This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," August 29, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Welcome to Hannity.

All right. We start tonight -- you're an American citizen, you live in America. I don't care what your political party is, you need to pay attention.

What we're going to tell you is beyond outrageous. Our worst fears were confirmed.

The extreme level of corruption at the highest levels of our federal bureaucracy is now exposed. It is a very ugly picture. It's not a pretty picture. FISA abuse, fraud nepotism, real Russia collusion with a seedy ex-foreign spy, all in an effort to destroy and stop Donald Trump.

Coming up, we're going to show you the shocking new revelations from Bruce Ohr's explosive congressional testimony. We'll also bring you a new report about Ohr's wife Nellie whose sketchy work with Fusion GPS is front and center in this ongoing investigation into the deep state.

Plus, John Solomon out with a brand new story tonight. It uncovers damning flaws in Mueller's case against that one time Trump aide, volunteer George Papadopoulos. And tonight there's only days to go until the most important midterm election in our lifetime. We will explore the Democratic Party's hard turn to the left as gubernatorial candidates in two states now we're calling for universal health care, open borders and a tax rate that'll make your stomach turn.

We'll also bring you very good news again from our booming economy. We'll expose the latest example of the media's sickening anti-Trump bias, especially fake news CNN and stay tuned Florida gubernatorial winner from last night Republican Ron DeSantis, he will join us to respond to a controversy surrounding comments he made right here on this channel earlier today.

Buckle up. Time for our breaking news, jam-packed opening monologue.


HANNITY: All right. Yesterday's testimony from Bruce Ohr blew the lid off the deep state's attempt to cover up their rampant corruption.

Now thanks to Mr. Ohr, Gregg Jarrett's stellar reporting and other important deep state investigations, we now can tell you the following: First, in 2016, ex-foreign spy Christopher Steele was being paid by both the Clinton campaign as op research for Fusion GPS, with funneled money through a law firm and he was being paid by the FBI. In fact, Steele was paid times by your FBI in the lead-up to the 2016 election. In other words, the Clinton campaign, the DNC, Christopher Steele, the FBI were all working on one team.

Now, we also know that Steele was fired by the FBI in November of 2016 for lying and leaking to the press.

Third, we know the FBI then broke its own rules their own protocol and continued collecting evidence from Steele using the fourth highest ranking member of the Justice Department, Bruce Ohr, as a back-channel.

And four, we know Bruce Ohr had been in close contact with Christopher Steele and Bruce Ohr's wife, Nellie, oh she worked with Steele on the dirty Russian dossier that Hillary and company were paying for. The Ohr's were literally making money producing the anti-Trump dossier, all while passing its contents on to the FBI even after, of course, Christopher Steele was fired.

And, of course, officially disclosing their blatant conflicts of interests, well, only to the FBI but not where he worked at the Department of Justice.

Fifth, Bruce Ohr and the FBI knew that the contents of this dossier were unverified and by the way based on my sources they even said Bruce Ohr admitted it could be never used in a court of law but it was used for FISA warrants they also knew Christopher Steele was hell-bent as we pointed out last night on taking President Trump, candidate Trump down. And Bruce Ohr even documented that Steele was quote desperate that Donald Trump not get elected, was passionate about him not being president.

And, sixth, despite Steele's obvious bias and his lies in his dossier that was bought and paid for by Clinton, the DNC and the FBI -- well, the FBI still use the information as the basis for its Trump Russia collusion investigation and they used it to commit a fraud on the FISA courts in their applications not one time but four times, and they never disclosed the true nature of the evidence to federal judges and who paid for it. They lie to these judges. It is a crime to commit a fraud against the court, and lie to a judge. It's the kind of abuse of power corruption frankly that goes on in banana republics.

This is not supposed to happen ever in our constitutional republic in the United States of America. And believe it or not, Bruce Ohr although twice demoted he's still working for the DOJ. Jeff Sessions, you're in charge, where are you?

And today, the president tweeted this out, quote: How the hell is Bruce Ohr still employed at the Justice Department? Disgraceful. Witch-hunt.

He's right.

Now, Congressman Jordan of Ohio also weighed in earlier tonight. Let's take a look.


REP. JIM JORDAN, R-OHIO: Why did Glen Simpson and Christopher Steele pick Bruce Ohr in the first place why did they select his wife to come work for Fusion? They had a direct access -- Chris Steele had direct access to the FBI. He was handing them parts of the dossier. Why did they also want to run it through Bruce Ohr at the Justice Department?


JORDAN: It seems to me to create weight and credibility behind a document that was completely false. If you can now go tell the press and tell other people, oh, a senior Department of Justice official is also talking about the dossier and also passing it on to the FBI, it gives it weight when in fact it was completely a uncredible, unverified document and a bunch of garbage.



HANNITY: There are some people in Washington, they get it. Now, of course, the Ohr-Steele text, they now make perfect sense. Remember, Christopher Steele often expressed concern to Bruce Ohr, he didn't want to be exposed. He was hoping those firewalls held.

Now, we know it and, by the way, it should rock every single American -- forget your politics -- to their core. And meanwhile, Robert Mueller, he couldn't care less about the real corruption and collusion that we just showed you. And, by the way, Bruce Ohr and Christopher Steele were trying to funnel what he knew or lies to Robert Mueller, instead to focus now on - - let's see, taxicab medallions, loan applications, tax returns from years gone by and lying to investigators and we have an update on that. It's just pathetic.

And tonight, John Solomon out with a breaking news report it raises serious concerns about one facet of Mueller's witch-hunt. And according to Solomon, who will join us, Mueller's case against one-time Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos probably completely bogus. The special counsel has been claiming they want this kid that spent six months in jail, saying Papadopoulos lied about the sinister details surrounding a meeting with a European professor that he knew.

They claimed Papadopoulos was looking for information on Hillary's hacked emails, but according to Solomon's report -- well, the professor that they reached out to that also wrote them and confirmed what he said to the FBI read, quote, repeatedly insisted that his contacts with George Papadopoulos were innocuous. And Solomon writes, quote, he went out of his way to tell the FBI there was no talk of sinister cybersecurity intentions such as a plot to hack Hillary Clinton's emails.

As we have previously reported, Papadopoulos is considering withdrawing his guilty plea. We did reach out to Papadopoulos, the FBI, the special counsel and, of course, we don't get comments, although I think George Papadopoulos' wife is right. Solomon will have a full report, a damning new report tonight.

All right. But, first, we're 69 days away from what I'm telling you is the most important midterm election in our lifetime. Look at the side of your screen. We have long warns you what the Democrats will do if they regain power. It is a scary picture and this is especially true for two states.

One, California, which has now become so liberal, it's pretty much now almost a one-party socialist state and former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom who wants to be president one day looks so poised to become the next governor. This is a disaster for the people of California that pay a state income tax of thirteen and a half percent. Now, if Newsom wins, voters are going to get a super-sized helping of radical left-wing agenda including, of course, Medicare for all.

And under Gavin Newsom, statewide single-payer health care system, the state, they're not only going to cover the citizens of California, no, they were going to cover the all of the states the only 3 million illegal immigrants, a lot of people's health care to pay for, for free.

Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Plan to get single-payer passed?

GAVIN NEWSOM, D-CALIFORNIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: It needs to be pulled into the governor's office, the executive needs to lead it. Obamacare would not have happened, it was just exclusively a legislative fiat. That said, Nancy Pelosi did a magical job of organizing it, but it required the concerted contributions in the present United States.

I'm not naive about it. I did universal health care when I was mayor, fully implemented regardless of pre-existing condition, ability pay, and regardless your immigration status. San Francisco was the only universal health care plan for all undocumented residents in America. I'm very proud of that, and we proved it can be done without bankrupting in the city. I'd like to see that we can --


HANNITY: Now, by some estimates, that radical plan, it could cost taxpayers, get this, over $400 billion, including tens of millions of dollars for the sanctuary states massive influx of illegal immigrants. It means, on average, each Californian would be on the hook for at least at least $10,000, in new taxes each year and that's assuming the thirteen and a half percent income tax stays where it is.

And meanwhile in Florida, we now have a race between Republican Congressman Ron DeSantis, he'll join us in a few minutes, and the Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum.

Gillum, a far left candidate, was endorsed by the socialist Bernie Sanders. He's ready and willing to implement his extreme agenda to every corner of the great state of Florida, the Sunshine State. Now, his platform includes abolishing ICE, supporting sanctuary cities, raising the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour, a steep corporate tax increase may be as high as 40 percent, universal health care for all, increased gun restrictions, increased funding for Planned Parenthood.

If you live in Florida -- take note -- this man is ready to raise your taxes through the roof, and literally restrict your Second Amendment rights, punish small and large businesses around every turn, in pursuit of what is now the Democratic Party. This socialist, mythical utopia.

Now, sadly, moderate Democrats are a thing of the past. They were driven out a long time ago. Ask Joe Lieberman.

This is now the party of Nancy Pelosi and Chuckie Schumer and Maxine Waters and Bernie Sanders. It is a far left, unapologetic socialist party. They want your crumbs back. They want open borders, and they want most of all to impeach the president and keep Obamacare.

But tonight, the only group hoping for Trump's impeachment more than the Democrats might actually be the corrupt destroy Trump so-called mainstream media. Yesterday, we called out CNN for standing by what is a faulty story about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting. Now, remember the breathless reporting from fake news CNN. It's all not true back in July.

Take a look.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: We have a Cuomo primetime exclusive tonight. A claim that goes to the truth of what the president knew and when he knew about an event that is central to this special counsel's Russia investigation.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN REPORTER: Tonight, sources with knowledge tell myself and Carl that Michael Cohen claims that then-candidate Donald Trump knew in advance about the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower in which Russians were expected to offer his campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton.

CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN ANALYST: It's very, very significant because the president has denied any foreknowledge of this event, in this meeting, goes to the question of intent to collude.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN HOST: You've been saying for a year that we need to follow the money, follow the lies, and figure out this cover-up. So, how did you do it in this case? Talk to us about how you got this reporting.

BERNSTEIN: Well, I talked to sources.


HANNITY: All right. We now know that a source for that report, the main source, was Michael Cohen's attorney, our old friend Lanny Davis, who backpedaled and reversed this story, making all the reporting that you just saw fake news at its worst. And it's just the latest of what is a long list of shady anti-Trump reporting from CNN, the s-hole network, the Stormy, Stormy, Stormy, Stormy network, the impeach, impeach, impeach network, the Russian, Russian, Russian network.

And still, CNN, they just remain defiant, even taking a shot at the president on Twitter. Oh so much for objectivity.

Make no mistake -- they try to lecture the president -- CNN does not lie. Really? We report the news, we were report it when people in power tell lies. CNN stands by our own reporting and our reporters. There may be many fools in this story but Carl Bernstein is not one of them.

Yes, actually it is. And CNN wonders why crowds of Americans have singled them out, CNN sucks. They say it, they chant it, they scream it and the network still can't even admit when they get something wrong.

And by the way think about -- well, they think this about the network.


AUDIENCE: CNN sucks! CNN sucks! CNN sucks! CNN sucks! CNN sucks! CNN sucks!


HANNITY: I had all night. I can play all the different montages. But we've got other news to cover today. But despite CNN's long history of abusively biased, flawed reporting, the 2016 Trump Tower story was literally cheerfully picked up, repackaged by every news network back in July, except most of them at least admitted they were wrong.

According to NewsBuster's, while ABC, CBS, NBC, they spent 39 minutes hyping that CNN story. As of last night they completely ignored the Lanny Davis reversal on air. And while fake news CNN and others almost exclusively push aggressive anti-Trump coverage, we're going to show you the full picture which includes an economy that is literally breaking records.

Remember, they were the Clinton news network. They loved Obama. They hated Bush. Now, they really hate Trump.

So, today, we learned that the second quarter GDP growth which we were really happy about, well, it actually was revised upward to 4.2 percent and we can now report that American job satisfaction is now ranking the highest it has been since 2005. Add to that, yesterday's consumer confidence number, currently at an 18-year-high. Plus, more jobs than people that are on unemployment, a record-setting stock market, historic low levels of unemployment in 14 states, African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Asian- Americans, women in the workplace, youth unemployment, 15-year low, and so much more. Thankfully, because the forgotten men and women in this country, they deserve it.

The American economy is booming. Tat's what our upcoming elections in 69 days need to be about. That's what the media should be reporting.

And the state of our country, by the way, is strong. And the president has literally changed things around. We're now heading in a much better direction.

All right. We have a lot of ground to cover tonight but, first, with his breaking news story from The Hill, John Solomon, and the author of the upcoming book, "The Deep State: How An Army of Bureaucrats Protected Barack Obama and Are Working to Destroy the Trump Agenda", Fox News contributor Jason Chaffetz, and good friend of the program, former assistant U.S. attorney, Victoria Toensing.

Well, I have to admit has done work for me in the past and she, like Joe diGenova, came in my Christmas party. But she is a killer, tough attorney.

Hello, Victoria.

Let's start with you, John.


HANNITY: This is -- let's go into the story because this is a follow-up to yesterday's story and I really what this professor told the FBI about poor George Papadopoulos and Robert Mueller wants this campaign you know unpaid aide to go to jail for six years.


HANNITY: You say in the piece, you don't condone lying, but the professor is clear he was never involved in anything nefarious at all, but it seems Mueller ignored it. Why?

SOLOMON: This is so essential because if you remember, Sean, we've been talking about the dossier and peeled on that layers back and showing what a flawed document that was. But the FBI couldn't have got to the dossier if they didn't open a predicated file and they open it a predicated file against the Trump campaign based on Australian Ambassador Downer claiming he heard Papadopoulos bragging about foreknowledge of the Hillary Clinton email leaks, right? That's what they opened the case on.

We now know that the man who allegedly gave that information, who set Papadopoulos up with his Russian contacts who did all these things, told the FBI in February 2017 there was no funny business going on. We spent our time talking about ways to facilitate peace, to talk about diplomacy, we didn't talk about cybersecurity, i.e., hacking. He completely waived them off the entire sinister notion that Bob Mueller puts in his indictment when he charges George Papadopoulos, and even in the prison recommendation document he filed this week. They make it look like Papadopoulos lied because there was some big sinister plot between this professor, Russia and Papadopoulos.

And this professor voluntarily told the FBI none of that went on. It was about world peace, about diplomacy, a bunch of academics talking. This has been hyped into something it is clearly not.

And I have another important point to make -- the FBI opened that allegation on July 31st, 2016. Apparently, it wasn't very important because they don't interview Mifsud until February.

I have a very strong informed theory that something happened very early on to the allegation about Papadopoulos. I believe the FBI found out it was a nothingburger and they kicked it to the sidelines until February and now, we've made it into something much bigger than it is. My reporting is clearly pointing in that direction.

HANNITY: And this is sad. You're going to do this to this kid and no wonder, his wife is fighting every night to save him and pull out of that plea deal.

Victoria, let me go to that and add to that all the information we have about Bruce Ohr and his testimony yesterday. Robert Mueller never called him. That's pretty interesting to me.

All the contacts, he was the conduit for the FBI and Christopher Steele. They're trying to funnel even that phony dossier to Robert Mueller himself. He's worried about being exposed. He's hoping that firewalls hold, and I'm thinking 70 contacts, 60-some-odd pages of text and emails and private meetings. Why is he still have a job?

TOENSING: Well, I don't know why he still has a job. You know, that's -- he shouldn't and he should be out of there yesterday.

But, Sean, I'm much more interested in the fact that John Huber -- remember, John Huber, a U.S. attorney from Utah who Jeff Sessions told the members of Congress calling for a special counsel, hey, no problem, I've got Huber in here, the U.S. attorney from Utah, and he's going to take care of everything. In fact, the words they use for he's really going to evaluate everything.

Now, what were the two issues amongst of several that he was supposed -- he Huber was supposed to be looking at, this career prosecutor, an Obama holdover, by the way? He was supposed to be looking at the surveillance of Carter Page and, Sean, Uranium One, Uranium One.

Now, let me tell you, nine months later, has Doug Campbell, my client in Uranium One, been contacted by Huber? No.

Now --

HANNITY: That's amazing.

TOENSING: Now, I'm also upset that neither Nellie Ohr or Bruce Ohr were contacted by Huber. How can you even do? They -- we used to do investigations when I was a Justice Department official. They're calling it an evaluation, I don't even know what that is, it's like a matter.

But they were supposed to do a full-fledged evaluation to placate these members of Congress and they haven't even interviewed Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, or my client about these two issues.

HANNITY: Unbelievable.

And, Congressman, you know, you were the forefront of this, even subpoenaing documents well before you left Congress. People don't even remember you as a congressman. With all due respect, you've remembered more fulfilling in for Ingraham. I'm kidding, of course, and this show.

But in all seriousness, you know, does the president now have to step in and get all this material unredacted, 302s, FISA warrant applications and everything in between now that we know what happened?

JASON CHAFFETZ, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, the president is going to have to do that because Attorney General Sessions is there in name only. He's not doing anything. He should have never recused himself in what, you know, is a counterintelligence operation. It was not a criminal investigation, we've been through that.

But there's no reason why the attorney general can't step up and make sure that Rod Rosenstein recuses himself from the investigation. His name's on that FISA document. He shouldn't be overseeing this investigation.

But he should also be insisting and making sure that the congressional subpoenas are fulfilled. And when it comes to making sure that people in these high positions at the FBI are held accountable, you can take away their security clearances. I know you have to go through the Office of Professional Responsibility, but unilaterally, Director Wray and others can revoke a security clearance and if you do so, you don't have a security clearance you don't have a job. You don't have a job.

HANNITY: John, you and Victoria, the last word tonight -- John.

SOLOMON: Yes, listen, I think that we are beginning to peel back another onion. The origins of this case start with George Papadopoulos. If it turns out that was a bogus story, that there was nothing sinister going on the entire origin of this case is gone, and the obligation of the FBI would have been to shut its predicates down, not pivot to Christopher Steel and go look for other dirt.

HANNITY: Victoria?

SOLOMON: There's something that doesn't smell right here.

TOENSING: Sean, it's a legal matter --

HANNITY: You're one of my attorneys, if I lied to a FISA court or committed a fraud on a court, what would happen?

TOENSING: I'd have to protect you again.


HANNITY: Last word for you.

TOENSING: I want to say that that Mueller lied to the court by saying that that Stephanopoulos or Papadopoulos gave him a problem -- gave him a problem in doing the investigation. That was an absolute lie to the court. Reminds me of Patrick Fitzgerald doing it to Scooter Libby, saying that he didn't know -- couldn't do the investigation because Scooter didn't tell the truth.


HANNITY: This was a conscious omission. This is what conscious lies. They knew better.

All right. Thank you all. We appreciate it.

On this breaking news night, Kristen Fisher has a live report from our nation's capital. Sara Carter, Greg Jarrett, Congressman Ron DeSantis, Kellyanne Conway, busy news night. Stay with us.


HANNITY: All right. Yesterday, disgraced DOJ official Bruce Ohr was grilled on Capitol Hill over his connection to former British spy Christopher Steele and the anti-Trump Clinton funded dossier.

Joining us now live from Washington with much more is our own Kristin Fisher tonight.

Kristin, what's the latest?

KRISTIN FISHER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Sean, House Republicans say that yesterday's testimony only heightened their concerns that federal authorities abuse surveillance powers during the 2016 election. They say Bruce Ohr who's still a high ranking official at the Justice Department told his contacts at the FBI that there were credibility issues with the trunk dossier and its author, former British spy Christopher Steele. And yet, when it came time to obtain a surveillance warrant on an aide with the Trump campaign, Carter Page, House Republicans say the FBI did not include those issues on the application.


REP. MARK MEADOWS (R-NC), HOUSE FREEDOM CAUCUS CHAIRMAN: Not only did the FBI know that the dossier was unverified, but they also knew that there was real credibility issues because of the inherent way that it was collected and the bias that was associated with that.


FISHER: Now Democratic lawmakers have said that this is nothing more than an attempt to undermine the special counsel's investigation, but Democratic lawmakers did not attend yesterday's hearing. The House is in recess. So, they sent their staffers instead -- Sean.

HANNITY: All right. Kristin Fisher in Washington tonight, thank you.

And with more reaction, the author three weeks in a row, the number one "New York Times" bestseller, "The Russian Hoax: The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump", if you haven't read it, it's a must read, FOX News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett, and FOX News contributor, investigative reporter Sara Carter.

Thank you both for being with us.

Sara, let's start with the news portion of this discussion. You've got new information as it relates to what actually happened. Turns out our reporting was accurate, and more, Bruce Ohr never went before Mueller with all of this information we now have?

SARA CARTER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: He never went before Mueller and he never went before John Huber. I mean, Sean, this is incredible information. So, what we know now is that nobody has questioned Bruce Ohr. What we do know is that Congress is now going to call on Nellie Ohr to testify behind closed doors. They want --

HANNITY: Why behind closed doors? When do we get these transcripts?

CARTER: Well, we're hoping that the transcripts will be available after Labor Day, that's what we're hearing. It's not certain, but hopefully sometime after Labor Day, those transcripts would be made available.

But look, they want to talk to Nellie Ohr, they want to talk to Andrew McCabe. They want to talk to Peter Strzok and other who were close to Bruce Ohr particularly Lisa Page who had told them that she had a very low-key relationship with Bruce Ohr. In fact, she downplayed it. So now they realize that that wasn't the case so they want to go back to her.

HANNITY: Let me go to you, Gregg Jarrett, let's talk a little bit about the Papadopoulos story we discussed. This is something you have focused extensive on both in the book and on the show.

GREGG JARRETT, FOX NEWS LEGAL ANALYST: That's right. I argue that it was never Papadopoulos bar talk that triggered the Trump and Russian collusion investigation. That was a clever cover by the FBI because they got caught.

I mean, think about it. A professor tells Papadopoulos that he has information from Russia about Hillary Clinton. Where is the crime in that? There is no crime. There have to be, according to FBI guidelines, specific articulable facts of a potential crime. There is none there.

What happened is the FBI got caught. They used a phony dossier from a liar to launch the investigation.


HANNITY: But Gregg, they're putting--

JARRETT: They huddled this story to the New York Times to deflect from the dossier that they had illegally used.

HANNITY: And the things that is so interesting in all of this is that, if you look at the conversations with Bruce Ohr, what, the 60 somewhat pages of text message and e-mails and you know, all these contacts over 70 of them, they were already discussing feeding what they knew were lies to Robert Mueller.

In other words, Steele couldn't give up his dossier. He was afraid of getting caught, or his words, exposed and he's afraid that the walls come tumbling down, the fire walls. But they were still pushing it hard to Mueller. I want to know if they got to Mueller.

CARTER: I want to know that too, Sean. I think the important question right here is whether or not any of the information that they discussed got to the special counsel? Whether it was Mueller or whether it was Jeannie Rhee or somebody else on the special counsel, I think we need to know that.

I think another important factor of what happened yesterday was the fact that Bruce Ohr basically threw everybody else under the bus. Bruce Ohr was kind of saving himself. He is coming clean to some extent. And he knows that the rest of them are going to be dragged in. But he doesn't want to pay the final price. So believe me, he's going to be talking a lot more, probably in the next few days.


JARRETT: He has to say--

HANNITY: The thing that he said too, though, beyond the special counsel issue, Gregg, is that not only were they're trying to get this information to Mueller or his team.


HANNITY: But they also, as it relates to the FISA warrant--


HANNITY: -- he knew it wasn't true.

JARRETT: Absolutely.

HANNITY: He testified yesterday that he knew no court--


JARRETT: And he told the FBI it wasn't true. It was a lie and the FBI was determined to go further.


HANNITY: But go further, what does that mean?

JARRETT: To damage Trump and to perpetrate a fraud on the court to spy on the Trump campaign. This is important. Here's what should happen. This was a fraud on the court. The chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court is in charge of the FISA court he should direct the presiding judge, Rosemary Collyer to hold a hearing and call of these people from the DOJ and the FBI in there.

And if she finds there were crimes committed, and surely there were, there should be a criminal referral by her to the Department of Justice against these FBI and DOJ officials including James Comey.

HANNITY: The house of cards is coming down. That's why your book is number one for so long on the New York Times list. Good job both of you. Great reporting. Great work. We're very close. The cards are about to collapse.

When we come back, Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer, they weigh in on, yes, fake news CNN and their credibility crisis. Also tonight, Florida gubernatorial Republican candidate he won yesterday, Ron DeSantis, he'll join us. Stay with us.


HANNITY: All right. Fake news CNN still refusing to retract their botched Trump tower story. Earlier today, the president tweeted, "Fake news CNN is -- yes, that's a fake -- is being torn apart from within based on their being caught in a major lie refusing to admit the mistake. Sloppy Carl Bernstein, a man who lives in the past and thinks like degenerate fool, making up story after story, is being laughed at all over the country. Fake news." It is at the end.

Joining us now with reaction is counsel to the president, Kellyanne Conway. You know, I watched you on the network. I didn't actually watch. I read the transcript. Then I watched the media (Inaudible) that puts up these clips of you and Chris Cuomo. I get along. I get along with Chris and Don Lemon. I haven't had any issues with anybody in the business, except for fake liberal Joe.

So, I'm watching this and I'm thinking, I got a headache watching it. And I am thinking, I admire you for doing it. But I'm thinking why?

KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISER: Well, I did get two questions in about this very topic that's burning a whole week later. Twice if not three times I confronted him with the fact that CNN including on his show had let this lie fly for over a month now.

And that this report, this bombshell report that they had talked about had been quickly unraveling and discredited. And would they admit that? And in his attempt to get me to call the president of the United States the l-word which I would not do, he was trying to do that again and again and again. They've been caught--


HANNITY: Again and again. That was the whole thing. One question over and over and over.

CONWAY: They rush -- they rush to judgment about this but I got in the question about this particular issue which now this particular story which has been discredited. Lanny Davis has admitted it he made a mistake and he didn't have the information.

But remember, what Lanny Davis said his client would tell Mueller essential to the entire claim of collusion which the president says is phony. And it's so central to the claim of collusion that without that, then all -- that bombshell report is just a bomb.

But, Sean, this goes directly to the problem we have, which is trust immediately, tweet incessantly, and verify never. As long as it's negative, negative, negative. Why won't CNN just say look, it was based on false reporting and we retract it and we apologize? Why can't they just say it? They had to do it.

They had fired three people, three reporters at CNN because they lied about Anthony Scaramucci meeting with Russians four days before the inauguration lie. That same host and other host from Sunday, their Sunday show had lied about Ted Cruz the senator being afraid to talk to CNN.

Why are they only giving the interview to the mother ship Fox News, they ask. Very jealous of Fox News always and yet, Senator Cruz has just gave a CNN reporter a 15-minute on camera interview that CNN had not just aired.

So, people make mistakes. But those who are constantly assailing everybody else are loathe to admit it. I appreciate you running the president's tweets about this. Because when the president talks about fake news, he is really talking about two big things. Which is, inaccurate and unfair imbalance reporting and also sins of omission. Not just commission from the network.


HANNITY: Well, Kellyanne, let me ask.

CONWAY: Why are you excluding all the important information from America? Why aren't you telling them about the economy, why aren't you telling them about the growth rate, about the job creation, and about the $91 million and the--


HANNITY: Kellyanne, answer your own question.

CONWAY: -- story of funding that president gave today the drug-free communities.

HANNITY: You know the answer.


CONWAY: But you know they are not doing that.

HANNITY: They loved Clinton. They loved Obama and they hate Bush and Trump. They are a biased news, so-called news network.


HANNITY: But they won't admit that they're biased.

CONWAY: I have a totally different view on all of this. By the way, I'm not sure it matters anymore, Sean. Because the president, himself, uses his considerable social media platform.

Our director of social media today at the White House, Dan Scavino said in answer to the president's question in an open press forum that the president has about 160 million. That's basically one out of every two adults in this country.


CONWAY: More than that on one of his social media platform.


HANNITY: He doesn't need them.

CONWAY: So he corrects -- he connects directly -- he doesn't need them. I don't think it matters anymore because people know when they open up their 401-K statement, when they see that they've got extra spending money, when they see less regulation and more consumer confidence they know what they see. And this president is connecting directly with them.

But you also why won't they -- why won't they investigate the other side of this? Why isn't Peter Ohr the leading story on every single network tonight? The America has a right to know.

HANNITY: Because--

CONWAY: In the interest of transparency and accountability that Christopher Steele was nervous. He would be up a creek without his Ohr if Peter Ohr was -- if Bruce Ohr was the next to go. People have the right to know what's making this--


HANNITY: I have to run but--

CONWAY: -- FBI and the DOJ taxpayer funded paid person so nervous about losing access. And the last thing I want to say is, they were exchanging messages not just in 2016 before Donald Trump was democratically elected with 306 electoral votes--

HANNITY: All right, Kellyanne.

CONWAY: -- they were doing it in 2017, 2017. It's a problem we should investigate it.

HANNITY: Good to see you. You're always -- you're always welcome here.

CONWAY: Thank you.

HANNITY: All right.

CONWAY: Thank you.

HANNITY: Joining us more the author of "The Briefing, the Press and the President." It's a best seller. Former White House press secretary, Sean Spicer. You know, you've dealt with this crap more than anybody to be honest with you. And you know, Kellyanne was right. They missed the biggest abuse of power story in their lifetime. They can't admit a mistake. Jim Acosta is anymore -- any one more abusively bias than more of a political hack than him.

SEAN SPICER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Look, I think the story that we are talking about now with Lanny Davis is typical of what we're seeing over and over again. The pursuit of trying to take this president down leads them to do whatever and say whatever.

Despite all of the concerns that they have about people using the phrase fake news, here we have an instance which is pretty clear that Lanny Davis, they used him in a story, they put in the story that he was not available for comment.

Lanny Davis has now gone on the record saying in fact, it was a comment. That in fact was a lie by CNN and they should admit it.

Number two, is that Lanny Davis himself, has said that he regret and made a mistake when it come to underlying premise of the entire story. And number three, Mr. Cohen himself, in sworn testimony before Congress has admitted that in fact there was no discussion of that -- of that being fire to with respect--


HANNITY: He said it in an interview.

SPICER: Right. But here's the thing.

HANNITY: I know Lanny Davis. This is one thing everybody has got to know about Lanny. If you understand he is myopic when it comes to the Clintons. It's him. I accept it. He is also smart. He wrote a book. Tell the truth, tell it all, tell it early. So which he kind of used his own advice and he admitted it. Maybe get a little ahead on his skis here. But CNN should just admit it.

SPICER: Well, they should. But look, we've seen this study from the Media Research Center. Ninety two percent of the coverage of this president is negative. That's backed up by Harvard and Pew.

The fact to the matter is that there is no objectivity left. There is a pursuit of taking down this president when it comes to the mainstream media. And the bottom line is that regardless of how blatant the mistake and the lie is in their face, they are going to do nothing but they won't do anything to back down from it. Because the overarching goal is to push back against this president as hard as possible.

HANNITY: Yes. Well, to destroy him. You cover it really well in your book. I know--


SPICER: Yes. I was just going to say, Sean, thank you. I mean, part of it was to really go through and give examples to people and make them understand how these stories are done. And that's what the book really walks through.

HANNITY: The good news is it is a New York Times bestseller. Congratulations to you. I don't know how you ever did this, but to be honest.

SPICER: Real news.

HANNITY: Good to see you.

SPICER: Thanks.

HANNITY: When we come back, he won a big victory in Florida last night. Florida gubernatorial candidate, Republican Congressman Ron DeSantis, he is next as we continue.


HANNITY: All right. Last night, Congressman Ron DeSantis he secured the Republican nomination for governor in the great state of Florida. Big huge margin. Come-from-behind victory. He is going to face off against the Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum.

And Congressman DeSantis joins us now. Full disclosure, I did do town halls with him. And we talked to people. I talked too. Anyway, good to see you, Congressman. And I endorsed you and I don't regret it.

A lot of it has made you an interview with our own Sandra Smith today and you talked about not monkeying this up. And I saw your statement afterward. I saw some of the media reaction and your opponents reaction. And I want to give you a chance to respond. Did you, in any way, and do you in any way, think that was something that was misstated or racist in any way? Because that's what they're implying.

REP. RON DESANTIS, R-FLA.: It has zero to do with race, Sean. It has everything to do with whether we want Florida to continue to go on a good direction, building up the success or do we want to turn to left wing socialist policies which will absolutely devastate our state?

And here's the thing. I believe people should be judged based on their ability and character regardless of race. But it's because of that I know socialism won't work in Florida. It's not good for any race, color or creed. So this is not about race. This is about ideas and principles.

And I'm not going to let the Democrats and Andrew Gillum try to obscure a debate about whether his tax increases, his single-payer healthcare plan, his desire to abolish ICE, whether that is something that's acceptable for Florida. I don't think it is and I don't care what color you are.

HANNITY: Well, listen, Florida is become one of the fastest growing, lowest unemployed states in the country. And it's very diverse state. You know, but we're now in an environment where people want to purposely take things out of context.

Your life's work, who you are, and what other people have said, even though on their side that they support politically doesn't seem to matter. And I guess the issue comes down to who you are, what's in your heart. And what do you tell people that are hearing that news and interpretation tonight.

DESANTIS: Well, look, Sean, from athletics to the military to how I conducted myself as an elected official. I'm a straight shooter. I treat everyone with respect regardless of circumstances of birth. And I believe the great thing about this country, is that you can grow up in places where you don't have a lot of opportunity initially and you can work hard and get ahead regardless of the color of your skin. That's really--


HANNITY: This is a very interesting race. We see in California with Gavin Newsom and we see with your opponent, really somebody that has taken the hard, hard left of the Democratic Party. I mean, how much does he want to tax corporations? You know, what is his position on ICE and--


DESANTIS: Forty percent tax increase. We have an opportunity to attract record investment in Florida on the heels of the President Trump tax cuts. And doing a 40 percent tax increase would absolutely kill Florida's economic boom. We have a $1 trillion economy. It is the wrong approach. And this is all about substance. It's about people's lives and it's about what's best for the sunshine state.

HANNITY: You know, it is amazing. Under Barack Obama, we saw how bad the economy. Disproportionately minorities were impacted. Record low unemployment for youth, for women in the workplace, African-Americans, and Hispanic-Americans. Policies matter about helping people where one country lift their lives. And that gets ignored by so many people. That's an important thing that you can help somebody's life.

DESANTIS: Sean, in Florida we have a tax credit scholarship program for low income families where the family can take that money and go to different schools including a private school. About 100,000 families are on it. Disproportionately racial and ethnic minorities. I am a big supporter of that because the results have been phenomenal.

Andre Gillum would take those scholarships away from some of the most needy families in Florida--


HANNITY: I don't see how you afford any of this. Let me ask you the last question. How big and important was the president's endorsement to you in your opinion?

DESANTIS: No, I mean, he is the 800-pound gorilla in Republican politics. There's nobody that's even close in moving numbers. Although, Sean, my rise in the polls did coincide with you coming down. So maybe we can talk to the president data, look at Hannity, sir--


HANNITY: You mean, 2 percent and Trump gets 50. All right, I got it. I got my little place in the world. I do enjoy town halls and meeting people. And I can see that your message is resonating with people and Matt Gaetz. We have a great time.


HANNITY: Thank you for hosting me in that. That was a lot of fun.

DESANTIS: Well, thank you for your support. And we are on the path to victory in November.

HANNITY: All right. Thank you. We appreciate it. Gubernatorial candidate from Florida, Ron DeSantis.

When we come back, Rush Limbaugh unloading on CNN for sticking to the discredited Trump tower report. That's next, straight ahead.


HANNITY: Earlier today, Rush Limbaugh went after CNN for standing by their botched report. Let's take a look at what Rush says.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, TALK SHOW HOST: One of the primary reasons CNN is hanging tough, what is going to happen to them? Nothing is going to happen to them. How can they lose any more respect than they've already lost? How can their audience get any smaller, significantly? What really is anybody going to do to them? Nobody is going to do anything to them. Nothing happens to any of these people on the side of this that are trying to nail Trump. With bogus Trumped up, never happened evidence.


HANNITY: Boom. Great job, Rush. All right. Let not your heart be troubled. The news continues with Ingraham. She does radio, too.

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