Trump: I knew it was going to get worse when I fired James Comey

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," March 27, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: All right, Tucker. No, I'm not the surprise, though. Great show as always.

Welcome to "Hannity."

In just a few moments, the president of the United States will join us for an exclusive one-on-one interview. We have a lot of ground to cover tonight.

First, we begin with our opening monologue. We want to focus on the all- important American principle, it's known as equal justice under the law, equal application of our laws. In other words, the foundational principles in our Constitution that has made this the greatest country God has ever given man.

Tonight, it's about accountability. I promise you, we are going to name names. We are going to call out the wrongdoing as we see it, and we'll let you, of course, decide in the end.

We'll demand justice for everyone who was lied to by the destroy-Trump media mob, the conspiracy theorists on NBC News, CNN. They have denied this president and many others due process, any presumption of innocence, it's back to guilt by accusation as usual with them, and literally, how it has ruled the airwaves, speculation, conjecture, outright lying to their audiences, false reporting, building false hopes, every second, every minute, every hour, of every day, every week.

We'll demand justice for everyone whose good reputation was destroyed all because, oh, the smelly Walmart people. They supported a duly elected president that they voted for.

Now, American justice, by the way, justice for the American people, we know rights were trampled on by just a few, not rank-and-file FBI guys, not at all. High-ranking bureaucrats. And, yes, tonight, we are calling for equal justice for the people of Chicago as well. We'll get to that in a moment.

First, the deep state's day of reckoning has now come. I want you to pay very, very close attention, especially all of you in the news media that are tuning in to see the president tonight. Welcome to the show. I hope maybe you take some notes and learn something.

We are going to go through this piece by piece. According to analysis from our own legal expert, Gregg Jarrett, and we are going to tell you exactly who needs to be held responsible, what they need to be held responsible for, and in some cases, crimes investigated. And that is for all of you.

It is a disgrace that the media in this country has ignored what is the biggest single abuse of power, corruption scandal in our lifetimes because of what they have as groupthink and agenda that is political. Frankly, it has now evolved into a psychotic rage against a duly elected president. They didn't want him to win. They were clear about that.

When did anyone in the media, you media people watching tonight, have you ever reported on any of the president's record accomplishments? Have you ever done that once?

Let's start with Hillary Clinton in this case. It is clear, read the law, the Espionage Act, 18 USC 793, she had an illicit private server in a mom- and-pop shop bathroom closet and we know it contained -- James Comey told us -- classified, top secret, and marked classified information. She was grossly negligent in the handling of the classified information.

Don't forget, remember, the obstruction law, well, that is 18 USC 1505. Remember, subpoenaed emails that were destroyed, some 33,000 of them? And the hard drives were acid washed? Nobody in the country knew what Bleach Bit was before Hillary Clinton.

Then, of course, an aide breaking up smartphones and blackberries with hammers and removing SIM cards. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

By the way, what would happen if I deleted 33,000 emails and did the same thing? Just wondering. I think I would probably be in jail today.

Now, don't forget about other w potential violations, perjury, false, misleading statements, none of this even includes the big scandal like pay- for-play allegations, the Clinton Foundation, the Uranium One scandal, which the media ignored. Remember, we had William Campbell, an FBI spy inside of Putin's ring right here in America, chronicling bribery, extortion, kickbacks, money laundering. Wow. That deal still went through. A lot of money went back to the Clinton foundation.

Remember James Comey in his particular case, well, he let Hillary off the hook for issues -- issues that every American would have been held accountable for. Remember, the email case? The exoneration being written in May of 2016, months before they ever interviewed her in July of 2016, just days before they cleared her, which he shouldn't have done either. Remember, they change the words "gross negligence", the legal standard, they put in the words "extreme carelessness."

And, of course, now we know Loretta Lynch brought up a whole new standard, intent, but that is not in the law. Why? Because Obama's Justice Department -- well, told them to.

Now, Strzok was writing the exoneration in May. She was interviewed in July, July 2nd, 2016. She was exonerated on July 5th, 2016. Then they went right after Trump.

Now, the case has got to be, if we want equal justice, equal application of our laws, we must reopen this case. We must go to the truth.

James Comey, by the way, I know most of you in the media love James Comey. James Comey has a lot of questions to be asked, needs things to be accountable for. If an exoneration took place for political purposes before an investigation, that will be a federal crime.

Also, look at the law, violating 18 USC 371, when he signed off on a FISA warrant, the first FISA warrant, that was in October of 2016, just before the election, to spy on a Trump campaign associate, Carter Page, the warrant, we are told, was based on the phony dossier, according to the Nunes-Grassley-Graham memos. FISA judges, they were never told that Hillary Clinton paid for that dossier with Russian lies, that they were tainted, that they were never verified, that they were unverifiable, because the author of the dossier -- well, in an interrogatory in Great Britain, he said he had no idea if any of this was true.

Well, that would be committing a fraud on the FISA court, not telling the judges she paid for it, not being able to verify what they presented before the FISA court judges, as well as, by the way, not just Comey, anyone else who signed off on those warrants. That would be Andrew McCabe, Sally Yates, and others.

Remember, McCabe said no dossier, no FISA approval. Don't forget it was Jim Comey, former FBI director, leaking privileged conversations with the president of the United States. Well, under 18 USC Section 641, it is illegal to, without authority, convey such a record. Which, in this case, was an FBI record of a conversation with President Trump, and get this, Comey is still trying to paint himself as a victim and as a superhero, and as a super patriot, despite all of this, and is actually accusing the president of obstruction, which contradicts what he actually said under oath.

Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LESTER HOLT, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: A few days after that, I sit down with President Trump. He says, when I decided to just do it, talking about firing you, I said to myself, I said, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. What did you think when you heard that?

JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: I thought that is potentially obstruction of justice. I hope somebody is going to look at that. Again, the president appears to be saying -- I don't know what's in his head, which is why I can't reach a conclusion -- what he appears to be saying is, I got rid of this guy to shut down an investigation that threatened me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Now, he said that earlier tonight, well, Comey is not a victim. In fact, James Comey himself said, oh, he could be fired for any reason or no reason at all, and we've got the videotape, the super patriot Jim Comey.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COMEY: When I was appointed FBI director in 2013, I understood that I served at the pleasure of the president. Even though I was appointed to a 10-year term, which Congress created in order to underscore the importance of the FBI being outside of politics and independent, I understood that I could be fired by a president for any reason or for no reason at all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: No reason at all. Wow. Different tune tonight.

There was no obstruction. We know that Mueller did not make a decision on it. He left it to the A.G. and the deputy A.G., Rod Rosenstein, who very quickly exonerated Donald Trump. He left the determination to both of them.

As a matter of fact, don't be fooled by the media that's trying to spin all this. Comey is not the super patriot he portrays himself as. He loves the spotlight, loves himself. His malignant leadership of the FBI corroded the image of what is the finest law enforcement institution on the face of this earth, filled with the greatest, hardworking, dedicated agents that protect and serve this country every single day.

And frankly, it is those rank-and-file agents, frankly, that are glad Comey is gone. How do I know? Because I told them, this pin is an FBI flag pin from an FBI friend.

Jim Comey, Clinton, they are not the only ones who must be held accountable. Obama's attorney general, we now know, Loretta Lynch also now needs to be investigated over the secret tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton. Forty-five minutes in a plane on the tarmac and an FBO.

This goes directly against the department's ethics handbooks, which requires the A.G. to avoid any appearance of impropriety and potentially 18 USC 1505, obstruction of justice. And we still have not been told what exactly did Loretta Lynch know? When did she know it?

And, by the way, were the orders from the FBI really coming from the top of the DOJ? Well, we have to ask. What did she know, when did she know it?

What did Barack Obama know? When did he know it?

And let's not forget, we learned last week, FBI lovers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, they, too, need to be investigated for obstruction of justice. Remember this text, page texted Strzok July 2016, mocking Lynch's statement about accepting the FBI's conclusions in the Clinton email case, writing, it was, quote, a real profile in courage, and she knows no charges will be brought.

They knew the fix was in. And they determined last week when we saw their testimony that, in fact, oh, they knew it was all being run directly from the A.G.'s office. This is getting deeper than we ever thought.

And you better believe they played an integral role in first clearing Hillary Clinton, their chosen candidate that should win 100 million to zero, and setting up an insurance policy, aka, the Russia investigation against Donald Trump, just in case he won the election, that they tried their very best to prevent from happening.

The time for accountability is now. The time for transparency is now. The time to expose these few upper echelon deep state, you know, those that were conspiring the whole time, they need to be exposed. Otherwise, this will happen again.

We need to make it that no future president has to endure what has gone on here. And that means the American people need to have faith that there will we'll not be undermined by cowardly, corrupt, unelected bureaucrats that think they know better than we smelly Walmart people.

Now, we'll cover this coming up with the president in just a moment. But let's quickly turn to Chicago. For months, the overworked, literally, Chicago police department was forced to devote thousands of precious man- hours. We know about the violence in Chicago. And millions of dollars to investigate a purported hate crime.

You know the story. Actor Jussie Smollett claiming a duo of white Trump supporting racists wearing red MAGA hats attacked him on the street of Chicago. According to police, Smollett was lying and his claims were an elaborate hoax designed to boost his fame while denigrating Trump supporters everywhere.

Now, he was charged with 16 felonies, but within 10 minutes, we find out he is not going to be prosecuted. He will not see the inside of an Illinois state prison. He won't be forced to repay the city of Chicago. He's even thinking about suing them. He won't even own up to these alleged crimes.

Jussie is famous, Jussie is well-connected to far left politicians. So I guess Jussie gets a get-out-of-jail free card while the people in Chicago are left holding the bill. And tonight, while the people of Chicago are left blindsided by what is a corrupt, self-serving state attorney, Jussie could still face justice.

Remember, the racist threatening letter containing white powder allegedly sent through the mail to him, maybe by himself, according to some reports? That is a federal crime, needs to be investigated and apparently no federal investigation is ongoing. Justice must be served again. We can't have a dual justice system in this country and he must be held accountable.

Make no mistake, Jussie Smollett's actions are a product of the mainstream media. In other words, they were so quick to amp this story up and believe without any investigation whatsoever, no matter how farfetched, no matter how ridiculous. Remember, the two guys were on tape buying the very things that were allegedly used in the crime. So long as it fits their anti-Trump narrative, we all rush to destroy, smear anybody in the process.

Look at the case of the slander and smearing and besmirching of a 16-year- old kid. Yes, remember the Nicholas Sandmann case, Covington high school kids. Their reputations for days brutalized by many of you watching in the media tonight, because, oh, he was a Trump supporter. Fair game.

Beating up a 16-year-old kid the way you did? Well, watch out for Lin Wood. A lot of you will be paying out a lot of money over time. That is a prediction you can bet on.

Now, we've also got to demand accountability for those so-called networks, that call themselves news networks, and their disgusting conspiratorial coverage every second, minute, hour of every day.

Last night, we called out the chief conspiracy theorist at NBC News, Rachel Maddow, making a fortune at the expense of her viewers, filling their minds with pure fiction and creating a sense of any second now, we got him, we got him. They want to quench their anti-Trump hatred.

Well, now that the Mueller witch hunt is officially over, the truth has been laid bare for all to see, her nightly fake Trump Russia collusion theories may have made her a nationwide laughingstock. But honestly, her viewers, they kind of should have seen this coming a mile away. After all, Trump-Russia collusion is hardly a first venture into the land of tinfoil hat conspiracy theories.

Here is just a small sampling of the worst fake news stories and conspiracy theories she has been pushing over the past few years as the leader of the resistance. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: The perception that the president may have ordered these strikes, in part because of scandal, will affect the impact and the effectiveness of these military strikes.

What would happen if Russia killed the power in Fargo today, right? What would happen if the natural gas lines that serve Sioux Falls just poofed on the coldest day in recent memory? And it wasn't in our power whether or not to turn them on? I mean, what would you do if you lost heat indefinitely, as the act of a foreign power?

Even among White House sources, there's open speculation at the firing of McMaster last night and the announced hiring of John Bolton was timed by the president to distract from one particular interview that aired last night on CNN, an interview in which a woman named Karen McDougal discussed in detail what she says was a serious, ten-month long extramarital affair with the president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you book Donald Trump on your show, what would your first question be?

MADDOW: Are you going to send me or anybody that I know to a camp?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Wonder if Tom Brokaw and Andy Lack are proud of this. She'd never be trusted again, along fake news CNN and so many others.

All right. Joining us now exclusively on the phone, is the president of United States.

Mr. President, thank you for taking time for being with us tonight.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT (via telephone): Well, thank you, Sean, very much. It's an honor.

HANNITY: I appreciate you being here.

You really have not had an opportunity to react, to respond to the Mueller report, the A.G.'s letter, that summarized the report that exonerated you. No collusion after all these years, as you have been claiming. He left the decision as it relates to obstruction to the attorney general and deputy attorney general. They quickly said, no, that does not rise to the level.

And I wanted to get your reaction.

TRUMP: Well, we are very happy about it. It's gone on for a long time, almost since the beginning of my term, and you know, if you look at it, we've done so much despite that. But it was a cloud. It was a cloud that most people didn't believe, fortunately.

They spent more than $30 million, hundreds of interviews of people, in some cases very innocent people that were put through the ringer. Millions of document pages, millions and millions of document pages, and after that, there was no collusion, there was no obstruction. It was such a ridiculous thing that happened.

On the other hand, you know, you look at, how did this start? How did it start? You had dirty cops. You had people that are about FBI folks.

I know so many. They are incredible people. But at the top, they were not clean, to put it mildly. And what they did to our country was a terrible, terrible thing.

HANNITY: Mr. President, we talked a lot on this program about the FISA abuse scandal. And this is what we know, that in August of 2016, we know Bruce Ohr warned everybody at the DOJ and the FBI that Christopher Steele hated you, that Hillary Clinton paid for the dossier, that it was not verified. But still in October, and then three renewal application warrants approved, they were told by the Grassley-Graham memo, the bulk of information came from that phony dossier. Andrew McCabe said, no dossier, no FISA warrant.

There were Russian lies disseminated to the American people before the election, but it also violated the rights of Carter Page and gave a backdoor into your campaign for spying, which I know the media made fun of at the time, when you said it happened.

TRUMP: Well, when I said there could be somebody spying on my campaign, a lot of things happened. It was like -- it went wild out there. They couldn't believe that I could say such a thing.

And as it turned out, that was a small potatoes compared to what went on. When you look at what happened, and when it happened, and the money that was spent, the millions and millions on the phony dossier, and then they used the dossier to start things, and there was no truth whatsoever. It was a fraud and paid for by Hillary Clinton and paid for by the Democrats and the DNC. It's hard to believe.

If you wrote this as a novel, no one would buy it. It would be a failure because it will be too unbelievable. Nobody would believe it's possible, the things that went on.

And we're getting to the bottom of it, and it's got to be -- I mean, you can never allow this to happen to another president. This can never, ever happen to a president again, Sean. That was a disgrace and an embarrassment our country, that they were allowed to get away with this. Hopefully, they won't get away with it.

HANNITY: Do you now feel vindicated? Was there anything that the attorney general's report -- I know you have called for obviously the whole Mueller memo to be released, did anything surprise you? And what about the people that were collateral damage in all of this?

TRUMP: Well, people were hurt so badly, so badly. Their lives have been ruined and over -- you know, over something that should have never taken place, an investigation that should have never happened. There was no crime, as you know.

You're only allowed to do this legally if there is a crime. There was no crime. They've all admitted it. Comey, who is a terrible guy, Comey and McCabe and Strzok and Page, the lover, Page, and all of these people, they've admitted in testimony that there was no crime. So they'd started an investigation based on no crime.

I will say this, our new attorney general, Bill Barr, is a great gentleman. I've heard about him for years. He's a great man. Had he been there initially, this all would not have happened because what has gone on there is just a disgrace to our country.

HANNITY: Mr. President --

TRUMP: So, but a lot of -- a lot of innocent people were hurt very badly, and it's very, very sad actually.

HANNITY: For this to never happen again, what do you think the path is to getting to that point? In other words, the checks and balances that you believe need to be put in place so that a FISA court, in this case, it is not told Hillary paid for Russian lies, its own author doesn't stand by it, but yet it was used to obtain four FISA warrants that it gave a backdoor to your campaign.

What do you think needs to happen to prevent this from ever happening again? What checks and balances, and what should be pursued or not pursued in your opinion?

TRUMP: Well, I'm going to leave that to our new attorney general, who has been so incredible, actually. That's based on a lot of people saying, this is a very, very special person. That's what you need in that position. That's a very important position.

You need so many different -- you need genius, you need rationality, you need different levels of good.

And I'm also going to leave it to Lindsey Graham. He's head of Judiciary and Senate and a very, very good guy and a very smart guy. You know, I'm just going to let them do whatever they want to do, and I would imagine they don't like what they see, to put it mildly. But you would have to ask them.

I think it is much more appropriate -- I purposely did not want to involve myself in this whole thing. I wanted to let other people do it. And I wish he didn't take so long. You know, we are talking about really longer than, if you think about it, longer than Mueller -- it was many months before that that Strzok and Page were talking about the insurance policy, right?

The insurance policy -- just in case Hillary Clinton lost, they wanted an insurance policy against me. And what we were playing out until just recently was the insurance policy. They wanted to do a subversion. It was treason. It was really treason.

If the Republican Party had done this to the Democrats, if we had done this to President Obama, you'd have 100 people in jail right now and it would be treason. It would be considered treason and they'd be in jail for the rest of their lives.

But it worked out the other way, and, you know, it just is really a horrible situation. And an incredible outcome, or certainly very close to an outcome, and we'll have to see how it all started. But I'm going to leave that to other people, including the attorney general, and others, to make a determination.

But it's very, very important for our country to know, because in 50 years from now, and 100 years from now, if someone tries the same thing, they have to know that the penalty will be very, very great, if and when they get caught.

HANNITY: Before I get to the media question, would you consider, sir, a pardon? Look at General Flynn, for example, or Papadopoulos, who has had to spend 12 days in jail.

Is that something that you would consider at some point?

TRUMP: Well, as I told you, many, many people were hurt, incredibly hurt by this whole scam, just a scam. But it's much worse than that. It's at the highest level, and the importance is so -- what it meant our country, it's a very, very dark period, and I think maybe we are shedding a lot of light. We are going to come into a bright, beautiful, sunny day.

But when you mention General Flynn, he was a man who had an incredible record in the military, you see what happened to him. The FBI said he wasn't lying, as I understand it, and if the Mueller group said he was lying, and you know what he has gone through, and what so many others have gone through. I could name names that would just go on for the entire -- your entire show.

It's a very, very sad thing. I don't want to talk about pardons now but I can say, it's so sad on so many levels.

HANNITY: Let me ask you, I believe you probably have forever branded fake news fake news. I'm not sure if some of these companies will ever recover. I talked earlier in my monologue about, I don't really recall them ever talking about record accomplishments, record low unemployment, African- Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian-Americans, women in the workplace, youth unemployment, I mean, some really amazing numbers.

But I see every second, minute, hour, every day, there are attacks. I will tell you a small snippet. I'm only picking one network in this case, CNN. And just a small snippet of some of the coverage and speculation and things that have been said about you and want to get your reaction.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are looking at the possibility that the president of the United States and those around him during the election campaign colluded with a hostile foreign power to undermine the basis of our democracy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is evidence of willingness to commit collusion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It does look like collusion, it does look like he's listening to Putin more than he is American intelligence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, this picture that the president is so desperate to avoid, this picture of collusion, begins to fill in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president sees the walls are closing in and he's lashing out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's desperate. He's obviously flailing around because he feels the walls closing in.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Mr. President, I could play an hour's worth of coverage of that, for two years it's gone on.

What is your answer? What is a reaction to the media? I know you have been very critical. Fake news. Yes?

TRUMP: As many people have said, and fortunately we have had some incredible people that really were fair. When you mentioned Rush or Mark - - Mark Levin, or Steve Doocy, and Ainsley in the morning, and Brian and Laura, Jesse, Jeanine -- I hope Jeanine's back soon.

HANNITY: She's back Saturday.

TRUMP: So many people. I don't want to keep going because I'm going to leave out some people. I could again go so long. So many great people have been -- you know, they get it.

Nobody has been tougher, nobody, on Russia than me. And everybody -- my enemies say that, when they are reasonable enemies, when they are fair.

You look at the pipeline, exposing that going into Germany. You look at oil with the number one -- I mean, it is what we have done with energy, and oil and gas and that is all competition from -- for Russia.

You look at the Ukraine, you look at so many different levels. You look at our military. Look at the fact that we would have been powered by wind, which wouldn't have worked, by the way, because it only blows it sometimes, and lots of problems come about.

But we are stronger now as a country then we have ever been. We are doing better financially than we have ever done, our markets are hitting records all the time. I have many, many records of the highest stock market. People's 401(k)s are doing better than they have ever done by far. It's up almost 50 percent from the time I am elected president.

And other countries are way down. You look at China as an example, we are negotiating a deal with China. We're going to make a very good deal with China. China is way down. We are way up.

But nobody has been tougher to Russia or on Russia than Donald Trump, President Trump. Nobody even close.

And yet, with all of that, we want to have a great relationship with Russia. We want to have a great relationship with China. All of these things are smart to do. We'll do great with it. But nobody has been tougher.

And when I watched all of this nonsense, it was fake news, just terrible fake news, the good news is, based on polls and based on other things, based on where we stand now with the public, Sean, the people never bought it. They get what's happening.

Our country is doing fantastically well. More regulations cut than any other president, and that's only in two years. Nobody's come even close.

The big tax cuts, so many things we are going to do, incredible health care that the Democrats, frankly, wouldn't even know how to do. We all become the party of health care, the party of really good health care.

We've done so much and we have so much planned. So when I had to listen to CNN, which is so, so fake, so horribly fake, I would just -- I wouldn't listen often -- believe me, I wouldn't want to listen often. But whenever I did, whenever I thought, I have never seen anything like it. And MSNBC, the same thing.

The good news is, I heard their ratings last night, both of them were -- they dropped off the folder. They dropped to a level that nobody could believe because now that they see the Mueller report, where you look at their finding -- I mean, the finding was very, very strong. No collusion, no obstruction, no Russia, no nothing. And it's great.

I notice your record, you had virtually record ratings last night. So, that's because you have credibility.

So I want to thank Fox. I want to thank some of those people I just named, but also many others, they have been so fantastic to me, and really to our country.

And I really do. They're really amazing people, great people. And it wasn't so easy for them.

HANNITY: Mr. President, one thing I do point out often, and I honestly don't see it elsewhere in the media, you did keep your promise on your tax cuts. You did such records, ending bureaucratic regulation, judges, energy independence, trade deals, being tough on Iran, Jerusalem is now the capital, all those things.

I want to ask you especially, in a minute, about immigration and health care. But I want to just first run down some names and get your thoughts. James Comey tonight in an interview suggested, well, maybe he was fired for obstruction But I just played a tape of him saying that he could be fired anytime for any reason or no reason, which - so your thoughts on James Comey?

TRUMP: Well, he's right about that. For any reason - if you look at Article II, for any reason. But despite that, that was an incorrect statement. And when you say what I said, there was nothing said wrong there, but they didn't play the whole interview. When they play the whole thing, you see it exactly.

I mean, the fact is, it would only get worse. And I said this. It would only get worse if I fired him. I knew that it was going to get worse, not better. I'm not going to fire him and everything goes away. It would be a bigger deal if I fired him, and I knew that. So it was a negative, not a positive. And everybody knew that. But NBC didn't want to play it that way. They wanted to play it a different way.

And when you talk about people that are dishonest and when you talk about bad, fake news, NBC, where we had The Apprentice for many years as one of their most successful shows, NBC is as bad as CNN, I can tell you that.

HANNITY: Let me ask you. Adam Schiff is saying there's still collusion. By the way, I think one of the funniest tapes I've played in the show ever is the hoax, then you have a Russian talking about compromising material on a naked Trump, which is - again, talk about - and he thinks it's shown to Putin, and he's literally colluding to get information so that he can impact our electoral system. But he's still to this day. Now, prior to the Mueller conclusion that there was no collusion, none, and it was quoted in the Attorney General's report. We had a nine-month FBI investigation. They said no collusion.

TRUMP: Right.

HANNITY: Lisa Page and Peter Strzok said no collusion. The Senate Committee said no collusion. The House Committee said no collusion. That's all before two years of Mueller. But yet, this guy is still pushing this conspiracy theory. Thoughts on Adam Schiff.

TRUMP: Well, Schiff is a bad guy because he knew he was lying. I mean, he's not a dummy. And he knew he was lying. And for a year-and-a-half, he'd go on and just lie and lie and leak and call up CNN and others and just - you know, I watch him, so sanctimonious, and gets on and says, oh, well, we want to talk about Russia. He knew it was a lie, and he'd get into the backroom with his friends in the Democrat Party, and they would laugh like hell at what they were doing. That's a disgrace. And he knew it was a lie. And therefore, in one way, you could say it's a crime what he did because he was giving, I mean, horrible - making horrible statements that he knew were false.

And frankly, I heard they should force him off the committee or off the committee chair. He should be forced out of office. He is a disgrace to our country. And you have plenty of others. But he would go on night-after- night talking about collusion, the collusion delusion.

And I will tell you this about Russia. If they had anything on me, it would have come out a long time ago, probably a long time before I ran because they would have been better off, much better off. And I hope we really get along well with them, but they would have been a lot better off with Hillary Clinton as President. In terms of energy, in terms of oil and gas, look at what we're doing with the energy. It's incredible in our country. But that's a bad thing--

HANNITY: First time in 75 years. So--

TRUMP: --because of tremendous competition for Russia. Hillary wouldn't have let you drill. There'd be no oil, there'd be no gas, there'd be no anything to compete. Russia, if they were at all for me - and by the way, if you look at all of the things, they were sort of for and against both, not just one way. But you look at all of the different things, Russia would much rather have Hillary than Donald Trump. I can tell you that right now.

HANNITY: You after the election - I remember, and I was a little surprised because I know that a lot of the crowds - and you've had a lot of big crowds who chanted "lock her up" on Hillary. And after the election, you said, "You know what? Let's move on." Do you feel that way today?

TRUMP: No, not really. I did feel that way very much. The night I won, they were all screaming "lock her up, lock her up." Look, she lost 33 - they deleted 33,000 emails, and they were - BleachBit. That's a big deal and it's a very expensive process, and almost nobody does it because it's so expensive. But that's the way you really get rid of it. So she deleted 33,000 emails. Can you imagine if I did that? Supposing I did that, I gave millions of pages to these people that were--

HANNITY: 1.5 million.

TRUMP: --I mean, in one case, was involved with the Clinton Foundation, in another case, Weissmann. You know all about Weissmann, and many others. We gave millions of pages. They found nothing. If they would have found one bad sentence out of millions of pages, believe me, it would have been front and center. It would have been front and center. But it's true.

When I - on November 8, 2016, one of the great nights that a lot of people have had because they came from the hills and the mountains, they came from the valleys, they came from everywhere, Sean. And it was an incredible evening. And they've been rewarded because our job numbers, our unemployment numbers, all of the numbers that they really wanted are the best we've ever had.

But I will say this. I said, "You know, let's get back on, let's not think about the past, let's think about the future." But now I think thinking about the past is just OK because we can never let this happen again in our country or to another President. I'm not talking about me. I'm talking into the future, we can never allow this treasonous - these treasonous acts to happen to another President. This was an attempted takeover of our government, of our country, an illegal takeover. And if it were the other way around, where I was doing it to President Obama or a Democrat, it would be virtually the maximum sentence that you can find no matter where you look in whatever legal book.

HANNITY: Let me ask you now, I was very critical of the team that Robert Mueller put together. You mentioned Andrew Weissmann - I've gone through his record - was at Hillary Clinton's victory party. Only Democratic donors, no Republicans at all, no Republican donors, and also Jeannie Rhee who worked for the Clinton Foundation as a lawyer was appointed. How do you feel about Mueller today? And were you surprised at all, considering the team that he picked in this particular case? It seemed pretty partisan Democrat. And I thought it was extraordinarily unfair to pick that biased a team.

TRUMP: Yeah, it didn't seem to be biased. It was biased. I mean, it was--

HANNITY: That's a good point.

TRUMP: --tremendously anti-Trump. It was never-Trumpers, and it was anti- Trump. I think in every single instance. I know that Andrew Weissmann was at her - I guess you'd call it the wake, which was the big evening on November 8th. He was there to celebrate - to celebrate a victory. And he was there, and not a happy camper. But these were people that contributed, most of them contributed to her campaign. I mean, it was shocking to see it.

So - I wasn't exactly sure. I know one thing. I had nothing to do with Russia. But I wasn't exactly - when I looked at the team that was assembled, I wasn't exactly sure what they would - maybe they'd take a sentence from here and a sentence from there, I had no idea. I know one thing. I was the most innocent human being. And they all said it. Even Comey said he found no wrongdoing when - in one of the few times he didn't lie because he lied in front of Congress. Brennan lied. Many of these people lied to Congress, and nothing happened. And yet, with Flynn, where they didn't even know if he lied based on--

HANNITY: They thought he didn't.

TRUMP: --what the reports are. And others, look what happened to them on the other side. But these people, there were so many lies, and lies before Congress, which is just about the ultimate, sworn testimony where Comey told so much. And he leaked - he leaked classified information. Well, if somebody in our team leaked classified information, it would be years in jail. So nobody can understand what went on.

Nobody really understands one other thing. When the report came out, why didn't they look at all of these acts on the other side? Why was it they only looked at our people? And now, all of that being said, the end result - it took a long time, almost two years, but the end result is no collusion and no obstruction. But it took a long time to get there.

HANNITY: Mr. President, you have the ability to release the FISA applications. There was the original application, three subsequent renewal applications. We are told, Andrew McCabe said, no dossier, no FISA warrant. That was a backdoor to your campaign before the election.

TRUMP: Right.

HANNITY: The dossier also was leaked to The Washington Post, parts of it, and Isikoff and David Corn, to the American people, and of course, never verified. Do you have plans to release those FISA applications, Gang of Eight information, the 302s of Bruce Ohr and others, and the five buckets that John Solomon and Sara Carter, as they call them?

TRUMP: I do. I have plans to declassify and release. I have plans to absolutely release. But I have some very talented people working for me, lawyers. And they really didn't want me to do it early on. Devin Nunes, by the way, and Meadows, you look at Jim Jordan, and so many of the people that were - they worked so hard. And a lot of people wanted me to do it a long time ago. I'm glad I didn't do it. We got a great result without having to do it, but we will.

One of the reasons that my lawyers didn't want me to do it is they said, if I do it, they'll call it a form of obstruction. So they will say, oh, you released these documents, so we would make all of this information transparent. You know, in politics, you always hear transparency - would make it transparent. And then they'd call it obstruction, knowing the people we're dealing with.

So, frankly, I thought it would be better if we held it to the end. No, but at the right time, we will be absolutely releasing it. And I did the right thing by not doing it so far. But you understand, they would call it something that it wouldn't be. It's the only time you'd be transparent where they'd say bad things about transparency.

HANNITY: Mr. President, due to testimony - thanks to Georgia Republican Collins, we now have testimony. One thing that shocked me a little bit last week was the testimony of Strzok and Page, where both of them suggesting that the fix was in on Hillary, and because it was being - every decision was being run through the AG's office. That means Loretta Lynch, who also met on the tarmac with Bill Clinton, which brings us to a higher level than maybe we once thought.

Any reaction to that with Loretta Lynch, apparently, according to Strzok and Page, running the show, making the decisions for the FBI at that time? And remember, the interaction between Comey and Loretta Lynch, when he said it's an investigation, she said, no, it's a matter.

TRUMP: Well, first of all, Doug Collins is fantastic, the job he is doing. He's been incredible. I wish he were Chairman, but he's not. But we're not off by much. I think we'll retake the House because they see what we've done and they see the confusion and everything. All they want to do is investigate, and now the investigation is turning out to be something that's not very good.

And Nancy Pelosi is smart. She's right in what she's saying because, to be honest with you, especially now after this great result, because I didn't know - you just can't - when you see the people that we're talking about, you just don't know that you're going to get a no-collusion answer, a strong no-collusion answer.

But I will say, I want to thank Doug Collins. I'll also say that you start taking a look at what happened on the tarmac. A lot of people say a lot of bad things happened on the tarmac between Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton. I've had a lot of planes for a long time. I've never stopped the plane on the tarmac to let somebody on the plane. And then they when and they talked about golf and their grandchildren for 40 minutes. It doesn't work that way. What did they talk about? And then she was exonerated. She was given one of the great free passes of all time.

And I guess Bill Clinton said he was there to play golf. But I know the - I know the area very well, Arizona. It's a little warm at that time of the year for golf. OK? And people - a lot of people - it's a great state, I love it, but you're not playing a lot of golf right there at that time. So you have to find out, what happened in the back of that plane that so many things took place after that incident, that meeting between the Attorney General Lynch and Bill Clinton? A lot of bad things happened right after that. You have to find out. So there's so many different things, and it's important for our country that those things be determined and found out.

HANNITY: Last question about people and then - if you don't mind, I wanted to ask you about substantive issues. A couple of big things happened on immigration and health care this week. The last two, we know that Clapper lied under oath. I believe the statute of limitations, though, was passed. And in the case of Brennan, we know that there was surveillance unmasking and leaking raw intelligence, an increase of 350 percent of unmasking, Samantha Powers, who was working for the U.N., asking for 300 cases unmasked, she denies it.

TRUMP: Right.

HANNITY: But in that particular case of Brennan and Clapper - and Brennan, in particular, multiple times accused you of treason.

TRUMP: Yeah.

HANNITY: Your reaction?

TRUMP: Well, I think Brennan is a sick person. I really do. I believe there's something wrong with him. And I watched for him to come out of the CIA and act that way. Was so disrespectful to the country and to the CIA and to the position he held. And he was not considered good at what he did. He was never a respected guy. Tough guy, but not a respected guy. But he lied to Congress.

And the other night, before the report came out, he predicted horrible things. So things he said were horrible. And then today, I guess he said something - I didn't see it, but I heard he said, "Well, I must have had bad sources or bad information. I mean, this is a man who really is either sick or there's some other problem. But the way he spoke -- and as you know, Clapper lied, and perhaps the statute of limitations ran out on that one, but it didn't run out on Comey, it didn't run out on Brennan or Strzok or Page or McCabe.

I mean, McCabe, his wife got hundreds of thousands of dollars. He was running the FBI and running all sorts of cases, and his wife got hundreds of thousands of dollars from essentially Clintons, from Clintons' closest friend. And then he ruled so favorably. I mean, he tries to say that he wasn't involved. I don't think too many people believe that. I don't believe that. But she got all those good rulings. It's really a scandalous situation.

And it's so badly that it reflects so horribly a guy like Ohr, with his wife, Nellie Ohr, and GPS Fusion. She wrote the report and then goes, gives it to her husband who is at the DOJ, and then he goes and brings it to the FBI, and she's getting paid for doing it. It's incredible.

HANNITY: Yeah.

TRUMP: The things that happened are incredible and very, very bad for our country.

HANNITY: Well, I hope you're right. I think we've got to get to the bottom of it, because if we don't - and the media has been no help, the biggest abuse of power scandal. If I may move on to a couple of issues, conservatives that - when you had a 35-day shutdown, you were inviting Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer to sit with you. You put DACA on the table, Dreamers on the table.

You wanted to quickly - they said they wanted - they've furloughed employees to be paid. After 35 days, you decided, OK, this strategy is not working. I was pretty confident. I think I've known you well over 20 years now that you were just changing strategies. But we now know that they couldn't override the veto, and that means how much money now is available for the wall and what is the status, the progress, how many more miles need to be built, how many have you repaired, how many miles? Where are we with all of this?

TRUMP: We've repaired, I mean, literally - many, many miles. I could give you numbers, but many, many miles. We're building many miles. We're going to have hundreds of miles are already under construction or soon to be under construction. Billions of dollars will be necessary. It's absolutely vital if you look at what's happening at the border. It's terrible with the human traffickers, the drugs, everything that's coming across. And it goes across the soft points, which are the points without the wall. And we will have hundreds of miles built fairly quickly. Billions of dollars.

We took a billion dollars in today. And I'm building it much less expensively than it was in the past. If you look at the past, they were talking about 25 to $30 billion. I'm building it for a fraction of that. The wall is better. It's going up faster. The Army Corps of Engineers is doing a great job working with us, and we have some real professionals. And the military has been incredible, putting up the barbwire - essentially, it's barbwire. It's actually barbwire-plus. But it's incredible what they've done. You've seen it. I mean, many, many miles of wire.

And if we didn't have it, we would really have a problem. But we are - like, we're really capturing. Let's use the word capturing. We're capturing people that are coming in illegally. We're not just releasing them. In some cases, we're running out of room. In many cases, now we're running out of room. The laws are so bad. Normally you just bring them back, but the laws don't let you do that. Our laws that could be easily changed by the Democrats, but they are so bad and so corrupt on immigration, whether it's catch-and-release or chain migration or any of the various things that we have to put up with. It's terrible.

So - but we're doing fantastically. We're building - in fact, in two weeks, I'm going to a location, it's going to be in California. Believe it or not, they were begging us to build in San Diego, begging us to build a wall. And we're just in the process of completing a major stretch of many miles of wall. And we're going to have a news conference there just to show people that--

HANNITY: Mr. President, do you--

TRUMP: --it's really good stuff. It's better, less expensive, and goes up faster. But it's actually better than what they were doing before. So we're going to have it done, and we're in great shape. And I got great support from the Republicans, both in Congress. If you look at our congressmen and women and from the Senate, I really had great support. Couple of them, people voted against, but you know what? That's OK. They had their reasons. But we had great support.

HANNITY: And you will be able to use, according to the Department of Defense, a significant number of billions of dollars because--

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Many billions, yeah.

HANNITY: --your emergency declaration.

TRUMP: Many billions. And if you go to a lot of the generals, they will tell you, this is a national emergency. This is - we need to defend our country. You have people pouring in. I mean, they are - and now we're capturing these people. We're - we're getting them. But we don't do like other countries. Other countries stand there with machine guns ready to fire. We can't do that and I wouldn't want to do that. OK? It's a very effective way of doing it, and I wouldn't want to do it. We can't do it.

But we do - if we have barriers, if we have the walls like we're building now, and building a - a lot of people don't think we're building walls. We're building massive, many, many, many miles of walls right now. And we're gearing up to do many more. We'll have hundreds of miles of walls built in the very near - built and renovated, too. A lot of it, we're able to use the old carcass of a wall. We fixed it and we - for a smaller amount of money, we're able to build a wall that's literally just as good as new.

So we've done a lot of work on it, lot of talent has been involved, and we've had really a tremendous help. A lot of people agree. I mean, most people agree. Even the Democrats agree. They don't say that. They go into back rooms - like I said before about Schiff, they go back there and they laugh, but they go into the room and laugh. Everyone knows you need the wall. The Democrats, almost every one of them voted for the walls in the past. But now they don't because they don't want to give us a victory. But they're hurting the country. They're not hurting me. They're hurting the country.

HANNITY: Mr. President, you've heard about the New Green Deal. You see the people that would like to challenge you in 2020. Proposals of as high as a 70 percent top marginal tax rate for individuals, 90 percent for corporations, a wealth tax. The New Green Deal says, no oil, no gas at all. We're now energy-independent for the first time in over 70 years, and we are now a net exporter of energy because of lending bureaucracy and regulations. And then it's everything is free, everything.

And on top of that, they're going to get rid of the combustion engine, and we're going to also get rid of perhaps cows and airplanes, and we are going to build high-speed trains, and just Medicare for all with no other choices. What is your reaction, as you watch this New Green Deal and the comments of all these new candidates? Do you have any reaction to it?

TRUMP: Well, I don't want to speak badly about the New Green Deal, Sean, because, frankly, I'm afraid that they'll stop using it because I really do want to campaign against it. It's ridiculous. All right? It's crazy. And it will cost $100 trillion. Nobody knows what that means. That means it's more money than you have in the world. And it will be catastrophic. It's not going to happen. It's just talk.

And of course, they'll campaign on it. They'll say we're going to give free everything, you're going to end up being Venezuela if that's happening. We have a nice big problem with Venezuela. You look at Venezuela, was a wealthy country not long ago, and now it's one of the poorest countries. We'll end up being the same thing.

The New Green Deal is ridiculous, but I don't want to speak badly because I want them to keep going forward with it. I really look forward to campaigning. It's just a little bit early. Just like Elizabeth Warren. I hit her too hard too early, and now it looks like she's finished. I wish she would have been in the race, and frankly, I would have loved to have run against her, but I would say she's probably finished. But they have plenty left. New Green Deal is going nowhere.

HANNITY: Let me ask you, you - many presidents had promised Israel that they would move the capital from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. You made the tough decision. You've got that done. I've known the Prime Minister of Israel personally for well over 20 years like I've known you for well over 20 years. I have always viewed Prime Minister Netanyahu as a Churchillian figure with moral clarity that few people had on the world stage, standing alone often. And I saw that you - I thought it was a very big announcement about the Golan Heights being Israel's territory.

As you see the rise of anti-semitism, not just - we have members of Congress that have said horrible things. But in Europe and elsewhere, and the dangers of the small country, radical Islam, I just wanted to get your reaction to the importance of Israel as our close ally.

TRUMP: Well, you don't have to go to other countries when you see what's going on in this country. Yesterday, I was very honored to do the Golan Heights. That was something that was promised by many, many presidents over many, many years, and I got it done.

Then you look at also Jerusalem - moving the Embassy to Jerusalem. For years, many presidents for many decades campaigned on it. They were going to do it, then they never did it because frankly, it was much tougher to do than people would ever understand. It was very tough. I understand why they ultimately didn't do it. They didn't get it done, but I got it done. Not only did I get it done, I got the embassy built for a fraction - a tiny, tiny fraction of the cost of what it was supposed to cost. And now, as you know, the Embassy is open. It's not just designated, it's open in Jerusalem.

So, look, I'm very proud of what we've done for Israel. I'm very proud of my relationship with Israel. And what's going on with the Democrats and with Jewish people and the Democrats and Israel is shocking to me. I grew up in a world where people really - and Democrats, they loved Israel. And now I'm looking at a world where many Democrats seem to hate Israel. They seem to despise Israel. And it's a tremendous surprise to me--

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: You know--

TRUMP: --what's going on with Israel and the Democrat Party is absolutely horrific. Terrible.

HANNITY: I meant to ask you earlier. Devin Nunes, who's been on this show many times, and I think has been - when he was the Chairman of the House Intel Committee, he wrote and warned everybody, we have watched Russia over the years, a hostile regime, hostile actor on the world stage.

We know that Barack Obama caught on that microphone saying I'll have a lot more flexibility in my next term, and then the case of Schiff being caught on tape thinking - colluding, trying to get information about you to impact our electoral system. But more importantly, we have known that they have impacted other nations' elections. Nunes warned this country about how hostile they are on our elections.

We need free, fair elections. We do know that they tried, attempted to influence, seemingly on both sides. How do we prevent them? We have 250,000 IT people working for our government. How do we not have the ability to stop this type of hostility coming from foreign powers, hostile regimes like Russia?

TRUMP: Well, first of all, let me say that Devin Nunes is someday going to be hailed as a great American hero. They tried to destroy that man because he spoke up for good and just and all of the things that you have to speak up for. But most people don't have the courage to do it. He will be someday hailed as a great American hero, what he did. They tried to ruin him. They tried to destroy him. They tried to ruin his life and his family. And he just kept plugging like there was nothing going on. I mean, it was an amazing thing.

As far as your other part of the question, in September, if you look, supposedly, the FBI told President Obama all about Russia trying to get involved in some form in the election. And he decided to do nothing about it because he thought Hillary Clinton was going to win. So he didn't want to do anything because he thought that Clinton was going to win and he didn't want to upset the applecart. But he knew about it.

And the question is - one of the many, many questions, and this is probably not as big as other questions because you're talking about major, major treason and corrupt and all of the things. But one of the questions, why didn't he do something? He knew about it. This wasn't up to me. I wasn't President when all of this was happening. Why didn't President Obama and the Obama administration do something when they were informed about Russia and the election?

HANNITY: Mr. President, I only have about another minute-and-a-half. Thank you for being so generous with your time. Will you make it a priority before the 2020 elections to make sure we have election integrity and beef up our defenses as a country, so no foreign entity can have any impact? And how important is that and the steps that you're thinking about taking? A little over a minute.

TRUMP: Well, I think it's very important to know that Russia or anybody else had no impact on votes. And that's very important for people to know. And that's been coming out, as you know, from every agency and everybody that's done it. So whether they tried, and how hard they tried, and President Obama knew, the bottom line is, they had zero impact on the election of 2016. And I'm very happy about that.

That is - that's what we're all about. We can't allow that to happen in any way, shape, or form. But we are putting very strong safeguards in. We're having many - this sounds a little old-fashioned, but the best backup is a paper backup, not a computer backup. And we have many paper backups, just in case there is a problem, something which they didn't have before. But we are being very vigilant and working very hard.

HANNITY: Sir--

TRUMP: And we have tremendous systems in place, Sean.

HANNITY: 10-second answer. Will you get - now that the Justice Department, on Obamacare, joining with the court decision, will we get that done? It's - we only have 10 seconds.

TRUMP: We're going to do great. We're going along with Texas. We're winning the case. And we're going to have great health care. The Republican Party will be the party of great health care. You watch.

HANNITY: And pre-existing conditions and choices.

TRUMP: All included. We're going to have pre-existing conditions, absolutely and we already got rid of the individual mandate which was costing people a fortune, was terrible.

HANNITY: Mr. President, thank you so much for your time tonight. We appreciate you staying so long and answering so many questions. We appreciate it.

TRUMP: Thank you very much, Sean.

HANNITY: That's all the time we have left. Let not your heart be troubled. Laura Ingraham is standing by, live next.

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