Dan Quayle talks presidential transitions, role of the VP; Mukasey, Ashcroft react to Sessions appointment

This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," November 20, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST: Good Sunday morning, everybody.

The Trump transition team kicks into high gear.

Hi, everyone. Thanks for being here. I'm Maria Bartiromo. This is "Sunday Morning Futures."

Once again, all eyes on the President-elect Donald Trump's golf club in New Jersey this morning where he will meet with several potential Cabinet members. So, who is in and who is out?

At this hour, Trump advisers say they will have announcements today. We are waiting on that.

We have a jam-packed lineup this morning to talk about what it all means for the President's Trump first 100 days and beyond with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich coming up.

Former Vice President Dan Quayle with us, and former Attorneys General Michael Mukasey and John Ashcroft all here with me this morning.

Plus, we will discuss the future of health care with two former secretaries of health and human services, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and former Utah Governor Mike Leavitt.

All with me today as we look ahead at "Sunday Morning Futures."


BARTIROMO: And as we keep an eye on the comings and goings at the Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey this morning, we're also looking ahead to several high profile meetings with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie expected there. The former chairman of the president-elect's transition team, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani expected there today, and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a leading conservative voice on immigration policy.

Let's talk about it all right now with Newt Gingrich, former House speaker, author of "Treason", and a Fox News contributor.

Newt, always a pleasure. Thank you so much for joining us, Mr. Speaker.

NEWT GINGRICH, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: It's good to be with you this morning.

BARTIROMO: So, you have already said that you are not intending to join the Trump administration. Why have you declined?

GINGRICH: Well, I want to be as helpful as I can be and I think the unique value I bring having been speaker of the House, the person who developed GOPAC into a state legislative program, having helped Trump and the presidential campaign, this is the strongest Republican Party in history.  More state legislators than we've ever had since our funding in 1854, more governors, control of the House, control of the Senate, with presidency, and I think we need some strategic planning that looks out to 2025 and says over the next eight years, how are we going to serve the American people so well at every level that we consolidate this belief that Republican government is effective, serves the values of the American people and works?

And that's a unique role. It's one I played a little bit with Reagan, played a lot obviously with the Contract with America and as speaker. But I think it gives me an opportunity to try to help the entire party, including President-elect Trump in a way that may be fairly unique.

BARTIROMO: So, size up what we know so far for us, Newt, in terms of these positions and these expectations? Jeff Sessions as attorney general.  Chief of staff, Reince Priebus. Give us what the priorities are as you know it in terms of Donald Trump and where he's moving toward?

GINGRICH: Well, let me say, first of all, I thought his very first decisions to bring in both Steve Bannon as a strategist and Reince Priebus as the guy who runs the day-to-day chief-of-staff operation was a brilliant decision, and combine somebody in Reince Priebus who's probably the most important Republican National Committee chairman of modern times, did an amazing job, had 705 paid people in the field, provided the grassroots muscle to match the Trump ability with social media, and is really a guy who has a network nationwide that he can use to serve the president.

Bannon is a brilliant strategist, a very sophisticated guy, deeply underestimated by people like "The New York Times". And Bannon I think gives a cutting edge and a sophistication to Trump's ability to plan and look ahead. Those were great choices.

General Flynn who's written a book recently that everyone can get and look at has been a very dedicated opponent of Islamic supremacism, he understands the war with ISIS and al Qaeda and Boko Haram, and all the other groups that are engaged. I think he'll be a very good national security adviser.

I have to say, Jeff Sessions, who I thought could've done either defense or the attorney general, I personally always thought he ought to go to the attorney general's office. He'd spent 12 or 13 years working for the Justice Department. He'd been the U.S. department. He'd been the attorney general of Alabama, he serves on the judiciary committee and frankly some of the lies that the left is taking, they're just lies.

Jeff Sessions prosecuted the head of the Ku Klux Klan for murder, got the death penalty and supervising -- he was executed. He brought an $8 million fine against the Ku Klux Klan in Alabama, which destroyed it, bankrupted it, drove it out of existence.

He has a very good record. He was the opponent to Governor George Wallace in the hard core segregationist -- and it is sad to watch some people on the left try to smear him because Jeff Sessions is a very honest and very decent human being, deeply committed to the civil rights of every American.

BARTIROMO: So, how much of a challenge will it be to get him through the process that's Jeff Sessions? Already the left and the media are really attacking Jeff Sessions and this pick?

GINGRICH: Well, look, I think this is a good test of President-elect Trump. Anybody he picks is going to be controversial on the left, unless he picks people who are totally controversial to his own base. And so, I think that he's got to get in the rhythm of getting people through. I think Mitch McConnell can do it. I think it will take some work.

I also think, frankly, when you recognize that there are a lot of Democrats, I think 24 Democrats who are up for election in 2018, do they really want to start out as bitter and anti-Trumpers? Ten of them come from states that President-elect Trump carried and I think that this will be a good first test.

When you look at the record and you look at the facts, Jeff Sessions is a very decent, very solid person. There is no excuse, except ideology for opposing him and I don't believe that you're going to get 51 ideological votes in the Senate against Jeff Sessions. I think he will be confirmed.

BARTIROMO: How tough will it be to reverse what has gone on in the Department of Justice and so many of these agencies? I'm going to ask this question to the attorney generals that we got coming on later, Michael Mukasey and John Ashcroft.

But the idea that so many of these agencies have been politicized, whether it's the IRS targeting conservatives or the Department of Justice trying to shut down the investigation into the Clinton Foundation of the FBI, is that going to be a tough thing to reverse what has happened under Eric Holder's Department of Justice?

GINGRICH: It's going to be extraordinarily difficult unless President- elect Trump decides to take a lesson from Governor Scott Walker. Governor Walker understood that he had to get control of the bureaucracy in Wisconsin. He set out to do that.

The people involved in the unions were bitterly opposed, 100,000 people demonstrated in Madison, they occupied the capital for six months. There were death threats against Governor Walker and his wife Tonette, but he had the courage to keep going.

If we're going to actually change Washington, if we're going to drain the swamp, to use President-elect Trump's phrase, he is going to have to have at the very beginning a very strong bill that allows us to fire corrupt, dishonest and some in cases illegal civil servants who are currently protected by rules that make it virtually impossible for the located official, the American people, to get control of the bureaucracy.

BARTIROMO: What are you hearing in terms of the next positions that we're going to hear nominations for? He said that expect more today. What do you think the priority list is?

GINGRICH: Look, I don't have any inside knowledge and I think even the people of inside knowledge don't have inside knowledge.

The fact is that Donald J. Trump is an entrepreneur who has run a $10 billion worldwide system. He is going to make all the key decisions. He is going to think about a lot of them for a long time and when he thinks he's reached a judgment, he'll announce it.

But he's not going to do so beforehand. As I said to you a minute ago, I would have been equally pleased had Jeff Sessions ended up as secretary of defense and I thought for a while that's what was going to happen.

I think this is -- Trump's administration is going to be Trump's government. He's going to make the key decisions. He's going to listen to a lot of people, but in the end we'll see what he decides today about the next couple of appointments.

He's certainly interviewing people who are extraordinary. General Mattis is an old friend and somebody who maybe one of the best war fighters in the last 30 or 40 years. The fact that he's being discussed as a possible secretary of defense I think is very heartening.

BARTIROMO: Wow. All right. We'll leave it there.

Newt Gingrich, always a pleasure, sir. Thanks so much.

GINGRICH: Good. Thank you.

BARTIROMO: We will see you soon.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence at the helm of the Trump transition team, but what will his role be like once the new administration takes office?  Former Vice President Dan Quayle will join me live with some insight and advice for his fellow Hoosier.

Then, follow us on Twitter. Let us know what you'd like to hear from Dan Quayle, @MariaBartiromo, @SundayFutures.

Send me a tweet. Stay with us. We're looking ahead right now on "Sunday Morning Futures."


BARTIROMO: President-elect Donald Trump welcoming another parade of politicians today at his golf club in New Jersey. Take a look. Mr. Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence holding more meetings with potential Cabinet candidates. We may hear about new candidates today.

Right now, Mr. Pence is running the Trump transition team. But what will his role be like once the new administration takes office.

My next guest has some idea. Joining me right now is Dan Quayle. He is vice president of the United States, and like Mr. Pence from Indiana.

Mr. Vice President, a pleasure to have you on the program today. Thanks so much for joining us.

DAN QUAYLE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Good to be here.

BARTIROMO: First off, a lot of conversation about Mike Pence being a different vice president than we've seen in Joe Biden in that he's going to be much more involved, he's going to be really a right hand for Donald Trump.

How do you see it and what do you think the role offers?

QUAYLE: Well, the role of the vice president always depends on the president, and Mike Pence and Donald Trump are beginning to formulate that role. The Pence model I believe will be one that's very involved and it will start off being very involved with the Congress because I think in the first 100 days, there's going to be serious legislation that's going to be introduced by the new Trump administration.

Mike Pence is a former governor, former congressman, he knows Capitol Hill, he's going to be very immersed in trying to get the legislation through and then he'll transition into, you know, doing a lot of political things that responsible for vice president, and begin to travel around the world.

But I think the first 100 days he's going to be really focused in Washington getting that agenda through.

BARTIROMO: It's really important at this point in the process to have that connection with Congress to ensure that there will be a path to getting things done.

QUAYLE: Well, he knows how to count votes. He knows how to deal with the leadership. He clearly knows how the House works. He's got a good understanding of the Senate.

He's got a lot of friends, obviously friends on the Republican side but also Democrats that admire and respect Mike Pence. He's done -- he did a great job for the state of Indiana as governor, outstanding job in Congress, a great choice and his role will be defined as time goes on.

But having been a vice president, the role is not determined by you. It's really determined by the president. So, we'll have to wait and see how that unfolds.

BARTIROMO: You mentioned traveling the world, meeting with various people, basically making sure that our partners around the world are on the team.

Let me ask you about that. You just came back recently from a trip throughout Europe and Asia. You met with Shinzo Abe, as Donald Trump did, by the way, this past week.

What are you hearing from the rest of the world about the Trump transition?

QUAYLE: Yes. I've been in Asia, in Europe in the last three or four weeks and, you know, some before the election and some after. There's great interest in what Donald Trump is going to do in foreign affairs. The campaign was mostly focused on the national issues, but there's also a lot of discussion of foreign policy during the campaign. And there's interest.

And what I try to say, obviously -- I don't speak for the Trump administration -- I said, look, we have common values, we have alliances, we have trade agreements, we do have an understanding how the world's going to work. Are there going to be changes? Of course, there's going to be changes. Are there going to be radical changes? I don't see that in our alliances.

We have common values, democracy, liberty, freedom, free movement of people. These bind us together. Now, Donald Trump and his national security team, they're going to look at this.

You know, what is the role of NATO? Can it be changed or expanded? Should it be limited? What is the role in Asia? Is he going to continue to pivot to Asia as President Obama has done?

I think that's one thing he'll probably keep because I think China's a rising power and we've got to be able to make sure that we have a strong partners in Asia beginning with Japan and Korea where we have alliances.  He'll talk about burden sharing.

You know, Japan and South Korea they do a lot. They make a lot of contributions. Can they do more? Of course they can do more. What about NATO? Can it do more?

These are the questions that they have and I think it's important to have his secretary of state, whoever that may be, in the first month travel around the world and have this discussion with our allies and reassure them that we have common values and we will continue in that course.

BARTIROMO: Who would you like to see at secretary of state?


QUAYLE: That's not for me to decide. That's for Donald Trump and I'm sure he'll pick a good person.

BARTIROMO: What would be your advice at this point regardless of the roles we're talking about, what would be your advice for Mike Pence?

QUAYLE: Get -- you know, hunker down, focus on the transition, get the best people involved and then you've got to develop the agenda which that will be done with the Trump administration and then I think the first 100 days is going to be so important to set the tone for the Trump administration.

They've got a lot of bold ideas, they got a lot of change they want to make and there's going to be a lot of resistance in Washington. Look, this is - - this was a change election. Things are going to change.

And also, Maria, you got to realize this, and I know Mike does, you have a real short window to get a lot of things accomplished and that short window is -- it's probably not -- it's important the first 100 days, it's to July, until mid-July, until they take that August break, that's where you're going to get the majority of your work done and the majority of your legislation passed. So, that should be the priority, 1,000 percent, you know, put the pedal to the metal, have at it.

BARTIROMO: All right. We will leave it there.

Thank you so much, Mr. Vice President. Great insights from you. Wonderful to see you again. Thank you so much, Mr. Quayle.

QUAYLE: Thank you.

BARTIROMO: Dan Quayle joining us there.

An inside look putting together an administration. Up next, insights from Bill Daley, former White House chief of staff under President Obama, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures" right now.


BARTIROMO: Transitioning from businessman to president may be a big job, enough for President-elect Donald Trump. But what about hiring 4,000 employees in just a few short months and how important are Mr. Trump's and his first few hires, including former RNC Chairman Reince Priebus as chief- of-staff?

Here now with a great prospective is Bill Daley, former chief-of-staff under President Obama.

Bill, great to see you.


BARTIROMO: Thank you so much for joining us.

So, what do you think of the Reince Priebus appointment?

DALEY: I thought it was very wise selection for a couple of reasons. One, obviously, he's known in Washington. He navigated during the primary season as chairman of the RNC, a very difficult situation and ended up in the end being the one who stopped the anybody but Trump movement and helped Mr. Trump during those -- during the general election and having a real field operation through the Republican Party.

The Trump campaign didn't seem to have that. The Republican National Committee had that. I think it made a difference for the president-elect.

BARTIROMO: So, walk through the chief-of-staff's role and what Reince Priebus will be doing? Take us behind the curtain in terms of how important that role is for the president?

DALEY: Well, t really depends -- I hate to caveat it -- but it really is a reaction what the president wants. Each president's different in how they deal with their chief-of-staff. In theory, the chief-of-staff is supposed to be the point person within the White House for the president in not only managing the White House staff, but as all of the departments and agencies come to the White House through different mechanism, to flow through that office.

Obviously, on the major issues that the president deals with, the chief-of- staff is intimately involved. I remember during the period I was there, during the Usama bin Laden period, other than the national security and intelligence people, I think I was the only person in every meeting with the president around Usama bin Laden raid, through the raid.


DALEY: So, there's a role to be played but it all depends on what the president wants that role to be. When President-elect Trump announced Reince Priebus and Bannon, he said they were coequals. What does that mean? How does that work?

President Reagan had three chiefs-of-staff at the very beginning. He had Meese, Deaver and Jim Baker. Now, that changed over time because Meese went on to be attorney general, Deaver took a lesser role, and Baker became a strong chief-of-staff.

But it really is reflective of the president. Is he going to put a lot of power into the chief-of-staff and designate that person to be his eyes and ears and spokesperson in many ways. So, it remains to be seen really how that works.

BARTIROMO: We know that like the chief-of-staff, the national security advisor, Michael Flynn, who was offered that role, is not needed for Senate confirmation, but for attorney general, Jeff Sessions, for CIA director, Mike Pompeo that requires Senate confirmation.

Your thoughts on --

DALEY: Big difference, obviously. The president can put whoever he wants in the White House and there's no review. There's disclosure requirements and you get a sense of the wealth at least of people who are in the White House from the disclosure.

Those that go for nomination to the Senate, you -- and part of the problem right now for the president-elect's team is, you've got to really vet these people because once you nominate somebody, then you're out in the public with him or her and you have to defend that person. And they go through what can be a very difficult cycle through the nomination and approval process by the Senate.

And there are generally one nominee for a Cabinet spot who gets caught in the buzz saw and ends up being the target that the anti-forces go after and stop. It remains to be seen who that may be in president-elect's Cabinet.

BARTIROMO: Any surprises from your standpoint? Were you surprise there was an outreach to Mitt Romney?

DALEY: That was surprising.

BARTIROMO: Obviously, a meeting this weekend.

DALEY: Yes. Now, it remains to be seen whether he gets something or whether it's just an outreach, which is positive obviously. I think the president-elect trying to send a message that bygones be bygones. I'm going to reach out to people. I think it's the flip side of sort of look like retribution on Christie and his allies, so there's a reaching out and a stomping on somebody. So I was surprised by it.

Romney was so, so tough on a personal sense on the president-elect.

BARTIROMO: He really was. That's why supporters, Trump supporters are questioning what is he doing?

DALEY: Well, this is the balance he's got to be. He's got to get his supporters or his base, whatever that may be, satisfied. I think Bannon addresses that to some degree. And then balance all these forces.

He ran, as you know, to get the Republican as much as he ran against the Democratic Party and they are in control of the House and Senate and he's got to negotiate with him. Do they view him as, OK, we'll pass what we want and then he'll sign it because he's the Republican, or is the president-elect going to say to them, no, no, no, it's my ideas that you'll follow, not yours?


DALEY: Like on trade and other economic issues. As you said Paul Ryan is closely aligned on the economic side with President-elect Trump. We'll see whether the Senate is.

BARTIROMO: Real quick on Mike Pence. A lot of discussion about he's going to be very active like a Dick Cheney active as opposed to past vice presidents.

Your thoughts on Mike Pence?

DALEY: Well, first of all, how did that work out with Cheney and Bush?  Not so well in some people's opinions.

I think if Mike Pence understands Washington, which President-elect Donald Trump doesn't yet, and I think that's a major attribute. I think he will be a very powerful vice president, and I think that's a good thing for the president-elect and a good thing for the country.

BARTIROMO: Bill, good to see you.

DALEY: Good.

BARTIROMO: Thank you so much for joining us.

DALEY: Thank you.

BARTIROMO: Bill Daley there.

Top Democrats are expressing concern about Senator's Jeff Sessions nomination as attorney general. Two men who have served in the position themselves we'll weigh in on Mr. Trump's choice coming up next, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."

Back in a moment with John Ashcroft and Michael Mukasey.


BARTIROMO: Welcome back.

Top Democrats calling on the Senate to reject the nomination of Jeff Sessions as attorney general. President-elect Donald Trump tapping the Alabama senator for the role in his first round of Cabinet picks. Critics are now questioning Sessions' civil rights record, pointing to testimony from the 1980s that suggested he may have made racially insensitive remarks.

With me now, Judge Michael Mukasey and John Ashcroft, both serving as U.S. attorneys general.

Good to see you both. Thank you so much for joining.


JOHN ASHCROFT, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERALK: Good morning to you, Maria. And good morning to Mike. Mike, nice to be with you again.

MUKASEY: Good morning.

BARTIROMO: Great to have such an esteemed grouped here, your honors.

Let me ask you about these attacks on Jeff Sessions, first off. There's a piece from Byron York in the Washington Times, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is Democrats' nightmare. What is your take, Judge, in terms of what the left and the media are doing in terms of attacking Jeff Sessions right now?

MUKASEY: Well, I think they're in the business of conjuring up nightmares and this is part of an effort to delegitimize President-elect's Trump administration and they picked Jeff Sessions as the first target. To the left, it's -- he's from the south, he's from Alabama.

In fact, when he was coming up politically, he campaigned against George Wallace as a young Alabama Republican. So, these attacks are totally unjustified.

BARTIROMO: They're not justified. Will they impact his confirmation hearings?

MUKASEY: I think they will impact them in the sense you will hear about them but I think he'll be confirmed and I think it will be to the discredit of anybody who joins in that sort of thing.

BARTIROMO: Judge Ashcroft, what do you think? How do you see it?

ASHCROFT: Well, this is sort of the equivalent of a political drive by assassination attempt. It has to be that -- it has to be done from a speeding vehicle, because there's no truth in these. These are false accusations. They were false 30 years ago, and examination of the facts shows that they were false.

I've personally known Jeff for over two decades, worked with them in the United States Senate, I campaigned for him when he was attorney general of Alabama. I have -- I have no doubt whatsoever that his fundamental awareness of America is that we all stand equally before the law and he is for equity and fairness for every American.

And if you look behind all the rhetoric of 30 years ago, it was simply false. It was misstatement. It was things that were suggested when he prosecuted individuals who were African-Americans. Those were for crimes against African-Americans, the high profile cases.

When he investigated voter fraud, it was at the instigation of county executive who was an African-American person and the grand jury chairman or foreman that prompted these investigations was an African-American person and the people who complained that their votes had been changed, they were African-Americans. He was enforcing the rights of the African-American community. He was sustaining their liberty. He wasn't undermining it.

Jeff Sessions is a solid individual who believes in the equity of every American standing equally in dignity before the law.

BARTIROMO: And he's also one of the most esteemed if not the most informed individuals on immigration policy. And he's written so much about it in the Senate.

I want to ask you about that, because apparently there are so many laws on the books that were passed by bipartisan majorities in Congress that the president just stopped enforcing provisions of the law, that he did not like. Laws providing for the deportation of people who entered the U.S. illegally, for the deportation of people who entered the U.S. illegally and later committed crimes.

Why haven't these laws been followed?

MUKASEY: Well, I think there's been a policy by the current administration to relax enforcement of immigration laws and that played a large part in the campaign that resulted in the election of President-elect Trump. I think that -- somebody's got to study there's more than 75 separate practices and regulations and procedures that could be changed by the incoming administration without the need for legislation that would result in toughening up immigration reform.


MUKASEY: They can enforce bans on employers employing undocumented aliens.  They can start enforcing the laws provided for deportation of people who commit crimes. The administration currently has a standard in which you virtually have to committee a mass murder in order to get deported.

BARTIROMO: Which brings me to a broader issue, Judge Ashcroft, and I want to your take on that, why these laws have not been followed and also, how tough will it be to reverse the politicizing that we've seen in so many of these government agencies. I mean, whether it be the targeting of conservatives by the IRS or the Department of Justice trying to stop an investigation by the FBI of the Clinton Foundation.

Talk to us about Obama and Eric Holder's Department of Justice and how do reverse what has gone on in these last several years?

ASHCROFT: From my perspective, one of the tragedies of the last several years is the devaluation and the debasement of the rule of law, and the president has really set the tone here. When he disagreed with his own policy on ObamaCare, he didn't go back to the Congress to get the law changed. He just by executive fiat ordered the change in the way the law was to be administered and handled.

When he disagreed with the immigration policy, he decided that he would change the law by telling people not to enforce it and Mike's very generous in saying that there's been a relaxation in enforcement. There's been an order against enforcing certain elements of the immigration law. And whenever we indicate that we are going to repudiate the law, we're not going to enforce it and we do it unilaterally at the presidential level, it's a serious devaluation of the whole principle.

I believed a number of good, well-meaning individuals in the Justice Department, I can't speak for other departments, but I think it would be the same in other places will welcome the idea that they have a chance to actually enforce the law in the way that they took an oath to enforce it when they took public office.

So, I believe there will be -- perhaps not a standing ovation, but there will be a substantial welcome in the number of departments, of people who feel an obligation to leave up to their oath of office and believe that they want to rule -- live by the rule of law rather than by the arbitrary suspension of the rule or so-called relaxation of the rule by the chief executive.

BARTIROMO: Right, right. Which is why I asked, how tough will it be to reverse the mentality that has been created in the Department of Justice?

ASHCROFT: Well, my view is that there will be a significant welcome.  They'll be a welcome in the FBI for aggressive prosecutions for those who violate the law. They'll be a welcome for people in the Justice Department for prosecuting violators.

Of course, when it comes to immigration, there's a shared responsibility.


ASHCROFT: When I first became attorney general, the Immigration and Naturalization Service as it was then called was in the Justice Department.  But it will take cooperation from individuals in the Department of Homeland Security. I'm sure there's significant awareness in those departments.

As a matter of fact, most of the agents and organizations of those departments were very eager for the Trump campaign to succeed.


So, they want to get back to honesty and protecting the law.

Real quick before you both go, I know the investigations into the Clinton Foundation are continuing. And will continue as president-elect becomes President Trump. Do you think President Obama should pardon Hillary Clinton? What do you think about where these investigations go and what about the president's pardoning her?

Mike Mukasey first.

MUKASEY: I think that would be a bad idea. I think there ought to be a top to bottom review of what happened there both with respect to the e- mails and with respect to the foundation and with respect to the investigation. There ought to be a complete review. The story ought to be told.

They can then decide whether prosecution is warranted or not, but there needs to be a full accounting first.

BARTIROMO: What do you think, John Ashcroft?

ASHCROFT: Well, first of all, these are very different situations and the e-mail situation has at least facially been investigated thoroughly, the FBI Director Comey has indicated that he has had a strong and significant look at that and he came to a conclusion, but the -- what I understand are ongoing investigations of a variety of other issues by as many as four or five U.S. attorneys related to the Clinton Foundation, I think those obviously deserve continuity and the American people expect thorough investigation and then the kind of assessment that General Mukasey has indicated is appropriate.


ASHCROFT: And we have to learn to call a crime a crime, and if there has been a crime, we'll have to decide, is this the kind of thing that really merits prosecution?

BARTIROMO: Yes, incredible insight from you both. Mr. Attorneys General, thank you so much. We appreciate your time this morning. Thank you very much, Judge Michael Mukasey and Judge John Ashcroft. We'll see you soon, sir.

Will that happen to ObamaCare in the New Year? We will talk with two former secretaries of health and human services, next.


BARTIROMO: On to ObamaCare. What is next for the health care legislation?

Joining me now in an exclusive interview with former governors, Kathleen Sebelius and Mike Leavitt, joining us right now who both served as secretary of health and human services.

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



BARTIROMO: So, a real debate around ObamaCare. I had a pretty feisty conversation with Jonathan Gruber last week on my FOX Business network program about the merits and upsets over ObamaCare.

Let me ask you about the expense of it first, Secretary Sebelius, because we know that the prices of premiums are going up in 2017. What is wrong with ObamaCare and how would you change it?

SEBELIUS: Well, I don't think there's any question, Maria -- everybody, whether they're buying insurance through the marketplace or looking at their employer coverage would like costs to come down and I think there has been some progress in overall health spending in America, lowest inflationary increases we've ever seen in this country, been tracking year and year out.

But costs need to come down. Some of that is about competition. We need more competition in the marketplaces. Some of it is that there are individuals who don't have an employer paying a share of their coverage and so, they're paying 100 percent. They don't qualify for subsidies and they find insurance very expensive.

So, I think there are a variety of fixes. But to me the worst of all worlds is just to again leave people on their own, trying to fight with insurance companies who want to medically underwrite folks in the individual market and can raise prices or lock people out any way they want.

BARTIROMO: Governor Leavitt, how do you see it?

LEAVITT: I think that very clear that there is a widely held aspiration for all Americans to have health insurance but the Affordable Care Act turns out to be more government than people want in terms of their health care. It's also more money than the country can afford to spend and frankly there are some system needs that need to be changed. And I think the Republicans have made it very clear for three election cycles in a row that they want significant changes to be made and I think it's clear from the outcome of this election that the people want that as well.

BARTIROMO: Partly because of what Secretary Sebelius just said. They don't have competition. They don't have the option. The whole idea of if you can keep your doctor, if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor, that wasn't true. That didn't turn out to be true.

And then you've got all of these hikes in premiums. So, can you change the law but leave the things that are working?

SEBELIUS: I would just say -- sorry.


BARTIROMO: Go ahead, Governor Leavitt.

SEBELIUS: Mike, go ahead.

LEAVITT: The Republicans have made very clear that they intend to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.


LEAVITT: Now, what the definition of repeal and the definition of replace will be something that comes out through the course of the legislative process but I have no doubt that there will be substantial changes and there will be some things as the president-elect has made clear that will remain, that would have been done by Republicans if it had been a bipartisan bill in the first place.

BARTIROMO: Secretary Sebelius?

SEBELIUS: Well, I think that we haven't seen in the six and a half years since the president signed the law, any realistic replacement and I think that's where the details will be. I totally agree with Mike that most Americans feel everyone should have health care, most American feel costs are too high and I'm eager to see what is the proposal to make sure that 20 million people who now have insurance coverage don't lose it once again, that we have providers able to be paid for the services they're delivering, that people have access to preventative care.

And if there are better alternatives to do that, as President Obama has said year in and year out, come forward. But just to lock people out of coverage or put everyone who might have a preexisting condition, which is about a third of the country in some sort of high risk pool, I don't think is a viable alternative. But I'm eager to see what happens and if we can all start with the process that everyone should have health care at the most affordable place possible, that's a great place to start.

BARTIROMO: This is the starting conversation that's for sure. But there will be more. I hope you'll join me again, both of you, to talk more about this. It's a really important subject and it's been a real value to have you both here this morning. Thank you so much, Kathleen Sebelius and Mike Leavitt.

We'll be right back.


BARTIROMO: Welcome back.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence making a visit to Capitol Hill this week.  Pence could be a crucial link between Congress and the president-elect, Donald Trump.

Joining me right now in Indiana Congressman Luke Messer.

Congressman, good to see you. Thanks very much for joining us.

REP. LUKE MESSER, R-IND.: Hi, Maria. Great to be on.

BARTIROMO: Talk to us about how you will be dealing with the President-elect and how easy it will be to get legislation through with the new team in place.

MESSER: Well, Mike Pence came in and obviously he's a great bridge to our House Republican conference. He's considered a person of integrity, great knowledge of the issues and maybe most importantly, people just like Mike Pence, and Mike Pence is the kind of person that likes them back.

So, I think that bridge will be great for this president.

BARTIROMO: So, what do you think should be the priorities? What are you looking forward to in terms of voting for -- in terms of the priorities once 2017 kicks off and the new president is in place?

MESSER: Well, Donald Trump is a man of action. We've already gotten the instructions that we better buckle our seatbelts and get ready for action.  I think the road map will be Donald Trump's promises on the campaign trail.

So, you will see us right away to get active on border security, on repealing ObamaCare, on developing a robust infrastructure plan, and then the hard work of restructuring the tax code and trying to shrink the size of government.

But I think Donald Trump is going to start with the projections that he made on the campaign trail.

BARTIROMO: Well, already though, you've got attacks coming from the left about, for example, Jeff Sessions and his background and whether or not that's appropriate for the attorney general. So, how tough will these confirmation hearings be?

MESSER: Well, they'll be tough but I think the beginning announcements from the Trump administration should make every American feel good. We've got strong and capable people coming forward.

Jeff Sessions has a remarkable background as an attorney before he came to Washington. I suspect he'll get a fair shake in the Senate and when he gets that shake I believe he'll be confirmed.

And then we'll move on to the other appointments that obviously will come with any transition into a new government.

BARTIROMO: What do you want to see out of Donald Trump and Mike Pence?

MESSER: Well, I mean, we need to deliver on those promises. But, you know, most importantly we've got to restore the American people's trust in the system. We can survive policy mistakes as a nation but we can't survive a loss of trust and faith in the system.

I think the American people spoke loudly on Election Day. They want their government to work and we need to deliver that for them.

BARTIROMO: And knowing that the Republicans are in the majority in both houses, the House and Senate, do you think it will be easy to get things through the Congress and passed or do you think we will see challenge on some of his proposals?

MESSER: Well, Maria, nothing is going to be easy. We're going to have to roll up our sleeves and get to work on the details. Ultimately though I believe in the American people, and the American people want change.  That's what they voted for on election night. They want a Washington that works.

And I think frankly, anybody that stands in the way of common sense proposals on infrastructure, securing our border and the like is going to have a hard time defeating them. It won't be easy but I think we'll get it done.

BARTIROMO: Congressman, it's great to see you today. Thanks so much for joining us.

MESSER: Thanks, Maria.

BARTIROMO: We will see you soon.

Congressman Luke Messer there.

That will do it for us this morning on "Sunday Morning Futures". Thank you so much for joining us.

I will be back tomorrow morning on the Fox Business Network for "Mornings with Maria" 6:00 to 9:00 a.m. Eastern on the Fox Business Network. Find the Fox Business Network in your area and I'll see you then.

Stay with Fox News right now. "MediaBuzz" is up next after this short break. Have a great Sunday, everybody.

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