This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," February 15, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And welcome to "Hannity." And tonight, history in the making, a meeting between President Donald Trump and the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to reset the relationship with America's closest ally in the Middle East. Now, after eight years of a hostile Obama administration, it's very refreshing, and it's now clear we are on a new path towards peace and to fighting radical Islamic terrorism. Now, coming up, we'll play the highlights from today's press conference.
But first, the alt radical left propaganda media is out to utterly destroy Donald Trump, and it is doing you, the American people, a grave disservice. And that's tonight's "Opening monologue."
So you've heard me saying since 2008 journalism is dead. But what we're seeing play out now is far worse. The alt-radical left propaganda media has created what I call an informational crisis in this country, and they can no longer be trusted.
Let me explain. Now, after the resignation of Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, the media is in rushing to paint what is a completely false narrative.
Let's start with the New York Times and their so-called bombshell report that the press is running absolutely wild with. In reality, it amounts to nothing more than a fake news political hit piece.
Now, The Times ran this headline. Quote, "Trump campaign aides had repeated contact with Russian intelligence." Now, in it, the writers cite four current and former unnamed American officials who offer up vague details about intercepted communications between members of the Trump campaign and the Russian officials.
But buried in the stories are major caveats, CYAs for them. For example, the only Trump campaign member named was his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort. And we already knew he did business in Russia and Ukraine. It's nothing new.
And then there's this, quote -- quote, "The officials would not disclose many details, including what was discussed on the calls, the identity of the Russian intelligence officials who participated, and how many of Mr. Trump's advisers were talking to the Russians. It is also unclear whether the conversations had anything to do with Mr. Trump himself."
So the story is very light on details and actual facts and very heavy on assumption.
Then you have Chuck Todd, NBC. He's trying to capitalize off of on Flynn's resignation, and this is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, MSNBC, FEB. 14)
CHUCK TODD, MODERATOR, "MEET THE PRESS": Good evening. I'm Chuck Todd here in Washington. Welcome to "MTP Daily" and welcome to day one of what is arguably the biggest presidential scandal involving a foreign government since Iran-Contra.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Oh, the same guy that said it's a religious litmus test when 90 percent of the world's Muslims are not included. I'll get to that in a minute.
Let me set the record straight, because so-called journalist Chuck Todd -- and by the way, he's no Tim Russert -- is refusing to do so. Yes, Mike Flynn was wrong. He misled the president and vice president about his call with the Russian ambassador. But so far, there's zero evidence that Flynn broke any law in any way. And Fox News is reporting that there's zero indication that Flynn misled the FBI when they interviewed him.
So of course, this is only the beginning. Take a look at what Thomas Friedman, the whining liberal from The New York Times, Trump hater that he is, watch what he says.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, MSNBC, FEB. 14)
TOM FRIEDMAN, NEW YORK TIMES COLUMNIST: The issue is, what did he tell Trump? Did he and Trump actually cook up this whole thing? After the Russians did not respond harshly to the eviction of their spies and diplomats, Trump actually tweeted out some positive encouragement of this. Did the two of them cook this up all along?
And it gets, Joe, to two other issues. The first is, we have never taken seriously from the very beginning Russia hacked our election. That was a 9/11-scale event. They attacked the core of our very democracy. That was a Pearl Harbor-scale event.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Really? You're going to compare this to 9/11 and Pearl Harbor, where thousands of Americans died? Now, if Friedman ever bothered to do some research and read the joint report from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, it found Russia did not interfere in the election vote totals in any way.
Then there's this disgraced former news anchor, kind of laughable, Dan Rather. He took to Facebook to write this idiotic quote. "Watergate is the biggest political scandal of my lifetime, until maybe now. It was as close as came to a debilitating constitutional crisis, until maybe now." Really? Maybe, possibly?
Now, this abusively biased coverage, this false narrative, has even led to a Democratic congressman to use the word treason when talking about an American hero, Michael Flynn, General Flynn. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, CNN)
REP. SETH MOULTON, D-MASS.: If members of the administration are essentially conspiring with Russia, either through the campaign earlier or now in the administration itself. I mean, look, Wolf, that's the definition of treason. This is a very, very serious affair.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Now, of course, you know that the Flynn resignation is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the alt-left propaganda media and their coordinated campaign to purposely misinform the you, the American people. They have an agenda. They've also claimed that the president's temporary travel ban -- remember this? -- is either a religious test or anti-Muslim, even though 90 percent of the world's Muslims are not included. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "MEET THE PRESS"/NBC, JAN. 29)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And Mr. Trump established a religious test for refugees from those Muslim countries.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: All right, great fear mongering, but the facts say otherwise. The seven countries impacted by the ban were first designated by the Obama administration and Congress because they have ties to terror. And as I reiterated, 90 percent of the world's Muslim population, which is over 40-plus Muslim majority countries, are not affected in any way.
So the breathlessness in the alt left propaganda media's coverage, it's astounding!
Now, all these examples show exactly why you, the American people, should not trust the lazy leftist propaganda media. It's also why President Trump is going to call on non-traditional media outlets at his press conferences, like he did. Take a look, by the way, how CNN reacted. This is priceless.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, CNN)
JIM ACOSTA, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: In the last three news conferences, Wolf, all of the questions to the American news media have been handled by conservative press. And I think, Wolf, there's no other way to describe it but the fix is in. This White House, this president, does not want to answer questions, critical questions, about his associates, his aides' contacts with the Russians during the course of that campaign.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Well, maybe CNN shouldn't have colluded with Hillary Clinton's campaign and tried to cover it up! That's a pretty reasonable response there.
Now, it's pretty simple. You have a bunch of overpaid partisan hacks that are lazy throwing one giant hissy fit because their candidate lost! And because of that, they're carrying out this endless, all-out assault against President Trump.
Here tonight with reaction, the U.S. editor-at-large for Dailymail. com, Piers Morgan, and former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia Joe DiGenova.
You know, Piers, I know you. I love the Dailymail. I read it every day. You're a hard-hitting guy. You've gone after Trump when you disagree with him. You've also praised him when you think he does the right thing.
Don't you think that the media in this country has lost all perspective?
PIERS MORGAN, DAILYMAIL.COM: I don't think it's just the media. I think there are large swathes of the American people who've lost their minds, and the media are fueling...
HANNITY: That's true!
MORGAN: ... this crazy hysteria. Here's what I think's happened. The media in America, the mainstream media, print and cable and -- and main network news -- they kind of collaborated in fueling the beast of Donald Trump.
When he first ran, they started by saying he was a joke. Then they realized he was getting ratings. Then they gave him the air time. Then they put him on the front pages. They kept fueling (ph), fueling, fueling. But they never imagined he might actually win.
And while they were fueling, he was out there running around America, galvanizing and resonating with the American people in middle America, way away from the two coasts.
And then came the moment when the American media were, We've got to kill this guy off. This is out of control. But rather like Dr. Frankenstein, it was too late. The beast that they'd helped create, as they see it, could not be killed off, and he won the presidency.
What I don't like about what is going on now is there is an absolutely frenzied and concerted attempt to delegitimize, sabotage and destroy the Trump presidency before it's even started.
I think that is un-American. I don't think it's a patriotic thing that they're doing. I think it's nakedly partisan. It's driven by The New York Times, who were completely in the tank for Hillary Clinton. And I think that as a journalist who worked at CNN for four years, where CNN always tried to be -- I know your view about CNN, but there's a lot of good people there.
I think they've got to be careful, all of them. They've got to look at what they're doing here and ask themselves, Is this legitimate journalistic rigor, or is it incredibly partisan, often nakedly abusive treatment of a new president? And I think I'm afraid it's bordering on the latter.
This Russian scandal, when you play -- some journalists who I completely respect -- when you play them talking about this being the new Watergate, being Pearl Harbor, 9/11, you know, the biggest scandal since Iran-contra, and so on, this is a wildly exaggerated view as the facts currently stand. The facts are, there is nothing right now to link Donald Trump to any collusion with anyone from Russia in relation to the American election. Nothing.
HANNITY: ... that is -- you have laid out an extraordinarily powerful indictment against journalism and the media in this country. Let me ask you a follow-up question. And all right, we have a competitive -- it's not really competitive but OK. You mentioned CNN. But when WikiLeaks revealed the level of collusion with the news media and Hillary Clinton's campaign, I'm sure even you were shocked and surprised that it ran so deep on so many levels and how corrupt that is.
MORGAN: Well, look, I think most people at CNN are thoroughly decent journalists and I respect their integrity.
HANNITY: But they still colluded!
MORGAN: When you saw the -- well -- well, sure. When you saw the behavior of people like Donna Brazile, who I worked with a lot at CNN, deliberately feeding questions to the Clinton camp for debate -- and I was completely shocked by that. But I was also shocked when I picked up The New York Times in the middle of the campaign, and saw 11 different pieces, including letters, about Donald Trump in one issue and all 11 were negative, including four letters.
Now, what does that tell you? What it told me was you have a very partisan paper masquerading as a paper of record. Today's expose, the bombshell by The New York Times, when you actually read it, it makes (ph) itself. It has nothing to link Donald Trump to this.
HANNITY: Let me...
MORGAN: Now, I think it's perfectly reasonable -- just to make this point, Sean. It's perfectly reasonable when a national security adviser resigns like General Flynn within three weeks of getting the job, for journalists to do their job and go after that. And actually, Donald Trump, I think, should answer questions from CNN and others at press conferences.
It's reasonable to go after the story. It's not reasonable to make everybody for the slant of your coverage believe this is Armageddon, Trump's in there with Putin.
HANNITY: Well said.
MORGAN: He's clearly fixed the election, and so on.
HANNITY: Let me bring in Joe DiGenova, who I respect as one of Washington's great legal minds. And Joe, I'll put up -- you know, let me just ask you a very simple question. Go through from a legal aspect the intelligence leaks that are going on here, how it would violate the Espionage Act, how it violates 18 U.S. Code 798, which we'll get into in more detail. Tell me what you think is really going on with these intelligence leaks, which we all know are illegal and is that the bigger story?
JOE DIGENOVA, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: It is now clear from published information that people who had authorized access to signals intelligence under the Espionage Act, cryptographic intelligence, telephone intercepts, wiretaps, have given that information in violation of the law to news organizations and other parties who are not authorized to receive them.
Those disclosures by people who got the information lawfully are crimes. They are felonies under the Espionage Act. The attorney general should immediately empanel a grand jury and start subpoenaing the limited number of people who have lawful access to these telephone intercepts. That number of people is quite small. And they can start issuing subpoenas to those people, have them interviewed by the FBI, put them in the grand jury.
And I can assure you that with a reasonable prosecutor, you can find out who disclosed this information by looking at their telephone records, their e-mails, and everything else related to how they communicate with third parties.
HANNITY: You have no doubt felonies were committed. You have no doubt the intelligence community or a few members within the intelligence community have done this on purpose. They've done it now numerous times -- conversations with Mexico and Australia, for example in this particular case, that numerous felonies...
HANNITY: ... were committed, and you think it will be fairly easy to discover who it was.
DIGENOVA: Yes, with the use of a grand jury, which was not used in the Hillary Clinton e-mail server case, you can find out as much information as you need to about this because what is happening here is a coup d'etat. This is designed not to just delegitimize President Trump. This is designed to create the atmospherics for an impeachment and for other legal stratagems to destroy his presidency.
If the attorney general thinks about this for about five minutes, there will be a grand jury at work, sure as the sun will rise tomorrow.
HANNITY: All right, I got to thank both of you, very powerful statements. Piers, Joe, thank you both for being with us.
And coming up next tonight right here on "Hannity"...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think it's very, very unfair what's happened to General Flynn, the way he was treated, and the documents and papers that were illegally -- I stress that, illegally -- leaked. Very, very unfair.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: President Trump talking about these illegal leaks that forced Mike Flynn to resign. Up next, Congressman Devin Nunes -- he heads the committee that looks into this -- and Congressman Steve King weigh in. Later, deputy assistant to the president Dr. Gorka -- he's under fire. He's join us on this very busy news night straight ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Michael Flynn, General Flynn, is a wonderful man. I think he's been treated very, very unfairly by the media, as I call it, the fake media in many cases. And I think it's really a sad thing that he was treated so badly. I think, in addition to that, from intelligence, papers are being leaked, things are being leaked. It's criminal action, criminal act, and it's been going on for a long time, before me. But now it's really going on.
And people are trying to cover up for a terrible loss that the Democrats had under Hillary Clinton. I think it's very, very unfair what's happened to General Flynn, the way he was treated, and the documents and papers that were illegally -- I stress that, illegally -- leaked. Very, very unfair.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: All right, that was President Trump earlier today at the White House talking about Mike Flynn's resignation and the leaks coming from intelligence agencies.
Now, prior to the press conference, earlier this morning, Trump tweeted, quote, "The real scandal here is the classified information is illegally given out by intelligence like candy. Very un-American."
Joining us now with reaction, House Intelligence Committee chairman -- Congressman Devin Nunes is with us. Congressman, good to see you again. Isn't it a crime, in fact, to leak this information? Isn't it in violation of the Espionage Act, among other things?
REP. DEVIN NUNES, R-CALIF.: Well, there could have been multiple crimes here committed, Sean, but for sure, leaking of classified information is punishable by law. And you know, there -- this needs to be looked into by the appropriate agencies, and in fact, our committee is going to be requesting that the agencies actually look into this and try to bring these perpetrators accountable and hold them accountable under the law.
HANNITY: OK, I want to go back -- and this was a little noticed piece in The New York Times in the waning days of the administration, and actually said the Obama administration expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personnel communications with the government's 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections.
Does that mean the list of potential leakers is that much bigger or not?
NUNES: Well, if that's the case, we were never notified of that at the House Intelligence Committee. What I will say, Sean, is that this is -- it's not just about what leaked, the transcripts that leaked on General Flynn, it's also about the transcripts that Donald Trump talking to the Mexican president, talking to the Australian prime minister -- those also leaked. So this is -- this is a state here that's falling apart, and it's totally unacceptable for anyone within government to be doing this.
Now, I think most of this is probably from people who were in the old administration. But there still could be some people that have burrowed in and are providing classified information to the media, which is totally unacceptable.
HANNITY: It's clearly a violation of law, is it not, Congressman? And isn't this the type of thing where if you have a rogue -- if you have rogue intelligence people, and they're intercepting, illegally intercepting phone calls of Americans, that's illegal. And this -- in other words, if, in fact, they wanted to get the intel, or for example, hack into the phone of -- of -- in this particular case General Flynn, wouldn't they have to get a court subpoena to do so?
NUNES: That's correct. And I am not aware that they did that. So my guess is, is that the intelligence agencies did not do this. What I'm assuming is, is that this was picked up as they were tracking someone else. And if that's the case, that would have had to go up to the highest levels of the Obama administration to get approval to unmask who that person is. And in this case, it was General Flynn.
And then, you know, if you really look at these leaks, Sean, it looks like these original leaks that were leaked to the media happened in the beginning of January.
HANNITY: Yes, I...
NUNES: And so that would mean it would...
HANNITY: Would you...
NUNES: ... have to come from the administration.
HANNITY: Would you recommend the attorney general convene a grand jury to get to the bottom of this?
NUNES: Well, look, I think at -- the first thing that has to happen is the FBI needs to do a full investigation of this and try to track down these leakers.
HANNITY: Congressman, thank you very much -- great danger here.
Joining us now with more reaction is Iowa congressman Steve King. He said what happened to Mike Flynn was a political assassination. Congressman, thank you for being here. Explain what you mean.
REP. STEVE KING, R-IOWA: Well, Sean -- and thanks for having me on. (INAUDIBLE) watch this happen. It looks like it was a strategic plan that was unfolded and kind of synchronized, that the intel that was gathered, perhaps by someone within the FBI at the time, less likely one of our other branches -- or components of the intelligence agency, and then strategically released and leaked the information to do the maximum amount of damage to Mike Flynn.
And we've known for weeks now that the long knives had come out for him. This looks like a strategic plan. And I'm not excusing the part that was miscommunications and the dishonesty that was at least alleged, but that was between President Trump, Vice President Pence and General Flynn.
And now I agree with all that I've heard Chairman Nunes say, but I would specifically say that the federal statute that's violated is 18 USC 798, what makes it clear that it's a felony facing up to 10 years in the penitentiary for communicating in a classified information that is retrieved through our signal intelligence communications.
HANNITY: I have...
KING: ... just that simple.
HANNITY: ... 798 in front of me, the disclosure of classified information, whoever knowingly, willfully communicates, furnishes transmits or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person or publishes or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety and interests of the United States for -- or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information -- that's -- that's what the code said. Do you have any doubt crimes were committed here?
HANNITY: I have no doubt. And I agree exactly with Devin Nunes that that information, if it was obtained through FISA -- a FISA warrant, for example, and there's no way that that information could come out and be released -- and so now we have, I believe, someone who either was embedded within the FBI or another component of the intelligence community that willfully leaked this to The New York Times and The Washington Post -- and now we have a nation of leftists that are hyperventilating over what they - - it's actually now are rumors because we don't have the transcript of those telephone calls. We don't have a single phrase that's -- we know with confidence is accurately quoted, that was transmitted, but we have these long stories that are coming out.
And now the Democrats have created an entire narrative about this. And they're trying to get the whole nation wrapped up in this, but they were never worried about Hillary Clinton's real-time leakage of highly classified information while she was secretary of state!
HANNITY: Congressman, we always appreciate you being with us. Thank you.
And coming up tonight, deputy assistant to the president Dr. Sebastian Gorka weighs in on U.S.-Russia relations.
And also later tonight...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Under your leadership, I believe we can reverse the rising tide of radical Islam.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: History in the making, the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, visited the White House today and during a press conference, praised President Trump's leadership. We'll check in Ari Fleischer and Steve Hilton -- they'll join us.
All of that plus House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, all on this busy news edition of "Hannity."
HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." So earlier this morning the president tweeted, quote, "Crimea was taken by Russia during the Obama administration. Was Obama too soft on Russia?" So how will the Trump administration deal with Russian aggression?
Joining us now from Washington, deputy assistant to the president, Dr. Sebastian Gorka. Dr. Gorka, before we get to that, like Reince, like Bannon, like Jared, like Ivanka, like the president's children, like Kellyanne, like Steve Miller, you too have come under fire. It seems that there's this Alinski style attack against anybody that's around the president. And, you know, I just wanted to give you a chance to respond because I know you are being attacked unfairly. And I've read a number of things about your involvement as a witness in the Boston Marathon case, and even people suggesting you are a Nazi sympathizer. What is your reaction?
DR. SEBASTIAN GORKA, AUTHOR, "DEFEATING JIHAD": I think we are doing our job very well, don't you, Sean, if this is the best they can do. I just find it amusing. My father was nine years old when World War II started. He lived through the seas of Budapest. He was put in prison by the communist dictators. And I am the guy who is some kind of extremist?
I was talking today to the acting U.S. attorney in Boston who said we are so sorry about what's happening and we're going to make sure everybody who reports on your part in the trial as an expert is going to do so accurately from now on. And the funniest thing is, Sean, I have the invoices for being paid as an expert. I may not have taken the stand, but I was an expert on the Boston bombing trial. If that's the best they've got, Sean, then I'm happy.
HANNITY: What about U.S.-Russian relations? We can go back, and Hillary Clinton wanted a Russian reset, and Obama for example, said, Mr. Medvedev, I'll have more flexibility after I am reelected, which I think he wanted to convey to Vladimir Putin but the American people, interestingly enough. Do you think there is an opportunity in light of Ukraine and Crimea, in light of Russian aggression to reset and maybe have an alliance to defeat ISIS? Is that possible?
GORKA: Look, I think the best answer to that is the president's own words. Do you remember he gave a press conference, one of his last press conferences from Trump Tower where somebody asked him the question about you and Putin and so on and so forth, and he was super blunt. He said, look, I would like to be able to work with Vladimir Putin. I don't think it's going to happen, and if it doesn't, so be it. But there are of course some common interests. They have suffered from jihadi terrorism as have we.
But if you look at what they've done in Crimea, you look at the way they were facilitated, they weren't stopped by the Obama administration from invading another country, you look at the way, how are U.N. ambassador now has categorically attacked that aggression, that occupation, it's ironic, isn't it, that the last administration that whispered to Medvedev, that had their own reset button, that saw Secretary Clinton approve the sale of 20 percent of our uranium to Russia, that they are not the ones that created the problem but we are? I have learned one thing in the last three and a half weeks, Sean -- 80 percent of what you read in the media is 180 degrees out of whack with reality.
HANNITY: Dr. Gorka, good to see you. Appreciate your time as always.
And coming up next tonight, right here on "Hannity" --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NETANYAHU: Under your leadership I believe we can reverse the rising tide of radical Islam.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praising Donald Trump's leadership during a press conference today, fairly historic, at the White House. Air Fleischer, Steve Hilton weigh in next.
And later tonight, bad news for Obamacare. Humana announces they will pull out of the exchanges in 2018, plus the CEO of Aetna says Obamacare is in a death spiral. So when will this law finally be repealed? We'll ask the House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy about that and more, tonight, straight ahead.
HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." So earlier today President Trump welcomed the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to the White House. President Trump has vowed now to restore relations with Israel, and here are some highlights from today's historic press conference. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Bibi and I have known each other a long time, a smart man, great negotiator. And I think we are going to make a deal, so let's see what we do.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: That's right.
TRUMP: He doesn't sound too optimistic, but he's a good negotiator.
NETANYAHU: That's the art of the deal.
Under your leadership I believe we can reverse the rising tide of radical Islam. And in this great task, as in so many others, Israel stands with you. And I stand with you. There is no greater supporter of the Jewish people and the Jewish state than President Donald Trump. I think we should put that to rest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Here now with reaction, former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, former adviser to U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, Fox News contributor Steve Hilton is back with us. All right, let me start here, because you could see the friendliness, the relationship that goes back so far, dramatic shift from the last eight years, certainly. And also they both are very strong in their criticism of radical Islam.
Here's what stood out to me. Donald Trump, one state, two state solution, then he went on to say we can do something much bigger, much better. Then I put that together, what the prime minister said, for the first time in his life Arab countries in the region do not see Israel increasingly as anything other than an ally, and that this is a historic opportunity.
Here's my interpretation of that. Based on the comments of the Egyptian president, General El Sisi, and the Jordanians and the new emerging relationship with Saudi Arabia, if you add in the Brits, could there be a coalition to stop Iranian hegemony in the region and the threat of a nuclear armed Iran? Is this what's happening? Is that what they are both indicating?
ARI FLEISCHER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: You just nailed it. That's exactly right, and that's profound.
And you know, Sean, in a week in which everybody in Washington wants to talk about personnel, this is why there is no more important personnel than the president himself. And instead of having a policy which we had for the last eight years under President Obama, which was how do we make life better for Iran, we now have a policy of how do we make life better for America in the Middle East? And that means standing by our best ally, the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel, and recognizing the great strategic change underway in the Middle East is this re-alliance of Sunni Arabs, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, along with Israel, against Iran. That's the profound difference. And it's a fundamental, wonderful change in the Middle East.
HANNITY: I agree Steve, complete with Ari. What happened today was historic, it was deep. It was profound. And I do believe because Israel has created new alliances that have never existed before with the Saudi's, Jordanians, Egyptians, if you add the U.S. to that equation, and you add the U.K. to that equation, you now have a coalition to defeat what I think is evil in our time, the number one state sponsor of terror that burns the Israeli flag, burns the U.S. flag, chants death to Israel, death to America, and that is the Iranian mullahs. Do you see it the same way?
STEVE HILTON, FORMER ADVISOR TO DAVID CAMERON: I really do, Sean. I think it's so exciting. I think you're completely right, Ari is right. And one of the things that's so refreshing is now just the fact that you have got a president who is so clearly and strongly and warmly committed to Israel, is that he's prepared to move beyond the failed approaches of the past and actually really shake things up.
One of the things I really hate about the way the insiders and the experts all criticize Trump is that they say, well, he's not following protocol. He's not doing the usual diplomatic stuff. He's doing his own thing. That's exactly what we need, because the old way of doing things hasn't worked.
HANNITY: So deep. Really profound. One state, two state, or bigger and better, and an opportunity. And I think Ari, you have been around a long time. I can't think of a better time than now to actually create a broad coalition that could really lead to a lasting peace in the Middle East. And of course that would also mean less U.S. involvement there that I know every American would prefer.
FLEISCHER: And as a recognition that the Arab nations really don't have Palestinians as their first number one issue the way the foreign policy establishment in Washington has thought they have had for decades. They have their own survival as their number one issue. In that sense, they are working with Israel because they see the threat coming from Iran.
And it's great if we can isolate Iran, diminish Iran, and hopefully empower the people of Iran, essentially the young people of Iran, because you have the Shiite alliance involving Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah. You talk about the new axis of evil, those three, and we can now have a different coalition.
We are doing it because we are doing what is principally right for America, which is to stand with Israel, to stop this nonsense that we need daylight between us and Israel. No, we need to support our allies. And it's a welcome sign of change in Washington.
HANNITY: You know, before Donald Trump's appearance on the world stage, Steve, I would argue that the only world leader that had moral clarity and understood the real nature of the threat of radical Islam -- he stood alone, was the prime minister. Now he has a staunch ally that agrees and supports everything he says. We may look back at this moment as the starting point potentially for a longer and lasting peace, hopefully in the Middle East. Thank you both.
Quick programming note, be sure to tune in, 10:00 eastern, tomorrow night, the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, will join us. And coming up next, tonight, right here on "Hannity" --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Obamacare, as you know, is a total and complete disaster. So we're going to end up with tremendous health care at a lower price.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: The president promising Obamacare will be repealed, will be replaced, and it can't come soon enough. Humana announcing that they will pull out of the exchanges in 2018. Aetna's CEO said the disastrous health care law is now in a death spiral. We will ask majority leader Kevin McCarthy and play some of your hotline calls to me, and our "Question of the Day," straight ahead.
HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." So President Trump has promised he will repeal and replace Obamacare. The law is a disaster. Humana just announced that they will pull out of these exchanges in 2018, and that's not all. Aetna's CEO told the Wall Street Journal that Obamacare is in a, quote, "death spiral."
Here with reaction, House Majority Leader Congressman Kevin McCarthy. Congressman, I have been critical at the speed by which Congress has not moved on Obamacare. For eight years, you said repeal and replace. I've not seen a consensus plan to replace it yet, and I keep reading that some Republicans want to repair it and not repeal it. Can you tell me please that is not true?
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY, R-CALIF., HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: That is definitely not true. We are moving forward. We just now have put in place the Health and Human Service Secretary Tom Price. He just got put in last week, 2:00 in the morning. He has taken his first action. He will be in our conference tomorrow where tomorrow we will roll out to our conference the plan. We have it before CBO where it is being scored.
HANNITY: There is a consensus plan that you guys have?
FLEISCHER: Sean, there's always been a plan. We have run on this plan when we ran. It is in a Better Way. It's talking about health savings accounts. We go through, we have gone through our plan time and again. Tax credits, so you go into the marketplace. High risk pools, to be able to save.
HANNITY: Congressman, you've been reading the same thing I've been reading. I hear we are going to do it in the beginning of the year. Then we will do it by the spring, then sometime in the summer. And the latest is by the end of the year.
FLEISCHER: Next month.
HANNITY: Next month?
FLEISCHER: Next month. Listen, we were sworn in January 3rd. The first thing you have to have happened, the ACA, Obamacare when it was put into power, it gave 1,400 pages of power to the health and human service secretary. You do not want to go in and repeal and replace it without having the secretary in place.
Secondly, the president was not sworn in until the 20th. We want to work hand in hand together with President Trump, just as we have. We have walked him through all of it. We've gone 200 day plan. He is with us on this all the way through. We've got the plan put forth. We are not like the Democrats, back in the room where no one has seen it. We have both committees. We've already had some markups in energy and commerce.
HANNITY: Let me ask this final question, then, because the president seems to be going through his checklist and keeping his promises, including Neil Gorsuch, I love what he did today with the prime minister. I thought it was historic.
But I'm going to run through a list. One is extreme vetting. The second is I know where you stand on originalist. But his economic plan, repatriation, 15 percent corporate tax cut, seven brackets to three, middle class tax cuts, energy independence, education sent back to the states, building the wall, is Congress in sync with all of that agenda, do you think? And will that happen this year?
FLEISCHER: Yes. You've got understand all of that is already moving in place. Let me explain why it's moving in the order in which it is moving. We have started taking up congressional review acts, going after regulations. And do you realize we have just made history -- if you go back in American history, only one congressional review act has been signed into law. The president is already doubling that this year where he has signed two in just this week alone. That is changing the forefront. We have passed 13 coming up this week in Congress going forward. Now we are going to repeal Obamacare and replace it. That changes and repeals a great amount of tax, $1 trillion. That changes the baseline which allows us to broaden how far we can go on the tax code, which allows us to lower the tax rate --
HANNITY: Congressman, I've been very critical. This is music to my ears, and if you add energy independence, I forgot that part of the agenda, then this country is going to be infinitely better off in a year in my opinion. And if that is all, and it's going to get done in a year, all of those things, then I think the country is going to be safer, more secure, and I believe the economy will turn around. We'll get more people back to work, out of poverty and off of food stamps. And I think it will be like a huge tax cut getting rid of Obamacare. And so I appreciate you being honest. Too many people have said maybe at the end of the year, maybe next year.
FLEISCHER: No, we cannot wait.
HANNITY: I read the papers, what do you want me to say.
FLEISCHER: You should celebrate what we're doing. It's all going through in a 200 day plan, and it's all happening together, and the country is continuing to grow.
HANNITY: So at the end of that 200 days, that would be a mighty huge accomplishment. Thank you, Congressman, appreciate it.
All right, when we come back, we need your help. Our "Question of the Day." And we're going to be playing maybe your voicemail message that you left for me on the "Hannity" hotline, straight ahead.
HANNITY: Time for our "Question of the Day." Why do you think the media is being so dishonest in their coverage of Donald Trump's administration? It's obvious. They are liberal leftists, they have an agenda, and they are lazy, and they're overpaid, a lot of them. Go to Facebook.com/SeanHannity, @SeanHannity on Twitter. Now it's time to play some of the messages you left for me on the "Hannity" hotline.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am so embarrassed with what the Democrats are doing. All this protests, it is so sickening to see all this stuff that's going on in our country today. But by main focus is safety. I am, for once, glad to have a president -- and I've always been a Democrat. Now I feel like I'm not a Democrat or a Republican, but now I'm like, I'm with Trump.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The executive orders are Trump's ways of quickly righting a ship. He runs businesses. This is what he is used to, fast and get it done, get things straightened around when you take over a business.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: By the way, two good nights in a row, that's pretty good. Even if you dislike me and you have something to say, the hot number is right there on your screen, 877-225-8587. And we hope you'll give us a call and let us know what you think of the show.
That's all the time we have left this evening. Quick programming note, tomorrow night, 10:00 eastern, I will be in Washington D.C. to interview the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. That's tomorrow night at 10:00. Thanks for being with us. We'll see you form Washington tomorrow.
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