Kellyanne Conway: Leaks are taken 'very seriously' by Trump; Was Michael Flynn politically assassinated?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," February 14, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And welcome to "Hannity." And tonight, special counsel to the president Kellyanne Conway will join us.

But first, Democrats and the alt radical left are pouncing on the resignation of Donald Trump's national security adviser, retired Lieutenant General Flynn. But there's a major part of this that story the mainstream media will not tell you about, and what's really going on here is what tonight's "Opening Monologue" is all about.

Liberals are predictably wasting very little time trying to create a political firestorm over former national security adviser Michael Flynn stepping down.

Let's be clear: It was wrong that Flynn misled the president and vice president about his phone call with the Russian ambassador. He owned up to it, he did the right thing, he stepped down.

But there's something much bigger and going on. The alt-radical left have a master plan to damage and destroy President Donald Trump and anyone connected to him as collateral damage. This is about the left willing to do anything to stop Trump from draining the swamp and changing the status quo and bureaucracy in Washington. That means the media bureaucracy, liberal bureaucracy, lobbyist bureaucracy, et cetera.

The D.C. swamp is rising up. They're colluding and viciously fighting to take down the 45th president and his entire administration. It's that serious.

The alt-radical left is hell-bent on annihilating everybody around the president, from his top advisers like Kellyanne Conway, Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, Steve Miller -- even Dr. Sebastian Gorka -- to the president's own children, including the media's attacked his 10-year-old son, Barron.


JAMES BENNET, NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR, "RELIABLE SOURCES"/CNN, FEB. 12: Mike Flynn was already a very divisive and unusual choice for this job because he's such a -- it's kind of a consensus-building position, and his background is really as a hothead. He's already kind of a divisive force within this White House.

JOE SCARBOROUGH, "MORNING JOE"/MSNBC, FEB. 13: So Stephen Miller, let's take you to class for a second here, because I know you didn't go to law school. I don't know what type of school you went to, but they certainly didn't teach you civics.

You're not worthy to be in the White House, you're unworthy to be in government if that's what you believe, unless it's Vladimir Putin's government.

REP. MAXINE WATERS, D-CALIF., MSNBC, FEB. 12: "Saturday Night Live" really did portray him just about as he is. I mean, he is an embarrassment even to Trump. And so I don't know how long he's going to last.

REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIF., HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: It's a stunning thing that a white supremacist, Bannon, would be a permanent member of the National Security Council.


One by one, in true Saul Alinsky form, the left and liberals in the mainstream media have been systematically going down the line of people close to President Trump and trying to take each and every one of them out. In "Rules for Radicals," Alinsky explained exactly what we're seeing: "Pick the target. Freeze it. Personalize it.  Polarize it."

That's exactly what the left is doing, and they smell blood in the water. Their ultimate target is the president himself. That's why Democrats and the alt-radical left and the media have brought up the subject of impeachment already. Take a look.


LOUISE MENSCH, FORMER BRITISH PARLIAMENT MEMBER, MSNBC, FEB. 14: Let's not forget that there wasn't just one call to the Russian ambassador, there were five calls to the Russian ambassador.  Treason's greetings.

General Flynn wasn't acting alone. He wasn't going rogue. He was doing what his boss ordered him to do. And as for a Flynn investigation, it's going to turn into Flynn-peachment sooner rather than later.

WATERS: I have led in talking about impeachment. And some people say, "Well, it's too early for that." It's never too early if you understand how dangerous this man really is.

ROB REINER, ACTOR, MSNBC, FEB. 12: They might try to wipe all this communications but (ph) clean, but those communications exist. They exist and they will come out, and once they come out, I guarantee you Republicans are not going to stand by when impeachment is put on the table.


In 2008, before President Obama was even elected, his incoming ambassador to Russia actually went over there and talked to them.

Impeachment of the president is clearly the end goal for the left. Facts and the truth don't really matter. Mike Flynn is just a small casualty of that bigger plan.

The left is trying to make what happened here into the next Watergate. But we have to remember that these are the same liberals who fiercely defended Hillary Clinton and ignored the massive private server scandal. -- remember, top secret and special access programming in the closet of a mom and pop shop bathroom. They ignored and defended the corruption, the pay-to-play at the Clinton Foundation. They ignored and defended Hillary Clinton's endless lies.

And the left was also noticeably silent back in 2012 when President Obama -- remember, he was caught on a hot make saying this to the Russian prime minister, to send a message to Vladimir? Remember this?


THEN-PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This is my last election. And after my election, I have more flexibility.

THEN-RUSSIAN PRESIDENT DMITRY MEDVEDEV: I understand. I will transfer this information to Vladimir.


HANNITY: Tell Vladimir more -- more flexibility. Don't tell the American people. That's selective moral outrage and hypocrisy of the worst kind.

So what we're seeing playing out is what Eli Lake, who will be here in just a few minutes with reaction, described in an article today entitled, quote, "The political assassination of Michael Flynn." Now, in it, Lake points out that it is so extremely rare for reporters to be told about government-monitored communications of private citizens, which is what was leaked to the press about Flynn's calls with the Russian ambassador.

Lake then notes, quote, "‘Normally, intercepts of U.S. officials and citizens are some of the most tightly held government secrets. This is for good reason. Selectively disclosing details of private conversations monitored by the FBI or the NSA gives the permanent state" -- the bureaucracy in other words -- "the power to destroy reputations from the cloak of anonymity. This is what police states do."

Now, it's no secret that Flynn had a very rocky relationship with the national security establishment and members of the Obama administration.  He's even said that he was previously forced out of the government for daring to speak up about the threat of radical Islam and questioning the narrative being put out by the Obama White House.

Now, on top of that, the endless leaks about the Trump administration are so serious that the House Intelligence Committee chairman, Congressman Devin Nunes, is now asking the FBI to launch an investigation into where are these leaks coming from? And as our own Catherine Herridge reported earlier, when Flynn was asked if the leaks were targeted, coordinated and a possible violation of the law, he said, quote, "Yes, yes, and yes." Now, nobody in the media is telling you that.

Ever since Donald Trump ran for president, there's been this liberal witch hunt. They are salivating. There's a sense of urgency. Nobody connected to him is off limits. They want everybody. Even his 10-year-old son the media has attacked. His daughter, Ivanka, going after a woman -- she's been viciously attacked. And now there are boycotts against her clothing line.

The media has gone after his son, Eric, and his charity, which has donated a lot of money, millions, to St. Jude's Children's Hospital and Research. But after pressure, Eric was forced to shut it down. Even went after Don, Jr.'s, kid recently in New York about a school that he goes to. Now, those are just a few of the examples.

Here now with reaction are Bloomberg View columnist Eli Lake, who I just talked about, Circa News national security correspondent Sara Carter, and New York Post columnist Paul Sperry.

I want to go to you, Eli, and start with this because first of all, it's a pretty -- "The Political assassination of Michael Flynn" is a pretty provocative title here. "Normally, intercepts of U.S. officials and citizens are some of the most tightly held government secrets for good reason. Selectively disclosing details of private conversations monitored by the FBI and NSA gives the permanent state the power to destroy. This is what police states do."

The permanent state -- define that.

ELI LAKE, BLOOMBERG VIEW: Well, it's the national security bureaucracy.  It includes everything from the administrative side of the Pentagon, elements of the career military, the CIA, the FBI. It's -- it's the people who would have possession of these kinds of intercepts. And we trust them.  It is a public trust that this stuff does not get out into the public willy-nilly because when you kind of selectively disclose it, you can ruin someone and because it's an extraordinary power to be able to listen to someone's phone calls are read their e-mails like that.

HANNITY: Yes. And I think what's really important here is this is -- you know, I have two articles here. One is by Kenneth Timmerman. He wrote a book back in 2007 called "Shadow warriors" about the intelligence community and the damage that they can do. And there's a Time magazine piece by Sam Frizzell (ph).

All of these leaks, ever since Donald Trump got in the picture. You're saying to the country tonight this is unprecedented. Not unprecedented, this is not common.

LAKE: It's -- it's -- it -- the last time I can remember anything like this happened was in 2009. It was about Jane Harman. A lot of the press did not pick up that story. It was in CQ. But you know, we almost never see this kind of thing because it's not just U.S. citizens, it's also U.S. officials.

This is the kind of thing that happens in banana republics when the national police will go after a political leader that they don't like, and using these extraordinary powers. We trust the NSA and the FBI to use these powers to catch criminals and terrorists but that should not interfere in our politics.

HANNITY: And it is.

LAKE: And that stuff is interfering right now in our politics because Mike Flynn...


HANNITY: There's no other way we could have gotten that information if it weren't leaked from somebody in the intelligence community again.

LAKE: Well, I -- there's -- I -- no, I mean, it's so -- the question really is -- the other thing is this. Most senior officials who have high clearances can't see the names of the people in these intercepts.

HANNITY: All right, Sara...

LAKE: So that's the other thing. They're redacted.

HANNITY: That's such a great point. Sara, I saw you shaking your head.

SARA CARTER, SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT CIRCA: Yes. Yes. I mean, Eli brings up several very important points here. And I think even moreso, not just what happened with Lieutenant General Mike Flynn, but think about this. They exposed an operation on the Russians, as well as other state actors. They said, Hey, we're monitoring all your phone calls.  Your cell phone is wiretapped. Your landmines are wiretapped. What are the Russians going to do? They're going to toss their phones. They:re going to up the ante. They're going to tighten their belts and they're going to find out how to fix their phone lines so that we can't monitor them.

There are people within the U.S. intelligence community that I've spoken with today and yesterday that say there should be an investigation because, basically, they've been burned.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They've been burned big-time.

CARTER: So people within their own...

HANNITY: And a violation...

CARTER: Yes, they've been burned.

HANNITY: ... of law, Sara? This is what you do. This is...

CARTER: A complete violation of law, of federal law. So you got leaks.  You've got nine people leaking to The post, others reading transcripts...

HANNITY: Good point.

CARTER: ... on the phone. So there needs to be an investigation into this. This is bigger than what everyone is seeing. I mean, imagine this.  Right now, the Russians, other state actors like Iran, Syria, everybody is just burning all of their phones. They know that the NSA has the capability to get into those (INAUDIBLE)

HANNITY: That's scary that -- because in many ways, Eli's conclusion may be right then. If people are doing that, that is insidious and in many cases could be outright evil. Paul Sperry, before I get to you and your column, let me play Sean Spicer from earlier today talking about this very topic.


SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The idea that not just in this administration, but the Obama administration, going back to the Bush administration (INAUDIBLE) that we have an issue where classified information, of which this would be, is handled in such a way that it is being given out. And I know in some cases, it's a good story. And I understand that. And that's to some degree your responsibility to write that.

But I think there's also a story here with the amount of leaks that are coming out of people that are entrusted with national security secrets and classified information are leaking it out.

That's a real concern for this president that when he's talking on the phone with a world leader, that when he's making key decisions that are in the interest of protecting this country, that we have to wonder whether or not people who work for our government, who are entrusted with classified information and decisional -- based materials, are leaking that information out.

That I do believe is a big story that should be reported. I also believe that the president is, rightly so, very, very concerned about this because it's not just something that is plaguing, you know, the current situation, but it goes back to the Obama administration, the Bush administration, the Clinton administration. When we have government employees that are entrusted with this and then leak it out, that undermines our national security.


HANNITY: Now, Paul Sperry, you wrote -- and as you're a columnist for The New York Post, and you wrote a column that was extremely disturbing, if true, now Obama is scheming to sabotage Trump's presidency. Do you see any connection here? And explain what you mean.

PAUL SPERRY, NEW YORK POST: Well, I mean, intel has been politicized -- there's no question about that -- to delegitimize, undermine Trump. And that goes back to December. But these other protests against Trump and also Republicans from these town hall meetings, Obama and his organizers, it turns out, are behind those protests. They're not spontaneous. They're being organized...

HANNITY: Do you think some in the intelligence community could have leaked this as supporters of Obama, holdovers, or maybe permanent bureaucrats?

SPERRY: Quite possibly. In the case of the other, these marches and these other protests, these are being organized by a group founded by Obama called Organizing for Action. It's a radical Alinsky group. It's got a lot of money. And they're training an army of agitators to sabotage Trump and his policies, while at the same time protecting Obama's legacy, like "Obama care" and the dreamers. And here is OFA listed prominently on Obama's new Web site, OFA Organizing for Action.

HANNITY: Wow. So you think it's a lot deeper.

SPERRY: Oh, certainly.

HANNITY: This is -- I think we've got a long way to go. It sounds to me based on what all of you are saying -- and you are all experts in national security issues -- that we need an investigation where these leaks are coming from because it seems like this is political and it's damaging a lot of people. And that's the other side of the story that I think a lot of people are avoiding.

Guys, good to see you all. Thank you for your insight, good columns today from both you guys.

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


KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: As time wore on, obviously, the situation became unsustainable...

MATT LAUER, CO-HOST: Kellyanne...


CONWAY: ... General Flynn...

LAUER: ... that makes no sense.


HANNITY: Members of the mainstream media, shocking -- they're attacking Kellyanne once again. She'll join us from the White House.

And later, Ric Grenell, Charlie Hurt, Nancy Sodenberg react to Michael Flynn's resignation. That and more tonight on this busy news night right here on "Hannity."



HANNITY: And Welcome back to "Hannity." So earlier today, Kellyanne Conway was verbally criticized while attempting to discuss the resignation of Mike Flynn. Watch this.


LAUER: You're saying that was the straw that broke the camel's back, but the White House knew about that last month when the Justice Department warned the White House that Mr. Flynn or General Flynn had not been completely honest in characterizing that conversation with the Russian ambassador. And they even went further to say as a result of that dishonesty, he was at risk for blackmailing by the Russians.

CONWAY: Well, that's one characterization. But the fact is that General Flynn continued in that position and was in the presidential daily briefings, was part of the leader (ph) alls (ph) as recently as yesterday.  He was there for the prime minister's visit from Canada yesterday. And as time wore on, obviously, the situation had become unsustainable...

LAUER: Kellyanne...

CONWAY: ... and General Flynn...

LAUER: ... that makes no sense.


HANNITY: All right, joining us now with reaction from the White House, counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway. You know, just one observation -- and we've been friends for over two decades. I've see, you on media appearances, and just my own thoughts that if somebody was a liberal and a woman and were treated in certain circumstances the way you've been treated, I think it would be news.

So you feel in any way the media has been extremely hostile to you?

CONWAY: I don't like to think that way. I am counselor to the president.  I get tough questions. And of us who represent him do. He certainly does.  And tough is fine, but they should be fair. And actually, just saying that I made no sense or it made no sense is inaccurate. (INAUDIBLE) in this instance because as our press secretary, Sean Spicer, said later in the daily briefing today, Sean, our White House counsel reviewed that information and concluded that this was not a legal matter. And ultimately, it was a matter of trust. It was an erosion of truest matter.  It was not a legal matter that warranted further action at that moment.  And so that's all I was trying to convey. And I was answering a couple of different questions.

But I do find sometimes that they're conclusions in search of evidence.  And -- and -- you know, if we don't answer the question the way they want it answered, they ask it again. They accuse us of not being credible or not answering the question.

Look, sometimes you're asking a question that's not particularly relevant but we're patiently trying to answer it. And often enough, we are answering the question, but maybe not just the way that you wanted it answered.

But I -- look, I don't -- not a big fan of talking about sexism and exclusion and all of that.


HANNITY: ... identity politics. I know that.

CONWAY: But I also think -- I also think things started to -- things started to shift, too, when I was a speaker at the March for Life. I saw a real change in tone and attitude among many people that, you know, I would go and speak at the March for Life. And of course, Vice President Pence did, as well, and he made history doing that.

But that's all right. Sean, you know what? I just want the American people to see all the action this president is taking on their behalf. I mean, just today, he had a listening session, a parent-teacher conference with parents and educators from private schools, public, charter, home schools. We have a new secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.  We have Linda McMahon over at SBA. She was just sworn in tonight, Steve Mnuchin last night at Treasury. The president just today -- he rescinded some of these awful regulations in a really remarkable -- in a really remarkable...

HANNITY: Well, I do think there's some truths here.

CONWAY: ... even, so...

HANNITY: You know, one of the things -- there's been a remarkable speed.  I call it the speed of Trump, actually, or...


HANNITY: He's moving very quickly and he's made a lot of accomplishments.  But the media -- as I said in my "Opening Monologue" tonight, they're more focused on attacking you and attacking Ivanka, and Jared and Bannon and Miller and Gorka, and even the 10-year-old son of the president.

I want to go specifically to these leaks, though, because Time magazine had a pretty -- it was a column today by Sam Frizzell. You know, this is not the first time leaks are coming from the intelligence community. Our friend, Kenneth Timmerman, actually wrote a piece -- he calls it -- he wrote a book back some years ago about "The Shadow Warriors." And Eli Lake, by the way -- he wrote a piece today about how -- about the intelligence leaks.

So my question to you is, where are these leaks coming from? Are they against the law? Is this, do you think, coming from people that are loyal to the former administration? And when does it stop because of the danger that's associated with these leaks? And is there going to be an investigation?

CONWAY: Well, the president made that very clear, I think in a tweet in another comment. The press secretary made it very clear today. We're very concerned about leaks, particularly as goes intelligence and security information. And it's extremely concerning. It's not for me to say where they're coming from or whether there'll be an investigation. But it's obviously taken very seriously by our commander-in-chief and our president because he has said as much as recently as this week.

And he's right, Sean. We saw this before. We're seeing it again this week. The leaks within the intelligence security, leaks about intelligence and security, I should say, it should concern everyone. And if people are running to the media to leak and not providing that information to the proper authorities, that should concern all of us.

This is not a partisan issue.

HANNITY: That's dangerous. Kellyanne, that's (INAUDIBLE)

CONWAY: It's dangerous stuff. It's not a partisan...

HANNITY: It's dangerous.

CONWAY: ... issue. And when you -- and I appreciate your opening questions to me, as well, because all I see constantly is, whether it's any Trump administration official, it's, So-and-So got grilled, So-and-So struggled, So-and-So contentious interviews. See the tense exchange below.  It's, like, I guess there's great clickbait, but folks, let's focus on the real issues at hand, which is what the president is putting out three, these leaks.

HANNITY: Well, let me ask you once last question because I know that you made an off-the-cuff comment. It was on "FOX & Friends." And you talked about -- and I do believe -- I have friends inside at Nordstrom that told me that they believe it is political, what happened with Ivanka's line.  And you said, OK, go buy Ivanka, and they're claiming that you violated the standards of conduct. I mean, is this really how trivial things are going to get? And what's your reaction to it?

CONWAY: I don't have a comment on the particular letter that's been sent of the -- any type of investigation. And I've been very straightforward about that particular incident. And I'll just -- I'll leave it at that.

HANNITY: All right. Kellyanne, thank you for being with us. Appreciate it, as always.

CONWAY: Thanks for having me.

HANNITY: And up next, we'll get more reaction to Michael Flynn's resignation. Ric Grenell, Charlie Hurt, Nancy Sodenberg -- they'll join us.

And then later tonight...


JORGE RAMOS, UNIVISION/FUSION: That's your point of view, Sean.

HANNITY: Wait, wait. Hang on a second.

RAMOS: But that's not the reality.

HANNITY: Here's the reality. That is the truth. Radical Islamists are at war with America.


HANNITY: Last night, I went one went one on one with Jorge Ramos about the immigration crisis in our country. Later tonight, Geraldo Rivera, Bo Dietl are here with reaction as we continue.



SPICER: The president was very concerned that General Flynn had misled the vice president and others, he was also very concerned in light of sensitive subjects dealt with by that position of national security advisors, like China, North Korea, and the Middle East, that the president must have complete and unwavering trust for the person in that position. The evolving and eroding level of trust as a result of this situation and a series of other questionable instances is what led the president to ask for General Flynn's resignation.


HANNITY: All right, that was White House press secretary Sean Spicer earlier today talking about retired Lieutenant Michael Flynn's resignation as national security adviser. Here now with reaction is former spokesperson for the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Fox News contributor, Ric Grenell, Fox News contributor and opinion editor for the Washington Times Charlie Hurt, and former deputy national security adviser for President Clinton, former U.N. ambassador and the CEO of the Soderberg Global Solutions Group, Nancy Soderberg. Good to see you all.

Nancy, are you at all concerned, one intelligence leak after another, are you concerned about that?

NANCY SODERBERG, FORMER CLINTON DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I always am. This has so many different levels to it. One, why were they listening in on Flynn's conversation with the Russians? They briefed the White House. They don't know whether it was someone in the White House, the Justice Department, somebody who told, somebody who leaked it. I think there will be real investigations.

But this is going to quickly shift from Flynn's resignation to what kind of White House does President Trump want? Someone described it to me today, there's a game of thrones going on. You've got two chiefs of staff, one side is not talking to another, and he's got a little war going on in there. He's got to lead and decide --

HANNITY: I think they are growing pains in any administration. And we've seen this in all past administrations in all honest.

Rick, let me go to you. From the standpoint of the intelligence aspect of this, that has got to be troubling. This is not the first time. This is now the seventh time that major things are being leaked. That's against the law, number one. Number two, this has got to be troubling to any American citizen that their government is the one that is listening in on them and leaking it.

RIC GRENELL, FORMER SPOKESPERSON FOR U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: Yes, it's really troublesome. And, llok, we've had a growing problem with politically motivated intel officers. Let's be very clear, most of the intel officers are great Americans working very hard. But there are some who are more loyal to political party. They were gaining ground during the Obama administration, but, frankly, the Obama team didn't really crackdown because most of the leaks benefited them.

But with the election of Donald Trump, this has been blown wide open. We now have politically motivated intel officers leaking information about the president's calls. Look at what spun when the president spoke to the Australian head of state. It is really outrageous to have this activity going on in our intel community. We're not going to see the press crack down on this, frankly, because they benefit as well.

Congress has a special responsibility here. They need to step up and there needs to be some mature Congressional representatives from both sides of the aisle to go in and crack down and start firing people for leaking this affirmation about U.S. officials.

HANNITY: Charlie, I guess the next logical question here is, OK, he did not tell the whole truth to the vice president who asked him. The White House counsel said nothing illegal was done here. We're talking about a 1799 act that they were referring to, the Logan Act, that nobody was ever been prosecuted under. So there's nothing criminal. They told them that.  And then they spent a couple weeks finding out what had truly and investigating it and it results in an issue of trust, but based on leaked information. So what does that mean for the Trump White House?

CHARLES HURT, POLITICAL COLUMNIST, WASHINGTON TIMES: You know, obviously the Trump administration is dealing with a lot of bureaucrats, people that are clearly leaking not only for political purposes but also specifically targeted at Mike Flynn with an effort to try to discredit him and to try to get him kicked out of the administration. That's a really huge thing. And I think it's important to remember --

HANNITY: Do you agree with me that they are going after -- targeting one- by-one everybody around Trump, and the ultimate goal is to get him?

SODERBERG: They don't have to do it. They are doing it to themselves.  Mike Flynn lied to the FBI. That's what's being investigated here. He apparently told the FBI a lie, which is a felony.

HANNITY: So did Hillary Clinton, with all due respect. Hillary Clinton lied a lot more.

SODERBERG: Obama actually did prosecute leaks more aggressively than anyone else.

HANNITY: OK, but the person most responsible for the biggest risk of national security was Hillary, and she got away with it. And the biggest pay to play.

SODERBERG: Let's agree to disagree on that point. But on Flynn, I think there is an issue here on whether he lied to the FBI. To focus on the leaks here is not the main issue.

HURT: Let's look at the underlying crime. You look at what Flynn supposedly did by violating the Logan Act versus what Hillary Clinton did after Benghazi. There is no comparison.

SODERBERG: Nobody is making that comparison. The Logan Act, I agree, I've been on presidential transitions. Everybody has those discussions. No one was going to prosecute Mike Flynn for talking about that. As in everything, it's about the cover up, not the original sin. Had he been honest we would not have this mess.

HANNITY: And that's what the Trump administration said. But if the intelligence didn't get leaked, we would not be here at all. Guys, good to see you all. Thank you.

And coming up next tonight on this busy news night right here on "Hannity."


JORGE RAMOS, UNIVISION NEWS ANCHOR: That's your point of view, Sean. But that's not the reality.

HANNITY: Here's the reality, this is the truth. Radical Islamists are at war with America.


HANNITY: Jorge Ramos and I had a very heated one-on-one debate last night about illegal immigration. We will get reaction from Geraldo Rivera, Bo Dietl.

And also later tonight --


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We will defeat radical Islamic terrorism and we will not allow it to take root in our country. We are not going to allow it.


HANNITY: President Trump is not afraid to use the term "radical Islam," and now a former State Department official is explaining why the term was never used during the Obama administration. We want to hear what it is, straight ahead.  


HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." So last night I went one-on-one with Univision News anchor and Fusion host Jorge Ramos in a debate about illegal immigration. Take a look at this.


RAMOS: The same country that gave me all the opportunities that my country of origin couldn't give me, now we are treating other immigrants in this administration --

HANNITY: Would you gamble with the lives of Americans?

RAMOS: Simply because they were born in another country.

HANNITY: Even though when we know they a connection to terror.

RAMOS: So you might think that you are right, Sean. But many people think that what Donald Trump is doing is undermining the national security of the United States. That's your point of view, Sean. But that is not the reality.

HANNITY: Here's the reality. This is the truth -- radical Islamists are at war with America.


HANNITY: Here with reaction, New York City Mayoral candidate Bo Dietl and Fox News senior correspondent Geraldo Rivera. To me it's simple. Even you have come around on the wall. You want a door.

GERALDO RIVERA, FOX NEWS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: A door. But there is a fundamental problem. When you consider that Latinos are 18 percent of the U.S. population, citizens, and growing, the largest minority group in the country, there is no one on the Trump cabinet, no one at the high level in the Trump administration who is Latino. To me a lot of this is people now fearful, for example, of these immigration rates, they are fearful because no one is there to calm things down.

HANNITY: What are you insinuating? Are you insinuating that there's racism, that you want identity and racial politics?

RIVERA: I'm insinuating nothing. I am stating for a fact that when you have one out of every five Americans who is a member of a particular ethnic group --


RIVERA: And they are unrepresented, that is probably why you have some of these problems. Failure of communication, and it tells too much about --

BO DIETL, FORMER NYPD DETECTIVE: This was put into play a long time ago when they were rounding up these gang members that were involved in shootings and rapes and everything. And we're going out there, ICE is doing what they're supposed to do, round them up and ship them out. I don't understand why the real left all of a sudden is so upset about it.  We want to get rid of illegal criminals. I don't want to get rid of families --

RIVERA: Do you know the definition of criminal alien according to the Homeland Security agency, when asked, anyone in this country illegally is a criminal alien. When you have a definition that broad --

HANNITY: The president is not using that definition. He's making a distinction about those that commit crimes after they're in here. He made that distinction.

RIVERA: I have heard him suggest that Dreamers are further down the line.  He softened as I softened, so that's good. There are dreamers, he postpones the Dreamers. But why not just say when I say criminal aliens, I mean drug dealers and MS-13 members and murderers and rapists.

DIETL: These are really gang members, really people involved in criminal activity.

RIVERA: That's not true, Bo. In Elmhurst, Queens, yesterday, they rounded up a whole bunch of people. They weren't gang bangers. They were here without documentation.

HANNITY: Geraldo, last night what I showed Jorge Ramos in the lead up to our discussion, you know how many times I have been down to the border.  And I have almost traveled as much is you. But I went down there all these times because it's important. And I saw the drug warehouses, and I saw the criminals and gang members being arrested, and I talked to these guys.

But I sat through that security briefing with our top guys that are in control of the border in Texas and the Rio Grande area. And 642,000, they put it up on the screen, crimes committed against Texans alone in a seven year period of time, including, not the majority of, including some rapes, including sexual crimes, including murder. And to me, it's like, why risk one American life where we can secure the border, vet people before they come in, and if they want to be a part of our family, great. If they can't pass the test, too bad.

RIVERA: And I oppose nothing that you just said. When I suggest to the people watching right now is, we are in the middle of the largest city in the United States, 8.5 million people. Within 40 miles of the Empire State building there are 1.25 million undocumented immigrants. You would never hear about it. Why do you never hear about them? You never hear about them because they are not the rapists, they're not the drug dealers, they're not stick-up men, they're not the killers.

HANNITY: If you lost one of your kids --

DIETL: I actually agree with Geraldo. The 11 million illegals in the country, I really believe the majority of them are hardworking people that want to do the right thing for their families. I am talking about -- I am for totally the criminal element, bye-bye, get right of them. Go through that door.

RIVERA: Me, too.

HANNITY: That is what President Trump is saying.

DIETL: And I think Trump has come around. When he first talked about it, he was going to deport 11 million people. He has backed off that.

RIVERA: You need to be clear I am not after Guadalupe.

DIETL: Whose Guadalupe is a 36-years-old mother of two citizen children who was deported. She came here at the age of 14. She was deported last week.

DIETL: I thought it was an old girlfriend of yours.


HANNITY: That's a pretty long list.

DIETL: I figured there was a Guadalupe somewhere along the line.

RIVERA: You cannot undermine my argument.

HANNITY: When we come back we got this coming up next on "Hannity" --


TRUMP: We will defeat radical Islamic terrorism and we will not allow it to take root in our country. I am not going to allow it.


HANNITY: President Trump is not afraid to call out our enemies, but the Obama administration refused to use the term "radical Islam." Tonight we have a good idea why. We'll explain as "Hannity" continues.



TRUMP: Radical Islamic terrorists are determined to strike our homeland as they did on 9/11, as they did from Boston to Orlando to San Bernardino. To these forces of death and destruction, America and its allies will defeat you. We will defeat them. We will defeat radical Islamic terrorism and we will not allow it to take root in our country.


HANNITY: That was President Trump pledging to crush radical Islamic terrorism. On the campaign trail Trump was highly critical of President Obama and Hillary Clinton for refusing to say the words "radical Islam."  Well, in an op-ed for the New York Times former undersecretary of state for public diplomatic and public affairs Richard Stengel, he tried to explain the Obama administration's aversion to calling radical Islam by its name, and he wrote, quote, "To defeat radical Islamic extremism we needed our Islamic allies, the Jordanians, the emirates, and of course the Egyptians and the Saudis, and they believe that term unfairly vilified that whole region."

Here with reaction, from the Islamic House of Wisdom, Mohammad Ali Elahi, former marine Steve Gern, Act for America president, Brigitte Gabriel. You won't even say, you've been on this show, you won't even say the words "radical Islam." Why not? Because it's true. There are people that say in the name of your religion and the name of Allah, it has become a worldwide problem, killing in the name of religion, Allahu Akbar.

IMAM MOHAMMAD ALI ELAHI, ISLAMIC HOUSE OF WISDOM: This is a new name. It used to be Al Qaeda and Taliban, and then ISIS, and now we call it radical Islam.

HANNITY: There are so many radical Islamic groups.

ELAHI: Those who claim to be Muslim but not radical Islam. Some Muslims who might be radical or they are radical like those who are supporting Wahabbi from Saudi Arabia. But the point is that the same president --

HANNITY: Is Iran not radical? Is Iran not radical? The number one state sponsor of terror.

ELAHI: Iran is the one who is fighting ISIS. Is it radical to fight ISIS?

HANNITY: And the Iranian mullahs throwing gay people off their homes?

ELAHI: Who is it that Iranian in the last three years --

HANNITY: Are you defending Iran? Are you defending Iran and the Iranian revolution?

ELAHI: I am defending anyone who contribute to our civilization.

HANNITY: And you're saying the Iranians, the number one world sponsor of terror.

ELAHI: Sean, did you know in the last three years more than 3,000 Iranian students got PhDs in this candidate and serving this country. Is that radical?

STEVE GERN, U.S. MARINE STAFF SERGEANT (RET): I don't know how you don't see that it's not radical. It just doesn't make sense. I mean, it is completely all over the Middle East is being destroyed.

ELAHI: Anything radical, we are against it.

GURN: But how are you against it? I don't understand.

ELAHI: What about radical Christianity or the ones who killed the six Muslims in Canada? Was it radical or not?

BRIGITTE GABRIEL, ACT FOR AMERICAN PRESIDENT: Of course there is radical Islam, and the audacity that he's calling the Saudis radical but he doesn't call the Iranian radical simply because he's Shia and that's his own people. When we talk about, when you said in the opening segment in the "New York Times" article that it was an Obama policy, we do not want to offend our friends in the Middle East such as Egypt by calling the radical Islamists radical Islamists, because the previous administration, Obama, was friends with the Muslim Brotherhood who are the real radicals, and he was trying to please them. Mubarak, the moderate president of Egypt --

HANNITY: Why is there mysterious reluctance and resistant of the imam and others to identify what is a worldwide threat. Radical Islamists, they also kill a lot of Muslims. All over Europe, all over America, we have seen the devastation of evil in our time which is radical Islamic terror.

GABRIEL: It is. They kill other Muslims because they believe other Muslims do not basically walk the same path that they walk --

ELAHI: Can I say something? Can I say something?

HANNITY: I've got to go.

ELAHI: One word. Brigitte, when you came to this country --

HANNITY: When we come back, we need your help with our "Question of the Day." And we will unveil our new segment. It's called the HANNITY hotline, you talking to me. Who knows what's there? Straight ahead.


HANNITY: Time for our "Question of the Day." Do you think the left is trying, especially the alt radical left media and all of those maybe in the intelligence community, do you think it is Trump they are really after? Go to Facebook.com/SeanHannity, @SeanHannity on Twitter, let us know what you think.

By the way, now time to play some of the messages, and I don't know what is coming, that you left for me on the "Hannity" hotline. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is Patricia from Kentucky. And I want you to know how much I appreciate hearing the truthful news from Fox News and from you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am proud of Donald Trump, the way he is representing this country, and I think he is going to do a good job. The president we had in there destroyed this country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel the same way you do, that the liberals' court has put our country in great jeopardy of harm with ISIS infiltrating the refugees.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel like I don't have a place and I finally might have a voice. So thank you for putting this hotline out.


HANNITY: You have something to say to me, it can be mean, nice, maybe to the point, we're going to play some of your comments. Call the number right now that you see on your screen, 877-225-8587. Tell us your name, where you live, and we will playing more of your calls tomorrow night.

That's all the time we have left this evening. Thanks for being with us.  See you tomorrow night.

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