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Kelly File

Rep. King on New Year's Eve terror plot in Belgium; Santorum slams Ted Cruz on social issues

This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," December 29, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SHANNON BREAM, GUEST HOST: Breaking tonight, new details on the ISIS- inspired terror plot to target high profile sites overseas. And the major security steps being taken here at home to protect revelers at the biggest New Year's celebration in the U.S., maybe in the world.

Welcome to "The Kelly File," I'm Shannon Bream in tonight for Megyn Kelly.  Tonight, New York City is ramping up its security as a million people are expected to descend on Times Square in less than 48 hours. The NYPD is taking no chances when it comes to security, deploying some 6,000 officers complete with radiation detectors, bomb dogs, and rifles. And those are just the ones you're going to be able to see. This as police in Belgium's capital of Brussels announced they have arrested two men they say were plotting to target some of the city's busiest areas as New Year celebrations got under way.

Today, raids were executed in cities across Belgium, a country from which more people have travelled to fight with ISIS per capita than any other nation. And just 24 hours after we reported that multiple European cities are on heightened alert over a different terror threat, one police official out of the UK is suggesting that cities like London may be ill equipped to protect holiday revelers if there is actually an attack.

Coming up, we'll speak with Morton Storm, the former CIA double agent who infiltrated al Qaeda who predicted we would see these exact kinds of plots as the holidays approached. Before we ask Congressman Pete King about the backlash he has seen after suggesting U.S. intelligence agencies are missing a major opportunity to prevent these same kinds of attacks.

But first, let's go live to Trace Gallagher in our West Coast Newsroom with the very latest. Hi, Trace.  

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Shannon. We talk a lot about some threats being nonspecific. Well, apparently police in Belgium believed the threat against them was very specific and precise and was meant to mirror the attacks on Paris that killed 130 people. An internal memo reportedly sent to police stations in Brussels talked about a plot to hit symbolic targets like Brussels' historic market square, along with other places that crowds gather for New Year's Eve. Police stations and military facilities were also apparently listed. In response, police in Brussels conducted a series of raids, questioning six people and arresting two.

One of them is now charged with plotting an attack, the other of being a member of a terror group. Police also seized computer, military-type training outfits and ISIS propaganda. They did not find weapons or explosives, but they believe the suspects had ready access to weapons, which is why investigators acted so quickly. Brussels was already on level three alert. That's the second highest level. And now police stations and military bases have also been raised to level three, indicating there is a serious threat of a terror attack. And authorities say they'll do whatever it takes to keep people safe. Listen.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BENOIT RAMACKER, BELGIUM CRISIS CENTER (through a translator): We want life to continue despite this risk. So we take security measures that are adapted. But I repeat, if it's ever necessary, we'll take the decision to cancel festivities, even if it's a difficult one. But at the moment, that's not the case.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GALLAGHER: Police in Belgium don't believe the suspects or the overall threat have any link to the attacks in Paris six weeks ago. But it's important to note the Paris attack involved a number of terrorists who were living in Belgium. The Belgium threat is also not linked to a recent threat on Boston that was called into the New York Police Department's 911 system. That threat is considered nonspecific and non-credible. That certainly isn't stopping New York from implementing multilayered checkpoints on New Year 's Eve and using a new critical response command team composed of some 500 elite counterterrorism police officers -- Shannon.

BREAM: All right, Trace, thank you very much. The terror plot that was just broken up in Belgium came as no surprise to our next guest. A former CIA double agent who infiltrated al Qaeda, who not only predicted we could see exactly these kinds of attacks like the once we're expecting possibly as the holidays are approaching, but whose prediction that the U.S. could be attacked came almost to the day of the massacre in San Bernardino.

Morten Storm is a terrorism consultant for the international spy museum and co-author of "Agent Storm: My Life Inside al Qaeda and the CIA."

All right. Let me ask you about what we know so far in Belgium. You point out that it sounds like these guys may be part of what is a biker gang?  You say we should be looking for the rise of gangster jihadist. What is that?

MORTEN STORM, AUTHOR, "AGENT STORM": So gangster jihadist is the new era of terror that we're entering. In fact, it's been there for a little while. But it hasn't really been recognized. It's the problem is that it's Muslim, it's basically gangsters with a Muslim background, origin, who have tasted the flavors of jihad because of the Arab Spring. And so these people, you know, have been introduced to this jihad from the, you know, fundamentalistic or radical Muslims. And, you know, they have cover things, one of them is they hate, you know, the system, they hate us, and they feel victimized.

They feel that, you know, it's us against them. So these gangster Muslims, or gangster jihadist have been to Syria on the jihadi holidays, as I call them, and they have tasted the flavors of Islamic jihad. And they return back. And they have one foot within, you know, radical Islam and another foot within the criminal, you know, networks.

BREAM: Uh-mm.

STORM: And so that, you know, that's the new era that we're facing. And these people are dangerous because they have connections. They can get weapons. They can get passports. They can get people smuggled in over the borders. And so that's, you know, for people to be worried about.

BREAM: Yes. And we understand there are reports there are 500 Belgians who have left and gone to places like Iraq and Syria the try to get involved in jihad. Many of them have returned. Then as you said, they're back in a westernized country with different skills. And having seen and been inspired further, oftentimes to commit acts of violence. These two arrested in Belgium over the last 24 hours or so not connected, we understand, to the Paris plot. But they were suspected of planning some New Year's Eve-New Year's day attacks that would have been in areas with very prominent tourist traffic and other things like that. We understand that there are report there's were some recovery of law enforcement uniforms. How much does that concern you as part of these plots?

STORM: Well, it's extremely scary. Because you can imagine if they can get that, what else can they get I think with other people? Most likely, yes. So, possible there could be -- it's possible that there are more people involved in this.

BREAM: Yes, and we understand the report is that they may have been inspired by ISIS, but not directed by. There may be no direct link. I know that you think that there will be these smaller cells. There will be lone wolf actors, people who don't have to wait for directions from ISIS.  So, how in the world do we get a handle on that around the world?

STORM: It's going to take very long time. And it's not a war that is going to end tomorrow. We have to recognize what we're dealing with. We have to be honest about it. We don't have to be political correct. We need to be honest about the disease or the virus if you want to find a cure for it. And then -- so for us, I think for the soldiers in America and in Europe or anywhere else, it's a matter of intensifying the intelligence work with human intelligence and also electronics.

BREAM: Yes, and that's something that you have done, having infiltrated al Qaeda. You know how critical it is to have people on the inside, and how dangerous it is for those individuals who would be willing to take on that mission. But you say it's critical to getting specific information. And you say that some of these guys have been making mistakes, that you've been able to detect, and that's helped law enforcement.

STORM: That's correct. And we don't want to talk about the mistakes because we want to save people's lives and not encourage or help the terrorists. But I have worked as you know a double agent for foreign intelligence service for three different countries, in infiltrated al Qaeda, and al Shabaab in Somalia. And also AQAP in Yemen. And I know that the human intelligence as I was -- well, it is the most vital information you can get. But it's also the most dangerous for, you know, for an agent to go out there and infiltrate, you know, on the front line.  

BREAM: Uh-hm. Well, we always thank you for sharing your expertise and experience with THE KELLY FILE. Morten Storm, good to see you, sir.

STORM: Thank you very much, madam. Thank you. Happy New Year.  

BREAM: And to you as well.

And our next guest, New York Congressman Peter King says one way to prevent terror attacks here is in the U.S. is to put mosques under surveillance in an effort to root out radicals. New York City once pursued but then abandoned such a strategy just a short time ago. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was asked about Congressman King's suggestion. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO, D-NYC: I have a lot of respect for Peter King, but I think he is in the wrong place on this one. Secretary Johnson is right. The way to do a better job of knowing what is happening at the community level and knowing that there are some individuals who aim to do us harm is to deepen the relationship with the Muslim community, with all communities.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BREAM: Peter King is a Republican congressman out of New York and chairman of the House Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence.  Congressman, thank for joining us tonight on THE KELLY FILE.

REP. PETER KING, R-N.Y.: Thank you, Shannon. Thank you.

BREAM: OK. Can these two things work together? Can you build relationships inroads, gain the trust of those within the Muslim community who would be the first line of defense, but also at the same time they be aware that you're surveilling their mosque?

KING: Yes. In fact, listen, I actually get along personally with Mayor de Blasio, but we do disagree on this issue. And obviously we should try to do both. I can tell you that there are examples right here on Long Island.  And I would speak to New York City -- Long Island. There is a number of mosques on Long Island where they welcome the police in. They have brotherhood meetings, and they have breakfasts, et cetera, et cetera.  These community-type meetings. And then we find out later that they had radicals in those mosques. They had young men who claim they'd wanted to do jihad.

One actually -- young man, vitas went to Afghanistan where he was arrested fighting alongside al Qaeda. And he had gone to the mosque, told the mosque that he planned radical activity. At the same time that these mosque leaders were meeting with the police. So there was this great friendship going on, but they never told the police was what was going on in the mosque, never told them about this radical activity. There's another young man on Long Island arrested who belongs to a different mosque. And the people in the mosque said yes, they were radical, but they never told police. We have in Boston, the oldest Tsarnaev brother who actually on the positive side, he was actually ejected from a mosque because he was so radical.

But on the negative side, that was never told to the police. So if they had told the police, it's possible, very likely that the Boston marathon bombing would not have occur. And again, another example in New York.  There was an Imam that the NYPD did trust. This was back from 2009. He was the one they trusted the most. And when the NYPD heard that a liquid explosive bomber was coming to New York to attack the subway system, he was being monitored. But they also knew he had other cohorts in New York City.  And they went to this imam, asked for advice. Can you help us find who these three other guys are? And the first thing he did, the imam they trusted, he contacted the suspect's father and tipped them off that the NYPD was looking for their son who was coming to New York to blow up the subway system. So, you need both. We have to try to cooperate but unfortunately, not enough mosques, not enough imams to cooperate.

BREAM: I want to ask you about another report that we had today, this is overseas in London. As you know, there are a limited number of firearms officer, police officers who actually are carrying firearms and weapons with them. Roughly 6,000 or so is my understanding. And we've got the president of the UK police foundation now saying, he is actually worried that if a big attack goes down, that there won't actually be officers who have the defense mechanisms, the weapons on hand that they need to stop one of these attacks. What do you think?

KING: Yes, you know, they would probably know best. I would think the more firepower you have, the better. Because with these attacks, if they do break out, you're going to have to have people heavily armed, able to respond very quickly. And if your manned personnel are spread out, throughout London, for instance, it's going to be hard to get that much firepower, now those who actually are armed, to get them to the scene. So, I would say -- again, I don't want to tell the British how to do their jobs. They're very effective at this. But having a said that, listen, anything happening in New York City should be the model for the world.  

BREAM: All right, Congressman. We know that folks are working around the clock here in New York City and across the country. The U.S. of course working 24/7 to keep us safe. Whether we see it or not --

KING: Right.

BREAM: We thank them and we thank you for your time, sir.  

KING: Shannon, thank you. And Happy New Year.  

BREAM: You too.

Also breaking tonight, the GOP presidential field just got a little bit smaller. The candidate who just dropped out of the race.

Plus, the President's new plan to save his foreign policy legacy.

And why former chief speech writer for President Bush Marc Thiessen says, it's not going to work.

Plus, over a thousand young people rioting at a Kentucky mall just the day after Christmas, shutting down stores, scaring patrons, forcing parents to pick up their kids and run. So why wasn't a single person arrested? We're going to debate this with our legal panel.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, they run in, they run in. Let's look at the news guy. I got this on tape. Oh!

(Bleep)

(Bleep)

Oh, they're running. They're running.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BREAM: Breaking tonight, President Obama's new plan to save his foreign policy legacy. A new report out says the commander-in-chief will be spending his last year in office navigating the globe, making at least six trips abroad, spending a good chunk of time outside the U.S. during his last year in office. It appears it's all in an effort to secure his foreign policy legacy.

Joining us now, Marc Thiessen, former chief presidential speechwriter for George W. Bush and a FOX News contributor.

All right. Marc, good to see you tonight.  

MARC THIESSEN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Good to see you, Shannon.  

BREAM: But isn't this what presidents do? And he has taken so much heat for not having great relationships with our allies. Maybe this is a chance to heal some of that up before he leaves.  

THIESSEN: Yes, I understand why he wants to burnish his foreign policy legacy, because most Americans think it's an absolute disaster. There is a new CNN/ORC poll just out which shows that Americans have completely lost confidence in his national security leadership. Sixty percent disapprove of his handling of terrorism. Sixty four percent disapprove of his handling of ISIS. Eighteen percent, just 18 percent think that we're winning the war on terror. So no pr tour is going to turn those numbers around.

BREAM: And it's a big difference. I mean, eight years of a presidency is a long time. And when you look at the promises that he made on the front- end, and now bookending him with these trips around the world to try to maybe cement some legacies and some relationships, how do you think he has fared over the eight years?

THIESSEN: You know, I think he has fared terribly. And look, you know, he gave that speech, if you remember in front of those fake Greek columns back in 2008.

BREAM: And you know, we've got a little bit of that we'll play for folks.  They'll remember.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This was the moment when the rise of the ocean began to slow and our planet began to heal.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BREAM: I think that's the one you're referring to.  

THIESSEN: Yes, it is. And, you know, the ironic thing is seven years later, Americans are looking back on his presidency and saying, this is the moment when the rise of ISIS began and our planet became more dangerous.  And if you look at this tour that he is taking, I mean, what's important is not the places that he is going to go. What's important is the places he is not going to go. For example, he is not going to go to that Turkish beach where that little Syrian toddler washed up face-up in the sand and the humanitarian refugee crisis that he unleashed by his inaction in Syria where 200,000 people were allowed to be massacred. He is not going to show up at the Damascus suburb where President Assad used chemical weapons on his own people after President Obama issued his red line, warning him not to and warning of grave consequences and never enforced it.

He is not going to show up in Crimea which President Putin annexed after he failed to enforce his red line. He is not going to show up in Libya which is a country that is completely in the grip of terrorism today after his failed intervention. Or he is not going to show up in Yemen which is a country with the terrorists with a government that we were helping, helping us in the fight with al Qaeda has been overthrown by Iranian rebels. So, there are tons of places around the world, he is not going show up that, they're going to tell us more about his legacy than any place he does show up.  

BREAM: OK. That poll you said it a little bit earlier. Thirty seven percent though on that same poll said, they do think that President Obama has brought positive change to the country. So, was there anywhere domestically or foreign policy, I'll give you the entire world, that you would say something positive about his legacy or that he has done?

THIESSEN: There is not a lot I can think of. I mean, just look at the world we're facing today, especially, you know, in foreign policy. I mean, when President Obama took office, we faced -- he is leaving his successor a world that is far more dangerous than the world we faced right before the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks. Before 9/11, we faced the threat from one terrorist network, al Qaeda, in one country, Afghanistan. Today we face the terror threat from multiple terrorist networks -- ISIS, al Qaeda, al Qaeda and all its affiliates in dozens of countries who have safe havens around the world.

And we have a situation where we have not just one terrorist network, but two terrorist networks competing with each other in sort of a free market competition for the hearts and minds of the followers of the jihadi faithful. And how do they win that competition? By being the first to hit us. So he is leaving his successor a far more dangerous world. And that's why you see Americans are so worried about what could happen on New Year's Eve.

BREAM: Well, whoever that successor, he or she may be has definitely got some challenges to deal with. The world is a frightening place. Although we look for the hope in that as well. So Happy New Year, Marc.

THIESSEN: Thank you.

BREAM: There has to be some good things out there. We're confident of it on THE KELLY FILE.

THIESSEN: There is our men and women in uniform working to keep us safe.  So, we're thankful for that.  

BREAM: Yes. To them and their families, thank you. Thanks, Marc.  

THIESSEN: Thanks, Shannon.

BREAM: Breaking tonight, a new feud firing up the 2016 Republican presidential race. Senator Rick Santorum is hitting Senator Ted Cruz for his stance on social issues. He is here with why he says Mr. Cruz is not conservative enough.

And new information tonight on the so-called affluenza teen, the one who killed four people while driving drunk behind the wheel. And then escaped a prison sentence because his defense argued he was too spoiled to know right from wrong.

Coming up, where police found him and his mother. And wait until you hear what police say he did right before these two went on the run.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have them back in custody. To be honest with you, we're going to breathe a lot easier when they're back in this country, that we have them locked up here in Tarrant County. And that's the ultimate goal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BREAM: Breaking tonight, the Republican presidential race is now a bit smaller. Late tonight former Republican governor of New York George Pataki announced he is dropping out. All right. That comes on the heels of Senator Lindsey Graham suspending his own campaign last week. Pataki announced his bid for the Republican nomination in late May, but never quite picked up steam. Didn't qualify for the last GOP debate.

More breaking news tonight on the campaign trail. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is serving up some harsh criticism for fellow 2016 competitor Senator Ted Cruz, calling out the Texas Republican for not being socially conservative enough. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICK SANTORUM, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think they're being sold the things that they do care. You know, Ted Cruz says, oh, I'm the, you know, social conservative. But they don't -- people haven't had a chance. And again, this is what this time of this last month, these few weeks heading up to the caucuses, this is when people do their homework.  And they're going see that there is an article in the "Iowa Republican" today. And he called that basically Ted Cruz the Trojan horse of social conservatism. It's basically that he is not the social conservative that he is portraying himself to be.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. Right.

SANTORUM: And the answer is, he is not.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BREAM: Joining me now, Republican presidential candidate Senator Rick Santorum. Good to see you tonight, Senator.  

SANTORUM: Hey, Shannon. How you?

BREAM: I am good. All right. Let's talk about this comment.

SANTORUM: Good.

BREAM: There have been some reports what Senator Cruz said at a particular event here in Manhattan.

SANTORUM: Right.

BREAM: When you compare it, and he says it's about word for word what he said on television. If it's a secret, he shouldn't have been saying it on Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers or anywhere else. And when you look at the transcripts, they really pretty much are about the same statement saying that he is going to be defending the constitution, that includes things like religious liberty and other issues. So what is your quibble?

SANTORUM: Well, first he says it's not a priority for him. And obviously for a lot of people it is a priority issue. The issue of life and marriage are very much important and priority issues for a lot of voters in America, because they're foundational. Number one. Number two, he has taken the position, I think this is accurate, he has taken the position that he doesn't believe that the federal government has a role to play in the issue of marriage, that this is an issue that he would leave up to the states.  Just -- but the contrast with that is, four years ago that was Ron Paul's position.

And that position to every social conservative group that I'm aware of was a non-starter, that was a position that was not considered to be, and I don't think is today considered to be a viable position in fighting for the institution of marriage to leave 50 different definitions. So, under Ted Cruz, I guess if a state wanted to do polygamy, that would be fine. If a state wanted to define marriage some other way, that would be OK. See, Abraham Lincoln said it best. The states don't have the right to do wrong.  And there is a higher law that comes into play. And that higher law requires us to stand for the institution of marriage as it should be, as it is. And that the government really doesn't have a right to redefine it.

BREAM: OK. So, you obviously are well versed in the Supreme Court's ruling back in June which essentially made gay marriage legal in all 50 states, there can be no barriers to that. So is that a better option than what Ted Cruz is suggesting, which is allowing states to work this out, as many of them have. The vast majority of states that had a gay marriage before the Supreme Court ruling, you and I know it was because of federal court rulings. It wasn't because those states had past it or accepted it.  The vast majority of them were because of court rulings. So, is his option not better for those who would want to stand for traditional marriage to allow some states to have it right now, zero states are able to ban something that I know that you believe is offensive to social conservatives.

SANTORUM: Well, the question is whether the states -- the Supreme Court decision is a valid decision. I mean, the President of the United States has a responsibility just like the Supreme Court does to uphold the constitution. If the Supreme Court gets it wrong, and as we know, Shannon, throughout history, the Supreme Court has gotten it wrong. It's gotten it wrong in some pretty bad ways on multiple occasions. And it's an obligation.

When I take the oath of office, if I be elected president, I say I will support and defend the constitution of the United States. That means have I an obligation to interpret that constitution. And if the court gets it wrong and does something unconstitutional, acts outside the bounds of the constitution, then I think it's incumbent upon the President to do something, not say well, we can't. The states have to decide this. And that's really the difference between the two of us.

BREAM: All right. Well, I know that you have quite a deficit to make up in Iowa. We have seen you come from the back of the pack before.

SANTORUM: Yes.

BREAM: I was there when you did it four years ago. I'll see you out there on the campaign trail in the Hawkeye State.

SANTORUM: That's right.

BREAM: And we'll see what 2016 brings. Thank you, Senator.

SANTORUM: Well, thank you very much, Shannon. I appreciate the opportunity.  

BREAM: We'll see you there.

Up next, a new report out alleging that the Department of Defense has been slowing down the process of transferring detainees from Guantanamo Bay.  And halting President Obama's plans to shut down the prison. James Rosen is here to report on that.

And combat war veteran Pete Hegseth who also served at Guantanamo Bay and former White House senior adviser Richard Socarides are here. Look, it's all friendly. We're going to have a fair and balanced debate.

And a melee at the mall. Thousands of teens reportedly storming shopping centers and sending families and children running for their lives? Our legal panel is here on the fallout and to talk about why no one got arrested, coming up.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got multiple fights, crowds of hundreds. We've got stores going into lockdown.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BREAM: Breaking tonight, a stunning new report alleging that Pentagon officials have created bureaucratic obstacles to slow down the process of transferring detainees from Guantanamo Bay and halting President Obama's plans to shut down that detention center.

Measures apparently, included refusing to provide photographs, complete medical records, and other basic documentation to foreign governments who were willing to take detainees. The report also revealing President Obama scolded, yet, another defense secretary over the transfer of detainees from Gitmo.

James Rosen is in Washington with that story. James?

JAMES ROSEN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Shannon, good evening. Senior Defense Department sources tell Fox News that the Pentagon's move to slow down the emptying of the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay continue to this day with a new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. U.S. Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford still not having signed off on transfer requests put into the pipeline by the White House.

These DOD sources further tell Fox News that the 107 detainees still housed at Gitmo are all to a man hardcore terrorists. That said, administration officials are neither confirming nor denying today's Reuters report that the Commander-in-Chief personally scolded Defense Secretary Ashton Carter in a one-on-one meeting three months ago.

A Defense Department statement said the Pentagon takes the transfer requests, quote, "very seriously" and continues to, quote, "engage with our interagency partners."

At his year-end news conference earlier this month, the president spoke of the review process for the remaining detainees, and of his determination to prevail over those who want to see Guantanamo stay in business.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: My expectations is by the early -- by early next year, we should have reduced that population below 100. And we will continue -- continue to steadily chip away at the numbers in Guantanamo.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROSEN: If the Reuters report is true, it would make Ash Carter the second successive Defense Secretary with whom the president has clashed over Guantanamo Bay. Chuck Hagel recently confirmed that his slowness to approve detainee transfers led to his being force out of his job by the White House after less than a year this past February.

Hagel added to Foreignpolicy.com that White House officials tried to, quote, "destroy his reputation on his way out." Those allegations surfaced on the day the president gave that year-end news conference, but he wasn't asked about them. And so, the White House has not yet responded to Hagel's claims. Shannon?

BREAM: All right, James. Thank you very much. Here with more reaction, Pete Hegseth, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a CEO of Concerned Veterans for America, also was a guard at Guantanamo Bay; and Richard Socarides, a White House senior adviser under President Bill Clinton and writer for NewYorker.com.

Gentlemen, good to see you both. OK. Richard, I'll start with you. The Pentagon denies there were any intentional delays. The White House is denying any tension with the Pentagon. Where does that leave us?

RICHARD SOCARIDES, FORMER PRESIDENT CLINTON'S WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISER:  Well, obviously, in this country, we have civilian control of the military. And in theory, the Pentagon is supposed to take orders from the civilian Commander-in-Chief.

So, most of the time, I'm sure it works that way. But as someone who worked in the White House for President Clinton, I know that there is always a bit of tension between the military and the civilian leaders. So, I suspect that there was some tension around this.

I mean, this has obviously been a very complicated issue for President Obama and for President Bush before him.

BREAM: And Pete, last count I've seen 107 remain. I think that's a pretty reliable number there. But the president, you know, from day one has made this a goal, that he is going to shut down Guantanamo Bay.

He has even talked about in his press conference, you know, if I have to take executive action, I maybe could do that to bring people to the U.S. Every state he visited, the congressional delegations, republicans and democrats pretty much across the board have said not here.

PETE HEGSETH, IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN WAR VETERAN: That's right.

BREAM: What happens?

HEGSETH: Well, the Pentagon -- and ultimately, the Pentagon got to be a part of that implementation. They felt marginalized from the very beginning. This is a White House that has politicized, has consolidated national security policy within the NFC and the White House, marginalized the Pentagon.

And you've got every single former Secretary of Defense from Gates to Panetta to Hagel, they've all eventually talked about the politicization, the micromanagement. And it comes down to with Guantanamo Bay, they feel like national security is at stake.

And the White House is committed to a campaign pledge. They're seeing folks where releasing going back to the battlefield, saying those that are still there are the worst of the worst. They don't want to see these guys released. And they don't think the White House is oriented on national security. They're oriented on campaign promise.

No one is questioning civilian control of the military. What these -- what these Secretaries of Defense are questioning is whether or not this White House is truly committed to winning the war on terrorism, defeating ISIS.

(CROSSTALK)

SOCARIDES: But I -- I think all the Secretaries of Defense that you mentioned support closing Guantanamo Bay.

HEGSETH: Yes, there are -- well, obviously in theory at some level.

BREAM: This is all...

HEGSETH: But, yes, they've all Secretary gates, Colin Powell, all those Secretaries of Defense say that Guantanamo Bay should be closed. Now it has to be done obviously carefully. That has to be done in a way that security is not put at risk there.

(CROSSTALK)

BREAM: Well, but it's that because there are issues that the Obama administration is having to deal with now. But the Bergdahl trade and the five who left in exchange for him, who is now being court marshaled. I mean, this is a very delicate subject for the administration.

SOCARIDES: Well, Guantanamo Bay certainly is a very delicate subject. It has to be -- and obviously, President Obama said, you know, I think on his second day in office that he committed to closing Guantanamo Bay.

And look now, we haven't been able the close it because we haven't been able to determine with enough certainty that none of those people that would be released would be a danger to us or make alternative arrangements.

So, I think that there is some effort to try to do this together. However, when the civilian control of the government decides that they're going to take certain actions with respect to detainees, the Pentagon has to fall into line or suffer the consequences.

BREAM: And it denies, Pete, again, any intentional delays.

HEGSETH: As if bureaucracy things can happen in a bureaucracy. It's not like...

(CROSSTALK)

BREAM: Richard is not buying it.

HEGSETH: Well.

SOCARIDES: Listen, I know. I know as someone who has work at the White House, I know how hard it is to get someone.

HEGSETH: As someone who basically served at Guantanamo Bay who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, this is more than a delicate issue.

SOCARIDES: Yes.

HEGSETH: This is a 25, 30 percent recidivism rate. This is current leaders of ISIS, current leaders of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, from Gitmo with street could release by the previous White House and this White House. The ones that are there now are the worst of the worst. He's not worthy of...

(CROSSTALK)

SOCARIDES: Where they go. Do you not think it shouldn't be closed?

HEGSETH: We have long since passed the utility of the propaganda argument. This is about winning the war against terrors.

BREAM: All right. We're going to leave it there.

SOCARIDES: All right.

BREAM: We'll continue during the commercial break, that will be pay-per- view. Great to see both of you.

HEGSETH: Great to see you.

BREAM: Happy New Year.

HEGSETH: Happy New Year.

BREAM: All right. Up next, terrifying chaos at a mid-Western mall, ends with a whole lot of trouble but not arrests. We're going to debate that next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Radio we're being advised, people are being shot at. Do you hear anything at this corner? Some kid just ran up to us and said some people started shooting.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BREAM: New details and questions tonight on a post-Christmas mall riot. More than a thousand teens erupted in a terrifying mob in Kentucky. Police reporting brawls, even gunshots.

By all accounts it was total mayhem, yet, not one person will face any consequences.

We have attorneys Mark Eiglarsh and Andell Brown. But first, Trace Gallagher is live with the very latest. Trace.

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Shannon, police in Louisville still don't know what sparked the violence, but once again it began it spread like wildfire, leading authorities to believe it may have been pre- planned.

Witnesses say the disturbance started as teens harassing customers and loitering in stores. That in turn led to shouting and fistfights. And it wasn't just in certain locations. It was scattered across the entire mall.

Police got the first call of a disturbance at 7 o'clock Saturday night. That was soon followed by dozens of other calls. And as the groups of kids increased, so did the violence. Four different police departments responded. Listen now to police dispatch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got multiple fights, crowds of hundreds. We've got stores going into lockdown, shutting their gates, et cetera. We're responding to another fight right now by the Victoria's Secret entrance. They're going on all around us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Radio we're being advised people are being shot at.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GALLAGHER: Yet, the report said shots were fired inside and outside the mall, but those claims were never confirmed. Though, it was described as a mob mentality that started feeding on itself with some 2,000 people, mostly teens involved.

Police who tried to break up the fights were cussed at and then targeted with trash and other projectiles. No officers were hurt. And despite the violence, no teens were arrested. Instead, they were sent home with their parents or on public transportation.

Police say they were focused on safety, not justice. And the mayor seems to think it was just kids being kids. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARD TONINI, ST. MATTHEWS MAYOR: What are we going to arrest them for? Being noisy? There were some kids who were mouthy and a little bit belligerent towards the police. I don't think in this case arrest would have done anything but incite more -- more panic.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GALLAGHER: Yes, except there are reports that teens have been gathering, taunting, and antagonizing police in the area for months. Critics say the time has come for all kids under 16 to be turned away from the mall unless accompanied by an adult. Shannon?

BREAM: All right, Trace. Thank you very much. Joining us now, Mark Eiglarsh, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor, and Andell Brown, civil rights and defense attorney. Great to see you both, gentlemen.

MARK EIGHLARSH, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Same here, Shannon.

ANDELL BROWN, CIVIL RIGHTS AND DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Pleasure to see you.

BREAM: OK. So, Andell, we heard there that listen, a lot of people think it was good idea that they didn't arrest anybody. It didn't incite things further. But when you have kids running amok, for hours they said to get this thing under control, people were terrified when they tried to close the stores. The kids were hanging on the security gates. They wouldn't allow them to do that. What's to stop these kids from doing this again if there are no real consequences?

BROWN: Well, Officer Dennis McDonnell, who I listened to his report, said at times discretion is the better part of valor. These officers did an excellent job of bringing a potentially dangerous and chaotic situation under control very quickly.

My understanding is that within 45 minutes, maybe 50 or so, officers corralled almost hundreds, some say thousands of kids and have them on their way home. I think that's an exemplary job by the police department there, and it should be commended. No serious injuries. No property damage. Those officers did a great job.

BREAM: OK. Mark, but property damage maybe not things that were looted or stolen that kind of thing. We don't know. But what I'm told is that the entire mall had to close down, and surrounding businesses. I mean, would think that those...

EIGHLARSH: Yes.

BREAM: ... retailers have some kind of claim that, you know, this kind of activity definitely hurt their bottom line.

EIGHLARSH: Yes, I disagree with Andell. I think that the message that's being sent to teenagers is that you can come to the mall in the future and there will be no adverse consequences.

Keep in mind, we're not talking about 40 and 50-year-olds who are protesting. We're talking about teenagers who were rioting. And you're talking about teenagers whose frontal lobe to their brain, the portion governing reasoning and judgment has not been fully formed. They're the ones who hear the message loud and clear the police are soft on crime.

BREAM: Andell, what do you think about this? Because people said the kids were terrified. And that when they asked some of these teenagers to leave, they wouldn't leave the stores, that they were belligerent.

We did hear that they were yelling at the cops, they were cussing at them. I saw one report, we can't confirm, but that they were actually throwing things at the cops. You think that can go unpunished?

BROWN: Anyone who has committed a crime should be punished. And that's what we all seek to do. But when you're in a situation, you have to make split second decisions. And that's what -- that's what those officers did.

They decided that it was more important to make sure that the innocent people were safe, that those officers got home safe, that they controlled that situation and brought to an end as quickly as possible over risking the safety of individual officers to make an arrest here and there and cause even more chaos than what we've already have there.

(CROSSTALK)

EIGHLARSH: You know, Shannon.

BREAM: Quick final word, Mark. Very quick.

EIGHLARSH: I think this is a lot to do with the Ferguson effect. These officers know that some of these arrests would turn violent...

(CROSSTALK)

BROWN: Oh, come on, Mark, not at all.

EIGHLARSH: ... and no, no, no. And then they won't have the backing of their police force and the higher up. And you know what, better to let everybody just go...

BREAM: All right.

EIGHLARSH: ... and deal with it in the future.

BREAM: All right. Well, we'll see if these kids return for more of this activity. Mark, great to see you both tonight. And Andell...

(CROSSTALK)

EIGHLARSH: Thank you. Happy holidays.

BREAM: Yes, happy holidays.

BROWN: Thank you. And happy holidays.

BREAM: And hope you stay safe out there shopping. Thanks, guys.

EIGHLARSH: Yes.

BREAM: All right. New details tonight on the so-called "affluenza teen" who escaped a prison sentence because his defense argued he was too spoiled to know right from wrong after killing four people. Coming up, where police found him and his mother and what police say they did right before they went on the run.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BREAM: New questions tonight about what will happen with the so-called "affluenza teen." He's the 18-year-old who killed four people driving drunk some two years ago, and avoided going to prison after his lawyers argued he was too rich to know right from wrong.

Mexican authorities say they captured him and his mother on Monday, more than a thousand miles from home. Jonathan Hunt has the latest.

JONATHAN HUNT, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Shannon, Ethan Couch disappeared on December 10th after failing to show up for an appointment with his probation officer. Officials say Couch and his mother, Tanya, drove their pickup truck from their home in Texas to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to try to evade law enforcement after a video surfaced that appeared to show 18-year- old Couch at a party where people were drinking. That would have been a violation of Couch's probation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we suspected all along had happened, that they had planned to disappear, that they even had something that was almost akin to a going-away party before they left town. Our suspicion that his mother was assisting him and helping him has proven true.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HUNT: Back in June 2013, Ethan Couch, who was then 16 years old, was driving drunk and speeding outside Fort Worth, Texas, when he hit another car and killed four people. At his trial, his wealthy parents brought in a psychologist who testified that because Couch was spoiled by his family, he did not know right from wrong.

The expert termed the condition "affluenza." it was widely ridiculed but it led to Couch getting probation rather than a prison sentence.

The sheriff and the district attorney made clear today, they believe the original sentence in Couch's case was far too light and the victims were denied justice, but they also admitted this probation violation cannot change that original sentence.

And they say, Shannon, even if they can now witch the case to the adult court system, the longest Couch could be held for under Texas law would be an extra 120 days on the probation violation. After that, he would once again be a free man. Shannon?

BREAM: Thank you. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BREAM: You guys are blowing up my Twitter feed with reaction to that story out of the Louisville suburb mom. You think a lot of folks should have been arrested.

All right. Go to Facebook.com/thekellyfile. Tell us what you think of tonight's show. Thanks for watching. I'm Shannon Bream. This is "The Kelly File."

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