Shannen Coffin on Clinton Foundation possibly violating laws; Huckabee addresses growing questions over Trump's 'wall'

Emails reveal foundation executive pushing donors as guests for lunch with Chinese president; former DOJ lawyer provides insight on 'The Kelly File'


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

MEGYN KELLY, HOST:  Breaking tonight, newly released emails about the Clinton Foundation are leading to some serious new allegations, suggestions that the foundation was collecting millions in a cash for favors setup during Mrs. Clinton's time at state.  And tonight a former Justice Department lawyer is telling us the new revelations suggest some legal lines may have been crossed.  

Good evening and welcome to "The Kelly File," everyone.  I'm Megyn Kelly.  New details emerging now after a Federal Court ordered the release of more e-mails from Clinton's private server.  These are documents recovered by the FBI that Mrs. Clinton may have tried to destroy, and they are just the latest drip in what's becoming a steady stream of troubling messages between Hillary Clinton's family charity and her State Department staffers, who appear to be very cozy.  

The messages lend credence to the notion that there are wealthy donors who paid top dollars for favors from America's top diplomat while ordinary Americans were left to fend for themselves if they wanted access.  Even Mrs. Clinton seems to admit this doesn't look good.  


HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE:  My work as secretary of state was not influenced by any outside forces.  I made policy decisions based on what I thought was right.  I know there's a lot of smoke, and there's no fire.  


KELLY:  In moments, we'll speak with former Justice Department Lawyer Shannen Coffin, who says there are potential violations here of at least three federal laws.  

But first we go to Trace Gallagher, our breaking news desk with the details from these new messages.  Trace.  

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Hey, Megyn, if you're connecting dots, this latest round of emails appears to draw a bold line directly between the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton's inner circle while she was secretary of state.  The emails were given to ABC News by the conservative group Citizens United.  In one exchange from 2010, top Clinton Foundation official Doug Ban and Hillary Clinton's closest aide Huma Abedin talk about special seating for an upcoming State Department lunch with Chinese President Hu Jintao.  

Doug Band even names names, including the president of UBS Wealth Management Bob McCann, Western Union CEO Hikmet Ersek and Rockefeller Foundation President Dr. Judith Rodin.  A later email specifically requested that Rodin be seated at Vice President Joe Biden's table, to which Huma Abedin responded, quote, "I'll ask."  For the record, UBS had given the Clinton Foundation between $500,000 and $1 million.  Western Union, between one and five million.  

The Rockefeller Foundation, between 10 and 25 million.  When asked about the Clinton Foundation trying to get prime seats to a lunch for a foreign dignitary, the State Department said it, quote, "Does not believe it is inappropriate.  The Clinton campaign called Citizens United a right-wing group trying to make something out of nothing."  And on ABCs this week, the interim chair of the Democratic National Committee Donna Brazile seemed to acknowledge that giving big donors access is just part of the process.  


DONNA BRAZILE, INTERIM DNC CHAIRWOMAN:  This notion that somehow or another, someone who is a  supporter, someone who is a donor, somebody who is an activist saying, I want access, I want to come into a room, and I want to meet people, we -- we all think criminalized behavior that is normal.  And I don't see what the smoke is.  


GALLAGHER:  Again, the smoke comment.  The State Department says, it cannot provide a list of who did and did not attend the lunch with the Chinese president -- Megyn.  

KELLY:  Trace, thank you.  

Joining us now, Shannen Coffin, former Justice Department assistant deputy Attorney General under President George W. Bush and a former chief legal counsel to Vice President Dick Cheney.  

Shannen, good to see you.  


KELLY:  So, I mean, Donna Brazile, you got to hand it to her on the honesty front.  You know, I like Donna Brazile.  But it's not going to fly with the American people to say, look, everyone is bought off.  You know, like your donors give you lots of money so they get access that the American people don't get.  And they get invited to the State Department, they get to rub elbows with power and set themselves up for future success in a way regular Americans don't.  That's something we have to live with.  You say it's actually not that simple.  It actually might be criminal.  

COFFIN:  Well, look, their claim is there's only smoke, but lots of people die from smoke inhalation.  So, smoke is the problem here,  and there are -- look, in addition to what Trace discussed, we saw emails last week that the Crown Prince of Bahrain was going through the Clinton Foundation in order to get a meeting with Hillary Clinton at the State Department when normal channels had prevented him from doing so.  And the same channel.  

KELLY:  And this again, you see it very clearly.

COFFIN:  It was Doug Band to Huma Abedin.  

KELLY:  Trace just took us through it where you got the guy from the Clinton Foundation, Doug Band, specifically sending the people he wants to see at this luncheon for the China State Luncheon and gives three names.  And then --  

COFFIN:  Right.  

KELLY:  He asked about this one person in particular, saying, can we get her at Biden's table?

COFFIN:  So let's --  

KELLY:  And Huma Abedin says, I'll ask.  I mean, this is -- this is what Trump has been trying to tap into saying she's bought and paid for.  She owes so many favors to so many people who have donated to her foundation that you can never get an honest judgment from her because it's all about repaying the people who paid her.  You say it actually may be criminal.  
Why would you go that far?

COFFIN:  Yes.  So, look, there's a back door here that normal citizens don't have.  If you make a contribution to the Clinton Foundation, you're more likely to get access to Hillary Clinton at the State Department.  And there are at least three different categories of federal laws which may be implicated.  One, the ethics and government act, which says you can't use a public office for private gain for yourself or even for a charity, the law says specifically, a charity that you're associated with.  So in giving special access to the donors for the Clinton Foundation, the ethics and government act is implicated.  

KELLY:  Well, but let me ask you that.  Because the -- but how does Hillary gain?  You're talking about a private gain.  How does she gain?

COFFIN:  But that's not what the law -- it doesn't require that money go into Hillary's pocket.  It could be enough that her husband gets speaking engagements.  

KELLY:  Which happened.  

COFFIN:  It happened.  It could be enough that the foundation with her name on it gets more money, which is also happened.  

KELLY:  All right.  Now, the second one that you're focused on, potential law here, is the bribery, the anti-bribery laws.  How could that be violated?

COFFIN:  Well, look, this is the hardest group of statutes to prove.  You have to have a quid pro quo.  And we've seen in a recent case involving the former governor of Virginia that just setting up, say, you know -- sitting someone at a luncheon may not be enough to violate those statutes.  

KELLY:  Right.

COFFIN:  But I will tell you this.  The federal government, if the shoe were on the other foot here and a U.S. company were giving money to a foreign charity that was associated with the foreign secretary, the polish secretary of state, the U.S. government would prosecute -- the U.S. government would prosecute that U.S. company.  And that's exactly what we have here.  That's called the foreign corrupt practices act, but that's based on the U.S. bribery laws.  So for the people who are seeking access to Hillary Clinton by giving money to the charity, there's a grounds for prosecution of those givers, okay?  Now, whether or not that Hillary Clinton can get reached by those laws, there's a lot more facts that have to be developed.  

KELLY:  It's unbelievable.  When you see the tentacles of the Clinton Foundation and how dicey this was for her to maintain it.  

COFFIN:  But let's talk about the foundation.  

KELLY:  Quickly.  Go ahead.

COFFIN:  The foundation could be a foreign agent for the Prince of Bahrain.  When the foundation says, he's our friend.  Can you get a meeting with Hillary Clinton, and Huma says, Friday at 10:00, the foundation itself could be an unregistered foreign agent.  Whenever a foreign agent -- when an agent for a foreign government or a foreign company goes before the U.S. government and seeks favors, that person is supposed to register with the Justice Department.  

KELLY:  I got it.  

COFFIN:  That certainly didn't happen here.

KELLY:  And they're not supposed to do the bidding of some foreign dignitary at our State Department.  I got to leave it at that.  

COFFIN:  That's right.

KELLY:  Shannen, great to see you.  

COFFIN:  Good to see you too, Megyn.  

KELLY:  I mean, it's -- you get it?  Right?  It's like complex.  And this is why many people just leave it to the side and don't bother, but you understand what was happening, right?  I mean was it improper?  Did it have the appearance of impropriety, and was it potentially illegal?  Those are all fair game questions in an election for the presidency.  

Meantime a new poll suggests this foundation story is becoming bigger.  In the latest Monmouth survey, 54 percent say that Mrs. Clinton gave special treatment to foundation donors.  They believe she did.  

David Wohl is an attorney.  Richard Fowler is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host and a senior fellow at the New Leaders Council.  Good to see you both.

RICHARD FOWLER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Good to be with you, Megyn.

KELLY:  Richard, I mean what do you make of this, why is the Clinton Foundation telling Hillary's right-hand woman who they want at this lunch and where they should be seated?

FOWLER:  Sadly, Megyn, this is what you called the same old Washington politics where you're Democrats or Republicans.  People play connections in different departments, into the White House.  It happened all the time.  We saw Halliburton had no bid contracts into the Iraq war.  This is the same old Washington politics, which is where I agree with Donna Brazile.  If we want to end that, we take the --  

KELLY:  They do.  The American people do want to end that.  

FOWLER:  But before we go and penalize the Clinton Foundation for what they've been able to do, let's talk about all the good things they've done.  

KELLY:  Oh, come on.  That's not in dispute.  I'm conceding that point for the purposes of this discussion.  That's a dodge, Richard.  That's a dodge.  

FOWLER:  No, but here's the thing --  

KELLY:  We're not talking about whether the Clinton Foundation did good things.  Good.  Good for them.  We need charitable organizations.  The question is whether Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton used it.  

FOWLER:  Megyn --  

KELLY:  Used her possession at the state --  

FOWLER:  They did not.  

KELLY:  To give donations to it, which is not allowed.  Go ahead, David.  

DAVID WOHL, ATTORNEY:  Megyn, you know, it's clear that upon being confirmed as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton wasted no time in converting the State Department into a full-fledged business partner of the Clinton Foundation.  Are you kidding me?  There is so much corruption, so much pay to play.  

KELLY:  Okay.  What is the proof?

WOHL:  What is the proof, Megyn?  I'll tell you what the proof is.  The UBS case took place in 2009 right after her confirmation.  They came up to her and they said, look, the IRS wants the detailed information of all of our people with offshore accounts.  Can you kind of help us with that?

KELLY:  Yes.  

WOHL:  She goes to the State Department.  She gets that cut out.  And what happens right after she takes care of that problem?  That UBS donates ten times as much money to the Clinton Foundation, and suddenly Bill Clinton gets this lucrative contract for $1.5 million to do question and answer sessions with who?  UBS people.  UBS executives.  

FOWLER:  That's absurd.

WOHL:  It's quid pro quo, and it's --  

KELLY:  It happened.  He's right.

FOWLER:  Megyn, there's a couple --  


KELLY:  Richard, that happened.  The journal reported on this extensively at the time.  

FOWLER:  There's a couple problems in David's analysis.  Number one, Hillary Clinton has no power over the IRS whatsoever.  Number two and more importantly, the fact just because her husband got a speaking gig from UBS does not mean that the Secretary of State was implicated in any --  

KELLY:  It's an unusual intervention on her part.  An unusual intervention.  

FOWLER:  Fair.  Not to mention the fact that the lawyer before talked about this China dinner, right?  The three people that went to the China dinner all have business involving China, the Rockefeller Foundation.  

KELLY:  I bet they did.  That's why they wanted her to get them in.  

FOWLER:  But that's the job of the secretary of state, to lobby for American businesses.  

WOHL:  The cause and effect are unbelievable.

KELLY:  That's right.  Speak to that, David.  You hear his point.  That's her job.  Her job is to lobby for American businesses.  


FOWLER:  Exactly.

WOHL:  And Megyn, here's the reality.  There's not going to be a prosecution.  There's not going to be a prosecution because of the fact that Loretta Lynch's boss has formally endorsed Hillary Clinton.  But the reality is while there may be no legal consequences from what's happened here, this bribery, this racketeering, and that's what it was, there will be political consequences.  The polls are already starting to show that.  Donald Trump is moving up in the polls, and it's in large part because of this.  

FOWLER:  I don't know what polls you're talking about, but okay.  

KELLY:  All right.

FOWLER:  All the polls show that Hillary Clinton is ahead sizably, number one.  And, number two and more importantly, is that Donald Trump has more problems than -- he has more problems than O.J. Simpson when it comes for running to be president of the United States.  So, there you have it.  

KELLY:  I'm going to have to digest that.  

WOHL:  Come on, Richard!

KELLY:  I thought you were going for more issues than a magazine rack.  

FOWLER:  I was trying -- I was trying for a good analogy.  

KELLY:  Okay.  Great to see you both.  So, there are also some new dramatic questions tonight about what some call the original campaign promise from Donald Trump.  


TRUMP:  We're going to build the wall, and who's going to pay for that wall?


KELLY:  Is that wall already crumbling right in front of our very eyes?  Governor Mike Huckabee is next on that.  

Plus, one of the NFL's highest paid quarterbacks sparks major backlash for refusing to stand for our national anthem.  And tonight he is threatening a new protest, and he is not alone.  

Plus, America today lost a beloved actor, and we'll have a special moment for the man who brought to life Willy Wonka.   



KELLY:  Breaking tonight, the Trump campaign is engaging in a new round of damage control on the issue of immigration after reports suggest the candidate may be backtracking on his plans to build a wall on the Southern Border.  This is obviously a critical issue for Trump supporters.  


DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE:  I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will have Mexico pay for that wall.  Mark my words.  


Build that wall!  Build that wall!

TRUMP:  Build that wall.  We're going to build that wall.  Don't worry about it.  We're going to build that wall.  We're going to build the wall, and who's going to pay for that wall?

(AUDIENCE):  Mexico!

TRUMP:  Who?

(AUDIENCE):  Mexico!

They think we're kidding, too, don't they, folks, huh?  We're not kidding.  
We're not kidding.  


KELLY:  Well, with Trump's much awaited speech on immigration scheduled to happen just 48 hours from right now, we're now hearing new questions about whether that wall he has so proudly promised is actually going to be a real wall.  First Trump supporter and former Texas Governor Rick Perry was suggesting last month that it's a quote, "technological" and, quote, "digital wall."  And today Trump confidant Rudy Giuliani was suggesting it maybe a little bit of both.  

RUDY GIULIANI, R-FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR:  He's going to build a wall.  It's going to be a technological as well as a physical wall meaning --  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We hear 35 feet high with wall technology --  

GIULIANI:  Yes.  And with technology that can detect people five, six miles away.  


KELLY:  Chief political correspondent Carl Cameron is live for us tonight in San Francisco.  Carl?

CARL CAMERON, FOX NEWS CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT:  Hi, Megyn.  And it is the case that Donald Trump has said that much of what he enunciates on the campaign trail could ultimately be viewed as a bargaining position because he's going to make deals and get things done.  And in fact he himself has said that the wall in some places wouldn't be practical because there are topography problems, lots of mountains that would make it difficult to build a wall, and that technology would be much more better suited to work in those situations.  

And those are the sorts of asides that he has offered in the past in his unscripted, untelepromptered remarks about immigration reform.  The Wednesday speech now has that added to the list of questions because over the course of the last two-and-a-half to three weeks, Donald Trump has been particularly cautious in his rhetoric and put an awful lot of pressure on his surrogates to explain exactly what's going to happen on the other two sort of foundational points of his immigration policy.  One, he's already revised his proposal for a ban on new Muslim visitors or immigrants to the U.S. on a temporary basis.  

That's now turned into extreme, extreme vetting.  And then comes the question of what to do about the undocumented immigrants who are in this country, the illegal immigrants that he's promised to deport with a deportation force.  And on that, the question is still open, and many of his advisers have suggested that that softened rhetoric that he talked about Sean Hannity with could make it possible for some illegal immigrants to stay in this country, albeit not with legalization.  For that they'd have to go home.  

All of these are questions that we presume will be answered on Wednesday when he'll go to Phoenix for a teleprompter speech to deal with what are questions that may court independent swing voters.  At the same time they alienate the very Republican base that came to love in the early part of this when he made this type of tough immigration reform, really the signature of his campaign -- Megyn.  

KELLY:  Karl, thank you.  

Joining me now, former GOP presidential candidate Governor Mike Huckabee.  Governor, good to see you.  So, what is the point of surrogates coming out and talking about, you know -- why not just stick with he's going to build a wall? Why is anybody injecting, well, it's going to be a technological wall here, it's going to be a virtual wall there?

MIKE HUCKABEE, R-FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR:  Well, you know, the only thing I can say is Megyn, sometimes surrogates go out and they forget that they're not the candidate, and they may make a statement --  

KELLY:  But this surrogate surrogate is the former governor of Texas.  He knows better than most.  

HUCKABEE:  Right.  Rick Perry used to talk a lot about the fact that a good bit of the wall on the Texas side of the border would be, in fact, electronic.  If you've been to the border -- and I think you have, and I've been to the San Diego border and to the Texas border.  There's some places where a physical wall, fence is very, very significant.  

KELLY:  Right.

HUCKABEE:  The best one that we have is the one around San Diego.  It's the one that stopped illegal immigration by 90 percent since it was built.  It's been tremendous.  It's not only physical, it is also electronic.  So it's not an either or, it's a both.  So when people say that --  

KELLY:  So what is the need to sort of come out and tweak the issue just as Trump is getting poked himself for softening the issue of what we're going to do with the 11 million illegal immigrants?  Is this all about outreach to so-called moderates or people who aren't already on the Trump train?

HUCKABEE:  I don't think the surrogates are serving Donald Trump very well if they try to undermine his basic message, which is the wall.  But the bigger picture here -- and I think a lot of people are losing sight of this -- is that is there is a real clear choice in the issue of immigration.  Donald Trump is going to build a wall.  Donald Trump is going to end sanctuary cities.  Donald Trump is going to make sure that we have a clear direction about who is coming into this country.  

Hillary Clinton is for sanctuary cities.  She's for open borders.  She's going to be the Angela Merkel of the United States.  I mean I think it's pretty clear that if you want open borders and sanctuary cities, you go with Hillary.  If you want strong borders and if you want someone to actually enforce our laws, you want Donald Trump.  That's what it's going to come down to, and what the surrogates say, it's not going to make that much difference.  

KELLY:  Uh-hm.  Governor, great to see you.  With all due respect to yourself as a surrogate.  

HUCKABEE:  Thanks a bunch.  

KELLY:  Also with us on this tonight, Ben Domenech, publisher of The Federalist.  Ben, good to see you.  


KELLY:  So, I don't know.  You tell me whether this is just a coincidence or whether this is a message that was intentionally put out there to would- be Trump voters who are, like, he's too hard line.  

DOMENECH:  You know, I'm really not sure that there was a lot of thought put into this from the perspective of the sloganeering, but this is an example of slogans running smack into a brick wall of their own in the sense that the slogan of building the wall sounds very nice.  But if you've been along the border as I have with Texas Senator John Cornyn back in the day, you know that the topography there actually is challenging when it comes to building a wall.  

In fact, much of the issue is the fact that about half the border, which is made up of the Rio Grande in Texas, would be a situation where if you built a wall there that was as high and as significant as the one that Trump has described --  

KELLY:  Thirty feet.  

DOMENECH: -- would cut off Texas land owners access to the water there.  
And that's something that I think really would prevent it.  

KELLY:  Then that's what Rick Perry was saying.  

DOMENECH:  Exactly.

KELLY:  He said, there's some that's there.  This is going to be 1,200 miles from Brownsville to El Paso, 30 foot high.  And listen, I know you can't do that.  But the question is whether we are seeing an overall softening, whether it's, you know, in combination -- if this were just sort of a one off, OK, it's a clarification of what exactly the wall is.  But it comes on the heels of Trump saying to Hannity last week, there's going to be a softening.  And he kind of tried to dial it back but he was already well out on that limb about, hey, okay, now it's we're going to secure the border first, and then only after that's secure, are we going to talk about the 11 million?  Which sounds really familiar.  I've heard that elsewhere.  

DOMENECH:  I have as well.  The thing to keep in mind Megyn is why people want a wall in the first place.  You can tell whether a wall is there or not.  It's not a group of bureaucrats in Washington saying, the border is secure.  It's either there or it isn't.  That's why voters have supported and it that's the reason that he became the Republican nominee.  

KELLY:  Uh-hm.  But on the 11 million, I mean, that position of we secure the border first and then we talk about the 11 million is basically what every single candidate running for president had on the Republican side, is it not?

DOMENECH:  It really is, and it's one of the reasons why I think that you see the kind of muddying now, the confusion among some of Trump's supporters who are basically saying to themselves, was he just trying to pull another con job on us?  Is this a situation where we can trust him on this issue?  One that has been a signature of his to this point?

KELLY:  All right.  We're going to hear more about it from the candidate himself on Wednesday, who will clarify his positions on all of this.  We'll look forward to that.  Ben, great to see you.  

DOMENECH:  Good to be with you.  

KELLY:  All right.  There is new controversy erupting over race in America, involving both Beyonce and the message she brought to the awards that we just saw, and Colin Kaepernick, the star quarterback who is now refusing to stand for the national anthem, arguing that the American flag represents oppression.  

Pete Hegseth and Eric Guster weigh in, next.    


KELLY: Developing tonight, the debate over race and law enforcement heating up again following some highly controversial protests from a couple of highly paid famous faces. It all started Friday night when multi-million dollar NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem, to protest what he calls the oppression of black people.

And then last night at the Video Music Awards, Beyonce's performance appeared to show angels being shot dead, collapsing into a pool of make- believe blood, which viewers believe was meant to represent police brutality. Trace Gallagher has the new fallout tonight, Trace?

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Megyn, this is Colin Kaepernick's sixth year in the NFL but the first year he's decided to sit for the national anthem. He said it took time for him to decide how to express himself. And even if he loses endorsements or his job, he says he is not changing his tune. Watch.


COLIN KAEPERNICK SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS QUARTERBACK: When there's significant change and I feel like that flag represents who it's supposed to represent and this country is representing people the way it's supposed to, I'll stand.


GALLAGHER: Across the country, most support his right to protest. Some even support the protest itself, but much of the reaction has been very angry from fans burning his jersey to fellow players calling him out. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees saying, quote, "It's an oxymoron that you're sitting down disrespecting that flag that has given you the freedom to speak out." Kaepernick has clarified his comments saying, he has great respect for the military, but listen to a gold star mom talking about the flag and her son who was killed in Afghanistan.


TERI JOHNSON, GOLD STAR MOTHER: The flag that I see is the flag that draped my son's casket in honor and I see the flag that was handed to my husband and I with deep respect from a grateful nation. When I look at the flag, I see the best of us.


GALLAGHER: At the Video Music Awards, Beyonce made her own statements, first by using the song "Pray You Catch Me" to pay tribute to Trayvon Martin, and continued the medley with red lights and gunshots with the dancers falling one by one, a clear allusion to police shootings and the Black Lives Matter Movement. We should finally note, Megyn, that if Colin Kaepernick loses his job, it will not be because of his protest. His performance on the field has continued to slide. Megyn.

KELLY: Trace, thank you. Joining us now, Pete Hegseth, a Fox News contributor as well as a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and Eric Guster, an attorney and political commentator. Great to see you both. Pete, your reaction when you saw Kaepernick refuse to stand as a war vet yourself.

PETE HEGSETH, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Ungrateful. Uninformed about what that flag really means. I use the basic test of conduct as what you're doing something you would do in front of your own mother? In this case, would you do that in front of the graves of the fallen? In front of that Gold Star mother? In front of wounded veterans? In front of the families of fallen cops who have given so much for that flag? Listen, you want to protest? You got issues with this country, fine. You could protest.

They purchased that right for you. But have enough respect, enough gratitude for the freedom you have to do that, to stand, look at that flag, and salute it, understanding that we all work to make it better. This country has had problems with race. We understand that. We can fix it and improve it. But have some gratitude. Have some respect. Stand up. Salute the flag and show some respect for the country that we should all love.

KELLY: What about that, Eric? You know, no one ever claimed that America was perfect, but we love our country. We respect our country, and the core values for which we stand, and we respect the sacrifices men and women in uniform have made to protect what we stand for. And that's why people rise to their feet. You don't have to sign on to everything happening in the United States at the time.

ERIC GUSTER, ATTORNEY AND POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: But if a person is aggravated about the things such as oppression that Colin Kaepernick spoke so eloquently about, they have the right to protest. And the rights that people died for are not necessarily...

KELLY: There's no question he has the right.

GUSTER: ...and that is why so many Americans...

KELLY: He has the right.

GUSTER: So many Americans do not enjoy those rights.

KELLY: The question is whether he should have done it.

GUSTER: Oh, yes, he should have done it because it takes people like Colin Kaepernick, like Beyonce, to speak out about oppression, to speak out about people not being treated fairly, to speak out about inequality in the school systems, in race relations, in police protection because these people, yes, they have money. People have said, oh, they have $60 million types of contracts, but those are the people who get the attention to bring the attention to the issues because if he did not talk about it, if he did not protest it, we may not be talking about this right now.

KELLY: Go ahead Pete.

HEGSETH: Eric, we've been talking about it. We've had a gigantic national conversation. This is -- if you want to talk about race, you want to talk about people that have seen past race, this guy's mother and his black father abandoned him. Two white parents took him in and gave an opportunity to rise, have social mobility, in a country that doesn't...

GUSTER: So because two white people took him in, that's an excuse?

HEGSETH: No, not an excuse. Let's see past race and give everybody an opportunity. We all live in a police state...

GUSTER: When you are a black man, Pete...


KELLY: Hold on, Eric.

HEGSETH: ...oppressed by the police.

KELLY: Go ahead Eric.

GUSTER: When you are a black man, you can't see past race because people are seeing you as a threat. When you go into a store, you're followed. When you're driving, you have a higher rate -- higher chance to be stopped and harassed by police. You have much more of a chance to be shot by police.
That is the reality of being a black man like I am. I'm in Birmingham, Alabama, right now. The seed of civil rights, the place where civil rights was fought and is constantly being fought right now, Pete.

HEGSETH: I acknowledge that.

GUSTER: You cannot try to lecture someone about this.

KELLY: Hold on Pete. OK, go.

HEGSETH: I can't put myself in your shoes every day Eric, but 53 years ago, Martin Luther King gave a speech about talking about how he wants his four children to be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin and the more we emphasize the color of skin and emphasize racial differences, we get further away from that dream. Why are we talking more and more about what separates us as opposed to the equal justice we should appeal to?

Martin Luther King appealed to our founding premise when searching for equality. Colin Kaepernick could make that same case, hey, let's do better in a way that doesn't demean our country, which is exactly what he does when he sits on his pathetic butt on the sidelines before a game rather than saluting a flag which many died to preserve, including those in the civil rights era who wants to fulfill the pride (ph) and promise.

KELLY: What about that Eric, the Gold Star mom's -- Eric, with the Gold Star mother's reaction, you know, her son was killed and they gave her that American flag to honor his sacrifice and all he died for. And there are a lot of -- unfortunately a lot of Gold Star families just like her who felt disrespected in that moment.

GUSTER: And I understand that because they paid the ultimate sacrifice. But that sacrifice is based upon the right to protest just like Colin Kaepernick did. So many people have fought black, white, Asians, Hispanics, have all fought in our army and our armed forces, but that gives him the right, and that's the most important thing. We are under protection of equal rights, but we simply don't have them and it's based upon the color of your skin.

HEGSETH: Just because he has the right doesn't make it right and I think that's what a lot of people feel in this instance.

KELLY: All right guys, thank you both.

HEGSETH: Thanks.

GUSTER: Thank you.

KELLY: Also tonight, the University of Chicago taking a stand when it comes to the cupcakes on campus. And James Rosen has the school's powerful anti- p.c. message for incoming students. I wish I were 18 years old again and much smarter than I actually was and was applying to schools. That's where I wanted to go, University of Chicago. I never could have gotten in there.

Plus, a Trump tweet raises eyebrows and makes headlines with how he reacted to the murder of an NBA star's cousin. Chris Stirewalt on whether tweets like this helps or hurts Trump's outreach message efforts. Stay tuned.


KELLY: New reaction tonight to a weekend of street violence that closes out the deadliest month in Chicago in nearly two decades -- and that's saying something. From Friday through Sunday, gun violence left at least 10 dead and 60 wounded. Think about that. Among the murdered is Nykea Aldridge.
She's a Chicago native and cousin of Chicago Bulls star Dwayne Wade. The killing of this mother of four was quickly mentioned by Donald Trump, and the story took off from there. Mike Tobin has more live from Chicago, Mike.

MIKE TOBIN, FOX NEWS CHICAGO-BASED CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Megyn. This sad murder got political rather quickly. Jesse Jackson just weighed in again calling for a White House conference on violence. But as you mentioned, it was Donald Trump who dragged it into the arena both over Twitter and on the stomp (ph).

His Saturday tweet read "Dwayne Wade's cousin was shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I've been saying. African-Americans will vote Trump." And one today reading, "Inner city crime is reaching record levels. African-Americans will vote for Trump because they know I will stop the slaughter going on."


DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Failed Democratic policies. The policy of Hillary Clinton have created this high crime and crushing poverty, absolutely crushing poverty in so many communities under democratic control. We have bad schools, no jobs, high crime, and no hope.
It can't get any worse.

EDDIE JOHNSON, CHICAGO POLICE SUPERINTENDENT: As far as what Mr. Trump said, I don't have a whole lot of comment on that. If you have a magic bullet to stop the violence anywhere, not just in Chicago but in America, then please share it with us.


TOBIN: The suspects in this case, the Sorrells brothers, Derren and Darwin, career criminals at age 26 and 22, both violent felons. Both according to police, documented gang members. Both of them out on parole. One of them wearing his ankle monitor at the time of the shooting. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says they're examples of people who don't do their whole sentence, don't care who they shoot, and don't fear the consequences of their actions, certainly not from the justice system.

A spokesman for the police says 64 people were shot this weekend in Chicago. Eight of them died of their wounds and an overwhelming majority of them were known to police because the people involved in the shootings are often the targets of the shootings. Still the spokesman complains all police can do is arrest them. They cannot keep violent -- they cannot make violent criminals do their entire sentence, Megyn.

KELLY: Mike, thank you. Joining us now with more, Fox News digital politics editor Chris Stirewalt, Chris, good to see you. So, Trump came under fire for the charge was that he politicized this murder by immediately coming out and writing what he wrote. It was a while later that he came out to say, you know, my condolences -- several hours after the initial tweet -- my condolences to Dwyane Wade and his family. We've seen politicians do it before.

CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS DIGITAL POLITICS EDITOR: Racial outreach for white politicians especially is tricky, whether it's on the city, state, or federal level. This is not easy to do. Now, obviously you don't do it that way. You don't do it. You don't jump on something so fast and politicize murder, especially when you're talking about something, when you're talking about so many people in Chicago, et cetera, et cetera.

It is part of a larger piece for Trump but I think is good for him and is helpful for his cause, and that is not that he's going to do particularly well with black voters. When we see him headed to Detroit this weekend for more outreach into the black community, it's not that we expect him to do well or even better particularly with black voters.

But it is that he can assuage the consciences of white suburbanites who are worried about the fact Hillary Clinton says he's a racist. Much of the press says he's racist. And so much of this campaign is surrounded in racism. His very outreach to black voters, the fact that he continues to do it, that may help him with those white suburbanites.

KELLY: But there's no question that the outreach to black voters is a great idea, no matter whether you're Republican or Democrat, and Trump should have been doing it, you know, for a while now. But when you look at some of the response to what he just did from the African-American community, it's alarming.

I mean you come to fully understand how deeply offensive and problematic they found that tweet. At least many folks did. I'm just looking at the latest coming in. Here's something from Don Cheadle, well, this is actually from Saturday but he writes, "You are truly a piece of you know what."


KELLY: And then it goes on, Holly Robinson Peete, she tweeted "I'm just so offended by this, I can barely breathe. Prayers and condolences go out," calling him an absolute disgrace. Saw a lot of that. I don't know. I mean was it the timing of it? Was it the sweeping...

STIREWALT: The subject.

KELLY: You know, that African-Americans will vote Trump. What was it?

STIREWALT: It is the subject matter, and it is politicizing a murder, and it's doing it so fast. It undermines that larger effort, which Ben Carson and others are helping him with to try to do this broader, more sensitive, more kind-hearted outreach that he says he wants to do, that he's trying to do. You do one tweet like that, that's what the press will seize on. That's what happened. And that is -- you rob yourself of opportunities.

KELLY: Good to see you, Chris.


KELLY: Up next, the University of Chicago and why you should send your kids there. No more safe spaces.


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

KELLY: And now to the University of Chicago, where the school is defying a national trend and daring to tell students they will not find any safe spaces or trigger warnings on this campus. For more, I'm joined by chief Washington correspondent James Rosen. Hi, James.

You know, if you've been watching this trend on college campuses over the past several years and you've been wondering when someone in a position of authority would finally stand up and say, in effect, that he's mad as hell and he's not going to take it anymore, this is your story.


ROSEN: As if parting the heavens, this mild-looking academician, Jay Ellison, Dean of Students at the University of Chicago a has struck what champions of free speech on campuses regard as the biggest blow of the decade against the stifling effect of political correctness run amok. In a letter to the class of 2020, Ellison touted the university's commitment to academic diversity, warning freshmen rigorous debate, discussion, and even disagreement may challenge you and even cause discomfort.

In an era when liberal students across the country have sought and received the creation of safe spaces, zones where they can be shielded from ideas they regard as hurtful to their psyche and demanded trigger warnings, advance notice from professors when their curricula could promote an adverse emotional response. The Ellison letter served notice that the University of Chicago isn't having any of it.

We do not support so called trigger warnings. We do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial and we do not condone the creation of intellectual safe spaces where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.

GREG LUKIANOFF, FOUNDATION FOR INDIVIDUAL RIGHST IN EDUCATION PRESIDENT: This is actually one of the best steps I've seen a university take to say, you know what, this is -- education, if done right, is actually going to be uncomfortable.

ROSEN: The empire of academia strikes back, however. Michael Roth, president of WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY, told "The New York Times" the Ellison letter was a publicity stunt designed to quote "coddle" donors.

NOLAN CABRERA, UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA ASSISTANT PROFESSOR: Instead of saying we don't believe in safe zones, he's actually creating a safe zone, and that's a safe zone for racism, homophobia, sexism on his college campus.


ROSEN: Administrators at the University of Chicago countered that they're embrace of free speech does not confer on anyone the freedom to threaten or harass, Megyn.

KELLY: I love Jay Ellison. I wish my kids were graduating sooner. They're like class of 2028. It's not soon enough. I want them there while Jay is there, James.

ROSEN: I think first really, Megyn, you need to focus on something call the SAT's and then eventually you'll get to where you're talking about.

KELLY: Yeah, but that nonsense about you making a safe space for racism and sexism -- what they're trying to do is shore people up for real life -- tough conversations on difficult subjects, which we have to deal with in real life.

ROSEN: I consider this conversation itself one of those right now, and I think I had trigger warnings somewhere around 4:00 today. But, look, the University of Chicago points out that the professors there retain, as they put it, broad freedom in how they address any concerns their students may have about the curriculum. So, if a professor really wants to give a trigger warning, he or she may do so.

KELLY: That's like my dianetics only it's true and not weird. Still up, Gene Wilder. Don't go away.


KELLY: Tonight we bid goodbye to a legend. Actor Gene Wilder has passed away at the age of 83 from complications of Alzheimer's disease. While many remember him for iconic roles in films like "The Producers," "Blazing Saddles," "Silver Streak" and "Young Frankenstein," for many of us, while there will always be the larger than life candy man who delivered pure imagination in the beloved classic "Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory."


GENE WILDER, ACTOR (SINGING): Come with me, and you'll be in a world of pure imagination. Take a look, and you'll see into your imagination.


KELLY: That film meant so much to me growing up and still does. We have one movie poster in our home right now, and it is from Wonka. I love the escape it offered to a world where good triumphs over nastiness and where no dream is too big.


WILDER: But Charlie, don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted.


WILDER: He lived happily ever after.


KELLY: Gene wilder, bless you. And from this girl from upstate New York who you helped convince that anything is possible, thank you.

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