TRANSCRIPT

Darden on OJ: If only we got it right the first time; Cruz makes case for his health care plan

Reaction on 'Hannity' from Geraldo Rivera, Gregg Jarrett and former prosecutor from 1994 murder trial Christopher Darden after OJ Simpson is granted parole

 

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," July 20, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: The Nevada parole board has now granted release to O.J. Simpson after being convicted of armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon.

We are all here tonight we have a very important mini monologue about holding Republicans accountable and Robert Mueller's mission creep and whether or not he should recuse himself.

We'll review just how O.J. Simpson ended up in prison and why many would rather see the juice rot in jail for the rest of his life. That's tonight's "Opening Monologue."

The year was 2008, O.J. Simpson was convicted on all charges relating to an incident that took place in Las Vegas, where he along with a few accomplices -- they entered into a hotel room, they stole multiple pieces of sports memorabilia, and they did it at gunpoint. He was later sentenced to a maximum of 33 years in prison.

As soon as October the 1st, O.J. Simpson will once again be a free man. We want to remind our *viewers of his violent past. In 1989, he was charged with beating his then wife Nicole Brown Simpson. He was ordered to go on psychiatric treatment. The pair was divorced three years later, claiming that O.J. Simpson was physically and emotionally abusive.

Then in 1994, Nicole Brown Simpson she was found brutally stabbed to death along with her friend, Ron Goldman, outside of a home that she shared with her (sic) and O.J. Simpson' two children. Now, the crime scene at the time was described as horrific, and Nicole Brown Simpson's head was nearly severed from her body.

And hours later, when police went to O.J. Simpson's house, well, investigators found that his white Ford Bronco was covered in blood. The DNA tests would later link the blood to Nicole Brown Simpson, Ron Goldman and O.J. Simpson. Bloody socks were also found at the foot of O.J. Simpson's bed. DNA testing would link those socks to Simpson and his ex-wife.

Bloody shoeprints were found at the scene of the crime. Well, guess what? They matched O.J. Simpson's shoe size. Blood containing O.J. Simpson's DNA markers -- well, that was found on a back gate at the crime scene. One bloody leather glove was found near the victims, with a matching glove found behind O.J. Simpson's guesthouse. Now, those gloves also contained genetic markers connected to Simpson and the two victims.

Now, because of the mountain of evidence against O.J. Simpson -- well, he then became the main suspect in a huge double murder, and he was required to surrender to the police. Then on June 17th, 1994, after failing to turn himself in, O.J. Simpson and a close personal friend -- they led police on a long, long, slow speed car chase in southern California, where O.J., who was a passenger in the white Ford Bronco, purportedly was considering suicide.

Ultimately, Simpson surrendered to police and was formally charged in the deaths of his ex-wife and Ron Goldman. Now, Simpson then hired high- profile lawyers who turned this trial of the century into a public circus, with all of America tuning in to see what would happen. In the end, the jury found that, despite this mountain of evidence, physical evidence, blood evidence, markers, DNA -- they found O.J. Simpson not guilty.

Then thirteen years after being cleared of these murder charges, O.J. Simpson was sentenced to prison for robbery, kidnapping, assault, which led to today's parole hearing granting O.J.'s freedom.

Earlier today, before the parole hearing, the Goldman family had this to say about the man they truly believe brutally murdered their loved ones. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRED GOLDMAN, RON GOLDMAN'S FATHER: I think his whole history of violence, ignoring the law, no respect for the law, no remorse for virtually anything he's ever done is an indication of who he is as a person. I don't think there's any reason to think that he's going to be a decent human being in society.

KIM GOLDMAN, RON GOLDMAN'S SISTER: His propensity is to be violent. His propensity is to go above and beyond what the law dictates he's supposed to do. Our society afforded him his freedom back in '95 when they acquitted him. I want them to be remembered that that's his go-to is violence.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: And today, while speaking in front of the parole board, O.J. Simpson was a mix of emotions. At times, he got angry. Other times, he was smiling and laughing. Here's what he had to say earlier today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O.J. SIMPSON: I'm not a guy that has conflicts on the street. I don't expect to have any when I leave here. But I feel that I'm much better prepared, but moreso from my think -- my -- my commitment to being a better Christian because I thought I was a good guy. I had some problems with fidelity in my life. But I've always been a guy that pretty much got along with everybody.

I've always thought I've been pretty good with people, and I basically have spent a conflict-free life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: All right, pretty unbelievable. Joining us now with reaction, someone who extensively covered the murder trial in the 1990s, TMZ's Harvey Levin. Harvey, welcome back. You really did. I mean, careers were actually in some of our mutual friends -- Geraldo, Gregg Jarrett, others -- careers were made on this case.

HARVEY LEVIN, TMZ FOUNDER AND HOST: Yes, and there -- look, I've got a couple of reactions here. One, the hilarious part, which is when he says that he's never really had conflicts in his life. His wife called -- or ex-wife called 911 so many times, she said, I'm calling about O.J. Simpson. I think you know his record. So that's just absurd.

But the bigger thing, Sean, is this. And look, I love you, but I'm going to say it. I disagree with you. You spent two minutes talking about the murder case and you went through all of the evidence, and I agree with you.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: I love inviting Harvey Levin on my show to beat me up. That's why we're such good friends.

LEVIN: Well, I...

HANNITY: Go right ahead!

LEVIN: OK, I apologize, but...

HANNITY: No, go ahead. I'm kidding.

LEVIN: I agree with you. To me, he is the guiltiest man I've ever seen in a murder case, and I covered this gavel to gavel. That said, he was found not guilty. Everything you just said about that murder case is why I believe O.J. Simpson should be paroled because the judge in that kidnapping case to me was a renegade judge who just wanted her pound to flesh because she was passed off that O.J. was found not guilty.

HANNITY: Hey, Harvey...

LEVIN: And she shouldn't have the right to superimpose a verdict in a murder case and pretend that that's an appropriate verdict. He shouldn't have served even nine years for this. I mean, he just shouldn't have. And the parole board did what the parole board should have done.

HANNITY: OK. The 33-year sentence -- by the way, I agree with everything you just said. Why did you assume -- because I was laying out the facts. I realized on my radio show today that some of the people that work for me were 5 years old. they didn't cover this the way we did. I guess it speaks volumes about our age. I do believe --

(CROSSTALK)

LEVIN: In my office, 2.

HANNITY: What's that?

LEVIN: In my office, 2 years old. Seriously.

HANNITY: I see the young kids you work with. It cracks me up. And they get you pretty good on your show. But in all seriousness, the evidence, you agree with me, was overwhelming and incontrovertible in the murder case, and then he was held liable in the civil trial.

LEVIN: Right. But Sean, look, O.J. Simpson went through two major criminal trials. And in both cases, justice and O.J. Simpson never really intersected. In the murder case, that was a verdict against the misdeeds of the Los Angeles Police Department. And in the kidnapping case, the judge just wanted a retake on the murder case and tried to sentence him for that and not what was before that judge. So in both cases, justice really wasn't served.

HANNITY: OK, but it was an armed robbery. He did help organize this and lead this. There was danger here. And you know, whether it's about memorabilia or not, 33 years, agreed way too much. Retribution...

LEVIN: It was ridiculous. It was ridiculous.

HANNITY: Yes, I think the sentence was harsh and I don't disagree.

All right, Harvey Levin, TMZ, thank you, sir.

LEVIN: OK. See you, Sean.

HANNITY: All right, joining us now with more reaction, FOX News correspondent at large Geraldo Rivera, FOX News anchor, attorney Gregg Jarrett. And on the phone, the author of "In Contempt," attorney, former prosecutor in O.J. Simpson's murder trial Christopher Darden.

All right, Geraldo, you've been out there all day. Let's talk about your thoughts because more than any other show, I think, at the time in America, you defined this case. It was the ratings to your cable show. You brought cable alive at that time.

GERALDO RIVERA, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: You know, Sean, there's been three major events in O.J. Simpson's life that I covered. One was the acquittal in the murder case, which caused me to be absolutely outraged. Then he was found a couple of years later in the civil case to be civilly liable for the wrongful deaths of Ron and Nicole. I was elated, and so was much of America.

Today was something I predicted. I thought that the parole board did what the parole board had to do. That armed robbery and kidnapping in Las Vegas in that hotel room -- it was like the keystone crooks. It was O.J. largely going to get back stuff that the memorabilia dealers had purportedly stolen from O.J.

So you know, the fact that he did nine years and he obeyed the rules behind bars -- I hate the guy. I think he got away with murder. He butchered his -- the mother of his children. He is despicable! He played the race card to the nth degree.

But in this case, the law was followed. Nine years is an awfully long time for the facts and circumstances that are described grandiosely, armed robbery, kidnapping, burglary. But it really wasn't that. It was O.J. Simpson...

HANNITY: It was armed robbery.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: ... serious crime.

RIVERA: ... and saying, OK, guys -- but a year or two years would've been tops, Sean.

HANNITY: Armed -- all right, Gregg, you -- you don't want this guy out of jail, period. Do you think he's a danger?

GREGG JARRETT, FOX NEWS: Absolutely he's a danger. And prior convictions -- and he beat his wife and there's a conviction on that. But any other information that shows that the inmate is a risk and a threat to the public -- it's in the guidelines. I have it right here. This is on their Web sites, the parole board's Web site.

They ignored that. They made a deliberate decision in advance, and it was abundantly clear today, when the parole members said, We are not going to consider the civil judgment that he brutally murdered two people, nor his acquittal in the criminal case. I think that was a mistake. They have latitude and discretion to consider it. They chose not to.

HANNITY: Christopher Darden, the world watched as you and Marcia Clark -- and you prosecuted this case. I went through the overwhelming amount of evidence, incontrovertible evidence. The verdict comes in that day. How do you feel about it these many years later?

CHRISTOPHER DARDEN, SIMPSON MURDER TRIAL PROSECUTOR (via telephone): (INAUDIBLE) tough day, toughest day in my career to watch that jury come back not guilty. You know, it seemed to me the kind of case where there was just no other decision reasonable people could come to. The evidence was overwhelming.

HANNITY: But then the verdict comes in that day, and you see two very different reactions in the country. I mean, I thought you guys did your job. I don't know, maybe the glove having shrunk, you weren't prepared for that. But shy of that, isn't this a case where it's a slam dunk in your mind?

DARDEN: Well, you know, I knew that on paper, it was a fantastic case. But you know, it was Los Angeles and a lot had gone on in Los Angeles -- riots, the Rodney King beating, the relationship -- the poor relationship the black community had with the LAPD. You know, politically, socially (INAUDIBLE) it was tough.

HANNITY: Yes.

DARDEN: It's tough to get a conviction of an African-American.

HANNITY: Chris, good to talk to again. I know it's been many years, and all the best to you. We appreciate it, Chris Darden.

When we come back, we'll have more with Gregg Jarrett. Judge Jeanine Pirro will join us, Geraldo Rivera. More on the breaking news O.J. Simpson will be free as of October. Newt Gingrich. Also, we have a mini monologue tonight on the destroy Trump alliance that is working every day to take this president down and his administration. Are Republicans a part of it?

And Senator Ted Cruz in studio. He's got a proposal that will lower everybody's health care premium. Will his fellow Republicans listen?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SIMPSON: I've always thought I was -- I've been pretty good with people. And I basically have spent a conflict-free life. You know, I'm not a guy that ever got into fights on the street with the public and everybody.

I'm not a guy who lived the criminal life. You know, I'm a pretty straight shooter. I've always tried to be a good soldier.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: All right, that was O.J. Simpson speaking earlier today during his parole hearing, saying he has lived a conflict-free life. Really?

OK, joining us now, Geraldo Rivera, Gregg Jarrett. Also joining us, the host of "Justice," Judge Jeanine Pirro.

"Conflict-free"? How many times -- I think you know me, Harvey Levin just said it. You know his record, and the images of her with her face bashed in by him.

JEANINE PIRRO, "JUSTICE" HOST: Look, here's a guy who was a batterer. His wife was a victim of domestic violence. He is convicted of beating here in 1989. And as sure as I'm sitting here, if he's convicted of once, that means he's done it at least 10 times more. This was a domestic violence homicide. This is a guy who gets involved in road rage. A "conflict-free" life? What happened in that room in the casino? I mean, the guy is delusional!

HANNITY: Yes. You know, I'm sitting here, Geraldo, talking to Gregg Jarrett, and Gregg followed the case closely, like you did. And both of you have the same perception. You both think he's such a narcissist. Do you think he fully knows, is conscious, is aware that all the evidence is so overwhelming that he really did commit this, or is somehow he's been able to compartmentalize it away?

RIVERA: Oh, he may be delusional. I don't know, Sean, if he really admits even in the dark of night that he butchered his children's mother and her friend, Ron Goldman. But in terms of his volatile personality, there is no doubt that this is a man who has rage just below the surface.

HANNITY: Gregg, you think he's so narcissistic, you don't think he really is aware.

(CROSSTALK)

JARRETT: I interviewed him after the acquittal. And I think he's in complete denial. And yet when I asked him tough questions, you know, he seemed to really melt with vacuous answers and...

HANNITY: How could you be in denial if you killed two people?

JARRETT: Because he's one of those people psychologically so deeply troubled that he can actually convince himself and believe that he didn't do what he did.

HANNITY: You really believe he knows -- he doesn't know he did it, or he knows he did it but just never thinks about it?

JARRETT: I have a very good friend who's a psychiatrist. And I asked him about it back then. After I interviewed O.J. Simpson, I -- how is this even possible? And he said some people have the ability to completely block out...

HANNITY: Reality.

JARRETT: ... bad things, including their own bad acts.

HANNITY: All right...

PIRRO: But -- but he is also conscious of his bad acts. He can block them out and put them on the back burner. But when he said he was going to write that book, you know, "If I Did It" -- I mean, that's kind of his dancing on the edge of cliff, saying, you know, I'm not going to admit it to you, but I really did do it. That's what -- almost like his subconscious coming out.

JARRETT: And by the way, I read portions of that. You can still kind of find it on line. When you read it, it's abundantly clear he did it.

PIRRO: Yes, he did it. And he knows he did it.

HANNITY: Geraldo, he didn't see you today, did he, because I think he probably would have -- his face would've contorted.

(LAUGHTER)

RIVERA: Oh, I would have loved that. I would have loved -- I remember when I confronted Scott Peterson. I would have loved to have seen O.J. Simpson. You know, it was -- but I think that this is a psychopathic personality. Yale Galanter, his attorney at the trial that they lost, the Las Vegas hotel room robbery -- he predicts that the slightest little incident could spark more violence in O.J. If he goes public, if he goes night-clubbing, it's all over. If he stays private, plays golf, maybe has a reasonable chance...

HANNITY: Yes, I'll be looking for the killers on the golf course when he gets out. Thank you all for being with us.

And a quick programming note. Tune in this Sunday night at 8:00 P.M. for "O.J. Simpson, Justice Served" hosted by Geraldo Rivera.

And coming up, establishment Republicans -- they have done nothing to help the president advance his agenda and help the American people. I'll share my thoughts in an important monologue. That's coming up next. They need to get their act together.

Also Newt Gingrich -- he'll weigh in. Also, Senator Ted Cruz in studio talks about how to lower premiums and health care. And Tomi Lahren -- she'll get the final word tonight straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

HANNITY: And welcome back to "Hannity." New evidence tonight that the Washington, D.C., swamp and the deep state -- they're trying to sabotage, undermine and destroy Donald Trump's presidency. That is the subject of tonight's mini monologue.

All right, today President Trump has been an office for six months. He has a long list of accomplishments despite getting no help from congressional Republicans. Now, we've been telling you about the five forces that have been working against the president, and tonight I want to focus on establishment Republicans in particular.

Now, yesterday, President Trump told GOP lawmakers that, quote, "inaction is not an option" of getting rid of ObamaCare. Yet in the Senate, the effort to repeal and replace the disastrous health care law is stalled and we're not sure how it's all going to turn out here.

Now, which is very frustrating. It's beyond frustrating. All of us here for years -- we've been hearing over and over again, seven years, 2010, 2014, 2016 they're going to get rid of ObamaCare. Now, the American people -- you know what? You've been bearing the burden for ObamaCare. But instead of Republicans keeping their solemn promise of seven years, they haven't done a thing.

So tonight, we're asking them why that is. Are there enough establishment Republicans now that are willing to go down with the ship, maybe risk their seat because of their hatred for President Trump? Isn't this supposed to be the Republican Party, the party of repeal and replace? Isn't it supposed to be the party of energy independence? Isn't it the party of originalism on the court, the party of safety and security of the homeland? Do these Republicans -- do they not care about low taxes, less government, creating jobs?

Now, President Trump's agenda is what the Republican Party tells us they stand for. So there really shouldn't be any excuses. And at this point, there should be some sort of tangible progress.

So tonight, these Republicans who aren't doing everything they can do to pass the president's agenda through Congress -- the agenda that you, the American people, voted for and deserve -- well, they need to take a good, hard look in the mirror tonight. If you're in Congress, the House, the Senate, and you're not doing your job, if you're not serving the American people -- you're supposed to be public servants -- then get out of the way. Good home. Let somebody else do the job you won't do.

Also tonight, more evidence that Robert Mueller, the special counsel, that they are on a massive witch hunt. Bloomberg tonight reporting that the special counsel is now looking into business transactions and financial dealings of President Trump and people that are connected to his campaign. Now, this, of course, comes after President Trump last night told The New York Times that Mueller would be crossing the line if he did that.

Now, this is what I've been talking about when I say the deep state is at work. So just hours after the president's statement, well, someone leaked this information to Bloomberg to try and damage the president, annoy the president and frustrate the president.

And today, yet another example of deep states leaks. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the special counsel is investigating Paul Manafort for possible money issues, and we'll have the latest and more breaking news as that develops.

Now, Mueller should be investigating who is committing crimes by leaking this type of information to the press. Now, these leaks have been going on for months and months and months. Nothing is done to stop them, and they continue.

And aside from these potentially criminal leaks, well, Mueller, he has massive conflicts of interest. For example, President Trump pointed out to The Times a huge conflict of interest the mainstream media has largely ignored. Do you know the day before Mueller was appointed as special counsel -- guess what? He was interviewed by President Trump for the FBI director job. So Mueller knew he had a chance to be appointed special counsel, yet he still interviewed to be the FBI director. It's beyond ridiculous.

Also, Mueller has several other conflicts of interest. Remember, he's BFF with James Comey who's a key witness in this investigation. Well, that could be a potential violation of the law. And Mueller -- what did he do? Look at the people he's hired -- members on his team, well, that have donated thousands and thousands of dollars to Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Take a look at this graphic. His investigators have donated tens of thousands of dollars to the likes of these people. OK, and by the way, what's even worse is that one of the lawyers on Mueller's team, guess what? He used to be Hillary Clinton's lawyer at the Clinton Foundation.

Joining us now, author of "The New York Times" bestseller "Understanding Trump," former speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich. That's a pretty big conflict of interest, sir. By the way, eight weeks on the "Times" list, congrats.

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Thank you. The Mueller investigation has so many conflicts of interest it's almost an absurdity. The law firm he comes from gave 99.81 percent of its donations to Hillary Clinton last year. That's 0.19 of one percent went to Donald Trump. The people who he has been hiring are all anti-Trump lawyers. Several of them have very bad records of hiding information from the defense. One case was rebuked by the Supreme Court in a 9-0 vote.

It's hard to understand why he would assemble such a team unless it was a deliberate effort to go after the president and the president's team. I don't understand why the House and Senate Judiciary Committees aren't investigating a lot of this stuff. The point you made about leaks is a perfectly good example. The leaks have to be coming from inside Mueller's team. So whose leaking? Why is nothing being done about it? Why are people not being fired?

I think it's a very reasonable to say that this is a very dangerous witch hunt that Mueller keeps expanding it because he can't find anything in the original charge. He's not going to find anything about Trump and Russia, and yet he's hired all of these guys who have given up there very expensive law service to come out and try to get somebody, and they're going to eventually find somebody to prosecute because there are too many lawyers being paid too much money for them to go home having accomplished nothing.

HANNITY: How is it possible that they're hiring not only Hillary Clinton's lawyers, he had applied for the FBI director's job. He's best friends with James Comey who leaked on purpose to get this special counsel. And how do you higher all these people who only donated to Clinton and Obama and Democrats? How is that anyway fair, and now we've moved three steps beyond what the original investigation was supposed to be about because there's no there there.

GINGRICH: One of the great weaknesses we have with traditional Republicans is they allow the deep state and the news media to set the terms of the conversation. For example, I'm perfectly happy to investigate foreign influence peddling in the United States and efforts to shape the United States, but how do you do that without investigating the Clinton Foundation, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, and all the people surrounding them?

I'm perfectly happy to have them be tough-minded about Trump, but then they ought to be tough-minded about Mueller. As you point out, they ought to be tough-minded about Comey. How can Comey testify and say openly, it was amazing the arrogance of saying openly, oh, yes, I gave this leak to a friend of mine at Columbia University so he would give it to "The New York Times" so I would then get a special counsel. That is such a blatant public, arrogant abuse of power, and yet where's the investigation? Why isn't Comey in the process of being investigated?

HANNITY: All great questions. And I've got to tell you. This is getting really ugly, and the conflicts of interest and the double standards are amazing.

We'll take a break. We'll come back. We'll have more with Newt Gingrich right after this break.

Also tonight, Texas Senator Ted Cruz will join us later in studio. He'll explain how Republicans can get to a "yes" on repealing, replacing Obamacare and lowering premiums.

And then later tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOMI LAHREN, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Here's a news flash for the leftist mainstream media. Just because you're obsessed with nitpicking his personal habits doesn't mean the American people give a crap.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Tomi Lahren is back with tonight's final word as we continue on this busy breaking news night tonight on "Hannity."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." We continue now with former speaker of the House, FOX News contributor, Newt Gingrich. So you've said on this program that you believe that if Republicans don't get their act together and don't get their job done, that there's a chance Nancy Pelosi could be speaker again, and elected in 2018. How big a danger in this, and what do you think needs to get done for that not to happen?

GINGRICH: First of all, I'm delighted you're having Ted Cruz on tonight because he is working very hard to try to unlock the process of how do we get to 50 votes plus the vice president in the Senate. That's a very important conversation you're going to have with Ted.

I think the key is to pass a very big tax cut by Thanksgiving to make sure that it's retroactive to January 1st, to put enough money out there, 15 percent corporate rate, a pass through for small business so Subchapter S corporations also get an incentive, a very substantial middle-class tax cut, repatriation of several trillion dollars overseas. If we can pass something that clean, that simple, get it signed into law by Thanksgiving, we will have a huge economic boom next year combined with what Secretary Perry is doing it energy, the things that Secretary Zinke is doing at the Department of Interior, a lot of good things out there happening.

The deregulation where they're deregulating 16 regulations for every new one, a huge historic event, all of that could come together. But if we end up stumbling into 2018, the economy gets soft, we can't pass a tax cut, that I think is a very grave danger. We could have a Speaker Pelosi, and she would be a nightmare for President Trump and for everything that you and I believe ought to be happening.

HANNITY: I know that you have wanted to do infrastructure, you wanted to do the tax cuts, you wanted to get the economy going. And maybe you weren't the biggest fan of starting with health care, but at this point, I don't think failure is an option. They've got to get it done. And I don't really care either way. If it's got to be repeal, transition, I'm fine with that. Just hopefully they will get it right in the interim for health savings accounts and other issues like cooperatives. I don't care if they do a bill and create the opportunity to at least create those options as Senator Cruz has been talking about.

GINGRICH: I think they're going to make one more very serious effort in the next few days to try to pass it. I give Senator McConnell credit for enormous persistence. Remember, I know you're talking about Republicans in general. You've got 46 or 47 Republicans who are standing right in line in the Senate. You did finally get an absolute majority in the House.

HANNITY: So four actually get to hold the rest hostage.

GINGRICH: They may. That's the nature of the American constitution. Sometimes you have to play the hand you're dealt, not the hand you wish for. And I think the question is there are ways if necessary to break this bill up and to do three or four bills and eventually work your way through it. It's not what you would like, it's not what I would like. I would bet you, though, that McConnell is not going to quit. Trump is not going to quit. We're going to eventually get there. But in the interim as a matter of schedule, we have to have a very large tax cut by Thanksgiving, because it has to impact in the first quarter of next year.

HANNITY: At the latest, and you said make it retroactive, which I think is a great idea.

Eight weeks "New York Times," including number one, "Understanding Trump," Amazon, bookstores everywhere. Mr. Speaker, great to see you. Thanks for being with us.

So coming up, will Republican lawmakers, can they get their act together? Can they get a deal done on health care? Senator Ted Cruz is actually in studio tonight.

And then later --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAHREN: This morning I got an alert from CNN, and it was a real doozy. It read "After six months in office, President Trump has tweeted 991 times." For some cable news networks this is considered breaking news.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Tomi Lahren, she'll take on the mainstream left-wing establishment media tonight as she gets the final word, straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We have no choice. We have to repeal and replace Obamacare. We can repeal it, but the best is repeal and replace, and let's get going. Obamacare was a big lie. You can keep your doctor -- lie. You can keep your plan -- lie. It was a lie directly from the president.

I'm ready to act. For seven years you promised the American people that you would repeal Obamacare. People are hurting. Inaction is not an option.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: That was President Trump yesterday speaking with Republican senators after they failed to keep their promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he plans to call a vote next week on the motion to proceed on the GOP health care bill. Among the possible amendments, Senator Ted Cruz's consumer freedom option which frees insurers from Obamacare regulations, that would drive down premiums. According to the HHS, analysis of Senator Cruz's amendments, it would lower premiums and enrollment would increase more under his plan than it would under Obamacare by 2024.

Here is the man himself to explain all that. Senator, good to see you. How are you? Reading your plan, tell me if I'm right. You can save how much as a family a year, how dramatic is the decrease in premiums?

SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS: So it's dramatic. HHS studied the consumer freedom option. It concluded that you would see 2.2 million more people get insurance. You know how the Democrats and the media, they're always attacking us, saying people are losing coverage. Consumer freedom expands coverage. More people get health insurance. And then what happens to premiums is dramatic. For people that choose the freedom plans, that buy a plan off the exchange without the Obamacare mandates, their premiums would drop over $7,000 a year. And for those who decide to stay on the Obamacare exchanges, because of the power of competition, their premiums dropped by over $5,500 a year. That's real money in people's pockets.

HANNITY: That's serious reductions. And I was asking at the beginning of my monologue tonight, I'm asking, does the Republican Party, do they want to be the party of freedom, capitalism, entrepreneurship, competition, solid borders, secure borders, energy independence, what party do they want to be, senator?

CRUZ: It is simple. What do we for and who are we? And the message that I'm conveying to my colleagues is real simple. Let's do what we said we would do. For seven years, we've campaigned on repealing Obamacare. We have the chance to do it. The house has passed a repeal bill. It's in the Senate, the president is ready to sign it, and it's up to the Senate Republicans. We're either going to step up to the bar and keep our word or we're going to look the voters in the eye and break our words. I hope it's not the letter.

HANNITY: If they do what Newt Gingrich says, a possibility of a Speaker Pelosi exists.

CRUZ: I think that's very possible. The central promise of seven years, if you knew one thing about Republicans, it's that we were going to repeal Obamacare. And we run over and over again, we said give us the House in 2010, the voters did. Give us the Senate. In 2014 they did. Give us the White House, in 2016 they did. We've got to step up and just do it.

HANNITY: Where are we now? Because it keeps going back and forth between repeal and transition. Or the bill that you worked on with your amendment, which I like your amendment. But if that could be part of the transition, fine, I would be fine with that too.

CRUZ: Look, I would happily vote for either. I would vote for complete repeal, a one sentence, Obamacare is repealed, period, the end. I'd vote for it happily.

HANNITY: I'd be happy.

CRUZ: Unfortunately there are a bunch of Republicans who are scared to vote for that. They won't vote for that.

HANNITY: We saw that in the house, though. There were 100 Republicans. There were nearly 68 votes, show votes. And just like you got in trouble, I remember supporting you, watching you the night you were filibustering. If they would have done it then and used their constitutional authority, power of the purse, we wouldn't be here.

CRUZ: It was 2013, it was a big fight. We could have stopped it then. But we've got a chance now. There is an agreement to be reached. We have 52 Republicans. And anyone who is standing up against this, I would just ask you to think, what did you tell the voters of the last eight years? How are you going to look them in the eye and say you had a chance to repeal Obamacare but you said no? We need to come together.

And there is a path to U.S. We probably got I'd say 45, 46 yes. It's just four or five people that are holding out. We've got to get there and get this done. And the key to doing it is focusing on freedom, focusing on lowering premiums, more competition, empower you, the consumer, to be in charge of your health care. That's how we get it done.

HANNITY: Senator, I have said and I believe that there are five things Republicans better have done if they want to keep power, which they asked for, as you said, 2010, 14, 16. One, the president was able to do it, that was Neil Gorsuch. They got him in the Senate.

CRUZ: Big deal. The biggest thing we've done all year.

HANNITY: Second, Obamacare has to be done. It's not an option. If you don't get it done, they're going to pay a price.

CRUZ: Failure is not an option.

HANNITY: The next thing, energy, because it will create millions of high- paying career jobs. The next one is the American people by 2018 better see 300 miles of that border fence they've been promised.

CRUZ: I want a lot more than 300 miles.

HANNITY: I'm saying in one year, that's fair.

CRUZ: We need to get it built. As you know I've introduced the "El Chapo" Act to take all of El Chapo's resources, the Mexican drug lords, and use it to build a wall.

HANNITY: And the next thing is I like the president's economic plan. It's very Reaganesque. Fifteen percent corporate rate, middle-class tax cuts, repatriation, multinational corporations, all the people in poverty, on food stamps, what happens to them?

CRUZ: Tax cuts are a big, big deal. We need to do tax cuts, we need a tax reform. We can. But I'll tell you what, if we screw up Obamacare repeal, tax reform becomes much harder. If we get this right, if we follow through on Obamacare repeal, it sets this up for this to be the most productive Congress in decades, whereas if we're paralyzed, we could blow a historic opportunity. I don't want us to blow this opportunity, and I know the American people don't want us to blow it.

HANNITY: I watched you after the meeting the White House, the lunch I guess yesterday with the president. I watched very close. You said failure is not an option. I don't see some of your colleagues saying failure is not an option.

CRUZ: I fear that some of colleagues, some of the more moderate Republicans --

HANNITY: What of those conversations like with you?

CRUZ: What I hope is not the case is that they are happy Obamacare is staying on the books, that what they've been saying to the voters, they don't actually mean. I can tell you my colleagues say behind closed doors, when it comes to repeal, in 2015 virtually every Republican voted to repeal.

HANNITY: Everyone but Susan Collins. So how they justify not doing it now?

CRUZ: A bunch of them say, and it's this candid, they say, well, yes, we knew Obama was going to veto it. Now if it actually happened we won't vote for it. That's why people are fed up.

HANNITY: I'm fed up.

CRUZ: Just do what you said. It's not complicated. Do what you said, keep your word. And by the way, this HHS study again shows what a big deal it is for producing results.

HANNITY: Will Rand and Mike Lee support it?

CRUZ: I think Rand has made pretty clear he's voting no no matter what.

HANNITY: So now it's at two. And Senator McCain is sick.

CRUZ: We're in a tough position. We've got to come together. And I think the way you bring together conservatives and moderates and leadership in the White House, which I'm trying to do, focus on lowering premiums. If were sitting here and people's premiums have gone down five, six, $7,000 a year, that's a win for everyone. It's win for moderates, for conservatives.

HANNITY: Every American deserves and needs that desperately.

CRUZ: And by the way, that's also how we grow our Senate majority.

HANNITY: I agree. Keep your words.

When we come back, up next tonight on "Hannity."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAHREN: Here's a news flash for the leftist mainstream media. Just because you're obsessed with nitpicking his personal habits doesn't mean the American people give a crap.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Conservative political commentator Tomi Lahren, she's back tonight. She has the final word tonight and all week as we continue straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." So all week conservative political commentator Tomi Lahren has been giving us the final word. Here is tonight's.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAHREN: He, Sean. Final word tonight is for the leftist mainstream media. This morning I got an alert from CNN and it was a real doozy. It read "After six months in office, President Trump has tweeted 991 times." Yes, for some cable news networks this is considered breaking news.

I'll tell you, Sean. I don't care how many times President Trump has tweeted. I don't care who he sits by at international dinners. I don't care how many scoops of ice cream he asks for. I don't care if he tweets about covfefe in the middle of the night because here's a news flash for the leftist mainstream media. Just because you're obsessed with nitpicking his personal habits doesn't mean the American people give a crap.

We don't have the time or luxury to worry about those things because average Americans care about putting food on the table for our families. We care about keeping the lights on for our small businesses. We care about having a job to go to every day, and we care about the safety and security of our communities and border.

And here's a big news flash to you, leftist mainstream media. We have a president who cares about those things, which is why he signed 42 bills into law, most of which shrink government, empower business owners, create good paying jobs, cut red tape, help our veterans, increase our energy independence, and help keep Americans safe at the border and our own backyard. It's called America first, and it's this radical notion that we come first in our own country. So keep reporting on Trump's tweets, but don't get it twisted. The average American is making a comeback under this president.

Sean, that's the final word. Take care.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HANNITY: All right, Tomi, thank you. And that is all the time we have left this evening. As always, thank you for being with us. This program will always be fair and balanced. We are not the destroy-Trump establishment media. We'll see you back here tomorrow night.


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