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Kelly File

Gen. John Allen: I believe in Hillary Clinton; Gen. Flynn fires back

This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," July 28, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Breaking tonight, 16 years ago, Hillary Clinton walked out of the White House as first lady. Tonight she will walk onto the stage at the Democratic National Convention and make history, becoming the first woman from a major political party to formally accept this nomination for president.

Welcome to "The Kelly File," everyone. I'm Megyn Kelly reporting live from Philadelphia. We understand Mrs. Clinton has been working throughout the day to fine tune her speech. We're hearing that it will touch on themes of leadership. She is also expected to invoke her 1996 bestselling book, "It Takes a Village," to call for building a stronger society. And reports suggest that she could bring up the issue of trustworthiness, which has been a weak spot in her candidacy and one her opponent, Donald Trump, loves to highlight.

Just prior to her speech, her daughter Chelsea will take the stage and make a little history of her own as the only former first daughter with one parent who has been a president and another who is nominated to be a president. We have a big show lined up for you tonight. In moments, we will speak with Hillary Clinton's campaign spokesman Brian Felon.

But we begin with "America's Newsroom" co-anchor Martha MacCallum live on the convention floor. Hi, Martha.

MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS CO-ANCHOR, "AMERICA'S NEWSROOM": Hi there, Megyn. Good evening to you. We are in the Virginia delegation. Just over my shoulder is Terry McAuliffe, the governor of Virginia, who of course is a long time Clinton confidant, an amazing story for all of the people who have been in the inner circle of the Clinton world. And the way that you just described Chelsea Clinton, what an extraordinary position she's in as daughter of one president and perhaps daughter of a future president and the first woman president as well.

This is a moment that so many women are feeling on the floor of this arena.  I spoke too many of them. They talked to me about having spent 30 years wanting this moment, working towards women's rights. That obviously was the roots of Hillary Clinton's political career. She fought for women's rights, for equality and for children as well. Also just want to point out that it's becoming increasingly more patriotic on the floor over the past several days. What started out as a sort of generic blue stage and was criticized for not having any flags on it is now a sea of red, white, and blue.

And everyone just received signs that say "USA." Expect them to be chanting. We also just heard from the sheriff in Dallas, who talked about law enforcement and lives who had been lost in the line of duty, and brought up families very much like the mothers of the movement but on the police side. So law enforcement, law and order, all those themes who is trying to co-opt or engage in that Donald Trump has been successful on so far. So, they're trying to sort of box him out by taking some of his themes this evening. We'll see if it works.

KELLY: Martha MacCallum, thank you.

Joining us now with more, Brian Fallon, Hillary campaign national spokesperson. Thank you for being here.

BRIAN FALLON, HILLARY CLINTON CAMPAIGN NATIONAL SPOKESMAN: Thanks for having me.

KELLY: So they're saying that this speech will talk about how we are at a moment of reckoning. What does that mean?  

FALLON: Well, we're at a fork in the road as a country. We face a lot of serious challenges. On the economic side we want to build an economy that works for everybody, not just those at the top. We increasingly see wages being stagnant for a lot of middle class workers. We need to fix that. On the National Security side we face the ongoing threat of terrorism. We've seen it in incidents across this country and in Europe. And so Americans are asking a question about what can be done to keep them safe.

And so on both of these questions, we can take one of two approaches. We can unite as a country, come together, recognize that our diversity is what makes us great and that we function best and can achieve great things when we bring everybody together. That is the message that Hillary Clinton is going to put forward tonight. And I think that will be a stark contrast to Donald Trump's message last week which is really an appeal to justice core supporters. He continued to talk about policies that would divide us, banning Muslims.

KELLY: Yes. He says he was just speaking about world that exists. He says she's going to be speaking about -- and here in Philadelphia, they've been speaking about one that does not exist, a utopia that is not realistic.

FALLON: No, I think that we absolutely understand the challenges that middle class households are facing. There's no disagreement about the anxiety that exists out there from an economic standpoint and the fear that's out there with respect to national security. But Hillary Clinton, I think, is going to appeal to the best of Americans tonight and say that we can summon our best angels and to confront these problems if we all unite.  That's what's always gotten us in the good place as a country when we greeted those challenges and hardships with fortitude and a collective will not by turning on each other and pitting Americans against each other.

KELLY: Is it true that she's going to address the issue of trustworthiness. You know that this this -- she's struggled with this.  That the latest polls all show her at a 68 percent of the American population believes that she is not honest and trustworthy. This is a challenge for her. How did she get at that in a speech?

FALLON: I think all the speakers leading up to tonight have addressed that issue. I think you saw our vice presidential nominee Senator Tim Kaine speak in very honest and personal terms about -- his son Nat who is deployed as a marine in Europe, saying that he trusts Hillary Clinton as commander-in-chief with his son's own life. So, I think -- and President Obama also gave a stirring testimonial about how Hillary Clinton can be trusted with the decisions in the situations that only a president can make.

I think Hillary Clinton has begun to address those issues in recent weeks and a speech at the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition in Chicago. She talked about how politicking and retail politics is not something that comes naturally to her.

KELLY: Uh-hm.

FALLON: She recognizes that after many years in the public eye, she's been subject to many attacks and sometimes in her own words, has contributed to skepticism towards her. I think that in the speech that she gives tonight, she's going to reassure Americans that she is the one that they can trust to fight for her in the White House.

KELLY: What do you make -- she's under pressure right now to have a press conference. She hasn't had one in 237 days, since the last December of 2015. She's given interviews to reporters but that's not the same as a press conference where you have to take the heat from any reporter in the room who wants to throw anything at you. It undermines some people's belief in her that she can handle that, that she is honest and would answer any tough questions. When is she going to have one of those?

FALLON: Well, Megyn, I think that's exactly what the voters expect, to answer tough questions and for the President or presidential candidate to go before the press and sit down under that white light and answer questions. That's what we do on a regular basis and interviews including, we're going to be on FOX News this week --

KELLY: I know and he's great, and he'll do a great job. But you know it's not the same. Because even in an interview with Chris Wallace, Hillary will give him, let's say 12 minutes, whatever it is, and then it's limited.  You don't have a lot of time. You can only choose your top few questions and then you don't have a lot of time for follow-up. It's not as hard as a press conference is. Is there a reason she's been avoiding that?

FALLON: No.

KELLY: And doesn't she owe it to the American people to subject herself to it?

FALLON: I think Hillary Clinton can handle any question that is thrown at her whether it's an interview or press conference. I'm sure that we'll be doing press conferences against soon. She continues to take questions on the road. I know that it's not as often as a lot of our traveling reporters would like but we're going to continue to answer questions both from reporters that are traveling with their, and interviews with national, it's like FOX News, and with a lot of local outlets that are in these battleground states which is oftentimes the most direct way to communicate with those --  

KELLY: Well now, with all due respect to Chris Wallace, who I love --

FALLON: And Megyn Kelly.

KELLY: When is she going to sit down with Megyn Kelly of "The Kelly File"?

FALLON: Well, you know, we've had increasing presence on Fox News. She just phoned in and did an interview with Bill O'Reilly a couple of weeks back after the horrific attacks in Nice. She has been interviewed by Bret, and she's doing Chris Wallace this weekend. I have to assume that an appearance on "The Kelly File" is around the corner.

KELLY: I hope you're right. She says she's the champion of women in powerful positions. Let her prove it.

FALLON: Absolutely.

KELLY: Come on over to "The Kelly File."

FALLON: All right. I'll go back and make the pitch.

KELLY: Great to see you, Brian.

FALLON: Thanks, Megyn.

KELLY: Thank you. All the best.

Joining us now with more, Brit Hume, our Fox News senior political analyst.  I mean, there's no harm in guilting him while he's sitting right here.

BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I notice the booking effort you're making here.

KELLY: They pay me a lot of money to do that. I'm a Catholic. I know how to guilt people. What is her challenge tonight, Brit?

HUME: Well, she's so well known, and impressions of her are pretty solid, I think. So she's working with that obviously as a kind of a burden. And there's a little bit of complexity to the task added by the fact that her husband presented her as a change agent, as the change maker, the best he'd ever seen, he said in his life. Then of course last night the whole Obama pitch was continuity all the way. And, you know, he made a real strong case rhetorically for her. And then of course at the end of it was the moment which I think will last in a lot of people's minds if they were up late enough to see it, and they certainly saw the photographs, was that embrace and that moment together.

I mean that said continuity. It made her kind of the queen of continuity.  So which is it? And I'm sure that, you know, you can make an argument that she'll be continuing policies in such a way as to change things, but I think, you know, that's getting a little complex. And I think it poses a problem. Then of course on top of that she does have the question that everybody has, which has resulted in her deficit on the issue of trust, and she somehow needs to address that. Not an easy task.

KELLY: It's hard in a speech to get people past distrust. I mean, that's something that's build up or not overtime. But let me ask you this. She is not known for her, you know, ability to fire up a crowd.

HUME: Right.

KELLY: She does well in one-on-one settings, in personal settings, they say she does very well. But she, I think, would admit that this is not her forte, and she follows Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

HUME: Right. And her husband.

KELLY: And her husband and Michelle Obama. And this has been a week of amazing speeches.

HUME: Right.

KELLY: So how does that play for her tonight?

HUME: Well, you couldn't very well have her go ahead of them. She has to --

KELLY: You got to feel for her.

HUME: Yes. I do.

KELLY: I wouldn't want to follow all those folks.

HUME: I feel for her. And I think the one thing that she does have going for her of course is this is obviously a hugely sympathetic audience, so she will have that going for her. You know, they'll all be primed to cheer. And so at least in terms of the hall and perhaps in terms of, you know, lifelong hard core Democrats, she's got them already. And the question is, the same question every nominated candidate has. How do you build out from the coalition that nominated you? And you know, she's got some issues doing that.

KELLY: She's been working on that at this convention. You tell me. My impression here at the Democratic National Convention is they have made an effort to reach out to that Republican middle, the folks who may not be so fond of Donald Trump. Just now before we got on the air, there was a parade of Republican voters saying, I'm a lifelong Republican. I'm actually a party activist, and I'm voting for Hillary Clinton.

HUME: And I think that, you know, her best -- you heard me say this before, Megyn. But each candidate in this particular cycle is the other's best hope. And Donald Trump is her best home because, I mean, he hasn't even got the Republican base fully locked up. So there are some voters out there that could be picked off by her. But I -- you know, I question, you know, whether that's going to be -- I mean I think he's at a disadvantage.  There are more Democrats in this country than there are Republicans --

KELLY: Yes.

HUME: -- reflected in the ratings for this convention, the television ratings. They've been higher for this convention and they were for the Republican convention. Despite all the curiosity about Donald Trump, who is still a relative newcomer as opposed to her. So, I think, you know, she has that advantage, and the fact that Trump has been such a target rich environment helps her as well.

KELLY: Last question, do you think it was a mistake or was it a smart move for Trump to cause this controversy about Russia and hacking the e-mails in the middle of her week?

HUME: Well, I think that on one level, you could say that anytime everybody is talking about e-mails, it doesn't help her. On the other hand, it's not true as Trump seems to believe that any kind of publicity is good publicity. And it gave them an opening to attack her. I mean, on this set last night, Debbie Dingell basically accused Trump of treason which I don't think it's going to --  

KELLY: Uh-hm. And Leon Panetta down on the stage.

HUME: Exactly right. I am. My sense is this blows over, but it did get Trump on the air, and the Democrats, I'm sure, feel that it made them a bigger target. We'll see.

KELLY: Great to see you, Brit.

HUME: Thank you, Megyn.

KELLY: Much more with Brit coming up.

Well, as we wait to hear Hillary Clinton's message for America, the Democrats are announcing that gun control will be a big push in her presidential campaign. Up next, we will speak with the DNC committee member about that.

Plus, we will hear from the rape survivor who is lending her voice to a brand-new ad from the NRA. She's here to tell us why she did it.

And then with the FBI director sharing new warnings about Islamic State terrorists coming to the United States, General John Allen joins us on why he thinks Mrs. Clinton has the best plan for stopping the terrorists. It's extraordinary to have a general speak out like this. He'll do it tonight and then General Michael Flynn will weigh in with a different take. Don't go away.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: I think the greatest threat to the physical safety of Americans today is violence directed by, inspired by, urged by the group that calls itself the Islamic state.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: Breaking tonight, FBI Director James Comey delivering a dark assessment of our fight against terror, saying a win against ISIS overseas could cause the terrorists to come west, much like we saw in the terror attacks in Brussels and Paris earlier this year. Here's Director Comey on what he believes is the greatest threat to Americans. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COMEY: I think the greatest threat to the physical safety of Americans today is violence directed by, inspired by, urged by the group that calls itself the Islamic State. Not all of the Islamic State's killers are going to die on the battle field. Hundreds and hundreds of them, when the coalition succeeds, and I'm confident it will in crushing the Islamic State, through the fingers of that crush are going to come hundreds of really dangerous people, and they're going to flow out primarily towards Western Europe. But we might as well be right next door to Western Europe given the ease with which people can travel. And this is an order of magnitude greater than any diaspora (ph) we've seen before.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Earlier I spoke with retired four-star General John Allen, who just endorsed Hillary Clinton as the next commander-in-chief. Great to see you, General. Thank you so much for being here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEN. JOHN ALLEN, FORMER U.S. MARINE CORPS: Great to be with you, Megyn.

KELLY: Thank you for your service.

ALLEN: Thank you.

KELLY: So you tell me. Did Comey nail it there?

ALLEN: He did.

KELLY: The more success we have against ISIS in the Middle East, the more likely they are to disperse and come to places that are friendly to the United States or the United States.

ALLEN: Well, ISIS really exists in three forms. It's the core on the ground in Syria and Iraq. It's the provinces that we have seen in places like Libya and the Sinai. But there's also a global network. This is the way that ISIS would like to coordinate the activities that it conducts, not just in Syria and Iraq but elsewhere. And that work rides on the back of social media and the internet of things, and it makes it difficult for us to know where all of these folks are at any given time. So the director is right.

KELLY: You were jumping up and down a couple years ago saying we've got to destroy this group and we have to destroy them now.

ALLEN: Right.

KELLY: Forcefully. And you know, we're said to have left under President Obama's command, perhaps dissatisfied with his approach to how -- to ISIS.  Is that true? Is that why you left?

ALLEN: I left for a number of reasons. It was time to get on. I had done a six-month appointment, which was the original effort, and then a second six-month appointment and started the third six-month appointment. It was just time to go.  

KELLY: You were in charge of fighting this group.

ALLEN: Well, I was in charge of forming the coalition globally, helping to administer and implement the strategy, and to work with the Turks.

KELLY: Without placing political blame, you know, I'm not trying to make this political about President Obama, but I am trying to figure out what do you think we ought to be doing right now to defeat this group that we're not doing?   

ALLEN: We're doing a lot on the ground in Iraq and Syria, and I think we're seeing a real payoff in that regard. It is shrinking. We're putting it under a lot of pressure. We're going to have to do more, and it's planned to do more, to go after the provinces where we will work closely with regional partners, Libya, for example, and the Sinai against Boko Haram, against Horsan (ph), and Afghanistan and Pakistan. But then again the network is really the issue.

And the network binds the provinces with the core. It is the way that ISIL, Daesh, conducts global command and control. They move fighters along that network. They move money, they move guns. They can inspire, they can direct attacks. And we need to do what we are doing now, but do as much as we possibly can, which is to integrate our intelligence and law enforcement, our security services more broadly and more intimately, especially in Western Europe where there is a tradition of the separation of those.

And as Daesh, as ISIL continues now to try to attack us in our capitals, to try to take the war to us now, to take pressure off of them in their heartland, Syria and Iraq, we've got to do more to integrate both the information and intelligence and integrate that with law enforcement because it's a law enforcement dimension. And doing that will help us to disrupt the network, hit the key nodes and critical pathways that can bring that network down. But we should expect this for some time. The director is absolutely correct.

KELLY: Now, I have been looking into your history. You don't make political comments. A Google search of you over the past 12 months, zero comments about Donald Trump. You're liked by Republicans and Democrats alike, respected on both sides of the aisle. So you come out and make an extraordinary move in this election to endorse Hillary Clinton. Why did you feel compelled to do that?

ALLEN: Well, first of all, I believe in her. We worked closely when she was the secretary of state. She supported me enormously in Afghanistan when I commanded there. She set the conditions diplomatically for many of the things we were able to accomplish not just in Afghanistan but more broadly in the region. She really gets the fact that America is the indispensable power but we don't do it alone.

We do it through our alliances, we do it through our relationships. And we do it through the personal relationships that we have with our partners overseas. And she wants to strengthen those. She wants to ensure that NATO is supported, that America is prominent in NATO. NATO is one of the most important coalition of nations on the planet today. And far even beyond the geographic boundaries of what NATO is today --

KELLY: Donald Trump says, I'm fine with NATO but some of these nations don't pay their fair share.

ALLEN: We should expect that that's going to be difficult for them.  They're in difficult financial times. That observation by him is not novel. We've been saying that for a number of years, that our NATO partners should strive to spend two percent of GDP and to do so in a way that is coherent to our NATO strategy and to our NATO requirements. But they're going to struggle to do that. And not all of them, in fact, most of them don't. That's no reason for us to leave NATO. That's no reason for us to say that when an attack on one of our partners occurs, we aren't going to be there for those partners.

KELLY: What do you think of Donald Trump?

ALLEN: I'd like to not get into --

KELLY: What do you think of his foreign policy? Because in particular, he's got a plan for fighting ISIS which he won't fully reveal. Because he says he doesn't want them to know it. But what he has said is, first he decried Middle East entanglement and condemned the neo-con with but then he switched in March and said, we need 20,000 to 30,000 ground troops in Iraq.  He says we need to destroy the oil fields which provide money to ISIS over there. But beyond that, he doesn't say anything.

ALLEN: Well, there isn't much substance there. And we were all eagerly awaiting for some kind of more definitive statement on how he would be engaged in the Middle East, and I think more specifically as you propose, he'll deal with the Islamic State. And we all need to hear that because if he's going to be supported, he needs to be sufficiently clear so that we know where he wants to take the country and where he wants to take the military.

KELLY: He's beloved by a lot of military, you know, rank and file.

ALLEN: Mm-hmm. That's okay. That's their choice.

KELLY: What do you make of it? I mean, do you think he's a dangerous commander-in-chief potentially?

ALLEN: Again, I'm not going to get into superlatives in this regard. He has no experience in that regard. And when there are suggestions that the Armed Forces of the United States of America, which are the finest on the planet despite some of the rhetoric that I've heard come out of the campaign, his campaign, when there is the implication that the United States military might be used as an instrument of torture, or the U.S. military might be used to systematically murder the families of suspected terrorists or the U.S. military might be used for any number of illegal activities, you know, we're putting ourselves on the edge of a civil military crisis that we've never seen before in this country.

We don't need to go there. The United States military is the finest on the planet. And we're looking for the kinds of employment of that force in support of our alliance system, in support of our national objectives, in support of our partners and allies around the world that will continue to promote peace and stability and not make the relationships transactional.  We're a transformational power. We should take advantage of that, and I believe that's what Hillary Clinton will bring to the table.

KELLY: Now, here's a sexist question for you. Do you think that there would be any problem in having a female commander-in-chief? She would be the first one we ever had.

ALLEN: Problem with whom?

KELLY: You know, some people say, will the men follow her?

ALLEN: Of course they would.

KELLY: Would they listen to a female commander?

ALLEN: Of course they will. Of course they will. Look, again, I'll say it again. Finest military on the planet. We go forward under fire anytime our commander-in-chief orders us to do so, and that commander-in-chief, we are blind to the origins of that commander-in-chief, and we'll salute and we'll move forward and accomplish our mission, and we'll be very happy to do it under her leadership.  

KELLY: We salute you, General Allen, and your service to our nation. God bless you. Thank you for being here.  

ALLEN: Thank you, Megyn. Great to be with you today. Take care. Thanks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: So we taped that just a moment -- a little bit earlier tonight.  General John Allen is on the stage right now to chants of USA, surrounded by Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans. Let's just take a look at the scene.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

ALLEN: So we stand before you tonight to endorse Hillary Clinton for the president of the United States of America!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

We trust in her judgment. We trust in her judgment. We believe in her vision for a United America. We believe in her vision of an America as a just and strong leader against the forces of hatred, the forces of chaos and darkness. We know that she, as no other, knows how to use all instruments of American power, not just the military, to keep us all safe and free!

(CROWD CHANTING "USA, USA, USA, USA, USA, USA, USA, USA")

My fellow Americans, I tell you without hesitation or reservation, that Hillary Clinton will be exactly, exactly the kind of commander-in-chief America needs.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

I know this -- I know this because I served with her. I know this as the former special presidential envoy to the global coalition to counter ISIS.  With her as our commander-in-chief, America will continue to lead --

KELLY: General John Allen in a very unusual move for him, getting political tonight, endorsing Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump.

Joining me now with his thoughts, former DIA Director General Michael Flynn who is also the author of The New York Times bestseller, "The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies."  So, having listened to General Allen right here on the set, General Flynn, and down there firing up this crowd, he's not a political guy. He's not a political guy, but, man, he believes in her.

GEN. MICHAEL FLYNN, FORMER DIA DIRECTOR: Yes.

KELLY: Your thoughts on his comments.

FLYNN: Well, two things. You know, number one, on John Allen, great, great service to our country as a -- you know, in the United States Marine Corps. I agree with him that we do have the finest military in the world although they are definitely not ready -- as ready as they need to be, Megyn. I will tell you that I cannot see how John Allen can support somebody who perpetually cannot tell the truth and has -- and was actually described by the director of the FBI as not being able to tell the truth.  So I honestly don't know how John Allen can look at himself in the mirror and say why he supports Hillary Clinton. On Director Comey --

KELLY: So, he says, but wait. Let me just ask you.

FLYNN: Yes.

KELLY: Because he says he's worked with her, so he has personal experience.

FLYNN: I mean, we all have.

KELLY: But just to get you to respond to what he accused Trump of, he said -- and I want you to respond to this because he said, with him, with the calls for torture, with the calls for the murder of the families of terrorists, he said, he would put us on the edge of a civil military crisis.

FLYNN: Yes. Donald Trump hasn't said any of that. Honestly, the civil military crisis is somebody who disclosed an unbelievable amount of --

KELLY: He has, General. He called for torture. He supports torture.  He's very open on that.

FLYNN: Yes.

KELLY: Enhanced interrogation techniques, and he has called for the murder of the families of loved --

FLYNN: General Allen, as a retired officer, was in charge of our current strategy for well over a year, maybe closer to two years, and during that period of time the rise of radical Islamism and ISIS, you know, it exponentially grew. You know, and back to your comment about Director Comey, Director Comey must have forgotten that we got attacked in Orlando.  He must have forgotten that we got attacked in San Bernardino. I saw his comments today earlier, and I was like stunned that he just talked about, you know, if we continue to pressure them there, they're going to come over here. Well, John Allen just said the same thing.

So we're going to keep the strategy that we have so these guys will be pressured to come over here. So there's something wrong with that picture, and frankly I honestly don't know how General Allen can look at himself in the mirror and say that he supports an individual who placed our national security at high risk. I mean Donald Trump has -- he has said a lot of things and I think that there's a lot of things that have not been precisely stated, Megyn. And that's some of the things that he just said.  So I'm really -- I'm a bit stunned. John Allen can support -- as an American, he can support whoever he wants, whatever his conscience decides.  But I'm telling you he was in charge of the strategy after he came out of the -- after he came out of uniform, and that strategy failed.

KELLY: Well, yes, and then he -- you know, he reportedly left, he wouldn't say it exclusive because he reportedly left because he didn't agree with the commander-in-chief, and that was the --

(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)

Some of the military General Flynn have said that Trump's proposed Muslim band has already endangered our troops abroad. To have, you know, Muslims abroad looking at American troops as though they stand against, you know, foreign Muslims coming into the United States endangers them. To that you say what?

FLYNN: Yes. I got an e-mail from a friend who is a very senior person in a Muslim country about my book. And he said thank you very much for writing it. I am going to ensure that all the leaders of our country read this book. So that's a plug for my book, but it's also a plug for the idea about -- that we actually can beat these guys.   

And I'm telling you, the strategy that John Allen was in charge of, working for the Obama administration the last couple of years, it's a failed strategy. It's just not working. Listen to what the FBI director just said. I mean, and John Allen just said, we're going to create more problems over here with the strategy that we have over there. That's essentially what both of them just told the American public.

KELLY: Well, they're saying once we decimate ISIS in Syria and Iraq, they're not just going to be gone. They're going to spread out. They're going to be a scattered people and they're going to be to Europe and then they're going to come to the United States.

FLYNN: But Megyn -- Megyn, they're already -- I know...

KELLY: But he's saying to a greater extent, that's what Comey's worried about.

FLYNN: They already have, Megyn.

KELLY: Right. I got it.

FLYNN: They already have, Comey...

KELLY: I got to go, general. It's great to -- I got it. Yet another thing for us to worry about tonight, but we worry about it all the time and we're glad we have people like General Flynn to talk to us about it. Great to see you, sir.

So Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has a reputation for some fierce attacks on Republican presidential candidates. But tonight, we'll show you why some folks are suggesting he really crossed the line with a new low in a hit on Donald Trump. Plus, gun control advocates use the convention stage to make calls for new laws and the NRA immediately hit back in a new ad featuring a woman who survived a vicious sexual assault. She'll join us next with her message about the right to self-defense. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KIMBERLY CORBAN, RAPE SURVIVOR: The thought of owning a handgun terrified me until one morning a stranger broke into my apartment and raped me. He had evil in his eyes and I was helpless. My fear of firearms disappeared when I got my second chance at life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: Breaking tonight, the push for gun control is on full display here at the Democratic National Convention. Last night, politicians and activists showcased the issue by taking to the convention stage to explain why Hillary Clinton is the candidate best suited to get tough on guns. But now the NRA is firing back in a new ad that features a powerful message from a rape survivor.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CORBAN: The thought of owning a handgun terrified me until one morning a stranger broke into my apartment and raped me. He had evil in his eyes and I was helpless. My fear of firearms disappeared when I got my second chance at life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're right to own a gun for self-defense is at risk in this election. Hillary Clinton would take away your rights.

CORBAN: Self-of defense is your right. Don't let it be taken away.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The NRA Political Victory Fund is responsible for the content of this advertising.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: In a moment we're going to hear from the young woman you saw in that ad, Kimberly Corban. But first, I'm joined by DNC committee member and superdelegate Robert Zimmerman, great to see you.

ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, DNC COMMITTEE MEMBER: After this convention, we can forgo the title, thank goodness.

KELLY: All right, so let's talk about this because I get that she wants to, you know, more background checks and so on like that. What could she possibly accomplish that Barack Obama was not able to accomplish?

ZIMMERMAN: First, we have to -- I just have to say what Kimberly Corban went through is the most tragic, horrific situation that any human being could face. All of our hearts go out to her. I admire the way she's rallied and rebuilt her life, but nothing that president Obama proposed, nothing that Hillary Clinton is proposing in any way would stop Kimberly Corban from getting a handgun. That's not even the question. Now, in terms to your response about what she can accomplish...

KELLY: He couldn't get it done. How could she get it done?

ZIMMERMAN: But here's the difference, this national election has now become a referendum, not Democrat versus Republican, but about standing up to the gun lobby and standing up and -- not for gun control but trying to stop gun violence. You have now 80 percent of all citizens, about 70 percent of gun owners...

KELLY: But it's been that way -- it's been that way. Robert, this is what people believe. If the gun -- if nothing could be done after Newtown, 20 dead kindergartners...

ZIMMERMAN: Oh, my God.

KELLY: ...what makes anybody think you can touch the gun laws in this country?

ZIMMERMAN: You know, I recognize what you're saying, and I feel that frustration as a strong advocate of anti-gun violence legislation. But that's not the reason not to try. I mean it took tragically too long to move civil rights legislation through, but it finally went through. I think the difference is we've had so many Newtown's, so many Virginia Techs, and we're in fact seeing a response from the public.

For example, in Virginia, the next vice president of the United States, Tim Kaine, is a governor and a senator with an F rating from the NRA, and he was elected in the home state of the NRA, Virginia.

KELLY: Well, let me ask you this, because you know, the gun rights advocates say, "OK, great, but the vast majority of the guns used in these crimes are illegal guns." They are not -- so none of these laws that are passed to try to tighten the gun controls would have prevented most of these things. These criminals, they get their hands on illegal guns.

ZIMMERMAN: But the point here is, let's not make it easier for them to evade background checks. Let's not make it easier for example, people who are domestic abusers or people who are mentally ill to buy guns on the internet to avoid background checks and avoid criminal background reviews. That's the point here.

Why should anyone, a private citizen, have to own an assault weapon? How many more deaths do we have to endure until we finally rally the Congress? The country, though, is there, and hopefully this election will show it.

KELLY: Great to see you.

ZIMMERMAN: Great to be with you.

KELLY: Joining me now, the second amendment advocate who is featured in that NRA new ad, Kimberly Corban. Kimberly, thank you so much for being here and you know, I echo Robert in extending my heartfelt condolences for what you went through. Just walk us through it because you say you weren't a gun nut -- you were afraid of, you know, "gun nut," as I said. You were afraid of guns and you see it very differently now.

CORBAN: I do. I was actually a sophomore in college in 2006 at the University of Northern Colorado. I grew in Greeley and on the early morning hours of May 12th, a stranger broke into my college area apartment, held me there in my room for two hours, and sexually assaulted me. And I had to lay there at 20 years old thinking this is how I'm going to die.

I never thought that self-defense was something -- I mean, really, I had no idea what the second amendment was. I really didn't understand what was included in the constitution. Those aren't the things that were taught to me in school, and it wasn't until I was laying there that I realized there was no way that I could fight back. I had to gather as much information as I could and hope and pray that the justice system worked.

Luckily for me and my case, it did, and I was very fortunate to be able to testify at my rapist's hearing, and he was put away for 24 years to life, and he is currently serving that in the Department of Corrections.

KELLY: And politically, though, you've been a Democrat. You've voted Democrat. You voted for Barack Obama and thought that your second amendment rights would be upheld. And then did you find differently or what happened?

CORBAN: Well, in 2008, I hear hope and change, and I hear all of these really, really scary commercials coming on that are directly impacting me as somebody who was never politically affiliated beforehand. And I'm hearing this very strong messaging saying that you're a victim of violent crime, this is the person that's going to provide the most protection for you.

And I didn't realize that the protection I needed most was coming from myself. I need my right to defend myself. I need my right to defend my two little kiddos that are 1 and 3 now and that is going to cost...

KELLY: What specifically are you worried they're going to take away? Which piece of your gun rights?

CORBAN: I guess what I've watched happen over the last few years is that, oh, we're not going to take away your guns but we're just going to limit where you can take this. And the reason that I got involved in this at all was because I was a grad school student at UNC. I'm carrying concealed. That was my own business. I'd never really thought much else about it. That's what I wanted to do. And then suddenly my legislature is saying, well, you can't carry on your campus anymore.

So, then it's getting extended to, well, you can't carry this specific type of gun anymore. And it's these incremental, small, chipping away of our rights that is really getting down to the heart of the issue. And now we're being told trust Hillary. She is going to make sure that you are kept safe, and if there's anything that I've learned in the last ten years, it's that no one is going to be as responsible for my personal safety as myself.

KELLY: Kimberly, thank you for sharing your story.

CORBAN: Thank you very much for having me.

KELLY: Lots of love to you. So, how does Hillary Clinton tonight top some of the speeches this week from her husband, from Michelle Obama, from president Obama, from Joe Biden? Mark Thiessen and Mo Elleithee just ahead on that. Plus, Harry Reid is under fire for this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. HARRY REID, D-NEV.: Give him fake briefings. Pretend you're briefing. Don't tell him anything that you don't want to get out. That's how I feel about it.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: Breaking tonight, with classified intelligence briefings for presidential candidates set to start in just days, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is causing controversy tonight with his latest attack on the Republican candidate for president. Senator Reid today responding to Donald Trump appearing to ask Russia to find Hillary Clinton's deleted e-mails, a request that Mr. Trump now says was sarcastic. And this is how Senator Reid replied to all of that, suggesting those classified intelligence briefings that Trump's about to get, well, they should be fake for him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REID: It's obvious he can't control his mind or his tongue. And what I suggested is now because he's the nominee for the party and he gets -- he's entitled to briefings from the CIA, for example, I said publicly give him fake briefings. Pretend you're briefing him. Don't tell him anything that you don't want to go out, and that's how I feel about it. I think the man is a loose cannon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What does that even mean?

REID: That means they'll tell him stuff, he won't know the difference.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're basically telling the intelligence community to lie to him.

REID: No, I'm not going to lie to you. That's why I tell you everything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Monica Crowley is a Fox News contributor and host of "The Monica Crowley" radio show, Bill Burton is a former White House deputy press secretary under president Obama, and Tezlyn Figaro is the former Bernie Sanders campaign staffer. Great to see you all.

TEZLYN FIGARO, FORMER BERNIE SANDERS CAMPAIGN STAFFER: Hi.

KELLY: Tezlyn, let me start with you on that. What do you make of Harry Reid?

FIGARO: Well, you know, I think this is the fact the Democrats beat like a drum - like a drum and see the endplate (ph) on the night. He probably should've called to somehow help Democrats win (inaudible). Harry Reid is focused on the wrong thing, especially by suggesting to give false information, I think, would be irresponsible. Democrats tend to say that they take the high road, and I think he's, you know, kind of playing the game of the sarcasm and the joking about (inaudible) I don't know.

KELLY: You tell me. Was that joking? I couldn't tell. It wasn't a laugh riot.

BILL BURTON, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I don't know that he was joking, but you know what? If Donald Trump already knows more than the generals, I don't know why he needs the intelligence briefings anyway.

KELLY: Now that's joking. You tell me. You're a Democrat.

BURTON: True.

KELLY: He sounds like -- he sounds like a bit of a jerk.

BURTON: I wouldn't go that far.

KELLY: That's sort of a jerkish comment.

BURTON: A lot of the things...

KELLY: You're going to give fake intel briefings to the man who might be president.

BURTON: A lot of the things that he was saying is true. Donald Trump does have impulse control problems. He can't really control what comes out of his mouth. Now look...

KELLY: Nonetheless, if he becomes the president, he needs to have these intel briefings before he does.

BURTON: I think that the integrity of the process will hold up regardless of what Harry Reid says. He'll get the briefings and frankly maybe once he sees the briefings, he'll stop saying such stupid things about ISIS and about Putin because he'll see that actually ISIS is in retreat and actually Putin is a major problem for the United States of America, and he shouldn't be inviting him into espionage.

KELLY: You know, Harry Reid is the only one, Monica, who has proposed a fake briefing, but the Republicans also proposed to deprive Hillary Clinton of her intelligence briefings. Paul Ryan said that to me on our show right here after her e-mail scandal.

MONICA CROWLEY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, Democrats are masters of projection, of accusing their opponents of what they themselves are guilty of. Mrs. Clinton jeopardized our most sensitive national security secrets for four years by using a private unsecured non-government server. But Harry Reid is going out suggesting that the Republican nominee for president should be denied classified briefings? It is so absurd as to be laughable if he didn't actually mean it.

I think Harry Reid meant it, but you know what Megyn, there's always a method to their madness. And what I think what Harry Reid was doing is setting the framework tonight for Mrs. Clinton because what she's going to do on that stage later is present herself as the reasonable alternative to Donald Trump. So, basically Harry Reid in this absurd way was trying to set the stage for that argument.

KELLY: They're definitely trying to paint Donald Trump as unstable, unreliable, untrustworthy, you know, trigger finger crazy man who shouldn't be given the nuclear codes. So far have they done it, Tezlyn?

FIGARO: Not to me. I mean, it's the same things that Democrats have done. I've seen this same movie before. It's called "The Wizard of Oz." And what it is, is just having a big smoke screen and a nice, you know, fun time but really not getting into the strategy. You know, there have been a lot of conversation about being scared but haven't talked about really the strategy on how to help Democrats win.

To lose over 900 seats since this administration has been in place, the delegates are doing fine, but the communities that they represent back home are not. And that's what's really missing in the convention.

KELLY: What do you make of it, Bill, because you've been in a White House? These security briefings, basically the intel community came out today and some folks had said there's some alarmism. Mike Morrell who led the CIA says this is just analytic judgments. They're going to get -- they're not going to get a presidential daily briefs so, just ease up. Don't worry Harry.

BURTON: Right. You know, I actually think that Monica gives us too much credit on the Democratic side. Things that might seem strategic are actually just -- Senator Reid just speaking his mind. I don't think that's always sought (ph) here. But right, these briefings are, I mean, that they are classified for a reason, but the information is not the same thing that the president of the United States gets once he walks into the oval office and, you know, really gets the full breathe of what's going on in the world.

KELLY: Yeah, and somebody is going to need them because one of these two people is going to become the commander-in-chief unless something remarkable happens and Tezlyn gets her way and Bernie Sanders comes back out and wins this nomination after all. He's got just a couple more minutes to do it. Great to see you all.

FIGARO: Thank you.

KELLY: We're back with Mark Thiessen, Mo Elleithee, and the big speech from Hillary Clinton next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: Breaking tonight, we are moments away from a history-making event as Hillary Clinton accepts the nomination of the Democratic Party and then has to deliver a speech that will somehow outshine what we heard this week from her husband, from Michelle Obama, and from President Obama just last night.

Mark Thiessen is a former chief speechwriter for President George W. Bush and Fox News contributor and Mo Elleithee was Hillary Clinton's travelling press secretary during here 2008 run for president, great to see you both. Mo, let me start with you.

MO ELLEITHEE, HILLARY CLINTON'S FORMER TRAVELLING PRESS SECRETARY: Good to see you Megyn.

KELLY: What do you think she needs to do tonight?

ELLEITHEE: I think she needs to make -- do two things. One, make a clear contrast. We've heard this theme throughout the course of the week, that Hillary Clinton will be a champion for you. She always has been, always will be, and that Donald Trump is only in it for himself. That needs to pop tonight. The second half of that statement is not a heavy lift for most Americans.

They're willing to buy that that Donald Trump's only in it for himself. The first part has been her challenge, though. So, she needs to tonight find a way to connect with people on a personal level to get them to start to believe that she has been and always will be a champion. You've heard the speakers all week make that case. Tonight, it's her turn.

KELLY: Mark, what do you think?

MARK THIESSEN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yeah, well, the problem for Hillary Clinton is that 54 percent of the American people think she's in it for personal gain. I mean, this is the problem she faces. You've pointed out she's following Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, two of the great presidential orators in modern times. And the reason why people like Bill Clinton is because he empathized with people. People actually felt he felt their pain. They believed it.

Nobody believes that Hillary Clinton feels their pain. Sixty-eight percent says she's dishonest, 54 percent say she's into it for herself. So, those are pretty strong headwinds going. And second of all, I think Mo's wrong. There's not a clear message coming out of this convention. You had -- it's not clear whether she's the change maker that Bill Clinton pandered her as on Tuesday night or the agent of continuity that Barack Obama tried to paint her as. You have to choose. You can't be an agent of continuity and an agent of change at the same time.

She wants to be an agent of change because 70 percent of the country thinks that the country is going in the wrong direction. But if she wants to be an agent of change, she has to stand there tonight and say, what policies is she going to change? What Obama policies is she going to change? How is she going to be different from Barack Obama? And I don't think she's ready to do that.

KELLY: I mean, isn't the message that she's going to continue his change, he's not going to change from Barack Obama?

ELLEITHEE: No, I think that's it, right. Over the past eight years, the United States has been begun to change. The American people eight years ago said we needed a new direction. Fifty-four percent of the American people or over 50 percent of the American people believe that Barack Obama is doing a good job. His approval numbers are high.

KELLY: But does that work when you have two-thirds of the American public that believes this country is going in the wrong direction?

ELLEITHEE: Here's what it really is, right, because we can parse approval ratings versus favorable ratings versus right track versus wrong track. Most people feel right now that they don't -- that they're not standing on a level playing field, and so that's what they're looking for, someone that can unrig the system. It's no accident that when Donald Trump can be consistent in his message, that's what he's trying to say.

KELLY: Right.

ELLEITHEE: That's what Hillary Clinton is trying to say. They're both trying to make the argument that they are the one who is going to best level the playing field for the American people. He's having a harder time than even she is right now because his approval numbers, his favorable numbers, his trust numbers are even lower.

KELLY: They're both terrible. I mean, basically the American public has told us they're not big fans of either one of these candidates, Mark. Trustworthiness, how do you -- how do you -- they say she's going to begin to sort of try to heal that. How do you that in a speech?

THIESSEN: You know, Robby Mook actually said today that she'll start to win back American people's trust once she's president because they'll see how awesome she is. It usually doesn't work that way. You first have to convince people to trust you with the job before you get a chance to prove how trustworthy you are. So, she's got a problem there. But again Mo is saying that their message is that they're going to change the country by staying the course. That's complete -- that's cognitive dissonance. Nobody understands that.

ELLEITHEE: That's not what I'm saying. Mark, it's actually not what I'm saying.

THIESSEN: Well, it is.

ELLEITHEE: No it's not. Actually, no...

THIESSEN: It is. You're saying we're going to continue the change that we started eight years ago. People don't want that.

ELLEITHEE: That's what you're saying I'm saying. That's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is her message -- her message, and I'll say it again for the third time. That her message is I'm going to fight for you. He is going to fight for himself. That is the entire message no matter how many times you try to change it...

KELLY: As fascinating as this exchange is, Katy Perry is singing and people want to hear.

ELLEITHEE: So much better than this.

KELLY: Mo, it's great to see you, Mark, you too. We go live now to the floor of the Democratic National Convention where pop star Katy Perry is bringing it.

KATY PERRY, SINGER: (SINGING)

KELLY: Katy Perry with the American flag microphone, lighting up the crowd here. I want to thank you for watching "The Kelly File" this week here in Philadelphia and keep it right here because our continuing coverage with Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton continues right now with yours truly and Bret Baier.

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