This is a rush transcript from “Special Report” November 9, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Hi, Greg. Good evening, welcome to Washington.
I'm Bret Baier.
Breaking tonight, just a short time ago, the Trump campaign filed paperwork to challenge the election outcome in Pennsylvania, seeking to stop certification all those results. The president is digging in, focusing on what his team calls ongoing litigation and the dispatching of recount teams to key swing states. The president is also on ceremoniously dumping his Pentagon chief today.
Meantime president-elect Joe Biden is moving forward with his transition, putting considerable public emphasis on the coronavirus. And both camps are lauding some encouraging news about a vaccine that sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average through the roof today. The Dow almost 2,000 points up before closing, ahead 835.
Democrats are squabbling about why many down ticket races failed to get the kind of support that Biden did. We'll get reaction shortly during a live interview with West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin.
We Fox team coverage first, Peter Doocy with the Biden team in Wilmington, Delaware. Connell McShane in New York with why investors reacted to the vaccine news so fiercely today, but we begin with correspondent Kristin Fisher at the White House. Good evening, Kristin.
KRISTIN FISHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Bret. President Trump appears to be no closer to acknowledging that Joe Biden is now the president-elect. In fact, the Trump campaign just filed another lawsuit in Pennsylvania claiming that the state's vote by mail system is unconstitutional.
FISHER: President Trump tweeting this afternoon at Wisconsin where his campaign is requesting a recount is "looking very good". Same in Georgia where the president is still predicting a win.
But even if President Trump were able to win both Wisconsin and Georgia, it still would not be enough to get into 270. So, his campaigns filed a slew of lawsuits in several other states with litigation ongoing in Pennsylvania, Nevada and Arizona. So far, not one of those lawsuits claiming voter fraud or irregularities is widespread enough to alter the outcome in that state.
But this afternoon after days of silence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell came to the president's defense.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Our institutions are actually built for this.
We have the system in place to consider concerns and President Trump is 100 percent within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options.
FISHER: Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer blasted the lawsuits is frivolous and McConnell for defending them.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Too many, including the Republican leader have been silent or sympathetic to the president's fantasies.
FISHER: The president did get some good news today about a different fight.
Drug maker Pfizer announcing its coronavirus vaccine is more than 90 percent effective according to early data. The president celebrating by saying, stock market up big, vaccine coming soon. Report 90 percent effective. Such great news.
Today, the president also did something he's been wanting to do for months, fire Defense Secretary Mark Esper. Their relationship soured this summer when Esper said.
MARK ESPER, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act.
FISHER: Which would have allowed President Trump to use active duty troops on U.S. soil to quell protests in the wake of George Floyd's death.
The president made it official as he often does with a tweet announcing that Christopher C. Miller, the highly respected Director of the National Counterterrorism Center unanimously confirmed by the Senate, will be Acting Secretary of Defense, effective immediately.
FISHER: Now, our correspondent at the Pentagon Jennifer Griffin just got her hands on the letter that Esper sent to President Trump in response. He writes, "I have served in full faith to my sworn oath to support and defend the Constitution, and to safeguard the country and its interests while keeping the department out of politics and abiding by the values Americans hold dear." He went on to say, I serve the country in deference to the Constitution, so I accept your decision to replace me.
Now, the president's decision to fire Esper just two days after Joe Biden became the president-elect gives you a taste of what could come over the next two months with FBI Director Christopher Wray also believed to be on the chopping block, Bret.
BAIER: Kristin Fisher live in the North Lawn. Kristin, thank you.
Getting control of the pandemic is shaping up as president-elect Biden's first priority. He's revealing his COVID-19 transition advisory board. He's celebrating the positive news about the possible vaccine while urging the nation to take one particular precaution. Correspondent Peter Doocy reports tonight from Wilmington, Delaware.
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT-ELECT: Wear a mask, let's get to work.
PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: The president-elect says, voters have given him a mandate.
BIDEN: I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide but unify.
DOOCY: How does he think that happens, face masks.
BIDEN: It is a good way to start pulling the country together.
DOOCY: Before the election, Biden warned that the Trump administration may been fast tracking a COVID-19 vaccine for political reasons.
BIDEN: The whole notion of a vaccine, we're for a vaccine but we — I don't trust him at all nor do you, I know you don't. What we trust is a scientist.
TRUMP: You don't trust Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer?
DOOCY: Pfizer says they didn't wait to announce this 90 percent successful vaccine till after the election for political reasons, they just didn't have enough data till today. And until it's ready for everyone, Biden plans to push masks.
BIDEN: Maybe we'd save a life of a person who stocks the shelf at your local grocery store. Maybe saves the life of a member of your place of worship. Maybe saves the lives of one of your children's teachers. Maybe saves your life.
DOOCY: For a few more weeks, Biden's power is limited.
BIDEN: I will be president until January 20th.
DOOCY: But the campaign is eager to begin the transition.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The work starts right away.
DOOCY: There's a problem though, the Biden team is locked out of accounts set aside to aid their transition because the GSA administrator, a Trump appointee, hasn't made an ascertainment that Biden beat Trump yet.
A transition spokesman tells Fox, America's national security and economic interests depend on the federal government signaling clearly and swiftly that the United States government will respect the will of the American people and engage in a smooth and peaceful transfer of power.
While they wait, officials are making a list of executive orders to sign Inauguration Day.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We'll need to start on day one.
DOOCY: Executive orders are one way Biden can work around a Republican controlled Senate.
PETE BUTTIGIEG, BIDEN TRANSITION TEAM: Mitch McConnell's going to have to decide whether he wants to help move this country forward and influence progress or whether he wants to stop progress.
DOOCY: Michelle Obama is calling out Trump supporters writing, let's remember that tens of millions of people voted for the status quo, even when it meant supporting lies, hate, chaos and division. Biden's message is less harsh.
BIDEN: I'm humbled by the trust and confidence American people have placed in me.
DOOCY: Joe Biden is back home for the night. He's been getting calls from world leaders. He's been invited to throw out the first pitch at Washington Nationals' opening day. But something he has not done since winning the election, answer reporters' questions, Bret.
BAIER: See when that happens. Peter Doocy in Wilmington. Peter, thanks.
Let's get some analysis right now of what's happening on Wall Street.
Connell McShane of Fox Business Network joins us from New York. Good evening, Connell.
CONNELL MCSHANE, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK ANCHOR: Hi, good evening to you, Bret. You know, some of the recent winners and losers actually just ended up trading places today with all this news on Wall Street.
I got to tell you, early in the session, this look like it might be one for the ages. The Dow actually came within about 70 points of hitting 30,000 for the first time ever. But then, as you mentioned earlier, lost some momentum before the closing bell.
Still, it was the vaccine news that's been reported that was the big driver today. Not just the Pfizer vaccine testing effectively but at that 90 percent rate of effectiveness, that was better than even some of Wall Street's most optimistic investors had been hoping for, so that was certainly great news.
If you look at shares of Carnival Cruise Lines, what a reaction today, up
39 percent. American Airlines another big time pandemic loser, today a winner, higher by 15 percent.
More people seem to be betting on a return to normal. Thinking about maybe making travel plans once again once the vaccine is widely available.
Now, for those of you who've been working from home for months, will those Zoom calls be a thing in the past? Some betting that they might be. Zoom stock actually got clobbered today, down by 17 percent after being up so much recently.
And what about your Peloton? That stock off 20 percent today. Maybe if you head back to the gym in person, it starts gathering dust or you know, people might be less likely to buy a new one.
Either way, Peloton another example of one of those so called stay-at-home place in the market that really got hit today.
Overall though, it's what we call a risk-on day on Wall Street. You look at oil, that's an example. The price surging up around $40.00 a barrel once again. The bet there is that economic growth will pick up, that's why investors are willing to take on more risk, risk on.
Now, the market was indicated to open higher. We should point out even before this vaccine news broke, some investors pointing to more certainty around the election. Also some bets on more moderate policies from a Biden ministration if Republicans hold on to the Senate.
Now, speaking of the Senate, now that it's back, Wall Street watching closely for any progress that might be made on more COVID relief in the lame duck session.
The bottom line though for today, the best day in quite some time even with some selling at the end, the Dow hasn't been up this much in one session since June 5th, Bret.
BAIER: All right, Connell, thank you.
As the presidential race heads towards the official certification by the states, the state of Georgia becomes ground zero for the battle of control of the U.S. Senate. Two races there will extend to early January and could determine which party controls the Senate. Correspondent Jonathan Serrie has that story tonight from Atlanta.
JONATHAN SERRIE, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: With emotions running high over the tight presidential race, Republicans and Democrats need to rally their bases in Georgia for eight more weeks leading up to the January 5th runoffs for both of the Peach State's U.S. Senate seats.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now we take Georgia and then we change America.
SERRIE: Democrat Raphael Warnock has preemptively launched a humorous T.V.
ad to counter an expected barrage of attacks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Raphael Warnock eats pizza with a fork and knife.
Raphael Warnock once stepped on a crack in the sidewalk. Raphael Warnock even hates puppies.
RAPHAEL WARNOCK (D-GA), SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: Get ready Georgia, the negative ads are coming.
SERRIE: Warnock is challenging Republican Kelly Loeffler who was appointed to fill the seat of Senator Johnny Isakson after he retired for health reasons late last year. During a 20 candidate primary, Loeffler used her own humorous ads to rally the Republican base.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you know Kelly Loeffler was ranked the most conservative senator in America?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, she's more conservative than Attila the Hun.
ANDRA GILLESPIE, EMORY UNIVERSITY: Because turn out I think is more important than persuasion at this point. I don't know how much she's going to actually try to appeal to — you know, moderate or centrist voters.
SERRIE: In Georgia's other Senate race, Incumbent David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff are also rallying their bases with national partisan themes. A Georgia Democratic Party spokesperson says, now that Donald Trump can't bail Perdue's campaign out, he's scrambling to figure out his strategy.
Georgia voters will vote Perdue out in January and reject his dangerous agenda that would take away healthcare from millions.
The Purdue campaign says, Chuck Schumer, Stacey Abrams and radical Democrats see Jon Ossoff as their pathway to push through radical policies like defunding the police.
SERRIE: And this afternoon, Senators Perdue and Loeffler issued a joint statement calling for the resignation of Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger over alleged failures in the election process. Raffensperger who is both a fellow Republican and Trump supporter acknowledged their disappointment in how the presidential race may be going in Georgia. But said, he would continue to execute his oath to help manage elections for all Georgians, Bret.
BAIER: Jonathan Serrie in Atlanta. Jonathan, thank you.
Tonight we take a look at how Democrats largely failed in their attempts to gain control of state governments in many states across the country. This means it will be much harder for progressives to force changes on issues such as taxes, guns and perhaps most importantly for them going in redistricting. Here's senior political correspondent Mike Emanuel.
MIKE EMANUEL, FOX NEWS CHANNEL SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Democrats invested heavily in winning the majority in state legislatures with an eye on redistricting. Spending big money in places like Texas, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina and Iowa, but Democrats came up short, while Republicans won the majority in New Hampshire.
TIM STOREY, NATIONAL CONFERENCE STATE LEGISLATURES: That was a big disappointment for Democrats and a big surprise for many who thought this was Republicans on defense Democrats on offense kind of election cycle in the states. Republicans not only held their ground, they actually gained a couple of chambers in New Hampshire.
EMANUEL: Statehouses handle issues ranging from taxes to gun control, the police reform and soon rewriting the congressional district maps for the next decade.
EDITH JORGE-TUNON, REPUBLICAN STATE LEADERSHIP COMMITTEE: The most part the legislature has control over the redistricting process and in keeping these majorities, we were able to ensure that the next 10 years will stay purest conservative leadership in the states that we needed the most.
EMANUEL: Leading Democrats say they lost due to a surge of Trump voters who also backed Republicans down ballot. And in Virginia where Democrats are the majority, voters approved a constitutional amendment giving redistricting power to a bipartisan commission.
PATRICK RODENBUSH, NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC REDISTRCITING COMMITTEE: You take the power away from state legislators from politicians who are self interested, who want to draw maps that favor themselves in their party and you give it to citizens, so that they have the power to do that.
EMANUEL: With members of Congress due to return for a lame duck session, there are signs Democrats are divided after the majority in the House is going to be smaller next year.
New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says she's thought about giving up politics saying "It's the lack of support from your own party.
It's your own party thinking you're the enemy when your own colleagues talk anonymously in the press and then turn around and say, your bad because you actually append your name to your opinion."
EMANUEL: House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn says calls to defund the police hurt Democratic Congressional candidates including freshman Joe Cunningham who lost in South Carolina.
Now there are calls by Ocasio-Cortez for Democrats to address very deep divisions in their party, Bret.
BAIER: MIKE, thank you.
Democratic Senator Joe Manchin on the party's top priorities, and his concerns about that progressive agenda, coming up next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Now, we take Georgia, and then, we can change the world.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And so, (INAUDIBLE) Schumer?
SCHUMER: Now, we take Georgia.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Georgia.
SCHUMER: And then, we change America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer there, even though the presidential election has been called for Joe Biden as it officially ticks through the states process of certification.
Senator Schumer, said there is still a chance for Democrats or take the Senate. Plenty of other Democrats are emerging from the election cycle with serious concerns about the health and future of their party. Especially, when talking about the progressive side, as you just heard from Mike Emanuel.
One of those is West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, he joins us tonight.
Senator, thanks for being here.
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): Thanks for having me, Bret.
BAIER: You know, a lot of focus now on those Georgia runoffs. And potentially, if it all adds up, Thom Tillis wins in North Carolina, Dan Sullivan in Alaska, it looks like those two races could be the control of the U.S. Senate, with a tie, then, going to Vice President Harris.
What do you tell people about that and concerned about that, considering all we've heard about the progressive agenda?
MANCHIN: Well, there's a lot of people that are concerned, there's a lot of fear tactics were being used right now, Bret. If both of the Georgia senators were elected from the Democratic Party, then that would be 50-50 if both Dan Sullivan and Thom Tillis win.
50-50 means there's a tie. But if one senator does not vote on a Democratic side, there is no tie and there is no bill. So, I commit to you tonight, and I commit to all of your viewers and everyone else that's watching, I want to lay those fears, I want to rest those fears for you right now, because when they talk about whether it be packing the courts or ending the filibuster, I will not vote to do that. I will not vote to pack the courts, I think, and I will not vote to end the filibuster.
Bret, this system, the Senate was so unique body in the world, it was made to work together in a bipartisan way. And once you start breaking down those barriers, then you lose every reason that we are, the institution that we are, the most deliberate body.
So, I want to lay those fears to rest that, that won't happen because I will not be the 50th Democrat voting to end that filibuster or to basically block — stack the court.
And then, all the other things you're hearing about, Bret, also is, defund the police. I don't know if any of the Democrats in the caucus that are for defunding the police. We're not for that whatsoever.
And when they talk about basically Medicare for all, we can't even pay for Medicare for some. Doesn't make any sense at all. We've got to fix the Affordable Care Act we have, and I think our Republican — moderate Republicans will work with us. To now, repair what needs to be repaired.
BAIER: Let me just clarify here, Senator, you're saying, definitively tonight, that even if Democrats take control, and Chuck Schumer becomes the Senate majority leader, that they try to break the filibuster, say the filibuster is over, you will definitively vote against that.
MANCHIN: Absolutely. I will vote against that, I've been very clear about that. I'm the only Democrat senator that has voted against the filibuster, butchers but the nuclear option that Harry Reid did in 2013.
And I voted against the nuclear option when Mitch McConnell did it in 2017 for the Supreme Court. I thought we should be working together, it should take a minimum of 60. And that means you're going to have to have a few Democrats or Republicans depending on who's in the majority to work together. That's what we're all about. Why would you break that down, and there's no need to have the Senate?
BAIER: All right. So, there's some Republicans who will say to you I don't buy it. There's going to be too much pressure on you. Chuck Schumer is going to come hard and he's going to say, I'll give you a chairmanship of XYZ, and they're going to come hard to get that vote.
You voted some key votes against Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation. You said you didn't like the process, if I remember right. You said she was qualified, but you voted against her. You voted against the $500 billion COVID relief bill. You said it wasn't big enough. But if you were a Republican, you would have voted for it.
You voted for the Justice Act, Tim Scott bill, and for the USMCA.
MANCHIN: And I voted — I voted –
BAIER: But if you're a Republican and you look at you –
MANCHIN: No, I mean, Bret, I voted for Neil Gorsuch, I voted for Brett Kavanaugh. I was against this process because never in the history of the United States of America have we ever confirmed a Supreme Court justice when a vacancy happened between July and November, and I've been very clear about that.
I voted for Amy Comey Barrett for the 17th Circuit. I'm not going to break precedent. So, if I can take that type of pressure, if I can vote for Brett Kavanaugh, the only Democrat, if I can take that type of pressure, you don't think that I can basically justify what I'm going to be doing and how I'm going to vote, knowing that I'm sitting in the seat that Robert C. Byrd held, who wrote the rules of the Senate. This is an institution you'd have to be protected.
BAIER: And you wouldn't become a Republican.
MANCHIN: You don't need more –
BAIER: And stay a Democrat.
MANCHIN: You don't need — whether you're D — whether you're D are not right. I'm a — I'm a proud moderate conservative Democrat. Maybe there's not many of us left, but I can tell you, this country wants a moderation.
This country — you run your life you run your business from the middle not from the fringes, and that's where I've always been.
So, for something, whatever the message was, it was wrong, for this many people to be split. For us not to be able to have a message that didn't scare the bejesus out of people.
And when you're talking about, basically, Green New Deal and all this socialism, that's not who we are as a Democratic Party. It's not how I was raised in West Virginia. It's not the Democrats I know.
But yet, we've been tagged, if you ever be by your name, you must be for all the crazy stuff, and I'm not.
BAIER: All right. I'm going to play a sound bite here.
MANCHIN: OK. They were wrong.
BAIER: This is you talking about the Trump tax cuts, and now, the president-elect Joe Biden.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MANCHIN: The bottom line is the president started out the conversation, this is not a tax cut for the rich. Myself, nor any of the one percentage are going to get tax cuts. This is going to be about mainstream, about us creating an opportunity, stimulating this economy, being globally competitive.
BIDEN: He does take advantage of the tax code, that's why I'm going to eliminate the Trump tax cuts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: So, as a Democrat would you vote to eliminate the Trump tax cuts?
MANCHIN: There — there's some adjustments that need to be made. There's been adjustments all along that need to be made. I was against when he went to 21 percent. I said, Mr. President, please, for every one percent that you reduced, from 35 down to 21, I says, 25 would be a great place for us to stop, and would be very competitive, and a superpower of the world.
For every one percent of that — of the taxing, it's $100 billion, Bret.
MANCHIN: Corporate tax, one percent. And I said, sir, we can't give away that much, we still have an obligation.
Bret, as of this morning, we're over $27 trillion. $27 trillion of debt.
Never before have we amassed this much debt in the short of a time other than World War II. So, we've got to get our financial house in order, and nobody has talked about that. Nobody.
But we don't need to erase –
BAIER: That's true, it was not an issue in this election. Let me ask you one last thing, Senator, and we appreciate your time.
MANCHIN: Yes, yes, sure.
BAIER: What's the message to your party as you look at the split in the country? 71 million people plus said we want Donald Trump's vision for the country. What's the message for your party that you take from this election?
MANCHIN: Well, the message for my party is that look at the — look at the individual, look at the people running whether it be in Georgia, or they — do they understand the farmers? They understand rural Georgia, they understand, basically, the health care needs of rural America.
And this country has been split right now, Bret, down the middle between rural and urban, and this getting can further — the divide is getting further and further.
I come from the rural part of this country, and my home state is rural. And I guarantee you one thing, you've got to scrap to survive, and these are hardworking people. They felt like they were left behind. No one was listening to him, and I think we can bring that back together.
Basically, as we do an energy policy, you have to have — be independent — energy independent in this country. You can't illuminate certain things.
We're going to use fossil in this cleanest fashion, we're going to be basically moving towards renewables. We can do all that, but you have to use everything you have. But you can't leave an area behind.
And the coal market goes out, you've got to be able to bring other different opportunities to the people and the hardworking areas that built this — that build America, and build the country. That's what we're working on.
We are still a party that has compassion. We are still a party that has sympathy and empathy.
MANCHIN: We have to work together, but you know one thing? My Republican friends, these are all good people, can't we work together? We might have a different idea of how to fix the problem, but we can work together to try to solve them rather than basically blaming each other, and that's what's happened to America.
BAIER: Well, Senator, we appreciate your time. I bet some Democrats are doing some math after your comments tonight, and thanks a lot, we'll see what goes forward.
MANCHIN: Well, we're not going to — we're not going to run this country, we're going to bring this country together.
BAIER: Thank you, Senator.
Up next, President Trump still calling the shots on the coronavirus response for a few more weeks. We'll get an update on Operation Warp Speed and the progress that has been made.
First, here is what some of our Fox affiliates around the country are covering tonight. Fox 11 in Los Angeles, where tributes continuing to pour in for Alex Trebek, the longtime jeopardy host died over the weekend of pancreatic cancer.
Trebek won seven Daytime Emmy Awards and a. Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Alex Trebek was 80.
And this is a live look at Honolulu from WHON, one of the big stories there tonight, Honolulu is running out of money to pay for its new rail line. Tax revenue declined during the pandemic, spiraling costs mean there are not enough funds to finish the 20-mile route as planned. That means the rail line may have to end in a nondescript light industrial area, a long way from downtown in Waikiki.
That's tonight's live look "OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY" from SPECIAL REPORT, way outside. We'll be right back.
BAIER: In the midst of today's encouraging, very encouraging news about a possible vaccine, the U.S. has eclipsed the 10 million mark of COVID-19 cases. The death toll is closing in on 240,000. Infections set a record for a fourth straight day Saturday, with more than 127,000 cases reported.
Globally, almost 51 million people have been infected with COVID-19, more than one and a quarter million have died.
Tonight, the governors of Utah and New Jersey are implementing more containment measures. In Utah, Governor Gary Herbert has declared a state of emergency and ordered a statewide mask mandate. In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy says bars and restaurants must halt indoor dining from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. starting this week. Housing Secretary Ben Carson has tested positive for the coronavirus today.
This evening, we're taking a closer look at President Trump's efforts to get a vaccine and therapeutics to the American people. We told you earlier, drug maker Pfizer says its formula may be 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19. Well, tonight an update on Operation Warp Speed.
National security correspondent Jennifer Griffin has details on the Naval Observatory.
JENNIFER GRIFFIN, FOX NEWS NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Operation Warp Speed's goal is to produce and deliver 300 million doses of safe and effective vaccines with the initial doses available by January, 2021.
ALEX AZAR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: We've actually guaranteed receipt of FDA authorized vaccine from Pfizer, 100 million doses that we purchased for about $2 billion. And those will start in increments of about
20 million doses beginning in late November.
GRIFFIN: Pfizer says it is not part of Operation Warp Speed has not taken any money from the U.S. government to develop the vaccine. The Army general overseeing Operation Warp Speed and vaccine distribution, General Gus Perna, is essentially building the plane while it is flying.
GEN. GUSTAVE PERNA, OPERATION WARP SPEED CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER: We are helping with things with logistics, augmentation, program support. What we're doing is bringing enabling capability and capacity to the fight.
GRIFFIN: The Pfizer vaccine is a two dose vaccine administered 21 days apart. General Perna's deputy Paul Ostrowski told "60 Minutes" the problem with the Pfizer vaccine will be refrigeration.
PAUL OSTROWSKI, (RET) OPERATION WARP SPEED: Basically minus 80-degree Celsius, which is 94 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. We have to make sure that we send that particular vaccine to the right places that either have the capacity or the ability to do the dry ice.
GRIFFIN: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo warned that if distribution is bungled by the outgoing administration, the Biden administration will be blamed.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO, (D) NEW YORK: If this administration rolls out a flawed vaccination plan, it's going to be a problem because it's going to be very hard for the Biden administration to turn it back.
GRIFFIN: General Perna worries about vaccine skeptics.
PERNA: We get vaccines to the American people and they don't take them.
Shame on us.
GRIFFIN: The White House COVID Task Force led by Vice President Pence met for the first time today since October 20th. Pence also serves on Operation Warp Speed, which will be needed to get the vaccine to market. Bret?
BAIER: Jennifer, thank you.
President Trump, as we told you, continues to insist that he really won the election and that Joe Biden was the beneficiary of widespread fraud.
Tonight, chief correspondent Jonathan Hunt examines those claims to see if there is any hard evidence to back them up.
JONATHAN HUNT, FOX NEWS CHIEF CORRESPONDENT: As supporters of President Trump protested outside Nevada Clark County election center, his legal team showed a sworn statement from an unnamed election worker who claims to have witnessed suspicious activity and ballot handling in and around a van marked with Biden-Harris stickers that was in a voting center parking lot on either October 28th or 29th.
MATT SCHLAPP, AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE UNION: The doors of the van were open.
Ballots were clearly visible. Ballots were opened with letter openers, and ballots were filled in and resealed in envelopes.
HUNT: The Trump team offered no evidence beyond the statement, and the worker apparently did not take any photographs or video of the alleged incident. But Nevada attorney general's office say they have not yet received a formal complaint, but would investigate it if one is made, while the Clark County registrar said he is confident in the entire voting and counting process.
JOE GLORIA, CLARK COUNTY, NEVADA, REGISTRAR OF VOTERS: We've had answers for every allegation that's been brought forward. So no, I am not concerned.
HUNT: Two Republican legal challenges on transparency of the counting and signature verification were dismissed in federal court here late Friday.
But President Trump's team deny they are now grasping at straws.
SCHLAPP: We're not grasping at anything.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're not?
HUNT: Republican legal challenges are piling up around the country, but none has been successful so far. The main case in Pennsylvania and perhaps the strongest nationally centers on whether ballots received after 8:00 p.m. on Election Day should be counted. That appears headed to the Supreme Court. While Rudy Giuliani insists dead people, including actor Will Smith's dad, voted in Pennsylvania.
RUDY GIULIANI, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: Will Smith's father has voted here twice since he died. I don't know how he votes, because his vote is secret.
HUNT: And in a flurry of late afternoon activity, Michigan secretary of state described fraud claims there as meritless. Georgia's secretary of state acknowledged that there may have been illegal voting, but said it would not change the outcome there. A court in Arizona began hearing another Republican lawsuit. And President Trump tweeted, without offering evidence, that Nevada is turning out to be a, quote, cesspool of fake votes. And it's only Monday. Bret?
BAIER: Jonathan, thank you. We'll continue to dig in, and if we find anything, we will bring it to you. We'll follow all the legal challenges as they go. Thank you, Jonathan.
The media has had quite a week with history unfolding, of course. Howie Kurtz with a look at the coverage from all sides. We'll return with a review.
BAIER: It's been a historic week from Tuesday's voting to Saturday's calling of the presidential race for Joe Biden. To the legal challenges that continue, let's take a look at how the media handled it all. Here is FOX News media analyst, host of FOX's "MEDIA BUZZ," Howard Kurtz.
HOWARD KURTZ, FOX NEWS MEDIA ANALYST: It took four long days for the major networks to call the race.
BAIER: Former Vice President Joe Biden will win.
KURTZ: But even as Biden started acting like a president-elect, the incumbent asked, since when does the lamestream media call who our next president will be?
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us.
KURTZ: Yet the president and his supporters had no problem with the network projections in 2016. President Trump is making allegations of widespread fraud, so far unproven, and blaming Biden's, quote, media allies. After the network calls, CNN and FOX had veteran anchors handle the coverage with some partisan commentators.
DONNA BRAZILE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I'm so grateful that this moment has come.
KURTZ: But MSNBC's liberal and anti-Trump hosts conducted a daylong celebration.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Joy, you look fantastic.
MADDOW: Your glow I can see from here.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: I've stayed up for 447 days waiting for this election to be over.
KURTZ: Some anchors made clear they weren't displeased by the outcome.
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: This is about a particular feeling of the yearning for normalcy, and for a lot of people about their children and wanting people — wanting their children to feel comfortable with having the president as a role model.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: We see him like an obese turtle on his back flailing in the hot sun.
KURTZ: Anderson Cooper later apologized.
Others are showing little patience for Republican objections.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Not you, but your party's leaders are acting like babies. You lost the election.
KURTZ: As the press covers the president's litigation, media conservatives are divided. Some, like Sean Hannity embracing the fraud allegations, while a "New York Post" editorial urges Trump to stop the conspiracy-addled talk of a stolen election.
KURTZ: The networks obviously have no official power to anoint the next president, but their projections are based on math, not ideology. Twenty years after the Bush-Gore recount fiasco, no news outlet wants to suffer the familiar humiliation of calling it wrong. Bret?
BAIER: Howie, that's right. Thank you. Officially it's the states.
Up next, the official certification of the vote looms in all of those states on this weekend's call. We'll talk about that with the panel and what appears to be a Trump campaign and a president digging in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I sought this office to restore the soul of America, to rebuild the backbone of this nation. And to make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as our enemies. They are not our enemies. They are Americans.
MITCH MCCONNELL, (R-KY) SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Let's not have any lectures, no lectures about how the president should immediately, cheerfully accept preliminary election results from the same characters who just spent four years refusing to accept the validity of the last election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: OK, that was the back-and-forth from Saturday and today from the Senate majority leader. Now a FOX News alert. FOX News can confirm that Attorney General Bill Barr will instruct the Department of Justice to probe, quote", substantial allegations of voting irregularities, despite little evidence of fraud." That last part is from the Associated Press but we can confirm that he is instructing the DOJ to move forward with an investigation. This as lawsuits are continuing at various states, including the big one in Pennsylvania filed today.
Let's bring in our panel, FOX News senior political analyst Brit Hume, Charles Hurt, opinion editor for "The Washington Times," Mara Liasson, national political correspondent for National Public Radio, and Steve Hayes, editor of "The Dispatch."
Brit, your thoughts on these new developments literally within the past few seconds?
BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I'd just say there undoubtedly are irregularities in the selection. There are irregularities in nearly every election. The question always is the same — were the irregularities enough to swing the election from the rightful winner to another candidate? That is what the proceedings that we have for this sort of thing are designed to disclose and to find out, and we will. The president has every right to contest these results, and we have institutions and courts and so on that are set up to adjudicate such disputes, and so we'll see.
I think it's a long shot, but the idea — Mitch McConnell is right. These people who are complaining the president ought to shut up and go quietly are the same people that promoted a Russia collusion fiasco that went on for years, and many other things, refusing to accept the legitimacy of the last election. So that's where we are, I think, Bret.
BAIER: Steve Hayes, we should point out in 2016 there were very narrow margins in a few states, we called the election for Donald Trump, and those legal challenges by the Clinton team did continue after that. The vote gets certified by each of the states a couple of weeks, a few weeks later.
STEVE HAYES, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, but the rest of the process unfolded. I think Brit's right. There is a process in place here. The president has every right to pursue this process.
What the president doesn't have a right to do, however, is amplify claims that are unjustified. And I think that's what he's doing here. He said that the election is stolen. We have seen zero evidence that the election has actually been stolen. And if you go back and you review the claims that were coming from the president, his sons, his top surrogates last week, one after another after another of these claims was proven false. Whether it was Michigan magically coming up with an additional 130,000 votes or Trump ballots being burned, all of these things collapsed in on themselves.
If there's evidence of wrongdoing, evidence of fraud, by all means let's see it, let's litigate it. What we can't have, and what I wish more Republican leaders would do, is speak out when the president is making claims that are not backed by evidence. It matters. This is an important moment. It matters.
BAIER: And we've said numerous times, we have not seen evidence, clear evidence of massive widespread fraud, and to Brit Hume's point, enough to change the votes in these states. That said, Charlie, we are digging into allegations, we are following these legal filings to see where they go.
CHARLES HURT, OPINION EDITOR, "WASHINGTON TIMES": And I think it's a good thing. We should do it, and Republicans should have done it long before now. This could be yet another favor President Trump does for the Republican Party if it puts this issue front and center. As Brit said, there is fraud that takes place in every election, and it always comes down to, well, what does it enough to switch the outcome?
But I would actually raise the bar a little bit on that and make the point that it's not about just one person committing fraud. Every time an illegal ballot is cast, other people are disenfranchised from their right to cast a ballot. We should not have any tolerance in our system for election fraud.
And you do have places in this country where it is more prevalent than in other places. And the fact that for so long Democrats have fought this fight, for decades now, to loosen the regulations surrounding these elections. When you loosen those regulations, whether it's fighting to take away rules that require voter I.D. or whether you're trying to encourage mail-in voting, all of these things encourage more fraud. And that's a real problem, and Republicans have done a terrible job of fighting that fight.
BAIER: All right, that news just happening seconds ago. The other news happened earlier in the show, and listen to this, Mara. This is Senator Joe Manchin.
SEN. JOE MANCHIN, (D-WV): I commit to you tonight and I commit to all of your viewers and everyone else that's watching, I want to allay those fears
— I'm going to rest those fears for you right now, because when they talk about, whether it be packing the courts or ending the filibuster, I will not vote to do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: So even in a 50/50 Senate where Chuck Schumer is the majority leader, Senator Manchin saying I will not vote to kill the filibuster.
MARA LIASSON, NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO: And Senator Manchin is probably not the only Democrat who would vote that way.
I think there's been this big myth about how easy it would be for Democrats to pack the courts or overturn the filibuster if only they had a majority.
They would have to have a humongous majority to do that. So I think that Senator Manchin is not alone, but I think his message is important. He's trying to tell people don't worry, even a Democratic majority will not lurch to the left.
BAIER: All right, panel, thank you. Wish we had more time tonight. Thanks for the time. We'll be right back with a final thought after this.
BAIER: A lot of news in that hour. Thanks for inviting us into your home tonight. That's it for the SPECIAL REPORT. Fair, balanced, and unafraid.
"THE STORY" hosted by Martha MacCallum, who I feel I haven't seen in weeks.
Content and Programming Copyright 2020 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2020 ASC Services II Media, LLC. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.
400 Bad Request
400 Bad Request