Obama defends decision to release Taliban leaders from Gitmo

Published Tuesday, June 03, 2014 / The Five
With Eric Bolling , Bob Beckel , Andrea Tantaros , Dana Perino , Greg Gutfeld

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," June 3, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: This is a Fox News alert. The story surrounding the president's deal with the Taliban is huge, Benghazi huge. They say where there's smoke, there's fire.

I got to tell you, there's a ton of smoke here just like why are so many of Bergdahl's fellow military calling humidity a deserter or a traitor? We're going to be on that in a minute.

And did Susan Rice really mean to say Bergdahl served with honor and distinction, or were those just talking points someone told her to deliver? We'll be on that one in a minute, as well.

But, first, this outrageous comment delivered by President Obama from Poland this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Is there a possible of some of them trying to return to activity that's detrimental to us? Absolutely. That's been true of all the prisoners that were released from Guantanamo. There's a certain recidivism rate that takes place.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: So, let me get this straight, the commander-in-chief cut a deal with the Taliban that sent five high-level dangerous Islamists back to the enemy in exchange for one guy who may have deserted, may have collaborated with the enemy or both. And look at what appears to be the euphoric arrival of the Gitmo detainees, let's call them the Obama five in Qatar, by a video released by pro-Taliban Web site.

Matt Drudge asked perhaps the best question today -- did Obama save a rat, Bob?

BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: The answer is we don't know that. That's what I said yesterday.

Now, I'll tell you what I would not have done. He's now in a hospital. I'm sure they're questioning him. I'm still curious as to why he has not been -- if he, in fact, broke the law, why he hasn't been indicted?

But more than that, though, I think the mistake the Obama people made right off the top was he shouldn't spike the ball in the Rose Garden. That's the problem. I mean, you went around this with the families, the mother and father, and so, he took this victory lap when, obviously, the information about this guy was not complete. And that's where I think the mistake was.

BOLLING: Why did they do that? They -- did they just miscalculate that every single -- so far, every single one of his teammates in the military would say the guy's probably a traitor or deserter at the very least?

BECKEL: Well, I mean, I don't know -- I can't tell you why they thought that was a good idea to do it. I can't believe that they didn't know some of this. But, you know, I'm not going to defend it beyond saying that I don't think they should spike the ball.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: I'll tell you why, because they're stupid. They're stupid. OK, you have the ATF, the DOJ, the IRS, the NSA, the V.A., now a POW, we're going to have to need a new alphabet to keep up with Obama's scandals.

The White House, the reason they did the Rose Garden thing -- according to Chuck Todd, they expected euphoria over this release. That's like expecting to get drunk off milk. In order for this to work for them, for Obama's logic to work, you got to play down the evil of the five Taliban while playing up the goodness of the POW. Meaning, you have to lie or, in Obama's case, breathe.

ANDREA TANTAROS, CO-HOST: Uh-huh.

BOLLING: So, Dana, just before -- now, we look back, and we look back, you know, the timeline. In 2012, Hastings -- first name?

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: Michael.

BOLLING: Michael Hastings wrote that piece and he outlined a letter that some of his teammates, some of the teammates, received or saw right before Bergdahl walked away. And it said, he may be denouncing --

PERINO: Allegedly walked away, right?

BOLLING: OK, allegedly walked away.

PERINO: Right.

BOLLING: He may be denouncing America. He may have even looked at possibly joining the Taliban. Is that --

PERINO: So, I don't think it's unreasonable for everyone to be questioning this when the only information that we actually have are from eyewitness who were there at the time, who happened to be soldiers who were serving with honor and distinction. Perhaps, we're going to get to Susan Rice's comment in a moment suggesting without qualification, maybe it's totally true. Maybe we'll find at the end of the process that there was no questions.

Look, I understand serving in wartime is a complex thing. I think there's four basic issues, and I'm not going to give explanations, I'm just going to list them. One is how the White House handled this in the Rose Garden ceremony when they could have just done a photo release of the president calling the family and saved the Rose Garden family for after all the questions were answered and he comes back to the United States.

Although I do think there is some praise deserved here for the government, and it goes to the Army. The care and feeding of the family, the Bergdahl family, and his community, and now him actually being rescued. I think that has been very good and they deserve high praise.

The third question is the circumstances under which he went missing or ended up in the Taliban hands in the first place. We have to answer to that.

But the fourth thing that because we don't have answers, we don't quite understand yet from President Obama is, so, what precisely are the assurances that made him think that it was worth the risk to have one soldier return -- and I'm for him coming back -- but was it worth the risk for the possibility of the additional terror attacks that these guys could commit?

BOLLING: Can I do this, Ands? Can I hold you just for this sound bite? I know you want to weigh in, but this is important, because Dana brings up something very important.

Take a listen to President Obama, if you listen to that question and answer he did this morning in Poland. A little bit later on, he said something very important. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: In terms of potential threats, the release of the Taliban who are being held in Guantanamo was conditioned on the Qataris keeping eyes on them, and creating a structure in which we can monitor their activities. We will be keeping eyes them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: Reuters reported within hours from a high source -- high- level source, that's simply not the case. I'm quoting right here, "They can move around freely within the country," says a senior Gulf official. "No U.S. officials will be involved in monitoring their movement while in the country."

Andrea, what's going on here? The president says something, within Reuters reports the exact opposite is exactly going on.

TANTAROS: Yes, and I actually agree with Bob who made this point yesterday. It's not exactly the same thing negotiating with the Taliban and negotiating with Saudi Arabia or Qatar. But Bob makes a good point when he says there's a very fine line between them.

So, it's not surprising that when they go to Qatar, they're not going to be jailed and imprisoned, and probably will get back to Afghanistan quicker than we thought. I do want to weigh in on the White House decision to do this.

In that same Michael Hastings "Rolling Stone" piece, it talks about how the president wanted to do this prisoner release in an election year. And Richard Holbrook's replacement warned that is not going to look very good. And so, they decided to do it. Now and I think the biggest issue is because the president is having a fire sale in Afghanistan, right? I heard a Fox News contributor, who's a Democrat, earlier say, look, the president declared an end to this war, we would have had to release them anyway.

That's going to be the new talking point here, because what is paramount to this administration is politics. Politics, they thought that they could in an election year release these prisoners and get the fanfare. They thought this weekend, they could get the same fanfare. They knew about the reports that he was a deserter, they didn't care. They thought the media was going to cover for them on this issue, like they have for the many other scandals, and they didn't consider the blowback of the reports.

But they actually have tried to seal these reports? Why do they have the soldiers signing nondisclosure agreements? Why have they tried to, as Hastings reported, suppress these reports?

Why? Because what matters most is in an election year, rallying the base, and the one thanks matters the base the most is he hasn't made good on his first presidential promise, which was closing Gitmo. Now, that he's got 149 prisoners remaining, he can transfer them to neutral countries and he can say, "I closed it."

BECKEL: Listen, can we keep something in mind here -- there have been prisoners released from Guantanamo within months of the time it's opened.

TANTAROS: But why these five, Bob?

BECKEL: And the last administration released a whole lot of them. The Obama administration released a whole lot of them. They sent them back where they could to the countries of origin. They weren't in exchange. But nonetheless --

TANTAROS: But why these five? If he gets rid of the most dangerous, then he can transfer the rest that aren't as dangerous --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: These are high level guys, Bob.

BECKEL: The other thing is, you said your source in the gulf. I mean, you --

BOLLING: Not my source, not my source. No, this is Reuters' source. This is Reuters' source, a high level Gulf official.

BECKEL: I don't care -- I don't give a damn whose source it is. If they're saying, they're contradicting the president of the United States and they won't go on the record and say it --

BOLLING: All right. High-level guys, not low-level operatives. These are deputy intel minister, communications minister of the Taliban.

Bob, let me -- we'll -- answer this, though. Some reports, some accounts say six people died trying to bring Sergeant Bergdahl back. Some accounts say 14 people died trying to bring him back. Some accounts say we don't know how many because how many people died capturing these five that we let go.

Was this worth it? Did the Obama administration make a mistake doing this now?

BECKEL: Well, I mean, I don't -- listen, there is a standard policy that you go after your own when they're out in the field, if you're -- if they're held prisoner. Now, could there have been a better way to do it? Could they have wait a while and done it one strike? Maybe that's right. But it was the military made the decision to send them after this guy. So, you can't sit back here and quarterback it on Monday and say it was a bad decision.

BOLLING: Dana, what about -- once they found out some of the things, they were learning more intel about Bergdahl as time went. Remember, he was -- he walked in '09 --

PERINO: I'm for getting him back. I'm for getting him back for the health and safety of him, as well as finding out what happened and finding out what he said or if he didn't leave, what happened this. Because it's -- one, it's our system, in terms of transparency. It's also just human. We deserve some answers on this.

And the five that they're talking about that got released, this is not like going on parole for a bank fraud violation. OK? These were serious criminals.

And you're right, Bob, in 2007, there was one in particular, Mullah Abdul Qayyum Zakir, who is actually aka Rasoul, he leaves Gitmo under assurances similar, goes back, and he ends up perpetrating some of the worst atrocities afterwards.

President Obama maintains that he's going to have explained this. He maintains that closing Gitmo will make us safer. I actually -- I don't understand where the connection is that he feels so reassured. And if he is so reassured, could he share it with us so we don't worry, as well?

BECKEL: You know, you all are saying that Bush gets a lot of heat from the press, why is it that he didn't get heat for that release, and yet Obama --

PERINO: He did.

BECKEL: He did?

PERINO: Well, first of all, the difference is, there's -- Bob, there's so many differences, how do I begin? He didn't trade anybody for those guys. He didn't trade a prisoner of war for -- they're like lower level people that were caught up in the -- in the battlefield.

If I could say also, President Obama has declared an end to the war in Afghanistan. He has not declared an end to the war on terror, as much as he would like to. Most of the people that are in Gitmo, maybe they were picked up in Afghanistan, but they've been picked up all over the world. They're terrorists, enemy combatants. They're not prisoners of war. That's a difference.

BOLLING: Do we try this guy now?

GUTFELD: I think you have to. I think -- when you listen to the people who know him, there's something fishy there. Going back to Obama's foreign philosophy which was, don't do stupid stuff, he just admits he released killers who will kill again. This is interesting because it reminds you who President Obama is, which is why a lot of people like him.

He's a cold calculator. He makes Mr. Spock seem like Stewart Smalley. He did this knowing that there is going to be blowback and people will die. It's no wonder that every city with a liberal mayor has such high crime rates. They don't understand evil. They don't understand evil.

BECKEL: Greg, before Obama, hundreds were released from Guantanamo. They were all terrorists.

BOLLING: Not necessarily, you know, these high-level operatives. I mean, these are bad, bad guys, that will probably go back. But --

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: The last 185 or the last 220 are the hardest ones to try to figure out --

BOLLING: Under Obama's own definition, these were the hardest --

PERINO: And in January, 2009, there was an attempt to see if there was a big chunk of them could be sent back to Yemen. That -- thankfully it didn't happen because that would have turned out to be a disaster.

GUTFELD: It's raining Yemen.

BOLLING: Let me do this. President Obama is also in some hot water over ignoring a law requiring he give Congress 30 days' notice before moving a Gitmo detainee. This morning, President O said he had been consulting with Congress all along, a claim that is news to House Intelligence Chair Mike Rogers. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We have consulted with Congress for quite some time about the possibility that we might need to execute a prisoner exchange in order to recover Bergdahl.

REP. MIKE ROGERS, R-MICH., HOUSE INTELLIGENCE CHAIR: I don't know what he means for some time. In 2011, they did come up and present a plan that included a prisoner transfer --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.

ROGERS: -- that was -- in a bipartisan way -- pushback. We hadn't heard anything since on any details --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nothing since 2011?

ROGERS: Nothing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BECKEL: That was the point. He said they went up (ph) and briefed him.

PERINO: Bob, as a former presidential legislative affairs director, do you think that actually will cut it?

BECKEL: We used to cut -- that was the little we can tell them as possible, the way we got around it.

TANTAROS: That's what he's doing. He knows.

BOLLING: He chairs the House Intelligence Committee and he clearly just -- he used to write --

(CROSSTALK)

TANTAROS: Bob, he knows that he has to give 30 days notice. He signed that law. And he's flouted so many other laws up to this point, and he's been able it get away with it, why would he care?

To Dana's point about how he specifically declared the war on Afghanistan over, he actually has gone out of his way to say that we're not ad war with radical Islam. So, it's not surprising that the president doesn't understand that these prisoners are going to go back, one and three, go back and fight in jihad. And all of this has to do with re- election -- I call it box-checking, to rally the base. I mean, he's just going to the list right now, climate change policies, closing Gitmo, let's see what we can get done.

BECKEL: This doesn't exactly rally the base. I mean --

TANTAROS: Oh, it does -- in a very big way, it does.

PERINO: I think it's backfiring. I think a lot of Democrats are distancing, including the Senate intel chairman -- chairwoman, Dianne Feinstein, who said it wasn't good enough for the White House to apologize today.

But it's hard to say. I mean, there is compassion that needs to be considered for the family and for whatever he went through at the time.

GUTFELD: Yes. You never know what could happen if you're in the situation.

But here's how it's going to work. I believe in the next week, the White House undertook something for purely political reasons as the "Rolling Stone" article dictates. If you call him on it, it's you who will be regarded as political. Personally, if you criticize this trade, you're probably going to be racist, Islamic-phobic, and beardist, you may hate beards.

BECKEL: What would you have done? I have two questions for both of you --

GUTFELD: I wouldn't have traded five scumbags --

BECKEL: Leaving that aside. So, you'd let him stay there, right? And then you don't --

GUTFELD: No, I didn't say this. I did not say that.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: You know what, Bob? I think there's an argument to be made that if in fact he did desert --

BECKEL: If, in fact, he did desert.

BOLLING: Well, I mean, if he left a letter saying I'm leaving, denouncing my American citizenship, I have, you know, I have sympathies for some of the things the Taliban is doing -- which allegedly is going on. I mean, I think then you reconsider giving up five guys that possibly a lot of people died --

BECKEL: Those letters were there and available to the military.

PERINO: Well, and that's why it's interesting that, all of a sudden, there is acceptance among the intel community because as early as 2013, the intel community, James Clapper, and then Leon Panetta at the time, was asked, are you comfortable with these five? Because President Obama's been working on this since the Michael Hastings article ran.

BOLLING: Right.

PERINO: They all said absolutely not, because we're too worried about what these five will do if they return to the battlefield.

BOLLING: And, by the way --

PERINO: All of a sudden, that gets solved and they don't tell Congress? There are legitimate questions that have been raised.

TANTAROS: Also, Hillary Clinton was against it, as well --

PERINO: That's true.

TANTAROS: -- because she didn't want to be viewed as someone who's cutting and running. So, it seems like both sides, both parties are divided on this. Him staying there and being held captive is something that if you're in favor of the war, you probably prefer him coming home -- this is where liberals and some on the right agree with ending the war -- you will support.

BOLLING: All right. We're going to have to leave it there. They're yelling in my ear.

We're going to hear a lot more, including from several U.S. soldiers who served with Bergdahl at the time he disappeared. All of them ascribe him as a deserter who should be held accountable for his actions.

You'll also hear from the parents of one soldier who died while searching for him and now the Obama administration of lying to them.

It's all coming right up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TANTAROS: There are a lot of mixed reactions about freed American soldier, Bowe Bergdahl, who may have voluntarily left his unit five years ago in Afghanistan.

But troops who served alongside him seem to be united in their feelings about him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, he's at best a deserter and at worst a traitor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The general feeling was that he deserted us and walked off and left us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is not a hero, but he is rather a deserter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He violated his oath when he deserted us and put other Americans in jeopardy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He should be tried as a deserter and court- martialed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just want him to face the consequences of his own actions and possibly face court-martial for desertion.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

TANTAROS: At least six U.S. soldiers are believed to have lost their lives while searching for Bergdahl.

The parents of one of them appeared on "Fox & Friends" this morning and called out the administration for allegedly lying to them about it. They say they were told their son was on a different mission when he was killed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDY ANDREWS, SON KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN: I found out through Facebook of all places that he was killed while they were on a mission looking for Bergdahl.

STEVE DOOCY, CO-HOST: Was the government lying to you?

SONDRA ANDREWS, SON KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN: Well, they certainly weren't telling the truth. You know, I'm sure part of the mission may have had an actual search involved, but evidently the focus was looking for Bergdahl.

DOOCY: Do you feel like there's been a cover-up?

SONDRA ANDREWS: Yes.

ANDY ANDREWS: I think there was a cover-up. We were told by another soldier that was there that they were told not to talk about searching for Bergdahl because they didn't want to compromise Bergdahl's situation with the Taliban.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TANTAROS: So, Greg, obviously, heartbreaking stuff to hear the families of these soldiers that risked their lives but stayed true to the mission, leave no man behind, they tried to pursue him.

The Washington Times, though, Greg, is reporting that Special Forces did locate him, but they wouldn't risk rescue because he was a deserter.

GUTFELD: Right.

TANTAROS: So, it sounds like the military did suspect that he was and followed protocol.

GUTFELD: Yes. I mean, I never was comfortable with calling him that, but everybody involved in this seems to believe it's the case. These guys are going to make it really hard for Oliver Stone to make a wonderful movie about this guy. It's kind of weird that as we approach the 70th anniversary for D-Day, we're on a different D and it's desertion. And for that, the White House gets an F.

TANTAROS: Dana, does it matter -- you know, part of me is a little bit uncomfortable with the media firing squad against a member of the military. I've never served in the military. It seems like we've heard that he's a hero. Then, all of a sudden, people are lining up to give him his last cigarette and shoot him. We don't really know so there need to be questions answered.

But is it helpful to hear the stories that he was a deserter? Is it helpful to hear the public weigh in?

PERINO: I find that the troops that served with him that are doing now interviews because they are allowed after the NDAs expire, once he is rescued, I find them to be very measured, steady, calm, and they trained under the same codes that Bergdahl served under. And they have eyewitness accounts that question it.

So, yes, I think it's helpful for us to be able to learn the truth. The truth is what we're -- I think everybody is after it. I think these guys are not uncompassionate, but they also realize that the anguish of the Bergdahl family waiting for their loved one is -- has to be at least matched by the anguish of the families who lost their loved ones in the search for him. So, they deserve some answers.

TANTAROS: Bob, I want you to react to the sound.

A former sergeant, Evan Buetow was on with Jake tapper. He believes that he -- that Bergdahl was collaborating with the Taliban. He says that he has no proof of this, but obviously this changes things a lot, as well. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SGT. EVAN BUETOW, BERGDAHL'S FMR TEAM LEADER: He was looking for someone who spoke English so he could talk to the Taliban. When we heard that, it told us, OK, he's actively seeking out the Taliban.

Following his disappearance, IEDs started going off directly under the trucks. They're getting perfect hits every time. Their ambushes were very calculated, very methodical, like they knew what we were going to do.

Obviously, there's no way to prove that Bergdahl was feeding them that information, at least I can not do that. He knew our tactics. He knew exactly how we'd react to certain things.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TANTAROS: Bob, even simple desertion is a capital crime in the U.S. military. If they investigate and it shows that he is basically a traitor, what needs to happen?

BECKEL: Well, I mean, look, these guys may have been -- not been allowed to talk to the media until he was released, but they certainly could have talked to the military commanders. And if they're so convinced this guy was a deserter, one after another says he's a deserter, this guy leaves the impression that he actually not only deserted but set up people, U.S. military people, to get killed which is an unbelievably accusation --

PERINO: After leaving. After leaving, Bob, not before.

BECKEL: OK. But if all this is what they thought, why they didn't - - maybe did report it to the military. If they did, then why would you go after it in the first place? That's what I don't understand.

BOLLING: If that's -- why do we just -- why do we know this? Why is this still classified --

BECKEL: Ask the Department of Defense. Don't ask me.

BOLLING: No. But so, either -- is President Obama and the administration going to let this thing continue to fester and blow up? Really this is -- the Democrats can't be happy this is going on right now.

BECKEL: I think Obama --

BOLLING: So, is he going to let this continue or is he going to declassify what they really know so we know what they know?

BECKEL: He needs to haul over to the joint chiefs of staff and ask him exactly what they knew and when they knew it.

BOLLING: Bob --

PERINO: I can't imagine that they didn't do it before.

TANTAROS: Why would they have signed them non-disparagement agreement? That is so unprecedented to have these soldiers sworn to secrecy and to have soldiers actually break their secrecy on national television.

BOLLING: This is another where Obama is going to say, I found out about it. I saw it on TV, I saw it on Fox --

BECKEL: The suggestion here is that if the military knew of these allegations and were convinced this guy was a deserter and maybe in collusion with the Taliban, then that means that Obama had to know about it. And if Obama had to know about it, to have that Rose Garden ceremony, he's not a stupid man. He's not a stupid politician.

Do you think -- if he knew all this stuff, do you think he'd go out with the family and do that?

GUTFELD: He's not -- maybe he's not a stupid man. But he's not a great leader. He's a grad student. And grad students hold certain academic beliefs that lead to these conclusions. That this is all going to be great and we're going to have a lovely picture, with him walking away with the parents.

Meanwhile, there are all these unanswered questions that should have been answered beforehand.

PERINO: And that it's your fault for asking them.

GUTFELD: Yes, it's our fault for bringing it up.

BOLLING: I'm sure not of them, not one to a teeth expected this much blowback from this many people that Bergdahl was in the trenches with. I'm sure they --

BECKEL: They must have talked to these guys. I mean, I can't imagine how they wouldn't.

TANTAROS: Well, they succeeded in suppressing The AP and New York Times' reporting on Bowe Bergdahl being a deserter in the first place. So, wouldn't they be able to suppress it now?

BECKEL: This is one case where you guys can't say the press is covering up for Obama. They're all after him.

GUTFELD: I agree. And you know who's doing great work, is Jake Tapper. You know, Jake Tapper was on top of this from the start. You got to give him credit.

PERINO: He wrote a book about it.

BOLLING: But if you watch -- MSNBC has been really -- they've been hands off on this. They're like -- you know, they're letting us do the dirty work first, and --

(CROSSTALK)

TANTAROS: We've got to go. We have a whole other block on this. We have a whole other block.

Next, the soldiers who served with Bergdahl say he was a deserter. But Susan Rice went on the Sunday shows again and said he served with honor and distinction.

Plus, why is the administration, all of a sudden calling Bergdahl a prisoner of war when it avoided that designation for years?

It's all coming up on "The Five."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PERINO: One thing clear about Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl is that there are plenty of questions about how he ended up in Taliban hands. The Pentagon reportedly declared back in 2010 that he walked away from his unit. The president's national security adviser, Susan Rice, who, remember, repeated bad information on five Sunday shows in 2012 about Benghazi, was back on the air this weekend and unequivocal about Bergdahl's service.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SUSAN RICE, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Sergeant Bergdahl wasn't simply a hostage. He was an American prisoner of war captured on the battlefield. He served the United States with honor and distinction.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PERINO: Andrea, if anybody is going to go on the Sunday shows, and if she -- if you are her staff, don't you make sure that everything is locked down tight and at least you get some qualification to say, "We're glad he's home. We know there are questions. We're going to get back to with all of those, but we are glad he's home"? Why not just say it that way?

TANTAROS: I am utterly stunned that a woman in such a senior position again could repeat the same mistake by going out and repeating utter fabrication.

Dana, I do not believe that for one second she didn't know the controversy around Bergdahl. I'm not sure if they're just intentionally deceitful or incompetent. But it seems every time there's an issue we sit around this table asking: intentional deceit or incompetence?

And if you -- if you do, going back to that Rolling Stone article, not exactly a conservative publication. Hasting reports that there was an official cover-up that started in the White House to put pressure on the New York Times and the Associated Press to keep Bergdahl's name out of the paper.

Dana, they knew last week, remember, a lot of pressure on this White House about the V.A. President Obama thought, "If I can just shift to look like I'm helping a soldier instead of hurting one, this is a win for me." Shows how out of touch and inexperienced he is at the highest levels.

BECKEL: I know Susan Rice. She -- you may say a lot of things about her, but she's not dumb.

PERINO: Nobody said she was dumb.

BECKEL: Why she would say this -- the idea that somehow they had a conspiracy in the White House to get away with this to get through the election in 2014 is mind-boggling.

BOLLING: Like something like the idea that she would actually repeat talking points that were changed and she willfully knew they were changed and repeated them anyway is so mind-boggling. Oh, wait a minute. Wasn't that about two years ago that the same thing happened?

BECKEL: I don't know. I don't talk about that.

BOLLING: You don't? Maybe you should think about it if you're not going to talk about it.

PERINO: You can expand on, Eric. Go ahead. Do you think that this is just -- it doesn't surprise me that she wouldn't have just been -- she could have rounded the edges a little bit and felt protected.

BOLLING: I don't know. They're so brazen, arrogant, and they don't know...

BECKEL: No. That's not brazen. This is stupid, is what you're saying. They're dumb; they're all dumb.

BOLLING: You don't -- there's brazen and -- you can say it, but I didn't say that. I said she's brazen and she's arrogant to go out there and say that he served with honor and distinction when some of their own reports say that he may have walked away. And not only that, may have walked away and collaborated. We don't even know. It's just with all this information that...

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: ... feckless.

BECKEL: This is -- with all the information that was there, do you actually believe that they came up with a strategy that would have gotten away with...

BOLLING: They came up with a strategy in Benghazi, did they not? It was the same thing. They made up a fabricated strategy.

PERINO: Which you never bought from the beginning on Benghazi. And this one, what do you think?

GUTFELD: I don't buy it one bit. Her answers are about as straight as Lombard Street. Her combination of evasiveness and incompetence makes her as credible as a Nigerian e-mail. When she tells the truth, it's almost entirely by accident.

So when you're watching her spin, it's like watching clothes in a dryer. You get nauseous. And I think this is the strategy. It's a brilliant strategy. It confused everyone by their incompetence. You can't keep up. You can focus on one clown, but you can't focus on a three-ring - - but you can't focus on a three-ring circus.

BECKEL: So you're saying she -- she was left out of line?

GUTFELD: She's incompetent. This is the most incompetent group of people...

BOLLING: You keep saying lie.

TANTAROS: They're not mutually exclusive things, though. So they can be both.

BECKEL: The story was here that she...

PERINO: He could she not know, Bob? How could you not know? Just go on Google.

BECKEL: That's my point.

PERINO: If anyone needs to be careful, it should be her.

BOLLING: Benghazi, we -- we vetted this completely about what happened in Benghazi because she was told to.

GUTFELD: If they had -- if the White House had a cartoon mascot, it would be Scooby Dubious.

PERINO: All right. That's a great way to end it. All right. We're change subjects.

Since when is wearing a grass skirt at a party a racist act? Since now, apparently. Greg's going to give you the latest.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GUTFELD: U.C. Irvine's Phi Gamma Delta fraternity a.k.a. FIGI have been deemed racist for their charity event where students wore coconut bras and grass skirts, which in my house is called Thursday.

In a letter endorsed by an Asian Pacific student group, the frat was guilty of, quote, "committing an act of cultural appropriation and publicly projecting their ethno-graphic ignorance."

Yes, the hottest nonsense buzz words for spoiled separatists: cultural appropriation. Defined as adopting something from another culture like wearing a sombrero, holding a peace pipe, or whining, yes, whining.

See I accuse these students of the same thing, because clearly, they stole their moaning from the rest of whiny America. I'm deeply offended and demand an apology.

But all of this really is a consequence of leisure, derived from decades of sacrifice of life and labor through war and risk, culminating in a country filled with sourpusses and spare time. We now have a bottomless baby mill, shrieking at every perceived slight. It's called college.

But without all -- with all this sound and fury comes something. It's just another howl in a parade of carping designed to draw attention and make you feel special. As one claims to want a cultural rainbow, he really craves splinters of division, for anger gets the press. That's a culture no one should ever appropriate.

Instead, wear your coconut bras with pride. I do, and they chafe. I should wear them on my chest.

PERINO: Gross. Oh, my gosh.

GUTFELD: You have no idea what I'm talking about.

PERINO: Yes, I do.

GUTFELD: Wear -- I would wear them on my head.

TANTAROS: Greg, do you wear anything under your grass skirt?

GUTFELD: That's for you to find out. What am I saying? This is an attack on fun, Bob.

BECKEL: I'm very -- very guilty here, because I have, in fact, worn coconut bras and had a grass skirt and did it over four days...

PERINO: The visual can't help us. I don't think anyone is shocked.

BECKEL: ... on the campus, walking around on the campus. So I don't -- but I would not indict the entire college. I would bet most people at the college think it's a little ridiculous.

But I mean, when I did it, nobody said anything except for "You're drunk," which was true.

PERINO: They might have said, "Nice abs."

BOLLING: Who's being -- who's offended by it?

GUTFELD: A student group. A student group. They called the act egregious. Egregious against whom though? The Hawaiian people?

PERINO: Yes, Fiji.

BECKEL: Pacific islanders.

GUTFELD: They're called Phigi because that's a combination of the name of the fraternity.

BECKEL: Phi Gamma?

TANTAROS: Phi Gamma Delta.

GUTFELD: But you think about it, Andrea, there's no evidence anybody actually wore, historically or culturally, coconut bras. There is no -- you can't find pictures...

BECKEL: Sure you can.

GUTFELD: Where? I tried.

BECKEL: Walking across the campus.

GUTFELD: No, but I mean, as a culturally appropriate...

BOLLING: Did you not watch "Gilligan's Island"?

TANTAROS: Our own Harris Faulkner did research. And you're right: they did not wear coconut bras. Traditionally they went topless. So I guess the girls, in the spirit of multiculturalism, should have been topless instead -- Bob, don't even go there.

How come it's cultural appropriation when the liberal elitists don't agree with it, but it is multiculturalism and a celebration of diversity when they do?

And I just want you to apologize to me, Greg, because if Thursday is a luau day at the Gutfeld house, Friday's our toga day. And I think it's so rude to the Greeks that you wear sheets every Friday.

GUTFELD: Especially when they're not clean.

TANTAROS: Gross.

GUTFELD: I'm sorry.

BECKEL: This is not the cultural elite nonetheless. They're all...

TANTAROS: Sure it is.

BECKEL: It is a small group of students, I guess from Fiji, who really believe that their great, great grandmother used to walk around with coconuts. Now, can you imagine how bad that would hurt...

TANTAROS: Bob, it's just a bunch of frat boys that want to see girls in coconut bras and drinking beers. It's a luau.

BECKEL: I want to see them without bras. The point is, can you imagine how painful that would be?

GUTFELD: Yes, I think it would -- the strength it would pull...

TANTAROS: No comment.

BOLLING: It's the not hot girls...

GUTFELD: Europeans.

BECKEL: I had chafe on my chest for months.

GUTFELD: Last word to Dana. Do you get the feeling that students with real problems, real problems do not waste their time on this? They're actually not just students, but they're people around the world who would wish they had this issue.

PERINO: It could be that that there were people like this in the past that -- before social media, nobody ever would have paid attention. Now they get a whole segment on the FOX.

GUTFELD: Exactly.

PERINO: I can really rock a pair of grass -- trees.

GUTFELD: Really?

PERINO: Should see.

BECKEL: You ought to wear a grass skirt. You'd like it.

GUTFELD: I'm going to ban that phrase: "I could really rock a pair of anything."

PERINO: I'm in the middle of the show, banning my phrase...

GUTFELD: Banning that phrase, "I could really rock something."

PERINO: I'm trying to think of something to come up with.

GUTFELD: What is this?

BECKEL: Why don't we all wear grass skirts one day?

GUTFELD: We will.

TANTAROS: Why not?

PERINO: OK. Tomorrow, Bob. You come in one.

GUTFELD: Yes.

BECKEL: I'm not going to be here tomorrow, but I will wear it on Friday. I will. I will wear one. If I can find one.

GUTFELD: They're telling me now to leave. Bob's got some news he's excited to report about the minimum wage. Stay tuned for that, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BECKEL: This being the liberal block, it's two minutes and 45 seconds, so we have to go quickly.

Today I want to congratulate the great city of Seattle. Yesterday, the city council unanimously voted to increase the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour, which will make it the highest in the nation when it goes into effect in 2017. Congratulations to them.

Finally, people have a living wage. They don't have to work 80 hours a week to feed their kids. That's great.

GUTFELD: That's hilarious.

BECKEL: Why?

GUTFELD: That you think it's like working 80 hours. The minimum wage is for people on the lowest rung. By the way...

BECKEL: Have you seen people...

GUTFELD: ... you know this policy came from a socialist. And I love -- I love socialists like you who live like a capitalist. You know, you fret about your taxes while flying first class, and you congratulate socialism. And it amazes me that a country that beat the world at everything adopts policies of the losers.

BECKEL: Why should I fly in steerage with you people?

GUTFELD: Exactly. Thank you very much. Speaking as a true socialist. Let the other people suffer while I'm in first class.

BECKEL: You think it's all the lower -- it's all young kids that are working these minimum wage jobs. There are a lot of older people working these minimum wage jobs.

BOLLING: Exactly what's going to happen. Older people are now going to take the jobs that this minimum wage -- by the way, fast food workers typically are young kids coming -- working through school.

BECKEL: Have you been through a McDonald's?

BOLLING: Let me just tell you. Forget all that stuff. Forget all the ideology. I'll just make a bet with you. Two years down the road and let's see the unemployment rate in Seattle now and what it is two years as this thing is implemented, and I will bet you my bottom dollar it will be higher then than it is right now.

GUTFELD: We should -- we should have a bet, yes.

BECKEL: I'll take that bet.

PERINO: I have a quick comment. Yesterday President Obama's White House and the EPA announced new rules on energy and controlling for a power plant. They said it will cost an average of $200 to $300 more per year for electricity. So you can earn a lot more money, but you're going to pay a lot more under President Obama's policy.

TANTAROS: So if you have a job I'm sure you're very excited about this, but if you don't, you should fret. I just -- have you ran [SIC] a business of minimum wage employees?

BECKEL: No,, not minimum wage.

TANTAROS: OK.

BECKEL: I think minimum wage is slave labor. I really do.

BECKEL: I agree. It should be exactly what you get, Bob.

TANTAROS: These business owners -- these business owners are panicked. I agree with Eric. Check back in a year or two and see.

BECKEL: They raised minimum wage in New Jersey and no unemployment happened.

BOLLING: Fifteen dollars an hour? You went from 7.25, national -- federal minimum wage. Here's the thing. Everyone and their brother is going to come from Oregon, from California, from all the various states to go see if they can find a job. That's going to put the pull of labor bigger, and these business owners are going to say...

TANTAROS: Yes.

BOLLING: ... "We can't afford it." So cut -- they're going to cut -- there will be subsequent findings of labor over demand. You have no idea.

BECKEL: Probably they'll be in the city's. Look how much more money will be spent in Seattle.

BOLLING: Who?

BECKEL: People get $15 an hour; they'll spend a lot more money.

BOLLING: There's no employer, Bob, that's going to pay the 15. They can't pay the $15. That's the other end of the equation.

TANTAROS: That's right. They'll cut hours. They'll fire employees.

BECKEL: You have no faith in your great capitalist system.

GUTFELD: Government spending wages is not capitalism.

BECKEL: I think it certainly isn't capitalism.

GUTFELD: No, that's -- then you better buy the book called capitalism.

BECKEL: What they're trying to do is trying to get us out of slave labor, which is exactly what...

GUTFELD: You can't call that slave labor. That is insulting to a lot of people.

BECKEL: They do better in China than they do here at McDonald's.

"One More Thing" is up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLLING: All righty. Time for "One More Thing." Quick round. Ands, you're up first.

TANTAROS: OK. Maybe he was jet lagged or maybe just still tired from cleaning his yacht to Scaramouche over Memorial Day weekend, but John Kerry caught on tape, falling asleep next to Susan Rice, listening to President Obama drone on in Europe. Look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE; Towards what purpose and what does that mean for members of NATO? All of us are interested in Russia.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TANTAROS: He did respond on Twitter a little while ago and he said, "It was just a really long blink." We've all been there.

BECKEL: Yes, sure.

GUTFELD: Oh, you mean him. Exactly. Bobby, you're up.

BECKEL: I want to do something I have never done before, is I want to congratulate the National Rifle Association, who has now taken on these idiots in Texas, these right wingers, who think the NRA is liberal, by the way, who want to bring their mass -- weapons of mass destruction into restaurants. The NRA sent them a letter saying that you're downright weird. And that is true, downright weird. Yahoo rightwing crazy fascist nuts.

TANTAROS: How do you really feel?

BOLLING: All right. Dana, you're up.

PERINO: OK. I'm so excited for this, because earlier in the day, Randal Hugheskins (ph), who is a pop artist, he made this original acrylic art for me of the favorite, Jasper.

BECKEL: Please no.

PERINO: Randal Hugheskins (ph). Is that beautiful? And it has his little name, Jasper, spelled throughout.

BECKEL: It is not beautiful. Please don't. Please don't.

PERINO: That is beautiful, and I love it.

GUTFELD: It's made out of human skin, Dana. This is disgusting.

PERINO: It's beautiful, and I love it.

BECKEL: you love it, but can you love it under the table?

TANTAROS: You could open a Jasper art gallery.

PERINO: What?

BOLLING: Let's move on. Greg, you're up.

GUTFELD: No, I want to elaborate. Time for...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GUTFELD: I hate these people!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUTFELD: Current times we see a lot of men everywhere walking around with bottles of water as though they're cowboys on the prairie, and they need a canteen. There are water fountains everywhere. Everybody's walking around with a bottle of water. And the worst thing they do when they're done and they're on the subway, they do this: everybody touching their little bottle. Oh, I got a bottle that makes a funny noise.

Stop it! It drives me crazy! I hate you!

BOLLING: Thank you.

PERINO: I agree.

BOLLING: I know it drives you crazy.

PERINO: Yes.

BOLLING: All right. So my "One More Thing," I'm going to preview something I'm going to do every Friday. I haven't named it yet. I think it's going to be called "Fool of the Week" or "Biggest Buffoon of the Week." We're not really sure. But I'll take the dumbest thing I've heard all week, and we'll highlight it on Friday. We'll talk about it then.

GUTFELD: Don't call it pinhead. Don't call it pinhead.

BOLLING: It won't be pinhead.

TANTAROS: Is it going to be anybody on "The Five"?

PERINO: "EB2016's Fool of the Week."

BOLLING: I almost went with Chris Hayes.

PERINO: He deserves it.

BECKEL: Are you finally going to tell us what "EB2016" means?

BOLLING: We have to leave right there. Don't forget to set your -- no -- your DVR so you never miss an episode.

GUTFELD: Ebola.

BOLLING: See you back here tomorrow. "Special Report" is on deck.

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