This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," August 12, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST: Good Sunday morning.
The Kremlin responding this morning to new U.S. sanctions against Moscow, taking direct aim at the U.S. economy.
The president praising Mexico, but telling Canada to wait, as negotiations for a new NAFTA deal intensify.
And House Republicans make a move to get more information about that salacious, but unsubstantiated Steele dossier.
Good morning, everyone. Thanks for joining us. I'm Maria Bartiromo. Welcome to "Sunday Morning Futures."
Russia is upping the ante this morning in a showdown with the United States, after Washington punishes the Kremlin for coordinating a nerve agent attack on British soil.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce on what Vladimir Putin has in store now and how the U.S. should respond.
Should President Trump declassify more of the Justice Department and FBI documents? House Republicans are looking for? The president signaling and we may have to -- quote -- "get involved."
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes here. He sure hopes he does. He will join me live this morning, as well as former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, as we pose the question, what's the downside risk of declassifying?
And will we see NAFTA 2.0? New negotiations intensify, as Mexico gets a thumbs up from the president. But Canada? Not so much.
All that and a lot more right now, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."
The Trump administration announcing new sanctions against Russia over the use of a military-grade nerve agents on U.K. soil.
And new information this morning: Moscow is upping the anti -- ante in the response. Moscow says it will cut holdings of U.S. securities.
Let's bring in California Congressman Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Mr. Chairman, good to see you this morning. Thanks so much for being here.
REP. ED ROYCE (R), CALIFORNIA: Good morning, Maria.
BARTIROMO: Your reaction to Russia's response, cutting U.S. securities?
ROYCE: Well, I don't think that that reaction is going to be too effective in terms of our market because of their de minimis position in it.
But what I do think is -- we saw on Friday a new two-year low for the Russian ruble. And at the same time as the administration makes its case -- and they were right to move forward on these sanctions -- they're pointing out that the Russians in this case were caught red-handed.
The British have films that show the Russian perpetrators. And so, with that evidence and with these new sanctions, on top of the sanctions we have already placed on Russia because of their ongoing efforts around the world, not only to engage in undermining democracy, including here in the United States, but also their actions in Syria, now, this -- this represents considerable leverage right now on Putin.
We are sending the message to Putin, the administration is sending the message, you will pay a steep price for your continued intervention in our elections and for your other actions, such as this attack on British soil.
BARTIROMO: So -- so walk us through these sanctions and how impactful they may or may not be on Russia. Why do you think they're so stinging?
ROYCE: Well, first of all, these sanctions impact export and import. They impact electronics. They impact aviation.
The second tranche of sanctions, which will go into effect in 90 days if Russia doesn't curtail these activities, could potentially affect the ability of Aeroflot to fly or land anywhere in the United States.
And so the cumulative effect of this is really, really having a hit, not only on the value of the ruble, but on the -- on the Russian economy in general.
BARTIROMO: You know, I remember that there was a story during the financial crisis in 2007 where Russia, Vladimir Putin called up the head of China and said, maybe we should get together and sell U.S. securities.
Now, this was a rumor. It was actually in Hank Paulson's book after the crisis. He was talking about putting enormous pressure on the U.S. while the U.S. was down. We were in the worst financial crisis in a generation in 2007.
So now we hear this again, that Russia is in fact going to sell U.S. securities. How much of an impact will that have on the U.S.?
ROYCE: Not much of an impact.
And, in the meantime, the U.S. right now, we have had the -- the largest wage growth over the last 10 years. We're experiencing that now. We have got unemployment under 10 percent. The economy is -- or under 4 percent. Unemployment is under 4 percent.
The economy is growing at plus-4 percent. And so, in this situation, our economy is very strong. The ability of Putin to have much of an impact on it is not much. And, in the meantime, I think it's very important we be consistent in sending this message that Russia will pay a -- a steep price if these deadly acts aren't answered by Russia.
ROYCE: Russia has to take action now in the next -- in the next months in order to try to reverse its actions and send a clear message that they're not going to continue to do this.
BARTIROMO: Sanctions also against Turkey this past week. We know that. And I want to ask you about Iran as well.
Your thoughts on the U.S.' move, given the pastor that had -- has been held for so long in Turkey, in terms of applying these different sanctions to Turkey and Erdogan?
Well, Pastor Brunson has been held over two years. I think -- I think that, in terms of tariffs, tariffs should be very narrowly deployed. And, in my opinion, the tariffs should, frankly, be focused right now on Beijing for their violations.
I think that the types of sanctions that are effective on Turkey, the focus on the human rights violations, holding the pastor for more than two years, and, therefore, the sanctions against Turkish -- Turkish officials for human rights violations, I think that's effective.
ROYCE: But if these tariffs become too widespread, the use of tariffs, that can have other impacts globally.
And so I would keep that focus narrow, and on Beijing.
BARTIROMO: Well, it seems that the administration are -- they're waiting for Turkey's response.
BARTIROMO: And during my exclusive interview two weeks ago with the vice president, Mike Pence, he told me that the U.S. is serious and wants Turkey to understand we want change.
Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He wants to come home. And Pastor Andrew Brunson should be freed and should be allowed to return to his family, to his home, to his church and his nation in the United States of America.
Transferring Pastor Andrew Brunson to home arrest is just not good enough. And the United States of America is prepared to bring sanctions against Turkey until Pastor Andrew Brunson is free.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: So, should we expect more with regard to Turkey?
ROYCE: I think these bogus charges brought against Pastor Brunson have to end. He has to be brought home.
And I think that Erdogan's authoritarian moves need to be countered. And so, as a consequence, I think he can expect more pressure. And I think it is -- it is in international interests to have Erdogan cease holding Americans as hostages, and including our NASA scientists there.
ROYCE: So I think he's going to face additional pressures.
BARTIROMO: Let me turn to Iran.
What can Congress do? What role do you see in terms of Iran and the U.S. now? I mean, the president has been adamant, very strong, against Iran, pulling out of that deal. And now we see Iran not going back to the negotiating table, not really thinking that they're going to change their behavior as a result of the U.S. pulling out.
And we still have questions about Europe and European companies doing business in Iran. What's next?
ROYCE: So, our main problem with Iran, the main problem with the agreement was that it didn't include missiles, if you will recall, nor did it include Iran's terrorist actions.
And so, as a consequence, you had the ayatollah saying every military man must help us mass-produce intercontinental ballistic missiles.
And you saw the missile test here recently in Iran. This needs to be addressed. And one of the things we were trying to do was to get the other partners in the agreement -- and I think we were -- the British and the French were being helpful. Germany wasn't in terms of getting an agreement in which we address these other issues that were not in the original agreement...
ROYCE: ... and we did something about 12, 13 years out in the agreement, everything sunsetted.
So we had to address this sunset. And we couldn't get Germany to go along on that. Now additional pressure is being put by the administration directly on Iran. And you see it's coming at a time when there's widespread disruption across the country in cities all over Iran.
BARTIROMO: That's right.
ROYCE: You see people go to the streets in protest.
So we're turning up the pressure.
BARTIROMO: Yes, let's not forget the impact that it's had on Turkey. I mean, last week, big weekend in Turkey, obviously, the Turkish lira plummeting down big last week, impacting all markets across the world.
Erdogan also threatening to withdraw from NATO. So we see a real impact in terms of markets in Turkey. I wonder if we're going to see that kind of an impact on some of the other detractors, perhaps Iran, or -- I mean, Iran's economy obviously hasn't -- hasn't moved, and it has plummeted.
But do you expect further fallout in that regard?
Just as you have seen a 41 percent drop in the lira in the last year in Turkey, we're seeing a similar impact and we're seeing hyperinflation in Iran. And we're seeing it on the streets, in terms of people's frustrations with that ideological regime...
ROYCE: ... that theocratic regime.
Two-thirds of the people in Iran want a democracy without a theocracy. We need to do more social media into Iran. The Persian community around the world needs to broadcast in and continue that dialogue...
ROYCE: ... with the next generation of young Iranians.
BARTIROMO: And, of course, we're also seeing an impact on Russia's economy as well.
Mr. Chairman, it's good to see you this morning. Thanks so much.
ROYCE: Thank you, Maria.
BARTIROMO: Chairman Ed Royce joining us there.
With auto trade at the center of the talks over NAFTA, President Trump telling Canada to wait while the U.S. and Mexico push ahead on negotiations. How soon will we see a deal with Mexico on the books? And how could this affect the efforts to get that deal done?
Arizona Republican Congressman David Schweikert is with us this morning of the House Ways and Means Committee. He's got some thoughts and will join me.
Follow me on Twitter at @MariaBartiromo, @SundayFutures.
Chairman Devin Nunes is up ahead.
Let us know what you would like to hear from all of our guests this morning.
Stay with us. We're looking ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures" right now.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back.
President Trump praising Mexico for making progress on a trade deal with the U.S. The two countries have been in talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA.
But the president's message to Canada is a bit different, decidedly less friendly. The president tweeted this: "Deal with Mexico is coming along nicely. Auto workers and farmers must be taken care of, or there will be no deal. New president of Mexico has been an absolute gentleman. Canada must wait. Their tariffs and trade barriers are far too high. Will tax cars if we can't make a deal."
Arizona Republican Congressman David Schweikert is with me now. He's a member of the House Freedom Caucus, House Ways and Means Committee, and the U.S. Congress' Joint Economic Committee.
Congressman, it's good to see you this morning. Thanks so much for joining us.
REP. DAVID SCHWEIKERT, R-ARIZONA: Good morning.
BARTIROMO: How close are we with the deal to -- with Mexico?
SCHWEIKERT: Every moment, I get optimism, but there's still a number of very technical steps that must be made through.
But everything we're picking up on the Ways and Means Committee is, we're making genuine progress with Mexico. And Mexico has been an honest negotiator.
Where there's still some frustration with Canada -- Canada, as you know, last -- earlier in the year sort of engaged in a charm offensive, but not necessarily quality negotiations.
I mean, we all know that China has been stealing from the U.S. for decades, in terms of forcing this transaction of forcing technology transfer to Chinese companies, not opening up their markets to foreigners, as well as just out and out stealing intellectual property.
Do you think a stronger U.S., with allies, Mexico, perhaps the E.U., would bode well for the U.S. dealings with China?
SCHWEIKERT: Maria, you're asking the most brilliant question that almost no one has really written about.
Quick thought experiment. Think about what the president accomplished with Europe a couple of weeks ago. Now if we were able to with our most immediate trading partners, which is really important to my home state, Arizona, an agreement with Mexico -- but if you started to bring the world together, saying we're lowering barriers, we're protecting our intellectual property, now the world needs to deal with China, who is the bad actor on the world stage.
And, I mean, that was the whole issue about putting aluminum and steel tariffs on some of our allies. Some detractors of the president said, why are we fighting with our friends? Why not get everybody together to go against the big bad gorilla in the room? And that is China.
SCHWEIKERT: Look, and, as you know, on some of the metal tariffs, it's a little more complicated, because there's something called transshipment, where it may come from the massive overcapacity in China, ship through other countries.
But it looks like we're actually making progress with our European allies, now hopefully with Mexico, and hopefully Canada will come in and being an honest negotiator.
But if we can accomplish this, if we can sort of bring the world together to deal with the overcapacity, the stealing, the other things that China is the great sinner of, I think you need a world vs. China to actually make everyone, shall we say, operate fair in a world trade system.
Well, I will tell, if a deal with Mexico is at hand over the near-term, this would impact markets, this would impact a lot, because markets and investors and even supporters of the president want to see another deal. I know one deal was done with South Korea.
So tell us what the sticking point is at this point.
BARTIROMO: Is it still the auto origination, where is a vehicle originated, produced, in the U.S. or Mexico? Is that one of the sticking points still?
SCHWEIKERT: Well, I can't tell you -- I can't tell you all the sticking points.
But, first, from sort of being from the Desert Southwest, we have an incredible trading relationship with Mexico. And it's important. It's the way -- the complication of modern supply chains. So it would also be good for the continued growth in Arizona.
But there were a number of sticking points, percentage of an automobile, how much would be considered content, U.S. content. And how do you do that calculation?
SCHWEIKERT: Everything we're being told is, we're making progress, because it turns out it's complicated.
There's some parts, believe or not, that go back and forth across the border multiple times.
BARTIROMO: Right, exactly.
SCHWEIKERT: So how do you do those calculations?
And then there's some other things of, how do you protect investments? Should you have very robust access to arbitration, instead of having to defend your investments in a Mexican court system? So there's a number of those things.
And, hopefully, they're getting wrapped up.
BARTIROMO: And, realistically speaking, would you expect to deal with Mexico before the midterms, for example?
SCHWEIKERT: I don't know.
BARTIROMO: Don't know.
SCHWEIKERT: I can be hopeful, because I know, for some of the negotiators, there was an intent to try to have a package put together before Mexico changes its government.
SCHWEIKERT: But, apparently, the president is demonstrating a certain warmness to the incoming administration in Mexico.
But it's still, I think, from just who you're negotiating with, it would be rational to try to get a package done before that transition.
BARTIROMO: Congressman, it's good to see you, sir. Thanks so much.
BARTIROMO: We will be watching the developments.
There is a strategic push to weaken Moscow's energy influence over Europe and the West. We are going to talk about it with House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, as well as the very latest in the FBI and the DOJ investigation.
We're talking about the investigations leading up to the 2016 presidential election when we come right back, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."
Back in a moment.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back.
U.S.-Russia tensions on the rise, as the Trump administration announced new sanctions against Moscow over the poisoning of a former spy and his daughter.
As you know, containing Russia's geopolitical influence remains a key U.S.
My next guest is currently in Eastern Europe. He just returned from the Russian border in regards to a pipeline that would increase Moscow's energy-- decrease Moscow's energy, rather, influence over Europe.
Joining me right now on the telephone from the capital of Georgia, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes.
Mr. Chairman, thanks very much for spending the time this morning, even while you are on the road.
REP. DEVIN NUNES, R-CALIFORNIA: Hey, thanks, Maria. It's an important subject. And I'm glad your show is bringing it to the American people. Thank you.
BARTIROMO: Well, I want to get the latest on the DOJ-FBI situation as well.
But let's start with where you are today and what you're seeing, because we have got a map here of this pipeline that would essentially take natural gas from the Caspian Sea in Azerbaijan and travel it throughout Europe, passing Greece into Italy.
Tell us about the importance and significance of this pipeline.
NUNES: Well, thank you, Maria.
And today is actually the 10th anniversary of Russia's real first aggression since the Cold War. It was 10 years ago today that there was a cease-fire, after five days of fighting, when the Russians actually invaded, occupied part of Northern Georgia.
It's called the South Ossetia region. So, today, went out there. Now, after 10 years, it's amazing what's happened. The area has basically didn't depopulated. You have the Russians building small bases across this Northern Georgia region. Just a -- just a pure sign of aggression.
And it was probably a mistake on behalf of the West. We should have been -- we should have acted swiftly at that time. And we didn't.
But the Georgians did. One of the things that they realized after that happened, you know, they couldn't -- they are a country of four million people. They couldn't take on the Russian bear.
So what they did is, they were totally reliant on Russian gas. What they did is, they worked with their neighbors in Azerbaijan to bring gas from the Caspian Sea.
Well, now there's a push to get -- to move that gas, not just through the Black Sea, but actually build a pipeline all the way through Turkey and Greece and Italy.
One of the challenges that we're having is the Russian propaganda machine is actually working in Italy. The last holdup right now is to bring the pipeline ashore in Italy. And, believe it or not, you have Russia propaganda working in Italy.
The Italians haven't been able to sign off...
NUNES: On this pipeline yet, which is -- which is totally nuts, and part of the sophistication of Russia's propaganda arm.
But if -- if you look at it in the big picture...
NUNES: If -- if we, the United States, we're now -- we now can export LNG.
If we can begin to move more gas, LNG, to Western Europe, and if you could move gas along the southern route, this Trans-Caspian gas line into Italy, you now have two solid sources of gas into Europe, which then I think really puts the pressure on Germany to not be solely reliant on Russian gas and continue to feed money into the Russian bear.
BARTIROMO: And, Congressman, one pipeline is enough?
NUNES: And it's the only -- it's the only way, I think, that we're going to ultimately take on Russia, is to say, look, we're not going to be reliant on you in the West for our energy.
BARTIROMO: And one pipeline is enough?
I mean, well, one pipeline from the Caspian would be good, if you -- if you add in our ability to bring in LNG from the United States, which we're already doing some now. But we can do a lot more.
BARTIROMO: Are there any other potential additional alternatives, say, from Africa, to Europe? I mean, I understand the big picture, what you're trying to do.
And we see the pipeline transfer on this map, but any other alternatives that you feel you would need?
NUNES: Well, those -- those would be -- those are two big ones that are both reliable and both could be done in a short amount of time.
There are other potential opportunities, but they become more complicated because, as you know, North -- North Africa is a complicated place, not all that safe. So it's a little more -- a little more challenging.
I would like to just reiterate, though, that this propaganda arm and how they're blocking the Italians from -- or they're essentially using propaganda. The Italians themselves are stopping themselves from permitting this pipeline.
It's very similar to the reports that we have seen out of the United States. People forget this. But everybody's worried about Russia-gate and what Russia did in the election, but people forget the reports that are out there of the Russians involving themselves in some of these extreme environmental groups that have actually stopped oil drilling and gas drilling in the United States.
That's all part of this effort on behalf of Russia to promote these kind of fake green policies, so that they could be the world's -- one of the world's largest suppliers of gas.
BARTIROMO: Just fascinating that you're actually getting to the core of it and understanding really, really well the strategy on the part of the Russians.
We will be watching that, Mr. Chairman. Thanks very much for -- for pointing that out.
We're going to be watching this important pipeline from the Caspian Sea.
Let me switch gears and ask you about the latest on your investigation into the State Department and what has taken place in the FBI and the DOJ.
The president wrote a tweet this weekend basically suggesting that maybe he is open to declassifying, something you have asked for him to do. And you have said it many times on this program.
Yesterday, he said this: "Why isn't the FBI giving Andrew McCabe text messages to Judicial Watch or appropriate governmental authorities? FBI said they won't give up even one. I may have to get involved, he wrote. Do not destroy. What are they hiding. McCabe's wife took big campaign dollars from Hillary people.
So Mr. Chairman, you've said that many times you want the president to declassify this information. I asked the president this straight away in my interview with him about a month ago. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: Any comment on Peter Strzok and these testimonies that we're seeing? Rod Rosenstein, Christopher Wray? Why don't you just direct your subordinates to get those documents over to Congress? Are you going to do it?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So I have this country running like a top (ph). Mike Pompeo is doing great. We really have a greet group of people. The one thing I want to stay uninvolved in -- at least for now. I may get involved. But I've been told by so many people don't get involved. You know other people got involved --
BARTIROMO: Congress wants those documents.
TRUMP: -- and it's not good. And they'll get the documents. And it's getting and they're getting them and they're great people --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: So Mr. Chairman, that was on July 1. The president tweeted out this weekend I may have to get involved. What's changed?
NUNES: Well, just the slow-rolling (ph) by DOJ and FBI. I think it all gets back to the big picture here, which is there -- there clearly was shenanigans going on in this, in how you open up a counterintelligence investigation into a political campaign with no intelligence. It looks completely abnormal, to say the least. You've got -- we've seen these -- these documents and we want them released to the public.
Because we -- the public needs to understand that -- and make a decision whether or not we're going to continue to operate and abuse (ph) our counterintelligence capabilities to target political campaigns. Because if it's allowed to continue, like it happened in 2016, you have a country that effectively falls apart, where you've politicized our intelligence --
BARTIROMO: Hold -- hold on one moment. Hold on one second --
NUNES: -- so the president needs to get this -- needs to get this done sooner rather than later and that is -- and I'm sure you're going to ask about this, too. But you also have the media that's in on this. And they totally ignored the big breaking news this week, which is one of the top DOJ attorneys, the assistant to Sally Yates, who's' the (ph) deputy attorney general and also assistant to Rod Rosenstein --
BARTIROMO: Hold on one second --
NUNES: -- was in the middle of all of this, acting as a -- the guys' name is Bruce Ohr --
BARTIROMO: Right. Devin -- Devin Nunes, hold on. We're going to --
NUNES: -- acting as a surrogate and feeding information into the FBI --
BARTIROMO: I want to -- I want to ask you about Bruce Ohr in a moment. Let's take a quick break. More to come with Devin Nunes. Stay with us.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. We're back with the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes is in the country of Georgia this weekend. He's joining us on the telephone.
And, Mr. Chairman, you were just talking about Bruce Ohr. And I want to get right to that because he becomes the central figure now in this investigation. Your colleagues over on the Judiciary Committee have now subpoenaed him and we have a date. He's going to testify in front of Judiciary on August 28th.
Why is he so central to this story?
NUNES: Well, because what has come out now, Maria, is that he has been the go-between Christopher Steele. So once Christopher Steele was terminated as a source for doing all things like talking to the media, at the behest the Glenn Simpson, so remember, he was working for Glenn Simpson, Fusion GPS, who were working for the Clinton campaign, Christopher Steele was fired.
A lot of this information wasn't shared with the FISA court, especially the fact that Christopher Steele was desperate that Donald Trump not become president.
After that happened, Bruce Ohr, one of the top lawyers in the Department of Justice, kept continually meeting and providing information from Christopher Steele to who? The FBI. This is just madness. The American people need to know it. And I will tell you, like I said in the last segment, the fact that the media is ignoring this is even more of a reason that we're going to have to have more information than usual declassified.
We're going to have to have, I think, an unprecedented amount of information declassified because the media is just not covering this topic.
And I'll just kind of close it with this. Don't forget that Bruce Ohr's wife, Nellie Ohr, who also will have to be interviewed soon, she also was working for Fusion GPS, working for the Clinton campaign. So here you have information flowing from the Clinton campaign from the Russians, likely, likely, I believe was handed directly from Russian propaganda arms to the Clinton campaign, fed into the top levels of the FBI and Department of Justice to open up a counter-intelligence investigation into a political campaign that has now polluted nearly every top official at the DoJ and FBI over the course of the last couple years. It is absolutely amazing.
BARTIROMO: Well, that is what is so extraordinary.
NUNES: And, quite frankly, it's what you kind of see in this part of the world where I'm at now.
BARTIROMO: Right. I mean, the president has said maybe he would declassify this. What's wrong with declassifying all of this information so the American people understand exactly what took place? Because you're right. This is an incredible story and that is why we are doing it every Sunday morning to make sure the American people are informed as far as what went on.
Do you think the president will declassify this so that people understand what took place?
NUNES: I think he really has no choice, because I will tell you, you're going to end up with a situation with half of America, including many -- almost nearly every Republican member of Congress, who will have zero confidence in the Department of Justice and FBI.
And that just can't be. We have to have a strong Department of Justice and a strong FBI that stays out of politics. And if we don't get that soon, I think it's just going to continue to deteriorate. And I think it's like the speaker of the house, Paul Ryan, said several months ago, the Department of Justice and the FBI need to decide whether or not they want to be part of the clean-up crew or the cover-up crew.
And so right now, I just want to be clear, they are providing, slowly, but they are providing documentation. But we're going to have to have all of this information declassified. And, really, we need an investigation into these top level people as to how somebody concocted the idea that it's OK to take information from one political campaign and use it to open up an investigation on the other political -- on somebody else's opposing political party.
NUNES: It's absolutely nuts.
BARTIROMO: And you've said many times on this program that there was zero evidence, official evidence available to launch an investigation into collusion between Donald Trump and the Russians. There was no evidence. It was all based on that unverified dossier.
Real quick, I'll go one step further in terms of trusting the FBI and the DoJ again. That's not going to happen until there is accountability. Will there be accountability? Will we see prosecutions?
NUNES: The only way there could be accountability is one step at a time. And it deals with full and complete transparencies, full sunlight on as many of the documents that don't endanger national security, which, you know, from our -- from our committee members, we've sent a letter to the president, we don't believe that they're going to jeopardize any sources or methods.
And I think people, I have said many times, are going to be shocked as to what went into a FISA warrant against Carter Page, and even more importantly, what did not go into the FISA application, that was not presented to the court involving the information that they had on Carter Page.
BARTIROMO: All right. We...
NUNES: Very, very concerning, not a way to run a counter-intelligence system in the united states or any country, for that matter.
BARTIROMO: It's an extraordinary situation. It's amazing that this took place in America during a presidential election. Mr. Chairman, it's good to see you. We will see you when you get back Stateside. Thank you very much for joining us this morning.
NUNES: Thank you.
BARTIROMO: Devin Nunes is the chairman of the House Intel Committee.
I want to bring in Michael Mukasey right now. He's the former U.S. attorney general under the George W. Bush administration. And he is also a former federal judge.
Judge, it's great to see you.
MICHAEL MUKASEY, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: Good to be with you.
BARTIROMO: Thank you so much for joining us, once again. First question, what is the downside risk of the president declassifying all of these documents so everybody can see and putting a light on exactly what took place?
MUKASEY: Well, the downside risk is the same as the downside risk of declassifying any classified document, which is that you could disclose methods and sources of intelligence. And when people say that that's a risk, I think we have to sit up and pay attention.
On the other hand, there's a lot here that really begs for disclosure, particularly when you consider that the FISA warrant that the Department of Justice obtained on Carter Page, because he was a U.S. citizen, they had to show not only that there was probable cause to think that he was an agent of a foreign power, i.e. Russia, but also probable cause to believe that he was involved in the commission of a crime.
Oddly, Carter Page is one person who hasn't been accused of a crime, hasn't been prosecuted for a crime, hasn't been arrested for a crime. And yet that was the basis for getting the FISA warrant. So you start to suspect that the information underlying that warrant was really questionable.
Add to that the fact that Steele, who was mentioned by the chairman, was avid in his opposition to now-President Trump. And he was the source of a lot of this information. But he was not the initial source. He was simply the secondary source.
They relied on his credibility in a prior case and yet, he was passing on secondary information. They then said that he had been fired, had been excluded from any further involvement because he violated Justice Department policy on talking to the press.
What they didn't tell the FISA court is he also lied about whether he had spoken to the press, which is far more important than simply violating policy.
In addition, as the chairman pointed out, he then continued to be a source, which they didn't disclose, to the FISA court, through Bruce Ohr.
BARTIROMO: I want to talk to you about all of this, what you just said is just compelling. Carter Page was wiretapped for over a year on an unverified dossier. And he's still walking around no charges. Where is the crime?
We'll be right back, more with Michael Mukasey next.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. I am back with former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey.
And a moment ago, Judge, you just said in terms of Bruce Ohr, he's testifying on August 28th. What would you expect from that?
MUKASEY: Well, I would expect for him to explain his relationship with Steele, his conversations with Steele, what he obtained on a thumb drive or information stick that he got -- he emailed somebody that he had gotten this from Steele, and whether he was in fact feeding information to the FBI from Steele, notwithstanding that the FISA court had been told that Steele was not any longer a source of information in connection with the investigation.
BARTIROMO: Has the president read, do you know, the un-redacted documents?
Because when Devin Nunes joined us two weeks ago, he said, if you look at these un-redacted documents, and it's all blacked out, you wouldn't believe it, it's worse than what has taken place.
MUKASEY: I have no way of knowing.
BARTIROMO: OK. So you have no way of knowing. One of the text messages between the anti-Trump FBI agent, Peter Strzok, and his girlfriend Lisa Page, was something that is really not talked about. And I want to go through that text. Let's talk about that and why you see this as particularly troubling for that side.
MUKASEY: OK. The night that now-President Trump got the nomination, Lisa Page sent a message to Peter Strzok: "Can you believe that Trump got the nomination? This is incredible." And Strzok messages back: "Yes, it is," this increases the pressure to end -- "this is going to increase the pressure to end MYE."
MYE was the initials...
BARTIROMO: Code name for Mid-Year Exam.
MUKASEY: Mid-Year Exam, which is the code name for the Hillary Clinton investigation. Now, why does Donald Trump, getting a nomination, increase the pressure to end that investigation? They kept saying, when Strzok testified that he had a right to express his opinions, and of course, he did, but this wasn't just a matter of political opinion.
This was a matter of doing your job, how you do your job, and how investigations were being conducted. If he believed that the nomination of Donald Trump increased the pressure and on the FBI agents to terminate that investigation, it certainly would be interesting to know why and whether they did, and whether they then started Crossfire Hurricane which was the code name for the Donald Trump investigation.
BARTIROMO: So this is more evidence. It suggests to me that Hillary Clinton was not investigated, let's face it, she was not investigated even though she deleted emails, she was grossly negligent with her use of classified information, no investigation or little investigation. And they were cooking up something around Donald Trump to stop him.
MUKASEY: It certainly looks that way from that message.
BARTIROMO: Yes, because there's no evidence of any collusion and we're a year and a half or more than a year and a half into the Robert Mueller investigation. Do you think we're going to see accountability here?
MUKASEY: I certainly hope so. I hope that - and then at a minimum, accountability being punishing people, that to me is secondary.
I think what I'd like to see is a disclosure of information and get it laid out methodically so that people can see what happened. Who gets punished and who doesn't is - is to me a secondary question (ph).
BARTIROMO: But why wouldn't the president declassify then just to shine a light on this?
MUKASEY: Don't know, I think that he may not wish to be involved himself. He may wish to see other people do the declassifying so that nobody claims that he's acting for political reasons.
I don't - I don't - I don't really know.
BARTIROMO: But nobody can declassify other than him in terms of making everything open and public.
MUKASEY: No, other people can declassify.
BARTIROMO: Jeff Sessions.
MUKASEY: Well Jess Sessions is recused from - from the investigation. But other people involved can declassify.
BARTIROMO: It's great to see you, (inaudible). Thank you so much.
MUKASEY: Good to be with you.
BARTIROMO: Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, we've got a panel next, Ed Rollins, James Freeman on deck.
Welcome back. One of the best panels there is right now, Ed Rollins, former chairman campaign manager of the Regan Bush ticket 1984 and a Fox News contributor. And James Freeman, Assistant Editor at the Wall Street Journal editorial page, also a Fox News contributor.
Good to see you both, got a lot of topics on the discussion today. We just heard from Devin Nunes and Congressman Schweikert. We talked about a NAFTA (ph), you think we're close on a deal, James, or no?
JAMES FREEMAN, ASSISTANT EDITOR, WALL STREET JOURNAL: I hope so, it really should have been done yesterday. We want to resolve these issues but it's important how they're resolved.
I think investors, really everyone was cheering when the president seemed to strike a truce with the E.U. but that was because he said we're moving toward lower barriers.
If he forces the deal here where it's more sand in the gears of trade with Mexico and Canada, a sunset provision, make it harder to resolve disputes, that's not going to be good for his plan to get to 5 percent growth.
BARTIROMO: Certainly a deal before the mid-term elections would help the Republicans in the mid-terms, Ed Rollins, where are we here after a busy week?
ROLLINS: Well, certainly, this particular thing, there's two races that are down there, one in Arizona that's a very tough race for us, replacement of John -- not McCain, but replacement of Flake, and the Texas race, which is -- Cruz is in a real race, I think he wins, but it's a real race. So that certainly has some impact.
Where it is today is the specials are not relevant to what happens in November. We have 87 days to go and a lot is going to happen. You're going to have a president who's going to be very aggressive and be out there campaigning very hard. And I think it's who gets their base out and who gets that swing vote.
You need about 10 percent of that swing vote to win. And, you know, nobody can predict what that is today.
BARTIROMO: Do you see this as a down-the-line vote for the president getting his agenda executed?
ROLLINS: I think in most cases it will be. Republicans and Democrats are now very partisan, battles, and they vote in a partisan way. They don't switch any more. So my sense is the key is a plurality of voters are independents, the independents have got to make the difference. And you need about 10 or 15 percent of those independents to make the difference.
BARTIROMO: I'm surprised the Republicans are not screaming 4.1 percent economic growth from the rooftops at every turn.
ROLLINS: They need to be. They need to be.
FREEMAN: Yes, I think if they are smart they will make a referendum on these policy achievements. Growth was phenomenal, looks like we're headed toward another great quarter. And this is why I think he needs to stop fighting with our friends Canada and Mexico, our two biggest export markets.
He has largely solved the competitiveness problem of the U.S. economy with the tax cuts and the deregulation initiative. So I think talking about that and letting that work is really both a political and policy strategy for him.
ROLLINS: It's a very positive environment to be going in if you're an incumbent Republican, if you talk about things that you've accomplished. If you don't talk about things that you've accomplished, you're not going to do as well.
BARTIROMO: All right. We will leave it there. James Freeman, Ed Rollins, always a pleasure.
ROLLINS: Thank you.
FREEMAN: Thank you.
BARTIROMO: Have a great Sunday, everybody. I'm Maria Bartiromo, see you on "Mornings with Maria" on Fox Business.
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