Ex-Breitbart editor on Trump campaign manager facing charges; Gingrich sounds off about controversy

This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," March 29, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Breaking tonight. Two big things happened today on the campaign trail. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, one week before the crucial Wisconsin primary, endorsed Senator Ted Cruz.

And Donald Trump's campaign manager was slapped with misdemeanor criminal charges for simple battery against a female reporter. Whereupon the candidate defended his staffer and went after the alleged victim in the case.

Welcome to "The Kelly File," everyone. I'm Megyn Kelly. We'll get to Governor Scott Walker's endorsement in just a bit. But first, dramatic developments today in the Trump campaign saga that began back on March 8.  Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was walking the candidate to a crown following an event in Florida, when a reporter for a pro-Trump website Michelle Fields asked Trump a question. According to a tweet that night from Fields' boyfriend Jamie Weinstein of the Daily Caller, Lewandowski tried to pull Fields to the ground when she asked a tough question.

Fields herself did not way in until two days later when her firsthand account of what happened was published online. Fields' claimed she was, quote, "I jolted backwards. Someone had grabbed me tightly by the arm and yanked me down. I almost fell to the ground but was able to maintain my balance. Nonetheless, I was shaken." Trump Spokesperson Hope Hicks, released a statement that afternoon denying the incident ever occurred and suggesting, quote, "Not a single camera or reporter of more than 100 in attendance captured the alleged incident."

As it turns out, neither of those assertion is true. First, Washington Post reporter Ben Terris said he did witnessed the incident. And released a report that same day confirming the Michelle Fields' story, recounting that he, quote, "Watched as a man with short-cropped hair and a suit grabbed Michelle's arm and yanked her out of the way. He was Corey Lewandowski. Trump's 41-year-old campaign manager."

Moreover, videotape did capture the incident, as did audiotape that was released the very same day the Trump camp denied the story. Listen.



BEN TERRIS, WASHINGTON POST REPORTER: Yes, he just threw you down.

FIELDS: I can't believe he just did that. That was so hard. Was that Corey?

TERRIS: Yes, like, what threat were you?

FIELDS: That was insane. You should have felt how he grabbed me. That's insane. Oh my gosh! I've never had anyone do that to me from a campaign.

TERRIS: Can I out that in my story?

FIELDS: Yes, go for it.


KELLY: Fields provided evidence of injuries she said were caused by Lewandowski, posting these pictures on Twitter of the bruises she says she sustained during the altercation. For his part, Lewandowski intensified his attacks on Fields, calling her a quote, "attention seeker" and calling into question her past reporting. Later that night, Donald Trump himself weighed in.


DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I heard that nothing happens. You know, we're surrounded by Secret Service and when they left, you all set? We're surrounded by Secret Service, we have many Secret Service. You see some of them here. When we left, I spoke to them, nothing happened. This was, in my opinion, made up. He didn't hear about it until like the next day. So, I wasn't involved in it but the Secret Service was surrounding everybody. They said nothing happened. Everybody said nothing happened. Perhaps she made the story I think that's what happened, okay?


KELLY: The Trump camp attacks on Fields continued the next day. As Lewandowski tweeted that Fields was, quote, "totally delusional." And that he said he never touched her. Fields filed a criminal compliant with authorities in Florida that afternoon and we saw the release of several videos showing the incident. The video show that Trump was in fact, just inches from Miss Fields that day and that that Lewandowski was close enough to have touched Fields who you see with the red arrow on the left side of your screen. Later that night, Fields came on "The Kelly File" making clear all she really wanted initially was an apology -- (audio gap).


FIELDS: I didn't want to make a big deal out of it because, you know, I didn't want to be all over the press and I certainly was worried about my job. Hope Hicks, who is Donald Trump's spokeswoman, asked for my cell phone number and I was told that I was going to get an apology. So, I waited on that. I didn't want to make a big deal out of it. This wasn't going to be a big deal. They were going to apologize, we will move on.  But I never got that apology. Instead, yesterday they released a statement calling me a liar.

They have basically done a character assassination on me. If you were to ask me in private a week ago, who do you support? I would say that Donald Trump was my second choice for president. And, you know, Donald Trump always talks about my people, that he loves his people, his people love him. Wouldn't I be considered his people? This has to be aside from my father's death, the worst experience I've gone through.

KELLY: This morning, police in Florida announced charges would be brought.  Lewandowski turned himself in and was charged with simple battery, a misdemeanor. That requires proof that the defendant, quote, "actually and intentionally touches another person against the will of the other."  Contrary to claims you may have heard in the last hour, no malice must be proven in order to secure a conviction. As police announced the charges, they also released another video. Along with a sworn police report by Criminal Investigation's Detective Marc Bujnowski of the Jupiter Police Department concluding that Lewandowski, quote, "Grabbed Fields' left arm intentionally and against her will."

Although the Trump camp again has denied that this incident was captured by any cameras, that was their initial statement. This tape here was obtained by police from the Trump property on which the altercation took place.  After initially insisting that this incident never happened, and accusing Fields of, quote, "making it up," Mr. Trump himself was out today suggesting that Fields' bruises are possibly fake or caused by someone other than Lewandowski. He said his campaign manager who is on record of saying, he, quote, "Never touched Fields," was being maligned and that Fields was the real aggressor that day.


TRUMP: Those tapes to me are very conclusive. A lot of people are looking and saying how can anybody be charged? She was actually -- if you look at her -- according to a lot of people, she's grabbing at me and he's acting as an intermediary and trying to block her from doing that. I think they've really hurt a very good person, and I know it would be easy for me to discard people. I don't discard people. I stay with people. If you look at that tape, he was very, very seriously maligned. She was grabbing me. Does that mean that I'm supposed to file charges against her? She was grabbing me. How do you know those bruises weren't there before?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's what the police --

TRUMP: I don't know what the police said. How do you know those bruises weren't there before? I'm not a lawyer. But she said she had a bruise on her arm. I mean, to me, if you're going to get squeezed, wouldn't you think that she would have yelled out a scream or something if she has bruises in her arm?

KELLY: Joining me tonight, Florida Attorney and Trump supporter David Wohl along with Ben Shapiro, the editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com. Ben was also the news editor-at-large at Breitbart.com, the website in which Michelle Fields' work when this happened. He resigned along with Michelle Fields because of how the website handled Michelle's case refusing to stand by her.

Thank you both for being here. Ben, your reaction today to now charges being filed against Mr. Lewandowski?

BEN SHAPIRO, THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, DAILYWIRE.COM: I mean, look, lying liars lie. And this is the Trump campaign. Where lies are told and then lies are told to cover up the lies and then finally knew lies are told in order to cover up the lies that were told about the lies. Cory Lewandowski grabbed Michelle, he yanked Michelle, he bruised Michelle, that was obvious from the tape. Michelle told that story. Ben told that story. Corey Lewandowski lied about that story. Trump lied about that story. And now they are telling a whole new set of lies.

The story has evolved from Corey Lewandowski never touched Michelle Fields to, well, she sort of had it coming, that's the new tape, she sort of had it coming because she clearly was in a position to hurt Donald Trump. So Corey Lewandowski ought to have a medal of honor for jumping in and defending his boss by the way who was surrounded by Secret Service who do nothing because Michelle Fields is obviously no threat to Donald Trump.  Donald Trump is a smoking garbage heap of human debris and so is Corey Lewandowski, in my opinion.

KELLY: David?

DAVID WOHL, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Brilliant commentary.

KELLY: So Ben is not a Trump fan. But let's start -- but on the legal evidence -- you're a lawyer, as am I.

WOHL: Yes.

KELLY: What happened to the incident never happened, it never happened --

WOHL: Well, Megyn --

KELLY: -- and Lewandowski's claims that he never happened?

WOHL: Yes. Because it didn't happen, Megyn. What she describes happening never happened. I mean, I have the affidavit of arrest right here, Megyn.  And it is very, very clear. What it says, what she told officers, this is the important part, she said after she asked Mr. Trump a question, she felt someone yank her arm. She fell back, but caught herself from falling.  You can see very clearly in the surveillance video, that never happened.  What happened was, she snuck past Secret Service and there's apparently a Secret Service agent who told the daily mail that he told her to stop twice and she went passed him anyway. Snuck past, she then grabbed Mr. Trump on the arm, asked him a question. Corey saw that and coming to the defense of his boss, went up to her --

KELLY: Okay. Okay --

WOHL: -- grabbed her arm and moved to her aside so they could exit the building. That's all that happened.

KELLY: There's a lot to unpack there. There's a lot to unpack there.  First of all, let's just start with the notion that Secret Service somehow perceives Miss Fields as a threat or told her twice, what happened to Mr. Trump's assertions repeatedly that the Secret Service said nothing  happened. That he talked to the Secret Service. You heard them on camera.  They said nothing happened. Nothing happened. The Secret Service told.  So, something happened, how did it get changed? And how did the initial statement of Cory Lewandowski that I never touched her transferred to your defense which is, I saw her and in defense of Mr. Trump I touched her.

WOHL: Yes. Well, because that is what Corey did. The Secret Service agent I'm sure said nothing happened because what he witnessed was Corey going up to Michelle, grabbing her on the arm, moving her to the side so they could exit the venue.

KELLY: No, Mr. Trump said the Secret Service said this didn't happened -- no, let me finish. Let me finish. Mr. Trump says, Secret Service said nothing happened and then Mr. Trump said right after, I think she made it up.

WOHL: I think -- well, she obviously made up what she said, Megyn, because she wasn't jolted aside, she wasn't almost knocked to her butt. She didn't have to stop herself from falling. That never happened. It was a total embellishment of the facts. And if a jury sees this, Megyn, what she reported versus the surveillance video of what actually happened, this case is going nowhere.

KELLY: All right. Just to clear the record, Ben, I want to give you the floor. But this is what she -- because Mr. Trump today repeatedly said, go back and listen to what she said when it actually happened which we played for the audience right there, which she said, I almost fell but I maintained my balance. But this is, let's go back to the contemporaneous audiotape that caught the altercation. Listen.


FIELDS: You should have felt how hard he grabbed me. That was really awful. That is so unprofessional.

TERRIS: What threat were you?


KELLY: So in the moment, Ben, Donald Trump says once she learned how rich I was, she changed her story. That is what she said in the moment. That's the incident being caught on tape seconds after.

SHAPIRO: Yes. I'm sure that Michelle Fields was deeply unaware of how rich Trump, because clearly Trump is the most humble of men and has never mentioned his wealth at any point in his long and illustrious career and bloviating about his inflated sense of wealth. The whole thing is ridiculous. How many times you have to change your story before you just come out and apologize for your campaign manager bruising a woman and then lying about her repeatedly. And now apparently Trump's at a rally right now, where he's imitating Michelle Fields in reading her affidavit in dramatic voice, because this is what Trump does. Again, Trump has no capacity to do two things that are actually required of any decent human being.

WOHL: You know what Megyn?

KELLY: Let him finish. Let him finish.

SHAPIRO: Apologize when you're wrong and -- when you're wrong.

KELLY: Right.

WOHL: When it comes to the bruising, she tweeted the bruising out, a photo of her alleged bruising caused by Corey 18 hours after the incident. When she tried to prosecute Corey in the court of social media and failed, that's when she made a police report and lied about what happened because the video surveillance shows what happened and it was nothing even resembling what she said.

SHAPIRO: So she lied to the police and she is obstructing justice now, is now what you're accusing --


WOHL: That might be following a false police report. I mean --

KELLY: The police are the ones who released that videotape, David. The police are the ones who released the videotape. We can see him touch her on the tape, David. Are you now telling us not to believe our own lying eyes?

WOHL: No, no, no, no. What I'm saying is, I'm telling you not to believe her embellishment. What you see is her moving. Megyn, that happens probably dozens of times, dozens of times.

KELLY: But all along the Trump camp has said, it didn't happen. He didn't touch -- so, David, if he didn't touch her --

WOHL: He touched her. I agree with you, he touched her. I agree.

KELLY: Then why did he say he didn't, David?

WOHL: What he said was, no, no, what he was reacting to, Michelle Fields' account of what happened. And he said he didn't do that.

KELLY: No, that's not true, David.

SHAPIRO: That's not what he said.

KELLY: David, that's not true. I just showed the tweets and billions of people, what Corey Lewandowski said was, I never touched you. In fact, I've never even met you.

WOHL: Because based on what Michelle Fields described, I'm sure he thought, wait a second, that never happened. Who is this person saying that I grabbed her and almost threw her to the ground? He's probably didn't link it to this incident, obviously.

KELLY: Okay. Let me ask you this question, Ben. Let me ask you because what happens when the presidential candidate himself weighs in, is there's a lot of backlash. And, you know, we've talked a lot during the Obama administration about how he should be very careful about weighing in on cases like Trayvon Martin and Ferguson, because they hold a lot of power when they have those big microphones and there can be significant backlash against the target. Michelle Fields is 28-years-old, she's now unemployed or she no longer has employment with Breitbart at least, and I don't know that she's got somebody protecting her as Mr. Trump comments forcefully about her. You know her. What is she going through tonight?

SHAPIRO: I think Michelle is having a tough time. You know, I was texting just before this. And I've been encouraging Michelle to come on TV and tell her part of the story since she's obviously being lied about by Mr. Trump and presumably by the rest of the Trump campaign all day today. One of the reasons she didn't want to do this is she's expressed to me repeatedly today is again, and she's been saying consistently for three weeks, she didn't want to be the center of the story in the first place.  All she wanted was an apology. She's sick of being labeled an attention seeker by people like David just because she told the truth about Corey Lewandowski.

WOHL: Well, you know, first of all, I haven't said that, Ben. That's a lie right there, I haven't said that.

SHAPIRO: I said people like you.


KELLY: David didn't say it but the campaign manager did.

SHAPIRO: That's right.

WOHL: They're totally inconsistent. Totally.

KELLY: All right. Guys, I mean --

SHAPIRO: Totally inconsistent? Totally inconsistent, really? So let me ask you this --

WOHL: Yes, totally inconsistent. What she told --

KELLY: I've got to go. I've got to go. Don't talk over each other because that's annoying. But Ben, I'll give you a quick chance to respond.  Go ahead.

SHAPIRO: All I can say is that essentially the Trump campaign is saying, we can tell you any lie that you want to hear, so long as you believe us rather than tape. We'll provide tape, we'll provide audio, we'll provide contemporaneous witness account. None of it matters because Donald Trump says something and what the great Donald says must go.

KELLY: Thank you both for being here.

WOHL: Thank you, Megyn.

KELLY: Also tonight, Newt Gingrich is here on why he thinks Donald Trump needs to win on the first ballot at this summer's convention.

Plus, the Wisconsin primary is turning into a dramatic dog fight after Ted Cruz picks up a big endorsement and Trump takes a hit from some conservative radio hosts in that state. One of those hosts Charlie Sykes is here with his prediction of this critical vote.

And Trump supporter and former U.S. Senator Scott Brown will explain why he thinks none of this is going to slow down the Trump train. Don't go away.


KELLY: Breaking tonight. New developments in the battle for Wisconsin.  The next big primary is exactly one week from tonight, and the three remaining Republican contenders are fighting it out for the 42 delegates up for grabs in this primary. The latest Real Clear Politics average shows Ted Cruz polling just slightly ahead of Donald Trump.

And Chief Political Correspondent campaign Carl Cameron reports tonight from Madison, Wisconsin. Carl.

CARL CAMERON, FOX NEWS CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, apart from the flap over Trump's campaign manager, there is very, very tight, hotly contested race going on here in the badger state. And tomorrow comes a new poll from Marquette University. Highly respected in this state and if it's like (INAUDIBLE) it will show that this is a very, very tight race, particularly between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. And Cruz today got a big boost from the state's Governor Scott Walker, an endorsement that was expected. Walker had been hinting about it. And he did give his endorsement today.

They weren't actually together, but Mr. Walker says that he will be campaigning with Trump aggressively. He'll campaign every day until now until next Tuesday. And there will be several appearances with Cruz. Now, Cruz is actually going to leave the state tomorrow to go to California to be a late night TV and to fund-raise, leaving the state in a race this hotly contested is potentially a big, big risk. And Cruz today was going after Trump saying that he's got to come clean on what happened with his campaign manager. Trump in turn called Ted Cruz the establishment candidate. He also badmouthed Scott Walker and said that the state is not doing as well as economically as Walker has been boasting and he asked a crowd earlier tonight what they thought of Paul Ryan, the House Speaker who also lives in this state.

And Paul Ryan actually got booed in his own hometown of Janesville. Trump is playing very, very hard against Cruz, he wants to win this state. If Cruz were to win here, it could dramatically slow down Trump's ability, if not halt his ability to clinch the necessary 1237 delegates for the nomination before the actual convention. And with those two battling it out, there's still John Kasich. Trump calls Kasich an establishment guy, hasn't really been spending much time arguing with him because frankly in this state, Kasich isn't competing all that hard. He has been trying, but he has already been saying that he's not got high expectations. He's looking forward to states in the east, particularly in Pennsylvania and upcoming New York, towards at the end of this month, where he thinks he can get delegates, stay in the race and continue to fight his way to the convention -- Megyn.

KELLY: Carl, thank you.

Well, just yesterday, Donald Trump spoke with one of the most important conservative voices in all of Wisconsin. Charlie Sykes is an outspoken critic of Mr. Trump's and the two men sparred over Trump's treatment of Heidi Cruz and women in general. Take a listen.


CHARLIE SYKES, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, RIGHTWISCONSIN.COM: So, is this your standard that if a supporter of another candidate, not the candidate himself, does something despicable that it's okay for you, personally a candidate for president of the United States, to behave in that same way?  I mean, I expect that from a 12-year-old bully on the playground. Not somebody who wants the office hold by Abraham Lincoln.

TRUMP: Well, I did a retweet and it was a retweet by somebody else, because I have a lot of support, I have a tremendous amount of very fervent supporters. I can tell you this, Charlie, I have been better to women than any of these candidates, frankly. I've been --

SYKES: Except you won't apologize to a woman that you mocked. Is this the way you would want anyone to -- you would want their sons to behave?

TRUMP: I thought this was actually a dead issue until I just spoke to you.  I mean, I'd rather be --

SYKES: Really?

TRUMP: -- talking about trade --

SYKES: Before you called into my show, did you know that I'm a #NeverTrump guy?

TRUMP: That I didn't know.

SYKES: Okay.


KELLY: Charlie Sykes joins me now. He's a host on 620 WTMJ and editor-in- chief of RightWisconsin.com. Charlie, good to see you.

SYKES: Good to see you.

KELLY: So you spoke with him over 20 minutes or about 20 minutes and the interview went viral. It was sent around all over the internet. You know, Trump said today, I thought it just went fine. I thought we had a substantive exchange. What did you think?

SYKES: Well, I thought it was -- I actually was naive enough to think that coming into Wisconsin where we have a traditional civility that maybe if he wanted to make the pivot from being the blustery bully to being presidential, that this would be a good occasion to say that wives were off-limits. Instead, what I got was the, he did it, he started it first.  And I kind of the wow moment, where, you know, this is the way, if you're a kid on the playground acts like that, you sit them down and explain, you know, every once in a while real men learn to apologize. You don't insult women. You don't behave in this particular way. You want the job that Abraham Lincoln had at any point. And I think what you saw there is that, he's not making any pivot, he is unwilling to apologize or admit that he made any mistake and he seems to be tone deaf about the way that his conduct and his treatment of women is actually playing in a state like Wisconsin.

KELLY: But you know that he believes, and his defenders say, okay, maybe it's politically incorrect, but what he is showing is that he's a fighter.  So if he believes that Ted Cruz's Super PAC attacked Melania Trump, then he's going to attack Heidi Cruz and that politics is ugly, it's brutal, but that is the way it is.

SYKES: Right. Yes. Well, that's the way it is with Donald Trump. And this is one of the ways he's debates this campaign. Look, I've been writing about political correctness way back when he was giving money to Hillary Clinton. This is not political correctness, this just boorishness, this is rudeness. And it's one of the reasons why he is so deeply underwater among women. I think that, you know, to the, you know, in the Trumpcan bubble, they may, you know, say this is touch politics, the reality is, but you have more than 70 percent of women who disapprove of him.

KELLY: But don't you think he can get those numbers back up?

SYKES: No. I think that what you're going to see in Wisconsin and I think you're going to see this next Tuesday is that in the vote-rich Southeastern Wisconsin area, he's going to lose and he's going to lose badly, and that's being driven by conservative Republican women who are repelled, not just on the issue but repelled by his treatment and his attitude towards women, that again, that's not political correctness, that is looking at a man going look, you would not allow your children to behave this way. You want to be the president of the United States, and when you're given an opportunity to behave like a responsible human being, you say, well, he started it?

KELLY: Hmm. Charlie, I have to go. Quick answer, does this Governor Scott Walker endorsement matter at all?

SYKES: Yes. It does matter. It is going to be considerable and the fact that Donald Trump has decided to respond by attacking Scott Walker in a state where he is still very, very popular is weapons grade stupid.

KELLY: Good to see you, sir.

SYKES: Thank you.

KELLY: Joining me now, someone with a different view. Former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, FOX News contributor and Donald Trump supporter. Senator, good to see you. So, pick up where Charlie left off and his charges about the women, the numbers with women I think right now, the disapproval rating among American women with Donald Trump is 73 percent.

SCOTT BROWN, R-FORMER MASSACHUSETTS SENATOR: Well, first of all, I know Charlie, I have been on his show. I have a lot of respect for him. You know, Wisconsin is a battleground, as you know, when they talk about, you know, Wisconsin is a little bit different. Don't forget, we had recall elections, Governor Walker had death threats. There's so many things happening in Wisconsin that I think that's where the kind of the revolution aside from what happened in Massachusetts in my race, but what happened in Wisconsin with Governor Walker in particular, really started that anti- establishment movement.

Now, with regard to women, listen, I don't agree with everything that Donald Trump says or does, but I do know that there are different levels in my view as to spouses, kids in elections. For example, if a spouse or a kid is going to step back and they're just married to the spouse or the son or daughter, that's different. But if a spouse is actually going to go out and play an active role, holding events, campaigning, unfortunately, the nature of the blood sport of politics is they'll going to be treated very similarly --

KELLY: Even, even -- okay, so that's one thing, and you're going to get into the political mix, right?

BROWN: And the civility in this race. I'm getting to a point, Megyn --

KELLY: But what about the picture -- like tweeting out a picture suggesting she's not attractive?

BROWN: The civility in this race on a whole host of issues is not exciting for me. I'm hopeful that they'll all start to focus on the things that we're seeing in Brussels, the things that we're seeing on a daily bases, our economy and our borders.

KELLY: I think the American people want to see that, too.

BROWN: That's what I'm looking forward to having happen.

KELLY: The American people want to see that, too. But it's one thing if the spouse puts herself in the line and makes political points -- she's going to get hit. But, you know, the thing that Trump got hit for last week was, he tweeted out a picture suggesting she's less un-attractive and certainly less attractive than Melania Trump and he was mocking her looks.

BROWN: Listen, they're both lovely women. Okay. They both love their husbands and their husbands love them. Can we at least say that?

KELLY: It's not really just about their love for their husbands. It's about their accomplishments of women, I mean, Heidi Cruz is a Harvard business graduate, Melania Trump is an experienced and talented business executive --

BROWN: Right.

KELLY: I mean, it's really not about their love for their husbands, it's about them as independent professional women.

BROWN: They're both independent, lovely women. Okay. So that's great.  And that's enough really said. And when you're going to play an active role, you're going the get hit. Now, I want to focus and I've encourage all the candidates to focus on the things that you and I were just talking about. I mean, what Ben and David were going at was unfortunately typical of what's happening not only with the Republicans but quite frankly with Hillary and Bernie supporters. You heard Sarah Sarandon, I mean, they're just fed-up. There's a tremendous amount of anger, which we're seeing right here develop, I think it started in Massachusetts, went to Wisconsin and we're seeing it more and more each day.

KELLY: Uh-hm.

BROWN: And here's the thing with Charlie. And like I said, I have a lot of respect for him. He's a never Trump guy. Well, I guess he's been a pro-Hillary guy. Because if he and other like him don't unite, the only way Donald Trump if he's the nominee loses is if people don't unite behind our candidate. If it's Cruz, I'm with him. If it's Kasich, I'm with him.  So, that's the difference between me and others. And my message to everybody is, you know what, when this is over, we're going to have a lot of soul searching, a lot of healing, because we are Americans first. We do need to work together to really take back our status in the world.

KELLY: Yes. Maybe it will be you.

BROWN: Maybe it will be you.

KELLY: You swooped in, in that Massachusetts election and shocked the country. So, who knows -- if there's a second ballot in Cleveland. It's great to see you, Senator.

BROWN: Yes. That's not going to happen. I was honored to be a senator in Massachusetts. In that revolution I believe started here, because don't forget, they had 40, we made 41.

KELLY: That's right.

BROWN: And then you saw the Senate get more and more. Then the House got taken over.

KELLY: And then they changed the rules in the Senate so they nullified it.


That's right. I've got to go. We're out of time.

BROWN: Okay. You get it. All right. Nice to see you.

KELLY: Great to see you. No, it's a fun story. Thank you for being here.

Well, the other big story tonight is a battle tested Republican strategist who worked with President Ford back in that contested convention back in '76 has now signed on to Team Trump.

And Newt Gingrich is here on what that means and how it could prove critical during the GOP convention.


KELLY: Breaking tonight. Team Trump confirming that the republican front- runner has hired a veteran republican strategist to help him what promises to be a long delegate fight ahead of Cleveland.

The campaign enlisting Paul Manafort, a man who helped President Gerald Ford manage his 1976 contested convention battle against Ronald Reagan.

Joining me now to discuss it, Fox News contributor, former republican presidential and author of the novel "Duplicity," Newt Gingrich. Mr. Speaker, great to see you tonight. I love that "Duplicity."


KELLY: All right. So, let's talk about this, and whether this signals a growing seriousness by Mr. Trump when it comes to this other piece of the game, which is shoring up your delegates and their commitment to you.

GINGRICH: Look, I think we have to remember this is the first time Donald Trump has ever run for anything and he decided to run for president. So, he's having to learn a lot of stuff on the job in public, sometimes embarrassingly.

They found out in Louisiana they weren't prepared. They really weren't ready to get that involved in this one state at a time delegate by delegate fight. And they brought in a real pro. Paul Manafort is as good as there is in this business. He will immediately improve the Trump campaign's ability to fight this kind of grassroots campaign, and it's a good thing they have, because Cruz put together a very professional very solid campaign.

And until Manafort came on, Trump just didn't have anybody of the same level of talent. So, I think you'll now see the Trump people within a few days become dramatically better at winning the delegate fight.

KELLY: But it still doesn't make sense to me. I understand how in the -- if there's no majority winner on the first ballot, then the delegates are free to do what they want. You know, forget you Trump, forget you Cruz, I'm going to vote for who I want. I get that.

How can you win over a delegate who was sort of pledged to a different candidate before the delegate gets to cast the ballot on the first vote at the convention?

GINGRICH: Well, let's say you pick somebody who is not actually for your candidate, and that person is willing to vote for the candidate in the first ballot, they're legally bound to by most state laws.

But there's a platform fight, there's a rules committee fight, there are resolution fights. And on lot of other things they may decide to vote not the way they're legally bound, because the legal binding is only for the candidates.

So, one of the reasons it's so important for Trump to win in the first ballot is he's going to have a number of ballots who are not reliable on the second or third ballot.

KELLY: It's a free for all.

GINGRICH: But legally have -- it's a free for all.


KELLY: That first ballot to get in.

GINGRICH: And he needs to win on round one. That's right.

KELLY: Let's talk about the Trump campaign and the discipline or lack thereof that we've seen in recent days. You know, today we saw the candidate himself come out and attack Michelle Fields after his campaign manager was criminally charged.

And, you know, there really wasn't any need for Donald Trump to insert himself in the middle of that fight not withstanding to his loyalty to his campaign manager. He wasn't directly, it wasn't his fight. But he did so, attacking Heidi Cruz last week, which also did not need to be done.

He's attacked others as you know who he didn't necessarily need to do that. What do you make of the repeated attacks, in particular, against women by a campaign that is struggling with women?

GINGRICH: Well, I think in particular, in the case of Mrs. Cruz, it was a total mistake. He should have done it. He was angry because the Cruz super PAC had attacked his wife, Melania. But he had a lot of easy answers to come back and say look, she's beautiful, she's a supermodel, she was on a professional shoot for a very classy magazine. She would be a very attractive first lady, and get over it.

Instead, he automatically attacked. And that's why I always recommend to people to read "The Art of the Combat," Trump's book of the 990s. Because part of what he learned was to always counterpunch. If you watch him, he always counterpunches.

I actually draw a distinction in the Lewandowski case because he was going to be asked about it. And Trump's basic model is to stay on offense.

KELLY: Why couldn't he just say, this is my guy, a criminal process is going to play out, a jury will have its say, I'm not firing anybody until that happens and then we'll reassess. Or I mean, he could say what I saw on the tape didn't rise to me a fireable offense. That's understandable.

But the demolition campaign against her reputation is a different -- is a different matter.

GINGRICH: But notice the language you just used. Suddenly it goes wrong from a misdemeanor to a criminal violation which is...


KELLY: It is a criminal that he's been charge with a violation.

GINGRICH: That's right. So, now we have is Lewandowski a criminal, OK?

KELLY: Those are your words. That's what the police are saying.


KELLY: That he's been charged with a criminal misdemeanor.

GINGRICH: That's right, criminal misdemeanor by a democrat local official in a county with a very long history of very partisan politics...


KELLY: But you saw the tape and you heard the Washington Post independent account of what happened. I mean, no one is saying that this is -- this is a major beating. It's a simple battery, that's it.

GINGRICH: Right. Ok. Simple battery, which has now been translated into a criminal offense. And you -- and you have never been in a scrum in a presidential campaign where people were shoved around, including by the way, by the press.


KELLY: Of course I have, many times.

GINGRICH: Including by the press.

KELLY: Many times. She didn't want to file a federal police about -- a federal case over it, she wanted an apology, and then they attacked her and said she was delusional and suggested she made the whole thing up and try to question prior reporting. And to manage to know why she wouldn't file a police report and only talk about it online.

So, what she do the next day she went to file the police report. That's how we got to this place. We got to leave it at that. It's a great speaking with you. Thanks for being here.

GINGRICH: All right. Good talking to you.

KELLY: Coming up, a split decision in the Supreme Court means a big win for labor unions. Plus, just a week away from the next democrat primary, the Clinton campaign warning Senator Bernie Sanders to watch his tone.

Robert Zimmerman and Richard Fowler on what this means for the democratic race, next.


KELLY: Developing tonight, the democratic presidential candidates going at each other hard with just a week to go until the next primary. Both Secretary Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders campaigning in Wisconsin today. And right now, the Real Clear Politics average of polls shows a very tight race there.

Chief White House correspondent Ed Henry just filed this report from Milwaukee. Ed?

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Megyn, Hillary Clinton still has a commanding delegate lead over Bernie Sanders, but she appears to be getting nervous about the next big prize after Wisconsin, her home state.

In fact, she's now added campaign events on Wednesday and Thursday in New York, even though the primary is not until late April. And her top strategist is rejecting a call by Sanders that they have a debate in New York.

That strategist saying that there's just been too much of a negative tone from the Sanders' campaign. Well, I have to tell you, today, here in Wisconsin, Sanders refused to back down, and Clinton herself, despite the accusation that Sanders has gone negative, used a church as a backdrop to launch a new negative attack on Sanders over gun control.

And then brought together some moms who had lost sons to gun violence. And with Clinton standing by, one of those moms launched a pretty negative attack on Sanders.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, I-VT., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would rather be here with you in Appleton...


... than begging billionaires for their money. And this is one of the real differences of opinion that Secretary Clinton and I have.

ANNETTE NANCE-HOLT, CLINTON SUPPORTER: If you want my vote you better work for it. I'm not going to give it to you just because you said you can do free college. Because if my child is dead, he can't go to college.



HENRY: It's pretty clear what's happening between both candidates right now. Sanders doesn't want to give up the negative attacks because they've been working, they've resonated. He's won six out of the last seven contests.

And for Clinton, as the front-runner who wanted this race to be over a long time ago, the last thing she wants is another debate. Especially on her home turf. Megyn?

KELLY: Ed Henry. But now since Ed filed that report, Hillary Clinton's campaign is saying they are in talks with the Sanders' campaign to debate in New York or any other place they can mutually agree on.

Joining me now, Robert Zimmerman, a democratic strategy and DNC committee member, and Richard Fowler who is nationally syndicated radio host and senior fellow of the New Leaders Council.

Good to see you both.



KELLY: All right, Robert, I mean, the messaging yesterday was clearly like, improve the tone or we won't be debating anymore.

ZIMMERMAN: Well, actually, that may have been better since the interpretation of things and clearly, using expressing the frustration. I think a lot of those who are Clinton supporters feel. Hillary Clinton has been engaging in very tough attacks on Bernie Sanders but they've been focused on issues, they've been focused on his record.

Bernie Sanders on the other hand, hasn't been talking about the record, he'd been running campaigns of innuendo, a personal attacks. And I think that's the reason that Hillary Clinton has gotten 2.5 million more votes than Bernie Sanders.



ZIMMERMAN: And why she's been strong for the nomination.

KELLY: But not to sound -- not to sound too R-rated about it, Robert, but like, it's politics, right? So, it's like, look what is happening on the republican side. They're so mean to each other. Like, you can't just say to your opponent, Robert, you must be nicer in your tone.

ZIMMERMAN: Well, actually, look, my side may need some group count, may need some couple counseling when this is over. But the republicans are going to need anger management therapy when they're done with their process.

So, that's the difference. Yes, we have clearly a sharp debate going on. We've got some serious issues to debate. But we're certainly in a much better position for unity after the convention than the republicans certainly are.

KELLY: OK. Richard, you tell me, I mean, if Hillary Clinton winds up going against Donald Trump and she tries to say, you must improve your tone or else we shall not debate. Can you imagine the tweets she's going to get?

FOWLER: I can't, I'm pretty sure it's going to come like 3.30 in the morning when he sent out these weird tweets. But I've got to tell you. I agree with Robert at one point. I think we only need Jerry Springer or Sally Jessie Raphael.

KELLY: That doesn't solve anything.

FOWLER: All of them. Sure.


KELLY: It gets ratings though.

FOWLER: But here's the thing, I think debates and tough debates make Hillary a better candidate, there is no question. All likelihood is she going to be the nominee. Another debate with Bernie Sanders will not hurt her as we go into a possible up -- or a possible match against Donald Trump or will say anything...


KELLY: Yes. She's going to be able to take some, you know, punches, right?

FOWLER: ... and do anything to win. Yes.

ZIMMERMAN: Well, no one can ever critisize Hillary Clinton for not being able to take punches. Very few people have taken the hits she has had and come out successfully she has.


KELLY: Well, they're like they're mad that they're pointing out her Wall Street ties. Like, hello, what do you think is going to happen if

ZIMMERMAN: But, Megyn, understand when it comes to standing up to Wall Street, Hillary Clinton has stood up to the biggest industry her stake.

KELLY: Why? Because she has a story to tell.

ZIMMERMAN: Now wait...


KELLY: That's not the same as saying, like you improve the tone.

ZIMMERMAN: Oh, she didn't say that.

KELLY: Fix the issues or we're not doing it. I mean, the thing is, Richard, she's already under criticism for being in a protective bubble. Remember, Chris Christie said Rubio was bubble boy. People say Hillary Clinton is bubble girl and that she -- they've intentionally limited the debate. They put them on like Christmas Eve at 11 p.m. People don't watch.

And so, if she doesn't sort of get out there and get more battle tested and going head to head with somebody, whether its Cruz, Trump, whoever, Kasich, I don't know.

FOWLER: Well, I think -- well, I think what you see here, Megyn, is when you see Hillary Clinton in the town halls where she has a longer time to really get to expand her answers, she's a lot more less bubbly, I guess is the right word and she's more real and authentic and people connect with her. And that's why I think another debate is just a step in the right direction for the Clinton campaign. They are happy they are having the conversation.


ZIMMERMAN: There are several more debates in the works, Megyn. So, don't be concerned. Their debates possibly in New York.

KELLY: How about one on Fox News?

ZIMMERMAN: Pennsylvania certainly talk about having one in California.

KELLY: How about one at Fox News?

ZIMMERMAN: I think it would be a great idea. I look forward to their proposal.

FOWLER: They did a town hall. They did a town hall, Megyn. They did a town hall with Bret.


KELLY: Richard, tell Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders they should sit down with yours truly.


FOWLER: I will -- I will call her right after this.

KELLY: Bret Baier and Chris Wallace.

ZIMMERMAN: I'd be glad to carry that message.

KELLY: And sit for the same theme.

FOWLER: We'll both campaign for it.

KELLY: That even Donald Trump have Ford twice at three times.

FOWLER: Only if I get to sit in the front row, Megyn. Only if I get to sit in the front row.


KELLY: You're there. You know somebody. I got you. Great to see you both.

FOWLER: Take care. Good to see you too, Megyn.

KELLY: Up next, Supreme Court, shocking news.


KELLY: Well, a big win for labor unions today as the U.S. Supreme Court issues a split decision on whether unions can collect fees from workers who are not members. The court was expected to rule against the unions, but that was before the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last month.

Fox News' Shannon Bream reports from Washington. Shannon?

SHANNON BREAM, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: It was a simple no frills opinion, no names, no majority or dissent but its impact was a historic reminder of the absence of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

When this case which was brought by public school teachers in California who objected to being to pay fees to a union they didn't want to support, with argued way back in January, it appeared poised for a 5-4 decision. That would have struck a significant blow to public sector unions.

But with sudden passing of Justice Scalia in February, everything was thrown in question. Today, we got the answer, a tie decision which sets no precedent and leave the lower court decision in the union's favor intact.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This underscores the importance of filling that ninth seat. It illustrates what its stake in this falls presidential election and it tells us that there are going to be many cases that will be decided by a 5 to 4 margin and the outcome is going to depend on who fills that ninth seat.


BREAM: Bernie Sanders applauded today's ruling and warned, quote, "The extreme right wing is just one conservative Supreme Court justice away from dismantling the rights of public sector unions."

Also today, the man President Obama has nominated to replace Justice Scalia had his first meeting with a republican senator. Mark Kirk who is facing a tough re-election battle in Illinois chatted with Merrick Garland and continues to buck GOP leadership and calling for hearings on garland's qualifications.

As for the case, the attorneys for those teachers who challenge the union fees says they will petition the court to rehear the case and hope it will be held over for consideration until there are nine justices seated. Megyn?

KELLY: Shannon Bream, thank you. We'll be right back.


KELLY: We'll post our opening segment on the Michelle Fields situation on facebook.com/thekellyfile. Fields was supposed to join us tonight but decided not to appear.

I spoke with her earlier and one thing is clear. Michelle Fields feels very much under attacked. She stands by her story and she wants not to be the news but instead to be covering it.

Let me know your thoughts on Twitter or Facebook. And thanks for watching, everyone. I'm Megyn Kelly. This is "The Kelly File." See you tomorrow night again.

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