THE FIVE

Sessions' recusal: 'weak moment' or mark of integrity?

A fair and balanced debate on 'The Five'

 

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," March 2, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST: Hello everyone. I'm Kimberly Guilfoyle along with Juan Williams, Eric Bolling, Dana Perino and Greg Gutfeld. It is 5 o'clock in New York City and this is "The Five."

Today in Washington a new storm brewing over another one of president Trump's top aides regarding whether they had improper contacts with Russian officials. Attorney General Jeff Sessions held a news conference moments ago to address the allegations.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ATTORNEY GENERAL JEFF SESSIONS: Let me be clear. I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign. My reply to the question of Senator Franken was honest and correct as I understood it at the time. I have recused myself in the matters that deal with the Trump campaign.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUILFOYLE: This all stems from a question Secretary Sessions was asked at his confirmation hearings in January.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. AL FRANKEN, D-MINN.: And if there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of the campaign, what will you do?

SESSION: I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians and I'm unable to comment on it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUILFOYLE: President Trump stood by his attorney general today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, do you still have confidence in the Attorney General, sir?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Total.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, should Sessions recuse himself from investigations into your campaign and Russia?

TRUMP: I don't think so at all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When were you aware that he spoke to the Russian ambassador?

TRUMP: I wasn't aware at all

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think he should've spoken truthfully about whether he has spoken to the ambassador?

TRUMP: He probably did.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUILFOYLE: OK, so Dana, we like the outfit, first of all

(CROSSTALK)

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: I liked the president in that jacket, in that setting and again, I think he had a really good speech.
It's always awkward when the press are shouting questions at you and specially it has something to do with your attorney general, and they keep following you and it's from behind, whatever. But -- so he says he has total confidence in him.

It's interesting to watch a news cycle like today unfold because this morning when you woke up it was a story of oh, my gosh. There's an earthquake in Washington. Around 2:00, I asked Bret Baier do you think if he recuse himself then it would all go away because recusing yourself is not an admission of wrongdoing.

It's just, look, if anybody is concerned like there is some sort of -- even looks improper to anybody, fine. OK, like I will recuse myself and let the investigation go forward and by 4:00 today, that's what happened. And so I think the news in the morning looks a little bit different.

I do think that, you know, hindsight is 20/20 and looking back, the attorney general was correct in his answer to the senator but it probably wasn't as wholesome as it could've been. Like I would've covered my tracks a little bit more just to say no, I never spoke about that, never as a surrogate.

Of course as a senator, I did have a meeting and with my staff and it was about whatever it was about and just be able to clarify that because that is the exact same individual that Michael Flynn was talking to who then we know what happened with the rest of that story, which is he's no longer with the administration.

GUILFOYLE: OK. All right so, Eric, do you think the messaging was good in terms of him coming out at 4:00 saying that he was going to recuse himself and you know, giving some specifics in terms of the allegation.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: Terrible idea. I hated the fact that he did that. I mean look back --

GUILFOYLE: That he talked about it or did he recuse?

BOLLING: That he recused himself. I feel like that was a weak moment for the attorney general and I think he could have stepped up and said I did nothing wrong. U.S. senators, especially senators who chair the Senate Armed Services Committee will have contact with certain Russian ambassadors.

Do you remember when Bill Clinton boarded Loretta Lynch's airplane during the investigation of his wife's for the e-mail scandals and who knows what was going on? Well, she felt bad about that but she didn't recuse herself.
She said I'll go by whatever James Comey says as his final decision on whether Hillary Clinton should be indicted or not.

That's not a recusal. That is basically saying I am kicking the can down the road. Claire McCaskill today, today came out and said I've been on the armed services committee for 10 years. No call or meeting with Russian ambassador ever. Ambassadors called members of the foreign relations committee.

However, on two separate occasions over the last couple of years, Senator McCaskill tweeted "off to meeting with the Russian ambassador. Upset about the arbitrary rules" -- that was in 2013. In 2015, she said, "Today calls with British, Russian, and German ambassadors on the Iran deal.
#doingmyhomework."

Good for you. You're doing your homework and so was Jeff Sessions as senator on the Armed Services Committee. He shouldn't have recused himself.
He did nothing wrong.

GUILFOYLE: OK. And because of that you're saying hold the line because you think it sort of sounds like perhaps there is some air of suspension --

BOLLING: -- the president that he's going to recuse himself on any further issues that come up as far as the campaign. I don't like it.

GUILFOYLE: OK, Juan, what about also the people who say, well, air on the side of caution and at least to show that in terms of what you're doing that it is above and beyond any kind of reproach and there isn't any impropriety and that ethically you're going to recuse so that there aren't any questions going forward about the investigation.

JUAN WILLIAMS, CO-HOST: I think he did a great service to President Trump. I think that he elevated the level of integrity and trust the American people can have that this will be an impartial investigation.
He's not putting his finger on the scale. We already have seen the reports that, I think its House intelligence, Adam Schiff is saying that Jim Comey has been withholding information from the Congress. And we know that most Americans, it's more than 50 percent of Americans think that they need to have an investigation to get an answer to the extent of influence that was exerted by the Russians on this campaign.

So, I think that when you have someone not only of his own volition, his own initiative saying I'm going to recuse myself, but saying, you know, my staff got together and my staff said hey, Mr. Attorney General, you are involved in the campaign. It's not appropriate for you to sit there in judgment or to help or decide what the FBI should be involved with best. I think Attorney General Sessions upheld the highest standards of integrity for his office today.

BOLLING: One that Loretta Lynch couldn't do.

WILLIAMS: She did. She didn't have anything -- remember --

BOLLING: Oh, she didn't?

WILLIAMS: -- Jim Comey came out and --

BOLLING: She didn't recuse herself.

WILLIAMS: No, one of the criticisms of Jim Comey was that Jim Comey as a prosecutor shouldn't be making decisions about whether to go forward, but essentially Loretta Lynch is out of the loop

BOLLING: So you're saying Sessions did something that Loretta Lynch --

WILLIAMS: He went -- Loretta Lynch effectively did the same thing but he did it one better, that's why I'm saying I give him credit. I give him credit though

BOLLING: That view is hypocritical.

GUILFOYLE: All right, Greg, I want you to solve this.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: This is pure bait and switch from the start. They were originally asking Sessions about whether he had discussions with the Russians about the campaign. He said in that context he did not. They bait and switch the question so then they said -- when he's -- now they're saying wait, he talked to the Russians as a member of the Armed Services Committee. Those are two different things. They bait and switched him.

If they had asked him about that, he would've said oh, yeah, I talked to all the ambassadors. I talked to 20 ambassadors. That's part of my job. I talked to them twice. I don't even know what I talked about it but had nothing to do with the actual context of the question. So it was a cheap trick from a party that is bereft of any ideas.

This is a whack a mole strategy right now of the Democratic Party. They're going to go after, for the next four years, anything that they can to hit this administration even when it's full of crap. And I got to -- what drives me crazy is how riled up the Democrats are over the Russians considering that President Obama, when Mitt Romney talked about the Russian threat, President Obama said the '80s called and they want their foreign policy back.

So apparently it was prehistoric under Obama to discuss the Russians. And now the Russians are evil and then you think about, OK, think about the '80s, the '70s, and the '60s when Russia was truly dangerous under the USSR during the Cold War. Where was the left? Where were the Democrats? Where were the Liberals?

They were fellow travelers. They were anti-anti-communist. If you were anti-communist, you are seen as some kind of prehistoric, you know, beast who thought that there were commies under your bed. Turned out we beat them in the Cold War no thanks to you.

GUILFOYLE: That just pretty much sums it up and I like it. One of the big issues for many is the timing of the meeting. Catherine Herridge asked him about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CATHERINE HERRIDGE, CHIEF INTELLIGENCE CORRESPONDENT, FOX NEWS: With hindsight, do you believe that this is a coincidence that the Russians asked you for a meeting? Don't you believe you were targeted because it came at the height of Russia's interference and at the same time, then candidate Trump was giving an interview to RT saying that he didn't believe there was anything to the reported interference?

SESSIONS: I don't recall and don't have a sense of any connection whatsoever about this. I'm not sure I even knew, when we set up the meeting, what was going to be going on in the world at the time. So, I can't speak for what the Russian ambassador may have had in his mind.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUILFOYLE: All right, birthday boy.

BOLLING: Yes. So, talk about the timing of this, all right. Greg's right.
All of a sudden the Russians became such an issue but look at when this stuff started to leak. We hear now this -- about this. Jeff Sessions had meetings with -- conversations with some Russian ambassadors. The Obama White House was leaving a trail for the intel community.

This happens 24 hours after President Trump drops probably the best speech of his career, of his lifetime, and is widely, widely accepted as the best speech, and is widely, widely accepted on both sides of the political aisle as the day that President Trump became President Trump.

He earned the office that day and now what happens? They throw everything they can to create any sort of diversion from that kind of diversion from that moment. In some circles it's working that much (ph)

GUTFELD: Yes, to that timing point, it lends up to the idea that -- why the rebuttal was so lame. The reason why the rebuttal was so lame after Trump's speech was that they figure they have something in their back pockets. It's like, you know, we don't have to handle this. We'll just do Russia tomorrow and we'll take all the wind out of the sails.

And I'm also really impressed with how old school journalistic action and concern is happening, you know, that didn't somehow happen during the Obama years. Remember, Benghazi became a punchline on a couple of "Comedy Central" shows and among newscasters that it was some kind of like overdone thing, but somehow now, every little thing is Watergate.

BOLLING: Yes, and how many people died in this Russian leaks so far?

GUTFELD: None.

BOLLING: None.

GUTFELD: Right, none that we know of.

(LAUGHTER)

GUILFOYLE: Well here's more from Sessions on what he spoke to the Russian ambassador about. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SESSIONS: We listened to the ambassador and what his concerns might be. We talked a little bit about terrorism as I recall and somehow the subject of the Ukraine came up. It got to be a little bit of the testy conversation at that point. It wrapped up. He said something about inviting me to have lunch and I did not accept that and that never occurred. I don't recall any specific political discussion.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUILFOYLE: OK, so Dana, he's trying to give some specifics there but it's also a little bit risk-reward. Perhaps he kinds of heads it off because there's a storm brewing so he answers some questions because what you might imagine have happened could be worse than exactly what he is saying transpired. What did you make of this?

PERINO: I liked the transparency and I think it's a lot more than you got from others in the past. I also think that there are so many different investigations so it gets a little confusing. The investigation actually probably had nothing to do with the senator, now attorney general, but about the Russians.

He is the center of all of this. He was the one who was asking and seeking meetings and trying to get information. He might be -- he actually -- we know the Russians are trying to mettle. So actually, let's remember we're all Americans. Like the problem is actually the Russians on what the Russians are doing.

I do think that because the attorney general, the other thing he said I think yesterday -- Byron York reported this in the "Washington Examiner"
when he had a chance to talk to him the other day. He asked him how the job is going and he said it's just, it's super busy. It's a fascinating place to be but there is so much going on.

And he had so much work to do that I think he did do the president a service today and that they will be long-term gain for the attorney general and for president Trump because of this today.

GUILFOYLE: Well, if you see that guy coming, run the other way.

PERINO: Right, nobody shouldbe --

GUILFOYLE: Agent provocateur, causing lots of trouble, wants free lunches, meetings. OK.

WILLIAMS: I was just listening to Greg and to Eric and it seems to me like you put a very strong political partisan overlay. The Democrats are now trying to --

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: No, and here's the thing, I really don't. So you can say, oh Juan, you're just being a Democrat but here's the thing, I think I'm also saying, and this was a conclusion not just by, you know, President Obama or some of these crazy Liberals. This was the conclusion of the CIA, National Security Agency, and the FBI, all put their good faith and signature January 8th --

BOLLING: So why yesterday, late last night this now become an issue about this?

WILLIAMS: We have an ongoing -- in fact, Dana has pointed out. There are
ongoing investigations right now, right now. And what the conclusion of all of these intelligence agencies was, as it was put out back then was, that Vladimir Putin is trying to undermine public faith in U.S. Democracy. Now that's a lot and you say, oh --

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: -- all of a sudden this massive questioned (ph) leak happens 24 hours after or less after President Trump delivers the speech of a lifetime.

GUILFOYLE: Not a coincidence.

WILLIAMS: If there's a coincidence, it was coincidence that Trump gave a good speech.

GUTFELD: But remember Juan, who was the most hypercritical about this Russian stuff during the campaign? I was the one that was talking about how if they can affect our elections, it's bad.

WILLIAMS: I agree.

GUTFELD: But this is not that. Sessions did nothing wrong. There's nothing going -- you can't put these two things together.

WILLIAMS: No, I heard what you said about his response to Franken. I'm sorry.

GUTFELD: Go ahead.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: I heard what you said about his response to Franken but he also said no when Lahey asked him quite explicitly, have you had these meetings?
So that's a different one, Greg, and I think you have to understand if you were on the other side of the political aisle, you would be jumping.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: Not only senators on the Armed Services Committee had meetings
with Russia. Dana will tell you the senators have meetings with --

WILLIAMS: No, I think "The Washington Post" checked and they said 19 of the 26 never had meetings with ambassadors.

PERINO: Well, and let's be clear. Let's remember, this is not so much about Sessions. It's about Russia. Why would the Russian ambassador want to meet with Sessions? Because he was considered a surrogate on the campaign.
I mean that's also -- he didn't have business with him about the Armed Services Committee.

He wanted to know what Trump was thinking in regards to Ukraine and it seems that what the attorney general said to him at the time was we are for freedom for Ukraine and that Russians didn't like it. So I actually think the attorney general looks better this afternoon --

GUILFOYLE: I think so too.

PERINO: -- than he did even yesterday.

GUTFELD: I remember, Ted Kennedy conspired with the KGB to ruin Ronald Reagan.

WILLIAMS: It didn't stop Ronald Reagan from saying "tear down that wall."
Russia's policy in the 80's --

BOLLING: Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch didn't recuse themselves since in very similar situations.

GUILFOYLE: So therefore Sessions took the high road.

BOLLING: A weak road. Slow road.

(LAUGHTER)

GUILFOYLE: And Make sure to tune in to Tucker Carlson our good friend tonight because Attorney General Sessions will be going one-on-one with Tucker. That's tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern.

Coming up, on Tuesday night, President Trump gave a very moving tribute to a fallen Navy Seal and his grieving widow. It was a beautiful heartbreaking moment but despicably some on the left thought differently. The widow of American Sniper Chris Kyle has something to say to them, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PERINO: It was the most memorable and emotional moment during the president's address to Congress on Tuesday night -- this moving tribute to fallen Navy Seal Ryan Owens and widow, Carryn. It was a moment that transcended politic, but not everyone thought it that way.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So many of my family members are in the military, I thought that was so exploitive. I thought he exploited that widow.

BILL MAHER, TALK SHOW HOST: I wish she hadn't allowed herself to be used as his prop like that and I don't see any great courage here. Where's the courage? Who wouldn't stand and applaud for a war widow?

MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: What is he thinking about? My ratings and how many record applause. I'm going to get an Emmy for this, most applause for a dead soldier on my watch. I mean, this is the sickness of this man.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PERINO: There was also this tweet from a man who says he volunteered for Hillary Clinton's campaign referring to Chief Petty Officer Ryan's grieving widow as an "idiot" for clapping during the tribute. Dan Grilo was fired by his company for that and appropriately so. Taya Kyle, the widow of American sniper, Chris Kyle, has some words for all of them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TAYA KYLE, WIDOW OF AMERICAN SNIPER CHRIS KYLE: Ryan didn't sign up to serve only Republicans or Democrats. He didn't give his life so that he'd be applauded. He went into the silent professional mode and he did what he does and he died knowing more about the threats against us than most people ever will. For that alone, he deserves respect. I don't care in what environment or from who, he deserves our respect.

She want to say her husband who did this silently for years, served valiantly, was successful in helping this country, deserved some recognition and if the president wants to give it, she's going to show up so that her husband can be recognized and I applaud her. She's anything but a fool.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PERINO: Wow, KG. That is a strong woman.

GUILFOYLE: I love that she's strong and I'm sure that she is a source of, you know, strength for Carryn as well going through this difficult time.
Have these people no shame? Are they just really so despicable and disgusting that they don't even have a moment to just not be political and let a woman grieve, let a country grieve and honor a man who not just in this mission but many others that he was involved in -- served this country admirably and honorably.

There was nothing that I thought was ingenuine about that. You saw the emotion on her face and she was looking up to heaven saying "love you, baby" to her husband. We all learn and grow from moments like that of vulnerability and of service and of sacrifice to this country. And good for President Trump for honoring him and good for him saying that it was a successful mission because the intelligence reports are consistent.

We're getting that information in that a lot was able to be gleaned from that raid in particular and we owe it to the people who served on it and her husband as well. So, just, you know, shameful behavior from the people who tried to cheapen this moment.

PERINO: Greg, I sort of -- in that moment when it was happening and everyone was clapping and it was emotional, I thought it was not only for the Navy Seal that have died but for all of the military and the gratitude for the military. It just seems like Michael Moore and those guys are over the top.

GUTFELD: They always end up on the wrong side of these issues and it's because, I mean number one, simple rule to live by, don't attack a military widow. Even if you feel that because she was invited by somebody you think is evil or somebody you really, really hate, maybe just swallow that and go you know what? I will take the high road. We have this dance of selective outrage. We both play this game where we invite guests. They invite guests and we're guilty of it.

However, this is an example of unchecked emotional hate like when you hate somebody so much, you hate Donald Trump so much that your hysteria allows you to actually attack a military widow. You can marginalize a grieving widow because you believe the person who invited her is evil. That's how it happens in their --

GUILFOYLE: Distorted thinking.

GUTFELD: Their distorted, addled mind. And that's why a guy who lost his job is probably thinking like, what was I thinking?

PERINO: That's what I was thinking too, like, Eric, why can't -- people feel like they have to comment on everything. Be quiet.

BOLLING: You know why Michael Moore is doing and maybe some of the people who were on "The View" because they want to do exactly what we're doing right now. They want to get on TV. They want to be so outrageous they have to talk about them. Greg is right. You don't attack a military widow, especially who lost her husband 30 days prior. Now, Trump said this line, again, "his name will be etched in stone for eternity." and it is and thank god for that and no thanks to -- isn't it time for Michael Moore to go away? Haven't we had enough Michael Moore?

PERINO: He's got a new lease on life.

GUTFELD: He did predict -- he predicted that Trump would win.

PERINO: A last question to -- last comment to Juan.

WILLIAMS: Well, you know, wait a second. I remember at this table as I said yesterday you guys went after President Obama --

GUTFELD: That's what I just prefaced.

WILLIAMS: Oh, I didn't hear you say it, but when you went after President Obama for having an injured member of the military in the gallery, you said he was using this guy.

GUILFOYLE: I didn't.

GUTFELD: I said it's a dance that we all play.

WILLIAMS: OK, wait a minute. So now the left goes after Trump for this
because first of all, I don't think to the extent that this was an attack on the widow. I don't think that they said, oh, she was silly for letting herself be used as a prop.

BOLLING: That's exactly what --

WILLIAMS: But generally it was an attack on Trump. And this was by the way, you know who joins in this attack? Guess who? Ryan's dad, Bill Owens.

BOLLING: Sorry Owens wife, you are not helping yourself.

WILLIAMS: You just got -- Trump used you, that's the point. But here's my point to you, Eric, that Bill Owens, who was the soldier's father, he said he had reservations about the mission, refused to meet with Trump and on top of that, said he didn't like the fact that Trump went after another Gold Star family during the campaign.

BOLLING: And that's fair. And that's fair.

WILLIAM: OK, so therefore --

BOLLING: -- but don't go after the widow.

PERINO: It was actually Bill Maher actually, Eric, that said, "I wish she hadn't allowed herself to be used as a prop like that."

WILLIAMS: That's what the point was.

PERINO: Because if you've been invited by the president of the United States to sit in the box at the state of the union for your husband to be honored by the nation, by the world.

WILLIAMS: I think it's pretty sweet.

GUILFOYLE: It's a wonderful way to honor her husband. Honestly, like people need to get a grip. It's really disturbing --

PERINO: Right, we're going to get a grip on this tease. President Trump paid tribute to the military again today with a visit to a war ship to promote his plans where a major build up of our armed forces. With hat, next.

GUILFOYLE: It's also terrifying.

GUTFELD: Dedicated to that (ph).

BOLLING: On Tuesday at his address, President Trump called for an increase in military spending, and today he met with sailors and shipbuilders on the Gerald R. Ford to promote his plans for a major military buildup.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will give our military the tools you need to prevent war and, if required, to fight war and only do one thing. You know what that is? Win. Win.

I have no greater privilege than to serve as your commander-in-chief and the commander-in-chief of the men and women of the United States military.
I salute you, and I salute our sailors. I will always support you and your mission. I will never, ever let you down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: K.G.

GUILFOYLE: I love this, yes.

BOLLING: M.M. -- MMGA, making the military great again.

GUILFOYLE: Yes, that's exactly what I think and feel when I see that. I love this. I thought that was beautiful. I loved that he was out there; he was with them saying, "Hey, I'm here. I'm the commander-in-chief. I am going to give you the tools that you need to be safe for yourselves to return to your families and to keep this nation safe."

He promised that during the campaign. This is President Trump honoring his promise and his commitment to this country and to our national security. I think this was fantastic. I think he was really at his best here when he's with the men and women that serve this country. So God bless him for that.

BOLLING: Dana. Rocking that jacket, too.

PERINO: I love the jacket. And there are the trappings of the office, as they're called. And he is figuring out how to use them. Getting out on the road, I think, it suits him well. He's going to have to do a lot of this, if he wants to get this done, because asking for a $54 billion increase in the middle of the Obamacare repeal and replacement, all the other things he wants to do on his budget, are going to be -- it's going to be difficult.
GUILFOYLE: The wall.

PERINO: And General Mattis, he'll have a good hearing when he goes up to Capitol Hill, because he's like, "Yes, I'm good. We're going to get $54 billion increase, and this is what I would do with it."

The other cabinet officers are going to have to go up, and they are obligated to defend the budget that they put up.

BOLLING: Right. So...

PERINO: If you're Secretary Tillerson at the State Department, and you're going to go in and explain why it is a good thing you're getting a 37 percent cut at the State Department.

I even think that General Mattis might say, "I don't think he needs that big a cut."

But anyway, a good event. He's going to have to do a lot more of them. He has to treat it as a campaign in order to get it done.

BOLLING: Greg, you always notice the people behind the stage when these speeches are given. This is a little better than the Democrat response the other night.

GUTFELD: Definitely, yes.

BOLLING: Look at those guys. There you go.

GUTFELD: And they're all great people.

The valuable message her is not for America, though, but for our enemies.
Basically, what we're saying is this is where the president is recommitting his efforts. We are no longer navel-gazing. We are Navy gazing.

GUILFOYLE: Isn't it great?

GUTFELD: Yes. And you know, you want to have -- if you're a liberal or a Democrat, you want to have, you know, that social safety net. You need a national security net first, and that's what you do. And Republicans argue, I'm a hypocrite. I don't like spending, unless it's for this. I'm a big spender when it comes to the military, because I know that the military is one area of government that actually works.

GUILFOYLE: Yes.

BOLLING: Juan, your thoughts? By the way, some senators on the right think 54 billion is not enough.

WILLIAMS: Well, it's too much. That's the problem.

GUILFOYLE: What?

WILLIAMS: I mean, President Obama way back, he went to Newport News. And you know what he said? We've got a problem. We've got to increase your budget, because the sequestration is punishing you; and therefore, we want to increase.

President Trump wants to increase it by a minuscule amount more than what President Obama wanted. But the kind of rhetoric, the kind of attitude that you guys represent: "Oh, this is a whole different direction for the military and the president."

And the idea is that if you can give so much money to the military, even a little bump over what Obama, you are going to have what Greg talked about; you're going to punish the State Department. You're going to punish all the other agencies in government. ..

GUILFOYLE: Greg didn't say that.

WILLIAMS: ... that work to preserve the peace.

GUTFELD: I don't remember saying that.

WILLIAMS: Who said it? Oh, Dana.

BOLLING: Little Dana.

GUTFELD: They mistake us a lot.

BOLLING: Three percent -- three percent of a $600 billion budget is $18 billion. So a little bump is a lot of money to the military.

GUILFOYLE: And can I say something to you? The left is always whining, bemoaning Russia and all the scary goblins out there, but yet you want to undercut the military and national security and not -- no, yes, because President Obama cut defense spending for eight years.

WILLIAMS: No. It...

GUILFOYLE: so now we have to recoup it, and we need to have a
technological advantage and be military ready and strong so that there aren't problems in the future and we can continue forward and not have to play catch up.

WILLIAMS: I -- one quick point. I know we have to go, but one quick point. We spend seven or eight times as much money as China on the military. We spend even more than that on Russia. So there's no question about our military superiority.

GUILFOYLE: I think it is. Look at how many times we're getting hacked.

BOLLING: Going to leave it right there.

Ahead, President Trump's election victory may have Oprah considering her own White House bid. Oprah Winfrey pondering that idea, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GUILFOYLE: I don't know. Did you talk about it?

GUTFELD: Yes. So is Oprah running for president?

GUILFOYLE: Yes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST/MEDIA MOGUL: I never considered the question even a possibility. I just thought "Oh. Oh."

DAVID RUBENSTEIN, THE CARLYLE GROUP: Right. Because it's clear that you don't need government experience to be elected president of the United States. Right?

WINFREY: That's what I thought. I thought, "Oh, gee, I don't have the experience. I don't know enough. I don't" -- and now I'm thinking, "Oh."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUTFELD: "Oh." She was joking, of course, but there are worse ideas. See that rebuttal to Trump? Out of ideas, the Democrats rebooted "Mayberry RFD."

But Oprah is an icon who, unlike traditional politicians, could match a wild card like Donald Trump. And if she won, she could give everyone a free car.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WINFREY: You get a car! You get a car! You get a car! You get a car! Everybody gets a car!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUTFELD: And how different is that, really, from most Democrats? And consider who her running mate could be. Steadman or Gayle. She could replace the Cabinet with her book club.

I kid, but she's quite a story. Born into extreme poverty, not having a pair of shoes until she was 6 years old, she became the richest black American of the 20th century -- worth billions. She's the walking, living, breathing reminder of American opportunity, capitalism and optimism. She's rugged individualism at its best.

However, there is scandal in her life. Her name is not really Oprah. It's Orpah. So who is she really? "Oprah" or "Orpah"? Could she be a Russian spy? We'll need an independent investigation, perhaps by Dr. Phil.

But really, this is fake news. The real news is that the Democrats and the media are already thinking about 2020. It's natural in team-sport politics to only see elections as the game and not all those days in between. It's like the next four years are the world's longest halftime.

Was there ever a time when the bubble stopped thinking about the next election for maybe one month and just focused on the country? Imagine if on your job, you're only thinking about keeping your job four years from now. You wouldn't get much done.

GUILFOYLE: Don't you do that?

GUTFELD: Maybe in government, that's good. Kimberly.

All right. By the way, her real name is Orpah, which is a biblical name from the "Book of Ruth."

GUILFOYLE: So that wasn't the fake news part of it?

GUTFELD: No, no, no. Her name is Orpah. But they couldn't pronounce it, so it's Oprah.

GUILFOYLE: Hmmm.

GUTFELD: She would be a great choice, Kimberly.

GUILFOYLE: Very likable.

GUTFELD: Even if she's joking. She'd win. I mean...

GUILFOYLE: She's an entrepreneur. She's smart. Yes, she has high favorability, the whole deal. So but would Valerie Jarrett go and run the White House with her?

GUTFELD: Well, that's a good question.

GUILFOYLE: Again with the Obamas.

GUTFELD: Or maybe Gayle or Steadman. You never know, Juan.

GUILFOYLE: I like her a lot, and I like Gayle, too.

GUTFELD: 2020, Juan, Oprah versus Donald. Best, greatest election ever, correct?

WILLIAMS: Yes. I think it would be fun, because you know, it would be about white women. You know?

GUTFELD: Really?

WILLIAMS: Yes. Because guess what? Educated white women are the vulnerability of a Trump candidacy at all times; and Oprah knows how to relate to that audience, maybe even better than George Clooney. I don't know.

BOLLING: Even better than an educated white woman named Hillary Clinton?

WILLIAMS: Yes, apparently so. Because I don't think that -- you won't have Benghazi and the secret server to focus on. You'd have to talk about real foundations, real charity, which is what she...

BOLLING: You know what? Oprah is smart enough not to run in 2020, because she'll lose. I mean, there's no...

GUTFELD: She'd be 67, Eric.

BOLLING: But maybe 2024, as you pointed out. Anyone that's smart enough to put a billion dollars in their bank account is probably smart enough to run the country. You have to be -- you have to have, A, you have to have talent. You have to hire the right people to keep them around you. And you can't waste money, and that was the theory. That was the concoction, the recipe that Trump could bring. And I think he is.

So yes, Oprah, Mark Cuban. Another one who may...

GUILFOYLE: Your BFF.

BOLLING: My buddy. In 2024, good luck, Mark.

But hey, by the way, Mark Cuban was wearing a 46 jersey to a basketball game last week.

GUILFOYLE: Yes, we saw that.

BOLLING: President 46?

GUILFOYLE: We got it.

WILLIAMS: Rich -- the rich -- the rich is the best qualification for president?

BOLLING: No, no, successful.

GUTFELD: Dana.

BOLLING: Business-like qualities, yes.

GUTFELD: What I find interesting about Oprah is she was born to an unmarried teenage mother. So she's actually an example of what -- how being pro-life can turn into something pretty amazing. Don't you think?

PERINO: Absolutely. Look, I mean, and that's one of the questions of -- that faces the black community...

WILLIAMS: Big time.

PERINO: ... in terms of what are we losing in terms of supporting the policy? Anyway, I'm sticking to my prediction.

GUTFELD: What, Al Franken?

PERINO: Al Franken. Watch. He's setting himself up, because he's like, "I'm a -- I'm a celebrity and I'm a politician and I'm a senator, and I'm coming from Minnesota."

GUILFOYLE: Well, that is going to be so scary. I can't take it.

GUTFELD: All right.

GUILFOYLE: I'm going to Ireland.

PERINO: Mark my words.

GUTFELD: Let's move on. It's not Oprah who will run against President Trump in 2020. One of the left's loudest mouthpieces is warning his fellow liberals they're going to lose again if they don't take Trump seriously this time. When "The Five" returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WILLIAMS: 2020 may sound like it's a long ways away, but Democrats need to get their act together now if they want to get back in the White House again, despite what you heard from Gregory.

Political pundit and former Obama advisor Van Jones is sounding the alarm to his fellow liberals not to underestimate President Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: He is running a movement based on pride and prosperity. It's a completely different appeal. And so that, I think, creates this miss, where the liberals are out there protesting, and independents are moving his way.

And then, guess what? It's even worse than that. He may take the protocol card away. He may actually start following the protocol. So then the liberals are going to get beaten, not just because we can't compete with him on pride and prosperity, but we can't just demonize him on protocol.
And once again, I think liberals are in grave danger of missing the whole plot until it's too late.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAMS: Kimberly, is that right?

GUILFOYLE: Listen, Van Jones is a smart guy. I know him from back in San Francisco, where he was working as, you know, a political operative there.
And so he was very close with Gavin Newsom, with my ex, lieutenant governor.

And he's somebody, I think, who gets it and said it before. This isn't the first time that he's warned people to not underestimate President Trump.
And he's right. There's a movement. People that underestimate, all the pollsters and the pundits, saw what happened. And they showed up for President Trump. And the left was taken aback, I guess until the point that they canceled Hillary's fireworks. Then they saw, perhaps, the writing on the wall.

But yes, he's right. They should pay attention. And like Greg said, Michael Moore is another one who predicted that Trump would win. And Van Jones was actually listening instead of just making foolish criticisms.
When the president spoke to the joint session of Congress, we heard what he was saying, and he knows that President Trump is somebody that is actually reaching out and appealing to all Americans from some of the things that he said specifically when he addressed Congress. So he's like, do not underestimate him.

WILLIAMS: So Eric, there's some of the bounce back, as I saw a piece in G.Q. today said, "Hey, what's going on with Van Jones? Why is he jumping on the Trump bandwagon for?"

BOLLING: Well, I don't know if he's jumping on the Trump bandwagon. I heard some other things he said about Trump in the wake of the big address that Trump gave on Tuesday. And I don't think they were very becoming of President Trump. I think he's remaining liberal; he's just very smart...

GUILFOYLE: Yes.

BOLLING: ... in saying, "You better wake up or you're not going to have a shot." I don't think you have a shot at 2020 anyway, unless you put someone up who's amazing, smart, likable.

WILLIAMS: Because -- because Trump has no troubles.

BOLLING: As you well know, it's very hard to unseat a...

GUILFOYLE: He's being honest.

WILLIAMS: Dana, what do you make of it, you know, if you were looking at it and saying, "Why is Van Jones being so praising of President Trump?"

GUILFOYLE: I don't think he is.

PERINO: I don't think he's praising him.

GUILFOYLE: No.

PERINO: I think he's just talking about reality. And the Democrats are actually having to rebuild from the ground up. Because it's not only the presidency that they lost but over the last eight years, they had lost all those state legislative races. So they don't even really have a bench. So before they -- they have to rebuild by all accounts. And nobody knows what's really going to happen. So talking about 2020 is a little premature.

WILLIAMS: So Gregory, what about who was it? I think it was Rush Limbaugh said that the Democrats brought out Captain Kangaroo in the form of Governor Beshear of Kentucky.

GUTFELD: It will be great if Van Jones had a son. He might call him Mini Van.

You know, it's amazing how the left turns -- the left turns on their own...

WILLIAMS: Yes?

GUTFELD: ... when they kind of step -- and you know this. How they step out from the lockstep. Yes. Well, the right does it too, obviously.

But, you know, Van Jones has gotten a lot of grief for some of the things.
Katie Toure (ph), she was complementary about the speech; and once that happens, they attack. And I think that's a problem on both sides, you're right.

But the reason why the Democratic Party lost, and I don't know if Van played a role in it. There was a lot of identity politics going on that relied on name-calling. Everybody was a racist. And then you marginalize law and order, which allowed somebody like Donald Trump to come out as the law & order candidate. So those are the two things they really have to look at. They've got to ditch the identity politics and stop demonizing law and order.

WILLIAMS: Wow, a prescription for Democratic success from Dr. Gutfeld.

"One More Thing" up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GUILFOYLE: It's time now for "One More Thing." Hello, there. Happy birthday, Eric Bolling.

BOLLING: OH, Kimberly, thank you, "The Five." Thank you.

GUILFOYLE: Yes.

WILLIAMS: Happy birthday.

GUILFOYLE: And I think you already got your big present, which was
President Trump, 45.

BOLLING: Look at that. The new studio is so awesome.

GUILFOYLE: Look at how cute this is. And there's your books, "Wake Up, America" and "The Swamp." We'll sell some; we'll have some cake.

BOLLING: Oh, "The Swamp," yes!

GUTFELD: That's not -- you've got to get a better picture for "The Swamp."

BOLLING: You think so?

GUTFELD: I don't like the hair.

BOLLING: Someone said -- but you want to know something, Greg? Everyone is talking about whether it looks good or bad.

WILLIAMS: Talking. But you know what I'm talking about, no candle. I want a candle for Eric.

GUILFOYLE: They told me we couldn't do it; we can't have fire or something like that. OK, OK.

BOLLING: They want me to go?

GUILFOYLE: Take a bite, everyone.

BOLLING: Do me a favor. I'm going to be off tomorrow. My wife is taking me to Puerto Rico. But Saturday morning, we're going -- Saturday morning, Juan is going to be on the show. We have Mick Mulvaney on. He's the director of Office of Management and Budget. Listen, I'm going to -- as Dana knows, we're both policy wonks. I talked to him about things like tax cuts, border tax, border fees, who's going to pay for the wall and foreign aid and who's -- where we're cutting back. Really, really, it's a lot of news that's going to come out of that.

GUILFOYLE: This is Del Frisco's yellow cake. I want to say thank you on behalf of "The Five."

GUTFELD: Is this what Hillary sold to the Russians?

All right.

GUILFOYLE: Oh, God.

GUTFELD: It's my turn, Kimberly, since you've lost your responsibilities.

GUILFOYLE: Look at -- this is what's happening here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GUTFELD: Greg's Celebrity Sightings.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUTFELD: So I take the subway every single day. I was getting off on 49th Street and who did I see? This incredibly famous person. Take a look, my first picture. Look at this guy. Who could that be?

PERINO: Oh!

GUTFELD: Another picture I took. There he was again. Yes, it's Eric Bolling.

BOLLING: Wait, what?

PERINO: It isn't, is it?

GUTFELD: It's Eric Bolling. Do the side view, Eric. You've got to do the side view. Side view, do the side view. Now show the other side view.

WILLIAMS: They play the same role.

GUTFELD: I see it and said, "There's Eric Bolling." It is Damian Lewis.

WILLIAMS: Yes, playing -- playing Eric Bolling.

BOLLING: Back in the day, back in the day.

GUILFOYLE: I lost control of this here.

PERINO: This was my "One More Thing" from yesterday, so I'll try to blow through. President Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday. It directed the governments, the EPA, to pull back Obama's rule, waters of the United States rule. Here's a couple headlines of hysteria. Politico said, "Trump Touts Clean Air and Water While Trying to Kill Air and Water Rules."
There were other more hysterical things.

Here's the thing. The rule never went into place, because it did not pass judicial muster. Everybody that works the land and that is a land owner wants to protect it and conserve it. Believe me. My uncle said in Wyoming he doesn't want them to come up there and tell him what to do, and he doesn't go to Florida to tell them how to protect manatees. So everything's going to be OK.

Sorry, Juan. You've only got ten seconds.

WILLIAMS: Wait, do I have ten seconds?

GUILFOYLE: Go, go, go.

WILLIAMS: I have ten seconds?

GUILFOYLE: Go.

WILLIAMS: All right. Watch this. This is schoolyard. Happy birthday.
Happy birthday, man.

GUILFOYLE: Thank you, brother.

GUILFOYLE: Oh, my God, let them eat cake. Set your DVR so you never miss an episode of "The Five." That's it for us. "Special Report" next.

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