Exclusive: T. Boone Pickens on $1 Million Challenge to Sen. John Kerry

Published November 20, 2007

| FoxNews.com

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," November 19, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: John Kerry's taken on the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" again. Texas oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens challenged the Massachusetts senator to disprove any of the group's allegations. He even made the wager more interesting with a $1 million prize slated for charity.

John Kerry has responded by accepting the offer.

With us now, the CEO of BT Capital, the man behind the challenge, T. Boone Pickens.

Mr. Pickens, thank you very much for being here tonight.

As I understand it, the offer was, you prove any one charge wrong and I'll give you $1 million. Is that...

T. BOONE PICKENS, CEO, BT CAPITAL: The charge was on the ads, Alan.

COLMES: To prove any of it wrong.

PICKENS: That's right.

COLMES: Now, when John Kerry comes forward, you said you want a journal that he maintained during his service, military records, specifically his service records from '71 to '78. And that he has to give $1 million if he's — but that wasn't part of the original deal, so why did you change that?

PICKENS: I didn't say that he had to give $1 million.

COLMES: What about...

PICKENS: No, but I want to see the hand. I mean, it's like playing poker. Here I am with the hand. I put my hand on the table. He puts his hand on the table with his journal. You've got to show me records.

COLMES: But that wasn't part of the original deal. All of a sudden, you've got to show me your journal, records.

PICKENS: Why would he not want me to see his journals? Because he's very proud of his record.

COLMES: Now, in fact, he did release his records in 2005, and he signed a 180. And by the way, the Navy did an investigation. And the investigation of the Navy concurred with John Kerry that the medals he received were done just the way John Kerry said they were. Why not believe the Navy investigation.

PICKENS: He's the one that applied for the medals.

COLMES: Was that investigation wrong?

PICKENS: I just want a copy, and I can't get a copy.

COLMES: Let me show you, on this program we have an admiral — Colonel Adrian Lonsdale, who was in the swift boat ads. I talked about him on this program. He was not himself on this show. But I played a clip back in 2004 of what he was staying with the swift boaters and then versus what he had said 10 years prior. Let's show that clip:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CMDR. ADRIAN LONSDALE (RET.), U.S. NAVY: And he lacks the capacity to lead.

There was a task commander under my command. There was a division of swift boats which Senator Kerry was a member. And as far as I'm concerned, the war was won over there, in that part, for that period, and it was mainly won because of the bravado and the courage of the young officers that ran the boats, the swift boats and the Coast Guard cutters.

And Senator Kerry was no exception. He was among the finest of those swift boat drivers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLMES: Why would you have people saying on one hand, in the swift boat ads, he didn't deserve the medals, versus what they had said 10 years earlier, when they praised him for the very same thing they were then going after him for during the campaign.

PICKENS: And you said why would I have somebody say.

COLMES: You funded them. You funded them to the tune of $1 million dollars...

PICKENS: You think I had these guys saying anything?

COLMES: Why would they have flip-flopped?

PICKENS: I don't know. I've never seen that before.

COLMES: You never saw that?

PICKENS: No.

COLMES: We had William Ruud of The Chicago Tribune, the only living officer who was with John Kerry when he earned his Silver Star who talks about that, yes, John Kerry earned that Silver Star. He did everything that he claimed he did, versus what the swift boaters said. And he came out in The Chicago Tribune, for whom he writes, again claiming that the swift boaters were absolutely wrong in the thing that they said.

PICKENS: But Alan, do you remember that I challenged John Kerry on any of these things? I didn't. I haven't said anything about his Silver Star. I never mentioned it.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Hang on a second. Because this is important here. You've got to get the fundamental — you said that, if anything he can find, material, untrue, in the ads, that you'll give him $1 million.

PICKENS: Exactly.

HANNITY: OK. Has he come forward with what he's found in the ads, specifically — you're very specific — Has he found anything that's not true?

PICKENS: No.

HANNITY: And so — and you're asking, "Give me the journal. Give me your military record. And if you do that" — which he has not released, has he?

PICKENS: He hasn't released anything. But Sean, you know, he's just now answering something that happened three years ago. And so I don't want to rush him into a response. I mean, he can take as long as he wants. The bet's open.

HANNITY: Right. Now I did notice, you asked him to match. He can afford $1 million. He has a bunch of planes and a lot of money. Why wouldn't he want to give the money to a charity for veterans?

PICKENS: And I — and what I would ask him to give it to would be the Congressional Medal of Honor foundation.

HANNITY: The fact is that I am tired of this word "swift boat" being used as a pejorative. But when we talk about the Swift Boat Vets for Truth, these are brave American heroes.

PICKENS: That's right.

HANNITY: And the only thing they did was point out that John Kerry, who slandered them in Vietnam, when they get back and accused them of cutting off limbs and heads, they said his story is inaccurate. And they told their story. So really, isn't it he said-he said in these? Except you have a bunch of swift boat guys.

PICKENS: What you have — and I saw the ads before they used them. And I put up the money, along with 155,000 other people.

HANNITY: Donated.

PICKENS: There were 155,000, plus Boone, to pay for these ads. And I saw them. And you have there, John Kerry himself, in one of the ads, on his testimony for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1971. And he had his medals on there and all. But later said he threw them away.

HANNITY: That's right.

PICKENS: OK. And when you go back through those ads, there were about eight or nine of them. That it showed only the people that served with him. There were no actors.

HANNITY: Can I get in on this action, by the way? I like your competitive spirit here.

PICKENS: The thing about it is these guys are heroes.

HANNITY: They are heroes.

PICKENS: They are trying to make it out to be something other than that.

And all they get — when they came to me. John O'Neill came to me. He said, "Look, I'm not Democrat or Republican. But we think, my — the guys that served with him, we want the American people to know what kind of guy it is that Kerry is."

HANNITY: You're going to win this bet. I'm betting on you.

COLMES: I thought he just won a million just now from what I showed you.

PICKENS: No.

COLMES: By the way, they're all heroes, but that includes John Kerry, who was a hero as well.

HANNITY: John Kerry slandered his fellow Vietnam vets.

COLMES: He deserved every medal he got

PICKENS: Alan, Alan, you have a right to name heroes, just like we do.

COLMES: They're all heroes, all of them who served. Thank you. Very nice to see you.

PICKENS: Thank you, Alan.

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