Is there a Carson media double standard?; Clinton camp caught in Fiorina firestorm

Media facing questions after reporting about presidential candidate is questioned; Reaction on 'The Kelly File'


This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," November 10, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Breaking tonight, one of the two Republican presidential frontrunners faces a new challenge on the Fox Business debate stage after days of pummeling media attacks and the fears pushback in defense of his own character. The stakes are high for Dr. Ben Carson tonight.

Welcome to "The Kelly File," everyone, I'm Megyn Kelly. Born in 1951, there was nothing to suggest that Detroit's Ben Carson would somebody embodied the American Dream. His mother, illiterate. And married at age 13. His father, a Baptist minister who turned out to be a bigamist with a separate secrete family. When Carson was eight, his father took off.  Carson's mother Sonia worked two to three jobs at a time to support her family. Mostly a domestic servant. Carson says he did poorly in school at first and developed a violent temper as a boy.

But Sonya had a message for her sons. Anything is possible. She demanded that they read two books a week and write two books reports which his mother then pretended to read. Slowly, Carson's grades improved. As a teen, he joined Detroit's junior ROTC program quickly rising through the ranks. He graduated high school in 1969 with honors and was accepted at Yale University.

At Yale, he obtained a degree in psychology and found his future wife Candy Carson with whom he would raise three sons. He went onto medical school excelling in surgery and by age 32 which is now in the early 80s, Carson was the director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at John Hopkins. But it was in 1987 that Carson's shots to stardom becoming a leader of the first surgery team ever to separate twins joined at the back of the head without one twin dying. Just one of the 15,000 surgeries Dr. Carson says he's performed.

Today, what draws many Americans to Ben Carson is the same thing drawing the media's attention. A compelling personnel narrative. His memoir, "Gifted Hand," lays out a dramatic life story. One that lead to a play and a movie about Dr. Carson.



CUBA GOODING, JR., PLAYED DR. CARSON: Which child would you like to see first?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Thank you. Thank you.


KELLY: And then Dr. Carson decided to run for president and low and behold became the front-runner. And that is when media outlets decided to probe the Doctor's memoir and how. Last week, CNN's released a report, they style it quote, "A Tale of Two Ben Carsons." In it, they challenged Dr. Carson's claim that his temper once led him to try to stab a friend named Bob. And that he attempted once to hit his own mother with a hammer.  Dr. Carson's book offers those examples as evidence of his youthful rage which he says God and his own mother helped him heal. CNN found ten adults who knew Carson as a child 50 years ago and nine out of ten did not remember a violent temper. The suggestion was clearly that Carson made it up.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We went through the yearbooks, we called many of his classmates, found his close friends through every period of his life.  And the person that he describes in these anecdotes in the campaign trail leading up to this religious epiphany that he had cannot remember any episodes of violence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People interviewed by CNN who knew Carson back then are surprised by that description.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nine friends, classmates and neighbors who grew up with Carson told CNN, they have no memory of the anger or the violence the candidate has described.


KELLY: Carson admitted to "The Kelly File" that the friend he allegedly tried to stab was, in fact, a close family member saying he changed the names in his memoir. A fact which was not disclosed until now. However he maintained his story was true. And, sure enough, this week, a newspaper clipping was found from 1997 in which his mother, Sonya, directly supports her son's story, saying quote, "Oh, that really happened. I sat him down and told him that you don't accomplish much being a bully. You accomplish more with kindness than you ever do by being harsh."

The next day, Politico picked up the deep dive attempting to dismantle Carson's repeated claim that he was offered a quote, "full scholarship" to the prestigious West Point Military Academy. Politico reported that West Point does not offer scholarships. But that in fact all cost are covered for all students. And it reported that Carson admitted it claimed, admitted to Politico that a central point in his inspirational personal story was fabricated. His application and acceptance into the U.S. military academy at West Point. Explosive coverage followed.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We begin with a firestorm over Dr. Ben Carson and his claim he's been offered a scholarship to West Point.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The story was meant to illustrate his rise from impoverished kid to renowned neurosurgeon. The travel is the U.S. military academy does not offer scholarships, tuition is free in exchange for military service.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This isn't a gap. You know, if this Politico thing is true, this is not a gap, he made something up. He said something was true. He's being admitted to West Point in a full scholarships.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because it is different than misremembering a story from your past. It's different than misremembering when you get into a fight who you've gotten into a fight with and what happened at that time if you were in elementary school or junior high. This is lying about applying to West Point and getting a full ride there.


KELLY: This is lying about applying. He made up being admitted. But Politico had its headline wrong. Dr. Carson never admitted fabricating an application to or admittance to West Point or for that matter actually receiving a scholarship. Instead, he stood by his story that a scholarship was offered, but he said he never accepted. He clarified that the offer was only made orally, which he had not disclosed before. And said that no formal exchange had ever occurred. Politico was been forced to change its reporting, but, many in the media ignored the reversal.

Then the Wall Street Journal hit the doctor with more allegations, suggesting a third anecdote for Carson's memoir was in doubt. In "Gifted Hands," Carson's recounts a prank on Yale's campus. He says students have of course called Perceptions 301 where informed their exams had been lost in a fire. Carson says, a retake was scheduled for the next day and that the new test was ridiculously hard. Carson says, many students got up and left presumably under protest or intense on claiming that they hadn't seen the retake notice. Carson however says, he completed the test and he was one of the last students there, he says he was told that he was truly honest by the professor who then handed him a $10 prize. Carson claimed his picture was taken by the school paper. But the media found no record of any picture of Dr. Carson in the school paper around that time. Nor any record of a class by that name.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These questions undermine some of the central points that he's been making about himself. And I think that then lies the danger that Ben Carson may face in the primary.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not sure this is unfair. And Ben Carson always likes to talk about the fact that Barack Obama didn't have to go through this vetting. Well, he did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope he won't be pushed back by Ben Carson complaining about our questions and vetting. Because that's a key job.


KELLY: Got him this time. Or did they? Once again, the attack seemed to fall apart. First, Carson produced a student newspaper article from The Time recounting a prank nearly identical to the one that he had described in his memoir. Then a former Yale student came forward who says, I'm the one who organized this prank. He gave an interview to BuzzFeed.  Saying the story happened largely as Dr. Carson described. This is from the BuzzFeed article.

"Curtis Bakal, an editorial assistant at the satirical Yale Record who says he helped write the fake test said he was 99 percent certain the way Carson remembers it is correct. Bakal also backed up Carson's claim that at the end, what few students remain, it may have just been one or two, I wasn't there, received a small cash prize." Carson demanded an apology.  None so far has been forthcoming.

Joining me now, Guy Benson, co-author of the book, "End of Discussion" and a FOX News contributor. Guy, good to see you.


KELLY: So none of these things tells us whether Ben Carson exaggerated some facts in his memoirs. He may have done that. But each of the examples we've just gone through which is the ones the media really hit him on, has seemed to fall apart in part or in whole. Your thoughts?

BENSON: Yes. Well, first of all, I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that in this electoral cycle, we have a candidacy for the presidency who is trying to convince people that yes, he did try to stab someone. That's just completely bizarre --

KELLY: Tried to. He tried.

BENSON: He was going, trust me, I tried to stab someone. That's a presidential candidate. But I think that the exposition that you and your team just perform there Megyn is so worthwhile and so important. Because three major news outlets really took a stab, so to speak, at Ben Carson this week. And they came up empty. They either totally blew the scoop or they omitted or didn't on earth relevant details that corroborated the broads arc of what Carson has said. So, this narrative seemed to take root in the media that Ben Carson is a serial fabulous. He make things up out of whole clap, and then low and behold, bit by bit, it turned out actually no, the major thrust of these stories were true.

KELLY: The thing on the scholarship really gave a lot of people pause. Like you said, he was on camera saying I was offered a scholarship to West Point. And everybody came out, and Politico came out and said, they don't offer scholarships. And, yet, Guy, they use that terminology on their own website. There was an ad put out not long ago discussing scholarships at West Point. It's not beyond the possibility that some official from West Point said to a promising young African-American ROTC scholar who got into Yale, we'd love to have you at West Point and if you come here, it will be a full scholarship. But the media is trying to prove a negative and that's always very tough.

BENSON: Yes. And if you're a 17-year-old kid in Ben Carson's position and you recounted his childhood and his upbringing, if you have someone in the military whispering in your ear saying, hey, you're really impressive, if you come to West Point and by the way, you should apply, it would be free, of course your 17-year-old brain would translate that into oh, full scholarship. So, that was mountain out of a molehill, the Politico people, really just the headline was wrong, the lead was wrong, some details were wrong. And what was said to be a lie turned out to be a totally reasonable explanation.

KELLY: And the CNN thing about going back and trying to find people who, asked them whether they ever saw the violent side. Which he doesn't suggest, I was running around very angry.

BENSON: Right.

KELLY: He talks about how he had a bad temper. Fifty years ago, do you remember, I mean, 50 years ago, Guy, what does this proof, the point is, they're ready to go after Ben Carson. He deserves to have that memoir probe. He does. Fully probed and fully vetted.


KELLY: But do they have something special for this guy that they haven't had for others.

BENSON: That's the thing. I'm a big believer in the media thoroughly vetting presidential candidates. And I wish they would do it to both sides equally. That is completely fair game. Especially for someone like Carson who's an outsider who is an amateur politically, who's running a heavily biographical campaign totally flying to look into this stuff. The one thing I will say that gives me concern, if I'm watching the Carson campaign is, all the evidence, much of the evidence that you just laid out, that was exculpatory for Carson was unearthed by BuzzFeed. It's almost as if the Carson campaign was caught flat footed by all of this and effectively outsourced their rapid response to BuzzFeed. That doesn't give me a great feeling about their preparedness --

KELLY: They're going to step up their game.

BENSON: Exactly right.

KELLY: Here is my last one to you and I got to go. Now you tell me, if the media does some sort of a deep dive into Hillary Clinton back into the 1990s when her husband was president or prior to that. When her husband was governor of Arkansas. And, you know, all the issues that we've gone through, you know, with whitewater and her allegedly almost being indicted and so on and so forth, what are the odds that we're going to hear from many media outlets, that's old news.

BENSON: Old news.

KELLY: That's not fair game.

BENSON: Yes. Asked and answered. Old news, Megyn, move on.

KELLY: And that's just, what, 25 years ago. That's not 50. Guy, great to see you.

BENSON: Thanks, Megyn.

KELLY: Well, we also have breaking news tonight on Hillary Clinton and a dramatic campaign trail moment that exploded into demands for an apology from the democratic front-runner. We'll see whether she issues one.

Ed Henry reports on the exchange and then Katie Pavlich is here on whether this could hurt Hillary with women voters going forward.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every time I see her on TV, I want to reach through and strangle her.




KELLY: Breaking tonight, the Clinton team finding itself in the middle of a campaign trail firestorm tonight. After Hillary Clinton last off a comment from a supporter who said he wants to strangle her Republican rival Carly Fiorina. Critics are crying foul suggesting the democratic front-runner should know better than to laugh about violence against women, even when offered in the context seen here.

Ed Henry has the report live from Washington. Ed.

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS SENIOR CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Megyn, good to see you. What's interesting is Hillary Clinton today held her first major veterans' events in part to help clean up recent comments on MSNBC were seen down playing the VA scandal where vets died waiting for care. Yet, at this same event, she may have created an even bigger political problem by dismissing those comments from a male voter who said he was angry with Republican Carly Fiorina because he was laid off as an employee at HP when she was in charge of the company. The Republican National Committee tonight slamming Clinton for talking about standing up for him, and yet, doing nothing to stop this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every time I see her on TV, I want to reach through and strangle her.


You know, I know that doesn't sound very good. And I -- I --  



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can tell when she's lying because her lips are moving, you know. It's ridiculous with this woman. And then to see her say that you're a liar really upsets me.

CLINTON: Yes. Well, unfortunately, that's the political season that we're in.


HENRY: Now, tonight, Fiorina's camp is noting that just last week she got into hot water with the media for not stopping a voter at a diner who questioned President Obama's religion. That's why Fiorina's deputy campaign manager tonight Sarah Flores is tweeting about an interesting contrasts. She says at ABC now, quote, "Why a voter told Clinton he wants to strangle Fiorina. Then," during that past controversy, "Fiorina doesn't correct a man who calls Obama, quote, Black Muslim." As for Clinton, when a reporter later asked if she took the man seriously, she did not answer verbally but shook her head, no. Well, the spokesman for Clinton added, the man's comments, they believe, were just a joke and that's why Clinton laughed -- Megyn.

KELLY: Ed Henry, thank you.

Joining me now with more, Katie Pavlich, news editor at and a FOX News contributor. Katie, good to see you.


KELLY: So, what do you make of the comment -- of Hillary's reaction to the comment?

PAVLICH: Well, it's not that she simply laughed at a joke awkwardly.  Because it was an inappropriate thing to say. She hysterically laughed and then responded in participation with the joke by saying, I wouldn't mess with you. And look, Hillary Clinton claims to be a champion of women.  Except for if she was, she would have stopped the man saying, it's inappropriate for you to be talking about a violent act toward a women regardless of the fact that we disagree politically.

KELLY: OK, wait. Let me stop you on that.

PAVLICH: Hillary Clinton --

KELLY: Let me stop you on that. Because so often the less in particular wants to hold people to these politically correct standards.  And you know, you can't say this --


KELLY: And the right says, it was a joke. Lighten up.

PAVLICH: Uh-hm. Right.

KELLY: And if you listen to the man's whole story, he talks about how he doesn't like Carly Fiorina because he worked hard and he did well at Hewlett Packard and then he got laid off just by his great work and found out that she bought two corporate jets and he gets angry when he sees her because he says, people's marriages have dissolved and people lost their homes because they lost their jobs and she's out buying. And so, in that content he says, I'm so angry at her. And so, it's not so much a joke as making his defense a commonly used expression, maybe? That, I don't know that I have ever said, I want to strangle somebody, but you know, they say like oh, only.

PAVLICH: Yes. Right. Well, look. This comes down to Hillary Clinton and what the Left had stood for. If the Left and the media, and their friends in the media are going to be hold Republicans to the certain standard, they should be holding Hillary Clinton to the same standard.

KELLY: Ahah! Ahah! The double standard.

PAVLICH: -- Out on the campaign trail. Yes. So, she's going to be out on the campaign trail being a champion for women and a champion for domestic abusers when someone says, they want to strangle a woman, you would think that Hillary Clinton would say something different. And the double standard with the media comes down to look, tonight Bloomberg runs a headline that says something like -- you know, Hillary Clinton encounters a voter with harsh words for Carly Fiorina. If a Republican had been in a town hall with someone who said something like this implying a domestic violence act against Hillary Clinton, not only would that republican be chased out of the race, but every single Republican candidate would be asked for days on end in the media what their response is and whether they condemn or condone it. I mean, we've seen this establish standard to play out.  

KELLY: And it was just 2012 when Mitt Romney got pilloried for saying, I wanted to hire more women when I was governor of Massachusetts and I asked my team who had been submitting too many male resume to me. I said, go out and get me more female candidates. And they submitted binders full of women.


KELLY: And what he meant to say was women's resumes. But Debbie Wassserman-Schultz and the Left just annihilated him for saying binders full of women.

PAVLICH: It changed the election.

KELLY: And now like, I'm sure they're coming to the microphones right now to talk about how inappropriate this is.

PAVLICH: Well, they're actually not. I mean, Hillary Clinton's campaign of course is falling back on the argument that this is a joke, I'm wondering if the women of "The View" are going to also fall back on the issue of this being comedy.

KELLY: But wait, but let me ask you this. Let me ask you Katie, do you think -- if you listen to the man, I don't know that it was a joke per se, but it was almost an expression. You know, it's a way of, like I could have killed the guy. But you don't mean you were going to kill the guy.  But do you think -- do you think his comment was inappropriate? And do you think she should have said something or you're just highlighting the fact that the Left would treat this different?

PAVLICH: It isn't about -- this is not his comment. This is simply not even about -- obviously, he made the comment which has prompted this conversation. But this is about Hillary Clinton's reaction. She laughed hysterically at the notion that this man, wanting to strangle her female opponent. And, once again, if Hillary Clinton wants to be a champion of feminism, she should probably use it for all women. Not just the ones that agree with her politically.

KELLY: Great to see you. Thanks for being here, Katie Pavlich.

PAVLICH: Good to see you, Megyn. Thank you.

KELLY: Also tonight, Marco Rubio launches a hard hitting first strike against Jeb Bush and Dana Perino is here, on how this is likely to play out. There she is. She's coming in here. Now.


JEB BUSH, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What Marco has I think is something that the Republican Party needs to have which is a hopeful, optimistic message based on our principles.




BUSH: I'm not good at, you know, playing like something I'm not. I am his friend and he's mine. And I'm never going to disparage him.


KELLY: Well, that Jeb Bush back in April on the hills of Marco Rubio answering the presidential race talking about their friendship. But seven months later, the tone is very different. As the feud between the Republican rivals appears to be hitting up. The New York Times is now reporting that a Super PAC supporting Jeb Bush is preparing a major assault on Rubio to the tune of 20 million bucks. Meantime the Rubio campaign today released a new ad featuring Governor Bush sharing words of praise for Marco Rubio. Watch.


BUSH: What Marco has I think is something that the Republican Party needs to have which is a hopeful, optimistic message based on our principles.

I'm a huge Marco fan. It's probably the most articulate conservative on the scene today and reported to be a good president.

So proud of his high voltage energy. I'm so proud of his enthusiasm.  I'm so proud of his eloquence.

I'm a huge Marco fan.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm Marco Rubio and I approve this message.


KELLY: Dana Perino served as former White House -- well, she was White House press secretary under George W. Bush and she's co-host of "The Five." It kind of like it brings a tear to your eye to see the bromance --


KELLY: Like they used to be so nice to each other.

PERINO: Tears in politics.

KELLY: I don't know, they might be. They might be. They're trying not to show them. So, this comes on the heels of report that Rubio had that Jeb is about to unleash his Super PAC is on Marco Rubio and Marco is going to dismantle it as we just saw.

PERINO: Uh-hm. And I think --

KELLY: Your thoughts?

PERINO: Well, I think there's a couple of things happening. So, in theory, well, in law, and in theory, the Super PACs are not allowed to coordinate with the campaign.

KELLY: Uh-hm.

PERINO: So, I take all of these stories about what the Super PACs are doing with a little bit with a grain of salt. Because it doesn't actually make sense to me that Jeb would waste a lot more time going after Marco Rubio because in the CNBC debate when he tried that talking about Marco Rubio's voting record, it fell flat.

KELLY: Uh-hm.

PERINO: Trump tried to attack Rubio about his credit cards that fell flat. So I don't really see a lot of currency in attacking Marco Rubio at this point. And I don't think that you'll see it. I don't think you'll see it but I do think that Marco Rubio should be expecting a lot of criticism coming his way. Not just from Republicans, it's even reports today that the Hillary Clinton campaign is starting to figure out how they could go after Marco Rubio.

KELLY: They're worried about him.


KELLY: She's worried about him.


KELLY: He could pose a real challenge to her. I mean, he's young, he's energetic. He's Latino. I mean, he's from Cuba. He's Cubans relative. And so, he's got a lot of firsts in the same way she's got a lot of firsts and could neutralize her in some areas.

PERINO: He's very eloquent. He also knows his policy very well. On foreign policy, he's very strong and he brings something else that she doesn't bring, which is trustworthiness. There's actually, the numbers on that, if the poll from Fox News last week, she was dead last when it comes to who's honest and trustworthy and Marco Rubio was at near the top.

KELLY: But speak to, you know, the flip by Jeb Bush. Because it is true. He said he was going to run a joyful campaign and he hasn't --  

PERINO: It doesn't feel joyful.

KELLY: And this is his protege. Right? I mean, he's a mentor of source to Marco Rubio. And so it's pretty effective for Rubio to come back and say, I get it, you know, now you're going to hit me. But here's what you said before you perceive me as a threat. And this is, you know, this sounds like honest opinion. And, now, as he said, obviously, you're attacking me because somebody suggested to you that that would be helpful to you.

PERINO: It sort of be like if Greg Gutfeld decided to come after me in the future --

KELLY: Who would believe that? Who would believe that? Just run the tape.

PERINO: Come on, Greg, seriously? I think that what you're seeing is Jeb Bush campaign that is surprised that they are not doing better. That this was the narrative that they were going to be the adult in the room, the one with experience, all of the money. And that they were going to be able to do it. Now, I don't think that he thought it was going to be easy because it's not going to be easy for a Republican regardless in this election. But I do think they have been surprised and they feel like they need to go after Rubio. But here's the thing, Megyn. Why would the Rubio campaign worry too much about Jeb? Jeb is actually now in the third tier of the eight.

KELLY: Uh-hm.

PERINO: The person that Rubio actually needs to contrast against and vice versa is Ted Cruz.

KELLY: Uh-hm.

PERINO: First term Republican senators. Latino, Cuban roots.

KELLY: Right.

PERINO: What differentiates them from each other? And I think you'll actually start to see that contrast soon, possibly from Rubio's side.

KELLY: Dana Perino, we'll see you later tonight.


KELLY: At midnight for our special (inaudible) debate.

PERINO: It will be like the first -- if I'm not a pumpkin, after midnight.


KELLY: It doesn't happens, Dana.

PERINO: I might wear orange.


KELLY: It's exciting. We'll see you. Because you know, she's coming out, close to one. So if it happens, you'll see it. Great to see you.

Also, tonight, dueling First Amendment debates on two historic U.S. college campuses are creating serious concerns about what it is supposed to be the free exchange of ideas. Also, supporting my theory of, we are turning into a cupcake nation. Our panel is next, on how this issue plays into the 2016 election and what to do with those students and teachers who seem determined to shut you up if they don't like what they were saying.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then why the (beep) did you accept the position?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who the (beep) are you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have a different.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You should step down.



KELLY: Well, there is a fierce First Amendment debate now raging on two major college campuses. In a moment, we'll show you what's unfolding at Yale. But first, the new fallout at the University of Missouri where protesters yesterday forced the resignation of two top of officials, claiming they were not doing enough to crackdown on incidents involving race. Today, it went a step further when campus police reached out to the whole student body, encouraging kids to call police if they thought any incidents of quote, "hateful or hurtful speech." That's right. Call the police if something offends you. That's where we are now. Even more dramatic is the video of the Missouri journalism professor -- communications professor, I should say, attacking reporters. Reporters who are trying to cover the students protest.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm media, can I talk to you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, you need to get out. You need to get out.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You need to get out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I actually don't.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right. Hey, who wants to help me get this reporter out of here, (inaudible) over here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You need to get out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That says public property.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a really good one. I'm a communication ambassador. You don't really get that argument?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But you need to go.


KELLY: Look at that moron.


KELLY: Trace Gallagher has more from our west coast newsroom. Trace?

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: And Megyn, now the media professors seen pushing the student journalist away from the protesters has apologized from her actions. But at the very same time that the University of Missouri is trying to stop students from videotaping anti-racism protesters, the university is trying to convince students to video tape any incident they believe might qualify as hurtful or hateful speech. Students are also being asked to provide license plates and vehicle descriptions of anyone thought to be racially insensitive. A campus police e-mail reads in part, quote, "While cases of hurtful and hateful speech are not crimes, if the individual's identified are students, the office of student conduct can take disciplinary action," which includes everything from written warnings to expulsion.

Meantime, at Yale University the divide is growing between students fighting for free speech and those protesting allege incidents of racial insensitivity on campus. For example, some claim an on-campus fraternity held a white girls only Halloween party. The fraternity denies that. But the tension at Yale began when the dean sent an e-mail, asking students to avoid any Halloween costumes that quoting, "disrespects alienates or ridicules segments of our population based on race, nationality, religious belief or gender expression." But that e-mail didn't sit well with Yale professor Erika Christakis who wrote, quote, "Free speech and the ability to tolerate offense are the hallmarks of a free and open society." She went on to ask, "if a blonde child wanting to be Mulan for a day was wrong, or if you could wear a Tiana the Frog Princess costume if you're not a black girl from New Orleans." And when Erika Christakis husband who is also a Yale professor tried to defend his wife and explain his position, he was shouted down by students who claim because of his opinion, they don't feel safe. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Be quiet. In your position as a master, it is your job to create a place of comfort and home for students that live in Silliman. You have not done that. By sending out that e-mail that goes against your position as master do you understand that?

CHRISTAKIS: No, I don't agree with that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then why the (beep) did you accept the position?

CHRISTAKIS: Because I have.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who the (beep) are you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have a different.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You should step down. You're going to leave. You're going to transfer because you are a poor steward of the community. You should not sleep at night. You are disgusting.


GALLAGHER: By the way, that screaming student has been identified by one media outlet as a Yale senior from a very upscale Connecticut suburb, Megyn?

KELLY: Thank you. Join in me now with the reaction, Ben Shapiro, editor-in-chief at and editor-at-large for Breitbart News and Nomiki Konst, founder and executive director of the Accountability Project.

All right, so at the beginning, I just want to separate for the purposes of this discussion. What's happening at the University of Missouri on the race front which is very charged and you can understand some upset over what's happened with the race issues. Separate that for today from, call the cops on this campus, if someone hurts your feelings? If someone hurts your feelings? And that woman at Yale yelling at the professor for saying, "I think Halloween costumes should be allowed and we shouldn't be censoring them." You, how do you sleep at night? I'm gonna leave, you go (ph). I mean, I look at that. You tell me Nomiki, because you're going to defend these people. I look at that and say, can't wait for my kids to get out there in the world against these people. I can't wait. They're going to kick some -- that's my reaction. Am I wrong?

NOMIKI KONST, ACCOUNTABILITY PROJECT: Well, OK. To be fair, these are not administration -- these are students. These are 20-year-olds who are reacting and it's a very racially charged environment. You know words matter. And so when that letter was sent on behalf of administration officials, somebody who just represent the students to create -- you look at the documents that Yale sends out, the application documents. It's all about having an inclusive community.

KELLY: This guy was defending Halloween.

KONST: Well, he wasn't defending Halloween, he was defending being offensive to a community of people that are being marginalized. I mean 7 percent of the Yale.

KELLY: He was saying, if you want to go as Tiana.

KONST: No, (inaudible).

KELLY: The Frog Princess, you should be allowed to.

KONST: No, no. He was acknowledging that someone who shows up in black face, it's OK. It's a joke.

KELLY: And you think that should be banned?

KONST: I think.

KELLY: Halloween -- that should be ban. And what if you want to -- a guy who wants to dress like a girl, should he be banned?

KONST: Listen. There are -- the stereotypes, there's plenty of stereotypes that we have changed over time. Things that will now be totally unacceptable, we have.

KELLY: There are things -- gender expression would be offensive. If you want -- so a guy dressed up as a female nurse.

KONST: That's not the white people to determine.

KELLY: That's offensive?

KONST: That's not -- these things are not for the people doing it to be determined. It is for those who feel hurt, if you feel hurt.

KELLY: Oh, that's fantastic.


KELLY: I hope you have young kids like -- just exactly my kid's age. Ben, you take -- you take.


KELLY: I understand. You go to the race place and that, all of that what happened with the swastika. But you can't wear the Halloween costume you want unless no one finds it offensive.

BEN SHAPIRO, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, DAILYWIRE.COM: Now the selectively offended get to run the rest of the country. I mean, this is what we are creating. We are creating a society of panty waist fascists. What we are creating is a group of people who are oversensitive to everything and that are willing to call the cops as soon as they are offended. It actually incredible as a violation of the First Amendment, which you saw with the professor from the mass communications department at Missouri, telling reporters they have no right to be there. And at Yale, you have students shouting people down. If this is the climate that we're supposed to create, if this creates openness and tolerance on the campus, I'm missing the openness and tolerance, and let's call the police if I'm mildly offended because my feelings have been hurt. This is creating a country of crazy people. How can you watch this and not go crazy and think that everyone who's involved in it is crazy in the first place.

KELLY: How about that one from the communications department, Nomiki.

KONST: What was it?

KELLY: Shutting down the student reporters.

KONST: I don't agree with that.

KELLY: From doing the protest. She was promoting. Guess how you promote them. Put them on TV.

KONST: Exactly. I don't agree with that. And I think that Josh Earnest said the same thing. There's a very thick line between.


KONST: Being politically incorrect and being racist. And words matter. So when a community of people that has been perpetually marginalized at institutions across America over history, feels offended, we should acknowledge that. And I think that these protests are reflection of a community of minorities that feel unacknowledged and not respected. And so Ben, I read your article today. And it was -- I was shocked by the language you used. You were saying that it's time for the right to fight.

KELLY: You call the police right now.

KONST: Yeah. You know what, if you read his column.

SHAPIRO: Evidence, evidence, evidence, evidence. All of this is screaming and feelings. How about like the shred of evidence, even for the incident that actually happened.

KONST: There is evidence.

SHAPIRO: In Missouri that drove this.

KONST: The police report.

SHAPIRO: Really? Really? Really? Where was the police report.

KONST: In his.

SHAPIRO: Exactly, when it came to. For example, the first N-word incident that led all of these, there's no police report on any of that. And the second incident of the N-word at the University of Missouri, the administration investigated and the kid's under investigation. And the third was.


KELLY: Let me just ask you this because we're short on time. You tell me Nomiki, whether we are training these kids to be little cupcakes who never have to -- have never have to encounter anything offensive, assuming everything you said is offensive, they never have to encounter it because they can call the cops or they can get their administrators fired, or whether it's better to educate them that there are offensive things in life. There are insulting things in life. There are people who will say very incorrect or impolite things about you. Politically incorrect things about you very publicly, and in a way that you might feel very offended by. And you have to deal with that in life. You have to deal with it.

KONST: I do people understand that, but I think that, you know, this is the blame the victim situation. We should be ridding the world of bigotry, which we talking about that, rather than blaming it on the victim, who feels hurt, disrespected on campus, who doesn't feel hurt by their administrators?

KELLY: I love that utopia. It doesn't exist. It's not -- it's not realistic. It does not exist. Good luck getting rid of all of the bigotry.

KONST: But we can work that.


KELLY: But it's not reality. I got to go.

SHAPIRO: They literally just fired a white guy for being a white guy. And he is the victim.

KELLY: OK. I got to go. Great debate. Thank you both for being here.

Up next, is the FBI ramping up its investigation into Hillary Clinton. Don't go away.


KELLY: Well, new questions tonight about Hillary Clinton's private e- mail server and the way she handled potentially classified information. Politico now reporting that the FBI has stepped up interviews in the case, which could signal, it has evolved from the preliminary fact-finding stage into a full-blown investigation. This comes just days after we learned that then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did in fact, sign two non- disclosure agreements, agreeing to protect classified information and was informed that mishandling said information is a punishable offense. My next guest knows all about these agreements and has the perspective on them. Rick Grenell served as spokesman for four U.S. ambassadors to United Nations, and as a Fox News contributor, Rick, good to see you. So why does it matter that she signed these non-disclosures?

RICHARD GRENELL, FORMER SPOKESMAN FOR FOUR U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UNITED NATION: Well, it matters because classified information is super-important. Leaking a classified information is a national security violation. This is a serious issue. And by the way, the State Department takes it very seriously. I signed these exact forms. Before you signed, you brief by a security professional, by an intelligence officer who explains exactly how you're supposed to take care of or create classified, sensitive information. There is no question that she understood what is happening. And by the way, the State Department goes the extra mile when that person is a political appointee, when they're not a Foreign Service officer who took an entire class on how to do this.

KELLY: So it proves.

GRENELL: There is a.

KELLY: It proves knowledge of the proper procedure. She can't get out of this by saying, "I had no idea."

GRENELL: Right. Exactly. She knew how to care take classified information. And by the way, she knew exactly how to create classified information. This is an important point because the secretary of state gets information. She's the first one to talk to a foreign minister. She creates top secret security -- cleared information all of the time. It may not have that directive on it because she is the first person. She will send it through e-mail or through some sort of secure line. The fact that Hillary Clinton had no secured, classified e-mail address or computer is a huge problem. It means she didn't ever create the original content of classified information. She wasn't doing her job.

KELLY: The other question is Politico came out with a story last week suggesting, there's -- I mean at -- now, today, they're saying the FBI is probably more can go full blown investigation, but last week they had a story suggesting, oh there's no there, there. Some key, Clinton e-mails did not contain highly classified secrets. And then, team clapper and state dismissed that suggestion on the record saying, "wrong, wrong."

GRENELL: Right. Look, State Department will constantly come in after the fact and label information as whether it's top secret or classified or sensitive. The fact of the matter is when you're secretary of state you create content that is top secret. It may not have a classification on it yet, but it is absolutely classified information. You should be using a secure phone.

KELLY: Yeah.

GRENELL: Or classified computer.

KELLY: We heard reports that there was not only classified, but top secret information found in those e-mails. So we'll continue to watch the FBI probe. Rick, great to see you.

GRENELL: Thanks, Megyn.

KELLY: Up next. Donald Trump weighs in on what some are calling Starbucks war on Christmas. We'll explain.


KELLY: Donald Trump is now suggesting a boycott on Starbucks after some critics accused the popular coffee chain of declaring a war on Christmas by removing winter and Christmas-themed images from their new holiday cups. Trace Gallagher live in our west coast the newsroom with the story. Trace?

GALLAGHER: And Megyn, in fairness, this isn't the first time Donald Trump has fought for Christmas. He came out early last month saying, that when he's president, we're all gonna be saying Merry Christmas at every store. He kind of reiterated the saying phrase during his rant against Starbucks. And by making this stand, Trump says he's actually hurting himself. Listen.


TRUMP: Hey, look, I'm speaking against myself. I have one of the most successful Starbucks in Trump Tower. Maybe we should boycott Starbucks, I don't know, seriously. I don't care.



GALLAGHER: As for Starbucks, the company says it's been doing holiday themed cups since 1997, featuring symbols of the season from vintage ornaments to hand-drawn reindeer. While now the company has ditched the ornaments in favor of what it calls a multi-colored canvass of different reds. And that way, customers can kind of doodle their own holiday designs. The company also said, quoting here, "Creating a culture of belonging, inclusion and diversity is one of the core values of Starbucks. And each year, during the holidays the company aims to bring customers an experience that inspires the spirit of the season. Starbucks will continue to embrace and welcome customers from all backgrounds and religions." In other words, Starbucks is not picking sides. So if Donald Trump is sincere in pushing his Starbucks boycott, he may well lose a few grandes in Trump Tower, but experts say he may win over a lot of Christian evangelicals in states like Iowa and South Carolina. Megyn.

KELLY: And yet were, you know, reports out today that Starbucks is offering all veterans employees, free college for their spouse or child, so got to look into that boycott a little bit more. Trace, good to see you. We'll be right back.


KELLY: So tune in tonight for a late debate edition of "The Kelly File," tonight at midnight. Check out our guest. Complete analysis of the GOP debate, we've got Senator Ted Cruz, Frank Luntz focus group, Stirewalt, Kurtz, Thiessen, Burton and Perino. See you then.

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