Pence: Trump will take his case to the American people; Rubio on the Senate's goals under a Trump administration

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," November 29, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST (voice-over):  Tonight...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  This really speaks to incompetence.  They can't even keep the president-elect from making a fool of himself.

HANNITY:  Is it time to drain the media swamp?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  He looks foolish.

HANNITY:  The latest attacks from the alt radical left mainstream media are outrageous!  Laura Ingraham and Ari Fleischer are here tonight with reaction.

DONALD TRUMP, R-PRESIDENT-ELECT:  I will not disappoint you.  That I promise.

HANNITY:  Then President-elect Trump made specific promises to you, the American people, on the campaign trail.  How does he plan to keep those promises?  Vice President-elect Mike Pence will join us in the studio with more.

All of that, plus Ainsley Earhardt and Florida senator Marco Rubio are here.

"Hannity" starts right here, right now.


HANNITY: And welcome to "Hannity." And it's time to drain the media swamp. Laura Ingraham and Ari Fleischer -- they'll be here with reaction in just a minute.

But first, tonight's opening monologue. The abusively biased mainstream media -- they continue to prove they're fundamentally incapable of covering President-elect Donald Trump fairly. CNN, the Clinton News Network -- they continually go after President-elect Trump. Just take a look at this report from Jeff Zeleny. Take a look.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump is showing signs tonight of being a sore winner. The president-elect is suggesting, with zero evidence to back up his claim, that he won the popular vote and he's a victim of widespread election fraud.


HANNITY: Is that fair and balanced? President-elect Trump -- he responded by retweeting criticisms of Zeleny's report and then tweeted himself, quote, "CNN is so embarrassed by their total 100 percent support of Hillary Clinton and yet her loss and a landslide, they don't know what to do." And then later, he added, quote, "I thought that @CNN would get better after they failed so badly in their support of Hillary Clinton. However, since the election, they are worse."

Now, it's important to remember that Jeff Zeleny -- well, he's the same so- called journalist -- remember, he fawned over President Obama back in 2009? Remember this question back when he was working at The New York Times? Take a look.


ZELENY: During these first 100 days, what has surprised you the most about this office, enchanted you the most about serving in this office, humbled you the most and troubled you the most?



ZELENY: Surprised, troubled.

OBAMA: I've got -- what was the first one?

ZELENY: Surprised.

OBAMA: Surprised?

ZELENY: Troubled.

OBAMA: Troubled.

ZELENY: Enchanted.

OBAMA: Enchanted? Nice.


ZELENY: And humbled.

OBAMA: And what was the last one? Humbled?

ZELENY: Humbled. Thank you, sir.


HANNITY: Enchanted? Really? He had the chance to ask the president a real question, and that's the one he picked? Zeleny -- he's not alone over there at CNN. There's a lot of Trump bashing going on 24/7. Let's take a quick look.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN: ... because this really speaks to incompetence. They can't keep the president-elect from making a fool of himself on Twitter by saying that millions of people voted illegally. He looks foolish saying something like that.

SARA MURRAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it really is an unprecedented move, Donald Trump using his platform to question the integrity of the American election system.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN: Now, as he heads home this evening, the president-elect is continuing one of his trademark Twitter tirades, blasting the effort to recount votes in some states.

VAN JONES, CNN: This was a whitelash. This was a whitelash against a changing country. It was a whitelash against a black president in part.


HANNITY: Wow. CNN looking pretty foolish.

I've been saying since 2008, journalism is dead, and those were only a few of the countless examples that prove it. But the liberal mainstream media -- they're not interested in the truth or facts. They're all about pushing their radical left-wing agenda. What are they trying to do? Damage President-elect Donald Trump.

WikiLeaks exposed rampant collusion between the press and the Clinton campaign. So my question is, why should Donald Trump grant equal access to all of them? In this day and age of social media, well, he doesn't need the press to connect with you, the American people. And as I said before, I think it's time to reevaluate the press and maybe change the traditional relationship with the press and the White House.

For example, would President Obama allow 50 Sean Hannitys in the press pool asking him and his press secretary questions every single day? No, of course not.

My message tonight to the press is simple. You guys are done. You've been exposed as fake, as having an agenda, as colluding. You're a fake news organization!

Here with reaction, the editor-in-chief of Lifezette, Fox News contributes, nationally syndicated radio talk show host Laura Ingraham and former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer.

You know, there are rumors that Laura may be calling Ari for advice -- well, I'll move on.


HANNITY:  Ari, you wrote a piece in The Wall Street Journal.  Am I right about this?  Does Donald Trump need the same dog and phony pony show to go on this cat and mouse game with a media that we know is biased, that was in the tank for Hillary Clinton?  Why would CNN deserve a seat in that media room at the White House?

ARI FLEISCHER, FMR. BUSH WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  Well, the fact of the matter is, the president and his team have latitude to make any number of changes in the way the White House press operation works.  There are no laws that govern it.  What governs it is tradition, some sense of mutual respect, which has really broken down.  So he can make huge changes.

You know, I would counsel, Sean, not to go as far as you're going.  I do think there's something to be gained by talking to the mainstream media and fighting with them and getting your points across.  You know, good teams can win tough games on the road, and it's a road game when you deal with the mainstream media.

HANNITY:  Is it a road game, though...

FLEISCHER:  I would broaden it.  I would bring...

HANNITY:  But what about all these organizations, CNN giving questions to Hillary Clinton...


HANNITY:  ... CNN seeking questions for the Republican nominee...

FLEISCHER:  Yes, kook...

HANNITY:  ... from the DNC, CNBC, ABC, NBC, MSNBC.  Why?  Why does he have to waste his time with people that we don't know like him and colluded with the other side?  Why?

FLEISCHER:  OK, this is why I wrote the piece for The Wall Street Journal. This's a bigger, more broader, important point.  And that is the American people have lost faith in the press.

According to the Gallup poll, trust in the press to report news accurately and fairly is at an all-time low.  According to the Pew poll, only 5 percent of the American people have a great deal of confidence in the media.

The press has lost the very people it needs to rely on to read them, to view them and to keep the president in check.  And so the press has brought this on itself.  And I think Donald Trump will be smart to diversify the press, bring in different groups of people, foreign reporters, business writers.  I'd love to see one day, Sean, liberal and conservative dot-coms in the briefing room together...

HANNITY:  Interesting.

FLEISCHER:  ... asking the questions.

HANNITY:  What do you think, Laura?

INGRAHAM:  Sean, I think you should be in the briefing room every day.  I'd love that!  I'd love you asking questions, tough questions!

Well -- well, I think Ari has a point.  I'm not sure I'd throw it all away and say, Oh, we're not going to do these briefings anymore.  But I do think, when it comes to reporting, real straight reporting, there are networks -- and I think you named one, CNN, Sean, that is so far in the tank for the Democrats, so far in the tank for political correctness -- you know how pathetic they are?  I just got an e-mail from some kid, who I guess is a reporter for CNN, who went to Dartmouth College to go through old copies of The Dartmouth Review to, like, you know, write a piece on or do a piece -- I don't know...

HANNITY:  On you?

INGRAHAM:  ... on, like, what I wrote about as editor of The Dartmouth Review 30-plus years ago!


INGRAHAM:  I mean, this is -- like, yes, I also short-sheeted kids' beds at camp, OK?  I mean, it's, like...


HANNITY:  ... Romney.  He was a bully in high school, remember that back in 2012?


INGRAHAM:  Yes, I mean, just, Sean, they're -- they're dispatching reporters to interview professors in their 80s that I wrote columns about! I mean, this is what it -- this -- we have all these problems with ISIS and immigration.  They're going back to, like, Dartmouth library!  It's the funniest thing...


HANNITY:  Laura, your life is one of great interest.  The country needs to know!  This is pivotal, what you did...

INGRAHAM:  Oh, my God!

HANNITY:  ... back in Dartmouth!

INGRAHAM:  It's hilarious!  He's, like, I want to talk to you on the record.  I'm, like, No, I only talk to real news organizations.  Go ahead.

HANNITY:  Do you think, Laura, though, that there might be a benefit if you colluded to such a high level -- I'll use CNN as an example.  You don't get that seat back.  As a matter of course -- you know, Ari's talking about tradition.  But that tradition has changed.  The media landscape has changed.

Their relevance is greatly diminished, and I would argue most people do not get their news from those sources any longer.  Maybe it's time to reevaluate all of this.

INGRAHAM:  Oh, I think it's within Trump's purview.  I think Ari's right. Trump can -- Trump sets the rules in the way he wants the press operation to work.  I haven't really given it much thought.  I think people have gotten so smart and so hip to what they're doing that it's a bunch of white noise coming -- and I'm not saying that all the folks over at CNN are bad people, or there's some good reporters.  I think there are.  And there are some really fair reporters there.  But I mean, the kind of stuff they're doing, the kind of little games they're playing...


INGRAHAM:  ... are so transparent that they're either going to just -- you know, they're the -- they're the fake news organizations.  I mean...

HANNITY:  It's funny, right?

INGRAHAM:  Yes, a lot of the dot-coms are just, like, commentary sites and cultural sites.  They're not -- they're not pretending to be news organizations, but there are some news organizations that are basically operating as Hillary...


INGRAHAM:  ... or Democrat super PACs.

HANNITY:  Last word, Ari.

FLEISCHER:  Let me give you an example.  This is how the bias works, and it bothers me.  When President Obama was elected, the press widely reported historic win because he's African-American.  Hillary, if she had won, it would have been historic, first woman.

Where are the stories saying historic win by Donald Trump, first outsider? The press largely sees things through the filter of the Democrat and liberal lens, which is race identity, identity politics and liberal points of view.  They hurt themselves when they do that, distance themselves from the American people because there are so few conservatives and people who see things through a Republican lens in the media.  And that's their biggest problem, and that's why they tilt and that's why they're biased.

HANNITY:  Well said.  All right, guys, thank you both.  Appreciate it.  And by the way, Laura's new Web site, Lifezette, is doing very well.  Thank you.

INGRAHAM:  Thanks so much.

HANNITY:  And coming up, Vice President-elect Mike Pence right here in studio.  That's next.  He's about to hit the road with President-elect Trump for a thank you tour.

Later tonight, Florida senator Marco Rubio is here.  We'll ask him about President-elect Trump, Fidel Castro's death and more.

Also "Fox & Friends" co-host Ainsley Earhardt is here to find out and explain what you, the American people, want from President-elect Trump straight ahead.



HANNITY:  And welcome back to "Hannity."  Now, President-elect Donald Trump again hosting high-profile meetings in New York, including a dinner tonight with former governor Mitt Romney.  And on Thursday night, the president- elect will kick off his, quote, "USA thank you tour" in Cincinnati, Ohio, along with Vice President-elect Mike Pence.  He joins us now in studio. First of all, congratulations.  It's...


HANNITY:  Has it hit you yet?



PENCE:  Maybe January 20th.  But we're so focused right now.  The president-elect is so focused on the work, on assembling a cabinet, assembling a government to move forward an agenda that we know is going to make America great again.  We'll leave the -- when it hits us to later.

HANNITY:  All right, so high-profile meetings.  You did have two announcements today.  I've known Congressman Price for many years.  He went into depth and detail about replacing "ObamaCare," not an insignificant tasks, a big part of the Trump agenda.

PENCE:  Well, it's -- it'll be the first thing out of the gate.  We're going to be back on Capitol Hill tomorrow.  Reince Priebus and I will be meeting with the leaders of the House and the Senate.  And the president- elect's made it very clear.  He wants the Congress when they convene in early January to take up the task of repealing and replacing "ObamaCare" first.  And the appointment of Dr. Tom Price as the head of Health and Human Services, someone who literally for the last half a dozen years has been in the forefront of efforts not only to repeal "Obama care" but to put forward common sense free market solutions that will lower the cost of health insurance without growing the size of government.

It's very exciting and should be a source of great encouragement to millions of Americans who know we've got to repeal "ObamaCare," but we've got to replace it with real solutions.

HANNITY:  That's a difficult task.  Average American's paying $4,100 more per family.  So many lost their doctors, lost their plans, and projected increases this year.  Do you have any idea on the timeframe, when that replacement might be able to happen?

PENCE:  Well, I think -- I think the first thing is to repeal "ObamaCare" lock, stock and barrel and make sure that we make it clear at the outset of this Congress that we're starting over on health care reform that respects the doctor-patient relationship and harnesses the power of the free market.

Now, what President-elect Trump has said over and over again is it's time for us to allow Americans to purchase health insurance across state lines. It's time to give people more consumer choices, health savings accounts, something that he's championed since very early in the campaign.

And Dr. Tom Price, soon to be Secretary Tom Price at HHS, is going to be able to help us take that agenda first to repeal, and then to work with leaders in Congress in the House and the Senate to craft solutions, which will be implemented, you know, over a phased-in period of time.  We don't want any American to be anxious about a transition.  It will be an orderly transition, as the president-elect said in that famous speech in Philadelphia.

But we'll be working toward really a solution that's grounded in the American principles of free market economics and respecting the doctor- patient relationship.

HANNITY:  One position that seems to have gotten the most attention is secretary of state.

PENCE:  Right.

HANNITY:  Big meeting with Governor Romney tonight.  I know that he was with General Petraeus yesterday.  His name has been mentioned at lot, Rudy Giuliani's name, Senator Bob Corker's name.  Obviously, the decision hasn't been made.

There are some good people here.  But in the case of Governor Romney, who said some -- called Donald Trump racist, misogynist, unqualified for the office, apparently shared his donor list with Even -- General McMillin in his run.

Is that a game changer for you?  Is that a difficulty overcoming that from your perspective?

PENCE:  You know, it's -- it's such a privilege for me to -- it's almost hard for me to express that I'm the vice president-elect of the United States.

But to have been asked by the president-elect to chair the transition -- my first obligation is to bring together, you know, a broad range of men and women before the president-elect and his team so that he can sort out and create that lineup that's going to be able to move the Trump agenda forward in the Congress and all across the country.

And I think what you're witnessing here -- and we met with Senator Bob Corker today at the Trump Tower, with General Petraeus yesterday, met very often with Rudy Giuliani and talked to John Bolton, communicated with him today and the dinner that's happening tonight.

I think what you're witnessing here is a leader in President-elect Donald Trump who wants to take in all the options.  But I am absolutely confident that he's going to choose the right person in every single one of these cases, that he believes is going to be best equipped to move his agenda forward, and more importantly, move the country forward.

HANNITY:  Let me ask this.  To me, the Trump agenda's been laid out, and it's very simple -- originalist justices, vetting refugees, repatriation of trillions, 15 percent corporate tax rate, seven brackets to three, he's going to build the wall, eliminate "ObamaCare," energy independence and education back to the states.

If those six, seven, eight things get done, this will profoundly change America.  Are you confident that all those agenda items will be accomplished?

PENCE:  Well, I really am.  I mean, we -- when the president-elect and I went to Capitol Hill just a couple short weeks ago, we met with Leader McConnell and with Speaker Ryan.  As I said, I'll be back on Capitol Hill tomorrow as we're beginning to lay out the details of that.  I think -- you know, my word when I went to Capitol Hill, is I talked to members of Congress, is I said, buckle up.


PENCE:  It's not just going to be a busy 100 days, Sean.  It's going to be a busy 200 days.  I mean, what you have in our president-elect -- and you've known him for a long time, a lot longer than I have.

This is a man of boundless energy and creativity, and he is absolutely determined to move that agenda forward and move it forward quickly.  We're going to start out of the gate by repealing and replacing "ObamaCare." We're going to -- we're going to take steps to achieve real border security, build a wall end illegal immigration.

You're going to see an appointment to the Supreme Court of a strict constructionist that's going to be in the tradition of the late and great Justice Antonin Scalia.  And then before we get to the spring, you're going to see President Donald Trump make good on his pledge to cut taxes across the board for working families, small businesses, family farms and to roll back the kind of excessive regulations that are stifling American growth. And the other issues you mentioned, as well, but...

HANNITY:  Energy is I think a big job-creating opportunity.

PENCE:  Unleashing the power of the American energy economy, ending the war on coal.  I mean -- I mean, it really is extraordinary.  I think people have been watching this transition, and I think they're already getting a sense of the boundless energy that President-elect Donald Trump is bringing...

HANNITY:  Well...

PENCE:  ... to this effort, and I think it's only -- you're only going to see that accelerate in the weeks and months ahead.  So that's my word to them on Capitol Hill.  I'll tell them tomorrow.

HANNITY:  Get ready?  Buckle up?

PENCE:  Buckle up!


PENCE:  We're going to go to work for the American people.  We're going to make America great again.

HANNITY:  This is a great opportunity.  The only obstacle could be the Senate, the filibuster.  And we know how Harry Reid dealt with that, especially when it relates to judicial appointments.  Would you want Mitch McConnell to do the same thing?

PENCE:  Well, I think -- you know, they changed the rules there with regard to all the other court vacancies, and frankly, many of the confirmations. And you know, we're very grateful to have a Republican majority in the Senate, to have the necessary 51 votes to be able to move the president- elect's agenda forward.

But I think whether it's the Supreme Court, whether it's repealing and replacing "ObamaCare," whether it's fundamental tax relief or ending illegal immigration, I think -- the other thing you better get used to is -- and you're going to see it this week when the president-elect and I hit the road -- is a President Donald Trump is not just going to be talking to Congress, he's going to be talking to the American people.


PENCE:  He's going to be taking his case consistently to the American people and encouraging them -- you remember that other president that you liked a whole lot.

HANNITY:  Ronald Reagan.

PENCE:  Ronald Reagan used to do, is go ask the American people to call your congressman and call your senator.  And I think that's the reason why. I'm very confident we're going to see the Trump agenda move forward, and we're going to get this country working again and rebuild our military and do all the kind of things that will make America great again.

HANNITY:  What could we glean from what we have seen in terms of your role so far?  Because you've been in most of these meetings.  You've -- and they seem endless.  They're Monday through Friday, Saturday and Sunday.


HANNITY:  They don't seem to ever stop.  I have known him a long time.  He doesn't really like vacations.  He wants to roll up his sleeves and get to work.  And let me ask you this.  What have you learned through this process about Donald Trump that maybe the American people don't know, that you'd want them to know?

PENCE:  Well, you know, I've just gotten to know him over the last six months.  And he is -- at his very core, he is -- he is -- has an extraordinary intellect.  He's extraordinarily creative.  He's one of the most inherently curious people I've ever met in my life.  To be in these meetings -- and we've had this galaxy of extraordinary men and women from a broad range of backgrounds -- you know, many Republicans, even some Democrats who have come in and sat down.

And the questions that he asks, getting straight to the point, it just continues to give me the confidence that I had when I said yes to this job last summer, that Donald Trump is going to be a great president of the United States because he has the leadership qualities to really lead America forward and to inspire our nation to greater heights.

HANNITY:  He seems -- there's been all sorts of definitions about the role of the vice president.  But if we can glean anything from what we've seen in the last couple of weeks, you're going to have a very active role as vice president.  Is that what you envision?

PENCE:  Well, I -- I -- it...

HANNITY:  You've been in almost every meeting.

PENCE:  Well, the role of the vice president will be exactly what the president defines it to be.  And I believe in servant leadership, and I'm here to serve the president-elect in whatever capacity that he'll have me to serve.  And -- and -- but to be alongside him -- I have to tell you, if you could be a fly on the wall...

HANNITY:  I've been there a little bit.

PENCE:  ... in these meetings...

HANNITY:  No, not during the meetings.

PENCE:  ... of the decision late today to name Elaine Chao as secretary of transportation, I mean, someone who was the longest serving secretary of labor under the last administration since World War II.  But before that, what President-elect Donald Trump was able to glean was actually the depth of her expertise comes in the area of transportation and infrastructure. And his vision to rebuild the infrastructure of this country and ignite a whole new era of American growth, based on a renewal of our commitment to have the best transportation, you know, on land and water and air in the world is going to be implemented by being able to identify someone like Elaine Chao and put her in the kind of position that can implement his agenda.

HANNITY:  Mr. Vice president-elect, it's an honor to have you in the studio.  Thank you so much for your time.

PENCE:  Good to be with you, Sean.

HANNITY:  Appreciate it.

And coming up, Florida senator Marco Rubio -- he'll join us next and we'll talk about President-elect Trump, Fidel Castro's death and more.

Also, "Fox & Friends" co-host Ainsley Earhardt is here to talk about a brand-new survey that shows a majority of the American people think that President-elect Trump will follow through on those campaign promises.

And also later tonight, you'll met the man who helped the CIA after 9/11 craft enhanced interrogation -- straight ahead.


HANNITY:  Welcome back to "Hannity."  Senator Marco Rubio was very busy on the campaign trail in Florida.  He won reelection and is getting ready to serve now his second term.  We're happy to have him back on the program.

Senator Rubio, congratulations.  Welcome back, sir.


HANNITY:  All right, I guess the biggest question is, Republicans for a long time have said, All right, we need the House, we need the House and Senate and we also need the White House.  Now that moment of opportunity exists.

You know Donald Trump's agenda, vetting refugees, building the wall, repealing, replacing "ObamaCare," 15 percent corporate tax rate, repatriation, energy independence.  Is there -- are you in general agreement with everything?  Do you have issues with things?  And how do you think this agenda will go in the Senate?

RUBIO:  Well, you know, foreign policy, we'll see how that develops.  He's had -- as I said, he's never held public office before, so he said some things on the campaign trail.  We'll see how that translates to foreign policy.

But on the issues of domestic policy -- you went through some of them. Here's how I think it plays out.  I think we spend the early part of January and February working through, you know, dozens and dozens of nominations not just to the cabinet but to all sorts of posts underneath that and try to get those in place as quickly as possible.

We move then to "ObamaCare's" repeal, which I think you'll see happen in the first two to three months of next year and then in addition, begin the work of replacing it because that's important.  And then you talk about some other elements.  You talk about border security.  Building a wall is a phrase that is about securing the border and enforcing our immigration laws.  And I think that's something we need to move on first.  I've -- I've said now for a long time that it is the key that unlocks the door to be able to do anything else on immigration.

So my view is that the first three or four months, we're going to be busy. I was going over the Senate schedule for next year, and there's very little recess breaks.  I mean, it's going to be a lot of work that's been planned into the timeframe that we're going to be here, and the reason why is we anticipate being very busy, those items that we just discussed, not the mention we need a budget.  All those things are going to take a lot of time.  And I'm excited about finally being in a position to pass laws and repeal laws and have a president that will actually sign it.

HANNITY:  What if Senate Democrats are obstructionist, they set the precedent using the nuclear option?  Is that something Mitch McConnell should consider?

RUBIO:  Well, let me -- and where would it come into play?  I mean, if you look at the nominations, they changed the rules.  And now by 51 votes we can get anyone confirmed except for the Supreme Court.  And so that's why I fully anticipate that by and large unless something troubling comes out, you're going to see the president-elect get his nominees.  

HANNITY:  Why couldn't he use it for the Supreme Court, or can you?  

RUBIO:  That's an interesting question.  I believe we're going to get the Supreme Court under the current rules, I really do.  And he put out a list during the campaign of very qualified people.  And I believe we'll get that nomination, I really do.  And I'll leave it at that for now.  

But as far as the other ones are concerned, I think we're going to get through that.  A lot of good people, names are being mentioned.  Obviously it's his prerogative to choose.  They'll go through our process here, and we're going to move quickly on that in the early part of the year.  And you talk about Obamacare repeal.  It was passed through reconciliation.  That's 51 votes in the Senate.  We can repeal Obamacare using the exact same process.  And in fact the Senate has already done that, we just didn't have a president to sign it.  Now we do.  

HANNITY:  Where are you concerns in foreign policy?  He said he would get rid of the Iranian deal.  He also said he would identify radical Islamists. But he also talked about foreign entanglements.  When we went into Iraq, we had brave men and women fight, bleed, and die for cities like Baghdad, Mosul, Ramadi, and Fallujah, and the war got politicized.  Over 5,000 dead Americans, and then we pull out, and that created a vacuum for ISIS.  I think you can argue we did the same thing in Vietnam, over 58,000 people died.  It seems to me foreign entanglements with the political process the way it is just don't work out.  Isn't that something we should try with all we have to avoid?  

RUBIO:  Well, a couple points.  I'm not in favor of entanglements.  I am in favor of engagement.  I do think the world is a better place when America is involved in the world in a way that furthers are national security interests.  Those are broad pronouncements on the campaign trail.  It's a big world.  There are a lot of issues on foreign policy that were not discussed on the campaign.  

I can't standing here say here's one area in the world where I think we're going to have a conflict with the president-elect.  I'm saying it's possible.  It happened under other presidencies in the past.  But as I said, you talked about broad pronouncements in general.  I agree we want to defeat radical Islam.  We want to confront it and we want to defeat it.  As commander in chief he's going to have a significant amount of leeway to conduct that and make it happen.  

There may be some differences of opinion on issues.  I don't have one to point to you right now, but if there is then we'll do our role, which is the Senate is independent of the presidency.  And it's our job, no matter who the president is, if they do something that you don't agree with to stand up to that.  But I'm not prepared that do that now because, as I said, nothing is moving on that, and I think he's still trying to formulate the specifics of a lot of these things.  

HANNITY:  I saw the people of Miami and they celebrated the death, as did I, frankly, of one of the world's brutal murdering dictators, Fidel Castro.  

RUBIO:  Absolutely.  

HANNITY:  But then I read the comments of the president which I thought did not capture the truth of who this man was, and, frankly, the Pope, the prime minister of Canada.  What was your reaction to that and Donald Trump's comments I thought were dead on?  

RUBIO:  I like what the president-elect put out.  As I said the time when the president's statement was put out, you cannot talk about the legacy of Fidel Castro without discussing the fact that he forced into exile almost 20 percent of his homeland's population, the fact that he brutally executed people summarily, that he jailed people for 20 to 30 years, that he allowed no political on the island and still did not, without talking about the human rights abuses, the way he fomented insurrection and revolution all over the world and furthered communism and sowed instability in virtually every country in the hemisphere.  You can't leave any of that out.  

And somebody had a comment the other day.  They compared how the press talked about and the The New York Times talked about Pinochet when he died versus that they described Fidel Castro, some sort of heroic figure. And so for me any statement about his death has to mention the countless number of victims both because of exile, because of jailing, and because of being murdered by his regime.  And there's no way to talk about his legacy without talking about that because to me it is the part that stands out the most.  

HANNITY:  Well said, senator.  Congratulations on your reelection.  Great to have you back.  

RUBIO:  Thank you, Sean.  

HANNITY:  And coming up, an interview you don't want to miss.  We speak with the clinical psychologist who worked with the CIA after 911 to help create the enhanced interrogation program and also served as an interrogator.

But first tonight, Ainsley Earhardt here with a report on a brand-new survey that shows a large majority of you, the American people, believe that president Trump will keep his promises.  That and more on HANNITY.



TRUMP:  Real change begins with immediately repealing and replacing Obamacare.  You know that.  


TRUMP:  Now you have ISIS and you have all of these things that have gotten out of control under the Obama administration.  And we're going to knock the hell out of them, folks.  

We will build a wall.  Mexico will pay for the wall.  


TRUMP:  Yesterday two boxes of e-mails and materials are now missing.  


TRUMP:  Special prosecutor here we come, right?  If I win we're going to appoint the special prosecutor.  



HANNITY:  All right, that was president-elect Donald Trump during the campaign making a lot of promises to you, the American people.  And according to a brand new survey released by The Hill, 64 percent of registered voters believe that Donald Trump will be very or somewhat effective in fulfilling his campaign promises.  

Here now with reaction, author of the brand new number one New York Times bestseller "Take Heart My Child: A Mother's Dream" "Fox & Friends" cohost Ainsley Earhardt.  Did you ever think you'd be a number one New York Times bestseller?  How great is that.  Congratulations.


HANNITY:  I heard you did a six and a half hour book signing in South Carolina?  

EARHARDT:  My hometown.  They were so supportive

HANNITY:  Six and a half hours?  

EARHARDT:  Yes.  Yes, they're awesome there.

HANNITY:  That's amazing.  

EARHARDT:  You viewers are awesome.  You've been talking about it on the radio.  Our producers have allowed us to talk about it on "Fox & Friends." Thank you, thank you, thank you.  

HANNITY:  And it's a great story, too, about your father and how he gave notes.  

EARHARDT:  It's not about selling books for me.  It's a really cool story that I grew up in a normal family in South Carolina.  My dad really influenced our life.  My mom influenced our life.  And it's just some lessons and some themes that I want to pass on to my own daughter and to kids around the world.  

HANNITY:  That's awesome.  So the American people, they elect politicians. One of the reasons this has been an outsider year is because politicians make promises and they never keep their promises.  

EARHARDT:  Right.  So there was a survey done by Harvard University Center for American Political Studies and also the National Research Group.  And they polled people, they asked people do you like his policies and do you think he's actually going to implement them?  And some of -- the majority of folks think that he's going to fulfill his promises.  He's a tough guy and he stands behind what he believes in.  

HANNITY:  He's got both houses.

EARHARDT:  Absolutely.  And people are putting a lot of hope in him, and he's got four years to prove himself.  But 64 percent of voters, they think he's going to be somewhat or very effective as a president.  Now as far as infrastructure is concerned, 78 percent like his plan for infrastructure. That means improving, roads, bridges, tunnels.  He wants to spend $1 trillion to do that.  

HANNITY:  That's one thing that concerns me.  I don't want to add to the debt, and I'm hopeful we go pay as you go.  

EARHARDT:  He doesn't want to raise taxes on anyone.  He wants to lower taxes among every single group.  People are in favor of that.  They think he's going to lower taxes on businesses, on corporations, and they think he'll do that before he lowers individual income taxes.  The majority of people do approve of him cutting taxes, obviously.  

The strongest number, 90 percent of those polls support him removing illegal criminals from our country.  As far as Obamacare is concerned, 54 percent think that he will repeal and replace Obamacare, but 46 percent approve of that, Sean.  

HANNITY:  That's enough.  Obamacare has been a disaster.  Average American up $4,100, huge projected increases this year.  

EARHARDT:  I think most people like the idea of everyone having health care, they just want it to be affordable.  And it hasn't been.  

HANNITY:  OK, again, Ainsley, every weekday morning with Brian and Steve, and number one New York Times bestselling author.  Congratulations.  


EARHARDT:  Thank you, Sean.

HANNITY:  All right, up next, you'll meet the psychologist who worked with the CIA to help create the enhanced interrogation program.  That's next, straight ahead.  



TRUMP:  You asked me the question, what do you think of waterboarding? Absolutely fine, but we could go much stronger than water boarding.  That's the way I feel.  They're chopping off heads.  Believe me, we should go much stronger because our country is in trouble, we're in danger.  We have people that want to do really bad things.  Remember the power of weaponry. This isn't 100 years ago where we fight hand to hand combat.  This is weapons that are so destructive, so destructive that the world could end. We have to be very strong, we have to be very vigilant, and we have to be very tough.  Waterboarding is fine but it's not nearly tough enough, OK?  


HANNITY:  That was president-elect Trump on the campaign trail talking of potentially bringing back the use of enhanced interrogation.  But in a recent interview with the "The New York Times," Trump said he has been told that the use of these techniques may not be effective.  Joining us now with reaction is the psychologist who worked with the CIA after 9/11 to help create the interrogation program.  He's the author of the brand new book "Enhanced Interrogation, Inside the Minds and Motives of the Islamic Terrorists Trying to Destroy America," Dr. James Mitchell.  Doctor, good to see you, sir.  

So the CIA brought you in after 9/11/2001 to help craft what would be the effective means of interrogation, correct?  

DR. JAMES MITCHELL, "ENHANCED INTERROGATION" AUTHOR:  Right.  You have to remember that we were in a situation where we were in kind of a running street battle with Al Qaeda.  They had just bun 9/11 and we had credible evidence there was going to be another catastrophic attack that included perhaps nuclear weapons.  And the CIA was scrambling to do everything that was legal.  So they asked me if I would help them interrogate Abu Zubaydah.  

HANNITY:  Right.  So you actually saw some of the use of waterboarding and enhanced interrogations, correct?  

MITCHELL:  I actually did all of the water boarding that was done by the CIA.  

HANNITY:  Right.  And does it work or does it not work?  

MITCHELL:  Well, it depends on -- it depended.  It didn't work that well for KSM because KSM had this uncanny ability to essentially pass the water out of his nose.  It worked OK on the other two.  

The problem with focusing on waterboarding is that it seems to me that the media and the press are obsessed with waterboarding, somewhere between waterboarding and doing nothing at all but tea and sympathy, there's a place where I think some kind of legal coercion would have to be done but it won't have to be necessarily waterboarding.  That wouldn't be my first or best choice.  I don't believe that would be the case.  

HANNITY:  Is it a defective tool in the arsenal to extract information?

MITCHELL:  It legally could be.  It depends on how it's applied.  Like I said, like anything else if it's applied in a blunt way -- the whole point of waterboarding isn't to get people to provide information while they're on the board.  It's to get them to provide information before they go to the next session.  

So in some cases -- in most be waterboarding would be completely unnecessary and probably not appropriate to use.  In a very few cases, let me tell you the case it would be appropriate to use a kind of physical coercion.  If you had a situation where you knew that there is going to be a catastrophic attack that could kill potentially thousands of Americans, the army field manual is not going to work.  Some kind of coercion is going to be necessary.  So I believe president-elect Trump ought to be thinking through what he's going to do when he gets that intelligence and they've got the guy who could stop it, but he won't provide the information.  I don't believe --

HANNITY:  Please, sir, finish.  

MITCHELL:  I was going to say I don't believe offering him a beer and pack of cigarettes is going to make it.   

HANNITY:  You were there.  You yourself questioned 13 of the most senior high-value detainees in custody, including KSM and Abu Zubaydah and the person, the commander involved in the USS Cole bombing.  Can you describe what it is like to go face-to-face with some of the world's most evil killers, those terrorists we've talked so much about?  What is it like?  

MITCHELL:  Well, it depended on what stage they're in.  In the beginning it was very difficult because they were very resistant and they were belligerent.  Some of them were.  As it went on, they turned on the charm and it was easier to work with them after the EITs.  In the beginning, the thing that it was like is that it was shocking, because I was surprised at their indifference to the violence and death of other people.  

HANNITY:  Right.  

MITCHELL:  We think we understand them, but we don't understand them.  

HANNITY:  I think it's hard to understand evil because that is what we're talking about.  They want to advance the caliphate, agree with us or die, it's not exactly logical.

Let me ask you this, because you do note that when the methods are used correctly, enhanced interrogation, that they're useful in getting them to cooperate.  But if not used correctly it's counterproductive.  What is the correct use of these methods?  

MITCHELL:  Well, the whole point of any kind of interrogation procedure is to get the person to shift priorities so that they're willing to provide information.  So I think you have to be careful when you're using coercion that you don't ask leading questions and that you don't provide them with some sort of a clue about what you're looking for, because you don't want them making stuff up and you don't want false confessions.  You don't want that sort of stuff.  

HANNITY:  Right.  

MITCHELL:  But more important about that, especially about waterboarding. I have water-boarded almost as many lawyers as I have terrorists.   

HANNITY:  Lawyers?  

MITCHELL:  Lawyers.  I don't know if you have a law degree, but I'm one down.  


HANNITY:  I know you do teach American soldiers how to resist the use of the --

MITCHELL:  Not now.  

HANNITY:  Well, you did.  

MITCHELL:  I used to be in the Air Force survival school.  I don't do that anymore.  But I did for years.  

HANNITY:  I know you did.  

All right, sir, thank you.  Appreciate your expertise, appreciate it.  

When we come back, we need your help.  An important "Question of the Day" about your news media straight ahead.  


HANNITY:  Time for our "Question of the Day." Should president-elect Trump try to work with the corrupt mainstream media, or just say goodbye?  You colluded with Hillary, you don't really belong in the category of anything other than fake news.  Go to Facebook.com/SeanHannity, @SeanHannity on Twitter, let us know what you think.

That's all the time we have left this evening.  Thanks for being with us. We'll see you hopefully back here tomorrow night.  

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