TRANSCRIPT

Secretary Tom Price: Health bill is a work in progress

On 'Hannity,' the Health and Human Services secretary says the legislation provides affordable coverage individuals need; lays out the three phases

 

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," March 7, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY: It's time to break down the GOP's American Health Care Act and determine whether it is really is going to work for you, the American people.  It's time to hold Washington accountable, and that is tonight's 'Opening Monologue.'
Let's go back to 2009. Then President Obama told a room full of lawmakers that, quote, 'Elections have consequences.' Well, eight years later, with the Republicans now in control of the House, the Senate and the executive branch, Obama's crowning achievement is officially on the chopping block.
Some on the right, many conservatives, are slamming the bill, including Americans for Prosperity, the Club for Growth, the Heritage Action Committee and many others, including author Daniel Horowitz. He released an article titled 'RINOcare, a more insolvent version of ObamaCare, except this time, the GOP owns it.'
Some congressional Republicans are also raising very serious issues. Let's take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MIKE LEE, R-UTAH: What's been introduced in the last 24 hours is not the ObamaCare replacement plan, not the ObamaCare repeal plan we've been hoping for. This is instead a step in the wrong direction.
REP. LOUIE GOHMERT, R-TEXAS: There better not be a rule that prevents amendments that are badly needed to fix this flawed bill.
REP. MARK MEADOWS, R-N.C.: Obviously, we have some serious concerns. We haven't been shy about the serious concerns as we look at that. And yet with any negotiation, you look at the tradeoffs. What are the risks versus the rewards?
SEN. RAND PAUL, R-K.Y., FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The House bill's been put forward is 'ObamaCare lite.' It won't work. Premiums and prices will continue to spiral out of control.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Is the American Health Care Act 'ObamaCare lite'?
Before we get to that, let's take a step back. Let's look at some positive aspects that are in this plan.
After seven years of promising to repeal ObamaCare, Republicans are attempting to do just that. That's a good thing. By eliminating the individual and employer mandates -- that's a good thing. Also, this bill strips federal funding for abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.
That's a promise the president made on the campaign trail. It also eliminates the medical device tax, as well as other oppressive taxes enacted under ObamaCare.

But -- and a big 'but' tonight. While the American Health Care Act is a step in the right direction, it is far from perfect. It must be fixed.
ObamaCare must be under all circumstances completely repealed. We have rising premium costs, they must be addressed further. And certain types of insurance free cooperatives need to be utilized, as long as -- as well as health care savings accounts, which we will explore in just a minute.
Before the GOP -- I'm warning everybody on both sides of this debate.
Until they erupt into massive infighting, it's very important to note these words from the Health and Human Services secretary, who will join us later, Tom Price.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM PRICE, HHS SECRETARY: This is a work in progress, and we'll work with the House and the Senate in this process. As you know, it's a legislative process that occurs. You start at a starting point. People engage and they get involved in the process, sometimes to a greater degree. Nothing focuses the mind like a bill that's currently on the table and that has -- has a -- is a work in progress, or in process. And we'll work through it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: It's very important the Freedom Caucus and the Study Group in the House and people like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and Mike Lee be listened to and that their contributions added to this bill.
So Secretary Price is right. And tonight, I want to put an end to the civil war that seems to be brewing inside the Republican Party. The current version of the American Health Care Act, as Tom Price said, is a first draft. First drafts are never perfect, always filled with errors, miscalculations. It's up to Republican members of Congress to come together and fix this bill and get it right for you, the American people, all while putting together a unified strategy to combat efforts from Democrats to paint the bill as a disaster for low-income Americans. In other words, Republicans want to kill children and kill old people.
These cannot take place, these discussions on TV or in the press. My suggestion tonight is Republicans, that includes the Freedom Caucus, that includes the senators I mentioned, and that includes others, should get together in a room, work through these issues in person, the House Freedom Caucus, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, other conservatives who have been loudly voicing their concerns for eight years, and sadly, many of these ideas were not represented in this bill.
Once ObamaCare is repealed and replaced, Republicans, you are going to own what's in this. And those who voted to put you in control of Congress will not settle for 'ObamaCare lite,' myself included. Congress, remember, your jobs are on the line here. But more importantly, so are the lives and the well-being of millions of Americans. You got to get this right and you've got to join forces.

Frankly, it would have been better if a consensus bill was built before it was released. But with that being said, you still have time to fix it, and I hope you do.
Joining me now is a doctor who all members of Congress, I believe, should get to know. He founded what's called Atlas MD, a health care cooperative.
It's in Wichita, Kansas, that is in insurance-free. Dr. Josh Umbehr is with us, as well as family physician Dr. Ryan Neuhofel. Guys, welcome to the program. Dr. Umbehr...

DR. JOSH UMBEHR, ATLAS MD, PHYSICIAN: Thank you, Sean, for having us.

HANNITY: ... how long have I been talking to you on radio in particular? How many years has it been. It's been a while, right?

UMBEHR: Oh, five, six years now.

HANNITY: OK. Let's go back -- how many people do you serve in your health cooperative? How much does it cost? What are people provided? And tell us about the incredible deals you made with pharmaceutical companies, and tell us how it's been duplicated. So I'm really opening it up for you to explain what you do.

UMBEHR: Absolutely. And thanks for being the leader in having this conversation about real solutions that could be enacted to help Americans.
The idea is direct primary care, which is the new model going forward, where we don't take insurance because we don't need insurance for the common things. Our care is $10 a month for kids, $50 a month for most adults for unlimited visits, no co-pays, free office procedures and up to95 percent savings on medications, labs, imaging, et cetera, by going wholesale.

We're able to take that full value, go back to an employer, decrease their insurance premiums by 30 to 60 percent in the first year. These are things that could dramatically change the scope of medicine in this country.

HANNITY: Let me go over some of what I know about it. So children on the plan pay $10 a month?

UMBEHR: That's correct.

HANNITY: Well, their parents pay, I'm sure. Adults pay $50 a person, right?

UMBEHR: We make some of them pay themselves.

HANNITY: Wow. All right.

PRICE: Adults, yes.

HANNITY: And adults pay $50 a person. Now, that includes, correct me if I'm wrong, unlimited health care, right? Unlimited inasmuch as...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: ... unlimited doctor visits. They can go see you -- they can get
-- let's go to the simple things. If they need stitches, they can go to your office and get stitches, correct?

PRICE: For free.

HANNITY: And if they need antibiotics, they can get antibiotics.

PRICE: For pennies on the pill.

HANNITY: And if they break a bone, what happens?

PRICE: Well, then we could get X-rays for $20 to $40 typically. And that includes radiology reads. So something that could easily be over $100 anywhere else, or over $500 to $1,000 at the ER. So...

HANNITY: All for 50 bucks a month.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: ... all that, and you pay a little bit extra for your MRI reading, but you pay considerably less. And the average person might have a catastrophic insurance plan on top of it, if God forbid, they have a heart attack or get cancer or have a bad accident, right?

PRICE: Absolutely. And now those plans would be drastically cheaper per month, so they're more affordable so more people would have health insurance. And actually, the insurance companies that have worked with us the longest, like Allied National out of Kansas City, actually show better profit margins in this plan. So we've worked hard that the insurance companies see a benefit, the employers see a benefit, but most importantly, the patient see a benefit.

HANNITY: Guys, thank you both. Congratulations on what you've been able to accomplish.

Now, stay right there. Coming up next tonight on 'Hannity'...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRICE: The American people have said to their elected leaders that the ObamaCare process for them gaining coverage and care is not working. That's what they've said. And so we believe it's important to respond to the American people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: The Health and Human Services secretary, Tom Price -- he spoke to reporters today about the ObamaCare replacement plan. He says it's only a first step. Well, hopefully, some people believe that. He'll join us next in a 'Hannity' exclusive.

And then later -- are there left-wing deep state forces trying to sabotage the president and his administration? Laura Ingraham weighs in on that issue tonight. Also, Monica Crowley is back. That and more on this busy news night tonight on 'Hannity.'

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL RYAN, R-WISCONSIN, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Doing big things is never easy, but we have made a promise, and we're going to keep that promise. We made a promise to repeal and replace ObamaCare with conservative solutions and reforms. That is exactly what this bill does and that's why we're here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: All right, that was Speaker Paul Ryan earlier today talking about the Republican plan to now repeal, replace ObamaCare. But not all GOP lawmakers are on board with this new legislation.

Joining us now is the Health and Human Services secretary, former congressman, somebody I've known for a while, Tom Price. By the way, congratulations, congressman, on your new position.

PRICE: Oh, thanks, Sean. Thank you so much. Wonderful to be with you.

HANNITY: I know that -- I guess my surprise -- and if you look at the criticisms from the Freedom Caucus, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio -- these are significant conservatives, also conservatives on radio. And I had interviewed you a long time ago about your specific plan.

And I guess what is so kind of shocking to me is that all these criticisms were out there by conservatives before the bill was introduced. Why wasn't there a meeting and a consensus built on the bill within the Republican Party before it was released?

PRICE: Well, it was released by the House, as you know. But we've been working with members of the Senate, members of the House, stakeholders all across the land about this piece of legislation. And I think we've gotten to a pretty sweet spot.

Now, there -- this is a work in progress and continues to be so. But the core is that ObamaCare has failed, as you well know. We got costs that are going up. The access is going down. It's only getting worse. You got insurers pulling out of the market. Premiums are going up. Deductibles are skyrocketing. So people aren't getting care or coverage right now in the individual and small group market.

HANNITY: Yes.

PRICE: This bill addresses just that by providing the kinds of access to care and affordable coverage that individuals need.

HANNITY: I guess it's -- we all agree on repeal. I guess the replacement is where the disagreement within the Republican Party -- what I -- what I don't want to see happen, congressman -- Secretary Price -- I'm used to calling you congressman. What I don't want to see is an intramural civil war with Republicans...

PRICE: Absolutely.

HANNITY: ... over the bill. For example, the big criticism is it's not a full repeal, A, and B, and that it's a new entitlement program. And one of the things one of the Freedom Caucus members told me today is they would rather block grant any money for the uninsured or the poor back to the states. Would that be something you'd be open to?

PRICE: Well, we're talking about tactics, and that thing. But let me make clear to people that this -- this single bill is not the entire plan.
There are three different phases. One is this bill that has to go through reconciliation because it's a budgetary process.

Two is all of the kinds of rules and regulations. You remember all the things that the previous administration did, hundreds of rules, thousands, literally thousands of guidance letters. We're going to go through every single one of them to determine whether or not they help patients or hurt patients. And if they hurt patients, we're going to do our best to get rid of them.

And then the third phase is another piece of legislation that can't be done through reconciliation because of the specific rules. Those are the kinds of things that we're going to do in those phase two and three, to purchase across state lines, to put in lawsuit abuse reform, expand HSAs in a more vibrant way, all the things that we know will actually bring down costs and allow individuals to get the coverage that they want for themselves and for their families.

HANNITY: I guess because a lot of people thought the 123-page bill was the bill, and I guess that's the reason. Mr. Secretary, let me ask this question because one of the things that some conservatives are asking -- and I think it's a fair question. They -- every Republican voted for a repeal bill in and of itself in 2015. Why not do that again so you ensure all of it is gone? Is that possible?

PRICE: Well, I don't think that the governors of the states would allow that to happen because what...

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: ... Washington.

PRICE: ... is that repealing the programs that they've used to try to cover their most vulnerable populations and not then being able to know what the future holds -- that's not a viable proposal.

And the president, as you well know, has said repeal and replace. We're going to do them concurrently and move forward. And that's why it's important for people to recognize the three different phases, the bill, the rule changes and the secondary bill.

HANNITY: Is there a new entitlement in this bill?

PRICE: Absolutely not.

HANNITY: In other words, money...

PRICE: What we're trying to do, Sean, as you well know, is to equalize the tax treatment of health coverage for folks. We've said that for years.
Conservatives have said that for years. If you get your coverage through your employer, which is about 175 million people in this country, you get a tax benefit because you're -- that's paid with pre-tax dollars. The individuals that are out there in the individual and small group market, they don't have any tax benefits.

We're trying to equalize the tax treatment of health care coverage for folks, and that's the way that we think makes it much more fair for all individuals across this land.

HANNITY: You know, in the last segment, we had Dr. Josh Umbehr from Wichita, and it's somebody that I've known for a lot of years. He's a really smart guy. He's from Wichita, Kansas. And he started this cooperative, and it's been duplicated a lot around the country. In his cooperative in Kansas, they have a $10 monthly charge for children, a $50 monthly charge for adults. It includes unlimited health care.

He has independently negotiated with the pharmaceutical companies for the major drugs that his patients need and gets 90 percent reductions. And then most of his patients have catastrophic plans, which are relatively inexpensive, based on what your deductible is...

PRICE: Correct.

HANNITY: ... in case you have a heart attack, an accident, God forbid, or cancer, God forbid. And that is the best insurance -- that's what insurance seems to really be for.

Can that be duplicated? For example, could the Bricklayers Association of America, carpenters' unions across America -- is that something that maybe could be duplicated, considering it's so impressive to me...

PRICE: Yes.

HANNITY: ... on top of the health care savings accounts, which we all agree we need in this bill?

PRICE: Absolutely. What a great model to follow. And the flexibility that we have in this legislation and that we will have in the second and third phases -- the flexibility that we'll allow ought to be able to make it so that that could be a model for anybody that wants to do that. Right now, it's virtually impossible, and that's not -- that's -- that's a program that may work for government...

HANNITY: Yes.

PRICE: ... but it doesn't work for patients. And that's where we need to have our focus.

HANNITY: Last question, Mr. Secretary. How much input -- those people that have been vocal and critical today, the Freedom Caucus, those senators that I mentioned, these conservative groups that I mentioned, Heritage Action, Club for Growth, FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity -- how much input will you allow them to have as you move forward in these three phases? Because a lot of them were pretty upset today.

PRICE: We're looking forward to working with every single person, as we have to date, and folks who are interested in moving our health care system in a direction that puts patients and families and doctors in charge.

And we're in the receiving mode for the kinds of reforms that people think need be put into place through the regulatory process, through the guidance process, through the third piece of legislation, that third phase that will be necessary. This is incredibly important, and it's such an exciting time to be able to respond to the concerns of the American people and the dictates that they have, the requirement that they have to make certain that we address our health care system.

HANNITY: Oh, it's -- look, this is the -- this is a defining moment for the Republicans...

PRICE: That's right.

HANNITY: ... and certainly for the president, the fact that you're going to have an open door and these people will be heard, and those changes are going to be made -- as you said, this is a first step -- is a little more reassuring than how I felt earlier today.

Mr. Secretary, I look forward to continuing this discussion as we move forward, and I wish you the best of luck.

PRICE: Thanks, Sean.

HANNITY: We get this done, but get it done right. Thank you, sir.

PRICE: We got to get it done right. Thanks so much, Sean. Take care.

HANNITY: All right, appreciate it. All the best.

And coming up, are Obama holdovers, is that shadow government officials -- are they working behind the scenes to continue to damage the Trump administration? We'll examine tonight's evidence. We'll get reaction from Laura Ingraham.

And later tonight, she's back. Monica Crowley returns to 'Hannity' with reaction to the unrelenting attacks against everybody in the Trump administration, as we continue.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

HANNITY: Welcome back to 'Hannity.' The alt-left propaganda destroy Trump media and the Democrats -- they're now smearing the commander-in-chief while flat-out refusing to ask President Barack Obama very critical questions about wiretapping. And that is tonight's 'mini- monologue.'
The left is breathlessly saying that the president isn't telling the truth over wiretapping allegations. Take a look at some of the headlines from The New York Times, CNN, The Washington Post smearing the president. 'Trump offering no evidence says Obama tapped his phones,' 'Trump's baseless wiretap claim' and 'Trump citing no evidence accuses Obama of Nixon Watergate plot to wiretap Trump Tower.'
The hypocrisy is stunning! Why? The New York Times is accusing the president of lying, but they are the ones that printed this headline on the front page of their paper of all days January 20th. Wiretap data used in inquiry of Trump aides.
If you read the article, it says in part, quote, 'The FBI is leading the investigations aided by the National Security Agency, the CIA and the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Unit.'
'Now, the investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, the official said. One official said intelligence reports based on some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the White House.'
The New York Times reported on wiretapped communications that got to the White House. But somehow, President Trump -- he's the one who's lying? This is ridiculous and it proves exactly why you, the American people, do not trust the media.
There's also the ridiculous statement from President Barack Obama's spokesman. '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 ordered'-- keyword -- 'ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false. '
The statement never said that President Obama didn't know about it, like The New York Times told us, just that he didn't order it. So is anyone in the press ever going to ask if Obama knew about the surveillance of an opposition party during an election year, or will they just give him another pass?
Here with reaction, editor-in-chief of Lifezette, Fox News contributor, nationally syndicated radio host -- and she's got more titles than any guest we ever had -- and best-selling author, and what -- what are you throwing up in the year, my football?

LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX CONTRIBUTOR: No, just my phone. I just -- you want to-- you want to -- I just want to blow it up now and not even look at the phone.

HANNITY: Well, my phone's been blowing up all day, too.

INGRAHAM: Yes.

HANNITY: I can only imagine. All right, this is really important. They reported on it. So all Donald Trump has to say is, Well, I was quoting you guys. You guys supposedly tell the truth. Who would ever doubt The New York Times?

It becomes amusing. When are they ever going to say, Oh, maybe we were wrong, and apologize and retract?

INGRAHAM: Yes, it's no doubt that that January report, Sean, in The New York Times showed that the intelligence agencies have been monitoring associates, former associates, advisers of Donald Trump, applied for a FISA warrant once, was rejected, got a FISA warrant on a second go-round.

It looks like everyone from Roger Stone to Carter Page and Paul Manafort, and who knows how many other people were monitored. Now, I guess they're quibbling with the wording of Donald Trump's tweet. OK, I'll concede that.
Maybe the exact working -- maybe Obama didn't definitively order it. But maybe the president knew about it, and...

HANNITY: Well, The New York Times, if you look at that statement, it says they did know about it.

INGRAHAM: Yes, well, definitely the administration did. I'm just saying specifically ordering it. I mean, that's what they're -- they're hanging this all on. And they did it at the White House briefing today. They went around and around and around with Sean Spicer about this, I think to little or no effect.

What you see happening now in Washington is that Donald Trump's moving forward on his key agenda items. And there's a lot of disagreement on those agenda items, even among Republicans, as we're seeing with the ObamaCare fight. But he's moving forward. He needs to keep doing that. And this Russia bombshell, WikiLeaks today, if that's verified, it looks like it's verified, the intelligence agencies --

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: What you make of it? It's pretty damning.

INGRAHAM: It's really if it's true because part of what was revealed is that our intelligence agencies are using countries like Russia as scapegoats when it's really them.

HANNITY: That was the most revealing thing to me. Great minds think alike here. And we need to set this foundation. WikiLeaks has not been wrong in over 10 years, not one time have they been proven wrong in terms of what they have released. You're right. If they were using specific deceptive techniques to make it look like the Russians, then that opens up the question, did in fact they try and pin all of this Russia conspiracy stuff that the media has fallen hook, line, and sinker for without any evidence, did they do it internally, the same people that are leaking on Trump?

INGRAHAM: You know what's odd, Sean, is when the Democrats refuse release, the DNC refused to release their computers or their server --

HANNITY: To the FBI.

INGRAHAM: -- for forensic analysis. I thought that was very odd. If you're worried about hacking and you even can think it would be related back somehow to the Republican nominee, wouldn't you want to -- wouldn't you want to reveal that? Wouldn't you want to find whatever you can find?
So at the time that struck me as odd. I know the president himself has referenced this several times. That was a red flag for me back then.

HANNITY: They brought in outsiders to do it instead of the FBI.

INGRAHAM: Yes, a third-party contractor, why was that done? A lot of
questions.  

HANNITY: Am I wrong in thinking this runs deeper and probably is connected to the elites, or am I jumping out too far?

INGRAHAM: I don't think the White House communications team has to worry about the phones being looked at. The team, the assistant secretary or press secretary is leaking? No, no, no. If anyone is leaking, it looks like from what we are seeing in WikiLeaks and some of the reports in the media, it's probably someone from the intelligence agencies and likely, very sadly, the CIA.

HANNITY: If all this turns out to be true, this could be a scandal much bigger than Watergate, couldn't it?

INGRAHAM: Exactly. It could be, Sean, and that's why there are a lot of former elected officials who were very concerned about allowing our intelligence agencies to get so big, so powerful, and when they get so big and powerful, they run so deep, they called to the deep state, how are they accountable? Are they accountable to anybody?

HANNITY: This WikiLeaks revelation today coupled with an interview I did with this guy Vinnie who was a 32-year NSA veteran who is a whistleblower retired, he said every phone conversation, every text, every email of every American is locked up in metadata.

INGRAHAM: I saw that.

HANNITY: That's scary.

INGRAHAM: Go back to in person communication, Sean.

HANNITY: That's police state tactics. That would be frightening. All right, good to see you, Laura, as always.

Up next, Monica Crowley makes her return to the program. We'll ask her about the left's all-out assault against anybody associated with Donald Trump, our president. And also later tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKA BRZEZINSKI, MSNBC HOST: This is really bad. Just for the record, we are really nervous. If people out there feel nervous, we do too.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Mika needs a hug. The alt-left propaganda, destroy Trump media, sinking to new lows attacking the commander-in-chief. We have Larry Elder and Ari Fleischer here with reaction, that and more on this crazy busy news night HANNITY.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: Welcome back to HANNITY. She is back. Our good friend of the program, conservative commentator and author, writer, Monica Crowley. Welcome back. How are you?

MONICA CROWLEY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Hi, Sean. OK.

HANNITY: All right, let me start, people may not know that you were the sister-in-law of our dear friend Alan Colmes, and my heart goes out to you and your sister. How is she doing?

CROWLEY: Thank you. She's OK.

HANNITY: How are you doing?

CROWLEY: She's coping with it. Thank you for asking. Alan, was such a gentleman as everybody in his audience knows, and he was the kindest, most decent man you will ever meet. He treated everyone with the same respect and kindness whether you are the president of the United States and or the man on the street. He was my friend.

HANNITY: He was my friend even though I disagreed with everything he said. And I was really angry at a couple outlets. We'll deal with that more in the future.

So you were going to go to the administration. You got viciously attacked. And by the way, you're not the only one. It's Bannon, it's Reince, it's Kellyanne, it's Steve Miller, it's even Melania, and they're going after Jared, they're going after Ivanka, they even went after a 10-year-old kid.
It's pretty ugly. Now they're going after Sebastian Gorka which is ridiculous. But it seems that anyone around the president is getting attacked. And I wanted to give you a chance, because you hadn't been out there publicly for personal and other reasons, to respond to this.

CROWLEY: Well, look, what happened to me was a despicable, straight up political hit job, OK. It's been debunked. My editor has completely supported me and backed me up.

There is a very toxic, and it's getting increasingly toxic and poisonous atmosphere of personal destruction in Washington and the media. It's always sort of been there but now it's at a whole new level. And this is exactly why smart and good people do not want to go into government service. I will tell you that nothing and nobody is ever going to stop me from speaking out on the issues I care about the future of this nation. There's also a really bigger point here.

HANNITY: Look what they did to General Flynn.

CROWLEY: Well, and this is the bigger point. In some ways I was something of the canary in the coal mine. The attack on me was a test. What happened to me, what happened to General Flynn, what has happened to Attorney General Sessions and others is all of a piece. There is a very dangerous and very effective destabilization campaign underway against this president, his administration and his agenda. And what I hope that the president and his senior aides understand is that these forces are not just looking to delegitimize him. We often talk about that. Sure they want to do that. They want to personally destroy him, destroy his presidency, and they would like to see the man in prison. I hope that the president understands. I am not overstating this, having been a victim of this myself. They are out for blood.

And the reason they have to destroy him is that Donald Trump is an alien organism that has been injected into the body politic by the American people to reform it. He must not be allowed to succeed. They have swarmed him, they have everybody around him in order to reject him out of the system just like any alien organism. He must not be allowed to succeed.
And I hope that everybody around him now understands that this is a war, and that they started a long time ago, but they will not end until they get the president of the United States.

HANNITY: I totally agree with you. By the way, I want to say one thing.
We have a mutual friend, Andy McCarthy. I don't think you should answer any of these people's questions, because they can go straight to hell. You know how I deal with stuff. I don't care what anybody says, and I thought he did a great job in debunking the issue for you.

Here's what's important, though, what you're saying, very important, I think. I see five different factions going after the president. And each one, you've got the snowflake faction, all these protesters that are being paid in many cases to create an image that there is chaos in the country.
Then you've got to Democratic Party, obstructionists, want no part of this president succeeding because they look bad and are out of power for a long time.

Then you've got a media establishment which we know through WikiLeaks colluded in this last campaign. They never vetted Obama, they never told the truth about what a failure he's been, that's a big part of it. Then you've got Republicans who are weak and timid. And then the fifth part is an intelligence community that is so clearly and obviously, people within it, I have great respect for people in intelligence, but there are those in that community, the swamp, the shadow government that I talk about, the state, if you will, the deep state that we talk about, they're out for blood. And this is five significant, powerful establishment forces that are lined up against this president. This is not a game. They want to destroy him, delegitimize him, and get him out if they can.

CROWLEY: They want him in prison. And this is what we need to understand.

HANNITY: So true.

CROWLEY: David Brock and some of these organizations have already raised tens of millions of dollars for an impeachment process. Then they want jail to the chief. They need to understand that this is a war. We are so far beyond normal politics, Sean, we are in a very dangerous moment. While President Trump is a very strong leader and a man of strong constitution, he was able to survive all of this during the campaign and get elected president. When you're president and you are faced with the kind of monolithic opposition you're talking about, plus a federal bureaucracy that is completely out to undermine him every day, the intelligence community that is engaged in some of this as well that we have heard, I hope to God that he is strong enough to withstand this. Because if he succeeds, the country changes for the good, and they must not allow that to happen.

HANNITY: What a strong, powerful admonition. We missed you. We're so sorry about Alan. My best to you and your family. You know how I feel about all of you.

On a busy news night, what's on next on it HANNITY? This.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRZEZINSKI: This is really bad. Just for the record, we are all really nervous. So if people out there and feel nervous, we do too.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Joe, give Mika a hug. You've got the alt-left propaganda, destroy Trump media, well, they need to now admit that they're not unbiased journalist. They have a role in this game. We'll examine that. We'll get reaction from Larry Elder and Ari Fleischer straight ahead.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: Welcome back to HANNITY. So they alt-left propaganda, destroy Trump at all costs media, they're working overtime to take down the Trump administration. Listen to MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski. She seemed to be fighting back tears yesterday she was so upset talking about President Trump. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRZEZINSKI: Were at a low point in American history. And I don't know how anybody can defend this president, even if it's their job. Like you've got to have a job after this. You've got to look in the mirror after this.
This is not funny. This is really bad. Just for the record, we're all really nervous. If people out there feel nervous, we do too. We don't think this is funny.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Really? Maybe overwrought there. And then CNN's Anderson Cooper says he has muted President Trump on Twitter. Let's look at more of the liberal media.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: I've actually muted the president on Twitter, don't tell them.

STEPHEN COLBERT: What?

COOPER: I've muted him.

COLBERT: You can do that?

COOPER: Yes. When you get annoying people tweeting you, you don't want to delete because then that tells them you've deleted them. So if you just mute them, they think you're still following them and you don't actually see their tweets. I just don't want to have that drama in my life.

(LAUGHTER)

COLBERT: You have to accept that he's president. You have to accept that he's president.

COOPER: Of course I do. I have great respect for the president. I just don't need to follow him on Twitter.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: There is your fair, your balanced, unbiased journalist. Maybe they should stop pretending that and be who they are, radical, lazy leftist activists on TV.

Joining us now with reaction, Salem nationally syndicated radio talk show host Larry Elder who is laughing, and former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer. All right, Ari, is that fair and balanced or are they any different --

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: Is that fair and balanced? Poor Mika, somebody get her either a stiff drink or a padded room. Help her out.

ARI FLEISCHER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Look, Sean, as a former press secretary, my job is to deal with all reporters. And I do and I continue to enjoy doing that. But let me also add, Republicans always have to work twice as hard as Democrats to get a fair break in the press, and Donald Trump is to work three times as hard. And no, it's not fair and balanced. You have to be a professional in this business, and I don't like the idea of professional journalists, neutral journalists saying they're muting a president, a news source.

And Mika is an opinion journalist, so she's in a bit of a different category. But people should not be nervous. I said this repeatedly and I say it when I do her show. Let it play out. Let's see what Donald Trump can do.

HANNITY: She didn't she was nervous when a guy palled around with an unrepentant terrorist became president. I don't remember going deep in that story like I did. Then President Obama was only asked one time during the campaign.

Larry, I know you're laughing. Some of this is funny, I've got to admit. But on another level, really, they do want to destroy Trump. They want to destroy the president. They are trying to delegitimize him and they want to stop his agenda, and at most, if they're lucky, they want him out of office.

LARRY ELDER, SALEM RADIO NATIONAL SYNDICATED HOST: Oh, the inhumanity. The good news for Mika is that under the ObamaCare replacement plan whatever bothering her is probably covered. I really think what's going on here is a deep-seated fear that this SOB might actually be successful. God forbid we get a four percent GDP growth as was the case with Ronald Reagan.
Ronald Reagan when he ran for reelection took 49 states. What did he do? Cut taxes, continued deregulation, and slowed down the rate of nondefense government spending, all of which Donald Trump is doing. You put that together, we get a four percent GDP, none of this stuff will matter.
Nobody will care about what Mike Brzezinski said or Don Lemon or Katy Tur, or any of the other people that are frankly quite hysterical over this presidency.

HANNITY: The bottom line, though, Ari, is I have said journalism is dead.
Look at, for example, 'The New York Times.' 'The New York Times' reported that the president was wiretapped. They did it multiple times as did the BBC, as did McClatchy, as did other major sources, mainstream media news.
The president acknowledges what they reported and somehow he's to blame.

   When are they going to ever have some introspection, some self- examination as it relates to colluding with Hillary Clinton? And if they're going to blame Trump for reporting and talking about what they report, when are they going to take the same on themselves? It's kind of hypocritical, isn't it.

FLEISCHER: It will never happen, Sean. And I'm in a little bit of a different position on this in terms of my viewpoint. I don't think they're dead, but I think they severely wounded themselves, and the American people agree with that.

HANNITY: You agree they colluded with Hillary. Would you agree they didn't vet Obama?

FLEISCHER: Of course. You have them sharing questions for a debate, that happened on the CNN in one instance. And that never should have happened.
And so the point is the press is not neutral. The press is biased. I've dealt with that for the decades I was in Washington from Capitol Hill all the way to the White House. It's far worse with Donald Trump. And that's the error we're in now.

But look at a day like today. Today was the Trump presidency is and should be about, repealing and replacing Obamacare. Larry is right, these are the big issues upon which President Trump's presidency is going to rise or fall, and today has been a very good day for Donald Trump.

HANNITY: I think that's good with one caveat, he's got a lot of conservative opposition. I think they should have built the consensus plan before they released it. That's my own personal view. Secretary Price was very clear that it's going to happen in three phases and all of the critics will be included in the end. Larry, I say that if Donald Trump checks off that promise list and gets it done, he walks into reelection in spite of all the noise that you hear everywhere.

ELDER: I agree with that 100 percent. It's one thing for the media to be biased, we already knew that. It's another thing for the media to collude.
And because of WikiLeaks we found out 'The New York Times,' 'The Washington Post' staffers for Jake Tapper at CNN, Wolf Blitzer, Dana Milbank, the columnist with 'The Washington Post,' contacting the DNC, getting ideas, getting suggestions. This is collusion. This is far beyond just simply having a sympathetic and political agreement with the left. These are people who are literally trying to get Republicans defeated. I've never seen the like of it.

And one of the things Donald Trump has done that no other president has done is call them on it, put them on notice, and let people know that they are not just spies, that they are actively trying to stop Republicans. And no one's done that before, and I salute Mr. Trump for having done that.

HANNITY: Guys, great segment, thank you both for being with us, always appreciate you being on.

When we come back, we need your help, an important question of the day. And yes, some mean, horrible HANNITY hotline voice mails from you. We'll get to that straight ahead.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: Welcome back to HANNITY. It is time for our 'Question of the Day.' So what do you think of the Republican health care plan? Do you agree with me it needs changes? I believe it does. I believe it will happen. Just go to Facebook.com/SeanHannity, @SeanHannity on Twitter, let us know what you think.

All right, hit me with your best shot. Be as mean as you need to be. I can handle whatever you've got. These are the messages left on the HANNITY hotline.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Sean, I have a poem for you. The HANNITY hotline is awesome. Let's make our voice heard from every corner of the land on the abstract to the absurd. Your show is very balanced. You deal with only facts. That separates the true American spirit from the partisan political pack. Please call the HANNITY hotline. It's where political junkies opine. Some offer praise, laud, encourage, and some just call to whine. God bless you, Sean.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sean Hannity, you are the most biased, idiotic reporter I've ever heard in my entire life. Will you ever not have Obama's name in your mouth? You continue to bash this man who is not even in office anymore. This probably won't reach air but I think you should go jump off of a bridge today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: I'm running right after the show. I'll jump off the nearest bridge I find. Kathy, thank you for your nice phone. You want to be mean like Elliot? Hit me with your best shot. You see the number on your screen, 877-225-8587.

That is all the time we have left this evening. Hope you set your DVR, never miss an episode. Back here tomorrow night, thanks for being with us.


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