Trump reignites his war with leakers and the media

Debate and analysis on 'The Fox News Specialists'


This is a rush transcript from "The Fox News Specialists," May 29, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

KAT TIMPF, CO-HOST: Hello, everyone. I am Kat Timpf along with Eric Bolling and Eboni K. Williams. We are "The Fox News Specialists". President Trump is wasting little time reigniting his war with leakers and the mainstream media. The latest allegations are now focusing on his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, claiming Kushner proposed opening a communications back channel to the Russian government during the transition.

President Trump is swinging back, tweeting, quote, it is my opinion that many of the leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies made up by the, quote, fake news media. And officials like Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly are even defending the alleged plan.


JOHN KELLY, SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: I think any channel of communication back otherwise with a country like Russia is a good thing. I mean, multiple ways to communicate back and forth is a good thing with any country, I think, particularly a country like Russia. So, it doesn't bother me.


TIMPF: More leaks. We have more leaks. The back channel issue, of course with the way in which he set it up, they are saying he set it up, again just anonymous leaks.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: You know what it feels like? It feels like this is the deep state, the leakers getting together with the swamp, the D.C. establishment that is fearful at losing their status and their position in D.C., and aided and abetted by the mainstream media, very liberal, left-leaning mainstream media to create the illusion that this Russia story has legs and there is some bear there, but really there isn't. They continue to fuel this thing that happens they are not be able to ignite.

Meanwhile, Trump has done everything he promised to do with creating jobs, stock markets are on a tear, the economy is hitting on all cylinders, and he has a phenomenal foreign policy trip over the last nine days, yet they are going to go and say Jared Kushner created back channels. I got to tell you something. Creating back channels to Russia is one of the most common things that has been done by administrations from Obama to Clinton to Bush to Reagan.

TIMPF: I don't think it was the back channels themselves that it was the accusation that he wanted to use, only Russian communications equipment to do so. But again, Eboni, still anonymous. Media is acting as if it's not in many cases.

EBONI K. WILLIAMS, CO-HOST: Yeah, and I think this is where America fatigue starts to kick in. I think those of us who are legitimately interested in any possible wrongdoing, this sounds like pure noise. This sounds like a distraction. It's not helpful at all. If it's not coming from the FBI or DOJ, I'm really not interested.

TIMPF: I feel the same way.


TIMPF: All right. Let's meet today's specialists. She is a former editorial writer for "The Washington Times," she is a former reporter for "Politico," and she is currently a political analyst and founder of Bold, a digital news platform. Naturally, she specializes in everything politics. Carrie Sheffield is here.


TIMPF: He is a political commentator, he is a candidate for Brooklyn, New York borough president and he is a co-host of "The Last Podcast on the Left," but he specializes in everything crime. He even has a crime podcast. Ben Kissel is here.


TIMPF: Thanks, Ben. Great to see you. Happy Memorial Day.


SHEFFIELD: Proud American. Flag of America. Let's make a trend.


TIMPF: I am very proud even though I'm wearing teal and don't have a flag. Don't hold it against me. Carrie, we talked about these leaks. Even somebody who has been critical of Trump. What do you think about this story? Do you think Eric has got nothing? Is it maybe something or you're still waiting? How do you feel about it?

SHEFFIELD: Yeah, there are a lot of things that Trump said in the campaign that really upset me but I feel like all these criticism against the president has jumped the shark. We are talking about anonymous sources. Basically, sources say as President Trump says, you can make up whatever you want. Sources say that Garth Brooks is my boyfriend.

Sources say that I jumped on LeBron James. Sources say whatever you want them to say. These are anonymous, made up things. Look, I believe in the First Amendment. Everyone here at this table, we believe in the First Amendment. But to be American, we also have the Fifth Amendment.

You can't take to choose which part of the constitution. What's in the Fifth Amendment? The right to due process. The right to the fact that you are innocent until proven guilty. And the media, the liberal establishment, has jumped the shark and they are throwing Trump under the bus with no evidence.

BOLLING: I love that.


TIMPF: Are you sure you didn't go to law school, Carrie?

WILLIAMS: That was brilliant. Ben, what do you think?

KISSEL: You know, it's very interesting. Obviously, I think attacking the leakers, we are sort of attacking the messenger and not the message. Yes, we don't have concrete evidence of Russian collusion. We do know that Kushner met with Kislyak.

BOLLING: Kislyak.

KISSEL: Kislyak. So we know there was some interaction and of course (inaudible). Right now, there is a lot of smoke. We don't have the fire. As we know, what kills most people in a fire is the smoke. And it definitely is suffocating the Trump administration right now. And as Eric pointed out, in his words, it is greatly undermining all of these successes in the mind of Donald Trump.

BOLLING: Can I read something to you. This is why I think this is absolute hypocrisy by the fake, left-leaning mainstream media. You pointed out Kislyak. We were talking about these back channels. December 31, 2014, Bloomberg magazine, the story "inside Obama's secret outreach to Russia." What is going on behind the scenes? But John Kerry has been the point man, I am quoting the article, "point man on dealing with Russia because of his close relationship with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

They meet often without any staff members present and talk on the phone regularly." This is a back channel. The left media didn't go crazy over this one. It was John Kerry and President Obama's State Department but they are going absolutely crazy when it's Donald Trump and Jared Kushner. Give me a break. By the way, Jared Kushner did this before Donald Trump was even president. There -- the accusations.

WILLIAMS: But I think the White House is doing a good job, Eric, responding to it. Let's talk about anonymous sources here. Most of the time, they don't have credit. If you are going to put your reporting based on anonymous sources, then it's all on the reporter's credibility. So we got an update here at the inside team here. From Catherine Herridge (ph), that means something to me. The fact that she is saying it.

And basically, her reporting was very detailed. A very clear explanation as to who Jared Kushner allegedly talk to, the point of it, the why, the secure line was requested and by Russia, not from Jared Kushner himself. And so all of that makes some sense to me if it indeed comes out to be that way. Most important part, Jared Kushner's anxiousness to get in front of congress and tell his side of the story. That transparency, I think, will start to go a long way.

TIMPF: I think some of the stories that don't even mention that saying, or if they do, is at the very bottom. He's saying I'll talk to congress but any of these meetings, he continually set up.

SHEFFIELD: No, actually, and the comparison I think here is in the Obama White House. You had Valerie Jarrett, a very close personal friend from Chicago, who basically was Barack Obama's tell-all. Very close. Where was the left media there? Nowhere.

When you look at -- I mean, on this program last week, we talked about the Harvard study. I went to Harvard Kennedy School that produced that study. When Harvard of all places, and I can tell you, there is such bias against conservatives in Harvard. When freaking Harvard says that there is leftist bias in the media, that means something. TIMPF: I think there are differences though, these allegations, as I mentioned, allegedly wanting to use solely Russia's communication gear. And the fact that he would have done it without, normally you work with the existing administration and.


SHEFFIELD: The differences is that Barack Obama did not -- he took the Trump win incredibly personally. And the fact that the entire regime was turned against him, that's the difference here. BOLLING: Let me add something right now. This is very important, Kat. You said this is different. Less than hour ago, General Hayden, who is the former director of the NSA under Barack Obama, was on CNN and was asked, did Jared Kushner, based on what you know, all these allegations, did he do anything illegal? And General Hayden unequivocally said, no, he didn't do anything illegal. I wouldn't have advised him to have done that. But he didn't do.

TIMPF: Right, I didn't say.

BOLLING: But that's the point here.

TIMPF: I was to explain the difference.

BOLLING: We have the left-leaning media and people who are jumping on that bandwagon saying hey, look at all this stuff. Ben mentioned a lot of smoke. Sometimes there is a lot of smoke and no fire at all.

KISSEL: But again, that smoke is filling up the room and it's blinding people from being able to see what Donald Trump is doing right in his mind. I mean, also, we have to keep in mind what's happening now with James Comey. He is going to be testifying in front of the senate very soon. If it does come out to be true that Donald Trump tried to impede the investigation into Michael Flynn, then the Russian scandal is moved, because now.


BOLLING: Hypothetical. You are doing exactly what the left-leaning media is doing. You know what Comey's said? Sure, I will testify. But do you know what else he said? I'm not bringing that smoking gun note that he allegedly wrote right after the meeting that allegedly Donald Trump leaned on him to look the other way.


BOLLING: He's not going to put that in the record.

KISSEL: Were are going to have to wait and see what he says, to see what Comey says under oath. I think we'll get a lot of information.

TIMPF: I completely agree. All right. Despite all of the Russian investigation, if you aren't forgetting to ask, how this impacts the average American.


NINA TURNER, OHIO STATE SENATOR: No one in Ohio is asking about Russia. O mean, we have to deal with this. We definitely have to deal with this. It's on the minds of the American people. But if you want to know what people in Ohio think, they want to know about jobs, they want to know about their children. We are preoccupied with this. It's not that this is not important, but every day Americans are being left behind because it's Russia, Russia, Russia.


TIMPF: Do you think there is any choice there?

KISSEL: I think that's absolutely dead on. People do not care about this stuff, and the Democratic Party does have to be careful to not overreach and do a proverbial witch hunt. They need to start focusing on jobs, they need to get the populism message back. And if they don't do that, we're going to see similar results in 2020.

WILLIAMS: (inaudible) beside that elected official's name, she was a Democrat, this is Ohio state legislature. She is a woman of Democratic Party. She is saying for her constituents, not that Russia is not important in the big scene, but they care about jobs and what is going on with everyday Americans.

BOLLING: Americans care about jobs and economy.

WILLIAMS: Absolutely.

BOLLING: There is a small group in the mainstream media who thinks they care about Russia, but it's been proven time and time again they don't really care about that. They care about.


WILLIAMS: ... on their table.

BOLLING: Right, exactly.

SHEFFIELD: To your point on smoke, so it's illegal to yell fire in a crowded room. It's illegal because it's dangerous. If you have fire, then absolutely yell fire, but there's no fire here. It hasn't been proven. Again, I go back to the Fifth Amendment, innocent until proven guilty, due process. Where is the ACLU on that? Come on, ACLU, defend the Fifth Amendment for President Trump. Where is it?

WILLIAMS: So that's when the political aspect takes over, right?

SHEFFIELD: Yes, absolutely.

WILLIAMS: I say this, you know, as an indictment of them. I've been very critical on a lot of this media stuff because if and when there is real wrongdoing, to your point, Ben, how many people are going to believe it's because they have cried wolf on this issue for so long that no one even believes half the things that come out of any mainstream media outlets at this point. KISSEL: Let's say that nothing does come out of it. Regardless of all of that, it is remarkable to watch somebody like Donald Trump who ran on the platform of being a magnificent brander, not be able to get in front of these stories and actually create a media narrative that paints him in a more positive light. Now as we see with the leakers, his inner circle is going to get smaller and smaller and smaller. And I don't really see how he is going to get ahead in any of these.

BOLLING: I see one thing -- big change in that set up, Kat. You said, you read Donald Trump's tweet. For the first time, I think this is the first time I've ever seen him start a tweet with "it's my opinion." And then he followed up that the leaks are fabricated by the mainstream media.

WILLIAMS: See, what happens when you get a lawyer?


WILLIAMS: Amazing. Like, all $900 an hour (inaudible) start.

TIMPF: The media is not doing themselves any favor either coming out on MSNBC and saying, maybe he is going send the nuclear codes. Maybe Kushner wanted to give the nuclear codes. Come on, come on. To actually say that in a serious way, I mean, seriously, I can't imagine what in your brain would make you think that. Obviously, it could be (inaudible) other than that.


SHEFFIELD: It's about the fact, again the Harvard study showed 93, 92 percent of ABC, CNN, all the mainstream media is anti-Trump. Whereas Fox News, roughly 50/50. I mean, we need truth. And the liberal media (inaudible).

TIMPF: Well, the White House is preparing a war room and potential staff shakeup to battle the wave of attacks against it but isn't the right strategy to regain the upper hand? We will be right back.


BOLLING: President Trump reportedly planning a major shakeup and strategy, taking aim at aggressively combating attacks against his administration. The White House is looking to create a, quote, war room, to rapidly respond to any new allegations around the Russia investigation. Hey may also include a staffing overhaul in the White House communications office.

Additionally, there may be more rallies around the country so President Trump can speak directly to his supporters. Eboni, after a week away on a foreign policy trip, he comes back to this. This could be a way that Trump resets the narrative and the debates here in America.

WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think that's important. Look, if I am advising President Trump, we talked about communication and messaging has been (inaudible) challenging for this administration. it's been less about what been going so wrong and more about the narratives coming out of this bin. You talked about this. I think the rallies are great for President Trump. I think get out there and get back in front of your base, primarily rejuvenate, feel better. I think the international trip went very well for the president. I think capitalize on that. We are going to reset it. And guess what? 2018 is not so far away, so I think it's time to put those political points of the board and re-address that. You know, we improve the economy, put a conservative on the Supreme Court, detailed accomplishments out there.

BOLLING: Kat, what about this idea of may be scaling back the daily press briefing to a weekly press briefing? A little less transparency but all of the shots he's taking from the mainstream media, maybe not a bad idea?

TIMPF: I prefer the transparency but I would like to see Trump playing a larger role. I think rallies really area a good thing for him. The communication strategy has created a lot of additional problems for Trump. The best example this being after Comey was fired and the press team was saying one thing and then Trump said another thing.

They have to get that under control. And if that means talking less right now, I would probably be advising him to do that. I would be advising to make sure that they have a unified message that they absolutely no because that's the reason some people are suspicious, he replied to the accusations rather than the accusations themselves. They really need to be more careful.

BOLLING: Carrie, I love the idea of getting out there. He had a Des Moines, Iowa rally that is scheduled. They got pushed back a little bit. But I agree. I think this is a great opportunity. Go see the people in heartland and speak directly to them, not with their hearing from the mainstream media.

SHEFFIELD: Yes, to go connect to the people who brought him there, the people who actually care about making America great again. That's the purpose about this. I got to say, you know, it's easy to get caught up in the east coast bubble media. That's what's been happening here. We've got to get back to the kitchen table effects here. Like you said, Eboni, the fact that the president nominated and put on a conservative on the Supreme Court.

That fact that he has approved (inaudible). The fact that he turned the economy on from a regulatory position. The fact that he's going to dismantle Dodd-Frank, which is a destructive force on our economic driving. And so many other things that he should and can be talking about, but he is not because he is getting distracted by the liberal media.

BOLLING: Right. And Ben, what happens in these press briefings, yeah, he has all these accomplishments that Carrie just outlined and many more. They put that out there in the beginning of the briefing and then all these reporters' hands go up and all they want to talk about is the Russia investigation.

KISSEL: His number one accomplishment is the fact that Neil Gorsuch is talented, which isn't really a huge victory for Donald Trump himself. I think that Neil Gorsuch was great.

BOLLING: A lot of people voted for him because he was going to nominate a conservative to the court.

KISSEL: And he certainly lived up to that promise. It's a new world now. We have the house passing Trump care, Medicaid, Medicare cuts. I think when he goes out there into the heartland, he is going to see what a lot of these Republicans are seeing when they go back to their districts. It might not be the friendly crowd that he remembers because now, his policies are coming to (inaudible) and a lot of middle Americans aren't feeling as if he is supporting.


BOLLING: A lot of middle Americans now are feeling better about the economy.

KISSEL: Some are.

BOLLING: All the markets are taking up the stock market, the labor market, the housing market. They are all -- some at 16 year highs rate now. Stock market is at all-time highs. I think middle America -- you are from Wisconsin.

KISSLE: I am from Wisconsin.

BOLLING: What do you think Wisconsin feels about Donald Trump's economic success? KISSEL: I think the economic success, as you mentioned, okay, that's obviously a good thing. But going back to health care, pre-existing conditions, things like that, that really matters to people.

And the fact that they kept, basically it's a 30 percent tax on young people, they don't get health care. That's exactly what Barack Obama did for the most part. There is a lot of anger when it comes to Trump's policies, the biggest one being Trump care.

SHEFFIELD: I respectfully disagree. I mean, he is doing -- I had a lot of skepticism of Trump. I don't know if he can govern. But the people he surrounded himself with, it's not just Neil Gorsuch. It is about (inaudible) over at the Federal Communications Commission.

He is repealing that neutrality which is a job killer. He is sending a budget that is going to put our generation as millennials on a path to success because right now, we are drowning in debt, and I am so glad that Donald Trump won.

WILLIAMS: Carrie, even if you -- that all sounds good and dandy. Here's the problem though. Messaging. Here's my point here. If we are going to blame Hillary Clinton for never regaining a narrative and letting the emails dog and totally take out messaging in her campaign, I think we got to hold our president to the same thing. Got to get control of that message.

SHEFFIELD: I do agree to Eboni. And I think that we can take a page here from Ronald Reagan. So 1986, after the Iran contra scandal, Ronald Reagan’s approval rating was tanking. And what did he do? He cleaned house. Exactly what President Trump said he is going to do. He got a brand new chief of staff. He wiped out the old guard, he had a new guard. They turned the ship around and he was tremendously successful.

KISSEL: He forgot a new guard. Trump isn't replacing these people with anyone.

BOLLING: All right. By the way, what really, really matters is the economy, jobs, and people's pocketbooks, wages. Why would he change anything right now? If you are winning, get out of your own way.


BOLLING: North Korea ratcheting up tensions after successfully testing a new missile and the third U.S. carrier striker is now on the way to the region. What will it take to rein in the rogue state? We're coming right back.


WILLIAMS: North Korea defying the world yet again, conducting a successful test of what experts believe is a new type of short-range missile. President Trump condemning the provocation, tweeting today, quote, North Korea has shown great disrespect for their neighbor, China, by shooting off yet another ballistic missile. But China is trying hard. Defense Secretary James Mattis also delivering a blunt assessment of the crisis.


JAMES MATTIS, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: We are working with the international community to deal with this issue. This regime is a threat to the region, to Japan, to South Korea. And in the event of war, they would bring danger to China and to Russia as well. The bottom line is it would be catastrophic if this turns into combat, if we are not able to resolve the situation through diplomatic means.


WILLIAMS: The U.S. escalating its own show of force against the rogue states with a third carrier strike group now being sent to the region. Eric Bolling, this is getting worse, not better. The sanctions aren't working. What more can we do?

BOLLING: Well, our sanctions aren't working, but China's sanctions would work if they would step up. And I think they were concerned about this last missile test. This one landed 250 miles up the shore of Japan. That's very concerning considering Seoul, South Korea is only 35 miles away from the border and we have 25,000 or 30,000 U.S. service members along the border or in the area.

I'll tell you one thing that's going to happen tomorrow, this news came out today. We are going to launch this intercontinental ballistic missile from the Marshall Islands and we are going test fire an antimissile strike from, I believe launched from an air force base in California.

WILLIAMS: Yes, that was the report we heard.

BOLLING: Here's the problem. This thing has a nine out of 17 hit strikes so far. If we are going to test that and it doesn't work out, you're going to embolden North Korea, Kim Jong-un. I'm concerned about it but if it does work, I think there's a clear message. Here's the bottom line, Trump's rights. We need China to get on board fast and hard.

WILLIAMS: Yeah, Ben, how about that? I mean, in this tweet, very deliberate, obviously coming from President Trump saying, what is disrespectful to you, China? You are trying, but is Eric right? China needs to try harder?

KISSEL: And of course that's why Donald Trump no longer calls them a currency manipulator. Something that he said on a regular basis on the campaign trail. North Korea, Kim Jong-un, this reminds me of a cult (ph) in their winning days. They really are becoming bombastic. They are much more, you know, destruction is definitely in the minds of Kim Jong-un.

And that's why what happens in North Korea, that's why it's so destabilizing, what Donald trump did regarding NATO. We need our allies more than ever before and I do understand that we pay over 3 percent of our GDP, the majority of country pay under 2 percent which was sort of a norm that was set. But right now, we need our allies to know where we are coming from because North Korea is extremely bombastic and exceptionally dangerous.

WILLIAMS: Carrie, we can't do it all by ourselves. And that's why we are talking about, to Ben's point, we do need that. Here's the issue. As Eric said, Japan. They are getting close there. They have come out. They protested. Everyone is asking for calmness and peace. But call me crazy, how do you have diplomacy with somebody like Kim Jong-un? How do you have diplomacy with this type of enemy?

SHEFFIELD: Well, so the new president who just took office in South Korea, he is very liberal. Moon Jae-in is his name. And he wants to have greater - - he wants unification with the North and South. That could be the entry point here, I think, for President Trump.

But let's be honest, though. This is cleaning up the mess of Barack Obama. So what was supposed to happen in the eight years of Barack Obama, with this, quote unquote, "pivot to Asia," that never happened. Again, if you voted for Hillary Clinton, you were voting for the continuation of eight years of failure.


TIMPF: Let me be fair, though. Let me be fair. I don't think...

WILLIAMS: Who are -- what are we talking about?

SHEFFIELD: I'm saying this pivot to Asia never happened. So we were supposed to be shifting our strategic assets to Asia and putting more pressure on China, and that didn't happen.

I don't agree we have to put more pressure on China. China is the patron saint of the North Koreans. The North Korean economy is dead. It is communist. The only reason they survive is the lifeline from China, so it's absolutely China.

TIMPF: Kim Jong-un would be a complete lunatic, whether or not Obama was someone who ever existed. I don't think it's really fair to completely pin this all on Barack Obama.

WILLIAMS: Crazy all the time.

KISSEL: Strategic patience, which was the U.S. policy, was not just a Barack Obama administration policy.

TIMPF: Right. It predated it. Predated Obama.

KISSEL: That was from multiple -- multiple administrations.

BOLLING: I will tell you, do you know what three Carrier strike groups are called? Three hundred thousand tons of diplomacy headed right to that region. You know, I understand why Mattis said what he said about it being one of the bloodiest, horrible conflicts in our history if it happens. But I've got to tell you: three Carrier strike groups surrounding North Korea, they're done.


TIMPF: Also, there's all the, you know, underground bases. It would be a huge problem. We talk about today being Memorial Day. I want to talk about the best way to honor our troops is to try to keep them home.

BOLLING: Do you know who wants this the least of all? China. You would have a massive refugee crisis in China. They would go right north to the border and try to flood the Chinese.

WILLIAMS: Their entire region.

SHEFFIELD: I don't know. At the same time, China has been aggressive, not just in the Philippines, in Vietnam. The entire -- they're building fake islands throughout the South China Sea. So this goes beyond North Korea. Because let's be honest: if the Chinese wanted to put their thumb and say, "North Korea, stop it," they would but they're not. That's the real problem.

And so this is where I actually do blame Barack Obama, because Barack Obama did not have a robust strength -- a strong position against China. And so it's absolutely true that the fact of the matter is, Donald Trump won because he was projecting strength. And he said, "We're not going to sit down, and we're not going to take it anymore." Because China is aggressing throughout the entire South China Sea.

KISSEL: Under Barack Obama, the North Koreans did not send a missile to the Japanese Sea, to the Sea of Japan. So I think that's kind of a strange point to make.

They were emboldened because, again, Donald Trump's U.S. foreign policy, Americans, we don't know where we are right now in the world. We're angering the Germans. We're befriending the president of the Philippines. I mean, what is going on right now with Obama's [SIC] foreign policy? And that's what's emboldening...


KISSEL: ... Kim Jong -- yes, I'm sorry, Trump's foreign policy. And that's what's emboldening Kim Jong-un to act so erratically.


WILLIAMS: ... got an opportunity.

BOLLING: He's got -- he's got a suicide mission.


BOLLING: Part of the reason is because he wasn't always as emboldened or - - first of all, he wasn't in power at the beginning. And then he wasn't as crazy. He's getting progressively crazier. You remember what was that? God, I can't remember the war movie. As time went, the leader got crazier and crazier. And this is what's happening with Kim Jong-un. He's literally on the death wish.

KISSEL: And that's why the U.S., we need our allies more than ever, because...

BOLLING: We don't need them. What do we need our allies for?

KISSEL: We need them for their military bases.

BOLLING: We have Japan. We have South Korea. We have three carrier strike groups in the area. We could level that place.

KISSEL: In order to continue the foothold that we have on the globe, we need to have our allies. We need to have our military installations there. It's massively important.


TIMPF: I think that, although it may be strained with some of our allies under Trump, it can't go on forever and ever, not letting people pay their fair share and...

KISSEL: I don't disagree with that.

TIMPF: I think that Trump also made it clear that we are going to be there for our allies in NATO and that we will continue to be there for them. I can't imagine any scenario when we would not be there for them. And if something like North Korea actually reared to a head, that would be a whole complete different story.

If we were to find ourself in that situation, I don't think he'd be talking the way he was talking.

WILLIAMS: I don't think President Trump is going to say we're going to abandon our allies. I also don't think it's wrong to expect them to pay for their fair share.

TIMPF: Right.

WILLIAMS: But up next, time to wake up, America. Eric Bolling is ready to sound off about patriotism and honoring Memorial Day. Stay with us.


BOLLING: Welcome back to "The Fox News Specialists." Our specialists are Carrie Sheffield on Ben Kissel. But now it's time to "Wake Up, America."

You know, I cringe when I hear "Happy Memorial Day" while Americans celebrate the long weekend, firing up the barbecues, serving the burger, hot dogs and lemonade or a beer. But it's clear to me that, culturally, we've lost sight of what today really should mean.

It's a day of remembrance. The growing military-civilian disconnect means our servicemen and women come home to disrespect and almost no support by our society.

Think about that for a second. Do we respect these heroes? We should hold our service members at a higher level than our celebrities, our musicians and our athletes. Katy Perry never looked down the barrel of an M-16 at the enemy. Sean Penn never entered an abandoned building teaming with enemy fighters. Kanye West never did advanced reconnaissance for a platoon. Yet, they make billions doing what they do because of our military.

The saying "Freedom isn't free" means so much, but do we understand the magnitude of that statement? Just for a moment now, think to yourself. Put yourself in one of those soldier's bodies. Imagine the guttural fear and anxiety as you prepare to ambush a terror cell in an abandoned building in some faraway country, a place where the people there likely hate you almost as much as the terrorists inside the building.

Meanwhile, thousands of miles away, your family waits for you at home, constantly worrying, will you come back or not?

You walk into that dark building. Why? Because that's what you do. You're an American soldier. You fight for the flag. So you get it? These men and women deserve our unequivocal respect.

So the next time some liberal fool burns a flag or disrespects a service member, remind them that over a million men and women have given their lives for them, including the right to be anti-American and despicable.

And finally, after eight years of the apologist in chief, we bid farewell to Obama's America. And now with Donald Trump, we have a new breed of commander-in-chief. There's now bowing to sheikhs, nor pardoning traitors in Trump's America, just respect for the military.

"Make America great again." The left hates the slogan. We patriotic Americans take pride in it.

And I will start with Carrie, who has here flag.

SHEFFIELD: That's right. I am a proud American, yes. I salute.

I think it's important also to note that this is Memorial Day, which is different from Veterans Day. Memorial Day is for people people who have given the last full measure of their devotion. Veterans Day is for people, all -- you know, all armed services, living or perished. You know, but Memorial Day is really for people who sacrificed while in service. And I don't think that that is emphasized enough, exactly what you said.

And also, when you look at the elite cultural institutions, as you mentioned, I think Colin Kaepernick is the perfect embodiment of someone who's totally out of touch with sacrifice and, really, what it means to be an American.

You know, we're not a perfect country. We're not a perfect country. And we -- we struggle with so many issues: civil rights, slavery. We are not a perfect country, but the founding documents are about a more perfect union and heading in that direction. And so to deny that by, you know, not supporting our troops, it's just really sad.

WILLIAMS: Who didn't support our troops, Carrie?

SHEFFIELD: Well, for example, at Harvard. I went to Harvard. For a long time, you could not recruit from the armed services. This happened in Vietnam. It wasn't just Harvard; it was all the Ivy Leagues [SIC]. And you look at -- you look at the studies. When student -- freshmens [SIC] come in, and they come out, they're more liberal than when they started. And I am convinced, in part, it's because they're not sitting next to their classroom classmates -- there are no military servicemen and women sitting next to them.

BOLLING: Let me -- let me follow that up, Eboni. So we all know, and we'll get to -- we'll get to the libertarians in a second here. We know you have a right to burn a flag but that constantly goes on. And there's -- every year, there's four or five incidents where these kids on college campuses decide to burn the flag in support of some sort of antiwar rhetoric. That's disrespectful to the men and women who died in honor of that flag.

WILLIAMS: OK. So I'm going to take this opinion. I asked Carrie that follow-up question, because I thought you were implying that Colin Kaepernick somehow was disrespecting the men and women who...

BOLLING: Oh, I think he was.

WILLIAMS: I want to -- I want to...

BOLLING: He was very disrespectful.

WILLIAMS: OK. Guys, I want to say this. That he heard that criticism, and he responded. That's how much it concerned him. So he sat down with people who have served our country, particularly a Marine, to explain to him. And that's when he stopped just sitting on the bench and started taking the knee, because he wanted to show that "I have an incredible amount of respect." This is what Colin Kaepernick said. This is not my opinion. He said that "I have an incredible amount of respect for the men and women who have served our country. I just" -- as Carrie pointed out -- "happen to see some imperfections in our beautiful country, and I want to have those addressed." That's it.

I'll say this...

SHEFFIELD: The difference is...

BOLLING: Are you saying that taking a knee was respectful to the American...?

WILLIAMS: That's what the Marine told him.

BOLLING: ... to the men and women who died defending that flag?

WILLIAMS: I've never served. I've never served, Eric. All I know is that's what the Marine that Colin Kaepernick sought counsel for on the issue advised him to do. He said that that would be deemed to be more -- a more respectful display of his protest.

BOLLING: How about least disrespectful? Can I go with that?

WILLIAMS: But you still -- but you still have -- you still have a right to protest.

BOLLING: Absolutely. And let's talk about that. The right to protest, I get it. But should we? In this instance?

TIMPF: Sure. Look, I don't pick it's really fair to say that because someone protests, in whatever way they're protesting peacefully, that means that they don't care about the people that died for their freedom. I think that's a pretty serious charge to levy against somebody, Carrie. I really have to say that.

People just going after and throwing -- somebody -- people on Twitter are attacking me right now because I'm wearing teal; and that means that I hate my country and I don't care about the troops, when the reality, I didn't have time to do laundry this weekend, because I was at West Point Military Academy watching my cousin graduate. So sorry.

And seeing...

BOLLING: So let me say that. Let me say that. You have a cousin that graduated...


BOLLING: By the way, thank you for his service.


BOLLING: To you and your whole family.

Now, what do you think when the flag is burned in front of him? Wouldn't that -- wouldn't that tick you off to no end? That -- boy or girl?

TIMPF: Jeremy, my cousin Jeremy. He's a man.

BOLLING: Wouldn't that drive you crazy that he put so much effort into -- into what he did at West Point, that someone could be so disrespectful to burn a flag in front of your cousin?

TIMPF: He -- it's a huge sacrifice, and I was very inspired by all of these young people who decided to do that. But they decided to do that so people can have their free speech right. I wouldn't be upset on his behalf that the person did it. It's always kind of a gross thing to see, a flag burning, like, "Eww. What are you doing? Get over it."

SHEFFIELD: Well, Kat, to respond...

TIMPF: But to say that that means that they don't care about the people that have fought and died, that is a little bit harsh.

SHEFFIELD: I'm sorry, Kat. But Kat, that's not even what I was saying, Kat.

KISSEL: If I could just get in for a second.

BOLLING: Ben, one second. Go ahead.

SHEFFIELD: Actually, if I can respond to Kat, what she said. What I was talking about, like I said, was elite, liberal cultural institutions like Hollywood, like the Ivy Leagues [SIC], who fundamentally think of the military as a blue-collar, look down your nose at them. These are people who...

KISSEL: They don't think that.

BOLLING: OH, yes, Ben. Come on.

SHEFFIELD: Don't you remember -- don't you remember...


BOLLING: First of all, Hollywood, they're antiwar. And a lot of times that's translated...

KISSEL: Being antiwar does not make you anti-troops, as a matter of fact.

TIMPF: Exactly.

KISSEL: A lot of troops don't enjoy going to wars for no significant reason, as we saw in 2001. Again, we do have to separate the wars from the people fighting them, and we have to show support to all of our troops fighting, regardless if we agree with the war or not.

But you criticized Barack Obama for his interactions overseas. Donald Trump just curtsied to the Saudi king.

BOLLING: He didn't curtsy. He leaned over for -- hold it. Stop, stop right now, stop. He leaned over...

KISSEL: ... an honor.

BOLLING: He leaned over because the Saudi sheik that was giving it to him was too short. I mean, that's not...

KISSEL: The military fight for...


SHEFFIELD: What John Kerry said was be careful. Study, or you migh be stuck in a rut. That embodies the liberal, French-speaking, Democratic presidential candidates. That's the perfect embodiment of disrespecting our troops.

BOLLING: All right, we have to go right now. Sorry.

When we come right back, the debut of our new segment "Do You Even Know?" We're quizzing Americans about the Memorial Day holiday right after this.


WILLIAMS: Today is Memorial Day, a very special day where we honor the men and women who put their lives on the line to keep our great country safe and especially to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to keep our nation great.

But how much do people really know about this holiday? We sent our producer, Brianna Vota, to the streets of New York City to find out in the debut of our newest segment "Do You Even Know?" Take a listen.


BRIANNA VOTA, PRODUCER: Do you have fun plans for Memorial Day?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fun plans? Well, I guess you can tell by looking at me I'm pretty much of a big, fun guy. Right?

VOTA: Tell me why you think we celebrate Memorial Day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I believe we celebrate it to honor all the soldiers who died in war.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think Memorial Day is a good time to reflect on U.S. service members who have come before us and served our country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Memorial Day's in memory of everybody who's passed away, in particular, veterans.

VOTA: Where are you from?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm from Mexico. I've been here for six months.

VOTA: So you know our entire history and all of our holidays and everything, clearly?

Why do you think we celebrate Memorial Day?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Somethings happened in the past, and Memorial Day, I really don't know what it was right now. So...

VOTA: That's a good fudging of the answer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's an important day to remember all the veterans that they go to the war and they fight.

VOTA: Do you know what Memorial Day was originally called?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I don't. That's a very good question. Do you?

VOTA: I do, actually.

What was Memorial Day originally called?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was it Armistice Day?




VOTA: Oh, my gosh. It was known as Decoration Day. Very good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What were we decorating?

VOTA: The graves of the soldiers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, absolutely.

VOTA: After which war did Memorial Day originate?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Prehistoric. Colonial. Vietnam? No?

Boston Tea Party.

VOTA: After which war did Memorial Day start?


VOTA: A little earlier. The American Civil War.



VOTA: The American Civil War.



VOTA: When did Memorial Day become a federal holiday?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sometime before I was born.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd have to ask a few of my friends.

VOTA: You can phone a friend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have one phone call?

VOTA: Normally, but no.

Which year did it become a federal holiday?




VOTA: Very close.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, really? Sixty-eight?

VOTA: Wrong way.


VOTA: Very close.


VOTA: Oh, my gosh. No.

What year did it become a federal holiday?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 1986. Seventy-nine, 78, 77, 72, 71.

VOTA: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seventy-one, 1971.

VOTA: That was almost your first try. That's very impressive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. I appreciate it.

VOTA: Do you watch Fox News? And do you watch "The Fox News Specialists"? And is it your favorite show on television?



VOTA: Do you watch "The Fox News Specialists?"


VOTA: Yes, good answer. Good answer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, it's been too much fun.

VOTA: Oh, man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there such a thing?

VOTA: Not as far as I'm concerned.


WILLIAMS: That was awesome.

Don't go away. We'll "Circle Back" with our specialists, Carrie Sheffield and Ben Kissel, right after this.


TIMPF: Time to "Circle Back" with our specialists, Ben Kissel and Carrie Sheffield.

Ben, I'm going to go to you.

KISSEL: All right.

TIMPF: You're running for Brooklyn borough city president. You want to talk about that a little bit?

KISSEL: Running for Brooklyn borough president. It's an advocate position focusing on criminal justice reform, things like that. We have our big launch on June 15 at my favorite bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, called Skinny Dennis. So if you're in -- if you're in town, June 16.

TIMPF: It's free peanuts there.

KISSEL: Free peanuts. Very cheap beer. It's going to be a wonderful time. My friends' bands are performing. We have a lot of stickers and buttons, and we're going to have a great time talking about politics and hopefully inspire people to get involved in their local politics.

BOLLING: And bring your checkbook.

KISSEL: Yes, exactly.

TIMPF: Well, the peanuts are free. So...

BOLLING: Carrie, let me ask you, you are a Harvard graduate, is that right?


BOLLING: And how in the world did you make it through Harvard and end up conservative?

SHEFFIELD: You know, it's funny. I actually came out more conservatives than when I went in. Just because I felt like, this is so not fair. I felt like the odds -- like I've always been someone who fights for the underdog. And just when I would sit in class and the stories, just I could tell you, just the discrimination against conservatives, it's so palpable. And so I just came out and I was like, "You know what? I'm not going to drink that Harvard Kool-Aid. And I'm just going to keep the blinders off."

WILLIAMS: Glad you made it out alive, Carrie, and you ended up founding Bold.


WILLIAMS: Which I'm very excited about. It's a very cool concept. Tell people a little bit about it.

SHEFFIELD: We profiled you and what you're doing.

WILLIAMS: I'm very grateful, which you know, you guys do a great job of spotlighting all people but especially kind of young people that believe in the political system and feel empowered by it.

SHEFFIELD: Yes. Yes, so our website is We invite you all to come, and we'd like to have you join. And I'd love to have you come and talk about your book, Eric. We've had some different Fox News come on.

TIMPF: All right, thank you to our "Fox News Specialists," Ben Kissel and Carrie Sheffield.

We thank you all for watching on this Memorial Day. Make sure to follow us on social media: @SpecialistsFNC on Twitter and Facebook. Remember, 5 o'clock will never be the same. "Special Report" is next.

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