This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," September 23, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST: Good Sunday morning, everyone. Thanks for joining us.
A tentative date is set for Brett Kavanaugh and the woman accusing him of sexual assault to testify before Senate lawmakers. But will that date hold?
President Trump walking back his decision to declassify documents related to the Russia probe, as he gets ready to address fellow world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly this week.
Good morning. I'm Maria Bartiromo. Thanks so much for joining us. Welcome to "Sunday Morning Futures."
Thursday could be the date Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee. But both sides have concerns about the format of the questioning and who would go first.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte will be with me coming up.
Plus, we will ask Chairman Goodlatte about President Trump's about-face, saying he will wait before declassifying key documents involving the Russia investigation and Justice Department officials.
We will also talk to another person fighting to see those documents, Judicial Watch Tom Fitton.
And what will the president's message be when the -- he addresses the General Assembly at the U.N. this week? We will get the details in my exclusive interview coming up with National Security Adviser John Bolton, a man who knows the ins and outs of that international body. I will ask Ambassador Bolton about the administration's new offensive to fight cyber- attacks, as we look ahead right now on "Sunday Morning Futures."
And we kick off with breaking news.
Sources are telling Fox News this morning that, right now, there is a tentative agreement for Supreme Court Justice nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, a California psychology professor, to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee this upcoming Thursday about her allegation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her during a house party when both were teenagers in the early 1980s.
Kavanaugh emphatically denies the charge. And, recently, a fourth person claimed by Ford to have attended the decades-old gathering says she has no recollection of attending the party and doesn't know Judge Kavanaugh.
But the allegation appears to be taking a toll in the realm of public debate. A new Fox News poll just out this morning shows a record number of voters now oppose Kavanaugh's nomination in the wake of Ford's assault allegations, with 50 percent saying that they wouldn't vote to confirm him. That's up from 46 percent last month, as more people now believe Ford over Kavanaugh.
Still, there are others, including many Republicans, that are asking about Judge Kavanaugh's right to due process and the last-minute timing of this accusation in such a politically charged environment.
We have House Judiciary Committee Chairman and Virginia Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte standing by this morning. And we will speak with him in moments.
But, first, let's quickly get to the latest on where we stand with all of this.
Fox News Capitol Hill senior producer Chad Pergram, who -- joins me right now on the telephone with the latest.
Chad, good morning. What can you tell us?
CHAD PERGRAM, FOX NEWS SENIOR CAPITOL HILL PRODUCER: Good morning.
The question is whether this prospective plan to hear from Christine Blasey Ford at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday crumbles. Everything so far has been so tenuous and so fluid, it's hard to tell if something's going to change.
Now, if this does fall apart today, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley is poised to have a committee vote on Brett Kavanaugh 24 hours from right now and advance the nomination to the Senate floor.
But the big unknown is whether Republicans on the committee or even other GOP senators could bulk, telling Grassley he can't have a vote because they lack information about the allegations. That's the wild card.
If they do move ahead, running through all of the Senate procedural traps, by the books, it would take until about Friday night, at the earliest, for a confirmation vote on the floor. But, still, this nomination might be in peril.
The Senate is divided, 51 Republicans, 49 Democrats. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, he's a very good vote counter. If any Republican senator jumps ship or tells McConnell to tap the brakes, this nomination may lack the votes on the floor. The Senate math is paramount, Maria.
BARTIROMO: All right, we are watching this and whether or not they have the votes.
So, we're still waiting to see if Thursday takes place, then, Chad?
And, again, you don't have to have a successful vote out of the committee to move something to the Senate floor. Robert Bork, when he was confirmed, he got no recommendation from the committee, and even though -- I should say Clarence Thomas, Clarence Thomas. In the case of Robert Bork, though, he got a negative recommendation from the committee.
Why is a committee vote even necessary? Well, you have a lot of senators who don't sit on the Judiciary Committee. And they need to have advice from their fellow senators on this type of nomination or any nom.
But, again, I go back to that math. That math on the floor is going to be critical. There was a nomination earlier this year which was torpedoed at the last moment...
PERGRAM: ... a nominee for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, who they pulled off the floor because they realized at the last moment they didn't have the votes.
BARTIROMO: Chad, thank you, Chad Pergram joining us there in Washington.
Let's now bring in House Judiciary Committee Chairman Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte.
Mr. Chairman, thanks so much for joining us this morning.
REP. BOB GOODLATTE, R-VIRGINIA: Maria, it's great to be with you.
BARTIROMO: What can you tell us about this process and what's going on? How do you see things?
GOODLATTE: Well, I think that Chairman Grassley has bent over backwards to make sure that these very serious allegations give the woman making the charges, Ms. Ford, an opportunity to come and testify.
In fact, he's offered her about four different ways to go about doing that. I think if she is serious about these charges, she needs to come and testify. So I'm glad there's at least a tentative agreement.
But we can't have a situation where very legitimate nominees for very important government positions have charges placed against them at the very last minute, and then they're used as a delaying tactic to try to derail the nomination. That is simply inappropriate. The Democrats on the committee are clearly doing that.
So I think he's handled it well. But I think he's also right to say, either come and testify at the time appointed, or we need to go ahead with our vote.
BARTIROMO: But, Mr. Chairman, isn't that exactly what you're faced with, frankly? I mean, that's what's going on. I mean, if she -- if Ms. Ford continues to come up with new demands, and pushing it back and pushing it back, then -- then they're victorious. Then they are delaying the vote as much as possible and trying hard to kill it.
GOODLATTE: Well, there are a great many people who think that's exactly what's going on.
But, again, these are serious allegations. And Judge Kavanaugh has been vehement in his denial of the charges. So, they both need to have the opportunity to speak their piece on the issue. And if she not going to press the allegation with her own testimony, then I think they have to go ahead with the vote.
BARTIROMO: Do you feel that there will be the -- do you have the votes in the Senate?
GOODLATTE: Well, I believe that the votes are there.
But I also think it's very important that everyone who votes on this feels like there has been a fair process offered, so that these last-minute charges can be properly aired.
And let me also say, this most recent demand by her attorneys that Judge Kavanaugh goes first just defies all important precedent in matters like this. She has not testified. We have not even seen, to my knowledge, the letter that she sent to Senator Feinstein that Senator Feinstein sat on for two months.
But now he's expected to come forward and deny allegations that she hasn't even made in any formal fashion at this point. I think that's entirely inappropriate. She needs to come forward. She needs to offer her testimony. And then he needs to have the opportunity to testify and tell what he knows, if anything, about this whole incident, other than his clear and outright denial that it ever took place.
BARTIROMO: Well, you're -- well, you're right. I mean, the last time I checked, that -- that's the way America works. You are innocent until proven guilty, and she's making the accusations. It would -- it seems weird to have him go first if she's the one making the charges.
But we will see where that goes.
If she doesn't testify on Thursday, do you believe the Senate will hold the vote?
GOODLATTE: I think they should go forward with the vote. I think that would be a very clear indication that the only thing on the table is an outstanding record on the part of a very experienced judge, perhaps one of the most qualified nominees ever for the United States Supreme Court.
And this last-minute charge, not even pressed by the person alleging it, would, I think, call for a vote and a confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh.
BARTIROMO: All right, Mr. chairman, let me move on to another incredibly explosive story, and that is, of course, about Rod Rosenstein, the attorney-- the deputy attorney general.
My question here is, I don't understand how Rod Rosenstein could convene a meeting with other Justice Department officials and the president, convince the president to walk back declassifying documents, and then we learned that he was willing to wear a wire and invoke the 25th Amendment to take down President Trump.
He also, we know, OKed the final FISA warrant, which we know was based on unverified information. How is Rod Rosenstein leading and able to do this? How is the president even listening to him post all of this?
GOODLATTE: Well, I can't answer for the president.
But I can say this, that I have told the president that I think it is very, very important that the American people get access to the information that underlies all of this.
So, several things. First of all, the president should move forward expeditiously. We do have to make sure that sources and methods for classified information are not revealed. But that can be done. And it can be done expeditiously, particularly with regard to this information, where an awful lot of it is already out in the news media.
But key, key points that we do not have the clear final input on our in documents that we need to have declassified. So the president should continue to press for that and should press for it to be done as quickly as possible.
Secondly, we have been very, very concerned about the lack of production of some documents. We have gotten lot of documents, access to more than a million documents from the Department of Justice, from -- but some key, key documents, including the so-called McCabe memos, which could very directly bear upon this question of what was Rod Rosenstein doing in that meeting immediately prior to the appointment of Robert Mueller as the special counsel, and are these allegations that are in The New York Times actually true, I think that can be -- a lot of light can be shed on that if the documents we have been requesting for quite some time are made public.
So, as a result of that, this week, if they're not produced by tomorrow or Tuesday of this week, we are going to issue a subpoena to the Justice Department that expands upon the subpoena we issued earlier this year. It includes the McCabe memos and some other documents that have been requested by us, but thus far not produced, including Peter Strzok's personnel file, some of the Strzok-Page texts, the Bruce Ohr 301 and some other things.
Now, some of these may be declassified in this process with the president. But whether they are or not, the Congress is entitled to see them unredacted, and they're entitled to see them right now. And it's especially important, now that this new crisis of confidence has arisen in the conduct of Mr. Rosenstein, but most importantly because we want to get to the bottom of how this investigation was ever launched in the first place way back in the first half of 2016 during the presidential election.
And we know that it wasn't based on any official intelligence. We have gone through this for the last year between you, your colleagues in Congress, Devin Nunes, John Ratcliffe, Trey Gowdy. We know that it was based on nothing.
But I guess my question here is, in terms of next week and the potential subpoena, with all due respect, sir, you have been asking for lots of documents for a long time. Do you have any confidence that you're actually going to get the McCabe memos or these documents that you want?
Are you willing to go all the way if, in fact, you should subpoena those documents and you still don't get them? What -- what -- how is there accountability?
GOODLATTE: Yes, we are going -- we are going to persist in this.
And we have obtained a very substantial amount of information. Our understanding of what was going on in 2016 and into 2017 is greatly enhanced because of compliance by the Department of Justice and the FBI with our earlier subpoena.
There are still issues outstanding. And this relatively new request with regard to the McCabe memos must be resolved.
GOODLATTE: But I have every confidence that it will occur because I know, for example, that the president of the United States wants the American people to know what was going on...
GOODLATTE: ... and also to see the contrast between how the FBI bent over backwards to afford every opportunity to not prosecute Hillary Clinton...
GOODLATTE: ... and at the same time in the same manner leaned in, in ways that are inexplicable, other than for political motivation...
GOODLATTE: ... to launch an investigation without having any meaningful evidence that there was a basis for launching the investigation into so- called Trump-Russia collusion, which now more than two years later, we still see no evidence of such a thing.
BARTIROMO: It's quite extraordinary. And I have to say, I didn't believe it from the moment it started.
The president tweeted this yesterday. He says: "I met with the DOJ concerning the declassification of various unredacted documents. They agreed to release them, but stated that so doing may have a perceived negative impact on the Russia probe. Also, key allies called to asked not to release. Therefore, the inspector general has been asked to review these documents on an expedited basis.
"I believe we will move quickly on this and hopefully other things which he is looking at. In the end, I can always declassify if it proves necessary. Speed is very important to me and everyone."
Mr. Chairman, I got to get your reaction to this with the midterm elections less than 50 days away.
Stay with us. A lot more from you when we come right back.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back.
I am back with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte.
And, Mr. Chairman, in the president's tweet yesterday, he said: "Speed is important to everyone."
When would you expect the American people to get a sense of what is in those FISA documents that the president initially said he would declassify?
GOODLATTE: Well, the president needs to remain hands-on, on this issue. He needs to be personally engaged in overseeing the process by which those documents are declassified.
I'm glad he has entrusted the inspector general at the Department of Justice to help with this, because I have great confidence in the inspector general. But he needs to be in constant contact with the president and the White House staff about accomplishing this, and accomplishing it very quickly, in a matter of days, not weeks, to get these documents released in a form that protect sources and methods, but lets the American people see what has been going on.
GOODLATTE: Transparency should be at the heart of this. That's where the president's heart is. And that is, in my opinion, what needs to happen here, so everyone can judge for themselves...
BARTIROMO: I mean, is it possible...
GOODLATTE: ... what was going on.
BARTIROMO: Is it possible that Rod Rosenstein is overseeing the Robert Mueller investigation, and yet Rosenstein was the one who OKed the fourth FISA warrant? How is that possible?
And then now we know about this other report that he...
GOODLATTE: Well, we...
BARTIROMO: ... wanted to wear a wire and invoke the 25th.
GOODLATTE: Well, that's why I think it's so important that these documents get out, because, in my opinion -- and I'm not going to point fingers at any particular individual -- we know there's a lot of tension between people like James Comey and John -- McCabe and Rod Rosenstein.
GOODLATTE: But we need to have the facts out, so that we can decide for ourselves.
And I will repeat again what I have said for many months now. And that is that the attorney general of the United States needs to appoint a special counsel to look into all of this, because there are potential conflicts there. But it's hard to conclude what those conflicts are when not all the documents are out there and we have conflicting reports in various sources of the news media.
GOODLATTE: Just like with the Kavanaugh and Ford matter, we shouldn't be trying this in the media. We should be letting the United States Senate follow their process and make a decision there.
GOODLATTE: And, here, the House of Representatives...
GOODLATTE: ... the people's house, needs to have access to these documents, so that then the American people can learn what has transpired in what I think is a major miscarriage of justice in these two investigations, two incredibly important investigations begun in 2016.
I just want to ask you real quick, before you go, Mr. Chairman. I just want to reiterate the breaking news that you just gave us. And that is, if you don't get the documents, including the McCabe memos, you will subpoena them next week.
And, number two, Nellie Ohr, is she refusing to testify?
GOODLATTE: No, Nellie Ohr is cooperating. We have a date for her appearance before the committee for an interview on October 19.
However, I think that your first point...
GOODLATTE: ... I want to reemphasize, it's not next week we will issue the subpoena. It's this week that we will issue the subpoena...
BARTIROMO: This week, this upcoming week.
GOODLATTE: ... if those documents are not immediately forthcoming.
BARTIROMO: Mr. Chairman, thank you.
We will be right back.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back.
This upcoming Tuesday, President Trump is expected to deliver his second address before the United Nations. Topping the agenda will likely be denuclearization talks with North Korea, rising tensions with Iran, global trade, and his America-first view of foreign policy.
For a preview of what we could expect, in this exclusive interview right now, National Security Adviser John Bolton.
Ambassador, great to see you this morning. Thanks so much for joining us.
JOHN BOLTON, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Glad to be back.
BARTIROMO: What should we expect from the president this week?
BOLTON: Well, I think he's got a couple major possibilities really to help illuminate for the American people what America's place in the world is.
His General Assembly speech on Tuesday that you mentioned will talk a lot about American sovereignty, how that fits into America's place in the world as a whole. In addition, there's a Security Council meeting on Wednesday, where he will talk about his nonproliferation policies, dealing with the nuclear threats of North Korea and Iran. Very important to show how different his handling of those is because of the different circumstances.
And we have got major issues with two of the world's other powers, China on trade and on broader issues of geostrategic conflict, and Russia, where we're confronting in a number of different areas.
So I think the president will have a chance to show how full the international agenda is and how active he has been in each of these different areas.
BARTIROMO: Has China pushed back in any way since the president started pushing and poking China the way he has? Because we know that China has been stealing intellectual property for decades, and they won't admit it. Have they changed their behavior in any way?
BOLTON: Well, I think they're still trying to figure out what the president's up to, although there's no doubt, in some of the tariffs that they have imposed, they have targeted the president's supporters in Congress to see if they can change the majority.
I think a lot of people don't understand exactly what's at stake here. And I think the president will address this. This is not just an economic issue. This is not just talking about tariffs and the terms of trade. This is a question of power.
The intellectual property theft that you mentioned has a major impact on China's economic capacity, and, therefore, on its military capacity. And I think the president correctly understands, when China gets economic power by stealing from the United States and others, it's time to call a stop to it.
BARTIROMO: And then they are applying that economic power toward their military complex by creating these islands in the -- in the South China Sea and dominating them and then setting up -- setting up military bases there. Is that right?
BOLTON: Right, exactly.
China -- you know, they talk in the Middle East about creating facts on the ground in the Israel-Palestinian issue. China's creating the ground in the South China Sea and putting more facts on top of it. It's very dangerous, very aggressive, something that the administration has confronted.
And I think all of this goes to what will be the major theme of the 21st century, which is how China and the United States get along.
Take us behind the scenes in that room, in the U.N. General Assembly, because you have got players like Syria, Russia. And there have been developments there in the news. What is most important that the American people need to focus on as we watch all of these players interact this upcoming week?
BOLTON: Well, I think it shows how complex the international environment is.
Let's take the case of Syria, where just in the past few days the Syrians shot down a Russian airplane, killing 15 Russians. They are allies, Syria and Russia. Russia has two bases, military bases in Syria.
This happened because of an Israeli airstrike against Iranians who are trying to equip the Hezbollah terrorists with ballistic missile capabilities.
So here's something that shows the continuing threat of Iran, not just on the nuclear side, but in aggressive, militaristic behavior in the region that puts us at risk of this kind of conflict.
BARTIROMO: What happens next with Iran? I mean, how do you see that relationship changing?
BOLTON: Well, the president's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal has had a profound effect on Iran and the region as a whole. And with even stronger sanctions coming back in November, we think we have disrupted their efforts to impose their will in countries around the region.
We think these new sanctions coming in will have a significant economic and political effect inside the country. And that's what we want. We want massive changes in behavior by the regime in Iran. And if they don't undertake that, they will face more consequences, because we will find more sanctions to impose and other ways to put maximum pressure on them.
BARTIROMO: So, more consequences for Iran. You think then we will see further sanctions if they do not comply?
BOLTON: Absolutely, no doubt about it.
BARTIROMO: What about Syria? Will there be a response in terms of the U.S. and Syria?
BOLTON: Well, the president was very clear. He expects that Syria is not going to engage in a brutal invasion of Idlib province.
We have commented that, if Syria uses chemical weapons again, in Idlib or anywhere else, they will face a third response militarily from the United States. And it will not be small, because we want to make it clear that we expect this is never going to happen again.
So the Middle East remains extremely volatile. Our friend Israel is in danger from Iran. Our friends in the oil-producing monarchies of the Arabian Peninsula are at risk from Iran. And this -- the kind of economic and political instability that Iran is causing in that region and around the world is unacceptable.
BARTIROMO: And then there's the Qataris, who, of course, are friendly or partners with the Muslim Brotherhood.
We have made it very clear we think all this support for terrorism should stop. The president's first overseas trip was in Riyadh, where he created the anti-terror coalition. All the countries that attended, including Qatar, promised to give up their support for terrorism. The Qataris need to make that -- need to make that come true.
BARTIROMO: As national security adviser, I wonder your thoughts on this whole cabal in the intelligence community and what we're dealing with in terms of the investigation into Trump-Russia collusion that is nonexistent two years later.
BOLTON: Well, you know, the president gets criticized for being soft on Russia.
I'm still waiting to see evidence of that. He has authorized us to take very strong action against election meddling by anybody, strong action against intrusions into our information technology systems by countries like Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran.
Just last week, he signed a new directive that reverses the Obama administration policy of not encouraging offensive cyber-operations by the United States. This is a major change in the way we're doing business.
BOLTON: And our adversaries need to know that.
BARTIROMO: This is what I want to talk to you about.
Let's take a short break. I want to hear more about this new policy on cyber, because it is a reversal from President Obama's policy.
More of my exclusive interview coming up with National Security Adviser John Bolton.
Just days ago, Ambassador Bolton outlined the Trump administration's new policy to go on the offensive with those cyber-attacks.
We're looking ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures." Stay with us.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back.
I'm back in my exclusive interview with National Security Adviser John Bolton.
Ambassador, we have news today that the committee says they have talked to four alleged to be at the party by Dr. Ford, including Judge and Kavanaugh. All four deny any knowledge of Dr. Ford's allegations, including being at the party itself.
Your thoughts on what's happening this morning and next week, the potential testimony of Ford and Kavanaugh?
BOLTON: Look, Judge Kavanaugh's an outstanding jurist. He's a fine man. I don't know him well personally.
But look at the testimonies he's had. And let's think about fundamental fairness here. I think his accuser is entitled to fairness. So is Judge Kavanaugh and his family.
So I think they ought to get on. If they're going to have the hearing, let's have it, and then let's get on, and let the senators vote.
BARTIROMO: You introduced a new cyber-policy. Why did you do this now? And why haven't we had a change in our cyber-policy in, what, 15 years?
This is the first fully articulated cyber-security strategy in 15 years, as you say. And it's long overdue. Things are moving in a very rapid pace. This document is not carved in tablets of stone. We're going to be monitoring and updating it.
We're worried about the private sector. We're worried about government information technology. And, as I mentioned, I think it's very important to create structures of deterrence by going on the offensive as well, which we're going to do.
BARTIROMO: And the biggest bad actors are?
BOLTON: Well, look, it's China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. We have seen it in multiple hacks and damage done in both the private and the public sectors.
BARTIROMO: All right, we will leave it there.
Ambassador, it's great to have you on the program.
BOLTON: Glad to be back.
BARTIROMO: Thank you so much, John Bolton joining us there.
President Trump walking back on his order to declassify secret documents related to the ongoing investigation of Russia interference during the 2016 presidential election.
This rare retreat coming after key allies apparently asked him to refrain from releasing this, likely given the sensitive information they contain.
You just heard from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte with breaking news on how they plan to subpoena the Department of Justice this upcoming week for the Andy McCabe memos if they do not receive those documents by this Tuesday.
Also, GPS Fusion researcher Nellie Ohr cooperating with the House Judiciary Committee. Bob Goodlatte told us there is a date for her to testify, October 19.
I want to bring in Tom Fitton right now. He is the president of Judicial Watch.
Tom, thanks very much for weighing in here.
We have a date, October 19. Your thoughts?
TOM FITTON, PRESIDENT, JUDICIAL WATCH: Well, going back to The New York Times story, we're talking about what was going on in the Justice Department, and we can't separate that, Nellie Ohr, jokes about recording the president or revoking the 25th Amendment, with the appointment of a special counsel.
It was all part of the piece. It was all part of the discussion that was going on talking about removing the president of the United States. And one of the options is appointing a special counsel.
So, now we have this Mueller special counsel that's harassing the president and doing as much damage to the presidency as any outrageous effort directly to remove him. It's hampering his ability to hire and fire people. It's hampering his ability to conduct foreign policy.
And it's hampering his ability to monitor and take care of the corruption going on at the Justice Department and the FBI.
BARTIROMO: You know, it's interesting.
Mark Penn is going to be joining us momentarily, and he wrote a great op-ed in The Hill this weekend. And in it, he writes about Rosenstein and his wry sense of humor. I understand that a lot of people say he's sarcastic. But, in another one of his "jokes" -- quote, unquote -- he appears to have quite the sense of humor.
He raised turning the tables on Congress by reviewing the e-mails of members and staff who were there to gather information from the FBI. Oh, just kidding.
You remember him saying that a couple of months, when Devin Nunes demanded documents be sent to Congress as part of this investigation, and he said, well, maybe we should just turn the table and start looking at your communication. Just kidding.
FITTON: And was Mr. Rosenstein joking when he signed off on that dirty FISA spy warrant targeting the Trump team, based on the Clinton-DNC dossier, that he's instrumental in withholding full information about from the American people?
There's a real crisis here. And as I -- but, removing Rosenstein, Sessions, it doesn't get to the issue of the special counsel operation that would continue. And, of course, if the president were to do anything like remove an official, he'd be subject to criminal investigation again.
Look, this crowd thought he wasn't allowed to remove FBI Director Comey. And he went after one of his cronies for corruption, and the reaction was a special counsel.
Now the Democrats are saying that, if he removes Rosenstein, they're going to have more reason to impeach him. He needs to challenge the Mueller operation. He's being inhibited in his role as president.
And if the Justice Department won't do it, or if he declines to do it directly, he should see court relief.
BARTIROMO: Do you believe the American people will see those documents, will see the FISA warrant, so that the American people can clearly understand how they got a warrant to wiretap an American citizen based on unverified information?
FITTON: We have already seen part of the warrants. I think we will see the rest of the warrants. The question is when.
The deep state's approach here is out of a page -- is a page out of the Nixon handbook, which is the modified limited hangout, let it come out slowly, over a period of time, and hopefully people won't remember, and it gives the Mueller operation as much time as he needs to try to damage the president.
BARTIROMO: It's quite extraordinary, when you consider all of the malfeasance on the other side, when we see how they wanted to stop Donald Trump badly from becoming president, and a cabal of individuals put their finger on the scale to change the course of an election because they just didn't like him.
We need to see the evidence on how they came up with this idea that Donald Trump had anything to do with Russia meddling.
And I just wonder if there is going to be any accountability here, Tom.
FITTON: Well, Congress can do more. I appreciate they're pushing for the documents, following Judicial Watch's lead on many of these issues, but they should bring in Mr. Mueller into the -- into Congress and ask him questions about not necessarily who he's going to interview tomorrow, but how he was appointed, his conflicts of interest, why it is he can't find any Republicans or conservatives to work on his prosecution team.
FITTON: This special counsel is immune from scrutiny.
And I'm just tired of talking about Bruce Ohr.
FITTON: I want to talk about Mr. Mueller, who is using Bruce Ohr's information to target and harass this president.
BARTIROMO: Well, they also are pressuring now around anything the president does related to the Supreme Court. They want to stop Brett Kavanaugh.
Real quick, your thought on that? Will they be successful?
FITTON: I don't think they will, although I think they're going to have to take some tough steps to cut this inquiry off or to shorten it.
I think the idea that we need weeks of discussion to figure out what's up and down about these allegations is just as a result of poor leadership.
BARTIROMO: Tom, good to have you on the program. Thank you so much.
FITTON: It can be figured out quickly.
BARTIROMO: OK. We will be watching this upcoming week, where we could actually see them both testify on Thursday.
Much more on all of this, the showdown with China over tariffs, with our panel of Mark Penn and James Freeman from The Wall Street Journal, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures" next.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back.
A special panel today and a lot to break down.
We want to bring in our panel.
James Freeman is the assistant editor at The Wall Street Journal editorial page and a FOX News contributor. Mark Penn is former Clinton strategist, managing partner of The Stagwell Group, and chairman of the Harris Poll. He is also the author of "Microtrends Squared: The New Small Forces Driving the Big Disruptions Today."
Gentlemen, it's good to see you. Thank you so much for joining us.
BARTIROMO: Want to kick it off with your new op-ed, Mark, and another really well-done piece here, where you right: "People bristle when I sometimes adopt and use that term deep state, but as an outside observer watching the unmasking of the actions of one official after another at the FBI, CIA and DOJ, I have come to accept that an unelected group of well- educated, experienced individuals running these departments became inebriated with their own power during the last election campaign, and apparently came to believe they were on a mission to stop, defeat or remove President Trump and his associates for crimes they would find or, if necessary, manufacturer."
Wow, powerful words, manufacturer, Mark.
MARK PENN, FORMER CLINTON CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST: Well, I think we see week after week one and credible disclosure after another.
I mean, I'm still getting over learning that Bruce Ohr was a secret go- between with Christopher Steele, who for months and months, we were told, was fired, while his wife had an undisclosed relationship to the people who were paid for the dossier and was actually working on it.
And then this week, we now learn the potential Rosenstein allegations, as McCabe, it looks to me, probably fired back at Rosenstein, because I think, once you divide all of these people in the FBI and the CIA and put them under some pressure, I think we're going to find some incredible revelations here about what they were doing, and what I would have to say was a mirage that was created by the Steele dossier and the echo chamber around it that motivated these people to violate their oaths to the Constitution.
BARTIROMO: I agree.
I can't tell you how proud I am of this team on "Sunday Morning Futures." We have stayed on this story since January every single week.
And, James, the fact is, is now we have date for Nellie Ohr to testify, but we're still waiting for the evidence, the documents to show and to prove to the American people what went on here.
Your thoughts on how...
JAMES FREEMAN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, perhaps the documents that Chairman Goodlatte said earlier on this program he's going to subpoena may shed some light on that.
But to Mark's point about the Constitution, this must be very confusing, the last couple of years, for kids who read about Article 2, Section 1, saying that the executive power shall will be vested in a president of the United States.
There is so much media coverage suggesting that, whether you want to call it deep state or the bureaucracy, suggesting that the Justice Department is somehow independent of the president, or it's inappropriate for him to exercise this executive authority.
I think it's really poisonous. And what we need to find out is what exactly was done by people who we have seen demonstrated had a bias against the president to interfere with his election, or potential election.
BARTIROMO: And, unfortunately, the mainstream media is sort of driving the bus on this. This will go down at some point as the most shameful time, for the mainstream media to have ignored such an important story.
FREEMAN: If there's not further evidence.
We're still waiting here, aren't we? It's now more than two years after this began. We have not gotten a clear expression of exactly when it started, but we're now more than two years into this. We're waiting for the evidence that would somehow justify extraordinary use of the government surveillance's power against the party out of power.
BARTIROMO: Which brings me back to the Rod Rosenstein story, Mark, because we know that Rod Rosenstein OKed -- officially OKed a warrant the fourth time around to wiretap Carter Page.
And yet he's overseeing the Mueller investigation.
PENN: Well, that's right.
And if you look at how testy he got when asked did he actually read the FISA application in his testimony, you see someone who consistently has said, hey, we're an island over here in the -- in the Justice Department. I don't report to the president. I don't report to Congress. I report to my view of the law.
And that's wrong. And I think that Congress is going to have to get these documents out, that Rosenstein is the number one person who really is holding them up, in order to expose the sunshine here that the American public really needs.
BARTIROMO: So do you think Rosenstein should be fired?
FREEMAN: Well, I think that you do want to get those documents.
The question here, I -- these -- these latest news accounts that he was in on some effort to perhaps remove the president, denied by Mr. Rosenstein, but it does put a spotlight.
You go back to 2017. People forget this. May of 2017, his memo laid out in perfect detail why there was bipartisan support to get rid of Jim Comey.
FREEMAN: Why he had violated Justice Department procedures.
FREEMAN: And then...
BARTIROMO: And then he got upset when the president said, yes, I fired him.
FREEMAN: And then, when the president did just that, obviously, the president gave an odd interview to Lester Holt.
FREEMAN: But to then create the special counsel, after the president did what he had just recommended, strikes a lot of people as odd.
BARTIROMO: More with James Freeman and Mark Penn right after this.
BARTIROMO: We are back with our panel, James Freeman and Mark Penn.
And, Mark, in your op-ed, "Donald Trump's Rosenstein Dilemma," you say he's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't.
PENN: Well, that's the dilemma that the president faces.
Ordinarily, you would fire somebody like Rosenstein, no questions asked. But in this environment, he can't do that. It would be used against him. He'd be depicted as a bad man.
PENN: So, instead, the best he can do now is get these documents out, complain to the inspector general.
But, after the midterms, if the Republicans lose Congress, these investigations will stop, and he's either going to have to appoint a special counsel himself, and have two of them, or have none of them. But without a new special counsel, there will be no further investigation of this. And the public needs it.
BARTIROMO: You're absolutely right. We will not hear another word about it, because all the committee chairmen will -- will flip to Democrats.
And, James, even in the face of all of this, his outcomes in terms of his policies -- he's got all these detractors everywhere, even from within the administration and within the intelligence community, and yet he's pushing back on China, first president to do so in a long time in terms of their behavior.
FREEMAN: Yes. Yes.
And they just canceled these upcoming discussions. That wasn't a surprise. But I think it is a reminder that there's a -- there's a big need here for the president to resolve his fights with Canada and Mexico and Europe, because the China trade problem, as we have discussed, the theft of intellectual property, which they will not acknowledge yet, is not something that's going to be solved quickly.
It's not going to be solved before the midterms. I think he wants a win. He knows he needs a win on trade. He's going to have to get it either with the new NAFTA or Europe.
BARTIROMO: Will he get it, though?
I mean, already he's done a -- sort of a handshake type of deal with Mexico, right? Will Canada come in and follow suit?
FREEMAN: I think they need to.
FREEMAN: I think they understand how important it is for them. I think there's a sense that maintaining barriers on dairy is not -- bigger with the United States than with other countries -- is not really tenable.
But the president also needs to realize that, if he wants a deal, if they give him what he wants on trade, he shouldn't need to trash the dispute resolution process of NAFTA, which almost everyone involved likes.
We will see what happens this week.
Real quick on Kavanaugh. Let's end on Kavanaugh.
Your thoughts, Mark, on what we could see next week, as another testimony with Ford and Kavanaugh Thursday, perhaps?
PENN: Well, I'm increasingly skeptical that we will actually see testimony, although, if there is, it will probably be 100 million people tuning into this thing, as it's been built up.
BARTIROMO: Yes. Real quick.
PENN: Look, very clearly, every day, the question before the American public is did Kavanaugh do it or not is a day that Democrats are winning and Republicans are losing...
PENN: ... because nobody's talking about the economy.
BARTIROMO: Great to have you both here. Thank you so much.
That is "Sunday Morning Futures." I will see you tomorrow on FOX Business.
Have a great Sunday, everybody.
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