Lawyer Michael Avenatti faces up to 100 years in prison for extortion, wire fraud charges

This is a rush transcript from "The Five," March 27, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GREG GUTFELD, HOST: Hi, I'm Greg Gutfeld with Jedediah Bila, Juan Williams, Jesse Watters, and she ice skates on a popsicle, Dana Perino. “The Five.”

So the prosecutor who dropped the Jussie Smollett case still thinks he's guilty.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is Mr. Smollett innocent of the charges against him?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, he's not. We stand behind our investigation. We stand behind our decision to charge him. And we stand behind our decision to bring the case to a grand jury.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUTFELD: Nuts. And to be honest, Wolf, even Kamala Harris is completely confused.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS, D-CALIF.: To be perfectly honest with you, Wolf, I'm completely confused. I don't understand. I don't know why -- I don't know the underlying evidence. You know, there's a sealed document, obviously. I don't know. I'm at a loss.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUTFELD: Join the club. So far the number of people who actually think Smollett is innocent is less than the number who attacked him that night. But it doesn't matter because a deal was made. As for claims that Smollett got special treatment, the prosecutor, Joe Magats, lamely points out that, no, Smollett did community service and forfeited his bond.

OK, never mind then. And so a deal was made and what a deal, 16 hours community service and 10K in exchange for dropping charges. I want his lawyer. But that's no exoneration. That's an admission of guilt. But it doesn't matter because the deal was made. By the way, that 16 hours was spent at Jesse Jackson's coalition office, meaning it was probably a nap.

Meanwhile, the same media that milked the make-believe collusion for two years says that with Smollett, you know what, I guess we'll never know.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The narrative once again changed from victim, you know, to a villain, back to victim. It's been very confusing. And as Ryan was saying, people don't know what to believe and we may never really know what happened on the street that night in Chicago.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUTFELD: We may never know. Let's be precise. Stelter will never know and neither will CNN viewers because remember they don't investigate. They just put it out there. The rest of us know what happened. A fake hate crime was blamed on Trump supporters and then a deal was made. I got to say, whoever pulled the strings for Smollett has more juice than a Minute Maid factory.

And if the two Nigerians talked, the words certainly won't be theirs. Sadly, if a hate crime hoaxer gets away with this, then there will be more. But one piece of advice if you're thinking about doing it, get famous first. Then a deal will be made.

All right, Jesse. The conclusion basically is that he stage the attack but the prosecutors just felt it was too low priority and nonviolent so why bother. Is that what it was?

JESSE WATTERS, HOST: Yeah. And he's loaded and famous and well- connected.

GUTFELD: So it's a good -- it's good for us because --

WATTERS: If we ever do anything, we might be able to get the get-out-of- jail-free card.

GUTFELD: I'm not even that famous.

WATTERS: Which I may need one of these days. So the state's attorney, Foxx, double x, huge Democrat, big political animal. She takes her orders from Cook County board president, Toni Preckwinkle, OK. So she doesn't do anything unless Preckwinkle says so. Preckwinkle runs the town, all right? She's running for mayor to replace Rahm. This is how Chicago works, OK?

GUTFELD: What's his name?

WATTERS: Toni is a female --

GUTFELD: No –

WATTERS: Her name is Preckwinkle.

GUTFELD: OK, got you.

WATTERS: OK. And Foxx, double x there, has worked for Preckwinkle for 10 years. This is how the whole system in Chicago works. Most corrupt city in the country. Remember they tried to sell Obama's senate sea when he ran for president. Foxx has also been accused of trading political donations to get felons out of prison. She's been accused three times of doing that.

Also, she's been exchanging emails and text messages with Michelle Obama's people. Michelle Obama's people have been discussing things with Smollett's family members. And the guy is rich and famous, so there you have it. And in this country, Greg, thankfully, sometimes for us, rich and famous people will get off if they're well-connected.

In the worst cases -- in the worst cases you have like a O.J Simpson. You have Jeffrey Epstein. And then in the small ball situation --

JUAN WILLIAMS, HOST: Don't forget Donald Trump.

WATTERS: OK, Juan. We'll get to you in a minute.

(LAUGHTER)

WATTERS: And then you have like the Justin Bieber or the -- you know -- who? Paris Hilton, the DUI situation, they can get off. That's small ball stuff. But the worst part about this is they spit in the eye of the Chicago police and they did it in plain sight because they wasted -- was it a 1,000 hours on this, reviewing video surveillance, 24 detectives were reassigned --

GUTFELD: Yeah.

WATTERS: -- and now they're just going to say goodbye? It's sad and it's disgusting. And now these things are going to happen more because there's no punishment.

GUTFELD: Jed, do you think -- this is a story about class. It started out about race and sexuality but it is about class. And there is a separate class. It's like if you're a celebrity, you just get some serious perks.

JEDEDIAH BILA, HOST: People were hash tagging green privilege at the time. It's true. It's all about money. It's all about power. It's the connection with the Obamas. And this guy is out there. I mean, he's audacious, too. He's out there and he's saying, oh, I'm innocent. How are you saying you're innocent when the prosecutor is out there saying you're not innocent?

In fact, the prosecutor said the fact that Smollett feels we have exonerated him, we have not. I can't make it any clearer. So the fact that he and then you have Fox Entertainment, and then you have the Empire writers out there tweeting things like, wink, see you Wednesday --

WATTERS: Well, I'm sure Fox Entertainment was not involved at all, Jedediah.

BILA: It's a slap in the face to people. Really, I mean, you know, you see --oh, it's not a nonviolent crime. This guy faked a hate crime. This is a $150,000. This is the whole police force. He should've had to apologize at minimum. He should have to pay that money back for all of that -- that damage that was on all of those funds taken away from resources that Chicago needed.

And the fact of the matter is, the guy -- the guy is not innocent. He's just well-connected. The average person -- the average person that went through this, they would be going to jail. They would be going to a grand jury. They'll be getting indicted and they'll be going to jail.

GUTFELD: Juan, can I play you -- I'm going to play you Rahm talking about this. And I want to talk about this, the pitting -- these Obama chiefs of staff against each other. Let's go to that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: States attorney office saying he's not exonerated. He actually did commit this hoax. He's saying he's innocent and his words are true. They better get their story straight because this is actually making a fool of all of us. This looks like because he's an actor, a person of influence, he got treated differently than anybody else.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GUTFELD: So, Juan, you have two, kind of, Obama chiefs of staff. You've got Rahm and you have Tina Tchen, who's Michelle's. Is this more like -- kind of like inter-scene battle now that America is watching but it's really about Chicago? Like, are we --

WILLIAMS: But I think Chicago is part of the story. But, I mean, to me, I'm alarmed at the response from you guys because --

GUTFELD: Why?

WILLIAMS: You know why? I think we live in a country of laws, not mobs. And that mob can't be right-wing talk radio say, oh, this guy --

GUTFELD: Like Rahm Emanuel.

WILLIAMS: -- Trump or something like that. You can't have that. You have a presumption of innocence, a process. I've heard lots about due process.

GUTFELD: True.

WILLIAMS: So it seems to me that the state's attorney has said very clearly that without forfeiture of the bond, without the community service, he wouldn't have cut the deal. So he made a deal. And from what I understand, the deals are made all the time. But I would say in this specific case, everybody is then leaping to say, well, since he says he's not exonerated which -- by the way, I just heard that in some national case recently.

But this case, everybody says, oh. So I really think that this was a set- up and it's about influence. But guess what? The prosecutor, Joe Magats, who you just saw in screen said, no, I just made a decision here, and my decision is that is so -- he gave up the bond money. He's going to do -- this is fine.

I'm going to tell you something else that's telling about it. I notice these two brothers, the Osundairo brothers, their attorney quit.

GUTFELD: Yeah, that's true.

WILLIAMS: Why? Because they're not willing to say anything --

GUTFELD: Why is that?

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: -- willing to testify. But, in fact, now that there's not going to be a trial they don't want to do this.

WATTERS: Juan, can I ask you a question. O.J. Simpson, innocent or guilty?

WILLIAMS: I thought he was guilty.

WATTERS: Guilty, OK. So you can think someone's guilty because you have a good B.S. meter, but in the courtroom, you know, they can get off.

WILLIAMS: Yeah. But I'm just saying --

WATTERS: OK. Well, everybody knows Smollett staged a hoax, even though, technically, he's not guilty.

(CROSSTALK)

WATTERS: Do you know anything about O.J., too? It's the same thing, Juan. Use your common sense.

WILLIAMS: Hey, Jesse, you are all about gut. Use your head once --

WATTERS: That's what I'm saying.

WILLIAMS: Your gut --

WATTERS: That's exactly what I just said. My gut says Smollett is a hoaxer.

WILLIAMS: OK. Your gut should not --

GUTFELD: Dana got guts and a brain.

WILLIAMS: All right.

GUTFELD: Wrap it up for us with your brilliance assessment. You were talking -- you actually had the text. That's a little too complicated right now.

DANA PERINO, HOST: That's OK. So, one, he's so rich that $10,000, he can just let that go --

GUTFELD: Yeah.

PERINO: -- walk away and he's like, OK, that's all it's going to cost me is $10,000. But it's -- the fact that they kept the money means that it wasn't innocent, right? Magats say that's punishment enough. But you have Jussie Smollett out there saying I'm innocent, and he's going to sue the city?

GUTFELD: Yeah.

PERINO: He's going to sue the city. Plus, Magats, tell us -- explain to us why you then sealed -- you basically wiped it off the computer. If you do a Google search over at the states attorney's office, you cannot find anything about this case.

GUTFELD: Yeah.

PERINO: Yet, a grand jury which is -- that's not just one person saying you're guilty. That's a jury. That's how our system works. Here's the thing, he still could be in trouble with the federal government.

GUTFELD: Right.

PERINO: And I always wonder because before the fake attack, he sent a letter to himself, or supposedly, whatever, for giving due process, letter to himself that had powder in it.

GUTFELD: Yeah.

PERINO: That is a federal offense. That's a felony. And the FBI is not talking which I think is not a good sign for Smollett. And we should hope that the FBI makes Chicago's mistake better.

GUTFELD: Yet, I don't know how he can sue the city because everybody took him seriously. No one doubted him publicly. The police worked there butts off on this. No one touched this thing until they have all these evidence. So who he's going to sue? All right, Democrats divided over their next move following the Mueller report. The details next on Five.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WATTERS: We're learning tonight, Attorney General William Barr will release the Mueller report in weeks from now, not months. Lawmakers on both sides demanding the report be released in full. But even though it's on its way to the public and zero evidence of collusion was found, top Democrats are still not satisfied.

Doubling down on claims of collusion, House Intel Committee Chairman Adam Schiff telling the Washington Post, quote, undoubtedly there is collusion. We will continue to investigate the counterintelligence issues. And here's Congressman Eric Swalwell trying to convince all of us the Steele dossier is still true.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ERIC SWALWELL, D-CALIF.: Which part of it hasn't been proved factual?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, Christopher Steele himself said it was not a finished work product. And everyone analyzed it said --

SWALWELL: Which part was not proved factual?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATTERS: Embarrassment over Mueller's findings have some members saying it's time to move on.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JAMES CLYBURN, D-S.C.: I believe that the Mueller report has been done. That's a chapter that's closed. And I think that last night this administration opened a new chapter when it moved to completely invalidate the Affordable Care Act.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATTERS: And according to Politico, Maxine Waters who's rallying cry has always been impeached 45, is dramatically changing her tune, saying impeachment has never been, quote, discussed as a strategy for this caucus.

All right, Greg, I just want to talk about Eric Swalwell for a second.

GUTFELD: Yes.

WATTERS: He's a collusion truther.

GUTFELD: Yes.

WATTERS: That's what we're calling. It's like the Titanic has sunk and everyone is on a life raft moving away and he's insisting that the boat's fine.

GUTFELD: He's like the, you know, the people that time forgot. He's like a soldier shipwrecked on an island for decades, assuming the war is still being waged. Everybody's moved on. If they keep pushing this collusion stuff, you're handing Trump a great comic moment for all of his rallies. He's going to like -- he's going to bring up a famous Russian at every rally and he's going to call it the collusion tour.

But the response to the Mueller report is to undermine its validity. We saw this with the 2016 election. So the process they demanded to test the validity of the election has now fallen prey to the very same mentality. And what do they have in common? Sore loser-ship.

WATTERS: Yes. And, Swalwell, I just want to say, there were a few things wrong with the Steele dossier, one. Michael Cohen never went to Prague to hatch the plot. And I believe it was Carter Page was not a Kremlin cut- out.

PERINO: So, I know a couple of Democrats who still maintain that it will all be proven true.

WATTERS: Really.

PERINO: Like they say that, they believe that. And I don't -- I don't think it's going to help them necessarily.

WATTERS: As one of those Juan?

PERINO: No, I haven't talked to Juan, yet. But Juan is shaking his head, yes. One thing that did -- somebody suggested that I thought was kind of interesting is because we know that the Russians were trying to interfere, and then you've got the Hillary team and they're working on the dossier.

Did the Russians -- plant some disinformation, right? And to send them on a wild-goose chase, and did they -- and the cat ran away with the spoon. President Trump framed this on Saturday -- or Sunday evening, vindicated and exonerated. And there's quibbling over the exonerated piece because of obstruction.

But if this takes weeks to get the Mueller report out, President Trump has already won the messaging war. It is vindicated and exonerated. To try to clog that back is going to be nearly impossible for the Democrats. And that's why I think you see leaders like Clyburn saying -- meanwhile, they want to eliminate the Affordable Care Act. Why don't we focus on that because that's how we won back the House in the first place.

WATTERS: Yeah, right. I would definitely would not pivot to health care if I was the president. I would basically plant the flag and say I was vindicated and move on to trade and international relations.

BILA: Don't you think that Maxine Waters piece is really interesting, though? Because that shows me that even Maxine Waters who has been on, you know, she's been one of the people whose very focused on impeachment in my head. She had decided to separate herself from the truly unhinged, and by that, I mean, Adam Schiff. These people who looked at the -- you know looked at the report, they read it, and --

WATTERS: Wait, Adam Schiff is to unhinged for Maxine Waters?

BILA: Yes.

WATTERS: Let that sink in.

BILA: Well, that's interesting now because that's where we're at. Because now these Democrats -- listen, I don't care how much they hate Donald Trump. They're going to have to decide, do we want to ally ourselves with who are going to be perceived to mainstream independents, even centrist Democrats, as unhinged. People who read the report and say, OK, let it go. Let the collusion go.

It didn't happen. Let's move on. Let's try to win an election. What's going to happen here? Because there are Democrats that I think want to beat him in 2020, and do want to win an election. In order to win an election, you cannot ally yourself with these unhinged people who no matter what an investigation turns up are committed to a narrative that's been proven untrue.

WATTERS: Juan, I want to understand the Democrats' perspective. Is it the Democrats understanding that there was criminal collusion between Trump and Russia, but Mueller put it in his report and then Barr mischaracterized it? Is that what the explanation is?

WILLIAMS: Well, we don't know because we haven't seen the report.

WATTERS: OK. So you're saying that there was criminal collusion potentially, but Barr didn't put that in the letter to Congress?

WILLIAMS: No --

WATTERS: Or is hiding the criminal collusion?

WILLIAMS: No, I think that -- I think he said explicitly that Mueller said there was no conspiracy. I don't know about the word -- but conspiracy --

WATTERS: No evidence of --

WILLIAMS: -- of Trump or anybody in his immediate circle. But when it came to obstruction, he just wasn't going to make a decision.

WATTERS: Right.

WILLIAMS: But Bill Barr is a guy who's pretty much on record as saying he he believes in sort of unlimited, unleashed executive power and that the president can fire -- the president can take steps that look to us like obstruction. And so, we don't know why Bill Barr made the decision.

Did he made the decision because Mueller didn't come up with sufficient evidence of obstruction or because he believes in this unlimited executive power? I will say this about Schiff. I'll say this about others involved here. They have a responsibility as members of Congress to be a check on the executive branch. That's what the constitution says. Check on the power.

And Bill Barr basically saying, hey, King Trump, let him run. And I think right now you need Democrats who would say -- want to say produce the report. If you won the narrative, if you won the moment, put the report on the table. Stop with the delays. Stop with the obfuscation. Stop with the excuses. And so far, Bill Barr hasn't done anything. Say, well, it's not going to be months. It's going to be weeks. How ridiculous.

WATTERS: OK. Well, I think we're all looking forward to reading it. Again, no collusion, no obstruction. The Green New Deal failed a test vote yesterday, but some Democrats now saying it needs to pass because it is as big of a moment as a man on the moon, that's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PERINO: Democrats put to the test and failed. Mitch McConnell going for a vote on the Green New Deal yesterday, the move was intended to force Democrats on the record about the controversial climate change plan. It failed by a vote of 57 to 0 with 43 Democrats simply voting present. And over in the House, things got testy after a Republican congressman said the Green New Deal is only for the wealthy. The plans champion Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez explosively firing back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, D-N.Y.: You want to tell people that their concern and their desire for clean air and clean water is elitist? People are dying. They're dying. And we're here, and people are more concerned about helping oil companies than helping their own families. I don't think so. I don't think so.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PERINO: And Ocasio-Cortez isn't alone in her support for the plan, 2020 presidential hopefuls senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Elizabeth Warren are stressing it's important with this interesting comparison.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND, D-N.Y.: We need to pass a Green New Deal. This should be our nation's moon shot. Why not be the world leader in doing something extraordinary. To show, just like John F. Kennedy did that we can win.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, D-MASS.: President Kennedy challenged our nation to lead the space race. And less than seven years later, Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. It's time not only to challenge our country to tackle climate change head-on but also to lead the world in doing so. I supported a Green New Deal that will aggressively tackle climate change, income, inequality, and racial injustice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PERINO: All right. So not a lot of passion there (ph) Warren on the Senate floor, but Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez making a good point. I mean, if you're going to take on this issue as a Republican, you have to figure out a way to do it in a way that say you're for something and not just against something. However, the Green New Deal -- Mitch McConnell calls the vote - -

GUTFELD: Why is it elitist? The answer is very simple. The only people who can afford the fantasy of wind and solar power are rich liberals. And because it's ineffective energy is a burden on the working class. You take away -- you take away gas or you take away natural gas, fracking, you take away oil, coal, they will starve and freeze. The working class families will starve and freeze.

The Green New Deal is a fantasy, but it's not bad to fantasize because it creates goals. So I'm for goals. But they have -- their M.O. is all goals and no promise. If you ever been at the Universal Studios lot, you know, when you go to movies and they have these beautiful sets, they look so real and so beautiful, but then you walk behind them, they're phony fronts.

The Democratic platform is a studio lot of phony fronts because they never come up with the means to get to their ends. And you're right, the Republicans have to have an answer but the answer has to be -- you've got to be for the working class which they are not.

WILLIAMS: So, Sean Duffy -- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's outburst there was aimed at Sean Duffy who said something like what you're saying. Hey, working class people who are trying to get a house, and this was about housing costs, guess what, all that you're talking about, this environmental -- it's going to drive up the cost of construction and housing in the country.

She shot back. And I wish we'd played this. She shot back, oh, so say that to the kids in the South Bronx who have the highest rate of asthma from air pollution. Say that to the kids in Flint who are drinking dirty water. Say that to the folks out in Nebraska in the Midwest who are experiencing --

GUTFELD: What is that have to do with the dirty water?

WILLIAMS: We're talking about environmental concerns. And so, to me, what you saw here was Mitch McConnell, senate majority leader, played a stunt. Let's bring this bill up right now and force these Democrats to vote on it and will punish them. But it was a stunt because there have been no hearings. There is no actual legislation that lays out exactly what this bill stands for. There is the caricature about no hamburgers, no airplanes. But it was not ready to vote. So, this is what you have here--

GUTFELD: So, introduce it then.

WILLIAMS: Is a Republican stunt. He did. They didn't. They simply want to have hearings and think about it. You said it right.

PERINO: You can't vote on a bill that hasn't been introduced.

WILLIAMS: Correct.

PERINO: What do you think about the tactics, Jesse?

WATTERS: I've come around on Mitch McConnell. I've come around on Mitch and Rahm and Mueller PERINO: Axelrod.

WATTERS: And Axelrod.

GUTFELD: Clyburn. Don't forget Clyburn.

WATTERS: Clyburn. What is happening. I am closer to Juan.

WILLIAMS: Yes.

WATTERS: Listen, if it was about clean water, Juan, why isn't she talking about Flint.

WILLIAMS: She did. Call brought it up, Jesse.

WATTERS: Why isn't she called her mayor friend, the Democrat over Flint and say, you know maybe I could use my high-profile fundraising charisma to help clean up the water.

WILLIAMS: You must have missed the Republican governor who was at the root of it.

WATTERS: This country.

BILA: No.

WATTERS: This country, America has the cleanest drinking water of anywhere in the world. It also has the freshest indoor air quality of anybody in the world.

WILLIAMS: You tell that to a kid.

WATTERS: OK. Well, tell that to your friends on the Democratic side and Flint too. All right. This isn't about being clean, it's about a socialist scheme. And that's why all the Democrats in the Senate didn't vote for it because it's - socialism is a killer at the ballot.

WILLIAMS: They didn't take the bait.

PERINO: In addition,--

WATTERS: If it's a stunt, why don't vote yes.

PERINO: But here's the other thing.

WILLIAMS: Does ignore it.

PERINO: It's not just about climate. The Green New Deal was a lot of things. Remember, base income things like that. The other thing that happens at yesterday, the House Democrats got together in their caucus and there is one of the members wants to do a $15 minimum wage federal bill. Right. Well, they have a big debate in there and all these members that are from swing districts are saying, I can't support. I'm not going to be able to support that on the floor. Basically, they're going to end up not doing a lot of legislation because they are so split on where to tackle these issues.

BILA: Yes, that's probably true and you're just asking them to stand up for what they say. Nothing that you said about Flint or that AOC said about Flint invalidates Duffy's point, which is that the costs rise, and it doesn't do you any good to have policies in place when it makes things unaffordable for people. Electricity skyrocketing does not help the poor people when energy is a larger percentage of the money that they have than anyone else.

If you can't afford it, it sounds great retrofitting every building in America and get rid of planes and get rid of gas cars. Yes, that all sounds great. Everybody wants clean air and clean water AOC, but that doesn't mean that everyone who objects to your plan is siding with the oil companies. It just means that a lot of us looked at it and said, well, this is a Utopian unicorn and Rainbow bunch of nonsense. So, we're not going to do that.

So, sane people, if Democrats care about this, Republicans care about this, let's come up with something that makes sense. But you have to be able to criticize lunacy and this Green New Deal is lunacy and that's why Democrats who are running in 2020 won't go on record supporting it, because they know it's lunacy and they like the idea of going out and championing this utopia that they know this is totally impractical and they don't want their name behind it.

PERINO: All right. On that note, we've got to move on. Joe Biden apologizing again. We'll tell you what for. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WILLIAMS: Former Vice President and potential 2020 presidential candidate, Joe Biden apologizing for the way he handled the 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Justice Clarence Thomas. Specifically, his treatment of Anita Hill.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: She was abused through the hearings. She's taken advantage of. Her reputation was attacked. I wish I could have done something. There are a bunch of white guys. No, I mean surely, a bunch of white guys hearing this testimony in the Senate Judiciary Committee. To this day, I regret I couldn't come up with a way to get her the kind of hearing she deserved given the courage she showed by reaching out to us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAMS: Critics say Biden's on an apology tour in addition to these latest comments. He's also apologized for his record on criminal justice reform in the 90s and more recently for calling Vice President Pence a quote decent guy. What do you say? Jesse, I mean to me he's got a long record unlike someone like Bart O'Rourke who doesn't have much a record. Joe Biden does. And it seems to me admitting a mistake, I don't think it's a sign of weakness. It could be a sign of being authentic.

WATTERS: Well, I disagree. I think it shows that he's being controlled by his base. It shows that he's not leading the base. It shows that the base controls him. And if you're going to have a guy that apologizes for everything, run against a guy that apologizes for nothing I will take that never apologize or any day of the week. It's better to be strong and wrong most of the time.

GUTFELD: Strong and wrong.

WATTERS: Not wrong that much. But when you are wrong, you're strong about it.

WILLIAMS: You notice, I didn't.

WATTERS: That's why I don't apologize.

WILLIAMS: I didn't jump at it.

WATTERS: That's one of the many reasons I don't apologize unless I am forced to apologize.

WILLIAMS: I didn't say a word. I left it to the rest of--

GUTFELD: Strong and wrong is awesome.

WATTERS: Can I just say one more thing?

WILLIAMS: Yes. Sure.

WATTERS: If he's saying that he didn't want to have all white men at the Anita Hill hearing, wasn't the Senate all white men in the early 90s. I don't know how he's trying to recreate reality back in the early 90s to re orchestrate the past. He needs to look forward instead of looking back.

BILA: He's also talking like he wasn't on that. You notice the apology is very odd. First of all, he was chair of the committee. He's talking like it was a bunch of people in a room and he was supervising it from externally from the outside and I wish I could have done something. You were part of it, you were chair. So, the apology doesn't really ring, it rings very oddly.

WILLIAMS: Wait a second. So, here's my challenge to you. I think we live in the era of hashtag me too and I think the country is in a wholly different place than we were when Anita Hill was before that.

BILA: I agree. No, I agree. And I don't have a problem with him. I do think people evolve and times have changed. And I don't really have a problem with him apologizing. I have a problem with him apologizing for everything. It seems like he's now on a mission to please like Jesse said a base. And the thing about Joe Biden is what's appealing to him is that he's supposed to be the reasonable guy. He's supposed to come into this group of Elizabeth Warren's and Bernie Sanders, and he's supposed to be the measured guy. So, you know if you're going to apologize, come in. Do it. But you don't have to apologize for your entire life all the time.

WILLIAMS: All right. So, Dana if - let's just focus in for a second on the Anita Hill stuff because I think that is potentially explosive. How would you handle it if you were advising Former Vice President?

PERINO: Well, I'm out of the business. I retired from advice. I don't know if it matters what we think. What really matters is what Democratic voters think and I think that we are a little bit too much focused in on these types of things and that in the bigger picture, the Democratic voters are not consistently for six months. He has been shown at the top partly because of name ID. But it can't only be just name ID.

Democrats are obsessed with beating Donald Trump in 2020. So, electability is their most important factor. Twitter is not a good measure of what Democratic voters are thinking. Democrats like Joe Biden. I don't know maybe there is a certain amount of Democrats that aren't going to like him because of the Anita Hill hearings. And I think that having a record certainly hurt Hillary Clinton versus Bernie because not even her record, but her husband's record as President especially on the crime stuff.

So, I think that we should just take a minute. April is next Tuesday that is when supposedly the countdown to Biden announcing will happen. The opposition--

WATTERS: He's announcing on April Fools.

PERINO: No, sometime after the courting. The campaign finance reporting period ends on March 31st, so it's assuming that he didn't want to have to report on that one, so it'll be sometime in April. The opposition research from the other Democratic candidates that drops on Biden will tell us a lot about what they think is vulnerabilities are. Anita Hill and the hearings might be one of those things. But I think we should wait and see, I don't think Democratic voters are focused on it like we are.

WILLIAMS: Now I go from strong and wrong to strong and right.

GUTFELD: Thank you.

PERINO: Hey, I'm strong and wrong.

WILLIAMS: No.

WATTERS: It was me.

WILLIAMS: It was me.

GUTFELD: It's so fake. It's great. You're seeing Joe Biden has become the wokest guy in the rest home. He's like the social justice warrior of retirement village. You know it's hard to see this guy pretending that he's like a blogger for Jezebel. I mean I thought Liz Warren was a phony but man he is desperate, desperate to be seen as somewhat relevant. Anita Hill paid a price, so did Clarence Thomas, everybody paid a price during that process. And it's a long time ago, but did he used the phrase white man's culture. Did he use that phrase? OK. So, just remember that there is a lot of voters that are white and the white men who were married to white women and black women and black men.

PERINO: Who voted for Obama.

GUTFELD: Yes.

PERINO: And voted for Trump and they want to get them back to vote in their column.

GUTFELD: If you want to crawl before the social justice warrior Cannon, you're going to alienate millions of just regular people who aren't racists. Who just want to get on with their lives and not be told that they belong to some terrible racist culture, because you're wrong?

WILLIAMS: I don't think it was about a racist culture. I think acknowledging white men ran that Senate hearing. That's all.

GUTFELD: Clarence got in and I think he's black.

WILLIAMS: Yes, I agree. All right. Coming up.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL AVENATTI, ATTORNEY: I am nervous. I'm concerned. I'm scared.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAMS: Michael Avenatti on his potential jail time. That's right. That's next on “The Five.”

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BILA: Welcome back. Well, disgraced celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti facing nearly 100 years behind bars for allegedly attempting to extort millions from Nike and for a wire and fraud case out of California. Here's how he's feeling about it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AVENATTI: But I will say is the way this has been framed is not accurate. It's just not accurate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're facing if convicted on all of these charges up to the rest of your life in prison. Are you nervous?

AVENATTI: Well, of course I'm nervous.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you scared? Are you concerned? I mean tell us I guess as someone who again has a history of representing people and now, you're on the other side facing some serious charges.

AVENATTI: I am nervous. I'm concerned. I'm scared.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BILA: Wow. Jesse, quite a fall from grace for this guy.

GUTFELD: What grace.

BILA: He was on networks. People were talking about him like he was serious 2020 contender at one point. He got a lot of airtime this guy and now he's in this position. What do you make of it?

WATTERS: I think he's a classic shakedown artist, scam artist, shark and he needed this big whale of Nike, the $20 million payout to keep the house of cards from falling down on him. He is like - he's got the character of Jussie Smollett with the tastes of Paul Manafort, while he was skirting all these taxes for 10 years. He spent $200,000 at Neiman Marcus. $270,000 at Porsche dealerships. A $100,000 a month rent for a house in Newport Beach and 40 grands for a Ferrari lease payment. The guy was stealing from clients stiffing his own employees and the IRS has been going after him for 10 years. He's filed for bankruptcy protection twice and this whole time us here have said, I know this guy is a phony because you know why we have street smarts. CNN, they might have book smarts, we have street smarts. We can smell a phony.

PERINO: We have street and book smart.

WATTERS: You do. We smell a phony from a mile away and everybody else bought this guy hook line and sinker and it blew up in their face. BILA: This guy is so obnoxious though and so full of himself, I don't even know if he realizes yet what could potentially happen to him. What do you think?

GUTFELD: It's a shame he wasn't arrested in Chicago. He would get a week of community service. I'm sorry. Let's rewind it. I'll erase it. The media still must be held accountable for this because they're the ones that gave him the spotlight. But you know who is having a nice tall beer right now? Brett Kavanaugh. Justice may be slow, but in this case, it's taking a correct course. This is a guy. So, if you ever feel any pangs of sympathy for this litigating lollipop, remember what he tried to do to Kavanaugh. And I think a lot of Democrats were mad because you know he tried to do a better job at the public hanging.

WATTERS: Wait, Juan said yesterday that the Avenatti allegations helped Kavanaugh.

GUTFELD: Might have.

WILLIAMS: It did.

WATTERS: Really. I will ask his daughters that Juan.

GUTFELD: Yes, that's true.

WATTERS: I mean come on.

GUTFELD: It was horrible.

WATTERS: Serial gang rapist in high school you think that—

WILLIAMS: I don't think that was ever proven. The fact that it came up empty would help Kavanaugh because then it seems like everybody was piling on, everybody says due process--

GUTFELD: Everybody was?

WILLIAMS: I'd tell you what, I am I'm noting that Kavanaugh apart - something apart from Kavanaugh, which is Trump and Stormy Daniels. I think a lot of people are seeing this as payback on Avenatti, but I don't see it that. I just think Avenatti is interesting to me that he says, he's just an aggressive attorney. I'm an aggressive attorney. He says, this is not extortion of Nike that he was engaged in threatening them. But people do that all the time in terms of settlements. I think he's got a twisted view of how you are an aggressive attorney. It's gone over the line and he may not know it. He should be scared because he may be going to face real jail time. I think yesterday on the show we said with the two different behaviors, one in LA and this one, 100 years in jail. Wow.

PERINO: Well, we'll be happy to pay his rent for him if he's in prison for 100 years. I was going to say that Avenatti need Smollett's lawyers.

GUTFELD: Wait, can I ask a question?

PERINO: Yes.

GUTFELD: How can he not pay tax? Like how do people not pay taxes?

WATTERS: Greg, $56 million over 10 years.

GUTFELD: I don't get that. I'm sorry.

PERINO: Not paying taxes is wrong.

GUTFELD: It is. Good.

PERINO: I know that.

GUTFELD: Thank you.

PERINO: Book smarts. One More Thing is coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GUTFELD: One More Thing, Juan.

WILLIAMS: All right. So, it's the time of year when high school students are on pins and needles awaiting word on their college applications. But here's a different kind of graduate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, you did that, good job. Now what else can we learn. What's the next step that people go to? You know it's like after college, what's next and it's like grad school. So, it's like OK, let's do that, let's go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAMS: Yes, that's 16-year-old Haley Taylor Schlitz who will be attending Southern Methodist University law school this fall, one of nine law schools that accepted her. Yes, I said she's 16 and going to law school. Haley was homeschooled after 5th grade, graduated from high school at 13. She's graduating this May from Texas Women's University and she's excited to become an advocate for students from underserved communities. No college admissions scandal here, just one extraordinary young woman for all of us to celebrate.

GUTFELD: A feather in the cap for home schooling right, Dana. PERINO: Absolutely. School choice, we love it. All right. New Dad Cody Komar found a creative way to his (ph) newborn baby girl to sleep and is quickly becoming viral. Our favorite word, it's a hit online. Watch this.

BILA: That's adorable.

GUTFELD: That's hilarious.

PERINO: So, he's an aspiring country music star from Missouri said he was just sitting there picking out his guitar when he eased up his little daughter's Carrigan onto the base of his instrument. And then you know sweet moment captured and shown on “The Five.” Congratulations, Cody Komar and good luck on your career.

GUTFELD: That's the only baby video I've ever liked. I hate all baby videos. That was a great baby video. I have to say. All right, time for this. Greg's plugs. All right, Fox Nation. I have the great Scott Adams. You never hear of him enough. We discuss the dropping of the Mueller Report and Jussie Smollett case on Fox Nation.

If you subscribe, great, if you don't, too bad. On my podcast, you go to foxnewspodcast.com. I have an amazing interview with the legendary actor Orson Bean. We discuss his career, Andrew Breitbart who is his son-in-law and among other things. And here's a final plug.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look, I'm the first person to think software is great. Automation is great. You know algorithms are great.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Algorithms are great. Not to be confused with Animals Are Great. You'll see it at 5 o'clock today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, sir. That was Greg Gutfeld.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATTERS: He had no idea.

GUTFELD: The guy is going what are you talking about, you weirdo. All right, Jesse.

WATTERS: All right. The Pope has jokes. Did you know that?

GUTFELD: Really?

WATTERS: Planned around some people at a pilgrimage site in Italy, look at this. You know that old thing when you do a pie, low to slow. Look at the Pope just pulling his hand away. People trying to kiss the ring. Missed. Missed. Nope, can't touch it.

BILA: It's a joke.

WATTERS: Yes. He is just playing around with people trying to kiss the ring just pulls it away.

BILA: This is not a joke.

GUTFELD: It's not a joke.

WATTERS: It's not a joke?

BILA: I don't think it's a joke.

GUTFELD: I don't think it is.

BILA: Strong but wrong.

WATTERS: I think--

GUTFELD: This is a new segment, where you get something so wrong, it's strong, but wrong.

WATTERS: So, the Pope doesn't want people kissing his hands.

PERINO: That's the point of this video.

WATTERS: OK. I disagree. If I was a Pope, I'd let people kiss my hands all day. I'm going to be strong and wrong tonight on Martha. There I am at 7 o'clock.

GUTFELD: All right, Jed.

BILA: Yes. So, everyone knows I am the puppy queen. That's what they call me around town. This is perhaps my favorite interaction between two dogs ever. Take a look. So, that's a Yorkshire terrier dog owner Sandra was worried about introducing her Yorkie into this big German shepherd. Turns out they're getting along great, but--

PERINO: The Yorke is a problem.

BILA: Oh! yes. Everyone who has a little dog and I do, I have a Maltese. They are the feisty ones, they will go after those big dogs--

PERINO: Which is why it's weird that apartment building says that there is a weight limit, that's annoying.

BILA: That is true.

GUTFELD: For people too, I hear. Set your DVRs. Never miss an episode of “The Five.” "Special Report" is up next.

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