TRANSCRIPT

Russia condemns Syria missile strike ordered by Trump

Reaction and analysis on 'The Five'

 

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," April 7, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Tonight I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched. It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter this threat and use of deadly chemical weapons.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST: Hello, everyone. Welcome to "The Five." I'm Kimberly Guilfoyle. And we have brand new developments in reaction tonight to President Trump's decisive response to Tuesday's heinous chemical attacks in Syria. With last night's strike on a Syrian air base, he sent a clear message to Bashar al-Assad and leaders of other world regimes, the rest of the world will not tolerate the use of weapons of mass destruction.

Russia has condemned our military action and now has one of its warships steaming towards our two destroyers that launched the missiles. More on that in a moment. President Trump hasn't said more about the strike today. He is continuing his talk with China's president, Xi Jinping, about North Korea's arsenal. Let's bring in our chief White House correspondent, John Roberts, who is live in Palm Beach, Florida. John?

JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Kimberly, good afternoon to you. The big question in all of this is what comes next from two big standpoints. First of all, will Bashar al-Assad, the president of Syria, come to heal and what is this going to do about U.S.-Russia relations which are not particularly good at this point and look like it could be getting worse.

First of all, on the first question, the U.S., President Trump sent a very big message to Bashar al-Assad saying if you keep doing what you're doing, you stand to lose everything. Today at the United Nations, the U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, said that the United States is prepared to do more, though she hopes that that is not necessary.

Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin a short time ago made some news saying that the United States will soon be announcing additional sanctions on Syria in an effort to curve this behavior, believing that depriving people of doing business with Syria will help bring Bashar al-Assad to heal.

Also, the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, said that they did not attack the runway at that air base. There was some news that some flights still taking off from there, said they did not attack the runway because it is a hardened runway. Even if they did damage it a bit, that could be fixed out. Now, to the second question of what will this do to U.S.-Russia relations.

We have seen a very strident public statements from people like the spokesperson for President Vladimir Putin, the foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, and the Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. However, I'm being told that while the public statements are somewhat strident that the back channel diplomatic communications between the United States and Russia have actually had very little blow back.

Still, Secretary Tillerson said he is disappointed but not surprised by what he is hearing in public from Russians because that shows that they are still backing Bashar al-Assad. The secretary of state is headed to Moscow next week. He'll be having talks with his foreign minister counterpart there, Sergey Lavrov, next week.

So that I think that will begin to tell the tale, Kimberly, as to how this is going to be going forward between the United States and Russia. Certainly it would seem to put to rest a lot of the talk that President Trump trying to coddle Russia, would you say?

GUILFOYLE: I would say. All right. Thanks, John, for that important update. Most of the world backs our strike but not Iran and especially not Syria's greatest ally, Russia. Vladimir Putin called the military action illegal and a blow to U.S.-Russia relations. He has deployed one of his warships to the eastern Mediterranean to head towards our two navy destroyers that launched the air strike last night.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson goes to Russia next week. Will he be able to get the country to rethink its support for Bashar al-Assad? To Dana, a very important international developments overnight with a very bold, decisive move by President Trump and one that some critics are saying is not in accord with his prior statements that he has made.

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: Which I think is fine. It is a little bit jarring for our people who might have been supportive of such action when President Obama faced the same decision and didn't do it and then -- anyway, I'm actually -- I feel like what President Trump did last night was put America back on the geopolitical map.

For many years, these atrocities including other chemical weapons that were being used like chlorine gas, that how are we defining those in the last several years were basically a hands off approach.

And what Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state, said last night that this wasn't America's national interest. I think that is important for lots of the rest of the discussions that we will have today. And for the American people to understand, that he said if there are weapons of this nature available in Syria, the ability to secure those weapons and not have them fall into the hands of those who would bring those weapons to our shores and harm American citizens, that this is one of the reasons that it had to be done.

I also feel like there's no doubt that world leaders have been trying to figure President Trump out since November 8 and they got clarity last night. Final point from me is that any president and President Bush has been talking about this this, any president speaking to multiple audiences all at once. So our allies, our enemies, the American people, and our military.

I think what they also said to our military is that the strategy might not be perfect yet. It might not have been laid out. They have been working on Syria strategy, the National Security Council and DOD. It's not quite there. This activity by Assad basically leapfrogged to the head of the line and he decided to act. I feel like he stood up for the decency that I believe makes America exceptional.

GUILFOYLE: All right. Eric, you have been pretty firm in your resolve in terms of saying that we should not get involved in what is going on despite the humanitarian tragedy that obviously affects everyone. How do you feel now in the aftermath and seeing the specificity of the target and how it went down?

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: I saw this last night, I was watching it all develop, and I think -- listen. I woke up today, we had the whole Gorsuch meeting. I think today President Trump proved why I voted for President Trump and why a lot of people ended up voting for President Trump.

On one hand, now you have a conservative Supreme Court, it got lost in the shuffle of what went on last night. But on the other hand, even though I disagree with attacking Syria with military force, he acted, as Dana points out, very decisively.

We talked about it all day. But more importantly for me is he did it with Chinese President Xi right next to him, right? Just finishing dinner, goes ahead and calls for the launch. And now whether or not the launch, the attack on the 59 Tomahawk say hit Syria, are going to have effect on Bashar al-Assad, maybe it won't even have an effect, the effect that it did create was it told not only Kim Jong-un, that saber rattling going on there, you better watch out to him.

But also, that Chinese president realizes who he is dealing with right now. He is dealing with a man who is willing to strike another sovereign country while he is just finishing up a dinner with the other superpower on the globe. I mean--

GUILFOYLE: No doubt, there's no question about it.

BOLLING: -- there is is no question that Donald Trump -- I disagree with the attack on Syria, but definitive, decisive, and got the American people behind him with that launch. I actually applaud what he did there even though I disagree with the tactic.

GUILFOYLE: There was no U.S. troops on the ground to accomplish the goal. They were able to take it out, a very successful mission, so at least those are the things that you--

BOLLING: Not sure that success has anything to do with the 59 that hit that airport. I think the success will have to do with the optics of it around the world.

GUILFOYLE: So Juan, I will get your reaction on this. We were just talking about it yesterday, in terms of the options with Jennifer Griffin and this is one of the things that I asked her about, alternative sites and perhaps hitting specifically the chemical sites and air bases, notifying the Russians so that they have time to get out.

JUAN WILLIAMS, CO- HOST: What we know from the options that were given to President Trump by the Defense Department and his National Security Council is that he accepted the least powerful method, which was a limited cruise missile strike against specific air bases. He didn't go after Assad personally. He didn't bomb his troops, no. He went after these air bases. They can be reconstructed.

The question for me and I think for lots of people in the congress is, what is the endgame? Because if you do, in fact, destabilize Syria by hurting Assad, do you plan then to go in and take over Syria? Oh, my goodness. I think that is what Eric Bolling is concerned about in terms of a prolonged U.S. military commitment that would mimic something like what happened when we went into Iraq or our ongoing commitment in terms of Afghanistan.

And we do have troops on the ground, as we heard yesterday, and those troops could be targeted for repercussions, either troops in Syria or in Afghanistan, even Turkey. So all of that is at play. Today I think in the congress, you saw something that was not, Kimberly, divided by Republicans versus Democrats--

GUILFOYLE: Yes.

WILLIAMS: -- but by people saying so, if this is a one time, one-off deal, okay, but we don't know the endgame, and if you are thinking, President Trump, about putting Americans on the ground, you know what, you better come to congress. Don't forget, Trump is a guy who said during the campaign, unless there is a clear U.S. economic interest or national security interest, Dana says, well the gases, I think that's bogus. I don't think -- I don't see how that is going to be a clear national security interest for us.

PERINO: Really?

WILLIAMS: I don't because I don't think they--

PERINO: If the rest of their stockpile gets--

WILLIAMS: They don't have the capacity. Nobody has the capacity to bring it over here. In fact, the guy that has the capacity, apparently, would be Kim Jong-un over in North Korea. I don't that's it. So what changed in Donald Trump's mind to say all of a sudden this impacts America? He has been making the case, when he condemned Obama, and even during the campaign to Clinton, there is no American interest in this. Stay out of it.

GUILFOYLE: Right. But he also wasn't president then, now he is president, he's privy to all of the national security and intelligence reports and options and it's his call. And based on his evaluations, he made it. Greg, can you talk a little bit about Russia because they were given notifications so that they were able to make sure that none of their--

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: It was really nice of us. It was really nice. We let them know ahead of time. I love what this will do to the Russian narrative on other networks. I guess Trump isn't Putin's puppet. I think people are making a lot out of this. This is not war. This is the military equivalent of a public spanking. Assad just got whacked in aisle three at Walmart in front of all of his classmates. And that's the important thing.

PERINO: That hurts.

GUTFELD: It does. It's humiliating. Trump was tested by Assad and he answered, unlike President Obama. He kicked back hard. He didn't blink. This is important. It is a message that is being sent to North Korea, to Iran, to China, to Russia. It is not about necessarily winning right now, it is about sending a clear message that there is a new sheriff in town and you can't expect him to do the predictable. There are a number of good things. I happen to agree with this.

And I believe that it was -- when you talk about a atrocity, when you talk about gassing kids, this to me feels like a reasonable response. I mean, I don't understand. This is a targeted, specific, measured response. It also says, I am committing to a red line. That is kind of refreshing. It refutes the Putin's puppet narrative and it shows that Trump is capable of surprising everyone from enemies to allies.

That something he said he would do and he did it. I think it's funny that he did it while he was having dinner with China. That's like essentially having a meeting and taking a phone call. It does show that you can multitask, which often confuses other politicians. Like how can you this and how can you do this? Well, he just does it, so there.

BOLLING: Rand Paul called me today and he said, let's have a little discussion about what this is all about. He knows where I am, that I am in the camp that would disagree with that assessment that it actually changed anyone's mind in Syria. Like Assad, as Juan points out, was in Damascus, not at the airport, and he still has the capability to do it if he chooses to do it.

I'm not sure that's gonna change. But he said, and again, I asked Jennifer Griffin yesterday, what is the administration's purpose or the military's purpose here? Is it to kill Assad? And she specifically said, not only not kill Assad, but not even regime change.

PERINO: First of all, killing Assad would be illegal. You cannot kill another world leader. Even if you really want to. No one is ever going to say that.

WILLIAMS: But the Russians say what we did was an attack on Assad--

BOLLING: The question is then what now? If it's not regime change and it's not killing Assad, then what? PERINO: Maybe first of all, don't use that gas again.

GUILFOYLE: Right.

PERINO: Number one. And we'll figure out the rest later. By the way, I don't care what Russia says about, oh, the United States attacked a sovereign country. Are you kidding me? Ukraine and Crimea? Give me a break. That is the ultimate fake news.

WILLIAMS: And you know what the worst of it was, they also said that they don't think this was caused by the chemical attack. They think this was pre-planned by the Trump administration.

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: This is a problem of calling legitimate news fake news, because what Russia does in terms of trying to deal with its domestic audience is spread fake news, actual fake news. That is not true.

WILLIAMS: I agree it is not true.

PERINO: Ridiculous conspiracy theories from even within the United States that somehow the rebels were actually put the chemical gas into the plains, that Assad then used on us, and it was actually like some evil genius to figure that out. Like actually our military has the video that shows it was their planes that were doing it.

GUTFELD: The best response when somebody brings up oh, that's false flag, that the chemical attack was a false flag. Oh yeah, so was our retaliation, that was a false flag as well. It is all complete theater. You can't disprove me either.

GUILFOYLE: Yeah, but it certainly has changed the geopolitical climate, a strong message that U.S. is not afraid to stand alone and act unilaterally, and that's what President Trump did last night. Will President Trump be taking more action in the days and weeks to come against Syria? The latest from the Pentagon ahead. And the programming note. Make sure to catch "Fox News Sunday" this weekend. Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster is giving his first television interview as national security advisor to Chris Wallace. A Fox News exclusive. Please check your local listing.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(START VIDEO CLIP)

JACK KEANE, RETIRED GENERAL AND FORMER VICE CHIEF OF STAFF OF THE U.S. ARMY: United States is not going to underwrite the use of chemical weapons anymore.

WILLIAM MCRAVEN, FORMER U.S. NAVY ADMIRAL: When you draw a line on the sand and you say we are going to do something, it is important to follow through with that. I think it shows the world that we are a nation whose words mean something.

ANTHONY TATA, RETIRED U.S. ARMY: We cannot let use of weapons of mass destruction stand anywhere in the world because they are a threat to everybody. This is a president, President Trump will take action if the vital interests of the United States are threatened. We got a president whose gonna do what he says he's gonna do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: Some of the military's top former brass backing up the president's decision to launch last night's missile strike on a Syrian air force base. For more details on the strike and what to come next, let's bring in our national security correspondent, Jennifer Griffin, live at the Pentagon. Jennifer, Rex Tillerson just a couple of minutes ago put out a statement saying this particular strike was carried out on an air base from which chemical weapon attack was launched very deliberate by POTUS.

As we said last night, this is the part I want to get to, as to the response, at this point, the future will be guided by how we see their reaction. What are they looking for?

JENNIFER GRIFFIN, FOX NEWS NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: It is interesting, Eric, because I think what the State Department and what the presidents might be looking for may be different than what the Pentagon is looking for. Because as we discussed yesterday, Pentagon planners have a lot of experience with regime change and how the aftermath doesn't always go as one plans particularly when a vacuum is created and nation building is required.

And right now, you got multiple -- you really have a civil war, a multidimensional civil war going on. It's almost like it's been described to me like a Rubik's cube. And all of those different groups, you do not want to create any more vacuums in Syria. So on one hand, they box themselves a little bit into a corner because they have sent this very strong signal to Assad and to his Russian patrons.

However, Assad survived, and they know that, yes, the U.S. military has ways to ramp this up, but the U.S. military also could get drawn further into a quagmire and both Russia and the Assad regime knows that there is no real stomach for that here in the United States.

BOLLING: Okay. We are going to bring it around KG.

GUILFOYLE: So interesting, Jennifer, you're doing excellent reporting on this, and yesterday we discussed this and specifically talked about those alternative sites just like the one that was hit in particular. What do you make right now sort of the dynamic between the United States and Russia because what I saw was they took down, they disabled their air defense system so that we were also able to get in because they also didn't want us to pick up some of the tracking from that.

GRIFFIN: I think what is interesting, Kimberly, is that the Pentagon has this hotline that was established to deconflict inside Syria so that they were not any -- so that U.S. warplanes wouldn't hit for instance Russian warplanes. That hotline, we are told, is still operational even though the Russians have threatened to take it down. It has been used since the attack, and the Russians were given a one hour heads up about the strike on its air base.

That means they knew that this was going to be a limited strike. This was a very powerful, symbolic strike, 59 Tomahawks, you wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of that, that is 59,000 pounds of ammunition that landed at that small air base. The Pentagon has left itself some wiggle room, though if Assad carries out another chemical weapons attack, for instance, they know where the other five or six bases are and other storage facilities for chemical agents are, and they will strike again.

I mean, we are told that one of the U.S. Navy destroyers that was involved last night has already returned to port and is resupplying with the Tomahawks because they shot, as we mentioned, 60 out of the 70 that the two were carrying. They are already resupplying. They will be back in position in the eastern Mediterranean. It's not as though the U.S. military is retreating after this.

GUILFOYLE: Real quick. How long will it take them to re-position? Are they going back to resupply? GRIFFIN: Not very long because I'm not going to give away where they resupply but it's very close, right there in the region.

WILLIAMS: So Jennifer, what happens if Assad uses very much ordinary ordinance to attack, let's say, hospitals, schools, to go further and escalate his attack in response to the U.S. cruise missile attacks?

GRIFFIN: I think that's a great question, and I don't think that we have a clear vision of what the U.S. military plans because from all accounts, Assad has not given up. We even heard there are reports that his warplanes are in the air today after the strike, assigned, you know, he wants to show that he's still standing, he's still there. Syrian human rights groups say they have seen those planes flying.

So inevitably, this is not over. Rex Tillerson at the State Department has said that he hopes that this will give them some momentum going into the Geneva talks to remove Assad. But really the big question is what comes next, and I don't think we have a clear answer from the administration, the State Department, or anyone else on that.

BOLLING: Dana?

PERINO: Jennifer, are they looking at the Pentagon right now, looking for legal justification for the attacks last night or do they have it based on the World War I conventions about banned substances like chlorine gas? I think that's one of the questions that the Hill is asking for, critics of President Trump. They want to know the legal justification was.

GRIFFIN: Well, it is interesting, Dana. We have not heard articulated very clearly the legal justification. When we asked (inaudible) officials, they tell us oh, trust us, talk to a jag officer, there are legal justifications, the law of warfare, the chemical weapon ban, this is international law, he is in violation of that.

However, if you talk to, particular Democrats on the Hill who have been calling for a new AUMF or authorization for the use of military force, they will tell you that the president does have constitutional rights and authorities to carry this out.

Other presidents have done so, President Reagan, President Clinton in various cases. But there still is this larger issue of, we are still operating in Syria and elsewhere on a 2001 AUMF that really has to do with Al Qaeda and terrorism. So I think this is going to need to be debated in the coming days.

BOLLING: Greg.

GUTFELD: Jennifer, you keep hearing about the paralysis by retaliation, you don't want to do anything for fear of retaliation. In this case, President Trump went ahead and did something. And now you're hearing about Hezbollah as one of the potential agents who will do something. Is that a big concern and where that might occur?

GRIFFIN: Well, I think that was a factor in terms of military planning. Hezbollah is always a factor. Remember there are 100,000 Iranian troops inside Iraq where the u.s. has 6,000 troops. So these are all groups and proxies of one another and in very close proximity. And also, let's not forget, let's keep our eyes on the prize, the upcoming operation to retake Raqqa from ISIS. That is really what the U.S. is gearing up for. This is a bit of a distraction from that.

Yes, those troops, force protection for those troops is gonna be very important in the days ahead. But so far, the Pentagon says they see no signs that any of those groups are going to attack U.S. troops in a direct manner. But you always have to worry about the indirect, and that is why groups like Hezbollah often used terrorism to carry out that kind of threat.

BOLLING: All right. Jennifer, great reporting, a long night. Thank you very much. Ahead, a lot of mixed responses from members of congress on last night's missile strike. We hear all about it next.

(START VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's the right thing to do. It is legal. It had to be done.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The authority to declare war under the constitution is given to congress. I look forward to President Trump making the case to the American people, making the case to congress, about what further military action should be taken, if any.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PERINO: Welcome back to "The Five." A lot of members of Congress have expressed their support for President Trump's strike in Syria, including the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, John McCain.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-ARIZ., ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: I believe the President of the United States has the authority to carry that out. This President reacted to events which were so horrific that it required American reaction, and I believe that not only was the act itself important, but the signal that it sent to the world from President Trump was as important.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PERINO: But there are others on both sides of the aisle, questioning the constitutionality of it. Warning the President, not to take further action without consulting congress first.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KY.: The President really doesn't have the authority under the constitution to initiate war. And so, I think what we're doing now is illegal and unconstitutional, and the ramifications could be extreme.

SEN. TIM KAINE, D-VA.: I don't think he has legal or constitutional authority to take the action. The constitution is very clear, aside from the defending the United States from imminent threat, the President cannot start a war.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PERINO: Now, Greg, we already have a debate. And you know, there's nothing like a tomahawk missile strike to focus the mind on what the constitution says.

GUTFELD: Yes, exactly. Well, diplomacy without force or threat of force is absurdiance. And if you want to talk about the constitution and freedoms, that's what protects your freedoms. And I enjoy watching people decry retaliation against genocide because Trump did it. Hillary would have done the same thing, in fact, she said she would have done the same thing, exactly Tim Kaine would feel differently. What Trumpet did is a symbolic response to the indecisiveness of the past, and he basically just said, we are not Obama, we're not like that anymore. We don't take this stuff sitting down, it's a very important message to be sending to the world.

PERINO: And it's interesting, Eric, because the members have had a rough few weeks, at least, on the House Republican side, because they failed to repeal and replace Obamacare like they wanted. Now, they're going home for a two-week recess where they're going to have to face their constituents. And yet, now, we have an international situation where many members of congress are saying, they're going to have to get back here and try to pass some sort of legalization.

BOLLING: For this?

PERINO: Or for more.

BOLLING: For more. That's why I think the statement that came out - I didn't know if it was last night or this morning from the administration saying, well, that was it, it was - we're finished, we did what - we've accomplished a goal that we set out to do. And I asked Jennifer Griffin yesterday what's the plan, it was never a regime change. So, what it was? It was a statement, it shakes the cage, say, hey, this could get worse.

And I think Donald Trump would go to congress if you were to go and want to declare war on Syria. Again, I think this is a big mistake to escalate this any further but, you know, is Assad going to use chemical weapons again, or is he going to hit hospitals and schools, or is he going to have Hezbollah, which has bases within Syria do it for him? And it just gets so ugly. I just hope we are done with this now.

PERINO: Kimberly, Ambassador Nikki Haley at the United Nations today said, they don't want to have to do more, but we are prepared to do more if that's what it comes down to. So, again, I was focusing on Syria's reaction, not ours.

GUILFOYLE: Yes. I think she hit the right tone, she was very strong on this, and I think that's important to send the message. And obviously, the United States showed that we're a strong country, we're prepared to act alone and decisively. I think the President made the right call with going ahead and proceeding versus going to congress, because then you would lose any kind of element of surprise, which it was another thing that he talked about during the campaign that he was, you know, critical of President Obama telegraphing and telling the enemy always on what they were going to do ahead of time. So, they had chances to try to, you know, scramble and avoid some of the destruction that occurred. So, right now, it looks like article two, that, you know, Commander in Chief war powers - we'll see what they'll file to say the justification for us.

PERINO: Juan, there was praised for President Trump from key Democrats, both Nancy Pelosi, the minority leader; and Senator Chuck Schumer said, you know, making sure that Assad knows when he commits such despicable atrocities that he will pay a price, is the right thing to do. So, they were willing to give him some support.

WILLIAMS: Absolutely. I think anybody who cares about the force of moral good for the United States - I think you said this earlier, Dana, you know, that's who we are: exceptional, in that sense. Standing up for what's right - human rights in the world. But what's interesting here is, to me, you know, this is the same Donald Trump who said, you know, if it's not about our national interest, not about our economic interests, he's not getting in it.

He, in fact, told Obama, don't get in. So, you hear some people saying here today, oh, it's great, America's acting with force, we're back on the scene; America's never been off the scene. We are the greatest military force in the world, and our ability to use diplomacy should be key. But going to Congress -

PERINO: That's a good reminder.

WILLIAMS: Going to Congress, and getting the American people behind our military action is also key. And right now, that's just not there because he didn't go to Congress.

PERINO: OK. And so, I'm going to take the last word -

GUTFELD: Wait. I was just going to say one good thing: Donald Trump has lost the support of white nationalists. You've noticed David Duke is very upset; Richard Spencer is deeply hurt; Milo, the pizza gate creep, is heartbroken.

GUILFOYLE: Alex Jones.

(CROSSTALK)

GUTFELD: Today is the reason I voted for Donald Trump, for two reasons.

PERINO: Juan, I just want to make sure we'd leave with this. The President said last night in his statement that the vital national security interests of the United States prevent and deter the spread the use of deadly chemical weapons. But that was the right thing to do, that that was the justification. He's being consistent.

WILLIAMS: But you know, Mitch McConnell said in 2013, this is speaking to Obama, "does Assad's use of chemical weapons pose a threat to the national security interest of the United States?" The answer is obvious: "No, it doesn't."

PERINO: But ISIS and what Syria, and ISIS have done since those years might have changed calculations. But in addition, in 2013, it was President Obama who said, if they cross this red line - I thought he was going to do something about it, and he didn't. And that's why President Trump is in this situation today.

WILLIAMS: And that's why the Congress, the Republican Congress, refused to give Obama authorization.

PERINO: That is actually not "why" it was because it was open-ended and there weren't any specifics. And they want specifics on this one, which is what they did last night.

GUTFELD: You know, Dana, this is why energy independence is so important, because if natural gas and fracking mean that we rely less on crazy people.

PERINO: But it still doesn't mean that they couldn't - that chemical weapon -

GUTFELD: I'm doing this because they keep telling a wrap.

PERINO: Just kidding! We've got some big other, other big news to get to. Neil Gorsuch was confirmed today for the Supreme Court. We'll have that in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On this vote, the eyes are 54, the names are 45, denomination of Neil M. Gorsuch of Colorado to be an associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States is confirmed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAMS: There it is the President's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch confirmed today after that long, drawn-out showdown in the Senate. It was a 54 to 45 vote, only a majority was needed though after Republicans deployed the so-called nuclear option yesterday. Three Democrats crossed party lines to confirm Gorsuch, Senators Heitkamp, Manchin and Donnelly. President Trump congratulated his nominee, I'm going to let you guess how, with a tweet Gorsuch will be sworn in as the 113th Justice on Monday in separate ceremonies at the Court and the White House. Eric, you said you voted for Trump because of the Court, your moment.

BOLLING: Yes. I think this is an actual great moment. Look think of what would -- we would have right now if Hillary Clinton were President, you would have a left-leaning court, you would have a court that was completely activist and liberal, we know that it was headed that way. So during the run-up to the election, we were saying, there are lot of people like me saying, if you don't even like Donald Trump, at least consider the Supreme Court going forward that the country needs to stay at least the center - center right country, and the only way you're going to do that is if Donald Trump is President who nominated a conservative like Neil Gorscuh. Unfortunately, Republicans had the use of nuclear option to get that, such a capable and able and qualified Supreme Court Justice on the bench.

WILLIAMS: So Dana, we're short on time, but I want to ask you. My theory is that we politicize the Court now beyond repair, the Senate is obviously highly partisan. Now why believe anything that the Court does is impartial?

PERINO: Well I think that -- lets give Neil Gorsuch a chance. I think that for example, President Obama, some of his executive overreach was rejected nine to zero by the Court even after he put two Supreme Court Justices on. So I think that he will rule based on the law, and I do think that we should spend a moment to thank people like Neil Gorsuch and his wife that are willing to take a lifetime appointment of government public service. Obviously the pinnacle of his chosen profession, the legal profession, to be a Supreme Court Justice, but they do sacrifice some of their other like their opportunities in life, and I'm grateful that he was willing to do it.

WILLIAMS: And Greg.

GUILFOYLE: What an incredible commitment, you know? The man can do anything.

WILLIAMS: Yes. So Greg when people talk to you about the Court these days, and they say, oh, boy, we've got a conservative Court for generations to come. What does Greg say?

GUTFELD: I rejoice, I'm happy. Can we retire the phrase nuclear? It - that it was the most over dramatic phrasing it was a media concoction it's like calling thumb wrestling mixed martial arts. This guy - this was an overreaction, this guy is as extreme as a box of kittens, his as daring as mayonnaise. The Democrats proved once again, they're the party of outrage and their exhausting Americans with their constant tantrums over everything. Just relax, this guy is OK.

WILLIAMS: Wait a second - wait a second, Kimberly, the Heritage Foundation, the federalist society said he was not mayonnaise, they said he was a hard-line conservative.

GUILFOYLE: Well, he's in now, isn't he? So, we're very excited about that. I think he's a brilliant legal mind, the country is lucky to have him to be able to serve. And for President Trump, the icing on the cake is going to be the 100 open federal trial and appellate positions of justices he's going to be able to appoint as well. Yey!

PERINO: Get him - get him - get him nominated soon.

WILLIAMS: I don't know, I'm looking for Justice Kimberly any minute. We're going to go back to Syria, though. In just a few minutes, new details on Tuesday's chemical attack. Please stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GUTFELD: Back, now, to the first military strike of Donald Trump's presidency in response to the Syrian government attack on its own people. Assad gassed them with the band chemical gas called sarin. How do we know? Let's bring in our Chief Intelligence Correspondent Catherine Herridge to fill us in on the evidence. How is it going, Catherine?

CATHERINE HERRIDGE, FOX NEWS CHANNEL CHIEF INTELLIGENCE CORRESPONDENT: Well, thank you, Greg. A government official tells Fox News that the intelligence picture came together quickly from multiple streams of information including satellite imagery, radar, and input from regional intelligent services. The defense department releasing this graphic today that shows the flight path of Syrian government jets over the site of the sarin gas attack. The red dots on the map, tracking the flight path, showing jets traveled from the base and were over the area twice in a nine- minute period consistent with the explosion and the sarin gas release.

Another reason the plane came together quickly and seamlessly, the U.S. has on the shelf target folders for the six main Syrian bases. These were developed prior to 2013 with the capability to deliver on President Obama's red line. Last night's plan, executed in less than 72 hours, because of the strong intelligence and the existing targeting plans, as General Jack Keane explained on "Fox & Friends."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEANE: We always have contingency plans for targets like this. Listen, Assad only has six airbases that he uses operationally, we know where all the targets, the airpower, infrastructure at those bases. That's the depots, the fuel storage, the runways themselves, certainly the aircraft, that's the airpower infrastructure.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HERRIDGE: The intelligence on the airbase as described to Fox News as highly detailed and overhead imagery indicated that despite these assurance by Syria that they had disbanded their chemical weapons program. The base has chemical agents which have to have special storage facilities to exclude moisture and oxygen, and that was indicated and obvious from the satellite pictures, Greg.

GUTFELD: Thank you, Catherine. Let's bring it around.

HERRIDGE: You're welcome.

GUTFELD: K.G., I thought that there were no more chemical agents according to Susan Rice and John Kerry? Wasn't this a big victory?

GUILFOYLE: Oh, of course, because this is the whole thing with their big political capital of good will that they have created and making the world safer. No, making the world less safe by indecisive action and improper inspections. And this is - that's why I'm saying they should really consider -- and I'm sure they are -- in terms of making sure to eradicate any other supplies that they may know about the existence of. And if you heard in the report, she said they knew about these and these were mapped out specifically for President Obama to be able to act upon, and the information was still irrelevant and ballad, it was so good from the satellite imaging, et cetera. So, you know, President Trump acted on that intelligence, which I think is a very important point.

GUTFELD: What do you think of the intelligence, Juan?

WILLIAMS: I trust it, and it was veered. It's not - I don't think it's endowed, I don't think we thought that somehow someone else had done it, and that this was really what you'd describe as (INAUDIBLE) false swag effort in order to get us to act against Assad. I think it's pretty obvious. The question as we, you know, come to some conclusion here is to go on. What's next? How to deal with this, and does Congress and do the American people have the political stomach for anything else?

GUTFELD: What do you think, Eric?

BOLLING: My concern is, yes, we have good intelligence and maybe we do have an idea of where they have chemical weapons, but remember who's supporting this. The Iranians are supporting it, Russia is supporting it, Hezbollah is supporting it. And if I'm not mistaken, this will blow your mind. I think I read something in the Guardian today that said, "Iraq was against this strike." I mean, I - it's - here's my point. I hope - I hope this works. I hope it's limited and we're done with it because it is a messy area.

GUTFELD: So, Dana, if Syria isn't responsible, who is? That's what I - no one ever says, "Who is - who would have done this?" And the other question is why would they do this? Why do evil people do things?

PERINO: Well - right. Sometimes, you have to make a decision based on - well, there's moral equivalence, right?

GUTFELD: Yes.

PERINO: So, like, are we exceptional as a nation and would we want to protect other people? The thing I wonder about is that apparently, and President Trump said that the video and the pictures of this attack is what elicited the outrage in him. But Assad has other ways of killing, and if - and he will - he doesn't hesitate to kill his own people and innocent children. So, that is interesting to me to figure out. So how does that emotional response, which I shared, translate into a coherent, strategic strategy that is legally justified and sustainable? That will be the question in the next couple of weeks.

GUILFOYLE: Yes.

GUTFELD: And it's a good question. All right. Few final thoughts?

(CROSSTALK)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GUILFOYLE: Welcome back to "The Five." A few final thoughts now on what's next after last night's strike in Syria. Greg?

GUTFELD: I don't know what's next. I do know that I have a show tomorrow night with you and Rob O'Neill, who killed bin Laden, who took -- to spend a lot of time on this topic. So, I wish everybody will tune in and check that out at 10:00. Yes, I did this into -- I turned this into "One More Thing."

GUILFOYLE: I though what you did. OK. Well, you'll be disciplined by me later. Dana?

PERINO: Well, (INAUDIBLE) that we would have Jasper here for his "One More Thing" -- for "One More Thing" because it's his birthday on Sunday, but that's obviously inappropriate today, because there's more important things. This is what I would think, I think that the president did not solve any problems last night, but he did put America back on the geopolitical map in a big way. I don't know what the consequences will be, but I do think that now that the strategy is more urgent, we will see something more within the next couple of weeks.

GUILFOYLE: I agree with you, and that is putting America first, in my opinion. We're back in charge -- no more leadership vacuum. Hear that?

BOLLING: Let me phrase it this way. 2,920 days to diminish America's standing in the world stage. 77 days, President Trump got it right back to where it should be.

WILLIAMS: I don't understand you guys. I really don't. I mean, I just I don't doubt America's power. I don't doubt our influence. And the idea that we would get back into what you, Eric have said, could be another quagmire --

BOLLING: I'm not into that.

WILLIAMS: Who is?

BOLLING: Because I think the real benefit of this whole Syria strike is with the rest of the world.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: With China and (INAUDIBLE)

WILLIAMS: Oh, yes, oh yes. They didn't know. They didn't know. Nobody knew.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: No, believe me, they know it. The question is, does America have the political will for this long-term effort?

GUILFOYLE: All right. And our hearts and prayers go out to the families and the victims of this horrible atrocity with the sarin gas and that brutal dictator.

Now, before we go, we do want to wish a very happy birthday to Juan Williams. He won't be here on Monday when he turns a youthful 21. Juan, you look marvelous for your age.

WILLIAMS: Thank you (INAUDIBLE)

GUILFOYLE: Juanito, happy birthday dear friend.

WILLIAMS: Appreciate it.

GUILFOYLE: We'll bring you snacks next week.

GUTFELD: Snacks? Oh, boy.

GUILFOYLE: "Special Report" is next.

BOLLING: Feliz cumpleanos.

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