Jay Sekulow: White House leaks almost a form of 'soft coup'; Will GOP work with Trump to implement agenda?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," February 17, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST:  And welcome to "Hannity."  The alt left propaganda media is still trying to recover from President Trump's historic beat down yesterday.  And that is tonight's "Opening Monologue."

All right, so snowflake anchors and reporters -- they're whining, complaining about President Trump daring to call them out yesterday.

Now, let's run through some of the examples.  Over at NBC, Chuck Todd was so incensed by the president's press conference, he tweeted, quote, "This is not a laughing matter.  I'm sorry, delegitimizing the press is un- American."  No, you did it to yourself, Chuck.

Now, the president is defending himself from what is an out-of-control media bias.  And somehow, he's calling that un-American?  Now, of course, chuck wasn't done there.  He also compared President Trump to Richard Nixon.  Let's watch this.


CHUCK TODD, MODERATOR, "MEET THE PRESS":  A lot of this press conference had to do with the president airing grievances about the press.  And you know, we got to remember what this is.  It's a political tactic.  It's one that is a familiar one.  But he is going -- going at it in a way we haven't seen a president do since Nixon in those early '70s.


HANNITY:  Oh, really, Chuck Todd?  He's probably upset because he's one of the biggest purveyors of all this fake news.  Now, wasn't that long ago when he falsely claimed that the president's temporary travel ban including (ph) a religious test.  That's a lie, Chuck.  That's fake news.  Remember this?


TODD:  President Trump suspended the U.S. refugee program for 120 days, closed the borders on passport holders from seven Muslim-majority countries for three months and barred Syrian refugees indefinitely.  And Mr. Trump established a religious test for refugees from those Muslim countries, allowing an exception for Christians and others from minority religions.


HANNITY:  Then there is Brian Williams over at NBC.  Now, let's take a look at the kind of fake news that was said in response to a comment that a guest made on his show.  Watch this.


HEIDI PRZYBYLA, USA TODAY:  That is the most basic function of a free press in our society.  And the president's response to that was to have a semi-meltdown and to accuse us all of purveying fake news, when in fact, his own actions, which were to fire General Flynn, proved that that news was spot on.  It was 100 percent accurate.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC:  Because when you reduce the media enough in prestige, they -- when they do report facts, those facts are diminished.


HANNITY:  All right, Brian, speaking of reducing the prestige of the all- important, all-arrogant media, you may remember you lied repeatedly. Remember the helicopter that you were supposedly flying in in Iraq and it was coming under attack?  Or remember you reported and talked about seeing a dead body floating past your hotel after Hurricane Katrina -- by the way, a location there was no water and no dead body?

But the anchors over at NBC News -- they're not alone.  CBS News also could not resist lashing out at the president.  Watch this.


SCOTT PELLEY, CBS EVENING NEWS:  Today, we learned the length of the president's fuse, 28 days.  After four weeks of being blocked by courts, challenged by Congress and held to account by the public, President Trump called a hasty news conference and went on offense with the familiar tools that built his career, bluster, bravado, exaggeration, and a few loose facts.


HANNITY:  Wouldn't Pravda be so proud?  And ABC News -- they get -- they got in on the Trump-hating also.  Why would they miss out?


MATTHEW DOWD, ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR:  That was the most amazing press conference by a president I have ever seen, and I've been watching since the mid-'70s.  I don't mean amazing and great.  I mean amazing in spectacular insight into Donald Trump and his state of mind today.

To me, when you have presidents take office, many of them are empowered and get bigger.  I think you have a president in that press conference that looked smaller and actually more insecure in his position.


HANNITY:  All right, that leaves us now with CNN, the "Clinton News Network."  Their consistently biased Trump-bashing coverage -- now, that drew the attention of the president at yesterday's presser.  And sure enough, the commander-in-chief -- he let them have it.  And I loved every minute of it.  Take a look.


TRUMP:  I'm not OK when it is fake.  I mean, I watch CNN.  It's so much anger and hatred and just the hatred.  I don't watch it anymore because it's very good -- he's saying no.  It's OK, Jim.  That's OK, Jim.  You'll have your chance.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT:  (INAUDIBLE) follow up on some of the questions that have taken place so far (INAUDIBLE)


TRUMP:  ... do have other people.  You do have other people, and your ratings aren't as good as some of the other people that are waiting.

You look at your show that goes on at 10:00 o'clock in the evening.  You just take a look at that show.  That is a constant hit.  The panel is almost always exclusive anti-Trump.  The good news is, he doesn't have good ratings.

Should I let him have a little bit more?

Sit down.  Sit down.  (INAUDIBLE)  We'll get it.


ACOSTA:  Just because of the attack of fake news and attacking our network, I just want to ask you, sir...

TRUMP:  I'm changing it from fake news, though.

ACOSTA:  Doesn't that under...

TRUMP:  Very fake news.

ACOSTA:  I know, but aren't you...


TRUMP:  Go ahead.


HANNITY:  Not only was he presidential, not only was he being honest, but he was being funny.  And as you can imagine, CNN, the "Clinton News Network," is not happy about getting called out.  Here's how Jake Tapper responded immediately after.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN:  Jake, you know, I think all of us were pretty much stunned by the course of this hour-and-15-minute appearance.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN:  Look, everybody at home just needs to ask themselves, how would you react if that were your boss coming in and giving a speech to the employees of where you work?  How would you -- how would you react if that were somebody in your family that you were trying to have a conversation with?

President Trump, if you're watching, you're the president.  You legitimately won the presidency.  Now get to work and stop whining about it.


HANNITY:  The sting in any rebuke is the truth.  They're having a hard time accepting the truth that they're abusively biased.  Isn't that the network that fed questions to Hillary Clinton?  Anyway, then they colluded, of course, with that campaign.

President Trump has not stopped working, and that's not all.  CNN decided it was appropriate to actually mock the president by sending out a tweet with a video that reads, quote, "Turn your sound up and watch President Trump conduct an amazing symphony -- press conference."  Here is the video.


HANNITY:  Oh, that's what we get from a real news network?  By the way, Jake Tapper, Jim Acosta, you want to defend that as news, or is that "Saturday Night Live"?  Anyway, one of the many reasons the president keeps calling CNN fake news.

And more importantly, here's what this all means.  Everything you just saw amounts to a giant, huge temper tantrum from a bunch of overpaid spoiled brats, so-called journalists who finally got called out for their bad behavior!  So all the members of the media -- they can be mad all they want.  It doesn't change the fact how biased, how lazy they are, and how abusive they've been towards the 45th president.

And in case they don't remember, here are some more examples.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  This was a whitelash.  This was a whitelash against a changing country.  It was a whitelash against a black president, in part. And that's the part where the pain comes.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC:  You're not having a terrible, terrible dream.  Also, you're not dead and you haven't gone to hell.  This is your life now.  This is our election now.  This is us.  This is our country.  It's real.

JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC:  ... Miller also lying this weekend about the three million votes...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It's fake presidency!

MATTHEWS:  There was no BS to it tonight.  He honestly obviously believes everything he said today.  The way he said it was so manic!


HANNITY:  Pretty unbelievable.  By the way, The New York Times -- they're just as bad as CNN.  They had to reprimand a reporter this week for making a vile comment about the first lady, Melania Trump.  They also quoted a fake Michael Flynn Twitter account.  And the so-called paper of record -- they tweeted an image of a late-night show video that had Stephen Miller, who works for the president's, head on a stick.

You know what?  We're all sick of it.  A brand-new FOX News poll shows that compared to President Obama, 68 percent of registered voters say the media has been a lot tougher on President Trump.

Now, we've also shown you repeatedly on this show how the alt left propaganda media misrepresents the president and his policies.  So you know what yesterday?  The president drew a line in the sand.  He called them out and he said, enough is enough, and he did it in a very even, measured tone. And you can guarantee that if the media gets out of line again, I expect the president to hit them back again.  Why shouldn't he?

The truth matters, and the people that are suffering from an information crisis are you, the American people.

Here with reaction, Fox News contributor Herman Cain.  Herman, I'll be honest.  I loved every minute of it.  I thought his tone was measured.  He wasn't showing anger.  He showed a lot of humor.  But he also told a lot of truth.  And they can't seem to handle any criticism.  They're what they're accusing him of!

HERMAN CAIN, R-FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, FOX CONTRIBUTOR:  They can't-- the pain of being thrown under the bus is very painful, and that's what they're reacting to.  Sean, psychologists have described the first three stages of grief as denial, anger and acceptance.  But the liberal media and the Democrats have inserted what I call phase 2.5.  It's called destroy.

They want to destroy Donald Trump and his administration at all costs, so they are telling the 50 percent of the people who watch any news at all, all of these misconceptions about what has said and what he has done.  The other 50 percent, thank goodness, they're watching your program, listen (ph) to me and others who are dissecting this and telling them the truth. They can't handle the truth, and that's why they're still having this temper tantrum that you described.

HANNITY:  You know, look at all the examples I used.  Look at The New York Times in one week...

CAIN:  Yes.

HANNITY:  ... all the things that they got wrong.  I'm going to put up on the side of the screen -- I won't read it myself, but we'll also split screen it for you.  This is The Federalist providing a list of fake news stories that reporters have run.  And the other side of it is, look at how they were exposed in WikiLeaks, all of these networks, Herman, all of them, exposed as openly colluding with the Clinton campaign.  How do they -- how do they not reconcile that?

CAIN:  They are in denial and anger and in destroy mode, and they can't see it.  The irony of it is, they are only destroying themselves.  More and more people, like some of the people you probably have talked to on your shows, people that call in to my show, more and more people are seeing this hypocrisy and they are not buying it.  The American people are not stupid, but the liberal media still doesn't get it.  They are still in destroy mode, and it's not working!

HANNITY:  It's also the stories that they don't run.  In our next segment, we got a very important story that we're covering tonight, and it's about the leaking from our intelligence community, signet (ph) communications, that, you know, we have a law that's called the Espionage Act.  When -- if they are spying, our security agencies, in this case on a Russian ambassador, and they realize he's talking to an American, they're supposed to minimize the listening and minimize the recording of the American.

Not only did they not do that and follow the law, which is a felony, but then they leaked this.  They're not covering 18 US Code 793, the Espionage Act, and how dangerous this is because they didn't have a warrant to tap into the phone conversation of General Flynn.  This was illegal.  This was a crime.  And if they can do this to him, they can do this to anybody. That is the big story here.  They don't even want to touch it.  Why?

CAIN:  They don't want to touch it because they are used to eight years of an administration that they supported of only selectively covering selective laws that were enforced.  Donald Trump and his administration are doing something that the previous administration didn't do, enforcing the laws.  The law is the law.  And he is saying, and rightly so, which is why so many people are positively responding to him, enforce the laws that are on the books!

HANNITY:  Well, they better get used to it and learn 18 USC 793 because my prediction is, the people that keep leaking within the intelligence community are going to be arrested and they're going to be brought to justice and they probably will go to jail.

One last question.  You know, we've had in 30 days shock and awe.  The media -- Oh, the chaos, Oh, he's unhinged, Oh, he's this -- I thought he had a perfect temperament yesterday.  And all of the promises a president has made and kept in 30 days is pretty spectacular.  And more importantly, every other promise, he's laid the foundation to fix them, too, and keep his word to the American people.  Some of them I'll put up on the screen here.  They're not out there telling the story that a president made these promises, is keeping these promises.  I actually think that is a big news story.

CAIN:  It is a great news story.  And what we are seeing is what I have described in the acronym S-I-N.  They're not only shifting the subject, it's super shifting.  They're trying to get so far away from the facts that people don't know the facts if they watch those sources.  I -- ignoring the facts.  They are ignoring the facts relative to what Donald -- President Trump and this administration have accomplished.  That's what is going on, Sean.

HANNITY:  And you know what?

CAIN:  And they're destroying themselves...

HANNITY:  We need to fix the country...

CAIN:  ... because they're in denial.

HANNITY:  We need to be safe and secure.

CAIN:  Yes.

HANNITY:  Americans need jobs to get of poverty, off of food stamps.  And we've got to secure the borders, not let radical Islamists in the country.

CAIN:  Yes.

HANNITY:  He kept his promise on the Supreme Court.  Pretty profound.  All right, Herman, good to see you.  Thank you.

And up next tonight on this busy news night on "Hannity"...


TRUMP:  We're issuing a new executive action next week that will comprehensively protect our country.


HANNITY:  The president says he will, in fact, sign a new executive action related to the temporary travel ban early next week.  Jay Sekulow weighs in on the legal aspects of this, also the Espionage Act.

And also tonight...


HANNITY:  So if I come back in 200 days, I -- you're going to -- you're going to go, Well, I made a promise...


HANNITY:  ... because I think this is important.

REP. PAUL RYAN, R-WIS., SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE:  So -- so here's what I'm saying.  We've mapped this out for 200 days.  We have a plan to do that. We're on schedule.


HANNITY:  So yesterday in Washington, I went to interview the speaker of the House, Paul Ryan.  I asked him about the president, his agenda.  We're starting a new segment tonight, "Holding Them Accountable."  We'll tell you all about it straight ahead.




TRUMP:  We've taken decisive action to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of our country, though parts of our necessary unconstitutional actions were blocked by a judge's, in my opinion, incorrect and unsafe ruling.  Our administration is working night and day to keep you safe, including reporters safe, and is vigorously defending this lawful order.

We're issuing a new executive action next week that will comprehensively protect our country.  So we'll be going along the one path and hopefully winning that.  At the same time, we will be issuing a new and very comprehensive order to protect our people.


HANNITY:  All right, the president announcing yesterday he will sign a new executive action on immigration early next week.  So what can be worded differently so liberals and the courts cannot stop it?

Joining us now from the American Center for Law and Justice, Jay Sekulow. All right, a lightning round quick just to get facts on the table.  The big story, you agree with me, is that the intelligence community has been politicized, at least among some.  And what they did in leaking this information was illegal, correct?

JAY SEKULOW, AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW AND JUSTICE:  Absolutely illegal, and almost becomes a soft coup, in a sense, because of the leaks that have taken place, which violate federal law, a felony.

HANNITY:  OK.  And that would be the Espionage Act, 18 U.S. Code 793.

SEKULOW:  Correct...


SEKULOW:  ... unauthorized dissemination of information.

HANNITY:  OK. The other thing is -- so we know that our intelligence agencies -- they were doing their job and they were monitoring a Russian ambassador.

SEKULOW:  Right.

HANNITY:  There is law and protocol -- I want you to go into more detail here...


HANNITY:  ... where when they discover that an American is being spoken to...

SEKULOW:  Right.

HANNITY:  ... with the person they've targeted for surveillance, that if they don't have a warrant, they are supposed to stop recording, minimize what they hear...

SEKULOW:  Right.

HANNITY:  ... from the American citizen.  In this case, it would be General Flynn.  So...


SEKULOW:  ... at the time.

HANNITY:  ... that makes it illegal.  Explain.

SEKULOW:  Right.  So it's called minimization.  It's a requirement under the law.  When you find out that there's an American, you don't have a wiretap, exactly what you said, you basically shut it off for their portion of the conversation.

But Sean, there was a sea change here in the NSA with an order that came out from President Obama 17 days before he left office, where he allowed the NSA, who used to control the data -- it now goes to 16 other agencies. And that just festered this whole leaking situation.  And that happened on the way out.  As the president was leaving the office...

HANNITY:  All right, hold that thought.  No.


HANNITY:  ... because this is important.  I want you to stay on this.


HANNITY:  Let me put up The New York Times.  This is from January 12th...


HANNITY:  ... discussing this very thing that you said.  "In its final days, the Obama administration expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications"...

SEKULOW:  Right.

HANNITY:  ... "with the government's 16 other agencies" -- intelligence agencies -- "before applying privacy protections."

Let's -- explain the severity of this.  This means that information that most people would never see is now spread all throughout the entire intelligence community.

SEKULOW:  Right.

HANNITY:  Explain the significance of that.

SEKULOW:  Well, the first question I ask is why did the Obama administration wait until they had 17 days left in their administration to put this order in place if they thought it was so important?  They had eight years.  They didn't do it.  That's number one.

Number two, it changed the existing rules which was an executive order dating back to Ronald Reagan that has been in place until 17 days before the Obama administration was going to end that said the NSA gets the raw data, and they determine dissemination.

Instead, this change that the president put in place, signed off, by the way, by James Clapper on December 15th, 2016, signed off by Loretta Lynch, the attorney general, January 3rd, 2017.  They decide that now, all of a sudden, 16 agencies can get the raw data.

And what that does is it almost creates a shadow government!  You have all these people that are not agreeing with the president, President Trump's, position.  So it just festers more...

HANNITY:  Do you -- do you agree with me?


SEKULOW:  If they had a justification for this, wonderful.  Why didn't they do it eight years ago, four years ago, three years ago?  They wait until 17 days left!

HANNITY:  So in other words...

SEKULOW:  Inexplicable.

HANNITY:  ... it makes it that much more difficult by spreading out the information among...


HANNITY:  ... 16 other agencies, if they want to target or take away the privacy rights and illegally tap the phones, in this case, of General Flynn...

SEKULOW:  Right.

HANNITY:  ... it's going to be much harder to find the perpetrators.  Is that a good analysis?

SEKULOW:  Yes because what it's done, it's increased 16-fold the people that would have access to the communications.  Initially, it was just the NSA.  There's a very small amount of people that would have had access to this kind of data.  But this change administratively (INAUDIBLE) Obama administration was so significant that they allowed dissemination to 16 other agencies of raw data!  And Sean, we wonder why there's leaks?

But I'll tell you something.  President Obama, James Clapper, Loretta Lynch should be held accountable for this.

HANNITY:  Do you think...

SEKULOW:  Not illegal what they did...

HANNITY:  ... what they did was for the...

SEKULOW:  ... but the way they did it.  I'd like to know why.

HANNITY:  ... designed for the purpose of allowing their spies to do the very thing we see happening?

SEKULOW:  Yes, well, they're going to -- their justification will be it will help in intelligence gathering.  But like I said, really?

HANNITY:  All right...

SEKULOW:  Eight years into your administration, you decide to do that?


SEKULOW:  Seventeen days to go?

HANNITY:  Not credible.

SEKULOW:  That needs to be answered.  I'll be very curious to see what they say.

HANNITY:  All right, let me -- the president is going to issue a new executive order next week as it relates to extreme vetting.  You actually have written your own version, if you will, that you feel that would withstand constitutionality and even get an 8-0 vote if it goes from the 9th circuit to the Supreme Court.  I'm putting up on the side of the screen the changes you've suggested.

SEKULOW:  Right.

HANNITY:  Explain why they need to be put in place and specifically why you think you could get a 8-zero Supreme Court unanimous decision if, in fact...


SEKULOW:  So the one area where the 9th circuit went after the administration -- and by the way, I think the order was constitutional.  I think the 9th circuit wrong.  But I like cases tight.  So if I'm going to take a case up that ultimately goes to the Supreme Court of the United States, I want the best facts I can.

So where the White House put clearly in a White House memorandum that Green Card holders, visa holders would not be subject to this extreme vetting order, to the executive order, that came through the White House counsel's office.  So the 9th circuit said, well, that's not the same as coming through an agency.  It's not binding.

So what we said was, put a definitive -- in the order itself, put in the definitive language, which is right out of what the 9th circuit said the so-called problem was.  Then put a specific date, so there's no question when it comes into effect.  And the president has this authority.  Of course, you know, as we talked about many times, the 9th circuit didn't even bother to cite the law here, 1832 F.  They didn't even bother to -- they ignored it completely.

HANNITY:  1182.

SEKULOW:  The fact is, at the end of the day here, I think this is -- becomes bulletproof.  By the way, Sean, I don't know what the 9th circuit will do.  They may rule against it because that's where they are politically...


HANNITY:  ... pretty high.  I mean, that's by any standard.

Jay, great stuff.  Thank you for explaining it.  This is really important because you get to a police state, if they don't get a warrant and they can use surveillance and then leak it and destroy the lives of innocent Americans.  Doesn't matter whether you're conservative, liberal, Republican, Democrat that is a huge problem for the country.

And up the next tonight right here on "Hannity"...


HANNITY:  So if I come back in 200 days, I -- you're going to -- you're going to go, Well, I made a promise...


HANNITY:  ... because I think this is important.

RYAN:  So -- so here's what I'm saying.  We've mapped this out for 200 days.  We have a plan to do that. We're on schedule.


HANNITY:  All right, yesterday, I went to Washington, D.C.  I had an opportunity to interview the speaker of the House, Paul Ryan.  I asked him multiple times if Republican lawmakers will work to enact President Trump's agenda.  And a new segment we're starting, "Holding Them Accountable," we'll begin that coming up next.

And also tonight...


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER:  When you couple radical Islamic regime that says "Death to America" with the weapons of mass death, then you have a much, much bigger problem!


HANNITY:  Also yesterday while in Washington, D.C., I had the chance to interview Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  We spoke about the Iranian threat, radical Islam and so much more.

Stay with us.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST:  Welcome back to "Hannity." So tonight we are debuting a brand-new segment.  We'll do this regularly.  We're calling it "Holding Republicans and Washington Accountable." Now, yesterday I traveled to Washington to interview the speaker of the House Paul Ryan about how he plans to enact President Trump's agenda.  Watch this.


HANNITY:  You tell the American people that that agenda, that litany, vetting refugees, building a wall, repeal, replace, education back to the states, tax reform, all of this is going to be done in 200 hundred days?

RYAN:  The education part may be a little later because we're waiting for Betsy DeVos to put together her plan.  So on the education thing and the welfare reform, that's going to be outside the 200-day window.

Inside the 200-day window is the regulatory reforms we talked about.  It's the repeal and replace Obamacare.  It's the budget.  It's the rebuilding of our military.  It's tax reform.  Those are the things we're working -- and infrastructure.  Those other things were working on this 200 --

HANNITY:  -- in the equation.

RYAN:  That's in there as well.  I should've said that.  We see that as part of regulatory reform.

HANNITY:  So in 200 days, you are fairly confident that a budget is going to be past.  I'm going to get to the specifics.

RYAN:  Two budgets.

HANNITY:  Two budgets, which has never been -- would never happen, that the wall is in the process of being constructed.

RYAN:  Yes.

HANNITY:  We're going to be working on fixing the V.A., that Congress will support extreme vetting, and that they'll move forward with energy independence.  And Obamacare repeal and replace --

RYAN:  You can do the extreme on its own.  So the good thing is you have a president that agrees with Congress on doing these things.

HANNITY:  But is 200 days -- you think that's doable?

RYAN:  This is our plan yes.  And if there's any slippage, we'll finish it in the fall and get it done before the end of the year.

HANNITY:  So if I come back in 200 days, you're going to go, well, I made a promise.  Because I think this is important.

RYAN:  So here's what I'm saying.  We've mapped this out for 200 days.  We have a plan to do that.  We're on schedule.  But if anything slips because of another Supreme Court justice, or a filibuster on a cabinet nominee, that might slip us.  But we're making sure that we do all of this in 2017. And we have cushion in our schedule if anything slips, because it's really going to be because of Senate issues, we still have time to accommodate all of that stuff in 2017.  So I even have safety valves.  I have cushions built in the schedule to make sure this all gets done in 2017 in case of thing happens and goes sideways on the Senate.

HANNITY:  I'm pretty sure that will stimulate the economy, get people back to work and get the economy moving again, which I think we need.

RYAN:  That's what we are hired to do.

HANNITY:  All right, Mr. Speaker, I'll see you in 200 days.


HANNITY:  Here with us, Fox News contributor Lisa Boothe, the author of this incredible new book, love it, "The Deplorables Guide to Making America Great Again," Todd Starnes, and Washington Times columnist Madison Gesiotto is with us.  Your debut, congratulation.

MADISON GESIOTTO, WASHINGTON TIMES:  Thank you, great to be with you.

HANNITY:  All right, you were also the press secretary for the Trump inauguration on the regional level, right?

GESIOTTO:  Yes.  I was the regional press secretary for half of the country.

HANNITY:  I got the speaker, I was actually very happy because I've been very critical of the Republicans not moving fast tonight.  He said he totally supports the agenda, and he'll get it done in 200 days.  By the way, in fairness to him, a lot of what he has tried to do is difficult.

GESIOTTO:  Absolutely.  What I really loved with your interview with him yesterday is that it seems like finally he is 100 percent behind our president.  And I know President Trump has worked to keep the promises he made on the campaign trail at an unprecedented rate, and it is great to see that Congress is doing their best now to keep up, and the Republican leadership is really working for the American people, which is something I think they should have been doing much earlier than this.  They need to better accomplishing things faster.

HANNITY:  Todd, this is an opportunity.  You don't get this very often to get the job done.  What was your take away from the promise to support the agenda and legislatively pass it?

TODD STARNES, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR:  Well, Sean, I think all of us gun toting, Bible clinging, deplorable Americans are cautiously optimistic that the Republicans are going to do that.  And the reason I say cautiously optimistic is the Republicans have a bad habit of campaigning as conservatives, but when they finally gain control, they gain power, they go a little wobbly.  So I'm glad you are holding their feet to the fire here. And I do believe that Paul Ryan is going to be a helper and a friend to President Trump.

HANNITY:  Lisa, I have been very critical of Republicans.  I've said they are spineless, they're visionless.  I am so frustrated that they never actually used their enumerated power of the purse to battle Obama.  I walked away feeling a lot more optimistic after interviewing the speaker yesterday.  Am I being naive, or did you feel the same way?

LISA BOOTHE, COLUMNIST, WASHINGTON EXAMINER:  No, I don't think you're being naive, Sean.  As he outlined in the interview, there some big ticket items that are up ahead, things that this country desperately needs, whether it is V.A. reform, whether it's Obamacare repeal and replacement, or things like just getting a lot of the deregulation, a lot of these various things that we need, tax reform, all this stuff needs to get done. So I think it is important to hold Speaker Ryan's feet to the fire.  But obviously he's got only control in the House, right.

HANNITY:  Lisa, I'm sorry, we have a time crunch and I want to make sure I get this in.  I'll start with you, Lisa.  Do they do it?  In 200 days, do you predict it will be done, most of it, the legislative side?

BOOTHE:  I don't know about 200 days, but yes.  And I think it is holding Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and also President Trump as well, because it's really going to take everyone to move these things forward.

HANNITY:  Todd, what do you say?

STARNES:  Sean, as I wrote in "The Deplorables Guide to Making America Great Again," it's going to be the American people who have to rise up and make sure, hold their elected leadership in Congress accountable.

HANNITY:  That is what we are trying to do in this segment.  Madison?

GESIOTTO:  I would love to see it happen in 10 days.  But I'm very concerned about the fact that we have a lot of Democrats and people in the mainstream media who are putting their political and personal interests ahead of the interests of the American people.  And so I hope that we can get this accomplished in 200 days.

HANNITY:  Here is my fear.  My fear is that they're going to be Republicans in marginal districts, or maybe districts that Hillary won, and they are going to be a lot tougher to bring on board.  It may be harder than we think, but we will hold them accountable and we will have the segment on a regular basis.  Guys, good to see all.  Thank you for being with us.

And up next, tonight, on "Hannity."


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER:  When you couple a radical Islamic regime that says death to America with weapons of mass death, then you have a much, much bigger problem.


HANNITY:  Yesterday while in Washington, I also interviewed the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  We spoke about the rogue regime in Tehran, radical Islam, much more.  Also we'll check in with Lou Dobbs tonight.  He is here, and many, many more new stories to come on this busy Friday night edition.


HANNITY:  You agree with me radical Islam is the evil in our time, and Iran represents the biggest threat.

NETANYAHU:  Because it would couple a radical Islamic regime with nuclear weapons.

HANNITY:  That can't happen.

NETANYAHU:  There could be evil that is not threatening because it doesn't have the powers of mass murder.  But when you couple a radical Islamic regime that says death to America with the weapons of mass death, then you have a much, much bigger problem.

HANNITY:  A squared, B squared, C squared, radical Islamists, weapons of mass destruction, equals a modern day holocaust?

NETANYAHU:  It's up to us to prevent it.


HANNITY:  That was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on this program last night talking about the threat posed by a nuclear Iran. Joining us now with reaction, author of "The Siege," retired brigadier general Tony Tata, former spokesperson for the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Fox News contributor Ric Grenell.  Ric, I think it is pretty clear, but he stood on the stage for so long as a voice in the wilderness.  Now he has a partner.  What changes now?

RIC GRENELL, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR:  All of the allies that we have in the region are desperate to have U.S. leadership.  So when Donald Trump and Bibi Netanyahu get together and they lay out a plan for pushing back and isolating Iran, there's a lot of cheers from the Middle East leaders.  We have seen not just terror cells from the Iranians, but literally a strategy for Iran to place competing military forces in places like Iraq, in Syria, in Lebanon.  They are not going to stop.  They want it in Turkey.  And what the Middle East and Arab leaders are now standing up and seeing is that the United States is saying we are going to once again push back the Iranians and isolate them.  There are a lot of cheers coming up from the Middle East on that.

HANNITY:  And let me play for you a moment about this new coalition, general, where I asked him, are the Saudis, the Egyptians, the Jordanians joining forces with Israel.  Let me play this cut for you.


HANNITY:  I am reading the tea leaves, and what I'm hearing from you is that there is an alliance that perhaps is emerging that may beat nobody anybody anticipated before that goes way beyond a one or two state solution which would fit into the not only against Iran but also the Palestinian issues.

NETANYAHU:  I am trying to throw a very cunning journalist off track.


HANNITY:  Is that what I am?  I am looking for hope.

NETANYAHU:  I think there is a lot of hope.  I think there's hope first in the resolve to resist these terrorists, these brutes, and second in the understanding that we have, we can forge new relationships that we've never had before.


HANNITY:  General, did you pick up what I picked up during that conference, this emerging alliance, something bigger than people even have conceived of before?

BRIGADIER GENERAL TONY TATA (RET), "BESIEGED" AUTHOR:  I think so, Sean. And I think your conversation with the prime minister contributed to that whole discussion to further it along.  That's how important I think that was.  What he is really talking about and what you're talking about is stopping Iranian hegemony in that region.  You've got to remember they're supporting Hamas.  They're supporting Hezbollah, the Sunni and Shia Arabic members of the transnational terrorist group that is trying to wipe Israel off the face of the map.  So they want to get rid of Iranian hegemony. They see Iran and Iraq half way up, all the way up to Mosul.  That is not to fight ISIS.  That's to create more breathing room.

HANNITY:  Last question.  Could we take out those sites, let's say if all the alliance comes together, the Brits also join in, and I am short on time, general, we will start with you.  Can we take out those sites without boots on the ground?

TATA:  We could.  It is better to have boots on the ground, some of our secret folks on the ground with lasers that can do that.  But, yes, absolutely we could.

HANNITY:  And you agree with that, Ric?

GRENELL:  Look, I think that we need to have boots on the ground because you get timely intelligence.  What we've seen inside Syria is that it just doesn't --

HANNITY:  But not a lot of boots.

GRENELL:  No.  Enough for intelligence.  We need timely intelligence, and that is all we need.

HANNITY:  All right, guys, good to see you both, appreciate it.  That's an important discussion.  When we come back, we have this straight ahead on "Hannity."


TRUMP:  We are becoming a drug- infested nation.  Drugs are becoming cheaper than candy bars.  We are not going to let it happen any longer.


HANNITY:  The president taking measures to crack down on drugs pouring into the country.  We will get reaction tonight from Lou Dobbs, that and more straight ahead.



TRUMP:  We are becoming a drug-infested nation.  Drugs are becoming cheaper than candy bars.  We're not going to let it happen any longer.

We have undertaken the most substantial voter security measures in a generation to keep our nation and our tax dollars safe and are now in the process of beginning to build a promised wall on the southern border.

We have ordered a crackdown on sanctuary cities that refuse to comply with federal law and that harbor criminal aliens, and we have ordered an end to the policy of catch and release on the border.  No more release, no matter who you are, release.  We have begun a nationwide effort to remove criminal aliens, gang members, drug dealers, and others who pose a threat to public safety.  We are saving American lives every single day.


HANNITY:  All right, that was President Trump yesterday explain how he is keeping his promise when it comes to illegal immigration and that crisis. Here with reaction, from the Fox Business Network, our sister network, is our friend Lou Dobbs.  How are you?  You know, I am reading all these stories, and it is funny because the media, this false story that came out today.  They are sending in the National Guard, rounding up --

LOU DOBBS, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK:  The largest wire service pushing this kind of nonsense, knocked down by the Department of Defense, the White House, everyone else, not a source in it, and the Associated Press is pushing pure nonsense.  And, as you know, the worst thing about it is, AP feeds every news outlet in the country.  And now you look at any website, it is everywhere, and there is no, no knockdown.

HANNITY:  They don't hold back.  It's sort of like you've had bad articles written.

DOBBS:  One or two.  One or two.


HANNITY:  You have a bad article written about you and then say they get a fact wrong and you demand a retraction.  It's front page for the bad story, A-28, lower paragraph, hidden away, a correction if they get it.

DOBBS:  Sean, the impulse for these organizations to do this is what is so deeply troubling.  This is a leftwing offensive being carried out in the leftwing media, and there's no accident.  This is without a shred of a doubt absolutely purposeful and directed at this president.

HANNITY:  And thing is, I'm watching these 30 days, reading these columns, what a disastrous 30 days.  His list of accomplishments, I'll put them up all night.  It is amazing.  The wall, he is building.  The vetting, it's getting done, sanctuary cities, catch and release, it's all coming to an end.

DOBBS:  Creating jobs, moving the economy ahead.  And by the way, did anybody notice, with no ambiguity at all, $2.8 trillion more in our stock market as a result of his election on November 8th.

HANNITY:  See, Lou has a lot of money in the stock market.  That is why Lou is following that closely.

DOBBS:  It's also a great barometer on our future and what people are expecting, and that is a real vote without question.

HANNITY:  So this week, the New York Times, Monday, they had to reprimand the reporter for the horrible comment about Melania.  Then they quoted a fake Michael Flynn Twitter account.  They had to retract that.  And then they thought it would be in good taste to feature a photo of Stephen Miller's severed head on a stake.

DOBBS:  Is that not something?

HANNITY:  That is The New York Times alone.  That's just one news organization.

DOBBS:  The banality, the crassness, the mendacity of it all, is -- I have never seen anything approaching it in mainstream media.

HANNITY:  And I don't think it is going away.  That is the sad thing.  It's not going away.

DOBBS:  There has to be a response by the Republican Party and the Republican leaders.  This cannot stand, because this is just not who we are, and it's certainly is not what we should tolerate.

HANNITY:  Lou, good to see you again.

DOBBS:  Great to be with you, Sean, thank you.

HANNITY:  When you come back, a very important to "Question of the Day," and you've been sending us messages to the "Hannity" hotline.  Some of them aren't so nice.  We'll play that coming up next.


HANNITY:  All right, time for our "Question of the Day." What did you think of the alt-left propaganda media's coverage of the president's press conference?  He's unhinged.  He was measured, presidential, and he just called them out for who they are with a sense of humor, and also listed his accomplishments, which they will never do.  Go to Facebook.com/SeanHannity, @SeanHannity on Twitter, let us know what you think.

All right, time to play some messages you left me on the "Hannity" hotline. I'm bracing.  Go.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I used to be a Democrat.  I have been watching the way this country has been going for many, many, many years.  And a lot of us Democrats, including a lot of union members I'm friends with, are sick and tired of it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I love your show at night.  I just wanted to tell you that I thought your opening remarks kicking the butts of the Republican Congress were wonderful the other night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  President Trump needs the extreme vetting for the people working for him in Washington, especially the ones who are left over from the Obama time.


HANNITY:  Have something to say to me?  It doesn't have to be nice, maybe a comment.  Even if it is mean we will probably play it.  Call the number on your screen, 877-225-8587.  All you haters out there, go ahead, come on, let me have it.  Feel free.  I'm not afraid.  That's all the time we have. As always, thank you for being with us.  We hope you have a great night, a great weekend.  We will see you back here Monday.


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