‘Special Report’ All-Star Panel on Biden’s mishandling of US southern border

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‘Special Report’ All-Star Panel on Biden’s mishandling of US southern border

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," January 27, 2022. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)PETE

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This is a rush transcript from “Special Report,” January 27, 2022. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Why is the administration flying thousands of migrants from the border to Florida and New York in the middle of the night?

JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, I’m not sure that it’s in the middle of the night, but let me tell you what’s happening here.

DOOCY: It’s 2:30 a.m., 4:29 a.m. Very early in the morning.

PSAKI: Here we are talking about early flights, earlier than you might like to take a flight. It is our legal responsibility to safely care for unaccompanied children until they swiftly — can be swiftly unified with a parent or a vetted sponsor. And that’s something that we take seriously. We have a moral, a right obligation to do that and deliver on that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAIER: OK, so let’s bring in our panel, Mollie Hemingway, editor in chief of “The Federalist,” a new title, Harold Ford Jr., former Tennessee Congressman, CEO of Empowerment and Inclusion Capital, and Mara Liasson, national political correspondent of National Public Radio.

Mollie, let me start with you. Obviously, this video opens and focuses people’s attention on this. We have been talking about it for a long time. Does it change the dynamic?

MOLLIE HEMINGWAY, EDITOR IN CHIEF, “THE FEDERALIST”: This video is full of shocking information. It should startle people. But it really has been this policy of this administration. This is an intentional destruction of our border that has been going on since the beginning of this administration. To hear people talking about what this means with this willful breaking of congressional laws.

and I think it’s interesting we have had two impeachments in recent years. But here you have a president willfully and intentionally failing to uphold the laws of this land and not being honest about it. I’m struck by what Jen Psaki said there, trying to make this sound like it was about bringing children back into a relationship with their parents when, in fact, what’s going on is that we have people who are adult males who in some case are using their criminal arrest records as I.D. to get on these planes and be shipped across the country.

BAIER: Mara, this comes as border encounters are really staggering, just the members numbers alone if you look at year over year. Along the southwest total 518,360, national total 590,000. These numbers are really, really big. This is not an issue that this administration likes to talk about. It hasn’t really talked about it a lot.

MARA LIASSON, NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO: No. Look, immigration is one of the most animating issues for the right for conservatives, for Republicans, and it’s going to be used in this midterm election. Immigration, inflation, crime, these are all things that voters don’t like, and it’s one of the most powerful issues that Republicans have to use against the administration.

Even if the administration was acting completely lawfully, and it’s very possible that they were following the law, which says you can’t just leave unaccompanied minors in a detention center on the border, you have to put them somewhere. The fact that there are illegal immigrants crossing the border, being apprehended, put into the system to wait for a court date or to try to be reunited with their family, it’s a problem with the White House, and it’s one of the top issues that Republicans are going to talk about in the campaign.

BAIER: I want to talk — turn, Harold, to some good news for the Biden administration, the U.S. economy growing at a robust rate from last year. Obviously, inflation is still a major concern. And then Stephen Breyer announcing officially his retirement and this big ceremony about moving on and looking for another nominee.

This is “The Wall Street Journal,” though. “As a candidate, Mr. Biden pledged to select the next justice first and foremost on race and sex. Mr. Biden is now going to create one of the more jarring and incongruous moments in the history of the Supreme Court this fall. In the Harvard and University of North Carolina cases, the justices will hear arguments that the use of race in admissions is unlawful discrimination. One of them will have gained her seat in part through exclusionary criteria of race and sex.” What do you make of that?

HAROLD FORD JR., FORMER TENNESSEE REPRESENTATIVE: So good to be with you. Two questions here you’ve asked. First, with regard to the Supreme Court nomination, the president today pledged qualifications, legal competence, judicial temperament would be foremost on his mind, and that he, indeed, decided to end the inglorious tradition of not having an African American woman on the court.

It’s important to know that the 233 year tradition of our Supreme Court we’ve had 114 Supreme Court justices. Only seven of them have not been white men. Now, when those 107 were appointed, no one suggested or implied there was some racism there. But this president has decided that he is going to ensure we have this diversity on the court. But qualifications, temperament, and legal competence will have to be first. And I’m assured that there is a pool of African American women who fit that.

With regard to the economy, it was a good day for the country. The fact that President Trump and President Biden decided to help everyday Americans, main street Americans, battle through COVID to ensure that workers and restaurants and communities and businesses big and small could stay intact is a good thing. The president now has his hands full as we head into this year, the first quarter, second half of the first quarter, as we head into the second and third quarters, trying to figure out how you unclog supply chains, how you ensure we continue to invest in cities like Columbus, Ohio, to build things here in America and to keep our economy humming.

BAIER: Well, panel, I appreciate the time. A little shorter tonight because of all the interviews, but thank you.

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