Transcript

Is Trump's North Korea rhetoric appropriate or dangerous?

'The Fox News Specialists' debate the president's tough talk against the rogue regime

 

This is a rush transcript from "The Fox News Specialists," August 10, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

KATHERINE TIMPF, THE FOX NEWS SPECIALIST HOST: For Eboni K. Williams. And this is the Fox News Specialist. A lot of fast moving developments this afternoon, above all, President Trump amping up his threat against North Korea, following a meeting with his security advisors just moments ago, President Trump responded to North Korea's warning it would potentially fire missiles near the U.S. territory of Guam by mid-August.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Let's see what he does with Guam. He does something in Guam it will be an event the likes of which nobody seen before, what will happen in North Korea. He's not going to go around threatening Guam, and he's not going to threaten the United States, and he's not going to threaten Japan, and he's not going to threaten South Korea. No, that's not a dare, as you say, that is a statement of fact.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TIMPF: Earlier this afternoon, President Trump double down on his previous fire and fury statement against North Korea.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Frankly, the people that were questioning that statement, was it too tough, maybe it wasn't tough enough. What they've been doing and what they been getting away with is a tragedy and it can't be allowed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TIMPF: Thoughts on the fire and fury, Dagen? What do you think about it?

DAGEN MCDOWELL, THE FOX NEWS SPECIALIT HOST: I think that there's been so much made about the president's comments when that ire and upset should be directed at North Korea, quite frankly. And I think that you're hearing from President Trump all of his advisors, all of his cabinet secretaries, that there is the approach of telling North Korea and the rest of the world that we have a military option available, but also using sanctions and diplomacy as well. It's a two-pronged approach. You've got, if you're going to use carrots, you have to use sticks, and that's exactly what the president is trying to say.

TIMPF: I'm very mad at North Korea, Lisa, but I'm also concerned about that.

(CROSSTALK)

TIMPF: Yeah, bad, bad, bad, bad. I'm a little concerned about that kind of rhetoric maybe prompting them to do something to us first.

LISA BOOTHE, THE FOX NEWS SPECIALIST HOST: I honestly think it's overblown. I mean, you look at what Secretary Mattis said just yesterday. This is a guy who's confirmed on the 98 to 1 basis in the Senate. This is a guy who's known for being a brilliant military strategist, a deep thinker, a student of history, who essentially echoed the same thing, saying that North Korea's actions -- could be the end of the regime and the destruction of their people, so saying something that is very, very similar. This is also a guy who's not afraid to buck leadership because we saw that with President Obama over the Iran deal, which is part of the reason why he was relieved of his duties at central command.

TIMPF: Time to meet today's specialists. He is the founder and president of Goodfriend Government Affairs, an adjunct professor at the George Washington University School of Law, and formerly served as deputy staff secretary to President William Jefferson Clinton, he specializes in law and politics, David Goodfriend is here. And she's a political independent who was worked on campaigns for both Republicans and Democrats, a New York Times bestselling author, and is an independent conservative after years of work as a community organizer on the left, she specializes in the psychology of politics, I like that, very, very interesting. So Tammy, what is your take on all of this? The fire and fury, people are concerned that it might be giving Kim Jong-un some ideas.

TAMMY BRUCE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I think we've seen diplomacy, certainly, for at least a generation now, and that hasn't work in placating them. What we're seeing now, of course, is Donald Trump using their language. So when you're thinking about either business negotiations or political diplomacy, it's about making sure you're speaking in a manner that your counterpart is going to understand. And they would understand the fire and fury comment I think more than anything else. And I can allay your fears a little bit about how Kim Jong-un might respond to that.

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal noted that the threat was unusually specific to Anderson Air Force Base at Guam. They've always made threats against us but they were vague. This was very specific. Today, the New York Times is reporting that it's changed to attacking the waters. And that's a very different dynamic than in fact specifically targeting American military and, of course, the American citizens on Guam.

Now, of course, none of that is acceptable because once you've got the missiles going, we're going to have to respond. When it comes to rhetoric and what the North Koreans would understand, this is the point that had to be made, which is that he is not Obama. He's not Clinton. He's not Bush.
That this is different and it's serious, and they have to take it seriously. If Un doesn't understand that, perhaps the people around him do, But China now understands that in fact this will be very different.

TIMPF: David, we have seen China have a bit more of a response ever since President Trump has started talking like that. I'm still not sure that it's a great idea.

DAVID GOODFRIEND, GOODFRIEND GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS PRESIDENT: Well, it's very troubling. I mean, let's be serious about this. These are real people's lives, including Americans lives. And I'm reminded of the missile of October, the missiles crisis that President Kennedy face. This is serious, serious stuff. So I'm trying very hard not to turn this into a political tit for tat. This is different. Now having said that, I work for the delegate from Guam as his military legislative assistant earlier in my career, Robert underwood, he's now the head of the University of Guam. And I talked to him earlier today. And he said we on Guam we're American citizens. We feel like we're being treated like hostages. We're being threatened essentially by both sides.

When President Trump says go ahead, let's see what you've got. These are American citizens who live by our laws who were actually occupied by the Japanese during World War II. I think what would be really useful to point out that this is not just some island out in the middle of nowhere. These are Americans. This is American territory, American citizens. And I think that rhetoric -- imagine if it was your state. Imagine if he said, go ahead, hit California. See what happens to you next. Not good. Now having said that, the one thing I want to add, Tammy, to your analysis is we're best when we're united. When the United States present a united front around the world, that's when we're strongest. When we have the chairman of the Senate armed services committee, John McCain, and the ranking member of the Senate foreign relation committee, Ben Cardin, openly critical of how the president is handling that, not good. I would have love to see diplomacy right here at home with President Trump reaching out to Congress forming that unified front as they did in the U.N. and then present it to the world.

BOOTHE: Do you then place that same criticism on Secretary Mattis on his comments?

GOODFRIEND: They are the administration, yes. I think that the fact that we have open dissent in the United States and we're facing such a critical national secured emergency is shameful. Now, I don't think that's unique to President Trump, it happened in.

MCDOWELL: But you mention Republicans. It's shameful that you've seen this wild outrage about a few words from the president from the left, from Democrats.

GOODFRIEND: And Senator McCain.

MCDOWELL: True. And also from a lot of members of the media that they have blown it completely out of proportion. And to Tammy's point, this is (TECHNICAL DIFFICULTY) this is communist-style language. That there is a message to this messaging. As much as the Democrats have loved diplomacy which has not worked, there are tough, tough things we can do with China in terms of trade. The U.N. agreement over the weekend does not touch oil imported into North Korea from China, refined products. It doesn't really address a lot of the foreign slave workers that are overseas.

BOOTHE: And a couple of things here, one, did you ever think that maybe the criticism is political, or some of the coverage is political, and the criticism of the president? Because if you do look at a lot of the actions that President Trump has taken, to the deployment of THAAD, the U.N. sanctions and his work there, getting Russia and China on board as well. The sanctioning of the Chinese Bank. I mean, President Trump has taken diplomatic and economic actions as well that are very positive, and trying to push back against North Korea. And yet, you don't really hear a whole lot of credit given to him by the critics such as yourself.

GOODFRIEND: I'll give him some credit. I mean, I want to say something nice here.

BOOTHE: Brace yourselves.

GOODFRIEND: Hold on.

BOOTHE: I'm hanging on.

(CROSSTALK)

MCDOWELL: Al Gore was kind of -- somewhat complementary of the president in an interview.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

GOODFRIEND: OK, I want to say something nice. I thought President Trump conducted himself very well in this afternoon's press conference. And I do think that that was the style of rhetoric. That was the style of engagement that I would like to see out of our president.

BRUCE: If I could add. If I could add.

GOODFRIEND: Please.

BRUCE: There is a method to this process. First of all, you're keeping the North Koreans on their own heels. You're hearing statements from President Trump about fire and fury. You're hearing comments from Secretary Tillerson and Mattis. And so, one thing President Trump said even during the campaign and recently is he doesn't want to telegraph exactly what we're going to do, but there has to be a verbal response to the North Koreans because that's what they do understand.

At the same time, the Chinese know a very specific dynamic like the THAAD system in South Korea. That has a powerful radar. There're concerns that could see into China. They're also worried about massive refugee problems on their border. A few months ago they moved tens of thousands of troops to the North Korean border. And if you have a unified Korea, they know that that means the United States will be on their border, so this is what China is concerned about.

GOODFRIEND: We've fought a war about that.

BRUCE: And we did, and it is a war that Korea is still -- it's not even over. It's under a cease-fire. So this is what I think the president has to realize is that there's a lot of reasons for him to do nothing, but the biggest reason to do something is to end this madness, protect the United States, which means Guam as well, and the people of Guam know what's going on. They're in that region. But this is the first time that they've actually heard a man who is the commander-in-chief who is governing versus placating the enemy.

MCDOWELL: Lisa mentioned the sanctions -- it was on the bank of Dandong in late June, I think. And that was kind of a tip of the hat, if you will. But there are so much more that we could do, the world could do, in secondary sanctions against financial institution and companies in China that do business with North Korea. And even, Mike -- to your point, Tammy, Mike Pompeo said in the Aspen Security Forum this would have been in July.
He was talking about separating. If you want to call it regime change, call it that. He was talking about separating Kim Jong-un from his missiles. It would be a great thing to denuclearize the peninsula, to get those weapon off of that, but the thing that is most dangerous about it is the character who holds the control over them today. So Pompeo was messaging that weeks ago.

BRUCE: It is not just North Korea. It's their working with Iran, which mean Iran has this technology. You might cut off some money through the sanctions. Iran now has Billions of dollars courtesy of us, and us working with and giving money to North Korea. Also dealing with issues of al- Qaeda, ISIS, and Pakistan. It is a very -- it's broader than North Korea at this point. The money comes in from multiple sources, money that we can't necessarily control.

TIMPF: And it's obviously a very delicate problem. There's a lot of things that are involved, which, Lisa, is why I think that so many people were kind of thrown off by the fire and fury comments. That it was all of a sudden just whoa. If I hear any president, no matter who they are, and no matter how I feel about them otherwise, saying something that seems like it could be interpreted as an incitement to nuclear war, I'm going to say, huh, what was that? And I'm going to be a little concerned.

GOODFRIEND: I agree.

TIMPF: I'm really am.

BOOTHE: But I read that statement of him saying if you attack the United States, be prepared for what's to come, not saying we're going to.

(CROSSTALK)

TIMPF: He used the word, threat, when he made that statement. And then, they essentially threatened Guam, so I guess we should be if he actually meant what he said. We should be going after them now, which I'm glad that we're not, and I don't think that we should.

MCDOWELL: There's a heightened tension and a heightened sense of fear just because of social media.

TIMPF: I agree with that.

BOOTHE: Just because of social media reaction to what President Trump -- it's not what the president said. It's the, I'm watching my five favorite movies of all time over the weekend because the world was coming to an end. And these are prominent individuals.

TIMPF: Movies. That's what I think. Last day on Earth, I'm going to watch all the movies.

BOOTHE: I actually saw that. The problem too is there's so much focus on the rhetoric, but not a lot of attention given to the actual actions and the very reasonable actions taken by this Trump administration, and the wins as well, like the U.N. resolution. People want to focus on the rhetoric as opposed to -- I'm not against the rhetoric as I mention. I think secretary Mattis, someone who is a very reasonable man, someone who is a deep thinker, essentially echoed those statements. So I think it was intentional from this administration. But I do think there needs to be more of a focus on the action that.

TIMPF: I think you can do both. I've been somebody who has given him full credit when I did liked the way that he's handled certain things, including North Korea, with the way he's been putting pressure on China. I think all that stuff is great. But it doesn't matter how my feelings are about you otherwise, a lot of those things he's done have been great, but in terms of this specific language. Language does matter.

GOODFRIEND: Well, we've used this name a couple times in this conversation, really -- some focus. China, OK, for a long time, whether it was President Bush, whether it was President Clinton, whether it was President Obama, what made this situation so complicated is just to the north of North Korea, is China. And Donald Trump, I think, I think, I mean it's hard for me to tell. I think he's trying to show the Chinese that this time he's serious about cracking down on trade, about cracking down on currency. The Trump card, if you will, that they've always use is North Korea. Now maybe that's a brilliant strategic play. I hope it is for all of our sakes. But if it's not, if it turns out to be a miscalculation, and now we have China to worry about. That's a whole another type of ball game.

BRUCE: If I can have one more, psychological dynamic on President Trump.
What he's looking at is the seriousness of whether or not Kim Jong-un and the North Koreans will hurt innocent people. Think of Otto Warmbier, that was the factor for President Trump. Remember his action in that regard?
The horrible dynamic of that young man coming home brain-dead, almost like a slap in the face from North Korea. Have your kid back. He's dead now.
This is what -- I think informs the president -- should inform all of us about the nature of the regime, whether or not they're willing to hurt innocent people. President Trump whose own family lost their oldest son as well, I think he knows the impact of that. And I think that probably has impacted his view of North Korea.

MCDOWELL: I always call it asymmetric outrage where the left gets upset about a few words from the president, but not upset about an Otto Warmbier being sent back here to die.

BRUCE: Exactly, good point.

TIMPF: Well, I don't know. It seems like there is so much more to discuss on this topic.

(CROSSTALK)

TIMPF: Up ahead, President Trump is speaking out for the first time about the FBI raid of Paul Manafort's home. Coming right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MCDOWELL: Supporters of President Trump have been slamming an FBI raid on the Virginia home of Paul Manafort, the former Trump Campaign chairman. A short time ago, President Trump addressed it for the first time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I thought it was a very, very strong signal or whatever. I know Mr. Manafort -- I haven't spoken for a long time, but I know him. He was with the campaign as you know for very short period of time, relatively short period of time. But I've always known him to be a good man. I thought it was a very -- you know, they do that very seldom. So I was surprised to see it. I've always found Paul Manafort to be a very decent man.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCDOWELL: President Trump also responded to the state of the Russia probe overall.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We have a situation which is very unusual. Everybody said there's no collusion. And you look at the councils, they come in and we have a Senate hearing. We have judiciary, we have intelligence, and we have a house hearing and everybody walks out, even the enemies they said, no, no, there's no collusion, there's no collusion. So they're investigating something that never happened.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCDOWELL: Tammy Bruce, I thought when -- his comments about the Paul Manafort raid which was predawn, which is very extreme measure by the FBI, how measured the president was.

BRUCE: That whole press conference I think he had a very, very good centered sense. But also, he's dealing with a lot -- life and death issues, of course. So I think he's in that mode. But look, I'm not awake at 6:00 AM. I'm sure a lot of shows here at Fox News. A lot of wonderful -- you.

MCDOWELL: I get up at 2 AM.

(LAUGHTER)

MCDOWELL: They have to come to work.

(LAUGHTER)

BRUCE: Some of the leaks were -- and this is the other problem, there been many leaks about this event that either would have to come from the special counsel's office or surrounding lawyers. But even to the point where we learned that they knocked on the bedroom door to get to Mr. Manafort.
Look, I think that the moment the grand jury was impaneled, every single person who would have been concerned about or is under investigation should have made sure that they had their really nice pajamas on from that day forward, because this is expected. Paul Manafort, Carter Page is under suspicion, of course, Michael Flynn, so this is not surprising.

And for the president's attorney to chime in this way, I think the more significant charges that they took privileged and confidential information that he'd worked on with his lawyer. Remember, this was the day after he spoke to the Senate committee, which means he would have been preparing a great deal. And a month after, he belatedly filed as a foreign agent. All of this happened within that framework. And also, last point, they had inherited this investigation from U.S. attorneys. So this wasn't from the beginning. So, in a lot of ways, are acting on an investigation that had already developed the information that I think that they felt they needed to move on.

MCDOWELL: OK, Kat, your fellow libertarian Judge Andrew Napolitano has talked about this at length. And he said this is the greatest weapon of the FBI and the special counsel, and it's a weapon of last resort. So it is a dramatic move by investigators.

TIMPF: It is a big deal. And I know some of Trump's lawyers think, oh, this is for shock value, blah, blah, blah. Judges don't give out warrants for shock value. That's not one of the reason they give them out. I've never been a judge, but I do know that much. And everyone is so quick to say this has never happened before. Look at this biased. Look at how biased the judges are, how biases the investigators. I know that a lot of the investigators are biased. I'll definitely, definitely admit that. I think that's clear, a lot of them are Clinton lawyers and those sort of things. However, when it's something this extreme, you have to stop and think, OK, probably maybe he did something that had never been done before.
They wouldn't be going to these lengths if there was absolutely nothing there. There's no way just for show, no way.

GOODFRIEND: I just want to point out that Tammy I think put it best. When we had a former FBI director named special counsel, what did you expect? I mean, this is pretty much par for the course. And the fact that we have a president of the United States who is the subject of a criminal probe, along with his family, along with his closest advisors, again, what did we expect? Now, I will point out that when my former boss, President Clinton, was being investigated by a special prosecutor. The whole Monica Lewinsky scandal grew out of that, and he was investigating something completely different. The real wild card here is what is this special prosecutor going to find that we haven't heard about? Everything that has happened so far is perfectly predictable.

BOOTHE: So I want to touch on a couple of these things because to Tammy's point regarding the leaks and how this information surface, I find that concerning, because Kat is right about the fact we need to be able to believe that this is nonpartisan, and there's not a political lens that Mueller is wearing. And I think that when you have information like this surface it raises doubts. And that is a concern because we're at a time right now where Americans do not trust institutions in this country and that damages that trust.

MCDOWELL: Kat, before you go on, I will point out though that the FBI agents, if this is done specifically for political purposes, to raid Paul Manafort's home, they put themselves in legal jeopardy.

BOOTHE: Exactly.

MCDOWELL: We must point that out.

GOODFRIEND: And we have to point that Mueller himself is about as trusted a man that America can produce. I mean, he was a Republican appointee. He had a lifetime in law enforcement. This is the gold standard for basic law enforcement straight down the middle.

(CROSSTALK)

BOOTHE: I certainly hope so. I do find the leaks troubling. But I think a big problem right now is there so much information that we don't know about this, and so the absence of information leads to wild speculation.
That is damaging for the Trump administration because it allows people to run wild with these various ideas, and there's just so much we don't know yet.

MCDOWELL: The danger that you get indicted for something unrelated to the Russia probe. That is the whole focus. It's kind of from your playbook if you're a prosecutor.

TIMPF: And whether that could be used for him to try to get leverage against Trump.

MCDOWELL: Right. We will be right back. President Trump, meantime, dialing up his feud with Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell with shockwaves -- who said good?

(LAUGHTER)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOOTHE: President Trump is stepping up his attacks today on Mitch McConnell. Falling a series of new tweets earlier today slamming the Senate majority leader for the failure to repeal and replace ObamaCare.
President Trump led -- McConnell, while speaking to reporters this afternoon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: But I said, Mitch, get to work and let's get it done. They should've had this last one done. They lost by one vote. For a thing like that to happen is a disgrace. And frankly, it shouldn't have happened. That I could tell you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LISA BOOTHE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I mean that's - President Trump also responded to a question about whether Senator Mitch McConnell should retire.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: If he doesn't get Repeal and Replace done, and if he doesn't get taxes done, meaning cuts and reform, and if he doesn't get a very easy one to get done infrastructure, he doesn't get them done, then you can ask me that question.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOOTHE: Tammy, what do you think of President's Trump response to the Mitch McConnell's comment?

TAMMY BRUCE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I think he's been extremely reserved up until now. And Mitch McConnell I think is a huge mistake, just politically, speaking in front of a rotary group, kind of slamming the president when he doesn't know really how to handle this. When the fact is President Trump is the president for a reason, a Q poll indicates that the Congress has a 10 percent approval rating. Democrats, Republicans, and Independents are around 87 percent disapproving.

So when it comes to how Americans are viewing what's going on, Congress is not winning here. And the president I think is actually literally giving him another chance. And look, Newt Gingrich resigned when his approval rating was at about 30 percent. So when you are at 10 percent, maybe there should be some automatic combustion or something.

But there really is a point where you have to admit that you failed, that you've done something wrong, and not resign from your positions, but step down from leadership to give people another chance.

HOST: Well, I need to Kat here, because Kat is someone who was more nonpartisan, not as ideological. What do you think about despite -

DAGEN MCDOWELL, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Well, she's ideological, very.

(CROSSTALK)

BOOTHE: What Dagen said. But what should take on hearing that sound from President Trump?

KATHERINE TIMPF, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Love it. I'm serious. OK. First of all, can we stop pretending it's about the timeline? It's about the fact that you didn't know what the H you were doing. An H word you were doing.

BOOTHE: What is he doing now? OK.

TIMPF: A heck you were doing. You are stepping here already, you had no ideas and it's as if President Trump is the one saying, yes, yes, yes, let's get Republicans in their repeal and replace. No, no, you said that, Mitch. Everyone in GOP Congress was saying that. You guys set that timeline. You guys set the expectation that you had some plan after seven years for what to do about this. It's absolutely ridiculous. It's like political gaslighting for me to blame President Trump.

MCDOWELL: President Trump let these bozos do whatever they want. He didn't even try and drive the health care reform. He's like, "You put whatever together. I'll sign it." And they still can't it done.
Excessive expectation should be the T-shirt that every one of these losers should be forced to wear when they are up for reelection next year.

TIMPF: Yes, yes. And if time really is the issue, then why you're in vacation?

(CROSSTALK)

MCDOWELL: Why can't Mitch McConnell get Lisa Murkowski inline and tell her to stop using talking points from the Democrats about, I didn't come to Washington to hurt people?

BOOTHE: Well, I agree.

MCDOWELL: Hold on just one second.

(CROSSTALK)

BOOTHE: About the Democrats, we need to get the Democrat at the table here.

DAVID GOODFRIEND, AMERICAN ATTORNEY AND ADVOCATE, WASHINGTON D.C.: Well, you know --

BOOTHE: So hold on. I've got a question for you.

GOODFRIEND: OK.

BOOTHE: So the Democratic Party continues to say that they want to work with Republicans, they want to work with Republicans, criticizing Republicans for not engaging on them. What meaningful proposals had the Democratic Party put forward to try to help or try to fix ObamaCare?

GOODFRIEND: It's a great question. By the way, the smartest thing for me to say is the Democrat is nothing. I should just let these guys shoot each other all day.

BOOTHE: We'll just probably --

(CROSSTALK)

BOOTHE: That's a humor.

GOODFRIEND: That's why I'm not the smartest guy.

(CROSSTALK)

GOODFRIEND: I'm of course going to talk, but I shouldn't. But I will tell you this, there is a glimmer of hope for bipartisanship. It's blossoming right now on the Senate Health Committee. So committee that handles health issues, where the Republican chair and the ranking Democrat are actually working together on a package for how to fix ObamaCare.

Now, I hope that that isn't trampled in the dysfunctional partisanship of today's Washington. I actually hope that we see that blossom because that is an opportunity. Remember, the health bill didn't get a single public hearing. Not a single public markup. The ObamaCare bill had over a hundred hearings in Congress. The way they do this is out in the open and building support as you go.

MCDOWELL: Well, he's excited because the Republicans have dust their elephant costumes and now they see them for what they are. These Republican senators are a bunch of spending tax as more liberals.

BOOTHE: Well, and it's not like --

(CROSSTALK)

BOOTHE: The Democratic Party did not try to engage Republicans either. They pass ObamaCare in a party line basis. But I want to get another element here. The Trump-McConnell feud is sparking calls from some of the prominent Republicans, like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, for both sides to accept blame.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The fact is with a narrow margin, 52 people, Mitch McConnell got 49 out of 52. And I think the president can't disassociate himself from this. He is part of the leadership team. He's not an observer sitting up in the stands. He's on the field. It was a collective failure. Both the Trump administration and the Republicans in the Senate failed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOOTHE: Well, I want to go once around a bit table here real quick. And Tammy, that's what you offered earlier, so let's go to you first.

BRUCE: Now, look, Donald Trump has been in there for six months. The people, who have been dealing with this and not having any plan, have been in there for decades. So I have to disagree with, like Speaker Gingrich.
But look he's a company man if you will for the swamp and he's ridiculous.

Now, look, President Trump had Mike Pence in place to deal with legislation and also Reince Priebus. We can see how well that worked out. And so he's not there any longer. But the fact is, they were supposed to get the job done. And this is rocketed. And Donald Trump also had the senators over the White House. He was talking to everybody. And what was shocking of course -- and we have to look at this. I don't think it was a failure of Mitch McConnell. I think it's exactly what he wanted.

BOOTHE: Kat, what do you think?

TIMPF: I think that's a great point, Tammy, and I think it goes to what Dagen was saying before, which is what is Republican anymore? Because I thought it was supposed to be a small government type of view of the world that you call yourself conservative. And then this bill that they came out with was essentially an assurance company bailout. That's not a conservative thing. So we've been arguing at that point? That they were too afraid to do what they said that were going to do all along.

MCDOWELL: And let's just point out, debt filling, funding the government --

GOODFRIEND: Right.

TIMPF: Exactly.

MCDOWELL: --putting a budge in place so they can even start talking about tax reform. They've got that on the agenda.

Bruce: Next month.

BOOTHE: I feel like we actually have some agreement at this table. So we're going to end with that. We'll get you next. I'm sorry, David.

(CROSSTALK)

BOOTHE: Sure ahead is federal judge order is a new search for Benghazi related e-mail tied to Hillary Clinton. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TIMPF: Welcome back to the FOX NEWS SPECIALIST. Our specialists today are David Goodfriend and Tammy Bruce. All right, let's continue the conversation.

The federal judge is ordering the State Department resume its search for Benghazi related e-mails tied to Hillary Clinton. The 2012 terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, of course, resulted in the death of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador, Chris Stevens.

D.C. District Court Judge, Amit Mehta rolling that the State Department has not fulfilled its duty and properly searching for all relevant documents that Clinton may have gotten from or sent to her top aides including Huma Abedin.

All right. David, I'm going to get you in here. Judge wouldn't --

GOODFRIEND: I know I'm the first on this one.

TIMPF: Judge wouldn't be doing this for no reason, they have to think that they're missing something in order to be doing something like this.

GOODFRIEND: I love the law. We are a nation of laws. That is an Obama appointee, that judge.

TIMPF: Yes.

GOODFRIEND: And he is doing his job and he should be commended for it. Now, you'll have to forgive me for the irony that while we have a President under investigation by a special prosecutor was still talking about Benghazi. It's like the White Whale in "Moby-Dick". They can't get enough to this stuff. OK.

Produce the documents, I don't care. I mean that's what's supposed to happen. And while we're at it, let's let Mr. Mueller and the special prosecutor's team do their job, too. It's got to be the same treatment on both sides. If you love the investigation of Hillary Clinton and you think they ought to follow the law, then you should say exactly the same thing about the FBI and Mueller and Trump, because they are all part of the same thing. We are a nation of laws. And then look around the world, most people live at the opposite end of a gun being pointed at them, and that's how they view their government. At least in this country, we are a nation of laws and I say, let it go forward.

TIMPF: Dagen, you have a look on your face.

MCDOWELL: Yes.

TIMPF: It looks like you want to respond to that.

(CROSSTALK)

MCDOWELL: The loved ones of those four people who died deserve rigorous honesty. And if the State Department couldn't even come through its own state.gov records for these e-mails, it is shameful that this has not happened. And the loved ones of those four individuals, they deserve every lead to be turned over. And that's what it boils down to, because they were lied to. They were lied to from day one about what really happened.

BRUCE: And that's the big problem here. It's that, this wasn't just like what we think there's more. We know of all -- when they got their first order, they only looked at Hillary server and outside e-mails. They did not look through their own .gov accounts for Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan e-mails that they had immediate access, too, that were live in their system. And this becomes then the real story, that there was -- with this part of a cover-up? Or is it the same civil servants that chose to not to look? And I agree that we're nation of laws. But nobody was prosecuting those laws for the last eight years.

And now suddenly, the law really matters, and I'm glad. And that's why President Trump is the President. But we have to look at who made the choice to not look, and again, by default, perhaps to cover up, and are they still there, are they still making decisions? And this comes down to President Trump. When are you going to deal with these holdovers when it comes to how we get work done and whether or not this kind of absurdity is going to continue so many years afterwards with American family still waiting for justice?

BOOTHE: And I also look at this from the lens of a double standard and the coverage, because here with Benghazi, we had four Americans that were killed, we had an administration that was intentionally dishonest with us.
Just after they said that, al-Qaeda was on the run, two months before in election, they told us one thing, Hillary Clinton was e-mailing her daughter something different, telling the Egyptian Prime Minister something different, the Libyan President something different, yet telling the families of those four dead Americans something entirely different.

We have an administration that lie to us, yet you look at the breathless coverage of the Russian investigation with President Trump, where nobody has died. Some four people died and there's a complete double standard in the interests of the media and the way that that was covered in the way that the Russia investigator --

(CROSSTALK)

GOODFRIEND: I'm reminded of candidate Donald Trump and Kellyanne Conway saying, can you imagine a President of the United States under investigation? Well, yes, I can, and his name is Donald Trump. OK.

You've got right now a situation where the President is under investigation. That scenario that the Trump campaign laid out how horrible it would be to have Hillary Clinton in the White House while the subject ever approved, we've got that right now.

BRUCE: And if you keep saying that James Comey is confirmed and Senate, three times, confirmed to the Senate, the President is not under investigation. So I'm not sure where that's coming from, but I just want to remind people.

GOODFRIEND: His son, his closest advisors. And we don't know. As I said earlier, we don't know where this leads. The question is whether or not the campaign colluded with the Russians. If you don't think that implicates the President, I got to bring --

(CROSSTALK)

BRUCE: Well, that's different than stating it is a fact. That's an opinion.

GOODFRIEND: OK.

TIMPF: And well, lot more to talk about. Still up next, a dead serious sentencing for a college student convicted of registering dead voters for Democrats. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MCDOWELL: A college student in Virginia is going to the slammer for, wait for it, registering dead people to vote for Democrats, 21-year-old Andrew Spieles, a student at James Madison University in Virginia, was sentenced to 100 days in the big house for fraudulently registering deceased citizens among others to vote leading up to the 2016 election.

Spieles worked for the Democratic Party-affiliated group Harrisonburg Votes and was being paid to register as many people as possible. But Spieles was caught when the city's registrar recognized that one of this so called registered voters submitted by him was actually dead. Voter fraud commissioned by President Trump is ridiculed from the left, but there you go, David?

GOODFRIEND: Yes, it happens all over the place. When we had a former Colorado GOP chair who cast a vote for his dead wife, he got in trouble.
We had in Miami, a ballot stuffing scandal by Republicans. We had a Trump voter in Iowa who voted twice and explained to authorities that that's because the system is rigged.

Here is the problem. When these stories, may happen at both sides, are then taken up by state legislatures who then try to suppress votes through illegal voter I.D. lost like what happened in North Carolina, which the Supreme Court said that was illegal, that's the problem.

In other words, you take the stories and you say we should crackdown voter fraud. You don't take these stories and say, so let's deliberately disenfranchise African-American or students or other groups against the constitution. And which is unfortunately what happens a lot of times with the stories.

MCDOWELL: Tammy, but this is evidence that it goes on and it does warrant a closer look. My first reaction was, where did this idiot go to college?

BRUCE: Well, look --

MCDOWELL: Yes, I know, it's where my grandmother went.

(CROSSTALK)

BRUCE: -- it's actually of the lack of law and order, right? He's 21 years old. This is a federal crime. So he'll be out of jail, but this is not going to go away for him.

And this is a message to anyone who thought that the law didn't apply to Democrats or liberals. Now they know it does. This is something all Americans agree with. We all want a clear and fair voting process. But we also expect there to be some standards and, yes, it proves that, in fact, what we've all been concerned about regarding voter fraud.

GOODFRIEND: Wait a minute, Tammy. Tell me where you've heard people say this only applies to Republicans, it's never happened to Democrats.

MCDOWELL: Well, you've got that coffee stain, a little cheat sheet of like Republicans stuffing ballot boxes.

TIMPF: Republican is equal --

(CROSSTALK)

MCDOWELL: We know you carry that around in your pocket.

GOODFRIEND: I remember Chicago, and Mayor Daley, and registration of dead voters, and I remember the Miami ballot stuffing scandal. And the point is
--

BRUCE: And President Trump wants to stop all that for everyone so we can love and trust the election process.

GOODFRIEND: Provided we are not disenfranchising specific groups of people. You know, let me tell you how that North Carolina law got overturned. The court looked at evidence that the legislature was asking, when do black people vote? Oh they vote on Sundays. Let's get rid of that. When do students vote? Oh, they vote at early registration. Let's get rid of that. It was surgically designed as the court for that. So disenfranchise people, we should have none of that that.

MCDOWELL: But Kat, really quickly. The fact that this kid, I call him a kid, got caught, it almost by accident. So it shows that there are these giant holes in the way people are registered to vote.

TIMPF: First of all, someone has to tell and you should not, cannot, you cannot wear that bow tie in jail.

(CROSSTALK)

MCDOWELL: Leave it at home.

TIMPF: Yes, look, it does happen. It's something we need to address.
It's not as widespread as President Trump's multimillion estimates. They had other campaign trail.

GOODFRIEND: That's right.

TIMPF: So try to use it to not do more harm than good. But yes, absolutely look into it.

BOOTHE: Well, of course voter fraud is real. This demonstrates you can't outrun the long arm of the law. And I do kind of feel bad for him a little bit. He's 21 years old. He should have had more oversight in this campaign. Campaigns are very fast-paced and so I think this is a good lesson for young people working on campaigns.

MCDOWELL: You know not to register a dead.

(CROSSTALK)

MCDOWELL: No, I know. I know. But it doesn't --.

TIMPF: I think he's a genius.

BOOTHE: I'm sorry. He's 21. I feel bad for his future.

(CROSSTALK)

MCDOWELL: You know better.

TIMPF: I know people who have died --

(CROSSTALK)

MCDOWELL: Thank you to Tammy Bruce and David Goodfriend. What a terrific time we've had with you. We say goodbye to you. More when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOOTHE: Time for our last segment today and, you know what time it is?
It's time for...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Wait, what"

BOOTHE: I will keep things off. I've got something really exciting to share with you guys. I was on a Yellow Ribbon Honor Air Flight from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and I'm going to share with you tomorrow on "Fox & Friends First" at 5:50 a.m., "Fox & Friends" at 6:30 a.m. and here is a little bit from it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We all know we didn't all get a lot of pats on the back, didn't get a lot of thank yous. Well, as of today, that changed.

BOOTHE (voice-over): And what a change. Instead of dirty looks, these veterans received cheers, a true welcome home.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOOTHE: I can tell you it's an amazing experience and I'm so glad to share it with you tomorrow. Dagen, what do you have for us.

MCDOWELL: As I compose myself, I can't wait to see that.

BOOTHE: I know.

(CROSSTALK)

MCDOWELL: So I'm going to shift gears a little bit. So, Krispy Kreme is going to celebrate the total solar eclipse on August 21st with a chocolate glaze on its donuts. You will be able to get access to them also on August 19th and 20th. So I say this, chocolate waterfall and this would be my reaction if I wasn't a lady.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HOMER SIMPSON: Really, the only word for it is [groaning].

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TIMPF: We're always thumbs up by --.

MCDOWELL: Ladies can't do that.

(CROSSTALK)

BOOTHE: Well, I'm track train.

TIMPF: So I wanted to talk about this White House Chicken Balloon thing, which everybody is probably seeing and heard off before, the big Trump Chicken Balloon at the White House.

So I guess the artist that did this, he's been planning it since March and he spent five grand on the materials in the work and the placement of it.
So is it supposed to be a bad thing? Because if somebody made a balloon of me and they spent five grand, I don't care if I was an angry chicken or not, I would be flattered.

BOOTHE: What would you like be of.

MCDOWELL: Well, can I point something out though? There was a skit that Donald Trump did years ago on Saturday Night Live where he owned a chain of chicken wing shop, those back on 2004. So that's what it was -- really looked like.

BOOTHE: All right. Well, that's all the time that we have today. We thank you all for watching. And make sure to follow us on social media @specialistsFNC on Twitter and Facebook, and remember, 5 o'clock will never be the same.

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