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Nevada GOP Caucus Tonight; Uber Facing Tough Questions After Michigan Shooting Spree; Survey Shows 51 Percent of Americans Say Apple

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MARIA BARTIROMO, FBN ANCHOR: (HEADLINE) On to the campaign trail we go; Nevada republican voters set to participate in caucuses tonight where Donald Trump holds the lead. Blake Burman in Washington with all the latest. Blake, good morning to you.

BLAKE BURMAN, FBN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Maria; good morning to you as well. Donald Trump going to the trifecta in Las Vegas later tonight, hoping to make it three states in a row. Republicans in Nevada are set to caucus and, while polling is stamped there it does suggest a big night could be in store for the man whose name graces part of the Vegas Strip.

The final hours of campaigning there took a bit of a turn for Ted Cruz. He accepted the resignation of his top spokesman, Rick Tyler, after Tyler retweeted a video which incorrectly interpreted Marco Rubio questioning the Bible. It comes, as you know, as Cruz has had to fend off daily acquisitions from both Trump and Rubio about running a dishonest campaign. Rubio later suggested that Tyler was merely the scapegoat here. Cruz did apologize for the tweet, but he also stood by his campaign.

For context here, 30 delegates will be up for grabs in Nevada tonight. That is the same amount as Iowa. Maria, back to you.

BARTIROMO: All right, Blake; thank you so much. Blake Burman with the latest in Vegas. I want to bring in Las Vegas Radio Host show, Heidi Harris, radio show host. Heidi, good to see you. Thanks for joining us.

HEIDI HARRIS, RADIO SHOW HOST, LAS VEGAS, NEVADA: Good morning.

BARTIROMO: What is your take on the election so far? How would you assess things?

HARRIS: Listen, I can't figure out this Trump thing for anything; I really can't. I'm a very solid conservative and I don't get it why some of my conservative friends are backing them, not that I don't like the guy; it's not that. It's just he is not a conservative and I don't understand why any conservative would back him. I know they are disgusted. I know they're tired of being lied to by politicians and they're tired of the establishment; I get that. But you still have to elect somebody who is actually going to be a good president and I just don't get it.

BARTIROMO: You know, it's interesting, David, because even when he's asked specific questions, he just doesn't go into specifics.

DAVID WEBB, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: No, he doesn't.

BARTIROMO: It feels like the people don't really care; they don't want to necessarily get the specifics.

WEBB: No; here's what he's doing: he is projecting strength.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

WEBB: We've had seven of weakness from Obama. We've had weak leadership from the Republicans. Boehner has been ousted. Cantor has been ousted. The "young guns" are broken up. People have looked at government and elected officials that have failed.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

WEBB: They haven't risen to the level of leadership. Trump comes into the vacuum. You leave a vacuum, which the republicans have done, and he projects strength. Whether you agree with him or disagree with him, he is projecting strength.

BARTIROMO: You're right. Dagen, you agree with that, right?

MCDOWELL: He is. Jerry Seib has a comment in "The Wall Street Journal" today talking about this, that these Trump supporters are less ideological. Connell McShane was down in South Carolina over the weekend and he said they don't talk about the issues at all. It's, like, he's strong, he's going to take charge. Certainly his supporters are more populist than the traditional Republican voters in recent years.

I will point out something very, very telling about Donald Trump and his ability to lure even more people on to his side, the fact that Rudy Giuliani has come out publicly and said -

BARTIROMO: I know.

MCDOWELL: -- I talked to Trump on the phone; it is a two-way street. I tell him what I think is overstepping.

BARTIROMO: What does that tell us about Trump?

MCDOWELL: I think that Trump, in the coming weeks, he is kind of tipped his hat to this. He's going to be revealing, slowly, people who he sees as great advisors, maybe people who will be part of a Trump cabinet, maybe people who will be part of a Trump White House.

BARTIROMO: Wow.

MCDOWELL: And I think Rudy Giuliani is a very interesting Republican but peop - he's certainly beloved, in terms of him being a mayor here in New York City.

BARTIROMO: Heidi, what do you think about that? Would you imagine a place for Giuliani in a Trump cabinet?

HARRIS: Listen, I think a Trump cabinet would be fascinating, wouldn't it; the people he would pick? At least they wouldn't be the same old, same old. Why not Rudy Giuliani, for heaven sakes?

The thing is, he's probably going to do very well in Nevada today because we love a good show. We're all about that in Vegas, and he's obviously got roots here, with the hotel here and that kind of thing. So the circus continues, you know. It's so unbelievable to me.

BARTIROMO: What is your take on the Ted Cruz story; firing a spokesperson for the false news story targeting Marco Rubio? Listen to this; I want to get your reaction.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TED CRUZ (R-TX) REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This morning I asked for Rick Tyler's resignation. I have made clear in this campaign that we will conduct this campaign with the very highest standards of integrity.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BARTIROMO: And, of course, the Trump campaign lashed out at Cruz calling him a liar. What are your thoughts?

HARRIS: Calling him a liar again. It was interesting, I was at a Ted Cruz rally yesterday, here in Las Vegas; it ended about 2:00 in the afternoon and there was no mention of that at all and this was breaking. They must've been doing this behind the scenes of the morning. They didn't mention it. I think they did the right thing. I think that ultimately when you are running for office you can't control everything that goes on, you simply can't. When something bad happens like that, heads have to roll. I think he did the right thing in firing his campaign manager.

WEBB: You know if you look at this, Heidi, in context, you've got Trump, there have been retweets of things. Nobody has been fired.

Look, I have known Rick Tyler a long time. I've known him over the years. Solid guy, worked for a lot of different people; done a great job. He retweets something. I don't know what happened there. I don't know what happened in the background with the Cruz campaign. I don't think any of us can claim that, but it's odd to fire somebody over a retweet when he's actually one of - I would put him in one of the top-ranked guys out there for running in campaigns.

Cruz has faced his challenges; the dirty trick in Iowa, the fact he is being looked at by the Iowa Secretary of State for the letter, the mailer that was sent out, the voter violation because it mimics an official document. So he's got to do something right now to restart on the honesty and the liar, whether it's true or false or whatever, the liar attack from Donald Trump, and to some degree Rubio, has been affecting his campaign.

BARTIROMO: Can he do it?

HARRIS: I think that's true. That's true.

BARTIROMO: What do you think; can he do it, Heidi?

HARRIS: I think that he's going to have to keep fighting that, but I think getting rid of Rick Tyler -- Senator Cruz said nice things about him, but ultimately it may not always be directly your fault when things happen, although it looks like it was in the case of Rick Tyler -

WEBB: And it's got to shake out.

HARRIS: -- and ultimately you've to make these decisions but he's going to have to shake this off, and to David's point, this has stuck with him for a very long time and Trump continues to repeat it: liar, liar, liar and it sticks.

Tony Dwyer, any impact to market so far? I mean, I feels like the uncertainty is just part of an overall uncertainty that these markets are facing. But do you think this is part of it?

TONY DWYER, U.S. PORTFOLIO STRATEGIST, CANACCORD GENUITY: It's a real dampening effect. When people look around at the choices and the uncertainty, as Dagen said, you are not sure what Trump's policies actually are. So how can you possibly make an investment opinion of how you act if he's president without knowledge, other than building a wall, of his policies?

BARTIROMO: Right.

DWYER: Then you take the other side of the trade, with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, and you're just scared to move on top of China and all the other headwinds we face, Maria. It's really -- I don't want to say it's a negative effect, but it's a dampening effect on enthusiasm in a market that's already been (inaudible).

MCDOWELL: I just want to add something, the fact that - Rick gets fired by the Cruz campaign, it shows that none of these other politicians can compete with Donald Trump, in terms of his communication, in terms of the way he uses social media. They foul up and somebody gets fired. Trump fouls up and he goes I don't care. It's a retweet. I didn't say - and people go, okay.

WEBB: That's his brash, bombastic approach that says I won't put up with what you want to throw at me. I agree with you.

[Cross Talk]

DWYER: It's actually entertaining. We're sitting here laughing on the set. Remember we - I was on the show one time and we did - you gave a Trump thing our name on the internet and it spit out some kind of offensive - like, you put in my name, somebody else's name --

MCDOWELL: It was like the insult generator, the Trump insult generator.

BARTIROMO: Right. Right. Oh, my god. All right, well, Heidi, we'll keep watching. It was great, your insight; thanks so much.

HARRIS: Thank you.

BARTIROMO: We'll be listening, Heidi Harris Show. Don't forget to tune in for our special coverage of the Nevada Republican Caucus. It all begins tonight at 11:00 p.m. Eastern, right here, live, on the FOX Business Network.

Before we had to break let's check the Markets here. Futures edging lower this morning with the Dow Jones Industrial Average looking to give back to 220-point gain yesterday. Investors waiting on fresh readings on the housing market, consumer confidence, plus, we're watching a slew of earnings reports out this morning including and Macy's and Toll Brothers. Home Depot just reported fourth-quarter results moments ago. Strong sales have the stock up on the numbers. Home Depot just out a few minutes ago.

Of course then there is crude, hovered around $31.00 a barrel. Just recently you're seeing crude stabilize a bit. Tony Dwyer, is that the key to see in stock prices elevated; it's all about oil?

DWYER: Maria it really is because it's what stabilizes the credit market. The biggest fear now is that so much of the high-yield bond market has been dominated by energy and that total dislocation, even over the last two months, has created this perception that you're not going to be able to raise any capital in the credit markets. That fear has driven stock. I think it's inappropriate and you probably should get a bottom in oil here, although it's not going to spike, it is just going to bottom.

BARTIROMO: All right, we'll keep watching that. We'll take a short break and then Uber facing some tough questions this morning about safety after the suspect of the fatal shootings in Kalamazoo, Michigan pleads guilty to six counts of murder. We will have the details; and, a new study finding that more Americans are siding with the FBI when it comes to unlocking the San Bernardino iPhone; so is Bill Gates. We're going to bring you his comments. We've got the latest on the escalating privacy versus national security data battle. Keep it right here on the Fox Business Network; we will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Welcome back. The West taking bold steps to bring peace to Syria. Cheryl Casone with that story and the headlines now; Cheryl, good morning to you.

CHERYL CASONE, FBN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Maria. (HEADLINES) Finally, we've been following this story for you. Uber is admitting it received at least one complaint about Kalamazoo shooter Jason Dalton just hours before his rampage began killing six and injuring two more. Uber says it was not able to contact Dalton after receiving the complaint mainly because it was about erratic driving, not physical violence. Now, Uber says it coordinate three million rides a day and prioritizing feedback presents "certain challenges."

He was arraigned in court yesterday, Maria. He admitted to the killing. Uber did a late afternoon conference call yesterday, Maria, and they defended the practice. Look, you go on the app. You submit photos of your driver's license, of your insurance. You're an Uber driver within 24 hours, if you want to be. They said that they have no plans to change how they screen drivers in light of this incident.

BARTIROMO: I think that's the issue though. Aren't they going to have to make some kind of changes to the background checks? I know we haven't seen murders like this before, but there have been other issues where the behavior has been horrible.

WEBB: Yes; no, there have been other issues and Uber needs to -- they paid a settlement out a couple weeks ago, $20 million for the process. They need to fix that; but on the other side, I don't want to take this as a chance to go out and kill Uber. They provide a good service. I use this service. I like the fact that I know the driver coming to get me. It works for people. I've used it, literally, all over the world --

BARTIROMO: But you don't always know the driver.

WEBB: Yes, I get the driver information, the picture of the driver, the car, the license plate. I've used it in France; I've used it in England; I've used it all over. On the other side of this, who is going to take advantage of this? The people who sponsor the Medallions and finance the cabs.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

WEBB: Their industry is going to push the message go after Uber, try and bring Uber down because it's been a challenge to overprice, over-valued Medallions in New York and other cities.

CASONE: They've been doing that for a while, David. It really has not swayed Uber's business. But this was an Uber driver that killed six people. That's a little bit different than taxi companies going after Uber.

WEBB: Right, but what I don't want to do is make it just Uber. Look, he drove for Uber. It's like saying he worked for J&J or he worked for Dunkin' Donuts. So they called Dunkin' Donuts, no offense Dunkin' Donuts; don't take me the wrong way but we've attached a name to it. But I don't want that to necessarily reflect on the company. But the policies, they need to do something about them.

[Cross Talk]

BARTIROMO: -- some kind of liability. I mean, you have to -- why do you trust the driver; because you trust Uber.

WEBB: Right.

BARTIROMO: So, I mean, there has to be something that you trust and that's why you're hiring Uber. I don't think you could do divorce Uber from this -

DWYER: It's the user --

MCDOWELL: We talked about this yesterday, that even an intense background check is not going to uncover, say, mental illness -

WEBB: Right.

MCDOWELL: -- a psychopath, unless there has been some part in the courts where someone was sent to a mental-health facility because they've acted out in the past.

WEBB: Right.

MCDOWELL: We've seen this time and again is that mental health is a big issue.

CASONE: It didn't stop that German Wings pilot from taking that plane down in France. He decided to commit suicide and he's going to take an entire aircraft with him. Pilots are some of the most scrutinized jobs.

DWYER: This has become an Uber story instead of a tragic story that -- of the guy that went nuts and started killing people.

BARTIROMO: Right, and that is wrong.

DWYER: That's wrong; it's about the guy. It's not the company. He happened to work for the company.

MCDOWELL: Some people are talking about the need for panic buttons in the cars. I said, well that's called 9-1-1. It's called dialing 9-1-1.

DWYER: That's right.

MCDOWELL: That's your panic button, if you're in America.

BARTIROMO: Yes; all right, we'll take a short break. Cheryl, thank you.

Still to come, Bill Gates weighs in to the Apple encryption controversy but doesn't show any love for his Silicon Valley peers, this as victims of the San Bernardino attack are stepping up their fight against Apple. Here is their attorney telling me on the program yesterday why they might have a case.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHEN LARSON, ATTORNEY, SAN BERNARDINO VICTIM: In this particular case, there's no question in my mind that the government is warranted in seeking the relief from Apple.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BARTIROMO: Welcome back; new developments in the Government's dispute with Apple. Pew Research Survey finding 51-percent of Americans say Apple should assist the FBI in its efforts to unlock that iPhone used by San Bernardino attacker Syed Farook. This as Apple suggests the government form a commission to look at the problems posed by encryption. Apple is reportedly involved in other court fights beyond San Bernardino. The Justice Department seeking data from a dozen other iPhone's in disputes similar to this one. Protests are planned across the country today in support of Apple's refusal to hack the gunman's iPhone.

In an interview with "The Financial Times," Microsoft cofounder, Bill Gates, weighs in says he is backing the FBI's request to get into the phone. He's talking about national security and saying, look, this is something that needs to be done. I mean, we keep having this discussion and the idea of civil liberties getting impacted versus the company helping the government with national security issues is a real important and sort of at a crossroads. How do you see it?

WEBB: We have these people that call themselves elected officials in Washington who are our representatives. They need to be brought into this picture because what we have is technology has advanced to the point where legislative policy doesn't keep up with technology. The certificate policy, the security policy of these phones, that's part of the problem. We need them to match; they will never be perfect.

I don't want to give up civil liberties, but we also recognize security. Without security you don't have a life; or a country. So you have to find a balance. Also, there is a way to do this, technologically speaking. They can compartmentalize this phone; they can redo the court order. I've read through the order. They can narrow it so Apple does this insulated within Apple and then destroys the code that they've written. Of course the people, you can't destroy what's in their head, who create this. But you can even compartmentalize that, kind of like how you had a missile launch. If you think about it, you have two keys that need to be used in the military. You can do the same kind of approach in dealing with breaking into this phone.

Also, phone owned by the county, that brings another aspect into it. It is the property of the county.

MCDOWELL: What is interesting about this Pew Survey is it breaks down even, there is almost an identical share of Republican versus Democrats who are in favor of opening this iPhone.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

MCDOWELL: 56-percent of Republicans, 55-percent of Democrats, and it's very interesting there. Tim Cook's losing the PR battle here and I think that that was why he came out publicly last week in the first place because he was trying to sway people. I would say this, if we're all such libertarians, Rand Paul would be the republican nominee for the White House.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

WEBB: Yes.

DWYER: It seems insane to me that you have a terrorist phone that did this and you're not going to try to access the communication that that person had? It violates commonsense to me. If you can isolate the phone it just - it makes no sense to me.

WEBB: The technology of accessing though, when you look at 20 - the encryption, the government can't do it. The numbers can't do it.

DWYER: Of course.

WEBB: 10 tries to get it done. Look, I'm not -- I want our liberties protected. I absolutely do, but there's got to be a way to get this done without compromising that because that's a bigger picture than one phone. Plus, what's in it may be perishable.

MCDOWELL: Just to add one thing to Bill Gates coming out and saying Apple should cooperate, essentially. The CEO of AT&T has said the same thing, has disagreed with Apple and said -

BARTIROMO: Randall Stephenson?

MCDOWELL: Yes; that he understands "Tim Cook's decision, but I don't think it's his decision to make. It's an issue decided by the American people in Congress, not by companies." But, see, the Telecom companies, there are already regulations in place, laws that require companies to design their equipment to ensure that they can comply with court orders.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

WEBB: Right.

MCDOWELL: And these smartphone makers have design equipment so they don't have to comply with court order.

DWYER: Wow!

MCDOWELL: Telecom is not going to be in the bag with these companies.

BARTIROMO: Well, listen, the letter that Tim Cook wrote and said if the company's engineers were ordered, Apple would do the best to protect the technology, but, Cook says, it would be relentlessly attacked by hackers and cybercriminals allowing bad guys to get into their phone easily and get all of the data in the phone. Look, I don't know. When it comes -- if it were just this one phone, it would be really easy.

WEBB: So here's another say to the business end, we talked about this before the show. What about other countries now demand? What if China says we want to get into the phone? If you are a shareholder and you're buying that stock, do you trust that company? What about the board sitting? Now, there is a business angle to this, which is the future of Apple. So it's civil liberties, security, the business of the company. What are they, 85-percent of the operating systems out there in this part of the industry?

BARTIROMO: Yes.

WEBB: Apple has got some serious concerns. I do say this though, that what I think is a starting point here is to have both Apple's attorneys and experts in with the FBI and their experts, in front of a judge, let's have representation; let's flesh this out.

MCDOWELL: That's what's going on David and they're both at war with each other. I mean, here they've gone in front of a judge --

WEBB: At least that is being done in the court where it belongs, first and then --

MCDOWELL: This isn't the first time. It's been happening time and again, even here in Manhattan, over drug cases.

WEBB: Right.

BARTIROMO: 175 phones that New York has right now, 175 phones, that they can't unlock and they want more information from those 175 phones about drug arrests, about criminal activity. So, we are going to talk with the former New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelley. He's going to join us with his this take on the escalating battle between Apple and the government, coming up in the program. So you'll want to stay with us for that; 8:00 a.m. Eastern. Apple has until Friday to respond to the court order. take a short break.

Take a short break and then despite topping expectations, weak guidance sends Fit Bit shares crashing in the free market. Look at where that stock is about to open. 13.83 to 13.95 after closing at 16.52.

Then, think airplane seats already too close for comfort? They could get a lot closer. Get ready to cuddle; we'll take you on an airplane adventure next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BARTIROMO: I'm Maria Bartiromo. It's Tuesday, February 23rd. Your top stories at 6:30 a.m. on the east coast.

Voters in Nevada heading to the turning to the Republican caucuses today. Things are heating up on the campaign trail. Donald Trump looking for his third straight victory and he is fighting off criticisms over his record.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will say this, I think that I have very much evolved, but if you look at my real conservative credentials then I don't think the word is that important. You know, they say he is not a true conservative.

I know Jeb and others were saying he is not a true conservative. Because you know -- and that's when I came up -- about two weeks ago, I said I'm a common sense conservative.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BARTIROMO: Meanwhile, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz battle it out to be alternative to Trump. Ted Cruz now looking to recover after firing his campaign manager yesterday over a social media post.

To the latest in the heated dispute between Apple and the government, Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates, weighs in, backing the FBI's request to get into the phone used by one of the San Bernardino terrorist. In an interview with "The Financial Times," Bill Gates says this case would not set a legal precedent.

The Pentagon finally expected to unveil its plan to close Guantanamo Bay prison and transfer any remaining detainees to facilities inside the United States. Thirteen different locations including ones in Colorado, South Carolina, and Kansas, reportedly all under consideration for the relocation.

Turning to markets, we are looking at a pullback this morning from yesterday's big rally. Futures indicating a fractional loss at the opening of trading. This is well off of the lows of the day so we are looking at buying interest coming in. Dow Industrials now expected to open down by 13 points.

Later this morning, we will get reads on home prices, existing home sales, and consumer confidence. Consumer confidence typically a market mover.

Home Depot will be a stock to watch this morning. The retailer reported better than expected fourth quarter results earlier in the hour. The company's full year guidance in line with expectations. Home Depot also raised its dividend. The stock jumping in the pre-market.

Oil prices also a factor today, down. Phil Flynn is at the CME Group with what's driving the move to the downside on oil. Phil, good morning to you.

PHIL FLYNN, PRICE FUTURES GROUP: Good morning, Maria. I'll tell you it's been kind of a wild day today, but we are seeing more signs of capitulation in the shale space today. Three of the biggest shale producers in the world just announced more capital spending cuts.

And that really coincides with the International Energy Agency's prediction that we are going to see major drop in U.S. shale production. The big question is, is OPEC going to go in and fill that void?

We are going to find out later today. Ali (inaudible), the Saudi Arabian oil minister is expected to speak later today and oil traders are going to be focusing on this because they want to get a sense of how serious he is about agreeing to a production freeze.

So that could be a major move today. We also have oil inventories later today from the API. Markets are going to be focused on that as well. Back to you.

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