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Kelly File

Huckabee responds to Muslim father featured at DNC

This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," July 29, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST, "THE KELLY FILE":  Breaking tonight, an ugly war of words is erupting between the White House hopefuls as the real work of winning over voters kicks into high gear.  

Welcome to THE KELLY FILE, everyone.  I'm Megyn Kelly.  Hard to believe but we are roughly 100 days now from Election Day, and what a wild couple of weeks it has been.  Weeks filled with campaign promises and pointed attacks, culminating in the nominations of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.  Already the two rivals are making the most of every waking moment, crisscrossing the country to take their messages directly to the people. And there is good reason why.  Get a load of this.  The Real Clear politics average of polls has Clinton and Trump tied, down to the tenth, at 44.3 percent apiece.  Look at that.  Look at that.  And with polling like that, you better believe the messaging is getting harsh.  Watch.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE:  As we pointed out during our four great days of our convention, you heard something very different from the Republicans, didn't you?

DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE:  I watched last night.  I watched Hillary Clinton.  What a sad -- what a sad situation.  

CLINTON:  Donald Trump painted a picture, a negative, dark, divisive picture of a country in decline.  

TRUMP:  I'm taking the gloves off.  Just remember this.  Trump is going to be no more Mr. Nice guy.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY:  Oh, boy.  We begin tonight with our chief political correspondent campaign Carl Cameron reporting live from a Trump rally in Denver.  Carl.  

CARL CAMERON, FOX NEWS CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Megyn.  It will get started in just a few minutes.  Trump's not quite here yet, but he's been on a tear all day.  Earlier today in Colorado Springs, he was both passive and aggressive both on defense and on offense.  He started out his address by saying that he was half expecting Hillary Clinton to praise him and congratulate him for having won the nomination in her speech last night.  It took a while though.  The event went about an hour long, and it changed dramatically.  Here's an example of Donald Trump almost contradicting himself in the same -- in the same event.  Watch.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP:  I think -- I'll tell you.  I think I have the best temperament or certainly one of the best temperaments of anybody that's ever run for the office of president.  We're running against a person that was just accused of being negligent and being other things and lying, lying.  How do you lie to the FBI, and now you're running for president?  How does that happen?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMERON:  Pretty tough stuff, and you said it earlier, Megyn.  This is likely to be one of the nastiest races in decades.  And it's also going to be one of the longest general election campaigns in half a century.  The last time both parties had their nominations completed and their conventions over in July, it was when John Kennedy was running against Richard Nixon, 1960.  An awful lot of battling ahead in the next three and a half months plus -- Megyn.  

KELLY:  Oh, boy.  I'm tired already.  I can't imagine how they feel.  Carl, great to see you.  So as we just mentioned, the two camps are now in a dead heat.  Dead.  And a new report suggests that Democrats are concerned that Mrs. Clinton has not been able to pull away in the polls.  

Chris Stirewalt is here.  He's our digital politics editor.  Howie Kurtz is host of "Media Buzz" on FOX News.  And Austan Goolsbee previously served as President Obama's chief economist and has now an economics professor at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business.  Great to see you all.  

So why is that, Stirewalt?  You can understand why the Democrats are feeling anxiety because they genuinely think that she should be killing him, and she's not killing him.  

CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS DIGITAL POLITICS EDITOR:  Well, I bet if they had nominated Joe Biden, that he'd be doing a lot better.  Hillary Clinton is a weak candidate relatively speaking.  She's probably the weakest Democratic nominee since Michael Dukakis, but Trump is not by any measure the strongest Republican nominee in recent memory.  So we have really and as Carl just pointed out this protracted, very ugly battle between two nominees who are not exactly the heart strung favorites of either their own parties or the broader electorate.  It's going to be pretty heinous.  

KELLY:  Mm-hmm.  And Larry Sabato is predicting, Austan, that she's probably going to get a four, maybe five-point bounce out of this convention, that Trump -- he says the median bounce he got was three points, but he had been on a good trajectory even going into the RNC.  And his point is if she can get a four-point bounce or a five-point bounce and hold it, she's likely to win.  Do you think she's going to get a four or five-point bounce?

AUSTAN GOOLSBEE, ECONOMIC PROFESSOR AT UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO:  You know, I don't know.  I'm not an expert on polling.  I know that the reasons the conventions were early this year was because the Olympics are coming.  So we'll probably kind of go into a holding pattern as people pay attention to the Olympics.  And traditionally everybody kind of focuses their attention on the general election around Labor Day.  And I think that will happen again here.  

I think the two interesting things to me that came out of the Democratic convention, it had a totally different tone,  and you could see them almost directly trying to claim two parts of the traditional Republican coalition that are maybe a little disaffected with Trump.  And I'm not saying that they would necessarily like Hillary Clinton, but they might actually vote for her over Trump, and those are the commander-in-chief, national security element and then the business -- business  conservative element.  You could see components throughout the Democratic convention where they were really making a hard line trying to get them on board and view Trump as unacceptable.  

KELLY:  Howie, what does it say that the Democratic National Convention, the first three days, rated better than the  Republican National Convention's first three days, but the Trump speech rated better than Hillary's speech notwithstanding the fact that, you know, she made history, first woman nominee and so on?

HOWIE KURTZ, FOX NEWS HOST, "MEDIABUZZ":  I alone can answer this.  

(LAUGHTER)

It seems to me -- it seems to me, Megyn, that more people watched Trump because he's the entertainer in chief.  He's the new sometimes outrageous figure on the national stage.  I mean Hillary Clinton, we've been listing to her speak since 1992.  But overall more people watched the Democratic convention, simply because it had more star power.  The Obamas, Bubba and then there was, you know, Paul Simon and Meryl Streep and Sarah Silverman and Katy Perry.  And, you know, the Republican convention had trouble getting Tim Tebow even after he was announced.  

I don't think the discrepancy in matters all that much because more people now see the clips played again online and on the web.  I do think the thematic thing here is these two rather unpopular candidates, is the danger for Trump is that Hillary was trying to position her convention as being more optimistic, more uplifting, less dark, and people were shouting "USA." That's usually something we associate with the GOP.  

Howie, I'm hurt.  I thought Howie was going to say --  

(CROSSTALK)

GOOLSBEE:  I thought Howie was going to say that I was in a little two- minute video on Monday.  I thought Howie was going to say that's what did it.  

(LAUGHTER)

KELLY:  Well, that's the part we liked the best, Austan.  Chris, I want to ask you, so today Trump went on a tweet storm.  I know you're going to be shocked to hear that, but he did.  

STIREWALT:  What?

KELLY:  And among others attack in his tweets was General John Allen, who I get he endorsed Hillary Clinton, right?  I get it.  A full-throated endorsement.  But the man served our country honorably for a few decades. He's extremely well respected and beloved on both sides of the aisle.  He's not a political man.  Trump went off on him talking about how he failed badly in his fight against ISIS.  His record is bad. Was that smart?

STIREWALT:  Well, I think there's two reasons that you would do it if you were Donald Trump.  One is that to stay in the news.  It's always the dog paddle into the news cycle that you have to stay, and he did it all through the convention, find ways to be outrageous, find ways to be over the top, to get back in the news and tweet your way into the discussion even when the President's talking or the first woman nominee or whatever the press wants to do.  

The other thing is to show -- to frighten others who might want to follow suit, to demonstrate, hey, I might win this election, and if you're a general, if you're somebody who wants that influence and access to the President, if you come after me, if you go for Hillary Clinton, if you speak against me, I will come after you constantly.  

I'll be in your face, full flame thrower.  And look when he abuses and pummels his fellow Republicans, the message is, look at what I did to Ted Cruz.  Marco Rubio, you better send in your hostage video to the convention because look what I just did to Ted Cruz and I think it's the same thing.  

KELLY:  Yes.  He loves to find one person and try to make an example out of them and send a message.  Austan, I want to ask you, one of her biggest challenges is the right track, wrong track number.  Seventy 71 percent of the American people think we're on the wrong track.  Seventy one percent say they are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country. You know, she wants to be a change agent, but, you know, people think of her as Obama's third term.  So, how does she get past that?

GOOLSBEE:  That is a struggle.  You know, that's the moment we're in.  Now, I would say there's at least, for that point of view, there's at least a couple of points in the polling that point to some optimism, which are those two-thirds of the country or more say they think it's on the wrong track, when asked about their personal situation, you have almost two- thirds of the country saying their personal situation is getting better and they're looking optimistic.  And the president is actually pretty popular, well more popular than either of the candidates, and all three of them more popular than the Republicans in Congress.  So I don't think that's automatically a losing scenario if it's trending the right way.  

KELLY:  Howie, before we go, you talked about sort of Trump's message versus hers and the optimism versus what Donald say something like pessimism or you might say realism.  What's the danger there?

KURTZ:  The danger for Donald Trump is that he gets tagged as the candidate of gloom and doom.  But of course when you're the out party, you're always saying things are terrible, and I'm going to make them better.  By the way, I'm fascinated to hear no more Mr. Nice guy for Donald Trump.  I mean, all this stuff, crooked Hillary, lying Ted, little Marco, what was that?  Patty cake?  But what Trump has to do, I mean, what Hillary is trying to do is say, yes, I'm boring.  

I maybe the candidate to make the real change.  I love Barack Obama, but I sweat the details.  That was one of her phrases.  What Trump is trying to do is say, she's not going to really change things folk.  And I'm going to pick a fight with everybody.  So, you know I'm a fighter.  He's more energized when he's fighting even though he's tweeting at people that he really shouldn't be bothering with.  

KELLY:  Uh-hm.  I mean, I'm scared.  It's scary.  Great to see you all.  I got to go.  

So, we also have new fallout tonight from a dramatic speech by an outraged Muslim father who took to the stage in Philadelphia last night to talked about how his son who was fighting for America was killed inside Iraq and about Donald Trump's calls for a ban on Muslim immigration.  We'll have reaction from Governor Mike Huckabee, next.  

Plus a big new bombshell out of Baltimore.  Oh, as we get our hands on leaked e-mails from the investigators looking into the death of Freddie Gray and the six cops charged.  We'll show you why those investigators told the D.A.'s office, there was no case and how the D.A. decided to handle that.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARILYN MOSBY, BALTIMORE CITY STATE'S ATTORNEY:  I vow to you that my office and I will fight.  We will fight for a fair and equitable justice system for all so that whatever happened to Freddie Gray never happens to another person in this community again.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY:  Developing tonight, one of the most talked about moments of last night's Democratic convention is the emotional address from the father of a fallen Muslim-American soldier.  Kzir Khan took to the stage to speak about his late son, Humayun.  In 2004, the army captain stabilized a fellow soldiers by insisting they stand back or he checked out a suspicious- looking car that abruptly detonated with 200 pounds of explosives inside. Now the elder Khan argues that under a Donald Trump presidency, his son, a hero, would not have even been allowed in the country.  Watch.  

KZIR KHAN, FATHER OF SOLDIER KILLED IN IRAQ:  Like many immigrants, we came to this country empty-handed.  We believed in American democracy, that with hard work and goodness of this country, we could share in and contribute to its blessings.  Our son, Humayun, had dreams too of being a military lawyer, but he put those dreams aside.  The day he sacrificed his life to save the lives of his fellow soldiers.  

(APPLAUSE)

Hillary Clinton was right when she called my son the best of America.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

If it was up to Donald Trump, he never would have been in America.  Donald Trump, you're asking Americans to trust you with their future.  Let me ask you, have you even read the United States constitution?  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

I will -- I will gladly lend you my copy --  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

-- have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery?  Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending United States of America.  You will see all faiths, genders, and ethnicities.  You have sacrificed nothing, and no one.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

KELLY:  Hmm.  What a moment.  Governor Mike Huckabee joins me now.  He's a former presidential candidate and a Fox News contributor and former Governor of Arkansas.  Great to see you, Governor.  So this was an electric moment at the convention last night.  We were actually just going to break as he started, and then in a pre-tape with the General Allen when he came back.  But it was the talk of the convention, and he is in a great position to criticize Donald Trump, and it's led a lot of people today to say his was the single speech at the DNC about which the Republicans and Donald Trump should most worry.  Your take on it.  

MIKE HUCKABEE, R-FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR:  Well, first of all, let's be very fair.  That father gave probably what was undoubtedly the best speech of the entire convention, and it was powerful because it was personal.  And he spoke of his personal sacrifice as a dad.  Nobody can argue with that. Nobody can argue with the heroism of his son or the love of country that this father and his son have for America.  That's just indisputable.  So I want to be sure that everyone understands that I don't think a person looks at that speech as a partisan.  

But the one thing that always has to be put into perspective is that Donald Trump has not said that this young man would not have been allowed into the country because this family came to America because they wanted to come and be Americans.  And his son proved how much he wanted to be by the sacrifice that he made.  But Donald Trump doesn't want to make sure that every Muslim never comes to America.  But he does want to make sure that when people come, whoever they are, not just Muslims but whoever they are, if they immigrate to this country, they emigrate because they want to assimilate and be Americans.  This young man --  

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY:  That is not at all what he has proposed.  That is not at all what he has proposed, Governor.  He proposed a Muslim which only now has he changed which he said, he didn't walk it back.  He says he's expanded his ban on Muslims to include Muslims from any territory that suffers terrorism.  And the UAE where this little boy, at two years old, came from would be included.  His parents are from Pakistan.  That would be included. And so that's the dad's point that his son, an American hero, would not have been here if Donald Trump had been president when they wanted to come.  

HUCKABEE:  Well, Donald Trump, though, has clarified, Megyn, that his intent is to make sure that people are vetted.  It's not just an outright or a permanent ban, and he even said it would be a temporary suspension of immigration until we knew.  Keep in mind that this was in the context of the president, President Obama, wanting to bring hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees to the country.  

KELLY:  But that's a different issue.  That's a different issue.  

HUCKABEE:  No, it's the same issue.   

KELLY:  Syrian refugees is a different issue.  That's not the same as Trump's Muslim ban.  No, it isn't.  It's not at all.  Banning all Muslims even temporarily would have scooped up this family had they been looking to come to America under a Donald Trump presidency, and we wouldn't have had Humayun Khan fighting for us and saving the lives of men on the battlefield in Iraq.  That's his point.  

HUCKABEE:  I'm not taking anything away from this family, nothing from the father, nothing from the son.  But I don't think it's accurate, nor is it fair to say that Donald Trump would have stood in the way of a family getting to America who clearly wanted to come, who could be vetted, would be vetted, and found to be wanting to assimilate and become a part of America.  And it's not just Muslims.  Look, our immigration, an open-border policy is disastrous for our country.  It's disastrous for any country.  

Europe is beginning to find out how disastrous it is, and that's where Donald Trump is coming from.  And, again, I think we have to separate the powerful testimony of this father, the extraordinary example of his son, and also the responsibility of a United States president to keep this country safe and to make sure that the people who come here are not coming here with intentions.  Whether they're coming from some terrorist- infiltrated country or they're coming from Europe --  

KELLY:  That may be a good way of saying it, Governor, but that is not Donald Trump's stated policy.  The way you said it there is far less controversial, at least to some, than the way that Donald Trump has said it.  He said banning all Muslims and temporarily, and then he was expanding it beyond Muslims to territories that suffer from terror until we can, quote, "figure out what's going on."  I got to leave it at that.  

HUCKABEE:  And that's the point.  Until we can figure what's going on.  

KELLY:  All right.  See you soon.  

Well, first in Cleveland, then in Philly, one team got backstage access to all the key moments over the past two weeks, and all of the top players.  

And coming up next, Mark McKinnon of the circus joins us to dish on what he saw behind the curtain.  You'll see it only here.  

Plus, from thousands of flags to roaring chants of USA, USA, some political analysts thought parts of this year's Democratic National Convention looked and sounded like a Republican get-together.  Bill Bennett served in President Reagan's cabinet, and he's got a fascinating take on this, next.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VICE PRES. JOE BIDEN, D-UNITED STATES:  We are America, second to none, and we own the finish line.  Don't forget it.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: And developing tonight, now that they are packing up the last of the gear from the 2016 political conventions, we are getting new details on some of what went on behind the scenes.  Our next guest had a backstage pass to both the RNC and the DNC, and tonight Mark McKinnon is giving us a sneak peek into what was happening behind the curtain.  He even had a chance to sit down with President Obama's speechwriter before the President's address on Wednesday night.  Watch this from the circus.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK MCKINNON, POLITICAL ADVISOR:  This is a lot of memories for me.  I used to have an apartment two blocks that way, an office two blocks that way.  There it is.  La Casablanca.  

We're waiting to talk to President Obama's speechwriter, Cody Keenan.  He's got a big speech coming up before President Obama this week at the convention in Philadelphia.  It's a close election.  He's a popular president, and Hillary Clinton needs Barack Obama.  

CODY KEENAN, PRESIDENT OBAMA'S SPEECHWRITER:  Hey, Mark.  

MCKINNON:  Hey, Cody.

KEENAN:  Good to meet you.  How are you?

This the speech cave.  

MCKINNON:  Speech cave.  

KEENAN:  Yes, the Oval Office is right upstairs so I can get up there in about ten seconds.  

MCKINNON:  How often does that happen?

KEENAN:  This week, the phone might ring a few times a day.  

MCKINNON:  So, let's talk about the speech this week.  I mean, this will be his last and biggest political speech.  Does he see it as a bit of a bookend from that first big speech?

KEENAN:  I think that's fair to say.  

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, D-UNITED STATES:  There is not a liberal America and a conservative America.  There is the United States of America.  

KEENAN:  It's obviously, you know, '04 was kind of introducing himself to the country.  

MCKINNON:  And as part of the role of being testifier in chief now for Hillary Clinton?

KEENAN:  Yes.  Sure.  Very much.  I mean, you know, he spent a lot of time with her.  He's seen parts of her that the rest of the country might not have.  

MCKINNON:  It was an interesting kind of evolution in that relationship.  

KEENAN:  Totally.  I mean, everybody focuses on Hillary versus Bernie this year, but people forget that our campaign was pretty nasty.  We hated the Hillary people and they hated us.  That's the nature of campaigning, and you know, in a political season, every bad thing gets amplified.  But the truth is something different.  As soon as the campaign is over, you remember what's important.  

MCKINNON:  Can you preview anything you think will be in this speech?  What do you think will be the highlights of this speech?

(LAUGHTER)

KEENAN:  You know, every draft --  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Cody, the President wants to see you upstairs.  

KEENAN:  Well, there you go.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  All right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Unacceptable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  That's a new one, right?

KEENAN:  He just called me up to say, so, how's the interview going? He literally wanted to check in and see how the speech was going.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Asked when he was going to see another draft.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  POTUS interrupts us.

KEENAN:  You can tell if they're excited about this speech. You can see the twinkle in the eye. You know, that this is a big and feel like they kind of trim on base and bottom of the night, and you know, they got the big slugger ready to go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Mark McKinnon is co-creator of the weekly documentary series "The Circus" on Showtime. Mark, great to see you again. Love those clips.

So, first of all, how does Cody Keenan go from a 2007 intern to the top of the speech writing team for Barack Obama six years later?

MARK MCKINNON, THE CIRCUS CO-CREATOR AND CO-HOST:  Well, it's a testament to the loyalty of the people around Barack Obama. These people are really committed, and there are a lot of people like Cody around that, you know, started -- a lot of people you see around Obama have been around all eight years.

I mean, they are really a committed and passionate group of people. Everybody that knows Cody loves him, testifies to him, and they're really glad to see now he's kind of in the big speech chair because he's been a really big talent all along. And now with Jon Favreau kind off doing other things, Cody is getting his chance to shine.

KELLY:  So, you said in that clip she needs him. She needs President Obama to, you know, really deliver.

MCKINNON:  Yes.

KELLY:  Did he come through in your view?

MCKINNON:  Well, he did. And by the way, so did Michelle Obama. She gave one of the best speeches I've ever seen. You know, there's a -- there's an odd and troubled history, kind of a Shakespearian history to the relationship with Obama and Clinton.

And so, for him to stand up and say, listen, we've been through a lot together, but after all of that, I asked her to work for me in some really important jobs, as secretary of state. I've seen her up close, and I can testify as somebody who had my doubts originally, but I became a believer.

And she needs that. And by the way, he's a popular president as far as historical precedent goes. You know, he's got a very favorable opinions, even though people think the country is headed in the wrong direction, they like him.

And so, voters that she needs, she's going to completely consolidate the Democratic Party and a big part of that constituency are the Obama coalition. She needs them not only to vote but to be excited and Obama is the only one that can really do that.

KELLY:  How would you say -- I want to get a grade from you for both conventions. How would you grade the Republican National Convention first of all?

MCKINNON:  Well, first of all, they were fantastic. You know, I've been going to conventions since 1980. And these were just dramatic, fun, interesting, suspenseful. Both of them were in very different ways, completely different contrast.

The Republican convention was kind of a hot mess. It was disorganized, kind of all over the place. You have Cruz blow up the thing. So, as far as just the programming, it was not great. I'd give it maybe a b-minus or a c, but I actually think Trump's speech was really good.

I mean, it's what you want in a political speech at a convention is people to walk away with one, clear fundamental idea, and I think it was a really focused speech where people got it.

Now if you have anxiety kind of about the world in general, the domestic economy, living on the edge, Donald Trump really gave a clear message to those people.

On the other hand, the democratic convention, it was run like -- it was run like a Hollywood show. It was tight. It was -- you know, it was on time, a- list stars. But I didn't think Hillary Clinton's speech was great, and it's not what she does. That's not her -- that's not where she excels. She doesn't -- as she says, I do prose. My husband does the poetry.

And also the Democrats, you know, they sort of Donald Trump where they say he does haven't any plans. The Democrats have like a million plans for everything and everybody and it sort of becomes alphabet soup, so I don't think the message is as clear.

Obama kind of got the -- I mean, I think he framed it up well, the sort of hope versus fear thing, but then it kind of descended into what you see in a lot of democratic conventions, just a little bit of something for everybody.

KELLY:  Fascinating. It was so fun to cover. And unlike a lot of these things, we finally had some news at each one, which is good for the journalists. Mark, it's great to see you. See you Sunday night on the Circus.

MCKINNON:  Shake it out. Thanks.

KELLY:  So, even before the Democrats were done this year some political observers were suggesting that the DNC had a different look, had a different feel. By the final night, there were countless flags, mentions of God, military and police endorsements, the crowd chanting USA.

And the speakers talking about American exceptionalism. That left some conservatives wondering out loud why Democrats decided to steal their message. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELE OBAMA, U.S. FIRST LADY:  Don't let anyone ever tell you that this country isn't great because this right now is the greatest country on earth.

(APPLAUSE)

TIM KAINE, D-VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE:  Americans have never, ever, ever let their country down. Never.

OBAMA:  Ronald Reagan called America a shining city on a hill. Donald Trump calls it a divided crime scene that only he can fix.

CLINTON:  Our founders fought a revolution and wrote a Constitution so America would never be a nation where one person had all the power.

KAINE:  We are America, second to none, and we own the finish line. Don't forget it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The free people of the world look to America as the last best hope for peace and liberty for all humankind.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY:  Joining me now, former education secretary under President Reagan and chairman of Conservative Leaders for Education, Bill Bennett. Bill, great to see you.

BILL BENNETT, CONSERVATIVE LEADERS FOR EDUCATION CHAIRMAN:  Thank you, Megyn.

KELLY:  So, this is some of the feedback we saw. Rick Lowry tweeted out, "American exceptionalism, and greatness, shining city on a hill, founding documents. They're trying to take all our stuff." Did you notice the same?

BENNETT:  Yes, I did. I don't think it will sell, you know. If I dress up like king Olaf of Stockholm, that doesn't make me Swedish, right? This was a dress-up thing. This was kind of like masquerade. As you said, they brought in the flags. One can imagine them unpacking boxes.

Here, use this flag. Pray if you can. Mention God. Tell Pelosi to go away. She thinks it's a bad strategy. You know, look, they're not going to fool the American people.

The American people know Donald Trump sometimes says things he shouldn't and that are inappropriate. They also know this is a party that is weak on national defense and national security, and it has shown over the last eight years we can't afford four more years of that policy.

By the way, while the flags were up in the hall, I didn't hear anybody from the podium condemn the burning of the flag outside.

KELLY:  That did happen, and there were not many flags at the beginning of the convention. Then they were sort of shamed about it, and in the flags came.

BENNETT:  yes.

KELLY:  And you know, it was, at one point they were chanting "USA, USA, USA," and Shannon Bream had reported from the floor that she heard some people saying, "Hey, stop that, that's the Republicans' chant."

BENNETT:  Yes. USA is -- we love America. That belongs to the other guys. Bill Clinton also gave a speech about Hillary, remember? Criticized I guess by the liberals because he talked about her being lovely and soft and having blonde hair.

So, is that now the model of love, marital love and fidelity? The Clintons? I mean, that's the equivalent of burden, please.

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY:  But, you know, you're sort of missing the fire in the fireplace because you're staring at the smoke going up the chimney. The criticism that came of Bill Clinton, they were -- people were ticked off that his speech wasn't feminist enough, right?

BENNETT:  I know.

KELLY:  Because he complimented -- he called her a girl when he met her, and he complimented, you know, her -- not even really her looks, just her as a woman.

BENNETT:  Well, no, no.

KELLY:  And spent some time on their relationship as opposed to her entire resume.

(CROSSTALK)

BENNETT:  No, I didn't.

KELLY:  And they said he wasn't -- and people wonder why I don't want to be called a feminist because to have your husband stand up and talk about how you fell in love is apparently not feminist.

BENNETT:  I know. It's not sufficiently feminist. I didn't miss the fire in the fireplace. I wasn't offended by it. I thought it was kind of sweet and charming but totally full of hubris. This guy is telling us about he and Hillary as this some sort of rattle.

KELLY:  Right.

BENNETT:  He's best off laying off that subject altogether it seems to me. But, look, serious matters. There is pandemonium in the world. Did anybody mention the priest in France, the 85-year-old father whose throat was slit? This is ISIS.

This is the group that has grown under Barack Obama because he pulled the troops out too early. He has defied his generals at every point, whether it's Iraq or Afghanistan or the rules of engagement.

Just two other things quickly. Twenty trillion dollar federal debt now, and it continues to grow. You know, a lot of the stories of the immigrants were very moving, but did you notice, Megyn, there was no distinction between legal and illegal. Undocumented was the word, and she wants to increase this.

This is why Donald Trump is standing strong. His three issues, the economy, immigration, and the dangers from ISIS. Do we want four more years? Are you happy where you are? Seventy two percent of the country thinks we're in the wrong direction, 20 percent thinks we're in the right direction. They got to be worried.

KELLY:  Yes. I think they are. We led the show with that tonight. Bill, great to see you. Always a pleasure.

BENNETT:  Thank you very much. Aren't you glad there's not a third party? I mean, a third convention, a third major party.

KELLY:  Well, what do you mean? Oh, yes, a third convention. Heck, yes.

BENNETT:  I mean, isn't your head...

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY:  I'm officially over the travel.

BENNETT:  Isn't your head bursting with superlatives and clich,s?

KELLY:  The people were very nice, but two solid weeks in a hotel room is a long time.

BENNETT:  I know.

KELLY:  I missed my kids and missed my -- oh, am I still on TV? OK. Anyway, Bill, it's great to see you.

BENNETT:  Yes, but...

KELLY:  Well, there's a stunning development today in the murder of a Washington, D.C. intern who was romantically linked with a sitting U.S. Congressman. Prosecutors are dropping all charges against the man convicted of killing Chandra Levy. Remember this case?

Trace Gallagher has -- you have got to hear the new details on this. This is potentially a big deal.

Plus, we'll bring you the behind the scenes story of why the Baltimore D.A. may have had to drop her case against the remaining cops charged in the death of Freddie Gray. We'll take a look at how her actions could spell new trouble for cops all across this country.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY:  And now to a Kelly File investigation in the Freddie Gray case. When first started by the Fox News station in Baltimore and one that could get very big before it is done.

On Wednesday of this week, chief prosecutor Marilyn Mosby dropped all remaining charges against the six Baltimore police officers after her first case ended in a hung jury and the next three trials ended with the officers acquitted on all charges.

She blamed everyone from the media to the police department to the justice system for her failed prosecutions. But just the night before, there was reporting on leaked text messages between one of Ms. Mosby's deputies and a lead investigator in the police department.

Messages raising new questions about whether this case was about justice or politics right from the start.

Trace Gallagher live in our West Coast newsroom. Listen to this. Hi, Trace.

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Hi, Megyn. The text messages are key because they're time stamped, right? No way to manipulate them and they appear to back up the top investigator's allegations.

Remember, lead detective Dawnyell Taylor had handwritten case notes indicating that prosecutors were planning to charge the officers in the Freddie Gray case no matter what the evidence said.

For example, Detective Taylor states that she was handed a narrative by the prosecution that she read to the grand jury deciding whether to indict the officers. She claims the information was misleading, quoting here, "As I read over the narrative it had several things that I found to be inconsistent with our investigation. And I thought the statements in the narrative were misquoted."

Taylor says, when the jurors asked her questions, the prosecution intervened before she could say anything because, quote, "they did not intend for me to answer any questions because all of my answers would obviously conflict with what I had just read to them."

But Mosby now claims those case notes were written after the fact to undermine the prosecution's case. Listen to her.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARILYN MOSBY, BALTIMORE STATE ATTORNEY:  Lead detectives that were completely uncooperative and started a counter investigation to disprove the state's case by not executing search warrants pertaining to text messages among the police officers involved in the case, creating videos to disprove the state's case without our knowledge, creating notes that were drafted after the case was launched.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GALLAGHER:  And yet, on the day Detective Taylor testified before the grand jury, the same day the grand jury voted to indict the officers, Taylor sent a text message to the deputy state's attorney almost identical to her case notes, quoting again here.

"I did not feel comfortable reading that script before we discussed it, and I swore to it. I'm fine with finding the facts, but between us, I believe we omitted key things from their combined statements."

The deputy state's attorney responds, quoting, "Understood, and you skipped parts of it." The deputy state's attorney then tried to have Detective Taylor removed from the case altogether. She did not succeed. Megyn.

KELLY:  Unbelievable. Trace, thank you.

Joining me now with more, John Banzhaf, he's a professor of public interest law at George Washington University. Professor, great to see you. This is -- this is incredible. It's stunning, and it's wrong. You tell me.

JOHN BANZHAF, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR:  Well, it's certainly wrong. Everybody seemed to have missed that she also said that they fabricated videotapes. There's no evidence of that. I'm not even sure how one would go about doing it.

But the reason that she stepped down was not, as she said, that she finally realized she couldn't win the cases. Number one, she's looking over her shoulder and seeing the ghost of Mike Nifong, who was disbarred and driven into bankruptcy by lawsuits for doing the same thing she's doing here.

In his case, he kept prosecuting those Duke students accused of rape. In this case, even though she knows she can't win these cases, can't prove them beyond a reasonable doubt, she kept bringing them.

The other thing is that on that same day, Wednesday, all of the prosecutors are going to face a very special hearing called a Kastigar hearing. They would have to testify under oath as to whether or not they had complied with the constitutional requirements to protect the accused, Mr. Miller.

There was reason to believe that they had not. I don't think they want those hearings going ahead and have that on the record under oath.

KELLY:  Do you think this woman is facing disbarment, I mean realistically?

BANZHAF:  I think realistically she's facing some severe discipline. We know that Nifong was disbarred in Indiana. Another prosecutor's case has just been referred to the BAR authorities.

But more importantly, if she doesn't face discipline, real discipline, two things are going to happen. She said it in her own what do we call it, victory speech, I guess. She's going to remain around. She's going to be looking.

KELLY:  Yes.

BANZHAF:  She's going to be bringing more cases against cops for any violation. And other cops may be -- other prosecutors in other inner cities could be looking at her, saying, look. Look what she did. She's en vogue.

KELLY:  That's right.

BANZHAF:  She's up on the stage with friends. She's famous around the...

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY:  I'm coming up against a break so we got to leave it there.

(CROSSTALK)

BANZHAF:  ... claiming victory. I think that's right.

KELLY:  And I know your -- and I know the other thing you're worried about is the Ferguson effect. We've already seen that with cops. It's very, very concerning. John, thank you for being here.

BANZHAF:  Thank you.

Up next, a stunning twist in the murder of Chandra Levy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY:  Developing tonight, it was a murder mystery that captivated the nation. And tonight, new details reveal why it may once again go cold.

Based on new evidence, federal prosecutors decided to drop all charges against the man they once convicted in the 2001 murder of D.C. intern Chandra Levy. Do you remember this case?

Trace Gallagher has the very latest. Trace?

GALLAGHER:  Megyn, in 2001, authorities initially centered their case on California Congressman Gary Condit who had been having an affair with Levy.

Years later, five-time convicted felon, Ingmar Guandique was charged with Levy's murder. And his conviction was based largely on testimony from former cell mate, Armando Morales, who told the jury that Guandique confessed to killing levy while she jogged in Rock Creek Park.

Morales described how he told or grabbed Levy from behind dragged her off the trails, stole her bag and fled thinking she was just unconscious. Guandique's attorneys argued that Morales was lying, trying to gain favor with authorities and had been used as a prison informant in previous cases.

Last year, Guandique's conviction was overturned and the retrial was scheduled for this fall. But the U.S. attorney has now dropped the charges citing new information.

Tonight, The Washington Post is reporting the new information is from a woman named Susan Proller, a neighbor of Morales in Maryland who secretly recorded him earlier this month saying that he lied about the whole thing to get better prison conditions and had struck a deal with the prosecutors in exchange for testimony.

Proller turned the tapes over to Chandra Levy's mom, who then gave them to authorities. Guandique will now be deported back to El Salvador.

KELLY:  Unbelievable. We'll be right back.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY:  What grade would you give the Republican National Convention and the DNC. Send me a note on Twitter @megynkelly. Let me know. I thought the RNC should have had John Rich play onstage. I like Katy Perry at the DNC.

Thank you for watching. I'm Megyn Kelly.

END

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