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Co-hosts of Fox News’ “The Five” got into heated shouting matches on Friday when discussing the ongoing protests and rioting around the country, ostensibly tied to the deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta.
The panel’s liberal, Juan Williams, began by criticizing a tweet by President Donald Trump ahead of his first campaign rally in months, which is scheduled for later Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Earlier Friday, the president tweeted out a warning to anyone traveling to the city with the intent of doing something other than peacefully protesting.
“Any protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis. It will be a much different scene!” Trump wrote.
That set Williams off.
“What is going on? The President of the United States seems to lack a fundamental understanding of the right of Americans to protest. That’s like motherhood and apple pie. It’s a First Amendment. It’s not a latter amendment, it’s the very first amendment, that you have the right to get out there and be heard by your political leadership in this country,” he said.
“And that to demean them and degrade them, I just don’t understand it. Overwhelmingly peaceful. Not even close, like 90-something percent peaceful,” Williams continued.
A few of the other co-hosts, including Judge Jeanine Pirro and Greg Gutfeld, were taken aback by Williams’ claims.
“Peaceful?” Pirro asked, incredulous. “Have you been watching the news?”
“I haven’t finished!” Williams interjected amid crosstalk between him and Pirro, as co-host Jesse Watters went to her.
“Juan, everybody gets it. You can have a peaceful protest. But as soon as you cross the line into being a looter and an arsonist, it’s time to put you in cuffs and drag you down to the station,” Pirro noted further. “Okay? That’s what the president was talking about.”
That led Williams to interject.
“That is not what’s going on judge. That’s not what’s going on,” Williams said.
“We’re not going to tolerate that kind of anarchy in this country!” Pirro fired back. “That’s what he [Trump] was talking about.”
“Judge, you have missed the news in this country,” Williams responded, as the two co-hosts continued to try and talk over each other.
“Don’t give me that nonsense that 90 percent is peaceful,” Pirro continued. “Take a look at Baltimore, Seattle, Minneapolis.”
“That is not true,” Williams said. “But again, this is distortion…”
“It isn’t?” Pirro, shocked, responded. “Well, what have I been watching, fake news for the last two weeks?”
“It comes from the president…” Williams interjected, insisting anew that the majority of protests have been peaceful.
At that point, Watters took back control of the panel and called on Gutfeld, who was smiling and shaking his head in disbelief as Williams continued to talk.
Gutfeld finally interjected, “Okay Juan, we get it, we get it! It’s peaceful! Hey everybody, hey everybody! It was peaceful. It was peaceful. What happened in my neighborhood, it really didn’t happen when they destroyed and looted every store in my neighborhood. That didn’t happen.
“Minneapolis didn’t happen. Atlanta with a burned Wendy’s, that didn’t happen! According to Juan, none of this happened! It was all a dream. A beautiful dream. Thank you, Juan. Thank you for respecting what happened to me!”
As the panel engaged in heated crosstalk, Gutfeld shot back at Williams, “You’re lying to America!”
Earlier this month, a dejected Gutfeld castigated the establishment media for focusing too much on what the president tweets and too little on the obvious looting and rioting that destroyed large segments of major American cities.
The destruction included his New York neighborhood.
“Still, others blame Trump. Now, I watched the streets of my home destroyed. It wasn’t Trump, it was criminals that knew that the light touch of impotent leaders allows for ruin. How is it Trump’s fault that a cop killed a defenseless man and a liberal town held by liberal politicians? It’s not, but the media says the opposite,” said Gutfeld.
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