This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," December 24, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
TRISH REGAN, GUEST HOST: Good morning and Merry Christmas everyone. President Trump and Congress settle in for the holiday break after passing historic tax reform. Is infrastructure next? Reports surface of a big retirement at the FBI and North Korea starts talking tough again.
Hello, everyone, I'm Trish Regan in for Maria Bartiromo and this is "Sunday Morning Futures." Tax reform is done and it looks like infrastructure will be the president's next big push. He wants bipartisan support but will Democrats play ball?
I'll talk to former Congressman Jason Chaffetz. Also, there's word that embattled deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe may be gearing up for retirement. What's that mean for the allegations of anti-Trump bias at the bureau? Congressman Peter King will join me. And new saber-rattling from North Korea all of that and more as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."
Fresh off, President Trump's first major legislative victory, signaling and signing the tax overhaul into law. He's making a bold prediction about his next big initiative on Capitol Hill, infrastructure, saying it will get tremendous bipartisan support. But will the Democrats actually go along? Joining me right now, Jason Chaffetz, former Utah Congressman, former Chairman of the House Oversight Committee and a Fox News Contributor. So good to see you, Merry Christmas.
JASON CHAFFETZ, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Good morning. Merry Christmas!
REGAN: Is this going to be it, infrastructure? I mean, there have been a lot of talk about entitlement reform. Could infrastructure be the next big policy move?
CHAFFETZ: Well if there's one thing that Democrats do it's spending money, so I don't think it will be trouble getting Democrats on board. I think the real worry is actually going to be the conservatives in the House and the Senate because you're also looking at about a $100 billion supplemental that will be used for hurricane relief. The President also wants to build a wall and there are a lot in Congress that want to build a wall. And that's only about $1.8 billion but still -- well, something's got to give because if you're going to spend hundreds of billions of dollars in infrastructure where are you going to get that money? The House and the Senate passed a $47 trillion 10-year budget but there wasn't any cuts to spending, so conservatives actually will be on the hot seat probably more than -- for more than the Democrats.
REGAN: Well you know as you pointed out rightly, so Democrats love to spend money, typically, so they should love this. I mean this is something that Chuck Schumer has been asking for, for years. If there's anywhere where these folks can meet in the middle in Washington D.C. Representative, you would think it would be infrastructure.
CHAFFETZ: Yes, and it's going to come up quickly. January 19 is when the continuing resolution runs out but again, the question is if you're also going to go out and spend like I said close to $100 billion rebuilding Texas , Florida, Louisiana, and other parts that were hit by the hurricane, then how are you going to actually fund this? Where are you going to cut because there aren't many places that Congress has identified? I think it's the one story coming it of 2017 that really was a mystery to me, was just I couldn't believe that Republicans sort of gave up the mantle of fiscal discipline. I don't think you have to justify allowing the American people to keep their own money in their own wallets. But if you don't cut spending, then you're still going to rack up amazing deficits and I don't see how you get from here to there.
REGAN: Well some people look at the tax cut as a form of spending. Now the hope is it grows our economy enough and I think it will contribute to growth for sure. The question is how much growth, is it enough growth Representative, to actually make up for what it's going to cost and you know, as you look towards an infrastructure program, what that's going to cost.
CHAFFETZ: Well look, if you went back to when President Trump was inaugurated and you said we were going to be north of three percent growth rate if you thought the stock market was going to be where it's at, everybody would have laughed. Everybody would have said no, President Trump is not going to be able to get anything done, get anything passed. Now President Trump has had an advantage so far in being able to use the tool of reconciliation where only has to get 50 people in the Senate to actually vote in favor of a tax package. But that reconciliation tool is gone. Now you have to go and get 60votes. And you're right that's where you've got to go find those eight Democrats in order to come along with your overall spending plan and they're going to push on immigration, they're going to push on other things too, not just the -- not just the infrastructure.
REGAN: Well Representative, if they do not move forward on immigration, I'm talking about the Democrats right now, isn't that going to haunt them politically come 2018? So if you're approaching this from just a shear political perspective, if you're Donald Trump and if you're the Republicans, don't you want infrastructure to be next? Because I'll tell you, if Democrats vote against that, they're seemingly voting against one of the basic things that they have been arguing for, for years.
CHAFFETZ: Yes, again, I think they could get them on infrastructure. Where do you find the money? I don't know but it's going to be really difficult for the Democrats. At this point, they've been pretty much a stiff arm and a blockade saying, they're going to be no on anything that Donald Trump suggests. I mean Democrats used to support the idea that they were going to reduce the corporate income tax. But then suddenly because now it's Donald Trump they were opposed to it. So I think infrastructure is good common ground. Republicans haven't been bashful in spending money. Democrats like to spend money. The question is where are you going to get all of that money after spending all the money on the supplemental for hurricane relief?
REGAN: Entitlement reform.
REGAN: Entitlement reform, is that it -- I mean, you know when you look at the money we spend for example, on things like Medicaid, or -- these are the opportunities that we could take to start cutting and how much might it save us.
CHAFFETZ: Well, it will save a lot if you can get rid of the waste fraud abuse but every administration talks about it and doesn't do much about it. I do think more block grants to the states letting the governors and state legislators be in control would be much more efficient and would actually save a lot of money. But if you listen to Mick Mulvaney, the Head of the Office of Management and Budget, he presents to the President almost on a monthly basis, hey, look, this is where the real money is. It's almost three-quarters of the spending of the four-plus trillion dollars that we spent in this government but thus far the President has not wanted to tackle Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security. They did make the progress on ObamaCare getting rid of the individual mandates but yes, that's where the money is.
REGAN: This is why once you get something, this is why entitlement reform is so difficult. I mean, once you give it, it's very hard, Representative, to take it back and no politician I would imagine wants to be in that position where they look like they're denying someone something that they had previously gotten. And he has said over and over again that he wouldn't go near Social Security and that Social Security would be safe for folks. So that would be challenging certainly for the President and for the Republicans I imagine if they tried to take some of those things away. Let me ask you this Representative, do you think the Democrats don't actually want the economy to do well?
CHAFFETZ: You know, allowing the American people to keep their own money in their own pockets, I mean, Nancy Pelosi was calling that Armageddon, Chuck Schumer was just that (INAUDIBLE) the day. I mean, unanimously Democrats said we don't want the American people to keep more of their own money and their own wallets, so I don't know what it is they think they're going to -- they're going to run on. And if you look at where we're going to be six, eight, 12 months from now when we actually have elections, I think the -- I think the Democrats are overplaying their hand because anything and everything that Republicans do is somehow wrong. I don't see them coming to the table with alternatives or tweaks or saying, hey, here's what we would like to suggest to make the bill better. And I think that's you know, reflecting through to the American people.
REGAN: And people don't like that right? Americans don't like that. This is why they're so frustrated with Washington because no one was getting anything done. I mean, we saw eight years of that gridlock. That's why the federal reserve had to be so aggressive. There was no economic policy that was meaningful coming out of Washington. Now you're starting to see that and tax reform by most accounts is going to be quite stimulative to our economy, so I just question whether, you know you've got Democrats there who are sort of looking at this rather aggressively wishing that the market wasn't doing this well, wishing that the unemployment numbers were actually worse, wishing that wages would not increase because politically speaking, if there Republicans have a win with this, it makes it very difficult in '18
CHAFFETZ: When people are feeling good with their own pocketbooks, they've got a job, they're getting a promotion and you look at some of the indicators about homeownership and the way people are feeling confident in the economy, every one of those indicators under President Trump is going up in a positive direction and that's just the reality. And people vote locally, they vote on how they're feeling, how their company is doing, whether their friends are getting jobs and I'm just telling you, President Trump I think exceeded all expectations in 2017. He's buoyed going into 2018 but January 19, mark that date Trish because funding the government is going to be a battle royal and it's coming up before we know it.
REGAN: I know. Indeed. But I agree with you. I think you know, the economy really when it comes down to it is the number one issue. Besides people's physical security, they want to be financially safe and they want to be physically safe so we'll see how it goes. Thank you so much. Jason Chaffetz, it's so good to see you. Merry Christmas!
CHAFFETZ: Thank you. Merry Christmas!
REGAN: President Trump slamming the FBI's Deputy Director on Twitter one day after former Director James Comey defends the bureau's top lawyer. New York Congressman Peter King is joining me live next. And remember, you can follow us on Twitter @SundayFutures. Stay with us as we look ahead on this Christmas Eve on "Sunday Morning Futures." See you here.
REGAN: Well President Trump on the attack on Twitter this weekend. Yesterday, the President took aim at FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe suggesting he has a conflict of interest with Hillary Clinton and referencing some reports that he may be retiring very soon, tweeting "FBI Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits 90 days to go." Let's bring in New York Congressman Peter King. He sits on the House Homeland Security Intelligence and Financial Services Committees. He is also Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. It's so good to see you. Merry Christmas this morning.
REP. PETER KING, R-N.Y.: Merry Christmas to you Trish.
REGAN: Representative, do you think Andrew McCabe is about to retire and do you think he needs to retire?
KING: Yes, I mean, all the indications are that he is and yes, I think he should. There's been so many questions raised. I worked with Andrew McCabe over the years in my position on the Intelligence Committee and Homeland Security Committee but the issues that come up in the last you know, 16 months regarding the Hillary Clinton investigation, regarding the opening of the investigation of the Trump campaign and the, appear to be conflicts of interest that Andrew McCabe has have, to me, it's better for everyone that he does step aside. And again, maybe there's more to it than event at that but at the very least because of these apparent conflicts and contradictions, I think the time has come, yes.
REGAN: I don't know how someone is able to lead the investigation into Hillary Clinton's e-mails when his own wife who was running for State Senate actually received hundreds of thousands of dollars from Clinton supporters. How does that get cleared Representative, through the Ethics Committee?
KING: I don't even know if it came to the Ethics Committee. I don't know how or how much was disclosed. And it wasn't just he was getting people close to Hillary Clinton. It was probably very few people in politics closer to the Clinton campaign than Terry McAuliffe. I mean, I've known the Terry McAuliffe for years. He is a very, very close personal friend of the Clintons and a political ally. And the fact that he was steering 500, 700,000 whatever the number was to Andrew McCabe's wife in a hotly contested race in Virginia, to me that's such an apparent conflict on its face.
I don't know how he stated it or how he was allowed to stay in it and how that doesn't marginalize him forever. And again the investigation into Hillary Clinton itself was so sensitive, was so vital and to have Andrew McCabe having any role in that at all to me goes against all -- you know, all of the ethical standards we should be having in the FBI and federal government. Let me just emphasize now, I think 99 percent of the people in the FBI outstanding Americans, what we are talking about is what was going on at the top.
REGAN: Look, I mean, and this is why people are so frustrated really with Washington because there is this perception, Representative, that there's a lot of cronyism, there's a lot of sort of greasing of palms and you know regardless of what this was, the reality remains that his wife, the woman who is likely the closest person to him in the world is getting a lot of money from Clinton's friends & associates and people that want to see Clinton succeed. And so you know that in and of itself you would think Representative, would be enough for him to say, OK, you know, we get a Chinese wall in my family and I either number one, can't allow my wife to take that money or number two, cannot be running this investigation.
KING: Right, that investigation and then right around that same time was the opening of the investigation against the Trump campaign which he also had an involvement. And again, we don't know all of the specifics yet. But if that investigation was premised on that dossier and on Carter Page, if that was the basis to have an unprecedented investigation into a presidential campaign, then that to me raises the most serious constitutional and civil liberties issues because that also would have involved then getting a FISA warrant which was really the most intrusive.
I support FISA but that is the most intrusive type of investigation you can have and there has to be such strict standards met for that. And if they were basing it on a dossier which was put together in effect or commissioned by the Clinton campaign and Carter Page who had no real role in the campaign and everything he did was public, to base -- to use that as the basis for this unprecedented investigation and to have Andrew McCabe in any way involved in that raises again serious, serious issues that go beyond really. That to me is more significant than the Clinton investigation.
REGAN: You know, Representative King, that dossier was out there largely discredited. No member of the media, I mean, other than you know, late to the table BuzzFeed and you can question whether they are really a legitimate member of the media because to me no legitimate media organization would have printed that. But no real media organization went near that. And so what I look at is how is it that journalists knew that that was discredited but somehow our own FBI decided to take the thing as gospel? We don't know.
REGAN: Go ahead.
KING: Yes, (INAUDIBLE), I'm just saying if that was used as the basis beginning the investigation that is totally indefensible using a document, put together or authorized by a opposing campaign and the fact that as far as I know nothing in there, nothing significant has been verified and some of the obvious things like Michael Cohen whose a lawyer for the Trump organization supposedly was in Prague holding secret meetings. He's never been Prague on his life. If the FBI couldn't figure that out, then you know, what are they doing?
So obviously there's no intent made to even look into the basic allegations in that dossier which would -- to me would have made the whole thing you know, incredible. And the fact that the FBI apparently there's reports they want to continue -- you know, they want to pay Michael Steel whose the person behind it, and then you have all of the relationships between you know, the organization putting the dossier together, people in the Justice Department, all of that. If there's any collusion issue here, to me it's the FBI, it's the Clinton campaign, it's the Russians for that matter because it could be very likely that Russians were feeding Steel information to use against Donald Trump and it was fake information.
REGAN: Wow and the Russians were playing the FBI in all this.
KING: And that was used as the basis for federal investigation.
REGAN: Anyway, lots of questions still. Thank you so much Representative King. Good to have you here. Merry Christmas!
KING: OK, great and again Merry Christmas.
REGAN: Thanks. A defiant reaction from North Korea to the new round of U.N. sanctions. What should be our next move as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures." We'll see you here.
REGAN: North Korea calls the new round of U.N. sanctions an act of war and Defense Secretary Mattis is taking that threat very seriously telling our troops they "must be ready to go should talks and negotiations fail." Joining me right now Gordon Chang, author of Nuclear Showdown, North Korea Takes on the World. Gordon, good to see you. This seems to be escalating once again very quickly. I guess I would ask you to tell us how can we -- how can we effectively deal with North Korea right now without actually having to use force?
GORDON CHANG, AUTHOR, NUCLEAR SHOWDOWN: Yes, I think there's a lot of things we can do Trish. So, for instance, President Trump can actually enforce his September 21 executive order which essentially tells the world if you do business with North Korea, you're not doing business with us. And that message has to be given to Beijing and we've got to be serious about it. The other thing is that large Chinese banks have been money laundering for the North Koreas. So far they've gotten a free pass. I don't think that we can allow that to continue. You know, we don't allow Colombian drug lords to launder money through New York City. We should not be allowing the Chinese to do that especially when they've been arming the North Koreas with all sorts of equipment and technology for their ballistic missile program and their nuclear weapons program. This is how we could actually solve this shorter the use of force.
REGAN: In other words, we use our economic power with China right now because I know you've said and many have said that China really holds the key. They have the right intelligence there on the ground. They could actually influence this situation far more than we can from our standpoint. So our key then is influencing China. And we've gotten all indications that the President is trying to do that and is trying to work with China on this -- on this issue but what about treasury because you mentioned sanctioning banks? They sanction one Chinese bank, aren't their others they could go after? I mean, couldn't we actually if we really wanted to Gordon, say OK, no more trades with China until they deal with their problem which has become ours in North Korea.
CHANG: You know, absolutely. You know, on June 29, President Trump signaled to the Chinese that he was going after the large Chinese banks. He did that by disconnecting a small Chinese bank from the banking system by declaring it to be a primary money laundering concern under Section 311 at the Patriot Act. But we know that Bank of China, one of China's so- called big four banks has been laundering money for the North Koreans. That was said in a U.N. report from last year which talked about devising and operating a scheme in Singapore. It's clearly --
REGAN: So are they lying to us? I mean, the Chinese say we're not trading with North Korea but if they're laundering money, in fact, you know, they're doing something even worse.
CHANG: Yes, and it's not just laundering money. It's not just giving technology to the North Koreans so they could use it against us. Also, you know, just a few days ago, a North Korean ship which was under U.N. sanctions, which means it can't go to any port outside of North Korea, it turned on its transponder in a port near Shanghai. So clearly, the Chinese are busting sanctions and we have yet to hold them to account.
REGAN: All right, well it's time we start I think. It's so good to see you. Gordon Chang, thank you very much. Merry Christmas! Bitcoin rebounding despite a lot of folks saying this is a very dicey investment. Coming up, a couple of investors in Bitcoin, none other than the Winklevoss brothers. They're going to talk about the Bitcoin exchange they founded and why they think the cryptocurrency is, in fact, the future as we look ahead here on SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES, see you here next.
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REGAN: Bitcoin bouncing back following a pretty steep drop last week of more than 40 $ from record highs the week before that. Maria Bartiromo spoke with the Winklevoss twins who found an exchange for the virtual currency and they had some words for those who may fear a bitcoin bubble. Watch.
TYLER WINKLEVOSS, PRESIDENT AND CEO, GEMINI: To this point, it's basically been a spot market and so this is the first time that people can actually express easily a short position on bitcoin. So what that's going to do is create a truly two-sided market which should reduce volatility in the long term and also increase price discovery and just make it easier for institutions and individuals to gain access and exposure to bitcoin with this contract because it's cash settled. You can buy it with cash and you settle out in cash. So you don't have to actually touch the underlying ordeal with bitcoin but you can get the investment exposure to it so it's just another financial product and easier way to get access.
MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST: It certainly gives you more liquidity that's for sure. And Tyler you both made the point when you were on the morning show. Now people could put their money where their mouths are right? Because you've got people like Jamie Dimon calling bitcoin a fraud. So if you think it's a fraud, go short it.
CAMERON WINKLEVOSS: Absolutely, yes. We've been working really hard to give Jamie Dimon an opportunity to short bitcoin and anybody who says that you know, it's a fraud or bubble. You can go now put your money where your mouth is and bet against it.
T. WINKLEVOSS: Yes I mean, talk is cheap and that's right. Now, you can actually, like Cameron said, you could bet against this so we encourage Jamie Dimon, we encourage him to personally bet against this bitcoin, take JP Morgan's balance sheet bet against bitcoin. We'll see what happens, but now they can do it instead of just sort of throwing stones.
BARTIROMO: Yes, but Tyler you've got to explain this because people are wondering what bitcoin is backed by. When I look at the dollar, the dollar is backed by the full faith of the treasury, the full faith of the U.S. government. What Cameron, is bitcoin backed by?
C. WINKLEVOSS: So it's a great question. So Bitcoin, we think of bitcoin as gold. And I think if you look at gold, some people point to an intrinsic value of gold but that really doesn't explain the value of gold. It might explain 10-15 percent of the actual value of gold. Gold has value because we all agree that it has value and we'll all accept gold and as a collective acceptance and value that way. Bitcoin in addition to being increasingly accepted around the world and more people coming into the system by the day has the mining network which is one of the largest computer networks in the world and it's backed by cryptography. A lot of people would look at the U.S. dollar or a government-backed currencies and say a government in -- has counterparty risk. The average lifespan of a currency is roughly 27 years. Look no further than the Zimbabwe dollar. They have I think a trillion dollar bill or a Venezuela. The history of most currencies is really terrible and so yes, living in the U.S. we look at the U.S. dollar and we say well what's wrong with that and it's a pretty decent value but in reality, most currencies out there fail.
BARTIROMO: So how many -- how many bitcoins do you both own?
T. WINKLEVOSS: We're not commenting on that right now.
BARTIROMO: Why not?
T. WINKLEVOSS: Because we are here to talk about the bitcoin futures contract. We may discuss that later at some point.
BARTIROMO: Look, bitcoin this past weekend, opens with a thousand dollar spike, 1000 contracts trading hands in the first hour and exchange halt happened because of the volatility and the Web site crash, all in less than 24 hours. We know that the currency has risen more than 1,500 percent this year, actually 2,000 percent this year, so let me ask you, maybe Bitcoin is real but is it a bubble?
T. WINKLEVOSS: Yes, it's a great question. People use the word bubble and we -- this is basically bitcoin's 20th bubble that you know, we came in five years ago. Remember when bitcoin was a bubble at $30, bitcoin was a bubble at $100, at 500, a thousand, 5,000, 10,000, now we're at a bubble at 17,000. You know, gold's been a bubble for thousands of years. But the bubble framework is really not correct to put against bitcoin. When you think of a company, right, and their stock price, if they produce X amount of units one year and the same amount of units the next year and the stock price goes up and the economic doubles and the economic productivity hasn't changed, the cash flows haven't changed of the company, we say that company is overvalued. But bitcoin is not a company. It is a network. And the value of networks is net cash law. It's N squared. So the amount of users on a network is N, and so if I'm the only person in the world who has a phone, then it's not very valuable. I can't call you. But if you buy a phone, you've actually increased the value of my phone inadvertently or not even knowing because now all of a sudden my phone is useful, same thing with the social network. If you look at Facebook, the first person at Facebook, lonely place, not much of a deal. All of a sudden a hundred people, you can connect with people, you can share stories, share pictures.
BARTIROMO: That's a good analogy.
T. WINKLEVOSS: So, it's classic network effects. A billion people on Facebook, that's a billion squared, right, so that's all of a sudden the value gets exponentially greater and that's how we value bitcoin. Money is a network. People believe in the U.S. dollar. It has more value. People believe in bitcoin, it has value. People believe in gold, it has value and that's not a linear increase. By definition, the more people that get in the bitcoin, it makes it more valuable and when we try and take like equities or stock bubble type frameworks to bitcoin, it's really -- it's misguided because it's a network.
BARTIROMO: Have you sold any bitcoins so far?
C. WINKLEVOSS: Well we've definitely -- we purchased tickets to space with bitcoin a couple years ago on Virgin Galactic and we clearly overpaid for that. But look, we believe long-term that there's still a long way for bitcoin's value to go from here. We think that it is gold 2.0 and disrupting potentially gold which is a $6 trillion market cap. So if you look at bitcoin today at 300 billion, it looks like -- you know, and it's certainly appreciated quite a bit in the past year. But look, we've been saying this for the past five years when bitcoin was you know, $1 billion market cap, that bitcoin is a better gold. If you look at the properties of gold, they make gold gold like you know, scarcity, fungibility, divisibility, portability, bitcoin equals or surpassed gold across each category. so for example, gold is scarce, bitcoin is actually fixed at 21 million. It's divisible into a hundred million pieces. It's actually kind of hard to cut up bars of gold and they're hard to move. They're not nearly as portable. And part of this I think is a little bit of a generational thing. I hate to say that but if you talk to millennials or kids on the street, they don't want hardware. They want software. They get bitcoin, there's no explanation necessary, they don't talk about wanting to wear bitcoin or you know, why isn't bitcoin shinier? They really -- they want a -- they live in a digital world, they live in a 24/7 world, they're connected all the time, and bitcoin is money built for the internet that moves like information and e-mail and everything else. Gold is just the old world. It had its place, it's had a great 3,000-year run. And Bitcoin, you know has only been here for 10 years but it's really you know, cutting in quite a bit.
T. WINKLEVOSS: Yes, I mean to say like that's obviously right. I mean, taking a break from the real world and going to the online world used to be how things were, now people take a break from the online world and step into the real world for like you know, be right back for like 10 minutes but they're really living most of their lives in a digital world.
BARTIROMO: Are you surprised at this incredible success? I mean, I know that you were early believers but wow, you were right.
T. WINKLEVOSS: I mean, so when we first found bitcoin or first came across it, it sounds like a huge idea. It's kind of crazy and it's not crazy to be very skeptical and say sort of like I think Cameron just said you know, this is either like huge or total (BLEEP). You know, this is back in 2012, but kept learning, kept talking to people about it, kept asking questions, kept getting incredible answers back, and I just couldn't see how this couldn't work or wouldn't work. Maybe that's what makes us like a little bit different in the way we think about things. We're sort of optimist, and we want to dig deeper and we want to believe and look for that thing. We obviously get really passionate about it but you know, again, we really couldn't see how why we wouldn't be sitting here today five years ago, why we wouldn't be sitting here today talking to you having this conversation, so -- you know, that was sort of our thinking the whole time.
C. WINKLEVOSS: And yes, I think we always thought it was a binary outcome, it was either a zero or potentially you know, as large as gold or even bigger. Maybe we just world differently and we're -- you know, one of the few that saw it that way but that's kind of the outcome that we envisioned and I think you know, it's not really a surprise that we're here.
REGAN: So maybe bitcoin is the new gold. At least according to the Winklevoss twins. All right, thank you, Maria, for that interview. President Trump reacting to reports the FBI Deputy Director will retire early next year. Are more dominos are going to follow at the agency? Our panel is going to weigh in as we look ahead here on this Christmas Eve on "Sunday Morning Futures."
REGAN: President Trump going after the Deputy Director of the FBI suggesting Andrew McCabe maybe biased in favor of Hillary Clinton, all amid reports of his imminent retirement, our more shake-ups in the works at the agency. Let's bring in our panel. Jessica Tarlov, a Democratic Strategist and Senior Director of Research at bustle.com and James Freeman, Assistant Editor for the Wall Street Journal's Editorial Page, both are Fox News Contributors. Great to see you. Merry Christmas!
JESSICA TARLOV, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CONTRIBUTOR: Good morning. Merry Christmas!
JAMES FREEMAN, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CONTRIBUTOR: Great to be here. You too.
REGAN: I like the Christmas tie.
REGAN: Why did he ever take on this investigation into Hillary Clinton James? I mean, given that his wife had received money for her campaign from people close to Clinton? I mean don't they have any kind of sort of sense of Chinese wall at home?
FREEMAN: Well, I think whether it's at home or in the office, you're looking at a lot of evidence that the senior leadership of this law enforcement agency was all in for Hillary Clinton, and obviously --
REGAN: You think so?
FREEMAN: Well you look at the Strzok/Page texts and they refer to the famous moment. It was in Andy McCabe's office that appears where they talked about the insurance policy against Trump and obviously a lot of text that show a real dislike for the man who's now our President. So I think that's the bigger question versus whether a recusal is we're still waiting for the answer on how the surveillance apparatus of this government got turned against the party out of power.
REGAN: I was talking earlier with Representative Peter King and the question is did they use that dossier, largely discredited dossier which by the way may have been influenced heavily by the Russians who were trying to mess with us, did our own FBI wind up using that to try and go after Donald Trump because they disliked him that much, Jessica?
TARLOV: Well I'm interested the answer to that question that they got FISA warrants on the basis of that. But that to me is completely and wholly separate from the presumption that because an FBI agent, a very well- respected one at that is married to someone who is a Democrat and got money from Terry McAuliffe who is a Clinton ally. But still, the issue would be just a Democrat in general.
REGAN: But she got hundreds of thousands of dollars.
TARLOV: It's really -- it sounds like -- yes, her campaign did but that's not like oh, hey honey, I'm being funded by people in my own party, you should go out and make sure that Donald Trump doesn't become president. That's not how it works. The amount of conversation and the amount of undermining of the FBI that's going on, on the basis of these kinds of things from the Peter Strzok text messages to what Andy McCabe's wife was doing in her own private life. Women now work. We talk about this all the time. They go out there, she's a Democrat, she's fundraising, what is wrong with that? Why can't we know that people have political beliefs and still do their job? And the President is out there --
REGAN: Because it's the perception of a conflict of interest, right, Jessica
TARLOV: But why.
REGAN: I mean, you have to be mindful of it, you have to be careful of it. And yes, if you are a working couple, you have to be -- this is why I had such a problem with Bill Clinton taking $500,000 from the Russians for a speech shortly after the Uranium One deal went through, because it should have been discussed at home where Hillary Clinton said hey, you know what, we're approving this deal. Maybe it's not the best timing hon for you to take the 500 grand. I mean because once again, it doesn't even have to be a conflict of interest. Sometimes it's simply the fashion of a conflict.
TARLOV: Well, people are asking like it is. And that's going and seem reflected in the polling. Christopher and (INAUDIBLE) made it perfectly clear that they see no problem with how the probe is going. Peter Strzok should have been removed and he was removed immediately when those text messages came to light. The President of the United States of America is on his Twitter account to some 30 million plus people saying that Andy McCabe is 90 days. You better get out of there. He's undermining the credibility of this institution and that's should upset everybody.
FREEMAN: Well, I think the person undermining it among others is Mr. McCabe. He at his long House Intelligence Committee hearing, we didn't see it obviously, we have gotten reports of what happened. He had every opportunity, I think, to lay out why no if there's a case to say this wasn't all about opposition research being used to go after the rival political party. He had every opportunity to say no, it wasn't the Steele dossier or here's why the Steele dossier should be believed. And apparently he knows nothing and he wants to share nothing and why this stonewall? And now we're, you know, this has been going on a year and a half. The government started looking at the Russia story and we're still not seeing from him the argument why this was something other than an opposition research effort being used to go after the rival political campaign.
TARLOV: We know that there --we know that there was intervention by the Russians in our election. Everyone agrees about that. Every intelligence community member has corroborated that story so there's a reason for it. When their investigation into Hillary Clinton about Benghazi for instance, I didn't hear Republicans saying you know, this is going on too long or Democrats even saying this is going on too long like that. We need to get to the bottom of it.
FREEMAN: The Russian influence involves the Clinton campaign too because that goes to the Steel dossier. If this was misinformation from the Russians used by the Clinton campaign, handed to the FBI and then handed to a FISA court as if it was U.S. intelligence rather than opposition research--
TARLOV: But how -- what about the fact that we're also hearing of leaks out of these meetings that Andy McCabe backed up what Jim Comey said that Trump asked for a loyalty pledge? What about that? And then you say --
REGAN: You know, look, it's (INAUDIBLE) to think that the Russians could have messed with us that much that they would feed false information that our FBI potentially would use as a reason to get these FISA warrants. We certainly hope that's not the case but that question needs to be answered. We're going to have more with you guys in just a moment so stay with us including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's promise of more bipartisanship in the New Year. Will Democrats play along with that? Stay with us on "Sunday Morning Futures."
REGAN: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Republicans will try taking a more bipartisan approach to the parties 2018 agenda heading into a new year. We're back with our panel Jessica Tarlov and James Freeman. So what does that mean bipartisan approach, does that mean infrastructure is next in line?
FREEMAN: Unfortunately, could mean a lot of spending, so this is why people who want more bipartisanship may look at what they cook up on infrastructure and not be very enthused but if the Democrats do want to do a deal and I'm guessing they may not for political reasons. I'm hoping that President Trump looks at the lessons that Obama stimulus and he says OK, if we're putting money into infrastructure, let's clear the way, streamline the process, and make sure you actually get roads and bridges instead of environmental impact statements.
REGAN: Yes, let's do it the right way because that was -- you know, that was a waste effectively of $800 billion. We didn't see any kind of growth in our economy as a result to that. And that will come back to haunt him if in fact, it turns out to be that. But he's not talking about that. He's talking about these sort of private-public --
FREEMAN: They keep saying there's a lot of private capital. Let's -- let that do its work and encourage it instead of --
REGAN: So what does -- what does the Democrats do with it? I mean, Chuck Schumer has been asking for his forever, right? Do you think he will?
TARLOV: Oh, yes, I absolutely think so. I mean, fundamentally, Democrats believe in infrastructure as job creators and --
REGAN: They also believe in lower taxes for the middle class
TARLOV: They do which I wish we had gotten but we didn't really.
REGAN: No we did get -- we did get. I mean, the middle class -- I mean I've actually made the point that the people that pay the taxes ought to be getting a tax cut. You've got the top percent of earners paying effectively 71 percent of all taxes in the U.S. So in this particular case with this tax plan, the middle class is getting tax cuts but yet the Democrats still don't like it. So how are they going to like it?
REGAN: They wish they had bigger tax cuts but we do taxes yesterday, today we do infrastructure so I don't think the Democrats can actually say no to a bill that will enhance the nation's infrastructure. It's something we have campaigned on relentlessly. I think it will be good for us I think going into 2018, the more policies that you can show that you have worked with Republicans on. It helps everybody.
REGAN: If they get it done, I would like it to help everyone. I just don't know if the Democrats are willing to see that.
TARLOV: Well why not? I mean, it's a good deal if it's growing to make life better for Americans across-the-board, why wouldn't we do that?
REGAN: I hope she's right James.
FREEMAN: Yes, I'm not sure the resistance is going to be happy with Democrats.
TARLOV: About a new bridge. It's not like saying that --
FREEMAN: Well, wait a minute, well, that's the bridge. Well, this is the other interesting thing. What Democrats want is they want to tell union workers we're going to build bridges but also tell environmentalists don't worry we're not going to build stuff so I think a plan that kind of makes them choose would be helpful.
TARLOV: -- roads and bridges and airports and our nation's infrastructure. If you tell environmentalists actually we're going to build pipelines all through the middle of the country, that's going to be a problem.
REGAN: You know what, if you build and you do it the right way and not the way we saw under the Obama administration, you do have an opportunity to add more stimulus if you would to the economy. So hopefully we get that four, five, six percent GDP growth this year and in 2018. It's so good to see you guys. Merry Christmas! That does it for us here on "Sunday Morning Futures, I am Trish Regan in for Maria Bartiromo. Merry Christmas everyone! Have a wonderful holiday! I will see you at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, on Fox Business, "MediaBuzz" with Howie Kurtz is up next.
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