This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," January 24, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, "Hannity" is back in our nation's capital, as President Trump, who's fast on day five of his administration.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a big one.
HANNITY: Plus, the Trump administration continues to push back against attacks from the liberal alt left radical mainstream media.
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: There are many mistakes that the media makes all the time. They misreport something, they don't report something they get a fact wrong.
HANNITY: We'll take you inside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for a sit-down with the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer.
And President Trump meets with U.S. auto makers.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're bringing manufacturing back to United States. It's happening big league.
HANNITY: Former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich will react to all of this.
Also, Senator Ted Cruz joins us, and we'll talk to members of Congress about President Trump's agenda.
"Hannity" from Washington, D.C., starts right here, right now.
HANNITY: And welcome to "Hannity." And tonight, we are back in Washington, D.C. Now, we're going to show you my sit-down interview with press secretary Sean Spicer. That's coming up in just a couple of minutes.
The Trump administration -- they're making it very clear to the liberal alt left mainstream media that the old days of doing business are over! And that is tonight's 'Opening Monologue.'
The liberal mainstream media -- they're getting a major wake-up call from the Trump administration. New White House press secretary Sean Spicer -- he's making it known that accountability between the White House and the press will now go both ways. Watch this exchange with ABC's Jon Karl. This is from yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS: Is it your intention to always tell the truth from that podium? And will you pledge never to knowingly say something that is not factual?
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It is. It's an honor to do this. And yes, I believe that we have to be honest with the American people. I think sometimes we can disagree with the facts. There are certain things that we may miss -- we may not fully understand when we come out. But our intention is never to lie to you, Jonathan. I'm going to come out here and tell you the facts as I know them. And if we make a mistake, we'll do our best to correct it.
But I don't -- I think that -- it's -- as I mentioned the other day, it is a two-way street. There are many mistakes that the media makes all the time. They misreport something, they don't report something, they get a fact wrong. I don't think that's always -- you know, to turn around and say, OK, you are intentionally lying.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Predictably, even though he's only been on the job for five days, the media is already going after Sean Spicer really, really hard. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOY BEHAR, 'THE VIEW': He can still get out. Get out now, Sean. Get out now!
BEHAR: I said it to Kellyanne, and I'm saying it to you, Sean. There’s time to get out. You can get a job on CNN.
DAN RATHER: The new press secretary said, you know, I will never lie to you. That's good. But then there was that -- it was kind of a Nixonian moment, if you will, when it gets back to this obsession with the size of the crowd for the inauguration.
INDIRA LAKSHMANAN: This is one thing where I agree with some of my colleagues that reporters who have worked in authoritarian regimes -- I myself was in China for seven years. And that first briefing reminded me of some of the briefings I've been to in Beijing. A lot of reporters who have worked in places like China, Russia and -- you know, and Cuba might have a pretty good advantage going into covering the Trump administration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Wow, lectures from Dan Rather. Really?
The media is going to be doing stuff like this for the next four years. But if members of the press, if they really want to start with a clean slate, well, they need to come forward and they need to admit that they're biased and that they openly colluded, as we have pointed out many times, with the Clinton campaign.
While the mainstream media pretends to be unbiased seekers of truth, here's what they won't tell you. According to the Center for Public Integrity, during the 2016 campaign, a whopping 96 percent of money that journalists donated to the two major presidential campaigns went to Hillary Clinton.
And as for collusion, well, WikiLeaks -- they exposed how the Clinton campaign was in direct contact with basically every major news organization except for the Fox News Channel. Now, these media outlets allowed stories to be changed, quotes to be altered. They leaked debate questions. They worked to advance the Clinton campaign's agenda, just to give you a few examples.
Now, what this comes down to is really simple. If members of the media -- if you want to actually do your jobs for once and you've been pretty lazy as of late, and you want to be fair when covering the Trump administration, then there shouldn't be any problems. Now, if they don't want to do that, then people from the Trump administration clearly will be calling you out and setting the record straight.
Now, earlier today, I sat down with the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, in the Roosevelt Room in the White House to talk about this and much more. Take a look.
HANNITY: And joining us now, White House press secretary Sean Spicer. How are you?
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Good! Thanks for coming by!
HANNITY: A couple of days on the job. That's a hostile room in there that you're working in.
SPICER: It's -- it's interesting. You got to be ready to get in there.
HANNITY: Yes. All right, so let's talk a little bit about the relationship with the media and the Trump administration. A lot of people in that room that we now know through WikiLeaks that colluded with Hillary Clinton's campaign, helped Hillary Clinton's campaign.
SPICER: I don't think that's any shocker. I think the media by and large, if you look at surveys over the years, has never been conservative-leaning by any measure. But the fact of the matter is, is that that's not a surprise. And I think we can either continue to complain about it, or we can continue to do what we can to get the facts out and get our message out.
I think there's a difference between complaining, though, and calling it out. And when there's -- when they're not being accurate or when they're misleading or there’s a narrative, then I think it's incumbent upon us to make sure that we're out there explaining our side and why we believe something or the facts that we're using to make our case.
HANNITY: You were very passionate this weekend over what was a fake news story...
HANNITY: ... the term everybody seems to be using now, that Martin Luther King's bust that was in the Oval Office that had been removed. I was just in there. I saw that, in fact, that bust still exists.
SPICER: It does. Well, I think that there is this -- what I get frustrated with is this double standard and rush to click instead of get it right. Look, we all make mistakes. I make them all the time. And I think that what has happened is that there's previous position in the media to, especially with this President, to assume he can't do certain things. He wasn't going to run. He wasn't going to file. He couldn't win a primary.
He wasn't going to get out in the field, that he couldn't win Michigan, he wouldn't win Iowa, why is he wasting his time in Pennsylvania? Then he didn't win this, and this vote was going to happen, and now the nominees aren't going to get through.
In every case, he's defied the odds and won. And I think the interesting thing is, at some point, the disposition should be he's going to do it unless we can prove otherwise. He has shown through every step of the way that he's going to win.
And so it just seems to me -- it's odd that if those are the odds, if you're looking at his track record, the track record is a proven track record of success and winning. And yet the media's default is on every scenario, whether it's his nominees getting through or him winning a primary or him accomplishing something, it's immediately a negative and a failure.
HANNITY: We learned a lot from WikiLeaks. It was very interesting, couple of people that hosted, moderated debates, John Harwood of CNBC, Martha Raddatz -- Martha Raddatz was crying, crying the night when it was announced that Donald Trump was the president, but yet she ended up moderating a presidential debate. John Harwood -- we learned a number of things about him through WikiLeaks.
And I'm thinking, how did they get to that position if they're that one- sided? Are they going to let me moderate a debate...
SPICER: I hope so.
HANNITY: ... in the future? I hope so, too. I'm all for it.
SPICER: I'm for it. And I think that's interesting. Look, I -- I think for as much heat sometimes as FOX News takes in particular, you look at an outlet like MSNBC, which is by no means -- I mean, they are far to the left. And yet over and over, again, they are treated by their colleagues as being a mainstream news source. And I think that goes for other writers, as well.
Look, as I said, if you're on the conservative side, this is nothing new. This is a battle that we fight every day. The lucky thing for us is that through the beauty of talk radio and a lot of new sites that are popping up day in and day out, whether it's Breitbart, The Daily Caller, The Daily Signal, over and over again we're seeing people gravitate towards sites because they recognize that the mainstream media isn't the only game in town anymore.
HANNITY: It's such an important issue, and none of these mainstream media outlets defended me the many times that Obama mentioned me by name or attacked...
HANNITY: ... the Fox News Channel or attacked talk radio. Maybe I'm misreading something here, but I watched your first full-day press conference, and there was a certain protocol that existed prior to being there...
HANNITY: ... which is the AP would get the first question. The networks would get the second question. The AP, whoever the lead AP person is, like Helen Thomas during President Reagan's term, would stand up and say it's over. You did things very differently.
HANNITY: By design?
SPICER: You know, I think part of this is to make sure that we understand that we have to have a healthy relationship. But I think that there is a desire to bring new voices in. I think The New York Post represents something.
HANNITY: That was the first question.
SPICER: The first question. It's the president's hometown paper.
HANNITY: ... my favorite paper.
SPICER: There you go. That's right. But the second question went to the Christian Broadcasting Network.
HANNITY: CBN. They have a huge audience.
SPICER: They have a magnificent audience. But it's not just their audience that matters.
HANNITY: Then you went to Univision from there.
SPICER: I did. And then I went to American Urban Radio.
HANNITY: All right.
SPICER: And I think the point is, is that there are voices and issues that the mainstream media sometimes doesn't capture. And it's important for those issues to get as much prominence as some of the mainstream ones.
Now, that's not saying that maybe tomorrow, I call on the AP first. Maybe I call on NBC at some point, whatever. I'm going to call or Fox first.
But the idea is that different outlets who have different audiences and different issues should have an opportunity to get those issues up front.
Maybe by hearing from the Christian Broadcasting -- or we hear about an issue that otherwise would have get drowned out. It helps set the tone for the briefing and brings up an issue to more prominence that otherwise might not have gotten the attention that it deserves.
HANNITY: You had an opportunity to get out of the room faster.
HANNITY: Because the lead person for the AP stood up and said...
HANNITY: They said, Thank you very much...
SPICER: ... and I indicated that I was going to keep going. But I think it's important -- I wanted to also let the press know that we weren't -- we weren't -- there's nothing we're afraid of. We want to be out there and answer all the questions we could. I think I stayed for 90 minutes. If you saw how packed that room is, it was the media...
HANNITY: ... press secretary equivalent of a Donald Trump rally.
SPICER: It's the packed room. And part of it was that we wanted to take questions as long as we could, within reason. But I think they were getting a little tired, too, and hot.
HANNITY: If someone questions my honesty and integrity, I think I'd get a little hot under the collar, but I'm kind of allowed because I'm a radio host, and an opinion host on Fox. Jonathan Karl -- Well, are you going to be honest with us? Isn't that another way of saying, Are you going to lie to us?
HANNITY: And I -- there's a certain insulting quality, I believe, to the question.
SPICER: Look, and this goes back to something I said earlier, Sean. We all make mistakes, right? And so one of the questioners in the room during that first press conference said, When are you going to submit your nominees to the Supreme Court? And I joked, I said, So do we get more than one because as I recall, there's only one vacancy. Now, I don't think they didn't know the facts, but I could have capitalized on their mistake. But I didn't. And I think that there's this two-way street that doesn't always get -- exist in in the press room.
HANNITY: Wouldn't that be a case with Kellyanne, when Kellyanne said, Well, we have an alternative set of facts?
SPICER: Right, and the...
HANNITY: She was...
HANNITY: ... perspective.
SPICER: ... alternative set of facts is -- and what she meant by that is this...
HANNITY: A different perspective.
SPICER: ... is that we reached out to one group of folks to ask for ridership, and there was another group that did it. And again, we weren't by any means trying to mislead anyone. We asked for a set of facts. We thought that the group -- the facts that were going in, in the time that were given to respond, or the time we wanted to make sure that we responded in that news cycle, were accurate.
But there are times -- like anything else, it's not alternative facts.
It's that there's sometimes you can watch two different stations and get two different weather reports. That doesn't mean that the station was lying to you. It means...
HANNITY: Well, I've known Kellyanne for 20 years. I took that to be, Well, we have a different perspective than you do.
SPICER: Right! And you can look at -- the press was trying to make that seem like that we were ignoring the facts. When the facts are sometimes, when you look at a situation, you know, in the same way that you can look at a weather report. And one weather report comes out and says it's going to be cloudy, and the next one says there's going to be light rain. No one lied to you. It just means you interpreted the data in a way that you felt got you to a conclusion.
And I think this idea that we're immediately lying because -- but let's take the audience. We were right. If you add up the number of people who watched that on line, on Twitter, Twitter Live, Facebook Live, on YouTube, it broke all sorts of records. I'm willing to put out facts. Even CNN got
16.9 million people watching it on line. And yet you combine that with what Fox did on line, how many people streamed it, how many people watched-- 31 (sic) people watched it on line -- excuse me, watched -- were -- watched it on the broadcast networks. Combine all that.
Where are their facts? Because I got called a liar for something that I can add up and say, Here's how we come up with this number. And yet where's the number that disproves that I'm wrong?
In fact, the default was -- again, this gets back to something I was saying earlier. The default was, You're lying, whereas I was willing to put numbers out there to back up how I got to it. OK, and in the case of the transportation part, yes, I was -- I wasn't -- I wasn't wrong, but I used a set of numbers that the metro authority came out with.
HANNITY: ... measuring audiences now for radio and TV. There's all sorts of devices.
HANNITY: And coming up, White House press secretary Sean Spicer gave me a tour of the briefing room earlier today. We're going to play that for you later tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We have a very big push on to have auto plants, and other plants, many other plants. You're not being singled out, believe me. OK?
TRUMP: But to have a lot of plans from a lot of different items built in the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: President Trump -- he met with members of the U.S. auto industry today at the White House. We're going to have reaction from former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.
Quick programming note, by the way. This Thursday, I will be interviewing President Donald Trump at the White House. You don't want to miss it.
That's this Thursday. Set your DVR.
That and more as we continue "Hannity" tonight from Washington.
HANNITY: And welcome back to "Hannity." So it's day five of the Trump administration. The president has been extremely busy. Now, this morning, he met with the U.S. auto industry leaders, and he's calling for them to help create more jobs right here in America. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We have a very big push on to have auto plants and other plants, many other plants. You're not getting singled out, believe me. OK?
TRUMP: But to have a lot of plants from a lot of different items built in the United States. And it's happening. It's happening big-league. We had Whirlpool up yesterday. We're talking about big construction facilities. And it's not the construction I want, although that brings jobs. It's the long-term jobs that we're looking for. We're bringing manufacturing back to the United States, big league. We're reducing taxes very substantially and we're reducing unnecessary regulations.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Also, President Trump -- he signed five executive actions related to the pipelines. For starters, he wants to renegotiate some of the terms related to the Keystone XL pipeline and the Dakota Access pipeline.
Joining us now with reaction, the author of "Treason," former speaker of the House, FOX News contributor Newt Gingrich. I don't think I've ever seen so much happen in such a short period of time. What was Obama doing all those days there?
NEWT GINGRICH, R, FMR. HOUSE SPEAKER, FOX CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I mean, part of the difference is how consequential it is. Trump is turning the entire ship of state. And he's doing it on item after item after -- and he's meeting with a lot of people. He meets with construction unions. They come out giggly and talking about what a great meeting it is.
HANNITY: You know what? Union people have never been in the Oval Office until Donald Trump.
GINGRICH: Isn't that weird?
HANNITY: It's -- they're the heart and soul of the Democratic base. He brought them into the Oval Office.
GINGRICH: Well, they used to be.
HANNITY: They used to be. Good point.
GINGRICH: Yes. So I just -- I watch him right now with great admiration. I thought his inaugural address was spectacular. I'm going to talk at Heritage tomorrow about putting it in context. Yesterday, I compared it with Lincoln's first inaugural. And actually, Allen Guelzo, who's a great Lincoln scholar at Gettysburg College wrote an outline I used saying this is how parallel the two guys are in what they're trying to communicate in their first inaugural.
HANNITY: Wasn't it great that he said, All right, yes, we're going to do the Keystone pipeline. We'll create 28,000 jobs just there, then the Dakota pipeline. And he said, Oh, by the way, we're going us steel from America this time. And that's part of...
GINGRICH: Yes. But I think you're going to see a really aggressive constant driving effort to rebuild the American economy. And both he believes in it and he knows it's at the heart of his coalition. If he ends up creating a lot of jobs, he's going to get reelected. The Congress is going to face enormous pressure. Imagine you're a Michigan Democrat watching all the guys come in and say, We'd love to create jobs in Michigan, but we need deregulation and we need better tax policy, et cetera. Are you going to vote with Trump to create jobs in Michigan?
HANNITY: But look where you got -- you got GM, billion dollars. Ford Chrysler -- Ford, rather. They're now moving their plants to America.
Fiat Chrysler, then you've got on top of that Carrier, Apple, Alibaba wants to create a million jobs, Foxconn. They want to build a $7 billion plant. Kroger said they're adding 10,000 new jobs. That's, like, two million jobs...
GINGRICH: That's right.
HANNITY: ... five days in office.
GINGRICH: Because what happened was, late on the night of November 8th, every executive in America looked up, breathed a huge sigh of relief, and every day since then, they've seen it get better and better.
HANNITY: 75 percent plus percent of the regulations gone?
GINGRICH: Well, he's got some work to do to get that done, but it's the right goal. And the key thing to remember is if you're a business executive, and you watch the cabinet he's assembling, you start thinking to yourself, He's getting -- he's bringing in real winners who know how to create jobs, who know how to get things done and who know how to negotiate.
HANNITY: Let me -- you talked this weekend about two things, Schumer's position on the Supreme Court being indefensible because he's not going to support anybody that Trump puts out there. And the second thing with the media -- rewrite the book, basically, you're saying.
HANNITY: So if they can't get to 60 and get cloture on the Supreme Court, do they follow Harry Reid's nuclear option?
GINGRICH: Well, look, I believe Mitch McConnell. Mitch McConnell has said it will be approved.
GINGRICH: And I'm willing to let it sit.
HANNITY: By the way, I give Mitch McConnell -- and I've been critical of him -- a lot of credit on holding that seat the way he did and making it an election issue this year.
HANNITY: And what about the media? Last question.
GINGRICH: Well, I think they ought to go to a much bigger room, and I think 25 percent of the room ought to be citizens. And we ought to give up this idea that you have to have pro-Clinton, pro-Obama left-wing reporters who are cynical and despises you as the basic of the people you answer to.
HANNITY: Are you going to put your speeches on Trumpism to the Heritage Foundation on line?
GINGRICH: They're all on line at Gingrich Productions, online at Heritage, and then this spring, there'll be a book called "Understanding Trump."
HANNITY: OK. And I will put it on my Web site, Hannity.com.
GINGRICH: All right.
HANNITY: I'll steal it.
All right, we'll have more with former speaker of the House, Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich right after the break.
And also tonight, Texas senator Ted Cruz will join us in studio.
And our tour of the White House press briefing room with Sean Spicer, as we continue from our nation's capital.
HANNITY: And welcome back to "Hannity" as we broadcast from our nation's capital. We're in Washington, D.C. Still with us, former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.
OK, to me, everything is about the promises -- originalists on the Court, extreme vetting, building the wall, energy independence, education back to the states, corporate tax rates, repatriation. That's a -- that is a huge, bold agenda.
GINGRICH: The historic importance of his inaugural is that he stuck to who he is. He didn't try to pander. He didn't try to appease. He said, Look, I was elected -- and he didn't use "I."
HANNITY: Three times.
GINGRICH: ... three times in the whole speech, which for Obama would be a sentence.
HANNITY: I think the Obama speech, it was 79 or some crazy number.
GINGRICH: So think about it. He's saying, We, the people, which was again why he so much paralleled Lincoln.. He's saying, We are going to fix the establishment. We are going to change this city. We are going to do these key things. We're going to do it in the name of America. I mean, it's a very patriotic speech!
HANNITY: You and I early on discussed nationalism, populism, versus conservatism. But refugees vetted, originalist justices, corporate tax cuts, repatriation, lowering the rates, middle class, energy independence, education back to the states -- what part of this agenda is not conservative?
GINGRICH: Well, I think it's overwhelmingly conservative. But I tell my conservative friends two key things. First, for the next two years, every time you're about to get angry with President Trump, close your eyes, think the phrase, President Hillary Clinton, and give him a break. Nothing he's going to do for the next two years from a conservative perspective will be like one day of Hillary. But second, he may be the most effective anti- left president in modern times.
HANNITY: You said it during the campaign. Yes, I agree with you.
GINGRICH: You know, so if you -- so I say to my conservative friends, Let me get this straight. This is a guy who -- he's anti-PC. He's anti-left.
He's anti-stupidity, and he's deeply pro-American. Now, which of those values shouldn't make a conservative happy?
HANNITY: I agree. Let me ask you this. So he wants a 10 percent reduction in the size of government. Ten percent, that's significant.
HANNITY: You know, you know baseline budgeting better than anybody -- a 20 percent reduction of the workforce in Washington. Now, simultaneously, before he got into office, the Republican Congress expanded the debt ceiling $9.7 trillion. That doesn't sound like limited government and a path to a balanced budget to me. How will they -- how will this mesh, do you believe?
GINGRICH: Well, I think they're two different issues. I think -- I'm not so certain that the Trump team didn't feel it was OK just to get the debt ceiling out of the way so they didn't get in the kind of fight we got into every two or three years, where the last five guys held you up to pass something.
I think what he's -- and I met yesterday morning with Bob Goodlatte, the chairman of the Judiciary and 20 of his Judiciary Republican members. All of them want to work with Trump. Every single one of them wants to work with Trump.
I sensed nothing but a positive feeling. I was with Senator Cory Gardner this morning from Colorado, absolutely wants to work with Trump.
HANNITY: This is an important question. You have full confidence that the Republican House and Senate will support this Trump agenda and there's not going to be a lot of infighting.
GINGRICH: There'll be a lot of arguing about things. That's how the Constitution is designed.
HANNITY: I understand.
GINGRICH: But when I watched the other night, Senator Lamar Alexander, who's one of the mildest-mannered guys, start the hearing on Betsy DeVos at
5:00 o'clock at night, give each Democrat 5 minutes to ask questions, and as Susan Collins pointed it out, they wasted half of their 5 minutes complaining and whining.
GINGRICH: And then at the end say, Well, we're done. Good luck. See you later. Going to vote tomorrow.
HANNITY: You were happy?
GINGRICH: I mean, I couldn't help but call Lamar and say, This was exactly what you have to do if you're going to lead, is to say, We are going to get
-- and McConnell has said every single cabinet number is going to be approved.
HANNITY: Mr. Speaker, great to be with you in your home town.
GINGRICH: Good to be with you.
HANNITY: All right, when we come back, Texas senator Ted Cruz will join us in studio. That's next.
Plus, earlier today, we visited Capitol Hill to talk to a handful of Republican lawmakers about enacting President Trump's agenda. We'll show you what they had to say.
And also later tonight, White House press secretary Sean Spicer -- you see that? I got to stand behind that podium in that briefing room and take questions from liberals in the media.
That and more tonight as "Hannity," from Washington, D.C., continues.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: And welcome back to HANNITY as we are broadcasting tonight from our nation's capital. Now, it is the first official week of the Trump administration, and the president has already made some very significant moves. Joining us now in studio with reaction, Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Senator, good to see you again. How are you, sir?
SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS: Good to be with you.
HANNITY: How do you feel about the agenda and the first few days so far?
CRUZ: I could not be more encouraged. We are five days into it, but the cabinet appointments have been phenomenal. This is an all-star cabinet. I think this is the most conservative cabinet we have seen in decades.
HANNITY: Do like the list? We are going to hear next week a Supreme Court appointment. Do you like the list of 21 people?
CRUZ: I think it is a strong list. It's a serious list. I am hopeful and encouraged. What I hope we see --
HANNITY: I see him Thursday. Should I say put Ted Cruz's name in there?
CRUZ: I am very happy in the Senate. I think the Senate is going to be the battleground for this fight. And what I've encouraged the president and the administration to do is to go with someone with a proven track record. Historically, when we've gotten in trouble --
HANNITY: This is Scalia's seat. We need an originalist in that seat.
CRUZ: And we need -- in the past every time we've rolled the dice, everything someone says trust me but there was no paper trail, it has been
100 percent of the time a train wreck.
HANNITY: Let's assume for a second that Chuck Schumer follows through on his threat which is he's not in anybody on that list. Should they use the nuclear option?
CRUZ: I think we should do whatever it takes to get him confirmed.
And I'll say, let me actually do something I don't do a lot which is praise Mitch McConnell. What Mitch has had to the Republican conference, he has encouraged all of us to go out and simply say we will confirm President Trump's nominees, the Democrats will not succeed in filibustering those nominees. I think that is fabulous, I agree with him, and I look forward to help him lead the fight.
HANNITY: I've been critical of Mitch McConnell too, and I think the fact that he held back is a big deal.
CRUZ: Big deal.
HANNITY: It was a big issue in the campaign.
CRUZ: Mitch McConnell and Chuck Grassley, they both stood strong and they endured a lot of heat for it. And I enthusiastically praise them for leading on that issue.
HANNITY: I don't think you and I disagree on many issues. So let's look at it through the prism of Donald Trump's agenda. Repatriation at a 10 percent rate, corporate tax rate to 15 percent, vetting refugees, originalists on the court, energy independence, repeal and replace ObamaCare.
HANNITY: And another issue is school choice. Do think all these things can get done? Is there anything he's proposing, maybe trade that you disagree with? Anything?
CRUZ: I am very encouraged. I mean, the platform that Donald Trump ran on in the general election was a conservative platform. On issue after issue, it was issues that you believe and I believe.
HANNITY: But you had doubts. We know that.
CRUZ: Sure. But I'll tell you, the week after the election, as you know, I flew up to New York, went to Trump Tower, sat down with him.
HANNITY: That was important.
CRUZ: I spent five and a half hours there. I spent most of the day with the president, with his team, and the message I conveyed to them was, listen, this is a historic opportunity. It doesn't happen often. And I want to do everything humanly possible to help lead the fight for us actually to do --
HANNITY: Would it be great if these things got done for once? It would be forever.
CRUZ: We've been talking about it for too long. And the danger, we have the opportunity to be the most productive Congress in decades, but we could screwed up. Congress could screw it up. The administration could screw it up. And the way we do that is we don't do what we said.
HANNITY: I agree. Keep your promises.
CRUZ: Keep your promises.
HANNITY: You are pushing school choice in particular. If we sent education back to the states, let them decide?
CRUZ: Absolutely. And school choice -- this is school choice week. I think school choice is the civil rights issue of the 21st century. President Trump nominating Betsy DeVos as education secretary, that was a bold pick. She has been a national leader on school choice. This week in Texas, the Texas legislature has taken up school choice. The governor, Greg Abbott, the lieutenant governor Dan Patrick are leading boldly on this.
HANNITY: Both are great guys, by the way. Texas has the best politicians. I guess it's no accident that if you took away the Texas job growth during Governor Perry's tenure we would have been at negative jobs created in America.
CRUZ: Texas is a great example is you get government off the backs of small businesses you see incredible jobs. And we need to deliver on repealing ObamaCare. That's front and center. This year President Trump is poised to have massive victories. If we repeal ObamaCare, if we confirm a strong conservative Supreme Court justice, if we pass tax reform dramatically simplifying the tax code, and if we pass the legislation that I've introduced with the Lindsey Graham to cut off U.S. taxpayer funds of the United Nations unless and until they reverse these anti-Israel resolutions, those are massive victories for the new administration.
HANNITY: I would like to energy independence. I think that's key.
CRUZ: As a Texas let me say halleluiah, halleluiah, halleluiah.
HANNITY: Senator, great to have you back in studio.
CRUZ: Thank you, Sean.
HANNITY: Thank you, sir. All right, coming up, Sean Spicer, he's gives us a tour of the White House briefing room. But first tonight, earlier today we went to Capitol Hill. We spoke with some Republican lawmakers about the new administration and more. We will pay you part one of that interview as HANNITY continues from sin city, our nation's capital, Washington, D.C.
HANNITY: Welcome back to HANNITY. So earlier today we went to Capitol Hill, we sat down with five of our nation's lawmakers, Representatives Louie Gohmert, Mark Meadows, Marsha Blackburn, Scott Perry, and Jim Jordon.
I asked them about how they will help implement President Trump's agenda and much more. Take a look.
HANNITY: Let me start and go back a little bit. When Congress said they would repeal and replace ObamaCare, and it didn't get done and they didn't use the power, did that cause part of the creation of Trump? In 2014 they said they'd stop unconstitutional executive amnesty. What that part of the creation of Donald Trump?
REP. LOUIE GOHMERT, R-TEXAS: You but it was. It was a string of unbroken promises -- broken promises, rather. We didn't keep our word, and that absolutely gave rise to Trump. But it was this feeling that arose when the Tea Party reared up, when the Democrats let the country down, forced ObamaCare through and a bunch of other things, spiking the cost of energy, Obama continued to do that. And we really didn't stop it.
HANNITY: Mark, let me ask you. I saw a recent interview with John Boehner, and John Boehner said they want to shut down the government. It's not going to work. He was kind of mocking those that wanted to use enumerated power of the purse. Was he right?
REP. MARK MEADOWS, R-NORTH CAROLINA: We got to use that power. That's the only power that we have, Sean. When you really look at it, it really comes back to that deficit of trust. That's kind of what you were talking about is the American people have lost trust that elected officials will come to Washington, D.C., campaign one way back home and come up here and legislate a different way. And we really need to be about right now is about really upholding our promises to the people even if it sends us home. And I think that that is the key is that sometimes we are worried more about our own job security than the job security of Americans across -- from coast-to-coast.
HANNITY: Does not mean term limits would be a good idea?
MEADOWS: I'm all for term limits. And so I think when you really look at that --
HANNITY: We don't want to lose you.
GOHMERT: As long as you have term limits for bureaucrats. You've got to have term limits for the bureaucrats. They have more power than anybody in the city. You've got to do that at the same time.
REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN, R-TENNESSEE: You have got to make certain that there is a way to get inside the bureaucracies because if you want to truly reform the size, the scope, and the cost of the federal government, you have to be able to reach in there and eliminate positions that have outlived their usefulness and to reshape how these departments and agencies work.
HANNITY: That brings up Donald Trump's proposal, which a 20 percent reduction in the labor force, if you will, nonmilitary. And he is also talking about a 10 percent across the board cut in government.
BLACKBURN: You know, I love that because every year, and these guys all support --
HANNITY: I know you and I talk about this a lot.
BLACKBURN: One percent, two percent, five percent, but you have to do that in discretionary spending and begin to right-size this, and then go drill down on some of the entitlement and begin to pull it up here.
But Sean, I'll tell you what, when you look at the operational costs of all of these agencies, I don't care what the agency is, there is a lot of waste that is in there. There is a lot of fraud; there is a lot of abuse. And what we need is one person who it is their job to go dig down on that and work with us in Congress to root it out. This is our shot at really getting it done. This is our shot.
HANNITY: Congressman Perry, if you look at the interim period between Donald Trump's victory and his inauguration on Friday, there was a $9.7 trillion debt increase by the Republican Party. Wow. That is as much debt as Obama gave us in eight years. Why would Republicans who are supposed believe in limited government, that's supposed to believe in balanced budgets, why would they support that?
REP. SCOTT PERRY, R-PENNSYLVANIA: So it's a vehicle, this is what we're told, it's a vehicle that opens the gate to repeal ObamaCare. And many of us, I would think every person sitting said, well, if it can be $9.7 trillion, why can't it be balanced? If it can be this number, why can't it be any number we make it? What we constantly hear is the other body won't vote for that. To which I would say, if this is just a number, just a vehicle, if they won't vote for it now, what are they going to do when it is real?
HANNITY: I might have read this wrong but don't we have the majority in that other body?
PERRY: Hopefully this is building the pressure, but I don't think any person here is going to vote for a real budget. But we all want a balanced budget. Probably everybody here is either a sponsor or a cosponsor to a balanced budget amendment because that's probably of the constitution, fiscal issues is what brought every single person sitting here to this place.
HANNITY: You are the founder, Jim, of the Freedom Caucus. Mark took your presidency away, the chairmanship.
HANNITY: But you were the original chairman. And the freedom caucus I think in large part was a check to the Republicans if they were too establishment or weren't adhering to their principles, correct?
REP. JIM JORDAN, R-OHIO: Our mission statement talks about the countless number of families that feel like this town has forgotten them. Our job is to remember them and to fight for them. People ask me all the time, what should we be doing now with President Trump and the fact that we control all of Congress? Do what we told the voters we were going to do. Do what they sent us here to do.
You think about the two issues that galvanize support to President Trump during the campaign. It was to respond to the executive amnesty, and it was a trade deal that didn't actually do what was best for the country.
Those two issues along with ObamaCare, those two issues, when we failed to do what we had told the voters we were all about on the amnesty in particular, President Obama signed the executive order, we come in office and say we are going to fight tooth and nail, the former speaker's words, and then we don't do it? That is when Trump took off, and then when President Trump talked about trade deals that are good for America, free trade, but good for America, that's what launched him.
HANNITY: Coming up next, a special tour of the White House press briefing room with press secretary, Sean Spicer. Please stay with us.
HANNITY: And welcome back to HANNITY. So earlier today while I with at the White House, the press secretary, Sean Spicer, he gave me a tour of the briefing room. Take a look at this.
HANNITY: If I stand behind there, I am in trouble, right?
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: No, take a couple questions.
Now you get to see what it's like.
HANNITY: Are any of the liberal media here? So this is your podium. Now this room is very packed. How many people are in here every day?
SPICER: We've got 49 seats every day get. Obviously as you see on TV, they line the walls, ask questions.
HANNITY: They are always so fun to friendly. Are you telling us the truth? Are you being dishonest with us?
SPICER: It's the greatest part of the job to come out and deliver the message on what the president has been able to accomplish.
HANNITY: How do you decide who you are going to choose? Do you do that ahead of time?
SPICER: I think sometimes some reporters will come and say, hey, I've got a question I would like to ask, or there's an issue that's hot, or you're actually the particular reporter is covering a subject or a beat, you want to get that out in front early. But we are only on day two, so we're getting used to it.
HANNITY: You're working on a process. It's funny, for every hour of radio I do, I do at least two hours of prep. So for every press conference, I would imagine --
SPICER: We get in early.
HANNITY: What time do you get in?
SPICER: Just before 7:00, and then start reading what is going on, start figuring out where we think a lot of the questions are going to come, where a lot of the interest is, and meshing that with making sure we know what the president is going to be doing that day, confirming that, making sure what actions he's going to take, what meetings he is going to have.
HANNITY: Do see the president most days before you come out here?
SPICER: Yes, every day. So far, so good. It's my job to make sure that I know what key messages he wants to drive, or is there's anything in particular that's of interest to him so that I am communicating it effectively.
HANNITY: How do you decide who gets the seat?
SPICER: This is all set right now by the White House Correspondents Association.
HANNITY: Where's Hannity's seat? I don't see one seat that has my name on it.
SPICER: Fox is right there. Fox is right there, front row, second one in. And so each of the network sits in the front. And then it goes back, and it is one of the issues that helps -- you can apply for a seat. What we allow, though, is if any reporter is here, they can apply for a daily pass.
So if you're here, if you want to be part of the daily press conference, we announced the launch of what we're calling Skype seats the other day, which is an opportunity for us to bring four reporters in from around the country that don't have the ability.
And I think what it does for us and when it's going to help the room is to bring in someone who doesn't live inside the beltway. Then hopefully local reporters, talk radio show hosts who might be able to add a perspective on an issue that might not be getting covered on the briefing room.
HANNITY: I've been in talk radio. It's my 30th year, and I've never been invited. So I think that's a shame. But I also notice you change the order --
SPICER: We did.
HANNITY: I would like to come to one of these.
SPICER: You're welcome any time you want.
HANNITY: I don't know if Fox would give me their seat.
SPICER: John Roberts.
HANNITY: John Roberts, we are good friends.
SPICER: You guys can share. Squeeze in. It's a big seat.
HANNITY: So you spend all those hours and you come out here and how have you -- how do you feel it's going so far?
SPICER: I think it's going really well. Obviously the president --
HANNITY: I saw some laughing today.
SPICER: There was a little bit of laughing.
It's been driven by the activity and the success that the president is having. That's what's made the job easy to do is when he's accomplishing as much as he is, you are able to come out and talk about it. And he has got a clear vision where he wants to take this country and a way in which he wants to accomplish. So that makes the job easy. You know what he wants to do and he's doing it.
HANNITY: Sean Spicer, good luck in new job.
SPICER: Thanks, appreciate it.
HANNITY: Unfortunately, that's all the time we have left this evening. As always, thank you for being with us. We will be back in Washington tomorrow night. Don't forget, Thursday night we will have cable exclusive interview with the president of the United States, Donald Trump, Thursday,
10:00 p.m. for the full hour. But we'll see you back here from D.C. tomorrow night, our nation's capital. Thanks for being with us. Have a great night.
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