This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," December 27, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SANDRA SMITH, GUEST HOST: Breaking tonight, new reports that the Obama administration may be planning yet another fight with Israel. As that country's prime minster accusing President Obama of orchestrating an unprecedented move against the Jewish State at the United Nations.
Welcome to "The Kelly File," everyone. I'm Sandra Smith in for Megyn Kelly tonight. Tensions between the White House and the Israel government reaching a fevered pitch tonight. As Prime Minster Netanyahu and his spokesman claimed to have, quote, "Ironclad evidence" that the U.S. was pushing last Friday's resolution condemning the construction of settlement by Israeli citizens. The Obama administration for its part continues to deny that claim.
Here's State Department Spokesman Mark Toner earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK TONER, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: We reject the notion that the United States was the driving force behind this resolution. That's just not true. United States did not draft this resolution. Nor did it put it forward. We also made clear at every conversation in every conversation that the President would make the final decision. And that he would have to review the final text before making his final decision. So the idea that this was again precooked or that we had agreed upon the text, weeks in advance is just not accurate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: Then just hours ago, a confirmation from the Obama administration that tomorrow morning and weeks ahead of schedule, Secretary of State John Kerry will make remarks on the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Leading to concern among Israel and their allies about what the Secretary may say. In moments we'll speak to David Keyes, spokesman to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He says he has seen the evidence linking the Obama White House to Friday's U.N. vote.
But first we go to our foreign correspondent John Huddy in Jerusalem.
JOHN HUDDY, FOX NEWS FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Sandra the heavy weights fight between Israel and the United States continues tonight and a senior Israeli official tells me that he has seen sensitive information from Arab sources that he says will prove without a doubt that the Obama administration was indeed behind this resolution and also the senior official says that the U.S. may propose another resolution in the coming weeks to preempt Israeli Palestinian talks.
Now that said, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the weekend called the resolution voted on Friday a shameful ambush by the Obama administration and that Israel will hold its ground regarding its settlement policies. Now, the Prime Minster summoned the U.S. ambassador and said Israel will reassess its ties with the United Nations among other things. He also said that Israel settlement construction plans will continue as scheduled. Some of those plans have already been slated to continue and move forward even before this resolution.
That said, U.S. officials and he mentioned this Sandra in the intro, contend that the U.S. was not involved in the drafting of the U.N. resolution. You heard that from Deputy State Department Spokesman Mark Toner who said the Egyptians drafted it along with the Palestinians. And last night on Israel's channel two news, President Obama's deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes said that President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry have made no secret about their concerns about Israel settlement policies.
But, again, Israeli officials continue to take a hard line approach as he mentioned U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to talk tomorrow to discuss Israeli Palestinian peace talks. His vision for the next step. And suffice to say Sandra, this will be a speech and remarks that Israeli officials will be closely watching -- Sandra.
SMITH: Thanks, John.
Joining me now (audio gap) spokesman to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. David, thank you for joining us tonight.
DAVID KEYES, SPOKESMAN, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: Thank you for having me.
SMITH: What is it exactly that the Prime Minster is accusing the Obama administration of doing here?
KEYES: Well, we know that there was deep collusion between the Obama administration and the Palestinians in order to push this United Nation Security Council resolution forward. That is deeply, deeply disappointing because historically America has protected Israel at this very, very biased body. You know, I just came from the western wall about an hour ago and I touched those stones the Jews had touched and prayed towards for literally thousands of years.
And the idea that this Security Council resolution which was allowed to pass and even pushed very strongly by the Obama administration. The fact that it called that one of the holiest sights of the Jewish people occupied Palestinian territory tells you everything that you need to know. That's shameful. That is a historical. It flies in the face of thousands of years of Jewish history and it's simply untrue. And that's why Israel was so deeply disappointed by this resolution and America's vomit in the passage of this resolution.
SMITH: But to be clear, David, you're not just saying that this was a deliberate push by the Obama administration. You have said on the record that they have helped create the resolution. Which the White House is denying in their statement. They say the Egyptian are the ones who began circulating and earlier draft of the resolution. Do you not take the White House at their word?
KEYES: Well, I've seen information with my own eyes that contradicts that. We have ironclad information which we will share it to the --
SMITH: Can you give us an idea of what that looks like. And who are your sources. Can you give us any idea of what that ironclad information is?
KEYES: Well, I can tell you these were sources from the Arab world and internationally. And in fact it points to a deliberate American attempt to stay behind the scenes and in fact to ask the Palestinians to push the Egyptians to propose this resolution in the first place. And I want to explain just very briefly why it's so dangerous. Because it actually preempts negotiations. It tries to give the Palestinians everything they want up front. The idea that the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem, the western wall is occupied territory.
I mean, what if somebody brought a Security Council resolution saying the heart of Washington was occupied territory or the London Bridge was occupied territory. These are wild fantasies disconnected from reality which actually prejudices the outcome of negotiations. The prime minster of Israel has repeatedly invited President Abbas to negotiate without any preconditions for direct bilateral negotiation.
SMITH: But David, why not turn that over now. Why? You say you're going to wait and hand that to the incoming administration. The Trump administration. Don't you think that people of Israel, the people of this country, Americans deserve to see if the United States was behind that push?
KEYES: Well, I don't think that everything that I know can be shared on TV or can be shared with a global audience. But I think that details will increasingly come out. And in fact there was just a report out of Egypt which I haven't seen the exact report, but from what I read of the headlines, confirms American involvement in this whole sad saga. We also don't know what's going to happen.
We actually believe that this may be the first of another series of pushes before the Obama administration leaves office. And that would be a real travesty if conditions were attempted, if conditions were imposed upon Israel which prejudiced the outcome of direct and bilateral negotiations between us and our Palestinian neighbors.
SMITH: So if it is true that you are accusing the White House and the Obama administration of doing. Why do you think that he did it? Why do you think that Obama would have done this?
KEYES: Well, you have to ask him that question, but I think that unfortunately this has been a mindset perhaps from the beginning of the Obama administration. Seeing the presence of Jews in the West Bank is perhaps the great barrier to peace. Of course that is simply not true because the conflict started long before there were any Jews in the West Bank. And even after Israel withdraw every settler from Gaza. We didn't get peace, we actually got war. Twenty thousand missiles on the heads of Israel's civilians.
So, what I hope happens is that the Obama administration ceases this assault on Israel frankly using diplomatic forms. Certainly bias forms like the Security Council, which has spent far too much time lambasting the Middle East one liberal democracy and too little time shining a light on the mass murdering dictators like Bashar al Assad.
SMITH: So, let's talk about the fact that Secretary of State John Kerry is going to be making a public address tomorrow. What do you expect from that?
KEYES: Well, unfortunately, there seems to be some indications that there may be further pushes. Perhaps using other states as front men in order to pressure Israel. But what would really be helpful to the peace process is if the Obama administration actually asked from the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish State. To meet with Israel's Prime Minister who has repeatedly offered even to go to the parliament in Ramallah for peace talks.
It would be very helpful if there was greater pressure on the Palestinian government to stop paying anyone who murders an Israeli. Let me repeat that. Anyone who murders an Israeli gets a monthly salary from the Palestinian government. Those are the real barriers to peace. And unfortunately far too much time has been put pressuring Israel and diplomatic forms. That is not good for peace. That actually pushes peace a lot further away.
SMITH: All right. And this is obviously pushing the discussion of what is the future of the U.N. A lot of political leaders here calling for defunding. We will certainly be watching it. David Keyes, speaking on behalf of Benjamin Netanyahu. Thank you for joining us tonight.
KEYES: Thank you so much for having me.
SMITH: All right. Joining us now to react, Marc Thiessen, a Fox News contributor and American Enterprise Institute scholar. And Julie Roginsky, a Democratic strategist and Fox News contributor.
Julie, they say that they have hard evidence that the Obama administration is behind this.
JULIE ROGINSKY, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I would love to see it. I mean, they may be right. They may not be right. I don't know. But that's a quite an allegation to make, especially for a country that -- of all the countries in the security council historically has been very pro-Israel and the administration that's given them more military aide than any other. They're very well may be right.
But look, what I find interesting is that they're not going on Russia today, or they're not going on Russian television, Chinese television trashing or lambasting Vladimir Putin or the premier of China. They're going on FOX News and lambasting Barack Obama. They very well may have a point. But that's quite an allegation to make and I think they owe it to the American people, as well as to their own people, to produce at least some evidence to buttress their point.
SMITH: Okay. But I mean, they're doubling down on it. Marc Thiessen. They've called this resolution deeply shameful. There is great concern about our relationship going forward with Israel. What did you make of what you just heard. He says he has ironclad information. He won't reveal his sources. I did push him on, if you've got it, why not turn over it now. Why wait for the Trump administration?
MARC THIESSEN, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE SCHOLAR: Well, they're -- I mean I think they wouldn't be on this network saying this, the spokesperson for the Prime Minister of Israel, the Prime Minister of Israel himself saying these things if they didn't have evidence. And I think that they're trying to do it through diplomatic channels. But look, the reason they're not on Russia today condemning Russia, is because they do this all the time. They support these resolutions all the time.
This is unprecedented. The United Nations Security Council is like a schoolyard filled with bullies. And the United States is Israel's stronger big brother that doesn't let the bullies push them around. Even if we might disagree on some issues with Israel, we don't let them get pushed around in the schoolyard. If this is -- if what he's saying is accurate, not only did the United States not defend Israel from the bullies, the United States joined in on the bullying. That is a new low even for the Obama administration.
And this cannot happen. We joined with countries -- human rights abusers like Russia and China and Venezuela and Angola to team up against the United States only Democratic ally in the Middle East. That's just unprecedented. And if this is true, it's an absolute outrage.
SMITH: The reports go beyond that, Julie. Though there are reports the Vice President Biden called the President of Ukraine to pressure him to vote in favor of the resolution. Joe Biden's National Security adviser has denied that a phone call ever took place there. But there's a lot going on here.
ROGINSKY: There's definitely a lot going on. Look, I don't disagree with a lot of what Mark said. I will say one thing and that's the one thing I will take issue with is that lately BB Netanyahu has been spending a lot more time cozying up to the Russians than to Vladimir Putin that he certainly has to Barack Obama. So, you know, he wanted to call his friend Vladimir Putin and get him to at least abstain on this veto, if not outright, at least not an outright veto, he could have done that. It's not that they're not close. And they haven't established a good relationship. I have no evidence whatsoever that Joe Biden did any of this. If he did, the Israeli should produce it.
SMITH: Somebody who could clear up a lot is Secretary of State John Kerry.
SMITH: Who we now have word will be speaking publicly on this tomorrow morning. Marc, what do you expect from that?
THIESSEN: First of all, who cares what John Kerry says? He's a lame duck secretary of state and had a lame duck administration -- he's going to be out in three weeks. If he had a great plan for Middle East peace, he might have tried it four years ago not three weeks before he's leaving. And this is a guy who is presided over disaster and the administration has presided over disaster after disaster in the Middle East. From the rise of ISIS to the resurgence of al Qaeda and the Taliban and Afghanistan. To the massacre of half a million people in Syria.
So, I really don't need his advice. But more importantly there's a tradition in American politics that after an election the outgoing administration shows deference to the incoming administration when it comes to major foreign policy decisions. Back in 1992, George H.W. Bush called Bill Clinton and asked his permission, consulted with him before he sent U.S. troops into Somalia and Bill Clinton actually came out and gave a statement saying -- showing solidarity with him because the tradition is you do not saddle an incoming presidency once you're a lame duck with new policies that they might disagree with.
For the Obama administration to come out now and start messing around with the United Nations and saddling the Trump administration with a mess in the Middle East is unprecedented. They're supposed to defer to them. They're going to be out in three weeks. They're done. Get out of the way. Be quiet.
SMITH: The timing of this Julie, I mean, with three weeks to go before President-elect Donald Trump walks into office, what does our relationship with Israel look like under President Donald Trump?
ROGINSKY: Well, first of all, let me just preface this by saying, I'm not defending the actions of the Obama administration at the Security Council this week. So I'm not defending that whatsoever. I will say, we also do have one president at a time. And that is unprecedented as well for Donald Trump to been opining on this so vociferously and so publicly as he has in so many other issues despite the fact that he's not yet the president. Having said that, look, I suspect it's very different.
He's about to appoint somebody as the ambassador to Israel who has a very different world view on settlement. A very different world view on what the West Bank is refers to us (INAUDIBLE) part of the West Bank and Gaza are. And so, as a result, I expect a very, very different policy both externally and internally in the Trump administration and that's up to them starting on January 20th to decide. In terms of what the Obama administration head of the Security Council as I said, I don't condone it. But I will say this has just as much to do with BB Netanyahu's own domestic policy in keeping the coalition together with his government as anything else.
And people need to examine that as well and understand that this is exactly what he needs to do to keep his coalition government intact from people like Naftali Bennett and others who would threaten it because of the fact that he has no daylight whatsoever to show any settlements.
SMITH: All right.
ROGINSKY: By the way, I don't consider this as an anti-Israeli resolution. I consider it an anti-settlement resolution. Very different.
SMITH: Right. Marc, there's some seriously strong allegations that are happening here. And, again, John Kerry is going to be apparently addressing this tomorrow morning. He's going to be offering what they're calling a comprehensive vision for how Middle East peace can be achieved in that speech. But it is now being reported that he will address this. Marc, last words to you.
THIESSEN: Three weeks before he leaves office he's going to offer a comprehensive plan for Middle East peace. Give me a break. Come on. I mean, go away. You know, you're done.
SMITH: We're going to leave it there. Marc Thiessen, Julie Roginsky, thanks for being here tonight.
ROGINSKY: Thank you.
SMITH: Good to see you both.
Our relationship with Israel isn't the only thing on the line. As the President-elect and some other top Republicans seem to suggest the U.N. should be punished. We'll debate with Governor Mike Huckabee. He is coming up next.
And the President's hometown seeing one of the most violent weekends in decades. We'll debate on the violence on America's streets means for the commander-in-chief's legacy.
Plus, President Obama suggesting the outcome of the election would have been different had he been the one to run up against Donald Trump. We take up that in a fierce debate coming up next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I know that in conversations that I've had with people around the country, even some people who disagreed with me. They would say, the vision, the direction that you point towards is the right one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: Growing concerns that the U.S. relationship with Israel isn't the only thing that could do some serious changes under a Trump administration. As the President-elect and some top Republicans suggest that the U.S. relationship with the U.N. body as a whole is something that needs to be revisited.
Peter Doocy has more on that part of this story from West Palm Beach. Peter?
PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Sandra, the United Nations takes their job seriously. There's an official explainer on our website where the U.N. boast on their ability to take action on issues confronting humanity. But the next U.S. President doesn't think their job is that complicated. So instead he said on Twitter that, "The United Nations has such great potential. But right now, it is just a club for people to get together, talk, and have a good time. So sad."
And that's not the only shot he's taken at the international organization since American diplomats sat silently by while others on the Security Council passed a resolution that hurts our closest allies in the Middle East. Israel. The President-elect suggests the U.N. only has the power to slow his administration down, but not stop them. On Christmas Eve, he tweeted that quote, "The big loss yesterday for Israel and United Nations will make it much harder to negotiate peace. Too bad, but we'll get it done anyway." And now some conservatives see an opportunity for the President-elect to draw upon his experience with Manhattan real estate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: It is an organization that exacerbates tensions. It does not assuage them. I think that's good in real estate in downtown New York City and Trump ought to find a way to put his name on it and turn it into condos.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOOCY: Charles Krauthammer isn't alone. Senator Ted Cruz, Senator John McCain, Senator Marco Rubio, and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan are all calling for the United States to stop sending so much money to the U.N. unless this resolution is reversed and their foreign policy goals align more closely with American foreign policy goals. The U.S. does pay about $2.3 billion for U.N. peace keeping every year. More than a quarter of their budget. Even though there are 193 member nations. U.S. pays a similarly oversized proportion. Twenty two percent of the budget for U.N. staff and infrastructure. A total of $600 million every year. So, the President-elect thinks the U.N. is just a club for people to sit around and do nothing, but whatever it is they do there in New York, they have a lot of money to do it -- Sandra.
SMITH: Fair enough. Peter Doocy, thank you.
Joining me now, Mike Huckabee, a Fox News contributor and former GOP presidential candidate.
Governor Huckabee, good to see you tonight.
MIKE HUCKABEE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you.
SMITH: We have spoken, sir, several times since this vote happened last Friday. Where do you stand on it right now?
HUCKABEE: Well, I think U.N. is about as significant as a faculty meeting at a state university. You know, if they're really serious about wanting to do something that has impact, how come they're not doing anything about human rights abuses in China? How come they're not doing anything about the economic depravity that's going on in Venezuela? How do they not address the Syrian slaughter of Christians or the slaughter of Kurds in the northern part of Iraq?
So, what are they worried about? What is it that causes them to get all excited and get their panties in a wad? I'll tell you what it is. Because in Israel, they're building bedrooms so that families will have a place to sleep and live in peace and security. That's why I think it's time for the U.S. to seriously re-evaluate whether we're getting anything of value out of the U.N. And maybe it's time to say this organization has become obsolete.
SMITH: All right. And so as they re-evaluate, you see so many comments from top Republicans talking about let's defund the U.N. I mean, U.S. funding accounting for 22 percent of the U.N.'s budget. I mean, you're talking about $3 billion. Lindsey Graham says, Trump is a good negotiator. Let's see if this gives him some leverage. So where do we go with this? You're clearly talking about punishing the U.N. Put that into words or numbers.
HUCKABEE: Well, let's be clear about why we're talking about that. It's because the U.N. has taken cowardly action toward the only democracy that exists between Asia and Africa. And for them to go after Israel, in the name of saying they're going to bring peace, they're trying to force peace in a way that won't ever work. Because the Palestinians still haven't acknowledged that Israel has the right to exist. And when you look at this whole idea of a peace process, does anybody seriously believe that what the United Nations has done is going to bring Israel more close to a place of saying, yes, we would love to sit down with people who name streets after the terrorist who murder our children in cold blood and who launched thousands of katyusha rockets from Gaza directly on to synagogues and people's homes.
No, it's not going to do that. So the what and the why don't get answered by this action. And the U.S. not only betrayed Israel. But it acted in a cowardly way by standing by arms crossed and watch our friend get the ever living daylights and the devil beat out of them at the United Nations Security Council.
SMITH: All right.
HUCKABEE: It is embarrassing.
SMITH: So, as far as United Nations, is it no longer a legitimate forum. What do you want to do?
HUCKABEE: I think it's time for you to say, if you're not going to really deal with the serious problems of the planet. Then go out of existence. Give that money back to the nations. Let them feed hungry children. Let them pay hospital bills. But I go back to my point, Sandra. When the U.N. isn't addressing, human rights abuses, religious liberty abuses in China, when they say nothing about the slaughter of Christians, even in Egypt that help sponsor this. When they say nothing about what's happening in Aleppo and they do nothing to get involved. Then what's the point.
SMITH: So, and Governor, just a few seconds left here. What does the relationship look like under President Trump? Just a few weeks to go.
HUCKABEE: I think Trump makes it very clear. The United Nations is only going to be an international irrelevant bully and take sides with the most irrational radicals. Give voice to the Iranians when they walk in and speeches made on the U.N. floor that denies the holocaust. Then they've seen the last check from the United States. And if they can operate, well, then fine. But figure out what country they would like to headquarter in. Because we're not going to tie up the traffic of Manhattan any longer for their ridiculous abusive attitudes toward peace and freedom.
SMITH: Governor Huckabee, it's good to see you. We've had a long day. I think I started my day with you on the FOX Business Network this morning. It's very good to see you, sir. Thank you for being here.
HUCKABEE: Thank you, Sandra. Take care.
All right. Joining me now to react. Richard Fowler, a Fox News contributor and senior fellow with the New Leaders Council.
Richard, you've been listening to all of this.
RICHARD FOWLER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I have.
SMITH: The U.N. is obviously facing some serious backlash from the President-elect with that tweet about the U.N. just being a club for people to get together and have a good time. And we're also hearing from some top Republicans about what to do next. Your take.
FOWLER: Well, noticingly absent from the top Republicans are former secretaries of state. We have -- or Colin Powell and I suspect the reason why that is, Sandra, everything to do with the fact that they understand the United Nations serves a real purpose in preserving global peace. Now, if you think about the most likely scenario of state acted nuclear war be between Indian -- over the Krishna River and the United Nations is the only operation that is stopping that. It's the sort of the stopgap between the two. It's a stop sign between the most likely scenario of nuclear war.
Beyond that, the U.N. has worked on anti-terrorism. We passed over 16 different treaties with the United Nations help to make sure that we work on regulations to stop airplane hijacking and on and on and on. So, I think Republicans and I think this incoming president before they judge a United Nations, maybe they should take a trip there and figure out what they do.
SMITH: All right. Do you think that the anger is unfounded, Richard?
FOWLER: Well, don't get me wrong. I think that there's anger on both sides of this one resolution. But to condemn an entire organization for one action. It seems to be a little bit of an overdue.
SMITH: All right. Well, one secretary of state you will be hearing from is John Kerry. And he is going to be speaking publicly on this tomorrow morning as it's expected. What will he say? What do you expect will come from him?
FOWLER: Well, I think what John Kerry will say is he will use his years and years of experience to talk about what needs to be done by the next administration to make sure that we preserve some sort of peace in the Middle East. But with that being said, John Kerry will also tell you the value that the United Nations has for the globe. Not only the United States has helped standby, but they are also working on curbing the spread of HIV and aides. They're working on human right abuses.
And this argument and what makes me upset is that they're like, oh, you know, if they're not saying anything about this human rights crisis. They're about that human rights crises. But how many times has America been silent during human rights crises. During the Darfur crisis, the George Bush administration was completely silent. You heard a pin drop at the White House about the millions of Sudanese that were killed. But before we go around throwing stones about people speaking out about atrocities --
FOWLER: Let's be very clear. A lot of times we didn't speak out. Which is why we created the United States nations to begin with. Because during the holocaust, a lot of countries remained silent.
FOWLER: And we created the U.N. to make sure that we could actually have global peace where all the countries can come together and sit at the table and as the world --
FOWLER: -- leading democracy and as a leader of the free world, it's our job to continue to fund an organization that at least at minimum maintains dialogue between the nations.
SMITH: All right it definitely got both sides of that. Richard Fowler thanks for coming on tonight. Good to see you.
FOWLER: Thanks Sandra, good to see you.
SMITH: President Obama offers his take on the 2016 White House race. Claiming it would have ended up differently were he the one to go up against Donald Trump. Karl Rove is next on that. Plus, we remember actress Carrie Fisher and some of the iconic roles she brought to life.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "STAR WARS EPISODE V: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK")
HARRISON FORD AS "HAN SOLO": Laugh it up, fuzzball. But you didn't see us alone in the south passage. She expressed her true feelings for me.
CARRIE FISHER AS "PRINCESS LEIA": Why you stuck up half-witted scruffy looking nerf herder!
FORD: Who is scruffy looking?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE")
FORD: What the hell are you doing?
FISHER: Somebody has to save our skins. Into the garbage chute, fly boy!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: Well breaking tonight, that was Carrie Fisher in her most iconic role as the beloved Princess Leia in the original "Star Wars" movie. The actress passed away today at the age of 60. Her death coming four days after suffering a devastating heart issue while on board a flight from London to Los Angeles. In addition to her big screen rolls, Fisher is also known for writing candidly about her struggles with drug addiction and mental illness. Her death comes at the world was still mourning for the loss of British pop star George Michael. The voice behind chart topping hits like faith and don't let the sun go down on me, died at his home on Christmas weekend from heart failure.
And developing tonight, President Obama getting candid about how an Obama Trump White House race would have shaken out. In an interview with longtime adviser and friend David Axelrod, the president says, if he had been able to run for a third term, his message of unity would have prevailed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I am confident that if I had run again and articulated it, I think I could have mobilized the majority of the American people to rally behind it. I know that in conversations that I had with people around the country, even some people who disagreed with me, they would say the vision, the direction that you point towards is the right one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SMITH: I am joined now by Karl Rove, former Deputy Chief of Staff under President George W. Bush and Fox News Political contributor and back with us is Julie Roginsky a Democratic Strategist of Fox News contributor and all around team player, good to see you guys.
JULIE ROGINSKY, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST AND FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Great to see you.
SMITH: Karl Rove, I will start with you first. President Obama says he would have won if he ran against Trump. Well, first of all, would that have happened?
KARL ROVE, FORMER SENIOR ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, we don't know. Look that is conjecture. First of all, it's a comment on how lousy he thought Hillary Clinton was. He could have beaten Trump, but she couldn't, but here's the other thing. He said everybody that he talks to including people who disagree with him, told him that he is going in the right direction. In the 2012 exit polls, 46 percent said they thought the country was going in the right direction. This year 33 percent said they thought the country was going in the right direction. People who thought it was off on the wrong track in 2012, 52 percent, this year 62 percent. Look, we will never know, because the constitution forbids him for running for a third term, but it's just conjecture, but the dynamic issue was intensely less positive than it was in 2012 when the data just over 3 percent victory.
SMITH: And it makes you remember all the things he said on the campaign trail when he and the first lady were campaigning for Hillary Clinton. She is the most qualified candidate to beat Donald Trump. Well, he is kind of saying the opposite here. Right, Julie?
ROGINSKY: Well, first of all, I don't think you can see me do an eye roll all the way from here, but who cares, as Karl pointed out. This is a complete hypothetical. Karl is right. It is more of a statement I think about her candidacy than it was about anything else. Look, if you look at his numbers, he is at 54 percent, an average approval, Trump is at 44. Trump is actually upside down with his approval, disapproval, so, you know.
SMITH: But Julia, but let me challenge you with some of the numbers here, because he hasn't helped out his party very much. Democrats lost over 1,000 seats under Obama. I'll give you the grand total and a net loss of 1042 states and federal Democratic post, including congressional and state legislative seats. Governor's chief and the presidency. How do you explain that?
ROBERTS: Yes, it was a total disaster in the state level and also in the federal level, but he is talking purely about himself. And he is not talking about anybody else. Could he, Barack Obama, have beaten Donald Trump? And I think he believes the answer is yes. I have no idea whether he would or not have. I think it's, as Karl pointed out, largely irrelevant, because we have a constitution that prevents it. If you're talking about the numbers that under the Obama administration have happened to the Democrats, you're absolutely right. They've had a she lacking time and time again during the administration. It doesn't mean that Barack Obama with his approval ratings would not have beating Donald Trump with his approval ratings. And Karl is right, it was basically a judgment more on Hillary Clinton's campaign than on anything else.
SMITH: I mean, Karl, this is a lot of admissions and concessions on Julie's part. We don't hear that very often.
ROVE: Well, you know, we don't and frankly she is conceding to things I haven't said. I don't think this was entirely on the grounds of Hillary Clinton being a lousy candidate. That is true, but only 28 percent of the voters wanted a president who would continue Barack Obama's policies. 48 percent wanted a new president who would move in explicitly conservative direction in the exit polls. I would make two other quick points.
President Obama hit the campaign trail like we have not seen in probably 50 or 60 years, an outgoing Chief Executive campaign for his successor. And his campaign stops are a road map to Democratic defeat. Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, you know, most of the places he went, where most of the places where the Democrats came up short.
And the final point I would make is this, Julie is right. It's been a disaster for the Democrats. So, what did he say in the pod cast with David Axelrod. His priority and his nonprofit, nonpartisan tax deductible presidential center is quote, to help young leaders become organizers, journalist and politicians, by giving them the tools for progressive change. That is got to cheer the Republicans, because that means he is going to keep doing what he is been doing, but it might also upset the IRS, because it's the violation of the law, (inaudible).
SMITH: We got to leave it there, but it is nice to see you two be so nice to each other. Remember what's on the line here, because on his many campaign appearances in September Obama declared that his legacies on the ballot. So he is trying to step in and shore up something, great to have both of you here. Good to see you both.
ROGINSKY: Good to see you.
ROVE: Thank you.
SMITH: Karl, Julie thank you. Still ahead, the university professor posting a disturbing tweet about white genocide and lands himself in hot water because of it, today the university offering their verdict and wait until you hear what it is.
Plus the president's hometown is rocked by its most violent weekend in decades over the holidays. We look at some suggestions that not only are the violence unprecedented, it risks becoming a defining blemish on the president's legacy.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If anybody thinks that this is ok or that is normal, then you're wrong, because it's not ok. It is not normal.
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SMITH: Disturbing developments out of the president's hometown. The holiday weekend turns into one of the deadliest in decades on the streets of Chicago. And the scope of the violence just weeks before President Obama departs the White House has got some folks wondering what this could mean for his legacy. Trace Gallagher is live in our West Coast Newsroom, Trace.
TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Sandra, the more people who get shot in the Chicago the more others retaliate in the cycle of violent just spins out of control. The South and West sides of Chicago are not just seeing an uptick in gun violence, they are seeing an upheaval. The numbers are astounding. Over the Christmas holiday weekend, 61 people were shot, 11 of them died. That is more than 100 percent increase in shootings over last Christmas.
In fact on Christmas day alone in Chicago this year, seven people were shot and killed. That is more shooting deaths than the past three years combined on Christmas. Now look at the yearly numbers and we still have a few days to go. So far in 2016 there have been more than 4,300 shootings with 753 homicides. That is up dramatically from the nearly 3,000 shootings last year and 478 homicides. Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said the vast majority of these shootings are targeted gang shootings. Watch.
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EDDIE JOHNSON, CHICAGO POLICE SUPERINTENDENT: They were targeted, knowing fully-well that individuals would be at the homes of family and friends celebrating the holiday. This was followed by several acts of retaliation.
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GALLAGHER: And as always, there were several kids caught in the cross fire. The holiday weekend began with five teenagers being shot and wounded and the weekend ended with 13 and 14-year-old girls also being shot and wounded. Those two girls were watching a two-year-old while their father was meeting with someone. Police say the father is a gang member and also the likely target. Despite some of the toughest gun laws in the country, the police superintendent acknowledges those laws are not an effective deturns, Sandra.
SMITH: All right, Trace Gallagher thank you. So it is fair to ask if the cast we are seeing in the windy city could become part of the president's legacy. David Wohl is a Trump supporters and Attorney. Jessica Tarlov is a Democratic pollster. I think we can all agree what we saw happen in Chicago this weekend is horrible. Horrible for the city, it is horrible for the country. Jessica?
JESSICA TARLOV, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes. I echo your sentiments to see those numbers up there are painful. I know it's painful for everyone on both sides of the aisle and, certainly, for the president who spoke about the violence in his hometown and how powerless he feels to be able to help.
SMITH: A lot of people ask when. Can I stop there? Because that is really part of the criticism, we don't hear him address the problem.
TARLOV: Well he did talk about it. I know that he talked about it last year.
SMITH: Last year. Did you see what happened this weekend?
TARLOV: I myself had lodged to this criticism of the president that he does not talk about it enough. He doesn't talk about crime within the African American community, black on black violence. I'm not saying that he has been perfect on this issue. But certainly you don't want to be arguing that President Obama doesn't care about violence like this.
SMITH: David, this is a historic surge that we are seeing. The numbers are undeniable. And to look at the holiday weekend and see these two girls ages 13 and 14. You know I'm originally from Chicago. I grew up in Chicago. You are talking about the south side of Chicago these two girls.
DAVID WOHL, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Yes. You know, since Mr. Obama former chief of staff took over as mayor of Chicago five years ago, violent crime, the murder rate have both spiraled out of control. And the shocking things to me, as you pointed out Sandra, all we hear from the White House are crickets chirping.
TARLOV: That is not true. Josh Earnest talked about it.
SMITH: Let him finish.
WOHL: One word about this issue, wait hold on Jessica, hold on. And Mr. Emmanuel, the mayor of Chicago, did have a national press conference last week. Did he talk about this violence? Did he talk about the black on black homicide?
WOHL: But he talked about was ensuring America that Chicago is a Sanctuary City where lawbreakers will be protected. Not put in jail. Not turned over to ICE, but protected.
SMITH: And that is hard, Jessica to hear.
WOHL: ICE, you know should be narrating the story because it's straight out of the twilight zone. It's that tragic.
SMITH: Jessica, it is difficult to see the Mayor Rahm Emmanuel's step in front of the people of his city and say you are safe here. This is a Sanctuary City. That was difficult as we watch this crime rates rise at a rapid rate.
TARLOV: Absolutely. And Rahm Emmanuel is hugely unpopular. I think these matters more for his legacy than President Obama. If you want to blame Obama about Chicago, then let's give him credit for New York City.
SMITH: We're looking for the problem to be highlight.
TARLOV: In a way that many conservatives are not saying you Sandra, discuss this they do blame him for this. They say you know all your strict gun laws, you want more backgrounds.
WOHL: He should be blame.
TARLOV: See, he just said it. And on top of it, there is data from 2016 that over 60 percent of the guns that were used in crimes in Chicago came from out of state, 20 percent from Indiana.
WOHL: Number one gun control city.
TARLOV: Let me finish.
SMITH: All right. Finish your point, Jessica.
WOHL: Number one crime city.
SMITH: Jessica, go ahead.
TARLOV: 20 percent of these guns came from Indiana.
SMITH: The point to be made right now is that the city does have -- it is among the strictest gun control laws in this country and yet it is seeing the quickest rise in gun violence.
SMITH: So how do you make sense of that and how the police superintendent actually suggested today more gun laws.
TARLOV: Yes. I know that argument doesn't tend to work well. We heard from Donald Trump that he could fix this in a week, he said. He said he met with top Chicago P.D. officials and they said they could do it in a week. Then they said they actually haven't had a meeting with him at all. I think it all starts with education reform. We need to totally (inaudible).
SMITH: Got to get David back in here. Some will say it starts with talking about it, David.
WOHL: How about the fact that 25 percent unemployment rate in Chicago among black males. The incarceration rate in Chicago is five times than of whites. The social structures is falling apart and that is traceable to Mr. Obama's policies and that is directly what Mr. Trump said, he is going to address as one of his top priorities, jobs, jobs, jobs. When people get jobs, they tend to turn away from crime and tend to have a productive life, take care of their families. That is what is about.
SMITH: All right. We got to leave it there.
SMITH: All right, good to have both of you on here.
TARLOV: Thanks Sandra.
SMITH: Jessica, good to see you and David, thank you for coming on tonight.
Up next the University professor tweets support for white genocides and after facing backlash, now it is his words are simply misinterpreted satire. That report, just ahead.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's hard to know for certain for someone being satirical in such a constrained format, but I understand where he is coming from. I think a lot of whites are very complacent about white supremacy.
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SMITH: Developing tonight. A Pennsylvania professor set off controversy by taking to social media on Christmas Eve and appearing to express support for white genocide. Now the professor is offering an explanation and the university is forced to respond. For more on that we go to Trace Gallagher in our West Coast Newsroom. Hello, Trace.
GALLAGHER: Hi, Sandra. George Ciccariello-Maher is an associate professor of politics and global study at Drexler University. He apparently thought it would be amusing to fire off a tweet Christmas Eve that read, quoting here. All I want for Christmas is white genocide. The professor later called the tweets satire and the term white genocide, an imaginary concept. By the time his twitter post went viral on conservative websites, nobody appeared to be laughing including Drexel University, who responded to the professor imaginary concept with a very real condemnation, quoting, while the University recognizes the right of its faculty to freely express their thoughts and opinion in public debate, Professor Ciccariello-Maher comments are utterly reprehensible, deeply disturbing and do not in any way reflect the values of the University.
The professor, who now claims, he was harassed by white supremacist and got hundreds of death threat went onto call the statement from his employer chilling saying quote, the statement despite of defense of free speech sends a chilling message and sets a frightening precedent. It exposes untenured and temporary faculty not only to internal disciplinary scrutiny, but equally important it encourages harassment as an effective means to impact university policy. The Washington Post reports that Ciccariello- Maher is keeping his job at the university though his twitter account is now private, Sandra.
SMITH: Wow, a lot of people writing in about that one. All right Trace Gallagher, thank you. We'll be right back.
SMITH: Christmas may be over, but now is the time to start thinking about those New Year's resolution and one of them, you should be buying Megyn's book, "Settle for More," but just don't take it from us. Check out a few recent reviews. Michelle said, this is a must read for women, girls and anyone who wants to understand how successful women navigate within our American Society. It is written from a position of strength and it never fails to remain vulnerable while it speaks truth to power. Megyn Kelly, thank you for having the courage to light the way.
Another Amazon customer writes, the book is well written and the stories are amazing, lots of tears, smiles and great inspiration in this book. Megyn Kelly is a class act. This is my second purchase. I am sharing my copies with all of my ladies in my office. These two copies are heading out to my daughters.
Valdeen said I truly enjoyed reading Megyn Kelly's book "Settle for More," I found numerous ideas to revisit and consider. I especially appreciated her work ethic learn from her parents and modeled in her life and opposite of entitlement, but a belief that you can succeed to what you put your mind to and work hard for. Well written.
Be sure to get your copy of "Settle for More." There is still time left.
And by the way, so many of you are writing in about so many of the hot topics on the show tonight. Feel free to go to our Facebook page. That is facebook.com/thekellyfile. You can also tweet me @SandraSmithFox. I will read them and sometimes respond.
And by the way I will be filling in, believe it or not at 6:00 a.m. for Maria Bartiromo on the Fox Business Network. So, I'll see you there if you also want to wake up with me and catch me every day on "Outnumbered" at 12 noon.
Thanks for joining us tonight. It has been a busy day, but we are glad that you could be here. I am Sandra Smith, in for Megyn Kelly and this is "The Kelly File."
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