This is a rush transcript from “Special Report” January 21, 2021. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Hey, Jesse. Good evening. I’m Bret Baier.
Breaking tonight, we may be close to learning a starting date for the
second Trump impeachment trial in the Senate. Even though House Speaker
Nancy Pelosi would not discuss a timeline earlier today, there is some
indication tonight Senate leaders may be close to striking a deal.
Chief Congressional Correspondent Mike Emanuel has the latest tonight. Good
MIKE EMANUEL, FOX NEWS CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Bret, good
evening. Leader Mitch McConnell has told his Republican colleagues that
President Trump has hired an attorney for his trial, Butch Bowers from
McConnell is proposing to Schumer giving the former president’s legal team
two weeks to prepare its defense. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham has
confirmed these details to Fox.
Some Democrats sound open to it as long as the Senate keeps confirming
cabinet members that would bump the trial back to February. McConnell
noting, he is in no rush.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): These six fine folks have put us in the
EMANUEL (voice-over): Chuck Schumer is the new Senate majority leader but
the Senate minority leader notes just barely.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): The American people chosen and evenly split
Senate, 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats.
EMANUEL: McConnell and Schumer have yet to work out a power sharing
agreement. McConnell wants a commitment to maintain the Senate filibuster,
but Schumer is under pressure from the left.
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT): We ought to end the filibuster.
Unquestionably, it is an obstacle to conquering the pandemic and reviving
the economy, getting stuff done.
EMANUEL: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is also being questioned over how a
Senate impeachment trial of a now former president is going to help with
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): You don’t say to a president do whatever you want
in the last months of your administration. You’re going to get a jet — get
a jail card free.
EMANUEL: Minnesota Democrat Senator Amy Klobuchar says the Senate could
handle nominations and that trial with a simple agreement.
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): You could literally have nomination hearings and
nomination votes in the morning. You could have the impeachment trial in
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations.
EMANUEL: The Senate last night confirmed Avril Haines to be Director of
National Intelligence with an 84 to 10 vote.
SCHUMER: We can and should confirm the Secretaries of Defense, State,
Homeland Security and Treasury without much delay.
EMANUEL: Transportation Secretary nominee Pete Buttigieg was on the hot
seat today confronted by Texas Senator Ted Cruz about President Biden
canceling the Keystone XL pipeline and an estimated 11,000 jobs.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): So, for those workers, the answer is somebody else
will get a job?
PETE BUTTIGIEG, TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY NOMINEE: The answer is that we are
very eager to see those workers continue to be employed in good paying
union jobs, even if they might be different ones.
EMANUEL: House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy also took aim at the new
president’s executive actions.
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): The new administration was more interested in
helping illegal immigrants than helping our own citizens.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
EMANUEL: Retired General Lloyd Austin’s nomination to be Secretary of
Defense is making progress, receiving our critical waiver from both the
House and Senate today.
Treasury nominee Janet Yellen could be confirmed as soon as tomorrow and
Secretary of State nominee Tony Blinken could potentially be confirmed
early next week, Bret.
BAIER: Important information from the Senate. Mike, thanks.
EMANUEL: You bet.
BAIER: On his first full day in office, President Biden is prioritizing his
number one item on his agenda, the coronavirus pandemic. The president
signed a number of executive orders today aimed at ramping up testing and
vaccinations and workplace safety rules.
He’s also trying to show concrete differences between his approach and that
of his predecessor. We’re already getting a heat of that from Dr. Anthony
Fauci who calls working for the new president, liberating.
White House Correspondent Peter Doocy has the story tonight live from the
North Lawn. Good evening, Peter.
PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Bret, good evening. President Biden
likes to talk a lot about how COVID-19 and mask wearing are not political
issues. But a key part of his response team will also lead President
Trump’s response, Dr. Anthony Fauci, just made some very political
observations about Biden versus Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS
DISEASES: One of the new things in this administration is if you don’t have
the answer, don’t guess. Just say you don’t know the answer.
The idea that you can get up here and talk about what you know, what the
evidence, what the science is, and know that’s it. Let the science speak.
It is somewhat of a liberating feeling.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOOCY: Fauci was standing by as President Biden signed 10 more executive
orders that makes 27 orders or actions in just a day and a half and more
are coming especially related to COVID relief.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our national strategies is
comprehensive, it’s based on science, not politics.
DOOCY: (Voice-over): Now that he’s President, Joe Biden is going to throw
the book at COVID-19.
BIDEN: Its 198 pages.
DOOCY: And getting FEMA involved in the response may sound familiar.
BIDEN: This is a model we use to respond to hurricanes Hurricane Sandy,
which I was deeply involved with.
DOOCY: Biden plans to use the Defense Production Act to spin up materials
to make vaccines but he admits he can’t stop the spread alone.
BIDEN: Asking the American people to mask up for the first 100 days, the
next 99 days.
DOOCY: Although Biden did not adhere to an executive order he signed
yesterday, mandating masks on federal lands when he spoke at the Lincoln
Memorial on federal land.
BIDEN: I will give my all to you.
DOOCY: Why weren’t President Biden and all members of the Biden family
masks at all times on federal lands last night if he signed an executive
order that mandates masks on federal lands at all?
JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He was celebrating an evening of a
historic day in our country.
DOOCY: President Biden has long claimed Republicans will have an epiphany
and jump at the chance to work with him. The Republican leader of the
Senate has seen early moves on immigration and climate change. And now:
MCCONNELL: The president can and should refocus his administration on
creating good paying American jobs, not sacrificing our people’s
livelihoods to liberal symbolism.
DOOCY: President Biden isn’t changing everything, though, he plans to keep
Christopher Wray as FBI director.
PSAKI: There are some people. Christopher Wray as an example, I’ll just
bring him back up who will continue to serve in his role.
DOOCY: And he didn’t like the idea that he might not be thinking big
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You’ve set the goal at a hundred million vaccines. Is
that high enough? Shouldn’t you set the bar higher? That’s basically where
the U.S. is right now.
BIDEN: When I announced, you all said it’s not possible. Come on, give me a
break, man. Good start. (INAUDIBLE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOOCY: To get on that track, this country needs to vaccinate 1 million
people per day and in the State Dining Room, Dr. Anthony Fauci got there
before Biden, so I asked him how far away are we from the 1 million a day.
And he said, starting now, you’re going to see that, Bret.
BAIER: Peter Doocy live in the North Lawn. Peter, thank you.
Two Florida men are facing charges taking part in the Capitol riot earlier
this month. One of them, Joseph Biggs who’s a self-described organizer for
the group known as Proud Boys. A Pennsylvania woman facing charges that she
helped steal a laptop from the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be
released from jail. A federal judge is putting Riley June Williams into
custody of her mother.
The former Senate Sergeant at Arms is firing back at accusations that some
members of Congress may have helped the Capitol rioters in advance.
Congressional correspondent Chad Pergram has specifics tonight. Good
CHAD PERGRAM, FOX NEWS CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Bret.
Well, Democratic Tennessee Representative Steve Cohen says he saw something
suspicious here at the Capitol around the first of the year. He saw Lauren
Boebert, the freshman Republican Congresswoman from Colorado leading a tour
after hours. He then wondered if that may have been connected to the
Capitol riot. This is a charge that Boebert denies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. LAUREN BOEBERT (R-CO): It’s just absolutely disgusting and baseless.
It just shows their hypocrisy on full display.
PERGRAM (voice-over): Boebert says it was a tour for family members, her
kids, as well as aunts and uncles. It was just before she was sworn in as a
new member on January 3rd.
The former Senate Sergeant at Arms Drew Willison says the Capitol is lined
with cameras to track movements inside and if someone was up to no good,
authorities could tell.
DREW WILLISON, FORMER SENATE SERGEANT AT ARMS: It’s a fully loaded charge
to accuse a different member of an act of treachery of that sort, even if
it’s speculative. So, it is a day that most of them celebrate.
So, it wouldn’t be all of that unusual for people to be giving a relatively
informal tour of the — of the building on a day like that.
PERGRAM: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “There is no question that there
were members in this body who gave aid and comfort to those who disputed
the election result.”
But when pressed by Fox if she had info that lawmakers helped the rioters,
the speaker had none.
PELOSI: Everything has to be based on evidence and that remains to be seen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PERGRAM: Now, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi along with the House Minority
Leader Kevin McCarthy, they indicate that if it’s found that members were
involved in the riot, there should be consequences.
Also, tonight, we’ve learned that a coalition of seven Democratic senators
are referring Republican Missouri Senator Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz of Texas
to the Ethics Committee. They contested the Pennsylvania and Arizona
electoral college results. Those Democratic senators want the Ethics
Committee to determine if their challenge to the electoral college may have
contributed to the riot, Bret.
BAIER: Chad, thank you. Well, the virus is definitely At the top of the
list on the Biden agenda, immigration reform is not far behind. And the new
president is already making major changes. Correspondent Gillian Turner
shows us tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GILLIAN TURNER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As fencing comes down
across the nation’s Capitol, a bigger fence at the southern border has
President Biden’s full attention.
The Biden team is charging ahead with an immigration overhaul with Senator
Menendez leading the Biden agenda in Congress.
SEN. BOB MENENDEZ (D-NJ): While it may to some be a symbolic change, we
remove the word alien from the immigration code and replace it with non-
citizen. No longer will we dehumanize the undocumented.
TURNER: Some of President Biden’s first official acts at 1600 Pennsylvania
Avenue included signing multiple executive actions reversing the Trump
era’s key policies.
This includes orders to stop construction of the southern border wall,
reversal of the so-called Muslim travel ban and moves to protect the
children of undocumented immigrants.
BIDEN: We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again.
TURNER: The Department of Homeland Security also announcing a hundred day
pause on deportations for thousands of non-citizens beginning Friday.
PSAKI: This pause will allow the administration to review and reset
enforcement policies and ensure that resources are dedicated to the most
TURNER: But some Republicans are striking a completely different tone,
claiming the new Biden policies will add up to catastrophe for Americans.
SEN. TOM COTTON (R-AR): We’re going to have illegal aliens taking jobs from
Americans at a time when we still have 10 million Americans out of work.
That is a radical far left policy that the American people don’t want.
TURNER: Some Trump Homeland Security officials are panicking.
TOM HOMAN, FORMER ACTING DIRECTOR, ICE: (INAUDIBLE) if you’ve been in this
country since before November 1st of 2020, you are not to be removed, which
means you’re going to be in this country legally, convicted of child
molestation, convicted a rape, and you won’t be removed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TURNER: Now, the big-ticket item is a draft bill the Biden team dropped
yesterday that includes a pathway to citizenship for 11 million people
currently in the United States undocumented known as dreamers.
Now, under this legislation, each one of those people would be on a path to
full-fledged citizenship in less than eight years, Bret.
BAIER: Gillian, thank you.
TURNER: You bet.
BAIER: The main theme for President Biden’s inauguration speech Wednesday
was unity. But there are already major questions tonight about whether the
president and his supporters are ready to back up those words with actions.
Correspondent David Spunt takes a look tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: We can join forces, stop the shouting and lower the temperature.
DAVID SPUNT, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A direct call from the
new commander-in-chief of an intensely divided nation.
Just hours later, antigovernment protesters, some claiming to be tied to
Antifa trashed parts of Portland, Seattle and Denver despite the
president’s call for calm.
Some Republicans are dismayed President Biden has not publicly opposed
impeachment for his predecessor.
REP. ANDY BIGGS (R-AZ): It looks to me like it’s a continuation of the
personal animus. Maybe it’s a continuation of this idea that you want to
cancel President Trump’s presidency, remove him from the history books.
SPUNT: Big tech put a muzzle on the former president. His supporters say
it’s unfair and there’s a double standard.
More than 500 professionals in the publishing industry signed a letter with
the phrase: No book deals for traitors. Senator Josh Hawley lost a deal
with Simon & Schuster following the Capitol riots.
THOMAS SPENCE, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT, REGNERY PUBLISHING: My company,
Regnery Publishing, picked the book up very quickly after Simon cancelled
it. And Simon & Schuster has given us a publicity campaign that, you know,
we couldn’t have paid for.
SPUNT: This as summer hinting Trump supporters need some serious changes.
KATIE COURIC, PUBLISHER, WAKE-UP CALL: How are we going to really almost
deprogram these people who have signed up for the cult of Trump.
RONNA MCDANIEL, CHAIRWOMAN, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Not only did
they win, they are determined to punish and degrade and call half of this
country racist while their candidate that they supported is out there with
this unity message ringing a bell, the actions are not matching.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SPUNT: But tonight, a Republican Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor
Greene, a freshman congresswoman is moving to impeach President Biden on
his first day on the job. The measure is likely to go nowhere, Bret.
President Biden’s team says that he doesn’t hold grudges and he will work
just as hard for those people that liked him as those who don’t, Bret.
BAIER: David, thank you.
Up next, why did Amazon wait until the Biden inauguration day to offer a
major hand in the vaccination effort? We’ll take a look.
First, here’s what some of our Fox affiliates around the country are
covering tonight. Fox 9 in the twin cities has George refuses to reconsider
his decision to hold a march trial for the former Minneapolis police
officer who held his knee to George Floyd’s neck as the man said he could
Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill ruled this month that Derek Chauvin will
stand trial beginning March 8th, and we’ll be tried separately from the
other three officers who are charged in Floyd’s death.
Fox 45 in Baltimore as the Maryland Lottery announces the jackpot winning
Powerball ticket worth more than $730 million was sold at a market in
Lonaconing. The winner has not gone public. The store will receive a
$100,000 bonus for selling the ticket to the fifth largest lottery prize in
U.S. history. Could be you.
And this is a live look at Detroit from Fox 2. The big story there tonight,
online sports betting and casino games start in Michigan tomorrow. State
regulators have authorized licenses for all three Detroit casinos and seven
of the dozen Native American tribes with casinos. Michigan residents must
be at least 21 years old to legally gamble.
That is tonight’s live look outside the Beltway from SPECIAL REPORT. We’ll
be right back.
BAIER: Stocks were mixed today. The Dow lost 12, the S&P 500 finished ahead
one for a record high close today, the NASDAQ gained 74, also, a record
Facebook says it is referring its decision to indefinitely suspend the
accounts of former President Trump to its independent content oversight
board. The social media company blocked Mr. Trump’s access to his Facebook
and Instagram accounts following the Capitol riot earlier this month.
Instead of the time, the suspension would last at least until the end of
his presidential term, and perhaps indefinitely.
A federal job — judge is rejecting a demand from social media side Parler
that Amazon restore web hosting services. Amazon dropped Parler January
10th, four days after the Capitol riot.
The judge says Parler failed to show it was likely to prevail on the merits
of its claims, or that the public interest supported a preliminary
injunction requiring the restoration of service.
Late this afternoon, Parler’s chief operating officer said the company
welcomes a call by a Democratic Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney to have
the FBI conduct a robust examination of its policies and actions.
We’re learning new details tonight about the offer from Amazon to help with
the vaccination effort, and in particular, the timing of the outreach. This
comes amid serious issues about the availability of the vaccine itself.
Correspondent David Lee Miller has our update tonight from New York.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID LEE MILLER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As states expand
eligibility for the coronavirus vaccine, supplies in many states are
In West Virginia, nearly the entire allocation for the first of the
required two doses has been used up.
In Ohio where the death toll has surpassed 10,000, Governor Mike DeWine
says the problem isn’t the lack of infrastructure but lack of vaccine.
In New York City, vaccination centers are being temporarily shut down
because there isn’t enough to go around. 23,000 vaccination appointments
have been canceled.
DAVID HANSON, TEACHER: I got a call on Monday from Lincoln Hospital where I
was supposed to get the vaccination saying hey, we ran out of vaccines.
MILLER: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was seeking approval to use
vaccine that has been set aside for a second dose in order to inoculate as
many people now and then replenish supplies.
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D-NY): I think it makes a lot more sense, give people
the first dose, use that to supply or reserve to give people first dose and
then get back filled with future shipments.
MILLER: Contributing to the shortage, thousands of doses across the country
have been wasted. Either because they expired or were not properly
Technology giant Amazon is offering to help the Biden administration reach
its goal of vaccinating 100 million people in 100 days.
A letter from CEO Dave Clark sent to President Biden reads in part “We are
prepared to leverage our operations, information technology, communication
capabilities and expertise to assist your administration’s vaccination
Senator Lindsey Graham question why no such explicit offer of help was made
to the Trump administration.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): I think what Amazon’s doing is pretty
disgusting if in fact they could have helped the Trump administration and
they chose not to because they don’t like him. That’s not a good moment for
the Amazon company.
MILLER: In a tweet this afternoon, Amazon said “Actually, we didn’t wait.
We offered the Trump administration assistance on vaccines, built new tools
for researchers and public health authorities, engaged Operation Warp Speed
on logistics and advised on testing and flew in PPE from China when America
needed it most.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MILLER: Amazon is not the only company in the fight against the virus. In
Washington State earlier this week, the governor said that Starbucks,
Costco as well as Microsoft would help with the vaccine rollout of the
states roughly 7-1/2 million people, only about 56,000 have been fully
BAIER: David Lee Miller in New York City. David Lee, thanks.
Breaking tonight, Fox News has confirmed the Senate will hold a final
confirmation vote on General Lloyd Austin’s nomination to be Secretary of
Defense 10:30 a.m. tomorrow according to a senior Democratic aide. Again,
Senator Lloyd Austin’s confirmation vote in the Senate tomorrow. He is
expected to get confirmation for Defense Secretary.
Still to come, the new president swift moves to undo the Trump foreign
policy and up next, sanctuary states for gun owners.
REP. LEO BIASIUCCI (R-AZ): My constituents elected me to fight for our
constitution and fight for our right to bear arms.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is anti-American and deeply troubling.
BAIER: Many gun rights advocates fear a new attack on the Second Amendment
with the new government in Washington. Some are taking a page from their
liberal opponents and applying it to the gun issue.
National Correspondent William La Jeunesse tonight from Los Angeles on the
concept of Second Amendment sanctuaries.
BIDEN: We won’t stop until we beat the NRA.
WILLIAM LA JEUNESSE, FOX NEWS NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):
President Biden’s plan to rewrite America’s gun laws, makes gun owners
BIDEN: I’ll do everything in my power in office or out of office to get
those assault weapons off the street which I’ve done once already. And to
get those clips that have multiple bullets in them not for sale.
BIASIUCCI: If the feds want to come in and start taking people down for
having a high capacity magazine, we’re not going to have any part in that.
LA JEUNESSE: State Rep. Leo Biasiucci wants to make Arizona a Second
Amendment sanctuary state. Banning the use of state money or manpower to
enforce any federal law or regulation that violates the right to bear arms.
BIASIUCCI: This bill is saying they can do what they want in D.C. but we’re
not going to have our law enforcement spend resources to help them arrest
law abiding citizens who are — who are gun owners.
LA JEUNESSE: Four states in more than 400 mostly red cities and towns
passed measures declaring themselves gun sanctuaries. Modeled after blue
state rules that protect illegal immigrants from federal law.
KRISTIN BROWN, PRESIDENT, BRADY CAMPAIGN AND CENTERTO PREVENT GUN
There is no substance behind this. It’s theater, its spectacle.
LA JEUNESSE: While opponents called gun sanctuary laws symbolic, they do
fear their effect.
BROWN: It is anti-American and deeply troubling that anyone would run for
office and push something like this. They’re denying support for citizens
in their state who are impacted by gun violence.
LA JEUNESSE: Gun advocates fear local police will be enlisted to enforce a
national gun registry, confiscate guns, and limit the sale of ammunition.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
LA JEUNESSE: Opponents say courts, not states, define the Second Amendment,
but some fear Biden will issue rules and regs bypassing gun protections.
Last week Governor Abbott said he supports making Texas a Second Amendment
century state. Bret?
BAIER: William, thank you.
A New York state judge is rejecting a bid by the National Rifle Association
to dismiss, put on hold, or transfer a lawsuit by New York’s attorney
general seeking its dissolution. The decision comes just days after the NRA
filed for bankruptcy protection and said it planned to reincorporate in the
more gun friendly court in Texas after 150 years in New York.
President Biden is already making moves to reverse the Trump foreign
policy. One of the biggest changes is to rejoin the Paris Climate
Agreement, abandoned by his predecessor. Correspondent Benjamin Hall has
details tonight from London.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
BENJAMIN HALL, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: President Biden has been a regular
fixture on the world stage for decades. Allies and enemies alike know him
well, and each is now trying to predict his foreign policy agenda. He began
yesterday by making his globalist intentions very clear, signing an
executive action to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord. This has delighted
international allies, but critics claim it will greatly burden America’s
energy producers with expensive regulations while giving subsidies to other
President Biden also rejoined the World Health Organization, which has been
accused of kowtowing to China, with a Trump administration holdover making
FAUCI: The United States also intends to fulfill its financial obligations
to the organization.
HALL: In another stroke of the pen, and despite pushback from Canada,
President Biden reversed another Trump policy and canceled the Keystone XL
pipeline, putting at risk 11,000 jobs. But when it comes to bigger
geopolitical threats, President Biden’s policies are less clear. He has
said he intends to rejoin the Iran deal to the disappointment of Middle
East allies. But it’s not clear whether he will renegotiate first. His
press secretary was somewhat vague.
JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The United States should seek to
lengthen and strengthen nuclear constraints on Iran.
HALL: In terms of China, President Biden has said he favors working with
allies to contain them, while his Director of National Intelligence the
U.S. should be tougher, without specifying.
AVRIL HAINES, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: China is a challenge to
our security, to our prosperity, to our values across a range of issues,
and I do support an aggressive stance.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
HALL: President Biden has effectively said he wants to be tougher on
adversaries, but at the same time he wants cooperation from them. Finding
that balance may, frankly, be a very difficult thing to do. Bret?
BAIER: Benjamin Hall in London. Benjamin, thanks.
Some other stories from beyond our borders tonight. The Biden
administration proposes a five-year extension of the new START Treaty,
limiting the number of U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear weapons. The
treaty is set to expire in February. It’s the last remaining agreement
constraining the U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons.
Twin suicide bombings ripped through a busy market in Baghdad today,
killing at least 32 people, wounding dozens. The rare suicide bombing hit
the commercial area of the Iraqi capital amid heightened political tensions
over planned early elections and a severe economic crisis.
The Vatican’s criminal tribunal convicts the former head of the Vatican
bank and his lawyer of embezzling millions of dollars in proceeds from the
sales of Holy See owned real estate. The defendants were sentenced to
nearly nine years in prison.
Just some of the other stories beyond our borders tonight. Up next, the
panel on President Biden and his swift moves to undo many of the Trump
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FAUCI: It is very clear that there were things that were said, be it
regarding things like hydroxychloroquine and other things like that, that
really was uncomfortable because they were not based on scientific fact. I
can tell you, I take no pleasure at all in being in a situation of
contradicting the president, so it was really something that you didn’t
feel that you could actually say something and there wouldn’t be any
repercussions about it. The idea that you can get up here and talk about
want you know, what the evidence, what the science is, and know that’s it.
Let the science speak. It is somewhat of a liberating feeling.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: Dr. Anthony Fauci today talking at the White House, something they
say he will do frequently in the coming days about the situation. This as
the new president, President Joe Biden, continues to sign a series of
executive orders today, really doing most with COVID, but he will continue
to sign executive orders, really undoing a lot of the Trump administration
Let’s bring in our panel, Jason Riley, “Wall Street Journal” columnist,
senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, Susan Page, Washington bureau
chief at “USA Today,” and Ben Domenech, publisher of “The Federalist.”
Susan, what about this? Surprised to hear Dr. Anthony Fauci open up like
that? Clearly, he is going to be back in the briefing room giving his
feelings on the situation.
SUSAN PAGE, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, “USA TODAY”: He was a happy man here
today, wasn’t he? I was surprised he was willing to go so far in describing
how much more comfortable he is with this administration than with the last
administration. He did do the Trump administration one favor, though. He
disputed a story that was out there today that said that the Biden people
had to go back to scratch in terms of the vaccine distribution plan. He
said no, there are some elements of the Trump vaccine distribution plan
that are good, although there are other things that he thought didn’t work
But he clearly is someone who is more comfortable with this particular
administration and it’s an attitude toward science than he was with the
BAIER: Ben, here’s Jen Psaki on the plan that they have on COVID and what
they’re looking towards.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The Trump administration was given
36 million doses when they were in office for 38 days. They administered a
total of about 17 million shots. That about less than 500,000 shots a day.
What we are proposing is to double that to about 1 million shots per day.
And we have outlined this goal and objective in coordination and
consultation with our health and medical experts. So it is ambitious. It’s
something that we feel is bold and was called that certainly at the time,
and we’re working overtime to help to achieve it, try to achieve it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: That is their priority right now, Ben.
BEN DOMENECH, “THE FEDERALIST”: First off, Jen Psaki is being a bit
disingenuous there when she talked about this rollout. Obviously, this is a
situation where we got the vaccine much earlier than a lot of commentators
thought we ever would. And it’s really incumbent upon these various state
leaders to take up the process of administering these doses, making sure
they get to the people in need. And we’ve seen that the rollout has been
very uneven. Compare West Virginia to the rest of America, and it’s not
even close in terms of the level of achievement that you’ve had.
And to circle back to Susan’s point, I’m surprised that you’re surprised
that Anthony Fauci is willing to wear his emotions on his sleeve like this.
I don’t think that he has been exactly a shrinking violet when it comes to
talking to the press. But I would rewind this a little bit to say I still
believe that Anthony Fauci has been one of the most inconsistent people in
terms of what he’s advocated for during this entire process. And when you
go back to what he was saying in the spring regarding keeping public
schools closed, I still believe that’s one of the signature moments in this
whole process that could have gone in a very different way if you had had
different people in the room. We see the rest of the western world keeping
schools open this entire time, and you see the ramifications of the fact
that private schools in America have been open as public schools have been
closed, an effect that is going to have ripples throughout American
experience over the next several years.
BAIER: One of the questions, Jason, is how the press is going to handle
President Biden, especially in the first 100 days when it comes to COVID or
anything else. Today there was an interchange with the A.P. where the
president didn’t particularly love the line of questioning. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You’ve set the goal at 100 million vaccines in the 100
days. Is that high enough? Shouldn’t you set the bar higher? That’s
basically where the U.S. is right now.
BIDEN: When I announced it, you all said it’s not possible. Come on, give
me a break, man.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: Give me a break. The interesting thing is that it is now the Biden
administration’s deal, and it’s no longer from the outside, you are not
doing enough, it is you. And we’ll see how this rollout continues.
JASON RILEY, “WALL STREET JOURNAL” COLUMNIST: Sure. I don’t think it’s any
surprise that people are going to see kinder coverage from the press for a
Democratic president. That will be one return to normalcy, a true return to
normalcy. I think if you are a conservative or Republican, you’re used to
seeing your guy in the White House get picked on by the press than
Democrats witness, so that’s not much of a surprise.
I do think, though, that Joe Biden has to be careful about misinterpreting
the lack of support, the low approval rating for Donald Trump going out the
door, misinterpreting that as support for a progressive mandate that he
thinks he might have. Joe Biden was not elected because Donald Trump pulled
out of the Paris Accords or because he banned travelers from states that
sponsor terrorists. That’s not why he was elected. He was elected to tackle
COVID, and because people had tired of Donald Trump’s personality, of his
So, his only real mandate, I think, is to tackle COVID and not be Donald
Trump. And to the extent that he strays from that and adopts a very leftist
agenda going forward, I think he risks the same mistake that happened the
last time he entered the White House with the Obama administration,
overreaching on things like a very partisan reevaluation of our health care
system in this country, and the result was losing the House in one midterm
election, losing the Senate in another midterm election. So, I think Joe
Biden should be very careful about overreaching in terms of what he thinks
his mandate is.
BAIER: Susan, quickly, Amazon’s offer to help the Biden administration with
its sites on vaccination efforts, Senator Lindsey Graham among others
criticizing that because they didn’t offer it in the Trump administration.
What do you make of that?
PAGE: But of course, Amazon has now said that they did offer it in the
Trump administration. So, I think that would have been appropriate for them
to have offered in the past of administration. But that’s all I know is
that they say that they did.
DOMENECH: No letter was sent, Susan, just to clarify. They said that today.
BAIER: No letter was sent to the Trump administration?
PAGE: How did they extend the offer then? Did they call or tweet?
DOMENECH: That’s unclear to me.
BAIER: We’re going to follow that up. Obviously, they’re offering now, and
we’ll see if that materializes in the 100 million vaccines in 100 days.
Panel, stand by, if you would. Coming up, the disunity over unity with the
panel when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PSAKI: I think if you talk to Republicans on the Hill, which I know many of
you do, they will say they are not looking for something symbolic. They are
looking for engagement. They’re looking to have a conversation. They’re
looking to have a dialogue. And that’s exactly what he’s going to do.
MCCARTHY: President Joe Biden says let’s give 11 million illegal immigrants
citizenships while we have 10.7 million Americans out of work. Shouldn’t we
prioritize those Americans out of work first? And those are places that I
think you could find unity. He knows the agenda and those executive orders
he is signing are partisan, that’s dividing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: Unity, policy differences, what is the difference and what can
happen in today’s Washington. We’re back with our panel. Susan, there’s a
lot of talk about unity, and clearly there’s all kinds of takes about
President Biden’s inauguration speech. But what can happen as far as
unifying over legislative policies considering the differences in the two
PAGE: Some things can happen. With the confirmation processes has started,
is going relatively smoothly. That’s an encouraging sign. The White House
says they’re going to start talks, at least, with members of Congress about
that $1.9 trillion COVID relief package. Will there be good faith
compromises on both sides? We’ll see. We’ve kind of stopped using that
muscle in Washington. We’ll see if Joe Biden and congressional Republicans
can start to use it again.
BAIER: Man, it really has not been used, you are exactly right. Ben?
DOMENECH: There’s no context for unity on Capitol Hill when you are about
to go through an impeachment. There’s no context when you have one side in
a 50/50 Senate which won’t take eliminating the filibuster off of the
And I think that one of the big questions about unity isn’t really between
Joe Biden and Republicans, because there won’t be much of any. It’s within
the Republican coalition, which today on Capitol Hill and talking to half a
dozen different senators and senior people in their offices, they’re all
completely befuddled at Mitch McConnell’s approach to this impeachment
process, telegraphing that this is something that he plans to take up in
February. They really don’t understand it.
And it’s down the line, Tom Cotton, Tim Scott, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio,
Rick Scott, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, the list goes on, of all of these people
who potentially have futures nationally in this party who don’t understand
what Mitch McConnell is doing. They don’t believe the Republican Party has
a future in which they are putting their finger in their eye of Trump
voters. And that’s something that is really up in the air right now in
terms of the Republican coalition.
BAIER: That’s interesting that you mention the Senate minority leader now,
Mitch McConnell, who is somehow negotiating go forward with impeachment but
no filibuster busting. Here is Mitch McConnell.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCONNELL: The legislative filibuster is a crucial part of the Senate.
Leading Democrats like President Biden himself have long defended it. So if
the talk of unity and common ground is to have meaning, and certainly if
the rules from 20 years ago are to be our guide, then I cannot imagine the
Democratic leader would rather hold up the power-sharing agreement then
simply reaffirm that his side won’t be breaking this standing rule of the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: So just to give you a behind-the-scenes, Mitch McConnell is
essentially negotiating, OK, we’ll plan impeachment trial in the Senate,
but you can’t bust the filibuster. And Chuck Schumer is not agreeing with
that. So, there is no deal as of yet, and that means there’s no deal as far
as Democratic chairman of all these committees, et cetera. So, all of this
is being negotiating as we speak, Jason.
RILEY: Yes, it is. And I will take Joe Biden at his word that he is
interested in unity, but I think the left in general I don’t think is
interested in unity. I think they’re interested in revenge, Bret. And when
you want to set up a blacklist of former Trump administration officials and
make it harder for him to get hired going forward, that’s not about unity.
That’s about revenge. Or when you embrace an agenda of critical race theory
or diversity training or the 1619 Project about calling out white people
and publicly embarrassing them, that’s not about unity. That’s about
revenge. And I think that right now is what is animating the left more
broadly, regardless of what Joe Biden is saying.
BAIER: All right, panel, stand by. When we come back, we will talk to you
about a sneak peek at tomorrow’s headlines.
BAIER: A look at tomorrow’s headlines tonight with our panel. OK, Jason,
RILEY: Post Trump America continues to unite is a headline I expect to be
seeing, or some variation of that going forward, Bret. And I think the
measure of unification will be the extent to which Joe Biden is overturning
Donald Trump’s policies through whatever executive actions and orders he is
able to accomplish. And that’s because I don’t think the left is really
interested in unity. They are interested in payback right now.
BAIER: Susan, your headline? And you actually may know what the headline is
tomorrow, so just tell us about it.
PAGE: My headline is White House holds third news briefing in three days,
which you wouldn’t think would be newsworthy, except it hasn’t happened in
the past several years. The day will come when the Biden White House is
probably sorry they have a commitment for a Monday through Friday news
briefing, but I can tell you, as a reporter, as a journalist, I am glad we
are getting back to that.
BAIER: Here, here. Ben, headline?
DOMENECH: Joe Biden miraculously cures coronavirus. It’s going to be the
headline from here on out through the first 100 days, it’s just going to
get better and better. Just expect it, everything has turned the corner,
it’s all getting better now.
BAIER: Hey, you know what, let’s hope that’s true. Let’s hope it’s true.
BAIER: All right, panel, thank you very much.
Thanks for inviting us into your home tonight. That is it for this SPECIAL
REPORT, fair, balanced, and still unafraid. FOX NEWS PRIMETIME, have you
seen this show? Hosted by Brian Kilmeade this week. It starts right now.
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