This is a rush transcript from “Special Report” May 27, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I haven’t checked my ears after that one. All right, thanks, Dana.

Good evening. I’m Bret Baier. Breaking tonight, we are following several major stories within the last 10 minutes. The U.S. has officially eclipsed the 100,000-death mark due to the coronavirus. That’s according to numbers from Johns Hopkins University. We’ll have more on the pandemic shortly.

President Trump is threatening to regulate or even shut down social media companies he feels are out to get him, and conservatives will bring you that story.

Plus, tensions are growing in Minneapolis tonight, following the death of an African American man, shortly after he was arrested and restrained by a police officer.

We begin though with the postponement of the first manned space flight from American soil in almost a decade. Today’s liftoff of the SpaceX rocket with two astronauts aboard was supposed to be the first time ever a private company has staged such a mission.

We have “FOX TEAM COVERAGE”, chief White House correspondent John Roberts, shows us what President Trump did during his time at the space center today. We begin, though, with correspondent Phil Keating, with the disappointed group of people in Florida.

Phil, it was like a Hollywood script for liftoff, but the liftoff has now been delayed. Good evening.

PHIL KEATING, FOX NEWS CHANNEL NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and good evening to you, Bret, and a gloomy evening it is here at the cape. Extreme excitement suddenly turned into extreme disappointment for SpaceX, for NASA, and the tens and tens of thousands of people who came to Florida from around the country, all to see a historic launch, returning astronauts into space from Launchpad 39A once again.


KEATING: The Cape Canaveral morning began ominously. Dark clouds, heavy rain, lightning, and thunder. Bad weather the only thing that could jeopardize the historic launch of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket with two astronauts inside the Crew Dragon capsule.

Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley have been there before. Each having flown two space shuttle missions, and both exuded confidence that this first launched from American soil in nearly a decade would happen.

They put on their stylish new spacesuits, and not long after that, made the big strides out the door like every astronaut before them. A small crowd cheered, this return dubbed, launch America. After they got into their sleek Tesla’s there was one last loving touch on the windows between the astronauts and their wives and kids.

Even though NASA urged Americans who typically drive to the cape to watch a launch not to this time all due to coronavirus concerns, tens of thousands came out anyway. Setting up tents on the beach to make a day of it with the icing being a bright and loud blast-off.

In Titusville, big crowds there as well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It would be a dream come true. Really, a bucket list item checked off.

KEATING: Watch the astronauts got to the launch pad, Behnken and Hurley stopped to get one last look up at the Falcon and Dragon. Then, it was time for their last steps on earth for a while, walking down the access arm to get into the capsule.

The flight team strapped and buckled them into their seats, then while they were doing their systems checks, suddenly a tornado warning issued at Kennedy, 2-1/2 hours until launch.

NASA telling everyone to take shelter, as if this day needed more drama. Fortunately, that passed, and then it was launch time, but launch time froze 16 minutes before ignition. Mother Nature simply didn’t cooperate.


KEATING: So, the launch now slides to Saturday afternoon, 3:22 p.m. Eastern Time. And the chance of rain in the forecast is 50 percent. Bret.

BAIER: Phil Keating live at Kennedy Space Center. Phil, thanks.

President Trump’s war against social media in general and Twitter in particular, is reaching new heights tonight. Chief White House correspondent John Roberts is here to tell us about it. Good evening, John.

JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good evening to you, Bret. For many, many years now, President Trump has used Twitter as a form to go to war with his critics and opponents. But tonight, the president is at war with Twitter itself.


ROBERTS: President Trump didn’t stop to talk as he headed to Cape Canaveral, but he did leave behind a slew of tweets mostly aimed at Twitter for fact-checking what he tweeted yesterday about the potential for fraud with mail-in voting.

President Trump, writing, “Twitter has now shown that everything we have been saying about them and their other compatriots is correct. Big action to follow.”

Twitter defended the fact check, the first-ever of a Trump tweet. In a statement, saying, “These tweets contain potentially misleading information about voting processes and have been labeled to provide additional context around mail-in ballots. This decision is in line with the approach we shared earlier this month.”

The President and White House officials, insisting it was part of a broader effort by social media platforms to silence conservative voices. President Trump threatening, “We will strongly regulate, or close them down before we can ever allow this to happen.”

KELLYANNE CONWAY, SENIOR COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: Twitter cannot suppress voices. Conservatives, for a very long time, have felt social media could give them the voice that they don’t have in mainstream media.

ROBERTS: At the Kennedy Space Center, President Trump got a look at the new Orion space capsule, designed to take astronauts back to the moon. And praising new development since the final shuttle launch back in 2011.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It is such a great achievement for (INAUDIBLE), and our country is number one again.

ROBERTS: Before leaving Washington, President Trump met at the White House with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo has had his disagreements with President Trump most recently over the disaster a situation with coronavirus and New York nursing homes, which Cuomo blamed on the Trump administration.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): Our State Department of Health followed the same guideline, as the CDC, which is a federal agency issued.

ROBERTS: But today’s meeting was mostly about shovel-ready infrastructure projects. Like the long-stalled Gateway tunnel rail link between Manhattan and New Jersey.

CUOMO: I think he understands that these are projects that need to be done. I have a shovel in the trunk of my car, we’ll start this afternoon.

ROBERTS: While President Trump has promoted a massive infrastructure investment as part of a phase four stimulus, there was no word from the White House today on Cuomo’s request.

The president does remain focused on reopenings, tweeting, “We passed 15 million tests today, by far the most in the world. Open safely.


ROBERTS: Yesterday, President Trump gave North Carolina’s Governor Roy Cooper, one week to prove that his state is open enough that it can successfully host the Republican National Convention at the end of August or the RNC may take the convention somewhere else.

Well, the state fired back at the president and the RNC, the state health secretary say that it’s up to the RNC to prove it has a plan to safely hold a convention with 50,000 people before the state signs off on whether it’s ready to host it. We’re at a stalemate right now, Bret.

We should also point out that even though the launch today was scrubbed, the president and the vice president will be heading back to Cape Canaveral on Saturday for what hopefully will be a successful launch of the Crew Dragon spacecraft. Bret.

BAIER: Let’s hope. John Roberts, live on the North Lawn. John, thanks.

Minneapolis is on edge tonight. The African American community is demanding accountability for the death of a black man after police restrained him during an arrest. Four police officers have been fired, but many in the community are not satisfied.

Senior correspondent Mike Tobin is in Minneapolis tonight.


MIKE TOBIN, FOX NEWS CHANNEL SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: A day after anger in the streets resulted in tear gas and flash grenades, it was the mayor of Minneapolis expressing impatience with the process of justice, with the fact that Officer Derek Chauvin, believed responsible for the death of 46- year-old George Floyd had not been charged by the Hennepin County attorney.

JACOB FREY, MAYOR OF MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA: Why is the man who killed George Floyd, not in jail? If you had done it or I had done it, we would be behind bars right now. The white police officer is seen kneeling on his neck several minutes past the point when Floyd became unresponsive. Past the point where Floyd and then witnesses complained that cops were going to kill him.

GEORGE FLOYD, KILLED BY AN OFFICER PINNING DOWN BY HIS NECK: I can’t breathe, officer. They’re going to kill me. They’re going to kill me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He’s not responsive right now, bro.

TOBIN: With the FBI now investigating the incident, the family of Floyd is now represented by well-known civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, connected to the Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown cases.

BENJAMIN CRUMP, ATTORNEY TO FLOYD FAMILY: I think the officer should be charged with murder. As clear that he was begged by the public bystanders to take his knee off of George’s neck, and those other officers should also be charged as accomplice to a murderer.

TOBIN: As demonstrators are already blocking the street, and Minneapolis police prepare for another night of unrest. Local activists urge patience and satisfaction with the fact that four officers connected to this case were all fired.

HARRY MOSS, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: All of us here want justice, we want them found guilty.




MOSS: But young people have to understand that doesn’t belong to the mayor or the chief, that’s a long-drawn-out process that we have to go through to see if we could win the victory.

TOBIN: Former Vice President Joe Biden, called Floyd’s death a reminder of an ingrained systemic cycle of injustice. President Trump expressed sorrow.

TRUMP: We’re going to look at it and we’re going to get a report tomorrow when we get back. And we’re going to get a very full report, but a very sad day.


TOBIN: Accounts yesterday, said Floyd died when he got to the hospital. However, a paramedic’s narrative that came to light today, said he had no pulse when they got him in the ambulance.

We’re waiting for an update from Chief Arradondo of the Minneapolis police that could come at any moment now. Bret.

BAIER: We’ll head there live if it does. Mike Tobin live in Minneapolis. Mike, thanks.

A major change in U.S. policy tonight regarding Hong Kong. And that’s escalating already tense relations with China. State Department correspondent Rich Edson has details tonight. Good evening, Rich.

RICH EDSON, FOX NEWS CHANNEL WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good evening, Bret. Now, the Trump administration has opened the way for the United States to revoke significant trade and economic benefits from Hong Kong.

In a letter to Congress, the state department writes, “China has shed any pretense that the people of Hong Kong enjoy the high degree of autonomy, democratic institutions, and civil liberties guaranteed to them.”

U.S. officials cite continued protests over what they say is the rapid erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy since last March. Including a law, the Chinese government is scheduled to approve tomorrow revoking even more freedoms in Hong Kong. Like banning insults towards the Chinese national anthem.

Because of its significant autonomy from the Chinese government, the U.S. treats Hong Kong much differently. Compared to mainland China, Hong Kong gets economic and trade benefits, travel preferences, closer cooperation with law enforcement agencies, and less restrictive export controls.

U.S. officials, say as Hong Kong becomes more like mainland China, the U.S. should remove these benefits. It’s unclear specifically, how, when, or if the U.S. will revoke these privileges. Officials say the president has a long list of available options here.

It’s early Thursday morning in Beijing and the Chinese government has yet to respond to this. Though on previous U.S. warnings this week about Hong Kong, China’s government is promising its own retaliation.


ZHAO LIJIAN, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, FOREIGN MINISTRY INFORMATION DEPARTMENT (through translator): The Chinese government is determined in implementing the one country two systems policy, safeguarding national sovereignty, security, and development interests, and opposing external interference in Hong Kong affairs.

If there is anyone bent on harming China’s interest, China will have to take all necessary measures to fight back.


EDSON: Officials here say there is a deep insecurity in Beijing that its policies do not reflect the will of those in Hong Kong. Bret.

BAIER: Rich Edson, live at the State Department. Rich, thanks.

Another big day for the Dow today. The industrial average soared 553 to close above 25,000. The S&P 500 was up 44, the NASDAQ gained 72.

“BREAKING TONIGHT”, experts are closely watching the numbers for coronavirus infections in areas that are relaxing their lockdown restrictions. This occurs as the U.S. surpasses a landmark number, 100,000 deaths from the virus.

Correspondent Jonathan Serrie reports tonight from Atlanta.


JONATHAN SERRIE, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: A Pentecostal minister’s challenge to coronavirus restrictions in California has reached the nation’s highest court. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan has set a Thursday evening deadline for state officials to respond to Pastor Arthur Hodges’ allegations of religious discrimination.

PASTOR ARTHUR HODGES, SOUTH BAY PENTECOSTAL CHURCH: Everybody else is being allowed to operate and function even non-essential businesses and none of them are in the U.S. constitution, but we are protected in the United States constitution.

SERRIE: Disney is targeting mid-July for reopening its Florida theme parks. Today, the company presented local officials with a proposal for a phased reopening, requiring temperature screenings, face coverings, and advanced reservations to limit attendance.

JIM MACPHEE, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, WALT DISNEY WORLD: We will temporarily suspend parades, fireworks, and other events that create crowds.

SERRIE: Nevada announced plans to reopen resorts and casinos next week. But as America’s governors gradually restart their economies, 25 states are reporting an increase in cases with West Virginia, Alabama, and Arkansas reporting increases of more than 50 percent over the previous week. Although improved testing may be driving some of the numbers.

USA Today dedicated its cover to Americans who died from COVID-19. The owner of a Missouri pool bar is firing back at critics who claim a weekend party put crowds at risk. Gary Prewitt, writes, “No laws were broken. Non- contact thermal checks were conducted, and personal bottles of FDA-approved hand sanitizer were made available for free.”


SERRIE: The CDC has issued new guidelines suggesting that coronavirus antibody tests may be inaccurate up to 50 percent of the time. Meanwhile, France, Italy, and Belgium are making moves to restrict the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients after recent studies suggest poor outcomes.

And late this afternoon, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, announced significant progress in his state in reducing case counts and improving testing. He says, if current trends continue, his state will be able to move into phase two of reopening as early as next week. Bret.

BAIER: Jonathan Serrie, live in Atlanta. Jonathan, thank you.

The Justice Department is trying to get to the bottom of extremely high prices for meat during this pandemic. Correspondent David Spunt is on that story tonight.


DAVID SPUNT, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CORRESPONDENT: Take a trip to the supermarket or your local meat market, and expect to see beef cost more. That’s if there’s any on the shelves at all.

JOE SPIRA, BUTCHER: Well, my price — everybody’s price is going to rise. You know, I don’t do this for nothing. You know, I try to make a living here.

SPUNT: As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, meat costs more for you, not meat processing companies. But those companies are paying farmers less and less for beef, and the Departments of Justice and Agriculture want to know why.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average retail price of fresh beef is $6.22 per pound, up $0.26 cents from March to April. A person with direct knowledge of the DOJ investigation tells Fox News, officials are probing irregularities in pricing.

Under the microscope, the top four beef processors in the United States, Cargill, JBS, National Beef, and Tyson Foods. These companies control more than three-quarters of the American beef market.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, sent a letter to Attorney General Bill Barr on April 1st, pushing for an investigation, looking specifically into the possibility of potential market and price manipulation, collusion, and restrictions on competition.

SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IA): When you have three or four packers killing about 75 percent of all the meat in the country, there’s reasons to raise questions whether or not the marketplace would work.

SPUNT: Grassley is pushing legislation that would increase transparency in cattle pricing.


SPUNT: The Justice Department’s involvement is not unprecedented. A century ago, President Woodrow Wilson called for an investigation into the meatpacking industry. The result, a settlement with DOJ that led to regulation of the industry. Bret.

BAIER: David Spunt, outside the DOJ. David, thanks.

Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley is calling out the administration tonight for failing to adequately explain the president’s recent firings of inspector’s general. Grassley, says the removals violated requirements to provide Congress with the reasoning for such decisions.

President Trump fired an intelligence community I.G. last month, and the state department inspector general earlier this month. Yesterday, the number two official in the Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General resigned.

Up next, why the president is pulling his support from the FISA reform bill? We’ll explain.

First, here is what some of our Fox affiliates around the country are covering tonight. Fox Carolina in Greenville as Tropical Storm Bertha makes landfall on South Carolina’s coast shortly after it forms.

Bertha is the second named storm before the official start of this year’s Atlantic hurricane season. Several streets in Charleston were flooded, although, the city saw worst flooding from an unnamed storm last week.

Fox 9 in the Twin Cities as the diocese of Saint Cloud, says it has reached an agreement with the survivors of clergy sexual abuse on a framework for a resolution of all claims against the diocese and area parishes.

The resolution will include the diocese filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy in the near future. The diocese will reorganize in a way that will provide for a $22.5 million trust to compensate victims there.

Fox 11 in Los Angeles with a sexual misconduct lawsuit against Disney, CBS, and the producers of the long-running series, Criminal Minds. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing alleges the show’s cinematographer engaged in rampant sexual misconduct against crew members for 14 years.

And this is a live look at St. Louis from our affiliate Fox 2 there. One of the big stories there tonight, the Stanley Cup champion Blues hope to defend their championship, as the NHL announces it will abandon the regular season and go straight to the playoffs if it is able to resume play this summer. We can only hope.

That’s tonight’s live look “OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY” from SPECIAL REPORT. We’ll be right back.


BAIER: “BREAKING TONIGHT”, the House plans a vote tonight on legislation to reauthorize and reform surveillance authority for law enforcement. President Trump is urging Republicans in the House to reject the FISA legislation. In fact, he just tweeted, “If the FISA bill is passed tonight on the House floor, I will quickly veto it. Our country has suffered through the greatest political crime in its history. The massive abuse of FISA was a big part of it.”

Where are we on this? Here is congressional correspondent Chad Pergram.


CHAD PERGRAM, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The FISA reauthorization bill was on a glide path to pass, until a tweet by President Trump about FISA abuse.

The president implored House Republicans to vote no until they learn more about what he called the greatest political criminal and subversive scandal in the U.S., stemming from improper FISA warrants.

REP. JIM MCGOVERN (D-MA): The way the president deals with serious matters is very troubling to me. Late-night tweets are not the way we should govern.

PERGRAM: But House Republicans fell in line with the president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Without presidential support, this is very unlikely to pass.

PERGRAM: The House initially approved the FISA reform bill in mid-March, backed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and negotiated by Attorney General William Barr.

Nearly two-thirds of all House Republicans voted yes. But that was before the Justice Department dropped its prosecution of Michael Flynn or had most lawmakers seen House Intelligence Committee transcripts on the Russia probe detailing some involvement by the Obama administration.

REP. STEVE SCALISE (R-LA): The FISA process was abused, and those people who abused it haven’t yet been held accountable. And that needs to happen to reinstitute the credibility of that important program for our national security.

PERGRAM: It’s unclear if Democrats can approve the bill on their own, lacking Republican assistance. And if the House does pass the measure, Democrats are daring Mr. Trump to veto it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there any update? Is he still oppose? Is — do you think he’s going to veto this?

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): This process that 17 different factual assertions that were just not accurate, all kinds of things he went through, so he is frustrated by this process —

PERGRAM: A senior White House source tells Fox, the president hasn’t formally issued a veto threat. This all came as the House made history, it permitted more than 70 members, all Democrats who couldn’t make it to Washington due to the pandemic to vote by proxy.

REP. FILEMON VELA (D-TX): My wife has had two heart surgeries and it’s really her health that I am most concerned with. I would prefer to mitigate that risk.


PERGRAM: Republicans, say they will sue Democrats. They contend any vote by proxy is invalid. However, the Constitution gives the House and the Senate the right to establish their own rules. Bret.

BAIER: Chad Pergram up on Capitol Hill. Chad, thanks.

Again, the president saying he’ll veto it no matter what happens tonight. We’ll follow it. Up next, the president’s war with Twitter and other social media. We’ll bring you that story.

First, “BEYOND OUR BORDERS” tonight. Police in Belgium and France say they have arrested 26 people suspected of human trafficking in the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants, who were found in a refrigerated truck in Britain last year.

Judicial authorities say a series of early morning raids took place simultaneously in Belgium and France Tuesday as part of two legal investigations.

The U.S. is ending sanctions waivers allowing Russian, Chinese, and European firms to continue work at certain Iranian nuclear sites. The administration will extend a separate waiver covering Iran’s Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant for 90 days.

Many cities in northern India are reeling under an intense heatwave. Temperatures today hit 113 Degrees Fahrenheit. They are the hottest the region has experienced in decades for this time of the year.

And Chinese state media reports, a Chinese survey team has become the first group to climb Mount Everest this year. It’s part of a project to re- measure the exact height of the world’s tallest mountain. Both China and Nepal canceled the spring climbing season over the coronavirus.

Just some of the other stories “BEYOND OUR BORDERS” tonight. We’ll be right back.


BAIER: Breaking tonight, we are just learning President Trump is expected to sign tomorrow some kind of executive order regarding social media companies. Few details tonight. As we told you earlier, the president is lashing out at social media outlets he feels are biased against him. It’s the latest volley in a long-running war between them. The latest tonight from FOX News media analyst and host of FOX’s “Media Buzz,” Howard Kurtz.


HOWARD KURTZ, FOX NEWS MEDIA ANALYST: Twitter chief Jack Dorsey doesn’t want to police controversial content, going so far as to ban all political ads. But by making an exception and flagging two of President Trump’s tweets about voting by mail, he unleashed a flood of criticism about whether his company is biased against the right, which he has admitted but says his staff tries to resist.

Twitter slapped a get the facts warning on a Trump post predicting fraud and a rigged election is mail ballots are widely used, citing information from CNN, NBC, and “The Washington Post,” which Trump and his allies view as badly biased against the president.

NEWT GINGRICH, (R-GA) FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: What Twitter called a fact-check was not true. They went to left-wing publications to get a left- wing version.

KURTZ: But liberal commentators question Trumps angry response.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president seems a lot more outraged at Twitter then he is about the death toll of the coronavirus.

KURTZ: Trump says “Twitter has shown that everything we have been saying about them and their other compatriots is correct. Big action to follow.” But he doesn’t have the authority to shut down a private social media company, as he suggested in another tweet.

Dorsey’s move diverted attention from yesterday’s decision not to delete Trump tweets, touting an unfounded conspiracy theory over the accidental death of a Joe Scarborough congressional staffer two decades ago despite a plea from the woman’s husband.

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg, whose company has also been accused of liberal bias, told FOX’s Dana Perino he disagrees with Twitter branding Trump tweets misleading.

MARK ZUCKERBERG, FACEBOOK CEO: We have a different policy, I think, than Twitter on this. I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online. I think in general private companies probably shouldn’t be.

KURTZ: Who is making these decisions at Twitter? Yoel Roth, its head of standards, has tweeted that Trump and his team are “actual Nazis,” called candidate Trump a “racist tangerine,” and donated to Hillary Clinton.

The president with nearly 80 million Twitter followers, is a lightning rod. But Twitter hasn’t challenged Joe Biden with over 5 million followers, or prominent Democrats.


KURTZ: Twitter just hasn’t wanted to spend money on fact-checking efforts, and now it’s paying the price. If it continues to warn about presidential tweets but not those of his opponents, it will fuel better charges of bias, and not just from President Trump. Bret?

BAIER: Howie, thank you.

You can see more of Dana Perino’s interview with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg tomorrow on “The Daily Briefing,” 2:00 p.m. eastern time.

In tonight’s Democracy 2020 report, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in a tough position of possibly standing to lose ground if the economy improves. There’s also question whether Biden will actually go out on the campaign trail or even attend his own nominating convention. Correspondent Peter Doocy takes a look tonight.


PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: If Democrats don’t host their convention in person in Milwaukee, it might feel more like Hollywood.

JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Two nights in a row, three hours of primetime, have significant speakers putting on a very well-orchestrated convention that in fact told a story about the party, had some of the better filmmakers help them put something together.

DOOCY: Biden says he doesn’t want to resume in-person events until Delaware says it’s OK.

BIDEN: One of the things our governor said, he wants to keep social distancing, stay-at-home has been the order, until June 1 of this year.

DOOCY: June 1st is Monday, but the 77-year-old might not be in too much of a hurry.

BIDEN: What worries me is all this stuff about Biden is hiding. You know, the fact of the matter is, it’s working pretty well so far.

DOOCY: Whenever Biden hits the campaign trail again, it’s going to feel a lot different than when he left, with the post-lockdown economy likely improving every day, possibly to the benefit of President Trump according to a former economist in the Obama administration.

JASON FURMAN, FORMER OBAMA ECONOMIST: It’s very different. Financial crises are long, grinding, slow recovers. Natural disasters, the economy snaps back very quickly. This is a combination of the two.

DOOCY: Biden’s social media channels have all been updated to show him wearing a mask, something he plans to keep promoting despite some ribbing from President Trump.

BIDEN: The idea that we get something that is made fun of for wearing a mask at a time when the Columbia study, I know you know, indicates that had we acted nationally, had the president acted a week earlier, the assertion is we would’ve saved 36,000 lives.


DOOCY: So now Biden is betting that voters will care more about what Trump should’ve done on day one than what Trump should do next, which is a big change from just seven weeks ago when Biden told Trump what he thinks he should do next and they’re one and only phone call. Bret?

BAIER: Peter, thank you.

President Trump threatens to regulate or shutdown social media he feels is biased against him. And what is this executive order? We’ll get reaction from the panel when we come back.



JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you put something out saying that same outlandish thing that the president thinks a talk show host on the cable committed murder, I mean, you’d say there is no evidence for that at all, zero.

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST, “THE FIVE”: So should Twitter do something? Should they take action?

BIDEN: Yes. I think they should.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: Twitter cannot suppress voices, and others can’t suppress votes. That’s part of our democracy. I think the president is saying that, that conservatives for a very long time, have felt social media could give them the voice that they don’t have in mainstream media.


BAIER: The battle over Twitter, the president uses it a lot. Now there is an executive order in the offing, possibly tomorrow. We just don’t know what it looks like, what it will do. But there is clearly a bunch of upset people within the Trump administration, including the president himself.

Here is the president landing at Joint Base Andrews with the first lady, coming back from Florida after the launch was scrubbed, told that he will go back to Saturday for the SpaceX launch. But he is getting off Air Force One with the first lady there back in Washington.

So let’s bring in our panel, “Washington Post” columnist Marc Thiessen, Susan Page, Washington bureau chief at “USA Today,” and Tom Bevan, Real Clear Politics co-founder and president. Susan, as we watch the president land here, what about this executive order? What do you think is in it? When do we think is in it? And what about this battle on social media?

SUSAN PAGE, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, “USA TODAY”: We know the president promised big action, and we just heard in the past few minutes that he’s going to sign this executive order tomorrow. No sign so far about what it would include. And of course, there are limits on what the president can do because of the First Amendment. In fact, we saw one of the FCC commissioners tweet out the text of the First Amendment today. That seemed to be a reminder of that fact to the president.

BAIER: Boarding Marine One there, Joint Base Andrews. Marc, your thoughts on all this?

MARC THIESSEN, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE: I don’t know why Twitter chose this tweet as opposed to some of the Joe Scarborough tweets, which are clearly false. But on this particular tweet the president has a point. It is perfectly legitimate to raise a concern that mail-in voting that is being tried on a scale that is unprecedented, has never been tried before, could lead to electoral issues. That’s not false. So it’s a strange fight to pick.

But obviously, he can’t shut down Twitter. But he can regulate it. And it wasn’t that long ago it was the Democrats who were pushing to regulate Twitter. In 2018 they were saying that they wanted to regulate social media because of Russian interference and foreign interference in the election. Mark Warner, who is Democratic Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told Jack Dorsey, the head of Twitter, in a hearing, quote, “The era of the wild west in social media is coming to an end.” So there could be bipartisan support for some sort of regulations. They are just concerned about different things.

BAIER: If President Obama, Tom, had tweeted about Obamacare, if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor, if you like your plan, you can keep your plan, do we think that Twitter would fact-check that?


TOM BEVAN, REAL CLEAR POLITICS CO-FOUNDER: I doubt it. And in fact, Joe Biden has tweeted a number of things that have been false or misleading or untrue, and they haven’t been fact-checked. This is part of a bigger fight that has been brewing for a number of years now as conservatives have complained about shadow banning and whatnot. And I’m not sure what this executive order will say or will be able to do, but certainly there is a legislative solution. These platforms, or these companies have been saying they are platforms and therefore they are not liable for any information that’s uploaded by third-party. But when they start making editorial judgments, they become considered publishers and then they are responsible right now. And so that’s a change that will be made under the Communications Decency Act, Section 230, and you will see President Trump push hard on that. And Josh Hawley is going to be leading the charge in the Senate.

BAIER: Susan, politically the president sees benefit in Twitter and stirring up different elements on Twitter. But things like Marc just mentioned, the Joe Scarborough tweets, seemed to really turn off independents and even supporters of the president, who say, why are you doing this?

PAGE: Including Liz Cheney, a member of the leadership, Republican leadership in the House. So yes, I think it’s distressing to a lot of people to hear the president continue to trumpet this charge which has been debunked. It is a false charge. And it’s one that the widower of the woman who died has asked him, or asked Twitter, to take down these tweets because he says it’s so painful to his family and takes away something that shouldn’t be taken away, which is the memory of his wife.

BAIER: We’ll see what this executive order does. Clearly, the battle on social media is just being waged ahead of the election. We’ll follow it.

Next up, the fight over FISA and what comes next there.



REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D-CA) HOUSE SPEAKER: With an intelligence bill, with a FISA bill, nobody is ever really that happy. We have to have a bill. If we don’t have a bill, then our liberties, our civil liberties are less protected.

REP. ROB WOODALL (R-GA): My support for the underlying legislation does not wane because of a presidential tweet. Accentuating our divisions on a bill that’s going nowhere is worthless to me.


BAIER: The FISA bill is in jeopardy, and there are concerns on all sides about what that means. This is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The president tweeting “If the FISA bill is passed tonight on the House floor, I will quickly veto it. Our country has just suffered through the greatest political crime in history. The massive abuse of FISA was a big part of it.”

Back with our panel. Marc, it’s significant for people who say law enforcement needs this tool, this is a setback.

THIESSEN: It’s a huge setback. The FISA court is vital to our national security because this is the court we go to get warrants to surveil terrorists who are planning attacks on the United States, plus other foreign adversaries in this country. So this is a critical institution. It’s a very damaged institution.

This is an example of — people always say Donald Trump is undermining our institutions. This is an example where the people going after Donald Trump have undermined a critical institution. The Obama FBI lied to the FISA court, falsified information, left out exculpatory information, and abused the process to spy on the Trump campaign. And as a result, Americans have lost confidence in the FISA process.

It used to be that the way the FISA bill passed was a lot of Democrats would vote against it, led by people like Senator Ron Wyden, who is a FISA critic, a handful of libertarian Republicans, but the Republicans would vote pretty much in unison to reauthorize the FISA bill. Not because of the FBI abuses, that Republican support has evaporated. And so this is an example of Trump’s critics, the abuses of this processes to go after Donald Trump have now damaged a vital institution we need to keep this country safe.

BAIER: Here is a Republican and Democrat, Congressman Cole and Mcgovern. Take a listen.


REP. TOM COLE, (R-OK) HOUSE RULES COMMITTEE: We must be sure that FISA is never used or abused for partisan political purposes. This balance is difficult to strike. If we continue to work in a bipartisan fashion, I’m confident that Congress will reach the appropriate balance.

JIM MCGOVERN, (D-MA) HOUSE RULES COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: I have personally never supported the FISA program, and I think there’s a better way to prevent terrorism and criminality than by encroaching on the privacy of law-abiding Americans.


BAIER: So tom, this crosses party lines. The opposition to it of the problems with FISA, not just from the president on the Russia probe, it crosses into Democrats and concern that goes back years.

BEVAN: No, and I think Marc is right. The institution has been damaged. And I don’t know that this bill is going to pass or will pass. I think only 142 Democrats supported it the first time around, and now with Republicans abandoning it. And it doesn’t really matter anyway. It’s a dead letter. Trump says he’s going to veto it and it will never survive. It will never get past a presidential veto.

So look, Republicans are saying, we are learning more every day just about how much the FISA process was abused. And I think there needs to be more discovery there is what Republicans argue before we can actually get about fixing it. So that’s where it stands. But with Trump vetoing it, it’s not going to happen.

BAIER: We are just learning, Susan, that Rod Rosenstein will testify in front of Senator Graham’s committee about FISA, about the Russia probe. It seems like, as we wait for John Durham, the U.S. attorney, to finish his investigation, that that part of the investigation, the committee, is just starting anew.

PAGE: This story isn’t over, but I will say that this is a remarkable show of party discipline we’re seeing on the House floor right now. A majority of Republicans voted for this bill in March on a procedural vote that precedes the actual vote. Republicans have fallen totally in line behind President Trump’s tweet of last night. They are all against it.

Democrats, Meanwhile, you saw the progressive caucus whipping against this bill today, they have all fallen in line behind Nancy Pelosi, and they are all — all the ones who are voting, are voting for it. So it looks to me like this is likely to get through the House only on the basis of Democratic votes. And then you’ll see if the president follows through on his threat to veto it.

BAIER: We just got the House, Marc, OK the plan to sanction Chinese officials for the detention and abuse of Uighur Muslims. The reason that that is significant is it’s the first vote ever that’s been done by proxy voting, which is significant.

THIESSEN: Absolutely. The reality is China is on a rampage. What they are doing in Hong Kong right now is just horrible. They’ve completely destroyed the autonomy of Hong Kong, which Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared today that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous. And they have arrested and jailed a million Uighurs. And the tyranny that exists in China has come to hurt us here at home. The reason we are locked down in our homes is because of Chinese communist tyranny.

BAIER: Symbolic vote there on the House floor, but again, voting by proxy because some members stayed at home. Others have their votes.

Panel, thanks. When we come back, the brighter side off thing, some good news.


BAIER: Finally tonight, the brighter side, a few good stories. Seniors at Chula Vista High School in California are missing a typical graduation, but they did get something very special. The students were surprised to find each of their names, all 642 of them, hand painted on the football field. Members of the class of 2020 were able to visit the grass mural by appointment to allow for social distancing.

And Kansas City Chiefs Quarterback Patrick Mahomes is going the extra mile for children of U.S. Navy Seals. The quarterback’s 15 and the Mahomes Foundation announced it will 15 scholarships for 15 families of the more than 100 Navy Seals who have died since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Good for him.

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 starts right now.

Hey, Martha.

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