TRANSCRIPT

FBI Director Comey has been fired by President Trump

Reaction and analysis from 'The Five'

 

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," May 9, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: This is a Fox News alert. I am Dana Perino and this is "The Five."

A stunning announcement from the White House today. President Trump fires FBI Director James Comey. It is only the second time in history that a president has fired the head of the bureau. Comey was in Los Angeles at the time. He was supposed to attend an event tonight, but boarded a flight moments ago. The White House says that Comey was dismissed over these comments he made last year about the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: I have not coordinated the statement or reviewed it in anyway with the Department of Justice or any other part of the government. They do not know what I'm about to say. Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PERINO: All right. Kimberly, this was big breaking news today. Absolutely unexpected. And really unexpected for James Comey who was apparently doing an FBI recruitment event and didn't know about it until he saw on the screens in the back of the room that he had been fired.

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST: Yes. Can you imagine? And of course this happened in Los Angeles then we saw local FOX affiliate who is apparently following the motorcade that they believed to be former Director of the FBI Comey, and now we're looking at a plane apparently coming back to Washington.

PERINO: And that is a picture of the plane taking off, Kimberly. A live look at that.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: It's a live action shot of a plane, America.

(LAUGHTER)

GUILFOYLE: Yes.

PERINO: You only get that here.

GUTFELD: That is not stock photography. It's a real plane.

PERINO: Kimberly, I am going to let you finish.

GUILFOYLE: It doesn't appear to be going to --

(LAUGHTER)

So, obviously he didn't make his speech but essentially the clip that you just played, Dana, that really is the crux of this. When things went terribly wrong as a former, if you're a career prosecutor, you don't make that judgment if you are the investigator and tell the prosecutor what to do in terms of the decision to prosecute. He should have allowed that to go straight to Loretta Lynch without the interference of his personal opinion, it was overstepping his bounds, it was improper for the head of the FBI to do that. And that is where this started to really unravel for him.

PERINO: All right. Well, joining us now is Chief White House Correspondent John Roberts. John, could you catch us up on the day. You were at the White House, where were you when you heard the news?

JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know, Dana, you know this all too well. When there is nothing on the schedule, that is when you have to be prepared for something big to happen. I had actually gone to the White House staff earlier today and said, you're not planning a press conference, right? Because anytime there's nothing on the schedule. That's the time when you really have to get your antenna up.

And then at about, I guess it was 5:40 in the afternoon, we got word that Comey was being fired as you see him there board the Air Force. I think that is a G3. For the very last time, as he is heading back to Washington from Los Angeles. We are told by White House officials that this really was the work of Rod Rosenstein who is the Deputy Attorney General. That he came into the job after being confirmed by a vote of 94 to six, not quite unanimous but obviously a lot of Democratic support and started reviewing this case, started assessing the situation.

Clearly, he had some concerns about all of this prior to taking over as the deputy Attorney General. And made the determination that Comey had acted absolutely improperly with what he said about Hillary Clinton in that hour- plus long press conference back in July of last year. When he said that she had mishandled emails, that she had stored classified emails on her server, that she shouldn't have done it but then at the same time -- he didn't think that it warranted pressing charges.

And he just said that he had -- Rosenstein said that at that point, Comey had really usurped the authority of then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch. But I think what really buried Comey was what he said last week in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee where he alluded to the fact that when he heard the Bill Clinton had that tarmac interlude with the Attorney General, that he needed to act because he thought that he would be accused of covering something up had he not come forward.

But what Rosenstein found was that he overstepped all balance that the Director of the FBI could really do something like that when they have got special permission to do it. And it was at that point that Rosenstein determined that had lost confidence in Comey's ability to run the FBI. Now, you could make a case that President Trump has not been happy with Comey, going all the way back to the fifth of July when he railed against his decision not to press charges against Hillary Clinton.

Comey did seem to redeem himself in the President's eyes while he's still a candidate. Back at the end of October, when he decided that he was going to reopen the investigation, you saw the warm handshake. The pat on the shoulder and whisper on the ear on the 22nd of January when the President finally met Comey face to face. And at that point, the two of them seem to be getting along but I think it's pretty safe to say all along, this president has been awfully skeptical of the FBI director and his ability to lead the FBI and certainly at least in the eyes of the President.

But the White House pointing simply to the Deputy Attorney General, who was the director of the FBI's immediate superior to say that it was Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that lost confidence in Comey and decided that it was best that he'd be replaced at the FBI. The Attorney General Jeff Sessions been heard, the President accepted the recommendation of both of his officials, and fired him on the spot late this afternoon.

PERINO: All right. We are going to take it around the table here while we have you. Jesse Watters, you want to go next?

JESSE WATTERS, CO-HOST: So, John, the ax fell pretty swiftly on Comey and everybody was looking around like, what just happened? Is this Trump, the businessman, you are fired, get a new guy in there as fast as possible, he forget about the consequences versus, you know, how this would usually roll out in a situation where they do this smoothly over the course of a week or two? With leaks and then plan it out and have it be more executed? Do you see any positives or negatives with the kind of swift, decisive personnel action that the President took here?

ROBERTS: Well, you know, I mean, I am a fan of that series, Spartacus, on Netflix. And a lot of heads get chopped off on that show. And that's exactly what happened today to the FBI director.

WATTERS: I mean, this came as a shock to literally everyone including the FBI director. I know that the President made a couple of courtesy calls. One to Senator Schumer, another one to Senator Graham about 10 minutes before the ax fell on the FBI director. But I think, Jesse, that the President handled this in much the same way that he handles a lot of his business dealings. When you have got somebody who you don't have confidence in, they have to go.

I don't necessarily know that the FBI director is going to be replaced swiftly. I'm sure that he's got some people in mind. Andrew McCabe will be the acting director, at least for the time being. But I don't think McCabe is going to be the guy because there's still a sense here at the White House that McCabe may have sandbagged the White House chief of staff in the early days of this administration when he told him and -- hey, by the way, that story about Russia connections, with some people from your campaign in the New York Times, we are telling you that that didn't happen.

And that suddenly became public. Even Reince Priebus looked pretty bad in public. So, I think the President is going to take some time to find the right person for this job.

PERINO: All right. Juan Williams?

JUAN WILLIAMS, CO-HOST: So, John, I am curious about the reaction coming from Capitol Hill to the White House. You mentioned the conversation that Schumer had with President Trump. Schumer said that he told President Trump this is a mistake. And then subsequent to that, we have heard from Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, this is Nixonian. He says it's analogous to the Saturday night massacre.

We've heard from Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut who says the legal system is being threatened and even Republicans, John McCain of Arizona saying he regrets this and we see from Richard Burr, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee who said he is troubled by this. So, the question is, is it likely now that to insulate the White House, President Trump will support an independent inquiry into the Russian probe?

ROBERTS: You know, I think that if the President is very comfortable where that investigation lies, and it lies now in the hands of the deputy Attorney General after Jeff Sessions recuse himself. I don't think that there will be any great call here at the White House to have a special prosecutor look into that. But let's also look at some of the statements that are coming from Democrats on Capitol Hill, Juan. Just a couple of weeks ago, it was 14 days ago, Senator Schumer said that Rod Rosenstein was a guy who has proved himself to be a man of integrity.

Six months ago, Senator Schumer said that he had lost confidence in James Comey. So, it's difficult to suddenly turn around and say, this is all Nixonian, this shouldn't have happened, when you've come out and you've praised the guy that made the recommendation and you have denigrated the guy who felt in the ax. So, I think that some Democrats are in a little bit shaky ground when they criticized the President for taking this action. And certainly, you wouldn't have found many Democrats on October the 28th who were calling for James Comey's tenure at the FBI to be extended to its full term.

WILLIAMS: I would agree with you, John, as the question is, did the President then use what happened last week I guess when Comey misstated or outright deceived the Congress about the investigation into the emails, especially with regard to emails that Huma Abedin had been forwarding or had been somehow transfer to her husband's computer. Did the President, you sat then as a convenient excuse? Because the President has been highly critical.

Trump tweeted just a week ago, Comey gave a free pass. It was a bad deal and it said that the Russia-Trump collusion was a total hoax. So, I mean, even to FOX -- here at FOX, he has said to Maria Bartiromo that Hillary Clinton was guilty on every charge and that Comey let her go free. So, is this a case that you think that possibly Trump just used what happened last week as an excuse to dump a guy he wanted out?

ROBERTS: You know, I've talked about this a couple of hours ago, Juan, that you could probably make a pretty solid case to say that President Trump may have been gutting for Jim Comey since July 5th of last year. But that he was told by his aides that you could not do it, make it look right until he had Comey's boss in place and get the right boss in there to fire Comey. I am being told that that's not the case.

That this was Rosenstein but I think that some people who want to believe a little more in the conspiracy theory end of things or maybe are just being pragmatic about the whole thing could say that President Trump is headed in for Comey for a long time. And this was the opportunity to do it and do it right with a lot of political cover.

PERINO: All right. Let Greg Gutfeld ask the question or comment.

GUTFELD: I have a couple of comments. I think if he writes a book, it should be called "you don't know me" by James Comey. You don't know me by James Comey.

(LAUGHTER)

WILLIAMS: That is very true.

GUTFELD: My theory on this is that he is kind of -- he's like a nuisance needle. He injected himself into everything and he made it worse. He treated his job as if though he ran a TV series. So, everything that he did was a series of dramatic moments and pronouncements. When in fact his job should have been less interesting. Like he is running a business, he treated like he was on scandal or House of Cards.

So, whenever something would happen, he would come up there and have to make a pronouncement and fuel the life of the spotlight on him. And I think because of that, he was like a drunk in a cow pasture, he just kept stepping into it and drag in it everywhere. And I don't think -- I think the last, he was the least surprised and maybe that is my question is, what's he pretty much just expecting this to happen and that tomorrow he gets to wake up and watch "The View"?

(LAUGHTER)

ROBERTS: Well, maybe he might be looking forward to that, finally. And perhaps just finally getting out. I'll tell you, Greg, nobody can spin a tale like you can.

(LAUGHTER)

But if you go back to what the FBI director said at Boston College a couple of months ago, it looked like he was, you know, probably going to take this all the way through until the end of his tenure which was six-and-a-half years from now.

GUTFELD: Uh-hm.

ROBERTS: But the President made it clear to Comey in the letter of termination that he wrote to me said, quote, while I greatly appreciate you informing me on three separate occasions but I'm not under investigation, I nevertheless concur what the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau. Basically what the President was, I appreciate the fact that you said favorable things about me and things that will lead people to believe that there was no collusion by the Trump campaign, with the Russia in terms of trying to influence the election, but I'm not going to allow you to scape when I have several people who I deeply trust telling me that you are not the person for this job.

GUTFELD: You know, that is a good point -- you know when he said that in the letter, when he said, I appreciate you not saying that I broke. That is not like what you say before you dump somebody. Like you know what, we had some great times.

ROBERTS: It is. It is.

PERINO: It's not you, it's me.

GUTFELD: It's not you, it's me.

GUILFOYLE: He said that at the end.

GUTFELD: Yes.

GUILFOYLE: Good luck in your future endeavors.

ROBERTS: You remember when we took that long trip together up there winding mountain road in the convertible --

PERINO: Yes.

ROBERTS: And love was in the air. Well, that doesn't exist anymore and I'll see you later.

PERINO: And now we are in the cow pasture apparently. Kimberly Guilfoyle has a question for you.

GUILFOYLE: Yes. Hopefully a sensible one.

GUTFELD: Hey, is that a jab at me?

GUILFOYLE: No, I like your story.

ROBERTS: Just don't ask me about a tax holiday. Please.

GUILFOYLE: No. Absolutely not. It seems to me though that this really was a long time coming. And you talked about July 5th and going back to the election. I mean, there was grounds and reasons for President Obama to remove him really from his position as well and in terms of the recent developments with respect to his testimony, I think there is ample evidence there as well that he had mishandled his position and the authority that he was given as director of the FBI. This to me does not come as a surprise that it happened.

Quite honestly, as a former prosecutor I was expecting it to even happen sooner in terms of it being a problem with the public trust. And someone that really overstepped his bounds and assuming the role essentially of Loretta Lynch as if he was the AG as well.

ROBERTS: Well, here's one of the questions I have Kimberly, it is not that Comey is gone because you can make a case that he should have been fired a long time ago.

GUILFOYLE: Yes.

ROBERTS: Maybe immediately after what he did back in July. But why now? And what did Rod Rosenstein see that Sally Yates didn't see when she was the Deputy Attorney General? If he was going to be fired for what he did, what he did was such an egregious violation of his position there as director of the FBI, why didn't Sally Yates make the recommendation to Loretta Lynch. He would then make the recommendation to President Obama?

PERINO: I agree.

ROBERTS: So, I am still puzzled as to why this happened today.

PERINO: Well, maybe we will find out a little bit more about that. And John, I think, I wonder if you could just explain a little bit to people that they might not realize that the attorney -- the FBI director is a political appointee.

ROBERTS: He is.

PERINO: He or she serves at the pleasure of the President. Though it is for a tenured term. And that's very unique in Washington. And that is why you see him over the course of three administrations in wanting to finish out his -- the end of his term, but of course that did not come to pass.

ROBERTS: And as you know, there are number of those appointments in the federal government, I believe the head chairman is one of those as well.

PERINO: Uh-hm.

ROBERTS: That are appointed for a longer terms than normal for a political appointee. He really wanted to finish out that term as far as we can tell. He expected that he was going to. I know that the letter of termination was delivered in two ways. It was delivered electronically, and I think that Comey probably got a copy of the electronic letter because he was in Los Angeles at the time and the President's former chief of security, now the director of Oval Office operations Keith Schiller took a copy over a hard copy over to the FBI earlier today.

The President wanted to make sure that there was a formal delivery as well as the electronic delivery. It may not have come as a surprise to Comey. He may have known that his head was on the chopping block but from everything that we can glean since this has happened, this came as the surprise to just about everybody involved.

PERINO: It might not have satisfied many in the media and it might have been impossible to stop leaks from it getting out. But the White House could actually have just said the FBI director served at the pleasure of the President, the President is no longer pleased or just to say we thank him for his service. We appreciate what he has done for the country, we are now nominating a new FBI director in the meantime.

Andrew McCabe will be the deputy. And until we have a chance to vet, nominate and confirm a new FBI director. I just think that saying that what it was, like giving an explanation in using July 5th and the Hillary Clinton piece actually leads to more questions and speculation rather than just saying, we have nothing more to say here. He serves at the pleasure of the President and he no longer serves.

ROBERTS: It does. And something else that I found very curious about this was they didn't just fire James Comey, they buried him.

PERINO: Right.

ROBERTS: And that lengthy letter to the Attorney General Jeff Sessions from deputy Attorney General, outlined a long litany of horribles that James Comey committed. And the fact that it happened in the Obama administration and it revolved around Hillary Clinton, I mean, just the irony could not be deeper than that. But they took pains here to make sure that they had gotten every I and crossed every T in terms of ethics, morality, and conduct to see, this is why this guy has to go. They really, really built a case against this guy. Which is why is I said to Jesse earlier, they cut his head off. They didn't just fire him.

GUTFELD: But I mean, they didn't just fire him, they fired him while he was on the road which is the worst thing ever. Because if you're like, we have all sorts of sensitive stuff on your desk, like credit cards statements and prescriptions and phone numbers, you don't even have a chance to get back to your office to get the stuff off your desk or even steal the company toilet paper. Why do you think they didn't wait?

GUILFOYLE: Oh my God!

GUTFELD: Why did they do it while he was away? Is that kind of tacky?

ROBERTS: Not only that. But he is in Los Angeles. And he's got to be thinking to himself, wow, do I get a ride home or am I going to have to hitchhike?

GUTFELD: Exactly.

ROBERTS: They let him have the FBI jet to come back home. But yes, when you're on the -- anybody who has ever been fired --

GUTFELD: Yes.

ROBERTS: -- or lost a jobs while they're on the road --

(LAUGHTER)

GUTFELD: Three times.

ROBERTS: You can count me in that one too. It is particularly painful.

GUTFELD: Yes.

ROBERTS: Because you're wondering, what happened, what could I have done differently? And can I get back in and, you know, get my orchid off the desk or somebody going to let them got it.

(LAUGHTER)

PERINO: You had it. That is good to know.

GUTFELD: Orchid, that's what you call it.

PERINO: As we build the profile understanding John Roberts, the orchid on the desk, will play a prominent role. Jesse had another question for you.

WATTERS: I have nothing like that on either, not like that on his desk or no orchids either. I want to make that very clear. I think they could have built a bigger case against Comey. I mean, it's not just botching the Hillary Clinton investigation, they didn't pursue the Clinton Foundation. Scandals. They gave everybody immunity in the Hillary Clinton email thing. Besides the Huma stuff, you know, the FBI is also tied into that hoax Russian dossier too.

And then even looking farther back, you know, they let these Russian, you know, Boston, marathon bombers slipped through the cracks. They let the nightclub bomber in Orlando slipped through the cracks whenever they interviewed him. And then they totally embarrassed themselves after the San Bernardino shooting when they could not crack into the iPhone and had Apple basically pancake them in front of the entire world. So, I mean, this guy's track record under the FBI and they have great people in the FBI -- hasn't been that stellar.

ROBERTS: But again, Jesse, when you look at that long letter from Rosenstein, it had nothing to do with any of that. It was purely --

WATTERS: They could have made that case. And it would have bolstered their case, much bigger.

ROBERTS: You know, they could have made that case. But, you know, it was tangential to the matter at hand. And I think that they thought that they were probably on firmer ground.

GUILFOYLE: Uh-hm.

ROBERTS: Particularly with this being about Hillary Clinton.

GUILFOYLE: Yes.

ROBERTS: I mean, for the Trump administration to fire the FBI director for his handling of the Hillary Clinton issue? I mean, that does regardless of what Democrats on Capitol Hill are saying, that puts you on pretty solid ground legally and morally as well when you are going to take somebody out. You know, like we didn't like the way he handled the Trump investigation we're going to fire him.

WATTERS: Right.

ROBERTS: Well, that would not have looked very good but if you are saying, we didn't like the way that he handled the investigation into our opponent, then that makes you look pretty good despite the facts the Democrats are trying to say, this looks pretty bad.

GUILFOYLE: All right, John Roberts. Thank you so much. We will be checking back with you perhaps.

GUTFELD: Thanks, John.

ROBERTS: Thanks, Kimberly.

GUILFOYLE: Well, it's fun. All right. Let's go now to our chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge live from Washington. Catherine.

CATHERINE HERRIDGE, FOX NEWS CHIEF INTELLIGENCE CORRESPONDENT: Well, thank you, Kimberly. What strikes me is the conversations that I've had nearly a half dozen former FBI agents since the announcement that Director Comey was fired. But they all said to me is that it blindsided the bureau. There was a deep sense of shock and that the FBI director had any inkling that this was coming, he would have insisted on sending an email to the entire workforce to explain what was going down and as we know now tonight, that is not what happened.

They also tell me though he had become a deeply polarizing figure, especially since the announcements last July about the Clinton email case. They say it's about much more than the Clinton emails. It goes to this issue of the FBI director coloring outside the lines. That he is the nation's preeminent investigator but in that moment in July when he had that statement about the Clinton emails and he recommended against criminal charges, he put on this prosecutor's hat which was completely inappropriate, which is what we saw in the letters released by the White House today.

They also emphasized to me that throughout the Clinton email case, there was this constant tension between the director and some of the agents involved because he personally insisted that they find evidence of criminal intent for the mishandling of classified information. And while that always makes the prosecutor's case as you would know easier to make in court, it is not required under the statute. So, again, they felt that he was coloring outside the lines and not adhering to the law in the way that he might, if another person was being pursued by the FBI -- Kimberly.

GUILFOYLE: Yes. Such a great point. That was something that is not part of the requisite proof.

HERRIDGE: Correct.

GUILFOYLE: Certainly that will make the case stronger. But that is again, an example of them overstepping. We have more questions for you, Catherine.

HERRIDGE: Sure.

GUILFOYLE: We will begin with Juan.

WATTERS: Catherine, you know, I was thinking about the history here and remembering that Bill Clinton had fired Bill Sessions back in 1993. There were some ethical questions at stake there.

HERRIDGE: Correct.

WATTERS: And that's the sole case we have of a president firing an FBI director. But then you have the case of Bob Mueller during the George W. Bush years, and Mueller threatened to quit unless the secret surveillance program was stopped. And as you recall, the White House backed down at that moment. So now we have a situation where the President clearly is sending a signal that he feels that despite the political fireworks tonight, tomorrow, around this -- he can do it. And I just wonder, from your perspective, if the intelligence community is up in arms at what is a pretty bold action by the President as this -- in the course of being investigated for -- or his aides, for their ties to Russia.

HERRIDGE: Well, everyone I'm speaking with tonight goes back to the letter that was I drafted and signed by the new deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and what they've said to me, is that they have a lot of states in his judgment, that now seems to hear from the timing that when he took the job and was confirmed in late April, that he was tasked with doing a review, a sort of fact-finding mission as to how the emails were handled and whether the FBI director really maintained the trust and integrity of the workforce and to lead the preeminent law enforcement agency globally.

And what we have seen from that letter is that Rosenstein did not base it on his opinion, he went to former attorneys general and other senior law enforcement personnel on both sides of the aisle to canvass their opinions. And they felt that the FBI director had in effect lost his way. And what I've heard privately now for some months are really two things. One, there was this looming inspector general's investigation at the Justice Department into FBI Director Comey and Loretta Lynch, the former Attorney General and the handling of the Clinton emails.

And the feeling was, that the findings would be extremely negative for both. Negative for Comey, for taking on that prosecutorial role and also for Loretta Lynch, having that conflict. And here is why it matters in the most basic sense. I've been told repeatedly that if the United States is separate and distinct from other countries, it's because we are a nation of laws. And there is one set of rules for the little guy and the big guy. But in this particular scenario, we have a situation where the FBI director is badly damaged politically.

That is no small thing, if he is the primary investigator. And we've also had a situation which people don't like to talk about as much, where we have had two Attorney Generals, first Loretta lynch -- beginning last summer when she took herself out of the Clinton email probe and now Attorney General Jeff Sessions who has taken himself out of the Russia investigation. So, you don't have an Attorney General and I don't say this politically, I say this in a very neutral way, they are not in complete control of their departments. And when you take those two factors together, people have said to me -- this is extremely bad for the country. And there needed to be some action.

WILLIAMS: Well, do you think then that the investigation continues? Are the agents saying they will continue?

HERRIDGE: Everything that has been indicated to me is that the investigation will continue and it may wrap up at some point, soon this year. But the accusation against the former FBI director -- and this comes mostly from Republicans -- is that he has been sort of slow walking record about the Americans who are identified or unmasked in these intelligence reports and providing them to Congress. And the reason that's the big deal is that everyone in the IC, in the Intelligence Community knows that there's no bigger, deeper, wider more extensive paper trail than there is when you unmask or identify an American citizen. And it should not take months. It should take weeks -- if not the course of several days to know, who was unmasked and who made those requests? And that has not been provided to Congress, based on our reporting.

GUILFOYLE: Hmm. I wonder if he's one of them ordering that. Jesse has a question.

WATTERS: That's interesting what you just said. And now that he's gone, it might speed up the investigations of the unmasking. So, they have had a wild ride over there at the Department of Justice just in the last couple months, you've already said that Jeff Sessions has to recuse himself. And they get caught up in this sanctuary city drama. They had the mass firing of these prosecutors. What is the morale like at the Department and do people feel they are getting hosed by their superiors? Are people keeping their nose to the grindstone? What was like the average guy thinking right now or girl?

HERRIDGE: Well, I can only speak to the half-dozen people I talked too tonight. Who said the bureau was very polarized into the pro-Comey camp and the anti-Comey camp. But the people I've spoken to like the last hour who were very concerned about what the succession is going to be and we have just confirmed within the last hour that the acting FBI director, will be somebody called Andrew McCabe.

Now, Andrew McCabe is someone who critics say has a lot of baggage and he will bring it to the job. Now, remember back in 2015, Andrew McCabe's wife, Dr. Jill McCabe ran for a state Senate seat in Virginia and in the process got $700,000 from Virginia Democrats. Including the Governor Terry McAuliffe and his PAC. McAuliffe has a long-standing ties to Hillary Clinton. What bothered sort of the foot soldiers that I know in the bureau is that they felt it was clearly a conflict or at least had the appearance of a conflict.

Because McCabe was providing resources to the email investigation but not directing it. The FBI concluded that it was not a conflict and it was okay because McCabe sort of had a more directing role in the investigation after his wife had lost her state Senate race. But they said to me, this showed that there was, you know, the culture was kind of broken.

WATTERS: Uh-hm.

HERRIDGE: But the leadership was not good. And that there were rules for the rank-in-file but there seemed to be special rules for Director Comey and that senior circle of leadership. And that did not go down very well.

WATTERS: I bet.

PERINO: All right. Dana Perino, I have a question about what is to come next. Because Director Comey or former FBI Director Comey was supposed to testify on Capitol Hill on Thursday. Is he still compelled to do that or can he voluntarily do that? I wonder about what his plans are for that and then a broader picture and I guess it gets to the question of morale.

FBI has over -- well, open investigations into ISIS related things. In all 50 states. Which seems to be a lot more important than anything else we are talking about at the moment. So, I know that they are able to do their jobs but how does the leadership change affect them and what do you think that the White House can do to try to reassure them that they will have the resources that they need to conduct those investigations fully?

CATHERINE HERRIDGE, FOX NEWS: Well, let's take the first question about the worldwide threat hearing which is scheduled for Thursday. This is the annual hearing in the Senate and there is also one on the House side where they tell lawmakers what the threat picture looks like and that's how they dictate the budget for the following year.

I spoke with Senator Manchin earlier this evening and his expectation was that the hearing would go forward. Comey would not be present but he probably would be called up to the Hill fairly soon to explain his side of what happened. And if I recall correctly, Senator Wyden, a Democrat, has called for Comey to come up to the Hill and explain why he thinks he was removed. So I think what we're going to hear from the FBI director probably in (INAUDIBLE) short order.

Your question about sort of maintaining the integrity and the momentum of these investigations, what I can say is that the FBI agents who were really doing the legwork on these investigations are very serious professionals and will continue to do that hard work, but it would be a lie to think that this kind of dramatic change at the top would not have some impact at least in the short term.

GUILOYLE: Greg, you have a question for Catherine?

GUTFELD: Yes, I do. You know, I remember Harry Reid, Bernie Sanders, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Nancy Pelosi -- they all thought Comey was rotten. A lot of them thought he should resign, and now you watch the Democrats and the Liberal saying well, wait, this is an injustice. This is tyranny. Oh my god what's next?

I'm getting the sensation that we may be experiencing the longest election hangover ever that by the time politicians and the media accept that Donald Trump won, it will be 2020 when he is winning reelection. Nobody could -- this is all part of this weird psychotic process of people just resenting the idea of the outcome of the election.

HERRIDGE: Well, I want to throw a big idea out here for you if I can and it's something called the gray zone. The gray zone is what they call the battle space which is between a peace and conventional warfare, and it's where bad actors Russia go to play when they cannot compete with the United States militarily or economically on a level playing field.

And the reason I am explaining that idea to you is because that's exactly what's at play here with Russia and this information warfare campaign that's been leveled against the United States and has been successful beyond their wildest dreams. And here we are almost a year past sort of that height of the election cycle and we are very focused on this. I'm not saying that this is why Director Comey is gone but you can see how this kind of campaign has created a lot of distrust in the system and undermine our system, which is exactly what the Russians want.

If I could just give you a personal anecdote about last summer with the FBI director that I had in an exchange with him, I think this really illuminates to me a lot of what drove that decision-making and how he created a trap for himself in the end. We used to have this regular pen and pad sessions with the FBI director every quarter so we can ask questions on the record.

And it was really at the height of the Clinton e-mail case and I said to him, "Mr. Director we have heard from so many clearance holders or past clearance holders who say that if they had done a fraction of what Clinton and her team had done, they would be prosecuted or facing charges or already be in jail. So, how do you assure the American public that there are not special rules for people like Hillary Clinton and her aides because of their position and their connections and power?"

And he said he didn't want comment specifically on that case but then he sort of responded with a somewhat, I thought agitated or angry voice. He said there were no special rules for anyone under FBI investigation. And at the time, I misinterpreted I think what he meant. I thought he meant that he was under extreme pressure and that he was sort of holding the course and resisting any influence from the Justice Department to carve out special rules for the Clinton people.

But as we would eventually learn, it was really special rules across the board in terms of the granting of the immunity deals, allowing witnesses to sit in on those investigations, demanding that agents find intent when the criminal statute does not require that and then unfortunately for Director Comey, special rules where he felt he could speak publicly about sort of a laundry list of bad acts by Hillary Clinton when she was never going to be prosecuted and whether you thought she should have been or not, that is not how our system is supposed to work.

GUILFOYLE: So true.

WATTERS: Catherine, thank you very much. Excellent reporting.

HERRIDGE: You're welcome.

WATTERS: Alright, so we've been reporting FBI director James Comey is out of the job after President Trump today fired him today in stunning fashion. You will remember that in March, Comey took the rare step of publicly disclosing that his agency was investigating whether or not members of President Trump's campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election. Here's how Democrats are reacting to today's extraordinary news.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: If Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein does not appoint an independent special prosecutor, every American will rightly suspect that the decision to fire DIRECTOR COMEY was part of a cover-up.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Donald Trump doesn't want anyone coming any place close to an active investigation into the relationship between the Russians, the Trump campaign, and Donald Trump himself.

SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D), CONNECTICUT: It looks and feels very much like that Saturday night massacre when Richard Nixon fired one attorney general after another when they refused to fire Archibald Cox who was investigating potentially the president of the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATTERS: Joining us now is Fox News chief political anchor, Bret Baier. You see him on "Special Report" every night. So, Bret, I'm just shocked by the speed with which the Democratic communications machine ramped up immediately and created this narrative. This was one, Nixonian, two, all about Russia and three, that they need a special prosecutor. How would you assess the Trump White House and the Republican narrative after this swift firing?

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS: Jesse, first of all, I think the Democrats probably had that e-mail ready to go waiting for the moment. And as far as the direct connection to Nixon -- I'm playing the role of James Rosen here, Watergate historian, but Nixon didn't fire the FBI. He didn't fire the FBI director. As was mentioned, he fired U.S. attorneys, but this is a completely different -- it's apples and oranges if you look at the specifics.

The Republican and Trump administration reaction has been interesting. They've been trying to layout the case that the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein had been approved by the Senate, moved into his job and was given the task of kind of reviewing the way the FBI was being handled, and came back with his detailed letter which was attached to the letter that Donald Trump put out announcing the firing. Presenting that to the attorney general, Jeff Sessions and making the case that Comey did not have the confidence of the FBI to move forward. I think there's a lot of focus on timing here. If it had happened earlier and I think it is tied to Rosenstein and this review.

WATTERS: Dana?

PERINO: So, Bret, we've been talking about how Comey basically crossed his own -- the redline -- and going from investigator into prosecutorial decision that he made on July 5th really led to all the other decisions. So once he stepped out of his normal role, he couldn't control anything else. That's how why he ends up with the October decision to reveal that there were more e-mails that were found and at least two additional hearings on Capitol Hill talking about an investigation, which is really unprecedented.

Now you have a situation where he had -- and we just showed footage. You know, he's showed public support by President Trump at the White House, now this firing. You've covered Jim Comey for over three administrations now. He is not one that necessarily will go quietly into the night. What do you expect from him in terms of defending his honor when he returns to Washington?

BAIER: It's a great question, Dana. You know, he was scheduled to testify Thursday in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee in an open hearing. Who knows, maybe he'll get called up still to testify in one of these hearings. I think you are right, FBI -- some of them, the agents, the officials at the top said that Jim Comey was in a tough spot. He was put there by Loretta Lynch when she met the attorney general at the time with former President Clinton on that tarmac on the private plane in Arizona.

And when that happened, his avenues about what choices he had about coming forwar or not as he explained in the recent hearing up on Capitol Hill, were kind of limited. So some in the FBI say he was kind of boxed into a corner. Others say he went too far. He was over his skis in the way that he dealt with it and it's just outside the way the FBI deals with it.

I think, you know, if you look at all of the letters that were put out by the Trump administration tonight, they make the case, it's just tough to read all that and then go back to President Trump and before that, candidate Trump praising Comey for the way he handled the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation and saying that he was, you know, a welcomed member of the administration.

It's also worth pointing out that at 109 days, you have a president who has now fired his national security advisor, essentially moved out or willed the deputy national security advisor, fired the acting attorney general for failing to move forward on the executive order, and has now fired the FBI director in addition to firing 46 U.S. attorneys.

Now, all of those things are legal. All of those things can happen. It is his discretion. It is just a lot in 109 days.

WATTERS: Well maybe that's what draining the swamp means. Kimberly, what do you think?

GUILFOYLE: OK. You know, interesting question in terms of process but I think you bring up a good point, Bret, which is that he did need to get this investigation -- the results found by Rosenstein because otherwise people would have questioned, you know, why didn't it happen before? But unless you have that information and those reports in front of you, he would have been criticized to say why did you act like this so impulsively without having the facts and evidence?

It seems to me that he did follow the proper protocol and then when you add it up altogether, sure, well guess what, President Obama had ample reason to be able to say you know what, we don't have the faith in you as director of the FBI because this all dates back to July 5th.

BAIER: Exactly. And you're right. I think they were making the case. They didn't want to tie it to anything else. They perhaps felt politically that if it was right after the inauguration that that wouldn't be acceptable. I will say that now it is obviously getting a lot of attention and there are some feelings at the White House I think that they were surprised by the blow back across the board that they've received obviously led by Democrats who are anxious to really push forward on this Russian investigation.

But that one line, that's what jumped out at first in the president's letter, "while I greatly appreciate you informing me on three separate occasions that I'm not under investigation," clearly the president wanted to get that out there and say this isn't about me. But by putting it in that letter, you know, it stuck out like a sore thumb.

GUILFOYLE: Right.

WATTERS: I guess that's what you call a pre-buttal. Greg.

GUTFELD: Hey Bret, I just want to remind America you are enjoying a commercial free "Five."

BAIER: Wow.

GUTFELD: Having said that, have you considered a reverse mortgage?

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

GUTFELD: -- my pillow over your golden silver coins.

(LAUGHTER)

GUTFELD: They don't pay me to ask questions, Bret.

GUILFOYLE: Let's bring up the other commercials.

BAIER: I won't do that.

GUILFOYLE: Please.

GUTFELD: I have this theory about the idea that somehow this is a reaction against Comey over helping Hillary. You could argue the opposite that Comey got Trump elected because by not bringing up charges against Hillary, she would not -- if he had brought up charges, they would have replaced her with a viable candidate and you might have a President Biden or a President Winfrey instead of President Trump so --

WILLIAMS: Or Bernie.

GUTFELD: I mean, instead, or Bernie -- instead they allowed the least popular candidate in history to go up against Donald Trump. Is that a theory you agree with me? Yes or no?

PERINO: That was my theory.

BAIER: It's always a dangerous question agreeing with Greg.

(LAUGHTER)

BAIER: Listen, Hillary Clinton herself blames in part James Comey actions and not only the first letter but the second letter that comes out and says there's nothing to the Anthony Weiner e-mails that are in the laptop. The Clinton camp believed that that fired up Trump voters even more saying see, we told you. It was all establishment in the bag. So, there is clearly -- and what's also ironic is that some of these very senators who are putting out these scathing statements tonight are the same ones who called for Comey to step down back when the whole thing exploded the first time.

WATTERS: Alright, Juan Williams.

WILLIAMS: So Bret, I want to take you into some of the backstabbing and cross shooting that's going on right now in Washington. You have last week people saying remember that Pat Leahy, the senator from Vermont asked Jim Comey what about these leaks? Why are there so many leaks, and in specific, he was talking about leaks that went to former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani toward the end of the campaign.

You recall Giuliani saying we've got big surprises. We got big stuff coming. And you have people like Jim Kallstrom, the former FBI deputy director saying here on Fox, oh, my gosh, you know, we have got something huge coming. Agents are furious at Jim Comey. And now you have Jim Comey therefore caught in a situation where he is saying, oh, we're going to investigate these leaks he says to Pat Leahy last week.

We're going to find out who was talking and telling people that something was coming 11 days before an American election. He says the thought of impacting the election made him mildly nauseous and he was going to find those leaks. Is this what we are into now, into kind of a backstabbing, crossfire environment around the FBI that could damage the credibility of the agency going forward?

BAIER: Yes. I mean, if you think there are leaks now or were, they're going to come forward now and give the side of the people on the inside of the FBI and their perceptions of things. I will say a couple of things. One is, when asked and pressed about the unmasking investigation and whether they were going forward with that, there was not a real answer there because he said there were classified things involved.

There was a frustration up on Capitol Hill that perhaps Comey and other officials were dragging their feet on that and there was even speculation that somehow Comey, who was one of the people who could unmask names, somehow knew something about all of that. Now, who knows what comes out of that whole unmasking investigation? But that is also part of the narrative. And I think you're going to start to see or hear perspective of inside the FBI.

I should point out, while I've been talking, we've just gotten two sources that say that there have been subpoenas tied to this investigation issued - - federal prosecutors issuing grand jury subpoenas to associates of Michael Flynn, the NSA, and they are trying to get some records but the fact that there are subpoenas that are being issued, that have been issued, takes this to a different level of that investigation.

PERINO: But not only that Bret, but the fact that you have that breaking news confirms what you were just talking about, which is that the leaks have only just begun.

BAIER: Exactly.

PERINO: Because a grand jury is supposed to be secret.

BAEIR: We are not alone in reporting this but coming from several sources inside and outside.

GUILFOYLE: And Bret, specifically, that's about seeking business records of associates of Michael Flynn as it relates to the Russian investigation.

BAIER: Exactly. And you know, there are multiple prongs of this investigation that we don't really know where exactly they are all going but they are continuing. And I think we will have a better sense of that. Obviously the administration, the president is adamant that there are no ties and just sent a certified letter with his lawyers to send to Lindsey Graham to say there is no Russian business tie from President Trump.

GUTFELD: Thanks, Bret. Be sure to catch him later at There will be at 11:00 p.m. eastern for a live edition of "Special Report." I guarantee you he will be smashing.

While the Comey firing is dominating the news coverage today and there's been a lot of reaction. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WOLF BLITZER, CNN NEWS: This is an extraordinary moment in American history.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN NEWS: You bet it is Wolf, and it's a grotesque abuse of power by the president of the United States. This is the kind of thing that goes on in non-democracies -- that when there is an investigation that reaches near the president of United States or the leader of a non-democracy, they fire the people who are in charge of the investigation.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC NEWS: This is a president using his power to prevent himself thrown under the justice system that we all have to deal with. He's under investigation. He fires the investigator. A little whiff of fascism tonight I think is fair to say. A little whiff of I don't care about the law, I'm the boss.

CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS: The timing now looks like it is connected to Russia no matter what the president says and this is where it's going to become a political hot potato.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUTFELD: Whiff of fascism. That was the name of my metal band in the '90s.

GUILFOYLE: I can still smell it.

GUTFELD: We did nothing but Slayer covers. Hey Dana, do you have any thoughts on this?

PERINO: Well, you know, Chris Matthews never fails to --

GUTFELD: Chris Matthews himself.

PERINO: There's no longer a tingle. He's got a whiff.

(LAUGHTER)

PERINO: I think that --

GUTFELD: They go together.

PERINO: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

PERINO: This is big breaking news and the White House knew it, right.

GUTFELD: Yes, of course.

PERINO: So they did this thing just today where there is nothing on the president schedule and as John Roberts reported earlier, that's always a little suspicious, like something must be up. They knew it was going to be big news. They dropped it at 5:40 p.m. which made sure that it was going to lead all the networks.

I mean, this is a story that -- I actually kind of admired the tactic, which was they're going to end up having to answer a lot of questions on defense but they decided to go on offense and they did it right before the evening news and so I don't blame everybody for covering it. We are because it is really big new, but I think that everybody could maybe take it down just a notch.

GUTFELD: I don't want to take it -- we're cable. We don't take anything down a notch. If anything, we put more notches above it. Jesse, do you think that --

GUILFOYLE: Hey, bring me a ladder.

GUTFELD: On my ladder. I use a ladder wherever I go.

PERINO: It's like (INAUDIBLE) on your belt.

GUTFELD: There you go. Way to explain that joke.

(LAUGTER)

GUTFELD: Hey Jesse. Jesse --

WATTERS: Yes.

GUTFELD: Could this have been a distraction like maybe this was a distraction against the hearings and he decided like pull the trigger now?

WATTERS: Distraction against what specifically?

(CROSSTALK)

WATTERS: I mean I thought that was a pretty big lean (ph) for the president and his party. I don't think the president may consider this as a part of the news cycle. I think he just pulled the trigger and you know, let the chips fall where they may.

Comey was obviously corrupt and the rank and file did not trust him. He botched a bunch of investigations. We've talked about that and didn't -- listen, a lot of people believe that Comey is corrupt individual because anybody that wasn't named Clinton would have been indicted. Everybody looks at that and says this is why the system is rigged and this is why we don't trust these people in Washington.

PERINO: I can understand you saying incompetent but corrupt seems --

WATTERS: Well, you know what, I actually think he's incompetent too. When I listened at the top of the show, he botched a number of investigations. So Trump comes in to drain the swamp. He needed this letter from the second in charge of justice to do it and he canned Comey. So he's done.

He did not have the confidence of both parties, the Democrats or the Republicans. The integrity of the FBI is pre-eminent so you got to obviously salvage something out of it. No one trusts institutions. You've got to get a guy in there now that is going to go after both parties.

GUILFOYLE: Or a woman.

WATTERS: Or a woman that's going to go after both parties and --

GUTFELD: Why do we have to use any kind of gender?

(LAUGHTER)

WATTERS: Well, maybe someone or maybe --

(CROSSTALK)

WATTERS: Well you know what, let me address that, Greg. I want to steer clear of gender and anything that has to do with that, but we get some guy in there, or girl --

PERINO: Someone.

WATTERS: -- that can do the job and drain the swamp and go after public corruption. Not only do you have to take on these terror investigations, you go after public corruption and I think that will rally the American people into supporting the new director.

GUTFELD: Do you think, Jesse, that firing of him three and a half months later is draining the swamp? I mean --

WATTERS: President Obama canned what, three defense secretaries. I mean, people get fired all the time so --

GUTFELD: So he was draining the swamp?

PERINO: No, they resigned.

WATTERS: They were forced to resign.

WILLIAMS: Oh my gosh.

PERINO: Because they disagreed with the president.

WATTERS: All right, OK. So everybody leaves the swamp and the president --

(LAUGHTER)

GUTFELD: Unless you work for Goldman Sachs.

WATTERS: Right.

PERINO: There we go.

WATTERS: Then you come in and you pump the swamp --

GUTFELD: Exactly.

GUILFOYLE: Somebody roll the "my pillow" commercial.

(LAUGHTER)

GUTFELD: Build a wall around that swamp. Kimberly, thoughts on the media and how they are attacking this? It's a big story but is it as life- changing as say Mr. Toobin suggests? I believe that is his real name.

GUILFOYLE: I know. Jeffrey Toobin and I go way back, all the different legal cases that we've covered even since O.J. Simpson. This is a significant news story. It should be covered and given adequate attention and coverage for sure because there are a number of different investigations going on. But also I believe that the president I think he handled it right in terms of waiting to get the result of an investigation and a review from Rosenstein before he acted because then it was going to be criticized.

Perhaps he could have removed the one line out of the letter to say, to what was a little bit clearer and maybe somebody would do that from a communications standpoint, Spicer or Huckabee, to kind of give -- the president appreciates the result of the investigation. The case has been stated already, that there is no evidence of wrongdoing on behalf of the president. Nevertheless, that didn't factor in and this is why the president made that decision, just leave the letter clean.

But look, he had to act. I mean, he's the president of the United States. This is well within his discretion to do and if he felt that he could no longer -- we're going to hear more about the reasons behind it, that he could no longer serve with confidence and faith to have the trust of the American public, then he is compelled to do that.

I have no quarrel with the decision he made. In fact, I think it could have been made sooner even as far back as by President Obama when Director Comey grossly overstepped his bounds by putting himself in the role of Attorney General Loretta Lynch. As a prosecutor, that's her decision as to whether or not to file or bring charges against Hillary Clinton or anyone associated with her. It is not the decision of the FBI director.

WILLIAMS: Allow me to pick up --

GUTFELD: Juan, I know. I want to ask you --

WILLIAMS: Hang on, just a second.

GUTFELD: No, I have a question for you.

WILLAIMS: OK, go ahead.

GUTFELD: And then you could answer whatever is in your head.

WILLIAMS: Well, you know, I'd like to answer your question.

GUTFELD: I was just going to ask you how will you feel when Donald Trump appoints Sheriff Clark to replace Mr. Comey.

WILLIAMS: I would be absolutely appalled.

GUTFELD: See, trumped again.

WILLIAMS: But I want to pick up on something Kimberly was talking about, which is so, Rosenstein comes out today and he says basically that Democrats and Republicans had lost faith in this FBI director because of his actions for very different reasons. Republicans obviously saying, oh, you should have recommended an indictment of Hillary Clinton because you lay down a laundry list of things that made it seem as if she was guilty of committing some crime and then decided no, no, we're not going forth.

Democrats because they see him as having influenced the election and FBI policy, remember, FBI policy as stated by Loretta Lynch, everybody else was, don't impact an election. And Comey last week comes on and says, oh, I felt mildly nauseous at the idea I might be impacting an election, but it would have been catastrophic to conceal the fact that the investigation was now looking into these letters that were being put on Anthony Weiner's server, right?

OK, but the fact is, this man violated the policy. Democrats wanted hm out, that's why you have those quotes from Democrats for a long time saying they want him out. But when does President Trump act? The Democrats wouldn't act because they feared that it would be seen as a political action to help Hillary Clinton.

Trump acts in the midst of this investigation as things are getting hot with Mike Flynn, as things are getting hot with Carter Page, as things are increasingly apparent, subpoenas, grand jury investigations that are increasing pressure on Trump leading potentially towards impeachment.

WATTERS: It's only getting hot with fake news media, Juan. I don't think it's getting hot anywhere else. I do think that there is a lot of corruption that is swirling around Comey. Remember, he handed out immunity like candy during this investigation into the Clinton e-mail situation. He let Clinton associates destroy their own computers. He did not investigate the Clinton Foundation, OK.

WILLIAMS: Oh, my gosh. Come on.

WATTERS: And he knew what she did was criminal but he didn't indict her because I guess she didn't have criminal intent. That was not in the statute. This dossier about God knows what's going on in Russia with Trump was connected to an FBI agent. There's a lot of doubt and corruption that is swirling around this guy and to kind of blow it off as, you know, this is circumstantial. I mean, this guy had to go.

WILLIAMS: Well, but the question is did he have to go at this moment that is so convenient to Trump in terms of his investigation.

PERINO: I think you're being very irresponsible because I think you could say incompetent or a lack of judgment or not a good leader of the department, but when you say corruption, it almost sounds like you're saying -- suggesting he was doing it for his own personal gain. In some sort of financial gain by

WATTERS: No.

PERINO: -- but when actually the Democrats think he actually helped --

WATTERS: Corruption doesn't have to have anything to do with finances. Corruption can have to do with ethics too and politics.

PERINO: Well, I'll let you speak.

WATTERS: And I can point to specific examples of incompetence too. Like I said before, they did not look at these Russians that came in and bombed the Boston marathon. They interviewed the guy at the nightclub in Orlando and also missed that too.

PERINO: And so this is an example --

WATTERS: They got embarrassed.

WATTERS: This is an example of corruption by James Comey?

WATTERS: No, I'm saying that's incompetence. I already listed the whole things about corruption. I listed both and that's why he had to get the axe. I don't see why you're defending James Comey.

PERINO: OK, Jesse, look, what I'm saying is that I think that we should be respectful of people who have dedicated their life to some public service - -

WATTERS: Oh, yes, I would.

PERINO: -- and has actually done a lot of work. He has spent many hours of his life -- dedicated this when he could have been doing anything else -- sitting right here where you are or working at a law firm or something. The fact that the president today decided to remove him, that's absolutely within the president's discretion. But I don't think you need to trash his reputation by suggesting corruption. And maybe it is incompetence, that's how you want to describe it, but corruption would actually say -- mean that he had some sort of gain out of it, that he was doing it --

WATTERS: I'm not trashing his reputation. I'm just putting some thoughts.

PERINO: You're not?

(LAUGHTER)

GUTFELD: You just spent two minutes doing that.

WATTERS: By the way, can I point out that when I said not factual.

GUTFELD: Well, I would say half of it, but anyway --

WATTERS: Name one thing --

PERINO: I would say you are like the definition of fake news.

GUTFELD: My favorite part of this whole event was the last sentence in the letter by Trump when he said to Comey. "I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors." That's like a rejection letter you get when you submit an article to a flight magazine. You know what I mean? Not that I would know.

GUILFOYLE: Have you done that?

GUTFELD: I'm not saying that I didn't not do it.

(LAUGHTER)

PERINO: I got one of those.

GUTFELD: What?

PERINO: I got one of those.

GUTFELD: Yes, there's --

PERINO: Like, it's not very good.

GUTFELD: Whenever they wish you luck on your future endeavor that means we will never be speaking to you again.

WILLIAMS: Well, let's hope that in terms of the seriousness of it that somehow some trust is restored because there is going to be pressure now for an independent investigation and we'll see where it goes. I think everybody wants this to get settled.

GUILFOYLE: The investigation is going to continue whether or not Director Comey is in place so.

PERINO: Also we had the breaking news about the grand jury. Alright, that's it for us.

GUILFOYLE: Happy birthday, Dana.

PERINO: Oh, thank you. "Hannity" is next. And a reminder, a special edition of "Special Report" with Bret Baier at 11 o'clock. Goodnight every one.

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