This is a rush transcript from "The Fox News Specialists," September 5, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
EBONI K. WILLIAMS, CO-HOST: Hey, everybody. I'm Eboni K. Williams along with Kat Timpf and Brian Kilmeade. This is "The Fox News Specialists."
A very big week for President Trump, kicking off with a controversial bang, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announcing today that the Trump administration is ending the DACA program which protects undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children from deportation, the decision is creating a political firestorm in Washington and beyond.
For more, we go to Fox News chief White House correspondent John Roberts. John?
JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Eboni, good afternoon.
The White House has portrayed this as the president doing the responsible thing because DACA could have been subject to a judicial order, which would have ended it immediately. So instead, the president put in place against the threat of a lawsuit by Texas, South Carolina and eight other states. An orderly process of dismantling DACA and then handing it over to congress during a six month period of a phase out for them to do something about it. This is something the president railed against during the election campaign. And you can hear some protesters behind me on Pennsylvania Avenue expressing their displeasure with what the president did. But upon becoming president, he wrestled with this decision. He said he thought long and hard about it and wanted to do it with what he said, heart. Listen to what the president said just a short time ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The folks we're talking about, a great love for them. And people think in terms of children but they're really young adults. I have a love for these people, and hopefully now, congress will be able to help them and do it properly. I can tell you in speaking to members of congress, they want to be able to do something and do it right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: Now, the president is giving congress six months to try to work all of these out. President Obama, former President Obama, who implemented DACA in December of 2012, was of a different mind over what President Trump announced this afternoon saying, quote, to target these young people is wrong because they have done nothing wrong. It is self-defeating because they want to start new businesses, staff our labs, serve in our military, and otherwise contribute to the country we love, and it is cruel. Unless and until congress does something about it, here is where -- people who are in the DACA, so called dreamers stand, no new applications for DACA status will be accepted after today. Although, applications that are already in the process will go ahead. Renewals already received will be adjudicated on a case-by-case basis. Dreamers whose benefits expire by March 5th of next year have until October 5th to file a renewal request. But if you're a dreamer whose benefits expire after that March 5th date and you have not gotten a request for renewal, you are out of luck. No more new requests for renewals will be accepted if the expiration date is after March 5th of 2018. That marks exactly six months.
WILLIAMS: My first question, John, we know that the six month timeline is kind of been granted to congress, if they're unable or failed to act around it for those six months, then what?
ROBERTS: Well, nobody really wants to tackle that just yet. They've all say we're pretty confident that congress will do something about it. But you would think by the order that has been given if congress doesn't do something about it by March 5th, people who have status will maintain that status. There are renewals that could go all away up until, sometime in 2019, August of 2019, so it's possible that those people who already have those renewals in the process, and there's only eight of them, I should tell you, for the year 2019. There's about 7,500 for the year 2018. They could actually have their status renewed for another two years. So some of the dreamers could stay here until as late as 2021, if congress does nothing and then the program is allowed to expire. But nobody is going that far just yet. They're all saying, oh, we think congress will take care of this. We will see.
BRIAN KILMEADE, CO-HOST: Hey, John. I mean, it's hard to not see, Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham together, both critics at different times of President Trump, say, hey, now we've got to work together to get something done. Now it's on us to do this. Constitutionally, we know that Senator Lindsey Graham is a lawyer. So it's really on congress. These protests, and these outrages, and these statements are really missing the point. He didn't kill the program. He told congress to make a decision.
ROBERTS: Yeah. And a lot of people say, and some members of congress who support DACA say that the president really had no choice here. It really was executive overreach in the summer of 2012 when President Obama signed this. That at some point, some judge, somewhere, like they did with what's called DAPA, the deferred action for parental arrivals, somebody is going to come along and say DACA has got to go. So, they say that the president really didn't have any choice.
The big question here now, Brian, is what does congress come up with, because this dream act that Lindsey Graham and Dick Durbin are working on, they did this in consultation with the president, one of the president's senior advisors, Jared Kushner, to talk about that going forward. That's seen by a lot of people in congress on the conservative side as being the, quote, establishment plan, and something that they're not going to sign onto.
I was talking with some folks this morning, and they say, look, this is not what the president was elected to do. The president was elected on the promise of getting rid of DACA. There's some conservatives say this is going to ignite a civil war in the Republican Party, one that could end very badly in November of next year with Democrats taking back control of congress. So, a lot of people are very wary about this. So Lindsey Graham kind of alluded to it this afternoon saying the problem is not going to be with the senate, the problem is going to be with the house.
KATHERINE TIMPF, CO-HOST: And what do you think, John, the chances are that it becomes more than just about DACA if certain people try to attack different things on it on different sides as part of this civil war?
ROBERTS: Kat, it's about a lot more than DACA because Sarah Huckabee Sanders lay down the mark of this afternoon saying that the president is looking for responsible immigration reform from congress, not comprehensive immigration reform, which we've heard before with the gang of eight, but responsible immigration reform. So in exchange for doing something about DACA, the president is going to want things on immigration enforcement authority. He's probably going to ask for funding for the wall. He's going to ask for a lot of other things. If they come out with a straight DACA bill that might not pass presidential muster and he might not sign it. So the White House is working closely with Graham and Durbin to the chagrin of some conservatives who think that that plan is a little to moderate. But it's pretty clear that the president is going to be asking for more than just a DACA fix with whatever congress comes up with.
KILMEADE: Hey, John, have you had any boring days? Can you possible keep this pace up?
TIMPF: Are you OK?
ROBERTS: Sunday was pretty boring. I mean, James Mattis came out and talked about annihilating North Korea.
WILLIAMS: A slow day in the office for you, John Roberts. Thank you so much for joining us.
We'll now meet today's Specialists. He is the CEO of American Majority, a former presidential writer for George W. Bush, and a Trump surrogate, but he specializes in all things politics, Ned Ryun is here. And she's a former speechwriter for senate majority leader Bill Frist, a former anchor for the Blaze TV, and a broadcast political analyst for Rasmussen Reports, she specializes in BBC detective shows -- how fun -- Amy Holmes is here.
I'll start with you on this, Ned, and we said this yesterday on the show, how the White House makes this announcement will be very important because they're going to be two very extreme narratives. One is going to be very emotionally based.
NED RYUN, AMERICAN MAJORITY CEO: That's right
WILLIAMS: . and the other is going to be around the logistics of the procedural aspect of this, your take?
RYUN: Well, my take on this, I think, it was a very responsible move by Trump. Again, as John was mentioning, if this goes to the courts, this thing ends overnight. And what Trump was saying, let's give it a six month runway. And again, we don't want an imperial presidency. This is supposed to be decided by the legislative branch. That's how it's supposed to be done. Legally.
WILLIAMS: You trust them to do it?
RYUN: You know what, first of all, it's their authority, it's their right. Do I trust them to do it? I'm not sure I trust them to chew gum and walk at the same time at this point. But at the same time, this is where it rests. It rests with the legislative branch to deal with immigration law. And so, you know, the thing that's funny I was reading -- looking at Obama's quotes, I went back before the show and started looking at quotes from 2010 and 2011. To take executive action on this issue DACA would be unconstitutional. Such an indiscriminate approach would be unwise and unfair. Such an indiscriminate approach could lead to a surge and more illegal immigration. I know there are some who wish I could just bypass congress and just change the law myself, but that's not how democracy works. It's hard, but it's right.
WILLIAMS: One second, Brian. That's helpful because it gives us context. Also giving us context, though, President Obama talking about this is cool, and many people say, OK, that's what he would say. But President Trump though, Ned, in 2012, talked about families that have been here, should be able to stay here -- so I'm really just articulating, kind of, the dual side of this from both the political.
RYUN: And I think the thing that -- I hope that we'll avoid this. This is not a hard amnesty versus non-amnesty. This is not an easy issue to deal with at the same time. This should not have been made in the executive branch. This is the legislative branch. And Trump did the right thing, instead of the courts ending it overnight, he gave them six months to figure this one right.
KILMEADE: A lot of people wondering why President Obama doesn't use twitter mark. Here's why.
(LAUGHTER) TIMPF: It will be like 1 out of 1,000.
KILMEADE: And the thing is, it's not about these people. They seem like wonderful people. And for the most part, I call -- we're both on the radio, I got a call from one guy who was in 11th grade, he was in 11th grade when DACA passed. His 9th grade brother who was born here, he wasn't. He was 2 when he came here, his brother can say. He's got to go. I get it. But you compared it to the other workers and other people that are here already, and the kids in Kenya or Cuba that want to come here too, that's the people you should be comparing them to.
RYUN: Right. And we've had such a messed up immigration system, not only on this front but on a variety of fronts, from not having a secure southern border, to how they're coming in, to how we're dealing with those that are here illegally, now dealing with the dreamers. I look at what Trump is trying to do and hopefully be able to accomplish. We'll see if congress could pull up. It's being able to hit a bit of a reset on our immigration policy moving forward, because it's been messed up.
WILLIAMS: It's been messed up a long time, Amy. And again, you're seeing a President Obama, President Trump, everybody, kind of, on all sides of this, your take as to the best solutions for Americans.
AMY HOLMES, RASMUSSEN REPORTS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think we do need to find a pathway to citizenship for this specific group of people. But I have to say, I was really disheartened and dispirited by President Obama's statement today injecting politics into this. By his own testimony, this was supposed to be temporary. Look at it. It's built into the title of it, deferred action. These were only two year increments to be able to get these waivers. So, for today to say that these people are being targeted by the Trump administration I thought was very unfair. As we've been discussing, this is really the job of the legislature. When president -- Obama, rather, when he signed, or did his executive order, at the time I thought, you know what, this is not the message that we're supposed to be sending Americans or aspiring Americans that it doesn't matter what the law is. It matters who's in power. This is a constitutional republic.
KILMEADE: It becomes arbitrary.
HOLMES: . by the people, not by a unilateral executive.
WILLIAMS: Kat, I'm going to get you in here, because I hear that argument and I can respect it. The issue, though, is that we do have executive orders in this country, and all presidents use them. Most of them use up to 200 plus. So why is it that people are kind of getting in their feelings around the use of executive orders when the policy doesn't go their way?
TIMPF: Right. It's bananas. How some of the people who have problems with some of Trump's executive order never did with any of Obama's and vice versa. This should be an easy thing. Congress should have enough support for this specific issue. It's, you know, obviously, a lot of emotional appeal. These people were babies, and a lot of them don't have connections to their home country anymore. And then the numbers, in terms of the benefits, the economy, they're working. They're paying taxes. It should be easy. But again, like we talked about with John Roberts earlier, it's probably not going to be that simple. People are going to tack -- tack on funding for the wall or let's take on -- and then they're going to squabble. We could be looking at a disaster. Six month isn't that long.
HOLMES: Eboni, and answer to your question about this specific executive order, the president is not supposed to be able to write law for a whole class of people. His lawyer, for the Obama administration, Eric Columbus, he tweeted and I have it right here in front of me, he said, sad to say, I agree with the Trump administration. That such a challenge to DACA is very likely to succeed.
WILLIAMS: I think every lawyer would agree with that.
HOLMES: The president has the right and the ability to set priorities in terms of prosecutorial conduct and priorities in terms of who do we deport first. What President Obama did was actually confer privileges and that's where he overstepped.
WILLIAMS: So much to talk about. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had this message for congress earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Getting something on the Republican side is not going to be easy with the divisions that we see between the center and the right in the Republican Party. It will only get deeper. What gives you confidence?
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: With all due respect, I don't think the American people elected congress to do things that were easy. They elected them to make a government that works, to work properly, and to work for American people. And that's their job. And if they can't do it, then they need to get out of the way and let somebody else who can take on a heavy lift.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: Brian, I believe she's exactly right there. They're not called to do what's easy. They're called to do what's right and what's fair and what's just. Your take, though, on their ability to do this.
KILMEADE: Put it this way, there's nobody now. Paul Ryan, not Mark Meadows, not Dick Durbin gets to write the law exactly the way he wants. So, will you vote your man or woman out of office in order to get the dream act passed, they get funding for the wall? Why wouldn't we work in series, give-and-take. And you stand up in front of your town hall and say, yeah, I know you want me to get -- I know you want that wall built. So I have to go along with the dream act. If you don't like that, then understand.
HOLMES: Brian, are you talking about legislating?
(CROSSTALK) RYUN: Politics is not the art of perfectionist, it's the art of the possible, so what are you going to do to be able to move forward?
(CROSSTALK) HOLMES: But that is for both sides. That's for both sides. That's for Congressman Steve King who's on the right on immigration issue, but it's also for the far left in the Democratic Party. Congressman Sherman from California, he gave an interview to the L.A. Times, say he can't do anything that might be seen to be aligning with Trump.
WILLIAMS: And that's the problem. Is that the extremes of the politics are so severe that the cost politically when you compromise is really defying. When we come back, Vladimir Putin warning of a global catastrophe over the North Korea crisis with the rogue state reportedly making fresh preparations for another long-range missile test. Don't go away.
TIMPF: North Korea has reportedly moved what may be a long-range missile overnight to a position toward its west coast. With warnings today that the north could be planning a new launch, again, with tensions mounting. President Trump announced a new move to counter the threat, tweeting, quote, I'm allowing Japan and South Korea to buy a substantially increased amount of highly sophisticated military equipment from the United States. Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin is telling reporters in China today that Kim Jong-un's regime would, quote, rather eat grass than give up its nuclear program. And that the military hysteria around the crisis could cause a, quote, global catastrophe and an enormous loss of life. I want to start with, you know, President Trump's tweet saying he's allowing Japan and South Korea to substantially increase military from the United States. I have two thoughts when read that. My first one was like, what would it be like if Kim Jong-un had a tweeter? That would get super weird. And my other one was, he's clearly sub-tweeting China with this tweet, Ned, because that's a nightmare for China if they're increasing their military capabilities in those area. That entire area becomes a different situation.
RYUN: But think about China's worst nightmares is having a nuclear South Korea.
RYUN: . and Japan. Which, by the way, lest we forget, South Korea used to have nuclear arms back in -- I believe it was Bush 41. So at some point, China has to play ball with us. And I think that is really the nonmilitary solution is trying to get China to play ball.
WILLIAMS: I'll stop you, Ned, because everyone says that, right? Everybody says that. With respect to your point, everyone says that. And everybody with rational minds and understanding has come to that very reasonable conclusion. Yet, they have not thus far, and the only thing that's happening in the meantime is North Korea -- what does it look like?
RYUN: So, it could be anything from there's no more business in the United States. You can do business in the United States. You can't buy real estate in the United States. Sanctions on the Bank of China, anything to get us to the point where they start to actually feel pain. Until we can get China's interests to align with our interests, we're not going to be on the same page in regards to North Korea and we're not going to be able to say to them, listen, our interests are that North Korea not have nuclear arms. Therefore, it's in your interest as well. Or you will continue to feel economic pain in regards to how we approach this issue.
WILLIAMS: And Amy, do you think we're really prepared to actually do it, and not just use the words, but back it up if necessary?
HOLMES: Well, that's the big question, isn't it. And Gordon Chang, who's on this network all the time, he's been on your show. He said we haven't put the screws on China.
RYUN: We haven't.
HOLMES: . and one of the things we could do is that we could stop China from being able to trade in dollars. And that would basically grind the Chinese economy to a halt, and that they would have to play ball with us. But I'm also a little bit afraid that maybe Vladimir Putin is right, that North Korea would rather starve their own people then, you know, bend to the will of the west.
HOLMES: Hold on, let me finish. Let me finish. I say this in part because of the deal that the Ukraine made with us back in the 90's, if they give up their nuclear program then we would protect them. Well, guess what, Russia rolled in and we did nothing. North Korea saw that as an example, so maybe they're going to hang onto those nukes to the very bitter end.
KILMEADE: I think if you want to get China involved, I think you're never going to have -- OK, we'll cut off trade for you because we have, what, $650 billion in annual trade. So, yes, we'll hurt ourselves as much as China and just causes world chaos with the markets. But I would add this, I would add sanctions to their banks directly. I understand that 83 percent of our exports, 85 percent of their imports all come from China. So if you're able to get them to stop the oil, if you're able to get these banks to stop dealing. Sanctions these banks and drill them into the ground. But to go economy to economy and say no more deals.
KILMEADE: . sanctions their banks and the Chinese trading companies that convert North Korean currency.
RYUN: Right. But again, we're confronting all of these options, either its economic war or military. So you've got to decide, what approach are we going to use? The thing I'll say, Brian.
KILMEADE: Why do move our military closer.
KILMEADE: . not too.
RYUN: Right, it does. But what I was saying, and I believe I said it last time I was on the show, until China decides that they're going to cut off their oil exports to North Korea which is over 90 percent, I know that China is not serious, because if they cut off the oil into North Korea, literally within months, the North Korean economy will grind to an absolute halt.
WILLIAMS: So they'll stop being enablers?
TIMPF: But China, of course, isn't going to do that just be nice. They're going to do that because they feel like they absolutely have to.
RYUN: That's why they have to align their interests with ours, and that's where we have to bring pressure.
HOLMES: Right. But I think it's also important that we focus on the North Korean elites, because what we have seen is that North Korean leaders are very happy to watch their people suffer.
TIMPF: Right, absolutely, which is why things like sanctions that might work in other situations don't really, because they have a leader who doesn't care if his people starve. And, yeah, without China, wouldn't be in this situation. But I think we need to exhaust every single other option before we even think.
RYUN: But without the oil, forget about the economy, also grinds the nuclear program to a halt as well. Everything comes to a grinding halt within months. Forget about the elites. You shut everything down they'll slow down.
KILMEADE: They will keep screwing up all our holidays until we get this together.
KILMEADE: They do it on purpose. And they're going to do something on Friday on his grandfather's birthday. And if that rocket gets too close to Guam, we're going to knock it out of the sky, and it's game on after that.
WILLIAMS: You can't put that back in the tube, so to speak.
KILMEADE: And for Mattis to make those statements from the White House is stunning. It's in the military community and it's a great message for the rest of the world.
RYUN: It is.
TIMPF: Up next, Hurricane Irma strengthening to a massive category five storm, with Florida now directly in its path. We'll have the latest moments away.
KILMEADE: All right, Hurricane Irma is roaring towards the Caribbean at this hour, and now a massive category 5 storm. That's where it's listed as. The National Hurricane Center says that Irma is the strongest hurricane in the Atlantic basin ever recorded outside the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. With that, Adam Klotz, you're the meteorologist, make sense of this.
ADAM KLOTZ, FOX NEWS METEOROLOGIST: Brian, it is a massive storm. Those winds, 185 miles an hour, moving at 15 miles an hour. Beginning to make landfall overnight tonight, and to the northern portions of the Lesser Antilles. So that's right on the outer edge of the Caribbean, but it is moving in that direction, going to be running through it. Irma now 185 miles an hour. If you do the entire Atlantic basin, everything including the Gulf of Mexico, including the Caribbean, this is the second highest wind total we've ever seen, a 190 would be the most. We're knocking on the door of that. So very, very big, very powerful storm.
No surprise, we're looking at, as a result, hurricane watches and warnings now stretching across the islands over towards Puerto Rico as well. I'll say, moving past the Puerto Rico area Wednesday evening into the Wednesday overnight, that's when things will be the most severe for those folks. That category 5 storm, as it begins to move, you do see it moving past Puerto Rico as a category 5. But you do begin to run over a couple islands. You need that warm water to pick up a lot of heat, pick up energy and stay powerful. So it does begin to fall down a little bit.
A Category 4 is still a very large storm, but you're going to see it begin to fall down, and then taking you all the way now to Sunday. That Sunday when we would begin to see this sitting just off the southern edge of Florida. That's a wide area there. It could be anywhere within this cone. So there's still a lot of questions about where exactly this is going to go. Now there are some winds in the upper levels that should be steering this. You see it pretty consistent path, all one direction, and then all of a sudden we get a turn. And the models are agreeing this is going to turn north and run into portions of Florida, but where exactly is going to turn? That's something we're still, kind of, waiting to find out.
You see pretty good agreement. And this is a whole bunch of models. Running across the islands, just north. And then suddenly, you get that turn. It makes a big difference where they turn. If you turn early, you're going to be running up the east coast of Florida. If you turn a little bit later, you're going to be running up the west coast of Florida. Guys, that's still something we're going to be paying attention to for the next couple of days to get a better idea of where exactly that turn is going to take place.
KILMEADE: So Adam, when do you think, if it's going to hit Florida, or looks like it's going to hit. What day do you think it will hit? How long would it take to get all the way through Florida up the East Coast, if it does go that direction?
KLOTZ: Well, we're looking at a situation here where we see this turn probably on Sunday into -- Saturday night into Sunday morning. So that's going to be our best opportunity to see, hey, we're getting close to making that landfall, without pinning it down exactly at this point. It's still difficult. But that's what we're looking at. And then you're running up - - here are some models running up all the way to September 12. So that's Tuesday, but getting to get up.
This isn't going to be a Harvey situation, where it sits and spins and drops 40 or 50 inches of rain. Still a big storm, 12 to 18 inches of rain, but this one is going to keep moving once it makes landfall.
TIMPF: So in all of these areas where it's even considered, I mean, are officials already preparing? Should they be preparing? Because I mean, you can't know for sure yet.
KLOTZ: All of Florida is already under a state of emergency. The entire state, because of this. Because we know it's going to get to this point, and then he gets a little bit difficult, it gets a little bit more dicey. So the entire state, and it's the East Coast, could be the Florida Panhandle. We just don't know. But yes, folks are beginning to get ready.
WILLIAMS: Yes, and of course, we don't know, and these storms can be very unpredictable. But my home state, North Carolina, I'm going to be a little selfish here and ask on their behalf. Wilmington, specifically, very far east. Have you heard of any preparations that state and that area might be making in preparation for this storm?
KLOTZ: Well, I mean, with his forecast track, I don't know specifically in that area, but I do know that the Carolinas, the Georgia coast, these areas are all on alert. Because especially originally, some of our earlier models were pointing in that direction. So they've had a little bit more time to pay attention and see what this thing's doing.
KILMEADE: All right. Thanks, Adam Klotz in the Weather Center, following yet another major hurricane. And they don't come small. It's not like it's no big deal. It's a big deal, Amy.
HOLMES: It is a big deal. But in the spirit of prioritizing the occasion, I don't know if you can get a hotel discount when you're in the path of one of these storms. Yes.
KILMEADE: Absolutely. But the one thing -- one thing you can count on, Florida, they know how to do hurricanes, prepare for them. And they build buildings for this. So they're almost -- that's why you walk around and you see very few second -- two-story houses.
HOLMES: Interesting. Like, we've seen them boarding up windows and preparing and stocking up water, which of course, you need to do.
KILMEADE: Right. And Governor Rick Scott embraces this type of challenge. Doesn't want it but can handle it.
RYUN: Certainly. And I think it's also kind of a reminder to Congress, too. You're going to be dealing with Irma, you better get on Harvey as quickly as possible, to a clean relief bill, get it passed. Because guess what? Irma is coming down the pathway, as well. So, you know, my hope is that Congress will come back and actually get something done. Because they're going to have to deal with some of this -- this situation with Irma.
KILMEADE: And they're getting closer and closer to that debt ceiling.
RYUN: No, I know. They are getting such a long laundry list of things that have to get done.
RYUN: But they decided they were going to, what, take five weeks of vacation in August.
HOLMES: We also know that Congress needs a deadline. They love nothing more than a deadline to try to get these things.
KILMEADE: They've got quite a few, and we're going to be talking about that shortly.
With your permission, James, I'd like to go to break.
Hey, coming up straight ahead, recess is over, Congress getting back to work today. But can it successfully tackle its mammoth to-do list, which Amy just brilliantly previewed? Back in a moment to discuss it, analyze it and think about it. You think about it in the break.
WILLIAMS: Welcome back to "The Fox News Specialists." Our specialists are Ned Ryun and Amy Holmes. We'll continue the conversation.
Like a bad neighbor that just won't go away, Congress has returned. With the fall session kicking off today, the Senate and the House are both facing daunting workloads, everything from funding a bill to keep the government open to, of course, that all-important aid to the Hurricane Harvey victims.
This afternoon President Trump met with top congressional leaders at the White House, pushing the need for tax reform.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: It's vital that we reduce the crushing tax burden for our companies and workers. We pay the highest tax of any country in the world, our businesses. And we can't keep doing that.
We're going to cut taxes. We're going to reduce taxes for people, for individuals, for middle-income families. We're going to reduce taxes for our companies, and those companies are going to produce jobs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: But given Congress's incredible dysfunction, how much should Americans actually expect them to get done?
Amy Holmes, you mentioned that deadlines are helpful with Congress. We're going to start with...
HOLMES: Notice how they rush at the 11th hour.
WILLIAMS: Yes, and magically, some things do seem to be pushed through.
Tax reform for me, as a registered independent, feels like a layup. It feels like such an easy buy-in from both sides of the aisle. Americans are feeling a little bit better economically but know that there's still better relief out there, and tax reform could be a way to do it. Your realistic prediction around Congress's ability to act on this one?
HOLMES: To act before December? I mean, is that what you're asking me? With the long list of things that need to get done, including DACA, I am a little pessimistic about tax reform. It should be something that's bipartisan, and you have a common-sense caucus in the House. Twenty Democrats, 20 Republicans have come together who said they would like to work on tax reform.
But then, of course, we've talked about these obstructionist Democrats. And Congressman Sherman, he gave this interview to The Los Angeles Times where he said very candidly that his constituents will not allow him to cooperate with Donald Trump. It's just not going to happen.
WILLIAMS: But they don't really need -- but they don't need Democrats, right? And truthfully, they've got Republican-controlled Senate and House...
HOLMES: Well, they certainly do in the Senate. And well, you know, it gets a little bit over in the weeds. It depends on how it's done.
HOLMES: If tax reform is done on reconciliation in the Senate, they don't need Democrats. But I don't think that's what we want to see. We had, you know, a party-line vote on Obamacare, and that didn't work out.
RYUN: At this point, I'd be willing for anything with regards -- and I want to -- it makes me nervous when they talk about sweeping comprehensive tax reform. Again, as I alluded to earlier, I'm not sure they can walk and chew gum at the same time.
Make it simple. Go and say, "We're going to lower the corporate tax." Aim for 15, settle for 20.
Take that money, that foreign revenue that's sitting overseas. Trump estimated it was closer to 4 trillion. I'd been thinking it was 2.6 trillion.
WILLIAMS: Personal income tax. People want relief on that.
RYUN: They want that, as well, but repatriate that money. Ten percent tax holiday. You put maybe upwards of 400 billion back into the government, put it towards building the wall. Then you go aim the tax cuts at the middle class and small business, call it a day.
HOLMES: Listen, I agree with you, but I have...
WILLIAMS: Personal income tax, and don't really -- I don't know if I like your idea, Ned, of telling exactly where it's going to go. I think maybe trust hardworking Americans in this country to get some of their money back. Keep it, spend it, reinvest it in small business and otherwise.
RYUN: Yes, but my only concern would be when we repatriate that foreign revenue, that somehow it wouldn't be put back into the American workers, the American...
WILLIAMS: That's interesting. That's so interesting.
RYUN: Put a little bit of a stipulation on it that we're going to juice the economy at the same time we...
TIMPF: I think you have to trust people, in the same way that -- hear me out. We expect people to trust business owners, whether they be small or big, that when they get their tax breaks and their savings, that they hire and put that money back into stimulating the economy.
KILMEADE: We've got three things to do. We have to raise the debt ceiling. Everyone agrees, probably going to get done. Then you've got to pass the budget. It's going to be tough, but it should get done. A lot of times they just live life without it. And then they've got to do tax reform.
They are doing it the right way now. They've been doing it for a while. They got together the big six. Tomorrow, they're going to have the Democratic leaders come in. They are not making it easy for Democrats by saying, "Oh, we're taking the upper -- we're taking the top bracket, and we're dropping it ten points."
They're saying Mark Cohn (ph) is doing -- being very coy. He said, "I don't even know if we're going to top the top bracket."
KILMEADE: "We might leave it at 39. We're not sure yet."
KILMEADE: Makes it interesting. Then when it comes to corporate tax, they says, "We might do something," I would think, very intriguing that only a Steven Mnuchin, Goldman Sachs guy can come up with. Then you will tax your profits, not necessarily where you made your profits. So if you're an American company, making your profit with your base, evidently, in Ireland. Going to tax you on what you make. You can choose to keep it overseas. We're taxing you for what you made. So then it will start bringing in...
TIMPF: I agree with Eboni completely that it needs to be something that the average American will notice. Income tax is where -- but I don't think it's going to be quite as simple as everybody seems to think it is.
Another thing that they want to do is simplify the tax code. But all of those complications are there because of special interests, which by the way, everybody knows, there are members of Congress that are very beholden to special interests and tend to not want to do things to upset them. So I think that it's going to be a lot more complicated than we would like.
HOLMES: I agree with you, and there's another question, which is would tax reform be revenue neutral? And Republicans haven't decided on that. And of course, you have the other side that says if we are going to cut taxes, meaning we're going to cut home much comes into the government, the Republicans will say we also need to cut spending. And then you get into a big thing.
KILMEADE: But you've got to do it on growth. It's not going to be revenue; it's going to be projected growth will equal out. I don't know if that allows them to do the 51 votes.
HOLMES: Well, we have...
KILMEADE: But guess where the president is going? He's going to North Dakota. Heidi Heitkamp, vulnerable Democrat. John Casper, vulnerable Democrat.
RYUN: Montana, West Virginia.
KILMEADE: Make those Democrats understand the people want tax reform. You vote the way you want.
RYUN: You look at the state polls on the tax issue, in some of these states like West Virginia, it's mid-70s of the people in West Virginia that want tax reform.
I think the thing that we aren't discussing that could happen in September, what happens when Trump gets sent a spending bill that includes continued funding for Obamacare and no funding for the wall? That's a question that we should talk about.
You know what I hope he does? I hope he shuts down the government. Reagan did it eight times. You know what economic growth was during the Reagan administration? Three and a half percent.
WILLIAMS: Well, before we get to government shutdown, I want to just go back to tax reform again, because I think you said it really well, Kat. Real Americans in this country want to feel it. They want to feel that impact. And I think to your point, though, the polls -- Dem, blue, red -- everybody wants tax reform.
TIMPF: They want money. They want money, more money rather than less.
HOLMES: The question is how. So for example, another big debate is around state taxes. Should that be deductible? New York state, of course, wants it because of the high pass this year, but again, when you're looking at balancing the books, you know, it's much more complicated and heavy lift.
WILLIAMS: Yes, it's not easy but it has to be done.
KILMEADE: Well, past November, it will be easy.
WILLIAMS: Straight ahead, Hillary Clinton picking a brand-new foil this time to blame her election loss on. Stay with us. You're not going to believe who it is this time.
KILMEADE: It's Kat.
TIMPF: We are 10 months removed from the election, but that isn't stopping Hillary Clinton from continuing to place blame on others for her loss. Her new target, Bernie Sanders.
In excerpts from her book posted online, Hillary said, quote, "His attacks caused lasting damage, making it harder to unify progressives in the general election and paving the way for Trump's 'Crooked Hillary' campaign. He didn't get into the race to make sure a Democrat won in the White House; he got in to disrupt the Democratic Party. I'm proud to be a Democrat, and I wish Bernie were, too."
A primary. A primary is a normal experience for a candidate. You know what her problem is? She doesn't seem to understand she was responsible for her own message, even if that's true, because you yourself could not get your message...
RYUN: A rigged primary. A rigged primary, by the way.
RYUN: Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
TIMPF: It makes me so mad that -- I mean, it must be fun to live a life where you never look at yourself and you think you're perfect. Sometimes I have those nights where I lay awake and I think, "I shouldn't have done that." She's never had to go through that in her life.
HOLMES: Apparently. I just feel like we should sit back and laugh for the rest of the segment. I mean, do Democrats enjoy this internecine warfare? I was talking to Democrats here in New York state. They are ready to move on.
RYUN: It's like a theme in the...
KILMEADE: "Over-promiser, unrelenting over-promiser. His attacks have had long-lasting damage." If you look at President Trump, Ted Cruz, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush. Who's the most...
WILLIAMS: Right. You don't even have to -- you don't have to go that far back. A few things for me at this point. No. 1, girl, bye. OK, literally. Girl, bye. Because 2008, you talked about damaging effects, that we happened to win the election. But some of the attacks that Hillary and her husband, Bill Clinton, launched at then-Senator Barack Obama were ruthless. They were nasty, they were personal, and they absolutely had damaging effects. There were plenty in her base that had a problem getting on board in the general election.
A final point. It's a good day, though that her book is coming out, September 12. Everyone should go to the bookstore and get a copy of this right here. (HOLDS UP HER OWN UPCOMING BOOK)
RYUN: There you go. Right there.
No, every time I hear Hillary making excuses, in the back of my mind, I hear the poltergeists, "We're back." This won't go away.
But it's like, it's not me, it's you, the excuse tour of Hillary Clinton blaming everyone else, despite the fact ran a terrible campaign, terrible message, had every opportunity with a rigged primary, still couldn't pull it off. I'm sorry. Maybe you're a terrible candidate with a terrible message and you lost.
TIMPF: And your message is your job. It's not other people job to not do their job. Bernie Sanders, yes, he's also trying to win. That's how an election works, is you compete and you each try to win. That's not how it works.
Look, and she -- they kind of rigged it in her favor, and she's still mad. I can't imagine that kind of narcissism.
WILLIAMS: Well, he's not a Democrat. Bernie Sanders is an independent from the state of Vermont.
KILMEADE: If she was just -- had enough courage to say, "Why do you think a socialist should live and thrive in America? What don't you like about a capitalist society?" But she was scared to death of his supporters.
HOLMES: If Bernie Sanders had hair, she'd be pulling off his toupee. This is ridiculous to me, watching this fight. And when I hear Hillary Clinton coming out with always these excuses and accusations, I think a lot of Democrats are hearing their poll numbers sinking. All of this is bad for their party, which if she really wanted to serve her party, she would step aside...
HOLMES: ... and let someone new come forward.
RYUN: Right. But all this conversation about people going after Trump and dysfunction in Congress, what it is doing is drowning out the fact the Democrat Party is in serious trouble. When you lose almost 1,100 seats at the state and federal level between 2010 and 2016, people are not voting for you because they don't like your ideas; and they're rejecting you as a party. They want to do more of this?
WILLIAMS: Well, they have a message -- they have a dual-pronged problem. They have a message and a messenger problem. OK? And until they fix that, I don't know if the GOP is going to do enough self-inflicted harm to themselves. I don't think they're doing themselves a ton of favors right now.
But you're right. The Dems have a larger issue.
RYUN: One of the saving graces for Republicans right now, before let's -- right before they went into recess, there was a Quinnipiac poll showing that Congress had a 10 percent approval rating. Only 14 percent of Republicans approved of the Republican-led Congress. One of the only saving graces for the Republican-led Congress right now is the wild dysfunction in the Democrat Party.
HOLMES: Hillary Clinton has time (ph).
KILMEADE: Yes, there's no next. No one's next. There are a lot of people counting on Senator Harris, first-term senator in California.
WILLIAMS: Not that a first-term senator hasn't been successful for the Democrats in the past. I'm just saying.
RYUN: And some would argue a disaster.
WILLIAMS: ... successful but can get to the White House.
TIMPF: Maybe Hillary run again. Maybe she'll keep running.
WILLIAMS: Oh, God. Please no.
TIMPF: We've got to say goodbye to our Specialists, Ned Ryun and Amy Holmes. Thank you both for joining us. Up next, it's "Wait, What?" Don't go away.
KILMEADE: All right. Now, if my rundown is correct, this is the last segment of the day. It is time for...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Wait, What?"
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KILMEADE: All right. We paid that voice-over guy, right?
WILLIAMS: It was good.
KILMEADE: I'll kick things off. You ready? This is from Free-Speech Radio Broadcasting, John Ziegler interviewing legend Franco Harris of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Penn State star prior to that, about Colin Kaepernick and taking a knee, how his Pittsburgh Steelers would've handled it. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN ZIEGLER, FREE-SPEECH RADIO BROADCASTING: Professional, though, Franco. What would Chuck Noll have said to you when you were with the Steelers if you'd said, "Hey, Coach, I'm just going to sit down during the national anthem"? What would Chuck Noll have said?
FRANCO HARRIS, PITTSBURGH STEELERS PLAYER: I don't think it would've been -- been Chuck. You know, there are two of the meanest guys in football who I think would've dealt with it that way. And that would've been Joe Greene and Jack Lambert.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KILMEADE: And they would've come down and said, "Stand up. Don't bring it here." Much like Jim Brown.
Let's go to Eboni.
WILLIAMS: OK, so mine is good. So many people just starting back-to- school this week. So there's a school in Utah that has a policy that says they are so serious about people being on time for class, if you're not, you get a fine. They're taking it to the bank. The first time you get a warning. The second time you're late, $3. And third time and any time after that, $5 fee. Talk about getting serious. I like it.
KILMEADE: Is that people's intention, my lunch money.
WILLIAMS: Exactly right.
TIMPF: So I'm going to take this time to wish a happy 80th birthday to a person who's very near and dear to all of our hearts on this channel: William DeVane. And I want to give him the best piece of advice that I've ever heard for my -- for his birthday, which is there's never been a better time to buy silver.
TIMPF: I don't know where I heard it. But it's definitely true.
KILMEADE: He does scare me every time he's on television with his bomber jacket. And he goes, "Listen, it's terrible out there. You don't want to watch the news," which is not good news for us. He goes, "Buy gold. Or buy silver."
WILLIAMS: Buy silver.
TIMPF: There has literally never been a better time than right now. It just changed. It's the best time again right now.
KILMEADE: Right. And by the way, according to reports, Bret Baier is almost dressed.
WILLIAMS: Almost dressed?
KILMEADE: He's almost ready to do his show.
WILLIAMS: And ready to join us.
KILMEADE: We've got to just fill just a little bit.
WILLIAMS: OK. He's finishing his tie.
KILMEADE: This could be the first time he hasn't had a clip-on in quite some time. So he's got to do the college knot.
WILLIAMS: Awesome. Bret, I just want to go on record. I know that you would never put a clip-on on.
KILMEADE: And by the way, is the countdown to your book started?
WILLIAMS: Yes, absolutely. You know, hopefully, I'll be joining you guys on "Fox & Friends" to talk more about it.
KILMEADE: "Pretty Powerful" is out?
WILLIAMS: Out September 12, this Tuesday coming up. It's going to be exciting.
WILLIAMS: Absolutely, on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. So you've got lots of stuff from colleagues here. Meghan McCain, just tons of stuff. Monica Crowley. It's great. It's a great book.
KILMEADE: Fantastic. If you wrote it, I'm going to get it.
Meanwhile, that's all we have for today. Thank you so much for watching and make sure you follow us on social media, @SpecialistsFNC on Twitter and Facebook. Remember, 5 o'clock will never be the same. "Special Report" is next.
WILLIAMS: Yes, Bret's ready.
KILMEADE: With Bret Baier. Be ready. Please be ready.
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