Published April 05, 2017
This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," April 4, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And welcome to "Hannity." So in just a few minutes, we'll check in with Jay Sekulow, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Laura Ingraham, Senator Rand Paul -- they'll all join us.
But first, former national security adviser Susan Rice now responding to the bombshell reports that exposed that she is the Obama administration official who requested that the names of Trump transition team members who were caught up in surveillance be unmasked. Now, tonight, we'll expose the Obama administration's sabotage, and that is tonight's very important "Opening Monologue."
All right, we want to take you through this step by step because it's a huge scandal. Now, it started last month. Remember President Trump, he sent out a tweet accusing the Obama administration of surveilling him during the election. Now, since then, we've been peeling away all the layers of the president's claim with the help of the investigative reporting from people like Sara Carter and John Solomon.
Now, first, Sara and John uncovered the existence of an FBI investigation into a server being utilized at Trump Tower. They also discovered that a FISA warrant that allowed federal officials to capture Trump team communications existed prior to the president taking office.
Then they revealed that high-ranking officials with direct access to President Obama may have had access to unmasked federal surveillance of Trump transition team members! This is all very important. And they may have briefed the president about this information.
Then on March 22nd, House Intel Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, he revealed that he had seen reports that prove that President Trump and members of his transition team were, in fact, unmasked and that the intel had nothing to do with Russia!
Now, last week, we also uncovered video from March 2nd. Dr. Evelyn Farkas, very prominent Obama administration official, served in the administration only until 2015, encouraging her former colleagues and people on the Hill, get as much intelligence as they can about the Trump team before they leave office. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, MSNBC, MARCH 2)
EVELYN FARKAS, FORMER DEFENSE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: I was urging my former colleagues, and frankly speaking, the people on the Hill -- it was more actually aimed at telling the Hill people, "Get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can before President Obama leaves the administration" because I had a fear that, somehow, that information would disappear with the senior people who left. So it would be hidden away in the bureaucracy, that the Trump folks, if they found out how we knew what we knew about their -- the staff -- the Trump staff dealing with Russians, that they would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we would no longer have access to that intelligence.
So I became very worried because not enough was coming out into the open, and I knew that there was more. We have very good intelligence on Russia. So then I had talked to some of my former colleagues, and I knew that they were trying to also help get information to the Hill.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: If they knew how we knew what we knew -- wow. Pretty interesting. Now, Dr. Farkas, she was admitting there what? Surveillance took place of the Trump transition team, that there was unmasking of names, that there was also talk about leaking the information, which, of course, would be a felony.
Now, Farkas then walked back those comments the day after we played them right here on this show, but the tape does not lie.
But that's not all. Earlier today, Breitbart News, they unearthed a video from October 2016. Here's Dr. Farkas, where she even predicted the impeachment of Trump if he was elected! How would she possibly think this? Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, WARSAW SECURITY FORUM, OCT. 26, 2016)
FARKAS: If Donald Trump were elected, I believe he'd be impeached pretty quickly or somebody else would have to take over government. And I'm not even joking.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Oh, what intelligence did she have to back that up?
Now, yesterday, we had multiple reports that revealed that Obama's national security adviser Susan Rice, she was requesting that members of the Trump transition team, their names be unmasked in raw intelligence reports. Now, today, during an interview, she denied those claims. Shocking. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, MSNBC)
SUSAN RICE, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: There were occasions when I would receive a report in which a U.S. person was referred to -- name not provided, just U.S. person. And sometimes in that context, in order to understand the importance of the report and assess its significance, it was necessary to find out or request the information as to who that U.S. official was.
ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS: Within the context of the Trump campaign, the Trump transition, did you seek the names of people involved in -- to unmask the names of people involved in the Trump transition, the Trump campaign, people surrounding the president-elect --
RICE: Let me be --
MITCHELL: --in order to spy on them, in order to expose them?
RICE: Absolutely not for any political purposes, to spy, expose, anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: All right, so that's today. But wait a second, just two weeks ago, Susan Rice was on PBS and she said she, quote, "knew nothing about" any kind of unmasking. So what is it? Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "NEWSHOUR"/PBS, MARCH 22)
JUDY WOODRUFF, ANCHOR & MANAGING EDITOR: I began by asking about the allegations leveled today by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes that Trump transition officials, including the president, may have been swept up in surveillance of foreigners at the end of the Obama administration.
RICE: I know nothing about this. I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that count today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Ah, today she knows everything, but two weeks ago, "I don't know anything about this." That sounds like a lie to me. Now, shockingly, Andrea Mitchell, she didn't ask Susan Rice about that complete and total reversal. In other words, lie.
But now that she is caught, of course, Susan Rice is changing her tune. Now, remember, Susan Rice has a history of this. She flat-out lied to the faces of the American people about the issue of the Benghazi terror attack. Remember? She went on five different Sunday shows. This was 2012. You may remember.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
RICE, "FOX NEWS SUNDAY," SEPT. 16, 2012: What sparked the recent violence was the airing on the internet of a very hateful, very offensive video.
RICE, "FACE THE NATION"/CBS, SEPT. 16, 2012: It began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo, where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy sparked by this hateful video.
RICE, "MEET THE PRESS"/NBC, SEPT. 16, 2012: What happened in Benghazi was, in fact, initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo.
RICE, "THIS WEEK"/ABC, SEPT. 16, 2012: What happened this week in Cairo, in Benghazi and many other parts of the region...
JAKE TAPPER, ABC NEWS: Tunisia --
RICE: ... was a result, a direct result of a heinous and offensive video...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Now, this about this. A history of lying, a complete 180 in just two short weeks. Well, now some on Capitol Hill, they're trying to get the truth of what actually happened with the surveillance of Donald Trump and his team.
For example, Senator Rand Paul -- he will join us later -- he wants Susan Rice to testify before Congress and under oath. But Rice, well, when asked about this today, she's not exactly jumping at the request. What a shock. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, MSNBC)
MITCHELL: Rand Paul is suggesting that you be subpoenaed to testify. Would you be willing to go to Capitol Hill?
RICE: You know, Andrea, let's see what comes. I'm not going to, you know, sit here and prejudge.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: All right, she's clearly dodging. But more congressmen now on the Hill are calling for her to testify. By the way, it needs to be under oath.
And later tonight, we're going to expose how the alt-left destroy Trump media is doing everything in their power to bury this incredible story.
Now, since the moment the surveillance scandal has been unmasked, the media had tried to change the subject, destroy anybody and everyone connected to it. And that's exactly what they tried to do to Congressman Devin Nunes. And even, by the way, Adam Schiff, the Democratic ranking member on the Intel Committee, has seen the same surveillance. And guess what? All of a sudden, his grandstanding, it all stopped.
In fact, listen to what he said this weekend when asked about if there was a connection between President Trump and Russia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, CNN, APRIL 2)
JAKE TAPPER, CNN: Can you say definitively that there was collusion, there were people affiliated with the Trump campaign who were working with Russians to time the release of damaging information about Hillary Clinton that had been hacked either from John Podesta or the DNC?
REP. ADAM SCHIFF, D-CALIF.: I don't think we can say anything definitively at this point. We are still at the very early stage of the investigation...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Yes, for the past eight months, we're at the early stages of the investigation. With the help with the alt-left propaganda destroy Trump media, they've been trying everything they can do to find proof that President Trump and his campaign was colluding with Russia. Yet there's no evidence after eight long months!
Now, the big question is this: Did President Obama and his administration knowingly surveil on either an incoming president or an opposition party candidate? Americans tonight are demanding answers to those questions, and we here on "Hannity" will demand it as well until we get them.
Joining us now, from the American Center for Law and Justice, Jay Sekulow, the host of "Justice with Judge Jeanine Pirro," and of course, the host of the brand-new show "You Are the Jury" on FOX, Judge Jeanine Pirro.
All right, so I'm trying to lay the history out here. Give me any scenario under which Susan Rice, national security adviser, would specifically request raw intelligence unmasking -- let's say the intelligence was legitimate against Russia, China, Iran, doesn't matter. OK, but Americans incidentally are caught up in a call. There's no warrant to listen to them. It's supposed to be minimized. And their names are never supposed to be revealed.
JEANINE PIRRO, HOST, "JUSTICE": Right. And there's...
HANNITY: So why is she unmasking those names?
PIRRO: It matters precisely the issue that she has to be asked under oath. And I have to tell you, Sean, in listening to your monologue, your ability to connect the dots is worthy of a veteran prosecutor.
HANNITY: Thank you.
PIRRO: But there's another -- and I'm really impressed. It was very well done. But there's another piece to it. Whenever any witness takes the stand and that witness has a history of being a liar...
HANNITY: Like her.
PIRRO: ... and Susan Rice has been with respect to Benghazi, with respect to Bowe Bergdahl serving with honor and distinction, then a jury is entitled to take anything that she says with, you know, wit less than a grain of salt. And so...
HANNITY: Look at the contradiction from two weeks ago!
PIRRO: From two weeks ago, as well. And so any judge would say to a jury, in coming to the truth, this is not a person that you can really rely on. So the question that we have to ask is, who put her up to it? Why did she do it? Did Obama know about it?
HANNITY: Who did she share it with?
PIRRO: Who did she share it with? Is she the one who gave it to The Washington Post? And this woman has to be put under oath. We've got to get to the bottom of this because if they can do it to the president or a president-elect, they're doing it to us all the time!
JAY SEKULOW, AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW AND JUSTICE: Well, look, I think there's a couple things here. Number one, I mean, Susan Rice is like the liar-in-chief here. She would pass a lie detector test. She's told so many stories, she couldn't -- she can't tell one from another! But here's the most significant aspect of this. What she said to Andrea Mitchell was not a denial of the unmasking, you noticed.
HANNITY: She actually acknowledged it.
SEKULOW: Exactly. So that's number one.
HANNITY: She admits the unmasking of Michael Flynn. She, you know, talked about it on a lot of the tape. Go ahead. Yes.
SEKULOW: Number two -- so then you look at what laws are being implicated here. And there are multiple felony counts. But let me give you one simple one. I mean, if she put this in motion -- and this is what everybody needs to understand. But for Susan Rice unmasking this -- if she didn't do this, none of this would have happened. She did it. She put this whole issue in play. If she was working with others, knowing that they were going to distribute it, wink and a nod or however she did it, that's a conspiracy under the espionage statutes. So it's very, very serious.
And I'll tell you something. If she's sending out tweets, she's sending all this information out, she's going to -- she needs to hire a really good criminal defense lawyer really quickly because I think she's in serious trouble.
HANNITY: She admitted the pace of surveilling increased after the election.
SEKULOW: Well, that makes it worse, of course.
HANNITY: And then -- but this is more interesting. She admits the unmasking of General Flynn took place, but she says it wasn't political.
SEKULOW: Well, of course it -- look at the -- look, we -- we -- Judge knows this. She's a judge. I've tried a lot of cases for over 37 years. You look at the timeline here. As the intelligence increased against the president and his associates, what starts to happen? It becomes more frequent.
So this wasn't an incidental accident. Oh, my goodness, I want to know who USA 1 is, U.S. person 1. And it's President Trump or President-elect Trump at that point, or one of his associates. But then she wants more. And then as it gets closer, it's more.
So here's the political question. Why are we saying it's OK to be spying on -- and I don't want to even call it surveillance anymore, spying on the president-elect of the United States? Why is that OK?
PIRRO: Well, it's certainly not OK. And you've got the making of a false statement. You've got espionage. You've got violations of the FISA Act. But I think what's significant here is the fact that if Obama knew about all this, nobody seems to care. And this goes right to the timeline until it looked like, Oh, my God, they're taking him seriously. And now what we need to do is -- we got to stop. We got to get the dirt. We got to pass it around. And that's when they started...
HANNITY: The bottom line here is, under the guise of national security, if they're unmasking only the conversations with Trump or Trump transition team members or then candidate Trump's team, that was specifically designed for political purposes having nothing to do with national security! Jay?
SEKULOW: Of course. And that's what Dr. Farkas was doing, too, Sean.
PIRRO: Oh, yes.
HANNITY: If you listen to -- and you've done a great job of laying this out. Dr. Farkas, who, by the way, also should be getting a criminal defense lawyer right away -- what she said was in essence very clearly -- she said it. We wanted to get this information out. She's talking to former colleagues. How is she getting that information?
PIRRO: Who is we? Who is a part of the conspiracy now?
PIRRO: They're acting in furtherance of a conspiracy.
SEKULOW: I start with Susan Rice.
PIRRO: You have a group of individuals. You know what? I've been a prosecutor. I can do this.
HANNITY: All right, I'm going to say one last thing. For anybody to see this information, you got to know they have to go in a very secure area.
SEKULOW: Oh, yes.
HANNITY: And every single search they made is monitored, which means there is a fingerprint left behind on everything that was unmasked!
SEKULOW: Yes, that's also why Congressman Schiff right now, Adam Schiff, is quiet.
HANNITY: Yes, that's a good point.
PIRRO: Backing down!
SEKULOW: He saw the data. He shut up.
PIRRO: Backing down!
HANNITY: Absolutely. All right, guys, thank you both.
Coming up, more on tonight's big story, the surveillance, the spying on the Trump campaign. We'll get reaction from Laura Ingraham. That's next.
Also, later, there you have the alt left destroy Trump media -- well, they are distorting these explosive reports, covering for the Obama administration and covering for Susan Rice. We'll get reaction tonight from Rick Grenell and Sharyl Attkisson.
And then later, Senator Rand Paul, who wants to put Susan Rice under oath, will be here also.
HANNITY: And welcome back to "Hannity." So there are still many questions that need to be answered about the surveillance of President Trump, candidate Trump, and of course, his transition team. Now, the big question is this. Did a sitting president and his administration knowingly surveil an opposition party or a president-elect?
Joining us now with reaction, editor-in-chief of Lifezette, Fox News contributor, national syndicated radio talk show star -- Laura Ingraham is back.
You know, could you imagine the media, by the way, ignoring this story if it was Trump as president and his team surveilling Obama coming into office, What the media reaction would be? That's point one.
LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: No, it would be Watergate times 10. There would be people staked out at the Brookings Institution where Susan Rice has a cushy job. They would be at her house. They'd find her, right?
If the shoe were on -- was on the other foot, there wouldn't be this appalling lack of curiosity on the part of the mainstream media about what was going on here. Who directed her to do this? This was just a random thing she was thinking because, what, Donald Trump's name was mentioned in a -- in a -- in a -- some intercept?
I mean, Donald Trump's name would have been mentioned in hundreds, if not thousands, of foreign intercepts. So she just happened to choose these ones? The whole thing stinks to high heaven and -- and the -- the...
HANNITY: All right, can you think of -- let me ask this question. Is there any scenario that you can think of -- I'm asking you to put your legal hat on for a minute -- whereby Susan Rice would ever need to unmask a Trump transition team member or either candidate Trump or President-elect Trump, any scenario that you could, in your wildest imagination, imagine that that could happen?
INGRAHAM: I would think, Sean, it would only be if there was some time of imminent threat to the United States of America, a direct tie or close tie to a terrorist organization, a terrorist entity, someone with known connections to terror. Maybe under those circumstances.
But I got off the phone with two former CIA officials right before I came on with you. And both of them -- they don't even know each other, but both of them said that her comment that, Well, you know, when I see something interesting, basically, I ask for more information. Both of them said that's just not how it works. You have to have a specific reason for pulling the identity of an American that's caught up in one of these webs. She gave the scenario of the bomb maker, the American bomb maker. Well, that's obviously not what was going on here...
HANNITY: ... even deeper, though...
INGRAHAM: ... red herring that she threw our.
HANNITY: ... because my understanding and the intelligence sources that I have tell me that for you to even view this raw intelligence information, number one, it has to be in a secure area. Number two, you have to sign in. Number three, there's a record of every single thing you looked at. Now --
INGRAHAM: Right. Can't be verbal. You're right, it cannot be verbal, ever be verbal..
HANNITY: All right, so was there really a spreadsheet? There will be a record of every single time she ever asked to unmask anybody in raw intelligence. Correct?
HANNITY: So if she only did it in the case of Trump, wouldn't that basically be case closed? You're only doing it for political reasons?
INGRAHAM: It would seem to be de facto evidence that there was a political motive here. But we don't know. I mean, there's a lot that we don't know here. It's hard to believe that Susan Rice is acting alone here.
HANNITY: No way.
INGRAHAM: She wasn't acting alone when she went out and sold that story after Benghazi, and it's hard to believe she's acting along here. Just -- it all smells. I mean, and we know that if the shoe were on the other foot, the Democrats would be screaming for full accountability, immediate testimony on Capitol Hill.
HANNITY: Do you get the sense that this was orchestrated sabotage of either a candidate, an opposition party candidate, and a president-elect? And then we'll come on the other side and get more detail.
INGRAHAM: The fact that she initially denied it, and then in her response today to Andrea Mitchell, gave a double negative -- she said she didn't leak nothing -- you know, nothing -- she leaked nothing to nobody. Well, she went to Harvard. She knows that's a double negative, so that means the affirmative.
INGRAHAM: I'm nitpicking here, but you have to parse the words really carefully.
HANNITY: Well, she did admit the unmasking of Michael Flynn, but she said not for political purposes. OK, then why?
INGRAHAM: And she said she didn't leak it, either. She said she didn't leak it, either.
HANNITY: They didn't leak it, either. Somebody did.
HANNITY: And that's a felony.
All right, more with Laura Ingraham. We continue our investigation here.
And later tonight, all right, let's look at the media. The destroy Trump media's doing everything in their power to put their liberal spin on these reports about Susan Rice, or just not cover it at all. We'll get information from Sharyl Attkisson, formerly of CBS News, and Rick Grenell.
Also, Kentucky senator Rand Paul wants to put Susan Rice under oath. He'll explain why as we continue.
HANNITY: All right, as we continue with Laura Ingraham -- here's, in my mind, where this is going, that we have incidental intelligence supposedly, but really, they were using national security as a ruse to really get to Trump surveillance, in other words, that there was an orchestrated effort to surveil candidate Trump and President-elect Trump and his transition team and unmask them, and in the case of General Flynn, leak the intelligence. Is there any other plausible theory, hypothesis you have short of that?
INGRAHAM: The veneer of incidental coverage here seems really flimsy. Again, the sources I talked to say that doesn't matter. They say it was incidental, it makes it sound like it was nothing. You still have to go through the normal protocols in order to unmask these individuals. You can't do it in pick and choose and try to troll the raw data and the raw files for any morsel you think might implicate Trump or any associates in the future.
Again, when you are an outgoing administration after a really tough election battle and the partisanship and the rancor and animosity was as high as it was from the Obamas to Trump and vice versa, and with Susan Rice's old history on Benghazi, the fact that she wasn't going to get confirmed, she wanted to be secretary of state. She was never going to be confirmed. That's why they put her at the National Security Council. All of this adds up to a very murky scenario. We just need to know more. We need to know more information. I don't think it stops at Susan Rice. I think focusing on Rice may be the wrong pathway here.
HANNITY: But standard operating procedure according to every single intel source I have would require that if it was incidental that minimization occur, that they don't reveal the name of the American. They don't unmask the American. And certainly you don't leak the name, leak the intelligence, which, by the way, is raw intelligence, otherwise you are violating any sense of privacy. And you used the term very early on. That would make America a policed state. Correct?
INGRAHAM: Yes. That's a felony. And there is a written record. No one from the I.C. community, the intelligence community, would ever do the unmasking and give that information on a verbal order. It just doesn't happen. There have to be written protocols that are followed. Those written protocols have to be there. They have to be there somewhere whether in a ledger or some other log. And claiming executive privilege here would indicate to me that the president actually spoke to Susan Rice. So we'll see if she claims executive privilege.
HANNITY: Laura, two weeks ago she had no idea any of this happened.
INGRAHAM: No knowledge, Sean.
HANNITY: Nothing. No knowledge, I don't even know what you're talking about. Just like Evelyn Farkas. It's very interesting to watch everybody walk things back isn't it?
INGRAHAM: She pulled a Sergeant Schultz.
HANNITY: I know nothing, right, exactly. Thanks, Laura. You're aging us, by the way.
Coming up, the alt-left propaganda, destroy-Trump media is putting their liberal spin on these explosive reports about Susan Rice, doing their best to defend her. We'll get reaction. Ric Grenell, Sharyl Attkisson are here. And Kentucky Senator Rand Paul wants Susan Rice to testify under oath. He'll tell us why, coming up.
HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." So the alt-left, propaganda, destroy-Donald Trump media, they're doing their best to cover up and distort the news that former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice was unmasking the names of Trump officials who shouldn't have been surveilled.
Let me give you an example. CNN last night, Don Lemon, began the show defending Susan Rice. Pretty inexplicable. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, CNN)
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: There is no evidence whatsoever that the Trump team surveilled or spied on -- were spied on illegally. There is no evidence that backs up the president's original claim. And on this program tonight, we will not insult your intelligence by pretending otherwise. Nor will we aid and abet the people trying to misinform you, the American people, by creating a diversion. Not going to do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Hey, Don, there's no evidence of collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign, and you guys have been harping on that conspiracy for eight months.
Now, ABC and NBC, they didn't even mention this explosive story last night in their evening news programs. CBS News did address the reports, but they were defending Rice. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "EVENING NEWS"/CBS, APRIL 3)
SCOTT PELLY, CBS NEWS: We've learned more today about the president's allegation that he and his aides were caught up in Obama era surveillance. What did you find out today?
MARGARET BRENNAN, CBS NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Scott, as national security adviser to the president, Susan Rice could and did request the names of individuals who were picked up during legal surveillance of foreign nationals. However, Rice did not spread the information according to this former official who insisted that there was nothing improper or political involved.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: She probably talked to Rice's mom. Anyway, how else do you get that report?
Here with reaction, the author of the upcoming book "The Smear, How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think, and How You Vote," Sharyl Attkisson, and former spokesman for the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Ric Grenell is with us.
All right, Sharyl, so for eight months the news media, the same people that we know colluded with the Clinton campaign during the election, the same people that never vetted Obama, they have been running wild with a Russia, Trump campaign conspiracy story. There's no evidence to date that I have seen. If you have seen it, share it with us.
Imagine if this was Donald Trump and he's leaving office and in the process of him leaving office, Donald Trump sets in motion a way to surveil the incoming president or then candidate of the opposition party. Do you think the news media would be treating it the same as they're doing it now?
SHARYL ATTKISSON, "FULL MEASURE" HOST: I don't. And I agree. I haven't seen evidence of Russia collusion with the Trump campaign, and I have spoken to former top Obama intel officials who say they haven't seen evidence of that either. And I do think there's a very disparate treatment by the news media in general between the two allegations, one of which seems to have no public evidence to prove it. The other, the discussion that's happening now about Susan Rice, does seem to have at least some credible evidence that you can check out behind it and yet is being treated with some proper skepticism, but I would say in many cases over the top skepticism as if it couldn't possibly be true or that there couldn't possibly be anything wrong with it.
HANNITY: Now we do know certain things at this point, Sharyl. We know that surveillance in fact did take place. Incidental, perhaps, whatever, but surveillance did take place. Now she didn't even deny in the interviews today, although two weeks ago, Susan Rice, the media seems to have amnesia. She said she didn't know anything about this. She revealed in this interview today that in fact she did know, and in fact unmasking of Trump officials did take place. But she defended it and said I didn't leak the information. Just because she says so doesn't make it true. After all, she did spread a lie about Benghazi on five separate morning showing, did she not?
ATTKISSON: She did give completely false information about Benghazi on numerous occasions as did the Obama administration. And I think if you look back, this is my opinion based on the evidence, you'll see a pattern that involves surveillance, whether it's whistleblowers, political opponents, journalists and other people that occurred under the Obama administration, maybe has occurred under other administrations as well. But we know factually that it occurred in an unprecedented way under the Obama administration, and I think if you put it all together on a timeline it starts to paint a picture, instead of isolated events and accusation, a pattern of behavior.
HANNITY: Ric, I think Sharyl is referring to our own James Rosen. I think she's referring to what happened with Tea Party groups and the IRS. And we have an admission. Why would she specifically seek out raw intelligence of -- whether or not it was legal surveillance, incidental pickups of Trump and his transition team or his campaign, and why would she want an unmasking of those individuals for what possible reason, other than being political?
RIC GRENELL, FORMER SPOKESMAN FOR U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: Yes. Look, the national security adviser does have the ability to request an unmasking of a name. They get intelligence and the name is redacted, you don't see it. And they begin to say, hey, I need to know who this person is in order to implement some sort of policy.
The problem here, Sean, is that Susan Rice did this specifically just for Trump officials. She did it during the transition. She did it with high frequency all the way through the transition after Trump was elected. And then she widely disseminated the unmasked names. That's where I think she got caught.
HANNITY: Wouldn't that be a felony at that point?
GRENELL: Well, she released these names to other people at the NSC and the State Department who had clearances, so that wouldn't be illegal to do that. But the only reason to unmask a name is so that you can see it and decide, hey, do I need to do something with this, implement some sort of strategy or tell someone else?
To have the name unmasked and then widely disseminate it to other people inside the State Department, that is pure politics. There is no question in my mind and others in the State Department who believe that this information was widely disseminated so that it would be leaked. And as we know, someone did leak it. Susan Rice claims that she didn't leak it. But it just doesn't hold water for someone so political like Susan Rice, who's been caught too many times spinning, to widely disseminate an unmasked name. There is no reason to widely disseminate that, and she did. And the people at the State Department began to say, wait a minute, why are we getting this unmasked name? There's no reason for it.
HANNITY: To get to this raw intelligence, there is a record every time you go into a secure area. There would be a record of every single thing that she was looking for and saw. Correct?
GRENELL: Absolutely. When she opens up a cable, if she forwards that information, if she prints it, it's all recorded. There is a long list of that. We can tell exactly who received this information of an unmasked name. They could go back and find it. It is going to be difficult to find who leaked it, but we will know who was widely on that list and received the unmasked name.
This is a political problem for her. And clearly doing it during the transition indicates that she was doing this against her political enemies. And, to me, we've got to get to the bottom of it. Rand Paul is exactly right about an investigation.
HANNITY: Basically, Sharyl, I'll give you the last word, we're talking about spying on an incoming president under the guise of national intelligence. That, to me, I can't think of any possible scenario why this information would have been unmasked or revealed. I just can't, except for political purposes.
ATTKISSON: Intelligence officials under the Obama administration that I was in communication with alerted me a couple years ago in relation to my own computer intrusion case that they felt there was a lot of mischief going on inside intel agencies, that intelligence was being used in a way that they said it never had been before. These are people who have been there for decades, and they were extremely concerned about the patterns they saw.
HANNITY: I remember that, too. All right, I think this is going to grow and grow and there is going to be smoking guns coming. That's my guess. Good to see you both, thank you.
When we come back, Senator Rand Paul. He wants Susan Rice to be called in front of Congress to testify under oath. And Rice, by the way, was earlier asked about it. She dodged the question. We'll show her answer. We'll get reaction from the Kentucky senator straight ahead.
HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." So yesterday, in the wake of the reports that Obama's former national security adviser, Susan Rice, unmasked the names of Trump transition team members, Senator Rand Paul said that Rice should testify under oath before Congress. Today Susan Rice was asked about this during her interview of course on the ever so loving MSNBC. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, MSNBC)
MITCHELL: Rand Paul is suggesting you be subpoenaed to testify. Would you be willing to go to Capitol Hill?
RICE: You know, Andrea, let's see what comes. I'm not going to, you know, sit here and prejudge. But what I will say is that the investigations that are underway as to the Russian involvement in our electoral process are very important, they're very serious, and every American ought to have an interest in those investigations going wherever the evidence indicates they should. And I have an interest in that as an American citizen. As a former U.S. official I would want to be helpful in that process if I could.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Here with reaction Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Senator, so that was a nice pivot on her part to talk about Russia. We've had eight months of conspiracies, no evidence at all. But she contradicted, as we pointed out earlier in the show tonight, what she said two weeks ago, "I don't know anything about this." And she's unmasking the identities of Americans caught up in incidental intelligence gathering and unmasking who these people are.
SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KY.: I didn't get a "yes" or a "no" from that answer that she gave. But the question I would ask Susan Rice is she came before Congress, did you discuss with the president that you were unmasking Trump transition officials? In what world would it ever have been appropriate for White House staff, White House political staff, to be unmasking conversations, highly classified and private conversations with Trump, General Flynn, and others? I see no world in which that would be appropriate.
She needs to be made to answer for this. This is not a benign thing because it gives a black eye to the entire intelligence community if they're gathering up these private conversations and if they're going to be released to the media. This is a big crime and we need to get to the bottom of it.
HANNITY: I agree with you. And more and more I'm getting convinced based on the evidence that's coming out that they used the ruse of this is legitimate intelligence gathering, but it seems that real intelligence gathering was spying on Trump and spying on then candidate Trump, and then spying on Trump, the president-elect Trump. And it went on for a long time.
PAUL: And there really is no excuse. There was a great article in National Review by Andrew McCarthy where he talks about who are the investigative arms? If someone were investigating a Russian tie, would it be the White House doing the investigation? Would it be Susan Rice's job? No. It would be the FBI, the NSA, or the CIA, but it would in no world be Susan Rice's job.
So I think it's pretty important that we understand that millions of Americans are caught up in this web of intelligence collection. Millions of Americans' phone calls are caught up. And we can't allow them to look at Americans' phone calls without a warrant just because they disagree with us politically. This is very, very dangerous to our republic.
HANNITY: I really agree. Because the issue of privacy, then America becomes a police state. Let's be honest here. If private confidential information is being revealed and unmasked and then leaked, then there is no such thing as privacy.
PAUL: And I have been asking for reforms to this for a long time because these are the backdoor searches that many of us are concerned about. And I think there need to be reforms. For example, if they are listening to a conversation with another branch of government, the legislative branch, they need to hang up. They need to not be eavesdropping. It's not that they shouldn't just unmask our conversation. They should not have the president, or the executive branch should not be allowed to eves drop on the legislative branch's private phone calls.
HANNITY: All right, so you met with the president, you played golf with him this weekend. And from my secret sources, you guys actually had a meeting of minds on a lot of issues involving health care. And by all accounts, it seems like those negotiations are continuing in the House and then obviously move to the Senate. How do you feel about the chances of getting to the repeal, replace position that you want to be in?
PAUL: When I sit down with the president I do feel we have a kinship and I do think understand each other. We are obviously different individuals. We have some differences. We haven't been in the same place on this health care bill. But I do think he wants the same thing that I want. And that is that we want to repeal Obamacare. This has united Republicans for six years. The initial bill did not do that. I think the bill is getting closer. And I think we should thank the House Freedom Caucus for actually not bowing down and not just taking any old bill. The House Freedom Caucus has fought tooth and nail and taken a lot of barbs from a lot of establishment Republicans, but they're making the bill better. and so I think there's a chance that we can get to a good bill, but we should thank the House Freedom Caucus for that.
HANNITY: You and I agree on that. I think they were unfairly maligned. And from what I understand there seems to be a middle ground and a needle that's being thread. And I'm hoping we get there. Senator, good to see you. Thanks for being with us.
HANNITY: Up next, we need your help. A very important "Question of the Day." It has to do with Susan Rice. We want you to weigh in. That's next.
HANNITY: Time for our "Question of the Day," and it's simple. Should Susan Rice finally be called her testify in front of Congress? Why was she unmasking people? She says it's not political. I don't buy it. Go to Facebook.com/SeanHannity, @SeanHannity on Twitter, let us know what you think.
All right, hit me with your best shot. These are the messages on the love Hannity hotline you left me. Let's see what you've got to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT: Sean, I like the recent format change with your opening monologue. You make some good points and back them up with video clips. It shows that you and your staff work hard to put on an informative show.
NEIL: Hannity, you are terrible, so impolite. I listen to you, I watch you. I'm in agreement with your politics, but you are so rude. Probably the rudest person on the channel at night.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: I'm not rude. I'm a nice person. I promise. Anyway, have something you want to say, good, bad, complaint, nice, mean, doesn't matter, call the number on your screen, 877-225-8587.
That's all the time we have left this evening. As always, thanks for being with us. See you back here tomorrow night.
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