This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," June 23, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST: Good Sunday morning, everyone. Thanks so much for joining us. I'm Maria Bartiromo.
Joining me exclusively straight ahead right here on "Sunday Morning Futures," two influential Republican lawmakers on breaking developments overseas and here at home.
House Armed Services Committee Member Mike Turner is here on what new sanctions President Trump might have in mind for Iran that are supposed to go into effect tomorrow, this as National Security Adviser John Bolton warns Tehran not to confuse American prudence for weakness.
We will also get reaction from Devin Nunes on the subject, the ranking member of the House Intel Committee. Congressman Nunes also weighing in on the president's decision to delay mass deportations for two weeks to see if Congress can strike a deal on asylum and other security issues at the southern border.
Plus, the congressman tells us about the letter that he sent to FBI director concerning FISA abuse. That letter went out on Friday.
Also, we have former Congressman Trey Gowdy on the latest into Attorney General William Barr's investigation into DOJ and FBI actions leading up to the 2016 election.
Plus, China expert Jonathan Ward back with us previewing the high-stakes meeting next week between President Trump and President Xi just days from now at the G20 summit.
All that coming up and a lot more right here, right now, "Sunday Morning Futures."
President Trump is keeping up the pressure on Iran, announcing that the U.S. will impose further sanctions on Tehran beginning tomorrow. He added that military action is still on the table, just days after calling off retaliatory strikes against Iran following the downing of an American drone.
The president tweeted this: "Iran cannot have nuclear weapons. Under the terrible Obama plan, they would have been on their way to nuclear in a short number of years. And existing verification is not acceptable. We're putting major additional sanctions on Iran on Monday. I look forward to the day that sanctions come off Iran and they become a productive and prosperous nation again. The sooner, the better," the president wrote.
National Security Adviser John Bolton had a warning for Iran, meanwhile, while meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BOLTON, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: No one has granted them a hunting license in the Middle East. As President Trump said on Friday, our military is rebuilt, new and ready to go.
And as he made clear yesterday, referring to his earlier remarks, the president said, "I just stopped the strike from going forward at this time."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: Joining me right now is Congressman Mike Turner. He's ranking member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on strategic forces.
And, Congressman, it's great to have you on the program this morning. Thanks so much.
REP. MICHAEL TURNER, R-OH: Good morning. Thank you for having me.
BARTIROMO: So tell us first about your reaction to the president's response here to Iran. How serious is this threat?
TURNER: Well, I think it's very serious.
As you know, Maria, these additional sanctions would come on top of the maximum pressure campaign, as outlined by Secretary Pompeo, to insure that Iran never gets a nuclear weapon. As you were describing, the Iran nuclear deal was flawed, in that it had insufficient inspection regime.
It had a limited period of time for some of the critical components and also didn't include missiles. This administration's also identified Iran's malign activities in Yemen, Syria, Iraq in support of Hezbollah and Hamas as issues of concern.
Now that we have the attacks on the tanker and the drones -- the tankers and the drone, this is the administration stepping up and saying through additional sanctions they're going to continue to impact Iran and its economy and its ability to do harm to others in this area.
BARTIROMO: So what will these additional sanctions put into place tomorrow be? I mean, how will that impact the economy there further?
TURNER: Well, the economy in Iran is reeling already from the sanctions that have been put in place before as part of the maximum pressure campaign.
The International Monetary Fund indicates that Iran's economy this year is projected to contract by 6 percent. Now, Secretary Pompeo has signaled previously some additional areas of sanctions that the United States would look at would, of course, be oil exports.
That goes right to heart of really the engine of Iran's economy. But with Iran's new announcement that it's going to increase uranium enrichment, it is probably likely facing additional sanctions from Europeans, as the European leaders are beginning to discuss what sanctions they would put on Iran if they step out of the Iran nuclear deal and begin enriching uranium to a higher level.
BARTIROMO: Well, I think you really hit on probably one of the most important points. Does the president have the alliance of other countries in order to really put the maximum pressure on Iran?
That's really key, isn't it? Aren't you still seeing Europeans buy oil or try to buy oil from Iran?
TURNER: Yes, but they're doing so with the United States providing waivers and additional, you know, exceptions to existing sanctions.
The United States' ability to provide sanctions are really all-pervasive. And that's why you're seeing such a huge impact on Iran's current economy. The Europeans do not really have an ability to sidestep those.
They have already been announcing how it has impacted their ability to do business with Iran. But if Iran does, as they're threatening, increase the enrichment of uranium past the threshold that is set forth in the nuclear deal, Iranians are likely to be facing additional sanctions from Europe in addition to those of the United States, which would, to of course, be more crippling.
BARTIROMO: When would you expect those additional sanctions from European countries? That's what I'm trying to understand better, whether or not the U.S. has European allies on its side for this, because, while they say they are, they're still using those waivers to buy oil.
TURNER: Well, and -- but they're doing so, again, with the United States providing those exceptions.
TURNER: Secretary Pompeo has said that we're going to be closing those loopholes and making it more difficult for anyone really to violate U.S. sanctions, which really, again, are all-pervasive.
But I think the Europeans themselves may step up and impose their own sanctions as Iran talks about breaking the nuclear deal. But in looking at European reactions to American sanctions, they don't have very many places to go.
That's why we're seeing the maximum pressure campaign impact Iran so much. I mean, this is the goal, of course, to bring them to table, so we can renegotiate the nuclear deal, get one that's lasting, and ensures that Iran never becomes a nuclear power.
BARTIROMO: Very good. Very good.
Now, this is the -- one of the world's biggest potential opportunities for oil and gas, right? I mean, in Iran, this country has an enormous portfolio of oil and gas, and yet they're not developing as much as they could because they're using their efforts and energies instead to support terrorism.
TURNER: Exactly. And Secretary Pompeo has said, we all look forward to a time when Iran becomes a normal nation in the community of nations in the world.
As they support Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, threatening our ally Israel, Hezbollah in Lebanon and their activities in Syria, their activities in Iraq, they're a threat to Saudi Arabia with their destabilizing efforts in Yemen, they really are the destabilizing force in the Middle East, which makes it very difficult for them to join the world economy as an equal partner.
BARTIROMO: How significant has the conversation of a military strike been as it relates to Iran? I mean, obviously, this president doesn't want to go to war, but is that the only leverage, after all of these sanctions, to have some kind of a military situation?
TURNER: Well, I think the president has said and certainly Secretary Pompeo has said that all options are on the table, which includes a military response.
And, certainly, to extent that Iran has increased its military attacks within the area, both on tankers and U.S. drones, we might see in the future a need for a military response. I think it's great that the president showed restraint as a result of the downing of the U.S. drone.
But what the president is making clear, both with the buildup in the area and with his planning for action, is the president wouldn't hesitate to use military force.
Now, in Congress, the debate right now is -- from the Democrats in the House is how to restrict the president, to take his options off the table. The House just last week voting to repeal the 2001 authorization of use of force against Al Qaeda and ISIS, and the week before, in the National Defense Authorization Act, debating an amendment that would have restricted the ability of the president to even defend Israel if Iran should attack them.
BARTIROMO: And -- go ahead.
TURNER: This is an area that's going to continue to be debated in the House.
BARTIROMO: And the president has lots of different voices in the room to advise him on this issue.
Yesterday, he said he likes having people like National Security Adviser John Bolton, who he describes as a hawk, and others who have different positions. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: He's doing a very good job, but he takes generally a tough posture. But I have other people that don't take that posture.
But the only one that matters is me, because I will listen to everybody. And I want people on both sides. Having people on both sides, to me, is very important.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: So where is the president on this, in your view, in terms of the potential military answer?
TURNER: Well, I think he's in the right place.
And that is both he has very strict sanctions in place. He's increasing those. He's working with our European allies, and he's calling for Iran to come to table, so that we can renegotiate the nuclear deal to ensure that there is no nuclear Iran, and also very clearly calling out the dangerous, malign activities of Iran that are destabilizing in the Middle East, calling on them to, of course, you know, end their dangerous military actions that has resulted in the tanker attacks and the drone attack.
So he's giving them both an out at the same time he's putting on pressure and indicating that he's willing to use military force if necessary.
BARTIROMO: And these provocations from Iran are simply the result of them being upset that the president -- that the U.S. is cutting Iran off from the rest of the world and upset that the U.S. pulled out of the deal, the nuclear deal?
TURNER: Well, you know, we can't really know Iran's intent, other than the fact that, of course, as our adversary, they continue to chant "Death to America" and "Death to Israel."
TURNER: But they have a long history of actions.
As you recall, just a few years ago, they actually captured Navy vessels of the United States and held our service members. So they have continued to have, I think, very dangerous, threatening actions within the area.
BARTIROMO: Congressman, good to have you on the program. Thanks so much.
TURNER: Thank you.
BARTIROMO: Congressman Turner there.
Coming up, Devin Nunes, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, he will tell us about being in the Situation Room last week as - - at the White House when top lawmakers got the briefing on Iran, also, the California Republican on President Trump's decision to delay deporting illegal immigrants for two weeks to give Congress a chance to fix America's broken immigration system.
Can lawmakers really get anything done?
Also ahead, Trey Gowdy and China expert Jonathan Ward.
Follow me on Twitter on Twitter @MariaBartiromo, @SundayFutures, and on Instagram @MariaBartiromo, @SundayFutures.
Stay with us. We're looking ahead right now on "Sunday Morning Futures."
We will be right back.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back.
President Trump reversing course on the ICE raids just hours before today's action that would have targeted more than 2,000 illegal immigrants with pending deportation orders.
The president saying on Twitter this morning -- quote -- "I want to give the Democrats every last chance to quickly negotiate simple changes to asylum and loopholes. This will fix the southern border together with the help that Mexico is now giving us. Probably won't happen, but worth a try. Two weeks, then a big deportation begins," writes the president.
Joining me right now is California Republican Congressman Devin Nunes, who is the ranking member on the House Intel Committee. He also sits on the House Ways and Means Committee as well.
And, Congressman, it's always a pleasure to see you. Thanks so much for joining us.
REP. DEVIN NUNES, R-CALIF.: Thank you, Maria. Always a pleasure.
BARTIROMO: Well, you're in California, where, of course, we have a wall separating Tijuana and San Diego.
What's your reaction to the president's move to wait two weeks to see if the Democrats actually approach this issue?
NUNES: Well, the president is growing in office, right?
He knows that he can't do it by himself, and I think what he's doing is, the Democrats asked him if he would delay this. And he's saying, OK, I will give you two weeks.
Now, remember, the Democrats have been in office for six months now. They have yet to move a comprehensive immigration bill. And I think that's what the American people need to focus on, is the people that they elect have responsibilities to pass legislation.
They can't just oppose what the president wants to do, because, as you know, you have been at the border. You know that it's a disaster down there. It is a humanitarian crisis, and this is a problem that could easily be fixed, if we wanted to do it.
BARTIROMO: You're right. When we were at the border, and seeing those children being, you know, mowed around by people who we weren't even sure if they were actually their families. And then the kids are showing up sick.
It was actually such a crisis and so obviously a crisis when we were at the border.
Why aren't your colleagues addressing this? Do you think anything can get done first within this two weeks that the president is giving them to attack these loopholes or just all year?
NUNES: The truth is, Maria, they don't want to get anything done. The Democrats use -- they race-bait.
So, they're only using this for identity politics. So they're going to people of Hispanic descent, and then they're saying, all of you guys, we're helping all of you. The Republicans are bad. Trump is bad. They're trying to demonize Trump.
If you watch the language and the rhetoric that comes from the left, it's scary, really. And, you know, hopefully over time, people of Hispanic descent will understand that the Democrats are only using them. They're not actually trying to help them. If they were trying to help them, they would have passed a bill already.
I mean, they have got plenty of votes. They could do a bill that would have border security. They could put in some permit systems. They could take care of all the kids that were brought here by no fault of their own.
And, by the way, those are all things that Donald Trump wants to do too. It's just that Donald Trump says, hey, I will do all of that, but I also want to have a wall, so that we have long-term, lasting security on our southern border.
BARTIROMO: So go through these loopholes and tell us specifically what needs to be changed, because I know that there's one loophole that basically it's catch and release. We catch you at the border, and we process it, and then we have to let you out, not to mention the fact that the detention centers are all overwhelmed.
There's not another seat in the house for anybody.
So, the easiest way, in my opinion, to fix all of this is that you put in a permit system. So you put in a system where, if somebody is employing you, you have to -- you have to actually file with the government what's called E-Verify.
It's a voluntary program now. It's worked really, really well. And that means, if everybody was certified by the government that everybody working for you is, in fact, here on a legal permit, that in the long run is great.
Now, you can't is have that without a permit system, because everyone knows that, in this country, we have got millions of people that are here on either expired permits, or they never had a permit in the first place.
And, look, it's important for us to have workers in this country that want to do jobs that, in many cases, are quite skilled, right, whether it's working in agriculture, which now is really tech -- you need technology, you need people who know how to drive complicated equipment, all the way to really smart people that are developing the next generation using math and science and developing the next generation of computer technology.
We want all these people to be in the country. We want them to be on a permit system. And if you do that, along with the wall, you take care of the people that are here, it's really an easy solution. And I don't want to act like it's easier than it is.
But compared -- the technology today allows us to do it, because we have already proven that this E-Verify system works with people who have voluntarily been taking part in it.
BARTIROMO: Now, we already let in, what, a million people a year in a legal way. They go through the process, get the green card, et cetera.
Then we also have on the illegal side of the ledger a million apprehensions we're talking about likely this year. That's what Vice President Mike Pence told me just a couple of weeks ago.
So, I mean, do they think that it's OK to just have a million people coming in every year in an illegal way and just continuing to flood the country without any accountability? I mean, what is the answer when you raise all of this?
NUNES: It goes to -- it goes to what I said.
There's only one answer. The answer is, is that they don't care about these people. They're not trying to solve the problem. They are using identity politics because they want to say, if you're of Hispanic descent in this country, vote for us, the Democrats.
That's what they're -- that's all they're trying to do. And how do we know that? Because they're really just taking advantage of these people, and we know it because they don't have a bill.
NUNES: They have no legislation. They have nothing. They're in control. They have got plenty of votes. They don't even need a Republican vote to pass this, because all of them claim that they're going to give amnesty to all of them.
So, you know, I don't think the president would actually sign that, but at least they should have a bill.
All right, well, let's take a short break. This is pretty extraordinary, Congressman.
Stay with us. A lot more with Congressman Nunes this morning, including the letter that he sent on Friday to FBI Director Christopher Wray about the FISA abuse. We are back to investigating the investigators when we come back, plus the deadline for when he expects answers from that letter.
Also ahead, former Congressman and House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy is here on A.G. Barr's investigation into who propagated the false Russia collusion narrative in the first place.
China expert Jonathan Ward also on the likelihood of whether the president and president Xi can strike a trade deal at the G20 next week.
We will be right back.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back.
The ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee wants to get to bottom of the Carter Page surveillance warrant.
Congressman Devin Nunes sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and the U.S. attorney reviewing the origins of the Russia investigation, John Durham, requesting information about State Department records the bureau received that undermines British spy Christopher Steele's credibility. The FBI has until Friday to respond.
I'm back now with Congressman Nunes to talk more about that letter he sent.
Tell me about what specifically you are waiting on, Congressman, in terms of this letter that you sent to Christopher Wray on Friday.
NUNES: Well, we have learned in the last month that there was information that the number two person in the European Affairs Department of the State Department -- and, if you recall, we have long been looking at the State Department, looking for any information the State Department had on Christopher Steele or anything involved in this Russia hoax.
So that information, we now know that the government had that in 2016. So, the State Department, in October of 2016, e-mails went to FBI saying things like that Christopher Steele wasn't believable, that he wanted to -- he wanted to bring this out before the election.
That should be a big red flag. Also said that the so-called Russia hoax operation against Trump -- or with Trump -- that Trump was a part of was being run out of the Russian Consulate in Miami.
Well, it ends up, guess what? There is no Russian Consulate in Miami. So this number two person at the State Department named Kavalec, she informed the FBI of these concerns.
Now, why is that important? It's important for a number of reasons, but, first and foremost, the FISA court should have had this. The FBI had it. The FISA court should have had it before they went and spied on the Trump campaign by getting a warrant on Carter Page.
Another reason why this is important for the FBI is because the Congress, under the Republican control last time, asked for anything and everything on Christopher Steele.
Clearly, if we would have had this two-and-a-half years ago, when we started this investigation, we would be in a much different place today than we are.
NUNES: So -- because this is clearly obstructing a congressional investigation.
So someone at the FBI determined to hide this information, not provide it to the court, and what I'm concerned about is, not provide it to the U.S. Congress.
So they have until Friday to get it to us. And if they don't, we will make our ninth criminal referral. Basically, we won't know exactly who at the FBI obstructed justice, but some -- Durham or the Department of Justice should be able to figure it out, because there's e-mails that went around, and somebody decided not to give it to the Congress.
We're looking right now at the information that you requested from Director Wray.
And you write in the letter: "The date that the FBI was informed about the transmission of information from Kathleen Kavalec, including, but not limited, to the information now known as the Steele dossier."
So, Ms. Kavalec was the number two person at the FBI -- at the State Department in Europe. And she basically raises her hand, raises a red flag about the Steele dossier. She does her due diligence. She says, look, this is not trustworthy. Christopher Steele's work is not credible.
And that memo from Kavalec is not shown to FISA court. This is exculpatory evidence that wasn't included in the FISA warrant.
Do you think that the FISA judge may have reacted differently had he known that there were State Department people who were saying this information is not credible, rather than just handing over a warrant to wiretap on Carter Page?
NUNES: I think all Americans should be furious at this, right?
So, on one hand, we now know for sure that someone at the FBI kept this from the court. Number two, they also kept this from congressional investigators, meaning other Republicans that have been investigating this for two-and-a-half years.
And this is really important information. And, you know, I think a lot of times Americans are just becoming tone-deaf to this because it's just like one grenade after another.
It's like, how many times do we have to see this Russia hoax, how bad it was, and how really what you see -- I think the only way to define this, Maria, is, we have people that are possessed in this country, that continue to perpetuate this Russia hoax, whether it's ignoring important information like this that Kavalec had, whether it's continuing to say, oh, my gosh, bring in Hope Hicks and pretend like something really was wrong here, that Trump really was colluding with Russians.
I mean, there's no evidence of this, right? So, the only thing they had on Russians was the Steele dossier, right, and then Joseph Mifsud, who you have talked about on your show. Those are their Russians.
But guess what? They're fake Russians. They're phony Russians. They're Fusion Russians. They're Russians that only the Democrats knew about. And the Democrats were the ones that were colluding with Russians. You just can't make this up.
So I don't know of a better term to use than you have the Democrats in this city, in Washington, D.C., the media for the most part, 90 percent of them, are possessed individuals.
NUNES: And the sad part about it is, is, they have a responsibility. They are poisoning and have been poisoning the minds of Americans, millions of Americans, for two-and-a-half years now.
And the worst is, they're not stopping.
NUNES: Right? They're not stopping, and that's the concern.
BARTIROMO: No, you're right.
I mean, now Hollywood's getting involved as well. Robert De Niro's going absolutely lunatic on everybody with this stuff too.
We have covered this a lot. Do you think -- what does your gut tell you? Did they just make it up? I mean, did they just -- they knew that Russia was trying to undermine the West for decades, and they just inserted Donald Trump in there to stop him?
NUNES: Well, I think there's -- it gets to the heart -- let me just get to heart of what we have yet to answer that I hope the Department of Justice can answer under the U.S. attorney out of Connecticut.
And that is this. There were two parallel operations that were running at the same time that I believe started in late 2015, early 2016. One is, the FBI was running an investigation into the Trump campaign, not in July of '16, like they said. They're lying about that. It clearly starts in 2015 or early 2016.
At the same time, you have the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party running an operation, having their bagmen, Fusion GPS -- they're both running an investigation on a parallel track. The thing that we don't know that we need to get to bottom of is, when did those tracks become one and the same?
When -- you know, were there people that were working together with the FBI and Fusion GPS and the Clinton campaign? We know they -- we know at some point they knew about Christopher Steele.
My guess is, they knew this a long -- early on in the process, probably January -- at least January, February, March of 2016.
NUNES: And so think about that. It's banana republic stuff.
It's stuff that you only see in countries that we would never want to live in...
NUNES: ... where the intelligence organization works with a political party and puts the other campaign under investigation...
NUNES: ... for the very thing that they're doing.
BARTIROMO: Yes, unbelievable.
It's so extraordinary, which is why I agree with you. Everybody on both sides of the aisle should be outraged by this.
We will take a short break.
When we come back, I know you were in the Situation Room last week at the White House when top lawmakers received a briefing on Iran. Got to ask you about that, as new sanctions are going into effect tomorrow.
And you're suing certain media companies. We will talk about that.
Plus, the congressman on the national security threat of China.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back.
And we are back with Congressman Devin Nunes.
And, Congressman, before we get into Iran -- and, also, I want to get your thoughts on China -- let me ask you about your lawsuits against media. You have sued Twitter, as well as McClatchy. Tell us about that.
NUNES: Well, the Twitter one is important. We start the discovery process tomorrow, so we will be sending out a bunch of subpoenas and asking for information from all the folks that were involved in allowing Twitter to not only develop content, but also shadow-ban me, so your viewers and Americans couldn't see my tweets for a period of time.
We don't even know how long. So I'm very worried about this for the next election, what I call them tech oligarchs, whether it's Twitter, or Google, or Facebook. It always seems like, most of the time, it's the conservatives that get kicked off, and you can't see our platforms, or you can't see us on their platforms, where the left, they get away with murder.
And so that's -- this discovery process on Twitter starts tomorrow. Then, of course, we have more lawsuits that are on the way.
And I hate to be having to do this, but it's really the only way that this can -- that this problem can be fixed, because, if we don't, conservatives, I think, are going to be doomed in future elections because all of these tech companies are against us.
And I think Republicans and conservatives across the country need to understand this is and they need to take action now. And the only remedy we have is the court.
BARTIROMO: Are you concerned that Twitter will try to influence the election in 2020 by doing whatever they can, like shadow-banning, et cetera? And you do...
NUNES: Maria, they're already doing it.
NUNES: They're already doing it.
I mean, it's clear what they have done to me is ridiculous, what they continue to do to others. You see people getting kicked off of Twitter for nothing. You see the same thing happening at Facebook. You see 90-plus percent of all the searches go through Google.
We know that Google's been actually blocking e-mails from going out. So, look, there's going to be a number of lawsuits that we're...
BARTIROMO: Is that illegal? Is it illegal, Congressman?
NUNES: Well, it's -- it depends on if there's -- if you can prove it in court, right?
So it takes people that are willing to step up and take these companies on, which I'm willing to do, not because I want to do it, but because it has to be done, because, in the long run, we can't compete with -- if social media's totally against the conservatives and the Republican Party.
BARTIROMO: Because they say they're not media companies.
BARTIROMO: Do you want to see legislation that puts them under the umbrella of media companies?
NUNES: Look, I think the courts -- I mean, what we're saying is, is that Twitter and these companies, they're content developers. You know, they claim to be, oh, we're just an open public square, we treat everybody equally.
Well, they don't treat everybody equally. It's not even close. And so what I want is, I want my day in court to go before a judge and a jury to explain how it is that Twitter treats conservatives differently than the left.
NUNES: And maybe, perhaps, if they have to pay, and if we have to open up their books and we have to look at all their algorithms, maybe we can fix them.
NUNES: And, if not, then I -- maybe they have to be broken apart. I don't know what to do.
BARTIROMO: And I know you have a court date for the end of August on this.
NUNES: That's correct, yes, end of August.
BARTIROMO: All right, let me ask switch gears real quick and ask you about Iran, because the president says he's going to put new sanctions on Iran tomorrow.
You were in the Situation Room. You got the briefing on Iran. What can you tell us?
NUNES: Well, the thing that I thought was important to take away from that is, this was the first time in my time being involved in national security issues that the president of the United States, right -- and I have served under, I guess, now three presidents now, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and now Donald Trump.
He brought in all the leaders from House and Senate that are on not only the National Security Committees, but the leadership in both -- of houses of both parties. And he talked to us. He talked to all of us.
And I think's what you want to see in a leader. I don't remember that happening at all in the last administration. So I'm excited about how this president is growing, how he wants to work with Democrats and Republicans.
And, look, he -- he doesn't want to go to war. And I think it's important for him to work with the Congress to make good decisions. And at the end of the day, he's the guy who is the leader. But we want to make sure that he has the support of the American people and the Congress behind him if he's going to take any actions against this Iranian terrorist regime.
BARTIROMO: Yes. Does he have the international community's support? Do we have allies against Iran?
NUNES: Yes. And that's the other thing that he can take this time to do. He decided not to do a small -- a small strike.
He's now, I think, going to put on sanctions tomorrow, additional sanctions. Hopefully, he can bring more allies on board to support our -- to support going against the Iranian regime, because, at the end of the day, I can tell you this.
BARTIROMO: All right. We will leave it there.
NUNES: President Trump...
NUNES: ... is not going to allow the Iranian regime to get a nuclear weapon. He's not going to do it.
BARTIROMO: Congressman, it's good -- great to have you on the program this morning. Thanks so much.
NUNES: Thank you.
BARTIROMO: Congressman Devin Nunes there.
Meanwhile, the road to the White House winds through South Carolina this weekend. Nearly the entire field of the 2020 Democratic presidential contenders gathering in the Palmetto State, making their pitch to voters in a crucial primary state.
Peter Doocy is live in Columbia, South Carolina, this morning.
And, Peter, was there much talk about the president's decision to call off ICE raids this weekend?
PETER DOOCY, CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there was, Maria. And that's because immigration is maybe the number one issue where Democrats diverge with President Trump the most sharply.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BETO O'ROURKE, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Who knows what he's going to do. What he's certainly attempting to accomplish is to distract us from the fact that there are kids today in El Paso in Border Patrol detention centers sleeping on cold concrete with aluminum foil blankets in the dirtiest, most inhumane conditions.
That's under this administration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOOCY: O'Rourke has seen his poll numbers plummet, but he had some of the largest and loudest support at the South Carolina Democratic Convention yesterday, along with Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Bernie Sanders -- Maria.
BARTIROMO: How much did convention-goers hear about Iran? I'm wondering if the issues -- the important issues that we're talking about are also being talked about at this gathering.
DOOCY: It wasn't at the top of the list of candidate pitches, but they decide did hear a fair amount, convention-goers did hear a fair amount from candidates about Iran, because these Democrats are trying to warn against conflict.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, I-VT, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: At this Third Way meeting, I was called -- quote -- "an existential threat to the Democratic Party."
Now, why am I an existential threat? Maybe it's because we're going to take on the military industrial complex and end...
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
SANDERS: ... and end endless wars in this country and not get into a war in Iran.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOOCY: The front-runner, Joe Biden, was there too. At one point, a reporter approached him to ask about the relationship between the U.S. and Japan, which gave me an opportunity to follow up with a question about the U.S. and Iran.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DOOCY: What about U.S. and Iran?
JOSEPH BIDEN, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Shouldn't be there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOOCY: To hear Joe Biden suggest that the relationship between the U.S. and Iran shouldn't be there is somewhat surprising, because it was Obama- Biden administration that negotiated the much-discussed Iran deal.
Biden left South Carolina. He went home to prep for the first debate, which is going to be later on this week. And we don't know yet if anybody in the top tier that's going to share the stage with him will challenge him directly.
But if this weekend is any indication, they might not, because at a fish fry on Friday and then at two separate candidate forum-style events here yesterday that went all day, none of the other candidates for the primary on the Democratic side used their time on the stage to challenge number one, Biden.
BARTIROMO: Interesting. Peter, thank you, Peter Doocy in South Carolina this morning.
Trey Gowdy on Attorney General Barr next up, looking at how intelligence agencies determined the Kremlin favored then candidate Trump over Hillary Clinton.
We will take a look into that.
BARTIROMO: Attorney General William Barr's review of the origins of the Russia investigation reportedly shifting focus to how intelligence agencies determined that Moscow intervened in the 2016 presidential election in an effort to help then candidate Donald Trump.
I want to bring in former Congressman Trey Gowdy. He's former chairman of the House Oversight Committee and former member of the House Judiciary Committee. He's also a former prosecutor and a FOX News contributor.
Congressman, it's always a pleasure to see you. Thanks for being here.
TREY GOWDY, CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, ma'am. Thank you.
BARTIROMO: So what is your reaction to this news that, you know, the Democrats keep saying that Russia wanted Donald Trump to win? And now William Barr is looking into it. Is that the right track?
GOWDY: It's entirely appropriate.
And, you know, I think some people would tell you Russia wanted her to lose and then, in a binary choice, by default, that means he must win. The intelligence community's always really skittish when people look at their work product. They don't deal in evidence. They don't deal in evidentiary burdens or thresholds. They deal in assessments.
And, Maria, you and I can think of some famous examples in the past where their assessments were wrong. So I have got a lot of respect for the intelligence community, but no one is above oversight and review and scrutiny.
And if Barr wants to look at the evidentiary foundations for this counterintelligence investigation, he should.
BARTIROMO: Yes, especially since Michael Morell, who was the deputy director of the CIA during the Obama administration, says that John Durham's interest in speaking to the CIA is inappropriate.
That's what they always say. I mean, remember the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and then remember the spontaneous reaction to an anti- Muslim video in Libya. That's what Morell told us then, too. You can't interview the analysts. It'll have a chilling effect.
OK, then, quit using intelligence products in your criminal justice analysis. If you don't want us applying a criminal analysis to your intelligence work, then quit using it.
And I think what we're going to find in 2016 is, the intelligence community was providing information to law enforcement that then went into this investigation, where some Democrats are calling for Donald Trump to be in prison. So you can't have it both ways.
GOWDY: You can't have a lower standard of scrutiny, but still get your information put into the criminal justice realm. It just -- it doesn't work that way.
BARTIROMO: And yet there was some information that actually wasn't presented to the powers that be that were making important decisions.
You just heard your former colleague Devin Nunes. He sent a letter to head of the FBI on Friday saying, how come we never saw the Kathleen Kavalec notes, where she raised her hand and said, Christopher Steele's information is not to be trusted?
GOWDY: Yes, you have her assessment, but you also have the FBI's own assessment of Christopher Steele as a source. Have you ever seen that?
Have you ever seen the FBI's internal analysis of whether Christopher Steele was reliable? Have you seen the paperwork where he was defrocked as a source because he couldn't follow FBI rules and regulations? Have you seen the exculpatory information as it relates to George Papadopoulos?
Here's one, Maria. Have you seen the disparate defensive debriefings that they gave candidate Clinton vs. candidate Trump? And has anyone asked the FBI to explain why they took entirely different tracks with those two debriefings?
There's a lot left to be seen by you and your viewers.
BARTIROMO: Yes. And you mentioned something the last time you were with us, which we want to come back to.
Let's take a short break. More with Trey Gowdy when we come right back.
Stay with us.
BARTIROMO: And I'm back with Trey Gowdy.
And, Trey, the last time you joined us, we were talking about the informants that the FBI used to entrap certain people, potentially, like George Papadopoulos.
And you said that there were certain transcripts that had the potential to persuade people, should they be made public.
Now, I know that the president has given the authority to William Barr to declassify certain documents, but can you talk to us a bit more about those transcripts that have the power to persuade? What exactly are we looking for? What's most damning?
GOWDY: Well, I think any time law enforcement talks to a target or a potential target, they're either going to record that conversation or they're going to monitor it in real time and take notes.
Some of us have seen transcripts of those conversations. And I was supportive of Mueller. I was supportive of the idea to initiate -- to investigate what Russia did.
But when I saw this transcript, it actually changed my perspective, because you want to think of law enforcement as being unbiased and disinterested in the outcome, as long as we just find the facts.
But when you have information that someone you think has done something wrong has, in fact, not done something wrong, when you have exculpatory information, and you don't share it with others, and then you put that together with Strzok and Page and then the defensive briefings, remember, Maria, the defense of Comey and the media and the Democrats has always been, yes, some in the FBI was biased against Trump, and it didn't matter.
This really matters. When you have exculpatory information, and you don't share it with a court, when you give two different kinds of defensive briefings to the candidates, depending on who you like and who you don't, then your bias begins to impact the investigation.
That's what I saw when I saw the transcript, but your viewers should be entitled to make up their own minds.
BARTIROMO: That is unbelievable.
So, in other words, that wasn't presented to the FISA court when they tried to get the warrant to surveil Trump campaign members like Carter Page. Would the FISA judge have acted differently?
GOWDY: Well, we will never know.
But I know this, having been a prosecutor. When you have exculpatory information, something that tends to show the person didn't do what you think they may have done, you have a constitutional obligation to turn that information over to other side.
GOWDY: It is not the job of the United States government to just get convictions.
BARTIROMO: Of course.
GOWDY: We have a responsibility to be fair.
BARTIROMO: Trey Gowdy, it's great to see you, sir. Thanks so much.
GOWDY: Yes, ma'am, thank you.
BARTIROMO: That'll do it for "Sunday Morning Futures." I'm Maria Bartiromo.
See you tomorrow on FOX Business.
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