Herman Cain: Let the president know you have his back; Hannity remembers Roger Ailes

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," May 18, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And this is a Fox News Alert. Many thanks to my friends on "The Five." Welcome to "Hannity."

Another major breaking news night. Herman Cain, Corey Lewandowski, Jay Sekulow, Matt Schlapp, Geraldo Rivera, Lou Dobbs, Ainsley Earhardt. are all here with reaction.

And later tonight, my special tribute to the founder and former chairman of the Fox News Channel, Roger Ailes. He was a force of nature who forever changed the media and political landscapes in this country for the better. If it was not for Roger Ailes, I would not be sitting here with you tonight. We'll have much more on the passing of Roger Ailes coming up later in the show.

But first, it is time to fight back against the five powerful forces that are now aligning to destroy President Donald Trump. Sitting back and doing nothing is no longer an option. Tonight, a call to arms our "Opening Monologue."

All right, we have been explaining to you, the American people, what is now happening in our nation's capital and this massive effort to utterly destroy President Trump and throw him out of office. It is a plot to subvert the will of you, the American people, and undermine the very foundation of this republic. And it is unlike anything we have seen before in American history.

Earlier today at a news conference, President Trump, he addressed these unprecedented attacks. Watch.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I respect the move, but the entire thing has been a witch hunt, and there was no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign, but I can always speak for myself and the Russians, zero. I think it divides the country. I think we have a very divided country because of that and many other things.


HANNITY: Months of coverage, zero evidence. The president is right.

For example, let's look at all these Obama administration scandals, no special counsels. Benghazi, the IRS targeting conservatives, the General Services Administration -- their spending scandal -- Fast and Furious, Hillary Clinton's private email server -- we know felonies were committed there -- the Clinton Foundation, the pay-to-play scheme, remember? Uranium One, 20 percent going to Vladimir Putin in Russia, Bowe Bergdahl, the Iranian prisoner swap, the VA scandal, Loretta Lynch, Bill Clinton on the tarmac, that meeting, surveillance rules changes, James Rosen and journalists hacked, Solyndra, the Secret Service prostitution scandal, unaccompanied minors entering the U.S., Hurricane Sandy funds, Healthcare.gov contracts.

The threat against President Trump now is real. It is metastasizing into a clear and present danger. It's only going to get worse. And we're learning tonight that the DNC is now pumping money into what is being called, quote, "the Resistance Summer." It's the left's plan to attack and obstruct the president at every turn.

So it's time for you, the American people, you irredeemable deplorables that went out and went to the rallies and voted for him, it's time for you to stand up for what you wanted and what you voted for in November.

As you heard me say, this was a choice election. Now, everything that you have voted for is under attack. You voted for the economy. You voted for millions of new jobs. You want people out of poverty, off of food stamps and back in the labor force.

You wanted to lower taxes. You wanted tax reform. You voted to repeal and replace ObamaCare. That process is now under way. You voted for a much stronger military, for a president that can actually say the words "radical Islamic terrorism" and defeating ISIS.

You voted for energy independence. You voted for more control of education to be sent back to the states. You voted to cut government regulations and jobs. And most importantly, you voted to drain the swamp and upend the power structure in Washington, D.C., that has been failing you and the American people for decades.

These forces that are working to unseat President Trump, they don't care about fixing the gigantic mess that President Obama left behind after eight years of incompetence and failure. They don't care because they're inside this corrupt Washington cabal. They are the swamp! They prosper, Americans suffer.

And that's why these groups, they don't care about the numbers that we showed you from the Obama administration from back during campaign night after night. The lowest labor participation rate since the '70s, almost 95 million Americans out of the labor force, the worst recovery since the 1940s, lowest home ownership rate in 51 years, 11 million more Americans on food stamps after Obama, 8 million more in poverty, 43 million total, one in five American families without anybody in the workforce, one in six American men, prime working years, 18 to 34, incarcerated or living home with Mommy and Daddy.

And when President Obama left office, he had accumulated more debt than every other president before him combined, a guy that said $9 trillion in debt is irresponsible and unpatriotic.

Now, these forces, they want to prevent the president from fixing this mess and improving your lives. And as we have been explaining on this show, there are five specific forces now working to take down the president. Let me explain in order in terms of the dangers that they represent.

Number one, the most dangerous, the deep state. Former FBI director James Comey, obviously disgruntled, fired ex-employee, showing a vendetta now against the president. I guess he's angling for his multi-million-dollar-book deal, a miniseries, primetime interviews, a movie, and probably wants to work for MSNBC.

Now, we've seen the deep state working around the clock, undermining, sabotaging and leaking, which hurts, and hopefully, in their case, they want to destroy the president. The deep state must be purged! And we've got to get rid of the people that are now the biggest threat to this republic, and of course, the free election of Donald Trump.

Number two, the destroy Trump media, they're the second worst in this alliance, if you will. The purveyors of fake news and bizarre tinfoil hat conspiracy theories with no evidence -- collusion, Russia, none whatsoever. Now, these propagandists, these liars recklessly pushing one manufactured scandal after another, why? Hoping that just one of their constant smears against the president sticks and will lead to his downfall.

Then, of course, you have the Democrats. They've been totally unhinged since November 9th. Now, they've been attacking and obstructing the president at every turn because they can't accept the election results of you, the American people.

Then, of course, you can always count on those very same establishment Republicans, you know, the ones that were afraid they may be accused of shutting down the government, the people that never supported President Trump even though they're in the same party, never supported his agenda. Well, now they're dragging their feet to implement what you voted for.

Just look at Senator John McCain. This is a disgrace. He's now saying that this Comey witch hunt is reaching the point where it's Watergate in terms of its size and scale. No, Senator, it's not. And you should know better.

And number five, then you have the never Trumpers, the least impactful, groups like National Review, The Weekly Standard, people who never thought or want Trump the win. They would have preferred Hillary pick the next Supreme Court justice. But now they want vindication and relevance.

Make no mistake, this is now about overriding an election, the election results, the will of the American people. This now combined is undermining our democratic process, not only trying to delegitimize the president but trying to effectively stop him from doing what he promised to do.

Now, why are they doing it? Their own selfish reasons. They, of course -- they want to cling to power. Isn't it always about power in Washington? Now, President Trump is the biggest existential threat to the way things have been working there. So it's really the swamp versus the people, and the swamp is fighting hard.

Here's my question for all of you tonight, the American people, you irredeemable deplorables that cling to your God, guns, Bibles and religion. Are you going to help the president that you elected? And as hard as you fought during the election, you better understand that if you want those changes that you voted for, that you went out and fought for, well, you better fight harder now or the country will deteriorate even further and America's precipitous decline will not stop.

Here with reaction, Fox News contributor Herman Cain is with us. Herman, am I wrong? Am I paranoid? Am I -- or are these real threats to the president? And do the American people that voted for Trump need to now rally?

HERMAN CAIN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Sean, you did that monologue better than I could have done. And that's quite a compliment. You're absolutely right.

HANNITY: That's beyond a compliment.


HANNITY: That's over the moon!

CAIN: I absolutely agree with you and I couldn't have done it any better. You are I absolutely spot on.

Before I address that, let me say this and give my own personal tribute to Roger Ailes. You are absolutely right. He changed the direction of so many people, including my trajectory of my participation with Fox. Here's how I would sum up what you said and a lot of others have said all day about Roger Ailes. He had an ear, an eye and a heart for people and then talent. That's what made him so special.

Now, getting back to your monologue about the attacks on Trump -- all I heard today on my radio show was the deplorables are going to fight back. Many of them are starting by calling the presidential comment line. Most people didn't even know they had one. It's 202-456-1111. Let the president and his administration know that the American people have his back. The liberal media doesn't have his back. We know that. The Democrats don't have his back. We know that.

And even some Republicans, as you indicated, don't have his back. The American people have has his back, so to the American people, you need to call 202-456-1111 and let the president know that we have his back. We are fighting back.

HANNITY: The two that I think seem be the most dangerous to the president accomplishing his agenda -- look, America is in a precipitous decline. He's got to get his economic plan. He's got to get rid of these regulations, got to build the wall. There's so much on his -- education, energy independence, all these things he wants to do -- you know corporate rates lower, repatriation lowered, jobs, manufacturing centers built.

But if he has to deal with the deep state and a corrupt media that lies and -- how do they get away with these conspiracy theories? Conspiracy TV apparently is the most interesting thing to watch these days, all built on a house of cards and lies!

CAIN: They are playing upon and dependent upon -- the liberals and the Democrats are dependent upon the Jonathan Gruber theory. They are basing it upon the stupidity of the American people. And they do have a lot of people who are going to be gullible and going to follow that narrative. So that represents approximately 50 percent of the American people. Those people that elected Donald Trump represent the other 50 percent plus a few.

The 50 percent plus a few are going to have to let Trump know that we have his back. That's why the Democrats and the liberals get away with it, because liberal media as their accomplices help them to get that message across to people who really don't understand the facts.

HANNITY: All right, Herman Cain, always good to see you. And yes, you would have delivered it better because I'm not the guy that did 999, the most memorable political line in the history of politicking!


HANNITY: All right, my friend, thank you.

And coming up on this busy breaking news night, the president is now fighting back against these forces that are trying to take him down. Lou Dobbs, Corey Lewandowski are here next.

And also tonight...


DAN RATHER, FMR. CBS NEWS ANCHOR: He no longer has control. And instead, if you will, of being the hunter, he becomes the hunted.


HANNITY: Disgraced former anchor Dan Rather takes yet another shot at the president. Really? Did Dan Rather just mean that, the National Guard Dan Rather? That's coming up in our "Fake News Roundup" segment tonight. Matt Schlapp, Charlie Hurt will join us and much more straight ahead.



TRUMP: We've had tremendous success. You look at our job numbers. You look at what's going on at the border, as we've discussed before. You look at what will be happening. You're going to see some incredible numbers with respect to the success of General Mattis and others with the ISIS situation. The numbers are staggering, how successful they've been, the military has been.

We have to get back to running this country really, really well. We've made tremendous progress in the last 100-some-odd days, tremendous progress.


HANNITY: All right, that was the president earlier today at a press conference with the president of Colombia detailing just some of the successes his administration has had since taking office. By the way, you won't hear that on the mainstream media.

But as I mentioned in my opening monologue tonight, there are five significant forces that are trying to defeat this president and take him down. The deep state -- they're the worst -- the destroy Trump propaganda media -- they're the second worst -- Democrats unhinged -- they're next -- establishment Republicans weak, they're next, and then kind of the never Trumpers.

But President Trump -- he's fighting back, calling out what he is saying is political witch hunt. Joining us now with reaction, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, from the FOX Business Network, Lou Dobbs.

I've never seen anything like this. The most dangerous to me is the deep state because I've never seen leaks like this. I've never seen unmasking like this, especially in the political years, up 600 percent from years prior.

LOU DOBBS, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: I think I think that's largely correct. I think that the enabling RINOs, the establishment Republicans who are frankly enabling the deep state and even the left represent perhaps even a greater danger to the president.

It's a danger he's recognizing. Corey Lewandowski rejoining the circle around this president is a helpful and hopeful sign of better things to come for the president. He has -- he has around him people who are not taking every pain, every effort, every opportunity to defend him, to attack those attacking the president. And as you and I have discussed, this communications department is -- is led by people who seem like they've never been in the business before. But even at that...


HANNITY: ... I would throw in -- even if it's just on a volunteer basis, to get real control, which I think the president deserves. And by the way, this is not to dismiss anybody. I know people are working hard. A lot of them are gulping water. These attacks are probably consuming 80 percent of people's day. But Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, helping, organizing, getting the agenda moving.

DOBBS: They've been with him, though, from the beginning. They have been doing a lot, I think, as you -- as you well know.

HANNITY: But real -- but I mean more involvement.

DOBBS: Even more. But the idea that this president has a communications department that isn't jumping at opportunities to attack the left, to attack the deep state and to defend and promulgate this president's agenda just drives me nuts!

HANNITY: You said it two nights ago. It's war. You and I get nuts over the same things.

Corey, do you like the idea maybe some help to -- because 80 percent of the time seems to be distraction, attack, reaction, attack, attack, attack. Maybe guys like Mike, Newt Gingrich helping to sort of reorganize in that sense and -- and do the fighting and let the people that are supposed to govern actually have time to do their job?

COREY LEWANDOWSKI, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Sean, I think it's super-important that those individuals who supported this candidate, Trump, and now President Trump are out in public talking about what's really going on.

What we've seen, actually -- and no one wants to talk about this -- if you look at Trump's numbers in the states of Iowa and the states of Ohio and the states of Pennsylvania, his numbers are actually up amongst Republicans who voted for him last cycle. His numbers are higher by 8 points in Ohio today. They're higher than they were on election day in Iowa. His approval rating amongst Republicans is 80 percent in the state of Pennsylvania.

And what that tells you is you have to fight back. Donald Trump was elected because he wants to change Washington. He needs the surrogates on television who can go out and push back against this false narrative that there's not anything getting done in Washington.

The bottom line is, in the first 120 days, he has been more successful than most administrations have been done in four years!

HANNITY: Listen, I think I'm like the only one -- me and Lou Dobbs, the only two people on this planet that actually report what he's actually done.

Lou, let me throw this to you.

DOBBS: You bet.

HANNITY: Look at this special counsel, the appointed -- and I'm going to put up on the side of the screen -- I put it up earlier -- you know, zero special counsels for Obama and -- and -- you know


HANNITY: Hillary got a pass!

DOBBS: Absolutely. And within four -- in less than four months into the Trump administration's presidency -- I mean, this is insane! Where is the evidence of a crime? Let's just start there. There is no evidence of a crime, yet we've got a special counsel!

HANNITY: Hours and hours and hours of TV. Corey, we'll give you the last word.

LEWANDOWSKI: Sean, Lou's exactly right. There is no evidence of anything wrongdoing. There's no evidence of collusion. There is no reason for this. The bottom line is it's a political witch hunt. It is not necessary. The Republicans are weak on this thing. They should have held tough. They should have been stronger.

HANNITY: All right, guys, good you both. Lou is really being very shy and timid, as usual.


HANNITY: When we come back on this busy breaking news night tonight on "Hannity"...


RATHER: He no longer has control. And instead, if you will, of being the hunter, he becomes the hunted.


HANNITY: Wow! Disgraced former CBS anchor, Dan Rather -- the hunted? Really, Mr. National Guard? He's now popping up in the spotlight, Mr. National Guard himself. We're going to more of the lowlights in tonight's insane -- our new segment, "Fake News Roundup."

And then later tonight, new questions over the mysterious death of DNC staffer Seth Rich. Jay Sekulow weighs in.

And also tonight, former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes dies at age 77, a true American patriot. I would not be in this chair if it were not for him, as he forever changed my life. That's coming up.



HANNITY: And welcome back to "Hannity." All right, our new segment, "The Fake News Roundup," and tonight's edition features disgraced former CBS anchor Dan Rather. He won't go away. Now, last night, he actually said on MSNBC rather gleefully announcing that the media has finally got the better of President Trump. Watch how he says this. Watch.


DAN RATHER, FORMER CBS NEWS ANCHOR: Thank God for the American press. The New York Times, Washington Post and others have been doing a terrific job. Up until today, President Donald Trump has had the ability to control almost every news cycle. From this day forward, he no longer has control. And instead, if you will, of being the hunter, he becomes the hunted.


HANNITY: Becomes the hunted? (INAUDIBLE) Now, has Dan Rather forgotten the incompetent, irresponsible, reckless reporting he did for CBS News? Is that what president hunting looks like to you?

Now, of course, Rather wasn't the only member of the propaganda press that was spewing anti-Trump hatred. Take a look at some of the recent lowlights.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC: You wrote a remarkable column in The New York Times today calling for the Republicans to use the 25th amendment of the Constitution of the United States to essentially remove Donald Trump from office...

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL, MSNBC: Donald Trump might only have 14 months left in his presidency. That's how long it took a special prosecutor to get rid of President Nixon.

TIMOTHY SNYDER, HISTORY PROFESSOR, ON MSNBC: When the president asks the FBI director for loyalty, he's actually trying to change the character of the American government. Hitler in 1934 began to demand precisely loyalty. Firing Mr. Comey by sending over a head of a private security detail -- that's what happens in Germany, as well. The private security deal eventually becomes the SA and the SS. They become more important than the police.


HANNITY: Joining us now from the American Conservative Union, chairman Matt Schlapp, along with Fox News contributor Charlie Hurt.

All right, Matt -- OK. Really? The hunted? Now we're hunting the...


HANNITY: And this coming from the disgraced radical ideologue Dan Rather? The hunting -- we're hunting a president.

MATT SCHLAPP, AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE UNION: Yes. I mean, this is just -- well, this is what the American people know. The American people have been watching the opposition media have a liberal bent for decades now. And they have decided that Donald Trump is not a legitimate president, that it's their job to take him out, and it colors all their reporting.

And I think all it does is make the American people, the American voter, realize that they have to turn to other places to get their facts. And I think it also, in a very strange way, strengthens Donald Trump politically because he's the one taking on the swamp, he's taking on the opposition press and he's taken on all of these institutions that are supposedly, Sean, have our best interests at heart.

HANNITY: Charlie, I don't even know what to say about hunted. I'm just sitting there thinking, OK, well, thanks for being honest, you disgraced -- what happened in this case, what was that whole National Guard a story all about? Wow, hunted.

CHARLES HURT, POLITICAL COLUMNIST, WASHINGTON TIMES: I think he got his meds a little off today, he either skipped them or didn't -- maybe had too many of them. I have no idea. These people, these clowns have been calling Donald Trump Stalin and Hitler from the beginning. But they're also the same people who told us he would never win, and before that he would never run, he would never get the nomination. He could never win a general election. They've been wrong about absolutely everything.

And the thing that I find so disturbing as Matt just pointed out, these people, they are doing everything they can, they are hurting America. They're doing everything they can to undermine an election. And Donald Trump's victory last November is not just some sort of one-off fluke. It follows almost a decade of losses that the Democrats faced because of their policies, because of Obama's policies. And the idea that the media now wants to just sort of overturn the whole thing, reject the whole thing because they don't like this guy, it really does show the absolute disdain that they have for the American people and the disregard that they for free politics.

HANNITY: You know, Matt, it's so bad now. But conspiracy theory, hating Trump has actually, it's revitalized Bill Maher and Stephen Colbert's career. And a leftwing cable channel, all of a sudden, wow, all the conspiracy theorists that want to destroy Trump, they are excited because they actually think this impeachment thing is going to happen.

Guys, I've got to roll. Thank you both for being with us.

When we come back, still so many questions, this is getting more mysterious by the day, surrounded the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich. One thing I will tell you, my opinion, strongly, guess what, it wasn't a robbery. Was he talking to WikiLeaks? We'll investigate. And if he did, does this blow the Russian collusion narrative out of the water? Jay Sekulow will join us.

Also tonight, the world has lost a media and political giant. The founder of the Fox News Fox News Channel Roger Ailes, he has died at the age of 77. Without him, I would not be on your TV set right now. Later in the program, I'll share with you what Roger meant to me.


HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." Questions continue to swirl around the mysterious murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich. Now following Rich's death, there was suspicion that he may have been the source of the DNC emails that were leaked to WikiLeaks, now, not the Russians as the left claims.

Here's what we know at this point. In the early morning hours of July 10th, 2016, while walking to his Washington, D.C., home, Rich was shot in the back and left for dead. Police claim it was an attempted robbery gone wrong, but the assailant did not take anything from Seth Rich, including his phone, wallet, watch, necklace.

Suspiciously 12 days after Seth Rich died, WikiLeaks published the leaked emails from the DNC. Also following Rich's death, WikiLeaks offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the person or persons responsible for this murder. Then in August of 2016 during that interview on Dutch TV, Juliana Assange of WikiLeaks implies pretty strongly that Seth Rich may have been a WikiLeaks source. Watch this.


JULIAN ASSANGE, WIKILIEAKS FOUNDER: Whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often very significant risks. A 27-year-old who works for the DNC was shot in the back, murdered just two weeks ago for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was just a robbery I believe, wasn't it?

ASSANGE: No. There's no finding. So --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you suggesting? What are you suggesting?

ASSANGE: I'm suggesting that our sources to take risks, and they become concerned to see things occurring like that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was he one of your sources?

ASSANGE: We don't comment on who our sources are.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then why make a suggestion about a young guy being shot in the streets of Washington?

ASSANGE: Because we have to understand how high the stakes are in the United States.


HANNITY: Now, if Rich in fact was WikiLeaks source for the DNC email leaks, it would confirm Russia was not involved. In January, I asked Julian if Russia hand given him any of the emails. Remember, WikiLeaks have not been wrong in 11 years. They've not been proven to get one fact wrong that they have published. Here's what he had to say.


HANNITY: Did Russia give you this information or anybody associated with Russia?

ASSANGE: Our source is not a state party. So the answer for our interactions is no.

HANNITY: You did not get this information about the DNC, John Podesta's emails. Can you tell the American people 1,000 percent you did not get it from Russia or anybody associated with Russia?

ASSANGE: We can say, we have said repeatedly over the last few months that our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party.


HANNITY: During that same interview I asked Julian Assange about a report saying that it was a disgruntled Democrat who gave Clinton campaign emails, gave them to WikiLeaks. Watch this.


HANNITY: There was one report in The Daily Mail that suggested somebody that you are friendly actually was handed the documents at American University in a wooded area by a disgruntled Democrat who felt betrayed because the revelations showed that Bernie Sanders had been betrayed, and they didn't like the corruption of the Clinton Foundation. Can you confirm or deny that? Is that story true?

ASSANGE: That statement from Craig Murray.

HANNITY: A friend of yours?

ASSANGE: A friend of mine, he's been here several times. But WikiLeaks is a source protection organization. We are famous for never having exposed one of our sources over 10 years. That's why sources trust us and they come to us. So I can't comment on other people's statements about our sources except to say what we have said, which is that our sources are not a state party.


HANNITY: It gets more mysterious by the minute. If it was true -- we don't know yet -- if it was true that Seth Rich gave WikiLeaks the DNC emails, wouldn't that blow the Russian collusion narrative that the media has been pushing out of the water?

Here with reaction from the American Center for Law and Justice, Jay Sekulow. I look at this, and with all that we heard with no evidence, none, and Admiral Rogers and James Clapper, no evidence of collusion, but the media runs with it. Based on Julian Assange said in that Dutch interview, it sounds like he, not 100 percent but pretty close to saying that it could be Seth Rich. What is your take on what he said?

JAY SEKULOW, AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW AND JUSTICE: He certainly pointed out what would be obvious to a prosecutor or to a detective. I've served in multiple capacities in government. I've represented D.A.'s. I was a deputy state attorney general for cases. So I'm familiar with this area. If you look at a normal situation like this, it was a horrible, tragic situation. It does not fit the classic definition of robbery because the deceased -- nothing was taken. So that means it really wasn't a robbery based on what we know but rather a murder. And there's a fundamental difference both to the criminality of that and to the way in which it would proceed for investigation.

HANNITY: Jay, in all the years you've been an attorney. Does it make sense that you shoot somebody in the back and the whole narrative has been they're investigating a robbery, but they didn't take the wallet, they didn't take the necklace, they didn't take the phone and they didn't take the watch? Does that sound like a robbery to you, because it doesn't sound at all like a robbery to me?

SEKULOW: It sounds like murder one. It sounds like premeditated murder, they targeted this individual, and the unfortunate situation is that it's been classified. I guess the police are classifying it as a robbery, the detectives.

I think it points to a bigger issue, Sean, and that bigger issue is this. Of course the public perception of this is this was just another horrible situation, a crime in the District of Columbia. But there's a lot more to this I would suspect. You can't ignore the fact that it was a DNC staffer. You can't ignore the fact that there was nothing taken for the individual's body. There was no wallet taken, no jewelry.

HANNITY: I'm running out of time. I want to ask you this. Because, remember on the eve of the DNC convention, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, these other people all lost their jobs based on what was in those emails. And deep down, you have to wonder if it's not him, or somebody maybe was so disgruntled at how they cheated Bernie Sanders, how they conspired against him, how the fix was in, not necessarily him, we'll put him aside for a minute. Couldn't you see somebody seeing that gross injustice and saying this is outrageous, and wanting it exposed, the truth told?

SEKULOW: That happens all the time inside a political campaign, so that's not unusual. The tragic aspect of it here is of course the media continuing to harp on the Russia source of the leaks which Julian Assange pretty much denies pretty unequivocally. This wasn't Russian state actors involved in this.

So that begs the question, and it's an unfortunate question to have to address, and that is there's a dead 27-year-old in Washington, D.C., who happened to be a DNC employee, and Julian Assange is at least making statements that it could be this individual. He doesn't exactly come out and say it. But it sure doesn't look like a robbery. It looks like a murder. And I haven't seen the files, you haven't seen the files, but there's one thing that undercuts, I think. I think this whole Russian argument, Sean, is such subterfuge from reality.

HANNITY: Why didn't the DNC let the FBI look at their computers? And why would the FBI allow that? But I've got to roll. We'll continue to follow it.

SEKULOW: It's all politics.

HANNITY: It's all politics.

All right, when we come back, the country today lost a force of nature. Up next, I'll share some words and thoughts about Roger Ailes, what he meant to me. We'll also check in with Geraldo Rivera, Ainsley Earhardt. I would not be here tonight but for him.


HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." Today, the world lost one of its great patriotic warriors. Roger Ailes at the age of 77 has died. Roger's impact on American politics in the media is unmatched. He singlehandedly changed the landscape of both, and both for the better.

There are few people in this world who will ever have such a profound impact like Roger did. I wrote earlier today on Twitter that, by the way, Roger has enemies, they didn't like his politics, they should know this. Right now, advantage Roger because in the next life he's plotting and planning on how to kick your ass there like he did here. That's how Roger rolls. He was always five steps of his opponents, sometimes 15 or 20 steps ahead. They played checkers in life. Roger was playing chess, the strategist that could not be duplicated by anybody.

On a personal note, I want to tell you something. I would not be here in front of this camera tonight, in front of you if it were not for Roger Ailes. I say it all the time, I have no idea why he hired me back in 1996. It was a huge risk on his part. I was a young, local radio host in Atlanta, very little TV experience. And to be honest, I don't know how we didn't fire me early on. I was that bad as early tapes humble me every time I see them.

But I think it was because Roger saw something in me like he did so many other people here on the Fox News Channel that he hired that they didn't see in themselves. He became like a second father to me. I lost my father in March of 1997 right after starting the Fox News Channel, six months later. I am forever grateful, forever grateful for the opportunity, his endless enthusiasm, his humor, his wit, his energy, his raw instinctive intelligence.

I want to say this tonight. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Beth, his son Zachary. Roger Ailes was a true American original, one of the deepest thinkers I ever met. He will be greatly missed.

Joining us now, Fox News correspondent at large Geraldo Rivera, and "Fox & Friends" co-host Ainsley Earhardt. Words don't summarize how many people's lives he changed. I watched the news with you this morning.

AINSLEY EARHARDT, CO-HOST, "FOX & FRIENDS": I knew eventually this day would come. And he hired me 10 years ago. And I do feel the privilege of being able, in a weird way, to announce it this morning on "Fox & Friends" because he was a father figure to me. And I know there was a lot of bad press recently about him, but he was wonderful to me and he changed my life. And I have a beautiful daughter and he supported me through that. I've had some hard times in my life, he supported me through that.

I remember the first time I walked into his office and say in that corner office and thought, I'm sitting with this legend. And I told him that, and I said, you know, Roger, I don't know if you're good to hire me, but I want an opportunity just to pick your brain. This might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to sit down with someone who was so critical to our profession, and I just want to thank you for giving me this opportunity just to meet with me for just an hour.

And he said, you know, I think I'm going to hire you. I need to see your tape, but I think I'm going to hire you. And I was crying on the plane and flying into New York because this was my dream. Roger, that man right there, gave me my dream, and my dreams have all come true. My little girl will go to college, and I am saving money right now because of him. He put a roof over my head and gave me this amazing life in New York City, gave me a promotion when I was on maternity leave. Who does that? Reassured me that my daughter would be taken care of and said your daughter is now part of the Fox family. Everywhere in these halls we all are weeping over him. We're all hugging. It's been a very somber day here because we love this man. And you can say what you want about him. You can hate the sin but you love the sinner. Men are not perfect. We are not perfect, but love is.

HANNITY: Ainsley, I know you do Bible study and you're a strong, devout Christian. And we've all sinned and fallen short.

EARHARDT: We have.

HANNITY: And some of the -- well, I won't get into --

EARHARDT: That's why we need God, though, because we're not perfect. And there was so much more good that he did, and I want folks at home to know that. Many people think this channel has saved our country. And he did this.

HANNITY: What if we didn't have a Fox News Channel, Geraldo?

GERALDO RIVERA, FOX NEWS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: We would have the same old, same old, Sean. You know, it would all be one point of view represented. It would be a heavily urban, suburban point of view, a very, very progressive, hard left point of view represented.

What Roger did was democratize the news business in a very, very big way. He was a great, great man. I lament what happened to Roger in the last nine, 10 months of his life. It was horrible to see. And I bear a personal burden because there came a time after the revelations about Roger last summer just before the conventions, first we were all going to walk out and quit in solidarity with Roger. And then we heard more allegations. And there came a time when I said we have to believe the purported victims, we have to give them some space, and we have to give them some credibility.

And I read an article about it, and now I look back on it and I lament it, not that I said that we should give the purported victims of sexual harassment credibility, but that I piled on an old friend. He gave me two jobs. He invented me in some ways. He stood by my family when I was in Afghanistan and Iraq, and I went into combat knowing that he would take care of them if anything happened to me.

I was at his wedding with Beth at City Hall with Rudy Giuliani presiding. And you know, he was one of these creative forces of nature. If he had passed a year ago a month before all of this crap started, he would be on Mount Rushmore. He was so vivid in his vision, and so loyal in his friendships, it's devastating to those who love him.

And it is tragic to go back to that point, that's his obit -- The New York Times will lead with some --

HANNITY: You know what, though. He wouldn't care what The New York Times thinks. There was a long term staff member here who had a bad car accident. He called him and said stay home, get well, full salary. If you need anything else, if you need medical help, done.

RIVERA: The makeup, single mom, nobody helped her in life. Roger helped her, the makeup lady. She's crying right now.

EARHARDT: She started as a cleaning lady. She said this is my dream job, I want to be a makeup artist. He said I'll send you to the best makeup school in New York. Now she's one of our makeup artists.

HANNITY: There's so many of those stories. All right, guys.

RIVERA: Poor Zach knows that everybody, we're all your surrogate uncles.

HANNITY: He's a strong kid, I talked to him.

EARHARDT: He loved you, Sean. He loved you. Every time I would meet with him he would talk about you. You were like a son to him. And Geraldo, I know you all were so close. And you all known him for so long.

HANNITY: He was so proud of you, too.

EARHARDT: He was so proud of you.

HANNITY: All right, thank you both, really appreciate it.

When we come back, an important "Question of the Day."


HANNITY: Time for our "Question of the Day." Earlier today, President Trump, he tweeted that this is, quote, "The single greatest witch hunt." It is. Do you agree with him? Go to Facebook.com/SeanHannity, @SeanHannity on Twitter.

That's all the time we have left this evening. Again, to Roger Ailes, Godspeed, my friend. Thank you for all you did for me and for so many others. We will see you back here tomorrow night.

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