This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," October 21, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MEGYN KELLY, HOST, "THE KELLY FILE": Breaking tonight with just 18 days until Election Day, Donald Trump is preparing to launch his closing arguments and in a big way. As the polls may show some signs of tightening up yet again.
Welcome to "The Kelly File," everyone. I'm Megyn Kelly. It's been a hectic few hours as the candidates makes their final sprint towards Election Day, Hillary Clinton holding a single event in the battleground state of Ohio today while Donald Trump managed three stops, holding one rally in North Carolina, two in Pennsylvania. Earlier today, he told the crowds he's leaving nothing to chance. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I'm working harder, too folks. I am working harder. There's no doubt about it. I have three stops today. We have three of these today. We have three. We're going to do this for another 19 days. Right up until the actual vote of November 8th and then I don't know what shape I'm in but I will be happy and at least I will have known, win, lose or draw and I'm almost sure if the people come out, we're going to win. But I will be --
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: So, is there a reason to believe Trump could still win the race. Larry Sabato and Kristen Soltis Anderson are here on Trump's push to close the polling gap and Chris Stirewalt is here with new developments on the House and Senate races.
But we begin with our senior national correspondent John Roberts reporting from Newtown, Pennsylvania, where Donald Trump just wrapped up his final rally of the day. John?
JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Megyn, good evening to you. You know, you say, is there a chance for the next 17 days for Donald Trump to make a difference? He likes to say at many of his campaign rallies, take a look at what was going on in the UK with the Brexit vote. All of the polls showed that nos were going to win and then the yes has won in the end. And he believes he can do the same thing with just a little more than two weeks to go now until people go the folks on mass.
Of course there's a lot of early voting between now and then as well. Tomorrow in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, very famous place for political speeches, Donald Trump will begin to make his closing arguments. He is going to wrap together all in one place, on one speech, all of the plans that he says he has for America in the first 100 days of his presidency and what he will do beginning the day that he walks into the Oval Office after taking the oath of office on the west front of the capitol.
Should he be so lucky as to win the presidency? Just a few minutes ago, here in Newtown, he gave us an idea of what will be in that agenda. Listen. Apparently we don't have that, so I will tell you what he is going to do. He is going to talk about tax reform, rebuilding the military, repeal and replace ObamaCare which is a promise he's made in the campaign trail.
Reduce regulation that he says is handicapping America's energy producers, he will begin to renegotiate trade deals, he will begin to get rid of the Iran deal and renegotiate that, tax cuts, also his five-point plan to reform ethics in Washington and something new in the campaign trail saying that in the Department of Commerce, he will create in the first days of his presidency a so-called America desk tasked which will be task with preserving American jobs and setting the playing field for American companies to flourish.
So tomorrow morning Megyn, 11 a.m., we will see if he can turn the poll numbers around. One glimmer of hope here. A new investor's business daily national poll has got him one point ahead of Hillary Clinton but he still trails in 11 of the 16 so-called battleground states -- Megyn.
KELLY: Uh-hm. Real Clear polling average went one-tenth of one percent in Donald Trump's favor today but it is very tight and her lead is pretty solid. John, good to see you.
So, over the past five months, some context now in the polling, watch this. Even when Hillary Clinton's lead appeared to beginning to the point of insurmountable, Donald Trump has repeatedly, repeatedly been able to bounce back. For example, in early May, he was down 6.5 points only to move ahead just two weeks later. It happened again over the summer. In late June, the businessman was trailing the former secretary of state by nearly seven points. Four weeks later, just after the Republican National Convention, he was back in the lead.
And it was a similar story at the end of August. He trailed by nearly six points. He had attacked the Khan family, all of that nonsense after the Democrat's convention. Just over two weeks later, it was a dead heat. Today, Hillary Clinton is ahead, but just over six percent in the Real Clear politics average, of all polls, and the question now is whether Trump can once again be the new comeback kid as we approach Election Day?
Larry Sabato is the director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics. And Kristen Soltis Anderson is a Washington Examiner columnist and a Republican pollster. Good to see you both.
KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, WASHINGTON EXAMINER COLUMNIST: Good to see you.
KELLY: So, he has done it. I mean, Larry he has done it at least three times if you want to look at like tighter times, you could go back further than that. But he's encountered for dead many times before and has comeback. Is it possible between now and November 8th?
LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA CENTER FOR POLITICS: Megyn, anything is theoretically possible. I certainly wouldn't bet on it. It is very, very unlikely. This is a sizable lead by Hillary Clinton. People say, oh, what's six points, polls turnaround quickly. This is the end of the campaign. We're at the end. This final phase. People have made up their minds. And the vast majority have made them up solidly. They are not going to be switching certainly between Clinton and Trump.
There may be a few two who switch back and forth between one of the major and minor party candidates and one of the minor party candidates but that's about it. And don't forget about early voting, too. We have three to four million who have already voted and we will have about 40 percent of the electorate having voted before November 8th.
KELLY: Kristen, do you agree? Because Trump, if you look at the history of how Trump has closed the gap, I'm going to put this on the board, he's done it in two weeks in the past. Look at May. May 6th, Clinton was up 6.5. By May 22nd, he had taken the lead, a swing of, you know, 6.7 points.
And then you can see little bit longer between June 28th and July 25th but not even a full month there and once again, he had taken a lead from a 6.8 percent deficit.
ANDERSON: I think it is a little bit easier to make up a gap like that in May when people are still trying to figure out what are the issues that matter to them, trying to get their heads around who these candidates really are and what they're stand for than it is by the time we get to late October, when as Larry mentioned a lot of people have already made up their minds. Nine out of ten supporters say in polls that they will not change their minds. Nine out of ten Trump supporters say they will not change their minds.
People are so kind of down in their bunkers about who they are voting for at this point that really the slice of people left who can be persuaded is very small. The way you can persuade people is not to switch from Trump to Clinton or Clinton to Trump at this point. It's to vote or to not vote. And so the one thing that I think Trump could potentially do is that he's able to go and hit like a laser just those states that he needs to put together 270.
As you've mentioned, he's been doing these rallies. Rallies are sort of the thing that he is best at. He is better at that than the Democrats are. But the thing that he's got working against him is that there's the Democratic machine in the Republican primary, he was able to overcome the turnout operations of folks like Ted Cruz. But it's a whole different ball game up against the Democratic turnout machine. And so, he has got to really make sure that these rallies are turning out lots of people if he wants to energize his supporters enough to try to begin to make up this gap. But ultimately I'm with Larry. I think that it is highly unlikely that he's able to pull it off. And if he does, he has got to focus like a laser on just the states he needs.
KELLY: What about that Larry because one of the times he managed to close that gap as we look to that chart was right after September 11th when she collapsed. I mean, she physically collapsed and then her polls collapsed. I mean, does he need an event as big as that in your view to turn this around at this point?
SABATO: As big or bigger and I'm not even sure that would do it for some of the reasons that Kristen just mentioned. The undecided percentage, my guess it is two, three, four max. And from experience, we know that half of them won't vote. They won't show up. They are conflicted or they're not used to the voting procedures and of those who vote, the tradition is that they break about in the same proportions as the electorate as a whole. So, no. And I don't believe that people who are intending to vote or not going to vote at this point. I just don't buy it.
KELLY: So, I have this question for both of you. I am actually going to ask you, Larry first though, what do you think is the moment that did it for Trump, you know, he surged and then he fell back, he surged and then he fell back. And then, you know, what was it in your view? If this is how the election pans out, was there a moment?
SABATO: Well, if you are going to pick moments in the general election, you would start with the first debate and just about everybody agreed and certainly all of the random sample polls did that Hillary Clinton won that easily. And, you know, she -- the second debate was closer. The third debate, it was really the controversy about whether or not he was going to acknowledge the vote once it had been cast. And let's not forget about the "Access Hollywood" tape and the other events that occurred after that. So, it is a combination of things, but also it's the basic party I.D. And we are leaning, the demographic leaning of the new America.
KELLY: Yep. Kirsten, I'll give you the last word.
ANDERSON: If you take a look at polls from over a year ago, it tended to show Donald Trump trailing Hillary Clinton by around five points. So, this is, as Larry mentioned a race that in some ways has been baked in for a long time. That Democrats have a slight party idea advantage. And so, Donald Trump really needed a big moment to change things. And I think right after the both of the conventions was the moment when that would have been his chance, if he wanted to lock this in and change the game but Hillary Clinton's post-convention bounce lasted way too long. He was unable to stop that momentum and I think things got pretty solid from there.
KELLY: We shall see. He has surprised everyone before. Great to see both of you.
ANDERSON: Great to see you.
SABATO: Thanks, Megyn.
KELLY: Well, we're also getting some new information tonight on how the 2016 White House race could affect the balance of power in Congress.
Joining us now, Chris Stirewalt, co-host of "PERINO AND STIREWALT: I'LL TELL YOU WHAT." All right. Chris, so now people are starting to panic on the Republican side saying, holy croakano as you would say.
CHRIS STIREWALT, FOX NEWS CO-HOST, "PERINO AND STIREWALT: I'LL TELL YOU WHAT": I'm so proud of you, counselor. I never thought in all my days, I'd get to hear you say that.
KELLY: They are getting a little worried about the down ballot situation not as much in the House as in the Senate but in the House, too. Is that a real fear?
STIREWALT: Yes. Getting to be. So, it basically goes like this. For the House, it generally reflects what is happening at the top of the ticket. The Senate, as we have seen this time, individual Republican senators like Rob Portman in Ohio, Marco Rubio in Florida, have been able to rise dramatically above Trump's poll numbers and outperform him in those states. And so the Republicans are feeling more confident interestingly enough about their chances to limit the Democrats to fewer than four seats picked up and that they might be able to hold on to the Senate.
But on the House side, you see much more correlation with the national popular presidential vote. And if that's the case the Republicans have 30 seats of the majority. That looks like a great deal. But if thing go -- if this falls apart, then you could see that perhaps in danger.
KELLY: All right. So, assuming they don't lose, you know, a net loss of 30, the Republicans in the House and they just -- let's say they lose 20.
KELLY: But they still have the majority, do we care? I mean, how much of a difference does it make?
STIREWALT: Well, that's one of the reasons in fact right now that I think Republicans are going along with the whole Donald Trump rigatoni recipe here that -- they are playing along with this because they want voters to keep believing. Because if they just lose five seats, six seats like happened in bad losses in 1988 and 1996 for the losing parties, that is okay, then they can handle it.
But if it starts to dip down, you start talking about the number like 20, they don't have a functional majority anymore because the Republicans are always chasing each other around with Billy clubs crushing each other's skulls open and then if Hillary Clinton wins, then guess what happens, she is facing no opposition, she is facing a majority that can't, majority in the House that can't even block her because they can't agree. So, that would be the Democratic hope. Grind that Republican majority, if they can't beat it, grind it down to a number and leave Paul Ryan unable to do anything over there but weep.
KELLY: What two Senate races are you watching the most closely like -- as the Republican incumbent in the biggest danger of losing his or her seat?
STIREWALT: Well, Mark Kirk in Illinois is a lost cause. That's not going to happen for the Republicans. So, that's one. Ron Johnson in Wisconsin looks pretty tough. He has outperformed. So, those are two. Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire and Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania are sort of the water line on the Senate. If they can fight back, they are starting to feel some downdraft --
KELLY: Kelly Ayotte now is in eight points below, according to the latest poll. She is eight points behind for the first time.
STIREWALT: And they are losing some of their separation in the blue states as Democratic voters and persuadable moderates turn against Trump. So, they got a problem out there. So, that's where I'd say the water line is. New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.
KELLY: Wow! Stirewalt, great to see you.
STIREWALT: Dig it.
KELLY: He is dig it and McKinnon's kick it and he is coming up later.
With just 18 days to go until the election, Charles Krauthammer has just announced how he is voting and he is here next with the news.
Plus, First Lady Michelle Obama has been hitting Trump hard on the campaign trail. And today, for the first time Mr. Trump hit back. We will show you how when David Wohl and Julie Roginsky joins us in moments.
And then we have new revelations from the hidden camera video of Democratic operatives plotting to start trouble at Trump rallies just ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get people behind Trump when he's at a rally. Make sure it is women and they are positioned next to men.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHELLE OBAMA, U.S. FIRST LADY: A president can't just pop off or lash out irrationally. And I think we can all agree that someone who's roaming around at 3:00 a.m. tweeting should not have their fingers on the nuclear codes.
We all know that if we let Hillary's opponent win this election, than we are sending a clear message to our kids that everything they are seeing and hearing is perfectly okay. We are validating it. We are endorsing it.
You do not keep American democracy in suspense. Because, look, too many people have marched and protested and fought and died for this democracy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: That is First Lady Michelle Obama and some of her remarks from a series of campaign appearances where she hit Donald Trump as dangerous for the country. Tonight for the first time, Mr. Trump is responding.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We have a bunch of babies running our country, folks. We have a bunch of losers, they are losers, they are babies. We have a president, all he wants to do is campaign. His wife all she wants to do is campaign. And I see how much his wife likes Hillary. But wasn't she the one that originally started the statement, if you can't take care of your home -- right? You can't take care of the White House as a country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: Joining me now, Attorney David Wohl, a Trump supporter and a Fox News -- and also a Fox News contributor Julie Roginsky who is a Democrat. Great to see you both.
JULIE ROGINSKY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Great to see you.
DAVID WOHL, ATTORNEY: Hi, Megyn.
KELLY: So, this people lost it when Trump responded. Now, there's a question about whether he has accurately quoted Michelle Obama which we can get to. But let me just start with you, David on the people who are like, what is he doing? You don't attack Michelle Obama. She has huge approval ratings. Which she does. Don't go there. Especially because you have a woman problem. Was he out of line?
WOHL: So, she can launch a verbal barrage of verbal missiles at Mr. Trump and he's supposed to just sit there and take it, I guess, Megyn. No, there is going to be blow back as there always is. Look, she is a well-spoken brilliant woman. She has inserted herself into the political process on numerous occasions and when she goes after Trump, he is going to hit back. Now, what Trump said, as I recall, it was referring sort of at least in a double unstaunched (ph) way, regarding Bill Clinton's philandering and womanizing and alleged sexual assaults, but let's assume that it was, let's assume the statements were regarding child care -- Megyn.
KELLY: Can you just pause there David because I want to tell them what we are talking about.
WOHL: Sure. I got it.
KELLY: What she had said, this is back in 2007, Michelle Obama said one of the things, the important aspects of this race is role modeling what good families should look like. And my view is, if that you can't run your own house you certainly can't run the White House. But then apparently, she made similar comments on the stump in another appearance shortly thereafter Julie where she expanded and said, so we've adjusted our schedule to make sure that our girls are first. So, while he's traveling around, I do day trips. Hence the confusion about whether she was initially at that first appearance taking a shot at Hillary or whether she is just trying to say, this is how Barack and I do it.
ROGINSKY: Well, look, I mean, if you take her at her word, as to what she was saying, you read the totality of her speech in Iowa which I did. She was clearly talking about the fact that they were a new family to America. She was introducing herself and her husband to the American voter, and talking about how they manage their family and talking about how they manage campaigning for president while being parents of two young girls. So, you know, let's put that aside. I actually agree with David to this point, he has every right to attack Michelle Obama.
KELLY: She is fair game.
ROGINSKY: Of course she is fair game. She inserted herself as David said. She talks about him. She says not so nice things about him. He is of course more than entitled to get back at her. I don't think it is smart politics but it's not unfair --
ROGINSKY: Well, because for the following reason, she's the most popular public figure in the United States right now. She is a woman. He has got a woman problem and more importantly by going after her, it brings up what she has said about him. And she's not a messenger he wants to reengage.
Because if were looping over and over again as David said, her attacks on him, that's not good for Donald Trump. I would not go after her.
KELLY: But the thing is, David, you tell me, I mean, women do want to be treated equally. Trump gets into trouble when he starts, you know, calling us sexist names. But when he attacks a women, not on the basis of any sort of women terms if you will but just, I don't like her or she's not smart. That's fair game. He can attack women. Right? That is equality.
WOHL: Yes. I mean, it is the major leagues. Let's assume that Michelle Obama was talking about putting her family first and politics second. I think the implication Megyn was that Hillary Clinton puts her political ambition first and raising Chelsea second. That is even worse than the implication of womanizing and philandering by Bill. So, either way, you look at it, it was bad, and this is Trump taking a shot at Hillary Clinton not so much at Michelle Obama. Because this is what Michelle said, there is no disputing that.
KELLY: Yes. But he was saying our country is being run by losers. We have a bunch of losers and babies running our country and then he spoke about the President and the First Lady.
WOHL: Political correctness has completely ruined things, Megyn. And that's his bottom-line. And that's why he is saying it ain't going to happen anymore. And by the way, I don't agree with the naysayers in the first two segments. I really believe this volatile campaign is flipping. Watch what happens in the next couple of weeks.
KELLY: Go ahead, Julie.
ROGINSKY: I'll just say this. That loser that he was alluding to, won a presidential election two times in a row and that something that Donald Trump is not going to be doing next month. So, let's start with that. And secondly, nobody has ever said -- that people said horrible things about Hillary Clinton, I've never heard anybody say she was a bad mother, that's a new one even for me. And I've heard it all throwing at her.
ROGINSKY: So, I don't know where you're getting that information about her--
KELLY: She said plenty. And he's saying -- he's suggesting perhaps that is how Michelle meant it. Right?
ROGINSKY: I don't know about that.
KELLY: Okay. Great to see you both.
WOHL: Also tonight. Newly leaked campaign e-mails raising tough new questions about the Clinton Foundation and what was behind a multimillion- dollar donation from Morocco. Wait until you hear how much she got and she promised them, in exchange for what and how many favors that she's going to owe if she gets in to office.
Plus, Charles Krauthammer is announcing how he's going to vote this year. Right after this break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: Insult women --
TRUMP: It's all talk --
CLINTON: Well, here we go again.
TRUMP: It's really bad judgment.
CLINTON: Issues not insults.
TRUMP: She should be ashamed of herself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: Eighteen days until the election and tonight new details are emerging on how some Democratic operatives plotted to provoke violence in Trump rallies, all in an attempt it seems to make the Republican nominee look bad.
Charles Krauthammer joins us in moments with his take on the final leg of this election.
But first, Trace Gallagher reports from the new revelations from a hidden camera video by Project Veritas and James O'Keeffe. Trace?
TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Megyn, Project Veritas and its founder Jim O'Keefe have been criticized for releasing undercover videos that are highly edited, taken out of context or both. So tonight we focus on what appears to be a complete question followed by a complete answer. Democratic consultant Aaron Black is asked about things that make big impact, such as an older woman being attacked at a Trump rally. The question seems to give Aaron Black an idea because he turns to his colleague and says this -- watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should we get people behind Trump at a rally and make sure it is women and they are positioned next to men. We want images of the men bullying the women who were trying to hold their signs up. That's what I'm going to do. That's what we are going to do. That is the hit.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GALLAGHER: Black goes on to explain how to bird dog, meaning to show up early at Trump rallies to agitate Trump supporters from the front row. Texas GOP Senator Ted Cruz is calling on the FBI to conduct a serious criminal investigation. Former House Speaker and Trump supporter Newt Gingrich calls it a quote, "willful effort to foment violence to break up a presidential campaign, to intimidate voters."
And the White House was also forced to weigh in after one of those accused of inciting violence on tape is Bob Creamer, a Democratic consultant who's been to the White House 342 times in the past eight years including 45 meetings with the president himself. White House press secretary Josh Earnest had no information about Creamer's trips to the White House, but said the president does not condone dirty tricks or inciting violence.
And remember Shirley Teeter, the 69-year-old woman on oxygen who apparently made a big impact by claiming she was punched in the face by a 73-year-old Trump supporter? First she said the man turned and cold cocked her. Now that tapes had been released she says he may have struck her accidentally. Neither the Clinton campaign nor the DNC has commented on the Project Veritas videos. Megyn.
KELLY: Unbelievable. Trace, thank you. Well, this election year has seen more than its fair share of scandals, controversies, leaked e-mails, ugly videos, like that. It's featured brutal debates, crazy conventions and after all of that, after the non-stop drama we have seen every day for more than a year, new polling shows Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are exactly where they were with the voters ten months ago.
When it comes to likability, 40 percent view Clinton positively, 29 percent view Trump that way. The same way as it was almost a year ago and its spread (ph) in the polls. It's exactly where it was a year ago as well. Nothing as changed. So, did anything that happened this year matter? Joining me now, Fox News contributor and nationally syndicated columnist, Charles Krauthammer. Charles, good to see you. Did any of it matter?
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Good to be with you. Well, in a sense, I think this has been one of the worst years for American democracy in general. It's been one of the lowest, least elevating campaigns ever and we have not been enriched or enlightened by it. I think the reason things are the same is because we have never had two candidates who were better known at the beginning. Name recognition way up there and probably in the 90s before they started.
In other words, people knew who they were and character is destiny. We got a year of them on the stage and they basically showed us their character, which is what we thought it was at the beginning -- untrustworthy, unfit in some cases, cynical, et cetera. And we are where we are. Nothing really has changed in that respect other than we've reached lows in tactics, in incivility that we really didn't think we'd ever see at the presidential level.
KELLY: And so you -- you find yourself in a similar place to where you've been all along, as well in your column this week saying you still cannot vote for Donald Trump. We're two weeks out now from the election. You say you cannot do it and you cannot vote for Hillary Clinton. So, you're going to write somebody in. Who are you going to write in? Why do you think that's the best choice?
KRAUTHAMMER: Look, it's a question of conscience. The fact is I cannot vote for Donald Trump. I thought that on the day he announced. I said it that night. I said on "Special Report." I didn't think he was even a serious candidate. I got that wrong about the fact that he wouldn't be a factor but I think I got it right that he is unfit for the presidency and I've never changed my mind on that.
As to Hillary, the dilemma I started out in my column today in the Washington Post, she is a cynical politician with an empty core of what her beliefs are supposed to be to the extent she has them. Its conventional liberal, which I think is a threat to the constitution and you saw in the last debate where she said basically, the point of the Supreme Court if to defend the little guy.
The oath of office for a judge is to say that he does not explicitly -- they have to swear not to recognize rich or poor. This is complete overturning of the point of the law.
KELLY: You know, right now, if you're just going to go by the polls, it would look like Hillary's going to win and she's considerably ahead. So what, I mean, what does the public do when someone who, you know, as you point out in your column because you speak for a lot of people and saying you find her campaign entirely soulless, all ambition and entitlement. It's emptiness at the core, you say, in her that makes every policy and position negotiable and politically calculable.
And you've seen -- you felt validated in those beliefs by what you've seen in the WikiLeaks which show a lot of soullessness, somebody who doesn't really have a core message. So how does the country come behind someone like Hillary Clinton if she does win this?
KRAUTHAMMER: Well, it's because she went through the process. That's the only reason. And the process has to be elevated above everything else. Look, I was not a Barack Obama supporter, but when he won the election in `08, he was the president of all of us. I've been very critical of him, but that's how you end up where you end up.
I would have preferred first African-American to have been in Condoleeza Rice or somebody else and yet I felt a pride when he was sworn in, that our country had come that far. So, she's going to have to earn whatever she gets at the -- but if she wins she will have earned at least the respect of the office when she is there.
KELLY: So, we'll going to leave the audience in suspense and we'll have you back after Election Day to find out what you did. Charles, great to see you.
KRAUTHAMMER: And how I swayed the vote. Yes.
KELLY: All the best.
KELLY: Well, both Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton went hard on their rival at last night's Al Smith dinner. So how do you think the media covered that? Howie Kurtz is here with the answer. Plus, with embarrassing new revelations from the WikiLeaks dump of Clinton campaign e-mails, Marl McKinnon is here on the difference this makes in the final 18 days. "The Circus" next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD LUGAR, INDIANA SENATOR: The Clinton Foundation exists as a temptation for any foreign entity or government that believes it could carry favor through a donation.
HILLARY CLINTON, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will certainly do everything in my power to make sure that the good work of the foundation continues without there being any untoward effects on me and my service and be very conscious of any questions that are raised.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: That was Hillary Clinton at her senate confirmation hearings in 2009, trying to calm concerns about any conflict of interest with her work at the Clinton Foundation. Now some newly leaked e-mails are suggesting that there was reason for those concerns as we've learned that she may have been personally responsible for securing a $12 million donation from the Moroccan royal family, although it appears to have come after her tenure as secretary. Our chief national correspondent Ed Henry joins us live. Ed.
ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good evening Megyn. Hillary Clinton in fact did line up this big contribution from the king. According to her own close aide, Huma Abedin, she put this in a January 2015 e-mail. "She created this mess, she said of Clinton, she and knows it." The mess referring to Clinton, initially agreeing to speak at a May 2015 Clinton Global Initiative event in Morocco.
"Politico" reported at the time a $1 million contribution was going to stoke more controversy though and so they didn't want to do the event. It turns out the money was far bigger, $12 million according to Abedin, responding to top aides Robby Mook and John Podesta who were worried it would harm the April 2015 launch of the former Secretary of State's campaign.
In a new e-mail released today by WikiLeaks, Abedin was adamant writing, "No matter what happens, she will be in Morocco hosting CGI on May 5th to the 7th, 2015. Her presence was a condition for the Moroccans to proceed so there's no going back on this."
It makes you wonder what the king was expecting in return beyond just access, because in 2011, Clinton's State Department charged the Moroccan government of human rights problems. And remember, at this week's debate, Donald Trump demanded Clinton give back large contributions from countries with questionable records. She never quite answered that or this from Chris Wallace.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS WALLACE, DEBATE MODERATOR: Why isn't it what Mr. Trump calls pay to play?
CLINTON: Well, everything I did as Secretary of State was in furtherance of our country's interest and our values. The State Department has said that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HENRY: Now, the Moroccan event ended up being led by Bill and Chelsea Clinton. Hillary Clinton skip it though she lined up that $12 million contribution. Clinton ally Lanny Davis told me the focus should be on the good work of the foundation and he said Abedin's e-mail should not be taken "too literally." Megyn.
KELLY: Ed, thank you. Joining me with more, Mark McKinnon, co-creator and co-host of the weekly documentary series "The Circus" on Showtime, and he served as the chief media adviser to President George W. Bush. Mark, good to see you.
MARK MCKINNON, POLITICAL ADVISER: Hi.
KELLY: So, it's not that she necessarily violated that promise she made to the Senate, you know, by working this while she was secretary because this happened after she was secretary. But the point is the Clinton Foundation creates all sorts of conflicts for her. So she's trying to line up a $12 million donation to the Clinton Foundation.
She's going to speak. I'll be there in Morocco -- I know it looks bad but I'm doing it. She winds up sending Bill and Chelsea because it becomes an issue. But what was the king expecting? And if she becomes president now, how many favors do this woman going to owe and what about -- they're not promising to shut down that foundation?
MCKINNON: No. In fact, this is just part of the problem because almost every day and the leaks are seeing new disclosures like this. I mean, just the other day there was a disclosure about Qatar and a $1 million contribution that was "for a birthday present for Bill Clinton possibly. And there is still no clear answer on that and so -- we've had the debates.
There are no more debates to change the dynamic and that's the real opportunity where the candidates have to move the needle in significant ways. So, the only real thing between now and Election Day that can really have an impact is WikiLeaks. And it is and it can and will be because we know that there's more to come.
The ones that have already come out haven't really been answered. If Donald Trump will simply get the message at this point (ph) and stay on this issue there's some real opportunity here.
KELLY: But I'll challenge you on that because in Trump's defense, when he comes after the media hard, and some of it is whiney and you know, it's tough -- it's tough to run for president. You get hit. But some of it is legit because the story of WikiLeaks has been ignored in so many corners, all but ignored in most.
MCKINNON: Agree 100 percent and that's why for example, the title of "The Circus" this week is "From Russia with Love." It's going to be all on WikiLeaks. The whole program is going to be on WikiLeaks. We're talking about -- we're looking at it from every angle.
KELL: I know, you hit up Harry Reid saying, hey WikiLeaks and of course it's all about like Russia's bad, Russia's bad. It's like what about the fact she called them needy Latinos. There's nothing. No one seems to care.
MCKINNON: Yes. We're going to look at it. We will talked to Tucker Carlson about how the mainstream media is doing exactly what you said. He has 11 reporters on every day and NBC didn't say a word about it a week ago.
KELLY: He's just a website with all due respect to Tucker Carlson.
MCKINNON: That's what he said -- that's what he said, "I'm just a website. I've got 11 people working on it.
KELLY: Well, where's the media? Because listen, if the media wants to shine a light on something they can. Take for example the "Access Hollywood" tape, which was huge, there's no question. But the stuff that's coming out-- I have a theory on it. We, as reporters, are lazy. And if you don't make it very easy for us to digest and spoon to the audience, many of us will reject it as food for the evening.
MCKINNON: Well, I know because just from reporting we are doing this week that because of kind of the vacuum that's out there now, there are no debates, they are starting to talk about this and a bunch of the, I mean, some of the organizations that we are with today have got big stories coming out in the next few days.
KELLY: Oh, really?
MCKINNON: Yeah, tune in.
MCKINNON: They are on it now.
KELLY: Last question.
KELLY: How badly do you think that Trump answer hurt at that debate about not accepting the results of the election?
MCKINNON: I think the answer itself was problematic, but the bigger problem was that it just -- it became such a story that it dominated all the news for the next couple of days so, in many regards, it was a good debate performance. There were lots of opportunities where he had Clinton on the defense, but by going there instead of walking that back like his campaign wanted to, he walked it off the cliff and that just became the dominant news for the next couple of days and people are still talking about it.
KELLY: Mark, great to see you.
MCKINNON: You know what you got to do.
KELLY: Kick it.
MCKINNON: That's right.
KELLY: Kick it hard. Check out "The Circus" on Showtime. It's worth your time. So Donald Trump took some hits in the press today. You're shocked to hear, I know, for his attacks on Hillary Clinton at the Al Smith dinner last night in New York. But Mrs. Clinton gave it back to him pretty well at that dinner which you know if you were watching us here. You might not know that if you picked up any paper at all today. Howie Kurtz is next on how the media handled this one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From the world headquarters of Fox News, it's "The Kelly File" with Megyn Kelly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Hillary accidently bump into me and she very civilly said, pardon me.
This is the first time ever, ever that Hillary is sitting down and speaking to major corporate leaders and not getting paid for it.
We've learned so much from WikiLeaks, for example, here she is tonight in public pretending not to hate Catholics.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: Well, those are just a few of the jokes Donald Trump made about Hillary Clinton during his remarks at last night's Al Smith dinner in New York. The speech got awkward at times since the humor was supposed to be good natured and self-deprecating. It was generally more like just deprecating and here's a little of how Mrs. Clinton responded.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: I think the cardinal is saying I'm not eligible for sainthood, but getting through these three debates with Donald has to count as a miracle.
People look at the statue of liberty and they see a proud symbol of our history as a nation of immigrants. Donald looks at the statue of liberty and sees a 4, maybe a 5 if she loses the torch and tablet and changes her hair.
Donald really is as healthy as a horse, you know, the one Vladimir Putin rides around on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY: So while both candidates pulled no punches, the headline writers missed that. The "New York Times" focused on how Trump was heckled by the New York elite. "Bloomberg" seem to think Trump's jokes struck a sour tone. Nothing about her in the headlines. "NPR" declaring Trump turned the "friendly roast into a 3-alarm fire." Mrs. Clinton, she pretty much got a pass but there were lovely articles about how well she was dressed.
Joining me now, host of Fox News "Media Buzz" Howard Kurtz. Now, personally I thought the statue of liberty joke was kind of funny. But the Putin joke with the horse, right. And there were others where she got pretty cutting to suggesting that Barack Obama wasn't going to get into any gathering of Trump with the former president because of his Muslim ban. Maybe it was that they're not good at delivering jokes, like they're not funny, but you tell me whether this was biased coverage.
HOWARD KURTZ, FOX NEWS "MEDIABUZZ" HOST: Megyn, from watching the coverage over the last 24 hours you would have the impression that Donald Trump walked into St. Patrick's Cathedral and spray painted the stained glass windows. You know, I didn't get to see it live and it's not a good thing when the Republican nominee gets booed at a Catholic charity dinner.
And I didn't think talking -- joking about Hillary hating Catholics was a good move especially he's referring to some references in the hacked e- mails from Clinton advisors, but I didn't know until I talked to people who were in the room that Hillary Clinton had some uncomfortable moments as well.
KELLY: Right. There was some booing at her although I would say, we covered it live here in "The Kelly File" last night and it was interesting because we put a pundit on camera right after he was done, who went after Trump saying you're supposed to be self-deprecating, supposed to be about yourself, supposed to be kind of singed or burned like the gridiron dinner.
And then she got up and the first thing I said after she was done was, and she did it too, right. But I mean, Howie, the media, they're done with Trump. And I get it like they're frustrated, they think he's this, they think he's that, but it's not their job to try and ruin him.
KURTZ: I think there is so much hostility in so many corners of the mainstream against Trump and we see this in a thousand different ways. But it's also classic media behavior when a candidate is struggling and slipping in the polls and this after the third debate in Las Vegas. Every little misstep becomes a metaphor for how poorly he's doing. You know, his limo got a flat tire, he's going nowhere, that sort of thing. That it's on steroids when it comes to Trump.
KELLY: And yet there's nothing he can do about it, and you tell me whether there's something big that comes out of WikiLeaks whether that even -- whether that could be a potential game changer given that mindset.
KURTZ: I think that as the drip, drip, drip of this WikiLeaks disclosure has happened, there's been a little bit more coverage than there was at the beginning about the embarrassments for Hillary Clinton and her campaign. The problem is some of it is complicated -- it takes a while to explain most of it -- the exception of this latest one about the $12 million donation by the king of Morocco, doesn't involve Hillary Clinton personally, but more than any of that, Trump is always the story and the coverage of him, most of it negative, but he's always driving the story, blots out what ordinarily would be very big disclosures by WikiLeaks against the Clinton campaign.
KELLY: Howie Kurtz, great to see you. We'll be right back.
KELLY: So in the average of all polls, Trump is behind 6.2 percentage points right now. Do you believe he can turn it around in the next 18 days? Facebook.com/thekellyfile, on Twitter @megynkelly. Let me know what you think. Thanks for watching. Good night.
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