Paul Manafort: Trump lauched first 'modern campaign'

Top strategist for the campaign says there's no reason for Trump to change on 'The Kelly File'


This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," May 4, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Breaking tonight, then there was one. If there was any doubt 24 hours ago that Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee for president, all doubt vanished about four hours ago.  As the last man standing in Mr. Trump's way, Ohio Governor John Kasich, officially bowed out of the Republican race.

Welcome to "The Kelly File," everyone. I'm Megyn Kelly. Governor Kasich's move clears the way now for the Trump campaign to focus all of its efforts on Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee who remains locked in a battle for the nomination with Bernie Sanders. If the latest polls are correct, Mr. Trump will need all the help he can get. Not only is he trailing Mrs. Clinton, but reports suggest he is playing catch-up in organizing his general election campaign. In moments, we will speak about election strategy with Paul Manafort, one of Donald Trump's top political strategists.

But we begin tonight with our chief political correspondent Carl Cameron reporting tonight from Washington. Carl?

CARL CAMERON, FOX NEWS CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Megyn.  Trump is not only the presumptive nominee he's now uncontested. So, instead of focusing on the last nine contests, he can get to work on winning the general election in November. The latest national poll by CNN/ORC taken before his big win last night shows Trump trailing Hillary Clinton by double digits. Trump knows that the Clinton campaign is already organizing to attack him in key swing states and so Trump aides have let it be known that they're getting delegates with calls from veteran GOP operatives around the country who now say they are ready to get on the so- called Trump train.

Trump's top Ben Carson to run his running mate search team and vet potential prospects. Trump is expected to decide and announce his choice shortly before the July GOP convention in Cleveland. He's been arguing for more than a year that unlike his rivals who he called bought and paid for by big donors that Trump has not been influenced by special interests because he's financed his run so far. But now he's planning to start fund- raising for the general election which could tarnish his image a bit as immune to what critics say is the corrupting power of money in politics.

Trump aides acknowledge that their big data social media campaign and a few other departments are not yet really up to presidential campaign standards but now that Trump's rivals are toast instead of spending the next two months preparing for a contested convention, they can use the time to get ready for the national campaign and ready to rock against Clinton -- Megyn.  

KELLY: Carl, thank you. So, for all the talk of a contested Republican convention, at least one man accurately predicted that would not be the case. Just days after Ted Cruz's final primary victory in early April, Paul Manafort said Donald Trump would secure this nomination prior to the convention. Listen.


PAUL MANAFORT, TRUMP STRATEGIST AND CONVENTION MANAGER: This process will be over with sometime in June, probably June 7th. And it will be apparent to the world. That Trump is over the 1237 number. At that point in time when it is apparent, everything is going to come together.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You think Trump gets to 1237?

MANAFORT: Absolutely.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Before the convention.  

MANAFORT: Absolutely.


KELLY: In fact, Mr. Trump did all of that and more.

Joining us now, the man you just heard from Paul Manafort, Trump campaign strategist and convention manager. Paul, great to see you.  

MANAFORT: Great to see you.  

KELLY: So, what did you see that the rest of America did not?

MANAFORT: Well, Donald Trump was running a historic campaign when I joined the campaign. He had put the first modern campaign together in dealing with social media, dealing with earned media and speaking directly to the American people. He didn't have any of the traditional organizational elements that were keeping his campaign afoot. And so in the beginning when he was winning primaries he was accomplishing his objective by really having his message resonate with the American people. As the process got closer to the middle and the end, the campaign needed to focus more on not just winning but winning with specific delegate totals in the states.

And that's when he reached out and asked me to join him, and what I had when I started was a tremendous candidate, probably the best communicator since Ronald Reagan, as far as having a vision, having a message and being able to communicate over the media, over the noise of the campaign, and so it just needed to make sure that the campaign structures were serving his needs to make sure that he was not just communicating with people, not just winning but winning what I call smart or focusing on delegates.

KELLY: Uh-hm.

MANAFORT: And the path was clear. He had overachieved by the time the primaries were halfway over and his numbers were much higher than I think most of his opponents thought they would be as far as delegates were concerned. And as the other campaigns started to fail and drop off, it was his message that was resonating. In fact, we were able to make sure it was heard in all the right places at the right times, the campaign came together and you saw him not just winning but winning with 50 percent, 55, then 60.

KELLY: His margins started to go up. Now, when you spoke to some party leaders down in Hollywood, Florida, they were meeting at one of their regular meetings, you said, look, the part he's been playing, those are your words, in the primary process is going to change as he goes forward and faces more of a general election contest. Did you believe that, you know, sort of the bombast of the first nine, ten months wouldn't be suitable for the next challenge he faces?

MANAFORT: No. The question was focusing on the kind of environments that he would be giving speeches in, and part what was reported out was only focusing on the rallies that he was doing, what I was talking about was he was going to start moving into other arenas, other formats.  

KELLY: But what do you think about that? I mean, in terms of tone, he's been asked about this, too, what kind of, you know, what kind of Donald Trump do you think we're going to be seeing now, in other words? Same guy we saw all along or a difference?

MANAFORT: There's no reason for Donald Trump to change a thing. I mean, he's just won a historic race against 16 opponents.

KELLY: Uh-hm.

MANAFORT: He's now the highest vote getter in Republican history as far as the primary process is concerned. And he beat the field handily. So, there is nothing for Donald Trump to change.  

KELLY: But you know why critics say that he would have to consider it because he was running with Republican voters before. And now he needs to get more than just Republicans to want to vote for him.  

MANAFORT: But those critics also said he would never get to 30 percent or 40 percent or 50 percent, would never be the nominee. They don't understand the Trump phenomenon. And they don't understand that his connection to the people is not being a conventional but to be a candidate who is being honest and forthright and talking about the real problems and making clear that they understand that he's going to bring real solutions not just Washington talk.  

KELLY: Is it true you told him to step away from the Twitter?

MANAFORT: I would never tell him to do that.  

KELLY: You didn't say anything about the tweeting or retweeting?

MANAFORT: There was no reason for him to step away from the Twitter. He was doing fine. And again, there was nothing --

KELLY: And even he has admitted there were a couple of mistakes on the Twitter.  

MANAFORT: He can admit that. I'm not going to admit that.


KELLY: You're a loyal soldier.  

MANAFORT: No. But I mean, he understood what was going on. There was no reason to change that.

KELLY: Well, I mean, it's not a question of, you know, his honesty and his -- but you know, some of the things.  

MANAFORT: What need to be changed is the structure needed to become more conventional. That's what wasn't there when I joined the campaign. And that's what we brought to the campaign.  

KELLY: So, what happens now? You know, we cited the general election poll. And you know that in 99 percent of the polls she's beating him right now. We're seven months out. But she's beating him. "New York Times" ran an article today saying, Donald Trump is faring worse than Romney among White voters in all presidential battleground states even in states that Romney won like Colorado, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Big disadvantage in Florida, in Virginia, even in North Carolina and Arizona which Mitt Romney won. They're saying he's not matching up to Mitt Romney when it comes to the White vote. And that's what he's really going to need to win. So, how do you and he turn that around?

MANAFORT: Polls today aren't really relevant. In 1980, Ronald Reagan was down to 25 points to Jimmy Carter at this point in time. We've just come through a bruising Republican primary. You know, there's plenty of time for Donald Trump to fix those issues.

KELLY: Uh-hm.

MANAFORT: Plus, there are polls out today that show him down two and up two. The polls are all over the place, and they're not --

KELLY: They're not really. There's one poll, a Rasmussen poll that shows him up two.  

MANAFORT: There's a battleground poll which showed him down three. And so, I mean, they're all over the place. But the important thing is polls aren't relevant today given that we've now starting the process of unifying the party.

KELLY: Uh-hm.

MANAFORT: We're going to have a positive convention. We're not going to be dealing with the kinds of problems that the Democrats are going to be dealing with at their convention. And Donald Trump will have the time to put together the general campaign structure, work with the RNC --  

KELLY: Any thoughts on VP nomination?

MANAFORT: He's just started those deliberations. He did not want to get involved in thinking about those things.  

KELLY: Do you believe what people say, that it has to be somebody like Susanna Martinez, a woman, a Latina?

MANAFORT: He said he is looking for somebody who has Washington experience and someone who can help him in dealing with the problems in foreign policy and defense policy. That's more important in my judgment. And that's what he thinks which is even more important.  

KELLY: I have got to go. But I have to ask you this question, he has promised a better convention than the Republicans had four years ago. They don't do stage craft very well. It's true that Obama's convention was so much better than Romney's. It just was. Sorry, Mitt. What clearly can they get? What are some kind of a new band? What are we going to see?

MANAFORT: Donald Trump understands television. I think you'll find our convention will be gripping and you'll want to watch every minute of it.  

KELLY: And I certainly will be there. Paul, it's great to see you.  

MANAFORT: Thank you.  

KELLY: Thanks so much.  

And you'll want to watch every minute of you. And you can do that right here on FOX.  

So, what is the Trump campaign going to do about some of the angry Republicans who are now literally quitting the Republican Party? Herman Cain is here next with some answers on that.

Plus, Hillary Clinton today talked about what she's planning if Trump goes after her husband. Dana Perino is here with some thoughts on that and some tips for Mr. Trump.  

And then a tragic car accident leaves one girl dead. Her friend in a coma.  And their families given the wrong information about which girl was which in a horrifying case of mistaken identity. Now the survivor is finally speaking out. And she joins us here just ahead.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of people actually wonder this, like, what will people say at your funeral about you? But the weird thing is that I already know that answer.



KELLY: Breaking tonight in the 24 hours since Donald Trump took Indiana and became the presumptive nominee, we have seen a whole series of dramatic announcements from some conservative and Republican opponents. Some of them are not only vowing that they will never vote Trump, but they went so far as to literally quit the Republican Party.

One of those was Phil Klein, managing editor of The Washington Examiner.  And he joins us now along with Ben Domenech, he is the publisher of the Federalist and another outspoken Trump critic. Great to see you both.

Phil, so, it's a dramatic move. You came out and said, I have officially deregistered as a Republican and you are not alone. Why?

PHIL KLEIN, MANAGING EDITOR, THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Well, I am not a professional Republican. I'm a journalist, and I have conservative viewpoints. And the Republican Party is not an end in and of itself to me.  It's a means to an end. And that's to advance conservative principles that I agree with. And I've outlined for months and months how I did not think that Donald Trump did that, in fact, quite the opposite. The Republican Party has chosen to embrace Donald Trump. That's their prerogative. But this is where I get off the boat.

KELLY: The person who heads up the PAC that's opposing Trump, Katie Packer, came out and said, there's a sense by some, like Katie, that if this is who my party is, I don't really identify with it anymore. That's where you're coming from?

KLEIN: Absolutely. I just don't think that Trump meets the basic fitness level to be president. I don't appreciate his rhetoric. I think that he's exploited and inflamed bigotry and sexism. That's not the type of conservative message I abide by, which is about limited government, returning power to the states, and focusing on the constitution.  

KELLY: Now, you know, Phil, that everybody -- not everybody but those who are supporting Trump will say, get on board, Phil. Do you really want Hillary Clinton? You know, you should be Never Hillary instead of Never Trump.  

KLEIN: Look, I am also Never Hillary. I mean, to be clear, I'd never cast a vote for Hillary Clinton. But, you know, the Republican Party is not my family, okay? It only has value to me in the sense that traditionally it's been more likely than the Democratic Party to advance ideas that I believe in. That's clearly no longer the case. I mean, just today Donald Trump talked about raising the minimum wage. So clearly he's supported socialized medicine and all the things that we've documented for months and months. And the Republican Party has decided that none of those things are disqualifying nor any of his various long litany of statements, none of that is disqualifying for them. It is disqualifying for me.

KLEIN: Ben, something happened last night on Twitter and online where different Republicans, like Mark Souther (ph), who was a strategist of John McCain's, he came out and said, I'm with her. And there was a hash tag going around among Republicans, I'm with her, Ben Howe contributing editor at Red State, I'm with her, good-bye GOP. These are people saying they will vote for Hillary, especially given her stance on National Security issues, that's how Steve Schmidt put it. He said that on issues of National Security, there are many Republicans who will endorse Hillary Clinton. Do you believe that?

BEN DOMENECH, PUBLISHER, THE FEDERALIST: I think that there's certainly a number of Republicans who are going to shift over and support Hillary Clinton, but I don't really think that that number is going to be all that significant in the big scheme of things. I understand there's been a disturbance in the force. You've heard a lot of voices cry out on Twitter and elsewhere about what's gone on within the Republican Party and people who I respect like Phil who can't support Donald Trump for ideological reasons are going to be a portion of the electorate. But what we are already seeing in the polls that you're seeing, the CNN poll that you referenced earlier in the program, you're already seeing 84 to 83 percent of Republicans and Republican leaners saying that they're going to support Trump.

You're already seeing a kind of unification around him among most of the party members. I think you're going to continue to see that. There was a lot of animosity towards Mitt Romney after the 2102 primary was over, he ended up winning 93 percent of the Republicans. The problem for Donald Trump is, even if he won 100 percent of the Republicans in that poll, he would still be losing to Hillary Clinton. He needs to expand his base in states like Pennsylvania and Ohio and Michigan, especially among the women who have been turned off by a lot of his comments over the past several months. He needs to make up the distance with them more than he does with the conservatives who have ideological objections to his candidacy.  

KELLY: What do you make of what Paul Manafort was saying, Ben? Where he was saying, look, anybody who is telling you that Trump can't win with some of these Democrats and Independents, those are the same people who were saying he couldn't win this nomination and they have been proven wrong?

DOMENECH: Well, I was saying that he could win the nomination back in August of last year, and I think that, you know, some of those critics still had points when it came to the sort of pointless arguments that he made at certain points in the course of this election that drove up those negatives. I do think that he can make up a lot of that over the course of the coming months but he needs to start now and it needs to be -- I think it needs to be in a very sustained way to make up some of these negatives that we've seen particularly among minority groups who should be open to some of his economic messages and among women who have been turned off by a lot of his rhetoric over the past couple of weeks. It's possible, but it is something he has to sort of shoot the moon on.  

KELLY: I got to get to Herman Cain. But I want to ask you quickly Phil, before I let you go. Do you see yourself ever wavering on this? Do you see yourself once wounds heal, crossing over to support Trump?

KLEIN: Never means never.

KELLY: Great to see you both.

DOMENECH: Good to be with you.  

KELLY: Thanks, guys. And joining us now, Herman Cain, former GOP presidential candidate, FOX News contributor and author of "The Right Problems." What the President, Congress and every candidate should be working on.

Herman, great to see you.


KELLY: What do you make of that? What Phil Klein said and what Steve Schmidt said and what, you know, Mark Souther said and some of these other guys said, I'm with her?

CAIN: Well, all of the people that are Never Trump, the Republican tent got bigger, but they don't want it to get bigger. They want to stay in a narrow definition of the Republican Party, a narrow definition of what conservatism is all about. Secondly, if they were to take the time and step back and look at Donald Trump's top priorities, not all of the political noise, they will find that they are more aligned with the big issues relative to what Donald Trump is talking about than all of this political noise.

So, I think that this is kind of like a wound. It takes time to heal. And the deeper the wound, the longer it takes. Now, some people like Theo, it may never heal. That's why he's saying Never Trump. That's his prerogative to do so. But I happen to believe as some of the others have said that I see a movement of more people saying, okay, let's get real.  I'd rather have Trump and Never Hillary than to have Hillary and Never Trump. That's the movement --

KELLY: And just to correct what I've said, Phil is not "I'm with her."  That was a different thought. Phil did not say, he's with her, Mark Souther who says he's with her along with a couple of other folks.  

CAIN: Right.  

KELLY: But what do you make of the fact, you know, Paul Manafort is a good soldier to Donald Trump, but there is one questionable Rasmussen poll that shows Trump beating Hillary in the general by two points and there is one battleground state poll that puts him behind Hillary by just three. But all of the national polls, all of them, put her beating him and most of those show her beating him by double digits, up to 15 points. So you have to admit he's got some work to do. What is the work? What is it?

CAIN: He has some work to do, Megyn. And I indicated this in a commentary nine months ago. It's 50 percent perception, and that perception is shaped by the sound bites that people hear and see continuously over long periods of time. What Donald Trump and his campaign has to do is to try and reshape that perception. Secondly, I don't believe all of these polls because too many of them can be manipulated or they'll use a very small sample size and say, wow, look at this result.

KELLY: Think all of them are wrong?

CAIN: No, not all of them are wrong.  

KELLY: But that's a different argument than saying, okay, they're right, but he has seven months to turn it around. You're saying all these polls are just wrong right now?

CAIN: No, no, no, I didn't say all of them are wrong, Megyn. I said some of them can be manipulated and some of them have been manipulated. What I'm saying is, between now and the convention, now that the field is clear, I believe Donald Trump can help reshape that perception. Perception is driven a lot by the messages that are coming through the media. That's just the way it is.

KELLY: Uh-hm.

CAIN: And he's been a master of that leading up to this point, and I believe he's going to understand what he needs to do to help reshape that.  So I'm not excited about what the polls say today. I will be concerned about what the polls say three months from now.

KELLY: Uh-hm. And, you know, he's pointed out many times he has not yet started on her.  

CAIN: Yes.  

KELLY: And he has proven if there's one thing Donald Trump has proven is that, he's a master at controlling the message through the media. Herman, it's always great to see you.

CAIN: Thanks, Megyn.  

KELLY: Well, also tonight, Jason Riley, you know, him, he is a member of the editorial board at the "Wall Street Journal." And he is also a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and the author of two respected books, so why does Virginia tech reportedly think he's too dangerous to speak at their school? Cupcake alert! We'll ask Jason coming up.  

Plus, Fox News today talked with the hacker who claims to have broken into Hillary Clinton's e-mail. This is unbelievable what Catherine Herridge did.

Up next, see what he says he found when he went there.

And then Dana Perino joins us on Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and how Hillary Clinton's husband may find himself at the heart of their fight for the White House.  


HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If he wants to follow in the footsteps of those who have tried to knock me down and take me out of the political arena, I'm more than happy to have him do that.


ANNOUNCER: From the world headquarters of Fox News, it's "The Kelly File" with Megyn Kelly.

KELLY: Breaking tonight, presumptive Democratic nominee -- can we say that yet? Sanders is still in -- Hillary Clinton is now talking general election. And in moments Dana Perino is here with the eye-opening interview she just gave today. But first the details on an exclusive and unbelievable interview from jail with a criminal who's been extradited to the United States who claims he hacked the former secretary of state's server, Catherine Herridge has the details. Watch this. Catherine.

CATHERINE HERRIDGE, FOX NEWS CHIEF INTELLIGENCE CORRESPONDENT: Megyn, Fox News first wrote to the hacker on April 19th as part of our ongoing reporting of the Clinton e-mail investigation after we met with him in a Virginia jail. We followed up in a series of phone calls where he allowed us to record the conversation for broadcast.


HERRIDGE (voice-over): Forty four-year-old Marcel Lehel Lazar who goes by the moniker Guccifer claimed it happened in early 2013.

You accessed a lot of accounts, Marcel.


HERRIDGE: Is the Clinton server easy or hard?

LAZAR: No, for me was easy, was easy for me. For everybody.  

HERRIDGE: Lazar was extradited to the U.S. from Romania last month to face trial in Alexandria, Virginia, for cyber-crimes. One of his alleged victims is long time Clinton aide Sydney Blumenthal. After researching his target, Lazar told Fox he accessed the account by correctly guessing Blumenthal's security question. Then he sent content from the account to the media. And for the first time publicly exposed the Clinton e-mail address.  

How many times did you access the Clinton server, Marcel?

LAZAR: I say like twice. For me, it was not like the Hillary Clinton server, it was like an e-mail server she and others were using with political voting stuff.  

HERRIDGE: While Lazar's claims cannot be independently verified. Three computer security specialist told FOX the Clinton server now in FBI hands may have an electronic trail that would confirm or disprove his claims.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unfortunately in this community a lot of people make up stories and it's hard to know what's really true until you get into the forensics information and get hard facts.

HERRIDGE: This week, Mrs. Clinton was asked about security.  

ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS CHIEF FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Any indication that your private server was hacked by foreign hackers?

CLINTON: No, not at all.  


HERRIDGE: Tonight, the Clinton campaign issued a statement calling the hacker a criminal, his claims baseless, and no government agency has notified them the server was hacked. For context, a plea agreement wherein Lazar cooperates with the FBI in exchange for a reduced sentence would be advantageous in his position -- Megyn.   

KELLY: Thank you. Well, Mrs. Clinton also gave a big sit-down today on the general election just as the Trump camp was saying Clinton has, "never been truly vetted." She sounded fired up at the prospect of taking on the political newcomer. Watch here.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: He's made references to your marriage, to your husband. Are you prepared?

CLINTON: Well, he's not the first one, Anderson. I just can't -- I can't say this often enough. If he wants to go back to the playbook of the 1990s, if he wants to follow in the footsteps of those who have tried to knock me down and take me out of the political arena, I'm more than happy to have him do that.


KELLY: For his part, Donald Trump is now saying Clinton can choose which road, high or low, this campaign will travel down. Watch.


DONALD TRUMP,  R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, if she wants to go the low road, I'm fine with that and if she wants to go the high road, which probably I would prefer, I would be fine with that. I can handle the low road if I have to do it.


KELLY: Joining me now, co-host of "The Five" and best-selling author "And The Good News Is" Dana Perino. She served as White House press secretary under President George W. Bush. Dana, good to see you.


KELLY: Wow, quite a flurry of information there. Let's just start -- let's start with the last part and work our way back.


KELLY: She's laughing it off. You'll go back to the '90s and Bill Clinton, but you know Trump's going there.

PERINO: Well, I mean, she wants to go there as well because there's a lot of nostalgia by Democrats for Bill Clinton and she's proven on the campaign trail -- she's even admitted it herself, that she's not the politician that her husband is, and so there's not as much of appeal. Plus...

KELLY: But that's not where Trump is going to take them. I mean, he might take a little bit because he's going to attack Clinton on NAFTA. But if he takes them back to 1990, he's going to take them back to Lewinsky and Paula Jones and all that -- he's made clear.

PERINO: That's right.

KELLY: ...because Democrats do not have nostalgia for that.

PERINO: They don't, but they also think -- I think a lot of them think that it's old news and if there's one thing that we have learned over the past 30 years is that when Republicans overplay their hand with the Clintons and they become the victims, then the media will always help defend them and it actually ends up working in their favor.

KELLY: But don't you think if Trump raises that stuff it would be as he puts it a counterpunch.

PERINO: Absolutely.

KELLY: She'll call him a sexist. Then he'll say...

PERINO: Oh, really?

KELLY: ...your husband is the biggest sexist of them all and you supported him.

PERINO: Yes, there are plenty of tools in the tool kit for him to be able to dismantle her arguments and he can do it, but a little bit -- it's not going to take much. It's a light touch. I mean, they are vulnerable on some of those things.

KELLY: What advice would you give to Trump now, you know, in handling her and in winning more people over to his side?

PERINO: I think there are two very important things and you had a segment on earlier tonight about Republicans and the decision making and Herman Cain saying it might take some people a little bit longer. I think that one thing Donald Trump should signal and also to think about for himself is that if you have a down ballot politician Republican, meaning somebody is running for a house seat, a senate seat or even something smaller -- if they decide that they need to distance from Donald Trump in order to win their sear based on their constituency that they know, he should let them do that. He should give them permissive.

KELLY: How would he not let them do it?

PERINO: Well, you can -- I mean, you can get offended or you can get insulted by somebody saying but no, I disagree with Donald Trump...

KELLY: Why should he let them do it? Because it must be more beneficial to him to have everybody fighting for him in their district.

PERINO: Well, that would be a nice goal but that is not going to be the case when you see somebody's number that you're talking about. People that know their districts know that if they have that -- let's say they have a high Hispanic level in their district but they are Republican who has good chance of winning that seat.

They might have to distance themselves from Donald Trump in order to win the seat. And he should want them to do that because it would be better for him to have more Republicans there. All presidents are going to have some people distance themselves. Obama did in his second midterm. Bush did in his second midterm and you have to let them do it.

KELLY: What do you make of the Catherine Herridge report? Now hackers, I mean that guy is in prison so God knows whether what he is saying is true. But it was a fascinating interview and the e-mail issue and the server issue is going to be exploited by Donald Trump.

PERINO: And it should and I -- this is another thing I would say that Donald Trump should do. You know the record very well about the Benghazi and the e-mails. Donald Trump needs to know her record better than she does because she gets confused. Her campaign statements are always like one -- a day late and a dollar short and they're confusing based on other ones that they've put out in the past.

You can hardly keep up with it. It is easy to poke holes in her argument if you know her record better than she does. And on in this case with Guccifer, whether he's telling the truth or not from prison. I mean, I do believe that he's a good hacker and when he says it's not that hard, like I'm not really even that good, anybody could have done this --

KELLY: Could have done that in his sleep.

PERINO: Right, and if you're able to guess Sydney Blumenthal's security question, made me think I should go change mine.

KELLY: I know it's not the same thing.

PERINO: What was your first concert?

KELLY: What do you mean? No, it wasn't it. I lied. Guccifer is a scary name and it's always scary...

PERINO: It's all about the branding.

KELLY: He's got like the accent from the prison cell and Catherine, she gets the story. It was a great interview. Anyway, we'll see whether it was true. Dana, great to see you.

PERINO: Thank you.

KELLY: Up next, Wall Street Journal writer Jason Riley joins us on why one college reportedly decided he was too dangerous to speak on their campus. How could they possibly take him? Look, Jason. He'll be here to tell you his story.

Plus, imagine waking up from a coma and learning that your family just went to your funeral. We'll speak to the woman at the center of a heartbreaking case of mistaken identity.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Looking back, I'm so proud she would call me her best friend and I couldn't have asked for a better last year with her. I could remember just watching her sometimes and being so proud.  


KELLY: Developing tonight, another stunning story from what used to be a sanctuary for free thought -- the American college campus. This time it involves Virginia Tech, reportedly rescinding a speaking invitation to Jason Riley, a "Wall Street Journal" columnist and member of the paper's editorial board. First came the e-mail invitation to give a lecture on campus. Then a follow-up e-mail saying the department had decided not to formalize the invitation because he's, "afraid there could be protests over Jason's appearance."

Jason Riley is not only a Wall Street Journal contributor, he's also a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and he is here now with no protest whatsoever. Why? Why would people be protesting Jason Riley's appearance?

JASON RILEY, WALL STREET JOURNAL COLUMNIST: Well, I think the idea is to limit the access of students to conservative thinkers in general and black conservatives in particular.

KELLY: You think they don't like your book?

RILEY: Could be. I wouldn't be surprised.

KELLY: "Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed."

RILEY: That could be it. Liberals still think there's a certain way that black people are supposed to think about issues in this country, and nowhere is that notion more vigorously enforced than on our college campuses today. So I think, yes, that was very much a part of it.

You know, Megyn, if I went out and gave speeches about how the Black Lives Matter Movement is doing great things for this country or how, you know, every problem in black America can be blamed on white racism, I think Virginia Tech would have welcomed me with open arms.

KELLY: Do you think if the name of your book were "Please Help Us: How Conservatives Make it Harder for Blacks to Succeed," they would have had you right on.

RILEY: Exactly. Instead they're not only claiming I was never invited despite sending an e-mail that includes the words, my purpose in writing is to invite you to give the fall (ph) 2016 lecture. If that's our limitation then words have no meaning. Despite that, you know, they're going around claiming that I'm making up stories about being invited to speak on college campuses.

KELLY: Right, why would you do that? In all your spare time. Who else can I pick on in.

RILEY: It's outrageous.

KELLY: You know, we're laughing because it's either laugh or cry, but this is a serious, serious problem.


KELLY: Colleges used to be a place where we encouraged dissent and free thinking and a free exchange of ideas, conservative, liberal, what have you. We had a woman on the show a couple of weeks ago from Harvard, a student right down at Harvard, who said in one of her classes a student refused to sit by another student because she knew that he was pro-life. And the professor not only allowed it, encouraged it and didn't say, get it together, sister. We have to be around people who don't think as we do.

RILEY: Right. It's a very unhealthy environment on campus. You're taught that your ideological foes are not only wrong but evil. You're not taught to engage. You're taught to silence them. And you're taught that by the faculty who pull stunts like they did...

KELLY: And who grade you -- who's grade you.

RILEY: And they will grade you. And it's happening not just to people like this. It's far more consequential and accomplished people. You know, our colleague George Will it's happened to, Condoleezza Rice it's happened to. You can go down the list.

KELLY: Ben Shapiro just got shouted down at a university.

RILEY: The former New York City police commissioner Ray Kelly was just invited, shouted down at Brown University. So, it's happening all over the place and it is outrageous. It's led to a very, I think hostile anti- intellectual environment on campus where kids are not taught to engage one another or consider different perspectives...

RILEY: And what happens when they graduate, when there's nobody to protect them from the evil conservatives and they'll be milling around all about them.

RILEY: And the people controlling the campus are the ones that led the free speech movement on campus 50 years ago. They're in control now and this is the environment they've created. It shows you the fine line between progressive thought and totalitarian thinking.

KELLY: Virginia Tech, you're better than this. You're better than this. Hope you reverse your decision and welcome our friend Jason Riley who is a fascinating man to listen to.

RILEY: Thank you.

KELLY: We'll stay it on it. Thanks for being here. I'm sick of these stories. Still ahead tonight, imagine waking up from a coma and learning that your family just went to your funeral. We'll speak with a woman at the center of a heartbreaking case of mistaken identity right after this break.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everything that I had known about myself before the accident had been wiped clean.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Michigan have that, that I had passed away and they had a funeral for me and a lot of people actually wondered this like what will people say at your funeral about you. But the weird thing is that I already know that answer.


KELLY: Tonight, a young woman is speaking out on a stunning story that gripped the country some ten years ago. Responders at the scene of a horrific accident mistakenly confused the identities of two young women with similar physical attributes, one survived, the other did not.

In just a moment, we will speak to the survivor of that crash, Whitney Cerak Wheeler, who was presumed dead. But first Trace Gallagher in our west coast newsroom will bring us up to speed on her story. Trace?

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Megyn, by all accounts, the scene of the crash on Interstate 69 in northern Indiana was chaos. Bodies, backpacks and wallets scattered across the road and in the tall muddy grass. Five dead, two gravely injured. Eighteen-year-old Whitney Cerak was placed in a helicopter with Laura Van Ryn's identification. At the hospital, with her face swollen and distorted by tubes,

Whitney Cerak was misidentified by Laura Van Ryn's parents as their daughter. But the family of Whitney Cerak was so distraught they never identified the body of Van Ryn and there was no autopsy. So while the Cerak family buried who they thought was their daughter, the Van Ryn family sat bedside for weeks caring for who they thought was their daughter -- braiding her hair, painting her toenails, trying to talk her out of a coma.

The matter was clearly complicated by the fact that both women had striking similarities -- blonde hair, same height, similar features. So much so that Laura Van Ryn's boyfriend of three years later commented how familiar her hands feet and complexion were noting only that her eyes looked blue instead of "that awesome greenish tint." Then Laura Van Ryn's college roommate noticed the girl in the bed had freckles, Laura didn't.

The girl in the bed kept telling the staff her name was Whitney, not Laura. And finally when the Van Ryn family began having their doubts, dental records were tested. The confusion cleared up. The Van Ryns then issued a statement saying they mourned the loss of their daughter but rejoiced that the Ceraks will have more time with theirs. Megyn?

KELLY: Trace, thank you. Whitney Cerak Wheeler joins me now. Whitney, thank you so much for being here. There was a moment when you were coming to, you were in a coma for five weeks and they asked you to write your name, right? They asked you to write your name down. And you wrote Whitney. Who was there when you did that?

WHITNEY CERAK WHEELER, MISTAKEN INDENTITY CRASH SURVIVOR: Honestly, I don't know. I couldn't tell you that. I was -- I was slowly coming out of a coma so my memory wasn't totally with me yet.

KELLY: Is it true -- is it your understanding that it's true that that's the moment the Van Ryns understood for the first time you were not their daughter?


KELLY: Do -- their devastation we can all understand, but tell us about the moment as it's been told to you that your parents found out you had not died.

WHEELER: I think that everyone was confused because I don't think a story like this has happened before so, no one really thought it was real, but they went down just to make sure that everything was, I mean, as it seemed. So, they went down and they checked and they were reunited with me.

KELLY: What is it like for you to see your own tombstone with the date of death on it?

WHEELER: It just -- the whole thing seems surreal to me. Just like it -- it seems like a lifetime movie that it wasn't really my life.

KELLY: And did you -- you know, what kind of relationship have you had with the Van Ryns since then?

WHEELER: Yeah. I absolutely love the Van Ryn family. I think that they are a beautiful picture of what, like what Jesus would act like if he were here now because they loved me when they thought that I was their daughter and then they continued to do so. They continue to love me as family even when they knew that I wasn't Laura.

And how they -- it's just fun to always get around and hang out with them. Whenever we do that, it feels very natural and it's just fun. It's like two families being together. And so we always have a great time with the Van Ryn family.

KELLY: You were friends with Laura and the others who were killed in that car crash. Do you have survivor guilt?

WHEELER: I definitely did, and I feel like that -- just being the only college student to survive and I know all of them led such great lives and did such great things for Jesus and I was only 18 when it all happened and I just -- I don't know. It hit home and especially, like, seeing the families. I just felt like a huge guilt.

Their eyes are always on me, and like, was I doing a good job, was, like, was it the right choice that I was left behind? I feel like I have that a lot. But I just know that, like, freedom comes from the Lord and I, like, have given it all to Jesus and I feel like I finally, like, I don't deal with that survivor guilt anymore.

KELLY: Good. Do you feel a greater purpose now in life? Or that there was a reason you were spared?

WHEELER: I do think just like having that passion, like living with passion and that's one thing that I've seen since the accident. Like, I've seen a huge difference in who I am, who I was ten years ago and just living out, like, living out faith.

That's one thing I've actually become really passionate about is not just going to church and sitting in the walls, but going outside and loving church and, like, being who we're called to be through the bible, like, this is what Jesus said so, we go out and we do it. We don't just learn about it in church. We go out and we do it. We talk about it to others.

So it's been -- it's been something I've been really passionate about, and I just feel like the Lord is, like, okay, you're going to do this, I'm going to push you a little further and you're going to learn something more about me. So my relationship with Jesus has gone so much deeper because of this whole thing.

KELLY: And you're now married with children of your own. The law has changed to make it, the identification of victims much more clear and controlled and we are very glad that you are with us tonight. Whitney, all the best to you and your family and the Van Ryn's as well.

WHEELER: Thanks, Megyn. Thank you.

KELLY: We'll be right back.


KELLY: Do you think Donald Trump should make an issue of Bill Clinton's conduct with women in the 90s?, on Twitter @megynkelly. Let me know what you think. Thanks for watching everybody. I'm Megyn Kelly. This is "The Kelly File." See you tomorrow.

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