Analyzing Trump's history of tough talk on North Korea

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This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," May 24 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

JEANINE PIRRO, FOX NEWS HOST: I love the way you sign off the sworn enemy of pomposity and all that.


PIRRO: Have you ever met anyone by the name of pomposity?

CARLSON: No, but if I do they're in trouble.

PIRRO: I'm with you.

CARLSON: See you, Jeanine.

PIRRO: All right. Take care.

Welcome to this special edition of 'Hannity: The Trump Agenda.' I'm Jeanine Pirro, in for Sean tonight.

President Trump pulling the plug for now on a potential nuclear summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. And tonight, North Korea is responding by saying it's still willing to sit down with the U.S. at any time.

In his statement earlier today, President Trump announced that he's shutting down the summit because of, quote, tremendous anger and open hostility coming from the North Koreans.

The commander in chief didn't mince words earlier today. Take a look.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: While many things can happen and a great opportunity lies ahead, potentially, I believe that this is a tremendous setback for North Korea and indeed a setback for the world. I've spoken to General Mattis and the Joint Chiefs of Staff and our military which is by far the most powerful anywhere in the world that has been greatly enhanced recently as you all know is ready if necessary.

Likewise I have spoken to South Korea and Japan and they are not only ready should foolish or reckless acts be taken by North Korea, but they are willing to shoulder much of the cost of any financial burden any of the costs associated by the United States in operations if such an unfortunate situation is forced upon us.

If and when Kim Jong Un's uses to engage in constructive dialogue and actions, I am waiting. In the meantime, our very strong sanctions, by far the strongest sanctions ever imposed, and maximum pressure campaign will continue. A lot of things can happen, including the fact that perhaps and would wait it's possible that the existing summit could take place or a summit at some later date. Nobody should be anxious. We have to get it right.


PIRRO: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is reiterating the president's peace through strength approach to this new development in the nuclear showdown with Kim Jong Un. Take a look.


MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: We always knew too that there could be a summit that didn't work, that ultimately was unsuccessful. And so, there's been a great deal of work to think about what happens when you're at a moment when you don't have the opportunity sitting right in front of you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you share with us any other insights about how the administration is looking at what should happen next?

POMPEO: Yes, in some ways, it's situation normal. The pressure campaign continues.


PIRRO: And the Pentagon is saying it is ready to counter any potential North Korean aggression. Take a look.


DANA WHITE, PENTAGON SPOKESPERSON: The secretary spoke to the president today and we are still continuing the maximum pressure campaign. That hasn't changed for us. So, in terms of we are ready to fight tonight, that's always been the case.

LT. GEN. FRANK MCKENZIE, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF DIRECTOR: Right now, we're at -- we're at our level of good readiness. We're in a boxer stance. We're ready to respond. We'll see what develops over the next few days, if any provocative actions occur from DPRK. We'll certainly, in concert with our allies and partners in the region, be ready for it.


PIRRO: At the White House tonight, with the latest details is Fox News chief national correspondent Ed Henry -- Ed.


Early today, President Trump's critics were having a field day, suggesting maybe he celebrated a possible summit too early. But a short time ago, the president seemed to be vindicated as North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un sent out some officials to basically back down and say they want to revive face-to-face talks and believe they can bridge some of the tensions they have with the Trump administration. That's a dramatic reversal that came after the president, remember after weeks of being more gentle and encouraging to the man he once dubbed Little Rocket Man, went back to the tough talk by saying he would not stand for the saber-rattling that we've seen by North Korean officials in recent days.

The president furious that North Korean's deputy foreign minister blew up over in the interview that our own Martha MacCallum did with Vice President Mike Pence. The vice president warned about the example of Libya and how things will end badly for Kim if he does not make a deal.

North Korea's deputy foreign minister reacted by warning of a nuclear showdown and called Pence a, quote, political dummy. So, in a letter to Kim that officials here say the president dictated himself, the commander-in-chief cited the recent, quote, anger and open hostility as the reason for scrapping the summit and added the warning, you talk about your nuclear capabilities but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used.

Now, Democrats like Nancy Pelosi reacted to the letter to Kim by mocking the president's tone which they called soft. But she may eat those words now that North Korea appears to be backing down.



REP. NANCY PELOSI, D—CALIF., MINORITY LEADER: I think it's a good thing for Kim Jong Un, when he got this letter from the president saying, OK, never mind, he must be having a giggle fit. In this very chummy palsy-walsy letter to Kim Jong-un. He, Kim Jong-un, is the big winner.

TRUMP: If and when Kim Jong Un chooses to engage in constructive dialogue and actions, I am waiting.


HENRY: So, you see the president putting the carrot out there by saying we could potentially revive this summit on either June 12th or some later date. But the Pentagon as you noted at the top is keeping the stick out there, saying if Kim Jong Un does not come to the table for peace talks, they are ready for military action -- Judge.

PIRRO: All right. Thanks, Ed.

Also tonight, North Korea is claiming to have destroyed its nuclear test site by setting off explosions in front of foreign journalists.

Joining us now with reaction to this is retired CIA senior intelligence officer and Fox News contributor Daniel Hoffman.

Good evening, Daniel.


PIRRO: Now, they say that they blew up this nuclear site. I mean, how do we know that that is the case?

HOFFMAN: I think there were some observers there, but we also know that Chinese seismologists assessed that the site was really no longer able to be used without great risk of environmental damage in China.

And I would just make a comment on the previous segment on Ed Henry's comments. What we, I think, have been witnessing from North Korea is a bit of diplomatic brinksmanship. They're trying to enhance their own standing and anticipation of a summit and weaken ours.

And we saw the president respond strongly, forcefully, with a reminder that our military is able and ready to strike if needed, that we're working with our allies. We're going to continue maximum pressure. But at the same time if North Korea is ready to, talk we're here to listen.

PIRRO: You know, what's interesting about what happened is you almost couldn't keep up with what was going on today. I mean, from the beginning with North Korea's I believe, it's there a longtime nuclear negotiator saying that, you know, our acts are unlawful and outrageous based upon an interview that Vice President Pence did with Martha McCallum, next thing you know, the president sends out a letter saying we're going to pull out of this. Next thing that happens is you've got Pompeo then reading Trump's letter, saying I look forward but from Kim saying, I look forward to meeting with you.

But the president is also saying at the same time, our nuclear capabilities are bigger than yours and I pray to God we'll never use them. Now, we have North Korea saying, hey, we're ready to sit down. Is this negotiations -- is this how they do it or is this a poker game?

HOFFMAN: I mean, it is. It's a bit of a whirlwind for sure. I think all those comments about our national security advisor John Bolton and Vice President Pence, those were just excuses for policies North Korea was or tactics North Korea was going to use regardless, and I think we are in for -- we've been conducting private negotiations. You may recall that that Secretary Pompeo visited North Korea, had very good discussions in private, and we've also been having these overt negotiations.

They've already begun. The problem is we have decades of failed policy and the North Koreans have this muscle memory of being used to receiving economic benefits just for showing up at the table. And the president has made it clear that that's not what we're interested in doing anymore.

PIRRO: Well, I think there's no question that, you know, they've been three generations of North Koreans who said that, you know, we have this plan where we're going to denuclearize and then what happens is the presidents in the past, you know, are pretty much been satisfied with that.

But my final question to you, Daniel, is it that we had people waiting three days to establish where the meet would actually take place and the North Koreans didn't meet with us to make those final plans?

HOFFMAN: Right. I think, again, that just falls back on their tactics. I think they're really trying to determine how serious we were about the summit and what they could gain from us, and if they felt like more than anything, we just wanted to show up for the summit, which would give Kim Jong Un some international standing at no price to pay, well, then maybe that's what they were trying to achieve.

But what they got instead was a reiteration of our policy of strength and a clear, clear delineation of what is going to be required of North Korea in order for this summit to take place.

PIRRO: All right. Thank you, Daniel.

And President Trump's talk with North Korea today should not come as a surprise. It's an approach that he's taken for months. Remember this?


TRUMP: We are settling and we're going to do something now one way or the other we have to do something. We cannot let that situation fester. We cannot let it happen.

Little rocket man, he's a sick puppy.

North Korea is a country ruled as a cult. At the center of this military cult is a deranged belief in the leader's destiny to rule as parent protector over a conquered Korean peninsula and an enslaved Korean people.

This man will not get away with what he's doing, believe me. And if he utters one threat in the form of an overt threat, which by the way he has been uttering for years and his family has been uttering for years or if he does anything with respect to Guam or anyplace else that's an American territory or an American ally, he will truly regret it and he will regret it fast.


PIRRO: Joining us now with reaction are Florida Republican congressional candidate, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Waltz, co-author of "Reaper", Brigadier General Tony Tata, and U.S. Army veteran Brett Velicovich.

All right, gentlemen, I don't -- I'm sure you've kept up with it as I have, and it's almost like a game of chess. And clearly, this is something that has been -- is the way that negotiations have taken place in the past.

But, General Tata, I'm going to start with you first. We did get three hostages back and there is apparently some destruction of nuclear sites and a promise to destroy more. Have we given up anything in exchange for that?

TONY TATA, BRIGADIER GENERAL (RETIRED): We've given up nothing and we've gotten everything that we could have wanted before this -- the summit happened. And what we're seeing is the art of the deal in action here, Judge, and, you know, live before our own eyes for those who didn't read the book, they get to now watch the movie.

And President Trump understands that he is a commander-in-chief of the most powerful country in the world and he mentioned $700 billion twice, you know, in during his press conference today and that number is are the size of our defense budget and this was a strategic messaging to North Korea. He understands the leverage that he has here and that $700 billions number of our defense budget is 25 to 30 times the size of the gross domestic product of North Korea.

So, if you're on the North Korean side and you hear that number, that's an overwhelming figure.

And then he just magically, you know, weaves together the diplomatic information, military and economic elements of national power and really, that's the maximum pressure campaign that he referenced in his speech today.

PIRRO: All right. Brett, I'll go to you. The role of China and all of this, the president seems to have indicated that after a second meeting with President Xi of China, that Kim Jong-un seemed to have changed his tone, he signaled that I believe it was yesterday.

BRETT VELICOVICH, U.S. ARMY VETERAN AND "DRONE WARRIOR" AUTHOR: (AUDIO GAP) and playing puppet master this whole entire time. From day one, this has always been just as much in negotiation with China as it is with North Korea. I mean, do you think that the Chinese want to see thousands of U.S. soldiers 200 miles off their border sitting there in South Korea. So, there -- they've been playing us all along and we have to be very careful what we do here.

But I think what we've seen just overall with these talks is we've been witnessing today a master class in negotiation that's been playing out on the world stage. The fact of the matter is that these deals are all about leverage, OK? And we're the strongest country in the entire world. We have -- we don't need to listen to a country or bow down to a country that has the economic GDP of less than the size of Honduras.

And so, it's very important when it comes to all these talks that Trump is very careful about being too accommodating to Kim Jong Un because what it does is it risks this recognition for him of what he's always believed would happen all along when it comes to having this nuclear arsenal. So, this deal has to get done but it needs to be done right or not at all. And in the end, we've taken back control here.

PIRRO: All right. And, Michael, I want to ask you about the -- you know, this morning and the president pulls out of the summit. The last thing tonight is that North Korea is saying, you know, we're ready to sit down at any time. What does that mean for people in the military? I mean, that's -- that's your background, that's who you are.


PIRRO: What is going on at the Pentagon right now?

WALTZ: Well, President Trump has shown strength from day one as commander- in-chief and I think he's been absolutely right on North Korea since day one, despite all of his critics. This is not President Obama who's going to take the military option out off the table before even gets to the table. This -- you know, President Trump knows and has always known that diplomacy needs the credible use -- it needs the credible threat of military force.

And not only do we have that, the North Koreans have seen President Trump train and equip and fund our military how it needs to be fund. So, he has come into this with three key preconditions in that military exercises with our South Korean allies and our Japanese allies will continue, denuclearization means exactly that that, that it is full, verifiable denuclearization. And that key here is that the sanctions will continue.

So, what do we -- what do I hope to see next from our commander-in-chief is that another round of sanctions the 7th Fleet sitting off the coast of North Korea, and that for everyone calling him a war-monger, they're absolutely wrong. This president knows it's that credible use.

PIRRO: Right.

WALTZ: And our veterans are cheering them on, that is actually going to mean peace through strong.

PIRRO: All right. And, General Tata, what about the fact that there hasn't been a firing of a missile by North Korea in months?

TATA: Well, that's exactly right, Judge. You know, the -- for all of the left that is -- was rejoicing this morning, you know, just to digress for a second.


TATA: They've defended Hamas. They've defended MS-13 and they've defended now Kim Jong Un and North Korea all in the same month. And that's -- that's, you know, pretty amazing if you think about it.

But there's been no action from North Korea militarily and as Michael just mentioned, we've kept doing our military drills. We kept doing what we're doing. We kept applying our pressure and we're tightening the screws every day, and that is the leverage that the President Trump has and he knows he has it, and you walk away from the deal if you're not getting the terms that you want, and that's what President Trump is doing here.

And it's just very textbook what he is doing. And so, he knows he's got the leverage and he's executing based upon the being the leader of the most powerful country in the world as opposed to apologizing as President Obama did and had sent in pallets of cash to get detainees back, and all of that insanity.

PIRRO: All right.

VELICOVICH: Judge, if I can just jump in and remind everyone, President Reagan walked away from the summit, walked away from Gorbachev when they tried to move the goalposts and that's exactly how President Trump is acting here.

PIRRO: OK, and, Brett, I want to ask you one question. I only have about 15 seconds left.

You know, we talked about China and the role of China. As we continue in this tariff a back and forth, China is sending us a signal too by saying we can't manipulate Kim Jong Un, correct?

VELICOVICH: Yes, absolutely and I think that's the biggest problem with this is that you're negotiating with a superpower here. But the fact of the matter is that our military's ready, we hold the cards right now. It's -- we left this deal on our terms and, right now, we're in the best position we have. We can be for these negotiations.

So, in the end, this is a deal that's meant to be for the entire world. It's not just America, and we can't fail at it and the president won't.

PIRRO: OK. All right. Thank you to all of you.

And coming up on this special edition of "Hannity," Democrats and the liberal media appear to be rooting for North Korea. We'll explain and then get reaction from Congressman Ron DeSantis, Jason Chaffetz, and Matt Schlapp.

Stay with us.


PIRRO: Welcome back to this special edition of "Hannity: The Trump Agenda."

President Trump is proving he's willing to walk away from the table if North Korea is going to play games. Predictably, Democrats and the media are spinning the latest development to attack the president. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It goes that Nobel Peace Prize he was --



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump's lack of rigor, his lack of seriousness destabilizes this world at the great peril of the world in the American people. This is an unserious man with an unserious approach.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A letter that the president sent is a friend of mine said an email to me as I was on the train to New York, it sounds like a 13- year-old stream of consciousness in a breakup letter from overnight camp.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I get it. You -- I'm going to break up with you before you break up with me. But by the way, call me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The art of the diplomacy is a lot harder than the art of the deal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think anybody should be surprised then when you run international affairs, like it's a TV reality show and you don't prepare, things fall apart and I think that's what's -- that's what's happened here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president was rehearsing his end zone dance and we weren't even at the 50-yard line yet on this summit.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Last week, a U.S. team in Singapore stood up on a date by North Korea, then ghosted by North Korea. they're not even responding to U.S. overtures. And today, of course, culminating in name-calling, a very awkward breakup letter. Oh and by the way, the threat of using nuclear weapons.


PIRRO: Joining us now with reaction, our FOX News contributor Jason Chaffetz, American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp, and Florida Congressman Ron DeSantis.

All right. I'll start with you, congressman.

Are they rooting for North Korea?

REP. RON DESANTIS, R—FLA.: You know, it's interesting. You remember Obama's hostage deal when they sent the Taliban five to get Bergdahl who was a deserter, all those people were saying what a great thing that was. Trump has already brought an unprecedented pressure, we got hostages back for giving up nothing.

And look, when the conditions aren't right, you got to make a decision. Reagan was right when he walked out on Gorbachev at Reykjavik. I think the president was right to do that now.

But this isn't over and I think you're going to see more pressure brought to bear and I think we have a better chance of having success under Trump than any president we've had in the last 25 years.

PIRRO: You know, Jason, they talked about the fact that you know the president isn't measured and, you know, he's going to get us into a nuclear war. I mean, isn't the reality that he's very measured because if you just go through the timetable today and I did there, like six things that happened, the end of the day, North Korea say, yes, we're ready to go.

Trump said -- the president actually said, I pray to God I don't have to blow you out of the water, basically.

JASON CHAFFETZ, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, look, the Democrats are in a meltdown. They don't know what to do. You look at Barack Obama, you look at John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, all their efforts, billions of dollars and they got nothing to show for it.

Donald Trump comes in and is very measured, very tempered and actually very diplomatic in what he's doing. He's willing to walk away from the table, which is one of the key things you need to do to negotiate, and Donald Trump as the president has had far more success than anything that Obama and Clinton and Kerry ever even dreamed about.

PIRRO: And, you know, Matt, it's kind of interesting when you listen to some of those criticisms. I mean, saying that President Trump is destabilizing the world.


Here's the bottom line: Geneva, Brussels, the U.N., the European consensus, the international consensus, the tea and croissant crowd, they're very worried, Judge. But the fact is, is we finally have a president who's saying, look, we can be on a path and that path can lead us to nuclear destruction and guess what? I'm not going to take us down that path anymore.

Nobody knows what to expect from him because we're not used to having an American president who's simply going to do what's in our country's best interest. And it's also not in the world's interest to have a nuclearized Iran or a nuclearized Korean peninsula, and I'm loving every minute of this.

PIRRO: And, you know, Congressman, on the one hand, the president has to be careful to not be too accommodating, but at the same time, he did send basically a thank-you letter saying, thanks for releasing our hostages.

I mean, you know, he can't win for trying.

DESANTIS: Well, look, I wish John Kerry would have walked away from the table with the Iran deal. All he kept doing, he was desperate for a deal, Obama's desperate for the deal, they gave away store to Iran. They gave a hundred and fifty billion. They're airlifting cash.

And so, the president has done more to engage North Korea than any president, but he's doing it from a position of strength, and that's the key thing. I think if Kim Jong Un is going to evaluate this in the road that he may have chosen, with their recent behavior, that's not the best road for him. And I think we're going to see continued pressure and I betcha, Kim Jong Un eventually comes back to the table.

PIRRO: Oh I don't think there's any question. But, you know, Jason, is -- according to Nancy Pelosi, Kim Jong Un as the winner in this love letter situation. I seem to recall that during the Iran deal, that the president was sending as I remember calling them love letters to the ayatollah that no one knew anything about.

And isn't it ironic that it's almost as though the people in Washington, with all due respect to the people sitting here, don't really care about the world as much as they care about their own political party?

CHAFFETZ: Oh, Nancy Pelosi is downright giddy that these things may back down or may break down.

But I got to tell you -- this is the difference, Donald Trump is actually leading. He's a leader. Under Barack Obama, they were leading from behind and that was a very true sentiment because they just did not know how to use the might of the United States of America to put us in the winning position. Donald Trump understands that, we have the strongest hand. He's willing to walk away from the table, and we've had more success with Donald Trump than anything that they've had.

But it is disgusting to hear and see what the Democrats are doing. They don't want us to be successful. It's really sad.

PIRRO: Well, and finally, Matt, I mean, there is no peace without strength but at the same time, these backdoor negotiations are going on.

SCHLAPP: That's right.

PIRRO: And I can expect that that they're still continuing today?

SCHLAPP: Yes, that's exactly right, Judge. There's an elaborate array of conversations and negotiations going on with all the major hotspots, including North Korea. Look, there's going to look -- there's going to be times when it looks like it's in sight and there's going to be times when it looks like it's farther away.

I think the key is is this -- it's just like the congressmen have said. We want a good deal. We don't want any deal. We want a good. We want to deal that at the end of the process, the Korean peninsula is denuclearized. And I have confidence that we're going to get there under Donald Trump.

PIRRO: All right. Thanks, guys. And coming up, we'll tell you what happened in today's high leverage intelligence briefing at the DOJ. Gregg Jarrett and Dave Avella are next. That and more as the special edition of Hannity continues.



DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What we are doing is cleaning everything up. It's so important, we now call it 'spygate.' You are calling it 'spygate.' A lot of bad things have happened. I want them all to get together, they'll sit in a room and hopefully they'll be able to work it out among themselves.

But I want is, I want total transparency. Wait. You have to have transparency. Even they probably want transparency because this issue supersedes the party. It supersedes Republicans and Democrats.

So what I want from Rod, from the FBI, from everybody, we want transparency. And you know what, I think in their own way they are obstructionist, but even the Democrats I really believe on this issue, it supersedes. I think they want transparency, too.


PIRRO: Welcome back to the special edition of Hannity.

That was President Trump yesterday talking about what he wanted out of the high-level briefings that took place today between the FBI, DOJ and a bipartisan group of lawmakers about the Russia probe and a bombshell revelations that the FBI may have spied on the Trump campaign.

Back with us live from the White House, what happened to these briefings Fox News chief correspondent, Ed Henry. Ed?

ED HENRY, CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, FOX NEWS: Well, judge, good to see you. Despite what the president was saying there about Democrats they came out of these two meetings pushing a narrative that they say nothing new, in their words, there was no evidence that the FBI had actually -- to support the allegations that they had placed a spy inside the Trump campaign.

But the way they phrase that leaves the door wide open to the possibility that there was surveillance of the Trump campaign, just not officially people placed inside the campaign.

Republicans led by that man that you see there, the House Intel Chairman Devin Nunes saying tonight they can't discuss the classified info that came up of these meetings. But before the meetings I spoke to him by phone and Nunes lashed out at Justice Department officials saying they were are, quote, "weak and pathetic for sitting on this information for so long." he is still pushing for more information.

The president as you know for days now has been hammering James Clapper and James Comey, and other former intelligence and FBI officials for denying there was any surveillance. Clapper charging the president is twisting his words from a book tour when the president tweeted this morning, quote, "Clapper has now admitted that they were spying on my campaign, large dollars paid to the spy far beyond normal, starting to look like one of biggest political scandals in U.S. history. Spygate, a terrible -- spygate a terrible thing."

The president trying to brand it there and some of his allies on the Hill are pushing for the truth. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are a series of questions that need to be answered, and from my standpoint, the top priority of this investigation is to reveal to the public exactly what happened so we can restore confidence in both the FBI and the Department of Justice.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF, D—CALIF.: Nothing we heard today has changed our view that there is no evidence to support any allegation that the FBI or any intelligence agency placed a spy in the Trump campaign, or otherwise failed to follow appropriate procedures and protocols.


HENRY: Meanwhile, two powerful House Republicans Trey Gowdy and Bob Goodlatte said next month they are going to be bringing in three FBI officials for testimony about their handling of the Hillary Clinton e-mail probe. So you can see if you put that together with this long-awaited Justice Department inspector general report about how the FBI and Justice Department handled the Clinton investigation, the revelations are still going to be coming, judge.

PIRRO: All right. Thanks, Ed. And joining us now with reaction to Ed's report, the author of the book "The Russia Hoax." Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett and GOPAC chairman, David Avella.

All right, Gregg, I'll start with you. You know, the statements that there are serious questions that need answers. And now, Trey Gowdy pushing on hearings with the investigation of Hillary Clinton, the I.G. report coming out.


PIRRO: Everybody seems to be pointing to the fact that we don't yet know, but that it's not going to be good for the Democrats and the Obama administration.

JARRETT: Well, there are multiple players in the Obama administration, from the White House to the CIA director, to the DNI, to the FBI director, the list goes on and on. And they were all doing the same thing, they were all pushing a funny dossier to wiretap. And now we've learned that they were essentially spying. Spying takes on a myriad of different methods and one of which is to insinuate yourself into a particular venue to entrap somebody into saying something incriminating.

And it if was done for a political reason without proper legal justification, it's a violation of the law called abuse of power.

PIRRO: But when you talk about without proper justification, and obviously pursuant to the law, you've got Adam Schiff saying, there is no evidence of the spy in the Trump campaign. Spy is something capable of many interpretations.

James Comey calls out today and starts tweeting it's a human source.


PIRRO: Or a spy in the Trump campaign, is that there was a person in the campaign are watching from outside. Or otherwise, failed to use protocol. In other words, it's so Clintonian--


PIRRO: -- in terms of its interpretation. It doesn't mean anything.

JARRETT: They're drawing a distinction without a difference. If an undercover informant infiltrates a campaign, insinuates himself into conservations to gather evidence secretly, that's fine. Now you can call it other things as well but you have to have the proper legal justification to do it, and I'm guessing that they didn't have that.

PIRRO: Proper legal justification and if it's a presidential campaign, the attorney general herself, Loretta Lynch has to approve it. So either James Comey went rogue on this thing or Loretta Lynch approved it which shows the Obama administration is all over it.

But for the political aspect, David Avella, what do you think the American people were thinking? How is this going to play out politically?

DAVID AVELLA, CHAIRMAN, GOPAC: Well, they hear James Clapper talking about how the former director of national intelligence has an aversion to spying. Judge, it's kind of like the former director of the Food and Drug Administration saying they have an aversion to broccoli.

I mean, this wording that Washington likes to use is what makes most Americans shake their head. And then we find out news that you have the FBI trying to redact information that has nothing to do with national security.

Chuck Grassley, the senator from Iowa came out today saying they wanted to redact the fact that Andrew McCabe who Donald Trump fired paid $70,000 for a conference room table that they wanted to keep Congress from knowing about.

Now it's information like that that American saved well, wait a second. Maybe we do need to get more Republicans put into Congress so that we can get some spending cuts put under control and get Congress to rein in the spending that the Justice Department is doing.

PIRRO: You know, Gregg, when you talk about the, the politics of it, the spin and the turnaround with the liberal media, not really caring that there is a spy or human source, or someone who has paid an enormous amounts of money by the FBI. And we all know who the person is but we're not saying who he is.


PIRRO: It's just incongruous.

JARRETT: Well, it wasn't just the spying, but then they were obtaining without a court warrant using a rather devious clever device national security letters --


PIRRO: Security letters.

JARRETT: -- n order to obtain phone records and other documents. It just underscores that the people in the highest ranks of the government, the FBI and the DOJ are devoid of principle. They are unscrupulous individuals, they need a house cleaning.

PIRRO: Well, I don't think there's any question they need to housecleaning. And I'll go back to you, David. I mean, first of all, James Comey is fired. Andrew McCabe, the deputy director of the FBI he's out. They really had to push him out. Christopher Wray didn't want to out. Ribicki is out, chief of staff for the FBI. Baker is out, counsel for the FBI. Page of the Strzok-Page lovebirds, she's out.

I mean, right now, doesn't this signal to the American people that this is a cabal that is so corrupt that we have no choice but to recognize that the obama administration was an administration that was focus on making sure that Hillary Clinton won?

AVELLA: Yes. And you had Eric Holder who left the job as attorney general to go run an organization whose chief focus was to elect Democrats. That's what he is doing right now. His goal is to elect more Democrats to state and local offices around the country. He left the Obama administration to run this organization.

Add to that, you now have the constant drumbeat by Democratic congressional candidates that it's time for impeachment. And the more Americans hear about that -- and that's what's happening in these primaries. They are not nominating men and women who are out talking about job creation and how to keep the economy going, and how to bring down more regulations and increase trade opportunities, no.

What are they -- their message is all anti-President Trump, and the drumbeat for impeachment is going to continue, the closer and closer we get to elections as they continue to nominate more and more progressive candidates.

PIRRO: All right. And I have to go. But quickly, Emmett Flood being part of that gang of eight meeting today, he was seen with John Kelly. Any problems with that?

JARRETT: No, I don't really. It's curious I admit but I think it was a step in the right direction to have the meeting today. More of those meeting, but divulging evidence needs to be banned.

PIRRO: Well, hopefully that's the goal. Anyway, thank you. And coming up on this special edition of Hannity, President Trump is firing back at former FBI director James Comey and his disgraced former deputy Andrew McCabe.

Sebastian Gorka, Dan Bongino, and Tammy Bruce on that, and more, next.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is your reaction to James Comey?

TRUMP: Well, I'd actually say how is he going to explain to his grandchildren all of the lies, the deceit and all of the problems he's caused for this country?

I think a thing that I've done for the country, the firing of James Comey is going to go down as a very good thing. The FBI is great, I know so many people. The FBI is a fantastic institution. But some of the people at the top were rotten apples, James Comey was one of them. I've done a great service for this country by getting rid of him and by firing him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you have no problem explaining this to your grandchildren?

TRUMP: No, no.


PIRRO: That was President Trump at Fox & Friends talking about James Comey.

And joining me now with reaction is Fox News national security strategist, Sebastian Gorka, NRATV contributor and former Secret Service agent, Dan Bongino, and Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce.

All right. The three of you are great guests, I love having you all on tonight. But I'll start with -- I'll start with you, Tammy because she's with me--


PIRRO: -- and women before men, you understand that guys.

BRUCE: There you go.

PIRRO: OK. So why is it taking so long to get the information that we are trying to get and will we ever get it?

BRUCE: Well, look, they are stonewalling everyone because there's something behind. That's normally why you don't hand over something when you were supposed to have morally superior framework. You do that when you want to hide something.

But let's remember the president there, it's very comfortable, it's obvious. Because at this point, let's remember the context, every single prediction he's made has come true, including one of the earliest ones were he declared that his campaign was being spied on. He was mocked, he was ridiculed.


BRUCE: Clearly note now that has been confirmed. So people are underestimating the president, when he said something like that, and you should believe him. And he is correct. We've seen the behavior of Mr. Comey, decline, the nature of his book, the spy -- effectively the leaking of material that he wrote down with meetings with the president, all of these things indicate a man that had some problems.

And I will also note that Joe DiGenova has noted that there are individuals in the FBI who want to come and testify--

PIRRO: yes.

BRUCE: -- to talk about what's going on at the FBI, but they need to be subpoenaed so that they will have protections against the agency and Congress will pay their legal bill.

PIRRO: As whistleblowers.

BRUCE: This is just the beginning of whistle-blowers.

PIRRO: All right. So Sebastian Gorka, I mean, can the president himself be classified some of this information that we're trying to get and will that short-circuit the whole thing?

SEBASTIAN GORKA, NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGIST, FOX NEWS: Absolutely. He has classification authority, uniquely he is his own adjudicating agency as well. So what he needs to do right now is to order the declassification of every document relating to the cross fire hurricane operation which is political espionage against another party's candidate.

And on top of that, the most important thing that he can do right now at the stroke of a pen, he needs to pull the clearances of Clapper, Comey, Brennan and Hillary. These -- what are these people doing making comments on national television with still with clearances and picking up paychecks from CNN and MSNBC?

PIRRO: Wait a minute, Sebastian, hold on a second. These people are not in office anymore and they still have security clearances?


PIRRO: Is that for everybody? Does George Bush -- well, he's a president, I don't really care much about that. But what are these people doing with clearances? Is there a requirement that would be retention from them?


GORKA: That's the question.

PIRRO: No, is there a regulation?

GORKA: It's tradition. It's just -- it's just tradition that you keep it on to these spies.


BRUCE: Tradition.

PIRRO: Enough with tradition. Take their security clearance. Bongino, what do you have to say?


GORKA: Right.

DAN BONGINO, CONTRIBUTOR, NRATV: Judge, Jim told me he is in a world of trouble. two principal reason. Number one, he has yet to explain what I'm calling paragraph one. What do I mean by that? When I was a secret service agent you wrote a case report on a case, paragraph one says how that case started. I received a call about a stolen credit card, whatever it is.

No one has given us paragraph one on why they started a counterintelligence investigation against Trump. We've heard three different stories. Point number two, there are felony leaks in this case. There was on October 31st leak to the New York Times about the existence of the case before they disclosed it to Congress, and a leak to the Washington Post about the investigation to Mike Flynn.

I believe by the way that's why they're not declassifying everything because they may have a serious felony case against the leakers.

PIRRO: Tammy?

BRUCE: I agree. Yes, look, I think the irony of this is that they thought this Russia complaint was going to bring down Trump and what it's done is unlocked the doors to show us a level of corruption that none of us could have imagined.

And this is where, and again, the man, the right man at the right time. If anyone has got the discipline to see it through to face these individuals who had enormous worldwide power, it's Donald Trump.

So this is the man not just of the hour but a man of fate, and this is the time where we've got to be able to get this done. It's being handed to us. And this is nonpartisan, every individual has got to care regardless of your party regardless of what you think of the president.

PIRRO: All right. And Sebastian, I only have 15 seconds left. If this is the case and if this thing was started and they have lied -- while I'm not going to say they've lied but they have so many different starting points. It was July, now we know it's a spring. I mean, when is this going to be over? Do they try to just get in, in November and call it a day and impeach the president? Quickly.

GORKA: I think Robert Mueller is going to try and drop a report that will be used as a political weapon in the midterm, absolutely. But we have to have an investigation of the political espionage now, judge.

PIRRO: All right. That was good, that was just a few seconds. Thanks, guys.

And coming up, President Trump is doubling down yet again on something that's driving Democrats and liberals crazy. We'll play you the tape as the special edition of Hannity continues.


PIRRO: Welcome back to this special edition of Hannity.

President Trump doubling down on calling the MS-13 gang members, animals. Watch.


TRUMP: Everybody knows what's going on, these are vicious killers and they shouldn't be allowed into the country. The laws are horrible. We're bringing them out by the thousands as you know is setting, this is a record that I'm not even -- I don't even like talking about it, because it's so ridiculous.

They shouldn't be in the country. But we are doing from the standpoint of law enforcement, a great job. The Democrats are sticking up for MS-13. You heard of Nancy Pelosi the other day like trying to find all sorts of reasons why they should be able to stay. These are stone cold killers, vicious killers.


PIRRO: Unfortunately, that's all the time we have left this evening. Thanks for being with us. And don't forget, you can buy my book "Liars, Leakers, and Liberals." And I'll be back here tomorrow night filling in for Sean. Laura Ingraham is live next.

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