Democrats' response to Orlando slammed as 'publicity stunt'; Media's role in the gun control debate

Terror attack sparks partisan gun control fight; Austan Goolsbee and Marc Thiessen debate the issue on 'The Kelly File'


This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," June 23, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Breaking tonight, Democrats getting slammed for leaving town after holding a sit-in on guns. The weapon used by the terrorist in Orlando while doing nothing about terrorism, which might very well continue even if we take away some guns.

Welcome to "The Kelly File," everyone. I'm Megyn Kelly. Congress has now gone dark. The members heading home for a week without doing anything to help the FBI or address the security failures that led to the horrific terror attack that left 49 people dead and another 50-plus injured in Orlando, Florida, last week. Instead, what we saw over the last 24 hours was like something out of Woodstock.

Nearly 170 Democratic lawmakers eating donuts staging a sit-in and singing songs, they said, to get a vote on gun control.

Republicans calling it a publicity stunt pointing out that this flashback to 1969 was really about something other than gun control, in their view.


REP. PAUL RYAN, R-WIS., SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: They are sending out fundraising solicitations like this one. House Democrats on the House floor, your contribution will go to the DCCC. If this is not a political stunt, then why are they trying to raise money off of this, of all this tragedy?


KELLY: We can't confirm how much money the Democrats were able to raise but we can tell you about what did not happen today. Congress did not get to hear from wounded Orlando terror survivor Patience Carter who was on the show earlier. She was shot in both legs by the Orlando terrorist.  Patience was supposed to tell her story to Congress until this demonstration led to that hearing being postponed. Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert had a moment of his own.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Radical Islam killed these poor people! We have to stop radical ISLAM!



KELLY: Joining me now, Marc Thiessen, Fox News contributor and a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. And Austan Goolsbee, a professor at U Chicago's Booth School of Business and former chief economist to President Obama. Great to see you, both.


KELLY: So, you know, even if you accept that we need gun control or reform or, you know, it needs to be addressed in this country, all of the attention was on that and then they left without reforming a single thing because, hey, you know what, July 4th is coming up, Marc.

THIESSEN: You know, it's funny. Everybody agrees that we need to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists, period. There's not Republicans or Democrats, they are all united about this. There's a dispute over how to do it while protecting the constitutional rights of American citizens with law-abiding citizens and having some due process involved so that people can challenge it if they are wrongly denied their constitutional right to keep them bear arms.

But this is not about that. This is a complete political stunt. What they are trying to do here is that after Orlando, the Democrats are having an organized effort to distract people from the failings of Barack Obama's policy and strategy in the war on terror by focusing on gun control. Since President Obama declared ISIS the jayvee team in 2014, ISIS has carried out 90 attacks in 21 countries that have killed 1400 people and injured 2,000 people. They are in Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan. Gun control is not going to stop the rise of ISIS.  So the problem isn't that only people that the terrorists have gun, the problem is that terrorists are winning. And we need to change that.  

KELLY: What about that, Austan? I mean, France had a terrible terrorist attack that we all watched. They have some of the strictest gun control laws in the world. Even if you accept, okay, yes, I'd like to see the gun laws reformed, even if you're one of those people, you have to understand that taking away the weapon from these guys is not going to solve the problem because there are lots of weapons and we've seen them used.

AUSTAN GOOLSBEE, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, PROFESSOR: Okay. You've got a couple of things going on in there. I mean, what Mark said, I believe that is changing the subject. Changing the subject to what ISIS is doing in the Middle East and in other countries is taking away from the fact that the Democrats in Congress want them to have a vote on the basic question that is agreed upon by literally 90 percent of Americans in the last poll that if you are on the terror watch list, you should not be able to get a semiautomatic weapon. And for the speaker of the house, when they are literally voting for the 65th time to repeal ObamaCare, to accuse someone else of a publicity stunt is really outrageous.

KELLY: Marc?

THIESSEN: Well, listen, first of all, it's not distracting. This is the problem with the Obama administration. Is that they think the rise of ISIS is a distraction from their gun control debate. I mean, Austan has just clarified the entire people, the problem that we have with the Obama administration and the problem of Islamic radicalism. We all agree --

GOOLSBEE: It's not gun control.  

THIESSEN: Austan, hold on.

GOOLSBEE: We have to take guns away from terrorists. Everybody agrees with that. Let's say we have a vote eventually. We come to a compromise and we pass a bill that's effective. The terrorists, if they don't have guns, on 9/11 they used box cutters. In Brussels, they used nail bomb.  They used a pressure cooker in the Boston marathon bombing. This is not going to solve the problem of Islamic radical terrorism which is the largest problem that we needed to come together to do.

KELLY: What about that, Austan?

GOOLSBEE: I agree with that.

KELLY: And no one is even saying anything is going to be done differently to address FBI resourcing, the ability -- John McCain's bill that would make it easier to take a look at the online social media of a suspected terrorist.

GOOLSBEE: That is correct. I'm --  

KELLY: They are gone, they are going to enjoy the fireworks.  

GOOLSBEE: Look, I am not -- I was in the cabinet. I got briefed on intelligence. You're never going to hear me say that we should stop paying attention to evil doers in the world. Those are very bad people in the world. What I'm saying is, let's have a vote on some of these policies rather than voting to give ourselves a vacation.

KELLY: Yes, we can all agree on that.

GOOLSBEE: Now, I'm not faulting -- I'm not faulting Paul Ryan. If I were in Paul Ryan's position, I'd be trying to go on vacation, too. He's trying to hold together a coalition of people who are advocating some very unreasonable things and they don't want to have a vote on basic rules to prevent terrorism.  

KELLY: The Democrats do want to vote on gun control but only it can happen before they need to leave for vacation. And, well, let's just hope nothing happens while they are gone. I got to leave it at that. That was a thoughtful, intellectual debate. Thank you, gentlemen.

GOOLSBEE: Thank you.  

THIESSEN: Thank you.

KELLY: We laugh because what alternative do we have? Well, back in 2008, House Republicans staged a similar protest over an energy bill but it got almost no attention after Democrats called the GOP morons and suggested the media should ignore the whole thing. So how did the media handle it this time when it was a Democrats doing the protests? Let's watch.  


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's something we've just never seen before. Members of Congress staging a sit-in --  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have seen political standoffs of all kinds in Washington, but nothing like what is playing out right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An unprecedented demonstration, dozens of Democrats today calling for a vote on gun control.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An extraordinary scene. Peter, thank you.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST, "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW": The dramatic and unprecedented nature of this tactic makes this the biggest domestic politics story in the country right now by a mile.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've spoken to my colleagues who have been here 20, 30, 40 years, they're going to see as anything on the House side, and the way in which the public has been engaged on this with the #no bill no break has been remarkable.  


KELLY: Joining me now, Howard Kurtz, host of "MediaBuzz" on Fox News.  So, we went back and we looked at that 2008, you know, GOP protest. First of all, Nancy Pelosi just turned out the lights, she turned out the lights and it wasn't even mentioned in the lead of any of the nightly newscast then to the extent it was mentioned online, it was discussed as crazy, funny and dismissed as, you know, basically ridiculous.  

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST, "MEDIA BUZZ": But Megyn, this House sit in by the Democrats was historic. It was unprecedented, it was exciting. Look, as political figure, it was (INAUDIBLE) because you had yelling, screaming, you had civil rights icon John Lewis singing "We Shall Overcome." But as you just showed, it was kind of a warm bath of favorable coverage for this stunt and both parties -- but it was a stunt.

And I have to say that the fact that Pelosi and company were violating House rules which was kind of swept under the rug, and liberal -- static hoping to post, running a banner headline "Dems giving bloody hell."

KELLY: Uh-hm. And you have to wonder whether that the media coverage -- let's say the Republicans have done the same thing, all of the same tactics, you know, the sit-in, overnight singing, what, you know, what have you, but what they were protesting was, they wanted to make it easier for folks to protest outside of a Planned Parenthood clinic, they wanted them to be able to get closer, to make their voices heard, would the media have been out there saying, it's historic, it's unprecedented? You know, the enthusiasm. It's just revelatory of bias. Of bias in favor of what the Dems were doing.  

KURTZ: Right. We don't even have to -- hypothetical example, remember when Ted Cruz had that 20-hour filibuster against ObamaCare, all the focus was on him being an obstructionist. Even though what he was doing was within the Senate rules. This was not because look, it's no secret the press kind of tilt towards some kind of gun control legislation or compromise.

KELLY: Well, and 90 percent of the public wants something done.  

KURTZ: Right. And it's a serious issue with arguments on both sides. But this was theater. And it was theater if the goal was to get something done, that wasn't going to happen. Because even if there had been a vote, the Democrats would have lost. But if the goal was to get a lot of favorable price and headlines, then I guess it worked.

KELLY: Before I let you go, Corey Lewandowski, Trump's former campaign manager who just was fired, got hired as a contributor at CNN, this is the same guy who has threatened more than one journalist in the course of this campaign, has had some very ugly language attributed to him when it comes to women and now he will be getting paid by Donald Trump one day and by CNN the next. Your thoughts?

KURTZ: Well, this is no knock on Corey who I thought handled his hiring with class. But for CNN to hire him, you know, 12 minutes after he was fired is to use one of Trump's famous words, it's sad. It's really said because Lewandowski made clear both, in the first interview he did with CNN before he was on the payroll and in an interview he did just tonight as a CNN contributor, that he doesn't intend to utter a negative syllable about Donald Trump and even, if he wanted to, he signed a confidentiality agreement with Trump and so he's limited on what he can say. So, I don't see how this helps CNN provide anything approaching independent analysis and watching Corey tonight, it almost seemed like he was still on Trump's payroll because he was defending him at every possible turn.  

KELLY: Uh-hm. So it's not honest analysis. And think about how the CNN reporter over there, the one who he threatened. I hope they don't bump into each other in the green room. That's going to be awkward. It's really remarkable. Howie, great to see you.  

KURTZ: My pleasure.  

KELLY: So, the Supreme Court today delivered a serious setback to President Obama's plan to protect millions of illegal immigrants from deportation.

Up next, we'll show you the President's response when Trump campaign national spokesperson Katrina Pierson and Jose Antonio Vargas, an undocumented immigrant, join us to debate.  

Plus, Donald Trump gets hammered by the mainstream media after he goes after Hillary Clinton on Benghazi. We'll fact check that just ahead.


DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: He was left helpless to die as Hillary Clinton soundly slept in her bed.



KELLY: Breaking tonight, new fallout after President Obama responds to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on immigration by essentially calling it meaningless. Today, the high court handed the Obama administration's significant legal defeat. Blocking the President's controversial executive actions that would have shielded millions of illegal immigrants from possible deportation. But if you think that means those folks will go home or if you think the administration is going to do anything differently in the future, President Obama says you are thinking wrong.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The fact that the Supreme Court wasn't able to issue a decision today doesn't just set the system back even further. It takes us further from the country that we aspire to be. The deferred action policy that has been in place for the last four years is not affected by this rule. We'll continue to implement the existing programs that are already in place. If we have a full court issuing a full opinion on anything, then we take a seriously. This we have to abide by but it wasn't any kind of value statement or a decision on the merits of these issues.  


KELLY: In moments, we'll be joined by Katrina Pierson, Trump campaign national spokesperson and Jose Antonio Vargas, an undocumented immigrant.

But we begin with Charles Krauthammer, Fox News contributor and author of the book "Things That Matter."

Charles, great to see you. So the President, the President whether he acknowledges that explicitly, was dealt a significant blow today by this high court?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. This is not the very first time. This is a culmination of a long string of decisions issued by the Supreme Court and by lower courts which have admonished this president for clearly overstepping the boundaries of his authority. In this case, it was quite egregious and that's what the Fifth Circuit had said. This was a sweeping decision that would have empowered these illegal immigrants and whether you agree with the policy or not, it was simply not in the President's power to do it. And just because the President wants to do something that Congress will not do, that does not give him the authority to do it.  

KELLY: He doesn't seem to get that?

KRAUTHAMMER: No, he doesn't.  

KELLY: He doesn't seem to get that. Twenty two times -- 22 times, he came out and said to the community pushing for immigration reform, I can't, I have done all I can do. If I take the next step, which is the thing that just got struck down today, I'll be overstepping my authority. I'm not a king. And then he did it. And never, ever explained how he found the authority that he had been saying for months he lacked.

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, I agree with you. That was astonishingly and intellectual dishonest. Because he himself had explained why he could not do it, the honest authority, and then as you say he decided otherwise and you decided otherwise simply because it was a kind of, what the hell, I'll be out of office.  

KELLY: But Charles, my point is, now to come out and just say, oh, this ruling and, you know --


KELLY: -- it's because they didn't confirm appoint or confirm Merrick Garland. It's like, you yourself said two dozen times you couldn't do this. So let's stop blaming the courts.  

KRAUTHAMMER: Look (INAUDIBLE) he had a year to go in his administration, year-and-a-half, and decided I'll go for it. Either he'll win -- look, it wasn't clear that it would be anybody out there to challenge him. This challenge had to come from the states. It did not come from anywhere else.  

KELLY: The President came out today and said, look, I had to. I had to do it because those Republicans refused to act. He does acknowledge that of course the Democrats controlled all three branches, they controlled the House, they controlled the Senate, they controlled the White House. For the first two years of his presidency, he didn't prioritize it. He prioritize ObamaCare, and broke a direct promise to this community that he would prioritize this instead. So, he violates the promise and then says, I had to, I had to do it because no one would act.  

KRAUTHAMMER: But this idea that he had to do it, I mean, that's Hugo Chavez talk, you can't have to do it. It's not a dictatorship. You can only do it if Congress passes the law. A president is restrained by, I mean, these are elementary school -- this is sort of high school civics.  And that the President would overstep it wantonly is remarkable. And as I say again and again, remember with the recess appointment case, the NLRB, he was admonished by the court unanimously. You cannot decide when Congress is in session and when it isn't and that's something that he's completely ignored rather serenely and he doesn't even try to be intellectually consistent.  

KELLY: It's amazing to watch. I mean, how many times this president has been brushed back for overstepping his executive authority. The same person who lectured us on how he was a con law professor, constitutional law professor and he understood the constitution and unlike President George W. Bush, he wasn't going to try to do an end around it, and you know, an end around it. And here we stand yet another Supreme Court decision coming down against him.

Charles, great to see you.  

KRAUTHAMMER: My pleasure.

KELLY: And we have more now with Katrina Pierson, the Trump's campaign national spokesperson and Jose Antonio Vargas, an undocumented immigrant, who was also the founder of Welcome to you both.

Jose, let me start with you. You would have been affected by this executive action. It would have helped you. Your parents sent you here?

JOSE ANTONIO VARGAS, FOUNDER, DEFINEAMERICAN.COM: My mom, yes, my mother sent me here.  

KELLY: Right. You haven't seen her in over a decade?

VARGAS: Twenty three years this August.  

KELLY: Okay. So, what's your reaction?

VARGAS: Well, I'm one of five million people who have been impacted by this. And I have to tell you, I'm listening to this. I'm neither a Republican or a Democrat. The question for me is, what do you want to do with all of us? There's 12 million of us here. That's the size of Ohio.  They keep playing political football, doing this, doing that, doing that.  Now, mind you, President Obama has deported more than two million of us.  Donald Trump talked about building a wall, you know, in Mexico building a better bigger wall when the fastest growing undocumented population in this country are Asian people, not Hispanics. So, in many ways, we are operating under a lot of untruths and not factual arguments.  

KELLY: Well, let's bring Katrina in on that. Katrina, I mean, in response to his question, what does Mr. Trump want to do with Jose and the other 11- plus million undocumented people here.

KATRINA PIERSON, TRUMP CAMPAIGN SPOKESPERSON: Well, I think that's a great question. And I will say that the wall is not just for immigration purposes. It's a national security question as well as a problem that we have with drugs coming into the country and though I know a lot of people like to use Mr. Trump's policies to create some sort of racial division when, in fact, immigration is a national security problem and a jobs and economy problem.  

KELLY: But he's asking what you're going to do with him. Like what Mr. Trump is going to do --

PIERSON: Well, let me first clarify. I hear you. But I wanted to first clarify Mr. Trump's positions on the wall. Because as just stated, it seemed like it was just towards a certain race. And that's just to point out the case. What Mr. Trump wants to do, as he has said, he does want to deport illegal aliens in this country. He wants to start out with the criminal aspect of them.

KELLY: That's what Obama is doing.

PIERSON: It's run amuck and it is a huge problem. He's also talked about working with Congress to come up with a plan for those who are here but they have to go back, Megyn. There is a process in place. And here's the thing. If an American citizen breaks the law, there is no catch and release program for American citizens. Mr. Trump wants to enforce the current walls, he wants to enforce visa system and wants to get our country back on track. But I will also --

KELLY: Give him a chance to respond, Katrina. No, no, it's Jose's turn.

PIERSON: One more thing.

KELLY: No, it's Jose's turn. Go ahead. Go ahead.  

VARGAS: With all due respect by the way. You know, Miss Pierson, I'm not some illegal alien from Mars. I'm actually a human being, I'm right here.  So, calling us an illegal alien is actually not only inaccurate but really dehumanizing. So, I have to say, it's really tough to kind of separate race from this when Donald Trump calls Mexican people racist. It's really tough to divorce race from this whole conversation because whenever he's talked about terrorists for example, he keeps talking about radical, you know, Islam. Right?

I mean, how many immigrants have been terrorists? Have you looked at the list of the past people who have actually killed a lot of people in America? A lot of them are White guys. They are not some terrorists from Mexico. So what does this have to do with terrorism?

KELLY: Go ahead, Kat?

PIERSON: Well, the topic wasn't terrorism but since you bring it up, it is the truth. Mr. Trump stated the Department of Homeland Security statics.  You don't have to like the facts but Americans are impacted by those facts on a daily basis and that is a problem. And we can sit here and kick the can down the road. But if you want to talk about immigration policies, the reason why we don't have current reform is because Democrats wanted it their way or the highway. There was no compromise in this plan. And if Barack Obama truly wanted to have --

KELLY: I have to go but I have to get Jose's reaction of that.


PIERSON: -- full control over the legislative branch.

KELLY: What about the fact that the Democrats did nothing when they had control over the Senate and the House?

VARGAS: Well, I mean, look, the Democrats passed an immigration reform bill in the Senate that didn't even make it to the House. That was the latest one. Absolutely in 2010, there was an action on that. And I have to say by the way again, for me, this is not about Republican or Democrat.  This is about the fact that there are million of us whose family is divided because of this inaction.

KELLY: Uh-hm. And no resolution.  

VARGAS: No resolution.  

KELLY: Jose, thanks for being here. You, too.  

Still ahead, after Donald Trump hits Hillary Clinton on Benghazi, the media hits back.

Plus, a dramatic court ruling in Baltimore where the most critical trial of those six officers ended with Officer Caesar Goodson acquitted on all charges. We told you this was going to happen last night. So, what does this mean for a prosecutor who is now 0-three? We'll have some answers with Sheriff David Clark and Andell Brown, next.  


MARILYN MOSBY, BALTIMORE CITY STATE'S ATTORNEY: To the youth of this city, I will seek justice on your behalf. This is a moment. This is your moment.




MOSBY: To the youth of this city, I will seek justice on your behalf.  This is a moment, this is your moment.


KELLY: As it turns out, this was not their moment and it was not Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby's moment either. She suffered her biggest defeat yesterday in her prosecution against six police officers who took part in the arrest of 25-year-old Freddie Gray. A Baltimore man who later died, thanks to injuries he suffered while in police custody.

Today, Officer Caesar Goodson became the second officer in this case to be acquitted of all charges, a third officer, the case against him resulted in a hung jury and there was no outcome. Officer Goodson today accused of giving Gray, a quote, "rough ride" in a police van, he faced charges of second-degree murder, the most serious charges of the six.   

And now there are growing calls for prosecutor Marilyn Mosby to not only drop the other officers in this case but step down herself from her post.

Sheriff David Clarke and civil rights attorney Andell Brown are here on that in a moment. But first, Trace Gallagher has the news here in New York tonight. Trace?

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Megyn, those inside the packed courtroom say Officer Caesar Goodson never took his eyes off the Judge Barry Williams and when the judge the not guilty verdict Goodson had zero reaction.

Prosecutors initially argue that Goodson handcuffed and shackled Freddie Gray but did not buckle him then proceed to drive in a manner that would intentionally hurt him. But surveillance video shows there was no erratic driving.

A fellow arrestee in the same van testified the ride was smooth and Judge Williams said the prosecution failed to prove its "rough ride" theory. The prosecution also said that Office Goodson's failure to call a medic amounted to murder. But the judge said the prosecution failed to show that Goodson knew Freddie Gray was hurt and failed to show how he got hurt.

The judge added that Goodson didn't show any animosity towards Gray or even claimed to know him. The defense argue the prosecution, quote, "failed to cobble together any type of case with reasonable inferences let alone evidence."

Officer Edward Nero, who was also acquitted and Officer Garret Miller schedule for trial in July were in the courtroom to support Caesar Goodson. Protesters outside the courthouse were calmed but disappointed. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So we are all in agreement that this is not a fair process, that police can harm someone and someone was healthy in the morning and they are dead because they got in a van with the hands of a police.


GALLAGHER: The attorney for Freddie Gray's family says the family is enormously frustrated but he called State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby one of the most courageous prosecutors in the U.S. Megyn.

KELLY: Trace, thank you. Officer Goodson's family and colleagues may have been celebrating his acquittal but Baltimore's democratic mayor yet again reacted to today's verdict by reminding people that this officer is still subject to a, quote, "administrative review" and asking them to be patient.

Sheriff David Clarke is with the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office. Andell Brown is a civil -- and civil right -- defense and civil rights attorney. Great to see you both.

Sheriff, there are now -- the National Fraternal Order of Police president is saying that Marilyn Mosby should face charges of her own, prosecutorial misconduct. Others are saying she should step down, she should be booed from this post.

And even the Baltimore Sun has said she need to reevaluate whether to pursue the given cases given the disaster that her first three trials have been. Your thoughts?

DAVID CLARKE, MILWAUKEE COUNTY SHERIFF: Justice has prevailed in the City of Baltimore. I knew that from the beginning. I have faith in our criminal justice system here in the United States. It's the best in the world.

Look, Marilyn Mosby was on a political witch hunt when she charged these Baltimore officers, Baltimore's finest. She, you know, engage and I think and that's for the Maryland Bar Association too consider but I think they should investigate her for the suspension of her law license.

I think the State Attorney General, the State Attorney general should move in now to make this thing right and go to court, take this case over, go to court and ask for these charges on the remaining one, including the one who had a hung jury that they would be dismissed.

Megyn, I tell you what, my heart bleeds for the good people of Baltimore who have to continue to relive this after each one of these cases. Marilyn Mosby set them up for a false hope. Due process was given. Freddie Gray got justice, which you are entitled to in United States of America is due process, you are not entitled to an outcome.

KELLY: Andell, as she continues on in light of what this judge has said explicitly, that there are no reasonable inferences to support her theory of the case, that she -- that prosecutor failed to even show how Freddie Gray got hurt, failed to show that, she really may be subjecting herself to some sort of malicious prosecution charge or ethical charges. Am I wrong?

ANDELL BROWN, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. When we look at these cases there are very troubling things and one of the most troubling facts is that a young man got into a police van, he was in their custody and care, he was shackled and he couldn't defend himself and when he came out, he had injuries that would kill him.


KELLY: But you don't know how that happened. You don't know whether he did that to himself.

BROWN: If I'm driving down the street and I don't have on my seat belt a police officer would give me a ticket and tell me it's for my protection. You can't tell me that you don't know when you're putting someone who can't defend themself and has his hands and feet shackled that it can be a dangerous situation.

That demands justice, that demands a process and I agree with Sheriff Clarke that none of us can determine what the outcome should be. There was a fair process and the process has spoken. We have the best criminal justice system in the world. But it was necessary for the community to see what happened.


KELLY: But you can't tell me that you believe that there was ever any proof to support a second-degree murder charge, Andell. Second-degree murder and this judge, who was a straight shooter, laughed them out of court on that allegation.

BROWN: They didn't laugh them out of court.

KELLY: Yes, he did. He did. He did.

BROWN: What the judge said, what the judge said was that they did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt those charges. It happens every day in courtrooms around the United States and we don't call for props students to be dismissed, just because the case don't go that it was going to go.


KELLY: The judge said those charges, that he gave a "rough ride," that that was inflammatory and admonished them for taking that allegation so lightly in light of the fact that they had no proof.

Sheriff Clarke, tonight, like Andell, I have to say, Al Sharpton is out there not accepting what we heard, saying Officer Goodson's reckless driving and carelessness for common safety procedures most notably providing a seatbelt directly caused Gray's death.

Guess what, Al, the judge in this case, who, by the way, happens to be African-American, there is no -- they're not a race issue here.

BROWN: If the court system all we got it right all day will be a beautiful light in case...


KELLY: He sat and listen and sat differently. That's for Sheriff Clarke. Go ahead, sheriff.

CLARKE: Well, you know, you're entitled to your own opinion no matter who you are, including that gas bag Al Sharpton, but you're not entitled to your own facts.

Look, a judge made this decision. The judge know the application of the law and the standards needed more so than a jury. So, you know, I would give more credence to that than anybody else. But here's the thing I'm really disturbed about at this time.

I'm worried about the mental state of these officers right now. They should not have had to go through this. And when I hear the mayor, Rawlings-Blake, and I hear the prosecutor say, stand by, there's an administrative review...


KELLY: You just be patient.

CLARKE: ... that they have to undergo. They are -- you know what, they are not out for justice, they are out for revenge. And that's what sickens me about this whole thing. But like I said and about me, it's about the good people of Baltimore who need to put this ugly chapter behind them, and Marilyn Mosby ought to have the intestinal fortitude and the courage to go before a judge tomorrow and say I want to remove these charges that I've put forth and let the City of Baltimore move forward, please.

KELLY: Judge Williams, didn't see it, the jury that tried the first case didn't see it and, you know, more and more, objective legal analysts, and even pundits are saying now, come on now, come on. You guys thank you both so much for being here, Andell and Sheriff, thank you.

Well, coming up, Donald Trump hammers rival Hillary Clinton over Benghazi, but now the press is firing back.

Ben Domenech has checked the facts and he joins us next. Wait until you see this exchange.


KELLY: Developing tonight. New fallout from Donald Trump's hard-hitting speech on Hillary Clinton as the media now start to push back on some of Trump's claims. Here's NBC's Lester Holt earlier today.


LESTER HOLT "NBC NIGHTLY NEWS" HOST: Let's talk about your claim that she was asleep during the Benghazi attack.

TRUMP: Were you there? Were you there? Were you with her?

HOLT: She has testified before the committee that she wasn't asleep. It happened during the daytime. There's no evidence that she was asleep.

TRUMP: It happened all during the day and during -- I was going on for a long period of time. What she did is illegal.

HOLT: But is there any evidence that it was hacked other than routine phishing attacks?

TRUMP: I think I read that and I heard it.

HOLT: Where?

TRUMP: And somebody also gave me that information. I will report back to you. I'll give it to you.


KELLY: Joining me now, Ben Domenech, publisher of The Federalist. Ben good to see you.


KELLY: So, how did Trump do there?

DOMENECH: You know, I think that this is a perfectly valid question for Lester Holt to ask. You know, he's making a claim about what went on in the Benghazi scenario and also about her server. But I think that when you look at the actual facts that we know, the real question we should be asking is whether there is any proof on Hillary's side of this argument.

Because when you actually look at the record, what we know is that Hillary Clinton went home from the State Department that evening, that she was home alone that night as she testified before Congress, but that the last e-mail that she sent while she was home to the State Department was one to Cheryl Mills at about 11.38 at night asking whether they should announce that Ambassador Stevens was dead or whether they should wait until the next morning.

There's no evidence that she was awake the whole night as she claims to be. And then when it comes to the other side of things, when it comes to the hacking of the e-mail server the fact is that we know for a fact...


KELLY: But Trump said, just to refresh


KELLY: That Trump said that it had been hacked by foreign governments. That's what he said. And her server was easily hacked by foreign governments. That's what Trump has said.

DOMENECH: The thing that...


KELLY: And Lester Hold said, how do you know that? That's not true.

DOMENECH: The thing to understand about that, is that you don't need to physically hack a server or engage in some kind of complicated mechanism in order to get access to Secretary Clinton's e-mails.

We know for a fact that she traveled with her Blackberry connected to an unsecure server that kept her at home in nations like China and Russia that would have been paying a lot of attention to all of the visiting dignitaries as we know that they always do.

The fact is, that if you are using an unencrypted device connected to an e- mail server that doesn't have the proper protections, this is something that they can scoop up far more easily than having to engage in some kind of complicated hacking mechanism.

It's simply naive to believe that China and Russia didn't try to do this and the thing that they were not successful, you have to be pretty much 100 percent, you know, that all of the luck was on Secretary Clinton's side in the sense.

KELLY: Well, that's the thing. So, Lester Holt said is there any evidence that it was hacked and then, you know, NBC News has reported that there is no evidence that the servers were hacked by hackers, but you've "Goocifer" coming out and saying he hacked it.

And you've got people like Lieutenant Colonel Michael Flynn who ran the Defense Intelligence Agency saying, I guarantee you the Russians and the Chinese have been in there.

So, it's not, I mean, it's Trump's opinion, it's his conclusion, based on what he's heard. We'll see whether they give the same treatment to her on her claims about Mr. Trump. Great to see you, Ben.

DOMENECH: Great to be with you.

KELLY: Still ahead, what do Selena Gomez, Serena Williams and yours truly have in common? You'll see.


KELLY: Well, just over three years ago, one of the most powerful woman in America wrote a ground-breaking book to encourage other women in the workplace. It struck a nerve and launched tens of thousands of support groups around the globe.

Today, I'm honored to be part of Sheryl Sandberg latest effort "Lean in Together." A campaign that is about the ways in which women support one another. Take a look.


KERRY WASHINGTON, ACTRESS: I'm going to try to say this without getting really emotional. But I'm not really sure what my life would look like if it were not for Shonda Rhymes.

ABBY WAMBACH, RETIRED PROFESSIONAL SOCCER PLAYER: It's hard to describe the impact that Mia Hamm has had on my career and life.


KELLY: Kim Hume.




WASHINGTON: She's so much power but she wields it so compassionately and responsively.

WATSON: She supported my work and she made me believe that I could do more.

LONGORIA: I was outside of my comfort zone but I had the safety net of her support.

SELENA GOMEZ, SINGER AND ACTRESS: The women I work with are everything.

KELLY: One of the most heartening parts of this past year for me has been the outpouring of support I've received from women.

DUNHAM: The idea that another woman was in some ways taken what belong to you. That cool ideas is kind of shifting.


WATSON: We can get to equality.

LONGORIA: Together.

GOMEZ: We can raise our voices.

WILLIAMS: Together.

KELLY: We can stand up to anything and anyone.


DUNHAM: We can make the workplace a better place.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Together, we are --

DUNHAM: Funnier.

WATSON: Smarter.

SANDBERG: More ambitious.



KELLY: Bolder.

GOMEZ: Invincible.

WAMBACH: Unstoppable.

SANDBERG: When women lean in together we accomplish amazing things.

WASHINGTON: Let's lean in.

GOMEZ: Let's lean in.

WATSON: Let's lean in together.

WILLIAMS: We are all on the same team.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lean how you can support other women today at


KELLY: Sheryl Sandberg is the COO of Facebook and the founder of Sheryl, great to see you. It turned out beautifully and I'm proud to be a part of it.

Let's talk about the message, the message that we, our allies, not enemies and we get further by supporting and encouraging others.

SANDBERG: That's exactly right, Megyn. Thank you for your participation. This campaign is all about how women do support each other. I think there's a mishap out there that women don't, and it's just not true. I know there's...


KELLY: But, you know, there's that myth, and you have an op-ed about this, talking about that women are catty, that it starts in middle school where, you know, there's a lot of bullying, and that they stay catty and turn into queen bees who want to tear each other down. Your position is not true. Explain that.

SANDBERG: Not true. We have different expectations, right, and different assumptions. Two men have a disagreement at work. It's a policy discussion. It's a discussion about the merit.

Two women have the same disagreement at work and it's a catfight. And that's not true. And so, we need to recognize that women can use our voices. Women can disagree, but women are still supporting each other. And that's what this campaign and message is about.

KELLY: Cheryl, you started this movement. You know, what I love about the Lean In movement is that it's not political. It's not like abortion. I mean, you know, it's like you take away the most incendiary issues, so women who don't see eye-to-eye on those issues, which are very decisive, are not on the platform, it's about supporting each other, and sort of standing shoulder to shoulder in the sisterhood. How has it grown the Lean In came out?

SANDBERG: That's right. So, the community has grown. We have 800,000 community members, people all over the world. Mostly women, but men, too. We welcome all of you to join us. twenty thousand circles meeting monthly.

And what you said, it's that women can support other women and men can support women, but women supporting other women doesn't just help the people you support, it helps the woman who does the supporting.

So, this campaign has very practical everyday tips, things we can do. So, we know that men can get credit for their ideas more easily in the workplace. And sometimes it can be hard to say, "actually that was my idea."

But this is about that moment in the meeting, where you can say, you know what, this was Kelly's idea, and I just want to thank her for it. Or women get interrupted. It can be hard to say, hey, you hadn't let me finish, even though i suggest you do that.

But you can -- you know, much more easily say, hey, I want to hear what Kelly says. Let's let her finish. And as a woman, you look powerful when you're supporting other women. It helps her and it helps you.

KELLY: You know what I found on interruptions I can say this, sometimes it's harder to say, you know, you interrupted me or let me finish. I think it's easier to say, I'm not done speaking. I'm not done. That to me always "I'm not done." And it works like a charm.

SANDBERG: Absolutely. And also this is for us at home. You know, we tell our sons that they're leaders and we tell our girls that they're bossy, right?


SANDBERG: I mean, this is about going up to girls and saying you're not bossy, but you have executive leadership skills. And we need to tell everyone to expect women to have voice, women to have to strength, women to lead, and women to support each other.

KELLY: I would be remiss if I didn't ask you about you, Sheryl, and what a tough, tough year you've had. You lost your husband last May. It's been just over a year. And I know you said that, you know, widowhood at a young age is a club you wouldn't wish on anyone. How are you? How are your kids?

SANDBERG: Thank you, Megyn. You know, look, this is hard. I won't pretend it's not. I also know, and I know this partially through Facebook, that I'm not the only person that's gone through loss, the only person who's suffered a real tragedy.

I will say, and it goes back to the campaign we're doing that, to the extent my kids and I are doing well, and we are doing as well as we know how to do, it's because of the women and the friends surrounding us.

Megyn, you've been a good friend this year. And you've checked in so many times, and I appreciate that. So many people have reached out their arms and heart to help us.

And look, no one gets through anything alone. We don't achieve things in our life. You have a great team behind you. I have a great team I work with. And we don't get through the hard things in our life without each other. So, I'm grateful to you, and I'm grateful to the people in my life who are supporting and still my children through this. Thank you.

KELLY: You're such a lovely person to pay a compliment in response to a question like that, Sheryl. You've been a model in how to handle strife and just heartache. And we've all been watching you with wonder and admiration. God bless you and your kids. And thank you for being here.

SANDBERG: Thank you, Megyn. And thank you for being part of this campaign, and for the example you've set for all of us. A friendship and proud and strong female voice. It's an awesome thing to see.

KELLY: We'll be right back.


KELLY: To my "Kelly File" team, which is almost all women, I close with this, I love you, I support you, and if I'm ever bossy, you remember, I am the boss.

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