This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," December 21, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST: Responding to North Korea: good morning, everyone. I'm Maria Bartiromo. Welcome to "Sunday Morning Futures."
President Obama vowing that the U.S. will respond proportionally to the cyberattack on Sony Pictures, quote, "in a place and time and manner that we choose."
What might that entail? We'll ask Congressman Peter King who sits on the Select Committee for Intelligence and the Homeland Security Committee.
King, a New York congressman, is also speaking out this morning about yesterday's heinous crime: two New York City police officers shot dead, execution style, while sitting in their patrol car in Brooklyn. We will speak to the congressman about this breaking story as well.
And historic policy changes with Cuba, including lifting of economic sanctions against the communist country.
Is now the right time? Our panel will weigh in as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."
BARTIROMO: Good morning. Sony Pictures now saying that it is actively looking for an alternative way to distribute the movie "The Interview," other than in theaters. It pulled distribution ahead of its Christmas Day opening following hacked e-mails and a terror threat the FBI has linked to North Korea.
Congressman Peter King is a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Committee on Homeland Security. Congressman, we will get to Sony in a moment. Good morning to you. Thank you for joining us.
REP. PETER KING, R-N.Y.: Good morning.
BARTIROMO: But I want to kick it off, of course, talking about this horrific story breaking here in New York, the execution-style shooting of two police officers yesterday in Brooklyn.
You made a statement, Congressman, about needing to get together as a country and support our police. Tell us what you'd like to see happen.
KING: Yes, Maria, first of all, thank you for having me on and this is an absolute tragedy, what occurred in New York and it's really time for our national leaders, the president, it's time for the mayor of New York and really for many in the media to stop the cop bashing, to stop this antipolice rhetoric.
I mean, for the last four months, we've basically heard nothing other than the cops are guilty, presumed cops are guilty, then the grand jury says they're not going to be indicted. People demonstrate, march in the streets and it's so slanted.
For instance, the case in Staten Island. It's supposed to be racial. As tragic as that was, the fact is, it was an African American chief of the police department who sent in the police officers at the request of minority business owners. The top-ranking police officer at the scene was an African American female sergeant.
And yet, that didn't stop Al Sharpton and others from demonstrating. Mayor de Blasio says if we have any evidence at all or any indication that police are going to be attacked to let him know.
Well, the fact is, last week there were thousands of demonstrators -- in fact, earlier this week, there were thousands of demonstrators chanting they wanted dead cops, they wanted dead cops now.
KING: The mayor never denounced that. And then you had people attacking the cops in the Brooklyn Bridge and the mayor refers to them as an alleged assault, something which he never said in Staten Island or Ferguson.
BARTIROMO: Well, I mean, you know, the mayor has been supporting Al Sharpton. In your statement, you said our national state and local leaders should stop elevating people like Al Sharpton.
What would you like to see done?
KING: Well, first of all, rather than having Al Sharpton to the White House to discuss race relations, I think it would be very appropriate for the president to have the families of police officers who have been killed or to have cops down there who actually work in the streets, who work in the rough neighborhoods, who know what it's like, to get their side of the story.
The president's idea of a conversation is to find out how we can make the cops better, assuming that the cops are wrong to begin with. And it's that type of a mood that's being created which creates a climate where you can have madmen, I'm assuming this guy was a madman, who carried out these crimes.
He came from Baltimore to New York to kill two New York City cops. Why? Because of all the rhetoric out there, because of the climate has been created where it's being considered perfectly appropriate for thousands of people to demonstrate, calling cops murderers and killers after a grand jury says that the police officer was not guilty.
BARTIROMO: Well, there's clearly a lot of upset and certainly rage, Congressman, on both sides here.
How do you then respond to the people who are upset by the recent decisions after murders of black boys who were not doing anything wrong?
KING: Well, in fact, the grand jury found that they were. Certainly, in the case in Ferguson, where Michael Brown, the grand jury found was coming after a police officer. First he had held up a convenience store, then he tried to take away the police officer's gun and then he was coming after him.
So, that to me is not some innocent kid. And in Staten Island, we had a person and he never should have been killed. That was a tragic accident. And 99 out of 100 times, he wouldn't have been hurt at all.
But the fact is, he was arrested 30 times before. He was resisting arrest. And the job of the police was to take him down.
But I would think, by the way, all these athletic teams, the NFL or the NBA, college basketball teams, who are wearing the shirts denouncing the cops or supporting Michael Brown and supporting Eric Garner, I would say this week, as a show of respect, why don't they wear shirts defending the NYPD, as a sign of solidarity to the two police officers who were killed in the prime of life, who were assassinated in a tragic assassination and murder, which takes us back to the 1970s?
My father was a cop then. I remember that whole period, how terrible it was, how tough it was and there's no reason we should go back to it. I thought we had gotten beyond that but the rhetoric today, unfortunately, I think, is creating a climate, which is bringing back the 1970s.
BARTIROMO: Well, once again, the country is desperate for leadership and desperate for somebody or something to bring us together.
How can we come together, Congressman?
KING: I would say if the president and the mayor and others would tone down the rhetoric, if they would not assume that the cop is guilty from day one and if they could have a real debate -- not have people like Al Sharpton at the meeting but having intelligent people on both sides, having people who understand what the police officers are going through and have people from the minority communities who feel that there are problems that have to be addressed, fine. I'm sure there are.
Get people together, but don't do it from the position that you assume the cops are guilty to begin with. That to me is the worst, because when you have Mayor de Blasio talking about how he has to tell his sons to look out for cops, well, maybe if he told his son to respect cops, he wouldn't have the same problem.
BARTIROMO: Congressman, there's a lot to talk about with you this morning. We want to get more on our other top story of the morning and that is that massive cyber attack on Sony pictures. Stay with us, Congressman Peter King. We want to look at the reaction here, North Korea's role and what to do moving forward. Fox News senior correspondent Eric Shawn on that angle.
Eric, good morning to you.
ERIC SHAWN, FOX NEWS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Maria.
And good morning, everyone. It's called a foreign terrorist attack against America. North Korea did not need to launch a missile, detonate a bomb or send a phalanx of goose-stepping troops to California. They apparently did it with a click of the mouse.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have a gift for you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh! Oh! This dog is killing me! This cuteness!
SHAWN (voice-over): Well, the challenge goes far beyond that of a comedy, but a question of whether a country or corporations and ourselves are properly protected against a devastating cyber attack.
The apparent North Korean incursion could show just how easy it would be for an enemy of America, like the North Korean regime, to strike at the very heart of our nation, targeting our computers that run the energy grid, banking, the very foundations of our everyday existence.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We've been coordinating with the private sector, but a lot more needs to be done. We're not even close to where we need to be.
Well, the North Koreans deny they did it and say they want to work with Washington, warning, quote, "If the U.S. refuses to accept our proposal for a joint investigation and continues to talk about some kind of response by dragging us into the case, it must remember there will be grave consequences."
But others say the U.S. should respond against North Korea by launching a new version of the Stuxnet virus, the computer malware, that was used to infect and damage the Iranian nuclear program.
LT. COL. BILL COWAN (RET.), FOX NEWS MILITARY ANALYST: They're finding out how to get into our infrastructure, military, commercial, industrial, the civilian sector, even on the private level.
So, somehow, the United States needs to stand up, send a clear message to North Korea at the same time, telling everybody else, you mess with us in the cyber world, we're going to mess with you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHAWN: And there are demands to put North Korea back on the State Department list of state sponsors of terrorism. In an interview that aired this morning, the president dialed back the concern, saying the attack, in his words, was not an act of war but of cyber vandalism.
So he promises what he calls a proportional response; perhaps another way to answer Kim Jong-un would be to do what he seemingly tried to prevent. Let's all watch the movie -- Maria.
BARTIROMO: Oh, gosh. Eric, thank you very much, Eric Shawn.
Now more with Congressman Peter King.
Congressman, the president said that what North Korea did was not an act of war but an act of cyber vandalism.
Do you agree with that?
KING: No. To use a word like vandalism is to trivialize an issue such as this. I mean, this is a dramatic turning point in our relations with the world. I mean, the fact that North Korea could carry out a cyberattack such as this, could bring the movie industry to its knees, is just an indication of what can be done.
And for the president to call this vandalism, again, it's just such a trivializing, petty description of what really was an assault on our national liberty, our national sovereignty.
So, no, he's got to toughen that up.
BARTIROMO: Let me ask you this, Congressman, because I have actually been speaking with a number of sources inside Sony and around Sony and they are very upset with the president. They say, basically, they called the White House several times and they did not get a call back. They said that the FBI was great. They worked with the FBI and they did a terrific job.
But for the president to come out and say, "Oh, I'm disappointed that they canceled the movie; they should have called me," when, in fact, a number of executives have told me they did reach out and he didn't call them back -- why was there no response from government, when we knew that North Korea said, "If you go to this movie, you will face a 9/11-like attack?"
Doesn't that warrant an answer from government?
KING: Well, yeah. In fact, in fairness, I don't know what went on between Sony and the president. Having said that, it was the obligation of the president of the United States to meet with Sony, to have the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI -- all the resources of the federal government should have been working with Sony, made this a major effort.
From the moment this threat first emerged, the president, as the leader, as the commander in chief, had the obligation to lead our offensive against this and not just to sit back and after the fact criticize them.
And it's not enough to have people under him speaking to, maybe, people in the industry. This required a major effort by the president, the president, Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, all of our law enforcement efforts around the country, for instance, to work with local law enforcement to see the level of protection they could provide, to see if there is any threat, and also to immediately be working on what kind of counteroffensive we can carry out about North Korea.
So, listen, I have no great grief for the Hollywood people. Having said that, if they were left out there on their own, and for the president to criticize them afterwards, that's wrong.
But apart from that, he should have been out front early and he should have been mobilizing all our resources against North Korea on this and protecting Sony and protecting the industry and protecting the United States.
BARTIROMO: Well, I would think so, particularly with those words that they used that there will be a 9/11-like attack. I mean, that's pretty aggressive.
BARTIROMO: So -- so, what's the plan now, Congressman? We're getting taunted again. The North Koreans are saying, if this continues, there will be grave consequences. So, what's the U.S.'s plan?
KING: Again, I -- I certainly can't speak for the president, but I would say what the president should be doing right now is telling North Korea this is not going to be tolerated.
But in addition to that, I don't think North Korea could have done this without at least the tacit approval of China. And we have to let China know we're not going to tolerate this, either. We have leverage we can use against China. We have some leverage against North Korea. At the very least, I think they should be put back on the terrorist list. They are clearly, to me, a state sponsor of terrorism. They should be on that list. And we should -- whatever economic leverage we have as far as cyber, we should attack them cyber-wise.
But also, I think we have to realize that China has to have an involvement here. And we can't let China just walk away from this and make believe that they're just innocent bystanders, which they're not.
BARTIROMO: So what's China's involvement, then?
KING: I don't see how North Korea could have done this without using facilities in China. I don't think North Korea itself has the capability within the country of North Korea itself. They have to have platforms, other facilities in China that are being used. And also, they really can't carry out very much of this without some tacit approval from China.
BARTIROMO: All right. Congressman...
KING: China could have stopped them.
BARTIROMO: ... good to have you on the program. We'll be watching the developments. Thank you very much.
KING: Maria, thank you.
BARTIROMO: Congressman Peter King joining us.
Of course, it's been a huge week of global upheaval, terrorism attacks in Australia and Pakistan and of course cyber threats here at home. Former CIA officer Mike Baker is on deck.
And I hope you'll follow me on Twitter @mariabartiromo, @sundayfutures. Let us know what you'd like to hear from Mike Baker about the CIA when we come right back. Send me a tweet right now. Stay with us. We're looking ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."
BARTIROMO: Well, this week started terribly and it just keeps getting worse, that deadly hostage standoff in Sydney, Australia, giving way to that horrible terrorism attack at a school in Peshawar, Pakistan, where some 145 people, mostly children, were killed by the Taliban. Mike Baker is a former CIA covert operations officer. He is now president and co-founder of Diligence, LLC, a global intelligence and security firm. Mike, great to see you. Thanks so much for joining us.
MIKE BAKER, FORMER CIA COVERT OPERATIONS OFFICER: Sure, thank you.
BARTIROMO: So take us back for the week and give me your observations. I mean, a lone wolf attack in Australia, a lot of conversation about whether or not we could see something like that in America. How should the U.S. be responding or preparing for such an event?
BAKER: Well, we've been preparing, in essence, for years now, and we've talked about, you know, the threat of the individual attack. I think sometimes calling it "lone wolf" -- and we always have this same sort of problem every time there's one of these incidents, particularly recently. Every time you talk about a "lone wolf" incident, it tends to minimize the impact from, sort of, the 30,000-foot level.
Look, the Muslim extremists, the jihadists -- they don't care whether the individual carrying out the attack, or individuals, is a committed extremist, a committed Muslim extremist or if they're just a psychotic who are looking for something to latch onto, and in this case, it would be ISIS rhetoric on the social media or Al Qaida efforts to recruit people overseas. As long as they commit that violent act, then, from the jihadist perspective, they've won.
So we're getting a little wrapped around the semantics of it all. Look, this was an extremist event; this was inspired by ISIS and Al Qaida's successes over, certainly, the past 12 months.
BARTIROMO: I mean, are they winning, Mike? I mean, based on what we know, is ISIS and the Taliban and the bad actors in general getting stronger?
BAKER: Well, they're getting better at trying to promote their cause among the vast what seems to be a bottomless pool of the disaffected, unemployed, particularly males around the world, who, again, are looking for something to latch onto.
And the success of ISIS in claiming territory definitely has strengthened that effort and given them, sort of, a newfound boost in whatever you want to call it, public relations or marketing. So, yes, I would have to say that, certainly, they are stronger than they were a couple of years ago, and it, kind of, flies in the face of this idea that somehow we've put the whole war on terror on -- to bed.
BARTIROMO: Yeah, let me turn your attention to Russia, and give me your observation there in terms of where we are. Obviously, the Russian economy has been crushed, the Russian ruble currency down 50 percent against the dollar. And then, of course, there is the price of oil, which is crushing them. The sanctions seem to be working.
BAKER: Well, yes, I mean, in concert with, sort of, this happy coincidence of the drop in oil. I mean, that's certainly had the major impact on Putin at this point in time. But I think we have to be careful because, you know, in the past, we haven't seen, sort of, the effort to push Putin in a corner. We haven't seen that result in compliance on his part. You know, he's an old-school KGB officer who views the fall of the Soviet Union as a tragedy. And so the idea that, somehow, we're going to suddenly shift his personality, you know, and do something that I just don't think is in his DNA, getting him to cooperate and pull back and play nice on the world stage, I think we're going to have to be very careful and watch over, particularly the next couple of months, to see whether he does something that's counterintuitive from our perspective.
BARTIROMO: All right, we'll be watching that. I know he's chairing a Eurasian meeting this week. So likely news to come out of that. Mike, great to have you on the show, as always. Thanks so much.
BAKER: Sure, thank you.
Mike Baker joining us, a former CIA operative.
A roller coaster, meanwhile, for the stock market: dizzying highs, nail-biting lows.
How can you make sense of it all as we head into a new year? The former CEO of Apple is with us. That and a lot more as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."
BARTIROMO: Welcome back.
In a world of low economic growth, where are the best places to invest your money these days?
My next guest is the former CEO of Apple as well as former president of PepsiCo and the author of "Moonshot! Game-Changing Strategies to Build Billion-Dollar Businesses."
John Sculley is with us.
And it is good to see you. Thank you so much for joining us.
JOHN SCULLEY, FORMER CEO, APPLE: Thank you, Maria.
BARTIROMO: I want to kick it off with what we're going through in terms of hacking and the vulnerability of the Internet and our private information.
How should we look at what the North Koreans have done and try to protect ourselves?
SCULLEY: Well, let me talk about it from a technology standpoint, because there really is a game change in technology that is available. The military knows about it; the government knows about it. And what we've had up until now, which is so vulnerable, is that we've focused our technology around the user and around the network. It's like securing the vault and not the cash inside.
And so if you think about the real future is going to be about securing the data.
Well, how do you do that? There's something called bit splitting and bit splitting is kind of like what fracking has been for the oil and gas industry. It was a game change.
Bit splitting means that you take the data and you can split it at the bit level. You disperse it out, so it's located in multiple locations. And if somebody tries to intrude on the network, it's going to be completely meaningless.
And so bit splitting is a technology that wasn't possible practically until the cloud computing became reliable and affordable. And that has happened now.
And for the military, the government, for health care, for national services, we're really going to have a parallel network that can be very highly secured. It doesn't solve the problem with, you know, going to the open Internet, but it's a real potential solution.
BARTIROMO: So you think we're going to see almost like two Internets. We're going to have one where we've got personal information on and our own sort of consumerism. Then you've got the other secure Internet, where the military will use it; who else?
Well, think of it this way, same infrastructure. We don't have to change the hardware at all; many have the same protocols of how it works. But there are going to be needs for where you have what's called counterparties that are known to each other, which is what you would have with the military or for the government.
They need something that won't be broken into the way we saw the North Koreans break into the open Internet. The open Internet still has huge challenges ahead of it. It's an old technology. It won't change quickly. But the secure Datanet, a company called Security First has actually solved this problem and it's a fully deployable technology.
BARTIROMO: Security First. And military and government are using this already?
SCULLEY: The military's very excited about it. The product is just starting to be deployed, yes.
BARTIROMO: Let me ask you about where you see the growth in an environment where we are seeing sort of slow growth in the overall economy. You've moved from, you know, running Apple to over the last several years investing in a number of technology and health care-related companies.
Where do you see growth?
SCULLEY: Well, I'm very excited about the consumer era of health care. I'm a consumer marketer. And so now we're seeing that with the patient taking on more responsibility, one of the derivative effects of ObamaCare is that it woke people up to how expensive health care is and now with these high deductibles, suddenly, people have to pay out of pocket.
So telehealth is going to be a booming industry, just like ATMs and online banking were 20 years ago and people said I wonder if it will be successful. We all know it was. Same thing is going to happen in telehealth.
BARTIROMO: I agree. I think that you're seeing the marriage of health care and technology just be extraordinary. And you're saying the consumerism of it is also quite --
SCULLEY: Yes. Well, I'm an investor in a company called MD Live. We're building not only low acuity care, but higher acuity care for chronic care patients. It's a booming big market open for billion-dollar companies to emerge in.
BARTIROMO: Fascinating. All right. Let me switch gears and ask you a little about the new Congress. New Congress taking effect in a couple of weeks.
As the former CEO of Apple, where you had so much money overseas and you were reluctant to bring it back to the U.S. because you're getting taxed twice, what would you like to see in terms of tax reform from the new Congress?
SCULLEY: Well, it's completely absurd that we have $3 trillion sitting overseas and this administration has made no attempt to even think about tax reform. Well, now we're going to have a Republican-controlled Congress.
And I suspect that Mitch McConnell is going to try to get a series of small wins and get some tax reform accomplished over the next two years. And so it may not be as much as if we had a Republican president, but I think it will be a step on the way and then we'll just have to see in 2016 if that can be elevated to a really crucial issue, because the future of America's jobs has nothing to do with government creating jobs, as the president said.
It has everything to do about prosperity, about entrepreneurs. We need infrastructure. That could be built, if we got the money brought back with tax reform. So there are a lot of positive things that can be done in the short term and hopefully, we'll have a stronger president in 2016.
BARTIROMO: So you think that if they do do the repatriation part of tax reform, we will see money come back from American companies, bring it back to the U.S.?
SCULLEY: Well, you know, the money never left the U.S. It's actually sitting in U.S. banks, but legally, it's called offshore. And so legally, that money can come back.
You know, I'm sure that businesses would be willing to pay some tax on that to get it back and then there can probably be some agreement as to how it can be invested to help the country. So it could be a huge win for everybody -- jobs, infrastructure, enterprise, prosperity and growth in the economy.
BARTIROMO: John, what great insights from you. Thank you so much for joining us today.
SCULLEY: Thank you, Maria.
BARTIROMO: John Sculley joining us; he's the former CEO of Apple.
Back to the breaking news of the day: two NYPD officers killed in cold blood as they sat in their squad car in Brooklyn. Our panel will react to Congressman King's remarks, calling out political activists like Al Sharpton as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."
BARTIROMO: More now on that headline story that Eric just reported on, the horrific execution-style shooting of two NYPD officers.
We'll bring in our panel on this.
Judith Miller is adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a Pulitzer Prize winning author and journalist and a Fox News contributor.
Ed Rollins is former principal White House advisor to President Reagan. He has been a long-time strategist to business and political leaders. And he is a Fox News political analyst.
Mary Kissel is a Wall Street Journal editorial board member. She's the host of Opinion Journal on Wall -- on "WSJ Live."
Good to see everybody.
Thank you so much for joining us.
ED ROLLINS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Good morning.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good morning.
BARTIROMO: Really, another horrific story. And everything that is said is just ratcheting up the rhetoric across the board.
Your reaction to Congressman King's comments on the NYPD story?
JUDITH MILLER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I agree with Congressman King. I think that the NYPD is one of the finest police departments in the nation. I have covered their counterterrorism activities. They have thwarted 17 terror attacks on this country.
But more than that, they have brought crimes, black-on-black violent crime down to record levels. And the fact that these two officers, a Hispanic-American and a Chinese-American, which represent the 50 percent -- over 50 percent of the NYPD, which is minority in this country. This is not an all-white police force.
That this should happen indicates the extent to which our rhetoric has gotten way out of control.
BARTIROMO: Yes, he specifically called out Al Sharpton and -- and basically said we need to stop elevating this kind of rhetoric that divides us.
ROLLINS: I grew up in the era of Martin Luther King. Martin Luther King (INAUDIBLE) to have a good ending, was an extraordinary leader and he talked about non-violence and obviously it cost his life at the end of the day.
But if he would have said "Burn, baby, burn," America would have burnt down. He didn't.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.
ROLLINS: Al Sharpton is a racist. Al Sharpton is a man who is detrimental to the system in this country. His ally, the mayor, is basically destroying the morale in this police department, one of the greatest police departments in the country.
And I will tell you that when you allow what happened last week on the bridge, when a college professor and a labor union and several others take the two police officers, the lieutenants who were up there to offer legal assistance to those who are basically -- and the college professor had two hammers and a ski mask in his bag...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.
ROLLINS: -- he wasn't building a bridge, he was there...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.
ROLLINS: -- to do damage.
And my sense is we have to have -- the judicial system knocked us back. You can have peaceful protests in America, but you can't have violence.
Mary Kissel, your thoughts?
MARY KISSEL, WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL BOARD: Well, I think there's a fine line between civilization and barbarism. And the police stand in between it. You have to call out the mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio.
And let's just think about what he's done over the last several months.
He ran on an anti-cop platform. He's come out and he's said that his child, he told his child to be afraid of the police. He had a chief of staff who was living with an ex-con who killed a cop.
He's elevated Al Sharpton to effectively be deputy police commissioner. He's questioned the constitutionality of stop, question and frisk.
And what have been the results of that?
You have a real lack of trust now between the police force and city hall. You have a rise in shootings, a rise in violence.
And, you know, he's also said effectively I'm going to roll back broken windows policing. He said marijuana legalization, well, that's -- that's fine. We -- we're not going to legalize it, but we're not going to prosecute you for that.
So what's the signal that you're sending to criminals in New York City?
It's effectively game on. And unfortunately -- and I think if he doesn't stand behind the cops, we're going to see more violence like we saw to -- yesterday.
MILLER: Yes, and that's unfortunate, because that's what we're seeing. Everything he says, the way he says it, is basically firing up that, you know, rhetoric against the cops.
KISSEL: And who's going to suffer?
It will be the -- the minority communities in the Bronx, in the outer boroughs of Brooklyn and eventually all of New York City, when the tourists stop coming here and stop spending their money here.
ROLLINS: The quality of life in this city has been turned around in the last 20 years not by the leadership of mayors, but by the leadership of our police department. We've had good mayors who've supported the police in Giuliani and -- and -- and, obviously, Bloomberg.
And I -- my sense today, I've never seen anything like the police turning their back on the mayor yesterday. In a very short period of time and they are ashamed of the man who leads them. And that's a great, great liability here.
BARTIROMO: And how -- how does that play out then?
I mean it's a great liability, what do you think that leads to?
ROLLINS: I think this mayor had better basically make peace with his police force. If he's going to represent us and be the leader of this town, they basically are the thin line that keeps us safe.
MILLER: Well, he had the -- basically Pat Lynch, the head of the -- one of the unions say -- accuse de Blasio, the mayor, of having blood on his hands. That was very, very strong. And -- and I will say former Mayor Giuliani walked away from that...
MILLER: -- and said this is not the time. I noted that Mayor De Blasio was very quiet this morning when Bratton took the lead, our police chief, and said, you know, this is absolutely unacceptable, as did the president, by the way. There was an unequivocal condemnation, finally. No talk about social injustice.
But there is a social injustice problem, not here in New York, but in other police departments. And that's what should be addressed. And the race problem should be addressed, but not -- it's not an NYPD problem.
ROLLINS: Look, the other point...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think...
ROLLINS: -- counterpoint I want to make. Police across this country have a terrible, terrible job.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
ROLLINS: I don't want it, you don't want it.
MILLER: That's right.
ROLLINS: And our friends don't want it. They're the ones -- many of these communities are small communities. We had three innocent people, or maybe they weren't innocent, but the deaths were accidental, and we've now created this chaos all over this country again today. Those people didn't intend to kill the guy in Ferguson; they didn't intend to kill the guy in Staten Island. Certainly, the guy -- the police officer who killed the guy in the public housing didn't intend on doing that.
But the idea that we're now calling cops racist and pigs and anti- black and all the rest of it is just outrageous.
MILLER: I think we all agree on that.
KISSEL: Yeah, and effectively, if you don't come out and say "We respect the criminal justice system, what you're saying is, we're going to bow to mob rule in this country; it's going to be the return of mob rule. The mayor, the president, every leader in this country needs to come out and say the cops are doing their job; we have to trust in our justice system to deliver justice."
BARTIROMO: And -- and which is why I'm happy that you mentioned the fact that the unions turned their back on De Blasio, because they want change as well. That was an important moment.
All right, let's stay right here, guys. We want to -- a lot to talk about with you, but let's get a check on what's coming up at the top of the hour on "Media Buzz." Howie Kurtz is standing by.
Good morning to you, Howie.
KURTZ: Good morning, Maria. We have got a full agenda. We're going to spend a lot of time on this complete cave-in by Sony in pulling this movie, a blow against free expression, and now Sony in a kind of a war of words with the president, who also criticized the company for backing down in the face of threats by these hackers allied with North Korea, but also, what is the media's role in this? And should we be reporting what is essentially stolen property, all these gossipy e-mails that were uncovered by the hackers. So a lot of angles on this important story.
BARTIROMO: All right, we will be there. We're going to get our panel's view on that story as well. The president ends one of the last remnants of the Cold War, sets the wheels in motion to lift the Cuban embargo on the streets of Havana. There's cheering on the streets of Little Havana here in the United States. There are protests. Our panel on what it all means, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures." Sony and Cuba, next.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. Taking a look now at the president's decision to normalize relations with Cuba. Our panel is back on that, Judy Miller, Ed Rollins, Mary Kissel.
Your thoughts on what the president did this week in regards to Cuba?
MILLER: Well, I think the president is trying to show once again that he is not a lame duck and he is going for a legacy. And he totally took everyone by surprise, after 18 months of negotiations involving the most discrete pope on the planet...
... and also Canada. But look, there is a divide in the Republican Party now and also even within conservative ranks about whether or not isolating a country, continuing to isolate, will bring down this regime or pouring in market money will bring down the Castros, finally, finally. And we're going to see. Now we'll get a chance to see.
BARTIROMO: The rest of the world, Ed, has already been there in Cuba.
ROLLINS: You know, at the end of the day, this is a very serious decision to be made. And my issue is why don't we have a national discussion? Why don't we bring the Congress in? The country just elected a Republican Congress. They're the ones that have to lift the sanction. Why don't we sit down and discuss it, instead of the president arbitrarily saying, "The heck with you, I'm going to do whatever I want to do; this is one of the boxes I've checked off"? This is a very serious issue. And to those Americans in Florida who came from Cuba, having been persecuted there or what have you, they have -- and I disagree with you; it's not a division in the Republican Party. Rand Paul is on one side; the chamber's on one side...
MILLER: Paul Ryan.
ROLLINS: At the end of the day, the people who are going to run for president are all going to be, basically, with the exception of Paul, are going to be anti. This is going to become a big national debate, and it should have been a debate before we did it.
BARTIROMO: Well, I agree with that. I mean, once again, we see this unilateral move by the president to just do things without consulting Congress, whether you believe that Cuba is a business and an economic activity -- or opportunity -- or not.
ROLLINS: And Cuba gave up nothing. Cuba gave up absolutely nothing. They get all the benefits and, you know, a bunch of New Jersey casino owners who can't make it in Atlantic City are going to move to Cuba.
My sense is they gave up nothing, nothing to basically...
BARTIROMO: Like China gave up with the -- with the recent deal there.
Mary, what are your thoughts?
KISSEL: It's just the latest in a legacy of appeasement, to take Judy's word. Cuba gave up nothing. Raul Castro came out and said "We won," and pledged his fidelity to Communism.
Now, look, I'm all for opening up trade with Cuba, but, you know, you do that in exchange for something else. Cuba has shown no indication that they're changing their behavior. They're cozy with Venezuela, Iran and Russia. They gave Russia a beach head on their island. They're brutalizing their own citizens.
So, you know, what is the president getting in return for this? Right when Cuba's economy, by the way, is on its knees, he gives a lifeline to the Castros.
BARTIROMO: So, is this once again an indication that this president is just looking for some evidence or glory that he's doing something in the face of, you know, so many other issues he just refuses to talk about with Congress, the new Congress coming in?
ROLLINS: It's deliberate, and I think he's going to discover. And the sad part about a lame duck is he thinks it's the old Congress. It's not the old Congress; it's the new Congress, and they have a right to be involved in these discussions and these decisions. We have a joint government. The president doesn't get to lead the country by itself (sic). The Congress is very much involved, and that's the way our forefathers...
BARTIROMO: Why should we believe that this is going to be any different when in fact the new Congress starts in a couple of weeks?
ROLLINS: Because they'll cut off his money and they'll basically -- they're going to be very loud and very clear, and we're going to have another voice, and they'll be a consistent voice and not the inconsistent voice...
BARTIROMO: That's a good point, Ed. Thanks for making it.
MILLER: Some -- unlike some of the other things that he's done, in this instance, he does have the authority, as executive, to normalize relations. Now, whether or not Congress wants to fund it...
ROLLINS: Not to lift sanctions.
MILLER: ... that's a separate issue, but this...
ROLLINS: Not to lift sanctions.
MILLER: This, I would argue, is not -- is not...
KISSEL: This president believes in the power of his own personality, that, by his words and his actions and who he is, that somehow, these dictatorial regimes are going to change their behavior. We've seen it in the talks with Iran; we saw it in the deal we did with Syria; we've seen it in how he's treated the Chinese, even as they actively work against our interests in the region. And now he's doing it again with Cuba. Why should we expect different results?
ROLLINS: At the very time we're pushing sanctions on the Russians and sanctions on the Iranians and having some impact on it, we're basically saying, well, don't worry about it; we'll lift the sanctions...
BARTIROMO: And in the middle of all of the euphoria, the president's euphoria around Cuba, the Sony hacking story got worse, and the North Koreans ratcheted up their aggression. We're going to be back with our panel on Sony, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures."
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. New threats now from North Korea. Our panel is back: Judy Miller, Ed Rollins, Mary Kissel. Eric Shawn reported earlier that the North Koreans are saying, look, if we do -- if the U.S. does not agree to do an investigation together with the North Korean government to see who is behind these cyberattacks, there will be grave consequences.
So they're taunting us once again.
MILLER: Yes. Absolutely. And the North Koreans are getting away with it. Just as Putin is getting away with it, just as enemies of America are getting away with it. There should have been a much stronger response from the president of the United States to the threat to create another 9/11 through hacking.
BARTIROMO: It's unbelievable.
MILLER: And by the way, it's not just this president. Richard Clarke has been complaining about cyber terrorism, terrorism against the United States from Iran, from Russia, from China, for years and years. And nothing has happened.
The president hasn't done anything, a succession of presidents hasn't done anything, and neither has the Congress.
BARTIROMO: I'm talking about this president this time, this terrorist, right now about North Korea. It is extraordinary to me that North Korea can send a message to Sony saying, if anybody goes to this movie, you will face a 9/11-like attack, and we did not hear a word from the administration.
Does that surprise you, as well?
ROLLINS: It does surprise -- first of all, I think Sony was terribly embarrassed by the emails that were out there.
BARTIROMO: That's right.
ROLLINS: Not a single major corporation in America besides the movie industry would roll over and play dead if the Koreans or anybody else threatened -- North Koreans threatened them with cyberattacks or what have you.
And I think to a certain extent, every schoolyard in America there's a bully that takes lunch money from kids, and he gets to get away with it until somebody stands up to him. And we had better stand up to these guys.
BARTIROMO: I was told by senior people attached to Sony, Mary, that Sony called the president. They said the FBI was great to work with, they were terrific. But they called the president to get some advice on what to do when they first got that threat and he didn't call them back.
I mean, it's just amazing to me that we finally got a comment from him on this yesterday.
KISSEL: Yes. Well, the Sony CEO has come out and said, look, nobody was going to distribute the movie, so he sort of threw up his hands and said, you know, what am I going to do? Also digitally, they are having the same problem.
I have sympathy for that. But if that is indeed the case, then why doesn't this president, who believes so much in the power of the government to do good, buy the rights from Sony and broadcast this movie on the White House Lawn. Let's send a message.
Let's put North Korea back on the list of the state sponsors of terrorism. Let's airdrop this movie into North Korea. There's any number of things that we can do here to respond.
ROLLINS: Sony sent two messages. One is they're willing to fold in a heartbeat, as they did to the Koreans, and -- North Koreans. And secondly, the idea that you would come back here and meet Al Sharpton, who we devoted the first part of the show, to basically kiss his ring to get his permission or get his apology -- or give their apology to Al Sharpton is just once again empowering a guy who basically is a racist and a detriment to this country.
BARTIROMO: That was extraordinary, that that was the meeting that he had to have.
So in terms of North Korea, I mean, grave consequences. Do you think we see any response from the administration on this?
MILLER: Well, I think you will see them back on the terrorist list, which George Bush removed them in 2008. There are other things that can be done, the Banco Delta Asia, which was under sanctions and that was lifted, too.
But in terms of cyber, I don't think there's a lot. At least that's what the cyber experts I talked to are saying because they are so -- they themselves have so little exposure at home.
BARTIROMO: Actually, John Sculley had a good point on that. All right. We'll take a short break and then, the one thing to watch for the week ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures." Back in a moment.
BARTIROMO: Back with our panel and the one big thing to watch for the week ahead. Mary Kissel?
KISSEL: I'm going to watch the reaction to the execution of these two NYPD cops. Is the political leadership in this city going to emphasize that we have a rule of law and we should respect that? Will they start to back the cops? Let the cops do their jobs. Back away from the attacks on stop, question, and frisk.
BARTIROMO: Ed Rollins.
ROLLINS: On that same note, I would hope every American today in the spirit of Christmas and the holidays, what have you, would say thank you to the police forces across this country for protecting us every single day.
MILLER: And I want our computer networks protected so I want to see what the president is going to do to North Korea. Will they go back on the terrorist list pronto? And will we work with China to find out if they had a role in this?
BARTIROMO: All right. We will watch all of those stories. That will do it for "Sunday Morning Futures." Merry Christmas, everybody.
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