February 06, 2012

Israel, Iran on the brink of war?

Guests: Rudy Giuliani, former NYC mayor

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," February 6, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: National security issues are being injected back into the race for the White House tonight as war games in Iran capture the attention of the west, while an apparent hostage crisis involving Americans develops on the ground in Egypt. And we begin with Iran. And earlier today, the White House announced that it plans to impose new sanctions on Tehran in response to the regime's refusal to abandon their nuclear program. Now, this announcement comes just days after Defense Secretary Leon Panetta revealed that he fears that Israel may preemptively strike Iran in April, May or June of this year. Now, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked if today's sanctions were in response to those fears. Let's listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: There has been a steady increase in our sanctions activity. And this is part of that escalation. And it's not related specifically to that issue or the questions about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: And while tensions between Israel and Iran now near a bordering point, the hostage crisis is under way at this hour in Cairo, Egypt. Now, today, military leaders announced that 19 American citizens will stand trial for allegedly inciting unrest in the wake of Hosni Mubarak's fall from power. And complicating things, one of the accused happens to be related to an American cabinet member. Sam LaHood, the son of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was the very first name released by a state newspaper earlier today. He along with 18 other pro-democracy activists have now been barred from leaving the country.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VICTORIA NULAND, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: This is as we said before a very unique and unusual situation. This is a situation that is we made absolutely clear gaining the attention at the highest levels of both of our governments. So, I don't want to speculate on what might happen going forward. We have a report that formal charges will be filed in the interim. Our ambassador has invited those who are affected, who are still in the country, to use the embassy grounds to give them a little bit of space to work with their lawyers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Joining me now in the studio with reaction to this volatile situation, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Mr. Mayor, how are you?

FMR. MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI, NEW YORK CITY: How are you?

HANNITY: You know, the president said this was a democracy movement. Now that we have radical Islamists have come to power, they were just last week talking about speeding up aid to the Muslim Brotherhood in the new Islamic government, and now we got a hostage situation as far as I'm concerned. And they are going put these Americans on trial.

GIULIANI: Yes. I mean, this is the risk that everybody was worried about and warned about with pushing over Mubarak so quickly and not having any plan, not having any real sense of who's taking over. And there is no question that right now, they are acting like I mean, it feels perilously similar to what was going on Iran in 1979, '78, '79.

HANNITY: Yes. All right. We got Egyptian gunmen kidnapping two American women. Last week, it was Egypt announced, they were going put these guys on trial as I said, but we're talking about giving any aid. Why would we give a new radical Islamic government aid?

GIULIANI: Yes. I have no idea. And I don't understand why we haven't reacted more strongly to the fact that they've held these people illegally. They are going to put them on trial illegally. This is clearly some kind of an insane Islamic extremist act that is going on. And we are reacting sort of nonchalantly to it without the appropriate I think pressure that we could bring on the Egyptian government. And some of the other Arab governments to pressure them.

HANNITY: How is it possible that the president would tell the American people this democracy movement is a great thing? How is it they didn't know -- and I was saying at the time, I hope they are right. Public opinion in Egypt show that most Egyptians, 75 percent wanted the theocracy, wanted Sharia law.

GIULIANI: The president has no clue as to what's going on there. I think he's living a fairly naive world. I mean, in fact, that's -- his whole, even whole situation with Libya which he gets a lot of credit for, in Libya, he led by following. Which means not leading. It means, I don't have a sense of what is going on, so I'm just going to go kind of go with the wind takes me. And that one, unfortunately, I mean, those of us who I think have a little more knowledge of the Middle East realized that you are unleashing some really dangerous forces here. I mean, I think Hillary Clinton's first reaction was to stick with Mubarak, and then she got pushed aside. Not because she likes Mubarak. Nobody liked Mubarak. He's a bad dictator.

(CROSSTALK)

He is a bad dictator that had a good relationship with Israel and good relationship with the United States. Didn't pose a threat to us and wasn't taking hostages, right?

HANNITY: What do we do with Iran? Pursuing nuclear weapons, threatening the world's oil supply. Telling our battle ships to get out of the Straits of Hormuz, planning assassinations of foreign dictators --foreign ambassadors, excuse me, on American soil. And, you know, threatening the world at every point and funding terror and killing Americans?

GIULIANI: I think the president has a lot of work do with Iran. Because I think he has created a lot of this problem with all that silliness about wanting to negotiate with them and begging to negotiate with them and not supporting.

HANNITY: Wait, he said it was a tiny country, Iran. They're not a threat. Those are the words he said. Iran is a tiny country. They're not a threat.

GIULIANI: Yes. I mean, go tell that to the military in Iraq who being killed by Iranians, you know three or four, five years ago. That was another naive statement. That I don't know where that came from. Iran is been a threat now since 1978, 1979. It has specifically participated in killing Americans and it is by far the biggest sponsor of terrorism, state sponsored terrorism in the world. So, to say they are not a threat is actually mind-blowing. I mean, it means you are living in some other universe that isn't the one that we're living in. But we should be making it very, very clear that we are prepared, not in a reluctant way, but we are prepared to use military action if we have to use it. And not we're not shrinking back. It is going to be really difficult for us to do it. And we should not be relying on Israel and threatening them over the possibility of Israel doing it. Look, we have the largest military force on earth. The military force that we have is gigantic compared to Iran. And we should be prepared to use it to stop them from becoming a nuclear power.

HANNITY: Shouldn't we be at the point now where we've got to take out their nuclear sites? Are we pretty much there.

GIULIANI: I can't tell you if we are there or not. Because I don't have the details about how far along they are. Here is where we're not. We're not in their minds, meaning they don't believe we're going to do it. They have seen a weak president. They have seen a president that they can ridicule. He can ask for talks and they can basically say we don't want to talk to you.

HANNITY: Right.

GIULIANI: A president that when they had the green movement, any other American president would have supported that movement in a second. Here we have dissidence. We've got this whole situation with Camp Ashraf where we have these people who oppose the regime in Iran who are being killed by Maliki in Iraq and administration doing nothing about it.

HANNITY: Let me ask you this. As you look at the presidential race, a lot of times we may talk about the economy up until Election Day, but the next president, his biggest challenge may be national security. You never know. Where are you on the race? You endorsed Newt Gingrich, you're supporting.

GIULIANI: Oh, no. I haven't endorsed anybody. I've said some very nice things about Newt. I've said some nice things about Romney. I indicated that I think Newt has a bolder, stronger plan on taxes, on the economy.

HANNITY: Can he come back?

GIULIANI: I don't know. I don't know the answer to that. He has before. I mean, he has defied the odds before. So, there is a chance he can come back and I think there is still room for a race here. Because so few delegates have been won. I think it's looking very good for Governor Romney right now but I don't think it's over. And I think a lot can be accomplished by a good race if they discuss issues, if they talk about the things that they would do definitely than Obama than attacking each other so much. We now know the differences between them. The attacks that offended me the most was when Romney became a Democrat to attack Newt and when Newt became a Democrat to attack Romney. I think attacking Romney over Bain stupid, damn, and you sound like a democrat. And attacking Newt over what went on in Congress which was a Democratic plot to get back at him, because of what he did to Write (ph), was acting like a Democrat. What the heck are we doing that for?

HANNITY: It's good advice. All right. I assume at some point, there will be peace made. Maybe, you'll have to broker.

GIULIANI: Well, I hope so because the objective here is to defeat Barack Obama, and I think national security is much bigger issue and may still become a much bigger issue than people realize.

HANNITY: I think you're right. No doubt. Mr. Mayor, good to see you. Thank you so much for being with us.

GIULIANI: Thank you. Go Giants.

HANNITY: Oh, what a great game. I picked them by three, they won by four.

GIULIANI: Yes.

HANNITY: We'll show that prediction later.

GIULIANI: The game, it was fabulous.

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