This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," December 19, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

DAN BONGINO: All right, Tucker. Thank you.

Welcome to “Hannity.” I'm Dan Bongino, in tonight for Sean.

At this hour, we have breaking news on multiple fronts. First, a government shutdown has likely been avoided. But the funding for a southern border wall still hangs in the balance.

Also tonight, the president's sweeping criminal justice reform bill has passed the Senate with bipartisan support.

So, what does it all mean for you?

Joining us now with more from our nation's capital is Ellison Barber -- Ellison.


Yes, the deadline to fund roughly a quarter of the federal government is, of course, Friday at midnight. They have not moved legislation in the Senate just yet but Senate leaders did agree on a six-week extension.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-N.Y., MINORITY LEADER: I'm glad the leader thinks the government should not shut down over the president's demand for a wall and Democrats will support this C.R. The president and the House should follow that lead because shutting down the government over Christmas is a terrible idea.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, R-KY., MAJORITY LEADER: Let's review why this step was necessary, even in the face of a great need to secure the border and following good faith efforts, by the president's team, our Democratic colleagues rejected an extremely reasonable offer yesterday.


BARBER: The stop gap spending bill funds the government until February 8th. It does not include the $5 billion President Trump wanted to fund a border wall. The House Freedom Caucus is hoping to amend any spending bill to make sure it includes funding for the wall and they plan to spend the evening making speeches on the floor on the house floor to that effect.

Freedom Caucus leader Mark Meadows told reporters if President Trump signed spending bill without funding for a wall, it will do major damage to his 2020 campaign.

One thing lawmakers did largely agree on this week criminal justice reform. The Senate voted 87-12 to pass bipartisan legislation known as the First Step Act.


SEN. DICK DURBIN, D-ILL.: You don't hear many senators stand up and say let me tell you about my worst vote. I can tell you it was in the House of Representatives. It was 1986. And because we were scared to death crack cocaine showing up all across America, we created 100 to 1 disparity between crack cocaine and powder cocaine sentencing. The net result of that we thought would be to scare America straight in terms of the danger of this drug and it back fired.


BARBER: If this becomes a law, roughly 2,600 federal prisoners sentenced for crack cocaine offenses before August 2020 can petition a judge for a reduced penalty. Judges will have more flexibility and discretion when sentencing some drug offenders and for some drug offenders with three strikes, it will reduce life sentences to 25 years.

Republican Senator Tom Cotton was one of the most vocal opponents of this bill. He says it threatens public safety and says he disappointed amendments he proposed were not included in the Senate version. The First Step Act is expected to pass the House and the president is expected to sign it -- Dan.

BONGINO: Thanks, Ellison.

Earlier tonight, President Trump slammed congressional Democrats for fighting tooth and nail against border security, as Congress remains gridlocked over funding the wall.

Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh had this to say. Take a look.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: That's been the objective? To end this Congress without a shutdown? That's how we are going to define success it?

It's not how we define success. It is apparently how inside the Beltway defines it. Oh, look what we did. We avoided another government shutdown. The Republicans are bowing down hosanna, hosanna, hosanna, we're saved again. We're not going to get blamed for a government shutdown.

Meanwhile the border remains wide open and the Democrats are going to be controlling the House in just a few weeks are now gloating and telling the president you can't get any money from anywhere else in the budget. We're not going to let you.

This is textbook. It's a textbook example of what the drive-by media calls compromise. Trump gets nothing and the Democrats get everything, including control of the House.


BONGINO: Keep in mind, this is an urgent situation. The risks of an unsecured border are very real. Over the past year alone, ICE agents arrested nearly 160,000 illegal suspected immigrants, 90 percent of whom had criminal convictions.

Joining us now with a full report is our very own Trace Gallagher -- Trace.

TRACE GALLAGHER, CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Dan. If the funding bill is passed and the government shut down is avoided, money for the border wall would essentially go away. But President Trump is standing firm, saying one way or another we are still getting it.

Quoting, Mexico is paying indirectly for the wall through the new USMCA, the replacement for NAFTA. Far more money coming to the U.S. because of the tremendous dangers at the border, including large scale criminal and drug inflow. The United States military will build the wall.

Though critics argue military money is already allocated and Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi says if the president tries to move money around, he'll have a fight on his hands.

Even the Pentagon said last week, quoting: To date, there is no plan to build sections of the wall.

And, yesterday, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders seemed ready to look elsewhere for money saying the president has asked his cabinet secretaries to look for funding in their budgets and that the administration is, quote, looking at other options.

Meantime, Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE has released its fiscal year 2018 report. And along with the astounding fact, you noted that 90 percent of illegal immigrants arrested by ICE have criminal records, the report says nearly 400,000 people were booked in to an ICE detention facility, which is an increase of 22.5 percent over 2017. And the number arrested and detained by Customs and Border Protection went up by 32 percent.

Finally, of the roughly 250,000 illegal immigrants removed from the country, nearly 6,000 were classified as either known or suspected members of terrorists, an increase of 9 percent from last year -- Dan.

BONGINO: Trace, thanks a the lot.

Joining us now with more is American Conservative Union chair Matt Schlapp, America First Action senior adviser, Sean Spicer, and from "The Daily Caller", Kerry Picket.

Matt, let me go to you here, it's great to have you on the show.

So, this issue of compromise over the wall. I've got to tell you, Matt, out there being an activist kind of first and a conservative at heart, I'm not sure the base is in for compromise on this, Matt. I think they want their wall and they want it now. Your thoughts?

MATT SCHLAPP, AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE UNION CHAIR: Look, I know Republicans are trying to figure out how to get out of town around Christmas in an imperfect world where Democrats have done well to pick up House seats. But the fact is this: the president should veto this bill.

This breaks the promise with his supporters. This -- everybody looking at this views this as odious. We waste money left and right in this town. It's absurd they can't find $5 billion.

Schumer and Pelosi think this is a good issue for them. I think it's a better issue for us. Let's fight and get all we can, and let's definitely not roll over.

And for the president, I know he is looking for every way to figure out a way to fund this wall. I think is he going to find that way. But he can't reward Schumer and Pelosi by signing this bill.

BONGINO: You know, Sean, few people have been inside like you in that inner sanctum in the White House. President Trump has had a unique ability. There is no doubt about it for putting his finger on the pulse of issues that others may have put aside.

I remember attending GOP meetings years ago, like, oh, immigration we've got to get past this. On this, this is his signature issue. Do you think he understands the gravity of this?

I mean, listen, I'm a supporter of the president. I have been for a while. But I just want to -- I want your take on this. Is he getting good advice from inside that sanctum, that this is a key critical moment right here?

SEAN SPICER, AMERICA FIRST ACTION SENIOR ADVISOR: Unfortunately, I think there is a loft advice being given. I think there is a lot of people to Matt's point, trying to figure out how do we get out of town? This is the holiday season. This isn't going to look good.

But I think Rush Limbaugh had it absolutely right. Compromise in Washington terms is Republicans get nothing, Democrats get everything.

But, look, here's the reality of where we are, Dan. This is a political fight. Fifty-four Democrats in the Senate under Barack Obama voted for a lot more than we're getting right now. They were on board on this.

The reason they are against it is because Trump is for it. This is -- what I think that we have lost though is control of the narrative. We are talking about fighting over a wall. We have got to stop talking about fighting over a wall and talk about national security, human trafficking, drugs coming over our border.

We've got to start talking about the implications of porous border as opposed to a physical structure, because right now they want -- they know that they are winning the messaging war. This is what Trump is for and this is what we are for.

But we've got to get back to the fact that this is a national security issue, that there are women and children being trafficked over our border and that this is a massive flow of drugs over our border. We have got to get back for reminding people really what's at stake here.

BONGINO: Yes, no, I agree. I mean, Chuck Schumer is desperately trying to make this for border security without a wall which I don't think is possible.

But, Kerry, I haven't seen the base on fire about this in a long time, about an issue, maybe since Obamacare -- I take that back. Maybe Kavanaugh. People were fired up about Kavanaugh, too.

But this border funding wall issue, I mean, you just -- Twitter is great. It's like one big, huge town hall. People are on -- not always the greatest town hall in the world. But people are on fire over this issue. This is essentially the Trump MAGA agenda.

Are you sensing the same thing out there from your sources?

KERRY PICKET, THE DAILY CALLER: Absolutely. And, keep in mind, Dan, this thing, as far as you have a number of Republicans who are saying well, the reason why we can't get this border funding is because all these Democrats are being obstructionists. Yes, sure the Democrats are being pains in the neck.

But, remember, Republicans from the very beginning could have started the process of budget reconciliation from very early on. Brad Byrne over in Alabama, he is a congressman there, he started the process in the lower chamber, Republicans there didn't want to take up his bill. The Republicans in the upper chamber didn't want to start the process there.

So, it really makes you wonder whether or not the Republican leadership in the upper chamber really wanted to get border funding because it could have gotten the process done very early on. I asked a number of members, I mean, hey, why didn't you get the border funding done through budget reconciliation early on and they didn't want to answer that question.

BONGINO: Matt, what's the deal of this? This is like the first lame duck in U.S. history session where the majority party passes a bunch of minority agenda items. Why didn't they did -- Sean, I see you laughing. Matt, what was the GOP leadership not doing last week taking up this bill when they had the votes? Why are they letting this president down? It's not like it's a mystery want to build a wall.

SCHLAPP: Dan, I agree with you. Pre-Trump, Republicans believe that having spending fights was a total political loser. It's one of the reasons why we are in such a terrible position with our debt and deficit. They believe it just makes Republicans look callus. Having these fights we don't gain anything. So just get out of town.

And during the Trump era, there's been a re-thinking about all of these questions. The last shutdown as you will remember, the Schumer shut down, we actually won that shut down. I think Sean Spicer is right. If we look the American people in the eye and say we need to secure our southern border, we should only come in this country a legal way.

We shouldn't let liberal judges get to determine who gets to stay forever and ever and ever, just because you are waiting for your first hearing which you must likely dodge. We ought to secure our southern border. I think the American people will stand up for us.

Shutdown doesn't mean you get all you want. But you send a message to liberals that you are going to fight for every inch of territory. That's why it's critical for the president to not sign a bill which is a white flag.

BONGINO: Yes, I hope he doesn't. I hope good people are getting in his ear.

Sean, your thoughts?

SPICER: Dan, I will say this. What Matt just said is important. For 20- plus years since 1994, Republicans have always had shutdowns go against them. They shut down the government and they lose the messaging war.

The last time this happened, Matt reminds everybody, the Schumer shut down, we finally won one because we were right on the issues. We were right on the policies. And we're right now.

We are against human trafficking. We're against drugs coming over our border. And we are for making sure we protect our country and our people from those people who may be coming in here with nefarious reasons.

We are right on this issue. This is a fight worth having.

BONGINO: Yes, this is a live picture, by the way, of the House floor, the House Freedom Caucus fighting for some funding for the budget.

Well, Kerry, final question goes to you here. You know, it's interesting when the Democrats fight for their issues, the liberals they lose elections. Obama got all this stuff passed Obamacare. Essentially outside of Obama, they wiped out the Republican Party, right?

The Republicans lose elections when they don't stand on principles. Do you see this as one of those real break or make moments for 2020, this border wall fight?

PICKET: Absolutely. This once again goes back to what I was just saying because it appears that you have a number of Republicans who are concerned, particularly, in the upper chamber because now you have Republicans who are on the defense right now in the you were chamber who are thinking I have got to be careful with my votes. I have got to be careful with where things are going because, you know, perhaps over in Texas, for example, have you John Cornyn. He just saw how close that race was between Beto O'Rourke and Ted Cruz and he's thinking, uh-oh, I've got to be careful too.

So, this is one of those things here where watch the upper chamber, watch the upper chamber Republicans. It's not going to be the way it was once before.

BONGINO: Yes, you know, it's interesting. I just saw the Gallup poll top. They have the two issues. Number one was government, big government. And secondly was immigration.

So I think Trump has his finger on the pulse again on this issue.

All right. Thanks, guys and lady, appreciate it.

Coming up, Loretta Lynch testified behind closed doors on Capitol Hill today. Catherine Herridge will join us with a full report on what went down as "HANNITY" continues. Stay with us.


BONGINO: All right. Welcome back to “Hannity.”

Today, former Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch met with House lawmakers behind closed doors after receiving a subpoena and House GOP leaders probing the Justice Department and the FBI over their handling of the Hillary Clinton email case.

Here with more is Catherine Herridge -- Catherine.


CATHERINE HERRIDGE, CORRESPONDENT: Dan, after nearly seven hours behind closed doors, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch ignored our questions about when she first learned the FBI was probing alleged link between the Trump campaign and Russia.

REPORTER: Did Director Comey keep you in the loop about the opening of the Russia counterintelligence investigation? When did you learn when the investigation was opened?

HERRIDGE: House lawmakers pressed Lynch on the June 2016 Arizona tarmac meeting with former President Bill Clinton, just days before Hillary Clinton's FBI interview over her unsecured personal server for government business. Both Lynch and Bill Clinton have insisted the discussion was not political.

The former FBI director later claimed his boss' tarmac meeting with a driving force in his decision to hold a public press event where he described how Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information and Comey recommended against criminal charges.

Reaction's to Lynch's testimony today divided along political lines.

REP. DARRELL ISSA, R-CALIF.: I think there's a good faith effort for her to make the record clear but the record is indicating that she hadn't recused herself from the Clinton case and yet she found herself as far as I can tell finding out that the FBI director wasn't going to prosecute when you al saw it on TV.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, I can't get into exact questions and answers. It's nothing different than the past questions and answers about the email investigation and obviously the events that she has been involved with nothing new. Again, it's probably -- I expect there to be a lot of questions about perhaps, the most interesting layover in airport history at the Phoenix airport, but, you know, we're not really learning a whole lot at this point.

HERRIDGE: And tonight, multiple sources tell FOX News they do not expect Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to answer questions under oath about allegations he discussed secretly recording the president and invoking the 25th Amendment before Democrats take control of the House.

At this point, you know, who is to blame? He is not coming. I mean, he is not coming. So was this a failure of leadership or was this intransigence by the Justice Department?

REP. JIM JORDAN, R-OH: I don't know. All I know is what I wanted, what Mr. Meadows wanted, Mr. Gaetz, and a number of us pushing for him to get here, but it doesn't look like it's going to happen. I hope there is a chance, (INAUDIBLE) we talk to him, but it doesn't seem like that's going to happen.

HERRIDGE: The Justice Department has not commented on negotiations with Capitol Hill. Meantime, a committee spokesperson said the Lynch transcripts, along with 15 others may be part of a year end report -- Dan.


BONGINO: Catherine, thank you.

Also tonight, remember when President Obama made these claims about Hillary Clinton's server not harming national security? Take a look.


INTERVIEWER: Did you know about Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server?


INTERVIEWER: While she was secretary of state?


INTERVIEWER: Do you think it posed a national security problem?

OBAMA: I don't think it posed a national security problem. I think it was a mistake that she has acknowledged.

I continue to believe that she has not jeopardized America's national security.


BONGINO: Well, transcripts from former FBI Director James Comey's congressional testimony are raising questions over how Obama could make that determination when Comey says he never authorized anyone from the FBI to brief Obama on the investigation.

Joining us now with reaction is Arizona Congressman Andy Biggs who was present at today's hearing with Loretta Lynch, as well as former deputy assistant attorney general, Victoria Toensing, and author of the terrific book "The Russia Hoax", FOX News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett.

Gregg, I'll go to you first.

This is just outrageous. President Obama seems to want to have it both ways. We already know Barack Obama emailed Hillary Clinton --


BONGINO: -- on her personal email account. This is not -- Barack Obama isn't an ignorant person. He must realize this was not a government email. This is just straining credulity at this point.

JARRETT: Well, he thinks people are stupid and they buy into what he is saying that, oh, he never knew anything about her email that was unauthorized and unsecured and private. He was using a pseudonym to email her back and forth. And he also went on national television and said she never jeopardized national security, how could he possibly know that, unless, of course, Comey is lying that he didn't tell the president information about that?

The most important part is that Obama went on national television and said, not only does she not jeopardize national security but that she was nearly careless. Well, that's what Peter Strzok and Lisa Page used to sanitize Comey's findings in the exoneration statement, they used Barack Obama's terminology to clear Hillary Clinton.

BONGINO: This would be a quick follow-up given your personal background. It wouldn't have been possible if Hillary Clinton was, in fact, prosecuted, which we know she wasn't, for this email scandal, that Barack Obama would have had to give some type of deposition on it given his obvious involvement given that he emailed her?

JARRETT: He might have had to, sure, because he was emailing her. We don't know whether there those were classified, because that information has never been turned over. The White House wouldn't turn it over. DOJ and FBI refused to turn it over.

BONGINO: Congressman Biggs, question for you. You were in the hearing today with Loretta lynch.

This case drives me crazy because everybody in the case either doesn't know an answer or they just say oh, it's just a coincidence. Now, after hearing Loretta Lynch today, did she address the tarmac meeting? Did she address why it happened, this tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton? And did she at least understand how bad this looked?

REP. ANDY BIGGS, R-ARIZ.: Well, here's the deal. She understood it looked bad but not until it was over, and it was by shear happenstance. Secret Service popped their head the former president would like to say hi to you. The next thing she knows, former President Clinton is standing at the entry of the plane to come in.

Now, you and I both know it's July 27th. Or excuse me, June 27th. It's about 110 degrees probably and small airplanes, they're not cool. But he was there fro 20 minutes just talking about kids, grandkids, how's weather? How's golf? That type of thing.

That's coincidence that can't be. It just can't be.

BONGINO: Yes. And what's interesting, three days later, July 27th this meeting happens. 2016, those meeting at the FBI headquarters with the bigwigs on this.

Victoria, just a couple of days later. Edits are made to the infamous July 5th, 2016 Jim Comey speech he's about to give. So, three days after this meeting, edits are made.

One of the edits which I find to very interesting to the Jim Comey speech is where they take out the portion where they mention Hillary Clinton emailed Barack Obama. Do you think these things are related, or is this just one of those magic coincidences?

VICTORIA TOENSING, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: It was a top government official and oh never mind, it was nobody.

Let me go back to that tarmac meeting, because I can tell you what should have been done and can still get it done, and that is that somebody should have called in the FBI detail to the A.G., who travels with her all the time, and the Secret Service and say, how exactly did this meeting come about? And also while you are at it, who told people in the tarmac that they were not allowed to take any photographs of the two being together?

Now, what does that tell you something being afoul?

BONGINO: Yes. Gregg --

TOENSING: No photographs.

BONGINO: Listen, I don't believe it was a coincidence at all just to be crystal clear.

Loretta Lynch is bright. This is not an ignorant person. She is very bright. I worked with her at one point when I was a federal agent. She knows what she is doing.

For her to do this and to claim somehow that, you know, it's just innocent conversation and not understand the ramifications about it. Do you think she gets that people are going to ask questions about this? They were investigating Bill Clinton's wife, Hillary Clinton, while she is meeting on the tarmac and it's a 20-minute meeting.

JARRETT: The husband of a subject of a criminal investigation is meeting with a person who can decide her fate or supposed to be believing it is a series of fantastic coincidences -- utter nonsense. The fix was in.

And, Lynch, by the way, knew all about the criminal investigation. There's a text email or text message between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page in which they say Lynch knows no charges will be brought.

BONGINO: That's a profile in courage. That's a real profile in courage.

JARRETT: Yes. And there's another email that Comey was asked about by the Senate Judiciary Committee that provides assurances that Lynch would protect Clinton and make sure that the FBI case doesn't go too far. Comey refused to answer that question and it remains unanswered and classified to this day.

BONGINO: Congressman Biggs, so the Department of Justice and FBI have parallel tracks to verify information used in the FISA court here. Did Loretta Lynch address at all during the hearing today her absolute failure as the attorney general to make sure the information in this hoax dossier was verified? Did she address this at all? I mean, we all know now it was pretty clearly a hoax.

BIGGS: Well, two points on that. First, she said she never reviewed any of the FISA warrant applications, that's point number one, which I find incredible or odd because of the high profile nature of the case.

And then the second thing is, she basically didn't know anything about the dossier. She said she never heard of the term dossier at all until it started becoming public.

BONGINO: Victoria, one last question. Do you think there's going to be any accountability for this? I mean, the procedure for verifying this information is Woods procedure, before it's brought into FISA court documented. Do you think anybody is going to be held accountable for putting this hoax document n front of a judge?

TOENSING: If we get Bill Barr in as the attorney general, I think it will be addressed. And, by the way, Rod Rosenstein also didn't quite read it, although he signed the application to FISA.

BONGINO: I hope so. I hope John Huber is looking at this as well.

TOENSING: Oh, yes, yes. Find him. He's on a missing milk carton.

BONGINO: Listen, a man can hope. That's all I have got at this point. What else? You know, I've got to stay optimistic. But thanks a lot. Really appreciate it. Thanks, guys.

Coming up, outrage after a former Green Beret was charged with murder for killing suspected Taliban bomb maker. Up next, the wife and father of Matthew Goldstein will join us. Don't go away.


BONGINO: All right, welcome back, as we reported last night, Army Green Beret veteran Mathew Golsteyn has been charged with the murder of a Taliban bomb maker in Afghanistan from back in 2010.

In a killing he admitted to during a 2016 interview with Fox's own Bret Baier. Now the case is stoking outrage controversy and even a review from President Trump.

Now joining us for reaction is his wife, Mathew's wife Julie Golsteyn and his father, Jerry Golsteyn, thank you both for joining us, really appreciate it. Julie, I'll start with you. Tell us who your husband was. I've read all the reports on this that I could and cited that this is a mischaracterization of who your husband is, some of the reports out there.

Why did he join the military, who was your husband?

JULIA GOLSTEYN, WIFE OF MAJOR MATHEW GOLSTEYN: My husband joined because he went to west point. And started his career there. I was not with him in the early parts of his military career but I'll tell you this about his service. To hear him talk about the men that he served with and the men that he commanded, it melts my heart to hear him talk about what those times and what those people meant to him.

And it is so nice to hear those people who have served with him also support and defend him.

BONGINO: Yeah, I remember in my time in the secret service. There's a real esprit de corps you know, with - the military individuals I worked with were just the best of the best. Mr. Golsteyn, there have been 8 years of this and two investigations. A tribunal cleared Mathew.

What do you think the incentive was to go after Mathew again regarding this 2010 case?

JERRY GOLSTEYN, FATHER OF MAJOR MATHEW GOLSTEYN: I really can't speak to that myself. I really do not now. It's very confusing. I just know it's one of those things that we as parents have always kept in the back of our mind as he was at west point and then being deployed.

What's it going to be like when he gets back and obviously he's had a great career in the service, serving our country in a very positive and honorable way. He's a man of great integrity and to see him come back and this trial after being acquitted one time, starting again is very, very disappointing.

BONGINO: Julie, what's it's been like for your family? I mean we can only imagine how traumatic it must be but especially given the fact that you know, people like Bowe Bergdahl in that case you know, they got a - the family got a Rose Garden appearance ceremony.

How must this feel for you right now going through this again?

JULIE GOLSTEYN: This has been disruptive, traumatic to our home and our extended families. Matt has a son in middle school, we have a new born. We are trying to move on with our lives. And it is been extremely difficult. But we're doing it and when you bring up people like Bowe Bergdahl who is walking around free, it is amazing to me that someone like Matt is under fire for doing his job.

And last night on this channel, Colonel Hunt explained that if Matt hadn't taken the action that he did, he could have been charged with dereliction of duty or misbehavior before the enemy which is actually what Bowe Bergdahl was charged with.

BONGINO: Yeah, Mr. Golsteyn, this - what message do you think this would send, I mean this was a bomb maker, an Afghan bombmaker, Taliban bombmaker. You know, what message do you think this sends to future recruits in our military if Mathew is in fact prosecuted especially after as I noted here, being clear already by a tribunal here.

I mean this has to have gone through your mind.

JERRY GOLSTEYN: Oh, it's been on top of our mind for many, many years right now and it's - it's really sad, I think it's going to really impact the quality of people that may be coming into the military over time. It doesn't give a lot of confidence for someone coming in and doing the jobs and tasks that these men have been assigned to and given responsibility over.

If you are taught and trained to make split second decisions to save the lives of those around you and especially those under your command and then to find out months or years later that a group of people sitting in an office somewhere are looking over regulations which were really not very effective at that time and decide that you did the right or wrong thing.

BONGINO: Julie, Jerry, God speed to you. Thank you very much for joining us. We really appreciate it.


BONGINO: We'll be following Major Golsteyn's case closely.


BONGINO: Also developing tonight is that President Trump says the U.S. is preparing to withdraw its forces from Syria. President Trump tweeted earlier that, "We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency." And later added this in a video, take a look.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We've been fighting for a long time in Syria. I've been President for almost two years and we've really stepped it up and we have one against ISIS. Our boys, our young women, our men, they're all coming back and they're coming back now.

We won and that's the way we want it and that's the way they want it.


BONGINO: Joining us now for reaction of this story in our interview with the Golsteyns is the author of Dark Winter, Retired Brigadier General Tony Tata out along with Florida Congressman elect, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Waltz. So Michael, if I could go to you first.


BONGINO: What is this specific rule of engagement on encountering a bomb maker? Let me be more specific. I was not in the military, you both were. You see a bombmaker on the field of battle who is now resurfaced, you know is a bombmaker, you don't know if he's got some kind of a pressure device to detonate an explosive or not. What specifically are the rules of engagement?

Are they hazy? And is anybody making any effort to clear it up if they are?

WALTZ: So here's the crux of the issue. If you kill a bombmaker, Taliban commander, Al Qaeda in the heat of combat, that's combat, that's what we're over there to do is to take these guys out. The issue is if you capture one in the course of combat, they're now detainee or treated like a prisoner of war, you cannot then execute them, that is against the Geneva Convention, that's a war crime.

The problem is with our rules of engagement and what I faced, what Major Golsteyn faced and so many others is, there's no prison system in Afghanistan, there's nowhere to put these guys once you've captured them so you're faced with this horrible choice.

Either you release them knowing they're going to kill every Afghan that worked with you and helped you and go back to killing Americans or take matters into your own hand which you can't do because getting them over to Guantanamo Bay or getting them somewhere to a prison system that doesn't exist in Afghanistan isn't an option.

And my point is, this dilemma, this flawed engagement strategy is happening right now as we speak and it needs to be fixed because men and women are out there, having to make this horrible choice every day right now.

BONGINO: So General Tata when this happens, what are we doing - is it the military intelligence communities' job to set up some kind of a detainment to be able to detain these people who are at high level enough to be shipped over to Gitmo and if not as Michael just addressed what do we do?

We can't just let bombmakers back on the battlefield, then another point if you don't mind hitting it as well, what Michael has brought up as well is it's not just us, it's the sources who give these people up, these guys go right back and start taking out our sources, is there any solution to this?

TONY TATA, BRIGADIER GENERAL (RETD): Well Dan, to answer your first question, what do you do when you encounter a bombmaker on the battlefield is you kill him or you capture him and then you interrogate him.

And then your second question is specifically, did we have field detention sites in place for the battle of Marjah, the biggest battle to occur in Afghanistan ever and had the command taken the necessary steps to make sure that there were military intelligence interrogators on hand to handle the detainee flow that they knew would occur from this battle.

And the answer is no. It was a huge military intelligence failure and let's take a look at what was happening the time. Bradley Manning was giving us - selling WikiLeaks, you had Bergdahl that was already in captivity with the Taliban.

You had more crystal that had McChrystal that had requested another you know, 50,000 troops or so and Obama was taking his sweet time to deliver them, had not delivered them yet and so they were under-resourced, military intelligence community had no positioned to field detention site and Major Golsteyn should have never seen this individual again.

He should have been able to turn him over to interrogators, they should interrogated him and he was a threat to U.S. forces and he had intelligence value and he should have been processed up to Bagram Theater Internment Detention Facility.

WALTZ: And if I could just jump in very quickly, we had a huge facility in Iraq, Camp Bucca that held tens of thousands of insurgents and we had one in Afghanistan, up near the capital of Kabul but President Obama handed it over to the Afghans. So then they had no choice and no options.

BONGINO: And Colonel Waltz.

WALTZ: And that's the problem.

BONGINO: I'm really worried about the disincentive effect on future recruits with stories like this. I get it, there are no happy endings in a lot of these scenarios, you know, I've never been in a combat situation but these - they're not black and white, there's a lot of gray, the entire field of the military ethics is built around that gray.

If I can move on though to Syria, I'd love to get your expertise on this and I'll get to you, General Tata. This Syria situation, there's a real delicate balance over there between the Kurds, the Turks, ISIS.

This is not a - this is another one of those situations where there's no yes or no answer, your opinion on President Trump's action today to start to remove our troops from Syria.

WALTZ: Well, I agreed with this policy just a few months ago, that we need to stay engaged as long as Iran is there right on Israel's doorstep so we need to look at what happens. If we just pull the soldiers out, you have ISIS that can reconstitute, you have Iran running amuck, you have Russia running amuck.

You have Iran that could attack Israel, you have our Kurdish allies that are going to be hit by the Turks in the North and then even if you do think, we should just pull them out regardless of all those consequences, we should have gotten something from Russia, Turkey and Iran for it as a concession.

So those are my concerns with this pretty sudden change in strategy.

BONGINO: Okay, thanks a lot gentleman, I really appreciate your expertise, thanks for coming on, really appreciate it. The First Lady's under attack unbelievable yet again. This time Vogue is attacking her Christmas card. Yes, her Christmas card, we'll get reaction next.


BONGINO: Welcome back to HANNITY. Unfortunately even the spirit of the Christmas season can't slow down the media's 24/7 anti-Trump hate machine, it never stops. For example, Vogue magazine is attacking the First couple for smiling and holding hands in yes, a Christmas picture.

Joining is now for reaction is relatable podcast host and she is relatable, Allie Stuckey and a good friend. Thanks Allie for joining us and Fox news contributor, Tammy Bruce.


BONGINO: Tammy, I'll go to you first, this - listen, I think in this new Trump era, the level 6 Trump derangement syndrome is off the charts every day, we're used to it but is this one of those new lows like the Christmas picture where they're shaking.

TAMMY BRUCE, PRESIDENT, INDEPENDENT WOMEN'S VOICE: Well, it seems that liberals seem to be particularly miserable around Christmas time, not all liberals but maybe those who are in the media and of course they're hoping the Trumps are as miserable as they. That picture is lovely and they're actually happy.

You know, Trump this is his bailiwick, this is his wheelhouse, he's enjoying himself and Mrs. Trump is as well but keep in mind, I think that this is less hate than it is jealousy and envy.

The Left is turned ineffectively into it like a medieval religion and she's a heretic in particular, she is a woman of beauty and of grace, and when she was first attacked for the White House decorations, she responded that people have different taste, right?

She was not made upset by it and I think that upsets people, they're always looking for ways to disrupt and to make people miserable. I think that ultimately what the media wants to do and what those who are angry at the Trumps for is that especially for Mrs. Trump, she's not reliant on being invited to Vogue's parties.

She isn't part of their system, she doesn't need to go to their cocktail parties or to be approved of by them and so that's what makes her a problem. I think that Americans, for all of us, we can look to her obviously as an example for when you are under pressure, of handling it with grace, she's still has her opinions which she makes known to her husband, no doubt and I think she's a fabulous First Lady doing a great job.

BONGINO: We agree on that. Allie, you know this is just a beautiful picture. I mean it's not a secret, I support the President. I am a conservative.

But trying to be as agnostic about this as possible, it's a beautiful picture, I see nothing wrong with it but do you think this is some kind of petty nonsense, sorry, didn't mean to interrupt you, this petty nonsense by the anti-Trump TVS machine.

Do you think this makes the Liberals look more foolish and the elites than their targets?

STUCKEY: Yes, I do and I think you're absolutely right. This is an objectively beautiful picture, has nothing to do with politics but I think it goes to show that the hatred of the Trumps really was never about politics, it's about something that's very personal.

That's why the attacks towards Melania Trump really have nothing to do with policy differences but about who she is as a person. And they stoop down to these levels to try to minimize her, to try to belittle hard so they don't have to talk about the fact that she was an immigrant who became a First Lady, who's actually someone like Tammy said, that we can men and women look up to.

And they just want to focus on these tiny petty things so that they continue to demonize her, to patronize her, to belittle her and to make her seem like someone who is not as significant, who we shouldn't be admiring and we shouldn't really be looking to.

And I think it makes them look worse than it makes her look.

BRUCE: Let me just add one thing, this is I'm sure is not her first experience with mean girls. It's the woman who or the girl who shows up at a high school who's pretty, who's smart, maybe even a little shy and then they go on to it, with a magic marker at the locker because they're jealous.

This is something, a woman like that probably has experienced before and rises above it.

BONGINO: She speaks five languages. I have trouble with English sometimes so it's amazing, five languages. Allie, Tammy, thank you both very much, appreciate it. Facebook may be in even more trouble than we thought. Trace Gallagher will be here with a full report. Stay with us, don't go anywhere.


BONGINO: All right, welcome back to HANNITY, Facebook is rolled in yet another scandal with a new report stating that the company was secretly sharing personal user data with dozens of other Silicon Valley giants without user's permission.

Joining me now with the latest from our west coast newsroom, Fox News Correspondent, Trace Gallagher. Trace.

TRACE GALLAGHER, CORRESPONDENT: Good evening again Dan. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has long said that Facebook users control their own data but the New York Times obtained hundreds of pages of Facebook documents and interviewed dozens of former Facebook employees.

And apparently Zuckerberg's claim is untrue. For example, the Times says Facebook allowed Microsoft's Bing search engine to see the names of all Facebook users' friends without consent. Facebook also gave Netflix and Spotify access to Facebook users' private messages.

Even allowed some companies to read and delete users' private messages. Turns out the deal benefited Facebook and 150 other companies. The New York Times says, quoting, "Pushing for explosive growth, Facebook got more users, lifting its advertising revenue. Partner companies acquired features to make their products more attractive."

Facebook argues that is giving its users more platforms to access their accounts and thereby enhancing social experiences, the company claims, "None of these partnerships or features gave companies access to information without people's permission." Facebook says it ended the partnerships months ago but also admits to needing, "tighter management" over how developers can access user information. Dan.

BONGINO: Trace, thanks a lot. Unfortunately, that's all the time, really unfortunately, it's my first time, we have left this evening. Hey before you go, Christmas is less than a week away so if you're looking for the perfect last minute gift, stuff this in your stocking.

Make sure to check out my book, "Spygate: The attempted sabotage of Donald J. Trump", we worked really hard on this as always. Thanks a lot for being with us, I really appreciate it. Laura Ingraham's up next. You can follow me as well on Twitter. I am @dbongino on Twitter, you can check out my podcast, The Dan Bongino Show as well where we dig into these issues and don't forget the book.

We lay out the entire scheme to take down Donald J. Trump, it'll blow your mind, we put a lot of really hard work into it. I will also be back tomorrow night, filling in for Sean so you haven't had your Dan Bongino fix, make sure to tune in again tomorrow night. Really appreciate it. Thanks so much.

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