TRANSCRIPT

Circa News, Bloomberg break down the Susan Rice revelations; Sen. Cruz talks Gorsuch, ObamaCare fight, working with Trump

On 'Hannity,' insight into the new developments on the Trump transition team

 

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," April 3, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And welcome to this busy news night tonight on "Hannity." In just a few minutes, Sara Carter with Circa News, Senator Ted Cruz, Sheriff David Clarke, Larry Elder, Geraldo Rivera, Michael Cohen -- they'll join us.

But first, today multiple damning new reports reveal that former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice was the person who requested that the names of the Trump transition team members who were caught up in surveillance be unmasked. She has a lot of explaining to do. And that's tonight's very important "Opening Monologue."

All right, for weeks right here on this program, we have been demanding answers about who knew what and when about the surveillance of President Trump, candidate Trump, and of course, members of his transition team.

Also tonight, we appear to have a very important key piece of this very complex puzzle. Now, Fox's own Adam Housley, he's going to join us in a few minutes for the full report. He is revealing that, quote, "the unmasked names of people associated with Donald Trump were then sent to all of those at the National Security Council and some at the Defense Department, then director of National Intelligence James Clapper and then CIA Director John Brennan -- essentially the officials at the top, including former Rice deputy Ben Rhodes." Now, this proves the surveillance was widespread and it was known by a lot of people.

And there's more. Intel sources now tell Sara Carter with Circa News, who will also join us tonight, that the unmasking of names connected with the Trump team, quote, "appeared to begin last July around the time that Trump secured the GOP nomination and accelerated after Trump's election in November, launched a transition that continued through January."

Now, Circa News is also reporting that most, if not all, had nothing to do with Russia. And that's not all tonight. Eli Lake with Bloomberg View, who will also join us tonight, reported today, quote, "One U.S. official familiar with the reports said they contained valuable political information on the Trump transition team, such as whom the Trump team was meeting, the views of Trump associates on foreign policy matters and plans for the incoming administration."

And just two weeks ago, Susan Rice, she was specifically asked during an interview on PBS if she knew about members of the Trump team being caught up in, quote, "incidental surveillance." She says no. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "NEWSHOUR"/PBS, MARCH 22)

JUDY WOODRUFF, PBS: I began by asking about the allegations leveled today by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes that Trump transition officials, including the president, may have been swept up in surveillance of foreigners at the end of the Obama administration.

SUSAN RICE, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I know nothing about this. I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that count today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Oh, really? I know nothing about that? Well, that's what you just heard her say. Was she lying in that clip? Well, new reports today indicate yes, yes, she was.

Now, keep in mind this new information about Susan Rice comes on the heels of the smoking gun tape that was uncovered last week that we played on the program of former Obama official Dr. Evelyn Farkas admitting not only surveillance took place but the names were also unmasked and they wanted them leaked!

Now, tonight, we are demanding answers to these questions. The American people, you now have a right to know. For example, what justification did Susan Rice have to unmask these names? That's pretty unprecedented. What did Ben Rhodes know? What did the former director of National Intelligence James Clapper know? What did the former CIA Director John Brennan know?

Was this done for pure political purposes under the ruse of national security? And more importantly, what did then-President Obama know and when did he know it? Did President Obama and members of his administration, did they knowingly surveil an opposition party or an incoming president? America deserves answers tonight.

Now, before we get to that, we bring in Adam Housley with the very latest on his explosive new report. Adam, this is a huge deal and a big development. Let's talk about it.

ADAM HOUSLEY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Sean, we started researching this, you know, last week when we started getting some of our sources talking to (ph). As you mentioned, Eli Lake -- I know he's on your show later -- he was the first one that came out to actually say it was Susan Rice. We had a belief it was Susan Rice also, but of course, we had so much information coming in, you got to make sure we get it get it right first, which we did.

So we can say that multiple sources tell FOX News that the former national security adviser under President Obama, Susan Rice, requested to unmask the names of Trump transition officials. The unmasked names are people associated with Donald Trump, were all then sent, as you mentioned, to the NSC, some at DOD, James Clapper, John Brennan, basically all the people at the top, including former deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes.

Now, these names, we're told, were in (ph) part of incidental electronic surveillance and -- of candidate Trump, President-elect Donald Trump, as well, and people close to him, including his family members, some of them, as well, for up to a year, we're told, before he took office.

Now, when names of Americans are incidentally collected, for those at home who don't know, they're supposed to be masked, meaning the names are redacted from reports, where it's international or domestic collection, unless it's an issue of national security or crime or if their security is threatened in any way.

But there are loopholes and ways to unmask through some back channels, but Americans are supposed be protected from incidental collection. Our sources say in this case, they were not. And this all comes in the wake of Evelyn Farkas's television interview that you mentioned last month. The former deputy assistant secretary of defense under Obama said this in part.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EVELYN FARKAS, FORMER PENTAGON OFFICIAL: I was urging my former colleagues, and frankly speaking, the people on the Hill -- it was more actually aimed at telling the Hill people, Get as much information as you can. Get as much intelligence as you can before President Obama leaves the administration.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOUSLEY: Meantime, we're also told that House Intelligence chairman Devin Nunes knew about the unmasking and leaking back in January, well before President Trump's tweet in March alleging wiretapping. Our sources say, quote, "The intelligence agencies slow-rolled Nunes."

He could have seen the logs in other places besides the White House SCIF, which is the secure room where he and other chairmen have looked at this stuff in the past, but it had already been weeks and he hadn't been able to get the information, so he went to the White House because he could protect his sources and he could also get those logs. So it was twofold.

Also keep in mind, as the Obama administration left office, it approved new rules which gave the NSA much broader powers by relaxing rules about sharing intercepted personal communications and the ability to share those with 16 other U.S. intelligence agencies.

And Sean, I should also mention that Susan Rice -- I know you've covered this, as well, as we did, in regards to Benghazi, but she was the one that went on these Sunday shows claiming it was a video, and now we know all along, we know that attack had nothing to do with a video, Sean.

HANNITY: All right, Adam, great reporting. We really appreciate it. We're going to stay on it.

Joining us now with more from Bloomberg View, Eli Lake, from CircaNews.com, Sara Carter. Eli, let's start with you. Welcome to the program.

All right, so incidental surveillance -- this is what Devin Nunes was talking about, OK, but what bothered him. Now we find out Susan Rice seemingly is purposely unmasking the names of people, but only Trump transition team's member (sic) or maybe even then candidate Trump -- what those conversations were, if they were picked up, quote, "incidentally."

Why is that dangerous? And why should the American people understand the seriousness of this?

ELI LAKE, BLOOMBERG VIEW: Well, I want to just stress that I don't know other things that she requested to be unmasked. But the way I understand is this is that the National Security Council staffer who was brought in for Trump who was doing a review of the unmasking policy noticed an anomaly in the patterns of requests from Susan Rice to unmask the names that were incidentally collected in summaries of basically raw intelligence, of monitored communications.

That was then discovered by the staffer, whose name has been out there. He then takes that to the general counsel's office in the White House, who then looks into this some more and have tried to make this available to first Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, but also Adam Schiff, the ranking member of that committee. And they've also offered this to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

HANNITY: All right, and Sara, so why would Susan Rice, especially as it relates to everything that we have been talking about, take incidental surveillance and ask -- this is raw intelligence -- ask for the unmasking, but only seemingly in the case of the Trump transition team or perhaps even Trump as a candidate?

How dangerous is that when the White House, an administration, a sitting administration, is surveilling and using legitimate surveillance to basically surveill on an opposition party?

SARA CARTER, CIRCA NEWS: Sean, it's extremely concerning because I think those are the questions that need to be asked directly of Susan Rice. I attempted to reach out to her a number of times just to ask her those exact same questions, but she did not return my phone calls.

HANNITY: Shocking.

CARTER: But what I wanted -- I want to step back become what we're looking at is not just the expansion. Remember last week, Sean, you and I discussed this. Section 702 of the 12-333 executive order is supposed to protect Americans from being unmasked. But if we go back to the stories that we wrote last week, in 2011, that was expanded. The FISA court signed off under the Obama administration to allow for more leniency in unmasking.

So it wasn't like -- it's almost like as if it was legalized without us knowing it. And so the unmasking was allowed to occur. So in 2011, then in 2015, they relaxed the laws even more. So what they were able to do is, and we know -- we know it went to Susan Rice. We know former CIA director...

HANNITY: Clapper, Brennan...

CARTER: ... John Brennan was allowed to do this, and Clapper. So they had the ability to request unmasked -- unmasked American intercepts...

HANNITY: Raw intelligence...

CARTER: ... foreign-to-foreign raw intelligence...

HANNITY: That should never have...

CARTER: ... highly classified.

HANNITY: Even if it was legitimate intelligence gathering, they're basically using that as a means to spy on innocent Americans without the benefit of a warrant. Good way to put it?

CARTER: And that's certainly -- yes, and that's certainly what intelligence sources are saying. They're saying, Look...

HANNITY: Right.

CARTER: ... this isn't just about just the unmasking. It's about why did they specifically unmask -- Susan Rice in particular -- at this point, from July -- we're going to all the way back to July...

HANNITY: What would be the logical reason short of they wanted to use legitimate intelligence gathering as a ruse to get to the Trump transition team and maybe even candidate Trump, if it goes back to July?

CARTER: If it goes back to July, these are the questions they have to ask. And according to the sources that I've spoken with, it goes back to July. It happened again in November and then it happened exponentially after November through January. So they were looking at this. Other sources that we've spoken to just recently, as of today...

HANNITY: Wow.

CARTER: ... have said to us that -- these are high-level senior intelligence sources -- said these questions need to be asked. Now, they could have been looking at it because...

HANNITY: All right, I got to break...

CARTER: ... some sources are saying -- OK.

HANNITY: All right, standard operating procedures is you do not identify the identity of an American because you don't have a warrant for that -- that surveillance. Standard operating procedure is when you're writing up a report, they would usually put in American and identify nobody. But in this specific case, specific cases, we have Susan Rice asking for the names of those people.

More with Eli and Sara right after this break.

Also later tonight, Senator Ted Cruz is here with the very latest on whether Republicans will be able to push through a confirmation vote for Judge Gorsuch.

And later tonight...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR RAS BARAKA, D-NEWARK, N.J.: They are sticking to what I think is a very unconstitutional and un-American policy and trying to intimidate us into being what I've called fugitive slave catchers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: The mayor of Newark, New Jersey, making outrageous claims against the Trump administration for trying to protect Americans living in sanctuary cities. Geraldo Rivera, Sheriff David Clarke -- they have a shootout coming up on this busy news night tonight here on "Hannity."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: And welcome back to "Hannity" as we continue now with Eli Lake and Sara Carter. All right, is there any indication that any of the unmasking requests of Susan Rice had to do with anything other than the incidental surveillance of Trump transition members, associates, or is this just exclusively on Trump? Do we know, either one of you?

LAKE: Well, I'd say at this point, we still have a lot of unanswered questions. And you know, it would be interesting to find out if we -- I'd like to hear -- I also reached out to Susan Rice. We'd like to hear from her exactly what her rationale was on all this...

HANNITY: Why would we believe her? She went on five Sunday shows and lied repeatedly about Benghazi. How can you trust her?

LAKE: Well, I still think that we need to -- we should give the benefit of the doubt. I mean, we're making some serious accusations here. I'd like to hear her side of it. You're are correct that on Benghazi, she gave a story about the internet video.

But I would just kind of go back and I'd say that we're I think at the beginning of this investigation, and what we may end up finding out is that the law that allows the U.S. government to collect all this information and share it within the government needs to seriously be reformed because it may turn out that all of what Susan Rice did was technically legal, but improper, if you will. And in that case, I think it would be a matter of reform.

And I would just say this. I'm surprised that more Democrats and progressives have not taken this issue more seriously because if Barack Obama can do this to the Trump transition, then surely Donald Trump can do this to his own opposition, and that's something that ought to worry all Americans.

HANNITY: But it goes even deeper, Sara, because her unmasking set the stage, if you will, for the leaking that took place. We know a felony was committed in the case of Lieutenant General Michael Flynn. So you know, why would they want to know all these things? And maybe this was the whole false narrative thing that Evelyn Farkas was talking about, that a lot of people might have now known.

CARTER: Yes. And I think we need those answers. I agree with Eli wholeheartedly on this. This is a civil liberties issue. It's huge. It deals with the 4th Amendment.

HANNITY: It's also spying. Yes, it's unreasonable search and seizure.

CARTER: Exactly. And I think that there's something else. You know, a number of sources that I've spoken to about this -- and you know, none of us have access to those transcripts. Those are highly classified. But what we do know is what they've told us. They have nothing to do with Russia, apparently, and apparently, there was no foreign intelligence value, according to...

HANNITY: Wow!

CARTER: ... people who have had access to this. So then they have to ask that question, and they have to answer those questions, right? Why were they looking at these transcripts?

HANNITY: Listen, you know what you're describing? You're describing -- and maybe if they technically shifted the law without anybody paying attention, they seem to be using under the guise of national security and legitimate surveillance, an opportunity to do something worse than Watergate, which is to spy on a presidential candidate, opposition party, and an incoming president, a president-elect, and his transition team. That's what it looks like to me. Does that look that way to you, Sara?

CARTER: Yes. I think that they need to ask those questions. I think the House Intelligence Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee, and certainly in the case of the leaking of Michael Flynn's name, there needs to be a full investigation where people can be subpoenaed and a grand jury can be called.

HANNITY: And Russia had nothing to do with it, and now we learn that this Russian conspiracy is a lie. True or false?

CARTER: We don't know everything yet, Sean. But what we do know is as soon as we keep peeling this layer of this onion back, we'll get more and more answers.

HANNITY: We know there's no evidence...

CARTER: ... and the American people -- yes.

HANNITY: We know there's no evidence of any collision.

CARTER: We definitely know that the only evidence out there is that someone leaked very classified information and some -- an American name regarding a classified transcript. And that was a law that was broken.

HANNITY: All right, I got to let you go. Thank you both for being with us.

And coming up, Senator Ted Cruz goes on the attack against Democrats who are intent in holding up the vote on Judge Gorsuch and filibustering, which is unprecedented historically. He'll join us next with the very latest.

And also tonight...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARAKA: They are sticking to what I think is a very unconstitutional and un-American policy and trying to intimidate us into being what I've called fugitive slave catchers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Wow. Fugitive slave catchers? The mayor of Newark, New Jersey, accusing the Trump administration of trying to turn sanctuary cities into fugitive slave catchers. Geraldo Rivera, Sheriff David Clarke -- they'll debate that issue and much more as we continue on this busy news night.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." So the Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said that Judge Neil Gorsuch will be confirmed this week, but many Senate Democrats -- they're vowing to block this from happening by any means necessary. Now, this could lead to very bitter and unprecedented confirmation showdown. And that's tonight's mini-monologue.

All right, way back in 2013, when Democrats had control of the Senate and President Obama was in the White House, well, then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, well, he changed long-standing Senate precedents and eliminated the 60-vote threshold that is needed for the confirmation of Obama nominees.

And for three years after that, many Senate Democrats argued that this precedent of an up or down vote should be applied to all appointments, including Obama's Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland. You may remember this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-N.Y., NOV. 21, 2013: We'd much prefer the risk of up or down votes and majority rule than the risk of continued total obstruction. That's the bottom line, no matter who's in power.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, D-MASS., NOV. 13, 2013: We need to call out these filibusters for what they are, naked attempts to nullify the results of the last presidential election. If Republicans continue to filibuster these highly qualified nominees for no reason other than to nullify the president's constitutional authority, then senators not only have the right to change the filibuster rules, senators have a duty to change the filibuster rules.

SEN. COREY BOOKER, D-N.J., MARCH 2016: We should be giving this person a hearing and an up or down vote. To not do so is violative of the United States Constitution.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

HANNITY: All right, now the tables are turned, Republicans are in control of the Senate and the White House, and while a confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch hangs in the balance, the hypocrisy of Senate Democrats is on full display. Listen to what Senate minority leader Chuckie Schumer had to say just last month.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, MARCH 23)

SCHUMER: I have concluded that I cannot support Judge Neil Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court. His nomination will have a cloture vote. He will have to earn 60 votes for confirmation. My vote will be no, and I urge my colleagues to do the same.

To my Republican friends who think that if Judge Gorsuch fails to reach 60 votes, we ought to change the rules, I say if this nominee cannot earn 60 votes, a bar met by each of President Obama's nominees and George Bush's last two nominees, the answer isn't to change the rules. It's to change the nominee.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Now, this obstruction comes on the heels of an impressive performance by Judge Gorsuch during the confirmation hearings where Democrats tried and failed to smear President Trump's Supreme Court pick. They didn't land a punch.

Now Senate Democrats are vowing to use, well, the last option of obstruction that's available, the filibuster. Now, currently, only four Democrats are promising to oppose the filibuster, and that means that such a filibuster is highly possible and Republicans will be left with one option, to invoke the nuclear option or the constitutional option and extend Harry Reid's 50-vote threshold for the first time ever to a Supreme Court nominee.

Joining us now, Texas senator Ted Cruz. Senator, the real unprecedent -- the real lack of precedents here -- it's never happened before in over 200 years, a partisan Democratic Party that will not allow an up or down vote because they know they'll lose. So what do you think happens?

SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS: Well, Sean, you're exactly right. You know, you played some of those early clips of Democrats talking about the need to have an up or down vote on Supreme Court justices. And they were very persuasive. I think they're right. We're going to have an up and down vote on Judge Gorsuch, and this week, Judge Gorsuch he will be confirmed as the next associate justice of the Supreme Court.

And you know, that really is a victory for the American people. This last election, as you know, was in many ways a referendum on what sort of justice would replace Justice Antonin Scalia. Hillary Clinton promised a liberal activist and Donald Trump promised a principled constitutionalist like Judge Neil Gorsuch. This week, we're going to see that promise delivered upon as Judge Gorsuch gets confirmed.

HANNITY: It's funny how Schumer tries to shift the blame to the Republicans when he's doing something that's never happened, and that is he's filibustering an up or down vote, so it's really him that's doing it.

Let me move on. I know you have been very active and very supportive coming up with creative solutions and meeting with a lot of people as it relates to health care. From my perspective, getting it right is far more important than any artificial timetable. What do you see happening in the process right now?

CRUZ: Well, Sean, you are exactly right. When it comes to repealing ObamaCare, in my view failure is not an option. For six years Republicans have been promising the American people, if you elect us we will get this done. And I think we have got to get the job done.

It took Obama 14 months to pass ObamaCare. The House bill was on the floor just 18 days. And 18 days was not long enough. And we can get this done in a way that actually fixes the problem. If you look at the members on both sides within the party, I'm spending virtually every moment night and day meeting with House members, meeting with senators, meeting with the administration trying to get people to yes. And people want to get to yes. Conservatives want to get yes, moderates want to get to yes, and we can get this done.

And Sean, I'll tell you, the central test for success is going to be whether we drive down the cost of premiums. We need to make health insurance more affordable so people can afford to get care for their families. If we do that, we will have succeeded. If we don't, we will have failed.

HANNITY: Senator, it's about two simple things. Nobody cares about the Byrd rule, cloture, reconciliation. What they care about are lower premiums and better health care.

CRUZ: Exactly.

HANNITY: And you're working with all these varying groups. You're even working with moderates and conservatives. Everybody knows I guess that they can't get everything they want, right?

CRUZ: I think that's exactly right. And the players want to get to yes. If we set our goal, how do you lower health insurance premiums? There are a lot of tools, and we know what those tools are. The most important is addressing the ObamaCare insurance mandates. Under ObamaCare there are a dozen mandates that are the prime drivers for premiums skyrocketing.

House bill just repealed two of those 12. It left 10 of the 12 ObamaCare mandates in place. That doesn't make any sense because it makes health care unaffordable. There are other tools we have, things like enabling people to purchase across state lines, things like association health plans.

HANNITY: Cooperatives.

CRUZ: Exactly right. Letting people pay premiums from health savings accounts which means you're using pretax dollars. All of those are consensus ideas that bring together conservatives, bring together moderates.

HANNITY: And that's what the president promised.

CRUZ: That's exactly right.

HANNITY: One of the things I've been hearing is that you and the president are really getting along very well. I know in the last two weeks two Ted Cruz bills were signed into law by the president. Tell us about the relationship.

CRUZ: Well, the president and I are talking frequently. We are talking on the phone. We're meeting frequently, and I'm doing everything I can to help lead the fight for President Trump and all of us in Congress to deliver on the promises we made to the American people.

We have a historic opportunity. I think in 2017 we are poised to do for big things -- to repeal ObamaCare, to past fundamental tax reform, to see major regulatory reform, and to confirm a strong conservative to the Supreme Court. If we do those four, 2017 is a blockbuster year. And so I'm spending my time rolling up my sleeves, trying to get the job done.

You're right, in the last two weeks President Trump signed two bills I authored, one the NASA authorization bill which puts our space program on a strong and growing platform going forward, and then number two, a bill that enable states to require drug testing for unemployment benefits. Both of those are very important and major victories for the state of Texas.

HANNITY: I've got to tell you, senator, this is an important time for the country, and so much hangs in the balance. We have got to stop this precipitous decline. Thank you for the work you are doing. Great to have your back. Good to see you, sir. Thank you.

CRUZ: Thank you, Sean. Good to be with you.

HANNITY: And up next, the major of Newark, New Jersey says the Trump administration is trying to make sanctuary cities into, quote, "fugitive slave catchers." Geraldo Rivera, Sheriff David Clarke, they have a shoot- out coming up next.

Also the new head of the DNC unloads. Tom Perez says Republicans, they don't a bleep-bleep about a people. Larry Elder, Michael Cohen weigh in on that and more on this busy news night.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." So President Trump signed an executive order back in January cutting federal funding into sanctuary cities that refuse to uphold the law and cooperate with federal authorities. Yesterday the mayor of Newark, New Jersey, made these outrageous comments about the Trump administration's policy. Take a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARAKA: I think that them targeting sanctuary cities is a way for them to tell mayors and other folks around the country, one, that they are sticking to what I think is a very unconstitutional and un- American policy, and trying to intimidate us into being what I've called fugitive slave catchers that run around and do their bidding in our cities.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: "Fugitive slave catchers," really? Here with reaction, the other of the bestselling book "Cop Under Fire," Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, Fox News correspondent at large Geraldo Rivera. First of all, he doesn't get to decide what is constitutional or un-American. He doesn't make the laws of the land and he doesn't get to pick and choose which ones he's going to choose to obey. But to use the slave analogy, really?

GERALDO RIVERA, FOX NEWS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: "Fugitive slave catcher," it's a catchy line. It is inflammatory, you are absolutely right. It is sheer political rhetoric. But it shows the depth, Sean, of the emotion of this issue. In big cities where you have high minority concentration and cities like Newark where you have many undocumented immigrants living peacefully and neighborly --

HANNITY: Nobody is talking about them. What the president is looking to do is to get criminal aliens -- how many mothers and fathers have you interviewed over the years that lost their kids to criminal aliens that we had in the system that we never deported?

RIVERA: Not nearly as many as there is one undocumented immigrant, usually a parent, the other people in the family are citizens, either naturalized or born, the children born in this country. I want the president of the United States to not go the way Mayor Baraka went in terms of that rhetoric. I want this president to succeed. We are friends and we love the guy, we want him to succeed. He's got to lower the temperature across the board.

HANNITY: But you even have admitted he has.

RIVERA: He has, and I want him in this one area to cool it. We don't need aggressive ICE activity at courthouses, and so forth.

HANNITY: Why not? Let me start with Sheriff Clarke. Sheriff, I interviewed a father, and here was a guy that killed his son who was working overnight at a convenience store. He couldn't get the cigarettes fast enough for this guy. He had been convicted. He had spent time. he had kidnapped and raped a woman and held her for a week against her will, and we didn't deport the guy. Now his then 21-year-old son is dead. And I've met many parents like this.

SHERIFF DAVID CLARKE, MILWAUKEE COUNTY: First of all, Geraldo, shame on you. You know what political rhetoric is and you know what responsible rhetoric is. That which the Newark mayor said is lunacy. I have been around this environment for a long time, and I've heard a lot of stupid things said, but that which the mayor of Newark said, comparing fugitive slaves to illegal aliens, is the gold standard of stupidity.

I wish we could go back in time into talk to Dred Scot, talk to Nat Turner, talk to Frederick Douglass and ask them if it is the same thing to say a slave, someone was taken against and held against their will and returned back to a slave master is the same as the obligation to enforce our immigration laws. Count on the left to talk crazy, to talk outrageous, to try to add fuel to this thing. That's not what's going on. Everybody knows it, but there are other things to say so they have to talk stupid.

RIVERA: Sheriff, I respect you deeply. But I submit that if you were a member of a family that was being broken up because the one undocumented immigrant parent, usually the dad, is being arrested and the breadwinner is being stripped away, the difference between that family and how the fugitive slaves family felt are very similar.

Let me also add this fact. Mayor Bill de Blasio, who I do not like -- Sean and I have already endorsed our friend Bo Dietl as the mayor of New York City -- New York City is the biggest city with over a million undocumented immigrants for the last three months have been the safest three months in the history of New York City with a million plus undocumented immigrants. When you talk about the anecdotes of this illegal alien committed this awful crime and doesn't that make them all bad, you overlook the reality that in terms of law enforcement, in cities like New York, this is not --

HANNITY: Let me give you one statistic. And I sat through a security briefing in Texas. In a seven year period of time illegal immigrants committed, including rape and murder, 642,000 crimes against Texans in a seven year period. Why should Texans be the victims of these crimes?

RIVERA: All I can say is I can cite the same studies, Sean. And I know than I am at odds with many people watching right now. And God bless you, I know we have different points of view, as Sheriff Clarke does, than I do. Every study I have seen, and I would hold out for any other study. Every study I have seen says specifically that undocumented immigrants commit fewer crimes per capita than citizens.

HANNITY: That's not true. In 2015, if you look at federal sentencing, 36 percent were illegal immigrants. I've got to give Sheriff Clarke the last word. Sheriff?

CLARKE: First of all, slaves were considered property. They weren't even considered human beings. That's not what we're saying about illegal immigrants. Number two, illegal immigrants are given due process. Slaves were not given due process. Three, when they were caught, slaves were hung, slaves were beaten. That's not what is happening with the illegal aliens. They are being returned to their country of origin. To say that a slave equals an illegal immigrant --

RIVERA: I am not saying that. May I submit also that Mayor Baraka is an African-American and an African-American city. It wasn't my words.

CLARKE: That's no excuse, no excuse for talking stupid.

HANNITY: All right, thank you both.

Coming up, celebrity snowflakes, they continue to spiral out of control. Plus, the new head of the DNC caught on tape saying Republicans don't give a bleep about people. The disgusting language of the left seems to know no bounds. We'll check in with Larry Elder, Michael Cohen, that's next as "Hannity" continues on this busy news night.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." So it has been a little more than a month since Tom Perez took the reins of the Democratic National Committee, but the newly elected DNC chair already looks like he's becoming, well, unhinged. Watch this moment of clarity.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOM PEREZ, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Donald Trump wants his name on everything, Trump Towers, Trump steaks, Trump ties. But when it comes to health care -- who wants Trump-care? So what do we call it? Trump-care. We call it Ryan-care. I will tell you my idea, but you know what is appropriate -- I don't care. He doesn't give a -- about people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Is that like Michelle Obama, you go low, we go high? Anyway, joining now with reaction, Salem nationally syndicated radio host Larry Elder and personal attorney to President Trump and the national deputy chairman of the RNC finance leadership team, Michael Cohen. Welcome back, Michael, good to see you. What you make of just of that? Because he's unhinged and clearly the snowflakes, they can't stop. It's like they can't get over they lost.

MICHAEL COHEN, PERSONAL ATTORNEY TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: First, they have the right to stay whatever they want. Freedom of speech. The Republicans do it. The Democrats are going to do it.

But the level of disrespect towards the president, it knows no boundaries. And their attacks upon the president and the entire administration is so bad for this country, it's not just bad for us nationally but internationally as well. It makes us look weak and it makes us look disorganized and chaotic, and it's wrong.

HANNITY: Let me go to Larry. This is also the destroy-Trump media. Let's look at the L.A. Times for example. The editorial board put out an op-ed, "Our Dishonest President." You've got Chelsea Handler in a speech Saturday calling the president a "blanking loser." Then you've got that slob Michael Moore, and he's saying Trump made a declaration of war against the actual planet. The planet? The planet?

LARRY ELDER, SALEM RADIO NATIONAL SYNDICATED HOST: Where do you start? Sean, consider that Perez was the more reasonable of the two major finalists. The other one was Keith Ellison who is even more over the top.

Regarding Chelsea Handler, she's a comedian. What about serious people like Harry Reid referring to George W. Bush as a loser and a liar? And Ted Kennedy saying week after week after week we were told lie after lie after lie. And you have the former A.P. bureau chief Ron Fournier who even said George W. Bush, quote, "lied us into the Iraq war." So you have serious people on the left who are making very serious allegations. We don't need to go to comedians to find Trump derangement syndrome.

HANNITY: There's something different in this case, though. You are right about every observation you are making. You're right about what they did to President Obama. We were hard on this program against President Obama. But Michael, if I used the same incendiary language, somehow I don't think it would become --

COHEN: You would be off the show. That is certainly for sure, and possibly have to leave the country. But again, the level of disrespect --

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: I would hire you as my lawyer. You'd keep me in.

COHEN: I would try. But their level of this respect is just outstanding right now but this liberal media. And at the end of the day, Donald Trump is the president. He is the 45th president of the United States of America. They lost the election. Allow him the opportunity to succeed as a president, because if he succeeds, we all succeed as a country. It's almost as if they want to see the country fall so that in four years they can claim, well, look, he didn't do what he said. He didn't finish up with his promises. It is a defeating personality trait.

HANNITY: Let me go to Tina Fey. So she was at and ACLU fundraiser, Larry. And I want to play that, and I will follow up with an article by Robert Redford, "The Way We Were." There's a certain level of arrogant condescension here towards the people that actually voted for the president. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TINA FEY, COMEDIAN: A lot of this election was turned by the white college-educated women who now would maybe like to forget about this election and go back to watching HDTV. And I would want to urge them to like, can't look away, because it doesn't affect you this minute, but it's going to affect you eventually.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: White college-educated women should go back to watching HDTV. They aren't as smart as her?

ELDER: What's fascinating about that clip, Sean, is that Donald Trump got a smaller percentage of the white vote than Mitt Romney did. He got a larger percentage of the black vote. But Tina Fey said nothing about that. It would have taken quite some cashews for her to blast blacks for voting for Donald Trump, so she went the safe route, white shamed white voters.

HANNITY: Look at Robert Redford. He writes an op-ed for the "Washington Post" titled "45 Years after Watergate the truth is again in danger." Maybe he doesn't realize he was acting like Woodward and Bernstein.

COHEN: Who cares what these celebrities, what these movie stars or comedians have to say? Again, it's freedom of speech, let them say whatever they want. The big problem is that the media, again, and I'm talking about this liberal mainstream media, they are applauding the disrespect and that they just keep playing it over and over. So what do you think is going to happen? The next celebrity wants to become relevant. So what does he do? He jumps onto the bandwagon of stupidity.

HANNITY: They ratchet it up. They ratchet it up higher and higher.

COHEN: It's just a bandwagon of stupidity.

HANNITY: All right, guys, good to see you both.

ELDER: Sean, real quickly, how ironic is it that Redford was in a movie about "Truth" which was a lie about what Dan Rather did with those documents to get George W. Bush?

HANNITY: I tried to watch it but I fell asleep.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: Thank you both for being with us.

Up next, we need your help, a very important "Question of the Day," and the mean, horrible voicemails you left for me on the "Hannity" hotline straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: Time for our "Question of the Day." It's simple. Should Judge Neil Gorsuch get the up or down vote? Democrats, they don't even want an up or down vote. It's 200 years, unprecedented, a filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee that is beyond qualified. We want to hear from you. Go to Facebook.com/SeanHannity, @SeanHannity on Twitter, let us know what you think.

All right, hit me with your best shot. Time for the messages you left for me. Occasionally there's a nice one on the "Hannity" hotline.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REGGIE: Hannity, I think you got the best show on. Ha, I fooled you. I knew that was the only way I could get on. You stink, Hannity. Wrap it up. You're horrible.

JOHN: You, I know you're a good man. I know you're a good conservative. But please stop throwing that Nerf football around. You look like the world's biggest nerd.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: If I throw a real football, which I've done, I break the lights, and every time I break the lights, our lighting guy gets pissed off and I have to fix it and pay for it. So this is the only one I am legally allowed to have in studio right now, or I get fined. So that's why.

Anyway, we have fun anyway. Have something to say, nice, mean? Call the number on your screen, 877-225-8587. That's all the time we have left this evening. Thanks for being with us. We will see you back here with more explosive details on surveillance, unmasking, and leaking intelligence. Wow, this is huge. See you tomorrow night.

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