TRANSCRIPT

Gingrich on why appeasement never works with North Korea; What are Trump's options to take on nuclear threat?

Former House speaker sounds off on 'Hannity'

 

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," April 17, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And welcome to "Hannity," and this is a Fox News Alert. Our "Opening Monologue" is coming up in the next segment.

Tonight, a senior North Korean official is warning that thermonuclear war may be breaking out with the United States at any moment. Now, this comes as the Trump administration hardens its position against the rogue regime.

In just a few minutes, Newt Gingrich, Lou Dobbs will all join us. Also, Ainsley Earhardt is here is a preview of her exclusive interview with the president where she asks him about North Korea.

But first, over the weekend, the North Korean military paraded through the streets of the country's capital in honor of the birthday of the founder of this rogue nation, and they unsuccessfully attempted to launch yet another missile.

Here with the very latest from Pyongyang is Greg Palkot -- Greg.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GREG PALKOT, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: As tensions grow over the banned (ph) nuclear and missile program of this country, Vice President Pence south of where we are, below the DMZ in South Korea, is talking tough. It's part of a four-nation Asian tour to deal with the belligerency they say coming from North Korea.

He says he wants the United States to achieve security through peaceful means, negotiations, sanctions, getting China involved. But he said all options remain on the table for President Trump.

VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: North Korea would do well not to test his resolve or the strength of the armed forces of the United States in this region.

PALKOT: Here in North Korea, officials are still talking about the massive military parade we watched also over the weekend. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was in charge, and they are still refusing to mention that there was a missile launch over the weekend, and in fact, that it had failed. Analysts are now saying some 60 missiles were rolled out in that display, 10 types of missiles, including possibly some prototypes of intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Meanwhile, we had one last chance to look around Pyongyang today. We haven't been here in five years. And yes, it is becoming more bustling, more modern. (INAUDIBLE) analysts tell us that this is a part of the Kim Jong Un strategy to stay in control, to survive, to get some economic gains to the public while at the same time keeping political repression in check, internal crackdowns, as well, and the nukes and the missiles.

Officials here have been reacting to the increasingly tough talk coming from the Trump administration with increasing agitation. Right now, they don't seem to be ready to back down.

In Pyongyang, North Korea, Greg Palkot, Fox News.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HANNITY: All right, Greg Palkot, thank you.

Joining us now with more on how the United States military is responding to the North Korean threat is our own Jennifer Griffin. She's at the Pentagon tonight -- Jennifer.

JENNIFER GRIFFIN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Sean, the Pentagon announced that Defense Secretary Mattis has ordered a nuclear posture review to begin today. It will last for about eight months, this as Mattis leaves for a weeklong trip to the Middle East that will include stops in Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt and the horn of Africa.

FOX News has learned from well-placed defense sources the type of medium- range missiles that North Korea tried to test this weekend was a new kind of Scud known as a KN-17, a single-stage liquid fuel missile. Officials here are not commenting when asked if U.S. Cyber Command had any role in causing the launch to fail. It's notable that 88 percent of the intermediate-range Musedan missiles that North Korea has tried to test since a year ago have blown up within seconds of launch. 5 out of 6 launches have failed.

The most noteworthy addition to this year's parade in Pyongyang were these two long canisters that appeared for the first time and experts say are typically used for long-range missiles. It is important to remember that North Korea has never successfully tested a missile capable of reaching the U.S., and a lot of what was on display could be mockups or fakes.

In fact, we found a piece in the FOX News archives from when I was a correspondent in Moscow 19 years ago about how those missiles the Soviets paraded through Red Square during the cold war were fake.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over): Recent interviews with the engineers who worked on these rockets reveal most of the nuclear warheads paraded across Red Square in the 1960s were fakes, dummies designed to fool the Americans, to give the impression the Soviet Union was winning the cold war arms race.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was only imitation.

GRIFFIN: Alexander Kobakov (ph) says the phony rockets were tied to their parade trucks so that they would not blow away when the wind whipped across Red Square.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GRIFFIN: So we really don't know what Kim Jong Un really has in his arsenal, despite the show of might at that parade on Saturday, Sean.

HANNITY: All right, Jennifer. I'm not sure if anybody would want to take that gamble. Great report, as always. Thanks for being with us.

And now with the very latest from the White House tonight is our own John Roberts -- John.

JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: And Sean, good evening to you. This White House taking a definitely stricter and more strident posture toward North Korea than the previous administration did. That's for a couple of reasons.

First of all, President Trump is a different type of president then President Obama when it comes to responding to threats overseas, as we saw with the bombing of Syria a couple of weeks ago. Also, they believe that the threat from North Korea is different than it has been in the past. You'll remember 1994, the Clinton administration cut a deal with the North Korean leader, which they later reneged on, 2007.

The six-party talks resulted in a deal that in part destroyed part of the reactor at Yongbyon (ph), which then North Korea cheated on. But it was thought that back then, the Korean leaders were simply playing for different deals where they would threaten something and then they would get something in return.

But they believe that Kim Jong Un is playing a decidedly different type of game here, that he really wants to develop nuclear weapons that can go on the top of a missile. And if it gets to a hydrogen bomb, which U.S. officials believe is his goal, that is going to change the strategic nuclear balance around the world.

President Trump this morning in an interview with our Ainsley Earhardt not tipping his hand as to what he might do in response to the North Korean provocations, only to say that successive administrations in the past have tried to deal with it and never could. Here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Well, I hope there's going to be peace. But you know, they've been talking with this gentleman for a long time. You read Clinton's book, he said, Oh, we made such a great peace deal, and it was a joke. You look at different things over the years with President Obama. Everybody's been outplayed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: So president Trump determined not to be outplayed by this North Korean leader. The vice president, Mike Pence, as was mentioned by Greg Palkot at the top, was at the demilitarized zone between South and North Korea today. He was also in Seoul, where he said that the days the Obama- era policy of strategic patience are over.

But part of the problem, Sean, has been that successive administrations have never seen any viable military options to deal with North Korea. I asked Sean Spicer today if this administration saw that calculation any differently. Listen to this exchange.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(on camera): Does this president believe that there are viable military options for dealing with North Korea?

SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Again, I'm not...

(CROSSTALK)

SPICER: I understand that, but I -- but I think taking anything on or off the table is in itself limiting your options to some degree. And so I'm not going to even discuss that.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: Well, the latest in North Korea may be saber-rattling, saying that we could be on the brink of thermonuclear war, the White House playing it down to much different level than that, saying that they prefer negotiation at the moment and putting pressure on North Korea by leaning on Xi Jinping to try to use his influence on Kim Jong Un.

And Sean, the White House believes that after that meeting that President Trump had with President Xi at Mar-a-Lago, the two of them are very much on the same page and seeing this as a threat that could destabilize the entire region, if not the world, and they believe that China will bring some economic and diplomatic pressure to bear to try to work this problem out -- Sean.

HANNITY: Quick follow-up. When you look at the vice president's comments that the era of strategic patience is over, and then Lieutenant General McMaster saying that it's clear the president is determined not allow this kind of capability to threaten the United States, that suggests that they're not going to allow not only the matching of nuclear weapons with intercontinental ballistic missiles. I know it blew up on the launch pad this weekend, but if they are able to get that technology, that's a game changer.

ROBERTS: Definitely. And if they were to move toward a hydrogen bomb or if they were to be able to get one of their devices down to size where it could be mounted on the top of one of those intercontinental ballistic missiles, that will completely change the calculation, I think, Sean. They're hoping that they can rein Kim Jong Un in before that happens, but if he manages to get to that point, then all bets are off, I would think, Sean.

HANNITY: And if he's as mentally unstable as many suggest, that makes it even more precarious.

ROBERTS: It does.

HANNITY: John Roberts at the White House tonight, thank you.

ROBERTS: Thanks, Sean.

HANNITY: All right, joining us now with reaction, the author of The New York Times bestseller "Treason," former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

Let me ask you, Mr. Speaker, the same question I'm asking John Roberts, the comments by Vice President Pence, the era of strategic patience is over, General McMaster saying it's clear the president's determined not to allow this kind of capability to threaten the United States. All right, so we know they have nuclear weapons. We know they don't have ICBM capability.

Now, if you take those words literally, it sounds like they feel that they've got to take out any capability they have. How do you interpret it?

NEWT GINGRICH, R-FMR. HOUSE SPEAKER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think that's right because you can have a nuclear weapon delivered by ship. You could do...

HANNITY: Submarine.

GINGRICH: ... a variety of different things.

HANNITY: Yes.

GINGRICH: It doesn't have to be an ICBM, doesn't have to fit on a missile. You could put it in a cargo container.

So I think this is a serious, serious problem. It's also a great danger, the North Koreans selling nuclear weapons to terrorists. And I think that we've been through a long stretch here. We had a big fight over this when I was speaker, and you just could not get the Clinton administration take it seriously, and of course, Obama took nothing seriously.

So we've had a lost period here of almost 30 years, and they've gradually, steadily build up their capability to hurt Seoul, Korean, built up their capability to threaten their neighbors. And I think that it's clear for military leaders that they really do believe that we are very close to crossing a point after which we could lose an American city. And if you're the president of the United States and you're being told by your military leaders that this is so dangerous, you could literally at some point lose a city, I think you have to take very serious steps to stop that from happening.

HANNITY: Mr. President -- Mr. Speaker, let's look at the president's options here for a minute. You're really talking about the possibility that we are going to now engage in a military conflict with North Korea, which were told Kim Jong Un is mentally unstable. If you look at the neighbors, if he launches a nuclear weapon, or conventional weapons for that matter, you're talking about the potential that millions could die in South Korea, millions could die in Japan. And you know, are we prepared to see that through? Because if we're not, we better not start it.

GINGRICH: Well, and millions could -- look, and millions could die in China.

HANNITY: Sure.

GINGRICH: I mean, they're right on the border. And so I think that in the very near future, of three things will happen. I think either he will back down and agree to some kind of suspension of his various programs under enormous pressure from the Chinese, or there will be a military coup and he will be replaced by a more rational leader, or we will begin to take military actions, which could start with things as simple as killing any missile that would be capable of carrying a nuclear weapon.

It could be steps that are short of starting an all-out war, and the question then is what does he do? To what degree -- and we don't know the answer. To what degree does he want to survive? To what degree does he think that if he's not tough that he won't survive in his own society because they'll kill him.

HANNITY: Well, look at his recent behavior. He's killed a brother...

GINGRICH: Very dangerous.

HANNITY: ... he's killed an uncle, he's killed, you know, other detractors.

GINGRICH: He called a girlfriend -- look, he killed his girlfriend and her entire band. I mean, this is a guy -- this is a guy who...

HANNITY: He's unhinged.

GINGRICH: ... is not nice. I think it makes the immediate future very, very dangerous.

HANNITY: We -- well, look, I think what we've got to consider here is if America is going to take this action, we'd better be prepared for him, if he's as mentally unstable as reports have said -- that he would go scorched earth. That's a possibility.

Now, what do you make of, like...

GINGRICH: That is possible.

HANNITY: For example, the president did have great meetings with the president of China and he had planned and campaigned on calling them a currency manipulator, but it seems, as a result of those bilateral talks, that the president was able to get concessions. Number one, you see troops on the border now that China has sent to North Korea. Number two, they sent coal back to North Korea and imported American coal. Three, we see that they're open to trade concessions to the United States.

So it seems like there is a possibility of an emerging new alliance, America and China against North Korea. How much time should we allow for that to play out?

GINGRICH: Well, I think it's a matter of weeks or months, it's not a matter of years. But they are taking active measures, and that's a good thing. They've publicly said to the North Koreans, Don't test another nuclear weapon. That's a good thing.

HANNITY: And they said that they might take out the sites themselves.

GINGRICH: I think they also were very impressed -- right. And as you remember, they were in the middle of dinner at Mar-a-Lago when the president excused himself, went out, and held a press event to tell the world that we had just hit Syria with 59 missiles, and then went back in and rejoined the Chinese president.

So they do have some notion that he is a very serious guy, and with the bomb they used in Afghanistan, they're also, in a sense, sending a signal. We actually have one bomb a little bit bigger than that, and they're sending a signal that you could see conventional weapons used to take out most of his nuclear sites without ourselves using a nuclear weapon.

So I think there are a lot of signals being sent. I find it very worrisome. My father fought there in 1953, went back later in the Army and served in the late '60s. South Korea has come so far, is so dramatically stronger, better, more prosperous, freer. You'd hate to see anything happen that would disrupt that development.

HANNITY: Well, you're the...

GINGRICH: So I think that this is a very serious time.

HANNITY: You're the historian. The last century alone, when you look at, you know, Russia, Stalin, fascism, Nazism, imperial Japan, the killing fields, over 100 million souls died.

More recently, to shake people's memories, 9/11 happened. There is evil in the world, and certainly Kim Jong-in seems to fit into that category.

We'll have more with Newt Gingrich, though, right after the break.

And coming up, tonight's monologue. We'll explain how it was Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and appeasement that we can blame for the situation we now find ourselves in with North Korea and elsewhere.

And then later tonight...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I don't want to telegraph what I'm doing or what I'm thinking. I'm not like other administrations, where they say, We're going to do this in four weeks and that doesn't work that way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Ainsley Earhardt speaking with the president earlier today at the White House. She asked the president if he's ruled out using a military strike against North Korea. We'll play that tape. Ainsley joins us later, and much more tonight on "Hannity."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: And welcome back to "Hannity."' So President Trump is forced to deal with an increasingly dangerous North Korea after the disastrous appeasement policies of both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama towards his rogue regime. That's tonight's "Monologue."

All right, the president once again is having to confront yet another complete foreign policy failure passed down from the Obama and Clinton administrations. Now over the weekend, North Korea held a military parade to show off its intercontinental ballistic missiles and other weaponry all in a show of force.

And on Sunday, Kim Jong Un tried but failed to conduct a new missile test, and today, we saw Vice President Mike Pence while at the Korean demilitarized zone take a hard stance with North Korea over new signs of dangerous aggression. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PENCE: President's made clear, our administration's made clear, we stand with the people of South Korea. And all options are on the table to achieve the objectives and ensure the security of the people of this country and the stability of this region.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: All right, if we don't learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it.

So how did we get to this point? Let's go back to 1994. Bill Clinton was the president. His administration, they struck a deal with Kim Jong Un's father, Kim Jong Il, where according to The New York Times, the U.S. agreed to give North Korea over $4 billion in energy aid over a decade in exchange for North Korea freezing and eventually ending their nuclear weapons program.

Now as part of the deal, North Korea would allow inspectors into its nuclear sites. But -- this is important -- would also be allowed to keep their nuclear fuel rods, which could be used to make weapons for an unspecified number of years. Even The New York Times was suspicious of that part of the deal, writing at the time, quote, "This provision means that the potential that North Korea could break its agreements and quickly produce nuclear weapons will not disappear until the end of the decade."

Now, these fears didn't stop Bill Clinton from praising the agreement. You may remember that praise. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, OCT. 21, 1994)

THEN-PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: This is a good deal for the United States. North Korea will freeze and then dismantle its nuclear program. South Korea and our other allies will be better protected. The entire world will be safer as we slow the spread of nuclear weapons.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Yes, he was wrong, the president was wrong -- President Obama, about Syria getting rid of their chemical weapons. What if Obama's wrong about Iran also?

Now, it didn't take very long in this case for North Korea to move away from the agreement and show new signs of aggression. In 1998, Pyongyang, they fired a long-range missile over Japan into the Pacific Ocean. And by 2006, well, the rogue regime had conducted their first nuclear test.

And under Barack Obama, we saw an explosion in dangerous, threatening activity from North Korea. Now look at the graphics we're putting up at the side of the screen. Now, they show various nuclear and missile tests that were conducted by the North Koreans, including a hydrogen bomb test, but that were largely ignored by the Obama administration for eight long years.

Why? Because of appeasement policies. Now, if this deal sounds familiar and similar, well, to the disastrous one struck with the radical mullahs in Iran, well, it is. President Obama gave the rogue regime in Tehran $150 billion in exchange for their promise not to build nuclear weapons. Tehran agreed to let inspectors into their nuclear facilities, but guess what? Iran is still allowed to spin their centrifuges and conduct missile tests!

That's why it's easy to see where the Iran deal is going. All you have to do is look where we are with North Korea. And don't forget when it came to Syria, the president, John Kerry, Susan Rice, they all said Syria had gotten rid of their chemical weapons because the president drew a red line in the sand. It never happened. They were all dead wrong.

Now President Trump has to deal with this mess because after eight years of the Obama administration, North Korea, well, they think they can do anything they want without any sort of response.

The good news is President Trump has already shown that those days are over. And the president now has to take a tough stance and is also turning to North Korea's key ally, China, to help resolve the situation. Now, China has already agreed to stop buying North Korea's coal, which estimates say will cost Pyongyang about a billion dollars a year.

And of course, the president's detractors, they're saying he's flip-flopping by not labeling Beijing a currency manipulator. But guess what? President Trump, he likes the art of the deal. And now China is helping with North Korea.

Certainly beats the alternative, by the way, and that is North Korea developing long-range nuclear weapons with, of course, ICBM capability.

Joining us now, we continue more with speaker of the House, former -- FOX News contributor Newt Gingrich. When you look at that history and then you think of Susan Rice, John Kerry and President Obama -- oh, that red line in the sand, they got rid of their chemical weapons. Then you add to that equation the idiotic deal with Tehran, you wonder when are we going to learn the lesson? Thoughts.

GINGRICH: Well, look, they're never going to learn the lesson because they're left-wingers who live in a fantasy land where nothing's ever real. Twenty years of experience with Korea doesn't matter. All the years we've had experience with Iran doesn't matter. The total fiasco of Syria -- doesn't matter. The failure of Libya, where they got rid of Qaddafi and replaced him with chaos doesn't matter.

If you're a really deeply committed left-winger, you live in a fantasy world. None of this is real. None of this matters. He go around drinking your white wine at the college faculty reception speaking pious baloney and what Naseem Taleb (ph) called intellectual yet idiot. These are people who have big words and no knowledge, and that result is that while they have a phony education, they have no wisdom.

And so I'm never surprised by them. You know, you watch Hillary Clinton with Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister. Then you watch John Kerry with Lavrov. Then you watch Rex Tillerson. The difference between a real leader and these two was obvious just if you put the pictures side-by-side.

HANNITY: Mr. Speaker, I know you're known for being a great politician, but having known you all these years, I know that really deep down inside, you're a historian and a professor at heart. With that said, 9/11 wasn't that long ago. And if you go back to World War II and Nazi Germany, historically, it really wasn't that long ago, or under Stalin some 30 million people slaughtered. It's not that long ago.

It seems to me that we always -- it's like human beings are incapable of recognizing human evil. And in both these instances, it seems like A squared plus B squared equals C squared. You got a crazy despot in North Korea or mullahs in Iran married to nuclear weapons, we have a potential human catastrophe of historic proportion! I would think everybody would get that.

GINGRICH: Well, look, Diana West (ph) wrote a brilliant book called "American Betrayal," which I recommend to everybody because in "American Betrayal" -- she outlined, for example, that New York Times reporter in Moscow conspired to not tell the truth about the famine Russia had created, that Stalin had deliberately created to kill off the middle-class farmers.

You go back and look again and again, you find the left -- fake news has behind it fake education.

HANNITY: Yes.

GINGRICH: And it's these two groups, the professors who lie, the reporters who lie leading to the politicians like Obama, Rice and Kerry who lie...

HANNITY: That's such a good point

GINGRICH: ... and it's a grave danger for the survival of our country.

HANNITY: By the way, your old district in Georgia is in a little bit of jeopardy for the Republicans. They got -- they got a primary tomorrow -- well, they have an election tomorrow, but there's so many Republicans running, there's no consensus candidate, and a Democrat basically running unchallenged. If he gets to 50 percent, that would be your seat going to a Democrat.

GINGRICH: That's right. I'm very concerned that everybody who's is watching us tonight call, tweet, e-mail, Facebook your friends. If you know anybody who lives in north Georgia and the sixth district of Georgia, please remind them to vote tomorrow.

If every Republican votes, we'll be fine. There's be a runoff, and will we'll beat him. But this guy, the Democrat, has gotten $12 million because the liberals all across the country sense a chance to embarrass the president. So it's really important that everybody who's watching us tonight, Sean, you know, get out there whether it's e-mail or Facebook or Twitter or whatever you do, or calling, let your friends know, your relatives know they must vote tomorrow if they live in the sixth district.

HANNITY: All right, Mr. Speaker, always good to see you. Thank you for your time. An important vote tomorrow agreed.

GINGRICH: Good to be with you.

HANNITY: And when we come back, Ainsley Earhardt who was at the White House with the president earlier today -- she asked the president if he has ruled out using a military strike against North Korea. We'll have that full report with Ainsley.

And then later tonight...

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And he said, when I get an, I will show you my taxes. Well, he's been in, and he's -- not only has he not shown us our taxes, he's bragged not paying them, and every weekend, he goes -- he's already spent more money than Obama did in his first four years.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: All right, liberal snowflakes out in full force this weekend. We've got all the video and Lou Dobbs as we continue tonight on "Hannity."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY WRIGHT, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Live from America's news headquarters I'm Kelly Wright in New York. Here's what's happening.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis embarking on a Mideast and North African tour to shore up international support to battle ISIS and Al Qaeda. General Mattis will visit Saudi Arabia tomorrow. Later he'll also meet with leaders in Egypt, Israel, Qatar, and Djibouti. The Middle East is familiar turf for the four-star general who is a marine veteran of the war in Iraq.

Cleveland police announcing a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the so-called Facebook killer. The manhunt for 37-year-old Steve Stephens is now spanning across at least five states. He is accused of gunning down a 74-year-old man yesterday in what appears to be a random shooting. Later he posted video of the murder on Facebook. Police say Stephens is considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached.

I'm Kelly Wright. Back to "Hannity."

HANNITY: And welcome back to Hannity. So tensions with North Korea continue to match tonight. "Fox & Friends" co-host Ainsley Earhardt interviewed President Trump earlier today at the White House and asked him all about it. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AINSLEY EARHARDT, CO-HOST, "FOX & FRIENDS": The vice president is in Asia doing a four-stop tour, and he said basically the U.S. is running out of patience clearly in reference to North Korea. You have a Navy fleet that is sent into the Sea of Japan right now. Have you ruled out a military strike?

TRUMP: I don't want to telegraph what I'm doing or what I'm thinking. I'm not like other administrations where they say were going to do this in four weeks. It doesn't work that way. We'll see what happens. I hope things work out well. I hope there's going to be peace. But they've been talking with this gentleman for a long time. You read Clinton's book, he said we made such a great peace deal, and it was a joke. We look at different things over the years with President Obama, everybody has been outplayed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Now, Ainsley's interview with the president will air tomorrow morning on "FOX AND FRIENDS." She joins us now with the preview in studio.

OK, so one are the things that really is underreported here is that he's supposed to have these half-hour meetings with the president of China, they end up going three or four hours each sessions, one on one alone. So the president of China goes back and sent coal back to North Korea, put troops on the Korean border. Then he's willing to make trade concessions. He is now importing American coal instead of North Korean coal. And clearly all everyone can talk about is, oh, they're not a currency manipulator.

EARHARDT: Right.

HANNITY: It seems like the president made a deal.

EARHARDT: The president -- the art of the deal. I asked him about that, I asked him about China. And he said everyone does want to make a big deal about currency manipulator and should I say this? And should I work on trade deals? And he is saying we're losing our focus. That's not where we need to be. What's more important is getting China to help us with North Korea. North Korea is launching nuclear missiles. He saying that is much more important than currency manipulation.

HANNITY: And the reports that I have from my sources in the White House is that he got on famously with the Chinese president. And they're helping out and putting troops on the border, and they're sending back North Korean coal, and they're helping us to open a trade negotiation with us. It seems to me like that is a pretty good deal for America considering their proximity, this is more their problem that our problem.

EARHARDT: We've gotten farther with the China premier than the last three administrations. So he has a chemistry with him. They get along, he said. He really likes him a lot. He said that they have 15-minute meetings scheduled and two of them lasted for three hours. They talked countless hours. And he's saying that's more important to establish that relationship. Was he able to promise that China is going to help us with North Korea? He said I'm not sure if it's going to work but it's worth a shot.

HANNITY: I did see you with Eric and Lara Trump, and they have two dogs. Where is President Trump's dog?

(LAUGHTER)

EARHARDT: I didn't see her at all. But their entire family was there, and it was just such a fun event. We were at the Easter egg roll earlier today, and it was just so cute and such a fun thing to see.

HANNITY: You had a lot of good interviews today. Sean Spicer, Kellyanne, the president. And that will air tomorrow morning.

EARHARDT: Tomorrow we're going to air more of the interview with the president, North Korea, China, immigration, border security.

HANNITY: Thanks for sharing it with us.

EARHARDT: Thanks for letting me come on and talk about it.

HANNITY: Appreciate it. And watch that interview, "Fox & Friends" tomorrow 6:00 to 9:00.

When we come back, the Trump administration not backing down over North Korea's aggression. So how big is his threat with the rogue regime? We'll ask our military advisors. And then later tonight --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he's indebted to Russia, Putin, and the mafia. And show your returns and we can all put it all to rest.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Liberal leftist statist snowflakes out in full force this weekend acting insane. Lou Dobbs weighs in on that and more as we continue.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This problem is coming to a head, and so it's time for us to undertake all actions we can short of a military option to try to resolve this peacefully.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Tensions escalating between the U.S. and North Korea. Joining us now, the author of "Warrior Diplomat," retired U.S. army Special Forces Officer Michael Waltz, and the author of "The Siege," retired Brigadier General Tony Tata is with us. Tony, let me start with you. We know he has nukes. We know he's trying to get missile capability, ICBM capability. We also hear that he would like a nuke in a submarine. That becomes an even bigger threat. But if he's as crazy as they say, what does that mean for South Korea, what does that mean for Japan, China?

BRIGADIER GENERAL TONY TATA (RET.), "BESIEGED" AUTHOR: Sean, as you know, there's 50 million people in South Korea. There's about 125 million people in Japan, and China has billions. And so what we're looking at is the world is on the brink of geopolitical meltdown thanks to the lack of foreign policy care, guidance, whatever you want to call it from the Obama administration.

And I think it's very striking and telling that you've got H.R. McMaster in Kabul because we've got ISIS in Pakistan infiltrating into Afghanistan thanks to neglect from the Obama administration. That happened in 2014. And he's speaking about nuclear warfare potential and conventional warfare potential on the Korean peninsula.

So the world -- the Trump administration has walked into the kitchen, turned on the lights, and there's cockroaches everywhere, and now we've got to clean up this mess. North Korea has 1,000 attack fighter jets that are one minute MiG flight from Seoul. I've been on that demilitarized zone, and it's tough terrain. They've got 4,000 tanks. They've got 6,000 artillery pieces. They've got a million troops. So not only would it be a nuclear holocaust, it would be a heck of a conventional fight as well.

HANNITY: Michael, I don't hear good options there for the president, and I get the feeling that this chubby dictator desperately wants a confrontation with the United States.

MICHAEL WALTZ, U.S. ARMY SPECIAL FORCES (RET.): You know, Sean, it's interesting to me to see the president receiving a lot of criticism for this kind of rush to war and saber rattling. Look at what's happened since he engaged diplomatically with Chinese President Xi. As you mentioned earlier with Newt Gingrich, we've had the Chinese refusing to sell coal, moving troops on the North Korean border, the state run agency threatening North Korea not to set off another nuclear test. So I think the president is engaging diplomatically with the Chinese. It's really the ball is in their court to turn this program up.

This president knows that diplomacy, our carrots have to be backed up with sticks like they haven't been the last eight years. But there is in between, too, Sean. There's covert action. There's offensive cyber. There's affective missile defense that we can do. But if none of that works, and I have no doubt the president's going to walk through those options, if none of that works, we will have to take military action. We cannot have -- we cannot have a nuclear capable North Korea that not only can hit the U.S. but can hit Seoul, hit Tokyo, and take out our allies.

HANNITY: What you can say is the only way to do that is to go in and take out their nuclear sites now. And that risks what for South Korea, for Japan, for China? Last words, General Tata.

TATA: What I think is Michael's on to something. You have to leverage all the elements of power, cyber, informational, military, economic, diplomatic. I think President Trump has made a brilliant move with President Xi, and I think we're going to expend every option, like H.R. McMaster said and Secretary Mattis are going to advise the president to expend every single option before we try the military option in Korea. But you cannot have a North Korea with nukes that are threatening markets of freedom.

HANNITY: Thank you, Bill Clinton. And he gave you $4 billion for that too, as well. Thank you, Barack Obama. Thanks, guys.

Up next on his busy news night tonight here on "Hannity."

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HANNITY: Dueling protests clashing in Berkeley, California, over the weekend. How will the violence from the snowflakes end? Lou Dobbs weighs in when we come back.

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HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." So violent protests broke out in Berkeley, California, over the weekend after anti-Trump and pro-Trump demonstrators clashed. According to reports at least 11 people were injured, 20 were arrested. And meanwhile, left-wing agitators all across America held tax day demonstrations led by Nancy Pelosi and other prominent snowflakes using April 15th as yet another excuse to openly express their feelings about the 45th president.

Joining us now is the host of "Lou Dobbs Tonight" on our sister network, the Fox Business Network, Lou Dobbs is with us. I'd like to say this is going to go away, but I don't think the left wing snowflakes are going anywhere.

LOU DOBBS, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: I think you're exactly right, and I think, further, the persistence of the Pelosi Astroturf demonstrators paid in large measure by Open Society, George Soros' Open Society nonprofits, these protesters are paid to be their day in and day out and they're going to be there. Meanwhile, I think the president is doing exactly the right thing, and that is simply saying I don't care what you do. The election is over, and I'm not showing you my tax returns, so if you want to persist in that, go ahead. Knock yourself out.

HANNITY: Look at Berkeley. Berkeley cops had to be ordered to stand down because they were there. They saw the fights. Look at the fights breaking out. Nothing happens.

DOBBS: We saw it previously. The left-wing mayor, city council, and the left-wing led police department standing down without protest even as people were being physically assaulted by these paid protesters primarily. And it's not going to change in Berkeley and in other communities around the country as well.

HANNITY: Then you've got Maxine Waters leading an "Impeach Trump" chant. And did you about the school of Arizona State University professor gave her class of choice to take the final exam or come up with the project, and the project is go to an anti-Trump. I think even I would pick go to the anti- Trump rally than study for an exam.

DOBBS: As I recall I might have made that same choice in college.

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HANNITY: I think you probably would have.

DOBBS: I may have, a product of the 60s. But the truth of the matter is Trump is handling these things exactly right in my opinion, his administration. The best thing he can do is ignore them. The president has been absolutely I think right on the mark with these things. Ignore them, dismiss them, mock them, and move on.

HANNITY: What about Sarah Silverman? Let's play her. Show us your taxes. This is the most important -- we have the North Korean dictator suggesting thermonuclear war, and you want to see Donald Trump's tax returns? If you missed it, Rachel Maddow had a big breakthrough on that. Watch this.

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SARAH SILVERMAN, COMEDIAN: Show us your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) taxes you emotional child.

(APPLAUSE)

SILVERMAN: You like being a superficial bully, here's one for you. You are a three at best.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's time today to push back against the corporate interests and to put Donald Trump's selfish corporate interests aside and release his tax returns once and for all.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We want to see his taxes and we want to see them now!

CROWD: A liar, a cheat, a climate change denier. A liar, a cheat, climate change denier.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's already spent more money than Obama did in his first four years.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he's indebted to Russia, Putin, and the mafia. And show your returns and we can all put it all to rest.

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HANNITY: Forget North Korea, forget Afghanistan, the mother of all bombs, tax relief, repealing and replacing Obamacare. Show us your tax returns.

DOBBS: Sarah Silverman, one of the archetypes of intellectualism at its very best in America demanding to see Donald Trump's taxes. She missed the point. He says he's not showing them. And they're under audit, and do what you will.

HANNITY: What if I or you were out there like Madonna and said you thought seriously about bombing the White House. How come Madonna says that, nothing happens?

DOBBS: I think the straightforward answer is no one takes her seriously, not the left, not the right. She's out there --

HANNITY: So I can say that and I would've gotten away with it.

DOBBS: Oh, no. People take you seriously.

HANNITY: They would have taken me seriously. They would have taken you seriously.

DOBBS: You are taken seriously by the American public. Madonna is a creature of 20 years ago. We're watching her silhouette pass in front of us.

HANNITY: She still threatened -- thought seriously about blowing up the White House. I take it seriously.

DOBBS: Sean, I can't get there. I don't think Madonna has had a serious thought in her head since what was that first record?

HANNITY: I don't know. "Like a Virgin"?

DOBBS: Approximation of.

HANNITY: Many year ago. All right, Lou Dobbs, thank you.

When we come back, we have a very important "Question of the Day." We need your help. And the HANNITY hotline straight ahead.

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HANNITY: Time for the "Question of the Day." So who do you think is to blame for North Korean aggression? I went through the history. It is Bill Clinton's fault? Just like Obama was wrong about Syria, chemical weapons, so too was then President Clinton about North Korea getting nukes, and so too will Obama be proven wrong about Iran. Just go to Facebook.com/SeanHannity, @SeanHannity on Twitter, let us know what you think.

All right, we're playing some nasty messages for me on that "Hannity" hotline. Let's see what you go tonight.

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BRANDON: Hey, Sean, thank you for always informing the public. You've informed my whole high school life. I just graduated. Especially against these liberal teachers. But I have no fear against them because most of the time they've been wrong.

DANIEL: Tell the American public if they're tired of hearing this garbage from Hollywood, just stop going to the movies. Hit them in the wallet. That will wake them up and shut them up.

DENNIS: I hate you, man, but you're always right. And I like that. Keep up the good work.

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HANNITY: That is not really hate. That's not too bad. By the way, I do have a movie coming out. It's called "Let There Be Light." And it will be out over Thanksgiving, and I hope you like it. If you have something to say, nice, mean, doesn't matter, call the number on your screen, 877-225- 8587.

That's all the time we have left this evening. As always, thank you for being with us. We will see you back here tomorrow night.

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