written permission of VIQ Media Transcription, Inc. You 

may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from 

copies of the content.

Previous articleControversial UN conference on reparations, racism slammed by Pompeo as being 'laced with anti-Semitism'
Next articleComedian Chris Rock reveals he has Covid and urges fans to get jabbed saying ‘you don’t want this’

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here