HANNITY

Mark Levin on why Obama may have been spying on Trump; Reps. Gohmert, Meadows detail new health care proposal

Radio host makes his case on 'Hannity'

 

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," March 6, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And welcome to "Hannity." "The Great One," a rare appearance, Mark Levin -- he'll be here in just a minute. But first, it's time to cut through all the clutter, break down what we know about wiretapping and politically motivated investigation by the Obama administration. And that is tonight's "Opening Monologue."

All right, so over the weekend, President Donald Trump set off a firestorm and he tweeted the following, quote, "How low has President Obama gone to tap my phones during the very sacred election process? This (ph) Nixon, Watergate, bad or sick guy."

Now, predictably, the left, Democrats, their cronies at the alt left propaganda destroy Trump media, they went into full-on meltdown mode and declared the president to be a liar once again. Now, there's also been some pushback from the FBI Director James Comey.  We'll get to that in a minute.

And now for weeks on this program, on my radio show, I've been discussing what? What I call Obama's shadow government and the career bureaucrats who are actively working against President Trump from inside the government.  Many of these are people that are President Obama holdovers, and I've been telling you about we the people, that there are other people in the intelligence community purposely leaking information to try and damage and destroy President Trump and the advisers, of course, that surround him. One by one, every adviser, they have been smeared. They have been slandered. They have been besmirched, even his children, even his wife and daughter.

We've also been reporting on how the alt-left propaganda destroy Trump media is colluding with these leakers and deep state bureaucrats with the sole purpose of stopping President Trump's agenda, to try and delegitimize the president with the hopes of eventually removing the president from power, overturning a free election.

Now, is this a conspiracy theory, paranoia? No. Why? There's a disturbing pattern that's going on here.

Now, let's take a look at the case of former Trump national security adviser, that's retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn. Remember news reports, a December call Flynn made to the Russian ambassador, captured by what The New York Times described as a, quote, "routine wiretap" of Russian diplomats and that phone?

Well, now, it's not out of the ordinary, by the way, of our government to monitor foreign officials. That's the smart thing they do. But protections which are known as minimization procedures have been put in place to protect Americans that are not under warrant, American citizens that are caught up in their surveillance. And by the way, that their identities are protected, their constitutional rights are to be protected.

Now, this, of course, was not the case with Lieutenant General Flynn because we know a transcript of his call was created and then given to intelligence officials, who then leaked this information, which is a felony, to the press that printed it.

Now, back in February, when all this was going down, the House Intelligence Committee chairman -- and that's Congressman Devin Nunes -- he called it, quote, "unprecedented," and then he joined us on this show to explain.  Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, FEB. 15)

HANNITY: 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, in this particular case, General Flynn, wouldn't they have to get a court subpoena to do so?

REP. DEVIN NUNES, R-CALIF.: 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Now, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Now, Fox News has not been able to confirm this, but the day before the election, November 7th, 2016, the website HeatStreet, they published a report. It had the following headline. Quote, "Exclusive, FBI granted FISA warrant covering Trump camp's ties to Russia."

And according to HeatStreet, in October of 2016, the Obama administration went to the FISA court, which grants warrants for surveillance for potential spies or terrorists to monitor, which HeatStreet described as, quote, "U.S. persons in Donald Trump's campaign with ties to Russia." Now, this was part of a larger probe into Russian banks. Now, other outlets like the BBC, The Guardian have also reported that a FISA court warrant was, in fact, granted.

And this is not an isolated incident, either. There are countless examples of various federal agencies under President Obama looking into activities of intercepting communications with people associated with the Trump campaign.

For example, McClatchy D.C. posted a story back in January, headline, quote, "FBI, five other agencies probe possible covert Kremlin aid to Trump."

On the day of the inauguration, January 20th, the front page of The New York Times ran an article with this headline -- "Wiretap data used in inquiry of Trump aides." There's also explosive reports from The Times, the-alt left propaganda destroy Trump at all costs media has given very little coverage to.

In other words, it's not the right-wing conspiracy, it's them. It reads in part, quote, "In its final days, the Obama administration expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government's 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections."

Now, why would President Obama wait until the last minute, two weeks before he's leaving office, the issue that order, an order that did not apply to him for eight years? To me, the opinion is obvious. He wanted as much information, whether it's true or not, to be available to his appointed deep state shadow government officials so they could do exactly what we're seeing -- leak it to the press and try and hurt the president with less likelihood that they're going to get caught.

Now, listen closely as I read the statement that was released by Obama's spokesperson over the weekend. Pay very close attention. "A cardinal rule of the Obama administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice. As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever" -- key words -- "ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false."

OK, they didn't order it. Did they know about it? That statement never said that President Obama did not know about it, just that he didn't order it. Even President Obama's former speech writer noted this on Twitter this past weekend.

Now, the question that we need answered is very simple and very basic, and it's this: Did, in fact, the president of the United States -- what did he know and when did he know it? In other words, did the president have any answers about surveillance of an opposition candidate in the middle of an election?

Now, the American people deserve the truth, but he doesn't have much credibility on the issue. Why? Because his administration wiretapped the phone of our own colleague, James Rosen! There's also former Attorney General Michael Mukasey who knows a thing or two about this entire process.  Here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THIS WEEK"/ABC, MARCH 5)

MICHAEL MUKASEY, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: This is the difference between being correct and being right. I think the president was not correct, certainly, in saying that President Obama ordered a tap on a server in Trump Tower. However, I think he's right in that there was surveillance and that it was conducted at the behest of the attorney -- of the Justice Department through the FISA court.

MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC NEWS: And what do you base that on?

MUKASEY: I based that on news reports that you mentioned in the last -- in the last spot. I also base it on -- on the kind of inadvertent blurting out by Adam Schiff that his committee wants to talk to the counterintelligence agents at the FBI who were involved in this. Now, what that means is that this is part not of a criminal investigation but of an intelligence-gathering investigation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Boy, didn't she cry the night of election night? All right, we'll put that aside.

All right, on top of all this, there's a bunch of other questions that need answers. What did President Obama know about these reported, New York Times-reported FISA requests targeting associates of then candidate Donald Trump?

Now, to me, what happened to retired Lieutenant General Flynn and what we are now seeing with all these other intelligent (sic) leaks -- this is a canary in a coal mine. This accusation that President Trump made is serious. We need to get to the bottom of what the truth is and where all of this came from and who knew what, when and where.

Here now with reaction, from LevinTV's studio in Virginia, the host of LevinTV CRTV network -- I call him "The Great One." Do you know what it's like to get you on the show? It's like pulling teeth. You know that?  We're glad to have you back, my friend.

MARK LEVIN, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Very good.

HANNITY: How are you?

LEVIN: I'm good. How are you?

HANNITY: I want you -- I'm laying out the basics here. You put together in a very comprehensive way -- and I give you a lot of credit for putting all this together -- this isn't the right-wing conspiracy. This isn't conservative Sean Hannity, conservative Mark Levin. This is The New York Times. This is McClatchy. Explain.

LEVIN: And yet it's only conservatives who are concerned about what they're reading in liberal media. Have you noticed that? The media is very confounded right now. They're very confused. They don't know whether to trash themselves, trash their colleagues, or what.

Now, you asked a question. You said, what did Obama know? We know he knows this much. Everything you just read he knew because it's in the newspapers. That's pretty big.

Number two, we know that if a FISA warrant was secured, it's very likely in his daily intelligence briefing or a call from the attorney general or the director of the FBI the president would be given a heads-up. There's nothing illegal about it, but he'd be given a heads-up.

Here's what else we know. There's all kinds of, based on these reports, investigative activities going on. You know, McClatchy reported the agencies involved, the FBI, CIA, National Security Agency, Justice Department, Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network -- I assume Obama knew something unless, I mean, he's Helen Keller!

Let me make another point about this. That's a hell of a lot of agency resources. Those are a hell of a lot of investigators. The news reports - - you mentioned The New York Times, January 20th -- I just want to make sure CNN and MSNBC are aware of this...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: ... watching them. Go ahead.

LEVIN: "Wiretap data used in inquiry of Trump aides." I never said independent of news reports about the wiretaps -- "Wiretap data used in inquiry of Trump aides." Well, didn't Mr. Clapper say there were no FISA orders issued? Can you play that tape for me so I can comment on that...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: I think we have that loaded because he said it on "Meet the Press" this weekend.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Go ahead.

LEVIN: But let me comment. It's very, very important. It's very important because if Clapper says there was no FISA order -- and he was very broad and he was very definite, and he said, No, I don't remember this, and you'll play it later -- then what the hell are we talking about?  That means they didn't have enough information for probable cause to get a warrant in front of the FISA court!

So what's the FBI, the CIA, the National Security Agency, the Justice Department, Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network investigating? What are these wiretaps that The New York Times is talking about? You know, I know they want to focus on Donald Trump and his tweet.  I want to focus on America and the Constitution!

The reason I got fed up with this last week is I'm a constitutional conservative. I look at this, if I'm reading these news reports, we have a runaway executive branch! I don't know who knows what, and as of today, the media don't appear to know who knows what, which is exactly why I've been calling for congressional investigations.

The question is, why aren't CNN, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and all the rest of them - - why aren't they concerned about this?

HANNITY: Mark, let me...

LEVIN: Rather than mock the president and his tweet, pay attention to what your own reporters and other reporters are saying!

HANNITY: So what you're saying is really deep and profound here. And I want to put some emphasis on this. And that is that the news media reported the leaks. The news media reported the surveillance. They reported it repeatedly. This is the a mainstream media. As far as I know, they've never retracted the story. And everybody knew about it. It was not something that was hidden.

Now, in fact, Donald Trump mentions that, in fact, it happened and somehow, this is, Oh, my gosh, this is outrageous. What do we...

LEVIN: Look...

HANNITY: How do we definitively find out that, in fact, in June and again in October there were attempts to surveill the then candidate of the opposition party by the current administration at the time, the Obama administration?

LEVIN: Well, two things need to happen, one way or another. Number one, the FISA applications, which Clapper denies, by the way -- he denies, and the follow-up was pathetic over there on NBC, but we'll get to that.

The FISA applications should be released. That's number one. The warrant that was supposedly secured in October should be released.

The other thing that needs to be done is these daily presidential briefings that the president received, that the intelligence and law enforcement agencies coordinate on and prepare -- the Intelligence Committee chairmen need to read them. And now we'll get to the bottom of this.

Now, I find it very interesting people are saying, Well, let Trump release the damn FISA stuff! Can you imagine if he does that? He'd be accused of interfering with investigations, trying to intimidate the Justice Department. No. Let Congress finally step up and do its job! They have oversight committees. We pay these people do their jobs! Now, get into those damn FISA applications!

(CROSSTALK)

LEVIN: ... so-called warrant -- hold on now! Look at the warrant that was released. Look at these daily briefings and let's see what's in them!

HANNITY: All right, great one. We miss having you on. Stay right there.  We're keep you while we got you. All right, more with the great one, Mark Levin, right after the break.

Also tonight, Jay Sekulow, former NSA intelligence official -- he actually created this very law -- we'll get into that. They're here to react to the President Trump -- to President Trump and his wiretapping accusations.

Also tonight, Republicans now trying to make good on their promise to repeal and replace "Obama care." Earlier this evening, GOP lawmakers unveiled their plan to dismantle this disastrous health care law, at least the parameters of which are going to work. Congressman Louie Gohmert of Texas and North Carolina congressman Mark Meadows will join us with reaction.

That and more, and a new executive order has been released by the president today. Straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "MEET THE PRESS"/NBC, MARCH 5)

JAMES CLAPPER, FORMER DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Obviously, I'm not -- I can't speak officially anymore, but I will say that for the part of the national security apparatus that I oversaw as DNI, there was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president-elect at the time or as a candidate or against his campaign. I can't speak for other Title III authorized entities in the government or a state or local entity.

CHUCK TODD, MODERATOR: Yes, I was just going to say, if the FBI, for instance, had a FISA court order of some sort for surveillance, would that be information you would know or not know?

CLAPPER: Yes.

TODD: You would be told this.

CLAPPER: I would know that.

TODD: If there was a FISA court order...

CLAPPER: Yes.

TODD: ... on something like this.

CLAPPER: Something like this, absolutely.

TODD: And at this point, you can't confirm or deny whether that exists?

CLAPPER: I can deny it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Well, wait a minute. He's contradicting himself. Former director of national intelligence James Clapper yesterday on "Meet the Press."

We continue with the great one, Mark Levin from his TV studio in Virginia.  You know, so Obama gives a statement that says they didn't order it.  Doesn't mean he doesn't know it. Clapper puts out all these caveats here -- Well, the part I oversaw. I can't speak officially...

LEVIN: Let me -- let me -- let me...

HANNITY: Go ahead.

LEVIN: Let me -- let me take it differently. I accept everything that James Clapper said. And it contradicts every piece of significant reporting over the last six months. If he's saying there was no FISA application, there was no FISA warrant, then why have so many news entities said that there are? That's number one.

And number two, why didn't Chuck Todd have Mr. Clapper on weeks ago, before I did my radio show, before Donald Trump tweeted? Why didn't he have him on weeks ago to disclaim that this FISA court stuff was hanging out here.

Let me explain something, where we are here, Sean. They're all pivoting, including the media. They were are trying to present the case of overwhelming connections, overwhelming concern, overwhelming potential evidence of Trump and the campaign involved with the Russians! Now it's, Wait a minute, no, because I say these are police state tactics!

Look at all this! You have no basis for all these investigations! Now they're saying, Wait a minute, we didn't have a FISA warrant. We didn't do these wiretaps, eavesdropping, electronic surveillance. Now the media are completely confounded! Chuck Todd (INAUDIBLE) I got him now. I got the Trump guys now. And I'm -- by the way, I endorsed Cruz, just so the libs know, during the Republican primaries. And I want our president to succeed. This is about the Constitution.

HANNITY: But you also voted for...

LEVIN: So which is it?

HANNITY: You also voted for Trump, you told your audience. I think that's...

LEVIN: Oh, absolutely. So which is it? Which is it? Were there FISA warrants or not? No, if there weren't, why didn't you report that weeks ago? If there are, some of us would like to see them! So we have a real problem right now! The media is turning on the media! We have leaks coming out that are felonies! We have stories about six federal departments and agencies, intelligence and law enforcement, that were investigating something, somebody, by somehow. So what's the answer?

That's why we need to get to the bottom of this!

HANNITY: Mark...

LEVIN: I have a question.

HANNITY: Yes.

LEVIN: I have a question.

HANNITY: Go ahead. You be the host.

LEVIN: Why all the investigations? Is there any evidence?

HANNITY: Mark, this is important...

LEVIN: Was there any evidence, scintilla of evidence -- hold on. I just need to finish my sentence. Was there any evidence, a scintilla of evidence at all that Trump, his campaign advisers-...

HANNITY: None! None!

LEVIN: ... and his transition team were on the take?

HANNITY: None.

LEVIN: OK! Then why are six federal departments and agencies involved in an investigation, and now Clapper says...

HANNITY: This is profound.

LEVIN: ... he doesn't know anything!

HANNITY: This is profound for a lot of different ways because we're talking about 4th Amendment protections, 1st Amendment protections, 5th Amendment protections, 6th Amendment protections. There's so many -- and the question that every American needs...

LEVIN: No, we're talking about police state tactics!

HANNITY: I understand...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: ... because if they can do what they did to Michael Flynn, General Flynn, and that is here whatever -- they did not -- they have every right to go after a Russian ambassador, but the law, the Espionage Act, is clear that if they hear and identify an American on that line, they are not allowed to tape that arm and they're supposed to follow a process called minimization. Why does this matter? Because this is unreasonable search and seizure. And if they can do it to a presidential candidate, right -- now, either they did it or they didn't. Now, if they didn't not do it, then that means The New York Times owes the country an apology. That means every major newspaper and every major network owes the American people an apology. Right?

LEVIN: Here's The New York Times, January 20th, "Wiretap data used in inquiry of Trump aides." You read that earlier. One paragraph, please.  "The FBI is leading the investigation. Aided by the National Security Agency, the CIA, the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Unit."' More.  "The investigators have accelerated the (INAUDIBLE)" This is on inauguration morning, from page above the fold. "The investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, the officials said. One official said" -- listen to this! -- "intelligence reports based on some of the wiretap communications have been provided to the White House"!

Now, I didn't write that! You didn't write that! I ask Mr. Clapper -- the FBI is leading an investigation! Did you know about that, sir? Aided by the NSA? Did you know about that, sir? And the CIA? Did you know about that, sir? And the Treasury Department. Did you know about that, sir?  Did you know that they -- one official said, Intelligence reports based on some of the wiretap communications have been provided to the White House?  Did you know about that? And Chuck Todd -- why didn't you not ask him these questions? That's my question! Why are the media so...

HANNITY: Let me ask you a quick last question.

LEVIN: ... so lackadaisical and not curious?

HANNITY: I'm almost out of time. You know, because you...

LEVIN: Say what?

HANNITY: Because you put all this together and you made such a compelling prosecutorial case here that it can't be argued intelligently because it's either one or the other -- but then you get...

LEVIN: (INAUDIBLE) answers.

HANNITY: ... attacked by these little pipsqueaks on television. Let's go to one example.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "MORNING JOE"/MSNBC)

JOE SCARBOROUGH, CO-HOST: What does the White House gain by the president -- by Steve Bannon most likely handing the president of the United States a Breitbart article and -- and -- and talking about what a rabid right-wing talk show host has been theorizing...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Liberal Joe is calling you a rabid right-wing host, Mark.

LEVIN: Well, he's a chameleon. But let me just say this, Joe. Here's what I do know.

(LAUGHTER)

LEVIN: Remember the movie, "Deliverance"...

HANNITY: Of course.

LEVIN: ... the guy with the guitar on the bridge.

HANNITY: Yes.

LEVIN: You remember that?

HANNITY: Yes.

LEVIN: Joe's the splitting (sic) image, isn't he?

(LAUGHTER)

LEVIN: Yes, he's the splitting image.

HANNITY: OK! Listen, I got to go. I'm out of -- will you come on the show more often? Because if I don't pressure you publicly, you won't come on. You're invited on all the time. You're one of my best friends, and you never come on the show. Tell the audience why.

LEVIN: We got LevinTV right here, baby, CRTV.

HANNITY: You can still come on this show...

LEVIN: But I will.

HANNITY: ... occasionally.

LEVIN: I'll come on more often.

HANNITY: All right. "Great One"...

LEVIN: Yes, sir.

HANNITY: And by the way, there's a reason...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: ... the great one. Thank you, my friend. Good to see you.

LEVIN: Thank you. You, too.

HANNITY: Very compelling.

Coming up next, more reaction to President Trump's claim that he was wiretapped by the Obama administration. Jay Sekulow, Bill Binney, a former NSA intelligence official. will join us next. Also two Republican lawmakers, Congressmen Louie Gohmert and Mark Meadows will join us on the ObamaCare replacement plan, at least the outline of it, straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president has been very clear, as we have stated, that I think there is enough there that we want the House and Senate intelligence to use the resources they do to make sure that they look into this matter. I mean, that's, that's -- there's some -- anyway, I do want to get ahead of where they may go with this or what they may look at, but I'm going to leave it to them. If we start down the rabbit hole of discussing some of the stuff I think we end up in a very difficult place.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: That was White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer earlier today talking about President Trump's wiretapping claims.  Joining us now from the American Center for Law and Justice, Jay Sekulow is back with us, former intelligence official at the national security agency, Bill Binney is with us.

Jay, let me go back to my monologue. I think Mark did a really good job of breaking down the media report of this. This is the liberal media. But let's get back to deep state, shadow government, and the fact that you have all these Obama holdovers. You have 500 people that need to be confirmed, only last week that we get Carson and Rick Perry. And all these people, all these lifetime bureaucrats, and now all these intelligence leaks, all of them are a felony, are they not?

JAY SEKULOW, AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW JUSTICE: They are a felony. And you've got basically unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats deep within the government. We called it, you correctly said it, the shadow government.  And these bureaucrats are not in lockstep at all with this administration.  In fact they are counter to it.

So in their view, they are saving the country because they are going to oppose the president. So then you have the leaks. And I think the most telling aspect of this, Sean, is something you and I talked about several times, and that is 17 days before President Obama leaves office -- 17 days before he leaves office, he had been in office for eight full years, he changes the way in which signal intel is distributed. Since the Reagan era it used to just go to the NSA. They would decide where the raw data would go. And he changed it with 17 days left so that 17 additional agencies get it, which of course makes a much more difficult to determine who is engaged in the leaks. But what is getting lost in this entire discussion, and that is what I think we have to focus on is this information is being leaked.

HANNITY: It's being leaked selectively, and like in the case of General Flynn, things that should never have been leaked and never have been. This is unprecedented. Bill Binney, didn't you write fee '78 FISA law?

BILL BINNEY, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY OFFICIAL: No, I didn't. I didn't have anything to do with that law, but I was fairly familiar with it when I was in NSA.

HANNITY: And you served for 32 years. I'm sorry, I misspoke. I thought I read that earlier today. But for 32 years, and they you retired why?

BINNEY: I retired in October, 2001, because they started spying on everybody in the United States. All the U.S. citizens, there was the bulk data, collection of metadata, that was what the second circuit court of appeals ruled illegal in 2015.

HANNITY: In other words, it is your belief that every American citizen, that all of this data, all of our cell phone calls, all of our text messages, and all of our emails -- it is your belief and one of the reasons you retired because you could not live with this any longer -- is that every American, that all of this is being saved and stored?

BINNEY: That is correct. And that is also why I put a sworn affidavit for the NSA lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of this collection.

HANNITY: I mean, I find this -- here you are, a highly placed NSA official, then become a whistleblower. From what I understood, you were architect of the NSA surveillance program in some way, so maybe I misspoke in exactly what I was saying. So you're saying that even today -- that would mean, by the way, that James Clapper committed perjury because he said it wasn't happening. Did he commit perjury in your view?

BINNEY: He was talking about a FISA court order. All this collection is being done under executive order 12333, section 2-3C.

SEKULOW: He also said, the secretary, Director Clapper actually testified that there was not bulk data collection and then had to correct his testimony when the WikiLeaks information came out.

HANNITY: Jay, what laws do you believe were broken here?

SEKULOW: I think, look, any time you are sharing national security information or classified information, you are talking about espionage.  This is the stuff-

HANNITY: The espionage act we are talking about. In other words, what they released on General Flynn was a violation of the espionage act?

SEKULOW: Correct, a violation of the espionage act. And every time they did it, by the way, it was a violation. It's not just one time. So you're talking about multiple felonies. You're talking about what needs to be taking right now. And I have complete confidence in Attorney General Sessions, and that is an investigation not done the way Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch did it by actually empaneling a grand jury, getting subpoena power, find out who leaked the information, prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law. If they're found guilty they pay the penalty.

HANNITY: Do you believe, as I do, when they expanded the executive order of 12333 in the final two weeks of Obama's administration that that was done to make it more difficult to identify those people who they knew would be leaking? What other reason would they do it?

SEKULOW: That is the only reason because what it did was it took a very small pool of people and increased it 17 fold. So it makes it much more difficult. But it doesn't make it impossible, and to prevent a constitutional showdown, to prevent a constitutional crisis, the attorney general knows --

(CROSSTALK)

SEKULOW: -- what you have here is the leaking of classified information, it's a felony.

HANNITY: So if Donald Trump real quick is wrong, that would mean that The New York Times was wrong. That would mean that --

SEKULOW: People are calling on the president to release information, Sean.  If there is an ongoing investigation the president shouldn't be giving information out. That I think would be appropriate. I think turning over to Congress --

HANNITY: And the statement of the president this weekend -

(CROSSTALK)        

HANNITY: -- it was meaningless when he said he didn't direct it.        

Bill Binney, let me go back to you. Executive order 12333, it was revised in the final two weeks of the Obama presidency, as you know. But you believe it was that executive order, the EO 12333, you believe it is that executive order that allows our government to literally wiretap and metadata store every phone call of every citizen, every text, every email?  That is your belief? That's happening?

BINNEY: It is actually section 2-3C that actually says if you have the intent to find a drug dealer, for example, in a 64 fiber line or a 10 gigabyte line, if you believe there is a drug dealer in there you can go in and collect all the data on the line, store it, mine it, and do whatever you want to with it and preserve it, even though 99.999 percent is domestic communications.

HANNITY: Unbelievable.         

BINNEY: This is nothing new. This has been going on for a long time.

HANNITY: So every phone conversation I have in my life do you believe has been taped?

BINNEY: Without warrants, yes, that's right. And also Adrian Kinney and David Murphy fought for transcribers down at Fort Gordon, Georgia, their testimony is on the web where they were transcribing phone calls between U.S. citizens and NGOs with no warrant whatsoever. And this has been going on for years.

HANNITY: We better get to the bottom of this. Thank you all for being with us, appreciate it. We have a long way to go here.

And by the way, you won't hear this on the major networks. I can't wait for The New York Times to apologize or to confirm their original reports.

Coming up next tonight right here on "Hannity" --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I am also calling on this Congress to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: The president promising that he would repeal and replace ObamaCare. Tonight congressional Republicans have released their plan to do just that. Up next two Republican lawmakers, Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert, necessary Congressman Mark Meadows are here with reaction. Later, Matt and Mercedes Schlapp join us. That's all straight ahead.  

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HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity."

So President Trump promised you, the American people, if elected he will repeal and replace ObamaCare. And earlier tonight the House GOP released their plan to do just that. On this program we have been pushing a brand- new replacement plan, and we pledge to hold Washington and Republicans accountable. And that is what we are doing again tonight.

Here now are two members of the Freedom Caucus, Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert and North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows. I know that Jim Jordan and Dave Brat have been critical of the Bill. It's 123 pages. I got an outline of these things. I think the first thing we have got to say is this bill is going to have amendments, correct. So we all agree that this bill is going to change. Congressman Meadows -

REP. LOUIE GOHMERT, R-TEXAS: I sure hope so.

HANNITY: Well, tell us what your major criticisms are.

GOHMERT: Go ahead, Mark.

REP. MARK MEADOWS, R-N.C.: Sean, I think probably the biggest thing that I see is certainly we are making progress. I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the fact that some of the taxes that were in the initial version have been eliminated. And so we can applaud fat.

HANNITY: The Cadillac tax, for example.

MEADOWS: Exactly. But we don't really get rid of the Cadillac tax all together. It is still in there. It just comes back in eight years. And so we really need to look at some amendments to make sure that we get rid of the taxes. We put something on President Obama's desk just a few months ago, and to suggest that what we put on President Trump's desk sets a new entitlement, keeps some taxes, doesn't repeal all of ObamaCare, we have got to do better, and hopefully with some amendments we can do that.

HANNITY: Let me ask you specifically about it doesn't repeal it completely, because I asked a lot of people about this today, and some people are saying they should pass the 2015 bill which would be a complete repeal, and then come in with a replacement. And then they say because they're using reconciliation which is the means by which it was passed, they have to do it because you only need 51 votes in the Senate versus 60.  Any merit to that argument?

MEADOWS: Certainly when you look at the reconciliation process and you look at 51 votes, that is one of the hurdles that we have. This doesn't even go as far as we went in 2015 to repeal all the Medicaid expansion.  It's still keeps that. So as we are looking at that we've got to find that sweet spot.

One of the concerns I have, the biggest concern I have, will it lower health care costs and premiums to those people that I serve and that Louie serves, and really to the Americans that are watching tonight? Will it lower health care costs, and until we get that answer, we have got to hold that judgment.

HANNITY: Louie, health savings accounts are a part of it. There are also, there is this guy in Wichita, Kansas, that I often have on my radio, Josh Umbehr with Atlas Medical. He created a cooperative in his city where you get all the medical care, unlimited, 50 bucks a month as an adult, 10 bucks a month as a child. He negotiates directly with pharmaceutical companies.  He brings 90 percent of the costs go away. And a lot of things have happened.

There are good things in this bill. For example, they're blocking funds for abortion providers, Planned Parenthood, for example. You are upset with what parts?

GOHMERT: Well, like Mark mentioned, we left the Cadillac tax in there. It just comes back. But then it creates a new entitlement program. And I have already hear from some constituents upset about you are creating another entitlement program? We are calling it tax credits that we actually send people check. And I guess it's another way to do the subsidy. But another concern --

HANNITY: So what would be the antidote to that? What would you prefer?

GOHMERT: I would prefer that we bring the prices down adequately so that more people can get health insurance. But you know, you talk about these entrepreneurial ways of getting insurance. If we don't repeal the care in Ferguson exemption from anti-trust, then these brilliant entrepreneurial other news plans, they are going to be shut out. We have got to get that done and it needs to be done separately.

But another thing, we are going to force citizens, it looks like, to end up paying for people's health care that are illegally here. We're going to check your I.D. to get insurance but not to get health care.

HANNITY: We know the left's arguments. They're predictable. Every election season, Republicans are racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic. So they're going to say what about the poor people that can't afford any health care? What are we going to do about that?

MEADOWS: Sean, we really do need to look at the safety net. And when we are there, when we're really looking at the Medicaid expansion part of it, we have got to make sure that we're there. This goes beyond that. And I think the other aspect of that, you mentioned health savings accounts. One of the amendments I hope that the president supports and certainly that we'll be offering is really to expand the use of health savings account like Dr. Rand Paul has talked about.

HANNITY: I like that idea a lot.

MEADOWS: Even though there's a provision in there that makes it tough.

HANNITY: So it is not in there as completely as you would have wanted?  That surprises me.

GOHMERT: That's right, and that's the cure. That is the cure.

MEADOWS: Any of these, Sean, that go into it actually can't go to funding health savings account. They actually have to go to purchase insurance.  If you have that flexibility where you can actually put it in a health savings account, actually patients have more control over their doctors, then ultimately it helps.

GOHMERT: But it puts a cap on how much you can put in health savings accounts. We need to get rid of that. We shouldn't be penalizing states that didn't expand Medicaid.

HANNITY: I may come down to Washington and try and get a group of you guys on all sides in a room and see if we can't do an hour and let the American people here every detail so it doesn't become like you have to pass it to find out what is in it, which by the way, to their credit, they released the bill. Thank you both for being with us.

MEADOWS: I agree.

HANNITY: And there will be amendments. I have to go, I'm late. More reaction to the GOP's health care plan, Matt and Mercedes Schlapp, next.

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HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." Here with more reaction to the new health care plan, 123 pages, Fox News contributor Mercedes Schlapp and from the American Conservative Union, the ACU, the chairman, Matt Schlapp, of course, who we see every year. By the way, you did a good job taking my place this year. I noticed you took my spot.

MATT SCHLAPP, CHAIRMAN, AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE UNION: You're irreplaceable, Sean.

MERCEDES SCHLAPP, WASHINGTON TIMES: That's right.

HANNITY: By the way, if you look at this couple, they have been married.  They have the cutest kids, and Matt married way out of his league. That's just an easy observation. Jim Jordan, Dave Brat, you just heard Louie and Mark Meadows. There's a lot of conservative criticism. It's going to have amendments. Is this a good start or is this the beginning of a civil war?

MATT SCHLAPP: I think it's a good start. I think it has been hard for Republicans at these town halls and everywhere else to try to get to this question of what does replacement look like? And I think this is something that Paul Ryan and others have been talking about for a year. I think it's got some rough sledding with conservatives for a whole slew of very reasonable concerns, but this is how the legislative process starts, and I am glad it is starting.

HANNITY: Mercedes, what's your take?

MERCEDES SCHLAPP: I think that Republicans recognize that they have to get this bill right. There is too much on the line. We know with the midterm elections in 2018, they need to make sure that this is a successful process. And it will mean negotiation occurring in Congress. And I think you're going to see President Trump stepping in at some point if he finds something he doesn't like. But I do feel that it is a step in the right direction.

HANNITY: What about the charge of a new entitlement, are you worried about that?

MATT SCHLAPP: Yes, it is expensive. Look at the size of these refundable tax credits. They are really large. And Republican have to --

HANNITY: Then how do we answer those that say, you know the liberal left are going to say, what about the poor people? Do you want children to die?  That is going to be their argument.

MATT SCHLAPP: Republicans have to decide, are we for lowering the cost of health care but keeping our health care the very best in the world, or is it all about having people have health insurance for very mediocre health care? I think that is what ObamaCare was and that is why it never got up to 50 percent in the polls.

MERCEDES SCHLAPP: I do believe that Republicans need to think right away to ensure those with lower income are taken care of to a certain degree.  Leave it to the states. Let them figure it out with Medicaid. And also, the Republicans, some of them are going to keep the Medicaid expansion in this. Actually Republican governors support it.

HANNITY: I have got to run. By the way, you have how many, four beautiful girls?

MERCEDES SCHLAPP: Five.

HANNITY: My gosh. I thought it was bad for me, Matt. I had three older sisters and one bathroom. That is what you call hell on earth. It was rough.

MATT SCHLAPP: Hannity, you're the one telling us to keep trying for that boy.

HANNITY: I don't know about that. That's out of my league. I only give political advice. Good to see you both. You're both dear friends.

MERCEDES SCHLAPP: Great to see you.

HANNITY: We need your help, an important "Question of the Day," and the "Hannity" hotline, some mean messages for me, straight ahead.

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HANNITY: Time for our "Question of the Day." So what do you think about President Trump's accusations? By the way, if the news media was wrong, if the Obama administration wiretapped him, are they going to apologize? And Trump just said it, I quoted New York Times. Facebook.com/SeanHannity, @SeanHannity on Twitter.

Now time to play the messages you have left for me on the "Hannity" hotline.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Sean, you are the best, man. But pitch the Nerf and grab some real pigskin.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You dress impeccably, impeccably. But your tie is always off to the right. Kindly center that for me before I lose my sanity, OK? Thank you. Keep up the good work.

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HANNITY: I think she is right. I think it's off to the right. I spend 30 seconds in the makeup chair. I don't pay attention to this stuff.

Anyway, something nice you want to say, mean you want to say, call the number on your screen, 877-225-8587. And by the way, I would throw the real pigskin but I've broken enough lights in the studio. I know have to pay for them. We will see you back here tomorrow night.

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