This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," December 21, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SANDRA SMITH, HOST: Breaking tonight, new evidence that a European immigrant may have played a major role in the terror attack in Berlin. And growing concerns that the U.S. could be next.
Welcome to "The Kelly File," I'm Sandra Smith in for Megyn Kelly. Today authorities identifying a suspect in this week's apparent terror attack at a Christmas market as a Tunisian immigrant in his 20s, who was already on immigration radars. Even worse he was apparently supposed to be deported months ago. But the paperwork hadn't gone through. At the same time, there are growing concerns tonight, that the U.S. could soon become a target.
One man who personably interrogated 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is now suggesting that not only could the U.S. beheaded down the same path but that KSM was warning about this very kind of thing more than a decade ago.
Dr. James Mitchell joins us in moments on the disturbing predictions he heard from KSM's mouth that he has since watched come to life.
But first we go to Kitty Logan live to our London bureau with the very latest on this investigation. Kitty?
KITTY LOGAN, FOX NEWS REPORTER: Sandra, there is now an urgent manhunt underway for the key suspect across Europe tonight. In Berlin, police raided two apartments but made no arrests. The man they are looking for is a 23-year-old Tunisian Anis Amri, he's described as violent and maybe armed. He arrived in Germany last year, but his asylum application was rejected and his deportation delayed because of missing paperwork. He had links to extremists. He used six false names and had a criminal record in Tunisia and Italy.
Authorities once had him under surveillance but that was stopped. Now Amri's ID was found under the driver's seat of the truck which plowed into a busy Christmas market in Central Berlin on Monday evening. Yesterday, ISIS claimed responsibility for that attack without naming the perpetrator and German authorities say they are still investigating who else may behind this. Twelve people were killed and almost 50 injured in the attack. Many of those still in a serious condition.
And already there are questions about whether there were missed opportunities which could have prevented this tragedy. Now concrete barriers are going up at Berlin's many Christmas markets. But some are asking why this wasn't done sooner after repeated warnings that these markets were vulnerable to attack. And many in Germany also want to know why tonight, why Amri wasn't deported much faster given his history. Authorities have announced a $100,000 reward for any information leading to his arrest -- Sandra.
SMITH: All right. Kitty, thank you. In the month after 9/11 our next guest was approached by the CIA and asked to help develop a program to get more information from terror suspects. Including man who came to be known as the so-called mastermind of 9/11. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. And not only that Dr. James Mitchell wind up interrogating KSM himself, he says the prediction that Mohammed made are already coming to pass in places like Berlin. And he says if we're not careful, the U.S. could wind up heading down the same path.
Dr. James Mitchell joins us now and he is also author of the new book "Enhanced Interrogation: Inside the Minds and Motives of the Islamic Terrorists Trying To Destroy America."
Dr. Mitchell, thank you for joining us tonight.
DR. JAMES MITCHELL, AUTHOR, "ENHANCED INTERROGATION": Thank you for having me on.
SMITH: What are your thoughts as you saw that attack play out in Berlin?
MITCHELL: Well, the first thing I thought was, that this is exactly the sort of thing that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed had predicted. Back in 2004, maybe early 2005, years after his last harsh interrogation, he and I were talking about what he saw as upcoming trends in terror attacks. And he had become fascinated by the amount of damage that Mobo (ph) had done along with Mohammed, around the beltway, when they were shooting people out of the trunks of cars.
And for him, what surprised him, was how much paralysis it caused, given how few deaths were involved. Few from his perspective, right? And what he said to me was that our civil liberties and our openness and our willingness to be responsive to other people's cultures were actually gifts from his God. That they were weaknesses and flaws that they had -- that he had put into his God, Allah, had put into the American culture so that we could be defeated. He said the easiest way to do that, in spite of the fact that al Qaeda dreamed of these big huge catastrophic attacks, that wasn't particularly practical.
That the easiest way to win the long battle to take over the world with Sharia Law was actually through immigration and by our breeding non- Muslims. He said that like-minded Jihadi brothers would immigrate to western democracies and to the United States. They would wrap themselves in our civil liberties for protection. They would support themselves in our welfare system while they spread their Jihadi message. And then when the time was right, they would rise up and attack.
SMITH: And you go through a lot of this in your book and you said that he went on to provide an example. Of not these big crippling large scale catastrophic attacks that he said that those were nice but not necessary, it was the low tech terror attack that you are talking about. What was the example that he provided?
MITCHELL: I'm not going to say. Because it was a very easy sample. The point that he was making though was that one or two people who were intent on causing as much carnage as they could, could use things that were readily available in our culture to wreak havoc and actually ratchet up the acceptance of Sharia Law by making it frightening for people to push back against their efforts to impose it.
SMITH: So Dr. Mitchell, we are seeing more attacks like this play out in Europe.
MITCHELL: Yes, ma'am.
SMITH: Are we going to see something like that here? Will we see more of those types of attacks play out in America?
MITCHELL: We may if we don't do something about our immigration policy.
SMITH: Like what? What are you suggesting needs to be done based on what you know by talking to people like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed? What do we need to do?
MITCHELL: I think we need to slow down our immigration from these countries that promote terrorism and generate these terrorists. We know which countries they are. We need to do a better job of vetting those things. The other thing we need do is be much more aggressive when it comes to following up on those people who travel to countries where there are terror camps, especially when they are not U.S. citizens and they're not coming back.
SMITH: But it is hard for us to hear that though when we're talking about this case in Berlin. Where now today we learn, it was a 23-year-old Tunisian. He is violent we're told. Maybe armed. They're missing paperwork is the reason why he wasn't deported.
SMITH: He had links to terrorism. What happened?
MITCHELL: The missing paperwork was the last in that chain. What started that chain, really, was political correctness. And their unwillingness to get this person out of their country who had no business of being there because he didn't have the right paper work to prove who he was. If you suspect he is a terrorist, I would suggest that you don't wait for him to come up with his paperwork. That you get him out of the country. And that's what I believe we should do.
SMITH: Okay. And so we do have a -- we have a new president coming in who says that political correctness has to go away. Do you expect change from the incoming Trump administration?
MITCHELL: I hope that's going to be change. Because here's the way political correctness works for a guy like Khalid Sheik Mohammed. It allows them to operate in our midst without being challenged. It allows them to ratchet up, to focus on Sharia Law without us pushing back up on it. And we end up inadvertently imposing on ourselves the blasphemy laws of sharia because we cut back on the things that they find offensive.
We change the way we dress. We don't have Christmas parties any more. You know, we don't say Merry Christmas to each other on the street. You know, women have to wear head guild. They set up these enclaves. And out of these enclaves they try to impose Sharia on those people who come into them. We simply have to let that not happen.
SMITH: Right. Dr. James Mitchell, thank you for joining us tonight.
MITCHELL: Thank you ma'am for having me on.
SMITH: Well, also breaking tonight, President-elect Donald Trump making his first public remarks on that suspected terror attack in Germany. Mr. Trump speaking to reporters outside of his home in Florida. Where he also received a presidential intelligence briefing from a team of high ranking military officers.
Peter Doocy just filed this report from Mar-A-Lago.
PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Sandra, the President-elect has got a presidential daily briefing today at his Mar-A-Lago state from top Pentagon brass. The threats discuss remain classified tonight however, Mr. Trump made a point to mention his high-ranking guest during a rare but short press availability earlier in the day about the terrorist truck attack in Berlin. His first on-camera comments about the mass murder.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT-ELECT DONALD TRUMP: What's going on is terrible. In fact, we have intelligence here right now. But what's going on is terrible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOOCY: It's not clear when the last time Mr. Trump got a presidential daily briefing is but what is notable about todays is that Mr. Trump said recently he only thinks he needs one if an adviser on his team tells him that something in the Intel changed. So he says he gets a PDB when he needs one. Because he told Chris Wallace earlier this month that he is a smart person and doesn't care to be told the same thing every day. With the suggestion being that some classified material gets stale.
With that said, on a conference call with reporters today, transition officials stressed that the President-elect does have contact with his national security team once or twice a day wherever they are. That is the team led by the retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn who Mr. Trump used to bring along to the Intel briefings he received as a candidate to help them verify if the information he was being presented was legitimate. And in a sign of continuity, Flynn was here at Mar-A-Lago for today's presidential daily briefing -- Sandra.
SMITH: All right. Peter, thank you. Here now, Karl Rove, a former senior advisor and assistant to President George W. Bush, and a FOX News political contributor. Karl, thanks for being here.
KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: You bet, thanks for having me.
SMITH: So, what did you make of the President-elect's first public remarks on this attack in Germany.
ROVE: Well, he was direct and explicit. This is an attack by Islamic terrorist. And, you know, it is refreshing now to have a President-elect who is willing to call this for what it is. And not to deter and be straight forward.
SMITH: What do you make of the criticism that he should be attending these daily intelligence briefings? He says that he will go to one when he knows that something has changed. He has got people that goes to them and advise him when something has changed. He doesn't need to go to every single one. Your thoughts on that?
ROVE: Well, the President gets to set the pace of how often he wants to have these briefings. President Bush when he came into office had the advantage that this CIA Director George Tenet, he kept him on. And so he began to receive briefings. And then he asked if those briefings could be delivered by CIA directly. He wanted to take the measure of the man, so to speak. And President Bush used these daily briefings as way to ask questions, raise issues, tell the CIA and then specifically and eventually the intelligence community generally about things that he would like to know more about.
So it wasn't just receiving information, it was questioning the information, evaluating the information and more importantly giving some guidance to the agencies about what it is that he wanted to make certain that he knew about. There are lots of threats in the world that the President-elect is going to have to deal with to be a good opportunity in these briefings. Today it was with the Department of Defense. With members of the U.S. military.
Normally the PDB is delivered by the CIA briefers on behalf of the broader intelligence committee. But whoever it is, the military or intelligence community, it is useful for the President-elect in my opinion to begin to use these sessions as a way to educate himself more deeply about the threats and to begin to share with the intelligence community his interest and the things he wants them to focus on.
SMITH: So would you like to see him attend more? You are putting a lot of weight on them.
ROVE: Look, in the era in which we live, these are incredibly valuable. But they've got to be, you know, look, I can see him saying, you know, I am just hearing the same thing. Well, if you're hearing the same thing, let the briefers know that you want to know what is going on and ask questions. You know, and look, there's lots of different threats, the President's advisers, Flynn and others, could advise him about a range of these issues -- for example, the Chinese and the Russians are both modernizing their nuclear weapons arsenals.
This is going to be a huge issue for the new president to deal with. Because our arsenal is aging and the Russians and the Chinese are modernizing their arsenals which may give them a strategic advantage over us. So, this is an issue that he might want to raise. You know, there are lots of things going on in the world. This is a chance for him to delve into it more and learn more and ask questioned and make judgments about the people he is dealing with.
SMITH: Well, it's interesting to hear you say that. And the reason I sort of pressed you on that is because you were openly critical of President Obama and his attendance at these daily briefings.
ROVE: Sure. Absolutely.
SMITH: His first 1,225 days in office. He attended -- his attendance record was 44 percent. And 2011, in the first half of 2012, it actually went even lower to 38 percent. You were critical of that.
SMITH: So, I was wondering where you stood on Donald Trump.
ROVE: Yes. No, no. Absolutely. And here is the other thing. President Obama would want these in writing and writing only. Because he was a smart guy. And you could read it on a secure iPad or read it on a secure, you know, read them in the Oval Office on a piece of paper. But he didn't need to ask. He didn't need to ask. Look, a lot of times the quality of these intelligence and what you take away from it is receive not by simply reading the document, but by raising questions, by asking questions.
By challenging the assumptions of the analysts. By asking for more information. And it's an incredibly valuable tool for the President of the United States to help him develop his policies, to understand the world more broadly. President Obama was the smartest guy in the room. It did not serve our country well for him to have that kind of attitude when it came to intelligence services. It would be good for the new president to have a different attitude.
SMITH: Thirty days to inauguration. Can you believe it, Karl Rove?
ROVE: No, I can't. Thirty days.
SMITH: It's happening. All right. Karl Rove, good to have you here, sir. Thank you.
ROVE: You bet. Thank you, Sandra.
SMITH: All right. Well, still ahead on a busy night at "The Kelly File," breaking news on the humanitarian crisis in Syria. As the U.S. has left out of a key strategy meeting with world leaders working to find a resolution for the six-year war. Two Washington insiders, Dana Perino and David Tafuri will be here on that.
And first, there were the pardons. Now President Obama is quietly trying to free more than two dozen suspected terrorists from Guantanamo Bay. Before leaving office? Lieutenant Colonel Tony Shaffer and Congressman Peter King have some strong feelings about that.
Plus, a popular Muslim American video prankster claims he was kicked off a flight for speaking Arabic.
Coming up, why some skeptics are saying it could all be just for show?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADAM SALEH, SOCIAL MEDIA STAR: Guys, we spoke a different language on the plane and now we are getting kicked out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's insane.
SALEH: Now we're getting kicked out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: Breaking tonight. There are new questions about America's involvement in ending the war in Syria. After three nations, Russia, Iran and Turkey met in Moscow without any representation from the United States or the United Nations. In moments, we will get reaction from former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino and former State Department official David Tafuri.
But first we go to John Huddy who live is in our Jerusalem bureau with more. John?
JOHN HUDDY, FOX NEWS FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Sandra, Secretary of State John Kerry was not invited to the meetings that you are talking about and also both U.N. and European officials have been excluded from those talks to end Syria's six-year civil war as well. But as those talks continue, so does the evacuation of Eastern Aleppo and the timing really is critical at this point, Sandra. Because it's been snowing there. The temperatures continue to drop. The weather has taken a turn for the worst. So, it's imperative to get those people that have been trapped in Eastern Aleppo out of there.
That said, some 3,000 people were stocked overnight Tuesday until Wednesday waiting for the convoy busses to leave. You can see they are packed in there and finally they started rolling out Wednesday. And keep in mind, just FYI, it is early Thursday morning here, after 4:00 a.m. The international committee for the Red Cross, ICRC, said Tuesday that 25,000 people had been evacuated from the city since last week. Well, that number we understand and the information we are getting is now more than 30,000 including several thousand rebel fighters.
And the group that's been monitoring the situation on the ground. The Syrian observatory for human rights reports that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's military has full control of Eastern Aleppo but just to be clear, that's not confirmed by the U.N. or U.S. State Department. What we do know is that the evacuation process is in its final stages barring no more hold-ups. As we've seen, it started and stopped because of political speeds, because of ongoing violence but at this point, it's nearing the end. So, while the operation is wrapping up and the battle for Aleppo is essentially over, that does not mean the end of Syria civil war as the city of Aleppo lay in ruins. Sandra, back to you.
SMITH: All right. John Huddy, thank you.
Joining me now, David Tafuri, a former State Department official and former foreign policy adviser to the Obama campaign. So, Russia, Iran, Turkey, they meet in Moscow. The United States isn't invited. What does that tell us?
DAVID TAFURI, FORMER OBAMA CAMPAIGN FOREIGN POLICY ADVISER: Well, you know, the United States should not have been there. What we have here is sort of an axis of strong men needing to decide what's going to happen in Syria. Putin, the authoritarian regime of Iran, and now Erdogan from Turkey. Their objectives in Syria are very different from the U.S. objective. Russia in particular is trying to prop up the Assad regime. Assad is a war criminal. We just saw some, you know, great video of Aleppo. Aleppo has been destroyed. So many people have been killed in Aleppo.
We have almost a half million civilians killed in Syria overall and Russia and Iran have some culpability for this. It's frightening that now Turkey may be cooperating with Russia and Iran. Erdogan has softened his position on President Assad and Assad needing to go. But the U.S. has maintained its policy which is that Assad has to go. That is the smarter solution for Syria. It is really the only solution for Syria. Assad must step down and then there has to be a political resolution in Syria in order to stop the fighting.
SMITH: And David, you have some thoughts on how this relationship will change when President Trump gets into office?
TAFURI: Well, that's right. I mean, Trump has praised Russia for doing bombing in Syria. Even though, the human rights organization that are observing the bombings and have information from the ground show that most of these bombings are killing civilians and in some cases they're killing the U.S.-backed rebels, the moderate rebels who the U.S. is backing. And Trump has said that that is a positive thing. It is not positive and I fear that Trump may align with these other three powers that just met in Moscow. Russia, Iran and Turkey. Were that to happen, it would be a devastating consequence for Syria.
SMITH: All right. David, I'm going to thank you. Thanks for being here tonight. David Tafuri.
TAFURI: Thank you.
SMITH: All right. Here with more on that, Dana Perino, the former White House Press Secretary under President George W. Bush and co-host of "The Five." First your reaction to David's thoughts?
DANA PERINO, CO-HOST, "THE FIVE": Well, I think that all sounds very good. But what we've had a lot of it is a lot of sound. And maybe we shouldn't have been invited to the meeting because we walk away from that responsibility in 2013 when President Obama decided not to enforce the red line. And I think that the administration has to accept the blame for that.
In fact, President Obama basically did in his press conference last week. And I just picked up the economist today when I went to the mail box and the front page, the cover story is Putin's victory, the West failure and the quote from it is particular blame falls on Barack Obama. So, if we had attended the meeting, what would we say? What do we want to do?
SMITH: Well, here is what we do know is the State Department John Kirby said, Secretary of State John Kerry had spoken with the foreign Minister Lavrov from Russia and the foreign minister from Turkey by phone. Kirby also said Tuesday, we are not excluded, we are not being sidelined. David suggested that we shouldn't be there but they are not exactly owning the fact that we weren't.
PERINO: Well, even if we were there though, what would we say? And what are we willing to do? And now we are in a period of transition from one administration to the next. And so, you have a situation where Putin has been strengthened, President Obama allowed him back into the Middle East. He took full control of that. And one of the things he was able to do is so further discord in Europe by helping fuel a migrant crisis that now we are doing and that was one of the things that led your show today.
Not necessarily that terrorists came from Syria but this is causing havoc all around the world. Causing Angela Merkel her presidency. And I do think that if we are going to say that we want to be at the table, we have to have something more than we strongly condemn in the harshest possible terms in basic U.N. language. I agree there has to be a political solution, but I don't know what we are offering.
SMITH: And still, everybody, I mean, you say that we kind of overstated the whole question by whether or not the United States still matters --
PERINO: In the Middle East.
SMITH: As far as the future of the Middle East.
SMITH: But you do wonder and I did ask -- I pushed him for his thoughts as Donald Trump takes office. What we are going to see. What kind of -- I mean, Donald Trump hasn't exactly laid out his policy or the --
PERINO: No --
SMITH: Or the direction that he is going yet.
PERINO: Not yet. And I think he is smart. Right? We have one president at a time. When he is putting his team together, that's what transition time is for. But in less than 30 days, he will take control of this and he will inherit the situation. And one of the things that he has talked about is ripping up the Iran deal. Okay. If we're going to do that --
SMITH: What happens then?
PERINO: Iran is at the table there. And Russia is at the table. So does that mean the United States never says anything more about Crimea or Ukraine?
SMITH: So based on who he has on his side advising him, what direction do you think that will do go?
PERINO: I don't think we know that yet and I would not speculate on it. I think that they will be level-headed but I also think there will be a change in direction. But I really don't know where you turn because if -- I think that if you are going to solve this problem, you solve it at its source. And at this point, the source has been eliminated. People have been gassed. They are suffocated. They are trying to flee. Their buses are being lit on fire. We knew that Assad's army and Air Force were going to use chemical weapons. That happened. We hit a red line. We didn't do anything about it. We could have destroyed the Air Force. We didn't do it. So, I don't know why we think we deserve a seat at the table at this moment.
SMITH: Yes. And those images are --
PERINO: Even though I want one.
SMITH: Yes. Exactly.
PERINO: I think our leverage is diminished but our stature in the Middle East will continue, it will be important and I think you will see a change in direction and hopefully a more positive way forward.
SMITH: 2016 is almost over, Dana Perino.
PERINO: I know. I can't say what I said at the break, can I?
SMITH: I was trying to get you to do that.
PERINO: This year can -- you go take a rest.
SMITH: Yes. It's been an amazing year. Dana Perino, thanks for joining us, honey. Good to have you.
All right. Well, up next. With less than a month left in office, President Obama is ramping up efforts to move detainees out of Guantanamo Bay prison and possibly close it for good. Lieutenant Colonel Tony Shaffer and Congressman Peter King are here.
Plus, is President-elect Donald Trump backing off another major campaign pledge? Governor Mike Huckabee is here on that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We are going Washington, D.C. and we are going to drain the swamp. Drain the swamp. We're going to drain the swamp.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: Breaking tonight, Fox News confirming President Obama's administration's last ditch effort to get more prisoners out of Guantanamo Bay and into other countries before leaving office next month. But more than half of the men still held there have not been cleared for release. Kristen Fisher has the details from Washington, Kristin?
KRISTIN FISHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Sandra, two defense officials have confirmed that the White House is planning to transfer up to 22 Guantanamo detainees by the time President Obama leaves office. Now remember, he has been promising to close Gitmo since 2008, since before he was president. And he has been trying to shut it down ever since. But with less than a month in office it appears almost certain that he will not be able to keep that promise. Right now there are 59 detainees at Gitmo and 27 of them are considered too dangerous to transfer. So, what we're talking about are the remaining 22 who have already been approved for transfer to other nations though none will be allowed to enter the United States, because congress will not allow it. Listen to what White House Spokesman Josh Earnest said about it last week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I wouldn't rule out additional transfers between now and January 20th.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FISHER: So if all goes according to plan that will let 40 prisoners at Gitmo by the time Mr. Trump takes office. But Mr. Trump promised back in February to fill it right back up with some quote and quote, bad dudes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT: This morning I watched President Obama talking about Gitmo, right, Guantanamo Bay, which by the way, we are keeping open, which we are keeping open. And we are going to load it up with some bad dudes, believe me. We will load it up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FISHER: Now compare that to what President Obama said just two weeks ago. He called Gitmo a blot on our national honor which is why his administration is trying to transfer as many prisoners as possible before his successor steps foot in the White House. Sandra?
SMITH: All right, Kristin, thank you.
Joining me now with more, Congressman Peter King as a member of both the House Intelligence and Homeland Security and Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer is the CIA trained Senior Intelligence Operative. Thanks to you both for being here, tonight. Tony, what do we know about the detainees that are still left there? That could possibly still be released?
TONY SHAFFER, CIA SENIOR INTELLIGENCE OPERATIVE: Well talking about Mr. Trump's comment about bad dudes, these are bad dudes. I mean that is why they are still there as the reporter talked about. These folks are not cleared for release. So this is an act of desperation and frankly it is an act which I believe goes against the very thing that President Obama promised Mr. Trump to actually work for a reasonable transition of power. So there's nothing good here. And let's be honest about this, about one- third of all folks released so far have gone back on the battlefield. I suspect that you will see more like over 50 percent going back to battlefield. So this is a bad decision should President Obama do this all around.
SMITH: But this has long been his promise, congressman. If he actually doesn't get this done, what does that say?
REP. PETER KING, R-N.Y., HOUSE INTELLIGENCE AND HOMELAND SECURITY: First of all, I think it was a bad promise to make in the first place. I totally resent when he said this is a blunt on national honor. I've been to Guantanamo. I will tell you, it is better than any basic training facility in United States. I could show you Tony Shaffer had much worse conditions in boot camp.
SHAFFER: No doubt.
KING: They have soccer. They have language classes, art classes, newspapers. Everyone gets a Koran. There are arrows pointing toward Mecca. There is one medical personnel for every three detainees. So, listen I think it is wrong to releasing them. As Tony was saying, a number that have been released, they go back to the battlefield. They are skilled and they are talented, unfortunately and mass murderers. This is really wrong. And those were not mass murders, skilled and they have committed terrorists.
SMITH: So, Colonel what do we know about those who have been released and they have returned to the battlefield?
SHAFFER: We know they are treated like rock stars. As Peter just said, you know these people have survived this. President Obama is completely wrong. What actually encourages terror has nothing to do with Guantanamo. Anybody has gone to Guantanamo it is like they have been given a master's degree in being a terrorist. They are, the one's we have seen go back, they are greeted as gods and they are the ones who actually are encouraged to go back, use what they have learned. As Peter said, you know they are watching us and they are learning from being there on how to be better terrorist. So why on earth would we want to essentially, you know give these guys five square meals a day, give them classes in basket weaving and make them better, give them better treatment than our own veterans.
It does not make any sense that we do this. Simply put this, as Peter said, these people are horrific. They will go back and kill people. And I agree with Mr. Trump, we have to go back to grabbing people and putting them in there. Frankly we have no way of actually grabbing people right now and interrogating them, holding them indefinitely and we are talking about terrorist who have done severe acts as we saw in Benghazi and other places. We have to maintain the course here and do what is necessary. Some of these people should be put to death, because they are, they have killed Americans in combat. I don't see why we are keeping them alive.
SMITH: Congressman as far as what the American people wants this, in the latest CNN, ORC poll, it was released in March, it is on the 56 percent of Americans oppose his plan to shut down Guantanamo compared to 40 percent who favor its closure.
KING: Listen, Barack Obama was committed from the start to apologizing to Arab nations and Muslim leaders across the world. He is committed to shutting down Guantanamo. It is again like apologizing for America. He should not be apologizing to Guantanamo. And he is intent on doing whatever he has to do. These are pledges he made. It is part of the home program which I think, weakened America, weakened us in the eyes of the world. And these terrorists, they don't look upon at this as an act of good faith. They laugh at us for this. It is liked upon as weakness. It is looked upon as too apologetic and losing our status in the world especially in the Middle East.
SMITH: By the way the law may get in the way of his plans here, by the law the Pentagon has to notify congress 30 days before a transfer from Gitmo. So the deadline is set in motion for any deal before the end of Obama's term in office, was Monday.
KING: They have broken the law before. We will see what happens.
SMITH: We will see. All right thank to both of you.
KING: Thanks you.
SHAFFER: Merry Christmas.
SMITH: Merry Christmas.
All right new concerns among some supporters of President-Elect Trump that he is backing away from one of his biggest campaign pledges. Governor Mike Huckabee is here on Mr. Trump's promise to quote, to drain the swamp in Washington, D.C.
Plus, Delta is defending its decision to remove a Muslim American passenger who claims, he got to boot for speaking another language. But was it just a hoax? We report, you decide, coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You guys are racists. I cannot believe my eyes. I cannot believe it. I spoke a word, a different language, and you feel uncomfortable?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I want the entire corrupt Washington establishment to hear the words we all are about to see. When we win on November 8th, we're going to Washington and we will drain the swamp.
TRUMP: So true, so true. An expression I've gotten to like.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: That was then candidate Donald Trump repeating a line that became a rallying cry for his supporters in closing days of his campaign, but now, top Trump adviser Newt Gingrich suggesting that the President-Elect may stop using that language.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I'm told he now disclaims that. He says it was cute, but he doesn't want to use it any more.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He doesn't want to use, drain the swamp anymore?
GINGRICH: I wrote what I thought was a cute tweet about what alligators are complaining. He is in a different role now and maybe he feels that as president, as the next president of the United States. That he should be marginally more dignified than talking about alligators in swamps.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: Here now is Governor Mike Huckabee, Trump supporter, and a Fox News contributor, governor, is he changing the mission or is he changing the message?
MIKE HUCKABEE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well I hope he is not changing the mission, because it would be a disaster if he did. Look there are some really good people who worked for the government at a local state and federal level. We all need to be grateful for them. But there is a systemic problem in government, especially in Washington and that message of drain the swamp is more than rhetoric. It is the reality that needs to happen.
Donald Trump has the opportunity to do big and bold things in the first 100 days or maybe four years. He is got to do them. If he doesn't we're going to lose this country. And we're going to see a lot of people utterly cynical, because that is what he said he was going to do. And nobody from his organization has told me to back off of that language. Just rest assured, even if I'm asked to, I'm not, because it needs to happen. It has to happen. We've got to drain the swamp.
SMITH: I could walk in a room during the election and someone would whisper, drain the swamp. I mean it really worked with his supporters. And to back off on that message, does that send a message to his supporters? You do wonder that, because you like it, governor.
HUCKABEE: I just don't think that he really is saying I am not going to drain the swamp or I am going to tame the alligators. Let me reassured to you, you don't tame those alligators. There is a huge problem and I used to call it, the Washington, The Wall Street access of power. The people with money toss bucks at the politician's feet and contributions and donation and the politician do the dance and the money keeps coming and the rest of the country, well they take it, you know right in the middle of the teeth. It's got to stop. And the swamp really represents that insular community where the people in power are in power, because of the people who have the dough and the people with the dough, know the folks in power will do whatever they want them to do. That has to stop. It has to.
SMITH: I mean and regardless of whether or not he continues using that phrase or he doesn't, we're not quite sure, his team has outlined these general restrictions on registered lobbyists in the Trump administration. I mean they have set out detailed guidelines on how they intend to drain the swamp. Let's go now to backing off the lock her up pledge. We know that was a main theme during his campaign as well. Now he says I don't want to hurt the Clintons. So you know you put these all together and that is what has people all of a sudden New York times can put together pieces and he is backing off his campaign promises?
HUCKABEE: Well I think there are some things he has to do. He got to start building that wall and deal with the illegal immigration. He has got to lower tax rate for corporations and stimulate jobs. He got to push for term on it. He got to push hard for that ban on lobbying. After people, you know leave Washington. Washington has become the Roach Motel. People go in but they never come out, because there is so much money to be made there. If he can do some of those things, those are big and bold thing. If he can do that, then I think he will be well on his way to drain the swamp.
One of the things he got to do is to get authority to fire people who don't do their jobs. Too much civil service protection, one reasons the V.A. is in the messes in, because nobody ever gets fired. Two words Donald Trump needs to learn to use from his television show "You're fired."
SMITH: Well he said he is taking his time with that pick. I'll end on this note. Before NBC Wall Street Journal poll does shows that Trump favorability rating has gone up. Those that rate it positive, it has gone up to now 40 percent from 33 percent back in November. The negative rating actually has jumped up a lot though and a lot more people moved out of that neutral zone. So regardless of how you look at it, people have certainly formed an opinion on the President-Elect just a few days before he actually enters office. Governor Huckabee, always good to see you, and you are going to have to stay tuned for this next segment, sir. Thanks for being here tonight, Governor Huckabee.
All right what I'm talking about this, the controversial video, a popular Muslim American prankster, getting removed from an International flight and why some are questioning whether it's discrimination or a hoax. Kevin Jackson and Richard Fowler are here on that.
SMITH: Developing tonight a popular Muslim American YouTube star known for playing pranks claims he was kicked off a Delta flight this morning for speaking Arabic. Adam Saleh caught the whole thing on camera. And here is some of it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADAM SALEH, YOUTUBE BLOGGER: We are being kicked out, because we spoke a different language. This is 2016. 2016. Look, Delta Airlines are kicking us out, because we spoke a different language. Are you serious? I'm about to cry right now, seriously. Because we said a word in different language and six white people kick out bearded men. How could you be uncomfortable?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: Moments ago, Delta releasing a new statement to The Kelly File that read in part quote, upon landing the crew was debriefed and multiple passenger statements collected. Based on the information collected it appears the customers who were removed sought to disrupt the cabin with provocative behavior including shouting. Many are questioning the credibility of Saleh as account since he regularly posts videos of pranks, just last week Saleh posted a hoax video, claiming to smuggle himself on to a plane in a suitcase. Kevin Jackson, the Conservative Radio Host and Fox News contributor Richard Fowler, New Leaders Council Senior Fellow and Fox News contributor. All right Kevin will start with you first. This is a hoax? What happened?
KEVIN JACKSON, CONSERVATIVE RADIO HOST AND FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well it is tough to say whether it is a hoax or not. But the fact of the matter is. He is known for doing that. And I think Delta did the right thing. I think that if the passengers were a little bit disturbed.
SMITH: Ok. But so let's go back to -- ok, so they are saying that they got kicked off the plane for speaking another language which happened to be Arabic. Ok, Delta is saying they collected information from passengers who said that they were provoking people on the plane. They were shouting on the plane. Is it ok for Delta to remove passengers that simply make other passengers uncomfortable? Richard?
RICHARD FOWLER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR AND SENIOR FELLOW FOR THE NEW LEADERS COUNSEL: No, it isn't. The New York Times did a piece on this. I talked to one of the journalists who wrote that piece, just before coming on air today. And in that piece they quote a reverend, which was on the plane said they didn't see the entire, sort of transpiring event. But the question the reverend ask was why weren't the other individuals involved removed from the plane only these two Muslim individuals removed? Which I think is larger question. When did it become illegal to speak Arabic on the plane?
SMITH: Ok, but Kevin -- why would --
JACKSON: Sandra, hold on. Let me just say what I want to say. Because you cut me off the first time. First of all, it is not illegal to speak Arabic on a plane, but we live in a time when sometimes the last words people hear in Arabic are Allah-O-Akbar and unfortunately those people being the victims of crime.
FOWLER: How often does that happen?
JACKSON: So the idea that you know, that you talk to a reverend or somebody, third party, you talked to a reverend, would you just let me finish? I am not going to interrupt you.
SMITH: All right Kevin, finish your topic.
JACKSON: There were other passengers on the plane who were disrupted. And what is funny about this, is the left is always very duplicitous on this. If one person is disturbed in College campuses for example by some Republican that makes a statement like I voted for Trump and they want to clear the classroom. But if something like this occurs on a plane, they say only 20 passengers, 20 passengers were disturbed by this act. Delta, who by the way and this time, as it stands today, would probably not take this type of action unless people on the plane, Richard who were there, not us, decided this is something that they wanted to take seriously.
SMITH: All right Richard?
FOWLER: So I have two points to this. Point number one is that, you know the truth of about this is not a left or right issue. This is an American issue. Our First Amendment is the freedom of religion. And a couple of months back, South West ejected an Italian professor who had an equations, he was writing mathematical equations and a passengers that felt uncomfortable, because they thought it was Arabic and she was also removed. We in this country believe in the Constitution. The Constitution would defend. We have the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion. And it should never be obstructed by an airline, by the government, by the American people.
SMITH: Well some will defend the airlines will say they've got a tough job to do.
FOWLER: They absolutely do.
SMITH: They got to keep their customers tacky.
FOWLER: They absolutely do, but I'm sorry, someone speaking Arabic on a plane shouldn't make you uncomfortable. That is your ignorance.
JACKSON: Richard is right.
SMITH: All right, I am going to give you the last word Kevin, because I cut him off.
JACKSON: Richard is right on the one point about whoever saw the lady writing. He is not right on the other point where people feel uncomfortable and he doesn't know the circumstances. There are people that could have -- these guys could have been (inaudible).
FOWLER: Eid Milad Saeid to you, Merry Christmas in Arabic.
JACKSON: They could have done this intentionally and you know this.
SMITH: I guess you guys will continue. We'll be right back.
SMITH: This holiday season, don't forget to buy your copy of Megyn's new book "Settle for More." it will make a very wonderful Christmas gift. Wendy Jay gave it five stars on Amazon saying, lovely, lovely text, I even bought it to give as a Christmas present to one of my friends. Another five-star from review says, awesome, our whole family read and enjoyed it immensely.
So what are you waiting for? It is the perfect gift for anyone on your list. If you haven't finished your shopping, get your copy of "Settle for More" now on Amazon on anywhere books are sold.
It is great to be with you tonight, thank you for watching, I'm Sandra Smith and this is "The Kelly File."
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