Priebus: Long floor fight at convention 'highly unlikely'; 'Confirmation' film about Clarence Thomas draws criticism

GOP chairman weighs in on 'The Kelly File' about how delegates will choose the Republican nominee


This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," April 15, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST, "The Kelly File":  Breaking tonight.  Republican front- runner Donald Trump going after political elites, his opponents, and the entire election system in a way we have not seen before.  

Welcome to THE KELLY FILE, everyone.  I'm Megyn Kelly.  Donald Trump trading the podium for the pen, writing a  blistering piece in The Wall Street Journal, that has gotten a lot of headlines, including asking the following -- let me ask America a question, how has the system been working out for you and your family?  Accusing GOP Party insiders of disenfranchising voters and calling for a reform of the nomination process.  

Trump coming out swinging now in a way that some say could enlarge his support beyond his core base.  And tonight, the RNC is responding. Releasing this memo stating the rules surrounding the delegate selection process have been clearly laid out.  Each process is easy to understand for those willing to learn it.  

Joining me now, Chris Stirewalt, our Fox News digital politics editor.  Chris, good to see you.  


KELLY:  Howdy!  So, what essentially is Donald Trump doing with this piece?

STIREWALT:  So it's one thing to say that you think the system needs to be reformed, and because remember, he's a populist.  And like populist progressives, they want more direct democracy.  Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump agree.  So that's one thing say and hear, reform the system and make it work better.  That means in the future, because we're almost already done with this one, that's different than what he was doing before.  Because what he was doing before was saying Ted Cruz is winning by cheating.  It's cheating, it's cheating, it's cheating.  What he realized, I think, or his campaign realized, now that there is actually (audio gap) something like a campaign around him (audio gap), he's hiring these K Street guys.  He's getting the people --   

KELLY:  Like Paul Manafort, he knows what he's doing.  

STIREWALT:  Yes.  Exactly.  If he's done it for (audio gap) before, and for Vladimir (audio gap) friends in the Ukraine, he can probably figure out the Colorado delegate apportionment process.  

KELLY:  Yes.

STIREWALT:  But what Trump is doing, it's going legit, it's saying, I'm going to make a substantive argument about larger issues, I'm going to talk about this up here, not just say that I hate Ted Cruz and he's a cheater, cheater, and --  

KELLY:  Well, he still is still kind of -- he is still talking about the system being rigged.  

STIREWALT:  Yes.  Yes.  Yes.

KELLY:  And you know, he's not a fan of Ted Cruz, we know this.  Nor vice versa.  But it seems interesting, because everybody is looking at Trump right now whether he's going to do the pivot and try to enlarge his support.  You know, his theory about the 5th Avenue rule, he can kill anybody -- he said shoot --  

STIREWALT:  Just maiming.  


KELLY:  They might leave if there had been an actual death.  


KELLY:  But the shooting he says, and they wouldn't leave him and he has been proven right.  And of course, that was all a joke, but what he meant was, my supporters are loyal to me.  And now, the question is, they're not going to leave him if he reaches out a little bit.  If he reaches out in a way that maybe they wouldn't have liked six moments ago but could be acceptable to them now.  Is that what he's doing?

STIREWALT:  I think he's tried before and had limited success.  But what he understands now is that he needs the Republican establishment in order to get this done.  Most likely scenario playing out right now is that he gets to the convention in Cleveland, just short.  Hundred short let's say or 150 short.  And if he comes in short, you know what he's going to need?  Unbound delegates to come and give him their support, because as we've talked about, if he can't win on the first ballot, it's going to be very
hard for him to win the --   

KELLY:  But can I ask you --  


KELLY:  Can I ask you because Trump is out there tonight saying, I think I'm going to get there to 1237 by the convention.  


KELLY:  I know that they all say -- even Ted Cruz is saying, I'm going to do it.  He's exactly not going to do it.


KELLY:  But Donald Trump is the one who has a shot.  And my question to you is, is there a way that's not absurd that Trump could do it?  I mean, you know like obviously Ted Cruz could do it.  He would have to win everything--  

STIREWALT:  Right.  Right.  

KELLY: -- entirely from this point forward, which he's not going to do.  


KELLY:  So, Is there a way that's not absurd for Trump to do it?  

STIREWALT:  Well, it's substantially less absurd.  And basically what it means is, you run up the score in New York, you tripped the winner take all on a statewide and on district levels, across the state, you take a bunch of delegates there.  And then for Trump, it basically comes down to shoot the moon in California.  And there's no state that has responded better where white voters has responded better to his rhetoric on immigration that it is in California.  And go to California and just crush it.  

There are so many delegates in California that it's conceivable, and it's not absurd that he could do it.  However, you know what we've seen from Ted Cruz?  People vote for him, and he's become better as a candidate.  He has improved to some degree.  And Republicans seem to be more accepting of Cruz than they were at the beginning.  So I think the shape of the race is here.  John Kasich is strictly absurd, 138 -- he'll have to reinvent the Pythagorean Theorem in order to somehow become the Republican nominee.  But--  

KELLY:  Chris paid attention in Math.  

STIREWALT:  Just to get out of it.  But we know that for Trump, it is possible.  It's just remote and he needs that in terms of policy of some establishment supporters on his side.  

KELLY:  Fascinating.  Great to see you, sir.  

STIREWALT:  You bet.  

KELLY:  So, for more reaction to this, we put together a little panel, a little panel for you.  Maybe you saw a little bit of this panel last night. New York Republican voters who will vote in four days and we asked them what they think of Mr. Trump's criticism of the nominating process.  Watch this.  


KELLY:  Raise your hand if you think Trump has a point that the system is rigged.  Interesting.  Even some non-Trump supporters believe that.  In the back, in the back, why do you think that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I think it's an example that came out yesterday, John Kasich's wife made a statement, keep supporting John Kasich so we can continue to deny the nomination to Trump.  To me, that's pretty telling.  

KELLY:  But that's strategy.  Right?  That's strategy.  They're arguing about whether the system, as created, is rigged to deny like a non-party endorsed person, which is Trump's claim.  Yes?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Not that it's rigged, it's way too complicated and way too problematic.  It's not rigged.

KELLY:  Doesn't everyone agree on that?  


KELLY:  I mean, that's not a point of contention.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  But we should change the system (audio gap) in the Republican and Democratic side.  There's no rigging, it's just an issue of the system itself.  

KELLY:  But that's in the next election.  I mean, it seems like the Trump people are upset about this.  Yes.  Go ahead.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  In some of these states, there's been a direct effort to take the vote of the voters in the primary, Donald Trump is one, and they've gone around and tried to pick delegates who don't agree with the voters of their own state.  

KELLY:  So that they can be freed up on the second vote -- so that they can be freed up on the second vote if they get to a second vote?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You have a whole situation here where Donald Trump and all the other candidates knew in August what the rules of the Colorado convention were going to be.  And they could put a ground game in.  Donald Trump chose not to.  So, whether or not he was competent, I'll let the voters decide.  But he's trying to tweet his way to the presidency.  You can't do that.  

KELLY:  Go ahead.  In the front.  In the front here.  

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It's not too complicated for Cruz to figure it out. He has a really good ground game, he is gaining delegates.  Trump just hired a state director in California.

KELLY:  Paul Manafort.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And Trump is, you know, he's losing one state after another.  When is he going to catch on and how the system works?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Why are they so afraid of Trump?  What is it about Trump that they're so afraid of?

KELLY:  Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You know, what?  The way I feel, just like this young lady said, Cruz is smart enough to figure it out.  It's about the delegates.  And one of the things, Trump is always saying he's going to surround himself with the best and brightest.  Where were the best and brightest to tell him you have to go and you have to talk with the delegates and win them?  And two of his children didn't even know to change their registration so they could vote for their father in the primary.  

KELLY:  Hello?


Okay.  Go ahead.  In the front.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It shouldn't have to do anything with the delegates.  
This should be about the voter, voting for who they want to be the nominee. Right now, if you look at it now, who is gaining?  Trump, Bernie Sanders. The voters do not want a politician.  We want an outsider.  Overwhelmingly, the country wants an outsider.  And, you know, I've seen this in my own town.  I'm not going to use the word rigged because it's not that it's rigged.  It's at the way the system is designed, it benefits the incumbents and it benefits the party bosses.  I see it on the national level.  I see it in my own town where I live, the same thing, they have a caucus.  If somebody wants to get in, you know, we have 7,000 registered Republicans in my town.  Two hundred people show up to the caucus.  

KELLY:  Now, here's my question.  Here's my question.  So, they're not going to change the rules midway through.  But the question is whether this is going to motivate Trump supporters like nothing else.  Like, they're going to come out in droves now in the remaining elections, because they're more motivated ever to make their voices heard.  Yes.  Go ahead.  In front of you.  Yes.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The only thing that Donald Trump is doing is dividing America, dividing the minority groups, dividing the Latinos, dividing the African-Americans.  That's the only thing Donald Trump is doing.  I mean, look what happened today in Long Island.  Look what happened today here in New York City.  So he's not winning the minority votes.  He's never going to be a president of the United States, no way he's going to become president.  

KELLY:  Yes.  In the middle.  In the middle.  In the middle of the middle. You.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Oh.  How was he able to amass all of these millions and millions of votes if he's a divider?  I would think he's a uniter.  


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It's so absurd that we're talking about the caucus that is really the closest to the people.  Every person in Colorado that was Republican was invited to go to the caucus.  Donald Trump, it's all his own fault.  He refused.  He scheduled to go and didn't even step his toe in Colorado.  

KELLY:  What about that?  What about that because he did not go to that caucus and Ted Cruz did?  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  They voted for delegates who were not bound.  I mean, that's like you give your children a vote, what do you want to eat tonight? This food or that food, they tell you and you say no, you can't have it. These delegates, they vote --  


KELLY:  Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  This is a forum to set up how we vote.  This is the actual vote.  When he doesn't win, then the forum is all wrong.  


KELLY:  Sir, in the front.  I can see that you're a Ted Cruz supporter.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  When you have a game, a baseball game, whatever, and both teams agree to follow the rules and one loses, it can't say oh, it's not fair.  They both have the same rules.  


KELLY:  Feisty panel.  We'll have more with them later.  So, now we've heard from some of the voters.  And up next, the RNC chairman will speak about the candidates, the convention, and what happens if this comes down to a floor fight?  

Plus, Mitt Romney has been a vocal critic of Donald Trump.  So tonight, we're speaking with Mr. Romney's niece about why she will be voting Trump on the first ballot in Cleveland.  

Plus, the President's executive order on immigration will face its biggest challenge yet on Monday when the Supreme Court is asked to decide whether he has violated the constitution.  And the lawyer fighting the White House is here tonight before his big battle.  

Then critics are fuming about a new movie they say is an attempt to revise history and changed the way we look at the Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill situation.  Both sides tonight with an unbelievable segment.  Don't go away.  


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You have to understand that this kind of response is not a typical and I can't explain it.  It takes an expert in psychology to explain how that can happen.  But it can happen.  Because it happened to me.  



DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  The Republicans want to play cute with us, right?  If I don't make it, you're going to have millions of people that don't vote for a Republican, they're not going to vote at all. Millions of people.  They're very, very angry and they're disenfranchised.  And then we have a rigged system on top of it.  But despite the rigging, I think we get there before the convention.  I think we do.  


KELLY:  That was Donald Trump just a few hours ago at a rally in Hartford, Connecticut as his fight with the RNC carries on.  A new FOX poll shows the businessman has widened his lead nationally.  Mr. Trump now stands at 45 percent, 18 points ahead of his closest competitor.  Ted Cruz has lost support while John Kasich is also picking up momentum.  Still, the question remains, will anyone actually clinch the nomination before the July convention?  Earlier I spoke with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus about the possibility of a contested contention.  


KELLY:  Everybody is looking forward to this July convention, wondering what is going to happen.  I understand that on the first vote, if Trump doesn't get 1237 or nobody does, then many of the delegates become unbound on the second vote.  And then they move on to the third vote, they're saying anything can happen, maybe they can go to somebody outside of the three men who are now running.  Is that -- how would that happen?  I know that that's not the likeliest scenario, but if they did decide okay, Cruz can't get it, Kasich can't, Trump can't, who would decide who the other potential candidate is?

REINCE PRIEBUS, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN:  The delegates on the floor would.  I mean, I think it's highly unlikely, Megyn, but if playing out your hypothetical, if we go through 25 ballots and no one can get to the majority, then the body would decide, you know, who the potential nominee would be.  

KELLY:  People just start throwing out names like the delegates -- the delegates can just start throwing out names, and if they get what, like a majority of the delegates to say yes, let's get that person in or how does it work?

PRIEBUS:  Whoever can get the majority votes of the delegates on the floor is going to be the nominee of the party.  Now, I think that hypothetical is highly unlikely --  

KELLY:  Uh-hm.

PRIEBUS:  But if you play it out, that's what the rules say.  The majority rules and whatever the majority on the floor decides is who the nominee is going to be.  

KELLY:  So some buzz could get going among the delegates, they could be like, you know, General Mattis, or whatever it is and then it goes from there.  Let me ask you this.  So, between June 7th when California votes among other states in July, you know, the end of July when the convention happens, these candidates are allowed to woo the delegates, like they can, you know, they can wine them, they can dine them, they can't give them cash, but they can do a bunch of other stuff.  So what do you think we should expect to see if no one has a clear majority as of June 7th, what do you think Trump is going to do with these delegates?  What do you anticipate Cruz is going to do with them?

PRIEBUS:  I have no idea, Megyn.  You know, here's the thing for everyone to understand.  No one has been through this before.  There are no experts at this process.  So, the last time we had a multi-ballot convention was in 1940.  So, you know, I know we're filling a lot of space on television, but no one really knows what to expect.  

KELLY:  That's got to be disconcerting for you.  

PRIEBUS:  Well, you know, listen, I mean, it is, because you always have to back down a lot of narratives.  I think we spend a lot of time on hypotheticals that I don't think are going to be reality.  I do think that the people running have the advantage.  I think this sort of hypothetical of some 25th ballot thing happening is very unlikely.  But we have to be ready for anything, and this is something that's new for our party and we don't know whether Ted Cruz or Donald Trump can actually get to the majority before the convention, which would put all of this to rest.  

KELLY:  Uh-hm.

PRIEBUS:  But we will be prepared as a party and that's my job is for us to be prepared and to help people understand the process --  

KELLY:  Do you do any like meditation technique --   


You may need to have some Eastern medicine or something introducing into your life between now and July.  It's just a thought.  You take it or reject it at your leisure.  

PRIEBUS:  You bet.  

KELLY:  Thanks, Mr. Chairman.  Great to see you.  

PRIEBUS:  You bet.  Thank you.  

KELLY:  Well, my next guest has pledged to support Donald Trump at the convention, at least on the first ballot.  Ronna Romney McDaniel is chairman of the Michigan Republican Party.  And yes, she is a member of that Romney family.  

Ronna, thank you so much for being here.  So your uncle is not going to like this.  Does he know that you're going vote for Donald Trump?

RONNA ROMNEY MCDANIEL, MICHIGAN REPUBLICAN PARTY CHAIRMAN:  I left that up to my dad to tell my uncle.  That was not a phone call I wanted to make. I'm pretty sure I'm out of the will at this point.  


KELLY:  But wait.  You're doing this as a delegate in Michigan, right?

MCDANIEL:  I'm actually the chair of the Michigan Republican Party, and I recognize that on March 8, Michiganders came in record numbers, we had 1.3 million Republicans come out in our election.  It was wonderful.  We want those voters engaged in the process.  So, as an RNC delegate, I chose to bind myself to the majority of the vote of Michigan.  I remain neutralist chair but I will be a Trump delegate in Cleveland.  

KELLY:  What about on the second ballot, that's the big question with the Trump delegates, will they stick by him on the second ballot if we get there?

MCDANIEL:  That's a great question.  I think as chair, it's incumbent upon me to show the voters that I am willing to represent them in Cleveland.  So my intention is to stay with the voters of Michigan, to show them that the Michigan Republican Party is not disenfranchising their vote.  We'll see what happens in Cleveland.  We're not there yet, thank goodness.  

KELLY:  So you think Trump has a point when he says, you know, what about all those people who went and voted?  You know, because he's used that word, that they would be disenfranchised if their delegates abandoned their orders, if you will, on the second ballot, even though the rules allow abandonment at that point.  

MCDANIEL:  I'm in a little different role as chair of the party.  Because I have to unify everybody at the end.  And if they feel like I'm playing games, it's hard for them to trust me as we go into a creedal coalition (ph).  But there are two parts of this election, which is the candidates. They know the rules.  They've been in place since October of 2015.  But the voters don't know the rules.  This is a whole new process to them.  It's getting more attention than it's ever received.  So in Michigan, we have worked very hard to be transparent, to explain to them the process, because we need them to trust us.  So they'll go vote for our candidate in November.  

KELLY:  Do you like Donald Trump?  Do you personally support his candidacy or are you not taking a position on that?

MCDANIEL:  I support any of our candidates about Hillary Clinton.  I'm going to be supporting our nominee wholeheartedly going into November.  

KELLY:  Quick question for you.  So you're in Michigan.  This is a state in which Kasich and Trump kind of cut a deal.  I don't want to get into the weeds because it's tough to understand.  But when it came to the delegate allegation, they kind of cut the deal and Ted Cruz got kicked off.  And it lead to a lot of people saying, Trump and Kasich are going to work together.  Kasich could be Trump's VP.  This is all a VP play by John Kasich.  Did they were together in a way that made you wonder whether they have a coalition, Trump and Kasich?

MCDANIEL:  It was actually more about personal relationships after our convention.  We did have a meeting of delegates to select who would serve on the rules committee, the credentials committee and the platform committee in Cleveland.  And you only have two spots for each of those committees.  So I'm not surprised that two of the campaigns cut a deal. And I think more of that was based on personal relationships between the delegates representing each of those candidates.  

KELLY:  Ronna, enjoy the skiing in, I guess it will be Colorado next year, not Utah.  Great to see you.  

MCDANIEL:  Great to see you.  Thank you.  

KELLY:  All the best.  So we're less than 72 hours away from a critical moment in the fight over illegal immigration, as the U.S.  Supreme Court on Monday, prepares to hear some 26 states argue that President Obama is defying the constitution with his executive orders protecting some millions of illegal immigrants in the country right now.  We have a primetime exclusive tonight with the man who will lead that argument on Monday coming up.  

Plus, as the Democratic Party finds itself growing further apart, can the Republicans come together?  Our panel is back on that.  Wait until you hear what they have to say, next.  


KELLY:  Raise your hand, Cruz people, if you could get behind Trump.  


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  At this point, it would be very difficult, but we have to.  





ANNOUNCER:  From the World Headquarters of FOX News, it's THE KELLY FILE with Megyn Kelly.  

KELLY:  Welcome back to "The Kelly File," everyone.  Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders squared off last night in their last face-to-face meeting before Tuesday's New York primary.  It turned out to be a debate so contentious, it's being dubbed "Brawl in Brooklyn."  Here's just a sample.  


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, I-VT., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I am sure a lot of people are very surprised to learn that you supported raising the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour.  

HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  You know, wait a minute, wait a minute.  Wait.  Come on.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS:  That's just not accurate.

CLINTON: I have stood on the debate stage with Senator Sanders eight prior times.

SANDERS:  Excuse me.  

CLINTON:  I have said the exact same thing.  

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR:  Secretary, Senator, please --  

CLINTON:  If we can raise it to $15 in New York or Los Angeles or Seattle, let's do it.


BLITZER:  Secretary, the viewers -- if you're both screaming at each other, the viewers won't be able to hear either of you.


KELLY:  Hmm.  Chief White House Correspondent Ed Henry just filed this report on what came after that.  Ed.

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT:  Megyn, tonight, Hillary Clinton is far from New York.  She's in San Francisco for the first of two fundraisers with George (audio gap) Clooney, scaring up funds because Bernie Sanders has been outraising her big-time.  Sanders is even further away.  He flew thousands of miles into the Vatican, not for a meeting with Pope Francis.  The Democratic socialist attended a conference, what he calls a moral economy, drawing inspiration from the Pope's own calls to get greed out of Wall Street.  A gamble to go that far a few days before this critical New York primary, but maybe Sanders and Clinton simply wanted to get out of dodge after a nasty Brooklyn brawl that may be their final face-to-face debate of this entire campaign.  A feisty Sanders landed jabs.  But the Clinton camp thinks he came across as angry and again struggled with specifics on how Wall Street money impacted her votes in the Senate.  


CLINTON:  Dana, he cannot come up with any example, because there is no example.  It is important -- it is important -- it's always important, it maybe inconvenient, but it's always important to get the facts straight.  I stood up against these behaviors of the banks when I was a senator.  I called them out.  

SANDERS:  Secretary Clinton called them out?  Oh, my goodness, they must have been really crushed by this.  



HENRY:  Bottom-line, this race has tightened nationally.  The latest FOX poll showing Clinton is only up a couple of points, though she still has a double digit lead right here in New York and it will take a herculean effort for Sanders to catch Clinton in her adopted home state.  But win or lose Tuesday, Sanders now has the money to stay in this race all the way until the Democratic convention in July, making this a longer, nastier struggle than Clinton ever imagined -- Megyn.    

KELLY:  Oh, boy.  Ed, thank you.  

As the Democratic candidates attack each other, does it open the door for the GOP to unite, and ultimately, defeat the Democrats come November? That's the question we presented to our panel of New York Republican voters last night.  


MEGYN KELLY, THE KELLY FILE SHOW HOST:  All right.  So first of all, raise your hand it is you're a Trump supporter.  Trump supporters, could you ever get behind Ted Cruz?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes.  We have to.  

KELLY:  Is there any Trump supporter who could not support Ted Cruz?  One, Boris, that's it.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I would have a tough time.  Actually, the New York values, I think it was a siren call against Jews and anti-Semitism.  

KELLY:   Oh, you do?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I do.  Remember the West Wing episode?


KELLY:  Oh, boy.


KELLY:  Do you think it was an anti-Semitic remark?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Can I say something?  Ted Cruz was just saying, just sort of echo a little bit of this sort of parallel, I think as a New Yorker, what I would like other New Yorkers at home that are going to vote on Tuesday to remember, for the last 7-1/2 years, as Republicans and conservatives, we've all complained about how Obama had no platform, he has no policy, and he's a danger to American national security, and to our infrastructure.  He's like the enemy within, and a lot of people feel that way.  On the flip side, Trump is literally the parallel on the right side of what Obama is.  He does not have policy.  He is.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  How can you say that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  He wants to pull out of NATO.  The man is actually a danger.  And Ted Cruz is the only one who consistently this entire time in the Senate, fought for everything that American voters asked the Republicans to do.  He single handedly fought for every single one of those issues.  And now, people are going to be blinded by celebrity and try to vote for Donald Trump.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  He's a first-term senator.  


KELLY:  Go.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  If he really accomplished so much, how come he's not winning?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Are you watching the same election that everybody else is watching?


KELLY:  Go ahead.  Are you done?  Go ahead.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The fact that you can turn around and compare Obama to Donald Trump is ridiculous.  First of all, Obama, first term senator, community organizer, extremely anti-American, let's not forget Reverend Wright.  

KELLY:  Let's not go over the top.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Donald Trump built a business, someone who has dealt with the intricacies of New York City to build skyscrapers.  This is a smart man.  Let me tell you something, out of everyone up there.


KELLY:  OK.  You, sir.  


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  One of the things that's good, we see the middle ground is Kasich.  Kasich is the one who really has been battlefield tested and if they need somebody to get behind, if he is not in front, he is the one of substance.  


KELLY:  Let me ask about that.  Trump and Cruz people, could you get behind John Kasich?  Raise your hand if you could.  



KELLY:   No?  Not at all?


KELLY:  So wait, Kasich people, could you -- raise your hand if you could get behind Donald Trump, raise your hand.  Kasich people, could you get behind Ted Cruz.  So you're open.  But we didn't ask the Cruz people whether they could ever get behind Donald Trump.  Raise your hand, Cruz people, if you could get behind Trump.  


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  At this point, it would be very difficult, but we have to.  


KELLY:  Raise your hand if you would never do it.  Why?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Donald Trump has absolutely no respect for women.  As a Republican woman, I get questioned, you're too smart to be a Republican, why are you a Republican?  He has zero respect from day one, to bringing up a spouse's medical history, how he treated Carly, frankly, how he treated you, Megyn, this is a disgrace.  And I don't understand how any Republican woman could vote for Donald Trump.  


KELLY:  They're saying would you rather have Hillary?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No to Hillary.  


KELLY:  They're saying would you rather have Hillary?  That's what they're asking.



KELLY:  Feisty panel.  I'm going to start doing this more.  


KELLY:  Coming up on Monday, it's the Supreme Court versus the commander- in-chief.  As more than half the states in the nation suggest that President Obama's executive action on immigration defies the Constitution.  There are some big stakes in this case on Monday and the Texas attorney general Ken Paxton is leading the charge.  He's next.  

Plus, a new HBO movie revisits the Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas hearings, that captivated the nation so many years ago.  One former Bush administration member is here, and he says this movie gives Anita Hill more credibility than she deserves.  We'll have both sides.  


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Unless you kowtow to the old order, this is what will happen to you.  



KELLY:  It may be one of the biggest challenges yet to President Obama's legacy.  On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments regarding the president's executive actions on immigration, an order that would allow an estimated four million people or more who are here in the U.S. illegally to stay, and obtain legal status.  With more than half of the state of the nation arguing that the commander-in-chief is trampling on the Constitution here, this is turning out to be about much more than just immigration policy.  Joining us now, a primetime exclusive, Texas attorney general, Ken Paxton.  Good to see you, Sir.  Thank you for being here.

KEN PAXTON, TEXAS ATTORNEY GENERAL:  Thanks for having me here.  

KELLY:  So how do you like your chances on Monday?

PAXTON:  I think we have a great case.  We think it's very clear that he violated the Constitution and this specific executive action is clearly illegal.  

KELLY:  You won repeatedly on this issue.  You challenged the executive order saying he was out of bounds constitutionally.  You've won, you've won, and you've won again.  Now, you go up to the Supreme Court, that's one man down because of the death of Justice Scalia.  

PAXTON:  Right.

KELLY:  How does that affect your chances?

PAXTON:  You know, we're very optimistic.  We won at the Fifth Circuit twice.  


KELLY:  That's a more conservative leaning court.  

PAXTON:  Yes, but we feel very strongly about our chances, because this is such a strong constitutional argument.  

KELLY:  What happens if court rejects your argument and sides with the Obama administration, do the executive actions on illegal immigration stand and the four million people can stay and obtain legal status?

PAXTON:  So basically if we lost, the injunction would go away and we would have the trial on the merits.  


KELLY:  So if you lose, it doesn't mean everyone could stay.

PAXTON:  That's right.

KELLY:  It just means you'll have to have a trial?

PAXTON:  That's right.  

KELLY:  Why do you think he overstepped his bounds?  The administration says prosecutorial discretion, we get to decide how to allocate resources, and we don't have the resources to go deport these four million people.  

PAXTON:  let me give you the premise (inaudible).  Over a six-year period, he said I can't do this, it's up to Congress.


KELLY:  I know.  But now he says, I was wrong.  He says I'm not a king, now he says I am a king.  


PAXTON:  He said over 20 times, but then, when he actually changed the law, he actually came out and said, I changed the law.  It is his own words when he signed the executive action into law.

KELLY:  Will the court look at that?  What he said?

PAXTON:  We brought it up.  We hope they will.  

KELLY:  He says look, there's a 2012 case, Arizona versus the United States, this is the administration.  They say this is from the court, Justice Anthony Kennedy writing for the court, discretion and enforcement of immigration law embraces immediate human concerns.  Unauthorized workers try and support their families for example likely pose less danger than alien smugglers or aliens who commit serious crimes.  They say all they need to do is get Justice Kennedy to come over to the side of the liberals, and use this sentence, and win.  

PAXTON:  Yeah.  But this isn't discretion.  This is changing what Congress said and doing just the opposite.  This isn't prosecutorial discretion, this is clearly changing law in a major way, it's not tweaking.  

KELLY:  Are you predicting victory?

PAXTON:  We're very encouraged.  

KELLY:  Ken, great to see you.  Thank you for being here.

PAXTON:  Thank you for having me on.

KELLY:  All the best.  Good luck.  

PAXTON:  Thank you.

KELLY:  And next, the executive producer and writer of the new HBO movie confirmation is here to talk about politics, gender and race that captivated the nation 25 years ago.  


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Is there any basis for it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  None.  She worked for me.  I treated her the same way I treat other people.  

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Why is she saying this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I don't know.  How can I answer that?  Someone lies about me, how am I supposed to know why?  



KELLY:  Tomorrow night, HBO will be premiering a new docudrama entitled Confirmation.  And it's already generating some controversy.  It tells the story to some extent of the explosive 1991 Supreme Court nomination and confirmation hearings of Clarence Thomas where Anita Hill, a 35-year-old law professor from Oklahoma, testified she had been sexually harassed by the nominee.  At the time, the hearings stirred controversy about race, gender, and sexual harassment in the workplace.  Now, the movie has drawn fire from some of the folks involved in the process.  Here's a clip. Watch.  


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Why in God's name when he left his position of power or status, or authority over you, why in God's name would you ever speak to a man like that for the rest of your life?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  That's a very good question.  And I am sure that I cannot answer it to your satisfaction.  That is one of the things that I have tried to do here today.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  This is a circus.  It's national disgrace.  From my standpoint, as a black American, as far as I'm concerned, it's a high tech lynching for blacks who in any way deemed to think for themselves, do for themselves, to have different ideas.  


KELLY:  Wow.  In moments, we'll be joined by Susannah Grant, the executive producer and writer of Confirmation.  And Mark Paoletta, a Former George H.W. Bush administration lawyer who helped usher Clarence Thomas through his Supreme Court confirmation.  We begin tonight with Mark.  Mark, good to see you.

Thank you for having me.  

KELLY:  So you read the screen play -- the script for this movie?

PAOLETTA:  That's right.  

KELLY:  And you didn't like it from the start.  Why?

PAOLETTA:  It was fundamentally dishonest.  What I saw an intentional effort to leave out the damaging testimony that undermined Anita Hill's testimony.  

KELLY:  Like what, can you remember anything for example?

PAOLETTA:  Sure.  One of the things that the American people remember that she went from one job to another, she claimed she was harassed on the Department of Education.

KELLY:  By Clarence Thomas.

PAOLETTA:  By Clarence Thomas.  And then she moved to the EOC with Clarence Thomas.  Who does that?  That's in the movie, OK, but it took three explanations why she went with him that were fundamentally false and proven false during the hearings.  That's what the American people saw and that's why they determined at the end of this hearing, trusted Clarence Thomas, 2- 1.  

KELLY:  Do you think she made the whole thing up?

PAOLETTA:  I do believe she made the whole thing up.  I think she got caught in a lie.  And some of her witnesses, the timetables didn't match up.  But I do believe she told a lie.

KELLY:  Why would she lie about it?

PAOLETTA:  I think she left her old law firm and she told some friends she had been sexually harassed.


PAOLETTA:  At the law firm.  And it happened long before she ever worked with him.  

KELLY:  You think she wanted attention?

PAOLETTA:  She got caught in a lie and she doubled down, and went forward with this lie.  And again, the movie shows her -- when the Senate Committee contacts her, immediately cooperating.  Anita Hill tried to take down Clarence Thomas with an anonymous complaint.  And her demand is that Thomas not know her name.  

KELLY:  But do you think that can be because she was his victim and she didn't want to face him?  I think that's another explanation.

PAOLETTA:  I think she was trying to manipulate the process and take him down without having to come forward.  

KELLY:  How do you think these hearings -- the nation was captivated by these hearings at that time.  



KELLY:  --a huge role in this.  

PAOLETTA:  Right.  

KELLY:  And they were not exactly on Ms. Hill's side.  

PAOLETTA:  I think Joe Biden was very much.  


KELLY:  Sorry.  (Inaudible) was not on her side at all.  

PAOLETTA:  He was asking fair questions of how the story added up.  

KELLY:  What is your problem with the movie, other than not including the things to diminish her credibility?

PAOLETTA:  Right.  Well, again, it's an effort to rewrite the history to show Anita was more credible than she was.  

KELLY:  Why?  Why do that?

PAOLETTA:  To make it like she was telling the truth and Clarence Thomas is lying.  

KELLY:  All right.  Stand by.  Because we have Susannah Grant with us, too.  
She is the executive producer and writer of Confirmation.  Susannah, your thoughts on Mark's charge there?

SUSANNAH GRANT, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER AND WRITER OF CONFIRMATION:  Well, I first want to tell you that I reached out to Mark Paoletta while I was working on this script a few times and I would have welcomed his input.  I reached out to as many people as I possibly could who are involved in the hearings, affiliated with both of the parties.  And I wanted, my intention all along was to get this as truthful and as accurate as possible.  I really would have welcomed his input then.  


GRANT:  Look, I'm not in the business of defending Anita Hill.  She can do that herself.  But I will say that there's a tremendous amount of independent documentation of these hearings done by very experienced journalists and you will find that the points that Mr. Paoletta brings up just don't pass muster when you really dig in to the facts.  

KELLY:  Do you feel like you have an opinion?  Having written the script, do you have an opinion about whether Anita Hill was telling the truth?

GRANT:  You know, Megyn, what I figured out at the absolute outset of this was that there are only two people who know what happened between those two people.  And you know, who knows if they're really even clear on it?  So I went into this with the clear understanding that I could never answer that question.  That wasn't what was interesting to me.  I don't think that's what's most interesting about these hearings.  What I think is interesting about these hearings that they were a watershed event in our collective cultural history.  They completely changed how we perceive and talk about women's rights in the workplace.  


KELLY:  One of the first times to hear about sexual harassment in the workplace, 1991.  It's not that it hasn't been happening, it's that this shined a big spotlight on it.  Whether it happened in this case is a different question.  But this did shine a big problem -- spotlight on that issue.  

GRANT:  Absolutely.  And the reason it was as explosive and the reason it captivated everyone's attention so much was because it was an unnamed unease within so many women's experiences.  This unfairness in their workplace and another thing that I really like about it, there's sort of an uncredited character in the movie and that's the American citizenry.  We have a lot of scenes where the phones in the senators' offices started ringing off the hook and it's the American people demanding that their representatives follow through on this.  They were not going to reconvene the hearings until the American people called up and said no.  This is something we really want to pay attention to.  I insist that you as my representative pay attention to this.  

KELLY:  And yet.

GRANT:  And they did.  I get very inspired by this.  

KELLY:  I have a question for you.  To what extent -- people believe that after Robert Bork was defeated, and that was the first time the process turned political.  It used to be if you're a qualified judge, good judge, you got on the bench.  Scalia got on there 98-0 even though they knew he was a conservative.  His judicial philosophy wasn't a secret.  And with Robert Bork, it started to change and the Republicans felt it's a continuation of that, they're doing it now to another nominee.  Is that political angle well covered?

GRANT:  I hope so.  It's certainly -- I hope you'll see the movie and you'll see that's actually how we start the movie, with the complete politicization of the confirmation process.  And obviously, that was a huge factor in this -- in the whole process.  

KELLY:  They felt that.


GRANT:  I'm very interested in the clash of the profoundly political and intensely personal that this dramatized.  

KELLY:  Well, I mean, the acting looks spectacular.  The clip alone is intriguing.  Susannah, thank you very much.  Mark, you're still here.  Did you want to say something?

PAOLETTA:  Sure.  I find it interesting.  A couple years later, Anita Hill goes on television and defends Bill Clinton against sexual harassment and sexual assault charges in 1998.  

KELLY:  Uh-huh.  Fascinating.  I think we have piqued the audience's curiosity.  Thank you for being here, Mark and Susannah.  

PAOLETTA:  Thanks for having me.

KELLY:  We'll be right back.  


KELLY:  What do you think those Anita Hill allegations?  Did you believe her at the time?  Go to  Follow me on Twitter, @megynkelly.  Let me know your thoughts.  Thanks for watching, everyone.  I'm Megyn Kelly. This is "The Kelly File."  Have a great weekend.  


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