Huckabee: Change in staff doesn't change Trump's agenda

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

KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE, "HANNITY" GUEST HOST: This is a "Fox News Alert." A major shake-up taking place at the White House. Steve Bannon is out as President Trump's chief strategist.

Welcome to this special edition of "Hannity." I'm Kimberly Guilfoyle, in for Sean tonight.

According to a new report, Steve Bannon is saying he is now ready to quote, "go to war" against President Trump's opponents in Congress, in the media and in corporate America.

In Washington with the details on the White House reset is John Roberts -- John.

JOHN ROBERTS, FOX CORRESPONDENT: Kimberly, good evening to you. And we're just getting at this hour a little bit of a different timeline here then we had originally. Originally, it looked like John Kelly was doing a review of all of the positions at the White House, in particular, Steve Bannon's, and that maybe Kelly was looking at him as not the sort of person that he wanted to have on the team.

And that may still be true, but now we're learning from an actual White House official -- and this is not sources from the outside, which were the initial source of this -- hearing from a White House official that Steve Bannon, in fact, tendered his resignation to the president back on August the 7th.

Now, again, it may be that there was discussions with John Kelly back then as he was pretty much brand-new as the chief of staff, that perhaps Steve Bannon wouldn't hang around or that President Trump had indicated to Steve Bannon that he expected that was going to to leave at some point, or it may be just that Steve Bannon thought that his time had come to an end and that it was time to leave.

But that would seem to argue against the notion that Steve Bannon was fired by the president today or fired by the chief of staff if, in fact, he offered his resignation, as a White House source says, back on the 7th.

But here's the official take from the White House. Quote, "White House chief of staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve's last day. We are grateful for his service and we wish him the best."

It's no question that the president is going to lose a close ally ideologically, at very least, with Steve Bannon's departure, but all indications are that when Bannon leaves the White House, he will continue to work on behalf of the president and may actually continue to work against, and maybe ever more vigorously against the establishment section of the Republican Party that he clearly was at odds with during his time inside the White House, Kimberly.

GUILFOYLE: All right. John Roberts, thank you for that update.

And here with more on Steve Bannon exiting the White House is Ed Henry -- Ed.

ED HENRY, FOX CORRESPONDENT: Kimberly, a dramatic day here at the White House, even though President Trump was at Camp David for a national security meeting and then back to New Jersey to his golf club on this working vacation -- Steve Bannon out, as you suggested, General John Kelly, the new chief of staff, clearly trying again to bring some order around here. He put out a very terse statement saying that there was mutual agreement between Kelly and Bannon that it was time for him to go, and he wished him well in the future.

And I can tell you that Bannon wasted absolutely no time going right back to the conservative news site Breitbart. In fact, just hours after he'd left the White House, he was chairing their nightly editorial meeting, we're told, right back in the driver's seat of that news organization.

Now, there's a narrative taking hold in the mainstream media that somehow, Bannon is going to be waging war against President Trump by using Breitbart to go after the president, but a source close to Bannon insisted to me today that that is not true and that Bannon is 100 percent behind the president.

In fact, Bannon did an interview with Bloomberg News saying in part, quote, "If there's any confusion out there, let me clear it up. I'm leaving the White House and going to war for Trump, against his opponents on Capitol Hill, in the media, and in corporate America."

And then later, in an interview with The Weekly Standard, Bannon says, quote, "The Trump presidency that we fought for and won is over. We still have a huge movement, and we will make something of this Trump presidency, but that presidency is over. It'll be something else, and there will be all kinds of fights. And there will be good days and bad days, but that presidency is over," at least suggesting that phase of the Trump presidency is over.

What comes now? I can tell you in talking to senior Republicans today not just here at the White House but on Capitol Hill, as well, they want to see an end to the palace intrigue, the speculation. And they want to see the president get back on his agenda, tax cuts and all the rest.

Here's Republican congressman Lee Zeldin.


REP. LEE ZELDIN, R-NEW YORK: If the president is making changes to the chemistry, where people know each other's strengths and weaknesses and they're getting the legislative agenda past and they're moving the economy forward and accomplishing the president's priorities, that's all good. And I'm one -- I'm a congressional Republican who supports our president, who wants him to be successful getting tax reform across the finish line, for example, over the course of the next couple months, it's a highest priority, regardless of who's in the West Wing with the president.


HENRY: There are a lot of people here at the White House who want to see the president get back to that agenda, tax cuts, infrastructure, another bite of the apple perhaps in terms of repealing and replacing ObamaCare.

Bannon had fallen out of favor with the president in part because of that book he had participated with, cooperating with recently suggesting that maybe Bannon had just as much as the president had to do with that big election victory last year over Hillary Clinton. The president at that now famous news conference at Trump Tower on Tuesday made it clear that he beat out all of the other Republican candidates in the primary and was the leader of this movement that beat Clinton and now wants to get back aggressively to that legislative agenda -- Kimberly.

GUILFOYLE: All right, Ed Henry, thank you so much.

And joining me now with reaction is former presidential candidate and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. Thank you so much for being with us tonight, Governor Huckabee. And really, kind of a little bit of, you know, startling news here because there has been a lot of, you know, tumultuous nature in terms of what's been going on with the administration, but many saying tonight that Steve Bannon's departure really amounts to a reset for the White House. Your thoughts.

MIKE HUCKABEE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I'm not sure that it's a reset for the White House. This is a White House that has a very specific mission, to secure America's borders, to change our trade laws, to lower taxes, to give religious liberty to Americans. That's the architectural plan.

The fact that some carpenters come and go on the job site doesn't change the design of the construction. And I think everybody gets all excited about who comes, who goes. Look, it's the president's agenda. And everyone who works there, including my own daughter, work at the pleasure of the president. And if for any reason he doesn't have that pleasure, then those folks will simply move on. And it doesn't mean that the presidency of this president is in any way jeopardized.

GUILFOYLE: OK, well, Newt Gingrich has been quoted as saying President Trump needs to make some serious changes to his presidency. Would you agree with that statement?

HUCKABEE: Well, I think General Kelly certainly a great addition to bring some order in terms of access to the president, focus on the message. And let me be honest. I think that the president needs to focus on getting tax reform done, staying with his agenda of border security and the trade deals, and not let himself get taken away and caught up with responding to every media slight because the truth is, Kimberly, I don't care what he says, the media is never going to like him. They're never going to give him a fair shake. And he needs to just squirt some Deep Woods Off all over himself and don't swat at the mosquitoes because they're not going to get any better, ever. They're just not.

GUILFOYLE: Yes. Governor, what about--

HUCKABEE: Stay with his agenda, focus--

GUILFOYLE: What about the--

HUCKABEE: -- upon it and forget these guys.

GUILFOYLE: What about the timing of this? Because now there are some reports that Mr. Bannon resigned two weeks ago, and then of course, we know what we've been covering, a lot in the news is Charlottesville and the aftermath and a lot of, you know, criticisms of the president about the timing and when he spoke out on that. Do you think the two have any connection in terms of the departure of Mr. Bannon and the events that transpired in Charlottesville?

HUCKABEE: You know, the honest answer for me is I don't know. It's some inside baseball stuff. I don't know that it matters, though. The fact is, Steve Bannon is going to be gone. I think he'll still serve the president.

But Kimberly, let me bring up something I haven't heard anyone talk about in all this week of bad publicity for Donald Trump. You know one group of people that has stuck with him absolutely? His faith council, the people who surround him from the evangelical community who were very instrumental in his election. They have not wavered. They had not in any way stumbled.

And I think that he should step back and take a look and realize that he has some real key supporters who are good and decent people who are sticking with him because they do believe that he represents for them protection of religious liberty and also an agenda that helps to get America back on track.

And that ought to be something that maybe the mainstream media could maybe pick up on. But then again, that would be delusional to think that they might actually get the story right.

GUILFOYLE: Well, you brought up a great point here, indeed. And there were a core constituency and a pivotal one for the president during his campaign and in securing the White House and they have remained steadfast in their support and their faith in him.

Governor Huckabee, thank you so much for joining us tonight.

And here now with more reaction, former deputy campaign manager for Trump, David Bossie. Dave, thank you so much for being with us tonight. This is, you know, probably a little bit of difficult news for you to hear. I know that you have a close relationship with Steve Bannon. Were you able to speak to him today and get your thoughts sort of on what's transpired?

DAVID BOSSIE, FOX CONTRIBUTOR: Well, Kimberly, thanks for having me. And yes, I did speak to Steve a couple of times, a few times today. He's in great spirits. He is completely 100 percent committed to helping President Trump get his conservative populist agenda through Congress and to enact those promises that President Trump made on the campaign trail, those that Steve Bannon was keeping track of inside the White House, you know, on a daily basis and trying to stay true to those conservative principles. And I think that Steve, whether he's inside the White House or outside, is going to continue to do just that.

GUILFOYLE: OK, and what about the fact that there was sort of this push- pull inside the White House between sort of the populist agenda and those that were perceived as globalists? And specifically, there was discussion about a battle currently between Steve Bannon and H.R. McMaster and perhaps even John Kelly?

BOSSIE: Well, look, the inside baseball, the inside battles that were going on are over now. With Steve's departure from the White House, you know, now General Kelly, now the chief of staff, will continue to create his staff that will be reportable to him and accountable to him. And I think that that's what General Kelly came in to do. He has been very surgical in trying to put together the staff he believes will work for him.

One of the things they have to do is make sure that they are staying true to the Trump agenda. And as long as they do that, they will succeed. But the inside baseball, you know, games, they're going to continue.


BOSSIE: You know, Steve -- let me -- I just will say one thing. Steve came into the campaign, and there was a -- you know, it was a -- the campaign was incredibly in a tough spot. And Steve helped right that ship and helped get it across the finish line. And he was not part of a problem there. And I think he gets a lot of bad press, you know, for being a disruptor when he's a disruptor of the establishment, not of people he's working with.

GUILFOYLE: Do you think that the past news cycle of what's transpired in Charlottesville, also the book, "The Devil's Bargain," and perhaps even the recent article with a journalist where Steve Bannon is quoted had anything to do in terms of putting a little fuel on the fire?

BOSSIE: Yes, I really don't, Kimberly. What I see -- what I know happened was that he did tender his resignation to General Kelly back I believe on the 7th or the 9th and that he was--

GUILFOYLE: So when Kelly came in.

BOSSIE: That's right, and to give the general an opportunity to have a clean slate. And think Steve's an honorable man, but they decided that, you know, earlier this week was going to be Steve's last day, but they put that off because of Charlottesville.


BOSSIE: And they put it off because they didn't want to have even a bigger disruption during some chaotic days. And I think that this is -- a Friday afternoon is just a good a day as any one once it's been established that he's leaving.

GUILFOYLE: Yes, no, I don't -- do you remember back when this all started during the campaign and then during inauguration. It was my understanding at that time, back in January, that Steve Bannon was planning on serving and being there basically through Labor Day to really get the president started--

BOSSIE: Right.

GUILFOYLE: -- and to, you know, help with the president's agenda and get him in a secure spot, that it was never his intention or desire to be a, you know, career politician or stay in the administration.

BOSSIE: That's right. Yes, you know, I've worked with Steve for about 12 years now. I've been a business partner with Steve Bannon for about 12 years. He's never come across for one minute as a staffer to me.


BOSSIE: And so -- so I -- I just -- you know, he is somebody who was dedicated to this president, will continue to be dedicated to this president's his conservative reform agenda--

GUILFOYLE: All right--

BOSSIE: -- and as somebody -- and as somebody who's going to continue to help him and I think be very -- be a very powerful positive force from the outside.

GUILFOYLE: So you won't expect anything in terms of criticism? Because a lot of people fearful that are supporters of the president that Bannon, who is a very powerful adversary and also a very powerful ally when he's on your side, will not become adversarial with the president and using Breitbart, et cetera, to make attacks from the outside?

BOSSIE: Oh, I completely believe that that's hogwash.


BOSSIE: That is never going to happen. Steve Bannon is an honorable soldier in our effort and somebody who is going to, as I said, lift up the president's agenda. Now, if he has policy disagreements with people inside the White House, where he was handcuffed while he was inside the White House--

GUILFOYLE: It's a different ball game.

BOSSIE: -- it's a different ball game now, and he may not have those same handcuffs as it relates to individuals inside the White House, who he doesn't believe carries the president's agenda wholeheartedly.

GUILFOYLE: All right. Well, you have my full attention. I speak (ph) Bossie, and I don't know what that means.


GUILFOYLE: All right, thank you so much. It's good to have you here tonight.

And coming up, more reaction to tonight's breaking news. Steve Bannon is out as White House chief strategist. Sara Carter and Charlie Hurt weigh in next. That and much more on this special edition of "Hannity" as we continue.




TRUMP: I like Mr. Bannon. He's a friend of mine. But Mr. Bannon came on very late. You know that. I went through 17 senators, governors, and I won all the primaries. Mr. Bannon came on very much later than that. And I like him. He's a good man. He is not a racist. I can tell you that. He's a good person. He actually gets a very unfair press in that regard. But we'll see what happens with Mr. Bannon.


GUILFOYLE: Welcome back to "Hannity." And that was President Trump earlier this week calling Steve Bannon a friend. Sara Carter with CircaNews spoke with Bannon earlier this morning, and she is reporting that Bannon said he resigned from his White House post about two weeks ago.

Sara joins now, along with FOX News contributor Charlie Hurt. So Sara, I want to begin with you. And you confirmed today that Steve Bannon offered his resignation two weeks ago. How did this all play out and what have you heard about why he resigned?

SARA CARTER, CIRCA NEWS: Well, he offered his resignation, according to Mr. Bannon, two weeks ago. And he -- you know, he had always said and he told me this that from the beginning, he never planned on being at the White House more than eight months to a year.


CARTER: And August 14th was the year mark for him. And he was ready to move on. And I also think that, you know, he's at a point where he can. We've seen this big turnover, you know, at the White House. There's a restructuring of people within the White House. And general Kelly is there now and he -- you know, he's taking the helm. And this was a way for Mr. Bannon to kind of move on with what he would like to do and give that space so Kelly can do what he needs to do.

GUILFOYLE: OK, so did you call him this morning or he phoned you? I mean, how did this come about?

CARTER: Yes, so I did. I contacted him directly. You know, the rumors were swirling around for more than a week now, and I, you know, wanted to know what was going on. And I just asked him straight up, Are these rumors true? What's going on? And can you talk? And he very frankly told me, Yes, Sara, that is correct. I gave my letter of resignation two weeks ago.

And you know, Kimberly, we're hearing all of these stories that he was fired, that he was pushed out. I actually heard from sources that the president was trying to figure out a way to keep him on board. But you know, both of them had come to this realization that this was probably what he needed to do. So it's just interesting to hear all the rumors. I wanted to talk to the people directly, and that's what I did. And fortunately, Mr. Bannon was willing to talk to me.

GUILFOYLE: OK, is he going to make that letter of resignation public that he resigned, in fact, two weeks ago? Because we haven't had any White House sources thus far up until this point confirming that.

CARTER: That's right. I'm hoping so. I don't think he's going to do that just yet, but I think he will make that letter available in the near future. And you know, I don't think he's the kind of man that'll do things quietly. He'll definitely come forward and let people know what he's doing.

GUILFOYLE: Charlie, I'll bring you in because there was discussion in the past when there were bumpy times, tumultuous times with Priebus, with Bannon, and the Mercers very strongly backed Steve Bannon with the president to help secure and stabilize and maintain his tenure in the White House. So that is a very strong alliance. But going forward, do think it's one that will be positive and supportive to the president and his administration?

CHARLIE HURT, FOX CONTRIBUTOR: Oh, I think without a doubt, it will absolutely be supportive. You know, Donald Trump didn't arrive at these political positions on a lark. Steve Bannon certainly didn't arrive at his political positions on a lark. And I that it's in -- very much in both of their best interests to continue, you know, pushing forward.

Steve Bannon has a lot to be proud of today. He helped get Donald Trump elected. Before that, he gave a tremendous voice to millions of Americans who had been kind of left out of the political process for a very long time. Steve Bannon, I know, remains completely committed to that agenda, which is now the Trump agenda. And I don't think that we're going to Steve Bannon do anything but try to, you know, put his shoulder to the wheel.

And -- and -- you know, and Donald -- and -- and Steve Bannon inside the White House -- he's not an establishment guy. He's not an insider guy. He's best when he's a barbarian at the gate and he's leading an army of crusaders trying to get something done. That's where he is best. And I think in a lot of ways, doing what we're going to see him do over the next three years, I think that he will prove to be tremendously effective, every bit as effective as he was before he joined the Trump campaign.

GUILFOYLE: Well, he certainly has successive (INAUDIBLE) been able to, you know, be successful on a number of different ventures besides politics. Sara, now, what about the fact that there was sort of this push-pull and this sort of battle within the White House with the populists versus the globalists? There was a lot of discussion recently in the press about the battle between Steve Bannon and H.R. McMaster?

HURT: Yes, and I don't -- and I don't think that just because Steve Bannon leaves that -- that that -- that that wing of the debate is going to lose. You know, Donald Trump believes these things because he believes them. He knows that they're right. And whether it's on, you know, climate change or international trade or illegal immigration or fighting terrorism, all of these things -- he has not budged from what -- you know, the center of what his commitments were to the voters.

And that's why -- so if -- so what? Steve Bannon departs. I don't think that means that Donald Trump is going to renege on any of those things. I think he's going to remain -- I think he's going to remain every bit as committed to those things as he was if Steve Bannon never left.

GUILFOYLE: Sara, there was discussion that the president was upset about the book that came out discussing, you know, Steve Bannon, and then the article that came out, that he didn't think he was giving an interview, some of the comments there. When you look at this and kind of put it and frame it in the lens of what has happened in terms of the arguments and what's been going forward in this country about white supremacy and nationalists, do think any of that, that emotional rhetoric and that charged environment had anything to hasten the demise and departure of Mr. Bannon?

CARTER: You know, I would only be guessing, Kimberly, if I said that because I haven't had a chance to speak with the president about -- about that. But it could have played a role in there.

Look, I think the bigger issue really within the White House was this kind of ideological break that people had as far as, like, the Iran deal. That was huge. And you know, McMaster and Bannon butted heads over and over again with that. China was another big issue, which is why he talked to American Prospect, I think, and gave that very kind of stunning interview. And remember he contacted them, they didn't contact him. He just gave up that information.

So I think a lot of the issues there are just really policy and ideology. How do we move forward with foreign policy, national policy?

GUILFOYLE: Certainly.

CARTER: And I think that remains to be seen. And I think President Trump is, you know, going to keep a very watchful eye on what goes on within the White House and see how these policies kind of evolve. Remember, the Iran deal comes up for reauthorization again in September, and I think it'll be interesting to see whether he reauthorizes that again or not, and whether McMaster is able to push him in that direction and whether Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will do the same. So I think that's something to be mindful of.

GUILFOYLE: OK. All right, well, thank you both for being on the program. Always a pleasure.

And coming up -- the left and liberals in the mainstream media are losing their collective minds over President Trump's response to Charlottesville. Lieutenant Colonel Allen West will have reaction next on this special edition of "Hannity."


GUILFOYLE: Welcome back to this special edition of "Hannity."

The left continues its crusade to take down President Trump. Former vice president Al Gore is calling for President Trump to resign, and some members of the mainstream media are also trying to gin up outrage and are making things a lot worse. Here's just a few of the latest examples. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am an optimist. I have never been as discouraged as I have been this week about our country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are at a low point in American history. Last month --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, the Civil War was a little worse. That was bad.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I am worried about what's coming.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Great Depression pretty bad. That was probably worse.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a pretty low point.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we are going to take down every monument that pays tribute to racists, we should probably take down every building with the name "Trump" on it.



GUILFOYLE: And yesterday, CNN's Wolf Blitzer questioned whether the Barcelona terror attack was a copycat of what happened in Charlottesville. Watch this.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: There will be questions about copycats. There will be questions if what happened in Barcelona was at all, at all a copycat version of what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia. Even though they may be different characters, different political ambitions, they used the same killing device, a vehicle going at a high speed into a group, a large group of pedestrians.


GUILFOYLE: And joining us now with reaction, FOX News contributor Lieutenant Colonel Allen West. Lieutenant Colonel West, you recently wrote that you found it rather odd that so many people were trying to blame President Trump for what happened in Charlottesville. Why do you feel that way?

LT. COL. ALLEN WEST, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Good to be with you, Kimberly. What I find very interesting is that everything now has to come back to white supremacists. Everything now has to be about racism.

I was listening to some of the clips you were playing. A low point for me during the Obama administration, when we knew we had a president, we had a secretary of state, we had a national security advisor that had abandoned Americans to die during an Islamic terrorist attack and then they lied about it. And nothing was ever done. No one ever remembers those four Americans who lost their lives and the family members who were shot.

And so when I think of about someone like a Wolf Blitzer, obviously he's quite delusional. He has not been around for quite some time because the terrorists have been using this vehicular attack, this terrorist style attack, going back to Bastille Day in Nice, France, going back to what happened at the German Christmas market, going back just recently is what we have seen happen in England.

So again, everything has to be about what their message du jour is right now, is everyone is a white supremacist, everyone is a neo-Nazi or Klan member as long as they don't agree with their agenda. And what I do find interesting is that you have someone like Maxine Waters and others in the Democrat Party who so fight for Planned Parenthood, but yet Margaret Sanger was an incredibly well-known white supremacist.

GUILFOYLE: Unbelievable, really. When you look at the facts and the historical record, it tells quite a different tale. And just to dovetail on your comments, you have a lot of these jihad inspired magazines, "Inspire," et cetera, talking about the kind of terrorist playbook of what you need to do. And that's been widely distributed in terms of using vehicles to commit acts of terror. So this isn't something that just fell out of the terror lap.

WEST: Yes, you're absolutely right. So this has been something that has been going on for quite some time. And you have never heard anyone from the left really come out and condemn Islamic supremacy. When you look at the terrorist attacks that have happened in the United States of America, Fort Hood with Major Nidal Hasan is still classified as workplace violence.

The president of the United States of America never said anything about the Chattanooga attack that killed five of our sailors and marines on a Naval Reserve installation. When you look at Orlando or San Bernardino, there is no accepting that this was an Islamic supremacist attack or jihadist attack. It was about gun control.

So I really find it find it very disgusting and deplorable the obfuscation, the dismissal, the denial, because if it does not fit into their ideological agenda or their talking points, they're not going to stand up for it.

GUILFOYLE: Yes, obfuscation and denial, two of their most powerful weapons that they use. And if I can just get your quick comment about the departure of Steve Bannon, the impact you might think that it has on President Trump's administration?

WEST: I think that what will remain to be seen in the next 30 to 60 days, what will be Mr. Bannon's actions? Will he fight strongly for the administration from the outside or will he take a different approach? And that will let us know under the terms by which he was separated.

GUILFOYLE: All right, excellent. Lieutenant Colonel Allen West, always a pleasure to have you on this program, thank you so much.

WEST: Thank you, Kimberly. My pleasure.

GUILFOYLE: And coming up, the controversy over Confederate monuments is heating up as liberals call for the removal of more statues. James T. Harris, Charlie Kirk, and Doug Schoen join us next as this special edition of "Hannity" continues.


JACKIE IBANEZ, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good evening and live from America's news headquarters I'm Jackie Ibanez in New York.

A nationwide manhunt is underway right now in Spain for at least one suspect wanted in connection with yesterday's terror attacks. Fourteen people were killed in the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, more than 100 others were injured. Police killed five suspects in a shootout yesterday and captured two others. Police say they were members of a Catalonia based terror cell. The one American who died in the Barcelona attack has been identified as Jared Tucker of California.

President Trump tweeting tonight he has signed House Bill number 873 into law. The bill allows the global war on Terror Memorial Foundation to establish a memorial on federal land in the District of Columbia. The memorial will commemorate and honor members of the armed forces who saw active duty in the war against global terrorism.

I am Jackie Ibanez. Now back to "Hannity." For all of your headlines, log on to

GUILFOYLE: Welcome back to this special edition of "Hannity."

In the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, several U.S. cities have begun removing Confederate statues and symbols. Maryland has now removed a statue of the U.S. Supreme Court justice who wrote the 1857 Dred Scott decision. And in Arizona, the Jefferson Davis memorial was literally tarred and feathered.

Joining us now with reaction, radio talk show host James T. Harris and Fox News contributor and Democratic pollster Doug Schoen, and founder and executive director of Turning Point USA, Charlie Kirk. Gentlemen, thank you for joining me tonight on this explosive issue that continues to grip the nation.

James, I'm going to begin with you. So President Trump earlier this week said that the issue of Confederate statues and monuments should be an issue that is best left to the states and to the cities. Do you agree?

JAMES T. HARRIS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Yes, I do agree. Before I was a radio talk show host I spent 10 years as a high school history teacher, and I taught my students the good, the bad, and the ugly of history. And there are lessons in this. I look at what is happening across the nation, the taking away of Confederate monuments, in horror because of the important lessons that are being lost, the opportunities to teach about how to avoid these mistakes that we made in the past.

GUILFOYLE: Doug, you recently said in an op-ed that President Trump should give an Oval Office address to bring the American people together. What should he say in that Oval Office address were he to give it?

DOUG SCHOEN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: He needs to say, Kimberly, that we are one nation, one people. We are not Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives. We need to move past these symbolic issues, however wrenching. Talk about tax reform, we need to talk about infrastructure and fixing health care. We need, in short, to talk about the real problems and the challenges overseas from nations like Iran and North Korea. We can't get mired down in talking about Confederate monuments. I think we should leave it to localities. I don't like them, but the larger issue is who we are as a people and how we move forward, not symbolic politics.

GUILFOYLE: OK, Doug, there's been some polling on that. I want to stay with you for a moment. And 62 percent of Americans according to recent polls believe that the Confederate monuments should stay. Is it a losing issue for the Democrats, and yet you also say that the president should redirect and talk about other issues instead of focusing on it?

SCHOEN: I would say, Kimberly, it's a losing issue for everyone. I respect southerners and the majority of Americans who don't want to get rid of them. On the other hand, they are symbols of racism and oppression and I don't really think they have a place. But the larger issue is to focus on our real problems that we face now. And our adversaries here, our problems at home, and to not do it Steve Bannon is saying he's going to do, go to war. I saw come together.

GUILFOYLE: Come together. So more a message of unification, Charlie, then divisiveness and trying to tear monuments down and the country apart.

CHARLIE KIRK, FOUNDER, TURNING POINT USA: I agree with Doug. I think that it is the time for unification. And it's best left to the states and localities. Unfortunately this is an issue that is only going to get bigger. There are leftwing activists groups that are not going to rest until every single Confederate statue or name is removed from everywhere. So there has to be a position that is made, unfortunately.

One last point on this that's really important. I think there is this implicit or explicit war on the south. And we have to take a step back. Look, 40 percent of the active U.S. military is from a collection of 11 states, and those states are south of the Mason-Dixon line. And there's a war on everything southern is wrong.

I'm not going to disagree that these monuments are not symbols of racism. Some are. But some are just remembering the valor and the bravery of the people that put forth their lives and their time to a cause that they found noble. So I will say unfortunately this issue is only going to get bigger. I wish we were talking about infrastructure and jobs and taxes and government overreach, but this is it an issue that the left wants to keep talking about.


HARRIS: The left is trying to destroy our culture and are trying to destroy our nation. And we need to be very careful about sitting in judgment of the past because the future is going to sit in judgment of us. We are literally enslaving our kids with hundreds, or trillions of dollars of debt. We have our inner cities are blowing up. We are looking at 300, or millions of people who have been aborted, and what will the future say about us when we erect monuments to ourselves? They're going to be tearing them down. We need to be very, very careful about sitting in judgment of the past. These monuments are very important. They're very important lessons. The Democrats can learn from General Lee who after he was defeated by the union decided, you know what, I'm going to work with them instead of trying to join a resistance or to try to join some type of guerrilla warfare. These are important lessons that need to stay put.

GUILFOYLE: Doug, real quick.

SCHOEN: These are really heartfelt sentiments, but they're dead wrong to me. We come together, we put the past behind us. We study it, but we don't re-litigate it. We don't leave monuments to slavery and oppression. We need concerted and constructive action on health care, on job creation, on our adversaries overseas. That's what it is important. That's what the president should focus on.

GUILFOYLE: All right, and the nationwide debate continues. Gentlemen, James and Charlie and Doug, thanks so much for being with me.

And coming up, will President Trump pardon Sheriff Joe Arpaio? Gregg Jarrett says he might. He joins us next. That and much more as this special edition of "Hannity" continues.


GUILFOYLE: Welcome back to this special edition of "Hannity."

President Trump is making news over the possibility of pardoning former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio who was found guilty of criminal contempt last month. In a recent exclusive interview, President Trump told our colleague, Gregg Jarrett, quote, "I am seriously considering a pardon for Sheriff Arpaio. He has done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration. He's a great American patriot and I hate to see what has happened to him."

And in an interview with NPR yesterday Arpaio said he would be honored if President Trump does decide to grant him a pardon. Here with reaction is Fox News anchor and attorney Gregg Jarrett. Gregg, congratulations on getting that interview with the president. A lot of people talking about because of the upcoming trip. What do you think the outcome of that is going to be and the likelihood of the president issuing a pardon?

GREGG JARRETT, FOX NEWS ANCHOR AND ATTORNEY: I would say there's a better than 50 percent chance that on Tuesday when the president speaks at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, a huge venue, that he may take the opportunity then in front of a very friendly crowd to pardon Joe Arpaio. Maybe Arpaio will be there, I don't know.

But when I spoke to the president, he really was very moved by the circumstances of this misdemeanor conviction of Sheriff Joe. He felt it was unfair. It was a political prosecution that began in the Obama administration's Department of Justice. I've looked at a lot of the record on that conviction and it is very, very questionable. Arpaio said, look, I simply followed the advice of my lawyer at the time who did not provide me with all of the restrictions contained in the order. I looked at the order itself. It's vague and ambiguous and really kind of hard to decide what the restrictions are.

If you had put this case in front of a jury, and it probably should be in front of a jury since jail time is the penalty, he would have been acquitted I'm pretty certain. So I think the president will probably go ahead and pardon Arpaio. Again, it's a misdemeanor, so we are talking about small potatoes.

GUILFOYLE: And maybe at this event where you said it's a very warm welcoming in terms of a supportive constituency that would be in favor of this.

JARRETT: The president has a real connection with Arizona, the Grand Canyon state. He made seven visits there. And it was really the first big venue of the cheering crowd that helped launch his candidacy for president.

And it's true he only one back by 3.5 percent over Hillary Clinton, but Arizonans really do like Donald Trump. Representative Trent Franks who hardily endorses a pardon is going to be there. He has a lot of fans, and I think this may be the time he pardons Arpaio. It's not like --

GUILFOYLE: Would there be political fallout from that? Because some have said oh, no, poor Joe Arpaio, because it looked like he was going to get it, but then in light in the aftermath of Charlottesville and the racial tensions and sort of what has been boiling over in the country, when you put those two in the juxtaposition of them both, is the timing not as favorable?

JARRETT: It will be for his many critics in the liberal media. It doesn't matter what the president does. They will always criticize him. And I think he realizes that.

And it's not like -- compare it to the last president, President Obama, who commuted the sentence of Chelsea Clinton -- Chelsea Manning, excuse me, who stole 750,000 documents, classified documents, leaked them, did damage to national security and the military. You compare it to that, and criminal misdemeanor is minor compared to what Obama did in commuting the sentence of Chelsea Manning.

GUILFOYLE: I agree with you. I don't think the president is going to be moved by what the liberals or the mainstream media think about a decision that he might make. If he feels strong and passionate about it, he's going to do what he wants.

JARRETT: And the president really did feel that Arpaio was not treated fairly by this court system. And he's done so much, the president said he has stopped a lot of crime and saved lives. And he said, is there anybody in local law enforcement who has done more to halt illegal immigration than Sheriff Joe? The president answered his own question and said absolutely not.

GUILFOYLE: Wow. That's excellent. And you spoke to the man directly so you would know his personal thoughts on it. Gregg, always great job. Thank you so much.

Coming up, more of this special edition of "Hannity" right after the break. Stay with us.


GUILFOYLE: Welcome back to "Hannity." Unfortunately that is all the time we have left this evening. As always, thank you for being with us. Sean is back on Monday. We hope you have a great weekend.


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