Rubio: Hillary is 'everything we don't need in America'

On 'Hannity,' presidential candidate says he is 'confident' about the state of his campaign


This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," January 11, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: This is a Fox News Alert. We're just 21 days until the all-important Iowa caucuses, and the lineup for the next Republican debate taking place this Thursday on the Fox Business Network is now all set.

Mike Emanuel is in Washington tonight. He has all the details -- Mike.

MIKE EMANUEL, FOX CORRESPONDENT: Sean, tonight, Fox Business Network announced the lineup for this week's primetime debate in North Charleston, South Carolina. On that stage will be businessman Donald Trump, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Dr. Ben Carson, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Ohio Governor John Kasich.

Despite lobbying to be included in the primetime event and saying he is running a top-tier campaign, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul did not qualify.

Those invited to the undercard forum earlier in the evening at 6:00 PM Eastern on Thursday are Senator Rand Paul, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, former CEO Carly Fiorina and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

Fox Business set criteria to feature candidates in primetime placing in the top six nationally or within in the top five in Iowa or New Hampshire according to polls meeting Fox's standards -- Sean.

HANNITY: All right, Mike, thank you.

The countdown to Iowa continues. A new Fox News poll out of the Hawkeye State shows that Senator Ted Cruz now is in first place. He has 27 percent of the vote, Donald Trump second, 23 percent, Senator Marco Rubio, who's been rising in the polls, now comes in third place with 15 percent.

2016 Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio joins us with more.  Senator, good to see you.

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

HANNITY: Happy New Year. Let's talk about the state of the race. All right, we've got two polls, the most recent polls have you third in Iowa but second in New Hampshire, and then we've got two polls head-to-head against Hillary Clinton. This one has you up, believe it or not, the Fox News poll, 50 to 41 percent in a head-to-head matchup against Hillary.

So tell us from your side the state of the race.

RUBIO: Yes. Well, I know Hillary doesn't want to run against me, but I can't wait to run against her. She's everything that we don't need in America. We can't afford another four years like the last seven.

Just today, another article comes out about how allies of hers and staffers of hers were conspiring to try to start up Palestinian protests. This was reported just today. Found in e-mails this plan to try to stir up protests among Palestinians to force Israel back to the negotiating table, not to mention she lied to the family of the victims of Benghazi about what caused that attack, not to mention the way she's handled classified and sensitive information on her e-mails.

She is completely disqualify from being commander-in-chief. I cannot -- I really hope I'm our nominee because I can't wait to run against her.

HANNITY: What do you make of the instructions that she gave to one of her staffers to literally -- it was a back and forth -- where she said, Turn it into non-paper with no identifying heading and send it non-secure. Now, she said she never sent or received classified e-mails. That became sent or received marked classified e-mails. And here she's telling somebody to identify it as not marked, when, in fact, it was. Do you think laws were broken?

RUBIO: Right. Well, this is -- well, that's what the FBI should be looking at. I'm going to let them make judgment on that and the Justice Department. I don't have any confidence this president's Justice Department will do anything about it.

Here's what I can tell you. When I'm president of the United States, neither she nor any of these other people are going to be above the law, whether it's her or Eric Holder for what he did on Fast and Furious or any of these other folks. They're going to -- people are going to be held accountable if they broke the laws of this country.

This president obviously is willing to protect his political cronies, but we're going to hold people accountable. Nobody is above the law, not even Hillary Clinton, even though she thinks she is. And of course, she did all this -- by the way, doesn't matter -- she did all this because she wanted it for convenience. And so she didn't care if she exposed classified and sensitive information to espionage from the Chinese and the Russians. But there will be a full accounting of all this when I'm president and we have a real Justice Department with a real attorney general.

HANNITY: You're saying if the FBI would either recommend an indictment or if they sent information that indicates she did, in fact, break the law and Loretta Lynch does not go forward with an indictment, that if you become president, you would follow up on any potential law breaking.

RUBIO: Yes, what I can tell you -- I can't order the Justice Department to do anything. Unlike this president, I'm not going to interfere in these agencies doing their job. I will say this. I am confident -- in fact, I know for sure that I will have appointed, when I'm president, an attorney general who will follow the law and apply it, not one that conspires with me to undermine the 2nd Amendment and not one that looks the other way when cronies of the current president are committing lawlessness, as has been, I believe, the case with regards to Hillary Clinton's e-mails.

HANNITY: Rudy Giuliani, former prosecutor himself -- he's identified 16 specific laws that he believes should be investigated that possibly could have been violated. Are you convinced that Hillary Clinton broke the law?

RUBIO: Well, we don't -- let's continue to gather the facts. Again, I think that we're going to let the -- I don't want people to accuse this of being some sort of political thing. This is about what's right and what's wrong, what's legal and what's illegal.

I do have confidence in the FBI. I do not believe the FBI is politicized.  I think they're going to conduct a full investigation, and they're going to provide that information to the Justice Department. And what I'm saying to you today, if loss were broken, I will have an attorney general when I am president that will hold people to account, whoever they are, for having violated our laws.

HANNITY: Because things are so tight, particularly in New Hampshire, where you are in consistently now in second place, you have become a target. But you're also fighting back. More specifically with Governor Chris Christie, there's been a back and forth. You talked about him supporting Planned Parenthood and Sonia Sotomayor and gun control legislation which he ran on in 2009.

How intense is this going to get before New Hampshire?

RUBIO: Well, look, this is not personal. I don't want -- these are not personal attacks. He's been attacking me for over a month, but they're not personal attacks. I just believe that the Republican nominee and the next president of the United States has to be someone that is going to undo the damage Barack Obama has done.

Our next president needs to be a strong defender of the 2nd Amendment, not someone who ran for office supporting gun control. That's what I will do.  I will be a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment. Our next president cannot be someone that supports Common Core. Chris supports Common Core.  Our next president cannot be someone who thinks that Sonia Sotomayor would be a good Supreme Court justice. He supported her nomination.

And our next president must be someone who will defund Planned Parenthood, not write checks to them, like he did personally. These are all facts.  It's not personal. It is important, however, that our next president be someone who will undo the damage Barack Obama has done to America. When I'm president, I will.

HANNITY: All right, in one poll -- and this is the Marist poll, NBC poll - - it has you beating Hillary Clinton by 5 points. Cruz beats her by 4 points. In the Fox News poll, you're winning by 9 and Cruz is winning by 7. But the bottom line is, you do better than any other candidate in terms of a head-to-head matchup against Hillary. But you don't do as well in terms of the general election, primary election numbers. So why do you think there is that divide there?

RUBIO: Well, there's still a lot of choices in the field. Like I said, there's a lot of people still running and they are going to be in the race for some time. And so, of course, that segments the voters a little bit.

But what I'm confident of is now that we're after the new year, voters are starting to really tune into the race now. They're asking important questions. They're learning more about the candidates beyond the superficial.

And I believe that we're going to continue to grow in our support. So I am very confident about where we're going to be when the delegates are counted and we're down the stretch here.

But we're going to let the process play out. We feel very confident about our plan, about our campaign, about our message.

And here's the bottom line. When I'm president of the United States, all of these things Barack Obama has done to try to take from this country everything that makes it special, all of those things are gone. We are going to get this country back on the right track. We're returning to the Constitution. We're returning to the principles that -- we're going to re-embrace the principles that made America great. We're going to apply them to the challenges of this new economy and this new era. And we are going to make this country as special, if not moreso, than it's ever.

HANNITY: I don't think anybody imagined starting out how big immigration would be in this election cycle, but it seems to get bigger and bigger. We saw the New Year's Eve sex attacks that took place in Europe, for example.  Yet the president still insists we should take in Syrian refugees.

Because it's changed -- in other words, the debate has changed and shifted and we've had so many issues at our own border and so many issues abroad with Syrian refugees, have you altered your position? Has it been a back and forth going with you and Ted Cruz about who was where in 2013, et cetera? I'm not interested in that debate. I'm interested in where you are now based on the fact that this has become front and center.

RUBIO: Yes. Well, number one, I do not support amnesty, and when I'm president, there will not be amnesty. Criminal aliens are going to be immediately deported. Sanctuary cities are going to lose their federal funding.

Number two, we are going to enforce our immigration laws. I've already supported that repeatedly in the past, 700 miles of fencing and walls in key sectors, 20,000 new border agents, mandatory e-verify. All of those things are going to happen when I'm president.

It's not the debate that's changed, the issue has changed. You now have you a radical jihadist group that is using our immigration system against us. So we have to treat this issue differently because the issue has changed. This is now about ISIS trying to get people into this country as refugees, as doctors, as students, as fiances, through the visa waiver program.

So it's very straightforward. When I am president, unless we know who you are 100 percent for sure and we know why you're coming to America, we're not going to let you in. It's that simple. That's what we're going to do when I'm president.

HANNITY: In that sense, you once told me that the comprehensive bill that you supported was a mistake and you wouldn't do it again and it wasn't really what you wanted. Basically, with the president now having a Syrian refugee at the State of the Union, he's obviously sending a message.

What message do you want to send back about where you are now on not only Syrian refugees but all the people last summer that crossed the border?

RUBIO: Well, let's be clear. I've always been for an immigration system that keeps us safe. The problem is that we didn't have ISIS two-and-a-half or three years ago. ISIS is not just a terrorist group, it is a sophisticated group that has a real good understanding of our immigration system and we know for a fact are trying to use it to get people into this country.

So we have to change our approach because the issue has changed. And where I am is pretty straightforward. We are compassionate. Our hearts break at the story of what some of these refugees are going through, but our number one obligation is to keep America safe.

When I am president of the United States, if we do not know 100 percent for sure who you are or 100 percent for sure why you're trying to come, we're not going to let you into the country. It's that straightforward. That's going to be the -- that's going to be the rule when I'm president.

HANNITY: OK, take us beyond New Hampshire and walk us through your strategy for South Carolina, Nevada, super-Tuesday?

RUBIO: Well, we feel great about South Carolina. We were there a week ago on Saturday. We had 1,500 people turn out in Hilton Head. We were back again this weekend, had events, 600, 700 people at each of them. Of course, Trey Gowdy has now endorsed us. We've been working very closely with him in South Carolina. We feel great about our team.

We feel great about Nevada. The lieutenant governor of Nevada, Mark Hutchison (ph), is our chairman there. We've got a great team on the ground. And then we feel great about the states that come after that, as well.

Right now, of course, the bulk of our focus is on Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, but we're ready for the other states. I feel great about our campaign. I think this is really where the campaign -- the rubber meets the proverbial road. And I think as people learn more about what I've done, who I am and what I will do when I am president, our support's only going to grow, Sean.

HANNITY: Its looks like it's now been winnowed down to three people, you, Cruz and Donald Trump. It's getting interesting.

Senator, thanks, as always. Appreciate your time.

RUBIO: Thanks, Sean. Thank you.

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


DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She's married to an abuser, a woman claimed rape and all sorts of things. I mean, horrible things!

HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That can be their choice as to how to run in this campaign. Didn't work before, won't work again.


HANNITY: All right, Hillary Clinton responds to Donald Trump brining up her husband's past. Michelle Malkin weighs in.

And then later tonight...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're backward, even dangerous. So ask yourself who's the one candidate who can stop them? Hillary Clinton, tested and tough. To stop them, stand with her.


HANNITY: All right, Hillary has a new ad out. She's targeting Republicans.

All of that plus Geraldo Rivera weighs in on Sean Penn's meeting with El Chapo. Why didn't he tell authorities, considering he's one of the biggest drug pushers in the world?




TRUMP: She was saying he has tendencies toward being sexist.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Talking about who, you?

TRUMP: Talking about me. And I said, Wait a minute. She's married to an abuser, a woman claimed rape and all sorts of things. I mean, horrible things!


HANNITY: All right, that was Republican front-runner Donald Trump continuing to level attacks against both Bill and Hillary Clinton. Now, yesterday, Hillary Clinton tried to downplay some of these attacks. Watch this.


CLINTON: Well, it's been fair game going back to the Republicans for some years. They can do it again, if they want to. That can be their choice as to how to run in this campaign. Didn't work before. It won't work again.

I can't run anybody else's campaign. They can say whatever they want.  More power to them. I think it's a dead end blind alley for them, but let them go.


HANNITY: Joining us now, author of the best-seller "Sold Out: How High Tech Billionaires, Bipartisan Beltway Crap Weasels Are Screwing America's Best and Brightest Workers," senior editor at the Conservative Review, our friend, Michelle Malkin, is back.

You know, I noticed that Bernie Sanders said that this had to do with Monica Lewinsky. It was disgraceful. Hillary tries to go back that this was about Monica Lewinsky. What Trump is saying is not about Monica Lewinsky or even Gennifer Flowers. He clearly is talking about Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broaddrick. So are they purposely acting as if this is impeachment all over?

MICHELLE MALKIN, CONSERVATIVE REVIEW: Of course, the see no evil, hear no evil and speak no Clinton serial sexual abuse evil. And this time, it's not good to work, Sean, I think largely because of the new landscape that all of these politicians have to operate in. It is not the 1990s anymore, Hillary and Bill, where they were able to control the narrative, where they were able to whitewash all of these sins.

And I think there's a couple of things going on here. One is that decent Americans of all political parties and persuasions are sick and tired of the Democratic double standards when it comes to sexual abuse of women.

There's another thing that's going on here among the right, among grass roots voters who are sick and tired of feckless GOP candidates and politicians who are so much more comfortable trashing conservatives than they are in attacking the stained Clinton legacy! And so when you have Trump sticking out his neck here, raising something that is completely fair game, and you have these established candidates like Chris Christie and John Kasich and Jeb Bush all getting their panties in a bunch, in a knot because he's saying the obvious, it really shows you why we're in the predicament we're in in the GOP primary!

HANNITY: Doesn't it also show once again that Trump will go there, and other Republicans are too timid? Because I don't think Democrats -- I mean, they can't even -- when they don't have an issue, they just make it up. The Republicans are racist, war on women, Mitt Romney, binders of women because he wants to hire them. So in that sense, it should be fair game, but some people seem to be shocked that anyone dares go there.

MALKIN: Yes. Well, there's another thing going on here, too. And you know, Sean, that I tell it like it is and I weigh all of the benefits and liabilities in each and every one of these candidates.

And the fact is that there are a lot of people out there who are glad that Donald Trump is talking about this, but honestly, they know that he himself is a flawed vehicle. This is a guy that just a couple of years ago was praising Hillary Clinton's capabilities, and who, despite now his condemnations of Bill Clinton as essentially the scumbag that he is, welcomes these people in his social circles.

Now, I understand, you know, you got a lot of Trump defenders out there who will say, Well, it was just a part of business. But the fact is that most of these GOP candidates and politicians have their own dalliances with Hillary and Bill Clinton.

HANNITY: What is the bigger issue, though, for Hillary? Is it -- this FBI investigation -- we'll get into more details later, but you know, she clearly is telling somebody to bypass the laws and remove the classification. She said she never received or sent e-mails that are but we have 1,300 and -- I have the number -- 40 e-mails that are classified that we now found on her server, which she said didn't exist in the beginning. That appears to be a violation of law.

Coupled with that, Catherine Herridge's report that the FBI has taken this investigation even further into, you know, potential corruption or corruption laws (ph) as it relates to the foundation.

MALKIN: Yes, that's right. And it's all of a piece. Whether we're talking about Bill Clinton's abuse of power and abuse of office from the time that he was in Arkansas -- and I'm so glad, by the way, that we have Juanita Broaddrick out there on social media. She's joined Twitter. She cannot be censored anymore. She cannot be leashed by all of these attack dogs of the Bill Clinton era, talking about how she was raped when she was 35 years old. She's now 73. She tweeted, It never goes away.

And that's the problem with the Clintons' stained legacy. Whether we're talking about public corruption or personal corruption, it never goes away with these people. And the fact is, Sean, that we know now that it's not just grass roots conservatives, it's not just me and you and all the people who've been very consistent in attacking the Clintons from the 1990s, when they first sullied the public square, but it's all sorts of decent Americans around this country. She is in deep, deep do-do, and the Clinton people know it!

HANNITY: I think you're right. All right, Michelle Malkin, good to see you. Thank you.

And coming up, we'll have more on Catherine Herridge's reporting now that the FBI is expanding its investigation into Hillary Clinton's private server scandal. Now, could this derail her campaign, but also send her behind bars? We'll have reaction.

Also, later tonight...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're backward, even dangerous. So ask yourself who's the one candidate who can stop them? Hillary Clinton, tested and tough. To stop them, stand with her.


HANNITY: Hillary targets Republicans in a new ad.

Plus, liberal Hollywood actor Sean Penn under fire for secretly meeting with Mexican drug lord El Chapo before he was recaptured. Geraldo will weigh in on that and more straight ahead.


HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." Things are not looking good for Hillary Clinton. Now, Catherine Herridge is reporting that the FBI is expanding its investigation into Clinton's private e-mail server.  According to Catherine's sources, quote, "The FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of private e-mail as secretary of state has now expanded to look at whether the possible intersection of Clinton Foundation work and State Department business may have violated public corruption laws."

Here with reaction, with the American Center for Law and Justice, Jay Sekulow, author of the new book...


HANNITY: ... "The Nixon Effect: How the Richard Nixon's Presidency Fundamentally Changed American Politics," Doug Schoen and Fox News contributor, Washington Times columnist Monica Crowley. Good to see you all.


HANNITY: Jay, let's start from a legal perspective. Rudy has identified - - Rudy Giuliani, former prosecutor before he became mayor -- has identified anywhere between 15 and 17 statutes that ought to be investigated here.  Now, according to this report, too, they've got over 100 full-time agents and 50 part-time agents looking into this.


HANNITY: And it's been going on for months. Now, Joe diGenova, well respected lawyer in his own right, he thinks that an indictment would happen within 60 days. Thoughts?

SEKULOW: Well, I think, look, the FBI, it's pretty clear, with 100 agents involved, is doing a thorough top to bottom review of the situation. At the end of the day, I think what Catherine has been reporting about this possibility of public corruption -- basically, a quid pro quo that what happened at the Clinton Foundation with either donations or offers for speeches and so forth, and then State Department action for those same governments, could create certainly another area of concern that would be criminal.

And I think if you look at it in total right now, the FBI is looking at the complete package. They look at the evidence and they say, Does that evidence lead to violations of certain statutory codes under title 18, which is the criminal code?

And I think Rudy is right. We've said it, too. There's probably 16 to 18, and probably more now when you're looking at the intersection of the foundation in all of this. I think it's serious. I think there's no doubt about that.

At the end of this day, this will become a political decision, though, Sean. It should not. The FBI could present the case, but ultimately, the attorney general...


HANNITY: It could present the case two ways, though. The FBI director can present it with a recommendation of indictment or just send it without comment. Now, if he sends it with the recommendation -- look, to quote the inside sources, pressure's growing within the FBI, Doug. And one source is saying the FBI agents would be screaming if prosecution is not pursued, especially in light of how General Petraeus was treated...


HANNITY: ... and this was a far worse offense.

SCHOEN: And I don't see Hillary being indicted. So far, no show of criminal intent. And I don't think Loretta Lynch...

HANNITY: 1,340.

SCHOEN: ... or Obama is -- are going to recommend an indictment of Hillary Clinton. Do you, Sean?

HANNITY: I -- I...

SCHOEN: The president -- this is politics, isn't it?

HANNITY: If that is the case, Monica Crowley, the FBI will be so outraged that all of this is going to be leaked, all the past cases will be reviewed, and we will know in America...


HANNITY: ... that there's a two-tier justice system.

CROWLEY: You will have a major revolt on your hands in the FBI, which is something that I don't think that this president wants.

Look, Sean, I was the first person back in August in my column in The Washington Times to lay out a whole scenario because of the long history of bad blood between the Obamas and the Clintons about how Barack Obama was essentially using the FBI investigation as a legal and political vise to squeeze Mrs. Clinton.

Now we hear that it has another dimension to it, which is that they're looking into the possibility of public corruption. What I'm hearing from my source, who has not steered me wrong yet, is that of the two highly problematic documents that we know about so far, that have been released, that the FBI is looking at that reached the highest classified designation of top secret, one of which involves satellite data looking at the North Korean...

HANNITY: The North Koreans' nuclear sites.

CROWLEY: ... nuclear program, that that document in particular is called into question in terms of why it was removed from the SCIF for her possession in order to serve the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton business interests. If that turns out to be true...

HANNITY: Well, that's what they're now -- this is now the expanded investigation. Look, to quote diGenova, Jay, it would -- if the FBI decided it had more than enough evidence to indict and Loretta Lynch fails to do so, especially with the FBI's background work and investigation here, it would create a crisis within our government unseen since Watergate!  Agree?

SEKULOW: Well, I think and much worse because if you've got the entire FBI -- look, you're talking about top secret documents being removed. You're talking about potential public corruption. I mean, if you look at Watergate -- and I'm not defending Watergate, but it was a bad -- you know, a third-rate break-in, and it had its own elements of where the Nixon administration was going to try to use the IRS. They did not. Here we know the whole history with the IRS and the targeting.

But if you look at just the facts of this, and I think this is where the focus has to be, as the FBI is investigating and they look at the facts and they put it together, are those facts evidence for a violation of criminal law? And of course, we don't have that evidence. The evidence is held by the FBI.

But what we're hearing, it's hard to believe it would not be. And -- but I'm with you. I think -- look, Doug raises a valid point. There's going to be politics in this, Sean. Here's the real question. Will the president of the United States allow his former secretary of state to be indicted?


HANNITY: But to be honest, it really shouldn't even be his decision. It should be Loretta Lynch's.

SEKULOW: It should not.

Now we have a poll out, a Rasmussen poll that shows that 46 percent of likely voters think a candidate should stop campaigning if charged with a felony. Donald Trump is begging the FBI to investigate because he wants to run against Bernie Sanders. Watch this.


TRUMP: I would love, FBI, please, go after Hillary. I want to run against Bernie! Oh, that's a dream come true, this guy.



SCHOEN: Sean, it's not going to happen. If, and I underscore if, something happens to Hillary, you will see Joe Biden in the race in a second. Look, they'll fix the DNC rules. They will.

HANNITY: These are not DNC rules. These are state rules.

SCHOEN: They don't care about that.

HANNITY: They don't care about the law? These are state laws that you're talking about.

SCHOEN: Just like they are going to try to hurt Donald at the convention, they'll try to hurt Bernie Sanders.

HANNITY: I don't know. That's a stretch.

SCHOEN: I don't think so, Sean.

MONICA CROWLEY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: As I have been saying for a very long time, there's only one person driving this bus on the Democratic side, and it's the president of the United States and what he wants.

SCHOEN: Correct.

HANNITY: Deep down does he want her --


HANNITY: He does not?

CROWLEY: And that's why once it goes out of the legal process, out of the hands of Comey and the FBI, it becomes a political matter. It goes to Loretta Lynch.

HANNITY: If Loretta Lynch doesn't indict.

CROWLEY: No, no. Barack Obama and Valerie Jarrett who do not want Mrs. Clinton to be the nominee --

HANNITY: They want Bernie.

CROWLEY: They will make sure that she is indicted. It's not going to be Bernie. It's going to Joe Biden or it will be somebody else.

HANNITY: Wait a minute, but the statutory deadlines to get on the ballot - -

CROWLEY: It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter because neither party will have a candidate until the convention.

SCHOEN: Exactly, they will amend their rules.

HANNITY: They'll amend their rules. Don't state legislators have a say in this, too?

JAY SEKULOW, AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW AND JUSTICE: They're not going to want a situation -- first of all, we're assuming this is going to happen.  Look, if in fact the former secretary of state Hillary Clinton ends up getting indicted, I think the DNC will be in a panic mode. They're probably already thinking through this, though, Doug, I can't imagine they're not. That what scenario will be, and they'll amend the rules.  Whether they can or can't, the idea is that it's still a private organization. It's not the government.

SCHOEN: Exactly.

SEKULOW: So it's a different set of scenarios.

SCHOEN: Ultimately Hillary will not be indicted. The president has said it's not a national security problem. Look, with the IRS, Sean, wasn't that outrageous, but they got away with it? They'll try again.

HANNITY: The Clintons have gotten away with a lot, more than I would have bet.

CROWLEY: And keep in mind Joe Biden just said he regrets it every day.

SCHOEN: Every day. Every day.

HANNITY: Thank you all.

SCHOEN: Thank you.

HANNITY: Coming up next on this busy news night here on "Hannity."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're backward, even dangerous. So ask yourself, who is the one candidate who can stop them? Hillary Clinton, tested and tough.  To stop them, stand with her.


HANNITY: Hillary slamming the 2016 GOP rivals in a new attack ad. Tucker Carlson, Rich Lowry are going to have reaction coming up next.

Later Hollywood liberal Sean Penn under heavy criticism for secretly meeting with the notorious drug kingpin El Chapo. Really? Maybe he could have given authorities his location. Geraldo is here to weigh in and more, straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)  HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." So as we approach the Iowa caucuses, the Hillary Clinton campaign has just released a negative attack ad that labels her GOP rivals as, quote "backward and dangerous." Shocking, the old playbook is back. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Think about it.

TRUMP: I would bomb the -- out of them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of these Republicans --

SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Carpet bomb them into oblivion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Could actually be president.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Inacting their agenda.

JEB BUSH, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think we should repeal ObamaCare.

TRUMP: Our wages are too high.

CRUZ: -- defund Planned Parenthood.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're backward, even dangerous. So ask yourself, who is the one candidate who can stop them? Hillary Clinton, tested and tough.  To stop them, stand with her.


HANNITY: Is there a problem with those comments? Joining us with reaction, FOX News contributor Tucker Carlson, and from the "National Review" Rich Lowry. I don't have any problem with those comments, Rich.

RICH LOWRY, NATIONAL REVIEW: That's like the highlight reel of the Republican primary so far. This is her making the electability argument against Bernie Sanders. The problem she has is twofold. One, you look at the general election matchup in the polls for what those are worth. Bernie is running much better against these Republican candidates than Hillary is.  She might lose to him both in Iowa and New Hampshire.

HANNITY: You look at these polls, Tucker, I mean, 48-45 Hillary over Bernie in Iowa. But in New Hampshire Sanders is leading 50-46. He's closed the gap. He's narrowed the gap in the last couple of weeks. I don't think these news stories about her e-mails and an FBI investigation is helping, and certainly Bill is not helping.

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: No, he's not. That ad is unbelievable. The message is really these guys are too mean to ISIS.  They're not giving ISIS a break. And I'm the guy who will get them to moderate their anti-ISIS rhetoric. I hope some consultants getting rich from that ad because it's pointless otherwise. It reminded why I want to vote for them.

But it's a reaction to Bernie Sanders. She's spooked by Bernie Sanders, which is ludicrous. He's a boutique candidate. The college kids like him.  Little rich pot-smoking kids love him. But you get into real primaries like South Carolina and Florida, all the south, and there's just no way he has a chance against Hillary Clinton. She controls the Democratic Party machine. But she is so spooked by her loss in 2008 that she's overreacting to him, moving hard left.

HANNITY: That's a good analysis.

LOWRY: I agree with you.

CARLSON: It's true, I think.

HANNITY: But she doesn't have the skills of her husband. Rich, she doesn't have the skills of Obama on the stump. She is, at best, I'm being charitable here, a mediocre politician. There's no warmth. There's no agenda. There's no defining issue. All I get is the feeling that we have the feeling that we have somebody who lies a lot and is corrupt.

LOWRY: She has a lot of determination and will to win but doesn't have the natural touch of Bill or Barack. And, look, I agree with Tucker, she is going to beat Bernie Sanders, but it might be a long, hard slog. And she might have to grind it out if she loses Iowa or New Hampshire to this guy who is a completely unelectable socialist. And that again speaks to her leadership.

HANNITY: Have you softened on Trump and Cruz? They're the two frontrunners.

LOWRY: I'm an admirer of Ted Cruz.

HANNITY: You wrote a good column about him.

LOWRY: And he has run -- in this year when we say all the rules are different, he's run an utterly unconventional campaign in Iowa. He's gone there, done the work on the ground. He's motivated evangelicals and base voters. And that's why I think today if I had to predict I think he'll win Iowa by eight or 10 points unless Trump does something to really change the momentum.

HANNITY: There are two polls out today. He had been up by a significant amount and now it kind of flips back. Byron York suggests that Trump might have more support in Iowa than is being polled.

LOWRY: He might. I might be completely wrong about everything as I've often been wrong in this race. But I would tend to think Cruz's support will over-perform his polls because the turnout is so strong and these people are such core Republican voters.

HANNITY: I would give Cruz the advantage certainly in Iowa. And if I was Trump I would downplay expectations about Iowa, which I don't know if he's capable of doing. What do you think, Tucker?

CARLSON: The best ground game in Iowa in 2004 was Howard Dean and he came in third. You just don't know. I will say this, though. If Trump wins Iowa and New Hampshire he'll be the first Republican ever to run the table in the first two primaries. The meltdown in Washington is going to be unbelievable.

LOWRY: That's why I find Trump really fighting to win Iowa, because Iowa could be the difference for Trump going zero for two if he loses bad and his support collapses in New Hampshire or going two for two or three for three because he could very well win South Carolina in that scenario.

HANNITY: If he goes three for three, is there any stopping him? I don't know.

LOWRY: It will take an enormous effort. And I think this birther thing doesn't work. If I'm Trump I'm going after Cruz by saying Ted Cruz is afraid of me. Ted Cruz is a political insider compared to me, and Ted Cruz is trying to sound like me when he's not.

HANNITY: Cruz has had the best strategy, don't you think, Tucker, fighting back because Cruz has handled it with humor. I think Jeb genuinely got mad. I think Rubio genuinely was annoyed. Dr. Carson, I'm not sure how he really responded.

CARLSON: It's hard to know.

HANNITY: Cruz's strategy, to me it's like fighting. You're either in or you're out. I'm going to fight somebody, I'm all in or I'm just out.

CARLSON: Cruz is a brilliant debater and he's not going to let Trump get a rise out of him at all. And by the way, he has also seen what happens to the guys who got mad in the fact of Trump. They were diminished and Trump was strengthened.

But I've got to say, if there's any candidates who under-polls, it's Trump.  Look around in your own life. How many people do you know who kind of like Trump but are too embarrassed to say so at dinner parties, there are a lot of those. He's the opposite of Obama in 08.

HANNITY: -- actually had a pretty keen observation on one of the Sunday shows this weekend. I think he was on "Meet the Press." And he said he went out there and he was looking for people to fund anti-Trump campaigns or anti-Cruz campaigns. He says the moment has passed. It's too late.  How is the establishment going to deal with a Trump or Cruz candidacy?

LOWRY: Well, the establishment has been nowhere to be seen in this race.  And it's sort of an irony because both Trump and Cruz are constantly inveighing against the establishment and the establishment has done nothing to hurt them, even if it could. And part is donors are scared of Donald Trump. They're scared of being insulted by him. They worry if they hurt Trump they're just going to help Cruz and vice versa.

HANNITY: Isn't that bizarre?

LOWRY: It's really bizarre.

HANNITY: What do you think? If Trump or Cruz win, Tucker, how are they going to react? Are they going to take up their toys and go home like little babies even though --

CARLSON: Maybe they'll do the adult thing, which is learn something.  They're never going to like Trump or Cruz, Trump especially because he really does threaten their power. But they could learn something. The issues do matter. It's not just because he was on a reality show and he's funny. It's he cares about issues that actual voters care about. Their dream is always to win an election without voters.

LOWRY: I do think it's a little simplistic to lump Trump and Cruz together because Cruz is a classic ideological conservative, whereas Trump is something different, more of a populist.

HANNITY: I agree with that.

CARLSON: But Cruz is smart. He's changed.

HANNITY: Number one debater in the country makes you pretty smart at Harvard. All right, thanks, guys.

Coming up, Hollywood liberal Sean Penn getting a lot of criticism meeting with drug kingpin El Chapo. Plus Mexican authorities have started the process to extradite the infamous drug lord to America. Geraldo is here with reaction tonight.


HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." So after months on the run, the notorious drug lord Joaquin El Chapo Guzman was recaptured late last week in a deadly shootout with Mexican marines. And over the weekend "Rolling Stone" magazine published an article written by Hollywood liberal Sean Penn. The actor in that piece details that he secretly met with El Chapo back in October. We now know Penn's meeting may have literally helped officials track down the drug lord, but that is not all. Penn also obtained an on camera interview with El Chapo. Watch this.  




HANNITY: Pretty unbelievable. Mexican authorities have also begun the process of extraditing El Chapo right here to the U.S. Joining us with reaction, FOX News senior correspondent Geraldo Rivera. Let's go to the shootout. This is pretty amazing. You were down there. You saw this sophisticated tunnel.

GERALDO RIVERA, FOX NEWS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: But what this tell us, Sean, this shootout where you the violence of it, remember, you have a really substantial unit of the elite Mexican marines in a gun fight. They bust into El Chapo's hideout, the town in Sinaloa state --

HANNITY: He escaped.

RIVERA: But the fact is why did he escape? He escaped because his body guards stood, they dug in and fought until they were killed. Five of them were killed. It shows you the loyalty. It also shows you the fact they were willing to die to let El Chapo escape. We got through a tunnel, he went another mile. He got out a car. And the only reason he got of the tunnel is because it rained recently and the tunnel was flooded. He had to get out of a manhole, robbed a car. That's when they caught him. But my point is, it is that ferocity, that ferocity of loyalty bought with money and fear, that's what makes it impossible for him to be held in a Mexican prison.

HANNITY: Inadvertently, can they have helped authorities locate him, but that wasn't his intention. This guy is responsible for bringing more drugs into the U.S., killing more kids. You see the addiction rate, heroin after these kids get addicted to Vicodin, Percocet, Oxycontin, it's massive.  They're targeting, these Mexican cartels, our young kids. What wouldn't we have any loyalty to getting this guy with all the evil that he's involved in?

RIVERA: I think that you put too much of a moral burden on Sean Penn. I mean, it's not Sean Penn's job to determine when he's doing -- he was working as a journalist. Let him be a reporter, in the same way I was a reporter when I interviewed Charles Manson or Fidel Castro or Arafat.

HANNITY: Arafat wasn't going to be in jail. I don't think it's the same analogy. But I bet you, Geraldo, knowing the drug problem in the U.S. and his involvement, you would tip off authorities.

RIVERA: I would not, Sean. I would absolutely not.

HANNITY: You would not?

RIVERA: You would be asking me to be a traitor to the First Amendment, a traitor to my profession. Look at John Miller, the commissioner of the police now in charge of intelligence.

HANNITY: He used to be a reporter.

RIVERA: Great reporter, interviewed Usama bin Laden in 1999, the year after bin Laden blew up the African embassy. He didn't tell the CIA what the location of the world's most-dangerous man was. That is not our job.

HANNITY: But you -- look.

RIVERA: You can not like Sean Penn. That's your privilege.

HANNITY: Look, he's an idiot.

RIVERA: But that is not about that.

HANNITY: He's not a journalist, either, though. He's an actor. He sucks up to every two-bit dictator, it seems, in the world.

RIVERA: He liked Hugo Chavez, but that's not the point.

HANNITY: And he went to see Saddam Hussein and met Tariq Aziz.

RIVERA: And what about Dan Rather interviewed Saddam Hussein. It didn't make him a traitor.

HANNITY: It's not the same thing. If it was me and I knew his location, I would give it.

HANNITY: I bet you wouldn't.

HANNITY: I am an advocacy journalist. I am not an objective journalist.

RIVERA: I think you're being too hard on yourself.

HANNITY: I'm probably writing a death sentence for myself, too.

RIVERA: It's interesting you mention that, because if these stories are true, that in some way Sean Penn either intentionally, which is doubtful, or more likely unintentionally --

HANNITY: He might be a marked man.

RIVERA: Yes, helped lead the authorities to El Chapo --

HANNITY: All right, good to see you.

Coming up, we need your help. Our "Question of the Day," straight ahead.


HANNITY: It's time for our "Question of the Day." Do you think Sean Penn was wrong for meeting with El Chapo and of course not telling authorities?  Go to Facebook.com/SeanHannity, @SeanHannity on Twitter, let us know what you think.

That is all the time we have left this evening. As always, thank you for being with us.

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