This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," July 21, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST (voice-over): Tonight...
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I'd like to read a statement from the president on the resignation of press secretary Sean Spicer.
HANNITY: Change comes to the White House. Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigns.
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, INCOMING WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Sean is a true American patriot. He's a military serviceman. He's got a great family. And he's done an amazing job.
HANNITY: And Anthony Scaramucci is named communications director.
SCARAMUCCI: You want me to be as candid as I would like to be with you guys? It feels like there's a little bit of media bias.
HANNITY: So how will these moves impact the Trump administration?
SCARAMUCCI: There's been some speculation in the press about me and Reince.
We are a little bit like brothers, where we rough each other up once in a while, but he's a dear friend.
HANNITY: Sean Spicer and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus will join us tonight in two exclusive interviews. "Hannity" starts right here, right now.
HANNITY: This is a "Fox News Alert." Welcome to "Hannity" on this major breaking news night. Outgoing White House press secretary Sean Spicer and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus will be joining us both in exclusive interviews tonight. Also Patrick J. Buchanan, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Ari Fleischer are here with reaction
But first, John Roberts -- he's standing by at the White House tonight with the latest on the changes to the president's communications team -- John.
JOHN ROBERTS, FOX CORRESPONDENT: Sean, good evening to you. This has been going on for months, but it really came together over the last 24 hours or so. There's no question and no secret that the president was not really thrilled with his communications team.
Anthony Scaramucci was supposed to be headed to Paris to become the ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, but he came to see the president yesterday. The two of them started talking about communications, and President Trump said, Hey, why don't you be my communications director? To which Anthony Scaramucci said, Yes, I'd love the job. No problem. I'd love to come here to the West Wing.
So the president made the decision to have Scaramucci go into that job, told Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus about it. Apparently, there was a lot of blowback from them, a little bit of a bloodbath overnight and into this morning. When Scaramucci came back to talk to the president about it, he gave him the job.
And immediately after that, Sean Spicer, the press secretary, seeing -- I don't know if it was the writing on the wall more than anything, or if it was the idea that he thought if the president is going to make a change, he probably wasn't going to be part of the future. So he took the opportunity to resign.
Now, Scaramucci has got obviously a big job in front of him because it's no secret that this White House has been listing severely from an agenda that has been somewhat stalled, besieged by this Russia investigation, and a president who keeps going off message at inopportune times. So I put the question to Scaramucci this afternoon what he's going to do to try to fix it. Listen here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCARAMUCCI: I think the ship is going to go -- ship is going in the right direction. I think we've got to just radio signal the direction very, very clearly. The Navy SEALs will tell you that if you want to eat an elephant, you got to eat it one bite at a time. And Sarah and I are going to do that together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: And Sean, while there was pushback from Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus about this, and Sean Spicer obviously wasn't particularly thrilled about the idea that the president was bringing in a new communications director that had been discussed with no one other than the president, Scaramucci did have a couple of very powerful advocates. I'm told that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were both very much on board bringing Scaramucci in -- Sean.
HANNITY: All right, John Roberts at the White House tonight.
Also in Washington is Ed Henry. He has a full report on the new White House communications director, Anthony Scaramucci -- no stranger to this program, Ed.
ED HENRY, FOX CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Sean. Good evening. And no stranger to the president, hailing from New York, Anthony Scaramucci, somebody well known on Wall Street, a financier, and someone who for those shrewd (ph) skills has still tried to keep the ego in check.
In fact, his first briefing at the White House podium quoted a mentor on Wall Street saying that, You need to grow in your jobs, not swell, and so Scaramucci trying to say that he wants to keep all of this in check and focus on the president, not himself.
And interesting that he's very quick to apologize to the president for basically betting on the wrong horse back in the 2016 campaign. Remember, Scaramucci had first backed Scott Walker, and then Jeb Bush, had some harsh comments about then candidate Donald Trump, now obviously on board and made it clear that he wants -- has an audience of one at these briefings when he spoke directly to the president. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCARAMUCCI: One of the biggest mistakes that I made because I was an unexperienced person in the world of politics -- I was supporting another candidate. I should have never said that about him. So Mr. President, if you're listening, I personally apologize for the 50th time for saying that. But here's the wonderful thing about the news media. That was three minutes of my life. He's never forgotten it and you've never forgotten it.
SCARAMUCCI: But you know, I hope that someday, Mr. President, you'll forget it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HENRY: Now, the biggest challenge for Scaramucci in the days ahead is that something else he shares with the president is that neither of them have governing experience. He's going to have to make sure he can rise to the occasion. But he has a quality that this president really values, and that's that he's fighter, Sean.
HANNITY: All right, Ed Henry, thank you for being with us.
Joining us now in an exclusive interview, the outgoing White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Sean, I guess after tonight, you're probably going to be one happy guy. I'm just guessing.
SEAN SPICER, OUTGOING WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, it's been an honor and a privilege to serve this president and this country. I will never be able to thank the president enough for what he has been able to allow me to do. And I had the great opportunity to have some tremendous folks on a team here that worked tirelessly to promote the president's agenda.
I'm leaving it in capable hands with both Anthony and Sarah Sanders, who has been just a tremendous partner and will continue to do the president and this country a great job.
HANNITY: All right, walk us through what happened. And from what I understand, and all the reports are, the president did not want you to go. Tell us what happened.
SPICER: He didn't. He's been very gracious throughout this process. He wanted to bring some new folks in to help rev up the communications operation, and after reflection, my decision was to recommend to the president that I give Anthony and Sarah a clean slate to start from, so that they can talk about the president's agenda and help move it forward.
And he, after some back and forth, understood that the offer that I was making was something that was in the best interests of this administration. I thanked him for the opportunity. And I'm looking forward to watching Anthony and Sarah do a tremendous job.
HANNITY: All right, walk us through that, to the extent that you can share the conversation. You went in and you said you want to give them a clean slate. You know, give us a little of the back and forth between you and the president today in the Oval Office.
SPICER: Well, Sean, I will say this. I've never revealed private conversations that have been privy (sic) to the president. I will say...
HANNITY: But you'll do it now.
HANNITY: You're on your way out. You might as well, right?
SPICER: You know what? You're right. I'm on my way out. Why not?
But as I said, I went into the president after we had the discussion early with Anthony and Sarah about what the president's desires were. And I said, Sir, I've had the opportunity to think about this. I think it is the best interests of this administration and your presidency that I give these two individuals the opportunity to operate without me in the way so that they have a fresh start, that I'm not lurking over them. And I think that's in the best interests of the organization, of this administration, and of his presidency.
And so, he -- again, there was a bit of a back and forth. He's an unbelievably gracious individual and wanted to make sure that I thought that that was in the best interests of myself, as well. He's always thinking of others. And I assured him that I would be just fine. He assured me that he would continue to be as supportive as he always has been. And I told him I would stay on for a few weeks to ensure a smooth transition. He accepted that, and then we kept working hard to advance his agenda.
HANNITY: Did you feel in any way that your role had been diminished? I mean, you started sharing the podium with Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Anthony Scaramucci comes in. Did you feel in any way that this was against you? Did you feel you were pushed out in any way, or this was just totally your decision?
SPICER: No, as you mentioned, the president obviously wanted to add to the team more than anything. I just think it was in the best interests of our communications department, of our press organization to not have too many cooks in the kitchen. And so I think that's a good quality.
They need the team here that works so hard, so tirelessly to advance the president's agenda, needs clear leadership, and I thought it would be a bit confusing having additional people at the top. And so I wanted to move on to give both Anthony and Sarah that clear lane in each of their respective areas.
But look, we've been -- we've been working tirelessly trying to advance his agenda. There's a lot of people here doing a lot of amazing work on the digital side, on our research side, on our press operation regionally. We had a very successful "Made in America" week this week, garnering over, you know, millions of impressions throughout the country of the amazing things that -- products that come from around the country and that the president's working hard to keep and grow the manufacturing base and the job base around this country.
So there's so much to be done, and we've got two additionally talented people that will continue to lead this effort forward.
HANNITY: Let me ask you about your perspective being on that podium. And I've known Tony Snow, Ari Fleischer, our own Dana Perino. From your perspective being up there, the state of the media -- we have this fake news. We've had phony stories. They get advanced. They blow up. Russia, Russia obsession. What is your assessment now six months and a day deciding to step down, of the media?
SPICER: I think most people aren't really privy to how stories are developed and what stories are -- make it to the front page, or to the mainstream media, whether it's in print or in broadcast. And I think they'd be shocked and disappointed to see some of the bias that exists in some of the stories that don't get told, or the manner in which they are told.
I was increasingly disappointed in how so many of the members here of the media do their job, or rather don't do their job, the bias at which they come from it at. And as I mentioned a while ago, I think that there's become a very clickbait mentality among a lot of reporters, where they're more interested in their clip or their click than they are about the truth and the facts.
HANNITY: You know -- and this is very interesting to me because I've watched and witnessed some of these exchanges. And I know there's been an effort, for example, to maybe change a little bit of the rules inside the White House briefing room. And one of them was, you know what? Maybe we're not going to do everything on camera, and maybe the person at home, the average person at home, doesn't quite understand that when those guys get their moment, their idea is to get into as contentious a battle with you as they can.
And is it 9 out of 10 times that's what airs that night, that they're not really looking for news, they're looking for their moment? Is that a fair assessment, or am I being unfair to the media?
SPICER: No, I think that's a very fair assessment. Now, I don't want to paint everybody with the same broad brush. But I do think that you're very accurate in terms of the majority of folks that are now in this -- in the briefing room, that are going into journalism. They're not there for the facts and the pursuit of the truth. Rather, they are trying to figure out, how do I get on TV, how do I become a YouTube star? And that's disappointing.
But there are some good reporters that still spend time getting to know, to learn the facts, to get the story out, and they should be rewarded and praised for their journalism. It's not about being easy or hard or ...
HANNITY: What's the percent of ...
SPICER: It's about being right and trying to get the facts and get the story right, and inform, you know, the readership or the viewership. And there are some reporters that do that. But by and large, we're seeing more and more where it's about the clip or the click.
HANNITY: Yes. And I got to imagine that these were extraordinarily difficult times because the media has been so obsessed with Russia. Now, I'm a talk show host. I have opinions. I'm not a traditional journalist. I'd be called an advocacy journalist.
But when I look at issues like Ukraine and the influence that they tried to have on the election, as long as it's on helping the Democrats, that doesn't seem to get that much play. Or the Uranium One deal, which I would argue is a real Russia Vladimir Putin scandal, they didn't seem to care too much about that in the media, and you know, a whole variety of other issues that I can bring up here.
Do you think that they -- that by and large, for the American people, you being on the podium -- do you think conservatives like myself, when we say there is a media bias, a very, very distinct bias, and their obsession with Russia, am I right? Am I in the middle? Are they right? What do you think?
SPICER: I think you're right. I think the majority of folks -- there's two things. One is that there is a bias. But then there's also a Washington mentality. It's really interesting. I'm very proud of the fact that we brought a lot of new voices into the briefing room, whether it's through Skype or getting some talk radio show hosts here and allowing additional voices in because what's important is allowing other people to understand that the questions that we, and stories that we're hearing from around the country, from one coast to another, aren't necessarily the stories and the issues that are being covered by folks here in Washington.
And we find that when the president goes on the road, when we talk about an issue and we do regional media days, the questions and the issues that are a concern to everyday Americans are not nearly what they are for the folks, the pack mentality that exists in the briefing room here at the White House, for those people to get trapped in the Washington, D.C., media bubble.
HANNITY: I want to ask you this. I actually think I kind of have a missing chip. And that'll be a great headline on Mediaite tonight -- Hannity admits he has a missing chip because they love to cover the media stories. I just don't care what other people think about me.
Was it hard for you when "Saturday Night Live" would go after you or other people, late night comics, would attack you? I remember asking you this one time, and I remember your answer distinctly, but I want to ask you before our audience here. Was that hard? Did you have a sense of humor about it? Did it bother you deep down in any way?
SPICER: Well, I'm a prankster, so some of the -- you know, I like a good joke. I think when it's funny, it's funny. You got to laugh at yourself and accept that there's some ...
HANNITY: Was "Saturday Night Live" funny? Did you like that, or did that bother you?
SPICER: I think there are a couple parts of it that were funny. But there's a little of it -- there's a lot of it that was over the line. It wasn't funny. It was stupid or silly or malicious.
But there are some skits that I've seen on late night television that I had to crack up at. So sometimes, it can be funny. Some of the memes, you have to -- have to laugh at yourself a little bit. But there are times when it goes from funny to mean, and that's -- that's -- there's a difference when that happens.
And again, to your point, yes, you have to have a little bit of a thick skin if you're going to do this.
HANNITY: You can't be in the public eye. You can't be taking on a role like that if you don't. I think it's hard.
So have you thought a little bit about your future? Was this sudden for you, or had you been thinking about it for a while?
SPICER: I've always said that I was serving at the pleasure of the president. So ...
HANNITY: The president wanted you to stay.
SPICER: He does. And we had a very robust agenda. The president's doing so many amazing things on behalf of this country that it was never -- it was always about advancing that.
But I'm really looking forward -- my family's made a tremendous sacrifice to allow me to have this honor, and I really look forward to spending a lot of time with my kids and my wife, who've really been unbelievably supportive to give me this just amazing opportunity that the president has allowed me to have.
HANNITY: Have you been thinking about this for a while?
HANNITY: So it was really sudden?
SPICER: Well, I knew what the right thing to do is. I think I have a pretty good compass, and I made a decision that it was in the best interests not of just myself, but in the -- for the president and for this administration, was to step aside and let Anthony and Sarah lead the team. But I knew right away that that was what was best for this president, for this country, for this administration, and so I followed that path.
HANNITY: Last question, and I think it's probably the most important question. Are the American people being served by the media in this country, or is there a big disservice to them?
SPICER: Well, I...
HANNITY: In your opinion.
SPICER: I wouldn't paint it with a broad brush, Sean. I think some, yes. Some networks, yes, some reporters, yes. But in a lot of cases, the answer is no.
HANNITY: Yes. All right, Sean Spicer, we wish you well.
SPICER: Thanks, Sean.
HANNITY: It's not an easy job you took. I remember telling you that, too, in the beginning. I said, You sure you want that job? Be careful of what you ask for. We wish you the best.
SPICER: Well, I will tell you just -- thank you. And I will tell you I have no regrets. This is -- I can't thank the president enough for this unbelievable honor, and I'm going to -- I will always be grateful for that.
HANNITY: Well, I hope you'll still come on with us, and we want to get your take on the events of the day. Thanks for being with us.
SPICER: You bet.
HANNITY: And coming up, we'll have an exclusive interview with the White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus. And later, Patrick J. Buchanan -- he weighs in with reaction to all of today's big breaking news, Anthony Scaramucci now the White House communications director. That and more tonight on "Hannity."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCARAMUCCI: The president has really good karma, OK? And the world turns back to him. He's genuinely a wonderful human being, and I think as the members of Congress get to know him better and get comfortable with I mean, they're going to let him lead them to the right things for the American people. So I think we're going to get the health care done. I also think we're going to get tax reform done. And whatever else is on the president's agenda, we're going to work very, very hard, very studiously here to make it happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
SCARAMUCCI: There's been some speculation in the press about me and Reince, so I just want to talk about that very quickly. Reince and I have been personal friends for six years. We are a little bit like brothers, where we rough each other up once in a while, which is totally normal for brothers. There's a lot of people in here that have brothers, and so you get that. But he's a dear friend.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
HANNITY: All right, that was new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci early today,talking about his friendship with the White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. Reince joins us now with more from the White House.
You know what the funny thing is? The first thing I read was how you two don't like each other.
REINCE PRIEBUS, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Right.
HANNITY: And I knew -- I know you and I know him and I knew it was a lie, and I'm like, this is so typical!
PRIEBUS: Well, not only that, but when I first came into the RNC, Anthony was one of our regional finance chairmen. Obviously, we've done a lot of things together. He was Scott Walker's finance chairman in Wisconsin. Even -- you may have seen the clip, I even almost worked for Anthony after the Romney loss...
HANNITY: Well, wait a minute. I want to go back to that.
HANNITY: What were you thinking, not working with Scaramucci? Because Scaramucci knew how to make money. What were you thinking?
PRIEBUS: He did. He did, and it was a great offer but -- he was a close friend, but you know, I'd just started at the RNC. It was after the Romney loss, and I knew that there was so much we could get done at the RNC. And obviously I was still going to be working hard and it was great that we did because obviously, we were able to build an RNC and then work with President Trump in making sure that we won that election in 2016.
And he's doing great things, and I think it's a good day for President Trump, to get a person in that coms director that he believes in, and really, sometimes a fresh start's a good thing.
Sean did a great job. He's a dear friend, as everybody knows. But it is good to start fresh. And so Sean gets to start fresh. Anthony gets to start fresh. And most importantly, the president gets to start fresh, and I think that's a good thing.
HANNITY: You were close with Sean. You guys worked at the RNC together. I've known you both for a long time. Sean says he didn't really spend a lot of time thinking about it, but it came to him and this he felt was the right thing to do. The president tried to keep him. So was that a hard day for you on that personal level because you were so close to him?
PRIEBUS: Yes, but you know, I also know how the president operates in that you look at people that were around the president and might not be working for him anymore. He's still very close to those people. They're still very important to the president.
So Sean leaving doesn't mean that Sean isn't going to be out there supporting President Trump and it doesn't mean that President Trump isn't going to be supporting Sean Spicer. So I've seen how the world around the president works, and it's very healthy and he cares about his people. And the most important thing is that his people know that he cares about his people. And so there is sometimes we have disagreements, but it doesn't mean that there isn't intense loyalty that goes both directions, and that's a good quality.
HANNITY: Because you were so close to him -- and look, this is not an easy position for anybody. I've known a lot of people that served as press secretary. It's a brutal job.
PRIEBUS: Yes, it's a tough job.
HANNITY: There's no amount of money you could every pay me or -- not that anyone would ever want me, Reince. You know, but -- you know, you watch Sean, and sadly for him, he had to go through a lot. And you know, late night comics. You go through the same thing. I've been through the same thing, "Saturday Night Live" -- was it painful at times for you to watch your friend get hit so hard maybe at times? And then dealing with the press corps.
PRIEBUS: Yes, I mean, at times, I think it's over the top. I think "Saturday Night Live" is so far over the top that perhaps, you know, they should give equal time to another opinion.
But you know, I think Sean said it best earlier and I think the president knows this and Anthony knows this and so does Sarah, that, you know, you do these types of jobs, and I'm not kidding you, you do get so thick-skinned that I'm -- people have a hard time believing it, but you don't even read the articles after a while. I mean, you just don't care what some of this stuff says because you know it's garbage. You've become conditioned to the garbage, and you have to go with the good, honest reporters, and there are a lot out there, that want to report the truth, that play it straight, and you have to reward those people with the interviews and most of the things that you can give out.
HANNITY: You know, I know there are a lot of conservatives like myself -- we see the president and his movement on judges, the improvement at the border. There are so many Obama-era regulations that are gone. He's put forward his plans.
There has been, in my view, a lack of urgency in the Congress. They're not moving fast enough for my satisfaction. We now see, like they ran into a roadblock in the House, but they were able to overcome it. Now the roadblock repealing and replacing ObamaCare. And I know that, you know, after seven years, people, like -- every conservative that I know is throwing up their hands saying, what's the problem?
PRIEBUS: Well, look, I mean, it is time for the party to lead on health care. They did a good job in the House, but it's now time for the Senate to get this thing done, either this week or soon thereafter. But you look at what the president's done, you look at the deregulation, you look at the realignment in foreign policy, you look at the optimism on jobs and you look at the unemployment rate, you look at TPP, trade.
The amount of work and the amount of accomplishments that this president has put forward and accomplished and checked the boxes, it's staggering. And I think his press release said it well today. It's time to start getting some of that word out there, but also get the credit that he so rightfully deserves and so --
PRIEBUS: ... this is a good day to start that process and to start fresh.
HANNITY: Last question, but I think it's probably the most important because we got a lot on the media with Sean Spicer. But from my perspective, the Congress, by the end of this year, they've got to get the health care issue done. They've got to get the border wall, the beginning of construction. They've got to get the corporate middle class tax rates, the repatriated money, energy independence I believe creates millions of high-paying career jobs.
Are you confident, with all your discussions with Congress, all that is done by the -- say, around Thanksgiving, the end of the year?
PRIEBUS: I think certainly by the end of the year. I mean, you have to get, obviously, the budget done. We've got a debt ceiling issue. We've got health care and tax reform. And then, you know, I think we need to get started on infrastructure. Those are the things that President Trump cares the most about. Those are the things he talks about every day.
And yes, the leadership in the House and the Senate, they're working hard, too, and we appreciate their partnership. But we have to get results done for the American people. We've got the House. We've got the Senate. Obviously we wish we had 60 votes, but we've got the House and we've got the Senate, we've got a president that works harder than anyone that I've ever seen.
I've often joked that, you know, my secret formula has always been that I thought I could outwork anybody, and I've met my match with President Trump and he's working hard for the American people.
But you know what? The people out in Wisconsin and in Michigan and Ohio, they know that. We talk to the state chairmen around the country that are in our party. President Trump is popular out there across the country. Obviously, the bubble here in D.C. sometimes is tough to deal with, but working hard, rolling up our sleeves, having good partnerships in the House and the Senate and a president that works harder than anyone else -- that's how we're going to get it done.
HANNITY: You know, it's interesting. Americans are happier than they've ever been.
HANNITY: The lowest number of -- of people, as I understand it, on food stamps in seven years, and Stuart Varney was reporting already today, what, $4 trillion in wealth created since the president took office. You don't ever hear about that on the fake news networks.
PRIEBUS: Well, you look at -- you know, mines are opening up. Miners are going back to work. You look at all sectors of the economy, people are feeling better that actual people participating in getting into the workforce, is improving for the first time in a long time. So it's not just the unemployment rate that's better, it's the fact that people are actually going back to work and the net numbers are getting better. That's where -- that's where people need to look at. And so stock market's up. Jobs are getting better.
It's just the beginning. And most importantly, people are feeling positive in these polls. They feel like tomorrow is going to be a better day, and that's really important when looking at what the future looks like under President Trump.
HANNITY: All right, Reince Priebus, chief of staff. Thanks for taking time on this busy Friday night. We appreciate it.
PRIEBUS: All right. Thank you.
HANNITY: And coming up, more on this major breaking news night. The original insurgent, Patrick J. Buchanan -- he's here with reaction to our exclusive interviews with both Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus. Also, Ari Fleischer -- he was behind the podium -- Judge Jeanine Pirro -- they are here to weigh in on the changes at the White House and so much more tonight as "Hannity" continues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCARAMUCCI: I have empathy for journalists in terms of sometimes they're going to get stories wrong. But I certainly don't like the fake news, and if you said to me that there is some media bias out there, you want me to be as candid as I would like to be with you guys, there feels like there is a little bit of media bias. So what we hope we can do is de-escalate that and turn that around and let's let them get a message from the president, get out there to the American people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: From what I understand and all the reports are the president did not want you to go. Tell us what happened.
SPICER: He didn't. He has been very gracious throughout the process. He wanted to bring some new folks in and to help rev up the communications operation, and after reflection, my decision was to recommend to the president that I give Anthony and Sarah a clean slate to start from so that they could talk about the president's agenda and help move it forward.
And he after some back and forth understood that the offer that I was making was something that was in the best interest of this administration. I thanked him for the opportunity. And I'm looking forward to watching Anthony and Sarah do a tremendous job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." That was the outgoing White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer from our exclusive interview just earlier. Join us now with reaction, he is the original insurgent, author of "Nixon's White House Wars," Patrick J. Buchanan. So you worked in the Nixon administration, you worked in the the Reagan administration. Did you ever see it this bad? The media this abusively bias, corrupt, or maybe you did. I've never seen it this bad.
PATRICK BUCHANAN, AUTHOR, "NIXON'S WHITE HOUSE WARS": First, I thought Sean Spicer was very gracious in his departure. But Sean, let me tell you, this is as bad as it was in the final days of Watergate with Richard Nixon, the tremendous overt hostility of the press, the media. Many of those press conferences of Nixon looked like things in a Roman forum. And I think the real problem here is that the president senses that the media are the enemy, and I think the media undeniably if you watch all three networks and you watch the major networks and the press, and the media are as hostile to this president as I have seen to any president or candidate in my lifetime.
HANNITY: So what does he do, Pat? You've been there. You know how hard it is inside that house, and you see them media acting this way, what do you do?
BUCHANAN: I'll tell you what is coming. I think that the president senses, we see with regard to Mueller and the special counsel, the president senses these folks are coming after him. I believe they are. They are coming after his campaign. I think they're coming after his family. They're coming after him. They have got investigators and prosecutors who are really steeped in white-collar crime and the rest of it.
What is going to happen, Sean, is this. Mr. Mueller is going to make demand after demand after demand. He is going to get some of them, and then the president I believe is going to say, "no more" which is what happened in Watergate and the Saturday Night Massacre. I think there's a real collision coming between Mueller and the president of the United States. You can see it --
HANNITY: Look at all the conflicts, though. He hired Hillary Clinton's attorney? He hired all of these donors to Clinton, Obama, and the Democrats. He is best friends with Comey. Comey leaks government information, classified information to The New York Times to get a special counsel. These are not normal times here, Pat.
BUCHANAN: Sean, Archie Cox was a Kennedy man. Teddy Kennedy was at his swearing in. Seven of the first 11 guys he hired were ex-Kennedy, McGovern staffers and aides. We knew that what that was, and I agree with you. I do think that the special counsel's office is targeting the president. I think that they are going to go on and on and rolled over one rock after another after another until the president says I have had enough. And then we are right on the road, a familiar one to me, of the Saturday Night Massacre.
HANNITY: OK, are you saying that this president could be impeached?
BUCHANAN: What I am saying is I think he is going to have a confrontation with Mueller. However, I don't think the president of the United States, he doesn't have the authority to fire him. The deputy attorney general does. He would not do that. The attorney general has recused himself. He can get somebody to fire him if it comes down to that.
But let me tell you, during the Saturday Night Massacre, we tried to shut down the special prosecutor's office, and they revived it and they got a new special prosecutor. I'm looking at the confrontation here. And unless I am mistaken, they are going to have something on the president and his family, and he is going to go after Mr. Mueller. And I think you are going to have a real confrontation as I told you about a week ago. I don't see how this --
HANNITY: Is this all foundationally based on the fact that Attorney General Sessions recused himself? I don't think he should have, myself, but I have great respect for him, but I think that was a mistake.
BUCHANAN: Let me say this. I admire, respect, Senator Sessions. I have spoken with him a number of times. I think he is a courageous guy and he deserved better than his treatment in "The New York Times." But I agree with you on this, Sean. They should never have appointed the special prosecutor. That is a machine that is established that grows, it is lethal. It tends to become unfriendly. It comes right at the White House and the West Wing inevitable. It has happened three or four times. Go ahead.
HANNITY: Pat, I have been warning about this investigative creep. I know how you feel about the mission creep. Now we have investigative creed. Look at Patrick Fitzgerald. He starts out. He knew one day one who the leaker was, and he continued an investigation, and three years later with Scooter Libby because he wouldn't give up the vice president on a perjury charge. That's where we ended up here. I tend to agree with you.
BUCHANAN: You are exactly right.
HANNITY: All right, Patrick J. Buchanan, thank you.
BUCHANAN: But here's the thing, Sean, from their standpoint, they are not overreaching.
HANNITY: From their standpoint, investigative creep, perjury traps, that is not overreaching. OK. And you know what, where is the investigation into Hillary? Where's the investigation into the conspiracy with Ukraine, Uranium One, or mishandling or destroying classified documents?
BUCHANAN: Sean, the folks in this town have got the scent of blood in their nostrils. And they are targeted on the West Wing. They don't care about Hillary anymore. If she were president, they would be going after her.
HANNITY: Well, I am not so sure about that, Pat. But I do think that you might be onto something. I think that Mueller --
BUCHANAN: It is the nature of the media.
HANNITY: Mueller and the media, and the Democrats, and weak Republicans, there's your problem. Thank you.
Here with more reaction to the exclusive interviews with Sean Spicer, Reince Priebus, Air Fleischer, Judge Jeanine Pirro. Judge, let me get to you first to respond to Pat Buchanan, because that was a pretty dire analysis, and I do believe that Mueller is way out there on investigative creep, multiple conflicts of interest. He's hiring Hillary's attorney, Democratic donors, and I don't see one Republican hired.
JUDGE JEANINE PIRRO, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: You know, Sean if we use the same standards for Robert Mueller that the attorney general used for himself, Mueller would have recused himself. So Mueller's relationship with Comey whose credibility he has to assess as opposed to the president's credibility, that relationship immediately prevents him from being objective. And I'm not even talking about all of the attorneys who he is bringing in who are anti-Trump people, pro-Hillary people, pro Clinton Foundation people.
HANNITY: Judge, is Pat Buchanan right, they have got blood in their nostrils?
PIRRO: Without a doubt. Sean, there is no doubt they have blood in their nostrils. This is about destroying Donald Trump and his family, his children.
HANNITY: Can they succeed?
PIRRO: Can they succeed? It depends on who they want to give some, maybe bend the rules a little bit or give someone immunity so that they turn around and go after the president. You can make anything look bad. And Patrick Fitzgerald, he's absolutely right. Patrick Fitzgerald was gunning for somebody, anybody. When he didn't get what he wanted, he turned around and went after other people. There is a mandate for this special prosecutor, and they are beyond it.
HANNITY: Ari, I will get to the Sean Spicer issue. You know better than anybody how tough it is to be behind that podium. What is your reaction to this discussion, though?
ARI FLEISCHER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I hope Pat is wrong because that would be terrible for the nation if it gets to that point. I'm not sure Donald Trump can sustain a Saturday night massacre. So we don't want to go down that road. Frankly, if you are Donald Trump, what you want is Bob Mueller to look at this dispassionately, neutrally, and then come out and say there was no collusion. If that happens, Donald Trump is home free. And if that happens from the hands of Bob Mueller, all of the critics have egg on their face. And that's the outcome what you want to cheer for.
HANNITY: I'm willing to take the egg, but do you agree with me and the judge and Pat that it seems a little bit odd to hire Hillary Clinton's attorney and all of these Obama and Clinton and Democratic donors?
FLEISCHER: Yes. I respect Bob Mueller. I served with Bob Mueller. I think he is a fair and impartial man. But he made a mistake and is hiring, and I said that when the stories came out. He understands how Washington works. He should not have hired people who were Democratic donors, or he should have hired balance on his team. But to hire people who are predominantly Hillary donors and Democratic donors is indeed problematic. If it was not for my respect of Bob Mueller fundamentally, I would have said that that is disqualifying. But I do respect Mueller.
PIRRO: But what does that tell you what you just said? What you just said was based upon what Mueller has done and who he is putting on the team, you draw a negative inference from that. But because he's got a reputation as a good guy, then that overcomes the reality of what he is doing now?
FLEISCHER: It's not that he is a good guy. It's that he is an impartial man. And I do believe an impartial man can say to a Democrat or a Republican donor, I will watch you. We are doing it straight down the middle. And that's what I believe Bob Mueller would do. I just think he would be far better off if he didn't hire people who created that perception problem, and perhaps a reality problem.
HANNITY: Guys, stay right there. Ari Fleischer, Judge Pirro, we'll be back. We'll get more of their reaction to Pat Buchanan's comments and our exclusive interviews with Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus, that and much more on the big breaking news night tonight on "Hannity."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SPICER: I think when it's funny, it's funny. You have to laugh at yourself and accept that --
HANNITY: Was "Saturday Night Live" funny? Did you like that or did that bother you?
SPICER: I think there were a couple parts of it that were funny, but there's a lot of it that was over the line and it was funny. It was stupid or silly or malicious. But there are some skits I've seen on late-night television that I had to crack up at. So sometimes it can be funny, some of the memes you have to laugh at yourself a little bit. But there are times when it goes from funny to mean.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: And welcome back to "Hannity." That was more of our exclusive interview earlier with outgoing White House press secretary Sean Spicer. We continue now with Ari Fleischer, Judge Jeanine Pirro. No one would ever hire me I that job, I'm just not suited for it like you are.
FLEISCHER: It is a fun job.
HANNITY: You and Sean and Dana and Tony Snow, I've know you guys, I felt bad for Sean. He got the crap beat out of him, and he is a gracious, good guy.
FLEISCHER: Tough job. It's even tougher when you do it for Donald Trump because of the press's animosity to Donald Trump and because Donald Trump doesn't do things the traditional way. And so you are getting squeezed when you are the press secretary.
And Sean has taken the high road. That is good to see. It's good for Sean and good for his family. I do have to point out that there is another thing that I think they read between the lines. I think it was increasingly clear that Sean was going to be a man without a portfolio. There was going to be a new press secretary, a new communications director, and what would Sean be doing? So I think that's what Sean was getting at when he said if he was hired, you make these changes if you rev up communications, I won't have a role, and it gets confusing to have me around. I think that's what it ultimately came down to.
HANNITY: I was asking him if you have ever seen it this bad, and Pat was talking about it, I have seen it. I've been reporting on it. I've never witnessed such outright hostility, hatred, vitriol, one-sidedness, as the media in this country is showing this president.
FLEISCHER: Do you remember when Donald Trump declared his presidency, The Huffington Post said they were only going to cover him in the entertainment section of The Huffington Post. They wouldn't even take him seriously. And that was a pattern right from the day he announced. And it was an amazing pattern where every time Trump would do something, critics would jump on it. But much of the Republican electorate, and later the overall electorate, responded well to it.
And I don't think the press has ever caught up with that story. But every now and then you see them go to the heartland and do some interviews with people who typically they would never quote, and they're trying to do a little bit more of that. But the press missed it, and they really did have a hostility for Donald Trump at the beginning. Donald Trump has returned the hostility as well.
HANNITY: I think it has gotten worse. I really think this is a witch hunt. And I honestly believe Pat Buchanan is right. They have the smell of blood in their nostrils, and I don't think it ever stops in between the fake news, proven falsehoods that they have pushed out with such breathlessness. Judge Jeanine, I've never seen it this bad. And I don't think it ever stops for the entire time that he is president.
PIRRO: You know, Ari was talking about with The Huffington Post. When I realized it was going to be this bad was on inauguration day when I was in Washington, D.C. and saw hundreds of thousands of people who literally hated the president of the United States, and that has not changed.
But here's the thing, to be the press secretary, you have to be tough. If someone is in politics, you run for office, you are kind of use to it. You know you are going to take the hits. You know you need to have a hard shell for a skin. But someone who hasn't done it before, it's very, very tough. And to make no mistake, Sean, these prosecutors right now, special counsel, I call them prosecutors, are in the business of finding a crime. It is no longer a scenario where let's just see if anything was done that we can exonerate. No, they are gunning for someone. And what they don't understand is that Donald Trump is a man who has got skin thicker than any of us. But when it comes to his son, his son-in-law, his family, that is when the president of the United States is really going to take them on and possibly have a Saturday night.
HANNITY: Ari, last question. We don't have a lot of time. But if you are to advise the president agreeing that it is more hostile than ever, what would you say?
FLEISCHER: Be smart about what you do. Be cautious in your tweets to the point where you don't put out a tweet that ends up hurting yourself. My hope with Anthony Scaramucci in there is the president is going to see that he has such an able and gifted communicator in Scaramucci on TV defending him that he won't feel the need personally to take it all on and do it himself. He knows Scaramucci has got his back and he is good at doing it.
HANNITY: I've got to thank you both for being with us. Judge, did you want to say something?
PIRRO: No, I just want to say Anthony Scaramucci is an incredibly articulate person who knows how to fight in the street or verbally, and he is of tremendous benefit to the president.
HANNITY: He is also a nice guy. But he is a fighter. And he has a fighter. I think they have their hands full, more than they imagine. All right, guys, thank you both for being with us.
And when we come back, more "Hannity" right after this quick break.
HANNITY: Welcome back to "Hannity." Unfortunately that is all we have left this evening. We promised to always be fair and balanced. We are not the establishment, destroy-Trump media. Hope you have a great weekend. We will see you back here on Monday night.
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