This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," May 16, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Also breaking tonight, a stunning revelation from inside the IRS. Fox News has confirmed that the official who was in charge of the IRS tax exempt organizations office when the scandal was taking place, she now is the head of the IRS's ObamaCare implementation office.
Now, this is the latest piece of evidence that all of this was a coordinated political campaign aimed at silencing conservatives.
Now, reaction from this bombshell is beginning to pour in from Capitol Hill. A short time ago, Senator John Cornyn released a statement, it reads in part, quote, "The official who oversaw the targeting of Tea Party groups is now in charge of implementing ObamaCare at the IRS. Now more than ever, we need to prevent the IRS from having any role in Americans' health care."
By the way, I couldn't agree more.
And joining me now with reaction to all this late breaking developments, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Mr. Speaker, welcome back.
NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: It's good to be with you. And this is an extraordinary time for us to have a chance to talk about how Washington really works.
HANNITY: You know, you have been spending a lot of time thinking, we've been friends for many, many years. Before we get into the specifics of all this, give me the big picture of what you see going on in Washington overall.
GINGRICH: Well, I think between the Benghazi scandal, the scandal of Secretary Sebelius, who has been using government power and prestige to raise money illegally for implementing ObamaCare despite Congressional appropriations, the scandal that we have with the Internal Revenue Service, the scandal we have with the Justice Department taking two solid months of records from the Associated Press secretly, what people are going to confront is this is a challenge of the entire process of big government.
This isn't about Barack Obama as a person. This is not a personality defect. This is the nature of large bureaucratic government to do dangerous things, then to lie about having done them, and then to smear the people who tell the truth and I think we need to confront. Never is there a better argument for repealing ObamaCare than what you are watching day- by-day as this starts to unfold.
HANNITY: And interestingly, today that very thing happened. Only two Democrats in the House of Representatives, again, they have done this before, voted to repeal the health care bill, only two Democrats voted with them.
Let me, this breaking news about the woman who was in charge from the IRS during the Tea Party targeting is now running the IRS ObamaCare implementation? Is that a good choice?
GINGRICH: Well, look, first of all, this ought to tell you that this certainly reaches up into the White House. I mean, does anybody, any serious person believe that the top ranking Internal Revenue Service person in charge of implementing ObamaCare was just casually picked? Does anyone think that there was any disapproval of what she was doing to stop conservative groups, Tea Party groups, some of whom, you know, there's a 27-month period when not a single Tea Party gets certified by the Internal Revenue Service. Twenty seven months. Over two years.
Now, does anybody seriously believe that the person in charge of doing that, who, by the way, got $100,000, technically $103,000 in bonuses for having done a great job, do you really believe that she was picked to implement ObamaCare at the Internal Revenue Service -- where there's a huge build-up of staff to make sure that they contract every single person in America on the health side -- that she was picked without the White House's approval? It's in conceivable. And I hope that the Congress is going to demand every single e-mail, every conversation, every decision document relating to her being picked for that job. It is clearly going to lead directly into the White House.
HANNITY: Well, that's pretty profound. How significant, in your view, Mr. Speaker, is it that they knew about this for such a long period of time before the election?
GINGRICH: Look, go back and look at every Democratic senator who was writing letters demanding that the Internal Revenue Service inspect carefully all of these groups. There are a lot of Democratic senators who are part of the pressure to do this. Look at the George Soros funded organizations on the left. They were demanding the Internal Revenue Service do this. Go back and look at the president and vice president's hysterical language, smearing and then attacking these groups.
I keep reminding people, this is an administration which refuses to profile terrorists, even though 30 out of 31 of the top FBI-wanted terrorists all have the same characteristics. But you can't profile and tell you about it because that would be inappropriate. But they were profiling words like patriot, Constitution. It is unimaginable how corrupted the Internal Revenue Service had become culturally by this left-wing bias against conservatism.
HANNITY: You talked earlier about how they inevitably and predictably will go after those that are seeking the truth or seeking answers. Strategically -- and you often think strategically -- what do you recommend the Republicans do in anticipation of that as they try to get answers? I think we need answers on Benghazi, I think we need answers on the AP, and certainly this IRS scandal. How do they handle that?
GINGRICH: Well, look, I think the leadership, for example of people like Darrell Issa, who has done a great job on the Investigation Oversight Committee as chairman, with the things John Boehner has been doing recently, and that we see Eric Cantor doing, I think they are moving in the right direction. I think Dave Camp (ph)in Ways and Means is going to do some great stuff.
But I think the key is to slow down. This story has to be thoroughly understood by the American people. I hope the Ways and Means Committee over the next two or three months will bring in every single group that was sabotaged by the Internal Revenue Service. Let the country see how many different groups, and by the way, not just Tea Party groups, but I just got a note today from a friend who had a conservative pro-national security group that had exactly the same kind of treatment, the same kind of harsh behavior from the Internal Revenue Service. There are some donors, frankly, who are being treated unbelievably harshly. They should be brought in. And let's look in -- I think a lot of decision documents need to be pulled forward, a lot of people have to testify. They can't get away on the Democratic Party side with claiming it was one or two people. There were a lot of people involved in this and we need to look at all of them.
HANNITY: I like the idea, let people come in. Let the country hear their stories, what they went through and then we will go from there. I think that's a good strategy. When we get back, I want to ask you about Benghazi and the significance of that. We will continue more with Speaker Gingrich and then also coming up tonight on "Hannity."
HANNITY: And welcome back to "Hannity." We continue now with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. The question on Benghazi -- we have been talking about that -- that I want most answered is, I want to know who brought into this false narrative that it was spontaneous and that this was in retaliation of YouTube video. What is the one question you would like answered, or maybe you have a number of them?
GINGRICH: Look, I think there's core question here. When the State Department head of communication says, my building's leadership doesn't like the CIA's analysis, the question you have to ask is first of all, it's an interesting language. My building's leadership? Does she mean Secretary Clinton, who was the leader of the State Department?
But secondly, what was it they didn't like about it? I think what's really frightening is much deeper than anybody has talked about it yet. I think this may not have been driven by Obama's re-election. I think this may have been driven by the passion the State Department has to avoid telling the truth about radical Islamists, and I think what they were afraid of was that if people understood that this was, in fact, a radical Islamist attack that killed an American ambassador and three other Americans, that the anger of the American people would have been focused on radical Islam at the time when the State Department was trying to support a president who came out of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
So, in my mind the narrative here may relate more to the desperation of the State Department to blame America first. Remember, they all wanted to blame this one stupid video. The president mentions it in the United Nations speech. It comes up again and again. And I think it's partly because on the left it's so much easier to blame Americans than it is to tell the truth about who our enemies are. So, it may be that this is a cultural story more than a political story.
HANNITY: Don't you think, though that it has to be seen through the prism of the election? Because the narrative was that Al Qaeda had been beaten because Bin Laden was dead?
GINGRICH: Now, you know, I would have said that if the person speaking had been from the White House staff. But the person who is speaking is Secretary Clinton's agent. And you may well be right, that's certainly, in Washington, the smaller view. But I'm just really struck, even as recently as the Boston bombing, when you have two Chechnyans engaged in a bombing and the first reaction is, gee, I wonder what their motives were. You almost want to break down and cry. I mean, this is a willful hiding from the truth that goes on over and over among our elites.
And so I think they were eager to grasp on this film because the film allowed them to attack an American, whereas if the real culprits, as they turned out to be, were radical Islamists, then it would have been another example.
This is not something, Sean, I came to early on. It was only as I kept thinking why it is the director of State Department Communications, speaking on behalf of, quote, "My building's leadership," who is driving this? It's not the White House. The White House would have been purely, narrowly political, and I frankly would be giving you a different analysis tonight.
HANNITY: Isn't the guy that made the film still in jail, interestingly enough, out of all of this?
Now, here's my point. I think he might be --
GINGRICH: I actually don't know. Why would he be in jail?
HANNITY: Well, remember they put him in jail for -- he had a probation violation of some sort and it resulted in him being arrested and put in jail. Here's my point, though. The talking points originally were right. They mentioned Al Qaeda, they mentioned terror, they mentioned all the things that we now know to be true. It evolved into a web of lies to the point where the CIA where they originated, David Petraeus said frankly, I would just as soon not use this. He didn't want to advance what he knew was a lie.
GINGRICH: Well, I think -- you are right. I mean, you and I -- we are talking from a common set of facts here. It is a fact that the Central Intelligent Agency, as did the people on the ground in Libya, as did by the way the Libyan government, all three of those sources were saying, this is a terrorist deliberate attack that has killed an American ambassador and three other Americans.
So, all of those sources agreed. There's no question about that. And then there's no question that they were then fundamentally changed into a lie to be told to the American people by the president of the United States, including at the United Nations speech by the ambassador of United Nations on five different TV shows that Sunday, and that had a political effect. But the more frightening thing may be that it reflects a cultural problem in the State Department that I think should terrify most Americans.
HANNITY: One last question, it's about President Obama, two aspects of him. Number one, he was informed about four or five o'clock in the afternoon and apparently he never spoke to anybody again and went to bed that night and got up the next day and went campaigning in all this. And even two weeks later, he advanced the narrative about that YouTube video. What are your thoughts about how he handled all this?
GINGRICH: Cold, isolated, without any regard for the people who serve the United States, and willing to be remarkably aloof from the people who he is supposed to be commander in chief for.