Graham: President Trump rattled North Korea

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," February 27, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY,  HOST: All right, Tucker.

We're going to go -- Fox News alert -- we're going right back to the beginning of the summit in historic Hanoi, Vietnam.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT: Thank you all very much. We're going to start with our teams. Thank you all very much. Appreciate it.


TRUMP: No rush. No rush. We're just going to do the right deal.

Chairman Kim and myself, we want to do the right deal. Speed is not important. What's important is that we do the right deal. Thank you all very much.

REPORTER: Are you confident --


KIM JONG-UN, NORTH KOREAN LEADER (through translator): It's too early to tell. But I wouldn't say that I'm pessimistic.

For what I feel right now, I do have a feeling that good results will come out. Thank you.

TRUMP: Thank you very much.


HANNITY: As you can see, President Trump and Kim Jong-un of North Korea, as you can see, just fed live here in Hanoi, Vietnam. We have a lot going on tonight.

Now, this obviously building on the first summit that took place in Singapore where in the lead-up to that summit remember, President Trump after many, many, many months of rockets being fired over Japan, the threatening of Guam, the entire European peninsula and even threatening the Continental United States. Those rockets have stopped.

In the meantime, in the interim, hostages released and the remains of American brave soldiers sent home. What are the expectations for tonight? Well, nobody really knows. We do expect that there's going to be a joint signing coming up later tonight.

And this meeting is scheduled to go on for about 40 minutes. And when it wraps up, we will be bringing you reaction live. Also, I'll have an interview with the president that will air tomorrow night immediately following this show tonight.

Just here for a quick roundup of what you just heard, what we can expect. We have Fox News contributors, Dan Hoffman, Dan Bongino. And Hoffman, by the way, has been appointed to President Trump's intelligence advisory board, along with Fox News chief national correspondent, and Salem Radio "America First" host Sebastian Gorka, holding down the fort back in D.C.

First, congratulations. How many -- you've been in the intel community for how many years, 30?

DANIEL HOFFMAN, CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, about that, yes.

HANNITY: Amazing. And you scare the living daylights out of all of us when we travel. The -- what's so amazing about this -- and I'll get to the whole political side of things later, but what's amazing about this, this is about long-term safety, security for not just the Korean peninsula but for the entire area, our allies, better relations with China. A lot of good has come out of it and a lot more good can come out of it.

More importantly, when you're talking about hitting the continental United States, Boston, New York, with a nuclear weapon and what we were hearing before the first summit, this would be -- if we can get this thing accomplished, this would be major history.

HOFFMAN: Yes, just for a little bit of perspective, India and Pakistan, two sworn enemies, nuclear armed, are shooting down each other's fighter aircraft. And the last thing we want to do is miss this opportunity that the president has created to dial down the tension in our relationship with North Korea and put us on that path towards arms control as a pit stop and then denuclearization.

HANNITY: Yes. And, Dan Bongino, we get to the politics, but more importantly, the prospects of this -- that's why the petty politics going back in Washington where I can't imagine Republicans while President Obama were overseas negotiating something as important as the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and the Republicans put on this cartoon back in Washington, whatever you want -- circus? It was -- I know the outrage would be immediate, it would be universal.

But stay focused on what this could accomplished, what we expect.

DAN BONGINO, CONTRIBUTOR: But we have a lot of leverage right now. I think President Trump gets it. I think is business background and getting out of that foreign policy D.C. bubble being an outsider politics helps him. We have leverage, Sean. They're starving.

Remember, the North Koreans need something we can provide -- hard currency, economic growth. As I said repeatedly here, it's not just that they can't feed their people. I sincerely doubt Kim cares about that. But what he does care about is a ability with a verifiable, viable currency to pay his military. If you can't keep your military happy, it does you no good as a tyrant, as Maduro is find out now in socialist Venezuela, which is collapsing in front of his very eyes, and they've had mass defections.

They need hard currency. That's the symbolism of Vietnam matters to Trump. It was a genius idea to bring Kim here and say, hey, look what can happen when we normalize relations a bit. It was a smart move on his part.

HANNITY: The most important thing I think has to come out of any real deal that's going to be meaningful, Ed Henry, is it's got to be verifiable, it's got to be inspections on demand, it's got to be no closed off areas, and they've got to show some real progress in terms of taking down the nuclear threat.

ED HENRY, CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They do. But what Democrats don't want to admit is there's been progress already and that President Trump inherited this problem from Barack Obama. When president Trump came to office, the threshold that was crossed by the North Koreans that led President Trump to take all this heat, for talking about little rocket and fire and fury raining down from the U.S. military was because Kim Jong-un had passed the threshold of getting a miniature nuclear weapon and putting it in a missile. And as you said at the top of the show could potentially reach Boston, New York, Chicago. That's real. That is remarkable.

HANNITY: They were saying it.

HENRY: They were --

HANNITY: They were threatening.--

HENRY: They were testing.

HANNITY: They were testing over Japan.

HENRY: Testing, getting to a point where it appeared that they could get a miniaturized nuclear weapon into a missile and reach the shores of the United States. That's -- you can't get more serious than that.

And instead, the opposite has happened. They're now at the peace table and tensions have been ratcheted down. It doesn't mean that President Trump has solved this, you're right. We need it to be verifiable. It needed denuclearization, where inspectors go in and see what North Korea has and actually make sure that it ratchets down.

But let's remember how much progress the president's already made.

HANNITY: Great point. And obviously, they've got to be building on it or I don't think the president, and I have a lot of respect for the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would even better here.

You mention about real difficulties, how do you maintain an army if they're not being fed well. The real carrot seems to be, hey, America is going to open up the trade and lift economic sanctions which have not been lifted. And this is going to be wealth, opportunity, energy -- all these opportunities will now come to the North Korean people.

That is probably in the long-term best interest not only of the people, but if Kim Jong-un wants to survivor his long-term interests. And I want to go off of what Henry said. And that is, you know, think of what we played last night, little rocket man, fire and fury, my button's bigger than yours and my button actually works.

And everybody politically on the left, oh, no, it's like the evil empire. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall, and he's going to create a nuclear holocaust. Just the opposite happens. When you're not bribing dictators - - we know that Kim Jong-un's father, Kim Jong Il, was bribed by Bill Clinton and the mullahs in Iran.

BONGINO: And what's fascinating about this, Trump keep emphasizing there's no rush as the liberal media jumps all over him. But, Sean, you remember, Reykjavik with Reagan. Liberal media, oh, what a failure, what an abomination with Gorbachev.

HANNITY: He walked away from the table.

BONGINO: Over a word. They didn't agree to laboratory testing over SDI at the time.

HANNITY: Strategic defense.

BONGINO: Yes, what they called "Star Wars", where they're trying to take a shot at Reagan for it.

HANNITY: They were mocking it.

BONGINO: They were mocking it. They said what a fool. He had this great deal and he walked away. What happened a year later, 1987? INF was signed.

So Trump's playing this smart. I'm noticing it now, though, there's a slow turn. The hacks are going to stay the hacks. But some of the more semi rational people are starting to come around and say, this might not be as bad as we think it is.


HOFFMAN: I was going to say, you know, Vietnam, we've talked about this as a great backdrop for this historic summit. What really turbo charged Vietnam's economy was when we normalized relations in 1995. If there's ever a better I think example to North Korea which is an outlier and arguably one of the most economically vibrant regions in the world, this is it. And I think that's what presents us this outstanding authority.

Now, I would just echo what Dan just said. The president was very measured in his comments. He said, we're in no rush. I want to do the right deal.

That's precisely the way to begin these bilateral discussions today.

HANNITY: Let me go to Sebastian Gorka.

You know, a lot of people -- I've known President Trump for a lot of years, long before ever thought about, Dr. Gorka, running for president. One of the things he says in "The Art of the Deal," is up to the last second, you always must be willing to stand up and walk away from a deal.

You don't do a deal because you want a deal. You do a deal because it works for you. If it doesn't, you got to be willing to walk away.

SEBASTIAN GORKA, SALEM RADIO'S "AMERICA FIRST" HOST: Yes, it's one of the very first rules. I tell everybody you got to read the "Art of the Deal." One of the first things he said, you have got to be prepared to walk away from the table at any point. Never be so vested that they can have leverage over you.

Sean, can I tell you a quick story? I had a caller on my radio show today who was a Democrat. He said, today, I am becoming a Republican.

Why did he do that, Sean? Because he watched the Cohen testimony and he was absolutely disgusted. He said we have one man, the president, who's trying to bring peace and stop a nuclear war. And what are the Democrats doing? They're trying to sabotage it with this circus in D.C.

That man became a Republican today because of what the president is doing and what the left is trying to do to sabotage him.

You are right there. He's making history. And potentially, this is the first time in 66 years that we can bring peace to the Korean peninsula. Truly historic event.

HANNITY: Think -- if you're thinking about future generations -- wow, pretty powerful. When you're thinking about potential conflicts down the road and the magnitude of destruction of the weaponry we're discussing here, that would be pretty profound. Stay right there. I'm going to have a lot to say about what happened in Washington later in the program.

This meeting was scheduled to go on about 40 minutes. About 30 minutes from now, we expect it might end. What do we expect afterwards?

HENRY: Sure.

HANNITY: They met for dinner last night.

HENRY: And to your point, dinner last night, the president kicked it off and said, look, this is going to be quick. All the business will be on day two. Instead of being quick, they had dinner for about two hours or so.

That suggests, A, maybe some warm relations, getting to know each other more, but B, maybe starting to get some business done. What's going to be in this agreement?

About 9:45 p.m. Eastern Time, as you say, they're going to have an expanded group with the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and others getting in there. That's when you get into granular detail perhaps. And then about 11:45 back home, about noon here, you're going to have a working lunch, just like they had dinner last night.

We anticipate in the middle of the night, back home, there could be some sort of signing ceremony. That's at least what the White House is planning for.

HANNITY: Well, we expect a signing ceremony. And we're anticipating an official end, at least to the Korean War, which officially is not over.

HENRY: Right, decades later.

I want to make a quick point to follow up on what we said a moment ago, too. I did some research as we prepped. What were people saying at the beginning of the Trump administration about this problem?

Nick Kristof, "New York Times," April 2017, President Trump is scary in many ways. But perhaps the most frightening nightmare is of him blundering into a new Korean War. April 20th, 2017, "New York Times."

Here we are two years later and the opposite -- I'm not saying we're out of the woods. This is a serious, serious threat. What this president has done in the last year and a half or so has done just opposite --

HANNITY: This is history repeating himself. And you mentioned Reykjavik, we talked about, Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall, the evil empire speech, and even the axis of evil with President Bush, there is a very distinct difference when it comes to foreign policy. Bill Clinton tried, this is a good deal for the American people. He was trying to bribe Kim Jong-un's father, Kim Jong Il. And it didn't work and promises that were made were never kept.

There's got to be verification. There's got to be on-site, demand access or otherwise, it's impossible for any of this to work. It's sort of like fire, fury, my button's bigger than yours and it works, and little rocket man -- just mocking him for a time. Now saying they're in love.

BONGINO: I think IAEA access would be mandatory. And really I think a ground level entrance marker for succession. Let's get a count of what they have at this point. He's taking it slow. I like that there is no need to rush.

But let's see what they have and let's see their technical capabilities. There's uncertainty about what their reentry possibilities are on their missiles. That's something we need to know.

HANNITY: That's why we need Dan, before we go to my opening monologue.

HOFFMAN: Inventory is obviously really important. I think your point about inspectors, rejoining the nuclear nonproliferation treaty would be important, it's mandated if you're accepting that treaty.

And then one thing I would also look for is the establishment of working groups, because I think the president and Kim Jong-un will establish a broad agreement hopefully. And then these working groups will take on those issues over the coming months.

HANNITY: The media expectation, if it doesn't end this second, this isn't progress.


HANNITY: I think getting the remains back from the 1950s was profound, especially for the families of heroes. I thought getting hostages released, I'm always happy when Americans are coming home. And I also believe when the rockets stopped being fired -- amazing, you know, that a little bit of strength and commitment and maybe a healthy dose of fear.

HENRY: What about Susan Rice saying today from the Obama administration that maybe the Iran nuclear deal is a good model for President Trump. Does anyone think that's a good idea?

HANNITY: I can see President Trump, he's going to take Air Force One with $150 billion, land it here, right in North Korea, Pyongyang.

HENRY: A slightly different approach on the ground in Vietnam.

HANNITY: The $150 will buy you a lot of peace for about a week. And that's about it.

All right. We'll get back to all of you. Thank you so much.

We expect updates within the hour. It has now officially begun. President Trump/Kim Jong-un, the summit now in progress. But we begin with a little later opening monologue.

I want you to remember this day and for this reason, because what took place today is a defining moment both here in Vietnam and back in Washington in American politics because what we're witnessing are two radically, distinctly different agendas that have been now laid bare for all to see. At the very same moment, as you can see, a historic summit with the president of the United States who traveled 20-plus hours to Vietnam for a second summit negotiating a safer world for our kids and our grandkids.

What were the Democrats in Washington doing? They purposely scheduled and hauled in Michael Cohen, day two, today, of course, televised the entire day of testimony, and one more day tomorrow. Why? Just to embarrass the president they have this psychotic hate for.

On the very day the president is holding this historic high stakes summit, think of your kids here, what -- how profound in the future this may be for your kids or grandkids. The denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, no more rockets being fired all over that part of the world, threats to here, threats to Guam -- House Democrats, they had a more important agenda. They want to embarrass the president while he is now in negotiations and put on a circus, a spectacle in Washington, D.C.

So, I want you to just embrace the magnitude of this, this moment, because Democrats clearly are showing their true colors. This should be a day no red, no blue, no conservative, no liberal, no Republican or Democrat. It's about safety and security for all of us.

You know what? If a rocket hits some country, innocent people die, well, and we could have stopped it. Because we now have clear evidence revealing exactly what they care about and what they don't care about.

Make no mistake about this. Safety and security of we, you the people, is certainly not at the top of their list. Instead, they would have put off these hearings until the next week. Instead, this insatiable hatred of the president, it now consumes all of their actions, all of their thoughts as I've been saying, every second, every minute, every hour of every day of every month, and frankly every year since 2015 and Donald Trump came down that escalator in Trump Tower.

And what we're seeing in Hanoi is an American leader fighting to make the world a better, safer place. What we saw in Washington all day just hours ago, nonstop was a Democratic Party, a hyper ventilating, hysterical media putting politics over country with a political charade designed to just embarrass and trash the president while he represents our country abroad.

I thought politics stopped at the, you know, border's edge, right? No. That's why the House Oversight Committee called on Michael Cohen, who was just convicted of lying to Congress, to once again testify now before Congress. And it was just petty, partisan politics. It was a circus.

Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan put it so well earlier today. Take a look.


REP. JIM JORDAN, R-OH: What did you talk to Mr. Schiff about? Mr. Chairman, here we go. Here we go. Your first big hearing, your first announced witness, Michael Cohen.

I want everyone in this room to think about this. The first announced witness for the 116th Congress is a guy who is going to prison in two months for lying to Congress.

Mr. Chairman, your chairmanship will always be identified with this hearing. And we all need to understand what this is. This is the Michael Cohen hearing presented by Lanny Davis. That's right. Lanny Davis, choreographed the whole darn thing. The Clinton's best friend, loyalist, operative, Lanny Davis put this all together.


HANNITY: Can you imagine if the president gets this accomplished? Wow. Some people might say he deserves a Nobel Peace Prize more than Obama.

Now, Congressman Jordan was right on. This is nothing more than a political stunt, a hit job, a circus, highly orchestrated by, yes, the biggest Clinton supporter on the entire earth, Lanny Davis, who is apparently representing Michael Cohen for free, along with Democratic members of Congress and, yes, Michael Cohen himself.

Here's the evidence. Let's take a look.


JORDAN: What did you talk to Mr. Schiff about?

MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER TRUMP LAWYER: I spoke to Mr. Schiff about topics that were going to be raised at the upcoming hearing.

JORDAN: Whoa. Not just what time to show up? Actually what you're going to talk about?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The gentleman's time expired.



HANNITY: Oh, now we tell people what we're going to ask them ahead of time so they can prepare all their answers. Lying Adam Schiff, the biggest liar in Congress. He was caught colluding again. Remember the tape of him while talking to somebody who he thought was a Russian, given them dirt on Donald Trump? Sounds like collusion.

Now, also, Congressman Jordan got to the heart of why the president's former personal attorney is now participating in this political hit job against his former boss, a whole sad saga.

Watch this.


JORDAN: Mr. Cohen, how long did you -- how long did you work in the White House?

COHEN: I never worked in the White House.

JORDAN: That's the point, isn't it, Mr. Cohen?

COHEN: No, sir.

JORDAN: Yes, it is.

COHEN: No, it's not, sir.

JORDAN: You wanted to work in the White House.

COHEN: No, sir.

JORDAN: You didn't get brought to the dance.

COHEN: Sir --

JORDAN: Now --

COHEN: I was extremely proud to be personal attorney to the president of the United States of America. I do not want to go to the White House.


HANNITY: Now, there are multiple sources that Michael Cohen was, in fact, wanting a job, and lobbying for a job at the White House. Southern District of New York who prosecuted Cohen, they stated, quote, the following: during and after the campaign, Cohen privately told friends and colleagues, including in text messages that he expected to be given a prominent role and title in the new administration. And think about this. That means under oath that people cared more about their agenda, Michael Cohen is already going to jail, and they put him at further risk for further charges down the road.

Now, that was not the only inconsistency. He also said that the president didn't want to win the election at all, but then later said that Trump wanted to win at all costs and even hinting at collusion without any evidence. He accused the president of campaign finance violations as it relates to Stormy Daniels, also said that the payment was intended to protect to his brand because it was a marketing campaign, because running for president was just one big marketing campaign. It's a marketing campaign. The only collusion might have been, oh, Trump Tower Moscow which everybody knew about and so much more.

Take a look.


JORDAN: We know Mr. Cohen has been dishonest in the past. That's why he's going to prison in two months. But there are things today that he said during the several hours of questioning that just don't add up either. He said he never defrauded any bank. He was having a conversation questioning from Mr. Colmer (ph). Obviously that's not true because he's going to prison for that very offense.

Your first big hearing, the first announced witness of the 116th Congress is a gentleman who is going to prison in two months for lying to Congress. I don't think that's what we should be focused on.


HANNITY: By the way, Fox News just got word there might be a walk in just near minutes with the president and Kim Jong-un as this summit is now under way here in Hanoi in Vietnam.

Now, here's the problem. Democrats don't care one bit about Michael Cohen and his family, not at all, because they were the ones calling him every name in the book until fairly recently. Now, as a result of their partisan hatred of Trump, they don't care about Michael Cohen, they don't care about his family, and they may have put him in further legal jeopardy with the Southern District of New York that seemed pretty mad at him already, on issues involving inconsistencies.

For nearly seven hours under oath at the request of House Democrats, Michael Cohen was, frankly, used by Democrats on this historic day to advance what is now a psychotic hate Trump mob that exists in this country. Yet during all the testimony, we saw no evidence of Trump/Russia collusion, we saw no evidence of crimes committed by the president. Nothing.

In fact, Michael Cohen himself actually shot down some of the hate Trump media mobs favorite conspiracies. I'm sure this is hurting them a little. Watch this.


COHEN: The questions have been raised about whether I know of direct evidence that Mr. Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia. I do not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you ever been to Prague?

COHEN: I've never been to Prague.


COHEN: I've never been to the Czech Republic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you aware of anything that the president has done at home or abroad that may have subjected him or may subject him to extortion or blackmail?

COHEN: I'm not, no.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Are you aware of any videotapes that may be the subject of extortion or blackmail?

COHEN: I've heard about these tapes for a long time. I've had many people contact me over the years. I have no reason to believe that that tape exists.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, you had a conversation with the president of the United States about your impending testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, is that correct?

COHEN: That's correct.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was the nature of that conversation?

COHEN: He wanted me to cooperate.


HANNITY: There you have it. The media's Russian collusion hysteria, two long years, total B.S. by their new BFF. Nothing more than a conspiracy theory.

And just like we've been telling you, but there is real Russia collusion as we've chronicled. We won't go into that tonight.

Without a doubt, Michael Cohen has been through a lot. And Michael Cohen pled guilty to multiple felonies. He's lost his law license. He's now facing three years in prison.

There is absolutely nothing for him to gain from today's political theater and the question is, why would Democrats -- they didn't have a political agenda -- open up Michael Cohen and his family to even greater risk? You saw all of that play out today in real-time.

Look at the House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows issuing a criminal referral over Cohen's testimony today. Great job, Democrats, you really helped out your friend. Take a look.


REP. MARK MEADOWS, R-N.C.: Did you have foreign contracts over the last two years?

COHEN: Foreign contracts.

MEADOWS: Contracts with foreign entities. Did you have that?




MEADOWS: Why didn't you put them on the form? Nothing to do with lobbying. It's just a criminal offense to not list all your foreign contracts. That's what it says.

COHEN: Then I'm going to take a look at it before I leave.

MEADOWS: You know, it's just one more example, Mr. Cohen, of your skirting the truth.


HANNITY: Now, Congressman Meadows will be with us later in the show. But look at what the Democrats, because they so want to smear President Trump, think they care about Michael Cohen and his family. Now, he's facing more legal issues, more trouble for his life and his family. And that's no concern to the radical far left Democratic Party, the ones that are so compassionate, willing to smear, slander, besmirch around anybody, anyplace, anytime.

Try radical socialist Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, remember, actually implying that Congressman Mark Meadows was a racist for bringing an African-American former Trump Organization employee to the hearing to vouch for the president. An incredibly exchange also showed a lot about the chairman of this committee right now, Elijah Cummings. Take a look at this.


REP. RASHIDA TLAIB, D-MICH.: The fact that someone would actually use a prop, a black woman, in this chamber in this committee is alone racist in itself.

MEADOWS: Mr. Chairman, there's nothing more personal to me than my relationship. My nieces and nephews are people of color. Not many people know that. You know that, Mr. Chairman.

And to indicate that I asked someone who is a personal friend of the -- the Trump family who has worked for him, who knows this particular individual, that she's coming in to be a prop? It's racist to suggest that I ask her to come in here for that reason.

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS, D-MD: Mr. Meadows, you know -- and of all the people on this committee, I've said it and gotten in trouble for it, that you're one of my best friends. I know that shocks a lot of people.

MEADOWS: And likewise, Mr. Chairman.

CUMMINGS: Yes, but you are. I would do -- I can see and feel your pain.

TLAIB: Mr. Chairman, and to my colleague, Mr. Meadows, that was not my intention. I do apologize if that's what it sounded like, but I said someone in general.


HANNITY: yeah, she was talking about Mark Meadows and wouldn't admit it.

By the way, what incredible, I don't agree with Congressman Elijah Cummings, incredibly grace, class, what a moment for him and Mark Meadows. Now, is that, by the way, the same congresswoman that called the president a mother bleep during the rally, the same person who pals around with Linda Sarsour, a virulent anti-Semite, and actually wrote a column for Louis Farrakhan's newspaper?

She represents all that is wrong with today's modern, extreme, radical Democratic socialist party. It's their actions, their conduct, their beliefs couldn't be anymore disgraceful. It's a party consumed by hate, radical ideas. They can't even put politics aside at the water's edge, for one week and support this vitally important mission of the president abroad.

The party now embracing socialism over capitalism, a party supporting an insane Green New Deal over real life prosperity of the American people, a party voting against a bill that would protect babies born alive that survived an abortion, a party that wants to abolish ICE, even knock down the wall that protects us. We still get 90 percent of heroin in this country. They want unfettered illegal immigration, open borders.

A party that trashed your right to due process unless it impacts a member of their own party, in other words, Kavanaugh versus the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. A party that doesn't value the rule of law, Constitution, our way of life that has created wealth, happiness, prosperity for more people than any other governmental system in the history of mankind, and we have shared it with the world.

A Democratic Party, this was a national disgrace today, what we saw in Washington. Joining us now -- by the way we expect any moment, by the way, the President and Kim Jong-un will be stepping out. When they do we'll go to that. We won't take your time.

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows is with us. Congressman, I know you as well. First of all what class did the Chairman showed their?

REP. MARK MEADOWS, R-N.C.: He's a good friend and he's--

HANNITY: I thought it was a great moment for him and for civility, even when you have strong political disagreements.

MEADOWS: I totally agree, Sean. And Elijah and I have been working on the things that we can agree upon. But today he certainly came to my defense and I appreciate it. And I don't mind saying that not only is he a friend, but he was a gentleman today in the way that he came to my defense.

HANNITY: I thought it was a pretty amazing moment. All right. Now, as I've been saying, I watched this unfold and I'm thinking, wow. On the day the President -- we have a live shot up. There's a John Bolton standing by along with Sarah Sanders. And we watch this unfold while the President is here negotiating this. Let's get your reaction. And they put Michael Cohen in major legal jeopardy as evidenced by your criminal referral today.

MEADOWS: Yes, so it's not just the criminal referral that I put forth today, there's probably another criminal referral coming. Jim Jordan and I that -- he did a masterful job today and really getting to the truth, we're working on that -- our staffing is working on that tonight. Hopefully, we'll have some additional news tomorrow.

But here's the other interesting fact. A lot of people tonight are humming dingdong the witch is dead, because the witch hunt. The Russia collusion narrative, it was thrown out there over and over and over again and what happened was there was nothing there.

And so for this this unbelievable hearing today, there were a lot of opportunities, afforded this particular witness, that shouldn't have happened. He had a 30 minute opening. I don't remember any witness that we're having a 30 minute opening. It was all trying to spin a narrative to start the impeachment process.

HANNITY: You know one -- one of the -- one person that was lied about repeatedly in Hillary Clinton's bought and paid for Russian dossier was Michael Cohen and the President, they share that in common.

And to have that debunked and then look at it through the prism of it being the bulk of information for four separate FISA warrants, the warning by Bruce Ohr that is unverified, that Hillary paid for it and Steele hates Trump. And that it was used to deny the constitutional rights of an American citizen, and spy on an opposition party candidate in a presidential election year.

MEADOWS: Well you're exactly right. Senator Graham was mentioning this earlier this evening is, when you look at Prague and what was said, I mean, Michael Cohen said he'd never been to the Czech Republic and that was part of the dossier.

What we find is the more we peel back the onion, the more we realize that not only the dossier was not truth, but it was blatantly false. And so really, I think, most Americans saw today for what it was.

This was a Democrat really theater that was created to try to make sure that the President had as much injury as he possibly could while he's negotiating in Vietnam on probably the most important national thing we have.

HANNITY: If it was the Republican Party doing this to Barack Obama, what do you think the media, the Democratic reaction would be, if let's say Barack Obama was in a situation where he was negotiating such an important deal?

MEADOWS: Well, it would be a totally different standard, Sean, you know that. I think the real key for any of us as statesmen is when we have our President abroad, we shouldn't be criticizing him. We shouldn't be trying to lay out and undermine his credibility. But that's exactly what happened today and I think it's a sad day for America.

HANNITY: President -- well, politics is supposed to end at the water's edge, not today. Today was a national disgrace for them to schedule this during this time. They could have waited. They purposely did this and sad for them and the American people get to see two different competing visions for what the future the country is on a lot of these issues.

Congressman thank you for sharing your time with us today. And a great moment, I thought for two people that have political differences, both you and Congressman Cummings, and I applaud you both for that.

MEADOWS: Well, thank you, Sean. Take care. We were hoping for the best today.

HANNITY: Everybody should be.

MEADOWS: That's right, should be something for everybody. We bring in now Senator Lindsey Graham from the great State of South Carolina. Senator you were extremely outspoken today about what was happening in Washington versus what we now see unfolding live at this very moment, which is Kim Jong-un, President Trump now negotiating the denuclearization of the entire Peninsula, your thoughts.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C.: It's disrespectful to President Trump and undercut our foreign policy. I talked to President Trump last night. He didn't appreciate very much having this hearing while he is trying to get the North Koreans to give up their nuclear arsenal.

I can only imagine if we'd pull this stunt what would be happening to us on every major network in country, so I'm very disappointed.

HANNITY: Senator, if I may -- if I can -- there is -- so Kim Jong-un and the President, they spent about well 34 minutes or 37 minutes alone together, as Ed Henry just told those moments ago that they're now going to bringing in, Ed their teams?

ED HENRY, CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, these are their interpreters walking with them. This is the pool at the historic Metropole Hotel. And they are going to be walking over to the expanded group. And there they are with--

HANNITY: With Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his counterpart--

HENRY: And his counterpart on the North Korean side. We expect maybe someone like Mick Mulvaney, John Bolton, who we saw waiting just off stage. Left there a moment ago, might join as well.

So this is -- they're -- all just about almost on time. They were talking about 9:45 a.m. local time here 9:45 p.m. Eastern back home, that they would be having what they call an expanded bilateral meeting with the--

HANNITY: I don't know pictures if you can interpret it, but lot of smiles, lot of personality. Look, you can see Kim Jong-un is -- seems very relaxed. It's very cordial.

HENRY: President said a few moments ago when reporters were there. I wonder if Chairman Kim is willing to say what he said to us at dinner last night. I'm going to let him decide whether he's going to say it publicly. He didn't quite get there. He just said something very general, Chairman Kim, about how he expects positive results.

But you can clearly read that President Trump -- you'll have a chance in the interview, to ask him, suggested that at dinner last night Chairman Kim went much further in private than he has in public.

HANNITY: Lot of times Dan Bongino -- lot of these things, as you could see, they're now walking in with the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his counterpart from North Korea. Oftentimes they were predetermined outcomes.


HANNITY: Not necessarily here, except for maybe ending the Korean War.

BONGINO: Yes, matter of fact, most of the time bottom-up diplomacy is exactly how it occurs. You have lower-level bureaucrats' layout the groundwork for a meeting before it ever gets to the level of President. He's taken it in a different direction. He said we're going to handle this from the top.

HANNITY: Let me go back to Senator Lindsey Graham back in Washington. It's so deep and it's so profound Senator, the potential that what can happen here. Look, I'm not Pollyannaish. We know that we've got to have -- this has got to be a verified deal. There's got to be open access and inspections on demand or else it's not going to work for anybody.


HANNITY: But it's important.

GRAHAM: Yes. Well, the question is why are we having this meeting. I mean, why is Trump meeting with North Korea when North Korea wouldn't meet with anybody else? I think President Trump rattled North Korea. I think they believe that President Trump would use military force to stop their nuclear missile program, if he had to. He took them seriously and Trump's giving them a way out.

Chairman Kim, if you're smart, you'll take the way out given to you by President Trump. If you're actually trying to play the guy, you're going to regret this effort.

HANNITY: It's so funny, I mentioned the -- having known the President for over two decades, you have some insight into his thinking. In my personal opinion -- this is just purely speculation -- that we were likely, just one, two, three rockets away from the United States taking that out of the air and a major escalation.

GRAHAM: OK. I talked to President Trump about couple hours ago right before he went to meet with the North Korean leader. I talked to him all last year the fire and fury rhetoric was sincere. If the North Koreans believed that if they'd fired another missile, they were going to get attacked. They were going to get attacked and here's what I would say.

The President's giving them a chance to maintain their security, increase their prosperity and in return he wants them to give up their nukes. This is the last best chance for peace. If this doesn't work, we're not going back to the status quo.

So everybody in America and the world should pray for a good outcome here. But the reason that Kim is at the table, he believes that Trump is hell- bent on stopping him one way or the other. And the best way is a win-win.

HANNITY: So as -- there's always the expectations and Dan Bongino, it thought brought up a good point. When Reagan walked away from the table at Reykjavik, yet the media went insane. When Reagan talked about the evil empire, they went insane. When Bush talked about the axis of evil, they went insane -- when he challenged Gorbachev to tear down the wall.

There seems to be a pattern. We've been around too long. But there seems to be this pattern and that is that the Democrats feel -- and it's just I find it Neville Chamberlainish and Pollyannaish and naive, and frankly dangerous, that somehow if they bribed dictators and the world's despots.

Bill Clinton tried it with Kim Jong-un's father Kim Jong-il and we know that Obama tried it with the mullahs in Iran. Oh, if we give you $150 billion in cash and other currencies maybe you'll like us. No they're still chanting death to America and threatening to annihilate Israel and wipe it off the map.

But strength seems to get their attention, and I believe that you're right. The President absolutely was believable in the hearts and minds of the North Koreans and Kim Jong-un.

GRAHAM: All I can tell you is if Susan Rice gives you some advice, Mr. President, don't take it. The Iran deal has not worked out well for everybody--

HANNITY: Everybody here is laughing.

GRAHAM: Yes, well. So the bottom line is, if a guy's threatened to cut your throat, don't buy him a knife. John Kerry walked through glass to get a crappy deal with Iran. Trump is smart enough to get out of that deal. And he says I'm not in a hurry. I want a good deal. I want a real deal.

A real deal with North Korea is they give up their nukes. We end the Korean War and we have peace and prosperity for everybody on the Peninsula. A bad deal is to continue for North Korea to build up their nuclear forces and Trump's not going to let that. He's called the question to North Korea.

HANNITY: You want to make the media's head spin? You want to the "Hate Trump Mob" to go insane right now?

GRAHAM: It's not that hard.

HANNITY: I have -- now Obama got a Nobel Peace Prize for nothing for just showing up--

GRAHAM: For not being Bush.

HANNITY: OK. Yes, exactly. So imagine -- let's hope for the best. I thought liberals imagine a world without nukes. All right, how about a world with fewer nukes to start? Imagine they get this deal done and it's verifiable, on demand inspections. And imagines, are they going to have to now meltdown? People may actually have real heart attacks, if somebody says if it happens, maybe Trump gets the Nobel Peace Prize.

GRAHAM: A world in which Donald Trump--

HANNITY: --would be a good thing for the world and our kids.

GRAHAM: A world of which Donald Trump gets the Nobel Peace Prize is probably more dangerous in the eyes of the liberals than North Korea having nukes. But the point is, that he's on the verge of a breakthrough, I hope, but he is not going to let this go forward the way it's been in the past.

Either we're going to have peace or we're eventually going to have a military conflict. I think North Korea realizes that's the two choices they have.

HANNITY: All right. Senator, thank you. I know -- and you're right about what happened today. What a dramatic comparison. How shallow, pathetic and frankly sad. Thank you so much for being with us.

Now while the President is right here in Hanoi in Vietnam pursuing peace denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, to create what a safer world potentially for your kids and grandkids, Democrats back of Washington, we saw grandstanding over what? Phony Russian collusion, something they talked about for two years.

Their newly embraced best friend, who they hated up until recently, Michael Cohen, the circus, the sideshow all day long, as the President's here. Geraldo Rivera pointed out, "The backstabbing, personal betrayal of Trump will fail". Sara Carter wrote the headline that "Michael Cohen's testimony read like a jilted lover". John Solomon even compared it to the famous song "Don't cry for me Argentina".

Joining us now is all three of them, Fox News Investigative Reporter Sara Carter, John Solomon from The Hill and Fox News Correspondent Geraldo Rivera -- Geraldo-at-large and best-selling author. Geraldo, let me start with you. You're so passionate about this. You saw this go on today. It didn't have to happen today. They want to play politics, OK, not today.

GERALDO RIVERA, CORRESPONDENT-AT-LARGE: I think it was pathetic the timing, as you used the word shallow and pathetic, I absolutely agree with that Sean. They easily could have postponed to 48 hours, 72 hours to let the world focus on this profoundly significant event.

But there's something that I need to tell people that they have to be reinforced about. A week ago, McCabe -- the Former Acting Director of the FBI was promoting his book, saying that it was possible that the President of the United States was a traitor, was an agent of the Russian Federation. He said it was possible. He was as the question repeatedly. It was possible, possible.

So he had President Trump being suspected of treason just a week ago. Now where are we? Zero, nada, none, absolutely -- absolute this much evidence of collusion with the Russia. There is no Russian collusion. It is a fantasy and it is about a time --

HANNITY: Look what he said about--

RIVERA: --we -- go ahead, Sean.

HANNITY: Yes, not it's about -- finish that thought. But, it's about time, I'm sorry.

RIVERA: No, I just think that when you consider how far we've come in just a week. Now we have Michael Cohen saying there's no collusion. We have Michael Cohen saying he was never in Prague, Czechoslovakia. We have Michael Cohen saying that he was never told by President Trump to lie about the timing of the negotiations for the Moscow Tower. This thing is over, let's get it behind us.

Now it's all going to be about Stormy Daniels. You're going to see how MSNBC and CNN go seamlessly from Russia collusion to all we paid off the porn star. It is pathetic.

HANNITY: Yes. It's pathetic journalism's dead and two years of lies, hysteria, conspiracy theories, oh never mind let's just go on to the next conspiracy theory. "Don't cry for me Argentina", jilted lover. Sara Carter, John Solomon, I'll start with both of you. John?

JOHN SOLOMON, THE EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes. I would get a little Broadway today I'm sorry about that. Today is going to turn out to be a good day for the President, despite the Democrats efforts to paint him in a different light. He's probably going to show everyone today the difference between peace through strength he and Reagan used. Peace through pacification which was the last administration's policies.

But now think about what happened at the hearing. Today was the death of the collusion theories. Michael Cohen, the ultimate insider who knew everything about Trump has no evidence of collusion.

The President didn't ask him to lie. He puts a stake in the heart of one of the major claims of the Steele dossier which the FBI used to justify investigating the Trump campaign in the end of the election.

This is a good day for his legal-defense and I think the American people will see through the political efforts of the Democrats and declare that this this scandal is over.

HANNITY: All right. Pretty harsh words, harsh columns from both of you. But as Geraldo laid out, I won't repeat it all, Sara, this in terms of Russia collusion was a devastating day for the Democrats on top of what is a sad - - this was a sad day for them.

This was a really bad decision the optics of what they thought was important on this day and what the President is doing, politically I don't think the American people -- I don't think they're going to -- I don't think they're going to really go buy into this at all. They're going to see this for what it is.

SARA CARTER, CONTRIBUTOR: That's exactly what I was going to say Sean. This backfired on them miserably -- miserably. All we saw -- and I think Geraldo brought up a really great point about McCabe.

You know McCabe once again throwing out disinformation and lies, speculation about the possibility. I mean, here is the Deputy Director of the FBI throwing out rumors and lies with absolutely no evidence -- not one shred of evidence whatsoever that there was any type of conspiracy with the Russians.

And then we see Michael Cohen a broken man, broken -- jilted. I described him as a jilted lover, just the lashing out at president Trump continuously. And then he has --

HANNITY: Sara, they don't care about Michael Cohen. Look at what they did to him tonight.

CARTER: Of course they don't.

HANNITY: They put him in more legal jeopardy.

CARTER: Absolutely. He's in absolute legal jeopardy now on a couple of fronts, and what we did learn is what John Solomon brought it up, as well as Geraldo, as well as you Sean, is that there was no evidence of any type of conspiracy or collusion. He has no evidence. It was all speculation on his part during his testimony.

And the other thing was is that the dossier is proven once again to be totally debunked. A dossier written by a foreign agent -- a former British spy with information from Russian agents. It is a lie. And remember --

HANNITY: It's written, bought and paid for Russian lies.

CARTER: --and Americans know who really colluded. And it wasn't Donald Trump's campaign with the Russians, it was the Hillary Clinton campaign, the DNC, the "Never Trumpers", all of the people that wanted to go after Trump during the 2016 campaign. They colluded and put disinformation out on the American media in an effort to destroy a duly elected President.

HANNITY: Geraldo, you think about that there really was collusion and there really was Russian influence in the election, Hillary paid for it. Nobody even looked into it. People now are beginning to compare and contrast the hysteria, the reporting, the -- as we say the "Hate Trump Media Mob".

They've been wrong, they have lied, they've ignored what John, Sara, Gregg Jarrett and so many of us have been talking about. And that is the biggest abuse of power by only a few at the top that tried to rig an investigation, exonerate somebody who even the Chief Counsel at the FBI thought should be indicted for the Espionage Act.

And then they don't use this information. The American people were fed those dossier lies before the election it was weaponized by people that were warned it was unverified and Clinton paid for and Russian lies and they still used it to get a warrant and deny an American citizen and his constitutional rights and get in a backdoor way to the whole Trump campaign. It all happened.

RIVERA: The problem, Sean, now is that we cannot take a victory lap, because even though the Russia collusion has been absolutely debunked. Even though their best witness has testified to the heart of this matter, the Democrats will not admit. It the Left will not admit it.

You can see the newspaper headlines in tomorrow's papers in the country already. What they will do is retreat to the little stuff. All right so there was no Russia collusion. Our President is not a traitor, but he cheated on his income tax. He got a deal on a golf course in the Bronx that was untoward. Maybe he did a you know something else, he chiseled somebody.

They're going to try to kill him with a million little knife cuts. Now the killer blow failed. Bow he survived.

HANNITY: When did going to held accountable?

RIVERA: --take him apart.

HANNITY: You know, John Solomon, Sara Carter all of us -- we have all unpeeled the layers of an onion. Two years ago it started in March 2016. We began this process with the abuse of power surveillance, unmasking, leaking raw intelligence, look where we've come.

All this way proving the dossier was used and a FISA Court fraud committed on a high level ignored by the Special Counsel, John Solomon, investigating Russia collusion. Hillary paid for it, they never verified it.


HANNITY: And they bludgeon this President with lies, hysteria, conspiracy theories?

SOLOMON: Well, I think, Geraldo is right about one thing, that the Democrats and their allies in the liberal media are going to continue to try to change the narrative, move the goalpost.

But there's a very important point about the acceleration of the boomerang from the greatest political trick in our in our lifetime, and that is, as soon as Mueller finishes his investigation. The president is not facing any criminal charges and I don't believe he will.

The President and his team for the first time can go on offense. They can declassify documents. They could debunk things. And the power of the bully pulpit of the White House when the President can be classified and get us all the truth, can do a lot to blunt whatever tricks the Democrats have in their bag next.

HANNITY: Yes, Sara will give you the last word on this.

CARTER: Well not only should they declassify. The White House should declassify the documents and the American people should know the truth. I believe in full transparency here.

But I believe that Attorney General, William Barr and all of the criminal referrals that have been made to the Department of Justice, those should move forward and they should hold people accountable.

And if these people that we have spoken about in the past, whether they were high-level officials at the FBI or at the Department of Justice, they should be held responsible if they committed crime.


CARTER: And we should know about it. And the American people have a right to know about it. So it doesn't happen again, Sean. So this doesn't happen again.

HANNITY: That's the important part. We can't have a dual justice system and we can't have people that literally set somebody free, because they like them over another candidate, and exonerate them when you know they're guilty.

James Baker, Chief Counsel, FBI under Jim Comey wanted to indict Hillary Clinton. We learned that last week few in the media touched it and the media -- we will hold them accountable in ways that we have planned coming up in the days weeks and months ahead.

But as we've been telling you, while all this history hopefully is being made as we speak, right now as the summit is ongoing. Michael Cohen was before Congress some seven hours today, despite of course he had been convicted of lying to Congress. The "Hate Trump Media Mob" giddy -- absolutely giddy about his testimony. No surprise there.

Joining us now with reaction to that Former White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer and the Hill's Joe Concha. Sean, let's start with you. Very predictable, but also a really sad and now maybe we understand why is why the medias trust the American people has never been lower?

SEAN SPICER, AMERICA FIRST ACTION SENIOR ADVISOR: Yes. look let me just draw the contrast. During the Obama years, every 24 days on average we saw a missile to get tested fired from North Korea. Since President Trump's taken office, it's been 457 plus days.

This President is getting results for the American people, for the Peninsula, for the region and for our world. And instead of focusing on this historic event, we're talking about Michael Cohen.

And frankly what are we talking about? And I think your other guests have pointed out, we're talking about the Trump Organization, what documents he did, what NDAs he signed and what didn't. This was all supposed to be a Russia collusion, and Michael Cohen as flawed as he is, admitted right off the back that he had no -- there was nothing substantive that he could show on Russia collusion.

So we wasted all this time talking about something that wasn't what the focus of this week should have been. They could have held this hearing any time they wanted. They chose today. And as a former White House staffer, I can tell you, as much as they're focused on what's going on in North Korea and furthering the President's agenda and goal of making it safe for the Peninsula, the region of the world. You can't help but make sure that you are keeping an eye on it.

And that distraction means that that's one more minute, one more second, one more hour that they're not focused on the goal of a safer world. And I think that that got lost in the discussion today, Sean. You brought it up, some of your guests have.

But for one moment, understand that The President and has team have to, it would be malpractice not to listen to the charges that Michael Cohen is bringing forward. You have to know what he said. You have to be able to respond properly. And so by doing that these people that are 12 hours ahead have already been working constant hours non-stop for days on end, are now forced to focus on something other the making a deal with North Korea.

HANNITY: Well, let me get Joe Concha into -- we're just running out of time this hour, and the summit is ongoing. What a -- I think of very -- this is a defining moment, Joe Concha, that they have now sunk this low on this day. Politics ends at the water's edge, no apparently not.

JOE CONCHA, MEDIA REPORTER, THE HILL: Well, I think it shows, Sean, that there is sizzle and that's the Cohen testimony and that's what everybody flocked to today, and then there's steak and that's what you're seeing on the left of me on your screen in terms of president Trump and Kim Jong-un.

Remember where we were in August of 2007 or '17 -- to Sean Spicer's point, where North Korea will be met with the fire and fury like the world has never seen, that's President Trump's words. Kim Jong-un launching missiles over Japan, threatening Guam and United States and now to see these images and to see where we are, it truly is historic.

And look if I'm writing the story tomorrow, what's my lead? It's this quote from Michael Cohen. Questions have been raised about whether I know of direct evidence that Mr. Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia? I do not and I want that to be clear. That should be the takeaway.

We run the testimony today, like your guests have been talking about, because that is the whole ballgame. If you don't show Russian collusion between the President or his associates and the campaign and the Russian then then you're going to have a boomerang effect, Sean. If Democrats pursue impeachment, you're going to see what happened with Bill Clinton.

The day after Bill Clinton was impeached his approval rating was 73% in Gallup, because Republicans overplayed their hand. And if Democrats in the media overplayed their hand on things like campaign finance violations, you're not going to see 73%, but you will see an upward tick of the President's numbers.

HANNITY: Oh, I agree with your analysis completely. Joe, Sean, thank you. Quick wrap up. We'll go at Henry.

HENRY: Yes, look, this is going on longer. We expected them to come out already and speak to the media. They haven't done that. We were being told they've gone behind closed doors -- The President and Chairman Kim with a larger group. That suggests maybe they're making progress.

HANNITY: Dan Bongino?

BONGINO: It's been 400 days since the missile launch, while the Democrats have tried to propagate the collusion hoax, which fell apart today.

HANNITY: Yes, Dan.

HOFFMAN: The relationship between President Trump and Chairman Kim is so important. I think at the forefront of Kim Jong-un's mind is the lesson of Muammar Gaddafi who gave up his nuclear weapons and was overthrown.

And so we see this this President Trump walking around the pool with Chairman Kim is just setting the stage for these negotiations today. That was critical precursor for anything to happen.

HANNITY: All right. Thank you all. You've been great announcers. Congratulations on the nomination.

HOFFMAN: Thank you, appreciate it.

HANNITY: We're really happy for you. All right. We're going to wrap up. We are in Hanoi. Ongoing right now, as we speak, the summit between Kim Jong- un and the President. Immediately after that I will have the opportunity.

Exclusive one-on-one interview with President Trump. He will take us behind the scenes. We'll talk exactly about what was going on, the progress that they made, what it means for the future. We'll air the full interview tomorrow night 9:00 Eastern right here from Hanoi. We'll always be fair and balanced. We're not the hate-Trump media mob. Let not your heart be troubled. Laura Ingraham is in our nation's capital.

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