Transcript

Eric Bolling on a tale of two presidents

Wake Up, America: Compare Trump's record with Obama

 

This is a rush transcript from "The Fox News Specialists," August 3, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ERIC BOLLING, THE FOX NEWS SPECIALIST HEAD: Hello, everyone. I'm Eric Bolling along with Eboni K. Williams and Kat Timpf. And this is The Fox News Specialists. Well, a possible new phase for the Russia investigation, the Wall Street Journal reporting that special counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury in the Russia probe, indicating a growing intensity in the investigation into possible election meddling. So we'll go immediately to chief White House correspondent John Roberts with the latest. John.

JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: This would be another logical step forward in Robert Mueller's investigation. This was something that people here at the White House expected. It always comes as a surprise when the news of the announcement breaks even though it wasn't exactly an announcement because grand jury proceedings are typically kept secret, though the Department of Justice is being particularly tight-lipped about this one. We're getting some early reaction from the White House to reports that the grand jury was impaneled in a Reuters report that the first subpoenas have been issued from the grand jury in connection with that June 2016 meeting with Donald Trump, Jr. had with Natalia Veselnitskaya and others at Trump Tower.

Now from Ty Cobb, who is the newly appointed attorney for the White House counsel's office here at the White House, who's looking specifically into this Russia investigation, quote, grand jury matters are typically secret. The White House favors anything that accelerates the conclusion of his work fairly. That would be Robert Mueller talking about. The White House is fully committed -- is committed to fully cooperating with Mr. Mueller. And from John Dowd, who's part of the president outside counsel, is actually leading that team, quote, we have no reason to believe President Trump is under investigation.

Again, Reuters News Agency reporting that subpoenas had been issued by that grand jury in connection with that June 2016 meeting. We have contacted some of the people who are potentially the targets of those subpoenas, so far from them no confirmation that any subpoenas have been received. But a reminder that people like Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner have already been providing information. And in some cases, Jared Kushner's case, an interview with the Senate  Congressional committee. And so, they are fully confident that if the grand jury is looking into anything, they're looking into information that's already been supplied in other areas of the investigatory universe. Paul Manafort again has provided emails, phone records. Jared Kushner gave a lengthy statements to the Senate intelligence committee, appeared before the staff in an interview a little more than a week ago. So they are quite confident that the grand jury will be looking into items of evidence and testimony that has already been aired elsewhere, Eric

BOLLING: John, the president is going to take two weeks off starting tomorrow.  Congress -- Senate is going to take five weeks off starting tomorrow, and the house, six weeks. But I assume the special counsel and the investigation goes on during that time.

ROBERTS: The special counsel never sleeps, Eric. The president, I don't think he's going to be taking time off. This president rarely takes time off even when he's recreating, when he's golfing, he's typically working to some degree. But he will be leaving the White House on Friday, going to Bedminster, unclear whether he will come back sometime between now and the 20th when the White House is being renovated, given a fresh coat of paint inside, some new carpet, fix the air conditioning. Whether he might come back and work in the residence or he'll stay in Bedminster full time. We understand he'll likely be in New Jersey between Friday and the 20th. And while everybody else is off or back in the districts, as members of  Congress like to say, the work of the special counsel likely will continue.

Eric.

EBONI K. WILLIAMS, THE FOX NEWS SPECIALIST HOST: Yeah. John Roberts, let me ask you this, as you say, when they convene a grand jury typically that's in secret. And really, a lot of times people don't even know it's going on, but obviously, in this case, we do. And we've been hearing about leaks, leaks, leaks, leaks, coming out of this White House. Any idea, we know it's being reported in the Wall Street Journal, who this leak might be or how it came about?

ROBERTS: We don't. You know, the correspondent for the Wall Street Journal is a fine correspondent, clearly has some good sources, find out about this. Fox News has been making inquiries, and so far we're being stonewalled in an official basis by the Department of Justice. You know, Eboni, getting the information a lot of times is just knowing the right person, and having that person willing to talk to you at a particular time. Kat?

KATHERINE TIMPF, THE FOX NEWS SPECIALIST HOST: I want to ask, as you pointed out, this is something that was to be expected anytime there some sort of an investigation. But the narrative surrounding is that it's a huge concern. Is the White House concerned about how it's going to look politically? Is it going to be a tough political time for the White House right now?

ROBERTS: Well, any time you get any kind of information about something that an outside prosecutor is doing, it tends to change the political landscape ever so slightly or sometimes, in terms of great upheavals. This, again, is being portrayed by the president's council inside the White House here looking into the Russian investigation, and his outside legal team as just being part of the process. One of the president's attorneys told me that when they were in the realm of the prosecutor, they would impanel grand jury all the time. And very often, the grand jury would result in nothing. They would return no indictments. In other cases, grand juries do return indictments.

There're probably a lot of people who are watching our program right now who have been seated on grand juries, who either handed up indictments or they just listened to a lot of testimony, and came in every day and had lunch, and sat, and listened to hours and hours of testimony, and read reams and reams of evidence or had it presented to them, and nothing ever came of it. The impaneling of a grand jury doesn't mean that something is going to happen. The impaneling of a grand jury simply means that the prosecutor, in this case, Robert Mueller, has got some evidence and probably testimony that he wants to run by a panel, whoever peers might be involved in the giving of the testimony or might be named in the evidence, and they just want to get a fair read from these peers on what might be there. So again, it doesn't mean that they're about to file charges or that any indictments may ever be handed up. It's just that they want somebody and impanel a fair and impartial panel to hear this information.

BOLLING: All right. John Roberts outside the White House preparing for a new coat of white paint outside the new.

ROBERTS: I think it's all going to be inside, Eric. It's pretty white out here. I don't think they need a new paint outside.

BOLLING: All right. John, thank you very much. And we're looking at pictures live, President Trump is about to board Marine One. I guess he's going to take Marine One. I think he does take Marine One to -- oh, he's getting off to Marine One. Is this in New Jersey, guys? OK, Andrews Air Force Base. Oh, I'm sorry, that's right. He's going to West Virginia. He's going to that big rally that we're going to talk about in a little bit.

All right. Let's meet today's specialists. He made his musical debut in 1996 with the album, Dreaming Out Loud, hosts a weekly radio show called Throwback Thirty on Sirius XM, and he's a world famous country music star, so naturally he specializes in country music and songwriting, Trace Adkins is here. And he's a Fox news contributor, a town hall political editor, and the co-author of End of Discussion, out in paperback this week, he specializes in selling books.

(LAUGHTER)

BOLLING: Guy Benson. Trace, you know President Trump fairly well. Have you ever seen a president or have you heard of a president who's getting so much pushback from all ends and it seems never-ending, does it not?

TRACE ADKINS, COUNTRY MUSIC SINGER: Yeah, it just never stops and they just keep ramping it up. You know, I'm -- myself, you know, the impaneling of a grand jury, bring it on. Let's get this over with. Let's do this thing. I mean, if I was the administration, I would welcome that. Let's just end it.

BOLLING: Let me just clear that up, that was the president getting off Marine One, getting on to Air Force One, where it's going to head to West Virginia for that big rally. Do you think it puts a damper on the rally at all?

GUY BENSON, TOWNHALL.COM EDITOR: Probably not, because they're going to announce some political news out there, the crowd is going to love it. Trump feeds off these crowds, right? And they feed off of him. So I think it's going to be a fun scene in that arena later. In terms of the breaking news on this grand jury and the Mueller investigation, two things John -- to me, one is a legal point, one is a political point. Legally, I'm not a lawyer, but Andrew McCarthy is, he's a federal prosecutor in this city for a long time, he tweeted moments ago that this is an indication that the Russian investigation is no longer merely a counterintelligence investigation, it is now a criminal investigation, which he says could be a significant development.

Politically, this is just a question I have, does this box in the president more if he's even entertaining the possibility of firing Mueller? Because if the investigation is escalating and now there's a grand jury involved, if he comes in and pulls the plug, optically it looks really bad. And if you thought the cries of obstruction were loud with Comey, if he does it with Mueller, especially now, I think that might be a tough spot for him.

WILLIAMS: I think the stakes -- I agree with you Guy on that point, the stakes becomes higher now that this grand jury has convene, certainly. But I think Trace, actually, takes the right attitude. If you're the White House and you really do want to welcome this, let it be completely flushed out by way of investigation. There's a lot of ways, John Roberts points out that these can end. A lot of times, no bill, even if there's an indictment. We don't necessarily know if that means something bad for President Trump himself. So let this thing play out in its full capacity, Eric.

BOLLING: And as you point out, Eboni and Trace. Ty Cobb, the lawyer that John Roberts referenced says, quote, the White House is committed to fully cooperating with Mr. Mueller, and looks for -- it favors anything that accelerates the conclusion of his work fairly. I don't know. It seems like they're going to be on the case for quite a while, though.

TIMPF: Again, I just want to wait and see this play out. Guy, I think that's interesting. I thought too about criminal charges. Again, we don't know will it be on President Trump. We don't know they'll be an indictment. We don't know anything yet. I feel like people are jumping to say this is nothing. I'm not worried about it. This is normal. Or they're jumping to say, see, gotcha. I don't want to say it's a nothing burger. I don't want to say its conspiracy burger. I'm just saying like, wait, I haven't got my food yet, so I'm not going to judge the burger.

BOLLING: So, referencing what Guy points out, the Republican Thom Tillis and Democrat Chris Coons, members of the Senate judiciary committee incuse the bill, called the special counsel integrity act today, that would allow court review of any possible firing of any special counsel. Meanwhile, Republican senator Lindsey Graham and Democratic senators Cory Booker, Richard Blumenthal, and Sheldon Whitehouse, introduced a similar bill today, the special counsel independence protection act, takes the Tillis-Coons bill one step further, requiring a court approval before removing any special counsel. Both bills suggest -- Robert Muller, amidst calls for his resignation. Now Eboni.

WILLIAMS: All right.

BOLLING: The president has the right, has the power, hast the constitutional authority to fire the general counsel, special counsel, but now you've got two bills, one in the house, one in the Senate, saying you can't do it without our approval.

WILLIAMS: When Guy talk about the president being boxed in on this issue, that's the type of political boxing and that we are talking about. How could he do it if he really wanted to, Eric? He still could. Where he could probably do is fire Rod Rosenstein, right? Let go of him as deputy A.G. around this. Bring in a new deputy A.G. and that person could then -- because that's the person that brought Mueller on board, Rosenstein. So that could the kind of a way around it, but the optics are going to be bad very much so, Guy, across the board.

BOLLING: I wouldn't disagree with that. I think at this point -- I've seen nothing, 0.0 Russian collusion, 0.0 evidence of Russian collusion, and I think at this point the media has done it, and some Republicans have done it to him, too, that you can't fire the special counsel.

BENSON: And keep in mind, Eric. Those bills that have been introduced happen before the news broke on the escalation of the investigation. So I think it makes it even more politically difficult for him to move on that front. But I'm really glad that you highlighted the Ty Cobb, I love that name, by the way.

TIMPF: I know.

BENSON: The Ty Cobb statement. That is exactly the right tone that the White House should be striking. The question is, will the president echo the tone of his own attorneys?

TIMPF: Right, exactly. We haven't seen any tweets. We've seen less of that going on since we had Kelly.

WILLIAMS: Wait until the rally.

TIMPF: But -- Yeah, I was going to say. He's going to come out with some -- a new version of, you're boy scouts, but you know life kind of a thing.

BOLLING: Trace, let me ask you this. So Special Counsel Mueller puts together 16 high-price, high-payed, hotshot lawyers, right? Why did they leave their law practice to come over and spend some time investigating the president?

ADKINS: You know -- well, they want to crucify somebody, but I heard somebody say there's no reason to believe that such and such is under investigation or this guy is under. If I had anything to do with the administration, I would just go ahead and assume that I was under investigation, you know. They're investigating everybody, all right. They're in everybody's back pocket at this point, so.

BOLLING: Let me throw this at you guys real quickly. We couldn't figure out why James Comey was leaking his memos, it seems a little too -- I don't know, it seems strange for the FBI director who was supposed to be quiet about things. He was leaking his memos. You hear the story today, what James Comey signed?

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: Selling books, $2 million book deal, James Comey.

BENSON: Yeah. And I bet you that number skyrocketed after he got fired. So I think that Mueller has an excellent reputation. I trust him. I do think it's still fair to point out he's very close with Comey. Could that impact the investigation on that front? And a lot of these lawyers that he's hiring are Democrats and Democratic donors.

TIMPF: But still you can't fire him.

BENSON: Right.

TIMPF: If you think that the Russian investigation is politically a bad look, which it is, firing him that would be mass chaos.

BOLLING: You do realize why Trump is so disappointed with Jeff Sessions because he stepped aside and this whole mess happened because.

WILLIAMS: He set the whole thing in motion.

BOLLING: He stepped aside, yeah.

WILLIAMS: I would say those that are waiting around with salivated breath though around the Comey book, it got to go through the DOJ.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: It's going to be so watered down by the time that thing hit the shelves.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: We're going to leave it right there. GOP senators made a drastic move today to bolster border security and crackdown on illegal immigration, that story and much, much more when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TIMPF: The battle over border security continues to intensify on Capitol Hill. Earlier today, Senate majority whip John Cornyn introduced legislation aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN CORNYN, SENATE MAJORITY WHIP: Since 9/11, we've seen how important it is for us to know who is coming into our country and what their intentions are. The border security provisions focus on three areas, additional infrastructure, like a wall system, fencing or levees. This bill also stepped up enforcement of our current laws by ending catch and release by enacting Kate's law, and holding sanctuary cities accountable.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TIMPF: Now, President Trump took a hardline stance against illegal immigration early on in the campaign. It's one of the issues that helped him win the White House. However, Guy, help him win the White House, do you think it's going to be something that people beyond his base will support?

BENSON: I think this is an issue, especially on border security, that a lot of Republicans can coalesce around. It's a uniting issue. Because when we talk about immigration more broadly, there are different camps within the GOP. There are people who want a path to citizenship, maybe a path to legalization, but not citizenship. People who say deport. One thing that everyone agrees on is we have to secure the border and that should come first, because whenever the Democrats get involved, they say, well, we'll secure the border but also we'll do these other things at the same time. And what conservatives say is no, no, no. You need to prove to us the confidence of the federal government to secure the border, which you have not proven to us. And this is a first piecemeal step that I think in the right direction, and would garner quite a lot of support across the spectrum, at least within the Republican Party.

TIMPF: Eboni, I'm all about securing the border, got to do it. However, I don't know if we need a wall for that.

WILLIAMS: Yeah. You know my theory. I think Trump's rhetoric is so effective.

TIMPF: Exactly.

WILLIAMS: But, no, I actually believe in securing the border, I believe in sovereignty. And I'll go even a step further, Guy, I think they're Democrats that are in very Trump-favorable districts.

BENSON: Yeah.

WILLIAMS: That if they do what you're suggesting, which I think is very smart, and they isolate the border security issue on its own, they will even get some Dems, very limited, but some Dems buy-in. They can get that done I think very handedly.

TIMPF: Eric, you're smiling over there.

BOLLING: I'm smiling because you know what this is, right? This is a day after President Trump introduces his policy. It's pretty much a similar policy. I mean, we're talking about, you know.

WILLIAMS: Big difference though, right?

BOLLING: Well.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: No, no, no, I'm not talking about that portion of the policy. I'm talking about what Cornyn put forward which is the anti-sanctuary city and the Kate's law stuff. That stuff that Trump has proposed for a long time. We got the Kate's law through. Remember they got the Kate's law through in the house. We were here when they voted. So I get it, Cornyn. I'm seeing what you're doing. But, thank you -- embrace Trump's plan. This is good.

TIMPF: Do you like this? Do you like the way that President Trump talks about immigration? You like this plan?

ADKINS: Yeah, I do. I think they're going to get in serious trouble when they start messing with sanctuary cities. I know those people are going to raise hell, you know. But it needs to be done, and I don't understand what the legal hold up. That whole thing is so ridiculous to me. I just can't even imagine why we've even -- are still trying to have intelligent conversations about that. It's just so ludicrous, I just don't get it.

WILLIAMS: I actually agree with you. You know, I think, we don't get to cherry pick our laws.

ADKINS: You need to follow the law or you don't follow the law.

WILLIAMS: I completely agree with you.

TIMPF: I think that most Americans agree with that part, right? I think when we talk about legal immigration, people have more nuanced view. We talk about legal immigration and, more particularly, when we talk about people who commit crimes and go to jail and they're here illegally.

WILLIAMS: Are those bad hombres?

TIMPF: You talk about getting people like that.

BOLLING: Are we all on board now that we're against sanctuary cities?

(CROSSTALK)

TIMPF: The sanctuary cities issue is just more -- how far they can go to force local government to do the federal government's job. So it's just like a constitutional technicality for me, but they need to be following the laws.

BOLLING: But they're not. I mean, you can take it to marijuana laws, too. We've also tell them, you want to tell Colorado, Washington, and eight other states, and 50 other districts, that they have to give up their pot laws.

TIMPF: I'm not talking about states choice, I'm talking about the federal government forcing local police officers do their job. I do think that it's ridiculous that there's so many people who are -- getting arrested over and over again, and being able to stay here. I think that that's something everybody can agree on, right? Like, I don't understand.

BENSON: Like the guy who murdered Kate Steinle.

TIMPF: Exactly.

BENSON: He got in five different times. And then, they also try to tell us in the same breath that the border is mostly secure. The same guy got back in four times and murdered a beautiful young woman like -- that's where some of the rhetoric in Washington just does not match up with what people obviously understand to be the truth.

WILLIAMS: But there's also a systematic failure, too, right, Guy? I mean this is a guy who's convicted multiple times of felonies, sent back across the border, comes back -- like how does that keep happening?  So that's a systematic failure as well. Let me ask you this though, Eric Bolling. Yesterday, we see the president coming out with immigration policy that targets legal immigration. Today, we see this one targeting illegal immigration. I'm a little bit confused as to why not do the illegal which is going to have broader buy-in politically first.

BOLLING: He did, too. It was part of his plan. By the way, I was thinking about this, Steve Miller must been part of the advisory board putting that proposal together, that's why he delivered it yesterday. But it was. It was multipronged. It wasn't just cutting down on legal immigration. It's also pushing back on sanctuary city laws. And, you know, it's a robust, a broad, a comprehensive.

WILLIAMS: Yeah. I was just wondering why not do the part that's probably going to be a little easier first. I'm just asking the question, I don't know.

BOLLING: I don't know. Is this going to be easy?

WILLIAMS: Easier.

BOLLING: The sanctuary cities?

WILLIAMS: Easier.

BOLLING: This might be the hardest part of it.

WILLIAMS: You're probably right. Politically, you're right.

BOLLING: Denver today, they're contemplating being a sanctuary city and pushing back on all federal law.

WILLIAMS: Unbelievable.

TIMPF: I think that we need to look at the welfare aspect of it. And I think that instead of having something like a wall, a good thing to do would be to eliminate those welfare incentives, because I've never understood how anyone thought it was a good idea to say, hey, don't come over here, but if you do, we'll give you a ton of stuff. I never, ever understood how anybody thought that that was a strong point of view. It's great to be nice, but we all have to be, you know, have sovereignty in this country, right, Trace?

ADKINS: Well, that's what I said. If they're going to start poking these huge, big D, Democratic bastions with a sharp stick, and they're going to start seeing things are going to get ugly.

(LAUGHTER)

TIMPF: It is tougher though politically, Eboni. I agree. I mean, what do you think about yesterday legal immigration?

BENSON: Well, I think there were bits and pieces of it that I liked and other parts that I was more concerned about. But one of the elements that I think should be obvious and commonsensical to every American is when we are inviting people into our country to stay here and giving them green cards, why not put people who speak the language, who have skills, who can help grow our economy.

BOLLING: That's racist. Don't you know, Guy, if you do that you're a racist?

BENSON: That's how they argue, but it's just -- like I saw the New York Times reported on polling on this, on the English-language question, which was the whole substance of that back-and-forth with Jim Acosta and Steve Miller, 75 percent of Democrats and 95 percent of Republicans believe speaking our language is part of being an American. That's not racist. That's America.

WILLIAMS: The GOP -- they've got a message like what you just did it. You've got to push back on that racist rhetoric, because there're real racist things happening in this country every day. Immigration policy isn't one of them. And I think the GOP has to be unafraid to push back on that.

TIMPF: Coming up, an attacked by the Taliban on a NATO convoy leaves two U.S. service members dead and four other injured. Now, President Trump says the U.S. is losing the war against terror in Afghanistan. What is the administration doing to change that? That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WILLIAMS: Welcome back to The Fox News Specialists. Our specialists today are Trace Adkins and Guy Benson. We'll now continue the conversation.

President Trump is extremely frustrated with the way things have gone in Afghanistan as of late and is hinting that the war's top general could be canned.

According to officials, during a July 19 meeting with Defense Secretary James Mattis, Trump suggested General John Nicholson, commander of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan, be fired, because he's not winning the war there. This on the heels of a tragedy in that region. A suicide bomb attack on a NATO convoy earlier this week left two American service members dead and four U.S. troops wounded.

Trace, I'm going to come to you on this. We've been there for over 15 years. Over 2,350 deaths. What does winning in Afghanistan even look like? Do we even know?

ADKINS: Oh, my goodness. I don't -- I don't know, but let me begin by saying my heart always goes out when I hear these -- these tragic stories. And I get to see a lot of these wounded warriors every night...

WILLIAMS: Perform to a lot of them.

ADKINS: ... at our shows. And I've been to Afghanistan a couple of times, and I actually think it's beautiful. But it's the Wild West over there, and I don't know what we're going to do about that. You know?

BOLLING: So Trace, in the White House right now, you have McMaster and Mattis who say they need more help over there; they need more bodies, send more American people, troops, advisors, whatever capacity. Yet Bannon and the other crowd says there is no winning in Afghanistan. Maybe it's time to pull it back. What do you think?

ADKINS: I was there in '15. General Campbell was in charge at the time, and he told us when we were there, he said, "You guys are the last, probably the last band that will come over here and entertain the troops, because we can't -- can't protect you anymore. We don't -- we don't have the troops; we don't have the men. You know, we just can't" -- he didn't come out and really say that, but that's what he was saying. You know, we can't protect your guys anymore. So yes, they need more. I mean, if you want to win, yes, you need to put more bodies, more boots on the ground. Sure.

TIMPF: I disagree with that. I don't know that we are going to be able to win. We've been very involved there. As Eboni pointed out, it's been 16 years now, longest war that we've ever been involved in. And still the U.S.-backed government there controls less than 60 percent of the territory. And everything we've tried to do over there has been a mess. We've spent almost $9 billion trying to control, stop their opium production there, and it's bigger than ever before.

I don't think that this is a winnable war. And we've wasted so much money and lost so many lives trying to do something that I just don't think is possible.

WILLIAMS: Guy, let me ask you this. What I see from President Trump in his first six months in office -- seven now, I supposed -- is that if you are not getting some kind of result that is measurable, you are on the line for termination. And I think a lot of people voted for him for that reason. Is that your perception of what's going on and what this leadership in Afghanistan?

BENSON: Yes, there's a couple things. First, when I saw they the rundown today and I saw Afghanistan was on it, I said, "Thank God." This is, like, a forgotten war. We have so many people over there fighting and dying in that war, and it gets talked about so little on TV, and you know, not in the headlines. So I'm glad we're discussing it.

In terms of this report that Trump was maybe discussing firing the top general there, the White House did fire back, saying that was misreported and overblown. He's upset with the strategy but not talking about firing anyone, and this is yet another -- another leak.

WILLIAMS: Is that so far away, though, in a Trump administration?

BENSON: I don't know.

WILLIAMS: I say that in a positive way, Eric.

BOLLING: What do you mean?

WILLIAMS: I think that that if you are not demonstrating -- I think a long time in Washington it's been like this. Even if you're not doing your job or you're not doing it well, you get to stay. That's just the way things have been done in Washington. I think that's largely what was referenced to the swamp.

I think, in this Trump White House, if you're not getting results, and you're not being productive, you might be gone.

BOLLING: So right now, in the White House, as I mentioned, Steve Bannon, senior policy advisor, said, "Enough is enough. We need to pull it back." Meanwhile, McMaster and General Mattis, the secretary of defense Mattis, says we need to add more troops. The question is what is a win in Afghanistan?

ADKINS: Well, one of the things you're never seeing in the media or the press and we don't do it purposely, are the Taliban casualties. What are their numbers? You don't know.

BOLLING: Yes, but they'll never give up until their numbers are zero left to fight. Do we do that? Do we continue fighting until they're done? I don't know.

BENSON: It's not like we're there for no reason. Right? So I share some of your skepticism of the mission and being there forever, but we were attacked on 9/11, 3,000 people murdered in this city. That was hatched in Afghanistan, or at least there was a lot of safe haven given to al Qaeda by that government. Like, this was a righteous war. There's a reason why we're there, and if we leave, then what? Right? There's no good option.

BOLLING: Let me take it one step further, Guy. Then what if we don't leave and we fight that? And everyone moves over. Bin Laden's son, we talked about it yesterday. Bin Laden's son wants to be the new bin Laden, king of terror, crown prince of terror. Aren't they just going to spark up somewhere else? Are we going to chase them around the globe, trying to kill them?

BENSON: And therein lies -- therein lies the dilemma, where I think that aggressive counterterrorism, we should all agree that. Nation building is a separate question that has gone not so well.

TIMPF: Not so well is putting it very mildly.

BENSON: Not so well.

WILLIAMS: At the very, very least, yes.

So by the way, what you're currently looking at right now are huge crowds gathering in Huntington, West Virginia. The President Trump rally is scheduled for 7 P.M. tonight. Guys, we know he loves those huge crowds, and they love him back.

But next, it's time to "Wake Up, America." Despite what the mainstream media may say, President Trump actually has a very long list of accomplishments from his time in office thus far. Mr. Eric Bolling will break it all down. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOLLING: Time to "Wake Up, America." A tale of two presidencies. On one hand, Donald Trump is a popular president with real Americans, the heartland. Tonight the president will head to West Virginia for a rally. Look at that. Look at all those people. Look at the people already waiting there for the president. They lined up last night just to see him.

Now, you've heard it from me 1,000 times, stop listening to the polls, stop listening to the media, and stop listening to the anti-Trumpers. Listen to the people.

Now to the other presidency. The coastal elites, along with the mainstream media, are constantly trying to derail the president on all fronts. "The Washington Post" just published leaked classified phone conversations between President Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Forget the fact that these leaks are highly illegal. They're also substantial national security risks. Leakers need to be caught and prosecuted, and the media needs to realize the risks they pose by encouraging these leaks. It's a dangerous game they're playing.

But when grading a presidency, the two most important factors are clearly the economy and national security. President Obama presided over eight years of economic malaise. President Obama presided over the massive expansion of ISIS terror and homeland terror. President Obama presided over volatile civil unrest in our communities. President Obama was a failed presidency.

President Trump, however, has a robust economy. ISIS is just about defeated. Supreme Court is intact and conservative. And by the way, have you heard of any race riots in Ferguson or Baltimore recently?

So you decide which matters most. Your economic well-being and your security or a conversation with the Mexican president. Bottom line: Trump has fixed most of the Obama failures, and I'd call that a successful first six months.

Trace Adkins, you know, I've been promoting this book for the last few weeks, and you go out and you talk to real people, the people in the heartland. They love Donald Trump. When you go out on stage, do they like -- do you get the pulse of the people?

ADKINS: You know what? I don't go there. I don't go there in my shows; I never have. I never have. I'm one of those entertainers, that is like, that guy didn't pay -- he didn't buy a ticket to come here and me pontificate and puke up my political views on stage just because I have a microphone. I don't do it, man. I just don't do. I sing my songs and maybe try to say something funny every now and then, and I get off the stage. You know, I don't like guys that use the bully pulpit of a concert hall to beat people over the head with it.

TIMPF: Like Green Day?

ADKINS: Anybody. I don't care what your political bent may be, just don't do it.

BOLLING: Roger Waters played a Trump balloon like Trump being, like -- spray-painted with a nasty picture of Trump on a balloon, floating around his concerts.

ADKINS: But you know, just to say something about what you just said, I like what Tennessee Senator Bob Corker said today. You know, they just need to fire everybody in that White House, get rid of them.

BOLLING: The leakers?

ADKINS: Whoever. Yes, just -- and don't be careful about it, I think were Senator Corker's words. Don't be careful about it. If you have an -- just any -- any inkling of a suspicion, get rid of them. Just get them out.

BOLLING: What do you say, Eb? The Obama failed presidency?

WILLIAMS: I mean, President Trump is six or seven months in. Let's give him a little bit more time before we do a fair comparison of who's a failure and who's a success.

I will give you this much. I think President Obama, terrorism absolutely grew under his watch. That's undisputable. So I'll absolutely give you that.

The economy stuff, I think I have to look at it in tandem. And I just -- you know, I think it's really funny how now, all of a sudden, these low unemployment numbers are given such gratitude and weight behind them. But when we saw those numbers, Eric, go down, down, and down and down under

Obama, those numbers were picked apart; they were fake numbers. They weren't real numbers. Those weren't real jobs. They're low-paying jobs. They're Wal-Mart greeters. But I just want some consistency in the unemployment issue.

BOLLING: Well, it is. This is the highest in history. The employed Americans is the highest in history.

WILLIAMS: I understand. But you know what I'm saying. It's the same number we've been looking at for the past eight years.

BOLLING: OK, fair enough. I remember President Obama blaming the prior president for what was going on for a while.

WILLIAMS: And I think that's raggedy, too. Every man or woman in the White House should be accountable for their own figure.

BOLLING: There you go. Your thoughts. On anything.

TIMPF: Oh, boy. No, I think that President Trump has strengths and weaknesses. There's no doubt, there's been some things very messy in the White House, Eric. There's no mistake about that. However, there's also no mistake about the fact that finally we have somebody removing regulations, particularly environmental regulations. People are afraid to do it, because it looks mean, when really, pretty clearly, the solution is innovation and green technology and those sorts of things in terms of -- because that's, you know, you can get the economy going and you can help the environment.

So no, he doesn't get enough credit for those things. The economy is doing great, and it is because of lessening the regulations. But you know, it's a little bit of both. You know, it's a little bit of a nuanced view. And I think sometimes President Trump does step on his own toes, though. If he wasn't, you know, talking about the Russia investigation so much, maybe we would talk about these things a little more.

BOLLING: Guy.

BENSON: You mentioned the failed presidency of President Obama. I think one area where that is indisputable is looking at his own party, especially at the state level. He decimated the Democratic Party over the course of his eight years. And we're going to watch this rally tonight in West

Virginia, the big announcement we now know, Governor Jim Justice, a Democrat in West Virginia, one of the few left in the country, a Democratic governor, he's quitting the party, coming back to the GOP, which will make it 34 out of 50 governorships controlled by the Republicans. That is sort of the gift, the Obama legacy gift that has kept on giving.

TIMPF: I love that he gives a rally for that, by the way. Very funny move.

BOLLING: Well, he's very popular in West Virginia, as well.

All right. Next up, the White House slaps more sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea. And now Russia is calling it a full-fledged trade war. Details coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TIMPF: President Trump slapping more sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea after  Congressional bipartisan support for the measure. Trump, saying he signed the sanctions bill for the sake of national unity, although he did add that the bill remains seriously flawed, as it requires  Congressional approval before he can ease or lift the sanctions.

Eboni, I know you said sanctions, not really enough. But do you think this might do any good?

WILLIAMS: I mean, I don't know. Yes, I know. I mean, look, it's better than nothing, I suppose. But yes, you're correct, Kat. I have very little faith in them. Typically because I think they're so hard to enforce. That really is my issue. I think they're great in theory. I think the enforcement of sanctions is where we've run into a problem.

TIMPF: I mean, this is -- this seems like a pretty easy thing to support. Right, Guy?

BENSON: Look at the votes in  Congress.

TIMPF: Yes.

BENSON: They were overwhelming. And again, I'm struck by the difference and the canyon between the official statements from the president and what he's tweeting himself.

So in his official statement, he says, 'I favor the tough measures to punish and deter bad behavior from Tehran and Pyongyang. I also want to make clear that I support our democratic process and will side with our allies against the Russian subversion and destabilization.' Great, good.

And then this morning he tweets, you know, we're at an all-time low with Russia, and it's  Congress that's to blame. Isn't Russia to blame?

ADKINS: You know who loves this? Russia loves this. They love this, man. I mean, they were getting treated like a third-world country. Now, all of a sudden, you know, they're the belle of the ball. Everybody wants to talk about Russia. It's just Russia this, Russia that.

I mean, they're -- you know, they hacked my phone the other day. It went completely dead. I know they did it, you know? It was no question.

I've got a beaver in my pond now. It's a Russian beaver. I know it's a Russian. Big, burly, bushy, big old Russian beaver in my pond.

TIMPF: Well, you better call Mueller or you're going to be under investigation for not reporting that in your pond.

ADKINS: Well, you know, reporting the Russian beaver, I don't know.

WILLIAMS: I would love to hear that testimony, Trace. Put you right on the stand.

ADKINS: So the whole Russia thing, I think we should just stop giving them so much ink, because they love it. Just, you know, let Mueller do his thing, and let's all shut up about Russia. And let's, you know, talk about Pyongyang, what are we going to do about this?

I think not one of those missiles should get more than 150 feet off the ground before we blow it out of the sky. That's what ought to happen. Just park a boat out there and go, 'Hey, dude, next one of those missiles you blast off, we're just going to blow it up over your house." You know? "Don't do it anymore. We are tired of it.'You know? And let that be that.

BOLLING: Good.

ADKINS: I solved everything just being here an hour.

WILLIAMS: Where's that health care bill, Guy?

ADKINS: If I came back tomorrow, we'd...

TIMPF: Exactly. Eric, what do you think?

BOLLING: I think the Russia -- North Korea, Russia, Iran sanctions. Right? North Korea, it clearly is going to have no effect whatsoever. He doesn't care.

WILLIAMS: Right.

ADKINS: Yes.

BOLLING: If you want to really sanction North Korea, sanction China. Or I'll take it one step further, Trace. I don't even think they get the missile to the silo to shoot it off. I think we take it out before they do that. You see them, you blow them up before they take them up.

ADKINS: I'm down with it.

BOLLING: Russia, I don't know. I think this is -- it feels like they put this bill together, because they wanted to show that we're not giving Russia preferential treatment. I'm not sure. But what are we -- we're sanctioning Russia for what?

TIMPF: Probably interfering in our election.

BOLLING: Let's see -- let's see the evidence first. I'd love to see it. And you know...

ADKINS: Me, too.

BOLLING: And maybe that makes sense, but I haven't seen that.

Iran is the one that I think matters. And I think you -- you're going to have an effect by putting the sanctions back on Iran that Obama took off and go further. Because they were really struggling under U.S. sanctions. I would put those back on, specifically embargoing their oil exports. That would be -- that would be massive.

TIMPF: Well, we've got to say goodbye to our specialists, Trace Adkins and Guy Benson. Thanks so much, guys. We really had such a wonderful time.

BENSON: It was fun.

TIMPF: Thank you. And I'm having fun, too.

All right. Up next, it's 'Wait, What?' Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TIMPF: Sorry.

WILLIAMS: All right. Now it's time for our last segment, time for...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 'Wait, What?'

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAMS: I love that. That doesn't get old yet.

All right. I will kick things off. So this morning, for some reason, you guys, people don't think that I cook. And I actually thoroughly enjoy cooking, and it's one of my really, really fun things. So I joined the gang at "Fox & Friends" this morning to share my delicious summer salmon kebab recipe. And it was a big hit. And yes, I just want to put that rumor to bed. And they asked a question, which of you two would be most likely to enjoy this. And I went with Bolling.

TIMPF: I've cooked before.

BOLLING: Did you -- the salmon kebab is how? It's grilled?

WILLIAMS: Yes, so it's grilled. So it's cubed salmon, lemon slice spirals, do a little rub, red pepper flakes, cumin, rosemary. Badda-bing, badda-boom. Olive oil. Magic.

BOLLING: Nice.

TIMPF: Very impressive.

BOLLING: Very good.

TIMPF: I was being serious. I usually just press a button on my phone, and that's how I eat.

So I just want to -- learned a very important lesson from Canada today. Somebody was missing their wheelbarrow, and they put a sign out in front of their house that said, 'Bring back my wheelbarrow,' and sure enough, soon after, 'Thank you for bringing back my wheelbarrow.'

Now, so often, if we want something from somebody, once we get it, we don't, you know, take the time to make the extra sign, metaphorically.

WILLIAMS: Diplomacy at work.

TIMPF: Absolutely, so very, very nice people over there.

BOLLING: Sounds like Canadians.

TIMPF: Glad you got your wheelbarrow back.

BOLLING: The Canadians. Can you imagine if that happened here? 'You want your wheelbarrow? I'll throw it right through your window.'

TIMPF: Exactly.

WILLIAMS: Got that, Bolling.

BOLLING: Last night, The New York Times released the -- their list of bestsellers. "The Swamp" made it for the fifth week in a row.

WILLIAMS: Congratulations, Eric.

BOLLING: Listen, it was -- it was a good idea, but it was the right time, and thank you to everyone who watches and bought the book. I really, really do appreciate it.

WILLIAMS: That's amazing.

TIMPF: Thank you.

BOLLING: And great friends bringing it out here.

WILLIAMS: No, that's great. I'm really excited, because you know, my book is on presale. And you know, the little "People buy this book and this book," it's always "The Swamp."

BOLLING: There you go.

WILLIAMS: They could buy it together.

BOLLING: There you go.

WILLIAMS: So I love it.

TIMPF: I'm going to write one.

WILLIAMS: Well, we talked about a title. We'll keep it secret for now.

TIMPF: Yes.

WILLIAMS: But I really liked that title that we talked about.

BOLLING: So I'm good at picking books for other people. I picked a book for my co-host, Kimberly Guilfoyle. And I think she's writing it right now. But I can't -- I can't out what the name of the book is yet, though.

TIMPF: All right. Well, you're going to get me one, too.

BOLLING: I will.

WILLIAMS: No leakers on this set.

TIMPF: Yes, absolutely.

BOLLING: No leakers.

WILLIAMS: All right. That's all we have time for today. We thank you all for watching. Make sure to follow us on social media, @SpecialistsFNC on both Twitter and Facebook. And guess what? Five o'clock will never be the same.

'Special Report' for you up next with Bret Baier.

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