Friday Lightning Round: Bergdahl release fallout

Panel sums up this week's hot topics


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," June 6, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: We're back with our panel from D.C. More on the Bergdahl case.  Steve, there are a lot of elements to this story.

STEVE HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, THE WEEKLY STANDARD:  There are. And I think to go back to the point that A.B. was making about this continuing to be a big story, there are so many conflicts in the administration's story, so many times that it's taken twists and turns, that they right now can't explain. For a while, for several days you had the administration argued that they had to do this immediately because Bowe Bergdahl was in such poor health his life was in peril according to Chuck Hagel. And yet when James Clapper and other intelligence officials were asked about that, including Dianne Feinstein, the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, they say there is no intelligence to support that. How do you have that? Where did that claim come from? I think we are going to need to know an answer to that question.


A.B. STODDARD, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, THE HILL: I think that what I have heard from people I have spoken to in the military this week as well as members of Congress really shows the damage that he has done by not listening to the military and not respecting and consulting with the Congress or at least alerting them is going to have ramifications for the rest of his presidency.

BAIER: Charles, I want to ask you about something else. President Obama, the pull-aside with Russian President Vladimir Putin at Normandy, what about this?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, the big story of the G-7 has not been the G-7, it's been about the guy who was kicked out, Putin. He is the big winner here. Obama has been boasting about how diplomatically isolated Putin is. He not only is invited to the Normandy ceremony, invited to the big, big state dinner, but he has a private dinner with the president of France, private dinner with the prime minister of Britain, and the French are insisting on going ahead in supplying two helicopter carriers to the Russians and training the Russians in their use. That's a hell of an isolation.

BAIER: Winners and losers, Steve?

HAYES: My winner is Norullah Nori, one the five freed Gitmo detainees, who told family members that he intends to go back to Afghanistan and continue the fight, a bad guy who is going to be able in a year to rejoin the fight in an official capacity if he wants to and said he intends to.

My loser is Susan Rice who last week on the Sunday shows said that Bowe Bergdahl had served with honor and distinction. It was a curious comment at the time. We wondered if maybe she wasn't briefed on Bergdahl's situation. Numerous outlets including Politico have reported that they all knew about Bergdahl's situation. And yet today in an interview she doubled down and said, in fact, he did serve with honor and distinction. She said he served with honor and distinction because it was honorable to volunteer for the military. Honor and distinction is not a talking point. It's a measure to -- of conduct of service, and she should understand the difference.

BAIER: A.B., winners and losers?

STODDARD: My winner this week is 89-year-old Bernard Jordan who is the ex- mayor of Hove, England. And he was warned not to leave his nursing home unattended, but snuck out with his medals, a D-Day vet who made it to Normandy before someone reported back that he was safe and he had made it to the commemoration.

And my loser this week is me because I predicted last week that State Senator Chris McDaniel of Mississippi would lose his primary election to sitting Senator Cochran, and instead he got more than him, but not enough to make the primary in a runoff. And actually McDaniel has a pretty good shot of taking Cochran out.

BAIER: A self-identified loser. OK A.B.

STODDARD: I am. I admit when I'm wrong.

KRAUTHAMMER: Loser, the American consumer, and the Constitution, which is a hell of a twofer. The administration announcing on Monday, it was buried in the other news, a whole regime essentially to kill coal by administration, administrative action, which goes around the intent of Congress. The winner is Hamas. It's part of the new Palestinian government and the U.S., nonetheless, is recognizing it and will be supporting it.

BAIER: All right, Charles, thank you. Panel from D.C., thank you. That's it for the panel. But stay tuned for a final look at a memorable day. 

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