Trump condemns hate groups amid uproar over initial response
This is a rush transcript from "The Fox News Specialists," August 14, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
KATHERINE TIMPF, CO-HOST: Hello, everyone. I'm Kat Timpf along with Eboni K. Williams and Guy Benson. This is "The Fox News Specialists." President Trump condemning white supremacists and related groups today following an uproar over his response to this weekend's racist violence in Charlottesville.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence. It has no place in America. Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TIMPF: The president's comments coming after a 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. of Ohio was denied bail today. Fields who allegedly holds Nazi sympathies was arraigned for second-degree murder among other charges in the Saturday car running death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer. Nineteen people were also injured in the attack. Despite President Trump's condemnation the fallout from the weekend's horrific violence seems far from over. All right, Guy, why not on Saturday? Why not say something like that on Saturday?
GUY BENSON, CO-HOST: He should have. This was the right thing to say. He finally did it. And I've seen two reactions on social media, one is better late than never, the other is too little too late. I'm inclined towards better now than never, but again, I think he would have gone a long way to help bring some healing if he had pulled the trigger much, much earlier. And I don't really understand what the reason was for the delay. I don't think there's a credible explanation for that that I've heard.
EBONI K. WILLIAMS, CO-HOST: I have a suspicion, Guy, to why there was a delay to hearing this particular response from the president, which I'll get to in my docket later in the show. I will say this in lewd of what he said, the original comment, I really felt it would have been best he say nothing. I thought the first one was that egregious, but I would have respected and appreciated it more, Kat, if the president just choose to abstain from any words in the moment.
WILLIAMS: Well, it's time to meet today's specialist. He's the author of the New York Times best-selling book, The Operator, the co-founder of Your Grateful Nation an organization committed to transitioning special operation veteran to his next successful career, and he's the man who killed the worlds most wanted terrorist, Osama Bin Laden, so he obviously specializes in killing terrorists, Rob O'Neill is here. And she is the director of the Lawfare Project, a legal think tank, she's a former director of the Legal Project at the Middle East Forum, and she's an award- winning documentary film maker for her work on the Making of a Martyr, so she specializes in legal and Middle East affairs, Brooke Goldstein is here. All right. Rob, so President Trump ran on, one of the main thing was we have to call radical Islamic terror by its name. We can't hesitate. So if you're going to say that, you also have to say that we have to call out white supremacists violence by its name and not hesitate.
ROB O'NEIL, AUTHOR OF THE OPERATOR: I totally agree. And I also agree with Guy when he said better late than never. But he's kind of get hit with political correctness and anti-political correctness because if he doesn't say what it is, the people that are against him are going to totally use it against him. And something like what happened with the KKK or the neo-Nazis they said online we're so happy that President Trump is with us. You need to say what it is. You can't be suckered into just, you know -- if I say all things matter or against all hate, someone is going to hit you for it. You need to be very, very specific. And I think that it's fair because he was saying that about radical Islamic terrorist, you need to say it with the neo-Nazis. No doubt about it.
TIMPF: Absolutely. Of course he should be against all hate, but you have to name when an event occurs who did it specifically.
BROOKE GOLDSTEIN, LAWFARE PROJECT DIRECTOR: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, Trump knows that the media it's going to jump on him, whatever he does to criticize him. So why feed them something to criticize? So it's curious that he delayed 48 hours, OK. But he did come out. But remember during the Obama administration we were constantly told after every terrorist attack, wait, let's see what the motive is, you know, give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they're lone wolf attackers. Maybe they're not. So perhaps the Trump administration wanted to verify who indeed carried out the attack.
Now, on the other hand, if we are to have a serious conversation call hate what it is, the conversation about neo-Nazis and Nazi rhetoric can't just be about the alt-right. I mean, I just flew in from Chicago. The same day the so-called left-wing group had a protest called the slut walk in Chicago using terminology straight out of David Duke's playbook, the Zionist controlled foreign policy, the Zionist are evil. So let's have a conversation. Let's call it all by its name both on the alt-right and on the alt-left.
TIMPF: The motive was clearer a lot sooner than when President Trump spoke about it.
BENSON: Right. I'm skeptical that this was an instance of the president using discretion on his twitter feed because that doesn't seem to happen all that often. The other spin that we heard yesterday from the White House was he didn't want to name them specifically because he didn't want to dignify them. He names groups and people all the time that tick him off. Whether it's appropriate or inappropriate, right? Like he'll go after MS-13 and ISIS by name all the time, appropriately so. He'll also go after Mexican-Americans judges and Goldstar families by name in a very aggressive way. So again, the explanation for the delay, we've seen a few of them and they're shifting, I don't buy them, but I would still much prefer finally the president coming around and doing the right thing than never doing it out of some sort of stubbornness. So he came around to it so he deserves credit from people who've been saying he has to do this, we demand that he do this. And then, immediately they start saying, well, he finally did it but it's not enough, or he waited too long. You've got to give some props to someone for doing what you want them to do. And in this case, that thing was the correct thing.
WILLIAMS: Yeah. Brooke, I actually take a bit of an issue when you talk about these left protests that are happening in Chicago over the weekend, I suppose, not because I necessarily have an issue with you having an issue with them. But in this moment, I personally find that type of back and forth, either or, in this moment, problematic.
GOLDSTEIN: I hear what you're saying, but like having been there and being a Zionist female Jew and marching in solidarity with this progressive movement to be shouted out almost the exact same things that are being shouted out at the Tiki march but from another perspective. I mean, they were saying.
WILLIAMS: Is that what we're calling that?
GOLDSTEIN: Tiki torch march. I've heard it.
GOLDSTEIN: . describe. The torch march. You know, it's the exact same type of hatred. And so, if we're going to have a serious conversation looking into what is causing this type of -- not just anti-Sematic hate, but racist, bigot hate that has all different manifestations both on the right, both on the left. Let's talk about it all and not be ashamed about it.
WILLIAMS: Well, I don't think for me it's a shame issue, Brooke. I think talking about it all and broadly sound good in theory, quite frankly, but I think a lot gets lost in the shuffle. I think it becomes distracting for some because then they can run wherever you are in the issue to a safe comfortable space that allows you to deflect the actual issue that is on the table, and kind be comforted by the fact in this moment now we're talking about the anti-Zionist movement or whatever, which is very horrible. I know what you're talking about and it's absolutely despicable. But if we were to remain focused around this issue in this moment, I think sometimes people get falsely comforted by those types of arguments.
TIMPF: Well, as Guy touched on, after President Trump's remarks specifically condemning white supremacist group today, his critics are saying it's too little, too late.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: It shouldn't take a whole weekend to condemn Nazism. The idea that the president of the Unite States needs 48 hours to condemn Nazism is unheard of.
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: Can you sort of abdicate the moral authority of the presidency on Saturday and get it back on Monday with a made up statement?
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: The test of leadership is having moral clarity I believe in the moment when something like this occurs. Again, you have to say, yes, he gave the right statement days later.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TIMPF: Rob, what are you thought?
O'NEIL: Just the way they're spinning that, so he didn't come right on condemn Nazism is not to say he's pro-Nazi. They're using it against him. I think it's a good thing that he did come out and restated and specifically said what his distractors said he needed to say. That's almost an admission of OK, I was wrong. And I'm sort of negotiating on this. I think it's good he came out, but I don't think -- does anyone really think that he's a racist? Is that what Trump is? That's what President Trump is? That's what a lot of people are saying. It's just not fair. They're talking about words now. Who used what words and who's offending? I mean, these guys kind of have it coming because if you come out -- the very nicely calling it the Tiki march. You know they admitted these are white supremacist Nazis. A lot of people say violence doesn't prove anything. I've seen it prove stuff before. I saw a picture of one of those guys, those Nazis giving a sign and get punched in the face, that didn't upset me too much. You got that it's coming, because -- it's out there.
TIMPF: But I think what makes this such a stark contrast is the fact that President Trump never hesitates, he didn't think something was Islamic terror to say so. Even before he has the information he has been wrong before. He doesn't have to jump on that, but to take a weekend even when we have the facts that this person, people saying this is a Nazi sympathizer, he was in a march, a KKK Nazi march and doing this, for him to take that long, it's a really, really stark contrast.
WILLIAMS: I think the perfect example of that, Kat, was of course here in Times Square, New York City, when there was a car that ran into and injured severely people, and the president was very quick to call that a terrorist act in which we found out later it's actually was not.
BENSON: The other thing is, look, it took the White House -- not just the president, took the White House three or four tries to finally confirm on the record, although it was on background, that the president decries white supremacy. It should not take that many tries. There's no good excuse for that. I will say though, to leftist double standards which I think it's a fair thing to bring up in some cases, when the left demands certain actions from conservatives, you look at senators like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio who came out with very strong statements about this very early on. There was a New York Times reporter who tweeted yesterday, saying, well, I think what they're doing is posturing for their own political careers. I mean, that is a damned if you do, damned if you don't, no matter what a Republican says. The worst motives are attributed to them and I think that's grotesquely unfair. Especially, I mean, there's reasons why maybe two Latino leaders would be opposed to white supremacy other than their own career advancement.
GOLDSTEIN: Well, I don't think it is deflecting. I mean, the protest that I'm talking about happened on the same day as this other protest was happening. It's the same exact time. And I don't think that's a coincidence. And what we're saying is, we're giving oxygen. If Trump doesn't come out right away and criticize what happened in Charlottesville, we're giving oxygen to that movement. But were also giving oxygen to other movements if we refuse to concentrate on them when the new cycle is the exact same story, that we have neo-Nazi, anti-Sematic rhetoric happening in extreme groups. It's the exact same thing.
WILLIAMS: Well, I do agree that this is much more than about Trump's response, President Trump's response to this, right. I think that's certainly where the entire mainstream media news cycle has chosen to focus, and I think that is actually problematic. I think he is the leader of the free world and our commander-in-chief, so what he thinks and how he responds is critically important. But there's I think a bigger issue actually at play. So I'm very happy to have that conversation.
TIMPF: The bigger issues we can talk about when it's time to talk about bigger issues when a specific incident happens, it's time to talk about that specific incident and call it what it is.
WILLIAMS: And when I say bigger issues, Kat, I actually mean this issue, this issue of white supremacy, this issue of Nazism, this issue of really fever-pitch racial discord is certainly least here in the United States of America around this issue.
BENSON: And violence.
WILLIAMS: Violence resulting in death, exactly, Guy, that's really important. So again, President Trump's response we'll go through it and that's important. But the greater issue is the root cause of why this is happening in this moment, we've got to talk about it.
TIMPF: I also don't think we should be giving anybody pats on the back for condemning Nazism, OK. I feel like that's not really a bold take to have. It's called like having a soul.
O'NEIL: That's a good point though, and that's across the board. I mean, you don't hear a lot of the people on the left when they shot down and violently suppresses speaker of Berkeley, not a lot of Maxine Waters coming out saying this is bad, this is bad. They kind of let that go. That's activism.
WILLIAMS: I think far less people do, Rob. But I think if you talk to people that really stand up for American values, of free speech, and all of that, I do think there's been a lot of criticism. I think college campuses have taken a big hit, I think rightfully so, because the ability to speak freely in a way that fosters dialogue and maybe even some discord, people are tired of it actually. I think college campuses.
O'NEIL: I hope so. That's where you -- you learned from debates, I think.
WILLIAMS: I totally agree.
TIMPF: Absolutely. All right. Well, when we come back, the Justice Department opening up a civil-rights investigation into the Charlottesville car attack. And Eboni's docket is all over the case. Next.
WILLIAMS: Welcome back to "The Fox News Specialists." This is the docket. This afternoon, President Trump gave a second response to the racist domestic terrorism that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia. Today, we learned that there will be a federal investigation from the DOJ around the tragic events that led to the deaths of Heather Heyer, Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen, and Trooper Berke M.M. Bates, and also injured 19 others. It's a solid first step toward technical justice.
Mr. President, your initial remarks were cowardly and dangerous, and they indeed warranted a second statement. Here's why. Your presidential campaign slogan make America great again, well, it rose many questions for many, where Jews, blacks, gays, and Hispanics included in the return of America to her great glory years, or will some of us be left out? Well, I was legitimately unsure. But absent more conclusive evidence, I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. I can no longer do that, Mr. President. No more benefit. All doubt.
In a moment where you could have been crystal clear where you stand on the issue of inclusion, standing up against white supremacy and domestic terrorism, you very intentionally chose to be ambiguous and equivocate. All sides, Mr. President? Please. President Trump, I do not know your heart, but what I do know for sure is that you've done the math. You've decided that your portion of the base that is absolutely racist is so significant, so valuable that you hesitate, even in the face of blatant flagrant hatred to risk turning them off, and thereby crippling your political stronghold.
Do you remember when you said that your base would stick with you even if you shot someone on Fifth Avenue? Guess what, I think you're right. I think they will stick with you through anything. They will even stick with you while you calm their fears and deep-seated anger around their perceived depreciation of the intrinsic value of whiteness in this country. And let's be honest. That's what this is all really about. So while you personally might not be a racist President Trump, what you are is all too happy to reap the benefits of their support, and you even tacitly encourage them with evasive, irresponsible statements.
Instead, maybe try this. I don't know what cause or campaign promise you think you are fulfilling lot because our campaign promise you think you are fulfilling, when you take to the streets and terrorized nonwhite Americans. But that is not what I meant when I said make America great again. And yes, I'm talking to you, David Duke. You represent the very worst of America, and you do not represent me, the right, or conservatism. But I know, I know. But what about black lives matter? What about Obama?
Well, guess what? Obama had a lot of missed opportunities to effectively lead a national dialogue around race in America, and his legacy will carry those shortcomings, but he is no longer in the oval. This moment is on you, President Trump. This is your legacy in the making. Mr. President, I am making a personal plea to you, you're actually uniquely positioned to forcefully call out evil, anti-American domestic terrorists, but we certainly cannot change what we fail to acknowledge. So I'm asking you to address their anger, address their misplaced fears, let them know that this is America, land of opportunity and there is indeed enough to go around. President Trump, they will listen to you, and they will follow your lead. Guy Benson, response.
BENSON: I mean, a lot of profound sentiments there, Eboni. And I agree with many of them. I think when we're trying to figure out what the motivations here are, and you're right. We can't peer into the heart of the president. I personally don't believe that he's a crypto racist, or he's an undercover anti-Semite. I think there is some truth to your theory that he's looking at his based and figuring that he shouldn't maybe alienate a portion of it. A portion that he ought to, loudly.
But I think there's two other things going on here. One is just the character of Donald Trump is to have an allergy to criticizing people who say nice things about him. And I think that that's sort of a cheap and juvenile calculation that he sometimes makes which can lead to moral failures. And the second thing is, he does not like being pressured by the media. There was immense pressure for him to come around and say something different. He eventually did, but I think that was part of the reason that he resisted.
WILLIAMS: Ron, your thoughts.
O'NEIL: I really liked what you said there and I agree with it. It would have been the easiest thing to do, come right out and say it. I guess the neo-Nazi thing. I'm just thinking that because there were a couple different elements there that were sort of promoting violence, you knew it was going to happen. It's kind of a perfect storm in there. I think he was trying to stay away from it. But Kat made a very interesting point today, how fast he is to say Islamic terrorism.
So you're kind of winning me over on this argument. And so, I'm happy that he came out and did say -- you know, he called it racial terrorism. I think he called it today, he said they're going -- to the fullest extent of the law, prosecute this guy. I hope to see -- I'm not an attorney, but I think I know the difference between second and first degree. And I think that they should push up the first degree because there's no doubt in my mind this animal that was behind the wheel, he thought about what he was doing. He went there on purpose with the car to go to the rally to do just what he did.
WILLIAMS: I know who is a lawyer. Brooke is also -- so what do you think about that?
GOLDSTEIN: You know, I agree with everyone here. You cannot in the same breath criticize someone for not calling out the motivations of Islamic terrorism and not come out strongly against the KKK, which he did but 48 hours later. And there's been a lot.
GOLDSTEIN: You know what, why? Just tell us why you hesitated. Maybe there is a legitimate reason. We're all speculating about it. That's also not good. The more that we speculate about it. But that's the issue of terrorism. This was, in my opinion, very much looking like domestic terrorism. It's all about obviously the motive of the attacker, whether or not he attacked a civilian population for the purposes of instilling fear or for political motives. And if that is proven, then absolutely he should be charged and convicted with domestic terrorism.
WILLIAMS: Now Brooke, to your point, there is such thing as speculation, Kat, and there's also just looking at the facts and all the other circumstances that we know in front of us and coming to logical conclusion.
TIMPF: There's also saying that there is no good excuse. There is no excuse that's good enough for him not saying something on Saturday, which is really where I stand on this issue. He said he likes people who are nice to him. I don't care how nice a Nazi would be to me, I would still have no problem saying that I'm denouncing the Nazi because he's a Nazi. This shouldn't be a complicated thing. And the fact that it is, people who are disturbed by it are disturbed rightfully so.
WILLIAMS: Fair enough. All right, straight ahead, President Trump turning up the pressure on China to help reign in North Korea. The potential shock waves that could have for the nuclear crisis. Stay with us.
BENSON: China getting some payback from President Trump for its failure to help curb North Korea. This afternoon, President Trump ordering a trade investigation aiming to send a very clear signal. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Today, I'm directing the United States trade representative to examine China's policies, practices, and actions with regard to the forced transfers of American technology and the theft of American intellectual property. We will protect forgotten Americans who have been left behind by a global trade system that has failed to look, and I mean look out for their interests.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BENSON: The president's order coming as China promises to carry out U.N. sanctions and cut off its imports of coal and other goods to North Korea, but we've heard all of that before haven't we. So Kat, this is clearly in my view a diplomatic success for the Trump administration. They should be praised for that. Nikki Haley doing hard work at the U.N. But can we trust the Chinese to actually enforce these new sanctions because they've been, let's say, dodgy about that in the past.
TIMPF: Yeah, probably not. I'm going to go with the probably not on that one. Just given the past, obviously, that they've gone around them. But again, it is a good thing, it is an unprecedented thing to an extent we haven't seen them, you know, doing something like this in recent years. So it is a good thing and they should be praise for it. But, yeah, I'm not super excited given the history we have on this.
BENSON: Still though, Eboni, this is a concrete step. So there's been a lot of focus in the media about what? The president's rhetoric and Kim Jong-un's rhetoric, and back and forth the threats. Here's actual diplomacy at work with a unanimous Security Council resolution, and the Chinese at least promising to do something constructive. Shouldn't we be focusing more on the substance rather than the war of words at least to some level?
WILLIAMS: Absolutely. We should be focused on the substance first as the rhetoric. I agree with you there, Guy. My issue -- and Kat know this all too well, my issues with sanctions are their ability to be enforced. And, frankly, maybe if you can help me out here, Rob, it's something that really concerns me. Intellectually, I say, well, sanctions are better than nothing, but if we cannot enforce them are they really.
O'NEIL: Well, they've done this before with North Korea and China has and they'll say they're cutting off certain things. They just go around another ways. Like, right now, today China announced they're going to cut off some coal, iron products, seafood stuff. If they do it, it's going to really hurt their economy. North Korea can potentially can bring it back to the bargaining table and we're going to need Chinese influence in this regardless whether we like it or not because someone needs to deal with that -- with the spoiled little brat, Kim Jong-un up in Korea and it's either going to be with Chinese Special Forces assassinating him which wouldn't surprise me if he just choke on some food one day or -- but also just getting him to the table potentially once he starts losing a lot of them. You know, he doesn't care if he feeds his people, that's not his concern, but if he starts running out of the luxuries in life, the suits that he wears, and the vodka and all that stuff...
GOLDSTEIN: But his sanctions aren't going to affect that. I mean, we know...
O'NEILL: Chinese sanctions, it might.
GOLDSTEIN: Well, that will affect the people. It's not going to affect the way that the leadership continues the way that people are...
O'NEILL: But that's 90 percent of their export go to China and if they -- if they start cutting that off it's really going to hurt their economy.
GOLDSTEIN: OK, agreed, it's going to hurt the economy mostly though for the people.
O'NEILL: Oh, yes, yes.
GOLDSTEIN: And, you know, what we hope when we impose sanctions that -- is that is there will be some sort of rise by the people and a regime change, but we're looking at a leader or a country that has a history of having the -- one of the strongest fascist dictatorships and a strong hold on their people. I mean, they control even the haircuts that their own citizens have. So, will sanctions lead -- economic sanctions lead to some sort of rise of the populace and regime change?
O'NEILL: I wouldn't mind seeing the sanctions (INAUDIBLE) with his horrible haircut if we're talking about that not a good look. I mean, we've seen it before with any -- with dictators everywhere that includes Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, all those people like that. The sanctions they have really hurt the people and not the dictators but...
GOLDSTEIN: Yes, it's also if we have a moment what so significance about the testing now is for the first time, I believe the North Koreans gave us a warning that we're about to test this, giving us the signal that this is not an act of war, this is just, you know, war games happening. So don't see it as an escalation.
BENSON: So Robert, I come back though to a central question which is, is this a real shift? So, we saw a "Wall Street Journal" op-ed today from the secretary of state, secretary of defense (INAUDIBLE) saying we are moving from strategic patience of the Obama era to strategic accountability. Are those just words?
O'NEILL: I would hope so because strategic patience has failed for 25 years. And now, accountability, we need to put it -- we need to put in and I mean, China is stealing stuff from us all the time, they're lying about sanctions, you know, turns out a lot people when we negotiate, they lie to us if you can believe that. So, I mean, I am hoping -- and, you know, I don't want to -- I don't want to see this escalate into a war nobody wants especially a nuclear type war but even tomorrow is a holiday for North Korea. They're going to test something. What are we going to do about it? What if they shoot one of those missiles over Japan? That's not cool.
WILLIAMS: And I think that's what feels terrifying, right Rob?
O'NEILL: Oh, it's actually terrifying.
WILLIAMS: Nobody wants a war, nobody wants casualties but beyond the rhetoric of saying, you know what, accountability, what does it actual really look like and who's affected by it?
TIMPF: A war would be such a disaster. Even if you say, hey, we're just going to get there and get all their nukes. There is going to be things hidden that we can't find.
O'NEILL: It's going to be a disaster...
TIMPF: We'll, absolutely face consequences for that. Lives would be lost. So, it's really good to see at least this attempt at this kind of approach to put pressure on China and then at least seeming to potentially maybe be working. It's another obviously our concern.
O'NEILL: Yes, it's a good thing.
BENSON: Do you think it's productive production of power to have the chairman of the joint chiefs in South Korea, the secretary of state in Guam.
O'NEILL: Oh, yes, they're saying it's coincidental.
BENSON: It's the point.
O'NEILL: A lot of those four-star generals they don't do anything by coincidence. They do it by the minutes. And they're pretty good of what they do. You don't -- they don't just give away four stars, you got to earn that stuff.
BENSON: Yes. So coming up, a new ad from the president's reelection campaign dropping and it is believe it or not sparking controversy. We'll tell you why he is taking on "enemies" on the left and also in the mainstream media. We'll debate it when we come back. Don't go anywhere.
WILLIAMS: Welcome back to "The Fox News Specialists." Our specialists today are Rob O'Neill and Brooke Goldstein. Let's continue the conversation. Now, in spite of this weekend's Charlottesville violence, President Trump's reelection campaign is releasing a new ad that's sparking an outcry among his critics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Democrats obstructing, the media attacking our president. Career politician standing in the way of success but President Trump's plan is working. 1 million jobs created, more Americans working than ever before. Unemployment lowest since 2001, the stock market all- time record highs. The strongest military in decades. The president's enemies don't want him to succeed but Americans are saying let President Trump do his job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: Guy Benson, the democrats obstructing? Say it's not so.
BENSON: Well, the democrats obstruct all the time. No, there are a legitimate hits in that ad against the democrats, against the media which are very hostile to this president. They signed up for the resistance right away. I think they are still embarrassed that they got it the election so wrong. But I think some of the objections that I can at least buy into here over this ad, first, the timing. Given what just happened in this country, and we're talking about unity and we're talking about coming together and then bang, here's an ad slamming our enemies. And that's the other part of it.
I really don't like employing the term "enemies." That should be reserved for the likes of actual enemies like North Korea and ISIS and Iran. Not fellow citizens. Adversaries, sure. Resistance, sure. Critics, that's fine. Enemies to me, I don't like it.
WILLIAMS: OK. Rob, let me ask you this, I actually think when the president positions himself against the mainstream media and clearly makes a point that they are against him, which I agree they are, did it actually strengthens a much of his (INAUDIBLE) it strengthens a lot of his argument, that he is the change candidate, he is the antiestablishment whether that's democrat or republican candidate and I think that actually serves him.
O'NEILL: It does serve him and he is fortunate because he can reach people via Twitter. Again, some of the stuff the media does because there's no question most people in the media don't like him, they don't like what he's doing. I agree with Guy that you cannot call -- you don't want to call your friends across the aisle the enemies. Adversaries is good. You -- he's going to keep his base, he's not going to get a lot of new support by attacking them like that and one of the problems in D.C. in the swamp and he said he's (INAUDIBLE) is party politics.
There are too many people in D.C. that love their career job as a politician and love their party more than they love the country. They want the party's agenda. And this is not uncommon. I mean, even with President Obama there weren't a lot of republicans ready to let him do his job either. This happens on both sides and instead of running for your party, you need to run on the issues that you really believe in. Not a lot of that's happening. I don't think attacking them is the right way to do it now especially now. And again, the enemy -- the word enemies. I've seen enemies before and they didn't look like Bernie Sanders.
WILLIAMS: Fair point there. Brooke, what do you think? Do you think the timing is an issue or maybe the more important issue is he's got to get ready to reclaim the narrative that he is the change candidate and the antiestablishment candidate?
GOLDSTEIN: Right. Well, I think we're all in agreement that the word enemies, not so good. The timing not so good, but, you know, this is a typical ad. And, you know, Trump is not a typical guy. And I'd like to see some more creative advertisement here and there's probably a lot of public relations guy behind him. And, you know, I think examples play really well. You're calling people -- you know, people names, you're calling people out. How about, you know, give the people concrete examples of when you tried to do something and you were blocked or when the media has, you know, failed its responsibility to be objective to the people. Give us examples.
O'NEILL: Well, I noticed even there when he tried to do something a few weeks ago and he was blocked by his own party. To some -- and maybe he has adversaries on the democratic side but he's also got adversaries on the republican because there's still a little battered about whatever happened and whichever part...
TIMPF: That's the technical term.
WILLIAMS: It sounds technical coming from you, Rob O'Neill, but Kat, let me ask you this. I thought the obvious ad here was are you tired of winning yet? And that President Trump would, kind of to Brooke's point, lay out all of the accomplishments that he has from an economic perspective. Those narratives out there. And really just double down on his, I'm a winning guy, this is a winning White House. You are on a winning ticket and kind of go with kind of a more optimistic message.
TIMPF: Examples are always better even if someone tells if you're working on a resume or a cover letter that includes specific examples. Enemies, didn't like the word enemies, agree with that. It's also just not something I'm super mad about. You know, there's a lot of stuff that happened over the weekend that I'm way more mad about. So I come out, it's not a huge deal. But if the timing was bad, the word enemies is bad and examples would have been better.
WILLIAMS: Yes. Guy, let me ask you, when it comes to the obstruction issue which I think Rob is absolutely right, it happened to both sides. And I do think a lot of American people are tired of feeling like it's the party, so no matter which party that are reigning supreme at the expense of hardworking taxpaying Americans here. Is there a way for President Trump to continue kind of to criticize and go toe to toe with McConnell and Ryan? But ultimately, when it comes to the issue of health care, when he needs these republican leaders to be on his team reconcile that relationship.
BENSON: I think that the president thrives on getting into spats with various people and sometimes that includes members of his party that he's adopted recently. And that's fine, like, people are wringing their hands. Oh my gosh, he's been criticizing McConnell, how does it affect his agenda? I don't think it affects it at all. Mitch McConnell wants to reform taxes. Donald Trump wants to sign that bill. They're going to work together even if they're going at each other a little bit over Twitter. I think that whole thing was overblown. That was sort of an August news story, right?
WILLIAMS: Fair enough. Makes sense to me. Up next, Anthony Scaramucci is back in the spotlight, thank goodness. Alleging elements within the White House are plotting to push President Trump out of office. Stay with us.
TIMPF: Anthony Scaramucci returning to the public eye after his (INAUDIBLE) as White House communications director. And he's sounding a stark warning for President Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: I think what happens in Washington, this is my general observation, is the president is not a representative of the political establishment class and so for whatever reason, people have made a decision they want to eject him. I think there are elements inside Washington, also inclusive in the White House that are not necessarily of betting the president's interest or his agenda. I absolutely believe that, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TIMPF: Adding to intrigue, Axios is reporting that President Trump has told close associates that he believes Steve Bannon, the White House chief strategist is behind damaging leaks about fellow administration officials. All right. First of all Guy, great to see the mooch back on TV again. I think that everybody can agree very, very wonderful. I wouldn't really be too bummed out to see Bannon go myself or overall.
BENSON: Well, then you might be unlocked because if you read into what Scaramucci said, saying that he believes that the president thinks or suspects that Bannon is one of these leakers, that's one strike against Bannon. Another big one this weekend on "Meet the Press," Chuck Todd pressed H.R. McMaster over and over again if he can work with Steve Bannon, if Steve Bannon is the type of person he wants in the White House. And it was just Deflection City from McMaster.
I think between those two things, that might suggest that Bannon's on his way out. Although we were all saying the same thing about Jeff Sessions a few days ago and then that blew over. So who knows? But the knives may be out for Steve Bannon.
TIMPF: All right. Especially the leaks thing is true, that's the unforgivable sense.
GOLDSTEIN: Right. And back to the McMaster thing, one of the things that is being reported is that, well, there's a schism between the two because Breitbart is publishing negative articles about McMaster, but then again, on the other side, could you imagine the story if someone so close to the President of the United States would go after and try and suppress articles being written by third parties even though he worked there? I mean, I don't think he would have the power to do that. On the leaks on the other hand, I think the signal...
BENSON: Really? You don't have...
GOLDSTEIN: I don't think he would do that, though.
BENSON: A little push back. You think Bannon has any tentacles...
GOLDSTEIN: The story...
BENSON: ...still over at Breitbart?
GOLDSTEIN: If he does...
BENSON: You could say, hey, knock it off.
GOLDSTEIN: ...would he be exercising, you know, that authority to...
BENSON: Well, there was -- there was reporting that Bannon went out of his way to try to tamp down the whole supposedly feud with Reince Priebus. So, it seems like what he's wanted to...
GOLDSTEIN: Yes, but to -- not to stop stories being published about McMaster, I mean, OK.
BENSON: Pressure is different than censorship.
GOLDSTEIN: Right, right. So they're saying because he didn't censor it, then that's -- you know, there's a schism there. But the other thing is I want to point out, the message of the American people are getting right now on both sides is that those in the White House are more concerned with party politics than they are with national security. When you have this amount of leaks come out of the White House, it is a really scary thing.
O'NEILL: I think that a lot of this going on and there is so many egos went into the West Wing that they're all competing with each other. H.R. McMaster has a problem with Bannon and Bannon's obviously got people over at Breitbart. He's possibly going to do that. He looks like he is on his way out though for sure, a couple of reasons, one, Breitbart is doing it, Trump hates the leakers or possibly illegal of this classified information. He was the only person not golfing and he didn't comment. That's, like, guilty, guilty, guilty.
GOLSTEIN: So you're not in New Jersey golfing, you're out.
O'NEILL: It's pretty much what it is.
BENSON: But the leaks really is I think central to this because we joke about it, but just a few news cycles ago, it seems like a distant memory now, but those transcripts with foreign leaders, that is hugely damaging, grossly unfair to the president, terrible for the country. And you cannot have that happen inside the White House.
O'NEILL: Absolutely not. You can't make a secret call as the -- a confidential call as the president in the Oval Office, there's something wrong.
BENSON: That really wrong.
O'NEILL: (INAUDIBLE) a good thing is though, he brought in a four-star army general. John Kelly is not messing around and this is a part of the reason the mooch is gone is because everybody thought that they had, like, direct access to the president. Now, it's, like, no, I'm the boss and you need to come through me and again, you got four more stars there that's going to start throwing them around.
WILLIAMS: Yes, on the China command. You know, the transcripts, Guy, you're exactly right. It's hugely problematic. Not just disrespectful to President Trump but very dangerous for all of us as Americans because if I'm an international leader and I fear that my conversation with the President Trump is going to be leaked, my goodness. What am I not sharing? What intelligence am I not sharing? What hesitation do I have around critically important pathways, you know, to sharing information. And that's a serious problem. So if any truth is to Bannon being that leak, he absolutely rightfully should be out of there.
TIMPF: Yes, and what do you think Bannon would do after that if he was kicked out? Do you think that more anti-Trump (INAUDIBLE) what would we do next? You know, it's...
BENSON: Plenty of -- plenty of options. I'm just interested to see tonight one of the late-night shows has Scaramucci on. We'll see how that goes.
TIMPF: I know, I'm excited for that.
BENSON: Huge (INAUDIBLE)
TIMPF: Yes, absolutely. It's great to see him on TV again. Well, what do you think Bannon would do next if he (INAUDIBLE) assuming he get...
GOLDSTEIN: I don't know. One of the questions though I still have back on the transcript, how many people actually have access to the transcripts of the president's calls? I would think it's a very small group. So how come we haven't gotten to the bottom of that.
WILLIAMS: You would think and I was talking about this with another specialist, Brooke. And apparently, it's more than you would think because you've got to talk about that just kind of daily handlers, so not necessarily people with high security clearance or this kind of White House higher ups but just kind of the logistical nuts and bolts people. I mean, who knows what agendas they're operating on as well. So it does become...
GOLDSTEIN: The guy changing your light bulb.
WILLIAMS: And, I mean, you know -- you know by now a little bit the people changing the copy machine. I don't know.
TIMPF: Well, we've got to say goodbye to our specialists Rob O'Neill and Brooke Goldstein. Thank you both for joining us. Up next it's "Wait, What." don't go away.
BENSON: Final segment of the show which means it's time for...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Wait, What."
BENSON: All right, I'll kick things off. As you all know, Article 12 of the Constitution and the Book of Hezekiah in the bible both dictate that authors must plug their book while on national television. So I'm going to invoke my rights and remind everyone that "End of Discussion" is available on paperback. You can go to Amazon or endofdiscussion.com, and if you follow the Google story last week of someone getting fired for their beliefs that they expressed in sort of a reasonable memo, this topic is hotter than ever.
WILLIAMS: Yes, it totally is. I actually was against the firing of that employee although I don't know if I would say it was a reasonable memo, but that's to be debated. So my wait, what though is a really -- it's really good one, in the midst of kind of so much happiness and really sadness across our country, Bruno Mars, pop star and actually somebody I am unafraid to admit that I'm a fan of gave, in your hometown, Kat, a million dollars to the people of Michigan, particularly Flint, Michigan, I know you're from Detroit, but he gave a million for Flint, Michigan to help with their water crisis that's been ongoing moving for several years and he announced it, like, live at the show. Nobody was expecting it. It was a very cool moment.
TIMPF: Well, mine is -- well, it's a (INAUDIBLE) maybe. So guy in a -- robbed -- he's accused of robbing Walgreens in Texas, he got busted because of his very distinctive face tattoo. Now, my dad, he always told me to get no tattoos on my body and no bumper stickers on my car because it would make it way easier for the law to find me. So dad, you were right. I should say, dad -- another win for Dad Timpf. You can follow him on Twitter @DadTimpf, that's true.
WILLIAMS: Good advice from Dad Timpf.
TIMPF: Yes, absolutely. He should've listened to my father. He probably, you know, could've gotten away with robbing that Walgreens.
BENSON: See, little known effect, I actually have that exact face tattoo. They covered up.
BENSON: But when I leave, I wipe it all off. That's almost me just a little bit longer hair. It's a look that I've enjoyed for many years.
WILLIAMS: And that's why you sit so long in the makeup chair, Guy. (INAUDIBLE) it was ridiculous.
BENSON: Well, this was fun. Let's do it again tomorrow, how about that?
WILLIAMS: Way to plug again. That's excellent there, I like that.
BENSON: Awesome. And that is all the time we have on the program this evening. Thank you all for watching. As always, make sure to follow us on social media, that's @specialistfnc on both Twitter and Facebook. Remember, 5 o'clock will never be the same. Hey, it's Bill Hemmer in for Bret Baier. He is next on "Special Report" which starts momentarily. Good night. See you tomorrow.
Content and Programming Copyright 2017 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2017 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.