tv The Journal Editorial Report FOX News March 23, 2019 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
♪ ♪ if. paul: welcome to "the journal editorial report," i'm paul gigot. robert mueller delivered his long-awaited report to attorney general william barr on friday concluding his nearly two-year investigation into russian interference in the 2016 election. right now barr and rod rosenstein are at the department of justice reviewing that report while house democrats are holding a conference call to discuss their next steps. john roberts is at the white house with the very latest. john. >> reporter: paul, good afternoon to you. the long-awaited mueller report, of which we know absolutely nothing. as you pointed out, the attorney general, the deputy attorney general are reviewing it. we had thought that we might see
some results of it, that would have been sort of the top-line findings, the conclusions, by 5:00 this afternoon, but now we are told that's not going to happen, and we'll likely see it sometime tomorrow at the very earliest. a white house source told me yesterday it would probably not be until sometime late sunday, now it appears overly ambitious, this idea that we would have gotten something out today. the president having a leisurely saturday, just got back to mara lag go. he certainly is taking a lot of comfort from the fact, paul, that robert mueller said in delivering the report he is not going to seek think more indictments which would be an indication that the president in terms of the russia investigation, collusion and obstruction of justice, is likely in the clear, prompting this response from his attorney, rudy giuliani, to fox news yesterday: this marks the end of the russia investigation. we await a disclose closure of the facts, we are confident there is no finding of collusion
by the president, and this underscores what the president has been saying from the beginning, that he did nothing wrong. the president has spent months now trying to undermine the legitimacy of the mueller investigation, the very premise upon which it was built. and on his way out of the white house yesterday on his way to mar-a-lago, he was doing exactly the same thing. listen here. >> we're going to see what happens. it's going to be very interesting, but we'll see what happens. there was no collusion, this was no obstruction -- there was no obstruction, everybody knows it. it's all a big hoax. i call it the witch hunt, it's all a big hoax. so we'll see what happens. i know that the attorney general, highly respected, ultimately will make a decision. >> reporter: so where do we go from here? the attorney general, the deputy attorney general reviewing it. if there is material that may be subject to executive privilege, that man standing right there beside the president may have something to say about it, that is emmett flood, who is the president's in-house counsel on the mueller investigation. he and the white house counsel
may have to review any materials before they are released in case they have to claim executive privilege, or maybe there's a request to waive executive privilege, or maybe they ask for some redactions. now, democrats at the same time are asking for the entire report to be released, but that would include a lot of sensitive materials, so that is a wrestling match that could go on for weeks, if not months. of course, there are other investigations going on as well at the southern district of new york, in congress, plenty to keep democrats busy through november 3, 2020. i said at the top of in the, paul, in terms of indictments it looks on the surface at least the president is out of the woods. what we don't know is if he's out of the woods politically, because we don't know what might be contained in the report. but we got an indication of how the report may go in a letter that was transmitted from rod rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, to the then-chairman of the senate judiciary committee,
charles grassley, last june in which rosenstein said that prosecutors do not like to talk about misconduct among people who are not being charged. so if it is that there are no more indictments, that would indicate the president's not being charged with anything and so, therefore, the report might not say anything about any misconduct on the president's part. there's also been this theory that maybe there's a sealed indictment somewhere that's waiting to get opened when the president gets out of office. i'm told it's likely that didn't happen because mueller would have had to get permission from the department of justice, and that would have been a huge process that probably would have raised some alarm bells. paul? paul: thank you, john. let's bring in columnist and deputy editor dan henninger and columnists kim strassel and bill mcgurn. let's talk about what we do know here from these early innings. kim, how significant is it that mueller has not -- has said, well, reports suggest that there will be no more indictments?
>> well, it's enormously important, paul, because remember, the charge against this president was among the most serious you could have, that essentially they were aiding a foreign government. and this was the basis of collusion. not only that, the fbi used some the most aggressive tools that they had to go after that. so the fact that there is no finding here, i think, is going to put some new spotlight on the fbi as well in terms of what they were doing all along. but it also just means that the president, at least in that area, can go forward presumably vindicated on this shadow that has hung over this administration from the minute it stepped in. paul: well, we don't know about what the narrative is going to be, we want to talk about that a little later. but on this point about the indictments, a lot of people talked about, oh, don jr.'s vulnerability because of the trump tower meeting with russians, okay? >> right. paul: what about some obviously the other potential contacts
with wikileaks on the leaks of the documents. if there are no indictments, it means mueller has not uncoveredded any criminal activity for any of these people. and just think about in the alternative, what if he had indicted donald jr -- >> right. paul: that would have been a typhoon. >> federal prosecutors speak with indictments, right. >> and how mr. mueller has spoken in the past is through the his filings in other indictments. so it's a big deal. if you go back to the original part of this, you know, the accusation was a serious one, that the president's team was conspiring with the russians to steal the election. remember, devin nuñes issues a report i think more than a year ago -- paul: former house intelligence chairman. >> and they didn't find it. so it's going to be interesting to see do we accept the findings of the most exhaustive investigation you could probably have, or do they go down other rabbit holes or, you know, does the house start its impeachment proceedings on this. paul: and that's not over yet. we've got to wait to see the report.
>> right. paul: there's another thing here, dan, and that is, it's interesting, thousand we know that the president -- now we know that the president was never interviewed by robert mueller. remember the discussion about whether he would subpoena him? now we know that the gamble the president's lawyers took not to submit to an interview, just to submit to written questions, paid off. >> with yeah. and we know that was a back and forth with the president himself frequently saying i'd be happy to sit down with robert mueller, and his lawyers saying, please, don't go there -- [laughter] because you could get yourself into trouble. they controlled it, they did written questions, and prosecutor mueller seems to have been satisfied with that. and so you've ended up with a report, apparently, that does not indict the president. and as bill was suggesting, you know, robert mueller -- professional prosecutor, famously a man of very few words. when he was nominated to be the head of the fbi, he spoke for about 45 seconds, and his position has always been the prosecutor's work should speak for them.
now the question here, paul, is whether the public, the democrats and world, political world at large is going to let it stop there, what because the mule or investigation, one of the things we know is the famous mueller investigation is over. all right? the 2 22-month is done. paul: the other issue is whether there was obstruction from the probe. and we know from the letter that barr sent on friday that there were no such instances where anything that mueller wanted to do were interfered with by senior justice department officials. now, that's very significant as well because, remember, all the discussion about how, oh, mueller needs to be protected. >> special legislation. paul: right. >> to protect mueller. look, this is a pattern with donald trump that accusations, it looks, oh, he's a dead man because of these -- i mean, i remember when the steele dossier came out, and i had no idea whether it was true or not, but
i thoughting if there's any tooth to this, he's going to be gone -- truth to this. and then when the reality sinks in later, it's a little less sensational. i'd say one thing for the political investigations that are undoubtedly going to continue because the democrats now control these committees, that's at least the proper venue for this stuff. i mean, as opposed to andrew mccabe launching an investigation or a special counsel. let -- they have to make a political calculation, and let 'em do it. paul: but, kim, this is a big deal, it seems to me. if there was -- i mean, how many trees died, how many forests were felled with people saying that something had to be done to protect robert mueller? and it turns out that he was just fine, at least according to this document. >> yeah. i mean, remember the drama, paul. we had people in the senate that were saying they would not go along with other legislation unless we had a bill to protect robert mueller. and, you know, all along -- and also people suggesting that
anytime the president did anything, he was in some way obstructing robert mueller. if he was going to release documents, or if he fired a particular person here or there in the justice department, that could potentially comprise obstruction. i think it's important to note that that has now been removed which is going to give the president a lot more freedom to act in a lot more areas. paul: all right. when we come back, democrats already threatening subpoenas as the special counsel wraps up his probe. so what can and what can't the attorney general disclose from the mueller report? we'll is ask a former justice department prosecutor next. ♪ ♪ >> the attorney general barr should be called to testify under oath before the united states congress -- >> absolutely. absolutely. [cheers and applause]
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>> to argue that the department not adopt a double standard and should cooperate willingly, but if it doesn't, we'll have to subpoena the evidence. we'll have to subpoena mueller or others to come before the congress and answer questions, because if there is evidence of a compromise whether it rises to the level of criminal conduct or not, it needs to be exposed. paul: that was house intelligence committee chairman adam schiff yesterday threatening to subpoena special counsel robert mueller as he wraps up his russia probe. james trusty is a former justice department prosecutor. great to see you. >> you too. paul: so bill barr, the attorney general, is reading the mueller report. what is he obliged to do next as a matter of justice department rules and the law? >> right. well, he's actually taken care of one thing in advance, which is the letter that went to congress yesterday complied with
another cfr regulation that says if there's a fundamental disagreement of veto by the department of justice over the special counsel, that has to be reported. so he's already taken care of that part which really would have been a secondary or an independent report. what's left is figuring out the big question that we're all wrestling with, which is how much actually goes over the wall to congress, how much of it is redacted. and i think there's going to be several areas of both policy and law that kick in as to what can or can't be seen by congressmen or the public alike. paul: does he have to turn over anything at all? if he wanted to say, look, it's not in the public if interest, could he do that? >> yeah. i think the special counsel statute would allow him to, essentially, summarize it. so he could do that. but i think he's going to be true to his word from the confirmation hearings. i think he's genuinely trying to get as much public as he can, but there's going to be people, conspiracy theorists or whatever, that don't like any single line of redaction because they think it's hiding some huge
fact. >> what is he thinking about when he makes these decisions about what should be redacted? i guess one thing is this point about you can't, you're not supposed to smear anybody with innuendo or information if you haven't indicted them. that's one thing he's got to think about. >> right. that's a doj policy side type thing. that's not written in the statute. but you think about ray donovan, secretary of labor, back in the reagan years, it actually doesn't get in a report, it got tried and acquitted and said what office do i go to to get my reputation back. i think rod rosenstein and mueller are cognizant of that problem, they don't want to unnecessarily smear people. that's one layer. but there's also criminal procedure 6e which deals with grand jury and then executive privilege. so there's several layers of possible redaction areas. paul: and on the other side, you got the public interest, right? the public's right to know, the fact that this has been a contentious part of american politics for more than two years, and we have a right to
kind of get this settled. so, i mean, some of these things are not an easy decision. and the other thing is if he decides to send, say, only summary conclusions and not the whole report, then i guess they'll, they have the right to subpoena the report and everything? if. >> well, you know, there's a middle ground, right? you could observe the right rules and policies and redact portions but not give just a summary report. so there can still be a pretty fulsome document that goes over. but you're right, the next issue is -- it sounds like they're kind of predissupposed to calling people in the -- predisposed to call people in the congress, but there's going to be a lot of areas, and maybe that's the game prettily, i don't know. there's going to be a lot of areas where i think that a mule orer or a barr or rosenstein would feel handcuffed in terms of disclosing publicly. paul: what about the background material? for example, if there are going to be no more indictments and there's a summary report that
says we found some of these things, but the things like the fbi 302s or some of the interviews with witnesses and so on, can congress subpoena that as well? i guess they can try to get it, but is the justice department obliged to turn that over? >> well, that's where it starts to get gray, you start getting into fights of executive privilege. there is an oversight, a recognition of congressional oversight where they're allowed to kind of peek behind the curtain a little bit and know what perhaps motivated certain decisions. but typically speaking, if they ask for a complete case file, give us everything they have, there's going to be a lot of resistance from the executive branch. and there's not a constitution alecktive privilege, there's not a statutory one, it's just a function of the checks and balances of our government. it lends itself to litigation which means all three branches could get involved, spend more time hashing out what we actually see in this book or what we don't. paul.
paul: fun, fun, fun. you heard adam schiff say he might subpoena robert mueller, is that something he would have to pay attention to, mueller? >> i think he would. it's unlikely there's enough support for the motion of completely ignoring the subpoena, but it's going to be interesting. in the context of not an impeachment proceedings, but oversight in a congressional hearing, there's a little more leeway for the executive branch to push back and say, no, we've done our writing. take a look at that and leave us alone. but i suspect the politics of the day will be these folks end up appearing in congress. guys like mueller and barr are not exactly rookies, so they'll be able to hold their own if they have the testify. paul: about 20 seconds, but what about this idea of briefing the white house first? the white house said the president would like to see the report, or one of his lawyers did, first. is that smart for barr to do? >> i they's really a political
calculation, not a legal one, right? there's no legal prohibition, but i think it would be pretty wise to say, hold on, mr. president, you're going to see it soon, i swear. you've read the last page of the book, you'll have to read the rest of it with the rest of us. paul: all right, thank you, james trusty. >> sure. paul: what to look for when the mueller report is finally made public. ♪ ♪ there's little rest for a single dad, and back pain made it hard to sleep and get up on time. then i found aleve pm. the only one to combine a safe sleep aid, plus the 12 hour pain relieving strength of aleve. i'm back. aleve pm for a better am. that rocking chair would look grahh, new house, eh?e.
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we're back with dan henninger, kim strassel and bill mcgun. so, dan, when you get the narrative, the summary or whatever finally released, what are you going to be looking for when it comes to the russian collusion probe? >> i'm going to page through and look for the phrase january 2017. that was when donald trump was inaugurated, and that was the time when the russian collusion stories began to appear in the american press. and i will never forget when those stories began to appear if, they would all invariably cite a lot of anonymous intelligence sources. i have never seen so many anonymous sources in my career in journalism. but within an hour or two the, every other press outlet would confirm the story citing their own intelligence stories. paul: your inference from that? >> it was the same sources talking to all these people, and the question is who was doing that, because that drove the russian collusion story. and i remember back then reading
the clapper report, which is the collection of the intelligence service's report on what was going on in the election at that time. that report was primarily about concerns over russian meddling in election processes here and in europe. but at some point that concern about russian meddling or morphed into making donald trump himself the target of the media's investigation. how did that happen. paul: what i'm going to be looking for, bill, is whether mueller has a narrative that connects a lot of the disparate facts that we know about ties between russians and trump. so the trump tower meeting, for example, the papadopoulos meeting with some russians, the jeff sessions meeting with the russian ambassador. there are various little dots on a map, but none of them go anywhere -- >> right. paul: -- by themselves. do they add up to anything, that's what i'm looking for. >> that's what i'm looking for. look, to dan's point, when this was coming out, you know,
usually it's the intelligence committee that's very sober and says don't get carried away. we had john brennan calling trump treasonous, clapper, andrew mccabe. i mean, these are the people that are supposed to temper that kind of excitement. i think what i'm going to be looking for if there's no indictments and no evidence of this, it could very well be that the end of this is going to redound on those people -- for example, andrew mccabe who ordered an investigation, right? paul: former fbi deputy director. >> what the intelligence agencies did and how they abetted this with almost noen consequence. we still -- no -- intention. we still have a lot of questions. no one ever solved the up massing -- unmasking issue. there's andrew mccabe, there's a couple more ig reports coming out -- paul: right. i want to get that later in the show. kim, in the mueller report the other big issue is we're thinking about is obstruction of
justice, and firing james comey, that was a question that mueller was investigating, did trump obstruct justice. what are you looking for on that front? >> well, i think this is going to be an torrent important part as well, because people have focused on the collusion side, right? if there are no indictments, bitch that it was unlikely that the president committed some grand conspiracy on his own, it suggests that mueller didn't find any collusion there. now, the obstruction thing is harder because it's aimed directly at the president, and as the president's critics point out, it is not justice department policy to indict a sitting president. so does mueller nonetheless draw a conclusion in this report which he puts in there that he felt some of trump's actions were irresponsible or aimed at obstruction. because that doesn't necessarily mean that he doesn't think that trump did something wrong, just that he didn't think that he could indict him. so that, i think, is a somewhat perilous part of this report that exists out there still for
the president. we'll have to see what it says. paul: he could say to mueller -- mueller could say, look, i have reason to wonder if the president did, was trying to interfere with the probe, but i really couldn't find out because i couldn't interview the president personally or because this is part of his article ii powers as president, to fire the fbi director. >> correct. i mean, and he could say that, he could also say a number of other things about whether or not he felt the president -- i mean, he might even make commentary on the president's ongoing complaints about the special counsel -- [laughter] or comments about the justice department which, obviously, has been a theme for the last year. look, part of this, paul, is whether or not robert mueller viewed his job here as prosecutorial meaning was it simply to see whether or not there was a crime and to point it out, or was he viewing it as investigatory and then as a result something that he feels he needs to comment at length on everyone's behavior.
paul: all right. thank you, kim. still ahead, house democrats on a conference call at this hour planning their next steps now that the mueller problem has concluded. we'll go to capitol hill for the latest. ♪ ♪ choose glucerna, with slow release carbs to help manage blood sugar, and start making everyday progress. glucerna.
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lease. --. lease. >> reporter: it's being described as an emergency caucus conference call. speaker of the house nancy pelosi sent democratic lawmakers an e-mail about this
call where she explained this. we are insisting that any briefings to any committees be unclassified so that members can speak freely about every aspect of the report and not be confined to what doj chooses to release publicly. even if doj chooses not to prosecute additional individuals, the underlying findings must be provided to congress and the american people. if that doesn't happen, house judiciary chair jerry nadler says he will compel robert mueller to testify. democrats in congress seem to be onboard with a subpoena for mueller if he will not break his years-long silence willingly, as democrats on the campaign trail are trying to spin what they know the so far. >> now, i don't know what's in the report, nobody does. i do know, however, that mueller
wound up dutying 34 people -- indicting 34 people including 6 trump campaign officials. >> reporter: but because zero trump campaign officials have been or will be dutied by the special counsel for colluding with the kremlin to throw an election, republicans now want to make sure the record is straight on that stat. >> i think there were some people over there that wanted this outcome, that wanted a bad outcome, and didn't get it. who's going to be held accountable. how many tens of millions of taxpayer dollars were spent meandering around on what many have called a witch hunt. i think that ought to be part of the report. >> reporter: both sides of the aisle are calling for transparency today, but neither side of the aisle knows exactly what that will produce. paul? if. paul: thank you very much, peter doocy. let's bring back our panel, dan henninger and columnist kim strassel and bill mcgurn. so it looks like in the early innings here, bull, the
democratic separate is get it all out. >> yeah. i'm for that. it's a marked change, remember, from how they behaved when devin nuñes was trying to get documents out of the justice department and the fbi. but i would say i think the journal is broadly speaking in favor of the barr position, be as transparent as you can, the people deserve this. and i think that includes not just the information from the special counsel, but other information; the fisa warrants, the full extent, all the redacted material. especially the letter that rod rosenstein wrote outlining the scope of the information. because, you know, you're supposed to have a crime first when you a appoint a special counsel -- [laughter] not go looking for a crime. so i think there's a lot of secret testimony. i want it all out. let us measure it all. paul: dan, as a political matter, the democrats invested a lot of expectation in special counsel mueller as a prosecutor and finding indictments. dud they put too much
expectation into mueller? because if there are no more indictments and there is no indictment for collusion or conspiracy, then what -- i mean, is this a setback for them politically? >> well, i think that is the key question. this is a political issue. they did load up everything on the mueller investigation -- paul: right. >> it lasted for 22 months, we have arrived at this point, there are not going to be any indictments. and i guess the question now is, is this the point at which the real witch hunt begins, which is to say the democratic witch hunt continuing forward, demanding that mueller give them everything that he found out. i have to tell you, paul, i'm beginning to have second thoughts about this idea of transparency. do we really want to spend the next two years wallowing in every piece of information that robert mueller had, every conversation that his attorneys and prosecutors had with one another for political effect? because i think the american people have pretty much -- unless they just hate donald trump -- are pretty much tired
of this process. paul: kim, what's your response to dansome because you and i have been arguing for transparency. what do you think about that, that's point? >> no, look, i think we have to have transparency. one, obviously, for political reasons. my own view is that democrats are rooting for bill barr to actually keep some of this secret. and you heard that in nancy pelosi's statement that was just read. because they would like to present this as a cover-up, okay? if there is not transparency, they are going to claim it's because the department of justice working at the behest and on behalf of the president is hiding things and keeping things from the public. so i think that's to their political advantage. secondly, paul, the mueller report is only the end of the second part of this. we tonight know how it all still started. and the american people deserve that answer too. if there is no indictment for this most serious of accusations and this fbi that used the most
serious of surveillance tools against american citizens, people need to know how the highest folks at the echelons of our government felt it was appropriate. and that, of course, gets into things like toes yea, etc. paul: that's why i want to know how this fbi got involved with this. why did they trust the steele dossier, or did they, and did they submit it for -- >> was this a glenn simpson orchestrate thed -- paul: he's the fusion gps -- >> working for hillary clinton, working to get information on an opposition leader. even if the democrats go overboard, again, under our constitution that's the proper venue because there's some accountability. they pay a price for it. which andrew mccabe doesn't pay, you know, when he orders an investigation and even special counsel does. clearly, mrs. pelosi doesn't think it's worth it. >> i completely take your point, but for the democrats, it's all about the i-word, impeachment,
and whether they're going to find anything in mueller's report that will allow them to proceed against donald trump. and are we going to spend the next two years with the country embroiled in an impeachment in the house of representatives. i think the republic -- the democrats are taking a risk with the course they're on. their base is for this. but whether the rest of the american electorate is for it, i really have my doubts. paul: when we come back, will the conclusion of the special counsel's investigation setting anything at all? ♪ ♪ minimums and fees.
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>> well, two areas, i think, paul. one is that they are already instantly pivoting away from this on to session of two years, russia collusion, to talk about the legacy of the mueller investigation. in particular, some other areas that were handed off to, president of the united states, the southern district of new york -- paul: right. >> -- which is now actively investigating trump hush money, these payments to former adult film stars, the inaugural committee and some of its donations, etc. and in congress i think you're going to see guys like adam schiff who run the house intelligence committee trying to shift to a second face of russia supposed collusion which doesn't have anything to do with the election, but rather, claims that trump was doing nefarious things in terms of its investments in russia and whether or not they were getting faves, whether or not there was money laundering. it's all -- some of this, by the way, also comes from fusion gps,
the same guy, same people who came up with the russia collusion narrative, but they're going to pursue that. paul: so i think the lesson is, bill, it ain't over. >> right. democrat ares are going to continue, but let me make a little prediction. i think at the end of this there are still three inspector general reports coming out. one on gifts accepted by fbi pats, one on the -- agents, and one on leaks. and andrew mccabe is kind of in the middle of that. i think in terms of the russia narrative, it could end up being people like that that are indicted. that's also still out there. >> you know, in your earlier interview with james trusty, he suggested maybe all three branches of government would get involved. [laughter] we're talking about the courts here, and i can see that coming. judiciary house chairman jerry nadler is already using the word cover-up. he's going to demand a full
document dump from mueller's office, and i think possibly attorney general barr will resist some of that. i can see the white house and donald trump telling the justice department to resist that subpoena at which point we are headed into the courts. paul: kim, will there ever be an accounting for the steele dossier and how much it came about and how much it was relied upon by the fbi and the courts? >> we can have some hope that those inspector general reports, the one that is being done, in fact, on this fisa process, will bring some light on that. but my own view is that the only way you get a full accounting is for the president -- now that this report is done, okay? no one can any longer say any releases of information are obstructing mueller's probe in the any way. that's important. but what the president needs to do now is release all of those documents that house republicans were trying to obtain. the fbi's witness interviews, the portions of the fisa application that were redacted
that go to the fbi's other efforts, the woods file which is this file that explains whether or not they had ever managed to verify the dossier or not. paul: right. >> the public needs to see all of this so it can make its own judgment about the fbi's behavior so we can decide whether or not the fbi needs to be subjected to new rules going forward is this doesn't happen again. paul: what would it take in your view, dan, for donald trump to be able to claim vindication? he'll claim it no matter what, but in your view that really is vindication? >> well, i think it will require making public a lot of the mueller report, and we're going to have to come away with some conclusion about whether the bulk of it really decides whether there, indeed, was no collusion. keep in mind, that is the central point of the mueller investigation. paul: and if there was not collusion, then -- and the democrats keep going and finding something, they have some political risk.
>> yeah. i think -- but that's what our system is meant to have. there should be a political calculation in this. so at least there'll be a cost if they go off the cliff on this. paul: all right. thank you all very much. when we come back, switching gears and turns to the economy, the fed plans to hold steady citing concerns of a global economic slowdown. we'll talk to the president's top economistlk next. fries, and a draft beer or coca-cola - all for just $10.99. hurry in! wednesdays are for outback. outback steakhouse. aussie rules. wednesdays are for outback. ♪
this week by the white house which projects the gross domestic product will expand at or above 3% for the next year. i spoke with the chair of the white house council of economic advisers. kevin, thanks for doing this. >> great to be back. paul: i do want to ask you about these differing forecasts and how do you explain the difference. >> right. or, just to be clear out of respect for monetary policy, let's just compare our forecast to the blue chip forecast, which is about the same as the fed, and then i'm talking about the blue chip guys and respecting the independence of the fed. you know, the bottom line is that about a year ago, you know, you and i were talking about the impact of the tax cuts. i was much more optimistic because i was basing my estimates on some of the latest literature that said we'd get a big capital spending boom last year, and a lot of the blue chip guys and other government agencagencies agreed with us.
and then last year looked the way we said, so this year we got to thinking, gosh, if the first year in our forecast was exactly what we said and the details are even about exactly what we said, then why would we change our forecast for the second year. so we pretty much stuck to our guns. the forecast we have this year is pretty much the same as a year ago. paul: no question, you got it right. you really deserve credit for that, absolutely. >> thanks. paul: but, you know, there's a lot of signs that things are not as robust now as they looked back then. and in particular, you had the decline in capitallen spending in the -- capital spending in the third and fourth quarters of last year, and now we have had significant stock market impact at least for a while in december, and there's a lot more pessimism. what to you make of that pessimism? >> well, i think that let's go -- let's talk about the u.s., because i think there's some pessimism about europe that's related to brexit and things
that is legitimate, but i think in the u.s. don't forget the first quarter right now our numbers are looking like they're maybe 1, 1.5, and we think that that's maybe about three-tenths low because of the government shutdown which means you're almost at 2 in the first quarter if you adjust for that. and what's happened going back to 2010 is the first quarter keeps being around 1, and then the second quarter is about 3, and then you sort of, you know, under president trump have stayed around there or even gone up as we've moved forward. so i think we're looking at about a one something in the first quarter and another three in the second quarter. if you look at equity markets, how much they've bounced back since december, the national association of manufacturers just surveys their manufacturers for the first quarter of in this year, and something like -- i think it was about 92% of them have an optimistic outlook for the year and are looking to expand. so i think that, basically, we're going to have another year where we have a slow first quarter and then we bounce back. paul: just one final question,
and that's about wages. they're growing at about 3.4%, the best since about 2009. do you see that continuing? and, i guess, how many more workers can we pull off the sidelines here to keep this -- because, you know, that's important to growth -- can we pull off the sidelines to keep the economy growing? >> for me actually, paul, the most important wage number is that the bottom 10% just saw their wages grow 6.5% in the most recent quarter. so what's happening is the capital spending is causing low-wage workers to see wage increases unlike anything we've seen really going back to the late 1990s during the dot.com boom. so with those wages growing so fast at the bottom, that's attracting people who were discouraged in the past back into the labor force. and 73% of the people that were new hires in the last jobs report came from out of the labor force. we're seeing a stampede back into the labor market, and we think that's going to continue. it's another reason going back to where we started.
why are we more on the mystic? we think this is going to continue, and a lot of people think the retirement of the of of the baby boomers is dooming us, we disagree. paul: we have to take one more break. when we come back, hits and misses of the week. . . . great news, liberty mutual customizes... uh uh, i deliver the news around here. sources say liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. over to you, logo. liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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astrazeneca may be able to help. >> paul: time now for our hits apmisses of the week. kim, first to you. >> paul, a word for most embarrassing university and my miss of the week goes to harvard where students and faculty are engaged in a backlash against law professor ronald sullivan who agreed to sit on th the defe team of harvey weinstein. we're having sit-ins, protests, students who say they're not comfortable being taught by the professor. harvard is condoning this, instead of forcing students to
understand bed rock principles, such that everyone is entitled to an attorney. >> miss to the southern poverty law center, a liberal group that started out good going after the you ku klux klan but is turned into a group that calls conservatives anybody racist and extremist and so forth. it lost libel suits on that. it recently fired its co-director and -- or director and co-founder and the president stepped down because of accusations of racial bias, sexual discrimination. look, if they had any dea decen, they would shut it down. it has a 300 endowment. >> nancy pelosi said it would be a good idea to reduce the voting age to 16 years old. i thought 18 was a bad idea. it was probably a fraud yen slip when she said i think it's important to capture kids while
in high school. >> paul: that's it for this week's show. thanks to my panel. thanks to all of you for watching. i'm paul gigot, i hope to see you all right here next week. arthel: we begin with fast moving developments on the mueller report. now in the hands of attorney general william barr, as capitol hill waits an susl anxiously to. barr will not be sending a letter on the principal conclusions of the report to lawmakers today but it could come within the next 24 hours many welcome to america's news headquarters, i'm arthel neville. arthel: hello. thank you for joining us. eric: i'm eric shawn. all this comes as the attorney general is facing bipartisan calls to release the full report from the nearly two year long investigation into russia's interference in our 2016 presidential election. at the same time, house democrats also just wrapping up