Questions about killer remain as community mourns TV crew

Virginia news station reveals more about gunman's employment and termination as loved ones remember victims


This is a rush transcript from "The Five," August 27, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: This is a Fox News alert. President Obama is delivering remarks in a moment in New Orleans to mark the 10th anniversary of the storm that devastated that city, Hurricane Katrina. We're going to go to him as he approaches the podium. President Obama again, in New Orleans at the Sanchez community center addressing 10 years after hurricane Katrina struck the area. Dana, your thoughts before he gets to the podium.

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: It is kind of hard to believe that it was ten years ago. I remember every single moment of it and all the trips afterwards. And I have to say, my hats are off to all the people in the city who have rebuilt it, especially the school system which is amazing and they are doing a great job now.

BOLLING: Now we'll take President Obama right now.





OBAMA: Hello, everybody.

CROWD: Yeah.

OBAMA: Well yeah.

CROWD: Well yeah.

OBAMA: It is good to be back in the big easy.


OBAMA: And this is the weather in August all the time, right?


OBAMA: As soon as I land in New Orleans, first thing I do is get hungry.


OBAMA: When I was here, with the family, a few years ago, I had a shrimp po-boy at Parkway Bakery in Tavern.

CROWD: Yeah.

OBAMA: I still remember it. That's how good it was. And one day, after I leave office, maybe I'll finally hear a rebirth of the maple leaf on Tuesday night.


OBAMA: I'll get a chance to see the Mardi Gras and somebody tell me what the carnival for.


OBAMA: But right now, I just go to meetings.


OBAMA: I want to thank Michelle for the introduction. More importantly, for the great work she's doing, what she symbolizes, what she represents in terms of the city bouncing back. I want to acknowledge a great friend and somebody who has been working tirelessly on behalf of this city. And he's following a family legacy of service, your mayor, Mitch Landrieu.


OBAMA: Proud of him and his beautiful wife, Cheryl. Senator Bill Cassidy is here. Where did Senator Cassidy go? There he is.



BOLLING: All right, that's President Obama in New Orleans. If you want to watch the entire speech, go to It's been more than 24 hours now, since a reporter and cameraman were murdered during a live TV news broadcast. We now know much more about the deranged killer, but so many questions remain. Vester Lee Flanagan was fired from WDBJ in 2013. The general manager of the station doesn't know exactly what set him off more than two years later.


JEFF MARKS, WDBJ GENERAL MANAGER: We are still at a loss to figure out what happened to him in those 2 1/2 years, but most of our time we are spending focused on the results of his actions yesterday, the loss of Adam and Allison and our bond with the community, which has been so strong for the last 30 hours or so.


BOLLING: The boyfriend and father of Alison Parker are also focused on her memory and that of Adam Ward.


CHRIS HURST, ALISON PARKER'S BOYFRIEND: Andy and I have been trying to be strong today because we felt that it was our duty to Alison because she was a journalist and this is what she would have wanted us to do is to share her story. She was a storyteller by profession and we are trying to tell her story. We are also trying to make sure that her life was not in vain.

ANDY PARKER, ALISON'S FATHER: She excelled at everything she did and she loved what she did. She loved the people that she worked with. She was happy with her place in life. So you know, we can only take, you know some solace in the fact she had a wonderful life. She was extremely happy. And she loved this guy with all her heart. And that's the toughest thing for me that everybody that she touched loved her and she loved everybody back.


BOLLING: The only survivor of the attack is thankfully going to be OK. A hospital spokeswoman says Vicki Gardner has been upgraded to good condition. She was being interviewed by Parker when Flanagan started firing. Here is her husband Tim.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do the doctors say her prognosis is from those injuries?

TIM GARDNER, HUSBAND OF SHOOTING SURVIVOR: Likely, a full recovery, but it will take some time. I spoke with Vicki for about three or four minutes while she was being transported to the emergency room at Roanoke Memorial. She explained what happened to her, and that she didn't know how she survived, but she did. And that she loves me.


BOLLING: For more developments, Rick Leventhal joins us now from Roanoke, Virginia. Lev, we're going around the table with a couple of questions. Can you just give us the very latest on -- basically, the way the community is dealing with such a tragic loss? And by the way, first time if I'm not mistaken, something like this on live TV.

RICK LEVENTHAL, FOX NEWS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, and the general manager came out and spoke a short time ago and said that it's going to take time for them to heal. Obviously, the entire staff of WDBJ-7, mourning the loss of Alison Parker and Adam Ward, who were murdered on live television doing a live shot. And Eric, we learned this afternoon that the station has suspended, doing any live shots outside the perimeter of the station grounds, until further notice. They're going to evaluate it on a day-to-day basis, but they're not sending any crews out to do live shots for now because of what happened yesterday, which is a pretty dramatic development. Also the GM confirmed that Vester Lee Flanagan had significant behavioral problems that lead to his termination after less than one year as a reporter here. That he threatened violence and police had to be called to the station on the day of his termination and they escorted him out of the building and on his way out. He handed a small wooden cross to the former news director and said, "Here, you're going to need this." They also made it mandatory that Flanagan seek counseling through the employee assistance program because of his behavioral problems. He had anger issues that said -- they said in an inability to get along with others. And they said he did in fact comply with that treatment, but then he later after his termination filed, an EEOC complaint that was dismissed. He also filed a civil suit against the station and that was rejected. And they said they had seen him around town, but there was never any negative interaction until he fired on that crew yesterday morning.


JUAN WILLIAMS, CO-HOST: Rick, you know, what we're learning is very troubling to me. It says that he was traveling with extra licenses, with a wig. I read here that says he had a shawl, umbrella, sunglasses. He had additional ammunition. Does it look like he had further plans?

LEVENTHAL: Well, it's hard to say, but he was a couple of hundred miles north of Roanoke, headed towards Washington, D.C. And as you mentioned, he had a glock in the car. He had six magazines. He had extra nine millimeter ammo. He had some sort of disguise. You mentioned the wig and sunglasses. And he also had a lot of typed and handwritten notes and 17 stamped envelopes, but we don't know who those letters were addressed to. But this was a guy who had already murdered two and wounded another and perhaps, with all that ammo and his weapon, he was intending to hurt others.

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST: Hi, Rick. It's Kimberly. So when I look at the circumstances of this case, I see someone who obviously went through some degree of premeditation, planning to put this in motion, in terms of how he was dressed at the time, being able to secure a weapon. We've heard legally. And the fact of the matter is how did he know for sure that they would be doing that live shot at that location? I'm curious as to whether or not he had any information that someone from the station inadvertently, could have provided with that specific live shot location, especially so early in the morning. It's not something that would have been an extended yet.


GUILFOYLE: Where you see it on TV and then go there.

LEVENTHAL: Yeah. It's possible that he may have seen them on television. I'm not sure if that was her first live shot of the morning. She may have had another hit yesterday morning. We need to confirm that. But obviously, that would have been one way that he would have known that they were there. But he could have seen the live truck. He could have known somehow through a connection at the station they were going to be there. But the fact is that he did know they were there. He went there and executed them simply, apparently because he had a beef with the station and he wanted to lash out at WDBJ.

GUILFOYLE: It seems like he was waiting, though for that -- for a specific opportunity to go and do that because of the fact that he had all this stuff in the car. He had the extra license plates, the equipment and stuff with him. So it wasn't just all of a sudden a crime of you know opportunity, last second, you're acting out because you saw something that upset him.

LEVENTHAL: Yeah. And he had his camera in his one -- in one hand and the gun in the other.


LEVENTHAL: And he shot the whole thing on video, and then he posted it online. He was tweeting about the shootings afterwards, and sent a 23-page manifesto, he faxed it a couple of hours after the shooting to ABC News, so there was a lot going on there. And clearly, this was something that had been building for a very long time. And yesterday was the day that he snapped.


GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: Yeah, Rick, two quick questions. Is there anything in this guy's background? Because I know he passed a background check he had. Have he ever been arrested? Is there anything that was there? But then you look at job -- that's the first part. What about the job history? It seems to me that he was a terrible hire. There was a string of accusations. He was known as an incompetent reporter. How did he keep getting a job?

LEVENTHAL: Well, that's a very good question, Greg. And he held a number of jobs in the TV industry, which isn't rare, but he held them for very short amount of time. And in fact, he filed a lawsuit against two previous employers, claiming racial discrimination and other charges that would never -- as far as we know, upheld. They were tossed out. So this was a guy who had a series of problems with former employers in the TV industry, and yet he was able to get a job here. In fact, the general manager said that he got very good references. The general manager also said, though, that it's very hard to get a negative reference these days. That because of the litigious society that we live in, employers are afraid to give bad reviews to people when they get calls about former employees from potential future employers. So they'll just give them a generic answer or give them whatever nice thing they can say, without saying anything negative for fear of it coming back and haunting them later. So this was a guy who clearly should never have been hired here, but was, apparently because former employers were too scared to say otherwise.

BOLLING: And Jeff Marks, the general manager at WDBJ said that because he changed his name and used Bryce Williams that for some reason the background check didn't go to his original name, Vester Lee Flanagan, which is insanity. Why wouldn't there be a link. Go ahead, Rick.

LEVENTHAL: We all know in today's world you could find out who this guy really was and get more information on him if you looked hard enough.


PERINO: I wanted to ask about the community reaction to the two people who lost their lives. So one thing that struck me both of them, Adam Ward and Alison Parker, were at a point in their lives where they were doing the job that they loved after their college experience. She's -- that's a great job for a 24-year-old to be able to be at a local market like that.


PERINO: And then there's such affection for your local news. And I'm, you know, I mean a huge fan of local news, but both of them also were planning to be married. So they're young and in love. And I just wonder what the community reaction has been about their lives.

LEVENTHAL: Well, it's just an absolute tragedy, Dana, on all angles. I mean, Alison Parker was a young, up and coming reporter. Everyone said she was terrific at what she did. She brought all kinds of energy and was just a wonderful person from everything we've heard. And she was engaged to Chris Hurst, an anchor at this station. They have moved in together. They said it wasn't public yet, but they were planning to get married. I met Chris last night, along with Alison's father. Two outstanding individuals who were just crashed and heart broken by what's happened here, but standing strong in the face of all this, to try and get out the message of how good this person was, how awful this crime was, and the changes that they believe need to be made in order to try and prevent future crimes from happening. And then of course, Adam Ward who was engaged to the morning show producer, who was producing her last broadcast. She was getting ready to leave for another job. He apparently, was ready to give up being a TV cameraman and do something else. To the two of them were about to celebrate. On that very morning, she's in the control room and watched her fianc, get murdered.

BOLLING: Rick Leventhal, we say thank you very much for that report.

So one thing that really strike me is Greg, as you pointed out, he was literally tweeting the video that he took of the shooting. If you've seen this video it's very disturbing. The shooter, Mr. Flanagan Lee -- Vester Lee Flanagan, walks up, holds the gun up, points it towards the camera -- towards Alison Parker, looks over at Ward, walks away, and then steps up again and begins opening fire. And then Greg, tweets the video, puts it up on Facebook and tweets the video.

GUTFELD: Yeah, it just speaks to the desire for infamy that we see a lot in these spree killers. The guy scared his co-workers, enough that they actually lock themselves -- a sales force had locked themselves in a room. And you wonder at this point, as individuals in a large population of the United States that we have to become psychiatric narcs (ph) because no one's catching them. But it's -- you have to remind yourself, this is incredibly rare, but it's amazing that everybody knew. Everybody works and knows something that you worry about is this person crazy or is this person dangerous.



BOLLING: You know, and so someone gets fired. You think of big corporation that is let maybe a thousand people go. Once they let them go, do they have a responsibility to follow up on it, any of these people who they may be worried about? And maybe people you're not worried about?

GUILFOYLE: So much is driven, right? By litigation, then you have to balance like privacy interests and you know, at what point then does your tether to that person end and your public, you know, responsibility? If you in fact know that somebody is seriously mentally ill and could either harm themselves or others, I think you have an obligation as an individual, to get that information to the right hands because you see there are situations like this. This wasn't about the glock that he had legally. This was about the mental health issue he had demonstrated repeatedly, in work conditions and workplaces. That this was someone who was hostile in terms of his reactions and interactions with other employees, that clearly was having problems, and then became unemployable, but then the whole issue like Greg, you were mentioning with people giving the reference because they don't want this guy, oh this guy little crazy, I don't want him to get mad at me. And you make it somebody else's problem. That's not the right thing to do.

GUTFELD: Exactly. That's why nobody warned anybody.


BOLLING: Dana, this happens more often than we know. This one happened to be on live TV which is creating a lot of interest and a lot of focus on it. Happens hundreds of times per year where police where one worker kills another worker. (inaudible) at least it changes.

PERINO: I think you know we're going to get a chance to talk about the mental health aspect in the next block and also on the gun violence issues. So like how do -- from a policy perspective, how you deal with it. You know Ben Domenech of The Federalist wrote a piece today about the existence of evil in the world and accepting that, that there's going to be evil in the world. And then how do you figure out a way that policies could actually work against that and in some ways it's just very humbling because there's a lot of things that we could do, but sometimes we're just not gonna be able to solve it.

WILLIAMS: You know what strikes me, though is coming back to what you were talking about at the beginning Eric, which is, you just feel overwhelmed by the grief. You know, you watch the father and the boyfriend. And you know one of the realities, this is what I'm talking about when you talked about this being shown to the nation live and to the people involved, is that the injured woman, recovering in the hospital, her husband saw it live. Ms. Parker's boyfriend was back in the studio as the host, or the anchorman, he saw it live. So you see your loved one killed live. I mean, it's just, it's unbelievable. It's a horror movie come to life.

BOLLING: We got to leave it right there. More ahead on the murders in Virginia, but first, Alison Parker and Adam Ward were honored by their colleagues this morning at WDBJ, The Five returns in a minute.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want to pause and reflect. And we want to share with you once again, what made these two so special, not just to us, but to all of our home towns that WDBJ-7 serves. Please join us now in a moment of silence.



GUTFELD: So President Obama said this on yesterday's murders, quote, "What we know is that the number of people who die from gun-related incidents around this country dwarfs any deaths that happen through terrorism." And so after such crimes, the ping pong begins. One side says one thing, the other side responds. Then of course, Piers Morgan embarrasses himself. Rinse and repeat. But the fact is deaths from mass public shootings over the last 15 years are much smaller than deaths from terror. As for these gun-related incidents, that's a euphemism that blurs the number of rare acts. Much gun murder is gang-related, which rarely makes headlines. We all agree that crazed loners shouldn't have guns, but that's not gun control, that's people control of the 317 million, thousands -- thousands do horrible things. So as gun violence declines by decade by decade, ridding it entirely forces us to do three things. One, confront gang violence. Eliminate gang shootings. Thousands will live. Two, confront mental health issues. Egged on by alienation and envy, young male assailants express murderous impulses, perhaps because such impulses are constantly simulated and stimulated, which leads me to this, the media's role. Fiends share a thirst for infamy, copying a prior fiend, the Pavlovian response to the reward, which is always fame. They prefer their grave stone be a Wikipedia page. Finally, in a free society we must admit, it's easier to commit violence than to prevent it. The background check did not catch this creep. Over half the mass public shootings involve killers, seeing mental health professionals, who then miss the danger. In some, life is scary, but inaccurate platitudes offer absolutely no protection. I'm going to roll some tape of politicians reacting to the shooting.

GUILFOYLE: All right.

GUTFELD: Roll that.


JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: There are some common sense things that only Congress can do that we know, would have a tangible impact in reducing gun violence this country.

HILLARY CLINTON, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I strongly believe we've got to have common sense reforms to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is really a sick person. This isn't a gun problem, it's a mental problem. It's not just a question of the laws, it's really the people.

CHRIS CHRISTIE, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Deaths are an awful tragedy, but let's focus on what the real problem is. We're not enforcing the law in this country. We've got plenty of laws on the books to deal with gun violence. We just don't enforce them.


GUTFELD: Kimberly.


GUTFELD: There are two major points there. One I think, Christie is talking about the law, which I think is fair. Then we have kind of other, the other idea that Donald brings up, which is about people with mental problems. How do we deal with something like that? It is literally, a needle in a haystack.

GUILFOYLE: It is. And it's incredibly tough when you think about it from a law enforcement or legal perspective, somebody trying to prosecute a case. You right away have to get into it, to say does this person have a prior history.


GUILFOYLE: Of mental illness or you know violence toward others and you try to piece it out to say, what is the motivation behind this? Is this somebody who was suffering? If so, how can we prove it and know there was a demonstrated history. And what do you do about it? How are you able to police everybody's mind?


GUILFOYLE: And whose responsibility is it? It's family, its friends, its co-workers? It's a shared responsibility.


GUILFOYLE: That we have, to be able to help those that are suffering and have mental illness problems. On the flip side then, when is it somebody just because they're evil and it's not an issue of mental illness, but it's somebody who's out there committing horrific crimes because they feel wronged by the world and they're out to set a score?

GUTFELD: Would you say, Juan because he -- this was partially motivated by race. He mentioned in his manifesto that he was linking it to Charleston, that this is also a hate crime? A hate crime because he directed it at whites?

WILLIAMS: I don't think he cited whites. Although, he did say in the letter that if you want a race war, well here -- come and get -- get going or something like that.


WILLIAMS: But I mean, he was also -- we talked about this yesterday -- talking very specifically about the guy who did the Virginia Tech shootings and saying that guy had killed more than the people who had done.


WILLIAMS: Columbine. I think, this is really a whacked out sicko person. I don't -- I think race is part of it. He's black, if you (inaudible), but I think it was a stretch. I think that a stretch at this point.

BOLLING: Those are his words, though.

WILLIAMS: I said it. I said it. No, it's a stretch. I mean, it's a stretch because I think it's clear that he was having emotional troubles all along with his co-workers, with everybody. And it wasn't just about race. And he's black, so maybe -- but that's like saying like.

BOLLING: He said if you want a race war, come and get it.

WILLIAMS: No, but.


WILLIAMS: But I think - what Greg, where I disagree with you on your talking points. And you had lots of clearly accurate points made. But I just think you guys are looking for a reason not to say, we just have too many guns in this country.

GUILFOYLE: Oh my, gosh.

WILLIAMS: And I think that if you think, you know you always talk about, boy, the terrorism. We've got to do something about, Chris Christie said today, he said no one feels more threatened by the guns on the street, and they do by ISIS. Well, let me tell you. I think, I'm more threatened by guns in the New York City streets, in the Washington, D.C. streets than by ISIS.

GUTFELD: And, but what contributes to that problem?

WILLIAMS: Guns, the proliferation of guns.

GUTFELD: No. Actually, that in areas where there is an ease of gun laws, there is less crime, but.

BOLLING: In countries.


BOLLING: Where there are higher, more strict gun laws, there's more gun violence. Countries -- very quickly, Dr. Siegel was on Outnumbered today, and he said, as a doctor, if this -- Vester Lee Flanagan was his patient, he could treat him. He could have suspicion of something bad going wrong, but until he became homicidal or suicidal, he couldn't do.


BOLLING: Anything about it. And maybe it's time -- I don't know. This is a tough one. The HIPAA laws are so protective of people's rights, the privacy rights, that they -- there's literally someone who could go ahead and kill other people, step up and blow people away. Is it time to really rethink the HIPAA laws regarding mental health?

GUILFOYLE: Yeah, but stricter gun laws wouldn't have stopped this because he had that gun from all the information we have legally. It was obtained. There wasn't any means by which to prevent him from having a gun. Unless, you want to arrest people for future crimes, they might be thinking about in their head.

WILLIAMS: No, no, no, but you - but if they had done a better job in terms of closing loopholes, the screening, the background checks.

GUTFELD: They wouldn't have, (inaudible).

WILLIAMS: I think they -- the background checks.

GUTFELD: He had criminal past.

WILLIAMS: No, he had no criminal past, but the background checks, I think would have indicated that people felt threatened by this man.

GUILFOYLE: That is not -- that is insufficient.

GUTFELD: I don't know if they actually saw that in workplaces. It would be nice if the workplaces - the people at workplace had actually.

PERINO: Well, actually it hurts.

GUILFOYLE: If someone bothers, restraining order.

PERINO: Remember what Rick Leventhal said is that, when -- the reason he was able to get other jobs is because even from an employment standpoint, the former employer.


PERINO: Doesn't want -- you know, he wants to make it somebody else's problem. And also, he might not want to hurt somebody. Like you don't want somebody to be out of jobs so you pass it on. If the government calls for a background check, are you going to do more? I mean, maybe it would, but I don't think that's a full proof.

GUILFOYLE: You make a great point, he had good references. So how are you going to stop him from getting a gun with good references? Hear my point?

GUTFELD: All right, we gonna move. Next, the first words that comes to mind when Americans think of these three, Hillary Clinton, Jeb bush, and Donald Trump.

PERINO: Sounds like the beginning of a joke.

GUTFELD: I know.


GUILFOYLE: Feeling better?

GUTFELD: Yes, thank you.

GUILFOYLE: Time for a 2016 word association game. Play with me.

Quinnipiac just asked American voters to name the first word that comes to mind when they think of Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, and Donald Trump. Here were the answers.

For Hillary Clinton, "liar" is the first word that comes to mind following by "dishonest," "untrustworthy" and "experience." That's a positive one.

For Jeb Bush, "Bush." His family name, right? The runners-up were "family," "honest" and "weak."

And the first word that comes to mind, they said, when Americans think of Donald Trump, "arrogant," "blowhard," "idiot" and "businessman." Nonetheless, people are voting for him in the polls.

So what do you make of this? Little word association game?

PERINO: I kind of liked it, because it was a little bit different than your -- the polls. There are so many polling organizations, and they come out every other day. And it's kind of hard to track. This is just a little bit more meaty. I think if you're in Brooklyn today at the Hillary Clinton headquarters, you're thinking that is not good.


PERINO: "Liar" is not good. And it's not just "liar." It's the other words that go with it. "Liar," "dishonest" and "untrustworthy." Those are three words of -- all the same, like, in a thesaurus, if you looked it up, that is sticking. And I think if you look at the trend in all of the polls, you're starting to see that. And yesterday...

GUILFOYLE: People don't think that about Joe Biden, by the way.

PERINO: No, they don't. And we're going to get to talk about that in the next block.


PERINO: You can tease very well.

GUILFOYLE: Tease, tease.

BOLLING: You know what the interesting thing about that, too, is it's 178 responses among Democrats and Republicans. It's not just Republicans who would probably be first to that "liar," "dishonest" and "untrustworthy." But it's, by far, the highest number of anything of any of the words associated with any of the other candidates.

I mean, it's a growing problem on the Democrat side that the untrustworthy -- her untrustworthy numbers are off the charts now. It's begging for someone else to get involved.

GUILFOYLE: So at what point, Juan, perhaps can, you know, further debates and things of this nature help, like, change the perception for some of these candidates that have some kind of entrenched, you know, identification with voters? They're like, "Well, I don't trust Hillary." Or "Oh, I think this about Jeb."

WILLIAMS: Well, you know, I mean, we're still early in this process. But things get baked in. And oftentimes, in fact, if you're running a campaign against somebody, you try to paint them early in a box so they can't get out of the box. I think we saw that happen to Romney in terms of, you know, Mr. Moneybags last time.

PERINO: And John Kerry, the flip-flopper.

WILLIAMS: But I will say this: This is a delight to Hillary haters worldwide, the results of this. And I think people then tend to forget that actually, when she wasn't running, when she was secretary of state, she was one of the most popular politicians, very high favorability range. So what we're seeing...

PERINO: How does that work in her favor?

WILLIAMS: Well, because what we've seen is that the media, and especially the attention to the foundation and the e-mails issue, that's what I think is reflected in there.

BOLLING: Juan, it's 15 percent of all the people polled, 15 percent said "liar" about Hillary Clinton.

WILLIAMS: That's what I said. Because that's what's being said about her every day on the air.

GUILFOYLE: You have pretty defined ideas about some of these major players. But then how about somebody like Carly Fiorina, who's like climbing in the polls. She's trying to get into this CNN debate, hoping that they count the polling differently. She's somebody that's risen up, and in fact, she's going to be on Greta tonight -- Greg.

GUTFELD: Nice little plug there.


GUTFELD: It would be nice to hear about the other candidates once in a while. I keep looking on milk cartons for them. I don't know what happened to the other guys.

But you know what? If you ask anybody anything about anybody, they're always going to say something negative. If you go to Twitter right now, and we asked you to give a one-word description to each one of us, you can bet that 99 percent of them are going to be negative. We should do that right now.

PERINO: I know what mine is.

GUILFOYLE: Well, there's a couple, right?

BOLLING: Facebook is nicer than Twitter.

GUTFELD: Facebook is way nicer than Twitter. That's because it's for families. People are pleasant.

BOLLING: Facebook?

GUTFELD: I think so.

PERINO: Dog lover is two words. But we will accept it as one.

GUILFOYLE: Shorts and the talls, that's another one. Guess who?

All right. Next, hear from Joe Biden himself on what's going to determine whether he runs for president. Stay tuned.


PERINO: There's been a steady stream of speculation about Joe Biden's 2016 ambitions. Yesterday the vice president confirmed the rumors on a conference call with DNC members. He is thinking about running but needs to make sure he has enough emotional fuel to do so.


JOE BIDEN (D), VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (via phone): If I were to announce to run, I'd have to be able to commit to all of you that I would be able to give it my whole heart and my whole soul, and right now both are pretty well banged up. That's the truth of the matter, and -- but believe me, I've given this a lot of thought and feeling internally in this family about how to do this.


PERINO: All right. So we've been enjoying talking about this for a week. Kimberly, I said it could be a day to celebrate if Joe Biden is going to get in the race, because it will make it fun.


PERINO: And I think he would be harder to beat than Hillary Clinton for the Republicans.

GUILFOYLE: I think he's a very good choice for the Democrats, because he's going to be able to get a lot of, like, bipartisan good will. People may not necessarily like and be in love with the Republican nominee. They'll say, "You know what? I can stomach Joe Biden. I trust him. I don't think he's a liar. I think that he actually loves the country and is willing to listen to reason." Just making the arguments.

But I don't think he should be told to stand down or stay out.

PERINO: I don't think he's going to.

GUILFOYLE: If he wants to run, he should run.

PERINO: I mean, President Obama gave him -- at a lunch this week apparently gave him his blessing. And then they told the press about it, which is a little unusual.

GUTFELD: You know, they're treating Hillary like your pal who gets drunk at a bar. Everybody's just moving away. And they don't want to be around her. Which means that almost -- if they had more options, almost anybody could be their nominee. I mean, it could be -- it could be Jerry Brown. It could be a box of paper clips. It could be an earwig at this point. Because they're realizing that this is -- this is a bad deal. Although I know Juan's going to say that it's too early. But right now, their bench is as deep as a contact lens.

GUILFOYLE: His numbers are good. Come on. Look at the head-to-head matchups. He actually does better against GOP candidates than Hillary Clinton head-to-head.

PERINO: And this is pretty amazing. I mean, just a few months ago, Eric, Joe Biden running for president wasn't even a possibility. And I think over the summer, as her e-mail problems increased and then you look at that poll today. And it could be that Joe Biden knows something that we don't know yet about Hillary Clinton.

BOLLING: Well, it's brilliant strategy on his part. He laid back and see how it worked out for Hillary. If she came out strong, didn't have to relaunch and relaunch and relaunch, he could just sit back and say, "You know what? I paid my dues to the country. I'm going to go retire."

He's seeing the faltering.

I've got to tell you, if you want to read some tea leaves, three tea leaves would indicate he's definitely looking seriously about getting in. No. 1, the donors. The donors have said before they give money to the Clinton campaign, and they were ready to go, they're going to wait and see what Joe Biden said.

Today Joe Biden met with Joseph Trumka. That's a big tell. He needs the labor vote; he needs the labor money. That's a huge tell.

And the third one, the meeting with Elizabeth Warren?

PERINO: Absolutely. On a Saturday in August.

BOLLING: Wow. It was brilliant strategy on his part to just leak it that he's going to go meet with Elizabeth Warren, who everyone is saying right now, you need that Elizabeth Warren base vote...

PERINO: To unite the party.

BOLLING: If he gets her approval, I think he walks away with it.

PERINO: Juan, do you agree with me that he could actually be harder for the Republicans to beat than Hillary Clinton?

WILLIAMS: Not at the moment, no. In fact, you know, I can just see it now. You guys would absolutely eviscerate him.

PERINO: Yes. There will be time for that.

WILLIAMS: "Oh, Joe, he's a silly man. He makes all kinds of verbal missteps." He was -- don't forget, he ran twice. Did not do that well.

PERINO: That's what I mean. He goes into this with eyes wide open.

WILLIAMS: That's right. What did Josh Earnest say yesterday, Dana. He has lots of experience, more experience than anyone in terms of how to campaign.

PERINO: And the aptitude.

WILLIAMS: But I will say I agree with Eric. The donors right now look like they're open to it. And that's very telling. That's not good news for Mrs. Clinton.

GUILFOYLE: All the money.

WILLIAMS: I will say this, though. That you have to remember that if you still look at the polls, Democrats still like Hillary Clinton.

PERINO: That's because they don't have an alternative yet.

GUILFOYLE: And they like Biden, and they like Bernie Sanders. And they don't like her e-mail scandal.

WILLIAMS: Who doesn't like Joe Biden? He's one of the most wonderful people you could ever meet.

GUILFOYLE: And she's not a good candidate.

WILLIAMS: Oh, well.

GUTFELD: But then what you're saying is basically nobody likes Hillary. She's like the rich lady who stole your parking space.

WILLIAMS: But you know, like that segment we had a minute ago, Greg, where we asked about, you know, what word and everybody said "liar." But you know what? Then you go and you say, "Oh, so who would you vote for, for president?" They think -- they still vote for her.

BOLLING: Does the base like President Obama?

GUILFOYLE: Her numbers are down.


BOLLING: Does the base -- does the Democratic base like President Obama. Right?

PERINO: That's why, I think.

BOLLING: Of course, yes, it's obvious. He gives his endorsement. He says, "Open the door to Joe Biden." They base goes, "Oh, my gosh, yes." The money goes, "Oh, my gosh yes."

PERINO: But it could -- it could stop her from going so far left. She could be the actual moderate Democrat she was in the '90s that people seemed to like. But she's flip-flopped so many times already.

WILLIAMS: Can we win the base?

PERINO: I could talk about this for hours, but we've got to go.

GUILFOYLE: Me, too. He doesn't want to be, like, the guy that knocked the female candidate out to be the first, like, female president. But that's why he's got...

GUTFELD: Wait, Obama did that.

GUILFOYLE: ... blow herself up.

PERINO: President Obama already did that.


GUILFOYLE: It's an offset there. Because that was the first black president.

PERINO: All right. Coming up, Juan may be about to jump...

GUTFELD: No, her husband was.

PERINO: ... on the Trump train! Can't get your head around that one. I don't know what he's doing.

GUILFOYLE: Oh, my gosh.



WILLIAMS: You know, life is full of surprises. Just when I thought I would never see eye to eye with Donald Trump, something happens. I just heard the Republican say he'd like to raise taxes on the rich! Oh, my God.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would take carried interest out, and I would let people that are making hundreds of millions of dollars a year pay some tax. Because right now they're paying very little tax, and I think it's outrageous.

I want to lower taxes for the middle class. I want to lower taxes for people that are making a lot of money that need incentives. You've seen my statements. I mean, I do very well. I don't mind paying some taxes.


WILLIAMS: So looks like Hillary Clinton wants to raise the taxes in terms of capital gains for people who are short-term investors. Donald Trump on the Republican side wants to raise taxes. What do you think, Kimberly?

GUILFOYLE: I don't like taxes being raised. I just don't feel that generous. Maybe ask me, like, in a couple of years. I mean, I pay half already. What do you want from me, Juan? I sit next to you. I give me my money. I don't know.

WILLIAMS: Oh, my goodness. What -- here's -- Mr. Moneybags, what do you think?

GUILFOYLE: You don't want to give him the five (ph)...

BOLLING: Here's the deal. Donald Trump in that interview, very long wide- ranging interview, talked about repatriation of money, which is an idea I absolutely adore.

GUILFOYLE: That I like.

BOLLING: Bringing money back from overseas. He says there's a lower tax rate. I would say no tax rate at all. But whatever, great idea.

And he wants to lower classes for the middle class. Middle-class tax, I have to agree with that.

But then he said he wanted to basically raise taxes on a certain group of people. It's the carried interest people. He called them hedge funds, which is fine. Everyone hates hedge fund managers. I get it. But that's a bigger group than just hedge fund managers.


BOLLING: That's a lot of the banks. That's a lot of institutional people doing trading back and forth overseas have to get involved in currency trading, as well. And it's going to put additional costs on whatever business they're doing, too.

So I would vehemently push back. And we have vehemently pushed back for years on raising taxes for a class of people. Because that top class of people typically are the employers.


BOLLING: So I like most of his ideas on tax. I don't like that part.

WILLIAMS: Warren Buffett, by the way, I think is a fan of this idea. But Dana, what do you think?

PERINO: Well, people like Donald Trump will be rich before and after this election, no matter what happens. OK? So part of it comes from that.

What Eric is saying, though, it's true about the people. Right? Those are -- he's talking about hedge fund managers in particular. But it's very delicate surgery to perform in the U.S. tax code to say, OK, now these 18 people we're going to pull them out, and they're going to pay more taxes. Like only maybe Dr. Ben Carson could perform that kind of surgery.

GUILFOYLE: That kind of microsurgery.

PERINO: But it's also about the policy. It's not just about attacking these people. The reason there is that policy is because it's meant to excite entrepreneurship and get money back into the economy. You take that away, and I don't know what happens. Maybe -- maybe it would be fine. But I think history shows that, actually, the economy goes down when you tax more.

GUILFOYLE: I like the lower on the middle class. Because the middle class has like shrunken like Weight Watchers under Obama.

WILLIAMS: But you guys would also say, Greg, you know what? We've got to do something about the deficit. And that's what Trump was saying. If we're going to be responsible and talk about we've got to do something about the deficit, the people who have money should pay more taxes.

GUTFELD: But that's not going to take care of the deficit. You know, when he said tax the rich, he meant Frank Rich.

WILLIAMS: Oh, is that...?


GUTFELD: He had a five-part tax plan in 2011, which was pretty interesting. Make up the 30 grand, 1 percent; 30 to 100 grand, 5 percent tax. One hundred K to one million, 10 percent tax. And if you make over 1 million, 15 percent. I like that. I think that's great. But does he still believe in that? I don't know.

WILLIAMS: How would you know? It's hard to understand. But you know what? He's still at the top.

PERINO: We're going to sign you up.

WILLIAMS: I get to join. Oh, my gosh.

GUILFOYLE: He's leading in increasing (ph).

WILLIAMS: "One More Thing" coming at you.


BOLLING: All righty. Time for "One More Thing."

I'm going to kick it off. I want to say thank you for all the amazing comments and tweets when I was on vacation. It was awesome. Take a look at a couple of pictures.

Here's a group shot at the restaurant, the bar at the restaurant. Playa Del Carmen is amazing in Mexico. There's Eric Chase on the left, his girlfriend, Gabriella, my wife, Adrienne, and myself.

And the other one right here, this is the reason why we went. It was Eric's birthday. And there he is next to the pool with Gabriella.

All righty, Dana. You're up.

PERINO: OK. I want you all to get to know this woman, Misty Copeland. Take a listen.


MISTY COPELAND, PRINCIPAL DANCER, AMERICAN BALLET THEATER: Whenever I step into something that's uncomfortable or not familiar, like, I grow in leaps and bounds.

It's important for everyone to take that leap and dive into something that they never thought they could accomplish.


PERINO: All right. That is Misty Copeland. She's 32 years old. She is the principal dancer at the American Ballet Theater. She's the first African-American woman to do so. And she's going to be performing "On the Town," which is a musical. She has to sing, as well. And then she'll be back at the American Ballet Theater. She's extremely accomplished.


PERINO: All the interviews about her make me think that I would love to be her friend. And I can't wait to go and see her perform.

GUILFOYLE: How sweet is that? She could be your New York friend, too.

PERINO: I need a girlfriend in New York.


PERINO: We have to take about that.

GUTFELD: Here we go again.

GUILFOYLE: Right after the show.

BOLLING: You're up, Gregory.

GUTFELD: All right. Time for...


GUTFELD: Greg's Secrets to Happiness.


GUTFELD: You know what makes a lot of people happy? Hammocks. But who has two trees? Take a look at this fellow.




GUTFELD: Sometimes you don't need two trees to make a hammock. Just find two posts in your apartment, set it up. Get one giant Wheat Chex or Wheat Thin or whatever that is, crawl in there.

GUILFOYLE: What is that?

GUTFELD: That's a...

PERINO: That's a Weetabix.

GUTFELD: ... Hamster McMuffin. He just moved in.

PERINO: You could sit on that.

GUILFOYLE: Is that, like, one of those Nabisco Shredded Wheat things?

GUTFELD: Yes, it is. Thank you very much, K.G.

BOLLING: Does Captain Sparkles -- is he OK with that guy.

GUTFELD: He's all right, but.

PERINO: Isn't the point of that video that he falls out of the hammock?

GUTFELD: We couldn't show that part. It's shocking.

BOLLING: All right, Juan, you're up.


WILLIAMS: Sometimes in sports you have folly along with glory in the same moment. Well, this morning in Beijing, Usain Bolt won his tenth world championship gold medal. Listen in.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here's Bolt in front. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) still there. At the line, Usain Bolt again.


WILLIAMS: But after the race, here comes the folly. Watch this.

As bolt is running -- celebrating -- suddenly a guy on this Segway takes him out.


WILLIAMS: Oh, my goodness.

GUILFOYLE: You know what? That's very dangerous!


PERINO: Juan -- Juan, that is an excellent One More Thing.

GUTFELD: Do you know how much money that might have cost him?

GUILFOYLE: He could have been seriously injured and affected his about ability to run. This is -- that was very disturbing. People should be much more safe.

Is it my turn?


GUILFOYLE: I love super cute little old ladies. And here's one of my favorites. I do. I can't wait to be one in about five minutes.

Lucille Fleming, 103 years old, delightful. Threw out the first pitch at a Texas Rangers game last night.

BOLLING: Oh, cool.

GUILFOYLE: She did a lot better than some of the pitches we've seen.

PERINO: Wow, 103.

GUILFOYLE: She said it was heavenly. Now keep in mind that she had a scare just last week. She's very happy to be alive. She's a huge fan of the Rangers. She said, "I died for three minutes, and they pumped my chest and they hit me, and I came to," she told FOX News exclusively. She said, "Get to me. I want to live. I want to watch the Rangers game." How cool is that?

PERINO: She's amazing.

BOLLING: That was a Texas Ranger game?


GUILFOYLE: Isn't that amazing?

BOLLING: Remember when President Obama threw?

GUILFOYLE: That's what I said better, but I was, like, using it veiled. I didn't want to...

BOLLING: He didn't extend the hand. When you throw the ball you've got to extend your hand forward.

WILLIAMS: You've seen me, right? 103, that's me.

PERINO: What? Miles per hour?


BOLLING: Set your DVRs so you never miss an episode of "The Five."

GUILFOYLE: Oh, my gosh.

BOLLING: That's it for us. "Special Report" next.

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