Transcript

North Korean threat: US sanctions no longer viable solution?

United Nations holds emergency meeting on latest North Korea ICBM test; reaction and analysis on 'The Fox News Specialists'

 

This is a rush transcript from "The Fox News Specialists," July 5, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: Hello, everyone. I am Eric Bolling along with Eboni K. Williams and Kat Timpf. We are "The Fox News Specialists." The world feeling somewhat more dangerous now after North Korea's successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, one that they say can now reach America, Alaska so far, as they work towards California, then onto Chicago, and finally, New York. The U.N. security council holding an emergency session this afternoon to address the crisis with Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., speaking out fairly aggressively. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: Make no mistake. North Korea's launch of an ICBM is a clear and sharp military escalation. Yesterday's ICBM escalation requires an escalated diplomatic and economic response. Time is short. Action is required. The world is on notice. If we act together, we can still prevent a catastrophe, and we can rid the world of a grave threat. If we fail to act in a serious way, there will be a different response.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: The Pentagon says the missile is new and never seen before, marking a major step forward for the north. And Fox News' Jennifer Griffin is reporting that U.S. officials had advanced warning of the test with satellites capturing the fueling of the rocket prior to launch. Before leaving for his European trip this morning, President Trump took a swing at China and its failure to help contain the rogue state, tweeting, quote, trade between China and North Korea grew almost 40 percent in the first quarter. So much for China working with us, but we had to give it a try. Eboni, and so -- and Kat, big, big news day today. There're a couple ways to deal with North Korea. I think you have diplomacy, which we tried for the better part of five decades, and maybe seven or eight presidents. Bilateral negotiations, meaning trying to work with these people, but he doesn't seem like, Kim Jong-un, wants to work with us. Further sanctions, honestly, I've been hearing this for years. But the one that we talk about, we touched on, may be the only solution barring some sort of military strike would be this massive cyber war, may be a covert cyber war on the North Koreans.

EBONI K. WILLIAMS, CO-HOST: Yeah. I mean, Eric, I don't personally believe diplomacy is ever going to work with someone like Kim Jong-un. I think that we know that. I think short of military strategies, we've got to get much more aggressive. I mean, I can appreciate Ambassador Haley saying about this, it's an escalation. Guess what? It's been an escalation for a long time now. My worry is that maybe we're looking at too little too late.

BOLLING: What do you think, Kat, do we tried in that order? Diplomacy, then bilateral negotiations, then may be some sort of sanctions. None of these seem to have worked. What's the next step?

KATHERINE TIMPF, CO-HOST: Right. And what I don't understand is when you talk about it in terms of China not wanting to help us, if this goes as badly for us, then it's bad for China too. They should want to help themselves at this point. If things get ramped up, we might see a nuclear South Korea, a nuclear Japan. China doesn't want that. So do it for themselves

BOLLING: Think about this though. Remember 1950, when the North Koreans attacked the South Koreans, China helped out. China helped the North Koreans, and may be even Russia a little bit as well.

WILLIAMS: And I'm ready for them to get called out, Eric, for exactly to what they're doing, which aiding and abetting option for nuclear North Korea North Korea.

BOLLING: All right. Let's meet today's specialist. She's a former political host for Huffpost live, a former host of the Alyona Show on R.T., and a political writer for the Daily Banter, but she specializes in trying to bring post partisanship to the news, good luck with that, Alyona Minkovski is here. And he's the author of GOP GPS, how to find the millennials and urban voters the Republican Party needs to survive, and he's a former communication staffer for Florida senator Bill Nelson, and Rudy Giuliani's 2008 presidential campaign, and he specializes in strategic communications, Evan Siegfried is here. Evan, we'll start with you. You published an article about this exact topic today. I read your article and I'm going to call you out a little bit on this my friend. You're brilliant, you're very smart, but again, you're focusing on more sanctions. We haven't had -- China's ability to get -- to the sanction table for 60 years.

EVAN SIEGFRIED, AUTHOR: Well, it's a question of who we're sanctioning. Obama, Bush, and Clinton, all tried sanctioning North Korea, and that didn't work. We need to sanction the people who enable North Korea, Chinese banks, Chinese companies, other foreign entities that give economic lifeblood to this killer regime. And when you do that, you're going to start to strangle them economically. At the same time, we need to call on places like South Korea and China to stop giving aid which undercuts sanctions. Between 1991 and 2015, South Korea gave North Korea $7 billion in aid, which allowed the North Koreans to stay in power. If you do that and you strangle North Korea economically, you'll actually see most likely a coup which will see Kim Jong-un be forced out on a more pro-western.

BOLLING: But that would require China to play ball.

SIEGFRIED: If you sanction Chinese banks and say there's no business dealing with the United States and the west, you bet China is going to play ball because they won't have any money.

BOLLING: Let me ask you, Alyona. You're a Russia expert I would say. Would that be fair to say? You're born there.

ALYONA MINKOVSKI, FORMER HOST HUFFPOST LIVE: Sure, I'm Russian.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: Would Russia fill the gap, the void, if China were to back out or start applying sanctions. Maybe Russia steps in. They're not afraid to trade with the North Koreans.

MINKOVSKI: Well, I think that -- for starters, sanctions don't have a good track record, right? They're not working currently against Russia. They haven't been working against North Korea. They haven't been working against Iran. And so they're not really a viable solution. And while China and Russia might not necessarily want to play ball, the United States also needs them. North Korea is not an issue the United States can go at alone. I think that we all can agree that we want to avoid any type of military conflict or military escalation on the part of the United States. And so, if you actually give these countries something to work with, right, rather than trying to slap them on the wrist and sanction them that might lead.

WILLIAMS: What is that look like, Alyona, if I can ask, giving them something to work with outside of sanctions?

MINKOVSKI: I think just having a dialogue, you know. The thing about Russia, for example, that I feel so many people fail to understand is that Russians will cut off their nose despite their face, right? They are a very stubborn country. And so, the more that you try to clamp down, the more that they are chided by the international community, the more resistant and stubborn they will be. And so, I think that if you make China and Russia feel like they're partners who are needed on the part of the United States, then maybe they'll come to the table.

BOLLING: Is there any getting China to the table, honestly, if we haven't been able to do it. I went back -- I went back, Harry Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush again, other Bush, Obama. Does Trump have to try something other than bringing China to the table?

TIMPF: Well, I think that if China knows what's best for China, not for us, for China, the worst things get for us the more likely they would be to want to get involved. Having to be instability there, having North Korea be a problem for us, China likes that. They don't want a war. That would be the worst for them. They'll have a refugee issue. You can have nuclear programs in Japan and South Korea. It's just a Chinese nightmare. So I don't know why they're not looking at this and being more concerned about it. I don't understand.

BOLLING: Big trading partner.

TIMPF: Sure, but that all goes away if we have to have World War III right there.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: I don't think anybody believes it's going to get there, Eric. I think that's the problem is that people have seen presidents -- you gave a beautiful laundry list of presidents who have really not.

BOLLING: Failed.

WILLIAMS: Completely failed, completely inefficient. I agree with Alyona, I think sanctions make us feel good. That's the problem I have with the Iran deal. There's no way to really enforce them. Therefore, they become completely ineffective. And I will tell you, Eric, I believe President Trump talked very tough on China as a candidate. I think it's time for the tough to follow through.

BOLLING: Allow me to bring our two specialists in. I'll start with you, Alyona. Is do you doubt Kim Jong-un's desire and willingness to actually put a nuclear warhead on a ballistic missile and send it our way?

MINKOVSKI: I don't think Kim Jong-un is a rational actor, so you have to keep that in mind when thinking about what his intentions may or may not be. I also think that he's someone who cares about his own survival politically and, you know -- yeah, tangibly, too. I do think that this is a political actor who very much also wants to be recognized on the world stage, wants to feel like he has some type of importance, and that's why they make these type of gestures that threaten.

BOLLING: So do you allow that to happen? If you just say he's unstable and you wouldn't put it past him to actually firing off a missile that could reach the United States?

MINKOVSKI: No. But I think -- I don't think that you allow for it to happen, but I also don't think that you overreact and say it's time to bomb.

SIEGFRIED: Let's be clear hear.

MINKOVSKI: The truth is nothing has changed, right? The population of South Korea and Japan are still in the same danger that they were before this.

SIEGFRIED: Kim Jong-un is taking his entire legitimacy of his regime on making this nuclear program. For him to disarm at this point, it would take massive amounts of incentive. And what does North Korea.

WILLIAMS: And he said, Evan, by the way, that's off the table. No negotiations.

SIEGFRIED: The only way they'll negotiate, if it's one-on-one because that gives them further legitimacy. When Dennis Rodman went there 2-3 weeks ago, they loved it. It was a victory for the North Koreans because they see this American who rationalizes them, putting their own people.

BOLLING: Evan, that's hindsight. Now let's be foresight. Let's go look forward. So then what? He's irrational -- we wouldn't put it past him, Kim Jong-un, to do something stupid. Sanctions haven't worked. Now what?

SIEGFRIED: I think that we have to get Russia and China on the table and on the same page. Their initial reaction yesterday was, well, we could propose a deal where the U.S. takes out the THAAD missile systems from South Korea in exchange for a North Korea disarming. North Korea, A, never abides by any agreements. And B, the THAAD missile system, they're not saying that because North Korea wants it out, it's because Russia and China view that as a threat to their own influence on the region.

BOLLING: Take a listen to -- I'm sorry, Kat. Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, he has some provocative analysis on Fox earlier this afternoon about what he said led us to this point with North Korea.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OLIVER NORTH, HOST, "WAR STORIES": We're paying the price for eight years of Obama's flaccid response to really existential threats from both Pyongyang and Tehran. Look, the Obama administration's nonproliferation policy which they put at the top of the list of things they wanted to do. It was simply a matter of unilateral disarmament. If we disarm, everyone else will. It was fatally flawed pacifist hogwash.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: You know my problem? Oliver North, war hero, I get it. But he just blames this on Obama.

TIMPF: Yeah.

BOLLING: This goes back -- I named eight presidents, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9, 10 presidents that we can hang this up.

TIMPF: Yeah. I certainly don't think that we can pin this on Obama, absolutely, not. What you're seeing in North Korea is just a bizarre situation. OK, Kim Jong-un is not just a leader. He's a god king over there, right? I mean, Kim Jong-Il official biography said that he has a divine birth and he never has to use the bathroom. And they control the media and all the people believe this kind of garbage. This is what creates someone just this crazy. If people all thought I was a god, I don't know what that would do to my head, probably, not good things. So now, to blame this on any leader, that's a little ridiculous.

BOLLING: Let me throw something at you, Eboni.

WILLIAMS: Yes, sir.

BOLLING: We spent the better part of a trillion dollars on the Afghan and Iraq wars. Conflict wars if you want to call them. We lost -- I don't know, several thousand Americans. What if we just -- this cyber war, I suggest. What if we spend, I don't know, $200- $300 billion, paying off people who knows cyber who can get in and start working their way, infiltrating the North Korean systems, nuclear and such. Bring them down that way.

WILLIAMS: Yeah. I actually -- I see Evan there shaking his head, so we'll get to that in a second. I'm not mad at that, Eric, because to me the options are getting more and more limited with each passing year, right? So what we know is their program is ramping up. We know as Alyona points out, the territories of civilians is the same. It's actually is getting bigger because now they're getting closer and closer here to the U.S., Alaska now, maybe L.A. soon. I'm open and willing to any and everything because containment doesn't work. These sanctions haven't worked. And by golly, if it's cyber, then let's do that.

BOLLING: Evan, it's called AUMF, the authorization of use of military force. Why don't we just get congress to authorize a couple hundred billion dollars authorizing our people to cyberattack this country.

SIEGFRIED: But we don't need an authorization for a cyberattack. But we have to remember.

BOLLING: We need something, don't we?

SIEGFRIED: For a cyberattack, we did that through clandestine services and we've done it to Iran and other regimes. But when you actually go out and perform this -- remember, North Korea will retaliate and they have. Remember, a month and a half ago, when they took over all the Western Europe computer systems in hospitals and held them for ransom. That was North Korea, according to Fox News. And we need to actually keep in mind that there will be retaliation, and what could that be?

BOLLING: Why don't we take them down, cyber?

MINKOVSKI: The thing about cyberattacks, and you mentioned Iran, and the efforts we've tried there to stall their nuclear enrichment program, they're just temporary solutions.

WILLIAMS: Band aids.

MINKOVSKI: They're just band aids. They're going to slow down the process but not actually fix it. What you need in a place like North Korea is to try to open up the world to this population. That they aren't starving anymore, so they have access to information about what's happening elsewhere, so that the regime isn't able to continue to clamp down.

SIEGFRIED: That won't happen.

(CROSSTALK)

TIMPF: They don't get to pick what they think over there.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: I'm going to start blaming.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: That's really -- that theory I just can't describe.

MINKOVSKI: Is this again pointing to that sanctions back fire and they only make people look more inward.

BOLLING: Sanctions seemed to be a lot of nothing for me. A big nothing burger.

WILLIAMS: Just a feel good moment, it doesn't work.

BOLLING: We paid the really, really smart people around the world a lot of money to go attack the North Koreans. Maybe I'm crazy. Kat thinks I'm crazy.

(LAUGHTER)

BOLLING: Up next, President Trump kicking off his second big foreign trip, and preparing for a contentious G20 summit meeting with foreign leaders. The stakes could not be higher. Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TIMPF: President Trump touching down in Poland, just a short time ago, and kicking off his second foreign trip abroad as president. Tomorrow, he's scheduled to deliver a major address from the square that was the center of the Warsaw uprising during World War II. But it's Friday G20 economic summit in Germany that is expected to have the big fireworks of this trip, including a scheduled meeting with Vladimir Putin. Alyona, you wrote a piece about this. I personally think that at least Trump can rest assured that no matter how he acts, most people are going to find a problem to have with it because they're really looking forward to being some sort of problem. How do you think that Trump should handle this meeting?

MINKOVSKI: Basically, what I wrote is that everyone is going to walk away disappointed from this meeting. No one is going to get anything that they want. And that's because -- well, because of the current political dynamics, there's not all that much that either Donald Trump or Vladimir Putin can really do. So, you're right. Trump because of all the heat that he's facing here at home with investigations into potential ties between his campaign and the Russian government, as well as election interference in 2016. He is under a lot of pressure to not act too nice to the Russians, right, to try to take on a tough stance and be in a tough position, but no matter what, people aren't going to be happy. But he also doesn't have a lot of concessions to get.

WILLIAMS: You warned against something I think we really need to be paying attention to is that between China and Russia, and if we make them both feel to alienate it, maybe they form some type of relationship amongst themselves, noting that their trade is up 30 percent between the two countries. What's your prediction there?

MINKOVSKI: Yeah. I just feel like -- you know, that that is something that we are not keeping an eye on. And again, that's going back to this whole approach to Russia where so much of our focus right now is on the dynamics between Trump and Putin.

WILLIAMS: But you have to be able to do more than one thing at one time.

(CROSSTALK)

MINKOVSKI: China and Russia share a huge border. Trade went up by 30 percent. A lot of Chinese tourism now is moving into Russia, and they're expected to spend about $2 billion just in tourism this coming year. And there's a new silk road in order to increased trade routes to China's planning. And I'm not trying to claim that relationship between China and Russia are super rosy. There's a lot of distrust in that area, too. But it's something that you have to keep an eye on in the meantime because that's going to hurt America down the line.

TIMPF: Right. And Eric, I really hate the fact that I feel like so much of the focus on this is going to be around stupid stuff like body language. Maybe they'll be timing how long the handshake is. And did he look at him this way. I don't really care about stuff like that. I care about having relationships and having policies that are going to put this country in a good place.

BOLLING: And I think Trump is the same way. I think everyone is going to analyze what the body language is, and who was the alpha male, who's the beta male, it won't matter because Trump acts the same way no matter what people are saying or accusing him of. Remember -- well, is he going to go soft on Russia? Russia is going to ask if the sanctions can't be lifted? Remember, President Obama put some final sanctions as left office. Russia is going to ask them to be lifted, everyone is going to say, well, is this part of a deal to get him in office? He doesn't really care.

The interesting part is he's going to Poland tomorrow -- today and tomorrow. He's going to make his announcement. He has a very friendly ally in Poland. And then he's going to head over to the G20 where he's going to sit down and probably get a cold shoulder from Merkel from Germany, because of his pulling out of the Paris climate accord. And then he's going to sit down with the two most important leaders in world to him, China's Xi, and Russia's Putin, and the three of them need to hash up two issues, North Korea and Syria, and get her done, right? Because the world is becoming a much more dangerous place with what's going on in both.

TIMPF: Do you think that it would be a mistake for him to bring up? Because a lot of pressure for him to bring up the election hacking. A lot of people want to see Trump do that, President Trump.

SIEGFRIED: I think he should bring up -- start looking forward to be honest with you. I think that we should stop Russia from ever doing something like that again, in terms of hacking in major party candidate servers. But, we also should be forward thinking, and we should look at how Russia can, as we were talking about in the previous segment, talk about North Korea, and help aid in that situation. Maybe we'll make a deal where we drop some of the sanctions in exchange for their assistance.

MINKOVSKI: But in order to look forward, you have to acknowledge the potential that something like election hacking actually happens, which the president haven't done and he consistently just called it a hoax. So you can't just say move forward without first stepping back to that part.

BOLLING: He could. Why would he have to address election hacking when he can say, as Evan points out, make a deal, we'll work.

MINKOVSKI: You can't just pretend this hypothetical may happen in 2018 based on something that is dominating the news cycle.

WILLIAMS: What if we split the baby, though. And we don't necessarily acknowledge it in this setting because, frankly, I don't think that would do us very much good. But, to your point, Alyona, we pay attention to it, we get our people involved on it to do -- put us in a position where it doesn't happen again, and then we move forward, deal.

BOLLING: I guess. But I think 2016 is in Trump's rearview mirror, and there's absolutely nothing in it for him.

MINKOVSKI: Right. But I'm just -- the domestic political dynamics, he has an audience to please here. And so, at least bringing it up, then allows him to move forward and talk about issues like energy, like the arctic, like Ukraine, like Syria, like North Korea, like China.

(CROSSTALK)

SIEGFRIED: One aspect that we're missing, which is China. China has been aggressively expanding, the new silk road. They're expansion into Africa, the Caribbean, and Central America, threatening American -- the economy by taking over.

TIMPF: We're all going to have an easier Friday, probably, than President Trump, a lot of tough stuff to handle. All right. When we come back, more than 40 states now saying they won't fully cooperate with President Trump's voter fraud panel. Can it still get answers in this investigation? And later, CNN does it again, this time accused of blackmailing the person behind the Trump-CNN wrestling video. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WILLIAMS: Forty four states are now saying they either will partially or fully rebuff information request from President Trump's voter fraud panel. Now many of them claim the commission is asking for confidential voter data that shouldn't be made public. However, in a statement this afternoon, Kris Kobach, who's the vice chair of the panel, disputed the existence of state resistance. But, is this setting up a major potential legal showdown between states and federal officials over the integrity of our elections? Eric, I want to start with you. Last segment, you made, I think, a very rational and understandable point that for President Trump the 2016 election is in the rearview mirror. He's looking forward. If that's the case, then why are we looking backwards on this voter fraud thing?

BOLLING: The vast majority today trying to figure out why in the world they're making this push. And I can only think that they're looking forward to 2018, but certainly 2020, for reelection. Remember, this could all be solved if we push through a voter I.D. law.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: Not going to happen.

BOLLING: Not going to happen, right. In the absence of that, all they're requesting is publicly available information.

WILLIAMS: But social security numbers and things like that, too?

BOLLING: Well, OK. You want to guarantee the integrity of the voting process, right? Again, as you aptly point out, why now, why this, when there's so many thing going on.

WILLIAMS: Kat, I'll go to you, too. Now, we all know the statistic, 1.8 dead voters on these roles, but even if that's the case, let's say that's - - we all concede that point, does that justify what some people feel is a very, very intrusive thing asking for social security numbers and things of this nature.

TIMPF: Well, cybersecurity experts are saying that this is basically a hacker's dream come true.

(LAUGHTER)

WILLIAMS: They want an internet portal.

TIMPF: Yeah. And one of the options in this request is saying you can send it over a secure email. Come on. States have a very legitimate reason to not want to comply with this. Especially, because voter fraud -- I mean, there hasn't been a study yet that's found it to be a huge, massive election swinging problem.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: You know where I'm going with this, right? OK. So there's that argument that says that voter fraud is a myth, right? That that's not a real thing.

TIMPF: It does happen sometimes, before I get attacked for that. Of course it happens. That's not what I said. I didn't say it was a myth.

WILLIAMS: Actually, I wasn't saying that you said that, Kat. I was saying that some people feel that that's completely a myth. And then also, some people say it's a very real thing, and therefore, we should go through every effort to make sure that we protect against it.

SIEGFRIED: Well, first we should establish that some of these states legally can't even disclose some of the information that Kris Kobach and the commission are requesting.

WILLIAMS; Yes.

SIEGFRIED: But I think it's all about protecting the integrity of our election process. And if you want to talk about voter fraud and disenfranchisement, in New York City between November 2015 and April 2016, 126,000 residents in Brooklyn were inadvertently purged from the voter rolls due to clerical error.

Additionally, in 2013, New York City's Department of Investigation sent 63 undercover people to vote without having any I.D. or just pretending to be other people. Sixty of them voted successfully. And of the three that vote or were caught, one of them was caught because he actually knew one of the poll workers. It turned out to be, like, his brother-in-law. But so...

TIMPF: This runs the risk of creating new problems of hacking.

WILLIAMS: That's the question. Is it worth it?

TIMPF: Taking something that has only been shown so far to be a minor problem, to now create huge new problems.

WILLIAMS: That's the question.

MINKOVSKI: There is no proof out there of widespread voter fraud. It's never been offered. But also...

BOLLING: Nor is there proof of Russian tampering having any effect on the election process, as well. But that doesn't stop the left.

MINKOVSKI: If you want to go back to the last segment.

BOLLING: The same type of thing that, honestly, the Trump administration is asking for.

MINKOVSKI: Well, what the Trump administration is asking for, if we're trying to find out their motivation here and why they aren't just leaving 2016 behind them, is because the hope is that, if you make people question the voting system, the integrity of the voting system here in the United States, then there will be more support for voter I.D. laws, for restricting early voting or same-day registration. And these are all problems that end up in voter purging. That makes it harder for Americans in this country to actually exercise their civic duty.

SIEGFRIED: I don't see how it's disenfranchisement to say, "You need an I.D. to vote." I can walk into a polling place on any election day in New York City and say, "Hi, I'm John Smith." And they'll say, "OK, here you go. Go ahead and vote."

MINKOVSKI: Well, a lot of people don't actually have I.D.s. They don't have their birth certificates; they don't have the proper documents.

SIEGFRIED: In New York City, one of the more progressive cities in this country, they offer you free IDs. And they will give you an ID to get an ID.

MINKOVSKI: Sure. New York City is not necessarily the problem.

WILLIAMS: It's not reflective of every place.

MINKOVSKI: We're often talking about people who often are lower income, often are minorities, often are the elderly that end up not being able to then access.

BOLLING: Do you see that all they are asking for, this commission, is publicly available information? They're not asking any state to break the law.

MINKOVSKI: But they're not. But that's why 44 states are saying no to them, is because some of the information, like Social Security numbers.

WILLIAMS: Yes. Are you going to give up your Social number, Eric? Because I'm not.

MINKOVSKI: Not available.

(CROSSTALK)

TIMPF: I'm not going to read my Social Security number on the air right now.

BOLLING: This is from right from their letter that they sent to the state of Iowa: "In accordance with each state's laws, in an effort to increase integrity," and there specifically, "I'm requesting that you provide to the commission the publicly available voter roll data."

SIEGFRIED: It gets into a question of whether or not you violate the privacy act of the 1970s, because it says you can't publish, as the federal government, any sort of personal data.

WILLIAMS: OK, well straight ahead, we will continue on this. But CNN embroiled in a new controversy, now being accused of blackmailing the man behind the infamous Trump-CNN wrestling video. We'll be right back with it. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLLING: Welcome back to "The Fox News Specialists." Our specialists today are Alyona Minkovski and Evan Siegfried. And we will continue the conversation right now.

CNN facing a new firestorm, now being accused of blackmail. The network's investigative team actually tracked down the person who made that Trump-CNN wrestling video the other day, and it blew up this week. Some on the network are trying to pass this off as innocence. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: The investigative team went back and found the guy who first created it. He took credit for it. And then here comes the remarkable part. He apologized. He apologized for having done this. This is a very full-throated, I think, genuine, honest apology. He has also asked that we not reveal his name or whereabouts. And we at CNN are honoring that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: But in CNN's online report about the story, things have a far more ominous tone. It says, quote, "CNN is not publishing the person's name, because he is a private citizen who has issued an extensive statement of apology, shown his remorse by saying he has taken down all his offending posts, and because he's said he's not going to repeat this ugly behavior on social media again."

And here's the interesting part: "CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change."

Tony Soprano would be proud. Now, that's called doxing. It's a practice of identifying and publishing users' private information, and it's heavily frowned upon.

Andrew Kaczynski, the CNN investigative unit editor, who led the dox threat, in my opinion, should at least be reprimanded, if not more. By the way, that guy has been an Internet bully for years. Kat, doxing. One of the more dangerous activities. Kaczynski threatened to out this guy who put together the video.

TIMPF: OK, well, this guy also, by all accounts, he's posted a lot of racist, anti-Semitic, awful garbage on the Internet.

What I don't get, though, is so we're not going to expose you for now, but we might? Does that mean that you're going to be, like, following this guy, using your resources to follow this guy? Make sure he lives the whole rest of his life with a CNN cloud over his head? "Maybe I'll get in trouble." Come on. That's petty and weird.

WILLIAMS: So it's the conditional nature of what you're talking about, Kat, that makes this not just kind of unsettling but, I'm sure as we'll get to, Eric, possibly getting into some legal terrain. Let's do it. Let's do it.

BOLLING: Let's take a listen to Ted Cruz. He has some opinions.

Oh, full screen. Well, let me see the full screen here. Anyway, here it is. "Troubling." This is Ted Cruz, Twitter. "Troubling. I assume CNN's lawyers are examining..."

WILLIAMS: Georgia statute.

BOLLING: "Georgia statute 16-8-16. Theft by extortion. If CNN constructively obtained the GIF's I.P." -- Internet protocol -- "address. It's a Georgia crime if they threaten to disseminate any information tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt or ridicule."

WILLIAMS: Yes, Attorney Cruz on the case.

BOLLING: Could he, could this Andrew Kaczynski or CNN be on the hook?

WILLIAMS: Yes, I mean, legally speaking, Eric, they could. Because if you look at the letter of the law and you look at that statute closely, the facts could correlate.

Now, do I think they're going to go there? Likely not. But I do think they put themselves in a very dangerous position with this type of conditional treatment. And basically, to me, threatening, if you don't want to say blackmailing, it's at least threatening this guy's exposure.

BOLLING: And Alyona, my feeling is that CNN took the right tack. You saw the on-air host talking about, "Hey, CNN is not going to publish the guy," even though they found it. Yet online, this Kaczynski guy just really took it right to the maker of that GIF.

MINKOVSKI: I think they made a bad call. And Kaczynski does, by the way, defend himself, say that that line has been misinterpreted. That really, all they were trying to say is that they didn't come up with a deal to tell this online user they were going to conceal his identity. But then say it that way

TIMPF: Right, exactly. It definitely came off as threatening.

BOLLING: The problem is -- Evan, is that originally, they said that the kid apologized first. It turns out -- I believe I'm not mistaken on this - - that he -- apparently, he's a young kid. He apologized after being threatened by...

WILLIAMS: Not young enough, Eric. Not young enough, Eric.

(CROSSTALK)

TIMPF: He's a middle-aged man. He's a grown man. A middle-aged racist meme-making man. But still, reacting inappropriately. Absolutely, CNN acting inappropriately.

SIEGFRIED: I'm going to partially defend -- I'm going to partially defend Andrew Kaczynski, and I'm going to go after the editors. Because apparently, it was an editor who inserted the infamous line which triggered the whole, "Did they just blackmail and say -- or threaten this guy?"

And why didn't the legal team at CNN, who reviews these types of articles, say, "Oh, by the way..."

WILLIAMS: Oh, blame the lawyers, Evan? Really, Evan, blame the lawyers?

SIEGFRIED: Not many people cry for a lawyer, Eboni.

WILLIAMS: I'm just kidding. I'm kidding. I know.

SIEGFRIED: Come on.

TIMPF: I feel like lawyers are probably getting paid a lot, you know?

WILLIAMS: A whole lot.

SIEGFRIED: One other point about CNN: when Trump posted the video in the first place -- it's not a GIF; GIFs are short. But when Trump posted that, we had members of the CNN press team saying, "Wait a second. This is violating Twitter's terms of service, because it's inciting violence against reporters." No. It was a juvenile, clownish video. And that's it. It wasn't a violation of Twitter's terms of service, and they set their own hair on fire and looked ridiculous in the process.

TIMPF: I just don't understand the way -- they took the worst of both ways of doing it. To try to make it just be like, "Yes, well, CNN is watching you, just so you know, to see if you do anything weird on your Reddit subthread." I mean, come on. That's petty and strange.

MINKOVSKI: I think it does show that's something that we deal with, with online anonymity.

TIMPF: Oh, yes.

MINKOVSKI: I think we've all probably been the victims of people saying really nasty things to us on the Internet.

TIMPF: Oh, yes.

MINKOVSKI: I know that I have. And on one hand, it's -- it's kind of too bad, right, that people get to hide behind it, but also people make mistakes. People...

BOLLING: Saying that -- saying things is one thing, and outing someone's I.P. address...

MINKOVSKI: I'm not agreeing with outing them.

BOLLING: ... it just blows my mind how...

MINKOVSKI: I'm just saying how it can be a very dangerous path, because then the rest of the Internet horde is unleashed. And then people get death threats, and they have people showing up at their homes. And that's why privacy actually...

WILLIAMS: And I think the danger in it, Eric, too, is the fact that, again, it's conditional. If he hadn't apologized, then what? It all hangs out there to dry? I think that's the part that I have...

TIMPF: "If this changes," again. Do they have a unit on him watching his memes?

WILLIAMS: They've got a car sitting outside his house right now.

TIMPF: Watching his meme activity, because I probably -- they probably could find something better to do with their time.

BOLLING: All right. We're going to leave it right there. Coming up, it's "Kat on the Street." After Fourth of July's festivities, what uncelebrated special day do Americans really want to recognize? Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TIMPF: Time for "Kat on the Street." Yesterday, of course, was the July Fourth holiday, and no one loves it more than I do. But I got curious and wondered if there was another special day that regular people would also like to celebrate. So I took my list to the street and tried to find out.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TIMPF: Big national holiday. What of the ones on this list do you think is maybe the second most important thing in our country?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the birth of Abraham Lincoln, because he did a lot for this country.

TIMPF: Even more so than the invention of text messaging?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Uh...

TIMPF: You just said the moon landing was fake news.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's right.

TIMPF: So would you like it more if maybe we had a Moon Landing Day?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm a science guy, so I would pick the moon landing.

TIMPF: So people in Sweden think that people in America actually did that?

What of these seems like it could be maybe the second most important day for our country?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anniversary of the first text message, for sure.

TIMPF: I agree. Because as an American, it's been the most monumental thing in my life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Boston Tea Party is too close to Christmas. That's the problem.

TIMPF: Oh, OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The holiday season, everyone is swamped.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, then we could get the whole month off.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Boston Tea Party, definitely.

TIMPF: More so than, you know, Ross saying Rachel's name at the altar?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a pretty big one, actually.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think when Ross says Rachel's name at the altar, that was a defining moment in the humanity. That was a very defining, unifying moment in humanity. I think that should be a national holiday.

TIMPF: I agree. Thank you!

Ross saying Rachel's name at the altar?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, who's Ross and Rachel? I don't even know who that is.

TIMPF: They're an American love story for the ages.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like the birth of Eric Bolling.

TIMPF: Oh, yes?

What about the birth of Eric Bolling?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Boston Tea Party?

TIMPF: More important than the birth of Eric Bolling? Don't say.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Say.

TIMPF: He really wants to drain the swamp.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, great.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know who that is.

TIMPF: But you like it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I'm into it.

TIMPF: Yes, me too. Me, too.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Very cool.

TIMPF: So a day off for that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. No work on that day.

TIMPF: No work on Eric Bolling's birthday?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'd say women's suffrage.

TIMPF: Women's suffrage, yes, that's pretty important.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Women's suffrage, for sure.

TIMPF: It's even more important than the birth of Eric Bolling?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

TIMPF: Savage.

For me, it's like a tie between women's suffrage and the season premiere of "ALF"."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is that?

TIMPF: He's a lovable furry alien named Gordon Shumway from the planet Melmac.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was 1986. That was before me. I wasn't even born then.

TIMPF: I wasn't either. But I -- you know, I developed interest in it later, which is, I think, significantly weirder.

I feel like there's a clear answer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, women's suffrage, of course.

TIMPF: Yes, women's suffrage. And "ALF." I like voting, and I like "ALF."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't watch television.

TIMPF: Well, you should start with "ALF."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm OK.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TIMPF: All right. And while we're talking holidays, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who sparked an uproar in NFL games last year for kneeling during the national anthem, used July Fourth to take a new shot at the USA. Kaepernick tweeting, quote, "How can we truly celebrate independence on a day that intentionally robbed our ancestors of theirs. To find my independence, I went home."

Kaepernick is touring the African nation of Ghana to trace his ancestral roots and find his, quote, "personal independence." Well, he did celebrate Independence Day by having the freedom to voice that opinion, which is one way he celebrated it.

I mean, I don't know. Eboni, I know you've defended him.

WILLIAMS: Oh, coming to -- coming to the black woman?

TIMPF: You've defended him. Multiple times you've defended him. So...

WILLIAMS: Of course.

TIMPF: ... what do you think about that?

WILLIAMS: You know what, Kat. I'm not going to be just teasing you. Right? I'm happy to speak out about this. Because I have defended his right, not the way he did it, wouldn't have been my choice, but his right to protest this country.

And I will say this James Baldwin quote to capture my feeling on this: "I love America more than any other country in the world, and exactly for this reason, I reserve the right to perpetually criticize her."

So we talk about being a more perfect union. If we really embrace the spirit of that, I think that this is completely appropriate.

TIMPF: Well, he doesn't -- of course, we all have that right, and that's one of the most wonderful things about this country. What do you think, Eric?

BOLLING: The system worked. So he had -- Colin Kaepernick had the right to be a jerk and kneel for the national anthem when the flag is flying. And so many Americans had died for that flag. He had a right to do that. But the system also worked. This is what happened right after that season. He got let go, because people were sick of it; and they didn't like it. And they weren't showing up to the San Francisco 49ers games.

WILLIAMS: I would push back if that...

BOLLING: Are you going to tell me it was his terrible year? Front and center?

WILLIAMS: I would push back on that and say that's not the only reason he is not playing football in the NFL.

BOLLING: Well, he's a talented guy.

WILLIAMS: No, not that. I'm not saying he's not talented, but he's not the most mobile quarterback I've ever seen.

MINKOVSKI: Well, we aren't always really tolerant of free speech is what you're trying to say, too. No, I -- I completely agree that he has the right to say whatever he wants.

BOLLING: Yes, but that's the way it should happen. He shouldn't be fined or jailed for what he did.

TIMPF: Of course not.

BOLLING: But we should certainly have the right to not buy his product.

MINKOVSKI: I mean, I became a citizen about nine years ago. I just found the picture yesterday, where I had a headband with two American flags on it when I went to my naturalization ceremony. And that's why I love about this country, is that I can say whatever I want. And criticize her.

SIEGFRIED: He has the right to be stupid, and we have the right to criticize him for it.

MINKOVSKI: He had legitimate points about the country.

SIEGFRIED: I think when you go out and compare -- I think when you go out and compare the rights you have in America and all of the many freedoms that everybody who lives here have actually had.

WILLIAMS: Wait, what's the comparison you're talking about?

SIEGFRIED: When you compare it to other nations, pardon me, where some women aren't even allowed to vote, drive cars.

WILLIAMS: When did he do that? When did Colin Kaepernick do that?

SIEGFRIED: I'm not saying he did. But if we, as an audience, compared and actually talked about that and if he were to go and look at what other countries denied.

WILLIAMS: That's not what he's saying. Right? That's not what he's saying.

SIEGFRIED: He also said that the system oppresses minorities.

(CROSSTALK)

MINKOVSKI: Not every nation has slavery as part of their economy for a long time.

BOLLING: Didn't he say that we don't have equal rights under that flag?

WILLIAMS: What he was talking about was black Americans. He didn't feel that black Americans enjoyed the equal protections of our country as, you know, our counterparts. Which he is not alone in that.

TIMPF: Absolutely, absolutely. Lots of issues there.

All right. When we return, we "Circle Back" with our specialists, Alyona Minkovski and Evan Siegfried.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WILLIAMS: Time to "Circle Back" with our specialists. Our specialists today are Alyona Minkovski -- excuse me -- and Evan Siegfried.

So Alyona, you will be in Russia next week, and we were talking in the break. Share with me some of the things you want to ask the young people or just people in general over in Moscow.

MINKOVSKI: Yes, I just think it's important to contextualize what's happening in both countries, and even current politics aside, Putin and Donald Trump aside, these are two nations that are both global leaders in their own right, that are rich in human resources. And I think that we should do whatever we can to avoid, you know, military conflict and try to find ways to get people in both countries to understand each other. I feel like there are a lot more similarities than we actually let on, too. So I'm looking forward to just speaking to people face-to-face to see what their priorities are, what their concerns are.

WILLIAMS: Can't wait to hear what you find.

TIMPF: What do you think we can expect from tomorrow and Friday?

SIEGFRIED: I think we can see that President Trump is laying the groundwork for a lot of these relationships he's going to need for the future. Tomorrow, he's going to get a very warm reception from the Polish people. I hear that every member of the majority party is getting 50 tickets to bring friends from anywhere in the country. And I think it's going to be very different to see new Europe in Poland versus old Europe in Germany and France.

BOLLING: If I can just take a second, I want to thank both the specialists very quickly. But I just got a note; I just got a text right now. We just made -- "The Swamp," thanks you you, just made The New York Times best- seller list, the first window available. No. 3 on the combined, No. 4 in the hardcover. Thank you all very much, and thank you...

WILLIAMS: Congratulations, Eric.

BOLLING: Thank you. Appreciate it.

WILLIAMS: That is awesome. Seriously, so proud of you. Super proud of you.

BOLLING: Thank you.

WILLIAMS: That's awesome. Well, we want to thank you all and thank our "Fox News Specialists" today, Alyona Minkovski and Evan Siegfried. Thank you all at home for watching. Make sure you follow us on all of our social media, @SpecialistsFNC on Facebook and Twitter. And our Facebook page is coming a very long way, so check that out. And make sure you remember, 5 o'clock will never be the same. "Special Report" is up next.

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