Benjamin Netanyahu commends Trump's decision on Iran

This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," October 15, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST: Good Sunday morning everybody, thanks for being here. The state of the Iran nuclear deal now up to Congress. Republicans push for tax reform with the clock ticking on 2017 and what's the fallout from President Trump's executive order on health care.

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

President Trump decertifying the Iran nuclear deal, what happens now with the agreement? I will talk momentarily to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, House Foreign Affairs Committee Ed Royce and former Senator Joe Lieberman.

Also ahead, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says a tax reform bill will be ready by December, others not so sure. I'll talk live with Secretary Mnuchin coming up and ask him about the big demanding and remaining obstacles. Plus, the dismantling of ObamaCare has begun. Where does healthcare go now after President Trump's executive order?

All that, right now, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."

President Trump decertifying the Iran nuclear agreement that kicks the issue back to Congress which now has a 60-day window to make the next move. And though the United States did not actually walk away from the nuclear deal, the president is leaving that option on the table. So far the move winning praise from our closest ally in the Middle East.

Joining me right now is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Mr. Prime Minister it's wonderful to see you. Thanks so much for joining us this morning.


BARTIROMO: You congratulated and commended the president's action on this deal. Why was it so important for President Trump to make this move?

NETANYAHU: Well, look, Iran is the foremost terrorist state of our time. It hangs gays, jails journalists, subjugates women, and foments terrorism throughout the world and wild aggression in the Middle East. To have a regime like this, that is -- whose economy is 30 times the size of North Korea, to have a rogue regime like that acquire an arsenal of nuclear weapons in 10 years' time, which is what the Iran agreement now provides Iran to do, is a terrible folly.

So I commend the president for taking a historic and bold decision to avert this danger in time.

He could have kicked the can down the road. He could have said it's not going to happen on my watch so I'll just let it go. But he didn't. And he's faced up to this danger. And I think he gave an opportunity for all of us in the Middle East and beyond to fix this deal, fix it or nix it, because it could be very, very dangerous if it just went through.

BARTIROMO: Yeah, I'm glad you mentioned North Korea. I'm going to ask you about that in a moment.

But the idea that he should fix it or nix it really surprised some people that he left the door open to, look if congress can't come up with something, we'll walk away. Watch this, Mr. Prime Minister. I want to get your reaction to this as we examine these flaws in the deal.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I am directing my administration to work closely with Congress and our allies, to address the deal's many serious flaws so that the Iranian regime can never threaten the world with nuclear weapons.

In the event we are not able to reach a solution working with congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated


BARTIROMO: Mr. Prime Minister would you rather see this deal terminated or do you think they actually can amend these serious flaws that the president refers to?

NETANYAHU: I'm focused on the goal. The goal is to prevent Iran from ever acquiring nuclear weapons And you could achieve it either by fixing this bad deal or by nixing it. I don't particularly care, which one, but it's the result that we want to have.

And there's several key things you want to make sure. One is that you don't remove the restrictions on Iran's nuclear program just by changing the calendar. You want to see a real change in Iran's behavior. That's eliminating the so-called automatic sunset clause on restrictions.

The second thing is prevent Iran from developing intercontinental ballistic missiles that are only useful for nuclear weapons. And you can do that.

The third thing is equally is to see that you have real inspections. Right now Iran, you know, Iran doesn't allow you to inspect military sites. It lets you inspect everywhere else. Well, where do you think they are going to hide these things.

So these are some of the key changes that have to go through. If you get it fine if you don't get it cancel the deal.

BARTIROMO: Yeah, this is a really important point that you make because Tom Cotton of Arkansas is now looking at some of these flaws as a way to come up with a bill to actually change this. And it is the sunset clauses, insufficient enforcement and the silence on Iran's missile program.

So do you think that they will actually be able to come up with an amendment that Iran will follow? Do you really believe that we will be able to start viewing their facilities?

NETANYAHU: I think that what have you is immense leverage. People don't recognize that. You have immense leverage, and not only because Israel and the key Arab states in the region support what the president has done. You said Israel supports the president, absolutely, but so does Saudi Arabia, so do the emirates. And you know when Israel and the Arab states agree on something you should pay attention.

I think this a historic moment. The leverage you have is based upon the fact that the United States is a great superpower. It's the world's greatest power. Its economy is nearly $20 trillion. The Iranian economy is 2 percent of that, so when various countries, including your allies, have to choose between crippling sanctions on Iran or cutting themselves out of the American market, well it's a no-brainer what they will choose. That's part of the leverage that you have.

And the president is right to put that forward now and to say I'm not going to authorize the continuation of a very bad deal that will give a rogue criminal state the powers to threaten the United States mainland. We've seen what happens when that goes through. I'm going to act now. Again, fix it or nix it, exactly the right thing to do.

BARTIROMO: But that's not what we're hearing from some of our partners on this deal right? I mean, what are you going to do? What should the president be doing to work with the other five countries who are basically saying look, we're fine, just keeping this deal as is.

I'm talking about Europe. I'm talking about China. So if the U.S. even puts snap back sanctions back in place, what does it really mean if the other countries involved in this deal are not agreeable?

NETANYHAU: Well look, I think the reason they say they want to keep the deal is because they think that changing it would mean canceling it. But the president said something very astute. He said, well, unless you change it, I'm going to cancel it. So if you want to save the deal start fixing it and that's exactly the right -- so it takes time until governments actually understand the significance of what the president put forward.

But he has said I, the president of the United States, will not allow this bad deal to go through. So the only way you guys can save the deal is by helping amend it, fixing it, and that's something that I think will have a great leverage down the line.

BARTIROMO: So you do leave that Europe, for example, will join in on perhaps potentially snapping back those sanctions against Iran then?

NETANYAHU: Well I think if the U.S. decides to do that on its own it can do so by its own because it has such immense economic leverage. And I think the Europeans once they think about it will see that the president is giving them an opportunity to avoid something that is very bad for them today.

You know, you don't want -- none of us as leaders should sacrifice the long-term or even the middle-term or the short-term. In the short-term yeah, it's comfortable. They have business ties with Iran and so on that are developing, but in a very few years, Iran will be this humongous power with declared -- you know, this is Iran that says death to America, death to Israel. You know, you're the great Satan. We're the little Satan. I suppose Europe in between is a middle-sized Satan. I hope they're not offended.

But we're all under their guns. They're developing ballistic missiles not to fire against us. They already have that, it's to fire against to threaten Europe, to threaten the United States.

So, I think when people come around and think about it, they say, we really don't want this bad deal to go through. We really should act now to correct it.

BARTIROMO: The president also said look, their favorite term is death to America, death to Israel. The president actually said that in this speech.

Are you expecting Iran to take retaliatory action as a result of this move?

NETANYAHU: Against who?

BARTIROMO: Against the U.S., against Israel, against anybody? I mean, are you expecting a reaction from the Iran Revolutionary Guard?

NETANYAHU: Well, I think a can speak as the prime minister of Israel. I think if they act against us that would be a very big mistake.

BARTIROMO: Already, we've heard rhetoric to that, calling any commentary against this deal stupid. I mean a lot of commentary already coming out of Iran. Should the country be afraid? I mean, should we be worried that in fact this is going to stoke even more violence?

NETANYAHU: No, I think it's the opposite. I think it reveals Iran's, the pressure Iran has come under. Up to now, they were living in heaven. I mean, the radicals controlling Iran were enjoying a bonanza. They were getting money flowing in -- just began, by the way, $50 billion that they got and it's just upfront. But down the line, they get hundreds of billions of dollars with oil contracts, with projects and other things. And so all of a sudden this bonanza has stopped. And now they're under pressure. And I think that's important.

Look, I drew a red line in the UN against Iranian enrichment. And everybody said wow, is that going to cause a problem? But in fact Iran backed off. They never crossed that line. Because they know the power of crippling sanctions and other things that they would have to confront.

So I would say right now the ones who were worried, who should be worried is Iran, not the U.S.

BARTIROMO: You know, the president also mentioned North Korea. You mentioned North Korea at the beginning of our conversation. He said look, if you allow something to keep going on, it will only get worse. It will only get busy -- worse and more dangerous, as we've seen with North Korea. Do you believe Iran is working with North Korea on its missile program?

NETANYAHU: Well it did in the past, for sure. There's no question about that. But I'd rather not discuss ongoing intelligence.

I think the important thing is remember that when the deal with North Korea was signed in 1994, it was hailed as just a breakthrough. North Korea's neighbors would be more secure. North Korea will stop the development of nuclear weapons.

That turned out to be false. And in fact, the same celebratory words were said about the deal with Iran, including the fact that Iran would now join the community of nations. It's going to moderate its activity, but since the deal with Iran was signed, the nuclear deal was signed, Iran has been like a tiger unleashed from its cage and it's not joining the community of nations, it's devouring nations left and right.

So I think that standing up to refusing to go along with the bad deal is a good thing, an important thing, even an historic thing, certainly important for world peace.

BARTIROMO: And Mr. prime minister real quick, we're about to speak with Steven Mnuchin the U.S. Treasury Secretary. And of course this deal gives the Treasury further sanction opportunity against the Revolutionary Guard, because of its support for terrorism. What do you want to see out of the U.S. Treasury right now?

NETANYAHU: That is a very important step. And I welcome it. We like to see it implemented obviously because the Revolution Guards are the main instrument of Iran's aggression throughout the Middle East. They're firing rockets from Yemen through their proxies that reach 700-kilometers right into the Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. They're trying to colonize Syria and turn it into a military base against Israel and against others.

So Iran's aggression continues unabated, and in fact fueled by the megabucks they receive from this deal. And that's nothing compared to what they will receive tomorrow unless we change course. Beginning those sanctions on the Revolutionary Guards is a very important first step.

BARTIROMO: You make an important point because the land grab has gotten bigger. Iran is in Syria. It is in Iraq. Mr. Prime Minister, thank you so much for your time this morning.

NETANYAHU: Thank you, Maria.

BARTIROMO: Congratulations to you on this dynamic economy of Israel, despite the challenges you face. We'll see you soon, sir.

BARTIROMO: And the fate of the Iran deal now in the hands of lawmakers up next. I'll speak with House Foreign Affairs Committee Ed Royce with me coming up. Then I'll speak live with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin about tax reform. Will we get it this year? What would you like to hear from all of the above? Follow me on Twitter @MariaBartiromo, @SundayFutures. Stay with us quick break. We're looking ahead right now on "Sunday Morning Futures."


BARTIROMO: Welcome back. Well, it is now up to Congress whether to re-impose sanctions on Iran and unravel the nuclear deal. Some Republicans are eager to take new steps to counter Iranian aggression, but some Democrats are determined to honor the agreement with Iran. Let's bring in California Congressman Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. And Mr. Chairman, it is good to have you on the program this morning.


BARTIROMO: Thank you so much for joining us. Your reaction to Netanyahu just now?

ROYCE: Well, I think he laid out the important case here which is that Iran is moving forward with an intercontinental ballistic missile system and intercontinental means from there to here. So as they test these systems out to try to get a missile that will hit the United States and boast about their intention to do so, they know they've only got 10 years left in this agreement and we know that we can't get the IAEA, the international inspectors into some of the military sites where we have suspicions about activity.

We know also that Iran is moving their Quds Forces and IRGC, that's the Iranian Revolutionary Guard into Syria up against the border with Israel while they've already overthrown one of our allies in the region which was the government of Yemen and are now flying missiles into Riyadh from there. Given all of this action, of course, we've got to strengthen this deal and not only do we have to strengthen it, we have to do something to put sanctions on with respect to the ballistic missiles that they've redeveloping.

BARTIROMO: All of the reasons the President would not certify this deal this weekend. So how will you approach these very serious flaws that the President has mentioned and the Prime Minister of Israel as well including the sunset clauses for example, which ultimately will enable them to get a nuclear weapon, as well as the insufficient enforcement, the fact that we cannot view their military site, how will you approach this and change those flaws?

ROYCE: So there's two parts to this. The first is what do we do about their ballistic missile system and that's answered by the legislation that I passed out of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House this last week. That will go to the House floor for passage into the Senate and it had broad bipartisan support. The reason we're addressing that obviously is we can use our considerable ability to put U.S. sanctions in place, specifically on that. Second, last week, we also passed legislation having to do with sanctioning Hezbollah. That bill needs to come to the floor of the House when we -- and will pass into the Senate and that will allow us to cut off the financing and begin the support network to curtail Iran's proxy.

And then the last part which you just mentioned, we have to sit down with our European partners. I've discussed this with some of the Ambassadors. And so we need to talk with them specifically about extending out this sunset. We will lead on this but you might be surprised to note that the French for example, have also expressed some interest in expanding out that sunset so that that doesn't expire in 10 years. Lastly, your point about getting onto the military bases, we have in the original agreement arguably and I led the opposition to the agreement on the House floor, but there is a provision in there that if we enforce the hell out of this agreement, we could push the point that we need to have access to military bases where there is this kind of research going on. We need to do that.

BARTIROMO: Real quick, is Iran going to retaliate here?

ROYCE: Well I don't -- I think Iran is already on the march. Iran is already doing frankly everything it can with the $100 billion that unfortunately they got through this agreement. So the choice here is ours, curtail them or not. But clearly, it's having -- the impact is already there.

BARTIROMO: Sir, thank you.

ROYCE: They're as aggressive as they can be.

BARTIROMO: Mr. Chairman, thank you. We'll be right back.


BARTIROMO: Welcome back. Coming up in the program, we are talking about tax reform. We will sit down with the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin coming up this morning, so stay with us as we get an update on where the administration is in their tax package coming up. Steven Mnuchin will join me live.

First up, President Trump says he's ready to pull the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal if Congress fails to renegotiate this agreement. Former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman and chairman of United Against Nuclear Iran has always been against this deal and he joins me now. Senator, it's good to see you.

JOE LIEBERMAN, FORMER SENATOR, CONNECTICUT: You too, Maria. Thanks for having me on.

BARTIROMO: Thank you so much for joining us. How easy or tough will it be to actually get our arms around some of these flaws that the president has discussed including we can't even go view their military facilities to see what they're doing?

LIEBERMAN: Yes, I totally agreed with the president's decision. That sort of showed again elections have consequences. We went from the administration that stretched to reach this agreement and protected it almost at any cost regardless of what Iran was doing to now. This administration which basically says this is a bad agreement for the security of the United States. I thought the president made the right decision, did it in the right way. He could have withdrawn the other day on Friday but he basically said to Congress, our allies and the Iranians, we're going to pull out of this agreement unless it changes because right now it's not in the national security interest of the American people.

Is it going to be hard to change it in Congress? It will but honestly what can be done and what should be done shouldn't be there that hard. One we're asking the Iranians to essentially agree not to develop nuclear weapons. That was the whole purpose of the sanctions and the deal only puts a pause, puts the brakes on and says in eight or 10 years, you can start doing things that will allow you to build nuclear weapons again. The Supreme Leader in Iran says that he doesn't want to build nuclear weapons anyway. OK let's make that happen. Second, how can you have an agreement that you have any trust in on something this important if you can't really inspect anywhere any time particularly the military sites where they would be cheating if they were cheating and this Iranian regime has had a bad record of cheating on awful lot on international agreements?

BARTIROMO: The Prime Minister Netanyahu a moment ago would not go into intelligence that he may or may you know, have right now in terms of Iran potentially working with North Korea. Do you believe these two are working together in terms of a nuclear program?

LIEBERMAN: Well, we know enough on the public record to know they are. The extent to which Iran and North Korea are working together, it is the only question. In other words, it's not whether they're working together. It's how much they're working together. I mean, we know that the top leaders of the Iranian nuclear weapons program were in North Korea when North Korea did some of its first testing of nuclear weapons. We know that North Korean designs for intercontinental ballistic missiles have been reflected in the intercontinental ballistic missiles that Iran has sent up.

So there's cooperation there. The worst nightmare and I don't have any evidence but I'm going to mention it. The worst nightmare is that Iran has outsourced its nuclear program to North Korea while it's on the surface observing technically this agreement because there's a lot to be suspicious about. You know, everybody -- or not everybody -- a lot of people laughed at former President Bush when he talked about the axis of evil. I think it's pretty clear that today North Korea and Iran are in alliance of evil and it's aimed at the United States of America.

BARTIROMO: Yes, that's why I bring it up. You're right. The axis of evil is sort of in my head from so many years ago because it's feeling like it is happening again.

LIEBERMAN: Absolutely.

BARTIROMO: Let me ask you about the revolutionary guard. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has a big job right now to understand what he can do in terms of the revolutionary guard. How important is it to put sanctions against the revolutionary guard. Talk to us about who they are and what they control in Iran?

LIEBERMAN: OK, this is one of the really important things that President Trump did on Friday and I mean, Friday was an important day. Some say oh, he kicked it over to Congress. No, he took what had been statements before, made it official American policy, and said fix this or I'm going to withdraw it. And he has an absolute right in my opinion as Commander-in- Chief to withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Agreement because it's not even an agreement. It wasn't a contract anybody's -- both parties signed. It wasn't a treaty that Congress, the Senate ratified. It was sort of simultaneous diplomatic promises.

IRGC was started out as a private military force created by the Iranian revolution because it didn't trust the army. It has grown into one a massive military force with tens of thousands of troops in Syria, killing Syrians and Yemen and Iraq killing Yemenis and Iraqis, and it also essentially is the dominant force in the Iranian economy. So if our Treasury Secretary can sanction the IRGC, it's going to hurt the Iranians economically. It's going to dissuade a lot of global companies from going back and doing business in Iran. Incidentally, President Trump's announcement on Friday won immediate effect? A lot of companies who were thinking about going in Iran are going to hold back because the risk of doing so now is much higher.

BARTIROMO: Yes, I think you made great points. We're going to speak with the Treasury Secretary coming up this morning to talk about that. And by the way, just to put a -- put a cap on this, I was really interested in hearing Prime Minister Netanyahu say that France is interested in relooking at all of these things because we also have to remember the other five players here. But so far we've heard from France apparently that it's interested in also taking a second look here. Senator, it's good to see you. Thank you for your leadership.

LIEBERMAN: Thank you, Maria.

BARTIROMO: We appreciate your time this morning. Senator Joe Lieberman there.

Republicans are eyeing an end of year deadline on tax reform. Meanwhile, hoping to give Americans the biggest tax cut in our nation's history, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will join me live to tell us where that bill stands now. Back in a moment right here.


BARTIROMO: Welcome back. We turn now to tax reform. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin confident a bill will be done by December. But Senator Ted Cruz is warning that the process could leak into the new year. For more let's bring in the Treasury Secretary of the USA Steven Mnuchin. Mr. Secretary it's good to see you this morning. Thanks so much for joining us.

STEVEN MNUCHIN, TREASURY SECRETARY: Good to see you as well. Always great to be with you, Maria.

BARTIROMO: We were talking about Iran a lot this morning with Prime Minister Netanyahu so I'm going to get to that coming up. I'd like to get your take on things as well. But let me start with the budget battle and of course, we've got an important week coming up. What are you expecting from the Senate this week in terms of the budget bill going down to the floor for a vote which of course would open the door to reconciliation and the forward move on tax reform?

MNUCHIN: Well, Maria as you said, we're looking forward to the Senate's budget vote this week. It's a very important part because it does establish the reconciliation instructions for tax reform. I've had the opportunity to speak to many Senators about this and we're looking forward to them passing it this week. It's a -- that will be a huge step towards tax reform.

BARTIROMO: So that allows you to take the tax reform bill through the reconciliation process. Let's talk about that for a moment because recently, this deduction elimination of the state and local taxes has been a debate. Where are you on that? Is that going to hold up this bill?

MNUCHIN: Maria I don't think it's going to hold up the bill. And as you know, I've had the opportunity to work with the president for over the last year and a half during the campaign on tax reform. It's been his top priority. I've been working on this since January. And we understand the issue on state and local deductions. As I said, you know, I've lived in California and New York and I know the impact on both those economies and we're trying to balance. On the one hand, we firmly believe that the federal government should get out of the business of supporting and subsidizing the state and local deductions. On the other hand, we are sensitive to those economies and we're working with the House and Senate on this issue.

BARTIROMO: I guess, on one hand, if you have a deduction and you're able to deduct your state and local taxes, it sort of gives the governor of that state or the mayors in that city freewheeling to just raise taxes or leave taxes wherever they want.

MNUCHIN: That's true Maria and I know that people in New York and California will say that they send more money to the federal government that they get back. But that's because more rich people live in both those states and the way the tax system works, I think you know. The top 10 percent pay 80 percent of the taxes in this country.

BARTIROMO: Yes, I do know that and I've been saying that a lot which brings me to the conversation of aren't some people in this country going to pay higher taxes if, in fact, you eliminate that deduction? And then you come up with this fourth bracket, you know, that's what Rand Paul and I were talking about this past week. Listen to what Senator Paul said about the idea that if you do eliminate that deduction and come up with another high bracket for the millionaires, you're actually not cutting taxes. Listen to this, Sir.


SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KY.: I think one compromise might be for those below a million dollars, they get to keep the deduction or you get to keep a part of it, maybe seven points of it instead of the full 12 if you're in New York or California. There's all kinds of compromises but to me, the bottom line isn't so much which solution, it's just that you don't have a significant number of middle-class folks getting a tax increase. I think that kills the deal.

BARTIROMO: It's 100 percent. I mean, you know, he's talking about the biggest tax cut in history and yet you're going to remove that deduction and you're going to come up with a fourth bracket, what about that, a fourth bracket for the millionaires, you are talking about higher taxes, certainly for the highest earners they get a tax increase, agreed?

PAUL: The top one percent pay about a third of the income tax. The top 25 percent pay almost 90 percent of the income tax. So if you take this class warfare of theology and say oh, we're not going to cut taxes on those who are successful, guess what, you won't cut taxes because that's where all of the taxes are paid. So I'm a big believer. Yes, you should cut the top rate.


BARTIROMO: So what about that Secretary Mnuchin? Are you going to cut the top rate?

MNUCHIN: Well Maria as you know, right now, we set the top rate at 35 percent. And the idea there was that in the high tax state, that would not be a tax cut and it wouldn't be a tax increase for them. But we're going to work through these issues. We look forward. I've had conversations with Senator Paul and others on this. And as you know, I've said from day one, it's been the president's objective that this is about a middle-income tax cut. This is not about a tax cut for the rich.

BARTIROMO: Right, and in terms of the estate tax, that's something that I know that you're facing some pushback in the Senate. Are you going to be able reverse the estate tax and do away with that or do you think you'll have to keep something like that in just to get the votes in the Senate?

MNUCHIN: Well Maria, you know, this has been an important Republican doctrine for a long period of time. It's partially a philosophical issue, it's partially an economic issue. There's a lot of people that do have family businesses that we want them to be able to pass it on, whether they're farms or small businesses. On the other hand, as I said this week, obviously the estate tax when we talk about no cuts for the rich, we're talking about the income tax system. The estate tax system is just fundamentally unfair, people pay about 50 percent taxes every year and then they pay another 50 percent taxes when they die. But this will be one of the issues we continue to discuss with Congress.

BARTIROMO: So it's double taxation basically?

MNUCHIN: It's beyond double taxation.

BARTIROMO: Yes. So in terms of the pushback, Secretary Mnuchin, is that really what you're seeing the state and local tax deduction, the property tax deduction, and potentially the estate tax deduction or is there other disagreements in terms of this overall package?

MNUCHIN: Maria, the good news is we have a consensus with the leadership in the House and the Senate. As you know, we've been working on these issues all year. These are difficult issues. Tax reform hasn't been done in 31 years. If this were simple, it would have been done before. But President Trump is committed and I am committed to getting this done this year and we are confident that that's going to occur.

BARTIROMO: And we're already seeing anticipation of a better economy. We're getting better numbers 3.1 percent GDP.

Secretary Mnuchin, I want to take a quick break but when we come back, I want to ask you how you get to 50 votes. Are you going to need Democrats? How do you see the path towards passage? We'll talk about that when we come right back. Secretary Mnuchin is with me this morning on "Sunday Morning Futures," stay with us.


BARTIROMO: And welcome back. We are back for more now with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. And Secretary Mnuchin, you've been very clear that your priority with this tax bill and this reform package is about job creation and it is about growth. And you believe that we will see growth as a result of cutting taxes and that will help pay for the plan. Is the idea of being revenue neutral or deficit neutral off the table at this point?

MNUCHIN: Maria not at all. The math is very simple. We have a trillion and a half dollars that will be in the reconciliation. There's 500 billion, that's the difference between policy and baseline. And we think that we should be scoring this to policy. So that takes the number down to a trillion dollars negative. We think there's $2 trillion of growth that will take this to a trillion dollars positive. And if you don't believe in our growth and you believe in half the growth, it will be revenue neutral. So those are the simple numbers. Kevin Hassett at the CEA is working both internally and with a bunch of economists and once we come out with all of the details of the plan, it will be fully scored, it will be fully supported.

BARTIROMO: So, what kind of behavior are you expecting in terms of change from managers of businesses, from CEOs that are the job creators in this country, if they do in fact see a much more attractive environment if they take money back from overseas, $3 trillion coming back to the U.S. because of the tax plan, or a 20 percent corporate tax rate or a 25 percent pass through. What will they do?

MNUCHIN: Well, Maria as you know, the stock market is at record highs. And there's no question that a significant component of that is in anticipation of us getting tax reform done and regulatory relief done as well. So I think the market is anticipating we'll get this done and companies are already beginning to invest. This is about making a competitive business tax system. As I've said before, we have one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world, we tax on worldwide income, we have this crazy concept of deferral where if you leave your money offshore, you don't pay U.S. taxes so not a surprise we have international companies sitting with trillions of dollars offshore. So we call this as much of a jobs act as it is a tax act. This is about creating American jobs.

BARTIROMO: Secretary, would you explain the road to passage here. You need to get to 50 votes and we know that it is long and hard-fought process over healthcare and at the end of the day, John McCain votes no, some people who we thought would vote yes voted no, and the deal falls apart. So given what we know about a feud between Senator Corker and the President maybe McCain did something for personal reasons, I don't know. Is the President perhaps potentially damaging the chances of closure getting the votes required by the feuding?

MNUCHIN: Not at all Maria. And I've had many conversations with Senator Corker on tax reform. He's been incredibly helpful in regards to where we are in the budget. I think you know he was part of the agreed-upon compromise to get the budget out of the budget committee and onto the floor. And I think the Senate understands the importance of this. And I would also just comment, I hope we get a lot of Democrats on board as well because cutting taxes for the middle class and making business taxes competitive for jobs. I think that's something that Democrats understand as well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So do you think you will get Democrats perhaps from some of the states that the President won like in North Dakota? I mean, would Heidi Heitkamp be there, would Congressman Donnelly be there?

MNUCHIN: I'm not going to comment on anyone Senator and where they'll be because I don't think that would be appropriate. But as you know, we've invited Democrat Senators to come along on Air Force One with us and go to the tax speeches, and I think they understand in these states how important this is for their economies and for their constituents.

BARTIROMO: So do you think that you could be seeing a mix of Republicans and a couple of Democrats in terms of voting for the tax bill?

MNUCHIN: I would hope that's the case. As I said, this is critical to the economy and I would hope that we get many Democrats voting with us.

BARTIROMO: Let me turn to Iran Secretary Mnuchin because of course, we know you've been authorized, you further sanctioned the revolutionary guard for its support of terrorism. Here is what Prime Minister Netanyahu just told me about that.


NETANYAHU: That is a very important step and I will comment, we like to see it implemented obviously because the revolutionary guards are the main instrument of Iran's aggression throughout the Middle East. They're flying rockets from Yemen with their -- through their proxies that reach 700-kilometers right into the Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. They're trying to colonize Syria and turn it into a military base against Israel and against others. So Iran's aggression continues unabated and in fact fueled by the megabucks that they receive from this deal. And that's nothing compared to what they will receive tomorrow unless we change course. Beginning those sanctions on the revolutionary guards is a very important first step.


BARTIROMO: Are you planning on instituting those sanctions, Sir?

MNUCHIN: I am Maria. And let me just explain that most people may not understand this but sanctions and terrorists financing are a very, very important part of what we do at the Treasury Department. I probably spend half my time on this. So as it relates to Iran, I've had the opportunity to be part of this discussion both at the National Security Council with Secretary Tillerson, with Secretary Mattis, with Director Pompeo. We've had many discussions. I've participated with the President in the Oval Office on these discussions and I fully support President Trump's plan here. This is very important. I've just finished three days of meetings with my counterparts here in Washington at the World Bank and IMF meetings and I've had very direct conversations with my counterparts around what we're trying to do with Iran.

BARTIROMO: Do you think they will be on your -- on your team? I mean, will they agree to it, sanctions as well?

MNUCHIN: I think they completely understand that there's an issue in regards to the term of the deal. I think they also understand that Iran is violating U.N. sanctions outside of the deal and we're going to be working with them on that. I also --

BARTIROMO: Secretary, thank you.


BARTIROMO: Thank you so much, Secretary Steven Mnuchin, back in a minute.

MNUCHIN: Thank you.


BARTIROMO: Welcome back. Time for the panel. Ed Rollins is former campaign manager for the Reagan-Bush ticket in 1984, Lee Carter both President and Partner at the communications consultant firm Maslansky and Partners. Good to see you both. Thank you so much for joining us. Executive order last week from the President on health care, your thoughts?

ED ROLLINS, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: My thoughts are he basically is living up to the law. Money has never been appropriated. It was authorized in the bill to get companies to support it but never appropriated. If you don't appropriate it until legal and federal court has already told him, the legal and Justice Department said you cannot spend that money.

LEE CARTER, PRESIDENT, MASLANSKY + PARTNERS: I think that it's fascinating the way that he's been doing this from DACA to this. He's using executive orders to push Congress to do their jobs. People -- he's taking a lot of hits right now, but the bottom line is this. Congress needs to come together and get healthcare donor else people are going to be in a lot of trouble. So I think that this is a very, very interesting move on the part of the President and I think that it's a strategy that he has to move forward to get things done.

BARTIROMO: So you think that this was the right move then?

ROLLINS: I think he made a choice. It's (INAUDIBLE) at the federal court that you cannot spend money that's not been appropriated by Congress. Congress went and sued Obama and you know, the bottom line is he's undoing all these executive orders that were not properly executed by Obama and I think he's doing the right thing.

BARTIROMO: All right, a word on tax reform. We're going to hopefully see the budget bill go to the floor in the Senate this week. They've been on vacation. So once that happens, the doors is open for reconciliation. Steven Mnuchin was pretty confident he's going to get the votes. Your thoughts?

ROLLINS: I think he's a little overly optimistic. I think there's a lot - - long ways to go and they haven't been very good at counting votes so far and I think they got a hard battle ahead.

BARTIROMO: Hard battle ahead?

CARTER: I'm concerned because when we're talk about removing deductions on the wealthiest, I think you're going to get some conservatives who typically would vote for this to say this is not a typical conservative bill. So I think he might lose Republicans on this and that's a big concern. And when he says he's going to have many Democrats, I don't know who the many Democrats are, maybe one or two.

BARTIROMO: Well there's Donnelly, there's Heitkamp, there's Manchin.

ROLLINS: But none of them have ever publicly said I'm going to support the President. And I think if they were going to support the President, they would be out talking about it.

BARTIROMO: If they don't support the -- aren't their states, their states were won by President Trump.

ROLLINS: It doesn't matter. I've done this for 50 years. There's no -- there's no guarantee because the presidential campaign wins it, the Senator can go different.

BARTIROMO: So it sounds like you guys are skeptical of the tax reform?

ROLLINS: I think they have -- I think they have a lot further way to go than the Treasury Secretary. I hope he's right but I'm just -- I'm just skeptic.

CARTER: I'm skeptical. I want more details and I want to hear them selling this plan better. I do think there's some issues right now the way that they're presenting it for the conservatives to really take on especially when you talk about the wealthiest not really getting a tax cut. And I think that there's a lot of Democrats who are easily saying that this is -- this is for the wealthy not for everybody else so a lot of talking points that aren't being taken.

BARTIROMO: All right, we will leave it there. Lee Carter, Ed Rollins, great to see you both, a little-abbreviated session today. I'll see you tomorrow at Fox Business Network "Mornings With Maria" 6:00 a.m. see you then.

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