This is a rush transcript from "The Five," July 16, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: Hello, everyone. I'm Dana Perino along with Kennedy, Geraldo Rivera, Jesse Watters and Greg Gutfeld. It's 5 o'clock in New York City, and this is "The Five."
A historic high stake summit between President Trump and Vladimir Putin unfolding today in Finland, the issue of Russian election meddling hanging over the talks but President Trump pushing back against calls to cancel the face-to-face meeting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Our relationship has never been worse than it is now. However, that changed as of about four hours ago. Nothing would be easier politically than to refuse to meet. As president, I cannot make decisions on foreign policy in a futile effort to appease partisan critics or the media or Democrats who want to do nothing but resist and obstruct. I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace than to risk peace in pursuit of politics.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PERINO: President Trump also stunning Washington and the world by dismissing evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: My people came to me. Dan Coats came to me and some others they said they think it's Russia. I have President Putin, he just said it's not Russia. I will say this. I don't see any reason why it would be, but I really do want to see the server. But I don't think it can go on without finding out what happened to the server. What happened to the servers of the Pakistani gentleman that worked on the DNC? Where are those servers? I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PERINO: Director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, releasing a statement following President Trump comments saying in part, quote, we have been clear on our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy, and we will continue to provide unvarnished and objective intelligence in support of our national security. And President Trump tweeting from Airforce One today, as I've said today and many times before, I have great confidence in my intelligence people. However, I also recognize that in order to build a brighter future, we cannot exclusively focus on the past. As the world two largest nuclear powers we must get along, Helsinki, 2018, is the hashtag. So, we have all the people are here today. We'll just start with you, Greg, and your thoughts.
GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: This presidency is the actual presidency of hope and change. People keep hoping that he will change. This is what you got. And if you keep being surprised by the fact that he's trying to build relationships like a salesman and it gets very disappointing and shocking, you haven't been paying attention because this is -- you have to look at this presidency with fresh eyeballs. He's trying to leave the past behind and he's trying to build relationships knowing that you cannot trust a lot of these people. He could have talked tougher but it will never be tough enough for most people because they see him as a salesman. But forget about the talk. Look at the actions. If you want to strangle, you know, Putin's Russia, a public spat isn't going to do it. What you're going to do is you're going to go after their financial pipeline, and you're going to have sanctions, and you're going to arm Ukraine. So, if the idea -- he is Russian's -- I don't know, stooge. He may be the worst Russian stooge ever because he's been tougher on them than Obama has. So the thing is, yes. Could have been tougher, could have been tougher, but he wouldn't make anybody happy, and this is who he is. He's trying to create relationships. This is no different than North Korea. It may work. It may not work. But you just can't keep pulling your hair out because you're not going to have any hair left. You're going to look like Brian Stelter.
PERINO: Kennedy, what do you think about the undermining though of the intelligence community who basically have told him and then they put out statement saying we can tell him all of these things, and if he chooses to not believe it or chooses to ignore it that's up to him.
KENNEDY, CO-HOST: No, I know the intelligence community has gone through a big perceptual slight lately, and a lot of that has been self- imposed. However.
PERINO: The intelligence community?
KENNEDY: The intelligence community, the FBI, the CIA, they have all essentially tarnish their own brands because of what is happened at the very top level. I'm not talking about day-to-day agents who work very hard and truly trying to objectively investigate. But having said that that, I still believe them over Vladimir Putin, and I think that's what most surprising. One thing that I took away from it was the markets were not affected. You know, this is -- if -- it is to be believed some of the hysteria from the left, this is the most disgraceful performance a president has ever given in public, you would think if you're talking about two nuclear superpowers and the idea that one president is beholden to a corrupt state that the markets would show that. In essence, you have.
PERINO: The markets have shrugged off everything.
KENNEDY: They didn't shrugged off the tariffs. And so, when the trade talk.
KENNEDY: . Mexico and Canada, that's when you would see, you know, $200 dips per day. But the fact that the market didn't even pick up I think.
PERINO: May be part of the reason for that, Geraldo, is that Russia is pretty much a blip on the radar when it comes to their GDP. Texas has a bigger GDP than Russia. Like we treat them like they're so amazing, and they're really not.
GERALDO RIVERA, CO-HOST: I agree in this -- Russia is one-tenth of the U.S. economy. But I think our colleagues are being too kind on the 45th president who went off the rails in Helsinki. It seems to me totally off the point. You know, what is it? It's like an idiot savant that you - - Hillary Clinton and the email server. I mean, he despises and distrusts Hillary Clinton and the special counsel more than he does Putin and the KGB, the GRU, you call it now. I hate the fact that the mainstream media set this up for failure. They were rooting for it to fail because they don't want anything Trump does to succeed. He had it OK. The opening statement, OK. You know, and sync with that tweet that he made from Air Force One. It was OK. But then to go into Hillary and the server, what are you talking about? Please stop it. You know, and I felt very badly for him. It's not, you know, a totally unforced error. I feel badly for him. I would totally.
PERINO: Why do you feel badly for him?
RIVERA: I feel badly because he worked hard at it and he wants the best. I really believe he's sincere.
KENNEDY: What do you want? You understand what he wants out of North Korea. You understand what he wants out of the NATO summit. I guess I don't understand, A, what he wants here and, B, why he's so deferential to a horrible person.
RIVERA: Ninety percent of the world's nuclear weapons are held by these two guys. They have the trigger to 90 percent of the nukes on earth. I submit that being friends with Putin and having a relationship with Putin where you can pick up the phone and talk to Putin is valuable to the United States. And I further submit that Mueller should take Putin up on this deal. He should send his agents to Moscow. When they question those dirty dozen, let them -- what are we afraid of? That the Mueller's guys are going to like blurt out some state secret that, you know, some spook in the corners going to write down? I mean, it's ridiculous. It's a good idea. It's a good idea. Let them talk to these guys. Let our prosecutors watch the Russia prosecutors, ask these dudes questions.
PERINO: In exchange, what Putin said in the press conference is he wanted to be able to question Bill Browder, an American citizen and a lawyer who was defending the Magnitsky Act. That's one reason I can see why not to do it. But let's get Jesse in here.
JESSE WATTERS, CO-HOST: Here's what I would have said if I was the president. I would have said Russia meddled, and I trust our agencies assessment of it. And this happened under Obama and no votes were change. I confronted Vladimir Putin about this. He denied it. It is what it is. We're trying to move past it now. We've put that behind us and we're going to try to work together towards peace. I know why he doesn't do it because he doesn't want to say anything that's going to undermine his amazing victory over Hillary Clinton, and he can't get past that, and that's very important to him. Also, he can't understand why Russia would want Hillary as president because he would be so much tougher, and has been more tough.
PERINO: Well, Putin said that today in the press conference that he did want Trump.
WATTERS: Well, I think he had to say that.
PERINO: He wanted Trump because he wants a good relation.
WATTERS: Exactly. But I don't think Trump can understand that because he believes he's very tough as Greg mentioned. And then, thirdly, I don't think he fully, the president, trusts our intelligence agencies for a number of reasons. He was very critical during the primary about the WMD fiasco when all the intelligence agencies said Iraq had them, they didn't, and we lost a lot of blood and treasure in that desert. And now he's got the former DNI director, former CIA director, former FBI director, all kind of scheming against him during his candidacy and then afterwards, throwing spies in there, listening to phone calls, and actively undermining him during the early stages of his presidency, so that's where he is. Now.
PERINO: But that's all his people.
KENNEDY: Exactly. Dan Coats is not.
WATTERS: I'm not talking about Dan Coats. I'm talking about Clapper and Brennan.
KENNEDY: He's contradicted what Dan Coats said.
WATTERS: . Mueller. What's that?
KENNEDY: He contradicted what Dan Coats said.
WATTERS: I know. And he's going to have plenty of chance to clean that up on Hannity and on Tucker. But, to your point, he said whatever he said and he's going to get criticized no matter what. If he goes in and he tries to mend fences with Putin, they're calling him a traitor. If he goes in and starts an arms race with Putin, he's a warmonger.
WATTERS: He's going to get criticized no matter what. And if you think about some of the things that Putin wanted before the summit, he didn't get any of those things. He wanted troops out of Syria. He wanted us to stop sending heavy weapons to Ukraine. He wants the Crimea annexation to be recognized. He wants sanctions lifted. He wants visas unfrozen. He didn't get any of that. And the media is acting like Trump gave Alaska back to Russia, and nothing came -- comes close to that.
GUTFELD: We've discussed that. Can I answer the question that you brought up, what does he want out of this? I do think as President of the United States, he's seeking to reduce the adversarial turf around the globe, while substantially increasing our military strength. So, basically, what's he's done, he said -- the stick has gotten bigger, here are the carrots. If you want these carrots, you can have them and it will be really great experience, but if you don't want them, this is the stick. This is exactly what he did with North Carolina -- North Korea. I guess what makes me laugh is that peace seems to be breaking out all over. And a lot of people who normally would be for that are against it, and it's like the champions of dialogue are getting crushed by the dialoguer in chief. He's actually better at this. Again, he's the good cop with his words. He's the bad cop with his deeds. You've got sanctions, expulsion, and you've got the buildup of this amazing military. You know what? I mean, he does have faults and he does have flaws, but so far, it seems to be working.
RIVERA: He's going to be.
GUTFELD: Beyond the words -- look at the deeds, Geraldo.
RIVERA: Listen, I have no beef with what you -- the substance of your remarks, but I know the president well enough to know that he's going to be smarting on that flight home. He's going to be really angry. What was a success in his own mind when he left the podium is going to turn to ashes now, everybody making fun of him, you know. And he doesn't take that criticism very.
GUTFELD: What is the alternative to dialogue when all these people are angry? It's like do you want us to nuke Moscow?
KENNEDY: I think what you want is neutrality. But, you know this, Dana, from the inside-out. Every president wants to thaw Vladimir Putin's icy heart. They want peace in the Middle East, and they want some resolution in North Korea. This president is trying to do all three is his first year. I don't know if that's possible with Putin.
PERINO: But Putin -- he's just a complete and total liar. And he wants to reconstitute the Soviet Union. And he's been in power a lot longer than President Trump will be. If Trump gets reelected and he's there eight years, President Putin will still be there years later.
RIVERA: Eighteen years so far.
PERINO: It's a blip on the radar for President Putin. I don't think that -- Putin is not going to change and he has no incentive to.
GUTFELD: You can have those competing thoughts in your head at the same time. You don't need to have one thought like Putin cannot be trusted. That's one thought. The other one is we have to deal with him. That's another thought. You can have both those thoughts in your head. The problem is the medium makes it though -- if you meet with Putin, clearly, you trust him or you're in bed with him. I mean, they're calling him treasonous. They're calling him treasonous.
KENNEDY: I mean, that's what Brennan did. I think Brennan's hyperbole is a little beyond the scope of acceptability.
PERINO: All right, President Trump facing heavy criticism over his comments during the summit with Putin, we'll break it down for you next.
WATTERS: Well, the axe coming from both sides of the political aisle after President Trump's news conference with Vladimir Putin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER, D-N.Y.: For the President of the United States to side with President Putin against American law enforcement, American defense officials, American intelligence agencies is thoughtless, it's dangerous, it's weak.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA.: What the president said today is not accurate. The intelligence community has assembled probably an unparalleled amount of evidence in regards to the Russian -- not just efforts to interfere in 2016, but ongoing efforts to interfere in American society.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATTERS: The media joining also in on the criticism of the president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: You have been watching perhaps one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president.
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: This -- what many would say disgraceful performance with Vladimir Putin.
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: They came across as playmates on a soccer field more than they did international rivals.
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Putin now is a master puppeteer of Donald Trump.
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: You should call this the surrender summit.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
WATTERS: Wow. All right, Greg, I know we've talked about this, where were all these left-wingers during the cold war when we needed them?
GUTFELD: When the USSR was eight times the size of Russia and they were actually about world expansion, and all they did was ridicule Republicans and conservatives for being anticommunist. They were anti-anti-communist for what? Three or four decades. They were drooling bedfellows of all the romantic communists whether it was anybody in South America, or what's his name? Castro, RIP. Anybody who was a communist, revolutionary, Che Guevara was on a t-shirt. Now, oh, they're back. Again, I use metaphor, they're like your friend who offers to help you move to your apartment, but they show up after everything's been moved.
WATTERS: Great timing by the Democrats.
WATTERS: We brought this up just during the last discussion a little bit. I think every president when they first get into office, Obama did it, I remember his first meeting with Putin, he sat there and listened to Putin lecture him for one hour straight about the history of America-Russia relations. Hillary had the reset. George Bush said I looked into his soul. I think American presidents always come in and doing this, and always at the end of the term it's frozen again.
PERINO: So in 2001, when President Bush first takes office and he has the first meeting with Putin, Putin comes to the White House, they have the meeting in the oval office. That was before Putin decided to do things like invade Georgia, and I remember at that 2008 Olympics when they had the last meeting -- last time they ever spoke was when Vladimir Putin said, well, you know, -- hot-blooded and I'm hot-blooded too, and the president said no, you're cold-blooded. And that's the last time they ever spoke. Then Obama comes in and then they have the reset. But don't forget, it was Romney in the debate talking about Russia and he was also ridiculed, but not just by the media but by Democrat who thought that this was so foolhardy.
I do though think about if the shoe 6were on the other foot, if Trump had just lost the election and we found out that Putin was trying to help Hillary, and he had gotten into the RNC, and this conversation might be very different. But I feel like the frustration, for me, was for him today was this missed opportunity to say this is an attack on all of us and we know what you're doing, and you're not going to get away with it again, and that would have been enough.
WATTERS: There was an attempt for the Russians to hack the RNC servers. They went after both sides. I guess it was a little easier to go after the DNC. Yes, that is true. There was an attack on those RNC servers and they weren't able to penetrate it.
PERINO: I mean, if you totally disregard everything that the intelligence community has said that all of the indictments point to the push to get to the DNC.
WATTERS: Yeah, I agree, and he should have been a little stronger about that today.
KENNEDY: OK. So where do we go now? We have sanctions, you know, the president trying to normalize relations. It's one thing to want to put that pass in the past, but that behavior is still very much manifesting itself in 2018, and it will in 2020 unless we do something. So what we do? What kind of an investment are we talking about in cyber security? What sort of retribution will there be if Russia continues to do this? Russian said the same thing about their systemic government run doping program. They said it didn't exist, it was a few individuals, and that was proven to be completely false. It's the same thing here. They're not trustworthy. But what do we do on our side? I think Dana hit on something really important here. If Hillary had won, you know, with or without Russian meddling which wasn't necessarily interference. And there are three different things here, interference, meddling, and collusion. And, you know, we have to be able to take those three things separately. I think Hillary Clinton would have gone over and she would have had the exact same kind of meeting.
RIVERA: Well, imagine if Barack Obama had done that press conference that you saw today. There would have been calls for them to be impeached, would have been absolute craziness.
PERINO: The apology tour.
KENNEDY: It was an apology tour, absolutely.
RIVERA: Brief history, you know I covered Latin-America for ABC News. I was -- elected official, we totally mopped around with that election. All those Central American nations, we mopped around of all of their elections. You know, the United States does not have clean hands when it comes to mucking around in other people's elections. And I think for us to be on the high horse is pretty hypocritical. The other point is -- because we have such short-term memories, we forget the context of Ukraine. Up until four years ago, Ukraine was a Russian puppet. It was a Russian puppet. It was totally -- not only did they have the fleet in the Crimea, but the president of Ukraine was a pro-Putin guy. We helped engineer.
PERINO: Who was working with Paul Manafort.
RIVERA: We helped engineer the coup that overthrew the elected president of Ukraine. It was pro-Russian. That's when Putin said, my god, they took Ukraine from me. What am I going to do? My fleet is threatened now in Crimea, and everybody there speaks Russian anyway. Damn it, I'm going take Crimea. Eastern Ukraine, they all speak Russian there. I don't have the whole country anymore, but I've got to take this little slice. I mean, we have to see where we were compared to where we were five years ago. Five years ago Ukraine was totally comy -- you know what I mean, totally pro- Russian. Now, Ukraine is -- they wanted to make it a member of NATO, and Putin is looking at his former allies now on his border, you know, singing kumbaya and the Star-Spangled Banner.
GUTFELD: I do think this is different though than Obama's apology tour. I don't see this as an apology. I see this as a custom. When you go somewhere, and you side with North Korea, and you're seeing with Putin, you'd probably see it with Iran, which is the custom of allowing your adversary to save face in public while you exercise something completely different in private. We don't know what's going on privately, but we do know what's happening -- there's a lot being done about that pipeline that Trump brought up in another place. That's short of an actual shooting war, going after that pipeline is a pretty big deal.
KENNEDY: And now the president and Vladimir Putin can answer for what happened in that private sit-down, which is really important. We don't know the details of that. But that is.
WATTERS: Until it leaks, because you know it probably will. All right, next on The Five, Greg takes on anti-Trump protests over in Europe.
GUTFELD: All right. Here's the reaction in London to Donald Trump's recent visit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GUTFELD: I could watch that forever. Those are some seriously fit protestors. They could punch their way to a cat's sneeze. So here's more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GUTFELD: Oh, man. No wonder they're worried about America leaving NATO.
Now, you can learn a lot from a protest. First, if there's a violent revolution from the left, we can relax. I've seen fitter corpses. Second, you can look it up but I doubt you saw this kind of rage over the organized child sex abuse of Rotherham or recent terror attacks in England. Third, you have to ask why they care so much about us and about our immigration concerns. It's because these protesters are leftists first, countrymen second. As with all socialists, the cause always outranks any patriotism.
But what of the giant Trump balloon? The media made it seem so huge, but I think I won something like that at a county fair. Twenty-thousand pounds, that's what it costs for these idiots to feel good about themselves. Meth is cheaper and, I hear, more effective.
That's the problem with trying to inflate your importance without actually being important at all. You end up looking small, stupid, weak.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GUTFELD: Looked like a close match.
So Trump landed on that island and became the only thing anybody talked about it. He made Sacha Baron Cohen look like Mr. Rogers. Did you even realize Wimbledon was won? And then he left. Yes, he came out of the sky, scared the natives, met the queen. Now he's gone, they're all saying, "Did you see that?" In other words, Trump went to Britain, but all you got was that lousy balloon.
So Geraldo, the blimp wasn't for Trump. It was for people who hate Trump. It was their therapy pet.
GERALDO RIVERA, CO-HOST: That looked like the follow-up to "Revenge of The Nerds." Someone should tell him hits like a girl. I bet you can't say that anymore.
GUTFELD: No, you can't.
JESSE WATTERS, CO-HOST: No, you can't.
GUTFELD: There are some girls who can hit. Have you watched the MMA?
RIVERA: God, yes.
You know, the thing about Trump's unpopularity, it is visceral.
RIVERA: And you see it in our country most vividly. It's not -- it's even worse than Nixon. It really is. You know, I'm probably the only one -- definitely the only one old enough to know that firsthand. But there's a kind of metastasized hatred that is explosive in many ways.
And I think the normally passive, polite Brits, I've got to -- showed the same kind of reaction that many -- many -- half the American electorate feels. So it's -- he just generates really caustic responses.
GUTFELD: But you know, I noticed, Dana, it's often very childish, and that's OK. You can protest any -- but I've talked to you about when I lived in London during Katrina, people in pubs would come in and just rail against -- I mean, they were vicious about Bush. They hated Bush. They hate everybody that --
DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: That's on the right.
GUTFELD: -- that's on the right.
PERINO: And also, I've never understood why they care so much about who our leader is anyway --
PERINO: -- because we don't care about them. It might be, like, some deep-seated thing because, like, we beat them so many years ago.
PERINO: But also, the other thing is whoever the president of the United States is, he is the leader of the free world, and there is power in that. And they have this former glory. Right?
PERINO: They used to -- the sun never set on the British empire. But it sets pretty early now.
GUTFELD: Now the balloon blocks the sun, Jesse.
JESSE WATTERS, CO-HOST: And the balloon people might be on "Watters' World" this weekend.
GUTFELD: Oh, really?
WATTERS: Stay tuned.
WATTERS: We're making a very hard effort to book them.
But this brings up a few questions for me. One, if Germany starts bombing London again, and Trump has to swoop in and save them for the second time, I think he'll be pretty popular.
Second of all, Trump gives weaklings like this guy a purpose in life. It gets them off their couch, gets them some exercise, get some sunlight on their face. They get to be around people with common interests. And I think that's a good and healthy thing.
Also, I don't want an American president to be popular in Europe. I'm suspicious of that. Obama was popular, because he went over there and he, you know, kissed their you know what. And he acceded to all of their wishes, signed all their little treaties. And that's OK. But Trump wants to represent Michigan, not Britain, and that's fine.
GUTFELD: Kennedy, it wasn't like the protest was about war. Because it's like, again, Trump is, like, the opposite of a warmonger.
KENNEDY, CO-HOST: Right.
GUTFELD: So what are they mad about? They're just mad about the man.
KENNEDY: They are mad about the man. They're mad about him and his temperament and personality. But with a lot of people in this country, it's funny because --
GUTFELD: That's enough.
KENNEDY: -- when you talk to independent voters and those who maybe -- maybe gave him a grudge vote, they're getting used to him, and that's what a lot of people say. And that's why, you know, the loudest reaction comes from progressives, because that's the shrinking outrage.
And the rest of the world will get used to him almost when it's too late. It's going to be in the seventh year of his presidency when they realize they're going to miss him when we have another bland, vanilla, monotonous president who is long-winded and very boring in press conferences.
GUTFELD: Are you talking about Mike Pence?
KENNEDY: I'm so glad you said that. Because when I saw those people punching --
KENNEDY: -- the president dummy and, you know, the guy with tiny arms knocked him over. I thought, OK, he's not president any more. So what do you want?
KENNEDY: President Pence?
GUTFELD: Yes, exactly.
KENNEDY: Is that the ultimate goal, because that is actually the opposite of what most people want.
GUTFELD: Pence is way more conservative than Trump.
KENNEDY: Far more conservative.
GUTFELD: That's for sure.
RIVERA: Way less phlegmatic. Impulsive.
Tucker Carlson -- you know him -- he sat down with President Trump right after the summit with Putin. He's here next to tell us how the president is reacting. Look at him.
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: Hi.
RIVERA: President Trump and Vladimir Putin meeting face-to-face, as you know, today in Finland. Tucker Carlson sat down with the president right after that extraordinary address to the world. And Tucker joins us right now from Helsinki.
So did the president -- welcome, Tucker. Did the president hear the reaction to his presentation prior to boarding Air Force One, prior to your interview, I guess?
CARLSON: Well, I spoke to him almost directly after the press conference he gave, and I was getting updates on the reaction from the U.S. and read some of them to him. He didn't seem moved by them at all. He dismissed them.
I think he knows what he thinks on the Russia question. I guess that was obvious from the press conference, whether you agree with it or not. He thinks that Russia is not the primary threat to the United States. China is. And that it's absurd to pass up a chance to become closer to a government that might help the United States in some way. That's his -- that's the position he's stated, actually, for a couple years now. But he seemed more hardened in it, I thought, than he had been in the past.
So no, he did not seem especially disturbed by the reaction.
RIVERA: Did he or did you ask him whether the kind of equivocal answer that Putin gave when asked the question, "Do you have any dirt on President Trump," did President Trump say, "I wish he had been more definitive"? Or did that come up at all, Tuck?
CARLSON: It didn't. I mean, the question was obviously stupid, and so I didn't consider responding. Do you have dirt on President Trump? To which Putin was supposed to say, "Actually, it's funny. I do, in fact. We call it a dossier." I mean, that was such a dumb -- do you know what I mean? It was he kind of thing -- I don't think all questions reporters ask are dumb. Some of them are smart. But that was in the dumb category. That was in the sort of "discredit the press category." I mean, like, why would you ask a question like that? You're not going to get a real answer.
RIVERA: Well, he could have gotten a more convincing denial than we got from the Russian president. Couldn't he?
KENNEDY: Tucker --
CARLSON: That's pretty funny. Yes.
KENNEDY: -- it's a big day.
CARLSON: Hey, Kennedy.
KENNEDY: Good to talk to you. So much emotion, so much reaction. What was the very best question you asked the president?
CARLSON: Well, I mean, I don't know. I don't know if any of my questions were particularly great.
I'm interested in the NATO question, though. I mean, all the attention has been on how much are our allies paying into NATO, and I think it's worth asking why do we have NATO, actually? NATO was --
KENNEDY: That's a great question. Did you ask him that?
CARLSON: NATO was -- I did. That was one of my first questions. NATO was created mostly to keep the Soviets, the Russians, from invading Western Europe. Nobody thinks that's a possibility now. And yet, we're struck with this very expensive infrastructure and Article V, which is a security guarantee. If Montenegro, which is a new member of NATO, is attacked, my son is obligated, America is obligated to go defend Montenegro.
Why is that -- maybe that's a great idea, but tell me why that's a great idea. How is that in America's interest to extend a security guarantee to Albania? I mean, is it? If so, tell me how? And I asked the president that, and he said, in effect, "Good question. I've raised that" but didn't go further.
But I think it's worth debating. I mean, everyone should be debating that question, I think.
WATTERS: Hey, Tucker. It's Jesse here. Quick question.
CARLSON: Hi, Jesse.
WATTERS: I know you interviewed the president early on in his term, I think a month or two in, and now you've interviewed him again. Did you notice a change at all in him? And what was his demeanor like when you interviewed him this time? Was he in good spirits? Was he tired? Was he -- you know, how did he seem to you?
CARLSON: It's funny. I was just -- I was actually texting my brother that exact thing in the commercial break. I thought about it all day. He did seem different. I've talked to him in the interim, as well.
He seemed less concerned with what his critics say. He seemed more certain of what he thinks. He seemed funnier. He seemed less sort of aligned with conventional views in Washington, for good or bad. I mean, obviously, the -- most of the foreign policy establishment in Washington -- and that includes Republicans -- I mean, they're what we used to call neocons. They have a very specific view of the world, and he used to kind of pay some lip service to that, and he doesn't anymore at all.
And I mean, again, you may think that's terrible. You may think it's great. But he is much more defined, my read was, in what he believes than he was a year ago.
WATTERS: Well, because he seemed pretty certain about his belief system about a year and a half ago. I can't imagine him being more certain of anything.
CARLSON: Yes. Well, he seemed to be.
PERINO: Want me to go next? Hi, Tucker.
CARLSON: Hey, Dana.
PERINO: I'm going to ask you what the follow-up is from this. So there are a lot of things that Putin was wanting to get. I think, like, a request to lift sanctions. Do you think that will happen?
CARLSON: I think it would be -- if you actually -- I don't know, of courses, is the short answer. The real question is what do you do about Syria? I mean, that is, you know, that's an open wound in the middle of Levant (ph). The refugee crisis from there has transformed Europe. It's destabilized the countries around it, particularly Jordan. I mean, it's a huge deal, and Russia is a key player there. And this White House has been basically at war with the Assad regime.
Will that continue? That's the real question. So Trump, as much as he's made a lot of friendly noises about Russia, has been killing Russians, this administration, our military killing Russian citizens in Syria. Again, maybe you think that's great; maybe you think it's bad. But it's very different from the rhetoric. Will that change? I mean, that's what I'm interested in seeing.
GUTFELD: Yes, it's very hard, at least for me, Tucker, to take the media response to this seriously, since it's always been at an incredible high pitch that for some reason -- maybe I don't hear it anymore. But I'm wondering if this is because the media is blaming Putin for Hillary's loss, and they're constantly demanding their pound of flesh. And nothing will ever be enough.
CARLSON: I mean, I don't really -- I'm not a shrink, so I don't fully understand it. I don't think Russia is our close friend or anything like that. I think of course they're trying to interfere in our affairs. They have for a long time. Many countries do, some more successfully than Russia. Like Mexico, which is routinely interfering in our elections by packing our electorate. So those are our concerns.
I just don't -- I honestly don't understand why we need to believe that Russia is the sort of primary issue of American political life. That seems kind of nuts to me. Maybe you disagree with Trump, which is totally fine, but the idea that where you are on Russia is the defining question, like, that's kind of demented, actually. Because it's like No. 115 on the list of real concerns, at least in my mind. Maybe I'm the demented one. But that's my opinion.
GUTFELD: Tucker, have you eaten any reindeer?
CARLSON: I've eaten -- I had a pizza with crickets on it.
CARLSON: Deep-fried crickets, which were delicious. I ate all kinds of weird fish parts. This is a great country, and if you can get to Finland, don't, because overpopulation will destroy it. But some people -- just kidding.
RIVERA: Tucker, I've got to go. Got to go, dude. But you're going to preview your interview tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.
CARLSON: We are.
RIVER: Then the extended sit-down with the president airs tomorrow on your show "Tucker Carlson Tonight."
CARLSON: What a tease is that. Geraldo, thank you.
RIVERA: You're welcome.
President Trump raking in the cash for his 2020 reelection efforts while blasting his potential challengers. We'll tell you what he is saying about the big money rolling in, next.
KENNEDY: America, are you ready for the 2020 presidential campaign? President Trump sure is. He's already raking in cash for his reelection efforts. The New York Times reporting he has raised more than $88 million over the last year and a half, which gives him a leg up on the competition.
Here are his thoughts on the prospective Democratic field.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PIERS MORGAN, JOURNALIST: Do you see any Democrat who can possibly --
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't see anybody. I know them all. I don't see anybody.
I know many of them. I've seen them. I've dealt with them. And so far, they do not have the right candidate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KENNEDY: Dana, if they find the right candidate, will Democrats be able to kick-start that election this year?
PERINO: It's hard to imagine it now, because everything -- all the economic indicators are so good, and the president is raking in a ton of money; and I'm not at all surprised by that, because I think he has, like, a 90 percent approval rating amongst Republicans in the country. And they're like, "Let's keep this going for as long as we possibly can."
That said, Democrats are super good -- I keep reminding people that they're very, very good at registering new voters. And it swamps Republicans if Republicans don't focus on it. It's something that Republicans kind of typically just expect people to go out and vote, because it's their civic duty. Democrats really get out there and have the infrastructure to sign up new voters.
PERINO: So it's going to be a major race. But right now, I think --
KENNEDY: They're shaking the tree, hoping that the peaches fall.
PERINO: They're going to have the 17 candidates that the Republicans had in 2015 and '16, the Democrats will have in '19 and '20.
KENNEDY: And that's what a lot of Democrats fear. They don't want that. So what is the president capitalizing on with the fundraising push and his various PACs?
WATTERS: The small donors. He's getting a lot of money from small donors, and that surprises, people, because everybody thinks the Republican Party is the party of rich, elite Wall Street people.
But of the names that have been floated, Booker, I think he's a lightweight. Warren, this Indian controversy is still going to dog her.
RIVERA: I agree with that.
WATTERS: And I don't think she's going to play nationally. Harris, I think she's really -- pretty qualified candidate. Quality, I mean. Not qualified. And my problem with her, she's not uplifting the way Obama was uplifting. I don't think she strikes the right tone there. And Biden, I just think, is an old white guy who's a little bit of a has-been, and he's never really campaigned effectively or has any natural constituency.
KENNEDY: All right. So you've got Biden and Sanders. It almost seems like they're the ones fighting for the top of the ticket. Those wonderful, fresh young voices the Democrats have been promising.
GUTFELD: Yes. Combined age, 6,000. You know, though, look, you've got to -- about the money thing, money wasn't the reason why Trump won in 2016. Right? He didn't spend nearly as much money as Hillary.
The other thing is the reason -- one of the reasons why he won is the contrast theory. If you have 17 people up there, 17 types of soft pillows. The hard pillow will actually be -- sell better because it's different. So you had 17 soft pillows and one hard pillow. It's a study done by --
WATTERS: My Pillow.
GUTFELD: -- by My Pillow. So -- but it's an actual study.
KENNEDY: Was Donald the hard pillow or was Hillary the hard pillow?
GUTFELD: I think that she was a hard pill. There's going to be 17 and you're going to get a Trump-like figure.
KENNEDY: No, is that what they're going to do? Is it going to be a transformational figure or someone who can just --
GUTFELD: The Rock.
KENNEDY: -- out-bully Trump?
RIVERA: I think it has to be someone with great charisma and someone who can go toe-to-toe with him. I mean, he -- the way -- the pillow metaphors aside, I think Trump was so much more charismatic than the other candidates.
KENNEDY: And the winner jujitsu (ph).
RIVERA: And you see when, like, Tom [SIC] Kaine -- Tim Kaine. I forgot his name. He was, like, so bland. If Democrats try to go with a traditional politician.
KENNEDY: He was a beta male. And we've got "One More Thing" up next next.
PERINO: It's time now for "One More Thing" -- Jesse.
WATTERS: All right. At the Rockies-Mariners game over the weekend, some idiot ran out into the field. There he is here. He actually eluded all the security pretty fast and then just gets bodied by some other fan.
GUTFELD: That's Brian Kilmeade.
WATTERS: Check out a different angle of this. Ready, he's coming up here. Actually, this is kind of a faraway angle. I don't know what is going on there. But if you look at the close-up angle, this guy just gets crushed! That's right. I think he got knocked out.
PERINO: Don't try that at home or at the ballpark.
GUTFELD: That's why Kilmeade wasn't in this morning. He was nursing a concussion.
Let's go to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRAPHIC: Greg's Vacation Video
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GUTFELD: "Greg's Vacation Video." People keep asking me, how was my vacation? Here's some great video of me at the pool. I was just relaxing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(OTTER PLAYING IN THE WATER)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATTERS: You need to shave.
GUTFELD: I know. I am a harry -- I'm hirsute. I am quite hirsute, but I went swimming on a full stomach, and I was so happy to be there. It's so good to be away. I really am adorable without my shirt on.
PERINO: So cute. Is that all?
GUTFELD: That's it.
PERINO: All right. Kennedy.
KENNEDY: All right. There was a mom in Lake Tahoe, California, Brittany Christiansen, no stranger to bears, but she has little kids. And a big brown bear bum-rushed her but she took it out, watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRITTANY CHRISTIANSEN, MOTHER: No, no, no, no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no, no! No! Go! Go away!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KENNEDY: And the bear left! No one likes to be mommed.
So the mama bear got the bear to leave. She said she wished that the forcible "no" actually worked on her own children. She's like, "Go away."
PERINO: That's pretty scary, actually.
PERINO: All right, Geraldo.
RIVERA: When I turned 70, I took the nude selfie that was so notorious. I just turned 75, so I wanted to do something. I wanted mostly to --
GUTFELD: We know!
RIVERA: -- all family.
WATTERS: It's a family show!
RIVERA: My son Gabriel and his wife Deb and my grandson Desmond came in. They live in Holland. They work there.
Sol at camp, my 12-year-old. She gave me that.
So I take a boat trip by myself, a voyage: 1,100 miles, 550 miles each way. Erica and I, my beautiful wife went to a grand hotel on Mackinac Island. She flew there. I took my boat.
PERINO: You went by yourself?
RIVERA: I went by myself. By myself. I did it. I'm all bruised up and banged up, but it was a lot of fun.
PERINO: So did you just have, like, a period of self-reflection?
RIVERA: Well, self-reflection and also --
GUTFELD: Did you drink a lot?
RIVERA: -- I want to show that, you know, even though I'm lame and limpy and --
PERINO: No, you're fabulous. That's a pretty neat thing.
RIVERA: Thank you.
GUTFELD: That was five years ago, was the selfie?
RIVERA: The selfie.
KENNEDY: And he hosed flying worms off of his boat.
RIVERA: That's right, hosed flying worms.
PERINO: How long did that take you, 1,100 miles?
RIVERA: It took three days, two nights to get there, and then I really jammed to get back in two days and one night, because I had to be on "FOX & Friends."
PERINO: We are glad you are safe.
I hear you. Got to go. Set your DVRs. Never miss an episode of "The Five." "Special Report" up next with Chris Wallace's interview with Vladimir Putin.
BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS: Thanks, Dana.
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