Combating ISIS' influence on social media; What is the answer to ending gun violence in America?

Former assistant director of the FBI James Kallstrom reacts to recruitment in America


This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," December 6, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


We await a major speech from President Obama tonight as Americans fear for their safety remains high following the San Bernardino attacks.

Good morning, everyone. I'm Maria Bartiromo. Welcome to "Sunday Morning Futures."

Will the president call the mass murder of 14 people an act of terrorism tonight? A live report from the White House coming up.

Plus, we are learning more about where the shooters got their guns and their connection to terrorism. Former FBI Assistant Director James Kallstrom is with me live.

And three key U.S. allies stepping up their assault on ISIS. Former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Christopher Hill, on what it all means for the fight against terror.

We're looking ahead this morning on "Sunday Morning Futures."

We begin this morning with President Obama preparing to make a rare Oval Office address tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern focusing on terror and guns following the vicious mass shooting in San Bernardino. Kevin Corke joins me live from the White House this morning.

Good morning, Kevin.

KEVIN CORKE, FOX CORRESPONDENT: Maria, good day to you.

You're right, rare indeed. First time in over five years the president will address the nation from the Oval Office and White House officials are simply putting it this way, he wants to reassure the American people that their safety and security remains his top priority.

Now, tonight, we're expecting the president to highlight increased security cooperation, in particular between the agencies here domestically, but also with our partners internationally in the battle against terrorism both here at home and abroad. And, yes, as you can well imagine, the president will once again talk about the need for so-called sensible gun reform legislation. And he may have tipped his hand on his thinking on that in his weekly address. Listen.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Right now people on the no-fly list can walk into a store and buy a gun. That's insane. If you're too dangerous to board a plane, you're too dangerous by definition to buy a gun.


CORKE: And, of course, it's no surprise The New York Times is walking in step with the White House on this, writing in an editorial, quote, "it is not necessary to debate the peculiar wording of the Second Amendment. No right is unlimited and immune from reasonable regulation."

Meanwhile, the president's national security team convened in the Situation Room yesterday, breaking down, of course, the very latest intelligence on the attack. Though the White House in a statement said that they, quote, "as of yet uncovered no indication the killers were part of an organized group or formed part of a broader terrorist cell.

Now, of course, that would seem, Maria, to fly in the face of what ISIS is claiming. They're saying the two obviously are doing their bidding. Again, tonight's speech should be a relatively lengthy one, we're told by some sources. It could range in that 20-minute range. And, of course, we'll have all the coverage for you right here throughout.

Back to you.

BARTIROMO: All right, Kevin, thanks you very much.

The president's speech, of course, coming after two terrorist attacks in -- on western nations this week. One on a tube station in London just yesterday where police say a man stabbed three people before being arrested. Of course the other in San Bernardino on Wednesday. The attacked there killed 14 people, wounded 21 others. It is the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11. FBI Director James Comey said the shooters had no ties to terror cells or networks. So what is the FBI looking at to indicate just that?

And joining me right now to discuss this is James Kallstrom. He is the former assistant director of the FBI.

And, Jim, it's great to have your insights on this.


BARTIROMO: Thank you so much for joining us.


BARTIROMO: That's what everybody wants to know, does this represent a bigger cell, a bigger network? Do we have any evidence that it --

KALLSTROM: Look, a long time ago, you know, the heads of these crazy terrorist organizations have told their followers, you know, they put out the word, you know, stay at home, don't come back here anymore, and you do your jihad against the great Satan, the United States.


KALLSTROM: So nobody should be surprised that there wasn't a particular courier, you know, or there wasn't a particular meeting. It's not necessary anymore. But when Winston Churchill talked to the -- and I'm not comparing Winston Churchill to terrorism --


KALLSTROM: But the -- when he talked to the nation, you know, he didn't give an individual letter to everybody. He told them, we will fight on the streets, we'll fight in the fields, we'll -- right? And -- and --

BARTIROMO: So it doesn't matter if --

KALLSTROM: Yes, right. It's -- it --

BARTIROMO: If there's no evidence that it's not a cell?

KALLSTROM: The motivation.


KALLSTROM: It's a motivation that they -- that they buy into, OK, and they -- many ways they buy into it. You know these -- these radical mosques that are all funded by Saudi Arabia, our supposed ally, right?


KALLSTROM: And they bring over the -- the preachers from Saudi Arabia and their -- you know, that Wahhabi sect that they preach is very violent.


KALLSTROM: You know, so it's -- people should not be surprised at what is going on.

BARTIROMO: You know, Jim Comey was adamant in terms of the resources that the FBI needs. What do you think the FBI needs right now in order to be effective in making sure that the public feels safe?

KALLSTROM: The FBI needs a lot more human resources. The FBI needs a review of the attorney general guidelines so they don't have to jump as many hoops to do simple things. The FBI needs more technical capability.

BARTIROMO: And data, right?

KALLSTROM: And data. NS --

BARTIROMO: I mean the meta data program.

KALLSTROM: The NSA program, which was harmless in my view -- look, I'm a patriot. I don't want anybody infringing on my rights.


KALLSTROM: I can tell the American people, that program was not aimed at you unless you're a bad guy, unless you're a -- you know, so you come up with a terrorist say here's the terrorist and here's the phone. You want to know very quickly who the other members of this conspiracy could be. You know, and tracking the phone data is -- is a quick way of doing it. Well, the phone companies don't keep their records anymore, ladies and gentlemen, so NSA steps in and collects it so an agency like the FBI can quickly make the analogies and make the connections on the spider web of who may or may
not be part of the conspiracy.


KALLSTROM: And that could save lives.

BARTIROMO: This is so critical -- such critical information. And we know now that they tried to destroy their digital footprint and smash their phones, but now the government's working with the telecom companies.

I'm glad you brought up the attorney general. Last week we saw Loretta Lynch and Jim Comey give a press conference in terms of what was going on and -- and all roads seemed to lead to gun control when you're talking to this administration.


BARTIROMO: What was your take away from that press conference?

KALLSTROM: You know, I've known Loretta -- Loretta Lynch. She was the -- the U.S. attorney here in the eastern district. She's a fine woman. I always had deep respect for he. But I was really taken back by her -- her -- what she said about really speech.


KALLSTROM: You know, is free speech dead in the United States? You know, if we're going to -- if we're going to --

BARTIROMO: She was afraid of Muslim speech and rhetoric --


BARTIROMO: That was going to insult people.

KALLSTROM: Well -- well, you know, if I say radical Muslims, is that -- does that get me into her, you know, target range? I mean where does it stop? And what about the people marching saying, kill the cops, burn them like hot dogs or whatever they say, that horrendous things that went on and on and on. Is she going to go after that speech?

BARTIROMO: Right. Right.

KALLSTROM: I mean, you know, I think everybody should re-read the Constitution.

BARTIROMO: In fact, now we're at a moment in time when the so-called "Ferguson effect" has some cops pulling back. The police are afraid.

KALLSTROM: Of all the time -- of all the times in this country to have the citizens afraid, just like that neighbor did, not call in the suspicious activity --


KALLSTROM: Because she didn't want to be called something, right?

BARTIROMO: She didn't want to be racial profiling.

KALLSTROM: Well -- right. The attorney general's guideline now call -- you know, squares that with the public. We want the public to tell us things. We want the cops to be not aggressive but out there. We want them looking at things and making sure. They're really our first line of defense, the patrol officers in these little towns and -- right? I mean they're the ones that are going to -- I spent five years doing that in New York, getting all the local police more involved and more intelligent. And their -- everything coming out of Washington is negative to those -- to this thing.


KALLSTROM: You know, and it -- that has to stop.

BARTIROMO: We'll see if the tone changes tonight.


BARTIROMO: How did we miss this, Jim? When you look at the fact that the wife was clearly in touch. She then pledged her allegiance to ISIS. The husband also had connections to al Qaeda. How did we miss this home-grown or do you call it home-grown terrorism?

KALLSTROM: I don't know about that. I think the wife -- this is just my speculation. I think the wife was radicalized before she came here. I'm bet -- I guessing that eventually we'll know that that's not even her name, OK. She's got some other name, right.

BARTIROMO: If she -- if she was -- yes, but if she was radicalized before she came here --

KALLSTROM: Yes. Right.

BARTIROMO: Did the terrorists just figure out a whole new way to infiltrate the United States by --

KALLSTROM: Oh, it's not -- it's -- yes.

BARTIROMO: By getting jihadi brides for people.

KALLSTROM: Yes. It's one of the there's many ways. We have a wide-open border. The ports, I mean, you can get in here anyway, right? I mean, yes, but I -- in a way and phony identities are, you know, a hundred bucks. You know, you can change your -- who you are. So the notion that we have, you know, the deputy of national security director said we've got all these layers. Yes. Well, there's layers of B.S., you know, because --


KALLSTROM: You only know what you know, OK, and you -- maybe they know this much because of -- and they don't know this much. So what -- I mean, what's it doing for us?

BARTIROMO: Yes, apparently --


BARTIROMO: Because she was here on a fiance visa.


BARTIROMO: Is that the kind of vetting that we're going to see from the Syrian refugees that we're about to open our doors?

KALLSTROM: Well, we're going to see it. We're going to see them take any -- any course and there's many courses to get in here, yes. And another thing that just kind of knocked me cold, and I'm not sure if it's true, but I read -- I read an article that we're not accepting any Christian refugees. What is that about? I mean is that -- randomly -- rand --

BARTIROMO: The president said no to certain Christians.


BARTIROMO: I don't know if this is an overall rule and what's behind it.

KALLSTROM: Yes, I don't know either.

BARTIROMO: But certainly, obviously, we're --

KALLSTROM: It should be looked into because I mean that doesn't make any sense.

BARTIROMO: Why would we not let in Christians?

KALLSTROM: Maybe we -- maybe someone thinks we have too many Christians already. I don't know. It's crazy.

BARTIROMO: Jim, thank you so much for your insights this morning.


BARTIROMO: We so appreciate it. We'll be talking to you again soon.

KALLSTROM: My pleasure.

BARTIROMO: Jim Kallstrom, we'll see you.

And you were the first, by the way, on the Fox Business Network to call it terrorism.


BARTIROMO: And you -- you were -- you were straight out the way you saw it. Thanks for that, last Wednesday on my morning show.

What changes will come to the nation's laws on visas and on guns? House Majority Whip Steve Scalise is with me next on that and the looming government shutdown.

You can follow us on Twitter @mariabartiromo, @sundayfutures. Let us know what you'd like to hear from our guest coming up. We're looking ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures," next.


BARTIROMO: Well, the president making a speech to the American public tonight on terrorism, 8:00 p.m. Eastern. This as Congress is expected to take up a bill later this week calling for changes to the visa waver program. That after the FBI revealed that the female shooter in the San Bernardino attacks came to the United States on a so-called fiance visa. Meanwhile, Congress must assign money to federal agencies and programs before Friday to avoid a government shutdown.

Joining me right now is Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise, the House majority whip.

Good to see you, congressman. Thanks so much for joining us.


BARTIROMO: I want -- I want to begin on this visa waver program because we know that Ms. Malik came to this country on this fiance visa. What kind of vetting went through getting her here, allowing her into the country, because clearly she just lied about where she lived and it just went unnoticed.

SCALISE: Well, as we're finding out more about this, we had put together a task force week ago in the House with some of our top committee chairs that are involved in all the different aspects of homeland security and combatting terrorism and we came up with a number of items that have to be addressed legislatively. We started by passing a bill, very bipartisan, to require vetting with -- with the Syrian refugee crisis. The FBI director said they don't even know who're coming in, what are the backgrounds of some of the people. And ISIS said they want to infiltrate that program.

Then we identified that there are real problems with the visa waiver program. You have about 38 countries in the world that participate in this waiver program. There are some real loopholes that have been identified that we want to close up and -- and say, if you want to be a country that participates in that program, you're going to have to up your game in the kind of data you're tracking and the -- and the things you're doing, even missing passports where people don't track where -- where a passport goes missing and it happens thousands of times.

BARTIROMO: So, I mean, is it fair to say this woman received the kind of vetting that we're doing for the Syrian refugees, I guess is my point?

SCALISE: I can't tell you exactly on her case specifically, but we've identified that the visa waiver program has serious loopholes. You just look at a lot of the western countries that participate in this. We've seen numbers over 5,000 westerners have -- have been recruited by ISIS and have gone to some of the countries where -- where they're recruiting and training people. We ought to be tracking folks that are part of that and obviously making sure that the countries that do have this, requiring things like biometric data to reduce the fraud that goes along with -- with passports and some of the countries that participate in this program.

BARTIROMO: You're -- you're also working on mental health. Talk to us -- I mean, obviously, we've been talking a lot about gun control --


BARTIROMO: On the -- on the heels of this atrocity in San Bernardino. What -- what do you do in terms of the guns in this country? Talk to us about the answer of ending some -- some of this violence, which has just been horrible.

SCALISE: It's real unfortunate that when you have any kind of -- any kind of incident, the president, the first thing he wants to do is talk about gun control. Before there were even facts coming in that this ultimately was related to terrorism, the president started talking about gun control. It shows how out of touch he is. The fact that he should be talking about terrorism. That he should be laying out his plan to defeat ISIS, which the president hasn't even done.

And so when you look at this. I mean, look, California's got some of the toughest gun control laws in the country. France has some of the toughest gun control laws in the world. So gun control, taking away the rights of law abiding citizens is not the answer to combating terrorism.

BARTIROMO: Right. The -- agreed. I mean this -- hopefully tonight we'll hear from the president on -- on combating what we're talking about, and that is terrorism and defeating ISIS.

Lay out the next week for us. You've got a December 11th deadline. Talk to us about the priorities in terms of allocating capital to -- to various federal agencies. What are the priorities?

SCALISE: Well, the funding of government expires December 11th. So we've been in negotiation for week now to -- to try to come up with a bill that properly funds government and addresses a lot of the problems through -- through different riders and other things that we've passed out of the house to rein in federal agencies, things that they're doing from -- everything from the EPA to the IRS that are killing jobs, that are making our country less competitive, to try to address those things as well, and also to increase defense spending.

Look, the president has gutted our military over the last few years. It's -- it's a serious problem. Our generals are telling us that readiness is at issue. When we -- we're living in a dangerous world and so we're -- we're actually reprioritizing defense as we're addressing some of these other problems.

BARTIROMO: Are you going to be able to get the votes that you need, given the fact that the funding of Planned Parenthood is going to be in the way for -- to -- to get the necessary votes?

SCALISE: You know, our members have been engaged in this for weeks now. We've been having -- obviously we've passed a lot of bills that address the problems that we're negotiating to try to get into this final bill, called an omnibus (ph) spending bill. But our members have been engaged in this. We've had meetings with -- you know, with our lead appropriations committee members, as well as our rank and file members who have real interest in addressing a whole array of problems as we're negotiating the final details of this bill.

BARTIROMO: And I'm glad you mentioned the regulatory environment because I think that's what business is focused on in terms of the EPA, Obamacare as really a detriment in terms of a barrier for creating jobs.

SCALISE: Yes, and, you know, and it -- people are figuring this out too. It's not just businesses. If you look at some of the latest proposals by the EPA on power plants, it would cause roughly a 15 percent increase in people's household electricity bills. So your lower and middle class families are the ones that are going to be hit the hardest by a lot of these regulations. They don't have any real benefit to consumers; it's just some that, you know, some radical environmentalists say they want to come up with proposals at the EPA. The EPA puts it out there and it's going to cost, you know, a 15 percent increase in your household electricity bill. Families should be able to spend that money, buy more holiday presents during Christmas. Not having to send more money to un-elected bureaucrats in Washington.

BARTIROMO: Having said all of that, do you think we'll see a government shutdown?

SCALISE: I don't think we will. I mean we've been laying out, again, how to address these problems while properly funding government, while increasing our national defense, at a time when the country -- American families want to see these things addressed. They want to see our defense bulked up. And the president needs to lay this out. Maybe he touches on this tonight, but I don't think the president's done an adequate job of laying out how he's going to combat ISIS and the threat -- the real threat of terrorism coming into America.

BARTIROMO: Well, people certainly want answers today. Congressman, good to have you on the program.

SCALISE: Great to be back, Maria.

BARTIROMO: Thank you so much, Congressman Steve Scalise there.

And the next talks aimed at bringing peace to Syria happening on American turf. U.S. allies pumping more air and sea power into the fight against ISIS. What's the strategy? Will it help? I'll talk with former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Chris Hill, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures." That's next.


BARTIROMO: Welcome back.

The U.S. is sending 200 more special-ops troops to fight ISIS on the ground in Syria and in Iraq, but Iraq isn't rolling out the welcome mat, with the prime minister saying his country does not need more manpower. This as ISIS maintains controls of large stretches of territory in Iraq and Syria.

Meanwhile, diplomats from around the world will be in New York later this month trying to hammer out a plan to overhaul the political process in Syria. All of this as the U.K., France and Germany have all ramped up their support for the U.S.-led coalition to take out ISIS.

Joining me right now, Ambassador Christopher Hill, dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, former National Security Council senior director and the former U.S. ambassador to Iraq.

Sir, good to see you. Thanks so much for joining us.


BARTIROMO: What is your assessment as far as where we are right now? Tell us what you think is most important as we delve through so many issues.

HILL: Well, let, you know, divide it into these two -- two main civil wars. The first is the issue of Assad and the varies rebel groups, most of whom -- almost all of whom are Sunni groups. So there's been this effort to try to put together a diplomatic process. It's gone on in Vienna a couple of times. And now this sort of movable feast moves to -- to New York. So the question is, can they really come up with something that the outside countries agree with, whether it's Russia and Turkey and other, but also to get to something that some of the Middle East states will agree to, include Saudi Arabia. So cleanly there's some problems there.

You know, they talk about elections, but elections kind of validate who -- who's the majority of the country. But democracy consists of majority rights, to be sure, but also minority -- minority protection. So I think they have a long way to go in that process.

Then the second issue is how to intensify the fight against ISIS. And what we've seen in Iraq is what we've seen for a long time in Iraq, the very much conflicted view within Iraq that somehow they feel very uncomfortable with foreign troops. And many Iraqis have said to us directly, oh, we love your troops, but then to others they -- they give a different message. So it's kind of a complicated process and I think clearly we need to work through it because what we know and what we have known for many years, what we knew in -- with respect to al Qaeda is, we cannot allow these terrorist groups to hold territory and plan and plot attacks against us.

BARTIROMO: And -- and we know that -- that ISIS was a part of al Qaeda. I mean ISIS came out of al Qaeda in Iraq. How is it possible that this group has become so powerful and so well funded?

HILL: Well, first of all, it's powerful because it -- it enjoys impunity where it -- where it operates in western Iraq and in eastern Syria. I mean Syria is a complete no-man's-land. And with respect to western Iraq, the Shia government, or Shia-led government in Iraq, Shia have been kind of on the hold, reluctant to be liberating Sunni lands for other Sunnis. So there's a -- there's a real problem there.

But I think the funding is something we need to look more deeply into and I think when we look into some of the funding for these groups. Certainly there's the issue of the oil and the area and, as you know, the British have been launching attacks against some of the oil infrastructure that ISIS has been able to benefit from.

But I think we also has to look -- have to look at other Islamist sized groups, whether on the Arab peninsula, whether in -- in the emirates, whether in Saudi Arabia, elsewhere, getting into ISIS. You know, there are a lot of people who do not like ISIS' means and they say so, but they kind of appreciate that ISIS has kind of pushed back the Shia in -- in the Arab land. So this is a problem that we need to get on top of.

BARTIROMO: What -- what is your assessments of -- of these other European countries sort of stepping up the fight, British -- the British joining the U.S., as well Germany and France, also picking up their pace in terms of air strikes post the Paris attacks. Is this what it's going to take to defeat ISIS or is there something else?

HILL: Hey, this is a -- this is an all-in process. We need as many friends and allies in on this process. And certainly we should welcome the European involvement. We need to work out a common language with the Russians, difficult as that is, because obviously we have huge problems with the Russians. And we can't just forget about Ukraine as we try to kind of come up with a common approach in Syria.

But I really think we need to work on these areas within the region. Where are the Saudis on this? Why have they essentially withdrawn their forces and dealing only with Yemen? Can Egypt play a role? They traditionally have and they don't seem to be here. And what about -- what about Turkey? So there are all kinds of problems within that region that I think require a very intensified diplomacy if we're going to calm down Syria and then take the fight to ISIS.

BARTIROMO: Yes, you make a good point. I don't know why the Saudis have
been so quiet.

HILL: Well, the Saudis have their hands full in Yemen. If you look at a map, there's good reasons why they would not want to see Yemen go completely radicalized, and yet that's what's happened to -- to Yemen. You have an al Qaeda element there. A very powerful element at this point. You also have this Houthi tribe, which is -- which is a Shia-based tribe. And whether they're getting material or just moral support from Iran, clearly the Saudis are worried. And then they look at their northern flank and they worry about the kind of increased Shia-ization of the -- of the Baghdad government and the fact that it's been a -- kind of an elusive concept to bring more Sunnis into that process. You know, there is a lot of criticism of the Shia-led government in Baghdad for not doing enough outreach to the Sunnis. Well, I would add to the fact that the Sunnis have not done a lot of outreach to the Shia-led government. So if you're Saudis and you're sitting in the middle of this and, by the way, you've had a -- kind of a tough succession process with your internal political process, there's a lot to worry about.

BARTIROMO: And -- and -- and, of course, we know that Ms. Malik basically spent several years in Saudi Arabia before coming to the U.S. for that arranged marriage.

Sir, good to have you on the program, Ambassador, thank you.  

HILL:  My pleasure.

BARTIROMO:  We'll see you soon.

The latest on the chilling revelations about the San Bernardino couple who carried out their bloody rampage.  How their ties to radical Islam are giving us new insights about their motivation.  We're looking ahead on "Sunday Morning Futurs."   We'll be right back.


BARTIROMO:  As we await the president's speech this evening, we want to look at the latest revelations about the backgrounds of that husband-and-wife killer team that carried out this week's bloody massacre in Southern California.  Fox News senior Eric Shawn on that angle.

Good morning, Eric.


And good morning, everyone.  

Last Sunday on this program we reported how the recent terrorist attacks had been committed by relatives.  The Tsarnaev brothers in Boston, the Kouachi brothers in Paris attacking "Charlie Hebdo" and the two Abdeslam brothers striking Paris three weeks ago.

Who would have thought that a husband and wife would now be added to that list?  


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  They need partners.  They need people to trust.  They need people to carry the weight.  They need people to die with.  

And who are they going to better die with than their own kin?  

SHAWN (voice-over):  It seems almost an impenetrable U.S. security challenge, piercing the marriage of terror suspects Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik to have stopped them.  In their apartment, we are told, secretly planning and stocking up on an arsenal of pipe bombs and bullets without even their family supposedly knowing about it.

DAVID CHESLEY, FAROOK FAMILY LAWYER:  None of the family members had any idea this was going to take place.  They were totally shocked.

SHAWN (voice-over):  Well, it turns out Farook's mother lived right above them.

And his sister, Saira's, denials prompted this blunt disbelief from Donald Trump.

DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I thought she was a total liar.  I watched her being interviewed --


TRUMP:  She lied about him.  She didn't know, oh, she didn't know he felt this way.  She knew and a lot of other people knew, too.  A lot of other.

And we'd better be vigilant.

SHAWN (voice-over):  And it turns out they apparently were on the government's radar, according to The Washington Post, saying, quote, "U.S. officials have said that one or both of the attackers had probably been in contact with individuals whose extremist views came under scrutiny from the FBI, although those contacts were described as so innocuous that the bureau saw no reason to probe further."

Reports also linked Hashfeen to a radical mosque and cleric in Pakistan, raising the very real possibility that she was a radicalized plant prepared and trained for terror before she even came into our country.  

This is FBI director James Comey, who has said there are more than 900 ongoing investigations of ISIS operatives, recruits and sympathizers here in our country right now who have not struck yet -- Maria.


BARTIROMO:  All right, Eric, thanks very much.

For more on the attack and its ties to terrorism, I want to bring in our panel right now.

Ed Rollins is former principal White House advisor to President Reagan.  He has been a long-time strategist to business and political leaders.  He is a Fox News political analyst.

Judith Miller is adjunct fellow at The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. She's a Pulitzer Prize winning author and journalist and a Fox News contributor.

Robert Wolf is the founder and CEO of 32 Advisors, he is the former chairman of UBS and a former fundraiser for President Obama.  

Good to see everybody.  Thank you so much for joining us.  

What should we expect from President Obama tonight?

Robert, you're an adviser to the president.

What is the president going to say tonight?  

ROBERT WOLF, FOUNDER AND CEO, 32 ADVISORS:  You know, I think he's going to obviously strike a balance between, one defeating ISIL, discussing both the U.S. and the coalition strategy; I think he's going to discuss this recent act on homegrown terrorism and I think he's going to discuss common-sense gun reform, something like if you're on the no-fly zone watch list, then you shouldn't be able buy guns.

And the  I think he may bring up things likes what Representative Scalise brought up, something like the visa waiver reform and the need to change that program as well.  So I think it's going to have incredible depth and I think the timing is right, there's obviously a nervousness out here in the United States and the rhetoric is beyond reproach and I think it's a good time for the president to speak.

BARTIROMO:  Right.  So the president has got to speak, because people are nervous and they are afraid, Ed Rollins.

ED ROLLINS, POLITICAL CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST:  Well, they should be afraid.This could happen -- we're now in the season of Hanukkah and Christmas parties, what have you.  And this was a workplace where most of these people in room had no concept whatsoever of this guy's leanings.  

Gun control alone is not the issue.  And I think to a certain extent, we could have the same discussion a week ago; Republicans want to protect gun rights and Democrats want to take them away.  

That's not this issue.  This is about intelligence.  This is about democracy.  It's about freedoms.  I mean, if you want to go through the whole drill here, you can talk about what causes all this, violence in movies.  There's violence in video games and all the rest of it.

We have those as freedoms.  Guns are freedoms in this country and you're not going to take it away.  And if you're going to basically just talk about that, you're going to antagonize a whole lot of --

BARTIROMO:  Well, that's the thing.  The president was criticized -- and by the way, even Secretary Clinton as well, because immediately without facts, what -- they went right to gun control -- Judy.

JUDITH MILLER, AUTHOR AND JOURNALIST:  Yes, she did, but also she's right in saying that 90 deaths a day in this country due to gun violence, irrespective of the terrorism component, should be something that worries Americans.  

I don't think you can blame what's happened on guns but you can certainly deal with the problem, that they are too easy to get and that it's just much harder to stab 14 people to death than it is to kill them in a minute with weapons that have been changed and made illegal under California rule


ROLLINS:  There are 300 (INAUDIBLE) guns in America.  There's no way you're going to take guns back and there's no way people are going to give their guns up, on the Black Friday, 185,000 people went out and got permits to buy guns.  I promise you this week there will be even more.  And probably the biggest Christmas gift of all will be people who want their own guns because they don't feel -- they feel they need it to protect themselves.

MILLER:  But that's because they don't think the government is able to protect them, which is why --

BARTIROMO:  Well, that's true.

MILLER:  -- President Obama has such a huge credibility gap.  


WOLF:  I don't think it's a credibility gap.  I mean, as you know, Maria, my wife, Carole (ph),  worked at Sandy Hook Promise.  This is the anniversary of -- the 3rd anniversary of Newtown.  

We need sensible gun reform. We also need sensible policy on mental health and wellness.

You know, they have a thing called "Say something" that has prevented school issues. And I think that we need the right balance.

So this is not only about second amendment; this is about doing smart things. Secretary Clinton and the president, when they came out in saying, if you're not -- on the no-fly list, then how can you be buying a gun, that's common sense. That's not attacking gun control. I mean, let's be honest.

BARTIROMO:  That's right.

WOLF:  As a person -- if they're not on the fly list, I don't want them to have a gun.

BARTIROMO:  Yeah. You know, I think it was the sensitivity, because the president has been so reluctant to call out terrorism.

I mean, like -- so I think talking about the gun control now, when we want to hear his solution to fighting terrorists...

ROLLINS:  He still -- he still wants...

BARTIROMO:  Maybe that's where the sensitivity...

ROLLINS:  He's still on the same -- the same line, and they made this very partisan. Harry Reid and others said this was the Republicans' fault because they won't give us gun control.

That's crazy and that's absurd. And this has to be about an American problem and how do we deal with it. And it's -- a lot of it's education. A lot of it's basically -- we have to have more intelligence. If they had some information on these people before, they should have really scrutinized them. And -- and I think...

WOLF:  This can't be partisan. It -- there's...


WOLF:  I mean, let's be honest. It's -- when, I mean, Virginia, Colorado, California, 500,000 acts of gun violence per year in the United States; 35,000 people die from gun violence.

BARTIROMO:  That's all facts and...

WOLF:  It's common sense.

BARTIROMO:  But what about terrorism, Robert? What about the fact that ISIS is now in America?

WOLF:  Listen, you know, since Sep 11, this is something that we think about every day in our life. We have to make sure that we are preventing this, and we can't have any of this visa loopholes and these type of things. And we have to fight them to the end right now.

BARTIROMO:  Well, that's what people want to see the president talk about.

Let me get with "MediaBuzz" host Howie Kurtz. He's, right now, standing by to tell us what's coming up in 20 minutes.

Howie, good morning to you.

KURTZ, HOST, "MEDIABUZZ":  Good morning, Maria. We're going to drill down on the media's role in this gun debate, including that front-page New York Times editorial demanding sweeping gun control measures, and the spectacle, the bizarre spectacle of TV reporters ransacking and rummaging through the terrorists' apartment in California, which prompted an apology from MSNBC. That and much more ahead.

BARTIROMO:  That was unbelievable, Howie. All right. We'll see you in about 15 minutes. Thanks so much.

Up next, the San Bernardino terrorist attacks becoming a major topic on the campaign trail as well, the impact on the race to the White House, with our panel, next, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."


Welcome back. The mass shooting in San Bernardino now becoming a major focus on the campaign trail. Watch.


TRUMP:  In California they didn't have guns; they were slaughtered. So I think it would have been a lot better if they had guns in that room, somebody could protect. They could have protected themselves. And this one was...

HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  We shouldn't be conflating the two. We need to go after the terrorists and we need to do more to save the lives of Americans every single day from homicide, suicide and these terrible accidents.

SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  There has never been a time in the history of this country when we needed prayer more.

DR. BEN CARSON, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  These are radical Islamic terrorists, jihadists.


BARTIROMO:  Actually, Marco Rubio also made some comments on various interviews and came across very strong in terms of standing up to the terrorists.

We're back with our panel, Ed Rollins, Judith Miller, Robert Wolf.

What's your take on what came out of the campaign trail this week?

ROLLINS:  Listen, Donald Trump has moved even further ahead because of this issue. This is about...

BARTIROMO:  Thirty-seven percent.

ROLLINS:  This is about strength of leadership. And, you know, I mean, no offense to Mrs. Clinton, but it's the same old stuff. It's not about this issue; it's about gun control and we've got to repeal the second amendment and all that kind of stuff. That isn't what people want to hear.

WOLF:  Ed, no disrespect, she did not say to repeal the second amendment. I think, actually, she had a pragmatic response, going after terrorism and going after common-sense gun reform. I think that those are both...

ROLLINS:  Except California has the strongest gun...

WOLF:  I actually think that people saying "Kill this, kill that, kill that," it's great, you know, red meat, but it does not help the country today.

ROLLINS:  But, basically, the strongest gun laws in America are in California.

BARTIROMO:  That's true.

ROLLINS:  Paris had extremely -- you can't have guns. It's not about gun control.

WOLF:  I didn't say it was.

ROLLINS:  It's about terrorism.


MILLER:  And neither did Mrs. Clinton.

WOLF:  Right.

MILLER:  She said it's about both. And I think that's where, ultimately, the president...

ROLLINS:  Well, she -- she has a whole year to debate it because, obviously, every Republican's going to be on the other side.

WOLF:  That's fine. So a week before, when the guy went into Planned Parenthood and the South Carolina shootings and the Virginia shootings, that was a terrorist act. They just happened not to come from the Middle East.

BARTIROMO:  But isn't it...

WOLF:  There's a combination of things going on right now. There's no question we have to look at home-grown and those coming in on terrorist acts, but we have to also look at gun reform.

BARTIROMO:  Let's talk about homegrown.

MILLER:  There is no excuse, Maria, for the fact that the FBI is stunned and portraying this as a new form of terror...

BARTIROMO:  Home-grown.

MILLER:  That's right. In 2007, Mitchell Silber and Arvin Bhatt of the NYPD did a fundamentally revolutionary report that said our problem is home-grown Islamic radicals in this country. And the FBI fought that thesis every inch of the way.

Now we know that they were correct, but the NYPD has known it all along, which is why we've been able to thwart 16 attacks in New York City.

BARTIROMO:  So you're saying home-grown terrorism is nothing new?

MILLER:  It is nothing new, and the FBI should have been on this problem a long time ago. It is overstretched, as Jim Kallstrom said. You need local law enforcement involved in this fight preventively.

BARTIROMO:  Look, I think this visa waiver program is a huge story.

WOLF:  Critical.

BARTIROMO:  It's critical. And, you know, the fact that Ms. Malik was on this fiancee visa and was able to get this country -- she lied about where her address is.

I mean, now we're letting in these Syrian refugees. Of course, if you want to be an ISIS fighter and infiltrate the refugee flow, you're going to lie about everything. And are you going to get in?

WOLF:  Let me just give you a little bit of the background. I'm having you put on your Fox Business hat in many of our interviews of the past.


WOLF:  The whole visa program, part of it was literally for the pro-business. Travel and tourism is our biggest export, so we changed visa reform over the last few years, of which, by the way, the bipartisan Jobs Council were a major part of it, because we needed to pick up travel and tourism with a low dollar.

That's why the 30-plus countries in places like Brazil and China changed their visa reform. Now, all of a sudden, it's moved from a pro-business reason to now a protectionist reason.


WOLF:  And we have to find the right balance. And I will tell you, a few years ago, everyone was screaming, "Hey, we can't have visa reform where we're an outlier and it takes six months for people to come in." So we have to find the right balance between the two.

BARTIROMO:  Yeah, I think this is a really good point.

I want to continue this conversation, because this visa program is something that really needs to be looked at.

So we'll take a short break. More on the gun control debate -- our panel is back to discuss it -- as well as the visa waiver program, which we are going to see changes to, coming up next.  


BARTIROMO:  Back with our panel, Ed Rollins, Judy Miller, Robert Wolf. Your take on the visa waiver program, Ed Rollins?

ROLLINS:  I think it's going to be very, very scrutinized. I think there's no desire on the part of Republicans who control the Congress to basically make it easier for Syrian refugees or anybody else to come in this country.

BARTIROMO:  Isn't it extraordinary the amounts of weaponry this couple had in now what's being called a bomb-making factory of a garage?

How did they afford these guns? Who's funding them? Where did they -- where did they get 13 pipe bombs?

MILLER:  This is all yet to be determined, but it does raise questions about the extent to which you can solve this problem through gun control, because they would just go blow something up.

The problem is there were neighbors who saw the shipments coming and going and were suspicious, but a couple of them, according to earlier reports, were hesitant to say something because they didn't want to be branded as racist.

We have got to go back to the NYPD slogan, "If you see something, say something," no matter how it makes you look, and you're not going to get sued for $15 million, as the town that went after clock boy thinking that the clock was a bomb.

BARTIROMO:  The clock boy who went to the White House, by the way.

MILLER:  He went to the White House.

WOLF:  I think there will be another whole debate on the Patriot Act and the NSA meta-data program...

BARTIROMO:  I agree with you.

WOLF:  ... and what do we need to know and not know. I mean, there's a possibility we can't get into their cell phones over what happened more than the last few days and -- and so this whole debate on the Patriot Act and what we -- you know, what's privacy versus protection.

BARTIROMO:  It feels like national security is more important to people at this point that...


ROLLINS:  And don't think this is the only -- something else is going to happen in the next couple weeks. There's always imitation of this stuff. My sense is this -- the first act was a distraction. They had all this other activity in their home. They clearly were going to do more than just blow up their...

BARTIROMO:  Yeah, and I know that there's a gun control debate to have. The problem is, is the president has been so weak in terms of terrorism, Robert. That's really the issue. And people -- they don't want to say what it is. You know it?

WOLF:  Well, you know I wouldn't agree with that, that he's been weak on terrorism. I think that -- that this is an act that -- there's acts that are happening, and we have the FBI and Homeland Security, and I think we're doing a lot of things and we have to do more.

BARTIROMO:  Absolutely.

WOLF:  And -- and it's not -- it's not a weak versus strong thing. It's how do we make sure we're protecting our country the best we can?

And, by the way, part of it is making sure this coalition works so we can defeat ISIS, you know, the right way.

BARTIROMO:  And we've got...


ROLLINS:  Most people in this country basically -- you know, I know what side you're on, on the gun issue.

WOLF:  I'm an American. There's no...

ROLLINS:  We're all Americans. That doesn't make...


ROLLINS:  And we all basically have a second amendment and a first amendment. We have great freedoms in this country, and basically we don't want to eliminate our freedoms.

At the end of the day here, Democrats are not going to basically go against the NRA. And Hillary may talk about it, but at the end of the day, this is going to be a very big issue in this campaign and Americans are going to be more concerned about owning guns and not having their guns taken away from them.


MILLER:  But yet, and, Ed, you know that...

WOLF:  We should not make the 2016 election about gun reform, but it's a topic. That's all.

MILLER:  It's not going to be. It's going to be about security.

BARTIROMO:  I think it's about terrorism. I think it's about terrorism and national security, guys.


We'll be right back. Stay with us.

WOLF:  It's what it will always be. It's foreign intelligence and it's the economy...




BARTIROMO:  Welcome back. The one thing to watch in the next couple weeks. Ed Rollins?

ROLLINS:  The Congress in the next few days getting bills through that the president will sign.

BARTIROMO:  December 11th is the deadline...

ROLLINS:  Absolutely.

BARTIROMO:  ... or a government shutdown.

ROLLINS:  And the president will be the one to shut it down because he'll veto the bills.

BARTIROMO:  Yeah. Robert Wolf? I know we had good jobs numbers.

WOLF:  The Fed will raise rates, but I am very concerned with GDP and strong dollar in '16.


MILLER:  I'm looking at the GOP and how they split on privacy versus national security.

BARTIROMO:  Important topic. Thanks very much, all of you, for joining us. That will do it for me. I'll see you tomorrow on the Fox Business Network, 6 a.m., "Mornings With Maria."


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