Jeff Sessions defends Trump firing James Comey

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," October 18, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, CO-HOST: Hello, everyone. I'm Kimberly Guilfoyle along with Juan Williams, Jesse Watters, Dana Perino and Greg Gutfeld. It's 5 o'clock in New York City, and this is "The Five."

A big show for you tonight. More breaking news on the anthem controversy, the commissioner of the NFL facing the press today on his league position on how to settle the firestorm following a two day meeting with players and owners. You're going to hear from Roger Goodell ahead. But first, Attorney General Jeff Sessions back on the hot seat today in the senate, fielding questions on the firing of James Comey, the Trump campaign's contact with Russians, and more. He has the exchanges with Democrats on the judiciary committee, particularly Al Franken. You'll see that in a moment. But the attorney general started out defending President Trump's decision to oust his first FBI director, tying it to Comey's mishandling of Clinton email investigation.


ATTORNEY GENERAL JEFF SESSIONS: I don't think it's been fully understood the significance of the error that Mr. Comey made on the Clinton matter. I don't think I've heard of a situation in which a major case in which the Department of Justice prosecutors were involved in an investigation, that the investigative agency announces the closure of the investigation. He said he thought he did the right thing and would do it again. We were concerned that he reaffirmed that he would do it again. So I think that was our basis that called for a fresh start at the FBI.


GUILFOYLE: Sessions rebuffed repeated requests from Democrats like Dianne Feinstein to detail his private conversations with the president on Comey.


SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN, D-CALIF.: What exactly did President Trump tell you was his reason for firing Director Comey? Did the president ever mentioned to you his concern about lifting the cloud on the Russia investigation?

SESSIONS: Senator Feinstein, that calls for a communication that I've had with the president, and I believe it remains confidential.

FEINSTEIN: But you don't deny that there was a communication.

SESSIONS: I do not confirm or deny the existence of any communication between the president that I considered to be confidential.


GUILFOYLE: All right. Mr. Gutfeld, we begin with you. Welcome back


GUILFOYLE: So what do you think of these exchanges?


GUTFELD: I'm just slightly sick. Talk about a hot seat. Anyway.


GUTFELD: I get nothing out of these hearings, absolutely nothing. Because you know how it's going to go? They keep asking the same questions. They're trying to find the bombshell. It's like a political version of the carnival dunk tank. They all go get up there and they're trying to hit Sessions and knock him down, and you know it's going nowhere. They're all grandstanding because a lot of them are either going to run for reelection. So the hearing is often their audition. It's like America's Got Talent but without talent and with toupees. As for Comey, he's like a state capital. All over the map.

GUILFOYLE: All right. Well, that was certainly worth a two-day wait.


GUTFELD: Hey, look, I try.

GUILFOYLE: No, you didn't.

GUTFELD: I don't even know who you are.


GUTFELD: I see two of you, Kimberly.

GUILFOYLE: Lucky you.


GUILFOYLE: Lucky you, I've got to tell you. What a dream. All right. So Dana, today you were covering this as it was ongoing during the daily briefing, what's your take away from how Sessions did, and do you think he was well prepared for it?


GUILFOYLE: And kind of some things that he stated I think that can give us a tale of what's happening.

PERINO: Well, this was a general oversight hearing, so all the cabinet secretaries that served in the executive branch will eventually have to show up and go through the motions, really, because there's no answer really given. They're not going to be able to out-attorney general the attorney general. He was a member of the senate for a long time. He's -- attorney. So all of his answers were certainly practiced in a way, but also he was super careful. One of the things he kept doing when they were asking about Russia was he -- and also in that piece with Dianne Feinstein that we've just showed, is he was suggesting that there's executive privilege on conversations between him and the president. That is true. But executive privilege has not been invoked by the president on this. That's why you saw the senators getting frustrated and you didn't get a lot out of it.

The one thing I think that he does do in this hearing is he continues to do something that is actually quite brave for the executive branch to do, which is to say, for example on DACA, the dreamers, you know what, it was illegally done, so now we're asking congress to fix it. We're going to faithfully execute the law, but you guys have to pass the law. You can't just do this in the executive branch, it doesn't hold, so knock yourself out. And I thought that was useful. And that happens over and over again, on health care as well.

GUILFOYLE: OK. But overall, you felt that he did a good job?

PERINO: I think that there's nothing out of this that's a big headline tomorrow.

GUILFOYLE: OK. So usually.

PERINO: So that's a win.


GUILFOYLE: Like, wait a second. Wait for the tweet. OK. Jesse, what did you make of this in terms of the questioning of the panel, of Jeff Sessions, and do you think that he has pleased the president with his responses?

WATTERS: Yes, I'm sure that President Trump is very pleased. I thought the best part of the hearing was when the senator accidentally spilled Dr. Pepper on Senator Ted Cruz. For me, that was the highlight. The rest of the hearing it was Groundhog Day. This whole thing I think happen couple of months ago. I think they just did part two. The only other thing I came out of it basically was the Democrats still have no agenda. They're still obsessed with Russia. They're like 9/11 Truter's. Good luck running on that in 2018. It reaffirmed the fact that Comey hatched an escape plan for Hillary Clinton, and wrote an exonerating letter months before he even interviewed her. Then, when his boss, Lynch, had the secret meeting with slick Willie, he assert her authority, made the announcement, let Hillary escape. Then, said he'd do it all over again if you have the chance. Then when he got canned, he illegally leaked. So Comey didn't come out looking too good this time.

The only other thing that I think kind of leaked out of this hearing today, which was very, very interesting. The Obama-FBI knew that crooked Russians were funneling dirty money, and bribing American energy officials, and funneling money to the Clinton Foundation right before Hillary Clinton's state department approved this uranium deal. And she signed off on the deal. Holder signed off on the deal. Where the Justice Department under Obama had a smoking gun, sat on it, didn't do anything. You know who was leading the investigation of this crooked uranium deal? Comey and Mueller. So it all comes back full circle. And Senator Grassley asked about it, Sessions said, you know what, we're not going to comment on any ongoing investigation, which leads me to believe the Justice Department might actually be investigating dirty money flowing into the Clinton Foundation.

GUILFOYLE: A-ha. Juan, do you concur with Jesse?

JUAN WILLIAMS, CO-HOST: I don't know. I mean, to me, if it's true, they can look into it. I don't know if there's anything of substance. The question is what happens. We'll find out. What interested me today was a number of exchanges. I thought the exchange with Al Franken was just hilarious. I mean, here he is going back and forth with.

GUILFOYLE: Can I play it for you?


GUILFOYLE: All right. Fantastic. Good job, Juan. Let's play more from Sessions' testimony today. Juan wants to hear it. Here is his fiery exchange with Senator Al Franken.


SEN. AL FRANKEN, D-MINN.: The goalpost has been moved. First it was I did not have communications with Russians, which was not true. Then it was I never met with any Russians to discuss any political campaign. Now it's, I did not discuss interference in the campaign.

SESSIONS: I conducted no improper discussions with Russians at any time regarding a campaign or any other item facing this country. Mr. Chairman, I don't have to sit in here and listen until.

FRANKEN: You're the one --

SESSIONS: Without having a chance to respond. Give me a break. The lead-in to your question was very, very troubling.


GUILFOYLE: OK. So obviously some contention and tough moments between them here. But you thought it was hysterical.

WILLIAMS: That was interesting because that's the way I feel sitting here some days. I don't have to listen to this. But.


GUILFOYLE: But you do, for an hour.

WILLIAMS: So it was interesting because I think the heart and soul of it was that you have the senators treating the attorney general as if he is a target of interest in the Russia investigation. Of course, he's recused himself and angered President Trump who, by the way, continues to say where's the Justice Department in terms of looking into Comey, for example. He wants more action from Justice Department. To this day -- today, he's tweeting about it. But then you get a situation where Pat Leahy follows up on Franken. It's like, you know, tag team wrestling. And Leahy is like, have you met with Robert Mueller, the special counsel? And he says, well, maybe you should ask Mueller, not me. He says no, I'm asking you, buddy. I'm asking you.

To which point then, Senator Blumenthal of Connecticut gets involved, and finally we understand there's been no contact even with regard to setting up a meeting between Mueller and Sessions. So it's this kind of back-and- forth and fighting that then leads to a question from Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, who says is it possible that President Trump could issue preemptive pardons for people who are targeted by the special counsel? And he -- you know, Sessions is like, well, it's very broad authority under his pardon. But if that's where we're going, that's really curious. I mean, Sessions is saying yes, possible, maybe he'll pardon everybody. I don't know.

GUILFOYLE: So you thought that was a tale that basically -- even that line of questioning that maybe they'd heard that. They thought perhaps.

WILLIAMS: Oh, yeah. I think.

GUILFOYLE: . something that could come to fruition and -- OK.

WILLIAMS: That's what the Democrats are worried about.

GUTFELD: All I can think is the only thing more boring than this whole meeting is having it rehashed by Juan.

WILLIAMS: You know it's even worse, Greg?


WATTERS: I thought the Amy Klobuchar reference was fantastic.


GUTFELD: You're like the clip notes. Use the clip notes.

WILLIAMS: A lot of this happened in June, right? In front of Senate Intelligence. This is the first time it's before senate judiciary.

GUILFOYLE: Dana saying you're a reporter. That's why you do your little tick-tock.


GUILFOYLE: You're mind works like this.

WILLIAMS: I think the viewers benefit from knowing what happened.

GUTFELD: Are you sure?


PERINO: I have two observation. One, I think it is possible that the Democrats were going on and on about Russia because they were trying to get President Trump to get mad at Attorney General Sessions again, and to spin that back up because they benefit when it looks like the administration is in chaos. And I don't think that will necessarily will happen today, but that is possible. I also think the Democrats missed a real opportunity to be able to put a different set of news with the attorney general on the front burner. One would have been marijuana laws and how he is deciding to prosecute those. And dealing with the states that have legalized marijuana and the federal government hasn't. There's a lot to be set there. And there's so much that could be asked about on criminal justice reform when there's bipartisan support in the house and senate. There isn't necessarily support by Attorney General Sessions, but there might be with President Trump, and they could have figured out a way to drive a wedge there. But instead, they did the same hearing that they did three months ago.

WATTERS: Yeah. All the Democrats in the senate watching right now don't listen to Dana. Keep focusing on Russia. You guys are doing a great job.

GUTFELD: Is MSNBC going to cover all this new Russian stuff with Hillary? Do you think they're going to do that? I mean to be fair and balanced. No, that's us.

GUILFOYLE: All right. We're going to cover it. And President Trump's pick for drug czar withdrew from consideration after 60 Minutes exposed his role in fueling the opioid crisis. Now, Tom Marino is coming forward to tell his side of the story. That, plus, the NFL anthem protest announcement all coming up ahead. Stay with us.


WATTERS: President Trump's drug czar pick is out after damaging reports revealed he and other lawmakers may have hindered the DEA's fight to reduce opioid use. Now, Congressman Tom Marino wants to correct the record. He disputes the reporting that he may have helped fuel the crisis as unfair. He says he's proud of a 2016 drug bill he helped get passed without opposition. President Obama signed it into law. Attorney General Jeff Sessions also addressed the crisis today on Capitol Hill.


SESSIONS: We're in the midst of the deadliest drug epidemic this country has ever seen. We've seen nothing like it. Our availability of drugs, lower prices, increased purity along with a deadly substance fentanyl that resulted in climbing death tolls across this country. There can be no doubt, colleagues, we need much stricter accountability in the manufacture and the prescribing and the distribution of addictive opioids.


WATTERS: So "60 Minutes" did a really bang up job with this piece because it actually looks like it might ignite a little change in Washington. Do you agree?

PERINO: Well, possibly. I mean, I think it's interesting that Marino is now coming out with the defense when "60 Minutes" said they asked for him to respond and that didn't get anything from him. Now it's Wednesday, so the "60 Minutes" piece was previewed on Saturday, it airs on Sunday. Big Washington Post corresponding article on Sunday and Monday. He withdraws his name and now he wants to defend himself. There might be more to defend. I'm not exactly. I'm just commenting on the communications of it.

The president is going to sign the national emergency for the opiate crisis next week. That's what he said. Or earlier this week. And I do think that there's something to be said for this question. Does the country need a drug czar in particular? A lot of people for a long time said actually that's a position that we don't need anymore because it can be handled by the Justice Department. The attorney general was saying today is that there are lots of different laws, but the law is not going to be able to solve all of this.


PERINO: And I don't know exactly how the emergency plan is going to work and to all the different resources that will be brought to bear. If you have, for example, 1,000 people a day who are treated in emergency rooms for this problem, it's a huge deal.

WATTERS: It is a huge deal. Gutfeld, lot of these pharmaceutical companies are now under investigation. Looks like 41 states attorney generals have now issued subpoenas asking for documents. What do you think about these pharmaceutical companies?

GUTFELD: It's easy to blame them. And when it's easy to blame somebody it's not often true. I'm always very suspicious of the whistle-blower aspect on "60 Minutes" because you always find out later that that whistle- blower isn't really a whistle-blower. Pharmaceutical companies, distribution companies, they met with the DEA over time to provide data on rogue doctors and pharmacies. The DEA, as far I've read up on it, didn't really want to work with them. People want to blame somebody for this because they're either running for office or they're running scared. What company wants their product to kill their consumers? Logically, they don't. It's the easiest bogeyman to go -- it absolves everybody from a practical solution.

The practical solution with these drugs is the product is externally effective and it helps millions and millions of people just the way firearms help millions and millions of people. Just the way automobiles help millions and millions of people. Those three things incur a lot of debt, 60,000, 30,000, 40,000, that's a reality. So what you try to do is you try to figure out how do you solve that? You try to look at the people who are driving. You look at the people who are doing drugs. Which people are addicted to? Which people aren't? How they using it? You don't necessarily have to restrict the drug, but dilute it and then monitor it. That's what -- not been happen.

The worst thing you can do is draconian measure, because the draconian measure -- I don't understand, the draconian measures are going to hurt people that need these drugs. And so we're going to sit there and have this stupid reaction. We lost the illegal drug war and now we're going to lose the legal drug war because we're freaking out about something that's going to help millions of people. I don't understand. What was wrong with a bill that Marino offered? What was wrong with that?

WATTERS: I think they said it made it harder to crack down on these gross amount of shipments to these small towns of these opioids. Because you have a town, population 400, in a mining community that get sent a million pills. And that just seems like a lot, Kimberly.

GUILFOYLE: Because it removes like a restrictions. There was no, sort of like, flow meter to be able to do it. It was just like all go.

GUTFELD: I don't think it was all go.

GUILFOYLE: That was the point of the bill. Whether or not that actually is the truth and the case, but now who knows. What was he told at the time of "60 Minutes"? What does he know three days later in terms of information (INAUDIBLE) whoever, the whistleblower was, or to what transpired for that. So now, let's hear his explanation as the story developed. What I do believe is that Attorney General Jeff Sessions taking it very seriously. I think the president is as well as I've mentioned yesterday. And he'll probably likely to appoint another drug czar. Christie was there and I'm sure he would love the job because he really doesn't have any other, you know, job going, right?

WATTERS: That's right. (INAUDIBLE)

GUILFOYLE: But not only that, he's very passionate about it.

GUTFELD: I don't think I trust him.

GUILFOYLE: Big campaign issue.

WATTERS: President Trump in a unique position because he doesn't really need a lot of donations from the pharmaceutical industry like maybe other politicians would. Do you think he's positioned himself or he can really lead the charge against this?

WILLIAMS: Well, yeah, ideally he would be the one because what you see is that a lot of it isn't poor, rural America that's being devastated by places like Senator Manchin was talking about West Virginia, that just got swamped by this unbelievable number of opioids for a small community. Now, let me just say, I am very curious about this story for a number of reasons. One is, if you're just looking at the surface, guess what? Marino got a $100,000 in donations from some of these PACS, or distributors, and the chain drugstores. His chief of staff becomes the chief lobbyist for the chain drugstores. Lot of complication.

But today -- today, you'll listen to this. All of a sudden, you have Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, both sang this story is baloney. Baloney. They say that in fact what they're about is making sure that Americans -- and this fits in with what Greg was saying, have the ability to access drugs they need, especially experimental type drugs. But, I don't think there's any getting away from the damage being done by the opioid crisis at this moment, and I don't find it defensible to my mind.

GUTFELD: We're taking the easy way out. We always go after the capitalist angle. Oh, it's the pharmacies. Are the distributors supposed to go to Walgreens or a doctor's office and ask why they're prescribing more? No one wants to be blamed for this. You're trying to deal with patients who got pain.

WILLIAMS: Do you think it might be marketing that they say to the doctors, we'll reward you for pushing this on your patients?

WATTERS: Well, I think we can all agree the DEA and the pharmaceutical companies have to be more accountable. We're finally starting to win the war against ISIS because we don't have a president who underestimates the threat. Right back.


GUTFELD: As ISIS evaporates, who deserves credit? Well, if you ask Donald Trump, it's Donald Trump:


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I totally change rules of engagement. I totally changed our military. I totally change the attitudes of the military and they have done a fantastic job.

ISIS is now giving up. They're giving up. They're raising their hands. They're walking off. Nobody's ever seen that before.


GUTFELD: That is classic Trump. So that has riled up the media who hate his boasting. Thank God no one else ever did that:


THEN-VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Usama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.

THEN-PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Al Qaeda is on the path to defeat and Usama bin Laden is dead.

My opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy. They want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost America so dearly. After all, you don't call Russia our number one enemy -- not Al Qaeda, Russia -- unless you're still stuck in a Cold War mind warp.


GUTFELD: That did not age well.

So should you care if Donald Trump blows his own horn? Again, I'll take a win led by a blowhard over a failure led by a thoughtful academic. But for the media the story is always Trump's words and not his deeds. 2014, it seems long ago, but you must remember that time when ISIS sprang from hell. That first beheading? A valentine of evil. It's nothing we'd ever seen before. And the hits kept coming. And as our commander in charm dismissed them, they flourished. Even after they graduated from J.V. to varsity. Now they're nearly gone and only because we returned to a simple truth: annihilation trumps analysis.

All this matters in another context: North Korea. President Trump is facing the same gripes for his rhetoric towards North Korea, who said yesterday, again, that we're on the brink of nuclear war. It's been only Trump who's got China attention on this. It's been only Trump who's drawn a red line that few doubt. And so as with ISIS, it's only Trump who has any hope of success here. Because negotiation without leverage isn't negotiation. It's blather. Blather got us ISIS. It got us the Iranian nuke deal. Blather got us a nuclear North Korea. There are some problems impervious to blather.

So let the media blather on. This is a street fight on Planet Earth Avenue. Ask yourself: Who would you rather square off against? A president who promised to annihilate ISIS and does it, or the professional blatherers, appalled when our president actually wins one?

How can you deny the differences in approach, Dana?

PERINO: Well, you really can't. Although I think that there are probably some Obama administration people who would say, "Well, we actually put this in motion in..."


PERINO: "... October of 2016 and therefore, we actually deserve the credit." This is what they say about the economy, as well.


PERINO: The thing is that President Trump is doing is that he is using the threat, or the actual action...


PERINO: ... of military force in order to make diplomacy more effective. That's the goal.


PERINO: And so it makes some people feel uncomfortable, I guess. And maybe they're in the media or elsewhere.

I do think that this is a moment to celebrate. But there's not much time to celebrate.


PERINO: Because behind this is the vacuum. So we know one of the things that brought people together to fight ISIS was the fact that we had all these different coalitions working together. Now they're all in the region still, and they're starting to turn on each other.


PERINO: So what is our diplomatic goal from there after this military threat worked?

GUTFELD: Kimberly, terrorists are like the devil's Doritos. We just keep eating them, but they'll always make more.

GUILFOYLE: Oh, my goodness. Don't give Doritos a bad name. So tasty.

WATTERS: "Food Court."

GUILFOYLE: Yes, "Food Court." I feel a "Food Court" coming on.

GUTFELD: Devil's Doritos.

GUILFOYLE: Exactly. So I think this is -- we talked about this, you know, yesterday, as well. But the bottom line is President Trump does deserve credit for his accomplishments in terms of really responding and listening to the military, listening to the people who are in the field, who are on the ground, and actually putting in play and in motion, giving them the ability to run their play, which is "This is how we want to defeat them. This is what's needed. We need to return the rules of engagement to what they were before and we need be strategic in how we approach this." And not just use, you know, flowing rhetoric. Actually get it done.

Do you recall, Greg, that people were criticizing President Trump and saying, "Well, where's his plan? Where's the specifics? How's he going to get this done? He's saying he's going to crush them."

But guess what? In fact, he has. So the actions, and instead of telegraphing exactly what you're going to do and putting it in place has proved to be much more beneficial and effective.

GUTFELD: The other thing, Jesse, is the way he talked about it. Remember when he talked about the wall. That had an effect on the mules' business. I think they're called mules. They stopped coming from Central America.

PERINO: Coyotes.

GUTFELD: Coyotes or mules? Mules are drugs. Coyotes are people.

GUILFOYLE: Coyotes riding mules.

GUTFELD: Yes. So he -- it diminished that kind of traffic. In a way, his language had an effect on ISIS before, perhaps, the bombs did.

WATTERS: Perhaps it did. You know, I don't mind when politicians take credit for success. It's when they point fingers when there's failure. But everybody does that.

Trump's been saying the stock market record highs, it's all his responsibility. When that thing crashes, I'm sure he's going to be pointing fingers.

PERINO: It's already McConnell's fault.

WATTERS: Yes, right. And then you have Obama, you know, "I killed bin Laden," but then ISIS crept up, and it's the CIA's fault because they missed that. It's fine.

He ran on knocking the hell out of ISIS, so I don't mind if he thumps his chest a little bit. He can accomplish a lot when Congress is not involved. Imagine if Congress were involved in the fight against ISIS. They'd probably be in control of the entire Middle East.

Well, I don't like the hypocrisy about the media. When Obama came out and said, "You know what? We don't have a strategy, and they're JV." The media said, "Oh, you know what? The rise of ISIS, that's Bush's fault."

And then when he took a really weak approach to this air war and there was a stalemate, the media said, "You know what? Great job, President Obama. We're not in a quagmire."

Then he sends boots on the ground. The media is silent.

So Trump come up, says he's going to wipe them off the face of the earth. The media calls him naive and a warmonger. Then Trump actually wipes them off the face of Iraq, and the media hasn't said anything.

GUTFELD: Juan, I saw you nodding in agreement with everything Jesse said.

WILLIAMS: Well, there were some things I did agree with, but I must say the that I disagree with all of you about is that he's doing something different. Because essentially what he did was continue Obama's strategy.


WILLIAMS: And in fact...

WATTERS: What was the strategy, Juan?

WILLIAMS: Let me point out that when Obama said, "We're going to go into Mosul. We're going to put more people in there to support," you know, the special Kurdish forces or whatever that are in there, guess who opposed it? Donald Trump. That's a fact.

So I mean, I just like -- so he comes in and he says, "I've got a secret plan. I've got a secret plan. I'm going to get rid of ISIS, these campaigns. I've got a secret plan." No secret plan.

GUTFELD: That was his plan. You've got to keep it secret.

WILLIAMS: His secret plan was following Obama.

GUILFOYLE: That was the point.


GUTFELD: We've got to move on, Juan.

WILLIAMS: He said, "You know what? Let's -- there..."

WATTERS: Wait. It's Bush's fault ISIS took over a third of Iraq?

WILLIAMS: That's a different...

WATTERS: But then it's Obama's strategy that defeated them under Trump?

WILLIAMS: No, what I'm saying is...

GUILFOYLE: You're following.

WILLIAMS: Let me just say, Obama had a strategy. Trump continued it. I think that where credit is due to President Trump is that President Trump was willing to go in, not with additional forces so much as additional firepower from above that wiped out these places. You know, sponsored a lot of the immigration flight that we're now concerned about.

GUILFOYLE: On the ground, too, in...

WILLIAMS: I think we can all celebrate any time ISIS and terrorists are defeated.

GUTFELD: Yes, and I will never -- I'm not celebrating until the entire idea is gone.

GUILFOYLE: OK, agreed.

GUTFELD: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. I know him. He's married to someone that used to work here.

PERINO: Yes indeed.

GUTFELD: Has a message for the league's players, but will the kneelers follow suit? His words next.


PERINO: After a second day of meetings with team owners and players hoping to make progress in the anthem controversy, the NFL commissioner had this to say about how teams should approach the national anthem before games.


ROGER GOODELL, NFL COMMISSIONER: We believe that our players should stand for the national anthem.

I understand what our fans feel about this issue, and we feel the same way about the importance of our flag, about the importance of patriotism. And I believe our players feel that way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you come out of the meetings with the owners with an understanding that teams that have indicated they would discipline their own players for not standing will not discipline them?

GOODELL: No. We didn't discuss that. It wasn't necessary.


PERINO: When asked if he spoke to President Trump, he said this.


GOODELL: What we're trying to do is stay out of politics.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you at all communicated with President Trump? Do you have any plans to communicate with President Trump?

GOODELL: I have not.


PERINO: The president shared his thoughts today, too. "NFL: Too much talk, not enough action. Stand for the National Anthem."

So Kimberly...


PERINO: ... I watched this press conference today, and I'm thinking the -- there's nothing new from the NFL.

GUILFOYLE: Right. You know what I think, Dana?

WATTERS: I'd like to see what your...

GUILFOYLE: I think that President Trump, after he's done being president, is going to be commissioner of the NFL. I mean, could you imagine?


GUILFOYLE: Yes, interesting. But look, so they tried to massage this a little bit with the public perceptions to show, like, OK, we're doing something. We've having meetings about meetings to try to work this out.

Basically, they're going to have to, like, run out the clock on this. Which is try to find a way to get out through the rest of this season people not airing the anthem, so that it takes away the whole, you know, mystery of it. I don't know. They could offer to them to maybe kneel during the coin toss. They want to do that.

PERINO: Yes, sure. Why not?

GUILFOYLE: I don't know. Pick another spot. Let's see you try to move it along.

PERINO: Juan, what do you think?

WILLIAMS: I was impressed by Goodall. I thought that he said very important. He said, you know, he wanted to communicate to the players that the NFL and the advertisers really care about what they're talking about, which is social injustice and the relationships between police and the black community.

And he said they're going to do something about it and basically, you know, put himself in a position where he said the NFL is not here, he said, to get involved with politics.

Now, Donald Trump continues to use this to divide the country. He's tweeted today that there was an act of total disrespect for our great country for Goodell not to impose punishment on players who continue to kneel.

PERINO: Jesse, your thoughts?

WATTERS: Well, I think the kneelers have divided the country, Juan, and I think the country supports the president on this issue.


WATTERS: The NFL is like the U.N. You know, they have a lot of meetings, but nothing ever gets accomplished. I'm afraid they criticized Goodell too much, because he seems a little vengeful. And I want to still go to the Super Bowl party in New York.

But I will have to say he has botched this. They should have come down on Kaepernick last year from the jump. It would have solved all these problems.

Everything this guy touches has not turned out well. The Ray Rice beating in the elevator situation. DeflateGate. The Ezekiel Elliott suspension. Everything -- what's going on with that? Touchstone [SIC] -- touchdown celebrations in the end zone. I mean, everything this guy -- the concussions.

PERINO: Yes, those are tame. I've got to say, touchdown -- touchdown dancing in the end zone seems pretty tame compared to the rest of it.

WATTERS: I mean, let them dance. I don't even know what a catch is in the NFL.

GUILFOYLE: Where do you come down on this, Greg?

WILLIAMS: Can I just quickly say something?

PERINO: I have to get out in 30 seconds.

WILLIAMS: OK. Go right ahead.

PERINO: Greg gets the rest of the time.

GUTFELD: You know, the protest is only catching on with people who are scared of dismissing it. They're afraid of being seen as racist or whatever. Or insensitive to social injustice.

Tell me the difference between social justice and injustice. You can't.

All right. I listen to the legend, the professor, Walter Williams. Juan, you know him well. You know, he says you've got to focus on reality, not showboating. There's a great figure. Less than 13 percent of homicides in Chicago are cleared. That means those are the only ones that are solved. The other ones go unsolved. That's what you should be focusing on. That's what the players should be focusing on.

Twenty-five percent of all homicides occur in Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, Washington, D.C. Players should focus on that. That's predominantly minority. So you've got to think about this.

This is all about symbolic gestures. It's not about anything in reality. It's not about head injuries. It's not about murder. It's not about corruption. It's not about steroids. It's about adults turning themselves into children and then worried about belonging or upsetting their peers.

Identity politics, wherever it infects, it rots. And that's what you're seeing. You're going to see this wherever it happens. It's going to rot from the core inside.

WILLIAMS: But guess one...

PERINO: And the best symbolic gesture is standing for the national anthem. We've got to run, Juan. But we'll surely talk about this again tomorrow.

GUTFELD: No, we won't.

PERINO: Students walk out in protest after a teacher tells her class to speak American. Was she right to do so? We debate next.


WILLIAMS: A student body at Cliffside Park High School in Bergen County, New Jersey, has orchestrated a walkout over comments made by a teacher demanding kids in her class, quote, "speak American," end quote.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The men and women who are fighting are not fighting for your right to speak Spanish. They're fighting for your right to speak American.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're being racist. I know how to speak English.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good-bye. Good-bye. Good-bye.


WILLIAMS: Teenagers from the school waved flags from Puerto Rico, Brazil, the Dominican Republic on the steps of the high school in protest.

Kimberly, what do you think?

GUILFOYLE: You know, I mean you feel like there's more and more of these stories every day. And the thing is, now everybody's become a kind of reporter with a phone. You know? Students are reporting on teachers. Teachers reporting on students. Faculty, et cetera.

And I find that, you know -- we find one of these stories every day. And then the point is to try to dig behind it and find out, you know, exactly what happened.

I believe it's "speak English." But nevertheless, I'm sure she regrets the choice of words.

WILLIAMS: You think she regrets it?

GUILFOYLE: I think so. I mean, look what happened now.


GUILFOYLE: I don't think she is happy with the outcome. Do you?

WILLIAMS: I don't know. Because the school board says they're -- they're meeting on this, but they won't tell us what they're deciding. I read an editorial from a Bergen County paper that said she was wrong, but she should not be fired. You know, she just overreacted.

GUILFOYLE: Well, I'm saying she probably doesn't want the controversy. I'm quite certain.

WILLIAMS: So over half of the students in this school are, in fact, people who speak Spanish at home, Jesse. They said they were discussing a baseball game. What do you think?

WATTERS: Well, I think the teacher might need to go back to school to learn how to speak English. Because I don't know what "speak American" means. She's obviously not that qualified. But it is a New Jersey public school.

And she's a sub, apparently. So, you know, maybe she needs to go back and brush up on her English.

I don't mind if students, if they're from a Hispanic background, speak Spanish. You know, if they're having a conversation about a baseball game, who cares? It just sounds like gossip. Maybe they shouldn't be speaking during the teacher's lecture, or during the lesson.

WILLIAMS: Of courses not, yes.

WATTERS: But if they're just having a side comment in Spanish, their native language, or if they're bilingual. I mean, being bilingual is good. So it doesn't matter to me.

I think they're taking it a little too far with the walkouts and the flag. Let's be honest. This isn't like, you know, the civil rights issue of their time. But I think they're maybe looking for an excuse to get out of the next class.

But I think the students are right. They shouldn't be criticized for that.

WILLIAMS: So Dana, I remember when President Trump said it to Jeb Bush, he should speak English in this country, be respectful. I mean, is this along the same lines?

PERINO: Well, this is an issue that goes back. I mean, I remember this was, like, one of the debate topics when I was in high school. So this is not new.

I do think that school boards and principals should stand behind their teachers. And if they have a problem with it, then people can have a conversation.

I also don't think that students should be encouraged to walk out if they disagree with something. We have that conversation all the time. Sit down and argue about it and do it respectfully, and actually, you'll succeed.

WILLIAMS: Hey, Greg, by the way, one of the students said as he was walking out, "You're being racist. I know how to speak English."

GUTFELD: I think they were speaking in Spanish. They were whispering in Spanish during class.

Three things wrong with this. No. 1, I don't care who's right or wrong. You walk out of class, you should be suspended. That's an -- that's just an excuse to skip class.

No. 2, when a principal asks an assembly or gets an assembly and asks students what he should do, he's a pathetic principal.

PERINO: I agree.

GUTFELD: You don't ask students what to do.


GUTFELD: You're the damn -- principal.

Three, we should have an American language. It should be based on the Trump vocabulary and Merle Haggard lyrics. And everybody should know it because, you know what? People love our culture. Let's decide right now to have an American -- an American language. It will unite all of us. Esperanto was the earth language. Let's have an American language. Come on, everybody.

GUILFOYLE: How fascinating.

GUTFELD: It is fascinating. It's right. What a bunch of babies. Bunch of babies.

WILLIAMS: Well, I think Canada would like to have an official language.

"One More Thing" up next.



GUILFOYLE: It's time now for "One More Thing." And yesterday was fantastic as Brian Kilmeade had his wonderful book party.


GUILFOYLE: He's a New York Times best-selling author, and his latest book, "Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: A Battle That Shaped America's Destiny," and that is coming out officially at bookstores on October 24. So be sure to look for that. It's getting rave reviews.

And we all kind of, like, sauntered over there yesterday. You see that. Kennedy took that snapshot. And so it was a lot of fun. And there's a picture here. He's getting support from all the colleagues. And Kilmeade and Hannity together, and Kilmeade and Ainsley, who had her own event at Book Review last night. It was a lot, a lot of fun. We're very happy and proud of him.

WATTERS: Very nice.



GUTFELD: All right.


GUTFELD: I hate these people!


GUTFELD: You know who I hate? It's the people that write up the instructions for medical devices. I've been sick for, like, I don't know, three or four days. So I got this thing. It's an Advair. I don't know if you can look at that. And I've been using it for, like, three days. You put -- press this thing like that, and then you put it to your mouth.

But I've been doing it for three days and nothing's happening, and I realized that I've been not putting it over the mouth hole. I've been sucking in at the handle for the last three days. I was doing this, and I'm getting nothing. But I was supposed to do it over here.

So for three days, I've been not taking my medicine, and I've been getting sicker and sicker because you can't do good instructions! You could have just pointed at this thing and said, "Put your mouth there, you moron."

GUILFOYLE: Well, this is what happened with the Imodium pills, because you couldn't even manage to get them out of the plastic.

GUTFELD: I know. I hate these people.

GUILFOYLE: There you go. Dana.

PERINO: So just when you think your boss has really, like, stepped it up, you've got a new coffee pot or something.


PERINO: Microsoft will outdo you every time. Check this out. They've got new tree houses where you can have meetings and stuff. There's, like, charred (ph) walls. They're 13 feet off the ground. They've got soaring ceilings, round skylights.

GUTFELD: That's so insulting to the trees. "Hey, we've got your dead friends here."

GUILFOYLE: Wow. I don't believe that was...

PERINO: Do you believe that? It doesn't look like our fort.

GUTFELD: Building a tree house in a tree says, "Here are the corpses of your friends."

GUILFOYLE: Oh, my God.

PERINO: You'll forever have to look upon them.

GUILFOYLE: All right. Take some more. Take another hit of that medicine, why don't you?

All right. Jesse.

WATTERS: All right. A Florida woman found an eggs-cellent activity...


WATTERS: ... to do with her pet chicken.

What the cluck? She is paddle boarding with her pet chicken, Loretta, and they are doing it in the Florida Keys. It's relaxing. And I don't have a problem with it. It's beautiful.

GUILFOYLE: He said, "I don't know if I can pull this off." There you go.


WILLIAMS: All right. So firefighters are trying to gain control of those California wildfires. They continue to blaze through Northern California. But over 200,000 acres have been burned, 100,000 people fleeing.

And in this picture, you can see a woman, Lauren Macero (ph), and her -- yes, that's her pony in the backseat!


WILLIAMS: Stardust is now safe and waiting out the fire at a nearby ranch. Boy, but she said, "You know what? That car will never smell the same again."

GUILFOYLE: All right. Well, set your DVRs. Never miss an episode of "The Five." "Special Report" is up next.

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