This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," January 7, 2020. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: All right. We start with a Fox News alert. Welcome to "Hannity."
We have a very serious breaking situation out of the Middle East. The rogue terrorist regime in Iran, they have launched a wide-ranging missile attack against U.S. forces. I repeat, breaking only moments ago, Iran launched an attack against our brave men and women in the region.
We start tonight with the facts. According to the Department of Defense, more than a dozen ballistic missiles targeting U.S. military personnel were in fact launched from inside the country of Iran. Now, at least two of the bases inside Iraq were targeted. And so far, the U.S. military is still assessing the damage.
Thankfully, as of this hour, no reports of U.S. casualties.
Now, I cannot confirm this. I have talked to one high-ranking source, only one within the Defense Department, at the Pentagon, that believes that almost, if not all of these missiles may have missed their targets. That wouldn't be an accident.
So, we are going to wait until the facts are clear. Our John Roberts is reporting similar -- he's hearing similar things tonight as well.
And no matter what you hear in the media mob, social media tonight, you need to know that there is a lot of misinformation spreading all over the Internet, including fake videos, so we on this show are going to be as careful as we can and try to get you the facts as they come in throughout the hour.
But first, it's very important we recap how we got to this moment here.
For years, since 1979, by the way, it all started, they've been at war with us in Iran. The president, as of tonight, and as of the killing of Soleimani, has shown enormous restraint. The last thing the president, as he stated as a candidate was, and he seems to keep all his promises, that he wanted any long, protracted conflicts or war.
If I, myself, my own words, would have put the Trump doctrine into words -- well, it would be about preserving peace. In other words, this president has shown and has been criticized for it, that he will talk to anyone, anywhere, to advance the cause of peace. I'll give you a couple of examples. Kim Jong-un said, he'd be willing to talk to Putin. He said he'd even be willing to talk to Iran.
But the president also said that he is not going to get involved in the bribery business like in the case of Kim Jong-il and Bill Clinton. That didn't work out. He's not going to give $150 billion in cash in other currencies like Obama and Biden did. In other words, this president's doctrine is no appeasement. No bribing of dictators that hate our guts and the hopes that maybe they'll like us.
So, President Bush, when push came to shove, he drew a line in the sand.
He held back when Iran downed one of our drones, unmanned drones, and captured those tankers in the Gulf, remember that? In the Straits of Hormuz.
He also drew the red line in the sand and he said, where the rogue regime to kill an American and they did, an American contractor, late December, and attack our embassy as they have. Remember, the terrorist group, Hezbollah, that is funded completely by the Iranians. The Iranians have been fomenting terror all around the world. They are the number one state sponsor of terror.
We know that they also have been using surrogates and maybe even the money that Obama and Biden gave them, to fight proxy wars. When that line was crossed at the end of December last year, the U.S. did respond. They had an opportunity. They took out Iran's top terrorists responsible for killing Americans on the ground, in the most brutal of ways inside Iraq during that conflict.
Now, the mullahs have escalated tonight the conflict in a major way. This is their doing. For example, they are the ones who shut down the drone.
They're the ones that have tried to stop the free flow of oil, the lifeblood for our economy back at market prices.
And they're the ones that also have been after America now since 1979.
They have been attacking civilized world since the 1979 when they held our fellow Americans hostage at our own embassy.
And more recently, they shot that drone out of the sky. And more recently, they captured international oil tankers in the very geopolitically strategic area, that narrow Straits of Hormuz, by the way, to impact the free flow of the lifeblood of every economy in the world. Then, they attacked the Saudi Arabians oil processing facilities.
Now, as the world's number one sponsor of terror, they have coordinated deadly attacks all over the world. They fight these proxy wars. They found terror. They actively tried to wipe Israel off the face of the planet. They state it. I believe them, because that's what fanatical regimes do.
Under the guidance of their top terrorist, Iran has been responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans. But now, the evil Soleimani is dead.
Over the weekend, General David Petraeus even suggested that this strike, taking out Soleimani, was bigger than bin Laden and al Baghdadi.
And, today, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that a massive attack against Americans orchestrated by Soleimani was days away -- not weeks, days.
Remember the 99 percent of the intelligence community that I -- the intelligence community that I have always talked about? That do a great job every day putting their lives at risk? Remember those guys? They did their job.
A huge victory for our intelligence community. A huge victory for also our military and the president. He showed great patience.
And, by the way, we already know, that in the case of Soleimani, he was responsible for the attack on our embassy in Baghdad. Remember before he even got to the airport in Baghdad, we do know that the words "Soleimani is our leader", because he orchestrated the terrorist attack, just like he is best friends with the leaders of Hezbollah.
Now, we also note tonight that he had close relationships with the leaders of Hezbollah, and we all know that he killed, injured, maimed hundreds of U.S. troops in the region. In fact, he directed the terrorist campaign to blow up Americans in the Middle East using an Iranian made weapon called "explosively formed penetrators", those EFPs. Pay close attention. This is what the Iranians did to our troops in the Iraq war.
Now, the EFPs, well, they're IEDs but far more sophisticated and far more deadly. In a book entitled "The Long Walk", Iraqi war veteran Brian Kastner, this is how he described the 2006 attack. Quote: It took both legs off a soldier and one from a gunner. After the soldiers were medevaced out, there was still one foot left in the Humvee.
Soleimani was the one that orchestrated that. He was the evil terrorist.
Soleimani is now dead, blown to bits and pieces by a U.S. drone. His remains, reportedly flew coach in a commercial airline back to Iran. And now, we're just finding out how stupid the leaders of Iran actually are, because they actually think they can attack Americans and get away with it.
I think they need to think again.
Did they actually think that they can kill our brave men and women abroad in our embassy and get away with it? Do they think they can fund terrorism all around the globe and get away with that? Do they think they can commit economic terrorism and try and impact the free flow of the lifeblood of every economy in the world and get away with that?
There is a massive price to pay. You don't get to do what they did night.
They have now been begging.
The president wanted to talk, he wants peace, and they're going to get hit hard. Their hostility will not be met with the full force of the greatest, most advanced, most sophisticated military this world has ever seen.
As a former CIA station chief, Dan Hoffman, pointed out any hostile action by Iran would be regime suicide.
So, let me be perfectly clear. I don't want boots on the ground. We don't want boots on the ground. The president has made it clear that he's not putting boots on the ground. Might need a few more intelligence people, might need to protect very specific areas.
I know the Washington swamp creatures, they like to send our kids to war.
Then, they put them on a battlefield, and they politicize the war and then they say never mind.
We can't allow that to ever happen again. Without boots on the ground whatsoever, the United States will be ready to decimate Iran's leaders with our superior weaponry.
So, by the way, if you happen to be, as Lindsey Graham tweeted out over the weekend, if you work in an Iranian refinery, you might want to get a new job. I'd start now. Now, the three major refineries could soon go up in flames. Their illicit nuclear sites may finally be annihilated.
And the mullahs of Iran -- well, they may want to keep a watchful eye on the sky tonight as they look from their bunkers, where I'm sure they are hiding.
Powerful U.S. military forces, they are in position tonight. We can report six B-52 bombers are on their way to the region. Multiple carrier groups are already within striking distance. And in a show of force, 52 of the world's most advanced aircraft, F-35, launched in succession at a U.S. military base.
Because of the escalating aggression from this rogue terrorist regime in Iran, the United States is prepared and has been preparing for conflict for years.
As Defense Secretary Esper said earlier today, the U.S. does not want war.
Clearly, the president doesn't want a war, but we would be prepared to finish it. Still, we want peace. We are not going to have a long, protracted conflict any further, and I don't think we should have one boot on the ground.
So, for all you people trying to create this binary choice, oh, it's either we let them attack us and kill Americans, and attack our embassy, and shoot our own drones, and take tankers hostage, and take out our competitors' oil facilities, or its boots on the ground. No, that's not how it works. We have other options, thankfully, thanks to the greatest military force on earth, and I'm sure they are prepared to use them.
Joining us now with the very latest, our very own Jennifer Griffin tonight.
Jennifer, you reported very early that this was happening, all credit to you. What are you hearing? I am hearing, thankfully so far, no casualties confirmed, and may be a lot of missed targets.
JENNIFER GRIFFIN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Sean. In fact, I'm hearing that it is not quite in Iraq. Officials on the ground tell me that the missile strikes have stopped. The two waves of missiles happened about an hour apart starting about 5:30 tonight.
You are seeing images come out now from the hometown of Qassem Soleimani.
They are laying him to rest. Remember, they had to stop that earlier because of a stampede that killed dozens of Iranians. But that funeral service is going ahead as we speak.
U.S. officials tell us, as you mentioned, that there are no U.S. casualties as a result of these two missile strikes. We were the first to report, as you mentioned, that U.S. military bases came under attack from short range ballistic missiles, or cruise missiles fired from inside Iran. Not rockets as other networks reported earlier tonight.
Here's the statement issued by Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman:
At approximately 5:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on January 7th, Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces in Iraq. It is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran and targeted at least two Iraqi military bases, hosting U.S. military and coalition personnel at Al-Asad and Irbil. We are working on initial battle damage assessment.
I spoke to a senior U.S. military source in Baghdad as the attack was underway. Quote: Under missile attack from Iran, these are either cruise missiles or short-range ballistic missiles all over the country. Among those U.S. bases targeted, as I mentioned, were Al-Asad Air Base in western Anbar province, and the base in Irbil and Kurdistan, as well as a third base in Taji.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper spoke to Pentagon reporters today about three hours before the attack with the hope of deterring the expected Iranian strike.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK ESPER, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: What happens next depends on them. I think we should expect that they will retaliate in some way, shape, or form, either through their proxies as they been doing now for how many years or by -- and or with by their own hand. And so, we take this one step at a time. We're prepared for any contingency.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFIN: Esper went on to say that U.S. troops are not withdrawing from Iraq, even as some NATO allies did pull out hundreds of troops in recent days, expecting such a response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ESPER: There's a big off-ramp sitting in front of Tehran right now, and that is to de-escalate, to message us that they want to sit down and talk, without precondition, by the way, to the United States, about a better way forward.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFIN: That was before tonight's missile attack on U.S. troops. The Pentagon's chief went to the White House tonight to meet with the president in the Situation Room to decide how to respond, Sean.
HANNITY: All right. Jennifer Griffin, thank you. We'll be back to you throughout the hour as new breaks.
Joining us now, live on the ground in Baghdad, Iraq, with the very latest, is Trey Yingst is with us.
Trey, what do you got?
TREY YINGST, FOX NEWS FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: Sean, good evening.
We are getting some information from Lucas Tomlinson over at the Pentagon, our correspondent there, indicating that U.S. Central Command says 15 ballistic missiles were fired from Iran into Iraq, most of them towards that base in western Iraq, the Al-Asad base that does House American forces.
According to CentCom, ten of them hit that base. One of them hit the base near Irbil. And additionally, four of them failed.
All of this though as the region is concerned about escalating tensions, and here in Baghdad, we've seen a lot of helicopter activity tonight over the Green Zone. Earlier in the week, a number of rockets were fired towards the U.S. embassy. Additionally, we heard fire jets overhead traveling north and also west.
All of this as there is concerned that Iranian-backed Iraqi Shia militias could participate in any sort of retaliatory action by the Iranians. If anyone says that this is over tonight, whether the president decides to respond or not, it is not. There are Iranian-backed proxies all over the region, in places like the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq. They are backed by the Iranian regime.
In the Gaza Strip, they have told FOX News they are receiving money and support from Tehran. We do know that Hezbollah and Lebanon also has been threatening U.S. ally Israel this week. So, all of this will continue to develop throughout the week, and we will see what happens when the sun rises here in the Middle East -- Sean.
HANNITY: Trey, thank you for that report.
Also tonight, our sources saying the president is monitoring the situation closely with his top military leaders. Joining us live from the White House is our own John Roberts.
John, I did notice that you had one single source, as I have had one single source. My source, top source in the Defense Department, told me early reports that these missiles will have little impact. I saw you sent out that urgent as well.
What are you hearing on your end?
JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know, Sean, it looks like -- I mean, for the scope of the attack, at least at the al-Assad Airbase, with 10 missiles hitting in the area, a more precisely targeted attack would have caused more damage and certainly may have caused U.S. casualties. The fact that there are no U.S. casualties is being seen by some people in Washington as an indication that may be Iran was deliberately not as precise with its missile attack as it could have been.
Don't forget, the attack on Aramco, which was conducted with cruise missiles, precisely hit two big tanks there in Saudi Arabia. So, to fire 10 missiles at the Al-Asad Airbase and not incur any U.S. casualties may be an indication that this was more of a face-saving measure by Iran than anything to say, well, we retaliated for the killing of Soleimani by firing a bunch of missiles at the Americans, and then you can tell people at home for domestic consumption, we did fire back. And the fact that Iran is saying that this came under the orders of the ayatollah is an indication that Iran at the highest level was taking some action to respond to the killing of Soleimani.
We had heard a possibility earlier this evening that the president may come out and say something on camera. I mean, clearly, if you are the president, you want to reserve the possibility of doing that just in case these attacks have had incurred a lot of U.S. casualties. You would need to respond as the president almost immediately to that.
The fact that the president is not coming out to say anything tonight may be an indication that there is less here than might have been initially thought. But earlier today, in the Oval Office, in response to a question, the president said that he is ready to respond in the event that he chooses to. Listen here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I will say this. If Iran does anything that they shouldn't be doing, they are going to be suffering the consequences and very strongly. We're prepared. We're totally prepared. And likewise, we are prepared to attack if we have to as retribution.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: And, Sean, as you know, over the weekend, there was some controversy when the president said that 52 targets have been identified by the U.S. military as possible retaliatory strikes against Iran, including some, the president said, that were of cultural significance to Iran. It would be -- could classify to be a war crime if a country were to hit another cultural site intentionally as punishment. The secretary of defense, Mark Esper, came out and said, the cultural sites would not be targeted. The secretary of state said earlier today that the U.S. will abide by international law.
And when I asked the president this question this afternoon in the Oval Office, he acknowledged the cultural sites belonging to Iran would not be targeted in any U.S. strikes. Here's what the president said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: They're allowed to kill our people. They're allowed to maim our people. They're allowed to blow up everything that we have and there's nothing that stops them.
And we are, according to various laws, supposed to be very careful with their cultural heritage. You know what? If that's what the law is, I like to obey the law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: Now, it is possible, Sean, that the president may respond to what Iran did tonight. He may also choose not to respond. I think they will get a better idea from the Pentagon exactly how much damage was done and the sun will be coming up very shortly in Iraq. And they'll be able to get a better look at the bomb damage assessment to see whether or not there needs to be an American response.
But so far, the only response from what happened today is from the FAA, which issued a directive a short time ago banning all U.S. flights from flying over Iran, Iraq, the Gulf of Oman, as well as the Persian Gulf.
So, we sit here on stand by at the White House, Sean, and if there's anymore to report from here tonight, we'll bring it to you.
HANNITY: John, fascinating, by the way, because I'm pretty sure -- I'm pretty confident we had different sources. You, almost verbatim told me what I had heard. I only had one source. Obviously, you have one source.
But something to hope for, because that would probably be a best-case scenario if no Americans lost their lives tonight.
John Roberts at the White House, great work as always. Thank you.
Look at your screen right now. This just in, footage of me. The airbase we are talking about, Al-Asad airbase, in 2006.
Now, I went there and got to know these guys. I looked a little younger.
Hair was a little darker. But these are our brave men and women that were under fire tonight.
Here with reaction live from Washington, Senator Lindsey Graham of the great state of South Carolina.
You know, Senator, a lot has changed since the conflict with Iraq and the conflict with Afghanistan, just like Vietnam.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-S.C.: Right, right.
HANNITY: It gets politicized in that town you live in, the swamp.
And we send these kids to fight, bleed, and died. They fight, they give their heart and then we decide, never mind. That has changed my attitude about any future conflicts and I believe it's changed yours, too.
And the president is clear, there's not going to be long, protracted conflicts and our military might is stronger than ever.
GRAHAM: Yes. Well, the first thing I want to do is thank those who are serving in uniform in the Mideast because you're the --
GRAHAM: -- you're the virtual wall between us and radical Islam. We can build a wall along our southern border to protect us there, but you can't build a wall between us and radical Islam. You need some of our people over there working with others to keep these bastards at bay.
So, one, to the family members, I have complete confidence in President Trump and his team to protect your family members and to protect our nation. This is the first president in the last 40 years who really understands the Iranians.
This was an act of war, Sean, by any reasonable definition. The missiles were launched from Iran, at targets inside of Iraq housing U.S. military personnel. The president has all the authority he needs under Article II to respond, and how he responds is yet to be determined. But he has that authority to respond.
It was an act of war by the regime for the last 40 years. It's been a cancer in the Mideast. When they say they want to destroy Israel, they're not kidding. They're the largest state sponsor of terrorism.
So, the president has to do a couple things tonight. What can I do to restore deterrence to make sure this doesn't happen again? And he doesn't want regime change. He wants the behavior of the regime to change in three areas.
Their ballistic missile program needs to change. That's a good example of tonight. They need to stop being the largest state sponsor of terrorism.
And we need a nuclear deal that does not ensure them a pathway to a bomb like Obama.
Obama was conned -- conned by the Iranians. Trump is not going to be conned by the Iranians.
So, his response tonight is to deal with those three buckets -- how do we get the regime to change their behavior.
HANNITY: You know, and, by the way, I want to give you a lot of credit because you talk about these warriors that put themselves in harm's way for us. You've been over to Iraq and Afghanistan, how many times?
GRAHAM: Fifty-seven times.
HANNITY: Fifty-seven times. That speaks volumes to me.
You're right about something. If the Iranians want regime change, that will have to come from the people of Iran.
HANNITY: We can't be about that business.
GRAHAM: A hundred percent.
HANNITY: Protracted wars, conflicts, boots on the grounds, Americans knocking on doors and getting blown up.
HANNITY: That's got to end, because Washington politicizes these wars.
GRAHAM: Right, I agree with you.
HANNITY: Here's my question. I agree with you. This isn't about regime change. This is about a change in behavior.
HANNITY: Because the president in my view frankly showed more restraint than I would have when they shot down our drones, when they took those tankers hostage, when they attacked the Saudis. They've been the number one state sponsor of terror.
HANNITY: How many Americans do we now know that -- Soleimani in particular killed in Iraq. This behavior will get a reaction and that is just the way the world works.
HANNITY: And if we don't react, we are only basically incentivizing more of it.
GRAHAM: Well, what have we learned? That President Trump can go from zero to 60 pretty damn fast. So, he absorbed the drone saying, well, it was just a drone. I don't want to kill Iranians (INAUDBLE) to put the ayatollah in a box. So, it was a pretty smart move.
They go after the largest oil field in the world and Saudi Arabia, disrupting all oil flow and oil prices, and the president held back.
I can tell you, I was with him when all this happened. When they killed our contractor, that changed everything. America first means to me now more than anything else -- you kill an American, you're going to be the first one we come after.
So, these missiles did not kill an American tonight, I hope, but it's probably more good fortune that it is intent. The president is very methodical in his thinking. He's got one of the best national security teams that I've seen since I've been up here.
But never lose sight that we're dealing with religious Nazis. They really mean when they want to destroy Israel and kill all the Jews.
HANNITY: I want to -- I want to --
GRAHAM: And they have been disrupting the Mideast for 40 years. It needs to stop.
HANNITY: I want to highlight this. You know, there may be a mindset. I know we have the Benghazi Democrats and the bribe mullah Democrats.
HANNITY: A hundred fifty billion in cash and other currency, with no anyplace, anytime inspections and it expires in 10 years and you can re- begin -- restart your nuclear program, it's probably one of the dumbest deals ever.
But this is a very important point. The last century, we lost 100 million human souls.
HANNITY: Fascism, Nazism, Stalin, the killing fields, Mao, over 100 million souls. Evil exists, this type of behavior.
I don't want protracted wars and I don't want boots on the ground. And I would argue you never do that again. But when they -- when you are dealing with a sick, twisted ideology that would strap bombs on children and tell them to go kill Americans and Israelis, I don't see how you begin to negotiation at any level with that kind of sick, ugly, evil mindset. Do you?
GRAHAM: Well, this regime is probably somewhere between al Baghdadi, he's on a religious quest to destroy the world and change it to some -- a certain form of radical Islam, and Kim Jong-un. But here's what the president, I think, understands about the Iranians. They're never going to change until you make them change.
For the last 40 years, they have been wreaking havoc on the world and you got a new sheriff in town.
Here's what I think is going to be thinking about tonight. What do I need to do tomorrow or the next day to get them back into a deterrent mode so that they'll leave us alone and how do I get them to change their missile program to get a better deal on their nuclear program so they won't have a pathway to a bomb? And what can I do to stop them from being the largest sponsor of terrorism?
The price to be paid by the Iranians has to go up before they will change.
And the president is not looking for a regime change, but he is looking for behavior changes.
Now, the targets, are they going to be military targets? Are they going to be the oil refineries that you and I talk about?
Let me say tonight, if you're watching television in Iran. I just got off the phone with the president. Your fate is in your own hands in terms of the regime's economic viability. You continue this crap, you're going to wake up one day out of the oil business.
HANNITY: Senator Graham, thank you for sharing that conversation with the president. We appreciate you being with us as always.
Joining us also tonight, live from Washington, Senator Ted Cruz, great state of Texas.
Senator, good to have you on the program. Welcome back.
Here's my take, Senator, and I think it's fairly simple. You don't get to shoot American drones out of the sky. You don't get to take oil tankers hostage to impact and disrupt the oil supply, the lifeblood of the world's economy.
You don't get to kill Americans like they did at the end of December. You don't get to attack our embassy to kill Americans and our interests abroad.
You don't get to be the number one state sponsor of terror. You don't fight proxy wars. You don't get to take over the entire region and threatened to wipe Israel off the map and act the way they're acting without expecting a response.
I don't want a war. I don't think you do either, Senator. But there has to be a response, doesn't there?
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): No, Sean, I think that's exactly right. Iran is exceptionally dangerous. And if you look at Soleimani, taking Soleimani out, he was the most dangerous terrorist in the world. The Department of Defense has told us that he was directly responsible for the deaths of at least 603 U.S. servicemen and women.
He had directed terror groups across the globe, including Hamas, including Hezbollah, targeting Americans, targeting civilians. And taking him out has made America safer.
Now, as we look at this missile attack tonight, we see the Ayatollah Khamenei striking back and targeting America -- targeting our bases. But I will say this -- yes, I think what you cautioned in your opening monologue is exactly right, which is -- which is that that we are not going to get into an extended land war in the Middle East, we're not going to do it.
And when you see -- when you see Democrats in the media lighting their hair on fire and saying we're headed to World War III, this is hysteria driven by the fact that they hate Donald Trump because it used to be the case that we could all come together and say that when there's a terrorist who's targeting Americans -- in this case, Soleimani -- had just directed an attack on the U.S. embassy in recent days, that taking out a terrorist targeting Americans is a good thing.
I commend President Trump for following principles of peace through strength, but at the same time, we're not going to be sending our sons and daughters into harm's way for an extended -- extended land battle in the Middle East.
HANNITY: Senator, amen to everything you just said, and you know, one of the things we should be thankful for, living in the greatest country God above ever gave man, this country, the United States of America, is our brave military and our sophisticated weaponry.
Now, one of the things that we can confirm, we know, is that the Iranian economy has been impacted greatly --
HANNITY: -- by not bribing the mullah -- whoever thought of the idea of bribing mullahs and bribing Kim Jong-il would work? I don't know where that mindset comes from. It's not one I understand completely.
But the question is this: they have three major refineries in Iran, Senator -- three. I would imagine those refineries blew up one day, they got themselves a hell of a domestic problem because that's going to result in major poverty for the people of Iran, and if they want regime change, that's up to them. Maybe we can help them with arms and help them, you know, in some ways, but we're not sending our sons and daughters there.
CRUZ: Well, and if you look at Iran policy, I think you've seen a dramatic shift. Under Barack Obama, as you noted, the policy was appeasement. The policy under the disastrous Iranian nuclear deal under Obama was to give over a hundred billion dollars to Iran. They literally flew $1.7 billion in cash in unmarked bills on pallets and the dead of night into Iran. In a very real sense, the missiles that we saw fired on U.S. servicemen and women tonight were paid for by the billions that the Obama administration flooded the ayatollah with.
And if history teaches anything, it's don't give billions of dollars to people who hate you and want to kill you.
And so, let me say the last three years, I've spent a lot of time with President Trump, urging him to pull out of Obama's disastrous Iran deal.
He did that. He took on his own State Department, his own Defense Department and made the right decision there.
Urging the president to end the oil waivers. You know, we had waivers in place that was allowing Iran to sell a million barrels a day of oil. The president agreed and ended those waivers.
And so, the effects of these sanctions and the economic pressure, it's having a real effect. But we need to stand up to -- the Ayatollah Khamenei is a radical religious zealot. He hates America. He literally chants "death to America" and he calls Israel the "little Satan" and America the "great Satan".
The way to do with threats like that is not through weakness but rather strength.
HANNITY: Senator --
CRUZ: And I think we saw that in taking out Soleimani this past week.
HANNITY: Do you believe as I do -- because you're right, I kind of used -- keep saying over and over again, you want to wipe a country off the map and that would be Israel, and then there's a little Satan with a big Satan -- all true.
Do you believe that that ideology that you are rightly describing ever got ahold of nuclear weapons, do you have any doubt -- because I don't -- that they would marry the ideology with the weapons and the world could face a holocaust of monumental proportions?
We did lose over all 100 million souls in the last century, sir.
CRUZ: Yes. Look, I think you're exactly right and it's why I've said for many years that the biggest national security threat facing America is the threat of a nuclear Iran, that the Ayatollah Khamenei if he gets nuclear weapons, the risks are unacceptably high that he would use them, that we would find that out through a mushroom cloud over Tel Aviv or New York or Los Angeles.
I'm not willing to roll those dice. A theocratic lunatic should not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. We stopped funding it. We stopped the deal flooding them with billions. But we need to be absolutely unequivocal that he will not get nuclear weapons.
You know, tonight could have played out very differently if they didn't just have ballistic missiles but they had nuclear warheads, you could be seeing literally millions of American casualties, particularly if they put them on an ICBM and took them to a U.S. city. That's not a risk we should allow.
But, fortunately, and you noted this, we have air power. We have the ability to project force. We have economic sanctions. There are all sorts of steps short of sending in the marines.
And our mission should not be -- sometimes, Republicans have gotten off track and have thought that our mission should be to turn foreign countries into democratic utopias. I don't want to turn Iran into Switzerland. I think it would be a wonderful thing for the Iranian people if they overthrew the ayatollah and if the end this tyranny and oppression.
HANNITY: But we're not doing it.
CRUZ: But it's not the job of our soldiers to go in and risk their lives to do that. It is job of our soldiers to keep America safe and killing terrorists is a very good way to start.
HANNITY: Senator Cruz, great commentary as always. Appreciate you being with us on this busy breaking news night.
Now, we have other reports tonight that are -- that there are no -- as of now, thank God, I hope this holds -- as of now no American casualties from Iran's missile attack on Iraqi military bases. We will know more when daylight happens which is coming up shortly.
Now, tonight, the FAA is barring U.S. pilots and carriers from flying in areas of Iraq and Iran.
Here with more, Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, probably the single most knowledgeable person that I know in my life on all issues Iran.
You've been following Soleimani for years. First, your reaction what Senator Cruz said about this twisted, sick, evil ideology perhaps -- God forbid -- one day being married to nuclear weapons and the events unfolding tonight.
OLIVER NORTH, RETIRED U.S. MARINE CORPS LIEUTENANT COLONEL: Well, the events unfolding tonight, Sean, ought to result in the very same thing that Senator Cruz said and Senator Graham said. One, no more terrorism. Number two, no ballistic missiles. And number three, no nuclear weapons.
If that's the goal, then what we do from this point on ought to be aimed at that every time we act.
And this is very brief -- there's three things that ought to actually take place in the next few hours or days, no more than days. Number one, target not just the oil but target the launch sites that fired those 15 missiles today.
Number two, make sure that the back end of this thing that we're not using things that are going to put Americans at risk. In other words, you standoff weapons, we've got them. You can load them aboard B-52s. I'm confident that that's the six that were sent out there, fire cruise missiles. They don't drop H2 bombs.
Number three, speak softly and use your big stick, Mr. President.
If I was giving him advice, I'd give him those three points. The three points of the objective and the three points as to how to pursue this from this moment onward.
And I can tell you right now, if the Iranians had a nuclear weapon as you just posited, they would use that nuclear weapon. This is a despotic, radical Islamic regime. Their idea of martyrdom is writ large throughout the Koran and they're taking those parts and convincing the Iranian people, we're going to do something very, very serious here.
What they've already done is they've essentially guaranteed that if they kill another American, that more Iranians are going to die. And I think hitting the targets that I just suggested -- the oil facilities, only three that really count, and the launch sites from where those missiles were fired today.
And again the goal ought to be, no more terrorism, no more ballistic missiles, and no nuclear weapons. Very simple.
HANNITY: Let me ask you, Colonel. I think everybody is on the same page.
We have learned a lot -- one of the things as I have become a very close friend of yours, least from my position, you probably would never acknowledge that on your side which I don't blame you.
But one of the things you always said, I get to work with heroes every day.
Yes, you have Purple Heart yourself.
HANNITY: You went to Iran. You had with you suicide pills for yourself and another brave Americans that you might have to take. That's how far you went on the limb for your country.
You talk about launch sites. You talk about the refineries and the oil facilities. Now, the question that you just brought out based on their very ugly, sick, twisted and evil ideology that they really believe married with nuclear weapons, they do have these nuclear sites. From my understanding, they spread throughout the country. From my understanding, many of them are very deep in the ground. That would be an enormous military effort to get rid of those.
NORTH: No doubt about it. But the bottom line of it is, you don't have to add all of those all the same time. But we've got the capacity out there to do some serious damage.
One of the things that -- just to give the president some credit he'll never get from anybody else, back in May, we convinced Vladimir Putin not to sell the SA-400 series which is a very, very effective anti-aircraft system. We convinced Putin not to sell them to the Iranians who wanted to buy him with the money that the Obama administration had sent to them.
Second part of it was, last week, we started shipping in C-5s, PAC-3 Patriot missiles. In other words, the most advanced anti-missile system that we've got and we've been shipping it out there very quietly over the course of the last week. That shows me that this president is taking the advice of really smart military people and preparing for the worst and being willing to settle for something a whole lot less than the worse -- a whole lot better than the worst but a whole lot less than ultimate victory tomorrow.
The bottom line of it is if he pursues it the way I just suggested, using standoff missiles, speak softly and carry a big stick, and target both the refineries and the launch sites, we'll go a long ways toward protecting this country from the worst that the ayatollahs can do to us.
HANNITY: Colonel North, safe home. Semper fi, my friend. Thank you for being with us.
NORTH: Semper fi, brother.
HANNITY: Appreciate you.
Now, just moments ago, the Iranian foreign minister just tweeted this: Iran took and concluded proportionate measures in self-defense under Article 51 of the U.N. charter targeting base from which cowardly armed attack against our citizens and senior officials were launched. We do not seek escalation of war but will defend ourselves against any aggression.
Well, they forgot the fact that they shot out one of our drones. They forgot the tankers that they took hostage in the Straits of Hormuz. They forgot that multiple efforts to disrupt the life -- the lifeblood of every economy in the world when they hit the Saudis oil supplies and manufacturing, unprovoked. They forgot of many Americans they killed in Iraq and they forgot that this group Hezbollah that they fund orchestrated the attacks on our embassy in Baghdad.
Yes, that would be them who started all of this.
Joining us now, from the great important swing state of Florida, we'll be paying very close attention to in 301 days on election night, Senator Marco Rubio.
Senator, thank you again for being back with us.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA.: Thank you.
HANNITY: I want to get your overall view of what is evolved here.
Interesting to see that they don't want us to retaliate when they started the whole thing.
RUBIO: Well, that's how we wound up here, first of all. The Obama administration entered into a terrible deal with regards to Iran and nuclear weapons, that allow them to continue to build ballistic missiles.
These aren't rockets. These are missiles that have guidance and have increased range and lethality, and they developed some of that with the money they got from the Iran deal.
It allowed them to continue to sponsor terrorism, and ultimately, would have allowed them to gain a nuclear weapon down the road. The Trump administration took us out of that bad deal and imposed economic sanctions.
The Iranians decided to respond to economic sanctions with violence, and they used all these other groups -- they don't want to do it themselves.
So, they used all these Shia groups to attack us in the region and Soleimani was the one behind it.
President Trump made very clear to them not two weeks ago, months ago, you guys keep doing this stuff, but if you kill an American, if you kill a single American, there's going to be a response. And they did. They killed an American contractor, he responded, and then he prevented a future attack.
If you take the sum of all the intelligence and put it together, it indicates that at some point at the very near future, there was going to be a much more serious attack that could have cost the lives of many more Americans and the president acted to prevent it. This is their response to it.
Now, we need to wait to have the full assessment. I think the White House tonight has been very measured. It's waiting for its full assessment of the damage and what's actually happened here.
I think -- I suspect that one of the things are seeing here is Iran knows it can't win a full war with the United States. By the way, no one's advocating for that. I think you've already said it on your program. No one's talking about Desert Storm III or invading Iran or sending 100,000 U.S. troops to take over, or even to change of government.
We're talking about self-defense here. There will be a response that I am confident to this attack tonight is the right one, it's appropriate based on what's been done. But I suspect that what you're starting to see in that statement from the foreign minister is they've ginned up all of the stuff inside of Iran and Soleimani is a martyr and all this, and now, they had to do something.
And we need to see exactly what they did here because they hit very heavily fortified facilities that we knew were going to be targets of attacks. And so, I'm very curious to see with a full assessment.
Irrespective, there will be a response and it will be appropriate and the president will take it on his timing, not in a rush to get in front of the cameras in a 24-hour news cycle. That's the way they've handled this entire episode and I'm confident that's the way they're going to handle it moving forward.
HANNITY: Senator, you will seem to be one of the few that immediately understood the importance of taking out Soleimani. I can describe in chapter and verse the details of the gruesome orchestration by him killing Americans in Iraq. We know about that.
Before he arrived at Baghdad airport, "Soleimani is our leader", remember, was put on the embassy walls. We know Hezbollah led the attack. We know Hezbollah is, of course, funded by Iran. They are the number one state sponsor of terror.
We know they picked out our drone. They know we know they've been attacking the Saudis. We know they've been trying to disrupt oil supplies.
To those that say, oh, we shouldn't react this way, what do they want us to do? Is there -- is the mindset that you got to give mullahs that hate us, that attack us, and do all of these things, what, a hundred and fifty billion dollars again? Is that the mindset of some?
RUBIO: Yes, I don't understand it. You know I seen virtually -- not all of the Democratic candidates for president are arguing that we shouldn't have done this.
Let me tell you two things about it. Number one is, OK, this guy's career -- I know they call him a general but he's not some military commander that abides by the rules of international warfare. This is a covert operator.
This is a guy who specializes in standing up these groups who are dedicated to attacking and killing Americans. They did it with the IEDs in Iraq.
He -- they were behind this tried (ph) -- attempt to storm our embassy a few days ago, and he was specifically warned, if an American dies in one of your operations, you're going to pay a big, big price.
Now, think about if an American president makes that claim and doesn't back it up, you have basically invited them to kill more Americans because they think they can get away with it. And they miscalculated here. So that's number one.
Number two is we knew he was in the region. He had just traveled to Beirut. He was coming in from Damascus. We understood from the totality of intelligence going back months and weeks that he was planning even larger more catastrophic attacks against the United States. We had to act in the defense of American lives.
A president that doesn't and isn't willing to do that should not be president of the United States, and this president did.
HANNITY: Well said. Thank you for your leadership also. I mean, you, Senator Cruz, Senator Graham have been phenomenal. Thank you, Senator Rubio.
RUBIO: Thank you.
HANNITY: Joining us now, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is with us.
Congressman, good to see you.
I know you put out a statement you want to get the full assessment. We obviously do.
We can confirm tonight that, in fact, CentCom put out a report, U.S. military spokesman responsible for American forces in the Middle East -- Iran launched 15 ballistic missiles, those would be the big ones. Ten hit the Al-Asad airbase, one air ball, and four failed.
So far, no confirmation of any American casualties. Our hope and our prayers are that that remains the case we got to pray for our brave men and women that fight for us every night.
Your reaction to tonight's events? The president I thought showed enormous patience in the lead up to this.
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY, R-CALIF.: I think the president has shown exactly how to handle this. One thing -- you said it in your opening, where he held back restraint when our drone was shut down because of American was not hurt.
He walked through and we watched the escalation of what Iran has done.
But what a difference in this new administration. Instead of sending billions to Iran, he is sending them a very clear message. He told them if they killed an American, it would be different.
And when they did, he sent a very clear message -- one, that when we assess this in its early on -- and our thoughts, our prayers are with our men and women. And hopefully, it's going to turn out the way we're looking at it right now, that some missiles never got out of Iran and didn't do damage.
And hopefully, no lives were lost.
But I will tell you, this president has handled this appropriate. He has made us safer. He's making the world a very clear position that we can have a safer world, not where we are taking these billions of dollars and funding these terrorist organizations around the Middle East, that it is a new day.
And thankful that he got out of that Iran agreement, that Iran cannot have a nuclear weapon. And he's very clear about that, that they will never have one.
The president called me right after the missiles had gone forward. I think he's very well-prepared to handle this appropriately. He is smart about the way he's going to through this. He'll assist the damage and he'll respond accordingly.
HANNITY: Last thing, we've spent a lot of time on the ideology, and more importantly, the appetite for the American people -- and I'll be honest, I blame a lot of the swamp where you work -- not you, of course -- for politicizing wars that they start.
Nobody is supporting that. It doesn't have to be this binary choice.
HANNITY: We have the military might and strength. As Colonel North, if he is right, we take out the launch sites, the refineries, and may be the nuclear sites, it's game over for them.
MCCARTHY: It's very clear. The damage that we're doing to Iran right now economically has put them in a very tough situation. They're trying to lash on the process, but this is the only way we can change their attitude.
The president sent a very clear -- very clear message, with one missile going through, taking out the individual that has killed more than 600 -- 600 servicemen and women that are -- serve us over in Iraq. And that was a clear message that told them that we could find you anywhere. It also sent a message to the other bad players around the world, too.
So, I believe what this president is doing is very clear. He's being thoughtful in his process the way he's handling it. Just even tonight, the way he is dealing with this, getting all the information before reacting is the right way to handle it at this moment.
HANNITY: All right. Congressman, thank you for your leadership. Thank you for taking time tonight. It's important breaking news tonight. We appreciate it.
All right. By the way, the president just tweeted: All is well. Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties and damages taking place now. So far, so good. We have the most powerful and well-equipped military anywhere in the world by far. I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.
Here now, retired Army Brigadier Tony Tata, along with retired CIA officer Dan Hoffman.
Good to see you both. You are both heroes.
General, we'll start with you. The president's next move, I think Colonel North nailed it, the launch sites, the refineries, and maybe the nuclear sites. If they push this issue, and if they kill Americans tonight, all bets are off.
TONY TATA, RETIRED ARMY BRIGADIER GENERAL: Yes, roger that. My sources, Sean, are telling me that there are two major packages here. There's one where if there are American casualties as a result of these strikes, then that's the 52-target package. That will be launched if the president determines to launch that because of casualties.
If there are no casualties, however, then, I think the president has led us to a very good position here. You know, there's a Sun Tzu saying that the greatest victory is that where you don't have to take the battlefield. And last night, I mentioned that this administration, this president is the best of ever seen at leveraging the elements of national power to accomplish national security goals -- diplomatic, information, military, economic.
And so, Iran had the capability to hit the airfield. They knew -- they know where our troops are. They shot drones out of the sky. They hit the Saudi oil field, and they can't hit targets on the airfield?
This could have been a deliberate miss, Sean. And it could be that they are very, very scared because of the strength the president has shown to killing of Americans.
HANNITY: General, John Roberts has one source telling me him that. I have one source telling me that.
HANNITY: It would be the best-case scenario. No American lost their life tonight. But it also would be very telling. They only wanted a propaganda video, and there's a fear behind that decision if, in fact, they did that.
But again, we don't know.
TATA: Yes, roger that. And so, that's why we've got to wait for the sun to come up and do the battle damage assessment that the president referred to. And then it postures very well for diplomatic outreach. As troublesome and as difficult as that may be, I think that's the right move if there are no American casualties.
HANNITY: Dan Hoffman, let's get your assessment. Thirty years CIA ops officer, I think you know a thing or two about Iran.
DANIEL HOFFMAN, RETIRED CIA SENIOR INTELLIGENCE OFFICER: You know, I think the role the intelligence committee will play is just that, it's seeing the world through those twisted Iranian eyes and whether Iran was trying to thread the needle here, and retaliate to save some face, but not go so far as to induce to precipitate a retaliatory strike to the United States that could devastate their regime. And I think that's the question tomorrow that our intelligence community will be answering.
HANNITY: Well, we have to see. Obviously, intelligence going to be a play a big part. Sunrise coming up very shortly. When that happens, we are going to pray for a best-case scenario for our men and women in the military. And I hope people pay for them tonight. They are incredible people.
General, thank you. Dan Hoffman, thank you.
Joining us now, FOX News contributor, our friend Dan Bongino, "FOX & Friends" weekend co-host Pete Hegseth is with us.
Guys, good to see you both.
Dan, we'll start with your assessment in all of this. Too early to tell.
Obviously, they started this. They provoked us.
Full agreement among all our guests tonight. Nobody wants boots on the ground. We're not going to send American kids, there's no regime change.
On the other hand, if you do all these things they have done now, basically pleading with us to hit them, the president's doctrine is, clearly, he wants peace. He's been criticized.
I'll talk to anybody. I'll talk to Kim Jong-il -- criticized. I'll talk to Putin -- criticized. Talk to Iran, criticized.
But I'm not going to bribe you. Not going to -- you're not getting $150 billion, there's no appeasement, and if you hit Americans, you might get away with taking a drone, you're not going to get away with killing any American. Pretty simple doctrine.
DAN BONGINO, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, I mean, think it's pretty obvious the Obama appeasement didn't work. You know, listen, Sean, it's not anybody here taking a victory lap. This is serious stuff.
I mean, everybody knows this. We didn't want this. We didn't ask for this. President Trump has been crystal clear. He made it a focus of his campaign doctrine to not engage us in wars that may not have a positive -- dispositive outcome at the end. He was clear on that.
Here's the issue I have tonight, Sean. I asked this question with the audience, sincerely. I'm hearing a lot about face-saving measures by the Iranians. Do we really believe that? Face-saving, meaning, what? I mean, do we really believe this ends tonight?
That they launched some ballistic missiles, and hopefully the casualty count of zero is correct. We all pray that's true. But do we sincerely believe that the mullahs, not the Iranian people, but the mullahs who have acted like Neanderthals for decades are done tonight?
Sean, listen, you know, we have to live in the world we're in. Not the world we want to live in. And I'm glad the president has been strategically patient, but I'm just not sure this was the face-saving measure everybody seems to be talking about. There's no evidence that the Iranians have acted like that in the past.
Let me ask Pete Hegseth. Pete, you know, again, we're praying for these guys. You know these guys as well as anybody. Ollie North, all of us know them. They are real heroes here.
But, you know, there comes a point where you can't kill Americans. That's it. It's a simple line in the sand. It's not complicated. Donald Trump is not complicated.
Tax cuts, done. Ending bureaucracy, done. Conservative justices, new trade deals, freer and fairer. Yes, fight to build the border wall.
He says what he means.
PETE HEGSETH, "FOX & FRIENDS" WEEKEND CO-HOST: Absolutely. The president has played this spot on thus far, totally reversing the appeasement policies of the Obama administration. Where we are right now is on Barack Obama.
Now, what Trump is doing is staring down the regime in Tehran. And they are blinking. They don't have the capabilities the world thinks they do.
Everyone is freaking out about the Iranian reaction.
They don't -- but at the same time, they seek that nuclear bomb, Sean.
That's what they want. That's the ace in the hole. They still are obsessed over it because of the fanatical Islamist fantasy of that regime.
I'm telling you, Ollie North is right. It is oil refineries, oil infrastructure. It is key missile sites. It's nuclear development sites, throw in some ports, key infrastructure.
And you know what? Why not a Quds headquarters for good nature on top of it?
At the end of the day, these guys are playing for keeps. We don't have to get in the gutter with them. We don't have to get any boots on the ground.
We play and fight on our terms.
But we end this. They don't end it. And they can never have a nuclear bomb.
HANNITY: You see now --
HEGSETH: I'm telling you, nuclear sites, energy sites, infrastructure sites, if it comes that, that's where it needs to go. That's how you truly cripple the regime because Iran used to be great. Tehran used to be great and free.
HANNITY: Pete, this is the elephant in the room. A squared, B squared, C squared. Radical Islamist with nuclear weapons --
HANNITY: Equals a potential modern day holocaust, you know, it can happen.
HEGSETH: It is the Islamist state in the Middle East. It is the Islamist state in the Middle East the Shia version.
HANNITY: Stay right there.
Dan and Pete, stay where you are.
We bring in Congressman Michael Waltz.
Congressman, thank you for joining us. Let's get your take on tonight's events and your thoughts.
REP. MICHAEL WALTZ, R-FLA.: Well, thank you.
I think the tweet by the Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif is critical, where he doesn't -- where he's basically saying we don't escalation, we don't seek war.
HANNITY: Let's put that up on the screen, go ahead.
WALTZ: And, basically, it's a back down. It's a blink.
And if these battle damage assessments of no casualties and a miss on the part of very accurate missiles that hit Saudi Aramco and came from Iran, their cruise missiles, if those are true, the president is completely exonerated.
Once again, Iran, when faced with strength, has backed down, because the thing the regime cares about the most is its own survival.
But I do think and I would like to see the president speak directly to the American people. This is historic. This is defining for his administration.
I think an address from the Oval Office, from the White House, would be -- would be important and would be telling, because the maximum pressure campaign is working.
The thing the regime cares about the most is its own wallet. And if we do respond, I think it needs to hit that critical economic infrastructure that is going to have the regime suffering even further, to where -- to the point whether it either has to come from the table from a position of weakness, to hit the thing -- all of the things that Colonel North was talking about -- terrorism, ballistic missiles, its entire nuclear weapons program. And I would add, American hostages, which are sitting in Tehran right now, chained to a prison floor.
When it changes all of those behaviors, we will enter into another deal, or it will face economic internal collapse. Those are the two choices that it has and the two choices that this president knows and will drive home.
HANNITY: I will say, I'm very impressed with Washington's response tonight. Your response -- Kevin McCarthy, Senator Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Senator Cruz.
Let me go back to the quote you mentioned. And this is Mr. Zarif, their foreign minister: Iran took and concluded proportionate measures and self- defense under Article 51 U.N. charter, targeting base from which cowardly armed attack against our citizens and senior officials were launched. We do not seek escalation or war, but we'll defend ourselves against any aggression.
The president also tweeting: All is well, missiles launched from Iran at two military base located in Iraq, assessment of casualties -- we can put it up on the screen -- and damages taking place now. So far, so good. We have the most powerful well-equipped military anywhere in the world by far.
I'll be making a statement tomorrow -- which the congressman just referred to.
Dan Bongino, let's get more of your reaction. I think the president has showed pretty incredible restraint. He's obviously going to wait for the response and find out the assessment tomorrow. His line is pretty clear: kill Americans, you're going to get hit hard.
BONGINO: Well, he's right, Sean. That Iranian tweet is garbage and we all know it. This does not end tonight. They've always thought escalation.
Listen, it's clear as day, the mullahs only understand one language, and that's the language of death, sadly. And if death is what we have to give them to stop this, and sadly, that's what we have to do. Again, we are living in the world given to us, not the world we want to live in.
It gives me no great pleasure in saying that, but I believe, and I'm maybe in the minority tonight, that something has to be done. We could be patient. It doesn't have to be done tomorrow. It could be cyber, but something has to be done in response to tonight.
This is not going to stop. We're not dealing with a civilized group of leaders here.
HANNITY: I'll say it at all three of you, at some point, the world is going to have to deal with those nuclear sites, because you can't allow that ideology married to nuclear questions.
BONGINO: No question.
HANNITY: Pete, we got 30 seconds.
HEGSETH: I agree with you completely, Dan. You also can't attach terrorism to the Iranian regime and hope they are going to give it up. It is the lifeblood of who they are and what they do.
If they cross us one more time, and they will, let's send them into the economic and military dark ages so they can never get a nuclear bomb, which they will use against us,, and Israel. Listen to what they say. It is what they believe.
HANNITY: Well said.
HEGSETH: And we run against history when we don't listen.
HANNITY: All right, Dan, Congressman Waltz, and Pete Hegseth, thank you all.
Please pray for our troops tonight. They are under fire. They put themselves on the line for us every day.
The damage assessment continues. Iran may have just blinked. We can pray.
Reports of American casualties, at least one top source claiming none are confirmed.
Let not your heart be troubled.
Laura Ingraham picks it up from here. Laura?
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