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Kelly File

Huckabee, Rep. King talk Trump's KKK controversy; Carson vows he's not dropping out of race

This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," February 29, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Breaking tonight. Just hours away from the most consequential day of this election thus far and Republican front-runner Donald Trump is in the middle of an ugly new controversy.

Good evening, and welcome to "The Kelly File," everyone, I'm Megyn Kelly.  Tomorrow morning, Super Tuesday, five Republican contenders are on the ballot in nearly a dozen states. Five hundred and ninety five delegates are at stake. That's nearly half the number needed to clinch the GOP nomination for president. And dominating the headlines today, Donald Trump and his refusal on Sunday to condemn the Ku Klux Klan. It started last week when former Klan grand wizard and White supremacist David Duke said, he supported Trump's candidacy.

At first, Mr. Trump disavowed Dave Duke's support but then yesterday Trump was asked about it again on CNN, and this time he declined to condemn Duke claiming he didn't know who David Duke was. In moments, we will be joined on this by former republican presidential candidate, Governor Mike Huckabee, and Republican New York Congressman Peter King.

But we begin tonight with Trace Gallagher who has the very latest. Trace?

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: And Megyn, to be clear, David Duke has not endorsed Donald Trump but on his radio show Duke did say that supporting someone other than Trump is, quote, "really treason to your heritage." For those unfamiliar with Duke, not only is he the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, he was also a one term Republican state representative in Louisiana, has unsuccessfully run for U.S. Congress, the U.S. Senate, and has three times run for president as a Democrat, a Republican, and a member of the reform party. In fact, in 2000, Donald Trump refused to run for president as a reform party candidate because at the time Trump said, quoting here, "The Reform Party now includes a Klansman, Mr. Duke, a neo-Nazi, Mr. Buchanan, and a communist, Miss Fulani.  This is not company I wish to keep." And yet, when Donald Trump was asked three times by CNN about getting David Duke support, he said this.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAKE TAPPER, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Will you unequivocally condemn David Duke and say you don't want his vote or that of other White supremacists in this election?

DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Just so you understand, I don't know anything about David Duke, OK?

TAPPER: Would you just say unequivocally you condemn them and you don't want their support?

TRUMP: Well, I have to look at the group. I mean, I don't know what group you're talking about.  

TAPPER: I'm just talking about David Duke on the Ku Klux Klan here but --  

TRUMP: Honestly, I don't know David Duke.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GALLAGHER: Well, now Trump claims he had trouble hearing the questions because he had a faulty earpiece. But listen again to part of the interview. It appears Trump hears the entire question because he uses the same words during the answer. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: Will you unequivocally condemn David Duke and say you don't want his vote or that of other white supremacists in this election?

TRUMP: Well, just so you understand, I don't know anything about David Duke. OK? I don't know anything about what you're even talking about with White supremacy or White supremacists. So I don't know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GALLAGHER: Many are also wondering why not disavow David Duke on Sunday when Trump had no problem disavowing him two days earlier? Watch.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you feel about the recent endorsement from David Duke?

TRUMP: I didn't even know he endorsed me. David Duke endorsed me? OK.  All right. I disavow it. OK?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GALLAGHER: No surprise the conflicting answers were pounced stunned by Trump's opponents. Listen.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't care how bad the ear piece is, Ku Klux Klan comes through pretty clearly and he refuses to criticize it.  

SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We should all be united in saying that the Klan is reprehensible and has no place in politics.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GALLAGHER: The last GOP presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, also weighed in posting on Twitter, quoting, "A disgusting and disqualifying response by Donald Trump to the KKK, his coddling of repugnant bigotry is not in the character of America." Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and the White House also took swipes at Trump for his answers regarding the KKK -- Megyn.

KELLY: Trace, thank you.  

Joining me now with more, former Republican presidential candidate, Governor Mike Huckabee. Governor, great to see you. What do you make of that? Let's start with Mitt Romney's response suggesting this is coddling of bigotry and disqualifying for Donald Trump.

MIKE HUCKABEE, R-FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm amazed that Mitt would say that. I mean, Donald Trump has repeatedly disavowed David Duke, disavowed the Klan. I don't think anybody --

KELLY: When did he repeatedly disavow the Klan?

HUCKABEE: Well, he did it in his Twitter account. He did it on Friday.  He did it today, repeatedly.  

KELLY: The Klan or David Duke?

HUCKABEE: Well, both. And I don't know of anybody who has ever suggested that Donald Trump is a racist. I'm not speaking as somebody who's out there advocating for Trump. I just want to say that I just don't think that Donald Trump has given any indication that he's supportive of the Ku Klux Klan.

KELLY: Not accepting that interview --  

(CROSSTALK)

Not accepting that interview is what his critics say because it was so strange that he would say on Friday, I disavow David Duke, and then when specifically asked on Sunday, act like he didn't know who David Duke was.

HUCKABEE: You know, I can't answer that. You know, I really can't.  You'll have to ask Donald Trump because I haven't talked to him about it.  But the fact is --

KELLY: How do you explain that? I mean, his critics say is, the explanation is, he heard very well and he was trying to give some sort of a dog whistle --

HUCKABEE: But his critics say he heard very well --  

KELLY: -- to people in the south who don't want to hear David Duke disavowed. That's what Mitt Romney is suggesting right there.  

HUCKABEE: Sure. Mitt Romney wasn't on the earpiece, neither was Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz and I wouldn't either. So, I don't know what he heard.

KELLY: But Trump heard, Trump heard David Duke in that earpiece, you know that, because he repeated back David Duke to Jake Tapper.  

HUCKABEE: Yes. Look, here's the one thing I think is important, is Donald Trump a racist? I don't think he is. Does Donald Trump support the KKK?  Heavens no. I don't think anybody seriously is suggesting that he is giving a wink and a nod at the KKK. They're a deplorable, disgusting, abominable, entity. I mean, sometimes I'm amazed that they even still exist. I just don't know of anybody who embraces them anymore except for a handful of crazy people.  

KELLY: But the very point you're making --  

(CROSSTALK)

No brainer is what makes his response to Jack Tapper so confusing to many.  

HUCKABEE: That's why I have to wonder, what did he hear -- did he misunderstand it? I just don't know --

KELLY: Governor, you know what he heard. He repeated back David Duke and --

HUCKABEE: No, I don't know.  

KELLY: -- White supremacist right to Jake Tapper. So, you at least know he heard that.

HUCKABEE: Right. And one of the things that has happened, he's disavowed Friday, he disavowed today. I don't know why he didn't say it as clearly on Sunday to Jake Tapper. I simply don't know. But I think the issue is not why did one time out of a dozen did he stumble with that name, stumble with the question. The issue is, why don't people take all of the other different -- very clear answers he's given and I don't think that this is the big issue going into Super Tuesday. I think there are important issues. Unfortunately, we lost all of them.  

KELLY: If we're dealing with, you know, a difference in perception towards, you know, some Americans versus others, it's obviously relevant.  That's what his critics would say. And it comes on the heels of him criticizing a judge in a case in which Trump is being sued for allegedly defrauding people subscribing to his Trump University in which case Trump just dismissed the judge in that case and a negative ruling for Trump saying, well, he's Spanish, he's Hispanic. That's fine, but he's Hispanic. So he just got hit for making an odd reference to someone's national origin a couple days before he said this. I mean, do you find that problematic? Do you find that --

HUCKABEE: Oh, I'm sorry, I thought --

KELLY: Well, you're saying, I don't know why anybody would be raising this. Does anybody think that there's racism? And I'm saying this is what the critics have been hitting him for.

HUCKABEE: Well, the critics have been hitting him all over the place for everything and I think that's part of politics. I think the whole election has gotten silly, it's gotten out of control. The back and forth with all of the candidates has become absurd.

KELLY: Uh-hm.

HUCKABEE: We need to be focusing on the issues that really touch every American every day. And unfortunately, we've been lost in the size of ears and hands and wedding pants. And the things that --  

KELLY: That's wetting, w-e-t-t-i-n-g. Not wedding pants like your tuxedo pants.  

HUCKABEE: No, not wedding. Wetting.

KELLY: It actually come to that.  

HUCKABEE: Yes. Absolutely. And it's crazy. And I think that it's time to get this whole train back on the track. And part of that would be to say that if somebody has an allegation that Donald Trump has ever does, perhaps, one day would embrace the KKK, bring it forth. But I just don't see any evidence of that. And it's not evident in his family, his business. I think it would have shown up before now.  

KELLY: Understood. Governor, great to see you.  

HUCKABEE: Good to see you, Megyn.

KELLY: Well, our next guest is Republican Congressman Peter King, who had this to say about Mr. Trump's failure to condemn the White supremacist David Duke in that the interview yesterday. Quote, "Trump told Jake Tapper he doesn't know who David Duke is or white supremacist organizations stand for. If Trump's statement is true, then he's genuinely dumb. If he's lying, that is shameful. In either case, he should not be running to lead the United States."

Joining me now, Congressman King. Congressman, thanks for being here. So, you heard Governor Huckabee's response to this which is, Trump said he had a bad earpiece and didn't necessarily hear. Trump's history doesn't suggest that he's a racist.  

REP. PETER KING, R-N.Y.: First of all, the earpiece was obviously working. Because he was repeating him verbatim what the question was. And there's nothing tricky about this. This is nuclear Science. David Duke, that should have been a two-second answer, David Duke is evil, I don't want to support, Ku Klux Klan is evil, I don't want their support. There's nothing to debate here. This isn't like sort of ObamaCare, with the national debt or the budget, this is a clear question of good and bad, good and evil.

KELLY: But in Trump's defense, he did on Friday on camera and then on Facebook and Twitter condemn David Duke prior to not condemning him with Tapper.  

KING: Yes, again, this is part of the, you know, erratic nature of Donald Trump. And you notice the first time he disavowed it, he did it almost in an annoying way, yes, OK, I disavow him, OK, are you satisfied? Almost annoyed he was asked the question. Jake Tapper asked him in a serious way, Donald Trump seemed to resent being asked the question. I'm not saying he is a racist, I'm saying that he will say whatever he has to say at the moment that he's temperamental and he's erratic and that he doesn't realizes the consequences of what he's saying.

I mean, he says he's going to stand up to Putin, he's going to have all of these international trade agreements and arms deals and everything else, and he couldn't even handle Jake Tapper on the question of whether or not he accepted he supported David Duke or accepted. This to me is sort of emblematic of Trump's style. He says what he has to say, then if he gets caught, he lies about it. And he doesn't really like the full the consequence of what he's saying.  

KELLY: What he told Tapper two days after he disavowed David Duke, was honestly, I don't know David Duke.

KING: Right.

KELLY: And this is what happened with "The New York Times" reporter Serge Kovaleski who was born with a congenital issue --

KING: Right.

KELLY: -- and Trump imitated, it appeared that he was imitating that congenital issue.

KING: Uh-hm.

KELLY: And then when caught, he said, I didn't even know him, I wasn't imitating him, I didn't even know him.

KING: Yes.  

KELLY: But Serge came out and said, I covered him for 20 years, he absolutely knows me, I interviewed him a dozen times, we're on a first-name basis. And said the same thing that Trump was running away from an allegation he made that got him in hot trouble rather than, you know, admitting what he had done.  

KING: Yes. When in trouble, he lies. I mean, he lies flagrantly. And he's able to get away with it. And that's why we have to keep it from happening again in the future. There is no doubt that -- there's no way he can defend the interview about David Duke. And now he is just out and out lying about it. This is a guy who says he's tough, he's a tough guy from Queens. Let me just say this Megyn, I grew up in Queens. The neighborhood he grew up in Queens, that is where rich, pampered kids lived, Jamaica Estates. No tough guy ever came out of there Jamaica Estates. I can tell you that.

This is all a bluff, it's all bravado. Saw it with Jake Tapper. We saw it with you, Megyn, bring you back into it. I mean, this guy will just say whatever he has to say and then when he's confronted, he backs down, I didn't mean that, I really meant something else. And he's not qualified to be president.  

KELLY: Congressman Peter King. Good to see you, sir.  

KING: Megyn, thank you.  

KELLY: And folks, you can count on Fox News tomorrow for complete Super Tuesday coverage starting at 6:00 p.m. Bret Baier and I will be live reporting on the biggest night so far in the 2016 race. Thirteen states and nearly 600 delegates are up for grabs for the GOP. We'll bring you the results as they come in live tomorrow night. It's going to be an exciting night. This could be it, folks. Don't miss it.

And the next GOP debate, is this Thursday March 3rd, 9:00 p.m. right here on the Fox News Channel. Yours truly will be moderating alongside Bret Baier and Chris Wallace. All of the candidates are planning on attending.  Don't miss it, 9:00 p.m. Thursday.  

And still ahead tonight, with less than four hours to go until the very first votes are cast on Super Tuesday, there is some confusion over what exactly is at stake and whether we could be looking at fewer candidates come Wednesday.

Chris Stirewalt breaks down the numbers and the likely scenarios and then Dr. Ben Carson is here with his message for voters tomorrow.  

Plus, a stunning First Amendment story that you have to see. After Ben Shapiro's invitation to speak at a public university leads to an epic effort to shut him down, wait until you see what happened.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: We are now less than 24 hours away from our first results of Super Tuesday and the candidates are working around the clock. These are live pictures from our Fox affiliate KRIV in Houston where a Ted Cruz rally is about to begin. New polls output Donald Trump more than 15 points ahead of his closest rival in the Real Clear Politics national average. But what exactly is at stake tomorrow?

Chris Stirewalt is our FOX News digital politics editor. Chris, great to see you. So, this is, what, 500-plus delegates, so what should we be looking for tomorrow night?

CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS DIGITAL POLITICS EDITOR: Well, here's the way to think about. It is half of the delegates you need to win the Republican nomination. It's a quarter of all of the delegates' total. It is the biggest single day. Now, it is broken down in a different way. Once you get to the 15th of the month and you get to winner take all boom, boom, boom, then you can rack up a victory very quickly. This one will be proportional and it will break down into the expectation right now that if the pre-election polling is accurate, that Donald Trump could win 40 percent, maybe 50 percent even based on one poll that seems kind of wild, but that maybe 40 percent or more of the total delegates could fall Donald Trump's way if some of these pre-election polls are right. But we don't have a ton of reliable polling in these states and we don't have reliable polling certainly that can match up with a news cycle that is moving this fast.  

KELLY: Uh-hm. Because a lot of these polls were taken prior to the last few big elections and events and debates and so we don't exactly know the temperature of the electorate but, you know, the national poll gives us some idea. Let me ask you about what Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Ted Cruz has said this is the biggest, the most important night in his campaign. It is. Isn't it?

STIREWALT: Sure, because if he doesn't win Texas, it's no bueno. There is no --  

KELLY: If he doesn't win Texas, do you expect him to announce he's getting out?

STIREWALT: It depends on what he wants to happen with Donald Trump, it depends on what he wants to happen with his party, it depends on a lot of stuff. It depends on how well he and Marco Rubio can get along. Rubio, his advantage by his calendar, his home state doesn't come until the 15th.  But basically it's true if you can't win your home state --

KELLY: Uh-hm. It doesn't bode well.  

STIREWALT: You can't really go forward. Yes.  

KELLY: How about Rubio? He's not saying what state he expects to win, if any, on Super Tuesday.  

STIREWALT: Right. Rubio needs a win somewhere. He needs to be at least clearly ahead of Cruz and the delegate count. He needs to harness this momentum he has had with his lambasting of Trump and fighting his way on to the front pages, fighting his way into the coverage with the tough talk with Trump. He's got to show that he can take advantage of that. That he's consolidating all of these endorsements and advantages that he's getting.

KELLY: Yes.

STIREWALT: So, a win would be nice. But a ton of delegates are necessary.  Because what Cruz and Rubio and the Republicans have to do is hold Trump down tomorrow because if he breaks loose, if he gets into open field running here, this sucker is over.  

KELLY: Now, up after you is Ben Carson. He can hear you. You better tell the truth, anyway.

STIREWALT: OK.

KELLY: What does he need to do tomorrow?

STIREWALT: I'm going it use a series of hand signal -- no. That is -- Ben Carson has made it very clear that that's between his voters and his donors and his lord, and whatever he's going to do, he's going to do. But the path for him just as it is for John Kasich does not look robust from here.

KELLY: All right. I'm going to discuss that with the good doctor momentarily and it's all your fault. Chris, great to see you.

STIREWALT: You bet.

KELLY: Well, in past election cycles Super Tuesday is often a moment when we see the field narrow even further. But Dr. Ben Carson who occupies one of the last two spots in most polls today said he's not going anywhere despite the growing calls in some circles for him to drop out. In an op-ed on FOXNews.com, Dr. Carson says, quote, "It is a fundamentally undemocratic response to insinuate that people should be stripped of their choice for the good of the party. That's why I've vowed to continue our campaign as long as we have revenue and support until the people have decided."

Joining me now, Dr. Ben Carson. Doctor, great to see you.  

BEN CARSON, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you.  

KELLY: Sorry about that. But, you know, you've heard others say that you and John Kasich, for that matter, don't have a path, they don't see a path forward for you realistically if you don't win significantly tomorrow. Do you agree with that?

CARSON: It will be more difficult if we don't pick up some significant delegates tomorrow. But I expect that we may well do that. Because recognize a lot of things have happened in the last week. And one of the things that happened is, we had a debate if you can call it that. And after that debate, I went into the spin room and the most common question from the international correspondents was, aren't you embarrassed? Isn't your country embarrassed? And, you know, the people of America I think are getting a much better chance to recognize who the people are who are running and is that the kind of person that they want representing the United States of America?

KELLY: To whom are you referring?

CARSON: I'm referring to all five of us who are on that stage. They have an opportunity to see what kind of people we are, what gravitas do we bring to the stage, and are we really interested in solving the problem?

KELLY: When you see the dustup that we've seen today, for example, between Marco Rubio and Donald Trump, is it embarrassing to the Republican Party?

CARSON: I believe it is, absolutely.

KELLY: Why?

CARSON: I think we should be talking -- because I think we should be talking about the issues that threaten our country. We should be talking about the national debt. Have you heard any politician talking about the fiscal gap? And yet you're talking about the financial foundation of our country.

KELLY: Uh-hm. Or ISIS.  

CARSON: Yes, or ISIS, or how we're going to deal with them. How we're going to deal with an incredible educational crisis that's going on. I don't hear much talk about that at all. And that actually impacts upon our national security.  

KELLY: Uh-hm. But let me ask you because your adviser, Armstrong Williams, said Super Tuesday will be a moment of truth for your campaign and said it will be obvious if your predictions of what could happen for your campaign don't come to fruition, it's obvious what the outcome will be. He's signaling that you're going to get out after Super Tuesday if you don't have a great night. Will you?

CARSON: Well, you know, Armstrong is entitled to his opinions. I have multiple advisers. And I am not really listening to the pundits. I'm listening to my donors. I'm listening to my supporters. And I have millions of them and they're saying, please do not get out, we don't want to be left in a situation where we have to choose between the lesser of evils. I think they have a right to say that.

KELLY: Last question for you. Donald Trump, you heard the dustup on Sunday with Jake Tapper, a day or two after saying, he disavowed David Duke, he said he didn't know who David Duke was and did not disavow him in that interview or the KKK. Mitt Romney today suggesting that he is coddling bigotry and that this is a disqualifying moment for him. Your thoughts on that?

CARSON: Well, I'm a little surprised to know that he doesn't know who David Duke is. That's really quite shocking and that probably should be the area that maybe is investigated a little bit more. But I hope when he learns who David Duke is he would run another direction.  

KELLY: Well, he has disavowed him at least, you know, on Friday and then online, but do you agree with Mitt Romney that this is, quote, "disqualifying and disgusting?"

CARSON: Certainly if he did not disavow him, that would be disqualifying, but if he comes out and very clearly and vigorously says, I want nothing to do with a hate group, then I think that's fine.

KELLY: Dr. Carson, always great to see you.

CARSON: Thank you, Megyn.  

KELLY: All the best.

Well, another big political story broke late today when reports surfaced that "The New York Times" apparently has off-the-record audio tape of Mr. Trump offering a new take on one of his toughest immigration stands or so the reports suggest. The national spokesperson for the Trump campaign is next on that. Katrina Pierson is here.  

Also here, Drew Stevens, he's worked on five presidential campaigns and he is now getting a lot of attention for his take on this race.  

Plus, a distressing First Amendment story after Ben Shapiro's invitation to speak at a public, public, I say, university leads to massive efforts to shut him down. Hello, First Amendment, where are you? Ben is here on who he thinks is behind this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: Breaking tonight, a report from BuzzFeed getting a lot of attention today as the website reports, quote, "Donald Trump secretly told The New York Times what he really thinks about immigration." Or did he?

Carl Cameron is our chief political correspondent. He has the details. Carl?

CARL CAMERON, FOX NEWS CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Megyn. On the eve of Super Tuesday, with almost half of the delegates necessary to clinch the republican nomination, there are new questions tonight about the true feelings of frontrunner Donald Trump when it comes to how to deal with illegal immigration.

Both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are taking Trump to task. And earlier today, they both demanded that he give permission to The New York Times to release audiotapes of a January editorial board that Trump had with the editors of The New York Times, some of it was on the record and some of it was off the record.

And according to some reports now, Trump may have suggested that when it comes to illegal immigration, he might not deport all 11 million and when it comes to his steps to reform legal immigration, what he may have been saying to the board of -- the ed board at The New York Times in the off the record segment was that while he says some things on the campaign trail, he may not actually believe them, but what he's doing is staking out bargaining positions in order, in Trump's words, eventually to cut a deal.

Today, Ted Cruz called Trump out and said he should give The New York Times permission to release the off-the-record audiotape to clear the air. Cruz said if Trump is lying to the voters, the voters deserve to know. And if Trump didn't express different opinions in the off-the-record segment, he should be able to essentially be exonerated by calling on The New York Times to release the tape and prove that he didn't say it.

Marco Rubio chimed in on it as well. They are both now pounding Trump. He's taken more attacks from these two in the last week than in any time during his campaign. And it is not going to stop.

Obviously tomorrow's a very big night for Trump. He's expected to win more delegates than any other candidate, but with this question about his signature issue now looming with both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio coming at him, Trump may have to answer questions about whether his immigration policy and proposals were essentially fraudulent. Very, very tough stuff coming on the -- tomorrow on the eve of one of the most consequential election days that takes place so far, Megyn.

KELLY: Carl, Thank you. Joining me now with more, Katrina Pierson and Stuart Stevens. First, we'll go to Stewart. He serve as a campaign strategist to republican 2012 nominee Mitt Romney, and he's a founding partner at Strategic Partners and Media. Stuart, good to see you.

STUART STEVENS, ROMNEY 2012 CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST: Good to see you.

KELLY: So, the implication is Trump's behind closed doors language about what he's going to do on illegal immigration does not match his tough rhetoric. And the question now by these other candidates is should he call on The Times to release the tapes? Your thoughts?

STEVENS: Well, of course he should. Look, these remarks aren't being audited. He doesn't have any excuse not to. I don't understand why in the world he wouldn't demand that The New York Times release it.

We've had sort of a pattern here of whether or not he said this or did this or he comes up with different excuses. It's simple. They've got an audiotape. We're not talking about notes. Play the audiotape so everybody can hear it.

KELLY: Yes, but these candidates all go in and have some off-the-record discussions with journalists, and what kind of a precedent does it set if one of the reporters receiving the off-the-record communication then sort of with a wink and nod tells the world there's something dicey in here, and the candidate gets pressured to release it? I mean, it's like you can't ever have the off-the-record briefing.

STEVENS: Well, first of all, we don't know where it came from, this idea that what he did say this, we don't know that it came from The New York Times. Not from other journalist that...

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY: Well, we do because Buzzfeed is reporting that Gale Collins' Saturday piece is, quote, "A bit more than speculation," according to sources familiar with the recording and the transcript. And in her column, she was address addressing Trump saying, "So, you obviously can't explain how you're going to deport 11 million immigrants because it's going to be the first bid in some future monster negotiation session."

So, they're suggesting he's not really going to do it, it's just a first bid.

STEVENS: Look, the way to clear this up, as you know, if the source calls for it to be released, they should release it. I mean, that happens all the time. You get called by reporters. You go off-the-record and then they come back and say I'd like to use this, is it OK to put that on the record? You go sure, or not.

He should put this on the record and come forward and then everybody can know what was said. This wasn't a bar conversation. It wasn't something that just happened in passing. He's still the editor of The New York Times, you'd think he's being careful about what he says and means what he says. Let's hear what he says.

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY: Before I let you go, Stu, your thoughts on the whole David Duke KKK controversy?

STEVENS: Listen, I think it's disgusting. I don't believe that he didn't know exactly what he was doing, that on the eve of the southern primaries that he was out there trolling for votes in some despicable way.

Look, for my point of view, I think that Donald Trump has crossed a line. To support him really has become a moral question, not just a political question. Everybody has to come to their own decision. Ronald Reagan said a time for choosing. But I don't think that you can go back now where Donald Trump is trying to take this party.

KELLY: Stuart, great to see you.

STEVENS: See you.

KELLY: Katrina Pierson is also here, she is the national spokesperson for the Trump campaign. So, let's start with this New York Times, this Buzzfeed report about Trump's meeting with The New York Times and whether -- well, I'll start with what his critics are saying that you should tell the world whether Donald Trump is going to call on The New York Times to release the transcript.

KATRINA PIERSON, DONALD TRUMP NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON: Well, I think, Megyn, most people would agree that Donald Trump doesn't play by the rules everyone else sets upon him and not themselves. And so, Donald Trump isn't going to call for anything to be released just because Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio said so.

First I'll say that. Secondly, this interview was back in January. All of a sudden in the 25th hour the night before the election, all of a sudden there's some top-secret bombshell? Give me a break. This is politics at its finest. If you want to know Byron York...

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY: You think this is a political hit by The New York Times?

PIERSON: It's completely a political hit. Byron York met with Mr. Trump and did an exclusive interview written in the Washington Examiner and even talked about making deals and negotiations but not on the core issues of deportation and other issues that are in his actual platform. So, this is nothing that's top secret, Megyn.

KELLY: He said -- he told Byron York that it doesn't mean I'm hard and fast 100 percent. He said, it doesn't mean I'm not going to negotiate a little bit, but I have very strong positions on the issue. So, I mean...

(CROSSTALK)

PIERSON: Exactly.

KELLY: If that's all The Times has they should release it dealt at the end of this. Let's talk about the David Duke, the KKK thing. Why -- why Katrina, why in that Sunday interview didn't he just say what he said on Friday, which is I denounce David Duke, period?

PIERSON: Well, yes, well, you're right. The problem with the second interview, the one Sunday morning, is he did have trouble hearing at the very first when Jake Tapper mentioned an organization that Mr. Trump was not familiar with.

If you listen to Mr. Trump throughout the entire interview, he keeps talking about groups, organizations, not individuals. He did not have a name correlation to that organization which is simply why he said, Jake, send me what you have so I can see it before I cast a judgment. And that was it.

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY: But I did go back to look at that. Well, you know, with all due respect to Bill, he doesn't get to decide that, the voters do. But I did go back and look at it. Tapper asked him, "Will you unequivocally condemn David Duke and say you don't want his vote or that of other white supremacists in this election?"

That's what he asked him. And he said, I don't know anything about David Duke, I don't know what you're talking about with white supremacists, I don't know. So, he heard what Tapper said, David Duke and white supremacist. There wasn't anything about other groups. And Trump indicated that he heard both pieces of it, Duke and white supremacist.

PIERSON: Right. The miscommunication came in at the very beginning when...

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY: That is the very beginning. That is the very beginning.

PIERSON: Well, the anti-defamation league that's what Jake Tapper started with. The anti-defamation league.

KELLY: He said I want to ask you about the anti-defamation league which this week called on to publicly condemn...

PIERSON: Which Mr. Trump didn't know anything about. That's my point though, Megyn.

KELLY: But he wasn't saying condemn the anti-defamation -- he doesn't know who the anti-defamation league is?

PIERSON: He wasn't connecting the names to those organizations. And Jake Tapper mentioned groups early on. And Mr. Trump kept referring to groups throughout the entire thing. Mr. Trump has condemned David Duke, he's been doing it all weekend.

And then all of a sudden there is one incident where he was refused about the groups that Jake Tapper was talking about, it's a big deal. It's not a big deal. Mr. Trump has condemned David Duke. And by the way, David Duke did not endorse Trump, so it is a non-issue.

KELLY: He didn't endorse him but clearly is supporting him and told his followers Duke is now the...

(CROSSTALK)

PIERSON: Mr. Trump can do nothing about that, though, Megyn. He can do nothing about who is supporting him. You know, this is about David Duke.

KELLY: Well, but it's easy -- it's very easy to say I don't want anything to do with him. I mean, let me just -- let's just play...

(CROSSTALK)

PIERSON: But then he has saw that.

KELLY: I want the audience to hear what Ronald Reagan said when -- it's not on tape. OK.

PIERSON: Right.

KELLY: So, Ronald Reagan apparently came out when the Klan leaders in Georgia endorsed him and said "Those of us in public life can only resent the use of our names by those who seek political recognition for the repugnant doctrines of hate they espouse."

He went on to say "The politics of racial hatred and religious bigotry practiced by the Klan and others have no place in this country, and they are destructive for the values for which America has always stood." That's what people wanted to hear.

PIERSON: Well, that's what they wanted to hear. And Ronald Reagan also said I didn't endorse them, they endorsed me. There is nothing you can do about that.

But the facts are, even David Duke himself come out and said I did not endorse Donald Trump, and yet, all of the headlines today for the entire day has been the KKK endorses Trump. And just simply not true.

When Mr. Trump heard first about it he disavowed it unequivocally and immediately. And then when he was confused about the groups that Jake Tapper was talking about, because we have heard that there was no endorsement. So, of course, Mr. Trump said, let me know who you're talking about before I render judgment of an organization that I didn't know.

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY: Well, he did let him know. He made very clear who he was talking about. Very clear. And now Trump is claiming that his earpiece didn't work. But he did repeat back the things.

I will say this, David Duke told his people that it would be that it's their duty, their duty to go out to vote for Donald Trump because it would be against their heritage if they voted for, quote, "these people," these other people running. But that is...

(CROSSTALK)

PIERSON: Mr. Trump can't control anything anybody says to anyone.

KELLY: Absolutely not. Absolutely not. I don't mean to tar him with David Duke, it's just, you know, based on the exchange he had with Tapper. Kat, great to see you.

PIERSON: Great to see you.

KELLY: Well, as we wait to see what Ted Cruz offers up as his message to voters tomorrow, Judge Napolitano is here with some new details on the court case over whether Senator Cruz is eligible to run.

Plus, hundreds of protesters show up at a public college to shut down a speech by conservative writer Ben Shapiro. Ben is here on what he thinks is really behind an attempt to silence him.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(CROWD CHANTING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: That was the crowd that greeted conservative writer Ben Shapiro as he was attempting to give a speech at the Los Angeles Campus of California State University. Inside the lecture hall where he had been invited, it went like this, watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BEN SHAPIRO, DAILYWIRE.COM EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Folks, if you're watching on the line stream the waves of the students entering right now are being sneaked in. Because in America in 2016, you have to use the back door if you want to participate in free speech, you get to block the front door if you're a member of the left. And this is how it's written. You won't -- and there it is, gang. Guess what. You know what, they're not going to stop us.

(APPLAUSE)

KELLY: Ben Shapiro is editor-in-chief at dailywire.com. Ben, great to see you. So, they invited you there, this young group and the university was not happy about it. Initially tried to stop it. One professor in particular was ripping down the fliers threatening students for posting them but you showed up. Take it from there.

SHAPIRO: Yes, well, the president of the university attempted to cancel the speech. Now I told him to screw himself, I was coming anyway because that was a violation of free speech rights. About an hour and half before I was scheduled to come to campus, I didn't know if they were going to try to arrest me or something.

Now he backed down, he said, we'll hold the event, we'll make sure there's enough security that it's safe. I started getting messages on my text and through Twitter, that there was violence going down, that there is a huge crowd.

By the time we got there, there were helicopters, cops everywhere, every single entrance and exit except for one had been barricaded and blocked by the students. The police were doing nothing to actually move the student. And the protestors that people who wanted to hear could get in.

And by the time I got in, I had to be escorted in not only by my own security but by armed cadre of uniformed police officers and they were sneaking all of the students in four at a time through the back door that the protesters hadn't yet discovered and told them before...

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY: Ok. So, obviously the public university, they don't understand anything about First Amendment, which is the answer to speech you do not like is not less speech, it's more speech. You don't shut down the initial speech, you have your own event, you offer your own viewpoints.

But they were rows deep threatening you, people were getting pushed around and the people who wanted to get in to see you were getting stopped by the cops apparently, you say, under directions from the university?

SHAPIRO: So, basically what I say is that the police officers were doing nothing. They've been told by the university do not move any of the protesters who locked arms and were blocking off the doors so nobody could get through.

And there is plenty of video on Instagram and YouTube of these people who are attempting to just get in to listen being pushed around by members of the audience, they are screaming at them, cursing at them, pushing them, and assaulting them. A reporter from Breitbart was assaulted three times. The man who is disabled with nerve damage, he was assaulted by folks who are protesting. It truly was the fascist left at work.

KELLY: I take it no apology was forthcoming?

SHAPIRO: No. No, of course not. The only apology they wanted was an apology from me and then from the president for allowing me to speak in the first place.

Again, I'm a California taxpayer. I pay for all these adults to go to college here and all these professors to protest and try to tear down fliers. But, you know, this is blatant violation of free speech principle and more than that it's just more evidence that there is a movement within the left, a very hardcore fascist movement within the left to shut down speech that they disagree with, and to punish physically people who they don't like.

And that's why at the very end I turned to the students and I said do you want to go out there and confront some of these protesters? And I was told by the police officers, if you do that, there could actually be a riot. They said we don't have the capacity to protect you or the other students. And I'm talking about 10 uniformed officers at the time who are scheduled to protect me.

KELLY: Professor Robert Weide, w-e-i-d-e, when people were placing fliers on the board he apparently went out and tore down the fliers, called campus security and called the students fascists who wanted to hear you speak. Ben, thank you for being here.

SHAPIRO: Thanks so much.

KELLY: Taking your thoughts on that. Facebook.com/thekellyfile.

Up next, did the university break any laws? This is a public university. Did they break the law?>

Plus, will a citizenship lawsuit be able to move forward against Texas Senator and presidential hopeful Ted Cruz? Judge Andrew Napolitano is here when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: Joining us now with more of the Ben Shapiro situation, Judge Napolitano, who is our Fox News senior judicial analyst. So, does he have a lawsuit against that school, public university shutting down first speech for his First Amendment?

ANDREW NAPOLITANO, FOX NEWS SENIOR JUDICIAL ANALYST: Of course -- of course he does. The evidence that he was silenced because of the content of his speech is overwhelming. And while the government can do things for public safety, it cannot do something silence you because it doesn't like your message.

If this was a private university, it would be a different story. This is the government. Government-owned property. The Supreme Court have said not only cannot silence him, it has a duty to protect him so that he can say what he's brought there to say and the people who want to hear him can hear his words.

KELLY: The irony is he's trying to deliver a message about the ridiculousness of safe spaces and micro aggressions and all these trigger warnings that college students need.

NAPOLITANO: Right.

KELLY: And they are sensitive they can't hear the other side on that and the professors were behind them.

NAPOLITANO: This is essentially a speech about the virtues of the freedom of speech and that's what was silenced.

KELLY: And that they had to shut down. What's happening with the lawsuits against Ted Cruz and his eligibility to run for president?

NAPOLITANO: I don't think it's going to go anywhere. The news peg today is that it was filed by a very serious lawyer who has no skin in the game. It's not a Donald Trump supporter. It's not a Marco Rubio supporter. It's a serious Chicago lawyer, who filed a meaningful lawsuit and a meaningful document supporting it.

My own view, he fits squarely within a 1790s era statute saying if one of your parents is an American citizen who spent at least one year of his or her life in the United States before you were born, you are a natural born citizen no matter where your mother was when you drew your first breath.

KELLY: How about Hillary Clinton? Because we heard earlier tonight from Catherine Herridge that yet, more e-mails have been released that are classified. Now the number tops 2,000?

NAPOLITANO: Over 2,000 e-mails that Mrs. Clinton says when she looked at them she didn't know that they were confidential, secret or top secret. That is utterly without belief.

Some of these which mention drone strikes, some of them which mention the names of undercover people working for foreign governments and for us, some of these have transcripts of conversations of foreign government leaders and she didn't know that that stuff was top secret and she sent it on to aides anyway.

KELLY: I think it's more and more disturbing and the A.G. Office is looking into it.

NAPOLITANO: Absolutely.

KELLY: We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: Tomorrow night, Super Tuesday. Join yours truly and Bret Baier for the biggest night in the 2016 race so far. Thirteen states nearly 600 delegates up for grabs. Do you know what that's a reference to? Facebook/thekellyfile. See you tomorrow at 6 o'clock!

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