TRANSCRIPT

Gov. Scott: Everybody must take Hurricane Irma seriously

Florida governor shares a message to Floridians on 'Hannity'

 

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

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Welcome to "Hannity." And this is a Fox News Alert. Florida now bracing for what could be a catastrophic strike from Hurricane Irma, with two nuclear power plants that are directly in the path of this hurricane. Also Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina are racing to prepare for the impact from the strongest storm ever reported in the Atlantic Ocean.

Now, this an absolutely a massive hurricane now is moving all across the Caribbean leaving a path of total destruction in its wake. President Trump is now saying FEMA, the federal resources are all on the ground. They are ready to respond to Hurricane Irma that is estimated at this point to cause over $100 billion in damage.

Now, tonight, Florida Governor Rick Scott, Newt Gingrich, Laura Ingraham, Sara Carter, Luke Rosiak (ph) from The Daily Caller will all be here.

But first, we go to Rich Reichmuth. He's in the Fox News Extreme Weather Center tonight. He has an update on the path of this massive hurricane. And also, Adam Housley is in the Key West area.

We'll start with Rick tonight -- Rick.

RICK REICHMUTH, FOX METEOROLOGIST: Yes, so we've got this storm out here, three storms actually in the Atlantic. But it's obviously Irma that we're concerned about, one of the longest-lasting strong storms we've ever seen anywhere on the globe.

It is about to move over really warm water, in fact, warmer water than it's seen just so far. That means we expect to see this at least hold its strength over the next 24 to 48 hours. And it's going to make a hard right turn. We've been saying for a while, does it go to the east coast of Florida, to the west coast or somewhere in the middle?

Over the last couple model runs, we're starting to see a little bit of agreement. I'll feel better by tomorrow if we see agreement over a couple of model runs, but right now, we've got a kind of a similar scenario playing out from both of our most reliable models.

That would bring the center of a very large and very strong storm right here across parts of south Florida with devastating impacts. One of those places, probably the first place to see any kind of a landfall could be Key Largo.

That's where we find our Adam Housley. Adam, what are you seeing right there?

ADAM HOUSLEY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Rick, because of those concerns right now, we're told that Governor Scott has shut down all the schools in the state of Florida in the last hour. That will continue through Monday because this storm is so massive.

You know, the evacuations down here began really a couple of days ago, in fact, all due to the video and the reports coming in from the Caribbean. You can see the destruction in some of these islands. And now we're told Turks and Caicos is getting it as we speak. We'll see the video from there tomorrow morning.

We also sent up a drone to give you an idea of, basically, an empty freeway down here in the south part of Florida. Most people who wanted to get out got out in the last day or so. There are still a few stragglers who say they're going to wait until tomorrow. We're told upstate, though, because people now are moving further upstate as this storm comes into Florida, we're told those roadways are pretty packed as people head north trying to get out of the path of this hurricane.

Of course, we'll have all the updates for you throughout the night tonight, tomorrow, and in through Saturday and the weekend until then.

Now back to "Hannity."

HANNITY: All right, thank you both. We're going to have more breaking news weather updates all throughout the hour tonight.

But first, Hurricane Irma -- it is leaving a path of destruction like we have never seen before. Now, take a look at these dramatic images of Hurricane Irma pounding several islands in the Caribbean with sustained 185-mile-per-hour winds that completely ripped apart buildings and homes and airports and even the infrastructure.

Now, here's the aftermath in Saint Maarten. Most everything in Hurricane Irma's path was completely leveled, leaving debris and destruction everywhere. Then there's the neighboring island, Barbuda. Now, the country's prime minister compared this hurricane hitting to a bomb being dropped on a city. Officials are saying -- get this -- 95 percent of buildings and vehicles have been destroyed.

And just to give you an idea of just how dangerous and unprecedented this storm is, let's take a look at some of the headlines around the country. CBS, Miami, Miami Beach mayor urges residents to get out now. Quote, "This is a nuclear hurricane." Yahoo News, "Irma will be devastating for the U.S." Emergency chief, USA Today, "Hurricane Irma has the potential of affecting every major city in Florida."

The New York Post, "Hurricane Irma is the size of Texas." Miami Herald, "Two south Florida nuclear power plants lie in Irma's path. Are they ready?" Scary thought. And back to CBS Miami, "Dade residents find some pumps, dry (ph) water in short supply." Washington Post, "U.S. military preparations for Hurricane Irma now include" -- get this -- "four Navy ships and thousands of troops." And The DailyBeast, "Hurricane Irma is stronger than all of 2017's other eight Atlantic storms combined." Now, that's how serious this storm is tonight.

Joining us now on the phone is the Florida governor, Rick Scott. Governor, first, our thoughts and prayers are with you, sir. I've been watching you, and clearly every preparation possible I see is in effect. Let's talk to the people in the path of this storm tonight. What you want to say to them?

GOV. RICK SCOTT, R-FLA. (via telephone): Sean, I care about every -- every person that lives in our state, and I want everybody to be safe. So the most important thing is get prepared, follow the news. If you're in an evacuation area, evacuate immediately.

I'm going to do everything I can to provide fuel so you can get out. I've been working with the oil companies, with the carriers, with the retailers. I'm providing law enforcement escorts to get more fuel into the state. We have three more tankers coming into Tampa, the port Tampa. The White House, FEMA, EPA, Department of Transportation, Department of Energy, everybody's helping us.

(INAUDIBLE) everybody to be safe. This is a massive storm, as you said. It packs a lot of wind. Here's the (INAUDIBLE) difference. This is way bigger than Andrew 25 years ago. It's bigger in size, bigger in winds, and it's way bigger in storm surge. You could see storm surge that covers your entire house. That didn't happen with Andrew. Everybody's got to take this seriously.

HANNITY: Governor, if you look at the cone and you look at the model -- now, I know you expect this to first hit south Florida. And that means, basically, for Miami and then to the west up to Fort Myers and maybe even Sarasota and on the east coast -- I know that you're going to be hitting West Palm and even above that. Broward County is now being evacuated.

I guess the most important step to thing is the whole state is engulfed and people are evacuating to the middle of the state. Is the middle of the state, in your estimation, safe enough?

SCOTT: Absolutely. (INAUDIBLE) we're (INAUDIBLE) follow your local evacuation orders. We have shelters in every county. In most cases, you don't have to leave your county. We have safe shelters in your county. So you can stay in your county (INAUDIBLE) people further north. We're following all the traffic. Highway patrol, our Department of Transportation, we're are making sure all of our evacuation routes are open.

But the big thing is, if you're going to evacuate, do it as early as possible because the later you do this, the more traffic you're going to run into. But you can go to shelters. We have them in every county to keep (INAUDIBLE) safe.

HANNITY: Yes. Governor, one of the things -- I did call over to the White House today. I tried to get some information. I know that General Mattis is sending four Navy ships. Also know that they have sent in not only FEMA, but National Guard troops are available to you. And they have pre- positioned, as I understand it, post-storm, all the food, water, medicine, supplies that obviously Floridians are going to be needing. But that's coming up after the storm.

In preparation for this storm, explain what you are advising people because you've actually lifted regulations to bring in more gasoline so people can travel to the safer parts of the state. And also what about food/medicine/supplies and things like that?

SCOTT: Starting (INAUDIBLE) with food, food and water -- we are working with our retailers to make sure we have enough good (ph) water. If a retailer gets (ph) out (ph), they're replenishing quickly. Fuel, we talked about that. (INAUDIBLE) we're (INAUDIBLE) we do have some outages. We do have some lines. We do have some people waiting. But we're getting more fuel. The federal government has waived a lot of regulations to help us in that regard.

With regard to medicine, a lot of people (INAUDIBLE) get the medicines early. I got (INAUDIBLE) two days ago, I stopped all the tolls in the state to make it easier for people to get through (INAUDIBLE) and you don't get slowed down by the tolls.

So the -- we're doing everything we can. FEMA is pre-positioned (INAUDIBLE) I've pre-positioned our (INAUDIBLE) our utilities are very focused on pre-positioning people to get our power back up for us as quickly as possible. One of my biggest concerns is the lower Keys because we have so many bridges down there. We have (INAUDIBLE) just one bridge, everyone would be stranded south of there.

HANNITY: Yes. Governor, have you spoken to the president?

SCOTT: I've spoken to the president multiple times over the weekend and this week. I've spoken to the vice president. (INAUDIBLE) it seems like almost every cabinet member up there (INAUDIBLE) called (INAUDIBLE) for support. They are doing the things I've asked for.

The president says he really cares about this state. I know he does. So I appreciate everybody's help. (INAUDIBLE) lot of calls from governors from around the country that have called and offered support and sent support. I'm appreciative of everything we're doing.

I want everybody in my state to stay safe and survive this. We'll rebuild your home, we'll rebuild your possessions, but can't rebuild your life or your family. So stay safe.

HANNITY: All right, Governor, that's great advice for everybody. You know it's my second home. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. And we'll be watching closely and I know the country will be ready with any help, obviously, that our neighbors down there need. Thank you for being with us.

SCOTT: Thank you, Sean.

HANNITY: All right, joining us now with more on this catastrophic storm from Weatherbell.com, our own Joe Bastardi is with us. Joe, great to see you. Let's -- let's talk about -- your track on this has stayed steady, moved a little bit west. When do we expect landfall, and how bad is it going to be?

JOE BASTARDI, WEATHERBELL.COM: Well, the track as of now is right up the east coast of Florida. But Sean, I -- and the governor mentioned the Florida Keys. And the storm there in 1935 just cut the Keys off completely. And this storm, if it's a little bit further west, has the capability of doing that.

My point of the matter is this. Florida is going to get hit and Florida's going to have a catastrophic storm. Where exactly it goes in yet is still to be determined. We have it up the east coast of Florida. National Hurricane Center does. But folks in the Florida Keys should get out of there because if this thing comes a little bit further west, you'll cut the Keys off.

Right now, the idea is hurricane-force winds start arriving on the south coast of Florida probably around noon on Saturday. And the storm makes landfall very late Saturday night someplace between Key Largo and Miami. That's our estimate now. It travels up the east coast, gets back out over the water and then it comes out through the Carolinas and Georgia after that. So it'll still be very, very powerful at that time.

HANNITY: All right, so for obvious reasons, I guess -- there are some people that have contacted me, and I guess they kind of have a little bit of Joe Bastardi blood in them. We call them weather warriors (ph). And they say, Oh, we're going to hold -- we're going to ride this out, even people that I know in evacuation zones.

You have studied hurricanes your entire life. You know weather better than anybody that I know. Good idea or bad idea? My advice would be to leave if they tell you to leave.

BASTARDI: Very bad idea, and I'll tell you why. Here's what those people should do. Go Google the 1926 great Miami hurricane. Go Google 1935 Labor Day hurricane, 1947 West Palm Beach, Hurricane Donna in 1960. Go look at what happened. Hurricane Camille, 1969.

You flattened those areas that were hit directly. You don't stay in the way of this storm. You can't put it -- I'm going to tell you how bad this storm is. I would read all the time about storms of the past, and people don't understand how bad it was in Florida especially in the 1940s. And I would say, Could that actually happen? Did that actually happen, trains blown off tracks. Well, guess what? This is the kind of storm that could do it. It's back, unfortunately, and it's coming at Florida.

HANNITY: All right, let's talk because when you look at the cone that we've all been paying a lot of attention to, it engulfs the entire state of Florida. I mean, I was talking to you on radio earlier. You were telling me Orlando, central Florida is going to get hit hard. And then they've even started evacuating places in Georgia like Savannah.

So how bad are those areas going to get hit, the middle of the state, going up to, say, Jacksonville Florida and that area?

BASTARDI: Well, first of all, that cone is a cone of uncertainty. In other words, the track could vary left or right. The cone is not where the hurricane's covering completely. But if you -- let's say -- let's assume that my track is right, up the east coast of Florida. You'll have wind gusts over 120 miles an hour all the way up to Cape Canaveral. You'll probably have inland wind gusts, especially in higher buildings, to 100, 110 miles an hour. The west coast would probably have some hurricane-force wind gusts but it wouldn't be as bad.

Now, what if the hurricane came straight up and bisected the state? Of course, it would weaken as it was doing it, but on the other hand, it would be hitting the east coast and the west coast with equal fury, weakening as it comes north.

And you know, there are a whole bunch of different options over here. We hate to say that. It's been easy to forecast the track so far. But the problem is, where does it make that turn? If it makes that turn, comes up over Miami like I think it's going to do, come back over water, we will be dealing with a major hurricane hit even further up the coast up at Savannah and up into Charleston, in that area. And that's where our track is taking it. So this is a very, very serious storm, and everybody has to take it very seriously.

HANNITY: All right, Joe Bastardi from Weatherbell.com. Joe, we will see you back here tomorrow. We'll have more live coverage and other updates also coming up throughout the hour tonight on Hurricane Irma. That's later in the show.

When we come back, though, former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. He is here to weigh in on liberal hypocrisy over DACA.

Also later, the president -- he struck a deal with Pelosi and Schumer. Laura Ingraham -- she'll join us to talk about that and more on Hurricane Irma straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: And welcome back to "Hannity." So earlier today, the president issued a tweet reassuring DACA so-called dreamers, writing, quote, "For all those DACA that are concerned about your status during the six-month period, you have nothing to worry about. No action."

Now, clearly, President Trump is trying to restore the rule of law and the Constitution and not usurp the powers of the legislative branch, but some Democrats -- they're just hell-bent on painting the president as unhinged. It never stops.

Joining us now, the author of the 12-week best-seller, number one New York Times best-seller, "Understanding Trump," former speaker of the House, Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich, who, by the way, also is launching in early September, in about a week or so, a new on-line series entitled "Defending America."

All right, I want to get to that in a second. Let me just stay on the hurricane, if I can, for one minute, Mr. Speaker. This is important.

You know, if the only thing the media can criticize is Melania's shoes -- and that's basically all they had. And you saw the governor and you saw local officials and you saw the federal government really come together in an organized fashion, next to zero complaints. And I've talked to people in Florida. They are working and coordinating in a similar fashion there. So I've got to expect the same results. Doesn't that tell you something about where people's mindset is?

NEWT GINGRICH, R-FMR. HOUSE SPEAKER, FOX CONTRIBUTOR: Well, look, I think the country is delighted and encouraged that you could have effective government that works and you could have everybody, state, local, federal pulling in the same direction. You could have professional competence, as the president said a few minutes ago. You have people who are committed to doing their job. You have the American military being mobilized.

This one-two punch of Houston and Louisiana and now Florida is probably as big a natural disaster punch as we've had certainly in my lifetime. I feel it at a direct level. I have a daughter who lives in Florida, and she's right in the middle of this.

And you know, it's very sobering when you look at the size of this storm and the power. But I think it is encouraging, and by the way, let me just say on behalf of the president, I think part of the reason he cut the deal he did yesterday on a bipartisan basis to get 90 days funding -- and I think the Senate has actually already moved today on this -- he was trying to continue a momentum of being together, of doing something together and of showing that the American government can act quickly.

If they can get the money out of Washington to Houston this week, setting the stage, by the way, for potential challenges next week in Florida, I think that's another signal to the American that maybe some things are coming together and maybe President Trump, who has a natural background in construction and in property and in looking at this sort of thing, maybe he, in fact, is going to able to pull the country together the way they came together in Texas.

HANNITY: You've got to hope so. I look at this storm and I literally -- it's chilling to see the cities that will be impacted. The entire state is engulfed in this hurricane. This is going to be -- as people are predicting, it could be one of the worst storms ever.

You know, both of us are conservative. We believe in limited government, greater freedom, more responsibility, opportunity society, and the federal government plays an important role, safety and security, and hopefully, they don't get in the way of prosperity, which I would argue they often do.

But isn't this one of the times that government could really step up and help people?

GINGRICH: Sure.

HANNITY: Like in Texas, like in Florida. And government worked this time. It's nice to see it works occasionally. I'm not the biggest fan of it.

GINGRICH: Look -- look, I always try and remind people that the founding fathers developed a constitution for a limited but effective government. They didn't want a sloppy government. They didn't want an incompetent government. They wanted it to be limited in order to protect our freedom and our privileges and our rights as citizens.

But when they -- when it moved, they wanted it to move very effectively. These were people who, after all, had practiced for eight years the art of war against the British empire. They knew what it took to be effective.

And I think they look at -- would look at what's happening in Texas and say, you know, the system is working at every level. You have local leadership. You have state leadership. Governor Scott's getting great marks for being a -- again, he's an entrepreneur like Trump. And you have federal leadership with President Trump. And it's all pulling in the same direction.

And I think that's what's encouraging the American people. After all this gridlock, all this nastiness, all these vicious stories, here you have the American government coming together and the American people coming together in a positive way.

HANNITY: Let me -- I've been very outspoken and disappointed about the Republicans not keeping their promises. From my perspective, and you know, having been speaker and having accomplished a lot as a speaker, I would argue that they have 14 weeks to really get their act together, and that would include changing the tax code, seven brackets to three, repatriated money from multi-nationals, trillions, corporate cuts, middle class tax cuts, small business cuts, energy independence, build the wall.

I'm not that overly optimistic that these guys are going to get their job done. What are your thoughts?

GINGRICH: Well, I'm moderately optimistic particularly on what I think is the biggest assignment, and I really like what Secretary Mnuchin has been saying in his various television interviews. I like very much what Speaker Paul Ryan said today in a -- in an interview or a press conference, I guess it was.

Their commitment is to get all of this done, hopefully, by Thanksgiving to be able to give the American people -- as Mnuchin described it yesterday, a tax form about the size of a large postcard for the average American. I mean, if they can pull that off, if they can get to a 15 percent corporate rate, if they can get to a big tax cut...

HANNITY: That'd be great.

GINGRICH: ... for small business, you're really -- this would be the achievement. If I were them, I would mark every week against getting the tax cut done. We can get everything else done once the tax cut's done. But let's get it signed by Thanksgiving so that the first quarter of next year, you see a real surge of economic growth probably starting, frankly, with the Christmas period because the people see a big tax cut coming, you're going to have a big Christmas in this country.

HANNITY: Yes. You know, I had a front row seat to your ascendancy to become speaker. I was a local radio guy in Atlanta. And I was emceeing the night you became speaker. But prior to that, you had created a series. It was called "Renewing American Civilization." It really was the foundation of ideas and solutions to make the country better.

And I always argue -- people ask me and I say you are a professor and a historian at heart, not a politician because I've known you, you know, these couple of decades. You now basically are starting that role up again with "Defending America."

Real quick, tell us how people can join that class of yours.

GINGRICH: Well, all they can do, just go to DefendingAmericaCourse.com. It's -- phase one is going to be six sessions. It's really on how to defeat the left intellectually, the arguments that allow us to remind people why America is unique, why American history matters and why being patriotic is important. I think people will find that DefendingAmerica.com has some -- I'm sorry, DefendingAmericaCourse.com has some very, very good ideas in it. And you're right, it's part of something I used to do. I believe in teaching and I believe in an informed citizenry.

HANNITY: All right, and we'll put it up on Hannity.com, my Web site. Mr. Speaker, thanks for being with us. We appreciate it.

When we come back, we have a lot more on Hurricane Irma as it now continues on its destructive path towards the state of Florida.

And later tonight, The Daily Caller, an investigation and explosive report, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and her former IT aide. Did the staffer, the IT aide, plant evidence on her to give to the cops?

But first, President Trump struck a deal with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. Laura Ingraham will weigh in on that, and of course, Hurricane Irma straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We had a great meeting yesterday with Nancy Pelosi and Senator Schumer. And it was a very bipartisan meeting. We could have done a longer deal but that would have affected the military as you know, so we really kept it for three months because of the military. We have a great respect for the sanctity of the debt ceiling, and Chuck does and Nancy does, and we all do. So that will never be a problem. The debt ceiling will never be a problem.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: That was President Trump earlier today talking about the deal that he made with Congressional Democrats on the debt ceiling which will prevent a government shutdown at the end of the month. And many Republicans are reportedly livid with the compromise. But didn't the president get to the White House and promise to be a dealmaker? Is this a good deal?

Joining us now with reaction, editor in chief of Lifezette, Fox News contributor, nationally syndicated radio host, and I don't have enough time for the rest of the introduction, Laura Ingraham, who we all know. Before I get to that question, I want to get back to the hurricane issue. Now, we believe in limited government. But the biggest criticism the left had was Melania's shoes, which was pretty despicable in and of itself.

I called over to the White House today. I found out they have prepositioned troops, food, water, medicine, supplies, cots, blankets, baby formula. They have General Mattis ordered four Navy ships. And they have thousands of people on the ready right now. So where are we going with their criticism this time when government is actually working?

LAURA INGRAHAM, EDITOR IN CHIEF, LIFEZETTE.COM: The left and many Republicans, many never-Trumpers, Sean, are loathe to recognize against anything that works well in the administration, except maybe for getting involved in another war. They will be happy with that, some of the never- Trumpers. But other than that they will not acknowledge, and nor should President Trump wait for the acknowledgment that in the face of the worst natural disaster to befall our country, which it looks like this hurricane is going to be, the Trump administration did everything possible to coordinate on a federal, state, and local level and be prepared in a way that I think is really admirable. It's smart. It's what government really should do at a time like this.

But I don't think we should hold our breath waiting for any acknowledgment of that. I don't think President Trump cares about that at this point. He's worried about the people in south Florida all the way to Tallahassee, to Gainesville. It's going to be a monster storm that hits all the way up North Carolina.

HANNITY: It's going to the Carolinas. This is a scary moment. You would think that's what we want, we want to help out our friends in Texas, now our friends in Florida. We want them safe and secure. The fact that they -- thank God we have meteorology that can tell us storms like this are coming. And then of course we make the necessary preparations.

Let me go to this compromise deal. I actually agree with Newt's analysis in that the president wanted to get the money to Texas and that was a big part of his rationale and thinking. And with all due respect to Mitch McConnell, he hasn't exactly proven himself capable of doing anything because expectations are so high, especially on health care.

INGRAHAM: Sean, all the caterwauling we are hearing from Republicans -- oh, woe is us. Look, we are betrayed. Where was all of their concern and urgency over the last six weeks? They took off for the August recess. They went home and they did what they do at home. They went to some picnics and some state fairs, probably raise some money and took a little break.

And at the time I think the president begins to think we've got to get something done here. He wants to be a popular president. He is a conservative populist. That means at times, if Republicans don't deliver legislation that he can sign on the critical matters that he campaigned on, he's going to look to move the ball down the field with another set of players. And sometimes it's going to be people that you and I don't like very much, we don't agree with on many issues, on an issue like the debt ceiling, which is a conservative concern and rightfully so. But the president wanted to move this issue off the table and clear the deck for tax reform. If they do not get tax reform done, they are done. They are finished. And Paul Ryan came out today and had an extra special spring in his step I think today on tax reform. It's funny what Trump working with the Democrats will do to the Republicans.

HANNITY: Who, McConnell?

INGRAHAM: No, Ryan. Ryan had a little extra excitement about the tax --

HANNITY: I'm going to be fair. At least Ryan got the health care bill out of the House. And the Freedom Caucus worked hard with him and they got it done at the end of the day. McConnell has no excuses, and the fact that he feel so much pressure with excessive expectations is mind-numbing.

INGRAHAM: Sean, let's just remember, when Charlottesville happened, these people are the first ones to give on background or off the record sniping at the president a lot of these people who are grousing now about Donald Trump. They are happy to say he doesn't understand how complex things are. He doesn't understand how difficult legislation works. And he comes along and says you know something, if you don't work with me, I'm going to work with these other people and we're going to get something done.

HANNITY: People like Ben Sasse and Flake and John McCain, the things they say about him behind closed doors.

INGRAHAM: They hate Trump.

HANNITY: OK, Laura Ingraham, great to see you. Thank you for being with us.

When we come back, an explosive report the mainstream media won't tell you about. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and her former I.T. aide -- did the aid plant evidence for the cops to find on Wasserman Schultz? When we come back first we will have more live reports on hurricane Irma and the powerhouse storm as it continues to barrel towards the state of Florida and engulf the entire state. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

REICHMUTH: This is a FOX News alert. I am meteorologist Rick Reichmuth in the Fox Weather Center. We continue to track hurricane Irma, and it is still an incredibly strong storm. In fact the pressure is falling a little bit over the last number of hours. It is not a good sign. We would like to see that go up to see a weakening storm. We don't have that. In fact, on satellite imagery, it's a really well organized storm. Breaking the Turks and Caicos right now, very dangerous overnight. It's going to move throughout the area tonight, and then the future radar look is a simulations of what we think the radar will look like. And that goes out across the Bahamas tomorrow afternoon and evening and in towards the day on Saturday.

We think we'll start to see a few bands move in towards south Florida around 24 hours from now. By Saturday afternoon, some very strong rain bands moving in. All of our models continue to pull up towards the northwest and then this sharp right turn, take a look at this, coming into better agreement, certainly the entire peninsula of Florida under the gun for this. One of the spots possibly looking at a directly landfall from this is in Key Largo. That's where we find our Adam Housley. Adam, how's it looking right there?

HOUSLEY: Rick, because of those models, because of the information coming out of the Caribbean, because of the video we've seen in the last couple of days and the destruction, a lot of people here who rode out other hurricanes have decided to get out for the first time. In fact hurricane Andrew here 25 years ago, a number of people we met who were here and stayed here for that event decided to this time leave.

We put our drone up a little bit earlier today to give you an idea of how many people have already left the southern tip of Florida. In fact the freeways down here are pretty wide open. North state we're told is much different. The Monroe County commissioner, which covers the Florida Keys, says that people really did listen to this time. Take a listen.

All right, so he basically says that people did see that video and people were worried about what they've seen in the information and decided to get out. So we'll keep you updated on everything with this hurricane over the next couple of days. Until then --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: We are very well covered from the standpoint of bravery and talent. We have tremendous people representing us from the Coast Guard to FEMA to everybody else. I've spoken to Governor Scott on numerous occasions. And they, likewise, are very well prepared.

For the people of Florida, we just want you to protect yourselves, be very, very vigilant and careful. Again, the governor is working very hard. FEMA, the Coast Guard, all of our people are very well prepared.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: That was President Trump earlier today assuring the people of Florida that the government is as prepared as possible for hurricane Irma. This of course could deliver a catastrophic strike on this state.

To give you a better idea of just how dangerous and destructive this storm is and could be, let's take a look at a couple of headlines. USA Today, "Hurricane Irma has the potential of affecting every major city in the state of Florida." The New York Post, "Hurricane Irma is the size of Texas." The Miami Herald, "Two South Florida Nuclear Power Plants Lie in Irma's Path. Are they ready?" and The Washington Post, "U.S. Military preparations for Hurricane Irma now include four Navy ships and thousands of troops." And The Daily Beast, "Hurricane Irma," look at this, "is stronger than all of 2017's other eight Atlantic storms combined." Pretty scary.

Joining us now on the phone is the mayor of Key West, Florida, Craig Cates is with us. First of all, Mr. Mayor, thank you for being with us. You are in a direct path here and, as the governor mentioned earlier in the program, you only have bridges in and out of your area, and that means it is evacuation time for everybody, correct?

MAYOR CRAIG CATES, KEY WEST, FLA.: Correct. There's about 40 bridges that connect Key West to the mainland and all the Florida Keys. So that being said, a lot of opportunity for one to get damaged and cut off all our supplies returning or evacuation. So that's why we started the evacuation early, and it's continuing through today and tomorrow.

HANNITY: OK, really important, when did you start the evacuation, and how soon do you believe that this enormous task will be accomplished?

CATES: We started tourists on Wednesday morning and then residents Thursday morning, which goes on through tomorrow. We're running our bus service tomorrow starting from noon today, all of our buses shuttling the residents up to Miami to our shelter, which, as you had just talked about before, it's very difficult on us because the hurricane could go into Miami also. But it's much higher ground than down here in the Keys. So it still will be a safer area, but not absolutely perfect scenario, definitely.

HANNITY: Mr. Mayor, are there any people resisting the evacuation, sir?

CATES: I've been here my whole life, fourth generation, and this is the first time that so many people have evacuated. They are definitely heeding the warnings. They've seen the power of this storm coming across there. They know what the '35 storm did to the Florida Keys. So people are taking this very, very seriously.

HANNITY: Good job, sir. And our thoughts and prayers are with you and of course all our friends in the Keys. Thank you for being with us.

Coming up, "The Daily Caller" out with an explosive new report about Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Her former I.T. aide, something the media is not covering, did the staffer plant evidence for the cops defined on Wasserman Schultz? We have that report, next.

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HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." So we have more breaking news on the story regarding Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz's former I.T. aide Imran Awan. The Daily Caller's Luke Rosiak will join us in just a moment as a new report, it reads in part, "Exclusive police report indicates Wasserman Schultz I.T. aide planted computer for investigators to find." And that's not all. FOX News has confirmed that Imran Awan's wife, also a former House Democratic I.T. staffer has struck a deal with federal prosecutors. She in fact will return to the United States from Pakistan and face charges.

Here now from The Daily Caller, Luke Rosiak, and from CircaNews.com, our friend Sara Carter. All right, this is why this is important, Luke. I want to start with you. So you have a computer or laptop, we remember the big fight that she had with the Capitol police officer over the laptop and she is being rude to this guy. What's interesting is it appears this I.T. aide left it in a phone booth in a building where he had no real business of being in that wasn't even the building where her office was. And it's says "Username, Debbie Wasserman Schultz." It sounds to me like there might be a little separation here and maybe he didn't think Debbie Wasserman Schultz was going to protect him and thinks there is something incriminating on that laptop. That's what it sounds like to me.

LUKE ROSIAK, THE DAILY CALLER: Yes. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's laptop was found at 3:00 a.m. with a letter to the U.S. attorney on top and then a copy of Imran Awan's I.D. And it was in a phone booth where, yes, he would have really no business being, skulking about late at night in the house office building with his boss's laptop. Like you said, she has said first it was her laptop and then she changed her story and said it was his. The username on it is hers. So it's really frightening implications that this now indicted I.T. staffer went and took this laptop and left it seemingly intentionally for police to find.

HANNITY: And this is the guy that she knew double billed, had people with no I.T. experience from his family. One guy worked at McDonald's and apparently was fired, another guy at a car dealership, no evidence of any I.T. experience, but she kept him on even after she knew he double billed. And then the reported that we have the busted up hard drives inside this guy's garage, and then --

ROSIAK: A few months after the DNC is hacked, the Capitol police tell her that he is suspected of cyber-security violations. And Wasserman Shultz acknowledged that. She said he she was aware that he was accused of what she called data transfer violations. So she keeps him on, and he uses this continued access to her office building to take this laptop and plant it for police to find. And she still keeps him on, and then goes before the police budget board and threatens consequences if they don't return it.

So you have to ask, is this -- is it possible that her judgment is this bad? Are these the actions of someone who has just been hacked and says they take hacking seriously? Could she have really continued to believe, as she said, that this guy was somehow being framed when she's the victim here? It's her laptop that went missing. And she's giving conflicting explanations that she hadn't addressed, first that it's hers and cops can't look at it because it's got sensitive congressional information on it, and then that it's his but she just wants to protect his rights.

HANNITY: Sara, let me go to you on this. If you look at the bizarre nature of all of this and then you couple it with, OK, what could Debbie Wasserman Schultz want to hide here? Why was there busted up hard drives, government hard drives in this guy's garage, as reports indicate?

And then I've got to ask myself, do you think in any way it could be connected to what happened when she was removed as the DNC chair on the eve of the Democratic Convention? What is she hiding here?

SARA CARTER, "CIRCA NEWS": Luke's story is explosive. It's probably one of the biggest stories of the year that no one is really paying attention to, at least in the mainstream media.

And yes, we've got to ask ourselves, was she blackmailed by these guys? Luke wrote a very intensive story where he even interviewed their stepmother who was blackmailing them. And then we have to ask ourselves, what were they standing to these overseas servers? This is a huge national security risk, Sean.

And going back to Debbie Wasserman Schultz, what is she hiding? I don't believe that Debbie Wasserman Schultz doesn't really understand what's going on, that she believes this is Islamophobia. I think what happened here, and in discussing this with Luke, I think what happened here is that he was threatening her. And this is something everyone should be looking at, the FBI as well as the Capitol Hill police.

HANNITY: Absolutely. Let me ask you one other question. Dana Rohrabacher, Sara, was on the show last night, 99 percent certainty that he believes Julian Assange in fact will be able to prove there was no Russia- Trump collusion. On top of that the FBI director just said today he's seen no evidence that Trump interfered with the Russian probe. Then one has to ask the question, what is Robert Mueller doing? What is Comey doing? Lindsey Graham said he wants Comey to testify again because he smells a rat.

CARTER: Well, he needs to testify again, I believe. We've had a lot of questions. We know now that all the way back in April Comey was already writing Hillary Clinton's exoneration. So we need to know why he was doing that. And at the same time, President Obama was saying a similar thing. So was he taking directive orders from President Obama? That's very interesting because he accused President Trump allegedly of asking for loyalty. So there are a lot of questions there that need to be answered.

And as far as Julian Assange, Sean, this is so important. He is the one person that could actually answer these questions. So I believe it's the duty of the special counsel to reach out to find out what Julian Assange knows and then eventually to make that public so that we all know it. That's the only way to resolve this.

HANNITY: Well said. Good point. Luke, great work. Sara, great work, as always. Thank you both.

And we have more "Hannity" right after this break.

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HANNITY: I hope you'll stay with the Fox News Channel, continuing coverage of hurricane Irma.

That is all the time we have left this evening. Again, our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Florida. If you're in an evacuation zone, please evacuate. We want you safe and we want you back here. This show will always be fair and balanced, never the establishment media. We'll see you back here tomorrow night.


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