On Friday’s “The Kelly File” on the Fox News Channel, host Megyn Kelly debated Andy Dean, a former president of Trump Productions and a supporter of GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump, over whether or not it would have been appropriate for Trump to defend President Barack Obama when asked about the “Muslim problem” in America and singling out the president at a campaign rally in New Hampshire early this week.
Dean likened it to Obama’s lack of rhetoric regarding Jeremiah Wright, the controversial pastor of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, who made derogatory statements about the country following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Kelly was not satisfied with Dean’s response and asked him if he was “uncomfortable.”
Transcript as follows:
MEGYN KELLY, HOST OF “THE KELLY FILE”: We want to start with Andy Dean, he’s the former president of Trump Productions and worked with Mr. Trump for seven years. Andy, thank you for being here tonight.
ANDY DEAN, FORMER PRESIDENT OF TRUMP PRODUCTIONS: Thank you.
KELLY: So, what is officially is the defense being offered by the Trump campaign on this?
DEAN: Well, look, I think it was a question that was asked at a town hall forum, and Donald as you can tell kind of shrug his shoulders and laugh a little bit. Because it’s a pretty aggressive question. But as far as what Donald thinks, I mean, we all know that President Obama went to Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s church. And what religion that is, I’m not sure because we remember Reverend Wright saying, God damn America. That’s in the Bible. I read the Bible. I have not seen that passage yet. So, I think more than anything, there’s just confusion on our end as to why one tiny question is some sort of big media controversy right now.
KELLY: You know, it’s because the guy — a couple reasons. Number one, he seem today be condemning Muslims as a group, as opposed to radical Muslims. Number two, he said that Barack Obama —
DEAN: The questioner was, not Donald Trump.
KELLY: Yes. The questioner.
DEAN: The questioner was, not Donald Trump.
KELLY: Right. Exactly.
KELLY: And then number two, he said the questioner that Barack Obama is a Muslim and that he’s not a citizen of this country. And Donald Trump did not correct him or challenged him on other one.
DEAN: Well, that’s not correct. We know that Barack Obama is a citizen of this country, one of the reasons why we have definitive proof is that Donald Trump got Barack Obama’s long form birth certificate.
KELLY: Why didn’t he say that?
DEAN: And once he produced that, there’s been no controversy since. And it is, Megyn, for a second here. It’s pretty impressive, if you look at Donald Trump’s pure negotiating skill, then nobody on planet earth was able to produce this document until Donald turned this into an issue and then Barack Obama —
KELLY: So then, he’s in the best position to turn onto that man and say, we know he’s a citizen sir, we know that. Because I pushed for him in the release and he did. And that question has been resolved. Period. Let’s move on.
DEAN: Okay. Well, Megyn, he could have said that, but by that exact same logic, think of this, why didn’t Barack Obama according to that same logic stand up at Jeremiah Wright’s church and say, hey Jeremiah, not God damn America.
KELLY: Not a good question. Not a good question.
DEAN: America isn’t — no, it’s the exact same thing.
KELLY: Barack Obama is not running for office. Donald Trump is.
DEAN: Sorry, he wasn’t running for office in 2007 and 2003 —
KELLY: See, he won the office. And he’s now the sitting president.
KELLY: So that fish has swum. That ship has sailed.
DEAN: Okay, but it’s a parallel argument. Megyn, I’m sorry. This is a rough night, I guess.
KELLY: Well, that’s a deflection, Andy.
DEAN: That’s not making any sense.
KELLY: That’s a deflection.
DEAN: It’s not a deflection. It’s an exact parallel.
KELLY: You seem to be dodging. Are you uncomfortable on this issue? Why can’t you answer whether —
DEAN: What is it Megyn? Please get specifics.
KELLY: Okay. I will. Why didn’t Donald Trump look at him and say he is not a Muslim. He is an American citizen. I’m the man who made him produce his birth certificate.
DEAN: I think that could have been an answer as to why, you know, and Donald answered the questions at a town hall. I think indeed the perfect politically correct answer at every moment to satisfy the media. You know, I’m not a genius. I can’t figure that out.
KELLY: That’s okay. That’s a reasonable response.
DEAN: Thank you.
KELLY: All the stuff about, why didn’t Barack Obama stand-up was a deflection. We got to it eventually.
DEAN: No, it’s not. It’s was an exact parallel argument, actually, Megyn.
KELLY: Oh, I’ll let the viewers decide.
DEAN: When you re-watch this, we’ll see that. Okay, great.
KELLY: I’ll look forward to doing just that later.
DEAN: You got it.
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