‘Fox News Sunday’ on August 28, 2022 – Fox News

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This is a rush transcript of ‘Fox News Sunday’ on August 28, 2022. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

JENNIFER GRIFFIN, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I’m Jennifer Griffin.

The White House gives students a big break, gives Ukraine another round of aid, and goes all in against MAGA.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The extreme MAGA Republicans have made their choice to go backwards, full of anger, violence, hate, and division.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): President Biden coming out swinging at Republicans after a string of victories leads to renewed optimism for Democrats in November — while his plan to give tens of thousands of dollars to student loan borrowers faces legal and political hurdles.

BIDEN: It’s about opportunity. It’s about giving people a fair shot.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): The people who benefit from it will love it. The question is, is it fair to everyone else?

GRIFFIN: We’ll ask former White House senior advisor Cedric Richmond, who now advises the DNC, about this election year gamble.

Then, the U.S. announces the single largest share of weapons to be sent to Kyiv since the war in Ukraine began.

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This announcement is part of our efforts to ensure Ukraine’s military can continue to defend its people.

GRIFFIN: We will discuss the U.S. response there months after Russia invaded, and the state of Afghanistan one year since the last American forces left with retired General Frank McKenzie, who oversaw the controversial withdrawal as CentCom commander.

And a judge orders the release of a redacted version of the affidavit used to search former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. We’ll ask our Sunday panel whether there was ever a national security risk.

Then, researchers may be getting closer to a vaccine for cancer. We’ll sit down with one of the scientists leading the charge, Dr. Keith Knutson of the Mayo Clinic.

Plus — making music, not war. Ukrainian musicians, including recent refugees, fight for their country far from the front lines, and send a message to Putin.

All right now on “FOX News Sunday”.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

President Biden returned to the campaign trail this week trying to ride a wave of positivity into midterms just ten weeks from now. But the White House plan to wipe out billions of dollars in student loans is getting major pushback from Republicans and even some Democrats, who question its fairness, and the president himself is facing questions over his harsh new comments about some members of the Republican Party.

In a moment, we will talk with a former top aide to the president who now advises the DNC, former Congressman Cedric Richmond.

But first, let’s turn to Lucas Tomlinson at the White House — Lucas.

LUCAS TOMLINSON, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Jen, President Biden kicking off his campaign outside the nation’s capital where he took aim at former President Donald Trump and his supporters.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAAPE)

BIDEN: I respect conservative Republicans. I don’t respect these MAGA Republicans.

TOMLINSON (voice-over): The president comparing Republicans who embrace Donald Trump’s make America great again philosophy to, quote, semi-fascism.

JEAN-PIERRE: When it comes to the extreme ultra wing of Republicans, they are attacking democracy. He called it what it is, that’s what it is.

TOMLINSON: What the president also did for some student loans forgiveness, one of progressive pipe dream, how much will it cost? A matter of debate.

BIDEN: It’s not going to cause inflation, number one. Number two, it will generate economic growth.

TOMLINSON: Many Republicans think the move is illegal.

SEN. TOM COTTON (R-AR): Joe Biden has used the vast powers of the administrative state to reward his political supporters in higher education.

TOMLINSON: After the announcement, President Biden asked about the search of Trump’s Florida home.

PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Mr. President, how much advance notice did you have of the FBI’s plans to search Mar-a-Lago?

BIDEN: I didn’t have any advance notice. No, zero. Not one single bit. Thank you.

TOMLINSON: The former president responding, does anybody really believe this?

A partially redacted version of the probable cause affidavit was released Friday. A federal judge will hear arguments next month on Trump’s request for a third-party to review the material. Fox has learned the director of national intelligence will conduct a damage assessment about the classified documents which, quote, could endanger human sources.

This as inflation remains near 40-year highs. The chairman of the Federal Reserve warning he will continue raising interest rates.

JEROME POWELL, FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN: The failure to restore price stability would mean far greater pain.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TOMLINSON (on camera): The stock market plummeted following Jerome Powell’s remarks. The Dow dropping a thousand points to end the week — Jen.

GRIFFIN: Lucas Tomlinson reporting from the White House — Lucas, thank you.

Joining us now, one of the president’s closest advisors, former Congressman Cedric Richmond of the Democratic National Committee.

Congressman, welcome back to “FOX News Sunday”.

CEDRIC RICHMOND, DNC SENIOR ADVISER: Thank you for having me.

GRIFFIN: Gas prices are down, the president passed his climate and health care bill and he has kept a promise to forgive some student debt.

Thursday night, he made the case for Democrats in a fiery DNC speech. He told fund-raisers, quote: What we’re seeing now is either the beginning or the death knell of an extreme MAG philosophy. It’s not just Trump, it’s the entire philosophy that underpins the — I’m going to say something — it’s likes semi-fascism.

What did he mean?

RICHMOND: Well, I think he’s very clear about it, that he’s drawn a comparison to a party that wants to unite us, a party that’s worried about families and what they’re dealing with, and the party that’s still litigating the 2020 election, the party that’s taking away reproductive rights for women, a party that is attacking families and law enforcement and questioning the FBI.

As opposed to a party that really is about lifting up America to fulfill its best promise, and that’s that anyone can live and be the best that they can be — and we want to help people do that. And I think the president is riding that wave, bringing down costs of prescription drugs and all of those things.

And I think the best thing that he can do and what’s appropriate is to draw a contrast between what the two parties stand for.

GRIFFIN: Here he is in November of 2020 after he won.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again. And to make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as our enemies.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIN: How does that square with calling his opponent semi-fascists? People compare this to Hillary Clinton saying deplorables on the campaign trail.

RICHMOND: Well, people who said that would be dead wrong. The president works across the aisle all the time and gets criticized for it. We passed the infrastructure bill with bipartisan support. In fact, presidents for decades have talked about passing the infrastructure structure bill. But he did it with Republican support.

He just passed a bill to help our veterans with bipartisan support. He passed a CHIPS bill so that we could build semiconductors in this country and secure American independence and leap towards the future with bipartisan support.

So he works with Republicans and Democrats all the time, but here’s the difference between the last president and this one: this president focuses on people and their families, not himself.

So we will work with Republicans, we’ll work with Democrats, and I think he’s shown that over and over again. And that’s what he was saying in that November clip that you just showed, and that’s what he’s doing every day.

GRIFFIN: Let’s talk about student loans. The president announced his plan to forgive $10,000 of student loans for borrowers earning less than $125,000 per year and $20,000 for Pell grant borrowers. But take a look at the average tuition numbers in recent years, $9,400 for public universities, $37,000 for private universities.

Meanwhile the average Ivy League tuition is $78,000 a year, even though the average Ivy League endowment is $22 billion.

Critics say these tools will simply raise tuitions higher.

RICHMOND: And we’re going to continue to fight that and the president has been very clear about the rising cost of college education and the fact that we need to bring it under control, and he’s working on that.

But let me be clear about all of those criticisms. We have a bunch of things in this country — this country is not a zero-sum game where somebody has to fail for others to succeed. And so, we have historic tax credits, we have business tax credits to help those who own businesses, and not everyone in America owns a business. But we help business owners because we want to promote it.

So, what the president is saying for those people who fight and search and go gain an education, that we’re going to help you because education is the best way out of poverty. And you shouldn’t be saddled with that debt because home ownership is the best way to pass wealth on from generations.

So this is about helping the working class people. Ninety percent of this benefit will go to people who earn less than $75,000 a year. So those plumbers and electricians and police officers and teachers, this will help their children reach that American dream that they want.

And remember, everything doesn’t benefit everybody, but it’s about the common good and this president is focused on working families and empowering people to reach their full potential and I think that this does exactly what he’s trying to do.

GRIFFIN: But is the president’s move even legal?

Here are the president and Speaker Pelosi just last year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: I’m prepared to write off the $10,000 debt, but not $50,000.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Mr. President, let me ask you —

BIDEN: Because I don’t think I have the authority to do it by the sign of a pen.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: People think that the president of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness. He does not. He can postpone, he can delay, but he does not have that power.

That would — that has to be an act of Congress.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIN: What changed?

RICHMOND: Well, Congress acted. And if you look at the legislation that allowed President Trump and President Biden to delay loan repayment, it’s the same legislation that allows him to forgive $10,000 worth of debt and $20,000 worth of debt to those who are on Pell grants, which is the hardest and lowest income people that are going to college. So it’s the same thing.

And, look, I call it how I see it. It’s the same thing that allowed President Trump to do it that allows President Biden to do it.

GRIFFIN: Legal experts, they expect court challenges. You know conservative lawyers are already looking for the right person or group with standing to sue.

Will this even hold up in court?

RICHMOND: Yes, it will hold up in court, just like the 2020 election, which the president won with over 7 million votes.

GRIFFIN: Why is the president doing this right before the midterms? Isn’t this just an election gimmick?

RICHMOND: It’s not. What it’s doing is empowering people to get an education, lift themselves out of poverty, free up the high cost of the debt that they owe to colleges so that they can invest in American dreams, buy a home, invest in their children, be better community members. This is about lifting up America.

And the president said from day one that he would lift up America from the bottom up and the middle out, and the country voted for him to do that.

So, this is not a surprise, and we said it on the campaign trail that he would do this, and he’s fulfilling a campaign commitment that he made to invest in America’s working families and this is what this does.

And, look, I just don’t understand the criticism that we’re getting from the right. We have business deductions everywhere and all day long. We just gave in 2017, $2 trillion to the top 1 percent in businesses, 99 percent of the country did not benefit from the 2017 $2 trillion tax cut. People all across the country are going to benefit from this debt relief.

And so, look, we’re not picking winners and losers. America is a country about the common good, and what we’re doing here is making sure that we invest in all of America. And right now, we are investing in working families.

So those viewers out there that are busting their behinds to make ends meet, we’re investing in you and we’re not going to leave any family behind, whether it’s rural or urban.

That’s what this president is going to do. He campaigned on it and he’s living up to his campaign commitments.

GRIFFIN: Congressman, thank you for joining us. We hope you’ll come back.

RICHMOND: Thank you.

GRIFFIN: Up next, Americans watched in horror a year ago as the chaotic departure of U.S. forces in Afghanistan unfolded. We will speak with retired General Frank McKenzie, a former head of CentCom, who was ordered to withdraw all U.S. troops, about what could have been done differently.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GRIFFIN: Tuesday marks one year since the war in Afghanistan ended — 20 years, $1 trillion, 2,456 American service members killed in action, including 13 killed by a suicide bomber outside the airport gate in Kabul almost exactly a year ago.

It happened in the final days of the chaotic withdrawal of U.S. forces from the country. U.S. forces were sent back and evacuated more than 124,000 people in 17 days, the largest evacuation of civilians in U.S. history.

On Friday, Cheryl Rex, a Gold Star mother whose son Dylan died in the attack, told Martha MacCallum the message she would like to send to the White House.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHERYL REX, MOTHER OF MARINE KILLED IN KABUL AIRPORT BOMBING: If I could speak to the administration right now, I think better planning is what they needed to do and they did not do that. They basically failed our children.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIN: We are also marking one year since Kabul fell to the Taliban as Afghanistan’s elected government collapsed during the pull out of the American military.

Joining us now is the former commander of U.S. Central Command, retired General Kenneth Frank McKenzie, who was ordered to execute the withdrawal.

General McKenzie, welcome to “FOX News Sunday”.

GEN. FRANK MCKENZIE (RET), FORMER CENTCOM COMMANDER: Jennifer, thank you. It’s good to be with you today.

GRIFFIN: General McKenzie, this was the president on July 8th, a month before Kabul fell to the Taliban.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Taliban is not the North Vietnamese army. They’re not — they’re not remotely comparable in terms of capability. There’s going to be no circumstance where you see people lifted off the roof of an embassy of the United States from Afghanistan. It is not at all comparable.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIN: And yet the scenes of Afghans clinging to the underbelly of U.S. aircraft were remarkably similar to Saigon.

What could you have done differently from a planning perspective?

MCKENZIE: Well, Jennifer, what happened in August was not preordained. It was not set in the stars. We made a series of decisions that took us to that point in August.

The basics edition was the decision to withdraw completely from Afghanistan. There were alternatives to that, and those are alternatives that were not taken — principally that the possibility of maintaining a small hard platform of about 2,500 U.S. and a significant NATO presence to continue to support at the ministerial level and the regional level to the Afghans. That would have given us the capability to remain in the country, to continue to pursue our counterterrorism objectives, and we believe avoid the collapse of the Afghan government. We did not choose to do that.

Subsequently, after we made the decision to go to zero, the decision to try to maintain an embassy platform until far too late contributed also to what happened in August.

Those are I think two of the big decisions that led us to the events that you just described in August.

GRIFFIN: So, in your opinion, was the withdrawal a mistake?

MCKENZIE: I advised against withdrawing, my recommendation and my opinion, and it remains so today was. We had the opportunity to remain in the country with a small force.

I realize the Taliban could very well have chosen to attack us, but I do not believe based on intelligence I was reading at the time that we would have — that we would have been forced to add more forces in order to maintain a 2,500 force level in Afghanistan. We have coupled that force level with an aggressive diplomatic campaign against the Taliban, probably more aggressive than the Doha agreement and those negotiations.

So, it would have had to of been a whole government effort, but it remains my position that we had the opportunity to stay, keep the Afghanistan — the government of Afghanistan running.

GRIFFIN: If you knew that Kabul was likely to fall if the U.S. pulled out all troops, should you and the other generals have resigned to try and stop it?

MCKENZIE: Well, we believe that Kabul would fall if we pull out our troops. It was just a question of when Kabul would fall and we have been saying that really since the fall of the year perform. That had been a consistent position of Central Command, our subordinates in Afghanistan, that if we leave, they’re going to collapse. It’s just a question of when they’re going to collapse.

And, you know, we thought it might be a question of weeks, months, but as we got into the summer and the government of Afghanistan proved unable to marshal its will and its forces to defend their country, you saw an acceleration of the timeline and — but it was not — this was not a particular surprise to us.

GRIFFIN: General McKenzie, we heard over and over that no one predicted Kabul would fall so quickly. But you issued this warning on August 8th that, quote, in the last formal intelligence assessment I sent up on the 8th of August, I said it is my judgment that Kabul is going to fall. I did not think it was going to fall that weekend, I thought it might last a little bit longer, 30 days or so.

General, 30 days would have been September 7th, before the 28th anniversary of 9/11 when the president wanted all troops out.

Did the president know Kabul was going to fall that quickly?

MCKENZIE: Look, I’m confident that my assessments went up the chain of command. I’m sure the president saw them. The president of United States has to make decisions based on a variety of factors.

My input was certainly one of those factors and I appreciate the opportunity to have had that input, but the president is going to have to make decisions based on a much broader range of considerations.

GRIFFIN: Here is President Biden justifying his decision.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: Look, let’s put this thing in perspective here. What interest do we have in Afghanistan at this point with al Qaeda gone?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIN: How did you feel when you heard the president say that, you knew it wasn’t true?

MCKENZIE: Well, our position has always been that al Qaeda is there because the Taliban host them. That’s why we went to Afghanistan in the first place, and certainly, al Qaeda has been rocked back on their heels in recent years.

But al Qaeda is still present in Afghanistan and also ISIS is still present in Afghanistan, and both of those entities have a long-term aspirational goal to attack us in our homeland. And given the breathing room to reestablish themselves and reassert their strength, we believe they will — they will do that.

GRIFFIN: Here’s what you told VOA.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCKENZIE: If we leave, eventually, al Qaeda and ISIS in particular are going to go into open space in Afghanistan and the threat the United States is going to rise.

GRIFFIN: Do you think troops will have to be sent back to Afghanistan?

MCKENZIE: You know, that’s a — that’s a difficult question. I know this: it is in the best long-term interest of the United States to not allow these centers of violent extremism to grow and expand in Afghanistan. And I believe under the current Taliban regime, that’s probably what’s going to happen.

The last time I was looking at intelligence, that was a position we had. I follow it like everybody else does now, in the newspaper and other sources. But I see nothing to change that opinion that the threat is growing in Afghanistan and it’s merely a matter of time.

GRIFFIN: To what extent is former President Trump and his decision to negotiate with the Taliban and his repeated calls to his national security team to pull all U.S. troops out to blame for how the war ended?

MCKENZIE: Jennifer, the president of United States owns the final responsibly for these actions. I believe we had two presidents of United States that wanted to exit Afghanistan and they might not have had anything else in common, but they shared that common view. So you had a continuity of objectives across two administrations that really allowed the events to occur to occur in the manner that they did.

GRIFFIN: And the agreement, a mistake?

MCKENZIE: The Doha agreement had the potential to be a useful approach as long as we apply the principle of conditionality. And by that, I mean, Jennifer, that the Taliban had to live up to their half of the agreement. They did not.

It was evident pretty early on that they were not doing that, but we never — we never effectively held them to task.

The other unintended effect of the Doha agreement was to keep the Afghan government out of the negotiating process and I believe that had a profound deflationary effect on morale both in the government of Afghanistan and their forces in the field.

GRIFFIN: The suicide bomber at Abbey Gate was released from the Bagram Airbase prison after you left. You gave the order to leave Bagram.

Why did you not close the prison or secure the Taliban, al Qaeda and ISIS prisoners there before you left?

MCKENZIE: We had no capability to do that. We don’t — first of all, we were not guarding those prisoners. They were being guarded by the Afghans. We had not guarded them for some time.

When we had to go down to effectively zero, but actually 650 forces designed to protect the U.S. embassy in Kabul, we no longer have the capability to hold Bagram and to oversee and assist those Afghans who were sitting on top of the prison structure. That was an effective going — of not accepting the argument to stay at 2,500.

At 2,500, we would have been able to maintain Bagram, and that was a principle — that was one of the things that was attractive about staying at 2,500. We would have been able to maintain oversight, not direct oversight, but support for those Afghans that were sitting on those prisons. All of that went away when we left.

GRIFFIN: That brings me to Syria and the al-Hawl refugee camp filled with the families of ISIS fighters, their children. What concerns you about that? And do you think U.S. troops should still be in Syria?

MCKENZIE: So, al-Hawl I think is a problem that exists in two dimensions. You got a largely defenseless population there, principally women, principally children, all very young. The threat of some immediate event to them, be it cholera, be it coronavirus, be it a terrorist attack and killing large numbers of people is very real.

At the same time and along the deeper dimension, the radicalization of children that’s occurring in that camp is going to be a gift — we are going to give ourselves five or ten years on the road as these ISIS radicalized fighters reappear. We have to find a solution for radicalization and reintegration into society for these children, and it has to be a solution bounded in the region, and that’s going to be very important.

So the decision to stay or go in Syria is ultimately a political decision. We went in there for a very specific purpose, to go after ISIS. That fight continues, not directly with us but rather through our Kurdish partners in the region. So that’s a reason to stay.

But ultimately, we’re going to have to balance that and determine is it worth the risk to our forces to keep them there. I would just note in the ending that if we were to pull out, it is unclear to me would first of all help the Kurds maintain the al-Hawl camp, and second, who would sit on top of the prison structure in Syria, in eastern Syria, which holds many hardened ISIS fighters.

GRIFFIN: And, lastly, to what extent did the U.S. pullout from Afghanistan encourage Putin to invade Ukraine?

MCKENZIE: That’s a great question, and probably not an expert on that. I would say that everybody saw it and drew their own conclusions about U.S. resolve. I would also say that many times in the past, people have drawn conclusions about U.S. resolve and they’ve been wrong.

GRIFFIN: Lastly, General McKenzie, if the U.S. signs the Iran nuclear deal, as it looks like they’re going to and sanctions relief is provided, what impact will that have on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps?

MCKENZIE: I think it will give them added funding to further — to further support their destabilizing and malign activities across the region.

GRIFFIN: Thank you, General McKenzie. Thank you for joining us this morning.

MCKENZIE: Thank you, Jennifer. Always good to see you.

GRIFFIN: A year later, there remain tens of thousands of Afghans who were brought to the United States during the evacuation who still need their legal status settled so they can stay in the U.S. One who doesn’t, this is baby Jila Razoli (ph). She’s an American-born in the U.S. on August 16th just one year and one day after the fall of Kabul.

Her father is Afghan interpreter Zabiullah Johnny Razoli (ph) who served five years with the 82nd Airborne. Last year, there were cheers when Johnny and his wife Farzana (ph) and their three young daughters finally arrived on American soil.

They had help from Senators Thom Tillis and Chris Coons and the wife of Army Sergeant Michael Verardo, Sara Verardo (ph). Johnny was Mike’s translator in Afghanistan.

Verardo was injured in 2010. In two separate IED attacks, he lost limbs and has been through more than 100 surgeries.

Now, the children of both families play on the same soccer team and even go trick-or-treating together. They represent the very best of America.

Up next, the president sees a boost in his approval ratings, but did his return to the campaign trail throw a wrench into his string of wins? We’ll bring in our Sunday panel, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The MAGA Republicans don’t just threaten our personal rights and economic security, they’re a threat to our very democracy. They refused to accept the will of the people. They embrace — embrace political violence. They don’t believe in democracy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIN: President Biden making sure former President Trump is front and center in his first appearance on the campaign trail leading up to the November midterms.

And it’s time now for our Sunday panel.

“Axios” senior politics reporter Josh Kraushaar, former Bush White House advisor Karl Rove, Fox News political analyst Juan Williams, and “Wall Street Journal” White House reporter Catherine Lucey.

Welcome, panel.

JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST (ph): Good to be with you, Jennifer.

GRIFFIN: Juan, the president blasted the MAGA movement. He referred to the philosophy as, quote, semi-fascism. How similar is this to Hillary Clinton’s deplorable comments?

WILLIAMS: Jen, I would say, you know, what the president said was clearly after January 6, 2021. Hillary Clinton spoke before January 6, 2021. After January 6th, you had the reality that there were a group of people, Trump supporter’s, who attacked the Congress of the United States to stop the certification of a legitimate, fair election. You had people in the crowd who wanted to threaten, if not hang, Vice President Pence. You had a situation where there were Trump officials who were pressuring state officials to manufacture votes and send phony electors to the Congress of the United States.

I think if people behave that way, then they can be — they can expect to be called semi-fascist, fascist, because it’s antidemocratic action. You’re acting against the constitution of these United States. And I think, you know, without being dramatic, that’s how democracy dies. They were trying to undermine, to subvert this Constitution. And I think we also – we didn’t play it, but I think it’s important to differ – to say that President Biden differentiated tween that group of people and conservative Republicans. He says he’s worked with conservative Republicans on a bipartisan basis on Capitol Hill on many bills.

This week we had an NBC poll that said now the idea that this democracy is under attack is a number one concern of American voters.

GRIFFIN: Karl, let’s talk about voter energy. When we were on the panel together last December, the Mississippi abortion case was before the Supreme Court. Back then you said the jury was still out on how voters would respond if Roe fell. It did, and now we have primary results.

Is this going to cost Republicans in the midterms?

KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I think on the margins, yes. If candidates don’t look like they understand that the American people hold two conflicted opinions. Two-thirds of the American people did not want Roe v. Wade overturned and two-thirds of the American people don’t want abortions in the second and third trimesters. So, if you have candidates — Republican candidates who say no abortions, no exceptions, than they’re going to be in trouble with the voters. But most Republicans are smart enough to say, you know what, let’s leave it to the states and – and let’s try and find common ground.

I have to say one thing, though, about – about the previous — Joe – Joe Biden, President Biden, was attacking Republicans generally. He was not talking but the people who assaulted the Capitol that sits to the south of us here. He was attacking the entire party.

And you saw that in Cedric Richmond’s comments, who said, well, we’re really sort of big. We’re willing to work with the semi-fascist Republicans on – on issues of common ground. This was – this was not in keeping with what the president promised us.

My whole soul is in it, he said, in his inaugural, bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation. That was after January 6th. We must see each other not as adversaries but as neighbors. We should treat each other with dignity and respect. He was not treating his political opponents with dignity and respect.

WILLIAMS: But, Karl, he clearly — clearly was seeking to –

ROVE: No, he did not. No, he did not.

WILLIAMS: He said clearly, I’m not talking about conservative Republicans.

ROVE: No. No, he didn’t – he didn’t say that. He – those words never passed his lips.

WILLIAMS: He said that. And – he – they did. And what – and also he clearly acted at people who weren’t neighborly and attacked the Congress.

GRIFFIN: OK. All right. I need to move over – OK.

Josh, Senate Republicans canceled ad spending in several key states, like Arizona. What’s behind this?

JOSH KRAUSHAAR, SENIOR POLITICS REPORTER, “AXIOS”: Well, look, you heard Biden’s confidence. I mean the fact that he is now going after Republican suggests a certain confidence that he think some of these Republican candidates are too far to the right. It’s not about the Republican Party overall, it’s about these individual races where Republicans nominated a whole bunch of Trump-endorsed candidates.

In Arizona, Blake Masters, he’s the nominee. Trump-endorsed. Mitch — he attacked Mitch McConnell throughout much of the primary campaign. He’s trailing in the polls.

There are a lot of races like that where Republicans are going to have to figure out where to spend the money because some of these candidates are just a little bit too far to the right of the swing states that they’re running in.

GRIFFIN: Catherine, is student loan debt cancellation just a play to get young voters and minorities to come out in November?

CATHERINE LUCEY, “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL”: Well, Jennifer, you know that the president campaigned on this. This was something that he had been promising to do something on for a long time. And the White House really saw that they – that there was a group of people who were looking for this relief. They tried to target it, you know, to a certain group of borrowers, obviously, with the income limits. So, they see this as a – a policy decision that was important to make.

I think, in some ways, the thing to think about more with November is less – is, you know, certainly this could motivate a certain group of voters, but there’s a lot of candidates, there’s a lot of Democrats who aren’t huge fans of this decision. And we’ve heard —

GRIFFIN: Tim Ryan.

LUCEY: Exactly, I was going to – Tim Ryan, exactly, is someone who has been critical of this. And so there are Democrats who think that this could be a problem for them in November. So you have that dynamic playing out.

GRIFFIN: Karl, let’s talk of at the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago.

We now have portions of the affidavit unsealed. From a national security perspective, there were classified materials found. What case does former President Trump have? Is he in trouble?

ROVE: Well, I think he’s in trouble with public opinion. We do know now that in January, the 15 boxes that were overturned had 184 classified documents, 700 pages of material. We know that the documents that were seized by the FBI in the search of Mar-a-Lago in — on August 8th, that there were 11 packets of classified material. We don’t know how many documents make up those 11 packets. We don’t know how many pages.

But now, apparently, all of the classified documents and all of the presidential records are out of the hands of Mar-a-Lago and back in the hands in the National Archives.

My hope is that the president has — the former president has no exposure on this. It would tear our country apart if he were now to be indicted, particularly after Hillary Clinton was not indicted over – over the – the use of a – of a private email server to share classified information.

But he — those documents should not have left the White House. They should not have gone to Mar-a-Lago. The Presidential Record Act of 1978 forbids it. And the president himself, former President Trump said, they could have had them back anytime they wanted and that long ago, all they had to do was ask. Well, apparently, they were asking as — no later —

GRIFFIN: For a year. For a year.

ROVE: No later than May – no later than May, and probably earlier. We have a letter now as part of the affidavit that says in – on – in — on May 26th, I believe it is, they sent a formal letter. But it’s clear from that letter that they were – they had been asking for these documents to be returned previously.

WILLIAMS: I think it’s clear the Department of Justice was justified in this step. And, boy, if Hillary Clinton had done this, I think a lot of people’s hair would be on fire.

GRIFFIN: Very quickly, Josh, Catherine, legal jeopardy for the president?

KRAUSHAAR: Legal jeopardy, yes, but I think the politics are a lot more mixed because it’s clear he mishandled classified information. Is it incompetence or is it malice, that’s the political question?

LUCEY: And I think we just – there’s a lot of questions we don’t have answers to, right? The affidavit didn’t give us a lot of cluse about where this is going. We know that –

GRIFFIN: I think it suggested they are looking at obstruction of justice, which is up to 20 years in prison.

LUCEY: Yes. Yes, and the Espionage Act. We just — I think we have to see how this plays out.

GRIFFIN: Thank you.

Thanks, panel. See you next Sunday.

Up next, a bit of good news this week. I want to introduce you to a researcher whose team is making great strides towards a cancer vaccine.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GRIFFIN: Thirteen years ago I was diagnosed with a stage three triple negative breast cancer shortly after my son Luke was born. On Mother’s Day in 2011, FOX NEWS SUNDAY documented our families journey.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIN: We lost a little bit of innocence this year, but what we gained as a family in terms of them understanding that life isn’t always fair and that if you’re strong and you set your mind to something, you can get through it. I think we gained a lot more than we lost.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIN: Many members of our audience have shared with me their own cancer stories. Each year in the United States more than 264,000 women a year are diagnosed with breast cancer, about 42,000 women in the U.S. die each year from the disease. Ten to 15 percent will be diagnosed like me with triple negative, an aggressive form that until now has had no drug that can halt a deadly recurrence.

Dr. Keith Knutson and his team of researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Florida, with an initial $13 million grant from the Defense Department, have made enormous progress on a possible vaccine. It not only might prevent a recurrence of triple negative breast cancer, but also may eventually be given to women to prevent all breast cancers, using the body’s own immune system.

Dr. Keith Knutson joins me now.

Doctor, welcome to FOX NEWS SUNDAY.

KEITH KNUTSON, PH.D., MAYO CLINIC CANCER RESEARCHER: Thank you. It’s great to be here.

GRIFFIN: Are we one step closer to a cure? Why is this such a significant breakthrough moment in cancer research and treatment?

KNUTSON: Well, you know, cancer is really a – you know, just a multitude of different diseases. And even within breast cancer, there are lots of different subtypes of breast cancer. And so it’s very important to try to understand what you’re going to target and how you’re going to target it and then go through the steps that you can show you can target it and it can be safely administered to people. And it’s – it’s a challenge and it takes several years to do this. And you really need to stick with it. And, you know, that’s the important steps that we go through as we, you know, of course, research in developing cancer vaccines.

GRIFFIN: How do these cancer vaccines work?

KNUTSON: Well, not too unlike an infectious disease vaccine. So, what’s all on our mind right now, of course, is Covid vaccines. And it’s not really two different than that. What we want to do is we want to identify what is foreign and then use that foreign substance, and typically that’s a protein, and administer that along with a — an immune activator called an adgavent (ph) in some way or another stimulate the immune system so that it forms either antibodies or t cells, or both. And then that gives you the power to fight off the disease should it occur, you know, later, or tomorrow, or, you know, at some other point in your life.

GRIFFIN: Tell me about your two most significant trials for breast cancer.

KNUTSON: We have a number of different clinical trials that are ongoing. And there’s three ways to think about how we approach the development of vaccines. The first way is to use vaccines to shrink a tumor. The second way is to use vaccines to prevent a recurrence in individuals that have been previously treated for cancers. And the third way is to use vaccines to prevent the cancers right from the get-go. That’s called primary prevention.

So, the trials that are ongoing right now in our group, and several other groups across the country, are to use vaccines to prevent occurrence. So, you had spoken about the triple negative breast cancer vaccine that we have. That’s very advanced for us. It’s in phase two clinical trials. The next step is phase three clinical trials. And the phase two clinical trials was just recently fully accrued. So, we have 290 patients. Several of those patients have been treated with placebo. Two-thirds of them have been treated with the vaccine. These individuals don’t have cancer right now. The idea is, can we prevent the cancer from coming back?

GRIFFIN: And, finally, what are the women in your studies telling about receiving these vaccines, how it makes them feel right now?

KNUTSON: Right. So, the — unlike an infectious disease vaccine where, you know, you can – you can rapidly assess in the population whether there’s an infection, we need to wait. So, despite the fact that, you know, we have accrued the 290 patients on study, now really the challenge begins to trying to understand who’s going to relapse and who’s going to be protected from disease. And oftentimes that takes years to evaluate.

So, we’ve got, ,you know, probably got another two or three more years where we’ll be evaluating these patients to see if a vaccine has an activity.

GRIFFIN: But can you see one day where we can actually have a cure for cancer? And will these vaccines play a role?

KNUTSON: Absolutely. Absolutely. So, in recent times, there’s been a tremendous amount of effort from not just our laboratory but other laboratories around the country to using the knowledge that we now have with respect to the immune system and what we can target in cancer to develop vaccines that can prevent cancers from happening in the first place.

So, our team is partnering with the National Breast Cancer Coalition and the National Cancer Institute to develop a primary prevention vaccine for breast cancer. We’re not just talking about triple negative breast cancer, we’re talking about all of the breast cancers, the 260,000 cases per year that was initially brought up as the number of cases in the U.S. that we have every year with breast cancer. And preventing that, or at least rapidly reducing the incidence so that we, you know, don’t have to deal with the advanced stages of the disease.

GRIFFIN: Well, Dr. Knutson, from my family and from all women in the United States, thank you very much.

KNUTSON: Thank you.

GRIFFIN: Up next, Ukrainian refugees use their musical talents to send a message to Vladimir Putin. I’ll introduce you to a few of them as they fight back with instruments of peace.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KERI-LYNN WILSON, UKRAINIAN FREEDOM ORCHESTRA CONDUCTOR: Must find a way to – to keep on this mission until Ukraine is free and independent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIN: She’s conducted orchestras around the world and now she’s leading a new ensemble. It’s called the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra, made up of dozens of Ukrainian refugees who are part of a new international orchestra that just finished touring Europe in the United States. I sat down with a few of the musicians at the Kennedy Center to discuss what they hope to achieve as the war in Ukraine enters its sixth month.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GRIFFIN (voice over): They fled Ukraine in the hours and days after Russia’s invasion, carrying with them a few dollars, their children, and their instruments. Their bows now serve as their weapons as Vladimir Putin’s army tries to expunge Ukraine from the map of Europe.

KERI-LYNN WILSON, UKRAINIAN FREEDOM ORCHESTRA CONDUCTOR: I consider my musicians soldiers of music who are free and independent Ukraine. Putin keeps trying to say there is no culture. We are fighting on the cultural front and our weapons are our instruments.

GRIFFIN: Keri-Lynn Wilson assembled 75 Ukrainian refugees who had never played together for an international 12-city tour that ended at the Kennedy Center in the nation’s capital.

WILSON: It came together when I was horrified by the invasion in February. This was very personal for me because I still have family who are in Ukraine. And I thought, I could somehow bring these refugees together and – and create an orchestra, to give them a voice back, because Putin has silenced them.

GRIFFIN: You compare your musicians to foot soldiers. People have described you as defiant in artistic resistance.

WILSON: We’re armed with our emotions. We’re driven by the fact that we want to prove, not only to Putin, but to the world, for the future, not only of Ukraine, as a free and independent country, but for the future of democracy.

GRIFFIN: Among her soldiers, Olga Sheliskova (ph), the director of Kyiv’s Mozart orchestra who fled Ukraine with her 16-year-old daughter and cat.

OLGA SHELISKOVA (ph): It was dangerous. We can see the rockets on the – on the sky. And the sound of explode.

GRIFFIN (on camera): Why is it important for you to be in this orchestra right now?

SHELISKOVA: We have to remind about the work.

GRIFFIN: Do you feel like a soldier?

SHELISKOVA: I’m a musician.

GRIFFIN: What is your message to Vladimir Putin?

SHELISKOVA: We are exist. Ukraine exist. Ukraine is independent country.

GRIFFIN (voice over): Bassist Nazari Stets (ph) received special permission from President Zelenskyy to leave Ukraine.

GRIFFIN (on camera): How do you feel right now about the idea of going back to Ukraine?

NAZARI STETS (ph): It’s the best thing I can do. I’m a professional musician. I think I’m a little bit useless in army. So this is my – my front. I can play Ukrainian music.

GRIFFIN: This orchestra has been compared to soldiers.

STETS: Yes.

GRIFFIN: How are you a soldier?

STETS: We can tell the truth to the whole world, I am a soldier, because I’m telling the truth and I’m not scared of that.

WILSON: Those who have chosen to stay in Ukraine, what courage, what bravery, and what determination to stay in their country to fight for its independence.

GRIFFIN (voice over): The pieces she chose to play during the tour all have deep symbolism.

WILSON: I wanted to feature Ukrainian composers.

GRIFFIN: Like Vallantine Silvestrof (ph), whose seventh symphony is dedicated to his wife who died suddenly.

WILSON: We dedicated to the soldiers and the innocent victims of this war. Then I chose Beethoven’s Vildelio (ph). It’s called (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE), which means “monster.”

It is about fighting against the tyrant.

GRIFFIN: Since the invasion on February 24th, the Kennedy Center has bathed itself in the colors of Ukraine’s flag.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was our way of saying we are watching. We know. We care. We are supporting you.

GRIFFIN: Ukraine’s ambassador thanked the American people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In this time of tyranny, dictatorship, and total false propaganda, everyone in our global orchestra should feel like an essential instrument making an important and influential sound. God bless America. (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

GRIFFIN: Each night the orchestra ends playing Ukraine’s national anthem.

WILSON: There’s something very cathartic about playing it. And there’s never a dry tear in the audience. And we’re crying as we play it in – in our hearts.

SHELISKOVA: We are proud of our country. Proud of our soldier, real soldier, brave men who fight.

STETS: Really touching all the time. I see the whole audience with Ukrainian flags. This is really emotional moment. It’s about a bright future.

SHELISKOVA: Your support very important for us, for Ukrainian people. We feel that we are not alone.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GRIFFIN: A message we could all use this Sunday.

Thank you for joining us. I’m Jennifer Griffin.

Before we go, you may have heard our colleague, a tremendous journalist, Shannon Bream, will take over this chair permanently next month. You will see her here beginning September 11th. Until then, you can find Shannon weeknights on Fox News Channel anchoring “FOX NEWS @ NIGHT.”

Have a great week, and we’ll see you next FOX NEWS SUNDAY.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

END

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