The president fires back after the former White House chief strategist criticized the 2016 campaign's treasonous' meeting with Russian operatives; reaction and analysis on 'The Five.'
This is a rush transcript from "The Five," January 3, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, THE FIVE CO-HOST: Hello, everyone. I'm Kimberly Guilfoyle along with Geraldo Rivera, Jesse Watters, Dana Perino and Greg Gutfeld. It's 5:00 in New York City, and this is The Five. Tonight, President Trump fighting back against Steve Bannon saying his former chief White House strategist has, quote, lost his mind. It all comes ahead of the release of a new book in which Bannon is reportedly quoted calling the 2016 Trump Tower-Russia meeting treasonous among other slides. This afternoon, Mr. Trump discrediting his former advisor in a lengthy statement, quote, Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency, when he was fired he not only lost his job, he lost his mind. Steve had very little to do with our historic victory, doesn't represent my base.He's only in it for himself. Steve was rarely in a one-on-one meeting with me and only pretends to have influence to fool a few people with no access and no clue when he helped write phony books. The White House is unfazed by the latest developments. Sarah Sanders says this has no effect on the president, his agenda and his base.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: I don't think it does anything to the president base. The base and the people that supported this president, supported the president and supported his agenda. Those things haven't change. The president still exactly who he was yesterday as he was two-years ago when he started out on the campaign trail. He's agenda hasn't change. He's continuing to fight for it and push for that agenda. And I think the base is extremely excited and happy with the job that this president has done in his first year in office. Look at all he's accomplish. I think they're pretty happy with where he is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GUILFOYLE: OK. So, disruptive, today, to say the least, but this coming out kind of bombshell because the reports have been that Steve Bannon was still in good accord with the White House, and he was in communication with the president, but it seems like this was a direct shot at the president son, that Don Jr. in this book, and you see the president responding like rapid fire.
GREG GUTFELD, THE FIVE CO-HOST: Yeah. This is like one of those -- we've all been there, those summer flings. That intense affair and then they just turns to boiling bunnies. Once it's over everything just gets ugly. You know I read the excerpts and I have to say I don't know how much this actually matters because my take on from all of this is nobody there expected this to happen. And they didn't change who they were.
GUTFELD: Yes. And so, they didn't change who they were. They're the same people. They're not politicians and they're kind of feeling their way. And I'm reading this stuff and I'm going it's still better than Hillary. You have a choice, a businessman who did this as a lark. He did this as a lark, or someone who felt entitled to the job and felt that she didn't have to do much of anything and that she deserves it, then there's the guy who kind of waltz in, surrounded himself with some interesting characters, some that maybe he regrets, but I think we can enjoy all these delicious gossips. But ultimately, this is a hell of an experiment. This is a hell of an experiment, a non-politician who won and surprised everybody including, apparently, himself and his family. And is now doing a damn decent job. I mean, I'm sorry. But we've gone through some of these accomplishment.
GUTFELD: Yesterday. Let's role that tape.
GUTFELD: But you know what I'm saying is he's actually doing better than most politicians could ever hope for. That's kind of interesting. It's an experiment that we're all living through at once. It's kind of unique. It's phenomenal.
GUILFOYLE: OK. In your expectations, he exceeded all expectations of people.
GUTFELD: Look, I would say at Fox News, I was in the top four critics of Trump, because I didn't know what to expect.
GERALDO RIVERA, THE FIVE CO-HOST: That's relative.
GUTFELD: Yeah, it is relative. A lot of them are gone now.
GUTFELD: My point is given what we know about back then and what we're seeing now, who cares about that?
GUILFOYLE: OK. Dana, what's your take.
DANA PERINO, THE FIVE CO-HOST: A different perspective of dealing with books in Washington, especially when you work for a sitting president. If you think about George Stephanopoulos when his book came out during the Clinton administration, it was a really big deal. And he was basically cut off from them for a really long time with advisors like James Carville and Paul Begala, basically saying you are dead to us. Scott McClellan during the Bush administration wrote the book -- I was press secretary at the time.
PERINO: And Scott had hired me. I was super upset about it because I knew Washington loves a story. Americans dig into it. One of the things President Bush called me into the Oval Office and said was, I hear you're upset about this book, but I don't want you to worry about it. And I said, well, can I throw him under the bus first? He said now, I want you to try to forgive him. He said believe me, no one is going to think about this in three weeks. That could be true here except for two things. One I think that is positive for Republicans in the long term and one thing that could be trouble ahead. One is that the severing of ties between President Trump and Steve Bannon is more good it's actually probably good for continued cooperation for the type of accomplishments that Greg was alluding to especially on the legislative side of things, because if you don't have the constant pushing against Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan from Bannon, then you actually allow them to work together and be able to accomplish things.
And you probably don't have to worry about Steve Bannon trying to primary all of those incumbent senators that he wanted to do.
The thing I think that was eye-opening about the excerpt that Greg is referring to that Michael Wolf writes about is that in one of the quotes Steve Bannon talks about that the issue here really isn't anything that has to do in 2016, it was before 2016 and it's about money laundering. And he talked specifically about Jared Kushner. And that to me was the one that I was like, I'd pay attention to that. In the president's statement, he doesn't address any of the claims. He just calls him a staffer, which is a real burn. And I remember Matt Lauer asked President Bush when his book came out, why didn't you write about Scott McClelland in your book? And President Bush said because I didn't think it was relevant. And that's the way that you try to sort of push these things out of the spotlight. This will be a story for a couple days and we'll finally move on. But that piece that I've talked about the money laundering one was eye-opening.
GUILFOYLE: OK. Jesse, I think it's interesting because the president went out of his way to make these statements. That he has past knowledge, information, experience, where he had problems with Bannon, et cetera, and believes some of these things to be occurring in the past when he was there, right? But I know that they still were in communication once Steve Bannon left the White House.
JESSE WATTERS, THE FIVE CO-HOST: Yeah. I'm surprised he didn't say I didn't even know Steve Bannon.
WATTERS: The story is either fake news or it's real, but either way, it helps the president because if it's fake the media shot itself in the foot. And if it's real, then Bannon's weakened and there's going to be no more Roy Moore's. I read the first couple of paragraphs. There's three big lies, Trump didn't want to win, Melania cried when Trump win, and Kellyanne Conway didn't think they were going to win. I know those are all lies. And then, you have Bannon saying that this whole meeting at Trump Tower was treasonous. And then on 60 Minutes, two months ago, he said the collusion thing was a farce. I don't know what to think this guy Wolf has a terrible reputation in his own industry. People say he is a gun for hire. There's a complaint that I think the last book, 12 people came forward and said all of the quotes attributed to me were completely manufactured.
GUILFOYLE: Well, he talked to quite a few people.
WATTERS: Yeah. He talked to a lot of people that he's got a reputation for inventing things out of thin air. With that said, if this stuff is true and Steve Bannon said the president of the United States son is a traitor and it is weak and could crack, and his son-in-law is sleazy, then not only is that incredibly disloyal, it's stupid. And Trump values loyalty almost above everything.
GUILFOYLE: Being a team player.
WATTERS: Being a team player. This is something the Mooch actually previewed when he said what he said supposedly off the record. And so, if this is true, he has no credibility now going into the primaries which I think is going to be good because no one is going to want to give him money, so that could actually help the president, does not have to deal with any of that primary stuff.
GUILFOYLE: OK. Geraldo?
RIVERA: I take it on a very personal level. I think that Dana, In terms of the legislative prospects, very astutely and professionally laid out the impact. I think it will be a positive impact the fact that Bannon is now in exile. But, Et tu, Brute? You talk about treason? Who is the traitor here? Steve Bannon is the traitor, the scum, how dare he. How dare he? I mean, what he did to Donald Trump Jr., I mean, that's one thing. I think that the best defense for Donald Trump Jr. in that infamous meeting at the White House, not being nefarious, is that he was so naive there was no lawyer there. So inexperience, he's so overeager, overenthusiastic. To me, that's his best defense for Donald Jr. that he didn't intend to collude with Russians in any way that was illegal anyway. He wanted to get whatever information he could get. Who wouldn't take that meeting? He was thinking in those days.
GUILFOYLE: Do you believe he said these things?
RIVERA: To me, the worst thing that Steve Bannon did in this whole episode is to suggest very strongly that Donald Trump Jr. is sitting in that Trump Tower a couple blocks from here surrounded by these commies, and then after the meeting Donald Jr. says there was zero possibility he didn't take these Russians up to see his father. The Washington Post, the New York Times, every investigative reporter in this nation has been striving to connect Donald Trump with that meeting with the Russians and has failed to do so. So now, here's Steve Bannon suggesting you can take it to the bank. Zero possibility it did not happen. To me, that is -- and this is the guy who was his best friend for at least those few months?
GUILFOYLE: Well, his strategist and coming onboard. So, yeah, that's why. When Jesse, when you mentioned that, saying it's disconcerting because somebody was supposed to be on the same team with the president, very loyal, advising him, trying to transform American politics and the forgotten men and women across the country, you don't do it by making these kind of very strong statements and taking a swipe and trying to take out the president son and the family and, essentially, the president himself.
WATTERS: And he's given the left and the media a weapon to then hurt the president with, because a lot of these same people have said for a whole year that Steve Bannon is this horrible person, he's this racist, he's this propagandist. And now they're taking him for what he said and using -- now all of a sudden he's a truth teller, and they're using this against the president to hurt them. You know, it's just sad, the whole thing is sad and he didn't need to happen.
RIVERA: One quick point. Greg suggests that President Trump did this on a lark. I've known him a long time. He started telling me he was going to be president of the United States in 1998, 1999, 2000. He's going to run as reform party candidate. He wanted to be president more than he wanted to make money.
GUTFELD: But I think -- I mean, I believe that he had doubts, the way everybody had doubts towards the end. So I'd buy into the idea that everybody was surprised. As for Bannon, I believe he hated the family because the family provided insulation from Bannon. Those were the only people that were in his way because I think Bannon saw Trump as a vessel for his own disruptive principles and agenda. He wanted to disrupt.
GUILFOYLE: He didn't like the globalist tendencies.
GUTFELD: Bannon is a radical. He's a radical. He wants to disrupt. He doesn't have mild opinions. Every opinion is the extreme opinion. So, you know, look, Ivanka would despise somebody like Roy Moore. Who embraced Roy Moore? Bannon. So that's the difference and that's what you're seeing.
RIVERA: And she could run circles around him intellectually, so please.
GUILFOYLE: All right. We're going to see where this goes from here. Let's see. Check your twitter account. Ahead, that nuclear tweet from President Trump hits fake news awards tease and much more when The Five returns. Stay with us.
PERINO: Kim Jong Un threatens to nuke America, our president respond with a threat of his own and critics explode. You may have seen the tweets, Mr. Trump warning I too have a nuclear button but it is much bigger and more powerful one that his, and my button works. It caused another eruption from the president's critics, watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN HEILEMANN, MSNBC: He's not merely being cavalier with a threat about nuclear war. He's being cavalier in a way that makes him seem demented and deranged.
JOHN AVLON, CNN: This is language that would have been rejected from the script of Dr. Strangelove. We can't begin to normalize this. This is dangerous, this is childish, this is un-presidential, it's not fitting for a leader of the free world.
ANAND GIRIDHARADAS, MSNBC: Perhaps, never have we seen a man whose profound sexual and masculine insecurities are literally threatening to annihilate the planet.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN: None of this normal, none of this acceptable, none of this, frankly, is stable behavior.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PERINO: It even continued at the White House press briefing this afternoon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNINDENTIFIED MALE: After the tweet about nuclear threats, the nuclear button. Should Americans be concerned about the president's mental fitness that he appears to be speaking so lightly about threats regarding nuclear buttons?
SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think the president and the people of this country should be concerned about the mental fitness of the leader of North Korea. He's made repeated threats. He's tested missiles time and time again for years. And this is a president who's not going to cower down and he's not going to be weak. And he's going to make sure that he does what he has promised to do and that's stand up and protect the American people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PERINO: So, last night I was there by myself and... I don't know how to use the four remotes that takes to watch television. So I was just watching on twitter and I was wholly entertained watching all of these reactions, including one where -- we have this. Take a look at what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN STELTER, CNN: In fact, I've asked Twitter's spokesman, does it violate Twitter's terms of service, making this kind of threat toward North Korea? So far, no media comments from the company. Still waiting to hear. I think they're trying to decide if this kind of tweet referring to a nuclear button that he knows how to use and it works, whether that's actually a violation of the terms of service because it made threat and violence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GUTFELD: He is officially America's hall monitor. He's actually a walking nuclear button. He is round and shiny like a button. And you push him and all of a sudden he goes off. Oh, my God. He's violated terms of service.
Oh, my God.
PERINO: Oh, that's what she always stands for.
GUTFELD: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So anyway, he says that if Trump were a foreign leader, we'd be worried. I say hooray. For once, we're the world's concern not the reverse. By the way, Irrationality by other countries worked for them. We put up with it because we didn't know, because we didn't know what would happen next. So this is actually a good thing. And the best part about is it's working. North Korea and South Korea are opening channels to talk. Why? Because North Korea is feeling the pressure. We're actually at war with North Korea, by stopping ships through this embargoes, through this sanctions. The war already started, they're feeling it. They want to talk to South Korea which means they want to talk to us. But one more point, I've got to talk about this -- where's my notes?
GUILFOYLE: Grab your notes, beautiful one.
GUTFELD: Did you see that Kim Jong Un is getting a makeover?
GUTFELD: He's getting a makeover and it's because -- why do men get makeovers? Why do they clean up their act? Because they're seeking a new relationship.
GUTFELD: He's seeking a new relationship. He realizes that.
GUTFELD: People are too apocalyptic about this. Things are working out. This is great news.
GUILFOYLE: Oh, my gosh.
PERINO: There are many different audiences, Kimberly, whenever a president speaks. So you talk to your allies, your enemies, the American people, the military. And so, this tweet might have been meant specifically for Kim Jong-un to see. I would guess. There are repercussion where you have people who aren't in his base are worried about it. And I don't know if they got a lot of reassuring today.
GUILFOYLE: No. But I kind of like this because it's obviously thrown Kim Jong Un over the edge. And now he's getting a mommy makeover, a little lift and a tuck, and I think it's hilarious because he's feeling insecure about himself because President Trump is unnerving him. He doesn't like it. Psychologically, he's not responding well to it. I mean, I don't have a problem with, you know, President Trump's tweet. I think it's fantastic. I'm glad that somebody is standing up to this guy. This guy has been like an international punk and bully forever and he wants to threaten everybody with his nukes, and it's about time that somebody stood up to him and said enough is enough. Because you know what, he's been catered to, he's been allowed to exist and proliferate with his nuclear power ability. And quite frankly, it makes the world less safe. So, if President Trump wants to be the person is going to stand up and do something about it along with Nikki Haley and motivating the U.N. to do the right thing, fine by me. Talk about bigger buttons, better working, whatever, all day long.
PERINO: How do you see it, Geraldo?
RIVERA: Well, I see it in a couple of ways. First, there's no doubt that Trump's button is bigger. So, it's true.
GUILFOYLE: Because you were on the Apprentice.
RIVERA: Because I know where their nuclear arsenal is. Secondly, he's not stupid, he's not reckless. He understands article one the war powers. He knows that there's a rigid process to go through before you declare war. What I urge people and I continually go back to this particularly with so many of my friends being hostile to the president. It's not what he says. It's what he does that really matters. He can talk in inflammatory game, the president can. But in terms of his policies and in terms of his actions, he's really a pretty prudent, traditional and effective -- going back to what Greg said at the start of the show, president -- moderate Republican president. I think that he's doing a fine job. And the fact that he shakes up this guy, the rocket man and so forth.
RIVERA: I was in Korea when they first opened up the dialogue between the south and north, and they had telephones where you had relatives of the North Koreans talking to their cousins in South Korea, everyone thought they'll be -- that it would be good. It went nowhere. It got all polluted. Now he has a nuclear arsenal. I don't think there's anything wrong with encouraging Korea to cool things down among themselves.
PERINO: All right. Jesse, take it away, whatever you want.
WATTERS: I don't think little rocket man needs a makeover at all. Why mess with perfection? He's got the high fade, he's got the tailored tan jacket. He looks good.
GUILFOYLE: Similar. Similar.
WATTERS: When I read the tweet I just laugh. I think Trump aims to entertain, but he's also aiming to ridicule, just like he did during the election. Little Marco, lying Ted, crooked Hillary. He's an expert brander. And he humiliated little rocket man in front of all his Asian friends because little button. And for the media to question Trump's mental stability, they worshiped Obama like a cult leader for eight years. They're the ones that are mentally unstable. And also, they need to accept Trump's style. He's done this for almost two years. Stop trying to diagnose him. But this is the reaction when you had President Obama, usually get the opposite of the president. He was thoughtful and professorial and he led from behind. He never confronted evil. Trump comes out there, he's a street fighter, brawler, very bellicose, and he shoots from the hip. And I think that's what the American people wanted.
And when you look back at the results, what did Obama's soft action do? It led this guy to nuke up. Trump is just trying to clean his mess up. I say what's more dangerous?
GUTFELD: You know what Trump should tweet next? I love big buttons. I cannot lie.
PERINO: OK. A monologue you won't hear anywhere else on the president's upcoming fake news awards ceremony, up next.
GUTFELD: So, Donald Trump just announced he's giving out the most dishonest and corrupt media awards to his biggest offenders. This is a first, but are you surprised? Have you noticed the media is an object of criticism for the president, so what does that cost? Well, the media seems as robust as ever. Everyone is either a Woodward or a Bernstein when they aren't high.
GUTFELD: Similarly, homicides in Chicago have fallen 60 percent in 2017, a welcome reduction from the bloodshed that, again, made its mayor a target of Trump's ire. So, do you see my point? Why didn't this reduction occur under Obama? And why wasn't the media more aggressive during the same time? The aggressive journalism and aggressive policing are actually resents due in part to what I call the PTW effect, prove Trump wrong effect. For years, Fox News railed against media bias. Does the media care? Not really. The last few years we've covered Chicago's problems. Did Rahm Emanuel listen at all? No. he's slammed chick-fil-a instead.
Now we're seeing the media adjust its behavior over accusations of fake news, and now a city mayor under a president who isn't his best friend puts more cops on the streets. My theory, bureaucrats and media hates Trumps so much that they can't let him win the argument, so they up their game just to shut the guy up. So laugh at Trump's tweets about Chicago, or Iran, the media, whatever he chooses to target. It may be the best motivational tool we've got.
Geraldo, you -- don't you think the media is now extra motivated? Because every time they screw up, they've got to -- they've got to listen to Trump make fun of them.
RIVERA: I think that they're -- I'm old enough to have lived through and been in the business during President Nixon. And, you know, he could not buy a break.
President Trump, I think he gets worse press than President Nixon did. I think that every -- absolutely everything he does is construed in the most evil, negative way possible.
And these awards that are coming out next week, next Monday, it's a gimmick. It's -- you know, it's kind of a shtick. But on the other hand, I was in Puerto Rico with the president when Paul Krugman, the Nobel- winning economist for "The New York Times" wrote the story of how President Trump's neglect of Puerto Rico led to a cholera epidemic...
RIVERA: ... in Puerto Rico. There was no cholera epidemic.
WATTERS: Are you nominating Krugman?
RIVERA: I nominate Paul Krugman.
GUTFELD: Nominate Paul Krugman.
RIVERA: I nominate him, the Nobel laureate economist, for the -- whatever he's going to call these raspberries.
GUTFELD: Yes. He's on intellectual welfare. They let him say whatever he wants, and he's always wrong, Kimberly. Do you have any nominations? What do you make of these awards?
GUILFOYLE: Yes, I think this is going to be very funny. They're going to have to put everybody on CNN, like Don Lemon and Jake Tapper. They're going to be on, like, five-second delay, because they'll be, like, losing it, freaking out. Because they're going to try and defend themselves.
Say, "No, no, no, we're against these awards. We're actually very fair; we're honest. What is President Trump saying?"
So I'm sure they're actually quite nervous about it. And I like that he's taking -- you know, he's taking control of the situation. He is behind the wheel, saying, "I'm going to tell you what I think about you. I'm going to say it straight to your face. And that's it. I'm going to tell the whole world." I like the approach. He's using it, I think, effectively, diplomatically, on the international stage, as it relates to national security, whether it's immigration, it's taxes. It's his approach. It worked for him during the campaign, so he's doing it still.
RIVERA: You don't think it threatens the First Amendment?
GUILFOYLE: I think the First Amendment is solid last time I checked with the U.S. Freedom Court.
RIVERA: I think it will be fine.
GUTFELD: Do you know what it is? Do you know what it is, Dana? It's something you would do on a show. Like, every -- like we put, what are your predictions for 2018? Or winners and losers. This is a guy born and bred watching FOX News.
PERINO: It was the first thing I thought when I saw it last night, is that "The Five" is going to have the best ratings on Monday, because it's Monday at 5.
PERINO: I think it's good if it's done with a laugh.
GUILFOYLE: Which he did on purpose.
PERINO: Which I think it will be, right? So if it's a "Let's hold you up for ridicule in the media," I don't think that's necessarily good. Krugman's obviously a good example.
And I think if the tone and tenor of it is right, I think it could actually be kind of a joke and maybe even fun for everybody.
PERINO: I do think there is something to be said about how other countries see it and how other countries use it against their own people. And I think that's not good.
RIVERA: Really? Do you really? I've heard that arguments, and I understand and I read the editorials that always say that. But I travel a lot, and I -- no one ever comes up to me and says, "See, your fake news in America." I just...
WATTERS: What do they come up to you and say, Geraldo?
RIVERA: "Hey buddy, you want to buy some..."
GUILFOYLE: Oh, my God.
WATTERS: I thought you were going to say selfie.
GUILFOYLE: That's what I thought, too. I remember when your selfie was stalking me on Instagram.
RIVERA: Oh, that.
WATTERS: I'd say we're watching the Trump presidency, but as you said, we're watching the Trump show, and the show's on at 5 so we're going to get a great number.
GUILFOYLE: I think it's on purpose.
GUILFOYLE: Just like "The Five."
WATTERS: And like you said in the monologue, the media ends up being more fair and balanced. Either that, or he's just branding them as, you know, phony losers.
GUTFELD: Yes, but also like Rahm Emanuel. Now he's doing this. He didn't do this under Obama. That's so weird to me. It was -- it's just interesting to me.
WATTERS: I don't think the media has enough self-awareness to course correct.
WATTERS: Because I think they're so blinded by the Trump hatred that they don't recognize his comedy chops.
WATTERS: If I were the CNN people getting all these awards, I would just say -- I'd make fun of his hair. I'd say, "Focus on North Korea." I'd laugh about it.
WATTERS: They think...
GUILFOYLE: They're a little humorless.
WATTERS: ... this is like a press genocide, and we're all victims, and the First Amendment is under attack.
GUILFOYLE: Five-second delay.
WATTERS: And they take it way too seriously.
GUTFELD: All right. Team Clinton still losing it over that Vanity Fair knitting video. I missed that. Why they're taking it out on Mitt, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's time to start working on your sequel to your book, "What Happened?": "What the Hell Happened?"
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Take more photos in the woods.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pick up a new hobby in the New Year: volunteer work, knitting, improv comedy. Literally anything that will keep you from running again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATTERS: That Vanity Fair video wasn't received well by the left, some accusing that magazine of sexism over its suggestion Hillary Clinton go away and take up a hobby like knitting.
Hillary's team apparently still hasn't let it go, not setting a double standard for another failed presidential candidate who could run for office again: Mitt Romney.
Former campaign spokesman Brian Fallon tweets, "Mitt Romney may run for Senate? I thought failed presidential candidates were only allowed to take up knitting."
Another campaign alum, Nick Morrow, write, "Strange how losing male presidential candidate Mitt Romney is being..."
GUILFOYLE: Oh, jeez.
WATTERS: "... immediately discussed as a replacement for Orrin Hatch's Senate seat and isn't being told to take up knitting."
There is a difference, Dana, between Romney and Hillary.
PERINO: Well, I mean, yes. Also, I just don't understand. Why not just laugh along with it?
GUILFOYLE: They can't.
PERINO: Why make it an issue, give things attention?
WATTERS: They're prolonging it.
WATTERS: Not a good idea. But I think the Clinton team can't accept the fact...
PERINO: But does she want to run for Senate?
WATTERS: No, and she doesn't. She doesn't.
WATTERS: Yes. She's never -- well, maybe mayor. I think that was the only thing. But why can't they understand that...
PERINO: I'd say run for mayor.
WATTERS: ... maybe people don't like her because she's not likable, not because she's a woman?
GUILFOYLE: Over De Blasio, yes.
GUTFELD: Take Mitt. You knit. That's what I say.
What is -- and by the way, what is wrong with knitting? Like it's, A...
PERINO: It's actually a good hobby.
GUTFELD: It's very insulting to the millions of people who knit, to make sweaters for people. And a lot of men knit. I think Rosey Grier...
GUILFOYLE: You do, don't you?
GUTFELD: ... was a knitter. So this is -- the point is the Republicans are lucky to have Mitt Romney. The Democrats are not lucky to have Hillary. He's an asset. She's an... albatross.
GUTFELD: Also, I love it when the left eats itself. You know, Vanity Fair is very liberal. All those jokes were very old and have been used elsewhere.
GUILFOYLE: I agree there.
GUTFELD: But there were -- who's attacking them? Other liberals. So when you see that happening, it just brings joy to my face.
WATTERS: That's a good point, because there's a lot of magazines on the right that go after Republicans. That's considered healthy debate, but you're not allowed to criticize a Democrat.
GUTFELD: They apologized.
WATTERS: They -- yes, they apologized. What is that about?
RIVERA: I just think that sexism is now being used the way racism was, for intellectually lazy people. When you don't have a real issue, you go to the go-to.
GUTFELD: Typical sexists.
RIVERA: And I don't think Hillary Clinton could win as a -- in running for the Senate or mayor. I think that she is such a terrible candidate. And God bless her. She's a wonderful woman. You know, she did, you know, a great job when she was in the Senate, and I like her a lot. But she ran a lousy campaign. She would -- you know, Mitt Romney on the other hand, ran a pretty good campaign up against a really very popular president who had a wonderful line. You know, "Bin Laden dead. GM alive." And Barack Obama.
And I think that Mitt Romney can -- he has the juice to serve the country.
He got 70 percent of the vote in Utah, were he to run for Senate. He's from there, essentially, his roots there so deep. I think he'd be great in the Senate.
WATTERS: I would rather see Hillary as mayor of New York than Bill de Blasio.
GUILFOYLE: Agree. He's the worst. Oh, my God. Don't ruin my mojo.
Yes, so in terms of Hillary Clinton, she has an ever, like, increasingly shrinkage situation with her supporters. So the last few diehards are in there. Anytime anybody says anything that they believe to be a slight or malign her in the slightest, they freak out and go on super attack.
I agree with Dana. They should take it in stride a little bit and just go, "OK, fine."
And Mitt Romney, by the way, he may have lost the presidential election, but he's a winner. I mean, you know, this is somebody that actually, I believe honestly, can serve Utah very well; and this is somebody who didn't go around and cry like a baby after and write "What Happened?" and do a whole big you know, book like blaming everybody for everything when she just didn't campaign that hard. And it wasn't about Trump. It was like she was not a very good candidate. You know, he worked ten times harder than she did. Everybody knows it. Her staff knows it. President Obama knows it. They put themselves out on the line for her, and she disappointed a lot of people that worked very hard and gave a lot of money to support her.
So the Democrats know that they better pick somebody else if they have any chance going forward. Mitt Romney, I don't think there's no comparison between the two.
WATTERS: Yes, and he's probably going to win that Senate seat. Wouldn't you imagine? Piece of cake, right?
PERINO: If he runs? Yes. Yes, win.
WATTERS: Piece of cake.
RIVERA: Who would he run against, even?
GUILFOYLE: Doesn't matter.
GUTFELD: I can hear the feminists' defense for this: no more men.
PERINO: Remember, though, that the left also, they loved Mitt Romney when he was attacking President Trump during the campaign. They will -- they'll turn around, turn against him soon.
RIVERA: So true. So true.
WATTERS: Another Trump-bashing rant at "The View" goes off the rails. Up next.
GUILFOYLE: How many times have we said that? As "The View" goes off the rails?
GUTFELD: What happened?
RIVERA: Yes, baby.
So welcome back, everybody. As you know, the Trump presidency has taken a toll on most of the hosts over at "The View." My old pal Joy Behar, for example, she kicked off the new year with another -- some call it unhinged tirade, this time comparing President Trump to Iran's supreme leader. And "The View" went south from there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST, ABC'S "THE VIEW": It's not apples and apples. It's not equal. But we're on a very slippery slope in this country toward throwing democracy out the window every single day.
ANA NAVARRO, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: We have to defend freedom of the press and civil rights here.
MEGHAN MCCAIN, CO-HOST, ABC'S "THE VIEW": We do, but people are not being stoned in the street for being gay.
BEHAR: Not yet. Not yet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIVERA: Thank goodness for Meghan McCain. She really is a wonderful sober voice, a realistic voice.
I love Ana Navarro, one of my best friends, one of the smartest people in -- in TV. Joy Behar is very, very funny, very engaging, but when you start comparing what they're doing in a country that is repressive like Iran with -- what are you laughing at?
WATTERS: Geraldo, Ana Navarro is one of the smartest people?
RIVERA: She is.
WATTERS: Every week we have an Ana Navarro sound bite sounding insane.
RIVERA: Her problem is she's one of these people who went down the hate Trump road and once you go down that road, you can't come back. And I see the same thing with Tapper and the CNN people. Once you go -- once you got there and you see this guy is, you know, a radical, a crazy person.
GUTFELD: Once you go hack, you never go back.
RIVERA: You never. Really, you can't. You can't get. So I think -- Kimberly, I believe -- you OK?
GUILFOYLE: No -- yes.
RIVERA: All together?
RIVERA: I think it is -- it's like the Rosie O'Donnell school of entertainment.
RIVERA: It's not -- they don't -- they don't mean it, I don't think.
GUILFOYLE: Well, look, personally I like Joy Behar a lot. I think she's very sweet. She's a lot of fun. She's great to have at a dinner table, that's for sure. This is the nature of their show. They get after it.
Well, it's true. She's funny.
GUTFELD: I love how every statement we're about to say, we go, "Oh, they're a really nice person. They're a really great person."
WATTERS: Because we want to sell a book on "The View" one day.
GUTFELD: Just say that was an idiotic comment.
GUILFOYLE: Well, that would be during your turn to speak.
GUTFELD: OK, OK.
GUILFOYLE: Indeed. So OK, the point is, this is what they do. They have fun, they mix it up. And that's what part of the show is. They're not, like, a hard-core, you know, news show. They give opinions, and these are the opinions that she has had from the beginning about President Trump.
RIVERA: Do you believe that Joy Behar believes that, because of Trump's policies, the United States is sliding into an Iran-like government? Do you think that Joy really believes that?
GUILFOYLE: I would say there's a 50 percent chance she believes that.
WATTERS: I don't believe that. I believe Meghan McCain scored a point, and instead of admitting she got it wrong, she tried to, like, weasel out of it and say, "Maybe, maybe."
She got burned in a debate. You know what that's like, Geraldo. I saw you on "The Factor." Sometimes you just spew when you don't have any defense.
GUILFOYLE: Oh, my God.
WATTERS: And that's what happened to her. She said, "Maybe, maybe, maybe." And if a Republican on FOX News under Obama had said President Obama could soon, we could start seeing Christians murdered in the streets, that would be a huge national story.
PERINO: And ridiculous.
WATTERS: I don't know whether or not the media covers for "The View" or they don't have any -- they don't think Joy Behar is this titan of journalism. so they let it slide.
GUILFOYLE: Do you think they take it seriously?
WATTERS: I don't think they do.
RIVERA: And Dana, do you think that it is rhetorical flourish, or do you believe that they truly believe that the country is heading down to hell in a hand basket?
PERINO: I think it's rhetorical flourish, but I do think that there are people who think -- they're really worried, and they wake up worried, and they stay worried, and they stay in an agitated state.
But actually, things are good.
GUILFOYLE: Things are good.
PERINO: Talk about the economy is good. And also, if there's concerns about, for example, they're talking about gay people, like, if you want to help -- if you want to help gay people, changing the regime in Iran would go a long way toward helping gay people.
GUILFOYLE: And helping women.
GUILFOYLE: You know? I don't understand.
GUTFELD: I think she forgot that Donald Trump was for gay marriage before Obama was.
GUTFELD: But the other thing, too, is I agree with Geraldo. This is more about cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias. When you're asking does she really believe it, she doesn't believe it, but she can't allow herself to admit it because of the confirmation bias. She cannot admit that all of that emotional input that she's held for so long could be wrong.
And this happens to everybody. If you hated Obama for eight years, and then you find -- and you look back and you find out maybe there were a few things that he did bad, can you actually -- do well, can you admit that, because you held onto this? So which is -- it's the confirmation bias.
And Ana Navarro, I -- you know, she is smart, but her confirmation bias and the cognitive dissonance has turned her into a one-note wonder. She can't stop.
RIVERA: Once you play that exact. "One More Thing" is next.
GUTFELD: Read my mind.
GUILFOYLE: Indeed you are. It's time now for "One More Thing" -- Greg.
GUTFELD: Oh, do I have a podcast for you tonight. Its wit. If you were a fan of "Red Eye," or just a fan of Lauren Sivan, she's on my podcast. You go to FOXNews.com/podcasts. And we talk about her experience with Harvey Weinstein, among other things. And I've got to tell you, it's a humdinger.
You're going to like it. So go tune that in.
That's my thing. Go ahead. Go on.
GUILFOYLE: Did you have that knitting addendum?
GUTFELD: Oh, yes. Rosey Grier is alive and well, and he knits, as well as Ryan Reynolds...
GUILFOYLE: Scott Baio.
GUTFELD: Scott Baio, the needlepoint.
GUILFOYLE: Russell Crowe.
GUTFELD: Russell Crowe. Yes. A lot of knitters. It's OK to knit or needlepoint.
GUILFOYLE: And you make special socks for?
GUTFELD: Yes, Lou Dobbs. I knitted Lou Dobbs a bodysuit that he wears in the winter.
PERINO: I think it's Jesse next.
WATTERS: But Dana will like this one. You were on "Jeopardy" at one point.
PERINO: I was.
WATTERS: All right. Well, there was an unfortunate spelling gaffe in "Jeopardy." Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX TREBEK, A song by Coolio from "Dangerous Minds" goes back in time to become a 1667 John Milton classic. Nick.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is "Gangster's Paradise Lost"?
The judges have reevaluated one of your responses a few moments ago, Nick.
You said "gangsters" instead of "gangstas" on that song by Coolio, so we take $3,200 away from you. So you are now in second place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GUILFOYLE: That is so wrong.
WATTERS: He ended up winning. But it's like...
RIVERA: That's just a white guy pronunciation.
WATTERS: "L'il," not "little."
GUILFOYLE: That's like a pronunciation.
PERINO: He didn't want to, like, culturally appropriate.
WATTERS: He played it safe.
GUILFOYLE: That is so...
PERINO: Give the money back.
GUTFELD: It's un-Coolio.
GUILFOYLE: That is so lame. Someone wrote in and complained about it.
God, what haters. Boycotting "Jeopardy."
PERINO: Am I next? I'm next. OK.
GUILFOYLE: You, Dana.
PERINO: So Mike Ritland -- check this out -- he rang the bell at the New York Stock Exchange today on behalf of Warrior Dog. Ritland was a Navy SEAL for 12 years and started the Warrior Dog Foundation in 2013.
Basically, what he does is he started the foundation to care for retired military and law enforcement canines. And he opened a branch in Cooper, Texas, where these canines can live out their retirement with dignity and grace.
GUILFOYLE: All right. I like that. Another uplifting story. And this is my segment, "Honoring Heroes."
What a wonderful story about new chapters in your life. In this story in particular, we honor a 93-year-old World War II veteran who was elected mayor in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, and was sworn in last night. So he campaigned. Vito Perillo is his name. And he didn't let his age stop him from running and winning the job of mayor. In fact, he wore out two pairs of shoes going door-to-door campaigning. Last night he was officially sworn in. Please watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VITO PERILLO, MAYOR, TINTON FALLS: Faithfully.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Impartially.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... and justly perform...
PERILLO: And justly perform...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... all the duties...
PERILLO: ... all the duties...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... of office of the mayor...
PERILLO: ... of office of the mayor...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... according to the best of my ability.
PERILLO: According to the best of my ability.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So help me God.
PERILLO: So help me God.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations, mayor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GUILFOYLE: How great is that? So he's a former electronics engineer for the U.S. Department of Defense, a U.S. Navy veteran, and was the borough police chief from 2004 to 2011. And by the way, the Bible that he was used to be sworn in on belonged to his late wife of 64 years, May. And she died, sadly, in 2013. So very exciting for him.
WATTERS: Good name for a mayor, Vito.
RIVERA: My mom was a war bride. She's 98 years old. We just visited her in Sarasota, Florida. And you know, my mom, Jewish. My dad Catholic, Puerto Rican Catholic. So we always were conflicted between Christmas and Hanukkah. So if you notice these shirts, we resolved the dilemma: "Oy to the world."
GUILFOYLE: Oh, my God. So good.
PERINO: She looks good.
RIVERA: Doesn't she look fabulous? Doesn't she?
PERINO: She looks really good.
RIVERA: There's my sister Sharon there.
GUILFOYLE: Nice family. God bless. So nice.
RIVERA: Sole in the foreground there.
GUTFELD: Oh, you just wanted to show your chest!
GUILFOYLE: Oh, my God.
WATTERS: Snuck it in there.
GUTFELD: He's done it again.
WATTERS: Any chance you get.
GUILFOYLE: Never miss an episode of "The Five." "Special Report" and Geraldo's chest up next. Bret, take it away.
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