This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," May 27, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SANDRA SMITH, GUEST HOST: Good morning. The President getting back to work on his agenda here at home following his first trip overseas in office but will Congress be able to deliver when it comes to healthcare and tax reform. Hello everyone and thanks for joining us on this Memorial Day Weekend.
I'm Sandra Smith in for Maria Bartiromo and this is "Sunday Morning Futures."
President Trump fresh off his 9-day tour of the Middle East and Europe, calling the trip a home run but how did it go over with our allies? Steve Hilton join us live. Also, the CBO scores the House GOP Healthcare Bill. So what's next for the ObamaCare overhaul and what does it mean for tax reform? I'll talk to the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady. And new development in the investigation into alleged connections between Russia and the Trump campaign. We will hear from a Republican member of the House Intel Committee to find out where things go from here, that and more as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."
President Trump returning to White House yesterday, follows his nine-day overseas trip, his first as Commander in Chief. Mr. Trump winding up the trip at a two-day summit with the group of seven world leaders in Italy before saluting our troops stationed in Sicily ahead of a Memorial Holiday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: You know, we've been gone for a long time. Everywhere I Go -- but we have been gone for close to 9 days, this will be nine days and I think we hit a home run no matter where we are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: The President today tweeting "Just returned from Europe. Trip was a great success for America. Hard work but big results!" Let's bring in Steve Hilton, Fox News Contributor and host of the new show, "The Next Revolution" with Steve Hilton, it debuts at 9:00 p.m. Eastern next Sunday night right here on the Fox News Channel. Steve, congratulations on the new show, we look forward to that and good to have you this morning.
STEVE HILTON, FOX NEWS HOST: Great to be with you, Sandra. Thank you.
SMITH: All right, Steve, let's get right to the President touting this trip as a success. Many of even his biggest critics looking at this trip as a success, he called it a home run. Was it?
HILTON: I think that was pretty much a fair assessment. If you cut -- you opened the show by focusing quite right yet I think in terms the real priorities for our viewers of you know, the domestic agenda, what's going to happen with the economy and the legislative agenda and healthcare and all that stuff? Now that seems to be a little bit stuck, some would say a bit of a mess. But actually, when you contrast that with how he's handling foreign policy, international relations, America security, there's a real contrast there. He's really showing very strong and consistent leadership, not just on this trip but as you go back to the response to Syria's use of chemical weapons, there's a sense of confidence and assurance about how he's handling foreign relations that I think is really striking. And what you saw in this trip I think is a really consistent message coming out, which is number one, is America's security. You went to the Middle East and said, right, let's get together and fight ISIS. He put that in the top of the agenda. He then goes to Europe and says the same thing to NATO. Now, the difference is in how those different audiences has responded. The allies that we have, the traditional allies and the Gulf and the Arab states and all that -- remember the 15 Muslim leaders that he spoke to, they really responded to that new American leadership or as in NATO, this is actually a different message and they weren't too keen on hearing it. But actually from the President's point of view, it was the same story which is putting American security first and America leading an effort to fight terrorism around the world, I thought it was great.
SMITH: It's such a great point, he really did start off the trip with a very strong tough stance on terror. As you mentioned telling those 50 Gulf leaders quote, "terrorism is a threat, a bad threat to all humanity and together we will overcome that threat." So are you suggesting that was -- that message was received mixed as far as how that message was received abroad and here at home?
HILTON: It's -- I think the mix was not necessarily broad and home, it's actually the two parts of the trip abroad, if you -- if you see it that way. You've got the first part, where you have these allies of America who for a long time now during the Obama years thought that basically America had abandoned them, was actually much more interested in forging ties with Iran and had really changed fundamentally the position that they had come accustomed to, which is America by their side in fighting their threats. And so there was a huge sense of relief that President Trump was going back to the previous strong alliance with those nations and actually enhancing it and saying we're going to go further. But the second part of the trip in Europe, I thought the audience that didn't particularly like what they heard and there was some rocky moments there. But you know, honestly, I thought what President Trump said there, particularly in relation to NATO country stepping up to the mark and putting their money behind the commitment to common defense in Europe. I thought that's perfectly reasonable. Now, they may not like hearing it and they may not like hearing it very directly from the President, but it's a fit perfectly fair point. And I thought that you know, you could have predicted that they wouldn't like hearing it, but on the other hand that doesn't mean that President should not say it.
SMITH: Yes, and the big question now is that the President has returned to Washington, he's back to work, he's already tweeting this morning, Steve, is that whether that momentum will translate and come back here as he gets back to work in Washington. I want to turn back to terror this Manchester attack because we continue to learn more about that -- the attack and the terrorist. U.K. police have released the images now, the surveillance images from the arena the night of the attack. We're getting a closer look at this man, 22-year-old Salman Abedi, who is dead, he killed 22 in the arena that night, wounded 120 others. Prime Minister Theresa May urging Britons to remain vigilant in the wake of all this as we learn more about how this attack was played out and the attacker himself. What is the broader message that we begin to take away in aftermath of that brutal attack, Steve?
HILTON: I'm afraid to say, I don't think it is particularly reassuring one. Look, the wounds of Manchester -- you know, literarily is still very present and the pain and grief in the U.K. is still there. And of course, it's true that the overwhelming part of our anger of what happened should be directed at the person responsible and the movement responsible. The militant Islamist movement that caused this, of course, we should be mainly angry with them but I think that British people can actually be -- can save some of their anger if you like for their own authorities. Because the truth is, that in this case, just as we've seen with some of the other attacks we've seen, it turns out that this person was known to the authorities. In fact, it's been reported that his activities were reported to an anti-terror hotline years ago. He was traveling back and forth, it's been reported to Libya and Syria. You know, there were multiple warnings about this person and still, he slipped through the net. Now, the British Security Services kind of unbelievably in my view, in the last few days, in response to some of the criticism that has been building have actually leaked the information that right now in the U.K. there are 23,000 militant Islamist Jihadist in the U.K. and that they are only able to keep track of about 3 thousand. They've actually put that information out there. I just think that is not good enough. I think that what this whole thing is telling us is that when we hear politicians say we're doing everything we can to fight terrorism, that is simply not true.
SMITH: And we continue to be concerned about what the risk is that we face here at home. And when you raise that point, Steve, about the fact that Abedi of known to authorities there, we heard this story before with attacks right here at home. How does this change the way we approach our security, and how do we prevent this from happening again? I know that's the big question.
HILTON: I think that -- I think here in America, it seems that this whole issue has been taken much more seriously for longer -- I think particularly in the light of 9/11, where there's a thorough re-examination of now we handle these threats. And so, I think, that puts America in a stronger position. But also, you've got an administration now that seems to me to be really focused on this threat and what you've got is a couple of things. You've got the President putting in place a really strong professional team around him on homeland security and seeing his role not to micromanage them and direct them what to do to achieve political ends but to let them get on with the job and his role is basically to give them support and most importantly, to get them resources. You saw that in the president's budget, more of resources so that more of these threats can be tracked and stopped before they actually end up killing people. So I think that they're on -- they're on the right track with that. There's one further advantage I think that we have in America compared to Europe is that sense of social integration and social cohesion. One really striking thing that you saw highlighted again with this Manchester attack. But there's a report on it that was published a few months ago in the U.K., that's a huge problem with a lack of integration in many parts of the U.K. and rest of Europe and that is not nearly as bad here in America, thankfully.
SMITH: All right we continue to watch this story develop. Steve Hilton, very nice to see you this morning on this holiday morning and everyone be sure to watch the debut of "The Next Revolution" with Steve Hilton. It begins next Sunday, June 4th, 9:00 p.m. Eastern time. Steve, we look forward to it.
HILTON: Thank you, Sandra. See you soon.
SMITH: Right here on Fox News Channel.
All right, with the CBO out with score of House GOP Healthcare Plan, how will those numbers affect Republican plans for health reform? House, Ways, and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady joins us live.
And a reminder, you can follow us @sundayfutures, stay with us as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."
SMITH: New concerns over the House plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare, Senate Republicans say they're ready to start from scratch after the CBO score warn that 23 million Americans would lose their coverage over the next ten years. Joining me now is Texas Congressman Kevin Brady, Chairman of the House, Ways and Means Committee. Mr. Chairman, the CBO score making a lot of headband -- lot of headlines, I should say negative headlines. Is this another setback in the case of healthcare reform?
REP. KEVIN BRADY, R-TEXAS, CHAIRMAN, WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE: No, absolutely it's not. And look, the headline always puzzles Americans because it essentially says twice as many Americans will lose their ObamaCare coverage. They naturally have ObamaCare coverage, so just puzzles average people. What I think if you look close at what it says is that the House plan continues to lower premiums provide more immediate relief for people who were stuck in ObamaCare right now and will start to return control of health care out of Washington to the states back to the local communities. And at the end of the day, the important thing is that it allows House to bring this bill to the Senate, where we hope they'll continue to make improvements.
SMITH: But that does not seem to be the case. The Senate Republicans already seem to be going their own way, I'm not saying that they going to starting from scratch. There does seem to be a lot of division and tension. What does this mean for where this is going to go?
BRADY: So Sandra, the connection to me has fallen off. And so, I couldn't hear you finish your question.
SMITH: OK Mr. Chairman, that's always OK, live TV is also so fun on these Sunday mornings. OK, so let me start again. We've got a lot of division, a lot tension within the GOP itself. Senate Republicans already saying that they're going to -- they're going to start from scratch when they get this thing. So what does that mean for future of what this may eventually look like?
BRADY: Sandra? That connection just came back.
SMITH: OK Mr. Senator.
BRADY: So I've heard the last two words of the question.
SMITH: That's all right. The big question remains, Mr. Chairman, about what this will look like, Senate Republicans divided on this, saying that they're going to start from scratch.
All right, we seem to be having some audio problems with the Chairman, we will get him back. Thanks for staying with us and we'll see what we can do about this audio problem that we're having. Live TV always fun.
President Trump calling his maiden trip overseas, a quote, "great success." So how can he use that momentum to boost his agenda here at home? Our panel is here to weigh in as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures." We'll be right back.
SMITH: All right, we're going to still try to get Chairman -- Congressman Kevin Brady -- Congressman Kevin Brady back. We had a little audio issue, we're still working on that but we do hope to get him back in just a few moments.
Meanwhile living longer, it's always been one of the most sought after goals in field of medicine. And this week Maria Bartiromo had a chance to speak to the man who may be coming closer than ever before to literally cheating death. Craig Venter, Executive Chairman of Human Longevity, he's also a Molecular Biology pioneer who successfully mapped a human genome.
MARIA BARTIROMO, FOX NEWS HOST: Tell us about mapping the genome, what we learned and what you're doing now? Because you say, the cover of Forbes, How to Cheat Death, and you think we're going to live in for the second centuries. We all want to know to cheat death. Tell us.
CRAIG VENTER, EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, HUMAN LONGEVITY: Well, preventive medicine is key trick. And so, the genome is part of that. So what we learned in 2000 when my team sequenced the first genome, just fundamental things like how many genes we had. Nobody knew that. And so, that helped pharmaceutical industry with new targets. But just having wonder a few genomes didn't make any difference. So I was waiting until the technology changed. So, that first genome cost $100 million, now we're doing them for less than $1,000. So we're doing one every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
BARTIROMO: What are you learning from these genome mapping?
VENTER: So, by having tens of thousands and hopefully millions soon, we're able to get a picture of the whole genome. We're finding places in the genome, if there's a mutation there that's incompatible with life. So we're going to inside map but we're finding correlation with all these diseases that we're discovering in healthy people in our clinic. So every day the information gets better. The idea would be if we just sequenced your genome and we could really give you solid information about your future. We're not there yet.
BARTIROMO: So -- but at Human Longevity, you can take a physical $25,000 and you're just mapping every corner of your body and when you did some of this -- you found that some people had cancer that they didn't even know it.
VENTER: We're finding one in 40 people that comes through having serious cancer that would be lethal if it was not detected.
VENTER: Including myself. I had my life saved by my own clinic. I was discovered to have high-grade prostate cancer. It was just on the verge metastasizing and I had surgery and had it removed. So, I'm a believer in my own system.
BARTIROMO: That is fantastic. What strikes me is the fact that you believe because of this preventive medicine and getting things early, I would say, people are living longer to -- in their hundreds.
VENTER: Well, we need to prove that over time. But by stopping somebody from dying at age 53 from cancer, he has every chance in the world to live into his 90s because we can look at all the other diseases. We look at the body as a whole not just one tissue or one organ. We look at the integration of everything so from the MRI, we can measure the amount of organ fat that you have and that gives you a hint of how healthy you are and how healthy your organs are. You know, most people are just unaware how do we get aware of things. Medicine is based on you get symptoms, you get sick, and then you go to seek medical care.
BARTIROMO: You don't get in front of it.
VENTER: You don't get in front of it.
BARTIROMO: And this issue of preexisting condition obviously has been a big topic in the whole healthcare law passage.
VENTER: We all have preexisting conditions. Every one of us.
BARTIROMO: What I want to know was what we know and what we have learned about the brain, because I feel like over the years we've learned about the big killers, heart disease, and cancer. We know that smoking causes cancer. We know that -- you know, diabetes is caused by poor eating and heart disease as well. What do we know about the brain? What do we know about Alzheimer's, about you know autism? Are we getting smarter on that?
VENTER: So with the brain images, they're actually beautiful images -- you know would give you of your brain and due to algorithms developed at UCSD, the algorithms are better than any radiologist trying to look at your brain. So the algorithm measure 20 different brain regions quantitatively and very precisely. And the hippocampus is the first one to start to -- to start to show signs of change with Alzheimer's disease, so we can measure your hippocampal volume very precisely and if it's below norms that's a hint that you might be starting down the road for Alzheimer's. But also your overall vasculature in your brain is key.
BARTIROMO: But are there cure -- I mean, there's not a cure. And I know that --
VENTER: There's prevention.
BARTIROMO: If you lived to 85, you have a one and three chance that you'll get Alzheimer's.
VENTER: The brain is like a muscle, the more you use it, it keeps you from losing it. So, and all drugs and clinical trial are preventive drugs. So the future will be you get diagnosis from us or somebody else that says, in 20 years, you have a good chance of getting Alzheimer's disease. You should start on this preventative medicine.
BARTIROMO: Again, preventative, really fascinating stuff. Dr. Venter, thanks for joining us.
VENTER: My pleasure.
BARTIROMO: We appreciate it. Human Longevity, Dr. Venter there.
SMITH: Thank you, Maria. Will President Trump returning to Washington amid new development in the investigation into alleged links between Russia and the Trump campaign, but his National Security Adviser says he's not concerned?
We'll talk about that with the member of the House Intel Committee, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."
SMITH: Texas Congressman Kevin Brady rejoins me, he's the Chairman of the House, Ways and Means Committee, thanks for hanging in there Mr. Chairman.
BRADY: Thank you, Sandra.
SMITH: All right. So we started out by talking about this much anticipated CBO score is, particularly with much-anticipated the on the left. It is making negative headlines. Is this going to get in the way of healthcare reform?
BRADY: You know, I don't think so and here's why. I know there's a lot of tension in Washington on the CBO numbers but look, health care is about people, it's about their lives, the numbers they care about is you know, do I have choices same plans, one to zero? You know, how much is this going to cost and can I afford to use it? And will I be able to see my local doctor and go to my local hospitals or do I have to drive hundreds of miles to get just basic care? And that's what House Republicans addressed in our plan, because ObamaCare is just collapsing in all those areas. I'm confident that Senate will continue to make improvement.
They've good, smart people over there. They've learned a lot from the key changes and improvements we made, and I'm just optimistic at the end of the day, they'll get it done.
SMITH: But some Senate Republicans saying that they're going to start from scratch here. There is division and tension within the Senate with what to do with this. What does that look like, and what will it look like after if comes through?
BRADY: Well, here is what I hope it look like. I hope it's the opposite of Obamacare. I hope that choices and decisions are made not from Washington but by the states, the local communities. I'm very hopeful that Americans who need healthcare, who don't get it at work and don't get it through a government program, the people we're trying to help actually have choices of plans, the premiums are affordable, but more importantly, out- of-pocket cost, you know, or something that works for them rather than Washington. So, look, I think considering Obamacare is imploding and we're just seeing prices skyrocket, and insurers flee the market. Look, status quo doing nothing isn't an option. Senate Republicans I'm confident are going to move forward on this.
SMITH: But does that concern you that some of them say that they're going to start from scratch on this?
BRADY: No. Look, that's the Senate, they always say those things. Look, we've given them (INAUDIBLE) a good product. In fact, we were sending them an additional $90 billion to continue to make improvements in certain age groups as well. And so, look, they've got all the tools and resources they need to deliver. And they know the urgency of it as well, I' m convinced.
SMITH: All right. But there is a -- there does appear to be division within the GOP on this. And some sources are telling the Fox Business Network that the division over healthcare could spell trouble for President Trump's current tax reform plan. Do you see that as the case?
BRADY: Well, look, I'm actually optimistic about this. First, I'm convinced the Senate is going to put their plan together and do it in a way that we can get it to the President's desk together. So, I actually think we're unified in the goal of delivering on that this summer. Secondly, I think it's important to get that $1 trillion of tax hikes out of the U.S. economy that's in the health care bill. That's critically important as well. But more important, I don't think people realize that the President, his team, the House and Senate, we're laser focused on tax form. We meet weekly as a larger group; our tax teams are meeting almost daily on this. We are focused on the timeline for delivering pro-growth, bold, permanent tax reform this year. Clearly, there is a lot of work to do --
SMITH: But Mr. Chairman, let me stop you on that.
BRADY: -- but we're not letting any of these other issues distract us.
SMITH: Is that a reality that this could get done this year? I mean, I'm -- I watch the stock market every single day, and it does appear that the stock market is making a big prediction that tax reform is going to happen, it's going to happen soon. Last week, record highs again across the board for U.S. stocks. Are you saying that's going to get done by end of the year?
BRADY: We're laser-focused on that timetable. President Trump is, the House certainly is, the Senate is as well. We put that timetable together, we're meeting to do exactly that. Look, we know -- we know tax reform is the biggest challenge of any generation. It is politically difficult, it is policy-wise a tough challenge as well. But look, the American public, they're just sick of the tax code we have today, and they're tired of watching all our jobs and companies move overseas, they want us to go bold and they want us to go now on tax reforms. So, that's what we're going to deliver on.
SMITH: Are you at all concerned about the current administration's ability to stay laser-focused on that being a priority, especially here that President is returning home from this nine-day trip. He called it a "homerun". He's got a little momentum here. He gets back to Washington but he still continues to face these scandals, problems in Washington; are you concerned that he can't stay on message?
BRADY: No, I'm not. Look, his tax team with Secretary Mnuchin, Director Cohn, I think are absolutely committed to tax reform. I know from their daily discussions with us and the House Republicans, as well as our outreach to the Senate, this is their number one priority. And so, yes, there is a lot going on. You know, and the public has seen a lot of these issues being talked about online and on T.V. and everywhere else, but in Washington, we are continuing to be just focused on delivering tax reform, we have to.
SMITH: All right. Very good. Good of you to stay with us, Mr. Chairman. We had some audio issues. If you're just tuning in now.
BRADY: Yes, we did.
SMITH: And we got it done. Thank you.
BRADY: Thank you, Sandra.
SMITH: All right. Well, National Security Advisory H.R. McMaster weighing in on the Jared Kushner controversy, saying he's not concerned about reports claiming Kushner tried to set up secret backchannel communications with Russia.
Let's bring in Utah Congressman, Chris Stewart. He serves on both the House Intelligence and Appropriations Committees. Congressman, good to see you. Thank you for joining us on this Memorial Day weekend.
REP. CHRIS STEWART, R-UTAH, CHAIRMAN, INTELLIGENCE SUBCOMMITTEE: Good morning.
SMITH: What do you make of the latest coming all -- out of all this, as the President returns to Washington?
STEWART: What we have is it is just another example of the latest, though, isn't it? Every day there's another leak, another thing that we hear about, and many times we find out that they're not true. Which is why, if I could speak kind of broadly, why I'm so glad we appointed a special counsel to this? I mean, it takes it out to such a partisan arena. It takes it out where we don't have these accusations, many of them which are unfounded, puts it in professional hands, that someone that I think has bipartisan trust. I think that's a good thing. I'm glad we've done that.
SMITH: It just seems like we're learning something every day and something comes out every day that Russia dominates the headlines. Congressman, where does this Russia probe go next?
STEWART: You know, you make a good point. Before I answer that question, it does dominate the headlines, and for those of us on the Intelligence Committee, there's still a lot of work to do. Oh, my heavens, we still live in a dangerous and a chaotic world. And I think to (INAUDIBLE) the verdict from some of these other important work, but to answer your question now, what happens next, once again, the special counsel is going to move forward. I think he'll do it in a way where it's not as partisan, probably doesn't attract as much attention, probably isn't being leaked on a regular basis, on a daily basis. And that's good for us, that's good for the American people. We want people to understand what happened there. And by the way, there is no evidence of collusion at this point. And yet, the narrative is that it was pervasive. And I think when he finds that, that's a good thing for us to show the American people, but it needs to be done in a professional way, not in just this hodgepodge of daily leaks and daily news stories.
SMITH: Yes. And despite lack of evidence. But still, messaging seems to be a problem for this White House, as it handles all these daily headlines revolving around Russia, the latest, Jared Kushner. Is there something that could be done differently as far as messaging to make this not such an issue and to have it not dominate the headlines as it is?
STEWART: Oh my heavens, there certainly is. You know, I support this President, I support his goals, I want him to be successful. But he makes it harder for us sometimes. I mean, he just does with some of his tweets or some of the things that he says. You know, the reason that people liked him, I think the reason that he endeared himself to voters was he does speak off the top of his head, he does speak with emotion. And that's a great thing on the campaign trail, but it's a little bit different once you're in office, and sometimes, it can make it more difficult, like you said, to keep on message that many of us and the goals that many of us are trying to achieve.
SMITH: Let me get your reaction to this POLITICO report: Trump aides facing perilous stage of Russia probe. They say investigators are ramping up requests for documents as we know. Any failure to preserve records exposes Trump aides to criminal charges down the line. I asked you before, where this probe goes, but what does the future look like, considering they're asking for these documents? This is -- this is something the White House faces today.
STEWART: Yes. You know, anyone associated with this probe, I think they recognize they have a responsibility to preserve any documents or anything that may be relevant. The problem is -- and we saw this in the past with Fitzgerald in a previous special prosecutor. Oh my heavens, we knew within, what, a couple of days after he started investigation that the original crime never occurred. There was nothing to investigate. And yet, it went on for months and months, and then -- and the charges came from the process, not from the original crime. And I think that's what many people need to be concerned with now, this responsibility to preserve these documents. No question they have that. But hopefully, that doesn't become the only issue.
SMITH: All right. Well, and important to go back to where we started, the National Security Adviser, H.R. McMaster, saying he's not concerned after these reports over Jared Kushner. All right, thank you so much for being here today, Congressman. Good to see you.
STEWART: Good to be with you. Thank you.
SMITH: Well, a historic journey abroad for President Trump now in the books. He says he hit a home run. Coming up, our panel is here to give us their take, as we look ahead on SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES.
SMITH: President Trump back home after nine busy days overseas, wrapping up his tour of the Middle East and Europe yesterday. The President applauding the trip, calling it a "great success for America." But how does our panel grade Mr. Trump's first foreign trip in office?
Let's bring in Ed Rollins, former White House adviser to President Ronald Reagan and a Fox News Contributor. And Brad Blakeman, former Deputy Assistant to President George W. Bush. Ed, your take first, the grade, please.
ED ROLLINS, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I think an A, I really do. And he exceeded every expectation anybody could possibly have for a first trip, a long trip, a lot of big tests along the ways. I think the bottom line is the messages, the very strong message for America is back with a different agenda than Obama had, and I think he -- I think he accomplished that.
SMITH: And Brad, then some are going to say he's going to get back to Washington and have to deal with this mess, still. Is he going to be able to bring the momentum from what is being viewed widely as a very positive first foreign trip for the President, is he going to be able to bring that home?
BRAD BLAKEMAN, FORMER PRESIDENT BUSH DEPUTY ASSISTANT: He sure can. And the way to do it is to pivot now. You had a successful international trip, you had great messages whether it'd be in the Middle East, NATO, G7. Use that momentum, come back, and have a thematic week of issues that you carry on through the summer and into the legislative season in the fall. It was a very thematic trip, he kept on message, he was effective, do that domestically.
SMITH: Your grade for his trip?
BLAKEMAN: You know, I'm a university professor at Georgetown, and I'm tough, I give him a solid A.
SMITH: Wow. Wow, that -- I mean, that is a rave review of this trip. And you look back at how ambitious this trip was. And that was the headline leaning into it, right?
BLAKEMAN: Big trip.
SMITH: Obama and Bush went to Mexico and Canada for their first foreign trips, and here, he went on this nine-day, five-country voyage.
ROLLINS: And a lot of tests, a lot of -- a lot of new people he's meeting, a lot of information that was out there. There was -- there was nothing easy on this trip at all, maybe the sword dance in Saudi Arabia, but even there, he did well.
The critical thing here as I think as Brad said, he now comes back having had this euphoric trip and he comes to the same, old, drumbeat of boom, boom, boom, with his son-in-law, the rest of this stuff, and the key thing for him is to basically say, "Listen, I accomplished this in the world stage, I'm now going to get focused on the tax bill, going to get focused on the healthcare bill, I'm not going to weigh him now, the special counsel, I'm not going to deal with that stuff. We'll just going to let the special counsel deal with all of this stuff and move forward. Quit tweeting, quit -- moving forward, just go out across the country and take his message to the American public.
SMITH: So, you -- you're saying that should be his approach, will that be, Brad?
BLAKEMAN: Yes. I think, and it will start probably Wednesday when he goes to Iowa. But let's make one thing clear, domestically, deals are made on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington but they're sold on main street USA. The President needs to get out. He needs to get out of beltway and sell to the American people his program for health care and immigration, on taxes. He is the best spokesperson, he's got the bully pulpit, get out of Washington, sell your messages to the people who really care. And also target the districts of the members whose votes we need. And I think he'll be successful domestically as he was internationally.
SMITH: You know, and you're saying, both of you are giving this trip an A, and his -- the reception here at home has been very strong, even from some of his harshest critics on this trip, but how do you think his message was perceived by foreign leaders that he --
ROLLINS: Well, they're never going to be happy when you have a new strong leader. I mean, they've had -- they've had Obama for eight years who basically they could push all over the field. The bottom line is the person that's been the strongest person in Europe is Merkel, she is the most unhappiest about the trip because she is now not a big player on the world stage, and I think to a certain extent, his message was for the U.S., his message was not about, I'm going over there meet a whole bunch of new friends. I mean, I think his message was one of strength; this is what we've done for the world; we're going to continue this for the world; you've got to do your part.
SMITH: What the President took on was no small task. He started out with a very firm, strong stance on terror, went to Mid-East, he's met with the Pope. What stood out to you, what was sort of a highlight from this trip for you, Brad?
BLAKEMAN: Leadership. We didn't have apology, appeasement, or pandering. We had a President who came as the -- as first and foremost, the leader of America. He took it to the Middle East, saying, "You're not doing your part, and you need to step up more." And you know what, it was well- received. Then he went to NATO and said, "You know what, you're not pulling your weight, you need to do more." And begrudgingly, well- received. And then he went to the G7 and said, "Hey, we're all in this together. Let's fix our economies; let's make our nations great again." All positive messages. In some instances, he was calling pupils to the principal's office, but mainly, if you're an American, you were waiting for this for eight years, for a president to stand up for America.
SMITH: He comes home, health care is on the agenda, tax reform is on the agenda, Congressman Brady suggesting that we could have something by the end of the year, that they're going to be laser-focused on this. Do you see that happening?
ROLLINS: Well, they need to be. And then the bottom line is it's more than just his numbers that are at stake, the House is going to have a hard re-election campaign to get that majority if they don't do something. So, it's their responsibility now to basically move the tax bill, and move basically the health care bill. And they've been fighting among themselves. The most important thing for him is no more disarray stories; he needs to sit down with his White House staff tomorrow and say, "Listen, we've got a tough summer ahead of us; no shakeup stories." If he wants to shake the (INAUDIBLE) we can do it in August when everybody is not paying any attention. But right today, they need to focus on getting stuff done.
SMITH: You know, there -- a lot of people are talking, Brad, about the President being a changed man after this trip, and Melania Trump, on her departure speech, she said, "This trip has been so good for me as the First Lady." Do you think that President returns from his first foreign trip as a changed man?
BLAKEMAN: I think, certainly, it's got to have some effect on you. When you -- when you go out and see the world not as you hoped it would be, but as it is, and understand that America is the leader in the world, and the President is that person who not only Americans look to but foreign leaders work to -- and want to work with. Yes, I think, in some instances, he's got to be a changed person. And it's my hope now that the President will take the success of his international visit and make that his agenda now for domestic. Sell your policies domestically just like you did internationally.
ROLLINS: There's always a danger, though, foreign policy, presidents call the foreign policy agenda, and they like it over there. And domestic is always hard. I've worked for four presidents, and been around a couple wars. And I hope the temptation as we -- the problems are here. He promised the country was going to fix here and not get caught up in going off to all these meetings and wanting to be the foreign policy President.
SMITH: Something also was really interesting was not only the way the President and the First Lady, and his team were received but his security team, clearly, so much respect they've had for his security team by these foreign leaders as well, and you certainly saw that during this trip. Brad, Ed, thank you.
ROLLINS: Thank you.
BLAKEMAN: Thank you.
SMITH: All right. We'll see you in a bit. The mainstream media not holding back its attacks on President Trump. But now, an unlikely ally is coming to the President's defense. More with this panel as we look ahead on SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES.
SMITH: Famed Washington Post Journalist, Bob Woodward, with a new message for the mainstream media, the man who helped break Watergate, urging the press to tone down its criticism of President Trump, saying in part, "We are not at the Watergate level yet. I think it serves no one, the media or Trump, to have a thermonuclear war with each other. We need to calm it down, listen more. Be on the surface respectful, but as reporters, be as aggressive as possible."
We're back with our panel, Ed Rollins, and Brad Blakeman. What did you think of that message, Ed?
ROLLINS: Well, I know -- I've known Bob for a long time. I was part of the Watergate team, working for President Nixon's administration, and I think to a certain extent, it is not Watergate. It's a long ways from ever being Watergate. In my sense is many people have learned the lessons of Watergate. They're not going to violate the laws in the way that that was done. Woodward, I think, is an elder statesman at this point in time. The problem is a bunch of young journalists who've been waiting 30 years to be the Woodward and Bernstein of their day, and you now see this going back and forth between The New York Times and The Washington Post, who can get the story, who can -- who can get the sources. And this is the leakiest White House I've seen. I've been in a couple of White Houses, and I think the President needs to slap it down real quick, basically fire some --
SMITH: How can he do that, by the way?
ROLLINS: He can basically hold people accountable. You can quickly figure out who's leaking what, where --
SMITH: Does it mean firing people in the --
ROLLINS: Well, firing people will not be a bad start. If you get a couple people that you know are the leakers here, get them out. Some of these people that are leaking are in the -- in the National Security Agencies and what have you, and you need to -- need a clean house there. If I would, this week, I would bring in my FBI leadership at this point in time, justice (INAUDIBLE) leadership and intelligence leadership. Guys, I want this stopped. You are putting ourselves in jeopardy with our allies as we did with Great Britain last week. Shut this down. And if you basically know people here in the agencies, in the White House, whatever, then you know they're looking for you. You got to be more cautious.
SMITH: Brad, let me share with you one of the President's most recent tweaks on this subject, on the fake news media. It's not the first time, obviously, we've seen this. But he tweeted this, just two hours ago, "It is my opinion that many of the leaks coming out of the White House are fabricate lies made up by the #facenew -- #FakeNewsMedia. He really is staying on this. Good idea?
BLAKEMAN: Yes, he is. It is a good idea for -- to do what Ed suggest, and that is, put the word out that leakers need to be found and brought to justice, whether it's being fired or whether tax leaking brought up on charges for leaking classified information. But one this is for sure, the media herd mentality that Bob Woodward spoke about, reminds me of the old- time westerns where they go out and they hang the guy and then give him a trial. This is -- Watergate has been on their lips from the moment Donald Trump became president. They're looking for scandal. And so far, the only criminal acts that have taken place as a lawyer that I see is the leakers who are leaking classified information.
SMITH: If more Bob Woodward speak out on this, you think he could -- they could have any effect on the way journalists are covering this president?
ROLLINS: No. Well, first they're not going to Bob -- again, he's an elder statesman, he's close to my age, and I think he's at a point where he's sort of above the fray. The problem today, I think, is that -- and it's not -- it's not -- I don't -- I don't buy the fake news, what I do buy is that people are sources things and you don't -- they won't write these stories unless they had sources. And the sources is too many people want to have their names, or have their story -- the paper to tell their side of the story. I think it prop themselves up. And you also have a White House, there's a bunch of people who didn't believe in this President initially, and those are the ones that needed to be cleaned out.
SMITH: Wow. And the President's ability to tackle this problem, many are pretty confident he's doing the right thing, especially his supporters on that, they stand behind him.
All right. Thank you very much, Brad Blakeman, Ed Rollins, good to see you. Still to come, the one thing to watch for in the week ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."
SMITH: We're back with our panel on this Memorial Day weekend. What's the one big thing to watch for this week, Ed and Brad?
ROLLINS: I think appointing a FBI director would be the important thing. They shouldn't have left that unfinished the last time, and (INAUDIBLE) sort of the frontrunners now taking themselves out, a big name important person would be very important.
BLAKEMAN: I think a more disciplined White House, I think, we're going to see. And then, looking towards Wednesday when the President does his first domestic policy address in Iowa.
SMITH: Tax reform, is that going to be a key issue for him as he returns home?
ROLLINS: It is definitely going to be a key issue there. A long ways from getting there but I think to a certain extent, he has to revisit the budget because the budget is dead on arrival and I think he has to basically let people know that this is all about action from here on out.
SMITH: Very good. Thanks to both of you for being here. Good to see you.
ROLLINS: A pleasure. Thank you.
SMITH: That does it for "Sunday Morning Futures". Maria will be back Tuesday on "Mornings With Maria" from 6 to 9 Eastern on Fox Business.
"MediaBuzz" with Howard Kurtz is up next.
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