'Kelly File' exclusive: Kim Davis speaks out about time in jail; couple denied marriage license shares their side

Kentucky clerk describes the humbling experience on 'The Kelly File'


This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," September 23, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST, "THE KELLY FILE": Breaking tonight, brand new 2016. Fox News polling showing little change for front-runner Donald Trump while Dr. Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and even Marco Rubio start moving up off of the last big debate.

Welcome to "The Kelly File," everyone. I'm Megyn Kelly. New Fox polls show republican front-runner Donald Trump at roughly the same vote to share. He had nearly six weeks ago after the first Republican debate. Take a look at what is happening on the other hand with Dr. Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and Senator Marco Rubio. All with notable surges with experts saying that bold moves from each of those three candidates have led to significant gains. We also have dramatic new numbers on how everyone did at that debate.

We want to bring in Chris Stirewalt, our Fox News digital politics editor and Dana Perino who served as White House press secretary under President George W. Bush, also co-host of "The Five" right here on FNC. So, Chris let me start with this. Donald Trump is still the front-runner and hasn't lost any. In fact, gained a point from our last poll. But the line for him looks like this. And what does it tell us?

CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS DIGITAL POLITICS EDITOR: Well, it tells us that and actually, it's the exact same vote share that he had the week before hour debate. So for seven weeks, Donald Trump has sat in the front of the Pac for the Republican Party but in an unchanged chair. And he looks to be doing, sort of what Mitt Romney was doing in the 2012 election was. He got out to a lead and he's trying to sit on it. He's trying to run out the clock. But he's got a lot of clock to run out. And now, as Jeb Bush continues to -- not low energy -- he's sliding to sixth in the poll and now Trump has a real problem. He's got Ben Carson, he's got Marco Rubio, he's got Carly Fiorina who are all getting a little gutsier and Carson especially is willing to go places that Trump is not willing to go especially as it relates to the rule of Islam and a public -- and all of the stuff.

KELLY: Because if you look at the polling numbers, Dana, they're going up for some of the candidates and they're staying the same for Donald Trump. So, Fiorina has gone up way up, Rubio has gone way up, Carson has gone up as well. I'm trying to get, so, okay, Trump is up one, Carson is up six. Fiorina and Rubio up four and five respectively. So their trending is looking better.

DANA PERINO, FOX NEWS CO-HOST, "THE FIVE": I think for Donald Trump, he was in such a high position and he might is probably going to be hard to increase that beyond where he was even at that point.

KELLY: Uh-mm.

PERINO: And people are still sort of shopping around. And I think that anybody who is now thinking that maybe Ben Carson is their candidate, they probably came from the Donald Trump camp. I think what this does show is that the outside -- the outsiders are still the in-crowd. At least as far as we are seeing. Now, Rubio has kind of considered an insider, but there's a lot of buzz around even people thinking maybe they could have supported somebody else in the race. Maybe a Jeb Bush or a John Kasich. Thinking this Rubio, keep an eye on him.

KELLY: Of the non-outsiders, Rubio seems to be the most palatable choice to voters at least at this point in the election.

PERINO: Well, and I do think on Jeb Bush, I'd be curious, maybe Chris would know but the attacks from Donald Trump against Jeb Bush, so the television ads, as well as at the debate. That might have taken the toll over the past month.

KELLY: Uh-hm. Speaking of the debate Chris, this is the first real poll we've seen on how people feel the candidates did. People have been pointing to these online polls. The Drudge report --

STIREWALT: Oh, well --

KELLY: Those are online polls. If I don't like it, can't I just go on and say, this guy, this guy, this guy, this guy, this guy?


And so, we don't even cite those on Fox News. They're not worth the paper in which they are appointed. However, this is a real poll that says how people did in the debate and how people how they do?

STIREWALT: Well, Carly Fiorina did well. And everybody agrees on that. Every index. Every matrix. Everything that we have looked at says, Carly Fiorina did well. And our poll bares it out. She did the best. Now, remember, when we look at things like this, the people -- if you like a candidate, you're more prone to think that they did well in the debate. There's build in preference there. But what Fiorina did was, get the approval, get the win from a lot of people who said that she wasn't their pick. And that's good news for her because it means again that they're open to her.

KELLY: Uh-hm.

STIREWALT: And again, voters say just as they did after our debate, that the greatest numbers of voters said that Trump did the worst, but that's probably reflective of just how many people dislike him inside the party.

KELLY: But he's a front-runner. I mean, I don't understand it. Because he is the frontrunner in the Republican Party. And, yet, more people thought he lost than they thought anyone else lost. And basically, 30 percent thought that he lost in the debate, which is higher than anybody else which was the same thing with the first debate. More voters thought he lost and thought anybody else lost.

STIREWALT: Slice the Republican Party in the thirds. You've got a third of the Republicans who are definitely do not want Donald Trump. You've got a third of Republicans who either want him or are open to the idea of him. There's a broad generalities. And then he got another third that is waiting and seeing as Dana says, waiting and seeing to find out what's going to go on.

KELLY: Uh-hm.

STIREWALT: And as Trump looks at how you get to the win from here, he's got to find a way to start changing minds in that swing third. So, they're open to many. He's not going to be able to do it if he keeps running reruns of his same campaign from August. He has to find a way to do something new or he's going to be stuck.

KELLY: Same attacks, her and before. Dana, let me ask you. Lindsey Graham.


KELLY: He was at zero. And now he's at zero. However, he did have a pretty good debate.


PERINO: I know.

KELLY: But it's like the line from Animal House, like 0.0, son. There is no way to go through life.

PERINO: I think you can look at the bottom of seven. If you look at the bottom seven, I think that all of those campaigns could probably see themselves closing out before Thanksgiving.

KELLY: I mean, how long can you run for president? Like zero like you. Nobody wants you.


PERINO: So, you have to do a personal cost benefit analysis, right? So, what are they getting at if they're staying around?

KELLY: Their message.

PERINO: Lindsey Graham would say, at least I'm getting people to talk about ISIS.

KELLY: And that's true. He's got an interesting message. But lie, he's not the only one. Santorum, Jindal, Gilmore, less than one. Still has less than one. Pataki one to one. I think that's like Rand Paul is down to two from three. It's like it gets really depressing.

PERINO: It does starts to get a lot more --

KELLY: This is just me. Now, I'm not going to stop now. Okay.

PERINO: It's starting to get a lot more expensive. And so, these people are going to have to make a choice very soon.

KELLY: I think -- I think more people want you and Chris than want, with all due respect --


PERINO: Definitely they want Chris.


STIREWALT: That's right.

KELLY: All right. Great to see you both. Thank you.


KELLY: Well, you just saw the new numbers with Fiorina among those moving up fast. Donald Trump today ramped up his battle with the woman who's looking more like a threat all the time.

Rich Lowry and Chris Salcedo are here next with where this fight could be headed.

Plus, breaking news. Catherine Herridge tonight on Hillary Clinton, the FBI and what they're finding on the computer server she thought she wiped clean.

And then our big exclusive with Kim Davis, as the Kentucky clerk speaks about what happened in jail. The new threat to her freedom and how she is handling the attacks.


KELLY: So much media coverage. So many people have an opinion now on Kim Davis. How do you think you've come out of it today? Villain or heroin?



KELLY: Breaking tonight, Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina turning up the heat as both clash on the campaign trail in South Carolina.


DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She's got a good line of pitter-patter. But when you listen for more than five minutes, you develop a tremendous headache.

CARLY FIORINA, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: A leader always challenges the status quo. And leadership is not about how big your office is, how big your title is, how bit your airplane or you helicopter or your ego is. Leadership is about service.

TRUMP: Now, Carly is out there fighting like hell to raise money. Now, she's trying to raise money. I don't know, she doesn't want to spend her own money. And her business career was a disaster. And nobody wants to say it. They say you can't say that because it's sexist.


KELLY: Joining me now, National Review editor and Fox News contributor Rich Lowry, and "The Blaze" radio host, Chris Salcedo. Great to see you both.


KELLY: So let's start with that. People say it's sexist to say her business career was a disaster. Has anybody said that? Has anybody said that?

LOWRY: No, no one disputes that. And look, Trump obviously attacks everyone but she's become a much bigger target. And I think part of what's going on here is that last debate. Let's be honest. Carly cut his balls off with the position of a surgeon.

KELLY: What did you just say?

LOWRY: And he knows it -- he knows that he's insulted and bolted his way to the top of the polls. No one was able to best him ever, except for this tough lady on that stage. And it must kill him. He must be simmering about it to this night.


KELLY: Go ahead, Chris.

SALCEDO: I mean, you need to come out of your shell, buddy.


Well, first off, you know, look. They both went at each other. They both have very good business acumen, both have pretty good track records in the business world. And both have appeal because they're not part of the problem. You know, what struck me the most is this political atmosphere. The latest got a drop out of the race of course with Scott Walker whom I love. I love Scott Walker. His message, hey, we all need to unite to take out Donald Trump. And I think a lot of the country is saying hey, Republicans, why don't you try concentrating on that other party that's been destroying the country for the last seven years. You know, the Democrats instead of piling on Trump for crying out loud.

KELLY: But that's been the feedback that Trump has received too. Focus on the Dems instead of the Republicans, Rich.

LOWRY: That's pretty much all Trump does more or less, is attack the other candidates and it's been interpreted as strength and toughness, I think it's becoming more and more clear that he just really thin-skinned as part of this. And finally, Carly the advice I would give her, laugh it all, shrug it all, take it very wildly and stick to your business getting your message.

KELLY: Chris, what did you make? Let me ask you though. What did you make because you know, Trump comes out and sort of set a straw man, the people say, he's a sexist because he say Carly had difficulties in her business career. That's not true. People said he was sexist because he made fun of her face. And even remarks like the one we just played. You listen to her pitter-patter for more than five minutes and she gives you a headache. Those are known as sort of code words for this woman drives me nuts because of, you know, we've heard these things before.

SALCEDO: Well, the idea that nobody else is firing on Trump in this whole thing is ludicrous. Everybody is taking shots.

KELLY: They're all firing on him.

SALCEDO: Yes. They're all firing. He's a front-runner for crying out loud. So, yes, for Ted Cruz. I mean, let's make mention there. But I mean, the fact that everybody is just behaving civilly and Donald Trump is the only one out there giving cannon fires is not true. But, you know, sooner or later, this is all going to work out in the wash. I think that Donald Trump is very good for the discussion we're having, at this particular point in our country, as are all the outsiders and Ted Cruz. And Marco Rubio had a fantastic debate, he did a great job and I'm still having a hard time forgiving Chris Christie for 2012. But even he had a pretty good debate.


KELLY: You tell me one thing before I let you go, Rich. Does this dispute, you know, between Trump and Fiorina tell us that she's a real contender?

LOWRY: I think so. She is gaining on him. And she's gaining on him in that outsider lane that we've talked about. And she's gotten under his skin. Clearly, and you know, Trump is -- he doesn't like being challenged. He doesn't like being criticized. And he's lashing out. And he says she's always repeating herself. He repeats himself constantly. Except he never really says anything and as much as coherent than she is.

KELLY: They all do. That's their challenge is to make their shtick sound, you know --

SALCEDO: Guys, this could actually be a competitive race on the GOP side. That's also what we're looking out here --

KELLY: Well, listen, it's looking good for a Trump, Fiorina and Carson, it's 65 percent of the Republican voter I think it was in a Fox News poll say, we want an outsider, I think --

SALCEDO: There you go.

KELLY: I'm not sure if that's the number but it's very, very high, I'll get back to you. Great to see you both.

SALCEDO: Thanks, guys.

KELLY: Also, tonight, Hillary Clinton appears to have been caught in a doozy as she tries to downplay her email scandal. Bill Burton is next on that.

Plus, our "Kelly File" exclusive. Kim Davis will talk to us about the decisions she made as the cameras rolled on a scene that would put the county clerk at center of a religious freedom firestorm.


KELLY: Did you understand in that moment the consequences of saying no? That it could ultimately lead to you going to jail?



KELLY: Well, Hillary Clinton appears to have been caught a doozy tonight addressing her email scandal. She now claims the reason she ultimately turned over her emails to the State Department, well, it was just a general request from state that, you know, was issued to all former secretaries of state.


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When we were asked to help the State Department make sure they had everything from other secretaries of state, not just me, I am the one who said, okay, great, I'll go through them again and we provided all of them.


KELLY: In fact, Mrs. Clinton documents were sought by state, specifically from her and only her, long before those are the other secretaries. And it was not general recordkeeping. It was in response to a Congressional investigation on Benghazi.

Bill Burton is the former Obama White House deputy press secretary. What she said there is clearly not true. And the Benghazi request came to her and her alone three months before they saw documents from Colin Powell and Condi Rice and others.


KELLY: Good to see you.

BURTON: I think that yes, obviously, there was this request. But there also was requests to other secretaries to say it. You know, I think of this e-mail controversy is going to keep going because there are people who will never stop it from continuing to keep going.

KELLY: Okay. But now, that's true. I agree.

BURTON: And I think that's just the deal.

KELLY: But let me just start on that. Because, you know that, I mean, the latest poll shows that the Democrats think that Hillary Clinton is lying. The Democrats say. Fifty eight percent of Democrats said, yes, Hillary Clinton is lying about how her emails were handled. And the reason they say that, Bill, is because of things like this. That was just not true what she said on the Sunday show. It was not true. That request that went out to the general secretary of state came three months later, she had to turn over her documents because they got subpoenaed at state on the Benghazi committee and that is when state realized Holy Lord, we don't have any of her e-mails.

BURTON: Right. But they also didn't have any of the other former secretary of state e-mails.

KELLY: But you're doing what she's doing.

BURTON: I'm not trying to just, what, move past this controversy. I think that there's going to be plenty of time for people to look at the e- mails, to decide whether or not they feel like this has an impact of what kind of president she would be. She should be rather. But at the end of the day, I think that the American people when they're choosing a president, they're looking at who's talking about the issues that matter to them and then their lives. And this issue is just never going to rise to that level where people think that this is going to have an impact on their lives.

KELLY: Here's my other question. They show -- her latest poll shows --


KELLY: -- her 33 percent, this is Bloomberg by 25, Sanders at 24. It's getting kind of tight. Do you think she has cause for concern?

BURTON: It is. You know, I've been looking at the polls, too. And just before I came on I look to the polls in 2007 and 2008 to see where things were. You know what's interesting is that Barack Obama actually was not leading in the polls until February of 2008.


BURTON: So months and months from where we are now. And, you know, I think it's important to note that, for all the negative press that Hillary has gotten. For all the e-mail stories that have been written for the 16 Republican candidates a number that's changing, who have been attacking her, there is no other candidate in this race who you would rather be than Hillary Clinton.

KELLY: Yes. The numbers --

BURTON: Any of the candidates who was in as strong opposition as she is.

KELLY: I was just looking at it. Back in 2008, the same point in the cycle, 44 percent believed Clinton would be our next president. Six percent believed Barack Obama would be. Talk about being wrong.

Bill Burton, great to see you.

BURTON: And a lot of those people weren't even on the Obama campaign.

KELLY: Thank you. Great to see you.

BURTON: Good to see you, too.

KELLY: Up next, our Kim Davis exclusive. As she sits down with yours truly to tell us the back story of what lead with this.


KIM DAVIS, ROWAN COUNTY CLERK: We are not issuing marriage license today. So, I would --


DAVIS: -- ask you all to go ahead and leave.

MOORE: Why are you not issuing marriage licenses today?

DAVIS: Because I'm not.


DAVID ERMOLD, DENIED MARRIAGE LICENSE: Under whose authority are you not issuing license?

DAVIS: Under God's authority.


KELLY: When we come back, we will hear from the man who were having that exchange with Kim and we will hear from Kim Davis herself.


KELLY: What was the hardest part for you, Kim?



KELLY: Breaking tonight, we're awaiting a court ruling on a new legal complaint filed against Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis. The woman at the center of a recent standoff over religious liberty and the law on same sex marriage. The day the story exploded on the national scene a few weeks back when this video went viral. It shows Kim telling a gay couple she would not give them a marriage license because to do so would run contrary to her Christian beliefs. Within days, Kim Davis found herself in jail for refusing a judge's order to issue the licenses. Then almost as quickly she won her freedom in a court deal that she is now accused of violating.

Tonight, for the first time in a cable news exclusive, we will speak with Kim about her faith, this fight and the new threat to her freedom.

Plus, also for the first time, we'll be joined by the couple who confronted Kim Davis. But, first, Trace Gallagher has the latest on the new twist in this dramatic story. Trace?

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Megyn, the Bible belt runs right through Rowan, Kentucky. And Kim Davis has never leave anywhere else. But Davis didn't become a Christian until four-and-a-half years ago. And it was that religious awakening that has led to both her abeyance to scripture and defiance of the law.


GALLAGHER (voice-over): When she was sworn in as clerk at Rowan County, Kentucky, Kim Davis was following in the footsteps of her mother who served as Rowan County clerk for 37 years. Twenty six of those years, Kim Davis served as her mother's deputy clerk. And when Davis want to narrow election to succeed her mom, she vowed to follow the letter of the law. But when the Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that gay couples have the right to get married, the letter of the law conflicted with Kim Davis' religious beliefs.

DAVIS: We are not issuing marriage license today. So, I would --

MOORE: Based on what?

DAVIS: -- ask you all to go ahead and leave.

MOORE: Why are you not issuing marriage licenses today?

DAVIS: Because I'm not.


ERMOLD: Under whose authority are you not issuing license?

DAVIS: Under God's authority.


GALLAGHER: To many, she was a hero. To many, she was a hypocrite. Critics wondered how a woman married four times to three different men had the right to pass judgment on who was allowed to get married.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Religious liberty is not a sword with which government, through its employees, may impose particular religious views on others.

GALLAGHER: Davis was ordered by a federal court and appeals court to issue gay marriage licenses. But she wouldn't budge, saying, quote, "I have no animosity toward anyone and harbor no ill will. To me, this has never been a gay or lesbian issue. It is about marriage and God's word. It is a matter of religious liberty which is protected under the First Amendment." A federal judge didn't buy it, she was charged with contempt and spent six days in jail. Her release was an event.

MIKE HUCKABEE, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Please, help me welcome to the stage, Kim Davis.


DAVIS: We serve a living God who knows exactly where each and every one of us is at. Just keep on pressing. Don't let down. Because he is here. He is worthy.

GALLAGHER: Davis then vowed not to interfere with her office issuing a gay marriage licenses with a caveat.

DAVIS: However, any unauthorized license that they issue will not have my name, my title or my authority on it. Instead, the license will state that they are issued pursuant to a federal court order.


GALLAGHER: But the ACLU is now accusing Kim Davis of meddling with the marriage licenses by changing the documentation. They believe she has violated the federal court order and should be thrown back in jail.

KELLY: So much media coverage. So many people have an opinion now on Kim Davis. How do you think you've come out of it today? Villain? Or heroine?

KIM DAVIS: It just depends (INAUDIBLE).

KELLY: What do you think the public perception of you is now? Do you feel like most people are with you or are not?

DAVIS: I get mail and phone calls saying that they support me, praying for me, just -- you know, really wanting to encourage me. I get emails, hate emails, we bias stuff in our mail from people who oppose my views. So it just depends on what side of the argument you're on as to whether you treat me well or you treat me bad or if you think I'm a villain or just someone that God is using.

KELLY: Was there -- after the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage and the order that you had to issue the licenses was there a moment -- do you remember a moment where you said to yourself no, I'm not doing that.

DAVIS: Megyn, I started in January after I got elected, every Senator that we had in our state, while they still had time to get legislation on the floor for this year, begging them to get legislation on the floor to protect clerks like myself and many others who had religious objections, moral conflicts with this issue. I got one response.

KELLY: So you knew -- I mean ultimately, your efforts to get an accommodation were either ignored or failed. And that moment that we seen in the video tape where the couple asked you for the license, and you were not issuing licenses to any couples, gay couples, straight couples, that was the equal treatment that you were giving. Was that the first time you had denied a license to a gay couple?


KELLY: Ok, so it had happening for how many days?

DAVIS: That was probably their fifth time in.

KELLY: That same couple?

DAVIS: Oh yeah.

KELLY: Ok. So they knew what the answer was going to be.

DAVIS: Yes they did.

KELLY: And you believe they were looking for a confrontation?

DAVIS: Sure. Sure. There was a media swarm around them. That's what it was all about.

KELLY: Did you understand in that moment the consequences of saying no? That it could ultimately lead you going to jail?

DAVIS: Sure, I had laid the cost of this.

KELLY: Did that enter your mind though, jail?

DAVIS: Yeah.

KELLY: Wow, so you understood...

DAVIS: Most definitely.

KELLY: If I stand by this I might be going away for a while. But did you ever think it would actually happen, Kim?

DAVIS: In America, in 2015, no. I mean, have we come into a place that we can accommodate everybody? That we can't agree to disagree and still have respect for each other, you know? For me, you know, just like that video showed, it's never been a gay or lesbian issue for me. It has been about upholding the word of God and how God defined marriage from the very beginning of time.

KELLY: So when the legal challenges wound up not going in your favor, many people have asked why not just resign at that point.

DAVIS: If I resign, I lose my voice, why should I have to quit a job that I love that I'm good at. You know I've worked -- I've been a county employee and served the public well for over 26 years before I got elected. You know it just comes back to you know they can accommodate all sorts of other issues. And we ask for one simple accommodation, and we cannot receive it? It just doesn't seem right.

KELLY: What religious doctrine of belief is it that you feel -- compels you not to do this?


KELLY: The answer to that question when we come back with our exclusive interview with Kim Davis.

Plus, the couple at the center of the viral confrontation, with the Kentucky clerk, they are here with their side of the story, too.


KELLY: Were you looking for a confrontation when you went in there?




KELLY: What religious doctrine or faith do you feel compels you not to do this?

DAVIS: Well, the Christian faith you know -- God's words states that a marriage is between one man and one woman. That's what rules my faith, you know.

KELLY: Now, you've heard your critics say that you, too, are a sinner. That you were married four times, twice to the same man, but divorced three time, that you had an affair while married, that you had children out of wedlock, and they look at you and say who are you to judge others? To them you say what?

DAVIS: I've not judged anybody. I give my life to Christ. I have been redeemed by the blood of Christ. And that's available to anybody that wants that. My sins are forgiven. They are thrown into a sea of forgetfulness from the time I gave my life to him. Do I still sin, maybe every now and then, we're all flesh, we tend to say things maybe we don't - - say things we shouldn't say or get angry without cause. That's what repentance is all about. You ask God to forgive you. And you vow not to do it anymore. But we are flesh. To say that I'm a sinner, you know, I guess that's somebody judging me.

KELLY: What about the couple with whom you had the confrontation. They said we felt humiliated. We felt like second class citizens. Can you understand that point of view?

DAVIS: When they first came in, they demanded that I talk to them. Nothing would do them. And they had cameras going and everything. And so when I was talking to them, they wanted to know why I would not issue them the marriage license. And I simply told them about when God created earth, he spoke everything in existence.

KELLY: They said they went to get their marriage license pursuant to the law and they didn't want a "lecture in religion."

DAVIS: They wanted to know the reason why I didn't issue one and I gave them the reason.

KELLY: The argument on the other side is if we're going to give a religious accommodation to someone like Kim Davis, then we're going to have to give a religious accommodation to an untold number of people -- to Catholics who don't want to issue a license to somebody who has been divorced but was in a Catholic Church and didn't get annulled, to a Muslim who doesn't want to sanction the marriage of a Christian a Muslim and so on. Can you understand that argument?

DAVIS: I could if I thought it was valid argument, because for simply the fact is that marriage is defined as one man and one woman. It's not like black and white. You're not talking about a racial issue, you're not talking about -- I'm just talking about marriage in general.

KELLY: But other people in other religions have their own definitions of marriage and their own beliefs on who can and cannot marry. So the critics say this is a slippery slope if we're going to bend the law or the rules for one person with one set of objections, we may have to do it for a bunch of people.

DAVIS: So you have millions of Christians who object this whole same- sex issue. Are their rights invalid, are their rights not worth anything? It's a valid point, it's a fight that's worth fight for.

KELLY: How about that because the president -- even today was talking about in this country we stand for religious liberty. Do you believe that? Do you believe that still in the United States of America today?

DAVIS: In 2015, when a county clerk can go to jail because she has upheld her religious beliefs, I would have to question his statement.

KELLY: So you decide you're going to stand by -- stand up principle, you wind up getting word you're going to jail. Even though you knew it was a possibility, describe the moment you learned you were going?

DAVIS: There was a flood of emotions, of course, when the marshals came around to get me and I stood up and I thanked Judge Benton and I walked out with grace.

KELLY: Not knowing how long you were going to be in jail for.

DAVIS: Didn't matter how long I was going to be in jail.

KELLY: How long were you willing to stay?

DAVIS: As long as it took. I would stay until January until legislation was put in if that was what it took.

KELLY: You could have been there up to a year, did you know that?

DAVIS: It didn't matter. Megyn, when I gave my life to the lord, I vowed to him with every bit of strength I had. And to me, that's a vow I want to keep because it's a heaven or hell issue for me.

KELLY: Even while you're sitting in a jail cell alone.

DAVIS: Yes ma'am. You know what I did while I was in there? I sang praises to him to the top of my lungs. They thought I was insane in there.

KELLY: Were you allowed to talk to anybody?

DAVIS: I was by myself. So I talked to the lord.

KELLY: Was it humbling?

DAVIS: Yeah.

KELLY: Somebody can see you at all times, there's no privacy. You're a county clerk, you're an elected official of your county.


DAVIS: People in the jail, hardened criminals in there for over ten years, that message to let her know we're praying for her.

KELLY: Did you know at the time it had exploded into such a national story?

DAVIS: No. I never imagined. Just standing -- you know any Christian just standing up for your beliefs would lead to this.

KELLY: So you get out after six days. And there's an agreement that the deputy clerks can issue the licenses, you don't want your name on it, you don't want to be sanctioning it but if the deputy clerks can do it, that's a different story. We saw that moment when you came -- there it is -- when you came out of the jail and there's Governor Huckabee, Ted Cruz is there as well, Matt, you're there. "Eye of the Tiger" is playing, you received this huge welcome, describe that moment, what was that like for you?


KELLY: Kim answers that when we come back. And I will ask her if she is prepared to go to jail again.

Plus, later, the couple that put a spotlight on a small Kentucky town is here with their side of the story, and it may surprise you.



KELLY: When you came out of the jail and there's Governor Huckabee, Ted Cruz is there as well, Matt, you're there. Eye of the Tigers playing, you received this huge welcome, describe that moment, what was that like for you?

DAVIS: Well, the presence of God was very strong there. It was overwhelming. And it was -- I was totally unprepared for that, because I was prepared that day to have a visitation from Governor Huckabee and from the Denim Brothers -- and Tony Perkins I believe.

KELLY: When you went out there and you saw all of the people, did you feel supported?

DAVIS: Yes, it was like electric up there.

KELLY: And, yet, I'm sure it wasn't too long there after that you learned not everyone was cheering. There has been severe backlash. We showed a clip of some women on TV calling you a monster, mocking your appearance, mocking the appearance of your husband. How did that make you feel?

DAVIS: I don't watch this stuff so I've not seen any of it. I want to keep it that way. But what people say about me does not define who I am. It doesn't make me the person that I am. My God has transformed me. And that's what they don't understand, because they have a different view than I have. They're considering me to be something that is terrible.

KELLY: What was the hardest part for you, Kim?

DAVIS: The hardest part about all this is when Judge Benton called my deputies in. I told them, my conscious is mine and yours is yours. You'll have to make a decision. I love you all. I will not lead you like sheep to the slaughter.

KELLY: And yet if your child were gay or lesbian...

DAVIS: I wouldn't write them a marriage license, no way.

KELLY: How would you explain that?

DAVIS: I would love them because I love all people. But I would not write them a marriage license.

KELLY: And to those who say, she must have hatred in her heart, this is bigotry.

DAVIS: No, that's people that don't know me. I have love in my heart for everyone. Everyone has a soul, Megyn, and that's what we're bound as Christians to love and to reach for. I pray for those people that sued, I heard they got death threats and stuff and it tore my heart out. I was crying at the office and I said I don't understand, God, these people are suing me.

KELLY: You're prepared to go back to jail if that's what it takes?

DAVIS: Whatever the cost.

KELLY: What do you think is the lesson here, Kim?

DAVIS: I had received a letter, a request from a little girl in second grade. She wrote me an email and asked me if I could just write her something about my office. And I wrote back to her, not even knowing this was even in her eyes and I told her that as a young lady one person can make a difference. And I got that out the other day. I actually found that by mistake. And I read through that. And I thought, oh my, one person can make a difference. If one person is willing to step out in faith and exercise their faith, one person can make a difference.

KELLY: Thank you.

DAVIS: Thank you.


KELLY: As we mentioned, the Kim Davis scandal started with a showdown earlier this month when she refused to issue a marriage license to a gay couple. The exchange was caught on camera. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Call the police. You can call the police. I pay your salary. I pay your salary.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm paying for this memory with my partner that I love, that I've been with for 17 years. What's the longest you've been with someone, that you've been married to someone?

DAVIS: I'm asking you to leave.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not leaving.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Call the police.


KELLY: Yesterday, I spoke with the men in that video, David Moore and Dave Ermold.


KELLY: Were you looking for a confrontation when you went in there?

DAVID MOORE: We were going in there to get a marriage license. And we actually went in, there was another couple that was in front of us, and we saw them get denied right in front of us. And that really was upsetting to see that. We went up to the counter anyways, and Kim Davis was actually hiding in her office. She came out to talk to us. I didn't really know what to expect. I really thought we would get a license that day. I thought there was a good chance.

KELLY: What did you think, David, when she said, you know under God's authority and you said, you know, that's not my God.

DAVID ERMOLD: If someone were to look at that video really closely and look at the demeanor that Kim Davis had that day when she said that, it was quite nasty, to be quite frank with you. I didn't expect that -- I guess I should have expected it, but I didn't expect it would be so direct. I was upset. That was very bothersome. Actually what bothered me more than saying under God's authority was when she said that we were going to have to be held accountable at one point in time is what she -- and I'm paraphrasing there a little bit is what she stated. I didn't go to the county clerk's office to get a lecture on religion. I went there for a marriage license.

KELLY: What is that like to be denied the license after being together 17 years?

ERMOLD: It's humiliating, to be quite frank with you. I don't know that anybody would want to experience what we went through, what should have really been a ten-minute issue. We walk in, get a license, go out, start planning our wedding, get it ordained, it becomes a big national issue. And it was not the best experience, I would say.

KELLY: What did you think, David, when she was hauled off to jail? Did you want to see her go to jail?

MOORE: No, we didn't want to see her go to jail. In fact, I remember the day that it happened and I saw the image, and I was surprised, and I did not feel good. David -- we talked about it that night, and David was upset. And I was upset. That's not what we wanted. But I don't know what the answer is you know.

KELLY: To those who say well, she deserves an accommodation, she can have your rights and she can have her beliefs and she deserves an accommodation, what say you?

MOORE: Well, she still has the right to her religious beliefs just like we have the rights to our religious beliefs. It's when you try to impose the beliefs on other people, that's when there's an issue. I don't think there should be an accommodation.

KELLY: Do you have any desire to see her go back to jail?

MOORE: I don't, no.

ERMOLD: I would just want to see her do her job. You know, everybody just wants to see that happen. They want to see her do her job and we don't have to work around her or make accommodations or if she can't do her job, and then let someone else do it.

KELLY: Do you have like the baker and the photographer secured? Are we headed for more potential trouble?

ERMOLD: I called the florist today. They're absolutely fine with it. The bakery we still have to straighten out.

MOORE: We'll figure it out. We're going to figure it all out.

ERMOLD: With the florist today.

MOORE: It very well may be.

KELLY: All the best to you both. Thank you for being on with us and telling us your story.

MOORE: Thank you, Megyn.



KELLY: Do you think Kim Davis should have been forced to issue those same-sex marriage licenses? Go to and on twitter @MegynKelly, let me know what you think. Thanks for watching, everyone. I'm Megyn Kelly. This is the Kelly File.

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