HANNITY

Rubio lays out his immigration plan amid terror fears; Rev. Graham: 'Our nation is in trouble'

On 'Hannity,' presidential candidate says it would be 'reckless' not to have a strategy

 

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," December 14, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And welcome to "Hannity." And tonight, the 2016 GOP presidential race is heating up. Now, new polls show that the field is tightening as we move closer to the Iowa caucuses. In a brand-new Fox News Iowa poll, Ted Cruz has now moved into first place with 28 percent, just edging out Donald Trump. He's got 26 percent. And Senator Marco Rubio now is in third place with 13 percent.

Another new poll out of Iowa has Ted Cruz with a 10-point lead at 31 percent. Donald Trump comes in second. He has 21 percent, followed by Ben Carson and Marco Rubio, who are both in double digits.

Now, those numbers out of Iowa are impressive. But an a brand-new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Senator Marco Rubio does the best against Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in a potential head-to-head matchup. Rubio would beat Clinton 48-45.

Here with reaction is the 2016 Republican presidential candidate Florida senator Marco Rubio. Senator, good to see you. I know these polls...

SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Good to see you, Sean.

HANNITY: (INAUDIBLE) you're getting a hundred numbers thrown at you a week. It's probably difficult to stand back and take them all in. But head to head is an important -- only two people to beat Hillary in that poll head to head, and that was you and Ben Carson.

RUBIO: Yes, look, they're interesting for people that follow politics on a daily basis. We've never paid a lot of attention to them because there's so much to go just before Iowa, not to mention the elections in November.

But the fundamental defense now for us is we need to move forward on explaining to the American people why the right way forward is limited government, free enterprise and a strong national defense.

What we know for sure is this. We can't afford another four years like the last disastrous seven-and-a-half years. And we need to -- the next president of the United States needs to hit the ground running on day one to begin to reverse the tremendous damage that this president's done to America.

HANNITY: What about this revelation that we had today? And we'll get into more detail later in the program -- that the Department of Homeland Security -- well, number one, has 72 people on the no-fly list working for them.

But number two, that according to the DHS secretary (sic), that they wouldn't look at people's social media for fear it was an issue of optics, about privacy and civil liberties when vetting people. Now, these are public forums! This is social media by its definition!

RUBIO: And this is exactly why the American people increasingly have zero confidence that this administration has any idea on how to keep our country safe.

We know, for example, that one of the early indicators of radicalization is what people are doing on line. That is what ISIS is using to recruit fighters and radicalize people, including American citizens, to take up arms against us and join the war against the United States.

To not look at that as a factor in determining whether someone should be allowed to travel here just defies all explanation. So how do you go to the American people, who feel as insecure as they ever have in recent memory, and say to them these things? And when they realize what's happening by this administration, they realize this is not an administration that is serious or knows what they're doing when it comes to keeping us safe.

HANNITY: How big -- how big an issue -- when you have General John Allen and you have James Comey and you have James Clapper and you have John Kirby and you have Michael Steinbeck (ph) and you have the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee all telling us that ISIS has a plan that they will infiltrate the refugee population, that we are not safe, and then you see that this woman in San Bernardino had posted all of her terrorist leanings on social media, and we don't even look at that! Is it now -- is it now...

RUBIO: Yes, it just -- it defies logic.

HANNITY: Does that tell us it's time for a pause in immigration?

RUBIO: Well, what it tells us, first and foremost, is that when it comes to allowing people into this country, we must realize that things have changed just in the last two years. You have a sophisticated terrorist group, ISIS, who understands our legal immigration system and is looking for ways to exploit it.

So it's not just refugees. They're actively looking for people that can come to the U.S. as professionals, whether it's students or doctors, and so it's going to require even stronger scrutiny with regards to that, again not because America's a country that wants to turn anyone away, but because the most important obligation of the federal government is to keep us safe.

And when you realize that your enemy is trying to attack you in a very specific way, it is irresponsible, it is reckless not to look at that and figure out ways to make it work better. They're not doing that.

HANNITY: And it's a dereliction of duty. OK, you say it would be reckless not to have a plan. What should the best plan be? Is it a pause in immigration until we get it fixed? You know, you have said...

RUBIO: Well...

HANNITY: Go ahead.

RUBIO: No, I mean, it's not just simply a pause. I mean, obviously, common sense still applies. I think it really depends on exactly where people are coming from, how much we know about them. There are people we know a lot about. They've been here multiple times. You know, they own businesses. We know what they're involved in. And then there are people we just don't know a lot about and there are open questions about them.

And that's the kind of common sense application that I think we need.  So you have someone that comes from Taiwan, has a business in California, comes four or five times a year, that's an easier person to vet. You have someone that's arriving for the first time, who we know nothing about, that's someone you're going to have to take more time to look at a little bit more careful and err on the side of caution.

And that is the sort of approach we can take instead of this notion that somehow, our immigration system needs to be a place in which, you know, we play political messaging games with it, which is what this administration does.

HANNITY: You don't think a pause from Middle Eastern refugees is a good idea for a time being?

RUBIO: Well, I have said that, I mean, especially because we know that ISIS is trying to exploit the Syrian refugee crisis. But again, if it's an 8-year-old child who is an orphan, you can vet that. But the vast majority of people that are trying to come are people that we just don't have information on. You can run their name on the database a thousand times, nothing's going to pop up because there's no databases for people coming from Syria.

And this an issue that you have to be right 100 percent. You cannot afford to be wrong on even one because if you're wrong on one, that could be an ISIS killer that's entered the U.S. and carries out a terrorist attack.

HANNITY: On the...

RUBIO: There's no margin of error when it comes to this.

HANNITY: On the issue of immigration reform, you have told me a number of times the American people don't trust us to do any type of comprehensive reform. And you're saying we need to prove to them that we can secure the border. If you become president, how long do you think it would take to fully and completely secure America's borders?

RUBIO: Well, it depends on how quickly Congress is prepared to move forward on a real border surge. For example, hiring thousands of new border patrol agents, completing fencing and walls in key and critical sections where people are crossing, more cameras, drones and sensors, these things that we'll require to physically secure the southern border.

We also need to put in place a mandatory e-verify system, which won't happen from one month to the next. That'll take time. We need a tracking system that tracks visa overstays, a better way, by the way, of vetting people before they come in on existing visas.

All of this will take some time. It has to be passed by Congress. It has to be funded. So it won't happen from one day to the next, but I'm convinced that we can do it. We know how to do this. We've secured borders before. And we know how to do it. It's an issue of willingness.  And once we do it, you will see the legal -- you will see the illegal immigration numbers come down dramatically.

HANNITY: all right, you saw the back slapping and congratulatory tone of people at this climate summit. It's non-binding. It's not worth the paper that it's printed on. But yet you would think that they just made the greatest deal in the history of mankind. What are your thoughts...

RUBIO: It's all for show.

HANNITY: What's that?

RUBIO: It's all for show. It's all for show. I mean, the whole thing is for show. Number one, as you said, they're not binding. Number two, the administration has committed the United States to certain caps, but hasn't told us how they're going to do it, which obviously means they're going to have even more of these sort of regulations. At least, that's what they intend.

Here's the most outrageous part. This is a deal that's going to require the American taxpayer to send billions of dollars to developing countries. Well, China considers itself a developing country. Does that mean the American taxpayer is going to send billions of dollars to China to help them comply with the arrangement here?

And number four, let's be clear on the issue of China, the number one carbon emitter in the world, and India, number three carbon emitter, they have said, We're going to meet those guidelines, but only if it doesn't hurt economic growth. Well, guess what? It is going to hurt economic growth. That's why we shouldn't do it here. This is just -- it's actually, quite frankly, an unfunny joke.

HANNITY: All right, Senator, congratulations on your poll numbers.  We're now 48 days away. It's going to be interesting in Iowa. Thanks for being with us.

RUBIO: Yes, sir. Thank you. Thanks, Sean.

HANNITY: And coming up next tonight on "Hannity"...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When you look at the way he's dealt with the Senate where he goes in there like a -- you know, frankly, like a little bit of a maniac, you're never going to get things done that way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Donald Trump takes a swipe at Ted Cruz. You won't believe the pretty funny way the Texas senator responded. That's next.

And then later, Newt Gingrich says the country is in a rebellion and needs a leader who will, quote, "kick down the doors." The former speaker is here tonight.

All of that, plus the Reverend Franklin Graham is here to explain why he's supporting Donald Trump's temporary Muslim ban proposal. That and more on this busy news night.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

HANNITY: And welcome back to "Hannity." A feud appears to be brewing between two of the top 2016 Republican contenders. Now, over the past few days, Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz have been involved in a somewhat tense back and forth. And yesterday, Trump had this to say about his Republican rival. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I don't think he's qualified to be president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why not?

TRUMP: Because I don't think he has the right temperament. I don't think he's got the right judgment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's wrong with his temperament?

TRUMP: When you look at the way he's dealt with the Senate, where he goes in there like a -- you know, frankly, like a little bit of a maniac, you're never going to get things done that way.

Look, I built a phenomenal business. I'm worth many, many billions of dollars. I have some of the greatest assets anywhere in the world. You can't walk into the Senate and scream and call people liars and not be able to cajole and get along with people. He'll never get anything done. And that's the problem with Ted.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: All right, after being called a maniac, Senator Ted Cruz responded by tweeting out a classic 1980s hit from the movie "Flashdance."  Watch this.

(VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Kind of like the "Rocky" of dancing. Anyway, joining us now with reaction, from The National Review, Rich Lowry, and Washington Times columnist Monica Crowley. Both are FOX news contributors.

All right, I would argue that Donald Trump has very successfully positioned his other candidates -- Jeb, low energy, Ben Carson he attacked somewhat successfully. Why do I think it's going to be different in the case of Ted Cruz?

MONICA CROWLEY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, because Ted Cruz has played this so smartly from the beginning. Every other candidate has seen the threat coming from Donald Trump, and they've all attacked him. They've criticized him, which then opened the door for Trump to basically flatten each one of them, as you say, with one word or one turn of phrase. That "low energy" phrase basically eliminated Jeb Bush.

Ted Cruz, on the other hand, understood the dynamic. And he said, I'm not going to attack Trump because I don't want to give him the opening. So instead, he positioned himself...

HANNITY: But he attacked him behind closed doors, and it got out.

CROWLEY: Well, it -- it did get out, which allowed Trump then to...

HANNITY: It was a major attack.

CROWLEY: But even Trump's criticism here was pretty mild. And then Cruz handled it so beautifully by refusing to return fire, and instead tweeted out that clip from "Flashdance."

RICH LOWRY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, rather than frontally confronting Trump, which has not worked out very well for anyone yet, Cruz is trying to outmaneuver him...

HANNITY: Behind...

(CROSSTALK)

LOWRY: ... very successfully. In Iowa, he's ahead now, if you believe the polls in Iowa. And I think he's probably the favorite to win Iowa. Now, Trump has begun hitting him, but not very effectively...

(CROSSTALK)

LOWRY: ... evangelicals don't come from Cuba is ridiculous.  Attacking -- Donald Trump attacking someone else for his temperament and not getting along well with other people?

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: He plays a little hard in the sandbox.

LOWRY: Plus, it's what people like about Cruz.

CROWLEY: Right.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: The difference here -- I don't put Ben Carson into this category, but others that Trump has attacked, he's attacked them -- they're more establishment. Cruz is loved by the conservative base, the base that will show up in Iowa, for example. And I would tend to agree with you. I would think Iowa is more of a natural constituency. I would say Cruz is the odds-on favorite for Iowa. But I would say Trump is the favorite for New Hampshire.

LOWRY: Cruz wants to avoid this fight, but this fight...

HANNITY: Is going to happen.

LOWRY: ... is coming and it's going to be fascinating because they're so opposites. Trump is a great gut-level politician. Cruz thinks through everything, extremely carefully. Trump is a pure populist. Cruz is an ideological (INAUDIBLE)

HANNITY: Yes, but here's the interesting thing. Of the two people that are hated the most by the establishment, it's Trump and Cruz.

CROWLEY: And Cruz, right.

HANNITY: And this is who it's come down to, at least 48 days out of Iowa.

CROWLEY: Cruz did something so brilliant at the beginning when he saw the Trump dynamic developing, which is create something of an alliance with Donald Trump. But ultimately, they are competitors. So you're right, I mean, when push comes to shove, they are going to have to go after each other because they both want the same job.

The thing that was odd about Trump's criticism of Cruz -- it wasn't even an attack -- was that it was the establishment line that Cruz doesn't play well with others. That's a huge advantage this year, especially...

HANNITY: That's a plus.

LOWRY: Trump -- Trump...

CROWLEY: ... with the conservative base.

LOWRY: ... should hit him as a political insider.

HANNITY: Doesn't work, though.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: He's not an insider.

LOWRY: Well, he worked for the Bush campaign...

HANNITY: Oh!

LOWRY: ... and then the Bush administration.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Everybody in Washington hates Ted!

LOWRY: You don't get in the Senate by accident. You only get there if...

HANNITY: Well, wait a minute!

LOWRY: ... you're extremely politically ambitious.

HANNITY: You think of the race that he ran in Texas -- there's two interesting observations. Not friends of mine. Alan Dershowitz -- Austan Goolsbee is. Austan Goolsbee was the national debate champion one year and Ted Cruz the next. He's told me personally Ted Cruz is the smartest guy he's ever debated. Alan Dershowitz has referred to him as one of the smartest students he's ever had!

LOWRY: There's no doubt about it. And that's -- and that's why in this next debate, it's going to be fascinating because there's going to be a Trump/Cruz exchange. And those guys are both very good at their own game, Trump just dropping a nuclear bomb on people's head, Cruz making an argument.

HANNITY: Don't you think -- but Cruz is the more seasoned professional debater. That's going to be an interesting exchange.

CROWLEY: It's going to be a very interesting dynamic. But keep Nicole mind, too, that Ted Cruz from the start has built a very sophisticated operation. He's got a very sophisticated ground game, get out the vote operation not just in Iowa, but New Hampshire, South Carolina, across the South.

HANNITY: Yes.

CROWLEY: So once Iowa happens, assuming he wins, going into the subsequent states, he is very well positioned to actually win (INAUDIBLE)

LOWRY: That's absolutely right. And for all the talk this year about how all the rules are different and everything has changed, Cruz has run a brilliantly traditional campaign, traditional organizing, fund-raising...

CROWLEY: (INAUDIBLE) outsider.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: You're predicting -- you think Cruz is going all the way.

LOWRY: I think he has -- probably at this moment, I would give him better odds than anyone.

HANNITY: What about you, Monica?

CROWLEY: I think the final two will be Trump and Cruz.

HANNITY: I agree with that. I can't predict. I think it's going to be those two. And I think it's going to show up tomorrow night, too, big- time. All right, guys, good to see you both.

LOWRY: Thanks, Sean.

CROWLEY: Thank you.

HANNITY: And coming up next tonight right here on "Hannity"...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Like puppets. I say, Folks, you know, I'm sorry I did this to you, but you got to get used to it. It's one of those little problems in life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Up next, former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich weighs in on Donald Trump's message for the Republican leaders.

And then later tonight, the Reverend Franklin Graham is here to explain why he is supporting Donald Trump's proposed temporary Muslim ban.  That and more as we continue.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have a warning for GOP leaders?

TRUMP: Look, I understand what they're going through. I wasn't supposed to be here. I was a member of the establishment seven months ago. I gave $350,000 to the Republican Governors Association. I'm not supposed to be doing this. You see, I'm supposed to be on the other side writing checks and having people do whatever I want...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: ... like puppets. I say, Folks, you know, I'm sorry I did this to you, but you got to get used to it. It's one of those little problems in life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: All right, that was Donald Trump's answer when asked what he thought about the report that Republican leaders are mulling the idea of a possible brokered convention.

Joining us now with reaction, the author of the new novel, "Duplicity," former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, also a Fox News contributor.

Well, Donald's pretty good at making news, but there's been a lot of talk behind the scenes, establishment figures don't like the fact that both Trump and Cruz are doing so well. And it sounds to me like they want to pick up their toys if they lose and they want to go home, especially after years -- in years past, they've said to conservatives, Suck it up, vote for John McCain, vote for Bob Dole, establishment candidates. Thoughts.

NEWT GINGRICH, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think, first of all, you can understand the anxiety of the traditional old guard. I mean, as you just pointed out, your two front-runners now are Trump and Cruz, who are the two people that the establishment would probably least like to see as the nominee. Maybe Dr. Carson would be third.

But these three between them now have 65 percent of the vote, and that poses a real problem. If you are a traditional insider Washington politician, these guys represent the end of your world, or they certainly represent a big threat to your world.

And so you have all this talk. But remember, you don't get to a brokered convention because a handful of bosses want to get there. The only way you're going to have a convention that is brokered is if four or five of these candidates each do well enough that nobody can get to a majority. That's the only way you get there. And that's way beyond the control of anybody in Washington, D.C.

HANNITY: So even -- you don't think there might be some shenanigans behind the scenes -- why don't you stay in the race a little bit longer, especially in these states that might split the delegation or in those particular cases? You know, because what it sounds to me -- Ronald Reagan wasn't liked by the establishment when he took on a sitting president.

And with all due respect to you, there are a lot of people who didn't like you because you took the Republicans, after losing for 40 straight years, 40 years in the wilderness, and you were a bold, dynamic, revolutionary man of change, and you kind of shook a few -- you rattled the foundations a little bit yourself.

GINGRICH: Sure. And I actually personally think that it's very healthy in the current environment for the United States to get rattled. I think you have bureaucracies that are absurdly incompetent. You have rules that are ridiculous. And you have national security policies that are a genuine risk to our safety.

So I'm for pretty dramatic bold, change. But all I'm reporting, as somebody who's been through this and who knows these players, if one of them, either Trump, let's say, or Cruz, suddenly catches fire, they're going to be the nominee. I mean, there's nothing the old establishment can do to stop them.

What gets interesting is, you have some people -- Chris Christie's a good example. Christie's had a very good couple weeks in New Hampshire.  He is a great retail politician. All of a sudden, you could imagine, what if you had Cruz win in Iowa, Christie win in New Hampshire -- first of all, what does that do to Trump's image of invincibility? And what happens going next to Nevada and to South Carolina?

HANNITY: Christie's still at nine percent, though, in New Hampshire. I mean, Trump's in the 20s. That's a long haul in 58 days.

GINGRICH: It's a long haul, and it's two months to go. These things can change. Remember, at this point in 2007, John McCain didn't exist.  He'd gone broke.

HANNITY: That's a good point.

GINGRICH: His campaign was out of money. He had been the front- runner. Now he was alone in New Hampshire with one aide.

On the other hand, I have to tell you, Sean, I did not expect this, but I am really looking forward to tomorrow night's debate because you're going to have Trump in the middle with Carson on one side of him and with Cruz on the other side. And I agree with the comments in the last interview you did. Cruz is far and away a better professional debater than Trump. On the other hand, Trump's probably a much better barroom brawler than Cruz.

And so you're going to have two radically different styles. And next to them, you're going to have, you know, Dr. Carson, who has to recover on national security, has to prove he could be commander-in-chief.

So there's going to be a lot of drama on those three people in the middle of that debate tomorrow night. I think it's going to be fascinating.

HANNITY: But at 65 percent -- you make all great points about John McCain and where he was and where he came and how he battled his way back, very legitimate points.

But this year, one thing has been steady and it has been consistent.  The only people to rise to this level of stature to be in the top tier -- and I'll include Carly and I'll include Ben Carson and I'll include Ted Cruz and Donald Trump -- they've all been outsiders. The one constant has been that the Republican base is fed up.

And I cite the Fox poll. I think I referred to it as the Washington Post poll. In the Fox poll, 60-some-odd percent of Republicans feel betrayed by their party. That is not -- that has been the one constant.  So how do you imagine that changing between now and Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina?

GINGRICH: Well, I don't think it does change. I mean, I think -- my advice to everybody in Washington is, Don't pay attention to the candidates. Pay attention to the voters. If there are that many voters who are that angry, what is it that the Republican leadership has failed to do? And what is it that we have to learn from where we're going?

And candidly, I think having Paul Ryan come in as speaker is a step in the right direction. I think you're going to see a lot more steps towards change. And I think it's not always going to be easy, but I think you are going to see a continued move in the right direction.

Plus, remember, behind all of this are these terrorist activities that are both legitimately frightening to the American people and are proving that our current government is so dumb, it's on the verge of insanity. I mean, how could you vet somebody's visa and not look at their Facebook page?

As a rule -- by the way, this wasn't an accident. This wasn't sloppiness. This was a rule in the Obama administration to not look at social media while promising us that we were going to be protected from people who are on Facebook saying, I love jihad and I want to kill Westerners. Now, that's really -- verges on insanity.

HANNITY: You know, when you think about ISIS now has the ability to make their own passports, ISIS has a stated plan to infiltrate the refugee population -- the Democrats are standing by accepting them and taking them in. Trump lays out his plan for a temporary ban, seems to be backed up by our national intelligence officers that are saying it's dangerous.

And I got to be honest, I think that all of these guys in D.C., including Hillary, have no concept of what real people are thinking here!

GINGRICH: Well, remember, the odds are very high we're going to have more incidents. You just had three false bombing threats over the weekend in major places.

And here's what I'm struck with. Republicans -- particularly Trump, but Republicans in general are over here saying, Look, if I'm going to have to offend a few people in order to protect Americans, I'm willing to save American lives by offending people.

Democrats are increasingly over here saying, Look, if I have to risk a few American lives to make sure I don't offend anybody, I'm willing to risk American lives. That's how big the gap is now between the two world views.

HANNITY: Yes. All right, so tomorrow, before the debate, you get two phone calls.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: One is from Donald Trump asking you how to deal with Ted Cruz, and one is from Ted Cruz asking you how to deal with Donald Trump.  What do you say to each of them?

GINGRICH: I say the same thing to both of them because I think Cruz was brilliant yesterday. Use humor, not anger. This country doesn't need to see two of our front-runners beating each other up. This country needs to see two guys who are potentially a ticket, two guys who are competent and smart, two guys who care about the country, and to the degree -- I predict this. Whichever one of them is better at using humor tomorrow night will have a big advantage in the debate.

HANNITY: All right, Mr. Speaker, like you, I'm looking forward to it.  Appreciate you being with us.

Coming up, the Reverend Franklin Graham under fire for defending Donald Trump's temporary Muslim ban proposal. The reverend is here to respond.

Then later tonight --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Every day we destroy as well more of ISIL's forces, their fighting positions, bunkers and staging areas, their heavy weapons, bomb making factories, compounds, and training camps.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: The president claiming his plan to defeat ISIS is actually working despite the recent terrorist attacks in both Paris and San Bernardino. Plus a shocking new report reveals, get this, a government policy literally blocked officials from looking at social media posts made by the female San Bernardino terror suspect when she was applying for a visa. They didn't want to invade her privacy. And by the way, on her social media site she explained her support for jihad, straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY WRIGHT, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Live from America's news headquarters, I'm Kelly Wright. Good evening. Army deserter Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl will face general court martial. If convicted he could get life in prison on a charge of misbehavior before the enemy and up to five years for desertion. Bergdahl, who was held by the Taliban for five years, was freed in exchange for five Guantanamo detainees.

   A bus crash killing at least 43 border patrol officers in Argentina.  That bus blew a tire and veered off the side of a bridge. It happened near Salta, a city some 900 miles north of Buenos Aires. The bus was one of three carrying police to an area bordering Bolivia.

Flags flying at half-staff across Connecticut in honor of those killed three years ago in the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre. Twenty students and six staffers were killed at the Newtown school. The building has since been demolished. A new campus will open next fall.

I'm Kelly Wright. Now back to "Hannity."

HANNITY: And welcome back to "Hannity." So last week the Reverend Franklin Graham came out in support of Donald Trump's plan to put a temporary ban on Muslims immigrating and entering the U.S. Now, Graham wrote on his Facebook page, quote, "For some time I have been saying that Muslim immigration into the U.S. should be stopped until we can properly vet them or until the war with ISIS is over.

Joining us now to explain, the man himself, from Samaritan's Purse, the Reverend Franklin Graham who also brought his operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. You gave out 125 million of these so far.

REV. FRANKLIN GRAHAM, SAMARITAN'S PURSE: Yes. And this year we'll have a little over 11 million this year, Sean. And we go to 110 different countries. You've been with me, you and your wife and family.

HANNITY: By the way, it was very -- it was an amazing experience, because this is filled -- look at this one. You make it for a boy or a girl.

GRAHAM: Yes.

HANNITY: This is obviously for a boy. It's got cars. Let me see if this airplane really works.

GRAHAM: I'm not sure it does.

HANNITY: It actually does. That was a pretty good crash landing. It has cars. And the girl's has toothbrushes and Slinkies, and I can see in there and crayons and stuff like that. And you give these boxes, age appropriate.

GRAHAM: Yes.

HANNITY: And you see the look on their face. And we're spoiled.  This box to them is like a huge Christmas for them.

GRAHAM: For most of these children, as you know, Sean, have never had a gift in their life. So when you can give them a gift, and, of course, at Christmas, I want the children of the world to know the true meaning of Christmas. I want the children of the world to know that God loves them and God sent his son from heaven to this earth to take our sins, and that he died in our place for our sins and God raised him to life.

HANNITY: And you tell them that when you see them, and then you give them a gift and the kids light up like there's no tomorrow.

GRAHAM: No question.     

HANNITY: It's amazing.

GRAHAM: It's a great tool to show God's love to the children of this world. This year, again, 11 million boxes, and so I thank God for each box. Every box is different. They are like snowflakes, no two alike. And God uses these gifts in a remarkable way.

HANNITY: If people want to send them, just go to --

GRAHAM: Samaritanspurse.org.

HANNITY: That's Samaritanspurse.org.

GRAHAM: And all the information on how to pack a shoebox, where to send the shoebox.

HANNITY: I give people a hint. The kids like the bigger plastic ones.

GRAHAM: The Tupperware kind. That's a great box.

HANNITY: You can get a lot more in there, too.

GRAHAM: You can.

Sean, when we look at the world in which we're in, our nation is in trouble.

HANNITY: The world is in trouble.

GRAHAM: Starting in January, I'm going to run a campaign for God.  And I'm going to all 50 state capitals. None of the candidates are going to all 50 states. I'm going to all 50 state capitals and I'm going to hold a prayer service at noon starting in Des Moines on the fifth of January holding a prayer service and asking the churches to pray for their nation, to pray for their state. And I'm going to encourage Christians to get out and vote. I'm not going to tell them who they vote for. I'm not going to get behind any political candidates. I'm disappointed in the Democratic Party. I'm disappointed in the Republican Party. I'm disappointed in the Tea Party. And I can tell you that the hope for this nation is not in these systems.

HANNITY: Why are you disappointed in the Tea Party? You had me up till there.

GRAHAM: Because nothing has happened. And I'm just, Sean, I think people have some good intentions, but they get into Washington and our system is broke. The only hope is God, Sean. It's not these political systems. The only hope for America is God and if our nation turns back to God. So all 50 states, I'm going to be there at noon.

HANNITY: That's amazing. And you're just going to go state to state?

GRAHAM: State to state.

HANNITY: How many days?

GRAHAM: One day at each state capital.

HANNITY: There's no doubt about this, and this is my greatest fear, but I've got young kids. I think I have had a pretty full life so far.  I'm still young. I hope I have got a few more years in me. I look at the country and the world in a major decline. And to see the U.S. in decline this way breaks my heart because we were a special nation set apart with special blessings. I think these years have been brutal on the economy. I think these years have been brutal with America's absence on the world stage. And you see who is filling the void. If it's ISIS or Putin or the Iranian regime that our president is insanely negotiating with, it's scary.         

All right, so you're staying out of it. You're not going to endorse anybody.

GRAHAM: I'm not going to endorse any candidates, no. I'll stay completely out of it. But the goal is to get Christians to vote. And we've look at the national level, we look at show is going to run for president.

HANNITY: You think Christians stayed away from Mitt Romney in the last election?

GRAHAM: There's no question. Millions stayed away.

But there's just Christians that don't vote. They think their vote doesn't count. It does count, Sean. Every vote counts. And as you know, most elections are not determined by millions of votes. It's determined by sometimes hundreds or dozens of votes in smaller elections. But I want people to vote and look at things like school boards. Could you imagine if evangelical Christians were able to get on the school boards and control the school boards of America, the impact that would have on our nation.

HANNITY: Can you imagine taking condoms out of schools? The left would go insane. I don't mean to push it.

I don't even want to push you on this Muslim issue. To me, I have a list here in front of me. General John Allen, FBI Director Comey, National Intelligence Director James Clapper, Assistant FBI Director Michael Steinbeck, John Kirby, State Department spokesman, the head of the U.S. -- the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee all warning --

GRAHAM: Right.

HANNITY: -- that ISIS is infiltrating --

GRAHAM: No question.

HANNITY: -- the refugee and immigration system. And to me, until we get it fixed, it's just common sense to put a pause. People say it's bigoted and horrible.

GRAHAM: Sean, I'm not against Muslims coming to this country, but there has got to be a system for them to be vetted. We're helping the refugees as they come into Greece. We have people on the beach as they come up --

HANNITY: Samaritan's Purse.

GRAHAM: Samaritan's Purse, as they come out of their boats, we help them, we get them to the U.N. processing center. And then as they go through Europe, we have meeting points throughout Europe where we meet with them.

HANNITY: You give them food, water, supplies.

GRAHAM: And sometimes they just want to get information. We try to give information to them. But there's a lot of families. And some of them have been broken up, split apart, some have died at sea. It breaks your heart when you see this. But mixed into this you see a lot of young men who are military age coming by themselves. They're coming from Syria.  They're coming from Iraq.

HANNITY: The president denies this.

GRAHAM: They're coming from Iran.

HANNITY: The president denies this.

GRAHAM: No, we're there. We see it. They're there. I don't know who these people are. When they get out of the rubber boats, they're nice and they're very grateful for our help, but you don't know who these people are.

HANNITY: We shouldn't gamble with the live of Americans, and we are.  And to me that's simple, basic common sense, but this president is insistent on ignoring the advice of these people.

   Anyway, more importantly, I learned a lot when I went on the road with you. To see the light in these kids' eyes that light up like a Christmas tree, to use an analogy, and they have the greatest time.  Samaritanspurse.org.

GRAHAM: Yes, sir, Operation Christmas Child. And we ask people as you pack the box, pray, pray for the child who is going to will get the box. I don't know who will get it, but God does. God answers the prayer of one righteous person.

HANNITY: You can sneak a $10 Bill in there.

GRAHAM: Can you imagine 11 million people praying what God might do.

HANNITY: Listen, that's a pretty amazing thing, 125 million. Every year you are here to tell everybody about it. I know our audience loves what you're doing. Thank you for being with us.

GRAHAM: Thank you.

HANNITY: Good to see you.        

GRAHAM: And coming up, shocking new report might explain why the female San Bernardino suspect was allowed to enter the country despite opening supporting jihad on social media. Guess what? Our government wouldn't allow their employees to check social media posts. They didn't want to, well, invade their privacy. I can't believe it. We'll explain that report next.         

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)     

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)        

OBAMA: The point is ISIS leaders cannot hide, and our next message to them is simple, you are next. Every day we destroy as well more of ISIL's forces, their fighting positions, bunkers, and staging areas, their heavy weapons, bomb making factories, compounds, and training camps.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: That was the president earlier today insisting that his plan to defeat ISIS is actually working. Also tonight a possible explanation as to why the female suspect in the San Bernardino terrorist attack was allowed to enter the country on a visa despite her extensive social media postings about her support for jihad.         Now as ABC News first reported, the Department of Homeland Security has a policy in place that actually prevents your government officials from monitoring social media posts and pages of these applicants. Joining us now with reaction to this insanity is the major general, former distinguished chair of military theory at Marine Corps University Dr. Sebastian Gorka is with us. How are you, sir?

DR. SEBASTIAN GORKA, MARINE CORPS UNIVERSITY: Very well, Sean.  Thanks for having me back.

HANNITY: OK, this is social media. By its very definition, it's public. You have the head of the homeland security committee chairman explaining we don't want to invade peoples' privacy. They want you to invade their privacy, otherwise they wouldn't have posed it. We could have prevented this event in San Bernardino. What are your thoughts on how stupid they are?

GORKA: It's literally what you said. It is insane. As many people have pointed out if you apply for a job, even flipping burgers let alone doing something sensitive, what is the HR department going to do? They're going to look at your social media postings. Are you a normal person? Are you crazy? Do you post stuff that is antisocial? We do we have these huge conspiracies, these huge controversies about NSA telephonic metadata collection if DHS or the immigration services can't look at your Facebook page?

HANNITY: This guy who was interviewed by ABC actually said it's primarily a question of optics, concerns about the privacy and civil liberties. Now, what we know about this San Bernardino woman, Tashfeen Malik, she clearly was bragging for her live for ISIS and jihad on her Facebook page. So that tells me the people who were killed and injured could have been saved. Who has blood on her hands here?

GORKA: Let's have a look at this. Civil liberties? What about the civil liberties of the 14 dead Americans on the floor of that Christmas party in San Bernardino? We wrote this before the attack in California, Sean, my wife and I published a report on the domestic threat from ISIS.  All of your viewers can down load it. It's at Threatknowledge.org. We had one statistic that everybody needs to pay attention to. Of the 82 ISIS suspects we have killed or arrested in America in last two years, 48 percent of them broadcast their intentions and love of jihad on the Internet before they went kinetic. Half of them told the world they're jihadis and they want to kill the infidel. And somehow Jeh Johnson thinks we can't read their Facebook posts.

HANNITY: We are at times a very stupid country. This is one of those times. All right, sir, good to see you, thank you for being with us.

GORKA: Thank you, Sean.

And coming up next, our "Ask Sean" segment, and we need your help. A very important "Question of the Day" is straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: Time for our "Question of the Day." So who do you think will win the Iowa caucuses 48 days away? Just go to Facebook.com/SeanHannity, @SeanHannity on Twitter, let us know what you think. You've been sending in questions all day for me. It's time for our "Ask Sean" segment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Sean, do you think the president's speech gave us new insights to his strategy dealing with the Middle East? Thanks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: No. I think the president still thinks the weather and global warming and a nonbinding agreement are far more important and a greater threat to national security. There is no hope. We need a new president. Our countdown begins at the start of the New Year.

Anyway, thanks for the question. That's all the time we left this evening. As always, we appreciate you being with us. We'll see you back here tomorrow night.

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