Published January 23, 2017
This is a rush transcript from "Special Report with Bret Baier," October 18, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I think you've heard directly from both the FBI and the State Department that the notion or the accounts that have been put out there are just not true.
JOHN KIRBY, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: We looked into this. The FBI looked into this. And it's just not true. There was no quid pro quo even suggested or any kind of bargain laid on the table.
REP. JASON CHAFFETZ, R-UTAH: They were wheeling and dealing and trading of information and trying to make deals on the side in order to manipulate what Congress and the public should have been able to see. That is the core of intent, and it's in the FBI documents in their own words. I didn't come up with this. "Quid pro quo" is a word that was used by an FBI agent, not me.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: Well, the president's State Department pushing back hard about these FBI documents that, as we have been talking about, deal with email classification issue and undersecretary of state Patrick Kennedy.
Just some breaking news about Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder. Ecuador has just acknowledged that it has temporarily restricted WikiLeaks founder Assange's communications access following the Clinton leaks. There was a story that Secretary of State John Kerry had asked for that to happen. Apparently Kerry is denying that. However, either way, Ecuador has essentially cut off Assange's Internet. We will see if the WikiLeaks leaks continue. One would think they have backups.
We're back with the panel. Let's start with the FBI documents. Big pushback, Steve, to this. Your thoughts that one of the agents came out who was actually involved in this back and forth with Kennedy and said that they had a conversation and that he was, you know, there was talk of what each could do for the other person.
STEVE HAYES, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Yes, right. He basically confirmed what was in the FBI 302s that were reported on over the weekend and then released yesterday. What he said was he didn't realize exactly what the favor was that Patrick Kennedy was going to be asking for and that it was a Benghazi-related email and they wanted to change the classification. But there is no question that they had this discussion so what John Kirby said was patently false, categorically false.
And what the president said when he said that these notions and accounts without specifying which notions and accounts have been discredited is word salad. It's nonsense. This is what happened. It's in the FBI documents for a reason.
You think back to the time when they had these interviews with the FBI officials, these are people going in front of their colleagues, sitting down and asking questions about what they had done in connection with this case. What they said then was accurate. What this official who spoke publicly today said confirms that what they said was accurate.
BAIER: Heidi, this is why people hate Washington, the whole thing.
HEIDI PRZYBYLA, USA TODAY: Yes.
BAIER: Every aspect of it.
PRZYBYLA: Yes. Combined with WikiLeaks, all of it just wreaks of back room dealing. The details are very important. I don't want to indict anybody before they have had a chance to kind of like speak their side. The facts are that there was no actual swap, whatever they discussed didn't happen.
PRZYBYLA: Didn't actually transpire. But, to me, the untold part of this and the reason why this email story is going to keep blazing is because we don't know whether any of this was actually done on behalf of the campaign.
Now, here's something to point out, Bret, is that hours after all of this wheeling and dealing was going on, the A.P. came out with a story saying Hillary Clinton never sent classified information. So, somebody has got to see if there was a connection there between what Kennedy was trying to do.
BAIER: And the A.P.
PRZYBYLA: Laying the groundwork for this story and for Hillary Clinton to be able to say "I never sent or received classified information."
BAIER: We should note that Patrick Kennedy has a long, long history with Secretary Clinton, goes back many, many years.
OK, Gina, big picture on this. Not only this but WikiLeaks and how it influences this race.
DR. GINA LOUDON, HOST OF 'AMERICA TRENDS WITH DR. GINA': I think you couple this with, for example, you know, all of the illumination that has come out in the last few days, even in the last week from James O'Keefe's videotape to the WikiLeaks and everything else, and you start to get a picture of just things happening behind the scenes without the people ever being aware of it. I think that plays well to Mr. Trump's campaign.
But here's the thing -- you have to also know how many of the American voters really care, because, the thing I hear so often when we hear this is, well, if Mr. Trump is elected, he will probably operate the same way. This is just politics in America. I think if people psychologically accept that, then they are going to be more likely to be able to accept that hey Clinton does this. This is the way politics is done, and may not see Mr. Trump --
BAIER: Steve, quickly, that brings us about to your poll about change.
BAIER: If that is true the Trump campaign is in trouble.
HAYES: It was striking finding. I mean, Donald Trump very successfully made his case throughout the Republican primaries that he was the candidate of change. Every single night we sat on the stage and talked about the exit poll results. That's the thing that jumped out. And the fact that he is losing to her, who is this Washington insider and has been for three decades, is pretty striking.
LOUDON: Bret, if I may on the change question.
BAIER: Real quick.
LOUDON: Obama was the candidate of hope and change. So that may be a mantra that is just sort of locked in the psyche of the Democrat voter and may not mean as much about Mr. Trump.
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