This is a rush transcript from "The Fox News Specialists," June 16, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
KATHERINE TIMPF, THE FOX NEWS SPECIALIST HOST: Hello, everyone. I'm Kat Timpf along with Eric Bolling and Eboni K. Williams. We are The Fox News Specialists. Well, it's been a new twist after new twist today in the soap opera known as the Russian investigation. President Trump delivering a stunning tweet earlier writing, quote, I am being investigated for firing the FBI director by the man who told me to fire the FBI director. Witch hunt. Sources tell Fox News the tweet is in reference to deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein's overseeing the Russian investigation. Also, a source close to Trump's legal team tells Fox that President Trump was, of course, not confirming in that tweet that he was under investigation for possible obstruction. Instead they say he was just referencing the Washington Post report that claims an obstruction probe is underway. And that's just the tip of the iceberg today. All right, Eric, I know the legal team said he's not confirming, but what else could I am under investigation possibly mean?
ERIC BOLLING, THE FOX NEWS SPECIALIST HEAD: Well, I mean, I don't know. First -- all day long, people are expecting what they're talking about. Rosenstein, are they talking about Mueller? Who are they really talking about? But I guess Fox's asked the team, they said Rosenstein. But think about this, Rod Rosenstein did recommend that they did fire Mueller. So Rod Rosenstein is the guy who -- I'm sorry, fire Comey, but Rod Rosenstein is the guy who hired Mueller. So now we're hearing -- get ready for this, Rod Rosenstein might recuse himself because he feels like he may be too involved in the Russia story, so that would bring on -- let me see, Rachel Brand, who is the associate attorney general. Now she's the third in line at the DOJ. So, I mean, it's getting crazy. Let me just leave you with this thought. The stock market, the Dow made a brand new high, all-time record high to close that high, 21,384 or 5 or so, and record of unemployment, 4.3 percent, it's not been this low since 2001, 16 years ago. Meanwhile, this special counsel, Mueller said he hired 13 new lawyers -- this is today or yesterday, 13 new lawyers. Eboni, a thousand bucks an hour, probably?
TIMPF: Eboni, on the low end
BOLLING: On the low end.
BOLLING: OK. Let's do the math on that, 15 to 20 lawyers, $1,000 an hour, eight hours a day, maybe a year, you're talking.
EBONI K. WILLIAMS, THE FOX NEWS SPECIALIST HOST: Probably longer.
BOLLING: $15 million just for the lawyers, maybe another $15 million for the staff and depositions and travel. You're talking $100 million investigation at least. Meanwhile, still waiting for that one shred of evidence.
TIMPF: Eboni, you thoughts.
WILLIAMS: OK. So many hiring and firing, it's really hard to keep track. I will say, I love those numbers, Eric, that you talk about our economy. And I love that we're going to count those and feel good about those very low unemployment numbers. That's amazing. I love it. But in all sincerity, here's the thing.
BOLLING: Is there a tongue.
WILLIAMS: Yeah. A little bit. But in all seriousness, I'm glad Americans are working. That's important. That's good. You know, Kat, look, I think that this is a problem though when the president talks about his twitter being official statements. It does becomes hard to decipher what's meant by the tweet today.
TIMPF: All right. Well, lets me today about specialist. She's a longtime Washington correspondent, including with Real Clear Politics and National Journal, she's a current White House correspondent for the Independent Journal Review, but she specializes in perfect grammar, Erin McPike is here. And she's the senior director of research and consumer insight for Bustle.com, she's also author of the upcoming book, America in the age of Trump, which comes out July 4th, but she specializes in Hillary Clinton fan girling, Jessica Tarlov is here. All right. So let's start with that tweet from President Trump today, what it means for Rod Rosenstein involvement in the Russia probe. What do you think? I'm being investigated, Jessica. What does that mean to you? Does that necessarily mean he's being investigated or did he mean something else?
JESSICA TARLOV, BUSTLE.COM SENIOR DIRERTOR: No.
TIMPF: I do, too.
TARLOV: Most of the time I have a question on what he meant. This morning, he was actually quite exact. And I found Twitter hugely amusing this morning. They're pulling up all the old tweets, right. Sarah Huckabee saying if you're being investigated by the FBI, you shouldn't be president about Hillary Clinton, right. Trump saying you can't have a president that's being investigative by the FBI. Well, lo and behold, we do have a president who is being investigated. I think it's better to have all of that out there. I think that he should engage in the conversation. If you want twitter to be his official statement, he should certainly talk to his lawyer beforehand when he does things like that. I sure his legal team is none too pleased with what's going on. But if this is his mode of communication, I rather he be honest, frankly, than telling us lies.
TIMPF: I would, too.
BOLLING: Well, has he said that?
TIMPF: Said what?
BOLLING: I mean, Erin, have we found out that Donald Trump, president -- Donald Trump is being investigated?
TIMPF: He said, I am.
BOLLING: He clarified and he said according to the Washington Post.
TIMPF: He would have said fake news, Washington Post, said I'm being investigated.
BOLLING: He's being.
TIMPF: I don't understand what you're saying, Eric.
BOLLING: The person who recommended that I fire Comey is now thinking about investigating.
ERIC MCPIKE, INDEPENDENT JOURNAL REVIEW: That was my favorite part. It was the person who -- it was a man who suggested that I fire Comey. After he said I was going to fire him anyway. After he said it first, Rosenstein recommended it. I mean, what is it? He went back and forth on that.
BOLLING: But Rosenstein did sent a memo to Donald Trump saying I would recommend letting Comey go. And Trump said, yeah, I got the memo but I also wanted to do it.
MCPIKE: But the president asked him for that memo. He said he was going to fire Comey anyway. He's been back and forth on that.
BOLLING: Right. I don't see the big deal. You don't see the hypocrisy of the guy who recommended firing Comey being at the forefront of the investigation into why he fired Comey?
TIMPF: Which he was going to do anyway.
MCPIKE: That's the point, yes.
WILLIAMS: I hear what you're saying, Eric. You're though the hypocrisy -- is the guy who made the recommendation around the status, the employment status of James Comey, who is now being -- at least on the front end, also involved in the investigation as to why Comey was actually fired.
TIMPF: Clearly, I understand that part.
TARLOV: Right kind of responsibility then and saying that he may have to recuse himself.
WILLIAMS: Yes, I agree.
TARLOV: I think that he's acted completely appropriately and diplomatically here. I don't know what happened in that conversation where Donald Trump asked him to write that letter. But it seems like he's done nothing inappropriate.
BOLLING: So what's going to happen, Jessica, on the left when and if Rod Rosenstein recuses himself. So Sessions recusing himself, number one. Number two, Rosenstein recuses. You're down to Rachel Brand, who was a Harvard graduate, U.S. Chambers of Commerce, and worked for Bush 43, but the left is going crazy saying they do not want her either. Are you keep -- having people recuse themselves until you find a liberal that will stick to Trump?
TARLOV: There're plenty of liberals and Republicans who is if he's guilty of this are going to be thrilled to stick it to Trump. I don't think it's about party anymore. I mean, Bob Mueller is a Republican, people are going crazy that he's hired all these Democrats who max out to Hillary Clinton.
BOLLING: Do you think that's a slight conflict of interest there? You're a donor to Hillary Clinton and you're hired -- you're coming on to investigate the Republican president?
TARLOV: Do you only think that people can be independent and have these jobs, or they have to be nonvoters?
WILLIAMS: I'm all for independents having jobs.
BOLLING: I also like people who may not be donors. I mean, you can also be a Democrat without being a major political donor.
TARLOV: At $2700 donation.
BOLLING: Is the max. It is the max.
TARLOV: It is the maximum, but it doesn't mean that they were bundlers who raise billions of dollars whether it's collection of billions and billions because we spend too much on elections.
BOLLING: There's a reason why we shouldn't and don't as media journalists. Opinion journalists even shouldn't and don't contribute to campaigns.
WILLIAMS: People do read into these things the wrong way or can certainly make a case that may be your objectivity is compromise. I agree with you, Jessica, I don't like the presumption that automatically associating yourself with a political party. You now cannot do your job incapacity. We don't want to set the president. But if you're looking to make that argument, it becomes easier when there's a donation.
BOLLING: Good luck finding independence in a legal field. Good luck.
BOLLING: But, I don't know -- I don't know which way you lean right or you lean left, but I'm guessing that -- do you make political donations in campaigns?
MCPIKE: I don't.
BOLLING: OK, why?
MCPIKE: Because I'm a journalist.
BOLLING: Exactly. So why is that too high of a standard to expect? Is that too high of a standard to expect a guy who's going to investigate the president to not have been a political donor to Hillary Clinton?
TARLOV: I understand what you're saying, but I am curious as to who would be appropriate then?
BOLLING: Someone who didn't donate to Hillary or Trump.
TARLOV: Who are making $1,000 an hour plus. And you need to find 15 of them who are well-qualified enough and they have never made a political donation in their lives? You're going to be hard pressed.
BOLLING: Well, not certainly in their lives, certainly not to the opponent.
TIMPF: OK. So -- for the opponent? OK, right.
TIMPF: Even Trump -- the person who Trump nominated for the replacement, he's given to Republicans. Any citizen you're often somebody who does donates to candidate.
WILLIAMS: I will say when I was in private practice, to your point, Eric, I tried to make it a habit of not donating. I think I gave $50 one time. Other than that, I don't think this becomes the perception. And so, you're right, that's not the rule of law for legal experts or other people that work in the legal field, but I do think maybe that is something we should explore. Maybe as attorneys we shouldn't be donating either.
TARLOV: But does it bother you that Mueller is a Republican then, Eric?
BOLLING: Again, you and I have worked here for so long.
BOLLING: I don't have a problem with their political affiliation. I have a problem that they max out their donations -- to the Democrat who was Donald Trump's adversary.
TARLOV: Well, he's gone. He's in the woods now.
BOLLING: I know, but why take them? It means they clearly have a bias toward Hillary Clinton, toward liberalism, against Donald Trump. Clearly.
TARLOV: I'm not sure that's what it means when they serve in a position that is first and foremost about serving their country over your party. I mean.
BOLLING: Would you want the person investigating Donald Trump at the head, have that person have been a political donor to the Donald Trump campaign? Would you accept that as a liberal?
TARLOV: I absolutely would accept that as a liberal. I deal with people who -- that candidates that I don't enjoy all the time, and I respect them as colleagues and as friends.
TIMPF: All right. Well.
BOLLING: I don't donate.
TIMPF: Deputy attorney general Rosenstein also creating intrigue after releasing a statement last night going after leakers, writing, quote, Americans should exercise caution before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous officials. Now what could he have been talking about? It's very strange, right? I've never seen anything like that, ever.
MCPIKE: Everybody is saying that. I might be the only person -- but I don't have a problem with this statement.
TIMPF: I didn't say I have a problem.
BOLLING: A lot of people have had problems with this statement, I don't. Obviously, anonymous leaks are causing problems and they're trying to clamp down on it. It's obviously this hurts Rosenstein and his ability to carry out the justice department investigation. So I really don't have.
WILLIAMS: I think this is really sad because I've always said that one of the biggest casualties from the 2016 contentious election was the credibility of our very important -- should be independent departments in this country. Department of Justice, FBI, and the State Department, and what I'm seeing some six months into this presidency is those have not been rehabilitated whatsoever. In fact, I didn't think it could get worse, I think it's worse. I think those departments are in a worst state credibility wise when they were back in November.
TIMPF: I agree with that.
BOLLING: Guys, Erin, did you -- so that statement, did you think -- all day I'm trying to figure out what -- is he talking about the Jared Kushner leaks that allegedly happened overnight that this investigation pointing now toward Jared Kushner as well?
MCPIKE: Who knows?
BOLLING: I don't know either.
BOLLING: I think the piling up of leaks, because even Comey said some of the leaked news has been wrong.
WILLIAMS: Yes, it is.
TIMPF: Right. That's an established fact that some of that has been wrong, which is why you shouldn't accept it as fact. That's a smart thing to do.
BOLLING: On another point that you made, Eric, I just want to say just because no evidence has been found yet does not mean it's doesn't exist.
BOLLING: OK. So when do we stop?
BOLLING: Hundred million, 200 -- a billion? Do we just keep investigating until we find something or just keep investigating, period.
MCPIKE: We have found something. I mean.
BOLLING: What? What is it?
BOLLING: . we have found things about Mike Flynn, right? We have found that Donald Trump asked James Comey to -- he said I hope, you know, you can back off of this thing with James Comey, took it as a directive. We do know that there were unsavory characters associated with the campaign like Paul Manafort and Carter Page. We have links to Russians. We do not have that -- it's a collusion between Donald Trump and the Russians.
BOLLING: Jess, we're 11 months into this investigation.
TIMPF: This is early.
BOLLING: No evidence of obstruction of justice and 11 months in, and who knows how many hundreds of millions of dollars. We're going to get into the billions in a second. Well, you know, not yet.
WILLIAMS: All right. So Donald Trump is what? Making lawyers great again.
TIMPF: Up next, President Trump announcing a major crackdown on President Obama Cuba policy. Is the era -- with the communist state over? We're coming right back.
BOLLING: President Trump up ending one of President Obama's most controversial foreign policy decisions, reopening diplomatic and economic ties with Cuba. The two year old policy has long been under fire as a big giveaway to the brutal Castro regime, and President Trump announced a major rollback this afternoon in Miami.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: It's hard to think of a policy that makes less sense than the prior administration's terrible and misguided deal with the Castro regime. Now we hold the cards. We now hold the cards. The previous administration easing of restrictions on travel and trade does not help the Cuban people. They only enrich the Cuban regime. Therefore, effective immediately, I am canceling the last administration's completely one sided deal with Cuba.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLLING: All right, we'll bring it around, Erin, so our audience is clear. This is not a complete rollback of Obama policies. Americans will still be able to travel to Cuba, but we can't do business with the Cuban government and the military. We can do business with the Cuban people, but not anything that -- if you know Cuban policy, almost everything is intertwined with the government and the military.
MCPIKE: Right. So it seems to me that the Trump administration wants to have this both ways. If he actually wanted to keep his campaign promise, it would've been a complete rollback, and it wasn't quite that. So, you know, he said that he's doing this on the ground of human rights, but he's kind of walked both lines on that too, obviously, because in the Trump administration dealing with Saudi Arabia and others, you've had Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state, say that's our value but it's not our policies. So he's.
BOLLING: Right. Eboni, one of the points of this new Trump-Cuban policy is that he has to return our American prisoners. So basically what he's done is he's kept the things -- the economic parts of this alive, at least. It's still alive. So you can still get on a plane and go to Cuba, tomorrow, if you want to. But what he's also has done, he said, you know what, Cuba if you want diplomatic relations with us, you need to sit back down at the table and we'll talk about returning those American prisoners, and we'll talk about your human rights violations. I think it captures both the good -- and of Obama's and the good of Trump's ideas.
WILLIAMS: So here's my only concern, Eric. I'm actually all about President Trump's ability to negotiate a better deal for the sake of America. It makes perfect sense to me. It's one of the things I'm looking forward to in his administration. My question though becomes, to Erin's point, why we're starting with Cuba when we know about all of the severe human rights violation to Saudi Arabia, we've heard about Russia, we can talk about many people we do business with every day. So I'm just curious, there's a real.
BOLLING: We're starting there because as Erin points out accurately it was a campaign promise. And I think you're right, Erin, he does gets it both ways is that he get to address the campaign promise of rolling back Obama's Cuba policy.
TIMPF: I think that's why.
BOLLING: Hold on guys, before you go crazy hating on Trump.
TIMPF: Eric, that's not fair. That's not fair to say I'm going crazy beating on Trump. What did I just say just now?
BOLLING: This is a very good economic feel for the United States. This is a better economic deal for the United States than Obama's economic deal for the United States with Cuba.
TIMPF: OK. The thing is, though, as both of you pointed out, getting our prisoners back, good thing. That's obviously a good thing. It's obviously a great thing to want to work out a better deal that's better for us. However, as you both pointed out, it doesn't mean that I'm crazy and hating on Trump to point out that, oh, I have a question about why all of a sudden were concerned about human rights violations when were not concerned about it with Saudi Arabia.
BOLLING: Do you like the Cuba -- the Trump-Cuba policy?
TIMPF: It's a very important question because the only difference is Obama like one and not the other. You can flip and say the same thing about Obama.
BOLLING: No, no, no. This gives us leverage. We have the American consumer, a powerful leverage tool to say, hey, Cuba, you want this consumers to come over there? Here's what we're going to do business with you. The government is not going to take 80 percent of the deal anymore, like they were before. We'll do deals with you with your people, not your government.
TIMPF: I accept that and I understand that. That explanation makes more sense to me. I'm just saying this human rights angle doesn't really make much sense.
BOLLING: But we are. And I'll bring Jessica, but we are solving part of the human rights problem, part of it. Not all of it, but part of it.
TARLOV: Yes. Any American life that comes home that's been held captive somewhere else is a wonderful day. And any economic gains that we would see is also a wonderful thing. I would say though that from early estimates that we know of as of today, we're actually going to lose 12,000 jobs and it could cost us over $6 billion just doing what he has done so far. I would also add that I saw a tweet from a special assistant to the president that called out Barack Obama right away and said, you know, I'd love to see what he thinks now, look what we've done. And the vengefulness of how Donald Trump conducts himself in terms of policy.
BOLLING: Can we lift the vengefulness. Can we lift the partisan politics out of it?
TARLOV: I'd love if Donald Trump could.
BOLLING: Can anyone tell me that this is an economic policy that isn't better for Americans?
MCPIKE: I don't think we know that yet. We have to see over the next six months through the next year what it will look like.
BOLLING: So do a deal -- let's say you're a hotel company and you want to open up a hotel in New Havana because now Americans can travel there. In the past, under President Obama, yes, you could do that deal, but the Cuban government took a big portion of whatever money was generated from that. Now?
MCPIKE: Well, look, some of the travel restrictions are being put back into place. So Americans can travel there, but they have to get special permission to do it. They just can't jump on a plane by themselves and go to Cuba.
BOLLING: Well, you can. You can.
MCPIKE: If you like to get in trouble.
BOLLING: No, no, no, you can still do that. Here's the issue, if you go to a hotel or restaurant that is owned by the Cuban government, you may have to talk to the treasury about it when you get back.
TARLOV: You're going to a communist territorial state. The government has their hands on everything.
BOLLING: That's the point. And your number it's just as fair and valid now. But when you go back to them and say, look, we will open up hotels and restaurant chains over there, but as long as the Cuban government isn't getting it, you'll have massive human travel.
TARLOV: Everyone I think on this panel, everyone in this country would love to see economic growth and job created from any deal that this president or any president makes.
BOLLING: So are we all in favor of human rights violations going away in Cuba?
TARLOV: Yeah, but.
BOLLING: Hold on, where was President Obama? He didn't negotiate any of that.
WILLIAMS: Eric, how about I start my conversation, I said I'm all about a better deal. I sense we have a legitimate question as to the nature.
TIMPF: Having a question about something that Trump has done doesn't mean that we hate Trump.
BOLLING: They want us to go, but I'm not saying -- I'm saying -- yes, but what about Saudi Arabia?
BOLLING: How about that this is a better human rights violation -- for human rights to Cuba. It's better for business here.
WILLIAMS: I don't even think we'll be having this conversation, E, if the president himself didn't frame it in a rollback of Obama.
TIMPF: Rollback Obama.
MCPIKE: I mean they really want to hear that every time.
BOLLING: I'm getting yelled at. We've got to go. Straight ahead, the Trump administration making big moves on immigration and the future of illegal alien children and parents in America. That's moments away.
WILLIAMS: The Trump administration making waves over the fate of two Obama-era executive orders on immigration. Now, as the presidential candidate, Trump, was one of the fiercest critics, and last night the administration officially revoked the so-called DAPA program, design to protect the undocumented immigrant parents of U.S. citizens from deportation. Also last night, the administration issued a memo indication that the DACA program, which allows undocumented immigrants brought into the U.S. as children will remain in effect. However, the White House coming out strongly today to say that no final decision has been made on the long-term fate of the program.
All right. So, Eric, there are those that were very quick to jump on this, particularly the New York Times came out with a headline right away saying that basically this is Trump not needing a campaign promise. To roll that back, saying that he hasn't met it so far, but these long terms fate unclear. Even if he lets the children stay, the DREAMers, the so-called dreamers stay.
WILLIAMS: Right, DACA not DAPA. Is this going to be upset about that geo-state?
BOLLING: No, I think this is another example of what we've talked about in the last block, the Cuban policy where it's not exactly, hard-core, what he promised in his campaign, but it is -- partially. So it's almost like a negotiation with the illegal community which -- look, that's what -- for me, that's what Donald Trump is all about.
Yes, he got -- he went out there and, you know, said a lot of things and he's negotiated better deals, I think, all the way around. I don't think that anyone in in the right mind -- well, I shouldn't say that. I think what -- this is the nicest way to implement what -- that campaign promise he --
EBONI WILLIAMS, FBN HOST: The spirit of what he wanted. Yes, because I remember Greg Gutfeld --
BOLLING: The children get to stay for now, and the illegal parents got to go.
WILLIAMS: Got to go. Because Greg Gutfeld, with someone up here at Fox News that said that most of what Trump said on the campaign trail was an opening negotiation. Is that something you would agree with?
KATHERINE TIMPF, FBN HOST: So far, from what you've seen.
BOLLING: Well, I think he would tell you that. I think he's talking about the art of the deal, that that's his skill and that seems to be what he's done.
Personally, I think that we just need -- and this would go against what Trump would say, but I think we need to open up legal immigration avenues so we double or triple our legal immigration to three million people a year rather than the one million a year.
TIMPF: Oh yes, I agree with that completely.
WILLIAMS: That's important. I mean, that's a great economic boost. Erin, what do you think in terms of how this will play out politically for President Trump?
ERIN MCPIKE, LEAD COVERAGE CORRESPONDENT, INDEPENDENT JOURNAL REVIEW: Well, I think you're going to see some big, resistant protests after this one because he's cutting it both ways. You know, he did get something on the board for the base, which obviously, the Trump administration is trying to get some wins on the board so that they can engage the base, make it happy.
But then I noticed today that the White House rushed to say, "Well, we're not going to make a decision on DACA just yet. They're just stalling that one.
WILLIAMS: So ultimately, do you think they're going to permit the DREAMers to stay?
MCPIKE: I think so. I think it's a stalling maneuver to cut -- again, throw another old bone to the base. Say, you know, "Hold up, we'll see."
WILLIAMS: Jessica, do you think they'll get to stay, ultimately?
JESSICA TARLOV, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I do think that they do. I mean, think that inherently, Donald Trump wouldn't mind if all 11 million people who are here illegally have stayed. But he's been in the Republican primary --
TARLOV: Yes. I mean, Donald Trump is a New York City guy. I mean, he's a builder. He is a friend of -- I mean, you hear it all the time -- a friend of police officers, and firemen and union workers. And I think that he, in the past few years -- and this is not just from the campaign, but certainly since he started shifting right and kind of went down the birther hole, and all of that, had moved to a place that I don't think is who he was years ago.
So I don't think he cares about the 11 million people, but I think that now, he has made these promises and he is very aware of the fact that, for instance, that border wall is not going up anytime soon, right? That's not going to get through in a spending package.
What I would say, though --
BOLLING: Oh, the wall is going up.
WILLIAMS: How do you know, Eric?
TARLOV: Can I just say about these parents, though? You know, the five million. This program only --
BOLLING: The wall will go up before this evidence of collusion between the Russians and the Trump administration.
TARLOV: I'll take that bet, $5, you've got. So these five million peoples, the parents though, I mean, to qualify for this program, you have to have no criminal record. And that was something that Donald Trump was really harsh on that we have to get the criminals out.
And also, for the next 10 years, we'll lose $230 billion from the American economy by kicking these people out because they do work, and they will impact the --
WILLIAMS: And put Social Security and a lot of -- they put money into these programs that they don't even get back out.
TARLOV: Right, even -- they don't just take entitlements.
TARLOV: They just want to be a part of our society and we should allow them to.
WILLIAMS: And I- and Eric, you agree that legal immigration --
BOLLING: Yes, legal. Yes, but the problem is these aren't legal.
MCPIKE: We make it easier.
WILLIAMS: OK, we've got to run. They're yelling at me, guys.
Coming up, Russia's saying that they have killed the leader of ISIS. How would his death impact the escalating threat from the terror group? Stay with us.
BOLLING: Welcome back to "The Fox News Specialists." Our specialists today are Erin McPike along with Jessica Tarlov, who is the author of the upcoming book "America in the Age of Trump." Oh, boy. Oh, boy, oh, boy. I'm going to have to read that one. It's lovely. Let's --
TIMPF: Do you hate Donald Trump? Whatever? Do you mean --
TARLOV: Actually, it's very fair.
BOLLING: Hold on, we have some very, very good news to announce. Russia announcing it may have killed Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, it says. Received information indicating that Baghdadi was present at a meeting of top ISIS commanders in Raqqa, Syria last month. The gathering was hit by Russian airstrikes.
But if officially verified, will this impact the onslaught of recent attacks across the globe by ISIS? Now Erin, I'll start with you. I think this is big news. I think demoralizing to ISIS. But you think differently?
MCPIKE: Well first of all, it has not been confirmed by a number of other anti --
TARLOV: Some experts say that he wasn't in Raqqa -- in that yet.
MCPIKE: Right, so we don't know yet. But I agree that it could be a moral victory for coalition forces for a while, but you have to think about ISIS as a monster. You cut off its head, two grow in its place. Or eight grow in its place.
And I'll tell you this, I went to a Pentagon briefing about last month. When they said Raqqa might not be the final battle. If anti-ISIS forces take back Raqqa, that just means the ISIS fighters who are left are going to go find another territory to claim. And you have to think about this leadership in the same way. Even if their leader is killed, another leader will come in its place.
BOLLING: So Kat, you and I may agree on this that there are places that we just don't need to be fighting a war. This may be one of them. But how about the good news that it wasn't Americans that killed Baghdadi allegedly, it's the Russians?
TIMPF: Russians, yes. Exactly.
The less that we have to be doing in these areas, I think it's better. I'm not somebody who goes, "American dominance, let's just be everywhere with all of our troops just to show how dominant we are." I feel like there's better ways we can spend our money than that, just personally. So I think that's something that you and I agree with.
TARLOV: Like on the Russia investigation
TIMPF: Yes, like, things at home, so yes. There you go. So -- yes, but then, you know, we have to just wait and see because this guy has been reported dead more than just this one time.
BOLLING: Yes. Eboni -- yes, it's -- and remember back when we first found out that Al-Baghdadi was the leader of ISIS. And he was up there and -- do you remember that? He was wearing, like, this big Rolex watch.
WILLIAMS: Yes, yes. Pimping.
BOLLING: This is the guy -- I think this is the one when you take the lynch pin -- the kingpin down, sometimes -- Erin's right, though. You're not going to kill ISIS, you're just going to turn the name into something else.
TIMPF: Well, think about all of the lone wolves who have been inspired by ISIS. They're not going to go away, either.
WILLIAMS: Yes. No, look, I mean, is this better than the alternative? Him still being out and about? Absolutely. But no, Eric, I can't say that this makes me feel particularly hopeful that the end of ISIS is near. Certainly, the ideology is so pervasive, unfortunately, and it's so spread out. Frankly, Raqqa -- I mean, I think a lot of people have already moved away from the area and we know that.
So I think that, really, what we need to do is attack ISIS on a multi-front type of thing and just get a whole bunch of people at one time. I think these one-offs -- one at a time doesn't really make feel…
BOLLING: Interesting. A little bit of a hawk there, it sounds like.
WILLIAMS: A little bit, yes.
BOLLING: Dr. Tarlov, let me ask you?
TARLOV: I'm about to surprise you.
BOLLING: You are?
TARLOV: I'm excited.
BOLLING: You're happy about this?
TARLOV: Oh, if it's true? I'm hugely happy about it for the moral victory front and also because I think that it was important. It was so central to Barack Obama's presidency as well that he could have those moments where he could come out and say we've got a big one.
And I think that when we are facing the threat of terror attacks, lone wolf attacks here, and people are afraid to go to Europe -- I mean, I'm heading to Europe tonight and I've certainly had conversations with people that were unpleasant to go to France and to England. And there's great concern there, so I think that it is good for morale, for the nation.
Not that you shouldn't be afraid anymore, but to say, we are making some advances and we can work with coalition partners that we are still in the midst of sanctioning, but maybe Russia can be useful to us in some way. So I wait on confirmation.
BOLLING: And we'll leave it on there. That's a great note to leave it on.
When we come right back, it's Kat on the street bringing some levity amid some very emotional news this week. Plus, powerful moments of unity at last night's Congressional Baseball Game in the wake of Wednesday's shooting. Stick around.
TIMPF: It's been a rough, emotional news week, to put it mildly. There's plenty of reasons to feel gloomy about things. Yesterday was National Smile Power Day, and on the streets of New York, some people still had some reasons to smile.
TIMPF: So today is National Smile Day. I don't really like people telling me what to do, so I was like, boo. What do you think about smiling?
UNIDENTFIED FEMALE: Smiling is pretty fun.
UNIDENTFIED MALE: I love it. Things make me smile. Food makes me smile.
UNIDENTFIED FEMALE: Just random acts of people in general.
TIMPF: People in general is why I frown. What kind of stuff do you like to smile about?
UNIDENTFIED FEMALE: Jokes.
TIMPF: Like telling some jokes in the sunshine with your family?
UNIDENTFIED FEMALE: Yes, that would do it.
TIMPF: So what else makes you smile?
UNIDENTFIED MALE: Bunnies.
TIMPF: But do you ever think about how, you know, they die?
UNIDENTFIED MALE: I love smiling.
TIMPF: You love smiling?
UNIDENTFIED MALE: Yes, it makes -- it's beautiful. It makes me look sexy.
TIMPF: It seems like everyone I talked to today really love smiling. What do you guys think?
UNIDENTFIED MALE: Smiling is very, I think, infectious.
UNIDENTFIED MALE: I think it brings out the best of people.
TIMPF: I feel like frowns don't get the credit that they really deserve. Frowns got a bad rep a little bit.
UNIDENTFIED FEMALE: Yes, they do.
TIMPF: You know, I feel like there's some positives to frowning.
UNIDENTFIED FEMALE: What about my smile. Ready?
TIMPF: Yes, it's cute. It's like -- and what about this?
UNIDENTFIED FEMALE: No.
UNIDENTFIED FEMALE: And I smile like --
UNIDENTFIED FEMALE: I love (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTFIED FEMALE: Is that a good one? What about this? No, not a good one?
UNIDENTFIED MALE: Like, kind of a stank look, you know what I mean? It's like --
TIMPF: Smiles like this?
UNIDENTFIED MALE: Smiles like -- yes.
TIMPF: Good one?
UNIDENTFIED MALE: It's a good one.
TIMPF: He's a liar.
UNIDENTFIED FEMALE: Smile to everybody. Doesn't matter who it is.
UNIDENTFIED FEMLAE: I think it's just a powerful tool of communication.
TIMPF: I feel like the right guy, for me, would be, like, more into
UNIDENTFIED MALE: Interesting.
TIMPF: So you don't think there should be, like, a frown day?
UNIDENTFIED FEMALE: No, no. I feel like the world is such a bitter place right now and it's such a sad place that if everyone just truly smiled at each other a little more, it might make the world just a little better.
TIMPF: I've been told I don't look approachable. Is that true?
UNIDENTFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTFIED MALE: How come you don't?
TIMPF: Because I don't want to. I don't always want to. Do you think I should smile a little more?
UNIDENTFIED MALE: Only for today.
TIMPF: All right. See, never, ever smile. You don't know who's falling in love with your frown.
BOLLING: Who edited that package?
TIMPF: Not sure who did.
BOLLING: Monica, probably. Good stuff. Good job, Monica.
WILLIAMS: Great job, Monica.
TIMPF: Last night, politics and partisanship took a timeout during the annual Congressional Baseball Game in Washington. Lawmakers and tens of thousands of attendees turned out to honor the heroics of the capitol police officers who prevented a massacre and paid tribute to the wounded congressman, Steve Scalise and the other victims of witness -- excuse me, Wednesday's shooting.
ED HENRY, FOX NEWS REPORTER: Just getting around second base, because remember, Steve Scalise was manning second base on that practice field.
MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS HOST: You can hear everybody chanting "USA." It's very moving here tonight, I have to say. I mean --
HENRY: And they're coming together for a prayer.
MACCALLUM: And now everybody is kneeling down to pray. Let's take a moment here.
MACCALLUM: This is Officer Bailey, who was injured and who took down the shooter with his Officer Greiner, who was also working with him. He threw out the first pitch.
PAUL RYAN, HOUSE SPEAKER: We spent every day together, working together. Our families are closer, staffs are very close. He's in the hospital. He's recovering. He's got a ways to go. We're all praying for him.
NANCY PELOSI, HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: We're all close to Steve Scalise, he's a lovely person. But this game is a game where we always come to have run. It's good for everybody. They do their very best and hope that our team wins. Tonight we're all Team Scalise.
TIMPF: A lot of heartwarming moments last night. Also, doctors provided an update on Congressman Scalise's health today, saying he's still in critical condition, but they've controlled his internal bleeding and his vital signs have stabilized. All great. Really, really --
BOLLING: Can I point out Officer Bailey -- that was the most heartwarming moment of the whole night. You know, he's the one who returned fire on the psychopath on Wednesday, throwing that pitch out. You just got to say, you know, thank God for men and women like Officer Bailey and the other Capital Hill police officer, female, who was also shot as well.
And just one a side note, he threw in a pitch better than Barack Obama did when he threw that pitch.
WILLIAMS: Oh, my God. Always.
TIMPF: Oh, just that…
WILLIAMS: Well maybe they're talking…
TIMPF: Well, the liberals did win, though. The liberals did win.
BOLLING: They did.
TARLOV: And -- but did you see they brought the trophy immediately to Steve Scalise's office, and that the captain -- that was always his plan, but he didn't tell the team until the end because he wanted them to, you know, remain competitive. But they immediately went straight for it. I thought it was fantastic. It was nice to see Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi together.
BOLLING: That was the most ingenuous moment of the night, when Nancy Pelosi, after spending the day trashing Republicans for the shooting of Republicans, blaming Republicans and Fox, and then she said -- then she has the audacity to go sit next to Paul Ryan and say it's Steve Scalise's tonight.
WILLIAMS: Well, she got off her talking points. And quite frankly, I think that's a problem because she's the leadership of the party of -- because I think the party is handicapped, quite frankly, by having her in the role because they can't grow beyond it.
I will say I was happy also to see all the LSU gear, like, all that purple and gold, it was a very nice nod to Steve Scalise.
MCPIKE: I was there last night and I would say that it is the most engaged audience I have ever seen at Nats Park. It was a nice night.
BOLLING: For this game? Because Nats are in the playoffs --
MCPIKE: Well, not now.
WILLIAMS: Is that Nats shade coming from you?
MCPIKE: But I like the Nats, but they always disappoint us.
WILLIAMS: Oh, yes.
BOLLING: You know what the good news is? Maybe -- the silver lining to all of us, maybe it brings awareness to this game and the money that they waste.
MCPIKE: Yes. A couple thousand a year.
BOLLING: Yes, so that the years going forward, they raise a lot more money.
WILLIAMS: They raised a million this year, so that's great.
TARLOV: I think so. Yes, no, I talked to a couple of people yesterday, staffers on the Hill who didn't normally go, and just friends from D.C. and they said we're all going. I think it's just sensational. And we know it's New Yorkers here. You know, what can happen out of times of tragedy and people really coming together and -- you know, besides Nancy Pelosi, that inauthentic witch.
BOLLING: Jessica Tarlov, she literally blamed conservatives in the morning, Fox News in the afternoon, for the shooting you know --
TARLOV: I love it, you… for that one.
BOLLING: -- the attempted murders of, you know, 30 or so Republicans. And then she pretends to be buddy-buddies with Paul Ryan.
TARLOV: So I don't think that what she said, we're all Team Scalise, that she was pretending there. She's known him for a really long time
BOLLING: You don't?
WILLIAMS: That's what I'm saying. I think those -- that was her coming off her talking point, the moment but she acknowledged that -- kind of an off comment, but a question, what are your thoughts on Nancy Pelosi being the face of the Democratic Party in this moment?
TARLOV: I actually think that when Tim Ryan, the young Ohio Republican challenged her for the leadership, I thought that that was a healthy thing, to be at least having the conversation about where the party is today and how we're going to win more elections.
I mean, we -- obviously, we lost big in 2016, but we lost over a thousand seats during Barack Obama's term. That conversation needs to be had. I do think that she has been and continues to be an effective leader, but I don't know what's going to happen in the coming years. And I think that we certainly need to be, you know, getting an excellent farm team up there, right? And pulling more people in like Tim Ryan and the Mayor from South Bend, Indiana, who is fantastic and was running for DNC chair.
There are a lot of young, exciting people, and the enthusiasm, also, on the young Democrats to get out there and start running, especially women, has been huge. Thousands saying that they're going to run. So I think it's -- I think the future is bright.
BOLLING: How long does the unity last?
TIMPF: It's already kind of not.
MCPIKE: Yes. I mean, I think there will be shades of it next week. But I don't think it will last much longer.
BOLLING: Like Monday morning-ish?
TARLOV: Once that health care bill drops, I think you will not see any unity anymore.
MCPIKE: Right. Probably not.
WILLIAMS: So sad.
TIMPF: It's very sad. But it's politics.
TIMPF: All right. Well, when we return, we will circle back with our specialists Erin McPike and Jessica Tarlov. Don't go away.
WILLIAMS: Time to circle back with our specialists, Erin McPike and Jessica Tarlov. All right, I will start with you, Erin. I have a question for you about your dog. I need to know the breed, I need to know how long you've had your dog -- since I'm a new doggy mommy -- and I love that your dog is named after Benjamin Franklin.
MCPIKE: Benjamin Franklin, yes. His birthday is July 3rd, one day before Jessica's book comes out. He'll be a year old on July 3rd. He is a purebred black lab, and I've had him since Labor Day weekend last year.
WILLIAMS: OK. You get criticisms that your dog has a real person's name, because my dog is named Carrie James and people, like, give me a hard time. Because they feel like it should have a puppy name like Coco or something.
TIMPF: I like that.
MCPIKE: I like having a real name. And people say to me that Franklin's a great name. And I've had people say, oh, he must be the smartest dog in puppy class, because his name is Franklin.
BOLLINGS: My dog's name is Freedom.
WILLIAMS: Freedom? I like that, Eric.
TIMPF: Your dog's name is Freedom?
BOLLINGS: Can I point out these two specialists just for one second right now? Erin McPike, one of the most well-respected journalists in D.C., we're thankful to have you. IJR. You work at IJR now. Great group of people. One of my must-reads in the morning.
MCPIKE: Oh, good.
BOLLINGS: And Jessica Tarlov, Dr. Jessica Tarlov. I'm not joking. You have a PhD in political science, right?
TARLOV: I do. Yes.
BOLLINGS: Yes, that's great stuff.
WILLIAMS: I have a question for you, though, Jessica.
TARLOV: Is it about my thesis?
WILLIAMS: So your book --
TARLOV: I promise.
TIMPF: Your book's coming out July 4th.
TARLOV: It is.
TIMPF: How can you do that when you're a Democrat? Which means you don't like America.
TARLOV: Oh, totally. Yes.
TIMPF: So tell us about your book.
TARLOV: Yes. I'm really excited. I wrote it with Doug Schoen, who's also a Fox News contributor. And I worked for him for a blissful four and a half years.
TARLOV: No -- what?
BOLLINGS: That could be the first time anyone talked about working with Doug as being blissful. But OK.
TARLOV: Doug is watching. I didn't say that. Anyway, so actually, it's not a partisan book. It's a --
TARLOV: No, no. It -- no, legitimately, it's not. It is a road map.
BOLLINGS: It's Friday. We have 30 seconds left in this show.
TARLOV: Anyway, it's a road map, a bipartisan road map to how we can address about 10 or 11 key issue areas, and leave whole solutions from the left and from right -- center left and the center right, actually -- to show how we can come together on, like, health care, and the economy, and national security. And it's really good. Thank you so much.
WILLIAMS: Thank you so much to our Fox News specialists today, both Erin McPike and Jessica Tarlov. And thank you all for watching. Make sure you follow us on social media, @specialistfnc on both Twitter and Facebook. And remember, five o'clock will never be the same. "Special Report" up next.
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