This is a rush transcript from "The Fox News Specialists," August 23, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
EBONI K. WILLIAMS, CO-HOST: I'm Eboni K. Williams along with Kat Timpf and Brian Kilmeade. This is "The Fox News Specialists."
President Trump's rhetoric over the last 24 hours might be giving some of you a serious case of whiplash. But this afternoon, the president striking unifying tone during a speech to American veterans in Nevada.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: It is time to heal the wounds that divide us and to seek a new unity based on the common values that unite us. We are one people with one home and one great flag. This is the spirit we need to overcome our challenges. To pursue our common destiny, and to achieve a brighter future for our people. We will win. Watch. We will win.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: Those remarks today getting some different notes compared to his rally last night in Phoenix where he really attacked the mainstream media.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The very dishonest media, those people right up there with all the cameras. And I mean truly dishonest people. In the media and the fake media. They make up stories. They have no sources in many cases. They say a source says there is no such thing. But they don't report the facts. These are really, really dishonest people. And they're bad people. And I really think they don't like our country. I really believe that. The only people giving a platform to these hate groups is the media itself and the fake news. The media can attack me, but where I draw the line is when they attack you, which is what they do. When they attack the decency of our supporters.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: All right, Brian, two very different tones, but also two very different crowds and two very different important moments for the president.
BRIAN KILMEADE, CO-HOST: Yeah. I mean, we've three separate styles of speeches in three days in three different audiences. I think it's good he's busy, he's out there. Seventy seven minutes without a script, which it's pretty -- as anyone sitting at this table knows not easy. He will sometimes make four speeches in one day and change all four speeches, not easy. Shows tremendous amount of confidence. But I think that a lot of people, a lot of his critics, instead of looking at that speech, pivoted to he's not mentally well. I waited to see the analysis, see what they liked and didn't like. Instead they pivoted a whole new direction. We think he's not well enough to hold the job. So I'm pretty astounded by that.
WILLIAMS: Deep into that, I know exactly what you're talking about there. Kat, was your take around both of these two kind of different themes but then different audiences?
TIMPF: Right. Again, like I was mentioning yesterday, he tends to go that way when he's at a rally. Brian, it turns out he didn't really take your stand message advice. But I think I know your favorite part and I'm going to read it to you, and Fox & Friends in the morning, it's the best show and it's the absolute most honest show, and it's the show I watch. That was probably.
KILMEADE: I did not notice. Do we have a Fox News alert? Can we roll that? But he also loves Sean Hannity.
TIMPF: He did also say that. But I'm saying this was probably your favorite part of the speech.
KILMEADE: Right, second favorite.
WILLIAMS: I think you're blushing a little bit, Brian. I like it.
KILMEADE: Make up.
WILLIAMS: We'll meet now today's specialist. He's a syndicated radio host, a former aide to Democratic senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, he's a professional improv comic, but he specializes in national politics, Chris Hahn is here. And he's a broadcaster whose career has expanded over 25 years, also an advisor to the vocational educational and training for service members program, and he's a political analyst, but he specializes in being the cofounder of the Tea Party 365 here in New York City, David Webb is here. So let's kick things off. Almost on cue, the mainstream media went into just full string pandemonium following President Trump's Phoenix rally.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: What a dramatic shift from the somber commander-in- chief the night before. Remember, he called on the whole country to come together in unity, but last night he was angry. He was raw. He was divisive. He was deceptive.
UNINDENTIFIED FEMALE: Abandoning his carefully scripted remarks from a day earlier, Mr. Trump was unrestrained, lashing out in a tirade that started with the call for unity. The president again defending his highly criticized response to the clashes in Charlottesville.
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: It was deeply disturbing and offensive the way he spoke of the media. But what Donald Trump speech is not deeply disturbing and offensive?
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: He's unhinged. It's embarrassing, and I don't mean for us the media because he went after us, but for the country.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
WILLIAMS: OK, Chris. So is this the media taking the bait from President Trump do you think? Because, I mean, as Kat points out accurately, he's talking to his base, right, in this type of rally space. So we can expect that type of tone, that type of texture, that type of energy from the president, so is this a bit of an overreaction from the media?
CHRIS HAHN, SYNDICATED RADIO HOST: You know, I think the media always overreact to just about everything. I know I do sometimes when I'm on the radio because.
KILMEADE: Because of him though, right?
HAHN: Well, you know, look, he is different than anything we've ever seen, right?
HAHN: And this is not necessarily a good kind of different. The country is right now hurting over what happened in Charlottesville. And going to Arizona where there could have been a riot. If it wasn't 106 degrees in Arizona, yesterday, God knows what could've happened there, right? So we have a president going out there and feeding red meat to his base, which, you know, if it was six weeks before an election, perfectly appropriate. He just got elected. He's only been in office for seven months. The nation is in a crisis. He needs to be bringing people together and not fostering divisions which is what he was doing last night.
WILLIAMS: I think I saw a chuckle, David Webb. Your take on it.
DAVID WEBB, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, first of all, I was on Fox & Friends this morning with Brian Kilmeade. So there we go.
WEBB: That's right. You know, Barack Obama never went on the campaign trail. All presidents gone to campaign trail and fire up their base. Let's look at their speeches. The media is going to paint him as angry and divisive. Eugene Robinson, Don Lemon, they're never going to paint an accurate picture. In that clip we've played your people say, well, the night before, the tone on the new southeast strategy, different than the campaign. They're stating the obvious, but take it to the extreme. And the fact is when you look at what he said today, when you look at what he said in phoenix, when he talked the American legion, when he talked to the veterans. Veterans that are suffering in Louisiana where there are long wait lines. Other V.A. issues. In Washington, D.C., our nation's capital, we have a V.A. director.
TIMPF: All presidents do fire up there base, but not all of them called George Stephanopoulos a tiny little man.
TIMPF: So there is a difference.
TIMPF: . acknowledge there's a difference, you may like that?
WEBB: No, I didn't say there wasn't a difference. But here's my point, you don't have a politican which is what we had in the White House before, and that's what I call them. They come out with a politics speech, they make it sound as if it's true.
HAHN: Dave, I love you. David Webb. I want to make this very clear before I do this, right. I love you before I shoot you down here. The president lies even when he quotes himself. Last night he yada-yada over what the biggest controversy was over his speeches. And I say yada-yada.
WEBB: Which one?
HAHN: Because he made me miss Seinfeld because he went late last night. Usually I like him because he used to keep it short.
HAHN: I know and I've seen everyone 25 times. But he yada-yada over the both side, over there's some bind people marching with the white supremacists over his.
WEBB: Actually, Chris, and here is what I will suggest to you and everyone out there. I'll email it to you. I'll actually email you a transcript of what he said when it came to Charlottesville, and you can choose intellectual honesty or you can choose intellectual dishonesty about his words. You can debate the terms he used, but you cannot debate the full context of his speech. By the way, you sit here and you say very comfortably, and you have for years. We've known each other for too long. The president lies. Barack Obama lied. The other presidents have lied. Politicians lied to us every day. Chuck Schumer, who you used to work for, lied continuously. So what are we going to take away from this? I want the actions and policy. And if we can't focus on that, the problem is.
HAHN: Was he comprehensive when he was quoting himself last night? Was he comprehensive?
KILMEADE: He left off the part where he said both sides.
KILMEADE: If I can insert one thing into this, so George Stephanopoulos, for the most part, used to be on a call in a weekly basis with the previous administration when Rahm Emanuel was there. He was doing a new show and he had this insight to administration who's clearly rooting for it. So other politicians for the most part would say, I'm going to sit down with Stephanopoulos, I wonder how I should handle this. You know what Trump says? George, you know, you worked with Bill Clinton. I know exactly where you stand. Hey, you're a little guy. Marco Rubio, you're a little guy. Rand Paul he pulled on the stage.
WEBB: He's a blue-collar guy talking to the American people.
HAHN: He almost does it in a way to label his.
HAHN: But he's the president now.
TIMPF: The criticism that I hear all the time is that the media won't let President Trump talk about his agenda or his policies, which to an extent, a lot of the media isn't fair. However, how does he help himself when he uses his time to say, you know, he begins a speech with this movement was built on love, then halfway through he's talking about George Stephanopoulos.
WILLIAMS: I'm just saying in terms of how does this help him get his message out?
WILLIAMS: Great question, here's the answer. It's about getting the base, which I think the president is very comfortable with, Kat. I think that a lot of people think that at some point he's going to try to grow the base. No, he's not going to grow the base. They got him in the White House. I think he's content with that base. And so that's how it helped him. He sees the narrative -- I'm going to flip Kat's question though on her. And you don't have to be the only one to answer it. It's open to the table. How does the media though, do themselves a favor by constantly I'm going to call it taking the bait. What if they took the approach to listen to the expected tone and the red meat, I agree, that President Trump gave his base in Phoenix, and then said, well, that's about what we can expect from the president and then pivots.
TIMPF: I think they're having fun.
(CROSSTALK) WEBB: I think your point, Brian, and this goes to the narrative that comes out from the left. This was setup. It was planned. It was James Clapper who came out and set it out. That actually, Chuck Schumer picked up part of it and others went out. See, when they don't have a narrative, look at what they've done, Russia, they now have Glenn Simpson testifying behind closed doors for ten hours. They don't know what he said two blocks away.
WEBB: Well, no, here's my point with this. This is what the Democrats are looking at. The Russia, they haven't delivered a thing in ten months. They haven't delivered evidence or an indictment. So right now they need to pivot. So now they need to paint the president as unfit for office. They tried this about six weeks ago.
HAHN: Winter is coming.
KILMEADE: But Chris, I further define it.
KILMEADE: I remember now where this Stephanopoulos thing came from. He gets an interview with Nikki Haley at which time they want to talk about the war in Afghanistan, a serious subject and a serious policy. Something that has pluses and minuses from the best -- worst military mind. He gets one question about that and then tries to get him as to Matt Lauer. Seven different ways on Charlottesville the week before. It looked like an agenda to make the president look bad because they weren't happy, but the speech came off OK. So instead of this president backing up and writing a memoir, he responds the next day in front of 15,000 people.
KILMEADE: That's what people.
HAHN: The country wants to talk about Charlottesville. It's not just the media. I mean, if you go on social media, everybody is still talking about Charlottesville and what the president did about it. What he said about both sides. He has not come clean fully on it. He should apologize to the American people is what he should do.
WEBB: Apologize for what, Chris?
KILMEADE: He wasn't responsible for the wreckage in Charlottesville.
(CROSSTALK) WEBB: Who drove the car?
WILLIAMS: He's not responsible for what occurred in Charlottesville, whatsoever, but he is accountable for his response.
WILLIAMS: . to Charlottesville. And I think that's what a lot.
TIMPF: Most of the majority of Americans were not satisfied with it.
(CROSSTALK) WEBB: You know what the majority of Americans are doing today? They're worried about paying their bills. They're not worried about all the wonkiest stuff that goes on in the media, all of the elitist. They're thinking how do I get the kids through -- back to school?
WEBB: The majority of the country is not going as manic on Charlottesville as the media would like to portray.
WILLIAMS: But David, you host a radio show. You host a radio show. I host a radio show. Well, let me tell you what my listeners are talking about, David. They are concerned with how they're going to eat, how their kids to get to school, and they're concerned that the racial tensions in this moment in the country, as they have been escalating pre-Donald Trump going to the White House, but they feel like they're reaching a fever pitch, and they are concern about that.
WEBB: Where did that begin, 2014, Ferguson.
WILLIAMS: No, it even came before that.
WEBB: No, where did the fever pitch begin? I was in Ferguson for two weeks.
WILLIAMS: We should talk about how it began. But in this moment, David, we have to address where we are.
(CROSSTALK) HAHN: We've got to talk about where we are now. He is the president and the buck stops with him. And he's been passing the buck every day.
KILMEADE: Stop me if I'm wrong. You know the number one thing in this is the statues. I cannot -- every other call is about these statues. We're taking our last look at Christopher Columbus. If we don't start soon, I'm telling you.
WILLIAMS: I hate the conflation of the statue argument, not that you're making it, I think people.
WEBB: We're not conflating it. The mayor of New York is talking about it. The city council.
WEBB: And by the way, are we going to change the name of Columbia University or are we going to change the name of Washington, D.C., district of Columbia?
WILLIAMS: I would love for the people of this country to decide those issues, David, for themselves.
WILLIAMS: We still have enough to talk about here at The Specialist today. Before we go, a quick programming note, you'll love this, Brian, be sure to watch Brian tomorrow on that great program, Fox & Friends. They've got an exclusive interview with Arizona senator Jeff Flake. It should be very interesting to say the least. But up next, President Trump threatens a government shutdown over the border wall. Could the lights soon be going out in D.C.? Stay with us.
TIMPF: Well, it would not be a proper Trump rally without talk of a border wall. Last night in Phoenix, the president added another twist to his long standing pledge.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Build that wall. Now the obstructionist Democrats would like us not to do it, but believe me, we have to close down our government. We're building that wall. Let me be very clear to Democrats in congress who oppose a border wall and stand in the way of border security, you are putting all of America's safety at risk.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TIMPF: Meanwhile, House Speaker Paul Ryan responded to that threat of a shutdown over the border wall this afternoon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN, R-WIS., HOUSE SPEAKER: I don't think a government shutdown is necessary, and I don't think most people want to see a government shutdown, ourselves included. And congress in the house has already done its work on this issue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KILMEADE: They did. They put aside $1.6 billion. They threw it into a spending bill. They gave it to the senate where we'll have an ugly debt. And the senate needs 60 votes to pass it. And yet, I believe that the Democrats would understand that in the most part they need the barrier built up, fencing a wall at some places, but they won't do it because it would be the ultimate victory for the president who they are enjoying not giving legislative victory to.
WILLIAMS: I see it in a different way which is that I agree, there've been Democrats who've gone on record via vote and otherwise to talk about some need for fencing and other parts of shoring up the border, right?
TIMPF: Including Hillary Clinton.
WILLIAMS: Including Hillary Clinton. So what if the president -- I don't know, tried to beat them at their own game? If the game is totally obstruction. Let's take your premise here. And say, you know what, let's come to the table with a comprehensive plan with the goal stated purpose of shoring up the border in a variety of ways and call their bluff. What about that.
KILMEADE: With all about the border, you're saying?
KILMEADE: Because you can't do comprehensive.
WILLIAMS: No, no, no, all about the border.
KILMEADE: All about the border.
TIMPF: Well, David, I mean, this is the kind of thing that President Trump says during his rallies, and people are going to get all fired up. Love the wall. Yeah, we'll shove it up. Does he really mean it?
WEBB: Whether he means it or not, you can go back to 2006 when the appropriations -- where, actually, done the investigation was done and it was written, given to congress. So there're already existing structures to be used within the appropriations process. And if they go back to regular order, they could actually do this in this budget. So everyone talks about the speech. I'm talking about what already exists in law and in appropriations. And they're actually progressing on this. The bad news for the obstructionist is there are a variety of methods that have been brought to the table, they're being reviewed. The White House has already made decisions not letting the EPA get in the way in certain cases where they're going to find a way to block it, that deep state embed of bureaucrats. So I've got bad news.
HAHN: The first rule about winning a government shutdown fight is stop threatening that you're going to shut down the government as the president did last night. Second, we're not going to back to regular order. It's not going to be about the border wall that shutdown. There is going to be a debt ceiling vote in three weeks that's going to fail not because of Democrats but because of your pals in the tea party or whenever they're calling themselves now.
WEBB: You can try the tone, it doesn't work with me. I've been on this game longer than you. So here's how it actually works.
HAHN: You say you're older than me?
WEBB: I don't care and neither do most of the American people if there is a shutdown because it's just like the senate vacation.
HAHN: They will when they don't get their social security checks.
WEBB: That, by the way, doesn't get interrupted. So essential services and those things go forward. It's the typical shutdown is 12 to 17 percent of government may be affected for a low then payback. The American people get the message. So it's great to sit up here and use the tones and try to get across, but the fact is most people are saying get something done. The American people elected Trump, independent.
HAHN: The American people are knocking leadership out of the White House. He did not lead on health care. He will not lead on a border wall. He will not lead on a budget. He will not lead.
KILMEADE: Chris, would you say it's leading to say, listen, I want this wall and if not, I'll shutdown the government.
KILMEADE: You don't like the leader, but he is taking the lead there. Paul Ryan says, well, I don't want that. That's fine. You don't need three people saying the same thing.
HAHN: I think that the senate majority leader would disagree with his tactics. And he needs the senate majority leader more than the senate majority leader needs him.
TIMPF: He's not -- the senate majority leader is not doing a great job of being a senate majority leader.
HAHN: Mitch McConnell is probably had his last straw with the president when he endorsed Flake's opponent.
KILMEADE: He didn't formally endorsed Flake's opponent. He pointed out.
HAHN: Yeah, kind of did. If I was her, I would take it as an endorsement. In fact, I've seen her all over TV saying, I'm so happy the president endorsed me.
WEBB: By the way, Mitch McConnell, 18 percent approval in his state. President Trump, 60. I think in Kentucky.
HAHN: Mitch McConnell is not up in 2020.
KILMEADE: Here is something exceptional. When the president said shutdown, the market dropped 66 points. So they do not want to see a government shutdown. They didn't like that move.
WEBB: But what's the long-term effect of a government shutdown? Very nothing.
(CROSSTALK) HAHN: It's the debt ceiling, that's the bigger problem than the government shutdown.
TIMPF: We've got to go to the next block. We've got to go. We've got to go to the next block. Up next, why is the founder of the firm behind the Trump dossier refusing to identify clients in the senate judiciary committee? And later, ESPN brings political correctness to really an all- time low, pulling a broadcaster just for having the name Robert Lee. How mean. Don't go away.
KILMEADE: All right. The founder of Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm behind the notorious Trump dossier getting grilled on Capitol Hill behind closed doors. It was Glenn Simpson squaring off with the senate judiciary committee's staffers or investigators, and they say it's a ten hour closed-door session that happened yesterday. Now, one of the lingering questions, of course, is who funded this salacious Trump dossier since his lawyer said Simpson answered a lot of questions but he would not give up any client names. So will investigators be able to get to the answers? And if he will not give up the names will he ever get those answers? David, how significant. We have not heard any leaks, really substantive leaks, come out of this meeting. We do know we're not going to hear about the clients yet.
WEBB: We're not going to hear about them yet, but let's see where this goes with the Mueller investigation and the dossier. Glenn Simpson was brought it. He spent ten hours there. He also brought up something else interesting, and this has been leaked out of Washington. Was it a big Republican donor who paid for the dossier? I would suggest people read what Chuck Ross has been doing on the story. He's carried it in the Daily Collar. And right now there's going to be more coming out. Ten hours is a lot to cover. Ten hours, Democrats and Republicans were present. And those clients, well, if they subpoena and start bringing this into part of the prosecution. And Eboni, you're the attorney, then those clients do have to be revealed.
WILLIAMS: I was going to say, yes. He, obviously, necessarily won't have to, but subpoena power is strong, Brian and David. And certainly, that can compel up to the penalty of contempt, and certainly no one is going, I think, risk that. So at some point, those names very well will come out.
HAHN: And he wants the transcripts released. He basically made a statement yesterday, saying, senate committee has my testimony. They have the right to release that transcript. He would like to see it released. I think a lot of people would like to read it. I know I like to read it.
TIMPF: I would assume though that a subpoena would be what it would take. Of course, they're not going to release those names. No one is going to use this service. It's like number one snitching in your business.
WEBB: Right. But it's not lawyer-client privilege and that's what we have to realize here. This is not privilege information. TIMPF: Of course it's not. I'm just saying in terms of their own business.
TIMPF: Don't want to make it even worse.
HAHN: Let's say you're a Republican operatives, and you're an opponent of Donald Trump, and you -- I don't know -- lose. So you have this opposition research.
WEBB: It's gold.
HAHN: And there's only one person that wants it. Hillary Clinton.
WILLIAMS: Price tag. Yes, and price tag.
KILMEADE: Did she get it? Did she get it?
HAHN: Ii don't think so.
KILMEADE: Did she use it?
HAHN: What happened to it?
WILLIAMS: If she used it, she didn't do a very good job.
HAHN: Doesn't seem like she used it, to me.
KILMEADE: The most intriguing thing to come out of this, and the guy that I want to hear from is Christopher Steele. He's the one who actually, evidently had some respect for the MI-5, went into Russia, evidently had some contacts. Other people have poked some holes.
HAHN: I don't think you'd be his favorite broadcaster if you had Christopher Steele on the couch with you.
KILMEADE: Right. I'm just -- to have Christopher Steele tell us what he found out, how he put it together, and what's behind it.
WEBB: Here's what I'd pay close attention to, an ongoing case in the United Kingdom related to this company, to Fusion GPS. What happens, what comes out in the U.K., started about five weeks ago, may well give us an indication -- and it does -- of what's going to come out in the United States.
HAHN: I hope Christopher Steele testifies. I can't wait. It's going to be -- it's going to be the most fantastic -- It's going to be better than the "Game of Thrones" finale next weekend. That's all I've got to say.
WILLIAMS: I'd like to...
WEBB: OK, that's going a bit far.
WILLIAMS: I'd like to take it around the table. And that is, how does everybody feel around closed-door versus open-door testimony? Because we've seen both a lot recently. You could say for a while now in Washington. Which do you prefer? Closed-door or -- I would say you get more from closed-door. But...
WEBB: The advantage to closed-door is the queen for a day principal that you know exists in law. You come in, you're queen for a day. You get a chance to talk. You get a chance without an indictment. Then they make decisions where to go forward, based on what you've given. I like that. But I do want the open testimony on the record after a while. That's what our elected representatives are supposed to do.
KILMEADE: I think Donald Trump -- I'm sorry, go ahead.
TIMPF: I agree. I mean, closed-door, you can -- I was going to say, you can get more. But open, I get more.
HAHN: Right. Right.
TIMPF: And I get to be able to watch it and know what's going on; and I really, really always like that. I prefer that.
KILMEADE: You know what I find fascinating? I'm a closed-door-open-door person. I'll go both ways. But I will say this. Don Trump Jr. is now trying to get behind closed doors, I understand, to do that. What I find fascinating is every time there's an interesting Republican, somebody that could help the Republican, nothing leaks.
KILMEADE: And every time there's a Democrat -- and they're in the minority -- every time there's a Democrat that goes behind closed doors, you might as well put it on a horn.
HAHN: Look, I am all for open-door, but if there's something that's of national security interests, you know, you've got to have it behind closed doors. So if you're doing a behind closed doors thing, and they're giving you stuff that is not classified, that should be released to the public, period.
WEBB: But also consider...
HAHN: There should be a waiting period, but it should be released to the public. The public has a right to know. We live in a republic, not in, you know, some closed-door society.
WEBB: But let's do consider there's an ongoing investigation. So you may not want to compromise anything that the special counsel or the Senate committees are doing.
KILMEADE: Where's the special counsel on this? They should get the first shot at everybody.
HAHN: Oh, he's working.
KILMEADE: The other two -- the other two investigations should take a second...
TIMPF: He's busy. He's busy.
KILMEADE: Why does he get -- why doesn't Mueller get Glenn Simpson.
WILLIAMS: I think everybody's first round should be closed-door and then, if it's not a security risk, then we do open.
WEBB: Then the Democrats will leak it anyway.
KILMEADE: Just not at 5 p.m., because we don't want it infringing on your hour. OK?
WILLIAMS: Thank you.
KILMEADE: We've got to close the door, make sure you're done by five.
Meanwhile, coming up straight ahead, when we return, the most boneheaded PC move of all time done by ESPN. Inexplicable decision to remove one of its broadcasters to Youngstown, Ohio, because his name is Robert Lee, and he's Asian.
TIMPF: Welcome back to "The Fox News Specialists." Our specialists today are Chris Hahn and David Webb. Let's continue the conversation.
What do these two guys have in common? I don't know. I don't really know either of them that well, but they do share a first and last name. The guy on your left is ESPN broadcaster Robert Lee. The guy on your right, Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
Just the mere coincidence of their names so offended the delicate sensibilities of ESPN that it pulled Robert Lee, the broadcaster, from covering an upcoming University of Virginia football game in Charlottesville. Because of course, the mere sound of "Robert Lee" during a discussion about UVA's field goal kicker may trigger a flood of emotions about the Civil War's Confederate statues. Thus, ESPN has at last secured the championship trophy for worldwide leader in PC stupidity.
WILLIAMS: I'd like to take this moment, in all seriousness, and say that this is complete validation of my insistence of using a middle initial. See how important it is? Eboni K. Williams has saved me. So I really want to take a moment to encourage everybody to use that middle initial.
KILMEADE: Unless, of course, it's...
WILLIAMS: It isn't me. I know. It might be. It might be.
HAHN: Can I -- can I just say...
WILLIAMS: The odds are one to 26 that I'm OK.
HAHN: Can I take this moment to congratulate Robert Lee's publicist, who came up with this idea?
TIMPF: I was going to say, he's famous.
HAHN: He's going to be -- he is going to be the most famous sportscaster. It's going to be Joe Buck, Robert Lee. He's going to be doing the Super Bowl by the end of the year. OK? We never heard about him until today. Now everybody's talking about him.
TIMPF: Right. The claim was, ESPN said it was a mutual thing, because they thought, you know, there might be some meme if Robert Lee...
TIMPF: There might be some memes. Oh, the memes! Oh, you know, memes. Come on.
WEBB: Robert -- OK, first of all, we haven't heard from him yet on this. This is a guy who worked hard to become a broadcaster, was promoted. This first game, by the way, a very -- one of those football games, UVA against William and Mary. This is a big game.
But here's the real idiocy...
WEBB: ... versus PC. So Robert Lee, because of his name, is not allowed to be the broadcaster. So ESPN has a problem with an Asian-American broadcaster.
WEBB: Then you've got the -- the further idiocy of the Columbus statues that I mentioned earlier. They're now going...
HAHN: Dave, Robert Lee did this himself. This is Robert Lee doing this. His publicist did this.
WEBB: No, ESPN made the decision.
HAHN: No way.
WEBB: Well, let me finish anyway, Chris.
HAHN: Go ahead.
WEBB: Now we have further idiocy in California in USC, because their mascot, a white horse that gallops across the field with the trojan and the raised sword, is named Traveler with one "L," and General Robert E. Lee's horse was named Traveller with two "L's." So now they're calling for the mascot to be renamed. I'm telling you, the liberal stupidity and the PC has become idiocy.
TIMPF: And Brian, this is my problem. It's because it's gone beyond just, OK, we'll stop doing anything if some person gets offended. Used to be bad enough, one person get offended. Now people are preemptively living their lives with every move.
Someone on the Internet might be offended by this. Someone might blog. Someone might go after me. And they're kind of restraining the way that they would normally live.
KILMEADE: How about this, Kat? People 19, 20 and 21 years old, the University of North Carolina at Duke, are now going to spend their first week of school, instead of finding their books and building lofts in their dorm, they are going to be protesting the existence of Confederate statues, including Robert E. Lee.
HAHN: They should.
WILLIAMS: That's actually not new.
HAHN: They should.
WILLIAMS: Actually, Brian, I went to -- as you know, proud Tarheel. You know, many of us have been protesting Silent Sam and some of those statues for -- I mean, I came out of school 15 years ago. So that's actually not new.
KILMEADE: I would say this, but I'd like to add this. If I was -- if I was insulted by Silent Sam or some -- Fighting Irish of Notre Dame...
WILLIAMS: We were talking about it.
KILMEADE: ... I would say, "Listen, I'm going to be insulted by that." I'd choose another school. Silent Sam is part of the...
HAHN: Robert E. Lee...
KILMEADE: ... of that school. Don't go to the school with Confederate generals.
HAHN: ... committed treason.
WILLIAMS: Stop, stop. I assure you, I did not go to UNC, Chapel Hill because of Silent Sam. That is not true. That is not true.
WILLIAMS: So I just want to make that very clear. That's what you just said, right?
HAHN: Take them down.
KILMEADE: But if a school presents their program to me, and they say, "This is what my campus looks like. This is what I have in my school. This is what I offer," I'll make that -- if they accept me, I'll take that school if I want. I wouldn't go to that school and then try to change it.
WILLIAMS: Let me tell you what I did. They not only accepted me; they gave me a full academic merit scholarship. And what I did, what prepared me to sit at this table with you fine people today, is we had dialogue. We had exchanges. And it was amazing, because it gave me the training wheels to be able to have intellectual discourse with people that sometimes you agree with and sometimes you don't. It's amazing.
WEBB: But what you don't have right now...
HAHN: There you go. Better said than I was.
WEBB: ... this debate, if you want to go and start this process of who gets to decide. I brought this up a week ago on the show. Who gets to decide what statues to remove? Then get rid of Arlington, Virginia, get rid of all these names. Go to colleges. There are so many names tied to the Confederacy. Stonewall Jackson out in Brooklyn, because they were on the base. You've got Hamilton. You know, you've got all these...
WILLIAMS: I'm not suggesting all. I'm not suggesting all.
KILMEADE: Now we can't go to the Roman Colosseum, because it was built by slave labor. Can't go to the Egyptian pyramid.
WEBB: Well, look, Mohammed had slaves.
KILMEADE: Admiral Nelson, there's a huge statue.
HAHN: Here in America, we should not be celebrating people who committed treason on this country and led to the deaths of 600,000 of our countrymen.
WEBB: But Chris -- Chris...
WILLIAMS: At least we should debate it. At least we should debate it.
HAHN: They need not to have statues, right?
WEBB: First of all...
HAHN: There's no statues to losers. There's no Bill Buckner statue in Boston. Why are there statues to the losers who fought -- it's embarrassing.
KILMEADE: He was a great player. He was an excellent player.
HAHN: But there's no statue to him.
WILLIAMS: Too many Daves (ph) on this show. Now you know you stepped on toes.
KILMEADE: ... defensive replacement.
WEBB: You know what? There's a really serious point that needs to be made here, and Chris, it might sound funny...
WEBB: ... but let's have a moment when we actually have an intellectually honest and serious moment about this issue.
WILLIAMS: I think we just had one, by the way.
WEBB: But let's go a little bit further with this. Not only who gets to decide when, but there's something important about history and the history of the world. You mentioned the Romans. You go back to the fact that Romans had slaves; Egyptians had slaves. Mohammed had slaves. Slavery has been going on for the last 150 years, still goes on somewhere in the world.
History is not written in moments. It's written in the evolution of societies.
WEBB: We are not static. Therefore, as a society, we have evolved. By erasing the history, you erase the lessons learned. Or you remove them from public view.
HAHN: No. Taking down the statues of racists.
WILLIAMS: Can I say, I'm not in favor of the removal of all these statutes whatsoever. I'm in favor of the discussion.
WEBB: The problem is we're not having the discussion, to Kat's point about preemptive thinking. Oh, come on. Traveler at USC?
WILLIAMS: I'm not talking about that.
HAHN: I know...
WEBB: I think it was Will Rogers' horse. OK? Let's go with that.
TIMPF: Well, there's no word on whether or not anyone is protesting outside of the home of Robert Lee's parents for giving him that name.
Coming up, excerpts from Hillary Clinton's upcoming book get released, and they're chock full of low blows to President Trump. Don't go away.
TIMPF: Yes. Very shocking news.
TIMPF: Excerpts from Hillary Clinton's memoir, "What Happened?," getting leaked to the media today that include audio clips from Hillary actually reading from the book. She takes some very personal shots at President Trump over her experience during the debates.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, D-FORMER PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: It was incredibly uncomfortable. He was literally breathing down my neck. My skin crawled. It was one of those moments where you wish you could hit pause and ask everyone watching, "Well, what would you do? Do you stay calm, keep smiling, carry on as if he weren't repeatedly invading your space? Or do you turn, look him in the eye and say loudly and clearly, 'Back up, you creep'?"
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAMS: OK, strong words from Mrs. Clinton. David, your response?
WEBB: I would have bought her a piece of chalk so she could have a safe space. You got on the main stage. You wanted to be crowned queen of the Democrat Party. Your party put the tip -- their finger on the scale, the party leadership, against your opponent, Bernie Sanders. And now she needs a new narrator.
Look, Hillary Clinton is writing a second book that will basically not be bought by any but her base. She's rewriting her story to tell her side of the story. Some will buy it; some will not. But in large part, I think it's time for the Clintons and the Clintons to leave the stage and take the '90s with them.
HAHN: Well, first David...
WILLIAMS: I agree.
HAHN: It's the Democratic Party. Your war on grammar always gets me. OK? I don't understand it. So look...
WEBB: Actually, it's legally called the Democratic Party.
HAHN: It's the Democratic Party. I've been there, OK?
WEBB: It's the Democrat Party.
HAHN: It is -- it is unreal to me that people would be offended by her book. Yes, he did look like he was stalking her. Everybody talked about it. I talked about it. You talked about it.
But that said, I agree with you on one thing. It is time for the Democratic Party to move on from the Clintons.
HAHN: And it is time -- happy that this book is coming out now and not during the 2018 election or the 2020 election. Because it can't be about them anymore. It's time for us to move on to new leadership. People like Cheryl Samburg or John Hickenloop or people like that who might lead the Democratic Party in the next...
WEBB: I didn't know you were an adjective, but it's nice to know.
KILMEADE: I would say this. I'm pretty amazed that we're still interested in this. I thought "Shattered" told the story.
KILMEADE: It was supposed to be an homage to the run of the first woman to become president. But she still doesn't even sound natural on her own audiobook.
WEBB: I know. She needs...
TIMPF: I got a little sleepy.
HAHN: She was a bad narrator. She would have been a great president. But it's time to move on.
TIMPF: What I don't understand is she's still doing the same thing where she thinks everyone wants to hear so much about why other people -- he was mean to me; he was mean to me. You really can't run a campaign or live your life like that. You can't.
WEBB: Somebody did ask her to write a book and pay her a lot of money to do it.
TIMPF: A kid running for student council wouldn't run a campaign like that, because other kids would make fun of them and throw pencils at them.
HAHN: What's she going to do? Someone paid her to write a book.
WEBB: What's the return on investment on the millions they gave her?
KILMEADE: Remember Al Gore? Remember walking by George Bush? He was talking, he goes, "Hi." That's what he does. That's part of the intimidation. How much do you want to be president?
WILLIAMS: I would say this. There's another book that comes out the same day as Mrs. Clinton's. And in it, there's an interview with Frank Luntz, a colleague and friend of many of ours. And I asked him specifically about this dynamic of when a woman is running for this type of office and her opponent is a man, what's appropriate and all that. And I thought Frank gave really candid advice, which is you know, he can approach it like you're saying, Brian, you know, kind of the intimidation, which I think is, by the way, fair game.
WEBB: Political intimidation is part of the game.
WILLIAMS: It's a fair thing, absolutely. Or -- Barack Obama struggled with it. You know, he didn't know where the line was either. You know, are you being too mean, are you not being nice?
We talked about that infamous line of when, I think Barack Obama thought he was being funny when he said, "You know, you're nice enough." And many people felt that that was inappropriate.
WEBB: Or when Bill Clinton said he would have been bringing us coffee.
WILLIAMS: New Hampshire. Yes. So we talked a lot about that. Because I think it's difficult to gauge what's appropriate, what's too much, what's crowding and what's really fair game. And you're just stepping into the arena as an equal, politically and otherwise.
WEBB: By the way, there is not...
KILMEADE: If you want to keep an eye on a woman, Governor Haley. That -- look for her to emerge. You have to...
HAHN: I agree. I think that she is probably the rising star in the Republican Party.
WILLIAMS: A hundred percent.
HAHN: She's probably going to rise in this administration. I wouldn't be surprised if she's on the ticket in 2020. I know a lot of people don't like to hear that, but I think that she -- I think that she is a rising star. I think she's done well for herself in this administration, in the administration has been very hard for people to do well from the South, she shines.
WILLIAMS: She does very well.
KILMEADE: Considering she supported Marco Rubio. She was pushing Marco Rubio. Now she's a...
TIMPF: Not only that. She did hit Trump quite a bit. A lot.
KILMEADE: He gets over that.
WEBB: Amazingly he still hired her amongst all these other women that are in the administration. Funny how that works. Politics, to Eboni's point, is a full-contact sport. If you want to get in the arena, don't run as a man or as a woman. Run as a candidate. Go for it if you win. There's no second place. Either you win or you lose.
KILMEADE: By the way, there's no way they'll ever have Donald Trump without Mike Pence. They're inseparable, get along.
WEBB: It was a great decision to team the two up. It really brought the wing together.
HAHN: Don't be so sure about that. Don't be so sure about that.
KILMEADE: You have an in source?
HAHN: I think -- I think that there's always -- you know, this president doesn't like people who get ahead of him. Right? Look what happened to Steve Bannon. And at times, there've been a lot of people on the right saying, "We would really like to have that Mike Pence."
WILLIAMS: This feels very "House of Cards" to me.
WEBB: It feels like Chris projected.
HAHN: I feel that guy is -- the president doesn't have to ask anybody who's going to be his vice president.
KILMEADE: If there's anyone trustworthy in the administration, it's Mike Pence.
WILLIAMS: We've got to now say goodbye to our specialists.
HAHN: Get ready, baby.
WILLIAMS: OK. David Webb and Chris Hahn, thank you both so much for joining us.
But up next, "Wait, What?" Stay with us.
KILMEADE: Now, it's time for our last segment of the day, unless Bret Baier overslept. We'll have to go a little longer. It's time for...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Wait, What?"
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KILMEADE: Yes, and I'm going to start. Here's the way, Eboni and Kat, we could find out if Donald Trump gets a 53rd senator in the Senate. It turns out Bob Menendez is under indictment. He's going to be on trial on 14 separate felony counts for these corruption charges. A very tough judge is going to be trying him. If something happens and Menendez is forced out, the Democrat from New Jersey, guess who gets to appoint the next senator? A Republican governor named Chris Christie
WILLIAMS: Chris Christie.
KILMEADE: And that's how No. 53 could come in for No. 45.
WILLIAMS: "House of Cards," baby. I love it.
All right, mine up. OK, so we've got these lovely devices, all three of us with our phones on set all day. So there are restaurants, you guys, offering 20 percent discounts if you agree to, while you're eating in their restaurant, put your phone in a basket and just engage with the person at the table.
KILMEADE: I love this.
WILLIAMS: So you would opt into the 20 percent discount?
KILMEADE: I would do that. I'd put it towards the tip for the waiter or waitress.
WILLIAMS: Would you opt into it, Kat?
KILMEADE: Would you need to text?
TIMPF: Basket of phones? Wouldn't germs spread that way?
WILLIAMS: That's really the most important point.
TIMPF: I'm always thinking about germs spreading.
KILMEADE: Zig when you zag.
TIMPF: All right. Well, we're talking a lot about statues. There's a petition to -- and the name of the petition of "Replace Confederate Statues in New Orleans with Statues of Louisiana Hero Britney Spears."
TIMPF: It's got 4,500 signatures right now to literally replace the statues in Louisiana with Britney Spears who, you know, say what you will, but Britney Spears is great. OK?
TIMPF: She's a lucky, she's a star.
WILLIAMS: She is lucky. She is a star.
TIMPF: She cry, cry, cries in her lonely heart.
WILLIAMS: Not toxic. Not toxic.
KILMEADE: Sorry, Andrew Jackson. You're out of luck. What exactly have you accomplished? Britney Spears. Oops, she did it again.
WILLIAMS: That's the best one. Good job.
KILMEADE: All right. Hey, I have bad news. The music's going to come up, it will actually get louder. We're going to take a wide shot, because the show is over. Make sure you follow the show on social media. It is @FNC -- @SpecialistsFNC on Twitter and Facebook. Remember, 5 p.m. will never be the same, because these two are on "The Specialists." Keep it here. Bret's next.
WILLIAMS: That's the truth.
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