Published June 09, 2017
This is a rush transcript from "The Fox News Specialists," June 8, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: Big show today. Hello, everyone. I'm Eric Bolling, along with Eboni K Williams and Kat Timpf. We are "The Fox News Specialists." The James Comey hearing living up to its block buster building, it was bombshell after bombshell for nearly three hours today, we've got an incredible amount of stuff to get to.
So let's bring in our specialists right off the top. He worked as a legislative political director for the RNC northeast region, and he's the former political advisor and campaign manager to none other than President Donald Trump, needless to say his specialty is everything politics, my good friend Corey Lewandowski is here. And she's a Democratic political analyst serve in a senior role on the campaigns of then Senator John Kerry and Ted Kennedy, and she's a principal at the Dewey Square Group, but her specialty is riding her Vespa, currently is the happiest way to travel. Mary Anne Marsh is here.
So we have a ton of tape to debate and analyze, so let's do this. Pick a comments appreciated specialists. Obstruction of justice accusations, the central focus of today's hearings with James Comey's claim that President Trumps said, and quote, I hope you can let this go, over the Flynn investigation, leading to this key exchange today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JAMES RISCH, R-ID.: Do you know of any case where a person has been charged for obstruction of justice or, for that matter, any other criminal offense where they said or thought they hoped for an outcome?
JAMES COMEY, FORME FBI DIRECTOR: I don't know well enough to answer, and the reason I keep saying his words is I took it as a direction. He's the president of the United States with me alone saying, I hope this. I took it as this is what he wants me to do. I didn't obey that, but that's the way I took it.
RISCH: You may have taken it as a direction, but that's not what he said.
RISCH: He said, I hope.
COMEY: Those were exact words, correct.
RISCH: You don't know of anyone who's ever been charged for hoping something, is that a fair statement?
COMEY: I don't as I sit here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLLING: So let me summarize, Director Comey could not save President Trump obstructed his investigation therefore kind of a nothing burger. I'm going to bring Corey in here first. Corey, the Wall Street Journal had an op-ed talking about this may be nothing more or less than Donald Trump, businessman in New York, and this is the way he operated here and he was just a political neophyte at the time.
COREY LEWANDOWSKI, FORMER CAMPAIGN MANAGER OF DONALD TRUMP: Look, Eric, I hope I get the winning lottery ticket tonight, doesn't mean it's going to happen, right. And the bottom line is you could hope for a lot of things, the president didn't obstruct justice, there's no question about that. The one thing that's come out of today's testimony unequivocally was that Donald Trump as a candidate and now is the president has never been under FBI investigation. That is a headline James Comey had to admit to today.
BOLLING: One of the things that we heard today in the aftermath of that testimony, Eboni, is that Harvard professor and constitutional law scholar Alan Dershowitz said, you know what, Comey himself said it, there's no obstruction of justice here, and Comey is 100 percent correct.
EBONI K. WILLIAMS, CO-HOST: Really want Comey said, and this is true, is that it's not up to him to decide whether or not there was an obstruction of justice charge. That is a legal conclusion, right, that ultimately Robert Mueller, the new special counsel appointed, will have to ultimately decide. But I agree with Corey, I mean -- and Comey said a lot of the leaks have just been flat out wrong. And he had assured the president and he'd maintained the entire time that President Trump personally was not under investigation. But as far as obstruction, Eric, you know, I said the entire time we don't know if there's anything there, but I certainly don't see any evidence to get us there so far.
BOLLING: Kat, do you think the left, the Democrats, the left-wing media were disappointed in what they heard today?
KATHERINE TIMPF, CO-HOST: I think so. But I think they've also been doing a very good job of hearing what they want to hear, which all people who are partisans are guilty to an extent, whatever they want to hear is what they'll take from something. But it's really a denial of acknowledging how high the standard has to be of proof for obstruction of justice. You have to be able to show intent, that's really, really, tough, especially taken into account. The president can say stop this investigation if he wants to -- any investigation. He can pardon anybody wants to. He might have something inappropriate but to say, it doesn't mean it's a high crime and misdemeanor. That's really, really hard to prove.
BOLLING: Mary Anne, what struck me throughout this testimony was that James Comey, I was losing credibility in him, I'd always held him on a high standard, you know, when he talked about the investigations in all 50 states, over 1,000 investigation as FBI director, and then I saw some of these things that seemed very, very political to me, not investigative or FBI -- raised to the level of an FBI director.
MARY ANNE MARSH, DEMOCRATIC POLITICAL STRATEGIST: I think what you have to look at here is, first of all, everything James Comey said today was under oath, under the pains and penalties of perjury, number one. Number two, the one thing you can quibble about with Comey is the facts. He find them, he pursue them. On judgment and performance, sure, we all have a lot of issues. There's no perfect witness. But what Comey said today repeatedly under oath is that Donald Trump lied repeatedly. And one of those lies was when he publicly said he never asked anything about Flynn to Comey and that was clearly a lie.
BOLLING: We're going to get to that sound bite in a second. But another enormous piece of news to come out of today's hearings, how Bill Clinton's infamous tarmac meeting with Loretta Lynch impacted Comey's decision to publicly announce the conclusion to the Hillary Clinton email probe. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COMEY: Ultimately, in a conclusive way that was the thing that capped it for me that I had to do something separately to protect the credibility of the investigation, which meant both the FBI and the justice department. At one point, the attorney general had directed me not to call it an investigation but instead to call it a matter, which confuse me and concern me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLLING: So understand what you've just heard, the attorney general under President Obama, Loretta Lynch, instructed the FBI director to lie by renaming his ongoing investigation and call it, a matter, and coincidently or not, that's the same directive coming from the Clinton campaign. So, Mary Anne, there's your collusion, not between Donald Trump and the Russians, but between the president of the United States, Obama, his attorney general Loretta Lynch, and the FBI director Comey.
MARSH: So we've known about that meeting at the tarmac for many, many months now, and that's why Loretta Lynch recused herself. And actually recused herself.
BOLLING: We didn't know she told Director Comey to rename his investigation, a matter. And by the way, that line up perfectly with what Hillary Clinton told her campaign to call it.
MARSH: That has been reported. I've read that elsewhere. That that word, matter, had been used. I think if that's the standard here that we're applying.
BOLLING: It's the first time we've heard that Loretta Lynch told FBI director Comey to rename his investigation.
MARSH: I can't find the citation word, but I'm confident it's out there because I remembered it. And the fact is if that's the standard, then Admiral Rogers should have been held to that same standards when he took a personal day and went to Trump Tower while he was still in charge, trying to get a better job.
BOLLING: Corey, all day long, this was blowing up on social media, I'd never heard that Loretta Lynch, the A.G., instructed the FBI director to rename an investigation a matter.
LEWANDOWSKI: I've never heard either. But what's also troubling to me, if you look at what James Comey has said following his meeting with then President-elect Trump, and now President Trump, is he felt the need immediately to write memorandums to himself to document these, but there was no need after the attorney general instructed the FBI director in unlawful order to change the direction of an investigation by not calling it an investigation. He had no reason to memorialize this in writing and alert somebody else, whether that was White House counsel or somebody else, the assistant of the attorney general. He felt no obligation, no duty, no sense of honor that the attorney general has asked him to change the way he talks about something. That's where the real problem is.
WILLIAMS: Now, really quick, Corey, I don't think that Loretta Lynch told him to stop the investigation or pivot the point. Now, the language, yes, that's what she said. She told me to use the term -- she said, yes, keep going with the investigation but don't call it that.
BOLLING: But he said in this testimony that he was very uncomfortable with her doing that.
WILLIAMS: Yeah, no doubt about it. It was not a good day for Mrs. Loretta Lynch today, absolutely not. But, she was not instructing him to pivot the investigation itself only to what he talked about it, which is still problematic.
MARSH: Right. One quick thing, I mean, publicly she recused herself. The whole nation, the entire world knew that she was no longer involved in this case, and actually did.
BOLLING: As a Democrat, does it not bother you slightly that it lines up perfectly with a campaign, Hillary Clinton's campaign director to not call the investigation an investigation. It's sounds like collusion.
MARSH: The semantics, yes. I think that's bad. And I also think it's really bad that Bill Clinton even got on the plane.
MARSH: . but here we are.
BOLLING: Kat, before we move to that.
TIMPF: Yes, of course that's bad. But I'm not going to take -- look, you said Comey said a lot of negative things about Trump, and he also said a lot of things that make Trump look good. I think that the people who are against Trump are taking only the things from the memo or from the hearing, excuse me, that make them look good, and the people that are for Trump said only the things that make -- it's just people are picking and choosing what they want to hear, either Comey's credible or he's not credible. This is just one person. There's going to be a lot more investigation in to this. We're going to have to wait and see what happens.
BOLLING: All right. Yet, another explosive revelation from today's hearing, how James Comey's memos got leaked to the New York Times. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COMEY: The president tweeted on Friday, after I got fired, that I better hope there's not tapes. I woke up in the middle of the night on Monday night because it didn't dawn on me originally that there might be corroboration for our conversation. There might be a tape. And my judgment was I needed to get that out to the public square. And so I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. I didn't do it myself for a variety of reasons, but I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel. So I asked a close friend of mine to do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLLING: Is anyone else widely concerned that our FBI director leaked important documents to the press, and it begs the question, what else did he leak?
LEWANDOWSKI: Look, this is all part of the deep state, Eric. I hate to say it.
TIMPF: Excuse me, he's a private citizen when he leaks.
LEWANDOWSKI: Excuse me. Excuse me. This is directly related to his position as the director of the FBI in a capacity where he has information that other Americans don't have, and he's so concerned about leaking the information himself because he knows it's irresponsible and inappropriate to do. That he has to give it to a liberal college professor to make sure it gets to the New York Times himself. That's -- and for that matter alone, he should have been fired if he did it before that. And clearly what we know and what Marco Rubio asked him today was how come the only information not coming out of the FBI has not been leak was that Donald Trump was never under investigation. And you know what Jim Comey's answer was, I don't know.
BOLLING: Kat, go ahead, but understand something that at one point the New York Times and the Washington Post both called this some sort of smoking gun, this memo that we now know that James Comey, the day after, two days after he gets fired, leaks it to the New York Times.
TIMPF: Yeah, he did, he leaked it at the New York Times, and he did it for politically motivated reasons, all that is obvious. But it's not -- you can't point to a deep state theory of government officials leaking material. I'm not even saying one way or another whether that's true. But if it's a private citizen leaking, then based on what words mean, it's not.
WILLIAMS: Let's talk about leaks, right, because that's an illegal term. And Eric, I've talked about that every day on the show and you do too, Kat. That's not what kind of leak we're talking about here. That's important to make clear.
WILLIAMS: Right, right, OK.
BOLLING: Well, this is what we know about because he just told us.
BOLLING: . he turned this over to a college professor that he used to work with.
WILLIAMS: Gave it to the New York Times with the sole purpose.
WILLIAMS: Eric, I don't want to speculate about what James Comey did or didn't do.
BOLLING: But you're a lawyer. You're a lawyer.
WILLIAMS: Yes, exactly. I am a lawyer. But I'm not going to speculate.
BOLLING: He proven that he's willing to do that.
WILLIAMS: In this capacity of a private citizen. After he was no longer a government employee.
LEWANDOWSKI: As a private citizen why would he feel the need to.
WILLIAMS: He knows exactly why.
LEWANDOWSKI: Because he didn't have access to the media? He's got 300 media people sitting outside his front door. He could have walk down and said, here are my memos, I'm a private citizen. I want to recant.
WILLIAMS: If his goal is to get a special prosecutor, an independent special prosecutor on board, he can't as Jim Comey.
BOLLING: Where was his demand for a special prosecutor when the attorney general told him look the other way on this email scandal. Let's move on, this is not an issue.
WILLIAMS: It would have made a lot less problems had Loretta Lynch put a special prosecutor on this thing for sure.
BOLLING: Put a special prosecutor if that special prosecutor would have led that investigation right to her own front door.
MARSH: First of all, and I'm shocked anybody in Washington leaks anything? No, I am not. But what is really impressive is he admitted to it under oath. So he did that because, remember, Donald Trump threatened him and said I have tapes. You better hope I don't have tapes. And he said you know what, I'm going to defend myself. I'm not only private citizen. This guy is talking about these conversations in a network interview, so I'm going to put these out there and protect myself. That's what he did. Trump threatened him, he punched him back.
TIMPF: Also tapes, doesn't seem like there's tapes.
BOLLING: Something we're all agreeing on so far, there was nothing illegal about what all of this was all about. Kat, just said, he can do what he wants to do. He's president. Not yet?
MARSH: I think -- I'll point to the lawyer again, there's a long road to go on this.
BOLLING: All right, let's do this. Comey also delivered a blunt rebuttal to White House statements following his firing. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COMEY: The administration then chose to defame me and more importantly the FBI, by saying that the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly led, that the workforce had lost confidence in its leader, those were lies plain and simple.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLLING: OK. I will give you this one, Eboni. The left -- this is what they latching on to, they didn't get collusion, they didn't get obstruction of justice, so they got the president -- the president at the time, may have lied to James Comey.
WILLIAMS: Yeah. Comey certainly calls him a liar, flat out. He said that's exactly why -- even though with George W. Bush and Barrack Obama for some reason, somehow, he felt the need to go immediately take these notes to possibly defend and redeem his own credibility at some point. He has the foresight, I guess to do that. Look, talk about the left, Eric, and yes, maybe they feel some kind of way about Jim Comey today. But let's not pretend like the left is in a love fest with Jim Comey. There was a lot, I think, if you want to say in terms of vindication of the president here. When -- who is this senator -- Riche asked specifically, was there ever the word used, you need to. He said that the word was simply, hope. I think that that's as close to vindication as President Trump is going to get on this issue. When Jim Comey said under oath that he only used the word, I hope you can, that's not really an instruction.
BOLLING: Your thoughts Corey on the day that some -- who won, who lost.
LEWANDOWSKI: It's very clear Jim Comey has lost all this credibility for a man who had then perceived in Washington had the upmost integrity. What we've seen today is a person who not only is no longer able to lead the FBI, but the FBI is not in a spot where it should be, and that's why yesterday, Donald Trump named a new FBI director, someone of impeccable qualities and character. And Jim Comey no longer is that individual, and that's why he was removed from office.
TIMPF: I don't think he's completely lost his credibility because if you look what the other side is saying, they're saying this was a terrible day for Donald Trump. Credibility is in the eyes of the beholder based on a set of predetermine narrative, and in almost every case and particularly when it comes to the political environment these days.
BOLLING: Mary Anne?
MARSH: Under oath, James Comey said that Donald Trump lied repeatedly, that James Comey lost his job because he investigated Russia, that Michael Flynn is in a lot more trouble regarding his relationships with Russia than many thought, and also he put attorney general Sessions under a big spotlight today about his relationship with Russia. There's a lot there.
BOLLING: OK. I'm going to leave it right there. But one more sound bite before we go, this one is a favorite on social media all day. James Comey on the Trump tweets suggesting there may be, quote, tapes, of the meeting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COMEY: Maybe if I were stronger, I would have. I was so stunned by the conversation that I just took it in. And the only thing I can think to say, because I was playing in my mind, because I remember every word he said, I was playing in my mind what should my response be? That's why I carefully chose the words. Look, I've seen the tweet about tapes. Lordy, I hope there're tapes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOLLING: Yeah, Lordy, we've got to take a short break. But tonight, be sure to catch Hannity at 10 PM Eastern. Donald Trump, Jr. is the show special guest. You don't want to miss that. It's going to be great. Meanwhile, we've barely scratched the surface of everything going on today. We've got much more ahead. We're coming right back.
WILLIAMS: James Comey also shedding light today on one big lingering question. Why did he not inform attorney general Jeff Sessions about President Trump's alleged request to stop the Michael Flynn probe?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COMEY: Our judgment, as I recall was that he was very close to and inevitably going to recuse himself for a variety of reasons. We also were aware of facts I can't discuss in an open setting that would make his continued engagement in a Russia-related investigation problematic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: OK, Corey, Mary Anne hit into this before break. Putting a big huge cloud and of suspicion and spotlight on Jeff Sessions here. And for some people, it's being reported that Jeff Sessions and the president seemed to be having some type of beef right now or at least tension in their relationship that perhaps the president was unhappy that the A.G. recused himself from the Russia probe. What do you of Comey saying it that way?
LEWANDOWSKI: Here's what I think about Jim Comey. He was so stunned is the words he used, that a private conversation with the president of the United States that he did know how to respond. I find this amazing. This is the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This is a man, again, who was a U.S. attorney, who was a premier law enforcement agent, and he has worked with multiple presidents, multiple attorney generals, and his response when he didn't report what took place was, I was stunned. It's a joke, right. It's absurd.
He's a typical swamp creature. He's manipulative. He is manipulating the media for his own gain. This is everything that's been wrong with Washington. And then to go in front of congress and say, I was so stunned. I was afraid to call somebody. It's so egregious. It doesn't pass the smell test.
WILLIAMS: I'm getting to you, Mary Anne. But one quick question, would you feel the same way because it's very strong, Corey, and I hear where you're coming from. Did you feel the same way about Jim Comey though in October?
LEWANDOWSKI: He didn't seem stunned then. He seems like he knew exactly who is the leader at the time. When he stood up and said, you know what, I'm going to follow where the facts go, even though my attorney general who's my boss told me not to use specific language which we've learned about today. I'm still going to move forward with the investigation because it's the right thing to do. He didn't cower then and say I'm stunned.
All of a sudden, anybody who's ever met Donald Trump, President Trump, knows how magnanimous he's in private, how gracious he is in private, how involved he is making sure everyone feels welcome in private, just like Bill Clinton had that ability. And all of a sudden, James Comey, the leader of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was so stunned he couldn't bring himself to call the White House counsel, the U.S. attorney -- the attorney general, the deputy attorney general. This is outrageous.
WILLIAMS: Mary Anne, so Paul Ryan today comes out and said the reason why the reason the president might have taken some unconventional, to put it, I guess, pretty gently, because he's a political neophyte. He didn't know any better. Is that even close to OK, and if it is and then maybe that accounts for some of the stunness that we saw from.
MARSH: It's no excuse, and neither is ignorance of the law or anything else. The fact is, James Comey, say what you will about him, has never been confronted or served under any other president, Obama or Bush, who ever asked him to stop doing anything, number one. Number two, to his own admission.
BOLLING: And still has, by the way. He didn't testify that Trump asked them to stop anything.
MARSH: You're in the White House, I hope you'll make sure that you don't go down the line, number one. Number two, he looks at Sessions, Sessions about to recuse himself. Do I tell him, do I not tell him? He's not going to be over this.
BOLLING: How do you know, Mary Anne? How do you know Sessions was about.
TIMPF: He has.
TIMPF: He has to, Eric.
BOLLING: This is an inconsistency in the statement. He said Sessions was about to recuse himself, but he hadn't done it yet.
MARSH: But Eric, he said that under oath, OK?
MARSH: So number one -- everybody knows what's going on down there.
BOLLING: Just because you're under oath doesn't mean you can make a leap saying I knew Sessions was going to recuse himself.
MARSH: One thing here, remember, it is the Trump campaign that have been under investigation. The investigation into Russia started in the spring of 2015. Barack Obama's first briefing was June of 2015. Sessions and others were part of the Trump campaign. He knew a lot more about it than just a recusal issue.
TIMPF: Excuse me, James Comey.
BOLLING: . to tell him because he knew he was going to recuse himself.
TIMPF: That's not all he said, Eric.
TIMPF: Let me get a chance to talk, please, OK. First of all, he would have had to recuse himself because he was part of the campaign, he can't be investigating a campaign that he was part of. The standard is that there's an appearance of conflict, he's got to go. Also, it shouldn't be shocking because James Comey has been wishy-washy the entire time. First, Hillary was closed and then he's back in to it. It seems like a normal human response for him to say that I didn't want to get involved, I didn't know what to do because it was so weird to just want to get out the situation which is impossible. It seems like an absolutely normal human response to me
WILLIAMS: Guy's we've got to teased, but we're going to talk about it, I promise you. We're going to come right back with it. Next up, James Comey saying Russia is coming after America, but is that threat as dire as he says it is? Plus, Comey sells the media reports about the Russia investigation. You don't want to miss it. Stay with us.
TIMPF: Questions over Russia's interference in the U.S. election and global affairs was another critical part of today's Comey hearing. The former FBI director made clear where he thinks the evidence stands.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COMEY: There should be no fuzz on this whatsoever. The Russians interfered in our election during the 2016 cycle. They did it with purpose; they did it with sophistication. They did it with overwhelming technical efforts. And it was an active measures campaign driven from the top of that government. There is no fuzz on that.
A foreign government that, using technical intrusion and lots of other methods, tried to shape the way we think, we vote, we act. That is a big deal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TIMPF: No fuzzy, Eric. What do you think?
BOLLING: OK, so you hear what he said? A foreign government tried to shape the way...
TIMPF: Right, exactly.
BOLLING: Didn't succeed in doing that. Didn't hear that anywhere.
Yes, the Russians did, by hacking the DNC and the D triple C. We all know that. They may have hacked the RNC, too. We don't know about that, as well. But again, there -- so no evidence, no collusion, no obstruction of justice. And guess what? No proof that they changed the outcome of any single solitary vote.
LEWANDOWSKI: Eric, I want to raise a very important point we talked about right before the break. Jim Comey said he knew that Jeff Sessions was going to recuse himself. He made that statement on February 15. Jeff Sessions recused himself on March 2, two full weeks after. So either he is Nostradamus and can predict the future. But here's what he said.
Jim Comey leaked a memo to the media, and he said that he leaked a memo regarding Kislyak to force Jeff Sessions to remove himself, because in the undocumented memo, what he said was there was no proper mechanism for the removal of an attorney general except public pressure. That memo was leaked on February 15, at which time Jim Comey said that he was going -- look, Jim Comey probably perjured himself today or at least made a grave mistake.
This would not be the first time in Jim Comey's testimony history where he has made an error when he's speaking to Congress. What is very clear, his undisclosed memo and in that undisclosed memo, it says there is handwringing at the FBI on what to do if general -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions does not recuse himself. And the only way to get them to do that, because there is no mechanism, is through public pressure. That was an amazing memo that leaked to "The New York Times." And what we now know is that Jim Comey is the leaker of the memorandums. He's admitted it himself, under oath.
WILLIAMS: OK, Corey. He said that the reason that he knew it in advance, to your point, not so much that he was psychic, but that he was made aware of facts that he couldn't talk about in this present forum.
LEWANDOWSKI: The president of the United States was not aware that the attorney general was going to recuse himself to the day he recused himself.
WILLIAMS: The president wasn't aware, but Jim Comey says he was aware.
LEWANDOWSKI: You're telling me the attorney -- the attorney general called Jim Comey, not the president of the United States, and said, "I'm going to recuse myself from this Russia investigation, so please don't inform me"?
WILLIAMS: No, no, no. He said that -- I'm just telling you exactly what Comey said.
LEWANDOWSKI: He's a liar!
WILLIAMS: "We were aware of facts that I cannot discuss in this open setting today that would make his continued engagement in the Russia related investigation problematic."
LEWANDOWSKI: The facts were the memorandum was...
TIMPF: So James Comey is a liar when what he has to say hurts Trump, but he's not a liar when it helps Trump?
LEWANDOWSKI: No, he's a liar all the time.
TIMPF: Is that the standard you use to decide?
LEWANDOWSKI: No, he's a liar all the time. Look, last time he was in front of Congress and testified, he had to go back and clarify his statements, because it was not factually accurate. This isn't me; this is Jim Comey.
Today he's going to have to go back and clarify. I understand he was under oath. Guess what? He made a mistake the last time, when he was the director of the FBI and had to go back and correct the statement. And today he has made another mistake, or he has so much foresight that, over two weeks before Jeff Sessions recuses himself, Director Comey knows it's going to happen, because he releases the memorandum.
BOLLING: And the president doesn't even know this.
LEWANDOWSKI: And not even the president or Jeff Sessions knew.
MARSH: We all know that when Jeff Sessions took the job as attorney general he was going to have to recuse himself on this matter, because the Trump campaign was under investigation, No. 1.
LEWANDOWSKI: There is no requirement for him to recuse himself.
MARSH: No. 2, Jeff Sessions, the attorney general of the United States, did not disclose the meeting with Kislyak on his security form. That one thing alone, like Jared Kushner, is a felony punished by five years in jail.
LEWANDOWSKI: Where did that information come from? From the FBI that they leaked to get Jeff Sessions...
MARSH: He had three chances to disclose. He did not.
LEWANDOWSKI: The FBI leaked that information...
MARSH: The attorney general of the United States.
LEWANDOWSKI: The FBI leaked that information to make Jeff Sessions recuse himself, because in the undocumented memorandum, it says there is no proper procedure for getting the attorney general to recuse himself.
MARSH: You're fine with the fact that he never disclosed this meeting with the Russians.
LEWANDOWSKI: No. What I'm most disappointed in...
MARSH: And that the only way he was going to...
TIMPF: Let me just say that this is a perfect -- this is a perfect example of what's going on in this country. Because we opened up this, talking about did Russia interfere in our elections? Are they a threat to us as a country? And now we're all going back and forth about, yes, well, like Trump did this and Comey did this; and Trump did this; Comey did this. We can't get anything done, because everything is so partisan. All we want to talk about is what side wins.
BOLLING: No, but here's what we are doing. We are debating, Kat, whether or not James Comey's testimony is worth its weight in -- in hay, because we're finding this is really problematic to me, this timeline that Corey points out, talking to you about before.
Comey says he knew Sessions was going to recuse himself. I thought it was a few days.
WILLIAMS: Because he knew facts. Because he knew facts.
BOLLING: It's two weeks prior. But you don't know that.
WILLIAMS: Right? That's what he says?
BOLLING: And you don't base your actions that are so, so huge on the fact that you think the attorney general, your boss, is going to recuse himself when your boss reports to the president and the president doesn't even know this this.
WILLIAMS: That is because the president didn't have a blast.
This is just -- it just doesn't add up. It just doesn't add up.
WILLIAMS: Eric, but does it at least add up that Jim Comey, because he predated President Trump going into the Oval, right, had and was aware of facts that perhaps the president didn't know? So while President Trump didn't know that...
BOLLING: The fact I have a problem with is that Comey is saying, "I knew Sessions was going to recuse himself. That's why I did 'X.'" Well, guess what? No one else in the world knew it, including maybe...
WILLIAMS: Jeff Sessions knew it. I think Jeff Sessions knew it.
TIMPF: Pretty easy to predict, to be fair. Really.
LEWANDOWSKI: The only reason Sessions did it was because Comey leaked the undisclosed meeting. Comey leaked the undisclosed meeting, which is what forced Sessions to recuse himself.
WILLIAMS: Or the other theory, Corey, could be that Sessions would not have recused himself, had he not felt the pressure to.
LEWANDOWSKI: Eric Holder never recused himself of anything.
TIMPF: All right. We've got a lot more coming up, guys. Lots of stuff. James Comey is lashing out at the media and its, quote, "dead wrong" reports on the Russia probe.
And later, what do regular people think about the James Comey hearing? I hit the streets of New York to find out. Stay with us.
WILLIAMS: Welcome back to "The Fox News Specialists." Our specialists today are Corey Lewandowski and Ms. Mary Anne Marsh. We will continue our conversation.
Anonymous leakers and sources have dogged the Trump administration since day one, but even James Comey today took a moment to disparage the misinformation and falsehoods coming from the media.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COMEY: The challenge -- and I'm not picking on reporters -- about writing stories about classified information is the people talking about it often don't really know what's going on, and those of us who actually know what's going on are not talking about it. And we don't call the press to say, "Hey, you got that thing wrong about this sensitive topic." We just have to leave it there.
I mentioned to the chairman the nonsense around what influenced me to make the July 5 statement. Nonsense. But I can't go explaining how it's nonsense.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: Corey laughing here during the break.
Comey also said -- and I quote -- "Lots of stuff coming out about Russia is dead wrong." So I mean, at least there's some consistency there from him.
And maybe that's it. You know, not to defend him too much, Corey, but what if he's saying, "You know what? There's so many links that are wrong about important stuff to our country, if anybody is going to leak something, maybe it does need to be me, so at least I can get it right."
LEWANDOWSKI: Yes, look, if you look back at the Wall Street Journal piece, March 1, I think Carol Lee wrote a piece on the consternation inside the FBI about Jeff Sessions and what role he would have in the ongoing investigation, is something which, you know, led to the pressure that James Comey alluded to, to remove an attorney general. That was the Wall Street Journal piece that ran on the first of March. Attorney General Sessions recused himself on the second of March.
But what is clear from Director Comey is that Russia had nothing to do with the impact of the outcome of the election. It did not mask where the state of Michigan was or the state of Ohio was, or the state of Pennsylvania. It didn't preclude Hillary Clinton's plane from going to any of the battleground states that she got absolutely destroyed in. Russia had nothing to do with that.
What we do know is that she ran a terrible campaign, didn't connect with middle America; and that's why she lost. And it had nothing to do with the Russians.
WILLIAMS: So I think Comey would be relieved to hear that, because certainly, he doesn't want to be blamed for the outcome of the election, Mary Anne. And I don't really think a lot of people feel like that's really his point today. I think that people thought his point today was to hopefully bring us some clarity -- I don't know that he did -- around this issue of whether or not he was being asked to stop the Flynn probe.
MARSH: I think when he talks about the fact that Russia is coming after the United States, that's not a Democratic thing or a Republican thing; that's an American thing. And we need to take that all very seriously.
And that's why I think you're going to start to see more reports, as you have in the last two weeks, about states like Illinois, and Arizona, and Florida, who did have their election databases hacked and did have the secretary of states and other related institutions that have everything to do with election day, had been hacked by the Russians. It wasn't just the DNC; wasn't just the RNC. There are a lot of states.
And the Election Assistance Center was hacked, as well. And that is the repository for every single voting machine in this country, every precinct, every city and town. And that should scare everybody.
BOLLING: It should, and -- but the other side of that coin is and, fortunately, no votes were changed; and we're good. And the election results are confirmed, and they're all good.
Can I just stay on this media thing for a second?
BOLLING: So here you heard James Comey say, yes, there were a lot of leaks, and when the leaks are wrong and they're printed wrong in The Washington Post and The New York Times, both called out a couple of times today, for the record...
WILLIAMS: Yes, they were.
BOLLING: ... on the Hill, he said that "We don't correct those records."
Yet, he literally said the reason for leaking his own document to the New York Times, eventually to The New York Times was because of a Donald Trump tweet.
BOLLING: And Donald Trump said, he tweeted that there could be some, quote unquote, "tapes." That was the impetus behind him getting in touch with the Columbia Law professor, "Leak my document."
OK, so what is it? Is it that you respond to the media? You respond to Donald Trump's tweets? Or do you not?
WILLIAMS: Well, you can say the same thing for the president, though, Eric.
BOLLING: He's inconsistent, though.
WILLIAMS: Sometimes we know that the president wants us to get certain information, and he also speaks to -- it's not an anonymous leak. He gives it right to The Times himself sometimes.
BOLLING: Well, I'm all for transparency. That's why I love the Twitter and the Facebook comments, because it's transparent. You know exactly what he's saying, where he's coming from.
I find it very sneaky what he did.
TIMPF: At least he admitted it, though.
BOLLING: I find it -- I find it scary. I find it really scary that an FBI director...
WILLIAMS: What was scary about it?
BOLLING: An FBI director...
WILLIAMS: Well, he wasn't the FBI director at that time.
BOLLING: I will tell you that there's a good portion of our audience that's going "What the hell is going on in our intel department when someone as high of stature as James Comey..."
WILLIAMS: After he's out of office.
BOLLING: "... after he's out, a couple days out of office, decides to leak to The New York Times through a Columbia professor?" That's insane.
TIMPF: But I think that he absolutely should have, if he was concerned, to have said something at the time, rather than waiting until after he was fired. I think anyone would say that.
BOLLING: Concerned about what, though? What was he worried about?
TIMPF: Because you do something after you get fired -- again, he gave us that answer. He said that who does he talk to?
It was -- President Trump, being the president and the way he operates, whether you think it's good or bad, you have to admit that it's different. And normally, there isn't this kind of direct contact between the FBI director and the president. He may have just not known what to do.
Neither I nor -- I don't think anyone would argue that the way that he handled it was good.
TIMPF: Because of course, you're going to have the defense of saying...
BOLLING: But Trump didn't say anything. He didn't accuse Comey of doing anything, but Comey decided to leak this document. Meanwhile, Comey himself said sometimes there's false stuff, written in the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.
TIMPF: Sure, sure.
BOLLING: They don't get involved.
MARSH: The biggest source of leaks in Washington, D.C., today is the White House. It's a sieve. And many of the stories that come out...
BOLLING: And not necessarily the Trump White House but people who could be holdovers from Obama, as well. Right?
MARSH: I would say the Trump White House on many of those stories.
WILLIAMS: All right, guys. That's why you've got to have corroborating evidence. Wouldn't the tapes make everything so much easier?
WILLIAMS: Bring on the tapes. Where are the tapes?
Coming up, "Kat on the Street." What do most regular Americans think about today's Comey hearing? Kat finds out, up next.
TIMPF: There has been so much going on today with former FBI Director Comey's testimony, and we wanted to see what regular people think about it. So I stopped some people on the streets of Manhattan to ask. Take a listen.
TIMPF: Comey hearings. What do you think?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he did an excellent job. I think it's important to get to the facts as far as Trump's obstruction of justice.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think there's anything going to be coming of it. It just confirmed what -- everything that Donald Trump has been saying the whole entire time.
TIMPF: A lot of bars in D.C. opened early for this. New York, we haven't heard that much about it. Do not care enough about politics here, or do we not care enough about drinking?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, we have to care about politics here.
TIMPF: And drinking. I care about it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
TIMPF: What are your thoughts on everything?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About what?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm glad the hearing's taking place so we can get to the truth of the Russian interference in the election.
TIMPF: Are you bored of it yet? Or are you, like, "Russia, Russia, more. Give me more Russia"?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not bored with it yet. I want to know more.
TIMPF: I think that Comey, basically, didn't want to have to say there was no investigation and then come out back again like he did with Hillary. He didn't want to be the "Oh, just kidding" guy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
TIMPF: The worst job, you know, "Just kidding guy." Except for maybe, like a coroner.
Some people said, "Oh, it's obstruction of justice." Some people say, "Oh, Trump just wanted to help out his good buddy, Mike Flynn." What do you think about that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Obstruction of justice.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's helping his friend, Michael Flynn.
TIMPF: You said, "I hope." Which isn't -- it's not necessarily good. If you work at a clothing store and a customer comes in, you can say, "I hope I don't have to help anyone today."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
TIMPF: There doesn't seem to be anything they can charge him with a crime. But if you think that, just because someone can't be charged with a crime that automatically makes them a great guy, you're going to have some problems dating and things like that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Uh...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is certainly grounds for the House to begin impeachment proceedings. If the House weren't covering for Trump, I think that would have already been taking place.
TIMPF: So do you think that "I need loyalty, I expect loyalty" is a threat?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that is definitely a threat.
TIMPF: I don't think that "I need loyalty. I expect loyalty" is a threat, except when I say it to my boyfriend before he leaves to go to Vegas for a bachelor party.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think you're trivializing a threat to our democracy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So I hope, you know, this hopefully leads to something, you know, more severe of President Trump. Because I don't like him. He's not my president, so...
TIMPF: What do you mean?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, he does not, you know, reflect what Americans should be like.
TIMPF: We haven't seen Trump tweeting how -- do you think he's OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I checked today. He hasn't tweeted anything.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The tweets are very informative, and I appreciate them considerably.
TIMPF: I would hate if I ever had to testify about my tweets.
Are you surprised nobody brought up that Cinco de Mayor tweet where Trump had the taco bowl?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just think all that stuff is nutty.
TIMPF: Like, what are you thinking about today?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today? Well, right now I'm going to go eat some food.
TIMPF: I just realized I haven't eaten anything.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Want to go out to eat with me?
TIMPF: Yes, all right. See you guys. Bye.
WILLIAMS: It looks like you made a little friend there, Kat.
TIMPF: I did. He was a really nice guy and really hungry. So -- I just noticed, you know, he was the only guy, I think, that wasn't pretending to be a lawyer. Everyone is, like, a couch and laptop lawyer these days.
BOLLING: Can I ask you something? So when you hope your boyfriend has loyalty to you...
TIMPF: Oh, no, I expect loyalty. I demand it.
BOLLING: Or -- or else. It is the "or else" part.
TIMPF: Or else.
BOLLING: There becomes the obstruction of justice.
TIMPF: One hundred percent, I agree. Like I said, I don't think there's anything that points to obstruction here, and I think it's kind of ridiculous to suggest otherwise, especially considering how high that standard has to be.
WILLIAMS: Well, you know, and if you really want to play devil's advocate -- I want to see what you think about this, Mary Anne. What about the argument that, even if he was being instructed to not do anything about flan, Comey didn't listen anyway. That's what he said. So how much of a directive could it have been, if he felt the need to disregard it?
MARSH: Great question. For me, honestly, the questions that didn't get answered today are the most interesting ones, the ones they...
WILLIAMS: The closed door?
MARSH: ... went into the -- I wanted to be there.
WILLIAMS: I agree completely.
TIMPF: Absolutely, absolutely. You know, everything -- there wasn't really anything that shattering that I saw today. But I don't know.
All right. Well, when we return, we're going to "Circle Back" with our specialists, Corey Lewandowski and Mary Anne Marsh. Don't go away.
BOLLING: It's time to "Circle Back" with our specialists, Corey Lewandowski and Mary Anne Marsh.
Corey, my question to you: POTUS, do you think he was watching today? And do you think he wanted to weigh in?
LEWANDOWSKI: I think the president pays attention to all the relevant news of the day, for sure.
BOLLING: Would this be considered the relevant news?
LEWANDOWSKI: I think this qualifies as relevant news of the day.
LEWANDOWSKI: And hopefully -- I love when the president tweets. So hopefully, he'll tweet about something later on today, and we'll see what the president was thinking.
BOLLING: Sure. Perfect, perfect.
WILLIAMS: Mary Anne, my question is two: What color is your Vespa, because that's very important?
MARSH: Pearl Essence with a matching helmet. Thank you.
WILLIAMS: Yes. You clearly struck me as a woman who understands the value of esthetics.
WILLIAMS: And also, of the last, you know, 10, your favorite president?
MARSH: Jack Kennedy. Period.
BOLLING: All right, Kat, you're up.
TIMPF: So the question is kind of for whoever wants to answer. We kind of keep saying this is nothing, and given what's been going on for the past month, few months, it looks like nothing. But you sit back and you say, "Wow, the former FBI director called the president a liar." And it really does seem like nothing. Really says a lot about where our country has gone. I'm just going to throw that out there. What do you -- can you acknowledge that?
LEWANDOWSKI: Look, I do think it goes to tell you where things have gone on in the last 30 years in Washington. Right? People are fed up with Washington. It's broken. They're used to people not telling the truth. Republicans and Democrats have lied to the American people for the last 30 years they're going to fix the budget, and they haven't done it.
And for the first time in a lifetime, they've sent a change agent to Washington to make things different. That's what Donald Trump's going to do.
BOLLING: Mary, we're going to be doing this for a while, aren't we, on this topic? We're going to be -- it's all about...
MARSH: There's a runway in front of us, Eric. Yes, there is.
TIMPF: I can't even see the end.
MARSH: Right, but I mean, to address what Corey just said, I mean, the fact is you have a former FBI director call the president of the United States today more than once a liar, and that is damning. And so that doesn't excuse any of this. But we are in a place where we shouldn't be; and there's a lot more to come, and I don't think that's a good thing for any of us.
BOLLING: All right. And a lot of us would say, well, the guy who is being questioned on the stand may have been lying a few times today, as well.
We are very fortunate, specialists to have had Corey Lewandowski and Mary Anne Marsh. Very important, big day this day. Thank you to both of them.
And thank you all for watching. Make sure you follow us on social media, @SpecialistsFNC on Twitter and Facebook. Remember, 5 o'clock will never be the same. "Special Report" coming up right now. Five, four, three, two, one.
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