TRANSCRIPT

President Trump defends decision to fire FBI Director James Comey

The act, defensible. The execution, flawed

 

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," May 10, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: Hi, I'm Greg Gutfeld. Kimberly Guilfoyle, Juan Williams, Jesse Watters and she surfs on a tongue depressor Dana Perino -- "The Five."

So, Mr. President, why did you fire Director Comey?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: He wasn't doing a good job, very simply. He was not doing a good job.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did it affect your meeting with the Russians today?

TRUMP: Excuse me?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did it affect your meeting with the Russians today?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUTFELD: Nope.

So, Comey, no longer his homey. And Mr. Trump does it again: Flipping more scripts than a coked-up screenwriter. Look what he has done to the Democrats:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, D-MASS.: Donald Trump has tried to put himself above the law. And that is not how it works in America.

SEN. PATRICK LEAHY, D-VT.: This is not just a scandal. The president's actions are neither Republican or Democratic, they are authoritarian.

SEN. TIM KAINE, D-VA.: We have a deeply insecure president who understands that the noose is tightening because of this Russia investigation. And that's why I believe he has let Jim Comey go.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

GUTFELD: There is a winner.

Now, this is the same crew that wanted Comey gone. So, Trump does what they ask for and now they hate it. It reminds me when someone says, hey, I think I am going to take up jogging and you say hey, I will join you after work. And then they say, I really didn't mean it. That's the Democrats. They damned Comey and out of bipartisan benevolence, Trump grants them their wish. Which is why their stuttering outrage over his firing makes them look two-faced. Which now requires twice as much Botox.

But what about the firing itself? Let's separate the action from its execution. The act, defensible. The execution, flawed. He could have let him go in August when half the media are drunk picking sand from their naval. No one would have noticed. He could have done it professionally instead of shooting him in the public square. But expecting Donald Trump stick to formalities, that's like expecting a dog to meow, or a cat to bark or Chris Matthews to make sense.

Let's face it: There's no downtime in this administration. Imagine if the movie "Jaws" only had just shark attacks? No character development. Just characters being eaten. That's this White House. There's no off switch. He's our "Spinal Tap" president where everything is always set to 11. And maybe one day, but maybe one day he might realize you can't be on DEFCON 5 all the time. Of course, that will be when he invents DEFCON 6.

So, I've talked about Dana this idea, you don't have to be in a prison of two ideas. It doesn't have to be treasonous or absolutely wonderful. It could have been that the firing was correct but kind of tacky. I mean --

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: Right. And the timing was right. It's interesting because he views this concept of being allowed to have two competing ideas and right here in my nose, I wrote, two competing thoughts.

GUTFELD: Right.

PERINO: That you can believe that James Comey needed to go from the FBI.

GUTFELD: Yes.

PERINO: But you can also believe that this was handled poorly and that it leads to more interest. If they thought this was going to put the Russia story away, it actually just lit the fire and turn up the flame on it, legitimately or not. That's what it did. And expecting abnormalities from the White House, absolutely fine. But expecting that the coverage is not also going to be ratcheted up is unreasonable.

GUTFELD: Yes. And also the coverage helps everybody. It lifts all boats. So --

PERINO: Including the Democrats. There's a reason they are going overboard and over reacting.

GUTFELD: Yes.

PERINO: Because they are raising a lot of money in trying to figure out a way to get back on their feet.

GUTFELD: So, I want to take your comment and position it to Jesse. If you wanted the Russian story to go away, firing an investigator would not have been the way to do that. But he must have been aware of that. Of course he would know that that would do that. But he did it anyways. There is some kind of plan that we are not seeing? That he actually had gotten something up his sleeve?

JESSE WATTERS, CO-HOST: Yes, it's a grand plan. We all can see. I don't think he cared about the optics because I don't believe he thinks there's a Russian scandal. So why then cater to it?

GUTFELD: Right.

WATTERS: And everybody likes to say, you know, he's not a normal president. Well, America didn't want a normal president, that's why we elected Donald Trump. Because normal hasn't been working for a lot of people. And let's remember, people send Trump to Washington to say, you are fired. He had a hit show about this. Everybody in America loves watching people get fired. Yes, it wasn't like the classiest way to do it but I think this sends a message to a lot of haters out there. Even in the federal government right now, you better watch your back or you are going to get canned. Let's also remember, Comey works for us. We don't work for Comey. So, if he's doing a bad job, let him go.

GUTFELD: Yes. I don't think -- that's my point.

PERINO: Right.

GUTFELD: Is that I think Democrats and Republicans both wanted him to go.

PERINO: Right.

GUTFELD: Kimberly, but now the Democrats are apoplectic about it which is again, it seems so politics. That you change your mind depending on who's --

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST: Well, they'd be super upset if all of a sudden Donald Trump said okay, you know, I believe in climate change and global warming? Like, whoa!

PERINO: Well, that's about to happen.

GUILFOYLE: Yes. Well, you never know. So, the point is --

PERINO: Wait until next week.

GUTFELD: Yes.

GUILFOYLE: He evaluates the situation, they make the decision. So, he had evidence presented to him by someone who, you know, had almost done, you're unanimous supporting getting in, right? To say, listen, this is something that we think that the President needs to act on, he's entrusted those two individuals, as AG to do that investigation. To bring him the evidence and the recommendation. The President followed that recommendation. The problem that people are having here is when they don't like when the Democrats, when it does something that they actually wanted and then they feel like they should be against him regardless.

So, it's an issue of optics and it's an issue of process. Was the right process followed in terms of how to handle this? Perhaps the guy call, okay, maybe I object to that. I don't really hear anybody saying that Jim Comey was doing, you know, a bang up, stand up job where this was somebody that we're saying, this is the shining example of the FBI and the director at its best. No, both sides were objecting to the way that he handled himself and I certainly as I said as a formal prosecutor object him, overstepping his grounds.

And making -- it's not his decision as to whether or not an indictment could be brought. He is simply is to present just the facts, ma'am. And then what he did instead was, being the judge jury executioner usurped the power of the then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and tried to make the decision for her and tell us all how it's going to be. And that's just wrong.

GUTFELD: You know, Juan, do you think Jesse has a point about the fact that Trump didn't care about the optics with Russia? Because it seems, that's the thing that everybody on your side -- the communist left -- has been saying. That like, clearly this was to impede the Russian investigation. That's the obvious thing you would think which makes me think, hey, he didn't care or he's got something else going on cooking up there in that impulsive brain of his.

JUAN WILLIAMS, CO-HOST: Well, I think actually, the report today suggests that he didn't anticipate all the blowback.

GUTFELD: That is true.

PERINO: Right.

WILLIAMS: So, he didn't have a plan and he didn't see that he is going to need a plan.

GUTFELD: Right.

WILLIAMS: So, but the thing about it is, when I listen to Kimberly say oh, well, this is what the Democrats want, oh, I hear Greg Gutfeld said, oh, it's sort of benevolence. I think you said, bipartisan benevolence.

GUTFELD: Yes.

WILLIAMS: I have two thoughts. One is, boy, there's a lot of Republicans out there saying, hey, I'm troubled by what I am hearing. A lot of Republicans out there saying --

GUTFELD: Yes.

WILLIAMS: Oh, well maybe we need a special prosecutor here. Right? And I hear people like Jason Chaffetz say to the Justice Department, hey maybe your inspector general should look into this firing. I hear Jeff Lake saying, no acceptable rationale for firing at this time. Richard Burr saying, the Senate, the Republican head of the Intelligence Committee. Comey's firing is a loss for the nation.

Charles Krauthammer on FOX News --

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: A little guy, a little guy, comes around once a week.

GUTFELD: Okay.

WILLIAMS: But Charles said, guess what? This is inexplicable that you would fire him now. So, Kimberly says, oh, the Democrats wanted him out back in July. That was July. Look, that was July. And he was, nobody says he was doing a bad job investigating the Russian --

GUILFOYLE: They take issue with the timeline as to the timing of it but nevertheless, you know, Dianne Feinstein and Clapper have both come out and said there is no evidence of -- okay, what I said is untrue?

WILLIAMS: This is an ongoing investigation.

PERINO: Both of those things are untrue.

GUILFOYLE: Right. So, the point is, that was the information that we have up to this point. Right?

WILLIAMS: Right.

GUILFOYLE: There was no evidence of collusion. So, what you are suggesting is some kind of like conspiracy by the President to remove Comey so then therefore the Russian investigation, collusion, just disappears in the Senate.

WILLIAMS: No, let me just say I am not --

GUILFOYLE: But that's asinine. That's not going to happen. I mean, that's --

WILLIAMS: Hang on. Hang on. Let me respond to you.

GUILFOYLE: Comey gone doesn't erase it like, you know, its magic marker eraser.

WILLIAMS: No. What he did was he decapitated to use the language. I read today, decapitated the man, who is the head of the agency that is pursuing the investigation.

PERINO: What he actually might have done is the reverse one --

WILLIAMS: I'm sorry.

PERINO: Maybe. But what we actually might have done inadvertently and not meaning to is made it worse.

WILLIAMS: Yes.

PERINO: Because special prosecutor is maybe not necessary, but that's the direction that people is headed. But interestingly, The Hill isn't the place that makes that decision. That decision is made at the Justice Department.

WATTERS: The Justice Department is not going to appoint a special prosecutor. And usually special prosecutors, don't they look at criminal issues? This is a counterintelligence investigation. So, there's not going to be a special prosecution.

WILLIAMS: Well, we don't know --

WATTERS: You can't put that to bed, Juan. I mean, you can't cover up a scandal that doesn't exist. Where is the scandal? Where is the scandal? What collusion took place -- in Russia?

WILLIAMS: But let me just say, what we know today, news at the top of the show -- federal grand jury subpoenas to Flynn associates. Right? Congressional subpoenas to the treasury's criminal division for financial information.

WATTERS: You are looking for a scandal instead of how most scandals happen in Washington.

WILLIAMS: Oh, I see.

WATTERS: When there's something that went wrong. Like targeting a Tea Party or selling guns to Mexico and having them kill a border agent, and then there's the cover-up.

GUTFELD: There's only a scandal if it involves Republicans.

WATTERS: Right.

GUTFELD: We've learned that. They went nuts for Watergate and since that, anything that ever comes up --

PERINO: Ignore Benghazi.

GUTFELD: Yes. Benghazi, forget about it. You want to see more hypocrisy? Let's see more hypocrisy from these hypocrosians.

PERINO: Oh!

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: What Comey did, I just respectfully disagree with my opponent. What he did was appalling and prosecutors from one end to American from another know it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't release this kind of information before an election. This whole episode will be reviewed by directors in the future, by the Department of Justice as sort of an abject lesson in what goes wrong when you violate these DOJ policies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think anyone says, this is unrelated to the Russia investigation. And that's exactly why I think a dramatic step needs to be taken to restore public confidence. And that step ought to be appointment of an independent counsel.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUTFELD: Dana, we listened to that, well, we pretended to anyway. I still maintain and I'm going to use my same point earlier. That there are some kind of strategy about flipping the script so that people no longer think that Trump and Comey were close. And that now he has all the people that hated Comey defending him. I think there's some strategy here that might in fact be working. Because the Democrats look kind of hypocritical.

PERINO: Well, I think that's what they were hoping.

GUTFELD: Yes.

PERINO: But I also think that, I don't this worked out the way they thought it was going to --

GUTFELD: Right.

PERINO: -- at the White House.

GUTFELD: Does like ever though, Dana?

PERINO: Well, no but I think that, look at the travel ban. It's not that different from how they rolled that out.

GUILFOYLE: And what did you say about that? The communications --

PERINO: Well, the communications like --

GUILFOYLE: Correct.

PERINO: Any communications team, that if they had known that this was coming would have said, can you give us three days? We just want to make sure we got it.

GUTFELD: Yes.

PERINO: Lock this down. We're going to make sure, you can fire him, Mr. President. It's absolutely your right to fire him.

GUILFOYLE: Right.

PERINO: I just want to make sure that we preserve the good press that you've gotten in the last two weeks. I want to make sure that you continue to be a winner. And instead, they don't know or are they given such little notice that are unable to do that?

GUTFELD: You are with the Bushes, he was in the Bushes.

(LAUGHTER)

PERINO: I was just thinking about the U.S. attorney scandal, I do an air quote, for those who are listening on radio. Because I was like the deputy press secretary at the time, and this investigation took so long. It went all the way through to the end of the administration and beyond. And what happened was President Bush was absolutely well within his rights to fire seven U.S. attorneys.

GUILFOYLE: Right.

PERINO: He didn't have to give an explanation.

GUTFELD: Uh-hm.

PERINO: Our biggest mistake was to give an explanation.

GUTFELD: Right.

PERINO: Because, and that's exactly what President Trump did yesterday in his letter by putting that -- by saying that there's cost.

GUILFOYLE: Yes.

PERINO: So, now it is going to happen. You know that Jim Comey is now on the defensive and he is going to have the right to defend himself. If they call him to The Hill next week, and he is going to try to defend his honor and answer the questions. This story will just continue to go. Rather than as you're suggesting your monologue, doing it in the quiet in August, very calm --

GUILFOYLE: He's never been a quite professional though quite honestly, you know?

(CROSSTALK)

GUILFOYLE: No. And I wondered how he will going to handle himself with this. I mean, obviously it was traumatic what happened but nevertheless, when the President makes a decision like that, he acts on it -- I think the disconnect, just like you said the communications needed to be that right on top of this and focused.

PERINO: And the President should -- I don't know exactly what happened but I can imagine happened is the President then bringing enough people into the decision to let them know about it. And if he could trust them --

GUILFOYLE: You know why?

PERINO: -- with this decision making.

GUILFOYLE: Probably worried about leaks.

WILLIAMS: Just to make another suggestion --

PERINO: That didn't work either. So, what about leaks? Now, we find out that their staffers in the White House are like, oh, I told him not to do that. Right?

WILLIAMS: Yes. And the problem.

PERINO: They want to defend themselves.

WILLIAMS: This is a problem that we should ask Dana about because the messaging just struck me as like, wait a second, even if you wanted to believe the President, to put all your trust in the President that he had the right to do this and he simply acted because of what he said today, Comey was doing a bad job -- oh, but then the letter coming from Rod Rosenstein says, oh, it's about what happened with Hillary Clinton back then. Then the President puts out a letter and says, it's about Russia. And I'm glad you told me I had nothing to do with those Russian thing.

GUILFOYLE: He didn't say that -- he said he wasn't doing a good job.

WILLIAMS: And then you have Sarah Huckabee Sanders comes out and says, oh, well, Trump never liked him anyway. What is the real reason?

WATTERS: Well, here's the thing.

WILLIAMS: The White House doesn't seem to have one.

GUILFOYLE: He wasn't doing a good job.

WATTERS: I honestly don't think -- listen, I agree the White House botched the messaging and gave the Democrats an opportunity to see the narrative and make it about Russia? But for the Democrats to make it about Russia, I don't think that helps the Democrats. I mean, it just shows how out of touch the Democrats are. They have nothing in their holster. There is no policy to create jobs or give people better health care. Protect of safety. They have no policy prescriptions to make this country rich and safe again. If it goes back to Russia over and over and over again, American people don't care about a Russian conspiracy theory.

WILLIAMS: Oh, no.

WATTERS: They don't care about that. They just want to make money and take care of their kids and have better health care.

WILLIAMS: Oh, it's okay if Russia interferes in our elections?

WATTERS: They didn't. And actually --

WILLIAMS: Wait a second.

(CROSSTALK)

WATTERS: -- testified on Capitol Hill, they made no impact on our election and it was --

WILLIAMS: Everybody. All the intelligence agencies have certified that Russia interfered --

WATTERS: Tried to interfere.

WILLIAMS: No, they did.

WATTERS: Tried to interfere.

PERINO: I think influence is a better word.

GUILFOYLE: Tried to influence the election but there --

WATTERS: That was the conclusion of these --

(CROSSTALK)

WATTERS: They were unable to make a determination that they officially swayed the election to Trump.

WILLIAMS: Of course they said they interfered. What they said and I think this -- I want to try to help you because I think they said, there was nothing about corruption of the voting machines or the actual vote. But in terms of interfering and hacking, there's no question.

GUTFELD: Who obviously interfered an election?

WILLIAMS: I'm sorry?

GUTFELD: Who obviously interfered an election? President Obama obviously with France.

WILLIAMS: What?

GUTFELD: He endorsed the guy.

WILLIAMS: Yes.

PERINO: What about Donald Trump's tweet for Le Pen?

WATTERS: Trump is president. It's time to get over it.

GUILFOYLE: Can I just say something?

GUTFELD: I didn't say that.

GUILFOYLE: Dana, Dana, let's just -- because you're bringing a point here and this is important, words do matter. Yes, there was an attempt by Russia to influence the American election.

WILLIAMS: They did.

GUILFOYLE: No, you said interfere.

WILLIAMS: They did interfere!

GUILFOYLE: No, no, no. Hold on. There isn't evidence that they actually were able to effectuate a specific outcome or affect the voting in this country.

WILLIAMS: Oh my God! I think there is and let me just say --

GUILFOYLE: Where is the evidence of that? Where is the evidence?

WILLIAMS: Let me just say, if you let me speak, Nate Silver the poster has said, he believes that in states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio -- not Ohio, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan -- where Clinton lost by less than one percentage point, Comey's decision --

GUILFOYLE: Why didn't she show up to --

WATTERS: Comey predicted that Hillary was going to win. Why should we buy that analysis?

WILLIAMS: Because he said 30 percent change, Trump would win.

GUILFOYLE: The fact that Hillary didn't show up to campaign in some of these states -- that might have had a problem with the outcome?

WILLIAMS: You guys are so gone. You are serving Trump here by saying that somehow this has nothing to do with Trump and Russia.

PERINO: Well, let's keep it going. The administration under fire for removing the head of the nation's premier law enforcement agency, Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended the President's decision today. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The President over the last several months lost confidence in Director Comey. The DOJ lost confidence in Director Comey. Bipartisan members of Congress made it clear that they had lost confidence in Director Comey. And most importantly, the rank and file of the FBI had lost confidence in their director.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PERINO: Joining us now with more is Chief White House Correspondent John Roberts. John, yesterday we learned the what, now today you sort of get the Y and the how. So, what were your biggest takeaways today?

JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, you might remember, last night, Dana, I was speculating that as you peel back the layer of the -- you're going to find that this began long before April 25th which is when Rod Rosenstein was confirmed as the Deputy Attorney General. And we now know that it goes back at least as far as the inauguration, potentially back as far as the actual election night. And I would assume long before that as well.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, there was a little bit of a contradiction. She said at one point that the President was thinking of getting rid of Comey right after the election. He didn't have the power to do that at that point. Then he also said that he was thinking about it about the time of the inauguration. But I think you can safely go back probably into last summer. When President Trump first started getting real doubts about James Comey, when he came out and he said that Hillary Clinton should not prosecution for the email.

So, we learned a lot today and what we're learning, we thought that this was a bottom-up operation coming up through the ranks of the Department of Justice and the President. But now it looks like he was equally if not more a top-down operation that the President had his doubts and was looking for the right moment to get rid of Comey.

PERINO: And was he asking for the letters that was written and given to him on Tuesday, yesterday?

ROBERTS: He was looking for an assessment. And that assessment would come from James Comey's direct boss which is the Deputy Attorney General of the United States, Rod Rosenstein.

PERINO: All right. We'll take around the table. Kimberly?

GUILFOYLE: Very interesting. So, what do you think -- there's obviously been some, you know, Monday morning quarterbacking on a Thursday here in terms of what is going on with the communications operations in the White House. What can you give us? What kind of color on that?

ROBERTS: You know, there's a lot of stories out there that the President was kind of broadly talking about wanting to fire Comey around the White House. Anybody he was talking to. Clearly this was a very closely held operation. I was talking to some White House officials just a few minutes ago, and they pointed out that among all of the things that have been swirling around the White House and the things that have leaked out, this is the one thing that didn't leak out. And a lot of the communications team was actually not even in their offices at the time that the decision went down and the news dropped.

There was an ice cream social for a group of veterans. Some of the comp staff were at, they were, you know, called back urgently to their offices. And they were told this is happening. And I guess the President probably assumed that they could develop an instantaneous communications strategy, you know, they probably could have -- if they had an extra 20 minutes to think about it. But I am told that the President was a little unhappy. May be very unhappy with the initial response. Once his people started getting on the air, they had Sean Spicer was on with our Lou Dobbs last night.

Sarah Huckabee was on with Tucker. Kellyanne Conway went on one of the rival cable networks. So, once the President saw that his people were out there, then they got some surrogates out. Early this morning on this, he became quite happy with the communications response. But I think he was asking them to almost to do the impossible.

PERINO: Yes.

ROBERTS: You know from what I know, of White House communications, and Dana, you know a lot more about this than I do. That if the President were to drop a decision on your lap that big and expect to have an instantaneous communications strategy when nobody had ever thought this, I think you would be hard-pressed to come up with it.

GUILFOYLE: Dana would --

PERINO: Oh, you mean me, really?

GUILFOYLE: Yes. Dana would have been able to come up with it.

PERINO: No, and I agree. I totally, I totally, I have been stunned, and you know, it is always interesting to watch people, you know, blame the communicators. If the communicators aren't informed, they can't actually help you. So, that would be one thing I would suggest. We'll keep going.

ROBERTS: And if there were anybody who could do it, Dana, it would be you.

PERINO: Right. Right. Thank you. Thank you.

ROBERTS: I was here at the White House during the Bush administration where you are one of the deputies -- you had it.

PERINO: We are going to Jesse, next.

WATTERS: John, so it's clear obviously that some of these Republican senators aren't on board with this. You had McCain out there. So, does the White House feel -- maybe betrayed us too strong of a word. But how does the White House feel about not everybody on the same page within the party when something like this happens. Because I don't remember a lot of times when the Democrats never circled the wagons around anything President Obama did. Is there anything underway to make sure everybody gets on the same page? Because if people aren't on the same page, this gets picked apart by the left and in the media. And it makes just the legislative agenda that much harder.

ROBERTS: Well, you saw the Vice President go up to Capitol Hill in the morning hours this morning, Jesse. And the first thing he did was he made a beeline for the cameras so that he could articulate his position and the White House position and the President's position on why this all happened. And I know that they have been talking with members of Congress as well. I think the President was initially a little surprised at the amount of blowback that he got, particularly if you go back over history and you looked at the statements that were made by Democrats like Chuck Schumer about James Comey.

He thought that people would have been, if not happy that he was fired, at least accepting of the fact that he was fired. But it was the timing of everything. You know, right in the middle of this investigation into Russia, it has the percept -- you can easily see that people would get the perception that the President was trying to play fast and loose here with the investigation. And I think, you know, even if that is not the case, I think that the Democrats have gone down for that and they're going to use it as a -- which debate the President.

PERINO: Well, and a communication strategy includes a hill strategy. Juan Williams.

WILLIAMS: You know, John, I saw on "The Wall Street Journal" front page today, it said that President Trump was upset with Comey because Comey refused to say there are no ties between the Trump administration or the Trump campaign and Russia. What do you hear about that story?

ROBERTS: I'm sorry, Juan. Could just repeat the last part of that because I was just -- I just got a little bit of information coming over my cell phone just as we were talking. And just confirming that yes, apparently the President was very open about his thoughts regarding Comey in the days that were leading up to the firing. So, that would confirm that he was probably among a very small circle of people talking quite openly about his desire to get rid of Comey, whether or not he should do a bouncing it off his closest state. I am sorry, Juan, your question again?

WILLIAMS: No. That was interesting to me because I think the impression is that and I think you have confirmed in you earlier comments that in fact, even the communication staff and a number of his top officials were unaware that he was about to fire Jim Comey.

ROBERTS: Yes.

WILLIAMS: But anyway, what I was asking about John was the story at the front page of the Wall Street Journal this morning, it indicated the President was angry at Comey because Comey refused to say four words. There are no ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

ROBERTS: I think that he would have liked to have seen Comey articulate that more publicly which is why you saw on the termination letter that the President said, well, I appreciated the fact that you told me privately three separate times that I am not the subject of an investigation. I think it would have like to have heard something a little more public. The President is very frustrated that this Russia story is still making a lot of headlines and refuses to go away. There's no question, Juan.

PERINO: All right, Greg.

GUTFELD: Speaking of refusing to go away, it's me. Hey, so Donald Trump expressed shocking kind of, disbelief that people weren't happy about it, right?

ROBERTS: Right.

GUTFELD: That the Democrats and Republicans had agreed on Comey and so, he does this. Could it be that that's why he haddid this? You just, he didn't think this was a big deal, he didn't think that Russia will be pulled into this or that it would bring attention, he just thought he was firing somebody and moving on. Could that be? Simple as that.

ROBERTS: Yes. I think that he saw, you know, the history of what people has said about Comey and thought that if he were to pull the trigger and get rid of him, that most of the people in Congress, saw on both sides of the aisle, would be happy about it. Certainly Democrats were calling for Comey's head. At the end of October when he came out and he said that he would reopen the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails.

Hillary Clinton herself thought that Comey threw the election with that pronouncement. So, President Trump probably would have been right in thinking that if he got rid of Comey, that the Democrats on Capitol Hill would have probably said, good idea. Let's move on to the next person. But again it was this idea of the timing. Right in the heart of the Russia investigation even if the Democrats, Greg, are happy to see Comey go, they're going to beat the President over the head with this because that's what you do when you are playing politics.

GUTFELD: Exactly.

GUILFOYLE: Well, Hillary Clinton I think Juan, she would have gotten rid of him quicker than President Trump to be honest.

GUTFELD: And the press would have been static.

GUILFOYLE: Absolutely. But it seems the American public isn't displeased that he's been let go.

ROBERTS: I think it is a pretty safe bet that if Hillary Clinton becomes the President, James Comey's tenure at the FBI probably would have ended at about the three year and one day mark. Not the three and a half year mark.

PERINO: And imagine how we would have covered that. All right.

ROBERTS: Imagine.

(LAUGHTER)

PERINO: When we return, the media can't get enough of the Comey firing story. But are they reporting it fairly? That is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GUILFOYLE: Welcome back. From nearly the moment President Trump fired FBI director James Comey yesterday, the mainstream media went into full meltdown mode. Here are some of the low lights.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

STEPHEN COLBERT, LATE NIGHT WITH STEPHEN COLBERT SHOW HOST: Huge story that broke just minutes ago like less than 10 minutes ago. FBI Director James Comey has just been fired by Donald Trump.

(APPLAUSE)

COLBERT: Wow. Huge Donald Trump fans here tonight.

(LAUGHTER)

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I was on your show often last fall saying we were going to win Michigan and how we were going to do it. So that was fun.

JON MEACHAM, EDITOR AND EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, RANDOM HOUSE: The president of the United States has removed someone at will, who is in charge of an investigation that could lead to treason.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUILFOYLE: All right, what a little montage that was. Speaking of --

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

GUTFELD: That was a cheap shot. I'm a little montage? They remind me of a trailer park -- the trailer park doors after a tornado, they are all unhinged. They realize that it pays in ratings especially after eight years of sleeping on the foot of Obama's bed not saying a thing. I love the Colbert clip because it shows the disconnect between him and his audience.

PERINO: Right.

GUTFELD: He was like, he didn't expect them to applaud, and they applaud and it's like, oh man.

PERINO: That's what Trump thought was going to happen.

GUTFELD: Exactly! He got Trumped. You got Trumped.

GUILFOYLE: Yes, because he knows it's actually a good idea like (INAUDIBLE) marginal. Dana.

GUTFELD: Thank you.

PERINO: I think that the media, obviously went into this big, I guess you call it a meltdown but it was like wow! OK, huge story. But remember, it wasn't that the media is not making it up. The White House is the one that wanted the story out at 5:40 p.m. which means it was going to hit the nightly news, the primetime hours and dominate because I think they thought the outcome was going to be -- everyone was going to applaud like they did in the Colbert audience.

GUTFELD: Right.

PERINO: That's just now what happened.

GUILFOYLE: Like the mother of all bombs. Exactly. OK, Jesse.

WATTERS: It's just funny watching the media has been wrong about Donald Trump for two years trying to act like they're right. This time, I mean, why should we believe them now? The Colbert audience was funny because it shows how complicated the Comey thing is.

GUILFOYLE: Sure.

WATTERS: They don't know what to think and then they all just turned into (INAUDIBLE) and clap no matter what. The eye roll, I thought Anderson Cooper was classier than that and I didn't expect to see that from him. You know, identity politics cuts both ways except when it blows back on a Democrat because they really mistreated Kellyanne, first female successful presidential campaign manager. You know, she gets cut down like that on CNN. MSNBC mistreats her. "SNL" kills her. You know, the congressman said those mean things, you know, I thought you guys were better than that, Juan.

PERINO: And she's still a winner.

WATTERS: Yes, and she's still a winner.

WILLIAMS: There you go.

GUILFOYLE: Well, God bless her. She is tough. I want to, Juan, get your comments on this because Jim Comey actually released a farewell letter about his time at the FBI, just real quickly --

GUTFELD: And you can't bring up Russia.

(LAUGHTER)

GUILFOYLE: "I have said to you -- it's not in here, I checked. I have said to you before that in times of turbulence, the American people should set the FBI as a rock of competence, honesty and independence. What makes leaving the FBI hard is the nature and quality of its people who together make it that a rock for America." He continues on, "but it's hard to leave a group of people who are committed only to doing the right thing. My hope is that you will continue to live our values and the mission of protecting the American people and upholding the constitution. If you do that, you too will be sad when you leave and at the American people will be safer. Working with you has been one of the great joys of my life. Thank you for that gift, Jim Comey."

WILLIAMS: Well, I mean I think what he is saying and I think what, you know, across partisan lines, we believe as America is a country of laws and not men and not suddenly having emotional fits and getting angry and so forth, that there should be some lines. And instead, what we see is that, you know, President Trump just violates those lines, crosses, jumps across.

I think he said he goes up to number 11 or 12 or whatever on the volume? I mean he just does what he wants to do but then the good (ph) thing --

GUILFOYLE: Well, Jim Comey crossed those lines too.

WILLIAMS: -- oh, the media is so wrong. Guess what? Donald Trump likes to make noise and he like to create the stir. But this time, the stir is blowing back in his face.

GUTFELD: It's OK when you disrupt a dissent on the left but when you find one on the right it's suddenly oh, my god.

GUILFOYLE: Yes. I mean, he was elected and put in. He won, you know, the office of the presidency and --

GUTFELD: Join the resistance.

GUILFOYLE: I don't think this, you know, I don't know. I would have done the same thing quite frankly. I might've handled it a bit differently and had Dana do the communications of it, but other than that. Ahead, there must be something in the air. Another fight aboard another flight. The latest on board turbulence, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WATTERS: Another day, another airline brawl. On Sunday, a fight broke out on a Southwest Airlines flight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get off! What is wrong with you? Get off!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Watch it. Get out of the way.

(SHOUTING)
(CROSSTALK)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATTERS: Well, what started the altercation but police made one arrest and there's more. Chaos erupted at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport in Florida on Monday after Spirit Airlines cancelled nine flights.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(SHOUTING)

(CROSSTALK)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATTERS: Police arrested three people in that incident. So, we were talking in the commercial break, what do you think the main components are in these airline incidents, Dana?

PERINO: I don't know.

GUILFOYLE: No peanuts.

PERINO: I thought on the airplane, I would imagine it had something to do with a mix of alcohol and some sort of jealousy regarding a woman.

WATTERS: Probably.

GUTFELD: I say --

PERINO: I would have been furious if I was on that flight. I would have been so mad. Putting everybody at risk, I just can't stand it.

GUTFELD: True. If you look at the first fight --

GUILFOYLE: You would have given them that stare.

GUTFELD: Fighting over the armrest. That's what it is. What constitutes all the tension on a flight? Who gets the armrest? If they just offered double armrests and more legroom, we'd have less fight.

GUILFOYLE: And the seats are narrower.

GUTFELD: And I'm a short person. I get all the legroom I need.

WATTERS: It's very territorial. You get into this really, really close face and everyone's angry and everyone's emotional and they've had a chaotic day. And someone gets like their elbow over here and you get -- you feel like you get disrespected. Do you think that's what it's about? GUILFOYLE: Well, then sometimes it comes from behind too.

WATTERS: Kicking your seat.

GUILFOYLE: Right.

PERINO: Or leaning --

GUUILFOYLE: Like getting off and pulling in or whatever.

WATTERS: Are you a sleep (ph) back leaner kind of person?

GUILFOYLE: No, I just want to be right there. I don't want to be molested in any way.

WATTERS: You fly private, come on.

GUILFOYLE: No. I'm serious, because, you know, I never mind flying.

WILLIAMS: So, I'm taking a long flight tomorrow. I'm going out to give a graduation address and --

WATTERS: Where?

WILLIAMS: Lewis-Clark State.

WATTERS: That's nice.

WILLIAMS: And what bugs me is the lack of human -- humanity and the way the airlines treat the passengers. So they stack you in there --

GUILFOYLE: Like cattle.

WILLIAMS: Yes, like cattle. That's exactly right. And so then, sometimes they just leave you sitting on the tarmac for hours. They don't explain why things are going or the weather and they just start canceling flights. Nine flights you said, right, Jesse?

WATTERS: Yes.

WILLIAMS: I mean, and they don't tell you anything.

GUILFOYLE: Who does that?

WILLIAMS: They don't take care of you or they -- the flight is canceled or delayed and they -- no hotels, no nothing. I just don't think -- I don't think they treat people very well.

PERINO: But you're not going to punch somebody in the face.

WILLIAMS: No, I wouldn't punch somebody. My wife likes to move into my seat at baseball and basketball games so I give into her.

WATTERS: Unacceptable Juan.

WILLIAMS: Unacceptable.

WATTERS: Alright, directly ahead, is the Rock going to run for president? That story when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WILLIAMS: President Trump won the White House without any previous political experience. That gets other celebrities to consider a presidential run of their own. The latest, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, the former pro wrestler telling "GQ" a campaign for the White House is "a real possibility." What do you think, Kimberly?

GUILFOYLE: Well, I am a big fan of his movies.

(LAUGHTER)

GUILFOYLE: That's it.

WILLIAMS: We stop there?

GUILFOYLE: Yes, I don't know. I just kind of don't see it. I think he could play a president, right. And he's fantastic in the new "Fast & Furious" movie. Like that, he is huge at the box office. He has a tremendous amount of, you know, public appeal. People like him. He's very popular, but I mean, what kind of experience does he have? I mean Trump has business experience, trying to bring jobs back to America.

WILLIAMS: Well, wait a second, wait a second. Now, I mean, people can say he has wrestling and acting experience and he's extraordinarily successful and wealthy --

GUILFOYLE: So, he would wrestle --

WATTERS: How does wrestling experience translate into success at the White House, Juan?

WILLIAMS: I don't know. How's business experience doing?

WATTERS: OK, well, I think it's doing well if you look at the stock market and the jobs created.

WILLIAMS: Oh, yes, what jobs? Please.

WATTERS: I just think he said this to get attention. His movie is coming out. He made a little splash in "GQ." There's no way the Rock is going to run.

WILLIAMS: Alright, what about Oprah? What about Oprah, Dana?

PERINO: I didn't know a lot about the Rock until I read that "GQ" article today. I didn't know about his upbringing and like, this guy, he probably worked his tail off to get where he is and he seems very nice, popular. But he sort of admits in the article he'd have to come up with some specific policy platform if he is going to run, but at this point, it's all speculation as to who will be except that my prediction will come true, Al Franken is definitely going to try to run.

WILLIAMS: Al Franklin, well, he's kind of a celebrity. He was a comedian back with --

GUILFOYLE: That is my --

WATTERS: Just for the record, I didn't say that like the Rock and I don't want to get on the Rock's bad side. I just want to make that clear. Go ahead.

(LAUGHTER)

WILLIAMS: So Greg, the people who did South Park did a movie long ago called, "Idiocracy" in which they predicted that like a porn star and a wrestler would be elected.

GUTFELD: That was Mike Judge. It wasn't South Park. It was Mike Judge who made that movie.

WILLIAMS: Yes, but was he involved with South Park?

GUTFELD: No, you're thinking of Beavis and Butt-head.

WILLIAMS: Oh, Beavis and Butt-head.

GUTFELD: I hate being the only cultural expert at Fox News.

(LAUGHTER)

GUILFOYLE: You are an expert.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: What do you think of electing or we vote for the biggest celebrity in the room?

GUTFELD: Well, you know, people talk about historical presidencies. Donald Trump broke the celebrity ceiling. We've never had celebrities before. Now we have them and he proved that politics is really downstream from pop culture. Thirty years from now, when Selena Gomez is president, Justin Bieber is vice president, Miley Cyrus as Secretary of State, we're going to have Donald Trump to thank. He broke down the barriers. He broke through that ceiling. He got our celebrities into office.

GUILFOYLE: Isn't he single now?

WATTERS: Yes, and Bieber is Canadian. I don't think he can be --

GUTFELD: That's why I made him vice president.

WILLIAMS: I really think that's a great point, that culture, politics is now downstream from culture. I mean, it's like, you know, what entertains me is what matters most.

GUTFELD: It was Andrew Breitbart who said that about seven or eight years ago and now it's coming true.

WILLIAMS: My goodness. "One More Thing," up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GUTFELD: Holy Toledo. Time for "One More Thing" -- with the order of the people that are up in "One More Thing," it's hard for me to do this. Kimberly, I know you go first. You probably have 37 pictures.

(LAUGHTER)

GUILFOYLE: Happy birthday, Dana Perino! Breaking news yesterday, so we are picking up today. Lemon cake for the --

(CROSSTALK)

WATTERS: Bring them in!

(CROSSTALK)

GUTFELD: That cake smells.

PERINO: Not like fish.

WATTERS: You and your smells.

GUTFELD: It's lemon cake. It smells like one big fat lemon.

GUILFOYLE: Dana, cut it. We want to say happy birthday to Dana Perino. We had a wonderful weekend, hold on, with Dana in South Carolina, Palmetto Bluff. They celebrated her birthday. Take a look at a couple pictures.

GUTFELD: Of course, pictures.

GUILFOYLE: Greg's jealous. Greg was not invited. That's me and Dana.

PERINO: That's Kevin Post.

GUILFOYLE: Kevin Post showed up with some band. Hugely talented, and sang. And that's also with the whole crew. And Dana had me in a tennis clinic first thing in the morning.

(CROSSTALK)

WATTERS: Too much information.

GUILFOYLE: Wearing her clothes. That was interesting too. And we have a special surprise. Sent from Peter and Jasper. Roll it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PETER MCMAHON, HUSBAND OF DANA PERINO: Hello, Dana. I just want to wish you a very happy birthday, from me and Jasper.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PERINO: He's very camera shy so that was my --

GUILFOYLE: I asked him. I made the pitch in person this weekend and again, thanks so (INAUDIBLE) from Felix and Manny.

PERINO: Yes, thank you for the cake.

WILLIAMS: Cake.

(CROSSTALK)

GUILFOYLE: It's your turn now, Dana. Look at the pictures in the back.

GUTFELD: Excuse me, when I was a kid, my parents always taught me that when you had a birthday party, you didn't tell other people about it who weren't invited. I think that we learned a lesson here, that some people don't have any class!

PERINO: I would love for you to come back to Palmetto Bluff when I have more time. You've been to Palmetto Bluff three times

GUTFELD: I wouldn't go if you paid me.

PERINO: Well, I have a good news story from my "One More Thing." OK, my "One More Thing" is this, and this is a follow-up story. Remember I went to Mercy Ships in Africa in March and we were in Benin. And we met these two little kids. That's Janis (ph) and Nadia.

OK, they both have congenital cataracts so they could not see. But here they are now. The doctors fixed them all up and they used bubbles to get them to see and balloons, to see if their eyes are working again. And Nadia and Janis (ph) are now fully seeing little people and I am excited for them. And Mercy Ship is just awesome.

WILLIAMS: That's wonderful.

PERINO: It's a great birthday present right there.

GUILFOYLE: I love that you go every year. Jesse, what do you have for us?

WATTERS: I have a piece of --

GUTFELD: Did you --

GUILFOYLE: There just needs to be some leadership here.

GUTFELD: Did you just change the order?

GUILFOYLE: I don't care.

(CROSSTALK)

GUTFELD: This is my statement you crazy person. What are you doing?

(LAUGHTER)

GUTFELD: Alright, my podcast. I have a very unusual podcast (INAUDIBLE). Go to FoxNewspodcast.com. It's with a guy named Bill Carter who is the lead singer of a band called "The Screaming Blue Messiah." They disappeared for 30 years. We tracked them down. It's an amazing interview -- if you like to track down obscure rock and rollers. Now I'm going to go and ban a phrase. I haven't banned one in a while. Note to self -- stop saying note to self. Just say what you want to say. You don't have to say note to self, got a buy light bulbs. Write it down.

PERINO: I think it's a take to note to selfie.

GUTFELD: Note to self, by a lemon cake for Dana. No, just try something new. Get the chocolate cake so other people could eat it.

GUILFOYLE: I got a butter cake but it was too tiny.

GUTFELD: By the way, wait, wait, wait. I have to make correction. DEFCON actually increases in intensity the number it goes down. DEFCON 1 is more intense than DEFCON 5 and a lot of the viewers caught that. OK.

PERINO: That's why we have "One More Thing."

GUTFELD: Juan.

WILLIAMS: Alright, back in April, 16-year-old Carter Wilkerson of Reno, Nevada, tweeted at Wendy's. He wanted to know how many retweets it would take for him to receive free chicken nuggets, Kimberly, for a year. And guess what? Wendy's answered, they said 18 million. Well, Wilkerson didn't reach it but he did reach the most retweets of all time, surpassing Ellen De Generes' famous Oscar selfie in 2014 which held the record at 3.3 million.

So, Wendy's has said that given Carter Wilkerson's impressive record, he's going to get free nuggets for a year and Wendy's also gave $100,000 to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. So, if you want your nuggets Carter.

PERINO: I love Millennials. Millennials have the best ideas.

GUTFELD: Enjoy your nuggets.

GUILFOYLE: No, they do.

WATTERS: Millennial cuteness.

GUTFELD: Kimberly, would you like to out (INAUDIBLE) this?

GUILFOYLE: Listen, I'm just trying to win here and you're like (INAUDIBLE).

GUTFELD: No, I know you're interrupting every single time.

WILLIAMS: This is becoming like an airplane trip for me with a lot of violence.

(LAUGHTER)

WATTERS: Listen, we're not going to hurt you Juan. Don't worry. All right, Steve Bannon, you know the guy, senior White House advisor to President Trump -- bad reputation because everyone is calling him a racist and anti- Semite but they talked to his Jeff Kwatinetz, who is his or was his teammate in Hollywood. They worked together and this is what this guy said. And he's a democrat. "Steve has great character. He's not a racist or anti- Semitic. He's a good friend and an incredibly hard worker. He has beliefs and stand by them. Those beliefs aren't based on racism, they're based on what he honestly believe is best for the world."

GUILFOYLE: Well that's true --

WATTERS: So I'm glad this guy stepped up and said something. And Steve, I'll see you next week in D.C.

GUTFELD: Yes. And that'll be our Steve Bannon moment. For your next Steve Bannon moment, try tomorrow.

(CROSSTALK)

PERINO: -- quiet for 15 seconds.

GUTFELD: Never miss an episode of "The Five." Don't forget to set your DVRs. "Hannity" is up next.

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