This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," July 13, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
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ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Joining us now with more on the controversy surrounding Karl Rove, the author of "How to Talk to a Liberal," and yes, she must, Ann Coulter.
What I'm curious about, Ann, is, if Karl Rove wasn't revealing something secret, why did he have to speak on "double super-secret background"? Explain that to me.
ANN COULTER, CONSERVATIVE AUTHOR: Because you don't generally read in the press, you know — I think it was all — you didn't see Karl Rove, I think, being quoted on a lot of these things. But the point was, "Clown" Wilson was going around implying that he had been sent by the CIA and had reported to Dick Cheney's office.
I mean, it's amazing, if you go back and read these articles now, he uses these, you know, sort of Clintonian legally accurate phrases, but everyone certainly had the impression, and thus it was multiplied when reporters are writing about it, that Wilson was an insider. He was sent by George Tenet. He was reporting to Vice President Cheney, and his report showed there was no uranium being sought from by Saddam in Niger.
And it turns out that, you know, it's just a blanket of lies, which makes this story very confusing. The White House came back and said, "No, Dick Cheney didn't send him, the CIA didn't send him. He was recommended for this trip by his wife. There was no written report. He wasn't paid for it. The vice president never saw it."
And in point of fact, what he reported to, I don't know, the intern at the CIA turned out to bolster the case that Saddam was seeking uranium in Niger. And, of course, that is the conclusion of the British government. It is the conclusion of the CIA. It is the conclusion of a unanimous bipartisan Senate panel.
So I mean, this whole story has been a fog of lies being sent out by this clown, Wilson.
COLMES: Well, you call him a clown. You're smearing him. I think that's unfair to do the name-calling. And the fact that the CIA has confirmed they were involved — Valerie Plame did not have the authority to send him. She may have talked about his credentials.
Now, you talk about something Clintonian. When Karl Rove says, "I didn't know her. I didn't leak her name." If Bill Clinton said that, you'd say, "Oh, there he goes, 'I didn't inhale.'" Not revealing the name has nothing to do with whether or not he revealed her identity.
COULTER: Well, first of all, that's — no, of course, that's right. But you're setting up a straw man. No one is saying, "Oh, he just said 'Clown' Wilson's wife, but didn't give her name." That isn't the argument.
The argument is he wasn't revealing — knowingly revealing a covert agent's undercover status as an undercover agent. The Democrats are taking the position that 'Clown' Wilson could go around telling the world he was sent by the CIA and, you know, he was reporting to Dick Cheney. But Republicans can't defend themselves by saying, "No, he wasn't. He was sent by his wife, who works at the CIA."
COLMES: Well, it's unfortunate...
COULTER: And as for whether she had the authority to send him, that isn't the point. Wilson was denying that his wife had recommended him for the trip. He wrote it in his book.
And this bipartisan Senate committee produces a CIA official who says, "Yes, it was Plame, his wife, who offered him up for the job." And there's even a memo — you know, Miss Covert James Bond has a memo with the CIA with her name on it recommending her husband for the job.
When he was asked about it, he says, "Oh, I don't see that as a recommendation." I mean, the whole thing is just in a fog of lies because of this clown, Wilson.
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: You know what's amazing about this, Ann — and thanks for coming on the program here — is, you know, here Karl Rove tells a reporter who wanted to talk about welfare reform. He tells the reporter, and then sneaks in this other question, "Hey, you don't want to go too far out on a limb here."
He knows that CIA Tenet is going to speak about it tonight. He's saying, "Listen, don't do this. You're going down the wrong road here."
I think we've lost Ann Coulter, but maybe she's there in audio. But the point is, you know, for doing that and telling the truth, you know, this is what he gets into. He gets into trouble for that.
We've lost Ann.
COLMES: Hard to believe that Karl Rove was there to help the press, because Karl Rove loves the press. Now why is it "double super-secret background" if, indeed, Karl Rove is doing it...
HANNITY I wish you would ask me that question, because...
COLMES: I'm asking it right now. Go ahead.
HANNITY But, Ann, to answer Alan's question — and welcome back — to answer Alan's question...
COULTER: Oh, I am back.
HANNITY ... it's double super-secret because that's not what the reporter called about, because the reporter's about to get in trouble. Karl Rove doesn't want to be quoted on any of this stuff. But he said, "All right, I'll give you the background and save you from making a fool of yourself," and this is the thanks that he gets.
COULTER: Right. The point (OFF-MIKE) that people seem to be missing — I mean, the shorthand in the media for this espionage act is that it's a crime (INAUDIBLE) blows a covert agent thing. And by the way, I think it's highly questionable that she is covert (OFF-MIKE) at this point (OFF-MIKE) some point in the past, (OFF-MIKE) Langley everyday, everyone in Washington — have you lost me again?
HANNITY Yes, well, the other thing that's not brought up here, Victoria Toensing, who helped draft the 1982 law in question here, for the outing to have been illegal — and you have people like John Kerry, and Howard Dean, and everybody else going over the edge saying that this is illegal. No trial, no evidence.
But the person that helped offer the law said that her status as undercover must, in fact, have been classified, it must have been assigned to duty outside the United States within the past few years.
And Ann Coulter, even if you don't like Karl Rove, and even if you think he's guilty, it does not meet that criteria, from a legal standpoint. So politically, why are people like Dean and Kerry saying, "Fire Rove"? It's all political, isn't it?
Can you hear me, Ann?
COULTER: Am I on?
HANNITY You're back on, yes. From a legal standpoint, Ann, you know, why would they say, "Fire him"?
COLMES: By the way, she was a non-official cover officer. So it was well-known that she was undercover.
HANNITY But Karl didn't know it. But it doesn't mean the statute. And you know why you guys on the left don't like him, your friends?
COLMES: My friends?
HANNITY Because Karl Rove has defeated you guys and has...
HANNITY Oh, absolutely.
COLMES: I don't know if the law was broken. You know...
HANNITY It was not broken.
COLMES: ... political problem for the president.
HANNITY Not at all.
COLMES: And she was undercover, that's known. And she didn't have the authority to personally send him home.
HANNITY You know what?
COLMES: We'll continue to debate...
HANNITY Well, but why did she send the recommendation...
COLMES: And Joe Wilson never said otherwise, by the way. We'll take a break.
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