Goodlatte previews Rosenstein questions, defends format

This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," October 21, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST: Good Sunday morning. Thanks so much for joining us.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein goes before lawmakers three days from now amid the fallout from his comments about recording the president.

Growing bipartisan calls for action after Saudi Arabia confirms a columnist and U.S. resident died in their consulate after what the kingdom describes as a fistfight.

And what are the issues that matter most to voters with the midterms now just two weeks away?

Good morning, everyone. Thanks so much for joining us. I'm Maria Bartiromo. This is "Sunday Morning Futures."

After the threat of being subpoenaed, Deputy A.G. Rod Rosenstein will face four leading congressmen on Capitol Hill this upcoming week during a closed-door meeting in a classified setting.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte is one of those lawmakers who will be asking Rosenstein whether he was serious about secretly recording the president to help remove him from office. We will hear first what the chairman is looking for in my exclusive interview this morning moments from now.

President Trump wants more answers from Saudi Arabia following the kingdom's admission that a Washington Post columnist died in its custody, as questions loom about the outrage over Jamal Khashoggi's death and what it means for the U.S.' relationships with a key partner in the Middle East and a counter to Iran.

Lindsey Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, will join me in an exclusive interview coming up, and how he has been tapped by President Trump to hit the campaign trail to help drive Republicans to the polls, with now just 16 days away from the midterm elections.

Plus, our panel weighs in on some key races, as we look ahead this morning on "Sunday Morning Futures."

And begin with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, set to give lawmakers a long-awaited interview on Wednesday. He's expected to face tough questions on his reported suggestion to secretly record President Trump.

Asking the questions will be the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees, along with two ranking Democrats.

Joining me right now, one of those lawmakers, Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte. He is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

Mr. Chairman, thanks very much for being here this morning.

REP. BOB GOODLATTE, R-VA.: Good morning, Maria.

BARTIROMO: What's most important on Wednesday for your upcoming talk with Rod Rosenstein, sir?

GOODLATTE: Well, we have a lot of questions for him.

And it's important to note that there is no limitation on the scope of these questions. That's why it will be limited to the people who will be in the room and to -- and that it will be in a classified setting.

We will have a court reporter president who has a security clearance, and we will have transcripts of that interview. And then we will turn that over to the intelligence community to make sure that there are no things that cannot be released the public. When we have that, we will make that public.

In the meantime, other members of Congress will also be able to see the interview in its classified format, the transcript.

We want to know in particular about the new developments that we have been made aware of about Mr. Rosenstein meeting with a group of other DOJ and FBI employees and talking about the possibility of wearing a wire when he meets with the president of the United States, the -- his boss, the chief executive officer of our country, and the possibility of pulling together Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which would be a mechanism to declare the president disabled and therefore have somebody else, the vice president, presumably, serving in his place.

These are very, very serious allegations. We have all of this based upon a newspaper report, and we have third-party testimony that we have heard in our investigation. We know he's met with President Trump. President Trump has been satisfied and said that he wants him to continue on as his number two at the Department of Justice.

BARTIROMO: Right.

GOODLATTE: But the Congress has oversight responsibility. So we're going to ask him about those questions, along with many other things.

BARTIROMO: Well, there are other things too that I -- our viewers are very familiar with. They know that Rod Rosenstein signed off on the final FISA warrant to put a wire and wiretap Carter Page because he was part of the Trump campaign.

We know that you and your colleagues have been looking for lots of documents for the -- from the Department of Justice and Rod Rosenstein, and his colleagues have been slow-walking them.

So I want to ask you a little about some of that, and whether or not that's going to come up.

But, first, let me push back on what you just said. You said it's going to be open, and you're going to be able to report back to your colleagues.

Some of your colleagues right now or complaining about how this was set up, that they're saying Rod Rosenstein basically set up the rules. Jim Jordan is not going to be able to ask questions. Neither is Mark Meadows. And they're saying they have been blocked.

Your reaction.

GOODLATTE: No, they're not blocked at all.

In fact, Chairman Gowdy and I have made it very clear to the other members of our task force that we will ask any questions that they put forward to us. And this, in fact, was a proposal that Chairman Gowdy and I put forward in order to get a full, transparent discussion in a closed room, where you have the opportunity to ask any question that needs to be asked...

BARTIROMO: Right.

GOODLATTE: ... and not have concern about it not being in a classified setting and not be concerned about leaks...

BARTIROMO: Right, but did -- but did Rod Rosenstein set up...

GOODLATTE: ... which have been a serious problem with our investigation.

BARTIROMO: Did Rod Rosenstein set up the idea that it could only be you and Gowdy and two Democrats in the room, that was -- that was his idea that he only wanted four...

GOODLATTE: No, no. That was -- that was -- that was our proposal.

BARTIROMO: OK.

GOODLATTE: Jim Jordan, of course, is concerned about a number of things.  He joined us last week.

Here's what he had to say. Listen to this, Congressman. Got to get your reaction.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JIM JORDAN, R-OHIO: We need him to answer questions about all kinds of issues associated with the Trump-Russia investigation, but specifically the statement that it's alleged that he said where he talked about actually recording the commander in chief of our great country and he talked about the 25th Amendment.

That is specifically what I want to ask him about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BARTIROMO: Based on what from your interviews this past week, Mr. Chairman, obviously, we saw that Nellie Ohr took spousal priority, and so she didn't have to answer questions. Glenn Simpson took the Fifth.

But you had another crack at -- at James Baker. Was he serious about wearing the mic?

GOODLATTE: Well, we don't know because we have not talked to anybody who was in the room yet.

We have heard from people who were outside the room who talked to people who were in the room. And we want to ask Mr. Rosenstein about the information we have garnered from those folks.

We also know, as you know, that he's met with the president. And it's very important for us to know that this is something that the Congress, it has oversight responsibility for. And we will be asking those same questions.  We don't know -- because it wasn't open to the media, it wasn't open to anyone, we don't know what the conversation with the president was.

The Congress has an oversight responsibility. So we will be asking all of those questions and more related to our investigation.

BARTIROMO: Understood, Mr. Chairman.

Your colleague John Ratcliffe, Congressman Ratcliffe, joined us last week.

And after he did the interview with James Baker, the two interviews this past week, he tweeted out this: "After my interview with former top FBI attorney James Baker, I'm more convinced than ever before that the FBI and the DOJ, number one, has not met their obligation to disclose material facts to the FISA court, number two, leaked classified information to the media, number three, violated their own rules with respect to dealing with terminated sources like Christopher Steele, and, number four, and most importantly, they had a bunch of Trump-hating agents and lawyers that were telling President Trump he wasn't under investigation, when, in fact, he was."

Your thoughts?

GOODLATTE: Well, there's a lot of evidence to support Mr. Ratcliffe's statements.

And we want to ask Mr. Rosenstein about that. He came into this matter at the later end, but he was involved with the approval of the third renewal of the FISA warrant application, which is basically requesting a court, in secret, to approve a wiretap on an individual who's a United States citizen.

And this went on for a full year, the last three months of which Mr. Rosenstein was involved in the approval of that. So we have questions for him about that, and we will be sure to ask plenty of questions regarding that.

BARTIROMO: What John Ratcliffe is saying is that they held back information to the FISA court. They had information, but they didn't present it. They had information that refuted any collusion, but they didn't give it to the FISA court.

Is that what you saw?

GOODLATTE: I think there is a lot to suggest that what Mr. Ratcliffe is suggesting is a very serious concern. And that's why we want the deputy attorney general to respond to that and give his perspective on it.

BARTIROMO: All right, Mr. Chairman, you are running out of time.

We have got the midterm elections now just 16 days away.

I'm going to take a short break, but I would love to know what your thoughts are on accountability and plan B. What does happen if the GOP doesn't maintain control of the House? Will this investigation completely go away?

That's next for Mr. Goodlatte.

Also coming up, my exclusive interview with Senator Lindsey Graham. He weighs in on the latest developments with Saudi Arabia, the president's planned withdrawal from the decades-old missile treaty with Russia as well.

Follow me on Twitter @MariaBartiromo, @SundayFutures. Let us know what you would like to hear from our guests, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures" right now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Welcome back.

I am back with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte.

And, Mr. Chairman, we were talking about your busy week that you had with your colleagues, given all of these testimonies. But Glenn Simpson took the Fifth. Nellie Ohr said she's hiding behind spousal privileges. You have got all of these mechanisms to avoid telling the truth.

What are you going to do about it?

GOODLATTE: Well, nonetheless, we have an -- well, first of all, we have an awful lot of witnesses that we are able to talk to, as well as people in the Department of Justice and the FBI who have provided us information as whistle-blowers, if you will.

So we're putting together a lot of useful information. But the fact that Mr. Simpson took the Fifth, which is a representation that his testimony may tend to incriminate him...

BARTIROMO: Right.

GOODLATTE: ... and therefore he refuses to testify, which he has a constitutional right to do, and you can't conclude from that that he has indeed committed a crime, it nonetheless begs the question why that is not being investigated, and why we need a special counsel.

So this is just one more thing that would point toward the need for the appointment of a special counsel to look into all of these matters.

In addition, after the election, we're going to -- we're going to proceed with an interim report of our findings. And that will be true whether Republicans or Democrats are in the majority in the House. I think the Republicans will. And, if so, the new chairman can continue that work in January.

However, you also have a Senate Judiciary Committee perfectly capable of conducting these investigations. You have an inspector general who has been looking into the FISA warrant abuse allegations.

So this matters is not going away based upon the outcome of this election.

BARTIROMO: Well, this is -- this is a good point, because, obviously, I asked you moments ago, what's your plan B?

You're going to be in the room on Wednesday with Elijah Cummings and Jerry Nadler, your colleagues on Judiciary Committee who are Democrats. They have got a complete different agenda than you do. So if the House flips in two-and-a-half weeks' time, are we going to see one of those gentlemen as the chairman of this committee?

GOODLATTE: We -- we don't know what their intentions might be. We will cross that bridge when we get to it.

But until January 3 at 12:00 noon, I will be chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Trey Gowdy will be chairman the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and we will continue this investigation.

BARTIROMO: And so you think that your interim report that you're going to come out with after the midterms will be enough to educate the public in terms of what happened here.

Is the president going to declassify the documents that you have been asking for in terms of declassifying, so that the American people know what went on here?

GOODLATTE: We have certainly urged the president to do that. And it's my expectation that he will do that at some point in time, but I can't speak for the president.

BARTIROMO: All right, so, next week, in terms of the priorities for you, it's the wearing of the wire, it's the 25th Amendment, and what else, sir?

GOODLATTE: Well, it's the fact that we have had a number of meetings, which is what Mr. Rosenstein suggested for this meeting. We will just meet and talk about all these things. We said, no, you have got to be under oath. It's got to be transcribed interview that will preserve the questions and the answers given.

BARTIROMO: Right.

GOODLATTE: And we have had public hearings where Mr. Rosenstein has refused to answer questions, for example, with regard to the FISA warrant, so -- application.

So this will be an important opportunity in the appropriate setting to ask all of those questions regarding the conduct of an investigation that began long before he became involved.

BARTIROMO: Right.

GOODLATTE: But he certainly was at the crux of it at the moment that James Comey was fired...

BARTIROMO: Yes.

GOODLATTE: ... and this discussion took place about whether or not a wire would be worn. We want to know about that and his other involvement in the -- in the investigation up to that point, not to interfere with the special counsel's investigation, but to get the facts.

BARTIROMO: We will be watching, sir. Thanks very much, Bob Goodlatte joining us there.

Meanwhile, he has been tapped by President Trump himself to help drive Republicans to the polls 16 days from now. My exclusive interview with Senator Lindsey Graham is next on his whirlwind campaign efforts, and then what the death of Jamal Khashoggi means for the future of U.S.-Saudi relations, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures" right now.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: President Trump reacting to Saudi Arabia's claim that missing columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a fistfight, calling the story credible, but saying that he's not satisfied with the kingdom's response.

The explanation being met with widespread skepticism on Capitol Hill, prompting a heated debate on how the U.S. should respond, especially since Saudi Arabia's status as a crucial Middle East ally still remains, a counterbalance to Iran as well.

Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, who sits on the Armed Services and Judiciary Committee, joins me right now in an exclusive interview.

Senator, good to see you. Thanks very much for joining us.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C.: Thank you.

BARTIROMO: Your reaction to the Saudis explanation?

GRAHAM: Well, I don't think it's credible at all.

It's ridiculous to believe that 18 people would go to Turkey to kill -- to kill Mr. Khashoggi, and nobody in the government know about it. That would be brazen abuse of authority. He was clearly murdered in a consulate.  Things like that don't happen in Saudi Arabia without people at the top knowing.

We will find out more. I like the president's measured response. I like the idea he wants to consult with Congress about what to do. They are an ally, but they need us more than we need them.

BARTIROMO: So, what would you like to see done about it, Senator?

GRAHAM: Once we get all the facts in, I would like to go after the people who put -- put us in this box.

This is the most in-your-face move by a Mideast ally outside -- maybe ever.  To kill a man and a consulate in a foreign country, extrajudicial killing, shows contempt for the relationship. I would like to punish those involved. The Global Magnitsky Act would put punishment, sanctions on the individuals that had a hand in this.

And I find it impossible to believe that the crown prince wasn't involved.  So, go after him and his inner circle. Save the alliance. I don't mind military sales, but I cannot do business with the current leadership. MBS, he's done to me.

BARTIROMO: Well, initially, you had said you want MBS out. You said you weren't going to travel to Saudi Arabia unless there's a change there.

GRAHAM: I said...

BARTIROMO: But this is the man who has been leading this modernization program, apparently...

GRAHAM: Yes.

BARTIROMO: ... who has teamed up with the United States to have a unified front against Iran.

GRAHAM: Yes.

BARTIROMO: So when you're talking about Saudi Arabia, you have to talk about Iran, right? So what about that?

GRAHAM: Absolutely.

Well, there's -- Saudi Arabia's a natural enemy of Iran. MBS talks about reforming the country in a way that I liked.

I have never felt more used in my life. I introduced him when he was in Washington. But he imprisoned a Lebanese prime minister. He embargoed the country of Qatar without telling us. And I see a heavy hand inside of Saudi Arabia. And I believe he is responsible for the killing of Mr. Khashoggi in the most brutal way.

I think his behavior is way outside of civilized norms. And I will never go back as long as he's there. You will never convince me that he didn't do this. And our values ought to mean something. And I think they do.  And I look forward to working with the president to find a solution to this.

But I'm not going to look the other way. Every time you look the other way in the Middle East, from the Taliban to Iran, you regret it. So there's no looking away from me.

BARTIROMO: Well, are we surprised that this brutality came out of Saudi Arabia, that this, the country that had 15 out of the 19 hijackers...

GRAHAM: Yes. Yes.

BARTIROMO: ... slam into the Twin Towers on 9/11?

GRAHAM: Yes.

Yes, I'm surprised. I'm surprised that a country who calls itself an ally of the United States would murder a man in a consulate in a foreign country. It shows complete contempt for our values. This is not exactly reforming Saudi Arabia.

We have got plenty of people in the world who will cut up -- Saudi Arabia is an ally, but this behavior is outside the norm, to the point that the people involved need to be removed, in my view.

Saudi Arabia is a country. MBS is a person. And I'm willing to try to separate the two. But I am not going to accept this. If we accept this, every other person who could do this will. And the next thing you know, our enemies are going to lose respect for us, and we will lose our moral voice. And that's a voice that cannot afford to be lost.

BARTIROMO: Bottom line here, there's an arms deal on the table, $100 billion in arms sales.

GRAHAM: Right. Right.

BARTIROMO: Should the U.S. go through with it with Saudi?

GRAHAM: I'm OK with going through the deal if they show they're going to change, if they deal with the people responsible in a fashion consistent with what happened here.

I'm not willing to do business as usual unless they change. So my beef is not with Saudi Arabia, the country. My beef is with this young leader who's taken the law in his own hands, shown nothing but contempt for the relationship, and has acted in such a barbaric fashion.

I don't mind selling arms to Saudi Arabia if they change.

BARTIROMO: Let me -- let me ask you about arms sales with regard to Russia.

The U.S. is going to be withdrawing from this landmark nuclear weapons treaty with Russia, the president confirmed yesterday.

GRAHAM: Yes. Yes.

BARTIROMO: Your thoughts. Right move?

GRAHAM: Absolutely the right move.

The Russians have been cheating. The Chinese are building up their -- their missile -- I like President Trump being tough. He walked away from the Iran deal because it was a joke of a deal. Obama tried to ignore and appease the Iranians and see what you got. I don't want to ignore and appease the Saudi Arabians, because the Mideast needs to change.

I like being tough on Russia. And walking away from this deal is a good decision, because the Russians never honored their end of the bargain. And the Chinese are moving forward with their weapons program. And we need to counter it.

BARTIROMO: And then there's the other nuclear power, which is, of course, North Korea.

GRAHAM: Yes, right.

BARTIROMO: What do we know here in terms of the president's upcoming meeting in China at the G20? China obviously critical to that relationship.

GRAHAM: Right.

BARTIROMO: What can you tell us about North Korea and the U.S. right now?

GRAHAM: We would not be talking with North Korea if it were not for Donald Trump's strength.

He told him Kim Jong-un, we will not let you develop a missile with a nuclear weapon on top to hit America. Your provocative actions have to come to an end.

We have a dialogue with North Korea that is hopeful. It's due to President Trump being strong. I think the North Koreans believe that President Trump would use military force if he had to.

I'm hoping we can get a deal where they give up their nuclear program, they have security and prosperity. China needs to help us. So, I'm very pleased with what Trump's done with North Korea and Iran.

BARTIROMO: Well, China has also been helpful there. But, of course, we are in the middle of a fight with China.

GRAHAM: Yes.

BARTIROMO: The president expected to meet with Xi Jinping at the G20 meeting coming up in the next couple of months.

What's your take in terms of this fight with China? This can go on a long time. You're dealing with a dictator for life.

GRAHAM: Life.

Well, it's a long overdue fight about trade. China steals our intellectual property. They have state-owned enterprises that no American business can compete with.

The bottom line here is that China requires a Chinese business partner for you to do business in China. They steal your intellectual property. It's time for somebody to push back against China's cheating in the trade arena.  And Trump is doing it.

I don't like tariffs, but they are a tool to get China to change. China's economy is weaker than ours. So I appreciate President Trump doing multiple -- multiple things at the same time, against Iran, trying to get a better deal with North Korea, taking China on, on trade, working with them on North Korea, standing up to Russia.

And I hope he will come down hard on Saudi Arabia. We need a strong leader in this world. We had eight years of weak with Obama. I'm tired of weak.  I like strong. Keep being strong, Mr. President. You will win all these fights if you stay strong.

BARTIROMO: Well, this relationship with China is critical, the two largest economies.

GRAHAM: Yes.

BARTIROMO: They're trying to be number one in all of the industries America wants to be number one in, like robotics and blockchain technology, et cetera.

GRAHAM: Right.

BARTIROMO: But this issue is more than just economic, as Vice President Mike Pence said recently, in terms of China's approach to its rivals and the military.

Here's Vice President Pence a couple of weeks ago:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As we speak, Beijing is employing a whole-of-government approach to advance its influence and benefit its interests. It's employing this power in more proactive and coercive ways to interfere in the domestic policies of this country and to interfere in the politics of the United States.

The Chinese Communist Party is rewarding or coercing American businesses, movie studios, universities, think tanks, scholars, journalists, and local, state and federal officials.

And, worst of all, China has initiated an unprecedented effort to influence American public opinion, the 2018 elections, and the environment leading into the 2020 presidential elections.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BARTIROMO: What's your take, Senator? I mean, China won't even admit that they have been stealing out I.P. for decades. They're obviously trying to dominate the South China Sea, creating islands and putting military bases on them.

What do we do?

GRAHAM: Well, thank God for Donald Trump and Mike Pence.

We tell the truth. We stand up to China. They are spreading money throughout the country, trying to buy support within the country. They oppress their own people. They're building islands over land claimed by others.

They are a big economy, but we're a stronger economy. It's not too much to ask China to play by the rules. We need the right WTO rules that recognize China's a developed nation, not a developing nation.

At the end of the day, Mike Pence is right. When we stand up for our values, and when we stand up to our enemies, we're a lot better off than when we ignore the problem. I have had eight years of ignoring the problem under Barack Obama. It's finally time for somebody to take China on.

Trust me, their economy is weaker than ours. I want a good deal with China, not a fake good deal. And we will get one.

BARTIROMO: All right, stay with me, Senator.

More of my exclusive interview with Senator Lindsey Graham, including new developments in that migrant caravan that made the United States its final destination, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures" right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Senator, thanks so much for being here.

GRAHAM: Thank you.

BARTIROMO: We were talking moments ago about China.

I want to turn to this caravan headed to the United States from Guatemala.

GRAHAM: Yes.

BARTIROMO: The numbers are incredible, 4,000-plus people claiming amnesty and wanting to get into this country.

GRAHAM: Yes.

BARTIROMO: What should the U.S. do?

GRAHAM: Get Mexico to stop them before they get to the United States.

Have Mexico work with the United Nations and the United States to deal with refugees before they get to our borders. I really appreciate -- appreciate Mexico upping their game.

Trump is tough. Mexico is listening to Trump. They're responding to toughness. These caravans need to be stopped in Mexico. It's an affront to our sovereignty.

I will be practical with illegal immigrants who have been in America for decades. I'm not going to tolerate any more coming here through caravans.  And we need to change our laws to disincentivize this behavior.

But Mexico's the key. We need to work with them. And the president is.

BARTIROMO: Well, look, your colleague on the House Kevin McCarthy is bringing a bill to the floor to fund the president's border wall. And he's pretty confident it's going to pass the House. What about the Senate?

Are you going to vote for it?

GRAHAM: Yes, we need $5 billion for the wall. The Senate has a billion- and-a-half.

I think we can get the extra money. We need to deal with the DACA problem, which is a real problem, 690,000 people who've been here since there were 6 years old, with no place to go. We need to change our laws, so if you bring your kids here, the whole family gets deported.

You don't want to incentivize people bringing children to America, and somehow they get a better deal if they bring kids.

Mexico is the key. These caravans have to go through Mexico. Well, Mexico should stop them. And I really appreciate President Trump being tough.

When it comes to Saudi Arabia, we need the alliance, but we don't need this behavior. When it comes to Russia, let's get out of a bad deal and get a better one. And when it comes to China, stand up to them and work with them.

This whole Trump approach to being tough is paying off.

BARTIROMO: How -- how important will these issues be in the upcoming midterm elections? Do you think people will be voting on the economy, on immigration, health care, or something else?

GRAHAM: On everything.

I think people are going to be voting on the mob rule of the Democratic Party. If you elect Democrats to run the House, you know exactly what you're going to get. They're going to try to impeach and president and impeach Kavanaugh.

They don't care about your wallet. They just want to get in your wallet.  If you keep Republicans in charge, we're going to keep the economy moving forward. We're going to secure our border. We're going to deal with our enemies throughout the world. We're going to rebuild our military.

Kavanaugh, to me, was a despicable episode in the history of the Senate.  These caravans will never be stopped by Nancy Pelosi. And when it comes to standing up to the world, you need a strong leader like President Trump.

And the Democratic Party has showed us what they would do with power, not much for you, a lot for the left.

BARTIROMO: And, yes, I mean, these are a lot of important issues.

One of the reasons you mentioned Kavanaugh, the president is handpicking you to go out on the road to try to campaign for some of your colleagues going into the midterm elections.

GRAHAM: Yes. Yes.

BARTIROMO: Tell us about that, what you're planning. And you're going to be campaigning in, what, Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, and North Carolina?

GRAHAM: Right, 13 states in 12 days with a simple message.

I'm going to build up the Republican nominee. They're all talented men and women. And I'm going to let everybody in these states know what happens if you put the Democratic Party in charge of this country. You're rewarding mob rule. You're undercutting the rule of law.

Don't give these people power. The best thing you can do to make sure that Kavanaugh -- Kavanaugh never happens again is punish them for what they were willing to do to this good man. I'm going to take this on the road.

And next -- two weeks from Tuesday, we can decide, what kind of country do you want to be? You want to be the country of people that run you up and down the hall and spit on you? Or do you want to be a country of Republicans who can actually deliver for working families out there, that will put good judges on the court, that will stand up to the enemies of this country?

Nancy Pelosi will welcome the caravans here. Donald Trump and the rest of us will stop them.

BARTIROMO: Well, this mob-like activity took place again this weekend with Mitch McConnell and Elaine Chao getting -- getting harassed while -- while having dinner at a restaurant.

It's pretty extraordinary, actually.

Does the president need to say something about this? I mean, he's getting criticized on the left for the body-slam comment.

GRAHAM: Name one Democrat who said it's wrong for the mob to chase Mitch and Ted Cruz and me and Susan around. Name one Democratic leader has who stood up to these thugs.

I'm so proud of our Republican colleagues, Susan Collins, Mitch McConnell, for standing in there and not being overrun by these mobs. They can follow me wherever they want to follow me. We're going to keep doing what I'm doing.

And here in South Carolina, if you take me on, you're taking on most of the state. So I wouldn't advise it to happen down here.

BARTIROMO: Well, you're also voting for this agenda to continue.

The president talked this weekend, yesterday, and told reporters he and Kevin Brady in the House Ways and Means Committee working on a new tax cut for individuals, for the middle class.

Can you tell me us about that? Would something like that pass the Senate?

GRAHAM: We're trying to make the middle-class tax cuts permanent.

The more Republicans we have in the Senate, the more we can get done. We have done a lot with 51. We have deregulated the country. We have cut taxes. We put two Supreme -- Supreme Court judges who are great conservatives.

If we had three or four more, we could do a lot more in the Senate. We want to make the middle-class tax cuts permanent. We want to rebuild the military. We want to keep our enemies on the run. And we're going to ask our friends to respect our values.

And if you can't respect our values, you're really not our friend. So I like where the country is headed.

Here's the question November the 6th. Do you want to change directions from where we're going and turn over power to the people who would destroy Brett Kavanaugh's life and turn our country into a group of mob -- mob rule people? Not me.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

Well, look, this midterm election has so many consequences. We just heard from Chairman Bob Goodlatte about his investigation, the Judiciary Committee's investigation into how the Trump collusion investigation was handled and the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation was handled.

GRAHAM: Yes.

BARTIROMO: This upcoming week, you have got Rod Rosenstein sitting down with the Judiciary and Oversight chairmen, doing a transcribed interview.

GRAHAM: Right. Right.

BARTIROMO: But it seems like Rod Rosenstein is writing the rules. He's -- he's put the ground rules in place in terms of who should be at that hearing and who shouldn't.

Are you comfortable with the way this is going?

GRAHAM: Not really.

I want the House to keep doing what they're doing. And if -- if Nancy Pelosi takes over, all this goes away. So I like what Goodlatte and Trey and those guys are doing trying to get to the bottom of it.

At the end of the day, I see no evidence of collusion. Mueller will wrap his report up soon. You know, we got a country to run here. I like what President Trump has done here at home and abroad. I do not like what my Democratic colleagues were willing to do to Kavanaugh.

This is about the most simple choice you will ever have in your life if you're a voter...

BARTIROMO: Senator, I understand.

GRAHAM: ... between what we're doing and what they're doing.

BARTIROMO: Yes, I mean, I understand, but, I mean, where's the accountability? Will there ever be accountability in this investigation?

You have got Glenn Simpson taking the Fifth. You have got Nellie Ohr saying she's going to hide behind some priority because of spousal priorities.

(CROSSTALK)

GRAHAM: Yes. Yes. Yes.

BARTIROMO: Are we going to ever get to the bottom of this?

Or if the House flips in a couple of weeks, we don't hear another word about this investigation?

GRAHAM: Right.

Well, the House promises to impeach the president and Kavanaugh. I think Republicans are going to continue to try to hold the FBI and Department of Justice accountable for abuse of power.

If I'm the chairman of the Judiciary Committee next year, we hold the Senate, I promise you we're going to find out about the Simpson-Fusion GPS problem. I promise you we're going to get to the bottom of how they used a dossier, prepared by a foreign agent, paid for by the Democratic Party, to get a warrant against an American citizen.

We're not going to turn our back on this. If I'm chairman, we're going to get to the bottom of this. And the only way for me to be chairman is for us to hold the Senate.

BARTIROMO: Well, are you going to declassify...

GRAHAM: And I have got to go talk to these people behind me.

(LAUGHTER)

BARTIROMO: Are you going to declassify some of these documents, so the American people know what went on? Why won't the president declassify?

Should this Mueller report be public?

GRAHAM: I would like it to be public.

The bottom line here is that you got to work with the White House to make sure we don't jeopardize the sources and methods. But I want you to know as much as you can know about how it got so off the rails.

I want you to know as much as you can know about FBI agents colluding with the Department of Justice to undercut Trump and to help Clinton. I want you to know how an American citizen can have a warrant issued against them based on a document prepared by a foreign agent, paid for by the Democratic Party.

I want you to know how that happened, because it's important it never happen again.

BARTIROMO: Senator, it's good to have you on the program this morning.

We will be watching all of these important developments. Thank you, sir.

GRAHAM: Thank you.

BARTIROMO: Questions mounting over the future of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, as he prepares to testify before Congress over that bombshell report claiming he suggested secretly recording the president to help remove him from the Oval Office.

All of this as the midterms loom, 16 days away. Our panel is taking up all of that, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures" right here next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Welcome back.

A lot of news on this program this morning.

Earlier, we heard from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, one of the top lawmakers set to question Deputy A.G. Rod Rosenstein on Capitol Hill this week.

Rosenstein will face tough questions for those alleged remarks where he reportedly suggested secretly recording the president to remove him from office. Rosenstein is strongly denying the claims.

Of course, this all comes with the backdrop of the midterm elections now 16 days away from today.

We bring in our panel right now.

Investigative journalist John Solomon is with us, who's been breaking some news on this subject. Former New York Senator and Fox News contributor Al D'Amato is here, and GOPAC Chairman David Avella.

Great to see you, gentlemen. Thanks so much for joining us.

DAVID AVELLA, CHAIRMAN, GOPAC: Good to be with you.

BARTIROMO: And, John Solomon, let me kick it off with you.

What did you hear from Goodlatte and Lindsey Graham pertaining to this investigation? And what are you expecting for next week's questioning of Rod Rosenstein?

JOHN SOLOMON, THE HILL: Well, Maria, I was really struck by the interview with Chairman Goodlatte.

He said for the first time at least that I have heard that there is strong evidence to support Congressman Ratcliffe's contention that the FISA court was misled, and that exculpatory information had been withheld from the judges. That's the chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

That is an extraordinary acknowledgement of how much abuse went on in this case. And I think that the only question that really presents is, why is Rod Rosenstein being allowed to hide behind a closed door and answer these questions, when most of the information they're going to talk about this week is not classified?

There's no reason he can't answer the question in public. Did you suggest wearing a wire on the president? Did you consider invoking the 25th Amendment? Did you read the FISA warrant?

None of that is classified. And I think this session has been created the lessen the embarrassment for the deputy attorney general. But don't forget the chairman's mind-set, that he now believes there may be abuses here.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

I mean, the whole narrative of coming up with this story that Donald Trump had anything to do with the -- with the Russia meddling, and then having a strategy around it, leak it to the media, get informants in there to lure Trump campaign people, it really is extraordinary, which it just shocks me that the mainstream media is not -- is not focused on this story at all, because it's really about America and the rule of law.

Very quickly, John, you think we're going to see any accountability as a result of all of this?

SOLOMON: I do.

I believe the inspector general will do some great work and expose a lot of this. And as you heard Chairman -- or future Chairman Lindsey Graham say, he's going to have this continue next year.

BARTIROMO: Is this going to be part of a reason to vote for the Republicans, Al D'Amato?

AL D'AMATO, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: No.

BARTIROMO: It's not going to...

D'AMATO: No.

BARTIROMO: It's not in the zeitgeist.

D'AMATO: It's too much into the weeds. It's back and forth.

If Republicans want to win, stay on some basic principles. The fact of the matter is, we are opposed, the president is opposed, the Senate is opposed, the House is opposed to open immigration, to open borders.

If we lose the House, where -- there's going to be no reform. And just look at the caravan that is coming up here. My gosh. Once they cross the border, it's catch and release of people. If you explain that to people, that anybody who questions the border, gets here, even if you get them, you have to release them.

BARTIROMO: Right.

D'AMATO: Ninety percent, of course, and any of the bad guys will never report for court. That's a strong thing that you have got going.

You have the Kavanaugh debacle.

BARTIROMO: Right.

D'AMATO: That's a strong thing, to say, do you want them to spend time, if you elect Democrats in the House, going after impeaching the president, going after impeaching Kavanaugh?

BARTIROMO: Right.

D'AMATO: Those are the issues you should carry to the people.

BARTIROMO: David Avella, you have been looking at some key races to actually identify what's most important. I want to go through those with you.

Let's take a short break, because this is going to take a few minutes. And we're going to hear from David Avella and Senator D'Amato and John Solomon when we come right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: I'm back with our panel, John Solomon, Al D'Amato, and David Avella.

David, assess the midterms for us.

AVELLA: People are going to vote on their economic and their personal security.

And, as you see this immigration debate continue to perk up, that is going to be a big factor, as is, when it comes to an economic issue, where candidates stand on health care.

And the reality is, Democrats are pushing what they call Medicare for all.  We all know it as a government-run health care system. And the Democrats talk about how much money they're raising. They can raise all the money they want. A state like Texas, where Beto O'Rourke is praised for how much money he raised, they're not going to elect a Democrat who is for open borders, for higher taxes, and for Medicare for all.

BARTIROMO: Well, this is a really important point that you're making.

Kevin McCarthy, the majority leader, joined us last Sunday. And he said, look, you have got people like Michael Bloomberg giving $80 million to the Democrats, Tom Steyer $120 million to the Democrats, George Soros supporting activism.

So, go through some of the important races that we need to focus on going into the midterms. And you're saying that the money issue is not an issue for Republicans?

AVELLA: Well, you can't have no money. And, fortunately, Republicans do have enough to be competitive.

The key for Republicans is making sure voters know what they're going to get if Democrats get in charge. That's what we just talked about. It's an open border. It's Medicare for all. And it's higher taxes.

BARTIROMO: Right.

AVELLA: If we get that message out, Republicans are going to win in these key districts.

And you look at recent polling, in the 66 battleground House seats -- everyone concedes now the Republicans are going to hold the Senate, and what I would offer to you is, we will be up at 54 or 55 when all this is over, Republican senators.

So the battle is really about the House. And two key races to keep an eye on. One is in Minnesota, Minnesota 1, which is currently held by a Democrat.

BARTIROMO: Right.

AVELLA: And there are going to be these sleeper House races currently held by a Democrat that Republicans have a great chance at picking up, where you have margin of error, the race being about a 1 percent race.

And then look at a race like in West Virginia, West Virginia 3, a Republican-held seat that shouldn't be competitive, but is competitive right now.

BARTIROMO: One of the issues, Senator, is the fact that there's so many resignations on the Republican side.

D'AMATO: Yes.

BARTIROMO: You are talking about defending 40-plus seats...

D'AMATO: Fort-plus seats.

BARTIROMO: ... just because of retirements or resignations.

D'AMATO: Well, that's one of the things. And the reapportionment that the Democrats did, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania took three or four Republican districts and just eviscerated them.

And then you have a tough race. I think we can win it. But Republicans have to get behind Claudia Tenney up in Utica. She's a conservative.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

D'AMATO: She is for closing the borders, tough immigration. And we need that message to resonate.

BARTIROMO: All right, we -- we will leave it there.

Senator D'Amato, David Avella, John Solomon, thank you so much.

SOLOMON: Thank you.

BARTIROMO: I will see you tomorrow on Fox Business, everybody.

Have a good Sunday.
 
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