tv FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace FOX News February 14, 2021 11:00am-12:00pm PST
chris: i'm chris wallace. the school reopening debate heats up as the cdc issues new guidelines and the white house faces criticism it's setting the bar too low. ♪ ♪ >> his goal that he set is to have the majority of schools open by day 100 of his presidency, and that means some teaching in classrooms. so at least one day a week. chris: back pedaling from the biden administration and pushback from frustrated parents, students and lawmakers who say one day a week is not enough while some teachers unions oppose any return to the classroom. >> the school district is hell
bent on forcing thousands of educators into unsafe buildings. chris: we'll ask cdc director rochelle we eleven sky if the agency's new school guidelines will speed up reopenings. >> the yeas are 57, the nays are 43. chris: then, the senate votes to acquit former president trump of inciting last month's deadly riot at the capitol. we're joined by lindsey graham, one of mr. trump's staunchest supporters in the senate, and get from democratic senator amy klobuchar. plus we'll ask our sunday panel about the fallout from the trial and where it lees donald trump -- leaves donald trump as a political force. and our power player of the week, best selling author james patterson, on why his latest book on real-life soldiers may be his most important yet. all right now on "fox news sunday." ♪
♪ chris: and hello again from fox news in washington. the big story in the nation's capital this week was the second impeachment trial and second acquittal of former president trump. and we'll get to that in the next segment. but when it comes to affecting people's daily lyes, the real news -- lives, the real news was the cdc issuing updated guidelines to getting students back to school quickly and safely. that includes mask wearing, distancing, hand washing and cleaning but not necessarily vaccinations for teachers. as well as a color-coded guide to help school districts decide under what conditions they can offer in-person instruction. the phased approach core responds to either full in-person, hybrid, reduced attendance or virtual-only instruction. and joining us now, the director of the centers for disease control and prevention,
dr. rochelle walensky. dr., as i understand these -- doctor, as i understand these new guidelines, if you have proper mitigation in place even in communities with high transmission, some students can go back to school at least some of the time for in-person instruction, is that correct? >> good morning. good to be back with you. in fact, that is correct. so even in the areas of the highest community spread, we are advocating with the strict mitigation measures that you described including universal and mandatory masking as well as 6 foot of distancing, that at least our k-5 children should be able to get back to school at least in a hybrid mode. chris: so given that the, doctor, is there any scientific reason why, for instance, the 52,000 public school students in san francisco have been shut out of school for 11 months now, since last march?
>> it's a great question. what we have tried to do with this new guidance is to take the extensive literature that has occurred from september through now where we've had experiences from other schools, from other countries to see what the science says and how we can do so safely. it's not just that we need to include these mitigation measures, but they're hard to do. so some of them suggest, for example, diagnostic testing and contact trace thing within 48 hours -- tracing within 48 hours of a contact to insure people can be properly isolated and quarantined. so really it's a layered mitigation approach, and what we've put forward in this guidance is the road map to get us there. chris: but to just press on this issue, given your cdc guidelines, if you have proper mitigation in place, is there any reason why a public school district needs to shut down for the better part of a year? >> so in -- we need to make sure that the k-5 schools and the
density is down, and part of the reason they haven't been able to open is because we hadn't previouslied had the science in order to inform how to open safely, we didn't have the data. and prior we didn't have any guidance as to how to do it safely. so we are really anticipating that with this guidance emerging the schools will be able to start opening. chris: president -- you talk about science. president biden, since the campaign, has talked about we're going to follow the science. but 11 days ago you were speaking at a formal briefing, and you said that teachers do not have to be vaccinated for schools to reopen. and after you said that, the white house said, not so fast. take a look, doctor. >> safe reopening does not suggest that teachers need to be vaccinated in order to reopen safely. >> dr. walensky spoke to this in her personal capacity. obviously, she's the head of the cdc, but we're going to wait for the final guidance to come out.
chris: when you're speaking in public since you took this role and you were speaking there as the c, the c director --cdc director, are you ever speaking in your personal capacity, and is it clear now that when teachers unions insist and continue to insist that all teachers, all staff must be vaccinated before any schools can reopen, that that's not based on science? >> you know, here's what i will say. my goal is to make sure that the guidance got out. the guidance has gotten out, and it was released on friday, and the guidance does specifically say that there are many mitigation strategies that are layered mitigation strategies necessary to reopen. there are also additional mitigation strategies such as teacher vaccination. that's what our school guidance says. our other guidance on who should be vaccinated, our advisory committee on immunization practices suggest that teachers should be prioritized in the 1b
group. that is a group with greater than 75-year-olds. so i am a big advocate of insuring that the guidance is followed, the teachers are prioritized. but from a scientific standpoint, we know that it's possible to reopen schools safely without all of the teachers being vaccinated. chris: during the campaign, the president set a goal for what he wanted to accomplish in the first hundred days in term of reopening schools, but the white house back pedaled on that this past week. take a look at this, doctor. >> my team will work to see that a majority of our schools can be open by the end of my first 100 days. >> well, teaching at least one day a week in the majority of schools by day 100. chris: but according to a national study, 64.8% of students k-12 are already
attending schools that are open at least one day a week, so, doctor, aren't we already meeting the goal that president biden has set for the nation to meet by next april? aren't we already meeting that goal? >> the first thing i'll say is that we know that the less community spread of this disease is out there, the more children will be able to get back to school. so we know that as our numbers come down, if we continue, each of us as individuals continue to follow these mitigation strategies to get the spread of disease down in the communities, we will have more and more children back to school. the guidance that we released on friday is the road map to get there to follow how much disease is in the community and how much our kids can safely be back in school. and so if everybody is doing their part to decrease disease in the community, we'll have more children back. chris: so you've talked repeatedly here about mitigation, and your guidelines
depend on schools spending money to make the environment inside the classroom, inside the building more safe. but i want to put this up on the screen. as part of this covid relief plan, the president wants $130 billion for those improvements to schools. but having said that that, congress has already approved $68 billion, and so far school districts have only spent $4 billion of that $68 billion. isn't the $64 billion that's still in the pipeline enough money maybe not to solve all the problems, but to get a lot more kids back to school? >> you know, these schools need space, today need to their classrooms, they need staffing, they need nurses, another layer of mitigation would be school screening to keep folk it is safe even after vaccination. so i think we need a lot more
resources in order to get the schools safe. one of the things that's really been emphasized in the school reopening is how unsafe some of our school ventilation systems are. that's a problem not just for sars-cov2 but for other respiratory viruses, for children with asthma, for exposure to mold. so i think that there's a lot of work that we need to do in order to get our children -- our schools as safer environments. chris: doctor, in the time we have left, let's do a lightning round; quick questions, quick answers about some of the issues that are concerning people. where are we right now on these variants, and are there any variants that are out there now that can already beat the vaccine? >> we have over a thousand cases of the b117 variant across the country, 39 states. other variants, the p1 -- chris: is that the u.k., is that the u.k. variant? >> yes. the b117 is the u.k. variant,
the p1 variant, we have three cases so far that we know about, that's the brazil variant, wells the b1351, we have at least 15 cases in at least five states. so we are increasing our detection of these variants. some of these variants we are studying in the -- well, these variants we are studying in the lab to understand how they will work, how the vaccine will work against them and more information to follow, essentially. chris: but at this point, the vaccine can still handle all of these variants? >> as far as we know the b117 in the lab has, is susceptible to the vaccine as well as the b1351, but there's enough of a cushion in terms of efficacy such that we believe the vaccines will work against that variant as well. chris: dr. fauci says that by april that it should be open
season, his words, for everyone who wants a vaccine to get a vaccine, but then later this week, this past week, president biden said it could be past the summer before everyone actually gets the vaccination. i understand there's a difference between availability and the logistics and all of that. but let me ask you, when will everyone who wants a vaccine be able to get it, and when do you think that we're going to be back to something approaching normal? >> so we anticipate by the end of march we'll have 200 million vaccines available. i'm proud to say that as of yesterday we have put 50 million vaccines into people's arms. we anticipate by the end of the summer we will have enough vaccine in order to vaccinate the entire u.s. population that is eligible. what i worry about is the vaccine hesitanciment so once -- hesitancy. at some point we're going to have more vaccine than people
who want it, and we very much need to make sure that everybody rolls up their sleeves when it's their turn and when they're eligible. and much of the hard work that we're doing now is to insure all of those who might be hesitant now as to the reasons why it's safe and effective. chris: do you think that by the end of this year you and i will be able to walk down the street without a mask? >> i think that very much depends on how we bay right now. how we behave right now. i think all of us need to do our part. if we have another surge because we are not taking the proper mitigation strategies, i think it would be foolish for me to project. chris: dr. walensky, thank you. we'll stay on top of those schools opening back up. thanks. >> thank you very much. chris: up next, senator lindsey graham, one of former president trump's closest a alls, on -- allies, on his second
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♪ ♪ chris: the senate voted yesterday 57-43 to acquit former president trump in his second impeachment trial. seven republicans broke party ranks to join with all 50 democrats making it the most bipartisan vote ever to convict a president. but it was still well short of the 67 votes needed to find him guilty. in a moment we'll speak with republican senator lindsey graham who was in the center of the action. but first, let's bring in david spunt on capitol hill on the trial's surprising final day. david. >> reporter: hi, chris.
as expected, democrats voted unanimous arely to twict, but they needed 17 republicans to join. >> we have no power to convict and disqualify a former officeholder who is now a private citizen. >> reporter: while senate minority leader mitch mcconnell voted to acquit the former president, seven republicans voted to convict; north carolina senator richard burr, who is retiring next year, surprised colleagues with his vote to convict on the lone article, incitement of insurrection. donald trump's fate almost hung in the balance another few weeks after a floor fight erupted over live witnesses. >> we would seek the opportunity to take their depositions via zoom also for less than an hour. >> none of these depositions should be done by zoom. these depositions should be done in person, in my office in philadelphia. that's where they should be done. [laughter] >> reporter: but in the end
both sides agreed no witnesses. next, closing arguments. >> he abused his office by siding with the insurrectionists at almost every point rather than with the congress of the united states. >> reporter: the former president's attorneys defended their client without wavering. >> this has been perhaps the most unfair and flagrantly unconstitutional pruding in the history of the united states -- proceeding in the history of the united states senate. >> reporter: chris, former president donald trump out with a statement from florida last night. he says, i have always and always will be a champion for the unwavering rule of law are, the heros of law enforcement and the right of americans to peacefully and honorably debate the issues of the day without malice and without hate. meanwhile, the current president, president biden, out with a statement condemning violence, saying the united states needs to move forward, underlining the word united in united states. chris? chris: david spunt reporting
from capitol hill. david, thank you. and joining us now, republican senator lindsey graham. senator, welcome back to "fox news sunday." >> thank you very much. chris: senator, let me ask you, have you spoken to president trump since the acquittal yesterday, and if so, what was his reaction? >> yeah, i spoke to him last night. he was grateful to his lawyers. he appreciated the help that all of us provided, you know, he's ready to move on and rebuild the republican party. he's excited about 2022, and i'm going to go down to talk with him next week, play a little golf in florida. and i said, mr. president, this maga movement needs to continue. we need to unite the party. trump plus is the way back in 2022. he's mad at some folks, but i understand that. my goal is to win in 2022, to stop the most radical agenda i've seen coming off the democratic presidency of joe biden. we can't do that without donald
trump, so he's ready to hit the trail, and i'm ready to work with him. chris: well, let me ask about one person that he might be mad at, and tell me if he is or isn't -- [laughter] mitch mcconnell, who made a curious speech yesterday in which he basically said the president is guilty but that the senate doesn't have the power to convict, to act against a former president. what did he think of mcconnell's speech, what did you think of mcconnell's speech? >> well, number one, i was a bit surprised, but i heard this in 1998. i've been in three of the four impeachments -- [laughter] i'm sorry about that, but the bottom line in 1998 you had a lot of democrats acquit clinton who got on the floor and said how bad he was. so, you know, nancy pelosi called us all cowards. i don't think most republicans care what he thinks. i think senator mcconnell's speech, he got a load off his
chest, obviously. but, unfortunately, he put a load on the back of republicans. that speech you will see in 2022 campaigns. i would imagine if you're a republican running in arizona or georgia, new hampshire where we have a chance to take back the senate, they may be playing senator mcconnell's speech and asking you about it as a candidate. and i imagine if you're an incumbent republican, there are going to be people asking will you support senator mcconnell in the future. i like him, he worked well with president trump. i think his speech is an outlier regarding how republicans feel about all this. i thought the impeachment trial was not only unconstitutional, i condemn what happened on january the 6th, but the process they used to impeach this president was an affront to the rule of law. he's the first president to ever be impeached without a lawyer, without a witness, without ability to confront those against him, and the trial record was a complete joke, hearsay upon hearsay, and we've
opened pandora's box to future presidents. and if you use this model, i don't know how kamala harris doesn't get impeached if the the republicans take over the house because she actually bailed out rioters, and one of the rioters went back to the streets and broke somebody's head open. so we've opened pandora's box here, and i'm sad for the country. chris: does donald trump bear any responsibility for the attack on the capitol on january 6th? >> no, in terms of the law, no. he bears responsibility of pushing narratives about the election that i think are not sound and not true. but this was politically protected speech, the speech on january the 6th was not an incitement to violence. of every politician as used the word fight, fight hard. so i don't think he caused the riot. his behavior after the election was over the top. there was a preplanned element to this attack, mr. wallace,
that we need to look at. did nancy pelosi know on january the 5th that there was a threat to the capitol? what did president trump do after the attack? we need a 9/11 commission to find out what happened and make sure it never happens again, and i want to make sure that the capitol footprint can be better defended next time, so i want to hook at what pelosi knew, when she knew it, what president trump did after the attack and on the senate side, was senate leadership informed of a threat. so there was a preplanned element to this attack totally unconnected with the speech, and i thought the democrats failed miserably in making the case. chris: well, let's pick up on something that you specifically talked about. let's look at the timeline of what happened that day especially after the riot began. at 2:24 the president tweets: mike pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country
and our constitution. two minutes later at 2:26 the president speaks to senator tommy tuberville who tells him vice president pence has been evacuated from the senate. around that time the house republican leader kevin mccarthy calls the president pleading with him to do whatever he can to call off the rioters when the president says he thinks that it was actually antifa that was involved. mccarthy told republican congresswoman jaime herrera buetler that he had to persuade the president it was his own folks who did it. take a look at this exchange. >> these are your people. you know, they have maga hats on. and the president's response to him was, well, kevin, i guess they're just more concerned about this election than you are. chris: what does that tell you, senator, about how the president viewed the riot while it was
happening? >> doesn't tell me a whole lot because it's all hearsay. why don't we have a 9/11 investigation? i think it's at 2:28 he told people to be peaceful. he tweeted out several times, at 4:00 he did a video, basically, to be peaceful and leave. could the president have done more in yeah. did he incite this riot by his speech? absolutely not. if donald trump's speech is going to be seen as incitement by a politician to call violence about every democrat and republican up here is in trouble. i'd like to know that. i'd like to know did the capitol hill police inform the house sergeant at arms and the senate sergeant at armsthe day before the attack that they needed more troops? i want to look at all of it. chris: senator, i wanted to pick up on that because in the question to the president's personal responsibility, whether it was legal or not, whether his personal responsibility, here's what you said on january 7, the day after the riot.
>> it breaks my heart that my friend, a president of consequence, would allow yesterday to happen. and it will be a major part of this presidency. when it comes to accountability, the president needs to understand that his actions were the problem, not the solution. chris: his actions were the problem, allowed the riot to happen. it sure sounds like you're saying that he violated his oath of office. >> no. i think what he did is he encouraged supporters throughout the country to fight like hell, to take back an election that he felt was stolen. a lot of politicians have said that. on january the 7th he wasn't impeached. the guy was impeached within 48 hours, he didn't have a lawyer, no evidence gathered. the speech of january the 6th is politically protected speech, in my view, did not cause the riot.
it doesn't represent the 74 million people who supported him. this will be part of his historical record of the trump presidency. but democrats, because they hate his guts, wanted to impeach him before they ever met him have now started a process that you can impeach somebody in the house within 48 hours would want a lawyer, without a witness, without the ability to cross-examine those against you and have a trial record based upon articles from the media. this thing is turning into a nightmare for the presidency. i rejected the article of impeachment. i didn't think president trump was guilty. and you have now opened up pandora's box. as to senator mcconnell, he is a friend, but he's going to be center stage now in the 2022 efforts to take back the senate. i've been asked by a lot of people, chris, calm president trump down. talk to him, get him to calm down. sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn't. but to my republican colleagues,
this is a two-way street. 90% of the republican party felt this impeachment was a partisan exercise. that's what i thought. he is out of office. and so to the republican party, if you want to win and stop the socialist agenda, we need to work with president trump. we can't do it without him. and to you, president trump, you need to build the republican party stronger. i'm into winning. and if you want to get something off your chest, fine, but i'm into winning. chris: senator, i just -- one final question. nikki haley, the former governor of your state of south carolina, made some pretty tough comments about donald trump this week. i want to put them up on the screen. she said he went down a path he shouldn't have, and we shouldn't have followed him, and we shouldn't have listened to him, and we can't let that ever happen again. senator, is governor haley wrong about donald trump's future in the republican party? >> yeah. donald trump is the most vibrant member of the republican party.
the trump movement is alive and welcome people believe that he brought change to washington policy wise that was long overdue. all i can say is that the most potent force in the republican party is president trump. we need trump plus. and at the end of the day, i've been involved in politics for over 25 years. the president is a handful, and and what happened on january the 6th was terrible for the country, but he's not singularly to blame. democrats have sat on the sidelines and watched the country be burned down for a year and a half and haven't said a damn word, and most republicans are tired of the hypocrisy. so, no, nicki's wrong about president trump. north carolina, the biggest winner, i think, of this whole impeachment trial is lara trump. my dear friend, richard burr, just made lara trump almost the certain nominee for the senate seat in north carolina if she runs, and i certainly will be behind her because i think she
represents the future of the republican party. chris: senator graham, thank you. thanks for coming in today. please come back, sir. >> thank you. i will. see you. chris: up next, what did democrats get out of the second trump impeachment trial? we'll ask senator amy klobuchar when we come right back. ♪ hi, i'm debra. i'm from colorado. i've been married to my high school sweetheart for 35 years. i'm a mother of four-- always busy. i was starting to feel a little foggy. just didn't feel like things were as sharp as i knew they once were. i heard about prevagen and then i started taking it about two years now. started noticing things a little sharper, a little clearer. i feel like it's kept me on my game. i'm able to remember things. i'd say give it a try. prevagen. healthier brain. better life.
♪ ♪ chris: now that impeachment is over, democrats hope to make a hard pivot to president biden's agenda. but what did they accomplish in trying donald trump once again? here to discuss that, democratic senator amy klobuchar and, senator, welcome back to "fox news sunday." >> thank you, chris, it's great to be back on and to hear your voice as host of the show instead of having your interviews used as an exhibit in an impeachment trial. so good to be on, thank you. chris: well, thank you for noticing. [laughter] in any case, what's the fallout from the trial? you heard my discussion just now with senator graham. what did democrats accomplish impeaching and trying donald trump for the second time and then seeing him be acquitted for the second time? >> well, you know, chris, it's really not what we accomplished.
this wasn't a matter of convenience right now, it's our number one goal is to get this pandemic under control. it's what our republic's accomplishedded, what was the right thing to do for our nation. and as liz cheney, the number three leadership on the republican side in the house, said on your show just last week, we've got to make sure that this doesn't happen again. and what this was about, to me, chris, is about not hiding history. this will now be seared in the memory of americans for generations to come. and9 what the house managers did was put the case together, as you just discussed with senator graham, put a timeline forward and showed exactly what donald trump did. and it resulted -- i was disappointed in the results, but it resulted in the most bipartisan vote we've ever seen in the impeachment of a president of the united states. seven courageousing republicans voted -- courageous republicans
voted to convict this president because they agreed with liz cheney, this cannot happen again, and they joined, obvious, every single democrat who stood up for those police officers who put themselves between a mad mob and our safety. as you listen to the shrieks of that police officer wedged in the door, i thought to myself, he stood up for our liberty when the president of the united states wouldn't even send out a tweet to save the capitol. chris: but, senator, if this was so serious and so terrible, why did democrats back off on calling witnesses? you could have calleddous republican leader mccarthy -- called the house republican leader mccarthy to ask about his conversation, senator tuberville to ask about his consideration, white house aides to ask about what the president was saying and doing while the riot us going on, but you didn't. how come?
>> first, let's make clear, i voted for allowing witnesses. but i think in the end when you look at what people said after the trial, it wasn't more witnesses that were going to change minds. mitch mcconnell said himself there is no question that president trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day. chris, he said, he basically said right there that they've proven their case. they proved their case on the facts. what happened here was a number of republicans used what i would call an excuse, not as a reason, the faux constitutional argument that somehow you couldn't convict a president after he was out of office. we know that's not true from precedent with the secretary of war back in the 1800s, that's not true including comments by conservative lawyers and scholars, the republican lawyer of the year, and it's just not correct in the plain language of the constitution. but that's what they wrapped themselves around when they gave their excuse for how they voted. it wasn't the fact.
so my answer to you is in this case it would not have changed their mind. that's obvious, or mitch mcconnell would not have given the speech that he gave. chris: senator, relate me ask you though about -- let me ask you about some of the facts in the case that the house managers brought. yes, it is true that president trump summoned the crowd to washington on january 6th. yes, it's true that he asked them to fight like hell. but, yes, it's also true that he said this, hear is the president. >> i know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard. chris: does that, senator, meet the supreme court test in brandenburg v. ohio that his speech was directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and was likely to incite or produce such action? does it meet the legal standard
for incitement? >> what the standard here is, chris, it's about impeachment and whether or not he followed his oath of office, committed high crimes and misdemeanors. so let's look at what he did. to me, it's not just what he said in that speech. i mean, i've asked people to fight for things, to fight for 48-hour maternity leave, maternity -- staying in the hospital for new moms and their babies. that was my first fight that i took on. but those moms didn't storm the maternity wards with bear spray and handcuffs. they didn't do that. why? because that's not what i asked them to do. look at the facts. leading up to this, on your interview he would not commit to a peaceful transition of power, he undermined the election, he called it a steal. then we get to the day of the speech, he told people to show up on january 6th, put a target on the capitol, basically told them to go wild leading up to it. then he gives the speech, tells them to march down the mall. and what happens after they
invade the capitol and -- he does nothing. to me, the answer is in his 6 p.m. tweet after peopled had already died when he called them great patriots and once genre peated the rye that the election victory, in his words, had been unceremoniously and viciously stripped away, and he said remember this day forever. it wasn't a one-word -- chris: senator. >> -- it was an entire plan. chris: senator, i've got less than 30 seconds. lindsey graham makes it clear he thinks that donald trump is still a viable and important force in republican politics. is he? >> no. and that's because, and you can see where the numbers are right now, how he's doing, what people think of him across the country, i say no. one, as mitch mcconnell points occupant, there's a lot of other investigations going on about this man. two, the american people have now seen clear out what he did. he violated his oath of office and what liz cheney called the
greatest betrayal of a president's oath of office in history. and those memories and those police officers' screams will be forever etched in the memories of americans. he is done. chris: senator klobuchar, thank you. >> thank you. chris: thanks for your time. always good to talk with you. >> thank you. chris: up next, we'll bring in our sunday group to discuss what acquittal means for donald trump's future as a political force. and governor andrew cuomo faces even more criticism for his handling of covid in nursing homes. ♪ muck
no question about it. chris: senate republican leader mitch mcconnell blaming last month's riot directly on donald trump after voting to acquit him on the grounds the senate can't try a former president. and it's time now for our sunday group. marc thiessen of the american enterprise institute, fox news correspondent gillian turner and charles lane from the washington post. so, marc, what do you think the second trump impeachment trial accomplished? was it a failure for democrats, or did they at least succeed in tieing the the him closely and more directly to the events of january 6th? >> well, it's a little bit of both, chris. first of all, if you believe that president trump committed impeachable offenses, and i do believe that, this is the headline he gets to hold up today. just like he did last impeachment, trump is acquitted by the senate. so he gets to hold that up and declare victory. at the same time, the trial did
force us as a nation to confront what happened on that day. we saw for the first time where that surveillance video how close the mob came to actually reaching senators and congressmen and vice president mike pence, seconds away from vice president mike pence. and even if you believe that trump is not responsible for inciting the riot, his behavior after the riot began is absolutely indefensible. the fact that he didn't stand up immediately when he saw what was happening and say, no, no, that's not what i meant, stand down, that when kevin mccarthy called him and was begging for help, he said these people care more about the election than you do, kevin. you know, these are indefensible things. that is all on the record now, and the country's better for that. chris: chuck, do you think republicans face any downside from voting, 43 of them, to acquit president trump or is
that good politics for them, and what do you think this does to the president? does, is he tarnished or -- and i guess maybe the answer is both -- is he tarnished, or is he seen as the victim once again of a democratic witch hunt? >> i think i'm going to answer that by referring to what lindsey graham just said on this show which was, quote: i'm about winning. and he believes that winning for the republican party means doubling down on the party's attachment to donald trump and disparaging those republicans who voted to convict and otherwise -- including even mitch mcconnell who didn't vote to convict but just condemned the president. i was really struck by that because there's a senator from a red state and does political calculation and decides that the future of the party lies with trump. i think that's imimpressive. it's very sobering, it's almost
shocking. as marc very ably said, whatever else you can say about this president, his fingerprints are all over an you ugly act of mob violence in the heart of our capital. and yet he does still seem to have sway over the bulk of the republican party. chris: gillian, let's pick up on exactly that plight. you heard my discussion with senator graham about his former governor, nikki haley's, very tough statement in which she said donald trump has lost any political viability. he said she's wrong. do you think she's wrong? >> i do. i think former president trump still has a stranglehold on the vast majority of the republican party. maybe not every single politician in office, but most of them. i think yesterday's acquittal vote demonstrates as well as the fact that, chris, he left office just three months ago. he'd already been impeached twice. he had an 87% approval rating among republicans.
so i think those two things put together demonstrate exactly what lindsey graham said. the other, i think, million dollar question to ask right now is does senate majority leader mitch mcconnell have any control over his caucus in the senate moving forward. that's much less clear, i think, than the trump question. chris: let's turn, in the time we have left, to another politician who had a very bad week, and that is new york governor andrew cuomo. it first came out that the state of new york had severely undercounted the number of people living in nursing homes who had died from covid-19, and last month governor cuomo said this about that, take a look. >> we're below the national average in number of deaths in nursing homes, but who cares? 33, 28 died in a hospital, died in the nursing home, they died.
chris: now one of cuomo's top aides was quoted this week as having said that the cuomo administration froze, her word, froze, on releasing the numbers when the justice department asked for them because they were concerned that the trump administration was going to use those figures against them. marc, how damaging for andrew cuomo? >> well, just think of it this way, imagine if donald trump had done what andrew cuomo did and falsified data on the pandemic for political purposes. we'd have a third impeachment going. [laughter] you know? but the other thing is i think people are missing the real scandal here. so everybody's focused on the fact that he did not give data that was supposed to go to the justice department on august 23rd. investigating the deaths. the real scandal is that for months before that, starting in may, he was providing false data
to public health officials. the public health -- the virus started, that spread across the country, was not the variant on the west coast, it was a the tie italian variant that started in new york, and that seeded the pandemic across the country. public health officials were desperately trying to figure out how this virus was spreading, how they could stop it, and cuomo fed them false data about who was getting sick and where. that is an unbelievably irresponsible thing to do, and it probably led to the deaths of a lot of americans across the country because it interfered with the public health officials' ability to fight the virus. so i think that's the real scandal here, and it's very damaging. chris: chuck, we've got a little over a minute left. cuomo was getting a lot of praise in those first months last spring for what were considered very factual briefings. it all seems to be coming apart for him now. >> especially because the criticism he's coming under is
bipartisan. don't forget this latest round began with the democratic torn general's report -- attorney general's report. a number of the democratic legislators in the new york legislature are criticizing him. you know, he has sharp elbows, he's not shy about making enemies no matter where, in what party, and i think some of that's coming back to haunt him. so that is what's particularly damaging about this, is that it's not just republicans coming after him. chris: and, gillian, in the 30 seconds we have left, there's also the basic criticism that he was ordering nursing homes to take people who had covid. >> yeah. and that speaks to the broader problem which is much bigger than cuomo himself here, which is that americans, sadly, don't really care about policy that much anymore. they care about the persona of politicians. if you're in a press conference and you sound authoritative and commanding and also sympathetic, they give you a pass.
nobody really pays close attention to the underlying policies the politicians are implementing anymore. and i think there's a real reckoning coming with that pretty soon. chris: thank you, panel. see you next sunday. happy valentine's day to all of you. up next, our power player of the week. best selling author james patterson on his publishing empire and the new book he says just may be his most important ever. ♪ ♪ in a recent clinical study, patients using salonpas patch reported reductions in pain severity, using less or a lot less oral pain medicines. and improved quality of life. that's why we recommend salonpas. it's good medicine. ♪ ♪ the chevy silverado trail boss. when you have a two-inch lift. when you have goodyear duratrac tires. when you have rancho shocks and an integrated dual exhaust.
with hassle-free claims, he got paid before his neighbor even got started. because doing right by our members, that's what's right. usaa. what you're made of, we're made for. ♪ usaa ♪ ♪ ♪ chris: he is the best selling author of the past decade, and if you think i'm talking about stephen king or john grisham, think again. here's our power player of the week. ♪ ♪ >> i love to tell stories, and i want to know what's going to happen at the end. chris: author james patterson tells lots of stories, 314
books, 241 bestsellers, over 400 million copies sold. loyal fans buy so many, their hashtag is patterstat. what's the secret to a best selling book? >> oh, you know, characters and interesting situations. i'm james patterson. welcome to to the end. chris: it does seem to be a bit of a james patterson formula, bite-sized chapters and a plot that races like the dickens. >> yeah. for sure, i think it's a good way, i think it fits ad modern world. chris: patterson's signature character, detective alex cross, is a publishing franchise, adapted into hit films. >> everybody down! chris: but his latest book, "walk in my combat boots," written with matt eversman, is a nonfiction page-turner. >> these are the people in the
crowd. these are their stories. chris: why was that important to tell and particularly why now? >> if you've been in the military, you've been in combat, say these guys got it right. and if you haven't, you'll understand maybe for the first time in your life what it means to serve, what it means to put your life on the line for somebody else. chris: his faith story is about twins -- favorite story is about twins, jason and kevin, who both served as army rangers in iraq. >> one of them would go through a hair-raising experience, and all he would think about is i hope my twin is okay. and jason would always say over and over again, kevin and i are going to go home, we're going to get home. and they did get home. chris: patterson runs his own storytelling army. >> i have some co-writers. i will write a 50 or 60 page outline for everything. there was one year two years ago where i wrote i think it was 2700 pages of outlines, which is
crazy. chris: do you ever get writer's block? >> no. no, what is that? i've heard about that but -- [laughter] no, obviously not. some of my competitors wish that the i would get writer's block. chris: no writer's block, but he still finds mystery in the process. >> i never know for sure how he's -- how it's going to turn out. chris: when you write a book, you don't know the ending? >> frequently i don't, because i get to it and i go, it needs more. chris: you've got to have a sense with, okay, that is coherent with where he took me -- >> or it's you're hooked, you're hooked, you're hook ld, and it's alien to go, what? you can't cop out, it's awful. chris: maybe the butler but not the aliens. >> i haven't done the butler yet, but that would be humorous. chris: patterson has just finished another nonfiction book, his autobiography. and you can learn more about "walk in my combat boots" in a
new special cohosted by patterson available now on fox nation. and that's it for for today. have a great week and we'll see you next "fox news sunday." ♪ ♪ ♪ maria: good sunday morning, everyone. welcome to "sunday morning futures" i'm maria bartiromo. acquitted again. comingng up, the senate votes to acquit purpose for f a second time -- president trump for a second time. jim jordan and alanerdershowitzn the merits of the case and its on our country and constitution. yplus, the sew must go on, complete with armed guards, barbed wire and 8-foot fencing around the u.s. capitol. former director of national intelligence ric grenell on the potentialc intel threat that would justify this half a billion dollar price tag and the police state until at least mid march in washington.