Day 24! As a new poll showed President Donald Trump increasingly getting blamed for the longest-ever U.S. government shutdown, he kicked off Day 24 by again trying to blame Democrats for not agreeing to fund his proposed border wall, saying he's "been waiting all weekend" for them to "get to work." Later Monday morning, as he left the White House for a trip to New Orleans, Trump told reporters he is "not looking to call a national emergency" because solving the problem should be "simple."
Fox News Radio's Guy Benson & Marie Harf sat down with Chief Political Anchor For Fox News & Anchor Of Special Report Bret Baier who isn't sure how this will be resolved just yet.
FULL TRANSCRIPT BELOW:
Marie Harf: We are very lucky to be joined right now in studio by our colleague Bret Bair. He is of course the chief political anchor for Fox News anchor of Special Report which I know everyone watches they watch TV with Bret at 6:00p.m. While they listen to us on the radio.
Bret Baier: I think every day it's record me. That's right. They can TiVo you can get ratings so listen to you. Exactly.
Marie Harf: And of course author of three days in Moscow Ronald Reagan and the fall of the Soviet empire which we had him on to talk about a few months ago. Yes. Thanks for coming back.
Bret Baier: Good to be here.
Guy Benson: And by the way before we go any further congratulations. It was recently reported that our network has signed Brett recently a resigned for multi-year deal through at least the 2020 election is my understanding including honcho in all the 2020 stuff
Bret Baier: and 2022 actually.
Guy Benson: I was going to say you've also just recently celebrated 10 years at the helm of Special Report so big time in the life of Brett Baier Congrats on everything
Marie Harf: And you rap your Christmas party
Guy Benson: That that went viral that went everything you really did was Sugar hill Gang.
Bret Baier: The Sugar hill gang was there we tracked down for the Christmas party.
Guy Benson: Some of my friends like did you know that about him I'm like oh yeah we go out drinking. He raps all the time. I really I was like No no that was a stunner to me.
Guy Benson: I had such FOMO already for that party because I was up in New York and I couldn't be at that Christmas party. Then when I saw the video I was like my worst fear fears have been realized.
Bret Baier: There's always next year there's always next year I have to top it. What do you recommend?
Marie Harf: You started practicing Vanilla Ice. These are available
Guy Benson: I'm sure you could probably literally get help.
Marie Harf: We could just talk about that all day actually. But there is real news in Washington even if not a lot of work is going on Capitol Hill right now. Brett, we're day what 24 of the government shutdown longest in history. People aren't getting paid. You're starting to hear more stories about how this is impacting real Americans. The polling doesn't look good for the president and the GOP congressional leaders on this. What's your take? On day 24 of where this stands how it gets resolved sort of all of the politics surrounding it?
Bret Baier: I don't know how it gets resolved as of yet. I mean I think Lindsey Graham put forward a compromise position to open the government negotiate on border and then if that doesn't work out at the end of it declare a national emergency and try to do it on his own. The president said he didn't want to do that. He wants it to be a legislative deal so I don't know how it goes forward. I do know that he does not seem to care about where the polls are on this issue. I know people on Capitol Hill look at those polls and say this is not going the right direction for the GOP. But the president continues to say it's a common sense argument and if you follow the logic you know a lot of these Democrats have voted for some sort of border security in the past. So why not come up with at least some compromise including fencing and barriers one that have something that you put on the table in negotiations and so far he's been sitting in the White House alone and tweeting out that he's alone in the White House and waiting on Democrats.
Guy Benson: Bret I looked at a lot of the polling that Marie referenced. And she's right. Much of it is gruesome for the Republicans and I think it's difficult for them not to bear the brunt of the blame when the president was out front happily accepting the blame early on in this process right saying I'd be proud to shut down the government. There were a few bright spots in that poll including support for the Wall has actually increased and it's now a 46/54 split among registered voters which isn't bad comparatively. And I think crucially one thing that is agreed upon across the board is the need for compromise. Even the people who are opposed to the wall about half of them say the Democrats shouldn't hold completely firm on this. They should offer something and compromise is that is that the angle the White House at this point should be taking just beating the drum on compromise.
Bret Baier: That's it. I mean he's essentially saying I'll take it. Whatever you give me we will make a deal and I will cut it. Now think about that. I mean DACA, TPS all of this stuff the Democrats have been pushing on the immigration front. He's willing to sign.
Marie Harf: He says today he did sign them and I think even Republicans like Mitch McConnell are worried that when the president says that today tomorrow there could be a different story
Bret Baier: because a pushback on the right. Once he hears that he changes his mind. Guy Benson: We've just seen this movie
Bret Baier: But he is talking publicly about it so he would have to own it and it would be a public turnaround
Guy Benson: as opposed to the private green light that he gets at McConnell. Exactly.
Bret Baier: So this is a little bit more in the public eye. I think there is a point at which people say and this to both sides and you know he's not ending it and they're not ending it. So there's two sides to the coin
Marie Harf: we have reporting today that again they're going to try and pass bills and the Democratic led House to reopen the government they're going to keep doing this. I think every few days to say look we're passing bills that would reopen it and give us some time to negotiate. Sort of like what Lindsey Graham said. Sort of. And so I think we're going to keep seeing them doing something like that. But Bret at what point or at any point do these stories of federal workers families who this really impacts these TSA lines are getting even longer because people are calling out sick. When does that have an impact on the president do you think or does it?
Bret Baier: I don't know if it does. I mean he's a unique character in American history. He you know he has a history of being a real estate developer negotiator in New York City. And something tells me he's played hardball a few times before in negotiations. When it came to real estate
Guy Benson: hitting the table standing up and saying "Bye Bye"
Bret Baier: Something tells me that it's not foreign to him. And I think that that does not bode well for what's going to be maybe a lot of days in a row and then you start looking at these stories and how much it's affecting different people. Yeah I think the Republicans in the Senate will probably be the push that says and you know McConnell's been out of the negotiation for a long time. I think he probably gets in the game here pretty soon and says Mr. President we need to do this. And here's what we can deliver to you.
Guy Benson: Brett with the snow swirling in this town over the weekend two stories dropped. New York Times Washington Post both regarding Russia reignited that whole issue again. New York Times reporting that last year or I guess at this point 2017 just after the president fired the FBI director at the time James Comey the FBI actually extended or expanded or open their investigation specifically to include the question of whether or not the president the United States was a Russian asset of some sort. Right. And then the Washington Post had this report that talked about how Trump has bent over backwards and sort of extraordinary ways to hide even from his own administration the contents of his private conversations with the leader of Russia Vladimir Putin taking translator notes right confiscating the notes. Both of these stories have caused a lot of chatter among sort of our chattering class or those big enough to break through where ordinary people care. And what's the fallout here in D.C.? Do you think?
Bret Baier: Well I think it was explosive the stories. I think they got a lot of coverage all over the place. You know with the New York Times story in paragraph 9 they get to the fact that there was no evidence. It took them nine paragraphs to get there but they got there in the lead shouldn't it. And you know Lisa Page and everyone who has testified that we know about on Capitol Hill says when they turned over to Mueller there was no evidence of any of that. That's all you know context I think Jonathan Karl over the weekend said that everyone he's talking to connected with the Mueller investigation says they're worried that it's going to be anticlimactic. The report itself. Now if that's the case it's going to be a big downer for all the folks who are talking up you know that this is he's a Manchurian candidate for Putin. I do think however that the Helsinki thing was a horrible public relations moment not only for what he said at the microphones but how it's being handled about the one on one. Presidents have one on one meetings all the time. Reagan met with Gorbachev with just translators in the room. But the fact that he's so concerned about what the translator had and it suggests some weird it's weird and I don't know if Congress is going to have success in getting that transition testify in.
Marie Harf: And I think the context behind it also is that you know no one questioned why Ronald Reagan was doing certain things in his Soviet policy right. When Donald Trump seems at odds with much of his administration on Russia policy. You see the State Department being tougher U.S. Treasury being tougher and then it seems like Donald Trump excuse is a lot of Russian behavior. And I think the question for a lot of people has always been why it may not be that he's a Russian asset or that he colluded or that any of these sort of really far out there theories. But it's bizarre and he behaves in bizarre ways and then on top of that all of the lies throughout the campaign and since about who they talked to and what they discussed it just in him why he fired Comey changing that story. It leads to a lot of questions that we've never confronted before in this way.
Bret Baier: I agree. And there are a lot of questions. But I think it all comes to action right. What action is the U.S. taking in regards to Russia if you do the list of things that we've done whether it is with Trump's approval or against Trump's wishes right. It's pretty firm. What the U.S. has done to Russia.
Marie Harf: Why would he not want to be? I mean that's the question I don't have the answer when you question about it.
Bret Baier: He says look at all the things that we've done. And so it's his list of lessons Guy Benson: Syria withdrawal would be a pretty big boon to Russia too. That's one of the counterpoints you could bring up I guess to me Bret I'm constantly wanting to wait for the report and see what the facts are. I'm so tired of our endless speculation I know what sort of our job and what we do. But you're right when it's in paragraph 9 it is new the word newsworthy and in my judgment no question that this happened at the FBI was investigating this. That is definitely newsworthy. But I feel like just on a journalism basis you need to put right up at the top of the story. And when they investigated. There was no evidence of it and not bury that. That seems that fuels the Trump fans complaints about the media that there are they want to throw chum in the water and make it seem worse than it actually is.
Bret Baier: I mean this is the cycle we go through every week. Is that something pops the hyperventilating about that something happens for a day and a half and then people go wait a second is they're really they're there and then people then the president tweets out that it's fake news and they're all attacking me and then his supporters say yeah we get it and Middle America goes. Do I care about this?
Marie Harf: I think the Mueller report I mean that's what even I have tried to caution Democrats are right we need to wait. We're talking about the word impeachment. We need to wait for the Muller report. And you know I you mentioned Jonathan Karl's reporting he's a really good reporter. I just I take with a grain of salt. Anyone who says they know when Mueller is going to finish or what the report is going to look like.
Bret Baier: But if I if there are people that they around it who are warning like don't go over the bar so we'll all be.
Marie Harf: Maybe you do before debates you say is not a really good debater and then he got the letter right now that the expectations are low. Guy Benson: I mean maybe but it shouldn't be a political game or a political docket right. Mueller's team should not be gaming this out for public opinion.
Bret Baier: I'll just say this if this comes and it's a blockbuster report to the point where they're somehow linking collusion they've got hard evidence it will be the best kept secret. Washington has ever kept because it's been a year and a half of this investigation. You mean to tell me that there's not one time that there would be a leak about some element of collusion.
Guy Benson: That's a good point.
Marie Harf: I will say he has kept things pretty buttoned up and we don't we don't often get leaks from his team. So we will see. And who knows when we'll actually get it. OK we're up on a break Bret Bair thank you for coming on our show again tonight congratulations on ten years in the new contract and wrapping. I mean you had like a banner a few months for you. So thank you for taking some time to join us tonight.
Bret Baier: Good to be here.
Marie Harf: We'll be back right after this.