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Leading conservative voices unite to stop Donald Trump

This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," January 21, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST, "THE KELLY FILE": Breaking tonight in a powerful KELLY FILE exclusive. One of the most influential publications in American conservative thought. Publishing a dire warning from nearly two dozen of the nation's best known conservatives. Donald Trump must be stopped.

Welcome to the KELLY FILE, I'm Megyn Kelly. Less than an hour from now, this will be the cover of the well-known National Review. The cover page titled "Against Trump." The magazine started by William F. Buckley, Jr. more than 60 years ago. Described a true conservative at the time as quote, "A fellow standing athwart history yelling, stop." Tonight these conservatives join together in an attempt to do just that. Publishing their objections to the Trump candidacy and they do not mince words. Many of these men and women will be familiar to you.

Three of them will join us in just a moment on their message that Trump is not one of them. Then we will hear from the other side, former Trump political adviser Roger Stone is here along with Washington Times political columnist Charles Hurt. But first, we begin with one of Donald Trump's best known new advocates. Former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. When Mrs. Palin announced her endorsement of Mr. Trump earlier this week, she hammered the so-called Republican establishment for trying to bring him down.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN, R, FORMER VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Look what's happening today. Our own GOP machine establishment, they who would assemble the political landscape, they're attacking their own front-runner. Now would the left ever, would the DNC ever come after their front-runner and her
supporters? No, because they don't eat their own. They don't self-destruct. But for the GOP establishment to be coming after Donald Trump's supporters even with accusations that are so false, they are so busted.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Joining us now, the man who organized this effort to stop Donald Trump, National Review editor Rich Lowry. Rich, it's good to see you.

RICH LOWRY, NATIONAL REVIEW EDITOR: Hi, Megyn.

KELLY: So, when Palin gave that enforcement, many said Trump has won over the conservative base. That's an endorsement from the conservative base. And you and the others at National Review stand up tonight and say, not so.

LOWRY: Yes. You know, one big take away from what we're doing is not the establishment necessary that's opposing Donald Trump. You have a bunch of lobbyists on K Street right now hiding under their desk, figuring out how they can deal with Trump or perhaps co-opt them. And the point we are making, it is up to conservatives who think that Donald Trump whatever his virtues are doesn't truly understand the ideas and principles that make this country great. It's up to those conservatives to stand up and say no, sorry, we oppose this.

KELLY: When you read the 22 pieces that were submitted to National Review by very well-known conservatives and Republicans in the country, I mean, Andy McCarthy, among them, Michael Mukasey, and so on, the list goes, going back with the first name on the list, what themes emerge to you?

LOWRY: Well there are a couple. One, if you truly are a conservative, you believe an ideas and principles. It's not just attitudes, it's not just who you dislike. It is limited government. It's the constitution. It's liberty. Those are the things that truly make this country special. And they are basically after thoughts to Donald Trump. He almost never talks about them. And if you are truly a conservative, you have the consistent record. We all change our minds on a few things every now and then when the facts change. But he has been on the other side on big hot button defining issues like abortion, gun control, taxes, and even immigration.

KELLY: You know, he points to Ronald Reagan saying he too came across the aisle after having been on the other side. And that he has had that genuine evolution himself.

LOWRY: And Ronald Reagan spent about 30 or 40 years marinating in conservative thought and advocating for conservative ideas. He just didn't just show up one day and say, hey, guess what, now I'm a conservative. And another problem with Trump is he seems to believe what this country needs is a really effective strong man to make the trains run on time. When what we really need is the government to be cut down to size, restore to its rightful role, and then focus on the really important things. Like the borders and like creating conditions for growth.

KELLY: One of the things, one of the pieces points out is that the country was born in an effort to avoid a heavy-handed leader who thought he could just make it better. And to re-empower the people to govern themselves as opposed to vest all this power in one man who said he could do it.

LOWRY: Right. Now, look, he is a very talented politician, he has proven that over the last six to eight months and he's hit a nerve and he has gone where the energy is. And a lot of times, I'm laughing and applauding right along with his supporters but conservatism is more than that. I don't even believe, I think even on immigration, he is really conning people. This is someone who three or four short years ago, was criticizing nice pleasant polite Mitt Romney for being too harsh on immigration. That wouldn't surprise me if one day Donald Trump, if he gets the nomination, wakes up the next day and says, you know what, deporting people, the best people in the country told me that's not possible, forget it.

KELLY: Rich, thank you.

LOWRY: Thanks, Megyn.

KELLY: Here now, three of the people contributing to the conservative campaign to stop Donald Trump, Dana Loesch, the host of "Dana" on The Blaze TV. Brent Bozell, the chairman of the group, For America, that's the nation's largest on-line conservative network and Katie Pavlich who is a FOX News contributor and news editor of Townhall.com.

Dana, let me start with you. Glenn has got the first piece in this. You also had your two cent saying, you were on the lines with the Tea Party standing with the placards out on the sidewalks, you didn't see Donald Trump there.

DANA LOESCH, HOST OF "DANA" ON THE BLAZE TV: No. And Megyn, you know, to that point, I was on that first phone call the night that we were all, a group of us, were planning the first Tea Party rallies and founding the modern day Tea Party movement. I didn't stand out. I didn't phone bank. And I didn't go door to door for an increased mandate for ethanol. I didn't do it for eminent domain. I did it for principles over popularity. And when I am looking at this primary, I feel as though that a lot of this has turned into popularity over principles. That's what conservatism is. It is principle. I know Donald Trump. I think he is a nice guy. I think he's got a fantastic family. But that's not enough to me, anyway, to win over the White House. I want someone who is a great leader and as a staunch conservative and I don't have to question their authenticity.

KELLY: Brent, you know what is happening right now. A lot of Trump supporters are watching this saying, these people are establishment. They don't get it. We just want someone who can go in there and screw with Washington the way they feel their lives have been messed with.

BRENT BOZELL, FOR AMERICA CHAIRMAN: Look, Megyn, anyone who knows me, knows I was fighting the establishment well before fighting the establishment was cool. I was fighting the establishment with the Buchanan brigades in 1992. So, why aren't we speaking out about this? To suggest that Trump has had some kind of road to Damascus, transformation, just isn't true. Look, Ronald Reagan spent 16 years working for conservative principles. Giving speeches. Traveling around the country. Raising money for conservative organizations. Supporting Barry Goldwater.

Doing all those things that advance the conservative movement for decades before he ran for president. Donald Trump did none of it until three months ago. Up until three months ago, this was a man who said, he was a proud Democrat. This is a man who said he was a proud support of Hillary Clinton. This is a man who said he was proud supporter of Planned Parenthood. This is what he said he was. So, I think people have to say, OK, it's been a lot of fun, up until now. But do we only care about rattling the cages in Washington or do as conservatives want to fundamentally change this course of destruction that we're on and Donald Trump has no record of ever supporting any of these things.

KELLY: Katie, the pieces talk about, this is from Bill Kristol that he is the very epitome of vulgarity. Saying, this is another piece that he is whatever he pleases to be at the moment. The only principle being the triumph of his will. It's a harsh litany of accusations against him. Does it run any risk of having the opposite of its intended affect? Having the Trump supporters say, that's it. We're dug in even more. These people don't understand us.

KATIE PAVLICH, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, look, I think that there's a lot of people who are supporting Donald Trump who are going to continue to support Donald Trump. But as we see with the race in Iowa, there is a rift between Donald Trump and people who are looking at Ted Cruz as a conservative option. Again, this does go back to principles. We have to ask ourselves here whether we are willing to set the precedent with Donald Trump and just throwing away years and years and decades and centuries of conservative principles and values simply because a candidate comes in and says all of the right things.

KELLY: He says he is a conservative. He says he is --  

PAVLICH: But he's not, Megyn. But he can say that he is, just like he says, he is a lot of things. But the fact is that Donald Trump, his liberal past, is not behind him. In fact, he has gone out on the current
campaign trail, and has vowed Liberal ideas and big government propositions and proposals. So, to say that his liberal past is behind him, that he is somehow changed and he's a conservative just doesn't mesh with the facts. Conservatives historically have priding themselves on voting on records and voting for candidates who have been loyal to the constitution and loyal to conservative principles. Donald Trump is not that candidate.

KELLY: One of the arguments of this piece Brent talks about how they believe that Trump is quote, "The living breathing," this is from Michael Medved, "The living breathing bellowing personification of all of the nasty characteristics Democrats routinely ascribe to Republicans." This is something you hear sometimes, from some Republicans opposed to Trump that he is influencing an upcoming generation of young people who are deciding what they are. And that he is not the best brand for the Republican Party. Your thoughts on it?

BOZELL: Well, I think he's -- look, frankly, a President Trump would be a terrible face of America to the world. This is a man who takes everything personally. Everything is about himself. He is an absolute narcissist. He is doing what he thinks he needs to do to win the presidency for himself. I'm surprised he's not going to call it the Trump White House when he wins. This is what he cares about. If this were a race, I was saying to my fellow conservative, if this were a race between Jeb Bush and Donald Trump, you've got an argument maybe, because you know where Jeb Bush stands. But in fact, there are several conservatives in this race and in fact, personally speaking, I've endorsed Ted Cruz for the reason that he is the real conservative in this race with the real record and a past and a future and real programs. Donald Trump, what are his programs?  

KELLY: Dana, to those people who are sitting up here, you are a Tea Partier, I mean, you're out there. Those Tea Parties are saying, you guys are a Republican establishment. We love him. There is nothing you can say that is going to change our minds. What say you?

LOESCH: Well, Megyn, are you talking to me?

KELLY: Yes.

LOESCH: You know, I would say this, first off, I'm not a registered Republican. Because I haven't thought that they were conservative enough for a very long time. I've never gone out there and said, you know, what, I really think that we need to pay, we need to subsidize big corn out in Iowa. We need to subsidize ethanol. We need to call for an increase in that mandate. That is not a conservative principle. There is no way that you look at it, Megyn that what he called for this week on the campaign trail that is not conservative.

It is not conservative to bastardize the Fifth Amendment and say that imminent domain, we can actually collude with private businesses and not for public use to go after private property owners and take their property without even fair compensation, just compensation as it is written constitutionally. As far as the Second Amendment, look, I love conversion. I hope that he is a convert on this issue. Because this is an issue close to my heart. I'm here at SHOT Show right now. This is the first time I've ever known Donald Trump to make an appearance at any kind of gun show. Whether it was NRA or SHOT Show. He has produced assault weapons ban a couple of years ago. Is it an authentic conversion? And that is not bad or establishment to ask.

KELLY: It's great to see you all.

PAVLICH: Thanks, Megyn.

KELLY: Up next, the response from the other side. Former Trump political adviser Roger Stone will be here along with Washington Time political columnist Charles Hurt. They've got some objections to what we just heard and they'll be next, fair and balanced.

Plus, with one week to Iowa, Senator Marco Rubio joins us on his strategy for the critical patch of road just ahead. And then stunning new revelations in the Clinton e-mail scandal. And Marc Thiessen will join us on what it could mean for the candidate and what just happened with her on a roof line.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, D, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The basic fact that no material marked as classified was sent or received by me has not been changed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: Breaking tonight, you just heard several very influential voices from the American Conservative Movement coming out hard against Donald Trump and they are not alone. On his radio show yesterday, host Mark Levin blasting Trump. Now, he was supporting him before for using what Levin called the politics of personal destruction to take down his opponents. One in particular. Senator Ted Cruz. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK LEVIN, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST, "THE MARK LEVIN SHOW": Here's my concern. If he becomes the nominee, a lot of people who otherwise would unite under that tent may not. Because when you run and campaign a personal attacks, an Alinskyite campaign, wittingly or unwittingly, you turn people off. Cut one, go.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How would you work with the opposite party in Washington?

TRUMP: Well, I've been making deals all my life and that's why I'm worth many billions of dollars, more than $10 billion because that's what I do, I make deals and he get it done and the problem with Washington, they don't make deals, it's all gridlock.

LEVIN: Let's -- let's stop a second. No. Washington makes a lot of deals. The problem isn't that Washington doesn't make deals, the problem is the kind of deals they make. The problem is that, these are unprincipled positions. What you and I are saying is, cut the crap, reduce the size of government so that you and I and the private sector can make deals and they're not always making deals. Cut two, go.

TRUMP: And politicians don't know how to make great deals like, a guy like Ted. He has got the other problem, you know what the other problem is. Because now he is being sued by numerous people saying he was born in Canada.

LEVIN: Yes. It's dirty low down politics. It's what it is. You'll have people, excuse it, what did you expect? That's what they do. Do you like what he just said there? Do you like what he just said there? Is that Reagan-esque or more Nixon-esque? Is that more Nixon or Reagan?  

TRUMP: What he did was wrong. Because he didn't want you to know that he is dealing with banks that he's borrowing money --

LEVIN: Let's stop. That is just a flat out lie and I have to call it, a flat out lie.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Hmm. Joining us now, Roger Stone, former political adviser to Donald Trump and former adviser to President Richard Nixon. And Charles Hurt, political columnist for "The Washington Times."

Guys, thank you for being here. So, let me start with this, Roger. Of those segments you just heard, right? The National Review guys and then Mark Levin, those are, to some extent, ideologically opposed although all Republicans. Which of those is potentially more damaging, if either to Donald Trump?

ROGER STONE, FORMER ADVISER TO PRESIDENT NIXON: You know, honestly, I think Donald Trump at this point, his campaign being a conservative insurrection, an uprising with the fact that he is poised, discreet through these primaries, everyone who signed that letter, they are all friends of mine and they are good people. But they are purists. There is plenty of red meat -- conservative red meat on Donald Trump's platform on immigration. You might have the first president in my lifetime who is actually un-encumbered and actually able to cut federal spending. Rebuild our military. And make the country great again.

KELLY: They're saying they don't believe it. They are not really challenging that. They're saying they don't believe it.

STONE: Well, I agree with William Buckley, the founder of the National Review, who once said, I'm for the conservative candidate who can win. Donald Trump has cross-over appeal to blue collar Democrats, to African-Americans, to non-Republicans because he is free to criticize both Republicans and Democrats. That's why he is potentially the strongest candidate. I first met him, by the way, when I was organizing Ronald Reagan's campaign in New York in 1979 and he and his father were raising money for Ronald Reagan. So don't tell me he hasn't been on the front lines, because he has.

KELLY: He has definitely voted for -- I mean, not voted for, but given money to Pelosi, and Clinton and Weiner, but he is also given it to Republicans, and he says, look, there is a reason for that, wasn't that a support of Pelosi? I was a businessman, I needed to have these people wanting to like me so I could get business done. Charlie, speak of this effort by National Review. I mean, it is extraordinary but is it going to do anything?

CHARLES HURT, "THE WASHINGTON TIMES" POLITICAL COLUMNIST: Megyn, I don't really see how it's going to be all that effective. Because most of the people that are out there supporting Donald Trump, so jubilantly right now, are not reading the National Reviews, sorry to say. Nor they're reading the Wall Street Journal editorial page or any of these other publications that are held in such high regard around here. But I have to say, that you know, I get that they are making these arguments and it is good they are making these arguments. And I applaud that. But my goodness, you know, when you look at the policies, many of which came from Republicans over the past 15 years out of Washington, you know, why -- why didn't we have the outrage over that?

Where was this unified conservative outrage over the bank bailout in 2008? Where was the unified outrage over launching the trillion-dollar plus war that we were going to pay for with nothing but debt. Where has been all of the unified chorus of outrage over Republican politicians that come along and supported amnesty over all these years?

KELLY: This is some of the stuff that explains the anger that fuels in large part Trump's candidacy, a badge she holds with honor, Roger. You tell me, you know him, but my impression is Trump will look at this and say, ha, I didn't think I would have you anyway and I don't need you.

STONE: Well, unfortunately, that's the sad truth. Look, on the Second Amendment, there is only one candidate for president with a concealed carry permit, and I guarantee you, he is packing heat right now.

KELLY: But he favored the assault weapons ban. That is what she was saying a couple of years ago.

STONE: Yes. I read that story but I don't recall it. In all honesty, he is the conservative that could bring radical change to the country. Mark Levin, terrific guy. But Ted Cruz, Bush, policy guy who got us John Roberts and whose wife worked for Condi Rice and then for the U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zelic, Harvard, Princeton, council on Foreign Relations, Goldman Sachs. Please, give me a break, there's the Manchurian Canadian candidate right there.

KELLY: Oh, you tied it all to get it, Manchurian Canadian. That's tough to say. Guys, thank you both. We appreciate it.

HURT: You bet, Megyn.

KELLY: Well, as this fight focuses on Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, what about Marco Rubio? He's here next on his week ahead and his strategy going into the last stretch before Iowa.

Plus, one of Hollywood's top actors is now following the lead of his wife in boycotting this year's Academy Awards due to lack of diversity in the nominees.

Brian Kilmeade has some thoughts, he is just ahead.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILL SMITH, ACTOR: This is about children that are going to sit done and they're going to watch this show, and they're not going to see themselves represented.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: Breaking tonight with just one week to the last FOX News Republican debate before Iowa. There is a lot of attention focused on the fortunes of one presidential candidate in particular. A new poll out of Iowa tonight shows Senator Marco Rubio is the only candidate other than Ted Cruz or Donald Trump to score in the double-digits. Holding a third place spot in a new CNN poll with 14 percent. In New Hampshire, Senator Rubio is tied for third and the analysts say if he scores a top three finish in the early states, the future may look very bright for him.

Joining me now, Florida Republican senator and presidential candidate Marco Rubio. Senator, good to see you.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you.

KELLY: So, the reports are that you campaign is eyeing what they're calling a three, two, one strategy where being the top three in Iowa, being the top two in New Hampshire, try to win South Carolina outright. Is that true?

RUBIO: No, I don't -- again that's not our strategy. I've never discussed that with anybody. That might be somebody else --

KELLY: But is it a good idea?

RUBIO: No, I think we want to do as well as we can everywhere. And here is the bottom-line. I offer the Republican Party and this is what we are running on. I'm a consistent and strong conservative that will undo all of the damage Barack Obama has done but I am also going to beat Hillary Clinton which ultimately is what we must achieve. And if you look at all of these polls, I don't look at all of them but I know I'm looking enough for them, to know that I consistently beat her. Not just nationally but in key states. I will defeat Hillary Clinton. She doesn't want to run against me. That's why they attack me. Every day, literally, every day the Clinton campaign --

KELLY: They are very focused on you, that's true.

RUBIO: Well, they don't want to run against me. Because I will beat her. I can't wait it run against her.

KELLY: Your problem presently, is apart from Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, is the fact that the other, you know, for lack after better term, mean stream candidates are attacking you now. I mean, Jeb Bush's Super PAC is leaving no dollar unspent in trying to tarnish you. Chris Christie has been really harsh against you. You're the focus of sort of both groups right now. So, how do you survive that?

RUBIO: Well, I think we have. I mean, look at the numbers, we are still doing quite well. Despite the fact that there's been like $25 million spent against us in negative attacks. And that's fine. Obviously, they're worried about something. You don't spend $25 million against someone you're not worried about. The bottom-line is, I have always today run against that. When I ran for the Senate the entire Republican leadership in the Senate was against me. And now many of the same people in Washington told me, I shouldn't run and if I did, this is what was going to happen. But we're more than happy to take it on. Because we can't lose this election. There is no way we can allow Hillary Clinton to be elected president of the United States. And I'm our nominee, we are going to be here.

KELLY: What do you think Donald Trump says for that very same reason he should be the nominee because he refers to the huge crowds he is getting, which do dwarf the crowds received by the other candidates, and he says, this is a movement now. This is what's happening with me is bigger than the candidacy.

RUBIO: Well, it is important to have not just the movement centered around what's wrong in America and angry about it, I think people have a right to be angry. What Barack Obama has done to this country is very significant damage. But you have to know what you will going to do about it as well. Voters deserve to know exactly what you will going to do when you take office. And that's what we focus our campaign on. I share people's frustrations. What Barack Obama has done to America, the damage he's done to our reputation in the world, to our economy here at home, the way he's pitted us against each other, all of that needs to be reversed. But you need a candidate and a president that tells you upfront, this is how I'm going to do it.

KELLY: This is the plan. I want to talk to you about a viral moment on the campaign trail that you had involving and you know the first statement in the nation to caucus is Iowa and got a heavy evangelical population. And this moment has gone viral. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUBIO: You shouldn't be worried about my faith influencing me. In fact, I think you should hope my faith influences me. Here's why, you know what my faith teaches me? My faith teaches me that I have an obligation to care for the less fortunate. My faith teaches me that I have an obligation to
love my neighbor. My faith teaches me that I have an obligation for those who are hungry to help try and feed them, for those who are naked to help clothe them. My faith teaches me that I need to minister to those in prison. My faith teaches me that if I want to serve Jesus, I have to serve each other. And I think that you should hope that influences me. I know it's made this a greater country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: That is a question you received from an atheist on the trail. How did that distinguish you from the other candidates on the GOP side?

RUBIO: Well, I'll let them speak for their own -- their own views of faith in their life and then their candidacy, I can tell you that my faith is the single greatest influence on my life. And when I get criticized, people say, oh, your faith has nothing do with your public service. You better hope that it does. Because my faith teaches me that in order to be a follower of Christ, I have to care for the less fortunate. That -- that it is my obligation to care for my neighbor, to love one another, even to forgive and love your enemy. These -- I think --

KELLY: How about I'll ask you the same question once I asked Trump. When was the last time you sought forgiveness?

RUBIO: Every day. Every day, I mean, every day when you pray the Lord's Prayer, you're asking for forgiveness. I'm a Catholic. So we ask for forgiveness a lot and the --

(LAUGHTER)

RUBIO: But it's important for us to recognize, we have all fallen short, and that the only way we ever gonna get to eternal life is through our savior, Jesus Christ.

KELLY: Senator, good to see you.

RUBIO: Thank you.

KELLY: Thanks for being here.

RUBIO: Thanks.

KELLY: I should have asked him what he did. That was the missing question, like what was it? Come on, just tell us.

Mark your calendars everybody. The next GOP debate, and this is a big one, this is right before Iowa. It is the last chance for these candidates to make their case to the Iowans, where the first in the nation to caucus, and actually cast the first votes in the 2016 presidential race.

It's a week from tonight in Iowa. Yours truly will be moderating along with Bret Baier and Chris Wallace. It's our Fox News Google debate. All of the Republicans making their last stand before real live Americans get to actually get this thing started. Don't miss it. Thursday night, begins at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Also tonight, it appears the Clinton E-mail scandal just got bigger, despite what candidate says. Catherine Herridge is here on what we have just learned, and then Marc Thiessen and Nomiki Konst on what it means for the race for the White House.

Plus, more than 80 million people are now on some kind of weather watch or warning, and we have the new forecast -- new, I say, just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER: From the World Headquarters of Fox News, it's The Kelly File with Megyn Kelly.

KELLY: Well, some alarming new developments tonight in Hillary Clinton's e-mail scandal, as we learn the number of messages sent with that most secret of top secrets information is actually much higher than previously reported, making U.S. Intelligence, potentially, more vulnerable to compromise. And it comes, as we are learning this information was so secret, that top lawmakers with high level security clearance cannot even read these documents without getting special permission. Chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge, reports tonight from Washington. Catherine?

CATHERINE HERRIDGE, CHIEF INTELLIGENCE CORRESPONDENT: Megyn, to read the e-mail is classified beyond top secret. Senior lawmakers with over side of the State Department need approval from the intelligence agencies, who are in the highly secretive, Special Access Programs. And Fox News is learning tonight, there may be more spillage of classified information. A letter to Congress says several dozen classified e-mails were identified, but that number only reflect the main or root e-mails, not the number of times that classified e-mail was forwarded, replied to or copied to other people who did not have a need to know.

Tonight, Mrs. Clinton seemed to dismiss the highly classified intelligence as nothing more than a news report about drones, a special access program that is one of the worst kept secrets in Washington.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The best I can determine and may turn on whether or not someone forwarded a New York Times article in the public domain. So there are a lot of unanswered questions that I would like it see resolved.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HERRIDGE: But even if it is an open secret like the drone program, experts say security clearance holders cannot confirm or discuss it, especially in unclassified channels like a personal e-mail account. The next batch of e-mails is due three days before the Iowa caucuses. And today, a State Department spokesman said they may miss that date.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK TONER, STATE DEPARTMENT DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON: We have had to push deadlines out a little bit. So I can't say definitively today that we will meet the next deadline.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HERRIDGE: The intelligence agency that gets the information, owns the information, and has final say on classification. Fox News has told that when those e-mails in the server, they were classified beyond top secret not after the fact, Megyn.

KELLY: She said it's just as one document that talks about a drone program that was already published in the New York Times. Is that what you're hearing?

HERRIDGE: My understanding is that that is one little sliver of the pie. The larger pie, if you will, is much more egregious violations involving the SAP or Special Access Program information, Megyn.

KELLY: Catherine, thank you.

Well, in a series of interviews over the past 24 hours, Hillary Clinton repeatedly defended her actions, and suggested that criticism of her is about politics.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: Basic fact that no material marked as classified was sent or received.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: All right.

CLINTON: By me, has not been changed.

BLITZER: Are they falsifying information?

CLINTON: I hope not. I, you know, i really hope not. I don't have any information to that effect. I want this to be resolved and as the State Department has said repeatedly, I will repeat. I did not send or receive classified material.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Joining me now, Marc Thiessen, a Fox News contributor and former chief speechwriter for President George W. Bush. And Nomiki Konst, who's founder of The Accountability Project. Good to see you both. So --

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

NOMIKI KONST, FOUNDER OF THE ACCOUNTABILITY PROJECT: Megyn.

KELLY: She seems to be saying, Marc, now, that she did not send or receive any material marked as classified, which is sort of a new modifier she is throwing in there, as opposed to just there was no classified material which was the original story.

THIESSEN: Yeah. That's not a defense, that's the admission after crime. It is illegal to take classified information and remove the markings, and put it in an unclassified system.

KELLY: Well, how do you know that's what she is saying? Maybe she is saying, I -- I received a bunch of correspondence and none of them was marked.

THIESSEN: But it was her staff did it. She created the conspiracy that allowed people to do that. The only way to communicate with her is was through a private server. And the fact is --

KELLY: No, no, no, no. What if she gets an e-mail from somebody in state and it is classified document, and it's -- it doesn't say classified on it. Is that a defense for her?

THIESSEN: No. It is not a defense. Because Shannen Coffin has say to explain several times on the program, there's -- it's gross negligence. It's the standard here. It's not that she had to knowingly do it. The way it is clear that she would respond to some of this -- some of this stuff. But gross negligence, creating a system where the only way you could communicate with her was through the system. And the reality is there's no way to accidentally forward classified information, because classified computers and unclassified computers don't talk to each other. If you're a government official, you have a classified computer and unclassified computer, and the only way to get information from one to the other is to either physically type it in and take the markings off, or put a thumb drive in the way Edward Snowden did, and put it into the unclassified system. Either way, that is a crime. The fact of having unmarked unclassified information is a crime.

KELLY: Nomiki, what her critics say is it doesn't matter whether the document is marked classified. If it's classified, it's classified. And it doesn't need the marking. And that's a red herring. What do you say?

KONST: Oh, I think that the red herring is what the Republican Party is doing right now. What's very fascinating about this latest installment of Republican Party tactics against Hillary Clinton is that at being -- you know, this is all before the Iowa caucus. The inspector general -- I find it very curious that inspector general sends a letter to the Republican chairs of the Senate and intelligence committee, about this information when they, themselves, can't read the information, they can't read the e-mails. And the FBI has already deemed that Hillary Clinton is not being investigated for anything criminal.

THIESSEN: That is true.

KONST: That is -- that's absolutely true. The FBI stated that.

THIESSEN: Not true.

KELLY: But the --

KONST: So you want to really investigate this, let the Department of Justice do their job.

KELLY: But the inspector general -- let me just make it.

KONST: And they will show you whether or not --

KELLY: Let me just make it clear. The inspector general of intelligence community is the one who said this super, super, duper top secret stuff was found on there. This is a Barack Obama appointee. This is somebody who is not supposed to be a partisan, and was chosen by this Democratic president.

KONST: Right.

KELLY: So there's -- there is, in fairness, to him there has not evidence of partisanship here, although, I know it has been alleged by Mrs. Clinton -- Marc, your thoughts.

THIESSEN: Well, of course, he's not a partisan. He'll be inspector general. He was appointed by Barack Obama. And Special Access Program stuff is really, really, serious. This stuff is above top secret that you -- actually, it's so sensitive. They put it in a special compartment with a secret code word, and you have to be especially cleared to see it. And they're discussing it in an unclassified forum. And this whole thing that you know --

KELLY: But what are the odds that the Chinese or somebody else was actually trying to hack into Mrs. Clinton's server?

THIESSEN: Very high. Well, first of all, there was a story, just a few weeks ago, that top White House aides have had their private e-mail accounts successfully hacked by foreign governments. Not their official, unclassified e-mails, but their private account. So if they hacked the chief of staff of the White House and other senior officials, that I'm sure they tried to hack Mrs. Clinton. It is very possible that this stuff is in the hand of the Russians --

KONST: But Marc, we're talking about a New York Times article. We're talking about a New York Times article which was passed around to millions of people about a drone program, which was classified, and all she did was forward it. And up to this point --

THIESSEN: No, we're not.

KONST: You show it. And you show.

KELLY: We don't know that Nomiki.

KONST: That 200 e-mails.

KELLY: We don't know.

KONST: That what she stated. And you know what --

(CROSSTALK)

KONST: So let the Department of Justice do their job. Let them do their job. This is just more interagency dispute that's all --

KELLY: That the risk of the Democratic Party is that there is some there, there, and she proceeds -- she gets the nomination and then there is some criminal trouble. They want to know earlier. And who knows, whether it will be resolve one way or the other before Iowa and much less before she has secured the nomination or lost it to feel he Bern. Good to see you both.

(LAUGHTER)

THIESSEN: Thanks, Megyn.

KELLY: Well, tonight, one of Hollywood's most bankable stars is now joining the boycotting against the Academy Awards over the issue of diversity among these years' nominees -- we'll tell you what' going on.

Plus, did Judge Judy get a promotion, my idol? We'll tell you -- also, cuddling parties for adults. Do you feel lonely? Do you need somebody to hold you?

(LAUGHTER)

KELLY: Brian Kilmeade is here on all that, plus -- oh, look at him. Oh, that was an emotional reunion of a boy and his best friend that's gone viral, next.

(LAUGHTER)

KELLY: He's ready.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAULA WILLIAMS, MOTHER OF A LITTLE BOY WHO LOST HIS DOG: Look at that. Who is that?

KAHNE WILLIAMS, LITTLE BOY WHO LOST HIS DOG: Kase?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: Actor Will Smith announcing that today, that like his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, he will not attend this years' Academy Awards, due to the lack of diversity among the nominees.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILL SMITH, ACTOR: When I see this list and series of nominations that come out. And look, everybody is fantastic and that's the, you know, the complexity of this issue. Everyone is beautiful and deserving, and it's fantastic. But it feels like it's going the wrong direction.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Brian Kilmeade is the co-host of Fox and Friends and the author of "Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates."

So Will Smith -- Smith is out. Spike Lee is out. Jada Pinkett Smith is out. Mark Ruffalo was on the fence, but he is going.

BRIAN KILMEADE, FOX AND FRIENDS SHOW CO-HOST: He's going. He doesn't want to go he says, but the message of his movie, the "Spotlight" about the, about Catholic priest and abuse of -- whatever that theme is. He says it's too important for not to show up, so he's actually going. But the reason is because they feel, as though, African-Americans aren't properly represented. Upon further review since 1929, there are always, only been 15 black winners. There haven't been in any in two years. And I think they have -- I think they actually have a great point. Would I boycott? I don't know. Would I have done something in between the nominations, perhaps. I thought George Clooney nailed it when he said, "It's not so much that African-Americans aren't winning. There are no projects for them." And I remember Jim Brown, I host to the show with for years, he has running back in activist in 1960s when he -- they would just to tell the athletes, OK, the white players go here and the black players go there. So if you want to be in control, become the owners. Become the executive producers, get some control. But I don't blame it --

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY: The head of the motion picture, whatever, the Academy Awards group, an African-American woman?

KILMEADE: Yeah.

KELLY: But she's got to exercise her muscle.

KILMEADE: Absolutely. She says, "Yeah, I'm heartbroken and frustrated by the lack of inclusion." Well maybe if your 6,000 members’ names were listed, maybe if 94 percent of them white.

KELLY: But --

KILMEADE: And 77 percent weren't male.

KELLY: But even the number of members, it goes back -- it's like the executive producers in Hollywood, the ones who have all the power and all the money. The ones who write the scripts, the ones who decide.

KILMEADE: Absolutely.

KILMEADE: Which scripts get made into movies, you know, that's where the real power is.

KILMEADE: That is. Listen. No one says, "Brian, what movie should I say?" I admit to that. But having said that -- don't have to laugh, James. But having said that, why not "Creed"? Michael B. Jordan, he is the lead in the play. You give it to Sylvester Stallone, who was fine --

KELLY: You're right.

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY: No one is listening to you on what movie should have made it. Yes, right, you've gone off the rails. But I do want to talk about something about, which I know about (inaudible) and that is "Judge Judy."

KILMEADE: You're right.

KELLY: I love her, as most of America does. And unfortunately, a good portion of America is a little mistaken about Judge Judy's proper role.

KILMEADE: The next generations of Americans has a lot going for them. Number one, they are great on iPhones, they can text you anything. And Instagram, anything instantly, but they -- oh, I have a problem with civics. So they did a little study of a thousand recent graduates, they said, "Judge Judy. Do you think she's on the Supreme Court?" Ten percent said, "Yeah, why did you ask?" So that's the problem.

(LAUGHTER)

KILMEADE: We grew up with have to --

KELLY: It's a doily.

KILMEADE: Right.

KELLY: It was just -- just like Ruth Bader Ginsburg's doily.

KILMEADE: Right. You'll be -- I have a theory. You want to hear it? How much time, we have 10 minutes?

KELLY: No, not much.

KILMEADE: I don't think so. My theory is the reality TV is the hit TV. We have "Happy Days," obviously a fantasy, "Fantasy Island," obviously a fantasy.

KELLY: Love those heart to heart --

KILMEADE: We believe that the reality shows are real. We believe that Judge Judy is justice. We believe -

KELLY: She is.

KILMEADE: "The Housewives" are real.

KELLY: They're not?

KILMEADE: That stuff is really taken by -- Khloe Kardashian loses weight, and it affects our lives.

KELLY: Hmm, not really.

KILMEADE: OK.

KELLY: There are some. All right, tell me about -- we ask you this. I want to see this. Let's see the little boy and the dog.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

P. WILLIAMS: Look at that. Who is that?

K. WILLIAMS: Kase? Kase! Kase.

(crying)

K. WILLIAMS: Kase, I miss you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Oh, right?

KILMEADE: December 4th he escaped. They let him out back. He never came back. He -- this little boy, he's 6-year-old Kahne. He picked him out of a litter. They've been together, they sleep together. He escaped, he was gone since December 4th, he came back, the mom taped it. Over 4 million views before the show. You can't imagine after the show. It just goes to show you that kids and dogs should always be together and people should have fences.

KELLY: It is well worth your 15 seconds. I cried. My entire team cried and my husband may have shed a tear, too. I'm throwing him under the bus. We'll be right back, on the weather.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: We are tracking the potentially and dangerous, and huge storm system tonight. Forecasters say some 85 million people at this hour or roughly one in every four Americans are under some sort of blizzard or storm watch or warning. Thousands of flights have already been canceled, several states have declared states of emergency, and our chief meteorologist with Rick Reichmuth has got the very latest live in the Fox weather center, Rick?

RICK REICHMUTH, CHIEF METEOROLOGIST: Yeah, the one in every four certainly puts that into perspective. A lot of territory here, and we're already seeing that there's kind of two parts to this. There's the cold, snowy winter part, and then there is the severe weather. And a new tornado watch
has been issued, this goes until 3:00 a.m. Had a tornado just a bit ago in
Mississippi, we're gonna watch the line of storms move through overnight and eventually, tomorrow seeing a tornado threat in Florida. Behind this, though, right here, you see the cold air starting to come in. So we got snow falling in Arkansas, and we're getting into the point where we'll start to see the winter weather expand by the morning. An ice storm here for parts of North Georgia and parts of South Carolina, into North Carolina. Some spots over half an inch of ice is gonna cause a lot of power outages. Charlotte, certainly we want to watch that. And then maybe, five to six inches of snow on top of that.

All kinds of weather storm warming from parts of the mid-Mississippi River Valley. And then the blizzard concerns, the bull's-eye of this is we've been very certain of this, is right around the D.C. area where we gonna see the blizzard conditions, a lot of wind, a lot of coastal damage. We're talking -- not a sandy type situation, but we might see some tides that are that high with some of the storm surge coming on here and because of that all kinds of coastal advisories.

Here, we talked last night about the different models out here, and still looking very, very similar. Nudge both them down a little bit in New York City. We take all of that into account and kind of come up with our own forecast with this. But I think the bull's-eye right here, parts of Virginia, maybe including D.C., 18 to 24 inches of snow.

KELLY: They are not kidding around.

REICHMUTH: Not at all. It's big one.

KELLY: Rick, good to see you.

REICHMUTH: You bet.

KELLY: Two feet of snow coming to D.C.? Traffic won't move for a week. Hunker down. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: One week from tonight, the Fox News republican debate in Iowa. Chris Wallace, Bret Baier and yours truly, and we are all meeting and beating up on each other. The process is not fine. We are so mean to each other to get the questions as good as possible, then we go out there and ask them, goodbye last night. But man, we hurt each other bad. See you tomorrow.

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