Bill Burton sees a path to victory for Trump; Abdul-Jabbar: White society devalues black lives

Former deputy White House press secretary weighs in on 'The Kelly File'


This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," June 26, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Breaking tonight, history in the making here at the Democratic National Convention where, for the first time ever, a former president will speak on behalf of his wife, who made history of her own tonight, becoming the first female presidential nominee of a major party.

Welcome to "The Kelly File," everyone. I'm Megyn Kelly. A mere 471 days ago, Hillary Clinton announced she was seeking her party's nomination for president. Today she reached that goal, but it did not come without controversy. Prior to roll call, mixed reaction rang out when Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii said this about Bernie Sanders.  Listen.


REP. TULSI GABBARD, D-HAWAII: I am truly honored to nominate Bernie Sanders for president of the United States.



KELLY: And many wondered about the enormous enthusiasm in this room for that. Not long after, a symbolic and emotional show of party unity played out when Senator Sanders himself did the honors of announcing Hillary Clinton as the Democratic Party's nominee.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, D-VT.: Madam Chair, I move that the convention suspend the procedural rules. I move that all votes, all votes cast by delegates be reflected in the official record. And I move that Hillary Clinton be selected as the nominee of the Democratic Party for president of the United States.



KELLY: That was not enough to appease some Bernie or bust holdouts who exited the convention site demanding a walkout.




KELLY: Now we anticipate another emotional moment. This one from the former President, Bill Clinton. Hillary Clinton's husband and the keynote speaker tonight.

But first we go to Shannon Bream who is down on the convention floor with the action there. Hi, Shannon.

SHANNON BREAM, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Megyn. There is still very much an open wound. It feels like between the Sanders and Clinton supporters. Right behind me on this stage, in a short time as you mentioned, the former President Clinton is going to speak tonight. But take a look over here at California. Last night that was packed. A number of those delegates that were supporting Bernie Sanders walked out. They don't want to be a part of tonight, and they're still hurting about what they feel like is a snub by the Clinton campaign. That is going to be part of Bill Clinton's -- really his job here tonight.

He's going to talk personally about the former secretary of state. He's going to try to humanize her, try to mend some of these wounds that are still very much open tonight. Listen, you know he's a master communicator.  There is so much buzz here about people who are so excited to hear from him, but he knows he's got a heavy lift in front of him to both personalize Hillary Clinton, try to make amends with all the fractured groups here and also sell her skills. And what kind of president she would be.

We've also talked a lot about today what kind of first spouse he would be.  It would be a trailblazing tradition because there's never been a male spouse of a commander-in-chief, and what a unique place to have him in the White House with her. Now, some here on the left say they're actually a little worried about it if she's elected. They feel like he is much more moderate than she is. And they worry if he's got too much of a seat at the table on these policy discussions, she won't go full steam ahead with her progressive agenda. We're standing by for his speech, Megyn, back to you.

KELLY: Shannon, thank you.

Later this evening, the case for Hillary Clinton's presidency will be made by the person who knows her best. Bill Clinton will soon address his tenth Democratic convention. This is a picture from his first time in 1980.  Only this time he faces a unique set of challenges, which includes separating his wife's accomplishments from his own and improving her appeal among voters, which currently stands at an all-time low.

Brit Hume is our Fox News senior political analyst. He's with me now.  Were you at that convention with the young --

BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: In 1980, I was at that convention in New York City when Jimmy Carter was re-nominated, and it was kind of a ball up convention, didn't go very well, and he made a very long speech. A very long speech.

KELLY: Bill Clinton did.

HUME: And he did indeed. And at the time people were saying this guy has got a future. He's coming. He's a comer. And he made his speech and it went on and on and on. And then there was a -- when he said, in conclusion, the place broke out in applause.

KELLY: Right. And he is so worried about he had to run around doing damage control the next day. So, he addresses this crowd in a very different posture this evening.

HUME: Right.

KELLY: Still beloved by many Democrats and yet kind of unknown to the millennials. And so what is the challenge for him tonight?

HUME: Well, there are a couple of things. First of all, this is going to be a personal address about her personally. I think he will probably gloss over the unusual nature of their marriage, which has been beset with certain kinds of trouble for a long time.

KELLY: Not necessarily just between the two of them at times.

HUME: Well, that's right. And of course, in his day -- and I don't know about now, but he was known as a serial philanderer, and she put up with all that for years. I don't think we're going to hear much about that phase of life tonight. And I also don't think we're going to hear much about the very different nature of the political platform on which Bill Clinton ran and governed as president, which is very different from the one upon which she is standing tonight as the Democratic nominee. So now, if you're talking about somebody who can gloss over things and make it work, this guy is magic. I mean remember his speech for Barack Obama four years ago. People felt that it was a real turning point.

KELLY: He personally vouched for Barack Obama, saying --

HUME: He did.

KELLY: I am telling you no one could have gotten it done in four years with --

HUME: And he can make it work. He is the most talented politician I think I've ever covered, and I'm very eager to see him in action tonight.

KELLY: So the question is still? Is he still the most talented?

HUME: We'll see. I mean, you know, he's gotten older and, you know, his health hasn't been great. And we'll see, you know, whether he's lost his fastball. But, you know, when it comes to a moment like this, it's never been a good idea to bet against Bill Clinton.

KELLY: How is he going to do it, though, Brit? Because Bill Clinton governed as a centrist Democrat.

HUME: He sure did.

KELLY: No question. But many of the policies he put in place have been repudiated by these Democrats today --

HUME: Yes. Exactly.

KELLY: -- including his wife.

HUME: Exactly. Exactly right.

KELLY: How does he bridge that gap?

HUME: Well, that's why I'm so eager to see it. I don't know exactly how he's going to do it, but I'm saying if anybody can do it, the big dog as I used to call him can do it.

KELLY: How does he unify the party? Does he have any appeal, do you think, to the Bernie people who walked out even though she beat him -- I understand the DNC e-mail leak and Debbie Wasserman Schultz didn't want Bernie. That's been proven, right? But she beat him by what, 3.7 million votes?

HUME: She did. She beat him without the super delegates, who were nearly all for her. She beat him fair and square.

KELLY: Right.

HUME: They don't believe that.

KELLY: They've got to get over it.

HUME: Yes, they -- well, I don't know if they got to get over it. They can do whatever they want.

KELLY: That's what Sarah Silverman said.

HUME: Well, I saw that, and I'm not sure if I were a devoted Sanders follower and believed in the things he believes in, that I'd be prepared to get over anything. I just might not vote this fall. My guess is, when all is said and done and they get, you know, a couple more months of Donald Trump in action, that they will eventually say, well, you got to do it.

KELLY: What do you make of the breaking news tonight that she may reverse her position on TPP, this Free Trade deal?

HUME: She's pretty well reversed it already.  

KELLY: That she was in favor it. Then she got pushed by Sanders, saying I'm not in favor of it. And now --

HUME: Oh, you mean, Terry McAuliffe --

KELLY: Terry McAuliffe comes back out tonight and says, I expect her to flip back.

HUME: Well --

KELLY: She's going to flip back which won't come as good news to the Sanders supporters.

HUME: Well, the Clintons in one way or another have always been testament to the value of flexibility in politics.

KELLY: Flexibility, you say?

HUME: That is what I'm trying to put it as nicely as I can, Megyn.


And you know, Bill Clinton was a free trader. And in her time, she has been.

KELLY: Uh-hm.

HUME: She did reverse herself or seemed to. And, you know, she might find some fig leaf way to say, well, we've added two things to this. And we've set some conditions and now we're going to go for it. But if she has any sense, she will, because TPP overall is good for the economy. If you look at it carefully, it's good for the economy. That doesn't mean that certain workers won't be hurt. That's always the case with the march of trade.  Certain workers are hurt, and they don't have as much of a voice -- I mean they have more of a voice, I should say, those are likely to be hurt, than those who might be affected by new jobs that haven't been created yet.

KELLY: Well, if she goes for it, she'll be in line with Mike Pence, the vice presidential nominee in the other ticket but not in line with the Republicans.

HUME: Well, I don't think we're going to hear her announcing her changing her position tonight.

KELLY: I think you're right about that.

HUME: We'll leave that to the Terry McCauls(ph) of the world.

KELLY: You've teed up Bill Clinton wonderfully. You peek my curiosity as to what he will do. And Brit will be here when Bill Clinton speaks and we'll have his reaction after. Thank you. Good to see you.

Joining me now with more, Bill Burton. He is the former deputy White House press secretary under President Obama. Great to see you, Bill.


KELLY: Thank you for being here. So what do you think? Bill Clinton, I mean, he has an opportunity tonight, does he not?

BURTON: Well, like you said, he knows her better than anybody else in the world.

KELLY: We think.

BURTON: We think. But he's going to come out here and he's going to tell the story of her life. Hillary Clinton in a lot of ways is super famous but nobody really knows details about her besides line items on her resume.  And I think he has an opportunity to talk about who she is as a wife, who she is as a mom, who she is as someone who has been fighting for kids and communities all of her entire career. So --  

KELLY: He's a character witness, you think, not so much a former president tonight?

BURTON: I think that's probably right. I think to the extent that this convention is about anything. It's about Hillary Clinton and it's about the future. So I don't think he's going to come out and extol too much about his own presidency. I think it's going to be about her and her vision and who she is as a human being.

KELLY: Have you been surprised by how split the Democrats have remains coming into this event, this week?

BURTON: You know, I am surprised. I thought that there would be a lot more unity than we've seen. But, you know, in 1992 when Bill Clinton was nominated, the Jerry Brown delegates were pretty angry as well and they spent the first couple of days making a lot of noise. And it actually was similar to this. A bunch walked out, and frankly the ones who walked out were the ones making the noise in the convention hall. So, I think that you'll see some smoother sailing going forward --

KELLY: Bad move to walk out. Really can't be heard.

BURTON: I mean the guys with the Peter Pan hats who were walking out, you know --

KELLY: I think it's Robin Hood.

BURTON: It wasn't Robin Hood.

KELLY: I'm pretty sure it was Robin Hood, although, you know, I'll have to check my fairy tales.


KELLY: What do you make of the latest polls coming out showing her losing to Trump in a couple of polls, showing her unfavorables now at a record high? I mean, is this week going to get her past that?

BURTON: Well, that's what you hope. You know, when you take a poll, what you do is generally you talk about the positives of one person, the positives of the other person, the negatives, and the negatives. This poll was taken in the middle of that process. And so the Republicans got to make their case for Trump. And people, you know, even though it was a mess of a convention, you know, was probably net neutral, a little positive for Trump because --

KELLY: He got a bump.

BURTON: Yes. Because the people who looked at the speech, who wanted to hear what they wanted to hear heard it. And this week you're getting the opposite. Right? You're getting Hillary Clinton making her case on the economy, on children and education and all those different things.

KELLY: And even that out.


KELLY: Okay. So now, where does that leave us at the end of this week going into, you know, early August as this general election campaign really fires up in earnest? Do you worry about the polls, like the CNN poll yesterday that showed him up now over Hillary Clinton and even his Real Clear Politics average now shows him up over Hillary?

BURTON: Look, I think that she is going to win, but I think that she also might not. But there is a pass to Donald Trump winning and if Democrats don't coalesce around her, there could be real problems going forward. But the thing to keep in mind is that the real fight is going to be over white working class women, and I think that as people engage more in this race, as we get into this new phase where people are really paying attention, I think that Hillary Clinton has a great shot of getting a real majority of those voters and that's going to be the problem for Donald Trump. Is that his appeal is so limited in that area.

KELLY: President Obama, your former boss, speaks tomorrow night. And obviously he's got an inherent gift because he's the leader of the party.  He's the leader of the country. He has an air of authority. We all respect our president. How much good can he do her tomorrow night?

BURTON: I think he can do her a lot of good.

KELLY: Especially because we know, just late on the line. You know, the Obamas and the Clintons, they don't really necessarily love each other that much.

BURTON: I wouldn't go that far. I think the President has a deep respect for Hillary Clinton, and they've had a very close relationship.

KELLY: You didn't have to go that far. I said it.

BURTON: Okay. Okay.

KELLY: It wasn't Bill, President Obama. It wasn't Bill.

BURTON: That's right. That's right. But, you know, the thing that President Obama has to do is follow the first lady, and I think that that's something he has in mind. He's so competitive like at everything. And I'm sure that he's thinking he wants to do as much as he possibly can for her.  And the truth is with his approval ratings going up across the board, he has an opportunity to appeal to a broad set of voters.

It's not just certain parts of the Obama coalition. It's, you know, the broad set of the American electorate. So I think he's going to come out and he's going to make the case for, you know, if we elect Donald Trump to be the President of the United States, we're going to stop a lot of the progress that he was able to make with the American people on a whole host of issues. And I think that's going to be a lot of what he talks about.

KELLY: Remind me never to follow the First Lady anywhere she ever speaks ever.


KELLY: Yes. Thank you for that.

BURTON: I don't think you'll have to, though.

KELLY: I won't because now I'll make sure it doesn't happen.

BURTON: There you go.

KELLY: Bill, great to see you.

BURTON: You too.

KELLY: As we wait to hear from former President Bill Clinton, we are also watching to see how the Democrats address a horrifying terror attack in France where soldiers from the Islamic State beheaded a Catholic priest inside his church. It's not soldiers. It's just terrorists from the Islamic State.

Plus moments ago, Michael Brown's mother, a Ferguson, Missouri, took center stage endorsing Hillary Clinton for her stance on police reform. Critics say the move by the DNC to include this particular mother in the presentation tonight set the wrong tone. And Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is here on that right after this break.


SYBRINA FULTON, MOTHER OF TRAYVON MARTIN: Hillary is one mother who can ensure our movement will succeed. I want to thank you for standing with us and supporting us, and we'd like to leave with you what God has given us.  Strength, love, and peace.


KELLY: Breaking tonight, moments ago. Women known as the mothers of the movement received a standing ovation here at the DNC, followed by chants of "Black lives matter" as they took center stage to endorse Hillary Clinton.  These women all lost a child in violent incidents. But the DNC is taking heat for its decision to feature the mother of Michael Brown since the Department of Justice determined that Brown was the aggressor when Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed him in Ferguson, Missouri. The crowd here did not seem to have an issue with that. Watch the welcome.


KELLY: Joining me now, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, author of the new book, "Writings on the Wall."

Great to see you, Kareem. Thank you for being here.


KELLY: So let's just talk about the mother of Michael Brown, and then we'll get to what actually happened here on the stage because she's been the most controversial choice, and she's the reason some of the Republicans are objecting, because her son was killed but was killed after addressing toward the police officer. Your thoughts.

ABDUL-JABBAR: Well, I think that that is really nitpicking. All of those women had really a tremendous amount of grief and tragedy in their lives, losing their children for no good reason. Even Michael Brown was unarmed.  So, you know, to say that, you know, he might have been aggressive, it might be true. I wasn't there. But I think the real issue is why are police officers oftentimes so aggressive with Black people, people that they don't know or don't understand, and they make conclusions and decide that these people are dangerous and they kill them with no justification?

KELLY: Let me just clarify the matter of Michael Brown because there's a lot of confusion about this. He was -- his case helped lead to the birth of Black Lives Matter and the hands up, don't shoot mantra, which turned out to be a lie according to the DOJ. And this is from the DOJ's report.  They said, Officer Wilson and other witnesses stated that Michael Brown reached into the SUV through the open driver's window, this is the cop car and that he punched and grabbed the police officer.

This is corroborated -- this is from the DOJ. This is corroborated by bruising on the cop's jaw, scratches on his neck and the presence of Michael Brown's DNA on the cops collar, shirt, and pants. And the officer's DNA on Brown's pants. The DOJ made it very clear that Michael Brown was the aggressor against the police officer who was just doing his job and that he turned around for some inexplicable reason and came after that cop even though he didn't have a gun and the cop did, and Michael Brown knew that.

That case is very dicey. It doesn't speak to all the Black Lives Matters incidents. It's just the most controversial and it's the one that the police officers have said it's an insult to us to have the mother of an aggressor toward a cop included in this group of mothers who are the mothers of fallen men whose cases are much more clear.

ABDUL-JABBAR: I don't understand what you're asking me to explain.

KELLY: Whether she should have been included.

ABDUL-JABBAR: That wasn't up to me. I understand what you're talking about. My grandfather and father both were police officers. I understand that we have to conduct ourselves in a way so that all our police officers come home at night. They are the glue that holds our society together.

KELLY: Mm-hmm.

ABDUL-JABBAR: But exactly why they included Michael Brown's mother, I couldn't give you the reasons for that. But I know that there are far too many examples, over 100 -- in 2015, over 100 Black Americans were killed by police officers. And these were unarmed Black Americans.

KELLY: Do you think that white society generally has no real understanding of what it is like to be a black man in today's America?

ABDUL-JABBAR: I think that white society devalues and dismisses the value of Black Lives. That's what the Black Lives Matter is all about. They seem to think that blacks are prone to violence and wish to harm them, and as soon as anything gets contentious between them and a black person, they pull out their gun and kill that black person, and that eliminates any problem that they might have.

KELLY: You're talking about white law enforcement?

ABDUL-JABBAR: I'm talking about white law enforcement. I'm talking about want to be law enforcement people like George Zimmerman who killed Trayvon Martin for no good reason. Trayvon Martin was just going from the convenience store to where his father was. Hadn't committed any crime.  Why is he dead?

KELLY: Why are race relations so bad right now in the country versus, you know, eight, 12, 16 years ago?

ABDUL-JABBAR: I think race relations are bad right now because things are changing. People of color are becoming more of a majority in our country.  It used to be that the majority of people in this country were white Europeans. That's starting to change now, and I think that white people are starting to feel that maybe their sense of power and privilege is being challenged.

KELLY: Some. I assume you don't mean to paint everybody with that brush?

ABDUL-JABBAR: No. No. Some white people might feel that, and they might feel threatened by the fact that --

KELLY: I realize this is more than a 30-second answer, but how do we start to get past it?

ABDUL-JABBAR: I think we start to get past this by communicating with each other, by having police officers and police agencies make a sincere effort to communicate with the people that they are supposed to protect and serve.

KELLY: Mm-hmm.

ABDUL-JABBAR: And I think that the people in these communities that are having problems with the people that are policing them, they need to realize that if they show some respect and some restraint, police officers can meet them halfway, and we can go about the business of uniting our country and having a nation where all lives are respected and appreciated and no one has to feel that they're being persecuted. Black Americans really feel that they're targets and after all this insane cowardly murders of police officers, I could see where they would feel assaulted and violated, and we have to get past that.

KELLY: Amen. Thank you for being here.

ABDUL-JABBAR: My pleasure.

KELLY: Great to see you.

ABDUL-JABBAR: Nice talking to you.

KELLY: Joining us now with more, Kevin Jackson, he's a FOX News contributor and a conservative radio host.

Kevin, what do you make of that? I mean, Kareem's last point, pretty thoughtful, that, you know, some of these young men in these communities where we've seen these incidents happened need to be more respectful of the police, but the police need to think more about community policing and respect of, in particular, the young black men who they pull over in so many of these incidents that we've seen go wrong.

KEVIN JACKSON, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, here's what I think about it. I think if you made all the cops who dealt with blacks in America black, you'd have the same problems. And then what would they say? They couldn't blame racism at that point. We haven't looked at the stats of how many of these kids that are killed are killed by black cops. Most of the time in policing, they tend to put people of the same ethnicity in the same ethnic corridor. And, you know, a lot of things Kareem talked about until the last point, quite frankly, were ridiculous.

Look, cops are not the problem here. To have that lady come speak when her son was a criminal who tried to kill a police officer is a travesty. It is a slap in the face of law enforcement and there's no other way to talk about that. And the optics of this on the heels of two brutal police assassinations of five police officers in Dallas and three in Baton Rouge and going on all around the country is quite frankly -- it would be frightening and it is frightening thinking that Hillary Clinton would do this. They didn't have a single person, a police officer's wife or husband who was killed in the line of duty, as some sort of a balance to this.

KELLY: They had some police officers.

JACKSON: Pardon me?

KELLY: They had police officers appear but not the families of fallen police officers.  

JACKSON: I'm talking about the family members of cops who were killed.  They didn't have any blacks who were killed by other blacks to come tell those tragic stories. In 2016, 2,000 Black people were killed and a majority of them were killed by other blacks. Did they tell any of those tragic stories? When I was in Cleveland that weekend before, there was a two-year-old kid that got shot in a drive-by. Did they bring that family up to talk to them?

Look, the police officers are under tons of scrutiny, and the criminals in this country are under very little scrutiny. And to pander -- what that Democrat convention, what's happening right now, Megyn, is they are pandering to blacks. This is not helping the situation one bit. It's making it more dangerous for blacks.

KELLY: Do you think this costs the Democrats politically? Take it out of sort of the race relations discussion. But do you think politically these costs the Democrat the vote in the police officer community, that Donald Trump will win saying I am the law and order candidate. I'm with you.

JACKSON: Absolutely. The many police officers who were in Cleveland -- by the way, no blacks got killed by them, and I was one of them, and there were many others. But, you know, they are upset beyond belief because they know they have a target on their back. But I also believe it's costing her votes in the black community because our neighborhoods need policing, and it has nothing to do with the fact that blacks are bad people.

It has to do with the fact that unfortunately because of liberal policies, we are prone to more criminality just because of the way that we've been cordoned into these neighborhoods and don't have opportunities for jobs and many of the things that the Democrats are going to pander more to. If they gave us real opportunity, you'd see these kids wanting to go to work and you'd see a change in this. But what Hillary Clinton and the Democrats are doing quite honestly is scandalous and it's shameful.  

KELLY: Kevin, great to see you. Always a pleasure.  

JACKSON: You as well.

KELLY: Well, it could be the biggest speech this week other than Hillary Clinton as her husband, the former President Bill Clinton, prepares to make what is being billed as an intensely personal speech. Intensely personal remarks. What is that going to sound like? In just a short time.

Plus, with France dealing with yet another horrifying terror attack today, we will show you how Democrats are addressing the issue of terror here in Philadelphia when we come back. Don't go away.  


MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS THE KELLY FILE SHOW HOST: Breaking tonight, Sanders supporters mixing it up with police right here in Philadelphia outside of the Wells Fargo Center. We are told these are folks who were blocked from coming in tonight and they are clearly unhappy out here in Cleveland -- I'm sorry -- in Philadelphia. Let's just take a look for one second. Let's watch.


KELLY: Mostly peaceful marching in the streets. You can see it getting a little tense moments before we came back on the air. While much of the world's attention is right here in Philadelphia on the Democratic convention, one of America's oldest allies has once again found itself at the center of an unthinkable terrorism attack. The target this time, a church.

It happened in Normandy, France, earlier today. Witnesses say two ISIS followers entered the house of worship during mass. This is disturbing, we warn you. Forced an elderly priest to his knees and slit his throat in what is believed to be the terror group's first attack against a western church. Trace Gallagher picks up the story from there, Trace.

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Megyn, French authorities now acknowledge that both killers in the attack on the Catholic Church were known terror suspects who should have been under surveillance. One of them was a 19-year-old who tried twice to get into Syria and join ISIS. He was being monitored by an electronic ankle bracelet but under the terms of his parole, was allowed to remove the bracelet from 8:30 in the morning until 12:30 in the afternoon. The attack happened at 9:00 a.m. The two men entered the back of the church, and while the 84-year-old priest was celebrating mass, the killers turned on a video camera, forced him to kneel, and then killed him. A nun who escaped said, quoting, "they recorded themselves. They did a sort of sermon around the altar in Arabic. It's a horror." The attackers then used parishioners and nuns as human shields to block police from entering.

Both killers eventually ran outside shouting Allahu Akbar and were shot and killed by police. The Vatican says the Pope was shocked, especially because it happened in a house of worship. Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, a conservative expected to run in next year's presidential election, criticized the socialist government for being soft on terrorism and allowing terror suspects too much freedom. Current president Francois Hollande says this. Watch.


FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, FRANCE PRESIDENT (TRANSLATED): I say it clearly. Curbing our freedoms and departing from our constitutional rules will not be effective in the fight against terrorism and will weaken the precious cohesion of our country.


GALLAGHER: And we should note that the church that was attacked apparently was on a hit list found last year in the home of an ISIS follower, Megyn.

KELLY: Trace, thank you. And the fight against ISIS was just mentioned for the very first time in prime time here at the Democratic National Convention. Joining me now is Steve Hayes, senior writer for "The Weekly Standard" and Robert Zimmerman a DNC committee member, superdelegate too. Great to see you.


KELLY: It's so disturbing. I mean, the terror -- it's like another week, another attack, and they -- they just get more horrific just when you think they can't shock you anymore with their terror.

ZIMMERMAN: That's right.

KELLY: They do. Steve, let me start with you. What do you make of the fact that we only heard ISIS mentioned for the first time at 9:22 tonight?

STEVE HAYES, THE WEEKLY STANDARD SENIOR WRITER: Yeah, I think it's a huge problem, but I think it's emblematic of the way that Democrats have handled terror -- the president has handled terror over the past seven and a half years. It's been an afterthought, and that's what it was here last night. We all remember back this convention four years ago. You had the president giving speeches, Al Qaeda is decimated.

Al Qaeda is on the run or speeches that the administration and senior counterterrorism officials gave before that basically declaring the war on terror over. Well, the war on terror is not over. It's not close to over, and we're seeing now the growth of groups like Al Qaeda, like ISIS, the affiliate groups. It's a major problem, and the fact that it didn't come up on the first night of Democratic National Convention is extraordinary.

KELLY: What about that, Robert?

ZIMMERMAN: Well, I mean, first and foremost let's point out that my heart and my soul just ache for the people of France and for the victims and their families. It is a tragedy that should shock the world and mobilize all of us to action. Let's also realize these types of issues should be above partisan politics. But since we're at a political convention, if it comes up, let's point out the last three speakers who spoke.

Joe Sweeney of the NYPD, Laura Manning, a survivor of 9/11, and Congressman Joe Crowley all addressed the issue of Hillary Clinton's record of fighting terrorism. And while the Republicans want to try to play a political game out of this issue, let's remember Hillary Clinton has a record of being part of the decision team to go after Osama Bin Laden, of course putting the strictest sanctions in the history of Iran against them.

Let's also remember Donald Trump has become a recruiting tool for ISIS. He's advocated agendas like his temporary Muslim ban that Congressman McCaul, a Republican, chair of Homeland Security said, would be a recruiting tool for ISIS.

KELLY: What do you make this because even though obviously these two candidates are very different, when it comes to how they'll battle terror, the lines are unusual? You know, he's talking about, you know, bombing the oil fields, you know, so that he can decimate ISIS' money source, but then sort of reversed that later. And she's more hawkish traditionally but seems to be pursuing more of the Obama agenda that's been, you know, controversial at least back here at home.

HAYES: Right. Well it's hard to figure out exactly where Donald Trump is on a lot of these issues. He's been for ground troops to fight ISIS. He's been against ground troops to fight ISIS. You know, he uses expletives to describe what he's going to do to ISIS and I think that gives people a sense that he's strong and would take the fight to them, but he hasn't really detailed how.

Hillary Clinton, I mean, it's just hard to buy the argument that she's been tough on terror even though she has a reputation of being a hawk. If you read her book, she goes into great detail about her role in trying to separate the Taliban and Afghanistan on the one hand from Al Qaeda on the other hand, suggesting that Taliban was gettable, that they were more moderate.

They're not moderate. There's a reason we're now, seven and a half years later, having to take the fight to the Taliban because they were hand in glove with Al Qaeda, they weren't...

KELLY: Two questions but I want to ask you, Robert, two questions. Retired Marine General John Allen endorsed Hillary Clinton which many on both sides we all thought was very significant that...

ZIMMERMAN: Absolutely.

KELLY: ...she got that endorsement from him. Very well respected, led the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan among many other accomplishments. And yet the Democrats come here to Philadelphia, they've got the world watching them, and they come under fire because they had no flags on the stage.

They had no flags in the arena, and only once they got criticized on why did they bring in flags here and really this sounds silly, right, to many people, but I can tell you that to many other people, they're wondering is there a lack of patriotism? A lack of the understanding of love of country and the threat that they feel they're under.

ZIMMERMAN: First of all, it's worth pointing out the entire stage was done in a red, white, and blue motif -- red, white and blue design for he entire stage, but the bigger point is it shows you debase the dialogue is when you start attacking the patriotism of people you don't agree with. I mean, very frankly, Hillary Clinton whether you agree with her or not has served nobly and heroically and taken some very tough hits in public service.

And her patriotism is not in doubt. That's never been a question. And of course, the Rush Limbaugh's of the world are going to try to make that an issue because they can't deal with the real issue that Donald Trump is a candidate that our generals have criticized. His strategies that would make us weaker not stronger and that's unprecedented.

KELLY: I got to ask you, Elizabeth Banks, a well-known actress, if you haven't seen "Pitch Perfect" you should...


KELLY: speaking now, a very well-known woman. We haven't even touched on the fact that history was made today. And you as an avid Hillary Clinton supporter from the beginning deserve a moment on that.

ZIMMERMAN: Well, thank you for that moment because I think tonight -- and this has been an important part of my life during her first lady tenure, when she was my senator in New York and of course the last presidential run and now. What's important to remember is, yes, we made history in the Democratic Party, but more importantly, we made our country stronger today because when we break down one barrier in our party -- we break down one barrier, we empower everyone to step forward.

And that's what makes this such a special night. And the whole country should take pride in seeing this move forward, whether they support Hillary Clinton or not, we should all be proud that a major national political party has recognized the importance of nominating this extraordinary woman for president.

KELLY: Great to see you. Greet to see you too, Steve. Thanks for being here. Again, we are live in Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention, awaiting a much anticipated speech. What's he going to say? How far is he going to go with the intimate discussions? Maybe that was the wrong choice of words.

President Bill Clinton will be speaking tonight. He's been doing this for years, right? Forty years he's been speaking at these conventions, but it's been a long time since so much has been riding on the Clinton legacy as it is tonight. President Bill Clinton at the DNC right here, coming up.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: Locker her up! Lock her up! Lock her up!


KELLY: Well, that was Bernie Sanders supporters chanting "lock her up." It's a phrase that touched off a fierce media backlash last week after GOP voters kicked off the slogan last week at the Cleveland convention.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: Locker her up! Lock her up! Lock her up!


KELLY: My next guest, a Republican, is deeply discouraged by that chant, calling it cheap, adding it will not help defeat Mrs. Clinton this fall. Joining me now, Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona. Good to see you senator. Thank you for being here. So, why do you have a problem with it because both parties are doing it although different factions within the Democratic Party?

SEN. JEFF FLAKE, R-ARIZ.: Well, it just doesn't seem they we're very serious if we're chanting that. There's plenty about Hillary Clinton's record that we can go to. But when you start with "lock her up" then it just discounts your other arguments and so I don't think that that's our best foot forward.

KELLY: What did you make -- this is your first interview since you had, for lack of a better term, a dust-up with Donald Trump. He went to Capitol Hill. He met with some lawmakers, including yourself, and you made the news by saying to him, "Hi, I'm the other senator from Arizona, the one who didn't get captured, and I want to talk to you about statements like that," which is a pretty bold opening. How did that meeting go between the two of you?

FLAKE: Well, I did mention that -- he mentioned that I've been critical of some of his statements, and I said, yes, I have, particularly statements like that said about John McCain, a true war hero. And to say you can't respect somebody that was captured, that's just beyond the pale. And to never have apologized for that, I think that's insulting to a lot of veterans and a lot of POW's.

And then to make statements to a judge born in Indiana, calling him a Mexican in a derogatory way, that doesn't do anything, to reach out to people we need to reach out to. And so I have been critical, and he didn't appreciate that.

KELLY: And now it sounds like Trump is going to come after you because he's got a super PAC who he says he's going to -- he's hoping to go after Senator Cruz, John Kasich, and some other person he says who's so actually such a small person, he hates to give the person publicity, but they believe it may be you.

So, you're in a difficult position because your party's nominee does not like you and it may be mutual from the sound of it. And yet you're no Hillary Clinton fan at all. So, what do you do sir?

FLAKE: Not at all, not all. Let me say, I'm not part of the Never Trump Movement. I want to be able to support our nominee. I just can't as long as he is making statements about Hispanics and other groups the way he is because, one, I don't think that that's right. And, two, that's no way to win a general election. So, I just don't think he can do that by insulting so many groups along the way.

And there is a good case that can and should be made against Hillary Clinton both on domestic and foreign policy. But as long as we're doing things like chanting "lock her up," it just doesn't allow us to get to those serious policy differences that we have with her. That's my problem.

KELLY: So, you haven't made up your mind?

FLAKE: No. I hope to be able to support Donald Trump. I'm not there yet. I hope that he changes not just some of his positions. He seems to have been backing off the Muslim ban. That's a good thing. And I should say during the convention when people were shouting "lock her up" during his speech, he didn't encourage that. That's encouraging, I think.

KELLY: He said, no, let's vote.

FLAKE: Exactly and that's good.

KELLY: Senator, it was a clever line. Thank you for being here and giving us the lowdown on your position. Great to see you, Senator Flake.

FLAKE: Thank you.

KELLY: Joining us now with more, Trump supporter and attorney David Wolf. So, even if you like Trump, you have to admit that's a good opening line by the U.S. senator, "I'm the other one." Okay, but putting that to the side, there is still some reticent, some reticent, as we see these Democrats divided behind me between Bernie and Hillary and they can't quite come to grips to the fact that Bernie has lost. There are still some Republicans that can't quite come to grips with the fact that Trump has won.

DAVID WOLF, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Well, Megyn, one of the exhilarating things about supporting Mr. Trump is that the bonds of political correctness are shattered. I mean these people are engaged in this chant, "lock her up," because they're frustrated with the fact that over and over and over again, Hillary Clinton is documented to have committed offenses, then we get the Department of Justice saying, well, you know, the statute that we could prosecute under (ph) is too old, or we haven't been given a referral to prosecute her under a perjury charge or the Clinton Foundation. I don't think we're going to look into that.

I mean, ordinary people see that, they see that our government is saying she's just too big to be prosecuted so frustration boils up not just with Mr. Trump supporters but with Bernie Sanders supporters saying, "Lock her up! Lock her up!" and to Mr. Trump's credit, you and I were there Thursday when he said, "You know, how about instead we just beat her in November?" That was an amazing response and Mr. Flake...

KELLY: David, what do you make -- what do you make of the promise by WikiLeaks now to release even more documents, which some in the Democratic Party could believe could be very damaging, in particular on the issue of the Clinton Foundation?

WOLF: Well, in the Clinton Foundation could be huge, Megyn, and I know that they have more. There's no question about that. It's a question of timing, and don't be surprised if the timing takes place just before Mrs. Clinton's acceptance speech on Thursday. What they seem to have is sort of evidence of a pay for play scandal where people contributed to the foundation and they got favors from the government.

Megyn, if that happens, this whole thing is going to implode on the Democrats and Hillary Clinton, and I wouldn't be surprised about this -- this WikiLeak thing, and by the way, Megyn, people seem to be now shifting from the outrage of the Russians hacking into her computer to the outrage of what has been going on in the Democrat National Committee. Bernie Sanders, of course, was the victim of a conspiracy to destroy him.

KELLY: Yeah.

WOLF: I don't know why he relented, but he did.

KELLY: One of the comments made there about going after his faith and even this week there was a Democrat out of Atlanta, a congressman, who suggested the Jewish settlers are like termites. I mean obviously anti-Semitic remarks. He was forced to apologize and take it back.

WOLF: Unbelievable.

KELLY: We saw a lot of bad moments for the Republicans last week and a lot of great ones for them. And this week, it's been much the same for the dems. David, great to see you.

WOLF: Pleasure, Megyn. Thank you.

KELLY: So in 2012, his speech brought down the house, President Obama even labeling him the explainer-in-chief. Tonight, will former president Bill Clinton deliver once again? His remarks are moments away. Don't go away.


KELLY: Breaking tonight, we are just moments away from perhaps the most important speech of the Clinton campaign to date. As Mrs. Clinton's husband, you may know him as our former president, Bill Clinton, takes to the stage to make the case that there should be another president Clinton in the White House. "America's Newsroom" co-anchor Martha MacCallum is live with the New York delegation. Hi, Martha.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, "AMERICA'S NEWSROOM" CO-ANCHOR: Hello there, Megyn. It's getting to that point in the evening. It starts to get a little bit more crunched down here. They're moving out people from the aisles. They're about to lock the room down, and that means only one thing, that Bill Clinton, the former president of the United States, is about to get the moment that he has waited eight years for. To stand on that stage and support his wife as the presidential nominee for the Democratic Party.

And as you just pointed out moments ago back in 2012, it became incumbent upon Bill Clinton to change the momentum of the moment in that race. If you look back, you remember that Barack Obama was in a pretty tight situation against Mitt Romney, and Hillary Clinton finds herself in a very tight race at this point as well. So, the question is can he do the same thing that he did then? Remember he stood on that stage. He said, "Nobody could have fixed this economy in four years, not even me. Give this guy four more years" was the message.

So now he's going to look at Hillary Clinton and all these supporters out here and try to present her in a way that gives clear contrast and a clear choice against Donald Trump. And he's a master at that according to a lot of the folks I spoke to in the New York delegation. They expect him to hit it out of the park. Can he still do it after all these years? We're about to find out, Megyn.

KELLY: Martha, thank you. Joining us now with more, Mo Elleithee who served as senior spokesman and travelling press secretary in Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign and Guy Benson, he's a political editor and Fox News contributor. Good to see you both.


KELLY: So, what do you think of that, Mo? That's the question. You got to feel sorry for him to an extent because the expectations are so high, right? Can he do it again?

MO ELLEITHEE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Look, I mean, this is kind of his home, right? This is, you know, the very first DNC speech Bill Clinton ever game, bombed. Never again.

KELLY: That's the one we have the picture of him looking so young with the long hair.

ELLEITHEE: But you know in 2012, that speech did turn the tide of the race a little bit. Every speech he's given here, this is his crowd. These are his people. And what he's got to do tonight, I think, is very simple. He just has to help people understand who Hillary Clinton is. You know, the campaign has this famous saying she's the most famous person in America that nobody really knows. Tonight, he just needs to go out there and tell him about the Hillary Clinton he knows.

KELLY: Who's going to rehabilitate her on her honesty numbers, guy?

BENSON: No one. They can't, right. So, you have to get past that. So, I think her husband is in a unique position, first of all of course as a former president, and then the husband to introduce his wife or re- introduce her for the 87,000th time, his wife to the American people. If anyone can do this and thread the needle and ignore the stuff and sort of get away with it, it's Bill Clinton.

They call him "The Great Explainer," and I think you're so right. In 2012, I remember sitting right around in this part of the arena in Charlotte. He came out and made a more coherent and relatable case for president Obama's re-election than I had heard to date and it felt like a shift (ph).

KELLY: That's why I need this, as being able to read a room and understand what is needed. That's part of the gift, is understand what void needs to be filled right here. And what would you say the goal would be? I mean, help us get to know her how? He's going to tell us stories about loving puppies or like what?

ELLEITHEE: Yeah, I mean, I think it's everything, right? If the question of this campaign is who's looking out for me, right, who's going to level the playing field and look out for me, that's what Bill Clinton is known for, you know. His entire presidency, he was known as the guy that could relate to Middle America.

KELLY: But he can't talk about himself (ph).

ELLEITHEE: But, he speaks -- he can speak to this group with a whole lot of credibility. If he says, look, let me tell you about the Hillary I know, let me tell you about the Hillary who has woken up every day of her life and fought for people, let me tell you about her humble beginning and how she then put that to use helping people.

KELLY: Okay, but I have to ask how much, if any, does it hang over that speech that we do know, as Brit referred to it as their weird marriage. I mean, there have obviously been some infidelity issues there, some of which have been very well publicized and some of which have been whispered about. Does that impugn his ability to stand up there and make the character case for her?

BENSON: I'm not sure because I feel like all of that baggage is sort of baked into the cake with the Clintons at this point. Everyone knows that that happened. It's there. Sometimes we talk about it. Usually we don't. But we're sort of moved past that point, and it hasn't been a focal point of this election.

KELLY: Even if he's not a faithful husband, he's clearly her best friend. He knows her better than -- we're not electing the best couple ever.

BENSON: And that's the thing, Megyn. You asked before, can he do anything to rehabilitate her trustworthy numbers? I don't think he can. Can he help on the favorability problem? I think if anyone in the world can do it, it's Bill.

KELLY: Even more so than Chelsea?

BENSON: Chelsea is less of a well-known commodity. I think she'll help, just like I think Ivanka Trump helped her father, but I think Bill Clinton, he's just such a raw talent.

KELLY: Yeah. Guys, great to see you.

BENSON: Thank you.

KELLY: Thank you for being here. Joining me now, Bill Hemmer, co-anchor of "America's Newsroom" along with Martha who you just saw and live at the DNC floor tonight. Hi, Bill.

BILL HEMMER, "AMERICA'S NEWSROOM" CO-ANCHOR: Hey, Megyn. Good evening. Just talked to Bill Daley, the former chief of staff of President Barack Obama. He said, how do you think Bill Clinton is going to do tonight? He said he'll do well. He's done this once or twice before. Pretty funny line about a former president who will address his tenth political convention in his political career.

He will be up for matter of moments after a six-minute video is rolled out about him and his wife Hillary Clinton. Megyn, inside the arena, I have noticed Bernie Sanders supporters, they have left. I don't know if in the dozens or the hundreds, but they have left this arena, and it is noticeable by the number of empty seats here. However, you do get the sense that the destruction, the nuisance, the revolution, whatever you call it that goes around Bernie Sanders is now slowly moving behind them and all the attention is moving toward Hillary Clinton.

Elijah Cummings there, a Democratic congressman from Maryland, he was just walking by here a moment ago. He said that Bernie Sanders tonight was class. And now Bernie Sanders is nowhere to be seen. We saw him come in. We saw him leave. And we're still waiting for him to pop up again. But it was a moment in that Vermont delegation that's now been whittled down to just a handful of people up there in the bowl (ph) of the arena. Bernie Sanders was here and he did apparently what he wanted to do as far as he wanted to go. Bill Clinton coming up soon, Megyn, back to you.

KELLY: Bill Hemmer down on the floor in the middle of it all. Bill, thank you. What a moment for president Clinton. This could be the most important speech in recent history for him. And this one's going to have to be a little tougher because it's always tougher when you're speaking on behalf of someone you love, right? These politicians always say they can take the hits but when someone they love is in the firing line, it feels very different.

And so, that will be his challenge tonight, to make the case for his wife without sounding too defensive, to sell her attributes to an American population, some of whom know her very well, others of whom do not. We pick it up there with Bret Baier in a moment.

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