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Hannity

Dr. Baden explains details in leaked Freddie Gray autopsy report

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," June 23, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And welcome to "Hannity." And this is a Fox News Alert. The Baltimore Sun has reportedly obtained Freddie Gray's autopsy, and the report reveals that Freddie Gray sustained a, quote, "high-energy injury" while be transported in a police van.

Now, Freddie Gray was arrested back in April and reportedly suffered fatal injuries while in police custody. His death then set off a wave of violent protests in the city of Baltimore.

Joining us now to explain what this all means, forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden is with us. Dr. Baden, let's first go single, high- energy injury to the neck and spine. In other words -- and they think it happened when there was a deceleration of the automobile.

DR. MICHAEL BADEN, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Right.

HANNITY: So that goes against what a lot of what had been theorized by people, that this all happened before he got into the van. As matter of fact, they say it didn't happen then.

BADEN: Yes, that's an interpretation that's in the article. But the actual finding of where the injury was, what part of the neck and the spinal cord was injured, is not only dependent on the autopsy report but on the seven days of treatment while he was in the hospital.

And the hospital report also has to be released to correlate it with the autopsy and be specific about where in the spinal cord there was an injury. And that tells you whether it can possibly cause death or partial paralysis or not. And that hasn't been -- that's not been released.

HANNITY: Well, we do know from one of the other prisoners in the van at the time, Dr. Baden, that after the doors were closed, he could be heard yelling and banging, causing the van to rock! Could that be the same as what they are stating here, a sudden deceleration or a single high-energy impact to the neck and spine? Could that have done it?

BADEN: That's what's being put forth, but the evidence for it -- the reason that they -- we do an autopsy, Sean, is because witness statements aren't always accurate, and the autopsy has to independently determine what happened and -- independent of what the witnesses say, and the autopsy has to correlate the findings...

HANNITY: All right, let me -- let me...

BADEN: ... with the hospital record.

HANNITY: ... go backwards here. OK, so the -- what they're -- what they're saying in this autopsy report is it's a single high-energy injury to the neck and spine. Also, the autopsy did note that after the doors were closed, he could be heard yelling and banging, causing the van to rock.

I'm asking you, could that description that they put in the autopsy -- could that -- could that result in a single high-energy injury?

BADEN: It's possible, but very unusual under those circumstances.  And what the newspaper article is saying is what's been reported in the press before from the witnesses. It doesn't give -- that report doesn't describe exactly what happened from the autopsy. The autopsy...

HANNITY: All right...

BADEN: ... says where the injuries to the spinal cord is. And then I can answer your question a little better.

HANNITY: All right, well, the state medical examiner's office concluded that it couldn't be ruled an accident but was a homicide because the officers failed to follow safety procedures. So I guess my question to you...

BADEN: That (INAUDIBLE) is unusual. You know, that's unusual. The autopsy findings tell you if it's a homicide or an accident. We're not lawyers. We're -- you know, we're -- when we say homicide, we're not saying whether it's criminal or not. That's the -- that's -- we can say homicide is not criminal in self-defense, for example.

HANNITY: All right, but what they're saying is, is that -- they surmise that he may have gotten -- his feet was thrown into the wall during an abrupt change of direction. Now, at that point, does that show -- in your mind, if you were called to the stand, if the autopsy actually says that he may have gotten to his feet, and because of a change in direction or deceleration, does that sound like a depraved mindset as second degree murder would -- which is the charge against one of these officers, the driver?

BADEN: Well, you see, here again, I'm not an expert on manslaughter, second degree, first degree. What I can say is it's possible that that could happen, but whether it did happen or not can better be determined once we see the autopsy finding.

And it was surprising to me that there's nothing in the autopsy report on what treatments and what happened and what the diagnosis was in the hospital, who had the live person, who did neurological exams, who examined the spinal cord and the brain. And I'd like to know what those doctors' determinations were because...

HANNITY: Well, we know that the report...

BADEN: ... they're equally as important as the autopsy.

HANNITY: The report does not note any previous injuries to his spine.  And also, while (ph) bystanders captured the video, the autopsy concluded that he suffered no injury suggesting a neck hold stemming from a physical restraint.

In many ways, Dr. Baden, I find that very exculpatory for the police because if they're talking about a single high-energy injury to the neck or spine causing his death, then -- and that it happened out of police presence, there might be a civil suit or civil culpability in terms of, Oh, they didn't put a seatbelt on. But I don't see any chance of that reaching a homicide level. But let me bring in...

(CROSSTALK)

BADEN: If it's true -- yes.

HANNITY: Well, that's what the report says. I'm only reading from the report.

FOX News legal analyst Arthur Aidala is with us, from the Fox News medical "A-Team" and also Keith Ablow and former NYPD detective Bo Dietl.  Arthur Aidala, As I read this whole thing here, this seems quite exculpatory to me for the police officers. They're saying it's a single high-energy injury to the neck and they're saying it happened while he was in the van out of police presence.

ARTHUR AIDALA, FOX LEGAL ANALYST: No, Sean, look, you hit the nail on the head when you asked Dr. Baden the question. You -- can you get a...

(CROSSTALK)

AIDALA: Can you get a conviction on what they are saying here? In my opinion, you cannot. In my opinion, ladies and gentlemen of the audience, what should happen here is this case should go before a judge, a judge who uses common sense, and reads this homicide report, looks at the totality of the circumstances.

This -- these facts do not support a charge of depraved heart murder.  Where is the depravity? Because a police officer driving a van took a turn a little too hard or decelerated? That's what the medical...

HANNITY: That's what they say.

AIDALA: So he hit the brakes too hard? Sean, does a police officer or any individual, does a reasonable person believe that if you hit your brakes too hard and someone's in the back of your van, it is likely to cause death...

HANNITY: But Arthur, one more legal question. But Arthur, we also have witnesses, and it's in the report, that he was throwing himself and throwing a tantrum in the back of that van and banging himself off the walls!

AIDALA: Sean, although you may be right, I'm even saying something even more -- more harsh. Even if you believe the medical report, even if it was a police officer who caused the death because they made the van stop too quickly, that does not support depraved heart murder!

Depraved heart murder is it's New Year's Eve and I'm going to test fire my rifle into the crowd of millions of people.

HANNITY: All right...

AIDALA: That's depraved heart murder.

HANNITY: Let's go back to -- let me get to Bo Dietl. But first, I want to ask Dr. Baden one more question. He did test -- he tested -- oh, we just lost Dr. Baden.

But Bo, he did test positive for opiates and marijuana, I believe, when he was admitted to the trauma center. But yet they kept that out of the autopsy. Why would they do that? And why do you think Marilyn Mosby - - I think I have a pretty good theory about why she didn't want to release this autopsy. I don't think it helps her case.

BO DIETL, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I think it's very important in the case.  And this guy, Goodson, Cesar Goodson, now is charged with second degree murder, meaning that when he was driving that van, he knew by stopping short or whatever happened that he was going to die in that van.

This is a ridiculous charge put on this guy. If anything in the world is, he could have done this to himself. Who's going to be the judge and the jury to see who caused that man's death? This is a very tough one.  And right now, to overcharge like that -- and if they're going to charge it with second degree murder, you know what? They're going to lose this case.

HANNITY: Well, they already did. Let me go back to my good friend, Arthur Aidala. Arthur, the only thing I see here might be a civil case.  OK, procedure is they should have belted him in. They failed to do so.  You have a civil case in that instance.

If there was a sudden deceleration, how do you prove that it was a, quote, "rough ride," as some people will interpret this to be? You can't prove that the police officer consciously hit the brakes to hurt him, especially with the report that he was banging up against the walls himself!

AIDALA: So let's talk about the civil case, Sean, because you're right. There will be. Sure as I am bald, there will be a civil case, and what they're going to...

HANNITY: I see a full head of hair. I have no idea what you're talking about.

AIDALA: What they're going to focus on is what they said in the report. It was the lack of care that they gave to him after he was injured. There were four stops in the van. And after, I believe it's the third one, they say he's kind of in a fetal position, curled up on the bench. And at that point, the police officer should have rendered more aid.

HANNITY: All right, let me go...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Hold on. Let me bring in Dr. Keith Ablow. Dr. Ablow, now that you factor in -- although they kept it out of the autopsy -- that when he first went to the hospital, that -- and he was admitted to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, he tested positive for opiates and other drugs in his system.

Would that cause somebody, perhaps, to act in a way as described by the other prisoner, that he could be banging back and forth?

DR. KEITH ABLOW, FOX NEWS MEDICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, sure, it could, Sean, because it alters his mental status. And speaking of mental status, are we really prepared to believe that officers, who generally are relied upon to support the community -- that they get it in their minds that they're going to kill someone by driving in an erratic way, a guy who's used marijuana and opiates, that their method of killing him is going to be drive hard left and hard right? That's literally...

(CROSSTALK)

DIETL: Sean, Sean...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: I got 10 seconds. Bo, go ahead.

DIETL: We have to look at one thing. When they're dragging him to the van there, he seemed like he was not really -- his legs weren't working too good.

HANNITY: Yes, but they addressed that!

AIDALA: Hold on! But Bo...

HANNITY: No, no. I got to break because we're on a hard break here.  But they addressed that and said it didn't happen then specifically.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: I got to run. Thank you all.

Coming up, who's the man that the National Review is claiming to be the new Al Sharpton? We'll explain.

And then later tonight, Geraldo Rivera and I go one on one on the issue of Charleston, South Carolina, the church tragedy, the president using the "N" word, and also the issue of the Confederate flag on this busy news night tonight right here on "Hannity."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: And welcome back to "Hannity." One of the leading voices for the movement Black Lives Matter is Deray McKesson. Now, he's appeared at demonstrations -- get this -- in Ferguson, Baltimore, McKinney, Texas, and over the weekend, he was in Charleston, South Carolina.

Now, earlier this month on this program, I asked him if he was a professional protester. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DERAY MCKESSON, ACTIVIST: I've been using my savings and contributions from my friends to do this work so far. And that has been -- that has worked. Again, when I go to different places, and when many people go to different places, this is about making sure that these stories are heard and that we're standing in solidarity with people who the police have harmed or killed or...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Now, yesterday, The National Review released a scathing critique of McKesson, stating in part, quote, "Imagine Al Sharpton circa the Crown Heights riots with access to Twitter. That's Deray."

Now, we invited him to join us on the program tonight, but he declined. Here now with reaction is the Black Sphere's Kevin Jackson, as well as criminal defense attorney Eric Guster is with us.

So when you see that he keeps showing up at all these high-profile events, Kevin, what is your interpretation of it? To me, I don't see any good out of it.

KEVIN JACKSON, BLACK SPHERE: He's a modern-day Al Sharpton. He's trying to make a name for himself being an agitator. And if I'm not mistaken, Sean -- I didn't follow this one too closely, but I think South Carolina didn't want him.

And what people don't realize is even in Ferguson -- I was on hand when they rejected Jesse Jackson. In many cases, they spoke out against Sharpton. And I think people are sick of guys like Deray, who don't add anything to the fabric of the discussion. All he's there to do is to start trouble. He's paid to do it. And it's very unfortunate.

HANNITY: Yes. And Eric, he told me he doesn't work. I guess this is his full-time job. I have a problem because then it looks like a community is acting a certain way. I think the untold story of Charleston is all of the family members that lost loved ones, they were out there saying in an extremely forgiving way that they forgive this guy, even though he killed their relatives. That's an untold story, in my view.

ERIC GUSTER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: That is a -- well, that's a story that we've been discussing. But forgiving someone for killing your relatives, that's some type -- that's a level of Christianity that I cannot fathom.

HANNITY: You and me both.

GUSTER: But Deray is out doing civil rights work, just like all the foot soldiers in the Civil Rights march. They were not -- they were people who may not have been working, who were doing something for Civil Rights.  And that's what...

HANNITY: OK, but...

GUSTER: ... Deray is doing. Now with Twitter, people can see him and see all of his movements moreso than in the 1960s.

HANNITY: OK, but -- but -- they referred him -- compared him to Al Sharpton. Al Sharpton has been to the Obama White House 80 to 90 times!  Let's look a little bit at Al Sharpton's past.

BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

REV. AL SHARPTON, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK: (INAUDIBLE) because you ain't nothing! You a punk (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Now come on and do something.

We're the best chicken fryers in the universe. (INAUDIBLE) Colonel Sanders!

(LAUGHTER)

SHARPTON: (INAUDIBLE) was in the cave when we were building empires.  We learned to admire them, but they knew to admire us. We built pyramids before Donald Trump ever knew what architecture was.

(INAUDIBLE) you want to be the only (EXPLETIVE DELETED) on television, the only (EXPLETIVE DELETED), only (EXPLETIVE DELETED)

(END AUDIO CLIP)

HANNITY: Do you think that guy belongs in the White House 80 to 90 times? Does that history -- you know, with all the talk about the flag and the Confederate flag, all the talk about residual racism -- does he belong in the White House with Obama 80 to 90 times, Eric?

GUSTER: Well, Al Sharpton has done some good work in the past. And you're pulling out tapes from the fat Al Sharpton. That was what, 15 years ago, Sean.

HANNITY: Oh!

GUSTER: The man has done some great work in the civil rights movement...

HANNITY: And by the way...

(CROSSTALK)

GUSTER: A lot of people dislike him. He's done some good work.

HANNITY: And if a Republican, Kevin, had uttered similar things using the N word about New York City's first black mayor, I'm sure they'd be forgiven as well, right?

JACKSON: Yes, look, it's a complete double standard. And back to Deray. Look, the people of Charleston, South Carolina, spoke. They healed together. They did exactly what America is built to do, which is to say, We're not going to look at this as a racial situation. We're going to look at this as a family situation. Nine of our family members were killed.

They didn't look at color. They didn't need Deray. What did he -- what did he do? There aren't enough black people in Charleston, South Carolina? You know, they don't need somebody traveling around the country creating problems!

HANNITY: Let me go -- let me go to the president...

(CROSSTALK)

GUSTER: ... racial situation, though.

HANNITY: Eric, let me go to the president...

(CROSSTALK)

GUSTER: ... because this guy was a racist. I'm sorry, Sean.

HANNITY: Yes, this guy was a racist. Absolutely.

GUSTER: Yes.

HANNITY: But the issue here is, was it appropriate for the president to say this? Let's roll the tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Racism we+ are not cured of, clearly. And it's not just a matter of it not being polite to say (EXPLETIVE DELETED) in public. That's not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It's not just a matter of overt discrimination. We have -- societies don't overnight completely erase everything that happened 200 to 300 years prior.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Now, we're making a lot over the Confederate flag in South Carolina. Should the president be using that word, Eric?

GUSTER: In that context, I believe it was appropriate because what the president was saying is that because you don't say the N word in public does not mean that racism is gone. And back to what Kevin was saying, the word "agitator." It bothers me because Martin Luther King was called an agitator because he was bringing...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: You're not comparing Deray to Martin Luther King, are you?

(CROSSTALK)

GUSTER: ... an agitator. Deray is a civil rights protester, just like the foot soldiers...

HANNITY: But you're comparing him to Martin Luther King. I want to be clear.

JACKSON: Yes, he is.

GUSTER: I am comparing him...

(CROSSTALK)

GUSTER: ... with civil rights foot soldiers, and using the word "agitator" is one of those words that Civil Rights protesters, including Martin Luther King, were called. That's what I'm discussing.

HANNITY: Kevin?

JACKSON: Well, anyway, look, I want to stay on point. I can ask a very simple question, Sean, that the left doesn't want to ask about this.  If George Bush had said what Barack Obama said and smoothed out that N word just as smoothly as Barack Obama said, Michael Eric Dyson wouldn't be calling it brilliant and Eric wouldn't be talking about it in these terms.

It is a double standard. And what Barack Obama showcased quite readily is racism is alive in America. And he can say that word that everybody else has pretty much stricken from their lexicon, but he can get away with it because he's transcended all of it.

GUSTER: No, Kevin...

JACKSON: He is the cause of racism. He's walking around with a hypodermic needle infecting people with racism! And then he wants to sit around and act as if he's doing things about it. People in America feel that we are in the '60s again because of people like Barack Obama!

GUSTER: No, Barack Obama was addressing the issue of racism and taking it head on. People have said he never talked about racism over the...

HANNITY: Hey, Eric...

(CROSSTALK)

GUSTER: ... and now he is, and...

HANNITY: When he says it's in...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: When he says it's in our DNA, he couldn't be more wrong. I mean, that -- yes, racism is a part...

GUSTER: Hey, Sean, Sean...

HANNITY: ... of America's history. Wait a minute! It's part of our history. When you say it's in our DNA, that suggests you can't change it.  And America's proven that it can overcome wrongs and evils of the past.

GUSTER: America has chosen that we can overcome...

(CROSSTALK)

GUSTER: ... but there is a segment that does not want to change. And that's what I believe he was speaking of. There are some people who will not change, no matter what.

HANNITY: Last word, Kevin.

JACKSON: Yes, and you're exactly right. And they're not going to change, no matter what. But what he said was is that we -- it takes a while to overcome. Go back to the 1860s and find out what we've overcome.  We've overcome slavery. We've overcome the lack of civil rights by blacks and many others in this country. And Barack Obama acts like only on his watch...

(CROSSTALK)

JACKSON: ... are we dealing with racism. We've overcome, and there's an anecdotal amount of racism in the...

HANNITY: All right, I got to run, guys...

(CROSSTALK)

JACKSON: ... and many, many more acts...

GUSTER: There's a long way to go.

HANNITY: I got to go.

GUSTER: A long way left to go.

HANNITY: Coming up, Geraldo Rivera is here to weigh in on the South Carolina tragedy and if the Confederate flag should be removed from the statehouse. Also, we'll go through a history of that flag in that state.  By the way, it's a Democratic history.

And then later tonight...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL MAHER, COMEDIAN: Well, we can never know why someone snaps. But I bet you I know where he got his news.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: All right, left-wing lunatics out in full force, blaming FOX News for Charleston. Our panel will respond to Bill Maher's outrageous comments. That and more straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: And welcome back to "Hannity." Now, over the past year, racial tensions across the country frequently have risen to a boiling point. For example, in Ferguson, Missouri, local businesses were looted, police officers assaulted and buildings were burned to the ground as the city descended into chaos.

And of course, remember Michael Brown's stepfather made this infamous call to action.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) (EXPLETIVE DELETED) (INAUDIBLE) (EXPLETIVE DELETED). (INAUDIBLE) (EXPLETIVE DELETED)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: And that's not all. Baltimore faced a similar upheaval as violent protesters and demonstrators took to the streets to protest the death of Freddie Gray, leaving a wave of destruction in their path.

Following the tragic mass murder of nine innocent people by a deranged racist psychopath in Charleston, the people of South Carolina did not respond with anger. Instead, South Carolinians mourned the loss of their own with a unity march as the citizens of Charleston vowed to move forward and make the world a better place together. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then I want to thank the good people of the city of Charleston and the state of South Carolina.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have shown the world how we, as a group of people, can come together and pray and work out things that needs to be worked out to make our community and our state a better place.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: So what can the American people learn from the people of Charleston? Here now with reaction, FOX News senior correspondent Geraldo Rivera. How are you?

GERALDO RIVERA, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: I'm good. And I am still tremendously impressed, Sean, by the wonderful camaraderie, the compassion, the brotherhood and sisterhood shown by the people of Charleston, South Carolina.

HANNITY: Listen, I -- Eric Guster mentioned it earlier. I cannot react the way they did. The people that said they forgave this killer, this racist killer, and then he just killed their loved ones -- that's a sign of Christianity, a level that I'm not at.

RIVERA: It is. It is. And I similarly could not respond -- I could not turn the other cheek to that degree. But you showed the video from Ferguson and from Baltimore, far less egregious acts that generated horrible violence that was counterproductive, destroyed lives of minority people, businesses, disrupted communities that will never be rebuilt.

HANNITY: And Ferguson...

RIVERA: Never be rebuilt, Baltimore and Ferguson.

Now look at South Carolina. As a result, I believe, of these people coming together, that is what is propelling this movement to ban the Confederate flag from the grounds of the state Capitol! This, Sean, is the people of South Carolina saying, We get it, we understand how sincere and wonderful you are. As a token of our appreciation of your coming together with us and forgiving, we're going to do this for you.

And I think that I would love you to lead the movement. I swear to God, Sean Hannity should lead the movement to ban that flag from the state Capitol grounds.

HANNITY: Listen, he -- the only part...

RIVERA: You're not responding.

HANNITY: I am responding. Pay close attention. Your response is coming. I think have no problem at all. I think it's probably the right thing at this point to do.

RIVERA: I'm in.

HANNITY: But I want to say this. What bothers me is this false perception -- I lived in the South. I lived in Alabama. I lived in Georgia. And it bothers me, this false impression -- these are good people that have an incredible level of decency that might have an honest disagreement on that flag. And yet they are demonized as racist by people that are trying to score political points.

Yes, has it been used by racist groups like the Klan and others? But that doesn't mean that everybody that wants to keep the flag and the tradition is a racist. That part bothers me.

RIVERA: I totally agree. But does it really matter? Because if the perception among a substantial percentage of black people...

HANNITY: It's something that -- yes.

RIVERA: ... is that that flag represents segregation and inequality and pre-civil rights and -- if that is the perception...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Agreed. I'm not disagreeing.

RIVERA: ... why don't...

HANNITY: I don't have a problem.

RIVERA: ... nice and how wonderful they were, this is what we do for them.

HANNITY: But you know something? Here's what bothers me, thought.  This has now become for some reason a Republican candidate problem. The person that put that flag up was a -- the Democrats put that flag up in South Carolina. The Democrats voted against the Civil Rights Act of '64, the Voting Rights Act of '65. It was Bill Clinton as governor, you know, signed a law honoring the Confederate flag. In '92, he had campaign buttons with the Confederate lag on it.

Here's the problem. In every election year, Democrats play the race card. They have -- this is their problem! This is not a conservative problem. This is not a Republican problem. The Democrats did this. And I just want to make that political point because they always play the race card!

RIVERA: Let's put politics aside. That's what I'm saying. Let's rise above it, the way Governor Nikki Haley did, the way Senator Lindsey Graham is doing...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: He flipped and flopped. Wait a minute. He...

RIVERA: I don't care where they flip from as long as they flop to the right place...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Every election cycle, the race card will be used against the Republican nominee. It happens every -- every single campaign!

RIVERA: That's why Nikki Halley would make a great vice presidential nominee.

HANNITY: OK. But here's the point. Why isn't -- why are the Clintons held responsible? They honored that flag when he was governor.  They had campaign buttons with that flag in '92. Why aren't they every held to the carpet?

RIVERA: My point is, why -- why do we bemoan the sincerity or relative hypocrisy...

HANNITY: Why?

RIVERA: ... of Democrats?

HANNITY: Because that's the game as it's played by them!

RIVERA: But let's heal his wound now, Sean. That's what I'm saying.  Let's lead the way. But let's -- let's make the Bill Mahers of the world look like the fools they are by becoming the vanguard of a movement that says, We recognize that although we feel one way, you feel the other way.  We understand the deepness of your hurt.

HANNITY: Well, I'm not...

RIVERA: We'll never use the death of these nine martyrs...

HANNITY: I think you have a very noble point, except I know reality.  And This election cycle, I'm going to invite you back on this program when the race card is played and it's black versus white, rich versus poor, old versus young, and Republicans want to kill grandma and destroy the environment! I'm tired of that game being played to...

RIVERA: I appreciate that, but what I say is take aware their issue when it comes to the flag.

HANNITY: It's their flag.

RIVERA: Sean Hannity says Governor Haley take down that flag. I think that's the moment, that's the moment that people will say, oh, we're all in this together.

HANNITY: Considering the Democrats put it up, I think yes, the Republicans should fix the mess.

RIVERA: There you go, I'm in. We're on the same side.

HANNITY: All right, fist bump. There we go.

Coming up night tonight on "Hannity."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL MAHER, COMEDIAN: I wouldn't say we should be droning Fox News.  But we did drone Anwar al-Awlaki because he inspired people. He didn't do any terrorist acts. He just inspired people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: All right, HBO leftwing host Bill Maher, well, he hits a new low. Our panel will react. That's coming up.

And then later, Rick Harrison from the hit show "Pawn Stars" is weighing in on the 2016 election. Who is he supporting? He'll tell us, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JACKIE IBANEZ, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Live from America's news headquarters, I'm Jackie Ibanez. New hope in upstate New York tonight that authorities may be finally closing in on two prison escapees. Hundreds of police continue to comb through the heavy woods surroundings the communities of Owl's Head and Mountain View some 20 miles west of the prison. The manhunt has been focused there since investigators found items belonging to Richard Matt and David Sweat inside a hunting cabin.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEVIN MULVERHILL, FRANKLIN COUNTY SHERIFF: It's hard to perceive them going into a thick wooded area. It just seems they would want to go where it's easier travel. It would be easy to get around. It's easy to get lost in those areas. And I think the biggest challenge right now is just the size of the area that we're trying to contain.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

IBANEZ: Now, the items found inside the cabin include boots and bloody socks suggesting one of the fugitives might be bare foot. Sweat and Matt, both convicted killers, escaped from prison June 6th.

I'm Jackie Ibanez. Now back to "Hannity."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." So like clockwork liberals have taken the horrible South Carolina shooting from last and are trying to use it to advance their own narrative and agenda. On his HBO show Bill Maher, he went so far as to suggest that Fox News somehow is partially to blame for what happened. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

   UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think that's why this young man shot up that church? I think it's really --

MAHER: We can never know why someone snaps. But I bet you I know where he got his news.

   I'm not surprised this guy thought they're taking over the country.  Obviously he's a warped mind. That goes into it. But I don't think it was video games. And I do think the media is responsible.

I wouldn't say we should be droning Fox News. But we did drone Anwar al-Awlaki because he inspired people. He didn't do any terrorist acts, he just inspired people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

   HANNITY: Let's drone FOX, let's blame FOX. By the way, that's not all. Comedy Central's Jon Stewart, he went after yours truly on "The Daily Show" last night because I dared to call out Democrats for politicizing this incident less than 24 hours after the shooting. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

   JON STEWART, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW": It's a sickness, this rush to use tragedy to advance your narrative.         

(LAUGHTER)        

STEWART: Combine that with an inability for self-examination, an almost comical degree of self-exculpatory rhetoric, flag-pin, a little bit of leg, and a complete immunity to irony, you've got yourself a full-blown case of Fox-abetes.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)        

HANNITY: I did not politicize the tragedy. The left did. Here with reaction, Fox News contributors Deroy Murdock, Michelle Fields, and from Big and Rich, he's back in the house, singer, songwriter, the man behind the Redneck Riviera lifestyle brand. You got your own brand now?

JOHN RICH, SINGER/SONGWRITER: I brought you some boots. Get kicked up on a positive note here buddy. Got you some Redneck Riviera boots.

(CROSSTALK)

   HANNITY: Sneakers and boots.

RICH: I know this about you. So we launched it.

HANNITY: I've got my jeans on. So I can put them on as soon as we're done.

RICH: It's doing very well, RedneckRiviera.com. It's all on there.  You can go check it out.

HANNITY: Listen, you're an entrepreneur. You're the American dream personified.

   RICH: I appreciate that, thank you.        

HANNITY: Big fan of Big and Rich music. Here's something that I think we need to discuss here. They're blaming FOX News. That's a joke.  You got to blame the person responsible. But I was born and raised in New York. But I moved around the country and I lived in Alabama and I lived Georgia. And I know and understand the southern people. There seems to be this belief that people in the south want to cling to this flag when there are other reasons why good people don't want to change it. Why is there this misperception about people in the south?

RICH: There is only one flag I really care about.

HANNITY: The American flag.

RICH: That's right. And I think that's the end of the argument right there. I think we can go on ad nauseam about this forever. If something's bringing pain or something is bringing -- something that somebody uses for hate like that, I mean, I just don't see the point of continuing to go forward with it. You know, Nikki Haley doing what she said, I applaud that. And I think she's right.

HANNITY: I want to look at the fact. We had signs, evidence, symptoms that this guy was going nuts before this happened. Fine, we can debate flags, we can debate gun laws, this guy didn't respect the laws that were written prior to the incident. He didn't obey the laws. But why don't we look at why aren't we catching these people that are telegraphing future behavior?

MICHELLE FIELDS, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: A flag didn't force this guy to kill innocent people that were worshipping. It wasn't a flag. It wasn't -- it was simply just a crazy guy that went and did this. And I think it's unfair for Bill Maher to then say that this is FOX News, that this is Republicans, that we inspired someone to go into church and kill people. If you're going to use that line of reasoning, well, I would say let's look at Bill Maher. He has a show which all he does is spew hatred for Christians, for Christianity. If you're going to use that line of reasons, on one hand we have someone who went and killed someone in a church and you have Bill Maher who is constantly talking about how awful religion and Christianity is and that God is this awful person.

HANNITY: This bothers mere as a conservative and somebody that Maher usually align with the Democrat put that up. Ernest Hollings, a Democrat, put that flag up. It was people like Robert Byrd --

FIELDS: They like to point the finger at us.

HANNITY: They didn't support the Civil Rights Act of 64, the Voting Rights Act of 65. And then we've got Hillary. She's got a problem. She's speaking on racial issues today in Ferguson, Missouri. Even Paul Begala says she's got to answer some questions about the Arkansas flag when her husband actually was part of it, apparently signed the flag, the confederate flag as the flag of the state and honored that flag and had campaign buttons with the confederate symbol on it in 1992.

DEROY MURDOCK, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: It's a good idea to dig up those campaign buttons and bring them out and show them to people.

I think what's amazing about this, I call it the flush to judgment where the left runs out right away and blames the right for whatever atrocity takes place. I don't think we even know if this killer even had a TV set, if he even had cable. And if he actually spent time watching Fox News, I counted at least 17 black folks were on camera here at Fox, including Kevin Corke from the White House. You've got Harris Faulkner, Laruen Green, Kelly Wright, other anchors, and contributors like yours truly, Deneen Borelli. So if this is supposedly such a racist network why are there so many black people on camera here?

HANNITY: Everybody that I, any good person with a good heart and soul and a conscience finds racism repugnant. Isn't a small minority now that we're talking about in America?

RICH: Don't you remember the first song you ever learned? "Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight." Remember that song.

(CROSSTALK)

   RICH: Vocational bible school. My dad is a preacher so maybe I know some songs down the catalogue that you don't know. But I was always taught that everybody is equal and we live in America and we all work really hard and we care about our families. And this evil guy --

HANNITY: When you formed the Music Mafia, it was you, it was Gretchen, it was Kenny, it was Cowboy Troy. You know, you had women, you had black, white, everybody.

RICH: That's right. And that's the beauty of music is that music doesn't really have boundaries. Music is for everybody.

HANNITY: What about the n-word? The president used the n-word. What about the n-word in rap lyrics?

RICH: I mean, I have friends in the urban world that do that, you know, that put that in their lyrics. I've had conversations with them about it. And I said don't you think that's keeping the word alive?

HANNITY: What do they say?

RICH: That's just how we speak to each other sometimes. But I said, yes, but you're keeping the word alive. I mean, it was a pretty serious debate with a really good friend of mine. I'll just leave it out. But why would you? I mean, you know.

HANNITY: What do you think?

FIELDS: Look, I think this is just the left trying to politicize something. They saw an opportunity and they can say, oh, our team is winning. This is the right. They are constantly a bunch of racists, and they're using this to their advantage.

HANNITY: Every election the race card comes up.

MURDOCK: It always comes up. And look, what was missing from Obama's statement was whatever degree there is any racism left in this country, he was elected and reelected and America's first black president. We have had two consecutive black attorneys general, one of them a woman, two consecutive black secretaries of state, one of them a woman. Just yesterday Lester Holt became the top anchor at "NBC Nightly News," unusual circumstances certainly for Brian Williams self-destruction.

HANNITY: Well deserved. He is a great anchor.

MURDOCK: He is a great anchor, he's a hard working guy, and he's holding up his ratings. So there's all this progress. And yet if you listen to Obama we're still trapped in 1960. It's in our DNA and the '64 Civil Right Act has yet to be signed. He's trapped in the past and that's just incredibly corrosive and destructive.

FIELDS: Do you remember Christopher Dorner, the guy in Los Angeles who went on that killing spree? Remember he had this crazy manifesto where he talked so highly and kind of praised CNN personalities, MSNBC personalities. We weren't out there saying it's MSNBC's fault, it's CNN's fault. But then here they are trying to make this connection.

RICH: What drives me crazy as a musician, I make music with all kinds of songwriters, all kinds of artists. We look at each other and go, I like your music. We should write a song together. None of this ever comes into play. This is political stuff that none of us ever really think about.  And to me, I'm going, it just seems like a --

FIELDS: But that is America. That's the American spirit. And the left is trying to divide us.

HANNITY: You got to look at Baltimore.

RICH: They say a guy in a cowboy hat can't be friends with a guy that raps, or whatever, and that's just not true. And at the end of the day it gets ignited by a bunch crazies.

HANNITY: Eat your heart out, I got Redneck Riviera. John, look at how cool this is.

RICH: It's pretty cool.

MURDOCK: Stars and stripes.

HANNITY: I got the star on the side. This is really, really nice.  Good to see you guys.

Coming up next tonight here on "Hannity."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICK HARRISON, "PAWN STARS": Over the past few years people have tried to sell us real doozies. But this is really worth something. This is something people want.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Rick Harrison from "Pawn Stars" is weighing in on the 2016 election. He is here to join us next. Plus he'll tell us who he wants to be the next commander in chief. That's straight ahead.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HARRISON: Over the past few years people have tried to sell us some real doozies. But this is really worth something. This is something people want. When people see for themselves, I don't have to convince them it's a good investment. I don't have to show them the value for their family, their business, or their future. They get it. So when this guy walked into my shop, I knew he was the real deal.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA.: We have real challenges. And I believe that we can confront those challenges and solve them. The 21st century is going to be better than the 20th century.

HARRISON: Trust me, I know a good investment when I see one.

(MUSIC)

   (END VIDEO CLIP)        

HANNITY: Rick Harrison was there, and one of those stars from the hit TV show "Pawn Stars" publicly back 2016 GOP Presidential candidate Marco Rubio. He joins us now. How he came to that decision -- I love the show. It's a lot of fun. One man's trash is another man's cash. I live by that motto. You're a tough negotiator. It looked like it didn't take long for Marco to get you on board. Why do you like Marco?

HARRISON: I met with him a few times. And, I mean, he gets it. He understands that, you know, I do this in public speaking all the time. I talk about this. I mean, the number one thing in this world that has brought people out of poverty is the ease of doing business. And it's getting harder and harder and harder. I mean, you basically have the Democrats out there saying I should pay more and more taxes on all the profits I make. But they don't seem to realize I don't spend that money, I just reinvestment it. And the majority of the time when I reinvest it in a new business or something like that, it fails. Most of the times I open up a business it fails. But luckily the minority most than makes up for it.

HANNITY: Yours is a cash business, by the way. Every penny I make is reported immediately to the IRS. And they're after me.

   (LAUGHTER)        

HARRISON: But -- listen. I think -- I'm very impressed with Marco and the entire GOP field. I think this is a good slate of candidates, and I think Hillary is far more weaker than people know. And it's there for the taking. But, you know, I'm looking for a conservative that has an inspiring vision to solve our country's problems, that can articulate that vision and win. That's what I want.

HARRISON: And that's what I think Marco can do it. He's an incredible speaker. He doesn't need a teleprompter for everything. I also believe that Hillary will most likely implode when she actually has to answer a real question from the press. Marco, I really like. There's things on education that he's talking about that no one else is. We need to bring trade schools back to this country.

HANNITY: I agree with you. I have got to ask you a question, though.  I see my stage manager here, Matt, and he has this watch. It's called a Timex. He thinks it's worth $40,000. Is that true?

HARRISON: It's priceless.

HANNITY: It's priceless.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: So priceless he doesn't even want to buy it. The show is doing great. Are you surprised at what a breakout hit it became?

HARRISON: I'm a businessman. I figured it would help out business for a year or two. I never thought it would get this big. But I think people want to hear history lessons from their uncle, not necessarily from a professor. And that's what I am. I can make great, little short history lessons if that is what people like.

HANNITY: Rick Harrison, good to see you. Congrats on the show's success. We appreciate you being with us, and we'll mark you down for Rubio. Thank you.

HARRISON: Thanks a lot.

HANNITY: Coming up, we need your help. This is an important "Question of the Day" straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." We have a big exclusive coming up.  Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal is set to make a big announcement and he will join us right after he does right here on "Hannity." And that leads us to tonight's question of the day. What question would you most want to ask Governor Bobby Jindal? You can go to Facebook.com/SeanHannity, @SeanHannity on Twitter, let us know what you think.

That's all the time we have left this evening. We hope you'll set your DVR for 10:00 eastern right here on Fox so you never miss an episode because we miss you. Thanks for being with us. We'll see you back here tomorrow night.

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