This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," January 14, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Breaking tonight, the story is now changing on the detention of ten American sailors by Iran and the making of what some are now describing as a hostage video.
Welcome to "The Kelly File," everyone. I'm Megyn Kelly. The disturbing incident is almost certain to come up at tonight's Republican presidential debate. Many of the candidates have questions the United States response and argue Iran has a lot of explaining to do. Particularly when it comes to its treatment of our sailors. For his part, President Obama has yet to even remark on the incident. Leaving it up to his Pentagon and his State Department instead.
Remember, it was just over 24 hours ago that Iran first publicized images such as our female sailor wearing what appears to be a makeshift head scarf. As well as video of a sailor issuing an apology. It is still unclear whether this was coerced. And then there's that video of our sailors on their knees with their hands behind their heads. Iranian guns drawn. This is on a U.S. vessel. A short time ago today, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter was specifically asked about those images during Centcom briefing. Listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have video of sailors kneeling down on boats with their hands behind their heads. That's been played over and over again over the last 36, 48 hours. For me, messaging standpoint. From a propaganda standpoint on the Iranian side. What's the reaction to that?
And I guess, from a U.S. point of view, how should we respond?
ASHTON CARTER, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: Well, obviously I don't like to see our people being detained by a foreign military. I'm very glad they're released. I'm very glad they're safe. What we don't know is the full context.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: Joining us now Chief Washington Correspondent James Rosen who is reporting from the White House. James?
JAMES ROSEN, FOX NEWS CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Megyn, good evening.
Top aides to President Obama are speaking out tonight but in fairly restrained terms about Iran's decision to record and then broadcast this so-called apology from one of our captured navy sailors widely believed to have been coerced.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KIRBY, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: I certainly would agree that it is unhelpful and we wouldn't consider it appropriate to do. It's not going to do anything to deescalate tensions. And it's used for propaganda purposes.
It is inappropriate. So I would -- I think we can safely say that. Nobody wants to see that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROSEN: The Defense Department is now saying a navigational error, not a malfunction, led the two navy neighboring vessels to stray into Iranian waters. Officials can't yet say whether the Iranians removed anything from the two craft before releasing them and ten American sailors aboard to the custody of the cruiser USS Anzio on international waters. The sailors themselves are being debriefed and the Defense Secretary Carter told reporters in a visit to Centcom Headquarters in Tampa today that he too needs to know, quote, "The full context of the incident before a full judgment on the videos can be made."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARTER: What you're looking through in those is the lens of the Iranian media. So I think we need to give these guys the opportunity to tell us what was really going on and what the overall context is before we can really know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROSEN: However, another Pentagon official told FOX News today under condition of anonymity that Obama administration in this case is exalting.
Nuclear diplomacy with Iran above transparency -- Megyn.
KELLY: James, thank you.
Joining us now with more, Lieutenant Colonel Tony Shaffer. A CIA trained Intel operative and senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research.
Along with Larry Korb, a former assistance Secretary of Defense under President Reagan and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.
Good to see you both.
So now that story is shifting, Colonel Shaffer, where now it wasn't a mechanical problem as we were told by our government yesterday. Now it was a navigational error that had them drifting into Iranian waters. The government saying this was not a covert mission. But admitting that what we saw on that video was not appropriate nor was its release. Your thoughts?
LT. COL. TONY SHAFFER (RET), CIA TRAINED INTEL OPERATIVE: Well, the first contact with the enemy or story coming in is always, almost always, inevitably incorrect. So, we now have the facts straight. With that said, it is exactly what it looks like, Megyn. It is a provocation. My contacts at the Pentagon yesterday told me that it was no doubt -- they knew yesterday this was a provocation. So, that's why you see the White House James Rosen report, the kind of soft pedaling this. The Iranians -- let me put it this way. If the Iranians wanted to be helpful, they saw one of our ships in distress, why don't they throw it a rope and try it to the next port. Imagine that, Erin, Iranian ships helping an American ships.
KELLY: What's the answer to that?
SHAFFER: No. What they did was exactly what they meant to do. Create a propaganda video, to poke us in the eye --
KELLY: To humiliate us.
SHAFFER: To humiliate us. To put the woman in the headscarf, to take the boots off the sailors. To make them look like rabble. And they did this with a very clear purpose. So, it was not in any way quote-unquote a reasonable response as president -- as Secretary of State --
KELLY: What about that, Larry? What about that they humiliated our sailors? And then we had our Secretary of State John Kerry come out and thank them, thank them, for doing this.
LARRY KORB, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS SENIOR FELLOW: Right.
KELLY: For returning to us our American soldiers. Our American vessels after they humiliated them.
KORB: Well, first of all, we are the ones who went into their territorial waters. This is not like for example they --
KELLY: They say it was an error.
KORB: Well, yes. But they went in there. OK? And if somebody comes into your territorial waters, you're responsible. Whether it is advertent or inadvertent.
KELLY: So you deserve to be humiliated?
KORB: No, wait a second. They weren't even held for 24 hours. When the Chinese knocked down one of our planes for flying in international waters in 2001, they were kept for 11 days. We apologized and paid compensation for the fact that they were --
KELLY: The military code of conduct, Colonel Shaffer, and I'm not blaming the sailor, we don't know what kind of distress he was under.
KELLY: But the military code of conduct, Jack Keane was on the show last night, the General talking about --
KELLY: -- says you give your name, rank, serial number, date of birth and you don't answer questions when in custody. Now that is when you're a prisoner of war. And today the administration was saying, well, we're not at war with Iran. But something clearly untoward went on here.
SHAFFER: Right. And look, Larry and I are friends but I disagree with Larry completely. Larry, if we took the Iranians, we would not humiliate them like that. They would be treated with great respect. To the point Megyn though regarding code of conduct. The Iranian sense, the fall of the Shah in '79 have continued to have a hostile attitude towards us.
Therefore -- and by the way, last month, they shot rockets at one of our aircraft carriers. They illegally file ballistic missiles. So, these people may not be enemies but they are the next thing right below it.
KORB: How about --
SHAFFER: So, therefore, they were captured, they were held and frankly, the code of conduct should apply here where they basically said, look, we made a mistake. I'm sorry, you're taking this the wrong way.
KELLY: Yes. And you know what, we don't answer your questions. We don't answer your questions.
KELLY: Larry, don't we agree with that? Why? If the Iranians did not have somebody under duress and that sailor under duress, or somebody, one of his fellow sailors under duress, why was he answering their questions?
KORB: Well, wait a second, they let them out. Sailors in charge said they were treated well. So, I don't know what all this, you know, in 1980 --
KELLY: You were in the navy. If they boarded your boat and told you to get down on your hands and knees, surrender your weapons, get off your boat, take off your shoes, have the female sailor put a hijab on her head -
KELLY: -- and then look in the camera --
KORB: No, no, no, no, wait a second!
KELLY: What is wrong with that?
KORB: Wait a second! They boarded the boat because you came into their territorial waters without permission.
KELLY: So you are fine with all that? You're on their side?
KORB: I am saying that our sailors made the mistake. For whatever reason.
We don't know. We went into their territory. They weren't even held for one day. In 2001 --
KELLY: Why were they held at all? Why weren't they turned around and said off you go?
SHAFFER: Erin, they could have been turned back out to the water.
KORB: OK, it's very easy for us to say, well, it was an accident, you don't know that. This is your island. We have had incidents there. In 1988, we shot down an Iranian civilian airliner, killed 290 people, including 64 children. We didn't apologize or give compensation for eight years. So these things happen in this very crowded area.
KORB: And you don't know. You're a sailor on the Iranian side, you see Americans come in --
KELLY: You know what? They held a bunch of our citizens hostage for 444 days and didn't pay a dime for what they did. So, alright, I got leave it at that. Good to see you both. Thank you so much.
SHAFFER: Thanks, Megyn.
KELLY: Well, the Obama administration is coming under fire tonight after taking some dangerous terror suspects from Gitmo and sending them to a spot right in the middle of al Qaeda country.
Catherine Herridge is here to report on who these guys were and why there are now alarm bells going off in the capitol.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. JOHN KELLY, COMMANDER, U.S. SOUTHERN COMMAND: I mean, they are all bad boys. We have dossiers in all of them. Some of them were more effective at being bad boys than others.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: Breaking tonight, new outrage after the Obama administration quietly took 10 terror suspects from the prison at Guantanamo Bay and transfer them to the Middle Eastern country of Oman right in the middle of al Qaeda country. The move is part of a 2008 campaign pledge by the President to close this prison but we are now learning that five of the ten were deemed high risk under the Bush administration. And there are growing fears that these men will return to their terror roots.
Catherine Herridge live in Washington with the story. Catherine, what's changed?
CATHERINE HERRIDGE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Megyn, a former senior defense official who has reviewed the Guantanamo file says the evidence against many detainees hasn't really changed but what has changed is the willingness of the Obama White House to do what it takes to close the camp and fulfill a campaign promise.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is proof in there that that's exactly what they decided to do a few years ago. That they were just willing to up the risk they were willing to take to transfer this off the island to satisfy the President's pledge.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HERRIDGE: Among today's transfers, 38-year-old Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel, an al Qaeda member who is taken into custody by the Pakistanis in December
2001 along with a group known as the Dirty 30 which include Osama Bin Laden's bodyguards. Thirty three-year-old Waqas Mohammed Ali Awad is also an al Qaeda member who trained at Tarnak Farms, an Afghan training camp used as a base by Bin Laden. A military review in 2008 concluded he would return to terrorism.
Also, 36-year-old Abu Bakr Ali Mohammed al Hadal was part of Bin Laden's 55th Arab Brigade that supported the Taliban. The detainee has identified himself in the past as a willing terrorist against the United States. The Obama administration prides itself on having a better record vetting detainees than the Bush White House. But the case that Ibrahim al Qosi transferred in 2012 is now a source of considerable heartburn. Al Qosi is confident Osama bin Laden is back on the battlefield and now a leader with al Qaeda in Yemen. At a recent news conference the outgoing commander with oversight for the detainees spoke in blunt terms.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KELLY: I mean, they are all bad boys. We have dossiers on all of them. Some of them were more effective at being bad boys than others.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HERRIDGE: The White House said late today that another 34 detainees are clear for transfer and the goal is to find countries to take them before the summer bringing the number of detainees down to less than 60. Now these deals are secret and what we don't know is how much money, weapons or favors the Obama White House is promising these countries to take the detainees -- Megyn.
KELLY: Wow! Catherine, thanks.
HERRIDGE: You're welcome.
KELLY: Here now with more. Pete Hegseth who is a veteran of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the CEO of Concerned Veterans for America. He was also a guard at Guantanamo Bay. And David Tafuri, a former State Department official and former foreign policy adviser to President Obama during 2008 campaign.
Thank you both so much for being here. So it's a little disconcerting to hear him say, these are all bad boys. Some are more effective at it than others. Well, maybe they could keep the effective ones at least at Guantanamo Bay, Pete?
PETE HEGSETH, CEO, CONCERNED VETERANS FOR AMERICA: No, we're at the bottom of the barrel. You know what we should do right now? Release 30-year-old hard core jihadist back to Oman which is right next door to Yemen. And you know what the question we don't have answered? How long will they be there? Oman calls this a temporary deal. What are the safeguards in place that they won't go back to the battlefield? And many of these, majority of them have -- their ever proclivity to go back to terrorism. They want to kill Americans. They were associates of Osama bin Laden. And Yemen is a hotbed right next door. This is a reckless, reckless action by the administration hyper focused on closing it down. And it has nothing to do with what's in their dossier. And they will going to make any secret deal they need to empty this place out.
KELLY: David, that -- I mean, the way it feels is they just want -- they want to empty the prison. They don't really know what to do with these guys. The bad guys. Why do they get a get out of jail free pass? I mean, is this safe?
DAVID TAFURI, FORMER FOREIGN POLICY ADVISER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA: We should not be releasing anybody who still poses a threat to the United States.
Now remember, these guys have not been released. They have been sent to Oman. Oman is an ally in the war against terrorism. They're going to be detained in Oman. They should be continued to be detained --
HEGSETH: How long.
TAFURI: They should be continued to be detained as long as they are a threat to the United States. But the bigger problem is, Guantanamo needs to be closed. And anyone still in Guantanamo who poses a threat to the United States should be transferred to a maximum security prison inside the United States. Apparently there are people --
KELLY: They can't be.
TAFURI: Apparently there are people who think that they can't be that we can't hold them in a maximum security prison safely. But we can. We're strong enough to do that.
KELLY: OK. But that's what the administration wanted to do, and then the Congress passed a requirement that they not do it. It can't be funded.
They will not be coming into U.S. prisons. Although now there is a report out tonight saying there is a plan that Ash Carter, our defense secretary, is getting ready, that would indeed house some remaining Gitmo detainees in a secure facility in the U.S., Pete. I don't know how it's going to do it.
HEGSETH: It is not a secret to those of us that this administration would flop the law, that would ignore what Congress is trying to do. They are still looking at places in the United States. He cited three reasons in the State of the Union, why we want to close Guantanamo Bay. It is expensive. That coming from the guy who's loaded up $19 trillion in debt.
Doubled it. Somehow that's not important to him. It's unnecessary, we are at war. We can't bring them to the United States.
We don't have a better place to house them. I've served in Guantanamo Bay.
I know what a professional facility is there. It is top notch. And we bend over backwards. And the third, he doesn't believe they are a threat any more. That propaganda value is the problem. We know if you track Islamic propaganda today, they are not talking about Guantanamo Bay.
They've stopped talking about Guantanamo Bay a long time ago. It is about the nature of what they think they can achieve.
KELLY: There has undocumented --
KELLY: But David, let me ask you --
HEGSETH: They're not talking on it.
KELLY: If these guys are so, you know, not a problem, then why weren't they released with the other three trenches of releases? As we get closer to the end, it feels like we are stuck with the truly bad dudes that we really shouldn't be releasing to anybody.
TAFURI: Well, the U.S. is in a very difficult situation. These people need to be put somewhere else. They have to get out of Guantanamo Bay.
Guantanamo Bay is a scourge on the record of the U.S. And the most jobs --
HEGSETH: They don't have job at Guantanamo --
KELLY: It is an effective scourge --
TAFURI: Now, Congress needs to change the law and make it possible to put them into maximum security prisons. That's where they should be. All of them who still pose a threat to the U.S. They need to be -- we need to observe --
KELLY: But is this a solution when Congress says, no, we're not doing that.
But David, when Congress says we're not, we're not doing that, we're not bringing them to the United States. Eric Holder tried to do it and it there was an uproar. When Congress says, you can't, is this a solution to what Oman temporarily and it's really close to Yemen. It is like New York/New Jersey. Right across the border.
TAFURI: Look, our allies like Oman need to hold these people until they are not a threat anymore. And if they continued to be a threat, they have to be held. That is to be part of a transfer agreement between the U.S.
and Oman and I certainly hope, that is part of the transfer agreement.
TAFURI: And that's what we need again, as we move prisoners out of Guantanamo Bay. But the ones that are still a threat should be put in maximum security prisons in the U.S.
HEGSETH: David, your plan is hope. We don't know what their plan is.
Others have been released from allied countries also after they are deemed no longer a threat. And if you take them to the United States, treat them like common criminals, that's a pre-9/11 mindset. We are at war. Either we act that way or we don't.
KELLY: I got to go. Good to see you both.
HEGSETH: That's not correct.
KELLY: I got to go.
I got to go.
OK. Coming up, there is also new drama tonight in the democratic race for president. As Hillary Clinton slides further in the polls and Bernie Sanders unleashes his first attack ad. Could Bernie Sanders actually be the democratic nominee?
Kirsten Powers and Joe Trippi have answers. They are next on why Hillary is thinking and whether all of America soon may feel the burn.
KELLY: The democratic race for president is getting very tight and Bernie Sanders is spending some money now to make it even tighter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There are two democratic visions for regulating Wall Street. One says it's okay to take millions from big banks and then tell them what to do. My plan, break up the big banks, close the tax loop holes, and make them pay their fair share. Then we can expand health care to all and provide universal college education.
Will they like me? No. Will they begin to play by the rules of a president? You better believe it. I'm Bernie Sanders, and I approve this message.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: Well, apparently they do like Bernie. Take a look at this. You can see her lead is slipping in Iowa. Where she now has a two-point lead over Senator Sanders. But look where it was before. In the news is not good for her coming out of another poll in Iowa or New Hampshire.
Joining us now Kirsten Powers, USA Today and Daily Beast columnist. And Joe Trippi, who is a former presidential campaign manager for Howard Dean, among others. Both are FOX news contributors. Great to see you both.
JOE TRIPPI, FORMER HOWARD DEAN PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Good to be with you.
KELLY: So, what is happening, Joe? You look -- yesterday the Quinnipiac poll out of Iowa, shows her down five points to Bernie. Monmouth poll in New Hampshire, 53 to 39, his lead over her. What's happening?
TRIPPI: Well, look, the Obama coalition is splintered. It is split two groups. White progressives and millennials are breaking to Bernie Sanders.
They have been for quite a while and they're solidifying around him.
Women, African-Americans, Latinos, other minorities and Hillary are all strongly for Hillary. Way stronger in the minority community for her than they are for Bernie. And she is getting her fair share of progressives and blue collar Democrats. The problem here is, the part of the coalition that's for Bernie, it's strongest in places like Iowa and New Hampshire.
Hillary's strength is in place will emerge in South Carolina and beyond.
That doesn't mean -- so there's a vulnerability here. Sanders could indeed win in those first two states and then have -- unless he can expand into these other parts of the Obama coalition, he is not going to go very far.
And in the end, that coalition has to be put together back together around one of them to win in November.
KELLY: With very few peeling off to win in November.
TRIPPI: Yes, exactly.
KELLY: But, you know, the power of momentum, if Bernie Sanders who, you know, most people have written off as having zero chance, if he wins in both of the first two, you know, the first caucuses in the nation, first primary in the nation, what does that do to the psyche of the democratic voters?
KIRSTEN POWERS, AUTHOR, "THE SILENCING: HOW THE LEFT IS KILLING FREE
SPEECH": Yes. Well, I think you saw that with Obama a little bit in 2008 where you have a lot of African-American voters who weren't supporting him, initially they were supporting Hillary, because they didn't think he could win. And when people start to think that maybe somebody can win, then they will start coalescing around them. Now, I think Hillary is probably, you know, structurally first of all, he's got, you know, well over a majority of the super delegates behind her for example, she has a lot in her corner and like Joe said, I think, you know, the later states favor her a little more.
But I think you're right, Megyn, it would be a major blow to her to lose Iowa, to lose New Hampshire and it would give him some momentum. And if you look at the Quinnipiac poll, you know, you would think, well, it's only the Liberal voters that are kind of rallying around Bernie. But the area where she saw some of her biggest losses were among moderate and conservative Democrats. She went from being up 20 points to being up two points among Iowa Democrats who identify as conservative or moderates. So, there's maybe something else going on here that Democrats are taking a closer look, we're getting closer to voting time and people are starting to pay attention.
KELLY: And that leads to my next question, Joe, which is, why is this happening? I mean, it is like, it is Clinton in the Democrats minds' eye, isn't it -- it's her turn.
TRIPPI: No. Look, this was always going to happen. I always thought this would happen in Iowa and New Hampshire. Her part of the coalition has never been strong in these two states.
KELLY: Why? What is it about Iowa and New Hampshire?
TRIPPI: Well, Iowa's 94 percent white and so in New Hampshire I think is
92 percent. So and if you're a Democrat and you're a progressive white Democrat, I mean, in those two states, that's -- that is Bernie Sanders group. That's the group that he runs strongest in and almost -- and many other parts of the coalition in which Hillary Clinton runs very strong and Kirsten is right, Obama broke through with that part -- with -- these were strength she had before. She was running strong with African-Americans and Latinos, minorities, blue collar Democrats and Obama by winning Iowa broke through and those groups broke to him.
KELLY: He said, hey, there's another option.
TRIPPI: It doesn't look --
KELLY: What happens -- what happened --
TRIPPI: Yes. It doesn't look to me like Sanders will do that.
KELLY: So, the two groups have to coalesce behind, you know, one of these candidates or Martin O'Malley.
POWERS: And does this contest and it's close, its closeness, affect the likelihood of one of these groups and their enthusiasm when we get to November and they have to choose between, you know, the person they didn't really love at this point and the Republican?
POWERS: Under normal circumstances, the people would just coalesce around whoever the nominee is. The question is, whether something is different, it's happening here. You know, where Sanders is this kind of kinder, gentler democratic Trump character, right. Where you have people who are just so frustrated with the system and Hillary Clinton once again where it looks like we're in another change election and she is not the change candidate again.
POWERS: And so you know, she is in a very eerily similar situation. And so I think, you know, I would just be -- to predict it honestly, I think in others like laws maybe we can make predictions --
POWERS: That is obviously in an unusual cycle.
KELLY: Fascinating. They're feeling the -- I got to go Joe. Say this sentence or less.
TRIPPI: OK. No, I would just say that, that we haven't had the sharp elbows on our side. So there hasn't been a lot of tough punches at each other.
KELLY: The debates are in the presidential protection program so we can't see anything.
KELLY: Saturday night, it's Christmas Eve, a democratic debate. Oh, yes.
KELLY: See you both.
POWERS: Thank you.
KELLY: Also tonight, there's a dramatic new national poll just out from the Wall Street Journal that could change the dynamic for tonight's Republican debate.
Campaign Carl Cameron is next on what we are learning from these new numbers. And then Rich Lowry and Katie Pavlich joins us on what it means for the GOP race.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN SPICER, RNC CHIEF STRATEGIST AND COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: I think you're going to see a very, very economic focused and possibly some national security issues come up tonight with what has been going on
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANITA VOGEL, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Live from America's News Headquarters, I'm Anita Vogel. ISIS is back or it's claiming responsibility for a deadly attack in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. The terrorists using hand grenades, homemade bombs and firearms. Out of seven people killed, five of them were the attackers themselves. The FBI said there is no evidence the man who ambushed a Philadelphia police officer was part of an organized terror cell. The agency also believes there is no indication of any additional plots. The gunman, Edward Archer is charged with attempted murder.
And dozens of people from Flint, Michigan are in the state's Capitol protesting dirty drinking water. High levels of lead were found in Flint water supply. In 2014, the state tried to save money by switching the source from the great lakes to the Flint River. I'm Anita Vogel, now let's you back to The Kelly File.
KELLY: Breaking tonight, with the first republican debate of 2016, now well under way. We are just getting a new national poll from NBC Wall Street Journal, showing that Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have more support than any of their competitors combined. What's more after weeks of Donald Trump raising questions about whether Ted Cruz can legally be president, Trump is starting to widen his lead over Senator Cruz. Chief political correspondent campaign Carl Cameron is in Charleston tonight with more. Carl?
CARL CAMERON, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Megyn. And all of the candidates would tell you immediately that this, this race will not be determined by national polls, but by a series of polls, basically the voters going to them state by state. And because Iowa will comes first, and in that state, Ted Cruz still has a lead in most of the state-wide polls, the battle between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz on full display tonight, in just a matter of a few minutes -- couple of hours, excuse me.
And as a consequence of all of this, the race now really becomes whether or not Ted Cruz can win in Iowa, or Donald Trump can win there. If Donald Trump was in Iowa, many people believe this could, just be -- his ability to run the table. And it is not just two, there are seven candidates who are been on the primetime debate stage tonight, and three of them are governors. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, current Ohio Governor John Kasich, and current New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, have been in a huge battle over their experience, over their records, over their resumes, and that is just wondering and waiting for who is going to prevail in the Cruz/Trump race.
The debate tonight, still got some time to go, and it is clearly a very, very important point in this race. And there will be one more debate, exactly two weeks from tonight, which is exactly four days before the Iowa caucuses, which is likely to be even more consequential, Megyn.
KELLY: That will be hosted by the Fox News Channel, yours truly, Brett Baier and Chris Wallace will be out there again, and it all to be interesting. Carl, good to see you.
Joining us now with analysis, National Review editor Rich Lowry, and Townhall News editor Katie Pavlich, both are Fox News contributors, good to see you, so.
RICH LOWRY, NATIONAL REVIEW EDITOR: Hi, Megyn.
KELLY: What is going to be the most interesting match-up? Trump versus Cruz, Rich?
LOWRY: I think Trump versus Cruz is the most interesting one to watch.
Because this relationship has gone from fake friendship, to passive aggression, to cold war, and the big question is, do active hostilities break out and how open are they? And I think that the -- a tough question for Cruz is, what did you mean by New York values? Because you either have to say, well, you know, Donald is a liberal and he has lived the lifestyle, a lot of people -- republican voters wouldn't approve of, which is kind of a personal attack, I'm not sure Trump would take very well. Or he has to take the pass, in which case you'll be seeing a ducking and weak, which he wants to avoid.
KELLY: And you know, he's gonna offend New Yorkers, but I guess he probably has written all of us off, Katie. The meantime, the other battle.
KATIE PAVLICH, TOWNHALL NEWS EDITOR: Votes in New York.
KELLY: Right. The other battle, it maybe Jeb versus Trump, because Jeb is -
- maybe he found his mojo, I don't know. You tell me, but he released this ad today. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEB BUSH, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Just one other thing I got to get this off my chest. Donald Trump is a jerk.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Donald Trump facing criticism for something he did on the campaign trail last night in South Carolina. He's here to mock a reporter with a disability.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You got to see this guy. Oh, I don't know what I said. Oh, I don't remember.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have a 12-year-old son who is handicapped. He has cerebral palsy and that just made me so angry. And I told my wife, I just couldn't let that stand. I have to do something, make sure Donald Trump wasn't the nominee for the Republican Party.
BUSH: I believe life is precious. I think life is truly a gift from God and, we are all equal under God's watchful eye. That's what I believe. And when anybody, anybody disparages people with disabilities, it sets me off.
That's why I called in him a jerk. What kind of person would you want to have in the presidency that does that? At what point do we say enough of this? Let's start solving problems.
I'm Jeb Bush and I approve this message.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAVLICH: Well, I think it is a really powerful ad and I very much agree with the message. I think what Donald Trump regarding the reporter and trying to cover up the fact that he wasn't talking about the reporter who has a disability, really was unfortunate, and wrong, and quite frankly, mean. But the problem is that Jeb Bush put the nail in his coffin, weeks ago, when he said that he was OK with being in fifth place, and that he didn't want to be the frontrunner. And the question is, well, if you don't want to be in the front, then why are you attacking the guy who is in the front? What is your goal with that?
Tonight, I think Marco Rubio has a really good chance, again, to shine in the sense of knowing a lot of details about foreign policy. It's obviously in the news, especially off the heels of President Obama's State of the Union address, with him saying our enemies have not become stronger. And you have to consider there are fewer people on the stage now, which means that people will have a longer time to give answers.
KELLY: They are all going to take him out.
KELLY: They are all gonna want to take out Rubio, Rich, because you've got these three governors who want that mainstream sort of lead. And he's the guy that they want to get him out of there.
LOWRY: Absolutely right. Rubio has the most natural predators of anyone in this field that is directly competing with Kasich, and Christie, and Bush, for voters in New Hampshire. But his support is so broad-based, the score he has. He's also competing with Cruz, for voters, and Trump hates him on immigration. So the last debate, we saw Rubio taking most and coming of anyone, and I think we will see the same thing tonight, and he handled it very well. But still, if you're on your back heel for most of the debate, it's hard to shine.
And Jeb Bush, he's trying to do with Trump, he knows he's not going to get Trump voters. He is trying to establish his credibility and seriousness in that establishment lane, by attacking Trump. That's basically been his theory for months, it hasn't worked yet, but that ad, I loved it. It's the best thing he has done in this campaign. Anyone who has a brother, a sister, a father, or mother of a disabled person has to be grabbed by that ad.
KELLY: And so, it's the first time he's really come out, and short of put a fine point on it. I got to go, great to see you both, thank you.
LOWRY: Thanks, Megyn.
PAVLICH: Thanks, Megyn.
KELLY: Up next, the former FBI agent and his model daughter are now facing life behind bars for the murder of her husband. Aidala and Lis Wiehl are here with why this duo should stay off social media. Oh, look at them. Oh, aren't they sweet?
KELLY: And why the daughter might want to consider throwing her dad under the bus.
KELLY: Developing tonight, a murder mystery getting national attention now.
As former model, a former model and her father, a former FBI agent, find themselves facing life behind bars for the death of the woman's husband.
Arthur Aidala and Lis Wiehl are here on why this case is getting so much attention. But first, Trace Gallagher gets us up to speed on the crime.
TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Megyn, at 3 o'clock in the morning, Tom Martens, a former FBI agent claims he was awoken by a loud fight between his daughter Molly, and her husband, 39-year-old Jason Corbett. Marten says, when he came into his daughter's room, Jason Corbett was choking her, saying he was going to kill her. So Marten says, he grabbed an aluminum bat, struck his son-in-law in the head and called 191.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's going on there?
THOMAS MARTENS, FORMER FBI AGENT: My daughter's husband, my son-in-law, got in a fight with my daughter. I intervened. And I think -- and he's in bad shape. We need help.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. What do you mean he's in bad shape, he's hurt?
MARTENS: He's bleeding all over, and I may have killed him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: The call went on for 14 minutes. Most of that time, the dispatcher was trying to talk to father and daughter through CPR. In the background you can hear how distraught Molly Corbett was. But now both father and daughter are charged with murder because police say neither of them had any injuries and their lives were not in imminent danger.
And there is some question as to where the baseball bat came from. The father says he had it in his room because he was about to give it as a gift to his 9-year-old grandson. Police think he might have gone specifically to an equipment closet and grabbed it before entering his daughter's room.
On top of all this, it is also an international child custody case. The victim was from Ireland. His children are Irish citizens. Their Irish family is fighting to take them away from their stepmom, Molly Corbett, who is now facing murder charges -- Megyn.
KELLY: Trace, thank you. Joining me now with more, New York trial attorney Arthur Aidala, and former federal prosecutor Lis Wiehl, both are Fox News legal analyst.
So they say, it was defense -- you know, the father says it was defense of others, "I was defending my daughter's life." What is the proof that's not what was happened?
LIS WIEHL, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: There is no proof that -- that is what happened because there are no bruises, there are no -- he said strangling her by the neck. There would be bruises; there would be marks, or something.
KELLY: So she didn't have a mark on her.
WIEHL: Nothing. She had -- she didn't and he didn't, OK. Then they said the baseball bat, right? But the cops found out that it was a baseball bat and a brick. Now, where does it brick come into to you? You just don't hit somebody with a baseball bat and then a brick, that's beyond self-defense.
Even if you go into something like that, you stop. You have to stop at a certain point when the person is down. You don't hit them with the brick.
Also, there was a custody battle going on. She wanted these kids, she was desperately.
KELLY: They were not her biological children.
WIEHL: Exactly. But she wanted to adopt her.
KELLY: But she wanted to adopt them.
WIEHL: He said no to that, OK? Now she wants custody. And the sister of the
-- to the death guy, the deceased says no to that.
WIEHL: You actually right.
WIEHL: Right, because I know.
WIEHL: And there's money involved. There's money involved. The reason that they were fighting all the time was about money. And she took out huge amounts of cash from their joint bank accounts right after he died.
KELLY: She was the nanny to the children, right? He was married before. His first wife died. She was the nanny. He married the nanny.
ARTHUR AIDALA, NEW YORK TRIAL ATTORNEY: Who was a model.
KELLY: The nanny model.
KELLY: It has never a good idea.
KELLY: That's another.
AIDALA: Two other topics.
KELLY: Story for another day. And so what is -- how are they going to get out of this?
AIDALA: Wait a minute. What is the evidence against the nanny model? What is the evidence?
KELLY: Where are the marks on her throat?
KELLY: If he was choking her.
AIDALA: Hold on. No one is saying she picked up a bat. No one is saying she picked up a brick. If her father severely overreacted to an argument that.
KELLY: But she has the motive.
KELLY: Who had the most to gain? Not the grandfather.
AIDALA: But the grandfather -- his 911 call says, which seems pretty credible is, "there was a fight going on. I ran into break up the fight."
Number one, as a prosecutor, you also charge the lesser included of extreme emotional disturbance. Meaning, heat of passion, like when someone comes in.
AIDALA: And their wife is having an affair and they kill them, it's a lower ground.
WIEHL: But that's not what happened here.
AIDALA: As his defense attorney, you're saying what you said Megyn, which is, "I'm defending a third person. I'm defending my daughter." But Lis is right. It's an excessive force by killing him.
AIDALA: But I don't see.
WIEHL: And also.
AIDALA: The evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that the daughter.
KELLY: Where is the evidence against her?
AIDALA: The daughter.
KELLY: Good point. The father is on tape admitting he did it, the woman's father.
WIEHL: But saying that maybe trying to protect her.
KELLY: What is the evidence.
WIEHL: Because he comes in he is beating with a baseball bat.
KELLY: That there was plotting between the daughter and father.
KELLY: And how do you get her on murder?
WIEHL: Extreme with the baseball bat and brick. And the other thing is really strange about this case, Megyn is, she's going on Facebook. She's going on social media before trial saying, "I'm innocent. I'm innocent. To be fair, the truth has to come out. In my background anyway, my experience, people who are innocent, they say that in the trial level. They don't go on Facebook.
AIDALA: Today, everybody does everything in Facebook.
WIEHL: No, nothing --
WIEHL: Not on pre-trial.
AIDALA: Bottom line is dad's got an issue. He's got an issue of excessive force. But he also had the self defense portion and that is about --
WIEHL: Oh, and --
KELLY: Why they have a brick?
AIDALA: But the girl --
KELLY: And the baseball bat.
KELLY: That's a good question.
AIDALA: Listen, he --
KELLY: The baseball bat -- let's gonna get it done.
AIDALA: If I'm the defense attorney, I'm saying, ladies and gentlemen, you have a man in his 30s, against a man in his 60s. And the man in his 60s is hearing his daughter's.
WIEHL: He's a former.
AIDALA: Scream for help.
WIEHL: FBI agent.
AIDALA: He breaks in the door to save.
WIEHL: He knows how cover things up --
KELLY: Former FBI agent.
AIDALA: Former FBI agent.
AIDALA: He's got to save his daughter, ladies and gentlemen, the jury. What would you do, ladies and gentlemen, if your daughter was screaming.
WIEHL: You can reach her.
AIDALA: "Help me dad."
WIEHL: And you can reach her.
AIDALA: "Daddy help me, he's hurting me."
AIDALA: What would you do? "Daddy please, he's killing me."
And they have the --
KELLY: You're out of order. You're out of order.
AIDALA: We're all out of order.
KELLY: Stricken -- great to see you both.
WIEHL: That strikes you.
KELLY: What are your thoughts? Facebook.com/thekellyfile. Well, up next, some folks somewhere are a whole lot richer tonight. And before you get jealous of the Powerball winners -- and by the way, we found out whose one of them is, this is exciting. Before you get jealous, you got to hear our report on what happens after the money rolls in -- next.
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ANNOUNCER: From the world headquarters of Fox News, it's The Kelly File, with Megyn Kelly.
KELLY: Tonight, mystery surrounds the three winners of the record-breaking
$1.6 billion Powerball jackpot. We now know that winning tickets were sold in California, Florida and Tennessee. And we are hearing reports that the California winner may be a 62-year-old nurse, (inaudible). And while many of the fellow Americans are green with envy, left to simply dream about what they would do with all that cash, winning does not always equal happiness. In fact, you should be glad you didn't win. And Trace Gallagher has the explanation as to why. Trace?
GALLAGHER: Megyn, we should note that 62-year-old nurse is a mother of seven and she knew she won last night, but continued her shift anyway.
Maybe it's because her boss bought her the ticket. So now, she and the others had the option to cash in on lump sum payments of $327 million each or they can take 30 annual payments of $3.2 million. Before you get lotto envy, don't forget about the curse. Studies show that 70 percent of lotto winners end up broke within seven years. And for many others, the outcome is even worse.
In the early 2000s, Jeffrey Dampier won $20 million in the Illinois lottery and showered his family with gifts and cash, but apparently not enough. He was shot and killed by his sister-in-law. In 2002, Michael Carroll won $15 million. After a spree of cars, cocaine and hookers, he was broke and in prison by 2006. A Texas man named Billie Bob Harrell won $31 million. When he gave most of it away, his wife left him and he committed suicide.
Leaving a note that said, "Winning the lottery is the worst thing that ever happened to me." And the stories go on and on.
But we do have advice from a man who knows how to be rich. Dallas Mavericks owner and tech billionaire Mark Cuban says, "If you win the lotto, don't invest. Put it in a bank where you know it's safe." He says, "Tell your friends and relatives, no." And he adds that, "If you weren't happy yesterday, you won't be happy tomorrow. It's money, not happiness. On the other hand, if you were happy yesterday, you're going to be really happy tomorrow, and finally, be nice. No one likes a mean billionaire." Megyn.
KELLY: We'll be right back.
KELLY: Tune in to a special live election edition of "The Kelly File," tonight at 11:00 p.m., right after the FBN GOP Debate. We've got all your post debate analysis. Frank Luntz focus group, Krauthammer, Stirewalt, Kurt, Thiessen, Rich Lowry, Rogers, though, I'm exhausted. See you then.
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