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Kelly File

Trump not ruling out 'little Marco' as VP pick?; Trump campaign manager accused of assaulting reporter

This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," March 10, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Breaking tonight. With just five days to go before Super Tuesday II, the stakes could not be higher, as new polling appears to suggest anything could happen.

Welcome to "The Kelly File," everyone. I'm Megyn Kelly. Tonight we begin with the two races that could very well make or break Donald Trump's chances of running away with this nomination. Nearly half of the delegates up for grabs on Tuesday come from two states alone. And they happen to be states that two of Trump's competitors represent. Florida and Ohio. Let's start tonight with Ohio. Recent polling there suggests this is now a two- man race in that state. The new Quinnipiac poll shows Governor Kasich trailing Donald Trump 38 to 32 percent. But a Fox News poll shows the Ohio Governor in the lead over Donald Trump 34 to 29 percent.

Meanwhile, down in Florida, Senator Marco Rubio trailed Trump significantly, according to the FOX News polling released just yesterday. Down by 23 points. But another pair of polls released just today shows a much tighter race, but still shows Trump in the lead. Enjoying a seven- point lead over Rubio and the latest Washington Post Univision poll and the Suffolk poll has Trump up nine over the Florida senator.

Our chief political correspondent campaign Carl Cameron reports tonight from Coral Gables, Florida. Carl?

CARL CAMERON, FOX NEWS CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Megyn. You know, that Washington Post Univision poll shows that it's basically a tie now between Donald Trump and Marco Rubio. Trump's ahead 38 to 31, but that is well within the poll's margin of error and Ted Cruz is back at 19 and John Kasich is in single digits. But it means that Rubio's very much alive in Florida, even though a lot of the other polls suggest that Trump has got a bit of the lead.

As for Mr. Trump, he's been campaigning aggressively around the country, he's been racking up wins, and it looks like he may be getting an endorsement from a former rival. Today, Trump and Dr. Ben Carson had a meeting and Mr. Carson has said that he's leaning towards endorsing Mr. Trump and tomorrow Trump has a 9 a.m. news conference plan here in Florida and many expected Ben Carson will be the subject and present at that news conference in order to endorse him.

In the meantime, Ted Cruz, who hasn't had a lot of endorsements and has had no endorsements from his U.S. Senate colleagues, has now gotten one, in Mike Lee, the Senator from Utah, who is actually in the same Senate class as Marco Rubio but came here today to Florida to endorse Ted Cruz. And doing so here in Florida, geographically speaking is a bit of a shot at Marco Rubio. And then there's John Kasich. John Kasich is not particularly aggressively campaigning here in Florida. He's focused on Ohio and said that if he doesn't win Ohio, he'll drop out of the race. Except that his aides are already talking about the ways in which a contested convention might play out and how John Kasich would fit into it, and it's worth remembering, that the Republican National Committee and the RNC convention that will happen in Ohio needs a lot of planning to put together a contested convention, such as they anticipate, and they do and those efforts are slowly beginning to get under way.

And there's a whole bunch of very, very complicated politics in that. Most of the delegates are bound on the first vote to the candidate who won those states. But after that, many of them are not. And there's a quirky part of the rules here. Delegates cannot be replaced. There are alternates from each state. But if they just didn't show up, and the alternates are used up, no-shows get no votes. So some could essentially with their absenteeism, deny Trump their delegate votes -- Megyn.

KELLY: Wow! Fascinating. Carl, thank you.

Joining us now, Charlie Hurt, political columnist for "The Washington Times." Guy Benson, a FOX News contributor and political editor of Townhall.com. And Katie Pavlich who is also a FOX News contributor and news editor of Townhall.com. Great to see you all.

KATIE PAVLICH, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Hi, Megyn.

KELLY: So, I mean, I didn't realize that, you cannot show and deny the person who has got the most delegates their delegates, but that's all, you know, way down the line. Let's talk about that John Kasich in Ohio.

CHARLES HURT, THE WASHING TIMES POLITICAL COLUMNIST: We have super delegates and now we have phantom delegates.

KELLY: I mean, I don't know what to say about that. But what about what we're hearing now in Ohio Charlie about John Kasich saying, if he doesn't win Ohio, he's out. I don't think we can say the same about Ted Cruz depending on what his Super Tuesday II results look like. So do you believe after Super Tuesday II, if everything goes Trump's way, he wins Ohio, he wins Florida, it will be a two-man race or do you think Cruz has somehow done, as well?

HURT: Well, I think that Cruz will be done in terms of there will be no real path for him to actually win the nomination. But I think he will continue this sort of kamikaze mission that he's been on, where he can't win but he can deny Donald Trump the 1237 that he needs to win it outright, because you know, they want it to go to a contested convention, and a contested convention will immediately turn into a brokered convention, and the Republican Party, as big a mess as they're in right now, they're going to be in a bigger mess coming out of that, if they do wind up denying the person who goes into the convention with the most delegates, even though they don't have a majority.

KELLY: Guy, I saw Senator Cruz this week at the town hall with him. He was very focused on North Carolina. He's also fighting in Florida. I don't know that the Cruz camp reasonably believes they're going to have victory in Ohio or Florida, but they are focused on North Carolina. I don't get the impression that this man is getting ready to get out of this race.

GUY BENSON, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, no. He's within a bunch of states. So, it would be crazy for him to get out at this point. He is perhaps the last man standing. Although here's the thing, Megyn. All the scenario planning is fascinating at this stage, because if you're Ted Cruz, really in your heart of hearts, you need Donald Trump to lose in Ohio. And the only way he's going to lose in Ohio is to John Kasich. It would also be very helpful to deny 99 winner take all delegates here in Florida to Donald Trump, the only candidate who has a chance of doing that here is Marco Rubio.

On the other hand, Cruz wants to get both of those guys out of the race so you can get a clean shot at Trump one on one. A lot of polling shows that he could maybe beat Trump one on one. But if Trump has his run of the field on Tuesday night, and racks up all these delegates, it could be too late any way for Ted Cruz. So it's fascinating. I would love to know what the Cruz campaign is hoping to actually see happen here on Tuesday night.

KELLY: What do you make Katie of the Ben Carson news that he may be getting ready to endorse Trump? And I know that it comes on a day where there has been some negative publicity for the Trump camp in terms of more disturbing videos from Trump rallies in particular, some Trump supporters punching an African-American protester, and now that protester is going -- and now the puncher, the person engaging in the assault who actually said he might kill him the next time, is facing charges.

PAVLICH: Uh-huh. Well. And let's not forget the allegations against Trump's Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski for allegedly ripping down a female reporter and bruising her arm, which they're now, you know, the Trump campaign said happened and they said it didn't happen, and then they attacked the reporter on the internet. So that's another part of this problem. But in terms of the Ben Carson endorsement, I find it interesting, considering Donald Trump compared Ben Carson to a pedophile. It's clear that Ben Carson is still bitter about Iowa, even though the Cruz campaign apologized for what went on there. But it's interesting to see him endorse Trump after what has been said about him.

KELLY: Uh-huh. And we'll going to get to that story about the campaign manager a little later in the show. Charlie, when I asked you, Ted Cruz said something today about those backing Donald Trump that became a controversy, suggesting they're low information voters, just for those who don't pay attention. Rush Limbaugh uses that term a lot, usually talks about Democrats that way. This was used by Ted Cruz and here is a little bit of what he said. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Listen, Donald does well with voters who have relatively low information, who are not that engaged and who are angry and they see him as an angry voice. Where we are beating him is when voters get more engaged and they get more informed. When they inform themselves, they realize his record. He's what they're angry at. He is the corruption.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Your thoughts on that, Charlie?

HURT: Well, you know, comments like that are exactly why so many in the Republican Party and Ted Cruz himself, they have so much trouble reaching out to these very voters that he's talking about. It's because they say condescending things like this. They think they're stupid. They think Donald Trump is stupid, and you know, and all the insults and attacks that they leveled at Donald Trump have sort of been, you know, kind of directed at his supporters as well. And it's why Ted Cruz, you know, the only contest that he seems to be able to win are these closed contests where they close the doors and don't let anybody but, you know, registered card carrying Republicans into the tent and why Donald Trump is doing very well in these contest where he opens the doors wide open. You know, he can win when anybody can -- is allowed to participate. And I think it's a perfect microcosm of the real problem that the Republican Party is having right now and Donald Trump has fully, totally exploited it.

KELLY: Guy, that's what is so interesting about this -- what Charlie said is right, Cruz tends to win in the closed primaries where only Republicans can vote and Trump tends to win in the once where moderates can vote and more Independents can vote as well. And Trump's argument is, that's why I'm the more electable candidate. Because when we get to a general election is not going to be all Republicans voting and yet when you look at the head-to-head matchups we see in the polls, Cruz versus Clinton, Rubio versus Clinton, Kasich, Trump, so on, all those guys beat Hillary Clinton. But Trump struggles to beat Hillary Clinton in most of those polls.

BENSON: Yes, struggle is putting it lightly. And the last two polls from NBC News and ABC News show him losing to Hillary Clinton by 13 and nine points respectively. And look, there are some people who say it's way too early to look at head-to-head polls. These are meaningless. I think that's largely true. But keep in mind, everyone in America knows who Hillary Clinton is, everyone in America knows who Donald Trump is. People are aware of these folks, and have feelings about them already. So there might be some utility to the head-to-head polls in this context, more so than usual.

But beyond that, Megyn, if you look at the fundamental numbers, in "The Washington Post," ABC News poll, Donald Trump has a disapproval rating of 67 percent of voters in the general electorate. He is 40 plus points under water on honesty, on experience, on temperament, on empathy. These are numbers that someone could be catastrophic in a general election. He's trailing even Hillary Clinton on honesty. Think about that.

KELLY: Well, the good news from both of them is the voters don't seem to price that. They don't care about it honestly. They don't care who can win. Katie, let's talk about Marco Rubio before we go. I mean, he vehemently denied that he's getting out of this race before Florida, and he said I'm in it through Florida. He said if I lose Florida, now we're talking about a different story. But do you believe these reports that there's a possibility of a unity ticket between Rubio and Cruz before Super Tuesday II?

PAVLICH: Well, I believe it was Rubio who told this network that he wasn't interested in a unity ticket. That is just something the media likes to play up. Not that really works. I don't think Marco Rubio would drop out before Super Tuesday. I think that polling showed he actually might have a chance in Florida against Donald Trump. We're a couple days away here. There's still time for movement there. But in terms of the long-term game, Marco Rubio really doesn't have much of a path to victory. He doesn't even get close to the number of delegates that Donald Trump already has. He doesn't even get close to what Ted Cruz has. So, I think that he'll probably stick it out through Florida, he'll try to win his home state but after that, there's got to be, you know, a realization of where he is in this campaign and that he really can't move forward into a victory.

KELLY: Uh-hm. Also I should mention that Ted Cruz got his first endorsement today from his fellow U.S. Senator Mike Lee who is, I don't know. I guess that's his BFF in the Senate. I could be wrong. But they seem like -- they're buds. So that was good for Ted Cruz. And we'll continue to follow the Ben Carson situation. Panel, thank you all.

HURT: Thanks, Megyn.

KELLY: We have breaking news tonight on the unfolding story that you heard Katie Pavlich mention about a Breitbart reporter, that's on online site who says Donald Trump's campaign manager physically assaulted her, throwing her to the ground and causing bruises on her arm. There's new evidence that may support her story, although Lewandowski denies the whole thing. We'll bring you the story fair and balance just ahead.

Plus, Trump talks about his Republican rivals and who may get the VP slot if he becomes the nominee, and indeed the President. He sat down with Howie Kurtz. We'll have that for you right after the break.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HOWIE KURTZ, HOST, "MEDIABUZZ": You're calling him corrupt. Are you now thinking, okay, I may need to mend fences with this guy?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: FOX News alert for you now. We are now getting confirmation from multiple sources according to our reporting that Ben Carson is set to endorse Donald Trump, and that the endorsement will be announced at a press conference tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. at Trump's Mar-a-Lago Resort down in Florida. This will be a significant event for Trump's campaign, given the animosity there was at some point during the campaign between Dr. Carson and Donald Trump and given the love so many of the voters and the GOP side have had for Dr. Carson. And we'll see whether this endorsement will help Donald Trump. Some people undermine that this don't matter. Others think that they do. So, we'll continue to watch it and see how the polls go up or down depending on what we see tomorrow morning at 9:00.

Also breaking tonight, poised for some big wins next week in the Super Tuesday II contest. New York businessman Donald Trump sat down with their our own Howie Kurtz to talk about his campaign. And one of the big questions from Howie was, who would Trump choose as VP?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: Really gotten into it with Marco Rubio, a lot of personal attacks back and forth. You're running an ad now that says, Little Marco as you call in is corrupt, he's dishonest, you talk about cheating on his Republican Party credit cards. I mean, you were asked on "Morning Joe," "Would you consider him for VP?" You said, "Sure he's got a lot of talents."

DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I didn't say that. I said, it's too early to say. I didn't say that.

KURTZ: But you said, he's got lots of talent.

TRUMP: He sure got talent. He's got talent. But he hurt himself badly.

KURTZ: Right.

TRUMP: When he tried to be Don Rickles, that was not a good thing. He shouldn't have done that. Because it didn't work for him. And he was actually doing nicely, he was talking policy. He could be very sharp on occasion. He got hurt by Chris Christie.

KURTZ: But you're calling him corrupt. Are you now thinking, OK, I may need to mend fences with this guy if I'm going to -- I do win the Senate?

TRUMP: I don't really want to discuss it. Honestly, the reason I don't is because we'll see what happens. But I will say this, he was better off before he attacked.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Howie Kurtz joins me now, he's the most of "MediaBuzz" right here on FNC. Howie, good to see you.

KURTZ: Thank you, Megyn.

KELLY: So, the bottom-line is, we don't know, but we all speculate as he gets endorsement, did Christie cut a deal, did Carson cut a deal, could Rubio be trying to cut a deal behind the scenes? Any answers?

KURTZ: Well, first, it was a hardship assignment for me to go down to Mar- a-Lago but I was willing to take it on. Look, it was really striking to me that Donald Trump is running this ad accusing Marco Rubio of being corrupt, and yet even in our interview he went out of his way to say nice things about him. I don't think any deal has been cut and often these things are unspoken. But look, when politicians endorse other politicians who might occupy the White House, there is a bit of an expectation that it might result in some kind of prominent job down the line.

KELLY: Uh-hm. That is what they do. I mean, in fairness to these guys, we see this every campaign season. I mean, they are brutal to each other in the primaries, they're so mean. And then they turn around, it's like, don't forget to vote for my friend, Mitt Romney. And it's like, he was like a corporate radar, I don't know. It's like -- so they all have very short memories when it comes to that criticism. And then, you know, a lot of them are self-serving. They want a job and what they think maybe the next administration, and you know, I'm sure Chris Christie doesn't want to sit around Trenton for too long and thinks it might be fun to be Attorney General. What do I know? What did Trump say though about the likely line of attack we're going to hear tonight and the one we've been hearing from Ted Cruz when it comes to his relatively recent support for Hillary Clinton, because I know you've got a sound bite along those lines. Do you want to set it up?

KURTZ: Sure. For one thing, he went out of his way again not to attack Ted Cruz. Donald Trump told me that he expected not that the tone of tonight's debate would not be as harsh as in the last two, including the Fox News debate that you co-moderated in Detroit. He thinks perhaps because that wasn't working -- for Marco Rubio doing the Don Rickles thing. And then I kept trying to get a sense of how he's evolved so I asked him about Hillary Clinton, and nice things that he's said about her in the past. I knew what he was going to say about being a businessman trying to get along with everyone. You'll see more of this on Sunday. Let's take a look at his response.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KURTZ: In 2012, as a fourth year as Secretary of State, you told Fox she was a terrific woman doing a very good job at the State Department. So, was that b.s.?

TRUMP: I'm a businessman. I don't say b.s. I don't say anything. I say, why would I say bad? I have to go to the State Department to get approval on some projects that I'm building in some foreign country. And they have to give me a letter of recommendation, why should I say that?

KURTZ: Because it makes sound like a little bit of a politician --

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: No, no. I'm not a politician but why would I say bad things about people when you know, I never knew I was going to be doing this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: The interesting thing about that, Howie is, you know, he had been in the game for so long greasing the politicians, what would lead folks to believe when he's on the opposite end he won't continue to play the game? Right? It's like you play the game for so long, you know how the game was played, you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours, that kind of thing.

KURTZ: Well, what was interesting to me was, he was very candid about the fact that he didn't think he would be running for office and therefore now he's in a position where he has to attack the woman who he would be running against. As far as the game, Trump kind of does jujitsu thing on this. He says, I know how it works. I know the system is rigged. I know the people like me who gave a lot of money got favors from government officials and I can be Independent because I'm spending my own money and so he says, it's almost like he's --

KELLY: But he cannot win the presidency based on his own money. I mean, it's going to cost $1 billion. He's going to have to take money if he becomes the nominee. That is just the truth. And this is one of the things people complain about, about our current system, it takes a billion dollars to win the presidency. A billion -- and that requires a lot of favors, no matter who you are.

KURTZ: Well, he says he knows how the favor game is played, and therefore he can handle it differently when he's president. It's an argument that's seemed that has worked for him so far.

KELLY: When I do -- when I owe somebody a favor and I don't want to repay it, I just don't make eye contact.

(LAUGHTER)

Just, you know, speaking of which --

KURTZ: See you.

KELLY: Goodbye.

KURTZ: Bye.

KELLY: Just kidding.

Also tonight, breaking news on stories from some recent Trump rallies. First, new evidence has surfaced in an alleged assault of a Breitbart reporter by Trump's campaign manager. Now, the campaign manager is denying this vehemently. Fox News has just obtained audiotape of the encounter. We'll report, you can decide, coming up.

And then a new twist in the case of the Trump supporter arrested for punching a protester at a Trump event. There you see it. Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro is here along with Trump supporter David Wohl who is an attorney for both sides. Fair and balanced, next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So he deserved it?

(INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, he deserved it. The next time we see him, we might have to kill him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Growing controversy today over claims of an assault at a Donald Trump event earlier this week. And while we've been hearing stories of protesters clashing at Trump rallies for months, things are taking a very different return as a reporter from Breitbart.com, an openly pro-Trump blog, alleges she was roughed up at a Trump event and that the person who allegedly left these bruises on her arm was Trump's own Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski. A fact Lewandowski and the Trump campaign vehemently deny.

The reporter, Michelle Fields, who may be familiar to FOX viewers, claims that following a Trump's news conference on Tuesday night after his victories, she tried to ask Mr. Trump a question about affirmative action. She alleges that, quote, "Before he could answer, I was jolted backwards, someone had grabbed me tightly by the arm and yanked me down. I almost fell to the ground but was able to maintain my balance. Nonetheless I was shaken." Fields claims she has bruises to prove that it happened. And had the following message for Mr. Trump on ABC News this evening.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE FIELDS, BREITBART NEWS NETWORK REPORTER: Honestly, it's been really hurtful, because obviously no one wants to be touched and violated like that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you had a chance to talk to Donald Trump right now, what would you say to him?

FIELDS: I would just ask him to just put himself in my shoes and imagine if I was his daughter.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Washington Post reporter Ben Terris says that he witnessed this incident and claims it was indeed Trump Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski that assaulted Miss Fields. Lewandowski again strongly denies the charge and has attacked Michelle Fields as an attention seeker. The Trump campaign has issued a statement flatly denying the incident took place, staying the campaign staff would never do anything to harm another individual, adding, quote, "Not a single camera or reporter of more than 100 in attendance, captured the alleged incident." However, Washington Post reporter Ben Terris does say that he witnessed the incident and wrote about it. And now Politico has released what it says is an audio recording that it says captures the exchange between Miss Fields and Washington Post reporter Ben Terris in the wake of the alleged assault. Listen here.

(AUDIO TRANSCRIPT BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FIELDS: Holy (bleep) --

BEN TERRIS, WASHINGTON POST REPORTER: Yes, he just throw you down.

FIELDS: I can't believe he just did that, that was so hard. Was that Corey?

TERRIS: Yes, like, what threat were you?

FIELDS: That was insane. You should have fell how hard he grabbed me. That's insane. Oh my gosh! I've never had anyone do that to me from a campaign.

TERRIS: Can I put that in my story?

FIELDS: Yes, go for it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Joining me now, Ben Shapiro who is editor-in-chief at DailyWire.com and as editor-at-large for Breitbart News. Along with David Wohl who is an attorney and a Trump supporter. Guys, thank you very much for being here.

DAVID WOHL, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: Thank you, Megyn.

KELLY: So, Ben, you find yourself in an interesting position, because Breitbart, one of Breitbart their employees and reporters started attacking Michelle Fields' story almost as soon as it was became public. And he's now been suspended by Breitbart, but Breitbart has been all over the map whether to defend its reporter or defend Mr. Trump.

In the end, you tell me where they stand tonight, and I know you don't speak for them in this particular capacity.

BEN SHAPIRO, DAILYWIRE.COM EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Yes, I'm not going to speak for management. I'm not permitted to those decisions. My understanding is that the statement released by Larry Solov who is the CEO has called for the Trump campaign to apologize for Corey Lewandowski to apologize.

I personally feel that's widely insufficient. They should be calling for Lewandowski to be fired. This has been moved for dragging Michelle Fields down to the ground. There is no question they would be calling for Lewandowski who are in this case to be fired. It's ridiculous.

KELLY: So, why, what do you make of the pushback that the Trump campaign has done against Michelle? Because Corey Lewandowski is going after her, and hard, suggesting that she's an attention seeker, he says, she was assaulted at NY -- at the NYPD -- by the NYPD during the occupy protests.

He asks professional reporter or attention seeker and listed a couple of examples of her reporting suggesting what she really wants is attention.

SHAPIRO: Corey Lewandowski is a thug, and Donald Trump is a thug for backing him. I mean, anybody who engages in this sort of activity and then justifies it by attacking somebody who by the way, again, this has been a verified account.

There's a report in the Daily Beast this morning that Corey Lewandowski specifically went to Matt Boyle over at Breitbart, a guy I know, and said to Matt Boyle, that if he had known it was a Breitbart reporter he wouldn't have done it, so that's justification, as though you can go after somebody who's not a Breitbart reporter. Just to Breitbart is friendlier to Trump and other publications.

The whole thing is absurd. And the fact that the Trump campaign continues to play this game where they put out not just violent rhetoric but in this case a campaign manager engaging in allegedly violent reaction and they won't even step down to apologize, it's beyond -- it's beyond disgusting, it really is. It's gross.

KELLY: David, what do you make of this? Because, you know, in light of the audio that Politico is reporting, and that the pictures and her testimonials, I mean, as a lawyer, how do you see it?

DAVID WOHL, ATTORNEY: You know, Megyn, I got to say this whole thing from beginning doesn't look good to me. The reality is, there were dozens of people around. No one apparently saw it other than this one Washington Post reporter. There were 100 cameras, none of them caught anything.

And, Megyn, I've had cases like this in the past and they really trouble me. Rather than making a formal report to the Trump campaign, rather than filing a police report, what do they do? They put Lewandowski and by association Donald Trump on trial in the court of social media. Where there is no burden of proof.

So, you can get on there, go on Twitter. And at the end of that tape, if you listen closely, the reporter said I'm going to make a story out of this tomorrow morning. That's exactly what he did. And this was a reporter that clearly has an act to grind with Donald Trump.

He made a very -- he wrote a story that was very dismissive, very demeaning right into his narrative. So, I have a big problem with this. It's a he said/she said. There's nothing much more to it, when you consider the credibility of the one sole witness. So, it's not going anywhere, Megyn, as far as I can see.

KELLY: But let me just follow up with you on that. Under that theory of this matter, were they acting when they had that exchange on tape? Where they -- I mean, they had...

(CROSSTALK)

WOHL: No.

KELLY: ... do you think that's not genuine when he was saying wow, you know, are you OK? And she was...

WOHL: You know, I think -- I think Michelle Fields clearly did not see who grabbed her, if anyone actually did grab her. She then referred to -- she deferred to her friend, the Washington Post reporter, who then said yes, it was Lewandowski. He is the bad guy.

And look, Megyn, Donald Trump is under attack on multiple levels. He's on political, economic, social, on a personal level. And this is a way to get at him, and I'm sure, and my feeling is that reporter knew that, and the reality is, if it was a real legitimate assault or battery, you file a police report.

KELLY: OK.

WOHL: You don't tweet it out and then 36 hours later tweet out pictures of bruises that you say Lewandowski caused. I'm just not buying it, Megyn. I'm just not.

KELLY: Go ahead, Ben. You know Michelle. What are your thoughts?

SHAPIRO: This is disgusting. How repulsive are you people? I had a conversation with Michelle for an hour last night where she told me this whole story. I did encourage her to go to the police. She was two hours from a police station. She has work to do.

Today, you'll have to ask her why she didn't go to the police, because I strongly urged her to go and file a police report and I still think that she should. There's no statute of limitations as far as filing a police report within 24 hours the last time I check. But the fact is this. The fact that she went silent on social media for almost 24 hours. And if the suggestion is that Breitbart News is out to get Trump, have you ever seen Breitbart News?

KELLY: No. Breitbart...

SHAPIRO: To get its views from front page?

(CROSSTALK)

WOHL: I'm not suggesting it. I'm not suggesting it.

SHAPIRO: It's only the Washington Post.

KELLY: But let me ask you this, David. Because Bernie Sanders just come out tonight -- let me ask you this question. Senator Bernie Sanders came out tonight, David, and said Mr. Trump should take responsibility for the actions of his people and condemning what he sees as violent rhetoric at earlier Trump events, that -- and we have seen some violent incidents at Trump events, including one today, where a Trump supporter punched a black man who was there in protest.

WOHL: Yes.

KELLY: And then after the fact came out and said he should have killed him. Here is the incident caught on tape. The protester has been arrested. The police did nothing to the man doing the punching him. They round up putting the African-American gentleman down on the floor. And then they caught up with the alleged assaulter here, and this is what he had to say about the moment later.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you like about it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Knocking the hell out of that big mouth. We don't know who he is, but he's not acting like an American.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, he deserved it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every bit of it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, he deserved it. The next time we see him, we might have to kill him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOHL: You know, Megyn, Trump isn't responsible for violent lunatics among the crowds that he draws, any more than when I go to my dodger games, the dodgers are responsible for the occasional fight that breaks out in the stands and someone gets injured. He's not just responsible. For him to take responsibility is...

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY: So, let me ask about this, David, because what his critics say -- that what his critics say is that he has engaged in rhetoric that could gin up that kind of anger, and this specifically was circulated a great deal today. Here is Mr. Trump in recent weeks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously.

(APPLAUSE)

OK? Just knock the hell. I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees, I promise. I promise. There won't be so much, because the courts agree with us, too.

I love the old days. You know what they used to do to guys like that when they're in the place like this? They'd be carried out on a stretcher, folks.

(CROWD CHEERING)

You know, the guards are very gentle with him. He's walking out like a big high five, smiling, laughing. I'd like to punch him in the face, I tell you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Go ahead, David.

WOHL: Well, you know, what he's saying essentially is if you see somebody preparing to assault me with a tomato, knock the crap out of them. You know, that might be a little harsh for some, but in essence, Megyn, he's saying that you know what? Protect me, we're all one, we're unified, we're a people together.

And if someone is going to any of us or assault me, then take him out. It's a little bit harsh, but you know what, people appreciate it and people love him for it. That's the reality.

KELLY: I've got to leave it there, guys. Thank you.

SHAPIRO: Thank you, Megyn.

KELLY: Also tonight, with Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders getting ready to battle it out in five states. Ed Henry is here with how this could go.

Plus, President Obama today, used a joint press conference with Canada's Prime Minister to attack the republican presidential field. You don't want to miss what he had to say when Rich Lowry and Kirsten Powers joins us, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: Well, there were some charged moments at last night's democratic debate as Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton got -- are getting ready to face off in five states over five days.

The latest polls show the former Secretary of State winning handily in Florida. That's the big prize on Tuesday. But after Bernie Sanders in his upset of Hillary in Michigan, he continues to fight.

Ed Henry, our chief White House correspondent, has the very latest. Hi, Ed.

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Megyn, good to see you. I'm at a Bernie Sanders' rally right now that just wrapped up. There were over 9,000 people here, because he's trying to make up ground as you said, here in Florida.

He's behind in the polls, he's hoping to catch up here, but he also wants to build on that momentum in the Midwest. Beyond Michigan, you have Ohio and Illinois. They think in the Sanders camp his message about the middle class is going to resonate next Tuesday.

It's going to have to because he's polling behind Hillary Clinton in the delegate map. Before this rally, Sanders agreed to an interview with Fox. He told me he's going all the way to the democratic convention in July. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HENRY: It's been going on months. This race has been dragging on.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, I-VT., DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are in, what I said in the beginning, that we will give to you. We are going to take this to the convention. We have real momentum behind us, and last I heard, there are 50 states in the United States of America. And we're going to compete in every one of them.

HENRY: But does it match, she's got the super delegates.

SANDERS: We have in our view, I'm not going to tell you it's easy, but we have a path towards victory. I think some of the states that are coming up, some of the very largest states California, New York, West Coast we're strong, Oregon, Washington State, Hawaii, we think we got a path toward victory.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HENRY: He's talking about California on June 7, hundreds of degrees. He thinks he might actually win there. There are Democratic Party officials skeptical of this talk about a 50-state strategy. They say they've been trying to get Bernie Sanders to help them raise money, but he's only focused on his campaign, not helping the party.

And the other reality here is that Bernie Sanders is behind Hillary Clinton on the math, so he may have momentum but he's going to have to come up with some wins next Tuesday, Megyn.

KELLY: Ed, great to see you.

Well, President Obama today made headlines when he referenced a Republican Party crackup. The president told the press that his policies are not to blame for the GOP candidate's swift rise in the polls and in particular, for the rise of Donald Trump to frontrunner status. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: What I'm not going to do is to validate some notion that the republican crackup that's been taking place is a consequence of actions that I have taken.

I think it is very important for them to reflect on what it is about the politics that they've engaged in, that allows the circus we've been seeing to transpire.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Joining me now, Kirsten powers, columnist and Fox News contributor, and Rich Lowry, who is editor at National Review, also a Fox News contributor. Rich, let me start with you on that. Is Obama to blame for whatever you want to call it, in the GOP crackup existential crisis. I mean, I've heard republicans say that not just the president but who is to blame for that?

RICH LOWRY, NATIONAL REVIEW EDITOR: All of the above. Well, look, no one is forcing anyone to vote for Donald Trump, but of course, Trump is in part a reaction to Barack Obama. Even David Axelrod, Obama's former adviser has pointed this out.

When you have a president who's been in office for two terms, at an open primary, very often the party out of power looks for someone who's the complete opposite of the president who's leaving office.

So, you had George W. Bush, you had this image of the cowboy, so you get Barack Obama, who is seemingly very thoughtful modulated law lecturer, and you have now Donald Trump, who is the opposite of that.

You know, great deal of bombast and emphasis on strength. And I do think a lot of republicans looked at President Obama's lawless executive orders on immigration and said, you know what, we need someone who is going to govern in exactly the same way, but just do it to the other side.

KELLY: That's fascinating. Kirsten, your thoughts?

KIRSTEN POWERS, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, I actually think that this is more of a reaction to the GOP establishment. Because David Axelrod's argument to me would work better in a general election. But in a primary, you have a choice of plenty of people who, you know, would be different than the president who are republicans.

So, why are they choosing Donald Trump over the alternatives? And I think it's because they feel that the republican establishment has let them down. And that really is a core of Donald Trump's message. And frankly, the other person who is doing well is Ted Cruz and that's much of his message, as well.

Which is that you can't trust the establishment that, you know, they're not going to do what they said they would do, that I'm going to come in and I'm going to do things differently. And that's part of I think why he's resonating so much among the GOP primary voters.

KELLY: What about that, Rich, because we've heard, you know, honest republicans lamenting the fact that there's this swath of the Republican Party working class that seems to have been forgotten. No one was really advocating for them, some, but not a lot got done for them.

LOWRY: That's definitely true. There's a lot of disgust and anger among average republicans with their own party and there are a lot of blue collar voters out there who feel that they've been neglected now for decades and Donald Trump has manage to become their champion.

And I hail him for that. I wish other republicans would try to speak to these voters more compellingly. But if I were President Obama, I wouldn't be so smug about this phenomenon.

Because if you look at the democratic side, you have a self-avowed socialist giving Hillary Clinton a heck of a run for her money. If you actually plot out Trump and Sanders' policy positions, there's much more overlap than you would expect.

They're both anti-establishment, they're anti-financial elite, they're anti-trade, and that's because they're both tapping into this populist sentiment that is out there in this country on both sides.

KELLY: Kirsten, speak to Rich's point of view, well, about weakness versus strength. Because this is something that Trump supporters love about him, that he, in their view, never backs down.

POWERS: Yes.

KELLY: You know, even if he's wrong, he just -- he doesn't back down. And they -- that has been very refreshing to those who love him.

POWERS: Yes. And in that way, I think some of them would say that they consider President Obama weak and so, therefore Trump is this great alternative. But I would go back to what I said before, I don't think very many of these people were ever is going to be voting outside of the GOP primary.

And so, they were going to vote for -- they're anti-Obama and they're going to vote for somebody who is a republican. And I think as much as they would say that Obama is weak, they would say that the GOP establishment is weak, that the GOP establishment doesn't stand up for them and doesn't stand up for the values that they say that they, you know, are supposed to be there to represent.

And so, I think that they are looking for somebody who, yes, isn't going to back down, and isn't going to be cowed by the media or by being politically correct.

KELLY: Hence the crackup. Great to see you both.

LOWRY: Thanks, Megyn.

POWERS: Exactly.

KELLY: Well, the Obama administration taking yet another bold stance when it comes to climate change, suggesting yesterday they have considered legal action against those who say they deny the science.

James Rosen is next on that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: Well, it's record high March temperatures along the East Coast have people again debating climate change. The Obama administration is announcing a plan that could actually punish folks who disagree with their views on the issue.

Chief Washington correspondent James Rosen has more from Washington. James?

JAMES ROSEN, CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Megyn, good evening. It was in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee that Attorney General, Loretta Lynch described yesterday how leading members of big oil and other so-called climate change deniers have come under the scrutiny of the FBI.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE, D-R.I.: Under President Obama, the Department of Justice has done nothing so far about the climate denial scheme.

LORETTA LYNCH, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: We have received information about it and have referred it to the FBI to consider whether or not it meets the criteria for what we could take action on. I'm not aware of a civil referral at this time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROSEN: Democratic congressman Ted Lu of California asked the Justice Department to investigate last year, specifically whether ExxonMobil has misled the public regarding the role of fossil fuels and climate change.

Lu, and other activists want the Obama administration to launch a civil racketeering prosecution against big oil companies and their allies such the tobacco companies faced under President Clinton, when cigarette makers came under fire for issuing studies denying harmful effects from smoking.

DOJ tells us it was standard procedure to refer the matter to the FBI, ExxonMobil has denied the allegations. To some analysts, however, the attorney general's testimony was troubling because it raised the project of the Federal government using its power to silence opponents of the White House on one of its signature domestic policy issues.

Lynch's language, specifically her statement that the probe was initiated with the intention of seeing whether action could be taken against the groups also raised concern.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL CARVIN, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL DEPUTY ASSISTANT: The attorney general's use of the word "could" is very telling because it's not as if they're going to analyze these issues on the merits and say would we or should we do it? They're looking for a pretax could we go after them?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROSEN: We asked DOJ how long this probe would take. Officials told us there is no timeframe as to when a decision will be made. Megyn?

KELLY: James, thank you. We'll be right back. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: Tune in tonight for a special 11 p.m. Eastern Edition of The Kelly File after the GOP debate for a complete wrap-up and analysis. The last debate before Super Tuesday 2, folks. How'd they do? We've got Senator Ted Cruz fresh off the debate stage. Frank Luntz spoke this group of Florida voters. Charles Krauthammer, Stirewalt, Kurt, Baer, Thiessen, Perino, Dana Loesch, Charlotte Hurt. See you at 11.

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