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Kelly File

Has Brian Williams done enough to earn the US military's forgiveness?

This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," June 22, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Breaking tonight, dramatic new fallout in the shocking fall from grace for NBC News anchor Brian Williams.  As the critics unload on how the network is handling his public mea culpa.

Good evening. And welcome to "The Kelly File," everyone. I'm Megyn Kelly. On Friday, Williams broke his silence for first time since being suspended by NBC News without pay in February. After being caught misleading viewers with inaccurate statements that exaggerated his experiences in the field, including a story about a helicopter he was traveling on during the Iraq war.

Tonight, "The Kelly File" has exclusive reaction from one of the soldiers who first helped break this story, who was on the helicopter that got shot down, who says he does not feel Williams went far enough in his Friday apology, if you will. Saying in part, "Brian Williams clearly apologized for getting himself in this situation, but he never looked at the camera and said he was sorry for the disrespect he's shown to the soldiers of the Armed Forces."

Howie Kurtz is with us tonight on what Brian did say on that interview which we will play for you in part in a minute, and what it says that NBC News has decided to send him to work for MSNBC.

Plus, Pete Hegseth is here on the soldiers who came forward and what he's hearing from the military on this. But first, Trace Gallagher catches us up on the last 72 hours in the biggest media story of the year. Trace.

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: And NBC News, Megyn, won't publicly reveal its investigation into Brian Williams, but the network made it crystal clear there were a pattern of lies, saying Brian Williams made a number of inaccurate statements about his experiences in the field. Among them, it is believed Williams lied about seeing floating bodies in the French quarter during Hurricane Katrina. And about being confronted by hostile groups during the riots in Egypt. And of course the story that touched off the controversy. Williams embellishing a 2003 mission in Iraq, claiming he was in a helicopter that was fired upon when in fact he was nowhere near the area.

Listen to Matt Lauer press him on that point.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MATT LAUER, NBC NEWS, THE "TODAY" SHOW: Did you know it was not true?

BRIAN WILLIAMS, FORMER "NBC NIGHTLY NEWS" ANCHOR: I told the story correctly for years before I told it incorrectly. I was not trying to mislead people. That, to me, is a huge difference here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GALLAGHER: But one of the soldiers who was actually part of the helicopter convoy that was attacked took exception to Williams' answer telling "The Kelly File," quoting here, "He never looked at the camera and said he was sorry for the disrespect he has shown to the soldiers of the Armed Forces. He did say, I told the story correctly for years before I told it incorrectly, a response I would refute since I along with the crew of our helicopter tried to correct inconsistencies with his story back in 2003 when we viewed his original report." During the interview, Matt Lauer confronted Brian Williams eight different times in eight different ways about telling lies. And his answers, Williams never once used the word lie. And listen to this exchange.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAUER: Did you give thought at the time to going on the air and saying I lied?

WILLIAMS: I know why people would see it that way. It is not what happened. What happened is the fault of a whole host of other sins. What happened is clearly part of my ego getting the better of me. To put myself in a better light, to appear better than I was.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GALLAGHER: And now the fallout, public relations firms and crisis management teams have also weighed in on the interview calling it less than convincing, saying a true apology has no ifs, ands or buts. Brian Williams will begin the task of regaining viewer trust in August when he begins anchoring breaking news coverage on MSNBC -- Megyn.

KELLY: Trace, thank you.  

Well, members of the military were the first to catch Williams in his misrepresentations. Over the years they stayed on the story until it finally broke with the rise of social media. But has Williams now done enough to earn him the forgiveness of the military community?

Pete Hegseth is a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. And the CEO for Concerned Veterans for America. And so, you have it tonight as you just heard Trace put it up on the board, one of the soldiers who was on the helicopter that actually was shot down does not feel this was good enough, it doesn't -- he doesn't feel it was good enough. He didn't look into the camera and apologize to them for what he did. What do you think?

PETE HEGSETH, CEO, CONCERNED VETERANS FOR AMERICA: No, and he never has. In fact, and he pointed out this soldier that called him out that as far back as 2003 Brian Williams misrepresenting the story. In 2007, Brian Williams said he was looking down the tube of an RPG that was being shot at him when his helicopter was never closer than 30 minutes away. This veteran spoke out, I read the whole statement. He's not looking for admiration, he's not looking for headlines. He doesn't want to be the center of the story. He just wants the truth.

He doesn't want some news reporter in New York City, you know, building street credit for himself on the back of a war this guy fought for and believed in. It is about legacy, Megyn. It is about the ground troop.  It is about, hey, what he did in that desert mattered. And for Brian Williams to trade it, New York City cocktail parties for the last decade on the fact that he was there. He was in the middle of it really churns these guys and that's why they stuck with it for 12 years and finally because of social media, they were able to get the truth out and I think it makes them proud inside and they're not looking for publicity.  

KELLY: Why wouldn't he do that? Why wouldn't he directly apologize to the military veterans when he had the opportunity in this interview with Matt Lauer? I mean, it is a huge platform. They were listening. This guy said, Brian, to us. He said, Brian, my offer to have a beer with you still stands.

HEGSETH: Yes.

KELLY: He's still waiting just to hear and say, I'm sorry for trying to equate anything I did with what you guys actually did.

HEGSETH: Yes. Absolutely. And the veteran talked about forgiveness.  He's a believer in second chances. But in order to do that --

KELLY: But most Americans are. Most Americans are.  

HEGSETH: Absolutely. We want to hear Brian Williams say, I was wrong. I misrepresented the truth. I got ahead of myself. I'm sorry.  You know why?

KELLY: He said I was wrong. He said over and over, I said -- I said this, it was wrong. I told stories that were wrong. I got it wrong. I own this. And I own up to this. But he would not go so far as to say why.

HEGSETH: Well, because there is a lot of self-deception going on.  From the beginning of the attack, in sort of conflating the entire story.  I mean, if you're saying that you were looking down the tube of an RPG, in 2007 and you were 30 minutes away, you are knowingly misrepresenting, you are lying about the truth to make your story and your credentials more substantial. That's what makes the blood boil of soldiers, especially because they know that this guy is trading on it in order to reach the top of his profession and these guys toiled in the sands doing their job in obscurity. This is about the truth, Megyn, you're exactly right about the ground truth and the legacy of the wars these men fought for and Brian Williams soiled that.  

KELLY: Pete, thank you.

HEGSETH: Thank you.

KELLY: Well, from last week until tonight, the backlash of the news of Brian Williams being moved to MSNBC has been as fierce as the reaction to his mea culpa. Here is Brian in his own words.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAMS: It has been torture. Looking back it had to have been ego that made me think I had to be sharper, funnier, quicker, than anybody else. Put myself closer to the action, having been at the action in the beginning. I told the story correctly for years before I told it incorrectly. I was not trying to mislead people. It came from a bad place. It came from a sloppy choice of words. I told stories that were not true, over the years, looking back. It is very clear this came from clearly a bad place, a bad urge inside me. This was clearly ego driven, the desire to better my role in a story I was already in. I'm responsible for this. I am sorry for what happened here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Howard Kurtz is the host of Media Buzz at FNC. You can't help but feel for him in being reduced to this. But, you know, of course he did it to himself. I think he would be the first to admit that. And yet, Howie, what does it say that MSNBC's decision, I mean, it is like he's not honest enough to work here, but he's honest enough to work at MSNBC.

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST, "MEDIABUZZ": This is exactly what I've been saying for days. And yes, I feel some sympathy for the way in which Brian Williams essentially blew up his own career. But if he's deemed not credible enough as a result of this internal review to go back to the "Nightly News" anchor chair, after 20 plus years at the network, then how can he be credible enough to handle breaking news at MSNBC? It is a compromise solution that doesn't make any sense unless you regard MSNBC as a farm team with different standards.

KELLY: Uh-mm. I mean, how are folks supposed to, I mean, it hits MSNBC too. You know, I mean, like, so if you tell lies, it is okay to come here? I mean, if I worked at MSNBC, I think I might object with all due respect to Brian on the message that sends.

KURTZ: And in fact many people in the news division and the rank and file at NBC and MSNBC were opposed to Brian Williams going back to the big chair. And I think that played a big part in this decision. But the larger story is, as hard as it is for me, you and everybody else to understand how he didn't intend to mislead anybody when he talks about being hit in a chopper by AK-47 fire when he was in some other chopper far away. The fact is that if this had been the only offense, I think he would have gotten the anchor job back. The fact is NBC's review found that he had made several inaccurate statements on other situations. And in fact Brian, I keep saying in fact, Brian Williams told me about his Katrina reporting when I was with him in New Orleans that he had seen bodies floating by in the French quarter.

KELLY: They're not releasing any of that. NBC News won't release the report.  

KURTZ: And Brian Williams turned down two chances from Matt Lauer to address these other problems. And this, to me, is the nub of it. Because when CBS had the problem with Dan Rather and George W. Bush and National Guard, they had an outside investigative report and released report. What would NBC journalists say, if the federal government did its own investigation and then says, that's a bad things happened but we're not going to put it out, we're just going to move on. This is a big problem.  

KELLY: How much, though, I mean, I understand he didn't want to say I lied, because in his head it really may not have been a lie. He seemed to be trying to say -- seemed to be saying my ego grew and it grew and I felt the need to dazzle. And so these were exaggerations that were -- that had a foot hold in the truth that I just embellished over the year to where I believed them myself. And his point -- I know it sounded bad when he said I told it correctly before I told it incorrectly, but he's right. He did tell it a little bit correctly in the very beginning and then started to morph over the years and morph even bigger and bigger. So, you do ask yourself, maybe he did have some sort of a mental break where it was like he started to believe his own stories.

KURTZ: I think that that's at the heart of it. And, you know, look, everybody makes mistakes and I certainly don't -- wouldn't begrudge him having a second chance and the business to which he's devoted his life.  But if it had just been this Iraq story, that if somehow he had convinced himself, so he didn't feel he was misleading and he didn't feel he was lying, and this had happened to him, maybe it would be easier to forgive him, but the fact that there is a pattern here, according to NBC, I was surprised like how many people who watched that "Today" show interview felt that he hadn't said the words that he needed to say to really ask the country's forgiveness and the forgiveness of soldiers as Pete pointed out.

KELLY: Yes. It was painful to watch. I felt for Matt Lauer. I felt for him. I felt for the military guys. It is just uncomfortable all around. Howie good to see you.  

KURTZ: My pleasure.  

KELLY: Well, we're also tracking the fallout tonight from an ugly photo involving Senator Ted Cruz and a gun. We'll bring you the story behind this picture. Look at this of the presidential candidate.

And Ann Coulter is here next on what happened since it was published.  

Then, Baltimore police commissioner saying that new reforms mean oh, you can expect plenty more arrests of Baltimore police officers.

Mark Fuhrman is here on what exactly that's going to do to the already demoralized Baltimore PD and the crime rates that we are seeing now in that city.

Plus, both sides weigh in on a heated debate about race. After America's first black president just used the most controversial word out there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Racism. We're not cured of.  Clearly. And it is not just a matter of it not being polite to say (bleep) in public, that's not the measure of whether racism still exists or not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: Developing tonight, the Associated Press has now taken down a series of pictures showing republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz with a handgun. Seemingly pointed directly at his head. The AP says, it did not intend to put the senator in a bad light, but critics are asking what the fallout would have been if this were the president standing there instead of Senator Cruz.

Ann Coulter is a conservative commentator and author of " Adios, America: The Left's Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole."  Ann, good to see you.  

ANN COULTER, AUTHOR, "ADIOS AMERICA": I like the way you read it.  

KELLY: Always fun to read the titles of your books. That is the question. If that had been Hillary Clinton, if that had been President Obama, the left would have been losing their mind over this.  

COULTER: Oh, yes.

KELLY: The AP --

COULTER: No, I mean, that is so outrageous. Don't insult our intelligence by saying we didn't even notice.

KELLY: It was a mistake.  

COULTER: Yes. Who would have seen something like that?

KELLY: It had to get by the photographer and the photographer had to take the picture.  

COULTER: Look at it.  

KELLY: The editor had to okay the picture.

COULTER: Right. And, again, look at it. I have a whole chapter in my book mugged about racial demagoguery on the claims that Obama was a particular risk of assassination, you know, because he's black and we're a country teeming with racism. Everything reminds liberals that this is a racist country, could be a warm summer's breeze. And in fact, one of the big claims was that they kept saying, well, he got secret service protection before any other president. And, no, he didn't. He got it three months after he declared for president. Ronald Reagan got it the day he declared for president. And just the people started declaring earlier these days.

And for -- I don't know if you remember this. But the first two years after Obama announced and the first year of his presidency it was repeated endlessly that he was getting more threats, you know? Again, because we're a massively racist country. And then finally at the end of 2009, the head of the Secret Service testified under oath, no, we're getting no more threats against this president than the last two. It was just -- it is liberals fantasies about racist America. Mostly and being the flames are fanned by the America's leading hate group, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and they are even as there are only two groups, white fancy group, there are big enough even to be tracked on the internet, I think it is the Klan and storm front and, I mean, they have like seven members. And you can look on the internet to see how many hits they're getting. It has been going down since the past two years.

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY: They try to stand up they say against racism and so on.  However, this is the same group that once deemed Ben Carson, I think some sort of threat to the United States. But let me ask, because when Sarah Palin went up with her ad that had cross hairs on it, just cross hairs, not an actual gun --

COULTER: Right.

KELLY: -- saying these are the democratic districts that are targeted, she wound up getting blamed for the shooting of Gabby Giffords --

COULTER: Right.

KELLY: For the shooting of her.  

COULTER: Yes.  

KELLY: But it is okay -- like, God forbid anything were to happen to Senator Cruz, you know, as a result of this threatening photo. Would there be similar outrage? Shouldn't everyone be more careful if they're going to apply that kind of a standard to messaging?

COULTER: Yes, but they aren't. I mean, during Bush's presidency, there was both a book, fantasizing about his assassination, and a documentary portraying his assassination, which got, you know, rave reviews in the Washington Post, Nation Magazine called it the best date movie of 2006. And you can go to his website, Zombie Time, I don't know if it is still up, but it was all of the assassinations, decapitations, guns to Bush's head at liberal protests. Obama comes along, a Tea Party protest and a picture of Obama that, you know, looks like a monkey, we're in the grips of racism once again. Oh my gosh! Could we compare the two presidents?

KELLY: Typically what we have seen with President Obama has been, people were talking about, it's on Twitter today, the halo effect. He's -- they put this halo on him. Look. Look. Look at this. And look what happened to Senator Cruz. Look. I mean, it is, like, ahah! Well, also, and Senator Cruz, were he a democrat and not a -- the Second Amendment, who would be the first Hispanic president, you know, would he be getting different, I mean, it is just, it's subtle to some people, but not to others.  

COULTER: No, look at that picture. It's not subtle. I also mention that Ronald Reagan took an assassin's bullet one month after being elected.  Little harmless Jerry Ford had two phrased liberals take a shot at him.  Loaded gun, fired right at him. So maybe we can back off on the hysteria about America being a racist country every time anything -- the sun rises.  The wind blows.

KELLY: Ann, good to see you as always.

COULTER: Good to see you.

KELLY: She's interesting, isn't she? She is. Well, if the situation with the Baltimore police was not bad enough already, the police commissioner down there is now predicting, oh, more cops are going to get arrested as he continues to reform that city. Mark Fuhrman is here on, what that's likely to do.  

Plus, breaking news on what may be one of the biggest finds yet in the hunt for these to convicted killers. We'll tell you what happened.  

Plus, President Obama talks about Fox News, again. See what has him upset with us this time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: The fact that, you know, if you watch Fox News, you inhabit a completely different world with different facts than if you read New York Times.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: New developments tonight in the case of the Baltimore police officers. Six of them, charged in the death of the -- Freddie Gray.  Tonight all six officers pleaded not guilty to the charges and their trial has now been scheduled for October. But a recent op-ed piece by the Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts makes it sound like this will not be the last arrest of cops. This is the police commissioner. He wrote, quote, "Our reform efforts will very likely see more police officers arrested. We will have more officers who are forced out because of their outdated, outmoded views of policing do not match the standards the community expects and demands."

Mark Fuhrman is a former LAPD detective and a Fox News contributor.  Mark, already, we are hearing pushback from officers who don't want to come on camera because they're worried they'll going to get fired saying, way to have our backs, commissioner, now we haven't even done anything wrong and you're threatening to arrest us.  

MARK FUHRMAN, FORMER LAPD DETECTIVE: Well, Megyn, when you look at the lack of leadership in Baltimore, I think they should look at this as your major problem. From the mayor, the commissioner, to the local politicians, community leaders. It is leadership. And nobody is looking at the conduct of the people in the communities where the police are having to respond and ultimately be shown to be involved in all these, you know, egregious situations that the commissioner is citing. So how do you create morale and confidence in a leader that is throwing you under the bus every time it gets in front of the camera?  

KELLY: But he would say, and does say, in this op-ed, if you are an honest cop, I stand behind you. You make an honest mistake, we stand behind you and we expedited the procedure to take a look at cops' behaviors when they get challenged. However, if you're a dirty cop or bad cop or a cop who is a racist, you'll going to get called out and you'll going to get kicked out. And that's the way it should be.

FUHRMAN: Well, that's the way it always was, Megyn. So, let's first -- let's lay the definitions down in Baltimore so all these cops know exactly what they're playing with. What is his definition of a bad cop?  What is his definition of too much use of force? What is his definition of racism? They should know what the rules are before they go out in the street and expose themselves and their families to a quite possibly a court proceeding and prison time.  

KELLY: Uh-mm. They say that they have been implementing more training in Baltimore. But it is extraordinary to see the head of the police force go out there, and essentially promise his force, some of them are going to get arrested. I mean, it is one thing when they have misbehaved and you can say this case is likely going to lead to an arrest.  Although, even that would be problematic legally. But to just send out a warning, in a situation, Mark, where the cops are already coming under fire for allegedly not going after it, you know, the crime situation as aggressively as they could have because they feel concerned they're going to get arrested.  

FUHRMAN: Absolutely. All they shouldn't be aggressive right now.  And they shouldn't go the extra mile. And all the special units, and all the special activity that is needed to actually take the fight to suspects instead of waiting for those suspects to commit a crime takes a lot of morale. It takes a lot of backing by your leaders. It takes a feeling and a unit that somebody has got your back. They don't have that. The crime is going to go up. The murders are going to go up. It is going to be a long, hot summer. And Commissioner Batts is trying to save his own job and save face over the arrests of officers and the threat of officers. He's only going to make the situation worse. Officers are going to do less and see less if they think that they're going to actually be arrested by this man because he doesn't have their back. It is crystal clear.

KELLY: Uh-mm. And you know what is crazy is, we have been told that they're under threat now if they speak out publicly with their own opinions or how they feel about all this and yet the commissioner is very vocal about what he thinks of the men and women who work for him and what he thinks should happen to them and yet if they dare say anything, have an opinion of their own, their jobs are on the line, Mark.  

FUHRMAN: Well, Megyn, you know, some departments have certain rules that you cannot go on the -- any media outlet or talk to, you know, a journalist for a written publication about a certain situation. Usually an ongoing case. But this isn't. This is about an attitude of, you know, punishment for officers that have not yet occurred. It is also about how they're being treated in their units to go out in the street and supposedly they demand that they actually do aggressive police work, but they don't allow them to and when they do, they want to arrest them. So, these officers have had their First Amendment rights taken away from Commissioner Batts while he is going out on TV and in written publications and doing exactly what he's telling them they can't do.

KELLY: That's the thing. And if they come out and say anything about Commissioner Batts, you know they'll going to be in trouble. We're going to continue to follow it and we're going to continue to reach out to those who he has taken direct aim at and see if they can find the courage to offer their response.

Mark, good to see you.

FUHRMAN: Thank you.

KELLY: Also tonight, after the tragedy in Charleston, South Carolina, the head of the NAACP is calling for the vigorous prosecution of hate groups. Judge Andrew Napolitano is here next on where that could go.  

Plus, both sides weigh in on a heated race debate after America's first black president just used the most controversial word out there.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Racism. We're not cured of. Clearly. And it is not just a matter of it not being polite to say (bleep) in public, that's not the measure of whether racism still exists or not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: Also tonight, after the tragedy in Charleston, South Carolina, the head of the NAACP is calling for the vigorous prosecution of hate groups. Judge Andrew Napolitano is here next on where that could go.

Plus, both sides weigh in on a heated race debate after America's first black president just used the most controversial word out there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Racism. We are not cleared of it, clearly. And it's not just a matter of it not being polite to say [bleep] in public, that's not the measure of whether racism still exists or not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. NIKKI HALEY, R-S.C.: We are not going to allow this symbol to divide us any longer. The fact that people are choosing to use it as a sign of hate is something that we cannot stand. The fact that it causes pain to so many is enough to move it from the capital grounds. It is, after all, a capital that belongs to all of us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: That was South Carolina Republican Governor, Nikki Haley calling for the removal of the Confederate Flag from the grounds of the state house. Five days ago, a suspected mass murderer killed nine African- American church members in Charleston, in church. Pictures have emerged showing the accused killer posing with the Confederate Flag. As you just heard, Governor Haley declared that her state will not "allow the symbol to divide us any longer." State lawmakers must approve the flag's removal.  We have also seen a range of political reactions today after President Obama, in discussing race and the situation in Charleston, dropped the N word in a conversation with a radio host. Here is the President with digital radio host Marc Maron.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Racism. We are not cleared of it, clearly. And it's not just a matter of it not being polite to say [bleep] in public, that's not the measure of whether racism still exists or not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Mark Hannah is a former aide to the Obama Campaign and a Partner at the Truman National Security Project. And Kevin Jackson is the Executive Director of the Blacksphere.net, and conservative Radio Host. So the President was making a broader statement about race saying, look, I would tell young people don't say nothing's changed when it comes to race in America, unless you live through the 50's or 60's or 70's as a black man.  Because it's incontrovertible race relations have improved significantly during my lifetime and yours. That was the context. But then he went on to say what we heard him say there. And now he's being condemned by many including some African-Americans for saying -- for actually uttering the N word. Kevin, let me start with you. Was it inappropriate?

KEVIN JACKSON, CONSERVATIVE RADIO HOST: I think it was inappropriate, but I think it is a word that is used in black culture quite a bit. I think quite frankly, it was Barack Obama essentially mooning America saying I can say words that you no longer can say. And everybody knows that you have to say the N word as ridiculous as it is because we certainly know what the word is. But I'll tell you this, Sterling, Donald Sterling is probably wondering why Barack Obama still has a job, I bet you Paula Deen may be wondering. There are many people...

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY: Come on. It is not the same thing, Kevin. It is not exactly the same thing. First of all, they're white, ok. And second of all, they weren't saying it respectfully.

JACKSON: No, no, but Paula Deen said it years ago and she loses a career. Sterling really didn't say it, just talked about black culture.  What I'm getting at is that Barack Obama says something, so overtly and so easily, it would have gotten most people -- I'll put it to you this way, nobody at Fox is going to say that. You're going to say the N word.

KELLY: Most people won't say that word, which is why it was so shocking, Mark, right, and it is surprising to see even prominent African- Americans come out and say, whoa, just don't.

MARK HANNAH, FORMER OBAMA CAMPAIGN AIDE: I -- first of all what Kevin was saying, making equivalent what the President said and explaining the history of racism, referring to racist language, not necessarily using racist language, like Paula Deen did is outrageous. And I think I wanted to just kind of watch himself keep digging in that hole. But, Megyn, you're absolutely right -- I'll answer your question, Megyn, you're absolutely right. We don't expect to hear certain words coming from the lips of the President of the United States. This is absolutely one of them. As a public figure, like you are and like he is, you have to be very careful in the words you choose. This is why last week for example, you didn't utter the name of the shooter in Charleston. I think that was really admirable. The President, I think, here, made a deliberate calculation because he knew this would spur a national discussion about racism. I think that was his goal in doing that.

KELLY: Do you agree with that, Kevin? It was intentional. The White House seemed to suggest, not really, it wasn't intentional.

JACKSON: I think there was some contemplation -- he was much contemplated and a bit of deliberation on it. And I think that we should engage in this race discussion, because everything he said about it, the systematic implementation of racism, et cetera, is basically liberalism.  If you look at the things that he wants to get into a discussion about, Jim Crow Laws, Jim Crow Laws, Democrats, we're having insane discussions about Confederate Flags. We have white women on the left who want to be -- who want to be black. And this day and time, and Barack Obama still want to promote the idea that we're a racist country.

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY: Quickly.

HANNAH: I think the president's point was that we've made a lot of progress where these kinds of -- you know the focus on a word like that...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNAH: Yeah I do think it was. And he said there are an underlying culture and a sort of history and legacy of racial hatred that we need to confront as a country, and we shouldn't focus on the words. And I think we're obscuring that point when we have this conversation, and I think you're absolutely, Kevin, sort of taking -- I'm not sure whether you listened to the interview itself, but it was a stem winder. He went on for a number of different topics. It is possible this remark was extemporaneous but he used the word in his book before. I think he has license to use it as a man of color.

KELLY: I never heard him use that word publicly. He used it in his book, but never heard him utter it. Good to see you both.

HANNAH: Good to see you, Megyn.

KELLY: Well the Charleston tragedy has also prompted new calls for a government crackdown on hate groups. Here is the NAACP President.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CORNELL WILLIAM BROOKS, NAACP PRESIDENT: We have to allocate resources to address these hate groups and these hate crimes. We also need vigorous prosecution and vigorous investigations of these hate groups and the resources to do so.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Judge Andrew Napolitano is our Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst. He wants to see these hate groups prosecuted. Is that possible?  Does the law support that?

JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO, FOX NEWS SENIOR JUDICIAL ANALYST: No, it is not possible and the law does not support it. Because freedom of thought, and freedom of expression and freedom of association, even if generated and defined by hatred, is protected, as long as that does not produce immediate lawless violence. So if people want to join groups because of the dark protection of some common irrational belief, they're entitled to do it.  And that irrational belief can be something absurd and something based on hatred.

KELLY: So this killer in Charleston who is frequenting this white supremacist website, that talked about all the injustices allegedly perpetrated on white people by black people, that website is totally fine, legally, totally fine.

NAPOLITANO: Yes. That website is protected. The First Amendment essentially was written to protect the speech we fear and hate and loathe, because the speech we like doesn't need protection.

KELLY: The new Black Panther Party out there saying we got to kill some cracker babies, that's fine, protected.

NAPOLITANO: That speech is protected. Here is the limit, if the speech produces immediate lawless violence before other speech can challenge it and rebut it, then the speech can be prosecuted. That's a very, very narrow category.

KELLY: It's very narrow.

NAPOLITANO: Correct. So as much as I share the anguish of the African-American leader that was just on the NAACP fellow, and I share the anguish of how can these groups do that, it is in America under the great First Amendment protected, thought, speech, association, and behavior.

KELLY: You're allowed legally to be a racist, to be a flaming hateful racist like we have seen here.

NAPOLITANO: The government cannot, but individuals can. Hatred is protected under the constitution.

KELLY: The First Amendment comes with a lot of burdens.

NAPOLITANO: Yes, it does.

KELLY: But it offers so many freedoms that are so dear.

NAPOLITANO: Including the ones you and I are exercising right now, while we're at work.

KELLY: That's right, good sir, great to see you.

NAPOLITANO: Pleasure, Megyn.

KELLY: Well the President's interview with this radio host also made news on more than just race relations.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fact that, you know, if you watch Fox News you inhabit a completely different world with different facts than if you read New York Times.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Up next, Marc Thiessen and Robert Zimmerman on why President Obama is so very focused on Fox News.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS WALLACE, HOST, "FOX NEWS SUNDAY" These guys, everything is personal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything.

WALLACE: They are the biggest bunch of cry babies I've dealt with in my 30 years in Washington.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: That was "Fox News Sunday" host, Chris Wallace back in 2009 talking about the Obama Administration's relationship with the press.  Tonight, President Obama's comments on Fox News are again raising questions about the President's view of the media. During the recent one hour sit- down he had with a radio host, the so-called splintered American media came up and here's where that went.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The problem is that there is this big gap between who we are as a people, and how our politics expresses itself. And part of that has to do with gerrymandering and super packs and lobbyists, and a media that is so splintered now that we're not in a common conversation.  And the fact that, you know, if you watch Fox News you inhabit a completely different world with different facts than if you read New York Times.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.

KELLY: Joining me now, Marc Thiessen, who is a Fox News contributor and a Former Speechwriter to President George W. Bush. Also, Robert Zimmerman, who is Democratic Strategist and DNC Committee Man, both from New York, good to see you guys.

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY: So what is it, Marc, because the President took a shot at Fox in May, and now once again he takes a shot at Fox here. He's taken many shots over his term, but he can't seem to get over the fact that we are here.

MARC THIESSEN, FMR CHIEF SPEECHWRITER TO PRES. GW BUSH: I know. It is very frustrating.

KELLY: Irritating.

THIESSEN: To be Barack Obama and have Fox News on. The last part of what he said is actually completely true. If you watch Fox News, you inhabit a completely different world with different facts than if you read The New York Times. If you read the New York Times, you live in a world where Barack Obama is doing great, the battle against ISIS is going well, and the economy is recovering. You wouldn't know things like, for example, about Lois Lerner's e-mails or the fact that Jonathan Gruber, the Architect of Obamacare, mocked the stupidity of the American people, but what you would know for example, that Marco Rubio got four traffic tickets. This is the kind of news that President Obama wants us to be focused on. Doesn't want us to be focused on Lois Lerner and Jonathan Gruber, he wants to be focused on Marco Rubio's traffic tickets. That's why he wants us to read the New York Times.

ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Megyn, if you consider the President's comments and attack on Fox News, you got to get out more.  First of all, my friends who read the New York Times were offended by the comments as well.

KELLY: Really?

ZIMMERMAN: This President, of course, they are regarded as criticism of the Times as well. The bigger point here that Marc makes, I think that's worth noting is the question about whether we read information to be informed, or read news just to be reinforced. For example, with the New York Times attacking Hillary Clinton on the e-mails and the foundation, people at this network wanted to nominate the Times for a Pulitzer. When the Wall Street Journal vindicated the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton and pointed out there was no favoritism, I didn't hear a lot of people from the right bringing it up.

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY: Vindicated. I think that's a stretch as her champion and a loyal one, but...

(CROSSTALK)

ZIMMERMAN: Read the article. They made that clear there was no favoritism.

KELLY: Vindication is a bridge too far. But here is my question for you, Marc. What is it, is this strategy by the President? Or is it just we're a constant irritant to him? You want to look at him and say, we're here, we're clear, get used to it. Something like he doesn't want to accept that there is a channel that will criticize him. I realize that many people feel it is too much, it's too much criticism. But really, has Fox News been proven wrong on every single subject? That's what the left wants you to believe that Fox News just invents, you know, stories and that's what we exist to do.

THIESSEN: Yeah, well, I was in the Bush Administration and Fox News wasn't always friendly to us when we did things wrong. So I'm sure if there is a Republican president a few years from now, they're going to bemoan the coverage on Fox News as well. The problem is that Barack Obama -- when you're failing, you need a scapegoat. And the American people say that Barack Obama is failing. (Inaudible) Poll recently, 44 percent of Americans approve of his handling of the economy, 38 percent approve of his handling of immigration, and 35 percent approve of his handling of foreign policy. So either the American people are right and Barack Obama is failing at all of his major tasks, or they're misinformed. So Barack Obama chooses to believe they're misinformed. And the reason they're misinformed is because they're watching too much Fox News.

KELLY: President George Bush got hit a lot by MSNBC.

ZIMMERMAN: He fought back.

KELLY: No he did not.

ZIMMERMAN: The New York he did. He attacked the New York Times for false reporting on a rather consistent basis.

KELLY: There was an off-mic moment with President Bush. You're telling me President Bush complained about the media as much as Barack Obama does?

ZIMMERMAN: Barack Obama complained about MSNBC. So let's be realistic about this.

KELLY: Are you saying that? You're not saying that? You're not saying...

(CROSSTALK)

ZIMMERMAN: I absolutely am. You can look it up. He criticized both MSNBC.

KELLY: As much, is that what you're saying? You're going on record as much?

ZIMMERMAN: I said he criticized them. The point is every president criticizes the media. Some like Richard Nixon...

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY: They're cutting us off it's so rude. I could go on all night.

(CROSSTALK)

THIESSEN: Thank you, Megyn.

KELLY: We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: A major development tonight in the man hunt for those two escaped killers in New York. After exhausting some 2,000 leads in the search for Richard Matt and Sweat -- what's the guy's name? What's his first name? David Sweat. Thank you. This latest find is said to be refocusing the entire operation. Trace Gallagher, live in our West Coast Newsroom, Trace?

GALLAGHER: Megyn, the cabin was burglarized and DNA from inside matches both of the killers Richard Matt and David Sweat.  Police won't say exactly where they found the DNA. But the owner of the cabin called police on Saturday when he saw someone running away. He then reportedly found a jug of water and an open jar of peanut butter on the kitchen table. We're told the hunting cabin is deep in the woods, about ten miles from the prison, the closest road, 13 miles of dirt, trees and heavy brush. That would be very easy to hide along. There are also dozens of other hunting cabins in that area that is mostly unoccupied. Because remember, hunting season is mainly in the fall. The DNA discovery also makes it very likely, police say that the two men are still traveling together 17 days after they escaped. Police are now trying to block every road in or out. But experts say if the killer can steal a little food and water here and there, they could remain holed up in those woods for quite some time. Police have now called off their other search on the New York/Pennsylvania border where a witness spotted two men on a railroad like. The search has spread as wide as 300 miles. Now it's back to within 20 miles of the prison. It appears the escapees not moving all that fast, Megyn.

KELLY: Continue to follow that. Trace, thank you. We'll be right back. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: Get a lot of reaction online to our last segment about Fox News and the assertion that President Obama complains the same amount about Fox, as President Bush did about MSNBC. Didn't do the math exactly, which is anecdotally -- I don't think so. In any event, tune in tomorrow night because Brit Hume is here. We'll have a reaction from him. We have a bunch of folks that you're going to want to hear from. And later this week, don't forget, we've got our special on the woman in Oklahoma who survived an attempted beheading. Stay with us, we'll see you tomorrow night at 9:00.  

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