This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," May 12, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.su
MARIA BARTIROMO, ANCHOR: Good Sunday morning, everyone. Thanks so much for joining us. And happy Mother's Day to all of you wonderful women out there who make such a difference in all of our lives.
I'm Maria Bartiromo.
Joining us exclusively this morning straight ahead right here on "Sunday Morning Futures," Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham is here live.
Now that we know special counsel Robert Mueller will not be testifying on Capitol Hill this week, what should we expect next? And where is his investigation now?
As the Justice Department inspector general's investigation into FISA abuse enters its final stage, will we see accountability for those who pushed the false Russia collusion narrative? Senator Graham coming up on that, plus breaking news on his push to fix the country's broken asylum laws, all right here.
Also here today, House Judiciary Committee member John Ratcliffe is joining us. He was inside the room when House Democrats on the Judiciary Committee voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt. We will get his take on that, as well as recent comments by former FBI Director Jim Comey.
Plus, House Homeland Security Committee member Dan Crenshaw is here, joining me to talk about the surge of migrants entering our country illegally and whether social media giants are censoring free speech.
All those stories coming up right here, right now on "Sunday Morning Futures."
Robert Mueller was expected to testify before the House Judiciary Committee this week. It now appears that will not happen, as Chairman Jerry Nadler says the panel is still negotiating the terms of Mueller's appearance on the Justice Department.
Meanwhile, Democratic leadership suggesting that the House is not yet ready to hold a contempt vote on Attorney General William Barr, despite the recommendation of the Judiciary Committee, all of this as we await the report from DOJ inspector general Michael Horowitz on the origins of the Russia probe. That's expected as soon as this month.
Our next guest right now has some strong thoughts about investigating the investigators. And when he appeared on this program back in February, he made clear he intends to use his power to act.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C.: What I'm going to do is look at the Department of Justice and the FBI and look at the other side of the story. How was a counterintelligence investigation opened up against the Trump campaign? How did they get a warrant against an American citizen on four separate occasions, based on a document paid for by the Democratic Party that was a bunch of garbage?
We're going to find out about that too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: And just days ago, Senator Graham sent letters to both Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and DOJ inspector general Michael Horowitz about communications between a State Department official and Christopher Steele, who, as you know, put together that unverified and salacious dossier that was used to obtain the FISA warrants to surveil Trump campaign officials.
Just this morning, the president tweeted this: "Think of it. I became president of the United States in one of the most hard-fought and consequential elections in the history of our great nation. From long before I ever took office, I was under a sick and unlawful investigation concerning what has become known as the Russian hoax. My campaign was being seriously spied upon by intel agencies and the Democrats. This never happened before in American history. And it all turned out to be a total scam, a witch-hunt, that yielded no collusion, no obstruction. This must never be allowed to happen again."
Let me bring in right now Senator Lindsey Graham to talk all about that. He is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He also serves on the Senate Appropriations, Foreign Relations and Budget committees.
And, Senator, it is always a pleasure to talk with you. Thanks so much for being here this morning.
GRAHAM: Thank you. Got a cold. Apologize.
BARTIROMO: I'll tell you, it really is extraordinary that he even one, given the fact that you had the American government might, the power of the American government working against him, the DOJ, the FBI, the State Department, NSA.
I mean, it's pretty extraordinary. You have promised to do a deep dive into the FISA abuse. Can you tell us where your investigation stands, sir?
GRAHAM: So, I'm waiting for Horowitz to get his report done.
But we had a pretty big bombshell this week. We found out that, on October the 11th, Christopher Steele went to the Department of State to try to get a person at Department of State to get the dossier out before the election. And the person took notes, passed that on to the FBI.
BARTIROMO: You're right. John Solomon reported that, and it was pretty incredible that, in the notes -- in the e-mails that were released, she says, Christopher Steele says this information needs to get out before November 8.
So is this a critical piece then detailing and explaining the fact that they were actually moving all of this stuff to change an election, to take down a duly elected president?
GRAHAM: So Christopher Steele is the confidential informant used by the FBI to get a FISA warrant. But for the dossier, there would be no warrant against Carter Page.
The meeting on October the 11th was 10 days before the FISA warrant application. So the FBI was on notice that their confidential informant went to the Department of State to urge the Department of State to take the dossier and leak to the public to affect the election.
That's about as sick as it gets. I sent it to Horowitz. Now we know for sure, before the FISA warrant was ever applied for, the FBI was on notice that Christopher Steele was trying to tube Trump's campaign. They used it anyway.
How is it possible that we have spent the last two years talking about potential collusion between Donald Trump and the Russians and then obstruction by Donald Trump, and, in fact, when you take a look at Hillary Clinton, and when you take a look at what has happened here, you have got - - Hillary Clinton use BleachBit to destroy devices, right?
BARTIROMO: I think I heard you on the floor recently saying she had...
GRAHAM: A hammer.
BARTIROMO: ... 18 devices. She used a hammer.
I mean, if that's not obstruction, I don't know what is.
GRAHAM: Well, what have we learned? That the media could care less about anything that's about Clinton. They just want to get Trump.
So the reason you haven't heard anything about this is, the media never reports it. But we're at a stage now Mueller's report is in, no collusion, no obstruction. Now it's time to go back and look at how all this started. We will look at the Clinton investigation. Was she let off because of a political bias?
We're going to look at the counterintelligence investigation, the FISA warrant. We're going to have all that looked at to make sure it never happens again.
BARTIROMO: And you sent a letter to the honorable secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, as well as Michael Horowitz. Tell us about this letter. We're going to show it up on screen right now.
What are you looking for from the secretary of state?
GRAHAM: I want the secretary of state to give me all documents related to the 11th of October meeting between Christopher Steele and a member of the State Department.
The lady in question took notes about the meeting. And in her notes, she indicates that Steele was urging to get the dossier out before the election. And she also, in handwritten notes, indicates that it was paid for by the Democratic Party, the Clinton campaign, the dossier.
The most important thing is, she transferred that information to the FBI. So the FBI is now on notice on October the 11th that their confidential informant is trying to get the dossier out for political purposes and that the State Department figured out the Democrats paid for it.
How could they then go get a warrant based on that same document and not tell the court what the State Department told them?
BARTIROMO: And yet you have Jim Comey out doing town halls, Senator. You have got him doing radio shows, saying, we did everything right.
We -- you know, in fact, in one -- in one interview, I heard him say, look, Donald Trump says we were after him. If we were after him, why didn't I just leak it? Why didn't I leak that there was an investigation in place, as if it's just no big deal to leak the fact that the FBI is doing an investigation, whatever that investigation is?
GRAHAM: Well, we know Christopher Steele was trying to leak it to everybody. We know that Christopher Steele went to the Department of State on October 11, urging the Department of State to get the dossier out before the election. We now know the FBI was made aware of that before they saw a warrant.
So we now also know that somebody was planted in the Trump campaign either by the FBI or the CIA, to start a counterintelligence operation. If that's not spying, I don't know what is.
The point is that we're going to look at all of this, starting when -- Mr. Horowitz report on the FISA abuse.
BARTIROMO: Well, in terms of the Horowitz report, I'm hearing that a big portion of that will be about the media being complicit, because what they did was, they created stories. They leaked it to the media, like Yahoo, like Mother Jones, and then those companies reported it, published it.
And then they actually -- the FBI used those same stories that they leaked in the first place as evidence to get the FISA warrant to spy on American citizens.
GRAHAM: There's a document that's classified that I'm going to try to get unclassified that takes the dossier, all pages of it, and it has verification to one side.
There really is no verification, other than media reports that were generated by reporters who received the dossier. So, the bottom line is, the dossier has never been independently confirmed. It was used to get a warrant. They knew the author of the dossier was on the Democratic Party payroll. He hated Trump. They got the warrant anyway.
Most Americans should be upset about that. I'm very upset about it. And we're going to get to the bottom of it.
BARTIROMO: Well, but you would think that anybody on either side of the aisle, Senator, would be upset that our -- the things that we deem as so important, due process, innocent until proven guilty, the idea that you will not get wiretapped for no reason, and the Democrats and the president's skeptics have thrown all of these things aside because it's Donald Trump.
Why wouldn't everyone be upset about this? I don't understand why the Democrats wouldn't be upset by this.
GRAHAM: Well, they want an outcome, two years, 19 lawyers, 40 FBI agents, $25 million to look at all things Trump.
Mueller issues his report. They say, before he was picked, he's the best possible guy in the world to do this. Once Mueller gives an outcome they don't like, they want to take Mueller's work product and politicize it.
They just want an outcome. It doesn't matter how you get Trump. It doesn't matter if you trick the FISA court. It doesn't matter if you infiltrate the campaign. The goal is to stop Trump and the rules don't matter.
And this freak show in the House, I'm not -- I'm going to make sure it doesn't come to the Senate. This is a very dangerous time in American history, where the media and the Democratic Party wants an outcome against Trump, no matter what the rules are.
BARTIROMO: You are absolutely right.
All right, let's take a short break.
When we come back, I have got to ask you about that outcome and really why the president has not declassified. What will we learn?
Plus, I know, Senator Graham, you have got the origins of the Trump campaign Russia probe in your sights, whether those who pushed the collusion narrative will be held accountable. We want to talk accountability.
Then, the senator on big international developments, U.S.-China trade talks, North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, not to mention the southern border crisis here at home.
We will talk about that when we come back with Senator Lindsey Graham.
Follow me on Twitter @MariaBartiromo, @SundayFutures. Let us know what you would like to hear from the senator, as well as John Ratcliffe coming up.
We're looking ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures" right here. Back in a minute.
BARTIROMO: And we are back with Senator Lindsey Graham.
Thanks so much for joining us this morning.
And, Senator, we went to break a minute ago talking about the potential that the president will declassify some of these FISA-related documents.
I don't know why the president hasn't done it yet. He said that he will do it. He told me that and others. Do you expect him to do it? And what will we learn from those documents?
GRAHAM: Well, I think you will learn that the FBI was on notice that Christopher Steele wasn't a reliable informant when it came to Trump, that he was being paid for by the Democratic Party, That his work product had not been vetted, and that he was out to get Trump, and they used the dossier anyway.
I think you're going to learn a lot about how the counterintelligence investigation actually opened up, that Papadopoulos wasn't working with the Russians. They put it in his head that the Russians stole Clinton e-mails.
All this will be coming sooner, rather than later. And I'm glad the president waited until after Mueller was done, so nobody can accuse him of interfering with the Mueller investigation, because it's now over.
BARTIROMO: We had George Papadopoulos on this program last weekend. And it sure sounded to me like there were informants thrown his way, even...
GRAHAM: Yes. Yes.
BARTIROMO: ... even getting him a job from the International Center for Law Practice. They reached out to him on LinkedIn. They gave him a job.
And then, when he left in March of 2016, he said: I'm leaving. I'm going to go work for the Trump campaign. They said, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Before you leave, we want to send you to Rome. We want to have this whole big paid vacation for you to go to Rome, so that you could meet all these important people.
They send him to Rome, so that he could meet this Joseph Mifsud, who just dropped that bomb on him, who said, Russia has Hillary Clinton e-mails.
So is that part of their strategy? This was an incredible strategy that they had. It wasn't just the dossier. It was informants. It was a media leak strategy. And it was anything that the media can take to take down the president.
GRAHAM: Well, I think -- right. And I think here's the big point.
Did they catch Papadopoulos working with the Russians or did they start the narrative, put it in Papadopoulos' mind? Here's what I think happened. Papadopoulos wasn't working with the Russians. They created that narrative by telling him about e-mails being stolen by the Russians.
And he was repeating what he was told by our own people. So there was never a situation where Papadopoulos was working with the Russians to try to affect the 2016 election. This was all a setup, I think. And we will know more -- and we will know more here soon.
BARTIROMO: Well, was it also a setup to set up Donald Trump Jr.?
I mean, what is this subpoena of Donald Trump Jr. coming out of your colleagues and the Senate Intel Committee?
GRAHAM: As I understand it, this subpoena relates to what Michael Cohen said about some meetings and about the Trump Tower in Russia.
All I can say is that Richard Burr is a very good friend. He's trying hard to be bipartisan. But anything based on what Michael Cohen said is worthless testimony. Michael Cohen is a worthless witness. And if I were Donald Trump Jr.'s lawyer, I would tell him, you don't need to go back into this environment anymore. You have been there for hours and hours and hours, and nothing being alleged here changes the outcome of the Mueller investigation.
I would call it a day.
BARTIROMO: But look at how they're treating William Barr right now. They're trying to rip Bill Barr.
BARTIROMO: Contempt of Congress, tell me about that. Why is it so hard to actually look at what took place by a cabal of people at the top of the FBI and the DOJ in 2016, a major election, a presidential election?
They tried to change the election. Why wouldn't the Democrats understand and see this for what it is and actually be honest and say this -- this will not take place in our democracy?
And yet, instead, we have got the Democrats ripping Bill Barr, who they said was an honest broker at the beginning.
GRAHAM: So, if you go back and Google the major Democratic players, their opinion about Mueller being a special counsel, they were over-the-top praiseworthy.
I gave him the space, along with other Republicans -- excuse me -- for two years to look at everything Trump, $25 million, 19 lawyers, 40 FBI agents, 500 witnesses interviewed.
Now Nadler wants to take Mueller's work product and politicize it. Now, Mueller is acting as a U.S. attorney. He decided not to prosecute, because there's no case.
It scares me that politicians would take the work product of a prosecutor and use it for political purposes. That's why Barr is saying, no, we don't want a bunch of politicians going into a prosecutor's file, taking the work product and retry the case as politicians.
GRAHAM: Bill Barr's doing the right thing for the Department of Justice.
BARTIROMO: Bottom line, Senator, are we going to see accountability on this?
GRAHAM: Yes, I think you are going to see Horowitz come out with the FISA warrant abuse.
I'm going to write a letter to Horowitz. I want him to look at the counterintelligence operation.
GRAHAM: Right. Was it a -- was it a hoax? Was it a backdoor way to get into the Trump campaign?
Yes, I think you will. But Bill Barr's going to stand strong. He's not going to give into these unreasonable demands. Mueller had a chance to do his job. It is now over, as Mitch McConnell said, case closed.
BARTIROMO: All right. We will take a short break.
Senator, last month, you appeared on this program. You broke news by saying that you planned to introduce immigration reform legislation to address the asylum laws.
When we come back, we're going to talk about that. And we have since reported from the southern border. I was there two weeks ago getting a firsthand look at the crisis there, incredible situation for children. When we come back, you will tell us where you are on that process.
We will also speak with Congressman John Ratcliffe and Dan Crenshaw, when we come right back. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: You are on recess right now, but when you come back to Washington, you are planning to put together proposals to change the law. Can you tell us about that, sir?
GRAHAM: Yes, I'm tired of talking about this problem. I want to fix it.
I think all Americans should want both parties to fix this problem. The president has correctly identified the crisis at the border. Now it's time to have a legislative solution. You need to change our laws for this to stop.
So, I will be introducing a package, and hopefully with Democratic support, that will change our asylum laws.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: And that was Senator Lindsey Graham breaking news four weeks ago on this program, when he said he would introduce new legislation to address the immigration crisis at the southern border once Congress returned from the April break, this as we see a spike in apprehensions at the southern border, topping half-a-million just about halfway through this fiscal year.
We're getting these numbers from the Border Patrol group at the southern border.
We are -- we are back with Senator Lindsey Graham right now, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Senator, what can you tell us about that package that you have been planning to unleash?
GRAHAM: Well, why are we going to have a million people from Central America? Why is it doubling?
Because word is out on the street in Central America, if you bring a minor child with you to America, we can only hold a minor child for 20 days, where we release everybody, including the adults. They never show up for the hearing because it's three years from now.
We also -- it's been found out in Central America if you ask for asylum -- nobody's trying not to get caught. They're going to a border agent, Border Patrol agent, saying, I want asylum.
The hearings are two, three, four years down the road. Nobody ever shows up for the hearing. So we're going to change the asylum law that you have to apply in the country where you live, or Mexico. We're going to stop Central American applications being made at the border, because we don't have enough judges for hearing dates.
We're going to go to 100 days. We can hold minor children for 100 days, so that we can actually process the entire family, without letting them go. We're going to increase judges by 500. We got almost 900,000 backlog of asylum claims. We're going to wipe out the backlog.
You got to apply for an asylum where you live or in Mexico, no longer from the United States. And if you're an unaccompanied minor, we're going to send you back to Central America, as if you live in Mexico, which would be a change in our laws.
This should stop 90 percent of the illegal immigration from Central America.
BARTIROMO: So you're going to drop this package this upcoming week, Senator. Tell me what you're planning in terms of approaching the law and changing the laws, actually getting rid of some of these loopholes.
Well, we got a perfect storm now because of broken laws. If you're from Central America, we can't send unaccompanied minors back to Central America, like you do from Mexico and Canada. We're going to change that.
You can only hold a minor for 20 days. We're going to go to 100 days. But, most importantly, you can no longer apply for asylum at our border. If you're from Central America, you have to apply for asylum at a consulate in your country.
We're going to set up one in Mexico. You can apply. If you don't apply there, you're going to be turned down when you get to our border. So we're going to change the underlying broken laws to stop what I think is literally an invasion of people from Central America. I'm going to introduce it Wednesday.
BARTIROMO: OK, so you're going to introduce this bill on Wednesday. Do you think it will pass?
GRAHAM: If the Democrats have a better idea, tell me what it is. We're on track to get a million illegal immigrants from Central America.
We got a 900,000-person backlog. I'm going to have 500 immigration judges to clear the backlog. If you got a better idea, say so. It is not a manufactured crisis. I want to start a debate on how to fix this problem before it just swamps the border.
BARTIROMO: You know, what we saw when we were on the border two weeks ago was so stunning in terms of the children. They're putting kids in such dangerous situations.
BARTIROMO: And the mayor of El Paso, Dee Margo, told me that there is a renting of children program going on in these countries, where mothers will give -- rent their child. They're getting money. The child comes over the border with someone -- someone, a smuggler, an illegal.
GRAHAM: Right. Right.
BARTIROMO: And then they just send the kid back. And then they do it again.
So the president says that he wants us to start swabbing...
GRAHAM: Yes, see...
BARTIROMO: ... the DNA, so that we know if that child was coming over the border multiple times. Do you think that would work?
GRAHAM: Well, number one, it will work, because if you bring in a child not yours, it's a fraud, and you're denied the ability to make a claim. So that will deter the smugglers.
But we got an unusual situation. If you're a child from Central America, we have to release you in 20 days. Everybody knows we can't do a hearing in 20 days. So we're going to change that law.
If you come to Central America and ask for asylum, you are entitled to a hearing. They never show up to the hearing because it's three or four years down the road. We're going to require people from Central America to apply for an asylum in their home country or Mexico, not America, to break this tsunami of illegal immigrants coming from Central America.
BARTIROMO: So -- so, seriously, do you think this can pass, or is this going to be a 2020 issue?
GRAHAM: It's going to either get passed -- and I'm willing to do things that Democrats want to close these loopholes, but I'm not willing to ignore it any longer.
We're going to have a vote, have a hearing and a vote in Judiciary. It will be a huge issue in 2020. President Trump is trying to fix a perfect storm of illegal immigration coming from Central America. The Democrats are going to do one of two things, work with us to find a bipartisan solution, ignore the problem.
And if they ignore the problem, it's going to help Trump. If they work with us, it helps the whole country.
BARTIROMO: All right, before we go, I want to ask you about Venezuela. But I also want to ask you about China.
Obviously, the talks broke down in terms of the U.S. and China and a trade deal. I know that China's behavior has been incredibly poor, given that they're stealing intellectual property, the forced transfer of technology.
Your thoughts on whether or not a deal can happen between the two countries.
GRAHAM: I think Trump is right.
I think they're trying to wait him out. China steals our intellectual property. They dump steel into the world marketplace. One year, they produced more steel than the entire world used combined just to destroy steel plants all over the world, including America.
Trump is fighting back. Schumer actually said something good about Trump's engagement with China. So this is the best chance in my lifetime to get China to change their cheating ways. The tariffs are tools that bring China to the table.
I'm standing 100 percent with the president. We're going to have some short-term pain in America to get China to change their behavior. And if we don't get China to change, they're going to destroy our economy over time. So I'm 100 percent with the president. Keep it up.
BARTIROMO: So it's OK if there's no deal then? I mean, is there a plan B if we don't get a deal, or do we not need a deal with China?
Well, I want a deal with China, but when you put tariffs on Chinese products, it's more expensive. We will pay more here. But the supply chain will move from China.
Yarn to make textile goods. By putting a tariff on Chinese yarn, it makes Malaysia and the Philippines and other countries a better supply chain for America. So, eventually, China is going to get hurt more than us.
When you put tariffs on products coming out of China, it makes other countries a cheaper place to do business...
GRAHAM: ... which eventually moves market share away from China.
This is what Trump's trying to do. He's trying to break the stranglehold China has on the supply chain.
BARTIROMO: Let me switch gears, Senator, before we go.
Venezuela's opposition leader, Guaido, is asking for relations with the U.S. military. We still see Maduro there. Whether he's hiding or not, he refuses to leave.
Your reaction to all of that?
GRAHAM: Well, if I were the president, I would speed up Maduro's exit.
He would not be in power but for Cuba. In the '80s, when Cuba sent troops to Grenada, a small island in our backyard, Ronald Reagan went in and took care of the Cuban presence. What I think is, you got a Cuban-inspired coup.
Guaido is the legitimate leader, according to everybody in the region.
GRAHAM: And what -- if it weren't for Cuba and Russia, Maduro would be gone.
So, if I were Trump, I would crush Cuba's economy and I would move in military assets into the region...
GRAHAM: ... and let the Venezuelan military know that, if you back Maduro, you do so at your own peril.
GRAHAM: I would end this quickly, because it's a nightmare for the region.
BARTIROMO: Senator, thanks so much for joining us this morning. Good to see you.
GRAHAM: Thank you.
BARTIROMO: We will be right back.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back.
A vote on a contempt resolution against Attorney General William Barr is looming on the House floor this morning, after the Democrat-led House Judiciary Committee voted last week to hold him in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over the full unredacted Mueller report and its underlying evidence.
Our next guest was in that chamber on Wednesday when it all went down.
Texas Republican Congressman John Ratcliffe sits on the House Judiciary, Intel and Homeland Security committees. He's also a former federal prosecutor.
And, Congressman, it's always a pleasure to see you. Thanks so much for joining us this morning.
REP. JOHN RATCLIFFE, R-TX: You bet, Maria. Good to be here.
BARTIROMO: So, what happened when Jerry Nadler, chairman of your committee, went for a contempt of Congress vote for William Barr? Can you tell us about what that day was?
RATCLIFFE: Well, Maria, there have been plenty of days I have been embarrassed to be a member of Congress, based on the conduct of some of its members, but none more so than this week.
And think about it. The once esteemed House Judiciary Committee marked up a resolution to hold the attorney general of the United States in contempt for his refusal to commit a crime.
Bill Barr, who had no obligation to turn over a single word or comma of Bob Mueller's report, turned over as much as was permitted by law. And that wasn't enough for the Democrats. And they stood there and accused him of lying about what Bob Mueller really meant before they have heard a word from Bob Mueller about what he really meant.
It was all staged. It was all scripted. It was all part of the Democratic effort to create the illusion of a cover-up. Remember, Maria, that these are the Democrats that promised evidence of collusion that didn't exist, that promised that Bob Mueller was going to find Donald Trump guilty of crimes that he didn't commit.
And when that didn't happen, they either had to admit they were wrong to the American people, or they had to find a villain. And, unfortunately, they have made Bill Barr that villain. And they will do anything they can to try and damage his reputation before he delivers the message that he intends to deliver, because he's promised to get to the bottom of the very suspect origins of this Russia-Trump collusion, conspiracy investigation.
BARTIROMO: So is that what this is about? They don't want him to do an investigation that he said he would be doing?
I mean, there, in and of itself, is obstruction.
RATCLIFFE: Yes, Maria, they're scared to death.
It's why, when you talk about accountability, one of the things that they fear is Michael Horowitz's report coming out. But the other thing that they fear is an attorney general who has been unapologetic, unabashed and unrelenting in his pledge to get to the bottom of this Trump-Russia collusion narrative that doesn't make any sense.
We know now, because we have waited on Bob Mueller's report, we know that there was no collusion. But the predicate behind looking for that evidence of collusion is quickly unraveling. And the Democrats are in a panic about it.
BARTIROMO: You know, it's incredible to me that they're so obviously upset and afraid for what comes out.
But it's incredible that you have got people like Jim Comey going on TV shows and saying that he's proud of the FBI and how it handled the Russia probe.
We're going to take a short break and come back and hear from Comey.
Stay with us, Congressman. We want to get your reaction to Comey speaking out this week.
We will also hear from Congressman Dan Crenshaw on social media networks like Twitter and Facebook, and are they posing a problem to free speech, particularly conservative points of view?
That's next. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: The FBI doesn't spy to begin with. The FBI investigates.
The FBI, in my view, took very reasonable steps, careful steps to try and understand, is that true? And I can't believe Republicans would have wanted it any other way. And we acted in a responsible, limited and constrained way.
I'm proud of the way we conducted ourselves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: Wow. That was former FBI Director Jim Comey just days ago, a few days ago.
I'm back with Republican Congressman John Ratcliffe of Texas.
And, Congressman, you just heard Jim Comey. Can you explain this?
RATCLIFFE: Well, my former colleague Trey Gowdy likes to refer to him as Saint Jim.
I liken Jim Comey more to an Avenger superhero. He's always the hero of every story, saving America time and time again.
Gosh, you know, as I listen to that, Jim Comey is proud and wouldn't change a thing. Really? He's proud that he put Peter Strzok in charge of investigating Donald Trump, the same Peter Strzok who, while he was investigating Donald Trump, promised to F. him and to stop him?
He's proud of his handpicked deputy director, Andy McCabe, who lied under oath, lied to the inspector general, and has been criminally referred for that? And, of course, we know Jim's proud of himself, but the inspector general found him insubordinate.
And many of us believe that he either is or should be under investigation for violating the Espionage Act, for recording his conversations with President Trump in the Oval Office, and then intentionally leaking classified information to start this investigation.
So, Maria, as you know, as a former federal prosecutor, I have worked with hundreds of FBI agents. And over the last two years, they haven't used the word proud once to describe Jim Comey. They use words like embarrassed and ashamed.
And every time he sends out a tweet or pens an op-ed or conducts another town hall, he just tarnishes the brand of the premier law enforcement agency in the world that he unfortunately once headed.
BARTIROMO: So are we going to be able to trust the FBI again? Will there be accountability?
I want to ask you about accountability for Jim Comey, Peter Strzok, and also John Brennan, because I'm being told that the director of the CIA is responsible for all counterintelligence operations. That would be John Brennan. Are we going to accountability for all of the above?
RATCLIFFE: Well, here's what we know about John Brennan.
In August of 2016, he briefed then Democratic Senator Harry Reid on the Steele dossier. Brennan later testified under oath that the Steele dossier played no part of the intelligence community assessment. That was a demonstrably false statement. And there are classified documents that I believe prove that.
I believe that there will be accountability on all fronts, Maria, for a couple of reasons. There's an old saying that justice delayed is justice denied. But I think there's a Mueller exception to that rule. We had to wait two years on Bob Mueller. But now that his report is out, and there is no collusion, we can move forward.
And, within a month, the inspector general's report will come out. And notwithstanding what Jim Comey says, I think that the inspector general, looking at leaking and looking at lying and looking at FISA abuse, is going to save that Jim Comey's FBI didn't perform as the law required.
But the biggest -- the biggest movement on the board in that regard, again, is the attorney general, Bill Barr, who has pledged to get to the bottom of a Trump-Russia conspiracy that doesn't make any sense and the predicate for it and those that were not telling the truth.
Donald Trump was telling the truth when he said there was no collusion.
RATCLIFFE: And Jim Comey and folks in our law enforcement community and John Brennan and Jim Clapper and folks in the media, none of them were telling the truth.
RATCLIFFE: And I think there will be accountability through an attorney general that has promised to get to the bottom of it.
BARTIROMO: Real quick, before you go, John Solomon at The Hill reported some important news this week, because we basically got the evidence that they wanted to destroy Donald Trump before the election.
And the first, biggest part of that story, Maria, is that we're just now seeing that. Those are documents that should have been produced previously, and they weren't.
But, needless to say, they do go specifically to the point about the Steele dossier, what the FBI knew. Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec had a memo of her conversation with Christopher Steele, where she discussed the dossier.
And, in one conversation, she determined that Christopher Steele was not being truthful and that the information in the dossier was demonstrably false. And she communicated that to the FBI.
So our own government knew that the source of the dossier was not credible and knew that the dossier itself was not truthful before it was ever used...
BARTIROMO: That's right.
RATCLIFFE: ... before a FISA court to get an application to spy on an American citizen, Carter Page.
RATCLIFFE: Again, this is one of the things that has to be looked at, and, fortunately, will be looked at.
I really do -- I will tell your viewers, Maria...
RATCLIFFE: ... that I feel very good about having Bill Barr as the head of our Justice Department at this point in time.
BARTIROMO: Certainly seems like an honest broker.
Congressman, it's good to see you this morning. Thanks so much.
RATCLIFFE: You bet.
BARTIROMO: Congressman John Ratcliffe there.
You heard Senator Lindsey Graham this hour on his plan to roll out new legislation this Wednesday to address the country's asylum laws.
Next up, what that could mean for the crisis at our southern border, when Texas Republican Congressman Dan Crenshaw joins me live.
Back in a minute.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back.
We just heard this hour that Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham will introduce new legislation this upcoming Wednesday to address the asylum laws that are contributing to the crisis on our southern border.
This comes as we get staggering new numbers from the Border Patrol showing apprehensions have already topped half-a-million this fiscal year. This is just since October, 504,300 apprehensions.
Joining me right now is Republican Congressman from Texas Dan Crenshaw. He sits on the House Homeland Security and Budget committees.
And, Congressman, it's a pleasure to see you this morning. Thanks so much for joining us.
REP. DAN CRENSHAW, R-TX: Absolutely. Great to be with you.
BARTIROMO: Your reaction to these apprehensions?
You are coming from a border state. We were in El Paso two weeks ago. And I was just stunned to see the dangerous position that children are being put in. What is your thought in terms of how to fix this?
CRENSHAW: Well, you mentioned how high the numbers are and how they have been -- how they have been increasing.
And we have to ask ourselves, why? What is causing this? And the reality is, is that there are loopholes in our asylum process that are completely taken advantage of.
And it goes something like this. People have now started to realize that, if they bring a child with them, then they can't be held because of the Flores agreement from 1997. They can't be held. And they will be caught, and then they will be released.
And it's really questionable whether they will ever show back up. All they have to do is say that they're here claiming asylum. And that case will be adjudicated in the far future.
So what we have to do is remove those loopholes. We have to allow people to be detained. We will keep the family together, but keep them there, and adjudicate that case quickly. So we need resources to do that. We need more detention space, and we need more immigration judges.
And we need to -- and we need to change our asylum law, so that it deters this abuse of the system. It's not fair to legal immigrants. It's not fair to the children who are being dragged across. And it's not fair to the sovereignty of our nation.
BARTIROMO: Well, Congressman, you say we need more detention space.
You're not getting it. The Democrats basically put a limit on the number of beds that you can actually have...
BARTIROMO: ... available for people going into these detention centers.
So they are putting a limit in terms of how many people. And the detention centers are busting out. One of the Border Patrol people told me when I was there two weeks ago that when they decide, OK, you're going to stay for X number of days, and then you will have a hearing, that hearing is in eight years, literally.
BARTIROMO: The system is so overwhelmed that the hearing is not for years, seven, eight years.
Of course they're not going to come back.
CRENSHAW: Right. And you hit the nail on the head. They don't want more detention space. You have to ask yourself, what is their actual goal?
Here's a real problem. I speak to constituents, Democrat and Republican. There are no constituents that I have met who want open borders. But every single Democrat in the House of Representatives does want open borders.
And you can tell they want that because of the policies that they're pushing. If you are not for more detention space, it's because you want them caught and released. And, like you said, they might have a court date that's eight years in the future.
I mean, it's an enormous amount of time, which effectively means open borders. And, again, this is not fair to legal immigrants who want to do it the right way. This is not fair to legal asylum claimees who wants to do it the right way. They're around the world, by the way.
People around the world who want to claim asylum in the United States are now confronted with a system that is completely overwhelmed. They have no chance of getting in. Why? Because -- because our good intentions have gotten in our own way.
CRENSHAW: And it's bad for immigrants.
BARTIROMO: Sir, before you go, let me ask you about social media.
I know you have tweeted about it and you have posted about it. And I want to ask you what your thoughts are here, because, going into the 2020 election, if we see censoring of conservative speech, that's going to really tilt the balance, isn't it, in terms of the 2020 election and not being able to be heard?
CRENSHAW: Well, that's right.
And we have to be speaking out against this. And I'm glad you're bringing it up, because, every chance we get, we should talk about this. And it's - - the clearest way to fight back is more free speech.
Now, we also have to be careful about the knee-jerk reaction to want to then regulate these companies and try to enforce their free speech codes. The problem with that is, while we have a friendly administration now that I think promotes real free speech, we won't necessarily have that in the future.
And so, as conservatives, we have to -- we have to restrain ourselves on that. But the right way to handle this is to keep calling them out.
CRENSHAW: Keep showing the world that left -- the left can't argue with our ideas, so they try to silence them.
BARTIROMO: Right. Unbelievable.
Dan Crenshaw, great to see you. Please come back soon. Thanks so much.
Have a great day, everybody. That will do it for "Sunday Morning Futures."
Happy Mother's Day to all.
I will see you tomorrow on FOX Business, "Mornings With Maria."
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