Gen. Flynn on terror: We have to stop reacting, start acting

Former FBI assistant director James Kallstrom and Trump military adviser Michael Flynn speak out after explosion in New York City


This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," September 18, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST: Good morning. A Fox News alert now. We continue to follow the very latest in New York City this morning, following an explosion in Manhattan.

Welcome to "Sunday Morning Futures." I'm Maria Bartiromo. Thanks very much for joining us.

We are awaiting right now a news conference from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. He is set to address last night's explosion on a crowded New York City street that hurt at least 29 people.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is calling the blast this morning, quote, "an intentional act." He said they have no evidence just yet of any ties to terrorism.

The explosion destroyed a dumpster and sent pedestrians scrambling for safely last night. Shortly, after a suspicious second device was discovered several blocks away and removed overnight. All of this happening in New York's Chelsea neighborhood packed with locals and visitors on a Saturday night.

Our David Lee Miller right there is live in Chelsea with the very latest on this investigation.

David, good morning to you.


As you mentioned, we are awaiting the arrival of Governor Andrew Cuomo over my shoulder. Perhaps you can see the microphones being set up. We expect the governor to arrive shortly. Interestingly, he's going to hold this news conference on 23rd Street. Normally, this is an east/west thoroughfare that's packed with cars. At this hour, it is completely shut down. That's because the investigation at this hour continues and the crime scene about two blocks from where I am now standing remains completely sealed off to the public, as well as the media.

Now, about the investigation, police continue to analyze video of the blast itself. They also scrutinizing video taken shortly before the blast in the hope that some of this surveillance video might show the perpetrator or the perpetrators of this act. So far, though, authorities say they have not, they have not, identified a suspect.

They are also trying to determine if there's any connection between the blast and an explosive device that you mentioned found about three hours later nearby. That device was a pressure cooker with a cell phone attached. It was removed by the bomb squad and, so far, it has not yet been detonated.

And there's yet another piece to this puzzle, a pipe bomb exploded at a charity race yesterday morning at Seaside Park, New Jersey. There were no injuries. Authorities still trying to see if they can connect those dots.

Speaking after the blast last night, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the bombing was no accident, but he did not draw any direct link to terror. Listen.


MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO, D-NEW YORK CITY: We have no credible and specific threat at this moment. But we do want to be very clear, the early indications, initial indications, is this was an intentional act.


MILLER: New Yorkers, understandably, nervous. Police have received a number of false alarms about suspicious packages. And just a short time ago, Maria, police walked through this neighborhood putting up signs telling people who live here that there is as much as a $2,500 reward for any information that may lead to, quote, "helping to solve a crime." At this hour, the investigation continues -- Maria.

BARTIROMO: All right. David, thanks very much. David Miller down there in New York City right now, Chelsea neighborhood.

Joining me right now with his take and how such an investigation is likely to pursue and unfold, James Kallstrom is the former assistant director of the FBI and he joins us right now.

Jim, it's great to see you.


BARTIROMO: Thank you so much for joining us.

So, Mayor de Blasio is not calling this terrorism. We know that this was a pressure cooker and wires and a cell phone was attached to it. What does it look like to you?

KALLSTROM: Well, certainly intentional. I mean, the fact that most bombs are intentional, I guess, unless they blow up before the bomber gets to where he wants to put it.

BARTIROMO: Right, it's pretty obvious that it was intentional.

KALLSTROM: I think this is New York. There's plenty of video everywhere.  They got the best terrorist task force in the nation. The NYPD is very expert at responding to these things. Forensically, you know, hopefully, this thing is going to have some forensic data, could have fingerprints.  The way it's put together may be something that the database that the FBI maintains, this particular group or not, or it could be just some wacko that's pulling this stuff off the Internet. You know, we really don't know.

But my guess is, yeah, we'll know who did this, whether it's tomorrow or a week from now or month from now.

BARTIROMO: Yes. That was my next question, how do these investigations go -- move forward and what are they looking for? I mean, you mentioned forensics, in other words, maybe fingerprints on this pressure cooker, things like that. So, how long do you think before we find out who placed these devices in New York City?

KALLSTROM: I think it will be fairly quickly, because, you know, that stuff all has to be bought somewhere, the wires, whatever, the detonating device was, it was a cell phone or whatever it was, you know, the actual explosive itself, you know? And these things tell a picture to bomb experts about how it's put together, you know, the sophistication of it.

We see this bomb anywhere -- this type of exact bomb anywhere else in the world, is it similar to the one up in Boston, you know, that people took those instructions off one of these al Qaeda, you know, magazines or something like that.


KALLSTROM: But I think with all the video we have, people will come forward and they'll solve this thing. The terrorist task force has to look at all these things that have taken place now, the thing in New Jersey, here the marines are having a run, you know, to help the people that have lost their limbs and stuff, and some absolute scumbag, you know, puts a bomb in the trash.


KALLSTROM: And this other thing in Minnesota, I don't know if they are all tied together.

But unfortunately, this is the world we live in today. We don't really know who comes and goes into the country. You know, we have a heroin epidemic everywhere in the United States and this administration doesn't seem to really care about this stuff.

BARTIROMO: And de Blasio keeps up with that line of thinking by saying, look, we don't have ties to terrorism right now, but we know it's an intentional act.

KALLSTROM: Well, of course, it's terrorism. Of course, it's intentional.  We just don't know who did it yet.

You know, whether it was inspired by something someone read or is a group of people that have conspired to do this, or we've seen this exact type of detonation stuff before. I mean, look at Lockerbie, way back in Lockerbie, right, when the forensics, you know, the technology wasn't anywhere where it was at. That crime scene, they found this little dinky thing with a serial number on it --


KALLSTROM: -- and traced it back to a place in Germany and solved that case.

BARTIROMO: Actually, that's incredible.

KALLSTROM: This case will be solved and the people that did this will, hopefully, be brought to justice.

BARTIROMO: And they are comparing it to what we saw in Boston because it was a pressure cooker, and in Boston there were nails in the pressure cooker that, obviously, were used as shrapnel.

KALLSTROM: But you understand, this stuff's on the web. People that surf the web looking at this stuff, you know, people got an idea, hey, I want to do this for some reason, there it is, all laid out how to do this stuff.

BARTIROMO: Yes, I mean, there was a lot of damage in New York, but no fatalities, thank God, 29 people injured. One person critically injured, and yet in the face of all of this, we're afraid to call it what it is, because of so much politicizing going on around this political season.

KALLSTROM: Oh, I know it's crazy, and it's kind of personal to me, my daughter used to live right there. Thankfully, she doesn't live there anymore, but she used to live right in that area.

BARTIROMO: It's a very crowded, small area in Chelsea. Here you are on a Saturday night, people are out and about having fun, it's the weekend, and glass is shattering because of this explosion.

KALLSTROM: Maria, we have to do something different than we're doing now.  This administration is doing so many things badly. Actually, most of them are on purpose. Not because they are incompetent, they are smart people, but what they are doing, if this election is past due, a clone of Obama, I mean, we're in big, big trouble in the United States. I mean, big trouble.

BARTIROMO: It's the same narrative President Obama has been telling, that is that the terrorists are on the run. In fact, we know that's not true.

KALLSTROM: I mean, we have to do things much, much differently than are going on now.

BARTIROMO: I want to ask you how we should be doing things differently and get your opinion on what's happening with regard to immigration, what's happening with regard to the safety of our city and our country after this short break. We'll do that after a short break.

We are awaiting that news conference from Governor Cuomo. When Governor Cuomo takes the podium, we'll take you there live. More with Jim Kallstrom live right here in studio when we come back.

Stay with us.


BARTIROMO: Welcome back.

We've got live coverage this morning. We're awaiting a news conference from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. I'm with Jim Kallstrom this morning, former assistant director of the FBI, and we are covering the aftermath of what was an explosion last night in New York City.

You think it's going to be in quite short order that we're going to find out exactly who placed two devices, one in a dumpster, one a few blocks away, which was a pressure cooker that exploded and caused real damage in New York City.

KALLSTROM: Yes, I'm not saying tomorrow, but it's not going to be years.  I think it's going to be weeks, you know, before, you know, the combination of law enforcement teams in this city, which is really the best in the world in cooperation, you know, find out what this is all about.

BARTIROMO: It strikes me that Mayor de Blasio is calling this an intentional act, but steering clear from calling it terrorism. I recognize we don't know who did this, but this is a situation where someone's terrorizing New York City. It's terrorism.

KALLSTROM: What else could it be?


KALLSTROM: It's not a hamburger. It's terrorism.


KALLSTROM: Of course it's terrorism.

BARTIROMO: We're in this environment, Jim, we just saw, obviously, Hillary Clinton testify in front of the FBI, it wasn't recorded. They released the notes on the Friday before Labor Day. We've got another situation this morning.

But all of these agencies are politicized. It's hard to cut through all the noise.

KALLSTROM: Yes, I'm sorry I have to say this, but Jim Comey has not acted, you know, the way an FBI director should act. You hear you have the greatest law enforcement agency in the world, you know, and the FBI -- he may feel good and I feel good about the fact he laid out some of the stuff, but then to say they are not going to prosecute, he should have just thrown that over to the attorney general.

The FBI doesn't do that. I mean, he politicized the FBI, and then releasing this so-called interview, which we could talk about on 3:00 in the afternoon on Labor Day. I mean, that's what -- that's not what the FBI does. FBI doesn't do stuff like that. That's crazy.

BARTIROMO: To be clear, he answers to Loretta Lynch, right, the attorney general. That's his boss.

KALLSTROM: Well, he answers to it, but there comes a point in time where you say no. I mean, you say no, you stand up. If they want to try to fire you, they fire you, or else you resign. I mean -- but you don't do things like this.

BARTIROMO: Somebody clearly said to him don't put it on Loretta Lynch.  She's -- if you put it on Loretta Lynch, you have to take the fall. And the fall was, we're not recommending charges.

KALLSTROM: Yes, well, I just don't know how he could say that, I don't know how he could go along with it, I don't know how you could say there was no intent. I mean, when you put a server in your basement and, therefore, you don't have to deal with the Federal Records Act for years with thousands of documents -- I mean, what's more intentional than that?

BARTIROMO: And then we know just from last week's testimony one of her aides, Justin Smith, was the one -- sorry, Justin Cooper, pardon me, Justin Cooper, was the one with the hammer who hammered the device. And he said, no, no, no, I was trying to preserve the data.

KALLSTROM: And when you send a subpoena to the people who run those computers and the Clinton apparatus, the lawyers, send a subpoena over with a letter that says you maintain all records from this point forward and they just go ahead and destroy them. I mean, that is obstruction of justice, plain and simple. Why is that not charged? Why is that not being presented to the grand jury?

BARTIROMO: And here we are, once again, on a morning where there was another explosion in New York city this time, Andrew Cuomo, the governor, is walking over to the podium. What should be done at this point in terms of safety for the country?

KALLSTROM: Well, it's being done. I mean, there's a full court press by law enforcement, by the terrorist task force, but we can't fix all these things the Obama administration has screwed up, you know, in one day. Even a new president that's Hillary Clinton can't fix it all right away, but we have to work on it.

BARTIROMO: Well, there's immigration.

KALLSTROM: We've got to know who comes and goes in the country, or else, you're not a country, you're not a country. Try to get into Mexico.

BARTIROMO: This is what Donald Trump has been saying.

Let's go to Governor Cuomo to see what he has to say about this investigation. If we're going to learn anything new in terms of who placed two devices in New York City in the Chelsea area, one in a dumpster and then a pressure cooker a couple of blocks away.

Governor Cuomo is about to give us the details on that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do our inspection, structural inspection policies and procedures. It's important to note that the blast was not in proximity to the subway structure. We have teams that have inspected both the 23rd and 6th and 23rd and 7th and 23rd and 8th Street subway stations.

I'd like to introduce Governor Cuomo.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO, D-N.Y.: Thank you very much.

First, let me begin by thanking Frank Jezycki and Ronnie Hakim and the whole team at the MTA, as well as all the first responders who have done an extraordinary job since this explosion happened yesterday evening.

As everybody knows, there was an explosion on West 23rd Street. There is significant property damage on both sides of the explosion, 29 people were injured. That there were no fatalities is something to give thanks for today because when you see the amount of damage, we really were very lucky that there were no fatalities at the time.

We just inspected the subway station, the PATH station in the immediate area to see if there was any damage done from the explosion to the subway station, the tunnels, et cetera, and we're happy to report that there was no damage. So, the MTA is ready to be up and running as early as tomorrow to return to full service for those stations.

There may be certain entrances and exits that are closed depending upon where the investigation is at that time, but we will keep you up to date on that.

There is -- I've been briefed by all the relevant agencies. At this time, there is no evidence of an international terrorism connection with this incident, but, it is very, very early in the investigation and it is just starting. The FBI has brought the evidence that they have collected from the site of the explosion, as well as, the bomb that did not detonate, they brought that to Quantico and they'll be studying that.

There was also an incident in Seaside Park, New Jersey. They're also taking that material to Quantico to review that material also. I spoke with Governor Christie this morning and we're coordinating resources between New York and New Jersey to see if there's anything we can learn.

The main coordinative mechanism is something called the JTTF, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and that is up and operational. But the bombs that were in Seaside, New Jersey, appear to be different than the ones that were in Manhattan.

As I mentioned, the response by the first responders was extraordinary.  You know, you drill all the time and you run exercises all the time, but it's still different when it happens.

I spoke to Mayor de Blasio. The NYPD did a great job. The FBI has done a great job. Homeland Security, New York State Police, Fire Department -- everyone really worked together and is coordinating on the investigation.

We have no reason to believe at this time that there is any further immediate threat, but just to err on the side of caution, we will be deploying close to an additional 1,000 New York State Police and National Guard people to police the bus terminals, airports and subway stations.  Again, just to err on the side of caution and I want New Yorkers to be confident when they go back to work on Monday that New York is up and running and we're doing everything we need to do. And I feel comfortable that this additional deployment will help do that and is prudent on this occasion.

The bottom line on this is number one, whoever placed these bombs, we will find, and they will be brought to justice, period. You have the finest police agencies in the world when you come to New York. And we will find who planted these explosives and they will be punished.

Number two, we will not allow this type of people and this type of threats to disrupt our life in New York. That's what they want to do. We're not going to let them do it.

This is freedom, this is democracy, and we're not going to allow them to take that from us.

So, feel safe. Everything that needs to be done is being done and more.  And we're going to enjoy New York and we're going to go back to work tomorrow just like we do on any Monday morning.

REPORTER: Governor, can you clarify, Governor, what devices were taken to Quantico, there was a device in the dumpster, as far as you know, where they both sent to Quantico? We were told (INAUDIBLE)

CUOMO: The evidence that is now being gathered is going to Quantico. I believe the Seaside Park bombs are en route to Quantico. The unexploded device from New York may not yet have made it to Quantico, I'm not sure.

REPORTER: Right here is 23rd and 6th, we know there was a pressure cooker (INAUDIBLE) --

CUOMO: They were both similar in design. But let us let the FBI do their investigation. Again, this is very early. They are just getting the devices. They are just starting the investigation. So once we get the investigation, we will have of the facts and then we will speak intelligently.

REPORTER: Governor, Mayor de Blasio said last night that there was no evidence this was connected to terror. What are you hearing?

CUOMO: I believe the Mayor was saying there was no connection with international terrorism and that is correct. No one has taken credit.  There have been no international groups that have put out any statements that are connecting them with this action.

Now, it depends on your definition of terrorism. A bomb exploding in New York is obviously an act of terrorism, but it's not linked to international terrorism. In other words, we find no ISIS connection, et cetera. But, a bomb going off is generically a terrorist activity. That is how we are going to consider it, and that is how we will prosecute it, also.

But the mayor is correct. There was no link at this time, at this preliminary stage, to international terrorism.

REPORTER: Governor, is it possible this a lone wolf act, similar to the Boston Marathon?

CUOMO: It could be, could be, could be, could be, because we just do not know. We know there's been no international terrorism organization that has taken credit. But, we do not know.

I have been in the federal government, I have been through a number of these incidents. You know, you can guess, you can hypothesize, or you can just wait for the facts and go from there. We know what we know at this point and I would be dubious by speculating on what we don't know.


CUOMO: Well, look, as governor of New York, this is my worst nightmare, right? My worst nightmare is the phone rings late at night and there is some terrorist attack, an emergency, flood, hurricane, act of Mother Nature that puts lives in peril.

So this is the nightmare scenario, or one of the nightmare scenarios, and your mind immediately goes to, "was anyone hurt, was anyone killed?" And luckily, depending on how you look at it, there were 29 injuries, but no fatalities. When you see the damage, I think we were fortunate that there were no fatalities. And when you see the site itself, it just confirms that. This was a significant amount of damage.

The property damage on both sides, but the force of the explosion, you can see it down the block, it was across the street, there is glass everywhere, shrapnel everywhere. So, that we did not lose anyone, we were fortunate.

And then, the second response is: we are not going to let them win. We're not going to let them win. What do they want? They want to instill terror, that's what they want. They want to make you afraid.

They want to make you worry about going into New York City or New York State. They want to make you worry about going across a bridge or a subway. We're not going to let them instill fear, because then they would win.

So, we have the best response team on the globe. It's here. It's working, the best protection team on the globe. On the side of caution, we will be adding close to an additional thousand National Guard and state police, just to make sure people know that we're on the scene and we're on the job.

And, we're going -- life will go on in New York just like it did the moment before the bomb exploded. We're not going to let them win.


REPORTER: Governor, can you talk about the (INAUDIBLE) similar in nature here and 27th Street?

CUOMO: Not that I know of.

REPORTER: Are you saying the one here was a pressure cooker similar --

CUOMO: That is my advice, that is my knowledge, and what I've been informed. But obviously that bomb detonated so there's only pieces of it and I would wait for the FBI to do a full analysis before I come to any conclusions.

REPORTER: In New Jersey, are you saying it's not similar --

CUOMO: The -- my information, again at this preliminary stage, is the devices were different. They were basically pipe bombs that were used in New Jersey. Different bombs were used here. But, the FBI will do the analysis. I spoke to Governor Christie this morning, and we'll have our teams working together to see if there's anything they can learn, one from the other.

REPORTER: Can you talk about the search to find the suspect or suspects?

CUOMO: Say that again, you're saying?

REPORTER: Can you talk about the search to find the suspect or suspects whether we're using surveillance video, or anything like that to find a place either one of these bombs? And second of all, can you give a little bit more specifics on the commute for tomorrow morning. Should workers expect to be able to use the 23rd Street entrances by rush hour or what?

CUOMO: They are reviewing all of the video tape from the area now to see if they can identify a person. Obviously, all agencies are coordinated in this investigation, and in this manhunt. As I said, we will find whoever did this, or whatever group did this and they will be brought to justice, period.

And we're going to dedicate all necessary recourses to do that. And you're dealing with the best police agencies on the globe in doing that. As far as opening the 23rd Street station tomorrow morning, as we mentioned before, it's structurally safe it is structurally fine. Some of the entrances are in the crime scene right now.

So, we'll have to see how the investigation proceeds throughout the day and if the FBI reduces the crime scene and releases those entrances. But we'll make that information on the transit authority website exactly what entrances and exits will be open as we get information through the day.



REPORTER: What is going on with them, where are they, what were the injuries?

CUOMO: The -- I have only the information that you have. Most were treated and released. There may be several that have not yet been released. Several were serious injuries, but no fatalities. But I have no new information on that.

REPORTER: Were the injuries from mostly flying metal, or what was it?

CUOMO: From people who were in that area when the bomb exploded and got hit with glass or debris, et cetera. OK?

REPORTER: Governor, have you heard connection made to the Central Park IED that injured the man?


REPORTER: The NYPD is holding a press conference with the mayor in less two hours. Why aren't you going there (ph)?

CUOMO: Well, we wanted to give you an update on what the state was doing, and the MTA and the subway stations, et cetera. I spoke to the mayor this morning and he'll give you an update on what the city is doing and that's the way we normally handle these situations.

Just so you don't think -- I'm very responsive to your question. All 29 victims are confirmed were released from the hospital. So that really is good news.

Thank you very much. Thank you.

BARTIROMO: All right. That was Governor Andrew Cuomo just there, 23rd Street in New York City, giving us the details on the explosion that we saw last night.

Twenty-nine people injured, no fatalities.

I'm with Jim Kallstrom, former assistant director of the FBI.

And, Jim, he made the point of saying at this time, we don't see a connection to ISIS. Can you know that?

KALLSTROM: No, you probably wouldn't know it unless someone already called up and said they were. Even then you don't really know. So, of course, you don't know. It could be.


KALLSTROM: To rule out anything at this point is crazy.

BARTIROMO: And -- I mean, they are examining --

KALLSTROM: He shouldn't even talk about that.

BARTIROMO: Right. They are examining these bombs at Quantico, these devices I should say.

KALLSTROM: It's the FBI laboratory.

BARTIROMO: The FBI laboratory. What is going on there now?

KALLSTROM: Well, the forensic guys, chemical guys, guys that have studied every bomb that's gone off in the world, you know, for the last five decades, they are looking at this thing.

I mean, experts in explosives, you know, what kind of explosive, was it a - - you know, plastic explosive, was it TNT, what the hell was it? You know, and those signatures -- of course, the forensic guys, fingerprint guys, the DNA guys, all these guys are looking at this thing. It's probably DNA on there, probably fingerprints on there.


KALLSTROM: And the bomb itself is in some ways going to be a fingerprint in the way it's made, if it's been used before.

BARTIROMO: Stay with us, Jim. I'd like to talk with you about, in particular, about the FBI and the Hillary Clinton investigation, which I want to get back to.

But, let me -- let me join in the conversation, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

General, thanks very much for joining the conversation this morning. Good to see you.


BARTIROMO: Your reaction to what we've been watching.

FLYNN: One of the things I would say is we have to stop reacting and start acting. I mean, what the governor just said is that, you know, we're going to put 1,000 more resources, we got the National Guard. We have -- I mean, we are going to have to re-enforce with resources our law enforcement professionals, frankly, until we can get this thing -- until we can deal with this enemy the way we need to deal with this enemy.

We're going to have to provide resources and we're going to have to provide a different type of authorities for our law enforcement professionals, from the federal, state, local, tribal level across this country, otherwise we're going to continue to see these types of attacks.

I agree with everything that's been said, you know, that this is -- we're not really sure exactly who this is yet, but we had three terror attacks, one in Saint -- make sure I got this place right, St. Cloud, Minnesota, Seaside Park, New Jersey, and right here in Chelsea, New York City.

I mean, come on, these are three terror attacks in under 24 hours. And let me tell you two other things, Maria, about five or six days ago on the website of the Islamic State, they put out how to sort of build these types of devices.


FLYNN: It was either the 12th or the 13th. They put them back out there to say, hey, here's how to do this. And they also said about 72 hours ago, to start conducting attacks against easier, essentially, softer targets, to include children playing in playgrounds.

I mean -- so I don't want to say this is a radical Islamist terrorist attack in Chelsea --


FLYNN: -- but I'm just telling you that we are facing a threat that we have to stop reacting to and we have to start acting.

KALLSTROM: General, Jim Kallstrom, you're 100 percent correct. I mean, everything you just said is absolutely right, you know? And yet we have 300-some-odd sanctuary cities in the United States.

FLYNN: It's ridiculous.

KALLSTROM: We have a police department that's demoralized and afraid to lean forward, afraid to get out of their cars because they are going to be called this, they're going to be called that. We've got people that are threatening to kill police that are welcomed into the White House.

I mean, it's just not a good picture, you're 100 percent correct.

FLYNN: Maria, and Jim knows this, and your listeners know this, we have rules of engagement on the battlefield and they are very restrictive right now. We also have rules of engagement in our cities and how our police forces, how they engage the public, and there's been a pulling back of how we are engaging the public around this country.

I mean, the police, they know what to do, how to act, how to treat people.  All of this nonsense that we're hearing, all these attacks against our law enforcement professionals, we are in a different state right now in terms of the types of threats we're facing. I mean, this is the 21st century and we have very, very new threats we have to deal with, and, frankly, the same old stuff we've been doing is not going to work. It's not working.

BARTIROMO: You know, there's this narrative that comes from the top, President Obama, that the terrorists are on the run, and agency by agency, and official after official follows that narrative and tries to tell that story, Jim, even though the evidence is right in front of us. Of course, this was terrorism. We don't know what kind of terrorism, but, yes, they are terrorizing New York, they're terrorizing New Jersey, and terrorizing Minnesota.

KALLSTROM: Well, when you take all references out of the FBI training documents to anything Muslim -- I mean, how does the FBI director go along with that? How does the FBI director not say --

BARTIROMO: I don't know if you back up here. What exactly -- in the training manuals of the FBI, the word "Muslim" has been taken out?

KALLSTROM: Well, I don't know if the word itself, but the references to the Muslim Brotherhood probably and this whole radical Muslim thing, it's disappeared. It's not there anymore. Let's get rid of these words and the terrorism will stop. I mean, it's crazy, crazy stuff.

BARTIROMO: And that's one of the reasons, General, you've been supporting Donald Trump, because he is talking about border control, he's talking about making sure that we know who's coming in and out of this country.

FLYNN: Yes. And let me just be very blunt. I mean, we're talking about the politicization of -- I mean, so many parts of our government and all this tippy toeing around words, I mean, let's get very practical and real with what it is that is going on in this country. And what the American public want and, frankly, what Donald Trump provides, is honesty. I mean, just blunt truth as to what is going on, and, frankly, that's what the American public are demanding. They are actually demanding.

So, we have to stop. I'll tell you, it's very interesting the governor came out and not the mayor of New York City where the attack occurred, because Mayor de Blasio in his comments last night, I arrived about an hour before the attack, I mean, he was so -- he was trying so hard to be politically correct. I mean, just say what you know is the truth.

BARTIROMO: He calls it an intentional act. That's a new one, Jim Kallstrom.

All right. Before we go, the general's talking about the politicization of the agencies, and we said it earlier, got the IRS targeting conservatives.  You got Loretta Lynch meeting with Bill Clinton on the plane, and, then, of course, this interview with Secretary Clinton by the FBI where Jim Comey says all this stuff about carelessness but then doesn't (INAUDIBLE). Final points on that.

KALLSTROM: There's no prosecution of the IRS. The FBI doesn't step up and do an investigation. You know, they don't even interview in cases like that.

BARTIROMO: You want to make one more point.

KALLSTROM: You have Hillary, this so-called interview, OK, and their lawyers laid out, I don't know exactly what they laid out, but made it so you couldn't record, couldn't do this, you couldn't do that, she's not going to do this.

BARTIROMO: It was not on the record.

KALLSTROM: It's not on the record.

Now, the FBI usually doesn't videotape unless you're arrested, but in this case, this lady is running for president of the United States. Should not the public know how many times she said I don't remember, or I'm not going to answer? Or I'm pleading the Fifth? Or whatever? Shouldn't the public know that? Shouldn't there have been a transcript? It's a political document.

BARTIROMO: Well, they had notes and they released the notes on Friday before Labor Day.

KALLSTROM: And how does the FBI director give his conference and lay out all this stuff about what she did and have that foolish thing he did after that? And then when asked the question by the news media, what went on during the Clinton interview, and he said, I haven't asked the agents yet what went on in the interview. He didn't even know what went on in the interview. The interview was crazy. I mean, nothing went on in the interview, obviously, he knew that ahead of time.


BARTIROMO: Well, he answers to Loretta Lynch, so there you go.


BARTIROMO: General, final words?

FLYNN: I'll tell you, for both Jim and I, this doesn't make us feel good to have to talk like this about the leaders of this country. I mean, people that we know. But you know what? We have got to get real here.  That's why this country needs change and we need change right now.

And I'm telling you, we have such a deficit of leadership in this country, and that's why I'm sitting here today supporting Donald Trump.


FLYNN: I'm telling you that we need leadership and we need it so badly.  We have such a deficit. And I would rather cheer for leaders that are leading our country, but I can't sit here today and do that. I'm sorry.

KALLSTROM: So would I. Amen, General Flynn.

BARTIROMO: We appreciate your candor.

General, do you agree with Jim that we will find out in short order who planted those bombs?

FLYNN: Absolutely.

BARTIROMO: Because of the forensics?

FLYNN: Absolutely. I could go into rhyme and verse in terms of fingerprints on the smallest pieces of a bomb, you know, on the battlefield. Absolutely, the professionals that we have that examine this kind of stuff, they'll know. They'll definitely find out.

BARTIROMO: All right. That investigation is under way. So, when, obviously, that news comes out, we will have it on television live and online.

General, thank you. General, good to see you.

FLYNN: Thank you, Maria.

BARTIROMO: Jim Kallstrom, always a pleasure. Thank you so much.

KALLSTROM: My pleasure.

BARTIROMO: Appreciate your time this morning.

The political fallout with both presidential nominees weighing in. Our panel is up next. Stay with us.


BARTIROMO: Welcome back.

As New York Governor Andrew Cuomo just wrapped up an update on the investigation into the explosion that rocked a crowded Manhattan neighborhood last night, injuring more than two dozen people, this after New York City's mayor ruled out any terror connection, even though he called the blast, quote, "an intentional act".

And as Fox News first reported, another suspicious device, a pressure cooker device, was discovered blocks away from the initial explosion. This coming as both presidential nominees weighed in on the blast. Listen.


HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We'll do everything we can to support our first responders, also to the victims. I think it's always wiser to wait until you have information before making a conclusion, because we are just in the beginning stages of trying to determine what happened.

DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I must tell you that just before I got off the plane, a bomb went off in New York and nobody knows exactly what's going on. But, boy, we are living in a time, we better get very tough, folks. We better get very, very tough.


BARTIROMO: I want to bring in our panel right now. Ed Rollins is a former campaign manager for the Reagan/Bush ticket in 1984. He is the chief strategist for a Trump super PAC. Mary Kissel is with us this morning, "The Wall Street Journal's" editorial board member. And Richard Fowler is with us, Democratic strategist and radio talk show host.

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

Mary, you stayed down in Chelsea last night, you heard the explosion.

MARY KISSEL, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL BOARD MEMBER: Yes, I was just about an avenue away. It's the only time I've been happy to have a bad back, only reason I wouldn't out last night. It shook the buildings and the windows. It was very, very loud explosion. It could be heard many, many blocks from the actually site.

BARTIROMO: Now, you know, Mayor de Blasio was clear, called it an intentional act, Ed Rollins. But he stopped short of using the word "terrorism". We're all afraid, we're tiptoeing around the word terrorism, international terrorism.

What's your take?

ED ROLLINS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: It was an act of terrorism and the bottom line they'll find that out.

The truth of the matter is, the world is watching New York this week. We have all -- this is U.N. week. This is the most difficult week for New Yorkers, we have all the heads of state, including the president, coming in today. You have the tightest security in the city today.

And for someone to basically set off a bomb and have a second bomb ready to go and the timing was off, another hour later, you would have killed people because that's, obviously, when they are busy and the same way the marathon yesterday in New Jersey, it started late, it would have gone off a half hour later and it would have damaged people.

So, these are deliberate acts. It will embarrass the country in front of the world body and I think to a certain extent, it's well-planned and when we find out who did it, not going to be two kids in their backyard.

BARTIROMO: Well, it's interesting because Jim Kallstrom and General Flynn, who joined us a few minutes ago, both said we're going to find out in short order because of the forensics on the devices.

Richard, your takeaway?

RICHARD FOWLER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, I think we are going to find them in short order, Maria, but I think here's what de Blasio has tried to do yesterday, right? He said, yes, it was an intentional act, yes, it was an act of terror. The problem is, when you say terrorism, because of word association, it automatically assumes you're talking about people who are from the Muslim faith and that's why he said an intentional act and not terrorism because we don't know.

None of these organizations have taken credit for it, so before we go out and try to blame and shame a whole religion, we're going to be careful and get all the facts first.

BARTIROMO: Well, that's the thing. I mean, we don't know. So, even Governor Cuomo saying no tie to ISIS, we don't know.

ROLLINS: Well, here's the difference, though, Trump stepped up, you've got to be tough, hard times, this stuff is going on, whether it's domestic or international, doesn't matter. I don't care whether it's a Muslim or not, it's in my city and something happened.

FOWLER: What does tough mean?

ROLLINS: Tough means we basically have to make sure you have all the due diligence, use every resource in the world. The Hillary approach and administration's approach, as well, you have to wait and see.

FOWLER: Hold on --


ROLLINS: You can't insult -- bottom line, we have to do due diligence, we have to be everywhere and we have to punish these people quickly.

KISSEL: The modern left is generally unable to confront the terror threat.  When I heard Mayor de Blasio last night say an intentional act, I immediately thought of President Obama saying workplace violence after Ft. Hood.

You have to level with the American people and it's true, we don't know who committed this act, but the minute that they knew that it was a device, don't say intentional act. Tell us it's a bomb, because that's what it is.  It's clearly an act of terror.

And when you have this tiptoeing, tiptoeing rhetoric, it's corrosive to the public trust. That's why phraseology like that --


BARTIROMO: I totally agree.

FOWLER: Here's the thing, yes, it was I think de Blasio could have said it was a bomb, that's fine. But the moment you start to say --

BARTIROMO: That's a big deal, Richard.

FOWLER: It is a big deal. I'm not disagreeing with that.

BARTIROMO: Give us specifics, give us accuracy.

FOWLER: I think what we know is this, when you say marshal resources, those are called -- that's a dog whistle word for profiling. That's dog whistle word for stop and frisk, all the policies we know do not work and policies that profile a small group of people.

BARTIROMO: I don't think of those words.

FOWLER: I do and I think a lot of Americans do.

BARTIROMO: I'm sorry --

FOWLER: When you say terrorism, people think of Muslims.

KISSEL: I think what we learned last night, we are vulnerable to attack still. The terror threat is more geographically diverse than it ever has been. We have a political leadership that's not confronting this threat and leveling with the American people, and I think it just underscores, again, how vigilant we have to remain.

ROLLINS: Go back to the point. Do you think this is an accident that put this thing off, we have the world leadership in this city this week, we have thousands and thousands and thousands of cops on the streets today.  You cannot move ten feet and the idea you can get two bombs fired off or one fired off and one basically didn't go off, but set in this city and this time, this is all vulnerable.

BARTIROMO: Right. It's pretty extraordinary.

OK. We're going to move towards the political part of this, as well.  We've got brand new FOX News polls this morning. What it means for both candidates ahead of the first presidential debate about a week away now.  That's next. Stay with us with our panel as we continue.


BARTIROMO: Welcome back. We're in countdown mode. The first debate now eight days away.

A new FOX News poll shows 61 percent of likely voters think Hillary Clinton is qualified to be president. Forty-five say the same about Donald Trump.  Fifty-nine percent of likely voters say Hillary Clinton has the temperament to serve effectively as president, the same percentage thinks Donald Trump does not.

I'm back with the panel.

Ed Rollins, what's your takeaway on these polls?

ROLLINS: Well, in spite of those numbers that, obviously, favor Hillary, couple other phrases are different. It's a dead-even race. No matter what anybody says, it's coming down. You got seven weeks to go, you got a big debate next week. This is a dead even race and any side can win and the Clinton campaign knows this. They know after having bombarded him for months and months, having spent hundreds of millions in this campaign and all sorts of resources, they have made him vulnerable and I think to a certain extent you're getting stronger by the week.

BARTIROMO: It's got to be that she can't believe how close this race, Richard.

FOWLER: This race is definitely close. There's no question about it. I think the Clinton campaign always expected it to be close, but if you look at the electoral map, right, which is where Clinton has the advantage, right?

For Donald Trump to win, he has to win Pennsylvania, he can't do it. He has to win Michigan, he can't do it. So, this comes down to Ohio. And in Ohio, if --

BARTIROMO: Right now, he's winning in Ohio.

FOWLER: Yes. But -- here's the thing in Ohio, it's going to be Cleveland and Cincinnati. The president spoke yesterday at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, I was there, heard him speak. When the president goes out on the campaign trail, when Michelle Obama goes out, she went out for the first time last week, that's going to have a big impact to Cleveland, big impact in Cincinnati and could possibly take Hillary Clinton over the edge.

BARTIROMO: How's he doing, the president so far, would you say, campaigning for Hillary?

KISSEL: Well, it's hard for Hillary to generate the kind of enthusiasm among the black community and coalition Obama that Obama had. She just won't do it. It makes the debates very, very important and these candidates have different challenges during the debates.

Hillary Clinton is going to have to prove that somehow she's trustworthy, which is impossible to do, given her conduct as secretary of state and with the Clinton Foundation and all the scandals around her. Donald Trump has to prove that he has the temperament to be president. Hillary Clinton wants to make it all about that, because she doesn't want to talk about the policies that she's proposing. Essentially, a third term of Obama. It's going to make the debate stage very, very important.

BARTIROMO: Yes, by the way, Mary, look at the trust and honest and trustworthy part of the poll and we see Clinton 34 percent say yes, 64 percent say no, she's not trustworthy. Trump 39 percent yes, 58 percent no.

KISSEL: Well, it makes it easier for Trump to exceed expectations, right, because he has to prove that he can be a sober candidate. Whereas for Hillary, it's hard to prove something that you're -- disprove something that you really aren't.

ROLLINS: Both have lousy numbers when it comes to these items. The worst numbers I've ever seen. I've been doing this for five decades. But bottom line here, country wants change, Donald Trump is the change. The more Obama is out campaigning for her, she needs him to win this thing, the more people are going to say it's a third term of Obama and people that want change aren't going to be there.

FOWLER: Well, I don't agree with that all. I think what Obama is going to do is say, this is what we've been able to do, poverty is down, jobs are up. We've created jobs every single quarter, right?

What Clinton is going to have -- and Clinton's policies are take it a step further. She's going to work on making sure we have early childhood.


FOWLER: She's going to work on making sure that we have a tax policy that works for all Americans. So, what you're going to see in juxtaposition for next week is Donald Trump is going to continue to build the wall, build the wall, have no clear solutions. And Hillary Clinton is going to talk about policies.

BARTIROMO: Not a clear financial economic package this past week.

KISSEL: Neither one of them are going to tackle entitlements, they both want to expand the entitlements state. Worst recovery in history, Obama moved the party to the left. Hillary Clinton wants to --

ROLLINS: And even not working.

BARTIROMO: We will leave it there. That will do it for us. Have a good Sunday, everybody. I'll see you tomorrow, Fox Business.

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