This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," August 25, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Breaking tonight, just 74 days before Americans head to the polls, and the White House race is taking an ugly new turn. Perhaps unlike anything we've ever seen before with charges of bigotry and racism now coming from both sides.
Welcome to "The Kelly File," everyone. I'm Megyn Kelly. Today both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump hit the campaign trail and delivered stinging rebukes of the other's record. Mr. Trump went up first, offering a prebuttal of sorts to Hillary Clinton, who reports indicated was preparing to level a series of disturbing accusations against him and his far-right supporters. And boy, oh boy, did she ever. Here is just a sampling of what the two had to say earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: From the start, Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia. He is taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party.
DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: What does she do when she can't defend her record?
TRUMP: That's right. She lies. You said it. She lies, and she smears, and she paints decent Americans -- you -- as racists. It's the last refuge of the discredited Democrat politician.
CLINTON: Trump is reinforcing harmful stereotypes and offering a dog whistle to his most hateful supporters. It's a disturbing preview of what kind of president he'd be.
TRUMP: If you want to have strong borders so that people come into our country, but they come in legally through a legal process, that doesn't make you a racist. It makes you smart. It makes you an American.
CLINTON: The names may have changed. Racists now call themselves racialists. White supremacists now call themselves white nationalists. The paranoid fringe now calls itself alt-right. But the hate burns just as bright.
TRUMP: Republicans, then, always have a tendency to back down and be defensive and look bad. Not Donald Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: We have a jam-packed show for you tonight. A little later in the hour, we'll have my exclusive interview with WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange about the information he says could significantly impact Hillary Clinton and the 2016 race, and he says he'll be releasing it.
And we'll also be joined by Univision anchor Jorge Ramos. We'll ask him what he means when he says judgment day is coming for journalists who fail to challenge Trump.
But we begin tonight with Charles Krauthammer, a Fox News contributor and syndicated columnist.
Charles, great to see you. So when this war of words, when it comes to bigotry and racism that we saw unfold today, principally by Hillary Clinton going after Trump on item after item after item, how do the candidates stand tonight?
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I'm not sure they've advanced their cause very much. I think for Clinton, the idea is first to take the focus off herself. It's been a bad week. Whenever she can go on offense and make Trump the issue, she's ahead. She knows that, and this is a good issue to do. She seized on the fact that Trump appointed as the CEO of his campaign the head of Breitbart News, which prides itself as a platform for the alt-right, and the alt-right is a pretty sort of unsavory place.
Now, we have to be a little bit careful, though, because in politics, people are always associating with others who may have a checkered past, and you can't always attribute guilt by association. The best example is Hillary herself. She supports Black Lives Matter. She met with them, and some of the stuff they have said, they chant, they advocate is really terrible. And you wouldn't want to say she believes in that, so I think it's a big step to then attribute some of the alt-right views to Trump himself.
KRAUTHAMMER: I thought where her speech was strong is when she quoted him, like with the so-called Mexican judge or when she mentioned the fact that when Trump was asked to dissociate himself from David Duke, he at first refused to do it. He had to do it later. So I think those were the powerful points. But the broad brush stuff, the associational stuff I think was way over the top.
KELLY: On Steve Bannon, who headed up Breitbart, and she listed some of the headlines off at Breitbart which are controversial. You know, since he took over the Trump campaign, Trump's done a lot of outreach to the mainstream. I mean, he's given a lot of speeches, speeches that have been praised, and he's been on message quite a bit more than he was prior to that. So, you know, she's sort of using that, some headlines, to try to take down the man. So far, the man seems to have helped Trump.
But I want to ask you about the counterattack because he comes out and says something that a lot of Republicans have felt for a long time, which is the Republicans never fight back. For years they have been painted by the Democrats as racist. Everything they do is racist. And he stands up there and sort of uses this to his advantage by saying, not me. Those days are done.
KRAUTHAMMER: Well, look, like you, I've seen this now for endless election cycles. The Republicans are always given that broad brush. Many of them are afraid to defend themselves. Many of them go overboard. I mean John McCain, for example, very honorable when he ran for president. Remember at that time when he interrupted a supporter and said, no, Obama's a good man. He's not a Muslim. Stopped him cold. But I thought the problem with McCain is that we had his opponent was an unknown senator, came out of nowhere, very closely associated with Jeremiah Wright, and with a former terrorist, William Ayers.
And McCain chose not to make those issues. I thought that was a mistake. I think he felt it would be in some way dishonorable, or it might be giving bad signals. I thought those were legitimate issues.
KRAUTHAMMER: But Republicans have to fight back when there is cause. However, when you do say that a judge born in Indiana is a Mexican and thus cannot judge fairly a case involving Trump, and you get the speaker of the House of Republicans saying that is a textbook definition of a racist statement, there isn't anywhere to hide on that one.
KELLY: So where does that leave us? I mean after, you know, she gave -- she sort of did what we all knew was coming, right, on the Trump prosecution when it comes to his remarks on race and his, you know, the David Duke stuff, all of it, right? She did it today. And then he did what he could do in response. He said she's a bigot. He says this is just calling a Republican racist as they've done, you know, in the Democratic Party. So where do we stand now? Has it changed the race at all?
KRAUTHAMMER: I don't think it changes anything. This is sort of like a double smear. This is the kind of campaign we anticipated. These are the two most unpopular candidates for the presidency that you and I have ever seen, and we know the only way to win is to go negative. And there's no way to go but more negative in contemporary America than to accuse somebody of being racist. So I'm not surprised. I don't think it's going to have an effect. I'm not sure -- I mean people expect this kind of rhetoric, and they see it as rhetoric. I don't think this is going to be determinative in any way. And what's ironic as you pointed out is this is all happening when McCain is making the turn --
KRAUTHAMMER: Trump -- that's quite a leap right there. When Trump is making the turn to being soft and moderate and inclusive, reaching out, abandoning the deportation, making speeches about minorities. So this is at a very odd time in the campaign when you've got McCain making a complete turnabout, particularly on immigration.
KELLY: Trump again. And she's still on -- she's still on the old playbook. McCain is in your head. John McCain is in your head tonight, Charles. You should talk to your psychiatrist about why that is.
KRAUTHAMMER: I think that's because McCain's immigration policy is now coming out of the mouth of Donald Trump, and I'm completely confused.
KELLY: The two men. They have the same -- wow, who would have thought?
Charles, what a pleasure. Thank you, sir.
KRAUTHAMMER: My pleasure.
Ann Coulter just somewhere got a shiver down her spine with that poll possibility.
Well, to add to the angry words about race from these two candidates, we today saw the Clinton camp release a new and ugly political ad. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The reason a lot of Klan members like Donald Trump is because a lot of what he believes, we believe in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: We'll show you how this ends when Bill Burton and David Wohl join us next on the fight over this message.
Plus, and tonight's exclusive interview with WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange, he goes further than ever before when we ask him about the recent murder of a DNC staffer. Don't miss this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: I'm trying to read you, Julian. And whether you, I know you don't want to reveal your source, but it certainly sounds like you're suggesting a man who leaked information to Wikileaks was then murdered.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: Breaking tonight, Hillary Clinton unleashes what could be her most controversial attack yet against rival Donald Trump. The Democratic nominee unveiling a new campaign ad today tying Mr. Trump to the White supremacists who have voiced support for him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The reason a lot of Klan members like Donald Trump is because a lot of what he believes, we believe in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump would be best for the job.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For president?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am a farmer and white nationalist. I support Donald Trump.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sending out all the illegals, building a wall, and a moratorium on Islamic immigration. That's very appealing to a lot of ordinary white people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Running against Donald Trump at this point is really treason to your heritage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you unequivocally condemn David Duke and say you don't want his vote or that of other white supremacists?
TRUMP: I don't know anything about white supremacists, so I don't know.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trump named Steve Bannon as his new campaign CEO. Mr. Bannon is best known for his controversial Breitbart News.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A campaign chair that ran a website that has become a field day for the alt-right which is racist and all sorts of other ists.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The alt-right, which is the sort of the dressed up in suits version of the neo-Nazi and white supremacist movement.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of what he believes, we believe in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: Joining us now, Bill Burton, the former deputy White House press secretary under President Obama, and David Wohl, an attorney and Trump supporter. David, let me start with you on your reaction to this.
DAVID WOHL, DONALD TRUMP SUPPORTER: Yes, Megyn. I think it's a diversion tactic from a campaign that is imploding on multiple levels. From the email scandal from the Clinton Foundation disaster, to the now October surprise from the inimitable Mr. Assange. Megyn, I got to tell you, this is really bad for her, and she can't discuss the issues because the issues bring too much criminal liability for her. So what she's doing now is crossing the line from legitimate political discourse into actionable defamation, not just against Mr. Trump, but against his millions of supporters.
Good, hard-working people, non-racists, people that are great Americans. She and her campaign is slandering them in an effort to gain political mileage, and it's a horrible idea. My suggestion is she delete it and issue a formal apology to Mr. Trump and his supporters.
KELLY: Bill, can you really pin on Trump the fact that some of these white supremacists support him any more than you can pin on Hillary the views of every supporter behind her?
BILL BURTON, FORMER DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, I think when you look at Donald Trump, you know, you look at his actions and his business career, as a politician, his rhetoric on the trail, the people that he's hired. There's a lot of serious questions about him and the people he associates himself.
KELLY: All right. When you say the people he's hired, who do you mean?
BURTON: I mean Steve Bannon.
BURTON: I mean the chairman of his campaign.
KELLY: So Steve Bannon ran Breitbart --
BURTON: His campaign in California -- white supremacists.
KELLY: Okay. But Steve Bannon, ran Breitbart.com, which some are describing as, you know, alt-right or at least favorable to the so-called alt-right.
But let me ask you, Bill Burton, she is like this with the guy who founded Media Matters, and that is a hateful website. Ask any conservative or Republican in the country.
BURTON: Megyn, we're talking about different things. Because conservatives don't agree with what Media Matters has on its website does not make it a hate website. It means they disagree with that.
KELLY: My point is it's in the eye of the beholder, Bill. It's in the eye of the beholder.
BURTON: Misogyny and racism are bigger than just political disagreements.
KELLY: Go ahead, David.
WOHL: The Black Panthers, the Black Panthers in 2008 and 2012 supported Barack Obama. Does that make Barack Obama racist? I certainly don't believe so. You cannot control the people who support you. Because some knuckle heads from the KKK decide that they like Donald Trump, he doesn't agree with their positions on any level obviously, and the Breitbart.com, you know how many people have written for Breitbart.com that actually are regular guests on Megyn's shoe, including me? It is not a racist --
KELLY: Greg Gutfeld. Gutfeld!
BURTON: Greg Gutfeld! He was great friends with the Andrew Breitbart --
KELLY: Well, Andrew Breitbart was a great man, but the website has obviously changed a lot since Andrew's death. But the point is, Bill, you know, if you're going to start tying -- Steve Bannon, he has a successful website that he bought in some incendiary headlines but --
BURTON: Right. That offers -- for racist and misogynist language.
KELLY: Media Matters has taken a lot -- Media Matters has taken a lot of - -
WOHL: How about Reverend Wright?
KELLY: For example, they just had a headline recently that said Trump is a terrorist recruiting tool. Guess what, that's a controversial thing to say to probably about half the country. So let's just stick to issues.
BURTON: The CIA sense that. The CIA and the -- actually say that.
WOHL: Reverend Wright, Bill? Please!
BURTON: So that may be controversial and --
WOHL: Reverend Wright?
BURTON: -- that Republicans soon agree with.
WOHL: You know what?
BURTON: But that doesn't mean that it was racist and bigoted --
KELLY: And Breitbart writes things that the Democrats don't agree with. But listen, here's my question to you, Bill.
BURTON: Yes. Because Democrats fundamentally stand against misogyny.
KELLY: Here's my --
BURTON: They fundamentally stand against racism.
KELLY: And that's a good position.
WOHL: And Donald Trump does as well, thank you very much.
KELLY: Okay. Wait. I'm going to let you pick it up in a second. But, Bill, should she be doing this? Should she, you know, she did the speech today.
BURTON: Hundred percent. Hundred percent.
KELLY: Get out there. Make a speech. Go for it. But the ad? My question is, is the ad getting too down into the gutter?
BURTON: Here is the great thing about both the ad and the speech that Hillary gave today. It is mostly rooted in the things that Donald Trump has done and things that he has said and things that his supporters have said, and that may be uncomfortable to look at. And it may seem like an unfair attack, but it is his words. It is his supporters' words, and it's important that the American people see this as he tries this comical attempt to reach out to the African-American community --
WOHL: Comical? Why is it comical? Why is it comical that a Republican wants to reach out to African-Americans and has a lot of African-Americans on his team that are helping in this outreach program? It's comical because Democrats hate the reality that Republicans now are attracting African-Americans, have their best interests in mind, have jobs in mind and lower incarceration in mind. But it really drives Democrats nuts. And I think that's awesome.
BURTON: He's not attracting African-Americans. He's speaking before all white audiences, talking about how --
WOHL: Really? Really?
WOHL: Bill, how many of his rallies have you been to? Zero?
BURTON: I'm not invited. I'm not invited.
KELLY: -- that he's not speaking in front of groups of African-Americans and bringing this message, that he's speaking in front of white people and he is trying to win over sort of moderate white voters.
BURTON: This is not a credible attempt.
WOHL: You know what, Megyn, here's the reality. Hillary Clinton is going to bring African-Americans four more years of --
KELLY: It's so mean how they do that. That's in the control room. It's not me. I could have kept it going for hours. But wait, no, I can't. I've got Jorge Ramos. I've got Julian Assange. I got a great show coming up for you.
On top of this Clinton ad, one of the country's leading Hispanic journalists has taken a controversial stand against Donald Trump. And Jorge Ramos joins us next to answer why he says all journalists need to band together against Trump.
Plus, in our exclusive interview with Julian Assange, the man with all the leaked documents, has some interesting insights on the Clinton campaign. Don't miss this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JULIAN ASSANGE, WIKILEAKS FOUNDER: There's incredible politicization in this election, in the media. It is a bit concerning the allegations that by the Clinton campaign that everyone is a Russian agent are really disturbing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: From the World Headquarters of Fox News, it's "The Kelly File" with Megyn Kelly.
KELLY: We've been covering today's highly charged accusations of racism and bigotry in this White House race, and it comes as one of the country's leading Hispanic journalists has issued a controversial call. You may remember Jorge Ramos getting national attention after he was forcibly removed from a Trump event. Exactly one year ago today. Now he's getting national attention for calling on his fellow journalists to drop their impartiality when it comes to candidate Trump, writing, quote, "It doesn't matter who you are. A journalist, a politician, or a voter. We will all be judged by how we responded to Donald Trump."
Jorge Ramos is a news anchor with Univision and author of "Take a Stand." Jorge, great to see you again. So what do you mean by that because you come out specifically and say, neutrality is not an option, even for journalists. Explain.
JORGE RAMOS, NEWS ANCHOR, UNIVISION NETWORK: I think neutrality is not an option when you as a journalist are confronted with racism, discrimination, corruption, public lies, dictatorships or violations of human rights. I think (INAUDIBLE) and Walter Cronkite, they got it right. There are certain instances which you have to take a stand. For instance, you did it in that first question, in that first debate, when Donald Trump was confronted with the fact that he had insulted women. And you took a stand. That's exactly what I'm saying.
KELLY: Well, but let me ask you about that because I didn't -- let me ask you about that, Jorge.
RAMOS: Neutrality is not an option. Go ahead.
KELLY: But that was not me taking a stand. That was me asking a question. I identified an issue and thought it worthy of a question. It wasn't -- here's what Megyn Kelly thinks of you, Donald Trump. Is that what you're advocating, that we as journalists should inject our opinions and say, that's racist or that's sexist?
RAMOS: No. What I'm saying is that in certain instances that I just mentioned, including racism, sexism, and discrimination, I think we have to take a stand.
KELLY: I understand. If you're interviewing somebody and they drop the n- word on you, you stop and you say inappropriate. You don't talk like that in this broadcast. But, you know, Trump and his supporters would say it's in the eye of the beholder, and they think that it's not racist to try to protect our borders and, you know, build a wall and deport people who came into the country illegally. You disagree with that. So it is injecting a journalist's opinion when it's not staring you in the face, black and white.
RAMOS: It is not exactly an opinion. I don't know if Donald Trump is a racist. I don't know what's in his head, but I do know what's coming out of his mouth. And when he says that Mexican immigrants are criminals, rapists, and drug traffickers, that's a racist remark. When he says that a judge, simply because of his ethnic heritage --
RAMOS: -- cannot be part of a case simply because of that, simply because he's Latino, that's a racist remark. And I think we as journalists, we have to call it out.
KELLY: Okay. So, but here's a question. Here's a follow-up question for you.
RAMOS: Maybe Donald Trump does not consider himself a racist, but 73 percent of Latinos think that he is.
KELLY: Okay. But 70 percent of the American public think that Hillary Clinton is a liar. So by that same token, what are we supposed to do? Every time we're supposed to do about Hillary saying something, should we be saying, by the way, she's a liar. She's a liar. Liar, Hillary Clinton. I mean, you see, you sort of go down the rabbit hole once you start injecting these judgments on the candidates as a journalist.
RAMOS: More than judgments, I think it is our social responsibility as journalists to confront those who are in power.
KELLY: But your detractors have said you have a daughter, Paola, who is working for the Hillary Clinton campaign, and you know, did you disclose that in your opinion piece pushing for journalists to, quote, "Take a stand," and is this personal for you in that way?
RAMOS: I think it's a fair question, and I've disclosed that Paola works for the Hillary campaign many, many times. Every time I've talked to Hillary Clinton, before I do that, I disclose that. It's on Univision's web page. So in other words, that's her decision, and I have absolutely nothing to do with that.
KELLY: Jorge, great to see you.
RAMOS: Thank you, Megyn.
KELLY: Joining me now with reaction, host of Fox News "MediaBuzz," Howard Kurtz. Howie, good to see you. Your reaction to Jorge's position.
HOWARD KURTZ, HOST, "MEDIABUZZ": Well, when Jorge Ramos says, option is not -- neutrality is not an option, excuse me. Well, hey, it stopped being an option for him years ago, especially after he staged that confrontation with Donald Trump last year, when he started shouting at him, you can't build a wall. Was still yelling as security escorted him out. The problem Megyn is, there are a lot of American-born journalists publicly and privately who agree with Jorge Ramos when it comes to Donald Trump.
KELLY: Well, I mean, there's a question. You say he staged it. He had been trying to get an interview with Trump. He'd been denied. He wanted to confront him on some controversial statements Trump had made. Listen, as a journalist, I see no problem showing up at a rally and shouting your question at a guy who is dodging you. We do it to Hillary Clinton too and we have to do a charge (ph). She won't talk to anyone.
KURTZ: But he wouldn't stop shouting. He kept shouting and shouting and shouting.
KELLY: Then when he took positions, it became advocacy instead of journalism, that's true. But his point, what about -- I mean his point is this is him. He says you have somebody making racist statements. You have somebody making misogynistic statements. You have an obligation to call it for what it is. And take my example I used with him, Howie. If somebody comes on in an interview and says, so and so is the n-word. No journalist is going to let that slide. Jorge sees Trump's statements the same as that.
KURTZ: I have no doubt that he is sincere in his heartfelt opposition to Donald Trump. What he says, though, reminds me of what Jim Rutenberg, the New York Times media columnist argued when he said that for journalists who view Donald Trump as dangerous, they are moving closer to being oppositional. And I've got to tell you, I feel really strongly about this.
That does not feel or look or smell like journalism. You want to be oppositional, you feel so strongly that Donald Trump should not be president because you think he is racist or evil or a threat to western civilization, fine. Quit your job. Go crusade against him, become an op-ed columnist, whatever. Don't use the cloak of an anchor at a major network and pretend to be a journalist if you are opposing one candidate in a presidential race.
KELLY: Because once you do that, once you decide Trump must lose, he's bad, he's racist, he's whatever, then what happens when something like the WikiLeaks documents come to you and you get all sorts of information on Hillary Clinton? Do you bury it? Do you say I don't want to hurt her, so I'm not going to disclose this? You just -- you start walking down a very dangerous, dangerous avenue. Howie --
KURTZ: Exactly. Your point centers against the other side. Great to see you.
KELLY: Yeah, exactly, great to see you too. Well, speaking of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, our exclusive interview tonight with him, and there are new questions this evening about the unsolved murder of this DNC staffer and the leak of those damaging DNC documents we saw at the Democratic National Convention and whether these two things may be connected. In part two of our exclusive interview with WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange, he goes further than he ever has before on why he is so focused on this particular murder.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: Wikileaks, in fact, offered $20,000 for information leading to the arrest of Seth Rich's killer. Why are you so interested in Seth Rich's killer?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: Breaking tonight, several new revelations from our interview with Julian Assange, the co-worker, co-founder I should say of WikiLeaks, that website that produces hacked documents. The hacking's done by others. Last month WikiLeaks shaking up the Clinton campaign, releasing damaging leaked information just two days before the Democratic National Convention, forcing five top DNC officials to resign, including Debbie Wassermann Schultz.
Last night, Julian Assange claimed there is more where that came from, telling us more leaked documents will go public before the presidential election. CBS News covering it this way, quote, "Next week on Clinton, Dems will have unexpected angles." Politico saying, "Assange promises to leak more on Clinton."
And "Time" writing "WikiLeaks will release significant information that could damage Clinton" all citing back to the interview we had right here. In moments, part two of our exclusive interview with Julian Assange. But first Trace Gallagher brings us up to speed on this controversial man. Trace?
TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Megyn, Julian Assange has been accused of hacking for more than 20 years. In fact in the mid-90s, Assange and his friends were so good on computers, they could track detectives who were tracking them. Assange was eventually caught and prosecuted but escaped prison by vowing not to re-offend, and for a few years, he kept his word, working as a researcher for an author writing a book about the internet underground.
The author said Assange was, quote, "Quite interested in the concept of ethics and what governments should and should not do." In 2006, he began WikiLeaks with a group of like-minded people across the worldwide web. Assange came to prominence in 2010 with a massive release of classified U.S. Military documents, including video that showed a U.S. helicopter allegedly shooting civilians in Iraq. The military points out one of the so-called civilians was carrying what appeared to be a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. He remains wanted by the U.S. government.
In 2010, assange was also accused of rape and sexual assault in Sweden. The assault allegation had been dropped. The rape accusation stands. Assange claims the encounter was consensual but fears that if he turns himself in to the Swedes, he'll wind up extradited to the U.S., so he remains hold up at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. In July, WikiLeaks released hacked e- mails that showed the Democratic National Committee favoring Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders.
That leak forced DNC national committee chair Debbie Wassermann Schultz to step down. And now, Assange is threatening an October surprise for Hillary Clinton, promising to release documents that could affect the election. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JULIAN ASSANGE, WIKILEAKS CO-FOUNDER: It's a variety of different types of documents from different types of institutions that are associated with the election campaign, some quite unexpected angles that are, you know, quite interesting, some even entertaining.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: Assange is promising to release the documents before the election not so much to drop a bombshell at the perfect moment, but to fully vet the documents so they cannot be easily dismissed, Megyn.
KELLY: Trace, thank you. And now part two of our exclusive interview with Julian Assange. We pick up our discussion on the fallout from WikiLeaks' release of those leaked DNC emails.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: Are you receiving more leaks now in the wake of what we saw, you know, here in the U.S. election in July?
ASSANGE: Yes. Every time, of course, if we have a big publication, there's a lot of reportage and so I should see this and they go, oh, okay, Wikileaks works. I'll give them my thoughts and that's a good thing. Unfortunately, it means that we're it means that we're drowning, having to work around the clock.
KELLY: There was a lot of speculation here in the United States that perhaps Russia was behind the hack of the DNC. I know you're not giving up your source, but there was also speculation about whether your source was inside the DNC and whether it may have potentially been a man named Seth Rich, who was killed.
He was shot in what police initially said looked like a robbery just last month. You came out in an interview with Dutch television and mentioned Seth Rich in a discussion about whistle-blowers and the need to protect them. And WikiLeaks, in fact, offered $20,000 for information leading to the arrest of Seth Rich's killer. Why are you so interested in Seth Rich's killer?
ASSANGE: We're very interested in anything that might be a threat to alleged WikiLeaks sources. The police have offered $25,000. We have offered $20,000. We're not saying that Seth Rich's death necessarily is connected to our publications. That's something that has to be established.
But if there's any question about a source at WikiLeaks being threatened, then people can be assured that this organization will go after anyone who may have been involved in some kind of attempt to coerce or possibly, in this case, kill a potential source.
KELLY: Do you have any suspicions on who may have been behind his murder?
ASSANGE: We have received a variety of information. We'll be reporting that information to the police. I don't think the information so far is enough to start pointing any direct fingers. We don't want to compromise the police investigation.
KELLY: I'm trying to read you, Julian on whether you -- yeah, I know you don't want to reveal your source, but it certainly sounds like you're suggesting a man who leaked information to WikiLeaks was then murdered.
ASSANGE: If there's someone who's potentially connected to our publication and that person is then murdered in suspicious circumstances, it doesn't necessarily mean that the two are connected. But it is a very serious matter. I mean, that type of allegation is very serious, and it's taken very seriously by us.
KELLY: I want to ask you because there's a big AP report today saying WikiLeaks releases the private information of innocents.
ASSANGE: Well, it's a nonsense report. It's not by AP It's not some big team with AP that put this. It's by a single journalist, Raphael Satter. He has a conflict of interest. Have a look at him on Twitter. He's been campaigning against us ever since this DNC leak.
KELLY: I got to ask you about the U.S. election. As you point out, you're not an American citizen. You're an Australian, you know, and you're clearly not rooting for Hillary, but are you rooting for Trump?
ASSANGE: No. If we have good information on Trump, we publish that. If we have good information on good (ph) Democrats, we publish that. You know, I would like to believe that no organization, no media organization in the United States would not have published the DNC e-mails. But I don't think that's true actually. I think MSNBC wouldn't have published them. I think The New York Times wouldn't have published most of them. And that's sad.
It's an incredible politicization in this election of the media, and it is a bit concerning that the allegations by the Clinton campaign, that everyone is a Russian agent, are really disturbing. Why is that? Well, because (inaudible) Hillary Clinton as a Democrat, has become -- has positioned herself now to be the security candidate. She's piled up with the (inaudible) responsible for the Iraq war and she's grabbed on to this kind of neo-McCarthyist (ph) hysteria about Russia and is using that to demonize the Trump campaign.
The Trump campaign also thinks something is wrong with her. But as far as we can see, being Russian agents is not one of them. You know, some people have asked us when we release information on Donald Trump, and of course we're very interested. More countries are to reveal the truth about big (ph) candidates so people can understand. But it actually, it's really hard for us to release anything worse than what comes out of Donald Trump's mouth every second day.
It's part of his charismatic appeal that he speaks off the cuff. But, you know, that's difficult for Donald Trump to overcome a lot of those things even with a lot of great material coming out by WikiLeaks or other publications.
KELLY: Right and you don't do the hacking. You just do the releasing and, you know, there have been some leaks about our military, including one back in 2007 that was controversial. You guys released video of an apache helicopter in Baghdad and sure enough, the United States have killed two Reuters photographers and some children were injured, and WikiLeaks, you know, we saw that, thanks to videos that you guys released.
But the military came out later and said, it doesn't show the full context and they say RPGs were found. Ground troops leader discovered two RPGs, an RPG launcher, a rifle where this group had been clustered.
ASSANGE: Look, we have a clear result. The U.S. government had to admit in court, under oath in 2013, that not a single person that it could find had been harmed as a result of that.
ASSANGE: Do you need to be more careful? What say you to the charge that these releases need to be screened better by WikiLeaks if you're going to do it at all?
ASSANGE: Well, let's back step. What exactly is the allegation here? The allegation is that WikiLeaks is publishing too much true information.
KELLY: But private, private, confidential information.
ASSANGE: Half of that we agree. We publish a lot of information and it's had a perfect record so far.
KELLY: Julian Assange, the man who may hold the October surprise or perhaps September. We'll have to wait to find out. Thank you so much for being here.
ASSANGE: Thank you, Megyn.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: Well, you just heard Julian Assange talk about the mystery behind the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich. This just happened on July 9th. So, we did some digging on the case, and we will show you what we found right after this break. Don't go away.
KELLY: Breaking tonight, new reaction to one of the biggest revelations in our interview with the co-founder of WikiLeaks. It came when Julian Assange talked about the mysterious murder of 27-year-old DNC staffer Seth Rich, saying WikiLeaks is very interested in any, quote, "threat to alleged WikiLeaks sources." Trace Gallagher is back with more on this unsolved case. Trace?
GALLAGHER: Megyn, Seth Rich had been working for the Democratic National Committee for two years and helped develop a computer program to make it easier for people to find polling places on election day. Just days before he died, Rich had been chosen to work on Hillary Clinton's campaign. Julian Assange has never indicated that Seth Rich played any part in slipping DNC documents to WikiLeaks, but as you heard, Assange has mentioned Rich's name when talking about the risk that WikiLeaks' sources take.
Just over a month ago on July 10th, Seth Rich was gunned down at 4:00 in the morning near his home outside of D.C. In the hours before the shooting, Rich was seen drinking at a bar and heading to an after-hours club. Nineteen minutes before he was shot, Rich was on the phone with his girlfriend. Police say they have no suspects, witnesses, or motive, though they are looking at attempted robbery, even though his watch, wallet, and credit cards were not taken.
Two weeks ago, D.C. Metropolitan Police said there was no indication that Seth Rich's death was connected to his employment at the DNC, and sources involved with the DNC leak investigation told "Newsweek" that Rich had been ruled out as having any part in the hack and instead the focus was on a foreign government, namely the Russians. Neighbors of Seth Rich say they had long been complaining about a surge in neighborhood crime. Megyn.
KELLY: Trace, good to see you. Joining me now, Mark Thiessen, former chief speechwriter to President George W. Bush. You know, the question -- I want to get to WikiLeaks in a second, but the question remains if Seth Rich had nothing to do with it, either and didn't leak to WikiLeaks and wasn't thinking about leaking to WikiLeaks, why is Julian Assange so interested in his murder?
MARK THIESSEN, POLITIVAL COMMENTATOR: Because Julian Assange is a megalomaniac who wants to associate himself with anything that makes news. I mean, Julian Assange is a criminal. He's released thousands and thousands and hundreds of thousands of unredacted classified documents. He loves being in the media. He loves being in the spotlight and so it wouldn't surprise me at all that he would try and associate himself with this and make a story out of it.
KELLY: So he's trying to stoke the fire there and have people jump to the conclusion that this was more than a neighborhood robbery?
THIESSEN: It seems that way. Again, we don't know, we don't know. Maybe there is something to it, but we don't know the answers to these questions. But if there isn't anything to it, it doesn't surprise me that Julian Assange will still try and stoke the fire absolutely.
KELLY: The D.C. police just so the audience knows, they've said "at this time, there's no indication that Seth's death is connected to his employment at the DNC, however we welcome information that could potentially lead to the identification of those responsible." So, they are pursuing all leads on this. Marc, you know, Julian, he says over and over, like, we've never been wrong. You know, everything we've released has been -- we've never gotten it wrong in 10 years. That's not the complete story.
THIESSEN: No, it's not the complete story and what we're seeing right now, what's happening is the Democrats and Hillary Clinton are experiencing something -- there's a word for it. It's called blowback. So Assange is a criminal. He's damaged national security, released hundreds of thousands of unredacted classify documents that have harmed national security, and the Obama administration during the course of its entirety has done absolutely nothing about it. When Assange released...
KELLY: Well, they opened up a criminal investigation on him.
THIESSEN: But they haven't indicted him as far as we know. In fact, they said according to the "Washington Post," they reported that they were not going to be able to indict him because they have to indict every newspaper and every journalist. Assange isn't a journalist and most journalists will tell you -- the New York Times, all these other papers that have reported his information, they say he's not a journalist. He's an activist. He's not a journalist.
And what he does, which is different from journalism, is that he releases all these documents unclassified. So, for example, he released 76,000 pages of classified documents which exposed the identities of 100 Afghans who were informing on the Taliban. The New York Times refused to link to him and refused to publish those names. Julian Assange put those names out there. And again, the Obama administration did nothing about it.
KELLY: Yeah, I actually asked him about some of that, and we'll air that in an extended interview. I have to post that on Facebook. I got ot got because we're out of time.
KELLY: It's a tight show tonight. Mark, great to see you. We'll be right back.
THIESSEN: Thanks, Megyn.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: Do you believe the information in your possession could be a game- changer in the U.S. election?
ASSANGE: I think it's significant.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: Should Hillary Clinton be worried? Facebook.com/thekellyfile. Good night.
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