This is a rush transcript from “Sunday Morning Futures” September 6, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
CHARLES PAYNE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Good Sunday morning, everyone. I’m Charles Payne, in for Maria Bartiromo.
Straight ahead on “Sunday Morning Futures”: some good news for American workers on this Labor Day weekend. According to Friday’s jobs report, the unemployment rate dropped to 8.4 percent in August, with the U.S. economy adding nearly 1.4 million new jobs, this as lawmakers return to Capitol Hill on Tuesday for more coronavirus relief talks, after failing to reach an agreement last month.
One of the leading GOP voices in the negotiations, Senator John Barrasso, is here with his expectations for a deal and if Americans can expect a second stimulus check.
Also ahead, Maria’s brand-new interview with Trey Gowdy. As we await the results of John Durham’s criminal probe, are James Comey and John Brennan already doing damage control? All this against the backdrop of the 2020 election, now just 57 days away.
Also coming up, Maria’s exclusive conversation with White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on President Trump’s second-term agenda and why he believes the president’s tough-on-China policies could win him a second term.
We will also hear from Gordon Chang on the China challenge and why he is taking the Pentagon’s new report on Beijing’s military very seriously.
All that and more as we look ahead on “Sunday Morning Futures.”
But first: the White House and Congress temporarily averting a government shutdown on Friday, agreeing to extend federal funding at its current level.
Vice President Mike Pence said he hopes that this will allow lawmakers to focus on next the coronavirus relief package when they return to work next week.
Joining me right now, Republican Conference Chairman Senator John Barrasso.
Senator, thank you very much for joining us.
It didn’t get a lot of fanfare, but we can imagine what would have happened if there was a government shutdown. So, that was a pretty big hurdle. Just how much momentum can we expect out of that and to this very elusive agreement?
SEN. JOHN BARRASSO (R-WY): Well, it’s an important thing to do. We need to do just that.
But I will tell you, Charles, we need to keep the government funded, functioning. But I will tell you, I will believe it when I see it. It’s not beyond Nancy Pelosi to play politics with this.
We have been at this point before, where Democrats just want to add more money to the federal debt, with more spending. We need to end government shutdowns permanently.
I have introduced legislation with a number of my colleagues, the End Government Shutdown Act, so that there would never be a government shutdown again.
BARRASSO: It is the commonsense thing to do.
PAYNE: I know there’s been dozens of these short-term agreements, right? So it would be welcome.
But, in the meantime, it would be even more welcomed if Americans had that security of at least one more fiscal package. That bridge that was created by federal funding, the swift actions of the White House really resulted in some amazing things with our economy, things that economists said could not be done four or five months ago.
We saw more of that on Friday with the jobs report, unemployment rate, 8.4 percent. Really, just three months ago, Senator, I was hearing 20 percent for the rest of the year, honestly. And no one looked at this number, 1.37 million jobs.
And if you dig into the numbers, because there are two surveys, 360,000 jobs for black Americans, 170,000 for Asian Americans, one million new jobs for Hispanic Americans.
We have got this momentum. But I think some in Congress, particularly on the Republican side, may be taking it for granted, not realizing it was their swift action that helped us, and now is the time to add more fiscal stimulus.
BARRASSO: Well, these are blockbuster numbers, Charles. It is part of the great American comeback. I think it’s terrific, 10 million new jobs.
As you said, the experts were all wrong. They said we would still be at 16 percent unemployment. But I think this is a function of the leadership of the president, of President Trump, and what the Republicans have been focused on doing, but also the integrity and hard work of the American people, who want to get back to work.
We still have a ways to go.
BARRASSO: And a vaccine will make a big difference for that.
We have a targeted package that the Republicans want to put forward to help people get back to work. There’s paycheck protection money in there for our small businesses to continue. I expect Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi to block that.
You know, it’s almost as if the Democrats think they will do better in the election if more people are suffering. Charles, you heard Joe Biden say he would shut down the economy again.
Charles, that’s the absolute — that’s a mindless thing to do.
BARRASSO: That’s not what we need to do as a path forward for America.
PAYNE: Yes. Yes.
BARRASSO: He is so wrong on this. We need to continue all full speed ahead, the vaccine and reopening the economy fully.
PAYNE: And to underscore your point, President Trump doing what he can, as Congress, more or less — I hate to say it, but it feels like they’re sort of fiddling around right now.
The executive order, with that $300 payment from the federal government, 45 states have taken him up on that. They’re going to kick in an extra $100. But that’s temporary. The government, the administration found that money in a pool out of FEMA.
So, there is a sense of urgency. Listen, it wasn’t necessarily a political story, per se, but Nancy Pelosi’s blowout, the visit to the hair salon without the mask, and the subsequent woman losing her business over all of this, can that create a sense of urgency?
If someone like a Nancy Pelosi, with a reported fortune of $114 million, can go to the salon, get a blowout, not wear her mask, while Americans are living day to day, moment to moment of praying for additional help, can that get us closer to this finish line?
BARRASSO: You know, it really should, Charles.
But this is Nancy Pelosi, one rule for her and one rule for the rest of America. I’m just not surprised by this. I’m not surprised that she has attacked the single mother of two who owned the salon, who is likely to go bankrupt, as a result of the fact that we don’t have additional paycheck protection money.
So, to me, this is Nancy Pelosi as Cruella De Vil, saying no to paycheck protection for workers and small businesses all around the country, but at the same time telling one small business that they should open, but only open for her.
This is a sign of contempt for American workers.
There feels to be also a certain kind of irony that the Democrats are insisting on a lot of money for states. Many of these states had already been extraordinarily irresponsible. They have run up unfulfilled pensions.
They have got these programs to welcome people into their states and their cities that are poorly funded. And now they’re — most of them are — or many of them are actually still shut down. They have exacerbated the problem.
The number of small businesses in California that have needed to tap into the payroll protection plan, for instance, is enormous. And yet you have places like New York, where they’re on the verge of putting out almost every restaurant owner in New York City. California still won’t open completely up.
You have got a lot of places that are equivocating on school reopenings. And the irony to me, Senator, is that they already were asking for a lot of money for these states, and now they’re going to need even more.
Does that create an impasse? How do you get around that? Because we do know that these states and these cities need money to bring kids back to school safely. But how do we make sure, as American taxpayers, it’s not used for other things that they were reckless about?
BARRASSO: Well, you’re absolutely right, Charles.
And that’s why Republicans have a targeted piece of legislation to get people back to work, get kids back to school, and get the vaccine out to people all across America. And that’s what Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi continue to block, because they have this trip to Fantasy Island, a $3 trillion bill, a trillion of which, Charles, one-third, has nothing to do with coronavirus.
It’s all of the things that you have listed. It includes environmental justice and direct paychecks to illegal immigrants. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
BARRASSO: Look, Republicans are never going to be able to win, nor should we try to win a bidding war with Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer.
We’re going to continue to focus on the things we need to do to get children back to school safely and get more businesses open all across the country. That’s part of the great American comeback.
PAYNE: Senator, you mentioned the vaccine a couple times.
And in an interview, Kamala Harris seemed not to be sure of whether or not she would take one if it was approved on November 1. And, of course, such a decision has already been downplayed or shot down.
Everyone understands that the key, the ultimate key, to us getting back to 100 percent where we were is a vaccine.
What do you make of the politicization of a vaccine that would be approved before the election, even though it’s gone through all of the rigors, that normal vaccine process? It was just sped up because the administration put a lot of money toward it, but, still, it checks all the boxes that you would check for any drug approval.
BARRASSO: Well, let me say this about Kamala Harris’ comments.
This is somebody who has campaigned to take health insurance away from 160 million Americans who get it through work. This is someone who has campaigned to have taxpayers fund health insurance for illegal immigrants.
But this statement about the vaccine is her most irresponsible statement of all.
I’m a doctor. I’m very encouraged by where we are with the vaccine. This is moving forward at warp speed. We’re in stage three trials. Multiple vaccines look like they’re going to work. We’re working on plans to get these to the states, so that our health care workers can get them, the most vulnerable can get them, people with preexisting conditions.
The vaccine is the path forward for all of America.
And yet what we see is — and it’s not just Kamala Harris — 77-year-old Joe Biden said he wasn’t sure if the vaccine was safe or real.
When it comes to this vaccine, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are absolutely wrong. Charles, I have written a piece on FOXNews.com about just how important it is for all of us to get the vaccine and to make sure that the scientists continue to work at this rapid pace.
PAYNE: Someone — I heard this saying in the last few months: Trust the science. Trust the scientists.
I’m not sure who said it. But it seems like a lot of folks who it’s trickled off of their lips are now saying, well, we may not trust the scientists if it means that we — it could hurt us in the election.
I mean, again, that would put a lot of American lives at risk, in my opinion, if they were to really shoot this down.
BARRASSO: I agree with you, Charles.
When you talk about the upcoming election, to me, this is the most consequential election in our lifetime. And you take a look at what the differences are vs. the issue of jobs and the great American comeback we have under President Trump, vs. Joe Biden, who said he would shut down the economy again.
With regard to taxes, Joe Biden is ready to go with $4 trillion of additional taxes. And then just take a look at law enforcement and where we are there, the Democrats who want to defund the police. Republicans want to defend the police.
So, all across the board, Charles, when it comes to our of freedoms of speech, of religion, of Second Amendment rights to own and bear arms, the fundamental difference is so stark.
BARRASSO: And that’s why I support President Trump and will vote for him for reelection for president in 2020.
PAYNE: Senator John Barrasso, it’s always a pleasure to talk with you. And I really appreciate it on this Labor Day weekend.
Thank you very much, sir.
BARRASSO: Great to be with you, Charles.
PAYNE: Straight ahead: Maria’s exclusive interview with White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Joe Biden’s China problem and why he believes President Trump is the better candidate to take on the Chinese Communist Party.
MARIA BARTIROMO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Welcome back
My thanks to Charles Payne, who will be back in a moment with more breaking news later this hour.
But first: the China challenge, as the CCP-run Global Times re-ups its endorsement to Joe Biden, proclaiming that his presidency would be — quote — “good news for Beijing,” as he — quote — “represents U.S. liberal pro- established elites” and is more reasonable than President Trump, according to The Global Times.
But what would this mean for everybody else here at home in the United States?
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro was among the first to warn viewers of this — on this program about Biden’s Beijing problem. He joins me right now.
And, Peter, it’s always great to see you. Thank you so much for being here.
PETER NAVARRO, DIRECTOR, WHITE HOUSE OFFICE OF TRADE AND MANUFACTURING POLICY: Hey, Maria. Great to be with you.
BARTIROMO: So let’s talk about this state-run media.
You have got The Global Times saying that they think Joe Biden will be a better pick to run America than Donald Trump. And then you have got this most recent threat coming from the South China Morning News, which basically taunts the United States with its handling of Huawei.
This most recent tweet from the head of The Global Times says that, if the U.S. keeps poking Huawei, then maybe the Chinese officials will not export the medicines that are so vital to America.
We know that more than 70 or 80 percent of our active ingredients in prescription drugs are made in China. Your reaction?
NAVARRO: Economic security is national security. That’s one of the principles of the Trump administration.
And what we have learned from this China virus pandemic, Maria, is that we have to bring our medicines home, our medical supplies, and our medical equipment.
And the Chinese Communist Party is just putting an exclamation point to that when they threaten us. And if we bring those jobs back onshore, as we have been doing, we will create great jobs at great wages, but also protect the American people from the Chinese Communist Party.
So, that’s a very provocative action they’re taking. We’re no stranger to seeing that. But I think it was interesting that, in the same week, both dances with scarves Nancy Pelosi in the Rotunda said that Joe Biden was the preferred candidate of the Chinese Communist Party, and then The Global Times comes out, effectively, with their endorsement.
What would that mean for the American people? We know what it would mean, devastation in the Midwest, our blue-collar workers just getting hammered. We lost over 70,000 factories, Maria, over five million manufacturing jobs.
NAVARRO: And it was because Joe Biden likes made in China. Donald Trump came along in many ways because he said, hey, that’s not good. That’s not right. I’m going to fix that.
And so what President Trump has been carefully doing is putting in place a wide range of policies, whether it’s lowering the corporate income tax to bring investment onshore, steel and aluminum tariffs, or buy American.
And, most recently, speaking of those medicines China wants to bully us with, the president signed an executive order that will essentially enforce buy American rules and promote advanced manufacturing of pharmaceuticals right here in the good old of U.S. of A.
So, Beijing Biden vs. made in America Donald J. Trump, I think that’s one of the stark differences between the two sides.
And it’s really interesting, Maria. If you watched back when with the Democratic Convention, or you watch CNN or MSNBC, which are effectively propaganda organs for the Democratic Party, you never hear them talk about where the virus came from.
NAVARRO: They won’t say the word China virus. If you try to say it, they cancel you.
And the reason is, the whole Biden Democratic Party strategy is, it’s a dangerous one for them and for us, because it’s predicated on being able to blame Donald J. Trump for the pandemic.
And my view is, the only president in the world who is responsible for killing over 180,000 Americans, putting 40 million Americans out of work and costing us trillions of dollars is the unelected president of the Chinese Communist Party in China, Xi Jinping.
BARTIROMO: Peter, I want to ask you about capital markets.
BARTIROMO: Some people say that capital markets are funding a lot of this activity in China to begin with. And then I want to get your take on the president’s second-term agenda.
So, let’s take a short break, and then we have got a lot more with Peter Navarro in just a moment.
We’re looking ahead this morning on “Sunday Morning Futures.” We will be right back.
BARTIROMO: And we are back with Peter Navarro, coming to us from the White House.
Peter, let’s talk about China and the U.S. capital markets.
There was another Chinese IPO that went public just about a week ago. This is China’s answer to Tesla. It’s an electric vehicle maker trading in the United States. There’s a lot of movement here to stop Chinese companies from getting away with not reporting their true accounting. You know Senator Kennedy’s bill.
I want to talk to you about whether or not the United States is, in fact, funding China with its open-door policy for capital markets, even if many of those companies may be working with the Chinese military to create weaponry that, who knows, at some point could be used against the American military.
NAVARRO: Well, the answer, Maria, sadly, is yes, with a big exclamation point to it.
And this president, President Trump, has been taking very strong action in terms of sanctioning Chinese companies that are involved in things like the concentration camps in Xinjiang province, or abuses in Hong Kong, or Huawei trying to steal, effectively, our information and infiltrate our networks.
So, financial sanctions, visa sanctions have been very effective so far. But you point out what is the other problem here, which is the continued flow of capital from the United States, particularly our pension funds, into companies that support the Chinese military efforts, that support the human rights abuses.
And then that — and also who defraud investors, because they do not abide by accounting standards.
One of the things that really troubled me over the last couple of years was this guy named Ben Meng. They — he’s a Chinese citizen here.
NAVARRO: Citizen here, but he was part of the Thousand Talents program, which is a conduit for spies for China.
And he served for two years in the Chinese government in the division which is effectively in charge of currency manipulation. And the next thing we know, he’s in charge of CalPERS, which is, like, one of the biggest pension funds in the world. It’s California employees pension fund.
And, as soon as he got in there, he started jettisoning all the American stocks and other stocks and loading up on these speculative Chinese companies. And it turns out he actually had to resign from there.
But that’s the kind of thing where, right now, because of the way our stock market indices are organized and required, they’re literally forced to buy the stocks of Chinese companies that effectively are part of the Chinese military industrial spying, human rights abuses, concentration complex.
So, that needs to be dealt with. And we’re — this president is the toughest president ever on China. And that issue is certainly one that people are looking at.
BARTIROMO: What will be the president’s priorities if he is reelected, Peter?
NAVARRO: First of all, it’s bringing home the domestic manufacturing of our personal protective equipment, medical supplies and medical equipments, and, as we’re doing that, fill up the Strategic National Stockpile in a way which makes it not just bigger, but smarter. So that’s like step one.
The second step has to do with testing. We have done a miracle job in terms of rapidly increasing our testing capacity.
But the more important thing, Maria, is what we have just begun to do, which is deploy these small pregnancy test-type point-of-care tests, which are cheap, economic, and we get them out to people with a quick, quick result.
NAVARRO: So, that’s going to be part of it.
The fourth is therapeutics, things like remdesivir, convalescent plasma.
NAVARRO: And, finally, this whole thing with the vaccine horse race development, we’re — we should have a vaccine in mass production for half- a-billion doses by the end of the year.
NAVARRO: So, that — beat the China virus, that’s essential.
NAVARRO: On the jobs front, we know that the president was the best jobs president in the history up to the point where the Chinese walked in here on January 15, without telling us about that virus.
BARTIROMO: That’s right.
NAVARRO: We know that that China virus hammered this economy.
But we know which person, Biden or the president…
NAVARRO: … can get us back through the policies like deregulation, tax cuts, getting that energy sector going and all of that.
NAVARRO: So, that’s important.
BARTIROMO: Yes. I was really…
NAVARRO: Go ahead.
BARTIROMO: I enjoyed the president…
NAVARRO: I got more.
BARTIROMO: The lineup of things that the president talked about in terms of a second-term agenda, including some of those economic policies that really lit a fire under this economy back in 2016 and back in 2017.
Peter, it’s great to have you this weekend. Thank you so much, sir.
NAVARRO: You take care of yourself, Maria.
BARTIROMO: Peter Navarro joining us.
Coming up, Trey Gowdy is with me with his expectations for John Durham’s criminal investigation, including who he thinks will be indicted, as we look ahead on “Sunday Morning Futures.”
Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TREY GOWDY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Do you know if the bureau ever relied on the Steele dossier as part — as part of any court filings, applications, petitions, pleadings?
JOHN BRENNAN, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: I have no awareness.
GOWDY: Did the CIA rely on it?
GOWDY: Why not?
BRENNAN: Because we didn’t. It wasn’t part of the corpus of intelligence information that we had.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: That was Trey Gowdy grilling former CIA Director John Brennan as chairman of the House Oversight Committee back in May of 2017.
Gowdy was one of only two GOP congressmen, along with John Ratcliffe, who saw all of the redacted documents in both the Trump-Russia investigation, as well as the Hillary Clinton investigation, that e-mail probe which the FBI was conducting simultaneously.
Trey Gowdy joins me right now. He’s a FOX News contributor, and the author of the new book “Doesn’t Hurt to Ask: Using the Power of Questions to Communicate, Connect, and Persuade.”
And good morning, sir. You have done that so well over your career. We appreciate you joining us this weekend.
Good to see you, Trey.
GOWDY: Yes, ma’am. You too. Thank you.
BARTIROMO: So, where are we? We’re waiting — we are waiting on the results of this criminal probe from John Durham. He — we watched you interview John Brennan back in 2017, where he said he didn’t use the dossier at all.
What’s your take on the arrangement of the CIA, the FBI, and who is culpable here for using this piece of information, which we know was just hearsay made up in a bar, as evidence or as reason to get a warrant to wiretap Carter Page and the Trump campaign?
GOWDY: Well, we certainly know the FBI is culpable. And you don’t have to take my word for it.
Michael Horowitz is not a rock-ribbed Republican. He was nominated by Barack Obama and unanimously approved by the U.S. Senate. So, he’s hardly a partisan.
He dinged the FBI. The FISA court dinged the FBI. The Senate Intelligence Committee dinged the FBI. I mean, everyone who’s looked at the FBI’s conduct in the fall of 2016 says, they didn’t even meet the most basic of expectations.
I like to pivot to the fall of 2015, or earlier, in 2016, who was driving the engine, who was driving the train then? I’m hoping Durham can tell us how this whole narrative — I get that Russia was trying to attack us. I get that.
The narrative that somehow the Trump campaign was complicit or conspiring with them, where did that start? What is the evidentiary basis of it? And I think Durham — I’m not going to prejudge what he’s going to find. I think it will be a mixture of the CIA and the FBI.
BARTIROMO: OK, because you make really an important point for our audience to understand, because, up until now, the FBI keeps telling us, and they told you to your face, we started an investigation into Trump in July of 2016.
But, Trey, we know there’s all this activity early in 2016. And, certainly, from what I have been able to glean from it and report, it certainly feels like they were sending informants at Trump campaign people to try to entrap them, so that, in 2016, they could come up with these reasons for arresting them.
GOWDY: I invite your viewers, view this thing in three parts.
What happened before the summer of 2016 with Papadopoulos? Where did it start? Then the counterintelligence investigation signed off on by Peter Strzok in July of 2016. And then you got to view separately the fall of 2016 with Carter Page.
They’re all hopelessly interlocked, but you need accountability at every one of those three stages. And you have got to view them in three stages. Or, at least, that — I think that’s what’s most productive.
BARTIROMO: So, it’s interesting, because, when you look at whether you’re a target or a witness, John Brennan seems to be doing some P.R. around his interview with John Durham.
He’s telling people: Well, I’m not a target. I’m a witness.
I mean, there is concern that John Durham is dragging his feet. So, how come we haven’t heard from Durham? And walk us through being a target vs. a witness and what John Brennan is saying now, because he just interviewed with John Durham.
I mean, those are words that the bureau and the department throw around. My experience, as a prosecutor, is your status can change in an instant. You can move from being a witness to a subject to a target.
So, I understand that Brennan’s P.R. machine wants us all to believe that he’s not a target. That status can change. You’re one document or one false statement away from going from one to the other.
So, with respect to Durham, my expectation is that he is going to access documents that Devin and Ratcliffe and I never got to see. He’s going to access documents that the FBI never shared with Congress.
And he will write the definitive accounting of what happened. Whether or not there will be more indictments or not, Maria, I don’t know. And I like to assume that there will not be.
And I know that that puts me in a small minority, but I’m assuming the that Clinesmith indictment will be the only one. But I would liken it to Secretary Clinton. She was not indicted.
But when the jury in November of 2016 met, they did mete out punishment, they did mete out accountability. So, regardless of whether Brennan or Comey or Strzok or Page or Baker or anyone else suffers a criminal consequence, the jury has a chance in November of 2020 to weigh in and say, you know what, you didn’t meet our expectations for law enforcement. We’re going to mete out the punishment, whether or not there’s an indictment or not.
But you can imagine some viewers looking at this system and saying, there are two different systems of justice. I mean, you oversaw the investigation into the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal. And, I mean, look, when you look back at that, there were 30-plus-thousand e-mails which were destroyed.
I mean, I call that obstruction. There was a meeting two days before Hillary Clinton was to get an interview with the FBI, a meeting on the tarmac in Phoenix with Hillary Clinton’s husband and a sitting attorney general. Loretta lynch met with him on a private plane. They actually left — found out about — people found out about that meeting, and they said, oh, we were talking about the grandkids.
I mean, come on.
So, I ask you this. Is there any way at all that, for example, the Chinese Communist Party, knowing their espionage, knowing what they have done, is there any way they did not know that a sitting secretary of state and a sitting president, Barack Obama, were communicating on an unsecured server? And were they breaching? And were they looking at those e-mails in China?
GOWDY: Well, you raise a lot of good points.
Let’s go back to Jim Comey’s infamous July 5 press conference. And let’s go back and look at the drafts of his speech, and the fact that he had included the likelihood, the probability that a hostile foreign country had accessed her server. And then he decides to edit that out.
So, you point out the discrepancies between the way President Trump was treated and the way Secretary Clinton. You barely scratched the surface in the discrepancies.
GOWDY: I mean, think about sending the questions ahead of time.
The Department of Justice let her know ahead of time.
GOWDY: They decided ahead of time she wasn’t going to be charged.
The defensive briefings. Look at how they briefed her vs. how they briefed or did not brief President Trump.
And the one that just staggers me, Maria…
BARTIROMO: That’s right.
GOWDY: … is the allowing of fact witnesses to sit in on her interview.
She had a small law firm…
GOWDY: … a small law firm sitting with her, and yet they can’t be bothered to let General Flynn have a lawyer present. So, yes, there’s a lot of discrepancy.
The thing I would just caution your viewers, I know your expectations are high. I know you’re disappointed. We, as a culture, you got to have a criminal statute. You got to have evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.
GOWDY: But narrowly avoiding indictment cannot be the only way we mete out punishment in our culture.
BARTIROMO: Thank you so much, sir.
GOWDY: Yes, ma’am. Thank you.
BARTIROMO: Trey Gowdy joining us there.
Charles Payne will be back with a lot more news after this short break, as we look ahead on “Sunday Morning Futures.”
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
JOHN RATCLIFFE, U.S. DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: In this position, I’m privileged to see more intelligence than anyone else in the country, other than the president. That includes all members of Congress.
And I — as I see intelligence every single day, when you consider the fact that the amount of intelligence that we get, and we consider economically, militarily, technologically, China is the greatest threat that we face.
I don’t mean to minimize Russia. They are a serious national security threat. But day in, day out, the threats that we face from China are significantly greater. And I think that’s clear.
And anyone that sees intelligence knows that, and anyone who says otherwise is just politicizing intelligence for their own narrative.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
PAYNE: That was Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe speaking exclusively with Maria Bartiromo last week, in his first interview since being sworn into the office on May 26.
Our next guest has also warned viewers of this program about Beijing’s global ambitions.
Gordon Chang is a senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute and also the author of “The Coming Collapse of China.”
Good morning, Gordon.
Yes, obviously, you have been up front and center on this, a lot more than anyone. And now it seems like everyone is catching up to your warnings. And the irony of this, of course, is, you have got to wonder if it’s too little, too late.
A report out from the U.S. military this week that China now has a larger navy than the United States. China has more air defense missile systems. They have more land-based missiles. Essentially, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that America was asleep.
This is more than just an embarrassment, isn’t it? This is a serious threat.
GORDON CHANG, AUTHOR, “THE COMING COLLAPSE OF CHINA”: Well, this is a serious threat, Charles.
You referred to the Pentagon China military report, which is an annual report. And, in it, it was alarming this year, because they were more realistic.
And, by the way, China has whole classes of missiles the United States does not have. And the reason is that we were in the INF Treaty, which prohibited intermediate-range missiles. China was not a member of the treaty. And so, therefore, it developed missiles that can hit U.S. Navy ships.
So, clearly, we have a long way to go to even get to parity with China in some classes of weapons.
PAYNE: Now, to my knowledge, right, President Trump, though, took us out of that arrangement. And I remember when talks that he was going to do that came up, the media went nuts. They were like, it’s another agreement with the world, and we’re lacking leadership.
It’s nuts because we sat there and watched China become a military power on par and in some cases beyond what we even can provide right now.
CHANG: You’re absolutely right, Charles.
You know, we should not have been in the INF Treaty, when China was not a party to it. This is not the early days of the Cold War, the 1980s, when INF made some sense. And you’re right. The media did go nuts about this, because they said, oh, President Trump is withdrawing from the world.
What he was doing was, he is permitting the U.S. Navy to develop the same class of missiles that China had. So, we have got to understand, multilateralism is great when all the countries in the world are part of it and when they want to be.
China right now is going on its own. And we have got to defend ourselves.
PAYNE: Of course, we have got 10 nuclear submarines. Apparently, though, they have some larger ones in development. And they’re able to use technology stolen from America that maybe could mitigate the power of our nuclear ships. This is an emergency.
There’s something else that I read, Gordon, that made me think about you. It’s in Nature magazine, of all things, the Seven Sons, those seven key universities in China, all started by the military, that have done joint academic papers with the U.S. military — U.S. universities.
This blows my mind. From 2013 to 2019, 254 of these science and technology papers, we have done this jointly with them. And all of the information that we gather and that we discover, they get to take back to the communist Chinese military.
And we have PLA, People’s Liberation Army, researchers in the United States. Trump administration has revoked their visas. That’s a very important step.
But, also, Charles, we have companies like Google with artificial intelligence partnerships in China. Now, nominally, the parties on the other side of those partnerships are civilian. But because of China’s civil-military fusion, which is a doctrine that Xi Jinping, the Chinese ruler, has been ruthlessly enforcing, it means that everything that Google does in China gets pipelined directly to the Chinese military.
So, we’re giving them the technology to configure their forces, to kill Americans. This is hideous.
PAYNE: It’s absolutely amazing.
Gordon, I want you to hang right there.
We’re going to have more with you just in a moment, as we look ahead on “Sunday Morning Futures.”
PAYNE: And we’re back with Gordon Chang.
And, Gordon, I want to transition to what’s happening in Hong Kong.
The whole world was watching. It felt like the Hong Kong activists were building up some form of momentum. And then the COVID-19 hit, and our attentions were transferred elsewhere.
The U.N. sending a letter condemning these new laws in Hong Kong, the security laws. And it seems like China, with the world not watching, has become more aggressive.
What are your thoughts there?
CHANG: Well, it certainly has.
It has used the new national security law, which was imposed on June 30, to take people off the streets, and also to attack local media, especially Apple Daily, which is the pro-democracy newspaper there.
The Hong Kong government has postponed for a year elections that were supposed to take place today for the legislative council. And, instead, there were protests today. And the police basically arrested protesters for protesting the deferral of the elections.
You know, I don’t know if there’s ever going to be elections in Hong Kong again, Charles.
Well, speaking of the elections, The Global Times, which is essentially the mouthpiece for the Chinese government, the communist government there, endorsing Joe Biden, saying that he would be — quote — “smoother” to deal with than President Trump.
PAYNE: Smooth sounds like a euphemism for easier, no problems, a whole lot of things.
CHANG: Yes, well, the trend of Chinese Communist Party and Chinese central government propaganda has been to unseat President Trump.
From what we can tell of their troll farm and bot operations, they have also meant to disrupt Trump. And we have seen TikTok being used to aid the dirty tricks campaigns against Trump.
So, really, there’s been a concerted effort, which has been across the board. It’s unprecedented. It’s greater than anything that Russia may have done in 2016.
PAYNE: Yes, you got to wonder if there’s any of these folks who cheered the fact that TikTok might have tricked some Trump supporters earlier than this year, maybe have some egg on their face, understanding now, as the world has rejected TikTok, that it’s just nothing more than a conduit to steal all of our information.
But I want to stick on the cultural things.
Before the break, we talked about universities. But China’s influence is growing significantly beyond there, particularly in Hollywood.
In Hong Kong, there is a major boycott against the recently released “Mulan.” Apparently, the lead actress there, she’s expressed support for the police, perhaps support for the crackdown. And now there’s a boycott, not just of the movie, but of also Disney.
In the meantime, I don’t think Americans realize how much power China has over Hollywood these days, Gordon.
CHANG: Well, it certainly does, because, of course, there’s a domestic film-going audience in China, and Hollywood studios want to take advantage of that.
So they have changed the content of movies in ways where you see these big action thrillers where the Chinese step in and save the planet at the last moment. And that’s no coincidence. They are doing this because Beijing demands it, and the Hollywood studios comply.
PAYNE: What’s particularly despicable, though, is that you have a whole lot of folks in America, actors and actresses, who will — who are against American police forces, who really are pretty active against their disdain for our law enforcement here, but won’t speak out on what’s happening in China.
And that’s really unnerving.
And, certainly, that’s also true for the NBA stars as well who express support for China. When they talk about racism in the U.S., they support the Chinese government, which is conducting genocide, mass detentions and concentration camps, institutionalized rape, slavery.
That’s what’s going on in the northwestern part of the country.
And I know — I think it’s too late to turn their back. Hollywood is addicted to that cash.
Gordon, we’re addicted to you. You always give it to us straight. Thank you, my friend.
All right, folks. Well, that does it for us, “Sunday Morning Futures.” I’m Charles Payne, in for Maria Bartiromo.
We will see you during the week, “Making Money,” 2:00 p.m. Eastern time on the FOX Business Network.
Folks, have a safe and very healthy Labor Day weekend. We will see you soon.
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