SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES

Secretary of VA on how budget increase would be used; Eric Trump on how Trump Organization has changed

Sec. David Shulkin discusses his plans on 'Sunday Morning Futures'

 

This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," March 19, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST: Good Sunday morning.

A big week ahead in Washington. On Monday, two highly anticipated hearings on Russia's election meddling and President Trump's Supreme Court nominee.  On Thursday, lawmakers expected to vote on the GOP's plan to repeal ObamaCare.

Good morning, everyone. I'm Maria Bartiromo. Thanks for joining us. This is "Sunday Morning Futures".

President Trump expressing confidence about repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. But as the House gets set to vote on Thursday, can they get conservatives onboard? House GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers joins us momentarily.

Plus, Democrats say that they are skeptical of President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Will they try to block his confirmation? The hearings begin Monday.

And, an exclusive interview this Sunday morning with Eric Trump on his relationship with his father and how his business has changed since President Trump began office.

We are looking ahead right now on "Sunday Morning Futures".

(MUSIC)

BARTIROMO: Get ready for a blockbuster week on Capitol Hill this upcoming week. Hanging in the balance, the future of health care in America, as the Republican's plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare could hit the House floor this Thursday, now the push is on for GOP leaders to round up every yes vote they can if they hope to get their bill passed on and sent onto Senate.

In an exclusive interview with Jesse Watters, President Trump sounded very confident.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We're going to get something done. I think it's going to be terrific and it's going to be so much better than ObamaCare, which really doesn't exist because if you allow it to exist for another year, it's going to implode.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BARTIROMO: Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers chairs the House Republican Conference and sits on the House Energy Committee. She joins us right now.

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

REP. CATHY MCMORRIS RODGERS, R-WA., HOUSE REPUBLICAN CONFERENCE CHAIR:  Thank you.

BARTIROMO: I saw a sound bite of the president over the weekend, basically saying there was a meeting on Friday. He said, I just came out of a meeting, there were 12 noes going into the meeting, and now they're all yeses.

Can you give us some color on that meeting? Were you able to flip conservative Republicans to say, yes, to the House GOP healthcare plan?

MCMORRIS RODGERS: Clearly, President Trump views -- recognizes that we are moving in the right direction and these members after spending time with President Trump had more confidence that we are on a mission, a mission critical to this country to ensure that everyone has better healthcare future than they to right now for every person. And as far as the details of that meeting, I think what I've understand is that some of the provisions related to Medicaid reform, for example, that the conservative wanted to see a work requirement, at least on option for the states to have a work requirement for Medicaid.

And those are the kind of reforms that I think we need to have. This is all along been a very open transparent process. We are listening to people. We are in the Energy and Commerce Committee last week, Ways and Means and Budget. And now, we are moving to the floor.

But every step of the way, we have been listening and perfecting this bill.

BARTIROMO: So, you think this bill will go to the House floor on Thursday, and you think you will clear the vote so that you could send it on to the Senate?

MCMORRIS RODGERS: We are definitely moving in the right direction. Not doing anything is not an option.

You look at what we are facing in 2017 in the current path under ObamaCare.  It's projected that premiums will increase 25 percent on average across the country. We know right now, one out of three counties only has one plan available. Those networks are closing.

So, we must take action. The Republicans have long been united around the goal of repealing and replacing ObamaCare. We believe that that is the way that we ensure a better future, better health care future for everyone in this country. This is our opportunity, this is our time to act and we must act.

BARTIROMO: So, what changes did you make with regards to the Medicaid because this is obviously the area where Paul -- Rand Paul and his colleagues say, look, this is too much of a government giveaway? What changes did you make to flip those 12 conservatives?

MCMORRIS RODGERS: We are making reforms to Medicaid, first time in 52 years, now. And I think it's important to recognize that Medicaid is a very important safety net. It is intended for some of our most vulnerable -- those with disabilities, low-income pregnant women and children, seniors.

What Obama did was expand Medicaid to able-bodied adults. When you looked at who signed up, it was largely these able-bodied adults that under ObamaCare didn't have any other option. Millions of Americans who liked their healthcare plan were forced on to Medicaid, were forced on to the exchanges.

And so, we are working to empower the states to best structure Medicaid.  And so, some of the details are, how we responsibly unwind Medicaid? What is that way to deal with those that were part of the expansion population?  And we are ensuring that they are protected and that they won't have the rug pulled out from underneath them.

But we want to return it to the states, we want to give the states the opportunity to structure the program in that's best way going to meet the needs of the individuals and families in those states, most in need.

BARTIROMO: Yes, you make a great point, and that, if course, what Paul Ryan told us last week when he joined me on the morning show, "Mornings with Maria" on the Fox Business Network, and what I asked him was, OK, that's fine, but at the same time, you've been talking about a full repeal and replace, why is it so difficult to just do away with ObamaCare and start fresh which really what your colleagues want to do?

Take a listen to what Paul Ryan told us last week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARTIROMO: Was it just too difficult to just throw it all away and do a full repeal and come up with a full replacement?

REP. PAUL RYAN, R-WIS., SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: First of all, we don't have the full votes for just the full repeal because so many of our members and the president included said repeal and replace. If we just did a repeal with reconciliation, meaning 51 votes and not replace, then we wouldn't be able to get a replace passed because they can filibuster a replace.

So, the promise that was made to voters by everybody running for a House, Senate and president was, we will repeal and replace. And so, we are using the budget tools that we have in the Senate to do repeal and replace.

Remember, Maria, this is why we have a three-part process. If we could put everything we wanted into this one bill and have it vote on with 51 votes in the Senate, we would do that. But because of the Senate rules and how narrow they are to do what we call reconciliation, you can't put everything you want in that bill, like say interstate shopping across state lines.

And so, this bill is what we can pass through reconciliation, which effectively repeals and replaces the law. It's a very good start. It's actually an excellent start. It's the plan that we did right last year that we did rein on last year.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCMORRIS RODGERS: Uh-huh.

BARTIROMO: But, Congressman, what's plan B? I mean, if you don't get the necessary votes, the stakes are so high, this backs up everything else. This backs up tax reform. It backs up all of the president's priorities.

MCMORRIS RODGERS: This is a time for action and I am confident that we will come together. This is a shared goal that we have long held as Republicans to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

I think it's important to review back in 2009 when the Affordable Care Act was passed, it passed the House and then it went over to the Senate on Christmas Eve. They mustered up 60 votes to get the Affordable Care Act passed through the Senate.

And then they lost, Senator Kennedy passed away and we won that seat.  Senator Brown was elected. They no longer had 60 votes in the Senate, and then they did the rest of the Affordable Care Act through reconciliation.

What we have proposed is a path that will repeal and replace ObamaCare. We start with the bill that we put on the president's desk last year that President Obama vetoed. So, that is the repeal bill of ObamaCare, and then we add to it the transition items that are going to make for a smooth transition and we are adding the tax credits, the Medicaid reform, the expansion of health savings accounts, and then, phase two is what they can do in the administration under Secretary Tom Price, the deregulation.

There's over 1,400 provisions within the Affordable Care Act where the administration did the details and actually wrote the rules and regulations and Tom Price is going to review all of that. And then, phase three is what will require 60 votes in the Senate, and those are the policy items like across state lines. Association health plans.

Other bipartisan healthcare policy that we will be able to figure out how to we get to 60 votes and get it on to the president's desk.

BARTIROMO: All right. We are all watching with bated breath, Congresswoman. We'll be watching this big agenda that you are efforting in 2017. Thanks so much for joining us this morning.

MCMORRIS RODGERS: Thanks for having me.

BARTIROMO: We'll be watching Thursday as well. Thank you, Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

The Trump administration going right back at one of the first states to block the president's revised travel ban. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich next on the Justice Department's obstruction and objection to Hawaii's pushback.

You can follow me on Twitter @MariaBartiromo, @SundayFutures. Let us know what you'd like to hear from Newt Gingrich and Secretary Shulkin from the V.A. coming up.

Stay us with. We are looking ahead right now on "Sunday Morning Futures".

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Welcome back.

The Department of Justice is asking a federal judge in Hawaii to narrow the temporary restraining order he issued last week blocking key parts of President Trump's new travel ban. They say it should focus only on Mr. Trump's attempt to put a 90-day hold on citizens traveling from six majority Muslim countries, instead of sweeping in several other aspects of the executive order.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich joins us now to talk more about it.

Good to see you, Speaker. Thank you very much.

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Good to be with you.

BARTIROMO: What do you think about this? Now Hawaii.

GINGRICH: Well, look, they are going to shop around and find a judge who is sufficiently liberal that they have a good chance of getting what they want. But if you read his ruling, it's crazy. He essentially makes an assertion that if you have any people in our country who came from the country that's named, that you've extended constitutional rights to that country. So, noncitizens suddenly have all the protections of the U.S. Constitution.

Well, since we have people from every country in the planet, if you extended his reasoning, he would have extended constitutional protections to everybody in the entire planet. I mean, it's an example of a totally irresponsible judge living out his ideology with the power of the court without responsibility.

He's not responsible if something bad happens. The president of the United States is. It's a terrible ruling.

BARTIROMO: Yes. The other thing is that they are looking at comments or remarks that he made on the campaign trail and looking at those statements as what he's going to do rather than actually looking at what he has proposed to doing. Does that start a new precedent about looking at what anybody said at any time?

GINGRICH: Well, just as former Justice Scalia used to say, you know, in case after case, the courts were just making up the law. The courts are imposing their personal views, their personal prejudice, their personal political judgments. Judges are supposed to interpret the law.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

GINGRICH: The Congress and the president are supposed to make the law.  The judge is supposed to interpret it. All -- we have now had a legal elitism where they think that lawyers are allowed to be one-man constitutional conventions. That's what happened in Hawaii.

BARTIROMO: Let me switch gears and asked you about some of the other newsier events this weekend. Obviously, Steven Mnuchin, treasury secretary, just back from the G-20 meeting. And then on Friday, the president had a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The pictures, I don't know what you thought about this meeting. I mean, the president tweeted out and saying, look, you know, despite what you heard from fake news, we had a great meeting but then he went onto basically say Germany is not paying their fair share when it comes to NATO.

(LAUGHTER)

BARTIROMO: So, it was a mixed -- I don't know. How did you view this meeting?

GINGRICH: Well, let me just say that, first of all, that one of the sad things about the week that the president went to Nashville to celebrate 250th anniversary of the birth of Andrew Jackson, gave I think a very, very important speech, maybe the most important speech since his joint session address in which he compared himself to Andrew Jackson and it's unfortunate the news media doesn't pay more attention to that because it would also relate to what happened with Merkel.

The fact is that President Trump is going to be like Andrew Jackson, an intensely American president. He's going to represent American values, American interests, to our credit, Chancellor Merkel is very German, and she's going to defend German interest and German values.

The fact is they probably had a pretty frigid meeting. They might be pleasant personally but she has one set of views, he has a very different set of views. They're both very tough people. She's been in power a long time and I think the pictures tell you about reality.

They are able to talk with each other. They don't agree. Germany does not pay its fair share. They are not as -- this is the biggest economy in Europe.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

GINGRICH: They ought to be carrying their fair share in the cost of NATO.  They don't.

BARTIROMO: Yes, I agree with you. It looked like it was frigid.

But you're right, you know? And she's letting all of these refugees and he was very vocal over the last couple of years in terms of what that did for Europe, and we'll see how some of these races go. I mean, obviously, the Netherlands did not go all the way to the right. But France is on the horizon, and we've got an election there to watch to see if populism takes hold.

And that leads me to the next story, and that is Steven Mnuchin, the treasury secretary, at the G20 this weekend. You know, they had a debate on how to say their language. All of the ministers, they never really have a debate. They agree on one statement and they put it out for the statement, but this time, they did have a debate because Steven Mnuchin kept saying the trade laws currently are not fair to America. So, no, take the word open out, take this word out, we want fair trade as well as free trade -- which is what he told us actually on this program a couple of weeks ago.

GINGRICH: Well, and it's very parallel to what Secretary of State Tillerson has said about the U.N. Human Rights Commission, that if it doesn't get its act together, we're going to pull out because we are not going to tolerate dictators and anti-Semitics, focusing on Israel and being totally one-sided.

Similarly, we are saying to the world, and of course, the world doesn't like it. We're saying to the world, look, the 70-year-long process of being able to rely on American generosity is over. We are now going to protect our economic interest in a way that we have not since World War II.  And this is a huge change.

Well, if you're one of the countries that's doing just great because the U.S. has been stupid and the United States gets smart, it kind of irritates you and frightens you and that literally all across the planet. You're seeing countries who are suddenly, what, you mean the American president is actually going to defend the American economy, why, that's cheating?  They're supposed to have an open door so we can sell everything we want to.

By the way, none of these countries have open doors for us, as any business that tries to invest themselves will tell you.

BARTIROMO: Yes. We'll see about how it will all plays out, but they are making their positions very clear across the world.

Newt, good -- always good to see you. Thanks so much.

GINGRICH: Good to see you.

BARTIROMO: Newt Gingrich joining us there.

I want to take a short break. When we come back, taking care of those who defend our freedom. The Veterans Administration, one of the few agencies that is expecting increase under President Trump's budget proposal for the V.A. We are going to talk to the V.A. Secretary David Shulkin, next, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures".

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Welcome back.

President Trump unveiling first budget last week and living up to his campaign promise to increase for America's veterans, especially their health care at V.A. hospitals. The Defense and Homeland Security Departments, as well as Veterans Affairs seeing the biggest increase in spending in the president's budget. With the State Department, EPA and Health and Human Services among those taking the biggest hits, would decline in budget spending.

Joining us right now is David Shulkin. He is the secretary of veterans affairs.

And, Secretary Shulkin, it's good to see you again. Thanks so much for joining us.

DAVID SHULKIN, SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS: Good morning, Maria.

BARTIROMO: Characterize for us the budget increase that you've heard from the president and how you're expect to go allocate that new money coming in?

SHULKIN: Well, I think what we have seen is a commitment of the president to make sure that we have the resources necessary to care for this country's veterans and he came through with that commitment. So, we are very pleased that we have those resources available to make sure that we're providing those services to the poem that deserve it the most.

BARTIROMO: So, where is the biggest need, then, Secretary Shulkin? I mean, how would you distribute the money? What would you do with increase in money should this budget pass?

SHULKIN: I think about it three ways, Maria. First of all, we are looking to modernize the system to make sure that this is the very best care available. That means investments in technology, investments in the types of systems that our people rely upon to treat our veterans.

Secondly, we do have a big need for additional healthcare professionals, particularly in rural parts of the country. We are looking for approximately 40,000 professionals to join in the V.A. to make sure that we are providing that care, a lot of them in the mental health area.

And third, we are looking to expand the ability for our veterans to go into the community into private health care wherever they can find the very best health care possible.

BARTIROMO: Yes. And, you know, a lot of people think you have the goods to do that because you've been there. You've got 100 percent approval during your confirmation and you are also the only person in the cabinet who actually has also served under President Obama. So, a lot of buy in for your leadership. Congratulations to you for that.

Do you expect that is enough? Do you think that what you heard from the president in terms of how he's budgeting the Veterans Affairs, will this do the trick?

SHULKIN: Well, I do think that we now have the resource that is we need to make sure that we get the system right for our veterans.

In terms to the support from Congress for my confirmation, it's really a reflection of the way the country feels about taking care of our veterans.  This is an issue that's not partisan. This is an issue that everybody agrees upon. There are veterans, those who have defended us and left to go and to make sure that whatever their personal needs are, that they put the country first. They deserve the very best. And so, I'm going to make sure as secretary that they get that.

BARTIROMO: You know, earlier, we spoke with Kevin Brady, the head of House Ways and Means Committee on the Fox Business Network and I asked him about all of the noise around this agenda. I mean, you've got your agenda, the president comes out with a budget. But is what we are reading about, whether it be the wiretapping, other things, creating distraction in terms of executing this budget?

Let's take a listen to what Kevin Brady told me this week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARTIROMO: There's so much riding on this. You know that, the American people know that, the markets know that with a 15 percent rally since Election Day. What's plan B if this plan doesn't fly?

REP. KEVIN BRADY, R-TEXAS, HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: It will fly and here is why, we know the restoring control back to states can lower health care in a major way for people. We also know that ObamaCare is a sinking ship. It's going to take a lot of good Americans with it. So, we know that we have to act now to create this transition, to give people these choices. And we also know this, we need to finish health care right so that we can pass a budget, clear the decks for tax return.

BARTIROMO: You've got all the other things, noise, if you will, around wiretapping claims and the House and Senate Intel Committees coming out and saying, "We don't have evidence." And then you've got Sean Spicer and his briefings, defending all of this stuff every day.

Congressman, how much of a distraction is all of this stuff to you implementing this agenda?

BRADY: The answer is not too much. And here's why, look, the goal in Washington, it seems up here, is to distract the president the moment they get into office. And I can tell you this, from my meetings with President Trump and his team, what they are focused, getting this repeal and replace right, getting security right, and getting tax reform right this year.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BARTIROMO: Secretary Shulkin, is that how you see it?

SHULKIN: I do see it that way. We're not going to be distracted by these issues. We are going make sure that we stay focus on getting our system fixed for our veterans.

BARTIROMO: All right. We will leave it there. Secretary, good to see you. Thanks so much for joining us this morning.

SHULKIN: Thank you.

BARTIROMO: Secretary David Shulkin joining us.

Up next, Eric Trump talks business.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARTIROMO: What I want to know and I think what our viewers want to know is, are you a buyer or seller because people don't know where the real estate market is going right now?

ERIC TRUMP, SON OF PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I think in every market, you have a little hem and haw. But, you know, the great thing about being at 21,000 in terms of stock market is, hey, that's a really, really good thing. There's a lot of discretionary income out there and I think real estates is going to continue to do really nice and I think the market is right up. I think, you know, real estate will continue to increase.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BARTIROMO: My exclusive interview with Eric Trump as we look ahead right here in "Sunday Morning Futures".

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Welcome back.

Up close and personal with Eric Trump. I spoke with the president's son in an exclusive interview this past week, touching on everything from his relationship with his father, to the state of the Trump Organization today, and the ongoing controversy about Russia.

Starting off, I asked him if he takes the criticism and obstructionism from the left personally.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

E. TRUMP: You want to protect your family. You want to protect somebody that you love and so, I think you take it personally. I think now, if we took everything personally, you would end up jumping out the window behind you. I mean, you literally couldn't it. And so, you have to have a thick armor.

But you also have to realize that that's the nature of the beast.  Unfortunately, unfortunately, when you become a politician, immediately, 50 percent of the people love you and 50 percent probably hate you. We have a very divided political system and he can really change that over the next couple of years but that's a reality of politics.

So, if you take it too personally, I just -- I don't think you would sleep at night. I think you wouldn't be productive, you certainly wouldn't endure yourself, you just would be a miserable person. So, I think you have to let it roll off your shoulders.

BARTIROMO: You and your brother running the Trump Organization right now.  How do you often do you speak to your father?

E. TRUMP: Yes. I speak with the father, and, you know, I speak to him a decent amount. But we do keep perfect separation of church and state. It was something that was incredibly importantly to him, it's something that's incredibly importantly to me.

And just from a practical standpoint -- I mean, he's got the biggest job in the world, Maria. I mean, he's got the biggest job in the world. You see what they're talking about in terms of lowering taxes. You see what they're talking about in terms of, you know, border security, you know, building the wall, rebuilding our military, the amount of money that he's cutting out of, you know, the budgets every single year and the waste he's trying to curve, et cetera.

I mean, these are the biggest things in the world. These are billions and billions and trillions of dollars worth of deals and we are a great company. But quite frankly he's got much bigger fish to fry, so we are back in New York and believe me, I will always be his biggest cheerleader.  But we're taking great care of the money, and he's going to take great care of this country. And it's a right combination.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

E. TRUMP: But I miss him honestly. I miss him. He used to always send down these great little notes on a piece of paper. You know, he'd see a newspaper article, hey, great job with this. You know, this project is going to be amazing. And, you know, you miss seeing those notes.

But at the same time, you know, you just look at the magnitude of the things he's trying to accomplish, just to better the lives of you and me and all Americans and, you know, the next generation of Americans and everybody else and it's incredibly special.

BARTIROMO: How have things changed for you?

E. TRUMP: Yes. Well, we have an amazing company. I mean, we've really focused on buying the best assets around the U.S. and really around the world, the best hotels, the best golf courses, you know, commercial buildings, residential buildings, wineries, et cetera, et cetera. And we really have an amazing portfolio, we focus on the very high-end of the market, really in five-star space and it's been fantastic, and we have an amazing company and we have quite frankly an amazing brand. You know, a brand that stands for quality, luxury, and, you know, iconic properties.

But, you know, it's changed. We've also, in the light of politics, we said, hey, listen, we're not going expand anymore internationally. We are not going to do any new international projects. That was a big piece of what we did. I mean, that's big piece of what I did and Don did and Ivanka did when she was in the company. And it's sort of certainly changed, but it's also the right thing to do.

BARTIROMO: How do you identify what the next growth spot is?

E. TRUMP: Yes, I think it's gut. I think it's intuition. I think there's certain leading factors that go into it, but, you know, you see place, and you see places that are reducing taxes, they're trying to incentivize businesses to come in and those are always the places that do immensely well.

I mean, look at Florida. Florida is a perfectly example. Look how well the state has done. Why have they have done well? Because they have low taxes, they've got an incredible quality of life. Real estate prices weren't astronomical, meaning you could move from a state like New York into Florida. You got much bigger bang for the buck, et cetera, et cetera.

And all of a sudden, you see a growth explosion in Florida and it was because of those factors. They were pro-business. They were pro, you know, they were pro-quality of life. They were pro-infrastructure. They did a lot of things right.

And I think you're seeing that right now in a lot of markets in Texas. You certainly saw that in North Carolina and South Carolina and other state that is really grew massively. And, you know, I think a lot of the states that aren't focused on the priorities, reducing taxes, fiscal responsibility, quality of life, et cetera, I think quite frankly they've been losing a lot of their tax base and that's very, very sad.

BARTIROMO: How do you think about doing business globally at the same time as the president, your father, is thinking about securing borders and putting America first and the globe second?

E. TRUMP: Well, listen, I don't think one and two are contrary to one another. But I think when people view the system, they can be.

I think the difference with us, we might do a project globally, but all the money comes back to the United States and that's a great thing for the United States. I think you see a lot of other companies, I can name 20 off of the top of my head right now, including many of the biggest companies in this nation, that will go off and do project overseas or do business venture overseas and, all of a sudden, they're parking all their money overseas and they are taking advantage of lower taxes and companies here and there. I think that's also unacceptable.

We need to make America a pro-business environment and hasn't been unfortunately for a very, very long time and people want to invest in America. I mean, America is the safest place to invest. It's got the best rule of law. It's got so many advantages.

I mean, think about it. If you are a wealthy person from overseas, where do you put your money right now? You put in Europe? Probably not, because it's not growing. All that (INAUDIBLE). You put in Middle East -- you know, I would argue no.

You put in Central and South America, maybe strategically but maybe not.  You put in Asia? I think a lot of the markets are overvalued and I think you're seeing that all of the time. So, maybe not.

Where do you want to park your money? You want to park your money in the United States of America. What's the one detractor of parking your money in the U.S.? Ridiculous taxes.

BARTIROMO: So, you and Donald Trump Jr. are splitting duties. Tell me how it works?

E. TRUMP: Well, Don and I are incredibly close. I mean, Don and I spend every weekend together, we work together, our offices are right next each other. And same with Ivanka when she was in the company. Ivanka was amazing.

And we just had -- the four of us had so much fun. But, you know, we managed all of the hotel that is we owned. We managed all of the golf properties that we owned. We have a lot of great commercial buildings. We have a lot of great residential buildings, wineries, retail, everything else.

I mean, we have a dynamic company but we have a lot of fun. We are always smiling. Don has five kids and they'll run up and down the hallways of the company, so you have the next generation, maybe we would call the new generation of, you know, of kids running around.

And people are happy. I mean, we just have a great time. We work very hard. We take our jobs incredibly seriously. But as a family company, we also have a lot of fun and a special formula if you can get it right.

BARTIROMO: You know, it's a different set-up than we have seen before because, obviously, the president came into the office with a whole life.  He built a company and, you know, grew it and you and your siblings have been there. But when you go to places like Jakarta, when you go to Manila, when you go to places around the world, even places that have a large Muslim population, what kind of reaction do you get from your partners there to the president's policies?

E. TRUMP: Amazing reaction, honestly.

BARTIROMO: Good reaction?

E. TRUMP: And the reason is, you know what? America hasn't been the friend that it should be to so many countries over the last several years.  I mean, look at what we have done so many times to Israel over the last decade. We haven't been a good friend to them that they deserve. They are our best ally in that region by far.

BARTIROMO: How will this company look different do you think in four years?

E. TRUMP: Yes. Listen, I think, you know, sky is the limit for us. The sky is the limit. I mean, we're a company that has very, very little debt.  We're a company that can expand in so many different fields.

If we want to go out and do residential building, we can do that. If we want to go and do a golf course, we can do that. You know, we want to do nothing, we can do that as well. And so, we have tremendous opportunity.

BARTIROMO: Well, we are in Trump Tower right now and the most recent story was wiretapping of Russians. What do you think when you hear this stuff, what happened?

E. TRUMP: It's so ridiculous. It actually infuriates me because I understand the company better than any human being in the world and, you know, we have no projects in Russia. If we have projects in Russia, you'd see our name on those projects. We're not exactly about bashful of how we're hiding our name. We like having our name on our buildings, including Trump Tower, that you're in obviously right now.

And it's just -- it's a little bit maddening. I mean, here's a narrative and it goes -- a certain party lost an election and they needed to, you know, they tried to put the other down, they further and they perpetuate and there's zero truth behind it. And it's very, very sad and I would like to see that party taking look at themselves and maybe the leaders of that party should be making their password to their computers password. I mean, why don't you start there? And -- but it's maddening but it's all just gray noise at this point.

BARTIROMO: I also thought it was funny that your brother did tweet, "Thank you, Rachel Maddow, for telling the world my father is a wealthy man and he actually paid 25 percent tax rate."

E. TRUMP: It was -- you know, it's kind of -- that whole thing was just amazing. He paid 25, and he paid $38 million in taxes. He had --

BARTIROMO: Exactly, $38 million.

E. TRUMP: $150 million worth of you know, worth of income that year and, you know, paid $38 million worth of taxes and they lined them up against Obama's taxes and they lined up against everybody else's taxes, and he was paying a higher tax rates which kind of shuts down the whole argument.

But -- you know, it's really a sad environment that we're in an environment where, you know, tax returns are leaked by, you know, whoever it may be and -- I mean, just think about it, think about how dangerous that is, how third-world that is of a practice that happened when personal information is being put out by people for political agendas and it's -- as a civilian, it's actually scary to me.

BARTIROMO: Eric, it's great to have you on the show. Thanks so much for joining us.

E. TRUMP: Yes, thanks so much, Maria.

BARTIROMO: And we've got more on my exclusive interview with Eric Trump tomorrow on "Mornings with Maria" on the Fox Business Network. Join us tomorrow on the Fox Business Network at 6:00 a.m. Eastern tomorrow morning.  We'll see you then.

We'll take a short break. When we come back, President Trump's Supreme Court nominee on the hot seat tomorrow. We're going to preview that. Will Democrats try to block Neil Gorsuch's confirmation?

We'll talk to Senator Thom Tillis as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures", next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Welcome back.

President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, will be on the hot seat tomorrow. His Senate confirmations will begin tomorrow.

Now, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has already said Democrats remain skeptical about Mr. Trump's choice to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

We want to bring Republican Senator Thom Tillis from North Carolina who is also a member of the judiciary committee to talk more about this because tomorrow will be the beginning of a process. Now we know that Neil Gorsuch was in his earlier post already approved 100 percent by the Democrats.

But let's bring in senator to get more on that because he also -- he's going to address what the timeline looks like.

So, we'll take a short break and when we come back, we got Senator Thom Tillis on the other side. Back in a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Welcome back.

We want to bring back now, Republican Senator Thom Tillis from North Carolina, a member of the Judiciary Committee.

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

SEN. THOM TILLIS, R-N.C.: Good morning, Maria.

BARTIROMO: What kind of pushback do you expect from Senator Schumer to Neil Gorsuch?

TILLIS: I think they're going to have to they're going to have to work hard to push back. He's go the academic credentials. He's got the record on the bench. He's been voted for unanimously when he was confirmed for the 10th Circuit, and a lot of those people on the Judiciary Committee.

So, it should be interesting to see how they behave tomorrow on the committee hearing.

BARTIROMO: Well, I mean, is it -- so, in other words, what you're saying is, you see wide support. But we know that Chuck Schumer and many of his colleagues have been trying to disrupt the president from executing his agenda. Do you think we'll see more pushback in that regard, even though you believe that there's deep broad support?

TILLIS: Well, I think that Senator Schumer and Elizabeth Warren, who is the de facto minority leader, are spending a lot of time trying to obstruct the president and obstruct Congress. I don't think it's going to work.  The last time they tried this, Harry Reid was the majority leader and the minority leader and they lost.

I think that they need to recognize, people are expecting results and not obstructionist.

BARTIROMO: Right.

What's the most important thing we need to watch for at that hearing tomorrow?

TILLIS: Well, it'd be very interesting opening up with Senator Schumer and Durbin, some of the ones who supported Neil Gorsuch when he was confirmed several years ago. It would be interesting to see their opening statements, exactly how far they're going to go.

I'm optimistic that we are going get support. We're not going to get a filibuster and we are going to get Neil Gorsuch confirmed before we live Easter recess.

BARTIROMO: OK, confirmed before you leave in Easter recess is what you're expecting. All right. We'll be watching that.

TILLIS: Yes.

BARTIROMO: Senator, before we go, let me switch gears and ask you about the I.T. specialists that were fired. I know that many of them worked for senators on the Intelligence Committee. Can you give us an update on where that investigation stands, three brothers who were fired, they were making $165,000 a year working on the Senate Intel and Foreign Affairs Committee, three times what the average I.T. gal or guy make there? Have they been arrested?

TILLIS: I haven't heard -- I haven't heard the details yet. I'm not on either of those two committees. So, I differ to my senior senator of North Carolina, the chair of intelligence. Not really in a position to respond at this point.

BARTIROMO: Senator, good to have you on the program this morning. Thanks so much.

TILLIS: Thank you, Maria. Go Tar Heels!

BARTIROMO: Senator Thom -- go Tar Heels. All right. We'll be watching March Madness. Senator Tillis, than you.

All eyes on the FBI tomorrow as well, FBI Director James Comey, that is.  He's testifying in front of the House Intel Committee on Russian meddling in the White House race and President Trump's wiretapping claims.

I want to bring in our panel right now. Lee Carter is president and partner at Maslansky and Partners. A.B. Stoddard with us this morning, associate editor and columnist with Real Clear Politics. And Robert Wolf with us, CEO of 32 advisers, former economic adviser to President Obama, and a Fox News contributor.

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

LEE CARTER, MASLANSKY AND PARTNERS: Great to be here.

BARTIROMO: All right. What are we expecting from James Comey tomorrow, Lee Carter?

CARTER: I we're going to find out that it had a much to do about nothing.  I really feel like he's going to come out. We're going to find out that the wiretap -- there's no evidence of wiretapping, and I think this is going to be a moment that is not going to look good for the Trump administration. I think they would have been much better to serve to say that they made a mistaken and that have to walk it back now because I really feel that nothing good is going to happen tomorrow for the Trump administration.

BARTIROMO: What do you think, A.B.?

A.B. STODDARD, REAL CLEAR POLITICS: Well, actually, he might say there's no collusion, there's no evidence yet of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians, which will be a good thing for the Trump campaign, but will be embarrassing if he says there's no evidence on wiretapping.

What's interesting is he steps so out of the bounds of what the protocol is for the FBI director on the Hillary Clinton investigation, coming out saying that he wasn't going -- there couldn't be an indictment, you couldn't prosecute the case, but this is why she made such a mess. And then, of course, what he did 11 days before the election.

So, he's apparently not allowed to confirm the existence of an investigation regarding national security in a public setting, so there's going to be a lot of I can't answer that question tomorrow. So I'm interested to know what beyond the wiretapping issue, we actually get filled on.

I think there might be a lot of dodging and the members want information about where this investigation has gone? It's very old. It's gone on I think about nine months, but it'll be interesting to see how much Comey feels he can reveal in public.

BARTIROMO: By the way, we know that James Clapper already said there was no collusion --

STODDARD: And Michael (INAUDIBLE).

BARTIROMO: -- between the Trump administration and the Russians. So, we know that. And also, by the way, Clapper has not been a fan of Trump, so, he didn't have to say that, Robert Wolf, but he said it because that's what he learned.

ROBERT WOLF, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: So, I think it's amazing that Comey is now a household name. We probably haven't heard an FBI person be a household name since Hoover, and that's a whole different story.

But I would say that we have two interesting bookends tomorrow. One is the unhinge tweet that a president put out on wiretapping. That hopefully will just be able to put to rest. This week, we had Nunes Schiff, Warner and Burr from both sides of the aisle, say, for the most part, it's nonsense.  So, let's just hopefully put that to bed.

On the collusion part, I think both sides want to get to the bottom of this and I hope that we can equally put back to bed. I think that's going to be a much more interested discussion because Comey can be asked one question on the wiretap and that ends that conversation. Whereas in the collusion thing, just because of what happened with Flynn, they're going to be a lot more questions. It's going to feel a lot more political and like I said, it's amazing that we are speaking about Comey so often.

BARTIROMO: Isn't it interesting, when you say that about Michael Flynn, just that we know that the Washington Post got the contents of the Michael Flynn phone call. Isn't that evidence enough to know that they were being surveilled and whether maybe the people who were being surveilled were the Russians but it was happening in Trump Tower? Could it be that, you know, that's what the president was referring to?

WOLF: Listen, the only thing I can say is you and I spoke about during the campaign as someone who had many, many of my own emails on WikiLeaks.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

WOLF: It's an uncomfortable setting, period.

BARTIROMO: Sure.

WOLF: So, I'm all against this entirely leak thing to begin with, whether it's from the FBI or the media. But we are where we are today. I just hope they resolve issue. Whether there was collusion or not.

I hope it's not about Flynn. I hope it's about facts of whether there was collusion and, obviously, we hope that there was none because that would change politics for us.

LEE: And for my perspective, my biggest fear is if we find out that there was no collusion and there was no wiretapping, what are we going to be talking about? I think we are probably going to be talking about the wiretapping which is part of the problem here, what we should be able to focus on is putting collusion behind us and really being able to focus moving forward on the issues, to talk about health care. Let's talk about taxes. Let's talk about the agenda.

Right now, we are getting completely distracted because we are focused on the wiretapping issue and that silly tweet that Donald Trump put out there than the real issues that matter to the American people.

BARTIROMO: Well, that's what I keep asking all of the cabinet members that join us, and they say that they are not being thrown off in terms of their agenda. They got -- they want to get Gorsuch confirmed by Easter. They want to have Obama replacement out by Easter and they want to do tax reform by August.

STODDARD: But you know who keeps furthering the story is President Trump and Sean Spicer because what they're going to do is try to sort of muddy the waters with this talk about incidental collection. What happened to Michael Flynn and leaks which are wrong and it violates the code of conduct of the intelligence officials who are doing it, it's against the law. And that's totally separate issues, but by mashing oranges and apples here to try to keep the story going so that he doesn't have to apologize or back down, they further it day by day by talking about things that aren't a wiretap in Trump Tower.

BARTIROMO: No doubt about it. By the way, you got your Andrew Jackson cufflinks on today, Robert Wolf. That's great.

Thanks for joining us.

WOLF: That's bipartisan by the way.

BARTIROMO: Exactly. Great panel.

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