This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," March 29, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
JEANINE PIRRO, FOX NEWS HOST: Almost the weekend. All right.
Welcome to this special edition of 'Hannity.' The Trump Agenda. I'm Jeanine Pirro, in tonight for Sean.
For the hour tonight, we're going to highlight the recent major developments surrounding President Trump's agenda, including the administration's big gains on immigration reform, infrastructure, jobs, and so much more.
Earlier today, the president touted some of those recent achievements during his speech in Ohio. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Joined by our friends here in Ohio, my administration is fighting every day to protect and defend and grow American jobs and you see what's happening all over the country. It's in Ohio but it's all over the country, pouring back plants and factories, pouring back into our country.
We have made history by massively reducing job killing taxes. We didn't have one Democrat who voted for that. They want to raise your taxes. And they want people to come in from the border. And they want, I guess, want, I can't imagine they want but certainly drugs are flowing across borders.
We need walls. We started building our wall. I'm so proud of it. We started. We have $1.6 billion.
And we have already started. You saw the pictures yesterday. I said what a thing of beauty. And on September 28th, we go further and we are getting that sucker built. And do you think that's easy? People said oh, has he given up on the wall? I never give up.
We have unleashed American energy independence. Energy exports are at record high and foreign imports are at their lowest level in much more than a decade.
We're keeping our promises and the results are in. Three million new jobs since Election Day, 3 million.
Unemployment claims are at their lowest level in 45 years. Lowest level. Forty-five years!
African-American unemployment has reached the lowest levels ever recorded. Hispanic American unemployment rate has also reached the lowest levels ever recorded.
We're going to bring our country to a level of success and prominence and pride like it has never ever seen before.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PIRRO: Joining us now live from the White House to break down the president's speech is Fox News chief national correspondent Ed Henry -- Ed.
ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Judge, great to see you.
The president at the top of that speech joked that he heard again and again back in the campaign that you can't win the White House without carrying the Buckeye State. He obviously won Ohio against the odds. It helped propel him here to the White House. He wants it again in 2020.
And what he was doing was touting those economic gains he has made in just over a year. But also the key part of the message today was a new push for his massive infrastructure plan, which frankly has been stalled in Congress. The president trying to build on the momentum of his tax cut as well as all the government regulations he's been cutting. He said it was time to consider his $1.5 trillion-dollar infrastructure plan.
The president said that in addition to stimulating the economy, it will create in the neighborhood of 300,000 to 400,000 more construction jobs over 10 years. Despite the high price tag that will obviously add further to our soaring national debt, the president noted that while America used to be the envy of the world with its infrastructure, some parts of the nation how have roads and bridges in such disrepair that the conditions are almost third world.
And that also gave the president an opportunity to put in a pitch again for obviously a key campaign promise, another bit of infrastructure -- building the wall on the southern border. In fact, the president said he is so determined to do that, he went so far as to compare our southern border with Mexico to the border between South and North Korea.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We spend billions of dollars in other countries maintaining their borders and we can't maintain our borders in our own country. Is there something a little bit wrong with that?
Think of it. We spend billions and billions of dollars. Look, North and South Korea, 32,000 soldiers, their finest equipment, barbwire all over the place. We protect that whole thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HENRY: Now, later in the afternoon, as he arrived in Florida to spend the Easter weekend with his family at his Mar-a-Lago estate, the president tweeting again about the economy, following up on that message you just heard declaring, quote: Jobs, jobs, jobs. Unemployment claims have fallen to 45-year low. Together, we are making the economy great again.
Now in his speech, the president also boasting that the U.S. is, quote, knocking the hell out of ISIS. He predicted the U.S. over time is going to be getting out of Middle East, focusing more on priorities at home. He add the we are quote getting that sucker built, meaning, of course, the wall on the southern border -- Judge.
PIRRO: Ed, thanks so much.
HENRY: Good to see you.
PIRRO: All right.
And joining us now with reaction is former press secretary for Vice President Pence, Marc Lotter and former Obama economic advisor, Austan Goolsbee.
All right, good evening, gentlemen.
Marc, I will start with you, the president certainly has a lot to talk about, 14 months, 15 months in with all of the numbers that he talked about with unemployment and jobs and 3 million new jobs since Election Day. I mean, there is pretty much a very positive message. It's kind of interesting that there would be any resistance towards his effort at least to create the infrastructure effort that apparently is stalled in Congress.
Why do you think that is?
MARC LOTTER, FORMER PRESS SECRETARY FOR VP PENCE: Well, it's basically what you just said. It's results versus resistance. And, in this case, the president has the results, but he is not satisfied yet. He doesn't want to just make America great again, he's now talking about making and building an even better America again.
That's where his focus is. He took that message right into the heart of blue collar Ohio. He is going to take it around the country for the rest of the -- the next the three years. That's the platform is he going to move this country forward with.
PIRRO: All right. And, Austan, you would agree, wouldn't you, that our roads and bridges are certainly in need of repair and yet, the Democrats, as Marc indicated, continue to resist. This is not a political issue.
Why wouldn't they come together to make sure that we repair our roads and bridges and get a better infrastructure?
AUSTAN GOOLSBEE, FORMER OBAMA ECONOMIC ADVISER: Well, I do agree with you.
I thought -- he ought to hire you guys to clean up his speeches. The actual speech there was you made it a lot more coherent and on message. He was all over the place.
I mean, he's talking about Roseanne and talking about North Korea. On infrastructure, it's not just the Democrats --
PIRRO: Austan, you know what? I have to interrupt you. They love him for that. That's why he got elected. People love a straight talk.
GOOLSBEE: OK. You may be right.
But on the issue of infrastructure, it's not just the Democrats holding him up. What's going wrong is the president's infrastructure plan is not actually a plan for federal increase in spending on infrastructure of the size he is talking about. He is trying in his plan to put the cost onto the states and even the Republican governors are saying they don't want to do that plan. So, that's the problem. He has got to find more of a common ground.
LOTTER: Well, infrastructure has always been a federal, state, local partnership. And what the president is talking about doing is taking $200 billion and using that to leverage local, state, private sector moneys to the tune of $1.5 trillion. And that's the way we should be doing it, because right now, there are too many states and local governments, especially in some of the areas in the Northeast that they get most of their money from the federal government and they just go ahead and waste it.
If they put more skin in the game, then maybe they will be better stewards of that money and making sure that the projects are getting built on time, under budget, and that's what the president is focused on.
PIRRO: You know, Austan --
GOOLSBEE: OK. I don't agree with that that was not a correct statement. All across the country, historically, we have had 90 percent of the money paid by the federal government and they require a 10 percent match from the states, every state, not just New England. And this plan of the president is $200 billion, that he is going to cut $200 billion from infrastructure in other places for a net increase of nothing, and shift it so that 80 plus percent of the cost goes to the states.
That's why the states are opposed to the plan. You were asking why is this stalled in Congress? It's because of that.
PIRRO: Well, you know what, but, Austan, you also have to admit, the way to react to president Trump if you are a Democrat is to resist.
But, Marc, can you answer his question?
LOTTER: Well, no, he is absolutely right. It's always been a federal split. But what I'm saying is because so much of that money comes from the federal government, it is often wasted. When you put more local state skin in the game, which is what the president is calling on in addition to putting private sector money in, you know it will be better managed because it's their money, their limited resources that they are going to have to better look out for and make sure they are delivering projects that have the greatest impact to their taxpayers, to their economy.
And that's where the president is focused on this. And it's the right focus.
PIRRO: That's called accountability.
Marc, Austan, thanks so much for being with us tonight.
GOOLSBEE: Thank you.
PIRRO: We'll have more on President Trump's agenda in just a moment. But, first, we have a developing story to bring you. Just a few hours ago, Attorney General Jeff Sessions responded to requests from Chairman Grassley, Goodlatte, and Gowdy to appoint a second special counsel.
In the letter Sessions denied their request, but announced that he has appointed a senior federal prosecutor to lead the Justice Department's investigation into FISA abuse. This comes after sessions told TIME magazine that his decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation was, quote: the right thing to do.
Joining us now with analysis, Fox News contributor Sara Carter and Fox3 News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett.
All right, a couple things. Gregg, I'm going to start with you. I believe it was November 13th. For some reason that sticks in my brain as the date when the Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he would consider the issue of a second special counsel.
GREGG JARRETT, FOX NEWS LEGAL ANALYST: Right, he was never going to consider it.
PIRRO: He said high level justice people consider it here we're the end of March.
PIRRO: And he is saying no special counsel. Instead he is going to refer this FISA abuse to a guy from Utah.
JARRETT: Right. John Huber is his name, originally an Obama appointee. I suspect this was all engineered by --
PIRRO: By Rod Rosenstein.
JARRETT: -- by Rod Rosenstein, who is an Obama-Clinton acolyte, pals with Barbara Mikulski, the most liberal now former senator on Capitol Hill:
You know, Sessions doesn't even realize that he is being manipulated and exploited. This is a guy who spent most of his career on Capitol Hill, was a senator doing nothing. And suddenly, he is in charge of the Department of Justice and the FBI and is he in way over his head. So, he relies on people like Rosenstein.
PIRRO: Why Utah?
JARRETT: Yes, exactly.
PIRRO: If what we are looking at are problems created by the Department of Justice and the FBI by, you know, proffering an unverified dossier to a FISA court, Sara Carter, doesn't it make sense that these should be the last people to investigate this issue?
SARA CARTER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I understand that argument and I did contact people within the Department of Justice and other sources of mine who know Mr. John Huber who is a U.S. attorney in Utah.
One of the things that was mentioned here is the fact that he has not stopped from appointing a special counsel. I -- that was reiterated to me over and over again. Mr. Huber has been working on this case, Judge Jeanine, since the fall. Since, he has been on this since the fall. I have been told that the inspector general, Michael Horowitz, has already made criminal referrals.
So, this doesn't mean that nothing's going to happen. I understand there is a lot of concerns, especially among congressional members who have asked for this. It doesn't also mean that the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, won't call for a special counsel after Michael Horowitz's report is open to the public.
PIRRO: Sara, you didn't see us, but both Gregg and I both looked at each other, with all due respect it doesn't mean that he will call for a special counsel.
JARRETT: I'll be dead and gone by the time --
PIRRO: Don't say that.
JARRETT: -- special counsel Sessions gets around to it.
Here's the problem. Even with Huber, based out in Utah --
PIRRO: By the way, I don't know Huber and I mean no disrespect to him. I'm sure he is a fabulous federal prosecutor. Let's put that on the table.
CARTER: He investigated national security issues and criminal issues.
PIRRO: That's great. How many United States attorneys are there?
JARRETT: You know, here's the problem. He is a part of the Department of Justice. You still have cops investigating cops.
The whole point of the special counsel and the law says you have to bring somebody from outside the Department of Justice. Huber is inside the Department of Justice. The other problem is with the inspector general helping Huber, he doesn't have jurisdiction over the main players who have left the FBI, James Comey, Sally Yates who left the Department of Justice, James Rybicki who has left the FBI.
PIRRO: But, you know, what's interesting, Gregg, the attorney general kept saying let's let the I.G. do his job. You and I both know letting the I.G. do his job is letting time pass. More time passes the less that's done.
PIRRO: But the bottom line here is everything seems to be a series of steps. Why don't people just go and get it done.
JARRETT: Right. The other example I mentioned last night, you know, the FBI has been stonewalling. Not handing over more than a million documents requested.
Forget the nice request. Forget the subpoena. If you have a special counsel, you convene a grand jury, go to a judge, get a warrant and go in there and seize it. Go in with federal marshals and seize it. That's the way you do it.
If it were you or me, they would be armed with a warrant.
PIRRO: I mean, Sara, that's the reason that Hillary Clinton got away with so much. They signaled every move they were going to make. And then they sent in subpoenas. You go in with a warrant. I used to sign them all the time. I used to seek them. You get it done.
You break in. You do what you've got to do. But, by the way, notice how quick the special counsel did it with Paul Manafort in the middle of the night.
JARRETT: That's exactly right.
CARTER: Well, this is a good example. And you are absolutely right about that. One of the concerns here, Judge Jeanine, is the fact that Rod Rosenstein, you know, he is reporting to Rod Rosenstein. And if he is looking at Uranium One as well, remember Rod Rosenstein oversaw a lot of those cases when he was the U.S. attorney in Maryland.
And I don't know how that is in a conflict of interest. There are some issues here that are very concerning. I understand what Gregg is saying and that was something that I questioned as well. How can Huber, who is part of the DOJ, be investigating bad guys in the DOJ?
But I do believe things are moving forward in certain aspects. We saw that with the firing of Andrew McCabe. I also believe that we're going to see some criminal prosecutions down the road on this.
JARRETT: The statute of limitation are going to run on a lot of them. You have to move expeditiously and they are not.
PIRRO: Also, guys, my understanding is that the United States attorney in Arkansas is the one who's looking at the Clinton Foundation.
PIRRO: I read this guy is looking at the Clinton Foundation, too. That makes no sense.
PIRRO: How could they do both?
JARRETT: And they can't report to Rosenstein. Rosenstein's signature is on some of the papers associated with Russia's extortion bribery money laundering scheme that enabled the sale of Uranium One.
PIRRO: That's right. And with respect to not just the Clinton Foundation but the Uranium One aspect. Is anyone looking at that, Sara?
CARTER: Yes, they are.
CARTER: That is part of this investigation.
PIRRO: Which? Huber's or Arkansas?
CARTER: No, Huber is looking into this as well as Little Rock. Now, it's the FBI's field office in Little Rock, Arkansas.
CARTER: And we're still not clear as to why that initiated there. But I can tell you this, Judge Jeanine, there are five FBI field offices involved in this investigation. The only one we have heard of is the Little Rock, Arkansas office. But I can tell you there is four other FBI field offices involved in the Clinton Foundation investigation.
JARRETT: You know what? I have confidence in the rank and file, FBI agents, the field offices. The trouble is at FBI Hoover headquarters in Washington, D.C.
PIRRO: Absolutely right.
JARRETT: And the top echelon that appear to be quite corrupt.
PIRRO: There's no question. It's the worker bees in the FBI who were doing all the work.
And I understand by the way that memos go out to the field offices to get people to assist in the Arkansas investigation, forensic accountants, that kind of thing. So, that may be moving along.
But you know what? I agree with you, Gregg. I think at the end of the day we may miss a statute in a lot of these.
JARRETT: I think you have already missed a bunch of statute of limitations.
PIRRO: Don't say that.
JARRETT: You already missed the James Clapper lying before Congress statute of limitations three weeks ago. That's gone.
PIRRO: Yes. I heard Clapper just did it again. What a shock.
Anyway, thank you, Sara. Thank you, Gregg.
And coming up, President Trump today addressed how Orange County, California, is standing up for the state's sanctuary laws.
That and more as this special edition of HANNITY continues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We need walls, we started building our wall. I'm so proud of it.
We started. We started. We have $1.6 billion.
And we've already started. You saw the pictures yesterday. I said what a thing of beauty.
And on September 28th, we go further. And we are getting that sucker built. And you think that's easy? People said, oh, has he given up on the wall? No, I never give up.
You look at what is going on in California, Orange County. They have had it. There is a revolution going on out there.
Sanctuary cities where they protect criminals, they protect murderers. They protect people that you don't want on the streets. Other places in California said we don't want that. First time they are speaking up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PIRRO: Welcome back to this special edition of Hannity: The Trump Agenda.
That was President Trump earlier today talking about building the border wall and how Orange County, California, is actually rebelling against the state sanctuary laws.
Our own Griff Jenkins is in California and has been speaking to local officials -- Griff.
GRIFF JENKINS, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Judge, you know, the president really has found an ally out here in the sea of anti-Trump resistance. But let's put this in perspective. In Orange County, since January 1st, Orange County sheriff's office has released 244 criminals, illegal immigrant criminals who committed crimes like drug dealing, drunk driving, assaults back into the community, posing a threat potentially to the citizens of Orange County.
Now, before California's sanctuary state law and the new SB-54 as it's known, these inmates would have been turned over to the federal authorities or ICE before the release for deportation.
So, working under what current laws provide, the Orange County sheriff's office has begun posting an inmate release date list. It's called the 'who is in jail' list to try and help ice to apprehend these inmates when they are released. That's up and running now. If we went inside that jail in Orange County, where hundreds more under this new state law will be released in the coming days, and we spoke with Undersheriff Don Barnes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DON BARNES, ORANGE COUNTY, CA UNDERSHERIFF: We're releasing thieves, drug addicts, drug possession. Some of these crimes that normally are high ranking, high level crimes, because of some other legislation they are now misdemeanors. And that prevents them from being turned over to ICE.
So, these are known criminals. They have extensive criminal background.
We want to make sure that we have the ability wherever possible to help keep our community safe.
We don't do local law enforcement at the street level immigration enforcement. That's not our job. That's the job of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Our focus is on criminals within the care and custody of the Orange County jail system and every tool that we can use to make an information available for another agency's review that will help keep criminals off the street will always be our primary mission of the sheriff's department.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JENKINS: And the sheriff is not alone. The Orange County board of supervisors voted this week to join the Trump administration's lawsuit against the sanctuary state law. They hope to block SB-54 because they believe it's in the interest of public safety.
So, we spoke also today to one of those supervisors, Michelle Steel, who is herself a first generation immigrant. Here's what she had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENKINS: What is your message to counties all across the country dealing with this threat?
MICHELLE PARK STEEL, R, ORANGE COUNTY SUPERVISOR: Well, you know, even California that -- in Sacramento. It's not just that SB-54, but we have other different really bad laws that they introduced.
So, we tried to stop and other counties that they have to join us. So, we are leading. I know exactly how it goes because I'm very sensitive about the immigration issues because, as you know, that I'm a first generation immigrant.
So, you know what? At least I lead and people see that, you know what? xThis is not really right thing to do because public safety always comes first.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JENKINS: Ms. Steel says she believes this is just the beginning of a law enforcement getting behind federal law enforcement. And just think about that for a second. You need a movement to get behind supporting federal laws? Very interesting.
And then, of course, we have Governor Brown and Attorney General Becerra leading things out here. One county just south of Orange County, San Diego County, and the specific city of Escondido might join the lawsuit live Orange County has. It's on the agenda for the Escondido City Council next week on April 4th.
The mayor there saying they believe a measure to join the federal lawsuit in support may actually pass. We'll find out more. We will be on top of this, Judge, probably also going to talk to the ICE -- the local ICE director here about how it's impacting him on his end of the receiving inmates and trying to track them down -- Judge.
PIRRO: Griff, thanks so much.
And joining me now with more reaction is NRA TV contributor and former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino, and immigration attorney Francisco Hernandez.
All right, guys. What we have is the Department of Justice is suing the state of California, saying that it is protecting immigrants and obstructing ICE in their ability to law.
Then, what you've got is the state of California saying we're going to protect everyone. But now, what seems to be the beginning of a trend where the counties are saying hey, wait a minute. We don't want to be a part of this sanctuary state.
You just heard and I'm going to start with you, Hernando, I mean, you just heard, Francisco, I should say. You just heard that hundreds of criminals were being released into the community.
FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY: Your honor, your honor.
PIRRO: Was that a fact? Did you and I just listen -- let's start with the same premise.
HERNANDEZ: Your honor.
PIRRO: That corrections officer -- undersheriff said hundreds were released.
HERNANDEZ: Your honor, same song, different jukebox. Your honor, you were a judge.
Listen, you and I both know that federal law preempts any state law. What a cop-out by the sheriff. So, the sheriff takes an oath when he takes office to uphold the Constitution of the United States and he is on national television telling us that he is willingly releasing people that should have been already picked up by ICE.
But, you know, let's abandon this sanctuary cities thing. You know that in Texas, Texas allows convicted felons to get their gun rights back after five years.
PIRRO: We are not talking about Texas, no, no. Stop doing the two step on me.
PIRRO: Dan, what is your response. No, no, I don't care about Texas. We are talking about California.
HERNANDEZ: -- rest of the country.
PIRRO: We're talking about a state that has one of the biggest unemployment levels, that is almost at poverty level. You got criminals being released and you are laughing about it. Hit it, Dan.
HERNANDEZ: And you are letting that sheriff tell you it's okay to do it.
DAN BONGINO, NRA TV CONTRIBUTOR: Francisco is going to keep.
PIRRO: Go ahead.
BONGINO: What he's going to do is Francisco is going to change the argument to be about Texas because he knows he has absolutely no standing and no logical reason to defend this policy. Judge, it's almost comical.
HERNANDEZ: Federal law. The state laws preempt it.
BONGINO: Is this going to be a debate, is this the Francisco show? Do you want to just go or are you going to let me talk?
PIRRO: Come on. Francisco, let Dan answer.
BONGINO: Francisco, we were making a point about California. Clearly, California is lying when they are saying they are looking to protect all the citizens of California because they are not looking to protect U.S.
citizens in California from people who entered the country illegally and then committed crimes and should be deported. Entering the country without inspection is a crime. It's a crime.
HERNANDEZ: That's not what the sheriff said.
PIRRO: No, but, wait, Francisco, wait. Would you agree that California, the more it protects undocumented immigrants, the more you are going to be going into debt because it will attract more people who are interested in education, medication, housing, and they drain the economy? They don't come in the way everyone else comes in.
HERNANDEZ: That is my point.
PIRRO: That's exactly my point if I'm going to have to pay for California when it goes under.
HERNANDEZ: Can I answer the question?
PIRRO: Hit it, go ahead.
HERANDEZ: OK. That's my point. You don't see convicted felons flocking to Texas to get their gun rights back. There is no such thing as a sanctuary state or city. It is a political phantom. Why don't we get on immigration reform?
PIRRO: It's a political phantom. Tell that to -- wait a minute. Tell that to Kate Steinle's family.
Go ahead, Dan.
BONGINO: Francisco, Judge, he is just making this stuff up. He comes on a nationally televised show with 3 million viewers and he is literally making it up.
You are right, Francisco. Sanctuary cities and states don't exist at all.
HERNANDEZ: Don't exist. It's a phantom.
BONGINO: Local jurisdictions and their police departments have been told, yes, cooperate fully with law enforcement. We are all making this up. Everybody is just inventing this.
You and I both know --
HERNANDEZ: Every law enforcement officer take an oath first to uphold the Constitution of the United States and no community, city, county or state is going to tell them to do otherwise.
BONGINO: Francisco, a question for you, how many years have you spent in law enforcement? Give us your total years in law enforcement? How many?
HERNANDEZ: Twenty-eight years.
BONGINO: OK, 28. Where were you a police officer? I'm just checking here.
HERNANDEZ: You didn't ask if I was a police officer.
PIRRO: Well, law enforcement, what does that mean to you?
HERNANDEZ: What's your question? Sanctuary cities are a political phantom.
PIRRO: You just represented on this show, Francisco, that you were in law enforcement. Were you in law enforcement, yes or no?
HERNANDEZ: Well, that wasn't the question. No, I'm not in law enforcement. I would love to be a Texas Ranger quite frankly.
BONGINO: That's unbelievable. He can't even --
HERNANDEZ: But, your honor, you know.
BONGINO: I was there at the federal and local level so I have seen it on both sides. When there is edict that comes down from your police department that says you don't cooperate with ICE and turn these people over when they leave jail, you know what? You don't turn them over or you lose your job.
BONGINO: -- poetic on the air. But what would happen is total complete nonsense.
HERNANDEZ: Why can't ICE go get them? Your honor, it's called a supremacy --
PIRRO: Because you're letting them out. Let me answer your question, Francisco. The reason ICE can't go get them is because you are letting them out the side door and you are protecting them.
BONGINO: Francisco, nobody knows when they are getting out.
HERNANDEZ: They don't go out the side door. It's called immigration --
PIRRO: Go ahead, Dan.
BONGINO: Francisco, do you think ICE has enough agents to sit outside of every police department in the country and wait for --
HERNANDEZ: They don't need to. Have you asked ICE if they need help?
BONGINO: They do because they are not being notified.
PIRRO: thank you, gentlemen.
There are big developments involving President Trump's policies on Russia and North Korea. Allen West and Congressman Ron DeSantis weigh in next on this special edition of 'Hannity.'
Stay with us.
PIRRO: Welcome back to this special edition of 'Hannity: The Trump Agenda.'
Despite what the fake news is saying, relations between the Trump administration and Russia are getting even colder. The Trump administration condemned Russia again today after Moscow announced that it will expel 60 U.S. diplomats and close the U.S. consulate in St. Petersburg in retaliation for President Trump's decision to expel 60 of their diplomats and close a Russian consulate in Seattle.
President Trump's tough action was in response to Russia's suspected poisoning of an ex-spy and his daughter in Great Britain earlier this month. But that's not the only foreign policy issue the president is dealing with today. He also spoke about possibly holding up a major trade agreement with South Korea until the nuclear situation in North Korea gets resolved.
Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I may hold it up until after a deal is made with North Korea. Does everybody understand that. Do you know why? Right? Do you know why? Because it's a very strong card.
And I want to make sure everyone is treated fairly and we're moving along very nicely with North Korea. We'll see what happens.
Certainly, the rhetoric has calmed down just a little bit. Wouldn't you say? Would you say? And we'll see how it all turns down. Maybe it will be good. Maybe it won't.
And if it's no good, we are walking. And if it's good, we will embrace it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PIRRO: Joining us now, he is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Florida Congressman Ron DeSantis. Also joining us, former Florida congressman, Fox News contributor, Allen West.
Well, I guess, guys, you both agree that the rhetoric is clamping down a bit, and that's all good. We are not hearing about rocket man and all the other stuff from rocket man.
So, I will start with you, Congressman DeSantis. You know, you sit on the House Intelligence Committee. What we have got today with the expulsion of, you know, the Russian diplomats and then their retaliation or tit-for- tat, although the issue is that we had a reason for the tat. It was the British spy who was poisoned on the U.K. grounds. His daughter I understand is still alive, but is getting better. They had no reason, other than retaliation.
What does that tell you about Russia and the United States?
REP. RON DESANTIS, R—FLORIDA: Well, it tells me that under the Trump administration, they've had a policy of being very firm against Russia, which is in contrast to the Obama administration. Remember, when Obama was in, they tried to reset. They did nothing when Russia invaded Crimea, made incursions into Ukraine, went into Syria.
What has this president done, Donald Trump since he has been in office? He has provided lethal aid to Ukraine so they could defend themselves. Obama wouldn't do that. He provided Patriot missiles to Poland so they could defend themselves. He struck Assad in Syria which Obama wouldn't do and forced the red line. And then he's really committed to you expanding America's oil and gas capability.
Russia, at the end of the day, you know, they have nuclear weapons but they are a big gas station and to the extent we are challenging them with our exports to Europe, that's going to weaken Putin. So, this is a president that's been strong against Russia.
PIRRO: And, Colonel Allen West, you know, when we talk about a Cold War and there is talk now that we may be entering into a new phase, which is almost ironic, given the fact that the Democrats keep saying that the Trump team colluded with Russia and after 15 months, they have come up with zilch. But do you think we are entering a new Cold War era?
LT. COL. ALLEN WEST (RET), FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Without a doubt, Judge. We are getting there.
You know, when Vladimir Putin was asked about the greatest disappoint he had in the 20th century, he said it was the collapse of the old Soviet Union. So, what you see is someone who's trying to reestablish that Russian hegemonic dominance. You know the threats that he's made against the Baltic States, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Congressman DeSantis already talked about some of the threats he has made with Crimea and Ukraine.
So, he has done that because he has not seen a very strong policy. You are starting to see that type of strong policy and with the announcement that John Bolton is going to be the national security advisor, I don't think you will get the same type of weak and feckless advice that a Susan Rice was giving to President Barack Obama.
PIRRO: Yes. And, Ron, you are nodding your head.
DESANTIS: Yeah, I mean, John Bolton, it's a very strong voice, very clear thinker. And I think that importantly, he knows how tout bureaucracy works and so he is going to be instrumental in getting the bureaucrats to actually enforce President Trump's policies which they haven't been, you know, as willing to do as they were under Obama. So, I think it was a really good choice and I do think that you will see positive results in terms you have the execution of the Trump foreign policy.
PIRRO: You know, what about with the president talking about, you know, the North Korea situation and the fact that, you know, he's got a strong card now, Allen, as it relates to north and South Korea?
WEST: Well, it's been very interesting. We know that Kim Jong Un, the first time he ever left North Korea was this week to go and travel and sit down with Xi Jinping in China. I think that China and North Korea are very nervous. They understand that the president, number one, this is not about strategic patience.
Number two, they know that the president will put pressure on China and definitely pressure on North Korea. And he is not backing down. And so, they find themselves in a very precarious situation. And I think Xi Jinping wants to make sure that Kim Jong Un is very clear and understanding that China cannot have a Korean peninsula that is friendly to the United States of America, Japan, or our allies, as opposed to you China.
China cannot afford for an implosion to happen in North Korea with the mass influx of refugees and also the loss of the hydroelectric power plants that provide a lot of electricity for those Northern provinces in China.
And back to you, Congressman DeSantis. You know, we saw Kim Jong Un for the first year of the president's administration, first 13, 14 months, you know, setting off those ICBMs and, you know, with all the name-calling and saying we were going to get a birthday present, you know, on the Fourth of July and all that other stuff.
All of a sudden, he is starting to dress in kind of western gear, kind of. He is making trips outside of his country.
What's do you think has caused this man to do this abrupt turn around?
DESANTIS: Well, I think it's the pressure that the president and his administration have put on North Korea and on China to a certain extent. And we have made more progress on -- look, we are a long way to go. It's a very difficult problem. Kim Jong Un is a thug.
But I will say that the Trump administration has made more progress in 15 months than his predecessors did in the last quarter century. So, a lot of work left to do, but I think the president deserves credit that we're on the brink of potentially finally getting some good resolution here.
PIRRO: And very quickly finally, Allen, the whole idea without the Russian diplomats here, you know, we are also, in addition to the Cold War, as you mentioned, entering a new period where there can be continuing cyber attacks. You don't really need to be on the homeland. You know, they call them hybrid warfare, hybrid attacks. That's certainly a potential, yes?
WEST: Yes, you're absolutely right. That's that new dimension of warfare. We see that from China. We see that from Russia. We see it from North Korea. I think that that's one of the critical things when the president sits down with Kim Jong Un to get them to curtail their cyber warfare programs and their aggressive actions as well as he needs to express that to China.
But without a doubt, we need to understand we have got to block Russia in every way, shape, form and fashion.
PIRRO: All right. Thank you very much, Congressman.
And coming up, President Trump today gave a strong warning to his supporters about this year's midterm elections. Larry Elder and Doug Schoen react next as a special edition of HANNITY continues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We have a very important election come up. And they don't like the wins we have been getting. They don't like that the economy -- the Democrats, they don't like the economy is so strong. They don't like that they don't have one vote on the tax cuts. Not one vote.
Now, we should do well. History says that when you win the presidency, that party doesn't do so well in the midterms because people get complacent. They get complacent.
We cannot be complacent. We have the greatest economy, maybe ever, maybe in history. We have the greatest economy we have ever had. You know, the expression from I guess it was Bill Clinton. It's the economy, stupid. Well, it is the economy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PIRRO: Welcome back to this special edition of 'Hannity: The Trump Agenda.'
That was President Trump today during his speech in Ohio touting his historic tax cuts and warning his supporters that they cannot be complacent in this year's midterm elections.
Joining us now is Salem Radio nationally syndicated host Larry Elder, and former Clinton pollster and FOX News contributor Doug Schoen.
All right, gentlemen. I'll start with you, Doug, since you are sitting here. I mean, there is no question that the president's numbers are going up, that no one can really deny that unemployment is almost at all-time low. We have added an enormous number of jobs since he came into office.
I mean, what's to complain about?
DOUG SCHOEN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it is really the structural issues, I think that are working for the Democrats.
First, as the president said, there is a natural inclination to vote against the in party in midterm elections. The Democrats are plus seven now on the generic vote.
Also, there are 25 Republican congressmen up in districts Hillary won and 40 Republican retirements. So, this suggests to me the Democrats have a real shot to win the House.
PIRRO: What do you say to that, Larry?
LARRY ELDER, SALEM RADIO NATIONALLY SYNDICATED HOST: I say that he is right. They have a real shot to win the House. It certainly is true that in these off-year elections I think only two times has the party in power not lost seats. But one of those is fairly recent. That was George W.
Look, the economy is booming as you pointed out, Judge. People open up their paychecks and saw more money and only one person responsible for that, and that's Donald Trump. You can talk about the stock market. You can talk about housing appreciation. You talk about a lot of things.
And the left will say, well, all he's doing is following the same policies of Barack Obama. If that's true, why do you hate him so much, A? But, B, you cannot say that opening up your check and seeing more money. That's Donald Trump.
And believe me, come the fall a whole lot of people are going to be worried about throwing out the Republicans and putting a drag on Trump by putting in Democrats. I don't know that -- if I were a Democrat, I wouldn't be on that optimistic about taking over the House. It's still going to be an uphill fight.
PIRRO: Well, and there is no question, Doug. The president is right. I mean, normally, midterm after the first year. I mean, historically, traditionally.
PIRRO: And I agree with what Larry is saying. When they look at their checks and if the Republicans can get out the message, hey, guys, look, not one of those Democrats wanted you to have that money in your check. Not one of them wanted for it, 417 companies bonuses or all kinds of benefits that they didn't have last year.
But would you agree that the left is so energized?
SCHOEN: Yes. And it's something else. You speak and Larry speaks about Donald Trump. The real problem for the Republicans is the Republican Congress, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell whose approval is about 18 percent now.
And so, the Democrats, if they are smart will run not only against Trump, but against the Congress and that is a fruitful way to proceed.
PIRRO: OK, Larry?
ELDER: And, Judge, that's exactly what the Republicans are going to do. They are going to run against Nancy Pelosi and that side of the Congress. They are no popular than the Republican --
SCHOEN: I wish she was gone, Larry. I wish she was gone.
ELDER: Congress is not popular. Pardon me, you wish she was gone.
PIRRO: We're all agreeing.
SCHOEN: I'm agreeing that Nancy Pelosi is a mill stone around the Democrats. Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania won because he ran away from her.
My advice to my fellow Democrats is stay as far as away from the far left and Nancy Pelosi as possible.
ELDER: You know, Judge --
PIRRO: Go ahead, Larry.
ELDER: Judge, Doug and my brother Kirk are most reasonable Democrats I've ever run --
SCHOEN: Thank you, Larry.
ELDER: Conor Lamb won because he ran very much like Trump. He adopted the tax cut plan, talked about all of that and ran against Nancy Pelosi. Is that the Democratic party that the left really want, a party that's a lot more like Trump? I don't think so. But I would prefer to the party that's Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.
PIRRO: You know what? I have to tell you gentlemen I don't even know what the Democratic Party is anymore. Are they the Antifas or against free speech. (INAUDIBLE) Second Amendment people or are they kind of more run of the mill?
SCHOEN: You know, we don't know. The Democratic message is going to be resist and hopefully move to the center. But even if it's resist, they have a fighting chance to win.
PIRRO: All right, Larry and Doug, thank you for being with us.
All right. And more of this special edition of 'Hannity' right after the break. Stay with us.
PIRRO: Welcome back to this special edition of 'Hannity: The Trump Agenda.'
Unfortunately, that's all the time we have left this evening. As always, thanks so much for being with us. And I'm going to be back tomorrow night hosting.
And I just want to say one thing, I said a British spy, he was a Russian double agent. And, by the way, you can follow on Twitter, on Facebook and Instagram. Hope you have a great night.
Now, Laura who I think is sitting there pretty in pink. Are you there, Laura?
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