In this Fox News Sunday Show With Chris Wallace: Reps. King, Israel on dysfunction on Capitol Hill; Rep. McCaul talks NSA leaks, Homeland Security
CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: I’m Chris Wallace.
Today, a jury finds George Zimmerman not guilty in the death of Trayvon Martin. We’ll get the latest from Sanford, Florida.
Plus, just when it looked like Congress couldn’t get any more divided, it does.
WALLACE: On immigration, House Republicans reject bipartisan plans passed by the Senate.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, R-OHIO, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The House is going to do its own job on developing an immigration bill.
REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF., MINORITY LEADER: Why don’t we just get about the business of doing a bill?
WALLACE: On ObamaCare, criticism of the president delaying part of health care reform.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Its provisions aren’t workable. Its timeline is unworkable. Its regulations are unworkable.
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The House Republicans that are driving this narrative are not concerned about a delay and the implementation of a law that they oppose. They want to kill the bill.
WALLACE: We’ll discuss the dysfunction on Capitol Hill with two key congressmen, Republican Steve King of Iowa and Democrat Steve Israel of New York.
Then, the NSA leaker Edward Snowden asked for temporary asylum in Russia.
JEN PSAKI, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: They still have the opportunity to do the right thing and return Mr. Snowden to the United States.
WALLACE: Will the U.S. find a way to bring Snowden to justice?
Plus, Secretary of Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano resigns.
We’ll sit down with Chairman Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.
All right now on FOX NEWS SUNDAY.
WALLACE: And hello again from Fox News in Washington.
George Zimmerman is a free man this morning. He walked out of a Sanford, Florida, courtroom late last night after the jury cleared him in all charges of the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Here is the moment when the jury’s verdict was read.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The State of Florida versus George Zimmerman, verdict–we, the jury, find George Zimmerman not guilty. So say you all, foreperson.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Not guilty. But Zimmerman’s attorney says his client’s safety will be a continuing concern.
Jonathan Serrie is live outside the courthouse in Sanford–Jonathan.
JONATHAN SERRIE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Chris, there were reports overnight of protesters smashing windows and setting small fires in Oakland, California. But here in Sanford, Florida, people on both sides of the issue, heated calls for peace in the wake of this emotionally charged trial.
In advance of the verdict, Trayvon Martin’s family asked for calm, regardless of what the jury decided. When the six-woman panel handed down its not guilty verdict after more than 16 hours of deliberations, the family’s lawyer issued this statement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DARYL PARKS, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: We are very, very, very saddened, but we accept the jury’s verdict in this case.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SERRIE: NAACP leaders say they will ask the Justice Department to seek civil rights charge against George Zimmerman. They say the neighborhood watch captain racially profiled 17-year-old Trayvon Martin the night of the fatal shooting.
Last night, the teen’s mother tweeted last night, quote, “More on my darkest hour I lean on you. You are all that I have. At the end of the day, God is still in control. Thank you all for your prayers and support. I love you forever, Trayvon, in the name of Jesus.”
Now, Zimmerman’s lawyers insist that this case was never about race but about a man defending himself during violent attack in which he feared for his life.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK O’MARA, ZIMMERMAN ATTORNEY: Obviously, we are ecstatic with the results. George Zimmerman was never guilty of anything except protecting himself in self-defense. I’m glad that the jury saw it that way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SERRIE: Up until last night, Zimmerman, although out on bond, had a 10:00 pm curfew. After the not guilty verdict was announced, at approximately 10:00 pm last night, he was free to go home with his family. His lawyer said security is a concern and although he didn’t indicate what his client’s immediate plans were, he suggested Zimmerman would likely take some time off with his family, relax and work on getting their lives back to normal.
Now, as for the six jurors in this trial, a court order remains in effect, protecting their identities. A judge will later decide how long they’ll remain anonymous. In the meantime, jurors have not responded to requests from multiple media organizations, seeking comment in the wake of this emotionally charged trial — Chris.
WALLACE: Jonathan Serrie reporting live from Sanford, Florida. Jonathan, thanks for that.
Joining me now is the attorney for Trayvon Martin’s family, Daryl Parks.
Welcome to “Fox News Sunday.”
I couldn’t help but notice that–
PARKS: Good morning.
WALLACE: Trayvon’s parents were not in the courtroom when the verdict was read. First of all, did they expect it was not going to go their way? And when you told them what the verdict was, what was their reaction?
PARKS: Well, number one, we, as counsel, suggested they probably shouldn’t be there. We know them extremely well and made the decision that they should probably go on home to Miami so they could be in church this morning and they are in Miami this morning for that.
Now, when I did reach out–I mean, their reaction is wow, because this decision is really unbelievable. I mean, how can you not hold an armed man who killed an unarmed kid responsible for the death? And so, it’s just ideologically not right for that to happen.
WALLACE: How do you explain the verdict? Obviously, these jurors sat in that courtroom for three weeks, heard all the evidence from the prosecution, all the evidence from the defense. How do you explain the jury’s verdict?
PARKS: Well, it’s hard to explain. In the course of the trial that lasted a couple of weeks, so many different things and aspects came out. But also, these are six people, six people with various backgrounds, who brought their life experience here and they had to judge whether or not they found George’s actions in self-defense applicable for killing a young, black child.
So, at some point, they identified–they looked at the facts and believed or disbelieved part of it and sided with George Zimmerman, decided he should be acquitted. Now, that’s their decision. However, we accept the decision. But we don’t agree with their decision.
WALLACE: You say you do accept their decision. But let me ask you–the NAACP this morning is calling for the Justice Department to step in to this case and to bring civil rights charges against George Zimmerman, to say he violated the civil rights of Trayvon Martin.
How do you and how do the parents feel about that idea?
PARKS: Well, the beauty of our country is that we have several tiers of government, several aspects of laws, and that at different times, different laws in different places apply. For example, the criminal case here was here in Sanford. In the event that there’s a federal case, it would be in Orlando. Totally different dynamics.
And so, that’s the country that we live in. You have to understand different laws apply to different times, different places apply different times. So that would be a different arena.
WALLACE: And, briefly, we’ve got less than a minute left, Mr. Parks. What do you and, more importantly, what do the family of Trayvon Martin–what do they say to protesters out in the streets who are demanding justice for Trayvon Martin?
PARKS: We ask them to remain very calm. Trayvon’s legacy is living on–what he stands for, his name stands for is far bigger than George Zimmerman’s acquittal. They should remain calm. We should all work to continue to make America a bigger and brighter country and all the good things that our country stands for.
WALLACE: Mr. Parks, I want to thank you for joining us on what clearly has to be a disappointing day for you and please extend to the Martin family, regardless of how you felt about this trial, our thoughts and our prayers for them on the loss of Trayvon Martin. Thank you so much, sir.
PARKS: Thank you. Good morning.
WALLACE: Now to the showdown over immigration, the Senate spent months working on then passing a bipartisan package. Now they make it clear they’re going to deal with immigration on their own terms.
Joining us: Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa, who calls the Senate plan amnesty.
And in New York, Congressman Steve Israel, head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, charged with winning back the House from the GOP in 2014.
Gentlemen, before we get to immigration, I want to ask you both to weigh in on today’s big story, of course, the not guilty verdict in the Trayvon Martin case. Local authorities originally decided not to prosecute Trayvon Martin, then civil rights groups, even the president stepped into the case and the decision was made to try him.
Congressman King, let me start with you.
Should George Zimmerman ever have been prosecuted?
REP. STEVE KING, R-IOWA: Well, from what I have seen of the evidence, I would say no. And my sympathy goes out also to the Martin family and the Zimmerman family for this ordeal that they’ve been through.
The evidence didn’t support prosecution, and the Justice Department engaged in this, the president engaged in this and turned it into a political issue that should have been handled exclusively with law and order.
So, I regret that this all happened. I’m sorry that it was turned into a race issue by the media. And otherwise, it would have been tried or not tried, depending on the laws and the language that was there. This is unfortunate.
WALLACE: Let me bring you into this, Congressman Israel.
As we mentioned, President Obama weighed in on this. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: My main message is–is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. You know, if I had a son, he would look like Trayvon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Congressman Israel, was this case more about politics and race than it was about seeking justice? And how do you feel about the idea the NAACP has suggested that the Department of Justice should now consider civil rights charges against George Zimmerman?
REP. STEVE ISRAEL, D-N.Y.: Well, Mr. Zimmerman had a right to trial by jury.
ISRAEL: The NAACP and others have a right to pursue their interests in terms of civil rights.
No matter where you stand, this was a tragedy. It’s a tragedy for a young man who was killed. It’s a tragedy for a young man who killed and will carry that around with him for the rest of his life.
It’s an American tragedy. What we need to do is come together as a nation of laws, courts and civil rights.
WALLACE: All right, gentlemen. Let’s turn to what we brought you here to talk about today, and that’s immigration.
Speaker Boehner said he will not even bring the Senate bill up for a vote. He wants to deal with this in bite-sized chunks, and on the enforcement issue only — nothing on legalization until the border is secure.
Congressman King, you say it’s a mistake for the Republicans in the House to even do that. Why?
KING: First, it’s a mistake for Republicans to believe the election was about immigration. I don’t remember a debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on immigration. I remember waking up the morning of the 7th of November, after the election and hearing immigration was the reason that Mitt Romney wasn’t president-elect on that day.
This has been driven by open borders advocates who have been doing this for a long time.
WALLACE: All right. Let me pick you up on this. Why not even do border enforcement, which is what House Republicans are talking about doing?
KING: There’s nothing we can do to pass a law to force the president to enforce a law he doesn’t like, which is why. He has proven it over and over again. We’ve taken him to court on the Morton Memos issue. We voted on that in the floor of the Congress, and my amendment here a few weeks, the president is not going to enforce the law. Harry Reid is not going to take up border enforcement.
They want this for a political issue. This is a big boon for Democrats. Whether Republicans–whether Republicans are willing to go along with this or not, if we pass something they’re still going to get the credit for it in the White House. The president will sign a bill. They’re going to continue to use this for political reasons.That’s at the base of this. And some Republicans have been into this thinking we have to take it off the table by passing amnesty.
WALLACE: Congressman Israel, as you just heard from Steve King, President Obama, in a sense, gave Republicans a new talking point this week on their opposition to immigration reform when he announced that he is not going to enforce the employer mandate on Obamacare for a year.
Let’s take a look at what House Majority Leader Eric Cantor had to say this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ERIC CANTOR, R-VA., HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: If the president can selectively enforce a provision under Obamacare, what’s to say he can’t selectively enforce or not enforce a provision on border control and the immigration?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: We should point out that Article II, Section III of the U.S. Constitution says, “The president shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”
And the health care law says that the mandate shall begin after December 31st, 2013. So, Congressman Israel, let me ask you in effect the question that Eric Cantor asked. What’s to say he wouldn’t selectively enforce comprehensive immigration reform–yes, go ahead with legalization but not enforce the border measures?
ISRAEL: Look, we shall not use this as yet another excuse to obstruct the majority of the American people who support comprehensive immigration reform — 68 senators who support comprehensive immigration reform, President George Bush and President Barack Obama who support it.
On the issue of enforcement, let’s get away from the sound bites and understand fact. Under this president, deportations are at an all-time high. Border crossings are at an all-time low.
The Senate bill, which is a product of bipartisanship, and which I hope the House Republicans will allow us to vote upon, provides $40 billion for new border enforcement, doubles the number of border patrol agents. Senator McCain, who supports this bill, I believe, said this would be the most militarized border since the Berlin Wall.
If 68 senators agree this is enforceable and 87 percent of the American people want a comprehensive solution and George Bush and Barack Obama agree to this, the House Republican majority should not obstruct it. Having said that —
WALLACE: Let me–Congressman Israel, let me just ask you to answer my direct question. What’s to say with all of this increase, $40 billion in new enforcement, it would be in the law, but the employer mandate was in ObamaCare? What’s to say the president will enforce those new measures, which he has said he doesn’t think are necessary?
ISRAEL: If you take a look at the facts and how this nation has enforced immigration laws, deportation, all time high.
WALLACE: I understand that. But what’s to say he’s going to enforce these new measures, sir?
ISRAEL: So, they have enforced this. My point is this. You’re never going to have any perfection in government. I mean, I agree with that.
But are we going to continue to preserve the status quo? I mean, is enforcement–if you’re going to make the enforcement issue, is this immigration system and enforcement really working? No, it’s broken, which means we need to solve it and solve it on a bipartisan basis.
And, however the Republican leadership wants us to pursue this process, whether it’s with one vote on the comprehensive bill or breaking it up into pieces, we will work with them to get to a bipartisan, comprehensive solution that strengthens our borders and provides a tough, but fair path to legalization for those who are here.
WALLACE: Let me bring Congressman King back in.
You say conservatives who support a path to citizenship, and that includes but a dozen Republicans in the Senate, including Marco Rubio, who support a path to citizenship, give up their right to be called conservatives. But here what the conservative editorial page of “The Wall Street Journal” said about you. Put it up:
“The dumbest strategy is to follow the Steve King anti-immigration caucus and simply let the Senate bill die while further militarizing the border. The GOP can support a true conservative opportunity society or become a party of closed minds and borders.”
Dumbest strategy, closed borders?
KING: I suspect that’s Jason Riley. He and I have gone around a few times on this, and he has been less than with the original sources. And so, I think you could ask him and I’ll say that’s his language.
I would push “The Wall Street Journal’s” opinion off to the side on this. They’ve been for open borders for a long time.
But I think Mr. Israel knows also the president is not enforcing current immigration law. We’ve taken him to court over the Morton Memos and the northern district of Texas, with Judge Reed O’Connor had—
WALLACE: Don’t get too much in the weeds here, sir.
KING: Nine out of 10 arguments. We’re there. nd we have a little bit more to clean up on this.
The president is already refusing to enforce existing immigration laws. He will not enforce the laws that we might pass. They won’t get pass Harry Reid. He’s proven that he’s violated his own oath of office — as you said, in Article II, Section III, to take care of the laws as faithfully executed.
So, the president’s problem, this is not a legislative branch problem, not a legislative branch problem. We can’t fix with laws the things that president refuses to do.
WALLACE: Congressman Israel, if House Republicans kill immigration reform, I think it’s fair to say you, as we mentioned, as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Committee, are going to hammer them as you try to win back the House for Democrats in 2014.
But I want to put these statistics up on the screen. Hispanics make up only 10 percent of voting age residents in districts that are currently held by Republican congressmen. Twenty-one percent — they make up 21 percent of voting age residents in Democratic districts.
So as a political matter, don’t Steve King and congressional Republicans face a much bigger political threat for voting for immigration reform and risking a conservative backlash in primaries than they do from voting against it?
ISRAEL: Well, Chris, I think the American people have had it with calculations based on what’s good for one party and what’s bad for the other party. We need to solve this problem. They did it in the Senate, 68 senators from the right, John McCain, Marco Rubio, to the left, Elizabeth Warren.
If they could put a solution ahead of partisanship, progress ahead of partisanship, we should do it in the House of Representatives as well.
If the House of Representatives refuses to solve this problem and preserves the status quo of a broken system–yes, we will hold them accountable for defying President Bush, President Obama, 68 senators and 87 percent of the American people who want the ideology to be dispensed with and want to solve this problem on a bipartisan way.
WALLACE: Gentlemen, I want to interrupt because I’ve got two minutes left. I want to ask you about one final question, because there was some other big news this week. And that is that the House passed the Farm Bill. But for the first time since 1973, they passed just the farm subsidy aspect of it and stripped out all funding for food stamps.
Congressman King, the problem, of course, is that the Senate and president are never going to go along with that. Don’t House Republicans run the risk of once again being seen as being insensitive to the needs of the poor?
KING: Well, I think that that was characterized by the Congressional Black Caucus and the Hispanic Caucus on Thursday in the wrong fashion. I opposed splitting them because it takes out of our hands the ability to reform the SNAP program, the food stamp program, and it goes into perpetual motion mandatory spending type of a situation.
So, I think they characterized it wrong. I am opposed to doing this because I want to reform it. They want unlimited food stamps. And I think the truth will emerge here. In the end, I wish we hadn’t separated them. I think it was a bad tactic, as it politicized the farm bill for the first time in a long, long time.
WALLACE: Less than a minute left, Congressman Israel. The cost of the food stamp program has doubled since 2008. Let’s put it back up on the screen: back in 2008, $40 billion a year being spent on food stamps. Last year, $80 billion being spent on food stamps.
Steve King is talking about cutting $20 billion out of an $800 billion budget for food stamps over the next 10 years, $20 billion out of $800 billion. Is that really so drastic?
ISRAEL: Well, the cost of the price supports and the agricultural subsidies has gone up.
ISRAEL: Look, we have always had a bipartisan understanding that if we can find the resources to support the growing of food; we ought to find the resources to support the eating of food for people who are down on their luck. I’ve got 100,000 constituents on Long Island who rely on that assistance.
And we always had a bipartisan accord for the first time since the 1970s, we have injected partisanship and ideology, stripped that out. It’s not a matter of the Congressional Black Caucus or the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Steve. Virtually, every major farm organization opposed breaking this apart because it’s bad policy and it has injected partisanship and ideology again into a dysfunctional, chaotic Congress.
WALLACE: Gentlemen, we’re going to have to leave it there. Congressman Israel, Congressman King, thank you both. Thanks for joining us.
And we’ll stay on top of all these stories.
KING: Thanks, Chris.
ISRAEL: Thanks for having us on.
KING: Thanks, Steve.
WALLACE: NSA leaker Edward Snowden changes his tone and is now seeking asylum in Russia. What can the U.S. do about it?
The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee joins us next.
WALLACE: NSA leaker Edward Snowden on Friday making his first public appearance in three weeks at a Moscow airport. Snowden now says he wants asylum in Russia while he tries to arrange travel to Latin America.
Here to discuss the Snowden case and more, Congressman Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, who joins us from Austin, Texas.
Congressman, what do you make of Snowden’s decision now to seek at least temporary asylum in Moscow? And what about the Russian government providing him with what the White House is calling a propaganda platform to make his announcement?
REP/ MICHAEL MCCAUL, R-TEXAS : Well, every day this man is a fugitive on the run, he puts the United States and national security more at risk. He is a traitor to this country. He took an oath of loyalty to the United States and now, he’s running for cover with our enemies.
The idea that he’s in Russia–I’m sure the Russians love this.They’re making a mockery of the United States foreign policy and I’m sure every day, they’re extracting more and more information from this man.
At the same time, it’s a test of our foreign policy, our diplomacy. I would give the administration low marks for what they’ve done so far.
I think the irony here is this is a man who is a defender of freedom, supposedly. Yet, he is running for cover in countries in the world that oppress freedom, whether it’s China, Russia, and now, he’s talking about going to Venezuela. I think this is a–you know, I think the administration could be doing a lot more.
WALLACE: Well, let me ask you directly, what should the president do to make it clear to the Russians that we don’t want them to give him safe haven? And, look, this is an important relationship. It’s a complicated relationship between the U.S. and Russia.
How far should we be willing to go in putting overall relations on the line over the Snowden case?
MCCAUL: I think we should be putting any and all pressure we have–economic, trade. I think the restart button with Putin was a mistake. Clearly, it’s not working in this case, because we have no diplomacy leverage over Russia. They’re thumbing their nose at the United States.
And that’s not diplomacy through strength. It’s been the pattern of this administration to try to negotiate without strength. And I think now we’re seeing the repercussions of that strategy.
WALLACE: Let me turn to another subject. Janet Napolitano surprised Washington on Friday when she announced that she is stepping down as the secretary of homeland security. I think it’s fair to say, she’s generally seen as being effective in imposing order over very unwieldy department, 240,000 employees, spread to over 22 agencies.
On the other hand, she was criticized over her comments on how secure the border is and also from her reluctance, right from the start, to even use the word terror.
Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JANET NAPOLITANO, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: We think about both from the man caused and non-man caused incidents, but particularly on the man cause. The weapon of mass destruction involving a hazardous chemical or biological weapon is very high up on the scenarios that we are seeing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: nbsp; I love that. Man caused incidents. Congressman, how do you think that Napolitano did, generally, over 4 1/2 years as secretary of homeland security? And what impact do you see her resignation having at a moment when immigration reform and border enforcement are at the height of the national agenda?
MCCAUL: nbsp; Well, I respect her for that position. We disagreed on many issues, particularly when it came to the border. She would go around saying it’s never been more secure. I took just the opposite position, that it is not secure and that’s why we passed the Border Security Results Act out of my committee to achieve that, and to get that done.
So, I think also with respect to morale, I thin morale has been very low in the department.
So, I think there’s an opportunity here to get a real leader in who can work with House Republicans on security issues, on enforcement issues and someone who will garner the respect of the Congress, which I think right now there’s a real problem with that.
And, lastly, to talk to your point about taking war on terror out of an–taking out radical Islam, if we can’t define the enemy, we can’t defeat it. Giuliani testified before my committee in Boston, talking about that very issue.
The narrative of this administration, that Al-Qaeda is on the run, bin Laden’s killed, war on terror is over, let’s downgrade the military. Let’s pull out.
And the pre-9/11 threat narrative that’s being thrown out there I believe is very dangerous narrative, because it does not reflect reality.
WALLACE: We’re going to get to specific names in a moment. But are you suggesting that if the president were to name a man or woman who is seen as tough, law and order, tough on enforcement, that that might reassure Republicans on the question of border security in this immigration debate?
MCCAUL: Absolutely. I think–again, I think there’s an opportunity for this administration. And I would be much very willing to talk to them about this. I mean, there are names thrown out there, like Tad Allen, the admiral of the Coast Guard. There’s a–
WALLACE: We put a lot of money into creating this graphic, so let’s put up some of the names that are being mentioned as possible replacements for Napolitano.
Craig Fugate is the current head of FEMA. John Pistole is the head of the Transportation Security Administration. New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, former commissioner Bill Bratton. You mentioned Thad Allen, former head of the Coast Guard.
Do you like any of those names? Is there anybody else, a favorite candidate who you think would reassure Republicans on both the war on terror and the border immigration?
MCCAUL: Yes, I mean, it’s ultimately the president’s choice. But I’ll tell you, Thad Allen has testified before my committee multiple occasions, admiral of coast guard, very well respected.
Ray Kelly, in terms of counterterrorism, one of the most respected guys out there. And a lot of people are pushing for him–and Bratton as well.
MCCAUL: But I think–yeah, I think any three of those coming in would gain a lot of respect from the House Republicans and could help us at a time when we’re really trying to push this border security measure out of the House of Representatives.
WALLACE: Let me switch subjects on it. There were reports this week that the president is growing increasingly frustrated with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and is now seriously considering speeding up the pullout, the withdrawal of U.S. troops, not to the end of 2014, but perhaps to the summer of 2014 and that instead of having a residual force after 2014, somewhere between 5,000 and 20,000 troops, That, in fact, we would go to the zero option. Here was the White House spokesman Jay Carney on that subject this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: One option is no troops. I’m not saying that’s a preferred option. I’m just saying to suggest otherwise would be to make assumptions about negotiations that have not reached the conclusion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Congressman McCaul, how do you feel about getting out of Afghanistan faster and getting out after 2014 for good?
MCCAUL: Well, it’s another failure of diplomacy with the Karzai administration. There are policies to negotiate with the Taliban to resolve Afghanistan. I think that’s a very, you know, troublesome strategy, if you will. The zero option, in my judgment, is no option. Because the zero option takes us out, completely out of Afghanistan. And I understand we’re all war fatigued and are ready to wind down the forces. Though the problem with that is that it leaves no counterterrorism footprint behind. So, we have no ability to deal with future bin Ladens that may pop up in a safe haven of Afghanistan that we saw when we pulled out of Afghanistan the last time, defeating the Soviets.
So I don’t want to go back to that strategy. You know, we did the same thing in Iraq with the status of forces agreement and now Iraq is becoming a huge problem. If we–if we re-nag in our commitment to the Afghan people and Afghan military and pull the rug out from under them and allow the Taliban to come in and seek retribution and kill them and put Afghanistan in chaos as a safe haven all over again, that does a great disservice, a great disservice to what our troops have tried to do the last ten years and all the great gains that they have made in Afghanistan.
WALLACE: One last subject on this very busy Sunday, Congressman McCaul. What do you make of the developments in Egypt over the last week? We saw the mass shooting of Islamic protesters in the streets. We also saw the creation of a new transition government with some establishment figures, who are somewhat respected. Generally speaking, are you encouraged or discouraged by what you have seen the last week or two in Egypt?
MCCAUL: I have actually been encouraged. And I’ll tell you why. When the Arab Spring occurred in Egypt and Libya and across northern Africa, and now we’re dealing with this in Syria, to see the Muslim Brotherhood come to the heights of power, suspending all other authorities in the government and then imposing Sharia law on their people, I’ve been greatly troubled by this Arab Spring really becoming an Arab winter. I think the military in Egypt is the most stabilizing factor in Egypt. And I think we should support the military in their efforts in ousting the Muslim Brotherhood, and arresting the Muslim Brotherhood and bringing more secular, moderate form of government to Egypt. And we have a lot of strategic interests over there. Remember, he relationship with Israel, with the peace accords that were struck. That’s very important.
WALLACE: Let me just–we have ten seconds left.
MCCAUL: Very important as well.
WALLACE: Let me just ask you in ten seconds left. So, you were very much opposed cutting off the U.S. military aid to Egypt?
MCCAUL: I think the administration needs to make the case as to why we shouldn’t suspend the aid. But I’m personally am in agreement with supporting the military, which is the most stabilizing factor in Egypt, so to go against the Muslim Brotherhood and against the Sharia law.
WALLACE: Congressman McCaul, I want to thank you so much for sharing part of your Sunday with us. It’s always good to talk with you, sir.
MCCAUL: Thanks, Chris.
WALLACE: Up next, George Zimmerman is found not guilty in the death of Trayvon Martin. I’ll ask our Sunday panel whether this case should have ever been prosecuted.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We, the jury, find George Zimmerman, not guilty. So say we all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: George Zimmerman reacting to the not guilty verdict in the Trayvon Martin case late last night in Sanford, Florida. Time now to bring in our Sunday group. Bill Kristol of “The Weekly Standard.” Former Democratic Congresswoman Jane Harman, GOP mastermind Karl Rove and Charles Lane of “The Washington Post.” Local authorities, as we pointed this out earlier, originally decided not to prosecute George Zimmerman, then civil rights groups and President Obama weighed in. Chuck is one of our court watchers. Should this case have ever gone to trial?
CHARLES LANE, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, I think Governor Rick Scott in Florida ultimately made a decision to pick a special prosecutor probably on balance, made the right call, even in view of this verdict. There are things in life, political facts that you have to respond to. And I think this turns out to be a mechanism to get all the facts on the–give everybody a fair trial, et cetera. In hindsight, also, what’s really clear is the overcharging of this as a second-degree murder. There was much clearer question as to whether it was some other lesser form of homicide.
WALLACE: Like manslaughter?
LANE: Like manslaughter, something like that. But the second-degree murder was obviously way over the top.
WALLACE: Karl, your thoughts on the prosecution of this case and also the call by the NAACP right now for the Justice Department to charge George Zimmerman on civil rights charges.
KARL ROVE, FORMER BUSH WHITE HOUSE ADVISOR: Well, this was a tragic death of a young man. We have now had a long court case that riveted the country. And I hope that this is the end. President Obama politicized this at the beginning, I believe, unfortunately, by injecting himself into it, saying that if–that Trayvon Martin would have–if he’d had a son, he would have looked like Trayvon Martin. That was–we need a president to bring us together, not rip us apart. And I hope the Justice Department does not respond to the ill- advised recommendation of the NAACP to continue to this controversy.
WALLACE: Congresswoman Harman, there’s a lot of steps to cover. And I want to cover a different story with you, which normally would be, you know, huge. And that is that Harry Reid in the Senate is threatening to impose the nuclear option, to change the rules not by the normal 67 votes, supermajority but by a simple majority of 51 votes in 100. And this is because he’s objecting to the filibuster of executive nominations to the cabinet, to various agencies by Republicans now. You were in the House where it was pretty simple. 51 percent–you know, 50 plus one percent was a majority. Now even in the Senate you’ve got 60 votes, 67 votes, supermajorities. What do you think of the idea of making it simple majority rule?
JANE HARMAN, FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, D CALIF.: Well, the proposal here is to make it simple majority rule for confirming the president’s nominees to cabinet departments, not for purposes of legislation.
WALLACE: Or judges.
HARMAN: Or judges. Well, those are nominee–yes, or judges. And the Republicans had the same idea a few years ago backed away. This is an ongoing discussion. I think it’s a close case, but I think it’s outrageous that cabinet departments don’t have leaders for years and years and years and the House–the senate could avoid this by agreeing on a time limit for voting up or down on nominees. Those who don’t like them should vote no. But I think if there is no way forward, I think if I were in the Senate, I think I vote for this I think it’s going to be very disruptive and I think, sadly, it is just one more piece of evidence about the toxic partisanship that makes Capitol Hill so unpleasant now.
WALLACE: All right. Now to the subject that I have been looking forward to all week. And that is immigration. Because we’re going to have a little bit of a food fight here. Bill, you and Rich Lowry of “The National Review” were disagreed on immigration reform in the past. You issued a joint editorial this week. And let’s put it up on the screen, in which you came out–the joint editorial, “Kill the Bill,” in which you say this about the Senate Gang of Eight plan, “Passing any version of the Gang of Eight’s bill would be worse public policy than passing nothing. House Republicans can do the country a service by putting a stake through its heart, immigration reform.” Let me — let me just go to Karl first. You have been a big supporter of immigration reform. What do you think of brother Kristol jumping ship?
ROVE: Well, I’m not sure that he’s jumped ship. No one really thought the Senate bill would be taken up and passed by the House. That’s not how the process works. Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor, Whip McCarthy, Paul Ryan, chairman of the budget committee, Goodlatte, chairman of the judiciary committee, McCaul, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee and Trey Gowdy, the subcommittee chairman of the judiciary committee, through which a lot of this go, say we’re going to write our own bills and they’ve already passed out of the judiciary committee a farm–
WALLACE: I understand it, but they’re saying enforcement only and nothing on the path to legalization until the border is secure.
ROVE: Well, but that’s ostensibly what the Senate bill said. That we can have an argument about whether or not it actually did that. But that’s the same theory that the Senate bill was on. What’s interesting to me is the comments made this week by Gowdy who is, you know, at the bottom of this chain that has to work its way up.
ROVE: That’s where a lot of this work is going to begin, with the subcommittees, the Homeland Security, the Judiciary. Gowdy said look, we need to have a path to citizenship. We ought to have two paths. One path for people who want to become citizens and one for people who don’t want to become citizens, but are here illegally who want to live and work, who need to, you know, live out their lives here or go home. I think that’s a very interesting sign that the House is likely to do something. Is it going to look like the Senate bill? Probably not, but that’s what Congress is about.
WALLACE: Well, I have to say, I did this–this is going to be a food fight is really falling apart here. And very–let me–
WALLACE: Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don’t have to.
WALLACE: It would be nice.
KRISTOL: No, I’m glad that Karl has moved so far away from the Senate bill. His organization has spent a fair amount of money promoting it and defending senators who voted for it. But I think the House should pass separate bills. I still have a problem to go to conference with the Senate bill, which I think is fundamentally misguided. So, I’m worried about establishment types, telling the House guys, you guys will be fine. Just pass these little bills and suddenly you’re in conference, conference committee is very complicated and the Senate bill–
WALLACE: And what is fundamentally wrong with the Senate bill?
KRISTOL: There’s no promise, there is no likelihood in my view of serious enforcement. So I think the magnet to incent these people to continue coming when they get legalization remains. And I think it doesn’t–that’s a huge increase in immigration in that bill, two to three times the number of immigrants over the next decade as over the last decade. And that is bad for working class and middle class wages and economic opportunity in this country. And I think that’s something Republicans need to get serious about.
WALLACE: Congresswoman Harman.
HARMAN: I think my friend Bill, is leading his party on a suicide mission. The Chamber of Commerce, the business roundtable, many Republicans, including Karl, favor a comprehensive bill. George Bush is still for it. And we should have passed it in 2007 when I voted for it, and it didn’t pass the Congress. But there’s negative migration over the Mexican border. Everyone who looks at this thinks that this will add tax and Social Security revenue and edge and decrease our deficit over a 20-year period by ….
WALLACE: “Wall Street Journal” talks about how it’s going to increase growth.
HARMAN: And, you know, it is tragic to think about 11 plus million people living in the shadows in this country, a country of immigrants. I’m a daughter of immigrants. And good luck. Good luck winning a presidential election in any near future.
KRISTOL: It’s so tragic–well, I think we’ll be just fine in the next presidential election and at the Senate elections of 2014, but it’s so tragic, the president of the United States was a Democrat in 2008 and 2010, Barack Obama, he had 60 senators and huge majorities in the House. Did he move an immigration bill to deal with this pressing problem, the tragedy of these people at the shadows? I missed that. I missed President Obama spending–
HARMAN: I’m not talking about President Obama.
KRISTOL: nbsp; –doing anything about immigration.
WALLACE: Go ahead–go ahead, congresswoman.
HARMAN: I’m talking about the issue. And I’m in my nonpartisan role as head of the Wilson Center, by the way, folks. I think immigration is not a partisan issue. I think it’s fundamental to American values and what we are as a country.
WALLACE: All right. We did at least get a disagreement.
WALLACE: Not quite the players I thought, but in any case, thank you.
We have to take a break here. But when we come back, Edward Snowden now asking Russia for political asylum. Our panel tackles how to bring the NSA leaker to justice. Next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY CARNEY, THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Providing a propaganda platform for Mr. Snowden runs counter to the Russian government’s previous declarations of Russia’s neutrality and if they have — and if they have no control over his presence in the airport.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: White House Spokesman Jay Carney none too happy with Edward Snowden, seeking political asylum in Russia and that authorities there allowed the NSA leaker to hold a news conference. So we’re back now with the panel.
Congresswoman Harman, when you were in the House, you were the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. What do you make of Edward Snowden seeking asylum in Russia? And what can the Obama administration do? I mean, the Russians allowed Snowden to hold this news conference. What can they do about it?
HARMAN: Well, I read that President Obama called Putin on Friday and they had a conversation about a number of things, including the Olympics, to be held soon in Russia. So we do have some leverage here.
I have absolutely no sympathy for Snowden, zero, zip. But a new Quinnipiac poll shows that a lot of Americans do. I don’t know how he can claim that he needs asylum. That’s escape from persecution. He is being charged with crimes here, but I don’t think he is being persecuted here. And I think the Russians should return him here, and he should be fairly tried in our courts. This long saga of the Zimmerman trial should show us that we do trials pretty well here.
WALLACE: –to try to get him here?
HARMAN: Well, I hope. I don’t know what happened in that phone call, but I hope we got pretty tough. I don’t think they should be harboring this guy, and I don’t think any other country should give him asylum if they want to have reasonable relationships with us going forward. He has been charged. He hasn’t been convicted. My personal view is that what he did was pretty darn serious, and we don’t even know the extent of the damage yet, and it violates our laws, but he has been charged and he needs to be convicted of those charges.
WALLACE: Karl, you were in the White House with a president who had to deal with Vladimir Putin. What can this president do to try to get this resolved?
ROVE: We have a lot of leverage. The question is as Congresswoman Harman said, are we going to use it? It is going to be difficult, because he liked weakness. There was–I suspect that Putin was watching the news conference and enjoying every single second that the nose of the United States was being tweaked. But we ought to go after this guy and we ought to go after him hard.
I still don’t understand why they didn’t jerk his passport, the U.S. officials did not jerk his passport until he got to Moscow. It would be a lot easier for us to have dealt with him–getting him out of Hong Kong than trying to get him out of Moscow.
WALLACE: Well, you say there are a lot of things we can do. Like what? How far would you go?
ROVE: I’d go pretty far. I mean, look, there are lots of things they need from us and there are a lot of things we need from them. Let’s start denying some of the things that they need. You mentioned the Olympics, support for their Olympic bid, support for agreements, trade agreements. There are things that we could do with regard to their interest that could be a lot more damaging to them than–
WALLACE: But you would put this near the top of the agenda?
ROVE: I would. This guy is, this guy is, in my opinion, my personal opinion, a traitor. He violated laws. He broke his oath. If he were a true whistleblower, then he should have gone to Congress or gone to the administration and said, here, I have got deep concerns about this. This was a self serving — and he is a liar. This week at the news conference he said I had the capability without warrant to search or seize and read your communications, which was not true. He didn’t have the ability or the authority without warrant to do that.
WALLACE: Chuck, let’s turn to Janet Napolitano, who surprised folks this week by announcing that she is stepping down as the secretary of homeland security to a pretty good job. She’s going to run the University of California system. There’s been criticism this weekend that she wasn’t tough enough on border security, she wasn’t tough enough on the war on terror. Do you think that’s legitimate criticism?
LANE: Well, it’s inevitable criticism. Some of it was legitimate in terms of her rhetoric. I think, as you pointed out in the previous segment, she seemed to bend over backwards not to use the word terrorist. In a job like DHS, that’s kind of not the best fit.
WALLACE: Man-caused incidents.
LANE: Man-caused incidents, none of them, I guess, by women. Just men.
HARMAN: That’s true.
LANE: Divorce is a man-caused incident. he was at the crossroads of all the pressure on the part of, if you like, pro- immigration groups, Hispanic activist groups and the border security types. It’s a very thankless job. Almost as thankless, I think, as head of University of California.
But this does give the president an opportunity in the midst of this whole immigration, border security debate now, to send a signal by his nomination for her successor. He puts some names up of people who have tough on crime reputations, some very able folks.
WALLACE: Ray Kelly, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.
LANE: nbsp; So there’s a real opportunity here for him to do that.
WALLACE: Let me ask you about that, because I thought it was very interesting that Congressman McCaul was saying, in the midst of this debate about border enforcement, the president could actually reassure some Republicans if he put a real law and order type in as secretary of homeland security. Do you think that’s true or do you think that the distrust by Republicans of Barack Obama is such that they don’t care who’s in this job?
KRISTOL: Yes, I think that’s right. Secretaries work for the president, and I was chief of staff of a cabinet agency, and believe me, we did what the president asked us to do, and should have done what the president asked to us do.
Again, this isn’t just a generalized distrust. Just in the last two weeks, the president has waived major proposals of a piece of legislation he liked, ObamaCare. Can anyone seriously believe he is not going to waive pieces of–aspects and pieces of legislation he doesn’t like, border security?
LANE: Well, there have been very high numbers of deportations under Obama.
WALLACE: I’ve got to bring this in. Congresswoman Harman, I know you want to talk about this subject in general. A number of names have been mentioned as possible replacements for Janet Napolitano as secretary of homeland security, including yours. Are you interested in the job? If elected, will you serve?
HARMAN: I have a plum job in Washington heading the Wilson Center and I’m very happy there. There are lots of good names out there. As for Janet–
WALLACE: You didn’t answer the question. Would you take it? Are you interested?
HARMAN: I’m interested in keeping the job I’ve got. Thank you very much.
KRISTOL: I would urge Republican senators to vote to confirm Jane Harman.
HARMAN: There you go.
KRISTOL: But still vote against immigration reform.
HARMAN: On Janet Napolitano, whom I’ve known for 25 years, she was U.S. attorney, she was attorney general. There’s no way you can say she is not tough on crime, and I think she tried hard to manage this behemoth that I helped create, of 22 agencies and departments, reporting to 88 agencies and committees of Congress. I mean, we have got to fix the way that works. The next person, hopefully, will help with that. But a strong law enforcement type would be my pick too. I think that’s what this agency needs.
ROVE: You said she was strong on law enforcement and no one can say otherwise. I’ll say otherwise. She was weak on border enforcement, and a woman who couldn’t bring herself to mouth the word terrorism. And she was weak on terrorism.
HARMAN: She should have done that. And that was corrected later. But you’re right. And the president corrected it, too when he did not use the word.
WALLACE: So in 20 seconds–
HARMAN: Terrorism should be called terrorism.
WALLACE: Who would be a good choice?
ROVE: Well, Thad Allen is a tough guy. And I’ll take Bratton and Kelly are also–
WALLACE: Thad Allen, we should say, the guy who ran Katrina, the president’s response (ph).
ROVE: I will say this. The less the president makes this about getting his immigration bill done, the better off we’re going to be.
WALLACE: All right, thank you, panel. See you next week. And remember, our discussion continues every Sunday on Panel Plus. You can find it right here on our website, FoxNewsSunday.com. And make sure to follow us on Twitter @FoxNewsSunday. We’ll be back in a moment.
WALLACE: On a very busy Sunday now a final program note. We’ll have continuing coverage of the George Zimmerman verdict on this station and Fox News Channel. And that is it for today. Have a great week and we’ll see you next on “Fox News Sunday.”
Source: Fox NewsMore Series for You: