Coulter on Berkeley event: My allies gave in; Gingrich: GOP adjusting to no longer being opposition party

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This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," April 26, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Welcome to "Hannity." Tonight, Ann Coulter will not be speaking at UC Berkeley after sponsors now pull out of the event due to, quote, "security concerns." Now, this was scheduled to happen tomorrow. Ann will be here in just a minute to respond. Also tonight, Newt Gingrich, Maria Bartiromo, Juan William's and TMZ's Harvey Levin will all join us later tonight.

But first, the alt radical left, the destroy Trump media's plans to silence conservative voices -- this has got to be stopped once and for all. I'm saying tonight it's time to stand up, face this threat head-on. That is tonight's very important "Opening Monologue."

In all seriousness, we are at a turning point, a huge turning point when it comes to freedom of speech in the United States of America. I for one, I refuse to sit back and let conservatives be silenced by these liberal fascists. It's time to take a stand.

Now, radical snowflake liberals at UC Berkeley have succeeded, at least for now, in shutting down another conservative speaker, in this case Ann Coulter. She was supposed to give a speech on that campus tomorrow.

Now, it sounds simple, harmless, right? Free speech America, the home of free speech, Berkeley?

Not to these left-wing anti-free-speech fascists. Now, the alt radical left, they love to claim they're so tolerant and inclusive. That is just a big myth and lie, maybe the biggest in America right now. In fact, the First Amendment, freedom of speech, means nothing to these people. It's just a text and a document they care nothing about. Their goal is simple, shut down every single conservative voice in America by any means necessary. It's that serious.

Now, this is just one example in what we have been showing you this week. Liberal fascists are carrying out a well-orchestrated, funded smear campaign to try and take down President Trump and anybody and everybody that supports him and his policies.

And as I have explained, I've also become the target of these slanderous attacks, and in my opinion, what happened last Friday, this was designed to be a kill shot. In other words, to ruin my career, shut me down once and for all. Literally, I think they had the crosshairs at my head and my heart. They wanted to destroy me, ruin my career, get me off the air once and for all.

It's very, very important for you, the American people, to understand what is really going on here, and it's so much bigger than me or any one person. I want to use my example, though, to expose what's really happening.

Now, on Friday, just two days after Bill O'Reilly parted ways with the Fox News Channel, an individual with serious and glaring credibility issues fabricated completely untrue, ridiculous claims about me -- I think going back to, like, 2003, '04 or '05 -- which this person quickly recanted.

Now, instead of doing their job and fact-checking the accusations by this individual -- by the way, easily proven to be false -- liberal fascist journalists, lazy as they are, they saw an opportunity. "Oh, let's get Hannity next. Let's silence his voice."

Now, these are just two of the headlines of the money that were used to try and take me down. NBC News, "Sean Hannity denies right-wing blogger's sex harassment claim." By the way, none of them I think mentioned it was way back in the early 2000s. Raw Story -- "Is Hannity next to fall? Fox guest says the anchor tried to pressure her into hotel room sex." By the way, she didn't even say that, just as a sidebar issue.

Now, do these headlines represent the truth? No. And so far, none of these outlets, interestingly, have updated their headlines to correct the story and tell their viewers or their readers the truth, that this is a highly questionable individual who recanted these completely false claims.

Now, I have hired a killer team of lawyers and investigators, and we are laying out a war strategy that's going to hold every media outlet that lies and smears me responsible. My lawyers are saying that these media outlets have a basic, fundamental obligation to do rudimentary fact-checking instead of just taking the word of one individual. In my case, they went for the cheap headline without even doing a simple -- even a simple Google search -- which would have shown that this has gone on with this woman, false charges, for years, that were proven false!

Here's a question. Is this reckless disregard for the truth? Do these media outlets, do they have a responsibility to do any fact-checking before they repeat such hurtful allegations?

Now, in the end, I may end up suing some of these outlets because at this point, enough is enough. These attempts to destroy and silence conservative voices, it needs to stop or Fox News Channel goes away. Your favorite talk show hosts go away. You know, they want to get rid of the Fox News Channel, the one network in the country that actually gives President Trump a fair shake. They want to destroy everybody in talk radio.

And I feel at this point, if I don't speak up, if we don't fight back, it will only get worse and worse, and others will fall victim to these same liberal media fascists.

I've told you since 2007 and '08, journalism in America is dead. It's been that way for a long time. So stop pretending -- it's time to stop pretending because the facts show they are agenda-driven. They're lazy. They're biased. They have an ideological agenda. They seem incapable now of telling the truth.

And joining us now is the author of best-selling book, "In Trump We Trust, E Pluribus Awesome," Ann Coulter.

Good to see you. You did not cancel.


HANNITY: I want our audience to be very clear about this. And by the way, I give you a lot of credit because you know you're walking into the lion's den at UC Berkeley. You did not cancel. Tell us what happened.

COULTER: Well, Berkeley, as you know, all along, they've been changing their position every five minutes. It's like a game of musical chairs. And whenever the music stops, the answer is, No, she can't speak. My allies that (ph) I love were on the same side, but they ran away. They gave in. And then I was -- there was nothing I could do.

I think we had carried this pretty far. The final lawsuit, which is a great lawsuit, didn't request an order from a judge enjoining Berkeley to provide a speaking place for me. And the factual record was fabulous. The principle of the 1st Amendment -- I mean, the cases are legions. It's not like a president trying to put limits on who gets into the country. That's kind of something new for the country, not too new. But with the 1st Amendment, there are so many cases. And unless the judge was, you know, Howard Dean, I think we're winning that case.

But YAF wouldn't allow the TRO, the request for a court order to be filed to provide a room and security for me. And Berkeley's lawyers saw that and realized they're not serious, they were backing out.

But I mean, all along, YAF has been wanting to issue a sternly worded statement, rather than have me speak, starting with the requirements Berkeley put on -- you remember that. That was the first step of this -- that they would never put on a liberal speech. It had to be in the daytime. It had to be -- oh, only students. They wouldn't announce the venue.

And they kept saying, "Oh, this is outrageous. Let's issue a statement in." And I kept saying, "No, I want to speak. Just keep agreeing (ph). Just say, Yes, yes, yes." But at the end, YAF pulled out, said they wouldn't be associated with anything I did at Berkeley, and they wouldn't let the College Republicans bring a separate action, either. So -- I mean, even finding...


COULTER: ... which I did, finding funding, what can you do?

HANNITY: There's a great irony here. Berkeley is supposed to be the home of freedom of speech, the freedom of speech and freedom of expression. Do you agree with my point that there's a bigger issue here, that what I call liberal fascism...


HANNITY: ... and this intolerance towards any conservative -- look, there really is only one network that is fair to the president in terms of television, and it's Fox. You are friends with many of -- of my fellow radio talk show hosts. And I believe all of us are a target, as well.

Do you agree that this is now an orchestrated, funded effort? I know people are paid to tape my show four hours a day in the hopes that they -- I'll say something stupid that they can get me fired on. Do you think it's that bad. Is this a real, clear, present danger?

COULTER: That's fantastic. I hope they're listening to my segments...


HANNITY: So do I! They are. Don't worry!



COULTER: They might learn something...

HANNITY: And they're reading your columns.

COULTER: ... which the Berkeley students will not learn. Yes, although, I mean, I would say -- what I'm frustrated with right now is I think the GOP should change their motto to "Next time." We'll fight this next time. We'll show them how good we are this time.

No, we want to win now! Whether it comes to judges -- Ruth Bader Ginsburg gets -- you may Google it -- about 98 votes from the Republicans and Clarence Thomas 52, Gorsuch barely slips through. You have Donald Trump with -- he gives away DACA and then he doesn't get the wall. Well, that'll show them how good he is! What a good humanitarian by saying what a big heart he has for those Dreamers, the illegal aliens he promised to deport. Next time, we'll get them.

And now we have YAF saying, Well, we're going to strike a blow for the next speaker at Berkeley. No, I want to win now! Can Republicans ever win now?

HANNITY: Yes, I agree. Look, I'm as frustrated with Republicans in Congress. Finally, it looks like they have a deal on the health care bill. It took forever and it took the Freedom Caucus to get it done.

I want to circle back on this, though. I believe that one of the reasons you're so hated over the years, you're iconoclastic, you're funny, you're smart, and you represent a threat to the left because you destroy them in every book you write and every column you write. Similarly, if you support Donald Trump in the age of Trump, you're an enemy. You've got to be silenced.

This is not a game they're playing here. They want you destroyed. I honestly feel -- you going there, and I told you this personally, is a real danger because they're so crazy. So I just think this is getting bigger...

COULTER: Well, I must say...

HANNITY: ... and bigger and worse and worse in the age of Trump.

COULTER: ... there are...

HANNITY: Oh, it definitely is. I've given college speeches for years now. And it was bad during Bush. But -- and then there was nothing during Obama I think because I think college leftists didn't know what their chant should be. They needed a chant, like, Bush lied, kids died. And they didn't have a chant for it. So Obama years were -- those were the easiest thing ever.

And whoa, has it come back now! But I mean, I think what's going on with Berkeley, when you have -- it shows how radical the universities are generally. I mean, what you're talking about, I agree with. Yes, they want to destroy and squelch conservative speech.

But there is a separate issue with the universities right now. When you have Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Howard -- Bill Maher, Joy Behar, and so on and so forth -- when they're all saying, Oh, get over yourselves, Berkeley, we have a 1st Amendment -- people have fought and died for the right to free speech. Of the college Republicans really in this case, they're a student group. I'm not just, you know, some homeless person wandering onto the square and -- but I'd be allowed to speak then, too.

They are really outside the mainstream. They are publicly funded. Forget that this is where the free speech movement started. The amount of money they get from the state and the federal government, but all of the people who should have been standing up for the 1st Amendment here all ran away with their tails between their legs.

HANNITY: I believe it.

COULTER: And by the way, I do think it's possible that -- today is Wednesday -- Thursday -- the Berkeley campus will be the safest place on the face of the earth because so many people were flying in to defend me.

HANNITY: Oh, I give you a lot of credit. Maybe we ought to bring every conservative out to Berkeley, and we'll have a big conservative forum out there. And let's see how they deal with that.

Ann, I admire your courage. Thanks for being with us, sharing your story. Appreciate it.

And up next on this busy news night, this busy news week as we continue tonight on "Hannity"...


REP. PAUL RYAN, R-WIS., SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We will have a simpler tax code with fewer brackets. And we will have an IRS that exists only to serve the taxpayer. And we will continue to work to keep our promise to repeal and replace "Obama care."


HANNITY: Finally! Earlier today, the speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, said ObamaCare will, in fact, be repealed and replaced. A new poll shows Americans are not happy with the job of Congress and what they're doing. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich -- he joins us with reaction next.

And the Trump administration just took a giant step forward on reforming America's convoluted tax system and educational system. Tonight, we get reaction from Maria Bartiromo and Juan Williams straight ahead.


HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." So as President Trump works to get his agenda through Congress, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan held a wide- ranging press conference earlier today. Let's take a look.


RYAN: Today, the administration will outline its principles for pro-growth tax reform, which is a critical step forward in this effort. Pro-growth tax reform means that we will have lower rates. We will have a simpler tax code with fewer brackets and we will have an IRS that exists only to serve the taxpayer.

And we will continue to work to keep our promise to repeal and replace "Obama care" so that we can lower costs and create more choices for families. There's a lot of work left to do, but under the president's leadership, this unified government has made a solid start.


HANNITY: All right, Speaker Ryan is now under a lot of pressure to push through the president's agenda, and many conservatives are not happy with the job he's doing. Matt Drudge, for example, tweeted earlier today, "Paul Ryan's strategy is waiting for Pence to get sworn in as president."

And a new Wall Street Journal poll shows that Americans are very unhappy with Congress, as well. 72 percent of those polled disapprove of the job they are doing.

Here with reaction, author of the best-seller "Treason," former Speaker of the House, FOX News contributor Newt Gingrich, a rare in-studio -- I'd shake your hand, but I have the worst sickness, and I love you too much not to give it to you, How are you?


HANNITY: OK, I agree with Matt Drudge. There's no urgency. They were not prepared for repealing and replacing ObamaCare. Nobody saw the bill. They didn't build a coalition. And it's frustrating to those people like me that have -- for eight years, you've been saying you're going to do this. How are you not ready?

GINGRICH: You know, last year, the Packers had a terrible opening of the season. And about game six, you know...

HANNITY: Aaron Rodgers (ph) came on.


HANNITY: I know. I watched.

GINGRICH: And they turned it around and they came pretty close.

HANNITY: After eight years...


COULTER: First of all, this is what you don't understand, and I love you, but you -- look, for six years, they have had an opposition majority.


COULTER: They got up in the morning and said, How are we going to oppose Obama? And they talked about replacing this and doing that. But if you're the opposition, you think different.

All of a sudden in November, they became the governing majority with a president, and now they have a totally different job. And I think, frankly, they got caught flat-footed. I think Paul Ryan has said publicly they didn't understand how big the change was. It -- they made mistakes. My sense is they're probably going to pass the health bill in the very near future, maybe as early as this Friday.

HANNITY: But the Freedom Caucus, by the way, supports the health bill. They're now on board.

GINGRICH: Which is good.

HANNITY: That means it's done.

COULTER: Yes, I know, but look...

HANNITY: Let's vote on it!

GINGRICH: I know. So you're -- you're very excited because 40 guys who are conservative are going to support a bill which another 180 are also supporting!

HANNITY: OK, but -- but Paul Ryan didn't show anybody the bill. Paul Ryan didn't build consensus among the varying factions and coalitions within the House Republicans. That is fundamentally so flawed!

GINGRICH: Right. And so they're learning from that experience. I think Ryan thought he had showed them the bill because they had eight conferences going over the details. But people didn't think they had the right to have input. Well, nothing wakes you up quite as much as a really cold shower.


COULTER: And I think that Friday was a cold shower. I think they've learned a lot. I'll tell you this. I think they're handling the continuing resolution to keep the government open better because of the failure that Friday, including the White House. I think the White House...

HANNITY: I was shocked. Today, Ryan said, We're not going to fund "Obama care" subsidies.


HANNITY: I was actually happy. Good job checking (ph) his direction.

GINGRICH: Yes. They're working at it. I mean...

HANNITY: You have more patience than me. I am -- I where's the sense of urgency? I want the country -- we have 95 million Americans out of the labor force, 50 million in poverty and on food stamps.

GINGRICH: Right. Right. And you have a new president...

HANNITY: Who's doing the job.

GINGRICH: ... building a new team, and he's learning how to master the -- I think that's very important. He had 65 or 66 senators down the other night for a little reception, chat, get to know all of them, both parties. He had 100 -- I think he had 100 senators down today briefing on North Korea in the White House, bet them all in the room. We're all on the same team. You know...

HANNITY: I will tell you this...

GINGRICH: Trump will presently have a Trump majority in the House and Senate that will be substantially bigger than the Republican majority.

HANNITY: I don't -- I don't see any Democratic support at all for this president for his first four years. Do you?



GINGRICH: Well, first of all, on all the smaller bills, they're getting passed with bipartisan support. "Obama care" is a unique problem. You're going in at their guy's biggest accomplishment. You're knocking it off. Little hard to ask any Democrat to vote for it. But they're going to get - - they're going to get a huge vote of the Democrats on infrastructure. If they do it right, they're going to get a big vote out of the Democrats on tax cuts...

HANNITY: Are you worried about deficits, when you're talking about a trillion dollars in infrastructure?



GINGRICH: Worry about the idea of economic growth. If we get to Reagan- level economic growth, we'll mop up most of the deficit. I worry about cutting spending and reforming the government. I worry about deficit neutrality, not revenue neutrality. And I -- the government owns 77,000 buildings. Well, 20,000 of those have to be sellable. The government ought to be leasing energy and mineral rights. The government ought to be looking at a whole series of other opportunities to generate revenue. The government ought to be using an American Express, Visa, Mastercard model to cut out the fraud in health care, which could save $100 billion a year. That's a trillion dollars over 10 years!

HANNITY: Are you telling these things to the president?

GINGRICH: All the time, including right now.


HANNITY: Through me. I'm the vehicle?

GINGRICH: I don't know any...

HANNITY: I'm the medium here?

GINGRICH: One of the best ways to reach him is to be on your show.

HANNITY: Oh, OK. All right, we'll take a break. More with former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

And later tonight...



PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: ... put people back to work.


HANNITY: The president's tax plan unveiled earlier today. We'll will explain exactly what is in this, what tax cuts he is proposing. We have a mini monologue straight ahead. We'll get reaction from Maria Bartiromo, Juan Williams. And also later tonight, TMZ's Harvey Levin called out members of the mainstream media who pretend to be fair and balanced and say they're unbiased. They're lying to you. That's straight ahead.



HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity" as we continue with former speaker of the House and Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich.

You just ran through a number of ways we could save so much money.


HANNITY: You're like a one-man Grace Commission like Reagan had in the '80s. It's funny, Ted Cruz -- I love this idea. (INAUDIBLE) saying, Let's take El Chapo's $14 billion...


HANNITY: ... and let's build the wall.

GINGRICH: And you know, you could widen it and say any drug money confiscated from now until we finish paying for the wall all goes into the wall. So you have the drug dealers paying for the wall to stop the drug dealers.

HANNITY: Does that constitute as Mexico paying for the wall because he's in Mexico?



HANNITY: I think that's fair!

GINGRICH: It's the Mexican cartel. And Trump didn't define the Mexican government. But more importantly, I really commend Ted Cruz. This is a positive building block, moves us in the right direction. And I think it's really a very, very good step.

HANNITY: Let me -- I -- nobody in the media is willing to give this president credit. I mean, he's had a great 100 days in so many different ways. We'll put up on the screen -- we've been putting -- we have an originalist on the Supreme Court. I mean, he's moving forward with energy independence. He put sanctions on Iran, sanctions on Syria, Tomahawk missiles on Syria. He's getting along better than anybody dreamed of with the president of China. He's met the Saudi crown prince. He met with King Abdullah. He met with President el-Sis and Prime Minister Netanyahu. He's done a lot in 100 days.

GINGRICH: It's unbelievable. It's almost like watching John F. Kennedy in a sense. You have this guy who suddenly shows up. He is an energizer bunny. He moves constantly. The idea he has brought the Chinese as far as he -- of all the things he's done, the biggest surprise to me as the chemistry between him and the president of China.

HANNITY: Same here. Huge.

GINGRICH: I would have never dreamed of it. And yet apparently he said let's go talk. They talked for three hours. Next day, they talked for a couple more hours.

HANNITY: I heard they talked for four or five the first time.

GINGRICH: And they phone each other almost every day. That could be one of the great breakthrough moments. And of course nobody on the left is going to give him any credit.

HANNITY: China is now saying to North Korea, they are drawing a line in the sand with North Korea. They sent back North Korean coal. They put troops on the border. They're open to new trade talks with America so it's not a one-way street. That is a big deal.

GINGRICH: I think he has had a very good first 100 days. I think he's going to have a great time in Pennsylvania on Saturday night.

HANNITY: By the way, you've got to be proud of me. We've known each other since 1990. I have never been to a White House correspondents dinner, not one.

GINGRICH: I am proud of you.

HANNITY: I don't like them and they don't like me.

GINGRICH: And Callista and I are not going this year because we were disgusted with the person they picked who is viciously anti-Trump and anti- Republican, and stupid for the White House Correspondents. Why would you want to insult the president of the United States with your choice?

HANNITY: He is not going. Neither is anybody in his cabinet. I don't think there's anybody that likes him.

GINGRICH: I know you're a professional. Which do you think is going to get a bigger viewership, the Trump rally or the White House correspondents dinner?

HANNITY: It's 100 percent it is going to be the Trump rally. I can't wait to see the ratings if they go back.

All right, what do you think the Republicans need to do now to expedite this process. You've cut them more slack than I would cut them.


HANNITY: You are nicer than me.

GINGRICH: No. It's just I've done this -- it's like you are a real professional radio. I am a real professional --

HANNITY: What am I on TV, chopped liver?

GINGRICH: Radio and TV. You want both, give me a break. I am a reasonably professional guy.

HANNITY: I agree.

GINGRICH: All right. I keep saying, by the way, I'm not getting through to anybody on this. What they ought to do is move forward on the infrastructure bill because psychologically it brings Democrats and Republicans together which then makes it easier to get the Democratic votes on the tax bill. Those two they can pass on a bipartisan basis. They are going to will have to carry the heavy lift in phase one on ObamaCare. The next health bill which will come up next year they can get Democrats on. But you can't ask Democrats to help you repeal ObamaCare. It is psychologically impossible.

HANNITY: All right, so if you would say three years from now, Donald Trump, where is the economy going to be? Where is the country going to be?

GINGRICH: I am an optimist. And I also believe a lot in Trump. I think we're going to be in a Reagan style boom. I think that we are going to have a lot of people -- the work ethic will be back. It will be reestablished. I think you'll have dramatic reforms in government. By the way, again today, on the Monuments and Antiquities Act, what he did today was historic.

HANNITY: Same with education today, sending them back to the states.

If the president doesn't build the wall and they didn't fund it through the CR, and I trust the president, he seems to be keeping his promises. But if he doesn't build that wall that he campaigned so strongly on, would it be the equivalent of "read my lips, no new taxes" and go back on that?

GINGRICH: It would hurt him, but I think General Kelly is going to be in charge of getting the wall done.

HANNITY: So the wall is going up.

GINGRICH: And General Kelly knows how to do with the Congress. And frankly, let's say you are an Ohio Democrat and General Kelly comes in and says your kids are dying from Mexican heroin. I want to save your kid's life. Do you want your kids to die? Do you think that Democrat is going to say, oh, I going to vote no?

HANNITY: Well said. Mr. Speaker, we love having you in studio occasionally. It's great to see you.

GINGRICH: It's fun.

HANNITY: It's fun.

Coming up next tonight right here on "Hannity."


TRUMP: It's a great plan. We are going to put people back to work.


HANNITY: President Trump's tax reform agenda unveiled today, very important. We'll explain what the administration is proposing for you, what it means to the American people, the economy in our mini monologue tonight. And we will get reaction from Maria Bartiromo, Juan Williams. And also later TMZ's Harvey Levin calling out the, quote, "bullying traditional media" on being unfair towards the president, straight ahead.



TRUMP: It's a great plan. We are going to put people back to work.


HANNITY: That was President Trump earlier today talking about his brand new plan to reform America's convoluted tax system. Now the new proposal drastically cuts personal and corporate taxes, repatriates trillions of dollars in offshore corporate revenue right back to the United States. It is a huge, giant step forward in fulfilling yet another key campaign promise to you, the American people. That is tonight's mini monologue.

All right, so earlier today the Trump administration laid out four concise goals for tax reform. One, grow the economy, create jobs. Number two, simplify the tax code. Three, provide tax relief for American families. And four, lower the business tax rate from one of the highest in the industrialized world to one of the lowest.

Now, in order to achieve these goals, this plan will lower the number of tax brackets from seven to three with new brackets of 10, 25, and 35 percent, double the standard deduction for individuals and families, meaning that married couples will not pay taxes on the first $24,000 that they earn. The plan will also completely eliminate the death tax as double taxation. The alternative minimum tax is gone, and the ObamaCare taxes on business and investment income.

Now, all tax breaks with the exception of the mortgage and charitable gift deductions will be eliminated.

And finally, America's oppressive 35 percent tax on corporations will be lowered to 15. That's going to bring a lot of money back to America. And currently America's tax code is thousands of pages long, thousands. The new proposal introduced one piece of paper.

Joining us now with analysis, the host of the hit show primetime extravaganza that leads into this show, our friend Juan Williams, and also our friend, the host of "Mornings with Maria" on our sister network the Fox Business Network, Maria Bartiromo. I'm just guessing you like some of this.

JUAN WILLIAMS, SENIOR EDITOR, THE HILL: Sure, because I think we are in need as a country of tax reform. I think we need to simplify things. I like the idea that you could do your own taxes -- I don't you or I or Maria is going to do our own taxes.


WILLIAMS: But I do think that when people say, wait a minute, he really is going to do something for the middle class, that is very attractive. And as opposed to what we heard during the campaign which I think was more easily derided from my side of the street as a big giveaway to the rich, I think he is making steps here that aim at the middle class.

HANNITY: Maria, we still have 95 million Americans out of the labor force, the lowest labor participation rate since the 70s. We still have the lowest home ownership rate in 51 years. And 50 million Americans, our fellow Americans in poverty and on food stamps. People are suffering. I want that economic activity, I want those companies building factories and manufacturing centers.

MARIA BARTIROMO, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: I think you are going to get it and I think this is a catalyst for that. The truth is we have been watching business, the business sector in recession for the last decade. They have been unwilling to put new money to work in terms of hiring new people, new money to work in terms of investment. Putting this corporate tax rate at 15 percent I think is one of the most important parts of this plan because it's going to a unleash business that has been stagnant for the last decade. And it's going to basically tell small business, owned and operated businesses, you can invest and hire new people again.

Remember, the corporate tax rate at 15 percent is great, but the 15 percent rate for pass through business, these are small owned and operated businesses. They are coming down in some cases from 39.6 percent. Going 39.6 to 15 percent is a big deal.

WILLIAMS: Here is a contrary point of view.

HANNITY: We are done now. Thank you so much for being with us.


WILLIAMS: So the happy moment is gone because reality is --

HANNITY: We were doing so good at this point. Why?

WILLIAMS: I'm trying, I'm trying, but I couldn't help myself when I was listening to Maria because I think to myself that there lots of people who will say, wow, the Republican Party used to be the party that criticized Barack Obama for deficit spending. And here we have a tax cut proposal that is going to explode the deficit, and we don't even know by how much. And we are going to say oh, yes, go right ahead because it's a Republican.

HANNITY: Didn't Ronald Reagan through his presidency drop the top marginal rates from 70 percent to 28 percent?

BARTIROMO: That's right.

HANNITY: And didn't we double the revenues in the eight years he was president?

BARTIROMO: And that's the point. That's exactly what Reagan did. And that is what President Trump is trying to do, basically pay for some of this through growth. We are on the doorstep of getting a GDP report out, by the way. Economic growth is going to be under one percent for the first quarter, under one percent. He's talking about getting to 3.5 to four percent in the next couple of years as a result of this unleashing --

HANNITY: This plan is needed now more than ever.

BARTIROMO: More than ever, and it is a growth plan. The cost is something to watch for sure. And by the way, this is going to through lots of different changes because the House Ways and Means Committee will have hearings, the Senate Finance will have hearings, all of this stuff. By the end of the day it may look different and maybe it will be less expensive, but you have to pay sometimes in terms of growth. And that is what this plan does.

WILLIAMS: I think you are going to have the different permutations that you're talking about because there are going to have to be some negotiations. And with Donald Trump, the dealmaker, he starts at a point knowing that he is going to negotiate away. But when you come down to things like, oh, do away with the estate tax. You know what, let's make it possible for people who are now running small businesses to suddenly claim oh, no, I am not a corporation. I'm going to file as a corporation because that gets me a 15 percent break, that's a huge cost to the federal budget. And what do we see in terms of program cuts? Already, the Democrats are already saying there goes meals on wheels meals, there goes --

BARTIROMO: You can't say this is helping the rich, though, because they are taking away a lot of deductions that the highest earners typically enjoy. And so that's one of the issues --

HANNITY: Juan knows all about them. He uses every one of them. Juan is worried he's going to get hurt.

BARTIROMO: They're taking away all the deduction except charity and except the mortgage interest.

WILLIAMS: Taking away without the estate tax. All of a sudden --

HANNITY: It you already pay taxes on that money.


HANNITY: I've got to run.

WILLIAMS: I think people like Sean Hannity should have a chance to start. I don't think we have to put money in his pocket.

HANNITY: How about you let me decide. I pay 50 percent of, 50 cents of every dollar. I put you in my will. You're in my will. You just cut yourself off.


HANNITY: By the way, ending burdensome of regulation and energy independence is also a big part of this. All right, guys, good to see you. Don't forget, Juan and all my friends on "The Five," now primetime at 9:00 p.m. eastern. And Maria everyone on the Fox Business Network.

When we come back, TMZ's Harvey Levin calls out those in the mainstream media who pretend to be unbiased and fair and balanced and they are not. That's next.


HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." So earlier this week TMZ's Harvey Levin participated in a National Association of Broadcasters conference. Now, Harvey called out some members of the mainstream media, saying there anti- Trump coverage is, quote, bullying, and that some journalists are just pretending to be objective. Watch this.


HARVEY LEVIN, TMZ FOUNDER AND HOST: What I find unbelievable is the bullying in traditional media that I think there are some traditional media outlets that are getting ruined by this administration and ruined by their own deeds. If you put yourself out as somebody who supports Trump, or like an MSNBC, is against Trump, at least you get. You know what you're getting, but if you pretend like you are objective but you are not, and you are angry and you are trying to kill and bully, I think that is killing, and I don't think they know it yet but I think some of the trusted names in news are not trusted anymore because of this.


HANNITY: Joining us now with more, the man himself, TMZ founder, host Harvey Levin. By the way, do you still get paid to have that much fun on that show?


HANNITY: Because I watch you show, I can't believe you get paid to do that. Hang out with young people, joke around and take home a big check.

LEVIN: When your alarm goes off at 3:00 in the morning, Sean, then get back to me.

HANNITY: At 3:00 in the morning you guys are still out gathering material from all those dopey Hollywood people out at the bar drinking that night.



HANNITY: I don't even know what your politics are. I really don't. I like your show because it's very entertaining. But you are in Hollywood. I'm sure you have a lot of liberal friends. What you said here was so deep and profound. I think you're right. Some networks -- there is no pretense. You know who they are, what they are. People are smart enough. Fine, they can see what they want. But those that are pretending, there is a lot of those now. Their anger is so deep. Are they hurting themselves?

LEVIN: I think they are. And I just think based on what I have done for a living as a reporter for CBS and NBC in Los Angeles as well as other places including TMZ, I have really grown to believe very strongly that the public gets it, that they are really sophisticated. And when people kind of go back and forth and on the one hand they say we are this objective news source and then on the other hand they have an agenda, I think people kind of get it.

My thing, Sean is this. Look, I am really shocked that there is this feeling generally that -- especially with people who don't like Trump -- that you need to boycott him because if you don't boycott him, you are against us. And I think when you look at people like Kanye West, you look at Steve Harvey when they went to visit him, they got skewered as a result of that.

And the reason I think it's so ridiculous is if you are not in the game and you disagree with some things that Donald Trump says, and I do. There are things I disagree with that Donald Trump believes, but when you disagree, you get in the game. And if you can have access, gain access because this is a guy who clearly is capable of changing his mind when he is persuaded because he has done that in the last month. So get in the game. But for media outlets or others or people in Hollywood to say, sit on the sidelines, do not see him, don't try I think is kind of ridiculous.

HANNITY: It was interesting. I was trying to say that to Ted Koppel. People know that I am a conservative. There's no pretense here. I've been on the air at Fox 21-and-a-half years, radio, 30 years. Most people can learn pretty quickly.

Let me go back. You actually took this hour one night. I interviewed Trump a lot. And you did an interview and I watched your interview closely. I learned things about Donald Trump that I had not known. And he gave you incredible access that he hadn't really given many other people because you were just asking questions. Tell me about your father. What does this picture mean to you? Where did this come from? There was genuine curiosity and a genuine desire to learn.

LEVIN: I will tell you, Sean, that there are people who really criticized me for not because they said you didn't challenge him on various political views or social views. And my feeling was, you don't always have to challenge somebody. The idea for me at least was I want to learn about this guy. I want to figure out how he became the person he became today through his life experiences. But that wasn't good enough for some people who felt like every time you go in, it needs to be a mission to kill or else you fail. And that's a very narrow, myopic view of what people do when they interact with a president or a senator or a sports figure or a celebrity or anybody like that, that it's not just one size fits all. And I think for some of the media, it is one-size-fits-all. The idea is to challenge and go for the jugular.

HANNITY: Harvey Levin, TMZ. He gets paid to have fun. It's unconscionable. Everybody in America should have that gig. When we come back in, we need your help. Our very important "Question of the Day." We have some voicemails you left for me on the "Hannity" hotline. That's next.


HANNITY: Time for our "Question of the Day." So what do you think of the president's tax reform plan? I happen to like it. That is a path to growth, get rid of regulation, and on top of that energy independence. We get a lot of people back in the labor force, out of poverty, off of food stamps. We want your opinion,, @SeanHannity on Twitter, let us know what you think.

All right, hit me with your best shot. Time to play your messages left for me on the Hannity hotline.


LINDA: I think it is cool that you wear blue jeans. I love blue jeans. I used to wear them in all my jobs when I was in New Hampshire. But then in office jobs I couldn't. But I think it's cool. And I think your tie is just right. I don't care what the lady said about it being too the right.

RICK: I just wanted to say I think you are a man of the utmost integrity, and you've been instrumental and trying to keep the truth straight from the lies. I love your show and I watch you religiously. Let it roll off your back.


HANNITY: Everybody is being so nice. I wear jeans. See, in case you are interested. Can you pan back? Jeans every night. I hate suits. I don't even want to wear this tie. I'm jealous, Bolling doesn't have to wear one. It's not fair. I have been here longer than him. I have almost been here the longest.

Anyway, have something to say, nice, mean, doesn't matter, call the number on the screen, 877-225-8587. That's all the time we have left this evening. Hope you set your DVR never, miss an episode. Don't forget our new lineup, Tucker, "The Five," and we are here to wrap things up at 10:00 eastern. Thanks for being with us. See you back here tomorrow night.

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