Trump White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway went on "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace amid a furor caused by a travel ban on refugees put into place by the president on Friday. She was, as always, a tireless advocate for her boss -- and a tireless critic of the mainstream media. Using Genius, I annotated it. You can too! Sign up for Genius and annotate alongside me! To see an annotation, click or tap the highlighted part of the transcript.
CHIS WALLACE: Kellyanne, welcome back to "Fox News Sunday."
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Chris.
WALLACE: So, we just heard President Trump say it's all working out very nicely. But in fact, as we've seen, there are protests across the country, and now, federal judges have stepped in to at least temporarily block deportation of people who had come in who are banned from coming in under his order. Shouldn't that have been worked out before this order went into effect?
CONWAY: The judge in Brooklyn, the Obama appointee judge in Brooklyn’s stay order really doesn't affect the executive order at all, because the executive order is meant to be prospective, it’s preventing, not detaining.
And so, you’re talking about 325,000 people from overseas came into this country just yesterday through our airports. So, 325,000, you’re talking about 300 and some who have been detained or are prevented from gaining access to an aircraft in their home country. They must stay for now. That's 1 percent.
And I think in terms of the upside being greater protection of our borders, of our people, it's a small price to pay. And I am told by the officials that anyone who is being detained, if there’s no further threat, if they’re not dangerous to this country, they can expect to be released in due course, as most of them have already.
WALLACE: And -- but -- so the ones that are here will be allowed, if they are vetted, to stay?
CONWAY: You’re talking about the people who came on the aircraft?
CONWAY: Yes, if they’re vetted. It’s a routine screening process that they’ll go through. If they're not dangerous, if they’re not a threat, then they will be disposed of on a case by case -- their situations will be handled on a case-by-case basis. You know, I was stopped many times, weren’t you, after 9/11. I didn't resemble, or share a name with or be part of any kind of terrorist conspiracy, but this is what we do to keep a nation safe.
I mean, there are -- those whole idea that they’re being separated and ripped from their families, it’s temporary, and it's just circumstantial in terms of whether you are one of those 300 and some who was already on an aircraft or trying to get on an aircraft, as opposed to the over 3,000 children who will be forevermore separated from the parents who perished on 9/11.
WALLACE: President Trump says if we let refugees in, the Christians will be given priority. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: If you are a Muslim, you could come in. But if you are a Christian, it was almost impossible. I thought it was very, very unfair. So, we are going to help them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: First, that's not true. I want you to take a look at this. As you can see here, in 2016, almost as many Christian refugees were admitted as Muslims. And second, President Trump is barring people from seven countries, the ones you can see on the map, but not included on the list are Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, and Afghanistan, and Pakistan. And Saudi Arabia is where most of the 9/11 hijackers came from.
Why are they not on the list?
CONWAY: This was the seven countries was offered by President Obama and his administration. In 2015 --
WALLACE: But that’s (INAUDIBLE) before.
CONWAY: Well, hold on. In 2015, Chris, Congress passed the Terrorist Prevention Act. And what it essentially did was it identified the seven countries and expanded the list from four, and identifying them as a threat. These are countries that have a history of training, harboring, exporting terrorists.
And one thing that is very important to recognize whether you are -- the Orlando shooter, yes, he was born here, but he went abroad, was radicalized in the Internet. If you are San Bernardino, if you are the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston, these are people who traveled abroad, were radicalized, were trained, and then they came back and did their bloody (ph) massacre here on American soil. It's no different really than what's happened all across the U.S.
And so, we can't just keep on looking the other way and pretending that there aren’t people out there, there isn’t a terrorist organization, ISIS, al Qaeda, otherwise, who wants to --
WALLACE: But, Kellyanne, the specific question I’m asking you is Saudi Arabia, for instance, that's where the 9/11 hijackers, most of them came from. Why not block them?
CONWAY: Congress and President Obama's administration came up with a list of seven.
WALLACE: It wasn’t an executive order.
CONWAY: Right. Came up with the list of seven. We are following on that in week one. This president will certainly keep identifying threats and risks.
And, look, Chris, people can't have it both ways with President Trump. They can’t say on the one hand, well, he's not taking his briefing seriously when he is. He has a presidential daily briefing. He is privy to information that the rest of us aren’t, particularly the media. The political media aren't national security and intelligence experts receiving briefings every single day like our president is.
A president will always have information. Congress will always have information. The rest of us do not.
And let me make it very clear, these seven countries, what about the 46 majority Muslim countries that are not included? Right there, it totally undercuts this nonsense that this is a Muslim ban. This is a ban on travel, prospective travel from countries, trying to prevent terrorists in this country from countries that have a recent history of training and exporting and harboring terrorists.
WALLACE: The president also got into a rift this week with Mexico, after he signed an order calling for construction of a wall and insisted that Mexico was going to pay for it. We got this response from Mexican President Pena Nieto. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ENRIQUE PENA NIETO, MEXICAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Mexico does not believe in walls. I’ve said time and time again -- Mexico will not pay for any wall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: And then, Pena Nieto, I don’t have to tell you, canceled his visit this week.
CONWAY: That was mutual. The president suggested first on Twitter, about 9:24 a.m. that day on Thursday. That was mutual cancellation.
WALLACE: Well, it’s not -- it’s not a good thing, is it, that one of our closest allies, our immediate neighbor to the south, and they had a meeting scheduled for Tuesday, you don’t -- you think that’s a good thing?
CONWAY: It's a great thing that they spoke for an hour after that.
WALLACE: How about the state visit that --
CONWAY: I’ll tell you what’s not a great thing, here’s not a great thing -- it's not great that we have a $60 billion trade deficit with Mexico. It’s not great that they allowed, because there is no border, there is no -- there is no respect of our sovereignty in this country, Chris. They allow people and drugs (INAUDIBLE) over that border.
WALLACE: But that’s an overstatement.
CONWAY: Well, you know what?
WALLACE: Respectfully, Kellyanne, that is an overstatement to say that we have no border and that there’s no respect for our sovereignty.
CONWAY: Well, is it an overstatement -- well, is it an overstatement to say that there are not illegal immigrants, people, and drugs flowing (ph) over the border?
WALLACE: No, that’s certainly true.
CONWAY: You know who I want Fox News to go interview, go interview all those parents who have lost children to opiate use, and all these family members. It's discouraging our society, the idea that we just allow drugs to flow across our border and we look the other way.
It stops with President Trump. He ran on this, it's been a centerpiece. He signed executive orders this week to do a couple of things. To start construction of that southern -- of that wall, it’s a physical wall. But he also in that executive order, Chris, he has expanded the resources and tools that he will give our brave men and women in law enforcement and our border agents. They simply can't do their jobs. Let’s expand the physical space for detaining and stop this nonsense catch and relief.
WALLACE: But, Kellyanne, you're answering a question I’m not asking. The question is, the question is about -- trying to work out a relationship with Mexico that doesn't so offend the Mexican president that he has to cancel a meeting and where relations with the U.S. become a matter of national honor. And I want to raise the issue of a possible trade war, which is now being raised between Mexico and the U.S.
And I want to put up the practical implications of that. Mexico is our third-largest trading partner. If we slap a border tax on their imports, and 20 percent is the number that's been mentioned by people in the White House, U.S. consumers will have to pay more for such things as cars and fresh food and 6 million U.S. jobs that depend on trade with Mexico will be hurt if they tax our exports to them.
In addition, Kellyanne, if Mexico goes into a recession, then we’re going to have even more illegal immigration. Has that all been thought through?
CONWAY: Well, we’re not going to have illegal -- they may try, but they’re not going to get here the way they’ve just been pouring over the borders in the past because of President Trump. But what you're saying about the 20 percent tariff, that's one possible option. As we have said at the administration, it's one possible option in terms of funding the wall.
But let me go back to the major point about our relationship with Mexico, it was candidate Trump --
WALLACE: No, no, wait. I’m asking you a question about a possible trade war. Isn’t that a dangerous thing if we are slapping taxes on their imports and they are slapping taxes on our imports, and doesn’t destabilize Mexico both politically and economically?
I’m not saying that we shouldn't build a wall and we shouldn’t protect our border. I’m just saying there’s a good way of working it out and a bad way of working it out.
CONWAY: There's a fundamental fairness that Donald Trump ran on, won on, and will execute as president of the United States. You saw it already this week, whether he’s meeting with manufacturing CEOs, labors, he’s doing the Dakota and Keystone pipelines, and he's telling Mexico that this trade imbalance tops.
You know, this idea that we are always worried about the other country, we’re always worried about its citizens, this president says America first. Sixty-five percent of the polls this week said --
WALLACE: But it is going to affect this country. If consumers have to pay more, it's going to affect this government. If we lose some of the 6 million jobs, it's going to affect this country. If they have a recession and more illegal immigrants come in, it’s going to affect this country.
CONWAY: None of us want that. We want a strong, vibrant, prosperous Mexico. There's no question. That’s why the two presidents spoke by phone this week.
But remember, this whole nonsense that Donald Trump is president does not want a good relationship with Mexico, he's been one of the candidates whose accepting the invitation of this Mexican president to go to Mexico during the campaign.
WALLACE: And now, the visit has been cancelled.
CONWAY: And he did that -- no, they talked by phone. There are many different ways for dealers to get work done.
I mean, look at how many foreign leaders President Trump talk to just this weekend. It's a dizzying number. Russia and France, and --
CONWAY: -- Australia, and certainly, we had Prime Minister May here. But they will continue to talk.
But, Chris, the other statistic people have to realize is the number one source of revenue going into Mexico are Mexicans in the U.S. spending money back to Mexico. I mean, people feel like things are just unfair here. This man as president will do what he promised all along. He will put America first. That includes its workers, its safety, its people, its interest and its allies.
WALLACE: I want to move to a couple of other issues while we have the time.
President Trump says that he will announce his Supreme Court nominee this week. Can you guarantee that his nominee will favor overturning Roe v. Wade?
CONWAY: I can guarantee that the promise that president -- that candidate Trump made will continue as president. That he is a pro-life president, and he assumes that he will -- what he has promised that he will appoint pro-life judges including to the Supreme Court.
Here's the thing about the Supreme Court battle we’re about to face -- if past is prologue, the way the Democrats in the Senate have treated our cabinet nominees does not bode well for filling that vacancy left by Antonin Scalia. It's just been terrible at the way they try to humiliate and embarrass our cabinet nominees. We still don’t have a secretary of commerce, the secretary of treasury. What are they doing over there?
WALLACE: I’m going to bring that up with Durbin in the next segment. So, I promise you.
But what I want to press on this, you spoke at the March for Life rally on Friday and you said this, "This is a time of incredible promise for the pro-life movement." But I don't have to tell you: they don't want promise. They want Roe versus Wade overturned.
Will the president nominates someone committed to doing that? Yes or no?
CONWAY: That will come up in the person’s hearings. Of course, they’ll be obsessively asked that question, not so much about the Commerce Clause or about extraterritoriality. But they’ll be asked about Roe versus Wade obsessively.
Let me tell you about the action. He --
WALLACE: Well, no, but can you tell us --
WALLACE: -- for those hundreds of thousands of people who were out there on the Mall who you said, "This president hears you", is he going to appoint somebody wants to overturn Roe v. Wade?
CONWAY: He’s going to appoint somebody who respects the Constitution. And I haven't heard of the word penumbra since 1973. Have you? In other words --
WALLACE: No, it’s a good word, but no, I haven’t heard it.
CONWAY: It's a word you haven't heard because nobody dare use that word.
WALLACE: That was the explanation for how Roe v. Wade got --
CONWAY: Not just the explanation. It’s the Supreme Court decision on how we allowed, but look what’s happened since. We’ve had millions of innocent babies taken from their mothers. We are having a culture that does not respect life from conception to natural death and this president gave the most -- this Manhattan male billionaire, who was pro-choice most of his adult life gave the impassioned defense of life that anybody has ever heard coming from a presidential podium.
CONWAY: Said to Hillary Clinton, you and your ilk are really extreme on this issue. You’re for partial birth, you’re for sex selection abortions, which basically extinguishes the next generation of girls, not boys. You are for taxpayer funding of abortions.
WALLACE: I don't mean to interrupt --
CONWAY: That’s what’s on the table here.
WALLACE: We are running out of time and I want to ask about one other issue, and that is the president's relationship with the press. Here’s what he had to say about that this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The media, much of the media, not all of it, is very, very dishonest. Honestly, it's fake news. It's fake. They make things up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: And chief strategist Stephen Bannon went much further. Quote, "The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while."
But Bannon wasn't finished. "The media has zero integrity, zero intelligence and no hard work. You’re the opposition party. Not the Democratic Party. You’re the opposition party."
Kellyanne, do you understand how offensive that is?
CONWAY: I understand how offensive it was to never be taken seriously that Donald Trump could be elected president. On great days, we were ignored. On most days, we were mocked.
WALLACE: A lot of us -- a lot of us reported on it fairly, and that's a different issue.
CONWAY: No, no, no, it is the issue, because it extends into this presidency, Chris. You can't put a piece of tissue paper between the way Donald Trump was covered as the Republican candidate, the Republican nominee, the president-elect, and the president. It's all the same. It's an anti-Trump screed. It's completely disrespectful to the Office of the President.
Why -- look at what happened this week. Nobody is interested in learning the policies. It’s just --
WALLACE: I’ve been asking about policies today. I asked you about the vetting.
CONWAY: Well, look --
WALLACE: I asked about Mexico. I asked you about the Supreme Court.
WALLACE: Those are legitimate questions, are they not?
CONWAY: Look, not every network and every press outlet is created equally in this. But if you read people’s Twitter feed, that crap would never pass editorial muster in a newspaper or on your TV show and your the network here, nor should it. And so, the idea that tweets are my own, really, at 10:45 a.m. when you’re walking out the place where --
WALLACE: All I would say --
WALLACE: Much to the dismay of some of the people at Fox, I don't tweet.
WALLACE: Let me get if I may to the real point, politicians complain about bad press. I think you have some legitimate complaints about bad press. The First Amendment protects the press. We are in the Constitution.
And it's offensive, quite frankly, that have folks -- any politician, but folks who have been in the White House for a week lecture us about what we should and shouldn't do and that we should keep our mouth shut.
CONWAY: But no, I think --
WALLACE: That is not the role of the press to keep our mouth shut.
CONWAY: -- what my colleague Steve Bannon is saying is, why don't you talk last and listen to America more. Let me tell you something, I know what he meant. I worked with him everybody. The media failed to learn America. Donald Trump prove something that the media failed to do, which is he understood America. The idea that we were never taken seriously --
WALLACE: -- we have zero intelligence and zero integrity, and that we shouldn't keep our mouths shut is offensive.
CONWAY: I think it’s called listen more.
And let me just say something else happens. It's the way that everything is cherry picked. Bias media coverage it's easy to detect. It frankly helps us because this was such an elite rejection of election, where the establishment, the elites were all rejected by the voters.
It turns out they’re a heck of a lot more of them than us, Chris. And that’s how we won. Why is that relevant? It’s relevant because people -- who is cleaning house? Which one of the first network to get rid of these people who said things that just weren’t true.
Talk about fake news, talk about alternative facts, what happened last week? I went on three network Sunday shows. I spoke for 35 minutes on three network Sunday shows. You know what got picked? The fact that I said alternative facts, not the fact that I ripped a new one to some of those hosts for never covering the facts that matter to America’s women, 16.1 million women in poverty as we sit there, the 12.4 million who have no health insurance. Everybody should feel outraged.
The billions of dollars we have spent as a nation on public education, only to have millions of kids trapped in schools that fail them and never really promote and protect their intelligence and prepare them for the world that they all deserve. They shouldn't be restricted by the zip code where they live. They should be lifted up.
This has all been a colossus failure, and nobody wants to talk about that. They want to talk about it’s always zing. It’s always playing gotcha.
There's no question that when you look at the contributions made by the media, money contributions, they went to Hillary Clinton. We have all the headlines, people should be embarrassed. Not one network person has been let go. Not one silly political analyst and pundit who talked smack all day long about Donald Trump has been let go. They are on panels every Sunday. They’re on cable news every day.
Who’s the first editorial -- the first blogger that will be left out that embarrassed his or her outlet? We know all their names. I’m too polite to call them by name. But they know who they are, and they’re all wondering, will I be the first to go?
The election was three months ago. None of them have been let go. If this were a real business, if the mainstream media were a thriving private sector business that actually turn a profit, which is not true of many of our newspapers, Chris, 20 percent of the people would be gone. They embarrassed, they failed to protect their shareholders and their board members and their colleagues.
And yet we deal with him every single day. We turn the other cheek. If you are part of team Trump, you walk around with these gaping, seeping wounds every single day, and that's fine. I believe in a full and fair press.
I’m here every Sunday morning. I haven't slept in in a month. I believe in a full and fair press. But with the free press comes responsibility. And responsibility is to get the story right. Biased coverage is easy to detect. Incomplete coverage impossible to detect. That’s my major grievance, is the media are not -- they’re not giving us complete coverage.
President Trump has signed all these executive orders this week. He's met with these heads of states. He's done so many things to stimulate the economy, to boost wages, to create jobs. Where's the coverage?
WALLACE: Kellyanne, we are going to have to leave it there.
CONWAY: Thanks for having me.
CONWAY: It's been fun.
WALLACE: And let me say, you didn't rip me a new one.
CONWAY: Not at all. Thanks.
WALLACE: Thank you.
CONWAY: I talk like a Jersey girl sometimes.
WALLACE: Thank you very much.