Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting: Smoking gun or fake news?

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

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: Hello, everyone. I'm Eric Bolling along with Eboni K. Williams and Kat Timpf. We are "The Fox News Specialists." The left and the mainstream media are in a frenzy following reports that President Trump's eldest son Donald Trump, Jr. met with a Kremlin-connected lawyer in June of last year. Trump, Jr., had originally said the meeting was about adoption law issues between the U.S. and Russia, and now he's adding that he accepted the meeting due to promises of possible dirt on Hillary Clinton. Trump Jr. tweeted out sarcastically, quote obviously, I'm the first person on the campaign to ever take a meeting to hear info about an opponent. It went nowhere but had to listen. The White House also commenting on the meeting just a short time ago.


SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: Don, Jr., took a very short meeting from which there was absolutely no follow-up. The only thing I see inappropriate about the meeting was the people that leaked the information on the meeting after it was voluntarily disclosed. I would certainly say Don, Jr. did not collude with anybody to influence the election.


BOLLING: And the White House added further, President Trump found out about the meeting just in the last couple of days. Now, Eboni, more fake news, more over the top outrage, fake outrage by the mainstream media, so what? Donald Trump, Jr. met with someone. He didn't even know the name of the person he was meeting with. It was arranged. And how many times do you think Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton arranged a meeting with a foreign government, maybe squeeze a donation out of them once or twice.

EBONI K. WILLIAMS, CO-HOST: Well, more than that, Eric, I mean, who doesn't love opposition research when you're running a campaign. So there is no, there-there with the meeting, I think the issue, Eric, becomes the denial. But even that I agree with you much -- overreaction from those oppose to it.

BOLLING: What do you think, Kat?

TIMPF: Yeah. I think that it doesn't look good. It's not a positive thing. But people are acting like this is some sort of smoking gun, which really it really isn't. It's just more smoke.

BOLLING: Yeah. And if you watch the mainstream media, they're going wall- to-wall with this. But let's meet today's specialist. She's the spokesperson for America first policies, and a former national spokesperson for the Trump presidential campaign, and a member of the Texas tea party caucus advisory board, and she specializes in all things political, Katrina Pierson is here. And she's the executive in residence at American university school of public affairs, a contributor at the Washington Examiner, and the former Ohio state senate minority leader, and she specializes in baking a great pie, Capri Cafaro is here as well. So it's been a little bit since the left has had a Russia-Trump story to get worked up about, so naturally they've dialed up the hysteria, this Donald Trump Jr. fake news. Listen.


UNINDENTIFIED MALE, MSNBC: This is unacceptable. It borders on treason. If it's not, it's self-treason depending on whether the New York Times story is true. But this is a very, very serious situation. We should not treat this lightly.

UNINDENTIFIED MALE, NBC NEWS: This in effect is everything that people have been looking for. This is not only devastating to their narrative. I think it's also potentially incriminating.

UNINDENTIFIED MALE, MSNBC: Whoever is helping the New York Times with these stories seems to be doing in a way to do maximum damage on at least Donald Trump, Jr. Even if you accept his Sunday version, accept his Sunday version, ask no questions, have no suspicions, he's in a world of hurt.


BOLLING: World of hurt, Katrina, treason, maximum damage, what the heck happened? What he do?

KATRINA PIERSON, AMERICA FIRST POLICIES SPOKESPERSON: I'm sorry, are we supposed to be taking that seriously? I mean, look at this in context. We're talking about a meeting that was disclosed by a White House official, and it's a story because someone who isn't a White House official and was not required to disclose it, didn't. What am I missing?

BOLLING: I don't know. What are we missing? What do you think?

CAPRI CAFARO, PUBLIC AFFAIRS EXECUTIVE IN RESIDENCE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY: Look, I mean, here's what I think is important to recognize. As Kat said, is this bad optics? Sure. Does it kind of try to play into some larger narrative that people want to stir the pot about Russia and Trump and some kind of collusion? Yes, on its face. But here's what I want people to remember and I say this is a Democrat, Donald Trump, Jr. is a businessperson, and I think he approached this meeting with whomever this Russian person was utilizing the rules of engagement of business. You want to figure out how you beat the competition, right? So he wanted to figure out how to beat the competition. Now the rules of engagement in politics are different. And they're learning that on the job and their learning that the hard way. Will I take on that meeting? Probably not. But I understand from his perspective approaching it through the lens of business and competitiveness, they're not used to the rules of politics.

PIERSON: No, that's not it. I'm not going to sit here and pretend that Don Jr. didn't know what was going on because he did. There's someone who said, hey, we like to meet.


PIERSON: . and that's all he did. This wasn't even in a business context. This was talking to someone that says I have information. What the media is suggesting now is that everyone that meets with anyone apart of a political campaign needs an FBI background check. It's absolutely.

TIMPF: It's because this lawyer, the FBI knows who she is. She's a little bit shady, so it doesn't look good when we have all these narratives building up over and over again for him to have had that meeting -- Clinton nomination. People saying it some sort of crime against the state, I think that's pretty extreme. It doesn't look good.

BOLLING: To your point, here's a Politico headline, Politico, Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfires, and that was in response to a Ukrainian group trying to get with Hillary Clinton to reveal dirt, Katrina, on Donald Trump and it backfired. It didn't work. So this happens all the time.

CAFARO: Well, I think -- look, I think I'm the only person on this panel that's actually been elected to office, who run a campaign, and there's no question that obtaining opposition research is something that occurs. The question people are raising is do you engage in that kind of conversation with a foreign national? And what I'm saying is that, obviously, Donald Trump Jr. is not engaging this individual for the purposes of business engagement. I'm not saying that there was some profit to be involved. I think he took it because, yeah, he admitted. Look, she said she might have some stuff on Hillary. I want to know how to beat the competition. I'm going to meet this person.

PIERSON: I ran a campaign, Eric.

BOLLING: Let me just bring Eboni in here. Rob Goldstone is the guy who arranged the meeting. He said he's in the meeting. He said, yeah, there are a few general marks about campaign funding, and then they moved on to what the meeting was, also supposed to be about, and that was human rights violations on the part of the Russians.

WILLIAMS: I've got to tell you, Eric, I don't even see what's so bad about the optics. That's just me. It looks like a standard, ordinary, political, business, however you want to categorize it, seeking opposition research, maybe he got something he said he didn't, whatever. Even if he did, I still fail to see what the deal is.

TIMPF: He's not a government employee.

WILLIAMS: Yeah, who cares? If someone said they have information to help my mom get into office, I'm going to listen too, quite frankly.

BOLLING: Kat, I think Reince Priebus called it a nothing burger on the weekend. I have a real problem with this. This is an insult to nothing burgers.


BOLLING: It's a nothing Caesar salad.

TIMPF: Look, I have a little bit different view that you do, in a fact that I understand why people would find this interesting because of who she is, because of the timing of it, and because of this narrative that been going on. I don't think it was a smart decision for him to have done so, but the way it has been blown up, as this this is what we've all been looking for, that's absolutely absurd.

WILLIAMS: You're saying it's wasn't a smart thing for him to have done, but back in June of last year, there really wasn't this big narrative out there, right?

TIMPF: Excatly.

WILLIAMS: All of these Russian and collusion. All these talk was going on. So, again, in hindsight, perhaps he felt.

TIMPF: I just think if somebody who is like that lawyer in her position was saying she has information on someone who wasn't official in the United States government. Hillary Clinton was secretary of state and they had information on her? My first thought would be, oh, the country, how do they know these things that we don't know? I would think a little bit about.


PIERSON: Having run a campaign, this definitely does happens all the time. I mean, that's part of running a campaign is finding out opposition for your benefit.


BOLLING: Hold on, Katrina, let's focus on that for a second. Do you remember one of the big things that came out since the election was this dossier, this Russian dossier that was put together? Now this Fusion GPS -- you even tie this up for us. I'm trying to figure this out. Fusion GPS was the group that was hired to go ahead -- go hire Christopher Steele, a British national, to dig up information on Donald Trump -- negative information on Donald Trump. Somehow the same Fusing GPS is somewhat tied to this woman, this Natalia Vesenlnitskaya.

PIERSON: Yes. Not only that, but the intention of this meeting is what really the problem here and her connections to this shady group and others. Now it makes us look back and say, oh, this was a bad intention by this individual. But this wasn't Donald Trump, Jr.'s fault or even the president's fault. If they say we want to have a meeting for X and then come in with the personal motivation of Y, then we have to look back at that and question those individuals. Unfortunately with this, this is just part of a bigger hoax. You know as you were mentioning, this was not the context before in June. However, John Podesta did have prior connections to the Russians. Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton did have connections to Russia and their government, but yet, we're not talking about that.

CAFARO: Two wrongs don't make a right.


CAFARO: Two wrongs don't make a right, that's.

PIERSON: There's nothing wrong here. There's nothing wrong.

BOLLING: There were no laws that were broken.

CAFARO: Well, I'm not disputing that either. I'm not disputing that either.

BOLLING: I turn on the other cable networks to see what they're talking about and they're going wall-to-wall. We just heard treason.


BOLLING: . max damage, going down.

CAFARO: Well, look, and you know what? And there're real issues in America. I come from Ohio. I served ten years in the Ohio senate. Real issues are happening and, unfortunately, we're all spinning like tops talking about this when real work needs to be done for this country.

WILLIAMS: Also to this too, Eric, when you hear people talking about words like treason and what's illegal, it makes you wonder if these people understand the elements of treason and what's required to actually be illegal because that really takes the air out of their tires. I would also say this, for those that are just in resistance mode that their goal is to take down the president, I think you have every right to do that, but this type of overreaction undermines that effort.

BOLLING: This Politico article that I point out, Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfired. It didn't backfire in this, Katrina. What did end up coming of that those are Ukrainian efforts where Paul Manafort, senior - - I think campaign manager at the time of the Trump administration campaign had to resign.

PIERSON: Well, he did, and for good reason. There were a lot of bad optics around that time. But again, we have to remember why are we even having this discussion, Eric? The losing team claims that the DNC server was hacked and that information was delivered to WikiLeaks. There is no proof, no evidence, whatsoever, even the FBI admits we never looked at the hardware. And yet, this is where it stems from. Where is Debbie Wasserman Schultz? Where's her subpoena? Where is the evidence? Let's look at that hardware and prove whether this happened or not. Because if it didn't, then we have a serious problem because millions of tax dollars are being spent on what the president says a hoax.

WILLIAMS: Katrina, you're the first person on a very long time that I've actually heard request to see Debbie Wasserman Schultz incapacity.


PIERSON: Bring it, Eboni.

TIMPF: A lot of things went down with the Dems primary, not cool what they did to Bernie Sanders. I completely agree. But when you look at this story, I think that -- I'm not surprised that we're talking about it. I think that the concern that people have is they think that it shows a willingness of Trump people to work with Russia to win. And I guess in a very broad sense, sort of, but this isn't an actual government official. She's enacted -- and this isn't an actual campaign -- this is his son. So it's not perfect and saying that this is exactly what we've been looking for is a dumb thing to say.


WILLIAMS: Actually, Kat, because that's the problem. When you take a narrative and you want facts to fit, guess what, the facts have to fit. When the facts don't fit perfectly in the narrative, now you undermined the narrative itself, and that's kind of the problem.

TIMPF: I see the problems with it. But at this point, every single little thing, or something that might look bad, or might have been not the smartest thing, is being brought up as a crime against our country. People are going to stop listening.

BOLLING: Do you think they -- eventually, at some point say, you know, every one of these stories, they blow it up on mainstream media.

CAFARO: Right. And that hurts us. That hurts the Democratic narrative because you can only cry wolf so many times.

BOLLING: Let's see if we can tie someone from Trump to someone from Russia.

CAFARO: I think everybody goes back to governing and stop trying to play gotcha games.

TIMPF: Agree.

CAFARO: My two cents.

WILLIAMS: That would be beautiful.

BOLLING: We'll leave it right there. President Trump says it's now time to move forward with and work constructively with Russia over global crises. Is it possible among the left and the mainstream media's Russia fever? Can they do that? Don't go away.


TIMPF: In the wake of his G20 sit down with Vladimir Putin, President Trump is attempting to jump-start ties with Russia. The president tweeting, quote, I strongly pressed Putin twice about Russian meddling in our election. He vehemently denied it. I've already given my opinion. We've negotiated a ceasefire in parts of Syria, which will save lives. Now it is time to move forward and work constructively with Russia. President Trump revealed a proposed joint cybersecurity unit with Russia. But after getting bipartisan criticism has followed up by tweeting, the fact that President Putin and I discussed a cyber security unit doesn't mean I think it can happen. It can't. But a ceasefire can and did. OK.


TIMPF: OK. So why the first tweet? Then, Katrina, any idea why the first tweet about talking about the proposed cybersecurity unit and saying it will guard us against hacking because that suggest that it was actually set in place, using will instead of would.

PIERSON: I think by now people should understand that the president speaks his mind through twitter, number one. Number two, there's also a blank slate in the world for the United States and some of these countries. We're looking at the disaster in Russia because of the Obama administration, because of Hillary Clinton's failed reset. President Obama didn't do anything when Russia, essentially, was moving forward. And so now the president has an opportunity to sort of reset those negotiations and go into this with a positive influence. And there's no question that there is a world leader that doesn't believe that Donald Trump is serious about putting Americans first and making America great again. So this idea that he wanted to maybe work together to solve a problem, you know, keep your friends close but your enemies closer, he is looking for all areas to come together and work with these countries. Even though we're talking about cybersecurity, but Kat.


TIMPF: That tried to tell me one way that could work where the people who are accused of hacking us that our intelligence agencies have found to have hack our election, how are we're going to work with them to stop someone from helping our election. I mean, I had a really hard time thinking about how that could possibly work. And I've got to tell you, I've got nothing. Maybe I'm an idiot or maybe that's an idiotic idea.

PIERSON: Well, no, you can't say, well, the president needs to address hacking with Russia, but then say, well, don't address cybersecurity.


PIERSON: She's asking the question about why the president said what he said. I'm just trying to explain why he said what he said. Just because.

WILLIAMS: Nobody does that better than you, by the way, Katrina.

PIERSON: Thank you.


PIERSON: Just because he says he wants to work toward a positive goal with the country who may be engaging in illicit activities doesn't mean that he's going to put it all on the table. He'll tell you himself, I don't tell you what I'm going to do and when I'm going to do it. At the same time, it's not just Russia. So what do we do, not work with anyone?

TIMPF: Cyber security if very specific. Of all the things he could have said we're working on, he's going to say that one?

BOLLING: Assuming that Russia is better at hacking than we are?

CAFARO: Is the guy who's a former KGB agent going to give up his.

BOLLING: Capri, if I say to you let's work on this deal together. We're going to make the assumption that Russia is better at beating us at the game than we are at them? Maybe there's a strategy.


CAFARO: But here's the thing, Vladimir Putin, and I think everybody can agree with this, is one of the slipperiest world leaders in a generation. I mean, I did my master's thesis on sustainable -- on the former Soviet republics through educational exchange programs between the United State and Russia, and I can tell you this.

BOLLING: That doesn't make them better at it.

CAFARO: I didn't say that.


BOLLING: You're saying that. Assuming that Donald Trump wants to -- I don't know ,create some sort of cybersecurity partnership with Russia that they're going to somehow infiltrate us and we're not going to infiltrate them?

CAFARO: I don't think that's the case.

BOLLING: why not do it?

CAFARO: If they want to go ahead and engage, why even open up that can of worms? I mean, why open up that can of worms? Yes, maybe we can hack them, but why give them an opportunity to hack us?

TIMPF: If somebody breaks into my house, I'm not going to be, all right, you broke into my house, come over and help me figure out how to secure it.

CAFARO: He is a Russian nationalist beyond Russian nationalist at the level of Lenin.

BOLLING: And our CIA -- our intel department, NSA, CIA.


WILLIAMS: Let me say this one. I hear Eric and Capri basically giving an analysis of who can get the better of who? That's essentially what comes down too. If we take Donald Trump at his word with the tweets, President Trump and his words, and he talks about something that's very highly strategic, which I hear Katrina and Eric saying, or as Kat and Capri were saying, maybe just a little less than smart to trust any intentionality behind Vladimir Putin, then it becomes a question of who gets the better or who. Now I'm going to take a position that I'm going to suspect that my two friends here on either side of me are not going to appreciate. I don't know that I believe President Trump really sees Vladimir Putin as something to be not worked with in this way. I think that the president has a level of a bit of admiration for the leadership of Vladimir Putin. I think we know that based on some of the things on the campaign trail and that concerns me. It does concern me. I think the president likes the leadership style of Vladimir Putin, and I think that there's a little bit of -- a little too positive.

BOLLING: Eboni, keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

WILLIAMS: I would believe it. I think that's a smart strategy. I don't know if I buy that with President Trump and Putin. I think that perhaps there's a little bit more of an admiration going on with Putin's leadership style. It does concern me.

BOLLING: I think maybe there's a little bit more undue credit given to Vladimir Putin and Russian capabilities than they may deserve. Far more confidence in the intel department.

TIMPF: They still hacked us, though.


CAFARO: Even Angela Merkel. We certainly have capabilities.

BOLLING: Of course, we do.

CAFARO: . and I don't think that anyone is disputing that we have some of the best intelligence and technological capabilities in the world.

BOLLING: How about the best.

CAFARO: I'll say the best.

BOLLING: And then, you know what, that all these bilateral agreements are a win for us.

CAFARO: Well, it's not even a bilateral agreement, there's no agreement. It's a discussion.

BOLLING: Fair enough.

CAFARO: And it's a discussion that Putin suggested.

WILLIAMS: If I can see the point that we've built this, does that eliminate the risk of getting into bed?

BOLLING: No, nobody eliminates the risk on their side, too. Maybe it increases the risk.


BOLLING: . open the opportunity window wide. They're yelling at us.


TIMPF: Straight ahead, President Trump is accusing James Comey of breaking the law after a new report that Comey's personal memos contained classified information. We'll be right back.


WILLIAMS: James Comey facing serious questions after a stunning new reports from The Hill newspaper. Now it details that Comey made seven memos describing his interaction with President Trump, and after a review by officials, four of them appear to contain classified info. Now, Comey has argued that the memos are, quote, personal, but the FBI is describing them as government documents. So that's raising the possibility that Comey violated FBI protocols. President Trump quickly jumping on the report tweeting today, quote, James Comey leaked classified information to the media. That is so illegal. Now the report does not state that the memo, Comey have a friend describe to the New York Times, contained actual classified info. But earlier today, Jason Chaffetz, former head of the House Oversight Committee described Comey's caginess after the existence of the memo became public knowledge.


JASON CHAFFETZ, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: After that was revealed, I actually was able to get on the phone with Director Comey, and he's a very jovial, open person on the phone, but when I asked about the disposition of those emails, where are these documents? He got silent. He said he wouldn't talk about it. He wouldn't tell me where they were. It really raise a lot of eyebrows. As I went back and talked to the staffs and others members and said, look, he's not going to give this up easily.


WILLIAMS: OK. By the way, Jason Chaffetz will be one of our specialist on Wednesday. Eric, OK, let's go over some basic facts again, there were nine meetings between James Comey and President Trump, seven memos taken -- Comey, going and writing down his notes, four of them we know contained classified information, but we don't necessarily know that one of those four was the one leaked to the professor.

BOLLING: And again, Catherine Herridge outlined this this afternoon. I think it's very important to note. And so, Comey feels on his own admission that this is such important information that from his notes that the public needed it, so he leaks it to a professor who links it to the New York Times. Now, the professor says these weren't classified documents because they weren't stamped classified. That's what he says. Who knows if they were? I'll take his word for it. But he's not the guy who dictates whether that's classified or not.

WILLIAMS: Probably not.

BOLLING: There are groups that decides -- our intel department should decide whether or not James Comey's words were classified or not. That he took notes for it. James Comey may have broken the law. I'm not sure. But whatever it is, if you think it's OK to leak classified or at least intel from meetings with the president of the United States, I'm going to tell you, it's outrageous an becoming very dangerous.

WILLIAMS: OK, let's go with you, Capri, on this one. So let's break it down. Also, two different things we're talking about. One is breaking FBI protocol and the other is breaking the law. So perhaps the president may be getting those a little mixed up there. But we don't know.

But what we do know is this. We know that Comey used specific words when he was giving his testimony. He specifically said an unclassified memo.

CAFARO: Right. And he said that he wrote that memo, that he wrote that memo that he provided to his friend at Columbia University Law School, that he wrote it in such a way that it could be unclassified and shared.

You know, obviously, the problem is that there are so many people involved in this process. I mean, Jim Comey has been all over the board, you know, starting all the way back from last summer; and so, you know, his veracity is somewhat questionable.

So I think that, at this point, if there is smoke and fire here, we don't know of any illegal activity has actually occurred. It is somewhat clear that the FBI protocol has been breached in some manner, but if there is anything -- I mean, again, two wrongs don't make a right, as my grandma would always say.

If there is something here and there's obviously enough to look into, then you know, Jim Comey deserves to have some kind of investigation by Congress or someone else to at least get to the bottom of whether or not that memo really did include classified information.

WILLIAMS: And Katrina, another thing we know for sure is that it wasn't his personal property. Right? What we know is that when you write that memo, it belongs to the government at that point.

PIERSON: I think that's where the illegal aspect does come from. I mean, he did violate FBI protocol. There was no sign off on releasing that information. This was not a "dear diary" journal. At the end of the day...

WILLIAMS: A protocol breach, but not -- is not necessarily a statutory breach. Right? In the legal sense?

PIERSON: Maybe not in the legal sense that we know of yet, but we also don't know what the president knows, and we have to remember that, as well.


PIERSON: And this also goes to show why he probably didn't think Hillary Clinton should have been indicted, because he was doing the same thing.

TIMPF: Ouch.

PIERSON: In my opinion, what this looks like is you have arguably one of the most, if not the most powerful bureaucrats in the country who was essentially creating a file on high-powered politicians, possibly for an insurance policy. And then he goes to the media, and he leaks this information with the intention on undermining the president of the United States.

WILLIAMS: You mean the appointment of Mueller? That's the undermining?

PIERSON: He wanted to undermine the president and give out this illusion the president was doing something wrong in a basic discussion.

One can look at that and ask, the information that did come out, we don't know, but there were also leaks prior to this coming from the FBI that we should look at. His fingerprints are all over it.

TIMPF: OK. Listen, the fact that some of these memos were classified does not mean the ones that he leaked had the classified information, as you said, Eboni. And I think that it's very important to know that before anybody goes nuts with any sort of feeling any type of way about this.

I don't know why the president would have tweeted that.

I do love the phrase "so illegal," however, on a personal level.

WILLIAMS: Extra illegal.

TIMPF: Super-duper totally illegal.

But I think that he should have waited, in my opinion, before -- because we don't know that he leaked classified information. He also -- hold on, Eric. The one thing he said about it is that he wrote it, as you mentioned, in a way to avoid having any classified information in it, and that's the only indication we have so far.

BOLLING: So -- OK, and we're supposed to now believe that all the information Comey gave to this professor, none of it was absolutely classified? We don't really know that.

TIMPF: I'm saying wait.

BOLLING: Hold on. The stuff that the professor leaked to The New York Times may or may not have been. It certainly wasn't stamped classified. It may or may not have been classified. That's up for debate.

TIMPF: I'm just saying wait and see.

BOLLING: But we don't also know what else. Is every -- am I crazy to think that the FBI director leaking information to a professor who's going to further leak it to The New York Times, even though may be technically legal, is somehow OK now?


WILLIAMS: I think -- I think James Comey's credibility really went out the window last summer, when in my professional opinion as an attorney, he very m politicized what should've been in a political office, FBI. It's been downhill for there for Jim Comey.

Congress is back from recess, and President Trump is turning up the pressure on the Senate to get that health care deal done before the August recess. But can Mitch McConnell get his fellow Republican colleagues on board? Stay with us.


TIMPF: Welcome back to "The FOX News Specialists." Our specialists today are Katrina Pierson and Capri Cafaro. Let's continue the conversation.

Congress is back and the race is on to resuscitate the Senate's health care Bill before the August recess. President Trump chiding his fellow Republicans on Twitter today, saying quote, "I cannot imagine that Congress would dare to leave Washington without a beautiful new healthcare Bill. fully approved and ready to go!"

That comes after some Senate Republicans voiced deep skepticism about the Bill's future over the weekend.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-ARIZ.: My view is it's probably going to be dead but I am -- I've been wrong. I thought I'd be president of the United States. But I think -- I fear that it's going to fail and then we should convene a Republican conference and say, "What are we going to do?"


TIMPF: But earlier today, Vice President Mike Pence struck a much more optimistic tone.


VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE (via phone): This president and this administration promised the American people that we would repeal and replace Obamacare. And the Senate now is literally within weeks of being able to deliver on that promise to the American people. The legislation before the Senate, for which there is not yet agreement but we are close; we are very close. We can get it done, and I believe with all my heart we will get it done.


TIMPF: Capri, we were talking about this in the green room a little bit.


TIMPF: How are these conversations even working towards compromise when you need votes from two separate groups of people who want the opposite things. The super conservatives say it goes too far; it's too intrusive. And then the more moderate say it doesn't go far enough. How do you have a compromise like that?

CAFARO: It's going to be incredibly difficult. You know? They did manage to pull it off by the hair of their chinny chin, chin in the House, but we're dealing with, you know, very vocal, very powerful senators in the United States Senate. And you know, you have the Rand Pauls of the world and some of the more conservatives that absolutely want to say we need to repeal and replace.

There are others, like Rob Portman, like Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, the more moderates, that are concerned that this is not going to serve their constituents well, because not only do you have issues of pre- existing conditions not being dealt with, but you also have issues of Medicaid being on the chopping block, as well.

So how you get -- you move one lever, you get these people. Then you take two steps forward and one step back. So it's going to be very, very difficult for them to get done. And I know Ted Cruz has presented a potential compromise that says, you know, you can have a slimmer plan on the health insurance exchange to reduce costs, which is fine, but frankly, that, again, doesn't address the issue of higher premiums for those with pre-existing conditions. So...

TIMPF: We can't legislate and solve all the world's problems in 30 seconds. Sorry, guys. This is a very embarrassing thing. Everybody that was a Republican ran off of "Obamacare is bad. You need to vote us in so we can fix it."

People said, "OK," voted you in.

"OK, well, we don't know how to fix it, though. We agree with you that it needs to be fixed." I mean, that's humiliating.

BOLLING: There was some good news in that first soundbite. John McCain, for the first time in 20 years, is right. I think it is going to be dead. I don't think it's going to -- it's going to pass. Congratulations on that.

CAFARO: We're all agreeing, Eric.


BOLLING: And I will -- and we've been saying this for the better part of two months now here. That this Bill, the House Bill didn't, nor this Bill, hasn't addressed the skyrocket -- skyrocketing costs of health care, health insurance. And I don't know why they didn't. Honestly, seven and a half years, you've got a lot of time to figure out how to fix it. Some of the things that we complained about as Republicans. Tort reform, selling across state lines competitively, prescription drug prices and choices, aren't in this Bill, and I can only think that maybe there's some corruption, cronyism going on in the D.C. swamp.

WILLIAMS: Sounds like the swamp.

BOLLING: And honestly, the leadership on both the House and the Senate side have failed Donald Trump.

PIERSON: Consistently at this point.

But you know, I'll take it a step further than Vice President Pence, because yes, the president did campaign on repealing and replace. So as you mentioned, the conservatives and the moderates are having a disagreement. Well, that's too bad. They're both going to have to get over themselves.

Because one of the things that I think is missing from the discussion is Republicans think that they won in November, and they didn't. Donald Trump won in November, and that is very different...

BOLLING: Good point. That is a very good point.

PIERSON: ... from what we're discussing today. So if they can't come together in this 25th hour and come up with something, it's a problem. And that's why "America first" policy is really pushing this issue, because we have to get to a conference if we're going to do anything. This vote isn't going to be anything in solid, and we've got to have that...

TIMPF: Republicans did win on repeal, replace Obamacare. Right, Eboni? A big part of it.

CAFARO: Moderates lost.

WILLIAMS: Well, I was going to say, I think what Katrina is saying, though, Kat, is essentially they have the leadership because they rode the coattails of Donald J. Trump in November.

But two considerations here: one is passing it. So I hear you, Katrina. They need to get over themselves and pass it. But they also need to pass something that people are going to like.

TIMPF: That's right.

WILLIAMS: That people feel like addresses the primary problems in Obamacare, those skyrocketing premiums. Because otherwise, politically, they're going to have the same problem Democrats had in 2010, which means they're going to have to live or die by the popularity of their health care reform.

CAFARO: But Democrats need to come to the table, too. We all have to govern together. Democrats can't just be the party of "no."

WILLIAMS: But do you think that they will, Capri?

CAFARO: No. But they should.

TIMPF: I don't think they...

BOLLING: Very quickly, at one point Ted Cruz floated the idea that wouldn't be bad, might hurt politically a little bit. Let Obamacare as an option; don't make it mandatory. And then offer a Republican alternative to Obamacare, and let that thing implode by itself. Not a bad idea, really.

CAFARO: Well, it's bad for people.

BOLLING: Offer an option, a Republican option that's better.

TIMPF: Coming up -- have to get it together at some point. All right. Coming up, police officers' uproar at Bill de Blasio intensifying after the mayor's return from G-20 protests in Germany. Don't go away.


BOLLING: New York City mayor, despicable Bill de Blasio, unfortunately has returned home after attending the G-20 protests in Germany over the weekend. De Blasio missed a Saturday vigil for assassinated New York Police Officer Miosotis Familia to tout his far leftist self to anarchist disruptors in Hamburg.


BILL BLASIO, MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: And so we here in Hamburg, in New York City, in cities and towns across Germany and cities and towns across America and across the world, we create the change at the grassroots. We lead the way.


BOLLING: Needless to say, de Blasio's behavior is not going well with many officers in the Big Apple.


ED MULLINS, PRESIDENT, SERGEANTS BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION: We have an antipolice atmosphere. We're not seeing any kind of leadership that comes out and explains the facts that are out there are not true. The police are not your enemy.


BOLLING: Mayor de Blasio met with Officer Familia's family ahead of her wake this afternoon and this evening, but Eboni, I wonder if de Blasio's being met with a warm welcome from the NYPD officers.

WILLIAMS: Well, I will tell you, we discussed it earlier on my radio show, Eric, and several officers called in and said that there was a plan to turn their backs as has been done previously, as a show of how much they don't appreciate the mayor taking this type of position.

And also, Eric, I hate to say it, but it feels a bit as if this officer who gave her life for the badge, her wake and her services were planned around the mayor's schedule. And that is a pretty disgusting sentiment.

BOLLING: Kat, I was in Florida and South Carolina over the weekend. I had law enforcement officers coming to me from there, thanking me, because we hit de Blasio pretty hard on Friday.

TIMPF: I know.

WILLIAMS: I was there.

BOLLING: And law enforcement doesn't like de Blasio.

TIMPF: No, and it's not hard to see why not. And I wouldn't be surprised, Eboni, even before you said that, if they do do the turning the backs thing again. And if he acts like a victim over that, like, "Oh, they're being mean to me," then I'm going to laugh in his face and tell him to shut up.

Because you can't -- you can't behave that way and show that it's such a low priority to you and then be surprised. It's not just the NYPD. It's your NYPD if you're the mayor. You're supposed to lead it. So even if you have problems with the NYPD, you're not just some dude. You're the one guy that was the most power to actually make changes if it needs it, but you have to engage. You can't run away.

BOLLING: And Katrina, the -- I don't know, the juxtaposition of Donald Trump over there in the same place, promoting western values and Bill de Blasio over there trashing western values.

PIERSON: Well, my heart breaks for Officer Familia's family. I just -- words can't describe how disgusted that I was when I heard about this, particularly knowing someone like a leader in Donald Trump, who really puts law enforcement on a pedestal.

Because at the end of the day when something goes wrong, who do you call? And it's really unfortunate that, in his own city, that he opted to go on a trip. Taxpayer dollars maybe?

BOLLING: No. No, not taxpayer dollars, but certainly, there were law enforcement protecting the mayor's flight.

PIERSON: Exactly. That's my point. And as Eboni said, that this was scheduled around his schedule. And so it's really unfortunate that -- thank God I'm a Texas resident -- that this is happening. But New York has an opportunity now to change the leadership, and I think that's what we should be talking about.

BOLLING: Unfortunately, the mayor is probably just as popular in New York that he was before he went on this Hamburg trip.

CAFARO: He's not particularly popular as far as I can tell. I mean, even with Democrats and progressives. They think that he's not liberal enough. The conservatives don't like him. Bill de Blasio is not the most popular guy around.

And you know, as a Democrat, I -- you know, I'm disgusted by the fact that, No. 1, Bill de Blasio went into the midst of anarchist protesters when he has a job to do here at home. And No. 2, that we're politicizing the death of a law-enforcement officer, which is wrong. I'm not saying "we." I'm saying collectively the fact that things are being scheduled around the mayor.

This is a solemn occasion. I have a good friend who's the state senator for the Bronx. He was there on the scene to stop Rivera. And unfortunately, our mayor was not.

BOLLING: Yes, we're going to leave it...

WILLIAMS: That's leadership.

BOLLING: Yes, that is leadership. All right, thank you. We'll leave it there. When we "Circle Back," we're going to "Circle Back" with our specialists, Katrina Pierson and Capri Cafaro.


WILLIAMS: But before we "Circle Back" with our specialists, Katrina Pierson and Capri Cafaro, Eric, you have to debrief us on your book tour this past week, and I heard you were in my neck of the woods.

BOLLING: I was all over the south. I'm just going to tell you very quickly. Let me tell you something: America adores FOX. I had so many people coming up to me and saying, "Listen, we put Fox on from the time we wake up through the time we go to bed."

Now, that first picture right there is The Villages in central Florida. Amazing crowd there, just loving the show, as well. And here's the Vero Beach Book Club. Just packed out, this place. It was insane. People coming up. They love the show. They love Fox.

This is my good friend, Greg Mosen (ph). Had to put him in there. He traveled -- we did eight stops in two days. Forty-eight hours, insane.

Check this one out: There was over 600 people in a bookstore in South Carolina, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Next picture, these ladies are the Republican ladies of South Carolina. They are Trump fans across the board. They love Trump. They love Fox. They love "The Specialists."

And hold onto this picture just for one second. This little girl brought tears to my eyes. We were in Florida. We were in Panama City, Florida, and she wouldn't let go of that book. She was just so happy, just so happy to be part of the Fox experience. It was just heartwarming.

WILLIAMS: She wants to drain the swamp, Eric.


BOLLING: It was -- it was amazing.

WILLIAMS: That's awesome. Congratulations, Ace.

BOLLING: Thanks.

WILLIAMS: So Katrina, you wanted to tell us about your call to action around the Russia investigation.

PIERSON: Absolutely. It's very clear that Russia is a hoax. President Obama himself prior to the election said that it's impossible to rig the United States elections. There's too many people. It's decentralized, et cetera, et cetera.

I believe him, and he did nothing when Russia was attempting to hack.

The call to action are for those Republican voters in the districts where these committee people sit. The president needs to call his new buddy, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, and say the investigation is over. Because this is only happening because the Republicans are holding these meetings. It needs to end.

TIMPF: What about you? What do you think about Russia? I want to ask you. Do you have a different view? I know in Ohio, do people talk about it a lot, or is it only in New York you hear people talk?

CAFARO: Honestly, the people in Ohio, yes, you know, they may say a thing or two about "What is all this Russia stuff?" But at the end of the day, the people in Ohio and, frankly, the people outside of the coasts care about the economy. They care about whether or not they can feed their family, whether or not they're going to keep their job. And, you know, whether or not their kids are going to be able to go to school and whether or not they, you know, can go to the doctor if they get sick.

So, you know, inside the Beltway and on the coasts, we get fixated on these issues that the media focuses on when we really, again, whether it's the media or whether it's elected officials in Washington, we need to focus on what the people need, not what stirs the pot.

TIMPF: Time to govern. That's exactly right. Absolutely.

WILLIAMS: Good for you. Couldn't have said it better myself.

Thank you to our "Fox News Specialists" today, Katrina Pierson and Capri Cafaro.

And thank you all for watching, and make sure you follow us on social media, @SpecialistsFNC on both Twitter and Facebook. And remember, 5 o'clock will never be the same. "Special Report" is up next.

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