This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," November 12, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Well, with each and every passing day, Americans are learning from scandals, events and even acts of war that the Obama administration worked to keep secret until after the election.
Now on Friday, three days after the president's victory, we learned that David Petraeus, the head of the CIA, was stepping down because of an extramarital affair. Now, first I want to start by saying that David Petraeus is genuine American hero, one of the greatest generals in American history. Now, he is the first general in generations to turn around a war America was losing to Iraq and 2006-2007, and he helped avert defeat.
And for General Petraeus to have do what he did when he was director of the Central Intelligence Agency, well, that's was triply problematic, it now opened him up to possible blackmail.
Now, the people who argue that it's strictly a private matter, well, you're simply wrong. You cannot have the CIA director of United States of America involved in an affair. Now, there's no question in my mind that he needed to resign, and it's obvious that once the affair was revealed, there was not a question in Petraeus' mind that he needed to resign. But the story doesn't simply end there.
Now, the White House claims that the president first received information about the affair on Thursday, but a source close to journalist Ron Kessler, who will join me in a few minutes, says that that's highly unlikely, and here's why. Way back on October the 10th, Kessler himself was informed about the Petraeus affair by a veteran agent of the FBI. Now, according to the agent, top administration officials had been briefed about the investigation, including the FBI Director Robert Mueller. Now, keep in mind that Mueller meets with the president in the Oval Office at least once a week. But we're supposed to believe that an affair involving that head of the CIA was never discussed? That's nonsense.
Now, here's what really happened. According to Kessler's source, "The decision was made to delay the resignation apparently to avoid potential embarrassment to the president before the election."
In short, the president, or somebody close to him, decided to put politics first. As the agent observed, "To leave Petraeus "in such a sensitive position where he was vulnerable to potential blackmail for months, compromising our national security, that's inexcusable."
Now conveniently, Petraeus' decision to step down on Friday will also prevent him from appearing before Congressional investigators, later this week. But that's not the only thing that Americans were not told before they filled out their ballots, last Tuesday.
On Thursday, two days after the election, we were informed that Iran had recently attempted to shoot down a U.S. drone that had been flying in international airspace. Now, that incident happened on November the 1st. In other words, you were not informed about an act of war perpetrated by a rogue regime that is hell-bent on the destruction of Israel. Now, why?
Because politics takes precedence under the Obama administration. And of course, both of these postelection surprises all come on the heels of Benghazi. And remember, if the president had his way, the truth about that terror attack would still be hidden, as well, and we'd all still be blaming the death of four Americans on a YouTube movie trailer.
Now, it's time to lift the veil of secrecy. And joining me now to do just that are investigative reporter/author, Ronald Kessler. And here in studio, Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz, is with us. Good to see you.
Guys, good to see you. Welcome back.
REP JASON CHAFFETZ, R-UTAH: Hey, thanks, Sean. Appreciate it.
RONALD KESSLER, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER/AUTHOR: Thank you. Good to see you.
CHAFFETZ: Good to see you.
HANNITY: What do you make of all this?
CHAFFETZ: It's sad, because the American -- this administration is withholding information from the American people and they are engaged in a concerted effort to mislead the world and mislead the American people.
HANNITY: Well, to what extent do you think this is connected to Benghazi? Because for example, why now? Petraeus was supposed to testify this week.
CHAFFETZ: Yeah, it's so suspicious. There -- it's not a coincidence to me. He is probably the one that knows most about what happened or didn't happen in Benghazi. And if this is looming over his head when he went to go brief the United States Senate, did that influence the way, the direction and the story that he told? Because a lot of senators don't believe he was telling the truth, then. This begs more questions than it answers.
HANNITY: It does.
All right, Ron Kessler, you knew October 10 that this had taken place?
KESSLER: Yes. I was still working on getting more corroboration, but the agent who gave me this information said that the decision had been made, even though they knew way back in the spring that this affair was going on, to hold off until after the election, and that's exactly what happened, to hold off...
HANNITY: Well, who made that decision? Do we know yet?
KESSLER: Well, it certainly went up to Bob Mueller, it went into the Justice Department, according to this agent. I'm quite sure that President Obama knew about it and gave the order. There was no other reason why they would have withheld this.
You know, I was told by an FBI agent at a high level, if this had been uncovered involving a high level FBI executive, he would have been out the door the same day, they wouldn't have left him in office, that's absurd. And yet, he was in office from the spring until October. And then just by coincidence Obama's told two days after the election? I mean, it's so transparent that this is a big cover-up.
And the real issue, as you mentioned, is the blackmail issue. And that is Russian foreign intelligence criminals, if they had gotten on to this affair, would have used it as blackmail against Petraeus to get our biggest secrets, and that's why with the security clearance you're not supposed to compromise yourself in this way.
HANNITY: Let me go to the congressman. So, the FBI director had to know. He meets with the president. Eric Holder had to know, he meets with the president. We're saying that a CIA director that is involved in a compromising situation, that that was not brought to the attention of the president? What if it wasn't? Is that not dereliction of duty? Is that not incompetence on their part? And if the president did know, what does it mean to you?
CHAFFETZ: Well, look, General Petraeus is not the head of Fish and Wildlife, for goodness sake, he's the director of the CIA! I mean, what he eats for breakfast is going to be showing up on an intelligent reports. So, of course he's immediately compromised and you have to deal with that immediately. It better have gone to the president immediately and it should have gone to the House and the Senate Intelligence.
HANNITY: If it didn't, what does that mean? That it didn't -- like, even Dianne Feinstein was pretty outraged about this, a Democrat. I'm sure in the end she'll turn around and support Obama.
All right, let's go to Paula Broadwell. She gave a speech in October and says some things that are pretty outrageous. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, OCT. 26)
PAULA BROADWELL, CO-AUTHOR OF PETRAEUS BOOK: Now, I don't know if you heard this, but the CIA annex had actually -- had taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoner and they think that the attack on the consulate was an effort to try to get these prisoners back, so that's still being vetted.
The challenging thing for General Petraeus is that in his new position, he's not allowed to communicate with the press. So, he's known all this. They had correspondence with the CIA station chief in Libya within 24 hours, they kind of knew what was happening.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: They knew what was happening in 24 hours, which was in Libya. And not only that, she says that the CIA annex had taken Libyan militia members prisoner -- which would be news -- and that in fact that they did ask for support and help, which has never been confirmed by the administration. She's saying, very -- she's giving us the inside scoop, if you're to believe her. Where did she possibly get that from?
CHAFFETZ: Well look, this whole investigation, the genesis of this investigation, has to be something deeper than just one woman who was upset with another. And now you got stuff that is potentially classified information being shared out there in the public? But whoever is the media reporting that on this before the election? That happened before the election, as well.
HANNITY: Oh, and it's like Iran, little do we know that they fired at one of our drones. I mean, Benghazi is obviously a big issue, which I think was an act of war in Iran.
All right, let's go to Paula Broadwell's father. And I want to ask you, Ron Kessler, about this. He gave an interview and he said the following. He said, "This is about something else entirely, the truth will come out. There's a lot more here than meets the eye." What do you make of that?
KESSLER: You know, I think one thing that he may be referring to is this press blizzard against Paula Broadwell claiming that she sent all these threatening e-mails to all kinds of people. And I happen to know that General Petraeus has been e-mailing members of the press with various stories, not for attribution, but and you see it show up as a friend of Petraeus or a family friend and a lot of this is very self-serving.
Also at the same time, when it comes to the press, you see these stories about the FBI investigation, why it took so long. Oh, my god, it took months to figure out that someone was e-mailing someone. This is something that's done in about a half-hour.
HANNITY: Especially something this serious. I mean, we've got to be real. I'm running out of time.
Congressman, last question. They didn't -- we don't know where the president was during this attack. We don't know why they denied the requested support before the attack, where the president was during the attack, why he flew out to Vegas the next day. We don't know why afterwards he couldn't acknowledge it was a terror attack. Why didn't he tell us about Iran, and if he knew about Petraeus. What if he lied to the American people, which I contend on Libya he did? What does that mean?
CHAFFETZ: It means that the president misled the American people and misled the world. You can't have it both ways. He's tried to...
HANNITY: What are the consequences?
CHAFFETZ: Well, we have to hold him accountable. The State Department, the Department of Defense, the CIA, they all owe the American people the truth and justice. They know what happened, but even their basic timelines they gave us, they don't even agree, they don't even match-up. So, we got a lot more investigation to do and America...
HANNITY: So, you think we're in the middle of a major cover-up?
CHAFFETZ: Oh, absolutely. There is no doubt of my mind. If you made a movie about this, people wouldn't even believe it.
HANNITY: All right. Congressman, good to see you in New York. Thank you.
Ron Kessler, thank you.
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