This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," December 10, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: All right. Welcome to this busy night of "Hannity," where a lot of breaking news and analysis, I promise you will not get anywhere else.
FISA abuse, FISA fraud, fraud committed upon courts, Russian lies paid for by the Clinton campaign and the DNC, bribery. We had American uranium, the foundational materials for nuclear weapons, oh, they go to Russia and Putin in exchange for what appears to be kickbacks. Fraud, pay to play, rampant corruption, and conflicts of interest everywhere.
And for years, what has happened? The Democratic Party, the Clintons, the media, some of and their highest ranking officials we have now learned in the last two years inside of your government fleecing the American people, committing serious crimes. But tonight, the mainstream media in America, the Democrats, the deep state cronies obsessing over one thing and one thing only, their fantasy, their imaginary campaign finance allegations against President Trump.
Now, we're going to break all of this down, which is the left's desperate final attempt to destroy, delegitimize, and unseat a duly elected president, overturn your vote. Plus, we'll show you how disgraced FBI Director James Comey -- you may have just implicated himself.
And stay tuned. In just moments, I will sit down for a rare one-on-one interview with Jared Kushner. Also, Newt Gingrich, Senator Lindsey Graham will join us tonight.
And you won't believe, this is insane, what a liberal professor is saying about God and the Virgin Mary. We'll get to all of that, but it's time for our breaking news opening monologue.
All right. So, it begins. Now, remember, just a few months ago during the midterms, I repeatedly warned you, pretty much every night about what the Democrats' real but hidden agenda was. The agenda they were hiding before the election. They want to impeach the president, they want open borders, get rid of ICE. They want their crumbs back desperately, more regulations and endless nonstop investigation into all things Donald Trump and his administration.
Now every night as we go over the news, I want you to look at things from a different perspective. As we talk to these new newsmakers on the Democratic side. Ask yourself very important questions because you're going to come to a conclusion pretty quickly, I think. Are those in power that we show you every night -- ask yourself, if what they are doing is good for this country. To do their comments, do their remarks, do their actions, do they strengthen the country?
Will what they are doing improve the lives of the American people? Help the American people? Advance our country, our country's interest?
Now, you can forget about a red state, blue state, Democrat, Republican, conservative, liberal, left, right, it doesn't matter. Is what you're seeing good for the United States of America and the American people? Because as we speak, there are some in this country so filled with anti- Trump rage every second, every minute, every hour of every day that they are willing to say and to do anything to destroy the president, his family, delegitimize the 2016 election, even if America and we the people suffer as a result.
Now, many months ago, I identified what I call the five forces that are actively working against the president. Obviously, it's Democrats, they hate him. Then you have, of course, the establishment media, they hate him. Never-Trumpers, they want to be justified in -- well, not being a part of electing somebody who has governed conservatively, establishment Republicans that are weak. And the deep state.
And for almost two years, they have been totally obsessed, as we all know by now, Russia, Russia, Russia, with a few intermittent distractions like Stormy, Stormy, whatever else.
But on Friday, those five forces suffered a serious setback when the special counsel's memos on Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen indicated no, none, no evidence of any Trump-Russia collusion. Zero. It's about taxicab medallions, loan applications, taxes in general, nothing about Russia or Trump.
Now, the destroy Trump forces were kind of distraught, so they sent their selves into the predictable convulsions and then they settled on plan B, their backup plan, imaginary campaign finance violations against President Trump, that's what the Russia collusion was about. And in their sad and hate filled world, Michael Cohen's guilty plea to making illegal campaign contributions will surely result in the end of President Trump once and for all, or so they say.
Let's take a look at this manufactured but predictable hysteria.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a man who came in and said, I'm bigger than the House, I'm bigger than the intelligence community, I'm bigger than checks and balances, I'm bigger than the judicial community, I'm bigger than the free press. And he is only going to pay for that for the rest of his life.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When immigrants procure their citizenship by fraud, we strip them of their citizenship. When a president procures his presidency by fraud, should we consider doing the same?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the American people would support impeachment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump will be, must be impeached.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's got to know his future looks like it's behind bars.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump is a criminal enterprise.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It certainly looks like they are the kind of offenses that would call for impeachment hearings.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have this memorable phrase of individual number one. You know, it's going to go down I think in the history books along with some of those memorable Watergate phrases.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He may be the first president in quite some time to face the prospect of jail time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When evidence become so clear that you're very likely have a criminal sitting in the Oval Office, what is the Congress left to do at that point?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: These are the same people that have been saying the same lies for two years and it is unfounded. According to FOX News legal analyst, our Gregg Jarrett, if Michael Cohen's nondisclosure payment to Stormy Daniels or anybody else served a secondary purpose or dual-purpose, then it is not considered a campaign contribution and thus not illegal. In other words, if the payment benefited the Trump Organization, the Trump brand name, even President Trump on a personal or family level, that's not against the law. It's as simple as that.
And the president summed it up pretty perfectly on Twitter, writing, quote: There was no collusion, so now the Democrats go to a simple private transaction, wrongly call it a campaign contribution, which it was not, but even if it was, it is only a civil case like Obama's, but it was done correctly by a lawyer. And there would not be a fine, lawyer's liability if he made a mistake, not me. Cohen just trying to get his sentence reduced, which hunt.
Now, remember that Cohen changed his story on this particularly issue, and it's fascinating because the liberal media and the Democrats -- they only want to pick the version that fits their desire political goal. They didn't believe him the first time. Even initially stated that the Daniels payment for example came out of his own pocket without the president's knowledge, and sadly, most of his alleged crimes do include lying and fraud.
But the media wants to believe Cohen now. They don't like Michael Cohen. They have never liked Michael Cohen. And they are not his friend today.
And meanwhile, the president has acted in accordance with the law. He committed no criminal campaign finance violation and he sure as hell never colluded with Russia, which is what this was supposed to be about.
But then we have disgraced FBI Director James Comey. He's never let the presumption of innocence get in the way of his complete and total obsessive hatred for President Trump. Last night, he called on Americans to oust President Trump with, quote, every breath we have. But he is not bias at all, take a look.
(BEGIN VIDO CLIP)
JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: All of us should use every breath we have to make sure that the lying stops on January 20th, 2021.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Oh, I guess he does not have a political agenda. The same guy that leaked information to get Robert Mueller appointed. Oh, that's the same Comey that might have espionage issues himself by releasing those documents and the same guy that -- well, may be in trouble himself with the law.
I have some advice for Jim Comey, don't throw stones from a glass house. It's December, but the year of the boomerang is not quite over.
Now, late last week, Comey testified behind closed doors on Capitol Hill about the multitude of serious controversies surrounding his leadership at the FBI, including FISA abuse, his handling of the Clinton investigation. And for a man who claims to have such integrity, such a great memory, he seemed to have a really hard time answering questions or remembering anything that matter, in fact, many of them in the room accused him of using his attorney is to run interference while another 245 times he says he can't remember one shape, matter or form.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: The Republicans came out and said that a government lawyer ran the interference in sense (ph) to shut down of specific lines of questioning, did that happen? If so, what topics were not discussed?
COMEY: One, you read the transcripts and I think you will see that not happening.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: He did admit, by the way, that the Steele dossier was never verified. You know, the bulk of the FISA application, we'll get to that in a second.
So, another lie from James Comey -- now, the transcript was out, it was happening over and over and over again, 250 times according to Trey Gowdy, during his testimony, he answered, I don't recall 71 times, get this, he stated, I don't know an additional 166 times. One lawmaker reportedly said, quote, his memory was so bad I fear that he might not remember how to get out of the room after the interview.
Another claim, quote: It was like he suddenly developed Alzheimer's after conveniently remembering enough facts to sell his book. It's pretty awful. A lot of selective amnesia for someone who claims to be an innocent man.
But even more troubling is this, it's something Comey actual said during this hearing. According to this transcript from Friday, he admitted that Hillary's bought and paid for dirty Russian dossier, the one that was used to commit a fraud four separate occasions on FISA courts was never verified either before or after the FISA warrant application.
Let me explain this. In other words, the FBI and the DOJ had zero idea if what they were using to get one of the hardest warrants to get, a FISA warrant, zero clue whether any of the evidence was credible, true, and corroborated, which by law and by a protocol must happen as a matter of course. They spied on an American citizen, trampled on his Fourth Amendment constitutional rights. A Trump campaign associate with information paid for by the Clinton campaign and the DNC that we now know is completely and totally unverified.
But wait, didn't Rod Rosenstein or Sally Yates, who signed off, signing off on the final FISA application, identity say that law enforcement if they are going to sign a FISA warrant, didn't he say that that officer must wear that the information in the FISA request is true and accurate? And if he got it wrong, there were serious consequences.
I know, because -- well, I have the tape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROD ROSENSTEIN, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: There is a lot of talk about FISA applications. And many people that I see talking about it seem not to recognize what a FISA application -- a FISA application is actually a warrant just like a search warrant. In order to get a FISA search warrant, you need an affidavit signed by a career federal law enforcement officer who swears that the information in the affidavit is true and correct to the best of his knowledge and belief. And that is the way that we operate. If it is wrong, sometimes it is, if you find out that that there is anything incorrect, that person is going to face consequences.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Comey is going to face consequences. Just waiting to find out what they were.
And an American was spied on by your federal government, think about this, with a warrant based on what was on uncorroborated, unverified, opposition research, bought and paid for Russian lies by Hillary Clinton. And they never told the judge that Hillary paid for it. Ever.
Multiple judges were lied to. Multiple frauds were committed on the FISA court. When will we hear from the FISA judges? Because those would be crimes in all likelihood, our own Gregg Jarrett has identified six specific felonies that would be applicable on this case alone.
Now, if the left really cared about civil liberties, they would be demanding an investigation. They would care about equal justice under the law, equal application of our laws, and our constitutional rights.
But like with everything else, the destroy-Trump forces, they're willing to put all of their hatred for the president above everything else, for them, it's always politics that trumps, no pun intended, all. It's the very reason they tried to ruin Justice Kavanaugh's life without any due process, without any presumption of innocence on a case that have been 36 years prior. But at the same time, they barely yawned, said nothing over recent abuse allegations, physical, emotional, against Keith Ellison, their number of two at the DNC.
Many of the same people love Bill Clinton. None of them spoke out about Michael Avenatti. None of the -- if you are a Democrat, you do not get the Kavanaugh treatment. That is a very reason why they obsess about Russia, Russia for years, but they ignore the Uranium One scandal, where Vladimir Putin had a network inside this country, the foundational material of nuclear weapons, for crying out loud.
Twenty percent of America's foundational material for nuclear weapons. Putin's network in America, we have a spy in there that's chronicling robbery, kickbacks, money laundering, extortion. And he is telling the FBI, then Robert Mueller, but the deal still went through, Hillary approved it. And guess what, her foundation ended up with people involved in that deal $145 million given to the Clinton Foundation.
And yes, some of that uranium left the United States. Where's the outrage over that serious Russia scandal? Why would we ever allow Putin's thugs in America to get a hold of our uranium and we don't have enough uranium as a country? Where's that investigation?
And in the case of Hillary's dirty dossier, OK, same year, 2016, Russian influence. Her campaign funneled millions of dollars, oh, through a law form, I bet if Paul Manafort or Michael Cohen did it, they'd be arrested.
But anyway, then using an op research firm, hiring a foreign national who uses questionable spies from Russia, Christopher Steele puts together research from his sources in Russia. The dossier is based on Russian lies paid for by Hillary, literally leaked to the American people to influence the 2016 election. I thought we were investigating Russian influence on the election. No investigation into bought and paid for lies to influence the American people.
So you think about this when you turn on these other networks or pick up a newspaper. You know, you think about this if you listen to any Democrat across this country and their sanctimony, and their lecturers talking about campaign finance, there's no Trump-Russia collusion. But we have major, major mistakes.
Let's see, Vladimir Putin, tell Vladimir about more flexibility after the election, Dmitry Medvedev, or the Uranium One deal. Or what we were just talking about and that relates to the dossier.
Joining us now, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham.
Senator, have one big question, you are laughing --
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C.: That is allowed to unpack. That was pretty good.
HANNITY: I care about -- I don't trust Putin. I think that he is a thug. I think he sent his thugs here. We had an FBI spy in his network. He is trying to get a foothold on our uranium industry, bribery, kickback, money -- we all knew about it, but they still signed off on the deal. And Hillary benefited through the foundation.
She paid for a Russian dossier, full of lies.
HANNITY: Absolute lies that were disseminated for the American people. Where's that investigation, Senator?
GRAHAM: Well, we should have had a special counsel appointed a long time ago to look at all things Clinton.
So here's what I will do if I am the chair of the Judiciary Committee in the Senate next year. I'm going to look at the FISA warrant application, how much of it was based on the dossier, was there any information beyond the dossier offered to get the warrant? And if the dossier was unverified, how could you swear to the court that it was accurate? Somebody misled the court.
So I promise you and your listeners that we're going to find out how this warrant was issued. How could a judge determine that there was probable cause if the only document was the dossier that was unverified? How did the system break down?
HANNITY: Senator, I got to be honest. Not only did -- and that information was pushed out to the American people. They did not verify it nor did they tell the courts of something I believe is pertinent. That Hillary paid for it.
Why would they not tell -- why would they hide that from the court?
GRAHAM: So, to issue a warrant against an American citizen, to surveilled them under the FISA statute, the judge has to believe that there is probable cause that the person is connected to a foreign entity. If the document that the judge was given was paid for by a political party and the opposing candidate, and it was never verified and it's not verified to this day, what happens to those who submit the document to the court? If they're not punished, you're going to reinforce doing this in the future.
Imagine if it was the Trump campaign, the RNC hired a foreign agent to get a political dossier against Clinton given to the court that turned out to be a bunch of garbage and it would be front page news all over the world. We're not going to let this go because it is important to the American people that the FISA warrant application process works correctly.
HANNITY: Let me ask you this, when we get to the bottom, obviously, Comey is biased and wanted Hillary to win as was Peter Strzok who interviewed her and thought that you should win 100-0.
My question is, are we going to go back to the investigation into the illegal server with classified and top-secret information on it, too? Are we going to get into the Uranium One? How did that ever happen? Was there a quid pro quo?
And who would appoint a special counsel? Would it be the new attorney general? Can the president do it? Can you do it?
GRAHAM: Well, it would be the new attorney general. And here's I think what's frustrating to you and others, is that when Mueller is done, nobody can doubt that Trump was looked very hard. They are trying to flip people right and left, none of that was done during the Clinton investigation.
As a matter of fact, the people involved investigating Clinton wanted her to win and Trump to lose. So he never had the same scrutiny.
I hope in the future that's corrected.
HANNITY: Can the president get the five -- you are telling the president to hold out for the $5 billion on -- for the wall? Or don't do the deal?
GRAHAM: Again, don't give in, get the five, begin put duck on the tail, make them say no to wall funding, make them say no to relief of the doctorate recipients.
Stay strong, Mr. President. You got the right -- you're on the right side of this issue.
HANNITY: All right. Lindsey Graham, good to see you. Thank you.
And coming up, a rare exclusive one-on-one interview with senior adviser to the president, does not do many interviews, Jared Kushner, he is next.
Also, Newt Gingrich tonight and the war on Christmas may be worse than ever -- straight ahead.
HANNITY: All right. Joining us now for a rare exclusive one-on-one interview, senior adviser to the president -- that would be Jared Kushner.
Jared, good to see you. You hate doing these interviews. I do not blame you, who would want to come on and do this?
JARED KUSHNER, SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: It's great to be with you, Sean.
HANNITY: All right. A lot going on at the White House, let's start with the news a little bit. We got a new A.G. coming in. We are waiting for chief of staff. Obviously, two years of the Mueller probe hanging over everybody's head. Still no evidence of any collusion, but it seems like the pressure is ratcheting up.
What is it like inside the White House? What can you tell us about these changes?
KUSHNER: Well, first of all, I want to start by thanking General Kelly for his great service to this administration, General Kelly has served the state for 40 years, and over the last two years in particular, he's been very helpful to the president towards implementing a lot of the important parts of his successful agenda. So I want to start with that.
I think the president right now is going to -- brought a new White House counsel today who just started and it's going to be fabulous, the president announced his pick for attorney general who will be quite good as well from what I am seeing. And right now, in the White House, we have a lot of people who are just working along and the president will make the right choice for chief of staff when he's ready. And, hopefully, he'll choose somebody who's got great chemistry with, great relationship with, who will help him navigate the next couple of years through all of the good opportunities that emerged to keep pushing forward.
HANNITY: I'm 30 years in radio, 23 years now as a Fox News Channel. For example, news came out today that nobody in the news is ever going to talk about that the U.S. is now an oil exporting nation for the first time in 70 years. Add that to all of the other economic success and foreign policy success, you don't hear about it.
You are inside that White House. If you turn on the TV, you know what you're going to hear every second, minute, hour of every day, how does that impact you and the rest of the White House?
KUSHNER: I think that there is a large part of the White House that it really doesn't impact that much. You know, we know what the president wants to accomplish. He's very clear with what his objectives are. And our job is to come in every day, focus on those goals, how do we achieve them and keep moving along.
Nobody really saw a lot of these numbers coming in terms of the oil experts and how we were going to make America an energy independent country, but we have accomplished that. That has been through a lot of great work of a lot of the cabinet secretaries, but really the leadership of the president to make that happen.
So, again, there is a lot of stories that get a lot of attention in the news, but we have a lot of phenomenal people in the White House and the administration who show up to work every day, ignoring the noise that's out there and just focusing on how do we accomplish the objectives of the president which is to make our country more prosperous, increased wages for people, create more jobs and keep people safe.
HANNITY: OK. One of the issues, you work on specific issues, I will ask you about the Middle East. I know that you have been working on those issues. I want to get into the issue of prison reform. I think one of the greatest moments in the president's history, he commutes a sentence of a woman by the name of Alice Marie Johnson. I'd actually a chance to interview her, and we have this video of her after what 20 years in jail, one drug offense, it was serious, but one.
And she comes out and I will never forget what she said, she says thank you, America, thank you Mr. President. You won't regret giving me a second chance. And there is a big prison reform bill, and I know that you're spearheading it in terms of the White House. And I know that there has been reluctance and resistance, especially Mitch McConnell in the Senate and others, my question to you is, why it is -- what to do we need to do when you have a 77 percent recidivism rate, and -- are we locking people up but not equipping them to meet the challenges when they finally get out? What do you see as the biggest problem?
KUSHNER: Right. So, this bill will accomplish a lot to make our community safer, the recidivism rate that we have is way too high. And not doing anything about that is irresponsible. And we are allowing people to go back to the communities who we can help. And there are a lot of programs based in red states that we have really modeled us off of.
So, we know that this works. And we have been able to build a very strong bipartisan coalition under the president's leadership to come up with a bill that we think can really solve a lot of those problems. And what it is is going into the prisons and giving job training, vocational training, mentorship, mental health treatment, drug addiction treatment to people who are coming out who are nonviolent offenders and figuring out how when they leave prison, they have a better chance of getting a job in reentering society in a productive manner than going back to a life of crime.
These reforms are based on what has worked and it will make a big difference. So, the president has built an amazing bipartisan coalition of Democrats and Republicans, and we are very close right now, and hopefully this will get to the floor and we will be able to have a big bipartisan celebration before Christmas.
HANNITY: Violent offenders, those are people that you cannot let out. Those are people that got to serve their term, but on the other hand, I do think that there has been disproportionate sentencing, especially on, for example, on the cracker and powder cocaine issue, that is been proven over and over again.
I would love to see the president -- and I don't know if this part of the package, transform the power of the pardon. Find, put up committees, find those people that we really believe have a very low chance of recidivism, one time offenders like Alice Marie Johnson and find them all and let them -- give them another chance with certain conditions, perhaps.
KUSHNER: Right. Well, this bill does part of that, which is what it does it ranks all the different inmates who are in our federal prison system under a likelihood of committing a crime in the future. And it allows us to put the focus on the nonviolent people who have a low risk, somebody like Alice Marie Johnson, that case was a grave misjustice. And the president did a great job towards righting that wrong.
That case really touched his heart and that was something where he realized that there was no reason for taxpayers to be paying to how somebody like Alice when she could be out in society and be a good role model for others. Taking the mistakes that she made and figuring out how to show other people how to not to make those same mistakes.
Look, we have a great criminal justice system in this country, it's the best in the world, but it's still far from perfect. And this bill would do a lot to correct some racial disparities that we have in our system.
HANNITY: Can we save money? Can we save the taxpayers money in the process?
KUSHNER: Yes, absolutely, you know, we are putting too much money towards warehousing people who we don't need to be warehousing, that money instead should be going to law enforcement on the front lines to keep our communities safe.
And if we do this right as we've seen in a of these Republican states, we've been able to reduce crime and also cost. Which is why this is something that is good.
Again, this is a policy that we've been able to bring a lot of very smart people together, we've got a great coalition, and the reason we have been able to do that is because it's a data-driven model and it's based on things that work and have worked before.
HANNITY: Last question, another area that you have been interested in is the Middle East, you have been on a number of trips, you've been to Jordan, Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia. You have talked to all these people.
It seems like there is a moment where there is a new alliance or coalition emerging against Iranian hegemony and a potentially nuclear armed Iran, has that process been hurt as a result of the Khashoggi killing, what is the status? I know 17 individuals are being held responsible, and do you feel that we will get to the bottom of it if we haven't already.
KUSHNER: I think that our intelligence agencies are making their assessments and we are hoping to make sure that there is justice brought where that should be, we are focused on the broader region which is figuring out how to hopefully bring a deal together between the Israelis and the Palestinians. That conflict has gone on for way too long.
The president has been very focused on trying to bring all of the different parties together. And we are hopeful in the next couple of months we'll put out our plan which, again, not every side is going to love, but there is enough in it and enough reasons why people should take it and move forward.
This plan will keep the Israeli people safe, give them a good future, but also give a real opportunity and hope for the Palestinian people so that they can live much better lives.
I've been saying a lot that you shouldn't be hijacking your children's future because of your grandparents' conflict. And this is a conflict that has been going on for way too long. And the way the people are living in Gaza and in the West Bank right now is not acceptable. And there is a lot that we could be doing to improve their quality of life, but it comes with resolving some of the core issues.
And it's not just the Israelis that wanted it, it's not just the Palestinian people who wanted, it's all of the people I speak to throughout the entire Middle East who would like to see this issue resolved so that they can focusing on a brighter future.
HANNITY: All right. Jared Kushner, thanks for being with us. I appreciate your time.
When we come back, disgraced FBI director James Comey set to face lawmakers again next week. Catherine Herridge has a full report, also Newt Gingrich weighs in, and later, an unbelievable story about a professor and what that professor said about the Immaculate Conception and the Virgin Mary.
TRACE GALLAGHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Live from America's news headquarters, I'm Trace Gallagher.
People across the south trying to recover from a deadly storm that hit their region over the weekend. Tonight, at least three deaths are being blamed on the storm that blanketed five states with snow and freezing rain.
Hundreds of thousands of homes remain without power. Icy roads also triggered hundreds of accidents and while the storm has now passed, people are being advised to stay home because of roadways that remain treacherous.
President Emmanuel Macron admits he's partially responsibility for the anger that has fueled weeks of protest in France. In a televised address to the nation today, Macron said he may have given the impression he doesn't care about ordinary citizens and might have hurt people with his comments.
Macron previously told an unemployed man that he could find a job if he, quote, "crosses the street."
When news breaks out, we'll break in. I'm Trace Gallagher. Now back to Hannity.
HANNITY: All right. Joining us now with the latest breakdown of the Comey testimony, plus what we can expect when he returns to the Hill in one week for a second round of cushioning, Fox News chief intelligence correspondent, our own Catherine Herridge. Catherine?
CATHERINE HERRIDGE, FOX NEWS CHIEF INTELLIGENCE CORRESPONDENT: Sean, there's 235-page transcript shows the FBI put four Americans connected to candidate Trump under investigation at the height of the presidential campaign.
Ten months into that investigation with intelligence from a surveillance warrant, two senior FBI officials, former lawyer Lisa Page and now director James Comey testified collusion was unproven when special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed in May 2017.
Comey said of the FBI Russian investigations, quote, "we open them in late July, didn't know whether we had anything. In fact, when I was fired as director, I still didn't know whether there was anything to it."
Republicans castigated Comey for failing to answer their questions 245 times, because he claimed not to know or could not remember key details including the surveillance warrant application for Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
It says verified application, which means that the information is vetted. But Comey testified that the FBI was still working to substantiate the DNC Clinton campaign funded dossier before and after the application.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PETER KING, R-N.Y.: Ro (ph) me it's hard to believe that Jim Comey would've forgotten all of those different details. I mean, I am on the intelligence committee, Jim Comey testified before us a number of times, I never recall him not being able to answer a question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HERRIDGE: Committee Democrats said the hearing was designed to damage the special counsel, not search for answers. Comey is scheduled to come back a week and will likely face questions about leaking memos, documenting his conversations with the president, Sean.
HANNITY: All right. Catherine Herridge from Washington, thank you. Joining us with reaction author of the bestseller "Trumps America" The Truth About Our Nation's Great Comeback," Fox News contributor and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is with us.
So, he's not answering any questions, he literally said something that should be remarkable to everybody. That what the Nunes and Grassley-Graham memo said, the bulk of information for the FISA application to spy on a Trump campaign associate, they never told the judges, Hillary paid for it. So, it may be political nature asterisk.
They never verified it. And then if you, you know, listen to everything else that he says, how do you get a FISA warrant by committing a fraud like that on the court?
NEWT GINGRICH, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, by the way, without any consequence. You know, if Comey had been a witness being interviewed by Mueller and he had 245 I can't remembers, I suspect they would keep him in there for 1,000 hours until he finally remembered.
This is nonsense. Any person with a reasonable sense of judgment knows that they were breaking the law for the purpose of trying to defeat Donald Trump and then when the Trump won anyway, they went on breaking the law including illegally leaking things and this is not -- as far as a historian, it's hard to explain how unique it is to have the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation this deeply engaged, this dishonest, this patently fraudulent.
I mean, nobody believes that he didn't know 245 times. And I think that it is a really sad commentary on how sick the system has gotten.
HANNITY: The Russians were invited to interfere in our election with what we now know to be fake information that Hillary and the DNC she was running paid for the dossier that even the dossiers author doesn't recognize as true. Maybe when pushed under oath, and then Comey admits that the dossier is unverified. They literally did these four times.
HANNITY: They signed their name to this. And nobody had bothered to look to find out that it was nonsense. And when you look at when this Russian investigation and Trump begins in July of 2016 by May, both Lisa Page and James Comey said there was still no evidence. Then they appointed Mueller I guess to find it because they couldn't find it.
GINGRICH: Let's be very clear here. If we had any sense of equal justice, everything that Comey has done what in fact from the standpoint of Mueller would have Comey right now lined up for a whole series of felony charges.
These things, you're right. He is signing documents which is illegal to sign knowing that they are false. And now he is telling us, he didn't know the things that he said in the document.
Well, in any reasonable system, Comey would now be guilty, I think by his own admission of a series of felonies including what they are going to ask about next week, which is having leaked things which is illegal.
But it tells you what a one-sided political witch hunt Mueller is engaged in. That all of these things go on and somehow it never quite becomes important, but going after General Flynn after his 35 years of risking his life for America, that's OK. Even though nothing Flynn he's been accused of is comparable to what Comey now has admitted.
HANNITY: What Comey has admitted, what Clinton has done, the Russian dossier, the Uranium One deal. I mean, I begin to worry here. And then you see immediate and total meltdown freak-out mode, screaming every second, minutes, and hour of the day impeachment.
Because they could not get what they wanted out of Russia, now they are actually suggesting it's a campaign finance violation and they want to believe Michael Cohen's new story about the deal that he put together that he said the president didn't know about, and he paid it out of his own money.
HANNITY: But now they will take the second version and go with that as gospel truth.
GINGRICH: Well, as I said on your radio show today, and my newsletter on Wednesday will be all about this. I believe we should challenge Mueller to release all 70 hours, 70 hours of his interviews with Cohen.
We have to find out how often did they blackmail him? How often did they threaten him? How many different stories did you tell? Why did they only believe the one that suits their purpose? Because my guess is that you will find 70 hours that he told five or six or seven different stories.
HANNITY: All right, Mr. Speaker, thank you. It's going to be interesting.
GINGRICH: Good to be here.
HANNITY: It's going to be a hell of a year coming up. I'll tell you that. And it will mostly be fun and they will overreach it as I said earlier. All right. Coming up, you won't believe what one professor is accusing God of being. It will discuss to you, but it's something that we better deal with now.
HANNITY: All right. Here we go again, you cannot make this stuff up, a psychology professor at Minnesota State University at Mankato accused God of being a predator for impregnating the Virgin Mary, quote, "without her consent."
The associate professor Eric Sprankle made the argument on Twitter. We did reach out to the university for comment, they told us, quote, "Minnesota State University of Makato denounces all messages that demean religious beliefs of any kind, however, as a public institution of higher education, we respect the rights and privileges associated with the U.S. Constitution including, in this case, the First Amendment, right and freedom of speech and religion. Dr. Sprankle tweeted from a special account though we find this message ridiculous, outrageous and offensive, he has every legal right to voice his opinion."
Also, tonight, an update on a story we told you about last week. Remember the self-proclaimed grinch principal in Elkhorn, Nebraska banning candy canes because they were shaped like a letter J for Jesus, well, he's been put on leave.
Joining us now, former governor and Fox News contributor, Mike Huckabee, and Catalina magazine publisher Cathy Areu is back with us.
Cathy, it's very interesting that you get reactions depending on somebody's individual faith. There are some times that if anybody says anything negative about some religion that's politically incorrect. But it seems that one group who is acceptable to bash their deeply held religious beliefs, it seems to be on a more regular basis Christian and Christians. Why? Why is that?
CATHY AREU, PUBLISHER, CATALINA MAGAZINE: Perhaps they are the most popular religion, maybe it is because more people know more about Christmas than they do about Kwanzaa than they do about Hanukkah. So, it's easier to pick on the religion that most people know about, the holiday that most people know about.
HANNITY: And what is your reaction to what this person said about the Virgin Mary and sexual assault by God.
AREU: It was so extreme, but take anything out of context, the story itself if you are just to explain the story. About this, virgin and spirit and you know, what the story is, then you would think, well, that's wild, but then if you put it back into its context it's from the bible, then it's religion and it makes perfect sense.
But when you take something out of context like that, if you pull Jesus out of context, you can make anything up. People love to do that.
HANNITY: All right.
AREU: They love to say if Jesus were alive now, what would he do? Where would you shop? What would he eat? So, these guys was just really extreme. The professor went way out there.
HANNITY: Governor, I'm not a part of a group that says fire him. I guess people in school have a right to sign up for somebody's class or not sign up for somebody's class. It's up to them. But we are seeing a lot of this.
You know, we have a nativity scene and the baby Jesus is in bars. Candy canes are banned because J equals Jesus. I never really saw a candy cane as a J before, but apparently that happens. And then you have a first grader who is being told that Santa doesn't exist and reindeer don't exist, contradicting the values of parents. This happens every year, why?
MIKE HUCKABEE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: You know, Sean, I think first of all that professor probably got run over by a church bus when he was a little kid and he's never gotten over it. I mean, I cannot imagine how somebody can come to the conclusion even having a cursory reading of the gospel story.
But the one thing that I will complement him for, it appears that he does believe in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, so that's a plus. He just doesn't believe that it happened as the scripture teaches it. Now this principle in Nebraska, that's one for the books. That shepherd's staff candy cane might remind somebody of Jesus.
Well, I have news for her, and I know this going to shock her, but Christmas is all about the worship of Christ, Christ mass, Christ mass that's what it's about. So, I hope she doesn't get any presents, may be a lump of coal in her stocking. Because anything else and it would be unfair to her and it might insult her sensitivities.
We are living in an absurd age. I grew up in a time where not everybody believed in Jesus, but we accepted that it was a part of our culture. You didn't have to embrace the spiritual and religious aspects of it to appreciate that it was Christianity that built most of the hospitals, the great colleges and universities, including every single one of the Ivy League schools. Not that they have any semblance of connection to their history. But Sean, it is like the society has lost its collective mind.
HANNITY: Well, America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, period.
All right. When we come back at, Rush reveals what's really behind the Democrats impeachment talk. We'll have that video straight ahead.
HANNITY: All right. So, amidst all the liberal hysteria and baseless impeachment talk, Rush Limbaugh explain the big picture. What's really going on? Just take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, TALK SHOW HOST: The whole point of all of this has been to just flood the media each and every day with all of this negative news about Trump be it stealing the election, being immoral reprobate, has been designed to get you to have doubts about Trump.
It's specifically designed to make you afraid to publicly proclaim your support for Trump. It is about you beginning to be afraid to support Trump because of the reaction you are going to get from people who are being treated to this salacious stuff. Because they can't get to where they want to go if Trump's approval numbers hang in the mid-40s or higher.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Rush is right. That's what they want. It's going to be death by 1,000 cuts. Hopefully worse-case scenario for them as he's unelectable in 2020. I think you the American people will get to decide that, not them.
All right. That's all the time we have for tonight. Let not your heart be troubled. Remember the radio show three to six each afternoon. Hannity.com has all the information you need. And Laura is next. Have a great night. We'll see you tomorrow.
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