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Hannity

Daily Caller reporter speaks out on sparring with president at presser

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," June 18, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Now there was a remarkable exchange between the president and a reporter on Friday when Neil Munro of The Daily Caller interrupted the commander-in-chief during his prepared remarks. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: It is the right thing to do. Excuse me, sir. It's not time for questions, sir. Not while I'm speaking.

OBAMA: And the answer to your question, sir, and the next time I let you prefer -- I prefer you let me finish my statements before I answer questions -- is this is the right thing for the American people.

I didn't ask for an argument, I'm answering your question. It is right thing to do for the American people and here's why. Here's the reason, because these young people are going to make extraordinary contributions and are already making contributions to our society.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: And the mainstream Obama media has jumped all over Munro for daring to question the president. Joining me tonight to tell his side of the story is the man behind the Rose Garden controversy, from The Daily Caller, Neil Munro is here. Neal, welcome to the program.

NEIL MUNRO, THE DAILY CALLER: Thanks very much.

HANNITY: All right, you've been beaten up pretty badly I noticed by your colleagues. Do you feel that that was the appropriate time to ask the president a question?

MUNRO: I haven't noticed the beating up largely because I'm focusing on my work. I went to the White House knowing the extremely high unemployment rate among African-Americans. I wrote an article showing that less than half of African-American men aged 18 to 29 have full-time jobs, and the president was making this extraordinary announcement about bringing in more, a million or so new workers in a time of extraordinary high unemployment.

There -- they had no press conference that day. They weren't holding questions. I was hoping he would answer a question. But the only way to ask him a question at these events was get him at the end as he's leaving just before he dashes back to the Oval Office. And I, yes, I mistimed it. I thought I was getting him at the end. Frankly, I was wrong about that.

He didn't answer my questions, and when I asked him, "Will you answer any questions?," he didn't answer so I gave up at that point and waited until the end of the speech statement and then I called out the question again as he turned his back on us.

HANNITY: Are you saying that when you did ask that initial question, because he seemed mid-sentence when you jumped in, were you anticipating that was his last sentence, the end of his remarks, and you wanted to get him before he left the podium? Is that what you're saying?

MUNRO: Yes. The trick is to get him just before he leaves the podium because as soon as he finishes, he's a very good speaker, he walks beautifully and he's gone into the Oval Office. We've seen this happens lots of times. He'll finish his statements and he's gone. I was hoping to get him just at the end, right or wrong, and well, I didn't.

HANNITY: Have you heard from the White House? Do you expect any type of retribution? Did you try to apologize? Is there any update to the situation?

MUNRO: I did ask if the White House people wanted to talk to me, but I haven't heard back. I shall proceed on per normal. I'm working on new stories, working on new angles, see what there is. That's my job.

HANNITY: There are a number of similar instances out there and I find it interesting. I remember I know Sam Donaldson is offended when he gets mentioned, "Mr. President did you trade arms for hostages?" And they don't want to say that's similar. But let's look at this tape.

This is President Reagan when he was discussing the issue and handing off the issue of the Iran contra issue to his attorney general at the time, Ed Meese. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, NOV. 21, 1986)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: Now I'm going to ask Attorney General Meese to brief you. Hold it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you make a mistake in sending arms to Tehran, sir.

No. I'm not taking any more questions, and in just a second I'm going to ask Attorney General Meese to brief you on what we presently know of what he has found out.

(INAUDIBLE)

No one was let go, they chose to go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Interestingly, President Reagan wasn't finished with his statement and there was like five of them trying to ask questions, so I found it a little hypocritical. There was fairly widespread condemnation.

I think you should have waited until he was finished, but you recognize that. You said so, but I think the media's done it a lot themselves, so for them to be critical seems hypocritical to me.

MUNRO: I don't think -- I'm not going to worry about it. What I noticed from that clip is President Reagan actually turned up, talked to the press, handed over his AG. He answered the questions. On this occasion the president announced amnesty for a million people, turns his back on the American people, and walks back into the Oval Office. Clearly, President Reagan was more willing to talk even in difficult circumstances.

HANNITY: You see I think this president has gotten a free ride from the media, those that are now critical of you. Let me give you a few of the softball questions they've thrown President Obama over the last couple of years.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

BOB SCHIEFFER, "FACE THE NATION"/CBS, MARCH 29, 2009: Thomas Jefferson once said the presidency is a splendid misery. At the end of his term, he also said, and quote, "That the presidency had brought him nothing but increasing drudgery and a daily loss of friends." I just wonder. Have you lost any friends yet?

KATIE COURIC, "EARLY SHOW"/CBS, JUNE 22, 2009: You're so confident, Mr. President, and so focused. Is your confidence ever shaken?

BRIAN WILLIAMS, "NIGHTLY NEWS"/NBC, SEPT 12., 2011: We were sitting 30 feet from Harry Truman's official White House portrait. Members of your base are asking when are you going to get your Harry Truman on?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, NOV. 12, 2011: Thank you, Mr. President. Last night at the Republican debate some of the hopefuls that hope to get your job, they defended the practice of waterboarding. So I'm wondering if you think they're uninformed, out of touch, or irresponsible.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

HANNITY: Uninformed, out of touch -- do you think the media has been too easy on him, your colleagues?

MUNRO: Yes. Clearly and for a variety of reasons that are hard to correct, but we at The Daily Caller will not try to be easy on him and try not to be easy on the next president. It's our job to work for the American people through our publications to provide them the information that the politicians are reluctant to hand out. We've got to do our job.

HANNITY: All right, thanks, Neil Munro. Appreciate you being with us. Interesting to see that tape of Reagan, I'll tell you, it makes me laugh.

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