This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," June 21, 2005 that has been edited for clarity.
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SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: As we continue on "Hannity & Colmes," I'm Sean Hannity. Alan is in Aruba tonight, and we're going to show you an interview that he had with a former Aruban police officer who thinks that Natalee's still alive. We'll get back to that.
And also coming up, 11-year-old Boy Scout Brennan Hawkins, we had his parents on this program last night. He is alive. He is well. He is back with his family. We'll go live to Utah in the mountains for this incredible story.
But first, it's the book that made headlines before it even went to press, joining us now in his first television interview is the author of "The Truth About Hillary: What She Knew It, When She Knew It, and How Far She'll Go to Become President," Ed Klein.
Ed, welcome to the program.
ED KLEIN, AUTHOR, "THE TRUTH ABOUT HILLARY": Great to be here, Sean.
HANNITY: You are the former editor-in-chief of New York Times (search) magazine.
KLEIN: That's right.
HANNITY: Twelve years. You are the former foreign editor of Newsweek (search) for nine years. Hardly a member of my vast right wing conspiracy. This book has come under tremendous fire.
KLEIN: Yes. The Clinton campaign trying to undermine people's credibility is something to watch when it's happening to somebody else. But when it's happening to you, it's kind of interesting to see that they turn the story away from Hillary and make me the story. So they're trying to undermine my credibility.
HANNITY: Is it that, or is it that the issues that you raise in the book — you raise issues of her sexuality, you raise issues about whether or not Bill raped her, you raise — and conceived Chelsea that way.
HANNITY: Isn't that going too personal? Shouldn't that be the type of thing that you put off to the side and you deal with the Clintons on a political issue-by-issue basis?
KLEIN: Well, if you're a political writer, that's what you do. But I'm a biographer.
KLEIN: And I've always been a biographer. And a biographer writes about the personal lives of the people that interest him.
HANNITY: But in the case of the story of how Chelsea was conceived, you had one source in the book.
HANNITY: Is that enough? And it's unnamed.
KLEIN: Well, if the source is a good source. You have to be able to judge, as I can from my 40 years of experience as a journalist, whether a source is credible. And I found that source to be more than credible, and I could double-check everything he said.
HANNITY: I had you on my radio program today. And it was 50/50 in the e-mail, people saying, "Go, Ed, good job," and the other 50 percent said, “This guy is going to create a sympathy backlash for Hillary because he is too personal and he is too harsh.” Dick Morris (search) said these accusations do not belong in the public dialogue, et cetera.
How do you respond to those people that say you're only helping Hillary by attacking her personally and not on the issues?
KLEIN: The one person who doesn't believe that, that I'm helping Hillary, is Hillary herself.
KLEIN: Because Hillary and Bill Clinton (search) and Chelsea Clinton (search) all have their own publicity apparatuses, and these apparatuses have reacted to this book as though it was a life and death situation.
HANNITY: Ed, I actually think that Hillary ought to answer the question about — for example, she said she's a feminist. She believes in women's rights.
So her — when women one after another come forward and accuse her husband of mistreating women, from Juanita Broderick (search) to Kathleen Willey (search) and all the women in between, Monica Lewinsky (search), I think it's a legitimate political question about her consistency, whether or not there's hypocrisy, about what she knew, why didn't she speak out, considering she takes these positions.
But if you bring up her personal life, their personal life — they're still married — do we cross a boundary that ought not be crossed in political dialogue? In personal dialogue? Do we say that maybe that's not fair?
Because I'm of the school that I want to keep my battle with the Clintons political, not personal.
KLEIN: Yes. My feeling about that is, if someone is running for president of the United States, their so-called zone of privacy doesn't exist.
HANNITY: It doesn't — even innuendo, even allegation?
KLEIN: No, no. I mean, obviously, you don't want to smear them with unsubstantiated allegations. But what you want to do is examine that person's character, because that person is going to be making critical decisions under a lot of pressure. And you want to make sure you have the right person.
HANNITY: You question her sexuality, though, four times in the book, but she's a married woman with a child. I mean, do you not consider...
KLEIN: I'm not the first person who has questioned her sexuality.
HANNITY: I know. But without — there's no evidence of any such thing. Is it fair? Do you consider her daughter in all of this? Should we consider her daughter?
KLEIN: The rumors of Hillary's sexuality started in Arkansas 30-some- odd years ago.
HANNITY: But is it fair? I don't want to defend Hillary, I have so many political disagreements. Shouldn't we keep it on...
KLEIN: Hillary was asked by Bill Clinton's campaign manager in 1974, Hillary, please come out and deny these rumors. They're hurting Bill Clinton.
HANNITY: When did you stop beating your child?
KLEIN: And she said, I'm not going to do it.
HANNITY: But why does she — why should she have to? If she's a married woman with a child.
KLEIN: Because she's given all kind of signals that her sexuality is in question.
HANNITY: But there's other issues you bring up in particular about Hillary and Vince Foster and other issues. At some point, when you wrote this book, you knew — you know, you say this is part of the Clinton attack machine, but you had to know they were going to hate your guts and that they were going to fight back. You're not surprised at that?
KLEIN: No. But I am — I am sort of curious and bemused at how they go about it, which is to take the stuff that's in the book, the book that I've written and, instead of addressing those particular charges, they try to make the author the subject.
HANNITY: I read the book, though. To the extent that, and the number of times you raised the sexuality issue and the number of times you raised the affair with Vince Foster (search) issue, the number of times you raised what Bill is even currently involved with in these issues — you know, the issue that he may have raped her, he said he was going to do it, he may have conceived Chelsea in this night, that resulted in a big fight.
You know, how much evidence do we need? How much would be appropriate before we go to book form with this? What other evidence do you have, in that case for example, beyond the one person?
KLEIN: We have Hillary's own book, "Living History," in which she talks about going down there to Bermuda...
HANNITY: But she doesn't corroborate the story that he raped her.
KLEIN: No, nor do I suggest for a second that — that he was...
HANNITY: You say that he says those words...
KLEIN: Well, I know that he said those words, because I was told by an eyewitness who I think is utterly credible that Bill did say those words.
HANNITY: All right. Well, it's obviously — it's creating a huge controversy. And Ed Klein, I have no doubt this is going to be talked about for weeks and probably months to come. And thanks for being with us. We appreciate your time.
KLEIN: Thank you for having me.
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