This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," April 23, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: All right. Tucker, welcome back. We missed you.

And welcome to 'Hannity.'

We have huge bombshell new developments to bring you tonight surrounding the FBI's investigation into so-called Trump-Russia collusion. According to the chairman of the House Intel Committee, Devin Nunes, no actual intelligence was ever utilized to start the Russia probe. None.

That's right. It's now day 341 of Mueller's investigation and questions still surrounding just why the FBI's initial inquiry into the Trump campaign was kicked off in the first place. An incredible development. So much for fair, open and a transparent system of justice.

Now, also tonight, James Comey is on the second week of his whirlwind angry book tour and he now finds himself in big trouble tonight. According to the Office of the Inspector General, the disgraced former FBI director is now under investigation over serious claims of misconduct we tried to warn him right here on this show. And we're going to break down Comey's misdeeds.

And coming up, we have new information on what is the DNC's laughable last- ditch attempt at a lawsuit against the Trump campaign and the president's responding.

And we're going to bring you the groundbreaking new diplomatic developments surrounding Korea. We have important economic achievements right here at home that should blow your mind. Nobody else will report them.

And then later in the show, you will meet conservative writer Candace Owens. She will weigh in and join us on the left's disgraceful outrage over the public support that she got from Kanye West.

All right. Lots to get into in tonight's breaking news opening monologue.

HANNITY: We start tonight, House Intel Committee Chairman Devin Nunes just revealed something that should concern every single American watching this program tonight. The FBI's investigation into whether or not the Trump campaign colluded with Russia was started without a single shred, zero intelligence. I'm not making this up.

Take a look.


REP. DEVIN NUNES, R—CALIF., CHAIRMAN, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: The counterintelligence investigation uses the tools of our intelligence services that are not supposed to be used on American citizens. So, we've long wanted to know, well, what intelligence did you have that actually led to this investigation? So, what we found now after the investigators have reviewed it is that in fact, there was no intelligence.


HANNITY: That's right. So, the FBI began a serious investigation of an American political campaign unprompted by any intelligence at all? Wow.
There's more to this. Listen to what Chairman Nunes went on to tell our own Maria Bartiromo. Take a listen.


NUNES: We do know that longtime associates of Hillary Clinton, including Sidney Blumenthal and another person named I think Corey Shear, were actively giving information to the State Department. They were somehow making its way to the FBI. This is from -- this is from two people within the State Department who have now publicly come out and said this in -- I think in major news publications.

We now know that there was no official intelligence that was used to start this investigation. We know that Sidney Blumenthal and others were pushing information into the State Department. So, we're trying to piece all of that together.


HANNITY: This is a deadly serious charge coming from the Intel Committee chairman. And remember, it was just a few days ago that the Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, he made a similar claim and even suggested that the Obama administration played a key and vital role in kicking off the investigation into the Trump campaign. You can't make this up. Take a listen.


REP. MARK MEADOWS, R—N.C.: But we now see that the State Department and it appears with the White House at the very highest levels, including the president himself, were involved in this whole narrative of investigating Donald Trump. The messages, the text messages that I've had the privilege of reviewing and some of the other correlating information would strongly suggest that there was not only information given to the White House, but indeed that they were involved in directing some of the actions of the Department Justice and FBI in the -- in the fall of 2016.

That's troubling when you see one president allowing their DOJ to get involved in a political campaign.


HANNITY: So, do you still think the Obama White House would never tamper with a politically charged investigation? Think again tonight.

And according to a completely underreported part of the recently released inspector general's report about firing Andrew McCabe, quote, listen to this -- 'McCabe said a high-ranking Obama Justice Department official expressed concerns about FBI agents taking overt steps in the Clinton Foundation investigation during the presidential campaign.'

Listen to what they say, quote: 'McCabe told us that the conversation was very dramatic and that he never had a similar confrontation like that call with a high-level department official in his entire FBI career.' We got to think about this.

Remember, this was all happening while Andrew McCabe's boss, James Comey, Mr. Book Tour, was giving Hillary Clinton the white glove treatment during the criminal investigation. We know she broke laws, committed felonies as it relates to the private email server.

These two fired career bureaucrats are likely now headed towards a major collision course. This is going to be interesting. You have Andrew McCabe in deep legal trouble over his lack of candor lying under oath while serving as the deputy FBI director number two and McCabe is probably going to have to cut some deal, and this may involve turning on that other guy, James Comey.

McCabe should have plenty to say. For example, remember when Comey agreed to call the investigation, a, quote, 'matter' at the request of then-attorney general Loretta Lynch, and we can't forget James Comey looked the other way, while Clinton obstructed justice by the leading 33,000 subpoenaed emails, acid washing with BleachBit, destroying cell phones and devices with a hammer. By the way, try that at home, good luck.

And maybe most damaging of all, it was the exoneration before investigation. Comey and his team cleared Clinton of all charges months before they actually did the interview of her and 17 other key witnesses.

Ironically, the initial crime Clinton may have committed and should have been charged with, look at this right up on your screen, our own Gregg Jarrett and others have identified this, 18 USC 793, mishandling a classified information, is now the very same charge that James Comey is now himself being investigated over. I hope he's hoping he has a James Comey in his life after he, of course, leaked those memos dealing with his meetings with President Trump. Those were not allowed to be leaked classified information were in some of them.

This weekend, the president tweeted, quote: 'James Comey's memos are classified. I did not declassify them. They belong to our government. Therefore, he broke the law.'

And additionally, 'he totally made up many of the things he said that I said and he's already a proven liar and a leaker. Where are memos on Clinton, Lynch and others?'

According to the Office of Inspector General, Comey is now being probed over whether or not he acted unethically when he leaked those potentially classified memos to his friend. That guy is a Columbia professor, his name is Daniel Richman, and, of course, we now know that Richman went on to leak these memos to the press, putting the wheels in motion for the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel.

This is -- it gets very interesting. Congressman Jim Jordan, he's shining a light on this unusual relationship between Daniel Richman and the FBI. I had not known this before. Watch this.


REP. JIM JORDAN, R—OHIO: The Oversight Committee and the Judiciary Committee interviewed Jim Rybicki. And during that deposition, it was brought out that Daniel Richman, the guy who information was leaked through to 'The New York Times,' had this special status called special government employee status where he could sort of come and go in the FBI, which may not mean much, but it seems kind of interesting the guy that Comey leaks through is a good friend who had this sort of unfettered access into the FBI.


HANNITY: Pretty amazing.

And Congressman Jordan also detailed possible deep state collusion between the media and some of the highest ranking officials in the government over the salacious anti-Trump, untrue, unverified Clinton bought and paid for phony Russian dossier. Let's take a look at this.


JORDAN: Clapper, I think, is the one who probably went out and leaked it right after that.

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS: You mean the press was working on it, CNN, the dossier.

JORDAN: They had it.

HENRY: So, if you have the cover of 'we briefed the president- elect' --

JORDAN: Give them --

HENRY: -- then they can report it.

JORDAN: Gives it weight and that's exactly what happened. My guess is -- I don't know this for sure -- but Clapper is the one who orchestrated this. He's the one who told Comey, you go and you talk to the present. You're the ones staying on, you briefed him on the dossier, the salacious unverified dossier, and then, of course, right then after that, CNN talks about it, prints it and then 'BuzzFeed' printed the whole thing.


HANNITY: This is the same dossier that was used to acquire that FISA warrant against the Trump campaign associates. And remember, they lied to the FISA judges, and remember they never disclosed who paid for this.

Make no mistake. This was campaign opposition research bought and paid for by Clinton. Her campaign funneled through that law firm, Perkins Coie, put together by a foreign agent based on Russian and Russian government lies and used as evidence to get a warrant during a political campaign against an opposition party, all the while Comey and his cohorts, they never disclose the true nature of this document and they lied to the FISA court judge. That is a crime, which brings us to our next stop story.

The Democrats' laughable lawsuit against the Trump campaign, WikiLeaks and Russia, now we all know this court file conspiracy theory, it is nothing. Please, understand that this is a desperate publicity stunt.

But breaking tonight, the DNC's brand new lawsuit is now revealing what is almost an unbelievable double standard.

So, we told you about the anti-Trump dossier. They presented that to the FISA court. They get the warrant we've been talking about tonight, and nearly every night in this program for the last couple of months.

The dossier that was used to get the warrant that supposedly links Trump to Russia in the most salacious, embarrassing ways that was never verified in this lawsuit, it is nowhere to be found. It's not even in there. Let's lie to the judge but let's not lie to the next judge.

OK, I really understand this. So, the Democrats, along with the Clinton campaign, were the ones that paid a foreign spy to piece together this document on Russian lies and rumors and so-called Russian intelligence. Listen to what Chairman Nunes had to say about this totally embarrassing political Hail Mary. Take a look.


NUNES: We know who colluded with Russians. They don't want to admit that they colluded with Russians, but they hired Fusion -- they hired a law firm that hired Fusion GPS that hired a British spy that went and colluded with Russians. So, I don't understand why they just didn't open up a lawsuit against themselves. They should name themselves and sue themselves so that they can get to the bottom of what do they have on their servers? Why didn't they give those servers to the FBI?

This is -- this is nothing more, nothing less than a continuation of fundraising off of this scandal.


HANNITY: This is unbelievable. Clearly, as many are now nothing, this move from the Democratic Party whiffs of nothing but desperation. And even some of the Democratic Party, including Claire McCaskill, they're admitting this lawsuit is merely a distraction. By the way, she's up for re-election. That's probably just for political expediency.

Meanwhile, President Trump, he announced his response on Twitter. Quote, he wrote: 'Just heard the campaign was sued by the obstructionist Democrats. This can be good news and that we will now counter for the DNC server that they refuse to give to the FBI, the Debbie Wasserman-Schultz servers and documents held by the Pakistani mystery man and Clinton emails.' By the way, we'll bring you more information as that plays out. Luke Rosiak of 'The Daily Caller' has done amazing work.

Finally, tonight, we're going to end on some good news you'll never hear from anybody in the media. Despite what I described as the five forces that have been working to defeat this president, one to prevent them from getting elected, then to delegitimize him and get them thrown out of office, you have the media, you have the Never Trumpers, you have weak establishment Republicans, you have Democrats and, of course, the deep state.

You know, the Trump agenda keep seeing massive major progress both right here and abroad. Now, this includes big progress on the economy. Look at this, 14 states, 14, have now hit record low unemployment numbers, including Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, Hawaii, even California, Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is also seeing record low unemployment for African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans. And on the international front, we'll talk more about these developments later. Late last week, North Korea announcing, this is huge, little rocket man, they will suspend all ballistic missile testings and they plan to close a nuclear testing site.

And according to reports tonight, Kim Jong-un also has dropped his demand that all U.S. troops leave the Korean peninsulas. They can stay in South Korea.

This comes ahead of the president's upcoming meeting with the North Korean dictator.

These major groundbreaking developments came as a shock to many in the mainstream media. One fake new CNN reporter literally became speechless and this is priceless. Take a look.


REPORTER: Kim Jong Un's saying North Korea no longer needs any nuclear tests, mid-range and intercontinental ballistic missile, and he's saying the nuclear test site in the northern area near the Chinese border at Punggye-ri has completed its mission, therefore will likely be closed. This is an extraordinarily significant development and frankly a huge win for President Trump. I am really almost speechless here as the pace at which North Korea has done this U-turn, and this all started with Donald Trump agreeing to sit down for a summit with Kim Jong Un.


HANNITY: Good news for Trump, good news for the world makes CNN speechless. That speaks volumes.

Of course, what we're seeing tonight is just the latest in what is a long list of accomplishments you can see right there on your screen, but you're likely to never see these things reported in the mainstream media. I have been talking about and this message of these five forces working against the president, these narratives are now dying, especially Trump-Russia collusion and the president's agenda is working, which is good for the American people.

Here's my final word tonight: It's time to put this hatred, this obsessive, compulsive hatred in the media, in the deep state, in the Democratic Party aside. Work for the American people, work for more peaceful prosperous America and the world. Maybe we'll actually get along.

Anyway, coming up, just wait until you meet her upcoming guest Candace Owens. She's joining us later tonight. Hear about the support she is receiving from Kanye West, it is driving liberals nuts, and you'll hear a viciousness against this young woman that will shock your conscience.

And also later in the show tonight, I have an answer to the media which is clearly obsessed with me.

Hi. Glad you're watching.
Joining us with reaction to this monologue, former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, Fox News legal -- you know how to make the whole --


HANNITY: -- Gregg Jarrett, and nationally syndicated radio talk show host, Larry --


HANNITY: By the way, it's so great to see --

ELDER: This is what happen when you invite me in studio.

HANNITY: I know.

ELDER: Never do that. By the way, walking over here, Officer Boning, B-O- N-I-N-G.


ELDER: -- said to say hello to you. I said to him, thank you for your service. He said, you think I'm on Hannity, I said, yes. He goes, I'm going over there right now, he says tell him I said hi.

HANNITY: You should have brought him in.

ELDER: Officer Boning.

HANNITY: Well --

ELDER: Much love, officer. Thank you for protecting and serving.

HANNITY: Thank you, sir, for what you do every day. We appreciate it.

Go ahead.

ELDER: Jim Jordan and I were talking this morning about the fact that all these interviews that Comey has done, to my knowledge, Sean, no one's ever said, you found that Hillary lacked the intent to violate the Espionage Act. Where in that particular section does that say intent is required? I haven't heard anybody ask that question.

George Clintonopolous didn't ask it. Jake Tapper didn't ask --

HANNITY: Oh, George Clintonopolous.

ELDER: My bad. Stephanopoulos, what did I tell you? What did I tell you?

He didn't ask it.

HANNITY: That's why you're successfully.

ELDER: This thing is done, Sean. The endgame is it is done. There's enough shade on it thrown by people like you, by people like Gregg, by Jonathan Turley, by people like --

HANNITY: And you.


ELDER: It's done.

HANNITY: Not a lot of us.

ELDER: I agree.

HANNITY: You -- how ironic is it and I almost remember the first day we put up 18 USC 793.

ELDER: And you did that.

HANNITY: And now, we have -- we -- look at all of the criminal referrals last week. McCabe, Lynch, Strzok, Page, Comey, Hillary, and the list goes on.

GREGG JARRETT, FOX NEWS LEGAL ANALYST: Right. I mean, the great irony here is that Comey company appears to have done what he cleared Hillary Clinton for. And by the way, 793 -- people don't understand, you know, Comey didn't understand the law, which tells me he's not much of a lawyer - - 793 was amended by Congress to remove the intent requirement. Comey didn't understand that. It's simply gross negligence and extremely careless is a synonymous term.

So, Hillary Clinton clearly violated the law, and if Comey took with him out of the FBI building four of seven documents that are classified --

HANNITY: By the way --

JARRETT: -- he committed a crime.

HANNITY: We know he did it.

JARRETT: Yes, but we don't know what parts were redacted. So, that's the big question.

HANNITY: So, if it was redacted, that would help him.

JARRETT: Yes, but something ticks me off here. The FBI went to the offices of Daniel Richman, whom Comey leaked the memos to in -- to seize material and contained the leak, so that tells me that the FBI is of the opinion that he leaked classified information.

Remember, it's the content, not the markings that dictate classification.

HANNITY: Let me -- let me go to Sean. I keep -- the president has basically not had a single free day without this hanging over his head, and still, the accomplishments are massive.

ELDER: Right.

HANNITY: You know, who would have ever thought little rocket man is now willing to capitulate. China -- oh, we're going to have a trade war. China gave in on everything.

Fourteen states, the lowest unemployment level ever. African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, lowest unemployment records in history, and never does anybody in the media talk about it. You were there. Bring us inside how difficult it is to compartmentalize all of this.

SEAN SPICER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, it's not easy. I mean, you know, the truth is at any time you were on a on a roll of sorts, you can almost count down to sort of one of these salacious palace intrigue stories or something that would take us off message.

But the reality is, is that I tell people this now that I travel around the country, take away the smoke and the tweets and everything else, and focus on the accomplishments for a minute, whether it's foreign policy or domestic policy, whether it's how many people are going to work, how we're doing in terms of trade, all of those metrics that people judge it by. And at the end of the day, I think it's a rounding success, and that's what I think to your point, you don't hear enough about people want to talk about what could have happened, what might happen, speculate a lot.

But when we actually get down to talking about what is happening, what has changed, I think the president has been extremely effective at following through on exactly what he said he was going to do as a candidate, and the proof is in the pudding now.


SPICER: So, you know, you talk about North Korea, and the reaction is -- the reaction is all over. I mean, how many people thought they mock Trump and said oh he's calling him names and he's doing this, and now we've got a summit and the potential denuclearization of that continent --

HANNITY: The denuclearization of the entire peninsula.


SPICER: They gave President Obama -- right, they gave President Obama an award eight months in the office and this is what -- this is what actual results look like though.

ELDER: Winning.

HANNITY: Yes, exactly.

ELDER: I'd take winning.


HANNITY: You guys are --

SPICER: Are you tired?

HANNITY: How much trouble are all these deep state actors in?

ELDER: Some of them are in serious trouble. The big target, of course, is Donald Trump and in my opinion, he's not in any trouble. I think the end game will be that James Comey will be in trouble. I think the Mueller report will come back with no collusion. I think they --

HANNITY: But how they write it is going to be interesting. They might write it --

ELDER: It will be interesting. It doesn't matter. In the unlikely event, Sean, that the Democrats take control of the House and they try to impeach President Trump I think there'll be twenty or thirty Democrats that realized, it's so stupid, we're not going to do that, this is trivial. The next time a Democrat gets in, they'll do that for us.

And in the unlikely event that I'm wrong, it goes to the Senate, and the history of this country, a senator has never voted throw out of office a president of his own party, never.

HANNITY: It's trouble.

ELDER: So, he's home free.

JARRETT: I think they're in a lot of trouble.

SPICER: Sean, if I can --

JARRETT: For example, today when -- or yesterday when we learned what Devin Nunes had discovered, not only was there no probable cause evidence for a criminal investigation of Trump, Comey tried to be clever to conduct a counterintelligence probe -- well, you have to have intelligence for that, but, of course, it's always secret. Devin Nunes has uncovered the secret and discovered there wasn't any evidence to justify that.

HANNITY: Let me give Sean the last word tonight -- Sean.

SPICER: I've got to say -- I mean, Larry's right. If they -- they've got to be careful what they do. This DNC lawsuit is another fake phony attempt to raise money. They are setting an awful bad precedent that's going to come back to bite them.

HANNITY: Right. All right, guys. Good to see in studio. Good to see you. Thank you my friend.

ELDER: All right.

HANNITY: And to that officer, thank you.

A busy news night. Trace Gallagher updates us on the health of George H.W. Bush. He's been hospitalized, a horrific incident in Toronto and much more, straight ahead.


HANNITY: All right. We're following two big stories tonight involving George H.W. Bush's health and the deadly van crash in Toronto.

Joining us now from our West Coast newsroom, Fox News's Trace Gallagher.

Trace, two sad stories. We're praying for the former president and, of course, these people in Toronto.


The former president was admitted to Houston Methodist hospital yesterday morning, just hours after former First Lady Barbara Bush was laid to rest. The 93-year-old Bush is suffering a blood infection, but a family spokesman says tonight that Mr. Bush is, quote, responding to treatments and appears to be recovering. This is the fifth time in the last six years the elder Bush has been hospitalized, including a year ago this month where he spent two weeks in the hospital for pneumonia. On Friday, during the public viewing of Barbara Bush's casket, the 41st president greeted some 4,500 people who came to pay their respects.

Meantime, in Toronto, witnesses say a van traveling at 30 to 35 miles per hour on the walkways of Yonge Street, one of the busiest avenues in the city, appeared to be swerving back and forth trying to kill as many people as possible. And tonight, the death toll has been raised to 10, with 15 others injured, some of them critically.

Toronto police say the attack was deliberate but are not yet calling it terrorism, and they have identified the suspect as 25-year-old Alek Minassian, who lives 15 miles outside of Toronto. Minassian was arrested after appearing to wave a weapon at police. Still no word on motive, but the killing certainly follows a recent pattern of attacks around the world that involved rented vans, including the attack on bike riders last Halloween in Lower Manhattan, the 2016 attack on the London Bridge, and 2017 van attack on Las Ramblas shopping center in Barcelona.

ISIS has called on followers to steal or rent vans and use them to attack civilians -- Sean.

HANNITY: All right, Trace, on our West Coast bureau tonight. Thank you.

And joining us with more reaction, my opening monologue from "The Hill", Joe Concha, Fox News national security analyst, former deputy assistant to the president, Dr. Sebastian Gorka.

Dr. Gorka, the Justice Department now investigating Comey criminal referrals on every top figure, Lynch on Hillary herself, on Comey, on McCabe, on Strzok, on Page, then the I.G. referral, criminal referral as it relates to McCabe, all that we've talked about is now happening, everything the meetings talked about has been wrong.

DR. SEBASTIAN GORKA, FOX NEWS NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGIST: Yes, absolutely, for the 14 last months. Let's just tie it all together. The jigsaw puzzle must be made into a full picture. We now know Andy McCarthy's hypothesis is absolutely sound, the work of Sara Carter, John Solomon, our own FOX, Catherine Herridge, it is clear the Obama administration wanted Hillary to win.

She was protected by the highest echelons of the DOJ and the FBI. Why? Because her felonious use of a private server to send classified information on implicated the president himself. We know President Obama under a pseudonym contacted her and sent sensitive information on that private home-brew server, which meant if she was prosecuted, guess who has to be prosecuted as well? President Obama.

That is why they perverted the course of justice and everything should be renamed not FISA-gate, not surveillance-gate, it must be renamed tonight Sean, Obama-gate.

HANNITY: Deep state-gate, Obama-gate, whatever you want.

Joe, you follow the media. You follow their coverage, I'm not ever expecting a retraction and apology but the level of reckless hysteria and reporting especially on the cable networks, not Fox, and in the Washington Post and the New York Times. Anonymous sources, fake news. Debunked stories. Conspiracy theories. This now represents news in America?

JOE CONCHA, REPORTER AND COLUMNIST, THE HILL: The New York Times, Sean, the biggest complaint among readers, and it's been going on for years and years, is the use of anonymous sources. The utter reliance on them because obviously, we don't know what motive those sources have. Usually it's probably a nefarious one.

If they want to get these things out, they're not just innocent whistleblowers. They're looking to push the narrative to hurt people in positions of power. And we've seen that over and over again.

So, look, Devin Nunes who is obviously the head of the intelligence committee in the House, he has been dismissed by the media for the most part. He has been called a lackey. And then you look at the other side his counterpart, Adam Schiff. Do you know how many interviews Adam Schiff has done? And I'm not talking print interviews or online. I'm talking television broadcast interviews.


HANNITY: How many interviews.

CONCHA: He has done since the president took office 240. So, if you need to know if the media is picking a side, they are getting Adam Schiff a huge stage on an almost daily basis while Nunes is seen as well, that's the guy who is just trying to support Trump trying to push the false narrative. I think that's all the evidence you need, Sean.

HANNITY: Yes, It's interesting, Dr. Gorka, you mentioned there's a group of us. You're included in that group. And Sarah and Greg and Larry. I can't mention everybody. And the bottom line is this is the biggest abuse of power we've ever seen in this country's history. The biggest corruption case in history.

I've never seen, you know, unmasking, leaking, surveillance, FISA abuse, exonerations before investigations, felonies just not being prosecuted. Every one of these stories is unbelievable.

GORKA: We have had problems, we have scandals in the past. You go back to the '60s and the '70s especially there's a reason we had the Church and Pike Commissions. We had co-Intel pro which is a scandal for the FBI. But guess what, Sean, in almost every case it was the good guys overstepping the mark. They were bad people, they were radicals, they were ask this, they were terrorist like the Weather Underground. And they were overzealous in the application of intelligence tools.

Sean, in this case it's not going after bad guys. It's going after your Democrat -- your opponent in a Democratic election.


GORKA: It's going after somebody you politically disagree with and using the intelligence community.

HANNITY: Criminalizing the political differences.

GORKA: Right. And that's a massive scandal for the republic.

HANNITY: Last word, Joe.

CONCHA: We talk about the bias of omission a lot, Sean, that the worst kind of bias you could have. And you talked about not covering some of them are positive aspects of what this administration is accomplishing. And look, I'm not going to put it out there as some sort of cheerleader.

I look at Pew research right after the election. And here's what they said. The top three issues that voters voted on. 84 percent the economy. Eighty four percent said the economy and jobs. Eight percent terrorism. ISIS in this case, obviously. Seventy five percent foreign policy.

So we look at those three issues and foreign policy obviously we have to look at North Korea in those regards. The president is doing quite well on the issues that matter most to people, yet those are the issues that get the least reporting by our media because we're looking too much at Russia and Stormy Daniels and things that people don't care about as much as our media in the bubble thinks they do.

HANNITY: All right, guys, thank you both for being with us. When we come back, huge news about how the presidents peace through strength approach with little rocket man is working. That and wait until you meet another guest tonight.


HANNITY: Major breaking news with the stunning announcement that North Korea will suspend their nuclear and long-range missile testing and will close a major nuclear test site. There is no doubt a huge win for the peace through strength policies of the president and his administration. And we are guessing that liberals in the mainstream media are a little bit red- faced right about.

Now remember when they predicted that Donald Trump was going to lead all of us to a nuclear war with North Korea?


DANA BASH, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: The idea of a nuclear showdown with North Korea keeps you up at night. I would recommend deleting your Twitter app.

JOHN HEILEMANN, MSNBC: He is not merely being cavalier with the threat of nuclear war. He's been cavalier in a way that makes him seem demented.

BRIAN STELTER, SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT, CNN: These are the messages from a person who is not well, from a leader who is not fit for office.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump is goading Kim Jong Un to test a nuclear missile again, to prove its reliability, to show him wrong. And fundamentally I think it comes across as two kindergartners jostling each other, except that each has nuclear weapons.

JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC: Too late after 100,000 Americans died.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After a nuclear holocaust.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or after a million died.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And that's where we are.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is not an exaggeration.

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC: Trump's comment about nuclear weapons have experts worried he could literally inadvertently trigger a catastrophe.


HANNITY: Yes, media geniuses. Now, yesterday President Trump responded told these naysayers. He tweeted out, quote, "Funny how all of the pundits that couldn't come close to making a deal on North Korea are now all over the place telling me how to make a deal."

And today Defense Secretary Mattis had this to say about the potential summit between the president and Kim Jong-un which is slated for late May or early June. Take a look.


JAMES MATTIS, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Now I think there's a lot of reasons for optimism that the negotiations will be fruitful. We will see.


HANNITY: Here with reaction, retired CIA senior intelligence officer and Sonoran Policy Group vice president Daniel Hoffman. Haven't had you in studio. It's an honor to see you.


HANNITY: Thank you. Thirty years serving the country.



HOFFMAN: It went by like the blink of an eye though, honesty. I miss it.

HOFFMAN: I miss it these days, especially.

HANNITY: All over the world.


HANNITY: You are an expert at Russia, you lived in Pakistan.

HOFFMAN: And Iraq, as well, yes.

HANNITY: Unbelievable. Every -- I cannot -- unless Donald Trump backed up cargo planes filled with $150 billion in cash or tried to bribe Kim Jong Un like Kim Jong-il was bribed, his father, liberals will never like him. Don't make them, they are going to hate us. But strength works every time.

HOFFMAN: I think some of those pundits forgot the lessons we learn from Ronald Reagan who was equally as hard on the Soviet Union.

HANNITY: Evil Empire.

HOFFMAN: Call them the evil empire, made some of the most eloquent speeches. We remember the tear down the wall of Mr. Gorbachev's speech at Brandenburg Gate. And at the same time, he was negotiating arms control agreements. And it was that determination that he had and his ability to show our strength which led to the potential for some negotiations. I think we're seeing the same strategy right now play out quite well.

HANNITY: You know, it is amazing because nobody saw it coming. And why do you think the reversal, the economic sanctions had that big of an impact? I mean, Kim Jong Un's desire just to get into the Olympics last minute.

HOFFMAN: So I think a couple of things. I think for sure the sanctions are stinging North Korea but I also think the president's direct outreach to Kim Jong-un matters a lot because the Chinese would like to be involved, and they are out right now.

And I think the president caught everybody a little bit off guard. He also mounted this incredible extraordinary tactical diplomatic initiative completely shielded from the public view, avoiding any collateral damage that public scrutiny might have caused him until the time was right for all of us to know what Mike Pompeo was really doing over Easter weekend.

HANNITY: I've always liked Mike Pompeo. Mike, he was number one at West Point. This guy is a smart man. And thank God he will become the next secretary of state.

I want to ask you. We also got the concessions from China, the Chinese president as it relates to intellectual property rights and trade. I want to ask you, you had written a piece about former Brennan, former CIA director. What about him?

HOFFMAN: Well, my concern about John Brennan was some of the tweets that he made regarding the president and his comments on Morning Joe a couple of weeks back where he--


HANNITY: Liberal Joe. Like they don't call it morning, liberal Joe show.

HOFFMAN: OK. I got it with the HANNITY program.

HANNITY: Hannity lingo.

HOFFMAN: yes, sir. So he was insinuating, he even, you know, he said he was speculating that Vladimir Putin could blackmail President Trump. And that is causing, risking a lot of collateral damage to our national security. He should be taking the Hippocratic Oath, may be exercising his freedom of speech although I think personally it's unseemly for someone involved in--


HANNITY: It really is.

HOFFMAN: -- intelligence to come back and get into partisan politics that way. But then do no harm to our national security while you are exercising that right.

HANNITY: Isn't it -- isn't it amazing that the people that are most angry about the things that have come out about the FBI, Justice Department, and FISA and all these things, and unmasking and leaking intelligence. The people that I know that are angriest are the people in the Intel community that protect us every day. And the FBI, those rank-and-file guys that protect us every day and all of whom put their lives on the line. They are apoplectic, and a lot of the information coming out is because of their bravery and honesty.

HOFFMAN: I think there is some frustration when down in the trenches, you see things really clearly. You are briefing to your director who in turn is briefing the president. And sometimes politicians in the previous administration I saw, like to start with the answer and then kind of twist the information to fit their solution. And from the perspective of somebody who was in the trenches and saw really the threats were to our national security. And look at Syria and Iraq if we saw--


HANNITY: How scared with the average American be hat would freak most people out?

HOFFMAN: Probably, pick one. Look, we know the results of what happened in Syria where ISIS had a lot of geographic space and Iraq because we retreated from those places. We know that in South Asia the president completely swiveled with his policy on retaining our troops in Afghanistan when the Obama administration wanted to remove them.

HANNITY: Listen, you are a true patriot and hero.

HOFFMAN: Thank you.

HANNITY: An honor to have you on the studio.

HOFFMAN: Thank you. My honor, too.

HANNITY: You've been great, Thank you. Liberals have been vicious, I mean vicious, attacking conservative Candace Owens. Now Kanye West has praised her on Twitter. She is here tonight to exclusively respond. That's next.


HANNITY: All right. The left's attempt to shut down and just demonize conservatives in this country is ramping up again. This time they are attacking African-American conservative commentator Candace Owens for taking on Black Lives Matter protesters during an event at UCLA. Take a look.


CANDACE OWENS, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: What is happening right now down the black community, you're going to hear it in this room first, there is an ideological civil war happening. Black people that are focused on their past and shouting about slavery and black people that are focused on the future.

Victim mentality is not cool. I don't know why people like being oppressed. It's the weirdest thing I've ever heard. I love oppression. We're oppressed. Four hundred years of slavery of Jim Crow, which by the way, none of you guys live through it. Your grandparents did.

It's an embarrassing that you utilize -- you utilize their history. Utilize their history and you come in here with more emotion than they ever had when they were living through it. More emotion than they ever have when they were living through it. It's embarrassing. You're not living through anything right now. You're overly privileged Americans.


HANNITY: And on Saturday, Kanye West praised Owens on Twitter. And he wrote this, quote, "I love the way Candace Owens thinks." But not everyone of Owens is a fan with compliments and support Kanye West support. Look at what Tom Arnold went on a sexist, brutal, vicious, hateful racist tirade on Twitter.

Here are just some of what he tweeted. "Aside from being an insane alt-right race pimp Candace Owens things Donald Trump is literally the messiah not you at Kanye West so you might want to reconsider." He also wrote "@realCandace, while glomming onto Kanye West. His family already told him you were a phony and a fraud. A former Democratic bad actress."

I don't even want to talk about this anymore. Candace now joins us. You are a total star. I watch that tape. I am so impressed and so happy for you that you have this gift. But I am so sad for you also that you have to take on those vicious attacks.

OWENS: Thank you so much first of all for the compliment. It means a lot coming from you. And let me tell you, do not be sad for me. This is exactly what I wanted, this is exactly what I intended to happen because I knew exactly what I was going up against. When you go up against the left, this is what they do. They try to essentially say that you are not allowed to think differently. I say it all the time. Blacks are ideological slaves and pawns to the Democratic Party.

HANNITY: Tried to invest in real estate. If you don't put your money under a mattress, believe me. I know what you mean. It's not the same though. How -- I watch Kanye West, I was so happy that he did that because that's what I always thought everybody should embrace this freedom. Why do so many have a problem with this?

OWENS: It's not a problem. You have to think about what the left has done successfully. They have hijacked our education, they hijacked family via LBJ in the great society act, taking away black fathers. So black used to start to look at hip-hop culture and NBA and NFL athletes for the direction. This is why they are constantly utilizing Hollywood and this develop this underground system of conservative thinkers in Hollywood for fear of losing their job.

Kanye West is just the first person that's brave enough to come out swinging against them and saying that he has a right to think according to how he would like to.

HANNITY: I really thought honestly, it was so refreshing that he did that and I was happy for you. You know, a very dear friend of mine, Deneen Borelli, she's been a guest on this program often. She wrote a best-selling book "Black-lash." The first thing she writes in the book is Google my name. And because she happens to be a black American who is conservative the things that come up are the most vicious. Why, why do you think that is?

OWENS: Well, I think that the reason is because politics is downstream from culture. And if they lose the culture war, they lose absolutely everything they have. They cannot afford to have black people thinking differently.

If we move the black vote 5 percent, the Democratic Party is absolutely finish. So it's essentially a house of cards they've been building when you get black icons like Kanye West you get--


HANNITY: Do you-- I'm sorry. Go on, finish your thought.

OWENS: Go on.

HANNITY: No, finish your though.

OWENS: You get black stars to speak out against them, they are in serious trouble.

HANNITY: Look at under President Trump, black and Hispanic unemployment is at the lowest level it's ever been. Fourteen states have record low unemployment numbers. After eight years of President Obama, 13 million more Americans were on food stamps, eight million more in poverty. I said that every night.

Do you think this is going to change? Because the Democrats there's every year, every election year, they played the race card. Republicans don't want to count you in the census. The James Beard ad, and so on, and so forth. Do you think this changes, is there a cultural shift based on results coming?

OWENS: One hundred percent there is going to be a cultural shift. And you mentioned the black caucus which stood for more food stamps when Obama announced it but sat when Trump announced black on employment. That is disgusting, OK. And that is because they work for leftist. And it's been infected. It is a swamp and I'm telling you right now we are on the brink of an ideological revolution and the black community is going to start waking up and I'm so happy that I got to play a part in this.

HANNITY: I got to tell you I admire you so much. You are a force of light and a star and I am going to really enjoy watching your career trajectory just sore. And I wish you all God's grace and success in the future. Thank you so much for being with us, and thank you, Kanye, for what he did for you, too.

OWENS: Thank you so much.

HANNITY: When we come back, the media can't stop talking about me. All about me. I, number one, my me my, we'll play the video.


HANNITY: It's actually now becoming funny. The liberal media, they can't stop talking about me. They are obsessed. Watch.



















STELTER: Sean Hannity.
















HANNITY: It's truly unbelievable. All right. The answer to every report about me from this weekend can be found on my website, Hannity.com. So for all of you, my real friends that love me so much in the fake news media because we've exposed you for who you are, just go there for the truth. Hannity.com. OK?

All right. Unfortunately, that's all the time we have left this evening. The show will always be fair and balanced. We are not the destroy Trump media. We never will be. Let not your heart be troubled. One of my favorite, my favorite biblical quote. Laura Ingraham is live in Washington. You know, I'm here 23 years, I do have advice for you.

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