Interviews

Donald Trump versus the establishment

'The O'Reilly Factor' analyzes the President confronting the mainstream media

 

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," February 17, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET!

JESSE WATTERS, FOX NEWS HOST: Hi, I'm Jesse Watters in for Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching a special edition of THE FACTOR, President Trump the first month.

Let's get right to our top story. Donald Trump versus the establishment. The relationship is in full meltdown following his first solo press conference yesterday. Well, President Trump took the press to task.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. DONALD TRUMP (R), UNITED STATES: Look, I want to see an honest press. I started off today by saying that it's so important to the public to get an honest press. The press, the public doesn't believe you people any more. Maybe I had something to do with that, I don't know, but they don't believe you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATTERS: The mainstream media was defensive and dismissive.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think he's mad at the media.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don't?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he's mad at not being boss any more.

TOM FRIEDMAN, NEW YORK TIMES COLUMNIST: He's very entertaining and I fear that a lot of Americans are getting addicted to him. I fear that we in the media and I don't exclude myself are getting addicted to writing about him, because it's just so easy to do, number one. And so, he has got his entertainment value.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATTERS: Well, the media and other elites hyperventilated, supporters of President Trump couldn't have been happier.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: This was one of the most effective press conferences I've ever seen. The press is going to hate him even more after this. Don't misunderstand what I say effective, I'm talking about rallying people who voted for him to stay with him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATTERS: Joining us now with reaction from Washington, Ashley Pratte, a conservative commentator and U.S. News and Report -- World Report contributor. And here in the studio, a radio talk show host Mike Gallagher.

So Mike, remember during the campaign when everyone says let Trump be Trump and they kind of let him do his thing. And he ended up winning, that was the Trump who won. And that's what we saw yesterday, the campaigner Trump. So now the media has come out and they've said, this is not an effective Donald Trump. That was a Trump that won. So, I still think the media is missing the boat on this guy.

MIKE GALLAGHER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Everything that got Donald Trump elected was on display yesterday. And if any of these elitists think that average, hard-working, normal Americans give a rat's rear end about the media being tweaked by President Trump, they ought to take a long hard long in the mirror and realize they are pitifully and wildly out of touch with what's reality. What's reality is, that's the President Trump that voters and Americans expect. The best is yet to come. He has had a really good month. He has had some highlights --

WATTERS: You think it gets better than this? It's going to be even more - -

GALLAGHER: We're in for a ride. We are in for a ride.

WATTERS: It looks like we are because he just tweeted out something I want to show the audience here. We have it up for you, he says, "The FAKE NEWS media failing "New York Times," NBC News, ABC, CBS, CNN is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people."

So Ashleigh, looks like what he's trying to do is align himself with the American people. And really drive a wedge between the press and the rest of the country. He pretty much did that the other day during the press conference. Do you agree with that or not?

ASHLEY PRATTE, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: The press which has a job to report it is their responsibility to report, to get news to the American people. And, look, I believe the mainstream media, I as a conservative for many years have been critical of them, and they deserve that criticism. But at the same time, it is their duty to report the news. And the decorum the other day, it was lacking. He is no longer a candidate, he is the President of the United States and he needs to act like that.

GALLAGHER: Ashley?

PRATTE: The journalists there were just doing their job and asking questions. It wasn't at a combative atmosphere until he made it one.

GALLAGHER: With all due respect, Ashley.

PRATTE: That is problematic. No, no, no. Let me finish. Thomas Jefferson, who is, you know, by all means regarded by the conservative movement, who has said our greatest liberty is the freedom of the press. And that liberty could die without it. So, I think we should heed the wise words of one of our nation's founders. Don't you think?

WATTERS: Ashley, the only thing I would say to that and then we can get to Michael is, the American people did not elect Thomas Jefferson. They wanted to elect a guy, it was all about decorum they would have elected Mitt Romney.

PRATTE: Right. The great founder of our nation --

(CROSSTALK)

PRATTE: The majority of Americans also didn't vote for him as well. And we have to realize that. The ones marching down Washington.

WATTERS: Ashley, let Mike get in here.

GALLAGHER: The problem Ashley, I don't mean this to be personal, but you're a never-Trumper.

PRATTE: I was.

GALLAGHER: Of course.

PRATTE: And he can prove me wrong but he needs to be held accountable.

GALLAGHER: At the end of the day, you guys who were opposed to Donald Trump are still anguished that he won.

PRATTE: No, no!

GALLAGHER: To a person self-described conservatives or Republicans who were critical of yesterday's epic press conference are never-Trumpers. You guys have been continually against him.

WATTERS: Okay.

GALLAGHER: You want him to fail.

WATTERS: Mike, let her finish. Ashley, do you agree with the point that maybe you have not yet accepted the fact that Donald Trump, this Donald Trump is president. And this is the way he's going to behave toward the press for the next four years, at least. Eventually we will going to have to get used to this. Right?

PRATTE: Look, Obama won, I was not thrilled about. But guess what. You can complain all you want. You can disagree with policy all you want and we did when conservatives were shut out or mocked during press conferences by Josh Earnest. But guess what, we can't be hypocritical and be doing the same thing over the next four years.

GALLAGHER: There's no hypocrisy. There's none. No.

PRATTE: It is. Because calling out CNN as fake news and saying, I don't watch you, you're this, you're that, and all of these other things is just absolutely absurd. Because when Obama did it conservatives railed against him, I was one of them. So, to stand there and say that this is okay is absolutely ridiculous. Let me finish one more thing. As a never-Trumper, yes, I was conservative and concerned because of the fact that he said many concerning things. Yes, he got great talking points. And you know, I'm glad that he won because he proved me wrong. But at the end of the day he has a chance to prove me wrong again by being a good president. But what he did in the other day was very, very un-presidential.

WATTERS: Ashley, the thing that I would say to you comparing President Obama to President Trump with the way he treats the press, FOX News was reporting fake news stories, then President Obama would be within every one of his rights to call it like he sees it. Now I believe CNN and a lot of these mainstream media --

PRATTE: But when he called out fox for asking questions we were all outraged.

WATTERS: Let me finish. I believe a lot of the other mainstream media are reporting fake news stories whether it's the MLK bust, whether it's the dossier that Russia allegedly had on him, whether it's this new thing where the intelligence apparatus is not telling him certain intelligence and withholding that.

PRATTE: But what about with his own administration are leaking information. They're running stories --

(CROSSTALK)

WATTERS: Hold on, Ashley. Let Mike finish.

GALLAGHER: This week the President had a historic visit with the Prime Minister of Israel. They covered, the mainstream media that you are defending, Ashley, spent more time worrying about what he tweeted about Ivanka's clothing line than that. How about the story that was reported that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians, a little burb, they're worried about how he words a tweet. Ashley, you've been on the wrong side of this, from day one, you're still on the wrong side of it, and I know you're in a bad place.

PRATTE: Listen, I'm not in a bad place because I've not been bitter about it.

WATTERS: All right.

PRATTE: I admitted that I was wrong.

WATTERS: You don't look bitter. You look very beautiful, Ashley.

PRATTE: But at the same time you need to realize that I think it's great - -

WATTERS: But we have to go to break. And we appreciate you taking the time.

Content and Programming Copyright 2017 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2017 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.