'Hannity' on 2022 midterms, COVID policies

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This is a rush transcript of "Hannity" on December 29, 2021. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

PETE HEGSETH, GUEST HOST:All right. Welcome to this special edition of HANNITY. I'm Pete Hegseth, in for Sean.

And tonight, a brand new milestone, a grim one for the Biden White House. Yesterday, the United States recorded the most single day COVID cases ever.

Now, you'll remember Biden once vowed to shut down the virus, something that was never going to happen. He said it over and over again. It was his only election strategy, along with hiding in his basement, double masked, you know?

But now, for the very first time, the CDC is putting every state in the Union on red alert for high COVID transmission.

As the RNC points out, this is yet another humiliating failure, all of it caught on tape. Take a look.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm not going to shut down the economy. I'm not going to shut down the country, but I'm going to shut down the virus.

I'm going to shut down the virus.

I'm going to shut down the virus.

I will take care of this. I will end this. I will make sure we have a plan.

I'm going to shut down the virus. I'll shut down the virus. We're going to shut down the virus.

What I would say is I'm going to shut down the virus.

I'm going to shut down the virus.

Look, there is no federal solution. This gets solved at a state level.


HEGSETH: It's not aging well, not aging well at all. Like every other broken promise, Biden either doesn't remember or doesn't care.

Now, while COVID rages, he's enjoying some -- look at him out there frolicking -- rest in real action at the beach with his wife, Dr. First Lady Jill Biden, his new dog and his N95 surgical mask. Of course, I wonder if the dog gets a mask. You should look into that.

Meanwhile, back in Washington, Biden's chief of staff Ron Klain attempting to clean up Joe's mess. Watch this.


RON KLAIN, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: I think what the president was saying is this is an effort that the federal government's leading, in close partnerships with the states. The federal government provides the vaccines to the states. The federal government is massively expanding testing. We're obviously standing up federally funded testing centers all over the country, federally funded efforts to help hospitals.

So I think what you heard the president emphasizing yesterday in a conversation with Asa Hutchison, a conservative Republican governor from Arkansas who opposes our federal vaccine requirements, nonetheless who's worked very closely with this administration to try to make sure we're getting the help we need to the state.

So this is a joint federal state effort. It's led by the federal government. We have responsibility for the overall response. We're working closely with both Democratic and Republican governors without regard to partisan affiliation to help tackle the problems that this virus is spreading.


HEGSETH: I'm reminded of former President Ronald Reagan when he said the nine most dangerous words in the English language, I'm from the government and I'm here to help. Yeah, we're all reassured by that Ron.

A partnership with the states he says unless that state is Florida apparently. According to the state's surgeon general in Florida, the Biden administration is actively preventing -- actively preventing the distribution of life-saving monoclonal antibodies in Florida, cutting its supply dramatically. Therapeutics, you know, the things that prevent you from dying or get getting more sick from COVID-19, they're preventing it.

Is this a politically motivated act or science? Time will tell.

But we do know that Florida is one of the several states challenging the Biden administration's unconstitutional vaccine mandates in court. South Dakota also suing the White House. Now the state's governor Kristi Noem is demanding that Biden rescind all federal mandates.

Governor Kristi Noem joins us now with more.

And we really appreciate you being here. Governor, thanks so much. Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. It's always great to see you.


HEGSETH: But residents of your state -- I mean, we're going to get to this later on the show, Anthony Fauci said, you know, don't kiss, don't hug on New Year's. We'll -- we'll get to that.

NOEM: Uh-huh.

HEGSETH: But when it comes to these mandates that they've now acknowledged not effective federally and it's a state issue, what more can governors do? I mean, you've led the -- you've led the charge. How can people be reassured that their future isn't vaccine mandates and double masks?

NOEM: Well, I'm thrilled that President Biden is finally agreeing with me. We have asked him to back off of these mandates. We have told him and now we're suing him in court.

Frankly, the federal government doesn't have the authority to take these types of actions, by requiring people to get vaccinated for their job or to receive federal funding, or if they want to have a contract with the federal government, or even participate in Head Start contracts.

So we are suing him in court and those will be heard within a week in the Supreme Court. We're looking forward to those being heard because we'll win, and I think the president does know that he's under a shaky ground here.

It's interesting to me for him to say that the federal government isn't the answer, that the answer has to come from the states, when that's exactly what us as governors have been asking to let us do. Let us have the flexibility, let us use personal responsibility, trust our people to make the right decisions.

So, South Dakota has done that all along and we've proven that it works and I'm hopeful that President Biden will back off and start focusing on what his job actually is.

HEGSETH: Now that Joe Biden has acknowledged there's no federal solution, as a -- as a governor of a free state who's taken an approach of actually balancing science and freedom, what are your advice to governors like Governor Hochul in New York or Governor Murphy in New Jersey or Governor Newsom in California? How should they approach it in a way similar to what you've done so that residents of those states who are trapped can actually go about their lives, say, in 2022? What should those governors do differently?

NOEM: Well, first of all, they should visit with their general counsel. They should talk with constitutional attorneys, find out what authority they have and what authority they do not have. What is their job and then go do their job.

And number one, shut off the TV, stop picking up the phone and talking to the White House. Instead, go out and walk the streets talk to the people. Visit with the small business owners. Visit with the moms who just want their kids in school and life to go back to normal.

They will see the suffering all over their faces when they realize that these little kiddos haven't had the chance to learn like they should, that their businesses are closing and that women-owned businesses are being hurt at a larger number than many others, and that minority populations are struggling and we've got higher crime rates because of the frustration and the conflict that we are breeding in this country.

So, a lot of times they're losing perspective and I tell people consistently, take the emotion out of this discussion, start studying the science and the facts, and let's get back to the basics. Still, Pete, the number one thing that people can do to slow down the spread of a virus -- go wash your hands. Go wash your hands. I'm shocked by the amount of times that I have to go remind people of that.

And if you're sick stay home. And if you're scared, stay home. But let the people that need to go out and make a living and get their kids educated, let them go do that because that's really what needs to happen in this country is that we still need to continue to live.

HEGSETH: It's true. Wash your hands, that's a very good and important reminder for me, something I will take note of in 2022.

But you're right. It's simple stuff. It hasn't actually changed. We know who it affects.

We know it's not young kids. There's no reason to keep them locked out. There's no reason to have them in masks.

Your state is doing it and that's why we see a great migration from states with lockdowns to free states like yours in South Dakota.

Governor, thank you so much for joining us this evening. We appreciate it.

All right. Now, let's turn once again we referenced them for a second there. America's little king, Dr. Anthony Fauci. This week, a new personal best for Biden's top doctor in the span of hours.

He managed to flip-flop three times following the signs -- always remember he is science. He flip-flopped three times on vaccine mandates for domestic air travel, not international air travel, domestic. That means that they're considering -- and Dr. Fauci acknowledged this today, they're considering on their list potentially to require a COVID vaccine to fly from Detroit to New York or San Francisco to Dallas.

That's on their list and he walked it back a little bit but barely, and he's -- it's all about the science. Don't worry. Dr. Fauci has no other consideration. It also tonight brings me no joy to report that you the American people are paying Dr. Fauci over $430,000 each year for his stellar work.

I will note the president of the United States makes $400,000 a year. So it begs the question as we ask all the time, who is the real president? He's making 430. We're following the science, he is the science, why not pay him 430 grand?

And when Dr. Fauci finally retires, if ever, no one in Washington retires, they stay there forever, he'll earn an estimated 350 grand in his pension for the rest of his life. It's a pretty large sum for someone who has been an abject failure when it mattered the most, flip-flopping on everything. But, of course, not -- not coming through when you need them. That's classic government.

Under Fauci's ever evolving guidance, the government is now taking extreme measures against Americans they deem unfit for society. A couple of examples, as we speak, thousands of U.S. marines, some of which I'm in touch with right now, are now facing dismissal for refusing to get the shot. Several marines told FOXnews.com that what they are witnessing is a political purge. In fact, not one single religious exemption has been given to a single marine in our Marine Corps today. All of them denied.

Meanwhile in New York City, police forcibly removed an African-American family from a restaurant, including a mother and a small child because of the city's vaccine mandate. Now, we're ripping people out of seats.

It's no wonder Americans are now leaving blue states in droves. According to data from the U.S. Census and this is featured in "The Wall Street Journal" today, hundreds of thousands of Americans have fled New York, California and Illinois during COVID-19, while Texas and Florida, read freedom, gained over 500,000 new residents.

Joining us now for reaction are ranking member House -- of the House Judiciary Committee, Congressman Jim Jordan, former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, and FOX News medical contributor, Dr. Nicole Saphier.

Doctor, let me start with you since we invoked the other doctor in this particular case. He's been there a long time, he makes a lot of money and he's wrong a lot. Is that not a perfect example of Washington D.C.?

DR. NICOLE SAPHIER, FOX NEWS MEDICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Oh, well, Pete, I mean - - let's be honest, at this point, I think we haven't gotten anything right when it's come to COVID-19 coming out of the White House, the administration, Dr. Fauci, even the CDC. The CDC continues to flip-flop every single day it's like a center for disinformation these days.

But what I can tell you, you know, some of the verbiage that's coming out of Dr. Fauci recently, talking about vaccine mandates for domestic air travel, to shortening the isolation post-infection, I can tell you, first of all, I'm a big fan of shortening isolation as well as shortening the post-exposure quarantines. I think that was necessary. I think that was far overdue.

And this is what we had to be done because we have a man-made worker shortage because of the vaccine mandates and because of these asinine long isolation protocols which by the way the data didn't change just in the last week. The data has been there for the last six months. They should have shortened these much earlier, but now they found themselves in a crunch, so they had to catch up a little bit.

And I can tell you the vaccine mandates for domestic travel, they're going to work just about as good as those vaccine mandates on the cruise ships. You remember the cruise ships that are all out to sea right now --

HEGSETH: Uh-huh.

SAPHIER: -- because even though every single person had to be vaccinated on there, they have major outbreaks happening. So, we're -- the concept of these vaccine mandates when you have transmission amongst the vaccinated, amongst the boosted, I mean, it's not -- it doesn't make sense and it's not going to help.

And I can tell you right now, Pete, as you know, my kids have recovered from COVID-19 recently within the last month. I'll tell you, we can't go out to a New York City restaurant unless they're fully vaccinated and I would bet their recent diagnosis of COVID-19 and that natural immunity is much more protective of their transmission to other people than the fully vaccinated people walking around, especially those who are vaccinated over six months ago.

So, Mayor de Blasio, a good riddance, and it's time for Eric Adams to come in and remove these nonsensical mandates, which are doing little other than creating chaos and hurting our industry and the workers that work in them.

HEGSETH: Well, it's so true in New York City, certain people if they don't have the right card to show can't even go into their own businesses, let alone restaurants.

Senator, the -- we've heard time and time again this idea that they'll float an idea, walk it back and then implement it. There weren't going to be vaccine mandates but then there were. So here we are talking about domestic air travel.

Do you really believe with omicron and what we know about it and the doctors been so great about it, are they going to double down on the old tactics with omicron even if the science says otherwise because they don't have another reflex?

SCOTT BROWN (R), FORMER U.S. SENATOR FOR MASSACHUSETTS: Well, listen, President Biden's efforts have been an abject failure and what will happen is he'll -- you know, do the same old thing. He'll roll out Fauci. He'll do all the Sunday morning shows and talk about doom and gloom and the sky is falling. Oh my goodness, you need to do this and that, and more and more and more mandates as evident in New York City. What's happening there is just uncontrollable.

Listen, this is a work in progress trying to address a virus that obviously started in China and is morphing into something new and different almost each and every week or month, and I understand that. But the lack of real communication, the lack of making sure that we're not misspeaking, over- speaking, creating mandates strictly for political reasons which I believe is happening right now under this administration, he's a tool of the teachers union. They're obviously keeping our kids at school. We're seeing more and more draconian measures in places like New York.

I mean, you obviously had the governor on now. There are other states who are allowing for personal freedoms, personal decisions. What about testing? What about mask, social distancing, washing your hands? Those are all in vogue before.

But now, you can't do it. You either have a card or you don't you're either in with the in liberal crowd or you're not, and it's got to stop. And I'm very thankful each and every day that President Trump worked hard to get Operation Warp Speed out, because guess and imagine where we'd be right now if it didn't happen.

HEGSETH: Absolutely.

And, Congressman, what's an average person to do now right now, watching this program, thinking about the kids, thinking about their family, looking at the future hoping maybe for a Republican majority coming late in 2022? But that's a long ways away and we're seeing a lot more fear, and a lot of the same old stuff.

What's your advice to people -- Congressman, what can -- what can Congress do should you get power back?

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): No, I do think it's coming. I mean, think about it, the Democrats are 0-6. They've been wrong on Afghanistan, the border, crime, energy and inflation and now COVID, but they can't -- they can't get anything right. So I do think the majority is coming.

To the question that Dr. Saphier raised about natural immunity, why is it - - why is it, Pete, that there are 33,000 people who work at CDC and NIH with an annual budget of $56 billion but we have no study on natural immunity? Why is that?

HEGSETH: So true.

JORDAN: Maybe it's because they don't want us to know the answer or maybe they know the answer aren't going to tell us which is worse yet. So this is -- think how crazy the policy is with these guys. An illegal immigrant could come into this country untested, unvaccinated, and Democrats now want them to vote.

But an American citizen, if you don't get vaxxed, you can't go buy a Big Mac or get on a plane, this is crazy the American people have had it. They're going to stand up and speak out loudly and clearly just like they did in Virginia two months ago, just like they did in Kenosha, Wisconsin, with those jurors.

They're going to do it again in November. You can feel it coming.

HEGSETH: Doctor, is there any chance they start to say, okay, therapeutics have been effective or is it just the new therapeutics? Or natural immunity would be worth adding to the idea of herd immunity? Or can they only double down on what they've done before?

SAPHIER; Well, you know, Pete, it's -- unfortunately, it's taking a little bit of time but you do see subtleties that they are starting to accept natural immunity. You even see on the CDC's website that they're mentioning that there may be some protection with natural immunity but then they continue to quote some of their very subpar studies that they have done themselves which are nothing compared to the more robust studies that are done by other institutions that shows the protectiveness of natural immunity, especially hybrid immunity when you're fully vaccinated and then have a breakthrough infection. I mean, then you are just a wall of immunity.

But at some point they are going to have to start acknowledging it and I'll tell you, if you really want to decrease the spread of this virus, rather than having these vaccine mandates of getting on airplanes or other, showing that proof of recent infection or a negative rapid antigen test, those are going to be your two means of lessening the spread mostly. It's not going to be that vaccine card showing that you had vaccinations earlier in the year because we know that you are still able to not only get infected as well as transmit it.

The goal of vaccinations and boosters at this point is not really to slow the spread. It is to keep people out of the hospital and is to protect the high risk. And moving forward, that's what it needs to be. You target the high risk populations and make sure that they have access to high quality masks, as well as treatments. We need to not only focus on the testing shortages but make sure that those treatments can get out there.

And one of the things we talked about one of the blunders of the CDC recently was that they overestimated how much omicron was there. Well, what did they do? They quickly pulled back on the supply of monoclonal antibodies. All of a sudden, they weren't sending it out to hospitals for the high-risk patients because they said it's not going to work against omicron. Well, whoopsy, delta is still much more prevalent and all of a sudden we don't have access to monoclonal antibodies for those patients.

So they need to stop this. They need to get their act together make sure they're transparent with their data and be clear with their data stop being behind the eight ball when it comes to everyone else across the world. That's what's costing lives.

HEGSETH: That's the government does.

Colonel -- I should say colonel of the marine corps, kicking people out for not getting vaxxed, what does it do to our readiness and what does it tell you about the institution?

BROWN: Well, listen, I served for 49 years. You have an amazing career and thank you for all you do for our veterans. There's no one I believe in our country more worthy of getting some type of situation to address their concerns and needs.

The Marines are really our fighting force that goes in first and they're there -- well, the lawyer's going first to make sure everything's all right but then they go in with them. And to think that we're not going to give them some consideration and we're going to terminate people who are highly classified and highly sophisticated MOS's. And are you kidding me, to put our country's safety and security at risk?

This cannot continue to be a political football. We have to find common sense solutions to keep our economy going, to keep our children's mental and physical health and well-being okay, as well as our families, addressing our national security as China and others are trying to affect us, approving the Russian pipeline while terminating ours.

You know, footsie foot around with China as they're eating our lunch all around the globe. We have to get our act together or we're going to have some very, very serious problems.

This is not political anymore. This is personal. It should be personnel for everybody. They got to get out and vote this time.


BROWN: And we're going to make -- we're going to put this genie back into the bottle.

HEGSETH: Man, I wish we could. I've heard from so many guys who are facing this choice, many of which are very experienced, multiple combat tours and they're saying, I'm ending my career of 17 years, 15 years, 19 years because I am forced to get a vaccination. It's incredible.

Congressman Jordan, last word?

JORDAN: Well, it's not just what it does to our military readiness, Pete. It's what it's doing to the First Amendment, the very first right we enjoy as Americans, in the First Amendment, in the Bill of Rights, is your right to practice your faith. And that is exactly what they're going to -- going after. So, this is -- this is fundamental and it's fundamentally wrong what they're doing.

HEGSETH: Three smart people. Congressman Jordan, Ambassador and Colonel Brown, Dr. Saphier, thank you all for being with us tonight on HANNITY.

Straight ahead with disasters looming in next year's midterms, more House Democrats have announced their requirement. Senator Lindsey Graham joins us to weigh in on the upcoming election when we return.


HEGSETH: As we close out 2021, a wave of retirements from congressional Democrats ahead of the midterms is suggesting that far left lawmakers -- well, they see the writing on the wall that we all see and would rather retire than suffer a humiliating defeat in November.

So far, at least 23 House Democrats, almost two dozen, say they will not run for re-election, as Speaker Pelosi and her party try to defend their razor thin and radical razor thin majority amid massive policy failures too many to list almost, I know the show lists them sometimes and you have to scroll it.

Those failures go all the way from the White House to Capitol Hill. Remember, Republicans need to gain just five seats to reclaim the majority, an early sign suggests the real possibility of a massive red wave blowout, bigger than '94, bigger than 2010, as Americans reject the destructive and radical Democrat agenda.

And I'll ask again tonight, have you ever seen one man, Joe Biden, fail so much so fast? Is there one thing Biden-Harris have done to actually improve the lives of everyday common sense Americans?

Can you name just one thing? Play the game at home, see if you can.

Here to unpack that and much more, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham.

Senator, thanks for being here. Merry Christmas, happy New Year, always great to see you.

Can you name one thing, Senator? You're right there.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): Making Donald Trump look better every day. I don't know. No, not really.

When you look at it, the problem, Pete -- the problem, Pete, is that the left, the radical left has Biden in a box. He can't make the adjustments on the border he needs to, to secure the border. Remain in Mexico is imposed by the courts and he can't change our -- his border policy, because the left won't let him.

He can't expand drilling for oil and natural gas here at home to become energy independent again because the left won't let him. And when it comes to foreign policy, it's not a left problem, he's just incompetent. He's been wrong about everything for 40 years.

There's a one-two punch brewing here. Radical Islam is on the rise, and raging in Afghanistan, and you have an open southern border. If something doesn't change, 2022 could be the most dangerous year for America since 1939 and the world at large.

HEGSETH: I want to get to that. We're going to get to that in a moment because we are in a very dangerous moment in the world, with a -- with an absentee commander-in-chief. There's no doubt about it.

But when you -- if you're putting your finger on the pulse of 2022, does this look as big or bigger than '94 or 2010? Not to get ahead of ourselves but the dissatisfaction is and incompetence is so high, Republicans have a golden opportunity here.

GRAHAM: Right. If we don't blow it, think of the word "backlash". There's a backlash coming against the most radical domestic policy agenda in the history of the United States, with a 50-50 Senate and a five-seat majority. The Democrats have misplayed their hand. They think they have a mandate they don't have.

So if the Republicans can remain disciplined, policy is our friend. Remember the Trump years on the border, ISIS, Afghanistan, energy independence. We should talk every day about the differences between our policies in terms of domestic policies and international policies every day.

So, 1994, I came in with a class of `94. We had a Contract with America promising people we would do these 10 things if you put us in charge. We need an American first agenda to run on. They suck as part of the deal but we need to be for things.

Secure the border, finish the wall, rebuild the military, you know, become energy independent again.

So I'm looking for an American first agenda led by Donald Trump that we can run on as a team and point out the flaws of the Biden agenda and we will clean their clock. In 1994, we won 73 seats to take over the Congress, the House for the first time in 40 years. If we play our cards right, we will exceed that.

HEGSETH: You mentioned Donald Trump, Senator. Is he the nominee in 2024 right now?

GRAHAM: Yeah, if he wants it. Unless there's something coming out of left field I don't see coming. It's his nomination if he wants it.

The Republican base appreciated him. We don't appreciate all the things he does sometimes, but from a policy point of view, he was the most successful president. From a conservative's point of view since Ronald Reagan, it is his nomination if he wants it and he will be in the White House in 2024 if he runs a discipline campaign.

And what he should do in my humble opinion is remind people how he secured the border, how he took the fight to ISIS, destroyed the caliphate, how we were so much better off internationally, the Iran deal is a nightmare in the making for Israel, regain energy independence.

So I think 2024 is President Trump's election to lose quite frankly. 2022 is a blowout year for the Republicans in the House and the Senate if we'll talk about policy.

HEGSETH: Real quick. We've got about a minute left. You mentioned, you know, November 2022, we both did.


HEGSETH: It's a long ways off. Our enemies are looking at us right now. Once the Beijing Olympics are open if we participate or not, once they're done, the world could look much different.

What -- what is the national security reality we're facing right now?

GRAHAM: That the Iran -- the Iranians are not going to go back to the table in good faith. They're going to try to break out and dash toward a bomb and Israel's going to be in a box. They're going to have to use military force.

And the question for me, are there any red lines for America? We should come up with red lines regarding the Iranian nuclear program and tell the ayatollah, if you cross them, we're coming after you. Not just Israel.

I worry about Putin and Ukraine, China and Taiwan, and all started with Afghanistan.

Pete, thank you for all you have done to remind Americans of our obligation to help those left behind. Thank you for your service. Happy New Year but we're going into a dangerous time -- the most dangerous time I think since the 1930s.

HEGSETH: Yeah, we sure are. Senator Graham, thank you so much.

And by the way, no program has highlighted more the fact that we left people behind in Afghanistan and that abject disaster than HANNITY and Sean Hannity. So thank you to this program.

Coming up, after days of deliberation, the jury in the Ghislaine Maxwell trial reached their verdict today. We'll bring you all the latest as Gregg Jarrett and Alan Dershowitz join us with reaction.


HEGSETH: Welcome back.

Today, Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty on five of six counts in the high profile sex trafficking trial in New York City, where the Jeffrey Epstein confidante was convicted for her role in trafficking women as young as 14 years old to be sexually abused. As prosecutors laid out, Maxwell played a key role in participating and facilitating the recruitment of young women who were later victims of Epstein's abuse. The 60-year-old Maxwell faces decades behind bars.

Here to break it all down for us tonight, FOX News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett, along with Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz. Full disclosure, professor Dershowitz once represented Epstein and is currently being sued by Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre for defamation.

Professor, as you know -- you've denied all wrongdoing in previo -- in multiple previous appearances on this program and is counter-suing Giuffre.

Professor, let me start with you as someone who has been caught up in this, when you look at this verdict, what's your -- what's your main takeaway?

ALAN DERSHOWITZ, HARVARD LAW PROFESSOR: Well, my main takeaway is that the government was smart enough not to use Virginia Giuffre as a witness. This is the woman who's accused me, who's accused Prince Andrew, who's accused Senator Mitchell, who's accused Senator -- Ambassador Richardson, who's accused Ehud Barak, she accused anybody who she could find in Jeffrey Epstein's rolodex.

And the government very smartly didn't use her as a witness. She would have been the key witness if she were credible but the government simply didn't believe her. So today was a good day for those people who are accused by her like Prince Andrew and the others who I mentioned.

As far as Ghislaine Maxwell is concerned, the government put on witnesses - - the witnesses were believed. The jury did come to its conclusion. There will be an appeal. Appeals are always uphill, but there are some issues, there's a statute of limitations issue after all some of these things occurred almost 30 years ago, was back in 1994.

So, there'll be concerns about the statute of limitations, some other issues. But right now, she faces a significant prison sentence.

HEGSETH: Gregg, are you surprised at all by this verdict and what do you think -- you know, as Professor Dershowitz kind of alluded to, what happens next here?

GREGG JARRETT, FOX NEWS LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I wasn't surprised by the verdict. Another was Ghislaine Maxwell, she was stoic, showed no visible reaction to the verdict because she knew what was coming. She sat there during the course of the trial. She saw that the prosecution's evidence against her was overwhelming and powerful.

The four accusers who took the witness stand were competent. They were credible. They were persuasive, as they told this harrowing story of being recruited and groomed as underage girls and then sexually abused not just by Epstein but by Maxwell herself.

And I must say it took an enormous amount of courage for them to come forward and testify and be subject to cross-examination. But there is a message there to other victims of sexual abuse that it is important and you can achieve some measure of justice in a court of law, but it takes a lot of backbone to do it. As for Maxwell, remaining silent, it would have been foolhardy for her to take the witness stand. She would have been eviscerated on cross-examination and she might have exposed herself to yet another trial for perjury, and it would have ruined any chance she might have to strike a deal now with a government to help them bring cases against others in exchange for leniency.

It is altogether possible we don't know what more evidence prosecutors have they took away bins of videotape, file folders. And so, we don't know what other evidence they have. But Ghislaine Maxwell could prove to be key.


DERSHOWITZ: Well, I hope they have -- I hope they have --

HEGSETH: Go ahead.

DERSHOWITZ: And I hope they have tapes of everybody who was involved. The interesting thing is, the question is who else we prosecuted. The same woman Virginia Giuffre, one of the women testified, she was 14 or 15 years old. She was brought to Epstein for money by Virginia Giuffre who was well over the age of consent.

Virginia Giuffre then according to the testimony at the trial got naked had sex with Jeffrey Epstein in order to facilitate her having sex with Epstein. So, Giuffre under the theory of the prosecution is guilty as well. So the question is who else will be prosecuted? And will Maxwell make a deal? Will she try to get her sentence reduced?

This is not yet over. Yes, there are victims but there are also perpetrators and some of the people could be both victims and perpetrators. Giuffre could be a victim at one point, but then she became a perpetrator and a perjurer at another point. So we have to look at this case by case, person by person, and we shouldn't generalize.

HEGSETH: Professor, with having more direct knowledge of -- you know, having represented Epstein before, do you have a sense that Maxwell could talk? Could talk to the media? Does she have an incentive to do that at this point facing this kind of sense?

DERSHOWITZ: Well, what alternative does she have at this point? If she doesn't do anything and if the appeal doesn't work and appeals are uphill in most of these kinds of cases, she will probably want to tell her full story at some point and she may very well try to cooperate with government prosecutors. That happens there's nothing that opens people's mouths more than facing a long criminal sentence.

So nobody knows. Nobody really can tell and I don't -- I only met delay Ghislaine Maxwell a handful of times with my wife, with my daughter. When we met her, she was just Jeffrey Epstein's, you know, girlfriend or former girlfriend. We had no idea that any of these things were going on.

But you know, I feel -- I feel bad for everybody involved in this thing and uh and I hope it will discourage others from doing actions of this kind. Women -- young women have to be protected and the court and government has to go after people who are -- who are perpetrators. But they have to distinguish the true from the false.

And that's what I think they may have tried to do -- why they didn't call Virginia Giuffre as a witness and that helped them. If they had called her as a witness, I think this case would very likely gone a different way because the jury would have doubted the credibility of the government's case.

HEGSETH: Gregg, real quick, there were people that were willing -- go ahead, go ahead.

JARRETT: I'm not going to weigh in on Giuffre, because I'm not that knowledgeable about her, but there were dozens and dozens of victims of Jeffrey Epstein and arguably Ghislaine Maxwell. And I think prosecutors made a strategic and smart decision to streamline the case, to pick four of their best witnesses. They took the stand and they won the day for justice and for the victims out there as well, because she's looking at years and years behind bars. She may never -- she's 60 years old, she may never get out from prison.

HEGSETH: Yeah, right.

Well, Gregg, Professor Dershowitz, thank you so much for joining us tonight. Really appreciate it.

Straight ahead, as the left continues to push their radical agenda in our nation's classrooms, parents fighting back. Laura Trump and Ian Prior join us to explain when we return.


HEGSETH: Now, despite widespread backlash, the left continues its attempts, which have been happening for a hundred years, to indoctrinate students in our nation's classrooms. This weekend, radical 1619 Project developer Nikole Hannah-Jones even doubled down on the claim that parents, you, should not have input into your children's education. Also admitting she's not a professional educator. Take a look.


NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES, 1619 PROJECT FOUNDER: I don't really understand this idea that parents should decide what's being taught. I'm not a professional educator. I don't have a degree in social studies or science. We send our children to school because we want them to be taught by people who have expertise in the subject area, and that is not my job.

When the -- when the governor or the candidate said that he didn't think parents should be deciding what's being taught in school, he was panned for that. But that's just the fact.


HEGSETH: Okay, we'll unpack that in a moment.

Meanwhile, "Politico" pushing its own far left education agenda. Of course, "Politico" is far left, accusing Republicans of engaging in, quote, education wars in the way in which they're engaging in school board races.

Joining us now with reaction, FOX News contributor Lara Trump and executive director of Fight for Schools, Ian Prior.

Thank you both for being here and for how much you care about the education of the next generation which is critical to actually preserving our republic.

So if you look at what Nikole Hannah-Jones said, Lara, she said, I'm not a professional educator, therefore I shouldn't be in charge of what goes into the classrooms. Yet, "The New York Times" and Nikole Hannah-Jones are working hand in hand with teachers unions to make sure that 1619 Project curriculum is making its way into classrooms.

Help me square that circle for a second.

LARA TRUMP, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Oh, gosh, Pete, I wish I could. I wish I could answer that. She may be admitted more than she wanted to there. I'm not totally sure about that.

But her whole statement there, none of it made a whole lot of sense. Look, no one is trying to downplay the importance of teachers. I mean, outside of parents, teachers are probably the most influential people in the lives of our children. I know for myself, outside of my mom and dad, it was my teachers and coaches who had the most impact on my life growing up. So they are very important.

But that is why we want to know as parents what is it exactly that they are teaching our kids and is it multi-linear statistics? Is it physics which obviously I as a parent am not going to be able to teach my child or are they indoctrinating our children with hateful rhetoric, with hateful ideologies such as critical race theory?

That is what parents in Virginia spoke up resoundingly and pushed back against in the election that you just referenced there, the governor's race in Virginia and look we need to know as parents it is our job to know that what our children are being taught is something with which we agree. It is up to us to instill values in our children that we agree with.

And so, her whole statement there I don't think made a whole lot of sense. No one is saying parents can fully replace teachers. We do have a responsibility to know they're being taught things that we agree with at the end of the day.

HEGSETH: Absolutely.

And, Ian, you know, it doesn't make a lot of sense what Nikole said. It really doesn't. I'm not an educator but I should educate your kids. But what she did say is what many on the left are finally revealing is their true intention, to parents, stay out of the classroom. Like we've got this thing fixed. We control the school boards, the unions, all the pipelines of who trains the teachers, the certifications, all of that.

So stay out. They don't want us involved because the left controls it all.

IAN PRIOR, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF FIGHT FOR SCHOOLS: Oh, that's right and look, Lara was absolutely right. You look at the equation for preparing a child for the real world, you need your parents and you need teachers, and they need to work cohesively. Parents handle things like morals, religious values. Teachers handle things like math and science and reading and writing.

The problems develop when you get people like Nikole Hannah-Jones injecting herself into that equation, when you get these high priced DEI consultants injecting themselves into that equation. And when you get Randi Weingarten and teachers unions injecting themselves into that equation. that is the problem here.

Parents want to work with teachers. Nobody's opposed to teaching history, accurate history. What we are opposed to is teaching theories, is looking at everything through a lens of race, or you know discussing gender issues with five and six-year-olds. Those are things that have no place in the classroom and parents need to be aware of that.

HEGSETH: For sure.

Let me ask you both now about the second part of what we mentioned which is this "Politico" article about the fight for school boards. "Politico" is decrying the fact that in some states, they're considering the idea of a political affiliation on the ballot for school board candidates, because I don't know about both of you, but when I vote for the school board, I don't really know who the people are or what they believe because there's candidate statements are -- all of them are ambiguous and vague and it's really hard to determine which one would say I'm against CRT or for CRT.

So, Lara, what do you think about the fact that we might just say, hey, I'm a Republican or I'm a conservative, and I want to put that on the ballot so voters can at least have some indication?

L. TRUMP: Well, I think it's important to know the values of these people that are serving on the school boards. After all, they are the people that control what our children ultimately learn. They control who oftentimes the teachers are whether or not our kids are going to learn in the classroom or at home, whether or not they're going to wear masks. They control a lot of things.

And what we found out is that many of these folks have a very left-leaning ideology. That's where they stand. And so, often times, it would be nice to know for whom you are voting and what their values are and whether or not that is something that you as a parent also agree with.

So I don't see any problem with it. Obviously, "Politico" had a big made a big fuss about it, but I think at this point, maybe parents would like to know where people stand before they vote for them in obviously a very important position.

HEGSETH: Absolutely.

Ian, what do you think? You know, how else are you going to know in some general sense where they stand?

PRIOR: Yeah, Pete, you were absolutely right when you said that you know teaching our children is one of the most important things preserving our constitutional republic. So these elections are extremely important. Ultimately, what do you get, right? You maybe get a flyer from a candidate saying, well, we want more recess. But in reality, we don't know what they stand for.

That's why we started Fight for Schools, to be able to get that information to people and so that they understand when they're casting their vote for a school board member, they know exactly what that person is going to do and what they're going to stand for.

HEGSETH: Lara, Ian, thanks for everything you do. Appreciate it.

Straight ahead, you won't believe what one MSNBC host said about her hero, Dr. Fauci. We'll play the tape, next.


HEGSETH: Welcome back to the special edition of HANNITY. It's no secret that the left is in love with King Dr. Fauci. But MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace took things to a whole new level on Monday. Watch this.


NICOLLE WALLACE, MSNBC HOST: I am a Fauci groupie, thrice-vaccinated, mask adherent. I buy KN95 masks by the caseloads. They're in every pocket. I wear them everywhere except when I sit down, and I am certain that this is not a variant I can outrun.


HEGSETH: Yikes. Sad and scared experience of life. Unfortunately, that is all the time we have for tonight. Thank you for watching it for joining us.

Just a reminder, on Friday, I'll be co-hosting FOX's "All-American New Year's Eve" with Rachel Campos-Duffy and Will Cain, my co-hosts from "FOX & Friends Weekend". And you can also catch us every Saturday and Sunday on "FOX & Friends Weekend".

Now, we turn it over to the very capable hands of Sean Duffy who's in for Laura Ingraham.

Sean, it's all yours, brother.

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