This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," May 27, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: We are continuing to monitor the fallout from the presidential news conference today. Now hours before the president took to the podium, a key official overseeing the government's response to the oil spill in the gulf abruptly resigned.
Now Liz Birnbaum reportedly left her post as director of the Minerals Management Service this morning. And according to the AP, Interior Secretary Salazar announced her departure during a congressional hearing saying that she left on her own terms.
However, when the president was asked today whether or not Birnbaum was fired or if she resigned the man who claims to be in complete control of the oil spill response, well, he said he didn't know. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: I'm also curious as how it is that you didn't know about Miss Birnbaum's resignation/firing before —
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, you're assuming it was a firing. If it was a resignation then she would have submitted a letter to Mr. Salazar this morning at a time when I had a whole bunch of other stuff going on.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: All right, so AP, the Interior secretary, members of Congress, they all knew that a key oil spill response official resigned but the president had no idea because he was busy?
Well, we thought we take a look at what was keeping him so busy. Now according to his schedule, he had a photo-op with the U.S. World Cup soccer team. Oh, and he also had to attend this important national security matter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Congratulations to the 2010 Men's NCAA Basketball National Champions, the Bluke —
OBAMA: The Duke Blue Devils. Give them a big round of applause.
(END OF VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: A big round of applause. Looks like another day of mixed-up priorities at this White House.
And joining me now from Washington with reaction from the Weekly Standard, we have Stephen Hayes and Fox News political analyst, Kirsten Powers.
Here it is, Powers. Right there in The New York Post, your column, where was plan A?
KIRSTEN POWERS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes.
HANNITY: Do something, baby, do something. Tell us — that's —
HANNITY: — pretty hard criticism from — you shock me, Powers.
POWERS: I know. Well, I like to shock you, Sean. And I have to say the last time we were on and we were talking about this you were actually right and I was wrong. And it really pains me to say that but I think —
POWERS: — that there were things that Obama could be doing —
HANNITY: Wow. Wow.
POWERS: — that —
STEPHEN HAYES, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Mark it down.
HANNITY: Mark it down.
POWERS: I know. There's a first for everything. There's a first for everything. You know I think that it turns out that there was a lot of information that the government had. A plan that was created by the government for the government on what to do specifically if there was a spill in the Gulf and they were in no way prepared for that.
I mean they were so far away from prepared for it. You know it gets to the point almost of what could Obama have done because they didn't even have any of the equipment to deal with the situation.
HANNITY: Yes, well, look, Kirsten, I'm not going to say I told you so, but I — I had from the —
POWERS: Thank you.
HANNITY: — first day forward, you know, the NOAA, you're right. Stephen, they had a plan in place. They could have had a burn by the time they even considered it. By the time the president ever mentioned this publicly was eight days into this.
The best question I thought besides Major Garrett's question at the news conference today is, all right, well, you say you were on this from day one, but they're still waiting for the equipment, they're waiting for the booms, they're waiting for the help, they're waiting for everything.
And if they were really on it, wouldn't that stuff be there by now?
HAYES: Yes, I think he had some trouble answering that question. He also had trouble answering the question you just played from Jackie Calmes from The New York Times following up on another question when the president — whose purpose today was to send the message that he's in charge, he's in command.
The government is doing everything it could possibly be doing. And he couldn't answer — he didn't know that the senior official had resigned. I mean I think that answer — his failure to answer that, his failure to know that going in undermines the message of the entire press conference.
HANNITY: All right, and Kirsten — what Kirsten Powers and James Carville and drill-up-my-leg Chris Matthews — this is serious — are critical of the president's response. And the president just defiantly goes out there and says, I was still there in spite of all the overwhelming evidence.
Look, they — the administration gave an award to this particular rig. The administration's inspectors missed inspections at this particular rig. So when Democrats — when the oil starts coming ashore then the question is, what is — what is the response going to be politically for this president?
POWERS: Yes, you know, I think that it was sort of interesting to me actually that he came out and was still adamant that he's been in charge from the beginning because is that a good thing?
I mean, nothing has been done. So why are you trying to take — you know, basically say I've been in control of the situation from day one when it's been a complete unmitigated disaster?
HANNITY: Yes, but that's true. You're taking credit for a disaster.
POWERS: And you know, I don't know see how it helps him politically. You know?
HANNITY: Yes. All right. Mary Landrieu, I thought, had a pretty honest statement here. And she said, Stephen, the president has not been visible, he should have been. He's going to pay a political price for this.
You know, and then, what bothered me today, too, is I'm listening to the president and he goes out there, "Well, that's why I wasn't out there saying drill baby drill because all the easily accessible oil has already been sucked out of the ground."
That's not true. The reason that we have these deep water wells is because environmentalists have so pressured Democrats that we can't drill closer to shore. There's plenty of oil — there's plenty of oil in where Kirsten grew up in Alaska.
HAYES: Yes, there are onerous and, I think, outdated, ridiculous restrictions on where we can drill that is safer that means we don't have to go out as far out as we've gone in this case.
But there are other — there are — the problems with dealing with environmentalists and dealing with these regulations are ongoing. You know, when Governor Jindal, along with basically the entire Alabama congressional delegation, along with I think his name is Billy Nungesser, the Plaquemines Parish president, asked the president, asked the Army Corps of Engineers for permission to build these barriers, either dredging or sand or what have you, and the Army Corps of Engineers didn't grant them permission immediately, because they were worried about the potential environmental impact. They had to do an environmental study!
HANNITY: Yes. And that's it. They're forming a committee when we ought to — when action is necessary and leadership is needed.
All right. Kirsten Powers, A plus for intellectual honesty tonight. And if you want to say it one more time just for a promo, "Hannity, you were right."
POWERS: You were right, Sean.
HANNITY: This is priceless. Words I never thought I'd hear.
POWERS: Words I never thought I'd say.
HANNITY: All right, guys. Thanks for being with us.
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