TRANSCRIPT

Gorka: Finally, American leadership in the Middle East

Deputy assistant to Trump discusses the president's first overseas trip on 'Hannity'

 

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," May 19, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: This is a "Fox News Alert." Welcome to "Hannity" on a breaking news Friday night. President Trump now traveling for his first overseas trip as commander-in-chief. We'll check in with Dr. Sebastian Gorka. He'll have reaction. Also tonight, Juan Williams, Jay Sekulow, Byron York, Joe Concha, Lisa Boothe, Ric Grenell, Austan Goolsbee all coming up.

But first, all right, the past two weeks -- they've been nothing like we have ever seen before in American history! President Trump has been attacked with lies and innuendo, late-day news dumps, anonymous sources, breathless hyperventilating reporting. Now, I'm going to explain exactly what the president is up against. This is important. We put it all together in tonight's "Opening Monologue."

All right, this week, we've been telling you about the five groups that are aligned to try and destroy President Trump. Now, they want to undermine the will of you, the American people. Now, these are the threats that we're facing.

One, the deep state. And of course, they're going after President Trump, selectively leaking information. Just look at the disgruntled fired former FBI director James Comey. He's using the press to carry out his own personal vendetta against President Trump.

Number two, the destroy Trump media. These rigid left-wing Hillary- supporting ideologues pushing their tinfoil hat conspiracy theories night after night, breathlessly hyping everything up, one fake news scandal after fake news scandal.

Number three, the Democrats -- really sore losers, obstructionists. They refuse to accept the results that you gave us this election season.

Then you've got weak Republicans, establishment Republicans, feckless, no backbone, no spine. They never supported Trump or his agenda. They're a threat to the president.

And number five, never-Trumpers, holier than now elitist outlets, National Review, Weekly Standard. They want vindication. They want relevance.

And then the last two weeks, new pattern of attack is emerging. This is what I want you to pay close attention to. The New York Times, Washington Post constantly using anonymous sources, sources outside of the White House, dropping one huge bombshell report just before the national newscast every night at 6:30 PM, and then, of course, cable coverage right after.

Then there's been breathless coverage from the destroy Trump media, their Democratic allies now calling day after day for President Trump's impeachment. Listen to this from earlier this week. You cannot make this stuff up.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I rise today, Mr. Speaker, to call for the impeachment of the president of the United States of America for obstruction of justice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are we getting closer and closer to the possibility of yet another impeachment process?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After watching the Clinton impeachment, I thought I'd never see another one, but I think we're in impeachment territory for the first time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are well on our way to impeachment because I think there's a clear set of facts that show obstruction of justice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is heading toward the end, right? It has to be, right? It feels that way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: All right, here's what they're not telling you. The destroy Trump media and the Democrats -- they're not going to tell you many of the stories that you have heard in the last two weeks that they're using to destroy President Trump and hyperventilate every night have now been proven totally false!

Now, let's start with the Trump-hating Washington Post. Last week, The Post reported that the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein -- he threatened to quit because of Comey's firing. Big alarms that night. Guess what? Rosenstein quickly shot it down. Somebody in the press actually asked him, and he sat on camera for an interview, said no, he's not quitting, never threatened to quit.

On the same day, The Washington Post -- they alleged that before Comey was fired, he requested more resources for the Russia investigation. That's why he got fired. Well, big surprise, The Washington Post wrong again because the acting FBI director, Andrew McCabe, testified the next day that he'd never heard such a request.

And earlier this week, yes, The Post is back. They thought they nailed President Trump! They ran a story claiming the president leaked classified information to the Russians during last week's Oval Office visit. But people that were actually in the room -- now, they cited people outside of the White House -- they said, the people in the room, it never happened.

Also The New York Times -- they're trying to keep up, and they've been spearing Trump from day one. Earlier this week, the paper of record cited a memo from James Comey which claims that President Trump asked the now former FBI director to end the investigation into retired lieutenant general Michael Flynn, that he sent himself a memo. Now, the president, the White House have strongly denied that this ever happened.

And then, of course, there's the fact that the reporter who wrote the story never even saw the so-called memo. This is fascinating. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why is it The Times has the story but not the memo?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we -- we've been working -- I've been working on a story the past few days about the fact that Comey had written these. We thought that that was pretty significant in and of itself. And then in the process of pushing on those doors this morning, I learned more about one of these memos. And someone that had seen them recounted details to me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: As we pointed out, and we have reported on this program -- now, in January, if, in fact, they had a memo and he said that President Trump was trying to encourage him to obstruct justice, well, guess what? That would have been two felonies that James Comey would have committed because James Comey has a legal obligation to report that immediately to the Justice Department, which, by the way, he didn't do.

And then he testified in May and he said guess what? Nobody ever tried to get me to obstruct justice. Whoops!

And tonight, The New York Times is at it again. You can't make it up. And they're claiming that President Trump called James Comey, quote, a "nutjob."

But go back to the memo. The Times alluding, the president trying to get the FBI to back away from Flynn. By law, he would have had to report this immediately to the Justice Department. He was so alarmed, why didn't he say it immediately? Why didn't he report it immediately?

Now, by not doing so, Comey may have broken the two laws we're discussing. They're up there on the side of your screen. Take a look at them.

Then there's the fact that when Comey appeared before Congress on May 3rd -- well, remember? He was asked about the potential for interference with an FBI investigation. Well, did that ever happen? Wouldn't it be big if it happened? This is what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So if the attorney general or senior officials at the Department of Justice opposes a specific investigation, can they halt that FBI investigation?

JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: In theory, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Has it happened?

COMEY: Not in my experience because it would be a big deal to tell the FBI to stop doing something that -- without appropriate purpose. I mean, we're oftentimes, they give us opinions that, We don't see a case there, and so you ought to stop investing resources in it. But I'm talking about a situation where we were told to stop something for a political reason. That would be a very big deal. It's not happened in my experience.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Not happened. President Trump then asked James Comey to stop looking into Michael Flynn. Wouldn't that have been the perfect time to bring it up? And he said it never happened. Remember, that meeting was in January. This was in May when he testified.

And last week, during a congressional hearing, the acting FBI director, Andrew McCabe -- he said there's been no efforts to impede the Russia investigation, in spite of everything your friends in the news media that lie to you every night are telling you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the American people want to know, has the dismissal of Mr. Comey in any way impeded, interrupted, stopped or negatively impacted any of the work, any investigation or any ongoing projects at the Federal Bureau of Investigation?

ANDREW MCCABE, ACTING FBI DIRECTOR: The work of the men and women of the FBI continues, despite any changes in circumstance, any decisions. So there has been no effort to impede our investigation to date.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: What you're seeing play out here is well orchestrated, well organized attack. They want to take down a sitting U.S. president, Democrats, the propaganda media. They're throwing everything they have at President Trump, and the deep state. And now instead of working on making the country a better place, enacting their agenda, the president is now forced to spend the majority of his time defending the lies, the smears, the conspiracy theories.

Now, here's what everyone is missing. The left is successful because they've been able to slow down his agenda dramatically. That's a win for them because they're not thinking about you and what you voted for this election, the economy, creating jobs, fixing health care, foreign policy. No! They want to create chaos because they think that brings them back to power. That's what's at stake here.

Here with reaction, from the American Center for Law and Justice, Jay Sekulow, the co-host for "The Five," Juan Williams. Guys, good to see you both.

Jay, let's -- let's -- this is very, very important. James Comey, if, in fact, he thought the president was obstructing justice and didn't report it-- do those two felonies I put up -- do they play out for him? Would he have violated the law?

JAY SEKULOW, AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW AND JUSTICE: Sure. He had an affirmative obligation at that point to go to the officials within the Department of Justice and report that a crime had been committed, or at least an attempted crime had been committed. And he didn't do that.

But I also would add one other thing. James Comey's not exactly a credible witness. This is a guy that's had to correct his testimony to the Congress on multiple occasions. The most recent time was just a few days before he was fired.

And you also had -- you played the statement by Rod Rosenstein about -- regarding the -- you know, there was this -- all that rumors about him, you know, threatening to quit. And he was also asked (INAUDIBLE) I think yesterday. He was asked if he stood by his recommendation that James Comey be fired. He said yes. The handling of the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal was a basis upon which James Comey should be fired.

There you have it. No scandal. That's the law.

HANNITY: And he also laid out felony after felony that Hillary committed. All right--

SEKULOW: Yes.

HANNITY: -- and that goes to the e-mail server scandal, didn't investigate the foundation. And we know that releasing intelligence like they did on Michael Flynn -- we know that violates the Espionage Act.

Juan, I guess my question for you is, when a story comes out and it turns out not to be true, like in this particular case, you know, how does the media get away with that and they keep just making, as The Washington Post three mistakes in a week?

JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS HOST: Wow. Well, first of all, I guess you think they made a mistake. I'm not sure they think they made a mistake. So -- but let's just look back at your monologue, Sean. I was really impressed.

HANNITY: Thank you.

WILLIAMS: I mean, you blame The Weekly Standard. You blame The National Review. You blamed establishment Republicans. I was -- you really think everybody is against Donald Trump. I'm surprised you didn't mention Obama.

HANNITY: Well, they've been -- wait a minute! Obama hates him, too.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: He's a threat to the swamp!

WILLIAMS: What?

HANNITY: But that is -- those five components, what I'm arguing is the swamp. And he threatens -- he's an existential threat to all of those groups. And they -- the Republicans, weak Republicans and never-Trumpers, hated him from day one.

WILLIAMS: Well, I think there are people who don't like Donald Trump. I don't think there's any question. I thought you were on target when you said the Democrats who still haven't gotten over the election -- I agree with you that.

But drain the swamp? Goldman Sachs, all over the place? I don't think so. I don't think that, in fact, the people that you point out elected Donald Trump, think that he has gone in, replaced and repealed ObamaCare effectively, done something to spur job growth in our country. I just don't see it, Sean.

(CROSSTALK)

SEKULOW: Yes. I mean, first of all, you've got right now a media filibuster going on. That's what they're doing. They're utilizing the media to stop any agenda moving forward.

But you know, I had the opportunity to visit with the president yesterday, and I will tell that you despite what you're hearing, there's a lot of work being done. Let's not forget Neil Gorsuch confirmed. Let's not forget that the repeal of ObamaCare has gone through the House of Representatives. Let's not forget that yesterday, Syrian forces--

HANNITY: Regulations--

(CROSSTALK)

SEKULOW: -- successfully.

HANNITY: All of this.

SEKULOW: Right, regulations rolled back. Also, by the way, on abortion funding, which for a lot of people including me that are pro-life, it's a big deal on international funding. That executive order was issued--

HANNITY: Let me -- let me--

SEKULOW: -- signed not challenged.

HANNITY: Let me ask you both something--

SEKULOW: I mean, the -- the -- so there's been success, but it's a media filibuster.

HANNITY: Let me -- let me ask you both. All of this -- and -- and both Clapper and Admiral Rogers have both said that there's no evidence as it relates to Russian collusion. All the narrative and the hysteria in the media seems to surround this. So I want to ask you this question.

And I am not backing off asking questions, even though there is an effort that nobody talk about Seth Rich. Now, I've interviewed Julian Assange on radio and TV many times. And I've asked him about where those Wikileaks DNC emails came from that resulted in Debbie Wasserman Schultz's firing.

This kid got shot in the back. They said it was a robbery. Yet he had his watch, his wallet and his phone. I don't believe it's a robbery.

But I asked Julian, was it the Russians? And then listen to what Julian said in a Dutch interview.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did Russia give you this information, or anybody associated with Russia?

JULIAN ASSANGE, WIKILEAKS FOUNDER: Our source is not a state party, so the answer for our interactions is no.

Whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often very significant risks. There's a 27-year-old works for the DNC who was shot in the back, murdered just two weeks ago for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington. So--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was just a robbery, I believe, wasn't it?

ASSANGE: No. There's no finding. So--

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you suggesting? What are you suggesting?

ASSANGE: I'm suggesting that our sources take risks, and they become concerned to see things occurring like that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But was he one of your sources then? I mean--

ASSANGE: We don't comment on who our sources are.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: By the way, my thoughts and prayers go out to this family, Jay Sekulow, then I want Juan to really fully respond. If he says it's not Russia and he sounds -- he comes so close to the line saying it was this kid. Let's put the kid out of it for a minute. I feel sorry for his family.

SEKULOW: Yes.

HANNITY: But what if it was somebody that was so disgruntled in the DNC at how they cheated Bernie and how the fix was in, if that turned out to be true that somebody did that, wouldn't that completely wipe out the entire Russia lie we've heard for months and months?

SEKULOW: Of course. And by the way, not only would it wipe that out, but Dianne Feinstein, the senator from California, when asked about evidence involving Russian collusion, she says she has seen to date none. So we've got Clapper and Feinstein, Sally Yates, the entire -- no one has -- this is a fake story!

And the fact is -- I understand why the media likes to deal with this. But the reality is that the leaks information, wherever the source was for Wikileaks, whatever that source was, or whether that person is alive or not, the fact is it was the e-mails themselves--

HANNITY: All right, let me--

SEKULOW: -- that caused Hillary Clinton the problem, not the fact that they were leaked. You know, I don't like leaks. No one likes leaks.

HANNITY: That's such a good point.

SEKULOW: What was in it was the problem. Yes. That's--

HANNITY: But you know, Juan, when you -- when you listen to Julian deny Russia, talk about one individual -- but let's put aside the individual -- knowing that Bernie was cheated and they stole it from him, they colluded, does that not raise eyebrows that this whole thing could be a lie to you?

WILLIAMS: Well, what did Kevin McCarthy, the majority whip, say earlier? He said somebody -- he thinks Putin is paying Trump. Now, that was before Wikileaks. That was before anybody knew anything--

SEKULOW: Juan, do you believe -- Juan do believe--

WILLIAMS: -- about that.

(CROSSTALK)

WILLIAMS: Do I believe that Kevin McCarthy said it? Yes. In fact, apparently--

SEKULOW: No, do you believe--

WILLIAMS: -- there's a tape of that.

SEKULOW: Do you -- Juan, you're a smart guy. Do you believe that Vladimir Putin paid Donald Trump, the president of the United States?

WILLIAMS: I don't know. Remember, he won't release his tax returns.

SEKULOW: You think he might have?

WILLIAMS: We don't know exactly what was being funded--

SEKULOW: Oh, OK.

WILLIAMS: -- by oligarchs and other people. We don't know. So I don't want to believe that and I don't have any evidence of it, so--

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Last question.

WILLIAMS: But I'm just telling you, when you ask me about, is this evidence that Russia had nothing to do with it, I would say to you, Come on, guys. There are cut-outs. And we don't know what cutouts were used to feed that information to Assange.

HANNITY: All right, we got to run.

WILLIAMS: And why would you trust Assange when I've heard Sean Hannity and Jay Sekulow say this guy's a traitor to the United States?

HANNITY: I got to roll. Good to see you guys.

Up next on this busy breaking Friday news night, President Trump traveling to Saudi Arabia for his first overseas trip as commander-in-chief. Will he go on an apology tour? He's slated to give a speech about radical Islam on Sunday. I doubt it. Up next, Dr. Sebastian Gorka.

And also tonight--

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mike Pence, vice president of the United States, is either a sucker and a dupe for Donald Trump, is being set up that way and go and lie and lie and lie again, or he's a liar.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: The destroy Trump media continues with their biased, abusively biased reporting. We get reaction, Joe Concha, Byron York.

But disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner facing years behind bars after pleading guilty to sexting with a teen. And we'll check in with that on this busy news night straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." And tonight, President Trump is traveling to Saudi Arabia in the first stop on his first foreign trip. Now, as president this morning, before he left, President Trump tweeted, quote, "Getting ready for my big foreign trip, will be strongly protecting America's interests. That's what I like to do."

Now, while in Saudi Arabia, the president expected to give a major speech on the need to confront radical Islam. Joining us now, the deputy assistant to the president, Dr. Sebastian Gorka.

You know -- you know, I keep talking about the cycle, the breathless reporting, all the phony stories, New York Times, Washington Post, I mentioned in the last segment. And here's the president -- he had a great relationship, connection with the Chinese president that is bearing fruit vis-a-vis troops on the border with North Korea. Beef industry is being helped out. You know, really good connection.

He met with the Saudi prince, the Israeli prime minister, king of Jordan and the president -- President el-Sisi of Egypt. He's making a lot of progress. He's taking on terror in -- as we know, in Syria and elsewhere.

But all people want to talk about -- they gave secrets away because somebody outside the White House that wasn't in the room said so! Is it hard for the president to govern with all this garbage that's going on?

SEBASTIAN GORKA, DEPUTY ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT: Not at all, Sean. Not at all. We know this for what it is. I think you used the word yourself earlier this week. It's not news. It's not reporting. It's just propaganda.

And we have a mission that we had approved by the American people, and we're executing it. Look, if you had any idea -- and I'm sure you do because you know these people -- the feelings in the Middle East in these countries that the president is going to visit -- finally, there's American leadership. Finally, we're going to treat our friends like friends after eight years of our allies and partners being shunned! And we're going to be victorious against groups like ISIS and al Qaeda.

So yes, there's -- you know, there's -- there's what the media says and then there's reality. And we live in the world of reality, Sean, the president and his team.

HANNITY: You know, Dr. Gorka, you wrote a book about that we can defeat radical Islam. Is there this new emerging alliance -- Israel, the Saudis, the Jordanians, and maybe the Emirates emerging that could be a force, that could take on Iranian hegemony, radical Islam and ISIS all at the same time and actually win?

GORKA: Absolutely. Look at part of the trip is going to include the closing of a $110 billion deal for Saudi Arabia that will help push back on Iranian influence, that will help secure the region. We can't talk about it here openly, but the relationship between Israel and key Arab Muslim nations of the region has changed dramatically in the last 16 weeks. Why? Because now they know, with American help, with American leadership, we can secure that region and we can eradicate.

Remember what the president said, we are going to obliterate and eradicate these groups, and finally, we have a commander-in-chief who will make that possible.

HANNITY: You know, one of the things that I think I'm most concerned about is -- I didn't like Rex Tillerson's comments about -- he seemed to be sort of using his negotiating chip the idea of moving the capital to Jerusalem. I'm not sure if I agree with that.

The second thing is, is it possible to have any peace with the Palestinians, with the Israelis, if they continue to pay terrorists and their families large sums of money, hundreds of millions of dollars after they kill innocent men, women and children, Israelis and Americans? I don't see how it's possible.

GORKA: Look, so first things first. There is no final decision on the capital, but you heard it from the vice president's mouth on the day of national independence for Israel, the president is very, very seriously looking at this issue. But there's the broader question of the larger deal and this related to it.

To your second point, yes, there has to be a fundamental change. There has to be behavior modification if we're going to have peace in a deal brokered by this administration. It's not -- it's not going to be another piece of paper. It's not going to be a nice summit somewhere.

If this happens, it's going to happen for real because we have the world's best deal maker, but it has to happen only after certain things change with regards to exactly those issues you discussed, with regard to terrorism, payment of terrorist families and other key issues.

HANNITY: One thing I know is not going to be happening, Dr. Gorka. This is not going to be an apology tour. That will be refreshing. Good to see you.

And coming up on this busy breaking Friday news night here on "Hannity"--

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WHOOPI GOLDBERG, "THE VIEW": There have been a couple who have been perhaps treated more unfairly or as unfairly. Let's talk about, I don't know, Barack Obama.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: All right, "The View's" Whoopi Goldberg says President Obama was treated, oh, just as unfairly, or even moreso than President Trump. We have a new study just released -- it proves that's not true. We'll get reaction from Joe Concha and Byron York.

And also on this busy Friday news night--

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you saw him absolutely calling Hillary crooked, the "lock her up, lock her up," all of that was developed, I think that was developed strategically with people from the Kremlin.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Vladimir Putin did it! Of course. The Democrats won't stop pushing the bizarre tinfoil hat conspiracy theories. Lisa Boothe, Ric Grenell weigh in.

Also, disgraced former Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner pleading guilty to sexting with a teenager. He could spend years behind bars -- straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JACKIE IBANEZ, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, and live from America's news headquarters, I'm Jackie Ibanez in New York.

Former FBI director James Comey agreeing to go before a Senate committee. He will testify after Memorial Day. No specific date set just yet. The Senate Intelligence Committee releasing a statement tonight, saying they hope his testimony helps answer the questions about his dismissal by President Trump. The Trump administration has yet to comment.

And former New York Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner pleading guilty to felony charges for sexting a 15-year-old girl. He will now have to register as a sex offender and he may serve time in prison. His wife Huma Abedin, an aide to Hillary Clinton, filing for divorce after his plea.

And a judge tossing out the civil rights lawsuit by a Texas teenager against his high school. Ahmed Mohamed was dubbed "clock boy" after he was arrested for bringing a homemade clock to class. School officials said it looked like a bomb and called police.

I'm Jackie Ibanez. Now back to "Hannity." Enjoy your night.

HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." Tonight time for our "Fake News Roundup." Over the past 24 hours the mainstream media's coverage has been downright vicious. You can't make this stuff up. It's every single hour of every day.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are there are echoes of Watergate here in your mind with this type of response by the president, the combativeness over this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There certainly are.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The obvious parallel is with President Nixon in his late days.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even his allies see him as a 70-year-old impulsive, needy, adolescent who does not know his job and has no since of strategy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump actually sounding far less articulate than the president of Colombia who actually seems to speak our language much better than Donald Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mike Pence, vice president of the United States, is either a sucker and a dupe for Donald Trump, being set up that way to go out and lie and lie and lie again, or he's a liar. There is no middle ground.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Now, I want you to keep that montage in mind when you listen to this clip from "The View's" Whoopi Goldberg who recently said President Obama was treated much worse than Donald Trump. Really? Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOLDBERG: I did want to point out there have been a couple who have been perhaps treated more unfairly, or as unfairly. Let's talk about, I don't know, Barack Obama. This guy went for eight years and came out still a man I'm proud, whether you like what he did, I'm proud of him.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Maybe Whoopi didn't see the new Harvard study because that found Trump's coverage during his first 100 days set a new standard for negativity. In fact the study shows a whopping 80 percent of President Trump's media coverage has been negative compared to just 41 percent for Obama.

Joining us now, Fox News contributor Byron York, and from The Hill Joe Concha. All right, Joe, we know it. We see it. It's every night. But one thing you can't measure is the breathless intensity that also goes along with the coverage.

JOE CONCHA, THE HILL: Oh, tone is definitely a factor here, Sean, no question about it. But peel the onion off the study. It is fascinating. As a media reporter I love really digging into this.

Let me just make three quick points here. Immigration coverage was 96 percent negative. I get that the temporary travel ban wasn't rolled out well. But then the reason why that number is so far in the negative direction is because border crossings being down 70 percent is rarely reported. So that's why you get a number like that.

Number two, foreign policy and defense. You would have to argue that probably the biggest event that happened during the first 100 days of Trump was the bombing of that Syrian airfield after that chemical attack by Assad's forces that killed women and children. That was even applauded by Democrats. And 82 percent negative -- with a team of Tillerson, Madison, McMaster, that's the negativity you are getting even in that area.

But economy, Sean, economy, where most people would say Trump is doing a good job because when you look at unemployment rate at 10-year low. Manufacturing, construction booming. You know, jobless claims at 28 year low, on and on, I can go on and on. Most of the economic numbers are good. And even there, Sean.

HANNITY: The economic numbers are good.

CONCHA: Even there, it's negatives. And that tells me something. That tells me there is a reflex toward the negative even when numbers that you can't spin are being spun anyway.

HANNITY: Joe, they can spin anything. They lie. That's part of their strategy. Byron?

BYRON YORK, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, in addition to that 80 percent figure that you said at the top, which is the overall figure, 80 percent negative, if you look at some of the individual outlets, the numbers are really pretty amazing. CNN and NBC were both 93 percent negative. CBS 91 percent negative. New York Times 87 percent negative. The Washington Post, 83. Wall Street Journal a little more fair, 70 percent negative. And Fox News 52 percent negative, 48 percent positive, roughly balanced there. But some of these negative numbers were just through the roof.

HANNITY: I agree with that. You know, Joe, you have your colleagues in the media, I notice you are a little separate and apart from a lot of them, especially on Twitter where they're like you tweet my story, I'll tweet your story. Is there a group think that is almost impenetrable now?

CONCHA: I think that there's a peer pressure, Sean, as far as -- I look at Matt Lauer. And if you remember that commander-in-chief forum, it was on the Intrepid here in New York. And Lauer did a good question. He asked actually Trump twice as many questions as Hillary. But people, because he didn't throw a pie in Donald Trump's face and kneecap him, he was basically ostracized from the Hamptons. And that set a tone right there that if you aren't overwhelmingly negative, not even so much towards Trump but his surrogates that go on the air, then we are going to really going to ream you on social media, no question.

HANNITY: Last word, Byron?

YORK: Back in the pre-cable era, ABC, CBS, NBC newscasts, the producers basically read the New York Times and just illustrated it later in the day. And I think we are kind of returning to those days where we are seeing just a real set of group think in a sort of echo chamber of stories that appear in a couple of outlets that then spread throughout a number of other outlets.

HANNITY: Look, there was a funny story in The Business Insider.
Journalists drink too much, are bad at managing emotions, and operate at lower level than average according to a new study. But they hate me so what do I know?

YORK: That's not an explanation.

HANNITY: That's true. It's not. That's not excuse for their sloppiness and their propaganda.

Up next tonight on this busy Friday breaking news night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MAXINE WATERS, D-CALIFORNIA; When you saw him absolutely calling Hillary crooked, the "lock her up, lock her up," all of that was developed, I think that was developed strategically with people from the Kremlin.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters continues to say and expand on bizarre conspiracy theories. Also tonight, creepy former Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner could be going to jail after pleading guilty today to sexting with a teen. We'll get reaction, Lisa Boothe, Ric Grenell.

And later one-on-one I go with Obama economic advisor Austan Goolsbee. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." Democratic California Congresswoman Maxine Waters is at it again. She's now floating one of the most bizarre conspiracy theories coming from the Democratic side of the aisle. This is a great one. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WATERS: I really do believe that much of what you saw coming out of Trump's mouth was a play from Putin's playbook. I think that when you saw him absolutely calling Hillary crooked, the "lock her up, lock her up," all of that was developed -- I think that was developed strategically with people from the Kremlin, with Putin.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Now, Congresswoman Waters she didn't stop there naturally. She went on to predict Donald Trump's impeachment, all while admitting she has no evidence to back up her accusation. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just to be clear, there has been no actual evidence yet.

WATERS: No there has not been. No there has not. And I want you to know every time I have talked about impeachment, I've said we have got to connect the dots. We've got to get the facts. We have got to do the investigation. That is what leads to impeachment. And I also said that Trump will lead us right there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: And also tonight, another sad development in the life of disgraced former Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner. He pled guilty today to one count of sending obscene messages to a minor. Now as part of a plea deal for sexting an under-aged girl, well earlier in court, Weiner sobbed as he was entering his plea telling the judge, quote, "I have a sickness but I do not have an excuse." Weiner now faces multiple years in prison and will have to register as a sex offender.

Joining us now, Lisa Booth, former spokesman for the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Ric Grenell. Lisa --

LISA BOOTHE, COLUMNIST, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Hi, Sean.

HANNITY: I didn't think it could get any better than Dan Rather saying that Donald Trump is now the hunted by the media. I think Maxine Waters got pretty close with the "lock her up" came from Putin.

BOOTHE: Yes, absolutely, Sean. And I hate to be mean here, Sean, but there is a little bit of a humor in Maxine Waters talking about connecting the dots because this is a woman who on an interview just recently couldn't explain what the Democratic Party stood for outside of the resistance to President Trump. This is a woman who had also previously said that Comey had zero credibility but in an interview struggled to explain why someone with no credibility shouldn't be fired. So there is a little bit of humor for her to talk about connecting the dots when, you know, she is not exactly known for having credibility herself here. But you are right, Sean, we should be dealing with facts, and I think that the media has largely been interested in search of a narrative instead of the facts.

HANNITY: I don't even know. Vladimir gave Trump, his audience at town hall "lock her up." Really, Ric? I don't know what zone we are entering here anymore it's gotten so bizarre.

RIC GRENELL, FORMER SPOKESMAN FOR U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: Yes. Look, and it's a byproduct of anonymous leaks. And no one should be surprised by that the public or Congress or 68 members of Congress who didn't show up for the inauguration somehow are believing these anonymous leaks.

Look, I think that the leaks are very serious problem because they are not whistle blowers, these leakers. They are not speaking truth to power. This is politics. This is about 2020. And we have a major problem when intelligence officials are politicizing their work in order to further some political partisan --

HANNITY: The dark state.

GRENELL: I think they need to be fired. You need to find them and fire them.

HANNITY: Agreed.

GRENELL: Every single leaker is not helping America. They may think that they are. They may think they are a whistleblower. And the media are never going to tell us who this person is or what the position is. We don't even know if they are actually inside the government, Sean.

HANNITY: Well, I would imagine they are in a deep state. That's my suspicion, my deeply held position. But, think about it. Dan Rather, I can't even believe these words are flying out of my mouth. He is kind of right. He was just on. They are hunting the president. He is the hunted. And it's the deep state. It's the Democrats. It's the media. They are hunting him.

BOOTHE: And, Sean, I think it's really sad because there is not a lot of credibility there left with the media. They have gotten so much wrong even just with the firing of James Comey recently in saying -- reports that he was fired because there weren't enough resources. But we know that is not to be true because acting FBI director Andrew McCabe told us so he under sworn testimony.

There is also reports that the acting A.G. in regard to the Russia case, Rod Rosenstein, was going to ask resign. That ended up not being true either. So there has just been so much false reporting that I think it's really sad because Americans don't know what to believe.

HANNITY: Ric, last word.

GRENELL: I think we must find each and every leaker because it's really doing a disservice to democracy. We had an election. We have a lot of reporters who aren't doing journalism. They are getting handed anonymous leaks. That's not journalism. We have to get back to journalism. We have to get back to the fact that we had an election.

Reporters who are upset about the election or individuals inside the intelligence community who don't like the outcome must be stopped. This cannot continue. And the Democrats, I urge them to think about this. This is just the slippery slope. If it happens to Trump, it's going to happen forever. And our country is at risk. We have got to stop this.

HANNITY: These unnamed deep state bureaucrats, they will decide, not the people. That's scary. Thank you both.

BOOTHE: Thank you, Sean.

HANNITY: When we come back, President Trump set to unveil his budget proposal next week. The prior administration left him with a complete mess. One-on-one, me and former economic adviser for Obama, Austan Goolsbee, straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." So President Trump's first budget will be released next week. And we are getting a sneak peek at what it will include. According to reports the president is planning to propose $200 billion in infrastructure spending over 10 years. There will also be substantial cuts to food stamps and other programs. President Obama, well, he left President Trump with an economic mess. This is just one step needed to clean it all up. Will it work?

Joining us now, former Obama economic advisor Austan Goolsbee. You know, there was a report out this weekend, I thought of you, because we're such good friends. So we didn't --- the first time ever a sitting president never reached three percent GDP growth ever in the history of the country for single year. We might have four percent growth next month alone. I'm sure that would make you feel very happy in the Trump effect would make you very gleeful.

AUSTAN GOOLSBEE, FORMER OBAMA ECONOMIC ADVISER: Well, Sean, I love coming on and talking to you though even in just that sentence you confused two numbers. The president Obama hit three percent on a quarterly basis, which I predict Donald Trump probably will the second quarter. It was less than one percent last quarter.

HANNITY: He's the only president ever in a year, he's the only president in the history of the country to never reach three percent growth in a year.

GOOLSBEE: For the whole year.

HANNITY: I said that. That's correct.

GOOLSBEE: Yes. Donald Trump had less than one percent in the first quarter and now if he gets a single quarter --

HANNITY: With all due respect, what's the date he became the president. What's the date Donald Trump became president? I know you know history.

GOOLSBEE: It's one of the darkest days in our recent memory, January 20th.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: But the bottom line is that would be Obama's month and Obama's quarter.

If you look down the list, I think there was one quarter in eight years, maybe tow that he got three percent. That's it. Under two, that's a fact.

GOOLSBEE: Sean, you are a believer. And that's one of your most endearing qualities.

HANNITY: Are you going to pat me on the head and patronize me.

GOOLSBEE: Even a believer, it's OK to admit Donald Trump has disappointed you and that you had falsely placed faith in what he was going to do.

HANNITY: Not at all.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Hang on a second.

GOOLSBEE: -- doing what you wanted him to do.

HANNITY: We have argued on this program for years. And I have kind of playfully admonished you as being the architect of, let's see, the lowest labor participation rate since the 70s, 13 million more Americans on food stamps, 8 million more in poverty.

GOOLSBEE: And 15 million jobs.

HANNITY: Lowest home ownership rate in 51 years. So you kind of want to flip it on me because you supported -- and a doubling of the debt which is irresponsible and unpatriotic according to somebody.

GOOLSBEE: All I want to do is take out the Bush recession and start it from that, but continue.

HANNITY: You know what I would like to do. I would like to take out the incorrigible years that the police took me home to my mother. But that's not way life works.

GOOLSBEE: And that was two years ago.

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: My mother has been gone a long time, rest her soul.

I would think -- I'm never going to win this argument. It's an old argument between us.

GOOLSBEE: I agree with that. You won't.

HANNITY: All right, because I do win. Facts say a lot of things. But I guess the thing is I would hope that you think that America needs what the president is offering. I'm not so sure I love all the infrastructure, but I do love the tax cuts. I love reoperation. I do love energy independence, the jobs that can be created and process of getting there. Are those things we can agree on?

GOOLSBEE: I think we can agree that we want to get the growth rate higher for sure. I would love it if we could have a sustained growth rate above three percent not just for one year, for 10 years. That would be wonderful.

But I have some problems with some of the things that Trump is proposing to do because I think they are redistributive, nonsensical, don't increase the growth rate. But if he did some solid infrastructure that would be good. If he had decent tax reform, that would be good.

HANNITY: Yes, but the infrastructure, what I like about it going to do private-public partnerships. All right, Austan, I still like you, and please tell your better half.

GOOLSBEE: Always have a good time, man.

HANNITY: All right, my friend, thank you. And when we come back, a very important Friday "Question of the Day." Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: All right, time for our "Question of the Day" on this busy Friday night. So what do you think that President Trump will accomplish during his first overseas trip. I know it's not about Russia, really. Go to Facebook.com/SeanHannity, @SeanHannity on Twitter, let us know what you think.

That's all the time we have this evening. Thank you for being with us. See you back here on Monday. Have a great weekend.

END

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