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Kelly File

Veteran panel sounds off on Trump-Khan controversy; Chandra Levy's parents speak out

This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," August 1, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Breaking tonight, fierce new fallout over Donald Trump and his ongoing reaction to criticism from a Gold Star family during last week's Democratic National Convention.

Welcome to "The Kelly File," everyone. I'm Megyn Kelly. For four straight days now, the story of the Khan family and Donald Trump has been splashed across the headlines. It all started when the Muslim parents who lost their soldier son in the Iraq war appeared at the DNC in Philly. They questioned Mr. Trump's knowledge of the constitution and suggested that if Donald Trump had his way, their son would have never had the chance to serve his country. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KHIZR KHAN, GOLD STAR PARENT: 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Afterwards, the Khans made a nonstop series of national TV appearances. Meanwhile, Mr. Trump took to the airwaves and Twitter to respond and broke an unwritten rule by publicly criticizing the family.  While he did call the late Captain Khan a hero, he made a number of controversial accusations against the parents, and that did not go over well. In moments, we'll get reaction from three American veterans who all have very different takes on what has transpired here.

But we begin with Trace Gallagher reporting from our West Coast Newsroom.  Trace.

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: And Megyn, in the Trump campaign's latest statement, the very first line emphasizes that Army Captain Humayun Khan is a hero and should be honored for making the ultimate sacrifice, but Trump is still getting major blowback for going after the parents of the fallen soldier. Just today, Trump again criticized Khizr Khan, posting on Twitter, quoting, "Mr. Khan, who does not know me, viciously attacked me from the stage of the DNC and is now all over TV doing the same. Nice." Here's the father responding to that tweet. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KHAN: We need to stop fighting with one another. But we need a leader that will unite us, not disrespect, not by derogatory remarks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GALLAGHER: Trump was also widely criticized for comments he made about the mother, Ghazala Khan, suggesting that she was not allowed to speak at the Democratic National Convention. Look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: His wife, if you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably -- maybe she wasn't allowed to have anything to say. You tell me, but plenty of people have written that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GALLAGHER: But in a Washington post op-ed, Ghazala Khan writes, quoting here, "Walking onto the convention stage with a huge picture of my son behind me, I could hardly control myself. What mother could? Donald Trump has children whom he loves. Does he really need to wonder why I did not speak?" And today the VFW reminded Donald Trump that lashing out at Gold Star families, those who have lost a loved one in battle, is out of bounds, saying, quote, "Election year or not, the VFW will not tolerate anyone berating a Gold Star family member for exercising his or her right of speech or expression."

Republican senators John McCain, Kelly Ayotte, Rob Portman, and Pat Toomey are among those condemning the remarks. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan have indicated their strong disagreement with Trump's statements but have yet to condemn the comments outright. And tonight Donald Trump said he thinks Khizr Khan is mostly bothered by Trump's promise to keep radical Islamic terrorists from entering the country -- Megyn.

KELLY: Trace, thank you.

Joining us now, three war veterans, Paul Rieckhoff, is the founder and CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran of America, he served as a first lieutenant and infantry rifle platoon leader in Iraq. Arizona Congressman Ruben Gallego is a Democrat who served as a corporal in the Marine Corps who also served in Iraq. And Ben Collins is a former Green Beret, who served three tours in Afghanistan, he is a Trump supporter. Great to see you all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Megyn.

KELLY: Paul, let me start with you. I mean, there is an unwritten rule.  You just don't go after Gold Star families. If you're a presidential candidate or you're a politician, you let them beat up on you. You let them say whatever they want to say about you, and you move on.

PAUL RIECKHOFF, FOUNDER AND CEO, OF IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN VETERANS OF AMERICA: Yes, and that's not what happened here. I mean, the outrageous has been universal. It's been across partisan lines. And I think this is more than just about Republican or Democrat. This is about honor and integrity. And everybody feels a real sense of obligation to defend our Gold Star families from any attack. What they've been through is unimaginable. They call it the ultimate sacrifice for a reason, so I think there's also been some push back on the idea that anyone could compare any kind of sacrifice to what our Gold Star families have been through. It's unimaginable.

KELLY: Because he did. They came out. They said, what have you sacrificed, Donald Trump? And he gave an interview in which he said, I've sacrificed plenty. I've worked very hard, which just led to another round of criticism against him, saying, you can't compare that to what this family has suffered. Representative Gallego, your thoughts.

REP. RUBEN GALLEGO, D-ARIZ., MARINE CORPS VETERAN: It just shows that he's pretty much clueless when it comes to veterans issues and military personnel in general. And also, back to it, you can attack an issue.  Don't attack the family. And there's been history of this happening where people have attacked Nancy Pelosi, veteran families have attacked George Bush, and they've always responded with tact and with dignity and attacked the issue but never --

KELLY: He says he's a counterpuncher. He says, I was viciously attacked, and I am a counterpuncher.

GALLEGO: You should know the time and place to do that. This is the things they teach you in the military. Have some tact. Have some dignity, and you're basically fighting civilians that are trying to express their freedom of speech. Save that for your national leaders, but if you're going to be flying off the handle all the time anytime someone says something mean about you, how are you going to handle being president?

KELLY: And what about this? I mean, a lot of things here got him in trouble but one of the worst was suggesting that the mother didn't speak, and the suggestion was that perhaps she couldn't speak. Perhaps it's because she was a Muslim. Perhaps her husband wasn't letting her, all sorts of speculation built into that. And she came out and wrote a powerful op-ed saying, I can't even -- I cannot speak when a picture of my dead son is anywhere near me. And Trump wound up looking very insensitive.

BEN COLLINS, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Without a doubt. I think he did look extremely insensitive, and I felt those words were extremely poorly chosen.  And I think that we've seen so far that, you know, Trump, you know, makes statements and walks them back. But, look, Trump's not a professional in this game. Right? I mean, he's certainly not somebody that's spent 30, 40 years in the political game and has that complete control. And the first thing I want to say is, you know, I think that, you know, the loss of Humayun Khan, that captain, taking those steps -- ten steps to protect his men, you know, that's something that all of us feel tremendously.  

KELLY: Toward the oncoming car that had an IED in it.

COLLINS: And that is a sacrifice for the ages and I can't help but think of all the friends that I've lost and certainly as a parent, myself as a parent, any parent that loses their child and sacrifices for this country, you have the right to say whatever you want, wherever you want. In that said, if he had made that statement and gone on their, to a VFW or to come to, you know, to my town, we all would have support. And nobody cares if you're Muslim, Christian, Jew. Look Arlington is filled with every religion, every race, rich, poor. It doesn't matter.

But he made that choice. His son made that choice to sacrifice his life.  His father made that choice to make that statement on center stage hours before Hillary Clinton came on. And it wasn't just, I lost my son and sacrificed it, and it wasn't just, I'm supporting Hillary Clinton. He then pivoted and used that sacrifice to beat Donald Trump. And I'm sorry, but, you know, we are not in violet. You know, I have the utmost respect for Gold Star families and all the friends that I have. But I'm sorry, if you use that as a political hammer and you come on, you're fair game.

GALLEGO: You got to do this the right way, though. Look, have some compassion. Have some tact and do what other politicians including George Bush has done in the past. You attack the issue. You don't attack them personally, right?

KELLY: Uh-hm. He did that, too. But, you know, the problem is it was a twofold response and it's gone on and on for several days, getting Trump in a lot of trouble.

RIECKHOFF: Right. The political cost here is not even up for debate. I mean John Kasich is hitting him on this. John McCain is hitting them on this. And I think there's a bigger issue here. I hope we can use this at a time to understand and appreciate the sacrifice of Gold Star families.  So many of them feel forgotten.

KELLY: Do you think he does?

RIECKHOFF: He probably does now. He probably does now. He's learned a hard lesson here.

KELLY: He's a person who said his battle to avoid an STD in the 70s and 80s was his own personal Vietnam.

RIECKHOFF: Yes. Yes. That's absurd --

(CROSSTALK)

Veterans are the ultimate political jump ball. There are 22 million of them in America. They're not a voting bloc, but they're a very strong voting group. Our members vote at 93 percent, and I think many of them are dissatisfied with both candidates. So, they're going to be watching, they're going to be paying attention and at the end of the day, they're going to vote.

KELLY: Uh-hm.

RIECKHOFF: So, we'll see over time --

KELLY: And the last thing before I go, so they may not like this comment, right? Like you, Ben, but they also don't like radical Islamic terrorism, and the question is whether they don't really care if he's not --

COLLINS: Is that the choice, though?

KELLY: A decent, you know, arguer, but when it comes to fighting terror, they may believe in him.

COLLINS: Correct. And I think at the end of the day, you know, what military, you know, members want, what we want more than anything, we don't want a friend. We want a leader. Right? And I think a lot of us learned that lesson, you know, perhaps sometimes the hard way. But we want a leader. And I think that this is again going back to the point that, you know, Donald Trump has not had the years and the experience within the political --

RIECKHOFF: Yes. But there's no excuses for it. Gold Star families are sacred in this country.

(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)

RIECKHOFF: No. Not at all. I'm pointing a very clear point that Gold Star families in this country have endured unimaginable sacrifice and they are off limits. And the political reaction is showing that.

KELLY: Even if they get political.

(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)

GALLEGO: Yes. George Bush had Cindy Sheehan, and he artfully approached it. He knew how to handle it --

KELLY: You guys are awesome. Thank you very much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Megyn.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are awesome, Megyn.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you for having me.

KELLY: Thank you for your service. All the best to you.

Well, the Republican National Convention also heard from a parent whose child was lost serving our country. Pat Smith. You've seen her right here on "The Kelly File" among other places. The mother of Benghazi terror attack victim Sean Smith, and she delivered an emotional address on the opening night of the RNC. But unlike Khizr Khan, her speech was met with harsh criticism in the media. The nation called it a cynical exploitation of her grief. MSNBC referred to it as a spectacle so offensive, it was hard to even comprehend. One of their hosts suggesting that Pat Smith ruined the evening. And a writer for "GQ" magazine tweeted out, quote, "I would like to beat her to death."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh!

KELLY: Yes.

Joining me now, Pastor Darrell Scott, CEO of the National Diversity Coalition for Trump. Eric Guster, attorney and political commentator and Steve Hayes, "Weekly Standard" writer and FOX News contributor. Great to see you all.

And that's the problem, you know, that is the problem is that, you can't really take the high ground when it comes to the Khan family when you're talking about wanting to beat her to death, when it's somebody who has got a Benghazi testimonial that may not help Hillary Clinton. Your thoughts on it, Pastor.

PASTOR DARRELL SCOTT, NEW SPIRIT REVIVAL CENTER: Well, Pat Smith was very emotional in her delivery simply because she blames Hillary Clinton for her son's death. And so she was emotional, and she called Hillary Clinton's name out once again because she felt that she was culpable for that. Now, Khan on the other hand, to me, it seems like he was trying to subliminally somehow blame Donald Trump. I really believe Khan stood up as a political response to her that the DNC politicized his son's death and he allowed himself to be used in that respect. Somehow to be honest, Donald Trump had nothing to do with his statement about his son's death at all. I don't even know why he would introduce Donald Trump into the conversation.

KELLY: Well, because he's proposing a Muslim ban, and Mr. Khan was making the point that under President Donald Trump he and his wife and their late son would never have been allowed into the country. That was why he mentioned Donald Trump. He doesn't like the proposal being submitted by that presidential nominee.

SCOTT: But that's all hypothetical. That's a hypothetical --  

KELLY: Yes. But that's the whole discussion about a potential president is hypothetical. Like what will they do, and do we object?

SCOTT: Trump has since -- Trump has since refined that statement to say he was talking about the vetting process.

KELLY: He says, but Pastor, he's refined it to say, I've expanded it.  That's how he describes his heightening of his policy.

SCOTT: From what I understand, Mr. Trump refined it in the sense that he wants to put a moratorium on immigration until the vetting process is upgraded.

KELLY: But he wants to ban immigration from any country that struggles with terrorism, which would have encompassed the Khan family. The father is from Pakistan. The son had been living in the UAE. I want to get to my other guest. Eric, your thoughts on whether there is a double standard by the media. There's no question Trump created a controversy for himself.  But the media now all high and mighty about it? You tell me whether they're in a glass house on this one.

ERIC GUSTER, LAWYER: No, there's not a double standard when it comes to the media and these statements. When you look at what Mr. Khan said, it was a concise, precise statement, and he gave his statement, and then Donald Trump being the five-year-old tweet-storm guy that he is, came out against this man, came out against his wife. He's insulted so many people, and we're dealing with literally a child who is running for the presidential office. We have someone who can't control himself --

KELLY: But why was Mr. Khan such a media hero to some on the left, but Pat Smith -- she ruined the night, and they revolted just at seeing her?

GUSTER: I can't speak to what some people will feel about Pat Smith. One thing about Ms. Smith is that she's on every other channel every other day, so people may be kind of tired of hearing her message over and over and over. But --

KELLY: Wow.

GUSTER: -- the GOP did expose her -- they did use her as a pawn as far as putting her on the stage and trying to --

KELLY: Well, both sides did that. If you want to say it's politicizing the death of a soldier, both sides did that. But Steve, what are your thoughts on it?

STEVE HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Well, I think they're both wrong. I think Mr. Khan's speech was the highlight of both political conventions. It was a terrific speech. It was a direct challenge to Donald Trump, and I think Donald Trump has invited the kind of media feeding frenzy that we've seen by his attacks on the family and his insistence on keeping the story alive well beyond what it would have been had he not engaged. Having said that, of course there's a media double standard. I mean it's not like you had media outlets rushing to interview Pat Smith a couple years ago. It's not like they were looking for Charles Woods to talk to him a few years ago on a way that --  

KELLY: Unlike you and unlike FOX.

HAYES: -- Mr. Khan. Well, correct. I mean, I think look, you can go back, and the mainstream media, the broad establishment media decided long ago that Benghazi was not a story.

KELLY: Mm-hmm.  

HAYES: That's how they've treated every single aspect of the story from investigative reporting that I've done, that other people have done, whether you're talking about the Congressional investigations, whether you're talking about Trey Gowdy's committee, they didn't want it to be a story, so of course there's a double standard.

GUSTER: They did make it a story, Megyn.

KELLY: There's no question Pat Smith said some incendiary things about Hillary Clinton. But this is a woman who is still suffering from enormous grief, and that is very clear in any interview with her. She deserves empathy just as Mrs. Khan does, who chooses to deal with her grief in a different way. Great to see you all. Thank you for being here tonight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.

KELLY: We're taking your thoughts on it. Facebook.com/thekellyfile. Also tonight, Hillary Clinton is taking heat again about the latest twist in her ongoing e-mail saga. Did you see her interview with Chris Wallace?

Judge Andrew Napolitano is next on that.

And with Dinesh D'Souza's "Hillary's America" becoming the highest grossing documentary so far this year, we got our hands on a brand-new clip you have not seen before. And Mr. D'Souza is here to tell us why he's releasing it now.

And then conservative firebrand Ben Shapiro has been banned from a campus speaking engagement because the cupcakes threatened to act up if he appeared. He joins us live on what is happening to free speech in America just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: Developing tonight, Hillary Clinton is taking hits from fact checkers across the board after her latest attempt to explain away her ongoing e-mail scandal. On "Fox News Sunday," Mrs. Clinton is standing by the false claim that she never sent or received classified information on her home server. And now she is saying that FBI Director James Comey actually agrees with her. "The Washington Post's" non-partisan fact checker giving that claim four Pinocchios, which is its worst possible rating, meaning that's not true. Watch Mrs. Clinton on "Fox News Sunday" ask then watch what Director Comey really said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: Director Comey said that my answers were truthful. And there were decisions discussed and made to classify retroactively certain of the e-mails.

JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: One hundred and ten e-mails in 52 e-mail chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received.

CLINTON: I relied on and had every reason to rely on the judgments of the professionals with whom I worked.

COMEY: Any reasonable person in Secretary's Clinton's position should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation.

KELLY: So Judge Andrew Napolitano is our Fox News senior judicial analyst, he is here with more. We don't really need a judge to explain to the audience what we just saw there, but go ahead.

JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO, FOX NEWS SENIOR JUDICIAL ANALYST: A child knows the difference between lying and telling the truth here. Mrs. Clinton really attempted -- Chris Wallace didn't fall for it. The audience hasn't fallen for it. The media hasn't fallen for it. The Washington Post supports her candidacy for president. They gave her their maximum of four Pinocchios. What the director said was, we didn't find any falsehood in what Mrs. Clinton told us.  

KELLY: Right, which would be a felony.

NAPOLITANO: Correct.

KELLY: So she was smart enough not to lie to the FBI.

NAPOLITANO: In a secret, three-hour, non-recorded interrogation. But it is clear that she lied to Chris Wallace, and it's clear she has been lying to the public about whether or not she received, opened, read, sent on, sent on to Sid Blumenthal, her colleague and friend that works for the Clinton Foundation, who had no security clearance, material that was secret or top-secret. Some of the materials so secret the FBI agents investigating this did not have the security clearance to read it themselves.

KELLY: And now the claim that, I relied on my advisers.

NAPOLITANO: That is damnable, and I'll tell you why. Her inner circle of seven closest advisers were just interrogated in a civil Freedom of Information Act lawsuit under oath. I read the transcripts of all of their testimony. Guess at whom each of them points as the originator, the progenitor, and the creator of this scheme? Mrs. Clinton herself. She didn't rely on them. They relied on her, and now she wants to throw them under the bus.

KELLY: It's fascinating. Well, quick question for you, though. Given all the misstatements she's made about her e-mails on camera many times, what should she have said? If you were advising her, I mean what would be a way that she could explain all those and not dig the hole even deeper?

NAPOLITANO: I don't know because just like your previous segment about Donald Trump getting in the fight with the Khan family, she gets in a fight over the truth, and these things take on lives of their own.

KELLY: Yes, there's no good outcome.

NAPOLITANO: It would be out of her character for her to say, I stand chastised. This shall not happen again. I'm sorry to tell you her character is to lie. It has been her modus operandi going back to the white water days.

KELLY: She had a 34 percent honesty rate. You know, thirty four percent of the American public believed she's honest. Before the DNC, It went down to 30 after the RNC. And now it's back up to 34. It climbed back up to her previous heights.

NAPOLITANO: What Director Comey did not tell everybody was on her first day in office she signed an oath saying, I will recognize secrets whether they're marked as secret or not, and I understand my legal obligation to do so. She failed.

KELLY: Oath, Schmoath (ph). That is the judge and you're coming out.  What does it really mean? Was it in fine print?

NAPOLITANO: It means very little to her.

KELLY: Great to see you, Charles.

While this is playing out on the Sunday shows, a new film about Mrs. Clinton became the highest grossing documentary so far this year. In a just released clip from "Hillary's America" filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza explores a claim often heard from Democrats, that the Republican Party is racist.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DINESH D'SOUZA, FILMMAKER: I want to name some prominent people that have been involved with America's racial history, and I'd like to tell me simply if they were Republicans or if they were Democrats.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Okay.

D'SOUZA: Let's begin with the inventor of the positive good school of slavery, the idea that slavery was a good idea. Senator John C. Calhoun.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Democrat.

D'SOUZA: What about the writer of the Dred Scott Decision authorizing slavery and claiming that blacks have no rights, that a white man ought to respect Roger Tony.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That sounds like a democrat.

D'SOUZA: What about the founder of the Ku Klux Klan, Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was also a confederate general?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Democrat.

D'SOUZA: Let's now talk about a few more figures in American history who resisted racial oppression. Abraham Lincoln.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Republican.

D'SOUZA: His Secretary of State Steward.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Republican.

D'SOUZA: What about the two leading senators who champions the cause of abolitionism Thaddeus Stevens and Sumner?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, they were Republicans.

D'SOUZA: What about Frederick Douglas, the runaway slave who became a champion of the abolitionist movement?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Republican.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Well, there you have it. Dinesh D'Souza is a documentary filmmaker and creator of "Hillary's America," a smash success thus far. Dinesh, great to see you. So, why are you releasing this now?

D'SOUZA: Because I think most people don't know this stuff, Megyn. I think that if you asked most Americans and most Black Americans in particular, which was the party of slavery, segregation, and the Ku Klux Klan, they would say that's probably the Republican Party. But the truth is that was the Democratic Party. It has a very sordid history. It's never acknowledged it. It's never made any restitution for it. It's never apologized for it. What it really has done is taken the blame for what it did and put it on the south or put it on America. So part of what I'm --

KELLY: So, how did the narrative start to change in this country such that so people just say those Republicans, they're racist.

D'SOUZA: Well, part of it is that the Democrats have put forward this idea of a big switch. And the idea is that the Democrats became racially enlightened in the 1960s, and all the racists became Republicans. Now, this notion of a big switch is completely fictional. It rests on one guy, Strom Thurmond, who was in fact a Democrat, a racist Democrat. He did become a Republican, but all the other racist Democrats, hundreds of them, we put actually in the film a list of 1,500 racist Democrats on the screen.  Less than one percent of them switched to the Republican Party. So the big switch is actually, Megyn, a big lie.

KELLY: What about, you know, affirmative action is one issue on the Republicans, in which the Republicans generally object, and the Democrats generally favor it. That's something that some folks use as evidence of, you know, of racial bias on the part of the Republicans.

D'SOUZA: But it really isn't because if you think about it, the affirmative action is really a form of racial preference. Now, the Democratic Party had racial preferences for whites for many, many decades.  Now they have racial preferences for Blacks. Both are equally opportunistic. They had the racial preferences for whites to maintain the Democratic Party as the party of white supremacy in the South. Now they're doing it to basically buy votes. In either case, it's cynical exploitation. It's not really a principled stand.

KELLY: Last question. Do you ever sneak into the back of the movie theater and watch your own movie?

D'SOUZA: I do, and there's the sight of people just standing up and applauding at the end and tears streaming around their cheeks, Megyn, it's the most beautiful feeling in the world.

KELLY: And then do you sneak out, or do you proudly walk the aisles like Dinesh D'Souza, does anyone know me?

D'SOUZA: Well, you know, sometimes I'm in the back of the theater and no one knows I'm there. And it's really fun to watch. That's probably the best because I'm seeing people's unedited reactions.

(LAUGHTER)

KELLY: It would be nice to have some hugs after the fact if they love it, though. Dinesh, it's great to see you.

D'SOUZA: My pleasure.

KELLY: Breaking tonight, the 2016 general election debate schedule is out, and team Trump is claiming it's rigged. We'll show you why when John Dickerson joins us with his take.

Plus, after Ben Shapiro agreed to speak at DePaul University, some unhappy students complained. And Ben joins us live to explain why the cupcakes were so upset.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(CROWD CHANTING "RACIST GO HOME!")  

(SCREAMS)

(CROWD CHANTING "RACIST GO HOME!")   (END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

KELLY: New reaction tonight to the 2016 general election debate schedule. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are set to meet for three contests this fall, and twice those debates are up against big ticket football games. Mr. Trump is not happy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I'll tell you what I don't like. It's against two NFL games. I got a letter from the NFL saying this is ridiculous, and I don't think we should be against the NFL. I don't know how the dates were picked. I don't know why those particular dates...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Joining me now, host of CBS's "Face the Nation" every Sunday and a man who's no stranger to moderating debates, John Dickerson. He's the author of the new book out tomorrow, "Whistlestop: My Favorite Stories from Presidential Campaign History." John, great of you to be here.

JOHN DICKERSON, CBS "FACE THE NATION" HOST: Thanks for having me.

KELLY: So, what do you make of this? Is Trump trying to get out of these debates?

DICKERSON: I don't know. You know, so is he trying to get out or is he just negotiating? You know, everything is a negotiation with him. He prides himself on that. So what's he trying to get -- it is a plausible case to make that he wants as big an audience as possible because of his campaign strategy is grow the pie in the part of the party or the part of the country that he has the best chance in, then he really needs to grow the pie.

And the people who are watching football are in that pie, and he wants them. And so, it makes logical sense with respect to his strategy. It's just you never know where he's going. So, this could also have some other design. We don't know yet.

KELLY: I feel that I have inside information on this which will come as a surprise to some folks. I think it's about the ratings. I think it is exactly what you just said, and to me there's no doubt about it because when Trump and I did our interview in May and I asked him to sit down with me for my Fox broadcast special, the number-one thing he wanted to know is what we were up against.

And there was a very competitive show that got 17 million viewers that night or something. I think it was the season finale of something, and a main character was being killed off, and he's smart. He knows about ratings, and he says they call me the ratings machine. He likes big ratings.

DICKERSON: Right. He likes big ratings, period, but also his strategy for winning the election, he's got to get big ratings in a certain part of the party, that the people who haven't participated before because he's losing some votes that are in the traditional Republican coalition to Hillary Clinton at the moment. Maybe not so likely to get them back so he's got to -- his theory has always been grow that group of voters, the working class voters that he's been trying to get.

KELLY: How do you think this campaign compares to the others documented in your book?

DICKERSON: Well, you know, so let's take first we've got two candidates who have very high unfavorable ratings. So, if you go back and look, the last election where it was like that was 1884.

KELLY: Oh, wow.

DICKERSON: You had Grover Cleveland, who had a child out of wedlock. He was getting in trouble for that, and then you have James G. Blaine, who had scandals, you know, following him like just, you know, like tin cans tied to his ankle. And both of these people were -- people looked at the election and said the lesser of two evils, and that's not unlike the way they're looking at this one now.

And then there's the question of Donald Trump, who is a totally, you know, unique figure. The last businessman in 1940, Wendell Willkie, but there are even parallels -- my favorite one is 1964, there was a stop Goldwater movement, which looks exactly like the never Trump movement, and it was equally successful.

At the end of it, Richard Nixon said to Pat Buchanan, "If there's ever a stop X movement, you always want to be with X because X, if somebody is trying to stop him, it means he's got the people behind him. And Nixon is first against Goldwater but then ran out in front of the parade in this forum.

KELLY: What do you think is -- define the importance of these debates in this season. They're always relatively important, right? But is it especially important this time around, Trump v. Hillary?

DICKERSON: It depends. If it's still true that there's about 20 percent of the people that are sloshing around that we've seen in these polls, then those people are going to be looking for who's the most presidential. It's also true that what the Trump campaign says, which is the key test is whether Donald Trump can occupy the presidency, whether people are willing to hand over the office to him, or is he too risky? The debates can help him.

There actually a chance for Donald Trump to show, I can perform in this context. It's a context that people think of when they look at the debates, they think, oh, that's what a president looks like. If he steps into that and can occupy that, then he's able to clear that what they say is the single question he has to clear.

KELLY: And there can be just a moment that changes your opinion of a man or a woman in this case in the debates. Look at, you know, when Romney backed down on the Benghazi thing, which a lot of Republicans say what are you doing? As Candy Crowley said and (inaudible) what are you doing? George H.W. Bush looking at his watch, you know.

DICKERSON: Sure, Al Gore harrumphing when George W. Bush was debating with him.

KELLY: And getting in his space.

DICKERSON: Right, and Ford not knowing that there was Soviet domination of Poland. Now, that was -- so, it's a big -- there's a big upside, and there's a huge down side.

KELLY: It's fascinating, you know, in our position. I mean, if you're lucky enough to actually be sitting there front and center. But even as a viewer to see how they deal with the pressure, and so it is somewhat telling.

DICKERSON: Yeah. And people look at him and think...

KELLY: Whistlestop.

DICKERSON: Yes, suitable for gifts, Megyn.

KELLY: So, back in the day, I used to share an office with Major Garrett who is also now at the CBS News, but he was with Fox News, and I would like you to tell him I said hello.

DICKERSON: I will.

KELLY: And tell him I now have bought all four of his books on Amazon for a penny each.

DICKERSON: What am I supposed to do with that?

KELLY: I hope it was much more.

DICKERSON: Yeah.

KELLY: John, thank you.

DICKERSON: Thanks, Megyn.

KELLY: All the best. New details in the 15-year-old murder mystery of a Washington intern who turned up dead after having an affair with Congressman Gary Condit. The man convicted of her murder was released from jail over the weekend, and coming up her parents are here to tell us why they think a murderer is walking free.

Plus, Ben Shapiro just got banned from speaking on one U.S. campus, and this is not the first time the little snowflakes have tried to silence him. He's here on what he did to make them so angry this time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE/FEMALE: (CHANTING)

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KELLY: Breaking tonight, the nation's largest catholic school has now banned a popular conservative speaker from speaking on campus. A student group from DePaul was recently trying to get Ben Shapiro to speak when they received the following e-mail from the administrator, "Given the experiences and security concerns that some other schools have had with Shapiro speaking on their campuses, DePaul cannot allow -- cannot agree to allow him to speak on our campus at this time."

And while Ben was met with censorship and unruly protests earlier this year, he says this latest situation reveals a serious double standard. Ben Shapiro is an attorney and editor in chief of the dailywire.com. Ben, great to see you. Here we go again.

BEN SHAPIRO, DAILYWIRE.COM EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: You too. Yeah, exactly, I mean, it's kind of...

KELLY: What is it they say it's so objectionable about you?

SHAPIRO: What I love the most about this situation is that they don't even see that what I'm saying is so terrible. Instead, what they say is that because I've been met with violence at other campuses, this raises security concerns. In other words, they can't keep their own students from assaulting people so therefore they can't bring in speakers who disagree with the students. So basically they have the rioter's veto.

KELLY: Right, so you have to shut up. It doesn't make any sense whatsoever.

SHAPIRO: Right, if they get violent, they have to protect the students from the students.

KELLY: But what is it specifically about you? Because in the guide (ph) letter -- this is the -- let's see, he is, the student -- no, the guy. OK, Bob Janus, he's the vice president of facilities operation who sent out this e-mail. He doesn't make clear what it is that you say that's objectionable, but he seems to be trying to be getting cover by saying, if you want Dinesh D'Souza or Dana Loesch, you can have them, but Shapiro, uh- uh.

SHAPIRO: I have no idea. I mean honest to God, Dinesh D'Souza was dangerous enough the Obama administration jailed him. So, I have a feeling that it has nothing to do with my views.

KELLY: He made illegal campaign contributions.

SHAPIRO: They even had a Palestinian terrorist, a convicted terrorist a couple of years ago, right. They had actually had a woman in Rasmeah Odeh speak on campus a couple of years ago. She's actually a convicted terrorist. I really have -- I think it has very little to do with what I'm saying and much more to do with the idea that these administrators are so gun shy of controversy that they don't want to tell their own students to, I mean, what they really should tell the students is, guys, you seem a little bit excitable. Hand out some free pot. Everything will calm down a little bit, and everything will be all right. I guess they're unwilling to do that.

KELLY: But that's the thing, if you think the students are going to get unruly because they don't like what a speaker is saying, then you might need to hire a little extra security. Do you stand for free speech, or don't you? And this is how it's been eroded at the edges, and it's getting a little closer to the middle now, Ben. It's not even just at the edges these days.

SHAPIRO: Yeah, that's right. My biggest problem is what they're really doing is they're equating words with violence and they're saying that the students get violence, therefore, my words must be the driving factor and then getting violent. If this is how things are going to be from now on, free speech doesn't exist because it really creates an incentive for people to get violent to protest and get violent (ph) speakers come to make sure the people like the people they disagree with don't get to show up on campus anymore.

KELLY: The first amendment is there to protect controversial speech. It's not there to protect speech everybody agrees upon and finds very flowery and lovely and rainbows and unicornsy (ph). It's there to protect speech that may upset you, may be somewhat incendiary, because that's the speech that needs protecting. That's actually, DePaul, what we happen to stand for as a country. Okay, Ben, great to see you.

SHAPIRO: You too.

KELLY: Every time they cancel him, we're giving him a forum here at "The Kelly File." Every time, and then we're just going to let him talk. I'll just give him an hour. He can just talk. He can say whatever he wants to say, even talk to a million people. Will that wait?

All right, coming up, over the weekend, the man once convicted of killing 24-year-old Chandra Levy was released from jail. This is a stunner. And her parents are here next on why they say the prosecutors got this wrong.

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KELLY: Last week we updated you on the murder mystery that captivated this nation. The 15-year-old case of D.C. intern Chandra Levy was abruptly dismissed based on new evidence. Over the weekend, the man previously convicted of Levy's murder was released from jail and placed in the custody of immigration officials. He's expected to be a free man now. Tonight, in a Kelly File exclusive, Chandra Levy's parents, Susan and Robert, are here. But first Trace Gallagher has the story, Trace.

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Megyn, the reason Ingmar Guandique is no longer facing murder charges in the death of Chandra Levy is because his 2010 conviction was based largely on the testimony of his former cell mate, Armando Morales, who told the jury that Guandique confessed to killing Levy.

But numerous reports say a neighbor of Morales, named Susan Proller secretly recorded him weeks ago saying he made the whole thing up in exchange for better prison conditions. Now for Chandra's parents, Susan and Robert Levy, who have already endured a public investigation, lengthy trial, and intense media scrutiny, the nightmare of their daughter's murder has resurfaced, or as Susan Levy says quoting, "it kind of puts you back to the level of grief that you originally had."

As for Robert Levy, he says, "regardless of the recordings, he is still convinced Guandique is the killer and that lead detectives on the case agree with him." He also questions Proller's intentions, asking, "Who is this woman? What is her motivation for doing this? The case is already solved. You have to wonder why a person would do that." Now, Guandique will be deported back to El Salvador, and the Levy's, who are already heartbroken, can add anger and disappointment to that list.

KELLY: Unbelievable. Trace, thank you. Joining me now, Chandra Levy's parents, Susan and Robert Levy. Thank you both so much for being here on what is obviously a difficult matter for you. Let me start with you on this, Susan. Do you believe -- why do you believe that this man, Guandique, is Chandra's killer notwithstanding the fact that the conviction was mostly, I'm told, based on the testimony of this person who has now been outed as a liar?

SUSAN LEVY, MOTHER OF CHANDRA LEVY: I don't know for sure, but it seems like the prosecutors have enough evidence. I will always ask myself why a scream from the apartment and a 911 call from there and no tape. But if he is the killer, I'm quite concerned that he could come back into the country and do more acts.

As I understand, he was once deported, and I have to say that I'm very surprised when Donald Trump was at the convention, when he was talking, he said about illegal immigrants, I really thought, well, you know what? He might be somewhat right. There are some people, not all immigrants, but there are people that can do bad things, and they could be unsafe, and they can come into the country and Guandique may be one of them.

KELLY: And we saw that with him, even if he -- even if he didn't kill Chandra, as you know, he was convicted, but now it's been overturned. He attacked two other women in Rock Creek Park, Bob, and he was in the country illegally. Now he goes back to El Salvador, but he's going to be free.

ROBERT LEVY, FATHER OF CHANDRA LEVY: Yeah, and that's a problem. You know, he was rightly convicted before. A lot of circumstantial evidence because he was the one in the park that was attacking women and Chandra was there at that time and she was found there so, all the evidence pointed to him. There was nobody else doing it, certainly not Gary Condit, although he was not necessarily a nice person, but he wasn't involved directly so, it's definitely Guandique and the original...

KELLY: Can you speak to that because a lot of people remember that she was having a relationship with him, a romantic relationship with him, and so many people believed and the defense argued that he might -- that congressman Condit might be the killer.

R. LEVY: Yeah. But there was never any evidence for that. He's not necessarily a nice guy, but there was certainly no evidence of that, you know. It was just -- there was a lot of evidence against Guandique. In fact, the witness who testified against him was probably telling the truth, and then this lady comes by, and she secretly tapes him, which is illegal in Maryland, and she convinces him to say things that he wouldn't ordinarily say.

I don't think he ever denied -- I don't think he ever said that he lied about Guandique. I think he may have said other things that the prosecution says he seemed like a guy who turned around, and then he was talking all this bad talk to this lady that you know somehow got him to do that.

S. LEVY: And may I say something.

KELY: The reports were that, that key witness, Armando Morales said in the recordings that he did lie when testified that Guandique had admitted killing Chandra. Susan, go ahead, I'll give you the last word, ma'am.

S. LEVY: This lady is -- you mentioned Susan. Her name is -- she has a couple of names. Babs Washington, when she contacted me and her real name is Barbara. How do you say it? Paulette (ph)?

R. LEVY: Who knows? I mean she's got some other names, too, and she's had some record. So, you know, who knows what's her motives were? Who knows who hired her or who did that? I don't know about that.

KELLY: Right. A little odd that it was...

R. LEVY: You know, the games or who is involved in doing that. I mean, why would she even do that?

KELLY: I got to go because I'm out of time. But listen, I want to tell you both, Susan and Bob, our condolences to you. Thank you for speaking out and so sorry this has brought up the grief on the loss of your daughter.

R. LEVY: Thank you.

KELLY: We'll be right back.

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KELLY: We are getting lots of feedback on the Trump/Khan family controversy. If you have thoughts on it, go to facebook.com/thekellyfile. Follow me on twitter @megynkelly. It's great to be back here in New York. Waiting to hear from you. Thanks for watching. I'm Megyn Kelly.

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