Transcript

Passage of House health care bill a big win for Trump, Ryan?

The debate continues on 'The Fox News Specialists'

 

This is a rush transcript from "The Fox News Specialists," May 4, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: Hello, everyone. I am Eric Bolling, along with Kat Timpf and Eboni K. Williams, 5:00 will never be the same. We are "The Fox News Specialists". We are.

And today's specialist, he may be from Australia, but he's also started the foundation for liberty and American greatness and he is a best-selling author, but he specializes in everything Texas, Nick Adams is here. And she's a former congressional candidate in Virginia, a senior fellow at the New Leaders Council, and the author of the new book, "Reversing the Apocalypse: Hijacking the Democratic Party to Save the World," but she specializes in blue crab picking, Krystal ball is here.

Krystal, just tell us, blue crab picking, not catching, the difference be?

KRYSTAL BALL, SENIOR FELLOW NEW LEADERS COUNCIL: The difference being, you pick them and then you eat.

BOLLING: All right. And, Nick Adams, how in the world did you become a Mr. Texas? What it is? Honorary Texan.

NICK ADAMS, AUTHOR: I love chicken fried steak blue, bell ice cream, cowboy boots, jacked up pickup trucks, belt buckles. We love the game.

KAT TIMPF, CO-HOST: Who doesn't?

EBONI K. WILLIAMS, CO-HOST: He sound fully qualified.

ADAMS: That's right. BOLLING: Are you ready to get started?

TIMPF: Oh yeah. I'm so ready. I live for this.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: We're going to do this right now. Special list, the developing story out of our nation's capital, the house passing the Republican health care bill by a razor-thin margin of 217 yes, the 213 nays. It's a huge win for the Trump administration though, and may have just saved Paul Ryan's speakership. The bill now heads to the senate for consideration, where the fight will continue as it seats at 52-48 Republican, a thinner GOP margin there than in the house. President Trump and house Republicans threw a victory celebration at the White House a short time ago where the only thing missing was champagne and maybe a little confetti.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Make no mistake this is a repeal and replace of Obamacare. Make no mistake about it. What we have is something very, very incredibly well-crafted. We want to brag about the plan because these plan really. Obamacare took 17 months. Hillary Clinton tried so hard, really valiantly, in all fairness, to get health care through. Didn't happen. We've really been doing this for eight weeks, if you think about it. And this is a real plan. This is a great plan. And we have no support from the other party.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: Well, Speaker Ryan also enjoyed the win.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL RYAN, R-WIS., SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: This would not have been possible if it weren't for these two gentlemen behind me. I want to thank Mike Pence, and I want to thank President Donald Trump for their personal involvement in working with our members and working to get this right, for getting this done, for getting us to where we are. Today was a big day, but it's just one step in this process, an important step. We've got a lot of work to do. But one thing is now clear. Republicans are committed to keeping our promise to lift the burden of Obamacare from the American people, and put in place a better, more patient-centered system.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BOLLING: No shocker, house minority leader Nancy Pelosi is singing a very different tune.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF., HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: Any moderate in the crowd who voted for this bill turned radical today. I think they walked the plank. They were duped into walking the plank to a bill that will not become law.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: Sorry, minority leader, Obamacare is dying. American health care is rising and President Trump gets a big, beautiful, huge win. And frankly, as a conservative, I was very encouraged to see the GOP put their differences aside and passed massive legislation. Krystal Ball, Democrats must be shaking now. There it is, Trump administration, this is a big win. This is a big one.

BALL: Yeah. I mean he really came through and fulfilled his campaign promise to kick 24 million Americans off of health care. This is not at all what this president campaign on. And I have to say, I think a lot of Democrats are kind of excited today because Republicans have basically committed political suicide here. I think the passage, 2018, Dems retaking the house, it's clearer than ever. And here's the even bigger win, no one in this debate is making the argument that Kat has been making that it should be truly be a free market solution and if you can afford it and then you can buy in. No one is making that argument. So now the debate is how do we best cover every American? We have essentially accepted in this country that health care is a right and not a privilege and ultimately I think where that leads.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: That's a big statement though. I mean.

TIMPF: Pretty similar. This plan is pretty similar. And the way that it happened is even faster than Obamacare. Remember when Paul Ryan was saying you should never vote on something like this without CBO analyzing it. Paul Ryan is going to be very mad at Paul Ryan when Paul Ryan finds out.

(LAUGHTER)

TIMPF: I do believe there still too much of a government focused. Like you said, it's not a free-market plan, as to people like, Rand Paul, don't like it. People like me, so don't like it.

BOLLING: Nick Adams, let's talk the politics for a second. Donald Trump, contrary to what Krystal Ball said, he didn't promise to have fewer Americans covered. He promised to repeal and replace Obamacare. He's well on his way to that campaign promise.

ADAMS: Well, call Donald Trump, Lazarus, because just six weeks ago, people were saying that this health care bill was dead, buried, and cremated. And all of a sudden, Donald Trump, the president, has pulled out a great victory. Is this a touchdown? No. But it's certainly a first down. The ball is being advanced. And for seven years, Republicans were kind of just bobbing in the slipstream of the Democratic Party, and all of a sudden now there's some action. I think it's a great day. I think it's something that we should celebrate. Obamacare was terrible, is terrible, and I think that this is great progress.

BOLLING: Eboni, this is one sixth of the American economy. This is a big legislative deal. OK. We spend around 17 percent of American income, GDP, on health care. Other countries don't come anywhere near that. The world is somewhere around 9.5, 10 percent. The E.U. is about 10 percent as well. This is a long time coming.

WILLIAMS: Yeah, and it's huge and it's humongous. And it's a very, very big, important deal. I believe in giving credit where credit is due. For Donald Trump and the GOP, today, is certainly in the words of ice cube, it's a good day. However, you know, I want to talk long term and short term. I think Krystal makes a really good point about the long-term, short time. There's no question this is politically a win. He gets to deliver very literary on that campaign promise, at least first part of it, that repeal portion. But long-term, I think there are going to be real questions. But I'm sure -- I'm not going to pretend to understand everything this bill does. I think Rand Paul.

TIMPF: They don't even understand it.

WILLIAMS: Rand Paul was articulating this very effectively earlier on Cavuto show. And I think until I see more, until America sees more, and until the senate gets their hands on it in a way that maybe could make it reflective of something that's more free market, I certainly can't really make a conclusion about the quality of this bill.

BOLLING: And, Kat, you're 100percent right. There're 52 senate Republicans senators. They need 50. They've got two. Rand Paul certainly said I need to see more. Ted Cruz, also.

TIMPF: Yeah. Well, Paul Ryan, where we're talking about Obamacare said he needed to see more. So you think that they could at least understand the argument. Like you said, when it makes up such a huge portion of the economy, you kind of want to know what you're doing before you do it. And we have a situation where health care is very expensive in this country. But the two residents why it's so expensive it's because prices get jacked up and you get the government involved, when you get big insurance companies involved. There's a difference between capitalism and crony capitalism.

BALL: Think about this for a minute, though. We have the most robust private insurance market in the world, and we have the most expensive health care, and we have some of the worst outcomes in the developed world. Where we need to go is where the rest of the developed world has already gone, and where I guarantee whoever Democrats nominate in 2020 are going to go.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: Hold on, you said we have some of the worst outcomes?

BALL: We do.

BOLLING: We have people coming from around the world to use our health care system.

BALL: We have a demographic in this country right now whose life expectancy is going down.

BOLLING: Yeah, not because of our health care system.

BALL: Well, what are you going to blame it on?

BOLLING: Smoking, obesity.

BALL: Because we don't have any preventative-care because you still have so many Americans without health care. I agree with you that Obamacare has problems.

BOLLING: Democrats thinks this is a terrible bill. But it almost looks just like Obamacare.

(CROSSTALK) BALL: Wait a minute, if it looks like Obamacare, why do you love it?

BOLLING: Now it's Trumpcare, so it's awful?

BALL: No, no, no. Listen, the last bill that the CBO did score had 24 million fewer people getting health insurance through this bill. That is why we hate it.

(CROSSTALK)

BALL: Hold on. This bill makes it worse, and I'll tell you what it is. This only makes sense as basically a tax cut for the rich, which is what it is, at the expense of the working poor.

BOLLING: You don't know that you can't make that.

BALL: Of course you can.

BOLLING: You can't say Paul Ryan shouldn't have voted on it or shouldn't push it until he scored it, and then go ahead and score it yourself.

BALL: This one is even worse than what the CBO score.

(CROSSTALK) TIMPF: I'm still disturb honestly, Eric, that you said that it's almost like Obamacare as if that's a good thing. That's the most depressing thing.

BOLLING: No, no. I was talking about Democrats saying Obamacare was amazing, it was wonderful. Donald Trump put together -- I'm sorry, Paul Ryan puts together a bill, a legislation that looks a lot like Obamacare, but fixes some things in Obamacare

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: Something wrong with Obamacare.

BALL: Like what? What do they say?

BOLLING: And then, Democrats said.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: Let me say one thing, Krystal.

BALL: No, no, no.

WILLIAMS: There are also those of us who do not like Obamacare, which I've been very clear and consistent on.

BALL: Yeah.

WILLIAMS: Did not vote for Donald Trump, but was consistently rooting and expecting and hoping for something better because I was one of those people that paid the penalty.

BOLLING: You do realize the senate will get their hands on this bill and put a lot of this things in the bill.

WILLIAMS: That's what I've said. I'm waiting.

ADAMS: There's a long way to go in this process. The senate, I'm sure is going to be very vigorous in its assessment of it. But let me just take you up on one thing, Krystal, let me tell you.

BALL: Yeah.

ADAMS: . somebody who spent 32 years in a country with socialized medicine. That is not the future that you want for the United States of America, for sure. And that's why.

BALL: Better outcomes, lower costs. That's what it looks like in Australia and other countries with single payer health care. And that's where we're going because people have accepted this debates that health care is a right, not a privilege, and the only way that you ensure coverage.

BOLLING: There is not a conservative in this country that has accepted that premise that health care is a right.

BALL: So why did we spend so much time debating about people getting access who have pre-existing conditions?

WILLIAMS: Because the political consequences are very high at this point, Krystal. That's the truth. The political consequences for someone coming out and saying the reality of maybe more coverage for more people and bringing down health care premiums is virtually impossible under the current economic model. Nobody wants single-payer.

(CROSSTALK)

TIMPF: There is no incentive to provide better care, great idea.

BOLLING: So let's get back to that. So the reason why you're saying that health care is a right in the country is because they called the mandate constitutional, right?

WILLIAMS: John Robert called it.

BOLLING: That's the only reason why you could say that. Once you remove the mandate, which this new legislation does, it no longer becomes a right or a mandate.

BALL: I'm talking about the philosophy of the country. The country has rejected this bill. It had only 20 percent support in the previous iteration which was not as brutal and cruel as what they've just passed. The country voted for Donald Trump in part because he said I'm going to provide you with health care coverage and I'm going to bring down premiums.

BOLLING: So why don't you wait and see.

BALL: People do not think that health care should be a privilege for the wealthy. This bill is a step in that direction. Wait and see? You're going to wait and see?

BOLLING: Yeah.

BALL: Were you happy when Nancy Pelosi said we've got to pass the bill before we know what's in it? You've got to know what's in the bill.

BOLLING: Krystal, come on, you wanted to run for congress, right?

BALL: I did run for congress.

BOLLING: OK. Do you think that they would put together a bill that would go to the senate and come out, and President Trump would sign a bill that would make it worse for average middle-class Americans? Do you think that it would make it through? Of course, it would not.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: They would get destroyed in 2018.

BALL: Yes, they will.

BOLLING: They would.

BALL: They know. They will. And to be honest with you, I don't see that this president has dug into the details of this bill. I think he did want to provide something that was better, and maybe the house let him down. Maybe he doesn't want to do the homework to know what's in the bill. But how do you look at the fact that every analysis finds that millions and millions of people will lose their health care coverage. Premiums will go up. If you have pre-existing conditions, you're in big trouble. Lifetime caps, that piece is coming back. Everything they hated, coming back.

BOLLING: ObamaCare was failing upon itself. Health insurers were pulling out of -- completely pulling out of states.

BALL: Yes, do you know why?

BOLLING: If you stayed on Obamacare, people would have no coverage and no options.

BALL: So let's fix ObamaCare. Let's fix ObamaCare.

BOLLING: Let's fix this one. How about we give the guy a chance?

ADAMS: She's got the crystal ball, but I think she's jumping the gun.

BALL: We're headed for single payer, guys.

BOLLING: Susan Rice refusing to testify before the senate next week over Trump surveillance allegations. The president had a few choice tweets for Rice this morning. And later, President Trump signing a groundbreaking executive order to defund -- sorry, defend religious liberty, those stories and more coming up. But make sure to follow us on social media, @specialistsfnc, on both Twitter and Facebook.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WILLIAMS: Susan Rice is back in the headlines, this time for not wanting to testify for allegations surrounding her unmasking of members of the Trump team. Remember, she was President Obama's top security advisor. This got POTUS pretty heated, as you could imagine, tweeting, quote, Susan Rice, the former national security advisor to President Obama, is refusing to testify before a senate subcommittee next week on allegations of unmasking Trump transition officials. Not good. Meanwhile, even those in her own party like California Democratic senator, Dianne Feinstein, is urging Rice to reverse course.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN, D-CALIF.: I think she ought to consider it. She has gone public. I saw her on Fareed show, Sunday. I saw her today. And it seems to me that -- I've guess -- I've never heard that it has to be a bipartisan letter. This is sort of a new criteria, but she is certainly within her rights of saying I'm now retired. I'm not going to do it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAMS: OK. So obviously, yes, she's in her right to refuse it, to kind of effectively plead the fifth, so to speak. But what about what the senator is saying here? Did Susan Rice kind of open the door, as we would say in the law, by being so public about it, going on all these Sunday shows? At least discussing it in some way. And therefore, this kind of backing away from it in the senate format looks unsavory?

ADAMS: Look, Eboni, to put it mildly, I think that Susan Rice has got a very casual relationship with the truth.

WILLIAMS: What do you mean? That's sarcastic.

ADAMS: We have seen it over and over and over again throughout her career. And I think that this doesn't pass the pod test. I think this smell. And I think that it can easily be seen as an admission of guilt for her to take this particular position.

WILLIAMS: Not really. What?

ADAMS: Absolutely. And the fact that she's getting fire from one of her own I think says a lot.

WILLIAMS: Coming right to you, Krystal. I think you have something to say on this. So, to that point, we'll get to Senator Feinstein, but what's in it for Susan Rice to testify? What would be the upside for her to go? People already think, as Nick points out, that she has a casual relationship with the truth, what benefit would it be for Susan Rice to go in front of this committee?

BALL: Well, that's exactly it. I mean, look, I get Republicans hate Susan Rice. They don't like her. We get that. They think she's a liar, as Nick just said. All of that stuff. But these completely unfounded and baseless allegations against Susan Rice are totally irrelevant to what this investigation is supposed to be about, which is the Trump campaign potentially colluding with Russia to essentially commit an act of war against our own country. That is what those investigations are about.

BOLLING: Except they're really not that unfounded. We already know Susan Rice lied about saying that the reason for the Benghazi attack was a video. She was told it wasn't.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: No, no. It's not irrelevant. So she's a proven liar. We know that. And number two, she went ahead and unmasked Trump officials.

(CROSSTALK)

BALL: No, no, no, no.

(CROSSTALK)

TIMPF: Let me say this for a second please. OK, the standard for unmasking that information is that it has to provide some foreign intelligence value. Which is a very, very, very, vague, vague, vague qualification.

BALL: Yes.

TIMPF: But it's exactly why cookie libertarians like myself are always talking about governments surveillance being too intrusive. The standard being too bright, and too widen scope. But I'm so confused as to seeing why so many people are still such big fans of big intrusions into our privacy.

BOLLING: Not at all.

TIMPF: . that are on the same side of the people that are saying that she did something wrong. I think we should talk this. Obviously, what she did was politically motivated. I think that that's obvious. But also, she can get away with it most likely on a constitutional basis based on that very broad-wide standard.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: You and I have very similar opinions on the NSA and privacy and whatnot. I think this exactly goes right to that, where Susan Rice, contrary to the CIA, the FBI, and NSA, who said we don't need to unmask this guy name. She said, no. Let's unmask it. And as you aptly point out, it was all politics. She should have kept that name masked because it was not supposed to be unmasked. And if you have nothing to hide.

(CROSSTALK)

TIMPF: Because we're so surveillance-happy, and we need to take a look at that.

WILLIAMS: James Comey, yesterday, confirmed what many suspected, that it was classified information. In fact, forwarded from Huma Abedin to her husband, Anthony Weiner. When asked if it should be considered a crime, Democratic senator, Richard Blumenthal, well, he said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, D-CONN.: If there was classified information and it was improperly passed to a person unauthorized to receive it, yes, naturally it's a crime without knowing what the intentions were and so forth. There is potentially a prosecutable crime.

UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Should it have been prosecuted?

BLUMENTHAL: It still may be. Potentially, it's not outside the statute of limitations as far as I know. It's one that the Department of Justice is going to have to decide, and the question is, who will decide it? That's why we need a special prosecutor to review all of this investigative material.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAMS: So I'm going to actually come to you on this. Remember we -- I felt they had the privilege of filling in for the thanksgiving special of The Five. And Huma was my turkey of the year. Is this just the gift that keeps giving in the worst way for her? Is she become the scapegoat of the Dem Party?

BOLLING: When you have Richard Blumenthal recommending a special prosecutor to look in to what happened -- and we all know. She sent classified information, we know to Anthony Weiner. The only reason why we know it is because Anthony Weiner was being investigated for that texting or sexting a 15-year-old girl.

WILLIAMS: Horrible.

BOLLING: And so, they had his computer, and they're all, wow, look at this. We have Hillary Clinton's classified information. Yeah, hello. Let's go prosecute. Let's go find out what he knows or what she did.

WILLIAMS: To the point that it is, coming from her own party at this point, Krystal, how much more does that that bolster the suspicion around it?

BALL: I mean, I don't know. Do people really want to go back and re- litigate the Hillary email thing.

WILLIAMS: People do.

BALL: I mean, fine. If there's something, some wrongdoing there, that I have no problem with people looking into it. So, yeah, the fact that it's a Democrats saying this. But it also shows that Democrats are not just reflexively partisans here. They're not just reflexively say, no, because it's one of ours, we shouldn't go after them. If there was wrongdoing, let's look into it.

WILLIAMS: I like what Krystal is making, but I'm a little suspicious -- is that -- right? Is that really how we should read that? Or is this just because it's Huma and Anthony Weiner, and people are so sick to death of them, including in the Democratic Party, and they will happily throw them under the bus.

ADAMS: Yeah, I think you're right, Eboni. I think it really is just these couple of examples that we are looking at right now. I don't think you can possibly say.

BALL: I certainly throw Anthony Weiner under the bus.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: At least we can all agree on that.

(CROSSTALK) TIMPF: He seems to do a pretty good job of that himself.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: Because you have to prosecute bad behavior. This is bad behavior. When Huma Abedin, a trusted and cleared assistant, pushes classified material to someone who doesn't have that clearance, you can't say it's OK this time. Don't do it again.

TIMPF: I think people feel bad for her, though, because she is married to the most embarrassing man in the entire universe. But that can only take it so far. You do have to, you know, you can't just marry the embarrassing man and suffer no consequence. I would have gotten married a long time ago. But I know that's not how it works.

BOLLING: My wife would argue with that.

TIMPF: There does come a point where you say, OK, you know what, if we are talking about matter of national security, and there might be something to be found here, we all should be on the side of let's take a look at it.

WILLIAMS: I'm going to go to deeper level, Kat. You know what? It's not just an act that she married the most embarrassing man on the face of the earth. That was a choice. And I think that we all have to be very accountable for the people that we connect ourselves to, especially our spouses.

BALL: I think she has suffered plenty for her choice there.

WILLIAMS: And maybe more so.

(LAUGHTER)

WILLIAMS: Stephen Colbert refusing to apologize for his off-color joke about President Trump, but will the social media frenzy, the fire Colbert, blow up even more than it already has? Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TIMPF: Colbert is not backing down amid the outcry for him to be fired. Last night, the late show host finally addressed the uproar around the controversial joke he made about President Trump earlier this week about President Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVEN COLBERT, "THE LATE SHOW" HOST: I'm still the host!

Now, folks, if you saw my monologue on Monday, you know that I was a little bit upset with Donald Trump for insulting a friend of mine, so at the end of that monologue, I had a few choice insults for the president in return. I don't regret that. I believe he can take care of himself. I have jokes. He has the launch codes, so a fair fight. So while I would do it again, I would change a few words that were cruder than they needed to be.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TIMPF: So is his non-apology apology only adding fuel to the fire of the Colbert campaign?

Look, I don't know about you guys. I am a big fan of the non-apology apology in my own life, because if you apologize for something and you don't mean it, you say you regret it when you don't regret it, that -- that really just diminishes the value of the apology.

BOLLING: Got everything covered.

TIMPF: Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: Look, he -- here's my -- where I stand on this. I don't think he needs to be fired. He needs a sincere apology. That wasn't it. He needs to apologize to Donald Trump, the president for taking -- can you imagine? Donald Trump is president. You don't make those kind of joke -- lewd and crude jokes.

TIMPF: Oh, my God. Krystal said...

BOLLING: Wait, wait, wait. And also he owes the LGBT community an apology, as well. They were very offended by it.

BALL: I am so glad he did not apologize. Liberals always apologize. We apologize for everything. Anytime we hurt anyone's feelings, we apologize all the time.

And look, he's right. The language didn't have to be so crude, although I saw you guys talking earlier. You all didn't think it was funny. I did laugh, I admit. Maybe that's because my sense of humor is down in the gutter. But look, I'm grateful that, finally, someone said, "You know what? It was a joke. Let's move on with our lives."

TIMPF: If he apologized, I would have made him apologize for apologizing.

BALL: Thank you, Kat. Thank you.

WILLIAMS: The only thing he should apologize for was for how bad the joke was. That's my take, Krystal.

But you know, to your point, I don't think he should have really apologized, because I don't think he's really sorry. I think that's what we know. He's not at all sorry for what he said about President Trump. He means that he stands by it. So I do respect them for at least being honest about that.

BOLLING: He means what he said about President Trump?

WILLIAMS: Yes!

BOLLING: That his mouth is only good for one thing?

WILLIAMS: Maybe not literally.

TIMPF: No, I don't think he meant it literally. No.

(CROSSTALK)

TIMPF: That's what's the difference between a joke and not a joke.

BOLLING: This is the president of the United States, guys. I mean, come on. He should be held to a higher standard. No?

TIMPF: He's a comedian.

ADAMS: Look, I'm here to tell you that Stephen Colbert is a third-rate mediocrity that is struggling for significance, that is...

TIMPF: Actually, I disagree. (ph)

ADAMS: And can I tell you something? If brains were dynamite, he wouldn't have enough to blow his ears off. And I'll tell you why. He has just proceeded to alienate more than half of the country to which he broadcasts. It was disgraceful. It was crude. It was outrageous.

BALL: Aren't you the anti-PC guy?

ADAMS: And Krystal, let me...

BALL: Wait a second. I'm so confused. Your whole thing is not being PC. Eric, how many times have you talked about the...

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: I don't think he should be fired.

BALL: I'm sorry, do we need a safe space for you guys?

BOLLING: If the shoe were on the other foot and the -- and a conservative insulted the LGBT community, don't you think...

TIMPF: He did not insult the LGBT community.

BOLLING: Well, that -- listen, I'm not making this up.

TIMPF: To say that that -- he was being homophobic with that joke is a stretch, like, this big.

ADAMS: I think you have what it takes to tear the hind legs off an entire herd of antelope, but I'm here to tell you that you're absolutely...

BALL: I think that's a compliment.

ADAMS: ... 100 percent wrong, because this was totally out of line. This was wrong. Now, I'm not calling for him to lose his job. I don't think he should lose his job. But I think for you to sit here and tell us that it's perfectly OK.

BALL: I'm just so confused, because I'm hearing from conservatives all the time that we're all so easily offended and we need to learn how to take a joke. And then I see that you guys do the same thing.

ADAMS: What reality do you live in? You just told us that liberals apparently apologize. I've never heard a liberal apologize for anything.

BALL: Are you kidding me? All the time for everything. All the time.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: And why is it now OK? Why is an apology out of the question? I mean, you offended some groups.

BALL: He said that he thought that the language was too crude, OK.

BOLLING: You offended two groups: Trump voters and LGBT.

BALL: The language was too crude, sure. Comedians push the line all the time. That's what they do.

ADAMS: He just had -- he just had his knickers in a knot because Donald Trump upset his friend.

BALL: I don't think he's the one with the knickers in a knot.

TIMPF: I don't think he thought this was going to alter the course of the universe the way that it did, and I certainly didn't think it would either. But OK.

All right. President Trump signs a landmark executive order to defend religious liberty. How far will go to protect Americans of faith under assault? Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLLING: Welcome back to "The Fox News Specialists." Our specialists today are Nick Adams and Krystal Ball, who's author of the new book "Reversing the Apocalypse: Hijacking the Democratic Party to Save the World." All righty then.

And let's continue the conversation. President Trump keeping another campaign promise, signing a milestone executive order over religious freedom, liberty earlier today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: For too long, the federal government has used the power of the state as a weapon against people of faith, bullying and even punishing Americans for following their religious beliefs.

With this executive order, we are ending the attacks on your religious liberty, and we are proudly reaffirming America's leadership role as a nation that protects religious freedom for everyone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: All right. Nick Adams, the president is probably out of breath a little bit, all those victory laps he had to take around the Rose Garden today.

ADAMS: Got tired and winded (ph). Look, it -- it is so refreshing, Eric, to have a president that cares about Christians. We have a president that is not coming out there and saying that Christians should get off their high horse. We don't have a president that's got more sympathy for Islam than Christianity.

I think it's a fantastic thing that we have a president in the White House that are [SIC] committed to protecting Christians not only in America but right around the world, and I think it's -- it's terrific that we are going to get more freedom as a result of this.

BOLLING: And Eboni, one of the big things about this bill is that religious groups can now not only campaign, but they can also say who they like without risking their tax-exempt status, and that really is important part of it.

WILLIAMS: It is, and you know what, Eric? I actually like it. I do like it. I like more freedoms. Historically, that's been frowned upon by these groups.

I have to tell you, as a both Christian and member of the black community, historically, that's been important to us as a community, to be able to have the freedom to incorporate the sometimes inevitable intersection of faith, our faith and our belief system, and political engagement and involvement. So I'm actually quite pleased with it.

BOLLING: Do you have thoughts on the...

TIMPF: OK, well, let me just interject really quick. Actually, this executive order, you can't overturn a mandate or regulation or a statute. So this actually doesn't really do much of anything, because the ban on churches being politically involved comes from the Johnson Amendment. You can't just -- I believe it's unconstitutional. You can't overturn it with an executive order, just like you can't overturn the contraceptive mandate, which I also think is unconstitutional, you can't overturn agree with the executive order.

I agree with the ideas in this. I think that if he wanted to repeal those things, good on him. That would be great, but you can't just do something like this with an executive order.

BOLLING: What do you say, Krystal?

BALL: Two things. First of all, I'm a little bit confused by what Nick said, because we realize this isn't a Christian freedom bill or executive order. This is about all religions. So, you know, Muslims also will benefit from the changes...

ADAMS: Sure.

BALL: ... in this executive order.

But to Kat's point, I'm not upset about this, because it doesn't really do anything. The Johnson Amendment that you're talking about is already not enforced. Pastors and other faith leaders already go to the pulpit and walk right up to and frequently over the line in terms of politics.

WILLIAMS: Can I -- can I give...

BALL: So it's already not enforced. And then...

WILLIAMS: Can I give an anecdote about it real quick? Then I'll let you finish that point.

BALL: Sure. Sure.

WILLIAMS: I had a friend campaigning for mayor in Cincinnati just this past week. His primary was on Tuesday.

We went to three churches in the morning, and you could see the resistance of the pastors, many of them, who wanted to be able to speak out publicly about what they thought was in the best interests of their congregations. But Krystal, they actually did feel like their hands were tied around their ability to speak...

BOLLING: Do you know why?

WILLIAMS: Speak about it.

BOLLING: Do you know why? Because they -- they were risking their tax- exempt status. Because they were speaking out in favor of a candidate.

BALL: It doesn't actually -- it doesn't actually technically change that. The Johnson Amendment is still there. He's just saying, "IRS, don't enforce it." The IRS is already not enforcing it.

I do want to point out here that a lot of religious leaders are comfortable with the mixing of church and state, and they think that that separation is not only good for the state but is also good for religion because, to pick up on something that Nick said last segment, when you start explicitly advocating for politicians and political causes, it is a divisive thing. And it will turn off some believers and some people in your community.

So this is a tough one, but this doesn't -- I'm not too upset about it, because it doesn't actually do anything.

WILLIAMS: It can turn some people off, Krystal, and you're right about it. But I just have to speak on my personal experience. Sometimes they are so intrinsically linked. You cannot run away from the crossover around them. And I think, in those instances, there should be some latitude.

ADAMS: The handcuffs are off. I think that's a great thing. I think that it's really important what President Trump signed today. I think it's going to have a very big impact. I think it's going to make people feel much more comfortable.

BALL: What's the impact?

TIMPF: There's no impact. Nobody is going to be able to not obey the contraceptive mandate, for example, based on this executive order. Because an executive order can't overcome...

ADAMS: Sometimes it's not just about policy effects. Sometimes it's about the effect on the culture, on the psyche.

WILLIAMS: Yes, I think...

(CROSSTALK)

ADAMS: I think it's a really, really great thing that suddenly, people feel comfortable, particularly Christians, because Christians are the most persecuted, I think, here in the United States.

BALL: What?

BOLLING: Let's leave it right there.

(CROSSTALK)

BALL: Pick that one up another day.

BOLLING: I agree with you 100 percent.

Elizabeth Warren suggests that the Trump presidency could mark the end of male presidents in the White House. What is even happening? Next.

And follow us on Twitter and Facebook, @SpecialistsFNC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TIMPF: Leave it to Elizabeth Warren to have you asking what is even happening? The hard-left icon who so accurately predicted a Trump presidency could not happen is making another bold prediction.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, D-MASS.: The way that things are going, if the next three years and 261 days are like the first 100 days, I wonder if America will ever be ready for a male president again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TIMPF: So President Trump will be so horrible for America the country will never, ever elect another male president again. I wonder who that would benefit in, say, 2020? I don't know. I've got to ask you, Krystal: Did they not learn that maybe running an election or a campaign on identity politics does not work?

BALL: Well, I hope they will learn that. I don't know if they did. But I think with Elizabeth Warren, let's just keep in mind the context here. This was a joke. It was an applause line at an all-women's conference of Emily's List, which is all about getting more women into politics. So let's not pretend like Elizabeth Warren is actually saying, "I hate men. No man is ever going to be elected president again." That's not what she's saying here.

TIMPF: But it does -- of course not...

BOLLING: That's what she's saying.

TIMPF: It does present the same attitude, though, Eboni. It does present the same attitude of that, yes, it's going to be a gender-focused election again. They're still thinking about elections in terms of a gender focus when that kind of didn't go great last time.

WILLIAMS: So I think both of you are saying something that is true. Right? So I think absolutely the Dems have to get an economic message first and foremost. I've been saying that consistently. And if and when they do, we might see a different result.

But I think Krystal's right. She is at Emily's List. That is an applause line. That is a talking point, essentially, around rallying -- and it's an important cause. We do need more women and more women, by the way, of both Democratic and Republican and independent stature entering the political dialogue, the political state. That's a good thing.

BOLLING: Except she didn't say "more."

WILLIAMS: I know.

BOLLING: She said "only."

BALL: OK, but let's also keep in mind...

BOLLING: Hold on. Think of it this way, though. She's going to run for president, right?

WILLIAMS: I hope not.

BOLLING: This is going to come back to haunt her in 2020 when she's going...

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: ... the nominee.

BOLLING: I agree with you. This was a line to sell books. That's all that was. But, you know, TV has a funny way of reminding you what you said a while ago. She just alienated a lot of male Democrats.

BALL: You may not like Elizabeth Warren. That's fine. But I don't think anyone would argue that this is not a mission-driven person who talks a lot about economics. I mean, in terms of the Democratic Party...

BOLLING: Agreed.

BALL: ... I am the first to criticize the party.

BOLLING: Absolutely. Go with that message.

BALL: I wrote a whole book about it.

BOLLING: That's a better -- better message than they'll never be another male president.

BALL: That's what she spends about 99 percent of her time on. But you've also got to say what you're going to be voting against. So it's fine to criticize Trump. You've just got to offer something else. I think Elizabeth Warren is one of the best at that.

But let's also keep in mind...

WILLIAMS: I disagree with you.

BALL: Trump ran as the alpha male. Right? He talked about the size of his junk. He was the "grab them by the you know what" candidate. He ran as the alpha male who's going to come in and be tough. It was a very gendered election. And I think when you talk about what we're going to come to in reaction to that, in response to that, we will probably get...

BOLLING: You're not suggesting Donald Trump -- you're not suggesting Donald Trump was more gender identity political than Hillary Clinton?

BALL: No, I'm talking about the underlying dynamic. Like what are we -- where are we going to go after this from the alpha male?

ADAMS: I will tell you one thing America will never be ready for. I'll tell you one thing American will never be ready for, and T=that is a President Elizabeth Warren. A President Pocahontas. Pocahontas, whatever you like.

BALL: Please don't do that. Just don't do the Pocahontas thing.

ADAMS: Why not? It's true.

BALL: It's racist. If you're going to criticize her...

ADAMS: This is what -- you just hailed epithets.

BALL: You know, stick on the policy, please. No need to name call.

ADAMS: All that feminism has delivered is angry women and feminine men.

WILLIAMS: That's not true.

ADAMS: And I -- well, I think it is.

WILLIAMS: Feminism by definition, people don't understand what that word means. All it means is that you believe that the same rights that you have that are applicable to you are applicable to me. That's actually all that means.

(CROSSTALK)

BALL: I agree. That is the definition.

TIMPF: This won't be solved right now. OK.

Back by popular demand, we're going to circle back to one of our top stories next. Cameras just caught up with Huma Abedin. Here's what Huma Abedin said when asked why she forwarded emails to her disgraced husband. Stay there.

Stay there.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WILLIAMS: Time for our daily segment "Circle Back." We debuted it on the show yesterday. And well, we didn't totally embarrass ourselves, so we're keeping it.

So we're circling back to a topic we discussed earlier in the show today. Huma Abedin, so we just got in this new video of Huma Abedin being questioned by "The New York Post" on the streets of New York earlier today about why she forwarded classified information to her husband.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you feel partially, at least, responsible for Hillary's defeat, knowing that your emails reopened the investigation?

Did you know that what you were doing was illegal? Mr. Comey said that he didn't think you were aware of that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAMS: All right. In my opinion, Huma there looking the definition of unbothered. Eric.

BOLLING: Unbothered or very smart, because she is likely going to be investigated. So she doesn't want to open her mouth and say a thing to anyone right now.

WILLIAMS: The lawyer in me says that is very smart advice. Krystal, how's she look to you?

BALL: On a human level, I really feel for Huma, because she probably does blame herself a lot for Hillary's loss.

WILLIAMS: But shouldn't she?

BALL: And she married Anthony Weiner, and it's been hell for her. And now we've got this whole thing going. I mean, yes, if there is wrongdoing, she should accept responsibility for that. There should be an investigation, whatever. But on a human level, I feel for her in that clip.

ADAMS: I'm not a fan of Huma Abedin. Look, I think that she brought a lot of it onto herself. I think that we saw there that she's very, very uncomfortable, and so she should be.

I think she will get prosecuted. I think that there will be an outcome that's going to be averse to her. And, you know, if Susan Rice is the Tokyo Rose of our time, then I think that that would probably make Huma Abedin, perhaps, the Joker.

TIMPF: I don't know what you're talking about. Huma-Hillary 2020. She's unaffected. She's doing -- no, it's very, very sad. What else are you going to do? What else are you going to do?

WILLIAMS: I liked her scarf. That was really nice.

BALL: She's very stylish.

BOLLING: If you've seen the Anthony Weiner documentary, you do end up feeling for Huma that she was -- I mean, there was time and time again where the pressure coming and saying, "Look what we found." And they'd have the cameras rolling on her, and she would keep going.

But to your point earlier in the show, she made those decisions to stay with him.

TIMPF: Sometimes your emotions can take over.

BOLLING: No, no.

TIMPF: We all know what that's like. People do funny things when they're in love.

WILLIAMS: I don't think it was emotional. I think -- I think Huma made a strategic decision that a lot of people do when they're choosing their spouse, right? I think she knew he was a hot mess. He'd get on her nerves. He would have some liabilities, so to speak. But I think she ultimately thought it would be worth it. He would become mayor of New York and maybe more.

BALL: ... less than that.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: Loved him, too.

TIMPF: I think she might also be capable of love.

WILLIAMS: I think that's fair to say. Come on.

ADAMS: Eric, I think this is where you and I have to...

BOLLING: Look at the two -- look at the two people she chose. Hillary and Anthony Weiner. I don't know. Loser one and loser two.

TIMPF: Marrying Anthony Weiner was a bad thing. I would not have done it. Yes. And I don't plan to. So...

BOLLING: He's available, I think.

ADAMS: Go for it, Kat.

WILLIAMS: Well, I think one of the first things I ever set on FOX News was on Sean Hannity's show and that is that Anthony Weiner is not my husband and thank God for that.

TIMPF: That's true right there.

WILLIAMS: Right? That's the truth. That's the gospel right there.

Well, thank you to our "Fox News Specialists" today, Nick Adams and Krystal Ball. We thank you all so much for watching. Make sure you also follow us on social media. It's a new account: @SpecialistsFNC on Twitter and Facebook.

And remember everybody, 5 p.m. will never be the same. "Special Report" up next.

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