TRANSCRIPT

Does Trump think Flynn is guilty of a crime?

President supports ex-adviser's bid for immunity to testify in Russia investigation

 

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," March 31, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: Hello, everyone. I'm Dana Perino along with Lisa Boothe, Juan Williams, Eric Bolling, and Greg Gutfeld. It's 5:00 in New York City and this is "The Five."

New developments tonight on General Michael Flynn's surprising offer to testify before congress on the Trump team's possible ties to Russia in exchange for immunity.

The president's former national security advisor was ousted last months for misleading the White House on his contacts with Russia's ambassador. He is now seeking immunity because his lawyer says he has a story to tell, but wants assurances he won't be unfairly prosecuted in a, quote, highly politicized witch-hunt environment. Several months back, General Flynn characterized immunity deals as admissions of guilt.

(START VIDEO CLIP)

GEN. MICHAEL FLYNN (RET), FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: No individual too big to jail. That should include people like Hillary Clinton. I mean, five people around her have been given immunity to include her former chief of staff. When you are given immunity that means you probably committed a crime.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PERINO: Maybe not. President Trump once said something similar though about the Clinton camp. Does he think Flynn is guilty of a crime? Here is Sean Spicer's answer earlier.

(START VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He believes that Mike Flynn should go testify.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With or without immunity?

SPICER: That's up to him and his lawyer to decide. I'm not going to give Mike Flynn or anyone else legal advice from the podium, but I will tell you that the president's view is he should go up there. He should testify.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president gave legal advice from his Twitter account. You said in the past that the only reason to ask for immunity is if you committed a crime.

SPICER: I think that the underlying point you are missing, Jonathan, respectively is that what he is asking is go testify. Go get it out there. Do what you have to do to get there and tell congress and tell everyone exactly what we have been saying for a long time.

This doesn't look an administration is not doing everything it can to get to the bottom of this in the appropriate way. And I think that that is an important distinction that has been lost on a lot of you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PERINO: All right. Last we left you after one more thing last night, we did not know about this immunity offer. It came right after we left, Eric, and it's important to say even though when you are talking about your partisan opponent, you might say that it means you're guilty of a crime. Immunity does not mean that and immunity can take a lot of different forms. But this wasn't necessarily the best way to get this story off the front page.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: So here is the way I read this is you are a good lawyer, will always instruct you to ask for immunity. I mean, that is a great option for the person who is going to be standing there and may open himself to a lot of risk. No matter what you say in this hearing, it can be used against you and so one of the other hearings or something else or the Turkish issue that he may have going on. So of course you are going to ask for immunity.

I think it's unfortunate that he said if you're granted immunity, you are guilty of something. I don't know where that came from, maybe just some rhetoric during the campaign. But, yeah, I think it's smart for him to do that. But here's the question. You have something. He has something. He has information. And it's worth -- it's got a value. Does the senate committee or do any of the committees think it's valuable enough to offer him immunity?

It looks like they're not going to give it to him. But again, to unmask someone you have to have a reason and have you to have clearance. Then to go public like they did with Michael Flynn's name, that's a felony. So someone is going to be in a lot of trouble when they find out who unmasked and then went public with Michael Flynn's name.

PERINO: That's true because the White House today, Greg, they are wanting the press the focus on the unmasking issue.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: Right.

PERINO: Instead of the meddling.

GUTFELD: Yeah.

PERINO: And people on the other side are saying no, the meddling is important and the unmasking is secondary even though they often agree that it was wrong and a crime.

GUTFELD: You know what, it's like two-man race, which one -- to the evidence. If the race is between the people who believe in the collusion, they want that to be true. There is the other side that says no, it's a leak. The leak is slightly ahead. It appears there is more evidence about the leak than there is about collusion.

But back to the immunity question, if he really wanted immunity, would he asked for it publicly? I mean, if you really wanted something, I would hit them up privately. If I had a succulent...

PERINO: You may have.

GUTFELD: Succulent secret staff. But I'm going by what I know. I'm not speculating, Dana.

PERINO: So responsible.

GUTFELD: I am. I really -- like publicly asking for immunity is like publicly asking for drugs. No one is going to say sure, here have it. Because it's bad form. By the way, why can't we just have immunity for everything? It's like why is it just when you have to talk in court?

LISA BOOTHE, GUEST CO-HOST: Like what?

PERINO: Where do you want it from?

BOOTHE: Yeah, where do you want it?

GUTFELD: Relationship.

(LAUGHTER)

GUTFELD: Work.

PERINO: How does that work though?

BOOTHE: You just want to be by yourself.

GUTFELD: Exactly. Women would never grant you immunity.

PERINO: Let me take a quick look at...

(LAUGHTER)

PERINO: No, they wouldn't. This is Congressman Chaffetz who was on earlier today talking about whether he as one of the chairman of the committees on the house side thinks that immunity should be granted.

(START VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JASON CHAFFETZ (R), UTAH: I don't think it's a witch-hunt. Look, it's very mysterious to me though why all of a sudden General Flynn is suddenly out there saying he wants immunity. A, I don't think congress should give him immunity. If there is an open investigation by the FBI, that should not happen. I also don't believe that actually that the president should be weighing in on this.

They are the ones that actually would prosecute something. I was very critical of President Obama who weighed in on the IRS scandal before we had all the facts. And I don't think Donald Trump should be weighing in on this. Immunity from what? I mean, we don't know what that is. And so it is up to the intel committee.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PERINO: Okay, so, Juan, having been -- not you but speaking of myself. Having been in the trench and having to answer questions every day about an ongoing investigation in which the FBI was involved at the White House, my -- I was advised by lawyers and people around, no comment.

And just stall in the briefing room, say no comment while ongoing investigation was underway because even though that caused short-term pain in the press, it was better in the long run for the investigation and for anybody at the White House or others who might have been involved.

I think that even if that was the instinct of the White House in the press office, it's hard to do when the president is weighing in. And so now you have an additional layer of the president saying basically that they are very much public on this investigation.

JUAN WILLIAMS, CO-HOST: What struck me was when the president called this a witch-hunt. Because if you say it's a witch-hunt, you could say oh, well, you know, he is talking about those evil democrats or he's talking about that terrible media, that failing "New York Times," that awful "Washington Post" or whatever.

But in fact, when you say this, you really talking about the intelligence agency. You really talking about the people who have been gathering information. You're talking about the congress...

PERINO: You don't think hes not just talking about the press?

WILLIAMS: No, because guess what, they are not conducting the investigation and asking Michael Flynn to come in. It's the intelligence agency and the committee that are asking Michael Flynn to tell his story. If Michael Flynn is going to tell the truth, why does Donald Trump, the president, think oh yeah, go ahead and seek immunity. I think this really complicates matters and obviously on the surface, let's just stick with that for a second, it just doesn't look good.

I think that's what you heard from Republicans during the campaign with regard to Clinton. It just doesn't look good because people may say, you know, where there's smoke, there's fire. At the moment, the real problem is that you have a president who decides unlike Sean Spicer who was wise enough to say he doesn't give legal advice from the podium the president is spewing legal advice in a way that would suggest there is something being hidden.

PERINO: What do you think of this, Lisa, because the unmasking issue is a very serious one.

BOOTHE: Absolutely.

PERINO: But even if you solve and get answers let's say in an hour to the unmasking issue, the underlying investigation about the alleged collusion is still there. So, what do you think they're up to?

BOOTHE: Right. All we have seen is really circumstantial evidence that the democrats have put forward. But I don't think you can say it's a witch- hunt, obviously, because there is ongoing FBI investigation. We don't know the full scope of that, you just cannot ignore that issue as a whole. But I do think if you are at the White House, it's got to be frustrating in the sense that this other side of the coin, nobody seems interested in, right?

The media doesn't seem as interested in the unmasking of Americans' names. They don't seem as interested in the illegal leak of information. That being said, if you're the president, you're north really doing yourself a service or doing yourself any favors by keeping this information out in the media and tweeting something like that out today.

Guess what, there are a whole host of issues that Americans care a lot about like finding replacement and passing a replacement plan for health care, like tax reform, like getting Neil Gorsuch which is one of the main driver or at least to lot of conservatives who vote for President Trump to get him confirmed.

And so when you are putting this information out there, when there are already so many questions, so much information out there already, you really aren't doing yourself any favors. So if the president is watching, please stop doing that.

(LAUGHTER)

GUTFELD: I was just going to say, the other reason why calling it a witch- hunt is wrong. It's an attack on witches.

(LAUGHTER)

GUTFELD: Seriously. You think about witches.

BOOTHE: They have rights, too. Nobody cares about them.

GUTFELD: Apparently tortured and murdered and we act like we are comparing everything to a witch-hunt. Witch hunts were bad.

PERINO: That's talking about the hunters of the witches. Refers to them not the witch.

GUTFELD: I still think it's inappropriate. People make me sick.

PERINO: You were going to say something.

BOLLING: Before we move on, the immunity issue, no one deserve -- do you know who they definitely should offer immunity to and I think the Trump organization would love to see this as well. Offer immunity to Evelyn Farkas. I talked about her the other day and again yesterday. Now, this is someone who I think should have immunity. She knew too much.

She was out of White House when she contacted the Obama administration suggesting that there was surveillance going on of the Trump administration. Why is that? Who did you know? And how did you get that information and who did you pass it on to? Boy, I think there is someone who should be immune from prosecution because she is holding a lot of the cards.

BOOTHE: If you are Flynn, can you blame him for especially given how hyper- partisan this has become on both sides of the of the fence, just the shear amount of attention this is giving. The fact there is an FBI investigation, I don't blame the guy for trying to seek immunity deal.

That's essentially what his attorney said in his statement, he said no reasonable person would essentially subject themselves to this line of questioning given the fact the political nature of this, given the amount of attention it is without assurances against prosecution.

So, I mean, it's obviously unfortunate that he had made those comments before because it sure doesn't look good today. That being said, you can't blame the guy given all these other circumstances for wanting to make some sort of deal.

PERINO: That's the difference between legal advice and campaign rhetoric.

BOOTHE: Right.

WILLIAMS: By the way, that was interesting what you had to say about witch- hunt. I haven't thought of that. That was a good point. Did you hear that, Gregory? It's about the hunted, not the witch.

GUTFELD: You don't want to go there, Juan.

WILLIAMS: All right. What I was saying, I think the person who should be given immunity may be President Trump.

GUTFELD: Oh.

WILLIAMS: You know why? He is a guy who apparently knew what was going on, knew about the perception being perpetrated by Flynn, and took him three weeks to get rid of Flynn. Wait a second, why would any president do that to his own vice president, send that message internally to his own staff unless he felt that Flynn had something on him? Oh, jeesh.

PERINO: I don't know. We also know there have been over zealous prosecutors in the past that try to get you on something that is not related to the eventual question.

WILLIAMS: Going back to Eric's point, Dana, under such scrutiny, under the microscope of politics, so intensely. There is not gonna be any wide eyed prosecutor who is going to get away with anything here.

BOLLING: There are two investigations going on here. No, three.

PERINO: Three.

BOLLING: Two topics. The one being as you are trying to find some sort of collusion between Trump and the Russians. The other one being what's with this unmasking and the felonious outing of American names?

WILLIAMS: You know, I just feel this is part of the White House smoke. They throw up this stuff about leaks, leaks, leaks.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: For every average American out there, the more important issue will be, what do you mean Americans? It may be possibly innocent American names were outed.

WILLIAM: No, wait a minute.

PERINO: We have another block on this.

(CROSSTALK)

GUTFELD: The race I'm talking about.

PERINO: Here they go. They are on race.

GUTFELD: I watch a lot of law and order. It's always the rich white guy that's guilty. I put my money on the rich white guy.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: Very good. It is Hollywood.

WILLIAMS: If it was a horror movie, the black guy (inaudible).

(CROSSTALK)

GUTFELD: Nicely done.

PERINO: My reading assignment is something that Eric just brought up, about Evelyn Farkas. Philip Bump of "The Washington Post" wrote a piece today about her, and you can find it at washingtonpost.com. Right ahead, new reaction from the White House on the revelation that two Trump officials were the ones who showed house intelligence committee chair, Devin Nunes, those collection documents. Plus, was he duped by the White House? Nancy Pelosi's theory is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLLING: Short while ago at the White House, Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, got a chance to review the documents. The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee got to see about Trump team intercepts. Today, the White House once again defended Chairman Nunes' controversial visit.

(START VIDEO CLIP)

SPICER: It's appropriate for a member of congress to contact someone who has contacted him according to some of these reports. I don't know the answer to that, but if you're asking me is it appropriate for a member of congress to come over here. As Chairman Nunes has said himself, he wasn't hiding or roaming.

He was asked to come over here by an individual. He came over which happens daily. He was asked to go somewhere. He went there. He is clear. And nothing that is inappropriate, and exactly the opposite. What he did, what he saw, and who he met with was 100 percent proper.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi expressed a lot of suspicions about the visit earlier.

(START VIDEO CLIP)

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: It is very bizarre. I have a long experience in the intelligence community, served with Republican and Democratic chairman. I've been the top democrat there myself. I have never seen behavior this bizarre on the part of the chairman. Why would the chairman of the committee go to the White House to get information that they could have conveyed to the president, bring it to the president, and then take it to the press?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was he used by the White House?

PELOSI: Of course. He was duped. Now, that's the most innocent, most benign characterization that he was duped. But he should have known better.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: Dana, so I guess all four the chairman and ranking member, both the House Intelligence Committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee were offered this information. Schiff went as a ranking member of the house. But neither one of the senators decided to go.

PERINO: The White House could have saved itself a whole bunch of headache if they had just done that in the first place. Because if it was so routine and proper and the White House wasn't trying to figure out a way to have Nunes help them in the press by then going to the press first without talking to his co-chairman which he then apologized for, and then going to the White House to brief the president on what the White House had just told him, the White House could have all of that by just saying okay, we've got this information, we think it's important to the investigation, we're going to invite both the chairman over and get to see it at the same time. If you are cooperating in an investigation, that's just a much cleaner way to do it.

BOLLING: Juan, let me ask you, what are we going after here? I mean, every day we have Chairman Nunes on in front of a microphone and then Schiff comes out. Senate panels. I mean, what are we trying to do here? It feels like we are really drawing this thing out. Let's get to the evidence.

WILLIAMS: Yeah. I think that's what the Senate Intelligence Committee is doing. They are trying to get to the evidence. They have people now lined up. They have people in fact authorized to review these documents. They are trying to do it as quickly as they can.

I think the problem with what we are seeing here is that you are -- it feels like there is an orchestrated effort by the White House to obstruct the congressional investigations and potentially the FBI investigation by doing things like staging this oh, you know, come on over here, congressman, take a look at this.

Now go back and say that you found something so the press reports it and then come and say that you are going to brief the president. Wait a minute, we gave you the documents. Why wouldn't the president have seen these documents? Oh, did the president know? So there are lots of questions, Eric, that emerge from the fact that they engaged in this charade.

BOLLING: Can I do a Gregism?

GUTFELD: Sure.

BOLLING: Are the mainstream media and the democrats, Pelosi, Schiff, Schumer, they have a bad case of Russia phobia?

GUTFELD: They might. But you know what, I'm thinking about sitting out of this segment because you started with the red hot chili peppers.

(CROSSTALK)

GUTFELD: It's funny watching Pelosi accuse somebody of bizarre behavior, like Katy Perry accusing somebody of being stupid. I'm trying to think of one normal thing Nancy Pelosi has ever done. Can you think of one normal thing maybe stepping down, but she was forced to? So, she would...

PERINO: Probably she does a lot of normal things that you probably don't see.

GUTFELD: Probably privately. We don't -- we only see the -- by the way, the crime here, the alleged crime is there private citizen unmasked for political purposes. That's where we're taking about the leak. That is something that the media normally would expect from the evil Trump administration or the evil fill in the blank conservative republican administration.

And the victim would be the angelic Obama administration, the liberal progressive administration. They would be the victim. That's the story line they want so bad. That's the reason why the story line won't stick because it's the reverse. It's the angelic Obama administration who were doing it to Trump.

PERINO: I just wrote down Valerie Plame's name on here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

PERINO: That whole scenario that you are just talking about.

GUTFELD: I couldn't read your handwriting.

PERINO: I was writing upside down.

BOLLING: We have been at this for now what? Four months, four months or so. I'm still to this day waiting to see the substantiated direct evidence that there is any sort -- there was any sort of collusion between the two. Why can't we get to this?

BOOTHE: And we haven't. And former DNI Director Clapper who said that he hadn't seen anything. "The New York Times" reported in October at that point in the FBI investigation, they hadn't found anything. But there is still an FBI investigation. We don't have all the facts here. I do think Nancy Pelosi is bizarre. If you are Nancy Pelosi and you are the democrat, it's in your best interest to keep the collusion part of this in the news. That's what you want people to be talking about.

They don't want people to look at the other side of the coin, which is what I brought up in the earlier segment that this there is this other side of the coin, there is the illegal leak of the information which is the only crime that we know that has taken place. There is the unmasking of names, which is essentially what Nunes and this information has brought forward. As Kimberley Strassel wrote in "The New York Times"...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "The Wall Street Journal."

BOOTHE: "The Wall Street Journal," whoa, whoa, yeah, "Wall Street Journal," wrote that the dems can't hide evidence that Nunes is right, talking about how the White House did surveil the incoming administration. I do find that concerning especially as I mentioned the other day in the back drop of "The New York Times" article talking about the fact that the Obama administration basically left bread crumbs of intelligence.

NBC came out with a report essentially saying that as well. And also changing the rules of the NSA and how information can be widely disseminated. It is concerning. We should be looking at all facets of the information that has surfaced.

BOLLING: Juan, we got to go. But can we all admit? This is the key, that if fact we do know one single crime. We do know for sure one crime was committed.

WILLIAMS: Oh, yeah.

BOLLING: The naming of Michael Flynn. That's the only crime...

(LAUGHTER)

WILLIAMS: I'm with Greg, we should skip this segment. There is nothing there.

(CROSSTALK)

GUTFELD: Farkas is a great name.

WILLIAMS: That's a wonderful name.

GUTFELD: I love it, Farkas.

WILLIAMS: I tell you one thing by the way, because, you know, I'm like the inspector, you know, looking for any possible clue here. I'm surprised that Devin Nunes lied because that's what Bloomberg said, Bloomberg reporter said, when they asked him where did you get this information? He said oh, some intelligence people, some sources, not the White House. Oh, but now what do we know? This is why, Eric, people are like, something is going on here.

BOLLING: Still, the only crime committed so far that we know of is unmasking the name of Michael Flynn.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: I tell you, the intelligence agencies in January said Russia interfered...

GUTFELD: There is a difference there, Juan. There is a difference. If you look at the leak that is actually concrete or more concrete than the -- than the speculation that there is collusion. So go back to the race metaphor. These two -- the leak is here and the collusion is here. Maybe it will catch up, but I don't think so.

WILLIAMS: I will tell you what, this was a meteor headed towards the planet earth. It would be Russian interference and undermining our democratic...

(CROSSTALK)

BOOTHE: You also have the president telling Comey to stand down and then after Trump wins to ask for an intelligence review and then place sanctions on Russia.

BOLLING: Need to go. They are wrapping me. A former Obama administration official admitted the previous administration was gathering intel on the Team trump. But, now she is backtracking. What Evelyn Farkas is saying now, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WILLIAMS: Former Obama administration official, Evelyn Farkas, made headlines recently when she said there was an effort to gather and disperse intelligence on the Trump team before the transfer of power so that information would not disappear. Now, Farkas said she was misunderstood, and she is trying to clarify.

(START VIDEO CLIP)

EVELYN FARKAS, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR RUSSIA: I was referring to the motivation because there has been a lot of discussion in the media about why are people leaking. And so I was trying to but in a very shorthand fashion explain at the very end of that quote that people were leaking because they were afraid of a cover-up. I do not, absolutely do not condone leaking.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Were there specific pieces of information that you were concerned would disappear?

FARKAS: No. I did not know what the information was or what -- I suspected that they had information. Again, knowing what I know about our intelligence community. They are very professional. They have a very good eye on Russia.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAMS: The Trump White House thinks Farkas' statements are devastating, and the media should be closely covering them. So Eric, I know this is something that you are passionate--

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: -- in your paper about Evelyn Farkas and her revelation this is what they sought to do. I also believe that some of the comments that have come out publicly in terms of some of the Obama administration are conveniently left out of that discussion.

I think that that is interesting how no one seems to really cover the fact that a senior Obama administration with high level clearances talked about the spreading of classified information for political purposes, and no one seems to care.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAMS: All right, Eric, I was trying to say I know you're passionate about this. What did you think about the way Sean responded? What's your response?

BOLLING: I didn't love the response by Spicer. I think what's important is that Farkas is now saying that she was talking about the motivation for any evidence, or information that was being gathered, not the actual information which she originally said. She said, "Make sure you put away the information so that when Trump transition team is in the White House, they don't have access to that or they don't have access to the methods."

So she confirmed that there was information being gathered by the Obama administration, that there was some sort of -- whether it's incidental or actual surveillance of Trump team that was going on. That's No. 1.

WILLIAMS: Wait, wait. I think it was about Russia.

PERINO: Right.

BOLLING: Well, OK, but it was also -- she pointed out Trump team as well.

WILLIAMS: No, but I'm saying--

BOLLING: Originally -- when she was originally--

WILLIAMS: She said the language of--

BOLLING: "Trump team."

WILLIAMS: But I will say this. In her defense, she says she wasn't in government. She didn't have access.

BOLLING: But here's the most important part. It was Trump team. She did mention Trump team and Obama watching Trump team. But here's the most important. Do you know where she went to when she left working for team Obama?

WILLIAMS: Tell me.

BOLLING: Clinton. Hillary Clinton's campaign. You're going to tell me that there was no motivation on her part to go after team Trump by saying, "Hey, this is evidence that you'll be able to use against Trump"?

WILLIAMS: You mean you think she actually had evidence?

BOLLING: I think she saw it. I think that's the whole issue.

WILLIAMS: I think you don't know that.

BOLLING: That's why she deserves immunity. Give her immunity from prosecution. Find out what she saw and how she found out about it.

WILLIAMS: Well, I don't -- Dana, do you think she had the information? I don't see any evidence of that.

PERINO: You can look at it either way. This Philip Bump piece in The Washington Post is really good. If you are somebody who wants to support the Spicer version today from the White House, you would say absolutely. If you want to look at the other way, like she wasn't even in office for over a year, so how would she possibly know?

But I go back. This is actually another reason why intelligence officials, her included, don't -- shouldn't talk about these things. Because -- why go on cable news and talk with it? She definitely came back--

GUTFELD: Whoa.

PERINO: I'm serious. On intelligence matters, why are we doing that? It doesn't make sense.

WILLIAMS: She works for MSNBC.

PERINO: Well, I know, but why would you talk about something like this if she actually has information?

WILLIAMS: Oh, yes.

PERINO: Which is probably why she doesn't have any information, because she probably didn't know anything.

GUTFELD: We only want people--

PERINO: It was probably to inflate herself on there.

GUTFELD: -- without information.

PERINO: But I do think that we probably will get some information about who leaked that name, and it will probably be explosive. But then you still have the other part of the investigation, which is the alleged meddling and collusion.

WILLIAMS: Which is a fact. So Greg--

PERINO: The meddling is a fact. The collusion is not a fact.

WILLIAMS: No, no, no.

BOLLING: Thank you for clarifying, counselor.

WILLIAMS: I would say -- I would say that there is definitely meddling. And there's questions that are being investigated about--

PERINO: That's what I just said.

WILLIAMS: -- collusion.

PERINO: I said, "Allegedly."

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: So Gregory.

GUTFELD: Juan.

WILLIAMS: I love it when you said, "It's the big -- the big thing is we know the facts of the leak." But I'm thinking what if someone said this is a campaign by the White House to distract and distort from the Russia probe?

GUTFELD: I would say you're probably wrong, Juan, and then I would chuckle to myself and go have some tea.

She could have just said she was talking about incontinence, and that would have cleared the whole story up.

But I look at these stories right now, and I think these are the good times. These are the good times. These are the salad days of benign rumors, because no one remembers the headlines on September 10, 2001. Most of these stories, if not all of them will evaporate once something horrible happens. And right now what I worry about is that we take our eye off the ball, focusing on these other little rabbits going to different holes when the ball is always going to be Islamism. It's always going to be radical Islam. It's always going to be terror. And right now the media is so hot on this story, because you can go after Russians without being called Russian-phobic. But if you talk about radical Islam, it's Islamophobic. So it's really easy for you to be gutsy and bite right into this story, because you get no blowback.

BOOTHE: But also, this stuff's not going away either. I mean, obviously, it's not going away, because there's tons of investigations going on right now.

But also, another aspect of this is what Republicans were bringing up during the Russian hearing, is Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which is not where the Flynn stuff got caught up, but it's expiring at the end of the year. We are going to have these broader discussions of these intelligence leaks, of these spy tools which is essentially what Section 702 is. At some point the intelligence tri or field is going to want to have these discussions because they want to preserve those tools.

PERINO: And I bet that the commander-in-chief will want them to.

BOOTHE: Yes.

WILLIAMS: All right. Well--

PERINO: I would bet.

WILLIAMS: -- you know what concerns me that throughout all of this, the political loss of credibility by the Trump administration and loss of approval. I think his ratings are down now.

PERINO: Yes. Wait until -- they creep back up and then you're going to want to write the comeback story.

GUTFELD: But the reason why ratings are -- his rating is down is just the reason why he won. People don't talk about how they feel.

WILLIAMS: Well, I'm just saying when people are asked directly about facts coming from Trump if like 60 percent "I don't believe it."

GUTFELD: Yes, but when you asked directly about who they are going to vote for, they did the same thing.

WILLIAMS: Yes, all right. We will see what happens.

Coming up, we turn to President Trump's escalating feud with his own guys in the Freedom Caucus. Will this rift within the GOP greatly hurt the party and the president's agenda? Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Newt Gingrich on it next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOOTHE: The House Freedom Caucus isn't backing down after the president threatened to fight in 2018 if members don't get on board with the party's agenda. The caucus fired back at the president on Twitter this morning, saying, "We are where we have always been: committed to keeping our promise."

Some of the president's strongest supporters think it might be wise for him to abandon this battle and direct his anger elsewhere.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAURA INGRAHAM, TALK SHOW HOST/POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it is really, really unhelpful to Donald Trump's ultimate agenda to slam the very people who are going to be propping up his border wall, all the things he wants to do on immigration, on trade. I don't know where he thinks he's going to get his friends on those issues, unless he completely flips to become more of a Democrat.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: I don't know who's telling the White House to focus their anger on the Freedom Caucus, but I do think it's misplaced. Because the Freedom Caucus -- I've talked to them -- they want to make a deal. And they want the win for the president and the country.

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I do think the establishment is working overtime to try to drive a wedge between President Trump and the Freedom Caucus in order to move President Trump towards the center. I think it will backfire.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOOTHE: Well, Greg, is this a fight worth having?

GUTFELD: I don't know. I mean, it's like what -- file this under "What do you expect?" You backed a nonideological centrist. You're bound to get nonideological centrist movements from him. You know, it's -- he's establishment; caucus isn't. There you go. Ironic I think you'd call it.

BOOTHE: Dana, Republicans are great at sort of the circular firing squad. Everyone is pointing the fingers at each other. Do you think there's a chance that maybe everyone had a part in this failure?

PERINO: Sure. When everybody is pointing fingers, everyone has a little bit of the blame.

I do think Laura Ingraham some made great points on some of those other policy issues like the border wall and on some of the budget issues. That's true. Although I do think that, for anyone who suggests this isn't President Trump's strategy, and that he is not calling the shots, I think that we learned that in the campaign. His instincts were impeccable on the campaign trail. He understands politics at a gut level, probably better than most people in politics today.

So I think that he's actually figured out that this is the way he wants to go, this strategy. I don't think it's right to say that this is -- that he's not the one in charge. He's the commander-in-chief. He's the president. He won this election handily and in spite of everybody saying that he wasn't going to win.

And so I think that he's figured out that this is the way he has to win. He has to figure out to change the incentive structure, because he doesn't think he can get all the important issues that he wants done if he doesn't have that Freedom Caucus with him.

BOOTHE: Well, and Juan, Dana mentioned the fact that, you know, the president has demonstrated smart instincts, especially when people were saying that he wasn't going to win and saying that he wasn't politically astute.

WILLIAMS: Right.

BOOTHE: Is he onto something here? Is this a smart play to put the pressure on the Freedom Caucus? Obviously, he's going to need them down the road with tax reform and healthcare.

WILLIAMS: Well, I think there's a genuine divide. I mean, you stop and think about what the Freedom Caucus represents and you start to think about people like Heritage. You start to think about some of the other conservative organizations opposed to tax hikes and the like. Those folks came out against the healthcare bill. So, those are the Freedom Caucus roots. And at the moment, they're just not there with Donald Trump.

Now, they will be, as Dana was pointing out, if it comes to something like tax reform, like the wall. But at the moment, they're not there.

And I think Donald Trump just feels like, "You know what? I won." So whereas Dana says he has great gut instinct, and I would agree with that, although I disagree that he won overwhelmingly. He has great gut instinct. But his gut instinct is schoolyard; it is knife fight. "I'm going to beat you by guys up. You think you're going to mess with me? Watch what happens in 2018. I'll go into your district, and I will hurt you."

BOOTHE: And Eric, you know the president. You know the Freedom Caucus well. How real is this fight?

BOLLING: That's a very good question. I'm not sure how real the fight is.

Look, I think one -- I think the most important conservative voice out there isn't Heritage, isn't my good friend Sean Hannity or even Rush. I think Matt Drudge is the most important voice in -- for the conservative movement out there.

Drudge tweeted two days ago or yesterday -- I can't remember, two days ago, maybe. He called Rand Paul the most important -- America's best senator. Rand Paul represents the Freedom Caucus. He's probably the face of the Freedom Caucus. Remember when he went to the House side and said, "Hey, let's push back on this healthcare bill, because it's not really good for all our constituents going forward."

BOOTHE: Right.

BOLLING: So I think, yes, Juan is right. He's used to saying, "I'm going to push this through; I'm going to bully this through." He needs to work with -- the Freedom Caucus isn't going to roll for that kind of stuff. They just -- they just unite. This kind of makes them stronger. So at some point -- and Donald Trump is great at this. He pivots quite often.

BOOTHE: Right.

BOLLING: Hang on. He can easily pivot and say, "Look, I need to work with these people and figure out a way to get it done."

BOOTHE: All right. Well, you guys are going to want to stay right there, because "Facebook Friday" is coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GUTFELD: Yes, this thing.

GRAPHIC: Facebook Friday

GUTFELD: It actually adds time to these segments. Yes, very good. One of my favorite graphics.

PERINO: That's terrible.

GUTFELD: First question from Kelly M. I love this question. We'll all go this way. "What fashion trend would you bring back in to style," Dana?

PERINO: I'm old enough now that I'm seeing trends come back around.

GUTFELD: That happens when you hit 50.

BOOTHE: Smack in the face.

PERINO: I don't know. I mean--

GUTFELD: This is called "Facebook Friday." You're supposed to answer the question.

PERINO: Bolo ties.

GUTFELD: Bolo ties? Very good, bolo ties. No, you don't like them, though, do you?

PERINO: I wore one once on a news shoot when I was working in Illinois, for Garth Brooks.

GUTFELD: You know, you should save that for your memoir -- Eric.

BOLLING: So you know what's really cool? Not fashion, clothing fashion, but it's really cool about Cuba, the old-style cars. I love that old--

GUTFELD: But you know why they have them, right?

BOLLING: Because they can't afford -- those were our cars. They're so beautiful.

GUTFELD: Yes.

BOLLING: I mean, they're amazing, like, '50s and '60s, the Chevys. Awesome cars.

GUTFELD: Yes, they would love to have one of our new cars.

PERINO: You can't wear one.

GUTFELD: Juan, speaking of Juan?

WILLIAMS: I had so many things in mind. For example, right now, I notice women walking around with big holes in their shoulders, Greg. I'm not sure, was that an old trend that's come back or is that somebody--?

PERINO: I think it's "Flashdance."

WILLIAMS: "Flashdance"?

PERINO: I think so.

GUTFELD: It's called moths.

WILLIAMS: It's called moths? That could be my house. I'm telling you.

But I think the thing I would do in my neighborhood--

GUTFELD: Yes?

WILLIAMS: Pull up your pants. Geez.

GUTFELD: That's still going on? I don't see that anymore.

BOOTHE: You don't want to do that.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: Yes, I shouldn't have brought it up. No. By the way, I do like denim jackets. You remember those leather jackets? I like that.

GUTFELD: Very good.

BOOTHE: A little "Grease" action?

GUTFELD: Lisa.

BOOTHE: This is random but headbands. They're very convenient.

PERINO: They are coming back.

BOOTHE: It's like they're so convenient. Keep your bangs--

PERINO: They are coming back, but they call them turbans now. I bought four on Amazon.

GUTFELD: Oh, wow.

BOOTHE: All right. Well, I'll have to look into that.

Also, have you guys ever gone back and looked at photos you -- or pictures of things that you wore, like, 15 years ago? It's embarrassing.

GUTFELD: I've always looked great. You know, I--

BOOTHE: I'm sure.

GUTFELD: I would bring back chaps, although -- although in my household, they never went out of style.

BOOTHE: Nobody would know when you're sitting down.

BOLLING: Dog loves--

GUTFELD: Dogs love the chaps.

Patricia C. said -- oh, this is fun. We'll start with you, Eric. "What has been your favorite concert of all time?"

BOLLING: I saw -- OK, so it was an outdoor concert, and Bob Seger opened for Aerosmith.

GUTFELD: That's good.

BOLLING: Amazing, outdoor in Chicago. Soldier's Field, maybe.

GUTFELD: Nice. Juan.

WILLIAMS: I'm blocking on his name. Now, he--

PERINO: But it was great.

WILLIAMS: It was great.

BOOTHE: Totally memorable.

WILLIAMS: No, no, it was. It was the best concert I ever saw.

GUTFELD: I'm assuming it must have been the Grateful Dead or some jam band if you can't remember.

WILLIAMS: No, no, no. Who -- Lionel Richie.

GUTFELD: Lionel Richie.

PERINO: There you go.

GUTFELD: You were on the ceiling that night, dancing perhaps.

WILLIAMS: Yes.

GUTFELD: Lisa.

BOOTHE: Eric Church.

GUTFELD: Who?

BOOTHE: Eric Church. Yes, he--

BOLLING: Best ever?

BOOTHE: I went -- oh my gosh, are you kidding me? He is so good live. And he takes audience requests. He just kind of just goes with the flow. So amazing. One of the best concerts I've ever been to, which is why I just said it to that question.

GUTFELD: I know what Dana is going to say. But go ahead.

PERINO: Well, I have two. The Dierks Bentley concert in Camden, New Jersey, last year. It was great. But the Garth Brooks concert at Yankee Stadium when we were there. We didn't get home until 3 in the morning because there was a rain delay, and it was fabulous.

GUTFELD: I have two, too. I have a tutu. That's part of the (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

I saw the Police at Zeller back in 1979, and you know who opened for them and blew them away? The Knack. The Knack was insane. And then about three weeks later I saw The Cramps at the old Waldorf, and they were amazing. Lux Interior, completely naked, high as a kite.

BOLLING: I saw Van Halen open for the Police. I've seen so many great concerts. Led Zeppelin, The Who.

GUTFELD: I sold my Who tickets.

BOLLING: Stone -- every Stone concert you've ever been to is, like, the next greatest thing ever.

PERINO: Anybody ever go to prince?

WILLIAMS: Yes. I love Prince. In fact, I saw Prince twice in one summer. I saw him at The Essence Music Festival down in New Orleans. Then he was in a concert in Washington. And he did two different shows, and they were both great.

GUTFELD: All right. We have to--

BOOTHE: Good times.

GUTFELD: -- roll this thing up. "One More Thing" next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PERINO: It's time now for "One More Thing," Friday edition. Eric is first.

BOLLING: Very quickly, tomorrow morning, "Cashin' In." I have a very special guest. Take a look. Mark Cuban is going to come to talk about--

PERINO: Nice.

BOLLING: -- one of Greg's favorite topics, artificial intelligence.

GUTFELD: Yes.

BOLLING: WE put a question mark at the end of "intelligence." All right.

OK. So the first quarter in the books yesterday or today, right? Last day of the quarter. So we did a little bit of a little score card going -- comparing the Trump administration to Obama. One quarter in, consumer confidence.

PERINO: That's not fair. That's not fair.

BOLLING: Take a look at these numbers. Take it full screen again.

WILLIAMS: Too much.

BOLLING: Here, 4.7 to 8.3. Average home price, oh, my gosh.

PERINO: So unfair.

BOLLING: Three hundred ninety thousand vs. 258.

GUTFELD: That's essentially all from Obama.

PERINO: Yes.

GUTFELD: Twenty-six dollars an hour, average hourly wage.

PERINO: You could actually change it to "Obama" and "Bush."

BOLLING: I'm going to go ahead.

WILLIAMS: It's a good -- it's a good thing you don't talk about approval numbers. Let's see how Obama was doing less than 100 days in.

BOLLING: Win.

PERINO: That's a good point, Juan.

BOLLING: We're getting so tired of winning, I'll tell you.

GUTFELD: Greg.

GUTFELD: I'm just going to plug the show for tomorrow night. It's at 10 p.m. And it will have the great legendary P.J. O'Rourke. And then you have Jamie Lissow, an amazing comedian. That's Kat Timpf on the left. And that's Tyrus, our wonderful wrestler intellect. Ten p.m., watch it!

BOOTHE: You talk like that, who wouldn't?

PERINO: All right. I'm going to do a book recommendation. Alyssa Mastromonaco has written a book. She worked for President Obama 10 years, so even before he was president. This is a book about blood, sweat and tears. There's lots of stories in here. If you ever thought about working for a White House, Republican, Democrat, whatever your flavor. It's a really really funny book. And I was really happy to have.

GUTFELD: What's your funny part?

PERINO: I like the part where she can't find the bathroom at the Vatican.

GUTFELD: Nice. Just checking if you read it.

PERINO: I read it. I actually read it, and I love it. So if you think you want to work at the White House, it's a really good one -- Juan.

WILLIAMS: You know how there's concern for bees right now, the bee population being threatened? Well, it sure didn't feel that way yesterday when the San Diego Padres' spring training game was interrupted by bees.

At the top of the ninth inning, two outs--

PERINO: Yikes.

WILLIAMS: -- score 10-4. The Padres bracing for a king sting of defeat when another sting came out, that of bees. Yes, the players were swarmed. That's them on the ground, ducking to avoid the bees and it caused, yes, a bee delay.

GUTFELD: Is that a thing?

WILLIAMS: A bee delay, yes.

BOOTHE: It's a -- It's a "Juan More Thing."

WILLIAMS: Well, apparently, though, you know what? It's not that unusual. It's happened many times.

PERINO: Wow.

BOLLING: They should have called the game at that point.

WILLIAMS: It's a bee delay, bro. I'm telling you.

BOLLING: Call it. Call it.

PERINO: All right. I like "bro." All right, Lisa.

BOOTHE: It's all the rage.

Well, babies are adorable, and chocolate is delicious. So when you combine the two, you get a really cute little thing. This couple's daughter was crying at the family home in California. So they devised an unorthodox method to cheer her up. Chocolate smelling. So basically, this is the first time this baby is smelling chocolate. I think those are the faces that Greg makes when he eats chocolate.

PERINO: It's like aromatherapy.

BOOTHE: Yes.

PERINO: I wonder if that would work for me.

GUTFELD: She's actually pooping, just so you know people.

PERINO: Because then I wouldn't eat it, if you said this works.

BOOTHE: Those are the faces that Greg makes.

GUTFELD: Yes. How would you know? I got rid of those videos.

BOLLING: You guys want to go back to my "One More Thing"?

PERINO: Yes.

BOLLING: Look at that some more.

PERINO: Got a big weekend planned?

BOLLING: My son is going back to college on Sunday so, yes.

WILLIAMS: Wait, going -- oh, spring break.

BOOTHE: Is that a sad thing? Or--

GUTFELD: I'll be hanging around a college.

WILLIAMS: Well, I'm going -- I'm going to the circus for a 7-year-old's birthday party. Happy birthday, Elias.

PERINO: I'm sure we'll have pictures on Monday.

WILLIAMS: I'll be back. I'll be back.

PERINO: A little inside joke. All right. Set your DVRs so you never miss an episode of "The Five." That's it for us. A very "Special Report" is up next.

GUTFELD: A very special.

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