tv WSJ at Large With Gerry Baker FOX Business March 31, 2019 11:30am-12:00pm EDT
futures. meanwhile, start smart every weekday on fox business from 6-9 a.m. eastern for mornings with maria right here on fox business every weekday. that'll do it for me in the weekend, thanks so much for joining us here. haatatatatatatatatatatatatatata. i'll see you tomorrow. ♪ ♪ gerry: hello, and welcome to the "wall street journal" at large. all this week the country's been digesting the news that robert mueller's two-year-long intensive and comprehensive investigation of russian meddling in the 2016 election was not, after all, the mortal threat to donald trump's presidency that his critics hoped and some of his supporters feared it would be. mr. mueller's conclusion was a huge vindication for the president. although mr. mueller declined to pass judgment on whether mr. trump had obstructed
justice, that central underlying alleged crime was always the supposed russia collusion story. and on that, there was no ambiguity. much of the commentary in the last week has focused on the media's role, and rightly so. let me say as a rl former editor-in-chief of a u.s. newspaper, the negative implications for the media can't be exaggerated. for the last two years, many of the self-revered news organizations of this country have published a repeated and continuing narrative who is assertion by implication was that the president of the united states is, in effect, a tool of the russian government. this work won the gushing admiration of almost everyone else in the media. let me remind you, for example, of what the pulitzer prize board said in awarding it top honor last year to the new york times and washington post. it was for deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public that dramatically furthered the nation's understanding of russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. and its connections to the trump campaign.
the president-elect's transition team and his eventual administration. now, those connections -- at least as the newspapers intended us to understand them -- just really didn't exist. and this performance should be remembered for what it is, the most prejudiced and, i think, irresponsible episode in the history of modern news reporting. the damage to the trust that many voters already have in a lot of journalism might just be irreparable. but if the long-term are for if news organizations in this country, the immediate challenge might be for the democratic party. most voters are likely to see the result of the mueller investigation as an exoneration of mr. trump and will probably want the country to simply move on. but attorney general william barr's decision not to pursue further legal action on the issue of possible obstruction of justice presents the democrats with a choice, and it's already cheer that some to party leaders want to continue to push for investigations. now, that will presumably delight the party's base, especially as the presidential primary unfolds, but it may turn
off middle ground voters the party needs to win in november next year. this divergence between what the party base wants and what the public wants is precisely the fork on which many presidential campaigns are always impaled. they're caught between the need to satisfy an angry base and the desire to appeal to the broader electorate. so what is it to be for the democrats? joining me now to discuss that is someone who's hoping to win the presidency in 2020, former maryland congressman john delaney, the first democrat to announce a bid back in july of 2017. congressman delaney -- >> thank you for having me. gerri: let me start by asking you, do you accept the essential conclusion of the mueller report that there was no conspiracy between the trump campaign and russia? >> i mean, recognizing i haven't read the report, right, that was the conclusion that came out of the report as reported by the attorney general, so, yes, i do. gerry: not everybody in the democratic party does accept
that. i think you've seen, for example, congressman adam schiff, chairman of the house intelligence committee, said just this week after the, after the publication of the barr letter, or obviously, there's collusion. we'll continue to investigate the counterintelligence issue. you don't accept that though. >> so listen, i think the mueller report -- again, which i haven't read, which is one of the reasons why i think we should make the report public, because i don't think as a country we'll be able to move on from this issue unless we actually see the report. the conclusion of the report which was the criminal standard of collusion met, i accept that premise. right? am i still highly suspicious of why the president is a bit of an apologist for russia and why, in fact, he has never embraced the notion that they interfered in our elections which all 17 intelligence agencies of the united states of america have concluded, you know, that remains very troubling to me. but i accept the central premise of the report as reported by the attorney general that criminal
collusion, if you will, that standard -- which is very high -- was not met. gerry: what about the obstruction of justice issue? the attorney general's let or said that -- letter said that the conclusion of the mueller report was inconclusive on that. wasn't exonerated, but there was no evidence -- is that something that you think requires further investigation? >> i think that's why the report -- and i think the attorney general will actually put the report on. his comments have indicated that he will. i'll take him at his word for that. i think he should. and, clearly, obstruction was a close call, right? because mueller didn't conclude on it at least from what the attorney general communicated to us. he indicated that mueller did have a hard time -- gerry: he said he and the office of league counsel and the deputy attorney general all agreed there was not a case -- >> listen, the president's behavior with respect to james comey, whether it be flynn or with respect to comey directly, i think, was terrible. and i think the president put himself in the crosshairs of this invest with his behavior. -- investigation with his
behavior. i would personally like to move on as a nation because i think we have much more important things to actually deal with. i think the report should be made public. there might be some revelations in this report that causes me to kind of answer all these questions differently, but at this point having not seen the report, i'm effectively taking the attorney general at his word around collusion and obstruction the, i think, was a closer call, and i'd love to the read the report and see what's in it. gerri: do you think the democratic party in congress and the country as a whole is ready to move on and discuss these oh issues that you talk about? >> i think the congress has oversight respondent, and i think depending upon what's in this report, that may merit additional oversight, no question. i mean, we have to remember this report, the genesis of this report was russians, russia's interference in our elections. which is a very consequential thing, the fact that a foreign power was able to successfully interfere at some level, whether you think it made a difference in the outcome or not, no one knows the answer to that
question, but they clearly did interfere. that's actually a wig deal. -- big deal. the president got himself in the crosshairs with his behavior, but the investigation, the original premise of the invest within the fbi was to look at this interference, and that's a pretty big deal. so depending what comes out of this report, who knows what the house should do. i know as a candidate for president i want to talk about issues -- gerry: i want to get on the to those two, but when you say you call for the publication of the report, the attorney general has said the report will be published, and there will presumably be redactions. you accept that, do you? >> so, clearly, there are intelligence sources that have to be protected. right? so i accept those redactions. you know, i'm a big believer in the rule of law, and we have laws around this kind of stuff, what can be disclosed publicly in a report like this. so i think we should take the report, we should look at the laws, and we should apply the laws to the report. and if that means things have to
be redacted, they will, and then we should make it public. i'm not in favor of the attorney general exercising a lot of discretion, right, absent specific standards in terms of how he redacts it, because that will raise more questions, and i'm a big believer in transparency. we should apply the law, protect sources, redact those things and make this report public. gerry: when there was an investigation by the fbi of hillary clinton and her e-mails back in 2015, 2016, then-fbi director james comey came out and said there was no case for, he wasn't going to pursue a case for prosecution, but he came out and gave a very sort of comprehensive and rather damning account of then-secretary clinton's behavior. a lot of democrats were up happy with that and said, you know, this is either a case for prosecution, or there isn't. we don't need to have commentary from the law enforcement or from the prosecutors on what she may or may not have done right. respect you, though, by saying we need to see this report in its entirety, aren't you asking for exactly what democrats
objected to when james comey did that back in 2016? >> well, putting the report out is not really commentary, in my opinion. look, this mueller investigation is a unique moment in american history. we had a sitting president of the united states investigated for possible collusion with a foreign power associated with his election. and it's preoccupied the country for two years. i just think to restore trust in our institutions, which is one of the things that's really lacking in our country right now and it's very concerning to me, i think full transparency of this report will help establish trust. everyone will have an opportunity to read it, no one will think anything's being hidden from them, and i think -- that doesn't mean people won't draw different conclusions, but getting it out there is good. gerry: we'll be right back with john delaney to get his further thought on the mueller investigation and the 2020 presidential race, so please don't go away. ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ gerry: welcome back. my guest is democratic presidential candidate john delaney. congressman, thank you again. one more question on the mueller investigation. >> sure. gerry: you say that it's -- you agree it's probably time to move on. well, you'd like to see the report in its entirety. there's a question though, i think, isn't there, about this country's been obsessed with this and has been plunged into a two-year-long, you could call it a political crisis of confidence. to investigate, again, the fundamental allegation that the president is, was working with a foreign power which has now been, as i say, pretty comprehensively debucked. do we -- debunked. do we need to hook at how we got here and how it was that, you know, thanks to a combination of people, politicians, political operatives, maybe people inside the government, in the fbi and the justice department, launched this investigation which in the end has produced nothing? does that concern you about the way in which, the way in which
the authorities here were able to take up this, take up so much of the political oxygen here with this investigation? >> well, look, i think the genesis of this investigation was russia's interference in our election. which all 17 intelligence agencies believed happened. so i think that was a totally valid way to start this investigation. then, as i say, the president kind of put himself in the crosshairs through his behavior, right? and, obviously, when the president of the united states is being investigated for possible collusion with a foreign power, it becomes something that the country can't get enough of. and so i actually think we got here starting decades ago, right, with this decades of horribly corrosive kind of partisan politics. that contributed to the environment that we've lived in for the last two years around this or report. in other words, i think this invest was necessary. did we speculate about this investigation if too much? absolutely. gerry: but in two years' time, congressman, you could be president of the united states, and you could be facing elements within the government, deep
state some people call it, who don't like you, don't like your policies, don't think you should have been elected who could somehow if cook up some conspiracy theory and have the government investigate you for two years. is that a healthy state of atears? >> the way you described it, no, but i don't think that's an accurate description of what's happened here. as president of the united unitd states, i don't think i would contradict my 17 intelligence communities. so i think there was some unusual behavior here. gerry: okay, let's move op on, as you want to -- [laughter] to other issues. >> i think there are so many other important things. i know you agree. gerry: let's start with a pretty fundamental issue which is the nature of the american economy, capitalism versus socialism. >> yes. gerry: you were a very successful businessman, you, you know, from your boot straps up, you know, we've read a lot about your life story, and it's very impressive. you succeeded, you made a lot of money, your grandfather, i
think, was an immigrant to the country. i think you probably agree the capitalist system enabled you to achieve what you -- you've got leaders who say, no, we want socialism. that's a big issue in this democratic campaign. what do you say to those people? >> listen, i'm a capitalist, as you said, and i was good at it, and i think it's an amazing innovation and job creation machine. i don't think socialism is the right answer to any question we could be asking ourselves. but making capitalism more just, which is what we've always done as a country. look, we used to let kids work in factories, right? that capitalism back then. but we came together as a society and said that's not right. we created laws. we created medicare, social security. so i think to some extent it's a false choice. we are a capitalistic country -- gerry: definitions are difficult, but it's pretty clear that a large number of people in the democratic party want a much bigger role for the state.
they want a bigger role in health care, regulation, higher taxes. broadly speaking, is that a direction the party should be going in. >> again, i do think we have a health care crisis in this cup, and i do favor the government talking steps to create a universal health care system because in many ways we have one now. if you go to an emergency room, by law, they have to take care of you. it's just a really stupid form of universal health care. so i do favor the government doing things to create universal health care. do i favor them getting rid of private insurance? no, i don't think that's the right answer. gerry: which is what bernie sanders wants to do. >> that's right. and i think that's a terrible answer. but i do favor -- everyone should have health care as a right in this country. we clearly spend enough money, and we still don't have health care as a right. so i do think we can reform our health care system, but i want the private market involved. gerry: congressman, we've got to take another break. more of the big topics in the 2020 presidential election. stay with us. ♪ ♪ you.
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♪ ♪ gerry: i'm back with john trainny. delaney. talking about the democratic party and where it's going. a lot of policies described as possibly socialist. one of the faved ones is the green new deal, infrastructure spending for green projects. you support that or against it? >> so i'm excited that it's created a lot of energy, but i don't think it's the right way to go on climate. first of all, we shouldn't tie climate change to other issues. either climate change is a problem or it's not. if it is, we should have a singular focus, and is the green new deal tries to link it. so that, i don't think, is the right approach. secly, i favor market-based approach, so i introduced the only bipartisan carbon tax bill, raises a huge amount of revenues and gives every penny back to
the american people. so it uses a market-based force to the change behavior. gerry: let's move quickly on to tax. many of the candidates are pushing for much higher taxes on the wealthiest, high tax on income and wealth. where do you stand on that? >> i think wealthy americans should pay more, but we should get rid of the difference between the the capital gains re and ordinary income rate. i think the nervous invest ther class -- i think that's ridiculous. we don't need that incentive anymore, and that's the biggest leakage in our tax code, if you will. gerry: a lot of what you're saying will appeal to a lot of votest, a lot of voters in two lines right now about whether to vote for president trump again to or to favor a democrat. but a lot of what you're saying is not going to a appeal to democratic voters in the appeal aggressive.be to the left, more how to you appeal to those voters in order to get to the general election? >> well, i think what will
appeal is the fact that i can win, right? at the end of the day, i think that's going to be the central question, do we want to nominate someone who can capture the center, because the only way we'll win in 2020 is if we capture the center. gerry: wasn't that hillary clinton's message in a way in 2020 against bernie sanders? >> i think that was a very different election. you can't refight last election with the coming election. think president trump is unique in his ability to turn how out his voters and our voters, and so, therefore, if trump's supporters turn out and democrats turn out, what really means is this election's going to be fought in the center. and we have to put forth a more moderate candidate, someone who wants to bring the country together, the unify the country, get big things done but do them by finding common ground. gerry: you hear what the left says, we just don't want another neo-liberal, a successful business person who's just going to do more or less exactly what, you know, centrist democrat ares
and republicans have done for a long time. donald trump was radical and different for the republicans in 2016, we need someone radical and different for the democrats in 2020. >> i think the democrats are going to look for someone who can solve problems. i've called for universal health care. i have a way of making it happen. i've called to do something on climate change, something big. i've shone shown that i can do it on a bipartisan basis. i think what democratic primary voters are looking for is someone who can find common ground, bring the country together and get things done. think about all the things we don't deal with in this country. we don't deal infrastructure, with pharmaceutical price, any of this stuff. gerry: one final question. if you don't mind me saying this, you looking a lot like me. you're a white male, we have the same hair style -- >> it's a sign of great intelligence. [laughter] gerry: thank you very much. that's what i tell my kids. is the democratic party going to elect a white male again this time? going to nominate a white male? >> well, we didn't nominate a
white male last time, and the president of the united states prior to that, obviously -- gerry: you know, there does seem to be a hunger for, you know, to go with a woman or minorities or even conceivably both. >> i think that it's great that the people running for president represent the country. i think that's great. i don't think i have any advantage as a white man, which is the way it should be, but i think the democratic party is going to nominate the best leader, and i know i'm the best leader for this country. gerry: thank you very much, indeed. coming up, we'll look at what the debate over the mueller probe, where it's going and when it may finally come to an end.
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♪ ♪ gerry: robert mueller may have found no conspiracy between the trump campaign and the russians, but it's already clear that the conspiracy here to the is are not going away. democrats and many in the media will continue to believe there was fire along with all that smoke, and they'll keep trying to find it. it's been a feature of this country's politics on both sides of the aisle for a very long time. it's no longer enough now, it seems, to disagree with your opponent, you must delegitimize them, call into question their right to hold office and try to get them removed. it's happened with just about every president since watergate. the voters still get the final say, fortunately. that's it for us this week.
next week, we'll take up the question of whether or not civility can find its way back into american politics with arthur brooks here on "the wall street journal" at large. thank you for joining us, the following is a paid advertisement for the bissell crosswave pet pro, sponsored by bissell. [music]