Lanny Davis on urging Clinton campaign to be transparent; Giuliani responds to reports the FBI leaked info to him

This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," November 4, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST, "THE KELLY FILE":  Breaking tonight, almost 18 months of campaigning.  And with four days to go until America decides the presidential race is in a dead heat.  And this hour we're going to show you what could tip the balance one way or the other.  

Welcome to "The Kelly File," everyone.  I'm Megyn Kelly.  Brand new Fox polling is out tonight and in the two-way race, Hillary Clinton is only leading Donald Trump now by one point.  After all of the swings we have seen, one point, 46 percent to 45 percent.  And just look at how things have tightened up over the past three weeks.  Back then Hillary Clinton had a seven-point advantage and now one.  It comes as there is a renewed focus on control of the U.S. Senate as well where the latest forecast shows that we could be in for a real nail biter on Tuesday night.  

And we have a big show lined up for you tonight with everything you need to know, including a breakdown of those new FOX polls plus a look at when we will know the winner on Tuesday night.  How is it going to unfold?  Along with what you expect from the media in the next 72 hours.  Keep your expectations low.  


Plus, all three stars, all three of them tonight from Showtime's "The Circus" which you have come to know and love are here on the drama of the final days.  But we're going to give Mark McKinnon the most time because we don't really know these other two guys.  And then, you know, just kidding. And then Rudy Giuliani joins us on Donald Trump's end game.  

But we begin tonight on the campaign trail, with our chief political correspondent campaign Carl Cameron reporting tonight from the city of Hershey in the critical battleground state of Pennsylvania.  Carl?  

CARL CAMERON, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT:  Thanks, Megyn.  Donald Trump had three key battleground states today.  And it began in New Hampshire in Atkinson, at a country club where he was talking about today's job reports from the Labor Department that says that unemployment is down to 4.9 percent.  He criticized that noting that while there were about 160 new jobs created in October, there were more than 425 jobs where people left the workforce.  

He says that is a terrible example.  But he was saying this, 4.9 percent unemployment on the last jobs report before the election is the lowest it's ever been in the last 40 years.  Reporters wait for this last final jobs report before the election for all kinds of potential political fallout. And Trump was making his criticism in a state that has 2.9 percent unemployment.  New Hampshire has the lowest unemployment in the country.  

From there, he went to Wilmington, Ohio, battleground Ohio where he's had a slight edge in some of the polls but basically in all of the battleground states and nationwide, the race has been within the margin of error in the average of polls for the better part of the last few months.  And then there was tonight here in Hershey, Pennsylvania, sweetest city in America is what they call themselves, and here is what he said here.   


DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE:  Premiums are surging on ObamaCare, companies are leaving, insurers are fleeing, doctors are quitting and deductibles are through the roof and yet Hillary Clinton wants to double down on ObamaCare making it even more expensive.  


CAMERON:  Tomorrow Trump has five rallies crisscrossing the country yet again.  By the time we get done on  Tuesday, Trump will cast a vote in New York, then he'll go back out on the campaign trail for some more campaign events trying to make sure he leaves nothing on the table and plays for every last vote in what is an amazingly close race.  Usually in the last weekend, dirty tricks and last-minute bombshells don't make a difference. But this is so close anything could change the outcome -- Megyn.   

KELLY:  Wow.  Carl, thank you.  Hillary Clinton campaigning across three battleground states today.  Her final appearance this evening in Ohio and that's where we find our correspondent Jennifer Griffin who has been following the Clinton campaign.  She is in Cleveland tonight.  Jennifer?

JENNIFER GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT:  Megyn, it's an unbelievable scene here.  We're inside a concert.  Get out to vote concert.  Hillary Clinton will be here shortly.  She started the day in Pittsburgh where she made the case of the consequences of a Trump presidency.  


She believes at this point she is winning.  Obama's legacy.  One of the appeals she's had to make in order to get out the African-American voters. Here at the Jay-z concert, it's mostly African-Americans.  A very unusual choice.  Michigan has not voted, has not voted Republican since 1988.  


It's the honor system.  And one of the points she's been trying to make by inviting people on her campaign trail today, she does Donald Trump, that this is not a man (INAUDIBLE).


HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE:  Sometimes the fate of the greatest nation comes down to single moments in time.  This is one of those make or break moments for the United States.  It is in your hands.   


GRIFFIN:  So her message right now, she's trying to get out the African- American vote, Latino vote.  


KELLY:  Jennifer, thank you.  I have no idea what the hell she just said.  Do you?  


Stirewalt is here.  I heard Michigan, African-American vote --  


I heard Jay-z.  


KELLY:  I don't know.  Something big might be happening with the Clinton campaign.  No clue.   

STIREWALT:  Yes.  No clue.   

KELLY:  Stirewalt is here.  He's co-host of "Perino & Stirewalt: I'll Tell You What."

STIREWALT:  I'll Tell You What.

KELLY:  Along with Kristen Soltis Anderson who is a Washington Post examiner, columnist and a Republican pollster. So hopefully nothing big is happening.  We have no clue what's happening on the Clinton campaign tonight.  Let me start with you on the numbers.  


KELLY:  There's a reason she's mentioning Ohio and Michigan.  In the bottom-line, according to, you know, Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight which I have sworn off.  But, you know, I take --   

STIREWALT:  You dabble.   

KELLY:  He says, national pollster suggesting that Hillary has already bottomed out and she's begun to recover but the state polls are showing a different story.   

STIREWALT:  Okay.  So, there's always dissonance between state and national polling.  And the question is, which one is the leading indicator and which one is the lagging indicator.  

KELLY:  Uh-hm.

STIREWALT:  In states that matter, Hillary Clinton seems to be okay.  She seems to have weathered the storm.  And as our national poll shows, there wasn't really that much consequence to the big FBI bombshell that everybody--  

KELLY:  How can you say that?  That's our poll but she was seven points ahead and now she's one point ahead.   

STIREWALT:  But the crunch happened before -- and so, it was a week ago tonight that that went down.  It had already happened before that.  The crunch down had already come.  She had been eight points up in an average of polls.  She was already down to five and moving in the wrong direction by last Friday.  As it turns out, this was about partisans coming home and now we see about the same share in our poll of Republicans and Democrats supporting their respective --    

KELLY:  So, they did come home?  The Republicans came home when all is said and done?

STIREWALT:  By and large they came home.   

KELLY:  Kristen, is that true?  Is that true with respect to the women? Because there's a reason that we saw Melania Trump out there, we're seeing more Ivanka. The Trump campaign is trying to reach out to the women.  

KRISTEN SOLTIS ANDERSON, WASHINGTON EXAMINER COLUMNIST:  Right.  And so, well, a lot of these things, the numbers on the service looks like, hey, Republicans are coming home, Democrats are coming home, there are still breaks underneath the surface within different groups.  So, when it's college educated women who may be Republican, you're seeing less support for Trump than you are among, you know, non-college educated white men who are Republicans.  

Trump is running up the numbers among some groups far and above what Mitt Romney did previously which is why a state like Iowa or a state like Ohio, the early vote is looking better for him there.  These are states that wouldn't surprise me at all to see them flip from blue to red.  But then there are these other states that are a little bit more challenging because of the underlying demographics of the states make-up.   

KELLY:  Uh-hm.  It's like you picture the college educated women in the car heading toward home, and then you see that car of the relative who always talks your ear off and they're like, no!  


All right.  Let's talk state by state, Stirewalt.  Because New Hampshire is what everybody seems to be looking at.   

STIREWALT:  Oh yes.   

KELLY:  That is very much in play.   

STIREWALT:  Bing.   

KELLY:  So, does that do it for him?  I mean, it's like, it's so small.   

STIREWALT:  Okay.  And so, we'll talk about this more later when we talk about how the whole map breaks down.  But basically the way to think about it is, there's four states in the east that -- Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina and Florida.  

KELLY:  Uh-hm.

STIREWALT:  Donald Trump has got to win three of the four.  Doesn't matter which three but he's got to win three of those four.   

KELLY:  So, Pennsylvania is within three but I mean --  


KELLY:  It's not going to happen according to most analysts.  David Plouffe says, it's a pipe dream.  

STIREWALT:  Right.  And Republicans loved that pipe dream.  

KELLY:  Yes.

STIREWALT:  They smoke that pipe dream --   

KELLY:  Every time.  

STIREWALT:  Oh, it's going to happen.  Never mind.   

KELLY:  All right.  But do you like him for Ohio, Florida and New Hampshire?

STIREWALT:  I like his chances a lot in Ohio.  I think he's got Ohio. Florida is as true of a tossup as I've ever -- this is more than 2000. This is a tossup --  

KELLY:  Oh, good gracious.

STIREWALT:  Now it may break one way or the other.  But when we look at the early voting, we look at the breakdown of what is going on in Florida, it is as tight, tight, tight as it could possibly be.  North Carolina has been a very weak spot for Trump just for the reason that Kristen was talking about which is they're too affluent, they have too many college educated white people, North Carolina has been too economically successful specially in what is the bread basket of Republican votes up in Wake County.  They haven't been bad enough off that they're buying the message.  

KELLY:  So, Kristen, the thing is now with the race this tight, I mean, she's got the ground game but he's got the momentum.  Tonight he was mocking her saying, look at me, and I didn't have to bring out Jay-z.  And he's exactly right.  She's never had that many people at her rally.  They don't come to see her that way.  It's great if you can find a big rock star to come play your arena.  But they need to vote.   

ANDERSON:  Well, you know what?  In 2004, Dave Matthews band played a concert at the University of Florida.  I went as a student and I went out the very next day, and instead of voting for John Kerry like they told me too, I voted for George W. Bush.  




ANDERSON:  Sometimes people go to the concert just for the entertainment.  

STIREWALT:  But, you know, I saw a count today that, you know, Barack Obama I believe had over 6,000 staff working out in swing states back four years ago and that Hillary Clinton, the number is slightly lower.  Meanwhile, Donald Trump, his campaign is not as strong in terms of field staff but the RNC has really done a good job supplementing.  So, the advantage on ground game, I've said all along, I didn't think Trump's ground game was great but I don't know if the gap is significantly bigger than it was four years ago.   

KELLY:  Okay.  Great to see you both.  Stirewalt makes a return appearance later.  It's a surprise.

We all know the election is four days away, but what time on Tuesday will we know the results?  How is it going to come down?  That's why he's coming back to tell us that.   

Plus, Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a longtime Clinton loyalists Lanny Davis on the state of the race, again, four days from this election.   

And still ahead, after documenting the election all year long, the co- creators of Showtime's "The Circus" are here, all three of them to tell us what they think is going to happen on Tuesday night.  Don't go away.   


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The American people should be disgusted with the process.  Because it is rigged.   

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Good to see you, sir.  We all have to fight.  You know what?  I just want to make sure it's a fair fight.  



KELLY:  Breaking tonight, new fallout from a rocky week for Hillary Clinton, from reports of an ongoing FBI probe into the Clinton family charity, to revelations that investigators are going through newly discovered e-mails from her private server.  Our next guest is a long-time loyal Clinton supporter who as early as March 2015 urged her campaign to release much of the information that is still trickling out.  

Here is Lanny Davis on "Fox News Sunday" saying, Hillary Clinton should open her private server to Independent review.   


LANNY DAVIS, FORMER PRES. CLINTON LEGAL ADVISOR:  It can be a neutral party to review all of these records, nothing unlawful.   

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS HOST, "FOX NEWS SUNDAY":  You would like to have a neutral party?

DAVIS:  I said there can be the State Department --  

WALLACE:  Obviously there can be.  I understand that.  Do you think that's a reasonable idea?

DAVIS:  I think it's a reasonable idea.  If anybody has any doubts that this is a delete from a hard drive, I think --  

WALLACE:  To have an Independent force go and inspect her private e-mail?

DAVIS:  I think that is a reasonable idea.  If the State Department asks, she will say yes.  If there's a subpoena, she must say, yes.   

KELLY:  Uh-hm.  Well, that interview sent off alarm bells inside Clinton world.  Leaked campaign e-mails show one top advisor writing, quote, "We've got to zap Lanny out of our universe."  


Poor Lanny!  We're talking with both campaigns tonight.  In a moments, we'll be joined by Donald Trump's surrogate, Mayor Rudy Giuliani.  But we begin with Lanny Davis, former special counsel to former President Bill Clinton.  

Lanny, well that wasn't nice.  They wanted to zap you to outer space just for wanting a full vetting of the e-mail issue.  What's your take on it?

DAVIS:  Well, first of all, this is a great friend of mine and we've talked since the publication of the word zap.  I said if in the part of that sentence which I was able to correct next time I was on Chris Wallace.  I said, only if the State Department asked for the official business e-mails, of course she had already turned them over and a neutral party could verify.  Or if there was a subpoena.  But the headline that went out skipped the ifs.   

KELLY:  But what about the fact that if you look back --  

DAVIS:  I would zap myself if I hadn't said if.   

KELLY:  But it made clear like when I looked at your e-mails -- this is, thanks for the WikiLeaks revelations, Russia bad, we got it.  There is one on August 27th, 2015.  We're going to get to some other stuff in a second. But you said something about, I still believe the issue of the wiping out of the private server still needs to be dealt with.  You literally wrote the book on crisis management.  If they had just listened to you Lanny, months and months ago and just put it all out  there, do you think she would be in the position she is in today?

DAVIS:  I think she would be in the position she's in today, probably with less pain, because she's ahead and she's going to win.  I'd rather be Hillary Clinton tonight --

KELLY:  She's ahead by one point.   

DAVIS:  -- than Donald Trump.  But the point I was making which she has made.  She made a mistake.  She's apologized.  And Donald Trump did not apologize to a gold star mother and he didn't apologize to the women that he bragged about sexually assaulting.  So Hillary Clinton did say, I made a mistake and I'm sorry.  And my philosophy would have been get those e-mails out into the public domain as early as possible.   

KELLY:  Well, we think -- we here at "The Kelly File" think that you were brilliant.  You were prescient because not only you were pushing for her to be fully, you know, give full disclosure.  But August 27th, 2015, this is right after the first Republican presidential debate, you wrote to Podesta, her campaign chairman, I propose that the Secretary be on the Megyn Kelly file, close enough show, for at least 30 minutes.  

I know what I'm about to propose is very risky and will be instinctively viewed negatively.  Which you've probably right about that.  I propose that the secretary be on the show for at least 30 minutes.  In fact, I believe it's in the interest of Secretary Clinton as well as well as FOX for the questions to be tough, something we should not fear as long as she had has an opportunity to answer.  It has the potential to a ratings and media bonanza and like a bunch of dopes, they rejected your advice.   
DAVIS:  Well, first of all, you are tough but you've always let me answer your questions.  And that is why I thought it was a great idea.  I have never seen Hillary Clinton unfiltered, talking, answering questions, tough questions from Megyn Kelly or Chris Wallace during the debate where she didn't do well.  And that's why she beat Donald Trump in three debates.  

Hillary Clinton unfiltered, is funny, likable, articulate, focused on issues, she would have done great on your show, and you would have asked her tough questions about the emails, the server and everything else, and she would have done great and hit home runs in my opinion every question you asked.   

KELLY:  You know what, I've always said, listen, she would handle me.  

DAVIS:  Sure.

KELLY:  The bottom-line is, honestly, she was too chicken to come on. That's the truth.   

DAVIS:  You know --  

KELLY:  No.  I asked her for months and months and months through everybody possible.  Why else wouldn't she be here.   

DAVIS:  You cannot call Hillary Clinton has been pounding --  

KELLY:  I can.  I think if anybody in the country can do it, it's me.  I can.   

DAVIS:  But I think at that point there was a more conservative approach and she since has said I made a mistake on these e-mails and I'm sorry.   

KELLY:  Yes.  She made a mistake not sitting down with me, too.  I mean, she may win on Tuesday but it was still a mistake.  She was trying to paint herself as a champion of women and what does she do, she doesn't even sit down with one of the top female journalists in the country, at least.  And certainly here on the FOX News Channel, one of the only two women in all of prime time in cable news, pretended that we didn't exist, told us over and over again, wait until the general, wait until this, wait until that, never came.  That's the truth.  

DAVIS:  I have to ask you a question.  

KELLY:  Even Trump -- even Trump who was very unhappy about that debate wound up sitting down with me and giving me a long interview.  Hillary, never.  I'll give you the last word.   

DAVIS:  I have to ask you a question.  

KELLY:  Yes.

DAVIS:  Would you be proud of that e-mail where I recommended that she be on your show if I said, listen, Megyn is a soft touch.  You ought to do it.   

KELLY:  No.   

DAVIS:  The reason I wanted her to do it is because you would have asked her tough questions.   

KELLY:  I know.  I've got to leave it at that.  Let's leave on a happy note about me.  And Lanny, good to see you.  

DAVIS:  Thank you.

KELLY:  Sorry Hillary, but I have to guilt her a little.  I mean, come on, what the heck.  

Here to respond, Mayor Rudy Giuliani, he is a surrogate for the Trump campaign and has different feelings about Hillary than Lanny does.  

RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR:  Yes.  I do have a very different feeling.

KELLY:  Let me talk start though with this controversy in which you find yourself where Elijah Cummings is now suggesting that you need to be investigated, calling on the Justice Department to conduct an immediate investigation to determine the source of multiple unauthorized and often inaccurate leaks from within the FBI to benefit the presidential campaign of Donald Trump.  They appear to be talking about you, suggesting that you had leaked information on the FBI review of the Clinton e-mail before.   

Oh my God!  This is the vast right wing conspiracy garbage all over again. You can investigate me.  I spoke to no current FBI agents ever in the last ten months.  I've had no communications with them.  I haven't destroyed any of my e-mails.  I haven't hammered my cell phone.  All of my communications were with former FBI agents.  The information I got from former FBI agents who were friends of mine who put the mafia in jail, the Columbian drug dealers in jail, Milkin, Bowsky (ph), friends of mine.  Right?

KELLY:  Uh-hm.

GIULIANI:  Was the FBI from the time of the Comey investigation until the day Jim came forward with what he said were in revolt about an investigation they believe was being sabotaged.  

KELLY:  Uh-hm.

GIULIANI:  I actually didn't know the dimensions to which the Justice Department sabotaged this investigation until it actually came out.   

KELLY:  So when you said to Martha McCallum that, you know, I think Trump think has got a surprise or two, you're going to hear about --  

GIULIANI:  You know what I was talking about?

KELLY:  What?

GIULIANI:  I was talking about his advertising this weekend.  Because we were having a debate about whether he should give a big speech or do a bunch of advertising.  That is what I was talking about.  That he was going to go on television and talk directly to the American people.  No reference at all --  

KELLY:  That would have been kind of lame.  You should be glad that something bigger came out to not make a liar out of you.   

GIULIANI:  I had no idea that Jim Comey was going to do what he did.  Not the slightest idea.  

KELLY:  Okay.

GIULIANI:  What I did know, absolutely truthful with you, what I did know is, from three or four former FBI agents that the people within the FBI, they were telling me this, were outraged at Jim Comey's decision in July, they believed it was a prosecutable case --  

KELLY:  That has clearly reached a boiling point.  Because we've seen that come out and the FBI didn't leak.   

GIULIANI:  I believe that when Jim said no reasonable prosecutor would bring this case, I said to myself, I was a pretty reasonable prosecutor.  I can win this case.  This case is easier than maybe 90 percent of the cases that I want.   

KELLY:  Okay.  I don't have a lot of time with you.  I want to get --  

GIULIANI:  The woman destroyed 33,000 e-mails, she made 12 false exculpatory statements.  

KELLY:  Uh-hm.

GIULIANI:  She lied.  The reason she didn't come on your program is because she would lie to you.  She would tell you I only had one cell phone.   

KELLY:  Well, they all mislead journalists.  They all mislead journalists --  

GIULIANI:  Yes.  But then it would turn out that she had somebody smashing the cell phones with a hammer.   

KELLY:  Okay.  But listen --  

GIULIANI:  That's criminal conduct.   

KELLY:  Well, it may or may not have been.  I mean Comey says, no, the intent wasn't there.   

GIULIANI:  Well, how about, how about the $1.5 million speaking fee from UBS to Bill Clinton --    

KELLY:  You mentioned that the last time.  

GIULIANI:  After Hillary went to Geneva to get UBS off the hook for 50,000 identification.   

KELLY:  I got to go.  This is the last time I may have you before Tuesday night  

GIULIANI:  As lawyers, as lawyers, you know what we call that?  We call that bribery.   

KELLY:  What do you predict?  What Electoral College --

GIULIANI:  I believe he wins by two states.   

KELLY:  By two states?

GIULIANI:  Yes.  There are going to be two states that are going to surprise you.   

KELLY:  Do you know the two?

GIULIANI:  I'm not sure yet.  Could be Pennsylvania, could be Michigan. Maybe Wisconsin.   

KELLY:  Wow!   

GIULIANI:  And the red states, all have come back.   

KELLY:  Utah, Georgia, Arizona.   

GIULIANI:  They're all back.  Utah is back big time.  Don't worry about North Carolina. It's going to be fine.   

KELLY:  Wow!   

GIULIANI:  All he needs is one -- maybe New Hampshire and that one vote in Maine.  

KELLY:  Uh-hm.

GIULIANI:  She is now on the ropes.  She's on the defense.  He's got the momentum and everybody in this country knows finally after four decades of Clinton corruption the American people have figured out she's a crook.  

KELLY:  Great to see you, Mr. Mayor.  

GIULIANI:  Thank you.

KELLY:  There you have it.  

Two very divergent viewpoints.   

So, there's this scathing new column out from one of the top media critics in the country.  And we'll show you who is taking the heat in these last 72-plus hours of the race.   

Plus, we'll get to the drama of the final days when all three stars of Showtime's "The Circus" join us.  Look at them.  Look at this.  For the first time ever, next.  


MARK HALPERIN, MANAGING EDITOR, BLOOMBERG POLITICS:  I think it's fair to say that there's a broad consensus now among Democrats, Republicans that Hillary Clinton is going to be the next president of the United States.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Barring some really catastrophic thing.  But anything could happen.    



KELLY: From Scooby vans and escalator rides to the FBI bombshell still echoing across this race. The 2016 White House race has been nothing short of wild and no one has quite captured the crazy like the Showtime documentary "The Circus." Here's a quick walk down memory lane.


HILLARY CLINTON, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Senator Sanders has been in congress for 25 years but he never got even a single vote in the house.

BERNIE SANDERS, VERMONT SENATOR: My opponent is not in Iowa tonight. She's raising money...

TED CRUZ, TEXAS SENATOR: You know, Donald is a fragile soul. I mean his hair might stand on end.

DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Ted Cruz, nobody likes him, very nasty guy.

VIN WEBER, FORMER CONGRESSMAN: I talk to people all of the time, as I'm sure everybody around the table does, and they say, "Why don't you Republicans do something about this guy?"

I'm sorry. This is not the Soviet Union. We can't call a meeting and decide Trump is out.


Nine dictatorships and who is for it?

Trump is doing well for one reason. He understands the climate and the culture of America today better than anybody at this table.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The next president of the United States Donald J. Trump.


TRUMP: Thank you. Sit down, everybody. Please. I mean, this is Mar-a-Lago. We give you seats. You don't have to stand. I'm looking at all of these people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today as we sit here, do you think that most likely Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee?




TRUMP: We don't fight to win anymore. We're weak and Hillary is as weak as you get.

CLINTON: Donald Trump has got America all wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This campaign is like a fifth grade fight.

MARK MCKINNON, POLITICAL ADVISER: In what way is this race abnormal?

MARK HALPERIN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Trump, Trump and Trump. Those are the three top ways in which it's abnormal.

MCKINNON: Do we all agree that Trump's chances today are better than the day after the Democratic convention?

HALPERIN: No question. Unquestionable.

TRUMP: I think my strongest asset maybe by far is my temperament. I have a winning temperament. I know how to win.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Secretary Clinton.

CLINTON: Whoa! Okay.

STEVE SCHMIDT, GOP ANALYST: It was like a mongoose and a cobra in a steel cage match going at each other.

HUGH HEWEITT, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: It was like watching the fist 15 minutes of "Gladiator" six times. I just don't think the public can live with it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In a letter to members of Congress, director Comey said the FBI has learned of the existence of e-mails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Republicans are going to bludgeon her with this over the next 11 days.


KELLY: It's exciting. Here with me now, the co-creators and host of "The Circus", Mark McKinnon, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann. Great to see you all. It's fun to look back at it like that and sort of see it unfold. Let's start there for a second, but what do you think -- what stands out to you looking back on the craziest of elections ever as the key moment or two?

MCKINNON: We were worried about having 26 episodes which is a lot that there would be weeks where nothing was happening. That never happened. The whole campaign every week, the only problem we had was cutting material because we had so much. Not just every week but every day and every hour, you know.

You were covering it and I'm sure it's the same thing. I said, oh my God, go to bed at night and there'll be a story at 11:00. You wake up the next morning, another story, just we thought that couldn't be outdone, then this week kind of tops them all with Comey kind of...

KELLY: And so much of it involved this. Oh, oh wow.


KELLY: Well, right. I mean...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Parental controls.

KELLY: Winner (ph). I can't because I cover the presidential race, right? Twitter has played such a big role but what do you think, John? What do you think was the biggest shock you personally felt in covering the race?

JOHN HEILIMANN, BLOOMBERG POLITICS CO-MANAGING EDITOR: I think the very first episode that we did back in January where we called it "The Outsiders" and it was focused a lot on Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. And I think when this is all over, I'm going to look back on the fact that these two guys who were not members of their own party a couple of years earlier came in and were the biggest insurgent populous forces. You know, even though Hillary Clinton won the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders was in some ways a bigger story. And so seeing him come very close to winning in Iowa and beating her in New Hampshire -- seeing Trump win that victory in New Hampshire and then in South Carolina.

Those were in the early phase at least in the race that kind of validated the notion that we'd all been feeling for a year, which was that these people who were against the system, against the establishment, against many of the things their parties held dear were going to be the dominant kind of forces even if they didn't win. One of them did, one of them didn't.

KELLY: These curiosities were sort of like, I don't understand. This isn't the way it's done. But people gravitated toward it. Mark, your thoughts now on the state of the race because you've been somebody who's been very fair to Trump. You've been criticized for being too fair to Trump by some. How do you see it? Does he have a real chance? I mean did his momentum come soon enough?

HALPERIN: Well, it may not -- she's got all the structural advantages any Democrat would have in this race. She has the Electoral College and then (inaudible) demographics. The Democrats have won the popular vote five of the last six elections.

KELLY: But she's a weak candidate.

HALPERIN: But what they have focused on relentlessly is keeping Trump's ceiling from getting high that he has a chance to win. If she wins, I think they will keep Trump down in the battlegrounds states and nationally 42 percent, 43 percent, 44 percent, just not enough to win. He has moved up, he is now in a position -- you can look at a map and give him a couple of combinations but she has so many more combinations.

If she wins North Carolina where they're devoting so many resources and where even the Republicans said just a week ago, it with was a very tough state for them, she wins.

KELLY: So is that the state you're watching on Tuesday night? Watching North Carolina...

HALPERIN: North Carolina and New Hampshire are two states where -- can Donald Trump win without those two? Mathematically yes, but like very hard for me at this point to see a path that doesn't involve certainly North Carolina.

MCKINNONN: The bottom line we have -- our title for this next episode is "Nobody Effing Knows."

KELLY: I love that. (Inaudible) person who loves a good swear, I appreciate that.

MCKINNON: Well, it reminds me of all the campaigns that I've been in and the bottom line is there's a torrent of information, polls -- you know, the professor since 1940s called every election and the campaign just find whatever information out there reinforces what they to believe to give them the confidence to win.

KELLY: But you're supposed to know. You were in this business for a long, long time. I mean, seriously, what do you think is going the happen?

MCKINNON: Well, I go to Mark's point. There's a structural advantage but the most important thing in the final days of the campaign is momentum and Trump's got a lot right now. So, you want them one in your back. You don't-- you want to be on offense and not on defense.

That's where the Clinton campaign has been this week. But all the early investment in August like when she was around raising money and Trump was criticizing her for being off the radar screen raising money, that investment now in targeting and turnout could make a difference in a very close race.

KELLY: And the ground game, John, you know, it's just -- we sort of haven't been paying that much attention to it but she's been putting those building blocks in place for a long time.

HEILIMANN: There's not been a day at this race when she's been behind, not one when she's been running against Donald Trump. Not a day. And there have been moments when it's tightened. It certainly did. The momentum shifted after the Comey letter, but there's been an election that's been going on for now a month in a lot of battleground states. Early vote, being banked where her infrastructural advantages, her financial advantages, the ground game you're talking about, that's not just on Election Day. Election Day begins -- happens over a week.

KELLY: And so she's like, get to the polls now, immediately before Comey does anything else.

HEILIMANN: And so you look -- but you look at a lot of these states, Florida, North Carolina -- we just started, but Nevada, others states where early voting has been going on for a long time. She may have banked so many votes and have so much of an advantage that even though he may win Election Day but that might not be enough to make him actually the winner of the election.

HALPERIN: I was over at Trump Tower today shooting some stuff for this week's "Circus" and I saw the deputy campaign manager, Dave Bossie, Kellyanne Conway, a little bit of Donald Trump. They're loose. They're either bluffing or they are telling the truth when they say our internal data is better than the public data. The Clinton folks on the other hand are methodical.

They say, very similar to what President Obama's campaign said four years ago. We see the numbers. We have massive data, so much more data than the media polls. We're going to win. They're just saying emphatically we're going to win.

KELLY: This is exactly what happens every four years and you find that as a fact that they lie -- they lie to you. They all say this stuff. Could you tell today?

HALPERIN: They both seem pretty confident.

KELLY: All right, if you haven't seen "The Circus," you got to check it out. It's awesome. You can download them at your leisure on Showtime on demand and I highly recommend it. Great to see you all.


MCKINNON: Do you know what the campaign is going to do at the end?

KELLY: Kick it.

MCKINNON: They're going to kick it.

KELLY: Kick it hard. I'm getting better. So, from leaked debate questions to journalists deciding to ditch all objectivity and calling on everyone to do the same, media has had a rocky trip on the road to the White House. Media critics Howie Kurtz and Noah Rothman are next on how this all shakes out in the last few days. Don't go away.   


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From the world headquarters of Fox News, this is "The Kelly File" with Megyn Kelly.

KELLY: Developing tonight as we approach the final days of this race, a scathing new column in the Baltimore Sun suggests that no matter who wins on Tuesday, the media will be the big loser. Critic David Zurawik writing quote, "It's a deadly combination that has dark consequences for democracy as the press fails in its primary job of giving citizens accurate trustworthy information they can use in choosing who they want to lead the nation." Joining me now, "MediaBuzz" host Howie Kurtz and Noah Rothman, assistant online editor of Commentary magazine. Great to see you both. So Noah, does he get it right?

NOAH ROTHMAN, COMMENTARY ASSISTAN ONLINE EDITOR: He absolutely does. If you go back to prior to Donald Trump winning the nomination, even before any of the primary votes were cast, you had the press out there very much injecting a narrative into the ether. The Associated Press talking about how Hillary Clinton was preaching love and kindness when Donald Trump was talking about hate and how the Republican field was quote "stammering" according to the Washington Post after the attack in Charleston whereas Hillary Clinton was talking squarely to the American people about race.  

They were very much interested in propping up Hillary Clinton well before Donald Trump became something of a phenomena and induced the press to say, look, we have to put objectivity aside because this is a very real threat to the American Democratic republic.

KELLY: And you say that as somebody who's been very critical of Trump. You're a Never Trumper, right?  

ROTHMAN: Well, I'm certainly not voting for a Democrat this cycle and there are two Democrats in the ballot as far as I'm concerned.

KELLY: So my point is he's not a fan, but still see the media bias that, you know, Trump has had to deal with at some terms. But of course in the primary season, he also benefitted from media bias in a way, Howie, the bias for ratings and we saw that in many instances.

I mean the number of times some of our competitors took Donald Trump campaign events and put them on TV start to finish when we would never have done that for -- I mean, Scott Walker did not get that treatment. Hillary Clinton certainly didn't get that treatment, and only for Trump.

HOWARD KURTZ, "MEDIABUZZ" HOST: It's a mixed bag but the problems go so much deeper. By the way, it's not all journalists but it is many, many people in this business inflicted far more scrutiny and far more negative coverage on Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton.

And what the worst part is that some journalists and media critics justify this by saying, well, he's such a dangerous character, such a repulsive character that we have to apply different standards. And that's the part that troubles me the most. And the people get it. "USA Today" poll by nearly 10 to one including three-quarters of Clinton supporters say the media want Hillary to win.

KELLY: And then you know, just capping off the election season, Noah, with the news about Donna Brazile cheating. I mean, she cheated in advance of two presidential debates by giving the questions to the Clinton team. And this is a beloved figure in Democratic circles and by all counts a nice woman. But that's what happened. And you know, it just leaves the average viewer and voter with an unpleasant taste in their mouths about the whole process.

ROTHMAN: Yeah, I mean, when you have somebody who's that closely associated with the Democratic Party, look, she's the acting chair of the DNC. I mean, what did we expect? We have a relationship when...

KELLY: Not cheating.

ROTHMAN: Well, I suppose it's certainly unethical. But we also had over at CNN Corey Lewandowski who's on the payroll over at the Trump campaign essentially. He's getting remittances, and at the same time...

KELLY: There's a tweet today with Corey Lewandowski with Kellyanne Conway, and the whole picks (ph) of the Trump campaign, you know, it's like #teamwork.

ROTHMAN: We've had stories behind the scene suggesting that he was at least on the phone with Donald Trump pretty frequently giving him some advice so we're not expecting non-partisan commentary here. There is certainly dual loyalty at the very least. I think networks need to really reconsider their relationship with partisan commentaries.

KELLY: Howie, what does this mean for the future?

KURTZ: It means the media rather than doing high fives as I expect if Trump loses on Tuesday, I'm not saying that he will, ought to really do some soul searching about why there's now such a stain in our business. And here's the deepest part of it, because all the networks have partisan commentaries. Here's the part that really bothers me, the degree to which most of the mainstream media miss the anger and the frustration of the millions of people who support Donald Trump, who are drawn to Donald Trump. They've been arrogant toward them. They've been condescending toward them, and that is not going to go away after Election Day.

KELLY: You're absolutely right. Great to see you both. Thanks guys.

KURTZ: Great to see you Megyn.

KELLY: Up next, what time could we know who's won on Tuesday?


KELLY: Four days! In less than 100 hours, 100 hours we'll have a pretty clear idea of who will be the 45th president of the United States. But what time will we actually know on Tuesday night? The host of...


KELLY: Here on Fox News on Sundays at 5:00 p.m. is here to walk us through how election night will work. His better half, Dana Perino, will join us in another night. Stirewalt is back with us. All right, so how will it work?

STIREWALT: Well, the people vote and then we count them. No. All right, do we get exit polls at 5:00 to tell us what the temperature is, right? We find out where the thermostat is. And then we start to get state results and we match up the real vote with the expected vote from the exit poll and then we wait the exit poll so that we're able to, as those polls close. In some states where it's lopsided when the polls close, we'll send you a call right there.

KELLY: Then we're going to be able to call you...

STIREWALT: Right, as soon as...

KELLY: New York state, no drama.

STIREWALT: As the second hand sweeps up, you can go.

KELLY: Seven p.m. is the first poll closing.


KELLY: So take us through it.

STIREWALT: All right, so if you look up there at 7:00, no surprises will be in Indiana or Kentucky. But you look up there to New Hampshire, you look at Virginia, you look at Georgia, we will start to have the makings of what kind of night this is going to be. For example, if we're sweating Georgia on Donald Trump, it's going to be a bad night for Donald Trump.

KELLY: Yeah, go ahead.

STIREWALT: But if Hillary Clinton is sweating Virginia, bad night for her.

KELLY: Then 7:30, Ohio, North Carolina, those are big.

STIREWALT: Oh, Ohio and North Carolina. A huge -- Donald Trump needs probably both of those states in order to be competitive.

KELLY: Will we know? Will it be like Ohio we're calling it or West Virginia? I mean...

STIREWALT: West Virginia we'll call it.

KELLY: North Carolina, we're calling it.

STIREWALT: No, they'll be -- we'll be waiting, waiting. And you know what you'll be saying?

KELLY: This is 8:00 by the way.

STIREWALT: You know what you'll be saying?  Where is the call on North Carolina, Stirewalt? And I'll say, it's not there yet...

KELLY: It could get away for the counting.

STIREWALT: And it's going to be very exciting.

KELLY: What time do you think we're going to be able to call this race on Tuesday night.

STIREWALT: Probably 11:00, maybe earlier if it's a blowout one way or the other, but probably -- it will probably need states in the 11 p.m. hour to get anybody to 270 electoral votes.

KELLY: The drama.

STIREWALT: Hundred hours.

KELLY: It's really exciting. We're almost there. Hours instead of days we were waiting. Great to see you. And he's doing so many things on election night, he didn't have time to tell you (inaudible). Let's hope nothing happens to him between now and then. We will be right back for many reasons.

STIREWALT: Yes, I'm afraid so.


KELLY: So before we go, a quick word on yes, my book. In the -- yes, thank you very much. Sean's feeling it. It's under wraps officially until November 15th. This is the only copy. This is it that I've ever seen. But some shady characters have been trying to leak portions of the book or so they claim. Without confirming or denying that content, let me just say this. Lots of people love Fox News that's why we're number one.

But some people do not and sometimes they're writing articles about Fox or Fox News personalities. The media can get a bit dishonest. Yes, right, believe it or not, they can. Yes, they can take things out of context. Sean, this has never happened to you, right?

SEAN HANNITY, "HANNITY" HOST: Because they collude with the Clinton campaign.

KELLY: They can collude. They can spin things in a dishonest way just because they may not particularly love the Fox News channel or the people who work here. That's just a thought for you. You can just let that marinate as my buddy Hemmer would say as you enjoy the media reports about "Settle for More" before it comes out on November 15th and you can preorder it now at and


KELLY: Thank you very much James. The good people at Barnes & Noble have been very nice so we don't ever forget them.

HANNITY: You guys told me you're co-hosting with Kelly Ripa.

KELLY: And co-hosting with Kelly Ripa, that's right. The morning after the election...

HANNITY: That's big.

KELLY: So I'm going to be up all night with Baier and then I've got a date with Kelly. I think it's like the -- I think we should call it like the Megyn Kelly show that morning.


KELLY: No, no, OK. I'll now pitch The Kelly Ripa Show, I'm in there too, either way. It's going to be fun and I'm going to be exhausted and you can see what I really look like with all of the bags under the eyes and so on.

And on that lovely note, I'll leave it at that. Thank you for buying "Settle for More" right now. Thank you for watching "The Kelly File." We'll see you tomorrow night at 9:00. In the meantime, I have a special surprise for you in the studio. It's very special. His name is Sean Hannity. He's fired up. It's Friday night and he's ready to roll.


Content and Programming Copyright 2016 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2016 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.