This is a rush transcript from "The Five," December 21, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
JUAN WILLIAMS, HOST: Hello, everyone. I'm Juan Williams along with Jedediah Bila, Jesse Watters, Dana Perino, and Greg Gutfeld. He's here. It's 5 o'clock in New York City, this is The Five.
A Fox News alert, the Senate scrambling as the clock ticks to avoid a partial government shutdown at midnight tonight. A live look at the Senate floor where Republicans are attempting to move forward on a procedural vote, but it's unclear if they have the numbers to go forward. Over at the White House, the president trying to place the potential blame at Democrats' feet.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: It's really up to the Democrats, totally up to the Democrats as to whether or not we have a shutdown. I hope we don't, but we're totally prepared for a very long shutdown. And this is our only chance that we'll ever have in our opinion because of the world and the way it breaks out to get great border security.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer saying Trump would be at fault and Democrats will not be budging on any extra funding for the border wall.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-N.Y., SENATE MINORITY LEADER: President Trump, you will not get your wall. Abandon your shutdown strategy. You're not getting the wall today, next week, or on January 3rd when Democrats take control of the House.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: Jesse, everybody is kind of figuring out, what's the end game here? How does the president play out the strategy? What do you think?
JESSE WATTERS, HOST: I don't see the end game, Juan. I really don't. I mean, if he has a bill that gets to his desk and it doesn't have wall funding, he vetoes it or he signs it and he says I tried. But if he vetoes it, it just goes back and then everything gets shutdown. And then, maybe it shutdown for a week at most, and then the Democrats come in and take over and they never send him anything with any wall funding and you're back with square one.
So, I don't see the end game. I guess, maybe he's just trying to signal to the people that he's going to fight, but he has to find more creative ways in the budget to build this wall. The wall has to be built and that's his signature promise. And he wasted the first time with it, and McConnell didn't deliver the first opportunity and it's a shame.
But, if they get rid of the filibuster, which they won't, you could get a wall. You get a lot of stuff. The other side will get stuff, this side would get stuff. But the way that the system is designed in the Senate, 60 votes for these spending bills, you're never going to get what you want, and you're just going to use the shutdown as leverage time and time again, and then we have to talk about how boring it is.
WILLIAMS: So, Dana, let's not talk about, it's boring because, in fact, this is a hot issue in public opinion. Quinnipiac has a poll out, 54-43, no need for a wall, 62 percent Americans opposed to a shutdown. But among Republicans, 59 to 33 say yes to the wall.
DANA PERINO, HOST: Right. But also -- I would imagine that 60 percent of Democrats say --
WILLIAMS: Oh, it's more than that.
PERINO: I mean, it's the same, so it's quite partisan. I thought that the language that Ted Cruz used earlier today was interesting. I think you'll hear more of it coming from Republicans that the Democrats are extreme and they're partisan. And that the president is the one is the one who is middle-of-the-road on this and commonsensical.
Some of them pointing back to February, though, remember when the president had the cameras in and it was in the cabinet room and it was the most amazing meeting that anyone ever seen? That deal at the time would have given like $25 billion, plus it had the DACA fix. So, it's like -- we keep going back, like, gosh, maybe that was the deal that they should've had and taken back then. But the Democrats are so dug in on saying no that I've just read that Brian Schatz, the senator from Hawaii, he had left, it's an 11 hour flight to Hawaii.
PERINO: He flew back 11 hours just to vote no. So everyone is quite dug in.
WILLIAMS: You know, Greg, I know that your position is -- you know, things happen, right? But, so Y_"
GREG GUTFELD, HOST: That is my position, Juan. You know my position, things happen. That's the name of my new show on Fox Nation, things happen.
WILLIAMS: Things happen. But, it's not making -- it's a lot making a lot of people on conservative talk radio, the Anne Coulters, the Rush Limbaugh, right? They're like, what are you doing? You can't allow the Democrats to win.
WILLIAMS: What would Greg Gutfeld advise President Trump to do?
GUTFELD: Oh, that's a great question. I would say that --
WATTERS: He's watching.
GUTFELD: I know. You know what? OK, here's -- when I listen to this, I find this to be very foolish. It reminds me -- and I hate to use this -- the Yanny or Laurel thing, remember that?
GUTFELD: So --
WATTERS: It was Bliff.
GUTFELD: Trump has managed to get Democrats to agree that having a strong border is important because whenever they get in the conversation all the Democrats, including you, Juan, have said it, I want a strong border. Everybody is saying this. He gets everyone to say -- then he goes, OK, a wall, they go, no, not a wall.
So, it's actually -- they, actually -- both sides agree, but the Democrats are hung up on language. They're hung up on language because it's the word. It's the word wall. So, might I quote somebody?
GUTFELD: Yes, Scott Adams. Why not adjust the language? If it's a wall or if it's a fence, who cares? Call it a wence, right? That's a Scott Adams --
PERINO: President Trump wants people to call it steel slat.
GUTFELD: Oh, this is amazing to me. Steel slat sounds fantastic to me. That sounds like something pretty cool. You can move it around. But, you know, Democrats will say that this is the wrong way to cut immigration, right, because most of the illegal immigration is overstayed visas, right?
That's like saying I don't like a fork because it won't cut my meat. Well, you have a knife for that. So you have a fork and a knife. So you can have a wall, strong border, and then you can address that other stuff. So the arguments are either emotional, flawed or pigheaded. When it -- everybody wants the same thing, but they won't give in.
WILLIAMS: So, Jedediah, if we do have a shutdown at midnight, you're going to see, I think it's 800,000 federal workers, you know, 47 of them -- percent of them will not even come to work. The rest come to work, they won't be paid until the government reopens.
JEDEDIAH BILA, HOST: At which point, they'll get their back pay.
WILLIAMS: Right. But then you have federal contractors out of work too. The state department says they'll keep doing visas, rest rooms, some of the federal parks are going to be closed. What do you think is going to be the reaction?
BILA: Well, I think from the right, I mean, people got very nervous when they thought he wasn't going to dig his heels in, when he kind of waver for a second and they thought, oh, he said he wouldn't be afraid to shut the government down, now he is afraid. I think he's already done what he needs to do, regardless of how this works out he's now going to be the guy who was willing to go through with a government shutdown to dig his heels ends and say I'm willing to do that partial government shutdown.
He's also proving that he's willing to take on the language and say, this is a Democrat shutdown. He's taking on the language when it comes to what a shutdown actually looks like that it's not this, you know, Armageddon that the left always paints it as. It's so many essential government function still keep working.
I just think it's interesting, I watched Chuck Schumer and he says you're not going to get your wall, as if to the wall is for President Trump. The wall is for the United States of America. It's for our national security. It's to address the humanitarian crisis at the border. These are -- we're talking about resources for border patrol agents. You just had a little girl die crossing in horrific conditions.
So this idea that he's not giving him the money to spite Trump? You're not spiting Trump. You're spiting American citizens and you're spiting all those poor people who are being incentivized to come and cross this border under these horrific conditions.
So I think Democrats should take a minute and really reflect on that. And I know it sounds good to oppose the wall, but think about what you're actually opposing, which is addressing national security and the humanitarian crisis that's happening at the border. So I think he's done a lot what he had to do.
WILLIAMS: So, Jedediah, you are so lucky, it's like Santa delivered for you because you got a Democrat at the table. So I would say to you, hey, Jedediah, I think President Trump said Mexico is going to pay for the wall.
BILA: Yeah. Well, you know, I said like a million times, he should have never been on record saying that because it was highly unlikely that that was going to happen. But, the bottom line is that -- I mean, you have people opening GoFundMe accounts in those countries to say, you know if the government is not going to do it, we're going to do it. That shouldn't be the case. The primary responsibility of the government is to protect its citizens, and that includes border security.
WILLIAMS: OK. So, one final question on this for everybody. So, Jesse laid out a potential end game, a way that the president could get out of it which is to say, look, I really did my best. I have tried with these Democrats. I even went to the point -- I think Jedediah picked up on this Y_"- I'm saying we're going to shut down the government.
So, will Rush Limbaugh, The Drudge Report, Breitbart, will people like that say, you know what, Mr. President, you did your best with those doggone Democrats?
WATTERS: Yeah. I mean, listen, if he goes out loud and does what he can, as much as he can, and you look at Mitch McConnell, or you look at the House Republicans and you say, you know what, they didn't deliver with the two years they have majorities, but even then you still need 60 votes. Still need 60 votes. You've got to nuke it. That's what you've got to do. You've got a nuke option or nothing.
WILLIAMS: Hey, It's Greg (ph). When he starts hammering the table --
GUTFELD: It does wake me up, though. You know, it is -- watching politicians debate over the wall is like watching Dana and I try to get something down from a high shelf, because there is no expertise, right?
And I think that was the mistake at the beginning of this was not introducing expertise into this problem. Instead, it started with a price. It's like, if you're going to renovate your house, you don't say I'm going to spend this. No, you're going to figure out what you want to renovate. Do I need - do I need a table here? Do I need it? And then you come up with a budget. This is -- I was going to say ass backwards. Can I say that?
WILLIAMS: Yeah. Why not?
PERINO: You can say it either way.
GUTFELD: OK. Anyway, I think what we needed is like engineering expertise, somebody that says, OK, this is what -- maybe you have a wall here, maybe you don't have a wall here, and then you come up with it. But instead, we started from the reverse. So that might be a compromise.
WILLIAMS: Well, how about our public relations expert, Ms. Perino, what would you suggest?
PERINO: Well, look, I don't know how it's going to come down. But I do think that there is something that the president and his administration was able to do yesterday that got buried. It didn't get enough attention. It was actually quite impressive, very impressive.
Secretary of -- Department of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, announced that they have reached this deal with Mexico -- basically said to Mexico, they're going to -- basically, house or hold the asylum-seekers. So, if you're a migrant, you come across, you get processed, but then you wait in Mexico, that's a really big deal. And the administration has done lots of different things that are a part of the whole cutlery set --
PERINO: -- right? So there's a spoon, a knife, a fork, the dessert spoon, everything. They've tried to do all --
GUTFELD: That smaller knife.
PERINO: There's a lot of things that they're doing outside of the wall that can either give them some cover with their base, but also to let the American people know, like, they're not just waiting for a $5 billion for steel slots for a wall, they actually -- that's really impressive and she deserves some credit for that. Of course, it got buried because of all the other breaking news.
WILLIAMS: Sure. And also, the Supreme Court had a ruling, Jedediah that said the administration cannot put a cap on the number of people seeking asylum. It was an interesting vote because the chief justice John Roberts voted with the liberals against the administration.
BILA: Right, that is true as well. And I would also say about the dollar value, I think it's interesting there's been a lot of debate about the $5 billion. People needs to remember, he's not just pulling that number out of thin air, I mean, he's talking to border patrol agents. He's talking to people at the border. And they're telling him this is what we need. This is what's insufficient.
So, you know, Chuck Schumer doesn't get to decide what the appropriate amount of money, and, frankly, neither does Donald Trump. He is working with the people on the border. So these numbers exists for a reason because he's getting it from the people who are there trying to process people, trying to get them in buses in these remote areas to other locations, trying to make sure that the proper medical supplies are there, and also trying to contain what's going on. So that number -- there's a reason that that $5 billion, in terms of a monetary value, even exist.
WILLIAMS: By the way, Greg, does he go to Mar-a-Lago if the government shuts down?
GUTFELD: Well, I'll talk to him later. Actually, I'm hitching a ride with him --
WILLIAMS: Is that right?
GUTFELD: Yes, exactly.
WILLIAMS: On his sleigh?
GUTFELD: Actually, I served drinks on the plane.
WILLIAMS: On the sleigh ride. All right, the president's critics lining up to take shots after James Mattis resigns at the Pentagon. Trump response, you've got to stay with us to hear it, that's next on The Five.
PERINO: The resignation of defense secretary James Mattis after the president's decision to withdraw troops from Syria causing some panic among Trump's critics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: If you're worried tonight, you should be.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have America, Mika, in retreat across the globe, and the most extraordinary resignation in modern American history.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am shaken by the resignation of General Mattis.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think maybe this is the first time I've actually been frightened for the country. Frightened, really. In these almost two years.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It just raises the question as to whether or not the president is -- whether the wheels are on over here at the White House.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PERINO: President Trump is pushing back against those who say the troop pullout in Syria will embolden the Islamic state, tweeting, I've done more damage to ISIS than all recent president, not even close, which is true because ISIS started under President Obama. And then, President Trump got them in this place. Here's the thing, Greg, a lot of critics of President Trump have been demanding someone in the administration resigned on principle.
GUTFELD: Right, I get it.
PERINO: And then he resigned on principle, and now they're in a panic.
GUTFELD: I'm amazed that Michael Moore is so distraught that James Mattis is leaving. Who knew he was such a fan of mad dog? But it's like they're all in the most boring sequel of Scream. These networks have become 24- hour hysteria channels. The pauses, the dramatic pauses, you're so phony when you do that.
And could it be -- I mean, could it be that Mattis actually fulfilled the job that he was supposed to do, and now Trump wants somebody else to do a different job? I mean, if you read the letter, Mattis said, we went in there, we did this, we helped bolster the military, we did this. These are all the things that he was supposed to do.
And now, Trump -- I want somebody else. Beside the fact that CNN claims the world has been shaken, but Obama went through three, right? Secretaries -- defense secretaries in less time. I mean, they have shorter period. And I don't remember CNN having, you know, a mental meltdown on TV. Beautiful.
BILA: Then it was just a transition.
GUTFELD: It's a transition.
PERINO: Well, and at the time all of those national -- as I mentioned yesterday, President Obama's national security team all said in their books that they wrote afterwards that they were against what President Obama decided because they had advise something differently on Syria, but they didn't resign.
BILA: I don't think it's so strange to have someone who's working with you toward achieving things and you achieve some stuff together, and then you start to see things differently. And it's really hard when you have someone in a position like that when you talk about national security.
If you want to go this way and he wants to go this way, you can't really work together. So it seems really adult what happened, which, like, they both sat down and said, look, I don't see the future the way you do. I don't want to proceed that way.
PERINO: Apparently, their meeting was -- this is just the reporting, but for 45 minutes, Jesse, so that -- they have, at least, had a discussion. It wasn't like a knockdown drag out.
WATTERS: I'm just upset we're going to lose such a great nickname.
WATTERS: Mad Dog Mattis, man, rest in peace. That nickname one of the best that Trump ever gave. I think Greg's right. I think what happened is Obama pulled out too soon, created ISIS. We had to go in. Trump bombed the hell out of them with Mattis' help. We did the job. Mattis wants to stay a little longer. Hold the allies hands and make sure they won the peace. Trump said no, we get in, we get out, good bye. And Mattis agreed with that. And I think the president deserves to have someone who is his secretary of defense that believes in his philosophy.
With that said, I kind of can see both things. Listen, you don't want to give the Iranians and the Russians free reign over that area, and there's a lot of resources to protect in terms of energy, and you don't want to abandon your allies. But on the other hand, do we really need to be there forever in Syria, spending more blood and treasure with a mission that's really undefined?
Fighting the Kurds with the Kurds, our national security interest, really, what is the point? So, we can come out and then go back in. Happens all the time. Are we going to be surprised if there's more chaos in the Middle East? We're going to have to go back and clean it up? I mean, are we just going to stay there forever? Why don't we just there forever. I think that's what the president is thinking?
PERINO: All right, Juan?
WILLIAMS: Well, I'm surprised that this conversation because what I'm reading is conservatives, Republicans upset with this, and they love Mattis. And you hear people like Mitch McConnell saying he is greatly distressed. Ben Sasse, a senator from Nebraska, said this is a very sad day for America when you have a real military hero, someone with great respect at the Pentagon, pushed out on principle.
And the principle -- and I think that's the distinguishing feature here. Yeah, you have people moved-on on administrations, but he sent a letter that indicated that American alliances are important in the post-World War II era and continue to be important. And that we should be battling ISIS on the ground and preventing them come attacking us here at home. So, if you're asking, Jesse, what is the purpose, why are we there? Gee --
WATTERS: You're making the exact argument that Republicans made to stay and win the peace in Iraq.
WATTERS: But Obama went out and pulled out all the troops and let ISIS take over.
WILLIAMS: Are you kidding me?
BILA: It's also a lot of people who are very hawkish, who are Republicans, who are very hawkish are worried that now he's going to be retreating --
PERINO: I think it comes out -- I think there're criticism comes out of a place of concern and of support for the president. Not the panic that you saw in the montage.
GUTFELD: I do think it's something about -- an achievement of one priority and now it's moving on to another one that may be we're aren't sure about. I think there is -- you should have a concern about the resurgence of ISIS, or the emergence of something worse. We should always be thinking about that. But I think -- and I said this yesterday, Donald Trump's head is always going to be in that space because this is a guy who not only wanted to kill terrorists, but he wanted to kill their families.
So I think that this is not somebody that would say, OK, I'm going to sacrifice the safety of a country, you know, on a whim. I think to Jesse's point, you can go back in, you can go back out, it's 2,000 troops, this is not a huge deal. Mattis performed an amazing job, but now Trump wants a different guy for a different job.
BILA: And also, people read into that letter and psychoanalyze. The first time I read that letter, I thought it was a respectful tribute. Mattis was laying out his views. Then I notice people started digging into it. Oh, he's spiting and digging at Trump.
And then, I looked at it from that perspective and I've said, wow, people are really going out of their way to look for something where this was a guy who couldn't stand Trump. May be it's just two guys who see a different agenda, and a different world view, and a different way of moving forward in the next few years.
WILLIAMS: Do you know what's interesting here? The Russians congratulated --
GUTFELD: I mean that's the left -- that's the other argument. Oh, the Russians, it's like, you know, this isn't about the Russians.
WILLIAMS: Yeah, what about the Kurds who are our allies? What about --
GUTFELD: OK, then go to the next step.
WILLIAMS: What about the American allies in the Middle East?
GUTFELD: Go to the next step then. Don't just say that. Just say -- OK, what about them.
GUTFELD: What the next step is saying what about them. If something were to happen, we'll be there.
GUTFELD: That's what you say.
WILLIAMS: OK. That's a big --
PERINO: More of the border battle raging on Capitol Hill, up next.
BILA: This is a Fox News alert, negotiations underway on a potential deal to avoid a partial government shutdown. Let's go to John Roberts with the latest.
JOHN ROBERTS, CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Jedediah, good afternoon to you. This is going to be announced on the Senate floor just a couple of minutes by Senator Mitch McConnell. But what we understand happened earlier today, this is where the vice president and Mick Mulvaney and Jared Kushner were also involved is if there was an agreement that was made between the majority leader Senator McConnell, minority leader Senator Schumer, and senators Corker and Flake, that they would not vote to table the bill, which means that they would a vote to allow the bill spending before the Senate to come to the floor.
Now, Flake had said that he was going to vote against it, so that's a change for Flake. So that should give them enough votes to get on the bill, as they say in the Senate, and then once you get on the bill and you start debating it, you can begin to offer amendments.
And here's where the potential deal could come in. As long as the Senate starts to consider this bill, you can start to change the dollar amount and the allocation of those dollar amounts in the bill. Now the bill that came out of the House last night was $5.7 billion for border security, including wall construction.
Now, if the Senate starts to consider it, you can pair that money back to maybe where it was earlier in the week at $1.6 billion. There was a billion-dollar slush fund in there for the president to use as he sees fit. That was giving Chuck Schumer fits, so that's when they got rid of that bill and went to this short-term C.R. which would go until February the 8th.
So there's a chance here that they can reopen that negotiation and that consideration that you give the president a smaller dollar figure, get it back to where it was earlier in the week, about $1.6 billion, the Senate passes that, you get it over to the House, the House then reconciles and syncs up with the Senate bill.
You give the president a bill that says here's $1.6 billion, will you sign it? If they can get that all done before midnight tonight that would be a feat. It's going to be late night, there's no question about that.
But here's the other thing. This is where you might run into some problems, is when you offer up an amendment to pare back the $5.7 billion, you can start writing into it, "Well, this money can only be used for a certain type of barrier."
The president tweeted out just a short time ago a picture of a steel-slat barrier which looks an awful lot like the palisades in old pioneer forts. And there you have them. You take a look at some pictures online of For Vancouver? It looks exactly the same, except that the forts were made out of wood. Let's see if we can put this together. They've only got six and a half hours to do it. It's going to be a real challenge, no question -- Jedediah.
BILA: Thanks, John, so much. We'll keep our eyes on this for sure. Appreciate the update.
All right, guys, what do you think about this? Now they're saying that $1.6 billion, Jesse? That still seems like something that's kind of low, considering what Trump is looking for. Do you think they're going to be able to come together on this? And even if they can't adjust the numbers, I mean, there's not a lot of time here.
WATTERS: Yes, I mean, we're running out of time. But I mean, what was that? I mean, was that a development? I mean, that was probably the most horribly -- was that -- what was that? Honestly!
The only thing that was interesting about that is I like the new wall. If you have these things like that, do you know how much cheaper that is than a $25 billion thing that they did with the prototype? You don't have -- the Border Patrol loves this, because you can see through the other side. It doesn't have to be as thick. It doesn't have to go as low under the ground. It doesn't have to go at an angle. That's actually a cheaper way to do the wall. And if we can do that with 1.6, then I think the president signs it and says done.
BILA: You think so?
BILA: See, I don't -- and Juan, you know what I always think about when I think about this is whenever they say McConnell, Schumer, a lot of conservatives really don't have a lot of faith in Mitch McConnell to go in there and --
PERINO: Oh, my gosh.
BILA: It's true, though!
PERINO: Well, I know, but OK, so if you look at President Trump's successes --
PERINO: -- especially on judges, who has done all that? McConnell.
But I do think that this is a way to get back into fighting the establishment because they're -- he's not good enough. I mean, part of it is that, you know, they actually -- they were able to win back seats. I mean, President Trump and McConnell are actually a very good team.
This thing about the money should have been done a long time ago ago. The House could have passed it before. They had a $25 billion thing last February. The president decided not to sign it.
BILA: I agree with you, but that is the argument that comes out from a lot of conservative circles.
PERINO: I just feel like Mitch McConnell is like -- he's like the punching bag for everybody when it's like he's actually working his tail off for President Trump and actually giving up a lot of wins that President Trump can turn around and say, "Look at all the things I accomplished, that I promised in my campaign, that I was able to do.
BILA: I guess somebody has to be the punching bag, right?
GUTFELD: Juan knows.
WILLIAMS: I'm amazed -- yes. This is Rock-em, sock-em robots. And you're socking me, Greg.
But you know, to me, when you think about conservative talk radio, which is what made the president switch over and decide he's got to have this shutdown earlier in the week, I'm not sure they're going to buy it.
You know, when I was watching Jesse when he was listening to John Roberts, and he was like, is there going to be a wall or not a wall? Well, I don't think there's going to be a wall. And I don't think it's going to be the pictures either, Jesse. I think that basically, this is a save face maneuver by Republicans trying to find a way to help the president --
WILLIAMS: -- avoid getting slammed.
WATTERS: It looks like they're going to come out and say we got a little bit more funding for --
WATTERS: -- border security and maybe there's a way, in that funding, to find something that you can create a barrier, not the prototype, but more barriers and fencing.
WILLIAMS: Yes. This is weak.
WATTERS: I'm just saying, that looks like the strategy.
BILA: What do you think Republicans would have to do, though, Greg, to make Democrats happy and vice versa? Like, how do you actually create -- these two rooms of issues see this issue so fundamentally differently. What do you do? Is it a dollar value that you have to meet? Is it a promise of future reform? What is the sticking point here?
GUTFELD: I have no idea, because it's actually about Trump, right? And I mean, building a wall ticks off a lot of people. Pulling out of Syria ticks off a bunch of different people. Then he breezes in and does criminal justice reform, and which no side could do. And then he bans bump stocks, which should piss off a lot of other people. That was something that the media was screaming about, but when he does it, you don't hear about it.
So all of these things are -- they do not fit into an ideological set. Right? They're all over the place. Because he has a vision that is untethered to ideology.
So it's not about him. But one more point. One more point. Because Juan brings up talk radio. And it seems like, you know, or let's say FOX News. That Donald Trump hears something on FOX News or hears something on talk radio, and that influences opinion.
You could argue that, in a way, what he does -- and I believe this as somebody who sits here and tries to think about the audience, that what he's getting a signal from is what do Americans want. And he gets that from talk radio. He gets it from FOX News. We represent millions of people. So it's not like, "Oh, I heard Ann Coulter say this," or "I heard Jesse say this," or "I heard Tucker said this." It's more like that -- they have their finger on the pulse of America.
WILLIAMS: But it's America, the polls are clear! Americans don't want this wall.
WATTERS: Not true, Juan.
WILLIAMS: Oh, please.
WATTERS: The American people support border security, and they don't want troops in Syria forever.
BILA: We're going to let them keep duking it out. Don't go anywhere. "The Five" continues next.
WATTERS: Fox News alert. The clock is ticking to avoid a partial government shutdown. Sources telling FOX News negotiations are underway on a potential deal to avoid it. The standoff over keeping the government open not the only drama playing out on Capitol Hill.
During a hearing with DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez invoking a religion to attack Trump's immigration policies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ, D-ILL.: But it is repugnant to me and astonishing to me that during Christmas, a time in which we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, a Jesus Christ who had to flee for his life with Mary and Joseph. Thank God there wasn't a wall that stopped him from seeking refuge in Egypt. And thank God there wasn't an administration like this, or he would have, too, have perished.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATTERS: He -- that guy has got a lot of charisma. I think you can -- you can give him that. All right. So the Congressman lecturing Nielsen for six minutes -- six minutes -- and then he walked out when she responded. Greg, I mean, that guy, that guy has got it.
GUTFELD: I would've liked to have seen the rest of it. And he didn't listen to her?
WATTERS: That's rude.
GUTFELD: That's garbage. And now I guess the left loves Christmas? All of a sudden, they embrace Christmas?
Yes, here's the deal. The -- something like border security, something like Syria, these are stories that -- these are issues that should be handled without emotion, because that's how you make decisions in life. You don't tackle a math problem with emotion.
WILLIAMS: Oh, yes. How about this? "They have diseases"? "It's an invasion of America"? "Oh, boy, they're coming across"? "They're coming - - oh, my God. These people are terrible"?
GUTFELD: A weak border -- a weak border --
WILLIAMS: "Rapists and thieves"?
GUTFELD: A weak border is actually something that you can deal rationally with. When a country is allowing criminals to come over, you can deal with that rationally. You're tackling it as an emotional thing, the same way he is; and what that does is that makes it hard to debate it. And he knows that.
WILLIAMS: But what I was saying to you was that was Trump's -- this is Trump's language about it. It was highly emotional, polarizing, and intended to stir his base, both during 2016 and during the midterm.
WATTERS: Did Trump bring Jesus into the border debate?
WILLIAMS: I don't think so. I don't think he goes to church much.
WATTERS: Oh, Juan.
WILLIAMS: But you asked me the question. I answered it to you.
WATTERS: Not very nice. He's extremely devout!
WILLIAMS: OK. All right.
WATERS: He said the Bible is the best book besides "The Art of the Deal."
BILA: I think --
GUTFELD: They're both ghost-written.
WILLIAMS: How about "Rising Watters"?
WATTERS: When you inject -- coming soon. When you inject Jesus into a political debate --
PERINO: Oh, yes.
WATTERS: -- doesn't that usually mean you've kind of lost the argument?
GUTFELD: Republicans never do that, by the way.
WATTERS: Never! Especially Rick Santorum.
WILLIAMS: I give you points. Honest man.
BILA: Rick Santorum. I hate when they do it on both sides.
WATTERS: No, but I mean on something that has nothing to do with faith or culture. It has something to do with --
BILA: Yes. Right, it's twisted, contorted.
WATTERS: -- policy.
WILLIAMS: Keep stretching, Jesse.
BILA: Right. I think -- listen, I think you're right, though. I do. I think both sides do it not only with religion, but they -- everybody's talking to the camera, is the problem. He's talking to the camera. Spartacus is talking to the camera. Everybody now, it's less about solving the problems and more about whether you can sell your argument and who you can demonize to media, to people at their -- we're going to pick up on the story and paint them. Everybody wants to be a television star.
And that's why nothing gets solved, because he's more interested in how many clicks he's going to get for making that ridiculous comment about Jesus --
WATTERS: You know what? He got on "The Five."
BILA: -- than about solving it. And he did. And we're talking about him.
WATTERS: Congrats, Luis.
PERINO: Luis, who is retiring. Not coming back. So that was -- maybe that was his last comment to make.
WATTERS: That was it?
WILLIAMS: Swan song.
PERINO: That was it.
BILA: That was the final -- final word.
WATTERS: Went out with a bang, Luis. Well done.
Stay right there. "Fan Mail Friday" with Mr. Gutfeld --
WATTERS: -- up next.
GUTFELD: Mr. Gutfeld? What are you --
GUTFELD: Can you guess what kind of music that is?
GUTFELD: It's on-hold music.
GUTFELD: Yes, on-hold music.
WATTERS: I like that music.
GUTFELD: Yes. All right. "Fan Mail Friday." First question: "When someone cuts in line that you've been waiting in, do you confront or just let it go?" Dana. I think you confront.
PERINO: It sort of depends on my mood. Like, I might just give one of these, like, "Excuse me."
And then they're like, "Oh, so sorry."
Other times I just let it go.
GUTFELD: What about you, jessie?
WATTERS: I'm usually the cutter.
WILLIAMS: How did I know that?
WATTERS: I'm the illegal immigrant. Cut the whole line.
WILLIAMS: Yes, yes.
GUTFELD: I -- what do you do, Juan?
WILLIAMS: I just stew about it, because the thing is, people recognize me, so if I do anything --
PERINO: Yes, that's true.
BILA: The write-up. Yes, right.
WILLIAMS: So if Delise -- if my wife is there, they can forget. They're going to get an ear full.
GUTFELD: Yes, yes, yes.
BILA: Yes, I let it go, but I fester inside.
BILA: And then I make sounds. Like --
GUTFELD: (GRUNTS) The passive-aggressive?
GUTFELD: You know what? I'll be honest. It depends the size. If I think I can take that person, I'm going to say something. That narrows it down to about three people in New York.
BILA: I thought you meant the size of the line.
GUTFELD: The size of the line -- no, but if somebody cuts in front --
PERINO: That's true. That's true.
GUTFELD: -- you've got to make sure that they're not on drugs, they're not violent.
BILA: That's true.
PERINO: You know, there's line karma. So, like, a line bank. So, like, if you let somebody -- Oh, please. Go ahead.
PERINO: Then when you need to cut in line, they might just let -- that might happen to you.
WATTERS: That's what you think, Dana.
GUTFELD: Yes, I get very obnoxious.
WATTERS: Nice guys finish last.
GUTFELD: If you can imagine me being obnoxious. I do get obnoxious.
Here's another one. This is from @YouShallAlwaysBeSavvy. Interesting name. This is a great question, and I'm going to go to Jesse first. "Name one person that you think is smarter than you."
WATTERS: How long do we have? I'm going to go with Jordan Peterson. Because I heard him speak in front of me. I had to follow this guy. And wow, what a difference in style Jordan and I have.
GUTFELD: That's like following "War and Peace" with "Highlights."
WATTERS: Oh, man. He was good, though. He was pretty good. Very smart man.
PERINO: This is a compliment to you.
WATTERS: I didn't take it that way. I love "Highlights"!
GUTFELD: Yes, you are -- I don't know if you're Goofus or Gallant. I think you're Goofus.
WATTERS: I don't know what you're talking about.
GUTFELD: Oh, my God.
WATTERS: I watch "SportsCenter."
GUTFELD: All right. Name one person, Jedediah, smarter than you.
BILA: There are many, but Thomas Sowell comes to mind.
GUTFELD: That's a good one. Really good.
BILA: He is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.
WILLIAMS: Yes, he's really smart.
GUTFELD: Yes, yes, yes. How about you, Juan?
WILLIAMS: Barack Obama.
GUTFELD: Do you think he's smarter than you?
WILLIAMS: He's really smart.
WATTERS: You know what, Juan? Don't sell yourself short.
GUTFELD: I disagree.
PERINO: My husband, Peter.
PERINO: By far.
GUTFELD: Very good. Very good.
You know who I'm going to say.
GUTFELD: "Dilbert," right? He's got a good persuasive mind. Scott Adams. I'll put him -- I'll say he's smarter than me.
All right. From @FrenchiFirecracker.
WATTERS: Oh, boy. Here we go.
GUTFELD: It's been a while. "If you could build a theme hotel, what would your theme be?" I know what Jedediah is going to say, so I'll go to her first.
BILA: No, you don't.
GUTFELD: Yes, I know exactly what you're going to say.
BILA: You don't, actually. I would say amusement park, so I can play on the rides all night. I'm a big kid.
GUTFELD: I thought it would be, like, an animal theme park.
BILA: Oh, that's better!
GUTFELD: See? I know.
BILA: That's better.
GUTFELD: I know you better than you know yourself.
BILA: You know me better. I've been hanging out with you way too long.
GUTFELD: You can go there with Kyle.
BILA: It could be, like, a petting zoo.
BILA: Kyle and I can travel there together for a field trip. Thank you for the great idea!
GUTFELD: Dana, theme?
PERINO: I think that I would do one where you just go around all night doing good works for other people.
GUTFELD: You know, I have to toss now to Mitch McConnell, because we haven't had enough of politics. Go for it.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, R-KY., MAJORITY LEADER: -- requires 60 votes here in the Senate. It's been clear from the beginning that two things are necessary. Support from enough Senate Democrats to pass the proposal at 60 and a presidential signature.
As a result, the Senate has voted to proceed to legislation before us in order -- in order to preserve maximum flexibility for productive conversation to continue between the White House and our Democratic colleagues.
I hope Senate Democrats will work with the White House on an agreement that can pass both houses of Congress and receive the president's signature. So, colleagues, when in the agreement is reached, it will receive a vote here on the Senate floor.
I move to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to the House amendment to the Senate amendment -- to HR 695.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The motion is pending.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-N.Y., MINORITY LEADER: Mr. President --
MCCONNELL: The Democratic leader.
SCHUMER: As we said to President Trump a week ago, his wall does not have 60 votes here in the Senate, let alone 50 votes. That much is now clear. Democrats have offered three proposals to keep the government open, including a proposal offered by leader McConnell that passed the Senate unanimously only a few days ago. We are willing to continue discussions on those proposals with the leader, the president, the speaker of the House, and the leader of the House. All five are necessary to get something done.
Yield the floor.
SEN. BOB CORKER, R-TENN.: Mr. President.
VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: The senator from Tennessee is recognized.
CORKER: Mr. President, I want to think that two leaders for what they have done today and what they have done to me, even though I know some people tuning in may not understand what just happened. But the understanding that has been reached -- and I want to thank Senator Flake and Senator Johnson and others -- is that we're not voting on anything else in this chamber relative to this issue until a global agreement has been reached between the president and these two leaders, and the leader of the House. So there won't be test votes. Not going to be a tabling vote. And the vice president has been over here with his members negotiating already.
What this does, I think, is push this ahead to a negotiation that yields a result and does the best we can to keep from shutting down governments, or if it does shut down, shutting down very briefly.
So I want to thank the two leaders for agreeing to go forward in this manner. It allows us to move forward in a positive way. And yet it keeps negotiations alive. Only a bill can pass this chamber now that has all of their agreements and I thank them for going forward in this manner.
PENCE: The senator from Arizona.
SEN. JEFF FLAKE, R-ARIZ.: I think that two leaders of this agreement. And the senator from Tennessee, senator from Alabama, Senator Jones and others, who have worked to ensure that the next vote that we have in this chamber will be on an agreement.
As Senator Corker said, not a test about, not a cloture vote. What I wanted to do with not proceeding is to demonstrate that there -- that not all Republicans would be for the House bill either. There is no path forward for the House bill. The only path forward is to a bill that has an agreement between the president and both houses of Congress.
And the next time we vote will be on the agreement, not another test vote. So with that, I yield back.
SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER, R-TENN.: Mr. President?
PENCE: The senator from Tennessee.
ALEXANDER: Mr. President, I ask consent that following my remarks the senator from Delaware, Senator Coons, be recognized.
PENCE: Is there objection? Without objection.
ALEXANDER: Mr. President, I want to thank Senator Corker, Senator Flake, Senator McConnell and Schumer and the leaders for their discussions. The vice president, I thank him for his presence here today.
In my own view, government shutdowns ought not to be a part of budget negotiations any more than chemical weapons should be a part of warfare. And we were elected to make the government run for taxpayers, not to shut it down.
So my hope is that this will put us toward a path for a result and recognize the president's desire for increased border security, which we support, which many Democrats support as well. And we can finish --
GUTFELD: Get out of it.
WILLIAMS: So that's Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, and basically, what they have is a deal now where they say they're going to only negotiate to a final agreement. Not a bunch of back and forth and amendments and all that. They want to just make a deal. So apparently, some progress made, although again, no certainty that they will -- that they can avoid a shutdown at midnight tonight.
GUTFELD: You know what that makes me want to talk about?
WILLIAMS: What's that?
GUTFELD: "One More Things."
PERINO: "One More Thing" is up next.
GUTFELD: "One More Thing." Can we do "One More Things" now, huh? Please, please?
PERINO: Do it.
WILLIAMS: All right.
It's time for "One More Thing." Jesse.
WATTERS: All right. So I was down at Turning Point USA's Student Action Conference. They I am there, really just dazzling the crowd with witticisms. It was a very big crowd, actually. Bigger than some of Trump's.
And afterwards, I went to Mar-a-Lago and met one of my heroes, Rush Limbaugh.
PERINO: I saw that picture.
WATTERS: Talent on loan from God. And do you know what he actually said to me? He said, "Jesse" -- he pulled me aside and said, "You're the best person on FOX News."
And I said, "Really?"
He goes, "You know what? And you're funnier than Gutfeld." He said that to me.
GUTFELD: I believe it.
WATTERS: I didn't make that up.
GUTFELD: Of course not.
WATTERS: All right? He's right 99.9 percent of the time.
WILLIAMS: With half his brain tied behind his back.
WATTERS: That's right.
WILLIAMS: There you go.
WATTERS: All right. And also "Watters' World" this weekend, 8 a.m. You know how we have. Diamond and Silk, a witch, and Carley Shimkus. It's a classic.
GUTFELD: All right. "Greg Gutfeld Show" tomorrow night, brand-new. I've got Dana Perino! Adam Yenser, Kat Timpf and Tyrus. Ten p.m., it's going to be awesome. Lots of fun.
Now it's time for this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GUTFELD: I hate these people!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GUTFELD: Do you know what I hate about New York? You can't have nice things. You can't have a good umbrella, because you put it down, and someone steals it. I had the most fantastic umbrella ever called The Weatherman. I put it down at a restaurant for five minutes. I come back. It's gone. And nobody sees a thing. But you know what? T here's a sensor in the umbrella. There's a sensor in the umbrella. I've just got to figure out how I -- ooh!
WILLIAMS: It's Santa Claus.
(RICK REICHMUTH HANDS NEW WEATHERMAN UMBRELLAS TO THE MEMBERS OF THE PANEL)
RICK REICHMUTH, METEOROLOGIST: I can't stand the complaining of Greg.
WATTERS: Welcome to the club.
REICHMUTH: It's easier just to give you the umbrellas.
PERINO: Is that all you have to do is complain?
REICHMUTH: That's all.
GUTFELD: I e-mailed him in the morning. I told him it was stolen. And -- but I didn't --
WILLIAMS: Rick, you are Santa Claus.
GUTFELD: I got one for my wife, too. This takes care of my Christmas gift for my wife.
REICHMUTH: Hook you up this time.
GUTFELD: I'm going to hook it up. You can hook this thing up, and then nobody can steal it.
WATTERS: They're the best.
WILLIAMS: All right.
REICHMUTH: Thank you.
GUTFELD: Thanks, Rick! My favorite weatherman.
WILLIAMS: All right. So I'm going to go.
'Twas the weekend before Christmas and all through the house, children. Here's a throwback from when my kids were little and they sat with Santa. That's Ray-Ray and Tony.
And now my daughter's a parent. Here's their official family Santa photo. And here's their family Christmas card with my grandson --
WATTERS: That's great.
WILLIAMS: -- taping the twin girls to the wall.
WATTERS: That is good.
WILLIAMS: Naughty, naughty, naughty.
And here they are with wooden soldiers and wreaths. And now the girls, when they bumped into Santa at the mall in Virginia.
And one more Christmas crumb to all you FOX fans. Here's the notorious -- no, we're not going to do that.
GUTFELD: You were going to do something about Bret Baier rapping.
WILLIAMS: Well, Bret had done a thing where he was rapping, but there's so much news today.
GUTFELD: Save it.
WILLIAMS: All right. Jedediah.
BILA: yes, I have a dog that hates the vet. Many of you may have one, too. But I came across a video of a dog who gets super excited to go to the vet. Look at him. Colorado State University Vet Teaching Hospital. His name is Endo. And it's a good contrast to my dog, who bites the vet. She's all of 7 pounds and I can't get her to even be -- there she is, with the vet kind of holding her mouth so that she doesn't get bitten.
BILA: And getting her teeth cleaned.
PERINO: I bet Endo has a brother named Innue.
WATTERS: Innue-Endo. That was really good.
BILA: Well done.
WATTERS: That was good.
PERINO: Thank you.
GUTFELD: That's perverted.
WILLIAMS: That was "Dana's Smart Jokes."
All right. That's it for us. We're going to see you back here on Monday for our Christmas Eve special.
GUTFELD: It's live.
WILLIAMS: We've got a lot of fun in store, so you don't want to miss that one.
And now "Special Report" with Bret Baier, it's up next. Stay with Fox News Channel.
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