This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," January 28, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST: Good Sunday morning! This upcoming week, Tuesday, President Trump gives his first State of the Union Address, lawmakers closing in on a deadline for getting a deal done on immigration and critics of the FBI demanding answers this weekend in the wake of newly-released text messages.
Hi everyone, I'm Maria Bartiromo. Thanks so much for joining us this Sunday. This is "Sunday Morning Futures."
Members of Congress get being a look at more text messages between two FBI officials who are investigating the Trump campaign. Do they show the fix was in for Hillary Clinton? House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte will join me shortly live. Then the left is up in arms over the White House immigration proposal. Did Democrats already kill chances for a deal? What about border security? We will hear from Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen this morning along with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee on that. And President Trump getting set for his first State of the Union Address this Tuesday, what does his party want to hear from his speech? I'll talk with House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers right now as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."
And first up newly-recovered text messages show anti-Trump sentiment from two FBI officials once tied to Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. The Justice Department recovering thousands of missing messages between FBI agent Peter Strzok and his lover FBI Attorney Lisa Page. The two spoke of a secret society within the Justice Department and the FBI one day after President Trump's electoral -- election. Strzok and Page also talked about treating Hillary Clinton with kid gloves during a probe of her private e- mail server in case she won the election. Joining me right now is Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Congressman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia. Congressman, it's good to see you.
REP. BOB GOODLATTE, R-VA., CHAIRMAN, HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Thanks, Maria. It's great to be with you.
BARTIROMO: Thank you so much for joining us. You know, what bothers people out there is you have to be able to trust your FBI, your CIA, your IRS because there is a thing called the rule of law. And what we've learned from some of these text messages is that there's a whole lot of bias and corruption going on at the top. Tell us what you've learned?
GOODLATTE: Yes, it's important to emphasize, there are tens of thousands of great men and women who every day keep us safe, prevent terrorists attacks, solve crimes at the FBI, but they are being besmirched by several people in the leadership of the FBI that have a shocking contrast in the way they took the approach they took to the Clinton investigation and the one they've taken to the Trump investigation and it is stunning. The more we see of these texts, the more concerning it is and hats off to the Inspector General at the Department of Justice who had these texts that were missing these five months and has figured out how to get access to them which he has now made available back to the FBI.
And we already, last week, requested them and we requested them un-redacted because it's very clear that as information is being put out, it is people that are involved in the investigation that are determining what the Congress and Ultimately the American people should see. So we've asked for these documents un-redacted so that we can make the judgment ourselves what is pertinent to this investigation and what is not.
BARTIROMO: Do you think you're going to get them?
GOODLATTE: I do believe we'll get them and I must say the Department of Justice has cooperated far more than the prior Department did, and we have these text messages and we have seen the underlying documentation that relates to the FISA application to the FISA court. All these things are very important to putting this together, but this investigation as to go forward. We'll continue to interview key people in the Department of Justice and the FBI to get to the truth.
BARTIROMO: So let's talk about the truth an what we know so far. And you're right a big hats off to Michael Horowitz, the Inspector General. We would not have known before the Inspector General that for example, these two were talking about a so-called insurance policy should Donald Trump win the election, and he did. In your view, is that insurance policy this whole charade of an investigation between Robert Mueller and others looking at this potential collusion between Trump and the Russians which of course the Democrats started talking about right after he won?
GOODLATTE: We don't know and I'm not going to draw conclusions until I have all of the facts. But it is alarming that in the latest batch of texts that we have received and examined, the same two people go on and talk about a secret society that is clearly engaged in trying to alter the course of investigations and in fact possibly alter the course of an election and alter the course of a Presidency. It is very concerning.
BARTIROMO: After the election, they talked about the secret society. Did they also talk about destroying evidence? I'm told there are some texts that haven't been released yet about we've got to get our hands-on the hard drive or get our hands-on the thumb drive.
GOODLATTE: Well there's certainly a lot of questions about things we do know about with regard to the earlier investigation led by former Director Comey where evidence was destroyed before anybody outside of the FBI could get a look at it including evidence destroyed by people working for the Democratic presidential candidate.
BARTIROMO: But you're being stonewalled. I mean, you've been -- you've stonewalled since August when you first started making inquiries about this. So you say you want these text messages from the FBI, you want them un-redacted. Are you getting stonewalled again?
GOODLATTE: I think this administration is cooperating with us more because we have lots of information and have had access to lots of classified information that we have not had from the prior administration. So we're making substantial progress. We still have a long way to go to get out all the facts and get to the truth. But that work is being conducted by the judiciary committee which I chair and the Oversight Government Forum Committee which Trey Gowdy chairs and we're going to get at it.
BARTIROMO: Yes, Trey Gowdy joined us a couple weeks ago to go through some of this. And I think one of the big issues for the American people is what are they hiding? You know, why not just give us these texts? Why not just release this memo? What do you think?
GOODLATTE: Well for a long time they have said we're waiting on the report of the Inspector General and we are too. And we think the Inspector General is doing good work and we expect his report in the not too distant future. But we have got to continue to pursue this investigation because the Inspector General has one responsibility that Congress has another responsibility to the American people.
BARTIROMO: And yet the Robert Mueller investigation keeps on and we don't really know where that is. What is he looking at, the Special Counsel, and do you think you need a Special Counsel specifically just to be looking at this bias at the top of the FBI?
GOODLATTE: Well, months ago I called for and most of the other members of the House Judiciary Committee on the Republican side called for the Department of Justice to appoint a second special counsel to look at how matters were conducted last year with regard to former FBI Director Comey, former Attorney General Lynch and all the things that swirled around that investigation. Now, with the Page/Strzok texts, we're seeing things blend together in one long continuum with two of them at or near the center of what was going on at the FBI. We need to find that out.
BARTIROMO: Well they were at the center of what's going on and they were completely bias and then put on Robert Mueller's investigative team to look at Trump and the potential collusion there. So, I mean, obviously, I know they've been taken off that but how are we supposed to trust that Robert Mueller, this investigation is on the up and up?
GOODLATTE: At the end of the day, the American people have to judge based upon whatever actions he takes, whatever report he files. We'll look at that but we'll look at it from the lens of what is true that we know from other facts that are going at the same time. He should continue his investigation but it has to be done with propriety and it has to be done with impartiality and there are a lot of questions that are not answered at this point.
BARTIROMO: I understand that Congressman but I mean, how long can something go on with no evidence of any collusion? I mean, we've been waiting here since the Democratic National Convention. I remember, I saw it all unfold in person when I was at the DNC, the convention and Debbie Wasserman Schultz was pushed out because it became clear to everybody that they locked out Bernie Sanders and they were all in the tank for Hillary. And so she's pushed out after her e-mails were revealed and it was her conference. That was the huge story that it was her Democratic National Convention, the leader of the whole convention is pushed out. We talked about that for about three seconds and immediately all the Dems got in line to talk about this potential collusion. That's how long this has been going on. When is Bob Mueller going to actually give us OK, here's what I know so far or does this just keep going on and on?
GOODLATTE: He needs to do it soon because his credibility is on the line. And look at it, from this point, Maria, the President of the United States and the White House have been unbelievably cooperative in this, turning over thousands and thousands of paged of documents, making many, many people in the White House available as witnesses. And this is the leader of this country who has to get about other business on behalf the country and he needs to have this resolved and he said so many times.
BARTIROMO: Bottom line let me ask you about accountability here. Do you believe that if we were to see that there was real moves to obstruct justice, get rid of thumb drives, hide evidence, and just basically rally around Hillary Clinton and try your hardest to paint Donald Trump in a corner? Are there going to be indictments? Are we going to see people go to jail?
GOODLATTE: Well that's where a special counsel comes in because of the fact that neither the Inspector General nor the Congress can indict people. We do not have prosecutorial authority, but if this continues along the lines that it is where there are a lot of questions, where there's an intersection of public information and classified information, you have to have someone who not only can investigate but also can take action on their investigation involvement. So that's why I have, for many months called for a special counsel on the other part of this, the Clinton side of this, and we're continuing to do our own investigation and we'll continue to press forward.
BARTIROMO: By the way, we never heard any conclusion to the Elon brothers and these I.T. guys that were paid all that money and then they actually ended up hacking into computers that they really should not have accessed to. We don't know what s going on there so there's no accountability at the end of the day, right?
GOODLATTE: Well there is a serious problem with leadership at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and it is very concerning.
BARTIROMO: All right, we will leave it there. Congressman, we'll be watching your work on this and the developments.
GOODLATTE: Thanks, Maria.
BARTIROMO: Thanks so much Bob Goodlatte joining us there. President Trump putting out his immigration and border security plan meanwhile but is the proposal already dead on arrival in Congress? Governor Mike Huckabee will join next. We'll talk about now the new numbers being talked about for an infrastructure package $1.7 trillion. Follow me on Twitter @MariaBartiromo, @SundayFutures. We're looking ahead right now on SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES and we'll be right back.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. President Trump slamming Democrats this morning for opposing his new immigration plan. The proposal provides a path way to citizenship for DREAMers but Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is already rejecting it. President Trump tweeted out this. "Democrats do not want to solve DACA, only use it. Democrats are not interested in border safety and security or in the funding and rebuilding of our military. They're only interested in obstruction." Let's bring in Fox News Contributor, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. Governor, always a pleasure. It's good to see you.
MIKE HUCKABEE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you very much, Maria. Great to be here. I'll try not to obstruct to their discussion today. So here we go.
BARTIROMO: You would think that once the President gave a bit of an olive branch saying look let's get together on DACA, here's one proposal, you would think that that would have sort of sparked new conversations and a new ability to actually see something getting done but Chuck Schumer is saying no way.
HUCKABEE: The President didn't just give an olive branch, he gave a grove of olive trees. This was way more than I think anyone expected that he would first lay on the table. You know, more than double the number of DACA recipients. If this were about DACA, Chuck Schumer would have cried, that he would have cried tears of delight and he would have gone and hugged Donald Trump around the legs and said thank you so much. This is amazing. Let's work together. Let's get this done. But instead, he throws out the same old stuff and this time, it's so irrational that it becomes laughable. When he says things as does Pelosi that this is racist, that is to make America white again, when over 95 percent of the people who would be affected are non-white, it just shows that this is an irrational, illogical and insane reaction to what the President is trying to do to move America forward.
BARTIROMO: I mean, I guess at some point the American people are going to want answers. umber one, why did the Democrats vote against the tax plan now that we see the early impact and it's pretty good, with companies giving out $1000 bonus checks across-the-board, more than 200 companies saying we're going to do something for employees and customers as a result of the tax savings. So they're going to want answers in terms of why the Democrats voted against the tax plan and number two why they shut the government down. Is this actually going to come up and bite them come 2018 or do you still feel there's a feeling out there that the Republicans lose the majority?
HUCKABEE: I think the Democrats are going to take away what should be an advantage in a midterm and they're going to hand it back to the Republicans. I mean, the Democrats theme for this year's election is going to be who are you going to believe? Democrats are your lying eyes. Because the fact is when they get better paychecks, they see that the President has put more on the table than they ever thought, that he's actually trying to end this, but he wants to do it with the caveat of protecting the American people with border security, ending this whole ridiculous Visa lottery which amounts to Willy Wonka's golden ticket and to have some end to the unlimited amount of chain migration. Those are things that over 80 percent of the American people say, gee that's reasonable, we support that. I don't know what they're -- what they're having a problem with.
BARTIROMO: Yes, Visa lottery is just incredible. Let me ask you about the State of the Union because this is obviously going to be one of the key topics, immigration. The President is going to try to sell this immigration plan in the State of the Union we are told. But you know, governor, the cost is really being debated pretty fiercely. First, we thought it was $1 trillion now we're hearing $1.7 trillion. Are we getting a little over-the-top in terms of the numbers being discussed here? Do you think that -- the President could actually push that kind of a deal forward, $1.7 trillion?
HUCKABEE: Well, I think he could. We're seeing an unprecedented growth in the economy over the past 30-40 years. We haven't had this kind of GDP growth, you're seeing companies make huge investments and that's in advance of the tax bill going into effect. Imagine what happens this week when you see major tech companies like Apple start pouring billions and billions of dollars of their capital back into the U.S. economy that has not been in our economy. Maria, I think, you know, there's real reason for most Americans, except that most to just belligerent to truly feel a sense of optimism about their own personal future. And I know that the thousand dollar or $2,500 bonuses to employees, you know, may seem like crumbs to Nancy Pelosi and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, but if you're making $50,000 a year, a thousand dollars is not a crumb. And if it is, bring some more crumbs, we'll take the crumbs. We're happy to have them. I mean, it's absurd.
BARTIROMO: And then they're going to have to answer to some of these statements which are ridiculous, crumbs, Armageddon, you know, with the tax plan, Nancy Pelosi said it was Arm Armageddon and yet we're seeing expectations now from four percent economic growth for 2018. The President's message in terms of economics is a positive one. I assume that's going to be one of the lead headlines out of the State of the Union on Tuesday.
HUCKABEE: I think it will be. He's got a great record to point to one of the most important reasons the economy is doing better and manufacturing is coming back. It's not just the taxes, it's the regulatory environment. This is a President who has cut 22 regulations for every new one that's come in. I cannot begin to tell you how huge that is and I hear it from people in business every single day, particularly in the manufacturing world and in the energy sector because this means that they're actually able to do their business and to carry out their products and services without essentially being full-time slaves of government bureaucracies and bureaucrats. This is big. That's why I think the President has a great message.
BARTIROMO: Yes, and I think that's one of the reasons we're seeing this growth. Apparently, it took 13 years to build a bridge in Bayonne, New Jersey, Jamie Dimon told me and I spoke with Elaine Chao, and she says it's taken 25 years to get something done for one piece of infrastructure in Alaska. That red tape rollback was huge and I know it's very important s0o we'll watch for more developments there. Governor, it's always a pleasure to see you, sir. Thank you so much.
HUCKABEE: Thank you, Maria. Have a great Sunday.
BARTIROMO: And to you, Governor Huckabee. Next up, my interview with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on the border wall, sanctuary cities, her reaction to Senator Corey Booker attacking her over something President Trump may or may not have said that's next as we look ahead on Sunday morning futures. Back in a minute.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. The battle over immigration and border security expected to be front and center at Tuesday's State of the Union Address. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is obviously very familiar with the fight. I caught up with her this week in Davos, Switzerland. Here's what she told me.
KIRSTJEN NIELSEN, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: I think what we're seeing is terrorist nation states weather across-the-board are changing their tune. So what we need to do is we need to continue to evolve and make sure we can meet the incoming and changing threats. And that's why I'm here today. So we need to do that in partnership. There's not one entity that has all the resources and capabilities to address any of these threats alone. So we have to look at it from an international domestic, from a public-private and certainly within the U.S. government, a whole government o approach to address these.
BARTIROMO: So what do you need to do that effectively? I mean, we're having this debate over funding for the border wall but also funding in general, for the military as the Democrats want you know, what they want in terms of DACA. Tell us the needs in terms of Homeland Security.
NIELSEN: Some of it -- some of it as you say is funding. I think we've been very clear. We have a very clear proposal with respect to the wall system, where that would go and how that would work. But as we need the ability to promptly renew those that I stop at the border, and this is where I'm confused because this is border security. If I stop 20 people at the border but I have to let them into the country, that's not border security. So we need to work with Congress to close these loopholes that have evolved over time through the courts so that if someone comes and they don't have any legal right, they don't have any other claim, for example, such as asylum, I need the ability to be able to remove them at that point at the border. Then we don't have an interior problem.
BARTIROMO: So, in other words, people coming to the border, you can't just send them right back?
NIELSEN: No, ma'am.
NIELSEN: There's a lot of court cases, to be honest. It's just the way that the courts have evolved. You find a very sympathetic case and then, unfortunately, lies made around that case. The exception becomes the rule and suddenly the rule is the exception, meaning I can't stop anyone. So we've given those proposals to Congress and I'm very hopeful that we can make the case. That is border security. It's not interior security, it's not immigration enforcement, it is border security right there at the border.
BARTIROMO: And what do you want to see from corporate America? I mean, companies in terms of verifying, e-verifying whose working for that company. I mean, are there a lot of stories of companies hiding illegals?
NIELSEN: I don't know about a lot of stories but we do unfortunately see bad actors. We do see companies who consistently and persistently violate our laws. We will have to work on that, as you seen with 7-eleven recently, that has been a problem in the past. We noticed them and so then we had to take enforcement action against the company at the company level. If you are purposely evading our laws, we will prosecute. We do need to enforce our laws.
BARTIROMO: Even sanctuary cities? I mean, I find it extraordinary that California can just get away with being a sanctuary city and just blowing off the federal law.
NIELSEN: Yes. You know what I find really disturbing about that is I can't find anyone who would tell me they don't want the criminals out. So this is where I get very confused. What at the heart of this discussion is the sanctuary cities is I can go get a criminal, my folks can go get a criminal in jail which is a safe area, it's a controlled area. They can pick that person up, they can detain them for federal purposes on the way out to be deported. If a so-called sanctuary city lets that person out into the community, my officials are then forced to go into the community which puts everyone at risk, not just my officers but frankly the immigrant community as well. So I get very confused when people talk about sanctuary city. It's a sanctuary for criminals. It's not sanctuary for immigrants. So we need to really work with cities to make sure that we can understand the safest way to do this is to remove it and remove the criminals in a controlled environment.
BARTIROMO: Secretary, let me ask you about your testimony last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee when New Jersey Democrat Corey Booker really exploded on you over language that the President may or may not have used in the oval office meeting on immigration. Here is an exchange.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CORY BOOKER, D-N.J.: The Commander-in-Chief in an Oval Office meeting referring to people from African countries and Haitians with the most violent and vulgar language. I had tears of rage when I heard about this experience in that meeting. You don't remember. You can't remember the words of your Commander-in-Chief. I find that unacceptable. Your silence and your amnesia is complicity.
BARTIROMO: I was -- I mean, what did you make of Senator Booker's behavior toward you?
NIELSEN: Well, to be honest, it was -- it was a distraction and it was very frustrating to me on behalf of the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security because I was there to talk about real threats and their needs to do their job that the American people asked them to do. And it became 11 minutes of a lecture about a meeting he was not in, about one word and whether or not I heard it. I said under testimony was it possible? Sure. I just didn't hear his word. That was it. There was really no story there. He didn't ask me what I think. He didn't ask me what I think about the countries. He didn't ask me what I think about immigration policy. He had no interest in what the Secretary of Homeland Security thinks, he just wanted to lecture me for 11 minutes. So it was unfortunate. It was unfortunate waste of all of our time.
BARTIROMO: How is the new job going? You handled that very well.
NIELSEN: Thank you.
BARTIROMO: Tell us your observations from this new role that you have.
NIELSEN: I'm just so proud of the men and women of DHS. You know, many of them put their lives on the line every single day. We have a huge portfolio, we have many threats, but it's a great job. It's the honor of a lifetime to be able to support them and protect the American people.
BARTIROMO: My thanks to Secretary Nielsen. Up next, President Trump prepares his first State of the Union Address and it will happen this Tuesday. Up next, we will speak to a key member of the House GOP leadership. Congressman Cathy McMorris Rodgers joins me live about what her party wants to hear from the State of the Union on Tuesday. We're looking ahead right now on "Sunday Morning Futures." Stay with us.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. This upcoming Tuesday, President Trump will deliver his first State of the Union Address. One senior White House official says the speech will focus on five main policy areas with a theme of building a safe, strong and proud America. Joining me right now is Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers. She chairs the House Republican Conference and is the highest-ranking Republican woman in the House and it is good to have you on the program Congresswoman. Thanks so much for joining us.
REP. CATHY MCMORRIS RODGERS, R-WA.: Great to be with you, Maria.
BARTIROMO: What do you want to hear from the President on Tuesday?
RODGERS: Well I want to -- you know, it's a special time when he gets to talk directly to the American people. I expect him to talk about the tax cuts and jobs act that was just signed into law about a month ago. Talk about the jobs and the economy reports, the positive reports that we're hearing every day about jobs that are coming back to America, the bonuses, the pay increases, the improved benefits. I was at Starbucks this last week in Spokane where they were celebrating -- there was a young manager, he and his wife had just given birth four months ago to a baby and they were so excited about the increased benefits in pay that Starbucks had announced and we're seeing those stories repeated over and over and over.
BARTIROMO: Yes, we sure are and that's a really good economic part of the message to be communicating. What about infrastructure? Now we're hearing that this infrastructure push is going to be part of the President's State of the Union and it's going to cost $1.7 trillion. Is that the right number?
RODGERS: Well, you know, I do believe and most Americans want to see us move forward with an infrastructure package. We're looking forward to hearing what the President has to say about more of the details related to infrastructure. It's kind of the next step as we continue to focus on jobs in the economy is that infrastructure that's so foundational to everything else. And so we want to hear more of those details. We also want to hear about the workforce development needs and the skills gap that is also associated with trying to get infrastructure projects in place because we need more skilled workers.
BARTIROMO: Well, it's all the fight about the cost, right? I mean it is $700 billion more than we initially thought and we thought it was going to be $1 trillion. Can you actually get across something that costs $1.7 trillion when obviously the left is talking about the debt and the $20 trillion which was doubled over -- under President Obama. When I said is that the right number, do you think that's going to fly or is that the main cause of debate around an infrastructure plan?
RODGERS: Well the big challenge has been how to pay for it. But the President also has laid out some important reforms to the permitting process, which would also save cost. There's some proposals for private- public partnerships that could bring down that cost. So you know, I too am concerned about the debt. I think we do have to be aware of the continued accumulation of debt in this country but we're also committed to growing jobs in the economy and infrastructure is a part of that foundation. So I'm anxious to hear what the President has to say and we'll go to work on more of those details.
BARTIROMO: Congresswoman, do you think you're going to get a DACA deal? I mean, you know, the pushback from Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi is a surprise because they wanted a DACA deal. The President put something on the table and yet they're poo-pooing it. Well we need a DACA deal and the Democrats to join us. I been -- I was encouraged first to hear the President layout his vision for immigration and a DACA deal and securing the border.
In the House and the Senate, we've had an agreement, a bipartisan bicameral agreement for several weeks now on principles related to immigration reform that includes a DACA fix, securing the border, the visa waiver program, as well as addressing chain migration. Now, we need to agree to the details which is always more challenging but I would just urge the Democrats not to play politics, to be serious about this issue which clearly needs to be addressed. The President gave us until March fifth and he's willing to give us more time on the DACA fix but we need that sooner rather than later.
BARTIROMO: What are you going to do going into the 2018 elections, Congresswoman, in terms of keeping the party in the majority? There's a lot of conversation happening now that you know, typically you do lose seats going into the midterms. And given the pushback of this President, that's what was expected until of course you had some real important pieces of legislation done like tax reform and going into the immigration possibility as well a deal there. But what are you doing specifically going into the 2018 elections?
RODGERS: We -- we're going to run on our record, a record of results. We're going to focus on the -- on the job creation, the improved economy that is benefiting every person in this country. Clearly, the Democrats want to make this about Donald Trump and they want to make it about what he's saying or doing but we need to focus on results and we have a great record. The tax cuts and jobs act as it continues to be implemented is very positive. In February, we're expecting 90 percent of wage earners to see increased take-home pay as the tables are updated to reflect this new law and we just need to continue on our focus which is a better life for everyone in this country and the results that are because of the legislation that we've gotten on the President's desk and that President Trump has signed.
BARTIROMO: All right, we will leave it there. It's great to see you, Congresswoman. Thanks so much for joining.
RODGERS: Great to be with you.
BARTIROMO: We will see you soon Cathy McMorris Rodgers there. Up next, a voice from the Middle East. My interview with the Queen Rania of Jordan, her thoughts on the fight against terrorism. Why she says there's much more work to be done beyond the battlefield and we'll get her take on where ISIS is right now. We're looking ahead on SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES. Stay with us.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. Fighting ISIS, stamping out extremism at its roots through education. That is the aim of an initiative in Jordan spearheaded by Queen Rania. I caught up with her in Davos this past week to talk about that and more. Here's what she said.
QUEEN RANIA OF JORDAN, QUEEN CONSORT OF JORDAN: Our population is predominantly young. They are educated and they're connected, so they're exposed to the world. They know what they want and they want better. Most of them predominantly are completely against extremism and violence. What they do want are jobs, opportunity, they want a good education, they want to participate and have a say. They want a good life for their kids. And so, I think it's time for us to -- you know, everybody is so frustrated with the violence and the conflict and it's time to have a new kind of dialogue both inside the Middle East and toward the Middle East. You know a dialogue where we measure success by closing the human dignity deficit in the Middle East, where we measure winning by the number of jobs created, the number of opportunities, of innovative -- productive innovations and not just by political influence.
And so, I really think it's time for us to get off of this crisis and conflict that we've been on for a longtime and I think the people in the Middle East are looking forward to that. Now we've soon how countries and whole economies are built on those ideas. We both have see how a single ideology can destroy countries and we've come a long way in defeating ISIS and I'm very happy about that. But I don't necessarily feel much safer because the fertile ground of stability and hopelessness that breeds these kinds of groups is still unfortunately there. And we are very happy that you know, in the global counterterrorism war of the United States has been a very important player and they've helped us defeat ISIS.
But that's not -- now is not the time to disengage from the Middle East because these kinds of groups can always sort of regroup and you know, reinvigorate. So as we are focusing on fighting the bad guys, we really need to be focusing on rebuilding and providing hope and also empowering the good players in the Middle East. You know the people who are trying to do the right thing, trying to open their countries to reform, to give opportunity and to provide a model for the rest of the region that other countries can look at and say we want to emulate that model.
BARTIROMO: And you have in fact launched a new learning program.
QUEEN RANIA: Absolutely. Now, like for example, we launched a program called (INAUDIBLE) which is an online learning platform for adults in the Middle East. We have over 1.5 learners who are using the platform. And now we're trying to expand it so that we can reach children all the way from kindergarten to grade 12. And so that will give children even in Yemen or in Syria who don't have access to schools. It will give them an opportunity to catch up and to have access to world-class learning and hopefully, that will change the trajectory and tip the scales in our region towards just a more hopeful future.
BARTIROMO: Because when you're talking about people in this young age, it's either one way or the other. I mean they learn extremism as a young person or they learn the other way, education.
QUEEN RANIA: And if we wait, then you have generations of children who are growing up in darkness and left susceptible to extremist thought. A child denied an education isn't just a tragedy for that child, it leaves the rest of us vulnerable. And if we think that the Middle East is a dangerous place today, imagine what it's going to look like when these children come of age. So it's absolutely important for us to really intervene and give them the opportunities that they deserve and protect ourselves and make sure that our future is a better place.
BARTIROMO: A moment ago you mentioned ISIS dissipating in some way. Do you feel that it's gotten better in that regard in the Middle East?
QUEEN RANIA: Like I said, I think ISIS now is on the run, so their ability to cause the havoc they've caused over the last few years has been undermined. But I won't rest easy until I remove the atmosphere that allows for groups like that to emerge. Because although it may be getting weaker in our part of the world, we're seeing them getting stronger in countries like Africa and certain places in Europe and in Asia, so it's the ideology that needs to be defeated.
BARTIROMO: My thanks to her Majesty, Queen Rania. Up next, we've got our panel on deck. President Trump prepares to deliver his first State of the Union Address. What can we expect? The political panel joins me next as we look ahead on SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES. Stay with us right here.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. President Trump set to layout his accomplishments and his agenda when he delivers her first State of the Union Address Tuesday night -- this upcoming Tuesday. White House aides say he will look beyond his base and strike a tone of compromise. Let's bring in our panel right now. James Freeman is an Assistant Editor for the Wall Street Journal. He is at the editorial page and a Fox News Contributor. Caitlin Huey Burns is a National Political Reporter with a RealClearPolitics. Good to see you both.
JAMES FREEMAN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Good to be here.
BARTIROMO: Thanks so much for joining us. James, you say look, we need more immigration. Explain.
FREEMAN: Yes, it's kind of odd watching these debates happen in Washington. When you look at the data, the U.S. population has been growing very slowly. Less than one percent a year since 2010, historically low birth rates, not a lot of immigration either. We get every month almost the last year as the economy is picking up, we get businesses saying they can't find enough workers. So I think the obvious answer is we ought to be bringing in more talent.
BARTIROMO: So how do we do that? What's the balance and what does the President need to communicate in terms of that balance?
FREEMAN: Well I think there is an opportunity here. If Democrats want to abandon resistance and work with them, you give them the $25 billion for his wall, but you also get as he's offering permission for those people brought here illegally as children to stay here and I would say if he wants to shutdown family and lottery pathways into the U.S., he ought to think about expanding other ways whether it's high skill low skill but allowing more workers to come in and contribute.
BARTIROMO: And the education in terms of the skillsets training is so critical. Caitlin, what about you? This is going to be obviously one of the big headlines within the State of the Union.
CAITLIN HUEY BURNS, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, REALCLEARPOLITICS: Exactly. That's what I'm looking for in this address. How he tries, if he tries to kind of build a coalition on immigration because you do have that offering of the pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million people that's beyond DACA that expands to those who were eligible for it but didn't apply and you know, how he tries to, if he tries to provide some political cover for those more conservative members really concerned that that would be ten amount to amnesty what they call amnesty. And then you have on the Democratic side, I think there would be support for border security in exchange for that citizenship pathway but the curves to legal immigration I think are getting people really riled up and that's not something that they would attribute to DACA.
BARTIROMO: So why did Senator Schumer reject his proposal?
BURNS: Well, they're very upset about the legal immigration curves and you know, Democrats have shown that there's not really a political incentive to work with the President but they are going to be I think in a tight spot with that citizen -- pathway to citizenship offering. So these are -- this is a frame work released by the White House. We still won't have legislation yet and I'm really curious to see kind of what goes on on the Senate side. The House is going to be very difficult as well.
FREEMAN: Yes, I think there's still this massive pressure from the Democratic base not to do anything to cooperate and so that's been the struggle for Chuck Schumer. But I think eventually there is a deal here. I think as you suggest having shutdown government over the moral issue of the DACA population, they can't really say no to a deal that allows those people to stay and I think that deal also has to include the law and order that cultural conservatives want to see at the border.
BARTIROMO: James, and then there's infrastructure. Explain to us this cost of $1.7 trillion because it sounds like an incredible headline number of 1.7 trillion but it's a lot less in terms of federal spending.
FREEMAN: Yes, I hope so and I think so. Obviously, we have bad memories of the $800 billion Obama stimulus three percent ended up going to transportation infrastructure. We don't want that taxpayer nightmare again.
BARTIROMO: The shovel-ready job.
FREEMAN: Right. It turned out not many shovel-ready. They're still waiting maybe 20-25 will get high-speed rail a few places in California. We'll see. But I think what the President has said to this point is 200 billion from the government and the rest will come from private sector or local government financing, a lot of borrowing there. But I think if he does what he says he's going to do which is make it much easier, much quicker to get a permit to build in the U.S., I don't understand why you need any government money because you would think that would be a magnet for private investment capital. I also -- I just -- there's going to be some spending so maybe that's how he gets Democrats on board but you wonder why you need it. We already have a gas tax to pay for this stuff, right?
BARTIROMO: But still, I mean, saying 1.7 trillion is misleading because he's only talking about 200 billion in terms of government spending. You say even that I'm questioning.
FREEMAN: Yes. We should.
BURNS: And those are where the fault lines are going to be drawn on this issue right? Democrats want more government spending and they aren't necessarily trusting of those private partnerships and then you have a lot of Republicans in the conference who don't want to make any more adjustments to spending, right? So I think it's going to be very difficult actually to get something done on infrastructure just because if they can't even you know, agree on the parameters of funding the government, I think passing something as big as this even though there is a lot of bipartisan support for infrastructure in general, the divisions on the actual policy are very stark.
FREEMAN: The politics are interesting because you look at government data, roads and bridges are actually in better shape since the early 90s but your Fox poll, when you ask people what do you care about, infrastructure very high on the list, above terrorism, immigration, any of these other issues. I also think for Democrats it's going to be tough because what they're trying to do is resist and say to their union constituents wait until, after the election, we'll give you a better deal. I think they kind of want the building to start now.
BARTIROMO: You're right. And they're going to have to come up with something they actually are for not keep resisting going into the 2018 election. It's great to see you both. Caitlin Huey-Burns, James Freeman, always a pleasure. Thank you. That will do it for "Sunday Morning Futures," I'm Maria Bartiromo. See you bright and early tomorrow on the Fox Business Network 6:00-9:00 a.m. Eastern. See you then.
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