Fox News "Sunday Morning Futures" - Transcript: Interview with Rep. Kevin McCarthy



BARTIROMO: And a number of Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate say that they object to the president's plan as well, some calling it an overreach of executive power.

Joining me right now, in an exclusive interview, is Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Congressman, it's always a pleasure to see you. Thanks so much for being here.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY, R-CALIF., HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: Well, good morning, and thanks for having me back, Maria.

BARTIROMO: Is this a national emergency? Your reaction to what's happening, with the president saying that it's a national emergency? But some of your colleagues are pushing back.

MCCARTHY: Well, first of all, does the president have the authority? And the answer is yes.

Since 1976, when the law passed, presidents have declared more than 60 emergencies. But also look to this. When the federal government doesn't act, governors have the responsibility that they can declare an emergency

And in 2005 in Arizona, Janet Napolitano, who then became DHS secretary for Obama, declared an emergency because of what was happening on the border. So did New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. And Bill Richardson cited the lack of movement by the federal government.

So the president, one, has the authority. Yes, it is a crisis and emergency along our border. First of all, think about the human trafficking that is happening.


MCCARTHY: Think about the children that are being moved across these -- country.

But think about the amount of drugs and how many thousands of Americans are dying. And most of that is coming through the southern border. So the president, one, has the authority. Yes, it is an emergency that has been shown before.

And I believe, at the end of the day, this wall is going to be built, not sea to shining sea, but about 200 miles.

BARTIROMO: Well, the...

MCCARTHY: He's got the appropriations which just passed.


MCCARTHY: He's got 55 miles there.

Then he has other abilities to pull money, such as from the Treasury, the forfeiture. This is from illicit -- illicit crimes that people have done. So he's got about $600 million there. He's got $2.5 billion from inside Department of Defense to be used for counternarcotics, to fight drugs as well.

This is where that should be used. And then he's looking at MILCONs, the military construction items.

BARTIROMO: So -- so this is about $3 billion, roughly, that he can use, other monies from other areas.

But this -- the overall bill was a lot lower, as you know, than what the president wanted. He wanted $5.7 billion. But you still voted yes for it.

MCCARTHY: Yes, I did, because you know what? It was a down payment moving forward.

Remember this, just -- just about a month ago, what was Nancy Pelosi saying? Only $1 for the wall, that they would eliminate beds, which would mean criminals would be left out into our society, and they would -- they would abolish ICE.

ICE has just received more money than they ever had in the past. We have the ability to keep the number of beds we had before, and they just voted for $1.375 billion, 55 miles of new wall.

So if I'm weighing that compared to a continuing resolution, which wouldn't get any, of course, this is moving it in the right direction. Is it as far as I want it to go? No. But the combination of this bill and the action, what the president is doing, we're getting to the end result that we need to protect the southern end of our border.

BARTIROMO: Let me move on and ask you about this meeting that the president has called today and tomorrow for members of his trade team.

The China talks are going to be continuing next week. And, of course, then you have got USMCA on the table. A lot of colleagues in the House have told me on the Democratic side they won't vote for it as it is.

First, talk to us about how the China talks went and what you would like to see in terms of a deal between China and the United States, as these talks continue this upcoming week.

MCCARTHY: Well, I haven't been able to get an update since they have come back from China. But I was talking to Lighthizer and others before going.

I want to credit this president, because he has really -- moving against China and making for a level playing field is something that America should have done a long time ago. The entire Western Hemisphere should have been able to do this.

What -- what I find is that we are getting movement to where we need to do to protect our intellectual property rights, to have a fair and level playing field when it comes to trade.


MCCARTHY: And I'm seeing good movement. So the president wants to have an update, continue those talks in Washington next week.

And I think the entire world is watching that this would put us on a better stage to compete against China at the same time with a level playing field.

BARTIROMO: Is he going to have to change USMCA in order to get that ratified?

MCCARTHY: OK, now, that's different. That's between Canada and Mexico.

I'm not sure that he will. For those Democrats who are saying that they wouldn't vote for it, I'm not sure they read it or seen it, because nothing's been rolled out completely.

This is looking at NAFTA and improving it, modernizing it. I think, at the end of the day, they will support it because it's going to make not only America stronger, but our trading partners as well. It is a good policy for American jobs, and it's stronger in, one, when you're modernizing it, protecting our intellectual property as well.

BARTIROMO: Let me move on to some of the big news over the weekend.

Congressman, you sent a letter to Adam Schiff, the chairman -- now the chairman of the Intel Committee. We know that Adam Schiff has said for a long time -- he said this two years ago -- that he has more than circumstantial evidence that there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

And we also know that this past week we got news from the Senate, where the Senate said there was -- all of its findings after a two-year -- a two-year period, they have found no collusion.

Explain the letter that you sent to Adam Schiff and what you're trying to do.

MCCARTHY: I put it out on a blog.

And what I -- I raised questions about Adam Schiff. Yes, you state that, in March 2017, he said he had this proof. He sounds like a modern-day Joe McCarthy and can't produce anything as we move through.

We have had the Senate and the House investigate this and say, there is no collusion from Republicans and Democrats. But what we recently found out, Maria -- and I have got to thank you, because this is something that you have been monitoring the entire time and bringing out information on.

We now find that Adam Schiff met with Glenn Simpson, the co-founder of Fusion GPS, the individual that created that fake dossier, in Aspen, which was never been known to us.

First of all, what did they meet about? And this was after the committee wanted to look into Glenn Simpson even further because the credibility of the answers he gave when he came before the committee.

Then think about this. I want to know, what did they talk about there? How many other times have they met? But why did Adam Schiff fight when we wanted to find out who paid Fusion GPS?

Well, we found out that it was the Democrat National Committee. But why did Adam Schiff fight that? And then why did Adam Schiff ask Glenn Simpson in the hearing, what should we investigate? Where should we go? Why is he taking direction from this individual that doesn't have credibility, that created a fake dossier?

And then Adam Schiff, who is now the chairman, why doesn't he hold himself to the same standards that he asked Jeff Sessions and Devin Nunes? He should recuse himself, based upon meeting with an individual that's under - - that we're looking at from creating the Fusion GPS -- I mean, from Fusion GPS -- and not even telling us.

In that part, the bias of what's going forward, he should recuse himself from any future investigation or being the chairman.

BARTIROMO: This is, of course, the guy who was paid -- his firm was paid a million dollars to create that dossier.

Bruce Ohr's wife worked at that firm, Glenn Simpson running the firm, Fusion GPS, that created that dossier, which was used to wiretap an American citizen, Carter Page. And we know that it was unverified and salacious, which is what Jim Comey called it.

MCCARTHY: And remember what Adam Schiff said, because he said Devin Nunes met with somebody at the White House. He had to recuse himself.

Remember Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, had to recuse himself because he met with some Russian he didn't really even realize when he went through.

Now we're knowing from the Hill that Adam Schiff knew who he was meeting with Glenn Simpson, and asked him, what did they meet about, even after the committee knew they had to investigate Glenn Simpson further because of the credibility of the answers he gave inside the hearing.

They contradicted. He could be lying before Congress, based upon investigation and answers given by other individuals.

BARTIROMO: Right. And now, of course, we all know that Hillary Clinton paid his firm, Fusion GPS, to create that dossier, when we didn't know the specifics before.

OK, Congressman, let's take a break. You want him to recuse himself from the Russia probe. That was one of your questions within -- within that blog post.

We will take a short break.

When we come back, you also had a tiff with Congresswoman Omar. We're going to get to that coming up.

And a lot of people questioning the Republicans' financial responsibility and discipline, as we look at debt.

We will take a break, and we have got more with Congressman Kevin McCarthy when we come right back. Stay with us.


BARTIROMO: Welcome back.

We're back now with Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy this morning.

And, Congressman, we were ending that first block talking about the Adam Schiff situation.

We should point out that we got compelling testimony from the number four guy at the DOJ, Bruce Ohr, who basically provided calendar notations and notes which told us that, in fact, Glenn Simpson started meeting with Bruce Ohr back in August.

And we know that the Democrats were saying that they hadn't met until Thanksgiving, which was important, because it shows you when they actually started investigating President Trump.

MCCARTHY: That's the key question of why we wanted to look at Simpson even further, because there's reports that his testimony is not the same, matching, to the credibility there.

But now you have a chairman of the committee privately meeting with him when the committee is going to investigate him further. That's bias.


MCCARTHY: And this is why he has to recuse himself, so the American public can trust any report that comes out of that committee or any investigation.

BARTIROMO: Let me...

MCCARTHY: This is a real challenge. He has to answer, why did -- what did they talk about, and how many other times has he met with Glenn Simpson?

BARTIROMO: Let me move on because, Congressman Omar made...


BARTIROMO: ... a remark.

She said, "It's all about the Benjamins." You -- which you reacted to.

And then there have been calls for her to be moved off of the Foreign Affairs Committee because of her comments. You got in a tiff with her on Twitter. Tell us about it.

MCCARTHY: Well, I had a press conference a week prior. And I was just talking about the Democratic leadership to a number of these new freshmen Democrat congressional people, their anti-Semitic talk, the other items that they have been saying.

And the leadership has been silent. And if they're silent, are they agreeing with this? In doing so, a reporter wrote about my press conference. And that's what Congresswoman Omar was responding to.

But she was saying people were supporting Israel based upon receiving money, which is false. I thought, again, it was anti-Semitic. And, finally, the Democratic leadership came out and said she should apologize.

But there's something much further they should do. Congresswoman Omar sits on Foreign Affairs. And we have watched what she's done through investigations, I mean, through questioning and others.


MCCARTHY: She should be removed from that committee.

When you watched what the Republican leadership had done when anybody in our side made some questionable comments and others, we removed them from committee.

So it's a little telling to us why they would not act. Now, we acted on the floor. We added an amendment to a bill to make sure that America stands with Israel, that we do not support this type of language anywhere in the world, because we have watched what has happened in history in the past, and we will not let it repeat itself.

BARTIROMO: Yes, I know that you relieved Steve King of all of his committee assignments after remarks that he made.

So, we will see if there's any movement here in terms of taking her off of Foreign Affairs.

Real quick on debt, you have been the majority leader and now minority leader for several years. But, over these years, a lot of people are questioning the Republicans' fiscal discipline. You are looking at $22 trillion in debt right now.

What's the plan to start weaning ourselves off of debt as interest rates move higher? And the interest payments alone are quite substantial.

MCCARTHY: This is the greatest threat to our country, Maria . And you're correct.

Now, when we were in the majority, and I had to hand that gavel back to Nancy Pelosi, and those eight years, what Congress has real, real control over is discretionary spending. When I handed the gavel back, in those eight years, discretionary spending was actually lower than when we were given it to her eight years ago.

It's the mandatory side that's a real challenge, with the movement of the entitlements, the growth when you came to Obamacare, a new entitlement. And now you look to the Democrats, this new Green Deal that would add $3 trillion.

This is a real concern, should be for all Americans. When we failed to actually reform and sustain what we need for the future of Social Security and others by reforming Obamacare, we lost by that one vote, but the House was able to pass that.

This is something that both sides should sit down and seriously take a look at, but not just look at, take action. And on the discretionary side, we have done well. On the mandatory side, we cannot sustain these programs for the future without taking some action now.

And that's something that we have been running on for the last 10 years.

BARTIROMO: Well, I don't -- I don't expect anything to do about this during an election year.

But, as the Committee for a Responsible Budget points out, you are talking about interest spending topping a trillion dollars, interest spending alone.

MCCARTHY: You need to do it now, in an election year. You have to be honest with the American people, just as we have been before we even took the majority.

We laid out that we would protect Medicare, we would protect Social Security, because if you do nothing, it cannot sustain itself into future generations. And we laid our budget out, where the Democrats attacked us, but the American people supported.

We were able to pass that. But what the viewers need to understand, for any reform to happen, it takes 60 votes in the Senate.


MCCARTHY: It was the Democrats who have denied the ability to have this chain. So the debt continues to grow.

That continues to harm future generations, future opportunity. It is the greatest threat we face today for the -- for the next century being ours.


MCCARTHY: That's why, yes, we should tackle it now, not wait until after the election.

BARTIROMO: We will be watching, Congressman.

It's good to see you this morning. Thanks so much, Congressman Kevin McCarthy there.