Trump hit by media for choosing billionaires for Cabinet

This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," November 25, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SANDRA SMITH, FOX NEWS HOST:  Breaking tonight, President-elect Donald Trump offering up a few more major cabinet announcements this holiday weekend, but it's one of the big positions that he hasn't filled yet that has folks talking and his own team reportedly at odds.

Welcome to "The Kelly File," everyone.  I'm Sandra Smith in for Megyn Kelly tonight.

Today, Mr. Trump defied his critics adding a third female to his team, tapping "Fox" national security analyst K.T. McFarland for deputy national security adviser and former Trump campaign general counsel and current transition team member Donald McGahn to the post of White House counsel.

But it's former Massachusetts Governor and fierce Trump critic Mitt Romney who has been floated as a possible secretary of state that is reportedly dividing the Trump team right down the middle.

Digital politics editor Chris Stirewalt, former House Intel chairman Pete Hoekstra and Fox contributor Rich Lowry join us in just moments.

But, first, chief national correspondent Ed Henry is here with more on the Romney reaction.


SMITH:  What are your sources telling you at this hour?

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT:  Well, new information tonight is that Donald Trump and Mitt Romney traded phone calls over the Thanksgiving holiday.  We did not know that they had actually continued this conversation.  And what that tells me is them speaking by phone, Mitt Romney is still a live option for secretary of state despite fierce conservative opposition about this right now.  That's happening not just out in the mainstream, you know, in the grass roots.

But among his own team, you had Kellyanne Conway out there talking about loyalty tests on all of this.  And it also tells us, I have a source senior in the transition telling me that as you suggested, if Mitt Romney wants this job, he's going to have to issue some sort of a public apology or a letter --


SMITH:  Would that work, really?  I mean, if he had to --

HENRY:  It could undermine him.

SMITH:  It could.  And then if he was to actually put into the role, what would it be like for Mitt Romney working in that administration knowing that people like Kellyanne Conway were fiercely against him.

HENRY:  And that he was on bended knee just to get the job.  And that's why it's opening a lane here for Rudy Giuliani, who also has met with the president-elect about this job.  And nobody was more loyal when you're talking about loyalty than Rudy Giuliani at his side.

But there is this fierce battle going on behind the scenes about whether or not, you know, you go loyalty or you go with Romney, who let's not forget, he said -- it wasn't just policy.  He called Donald Trump a phony, a fraud and attack his supporters.  So this might open a third lane.

SMITH:  And who could that be?

HENRY:  Look, someone like retired General David Petraeus.  He was asked about some of this and he told the BBC, look, I've served other commanders-in-chief.  I could do it again.  That seemed to say wait a second, this could be almost a dream team on the national security side.

You've got General Petraeus --

SMITH:  Charles Krauthammer, by the way, earlier this evening said he thinks that that would be a wonderful pick for Trump.

HENRY:  Well, because you've got Petraeus maybe as secretary of state.  Maybe General James Mattis as defense secretary.  Donald Trump is alluded to that.  And Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, who you've mention national security adviser.  What's wrong with that picture?  Two things.

One, Donald Trump spent a lot of the campaign saying I don't have an itchy finger on the trigger in terms of warmongering.  Now you've got three generals in senior positions.  And secondly, David Petraeus, one of his problems was obviously mishandling classified information.

Think about how much time Donald Trump talked about, quote, unquote, "crooked Hillary" and mishandling classified information.  And she should be in jail.  Now he's backed off of that, number one.  And number two, he'd made, you know, he'd made the point repeatedly that Petraeus did much less than Clinton and paid the bigger price.  It would get awkward to bring him back.

SMITH:  So it's fair to say that the team is somewhat divided?

HENRY:  Fiercely divided tonight about whether you'll go to Giuliani route or the Romney route.

SMITH:  But Mitt Romney still in.

HENRY:  Mitt Romney, very much in the mix and has been talking over this holiday to Donald Trump in private.

SMITH:  Ed Henry, thank you very much for joining us.

HENRY:  Good to see you.

SMITH:  All right, joining me live now is Chris Stirewalt, Fox News digital politics editor; Pete Hoekstra, a former House Intelligence Committee chair and Trump campaign national security adviser and Rich
Lowry, a National Review editor and Fox News contributor.

Chris Stirewalt, I'll start with you first.  How does this all end for President-elect Trump and his team?

CHRIS STIREWALT, EDITOR, FOX NEWS DIGITAL:  Well, it could be quite -- I was going to say problem -- it could be quite favorable for Donald Trump in this way.

If you create this dynamic, is it A or B, A or B, A or B when it's C, D, E, F, G, H, I or J that shows up.  And people would go, oh, you solve the problem.  And it's also important for Trump that he can send a signal to his base, but if he accepts Romney, then he gets credit for, but if he turns Romney down, he gets a lot of credit for his base for not buckling.

SMITH:  Fair enough.  But Mr. Hoekstra, could this open the door for a third option?  Newt Gingrich, the other day, said he can think of 20 names that could fulfill this role.

PETE HOEKSTRA, TRUMP CAMPAIGN NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER:  I think what Donald Trump is doing is, it's fascinating.  Everybody seems to be focused on the palace intrigue.  They've been focused on that, you know, through this whole process with Donald Trump because he's doing things differently.

I think Ed Henry is absolutely right.  By the time Donald Trump gets done, he's going to have a dream team to implement agenda, to combat ISIS and radical Islam, to fix our immigration issues, to fix education.  He's picking strong people who are totally in alignment with him.  He's going to do the same thing here with the secretary of state.

SMITH:  But for the same being, Mr. Hoekstra and I'll go to you on this, Rich, as Ed Henry is reporting and as we saw tweets from Kellyanne Conway today, the team is divided when it comes to choosing the secretary of state.  There are some inside his own camp that are fiercely opposed to Mitt Romney.

RICH LOWRY, EDITOR, NATIONAL REVIEW:  Yes.  Well, I really think the reporting that there's just down to two choices.  It's really overdone.  I doubt Mitt Romney is going to publicly apologize.  That would be abasing himself.  And I kind of doubt he'll ultimately get the pick in the end.

And Rudy, the problem is he's really trying to publicly jam Donald Trump on this saying he would accept nothing else except for secretary of state. And I think there are a lot of other options out there.

One of my favorites, I think it would be a great compromised choice and very much still under consideration is John Bolton who unlike Romney or Rudy actually has substantial foreign policy experience and would avoid this war over the loyalists and the interlopers.

SMITH:  OK.  But, Chris, let's about, you're throwing out another option there, Rich, but let's talk about General Petraeus.  He has thrown his name into the ring and said that if he is asked to fulfill a role for Donald Trump's administration, he would accept.

Is he a viable option?

STIREWALT:  So there's Petraeus, there's former Marine General Kelly, there is Dana Rohrabacher, a congressman from California who --


SMITH:  Senator Bob Corker.

STIREWALT:  Bob Corker, so the list goes on.  The idea that you're limiting -- would you, for example, have figured that Nikki Haley was going to be the choice for --  


STIREWALT:  No, you don't pick that.  So I think what Trump is doing here is smart in the sense that you weigh your options, you use surprise to your advantage.  And there is one other problem and Ed alluded to it.  I think it's something to remember.  If he stacks his administration -- the secretary of state is not the most important job.  It's the most prestigious cabinet post -- Thomas Jefferson, but it doesn't really matter the way that it used to because presidents execute their own foreign policy in substantial part now.

Secretary of state is a very nice honor for someone and they do have control over a lot of practical things with embassies and all of that jazz, but this isn't the most important appointment of all.

SMITH:  But still, but still, Mr. Hoekstra, Donald Trump has said he is going to surround himself with the best people and where he's lacking experience, he's going to surround himself with the smartest people to help him do this job.

Mr. Hoekstra, Petraeus has thrown his name into the ring.  Chris Stirewalt named another few.  If Mitt Romney were to actually be named into this role, knowing that there are those inside of Donald Trump's own team that don't want him there, what would it be like for Mitt Romney to play out his job, to do his job?

HOEKSTRA:  I think it would just be -- I think it would be just fine for Mitt.  Clearly, Donald Trump is and has made it very clear, only he knows what's going on.  He is in charge and he's going to run this organization. I think the bigger question is Mitt Romney willing to accept that kind of leadership to implement Donald Trump's agenda, which is exactly what Donald Trump will require from all of the people that he puts into his cabinet.

He's willing to take differences of opinion.  But if people don't perform or they cross him one way or another, you can expect to hear the term you're fired.

And so what do you make of the diversity that we're seeing now, Rich.  I mean, another woman named to his cabinet, this after he was facing headlines that his team was lacking diversity.  Well, they were surely quick to jump to that conclusion and now we've got three women on the Trump team.

LOWRY:  Right.  And the other headlines we were seeing, you know, a week or two ago is just that transition was in total disarray and the Trump administration was on the verge of collapse at the outset.  Instead, we've seen picks moving very quickly, very strong and I think he deserves credit whether he picks Romney or not for secretary of state.  He's reached out to all factions of the party.

SMITH:  That sounds like a compliment from you, Rich.

LOWRY:  It is.  Look, when I get a White House offer, you know, everything is forgiven.


HOEKSTRA:  Trump is tweeting National Review.

LOWRY:  There you go.

HOEKSTRA:  You know that the fault is on Trump is tweeting National Review.

SMITH:  So there you go, Chris Stirewalt, maybe at the end of the day what you're saying is and you're actually starting with maybe it's just going to bring everybody together.

STIREWALT:  well, you know what, it's the day after Thanksgiving.  We're still (INAUDIBLE).  So let's just -- we'll just accept these happy thoughts.  There will be trouble ahead.  There will be bumps on the road ahead.  It will be hard again, but this is not the make or break.  Or this is just some people who are airing some bad feelings that they have, some loyalty question.  They'll get through this and they'll be out --

SMITH:  But, Mr. Hoekstra, there's still a lot of positions that have not been fulfilled.  He still has a lot of decisions to be made.  And right now with this division that we are seeing within the transition team, it's giving me laughs.  And those who have not supported Trump, it has given them an opportunity to say, hey, look, look, look, they can't get their act together.

HOEKSTRA:  Yes.  No, but I mean, he does have his act together and division is OK.  I think, again, it shows that Donald Trump is a big man.  He can accept division within his team, get conflicting advice and then he will make a decision and he will expect the team to implement his direction. It's what all good leaders do.

SMITH:  And so you would say that this is par for the course as far as this point in a transition team for a president-elect?

HOEKSTRA:  Yes, I think so.  I mean, it was a very, very tough campaign and to put people back together is going to be difficult.

SMITH:  All right.

HOEKSTRA:  But he's doing it.

SMITH:  Rich, last word to you.

LOWRY:  Yes.  Look, I mean, this is part of any transition.  There are going to be these sorts of divisions.  And I'm sure there are a lot of Obama people who weren't particularly thrilled about picking secretary of state --sorry, Hillary Clinton as secretary of state in 2008, but politics always make strange bed fellows.

SMITH:  Politics, so much fun on this Thanksgiving Friday.  I thank all three of you for being here live with us tonight.

HOEKSTRA:  Thank you.

LOWRY:  Thanks, Sandra.


SMITH:  Bye.

As President-elect Trump seeks to fill out his cabinet, some are questioning the net worth of his potential nominees.  But does having money mean they can't help the working class Americans that help elect the billionaire businessman?

Anthony Scaramucci is a member of Mr. Trump's transition team that we just talked so much about and he will be here to respond -- next.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I have made billions of dollars in business making deals.  Now I'm going to make our country rich again.



SMITH:  During the presidential election, then candidate Donald Trump vowed to make America great again for all Americans.  But tonight he's taking some heat for appearing to stack his cabinet with the super wealthy.

Politico with the headline, Trump's team of gazillionaires.  Politico surmises that if Trump appoints folks like his education secretary pick Betsy DeVos, as well as Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney and others, his cabinet and administration could be worth as much as $35 billion.

The New York Times deputy Washington editor Jonathan Wiseman sarcastically tweeting, "Between some of those names and others, this is going to be quite the working class administration."

In moments we'll be joined by Anthony Scaramucci, a member of Donald Trump's transition team.  We'll ask him about the criticism.  But we begin with Peter Doocy reporting tonight from Palm Beach, Florida outside Mar-a-Lago.

PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Sandra, because working class voters propelled Donald Trump to the presidency, some on the left are now crying foul that the billionaire is surrounding himself with other billionaires.

The two people who are reportedly the president-elect's favorites for the top two spots at the Commerce Department, Wilbur Ross and Todd Ricketts, both billionaires.  Another name swirling around as a possible cabinet member is Harold Hamm, an oil billionaire.  And the education secretary he has already nominated Betsy DeVos comes from a family worth at least $5 billion.

Politico did the math and speculates that if you add up the net worth of Trump's rumored cabinet secretaries, the sum could reach $35 billion.  But the current administration behaved basically the same way when filling key positions, even nicknaming one proposal "The Buffet Rule," after the second richest person in the country, Warren Buffet.

A quick look at President Obama's own Cabinet room over the last eight years shows maths of wealth.  There's Commerce secretary Penny Pritzker, a businesswoman from Chicago worth $2.4 million.  Her dad helped found Hyatt hotels and she grow up to lead a lucrative real estate business.

Then Secretary of State John Kerry worth $103 million and also married to Heinz food processing heiress Theresa Heinz.  And the Veterans Affair Secretary Bob McDonald made $15.9 million in 2013 alone while working as the chief executive of Proctor & Gamble.

President Obama did bring aboard a secretary of state who claims to have been dead broke just a few years earlier, but that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was worth $15 million while in office and a whole lot more now.


SMITH:  All right, Peter, thank you.

Joining us now Anthony Scaramucci is a member of President-elect Donald Trump's transition team and serve on Mr. Trump's economic advisory council.

Anthony, thanks for being here tonight.

ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, DONALD TRUMP'S ECONOMIC ADVISORY COUNCIL:  It's great to be here.  Happy post-Thanksgiving.

SMITH:  You, too, sir.

Can you clear some of this up?  Because there is a lot of talk about him surrounding himself with billionaires as if that's a bad thing.

SCARAMUCCI:  Well, I think the only thing that Peter left out is with the Trump bump, all of those people are a lot richer, including Warren Buffet, who is up $11 billion in the last --


SMITH:  You're referencing the stock market rally we've seen so far.


SCARAMUCCI:  Yes.  So I think the good news is the denigration of wealthy people and the divisiveness of that class warfare is sort of coming to an end.  And I think that's a very good thing for the American people.

The other thing that that article left out is that every one of these people, Sandra, is an unbelievable philanthropist.  Gives tons of money to

SMITH:  Betsy DeVos?

SCARAMUCCI:  She's incredible philanthropist.  In fact, she's dedicated her whole life to education.  Understanding the issues of education and frankly how to help poor people in indigene areas and in inner cities get their children the quality education they need so that they can have an aspirational working class conversion into the middle class and hopefully into the --


SMITH:  By the way, as Peter --

SCARAMUCCI:  I think this is a fantastic thing for the American people that he's focused on meritocracy and talent as opposed to this nonsense of picking people based on their net worth, not being enough.

SMITH:  As Peter pointed out at the top of his report, he said working class voters propelled Trump to victory in this election.  Now Democrats are crying foul.

Well, isn't that a key point?  This isn't Trump supporters that are crying foul saying we don't like what we're seeing.  This is the left that is criticizing.

SCARAMUCCI:  The left has got serious talking points about railing on rich people.  They think that that class division is a really powerful antidote for them if they can get their people out to the polls.

I think people in general are very, very tired of that.  You know what people want?  They want wage growth.  They want jobs.  They want quality education for their children.  They want a right sizing and evening of the playing field as it relates to trade so that we can have super free trade but let it be fair for the American people and for the American worker.

And so if there are super distinguished people that have done amazing things with their lives that has led to the great American success story that you just heard about, then so be it.  Let's let those people help the rest of us get to where we want to go.

SMITH:  So let's clear up a couple of other things as well, though, because when you dig into that, when you're looking at Mnuchin, right?


SMITH:  Mnuchin and Bannon

SCARAMUCCI:  We would love them, Munchkin.  I want to call him Munchkin.

SMITH:  Well, you can tease him all you want.  It is my fault.  Sorry about that.  And, Bannon, as you know, his Goldman Sachs background.  I mean, you're talking about Wall Street backgrounds.

How important is that considering Donald Trump said, you know, he made his election on the system is rigged.  Well, a lot of Main Street and those that are making the average $55,000 a year in this country, they think Wall Street is rigged.  How is that for them to see him put people from Wall Street on his team?


SCARAMUCCI:  I'm also proud of the Goldman Sachs and I've worked on Wall Street for 28 years.  And I've had this conversation with the president-elect and I'll continue to say the same thing.

There might be some bad actors on Wall Street.  There's no question about that, but there are bad actors in many industries.  But guys like Steve Bannon and Steve Mnuchin, in fact, they've been terrific people.  They are high ethical, high integrity.  I've worked very closely with both of those people and I have a tremendous amount of confidence in them that they're going to do the right thing for the American people.

SMITH:  But while you're here and we've got this news tonight on this divided transition team that you're seeing --


SCARAMUCCI:  Yes, very divided.

SMITH:  Very divided.  But, Mitt Romney, apparently, we saw the tweets from Kellyanne Conway today.  How is it going?  Can you let us know before you go?

SCARAMUCCI:  Well, first of all, as it relates to Kellyanne, I love her because she's been so instrumental in the success of the campaign. Everyone on the team respects her.  And so she's entitled to her opinion and she's sharing with people over Twitter so God bless.

As it relates to the transition in general, I said this to Bloomberg. I said it in a press conference, the transition has been nothing but orderly.  The information is being provided to the president-elect and the vice president-elect.

SMITH:  Is he still being considered?


SMITH:  Mitt Romney.

SCARAMUCCI:  Well, I have to take -- I have to take Vice President Pence at his word when he says he's being seriously considered for secretary of state.  I do think that there are other candidates in the field.  And here's the thing, the message to the American people.  It's that there's a very orderly, very disciplined process.  And what the president-elect is doing, he's doing a wide ranging search so that when the people are finally declared, Sandra, he can say to the American, listen, I really went through a rigorous recruiting process and I picked the best person or to quote Mr. Trump, "an A++ player" is going to join the administration.

SMITH:  So good to have you.

SCARAMUCCI:  I'm very proud to be a part of it with him.  And it's been a fantastic two weeks for us.  And I think the American people are going to be very excited about their new administration.

SMITH:  Anthony Scaramucci, good of you to be here.

SCARAMUCCI:  Good to be here.  Thanks, Sandra.

SMITH:  Nice to have you.

All right.  Well, here with more is David Wohl.  He is an attorney and Trump supporter and Christopher Hahn is a radio talk show host and Fox News contributor.

David, I'll go to you, first.  What do you make of what you just heard from Anthony?

DAVID WOHL, ATTORNEY:  Well, he's right on.  I mean, Mr. Trump was elected by the American people with the full knowledge that he's a hardworking, very successful billionaire.  So the idea that people are going to be now offended that his cabinet members or at least a few of them are also very successful millionaires and billionaires is absolute garbage.


SMITH:  Chris, I want to get you in on that -- I'm sorry that was (INAUDIBLE).  Thanks to Anthony for coming on.

But I want to bring you in here because to David's point that he's making out of the gate here, you're talking about the American people who elected a billionaire.  So why does the left think that they're going to have a problem with him surrounding himself with other, not all, but some other billionaires?

CHRISTOPHER HAHN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR:  You know, I think it's much ado about nothing.  The president-elect could surround himself with whoever he wants to surround himself with.

The question is whether or not those people are ready to perform for him and that's how he'll be judge after January 20th.  I don't for one -- you know, look, I don't agree with a lot of these people.  I didn't vote for Donald Trump but now he's the president-elect of the United States.  I'm going to give him latitude to make these decisions.  But when or if they stumble, he's going to be held accountable.  Personnel is policy.  I'm more concerned about their experience than their net worth.


SMITH:  But, I mean, David, that is the criticism.  I mean, when you look at this Politico article, Trump's team of gazillionaires, stacking his administration with masters of the universe.

WOHL:  Right.

SMITH:  And by the way, a lot of the names that they're talking about here haven't even been named to his administration officially.

WOHL:  Right.  And, well, look, this is the whole trend, if you haven't noticed.  Mr. Trump wasn't a politician before he was elected.  So this is the whole thing going on right now.

It's that people that don't have experience in government, that aren't politicians but are very successful are being placed in high positions in the cabinet.  But don't kid yourself.  There are going to be a lot of people of ordinary means as well that are going to serve as the conduits to ordinary Americans to sort of get this whole ball rolling in the make America great again movement and that's going to be happening very soon as well.

SMITH:  Chris?

HAHN:  Sandra, I don't think anybody expected Donald Trump to be filling his cabinet with people who were, you know, lifetime government workers.  That said, you do need some experience to make sure the trains run on time.  When George W. Bush got elected president in 2000, he turned to some experienced Republicans who had served with his father's administration to kind of show the country that he was serious about governing.  I fully expect before this is done, Donald Trump will probably pick some people like that as well.

And I think this is fun for us to talk about right now, but I want to see the full picture before I cast judgment on what he's doing.

WOHL:  And that may well be why Mitt Romney is -- that may well be why you see he's trending toward Mitt Romney as secretary of state because he does have that governmental history.  He does have that persuasive history of getting things done in government.  And, I mean, that may override all the other candidates in the end.

HAHN:  I'll believe that when I see it.

SMITH:  OK.  And by the way, pointing out some of the hypocrisy here is that the position that sort of put up the red flag, Wilbur Ross, the billionaire being considered for Commerce secretary.  Remember who filled that position for Obama, Penny Pritzker, a billionaire herself, coming from a very wealthy family.

WOHL:  Both Bushes as well.  Both Bushes as well, Sandra, had billionaire confidantes and assistants and employees so this is nothing new.

SMITH:  All right, thanks to both of you.

HAHN:  Thank you.

WOHL:  Thanks, Sandra.

SMITH:  All right, during anytime of presidential transition, there are vulnerability concerns for the country.  And now there are some new questions surrounding President-elect Trump's intelligence briefings.

Iraq and Afghanistan combat veteran Pete Hegseth and Krystal Ball are here next on that.


SMITH:  Breaking tonight, French prosecutors say the arrests of five men this week disrupted a quote imminent ISIS attack there.  This comes as the radical terrorists are ramping up attacks in Iraq and Syria.  And there are concerns here at home of the terror threat as the transition takes place between the Obama and Trump administrations.  Chief Washington Correspondent James Rosen reports from the White House.  

JAMES ROSEN, FOX NEWS CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT:  Sandra, good evening.  President Obama has said that the U.S. Counterterrorism apparatus is stronger than it has ever been.  But as we approach the first transfer of power in Washington in close to decade, analysts say that terrorists and other adversaries of the United States are looking to test the outgoing and incoming administration.  


JASON BEARDSLEY, U.S. ARMY SPECIAL OPERATIONS:  Our intelligence agencies and communities are on a razor's edge.  They're always trying to get in front of the cycle of the terrorists cycle, where do they convene, where do they actually develop their energies and resources from and what are they seeking.  So this is a tenuous time.  


ROSEN:  The Romney transition team of 2012 had a so-called Black Swan Unit.  Were aide's gain plan potential first year crisis.  9/11 remains the ultimate example of the President Obama's first year, saw a swan flu outbreak.  Former Deputy Secretary HHS and the author of "Shall we wake the president" have cataloged eight different kinds of manmade and natural crisis that could confront President Trump in his first year in office.  


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  This is in range from, some kind of massive cyberattack, or a bioterror assault, massive outbreak of a new disease that was unexpected, an economic collapse, there is all kinds of things that could happen in a first year or indeed anytime throughout the administration.  But the first year is the most dangerous, because the presidential team is not yet ready.  


ROSEN:  The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that the President-Elect has only twice availed himself of the presidential daily brief, the most sensitive intelligence and threat reporting. A transition official told me today that report was the product of quote former members of the I.C. who are bitter they lost out on jobs they felt they deserved.  The officials said Mr. Trump is speaking directly with foreign leaders and with members of his so called landing team at the National Security Council, Sandra.  

SMITH:  All right, James Rosen from the White House for us, thank you. Here with more, Pete Hegseth, Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran, a Fox News contributor and Krystal Ball is a Senior Fellow at New Leaders Council.  Pete Hegseth, I'll start with you first, on the idea of this classified intelligence briefings and Donald Trump only having gone to two of them, criticism that he is not attending these as he should, and getting this info - what is in those briefings, first of all?  

PETE HEGSETH, IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN WAR VETERAN, A FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR:  Well sensitive information, classified information about the threats facing our nation.  But many others are reporting on that is said, it's not unprecedented.  He gets to set the pace of them.  Other presidents have waited longer for that particular intelligence.  And you know he is most interested in, and he said this in his defense, building a team that can support him.  He doesn't have the background in National Security that others have had.  I mean Barack Obama knew nothing.  Let's be clear about that.  He built his team.  

Donald Trump is building his, starting with General Flynn and K.T. McFarland today, Defense Secretary or Secretary of State, he is going to build it with people that will advise him, based on his approach to the world which is neither the New York conservatives and the interventionist, nor those under Barack Obama who have blamed America first and put us in a weak transition.  We're in a weak transition position, because Barack Obama has put us there.  His job is to put America back in charge, in a leadership role.  He is building the team to do that.  

He'll get briefings in due time.  So those who say he is not taking it seriously, they're just looking at ways to smack at Donald Trump, but I think that is what you are getting in the media right now.  

SMITH:   Krystal, historically this is a vulnerable time.  The transition period, because as he points out, while he does needs to get to the intelligence briefings, and he has two already, Mike Pence has been getting all of them, his vice president.  Still this is historically a vulnerable time.  Why the criticism coming on behalf of Donald Trump?  

KRYSTAL BALL, SENIOR FELLOW AT NEW LEADERS COUNCIL:  Well, look, as Pete was just saying, Donald Trump comes in quite inexperienced in foreign policy.  And I think it's legitimate for folk to wonder is this someone who is going to buckle down and be able to focus and absorb the information that he is going to need to be able to make those decisions that only a president can make.  

So look, I don't want to overstate the case here, but I do think it's troubling, that you don't see him really diving into these intelligence briefings the way that President Obama frankly did.  Who also came in with not a whole lot of foreign policy experience, but he dove into the briefings, he also asked for a specific deep dive so that he could get up to speed.  So, it is a bit troubling that you just don't see that doubling down.  I would say here, when you're president, you have to be able to do a lot of things at once.  So the idea that he can't build his team out and also be receiving these briefings I think doesn't hold up to scrutiny.  He is going to have to do a whole lot more than that at one time once he is actually is President of the United States.  

SMITH:  All right, so let's talk about these threats, Pete because we have to take these very seriously and at a time of vulnerability.  And you're saying, hey well you can't go to every one of these meetings, because he is got to put together the right team to combat ISIS, to begin with, when he gets into office in January.  How serious are the threats that James Rosen has just reported on?  

HEGSETH:  Of course they're serious.  If you know what you believe, you know you believe.  It's sort of foolish to think that Barack Obama, because he had a couple of deep dives understood Intel better.  He ignored the fact that we are fighting Radical Islamist.  He called ISIS the JV team.  He set a red line that he wouldn't enforce.  He put us in a vulnerable position through his naive foreign policy that blame America first and led from behind. Donald Trump knows America is a force for good, wants to rebuild our military, and understands that our allies need to be supported, that Iran shouldn't have a nuclear bomb.  All of the things that the Obama administration has abandoned, those core principles put him in a strategic advantage over Barack Obama.  So he is listening to advisers like General Flynn, like K.T. McFarland.  You think he is not getting advice from them, when he leaves with them.  In addition to his Intel briefings, if you have a core, if you have a belief, that matters more than sitting in a few briefings.  And they totally, clearly do not trust Barack Obama.  

BALL:  If you have a belief, that is fine, but you also have to know something about the world.  I mean this the man who could (inaudible) Triad was.  


HEGSETH:  He doesn't know anything about the world?  

BALL:  And he seemed unaware that Putin has been in crime.  


HEGSETH:  If he doesn't know Radical Islamist or Radical Islam, then what do you know about the world.  


BALL:  Let me finish my point here.  Some point you're going to have to stop blaming Obama and we're going to have to start assessing President-elect Trump.  The fact of the matter is he doesn't demonstrate a lot of foreign policy knowledge on the trail in the debates or otherwise.  So yes, you can have a theory about the world, but it is helpful if the President is also.  


SMITH:  Well, Krystal, some would say that you're blaming Donald Trump for not doing the right thing and Donald Trump's team says he is trying to put the right team together.  So he can get all this done, when he get in to office.  So, maybe this is just in appropriate time for (inaudible).  


BALL:  You've got to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time.  

HEGSETH:  You don't think Donald Trump can walk and chew gum at the same time?  He is doing both.  

SMITH:  Krystal, Pete, thanks you.  

HEGSETH:  Thank you.  

BALL:  Same here.  

SMITH:  Thanks to both of you.  

All right for the second year in a row, black Friday is met with anger in the City of Chicago, hundreds of protesters storming down one of the busiest retail areas of that city.  We will show you what they hope to accomplish next.  


SMITH:  Developing tonight, for the second year in a row, a major disruption for holiday shoppers in Chicago.  As protesters from the Black Lives Matter Movement flood Michigan Avenue, urging a black Friday boycott.  They are also demanding action on police misconduct for minorities.  For more on that we go to Fox's Mike Tobin in the windy City.  

MIKE TOBIN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Sandra, the cold weather, the demonstration never amounted to a thousand of people and major shutdowns of the retail establishment.  We did see them block the entrances, to the Cole Haan store, the Nike store, the Apple store, Crate and Barrel.  There were some pushing and shoving with police officers, a couple of demonstrates detained.  A lot of faces we've have seen before, people who show up at these demonstrations, very eager to engage the protest.  Disrupt the process of others not that eager to engage the political protest.  


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We have to stand up and fight back, you know.  

TOBIN:  Did you vote?  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Of course, not.  

TOBIN:  Why not?  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Because there's no reason to vote here in this country. This country is based on genocide, slavery and war.  


TOBIN:  The demonstration is recognition for the police involve shooting of Laquan McDonald here in Chicago.  That video is released just a little over a year ago.  The stated goal of the organizers is to push the establishment of civilian police accountability council.  However with all of the causes piling on, Chicago Tribune Columnist John Cass says what we're seeing here is the galvanizing of the left.  


JOHN CASS, CHICAGO TRIBUNE COLUMNIST:  You've got to step out of the box a little bit and look at what's really going on.  And what's really going on is the left is organizing these young people to get ready for the next election and moving the party to the left.  


TOBIN:  The difference with the demonstrations last year is they came right on the heels of the release of the Laquan McDonald video.  And the emotion was very raw.  Since Wednesday there have been two police involved fatalities in the City of Chicago, but they are just not generating the same level of interest, Sandra, back to you.  

SMITH:  All right, Mike Tobin, thank you.  Joining me mow, Kevin Jackson, Conservative Radio Host and Fox News Contributor and Atima Omara, Political Strategist and Virginia Democratic National Committee member, thanks to both of you for being here tonight.  Kevin, I will start with you first, what do you make of the protests that you're seeing right down the magnificent mile there in Chicago again?  

KEVIN JACKSON, CONSERVATIVE RADIO HOST AND FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR:  Well, the real question might be do black jobs matter, because they're interrupting a lot of the cash flow that the retailers will have these days.  As far as the protest goes, it's a legitimate protest.  Laquan McDonald was shot. Rahm Emanuel covers it up, because of election hearing and wanting to not be involved in a Ferguson like situation and so it's a legitimate thing. But I think in terms of where the passion lies, it should go against Rahm Emanuel and not the police.  

SMITH:   And to be fair, some of the protesters, some of the chants they're chanting are to get rid of Rahm Emanuel.  I want to bring you in, because I want to hear from you.  What are they asking for?  What do the protesters want?  

ATIMA OMARA, POLITICAL STRATEGIST AND VIRGINIA DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE MEMBER:  Well from what I've read and what the protesters want, you know what a lot of the protests around the country are asking for is for better relationships between police and the community.  

SMITH:   And how are they going to accomplish that by trying to stop commerce in the City of Chicago?  

OMARA:  Well, honestly, no protest is ever effective when you're having it, let's say on Tuesday in the middle of the day.  Of course we're talking about it now, because it's on Black Friday which a lot of shoppers are out there.  So they're doing their job.  Most successful protests have been at times when it is high traffic and a lot of the people are out and about. So, obviously they got the attention that they were looking for.  They're looking for civilian accountability council, has an independent counsel to work with police on building better relations specifically with the community.  I mean, yes, it could come certainly top down to the Mayor -- but the police commissioner sets the agenda obviously.  

SMITH:  But you look at the protests and you just wonder, is there a better way than by trying to do what they see is the right thing by doing something like shutting down retailers, blocking customers from walking through their doors?  

JACKSON:  Right.  Well, of course there's a better way.  And the idea that they really want to have a better relationship with police is unfortunately betrayed by the idea that they're going around killing police.  So, if you really want to have a dialogue with police, you got to be honest about what is going on.  


SMITH:  I want to get to the question -- I want to get to this with both of you.  Are we going to see changes coming with the Donald Trump DOJ, especially talking about Senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General?  Will we see changes, Kevin, as to how they deal with groups like Black Lives Matter?  

JACKSON:  Well, first of all, I don't think the onus is on Donald Trump.  We have been dealing with this issue now for decades and it's generally at the hands of the Democrats like Rahm Emanuel and the Baltimore mayor and many others in these large cities that are ran by typically mayors that are Democrats, particularly black mayors.  But is Donald Trump going to address it?  I think he will.  I think that he is going to take a tougher stance with respect to law and order.  I think the actual conversation between police and the black community does need to be had, but not lopsided the way the left wants to do it.  

SMITH:  Atima, I want to hear your thoughts on that.  What do you expect from President-Elect Trump's DOJ?  

OMARA:  What I would expect, of course would be, what has been up held, the DOJ is the nation's cop.  They go into police departments that are doing civil rights violations that are what is done with Baltimore that is done obviously with Ferguson.  Now, with given Sessions history, having actually praised Trump as recently as August of 2016 on calling for the death of five men called the central park five, most people know that, way after the years after they were exonerated, he is believed in stop and frisk which is something that is not even legally upheld in the United States, or certainly at least.  


JACKSON:  Sure it has been.  

SMITH:   I don't have much time.  Kevin, I'll get your response to that.  

JACKSON:  Now?  

SMITH:  Yes.  

JACKSON:  Sorry.  I thought she was still continuing.  A lot of the policies that she is talking about, they are legal and they do prevent crime.  

OMARA:  Wasn't held up by a court in New York.  

JACKSON:  Well, you know, that may be true, but it's not illegal.  But the point is this.  These policies do work.  They do stop crime in the neighborhoods where they should be stopping crime.  

SMITH:   All right.  I will stop you there.  It's good of both of you to come on.  Conversation will continue.  Thank you.  

AOKI:  Thank you.  

SMITH:  All right.  Some folks on the left still aren't done complaining about the election.  Can you believe that?  All right, we'll explain next.  


SMITH:   A new effort tonight to challenge the results of the November 8 election.  A failed Green Party candidate Jill Stein is now asking supporters for some $7 million for recounts in three states.  Tezlyn Figaro is a former Bernie Sanders campaign staffer and Political Analyst Nomiki Konst is host of the Filter on Sirius XM Progress.  Somebody help me out here, Tezlyn, what is she trying to do?  

TEZLYN FIGARO, FORMER BERNIE SANDERS CAMPAIGN STAFFER:  Looks like the Green Party is all about the green.  Literally and figuratively, you know I was all for people who wanted to offer Dr. Stein a protest vote after Sanders fell off.  But to ask millions of hardworking Americans to give her money to a campaign, like my grandma used to say, she know good and hell well is not going anywhere, she is flat out wrong.  And you know she is raised more money that she actually raised to campaign which lay off hundreds of people who actually believed in her effort and those who supported her.  So, I think, you know to keep pushing this taking from hardworking Americans is just bottom line a Ponzi scheme and a hot mess. Just to be quite honest with you and I'm very disappointed in seeing her actions.  

SMITH:  Nomiki, I mean Tezlyn said it.  There's no guarantee what happens to your money if you donate it for this cause.  

NOMIKI KONST, POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR TO CBSN:  Yes.  And Dr. Stein did say that.  I've been critical of Dr. Stein, since day one.  I was a surrogate for the Bernie Sanders campaign, as soon as the DNC and then we said Dr. Stein just pull out, because she might be spoiler and guess what, now she is making the case that she might have been the spoiler and the truth is she might have.  

The three states where she is contesting the election would have actually determined the election for Secretary Clinton, she could have won.  We're talking about -- like 1.2 percent in Michigan, .7 percent in Wisconsin.  That is enough to determine the outcome of the election.  That is enough to determine the outcome of the election.  The problem is that we do need an audit.  We need to revolutionize the way our electoral process works.  

SMITH:   She is pushing on a recount based on evidence of nothing.  Tezlyn, I mean there's no evidence that anything went wrong.  Is there something we don't know?  

KONST:  What was that?  

SMITH:  Is there something we don't know?  Is there a scam?  Is there something wrong with the election?  

KONST:  There has been, I'm not siding with Dr. Stein, but there have been multiple sources that have come out and said that the sources, the electoral process are flawed in Michigan.  

SMITH:  Ok I'm talking about evidence, Tezlyn.  

KONST:  Yeah, absolutely.  

SMITH:   Tezlyn?  

FIGARO:  We don't need an audit.  Dr. Stein needs to have a seat.  You know I'm just saying she wants to continue to organize the Green Party and donate your money so I continue to organize.  Like Bernie Sanders did with our revolution, they want to continue.  If you want to give your money to an organize fund, but to give it to say you're going to get a recount when you already got 1 percent of the vote is not going to make up 99 percent of the vote.  

KONST:  I hear you, Tezlyn.  I completely agree with you.  We need to start from the ground up.  But we have a problem in the primary system, we a have a problem with the electoral system nationally, when the states determine the primaries, when they oversee the primary outcomes, that is the problem. When Pennsylvania relies on paper ballots and if there was a close race and they had a recount, major problem.  

SMITH:  All right.  This sounds like a conversation for a whole other day. We are talking about Jill Stein demanding a recount.  Thank you to both of you.  We'll be right back.  


SMITH:   Thank for joining us tonight on your holiday weekend.  Let us know what you thought about tonight's show.  Tweet me @sandrasmithfox and join me weekdays on Outnumbered at noon Eastern Time.  That is it from us in New York.  I'm Sandra Smith and this is "The Kelly File."  


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