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Kelly File

Gen. Flynn: Trump should highlight Clinton's bad judgement

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

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Breaking tonight, a big story out of campaign 2016 as a new look at battleground polls shows Donald Trump closing the gap in states that matter most, even winning states that repeatedly voted for President Obama.

Welcome to "The Kelly File," everyone. I'm Megyn Kelly. Today we have been pouring over data from RealClearPolitics.com and found some dramatic numbers in the seven key states that together represent more than a third of all of the electoral votes needed to win. According to the Real Clear Politics average of polls, Donald Trump is now leading in five of the seven top battleground states.

He's up by five points in Iowa, more than two points in Nevada, two in Ohio, almost a point in North Carolina and is just edging out Mrs. Clinton in Colorado. Meantime it is a dead heat in Florida. And while she is still leading in Pennsylvania, Trump has narrowed the gap to less than two points in a state the pundits suggested he could not win. What's more, all of these states went for President Obama in the last two election cycles with the exception of North Carolina.

We have a great lineup to discuss all of this tonight including Karl Rove who is here with a warning about the format of the next debate.

Plus, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn who has been helping Mr. Trump shapes his message and prepare for debates. And Tom Bevan, co-founder and publisher of Real Clear Politics, he is here to discuss those poll numbers.  And we're going to start with him.

Tom, good to see you. So, these numbers are good for Trump. And Florida, let's start there. You say is the most important state for both of them.  

TOM BEVAN, REAL CLEAR POLITICS CO-FOUNDER: It is. And particular for Donald Trump. I mean, if you look at the map, he just can't get there unless he wins the 29 electoral votes. He'd basically helped her run the table. It would take something of a miracle. So, that's critical for Donald Trump. That's a state that Obama won by less than one a point in 2012. It's now under point in our Real Clear Politics average.

It's been really close for basically the entire month of September. And so you know, Trump is going to try and run up his numbers in the North and the panhandle. Clinton will run up her numbers in Southern Florida and then the battle will be fought as it always is in Florida in that I-4 corridor of Hillsborough County around Tampa is where that state will be decided.

KELLY: Okay. North Carolina, that's, you know, you tell me who that is suppose -- typically traditionally would have gone Republican.  

BEVAN: Right. Obama won in 2008 but didn't in 2012. He lost it by two points to Mitt Romney. This is a state Trump has to keep in the Republican column. Fifteen electoral votes and it's close. It's very, very close.  In fact, we have seven polls there, three of them favor Trump, two of them favor Clinton and two of them are exactly tied. So, it is that close in North Carolina. And again that's one that Trump really needs to keep in the Republican column. If he loses that state it's going to really complicate his path to 270.  

KELLY: Ohio.  

BEVAN: Ohio. No Republican has ever won the White House without it. It will probably be the same again this year. That is one state. Trump has a small but stable lead there. In all of the polls that we have in the month of September, he's leading by, you know, a little bit. Two points in our average overall.

KELLY: And that was the same thing with Obama last time around. He was ahead by Mitt Romney just by a bit in all of those polls in Ohio and that was how it turned out.

BEVAN: Exactly. In fact, Obama won nine out of the ten battleground states. He was ahead with small leads in all of the states and they held up for him.  

KELLY: Uh-hm. Okay. Let's talk about Colorado. Because she was ahead of Trump by 11 points in Colorado a month ago.  

BEVAN: Yes. This to me is Clinton's sort of fire wall state. Right?  It's a state that Obama won handily in '08, in 12. Clinton as you've mentioned, she had a double digit lead there just a few weeks ago and now Trump is leading by less than a point. And pretty dramatic drop and altitude for Clinton there. And the nine electoral votes, it's not a ton but it's key. If she can hold on to Colorado, she's going to force Trump to win another state that might be a little tougher for him. So, that is a state to definitely keep an eye on, for Hillary Clinton.  

KELLY: And then the be all end all Pennsylvania. I mean if Trump could win that, it would be huge. But the odds of him winning it, even though it's tightened, you tell me.

BEVAN: The odds of it -- look. This is the Lucy with the football state for Republicans. Every four years they go in there and they say, we've got a chance, we've got a chance and then Lucy pulls the football away and it's never even really that close. This year, however, again, given the makeup of the states, given Clinton, it's another state where she's lost a lot of altitude, down to under two points now in the most latest Real Clear Politics average of polls, has Democrats really worried. And Republicans are again licking their chops at that state. But it is a state that has not gone well for Republicans in the final analysis. So, we'll have to wait and see.  

KELLY: Uh-hm. Tom, thank you.

BEVAN: You bet, Megyn.  

KELLY: Karl Rove has some thoughts on these polls and how to win from here. He's a FOX News contributor and former deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush. Karl, good to see you.

Let's just take a couple of those -- in Pennsylvania, David Plouffe who got Barack Obama elected twice was on the show this week saying, it doesn't exist for the Republicans. Don't kid yourself. Do you agree?

KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: No. I think it's very much up in the air. Because look, Trump has an ability to attract blue collar working class Democrats --

KELLY: He knows that. But Plouffe said there are too many Democrats who are going to come out of Philadelphia to overwhelm them.  

ROVE: Look. That will be true if she gets the same kind of turnout that Barack Obama got. Think about this. Obama carried the city of Philadelphia by 550,000 votes and loses the rest of the state. But Romney wins it by about 150,000 votes, the rest of the state. But loses the state by 300 and some-odd thousands votes.

KELLY: Wow!

ROVE: So, you know, it depends on the level of turnout in the African- American community in Philadelphia and it also depends upon how well Trump does with white college educated voters in the Southern Philadelphia particularly women. And that is where his weak point is in the state.  He's over performing the western part of the state, blue collar, Democrats, he looks like he's underperforming among Independents and soft Republicans --  

KELLY: We've heard it --

ROVE: -- in the suburbs and we don't know about the city of Philadelphia.  

KELLY: We've heard this time after time that Trump and Clinton are fighting over white college educated women and that the debate was supposed to be aimed according to Judge Trippi and some others at white college educated women. And that was some of the criticism that Trump received thereafter saying, what did you do during that debate to appeal to white college educated women. On the list is not calling Miss Universe fat. A controversy that continues to dog him. Go ahead.

ROVE: Yes. Look. If he makes this about change versus the status quo, not about his personal scandals, not about her personal scandals, then he's got the shot to win. If he lets himself, if he takes the bait and gets drawn in on these things, he's in trouble. And particularly if he not only gets drawn into him in the debate but then squanders a valuable day. Look Megyn, we're at the point where the most valuable thing that a presidential campaign has is time and he chewed up a valuable day arguing over something that is completely, you know, on the edges of this debate and certainly not central to his ability to make a winning case.  

KELLY: Uh-hm. And so now we're, you know, a week or so away from the next presidential debate and it will be a town hall format. And I want to play this clip because Trump, he has had limited town hall experience but he's had some town hall experience and here was a testy moment that happened on February 18th, what he had with CNN. You tell me whether he should repeat this.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you said that George W. Bush, which was our last Republican president, a man I respect greatly, a person that we really fought for when he was up against a lot of pressure, that he lied to get us in the war in Iraq. That stung me very deeply.  

DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Okay.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't believe that. I'm just wondering given some time passing, perhaps you've rethought that. Would you be willing to rethink that?

TRUMP: Well, a lot of people agree with what I said.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You think the president of the United States George W. Bush, lied --

TRUMP: Well, look, I'm not going to get your vote but that's okay.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Karl?

ROVE: Town hall meetings are tough because there's a tendency when you get into a debate to think that you're speaking either to the camera or that you're engaged with your opponent. But a town hall meeting is a conversation, a one-on-one conversation with somebody looking you in the face, not too many feet away and the ability of a candidate to display empathy and to sound like they're listening, to somehow make a connection with that person and then to take the conversation the direction that they want to go.

I mean there was no need to get in an argument or insult that voter. And he cannot do that in the coming week. He's got to also be careful about being too harsh on his attacks on Hillary Clinton. It's one thing when you're standing there just the two of you on a stage. But if you're in the room, the dynamic of those kinds of personal attacks changes pretty dramatically.  

KELLY: Uh-hm. Karl, great to see you.  

ROVE: You bet. Thank you.

KELLY: Well, just last night we spoke to Trump Campaign Manager Kellyanne Conway who suggested that in the next debate, she wants to see the same Donald Trump who showed up for the beginning of the first debate. Watch.   

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I think if Mr. Trump looks back at the first 30 minutes or so in the debate, he'll see some real highlights, his ability to sort of joust and jab with Hillary Clinton.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Lieutenant General Michael Flynn is the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and a Trump national security adviser. Good to see you, General. Thanks for being here.

LT. GEN. MICHAEL FLYNN (RET.), FORMER DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE AGENCY DIRECTOR:  Thanks for having me.

KELLY: So the "The New York Times" is reporting that Trump's struggles in the debate are attributable to his inadequate or improper debate prep and they site in particular these two retired military generals, right? Who are just screwing the whole thing up. Is that you?

FLYNN: That's obviously me who is one of them and a good friend of mine is the other. So, I mean, I saw that and I just find that pretty laughable.  The preparation that he had and I think Kellyanne was right on the money.  That the first 30 to 40 minutes and I actually timed it all, as sitting in the debate hall there. That first 40 minutes was about the economy, prosperity, you know, tax reform and I think Donald Trump nailed it.

What I really saw at the second half of the debate really was frankly the poor judgment on some of the issues that were picked up on by Hillary Clinton, you know, where she brought in, you know, the Miss Universe pageant winner. And I thought that that was I mean -- you look at some of the things that have come out about this young lady. You know --

KELLY: Even though this woman had some trouble, his comments about her weight are on camera. Not those specific ones but many others.  

FLYNN: It just shows the bad judgment. But the other thing is, you know, I've been in Lester Holt's seat. I would have asked much tougher questions and I would have focused on three things, which was, you know, the direction of the country, prosperity and I think --

KELLY: Security.

FLYNN: American security. And hone of that was talked about for almost, you know, almost an hour.  

KELLY: Okay. But, you know, as the candidate you've got to be able to get in the stuff that you want to get in.  

FLYNN: Yes. That's right. That's right.  

KELLY: So are you still on the debate team? All right. So, what's going to happen differently? What is happening differently?

FLYNN: Yes. Well, I think that Donald Trump -- we were up in New Hampshire today actually. So, your lay down of all the polls that he's -- and the momentum that the entire Trump campaign team has --

KELLY: He's looking good there.

FLYNN: -- and feeling very good. And the pitch that he gave up in New Hampshire was superb today. So, I think a lot of this is just continuing to show, you know, in the opponent of Hillary Clinton, the bad judgment that she had displayed in both foreign policy and even here as a senator of the state of New York where she, I mean, I don't know what accomplishments she has here. Really none.

In fact the loss of I understand a couple hundred thousand jobs out of New York. So, she has really no good things to sort of sink her teeth into in terms of accomplishments. Her judgment and some of the issues that she has been involved in from her judgment of using a server, a private server at her home where she plays national security. All of those things --

KELLY: He knew these things before the first debate. What will change? I mean, like he just needs --

FLYNN: Well, one of the things that I think that he, you know, came across -- I actually thought that he won the debate. I mean hands down won the debate. I think that we didn't do a good enough job probably spinning it after, all of the spin stuff that happens. And I think that the mainstream media actually did sort of their job of making sure that for the last couple of days talking up about how Hillary Clinton did and how Donald Trump, you know, didn't do. So you know, I really look at this thing and I say, hey, look, I think that Donald Trump won that debate the other night and I think, I believe, and you know, you can do all of the scientific polling -- and I'm not a pollster.

But what I saw and the people that I've been talking to -- and I paid very close attention to this sort of the information domain. And there are awful lots of people that are looking at Donald Trump in a much different way and saying, this is a guy that I can see as the president of the United States and the commander-in-chief. And frankly, the judgment and the decisions that Hillary Clinton has made have been just absolutely poor.  

KELLY: Great to see you, General.

FLYNN: Great. Thanks for having me on.

KELLY: Thanks for being here.

Well, there are also new theories circulating tonight about the last debate including the real meaning of this mysterious bump in the back of Hillary Clinton's jacket and whether she was using some sort of hand signals.  Bump, bump, bump.  

We will investigate with Brian Kilmeade.

Plus, Donald Trump today started talking about how Bill and Hillary Clinton treated the women who came forward to accuse the former president.

And Trump's spokesperson Katrina Pierson and DNC member Robert Zimmerman are next on whether or not this is fair game.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: The Clintons are the sordid past. We will be the very bright and clean future.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FLYNN: Breaking tonight, new evidence that Donald Trump may be launching a controversial line of attack on the Clinton camp after three straight days of getting hit over history of women. Politico reporting today that Trump's campaign put out talking points this afternoon about how Hillary Clinton and her husband worked together to destroy Bill Clinton's accusers.  It came on the same day The Washington Post published a wildly red report questioning whether Hillary Clinton was an enabler for her womanizing husband or someone just defending their family.

Trump's spokesperson Katrina Pierson and DNC committee member Robert Zimmerman are here in a moment. But first, we go to Trace Gallagher on why the story is blowing up today. Trace?  

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Megyn, Donald Trump, the Trump campaign and Trump surrogates have all argued that what's important in this campaign is not Bill Clinton's infidelities but rather the way Hillary Clinton has responded to her husband's accusers. Unfairly lashing out of them like Gennifer Flowers, the singer who in 1992 sold star magazine the story of her affair with Bill Clinton. At the time Hillary Clinton described Flowers this way during an interview with ABC's primetime live.  Watch.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: You get your 15 minutes of fame and you get your picture on the front page of every newspaper and you're some failed cabaret singer who doesn't even have much of a resume to fall back on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GALLAGHER: Clinton went on to say if she had the chance to cross-examine Flowers, she would, quote, "crucify her." Six years later, Bill Clinton admitted to the affair. When a woman told Penthouse magazine that an Arkansas state trooper approached her on the Governor Clinton's behalf, Hillary Clinton reportedly said, quote, "We have to destroy her story."  And in 1994, Arkansas State employee Paula Jones alleged in a lawsuit that Bill Clinton propositioned her in a hotel room three years earlier.

Bill Clinton dismissed the allegation as untrue and Jones was painted as promiscuous trailer park trash. Bill Clinton then settled the lawsuit for $850,000. During that lawsuit, Paul Jones' attorneys found out about an intern named Monica Lewinsky and Hillary Clinton went back on the attack.  Watch.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: The great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it, is this vast right wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GALLAGHER: Hillary also portrayed Lewinsky as being unstable. And last November, Hillary Clinton tweeted that assault victims deserved to be believed. When asked if that applied to her husband's accusers, Clinton said this.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: I would say that everybody should be believed at first until they are disbelieved based on evidence.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GALLAGHER: And the Clinton campaign now says Trump is mistaken if he thinks going after her for defending her husband will throw her off her game -- Megyn.  

KELLY: Trace, thank you.

At the same time Mr. Trump appears ready to start bringing up Bill Clinton and the past, you know, the women in his past. Some Republicans were today quoted, "warning Trump to keep Lewinsky and these others out of it." The issue came up during an interview today in New Hampshire. Watch how Donald Trump handled it.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You didn't mention Bill Clinton and his past affairs.  You may do this in this second debate?

TRUMP: Well, she was very nasty to me. And I was going to do it and I saw Chelsea sitting out in the audience and I just didn't want to go there. I thought it would be too disrespectful. I just didn't want to do it. But she was very nasty. We'll see what happens. But I just didn't want to put it there. It's a hard thing to say in front of somebody's daughter.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it does come up though in the next debate, do you think maybe your past-marital history is also fair game?

TRUMP: I guess. I mean, that can do. But it's a lot different than his.  That I can tell you. I mean, we have a situation where we have a president who was a disaster and he was ultimately impeached over it in a sense for lying. And so we'll see whether or not we discuss it.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're not worried about your past history at all?

TRUMP: No, not at all. And I have a very good history.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Joining me now, Katrina Pierson, Trump campaign national spokesperson and Robert Zimmerman who is a Clinton supporter and DNC committee member. Good to see you both.

ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Good to be with you.

KELLY: So, let me start with you, Robert, because you saw the Trace report. A lot of the young people don't even know about Bill Clinton's history. But listen, he cheated on Hillary Clinton more than once and that's been documented and he was accused of more than just having consensual affairs but actually sexual assault especially by Paula Jones in a lawsuit that was settled for almost seven figures. Why is that not fair game?

ZIMMERMAN: Oh, come on, Megyn. Let's cut through all of the type of star magazine type of gossip and let's deal with some, let's deal with the political reality, Megyn. I mean, the reality is that this week, Donald Trump lost two debates, Monday night against Hillary Clinton and then Tuesday and Wednesday, Alicia Machado cleaned his clock when he was trying to attack --  

KELLY: Okay. But why are those not fair game?

ZIMMERMAN: Here is the reality, Megyn. He is trying to change the topic.  Because in today's news, it was reported that he settled a lawsuit in 2012 where he was asking his employees to fire what he described as unattractive women.

KELLY: We're going to get to that. We're going to get to that in a little later in the show. But if you can just answer my question, Robert

ZIMMERMAN: I am answering your question, Megyn.

KELLY: So, even if that's all true, even this is a defensive move by Trump, why it's not fair to ask about how Hillary treated the women who came forward and there were plenty of them --

ZIMMERMAN: Hillary stood up for her husband, she stood up for her marriage. And very frankly, whenever Republicans have tried to attack her for that, they have absolutely gone down in flames. That's why you have the leading Republican senators, including Senator Wicker who is in charge of the Republican Senate campaigns pleading with Trump not to go there.  It's a failed strategy because Hillary Clinton stood up for her marriage and stoop up for her husband.  

KELLY: Katrina?

KATRINA PIERSON, TRUMP CAMPAIGN NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON: Look, this is not about Bill Clinton or even what he did for that matter. This is solely about what Hillary Clinton did. She has launched this campaign on sexism, she accused Bernie Sanders of sexism and now they're expecting Donald Trump to be accused of being a sexist and not to defend himself. And the reason why this is fair game is simply because this is about Hillary Clinton's trustworthiness and accountability. She knew her husband was cheating on her and she blamed it on the vast right wing conspiracy.  

KELLY: Well, she said she didn't know.  

PIERSON: She knew this was happening and shifted the blame on to the women and you know what, Megyn, she's right. If she had the opportunity to cross witness to cross-examine the witnesses, she would have crucified them just like she did, a 12-year-old little girl who was brutally raped by a grown man.  

KELLY: Let me as you this question, okay? Let me ask you this question.  Which is a lot of women out there will see Hillary Clinton with her husband cheating on her and say, of course she wanted to tear down the story, of course she wanted to say it's not true and dismiss the woman and say, I don't believe, they're liars. A lot of women will see that and forgive it and not see it as this cardinal sin. Why are they wrong?

PIERSON: No. You're absolutely right. Of course she would want to fix that. But then you can't go around and call yourself the champion of women. It's the hypocrisy that is at issue here.  

ZIMMERMAN: Well, actually Katrina, women are calling her the champion of women --

PIERSON: And you can't go around blaming other people -- you can't go around blaming other people for what you and your husband have done.

KELLY: Okay. Let me ask you this, Robert.

PIERSON: And that's the problem.

KELLY: Wait. In addition to the ones that we highlighted there, Kathleen Willey is another person who accused Bill Clinton. She's been in the program and she says that Hillary Clinton too --

(CROSSTALK)

The entire Clinton team tried to destroy her. Here she is in September 22nd, 2000 alleging the behavior she had received. Watch.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KATHLEEN WILLEY, FORMER WHITE HOUSE VOLUNTEER AIDE: Today, I am suing the President, the First Lady and the White House aides because of their efforts to intimidate and harass me. Before I testified in the Paula Jones case, a stranger approached me, mentioned my 13-year-old cat who had disappeared, my tires which had been vandalized and asked how my children by name were and said, you're just not getting the message. After my testimony before Judge Stark's grand jury and my appearance on "60 Minutes," White House aide Sidney Blumenthal boasted that my reputation would be ruined in a matter of days.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Robert, what of it?

ZIMMERMAN: Here's the bottom-line, Megyn. Donald Trump can run his campaign with Rush Limbaugh and the National Enquirer any way they want.  The bottom-line here is, women are standing up in record numbers in support for Hillary Clinton. It's not that she's calling herself the champion of women but women are recognizing her by 51 to 32 I believe the most recent "Wall Street Journal" NBC News poll. And here's the point. Donald Trump's strategy in terms of reaching out to women has lowered his numbers, that not only she is running behind Mitt Romney, he's actually running down right now where he's at the same numbers with Hispanic and African-American voters.  

KELLY: But you tell me, Katrina. You tell me, if you've got women on the record like Kathleen Willey saying what she just said, you've got the Clinton camp, not Hillary herself so far as we can see. But team Clinton during, you know, this women coming forward, dismissing the women as floozies, bimbos, stalkers, in the case of Monica Lewinsky, this did come from Hillary, narcissistic loony tunes and on and on, whether that is fair game for Donald Trump who has said many of those same things.  

ZIMMERMAN: No, it's not fair game. It's a losing strategy.

KELLY: That is for Katrina.

(CROSSTALK)

PIERSON: No. This is fair game because some of the allegations being made against Donald Trump are just that. Allegations. And you cross-examined the most recent miss -- the recent accusation we had from Mr. Trump which was Miss Universe, the very first winner and she couldn't even corroborate what she even said Mr. Trump called her. These are allegations. The reason why this is important, these are actual actions that were taken against Hillary Clinton. She is calling herself the champion of women and she's --

ZIMMERMAN: So are women, Katrina. Why is Donald Trump running so poorly in the polls?

KELLY: Okay.

ZIMMERMAN: Right now his numbers are dropping to the same level with Hispanics and African-Americans.

PIERSON: He's not running so poorly --

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY: Ana Navarro, she's run a cable competitor, she came out today and she said, hell hath no fury like a Latino woman called fat.

ZIMMERMAN: I'm sorry. One a time please?

KELLY: I got to go. I got to leave it at that. But I do want to clear one thing up for the record. The allegations that Miss Universe said against Donald Trump that he called her Miss Piggy, that he called her Miss Housekeeping, those have not been substantiated by third party witnesses, that's true. But him calling her, you know, overweight, saying she would eat the whole gymnasium, saying she would love to eat, saying she would eat anything you put in front of her and criticizing her weight has been well documented.

He even did it this week on "Fox & Friends." This stuff about Hillary Clinton herself, as far as we can find calling anybody a bimbo but the team Clinton was referring to women in those terms I just described. So, those were allegations about team Clinton, not about her directly.  

And we're not done with the women talk yet because apparently that's taken over 2016. There are now at least a half dozen conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton, oh, this is a different story. But this is interesting too. About Hillary and Monday night's debate. Did she have a hidden earpiece? Was she using some sort of hand signals? You know, like, you know, I don't know how do they do it, the catcher and the pitcher? They don't do this. Brian Kilmeade investigated. He's here with what he found.  

Plus, you just heard about the new controversy that blew up today at one of Donald Trump's golf courses. We'll show you what that involves, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER: From the world headquarters of Fox News, it's THE KELLY FILE with Megyn Kelly.

KELLY: Developing tonight, the Trump campaign defending against a new report raising questions about his treatment of women. This one involves a lengthy story in the "L.A. Times" looking into an employee lawsuit at one of Trump's golf clubs. Among the many complaints in the suit are affidavits, sworn testimony from staffers at the club who said, "Trump wanted to fire women employees who weren't pretty enough." Trace Gallagher is in our west coast newsroom in Los Angeles. Trace?

GALLAGHER: Megyn, when Donald Trump visited his golf course along the ocean here in southern California, his managers claim they went on alert to schedule young, thin pretty women to staff the restaurant. They saw when Trump saw unattractive women he wanted them fired. In a sworn declaration for a lawsuit on labor relations filed in 2012, a former restaurant manager at the club said quoting, "One time he took me aside and said, I want you to get some good looking hostesses here. People like to see good looking people when they come in."

The former club catering director said quote, "I witnessed Donald Trump tell managers many times while he was visiting the club that the restaurant hostesses were not pretty enough and that they should be fired and replaced with more attractive women." The catering director went on to say her boss once told her, quote, "Mr. Trump doesn't like fat people and that he would not like seeing an unnamed employee when he was on the premises.

Even some of the good-looking hostesses complained that Trump's behavior toward them was inappropriate. A Trump attorney says the allegations are meritless but these type of accusations were raised again during this week's debate when Hillary Clinton told the story of Donald Trump fat shaming Alicia Machado after she won Miss Universe in 1996. But now Newt Gingrich is defending Trump. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: You're not supposed to gain 60 pounds during the year that you're Miss Universe.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GALLAGHER: In case you didn't hear, Gingrich said you're not supposed to gain 60 pounds during your year that you're Miss Universe. The Clinton campaign spokeswoman responded tweeting, "I'm sorry I can't get past this. Newt Gingrich is criticizing someone for their weight." Megyn.

KELLY: I'm sure all of the beauty contestants will be looking to him for further advice and counsel on how they can really bring home the title. Trace, thank you. Joining me now with more, Clinton supporter and senior fellow of the New Leaders Council, Krystal Ball and spokesman of the leading pro Trump super PAC and Navy veteran -- Navy SEAL veteran, Karl Higbie, great to see you both.

KARL HIGBIE, VETERAN AND TRUMP SUPPORTER: Thanks Megyn.

KRYSTAL BALL, JOURNALIST AND ACTIVIST: Great to see you Megyn.

KELLY: Let's start with you Karl.

HIGBIE: Oh boy.

KELLY: Why don't they just shut up about the women and how big they're supposed to be?

HIGBIE: You know, Megyn, this is a little bit ridiculous. I see us in the middle of a presidential campaign, the most -- probably the most, you know, turmoiled among we've seen in recent years and we're sitting and talking about whether Donald Trump called someone fat 20 years ago. I just really don't see why the media is focusing on this when you have Hillary with Benghazi, e-mails, long under oath (ph), any number of other things and we're sitting and talking about this.

KELLY: The reason is because many people find that kind objectification objectionable and you know, you really shouldn't alienate half of the country, women, and you shouldn't alienate 70 percent of the country who are overweight.

HIGBIE: Unfortunately, yes.

KELLY: It is a good way to lose votes.

HIGBIE: Yeah, you know, it is a good way to lose votes but the fact of the matter is look, Donald Trump has employed -- I mean, look, his campaign spokeswoman, you just had her on. She's a woman who's communication director a woman. His campaign -- the CEO of his campaign is a woman. I know all of these people. They love Donald Trump. They work well with him. They don't have any of these problems with him so I don't understand like where these things, these allegations are coming from.

KELLY: I mean listen, Karl, not to put a point on it but they're all beautiful and none of them are overweight. The question that these stories are raising, Krystal, is whether as this allegation in the sworn affidavit suggested, quote, "Mr. Trump does not like fat people and wants to make sure he has pretty people working as the face of his organizations."

BALL: Well and here's the big problem for him, Megyn. I mean, do you think that anyone out there read that story and was shocked and said oh no, Mr. Trump would never treat women that way. Of course not. Because his comments over the years and continuing into this presidential election campaign have reflected a man who puts a lot of priority, perhaps first priority on a way that a woman looks.

Grading them on the one to 10 scale. He told a female reporter in this campaign that she had a job because she was beautiful. So this comes as a shock to absolutely no one that Donald Trump is a sexist pig. Why are we talking about it? A, because he keeps talking about it and keeps insisting that Ms. Machado gained a massive amount of weight. And B, because it's conscious relevance...

HIGBIE: And then they put her on an exercise program, a luxury exercise program.

BALL: It's kind of relevant to people whether their future president happens to also be a sexist pig. I think that's kind of an important piece of information that actually a lot of voters might care about.

KELLY: So, the thing is, you know, you can actually -- legally, you can make the argument for certain looks requirements. There was a big case about whether Vegas hostesses could be forced to wear makeup and the answer was they could because it's part of like a uniform -- a presentation of company image. It's actually not illegal necessarily, but that's different from disqualifying all heavy people.

That's a different thing all together. And even Trump -- this woman who ran Trump's construction company and it was a great role. He gave her an amazing promotion. Even she told the "New York Times" that he looked at her, she's a larger size woman and said, "You like your candy." I mean, you know, this is alienating to a lot of people who struggle with eating.

HIGBIE: Yeah, I mean, you know what Megyn, the fact of the matter is 50 percent of our country is drastically overweight and you know what...

KELLY: Including Trump.

HIGBIE: Yeah, well Trump did say he could shed a few pounds. But the fact is, who cares? We're talking about a little bit of weight and this a woman -- also, this Machado woman, he gave her a luxury exercise program and they posed for all this pictures and she was so happy to accept that, that he was willing to let her keep her title.

KELLY: She only posed for the pictures because he ambushed her at the exercise facility with 80 reporters who took pictures of her while Donald Trump looked at her from the sidelines. I mean that is what happened there.

HIGBIE: He didn't ambush her. He was on her -- he's paid, you know, luxury fitness program.

KELLY: She said she did.

HIGBIE: No, and she also says a lot of other things. But the fact of the matter is, she was on his luxury exercise program and he allowed her to keep her title and he worked with her and he said wanted -- he defended her job because she was overweight and then helps her get back down to weight. Come on, Megyn.

BALL: If I could help you -- if I could help you with this, there's a very simple response to what we have seen on camera in terms of Mr. Trump's treatment of Ms. Machado and it's called an apology. It's not called trying to smear her and trying to continue to insist she gained few much weight. Its (inaudible), I'm sorry for the way that you were treated and the way that you felt. It's that easy.

HIGBIE: Maybe you should talk to your candidate.

BALL: And let me tell you about who cares about this?

KELLY: You know, I'll tell you what.

BALL: Take a look at the polls and I think you'll find out who cares about this.

KELLY: I come from a long line of people who also love food, right?

HIGBIE: I love food.

KELLY: And the last thing that an overweight person needs to be told is that they're overweight. That's the last thing and like, trust me, I know.

BALL: It doesn't help.

HIGBIE: Look, I was a fat kid in middle school, I get it.

KELLY: Well now you're a Navy SEAL so nobody feels sad for you. All right, great to see you both

HIGBIE: Thank you, Megyn.

KELLY: They're like the most elite athletes in the country. OK, so far 2016 has involved debates of water drinking, finger size, the eating habits of a former beauty queen, whether the hostesses at the Trump golf course need to be hot and now it involves celebrities taking their clothes off for Hillary Clinton. Brian Kilmeade volunteered to investigate that. He's here to tell us why they might want to keep their clothes back on.

Plus, a closer look at the campaign messages scoring the biggest points. Frank Luntz is here with a good segment coming up.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I did not e-mail any classified material to any classified material to anyone on my e-mail. There is no classified material

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Does she have a good body? No, is she ever fa? Absolutely.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you treat women with respect?

TRUMP: I can't say that either.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Forty days out from election day and that Clinton ad is getting more buzz this week than perhaps any political spot in recent months. But when it comes to attacking a candidate by using their own words, the Trump campaign has also come up with a pretty powerful message of its own.

Pollster Frank Luntz recently measured the effectiveness of a pro-Trump ad entirely in Mrs. Clinton's own words. He joins us now. Frank, let's watch the commercial with the focus group dials (ph) and then you can tell us more about the reaction. Here it goes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: There is no classified material. I did not send classified material and I did not receive any material that was marked or designated classified. I did not e-mail any classified material to anyone on my e- mail. There is no classified material.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rebuilding America Now is responsible for the content of this message.

(EN VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Frank Luntz is the CEO of Luntz Global. All right Frank, so what does it mean when it dipped? Did that mean they didn't like what she was saying or they didn't like the ad?

FRANK LUNTZ, POLLSTER: Well they started zero and then they move second by second and what happened was they repeated the same line and that line became more and more powerful as it really sunk in. And the fact that the Hillary Clinton line was almost to 50 tells me that that ad cuts across partisan lines and political lines. The issue is...

KELY: Yeah, because the Democrats were the low or as high as the Republicans and the Independents on that.

LUNTZ: Exactly. It's an issue of credibility. And the fact is, if we're talking about Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton is winning. If we're talking about Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump is winning. And I don't think the Trump campaign fully understands that if this is a referendum not on him but on her, he'll be the next president. And yet all the conversation seems to be about him. You've got another couple ads to show. I mean, she is in real trouble if people see these ads.

KELLY: Frank, what do you make of Karl Higbie's point in the last section which is, you know, we're at war with Islamic terrorists who want to kill us and decapitate us. You know, Syria is a hot mess. The country is having, you know, the Black Lives Matter Movement underscoring some serious issues and police feel under siege as well. And you know, we are spending a lot of time on whether Trump is a sexist, whether Hillary has berated women. Is this going to matter to voters?

LUNTZ: It's going to matter only in that these undecided independent voters decide not based on policy, they've decided based on persona. And they're trying to decide which candidate can they trust and which candidate they want to let into their homes every day for four years. The point that was made is a good one, Megyn. You are correct, the public would rather decide based on policy and record.

And when Donald Trump talks about the more than a quarter century that Hillary Clinton spent in Washington, D.C. and what was done, what was accomplished? Did we actually make this country stronger? The American people say no. But if it gets sidetracked by all the least circus -- side circus shows, then Trump will lose. It's up to him to control this debate.

KELLY: What about he's hitting her for deplorables. Another thing that he did not bring up in the debate the other night. I'm sure we're going to hear it in the next debate. But he's got this ad whooping her for calling, you know, half his supporters deplorable. Do we have it? Let's watch. Standby, it's coming.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Speaking to wealthy donors Hillary Clinton calls tens of millions of Americans deplorable.

CLINTON: You can put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. They're racists, sexists, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People like you...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY: Effective?

LUNTZ: That ad is going to add an extra 1 percent turnout to Donald Trump's vote because if you're insulted by your opponent, you're absolutely positive without any doubt whatsoever going to make it to the polls. That was a dumb comment that she's made and she will pay a price for it.

KELLY: Trump was saying go meet with my depolrables (inaudible) deplorable are at my rally. Good to see you, Frank.

LUNTZ: Pleasure. Thank you.

KELLY: Well, conspiracy theorists set off a new round of controversy this week claiming that there is visual proof that Hillary Clinton used secret devices during Monday's presidential debate. Not an earpiece this time. Kilmeade is standing by to tell us what it is, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY: Well, there were no new collapse episodes for Hillary Clinton at the first presidential debate, but that did not stop a new round of conspiracy theories from going viral. From secret cough prevention machine because that exists, to a cheat-assisting ear piece. Brian Kilmeade is here to separate facts and fiction. He's co-host of "Fox & Friends" and host of "Kilmeade & Friends" on Fox News Radio.

BRIAN KILMEADE, FOX NEWS FOX & FRIENDS CO-HOST: Right. Megyn, so here's the thing. One thing about when you think about Hillary Clinton, she's got answers. I guess the question is are they the right answers? So, a lot of people say she probably didn't need any help but what is that mysterious thing on her back? Do you see the line through her back?

Do you see those arrows there that weren't there in the natural picture that was put there by John Madden (ph), and there, that little wire there? The question is, is it a Comtek RC-216 that cost $655 that would allow people to talk to her in another room. That's what the question is. It is something or could it be some type of cough suppressant? Could be a compressor machine kit which is a nebulizer that goes through $35.95, that can stop -- can stop and clear a barking (ph) issue for a short period of time.

KELLY: It has like secret little nose pieces?

KILMEADE: Right. It goes -- somehow it clears up your head before and maintains that clear nasal passage.

KELLY: I got to get that whether she used that or not.

KILMEADE: There's another question. Both of these things might not have happened.

KELLY: You think?

KILMEADE: This actually might have been just Hillary Clinton out there, but that is kind of strange. I've never dressed a woman but I don't know why...

KELLY: So what is it? What is the...

KILMEADE: Well, I don't know what that could be.

KELLY: What did the campaign say?

KILMEADE: The campaign says it's nothing. That's just the way it is.

KELLY: Can we see the picture one more time?

KILMEADE: I mean...

KELLY: Demi Murphy (ph) who works for us says, I don't know about that thing at the bottom but that's her spine. It certainly looks like spine. The thing at the bottom is like, it could be something in her pocket?

KILMEADE: It could be that. Here, it's going...

KELLY: It does look like a mic pack. It looks a lot like a mic pack just like this, and just in case like the mic out there died or an IV pack which connects you to the -- OK, we got to move on because Gary Johnson said another really silly thing and that's being kind. Here he is with Chris Matthews.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC CORRESPONDETN: Who's your favorite foreign leader?

GARY JOHNSON, LIBERTARIA PARTY CANDIDATE: Who's my favorite...

MATTHEWS: Any, just name anywhere in the country, any one of the continents, any country. Name one foreign leader that you respect and look up to, anybody.

JOHNSON: I guess I'm having an Aleppo moment in the former president...

MATTHEWS: But I'm giving you the whole world.

JOHNSON: I know. I know.

MATTHEWS: Anybody in the world you like, anybody. Pick any leader.

JOHNSON: The former president of Mexico.

MATTHEWS: Which one?

JOHNSON: I'm having a brain...

MATTHEWS: Well, name anybody.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KILMEADE: He said he smoked pot for four years and she stopped in 2008. He said he (inaudible) stopped smoking pot because he's running for president. I'm not convinced he has. And also they did a study, pot is out of your system in seven days. So, it does cause short term memory loss but if he's not smoking it, it shouldn't be a problem.

KELLY: He should just have said any name like John (inaudible), right. Name that movie.

(CROSSTALK)

KILMEADE: Yes.

KELLY: You got it. What's the movie?

(CROSSTALK)

KELLY: We'll be right back.

KILMEADE: We'll go to commercial.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KILMEADE: In an effort to get young people to vote, Katy Perry has taken off her clothes. She believes that if people can just go naked and vote naked and Madonna can do the same thing, people will vote.

KELLY: For who?

KILMEADE: For who? I believe Hillary if I'm correct. Get dressed.

KELLY: Bye.

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