'Hannity' on Putin's pro-war rally, Biden's call with China

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This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," March 18, 2022. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: And welcome to HANNITY.

And we start this Friday news night with a FOX News alert. Now, tonight, we are nearly a month into Putin's hostile invasion of a sovereign country Ukraine, and Russian forces are very much stalled all over the country now no matter what happens moving forward this war has been a humiliating disaster for Vladimir Putin.

And now, the little murdering thug that he is is lashing out. This morning, Russia launched a missile attack in western Ukraine and in the south, we continue to see relentless shelling of civilian areas. Now, this same type of medieval siege would also be happening in Kyiv. But thus far, Russian forces have totally failed to encircle Ukraine's capital city. Good news for Ukraine.

Now, Russia's military performance has been incredibly pathetic but in coming days and weeks you can expect the carnage the bloodshed to increase as Putin desperately looks for a way to save face.

And meanwhile back at home in Moscow, Putin is facing more humiliation. Russia's currency is now crashed. Moscow's stock market has been shut down for weeks. Anti-war protests have erupted all over the country.

And today, during a big manufactured pro-Putin rally in Moscow, his best attempt to look like Donald Trump, there were some embarrassing technical difficulties during Vladimir's big speech.

Take a look.

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)

HANNITY: Oops, Vladimir Putin can't get through speech without screwing that up, kind of like Joe Biden.

Anyway, according to reports, the stadium was filled with thousands of government workers who were required to attend, unlike a Trump rally. Anyone in Russia who voices opposition to Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine, they're thrown in jail.

Vladimir Putin is not in a good place and right now, the world is facing an extremely dangerous and critical tipping point. And what happens in Russia and Ukraine will have reverberations all over the world. But guess what, our fearless leader Joe Biden, he's taking another weekend in Delaware. A lot of ice cream, a lot of nap time.

And before heading out, Joe did have a call with China's president, President Xi, to discuss Ukraine and other issues of mutual concern. I hope someone reminded Joe that China is not to be trusted. They have their own territorial ambitions.

In the lead-up to Putin's invasion, the Biden administration, they shared U.S. intel with China and asked them to discourage Russia from attacking. China did the exact opposite and they immediately gave our intelligence to Vladimir Putin and Russia.

Now, as we speak China is very much aligned with Russia in every way. The country is now a major purchaser of Russian oil and gas and, of course, Russia's oil and gas revenue is what makes Putin rich and Russia rich again. And the higher the price, the more money Putin has to spend on his bloody war and his territorial ambitions.

Now, the U.S. could drive down the price of oil and gas right now by drilling, by fracking, by re -- by refining, by producing more fossil fuels here at home, getting in more Canadian oil from little Justin. He's willing to do it. But the climate cult eco socialist that is the new Democratic socialist party, they're standing in the way.

Now, despite record high gas prices, we're all feeling the brunt of it, congressional Democrats are calling on Biden to declare a national climate emergency and shut down all drilling on all federal lands. Are these people that clueless? They're also calling up Biden to end all energy subsidies for the oil and gas industry.

And meanwhile, more than 65 celebrities, oh, this is great, are now protesting a Canadian pipeline with a strongly worded letter. They're very worried about the environment, except of course when they themselves need to travel. Many of those celebrities on the list, yeah, they are they're frequent flyers on their private jets, led by Leonardo DiCaprio, Jane Fonda, Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr. What hypocrites, right?

One pipeline protester, a model named Lily Cole said that she prefers to take helicopters everywhere. Okay, I'm not against helicopters. I love them. It's a great invention.

But you can't lecture the American people and you can't shut down pipelines if you want to fly around in your private jets and helicopters. Nothing wrong with any of that, but spare us the lectures about climate. Stop telling American citizens to start driving electric vehicles and their need to conserve energy and go buy yourself an electric car. Well, that might cost you 60 grand, then you got to pay for the power station.

And for the love of peace, by the way, stop faking support for Ukraine. After all, anyone who really wants to stop Putin, you would do whatever it takes to drive the price of oil and gas down and supply our allies in Europe with their energy needs. Whether you want to face this truth or not, it is a reality -- the lifeblood of the world's economy is based on oil, gas and coal, period.

It's not going to be windmills. Solar panels won't cut it, and until we get clean new sources of energy, go out and find it, that is what the reality of the world is.

Here with reaction, former Trump White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, along with former senior counselor to President Trump, Kellyanne Conway.

Kellyanne, I want to start with this -- not only we're getting lectured by Hollywood liberals, but I never thought in my lifetime that we would see an American president cutting a deal with the mullahs in Iran that threaten Israel, threaten us, want to wipe Israel and us off the face of the Earth, that they'd make a deal that would give them tens of billions of dollars, a deal that would allow Russia and Vladimir Putin to build a nuclear site for them, according to reports. But also would allow the U.S. to import oil from Iran.

And then Joe sending emissaries over to Venezuela to maybe lift sanctions and now, we're going to import oil from them and he's already been begging OPEC, countries that hate us.

This is beyond any comprehension I have especially knowing the resources we have in this country. Your reaction?

KELLYANNE CONWAY, FORMER SENIOR COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: And you're not alone, Sean. Most Americans know exactly what you just said. They know that we were energy independent not so long ago under President Trump and they know that we can be again but it's a matter of policy leadership and spite.

Look -- look, Joe Biden is down in the polls because he defies the public so the public defies him. There are two new polls out, "Washington Free Beacon" released one, Harris poll released the other. They both say the same thing, that in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, do you think that the Democratic Party should pull back a little bit on climate change and go ahead and produce oil and gas?

It has tripartisan support. A majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents all said, yes, please do that. They see a direct nexus between the tragedy of what's going on, the horrific human tragedy of what's happening in Ukraine and the ability for us to look inward. This is the America last policy of Joe Biden.

And let me just say this about John Kerry, the climate czar and he deserves a Russian title. He never lets the he did not allow the invasion of a sovereign nation first time in years to go to waste. What does he see in it? He sees climate change crisis.

You know, abortion used to be the religion of the Democratic Party. It's now climate change and green new deal. And this person on two occasions, first, he said, oh, Putin's not going to focus, he's not going to have big country attention now on climate change, and quote, he hopes Putin will say something about the falling of the Siberian tundra.

You can't make this up. That was the beginning of the war, just this past week. He doubled down on that and said, wow, you see all these people the humanitarian crisis. You see these refugees escaping Ukraine, with their lives, but wait until you see a bigger refugee crisis.

He's talking about climate change when we're all watching the horrors of what is happening to the Ukraine people. So this religion and this defiance of the public will I think is really going to cost Joe Biden we've never seen we have never seen an American president, Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, look outward first at other dictators instead of inward at our own resources and our own resilience.

HANNITY: Reince, so let me bring you in this. So Biden has this called President Xi today and okay he said war is not a great thing. It shouldn't happen. You know, pretty perfunctory from my perspective.

But what he's not saying is if you dare help Putin and you prop up his economy, these will be the consequences. Now, the White House only put out, you know, partial parts of that conversation. I'd like them to reveal the whole transcript because I don't think Joe Biden has the courage to get tough with President Xi or Vladimir Putin.

REINCE PRIEBUS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Gee, and I also wonder, do you think the intel community is going to leak out the entire transcript like they did to Kellyanne and I so many times? I highly doubt it.

And this goes to your point and Kellyanne's, is that if you don't put maximum pressure on Russia on gas and oil, obviously pressuring Xi is important, but pressuring President Xi while you're putting maximum pressure on Russia is paramount.

This -- the crazy thing about this is that while you mention all these things that are going on in gas and oil, the Democrats are now talking about hauling in oil C -- gas and oil CEOs in Washington, D.C. to berate them for not drilling more in the United States. Now, our entire lives we've been told that we need to know our surroundings, whether you're driving, whether you're in sports, whether you're in politics. And what are the surroundings?

Kellyanne hit on it -- John Kerry. Well, a year ago, John Kerry told oil workers that they needed to learn how to make solar panels, not to mention they're all made in China anyway. We've talked about all the EOs, executive orders banning Keystone, banning oil leases, increasing taxes, the interiors regulating oil and gas fracking, and don't forget, the kicker of all of this.

Two years ago, Joe Biden said he was going to ban all fracking. Well, then the Biden administration started debating themselves and they said, will we ban all fracking or new fracking?

So, this is the environment. No oil company in their right mind in this environment with these people are going to go start spending billions of dollars to go drill more oil to only get shut down and berated by these same people. They're hypocrites and there's -- it's amazing what they're doing in this country.

HANNITY: And, Kellyanne, I would argue that that anything Joe might have said to President Xi and anything that President Xi would say back is going to be tepid, yeah, this is wrong and the world will be better off with peace. But they have their own territorial ambitions, and they know if they leave Vladimir Putin alone, let him pursue his ambitions in Ukraine. And that means it'll be that much easier for President Xi to take over Taiwan or reunify as he said, as they sent a ship through the Taiwan Straits earlier today, as they've been flying fighter jets over Taiwan airspace now for how long.

CONWAY: Yeah, and, Sean, Reince, this is the same president who last summer left $85 billion worth of equipment and intelligence within the wingspan of China. And I'd like to see the entire unredacted transcript in a non-sensitive capacity of this entire an hour and minute call the White House reports why, because I want to see if he pushed him on fentanyl, if he pushed him on the Wuhan virus.

I want to see if he pushed him on the Uyghurs. I want to see if he pushed him on human rights. I want to see what he pushed him on, and I bet it's very little because the only thing I read about Biden and China this week was even in the New York Times and it had to do with Hunter Biden and his interest in China.

So I think that Operation Wilmington, the president going back to Delaware on those weekends is probably a good idea for this country, and God only knows what he's doing there. Perhaps he's talking to his son about all of his problems, his subpoenas, his -- his investigations.

But this is a guy who's not going to be able to credibly pressure President Xi because he is -- President Xi and Putin have Biden right where they want him right now.

HANNITY: Yeah, Reince, we only have 45 seconds. You get the last word.

PRIEBUS: Oh, well, I was thinking -- you know, you're talking about Mark Ruffalo and Leonardo DiCaprio protesting, increasing oil production in the pipeline from Canada. Don't forget, they drive Teslas too and Elon Musk said two weeks ago that we, in fact, need to increase oil production in this country, that extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.

And Elon Musk, founder and creator of Tesla, is 100 percent correct. So to all those Hollywood actors driving their Teslas, live with that.

HANNITY: Extraordinary measures -- extraordinary times require extraordinary measures, and that's against his best interest, Tesla. I give him a lot of credit for saying that and he's right on all fronts.

And you're right, he's a great innovator. Kellyanne Conway, thank you. Reince Priebus, thank you.

Now, we turn back to Putin's weird pro-war rally today in Moscow. Putin's bloody slow-moving war in Ukraine targeting innocent civilians, men, women and children.

Here with more, FOX News senior strategic analyst, General Jack Keane, is with us.

It seems to have taken on a more civilian aggressive strategy at this point and indiscriminate bombing of innocent men women and children. I'm not exactly sure what that means. FoxNews.com, General, they had a piece up that said that we might expect more of that, more nuclear saber rattling by Vladimir as he gets more desperate. What is your take?

GEN. JACK KEANE (RET), FOX NEWS SENIOR STRATEGIC ANALYST: Yeah, well, what what's happened here is we have a stalemate in the north, in the battle for Kyiv and also the battle for Kharkiv, so much so that all offensive operations in both of those areas by the Russians have just stopped. They know full well that they are not able to complete the encirclement of either one of those cities and bring in their artillery which would be the main element to hammer the city itself and create a devastation there.

So what what's actually happening then? What they're doing is they're bringing more troops from the eastern military district. They've arrived in Belarus, Sean, and they're crossing the border into Ukraine. They'll be fresh troops, not particularly better than what's already there, to be frank about it, poorly-led, poorly-trained, likely having low morale, not knowing why they're there. But they're going to put them into the fight.

There's also their best military organization is the first guards tank army based in the vicinity of Moscow. They've had a couple of the smaller elements from them in the fight early on now they're bringing larger elements out. This is the organization that keeps Putin in power at all costs. So the fact that they are committed in --

HANNITY: Now, General, maybe --

KEANE: -- into this fight indicates that there's really -- they really intend to still take those cities physically. They have not given up on that.

HANNITY: General, maybe I'm thinking out of the box here. But if I was President Zelenskyy, I might think about sending a few special ops forces into Russia, and maybe into Moscow and maybe retaliatory strikes within Putin's country, let him know what it feels like. Any thoughts on that?

KEANE: Well, we could do that, but it wouldn't be decisive because you need mass and what has been decisive is Zelenskyy's Ukraine combined arms brigades that are stopping the assaults on Kharkiv and also Kyiv. These are conventional combined arms units and they've stopped these guys cold, and that's why they're bringing down these other forces.

Mariupol is likely to fall and they have put ashore now naval infantry, the 810th naval brigade, which is their very best one. It gives you a sense of what the concerns they have here and they're in that fight in Mariupol.

Sadly and regrettably at some point, that's maybe the first city that Russia takes control of. So they haven't given up on physical control of these cities, but they will -- they will keep up the pressure on the civilians in these cities pretty shamefully.

HANNITY: That's why you're the general and I'm the talk show host. You have this down pat. Great analysis as always. Thanks for being with us.

All right. Straight ahead tonight, even our adversaries are starting to notice, Joe Biden's cognitive decline, his weakness on the world stage. Also, the mob and the media continues to be exposed for being liberal partisan hacks. We'll check in with Greg Jarrett, Jason Chaffetz, straight ahead as we continue this Friday night.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

HANNITY: Now, amid Putin's bloody crackdown and more and more evidence of war crimes, the Kremlin is lashing out, even saying that Joe Biden's recent remarks about the Russian leader are insulting.

Are we dealing with a woke, offended Vladimir Putin, the guy that is indiscriminately killing men women and children?

Anyway, when describing Biden, a Kremlin spokesperson said, quote, given such irritability from Mr. Biden, his fatigue and sometimes forgetfulness - - well, fatigue that leads to aggressive statements, we will not make harsh assessments so as not to cause more aggression.

Now, like I've been saying, Biden's weakness on the world stage, it is emboldening bad actors all across the globe as Biden and Democrats abandoned the peace through strength strategy that was successful under President Trump and even President Reagan.

Now, that media mob still won't admit it worked but the mob is at least slowly coming to realize that the Hunter Biden laptop is authentic, which, of course, means we were right from the start and I guess with the 2020 election long over, the Democrat sycophants in the media, I guess they're more comfortable admitting their massive election cover-up, although they're not apologizing. In many places, they're not even retracting or revising their remarks. They're not saying oops, I'm sorry, we got it wrong. This was two weeks before the election.

Now, there are obvious attempts at censoring the biggest story of the 2020 election. Anyway, remember the mob went all in on the Russia hoax, the Steele dossier, the dirty Russian dossier that Hillary Clinton bought and paid for, falsely claiming Hunter Biden's laptop story was Russian disinformation. The double standards, they are obvious, they are undeniable.

Look at this clip between fake news CNN's Humpty Dumpty and a "Washington Examiner" reporter just weeks before the 2020 election. Humpty doesn't look too good as per usual. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRIAN STELTER, CNN REPORTER: There is anything real in them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah, but that doesn't stop any from reporting the Mueller and the dossier and all that stuff.

STELTER: I understand that you have a lot of resentment about that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now, we have ethics, okay. Now, we have ethics.

STELTER: Don't you dare -- don't you dare act like newsrooms didn't have ethics in 2017 and 2018.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I know. You can't -- you can don't dare me all you want, Brian, I've been doing this for 30 years. So say whatever you want, it's my view and I have a right to say it. I was -

STELTER: So, your view is that the news media was unethical with Mueller?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Here with reaction, FOX News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett, along with FOX News contributor Jason Chaffetz.

Gregg, start with you tonight. Well, Humpty's wrong almost all the time, but the reality is this went on for three long years. They were totally exposed as being propagandists and liars. Now, "The New York Times" acknowledges, oh, Hunter's laptop in fact was authentic. There was no curiosity, just the media mob and their mantra, oh, it's Russian misinformation.

They lie repeatedly. They lie for years. They spread conspiracy theories for years and there's no consequences except I guess people don't watch or trust them. Maybe that's a consequence, but that's about it.

GREGG JARRETT, FOX NEWS LEGAL ANALYST: Yeah, because they have no conscience. Look, the laptop was never Russian disinformation and the mainstream media, including "The New York Times" knew it, that they chose to lie to the American people to protect Joe Biden to ensure his election. They were so biased against Donald Trump and in favor of Biden that they decided to engage in corrupt practices, deceiving voters in the run-up to the election. That's not journalism that's journalistic fraud.

When "The New York Post" broke the story months ago about the laptop, it was obviously genuine because Hunter Biden never denied that it was his and the people who communicated with him and emails confirmed their authenticity. The FBI seized the laptop as evidence in a criminal investigation of Hunter Biden.

But most of all, his business partner, Tony Bobulinski, came forward and said yes these are real. They incriminate Hunter Biden. They implicate Joe Biden with whom I met and discussed making millions of dollars by leveraging his position of power to benefit foreign governments and corporations.

You know, it is a crime to misuse your public office for financial gain for profit. It appears that's exactly what Hunter Biden did and the evidence suggests that Joe Biden was complicit.

HANNITY: You know, if I can, Jason, back in November of 2020, November 24th, Media Research Center did a survey, 45 percent of Biden voters said they were unaware of the financial scandal enveloping Biden and his son as revealed on the laptop and as censored by big tech Twitter, Facebook, and according to their poll -- again, Media Research, November 24, 2020, that according to their poll, full awareness of Hunter Biden and Joe Biden scandal would have led 9.4 percent of Biden voters to abandon the Democratic candidate.

Now, that's -- that would have flipped -- they said would have flipped all six swing states. Now, do I know that that's true? That's their analysis of it. I can't say for sure.

But I will say this, if that laptop were Don Jr.'s or Ivanka's or Eric or anybody with the last name Trump, they would have covered it nonstop for the final two weeks of the election and it probably would have had a major impact. Am I wrong?

JASON CHAFFETZ, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: No, you're absolutely right. Not only was it the suppression that was going on by the lack of the traditional media doing their job, but I really do believe that the social media tamping down, making sure that they shut down "The New York" -- "The Post". They didn't let any stories out this.

Anybody that was insisting that was true, they were -- they were put out there as false and fake news and it was just a total lying cover-up. These people took awards, Pulitzer Awards for their coverage of what was going on. And yet none of that has been returned, but I do think it had an effect on the election, because I do think if you showed how dirty, first, it's one small example. In that -- in that laptop, Joe Biden's grandkids get paid a $100,000 because Hunter Biden in Romania makes a referral.

How is it that Joe Biden's grandkids get $100,000? I mean, these are the types of questions that investigators should be looking at and the national media has never still to this day, Sean, still has not fully reported.

HANNITTY: Guys, have a good weekend. Jason, thank you. Gregg Jarrett, thank you.

When we come back, a pathetic attempt to stay relevant. Flip flop Fauci is warning of another variant and more potential lockdowns.

Also, Senator Rand Paul wants Ukraine to pay for the military equipment we are sending over to Ukraine and I agree with him. We'll tell you more when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: All right. Now, tonight, Dr. Doom and gloom flip-flop Fauci is at it again, warning the never-ending COVID restrictions, oh, they may be on their way back during an interview on fake news CNN. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASE: If, in fact, we do see a turnaround and a resurgence, we have to be able to pivot and go back to any degree of mitigation that is commensurate with what the situation is. So we can't just say we're done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Now, of course, Fauci just can't let go of his pandemic power grab and can't -- cannot stay off TV. But will he ever confront his failures? Will he ever be held accountable not only for his flip-flops and wrong-headed predictions, but also his outright lies?

Here to answer that and much more, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

Senator, he did say it might be time for him to go. That might be the one thing we agree with. Now, we do see a rise of cases in European countries, we're watching that.

The one thing I don't understand is this -- why is there a resistance towards the one treatment therapeutic that every doctor I know seems to praise? And that's monoclonal antibodies, GSK, sotrovimab for example for omicron. Why does he ever talk about that?

SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY): You know, I've never heard him once mention monoclonal antibodies. I've also never heard him mention the one thing that could save your life. If you're sick and getting sicker with coronavirus, you need to get the monoclonal antibodies sooner the better. If you wait too long, they won't give them to you. If you wait until you're an inpatient in the hospital, Dr. Fauci actually has forbidden anybody from getting the monoclonal antibodies in the hospital, which is crazy.

But the thing is he's not talking about the treatment that could save your life. And so, at every turn, he has a proclivity to be pessimistic even in the face of good news.

Look, if you draw blood from a thousand people in any state in the Union, you know what you find? You find that over 95 percent of them have antibodies to either the virus or to antibodies to the vaccine. So, 95 percent of the public has immunity.

We need to get over all this craziness of these masks and stickers on the floor and plexiglass. None of it really changed the trajectory of the disease. But immunity, the vaccine and natural immunity is letting us overcome this disease.

HANNITY: And now they're talking about a fourth shot. The only good news I said is hopefully maybe he's going to retire, but we never got to the bottom of what you challenged him on and that was his own emails, "The Intercept" documents that we got a hold of -- that they got a hold of and shared with the world. The NIH's own story about the origins of coronavirus, so we know he lied there.

Will he ever be held accountable or is he going to pass like every other liberal Democrat?

PAUL: If the Republicans take over the Senate, I'll be chairman of a committee and I absolutely pledge to the American people I will use the subpoena power to get every one of those emails unredacted. I will also have them come in and interviewed under oath by an investigator.

We're going to get to the bottom of this. Why? Six million people died around the world and they've covered up whether this came from a lab. They completely dismissed it and they kind of admitted in their emails why they dismissed it.

They said it would be damaging to the reputation of the NIH, damaging to the reputation of Fauci and Collins, and damaging in the reputation to the Chinese researchers. So they covered it up because they did not want the truth to be told, but we will find the truth.

HANNITY: Let me move on to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and I've been very, very clear on this program. I no longer trust politicians at all that are all gung-ho and they want to go to war, they send our national treasure over there to fight, bleed, die.

They don't fight wars to win the war. They're timid in how they fight them. Then, they politicize the war, and then they say never mind, and then we have a disaster like Vietnam or a disaster more recently like Afghanistan.

But when I do see dead children in the street, women and children in the street, and we see indiscriminate bombing of hospitals, schools, entire neighborhoods, apartment buildings and I see mass graves, I look to past conservative leaders like Reagan and Donald Trump.

And Reagan armed the mujahidin, never put an American boot on the ground and they were able to beat the former Soviet Union. He also helped out the freedom fighter Contras take on the Sandinistas and Daniel Ortega. That was successful.

Then I looked at -- well, Donald Trump didn't want to long protracted wars, but the caliphate that grew under Obama and Biden, he bombed them into smithereens and destroyed them -- Soleimani, Baghdadi, and the al-Qaeda leader in Yemen.

So I look to those two examples as an alternative to putting American boots on the ground. You're more libertarian. Where do you stand?

PAUL: You know, I think when we look at what's going on in Ukraine, without question, our sympathies are for those who struggle for freedom, those who struggle under the oppression and aggression of a neighboring country that's invaded their borders. So, without question, our sympathies are with Ukraine.

As a representative, as a senator, as someone who represents and has to defend the Constitution, my first obligation is always to what -- to determine what is in the national security of the United States. Once that is determined, there is the ability to help other countries. But we have to make sure that it isn't unlimited and it isn't without some degree of debate and caution.

So, for example, I don't think we should be sending troops into Ukraine and I don't think we should declare war on Russia. So I think that we have to be aware of what we're saying and we do need to look for off-ramps. Even Ukraine has begun saying and talking out loud about the idea of being a neutral country which I wish we could have discussed 10 years ago and might have prevented some of this.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: Well, hang on a second. They were the third -- they were the third largest, the Budapest agreement, at the time, they were the third largest nuclear power in the world. They gave up all of the, what, 1,300 nuclear weapons with the promise that this wouldn't happen.

I think -- I agree with every point you made, no-fly zone, America First, our interest first, but do we have a moral obligation?

Now, you made a statement on my radio show that I totally agreed with. It was kind of Trumpian. They should be paying us, if they can't pay us right now, down the line for -- if we're going to provide them Javelin missiles to defend their freedom and the Ukrainians are willing to fight this war themselves. I have no problem supplying them -- Stinger missiles, anti- aircraft, anti-missile defense systems. And if Poland wants to give them MiGs, I'm all in favor of that, too.

But in the end, they got to pay for it. You had said that and I agree with you.

PAUL: Yeah, and the reason -- one of the reasons you should do it is on our index of corruption, Ukraine has been at the top of the list for so long. They've had several previous presidents who made off and stole a billion dollars. So simply by charging them, it means that the accounting has to go towards weapons and not towards somebody stealing the money off the top or cashing in for themselves.

But I do think that ultimately, we have been a big help to them and people, you know, obviously are wanting to help them. But they need to realize that we've given them weapons over a long period of time now. There are a lot of weapons that were given under Trump, not as much under Obama, but under Trump, there have been a lot of weapons given.

And I think that -- I think Putin is shocked. I think he is ruing the day that he did this. He's afraid to give up now because he'll look so pitiful if he leaves.

But this is going to be a prolonged -- even if he takes the cities, it will be a prolonged insurgency. And I foresee a time if they put a puppet government in Kyiv, that I foresee a time that they'll be Ukrainian teenagers blowing up that pipeline and, all of a sudden, Russia is going to have a hell of a time transporting oil and gas to Europe.

HANNITY: Well, I think we're pretty much in full agreement on this, and as long as they pay for it, I think your idea that they should if not now, down the line, absolutely is correct.

Senator, great to see you. Thanks for being with us.

And straight ahead tonight, transgender swimmer Lia Thomas sparked widespread backlash after dominating the women's NCAA championship. Caitlyn Jenner, Tammy Bruce weigh in on that big controversy, straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas won an NCAA title in the 500 yard women's freestyle on Thursday, finishing more than a second -- ahead of the second place finisher, by the way, an Olympic silver medalist. The results are intensifying the debate in this country over the unfair advantage for Thomas and bolstering arguments that the integrity of girls sports is now being compromised.

Now, here's Thomas speaking after her win. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: You've undoubtedly been under the spotlight over the past few months. How have you been dealing with that and reasoning with everything?

LIA THOMAS, SWIMMER: I try to ignore it as much as I can. I try to focus on my swimming. What I need to do to get ready for my races and just try to block out everything else.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Parents of other swimmers, they continue to defend their daughters and say this is about fairness in women's athletics.

Here are the parents of one swimmer speaking of FOX News digital. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PARENT OF COLLEGE SWIMMER: We do not support a biological male swimming in the women's championship meet against females. It is an unfair advantage.

PARENT OF COLLEGE SWIMMER: How do the rest of the women feel about having the stress of dealing with this you know knowing they have to swim against him? So a girl that got nine doesn't get eight, a girl that gets 17th doesn't make all-American 16th.

PARENT OF COLLEGE SWIMMER: I've not met one parent that feels differently than we feel.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Here with reaction, Olympic gold medalist Caitlyn Jenner, along with FOX News contributor Tammy Bruce.

Caitlin, you were on last time. And you said a couple interesting things to me. You said, I'm not really worried about testosterone levels now, but what were they like when somebody's 16 or 17 or 18. And you for example you happen to be a great golfer, you said, I'm not going to play in a woman's golf tournament because you believe you would have an advantage.

Where does this end? Maria Navratilova (ph) said, the tennis star, that there should be an asterisk next to this victory. What are your thoughts?

CAITLYN JENNER, OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: Well, you know, I think they need to deal with it in some way. First of all, I just want to say, I've never been against Lia Thomas. She actually played within the rules.

What I have -- was it fair? No, it wasn't fair. It's not a fair fight. But she played within the rules.

The problem is the NCAA and the rules. They really need to take a serious look about what's happening in women's sports, and they have to make it fair.

I have been from the beginning out to protect women sports. I haven't been out to protect transgender athletes. But this is not an easy -- it's a tough subject. There are -- there's no one answer to fit -- that fits everything. I mean, I just got blasted the other day by some -- it was called pink news.

This girl Emily Chutty (ph) came out and just ripped me with all nothing but lies. We deal with this woke tech -- you know this woke world that we're living in right now. And so, I put out a tweet, you know, because she says I'm doing nothing for the trans community and you know I played in a LPGA golf tournament and all this stuff which was all false.

And so, I tweeted out -- well, I want to have a little fun with it at least, I had the balls to stand up for women and girls in sports and, of course, that went viral and but we need to do that. We need to stand --

HANNITY: Well, let me ask a question --

JENNER: We need to stand up for women's sports. Yeah.

HANNITY: Do you feel --

JENNER: We got to keep it fair.

HANNITY: All right. I've known you it before you became transgender, and before all this happened. I knew you was as Bruce Jenner. We were friends back then.

JENNER: In and out.

HANNITY: And --

JENNER: Right.

HANNITY: -- do you believe now that you're physically stronger than most women because you had that testosterone in those developing years?

JENNER: Yeah. Well, I went through male puberty and I always say this, what I -- what I got left over is more than most people ever had, you know, when I'm playing golf. I just went through actually --

HANNITY: You drive the ball 300 yards and you'd crush me and Tammy together, I got it.

JENNER: Yeah, I can -- I know I can still do that stuff. I still got long arms. I got a lot of strength left over. Actually, I'm back in the gym because my knee is better.

But, yeah, I don't play in like our clubs -- club -- you know, women's club championship because it's just not fair, you know? So --

HANNITY: Yeah.

JENNER: Yeah. I mean, Lia Thomas went through male puberty and that is a tremendous advantage. I have been on testosterone blockers. I have been on estrogen and am currently on estrogen, and -- but I'm still, you know, unfortunately bigger and stronger than most women out there, yes.

HANNITY: What's your take, Tammy?

TAMMY BRUCE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, Caitlyn is -- obviously does something for the transgender community every day, by being herself. And when you -- when you talk about the nature of character and this is what we're at, at this point, right, with Lia Thomas, and I think that this particular meet, Sean, said a great deal.

When Thomas hit at one, the spectators were quiet. Normally, you would cheer for the winner. It was when the young woman came in second is when the cheers came up, as recognized as the female winner in that race.

And then in the photographs afterwards, you see how uncomfortable the second and third place winners are, and Thomas is standing off to the side. And I think that for the American people the -- you know, us talking about this theoretically, you know, everybody knows Caitlyn, but talking about someone like Lia Thomas theoretically is one thing. But when you see the physicality of this person, next to these women and the entire dynamic seems false.

So it comes down to, Sean, as I've been saying regularly, this is not an issue about transgenderism. It's an issue about character and about intention.

The Concerned Women for America, that group by the way just yesterday filed a civil rights lawsuit under the Title IX, a civil rights complaint under Title IX, because of the problem with this. And if we didn't have political correctness and the woke religion hounding us, we could have an honest conversation about everything because this is not empowering women.

Katie Pavlich said it very well in "Town Hall" that this was thievery, that this is not empowering women. It's not empowering women's sports. It certainly is not empowering the transgender community when this is what Americans see, because this is not what it's about. So this is where the parents have to step up, people have to come forward, good for CWA, for this civil rights complaint. We have to be honest here for the sake of fairness, especially within sports and that's what this is all about.

This is about competition winning on the merits and when you see that race and you see Thomas, you know that neither one of those things are happening.

HANNITY: Last word, Caitlyn?

JENNER: You know what? In the race, she just didn't win it by much. I think she was seven seconds behind the fastest race ever for women in that race. I think honestly, she took it easy.

BRUCE: I think so too.

JENNER: She was watching just to stay ahead of the rest of the field to win it. It's a shame. We have -- we have to change this right now. There has to be some changes. We have to look at it.

From that -- honestly, I would love, because I don't know what Lia Thomas's intentions were -- I would love and I'm -- Lia, I would love to sit down and have an interview with you and I want to find out what your intentions are here and what you're trying to do by doing this.

HANNITY: Well, I'll tell you what? If she -- how about this? If she wants to come on this program with you and Tammy, we'll all have a discussion together. I would love to put that. All right.

JENNER: Yeah, I -- yeah.

BRUCE: Great idea.

JENNER: Yeah, you got it.

HANNITY: All right. Have a great weekend. Thank you, Tammy. Thank you, Caitlin. Appreciate you being with us.

More HANNITY straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: All right. Unfortunately, that is all the time we have left this evening. As always, thank you for being with us. You make this show possible.

Please set your DVR so you never miss an episode.

In the meantime, let not your heart be troubled. Laura Ingraham is up next. Brian Kilmeade filling in for Laura tonight.

We hope you have a great weekend. We'll see you back here on Monday.

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