This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," November 7, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Welcome to "Hannity." All right. Jam-packed hour.
The so-called blue wave, turned out to be a farce, media pundit, Democrats, all wrong yet again. President Trump's aggressive, tough campaign strategy, his economic success, foreign policy success, led to political success.
Last night, Democrats did win control of the House, but they lost seats in the U.S. Senate, and they also lost several high-profile, enormously well- funded races in the states like Texas, and Florida, Georgia. And Republicans, they still hold the majority of governorships all across the country. When we put this in perspective for you, you will see why this was such a great night.
And we'll also show you how people on other networks, fake news at CNN, conspiracy TV MSNBC, reacted to this underwhelming blue trickle -- maybe we'll call it the trickle.
We also have highlights from the presidents a smack down of CNN's Jim Acosta. By the way, he has now had his credentials at the White House, I argue rightfully, revoked. I never interviewed Barack Obama. I would never be that rude.
And by the way, we'll put all this in historical perspective, a very important "Hannity" history lesson on what midterms are usually like, perspective I promise you will get nowhere else.
Also breaking news, Jeff Sessions is out as the attorney general. We're going to preview what it will be like with an attorney general who has not recused himself from the phony collusion witch hunt, which I'm sure we'll be back on tomorrow, and now, we can have it real investigations, we will call for tonight, featuring actual, real Russia collusion with proof. And we are looking at, yes, you, Hillary Clinton.
And, of course, we have a huge lineup tonight. The great one Mark Levin, former Speaker of the House Gingrich, and so much more. And I have an announcement at the end of the show. It's important.
So much information, so little time, I will answer the question why I was not in the air last night. There is an answer. I will explain it to you.
All right, we leave election night to so many other people -- by the way, congrats to everybody that was on last night.
Let not your heart be troubled, it is time for all breaking news, buckle up, jam-packed, opening monologue.
HANNITY: All right. For months, Democrats, their funds on CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, New York Times, Washington Post, they all but were giddy, guaranteeing a huge, massive, enormous blue wave. They predicted that Americans would send a message to President Trump. They acted like Republicans have never been more unpopular, divisive, racist, sexist, and even worse.
And guess what? Again, they were completely wrong. That blue wave, it never happened. Tonight, we do have a split Congress, Democrats picked up seats in the House of Representatives, Republicans made control, gain seats in the U.S. Senate, increasing their majority.
Republicans were also victorious in the most high-profile races, where literally tens and tens of millions of dollars were spent. In Texas, Democrat, almost $100 million, a little less than $100 million, they used to defeat Ted Cruz, it didn't work out. His opponent, Bozo O'Rourke got support from celebrities, Beyonce, Jimmy Kimmel, well, that was all a waste because Senator Cruz was reelected last night.
In Florida, socialist darling of the left, Mayor Andrew Gillum was bolstered by a visit from Obama, a campaign concert even with Jimmy Buffett, nearly every single poll predicted a Gillum win. Again, they were wrong. Republican Ron DeSantis supposedly had no chance, he is now the governor-elect of Florida. Good decision, Florida.
In the Senate, Republican Rick Scott, he won my head against Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson. By the way, Nelson is being a bit of a crybaby, he wants to challenge the seat, wants a recount. Scott up by tens of thousands of votes, that seat is now Rick Scott. That's Senator Scott from Florida.
In Georgia, former president -- former President Obama campaigned, Oprah Winfrey campaign, even went door-to-door for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. Well, pro-Trump Republican Brian Kemp, he is over the 50 percent mark. That means there will be no runoff in the state of Georgia. Another win.
Now, of course, one of these things that they all have in common is President Trump campaigned in all the states. He was in Georgia, Florida, Missouri, Indiana, Tennessee, North Dakota, Texas, where Republicans took home statewide victories.
Now, Republicans will pick up what looks like a gain of three seats in the U.S. Senate, that is massive, especially when you look at the historical perspective. Democrats will get a net gain of around 35 seats that gives them control. They needed 23 for control of the House. But some results are still pending.
Now, let me put this in perspective. Republicans actually had what is an amazing, historically speaking, election night. Remember, 44 House Republicans retired, that is a massive number. But here is the history, here are the headwinds, that very few people ever talk about.
Let's go back -- let's start with 2010, Barack Obama's first midterm. Look at that. Democrats lost in his first midterm, 63 seats in the House, six seats in the U.S. Senate, that's a total of 69.
In 1994, Clinton Democrats lost 52 seats in the House, eight seats in Senate. That's a net loss of 60.
Even Ronald Reagan, 1982, he'd only been in office two years, his first midterm, Republicans lost 26 House seats and gained zero seats in the Senate.
Since 1914, look at this, the president's own party has only picked up seats three times during the midterms, three times in over 100 years.
We knew this going in. During the same period of time, Donald Trump is only the third president to gain Senate seats while losing seats in the House. And Trump campaigned for senators, he went to state to state for those races he could campaigned for. He couldn't go out and go to all 435 House districts with 435 different House candidates, that would be physically impossible.
Now, keep in mind, during Obama's eight long years in office, look at this, Democrats lost control of more than 1,000 state and national offices. By the way, he had a pretty bad night last night.
It is a much different picture under President Trump, which of the media won't tell you. Now, why is this all true? Well, look at the economic front, our economy, thankfully, is booming. The forgotten men and women that we all talked about in 2016, they are now seeing prosperity that has been long overdue for them, 4.5 million new jobs created since Donald Trump was elected, 4.3 million fewer Americans on food stamps, over 4 million Americans out of poverty. Thanks to this economic boom.
The manufacturing front, over 400,000 new manufacturing jobs, jobs Obama said would never coming back. Look at this: employment claims at a 49 low. We are seeing record low unemployment, African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian-Americans, women in the workplace, military veterans, and youth unemployment.
Median household income in this country is hitting a record high. We saw 4.2 percent GDP growth in the second quarter, 3.5 percent in the most recent third quarter. This all comes as President Trump slashed regulations, promises made and kept, after he signed the single biggest middle-class tax cut in history, another promise that he made that's kept.
You're not likely to see any of these statistics on television on any so- called news channel. On those networks, people were actively rooting for the blue wave that became a little trickle, a little drizzle.
And in the lead up to the election, they were actually vilifying -- they went insane in the days leading up to yesterday, all things Trump, nonstop, in a last ditch effort to bolster their friends in the Democratic Party. They were literally an extension of all things liberal, socialist Democrats, and they are like state-run Democratic media. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If Trump wins, he will cast it as a complete endorsement of his most undemocratic behavior. If you are 18 and that happens, you stand a very real chance of not living at a western-style democracy for part or all of your life.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is a racist pig!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is talking about whites a premise does ideology.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What Donald Trump did was normalize racism.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump is not only disgusting and vile, he's stupid.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This racist, heartless, soulless man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president is obviously a racist. He's obviously demagogue.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This president has radicalized so many more people than ISIS.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Blah, blah.
Last night, Republicans -- well, they started to pick up big wins. Look at the states they are winning -- Florida, Tennessee, Indiana, Missouri, massive victories in the states.
And, by the way, elsewhere, commentators, anchors, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, once again, they started to crack up and melt down. It was like 2016 all over again for them. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tonight, there was some hope that the Democrats would have a wave election, it's not going to be a wave election.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can tell that there is not a blue wave forming. There is not a blue tsunami that's going to repudiate Donald Trump across the country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you look at what's going on here tonight, this is not a blue wave. This is not a wave that is knocking out all sorts of Republican incumbents.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It has to be said, the Democrats are having, so far, a lot of vote to come in, a disappointing night.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But they can't have -- there is no tsunami. There is no tsunami coming. I mean, winning the House by one vote, one member, is enough, is enough for them, but there is a lot of disappointment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is heartbreaking, though. It's heartbreaking.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm still -- my nails are still like clutching to hope.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm thinking about the best laid plans in 2016, the Javits Center.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is only so far science and polling and academics can take you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: They don't really take losing well. I'm going to be honest, I don't like to lose either, I enjoy winning, and in particularly didn't like when Obama won met, not once, but twice. And not only did they once predicted a blue wave not materialize, but their anti-Trump narrative has been rejected by you, we, the American people, and we're doing so much better.
Ever since Donald Trump announced his run for office, and Melania, Mr. Trump coming down that escalator in Trump Tower, they vilified everything this president has said or anything he has done, it has been an unprecedented amount of hatred, scorn, ridicule, attacks, delegitimization, of this president. Some coverage has been downright -- actually, hysterical, apocalyptic, over-the-top.
Here is just a small sample of what you see day after day, every second, every minute, every hour of every 24-hour a day for over three straight years, all the same networks, and it never stops. And they can't help themselves, apparently. They must be like addicted to this hate. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is this president trying to impersonate Hugo Chavez? Recep Tayyip Erdogan? Vladimir Putin?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said today, America first. It was not just racial, I mean, I shouldn't say racial, Hilterian background to it.
Just like Kim Jong-un, what is he doing? Knocks off all his relatives when he gets scared. When you get scared of your positions, you start killing people around you, we don't do that in this country. We fire them. Trump seems to know how to fire.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is not of a sound. That's somebody that clinically look at and say, there is something wrong there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Trump needs to be medicated and hospitalized.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump, again, being a schmuck.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can surely say, his words have absolutely emboldened white supremacists.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has given oxygen to racist. He is clearly trying to ignite a civil war in this country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a sign out there that has been hung up in the White House, outside the White House, saying, if you're not white, you are not especially welcome.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is a racist.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When do we see almost a shadow government come out and say, we cannot side with the government?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Just downright disgraceful.
And, by the way, all over -- this is so-called news? Others speak in one voice with the Democratic Party? The state-run Democratic Party. Despite false claims of impartiality, being fair and balanced, these people, they work on every single day, they want to destroy the presidency of Donald Trump at all costs.
Even, sadly, if it is going to hurt the people that are clearly benefiting in this country from his presidency. Isn't it supposed to be out serving people?
And today in a press conference, the president came out with a conciliatory tone. Kind words for likely incoming Speaker Pelosi, urging bipartisanship and the newly divided Capitol Hill. But guess what? People in the media, they wanted none of it. Especially true of CNN's Jim Acosta.
As he all but called the president a racist, tried to debate the president, thinking, oh, it's my TV show. And physically strong-arming a female White House aide, angry the blue wave his network predicted never materialized.
This conduct is beyond reprehensible. Imagine anybody doing this to Obama. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM ACOSTA, CNN REPORTER: Mr. President, if I may ask a question, --
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: That's enough. That's enough.
ACOSTA: Pardon me, ma'am.
TRUMP: That is enough. That's enough. Put down the mic.
ACOSTA: Mr. President, are you worried about indictments coming down in this investigation?
REPORTER: Mr. President?
TRUMP: I tell you what? CNN should be ashamed of themselves having you work for them. You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn't be working for CNN.
Go ahead, please.
REPORTER: Thank you, Mr. President.
TRUMP: I'm not responding -- I'm responding -- excuse me, I'm not responding to you, I'm talking to this gentleman, will you please sit down? Excuse me. Excuse me. Would you please sit down?
Please, go ahead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: All right. Despite this is despicable conduct, CNN is actually defending their chief White House correspondent, Trump hater, Jim Acosta. In a statement, CNN wrote that the president's conduct with today's presser was quote, dangerous, disturbingly un-American.
Well, breaking just moments ago, the White House responded, and they have suspended Acosta's White House pass until further notice. They wrote, quote: President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his administration. We will, however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman, just trying to do her job as a White House intern. Now, the fact that CNN is proud of the way their employee behave is not only disgusting, it is an example of their outrageous disregard for everyone, including young women, who work in his administration.
CNN's nonstop, apocalyptic rhetoric is not a winning message. Americans can see right through the biased vitriol, as we saw on the results last night.
And by the way, Americans know that Democrats have no plan to make their lives better. And it's only going to get worse. By the way, we have the best plan ever, stay tuned.
And now, with Nancy Pelosi, the de facto leader of the Democratic Party, along with, let's see, oh, the liar, shifty Schiff, and Maxine Waters, and Jerrold Nadler, Democrats sharpening their knives against President Trump's. Many top House Democrats planning nonstop investigations into the president, all designed to make him look bad. How does that whole help we, the people? How does that help the American still in poverty and food stamps and out of work?
Today, the president responded to these threats. And guess what? Sometimes, what's good for the goose, good for the gander, and it works both ways. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Are you offering a "my way or highway" scenario to the Democrats? You are saying that if they start investigating you, that you can play that game and investigate them? Can you compartmentalize at that.
TRUMP: I know more than they do.
REPORTER: Can you compartmentalize that and still continue to work with them for the benefit of the rest of the country, or are all bets off?
TRUMP: No, if they do that, then it's just all of it is a warlike posture.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Now, currently, Nancy Pelosi has an average approval rating, a whopping 27.5 percent. By the way, that's not going to get any better with the partisan political investigations.
And as of now, Pelosi is the only leader in the Democratic Party, according to a recent poll ranking 2020, Democratic presidential contenders -- well, none of the above actually topped the list. We'll have more on this throughout the show. And I will tell you, this is a huge deal.
One thing we promise on this program, we are going to watch every day, and we are going to watch their actions and their rhetoric, and we are going to see, what will they try to do to help the American people? Or is it just revenge? Is it about hitting Trump?
All right. We turn to another huge story, broke just hours ago. Jeff Sessions is now out as attorney general. In a letter, he wrote, I have been honored to serve as the attorney general, and have worked to implement the law enforcement agenda based on the rule of law. That formed a central part of your campaign for the presidency.
One thing, a commentary here -- I have known Jeff Sessions a long time. I personally thought he would be a great attorney general. Thought it was a great choice.
I know him to be a good man. I know that for a fact. For whatever reason, him, and Sessions, Trump and Sessions, the president and Sessions, they just clashed from the get-go. And it started with the recusal, which shocked everybody, especially the president. And I think this probably was not the right job at the right time, that was his intention from the get- go. But I do think he's a good person. He has served his country honorably.
Sadly, Sessions was MIA on one of the most important issues on going inside the halls of the DOJ. In just the first few weeks of taking office, Sessions recused himself from all things Russia. He should have told the president, in my belief, ahead of time.
That ultimately led to Robert Mueller's special counsel and a witch hunt, which has now spent months, over a year, digging and digging and digging into everyone associated with Trump. No evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, found Paul Manafort imprisoned over bank applications and tax fraud from years ago. Young Trump campaign staffer George Papadopoulos, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, convicted of lying to investigators, nothing to do with Russia.
Now, with Sessions out, the acting attorney general will be Matthew Whitaker. He will oversee the Russian investigation. The left is racing to demonize this man as we speak, and as I have been shouting from a mountaintop for years, there are a lot of crimes and a real, actual collusion that needs to be investigated if we are going to have equal justice under the law. The Russian lies bought by Hillary Clinton, the dirty Russian dossier. Let's not forget about the strategy to leak those lies to you, the American people, from high ranking members of Obama's government, why? To influence the 2016 election and help Hillary with propaganda and Russian lies.
FISA abuse, literally lying to a FISA court, literally abusing power before a FISA court, not telling them the truth on purpose. A Trump campaign official was actually spied upon by your government, misleading FISA court judges, committing fraud, using the dirty dossier, circular reporting on that dossier, as the bulk of their evidence. Four FISA warrants, in other words, fraud committed on a court to get a warrant to spy on a campaign associate of Donald Trump in the lead up to an election and influence the American people, and then bludgeon Donald Trump with things that are not verified or corroborated.
And of course, this all goes back to Hillary Clinton's private server in a bathroom closet, how she was exonerated before an investigation even started, really, weaponizing intelligence, FISA court fraud, insurance policies, a media leak strategy, so much for a real, un-recused attorney general to investigate. We'll see what happens.
Acting Attorney General Whitaker has a strong record. That's why they want to demonize him. In a 2016 op-ed, he wrote that he would have indicted Hillary Clinton. In another, he wrote Mueller was going too far in his collusion investigation. And it did go too far.
It looks like we can finally have an attorney general that is unrecused, will actually stand up for the rule of law, equal justice under the law, equal application of our laws.
All right. When we come back, a lot of ground to cover tonight. Mark Levin, Newt Gingrich, Catherine Herridge, Gregg Jarrett, Sara Carter, and everyone is asking why was I not on TV last night, I must have gotten in trouble. I'll explain, straight ahead.
HANNITY: All right. Welcome back to "Hannity".
All right. For more on the midterms, Jeff Sessions' resignation today, we go to the great one, Mark Levin, host of CRTV's "Levin TV", number one -- by the way, your ratings were a kilo on Sunday night.
MARK LEVIN, FOX NEWS HOST: Well, we do our best.
HANNITY: Thank me -- "Life, Liberty, and Levin" right here on the Fox News Channel.
Let's start with the results -- I want to three topics for you, you can go in any order. I want your take on the results, your take on the media, and your reaction to Jeff Sessions' resignation today.
LEVIN: Well, you know, Sean, in many ways, it's one and the same thing. The media were very angry today at that press conference, and you have to wonder why. I thought the president they said had a lousy night, the Democrats take about 34 seats.
And I want the American people to understand what that means is they have an 11-member majority in the House. And with that 11-member majority, most of which are Republican seats, they intended to everything they can to cripple the executive branch and cripple the presidency, and I will get back to that in a minute.
What we saw today and that press conference was a disgrace to this country. Imagine the world watching what took place there. These kamikaze journalists obviously in a coordinated attack on this president, they are trying to cripple this presidency, they are trying to sabotage this presidency, it's not going to work, but that's what they are doing. They are furious that this blue wave was a blue tickle last night, because that's all it was.
And they've been talking about blue wave, they've been beating down this president, beating down the Republican Party, beating down these candidates. They pull out their racist tool to use, their white supremacy tool to use, they pull out their Nazi tool to use, their Hitler tool to use. They tried everything they could. You can't tell the difference but in Democrat talking points and the media in this country, because in many respects they are one and the same thing.
Survey after survey, over the decades, have shown us that most in the media are liberal, most live and operate on the Eastern Seaboard and the Western Seaboard. Look at what is going to happen now in the House of Representatives.
Look at the diversity of Marxist and Leninist, pretty much -- the Finance Committee, Maxine Waters, L.A. Let's see, the House Oversight Committee, Jerrold Nadler, Manhattan. The House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, L.A. Elijah Cummings, heading the Oversight Committee, as well, he will be from where? Baltimore.
And of course, you have Nancy Pelosi, San Francisco, it's over here and over here. What about the middle of the country and the rest of the country? They are not going to be represented because the Democrat Party is controlled by these hard-core leftists.
I am sick and tired of these media types trying to hijack these press conferences. These press conferences are for the American people.
CNN, you don't even have an audience, it's not for you. It's not for MSNBC, and it's not for every harebrained, malcontent, liberal dressed up as a journalist.
You know, we have standards in this country for doctors, for lawyers, for truck drivers, for plumbers, for electricians, what are the standards for journalists?
Fake Tapper, Fake Tapper was a spokesman for a Democratic congresswoman. Then he was a spokesman for handgun control. Now, he's a journalist.
There is a guy that used to work for Obama who works at CNN, now he is a national security reporter. What are their standards?
There are no standards for journalist today. And let me tell the journalist, you say tell the president, stop saying, stop saying the media are the enemy of the people.
Now, he is not saying the whole media, he has about a thousand times. Let me tell the media something, the president isn't the enemy of the people, either, and you should stop your campaign of trying to cripple him and destroy him.
They are upset because there was no blue wave. They are upset they lost in 2016. They are upset they lost in 2018, and guess what? They are going to lose in 2020, too.
As for Sessions, it's a constitutional crisis, don't you know? What's a constitutional crisis? The president got rid of a cabinet secretary, the attorney general. He's only been telling us for ten months what he plans to do. It is likely Saturday night massacre.
They drag out John Dean, a guy that doesn't even have a law license anymore, the guy who served time as I seem to recall, through Watergate. Now, he is a contributor to of, what, CNN or MSNBC? There's an authority.
And what does he say? It's like the president is plotting to kill somebody, a murder.
Well, so he gets rid of Sessions, what, so what happens? He has an acting attorney general, then I hear these so-called experts, he can't do that, there is a rule of succession -- of course he can do that.
Moreover, they say it's like the Saturday night massacre -- how? Did he fire Mueller? Did he order the attorney general to fire Mueller? Did he order the deputy attorney general to fire Mueller? He hasn't ordered anyone to do anything to Mueller.
Mueller is still, you know, roaming the countryside looking for people to prosecute and challenge and so forth and so on. Nothing has happened. But Schumer as they are, Schumer as they are, I think we have a constitutional crisis.
Let me tell you something, this is an important point. I have said that the appointment of Mueller is unconstitutional it violates the Appointments Clause, and Schumer proves my point every day. You know why? Because if Mueller was like an assistant U.S. attorney, a U.S. attorney, they wouldn't keep saying he is separate, protect him, he is different, he has to report to himself effectively.
That's why his appointment is unconstitutional, because it's supposed to go to the Senate and be confirmed, just a little nicety there that I wanted to mention, as well.
In any event, the Republicans had a very good night, they had a good night, quite frankly, because of the president. It is the president who held the Senate, and some of these excellent candidates, and the losses in the house could have been worse. But they weren't worse. And that's why the media are furious, Sean, that's the bottom line.
And I'm going to tell the media something. You are humiliating yourself, you are embarrassing yourselves, the American people, more and more are turning on you, not because of the president says you are the enemy of the people, but because you act like the enemy of the people.
You know what we learned in this press conference today thanks to the media? Nothing. A presidential press conference isn't for CNN, which doesn't have any viewers, anyway, it's for we, the American people. You ask questions to elicit information from our president--
HANNITY: Hey, Mark.
LEVIN: -- so we can know what's going on.
HANNITY: You know, Mark, I put up Barack Obama in his first midterm, 69 House and Senate seats. Bill Clinton, 60. Three times, it has happened where a president in his first midterm wins as many seats, that's at.
LEVIN: Yes. But he's a -- they are liberals, they are Democrats, they like them, so you know, they get treated quite differently.
HANNITY: All right. Great one, we call you the great one for a reason. Mark Levin, don't miss "Life, Liberty, and Levin." The number show Sunday nights, 10 p.m., you get to see it all right here on the Fox News Channel.
When we come back, our great historian our friend and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, he will join us. Also, a live report from Catherine Herridge about Sessions resignation, and why wasn't I working last night? I'll tell you.
HANNITY: All right. Joining us now -- all right, joining us now with the very latest on the resignation of Attorney General Sessions, the election, and, of course, well, poor Jim Acosta, anyway, Fox News chief intelligence correspondent, first on we got a report from our friend Catherine Herridge on Sessions. What's going on, Catherine?
CATHERINE HERRIDGE, FOX NEWS CHIEF INTELLIGENCE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Sean. This morning White House chief of staff John Kelly ask Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign. And the news went public after the president's news conference.
A source close to the administration told Fox that Whitaker is well-liked by the president, and not seen as an FBI or Justice Department insider who came up through the ranks with special counsel Robert Mueller, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and others.
Whitaker, who was a Sessions' chief of staff at the Justice Department and is now Rosenstein's boss is already under scrutiny tonight for tweets, in an op-ed he wrote last year about a redline he said special counsel Mueller should not cross, quote, "it does not take a lawyer or even a former federal prosecutor like myself to conclude that investigating Donald Trump's finances or his family's finances falls completely outside of the realm of his 2016 campaign. That goes beyond the scope of the appointment of the special counsel."
Behind the scenes, Whitaker was described to Fox News as a quiet advocate for the declassification of the Russia records, which include the surveillance warrant renewal for a Trump campaign aide approved by Rosenstein in 2017. The president recently backed away from the declassification, but today seem to indicate it is back on track.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We are looking at that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're still considering it.
TRUMP: No, no, we're looking at it very seriously.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
TRUMP: Declassification, we are looking at very seriously.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Can I ask one more question?
TRUMP: It's amazing how people on the other side just don't want those documents declassified, but we are looking into that very carefully. I certainly want to wait until after the midterms.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HERRIDGE: Before last night's vote, a source close to the Russia congressional probe told Fox that they believe the White House would move quickly on the Justice Department shake-up if Republicans expanded their Senate majority, virtually guaranteeing, rather, a relatively smooth confirmation for the president's choice to ultimately lead the department, Sean.
HANNITY: All right. Catherine Herridge in her Washington bureau tonight, thank you.
Here with reaction, author of the bestseller "The Trump's America: The Truth About Our Nation's Great Comeback," Fox News contributor and former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich.
The year you became speaker, the first time Republicans won in 40 years, Bill Clinton between the House and the Senate, he lost what, 52 House seats, eight Senate seats? Obama, in 2010, lost six Senate seats, but a whopping 63 House seats.
I would say, by historical standards, the president picking up all of the seats in the Senate is a spectacular win for the president, and some of the most heavily financed races. Your thoughts?
NEWT GINGRICH, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think that's right. I think first of all, if you look at the average between Obama, Clinton, and Trump, Trump clearly did dramatically better, almost twice as well, and when instead gaining seat in the Senate, which given the nature of the 2020 Senate elections, probably means the Republicans now will be in a majority, in all probability, through 2022, or later.
Very much different than what the Democrats hope for, some very big wins, some places where they were very hard-fought, Florida, for example. A remarkable outcome, both for governor and for senator.
And on the House side, I think the first real break point was when 43 Republican House members decided that they would retire this year, which I think is the largest number in modern history. That gave them a tremendous number of openings to try to defend, and what you really saw, and I wrote in my newsletter today about this, you really saw a green wave of money.
If we look at Texas, for example, where I think Beto O'Rourke will have spent over $70 million losing a U.S. Senate seat. And everywhere you turn around the country, particularly in House races, you are seeing enormous numbers of money coming in, whether it was from Bloomberg, writing million- dollar checks, other people from various organizations.
I think one of the hidden stories that will come out in the next two or three weeks is the sheer scale of this green wave that was seeking to drown the Republican Party and defeat the president.
HANNITY: You know, the amazing thing is, you ended up getting Clinton to change, and we balanced the budget for the first time. Listen, I remember you guys doing that town hall, you're sitting on these little seats one day.
HANNITY: But we did balance the budget, it made real progress, there's a lot of give and take in that. Is Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, Adam Schiff, Jerrold Nadler, are they capable of doing what Clinton did, which I think, easily helped him get reelected two years later?
GINGRICH: You know, I don't know, I thought earlier today that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had a great interview, and he said to them something which I can reflect on, because I was there, and that is that the politics of investigation may make your partisans happy, but may turn off a lot of people.
I think the president clearly is going to reach out on things like infrastructure, he is going to reach out on some practical common-sense steps on health care, including lowering the cost of drugs, I think he is going to try to find issues to make it very hard for the Democrats to say no.
And then we will see whether or not they are so rabid, and certainly the left wing of the Democratic Party is much more rabid than anything that either Clinton or I had to deal with in the '90s. And so, it will be interesting to see how it develops.
HANNITY: What is your reaction to Jeff Sessions' announcement today? Because I couldn't believe when he recused himself. If he had any thought that he would do this, I thought he would have told the president, at least the courtesy of a heads up, hey, I may have to recuse here. And we know the results of all of that, and I know now they are trying to go after the interim attorney general.
But I think, for a president not to have an attorney general and the most important case that he wanted in his administration has been very harmful.
GINGRICH: Well, first of all, I think it was handled exactly right, because of the day after all of the election, I think the chief of staff, John Kelly, did the right thing, and an immediate response, knowing it was coming, the attorney general did the right thing in resigning.
I will say just for a minute if I could, Sean, I've known Jeff Sessions for a long time. He was a very solid conservative in the Senate, he actually helped organize the first Trump campaign meeting in Washington, and it is been sad to see him after he go through all of this, and I suspect he is a very relieved guy tonight.
HANNITY: I've always known him to be a good man, I agree with you, this was not the right position. I was, it worked out, I think, just better for everybody at this point.
GINGRICH: That's right.
HANNITY: Mr. Speaker, thank you so much. When we come back, OK, Jeff Sessions gone, everything about the Mueller probe that the left doesn't want investigated that may now begin. This could be very interesting. Sara Carter, Gregg Jarrett, Jason Chaffetz, and why didn't I work on election night? I will explain all of that straight ahead.
HANNITY: All right, tonight, Democrats are quick to push more Russia hysteria following the departure of the Attorney General Jeff Sessions. For example, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, get used to him, we are going to be following him and, let's see, Pelosi, and Maxine Waters, we are going to see if they are going to work for you.
He is expected to be the next house judiciary chair, tweeting that he wants answers about who is now in charge of the Mueller probe and suggested more endless investigations. That is really going to help the American people.
Joining us now, author of The New York Times bestseller "The Russia Hoax," Fox News legal analyst, Gregg Jarrett. Also, the author of "The Deep State," another New York Times bestseller, Fox News contributor, Jason Chaffetz, Sara Carter, investigative reporter and Fox News contributor. Where is your book? How come you don't have a book?
SARA CARTER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I'm going to have a book, Sean, you know it, too.
HANNITY: All right. You know, I know that almost immediately, this recusal, recusal. Gregg Jarrett, you probably have been the single most outspoken person that Sessions has to go, what do you think of the interim attorney general? Do think he is going to recuse, God help us?
GREGG JARRETT, FOX NEWS LEGAL ANALYST: No.
HANNITY: Or with the president now appoint a full-time replacement?
JARRETT: Well, now that there is no recusal because Sessions is gone, the acting attorney general, Matt Whitaker, can now preside over the special counsel case, and he should.
What the media didn't point out today is that Rod Rosenstein should recuse himself, he is both a witness and a prosecutor in the same case. Whether it's Whitaker in the end who is the permanent A.G., or, I would recommend Representative John Ratcliffe of the House judiciary committee, former top official at DOJ, former U.S. attorney.
Those individuals, Ratcliffe or Whitaker, I think, would bring to justice those in the Department of Justice and the FBI who abuse their positions of power to target Donald Trump without evidence, and to spy on the Trump campaign with fabricated evidence.
HANNITY: And Jason, let me go to you, you know Whitaker. We've known his work now for a long time. The president was very clear, those 302's, the gang of eight information, those FISA warrant applications they may now all will be released.
I also would say that probably, the investigations into Hillary, and all of these other instances, FISA abuse, lying to the FISA court, abuse of some of the powerful tools of intelligence, might now be on the table.
JASON CHAFFETZ, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. Look, Senator Sessions then became Attorney General Sessions, he was a revered member of the Republican Party, and I wish him nothing but the best, but when he it became the attorney general, I got to tell you, members of Congress became very dissatisfied with him because he did not loosen up the documents, did not respond to subpoenas, and did not give people like myself, when I was the chairman of the oversight committee, the documents that we wanted.
Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows, Trey Gowdy, John Ratcliffe, they can't do their job unless they have their documents. So, now that there's new leadership in place, I think there is an expectation that those things do get loosened up, and by the way, I agree with Gregg, I hope that President Trump appoints John Ratcliffe, I think he is best person to do that.
HANNITY: Really? OK.
HANNITY: Sara, now the exoneration before investigation, the real Russian dossier, that can now be investigated by the new attorney general. Democrats want a lot of investigations, there are a lot of fertile ground that we know crimes were committed.
CARTER: Absolutely. And I think one of the things that they're going to be looking at is also all the unmaskings. How was the intelligence community weaponized, particularly and how the FBI handled this investigation into President Trump?
I mean, there are so many avenues that can be looked at right now, and we know, based on what President Trump said today, that there is a strong possibility, Sean, that these documents will be declassified, the American public deserves to know what was going on.
And I've also been hearing that indictments may be around the corner, so there is a lot more information that's going to come out in the near future. I think the president did the right thing, he waited until after the midterms, and it was expected, the president has every right, every right, to say it is over, Jeff Sessions. And you know, most of the time it would have happened anyways. It's been two years, it's time for Jeff Sessions to move on--
HANNITY: If I was Hillary, if I was some of these top DOJ, FBI officials, I think I'd be very nervous tonight about what could be coming. You all agree with that, real quick.
JARRETT: The law enforcers became the lawbreakers, they should now be held accountable.
HANNITY: Jason, will that happen?
CHAFFETZ: After the inspector general report, it is crystal clear that is Department of Justice that's in chaos, and they need new leadership to straighten the ship out.
HANNITY: Ten seconds, Sara, is it going to happen?
CARTER: That is what I was just going to say, it is going to happen, it will happen, Sean.
HANNITY: All right. Many of you think I was lazy and didn't show up for work last night. I have an announcement.
HANNITY: All right. Welcome back to "Hannity." Before we go, a lot of you last night wondering, my gosh, where is Sean Hannity? Why isn't he here? I don't work on election nights. I haven't for most of the years I've been here.
I want to address something because, you know, it's amazing the things that people write that aren't true, you know. So, we did this event with Donald Trump the other day in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and I tweeted out I was not part of whatever coverage was going to take place at the campaign. I gave a tweet that was 100 percent truthful.
I was watching Rush give his speech. The president, I had no idea. He invited me on stage. I'll be honest, I was honored by the president's request. It was not planned. And I want to be very, very clear. I'm up on stage. You know you've heard me say it all the time, every day, every night, because I believe it's true. That there's a lot of fake news.
I want to be very clear, especially after hearing some commentary, and reading some things. I was not and would never refer to my friends, my colleagues here at the Fox News Channel in those remarks. As a matter of fact, they are such a cut above everybody else.
By the way -- if anybody construed it that way, I'm totally sorry in terms of the people that I work with. I called a couple of my friends, colleagues here, and I've had a great relationship with almost everybody here all the time I've worked here.
I'm very -- I am a talk show host. They do news. I don't know how they do what they do. They do local news. National news. International news. Well, they have one really tough job because they have to stay fair and balanced and they do that in an amazing way every single day.
Me? I'm like the whole newspaper. We do news. We do investigative reporting. We give strong opinions. And yes, sometimes they have to take heat because of what their opinion side friends say.
But I want to tell you something: I'm so honored and proud being able to work here with the best journalists in the entire country. They are -- by the way, we saw it in the ratings last night and I wasn't even here. Higher than my ratings by a lot, actually. Number one, beating all the networks, beating all the cable channels. They did an amazing job.
That's what they do. I'm proud to be a small part of this. And I love these colleagues. Most of them are like friends. All of them, as a matter of fact. All right, that's all the time we have left this evening. As always, thank you for being with us. Let not your heart be troubled. Laura Ingraham is next live. We'll see you back here tomorrow night.
Content and Programming Copyright 2018 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2018 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.