Rep. King on mysterious Russian jetliner crash; Peggy Noonan opens up

Columnist reflects on her time in the White House, American exceptionalism in 'The Time of Our Lives'; Former speechwriter opens up on 'The Kelly File'


This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," November 2, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Breaking tonight, new clues in a mysterious passenger plane crash that killed more than 200 men, women, and children, are now raising new fears that the Islamic State terror group may just have carried out one of the worst terror attacks in years.

Good evening and welcome to "The Kelly File" everyone, I'm Megyn Kelly.  On Saturday, a Russian jetliner reportedly exploded in mid-air after taking off from one of Egypt's most popular tourist stops. The carnage stretching nine miles, strewn among wreckage, with traces of 224 victims, including 25 children. In the awful pictures, you could see a little girl's pink sneaker. Here is a man's dress shoe. Searchers sorted through children's toys and the belongings of those on board, while devastated families in Russia waited for answers.

Most of the passengers were returning from vacation in Egypt. Entire families were wiped out. And there's this heartbreaking image. Look at this. A 10-month-old girl, reportedly the youngest victim, her mother posting this picture before they boarded that flight and her life would end. Almost immediately after the crash, an ISIS linked group in Egypt claimed responsibility and put out a video purporting to show the plane being shot out of the sky by a missile. The National Intelligence Director James Clapper said, we cannot rule out the possibility of terror.


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JAMES CLAPPER, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: We don't have any direct evidence of any terrorist involvement yet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does ISIS have the ability to shoot down an airliner?

CLAPPER: It's unlikely, but I wouldn't rule it out.


KELLY: We are joined tonight by Congressman Peter King who is a member of the Homeland Security Committee and Lieutenant Colonel Tony Shaffer, who consulted with Boeing on how to protect aircraft from terror attacks.

We begin tonight though with Trace Gallagher on the search for clues.  Trace?

TRACE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Megyn, both Cairo and Moscow have a lot riding on the outcome of this crash investigation. And because of that, objective information is very hard to come by. Egypt is trying to knock down any speculation about terrorism because that could prove disastrous for their travel industry. At the same time, the mechanical or human error raises even more questions about Russia's tarnish aviation industry. Right now the head of Metrojet is insisting the crash was caused by, quote, "external impact like a bomb not a mechanical problem." Listen.


ALEXANDER SMIRNOV, DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL OF METROJET (through a translator): There are no such calls, like engine failure, system failure.  There's no just combination of systems failure that could lead to a plane breaking up in air.


GALLAGHER: Except in 2001, the tail section of the A-21 that crashed was damaged when it struck a runway on landing. Metrojet maintains it was fixed. But remember the U.S. air crash in 1994 over Pittsburgh that killed 132? That was caused by a broken rudder. And very much like this weekend's crash in that crash, the pilots lost control of the plane, plummeted and there was no mayday call. Which is why even Russian aviation experts are telling Metrojet to stop getting ahead of the investigation.  There are also reports that Metrojet is having financial problems and that many employees haven't been paid in months. Even a report the co-pilot of the ill-fated flight have complained about the jet's technical condition.  As for the possibility that ISIS is to blame, tonight an investigator analyzing the black boxes reportedly says, nothing hit the plane from the outside, which if true, negates the possibility of an anti-aircraft missile -- Megyn.

KELLY: Trace, thank you.

Joining us now with more, Congressman Peter King, member of the Homeland Security Committee and Lieutenant Colonel Tony Shaffer, who is a CIA trained Intel operative and senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research.

Good evening to both of you tonight. Congressman King, let me start with you. Does this look like terror to you?

REP. PETER KING, R-N.Y., HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE: Well, it is certainly something that has to be strongly considered. I doubt it would be a missile. I don't believe that ISIS or its affiliates have that type of weaponry. They do -- but I don't think they could hit the plane at that altitude. But as far as the fact if it was such a large explosion, certainly terrorism has to be considered. That's a hot bed, that area there for ISIS, for Al Qaeda, for Islamic militants and since the Irish spring, it's only got much worst. So, to me, this has all the earmarks of something that has to be looked at as far as terrorism. It could be mechanical. But again considering the world in which we live, considering the fact that Russia has this direct conflict with Islamic militants --

KELLY: Right.

KING: I think it could well be certainly terrorism has to be surely considered and as the Director Clapper said, there's no reason to rule that out.

KELLY: This is the worst aviation disaster in Russian history.  Colonel, let me ask you whether you think the facts support either a hit by surface-to-air missile or as some are speculating, a bomb on board this aircraft.

LT. COL. TONY SHAFFER, CIA TRAINED INTEL OPERATIVE: Well, clearly there's a great deal of issues to look at. Safety records. I mean, safety records. Look, the Russians have not been -- I would not want to fly on a Russian plane. Not that I, you know, distrust them, they just don't do things to the standards we do. But in this case, I agree with Representative King. I think the indications are that we have to take this very serious that this was a terror attack. Let me state three things that tell me it probably was.

First, there's no surface-to-air missile that ISIS could have at this point in time which could reach 30,000 feet. This is not in the cards.  The S-300, the Russian made system our Patriots system could do that.  These things are huge multi-million dollar systems which take a crew to run. ISIS not there yet. Thirty thousand feet, man pads can't make it.  They make it to about 15, maybe 18 max -- no way. But physical evidence shows that the actual airframe, the actual compartment shows pieces of metal fanning out like they were blown out, which tells me this may well been Megyn a Lockerbie type bombing.

And we know ISIS has been very aggressive in pursuing targets in the Sinai. The Egyptians are fighting them on a daily basis. ISIS has conducted assassinations there. So I think we have to look at the old traditional route of putting the bomb on the plane either by a suicide bomber or by a package like Lockerbie and I think that's where this is all going in my judgment.

KELLY: Congressman King, there are reports that they've already started moving the bodies of the dead from the crash site, which can be as crude as it sounds in a moment like this, important to the investigation.  I mean, they are now evidence of a potential crime, at least a potential crime. Do you think that's a mistake given the fact that this may be a crime investigation, a terror investigation?

KING: You know, I'm not on the ground, obviously. But I think the Egyptians may have a motive in not wanting this to be terrorism, of course.  Because of the damage that would do to its terrorism industry. I do think the Russians would very much want to find out if it's terrorism or not. So I think, you know, there could be a conflict there. But I'm really not in the position to say Megyn whether or not they're removing the bodies to Sinai. I'm not sure who's on the ground. I'm not sure exactly how it's being done. But again, I think with Egypt, we have to have some concern that they may want to switch the emphasis away from terrorism.

KELLY: Do we react to this at all, Congressman King?

KING: I'm sure, Megyn. What was that?

KELLY: Does the United States react to this at all? What do we do?

KING: We have to obviously use every method we have, every bit of analysis we have, because it's very important to know. You know, listen, if ISIS was able to blow up this plane, we know that our planes would be targeted. So, again, we have to see if it was an explosive, what type of explosive was used, how it was able to detect inspection. So, all of that, no, we have to watch this very carefully. And it would be opening up a new arena as far as ISIS war against the west and against civilization.

KELLY: And I should point out that video that some ISIS affiliated folks posted online of a plane blowing up deemed to be a fake by officials, they did not believe that was this plane, that it was being used as propaganda. And that has to be a concern tonight, as well, Colonel that perhaps this wasn't a mechanical failure. If the aircraft manufacturer who is saying, there was no failure, there was no pilot air. This came from outside. But ISIS could use it nonetheless.

SHAFFER: ISIS is going to. They're playing their audience. Megyn, as much as we can sit here as rational human beings explain the technology is not there for them to do it, doesn't matter. They're going to convince their audience they did it. They're going to use that to get effect. And let me say this very clearly, and I think Representative King will agree with me, this is why we have to go after ISIS now, where they're at.  They're getting expeditionary, they're growing, they're recruiting, they're getting expansive. So, I think this is why, this man as Congressman said, we have to look at what we have to do to protect our airliners now, because if they've got a bomb on an airplane, we need to figure out how it happened. And make sure we get there ahead of them.

KELLY: That picture of the 10-month-old really brings it home. Good to see you both.

KING: Thank you, Megyn. Thank you, Tony.

KELLY: Breaking tonight. Dramatic news in the republican race to the White House and the Wall Street Journal releases a poll with a big shift at the very top. Chris Stirewalt is here on that.

Plus, new fallout in the fight over debates.

Plus, as President Obama presses early release for thousands of felons, some of the country's top cops are not convinced this is a good idea. Judge Napolitano is here on the question of public safety.

And then, a woman who got national attention for appearing to threaten to kill police and/or white people, is now defending her remarks, and in a "Kelly File" cable exclusive, we'll speak with her and her attorney next about why they say videos like hers only tell half the story.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right now we declare open season on the mother (bleep). All you mother (bleep) need to watch your mother (bleep). You need to protect your mother (bleep). We're coming for you. We're coming for all you mother (bleep).



KELLY: Breaking tonight in a "Kelly File" exclusive. We are hearing from the woman at the center of a caught-on-tape moment that caused national controversy. Latasha Need was arrested back in September after video had emerged of her declaring, quote, "Open season on crackers." And suggesting people start walking up on untrained police officers and stealing their weapons. She says the videos were selectively edited and never meant for public consumption. Here's a clip.


LATAUSHA NEDD, ACTIVIST ACCUSED OF TERRORISTIC THREATS: They've been coming for our throats. They've been coming for our lives. They're killing our women, saying that they committed suicide. They're killing our unarmed men for no reason at all. For petty crimes or nothing at all. For traffic stops. Your taillight out and you getting killed.


KELLY: Latausha and her attorney are with us in a moment. But first, Trace Gallagher has more on her arrest. Trace.

GALLAGHER: Megyn, a county judge ruled when Latausha Nedd was seen brandishing a gun and a machete saying, it's open season on killing cracker cops, it was enough to move criminal charges against her to a superior court. But now Need and her attorney say she wasn't threatening cops or white people, she was threatening a group that hacked into a chat session she was having on Google, she claims the very same group stole her videos, edited them and posted them out of context on the internet. Listen.


NEDD: I maintain that I have a right to defend myself from these hate-filled rants from this group and their supporters. At no point did I ever want to kill or hurt law enforcement officers, and the unedited version of these videos will prove that fact.


GALLAGHER: Except she and her lawyer never do explain how the statements kill crackers, take a gun from a cop day and take over police stations were taken out of context. Latausha Nedd as you remember is part of the "F Your Flag" movement, an offshoot of Black Lives Matters and though she now claims that she never threatened to white people, while she is being lead into the police car and asked, did you threaten to kill white people? She reportedly responded, quote, "well, they killing us." Watch.


NEDD: All I said, defend yourself against people that want to kill us. That's all. I never said anything more than that. I never said anything more than that. So I'm being arrested for what?


GALLAGHER: Her lawyer claims that rap groups often make similar statements to Latasha Nedd but they're not facing criminal charges saying people have the right to free speech -- Megyn.

KELLY: Trace, thank you.

Joining me now in a cable exclusive, Latausha Nedd, the woman we've been speaking about and her attorney, Gerald Griggs. Thank you both for being here.


KELLY: Latasha, let me start with you on where our reporter just left off, on the perception that you threatened white people based on the words, we're going to fight back, we declare right now open season on an "m "f"- ing cracker" as you're pointing a gun at the camera with your finger on the trigger saying you need to watch your mf-ing heads, you need to protect your mf-ing selves because we're coming for you. Can you see how people thought that was a threat?

NEDD: Taken out of context, yes, I could see how it might sound that way.

KELLY: What context makes it sound better?

NEDD: I don't think that the context that I was being threatened and that video specifically was being towards -- was towards the people that were threatening me. So there's nothing that I could say to make it sound any better than that. When being threatened, when being called stereotypical names, racial slurs, and I responded.

KELLY: How -- I mean, apart from what happened on your online chat, where this took place, how do you feel about white people?

NEDD: I don't hate white people, if that's what you're asking me, Megyn. I don't hate white people, I hate injustice. And I hate corruption. And I feel that the systematic killing of black people has to be addressed.

KELLY: When, you know, when people listen to the piece that you -- that, you know, went online, you talk about how it's open season on the cracker, we won't take this "s" any "f"-ing more. That makes it sound, obviously, like you mean what you say, that it's open season on white people, crackers, obviously a derogatory term for white people. And even though this happened in a situation where you say somebody was antagonizing you, your statements are generalized.

NEDD: Again, Megyn, once we go further with this investigation, the ending part, those last 30 seconds of that video, will be very clear and explained. So the beginning of that video, which people don't get to see, is me talking about the atrocities that are being committed against black people. And the system that allows those atrocities to go on.

KELLY: I understand that. You were angry about what you perceive as, you know, the murders of young, black men, you believe those are murders by some police officers we've seen and in some cases they have been. But in many cases they haven't been and have been portrayed in a media in a way that may have been -- that may have misrepresented the facts. Can you allow for that? In your discussion you sound like you really can't -- like you hate the cops and you want it to be open season on them too.

GRIGGS: Well, here's what you have to understand, Megyn. You have to take the video in context, you have to understand the threats that were made before the video when she was having a Google hang-out chat. And individuals infiltrated and hacked in and called her everything but a child of God. And in Georgia law, you are -- you have the very right to defend yourself and that's exactly what she was doing. So we're not talking about this out of context. If someone hacks into your show and calls you everything under the sun, threatens to come to your house and then comes to your house and posts it online that they came to your house, you would respond the same way. And that's exactly what my client did. That's what free speech allows her to do. And at that point, she was defending herself.

KELLY: But that's where -- Gerald is that a lot of people were watching would say, if somebody hacked into my Google chat and started saying nasty things about me, I would not respond by using the term cracker, it's open season, and you know, all the stuff we went through pointing the gun at the camera, finger on the trigger, you need to watch your "f"-ing heads, we're coming for you and so on.

GRIGGS: And here's where we beg to differ, Megyn. If someone comes to your house and claims to be the police, if someone hacks into your Google account and shows you a picture of your house telling you I'm coming for you, you -- mf-ing "n" word, multiple times calling you all kinds of racial epithets, monkey, coons and all those things --

KELLY: That's on the tape that the court has. That's on the tape that the court has.

GRIGGS: Yes. Yes. You see the individual, you see him laughing, you see him talking about her. You see all these things. And that's the unedited tape. They're antagonizing her and she's responded. But let me ask you in all fairness then Latausha, are these terms, you know, cracker - - have you said that prior to this chat room?

NEDD: I have. The -- of the word cracker comes from slavery where field slaves would notify each other when the overseer was coming.


Wait a minute, Megyn. The sound of the crack of the whip, that's why it comes from. Now, if I'm being called a Niger, then -- and no one seems to have a problem with that, when I use the word cracker, now I become a terrorist? Come on, Megyn.

GRIGGS: And here's --

KELLY: No one has a problem with the n-word, I think a lot of folks out there have a problem with both of those words. Don't want to hear those words.

Gerald, I know that you were arguing this in court. You don't believe she's made terroristic threats that this is a matter of free speech and that she has a defense based on the fact that was threatened firsthand in the first place.


KELLY: And we'll hear more of that when the court releases this tape.  I appreciate both of you being here. Thank you very much.

NEDD: Thank you.

GRIGGS: Thank you, Megyn.

KELLY: We apologize for those words, which were at the center of the debate we were having.

Also tonight, breaking news on a new poll shaking up the GOP field.  As one candidate makes a big jump.

Chris Stirewalt is next on that, and the new drama over the debates.  Here's a question for you. What should the temperature be in the debate halls? We'll tell you. Chris knows.

Plus, Judge Andrew Napolitano is here on the thousands of convicted felons now being released and the new questions about public safety.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some people are bad people. We need to separate the bad people from the good people.


KELLY: Breaking tonight. A new Wall Street Journal poll out just hours ago shows Dr. Ben Carson now in first place in the race for the White House in the GOP side. He jumped six points to 29 percent. And for the first time since June, Donald Trump finds himself in second, with 23 percent. Rubio, Cruz, and Bush have not moved much at all. All this as the republican field picks a fight with the TV networks over upcoming presidential debates, one with which not all of the Republican contenders are on board. Chris Stirewalt is our FOX News politics digital editor.

All right. So, let's start with the polling. This poll shows Dr. Carson up in first place, and meanwhile, the Investor's Business Daily poll that we cited a couple of weeks ago that had Trump in second, behind Ben Carson, now shows Trump in first, and Carson in the second position. You say what?

CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS DIGITAL POLITICS EDITOR: Well, I say that The Wall Street Journal poll is one of the very best to take nothing away from the Investor's Business Daily poll. "The Wall Street Journal" poll, just from my point of view is in a category with our poll, which is the very best -- the Swedish chocolate in the box. But also with Quinnipiac as a polls that I look to as not only being accurate but predictive. Polls can be accurate but not predictive. And our poll is very good. The Wall Street Journal poll --  

KELLY: So, you like The Wall Street Journal polls that now shows Ben Carson polling ahead a significant amount. You're likening it -- that chocolate on the outside and has like the butter crunch, like the butter thing like on the inside.


No, the cherry when it's bad --

STIREWALT: It's bad.

KELLY: The ones with the color cream inside and the pink, it's bad.


Butter finger on the side. Okay.


KELLY: So does it tell us anything other than in this one poll Ben Carson is doing well? Because it happened before the debate.

STIREWALT: Not particularly, it doesn't tell us who is going to win, it doesn't tell us whatever. But what it does say is this, that the trend line for Ben Carson moving into the fore by consolidating the conservative vote and the evangelical Christian vote inside the Republican Party continues.

KELLY: Okay. What is happening with the GOP field and the debates?

STIREWALT: Look, I know this is sort of a contrary view, but what's happening with the GOP field and the debates is what happens every cycle.  When you start out, you have a lot of people running for president and their interests are the same, which is not to get blown out before they get started. As they go forward, and their polling numbers diverge and their interests diverge, so do their desires as it relates to debates. And there was a brief moment where everybody thought, well, this time the Republicans are going to unite and be good to each other and take care of one another as they go into this polling process. Well, that was never going to happen.

KELLY: So now they're banding together to try to get the networks to make sure you tell the audience, Chris, how hot do they want it in the debate hall?

STIREWALT: Sixty seven degrees.

KELLY: That needs to be in a contract. They can't have -- they want all the candidates to receive similarly substantive questions, no so-called lightning rounds of questions. Approval of any on screen graphics aired during the debate. Oh, yes, that's going to happen. The networks should commit that they would not ask hand raising questions. Yes or no questions. Allow candidates to candidate questions. And then maybe like the foot massage or like a little, I mean --

STIREWALT: No brown M&Ms.

KELLY: Really?

STIREWALT: Get all the brown M&Ms out of the bowl. Look, this is a negotiating position that the candidates were thinking about engaging in.  And then as they got closer to the process of actually submitting the letter, candidates started peeling off because they had different interests.

KELLY: Trump's out. Fiorina never took part. She was like, I will debate anybody anywhere. I don't care how cold --


KELLY: -- my greenroom looks like.


-- and let us go.


KELLY: Even the divided field is getting more divided.

STIREWALT: They have divergent interests. And this is why we do what we do. We do good debates. We help candidates come. And we do it for the viewers and the voters that they have faith in us and we have faith in them.

KELLY: Can you imagine having to submit our graphics for approval to the candidates? Good luck with that.

STIREWALT: I can't and we won't.

KELLY: Correct. You heard it here first. Great to see you, Chris.


KELLY: Well, it was just two weeks ago that we were reporting on a New York police officer murdered by a drug suspect who by many accounts should have been in jail. Now President Obama is pushing to release thousands of other drug convicts. Judge Napolitano is here with a surprising take.

Plus, she's the woman behind some of Ronald Reagan's most memorable speeches. Tonight, Peggy Noonan is here with some political wisdom for everyone and a message for all of us about the future of America.  


KELLY: Well, she is the woman behind some of the most meaningful presidential speeches of our time, a pioneer in broadcast television, politics and more. One of the most prominent voices in the conservative movement who pulls no punches when it comes to politicians and others, including her most recent column in which she argues that Jeb Bush has not succeeded in the 2016 race and she doesn't think he will. For years, articles like that have raised eyebrows among the establishment, but Peggy Noonan says she must write what she really thinks and sees. And she does just that in her new book, The Time of Our Lives. Peggy Noonan, author, former presidential speechwriter and Wall Street Journal columnist, welcome to you.

PEGGY NOONAN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL SPEECHWRITER: Oh, thank you, Megyn. Thank you for having me here.

KELLY: The book is a marvel. I have read it myself and I cannot urge people to read it anymore than I do right now. The book as I see it is in some ways a love letter to America, and about America. And you write in the book that America is the central intellectual subject of my life. This is a great project we are in. You go through your history, including when you grew up as a young girl, no special background, no money to speak of. But you refer to it as the old America. It knew what it was about. And you talked about how the prevailing culture then still functioned as a protective force.


KELLY: But no longer does, to our detriment. Explain that.

NOONAN: Yeah, I worry about this a lot. There are a lot of unprotected kids out there. They are in families that haven't fully cohered. They are at the mercy of the culture and the street. This is a little bit scary.

KELLY: When I say it in some ways a love letter to our country, you talk so fondly about moments of American exceptionalism and it reminds you of why Ronald Reagan hired this woman. And one of the examples that stood out to me in the book was of -- you read about America being welcoming and free. And if you'll pardon me I'll just speak about -- read a passage from the book. This is an incident. There was a 7-year-old boy who came over from Germany on the SS Brennan. He was traveling with his younger brother. They were fleeing the Nazis. The Brennan anchored in Manhattan's Westside on May 4, 1939 and the children were joined by their father already in New York. They stood on deck and then the boy saw something. Across the street from where we were, invisible from the boat was a delicatessen, which had its name in neon with Hebrew letters. He was startled. Something with Hebrew letters that were impossible back home. He asked his father, is that allowed? And his father said, it is here, it is here. And tell the audience who that little boy grew up to be?

NOONAN: That little boy from nowhere, finding out he was free in this country and being shot by the freedom was the great theatrical director and producer Mike Nichols, my beloved friend who told me that story. When he told it to me, my eyes filled up and every time I read it my eyes filled up because that's -- to me, that just capturing America. I'm not sure -- we all love America, but sometimes I think, you know, we ought to point out why a little bit more. We ought to talk about it a little bit more. This is a fabulous project we are in. And as it goes through rocky times, I think we ought to be a little protective of it.

KELLY: And you talk at length about your time working in the Reagan White House. She was a speechwriter for President Reagan and a great one. And one of the most famous speeches that you helped write with on -- for President Reagan, you wrote it and he weighed in as well was after the Space Shuttle Challenger went down. And I love how you begin to get that because we all remember that and you wrote, we all wanted to believe there were survivors. It's funny, the power of human denial, even though we saw that spark in the sky. You only had a couple of hours to write that speech. We had to scramble. I was very lucky that a woman who had been with the president came in and gave me notes of what he had just said in his office. And that became the spine of the speech, but that was a really challenging day.

KELLY: And as you sat down to write it, you know, needing to come up with something creative, with something powerful. Something soothing for the country to be delivered by the commander-of-chief from his desk in the Oval office, something came to mind and it was a poem from the 7th grade called High Flight and it -- part of it was incorporated into the speech and here is how you all might heard it.


RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT: The crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger honored us for the manner in which they live their lives. We will never forget them nor the last time we saw them this morning, as they prepared for their journey and wave goodbye and slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God.


NOONAN: That's some quote.

KELLY: How did you know he would like it?

NOONAN: I wasn't sure. This is what I thought. I remembered this poem, it was something that went perfectly with the astronauts waving goodbye that morning, which CNN kept showing over and over. So I thought, that is the end of the speech, but I will only hear it if it means something to Ronald Reagan. And we watched all of us in the speech writing office. We saw what he said. He used that ending. And then he called me the next morning and almost the first thing he said was, "How did you know I knew that speech? I said "Oh, Mr. President, I just took a chance." In fact, it had been a speech that was on a plaque outside his daughter Patty's grade school. When he used to take her to school, he used to read it there.

KELLY: One of the things that come through in the book is your respect for him and his optimism which he was known for, but you saw up close and personal and something that jumped out at me was you talked about how when he lost the GOP nomination to Gerald Ford in 1976, he called on his volunteers not to be cynical, but to take it as an inspiration and quoted an old warrior saying, "I will lie me down and bleed a while and then I will rise and fight again."

NOONAN: Yeah. That still gives me a shiver.

KELLY: And the book has a theme throughout out of a few, ask me of hopefulness, of trying to return people to what matters. Maybe steer a little bit away from technology and back to humanity. And I felt this was embodied in your -- what you wrote about Tim Russert in his funeral and the passage begins, I love this, "The world is a great liar." You write about how, it shows you that it worships and admires money, but it does not. It says it adores fame and celebrity, but it doesn't, that the world admires and wants to hold on to goodness and virtue.

NOONAN: Yeah. Boy, that was -- Tim's death reminded me of that very much. This was a famous, well-off celebrated guy, but when he died, it pierces your heart, it hit us all like a blow to the heart, and it wasn't because he was famous and rich. It was because he was a good man, a fair man, a kind man, a generous man. He took care of the people he worked with. He took care of his family. And I just wanted to say that -- I always wanted to say that young people, nobody is going to tell you the truth, but being a good person is so much more important than the other stuff you're being trained to do.

KELLY: Again, it is called The Time of Our Lives, I highly recommend it. Peggy Noonan, what a gift. Thank you.

NOONAN: Thank you, my dear.

KELLY: Also tonight, a Yale dropout who went on to become one of the most powerful men in America. A man demonized by the left. Who loves his dog, his country and his time in the White House, James Rosen is here with some exclusive insights in to a man you know very well.

But first, Judge Napolitano on the public safety questions being raised as the president orders the release of thousands of convicted felons.


KELLY: Well, with just two weeks ago, that we were reporting on a New York police officer murdered by a drug suspect, who, by many accounts, should have been in jail. Then this past Friday, President Obama ordered the release of thousands of drug convicts, despite concerns from cops, all the way up to the commissioner of the largest police force in the country.


WILLIAM BRATTON, NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: One of the issues of concern is when people go to jail, often times they go to jail with negotiated charges, if you will. So that somebody that is in jail that they're nonviolent drug offender, may have crimes of violence in their record. So we have to be concerned about who we're letting out. Some people are bad people and we need to separate the bad people from the good people.


KELLY: Judge Andrew Napolitano was our Fox News senior judicial analyst, he is with me now. I thought we did that when we sent them to prison. Bad, the bad people went to prison and the good people stay out of the prison. And now they're letting the bad people out early.

ANDREW NAPOLITANO, FOX NEWS SENIOR JUDICIAL ANALYST: Sometimes good people go to prison. Sometimes people are imprisoned because they have an addiction and they don't belong in prison. Prison actually makes some worse not better.

KELLY: This is true.

NAPOLITANO: It's difficult.

KELLY: But some of these folks are armed career criminals.

NAPOLITANO: Well, they.

KELLY: Nearly violent criminals according to the U.S. attorneys.

NAPOLITANO: They should not be released. If the president wants to accelerate the release, we're talking about people who served 70, 75 percent of their term in the federal system, if you serve 85 percent, they have to let you out, but it's the law. If the president wants to accelerate those releases and they're nonviolent, didn't deal drugs did not take drugs in front of their children. They didn't harm anybody but themselves. I think the president is actually using federal resources in an appropriate way, because those jail cells should be filled by more dangerous people, not by these.

KELLY: But the problem is, what assurance do we have that those -- that are sort of, you know, you picture like the college kids smoking pot and you think, oh, he got locked up for 20 years and that should be reduced. But that is not who we are talking about here. If you look at the record on some of these people they used guns. They shot at people. They were arrested for assault. They plead -- pleaded down from much more serious crimes.

NAPOLITANO: Well, if violence is involved, they are not appropriate candidates for early release. And if the president is releasing people who were convicted of crimes of violence, I understand what the Commissioner Bratton said, and he's right. You and I both spent a portion of our lives in the criminal justice system. Often, you're charged with a crime and you plead to something that bears no resemblance to what you've been charged with. If violence was involved, they do not belong being released. On the other hand, they are about to be released any way.

KELLY: What's gonna -- well, not about, but in a few years. What is going to happen to these people? A lot of them are coming halfway houses, but a lot of them are coming directly from prison. Where they go?

NAPOLITANO: I don't know.

KELLY Do we monitor them? Do we make sure that they stay.


KELLY: Violence?

NAPOLITANO: Some of them will be on probation. Some of them will be absolutely free, because Megyn, they didn't belong in jail in the first place. Jail is not the place for an addict who will harm only himself. Jail is the place for someone who has harmed others and who cannot enjoy freedom the rest of us are born with.

KELLY: I know, you make it sound like some sort of utopia for these poor people, but I mean this is -- one guy, Willie Best, he shot at someone he believes that stolen from him. He was found in a stolen car with an assault rifle and other guns. And there is this other woman, she.

NAPOLITANO: And what was really (inaudible)

KELLY: She was found distributing 11,000 grams of crack.


KELLY: She just sound like that model of a citizen.

NAPOLITANO: That is not a person who should be released. The president said.

KELLY: Well, she's getting out.

NAPOLITANO: Well, the president said.

KELLY: She had 14 years. She got a 35 year crack and powder cocaine conspiracy sentence.

NAPOLITANO: I don't know what motivated the president of the United States to do that.

KELLY: Well, I don' know.

NAPOLITANO: But if his motivation as a recognize that there are too many people in jail that don't belong there and nonviolent offenders who harmed no one but themselves should get out, I agree with him.

KELLY: This is one of the people who are --who had a reduced sentence under it's called the drugs minus to what's happened in July and then event. We'll continue watching, Judge, great to see you.

NAPOLITANO: Good to see you.

KELLY: Also tonight, a Yale dropout who went on to become one of the most popular men in America, amend demonize by the left who loves his dog, his country and a time in the White House. James Rosen with some exclusive insight into a man you know very well.



DICK CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: I love what I've been able to do. I've been privileged to be involved in some historic events over the last 40 years. I am glad I was there. I'm glad I had the opportunity to contribute. And I don't feel sorry for myself or feel that I'm unjustly or unduly criticized by those who disagree with me. I don't worry about it.


KELLY: That was former Vice President Dick Cheney, sharing his self- assessment of sorts, after years of being demonized by many on the left, in a fascinating and unprecedented sit-down with our own James Rosen. Rosen is the author of the new book "Cheney: One on One" and James is my guest now. That was a great exchange where you asked him about his own self-assessment and comparisons to Darth Vader.

JAMES ROSEN, AUTHOR, "CHENEY: ONE ON ONE": That's right. I asked this is the last question in the 10 hours that Dick Cheney and I spent together last December in his study, shortly before he turned 74-years-old. And in this book, Cheney: One on One, you have never heard Dick Cheney open up the way he did.

KELLY: You humanize them. I mean he's not -- a lot of people try to do the opposite.

ROSEN: I feel that this book rescues him from caricature because you know what? He's too important for caricature. This man has stood at the pinnacle of American power for the last four decades, has really had an enormous impact on the way he live our lives as Americans, especially after 9/11. And it is too important to be reduced to Darth Vader. And that's what I asked him about and that's the answer you just heard.

KELLY: I said in the tease is that he's a Yale dropout. He graduated from college, but he did -- he dropped out of Yale.

ROSEN: He flanked out of Yale.

KELLY: He failed that out of Yale.

ROSEN: Precisely.

KELLY: But he's proud of that sort of.

ROSEN: Well, I don't know. But he's proud of it. But he's proud that he rebounded and he went when he finally had to pay his own way, he had a scholarship to Yale to the University of Wyoming, he laid power line. He was a lineman for the county. He was proud he paid his own way and by the time he was 37, he was chief-of-staff in the White House.

KELLY: Tell us about the dog. I find this fascinating. I don't know why. Tell me if you do.

ROSEN: Probably because you're a dog person.

KELLY: And that's true.

ROSEN: Dick Cheney has a yellow lab named Nelson, who sat patiently, panting heavily through a lot of our recording sessions in these 10 hours. And one point, the vice president simply stopped our recording session and said, "I got to go get my dog off to the doggy daycare."


ROSEN: It's just not.

KELLY: The image of that.

ROSEN: The kind of thing you expect to hear Dick Cheney say.

KELLY: Can you imagine the people at the doggy daycare saying Dick Cheney come in with his little dog like he won't sit, he won't stay.

ROSEN: It's a beautiful dog. Buy you know what?


ROSEN: This book offers a really personal glimpse into Dick Cheney, besides getting his insider accounts of all the incredible things he's been involved in over the years at top levels from 9/11 and Iraq, all the way back to Watergate era. You also get this personal side of him. And for example, the one subject he told me, he doesn't like to talk about in- depth, we still went into in some great depth, and that's religion. Telling you that.

KELLY: That's how you are. I've had the same experience with you.

ROSEN: It's happening at this very moment.

KELLY: But wait. I do want to touch on this because you asked him about the moments in the bunker after 9/11.


KELLY: When he was in charge underneath the White House. And you asked him about whether he was calling the shots in the days and weeks after 9/11. Listen to this sound bite. Hold on.


CHENEY: In the aftermath, especially of 9/11, we needed to get things done and on occasion I would use the position I had and the relationship I had with the president to short circuit the system, no question about it.


ROSEN: Well the vice president didn't see that as a malevolent thing. He said -- he thought he was doing what was necessary to protect the country. And he still feels the same way about it. He would do it all over again.

KELLY: What's the most interesting thing you took away from that? Were you surprised at all?

ROSEN: I was surprised at how willing he was to open up to me. And the people who read Cheney: One on One, if you hate this man, if you love this man, if you just learning about him, you gonna learn a lot about the way his mind works.

KELLY: James is really -- one of the smartest, if not, be the smartest person I know. Read this book, you'll learn a lot. Great to see you James.

ROSEN: Thank you, my friend.

KELLY: Cheney: One on One. We'll be right back.


KELLY: Senator Ted Cruz will be here tomorrow night. I'll ask him about his idea that all debate moderators must have voted in a GOP primary. Is that a good idea?, on Twitter @megynkelly. Thanks for watching. I am Megyn Kelly. Good night.

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