This is a rush transcript from “Fox News Sunday,” November 25, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: I’m Chris Wallace.
On this Thanksgiving weekend, we look at the growing political divide in our country. As the 2020 campaign heats up, will it only get worse?
WALLACE: President Trump at odds with the Supreme Court’s chief justice.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: John Roberts has been speaking a little bit about it. I think we have to use some common sense. This Ninth Circuit, everybody knows it’s totally out of control.
WALLACE: And with the CIA over the involvement of the Saudi crown prince in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
TRUMP: They did not come to a conclusion. They have feelings certain ways. Maybe the world should be held accountable because the world is a vicious place.
WALLACE: We’ll discuss the growing tribalism with Republican Senator Ben Sasse and with Cory Lewandowski and David Bossie, outside advisors to the president, who say Mr. Trump’s enemies, including some top officials in the White House, are undermining him.
Plus, our Sunday panel tackles a new administration report on climate change that presents the grimmest picture yet of the threat to the U.S.
All, right now, on “Fox News Sunday”.
WALLACE: And hello again from FOX News in Washington.
As family and friends get together on this Thanksgiving weekend, there’s one piece of advice a lot of people are taking, don’t talk politics. Views about president Trump and hot button issues are so divisive, you run the risk of blowing up the family gathering.
Now, as we head into the 2020 race for president, will this growing tribalism get even worse?
In a few minutes, we’ll sit down with two outside advisors to the president, Cory Lewandowski and David Bossie, for their first interview on their new book about Mr. Trump’s enemies.
But, first, from Nebraska, Republican Senator Ben Sasse, a frequent critic of the president and author of his own new book “Them: Why We Hate Each Other and How to Heal.”
Senator, welcome back to “Fox News Sunday”.
SEN. BEN SASSE, R-NEB.: Thanks for coming to snowy Nebraska, Chris.
Senator, we’ll get to your book about political tribalism in a moment, but I want to start discussing another threat and that is the 13 federal agencies came out with something called the national climate assessment on Friday.
And here are the major findings from that assessment: Temperatures in the U.S. are 1.8 degrees higher than 100 years ago. Seas are nine inches higher. Heat waves, hurricanes and wildfires are much worse, and climate change could cut our GDP by 10 percent by 2100 if there are no changes.
Senator, how seriously do you take this report from the Trump administration?
SASSE: Well, I think it’s clear that the climate is changing. I think reasonable people can differ about how much and how rapidly. But I think it’s clear that it’s changing and it’s clear that humans are a contributing factor.
I think the real question, though, becomes what do you do about it? Because you can’t legislate or regulate your way into the past. We have to innovate our way into the future.
And right now, you don’t hear a lot of people who put climate as their number one issue. You don’t hear a lot of them offering constructive innovative solutions for the future. It’s usually just a lot of alarmism, but I think the report is important and it shows that the climate is changing.
WALLACE: But, for instance, you oppose what you call EPA overreach, including President Obama’s climate change plan. According to the report, rolling that back, which would limit greenhouse gas emissions, is exactly the wrong approach.
SASSE: Yes. Well, I think we have to recognize that this is a global issue and China and other countries that are rapidly building middle classes are going to be the number one drivers in the long term. So, what the U.S. needs to do is participate in a long-term conversation about how you get to innovation. And it’s going to need to be a conversation, again, that doesn’t start with alarmism, but that starts with some discussion of the magnitude of the challenge, the global elements to it and how the U.S. shouldn’t just do this is a feel-good measure, but some sort of innovative proposal.
And right now, that’s not really what I get from most of the people who make this a top two or three issue for themselves.
WALLACE: But just quickly, I want to move on to other subjects, China for instance is trying to grow into the future and has become a huge investor in solar panels. There was an international agreement in which countries made commitments, the Paris Climate Accord and the president is going to pull us out of that.
So, aren’t — isn’t much of the rest of the world actually moving faster than we are?
SASSE: So, I distinguish between the two parts of your answer. I think the first part about Chinese investment does show part of the way forward. The U.S. needs to have a long-term investment and innovation strategy, that’s true.
But things like the Paris Climate Accord tend to be more binding on us than on other nations. And so, that’s not good for the U.S. consumer and it’s not a long-term solution. But conversations like that are certainly important going forward.
WALLACE: All right. Let’s turn to another big story this week and that is what role Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may or may not have played in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and what the U.S. should do about it. The CIA has, according to reports this week, concluded that MBS was involved. But President Trump challenges that.
Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The CIA points it both ways, you know? And as I said, maybe he did, maybe he didn’t, but I will say very strongly that it’s a very important ally.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Senator, what do you think of President Trump’s conclusion that basically comes down to this, regardless of what MBS did, we need to continue doing business with Saudi Arabia?
SASSE: Yes, it was a very weak statement. I think we need to distinguish between two things. There is a whole — there are a whole bunch of bad guys in the Middle East and if you want to make a hard-core realist case, and I think this is some of what the president is trying to hint out there, that there are places and times when our and Saudis interests temporarily aligned and sometimes you have to work with bad guys in the world, there’s a coherent realist case to be made there.
Saudi — I often refer to them as the second worst players in the Middle East, second only to Iran, but that’s a different thing. Making the realist case is a different thing than being so weak that we failed to tell the truth. MBS murdered — contributed to murdering somebody abroad and it is not strength to sort of mumble past that. Strength is telling the truth even when it’s hard.
Fortunately, we have a U.S. intelligence community that’s really good and a lot of us in the first branch of government, the Article One branch, the Congress, have heard from the intelligence community, and I’ll be getting another classified briefing on Tuesday about this. And our intelligence community is really good, and the report is really clear and the president should be stronger. That was a weak statement.
WALLACE: another subject, the president got into a remarkable face-off this week with Chief Justice John Roberts after a federal judge issued a nationwide ban on President Trump’s new policy that would basically bar asylum for anybody who crosses into the country illegally.
Here’s President Trump on that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: This was an Obama judge and I’ll tell you what? It’s not going to happen like this anymore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Chief Justice Roberts responded with this statement: We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges. What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them.
Your reaction, sir, to the dustup between the president and the chief justice?
SASSE: Well, first of all, it is clear the case that there are a lot of bad opinions that come out of the Ninth Circuit. That’s why they get turned over at a rate higher than any other circuit in the nation, and it’s legitimate to talk about that.
But the chief justice is right, we don’t have Obama judges and Bush judges or Trump judges or Carter or Reagan judges. We have judges in the American system and they take on a black robe where they are supposed to shield their partisan preferences. They are not red or blue state judges. They are judges.
And so, when the American people want to affirm a constitutional system with the Article Three branch, which is where the judiciary sets, when they have lifetime appointments, that’s because we believe they are supposed to lay down their partisan preferences. So, when the president wants to critique bad judging, he should get out the merits of critiquing the particulars of a bad ruling and he should help explain to our kids why we think we shouldn’t have Obama judges and Trump judges. We should have people who are impartial, that’s why they wear a black robe, that’s why they don’t run for election.
So, we need to do a better job of teaching basic American civics and I think the chief justice’s statement was right about what we want the next generation to understand about why we have three separate but equal branches that check and balance one another.
WALLACE: All right, Senator. Let’s turn out to your new book. How do you explain the growing political tribalism in this country?
SASSE: We have an epidemic of loneliness in this country and one of the things we’re not doing well is putting politics in its proper place. So, we are turning upside down the pyramid of attachments that should matter in people’s lives. Politics matter, but politics can’t come first. If politics come first in your life, something is wrong with you. It’s a sad thing.
And so, the most basic relationships in American life are supposed to be with your family, with your friends, with your neighborhood, at your local place of worship and at your workplace. And right now, we are living through a digital revolution that is undermining place.
This stuff isn’t about the last two years. There are a whole bunch of people who watch cable news all day every day, who want to hyperventilate about politics every minute. There’s something wrong when that’s happening.
What’s going on in America isn’t because of President Trump, he didn’t cause it, he can’t fix it. This isn’t the last two years or the next two years. This is the last couple of decades and the coming couple of decades. And this digital revolution is something we need to wrestle with because it’s bigger than our politics but it’s warping our politics as well.
WALLACE: As you know, our next guest in the next segment, Trump outside advisors Cory Lewandowski and David Bossie have written a new book called “Trump’s Enemies” which seems to speak exactly to this divide, to this tribalism. In the book, they say this about Republican Senators Corker, Flake and a fellow you may know named Ben Sasse.
Some Republicans who are not brave enough to run against Trump for president occupy some of the loudest of the enemies of the president and they also write about political treason.
Question: Senator Sasse, how do you plead?
SASSE: Yes, I hope you’ll get them to define their terms. So, Republics aren’t healthy when people use words like treason about policy debates. That’s a pretty messed up world view.
So, the most fundamental things in life are about the people who love you and who are going to comfort you in your old age.
What is politics about? Politics is about maintaining a framework for ordered liberty so that people can live in the neighborhoods and the communities that they live in.
So, I haven’t seen their book. I haven’t met Corey Lewandowski. I’ve met David Bossie before. He seems like a nice guy.
But language about enemies and treason, about policy and politics is pretty warped, and I think most Americans think it’s weird. When you — when you look at the small subset of people who put politics at the center of their lives, they tend to be really, really lonely.
Most healthy people want to coach Little League, they want to go to church and they want to have great coworkers at the office and they want to put on faceplate when Nebraska’s point football on Saturdays. That’s the most natural way to live.
And then you want politicians to do a limited number of things to maintain a framework for ordered liberty, and then they should go back home. And one of the fundamental problem is we have in this country, it’s a political class of people who are so obsessed with politics that when they go to Washington, they never actually planned to leave. That’s why I’m for term limits. That’s why it’s messed up that five of the seven richest counties in America are the suburbs of Washington, D.C., where the lobbyists live.
I think the vast majority of 320 million Americans want politics to be put back in a proper place, not to be the center of people’s worldview.
WALLACE: Senator, thank you. Thanks for your time this holiday weekend and please come back, sir.
SASSE: Thanks, Chris.
WALLACE: Up next, President Trump has his enemies, but are the worst inside his own White House? Two of the main players behind Mr. Trump’s 2016 win with an exclusive take on those trying to bring down the president.
WALLACE: President Trump enters the second half of his term facing many challenges, but is one of the biggest coming from inside his own White House?
Joining me now for their first interview, the authors of the new book “Trump’s Enemies: How the Deep State is Undermining the Presidency”, the president’s first campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, now senior advisor to the vice president’s PAC, Great America Committee, and former Trump deputy campaign manager, David Bossie.
David, Corey, welcome back to “Fox News Sunday”.
COREY LEWANDOWSKI, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Thanks for having us.
DAVID BOSSIE: Thank you.
WALLACE: All right. I want to start with the title of your book, “Trump’s Enemies”, in which you include among his enemies not only Democrats, but the intelligence community, the administrative state, the media, and the establishment.
Corey, is that really how you see the world of politics in Washington? You just heard Ben Sasse call that a warped, weird, lonely view of the world.
LEWANDOWSKI: Well, I respect Senator Sasse, but what he has to acknowledge is that the attacks that this president has faced since the day that he won the election in November of 2016 have been unprecedented. Those attacks have come from the media, the Republican establishment who never supported candidate Trump and still by and large don’t support Donald Trump even though he has taken over the Republican Party, and then many others.
And so, what we outline — and the intelligence community — and the big part of what we outline in this book is how the intelligence community went after the president through the FISA application process and those individuals who worked on the campaign because they simply disagreed with his political philosophy and that should be a very scary thing for every American.
WALLACE: We’re going to get into the Russia investigation in a bit, but you also go after people, David, who are working for the president.
You write this: Some of the people in the White House, it was now becoming clear, couldn’t and shouldn’t be trusted, and you name specifically former economic advisor Gary Cohn, former spokesperson Sean Spicer as members of what you call the November 9th Club, people who turned magically into Trump supporters after he was elected.
David, you’re right that they wanted to control the president instead of, as you said in your first book, to let Trump be Trump.
BOSSIE: Exactly. Let me just go step back for one moment and that is, let’s remember the — what is going on here. There’s a vast left-wing conspiracy going on that has been going on since the president won this election. All throughout the transition and during those first two years, a vast left-wing conspiracy — similar words I’m using to what Hillary Clinton called the right wing conspiracy.
WALLACE: Which incidentally didn’t turn out not to be true.
BOSSIE: No, it did turn out. Chris, there was a vast — there was an effort by the conservative movement to undermine President Clinton —
WALLACE: I understand, but he did have a relationship with Monica Lewinsky.
BOSSIE: Of course, he did. But what we are saying here in the book is the media, the Republican establishment and the intelligence services, not together, but separately, are undermining this president and that is what this book, “Trump’s Enemies,” is about.
WALLACE: But the Republican establishment is not left-wing.
BOSSIE: No, I —
WALLACE: The intelligence community is not necessarily left-wing. The administrative state isn’t necessarily and neither is the media.
BOSSIE: McCabe, Comey, Strzok, Page, we can go down the list of all of those within the DOJ and the FBI that undermined this presidency from the beginning. They undermined him during the campaign. There were using illegal operations against him —
WALLACE: How about the people inside the White House?
LEWANDOWSKI: Chris, this is a very important point. Look, we have seen individuals who, my guess is, not only do they not support him when he was running but probably didn’t vote for him on Election Day two years ago.
WALLACE: Such as?
LEWANDOWSKI: Look, I’m sure Gary Cohn didn’t vote for them and there are other people who have been defined as globalist and there are many individuals who fought hard to get into the White House who did everything they could prior to him getting elected to keep them from being in the White House. And what we do is we call these people out because it’s the right thing to do.
The people who didn’t support his agenda and this is not dissimilar from what Melania Trump has said, that there are still people inside the building who they don’t trust, and President Trump said in his own interview recently that there are people in the building who he cannot trust and I hope —
BOSSIE: And we still don’t know who wrote the anonymous letter. I mean, there are — clearly, Chris, we don’t necessarily know who they are, but there are people inside the White House who understand and are for this president’s agenda and there are those who are there for their own agenda.
WALLACE: All right. Corey, I’m going to ask you about something very specific. You in your book go after the current White House Chief of Staff John Kelly who you say as recently as August wouldn’t let the two of you walk around the West Wing without a formal escort. Is Kelly one of the people that you believe is undermining the president?
LEWANDOWSKI: Well, I respect John Kelly for his service to the country. And as long as the president wants to keep the message chief of staff, that will be his prerogative. But to say that Dave and I, two people who have been unresolved in our support for the president, to have an escort which almost nobody else has to have I think is a little bit out-of-bounds.
And, look, we have been individuals who support the president’s work on television, in op-eds across the board, and to call into question our ability to walk around the campus of the White House I think is something that should be addressed.
BOSSIE: No, I — it’s unfortunate. You know, I completely respect General Kelly and I respect that the president wants to keep General Kelly there. It’s unfortunate that General Kelly doesn’t utilize us as much as he — as much as we think he should.
It’s his prerogative and he is in that job and we respect the job that he has done. I wish that his people — I wish that there were people within the White House structure that cared as much about their own jobs as they did about the midterms, or they think they cared about the midterms as much as they did their own jobs.
This — the failure of the midterms shows what we left on the table I think.
WALLACE: I just want to get back to Kelly for a moment. Do you believe that he is one of those people, Corey, who is trying to control the president, channel the president rather than let Trump be Trump?
LEWANDOWSKI: Well, I think it’s fair to say that we would have very different management styles and the management style that John implement it when he became the chief of staff is one where to limit the access to the president, to make sure that there is protocols and procedures and I think candidly that was needed when he came to the White House.
But I also think you have a president who wants access to individuals, who wants to take phone calls and in our book, look, we interview him and he says nobody calls me, I don’t get my messages. That’s a failure somewhere in the staff chain that the president doesn’t have the right to get to the people who are trying to reach him. And I don’t know where that failure is, but ultimately, that should be resolved.
WALLACE: I know you don’t want to answer this question, but I’m going to ask you it anyway. Did you get into a physical altercation with John Kelly this last winter that had to be broken up by the Secret Service, yes or no?
LEWANDOWSKI: Well, the Secret Service didn’t break anything up. John and I had a very candid discussion as he probably has many times with the president. The difference is —
WALLACE: Did he grab you?
LEWANDOWSKI: Look, I don’t want to get into what John may or may not have done, but what I do think is he understands that my position is to support the president and the president’s agenda all the time.
WALLACE: David, you say your toughest words to the Russia investigation. I want to put up some of what you said.
You write: The upper echelons of the intelligence community and federal law enforcement have waged a full on war against the president.
And you say: Former FBI Director James Comey set in motion a conspiracy that would seek to cause critical damage to the presidency.
BOSSIE: I think that that’s well-established now. I think what James Comey did as FBI director is shameful. I think that — I know James Comey long before he was FBI director. I respect them, I respected him for a long time and I thought he was one of the good guys.
What I see — what I saw happen inside the FBI, whether it was his field, line agents, whether it was Strzok and Page, the McCabe operation or his leaking of information, or dumping that fake Russian dossier on the table to show then President-elect Trump that then really spun this out of control. I think he was irresponsible and I wish that the president had fired him on day one instead of, you know, sometime in May.
He — the president felt like he wanted to give the FBI director a chance and I think that is unfortunate.
WALLACE: All right. We are running out of time and I want to get to a couple of more questions. The bottom line issue is whether or not this kind of us versus them view of politics is useful, serves the president or whether in fact it jeopardizes his chances for reelection.
Let’s take a look at the midterms you talked about. House Democrats picked up at least 38 seats, suburban women went for Democrats, 57 percent to 38 percent. Independents supported Democrats, 43 percent to 33 percent.
Corey, there’s no question the president’s base is rock solid. The question is, he hasn’t done enough to expand his base.
LEWANDOWSKI: Look, I think with the president has done as it relates to the economy and jobs are all going to be a reminder when he’s on the ballot and the individuals who are running in some of these places ran away from the president, which I think was a mistake, particularly in some of those House seats. When you look at where the president campaign the most, whether it was Georgia or Indiana or in Florida, those candidates were winning time and time again because the Republicans and the independents came out in support of those candidates which I think by extension was the Trump agenda.
WALLACE: OK, but there are other places where Republicans didn’t win. And I want to talk — let’s put this up on the screen. These are places where Republicans lost. Democrats won races for senator and governor in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
David, I don’t have to tell you if the president doesn’t carry those three states in 2020, he doesn’t get reelected.
BOSSIE: Well, we’re going to make sure that he works hard in those states. We’re going to be helping every step of the way. But it’s — if you read our book, “Trump’s Enemies,” and the interview we did with the president, the president talks about the fake news divisions, not that the media is the enemy of the people but that the fake news is.
WALLACE: Except he basically says fake news is everybody.
BOSSIE: Fake news is all over the place because if you look at what’s going on across this country, he is, I believe one of the greatest things that I agree with the president, one of the great things he’s done as president is educate the American people about what’s going on in the fake news.
And I think it’s — he is going up against — you talk about that map. He’s going up against the entire establishment of the Washington Democratic Party and the media. He has a big hill to climb and he’s going to do it because he’s going to tell the American people about his incredible list of accomplishments and where our economy is.
WALLACE: Corey, David, thank you both. Thanks for coming in. It’s always good to talk with you.
LEWANDOWSKI: Thank you.
BOSSIE: Thanks, Chris.
WALLACE: Up next, we’ll bring in our Sunday group to continue the discussion about the country’s growing political divide. Who’s responsible? And can we turn it around?
WALLACE: Coming up, President Trump taking on the courts over rulings on border security.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The Ninth Circuit, everybody knows it’s totally out of control. They’re very unfair, most importantly, to the people of our country because I’m keeping them safe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: We’ll ask our Sunday panel about the dustup between the president and chief justice, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I am calling fake news, fake reporting is what’s tearing this country apart because people know — people like things that are happening and they’re not hearing about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: President Trump in our interview last week focusing on just one of the many obstacles to his presidency he says he has to overcome.
And it’s time now for our Sunday group.
Jonah Goldberg of the National Review, Mo Elleithee of Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service, Adrienne Elrod, former advisor to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and editor in chief of The Washington Free Beacon Matthew Continetti.
So, Jonah, we — in the first half hour we heard two very different descriptions and analyses of our politics. You have Bossie and Lewandowski, you talk about Trump’s enemies and it’s not just Democrats, it’s the establishment, the deep state, the intelligence community, the media. And then you have Ben Sasse, who calls that kind of view of the world warped and weird.
Where do you come down?
JONAH GOLDBERG, NATIONAL REVIEW: Oh, I’m very much on team Sasse when it comes to this one. I think Ben’s — Ben Sasse’s book is great about how it pinpoints that most of our problems in our politics are upstream of Washington. We have problems in civil society. We have problems in institutions. And if you listen to Dave Bossie and Corey Lewandowski, and I’m — I’m an old friend of David Bossie’s, they exhibit the exact problem. They are actually endorsing this idea that even Trump supporters are secret enemies if they only started supporting the president after the election.
He — if you took their advice at face value, they actually want the Republican coalition to be even smaller than it is. And it is already melting away big chunks. It’s like arctic ice caps just melting away under Donald Trump and they want to define the Republican Party as blind support for one man rather than a set — a whole group of ideas. And I think that’s a suicidal choice.
WALLACE: Mo, in the — in just the past week, the president fought with the chief justice, his own CIA, the fake news media, the special counsel. He says, though, if he doesn’t fight, he doesn’t win.
MO ELLEITHEE, GEORGETOWN INSTITUTE OF POLITICS AND PUBLIC SERVICE: Yes, look, I think the president — there are a lot of fissures in our politics and our society today. And they’re not just ideological. It’s not left versus right. There’s urban versus rural. There’s people versus the elites, what have you. And there’s a lot of reasons we can get into as to why that is.
There’s two ways out of it. One is to try to mend those fissures and the other is to exacerbate them for political gain. And that’s what the president’s doing. The president is finding the weak spots and he’s jumping in and he’s using it to his political advantage to try to undermine the credibility of the media, to undermine the credibility of the courts, to undermine the credibility of just about every institution, because that’s how he got elected.
We can be better as a civil society. We can be better and we need to be better if we’re going to heal some of these fissures. We need to do a better job of listening to people on the other side. We need to do a better job of understanding people and the other side. What we don’t need to do is vilify people on the other side. It’s what the president complained about during the campaign, yet here he is doing it to the umpteenth degree.
WALLACE: But, Matt, I mean look at Trump’s immediate predecessor, Barack Obama, and Lord knows there wasn’t lollipops and unicorns in Washington then. And, in fact, the president said at the end of his term, one of his great failures was he failed to unify the country. So I think putting this all on Trump isn’t really fair.
MATTHEW CONTINETTI, THE WASHINGTON FREE BEACON: I agree. I mean I think President Obama, of course, did criticized judges, his famous rebuke of the Supreme Court after the Citizens United decision. He did criticize media, specifically this network. So this is larger than President Trump.
What’s happened, I think, is two-fold. The first is, our politics is less and less about who gets what and it’s more about much larger concept like values, principles, rights. And when politics is about that, then the arguments are much more vicious and much more sustained.
And the second thing that’s happened, Chris, is technology. You know, we call it social media, but it’s actually quite depersonalizing. And once you’re on these social networks, I think you feel liberated to really show your worst self. And so when I’m looking to how we can kind of change things, I think it’s human, person-to-person contacts.
And I saw that recently with Dan Crenshaw, the congressman, who went on “SNL” after he was insulted. And even Carlos Curbelo, who actually met with someone who had threatened his life and they ended up holding a joint press conference together.
WALLACE: Adrienne, you know, this has been building for decades. And you can talk about a lot of the outside politics issues like social media, like all news cable and all the — a variety of things. But, I mean, I remember vividly during when Clinton was president, Clinton derangement syndrome. And then after the 2000 election there was Bush derangement syndrome. And it just seems to have started a long time ago, but if anything to have gotten worse.
ADRIENNE ELROD, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes, but I think this president has taken it to a whole new level. And to the point that Matthew just made, I do think social media has just highlighted in more — and highlighted more of what — what has actually been going on out there. Everybody can be their own pundit, right, on Twitter. So — and we’re hearing more from people who are on social media more than we did before, before social media existed.
So, you know, look, we’re dealing with, in my opinion, the most uncivil president of the United States that we’ve ever had. He is doing nothing to try to fix this problem. He attacks the media every day. He exacerbates (INAUDIBLE) —
WALLACE: Do you — do you not remember Clinton derangement syndrome? Do you not remember Obama derangement syndrome? Bush — Bush —
ELROD: Yes, but this is —
WALLACE: I mean from the moment that George W. Bush 43 was elected in 2000, and understandably it was a contested election, a lot of people thought he wasn’t the legitimate president.
ELROD: Look, and a lot of this — what — I mean President Trump, to a large extent, is a byproduct of what has been growing to this point, right? He was elected president we’d had such a divided country. But instead of actually trying to bring both sides together, he’s only further dividing.
So, again, I think if we want to restore civility, we need to start from the top. And that needs to be coming from the president of the United States.
CONTINETTI: Well, um, again, I think this is larger than Trump.
One other thing that is, I think, particular worrisome, to me anyway, is that the polarization — I actually don’t think most Americans polarize, but the polarization and the political class is now taking on a geographic dimension. And so if you look at those election results, what did we see? We saw suburbs voting like suburbs, whether they were in the North or the South. This is something new. We saw rural areas voting like rural areas, whether they were in the Midwest or the West or in the South.
And so now the key factor in our politics isn’t so much regional, it’s density. It’s how many people are around you. And the more people that are around you, the more likely you are to be liberal. Once these geographic cleavages emerge, Chris, I think they’re very difficult to resolve.
GOLDBERG: But it’s also the case that our politics of being nationalized, where it used to be most of — most of what you got out of politics was at the local or community level. And now because of the nature of media, because we now see presidents, whether they’re liberal or — or — conservative or liberal, we see them as symbols of a culture war and we invest in them, as Matt was saying, these abstract principles. So we live in an era of very high negative polarization which basically says that there are millions of people who say they’re Democrats because they hate Republicans and there are millions of Republicans who say they’re Republicans because they hate Democrats. And when you live in that kind of era, the impetus is to do things that simply are considered wins if they make the right people angry.
ELLEITHEE: Right. And —
GOLDBERG: And Donald Trump has tapped into that very well.
WALLACE: Let me bring Mo into this.
I was in Missouri a couple of weeks ago talking to a largely Republican crowd. And while they supported a lot of what President Trump did, they — they came up to me afterwards, a lot of them, I was surprised how many, and said, how do we — how do we bring it back? How do we make our country less divisive where it’s, you know, one versus another? Tribes. And I didn’t have a good answer.
ELLEITHEE: Yes, I don’t know that there is a good answer, other than, we all have to, as individuals. Those people you talked to have to take responsibility themselves for it.
Look, you know, there was a survey here —
WALLACE: But they’re going about their lives. They’re selling insurance or working at the bank or whatever.
ELLEITHEE: But part of the challenge — part of the challenge, we were talking about this in the green room earlier, sociologists have been talking for quite some time about this phenomenon called the great sort, where people are moving into communities where they are surrounded by people who think and sound like they do, increasingly so. And that’s spreading into other aspects of our lives. We go to work surrounded like people who think and sound like we do. And we go to school surrounded by people who think and sound like we do. And we get our news from information sources that reinforce what we already think. Our social media feeds absolutely are populated by people who think and sounds like we do, to the point where we are isolating ourselves, number one, from different perspectives, and, number two, disparaging those different perspectives when we hear them.
There’s got to be a point where people — there was a poll recently were parents, for the first time, are more offended by the idea of their children marrying outside of their political party than outside of their race or their faith. Now, I guess, on some warped level you can call that progress, right?
WALLACE: I was going to say, that —
ELLEITHEE: Right, that is progress. But, at the same time, to be offended by your child marrying outside of your political persuasion, that’s not something Washington is going to fix.
WALLACE: All right, we — this is going to — something we’re not going to settle here. But a very interesting discussion to be continued.
We have to take a break here.
When we come back, we’ll discuss that new climate change report that paints a dire picture for the U.S. environment and economy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We do have an impact, but I don’t believe the impact is nearly what some say and other scientists that dispute those findings very strongly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: President Trump earlier this month on Axios casting doubt on the effects of climate change.
And we’re back now with the panel.
So, Matt, as I discussed with Senator Sasse, the national climate assessment came out Friday from 13 federal agencies inside the Trump administration says — paints a very dire picture of the climate situation in this country and says it is, quote, intensifying.
Is it getting harder for the president to do as he did there, to question the human impact and to argue, as he also did in that interview, well, climate change, sometimes it’s hotter, sometimes it’s closer?
CONTINETTI: Certainly this eye-opening report makes it more difficult, I think, to just wave away the issue, right? And so much of our discussion on climate change, Chris, seems to be about that first principle question, is it happening? Are humans contributing to it?
I think it would be wise may to kind of bring the conversation down to a lower level, which is, what are we going to do about it? And there I think the — what’s interesting about the report is, it talked about adaptation. And a lot of the most scariest findings were premised on the idea that we weren’t going to adapt. And so the question is, how are we going to adapt and what policies can we do to kind of mitigate these very scary predictions that the government has outlined for us?
WALLACE: Adrienne, the president argues that basically this is a choice between long-term environmental impacts, which are questionable in his mind, and immediate — short-term economic impacts, which are undeniable. And that formulation makes it a tougher political call.
ELROD: Yes, but, you know, it’s so irresponsible for the president to even go out there and, you know, sort of deny that climate change is real. I mean what more proof do we need in this country. We’ve got California burning up. We’ve got hurricanes that are destroying Florida and our coastal regions. I mean you cannot deny that climate change is real.
So for the president of the United States to come out here and insinuate that, oh, maybe it’s a hoax, or some scientists just don’t believe that it’s real, it’s completely irresponsible, and it is incumbent upon the president now, whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, to actually do something about it. This was a very damaging report that came out, of course, the Friday after Thanksgiving. I think the administration might have been trying to bury it a little bit because it is such bad news. But 20, 30 years from now, we’re not going to be able to reverse what needs to actually be changed now. It’s going to be too late then. About the good news about this report is it actually lays out some principles that we can institute now that will actually impact for the better what’s happening.
GOLDBERG: I actually think that the report itself is a little on the alarmist side. If you look at the big numbers that they’re talking about, the economic projections, they —
WALLACE: Ten percent cut in GDP.
WALLACE: Well, but it doesn’t — if we don’t reverse things by 2100.
GOLDBERG: Right. But that is according to Rodger Pelki (ph), twice the actual production they have elsewhere in the report about how bad things are going to get.
I’m a luke warmist when it comes to things. I think it’s real. I do think it is over — it is overhyped. At the same time, there are things that we can do that, as Matt was saying, that can mitigate it or that can prepare us better for the worst-case scenario. But the way this is usually talked about is it’s all worst-case scenario when that — the data doesn’t support that, I don’t think, and actually there are there that come with global warming, like lower growing seasons and the rest that are actually good things.
ELLEITHEE: But the authors of the report will say they didn’t look just at worst-case scenario, that they looked at every single scenario. And I think the point you just made, Jonah, actually is an important one. That whether it’s 10 percent or 5 percent or 8 percent, there will be economic shrinkage. So let’s put the environmental point aside for a second. This president is — wants to be — wants an economic — a long-lasting, long- term economic legacy. That’s pretty clear that’s what he wants to focus on. He may make this argument about short-term economic growth versus questionable environmental findings. But if 13 federal agencies are saying there will be long-term economic shrinkage, that will be his economic legacy. Not that he caused this, but that he could have been the president to begin to do something about it and he chose not to.
WALLACE: All right, just when you think you’ve seen it all, President Trump got into a dustup this week with Chief Justice John Roberts over the independence of the judiciary. It happened when the president went after what he called an Obama judge for issuing a nationwide ban on his new asylum policy, which would basically have said, if you cross the border illegally, you’re not eligible for asylum. Here’s the president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: It’s a shame. It’s a disgrace, frankly. And essentially they’re legislating. They’re saying what to do. Some judge sitting in some location very far away is telling our incredible military and law enforcement what to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Jonah, who’s got the better side of this argument, the president or the chief justice?
GOLDBERG: I think everybody has got a side in this argument. There’s a — in philosophy it’s the is-ought (ph) problem. It is true that the Ninth Circuit is very liberal and it’s full of very liberal judges who do legislate from the bench. It is also true that the president of the United States should probably stay in his lane more and not further politicize the courts with this kind of rhetoric that he’s talking about. I don’t know what benefit comes from it. I think Jonathan Turley makes a good case that Justice Roberts could do a better job of policing his own branch of government better because there really is a divergence between our political appointees on one side or the other and —
WALLACE: But, wait, wait, how’s he going to do that?
GOLDBERG: I don’t know, but it ain’t my job, you know, it’s his job.
WALLACE: Well, no, but I mean — I mean he can’t sit there — what’s he going to go and say to a Bush appointee, hey, listen, you made a — ought to tone it down and to a Clinton —
GOLDBERG: There is an awful lot of speechifying from the bench about various partisan issues that I think he could call some up — people up and say, hey, look, we have — we’re living in a moment where the judiciary is being politicize more than ever. Let’s all be a little responsible.
He tries to do that on the Supreme Court by having these — going with the most narrow interpretation possible to get the biggest majority he can. I think there’s a — there’s an argument for doing that kind of thing. But at the same time, the president has a point.
WALLACE: I want to get to that, Adrienne, because the fact is the president says, well, there’s an Obama judge. The fact is Obama judges, Obama appointed judges, act differently, rule differently than a Bush judge or a Trump judge, generally.
ELROD: Well, I mean, not necessarily. Obviously there have been Democratic president to who have appointed Republicans to the federal bench. There have been Republican presidents —
WALLACE: Not — not lately.
ELROD: Who have — well, maybe — well, not lately, but it has happened in the past. President Clinton certainly appointed many conservative leaning judges to the bench.
But there’s also been reports that show that maybe some of these cases that are being overturned by the federal courts that the Trump administration is putting forward are being overturned because they go beyond the constitutional authority of the president of the United States. So it’s not necessarily — you shouldn’t be blaming the circuit court, the Ninth Circuit, for some of these decisions when actually the president is overreaching in terms of some of the court cases that he’s putting forward.
WALLACE: I — well, he doesn’t bring the court case. It’s brought —
ELROD: His administration.
WALLACE: He — he makes a policy and then — and that’s what I — I want to ask you about, Matt, because it — this doesn’t get to the Ninth Circuit. These are — these rulings are coming from federal district judges. There are 700 federal district judges. These aren’t appeals courts or the Supreme Court. A federal district judge in San Francisco looks at the president’s asylum policy, says I think it’s unconstitutional, and not only is it unconstitutional here, it’s unconstitutional nationwide and he basically stops, shuts down a program nationwide.
CONTINETTI: It’s a huge problem and it’s been happening since the beginning of the trump administration with the very initial travel ban, right? This idea of nationwide injunctions issued by district court judges who are basically geographically located in either San Francisco or Hawaii and the ACLU and Amnesty International, their lawyers there know, any time a new, controversial policy is issued by the president, they can go to these judges in these two areas and get a nationwide injunction, stops the policy, as I says, nationwide.
You know who was actually leading a very good charge against this was Jeff Sessions. And, unfortunately, he’s now out. I hope that the administration continues to press, not so much this larger issue of Trump or Obama —
WALLACE: Is — is there anything you can do? In other words, if a judge — a federal district judge says this is, you know, this is a nationwide temporary restraining order, is there anything anybody can do?
CONTINETTI: There probably — statutory, the second — the first branch of government, that Congress has the right to rein in the courts. And this has been talked about in conservative circles for a long time. We haven’t really done it as much as conservatives like myself would hope. And, of course, now we have a very short window to do it because the — with the House Democrats coming in January, the chances of any raining is very small.
WALLACE: Thirty — 30 seconds.
ELLEITHEE: The president bemoaning the politicization of the court, I think, is ironic considering he was a candidate who put out a list of potential Supreme Court nominees that he would appoint during the campaign. Look, yes, they’re ideological. Some of these decisions are ideological because they’re ideological interpretations of some of these laws. That’s not the problem to me as much as — and that’s why we have a process of appeals. That’s not as much of a problem to me as the president undermining the legitimacy of the entire judiciary.
WALLACE: Thank you. Thank you, panel. See you next Sunday.
Up next, our “Power Player of the Week.”
Oh, boy, once again I dance with the turkeys.
WALLACE: Here’s a holiday riddle we ask every Thanksgiving, who founded a huge tech company, created a successful cosmetic business and now raises turkeys like the Native Americans did? Once again, here’s our “Power Player of the Week.”
SANDY LERNER, AYRSHIRE FARM: Farm with the land. Farm with the seasons. Know your soil. Know your rainfall. Know your — know your weather. Know your animals.
WALLACE: Sandy Lerner is talking about sustainable farming, raising livestock and growing vegetables without the chemicals that are so common in what she calls factory farming. Just days before Thanksgiving, she took me out to see, and, yes, to dance, with her 1,300 turkeys. Heritage breeds that trace back to the Indians.
LERNER: Come on, raise your arms, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble! Gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble!
WALLACE: Lerner is mistress of Ayrshire Farm, 800 acres in Upperville, Virginia. But as interesting as her business is how she got here.
She grew up on a farm in California, making enough from raising cattle to send herself to college.
LERNER: What I learned was to love work. I’m really happiest when I’m engaged in — in working and thinking and — and striving.
WALLACE: She got into computers. In 1984, she and her then husband started Cisco Systems that found a way to link networks of computers, the foundation of the Internet.
But six years later, venture capital people were running Cisco.
WALLACE (on camera): How do you get fired from a company that you started?
LERNER: We just basically got taken to the cleaners. And part of that was, if you don’t have an employment contract. I got fired by the same guy who fired Steve Jobs.
WALLACE (voice over): Lerner had a second act. She started a cosmetics company called Urban Decay with edgy colors for women like her. And in 1996, she bought Ayrshire Farm.
LERNER: It’s historically been people who had disposable income who made strides in farming. Look at George Washington or look at Thomas Jefferson.
You’re such a pretty girl because pretty is as pretty does.
WALLACE: She raises Shires, warhorses that go back centuries, Scotch highland cattle, and those turkeys, which she says taste better because of the lives they lead.
WALLACE (on camera): How much is an Aryshire turkey cost as compared to what I’d get in the grocery store?
LERNER: Well, our turkeys are expensive. They’re between — I think they’re running this year about $160 to $200.
WALLACE (voice over): At those prices there are questions about how to make this kind of farming profitable. But while Lerner is determined to run a sound business, it’s not just about the bottom line. There’s a 40 room mansion on the farm.
WALLACE (on camera): What’s it like living their?
LERNER: I don’t know.
WALLACE: What do you mean?
LERNER: I live in a little log cabin and I love it.
WALLACE: Do you think you’re a bit eccentric?
LERNER: I am now that I’m rich. I used to just be weird.
WALLACE (voice over): And so, just days before Thanksgiving, Sandy Lerner and I danced with the turkeys. She grew up on a family farm and she wants to see those values live on.
LERNER: I’m a cowgirl. I can tell what cows are thinking. It’s very much my success as a farmer, which is what George Washington was. He wanted to be a really good farmer. And I think I’ve — I’ve been a — I’ve become a good farmer.
WALLACE: Sandy Lerner sold 800 turkeys this Thanksgiving and she donated 525 to local charities.
And that’s it for today. Have a great week. And we’ll see you next “Fox News Sunday.”
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