Transcript

Does overseas trip represent a 'reset' for President Trump?

President breaks new ground on trip to the Middle East; reaction and analysis on 'The Fox News Specialists'

 

This is a rush transcript from "The Fox News Specialists," May 22, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

EBONI K. WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS HOST: Hey, everyone. I'm Eboni K. Williams, along with Eric Bolling and Kat Timpf. We are The Fox News Specialists. President Trump pressing the reset button during his visit to the Middle East, his first foreign trip, kicking off its second leg today in Israel after years of chaos in the region. President Trump is striking a powerful note of hope.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You have a great opportunity right now, there's a great feeling for peace throughout the Middle East. I think people have just had enough -- they've had enough of the bloodshed and the killing and I think you're going to see things starting to happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAMS: That sentiment is being echoed by Israeli prime minister

Benjamin Netanyahu during a joint statement with the president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAEL PRIME MINISTER: You have noted so simply that common dangers are turning former enemies into partners, and that's where we see something new and potentially very promising. It won't be simple but for the first time in many years, and Mr. President, for the first time in my lifetime, I see real hope for change.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAMS: Eric, very, very strong words from the Israeli president there. What makes this different from their perspective do you think?

ERIC BOLLING, FOX NEWS HOST: Well, I think for the first time -- number one, for the first time we have a president that's going to not only -- the three major religious centers in the world, he's going to hit all three of them. And also for the first time, a flight, any flight, flew from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to Tel Aviv, and that is historic on its face. I love the idea that President Trump started in Saudi Arabia, he told the Arab world that, hey, were going to go after terrorism, I'm going to a little bit about it in the next block. But this is important because our relationship with Israel is so important. It's one of our greatest allies, period. Also, greatest ally in a very, very hotbed of activity in the Middle East.

WILLIAMS: Very, very bad neighborhood.

BOLLING: We need that relationship. I don't care what you say going back over the last eight years, President Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu never got along, they didn't like each other, and it was a strange relationship.

WILLIAMS: That was absolutely true. Kat, how important is this from your vantage point?

KATHERINE TIMPF, FOX NEWS HOST: Oh, of course, it's important. Netanyahu -- he just looked very happy to next to President Trump. While Trump was talking, he had this little resting smile face that we haven't seen on him in a while. But, yes, Trump has made, no -- he's made no reservation on how important relationship is with Israel, hammering that down. Again, this has been in the news, unlike the scandals of last week, they seem to have at least quieted for now.  I don't know if reset is a little bit strong of a word because you have the Comey testifying next week and all that.  But it's looking like a good day, at least, for President Trump, a nice Monday to be Trump.

BOLLING: It struck me very quickly, Eboni, was that yesterday, over the weekend, in Saudi Arabia, in Riyadh -- Saudi Arabia is one of the most intolerant societies on the planet, yet they were looking to move forward with President Trump. I felt they were more open and willing to move forward, you know, for the next phase of whatever this world is going to be about than our own Democrats right here at home. They're giving him a harder time pushing back and -- rather than what the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, open their arms to President Trump.

WILLIAMS: Interesting take, Mr. Bolling. I'm sure we'll hear more of that as we get through it. But first, we will meet today's specialist. He is the former cohost of Wall Street Week on the Fox Business Network, also the founder of the investment firm, Sky Bridge Capital, he served on the executive committee for President Trump's transition team and he specializes in all things money. I like the sound of that. Anthony Scaramucci is here. He is a political commentator and investigative journalist, a regular on Fox News Channel, and the host of his own show on the blaze radio network, but he specializes in all things food, Lawrence Jones is here. Guys, two of my favorite things, food and money. All right, Scaramucci, I'm going to start with you. Kat talked about it, we're using kind of the phrase reset. In your opinion, is a reset needed by the president, and if so, is this trip a first step?

ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, SKY BRIDGE CAPITAL FOUNDER: You're talking about an entire reset, domestic and foreign policy.

WILLIAMS: Correct.

SCARAMUCCI: Listen, I think the president is doing great overseas. I think he comes back with a little bit of buoyancy from that. If he can get tax reform done, and I'm pretty sure Eric would agree, maybe Lawrence as well, I mean, all four of you for that matter, if he can get tax reform done then you're really on the boat. I'm just talking about go back into the Wall Street world and the money world, but that's the critical component of this thing right now. So I know Vice President Pence is up there talking, both Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus are going to be leaving this trip early to execute that agenda. And so, to me, I think that this is a great time for him to be away. I think it's interesting you go from a country that's got the paradox of oil, Eric being a former oil trader. What is the paradox of oil? They have so much oil they didn't develop their technological or other aspects of their economy. You fly into Tel Aviv, where is an oasis of venture and biotechnology. This is a country that really didn't have oil for the first 60 years of its history, and so they used human capital more so than they did productive capital like oil, and you can see they have a much more vibrant, more diverse economy. So I think the president is on a real learning mission right now as well.

WILLIAMS: Lawrence, sticking to the win so far from this president, stripping Israel of making history by being the first sitting president to actually go visit the Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall. I think we have an image of that of President Trump going there. I also have the privilege of visiting that wall. How important do you think those types of historical firsts? Eric talked about of his being the first to go to all three religious Mecca's, tell me your take on that importance, that significance.

LAWRENCE JONES, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: First of all, we have a president now taking his role back as being the commander-in-chief as well as the leader of the free world. We saw in the past administration a president that apologizes essentially for America across the country, and I thought it was kind of embarrassing.

WILLIAMS: Across the country.

JONES: I'm sorry, across the world.

WILLIAMS: OK.

JONES: And so, now we have President Trump telling the world, we're going to take our place. And I think from a religious standpoint, it was never a partisan issue when it came to Israel. Democrats and Republican president supported Israel. And now we had this president -- President Obama back in the day that didn't have quite the relationship with Bibi. Now we have President Trump taking his place back in, saying that America is behind you. We will support you. And now going to that wall is important.

BOLLING: Well, let's call it what it is, Lawrence, it wasn't just quite not quite that relationship. President Obama lobbied to get rid of Bibi Netanyahu as the leader of Israel.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: Not only the campaign when he was reelected as prime minister of Israel, when he did come over, when Bibi Netanyahu came up to address Congress, President Obama said he's not going to meet with him.

JONES: Right.

BOLLING: I mean those were big words.

JONES: Considering Israel is our most trusted ally. And so, right now what we see is this president extending his hand, making it known to the world that we will support Israel.

WILLIAMS: Kat, I'm going to let you get in here, but first I want to say, I hear what you two gentlemen are saying. In fact, you're absolutely accurate, bad blood between Obama and Netanyahu. But from my friends in Israel, Netanyahu in of himself is not the end-all, be-all, when it comes to Israel and its totality. So there's still some discontent among even the Israeli people around his leadership. But, Kat, your take on all of these, these big picture items.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: Go ahead.

BOLLING: So when President Obama said we want to go back to 1967, do you think the people of Israel, forget Obama, forget Netanyahu, do you think the people of Israel said that's a good idea?

WILLIAMS: I think right-wingers absolutely did not. No. And I'm not saying that Obama has.

(CROSSTALK)

TIMPF: Opinions among Israelis.

WILLIAMS: They've got a 12, 15 parties. And so, I'm not saying that he.

BOLLING: You will almost find unanimously.

WILLIAMS: no, not unanimous.

BOLLING: . on whether or not the Israelis should go back to 67 line.

WILLIAMS: Oh, 67 line.

BOLLING: Yeah.

WILLIAMS: Agree.

JONES: Alan Dershowitz, the Harvard professor, saying that he was upset with the president, who once advised the president on Israel. And so, this is not a partisan issue. I think it's pretty much universal that the president didn't have a good relationship with Bibi.

WILLIAMS: With Bibi, but that's different than a good relationship with Israel. No, that's something I'll push back on you Lawrence.

TIMPF: In general, Israel is not -- is very much our ally. It has been. It's not much of a foreign policy challenge. In Saudi Arabia, I thought that the way he was speaking about, you know, not trying to force our way of life on other people, that's something that I really, really did like because our attempts at nation building have just been a failed experiment, and not like the good kind. Like when the professor accidently created the Powerpuff Girls. I mean, just like a disaster and we've been spending so much money on it. So I thought that it was a good thing to see. I certainly -- I do like the way he talk and we're going to get into his speech a little bit later. But again, it's going to be an ongoing thing. It's going to take more than one trip or two trip, a couple of good trips, a couple of good photo-ops. Good Start, it's a good start.

(CROSSTALK)

JONES: That was a requirement, I think that's a big step.

TIMPF: Absolutely.

JONES: Making another country -- we're not going to force our ways on you but you will respect me and my family.

BOLLING: First seated U.S. president to ever put his hand on that wall.

WILLIAMS: On that wall, absolutely.

BOLLING: First one ever. He's breaking new ground almost by the week on -- how many times have we said this is the first time someone has done this?

WILLIAMS: No doubt, Eric, that is very powerful, right there.

SCARAMUCCI: I think we should point out just quickly that he is moving the influence back to the Sunni-Israeli influence away from the Shieh influence. If you look at the Iranian deal, you were switching the axis of power in the Middle East back to the Persians and the Iranians. I think President Trump in the last two days had said we're not going in that direction, a hundred percent. It's very, very meaningful for the Israelis.

WILLIAMS: Certainly so. President Trump also addressing last week the report that he discuss classified information with Russian officials about an ISIS plot to blow up jetliners, the source of which is now thought to have come from Israeli intelligence.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Just so you understand, I never mentioned the word or the name Israel. So you had another story wrong. Never mentioned the world Israel.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: Let me go, Eric Bolling, he says very plainly that I did not mention the word Israel. But isn't that different than saying I did not offer up intelligence that was provided by Israel? Isn't that a different statement?

BOLLING: Of course it's a different statement, but neither one are relevant.

WILLIAMS: Tell me why.

BOLLING: Because they're alleging that this leak alleged President Trump did with the Russian foreign minister Lavrov is that he told him about the -- ISIS was going to start using or looking to use laptops as a form of explosive devices on airliners. We had been talking about it for three days prior to that. So whatever he quote, unquote, leaked to Lavrov was already in the public domain. So whether or not that original intelligence came from Israel or not is irrelevant, it was publicly known by everyone including -- we probably reported on here as well. But the Israelis in the aftermath of that -- now the left is saying, oh, my God, can you believe he just blew up a good relationship with whoever provided the intelligence. The Israeli say, yeah, it was us. And guess what, we're still good with you.

WILLIAMS: So guess what, I actually don't agree to the description that they blew up a very important critical relationship with Israel, but I do think that there has been concerned in general around intelligence sharing. Kat, do you think that is all damaging or at least concerning?

TIMPF: I think that will have to wait and see what we find out from the investigations. I think that he's generally, other than that comment, kind of stayed away from that, and that has been a smart thing, and the receptionist has been positive. Although, I think we need to be very careful in terms of Saudi Arabia. People are talking about how wonderful the reception was in Saudi Arabia. You do need to remember that protesting is illegal in Saudi Arabia. So there could have been people who maybe did not like President Trump, had a strong dislike for President Trump, but ultimately decided they would have a stronger dislike for having no head, so they ultimately decided not to go the protesting route.

BOLLING: World leaders throughout the Arab world, not just U.S. allies, but throughout the Arab world showed up for that very important foreign policy.

TIMPF: And that's great.

BOLLING: They didn't have to.

TIMPF: That's great. That's absolutely great. And people like Wilbur Ross saying it's great that there was no protest. Like, you know, let's look at this a little bit more, they really aren't allowed to if they want head, which I think most people do.

WILLIAMS: So, Scaramucci, I want to talk about the last point, again, sticking with the positives that we've seen so far from Israel. The White House, whitehouse.gov, put up on their website Jerusalem cometh Israel. And it's an acknowledgment of Jerusalem being the capital of Israel. We haven't seen that before. And we know -- there it is right there on the screen. We know that's the goal of Israel, of course, but we also have a huge point of contention. It is very much in negotiation who Jerusalem belongs to. From your view, is this a diplomatic statement of this Trump administration or was it not thought out?

SCARAMUCCI: I think it was well-thought-out. I think it's also a positive. You've got to remember he's also visiting Abbas. He's going to Bethlehem to do that. And so, I think he's recognizing he's one of the guys that can actually pull off a deal like this. He's recognizing that Netanyahu will have to give a little, will have to move Abbas, and it will be an interesting thing to happen here. My prediction is if the deal happens, it will because Abbas is stronger than we think he is as it relates to the terrorist centers that are in the Palestinian authority because if he's got the political influence, he'll cut the deal with President Trump. He'll recognize that some solution that has Trump in it will be way better than a potential future leader. So it will be very telling. Can't get a deal done, it means the terrorist centers inside the Palestinian Authority have way more power than Abbas wants in that.

WILLIAMS: Lawrence, your take on Trump's ability to -- I think he's calling it the ultimate deal. We know Clinton has tried this. We know Bush has tried this. We know John Kerry in the Obama administration tried this. Everyone has failed. Talks broke down in 2014, they yet to resume. Your take on why President Trump is best positioned to make it happen.

JONES: Well, I think the president is not afraid of doing this. He knows there's going to be repercussions as well. And let's not forget that the president is not afraid of Bibi as well. They disagreed on some things.

(CROSSTALK)

JONES: Exactly, the settlements, when he brought him back to the Rose Garden and they were talking, and he straight up called him out and said, you know what, were going to have to give and take on this. So this notion that the president is somehow just going to let Bibi get his way, I think we have to be honest about that as well. I do think the president is prepared to move on this. I would like to see the plan.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: What the ultimate deal look like.

BOLLING: Anthony is right. They're both going to have to give. And the president is going to have to be that deal maker. The negotiator that he's claims to be and wants to be. But I will tell you the reason why you haven't seen a president put his hand on the Wailing Wall or the Western Wall in past, is because that's a symbol, if you're going to meet with Abbas later on, that's a symbol that most presidents would be afraid to have in there -- a couple days hindsight. You have two days ago, your meeting with Abbas, but two days you had your hand on the Wailing Wall. That didn't work in the past. Trump shows he's a different kind of politician.

TIMPF: There's no doubt about that.

WILLIAMS: We agree with that, exactly. Up next, wake up America, Eric Bolling is ready to sound off on of President Trump's landmark speech on stopping terror. Stay with us. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLLING: Welcome back to The Fox News Specialists. Time to wake up, America. For the first time in over eight years, an American president talked tough on radical Islam and he did it in the heart of the Islamic world. President Trump delivered his first major foreign policy speech yesterday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in front of dozens of leaders of the Arab world. It was a landmark speech, breaking new ground by aggressively pushing Muslim countries to fight harder in the allied war on global terror. The president held back nothing, and at times called out the Arabs for looking the other way on radicalism. Trump put terrorism networks on notice, ISIS, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, and the Taliban, we're after you, all of us, and you can't hide. I felt a strong sense of pride overcome me.

Finally we have a president who isn't afraid to call out terror on a megaphone. A far cry from the soft talking terror weakling President Barrack Obama once, who rather hand Iran billions of dollars to use against us than crush their murderous ways. President Trump guaranteed America's commitment to the war on terror, but this president went further. He accurately noted that American military might kill terrorists but we need the Muslim world to join the fight by destroying the terrorists' ideology at its core. And guess what happened, the Arab world agreed with President Trump. It turns out, the leaders from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates and more agree that terror is an existential threat to peace-loving Muslims as well as Christians and Jews alike.

In the end, there was no bowing to Arab sheiks, as President Obama was in the habit of doing. But there was something else, there was mutual respect and that is new. Terrorists, take note, there's a new American commander-in-chief. This one has the support of Arab countries. So, in essence, you're surrounded, hands up, or we shoot. There's something else to consider terrorists, for the first time in a very long time, American resolve its back and that is something you don't want to mess with. It won't end well for you. Eboni, I'm going to throw one more thing at you. One thing lost in some of the translation over that big speech, foreign policy speech. I was proud. I love seeing an American president stand with the Arab country saying we're going after you ISIS, Hezbollah, Iran, all of you.

WILLIAMS: I was proud, too. The only difference was it wasn't the first time for me in the past eight years that I've been proud of that. But, yes, I'm not even going to sit here and go back and forth, we can go Obama, Trump, in this moment this is what's important, President Trump is saying the words -- this is what I liked that I've heard to Kat's point earlier, he is speaking to moderate Muslims, and he's saying, you know what, we actually cannot do this successfully without you. We need you on board. He's calling it out both ideologically, as well as on the ground, and that's absolutely necessary, so I'm also pleased.

BOLLING: Even if you didn't like what he was talking about on the foreign policy stage, he also made a deal for $350 billion, bringing that money back here to the United States creating jobs.

TIMPF: Look, I liked the speech. I thought it was a good speech. But I thought your take on it was interesting because what I liked about it, it was actually a little more toned down than past President Trump, and I guess that's another reason why Trump's so successful with his base because I haven't heard anyone saying, OK, he didn't say radical Islamic terrorism. You're obviously a huge Trump guy, and you're saying very powerful speech. That didn't bother you at all. People aren't bothered by that. Again, it was good, and I don't think it's a difference between candidate-Trump and President Trump because this is the same Trump that we saw when he was a candidate when he went to Mexico, being in another country, being a little bit more respectful.

WILLIAMS: And he should be different.

TIMPF: Absolutely. And he should be.

(CROSSTALK)

TIMPF: Again, I liked the speech. I liked the message. I liked the way that he was talking about calling out terror. He's absolutely calling out terror, saying we need to unite and do something, but the huge thing on his campaign was saying radical Islamic terrorism, and a lot of his supporters.

(CROSSTALK)

TIMPF: And now it's not even being mentioned.

BOLLING: He had said it as president, but he didn't say it there because H.R. McMaster -- Anthony, you can chime in on this, McMaster said just take that line out, tone it down just a touch so you can captivate that audience of Arab leaders.

SCARAMUCCI: Well, there is a famous thing in history where Mr. Gorbachev, tear down the wall, the State Department, the embassy, the ambassador all try to take it out of Reagan’s speech. He said, no, I'm good with it. It's been one of the most famous foreign policy statements ever. And so, I admire the president's fortitude and not doing that. There is a problem going on in Saudi Arabia that we have to address, though, is these madrassas. So the Wahhabis that run the more fundamental sect of the Islamic religion is teaching hate, teaching terror, teaching to hate America. And so what I'm wondering is in the private meetings with the kingdom, what was the president saying. How are we going to dial back the money that's going into the Madrassas to actually feed people who are unemployment in Saudi, 35 percent unemployment rate for youth under 25, to teach them how to hate America. We've got to get that to stop, as well as to get the top line stimulus.

BOLLING: Lawrence, even the New York Times said they liked his -- that first foreign policies speech that he delivered in Riyadh.

JONES: Well, how do you hate it?

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: Ah, they'll find a way.

JONES: He went straight into the country and gave them the business, I think. Now, Kat may say it was a little bit more moderate, but I saw the president say we're giving you these weapons, we may be cutting a deal with you, but as a result, we want you to fight with us. You are to take the lead. And I think that's something we didn't really see in the past administration, that, you know, America has to come, and we have to be the leader of it. We're giving you the resources, so that is no longer an excuse.

BOLLING: He called the other Arab leaders out and said, look, with Iran, they're major sponsor or financer of terror on the world.

JONES: Right.

BOLLING: You need to re-evaluate your relationship with them. I would say even though he didn't say radical Islamic terror, it was still the most stern, forceful, powerful foreign policy speech of any president.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: Going back to the minute George Bush on the heels of 9/11 said, hey, terrorists, we hear you, all these people hear you, we're going to get you.

TIMPF: Yeah.

JONES: But it was only a big deal with President Obama because he would not say it. This president had said before. People know where President Trump stands on terrorism as well as radical Islam. When we saw President Obama and Hillary Clinton back in the day when they were in the administration, they played around with the term. They were afraid of offending people.

WILLIAMS: Lawrence, I don't think that's fair. And look, Lawrence, I'm going to stop you. I don't think that's fair to say that they were afraid of offending people.

TIMPF: I don't know that they're afraid of offending people.

WILLIAMS: No, no.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: They were afraid of offending terrorists. Excuse me, let me be precise.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: No, not terrorists. No.

(CROSSTALK)

TIMPF: Eric, nobody is afraid of offending terrorists.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: One of the reasons President Obama wanted to close Gitmo was because he thought it was going to be a recruiting tool. And he thought -- say radical Islamic terrorism was a recruiting tool for terrorists. And my point is who cares if it is.

TIMPF: That his worries about recruiting terrorists, though. That's not worries about offending terrorists. Nobody is worried about offending terrorists.

(CROSSTALK)

TIMPF: Absolutely not. Recruiting versus offending are different words.

WILLIAMS: Scaramucci has a question.

SCARAMUCCI: Eric, do you think he left it out because he knows that secular Muslims don't like it and he's in a Muslim country with the Arab states around him?

TIMPF: I thought it was appropriate.

BOLLING: Sure. So he delivered one of the most powerful speeches with the most impact, with the most material changes that could go forward and left one line out and the left is going, oh, my God.

TIMPF: No, I said I liked it.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: Hang in there, right there, Anthony. Michael Flynn invoking the Fifth Amendment and declining to comply with a senate subpoena over the Russian investigation, but is it to protect himself against the left-wing mob? I have to get in, we're coming right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TIMPF: Michael Flynn, the former national security advisor, invoking the Fifth Amendment and declining a Senate Intelligence Committee subpoena for documents over its Russia investigation. Many of Flynn's haters on the left and the mainstream media are claiming it's yet another bad sign for him, but it might not be as ominous as they claim.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS: So that might be what his lawyers are looking for here, is to protect him from coming out and saying things that could be later used against him if he changes his story or it changes in some small way and so on. I think his lawyers are doing the smart thing for his client here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TIMPF: Yes, so that -- there's been two camps with -- for this, really. Some people are saying any good lawyer would tell him plead the Fifth. Other people are saying that -- Eboni, I want to go to you with this. Other people are saying that, with the Fifth Amendment, we're talking about documents. It's different, because it's statements that are made in the pasts, some even going so far as to say that he could get in trouble for contempt for not complying.

WILLIAMS: OK. So I think it's a bit of an overreaction, because we've been here before, which I'll get to.

So technically, yes, Kat. He could get in trouble. U.S. Code 192 says that when you withhold or you refuse to testify or give docs, that's a misdemeanor punishable by, like, a small fine or up to a year in jail, but it never gets that far. Right? We saw this with Eric Holder in 2012. The House decided to hold him in contempt. Judge ended up saying that he wouldn't do that but did compel him to turn over the docs.

Also Lois Lerner with the IRS thing, same thing.

So ultimately, of course he should plead the Fifth. If he's my client, I'm going to tell them to do that all day long. And I don't really think there's much "there" there.

TIMPF: I agree with that.

BOLLING: You know what's interesting? So the Democrats all pushed for this special counsel investigation to happen. And this is the fallout from a special counsel investigation, because now you've just deemed two Senate investigations, two House investigations and a Department of Justice investigation toothless and useless. Because any good lawyer will tell your client, "Don't go and testify in front of one of those, because they could use it against you in the really one -- the big one, the criminal one that could be general counsel, or special counsel one." Correct.

JONES: Right. And I totally agree. My issue with this is, I want President Trump to let Flynn go. Because I think there may be, potentially, something there...

WILLIAMS: But what if it's not up to him?

JONES: Look, I don't -- I don't like the Russian stuff. I think the media is using this to try to destroy President Trump's agenda. But he needs to let Manafort go and Flynn go. Because I don't know -- I don't necessarily trust him. I'm just being honest.

I do think the media is using this against Trump. Like I said, I know what they're doing. They're trying to suggest somehow he's a double agent of Russia, you know, and all of this stuff. He's somewhere with Putin.

I don't agree with any of that, but I don't know about Flynn. I don't -- I wouldn't be sitting next to Putin, which I saw in the photo. And I wouldn't be doing -- flying back and forth to Russia with Paul Manafort, as far as being a consultant and all that.

So I need the president to let them go. Let them have their own lawyers, figure this out. Focus on the country.

SCARAMUCCI: Can I take the other side of that? With all respect to Lawrence, but I know both of those guys. I worked very closely with both of them throughout the campaign.

As it relates to Manafort, I'll state on public record, I actually believe him. I don't think he did anything wrong in his lobbying practice. And it's been tainted through the prism of the mainstream media.

As it relates to General Flynn, I've never met a more patriotic or more honorable person. And what I love about President Trump, he's a "No soldier left behind" sort of commander-in-chief. He's not going to let him twist...

JONES: Yes, but it's distracting from the American agenda. And he needs to be our president and not worry about what's happening...

(CROSSTALK)

TIMPF: What benefit does Trump have from not letting Flynn go?

SCARAMUCCI: The real problem is the exposure of the investigation complex. It's sort of ridiculous. You talked about Lois Lerner and Eric Holder. Now we've got Flynn and Manafort. There will be another president someday, 2024, 2028. Guess what will happen?

JONES: But the investigation is into the campaign and not to Donald Trump. And Donald Trump continues to say, "It's not me." And still defend those guys.

SCARAMUCCI: There's always an investigation. The best thing that Washington, D.C., does is investigations. That's it.

JONES: I'm not agreeing with the investigation. But I'm saying the president, if he wants to separate himself and...

SCARAMUCCI: ... try to execute an agenda...

JONES: ... focus on his agenda, he needs to let them go. Let them fight their own case.

SCARAMUCCI: I would rather, if I was the president's strategist, I would offer the following advice: stay loyal to your friends who have been honorable and hard-working for you.

JONES: You don't know what dirty laundry your friends have, though. Donald Trump does not know that.

TIMPF: It goes beyond Russia, too. What about Turkey?

SCARAMUCCI: I think he has a very good sense of judgment and a very good intuition. And so I hear you on Turkey, but Flynn is a very honorable guy, and the president loves the guy.

JONES: I'm not disputing that.

SCARAMUCCI: I bet you the president sometimes, though he likes H.R. McMaster, I bet he -- I bet sometimes he says, "Jeez, I probably shouldn't have fired the guy."

TIMPF: But wouldn't he maybe have fewer problems, though, at least for himself politically, if he would distance himself?

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: Guys, guys, guys. How do you want him to drain the swamp? How do -- what do you expect him to do? He's not -- he's not standing up on behalf of General Flynn by any means.

JONES: Yes. When President Trump went on Twitter and said, "Hey, you should, you know, get a deal," essentially, an immunity deal. He should've stayed out of that.

We need our president to focus on his agenda. This sideshow is a distraction. And you can't say on one hand, "Hey, I have nothing to do with this. It's just the campaign."

SCARAMUCCI: The sideshow is part of the agenda.

JONES: And still defend those guys. Let those guys fight their own battles.

SCARAMUCCI: You've got to stop the unnecessary investigations. This is what the Congress...

JONES: The investigation is not going away. I hate it, but it's not going away. So the best way to do...

SCARAMUCCI: You have to start shaming these congressmen and go over the top to the American people and say, "Look at this nonsense." They have 25 investigations a year. They never go anywhere.

JONES: Well, Mueller is there now. Mueller is there now, and it's not going away. It's happening.

SCARAMUCCI: We're not getting anything done. Are we getting anything done?

JONES: I totally agree with you.

SCARAMUCCI: It seems like we've got a lot of Democrats here. I don't know. Are we getting anything done with Democrats? I don't know.

TIMPF: Just because I have questions about loyalty to Flynn does not make me a Democrat.

SCARAMUCCI: I like the color of the dress, but I...

JONES: I'm advising the president. Somebody that supports him, wants his agenda...

(CROSSTALK)

TIMPF: Excuse me. Is that a comment -- is that a comment to me because I'm wearing a red dress?

SCARAMUCCI: Republican.

TIMPF: That I'm -- OK, I'm actually an independent. I look at things issue by issue.

SCARAMUCCI: I was making a joke. It's a -- Republicans wear red.

JONES: I'm trying to be in the best interest of the president right now, and tell him to focus, which is -- all his advisors should be advising him the same thing. Focus on your agenda, not these sidelines.

SCARAMUCCI: Part of the agenda.

TIMPF: All right. Well, Americans' view of the country's moral values tumbles to the lowest level inyears. What's fueling that decline? Right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLLING: Welcome back to "The Fox News Specialists." Our specialists today are Anthony Scaramucci and Lawrence Jones. So we will continue the conversation with them.

Americans' view of U.S. moral values are at their worst point in years. A new Gallup poll asks U.S. adults how they'd rate the overall state of moral values in America. Get this: 81 percent now rate them as poor or only fair, and just 17 percent rate them excellent or good.

Kat, so my guess is that throughout history, this poll skews towards poor and bad. But 81 percent, wow. What's going on? What are we doing wrong?

TIMPF: I think it's because of social media. I think that we're well more aware of what a nightmare people can be. Before, when if somebody wanted to call me a bad word or say, "You look gross," or "You're dumb" or "You're stupid," or "You have thin, evil lips," which was a great one that I got the other day, they would have to actually mail me a letter. They'd have to take the time. They'd have to buy stamps. Nobody like buying stamps.

Now they don't even have to get up. They can just tweet it out. I think that social media has shown how, especially if they can do it anonymously, how really, really sick people are in some of their brains.

BOLLING: Eboni, this is one of those down-the-middle polls. Gallup poll, 1,000 adults asked. Random adults asked.

WILLIAMS: Yes.

BOLLING: It's kind of disturbing.

WILLIAMS: And I would tend to agree with it, Eric. Being a good southern gal that I am, morals and values means something. I'm proud of them. I like a good moral fabric. I think it really bodes well for us as a country.

And so while I'm sad, I agree with Kat 100 percent. You look at Instagram, you look at Twitter, and those are fun and great social media outlets for one purpose, but ultimately -- and I'll go on record to say this -- I think it's caused us more harm than good as a society and as a fabric. I really do. I think people become something else when they're anonymous. It brings out the very worst in them, and I cannot say I'm surprised, Eric.

BOLLING: Anthony, I go over to St. Patrick's Cathedral every single day of the week, every weekday. I light candles. I tell people that, and they're like, "Really? You do that?" And it's not many people that do. And other people say, "And you talk about it on TV, as well?" What are we doing wrong as a society?

SCARAMUCCI: Listen, I do it, too. My parents go to church every Sunday. I should be going more. So I still believe in the Catholic church and have a lot of faith.

But I think what Kat is saying is 100 percent correct. People are doing evil things with the specter and face of anonymity, and I think this is very dangerous in a society.

My daughter has had death threats, because I was involved with the Trump campaign. I've had to get the FBI out, involved in this thing and literally knocking on people's doors and saying, "Hey, are you serious about these death threats that you're posting anonymously on Twitter?"

So to me, I find the thing completely reprehensible, but I don't see how we're going back. The genie is out of the bottle. And so many some of the things that the first lady is talking about as it relates to cyber bullying, maybe there can be some things put in place, but I doubt it, Eric. I think you and I are stuck at St. Patrick's praying that this nonsense will stop.

TIMPF: Yes.

BOLLING: Lawrence, what do you think this is? I know you work with Glenn Beck, who's -- is a devout, a devout religious person. What is -- what is the reason for the moral slide, decay in America?

JONES: Well, I think the church is definitely losing its place in society. It's been shunned. If you're a person of religion, you're not necessarily accepted. Because there's not a right and wrong now. I think it's a matter of going with the moment and doing what you feel.

There used to be a time in government, even, where religion had a place in government. And right now, you're being shunned. And I think that's partly to blame for the churches, as well. Some of them are more concerned about their 501(c)3 status...

WILLIAMS: Yes, sir.

JONES: ... than taking a stance on issues. And I've advocated for churches, get rid of the status and do what you feel is right.

TIMPF: Well, I think that there is -- there is, you know, religion and morality are different things. You can be a moral person, and you don't have to be a religious person. It doesn't have all to do with the church.

JONES: I'm not saying it has all to do with religion, but I am saying that at one point in this country, religion had a place. And it was -- we're losing it.

BOLLING: And I'm going to agree with you. Kat, you're right. The two aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. But certainly, religion teaches you to have a more powerful moral fiber.

TIMPF: Yes, there's other ways you can learn that, too.

BOLLING: Absolutely. I'm not saying it's exclusive to religion, but yes, absolutely.

WILLIAMS: I agree with that. I also have a final thought. For some of us, it can be a good foundation for that. And look, generationally, who are we kidding? That's a big thing, too. And I say that as a millennial. We've got to get back to it. My fellow millennials, whether it's through religion or through another means, morals and values have to mean something.

BOLLING: All right. We're going to have to leave it right there.

Snotty college kids at Notre Dame showcasing the left's utter intolerance for free speech during a commencement address by Vice President Pence, when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TIMPF: At yesterday's commencement address by Vice President Pence at Notre Dame, about 150 people walked out at the start of his speech in protest. The vice president following up on the walk-out by taking aim at PC culture on college campuses in his speech. And I thought this was interesting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: While this institution is maintained an atmosphere of civility and open debate, far too many campuses across America have become characterized by speech codes, safe zones, tone policing, administration-sanctioned political correctness, all of which amounts to nothing less than suppression of the freedom of speech. This should not and must not be met with silence.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TIMPF: Yes, this was interesting, because he was talking about having the freedom to express your opinion. And isn't that kind of what these students were doing by walking out?

WILLIAMS: It's exactly what they were doing. And I would expect -- look, I'm very glad that the vice president was able to go to Notre Dame and give those important words; and I'm also very glad that those students that felt some kind of way about it were respectful and peacefully exercised their First Amendment rights.

SCARAMUCCI: Walking out, no problem. Taking the speaker off of the stage like they did to Ray Kelly at Brown University, unforgivable.

TIMPF: Exactly. I think he was allowed to still speak.

BOLLING: I was -- I was disappointed. I mean, I watched President Trump give that -- in fact, this speech, FOX carried it right after, and I happened to be running at the time. I was listening on my Go app, and Trump had this really pro-American, patriotic "we're going to go get them" speech.

And then they follow up, we took this speech by Mike Pence live, and I saw this. And I was like, you know, I come from the Midwest. Mike Pence was governor of Indiana. Notre Dame is a Catholic university. Yes, they have the right to get up and walk out, but I was just disgusted that these kids did it on such an important day. And if I was the parent of one of those kids, I would've -- grad, I would've said, "What the hell are you doing?"

JONES: That was my issue, as well, Eric. I don't think these kids should be punished. I think it's definitely their right, but it goes to respect.

BOLLING: Yes.

JONES: The fact that they did that in front of their parents and loved ones, there's a lot of people that I don't like that I listen to them speech. Because it's respect. Don't show up to the commencement.

SCARAMUCCI: Thank you, Lawrence. Thank you.

WILLIAMS: What if you want to send a political message that says, "I disagree with you on a policy or another issue"?

JONES: I think it's respect for the office. OK? I don't think we have respect for the vice presidency, for the presidency and other offices.

(CROSSTALK)

TIMPF: I personally...

BOLLING: And those parents dropped, I'm sure they dropped hundreds of thousands of bucks getting those kids that education at the university.

JONES: I went after Obama all the time, but I said right then. I sat my tail there, because he's the president of the United States. And I take it. And you know what? Afterwards, then I speak on TV about it.

TIMPF: But Mike Pence wasn't offended by it. He wasn't upset. He just gave his speech, and he said, "Hey, great, thanks for having me." He didn't seem upset. He didn't want these kids to be grounded or whatever.

JONES: I'm not saying my theory is -- or that they need to be taken...

BOLLING: You don't think he was offended by 150 Notre Dame students...

JONES: I'm sure that he would prefer that they did not walk out.

BOLLING: ... in his home state of Indiana get up and walk out in the middle of his speech? Like, if we all just got up and walked out when someone was talking.

TIMPF: I'm sure. But there's a difference between, he didn't come out publicly and he said he obviously respected their right to do so. I disagree with Mike Pence on a lot of the same things that they did. I would've stayed. I would have sat there. I wouldn't have walked out, personally.

WILLIAMS: You know what's great? Aren't we missing that that's so American...

JONES: Oh, I agree.

WILLIAMS: ... is that we get to disagree with the highest office in our land, unlike some people around this world that will be thrown in -- right?

BOLLING: You're wright. They have the right to do it, but it didn't make it any less disgusting. They could have written a -- they could have...

WILLIAMS: Disgusting? Isn't that strong, Eric?

BOLLING: I think it was disrespectful, as Lawrence pointed out.

JONES: And I'm a fellow millennial.

BOLLING: As a parent with a college -- kid in college, if he does that on his commencement speech address no matter if it's a wildly liberal person...

WILLIAMS: What if it's Obama? What if it's Obama, Eric?

BOLLING: Fine, sit there. I hope it is. I hope it is. But you better sit your ass in the seat, Eric.

TIMPF: All right. All right, everybody. Don't go away. We "Circle Back" with our specialists, Lawrence Jones and Anthony Scaramucci, right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WILLIAMS: Time to "Circle Back" with our specialists, Anthony Scaramucci and Lawrence Jones.

Scaramucci, first to you. You wrote a fantastic book, "Hopping Over the Rabbit Hole: How Entrepreneurs Turn Failure into Success." I want to ask you, your biggest kind of failure that you were able to spin into a huge success.

SCARAMUCCI: I would say that would be SkyBridge. I mean, Eric was there. I was on happy hour with him at the 5 p.m. show on Fox Business when we launched the SALT Conference. So SkyBridge was turning into no bridge, Eboni. I tried to write that in the book, and how we turned it around. And so that was a big part of it. Thank you for mentioning the book.

BOLLING: We go way back, Anthony. Can I follow up with Anthony, as well? A lot of people don't understand that you have a part ownership in Hunt & Fish Club.

SCARAMUCCI: Yes, the restaurant. Yes.

BOLLING: My favorite restaurant.

SCARAMUCCI: Down the block. Great steak in there, great seafood.

TIMPF: Did you say you're the food expert? Did you say that, you're the food specialist? What's your favorite food?

JONES: Chicken and yams, candied yams. You know, I went to your neck of the woods, Eboni, to Harlem.

WILLIAMS: OK.

JONES: To Beverly's. And I can't wait to leave the show so I can go back.

WILLIAMS: Go back to Beverly's?

JONES: For more food. I love food. You know, you've got to have some off time from doing this type of stuff.

WILLIAMS: Well, you're a Texas guy. Of course you love food.

JONES: Come on now. We...

WILLIAMS: The ribs barbecue. Come on. Killing it.

JONES: Exactly. We love to eat in Texas.

BOLLING: That's the best barbecue in the country in Texas?

WILLIAMS: Arguable. Arguable. North Carolina.

BOLLING: Or Kansas? I think Kansas says they've got...

JONES: Texas is bigger and better in everything.

WILLIAMS: Ooh, OK.

JONES: So I'm just going to leave it at that.

WILLIAMS: All right.

JONES: Especially food. So we'll leave it at that.

WILLIAMS: Not touching that with a ten-foot pole.

JONES: But North Carolina is good, as well.

WILLIAMS: Yes, you know, we have a more vinegar base. This is the difference, right? Texas is more kind of tomato-based. We're more vinegar-based.

JONES: That's true. That is true. It's a preference thing.

WILLIAMS: Yes, it is.

JONES: It's a preference thing.

SCARAMUCCI: Hey, I'm Italian. I go for both tomato and vinegar. No problem.

TIMPF: I was going to say, I don't know. It doesn't -- I'm not really a barbecue connoisseur, but you know, it's good. It's yummy.

WILLIAMS: Excellent.

All right. Thank you to our "FOX News Specialists" today, Anthony Scaramucci and Lawrence Jones.

And we thank you all for watching. Make sure you follow us on social media, @SpecialistsFNC on both Facebook and Twitter. Remember, 5 o'clock will never be the same. "Special Report" up next with Bret Baier, live from Saudi Arabia.

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