Special Counsel Mueller indicts 12 Russian officers for election meddling before Trump-Putin summit; Rep. Devin Nunes reacts on 'Sunday Morning Futures.'
This is a rush transcript from "Sunday Morning Futures," July 15, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MARIA BARTIROMO, HOST: Good Sunday morning, everybody. Thanks for joining us.
Any moment now, President Trump will be leaving his golf course in Scotland and headed to Helsinki, Finland, for a highly anticipated summit with President Vladimir Putin of Russia, as President Trump sets new expectations for their meeting this morning.
Good morning, everyone. Thanks so much for joining me.
I'm Maria Bartiromo, and this is "Sunday Morning Futures."
The Putin-Trump summit coming days after the Justice Department indicts 12 Russians for meddling in the 2016 election.
I will be getting reaction this morning from the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Devin Nunes is here.
Plus, the powerful chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee calling for the president to meet face to face with the president of China over an escalating trade dispute. Congressman Kevin Brady will join me.
And good signs for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. One Red state Democrat reportedly telling Minority Leader Schumer to -- quote -- "Kiss my" you-know-what. One of the moments that you have to see. One of the most important senators in ensuring Kavanaugh's confirmation is with me today. Senator Orrin Hatch is here, as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures" right now.
All of that coming up.
But, first, one of the most contentious hearings on Capitol Hill that we have seen in quite some time.
FBI agent Peter Strzok faced off against House Republicans last week. Then, the other person at the center of the controversy, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, appearing behind closed doors Friday and then again. Day two of her testimony happens tomorrow, on Monday.
My next guest was one of the select group of lawmakers to question them both. And he had the heated exchange with Strzok, who claims his personal opinions about the president had no impact on his professional conduct.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN RATCLIFFE, R-TEXAS: Of the approximately 50 000 text messages that I have seen with your personal beliefs, like F. Trump, stop Trump, impeach Trump, go ahead and confirm on the record that none of that occurred on an official FBI device or on official FBI time. Go ahead and do that.
PETER STRZOK, FBI AGENT: Sir, no, they did. Many of them did occur.
RATCLIFFE: Oh, they did. OK, so.
RATCLIFFE: So, really -- no, I will give you a chance at the end.
So, what you really meant to say was that, when you said you never crossed that bright, inviolable line, what you meant to say was, except for 50 000 times.
I'm sure there are 13,000 FBI agents out there that are beaming with pride at how clearly you have drawn that line. Do you see why that might call into question everything you have touched on all of those investigations?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: And that, of course, was Congressman John Ratcliffe. He is a member of the House Judiciary and Homeland Security Committees. He's also a former federal prosecutor himself.
Congressman, it is good to see you this morning. Thanks so much for joining us.
RATCLIFFE: You bet. Thanks, Maria.
BARTIROMO: And nice work there getting to the heart of the issue in terms of him using his personal devices to trash the president.
So, at this point, you have interviewed Peter Strzok in that very contentious and public hearing. You have spoken with Lisa Page on Friday. And you will do that again tomorrow for day two of her testimony.
What have we learned?
RATCLIFFE: Well, it was a bit of a circus atmosphere, as you saw Maria, on Wednesday.
And it's easy to lose the forest for the trees. But the -- but the most important takeaway, I think, is for people to remember that, if the special counsel ever decides to bring any Russia collusion-related charges against anyone associated with the Trump campaign, to include Donald Trump, then Peter Strzok has to be a star witness.
He has to be a star witness because he was in charge of the Russian medication. He started it. He ran it for the first year. He collected all of the evidence. So, his credibility is of primary importance.
And that's why, if you were listening at the hearing, it may have seemed like there were two different Peter Strzoks in the room. The Democrats talked about a Peter Strzok who they characterized as a patriot and a hero and someone deserving of a Purple Heart.
The Peter Strzok that I questioned is a disgraced FBI agent who has been demoted by the FBI, is being investigated by the FBI for misconduct for those types of text messages that really call into question how much he hated Donald Trump at the same time that he was investigating Donald Trump.
So, look, as a former federal prosecutor, the government can't walk into a courtroom with Peter Strzok as a star witness. Within 10 minutes of seeing these texts, the jurors would have reasonable doubt in their minds.
So that's -- the credibility of Peter Strzok and Lisa Page will be of primary importance to ultimately what people think of the special counsel's findings.
BARTIROMO: So, you think this hearing and just his performance -- there was arrogance, there was pushback, obstructing, not -- not answering some questions -- you think that poke holes in his credibility as a star witness for the special prosecutor?
RATCLIFFE: Well, I certainly didn't find him credible.
And I think most American people would say, if I'm the subject of an investigation, would I want this guy investigating me at the same time he is sending 50 000 text messages, many of which talk about how much he hates me?
RATCLIFFE: Remember, one of -- one of the text messages, Maria, less than a week after he was put in charge of the Russia investigation, he said he was going to protect the country from the menace of Donald Trump, that he was going to stop Trump from being president.
He talked about an insurance policy. That alone really raises reasonable doubt and real questions about the validity of any evidence that he collected in this investigation, which became the special counsel probe.
BARTIROMO: Has there been a difference in the answers that he gave vs. what Lisa Page told you yesterday and what she might tell you tomorrow?
RATCLIFFE: So, I can't get into the content of the testimony from Lisa Page yet.
What I can tell you is that Congressman Gowdy and I had two hours to question her on Friday. I can tell you that there are significant differences in her testimony.
RATCLIFFE: From agent Strzok as it relates to these text messages, what she thought some of them meant. And she gave us new information that he either wouldn't or couldn't that confirmed some of the concerns that we have about these investigations and the people involved in running them.
BARTIROMO: Let me ask you specifically.
RATCLIFFE: We will continue.
BARTIROMO: Yes, go ahead.
RATCLIFFE: And we will continue her deposition on Monday.
And then, after that, we will have additional witnesses that come in. So, we're going to keep the pressure on, Maria.
BARTIROMO: Give me your reaction to the 12 additional indictments that we saw this weekend by Rod Rosenstein. Obviously, they're indicting these 12 Russians for meddling in the 2016 election.
RATCLIFFE: Well, so, if you're keeping track of the numbers, I think that makes 25 or 26 Russians indicted for meddling in our election, but it's zero Russians indicted for colluding with Americans.
And it's zero Americans indicted for colluding with Russians. So, all of this goes to prove what many of us that have seen every classified document have been saying, which is that there is no evidence of collusion.
But as a former U.S. attorney and as a former terrorism prosecutor and national security lawyer, I got to tell you, Maria, it's a really curious way about going about an investigation if you're serious.
Typically, when you have got defendants in foreign jurisdictions, you don't hold a public press conference and announce it if you ever have any intention of prosecuting them. The indictments should have remained sealed until you could lure those defendants to a jurisdiction from which they could be extradited, arrested, and then unseal the indictments.
So it really seems like, from my perspective, this is more about the special counsel trying to justify the work that they're doing and their existence, rather than really trying to seriously prosecute folks that were trying to meddle in our elections.
BARTIROMO: Because, at the end of the day, we don't have jurisdiction over them, and they -- they're not going to be prosecuted. We can't.
RATCLIFFE: Well, that's exactly right, Maria.
And the other problem with this is, these types of cases, U.S. attorneys can handle them. Lawyers from the Criminal Division, National Security Division at main Justice can handle these cases. We don't need a special counsel.
Remember, the special counsel's mandate is links and coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
RATCLIFFE: And there's not a word of that in any of these indictments.
BARTIROMO: Interesting. Really, really fascinating.
I want to take a short break. But I have got to ask you about the Democrats and how they are trying to stop President Trump from meeting with Putin on Monday.
So, we will take a short break. When we come back, we will talk Helsinki with Congressman John Ratcliffe.
Stay with us, Congressman.
Be sure to catch my program on FOX Business Network tomorrow morning. And we begin it an hour earlier, 5:00 a.m. Eastern. We will be navigating President Trump's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. We're starting at 5:00 a.m., 5:00 to 9:00 a.m. Join us for a four-hour marathon program live here. Join me tomorrow on the Fox Business Network.
Follow me on Twitter @MariaBartiromo, @SundayFutures. Let us know what you would like to hear from Congressman Ratcliffe.
We will be back with him in two minutes' time.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back.
And I'm back now with Congressman John Ratcliffe.
We're talking about these new indictments from the Justice Department targeting 12 Russian intelligence officials.
And now, Congressman, many on the left are demanding that President Trump not meet with Vladimir Putin tomorrow in Helsinki, Chuck Schumer putting out a tweet basically saying, "Cancel the Putin meeting now."
RATCLIFFE: Well, first thing, someone needs to remind Senator Schumer that the party in the minority doesn't get to set and make foreign policy decisions.
As the former President Obama used to say often, elections have consequences.
But even setting that aside, the real reason that Senator Schumer and other Democrats don't want Donald Trump to sit down with Vladimir Putin tomorrow is the same reason they didn't want Donald Trump to sit down with Kim Jong- un last month. They're afraid he will succeed.
With respect to North Korea, I think everyone has to concede that there is at least the real prospect of success there, of a denuclearized Korean Peninsula, that Republicans and Democrats had failed to achieve for the last two-and-a-half decades.
So, now, I think the Democrats are deathly afraid of Donald Trump sitting down with Vladimir Putin and kicking holes in all of the things that they have been saying about him being a puppet of Putin and the Kremlin.
And I certainly don't think they want a comparison between how Donald Trump is going to deal with Putin vs. how President Obama did. Remember, President Obama's feckless foreign policy as it related to Putin was a hiding under the covers while Russia took Crimea policy.
It was a policy where he had his national security adviser, Susan Rice, tell our cyber-officials to stand down, rather than stand up, when we found out the Russians were meddling with our election.
If you think that's how Donald Trump's going to approach Vladimir Putin, as we say here in East Texas, hide and watch. I think the president's going to have a very different message for Vladimir Putin tomorrow.
BARTIROMO: So what will his message be? And do you think Crimea is part of the conversation?
RATCLIFFE: I very much expect Crimea to be part of the conversation.
But I also expect part of the conversation to be President Trump relating to Vladimir Putin in maybe not-so-subtle terms that we have the ability to cripple the Russian economy, to bring it to its knees, to sell natural gas to the Europeans a lot -- for a lot less than the Russians are.
And if you think that President Trump's last stop at NATO and the discussions there about a German pipeline to bring that natural gas from Russia was some sort of a coincidence, I think you would be mistaken.
Before we go, let me ask you. Based on what you saw on Friday in that hearing with Peter Strzok, do you think we will see accountability?
Characterize what you saw in that room on Friday. How was he?
RATCLIFFE: Well, again, I didn't find him to be a credible or believable witness.
And he is the star witness in Bob Mueller's investigation if he ever brings Russian collusion charges.
And, again, already, there are serious conflicts between his testimony and that of Lisa Page. So, from the accountability standpoint, I think the most important thing for many of us is, we don't see any evidence of Russian collusion, yet this investigation by the special counsel, what he's supposed to be doing, is proceeding.
And there doesn't seem to be any evidence from that. And these recent indictments don't have anything to do with that. So, to quote my good friend Trey Gowdy, it does seem like special counsel needs to finish the hell up.
BARTIROMO: Well, there are reports that he's considering that.
We will be watching that.
Congressman, it is good to see you, this morning. Thanks very much for joining us.
RATCLIFFE: Thanks, Maria.
BARTIROMO: We will see soon, Congressman John Ratcliffe.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes is here next, right on set. Back in a minute.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back.
Special counsel Robert Mueller indicting 12 Russian intelligence officers, accusing them of hacking the DNC and the Clinton campaign in order to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, this as President Trump is gearing up to meet face-to-face with Russian President Vladimir Putin tomorrow in Helsinki.
Joining me right now to talk about all of the above, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes.
Mr. Chairman, it's always a pleasure to see you.
REP. DEVIN NUNES, R-CALIFORNIA: It's great to be here live. I'm not coming from California.
BARTIROMO: I know. I'm happy.
NUNES: It looks so different.
BARTIROMO: It's great that you're on set. So thank you very much.
These Russian indictments, we could have known about them earlier this year, when you actually came out with your report back in -- back in March, and then the findings released to the public at the end of April. I have got the report right in front of me.
Your reaction to these indictments?
NUNES: Well, we knew about this a year-and-a-half ago.
Almost everything in the -- in the indictment, we knew about. In -- March 22, we released our findings that you have in front of you right there.
Those findings were available March 22. If you remember, the media mocked us.
BARTIROMO: Yes, I do remember.
NUNES: They made fun of the Republicans. They said it was a whitewash. The Democrats said it was a whitewash. Nearly everything the Democrats said about our report was that it was a whitewash.
Then we had to fight with the intelligence agencies and the Department of Justice, so that they wouldn't redact and they would declassify our report. That was finished in April.
So, this entire report that you have in front of you, including -- all you had to do was get page four, and you only had to read chapter two, and you would have had nearly everything that's in the indictment.
BARTIROMO: That is pretty incredible. Look at all these redactions that you can actually see on the screen.
NUNES: And it's page after page of that.
NUNES: And, actually, there's more in this report.
NUNES: Than what's in the indictment, OK?
And this is what -- this is what's very frustrating. So -- so, it's great that they indicted Russians. Yes, they did bad things. I mean, they're always up to bad things. We know that. They have very sophisticated intelligence capabilities in Russia. And they are always -- they are constantly attacking the United States and our allies.
However, in the indictment, they leave out some really important people that they also went after.
So, the indictment plays like they're only going after the Democrats, when Bob Mueller and all his investigators and his lawyers know for a fact that they also targeted Republicans.
Why is that not in the indictment? It makes the indictment look ridiculous.
BARTIROMO: OK. So.
NUNES: Now, I'm not saying they shouldn't be indicted. I'm just saying that.
BARTIROMO: That the Russians were targeting both Democrats and Republicans.
NUNES: And Republicans.
NUNES: And they know that. It's in our report.
So why doesn't the -- why doesn't Department of Justice allow this to be declassified, so the American public can see this?
BARTIROMO: The other thing is that these people are never going to see justice, right? I mean, we don't have jurisdiction over these -- these people. They're not going to come to the U.S.
And so they really won't actually be held accountable.
NUNES: Right. They're intelligence officers, so they're not going to be held accountable.
It doesn't mean, though, that we shouldn't call out Russia for attacking our -- conducting cyber-attacks on our system.
BARTIROMO: But the timing of this, I mean, they -- they released this right after the Peter Strzok hearing.
And your point is, we knew all of this year ago. Why is now the time to make these arrests, and not a year ago, when you actually had the information?
NUNES: Well, I have to call into question. You knew about this a year- and-a-half ago. You for sure knew it because you got our report. So you for sure knew it by March and April of this year.
And then it looks like all you did, all the Mueller did was validate our report, indict some Russians, and leave out, I think, some very pertinent, relative of -- evidence that the American public should see, which is why we continue to have to fight.
This report has been mocked by the media, has been mocked by the Democrats, and still is mostly redacted by the Department of Justice and the intelligence agencies.
BARTIROMO: And all of these redactions really underline a common theme. And that has been obstruction on the left.
You look at that Peter Strzok trial last -- Peter Strzok hearing, rather, last week. And there was so much obstruction on the Democrats. They were trying to change the subject. They -- they were trying to stop the questioning of what went on during the 2016 election.
So, how are you going to get the information, when you see you're in a catch-22 situation? Because every time -- you want to know why the Trump collusion investigation launched in the first place.
But when you ask that question of Peter Strzok or anybody else in the FBI, they're going to say, we can't talk about it because it's an active investigation. And it is, by the special counsel.
NUNES: Yes. So there's -- so, there's a couple points, I think, that are important.
So, we have add before July 31 of 2016, we have asked the Department of Justice for months and months and months -- I have said on your show -- did you run informants? How many informants did you have before the investigation was even open? How much did you pay these informants to run into Trump campaign or officials or associates?
Because the Department of Justice is trying to say -- and the FBI -- that they didn't do anything until after July 31. So that's -- we're still waiting on that information. I think that is really important information the American people should know.
The second biggest problem we have is that the president of the United States has got to declassify this. Why was -- if the president of the United States would have declassified this -- if you go through page after page after page of this, OK, the Mueller indictment would look ridiculous today, if this was redacted -- if this was unredacted and declassified.
Well, you know what? Because there is a big portion of the country that will say, oh, he's trying to get in the middle of an investigation, which is why I asked the president two weeks ago, when I sat down with him in that exclusive interview with President Trump, whether or not he's going to declassify these documents.
Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: Why don't you just direct your subordinates to get those documents over to Congress? Are you going to do it?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The one thing I want to stay uninvolved in, at least for now -- I may get involved.
TRUMP: But I've been told by so many people, don't get involved. You know, all those people got involved.
BARTIROMO: Congress wants those documents.
TRUMP: It's not good.
And they'll get the documents, and it's getting, and they're getting them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: Meanwhile, there an op-ed in this weekend's Wall Street Journal.
And the title is, "After the Strzok Stone Wall," basically saying, we're obviously not going to get to the truth through the legal process. The president has got to declassify.
Do you think he will do it?
NUNES: Well, I think he has to.
And I think this is a great example of it. It's not just about Strzok. It's not just about the FISA. Now you have information in our report here that he should have already declassified.
And I think then the American people would have known. I mean, we basically wrote the indictment for Mueller. The House Republicans, without the support of the Democrats, wrote the indictment for the Mueller special counsel, essentially, and information that we have had for over a year.
So, now you have Strzok, who's -- who is stonewalling Congress, not answering questions, looks very foolish. You add on to the fact that you still have the FISA that is sitting out there that should be declassified, so the American public can see it, because what is consistent in all of this investigation for a year-and-a-half?
House Republicans come out and say something, and then we get attacked by the mainstream media, mocked by the mainstream media and the Democrats.
But every time, when the truth eventually comes out, we're proven right. And we will be proven right again if the FISA -- majority of the FISA is declassified, so the American public can make up their mind, were the counterintelligence agencies abused by the Obama administration or were they not?
And, at this point, we have got, what, 25 or 26 Russians that have been indicted, the number of Russians colluding with -- with Donald Trump, zero, five Americans indicted, four of them for lying to the FBI, and Manafort for a 20-year-old bank fraud.
So there are reports today that the special counsel is looking to wrap this up by the end of the summer. Do you believe that?
NUNES: I don't believe it.
I mean, they look -- I hope that's the case, but they look way too political to me, because every time it seems like something comes out, Strzok or -- or, before that, we had when the FISA stuff came out, the special counsel always seems to be reactive to try to, I think, create narratives.
And maybe that's not the case, but it sure looks like the case.
BARTIROMO: So, where does your investigation stand now into the State Department and into really how this launch took place of the Trump-Russia probe?
NUNES: We are -- we are waiting on the Department of Justice to give us that information before July 31, which, for week after week after week, they continue not to do it.
They did provide a lot of documents that are -- that are aiding us in our investigation. And then we have kicked over 42 names. Strzok and Page are two of those 42 names.
BARTIROMO: But, also, Glenn Simpson is on that list.
NUNES: Yes. So, there's -- and those, we kicked to the task force from the Oversight Committee. And Mr. Ratcliffe is on this task force.
We need these people interviewed on camera as soon as possible.
BARTIROMO: Real quick, before you go, let me -- let me ask you in terms of what happens now and whether or not you think we're going to see accountability here.
NUNES: I think you only see accountability if there is either a second special counsel that investigates all of this or there is somebody that is outside of the leadership of the Department of Justice who can run a -- a real investigation abuse of power and other issues.
BARTIROMO: What should the president ask or speak to Putin about?
NUNES: Well, the president has to be tough.
Well, number one, I would say, don't hand a reset button over, like Hillary Clinton did.
BARTIROMO: Yes, the big.
NUNES: That's number one.
NUNES: Number two, what he's doing with Europe and NATO is what's needed to be done for a long time, which is, one, pay your fair share.
And, two, we cannot allow Eastern Europe to rely on German -- on Russian gas. The Germans are building pipelines, getting Russian gas, feeding the Russian beast, right, while the Germans are only paying 1.3 percent.
NUNES: So, I laugh about all these people who are saying that Trump shouldn't meet with Putin.
Trump has done more on the highest issues at the most important level, pointing them out to the Europeans and us, and the American people, that you have got to stop buying gas from Russians and you have to beef up defense in Poland, Romania and the Baltics.
That's what needs to happen. And only by force, brute force will Putin understand anything.
NUNES: And we should give the president the room to do that.
BARTIROMO: And you would imagine that this -- obviously, these indictments are brought up as well.
NUNES: Yes, I would guess.
But -- but that's -- it's -- it's just ridiculous.
BARTIROMO: Mr. Chairman, it's really good to see you this morning.
NUNES: Nice to see in person.
BARTIROMO: Thank you so much for joining us.
All right, coming up next: a powerful House Republican urging President Trump to sit down with the president of China over an escalating trade dispute there. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady is with me next.
Back in a moment.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back.
A top House Republican is urging President Trump to sit down with Chinese President Xi Jinping, amid fears of an escalating trade war between the two countries. This coming after the Trump administration announced it was looking to impose another round of tariffs on an additional $200 billion work of Chinese imports.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady is the lawmaker calling for that meeting and he joins me right now.
Congressman, it's good to see you, Mr. Chairman, thanks very much for joining me.
REP. KEVIN BRADY, R-TEXAS: Good morning, Maria, thanks for having me.
BARTIROMO: Before I ask you about what you'd like to see between the president of China and -- and -- and President Trump, let me ask you your expectation of these tariffs. How much growth is that going to take out of what we've seen?
You know, your tax plan we know had a great benefit to the U.S. economy, and now people are wondering if we are going to see four percent growth. Does the tariffs change that?
BRADY: Yes, they could. The good news is our economy's so strong the investment and growth, all this because of the new tax cuts and -- and a new, fair way of regulating out of Washington, you know, it's really masked a lot of that.
But there's no question it's going to show up in economy, mainly because you're seeing now whether it's local farmers, local manufacturing, local businesses spending their time not investing in new growth, but figuring out how do they handle these tariffs.
And so at some point this year, I think it will show up in the economy, that's what we're trying to avoid.
BARTIROMO: Are -- are you more concerned about the tariffs on aluminum on steel or the tariffs against China?
BRADY: Yes, so I think all of the above in the sense that -- that both are generating retaliation and creating uncertainty where there wasn't one before. I think there is a way for the president to be able to have the time to allow his Chinese strategy to work.
But right now because I think there's no certainty about the -- the direction time table with China, the exclusion process on steel and aluminum is just flat broken, the exemption process for countries isn't working for fairly traded price (ph) because of, I think, some unforced airs (ph) in the administration more pain's being felt by local farmers and businesses than need to be.
And that's where we are continuing to work with the administration to take that pain off the U.S. economy and make sure it's targeted to the unfairly traded countries like China.
BARTIROMO: Part of -- part of the background in terms of the president instituting these tariffs on -- on Chinese imports is the fact that this president and many of us in America understand that the Chinese have been stealing from us for decades, whether it be through intellectual property theft or the forced transfer of technology when the Chinese acquire companies in Silicon Valley.
They force them to show -- show their innovation and their technology, stealing our secrets, and then a couple of years later you see a competitor in the same business only it's a Chinese competitor.
So what do you propose the president do to stop that?
BRADY: Well I agree with you, President Trump is right to challenge China. They've been cheating, they've been cheating a long time. It's costing us U.S. jobs. So look, he's the guy who keeps pulling the curtain back, and so we're (ph) exposing the problems in a number of ways, whether it's in NATO or the trade agreements.
And so he's right to do this. But here's what I think is occurring, it's becoming increasingly clear this trade dispute, which is escalating, will go one of two ways. We're going to -- either we're going to see a very long, attractive, maybe multi-year trade war with China, the two largest economies in the world.
That's going to have economic casualties far beyond just our two countries. Or I think President Trump and President Xi can make a deliberate decision to meet, begin crafting a new set of fair and lasting trade rules that frankly work and level the playing field for American farmers, local businesses in our economy.
I'm urging the president to take the second approach because I think I'm confident this president meeting face to face with President Xi can level that playing field, can create a new set of trade rules for both of our countries.
BARTIROMO: Have you spoken with the president about this? Have you gotten an answer from him, will he do that?
BRADY: He's been on the road, I'm planning to visit with him next week when he returns. We're also working on tax reform 2.0 as well, and so we've got a couple big issues to visit about.
BARTIROMO: I know you are and I want to ask you about that, because when I sat down with the president two weeks ago, I asked him if in fact we're going to see another tax cut plan, and here's what he told me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: Does the economy need even more stimulus? Are you looking for a phase two tax plan?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, UNITED STATES: We're doing a phase two, we'll be doing it probably in October, maybe a little sooner than that. And it'll be more of a middle class, we did a lot for the middle class but this will be even more aimed at the middle class.
One of the things we're thinking about is bringing the 21 percent down to 20 and then for the most part, the rest of it would go right to the middle class.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Congressman, are you considering that, bringing the corporate rate from 21 percent to 20 percent?
BRADY: So we're working with the president on a number of those issues, and Maria, I think the key point here is President Trump's tax cuts and reforms was about changing the economic direction for the better, 2.0 is about changing the culture in Washington where we don't wait 30 years between fixing the tax code.
We get better every year, we continue to lead the rest of the world here. And so you're going to see I think permanence of the middle tax cuts and those small business cuts will be the centerpiece of this, and people I think overlook the growth impact long term.
That alone could help create a million and a half new jobs in America, continue to raise paychecks significantly in the long term. So that'll be the centerpiece of it. We're working with the president on the rest of the elements of 2.0.
BARTIROMO: We -- we really look forward to that, Mr. Chairman. We want to hear more about it as it becomes available. Thanks very much for joining us this morning.
BRADY: Great, thanks Maria.
BARTIROMO: We'll see you soon, Chairman Kevin Brady joining us. Some Democrats digging in their heels vowing to fight Judge Bret Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination, my next guest knows a lot about the confirmation process.
We'll hear from Senator Orrin Hatch next as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures". Back in a moment.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back. Democrats ramping up their attacks on President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Here's Hillary Clinton on Friday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SENATOR, NEW YORK: I used to worry that they wanted to turn the clock back to the 1950s. Now I worry they want to turn it back to the 1850s.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: My next guest met with Judge Kavanaugh this week and will be instrumental in his confirmation process. Utah Senator Orrin Hatch is a member and former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He has participated in more than a dozen confirmations of Supreme Court nominees.
BARTIROMO: Senator, it is always an honor and a pleasure to see you. Thanks for joining me.
SEN. ORRIN HATCH, R-UTAH: Well it's always nice to be with you, Maria. You -- you cover things pretty darn well.
BARTIROMO: Thank you so much, sir. What are your -- what are your reactions to Judge Kavanaugh? How tough a battle do you think this will be?
HATCH: Well I've known him for a long time, but it's -- isn't it unique that here's a -- here's a young fellow who's been around here for a long time, everybody knows him, they know he's honest, they know he's a very talented, very -- very intellectually profound and yet it's the same -- same routine. (Inaudible) start to try and destroy him right off the bat.
But he can handle it. He's a very, very fine young man. Very smart and that's had a lot of experience.
BARTIROMO: The Democrats are trying to make this about an abortion issue, Senator. They --
HATCH: They always do.
BARTIROMO: They -- they keep mentioning Roe v. Wade and this is going to be overturned. What is this about, from your standpoint?
HATCH: Well Kavanaugh said that -- that Roe v. Wade is a -- it's set of law (ph). And I suspect that that's probably the way it's going to come out under whoever of our (ph) nominated there. It'll settled law (ph).
But they're -- they're going to -- they don't have anything else to throw at him other than that maybe he'll -- he'll do something on Roe versus Wade. Well, be honest with you, the man is a straightforward guy, he's a -- I -- I've known him for a long time.
I've watched him on the court. He's had 12 years of experience on the second highest court in this land, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is no small achievement.
BARTIROMO: That's right.
HATCH: And he's respected by everybody who's worked with him, including the Democrats.
BARTIROMO: Do you think you're going to need Democratic support?
HATCH: Well we want Democratic support. I think it's ridiculous that you can't get Democratic support for somebody as good as he is. And I think we'll get some, but -- you know, they've made every appointment to the Judiciary (ph) (inaudible) which is unfortunate. Because you know, they may get the presidency one of these times and they're going to want to have a -- a decent Republican side to work with them to get their nominations through.
And -- and I think they ought to -- when you -- when you have people that are very high quality, that are A.B. (ph) lawyers -- in other words, the highest rated lawyers for legal ethics and ability and who clearly have a reputation for being honest and straightforward and knowledgeable about the law, then -- you -- to throw out the -- these kind of arguments against somebody like -- like him is just crazy.
BARTIROMO: So -- so size up the Senate for us. I mean, you need 51 votes here to get him through. We saw a pretty positive statement from Susan Collins on -- on Kavanaugh as a pick. We haven't heard from Rand Paul, we haven't heard from Jeff Flake. Do you think you're going to get the votes?
HATCH: I expect every Republican to vote for him and I also expect a number of Democrats as well. I think they've got to break through that we're against everything attitude. They hate Trump so badly that -- you know, it's all against Trump. It isn't -- well, I think it's against any Republican judgeship nomination. But -- but they really hate Trump and they really want to do everything they can to hurt Trump.
You know, he won the election. All I can say is if Hillary'd won, I'd be doing everything I could to help her to be a great president, if -- if -- if I can . And they ought to be doing the same for him. And -- and if they will, this is a fellow who 10 years ago -- 8 or 9 years ago was a liberal from New York. I mean, they're so stupid they don't realize that they could win him over if they really tried.
BARTIROMO: That's a funny -- that's very funny and a good point.
HATCH: Well that's a great point.
BARTIROMO: You know, they hate him so much despite the fact that the outcomes are pretty good. I mean, let's take a look at some of his outcomes, Senator, because you know, you -- you led, obviously, the tax reform that -- that we saw really -- moved the needle --
HATCH: That was no small thing. That was no small thing.
BARTIROMO: No small thing. And now we're talking about --
HATCH: And -- and --
BARTIROMO: -- four percent economic growth when we get the GDP numbers in-- in about a week's time.
HATCH: Yes, we haven't had that in a long time. And he's leading -- and look, by any measure, he's been a very successful president. He's -- he's a little bit bombastic from time to time, but I like that too. I -- I think it's just great that he gets out there and doesn't take any crap from anybody. But he -- yes (ph) but he -- but he's -- he's done really well for somebody who's never been in politics before.
I'm starting to think maybe we ought to get more of those people who've never been in politics before.
BARTIROMO: But you are not as confident about the trade issues. I want to get into those trade issues, because I think most people understand that China has been stealing from us -- for us -- from us, rather for decades.
And they want somebody to get China to stop stealing intellectual property, stop the transfer of -- of technology to Chinese firms, and also open up the Chinese economy. So that I understand, the aluminum and steel tariffs, well that's a different story. What do you say?
HATCH: Well I don't think they're going to help anybody, I think they're just going to hurt American businesses and, you know, my home state -- my home state's going to be hit very hard because of these tariffs.
Now be that as it may, if they were good for the whole country, I'd be -- you know, I'd be nullified (ph). But the fact is, I think our country's not going to do well because of these tariffs.
I'm not a big tariff fan, and I'm disappointed that the president has taken that -- that route, and I hope that he gets off of it pretty soon. Now he's had some, in my opinion, very bad advice, but he actually believes that too.
BARTIROMO: Real quick before you, Senator, do you believe you can get Kavanaugh in place before the Supreme Court's new term starts October 1?
HATCH: That's our intention, and we should be able to do that. It's going to be hard for the Democrats, but they lost the election and they can't just keep throwing up these scare tactics all the time.
And -- and thinking they can get away with it.
BARTIROMO: Yes, there certainly is a lot of that. Senator, it's good to see you this morning, thanks very much.
HATCH: Well it's really great to sit with you, you're great.
BARTIROMO: Thank you very much, Senator. Coming up next, Democratic leaders demanding that President Trump cancel tomorrow's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Does the president need to be careful, what should happen, our power panel is weighing in as we look ahead on "Sunday Morning Futures". Next up, Mary Kissel, Charlie Hurt, stay with us.
BARTIROMO: Welcome back.
A growing number of Democrats demanding that President Trump cancel his upcoming summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, scheduled for tomorrow, even some Republicans are advising the president to proceed with caution after Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officials for election meddling.
What can we expect when the two leaders sit face-to-face tomorrow?
We bring in our panel now. Mary Kissel is a member of the Wall Street Journal's editorial board, Charlie Hurt is an opinion editor and columnist with the Washington Times. Both are Fox News contributors.
Good to see you both. Thank you so much for joining us.
Mary, what's most important for the meeting tomorrow.
MARY KISSEL, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: I think Vladimir Putin wants rehabilitation on the world stage after the 2014 invasion of Crimea, the downing of MH17, you remember that civilian airliner, Russia has been blamed for that, killed almost 300 people. The incursions into Syria, the war crimes he committed there. And that's what he's really craving in this meeting with Trump.
BARTIROMO: Will President Trump give that to him?
KISSEL: Well, look, the thing to know about Vladimir Putin is that he creates problems, and then he'll says, oh, I'll come to you and let's solve this problem together.
So, you know, I would expect Vladimir Putin to come in and say, hey, I'll solve the problem that I created in Syria, and in exchange, can you please just recognize this other problem that I created by invading Crimea, a sovereign country.
So, President Trump has to be very careful. He's a wiley operator. He snuckerred two prior presidents. And I just think President Trump has to go in with his eyes wide open.
BARTIROMO: Charlie, obviously we are going to be hearing about the gas pipeline and the relationship between Russia and Europe. What's most important from your standpoint?
CHARLIE HURT, THE WASHINGTON TIMES: Well, I do think that certainly the gas pipeline is going to come up. Donald Trump has made no secret that he thinks that that's a terrible, terrible deal.
And it is, quite frankly, in terms of putting Europe -- Western Europe at sort of a disadvantage in terms of -- if they're really genuinely concerned about Russia, as I think that they certainly should be.
But I also think that the president has made clear, you know, he doesn't have very high expectations. He wants to -- at least he said that, and I tend to believe him when he says that. But I do think that -- you know, this guy, and I'm not trying to make a direct comparison here, or anything like this, but I do think it's sort of important when you look back at Ronald Reagan, Reagan loved to meet with people like this to size them up, to size up his adversaries, and sort of get a personal feel for them.
Well, we are seeing the same thing out of Donald Trump. And I know that a lot of -- especially the people that hate Donald Trump, this gives them the willies. But there is some precedent for this. And I do think that there's some wisdom in a desire to sort of personally get -- size up an adversary.
BARTIROMO: Both John Radcliffe and Devin Nunes joined me earlier this morning, and they both said, look, we knew all about these Russian indictments, and these individuals that were meddling in the election a year and half ago. Why announce this now, and by the way, why are we generating so much energy on a situation where we don't have jurisdiction over them anyway, Mary. These Russian individuals are never going to be held to justice.
KISSEL: No, of course they're not. But actually, you know, I'm not focusing so much on that, Maria, as I am in the broken deal in Syria. I mean, Putin is humiliating the United States. We made a deal between the U.S., Jordan, and Russia to deescalte in southwest Syria. Russia is providing air cover for Syrian and Iranian forces blatantly.
So, you know, they are humiliating us there. Why are we rewarding Putin with a summit and handshake in front of the world's cameras? That, to me is a much bigger deal.
BARTIROMO: Should he not do the meeting, then?
KISSEL: I don't know what the point is of the summit. He's already met Vladimir Putin.
You know, where is the concession on Russia's part? You know, having the United States president go and meet with a world leader gives him legitimacy.
BARTIROMO: All right. We will leave it there.
Charlie Hurt, it's great to see you this morning. Thank you so much.
Mary Kissel, always a pleasure. Thank you.
That will do it for us right now on Sunday Morning Futures. Thanks so much for joining me today.
I'm Maria Bartiromo, stay with me tomorrow morning bright and early on Fox Business Network. Special programing beginning at 5:00 a.m. on the summit. "MediaBuzz" happens right after this break.
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