Co-hosts of Fox News' The Five denied the existence of an anti-Muslim “backlash” in the United States, saying that they “haven't seen a lot of it” and that had the Obama Administration conducted more surveillance of Muslims “they wouldn't have to have these conversations about telling us to be tolerant.” The comments came shortly after Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump called for a ban on Muslim immigration into the United States -- including by U.S. citizens seeking to re-enter the country.
Trump drew widespread criticism on the afternoon of December 7 for his call for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” including Muslim-American citizens currently abroad.
During the next hour, co-hosts Jesse Watters and Kimberly Guilfoyle sought to criticize Obama administration's call for tolerance toward Muslims by denying the existence of discrimination against people of that faith. Watters asserted, “Let me know if you see any Muslim backlash, I haven't seen a lot of it.” Guilfoyle added, “I mean, who's vilifying any of the Muslims. Who's doing that?” Co-host Juan Williams subsequently pointed to Trump's statement. From the December 7 edition of The Five:
JESSE WATTERS (CO-HOST): Let me know if you see any Muslim backlash, I haven't seen a lot of it. The president wasn't really worried about anti-police backlash or anti-Tea Party backlash or anti-Christian backlash when those institutions were being smeared and denigrated. In fact, there were actual backlash against those institutions. We had the Chick-Fil-A shooter going up, shooting up the place over gay marriage. You had the Tea Party being targeted by Obama's own IRS. You had cops being executed in New York. I didn't hear a lot about backlash then.
KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE (CO-HOST): Yeah, but they're just assuming horrible facts, not in evidence in actions on behalf of the American people, saying, I mean, who's vilifying any of the Muslims. Who's doing that? They are really talking about this and putting it as the top of the framework, because these are talking points straight out of the White House from President Obama and Valerie Jarrett and that's why they put Loretta Lynch there to like babysit [FBI Director James] Comey so he doesn't like get out of line when he's trying to answer questions to the press and god forbid admit it, say that this is terrorism. The president knew that it was terrorism and he didn't want to say it. He was compelled and forced to tell the truth.
JUAN WILLIAMS (CO-HOST): So let me just respond to you. What about Donald Trump today saying we shouldn't admit any of the Muslims?
ERIC BOLLING (HOST): We're going to get to that in a minute.
WILLIAMS: So your point is, nobody is vilifying--
GUILFOYLE: But if you want to use the opportunity and try and vilify and go after Donald Trump who is not Commander-in-Chief, he's not President of the United States...
WILLIAMS: No you said nobody is...
GUILFOYLE: Barack Obama is. That's why, that's who I am talking about.