Rep. Sean Duffy on the possible prosecutions of Clinton; Rep. Tim Ryan speaks out about challenging Pelosi

This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," November 22, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS HOST: Breaking tonight, President-elect Donald Trump getting serious blowback from some of his strongest supporters as he backs down on his promise to pursue criminal charges against Hillary Clinton.

Good evening and welcome to "The Kelly File," everyone. I'm Megyn Kelly.

For months on the campaign trail, Mr. Trump attacked his rival for conducting the highly classified business of the United States over a private unsecured e-mail server all while she was secretary of state.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think Hillary is very weak. I think she's pathetic. I think she should be in jail for what she did with her e-mails, OK? She should be in jail.

Hillary Clinton should be in jail. You know it. The FBI director knows it, everybody else knows it. She should be in jail.

If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation.

HILLARY CLINTON, D, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.

TRUMP: Because you'd be in jail.

MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC NEWS: Secretary Clinton --


KELLY: And when Mr. Trump went there, the roaring crowds at his rallies responded.

We heard one phrase chanted again and again, lock her up.



TRUMP: She should be locked up. She should.



KELLY: Then hours ago, Mr. Trump seemed to walk back his pledge to try to put Hillary Clinton behind bars telling "The New York Times" that he does not want to quote, "Hurt the Clintons and that he prefers to move on."

In moments, we'll be joined by Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy, who is one of Mr. Trump's earliest supporters and we'll also speak to author Peter Schweizer whose book is credited with sparking the ongoing FBI investigation into the multi-billion dollar Clinton Foundation.

But, first, Trace Gallagher is live with the latest on all of this.

Hey, Trace.

TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Megyn right after the election, Donald Trump was even signaling that he was softening his stance on whether he would push to further investigate his formal rival, telling our sister publication The Wall Street Journal that he hadn't given it a lot of thought and instead wanted to focus on health care, jobs, immigration and tax reform.

And, today, the president-elect confirmed it telling The New York Times, quote, "My inclination would be for whatever power I have on the matter is to say let's go forward. This has been looked at for so long and nauseam."

And the part where he says whatever power I have on the matter is interesting considering that those who disagree with him for not going after Clinton are seizing on just that.

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter tweeting, quote, "Did we make him the FBI and DOJ? His job is to pick those guys, not to do their jobs."

Breitbart formerly run by Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon ran a headline saying, "Broken promise."

And the conservative group Judicial Watch which sued to get more of Hillary Clinton State Department emails said Trump's refusal to investigate Clinton, quote, would be a betrayal of his promise to the American people to drain the swamp of out of control corruption in Washington, D.C. But Rudy Giuliani who is being considered for a cabinet position and who also said Clinton belonged in jail is now backing off his position.



RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: Look, there's a tradition in American politics that after you win an election, you sort of put things behind you. And if that's the decision he reached, that's perfectly consistent with sort of the historical pattern.


GALLAGHER: And while it might be a political tradition to put things behind you after an election, it would also be highly unusual for a president to request that the FBI close an inquiry or investigation.


KELLY: Unprecedented. Trace, thank you.

Here now to give us both sides of this issue, Congressman Sean Duffy and Peter Schweizer. He's the president of the Government Accountability Institute and author of "Clinton Cash," Peter is. The untold story of how and why foreign government businesses helped make Bill and Hillary rich.

We begin tonight with Mr. Schweizer.

Peter, good to see you tonight.


So your reaction when you heard President-elect Trump say that?

SCHWEIZER: I think it's deeply disturbing. Look, he shouldn't be talking about this at all. It's not his job. I was on your program earlier this year, Megyn, talking about how inappropriate it would be for President Obama to intervene in an investigation. It is equally inappropriate for a President-elect and later President Donald Trump to do the same.

If he wants to pardon her at the tail end of an investigation, if the Department of Justice decides that they're not going to prosecute, they are fine to do that. But the FBI is undergoing an investigation now and the president-elect should not be telling them to halt their investigation.

KELLY: I mean, the outrage that we would have seen from conservatives and Republicans and Trump supporters if President Obama had come out and said explicitly, we need to move own and there should be no more investigation and the Clinton foundation has done good work and we really just need to move forward. You know, the Republicans would be hammering him on overstepping his role.

SCHWEIZER: Yes, that's exactly right. It is overstepping a role. And think about this, Megyn. 75 percent of the American people believe that the elite in this country don't have to abide by the same laws as the rest of us.

Play this through for a second. If Hillary Clinton had won in November, I think it's safe to assume that she would not have been investigated for the Clinton Foundation.

She has lost in November, and now it seems that Donald Trump does not want her to be investigated for the Clinton Foundation. That is the definition of a rigged system. Win or lose, she's not going to face any legal investigation. It just does not make sense. And one of the reasons I think Donald Trump won in certain parts of the country is precisely because people felt like the elite in the country are above the law and by him making these statements, he seems to be implying that he thinks the Clintons should not have to answer or be investigated for what they've done.

KELLY: That's the thing. It's either she's committed a crime or she hasn't. And the FBI is investigating it. And Donald Trump has come out and said, well, he doesn't want to hurt the Clintons. He says he's not taking investigations off the table, but he doesn't want to hurt them. He wants to move on and move forward, which of course will be applauded by many Americans as a political matter, but as a legal matter, the question is whether it is appropriate as Ann Coulter, who is a smart lawyer -- she's controversial, she's a smart lawyer, seized upon immediately.

SCHWEIZER: No, you're exactly right.

And, look, when is the idea of national unity and truth seeking, when are those two viewed as inconsistent. What I've said all along, and I think what a lot of people agree on, is let's investigate. Let's find out what we can actually discover about what the Clintons did.

Maybe it can be prosecuted. Maybe it can't. But here's the bottom line. This is not just about the Clintons. We need to find out what happened so we can't allow these sorts of things to happen in the future.

KELLY: OK. But last question, Peter. Last question. Last question.

You know a lot of people, Rush Limbaugh among them say we never believe that. We never believed Donald Trump would have said that in the first place. That was just bluster. And now he's just admitting that it was bluster and it was nonsense and it wasn't, you know, it's not exactly a broken campaign promise, so much as a promise that was never really made because his heart wasn't in it.

SCHWEIZER: Well, you know, I can't speak for what's in Donald Trump's head. I can say that my view and I think the view of a lot of people in the FBI, five field offices investigating the Clinton Foundation, it was not bluster and it was not about throwing Hillary Clinton in jail. It was about investigating possible criminal activity and that needs to go forward.

KELLY: Good to see you, Peter. Thanks for being here.

SCHWEIZER: Thanks, Megyn.

KELLY: Joining me now with more, Congressman Sean Duffy, who is one of President-elect Trump's earliest supporters.

Congressman, good to see you.

So what do you make of Peter's argument?

REP. SEAN DUFFY , R-WISC.: First of all, I got to tell you, I love Peter. He's a patriot, and I'm a big fan of all his work, which allowed Donald Trump to publicly prosecute this case. But I think he's missing the argument.

Donald Trump was talking about the private server and the e-mails, and Director Comey did an investigation, Loretta Lynch decided not to prosecute.

I think what Donald is saying is that's behind us. Let's move forward.


KELLY: Based on what? Where do you get that he was taking the Clinton Foundation off the table because he said that people could argue the Clinton Foundation has done good work, which is a very different message than the one we heard from him a couple of months ago.

DUFFY: But I do think in regard to his public statements and his fans chanting, lock her up, that was in regard to the emails and the private server. The investigation hasn't been completed yet with regard to the Clinton Foundation and I think that should go forward.

But, Megyn, I think what's important in all this --

KELLY: But it's not about what you think. It's about what President-elect Trump thinks and he did not make that distinction today. It sounded like either way, he believes Hillary Clinton, as he put it, that she's had enough pain, that's what Kellyanne said on his behalf and that he doesn't want to hurt her.

DUFFY: Well, I would disagree, then. I do think the investigation should go forward. But can I make another point, Megyn.

KELLY: Sure.

DUFFY: I think what's important for Donald Trump is if you look back and you blow your political capital prosecuting and going after Hillary Clinton, as opposed to saying how do I actually make America great again, how do I fight for the forgotten men and women and families and communities who cross political lines and voted for me, or who haven't voted for 20 years but came on to support my campaign because he was going to fight for policies that were going to make my life better, my family better.

They were going to put a chicken in all of our pots. That's what America, I think, wants him to fight for.

And if you look back and burn political capital on Hillary, you can't move forward with securing the border or tax reform or health care reform. And further --


KELLY: I get that. I get that. A lot of Americans out there are sitting, listening to you, agreeing with that, but that is a very different message from the one Trump sounding when he was running for this office.

And for that matter, a very different message from the one sounded by yourself at Donald Trump campaign events including this one on August 16th.




DUFFY: We have to elect Donald Trump to do that.


KELLY: We have to elect Donald Trump to lock her up.

And now it's like for the good of the country, we have to move forward. I mean, you know, you understand that people watch this and they're like, lyin' politicians who'll just anything to get elected. They think we're champs, that we're going to believe them then and now we're supposed to believe them again now even though the two messages appear to be diametrically opposed.

DUFFY: But, Megyn, you have to look and think the "lock her up" chant and Donald Trump were specifically talking about the email server and the e-mails themselves and secure information on a private server.

Comey came out with the statements after that little rally that we had in Wisconsin, which by the way was really fun. And I think that's behind us.

Do you want to have Donald Trump to actually encourage them to reopen the investigation?


KELLY: But when Comey came out and reopened the investigation, he reopened it.


DUFFY: You don't want that.

KELLY: And then team Trump made a huge deal out of it, and then he purported to close it and team Trump continued to make a huge deal out of it, and said the system was rigged and disagreed with Comey's decision and wanted her put in jail.


DUFFY: But you as a lawyer, Megyn, and me as a former prosecutor, do I want Donald Trump to then say no, no, no, I am going to be the FBI head and I'm going to have the Department of Justice --


KELLY: You apparently did. Team Trump did. Team Trump did.


KELLY: The lawyers who happen to --


KELLY: Some of whom happen to be anchors actually said we accept the FBI's decision. They've made it clear. But you guys were the ones saying lock her up, and now tonight it's a 180. We're supposed to pretend the magical videotape does not exist.

DUFFY: No. Megyn, I actually agreed that I was going to take Comey at his word because I didn't have all the evidence. I didn't sit inside the FBI. So I publicly was out there saying whatever Comey decides I think we have to go with.

KELLY: OK. But your candidate did not feel that way, and now he's the president-elect. Do you see?

So, I mean, you understand the frustration of some of Mr. Trump's supporters and the frustration of just reasonable people who see different messages coming at them.


DUFFY: I do. I do.

But, Megyn, you do want -- you want him to fight for the policies that are going to help the economy of Middle America that elected him, and you can't do that if you have a political fight with Hillary Clinton. Let's move forward and start making America great, which isn't putting Hillary Clinton in jail right now.

KELLY: Great to see you, congressman. Thanks for being here.

DUFFY: You too, Megyn.

KELLY: So, also tonight, new questions about whether intense media coverage -- I mean, it has been intense -- of a white nationalist meeting in Washington. The thing had, it had like 285 people, disturbing, but does it justify the amount of wall-to-wall coverage that we have seen of this group and the repeated demands to have Donald Trump denounce this ugly group, which he's done, but they want it done in stronger terms and so on and so forth.

We'll have reaction on that from former Intel Committee Chairman Pete Hoekstra and Democratic strategist Robert Zimmerman.

Plus, the President-elect goes face to face with "The New York Times" in a meeting that made headlines on water boarding, peace in the Middle East and Mr. Trump's relationship with President Obama.

Howie Kurtz and Mike Huckabee are next with the news.


TRUMP: They are so dishonest, folks. You can't even read articles in certain papers anymore. "New York Times" is a total lie.


KELLY: Developing tonight, new fallout after 48 hours of intense media coverage for the annual conference of a white nationalist organization.

Video surfaced over the weekend from a Washington meeting of roughly 275,85 people at the conference. Some of whom are caught on tape making Nazi salutes and praising President-elect Donald Trump.

While Mr. Trump has been called on several times to disavow the tape and the group, which he has done, there are growing questions tonight about whether all the media coverage is giving this group exactly what it wants.

Trace Gallagher is in our west coast newsroom with more.


GALLAGHER: Megyn, the controversial video showing a few hundred members of alt right movement praising Donald Trump and raising their hands in a Nazi- type salute was posted by "Atlantic Magazine," which is doing a documentary on Richard Spencer, who is the man, now the primary face of the alt or alternative right movement.

We're not showing the video or putting up Spencer's racist, anti-Semitic remarks because it's become apparent that Richard Spencer, who is well- educated and from an affluent family is reveling in the national coverage, and reportedly using it to promote and recruit.

For example, this weekend's alt-right gathering in D.C. was attended by viewer than 300 members and covered by between 50 or 75 journalists and photographers.

Before latching on to the Donald Trump campaign, alt-right, which has been around for about eight years mostly operated from the fringes of the Internet. Donald Trump has now disavowed the alt-right telling "The New York Times," quoting here, "It's not a group I want to energize. And if they are energized, I want to look into it and find out why."

Critics say the group was partially energized by Trump's new chief strategist Steve Bannon, who formerly ran Breitbart and told Mother Jones magazine that "Breitbart" was the platform of the alt-right though Bannon says he strongly rejects the anti-Semitic and racist elements of the group.

And Donald Trump has defended Bannon saying, quote, "I've known Steve Bannon a long time. And if I thought he was a racist of alt-right, I wouldn't even think about hiring him."

We should note, there are no estimates on how many alt-right members there are because the group has no formal structure.


KELLY: Trace, thank you.

Joining me, former Michigan Congressman Pete Hoekstra, who is an adviser to Donald Trump's transition team and Robert Zimmerman, Democratic strategist and DNC committee member.

Now, look, unlike these other channels, we are not going to wallpaper this show with this guy from the white nationalist group. I'm going to show one very short clip of what he was doing, which has been so controversial and it went on and on and on.

Viewers be advised. It's hateful and disgusting and all the things you think it's going to be.



RICHARD SPENCER: Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory.



KELLY: Making the Nazi salute. And it went on to say let's party like it's 1933.

Robert, you want to set this up for us? Why -- I mean, everyone understands the hatefulness of the group, but why is it on Donald Trump?

ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, it's on Donald Trump and it's Donald Trump's responsibility as our president-elect because since election day we have seen, according to the Anti-Defamation League, a record rise in hate crimes, especially amongst young people using the language from the Trump campaign.

And because at the same time Donald Trump says that Steve -- says that he would never hire Steve Bannon if Bannon was from alt right, Bannon acknowledged that he made Breitbart the platform for the alt right or the white supremacist movement.

KELLY: He did say that to Mother Jones. He's since denied it. But the thing is, Robert, and I'm going to get to you Congressman Hoekstra in a second, but the thing is, you know, how is Donald Trump responsible for the hateful rhetoric of a group that likes him?

ZIMMERMAN: Let's be very clear. According to Speaker Paul Ryan, Donald Trump engaged in racist rhetoric in the campaign. Of course the birther lie contributed to the racist climate in the campaign as well. So the point simply here is Donald Trump is our president-elect has a responsibility to unite the country and bring it together.

It shouldn't be when he speaks to New York Times editorial board with the same energy he used on Twitter to condemn Alec Baldwin on "Saturday Night Live" or condemn the cast of "Hamilton." He should be using his energy to condemn -- he should be using his energy the extremist bigotry that we are witnessing and the hate crimes.

KELLY: The thing is, Mr. Hoekstra, so he's come out, Donald Trump has said and he said I disavow them, I condemn them, I want nothing to do with them but he's saying he doesn't want to call more attention to them.

And, honestly, to see the wall-to-wall coverage we've seen of this some places, you would think that instead of 285 of them in a restaurant, we're talking about 285,000. I mean, it's a fringe group that's looking for attention. They want to be on "The Kelly File." They want to be on these shows wall-to-wall.

PETE HOEKSTRA, ADVISER TO DONALD TRUMP'S TRANSITION TEAM: That's exactly right. And they've played the media beautifully. And, you know, they're -- they're working with a willing accomplice. These folks want to destroy Donald Trump. They've gone after Bannon. They've gone after Pete Sessions. They've gone after Michael Flynn. You know, they're not giving this president a break at all.

The clear thing here is Donald Trump has disavowed this group and he is moving forward and he's talking about what he's going to do to make America better for all Americans.


KELLY: But Robert's point is -- Robert's point is that he needs to more forcefully come out and condemn them. We've seen this elsewhere, too. This is one example from the Anti-Defamation League saying he should be doing more to discredit these people. Another -- yes, same guy came out and said he has to clearly state these are not American values. That their ideologies in conflict with American values. That's what we depend on our president to do, to set these people straight.

HOEKSTRA: Megyn, the more Donald Trump talks about it, the more that he's talking about issues that are not going to move America forward. These are the same people that we're saying -- you know, the Muslim community is in fear of Donald Trump. They are stoking these fears. And what happens on Election Day? Sure, Donald Trump doesn't get that many Muslim votes, but he gets three times more the number of Muslim votes than what Mitt Romney got.

Why? Because there are a number of Muslims who are very serious -- seriously concerned about ISIS, and they're finally glad that we're going to have a president that is going to take on ISIS.

Why? Because ISIS is killing more moderate Muslims around the world, and they're glad that we have a president who will focus on that. This is a media storm that's a fake story.


KELLY: All right, let's talk about the media storm for a second, because Sean Spicer, who is the deputy over there at the Republican National Convention was on with our friend Wolf Blitzer on CNN today and this happened.



WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Should he go out there and deliver a specific speech and make that abundantly clear he doesn't want these people's support and he condemns them?

SEAN SPICER, CHIEF STRATEGIST AND COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: When is it going to be enough? He has condemned every one that's come out and supported him. Every group that's supported him. At some point you've got to take, you know, his position and move on.

BLITZER: Why doesn't he do that more dramatically, if you will, and make it clear he wants no part of these people?

SPICER: Because I think it's asked and answered, Wolf. You've asked me eight times the same question. I told you what his position is.


KELLY: What exactly does Donald Trump need to do to satisfy, you know, the folks who are paying attention to this group?

ZIMMERMAN: You know, what Donald Trump needs to do, in my estimation -- I mean, he's in a very unique role to really unite the country as the congressman referenced, is to speak to the American people, to address the issue of race and prejudice in our society, and what better time than during the Thanksgiving holiday season because he has an opportunity here.

It's to speak not just to those Neo-Nazis that we witnessed. But let's remember the record rise of hate crimes throughout our county. It's not a fake crisis when a swastika is being painted on a wall of a home in a neighborhood, or where Muslims or the gay community or in fact the black community are feeling frightened or dealing with actual epitaphs thrown at them. He has to talk about the fact of how he is going to bring our country together. We're not going to solve this problem by ignoring it. That just gives fuel to the opposition.

KELLY: OK. For whatever it's worth, the white nationalists defends his Nazi salute as a rhetorical flourish, said there was a lot of cheekiness going on and exuberance because Mr. Trump's win had lifted their spirits of their radical movement.

So there you have it, all sides, including that of the white nationalist group, something you never thought you would say on national TV.

Great to see you both.

HOEKSTRA: Good to be with you.

KELLY: After several days of attacking The New York Times, the president-elect today walked into the lion's den, if you will, and Howie Kurtz has the inside scoop on what happened between President-elect Trump and The New York Times. Next.

Plus, after some on the left cheered the Broadway cast of "Hamilton," for confronting vice President-elect Mike Pence, we went into the video vault to see how these same folks reacted when Dr. Ben Carson confronted President Obama at that National Prayer Breakfast, remember? And we'll show you the results when we come back.


KELLY: Breaking tonight, Fox News confirming that President-Elect Trump has offered Dr. Ben Carson the top spot at housing and urban development. Dr. Carson says he wants to take the holiday to think it over. After earlier suggesting he wasn't interested in the cabinet position in the Trump administration. He is scheduled to join us on this broadcast tomorrow night. Maybe we'll force an answer out of him. Don't miss that.

The news comes on the same day that Mr. Trump went face to face with the "The New York times" over how the paper is covering and has been covering the President-Elect in his new administration. For more on that, we go to Fox News Media Buzz Host, Howie Kurtz, hey, Howie.

HOWARD KURTZ, FOX SHOW HOST: Hey, Megyn. Donald Trump constantly criticizes what he calls the failing The New York Times and threatens a lawsuit during the campaign. So it was something of a surprise when he agreed to a meeting today. Even more of a surprise when he canceled it tweeting that the paper had tried to change the terms and conditions and continues to cover me inaccurately and with a nasty tone. The Times say it was Trump who tried to drop the on the record portion of the meeting but within hours it was back on with the publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. sitting next to the President-Elect at the Manhattan newsroom.

And Trump who had been keeping a low profile made plenty of news. Trump said he changed his mind on the use of water boarding, another forms of torture deciding it's not effective after talking with retired General James Mattis who he is seriously considering to run the Pentagon. Trump dug in against taking action results potential conflicts of interest, involving his global real estate empire, refusing to rule out leaving business partners in the White House. And he won't distance himself from his children who will be running it.

And for up to some people said Trump, I would never ever see my daughter Ivanka again and speaking of family, he said he might tap Ivanka's husband, Jared Kushner, a Jewish developer and campaign adviser with no experience in public office, as his special envoy to the Middle East. Trump saying he would love to be the one who makes the peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Trump even says he has an open mind on climate changed which he has called a concept invented by the Chinese during the American manufacturing. In this view, you refuse to repeat his earlier position in abandoning the Global Climate Agreement reach last year in Paris and Trump appeared to back off of his threat to loosen the libel laws, telling folks, I think you'll be happy. Bottom line here, these comments will probably be welcome by the Washington establishment, even by some Democrats, but could be seen as a betrayal by Trump's conservative base. In fact the conservative side Breitbart, which had been run by Trump adviser Steve Bannon, ripped Trump for a broken promise, for saying he is decided against seeking a special prosecutor for Hillary Clinton. The newspaper billed today's session, as Trump quote, "Tempered some of his most extreme campaign promises” and or maybe he is just moderating his stances as newly elected presidents sometimes do, Megyn.

KELLY: I can't keep up, Howie, thank you. Joining me now with more, Governor Mike Huckabee former Presidential Candidate and Fox News Contributor, and Julie Roginsky, Democratic Strategist and Fox News Contributor, so, we're no longer going to prosecute Hillary Clinton, we're reversing our position on the climate change agreement, we are no longer going to torture or water board which he said it aversely in all of the campaign stop, at many debate governor just like, how many campaign promises is that before he is even been sworn in?

MIKE HUCKABEE, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Oh, I don't know. You know and sometimes I'm not sure whether Donald Trump is humoring the The New York Times, who has never been polite to him, never been fair or balanced with him in any way. We'll see. I mean I think Donald Trump is doing a lot of things right now to, you know, give some good optics. I think we'll wait until he takes the oath of office. But I do believe this, Megyn. If he fundamentally changes the major positions that he campaigned on and the reason that 60 million people went and voted for him, I think it will be a real rocky start because there are expectations.

KELLY: You do?

HUCKABEE: I do, yeah. Because, look, nobody at the The New York Times wants or believes, Donald Trump will be a good president. Nobody at the Washington come post believes that either. But there are millions of Americans who tore their shirts for Donald Trump and went out there and got him elected. If he were to make major changes in his positions, I think it would be disaster.


KELLY: He reversed himself many, many times during the course of the campaign and they never held it against him. They believe in the man, if not the mission. Julie, I want to ask you about Jared Kushner, who, really sort of the - with respect to him -- boy wonder, you know, of the campaign.
He is, you know, he is a business guy, Ivanka's husband who really helped get Donald Trump elected as president. And his business credentials are really impressive however Mr. Trump is making news today by saying that Jared Kushner could help make peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians and pushing, according to NBC news, to get him a top secret clearance so that he can be privy to the presidential daily brief despite not being an official member of the White House and the Cabinet, your thoughts on that.

JULIE ROGINSKY, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST AND FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well I think it portrays on incredible lack of seriousness and a commitment to, of what needs to be done with foreign policy. Look, Jared Kushner, I guess what his qualifications are, in Donald Trump's mind is, he is Jewish, he has been to Israel a bunch of times, me too.

I mean, you know, there is a lot of us like that, but it doesn't mean I'm qualified to be Dennis Ross, Henry Kissinger or George Mitchell or any of the people who are very serious diplomats who have tried to bring peace to the Palestinian, it is really conflict and to say that Jared Kushner, whose only qualification, from what I can tell, that he married into the Trump family, is somebody that can take on this very onerous responsibility which has ramifications not just for the Middle East, but really for our foreign policy across the world, outside the Middle East and addition to the Middle East is laughable.

And so for anybody to believe he has any qualifications short of his religion and potentially having traveled as a lot of people have in Israel is again is not a serious analysis of what needs to be done.

KELLY: What do you make of the governor, because he is a smart man, he is very loyal to Mr. Trump, he helped get him elected. Is it more of a spokesperson type position where he would be just relaying the messages of the administration and familiarity with the issues required but being a true diplomat may not be? You tell me.

HUCKABEE: Well, look, I don't think anybody expects Jared Kushner or anybody else is going to go and resolve this, because if you want, if really want to know, this goes back to Isaac and Ishmel. It doesn’t have a start 50 years ago, 70 years ago.

KELLY: There may be a limit.

HUCKABEE: Well, look, here's what I want to just be very clear about. There's going to be no peace in the Palestinian Israeli conflict until, first, the Palestinians get serious about it and they quit telling the school children that it's a good thing to murder Jews. This has been going on since the beginning. They had a chance in 1995 when Ehud Barak almost gave away 95 percent of Judea and Samaria. And Arafat rejected the whole thing.
They don’t want peace.

KELLY: It's a tall bar. I want to ask you this quickly, before I let you go Julie. On the First Amendment and Trump's commitment to it, because obviously he had not the most respectful relationship with the press, he said to The New York Times, I think you'll be happy. His First Amendment commitment, you know it's funny because Trump, when he wants to charm you, he can do it. But the problem is the press is going to hit him right between the eyes. And they're not going to be happy and he is not going to be happy. It's just not the nature of media covering a president. Your thoughts.

ROBERTS: Look, I mean the media has to do their job without fear or favor. And so if somebody says they're going to open up loosen liable laws as Donald Trump said during the campaign --

KELLY: That is another one he walked back.

ROGINSKY: yeah he does, listen he'll walk it forward again tomorrow. That is the problem. You don't know where he stands. We could have daily if not hourly conversations about whiplash on what he says at any given time, at any given issues. If he walked it back, I'm happy to hear it. If he consistently for the next four years, decides he is not going to pursue it that is fantastic. But he cannot lash out to The New York Times, The Washington Post, Fox News or anybody else when any of us say something he doesn't like. That is the reality of a free press.

KELLY: If you guys see something where you feel I'm wrong, I love to hear it, you can call me. Arthur Sulzberger Jr. you can call me, but of course, this is not how it works. Like they're going to call, he is going to blow them off, they're going to write pieces that he doesn't like and I guarantee right here tonight that The New York Times will not be happy and Donald Trump will not be happy. No one will be happy, because media coverage of a president is usually not happy. I got to go.


KELLY: Go ahead.

HUCKABEE: One quick thing. We're talking about the credibility of Donald Trump. We need to be talking about the credibility of The New York Times which doesn't have any.

KELLY: We've had that discussion.

HUCKABEE: They don't have any. They have none.

KELLY: Great to see you both. No one is happy. First of all, there's no happiness in media and there is definitely no happiness in politics, when you mix the two together, zero happiness. It is all about unhappiness, skeptical and cynical, awfulness, welcome to The Kelly File.


So, coming up, Democratic congressman Tim Ryan is now being accused of sexism for the crime of challenging Nancy Pelosi for her job as minority leader. He is here tonight to respond to that.

Plus, the last some of them, thought it was great, when the Broadway cast publicly challenge VP-Elect Mike Pence.eft thought it was great but how did they react when Dr. Ben Carson spoke truth to power back at the National Prayer Breakfast. When the president is Barack Obama, Marc Thiessen and Matt Bennett are next for our little walk down memory lane.


From the world headquarters of Fox news, it the Kelly File, with Megyn Kelly.

KELLY: New questions tonight about a possible double standard when it comes to free speech. We heard some voices signaling their approval after the cast of Hamilton publicly confronted Vice President-Elect Mike Pence following Friday's showing of the popular Broadway show.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump if you're offended by someone actually speaking their mind and talking about the fact that there are many people in the country, minorities, the vulnerable, many people who has a sense of apprehension, if you have a problem with that, then that is the problem.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN: There was a very respectful message read on the stage by the cast of Hamilton. The entire show is a political message. I'm surprised that Trump could take that tone.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: It's not a tirade in front of the stage. It was a respectful thank you to Mike Pence for coming to the show.


KELLY: Respectful. But remember back in 2013 when Dr. Ben Carson was openly critical of President Obama at the National Prayer breakfast? We heard very different reactions, back then.


BOB BECKEL: It is one of the more shameful appearances I have seen in Washington in my career.


BECKEL: It is a way for people to commune with the God of their choice and this guy turns it into a Republican talking point political session.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's really not really an appropriate place to make this kind of political speech and to invoke god as his support for that kind of point of view.


KELLY: Joining me you, Marc Thiessen, Fox News contributor and former speech writer for President George W. Bush also an AEI fellow and Matt Bennett of Third Way, great to see you both.

Good to see you, Megyn.

KELLY: It's not the same people. We were just trying to make the point. And there's been hypocrisy on the right to for that matter in praising Dr. Carson back in the day, but condemning the cast of Hamilton today, your take on it Marc Thiessen.

THIESSEN: Well, first of all, there's a long tradition of speaking truth to power at the National Prayer Breakfast and it didn't start with Dr. Ben Carson. In actually in 1994, Mother Teresa came to the National Prayer Breakfast and students from the Bill and Hillary Clinton and gave a powerful message against abortion. And then, you know what, she invoked god, because that is what you do in the National Prayer Breakfast.

KELLY: She was inappropriate as Mother Teresa often was.

THIESSEN: Saint Teresa of Kolkata was not inappropriate, Megyn. She stood there while Bill and Hillary Clinton where stone faced and the crowd applauded and said there are no unwanted children. If you don't want your children, give them to me.


What you do at the National Prayer Breakfast, it's a place where leaders are call to present their views and their opinions on moral questions facing the day. Hamilton is a musical on Broadway, there is page of sing, and dance to entertain us, for $850 a ticket, now if you want to take their show and be rude and turn it into a platform to attack Trump and Pence, that is their prerogative, but they have to realize that they look absolutely ridiculous to rest of the America when they do it.

KELLY: Go ahead, Matt.

MATT BENNET, THIRD WAY: Well, look, it is tough when Marc invokes Mother Teresa. That is a tough start for me. I got to say Megyn, but.


KELLY: No good way out.

BENNET: I will say, when it comes to Barack Obama, he is been very clear that people have the right to speak their mind. If you remember when the protester was shouting at him during the end of the campaign he hushed the crowd and told them to be respectful of the guy. Particularly because he was…


KELLY: But you remember many on the left were outraged at Ben Carson for what he did at that prayer breakfast, same types of complaints we heard from the right in response to Hamilton.

BENNET: Yeah, there's no shortage of hypocrisy as you point out. Look, Dr. Carson was standing at the president's podium. He was lecturing the president about policy.

KELLY: Mike Pence is trying to see a Broadway show.

BENNET: Well, but Carson was doing anytime a snide way. Talk about death panel, if you look.


KELLY: Nice. The guy lecturing Mike Pence, our vice President-elect has tweeted out about hoes, calling women hoes, just saying.


BENNET: But when he wasn't lecturing, he was, I thought it was actually quite a respectful comment that he was making. This guy, who was talking has just played a vice president on stage. I don't think he felt that they could pass up the opportunity.

KELLY: Clearly whether that you know, he also slept in a Holiday Inn last night, but it doesn't necessarily make you the person to you know advice the vice president-elect. Although, I tend to like, you know, sort of these open statements from all sides, because it's quintessentially American and more sensitive.

THIESSEN: He should have taken Aaron Burr's advice, which is talk less smile more.

KELLY: Ok, right. Nancy Pelosi's challenge is next.


KELLY: Well Nancy Pelosi's 14-year reign as the head of the Democratic Caucus may be in serious jeopardy as 43-year-old Ohio representative Tim Ryan mounts a challenge to his one-time mentor. He says it's nothing personal, but now he is been denounced as sexist just for throwing his hat in the ring, joining us now, Representative Tim Ryan, great to see you sir. So, yes somebody over at Think Progress says, the theme where a male back bench every thinks he deserves to replace the most accomplished woman in congress is how sexism works, your response.

TIM RYAN, OHIO REPRESENTATIVE: Well, I got a lot of respect for Nancy Pelosi. She is a historic figure, but this is not about the leader's gender. This is about the leader's record. We're down 60 some seats since 2010. We have the smallest Democratic number in our house caucus since 1929. We're not wining. And if this was a football coach or a baseball manager, we'd be trading him in for someone new. And I am asking the opportunity to do that myself.

KELLY: Do you think Nancy Pelosi resonates with the Democrats in the rust belt, in places like Ohio, where you're from?

RYAN: Well the whole premise of me running is saying that I don't think the current leader can connect with people in the areas of the country that we need to connect in order to get back into the majority and push programs that are going to increase jobs and wages and secure pensions in places like Youngstown, Ohio. I think we've turned into a coastal party. We are no longer a national party and that was proven on Tuesday night. If we want to get back to being able to win races in the south, in the industrial Midwest, we need some new leadership, a new message and a new agenda.

KELLY: They said she got a legendary ability to reunite your party.

RYAN: Well, I think Donald Trump does too, Megyn.

KELLY: Well we'll watch. The elections are on November 30th. They say you're a long shot. She is got a lot of power. We'll find out whether if she holds on to it. Great to see you sir, thanks for being here.

RYAN: Thanks for having me.

KELLY: We'll be right back.


KELLY: Big news. My new book "Settle for More" is number one on the Barnes & Noble best seller list. Thanks to all of you. And thank you so much for buying it. I want to share a few Facebook posts with you. This one from Meg Gretel, who writes, love your book, can't put it down. I got so teary reading the stories about your father and the years of bullying, the particular story of the girls calling you and you have been going outside to skate on the ice in the cold. I felt like I was there.

On the other hand the stories of your mom's quick and witty responses make we wish I knew her personally. Your book has given me such different perspective watching you at 9:00 pm every night, can't wait to keep on reading. My mom is going to love that one.

This one comes from Fred White. I could not put it down, finishing it in the wee hours of the morning. I want to thank you for sharing your life story. Even an old Marine found tears running down my face while reading about the loss of your beloved dad. Your book also made me do some self-reflecting - reflection and soul searching. Thank you again. That means a lot to me. Thank you.

Candice writes, all I can say is you've won me back over again. I needed that little pep talk about getting back up no matter who knocks you down, I've wall lowed in my feelings long enough, it's been 8 years, she said and it's time the get on with life. Thank you.

And plenty of uplifting messages from women, like Bethany Elfring who writes, I feel like that you're an inspiration to young girls, you are showing them they can be strong, empowered, respected and can be what they put their mind to.

Amen to that. Thank you all for listening and for reading and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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