Barr talks China's global impact in exclusive 'Ingraham Angle' interview
Attorney general it's great seeing you thanks for being with us thanks for having me Laura right now we have no freedom of worship public. Worship to go to gather we, have no real freedom of assembly, not even freedom of movement, given, what some of the states are doing what. Can you tell our viewers tonight, about, what the Justice Department, will do after this limited, period to ensure that, our, civil, liberties are. Balanced. Properly against. The need to protect the public. Well. You. Know generally. Speaking there are there are occasions. Where liberties. Have to be, restricted. During certain. Emergencies. Such as war or. In, this case, potentially. Devastating. Pandemic. But. They have to be balanced, whatever steps you take have to be balanced, against the civil liberties of the American people. And it cannot be used as an excuse, for broad, deprivation. Of Liberty. So. As. Things, proceed. You. Know we're going to be interested, in both what the federal government, is imposing, and. Also making. Sure that that's justified, but, also what the states do the, states are very broad, well as you know what we call police powers, they have very broad powers, that. The federal government, doesn't have to regulate the lives of their citizens as long as they don't violate the Constitution. So, we'll be keeping it careful a careful, eye on that Governor Cuomo spoke out this week very forcefully. This, holy week for Christians obviously Passover, as, well for Jewish Americans, about. The importance. Of not gathering. Together to celebrate. And. I want you to listen. Now. Is not the time for large. Religious. Gatherers I mean we've we, paid this price already, we've learned this lesson you do know what a service. By. Making. This worse and. Infecting. More people. At, what point in time do. Americans. Feel like they're going to be able to have that right back and that, the federal government, will stand up if local. Officials. Continue. This all-out, prohibition. Going. Forward, well. You, know as you know it as I indicated, in my notre-dame speech, I think religious. Liberty is the first, Liberty. It is the foundation of our republic, and a, free, society depends. Upon a vibrant, religious, life among the people. So. Anytime that's encroached upon by the government I'm very very, concerned, as, a technical, matter as you know in, in facing an emergency the government, can put whatever, restrictions, the government is willing to put on everybody, else like athletic, events, or concerts, and so forth they can't technically, do. It to religion as well as those long as they're not singling, out religion, as long as it's really necessary. So, I would hate to see. Restrictions. On, religion. Continue. Longer than they're strictly necessary, and also I think we. When. This when this 30-day period ends, I think we have to consider. Alternative, ways of protecting people, I guess that he's focused, on a lot of the funerals, that the Hasidic, Jews are, having, in New York where people do gather they, gather, and you. Know tightly, together to. Mourn and to pray, and. So that's the concern I doubt. Something earlier today just how you know these are inalienable rights, it means and there's a lot of Americans, today who, are mourning. Those who've lost their lives in this horrible. Virus. Who. Also say the, government doesn't have this right to take this. Right to take our rights away even. When. The. Experts, are saying this is a horrible time for us elif wise and they're. Very worried, increasingly. Worried I think as time goes on but they've been very patient as well yeah. I think they I think they have been patient, and I think we have to be very careful, to make sure this is you. Know that the, draconian, measures, that are being adopted are fully justified, and they're not alternative, ways of protecting, people, and I think you. When, this when this period of time there's at the end of April, expires. I think we have to allow. People to adapt more, than we have and not just tell people to go home and hide under the bed but allow them to, to, use other ways, social. Distancing, and other means to protect, themselves would they become a target on in the future. Perhaps. After, this April 30th date where, a. State. Somewhere, or local. Official, who declares. No, no. No religious, services with. No accommodation. That, you know there's a lawsuit filed, federal, civil rights lawsuit, against. That government, action, whether it's by executive. Decree locally. Or statewide, or. Whether. It's by the federal government I mean when, would that happen it would it won't, suit well. Would you take action, well we've seen situations even, up till now where some jurisdictions. Have imposed special, burdens on religion, that they won't also applying, to.
Other Kinds of gatherings and events and, we jawbone. The, local, governments, at that point saying they really couldn't do that that whatever they were doing to churches they had to do to everybody and they changed their rules to be neutral in that respect, so we'll, keep it we're going to keep an eye on all. These actions. That restrict, people's Liberty but, by the same token in, a situation. That is essentially, akin, to war time, there. Are you, know the government can impose certain limit it's more time we had a Supreme Court that still was in session we, had a Congress that I don't believe everyone out of session I mean, for any length of time and. Now we're at a war time now and we have the executive branch. Congress. Is back home in their district and Supreme Court is closed. What's. That how is that the whole of government approach to, fighting a pandemic when it's just the executive branch and. Well. The the. The Congress has taken, action, fairly substantive a lot of - substantial. Action they certainly had the ability, to provide, guidance and. Restrictions. On on how we responded. To this they've chosen to do. What they've done and there certainly, free to come back into session anytime. They want to make a course course, adjustment. The, Supreme Court has for a period of time certainly during this 30-day. Period, you. Know stopped the usual business I'm, saying the rule of law still. Applies during a pandemic but. They literally the rule of law I mean our inalienable. Rights, the. Law of the land I mean this it's, it all. Still. Exists, and we don't, want to set a precedent where, every, time. Experts. Declare a crisis, and it's scary, and a lot of people are gonna die that we just lose our ability. To function as a government, and the. Executive, branch I mean I know you're the executive, branch now, but well, we don't have that whole, of government real, approach, to safeguard, the liberties of the American people, one, of the things that I think the president has done very well here is to use the strength of a federal system where certain, decisions, should be made in Washington perhaps.
But. Also allowing. Each state to adapt, to the situation that, confronts, it and then make their own choices and, that's. A form of protecting, Liberty the federal system is a form, of protecting, protecting. Liberty, to have the government, closest, to the people make those decisions. So I think we do have that protection, you're, right in the general sense that. There. Is a power for the government to take extraordinary, steps in genuine emergencies. That, obviously. Creates a slippery slope what do you call an emergency and I am concerned, that we. Not get into the business of declaring, everything, an emergency. And then, using these kinds of sweeping, extraordinary. Steps. But. Given where where. We were back, in March, I think the president made the right decision, I think the president's made the right decisions, for the right reasons I think against, the advice of many people he closed the borders and, I, think when the history of this is written that's, going to have saved a lot of lives I, think. That given the given. The uncertainty. That surrounded. This and that and the possibility that was so contagious that it would swamp, our health care system. He. Supported. The appropriate, moves for. A limited, period of time will you be recommending, going forward, any type of changes. To. Protocols, at our borders, our, ports. Of entry they. Obviously a lot of legal implications, there health. Screenings, of people coming into the country again, given the deprivation, of Americans, liberties, due, to a virus, that came, getting. Without getting into the details but it came from a foreign, entity namely. Here China. Absolutely. And I think you, know as horrible, as this is and as tragic as it is, there. Are a couple of good things that could flow from this experience, and. One is through it to again. Once, again appreciate, the importance of borders and controlling, who is coming into the country I felt. For a long time as, much as people talk about global, warming that the the real threat to human beings are microbes, and. Being, able to control. Disease. And and that starts with controlling, your border. So. I think people, will be more tuned to more protective, measures, but, also the supply chain issue the, idea that, much. Of what we need to protect the health of the American people, is in the control of foreign governments who, can interdict, and say we're not shipping stuff to the United States when, everyone else in the world wants, it during a pandemic was, a crazy crazy, situation. To get into happened, before this administration, and the president's, trying to deal with it this virus, originated, in China we still don't have all the data we still don't really know about patient, zero in China a lot, of that data is being withheld, still, from the United States and top, medical people are saying that. What. About the. Justice Department, getting involved, more I. Guess. Obviously, to the American people in this, battle, against, the ongoing problem. Again propaganda, machine of China, in the United States at our universities, and businesses. Hey, in the White House press room the other day yes. The, department is heavily engaged in, that in fact that one, of our highest, priorities, in the counterintelligence, realm, counter, espionage realm and in protection, of trade secrets, is our activities, directed, to defend against the Chinese, the. Chinese are, engaged in a full-court, blitzkrieg. Of. Stealing. American technology. Trying, to influence our, political. System. Trying. To steal. Secrets. At. Our research universities and so forth, and. We. Are focused like on, it we have something we call the China initiative we. Brought a lot of indictments. But it's something that we also have to expose by, letting the business community, understand, exactly the nature of the threat. Given. What you know today about.
The. Panoply, of abuses. Internationally. Against, the United States who's. The bigger threat to, America's. Election. Security Russia. Or, China my. Opinion it's China and. And not, just to the election. Process. But. I think across the board there's, simply, no comparison China. Is, a, very. Serious. Threat to the United States. Geopolitically. Economically. Militarily. And. A, threat, to the integrity of our institutions. Given their ability, to, influence. Things and yet our premier. Academic institutions. Harvard. University, our, top, schools, across the country have welcomed Chinese students, in, to learn and, to take. Part in research here. We've had documented. Abuses ongoing, federal investigation now, indictments. In in, Boston, against. Our Harvard, University, professor for, conspiring, with the Chinese allegedly. Any, thoughts on those, ongoing federal grants, to institutions. Where again. This is an all-out blitzkrieg. Why, are we allowing all these Chinese researchers. Into the United States we. Have to well I think, we are trying to tighten up. On those programs, and. A number, of the universities. Are working closely with the, government to understand, what the nature of the threat is but, it's not just universities. I mean universities, are part of the problem but, a lot of American, business is just for short-term profit, or what they see is a short-term profit they know over the long-run it's not going to be long-term benefit, to their business, but, just for short-term gain. They. Are, perhaps. Not. Doing. What is necessary in, the long-term interests, of the United States gates, the Gates Foundation are. In. Favor. Of developing. Digital. Certificates. That would certify, that. Individuals, American, citizens, have, an, immunity, to this virus, and potentially, other viruses, going forward, to. Then, facilitate. Travel, and work. And so, forth what, are your thoughts from a civil libertarian point of view about, these, types of what. Some would say tracking, mechanisms, that, would be adopted, going forward to reopen, our broader, economy. Yeah. I'm very concerned, about, slippery. Slope in terms of, continuing. Encroachments, on personal, liberty. I do. Think during the emergency. Appropriate. Reasonable, steps are fine. But. A digital, certificate, to show who has recovered or been, tested, recently or, when, we have a vaccine who, has, received. It, that's. His answer in and read it ask me anything they had a little forum they'd be a little concerned, about that and. The. Tracking of people and so forth generally, especially going going, forward over a long period, of time are. You surprised, at how. Wildly. Partisan. A, response. To. This. Pandemic. Has, become in the United States I know everything's political, but. This is about. Saving lives and saving the broader life of America, and yet. From. Drug-like. Hydroxychloroquine. That's been around for 65. Years 70 years to other, measures the Presidents taken working with Democrat. Governors quite well looks, like it. Never seems to be good enough no. I have been surprised, that in fact there's very disappointing. Because I think the. President, went out at the beginning of this thing and and really, was States been like. Trying. To bring people together working. With, all the governors. Keeping. His patience, as he as, he got these snarky. Gotcha questions. From the White, House media pool and. The. Stridency. Of. The partisan, attacks on him has gotten higher and higher and it's really disappointing to say and the, politicization, of, decisions. Like the hydroxyl chloroquine, has been amazing to me before. The president, said anything about it, there.
Was Fair. And balanced, coverage of this. Very, promising, drug and the fact that it had such a long track record that, the risks were pretty well known and, as. Soon as he said. Something positive, about it the. Media's been on a jihad, to discredit the drug it's quite, strange, there's a lot of concern now given, the again the length of this time the concern when, you hear dr. Fauci, say well we probably can't go back to normal life until a vaccine. Which would be like 12 months 18 months that, if things, don't open, up pretty. Soon over. Some gradual. Reopening. With new protocols, all that there's. A concern about social, unrest you're seeing a lot of stores boarded, up in San, Francisco Chicago, Detroit st. Louis you're. Seeing more, of that. Small. Businesses, affected. Especially, by. Theft. And and other criminal. Activity, how, concerned, are you about the, social. And, unrest. And criminal, activity, in an ongoing shutdown. I mean. I think if we extend, a full shutdown. That's, a real that's a real threat, and in some of our communities, but I don't think it's limited to that I think the president's absolutely, right we cannot, keep. For a long period of time our economy shut, down just on the public health thing you, know it means less. Cancer, cancer. Researchers, are at home a lot, of the disease reaches. Researchers. Who will save lives in the future that's being held in abeyance the. Money that goes into these institutions, whether philanthropic, sources, or government sources is going to be reduced we will have a weaker. Healthcare system, if we go into a deep depression. So, just measured in lives, The, Cure cannot, be worse than the disease but. When you think of everything else. Generations. Of families who have built up businesses, for generations, in this country but. And, recent immigrants who have built, up businesses. Snuffed. Out small businesses, that may not be able to come back if this goes on too long so, we have to find after, the 30-day period we. Have to find a way of, allowing, businesses, to. Adapt. To the situation and, figure out how. They can best get started that's, not necessarily. Instantaneously. Going back to the way life we're gonna be afraid to go out for a long period of time you're gonna be afraid to go to restaurants, not maybe it won't go to the real but their health close if, people have to have confidence that it's. Decently. Safe out there to move, around right and that's why they have to be given accurate, information but also we have to make PPE, more broadly available. Restaurants. Have to change their protocols, perhaps, or other businesses, can't stay in business if it can't pack it in you know. The. Only way they make money paying these jacked-up runs right that's a danger that's a danger, so. I, think, we have to allow people to figure out ways of getting back to work and keep their workers and customers safe. I'm, not saying suggesting, we stop social, distancing, overnight. There. May come a time where we have to worry less about that's I don't, know what when that will be one, question I didn't ask before.
Federalism. States, rights the president has been very clear on that during this health. Crisis, are, you surprised, that sir. States New Jersey in particular, had, come in to say that gun. Stores, are. Non-essential. Gun, shops are non-essential but. Abortion, facilities, are. Essential. Given. Given. What we're facing well I'm not surprised I mean that's where our politics, are these days but. Obviously. The federal government, agreed that gun stores are essentially, and, abortion, facilities, in Texas, deemed. Non-essential by, the governor lieutenant governor very strong on that that, saw. A lot of legal challenges do. You think it was just upheld yeah well you do you foresee that, continuing. Those, types of challenges going forward against. What is essential. In a, crisis. Well. I mean again after this this, period. Where we're we're. You. Know we have very, strong. Restrictions, in place hopefully. There won't be a need for those kinds, of distinctions, to, be made oh you think the people are gonna happen Evelyn approaches, I mean that the left is clearly trying to use this to reshape American, society, this is never, to let a crisis go to waste now we're doing to do climate change policy, and a massive wealth redistribution for. The disparities, in health care. That's. What all the you, know Democrat, politicians are now talking about going forward yeah I'm concerned, about that time how was this changed your, daily. Life I mean it's changed everybody's lives we've. Never lived through anything like this just personally. Reflect. On it I still. Come in most, days. And we. Sit. The. Conference table very, spread out when we when, we need a meeting, we do more by telephone, and by a. Group. Teleconference. And video conference, than we have before. And. You. Take your temperature as you come in do I take. My temperature. I was, time, tested, occasionally, at the White House when I'm going in to see the president. And. You. Know we're starting to learn more as, PPE. Becomes, available, beyond the healthcare. Industry, we're. Wearing more PPE. Will you wear a mask going, out in public if you just had to go to the grocery today. I. Know, you don't go to the grocery store but if you had to go to the grocery mr.. Attorney actually where we asked I I, wear a mask and my security detail wear masks when we go in every morning, we go home and frequently.
I'll Wear it here in the office I, didn't. Think you'd let me wear it on this. Little. Smiley, face. Mr.. Attorney John thank you so much thank you appreciate, it thank you.