This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," June 19, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: You're become a better man every day.
All right. We start tonight with a Fox News alert. The president Donald Trump announced he is running for reelection last night, he will join us in just a few minutes, an exclusive one-on-one interview. You don't want to miss it.
Unlike the media mob, we'll let him talk and we're not playing gotcha.
Last night, the president officially kicked off his reelection bid, a massive rally. A 20,000 seat arena in Orlando packed to the brim, more than 150,000 people, by the way, wanted to be there, and many more stood in an overflow area outside, with some literally waiting in line over 40-plus hours just to get in.
Well, I guess the greatest show on earth considering there is no guitar, there's no Billy Joel, or Elton John, Jimi Hendrix, and I don't think the resident sings well.
But the president and thousands upon thousands of pumped up supporters -- now, I would say it's fair to compare his crowds to any of his radical socialist, 24 Democrats want to go up against him in the next presidential election.
Like, for example, sleepy, creepy, crazy Uncle Joe. Has he ever filled in arena, one time? Obama did, I don't think Joe has. Only 600 people came to his first campaign rally.
Elizabeth Warren, to her credit, she did slightly better. She had a whopping 3,500 supporters that showed up in her home state of Massachusetts.
Meanwhile, the one time rising star of the Democratic Party, Robert Francis, Beto, Bozo O'Rourke, he amassed 1,000 people, roughly 1/20 the size of the president's rally, look at your screen.
Now, the enthusiasm gap is massive, but not everyone sees the handwriting on the wall. So-called journalists, so called pundits, the ones who have been lying to you for two-plus years and have pushed conspiracy theories and hoaxes and never thought Donald Trump would win, well, they use last nights rally to trash the president and his supporters.
And, by the way, as we start the show tonight, I also start with a "thank you" because by -- we had well over 5 million people just tune into this one hour, never mind, you know, Tucker's hour, never mind the other cable channels. Never mind the other media outlets, very impressive showing by the president last night.
We're not the media mob. We are more than, yes, smelly people that like Walmart, that cling to our guns, God, bibles, religion. We're not irredeemable, deplorables, although some people think so, and it appears the mob has learned absolutely positively nothing from 2016. Let's take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It turned into a "lock her up" chant tonight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sure. And that's a reflection of Donald Trump's followers. Just as we hold the president accountable, we should hold his followers who make those chants accountable as well.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was a very dark speech, though. It was almost like the live-action version of American carnage, his inauguration address. It didn't feel like a celebration of America being great again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is grievance-palooza. This is -- everyone there -- there's not affirmative feeling about the greatness of the future or some vision for the future. There are a lot of people there, classic Florida, they're a little bit, a smattering of QAnon, there are people wearing their formal flip-flops and their cargo pants.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No disrespect to the king of rock 'n' roll but this is Elvis in 1977. Just lumbering across the stage, sweating.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: I have a message for the conspiracy theorists on fake news NBC, yes, the conspiracy network, the Americans who showed up last night in flip-flops and cargo shorts -- well, they will be the people that choose the next president. They are the ones who were right in 2016 and all of you were wrong. I suggest you go back and watch yourself on Election Day and I know the exit polls show that Donald Trump didn't win, and you all started your coverage giddy and happy and uplifted and you thought you had it in the bag.
And then, all of a sudden, well, North Carolina came around and Wisconsin came around, and Michigan came around, and Pennsylvania came around, and Ohio came around and yes, Florida came around and what happened? It didn't work out the way you wanted and you could see the depression set in in the media mob, an amazing night.
The forgotten men and women in this country, the ones that suffered the most under Biden-Obama, the people that make this country great every day, they didn't buy into your lies, your conspiracy theories and your hoax the last two years. And as the president has been setting records as it relates to the economy and jobs and everything else -- well, they have turned off the nightly vitriol of fake news CNN and MSNBC, they have had enough of all of your disgusting Hitler comparisons too.
Jeff Zucker, you run fake news CNN. Your ratings are in the tank.
I know Jimmy Acosta is begging to be on my show. His book was 550 on Amazon today. You can barely break a million any hour during the day, we had over 5 million last night -- nobody is watching.
You let your, quote, "journalist" Don Lemon say this on your network last night? You should be ashamed of yourself. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Think about the despicable people we've had in history. OK, I'm going to use an extreme example. Think about Hitler, think about any of those people. If you can look back on history, would you say, well, I'm so glad that person was allowed a platform so they could spread their hate and propaganda and lies? Or would you say it probably wasn't the right thing to do to spread that? Because you knew in the moment that was a bad person and they were doing bad things. Not only were they hurting people, they were killing people and so, I just think --
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: I think that the example matters and that's a very extreme example.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: What really happened was this: when the president six-plus minutes into his speech last night, said all of those fake news people in the back and then the crowd started chanting again -- not chanting, screaming -- well, telling the truth about fake news CNN, that CNN sucks, CNN couldn't take the criticism and they turned it off.
Don Lemon and Jeff Zucker, you need to pick up a history book every now and then from prison reform to tax cuts to promises made and kept, constitutional justices, to the right to try, to ending burdensome regulation, to energy independence, to killing that stupid Iranian deal, to, yes, recognizing Israel and Jerusalem as the capital and the Golan as Israel's territory, President Trump is committed to preserving the freedom of all Americans.
And in case you haven't noticed because every second, every minute, every hour of every day, you're focused on hating the president, which is true, maybe you would have noticed that, well, Obama-Biden had 13 million more Americans on food stamps after eight years, 8 million more in poverty, the worst recovery since the ‘40s, the lowest labor participation rate since the ‘70s, lowest homeownership rate in 51 years, oh, they took on more debt than all 43 presidents before them combined and never hit 3 percent GDP in their eight years.
Now we have a record low unemployment for African-Americans, for Asian- Americans, Hispanic-Americans, women in the workplace, and youth unemployment is literally at a 50-year low. That means kids instead of trouble, they get summer job like me when I was a kid. I was rather incorrigible.
Peace, prosperity are on the rise. We're now energy independent for the first time in 75 years. The president's approval rating, by the way, I don't think he rates like most politicians. I don't think you can pull Donald Trump. Honestly, that's my opinion.
But anyway, that's not all. For the first time in many decades, if you would stop with your rage, your psychosis and your obsession and hating the president, well, the Trump administration is taking major steps to hold our massive government bureaucracy accountable, because President Trump, his Attorney General Bill Barr, a story that you missed, the biggest abuse of power in American history, corruption on a level that is so bad that if we don't stop it, we'll lose this great democratic republic that so many fought, bled and died for.
But the corrupt 1 percent of a two-tiered justice system in this country, they are finally getting the attention they deserve. Unfortunately, you are all wrong, this program got it right, and thankfully we had an ensemble team -- John Solomon, Gregg Jarrett, Tom Fitton, Sara Carter -- I can't mention -- Jeanine Pirro, Joe diGenova, Victoria Toensing, I can't mention everybody -- committed to peeling every layer of the deep state onion and tonight, "The Hill's" John Solomon is back with another bombshell report.
Now, for months, we have highlighted Christopher Steele's dirty dossier, bought and paid for, Russian lies by Hillary Clinton. According to Solomon, it was not the only fraudulent document used against a Trump campaign associates. In 2017, the FBI pushed something called the "Black Cash Ledger" to obtain multiple warrants, in this case, on Paul Manafort. The only problem -- by the way, I think they want Paul Manafort to die of jail, first isolation, now they want to put him in Rikers, then they want to give him state charges and charge them all over again which I believe is double jeopardy, and I've always known that Mueller and his merry team of Weissmann the pit bull and Jeannie Rhee, Clinton's former attorney, were just bad people.
But "Black Cash Ledger" which these other news networks would never tell you about, was full of a lot of crap. Solomon writes, quote: The feds were warned repeatedly the document could be trusted and likely was a fake. Ukraine's top prosecutor said the document was not authenticated, should not be used in any way to bring accusations against anybody.
Wow, do you hear a peel in your ear? The ledger's key assertion, Manafort received cash payments by all accounts are totally false. We'll have more of my monologue coming up, President Trump is coming up right after.
First, joining us with this breaking news, he is the vice president of "The Hill", investigative reporter John Solomon.
John, I'll throw it to you, this is a big story.
JOHN SOLOMON, THE HILL EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT: Yes, absolutely. It's the second piece of evidence. We now know that the FBI used to justify the early Trump investigation for which they were warned early on the information was likely suspect and perhaps fake.
This black ledger turned up in Ukraine in 2016 and a very early on, the FBI was repeatedly warned that the information didn't match the official records of party of regents, and Paul Manafort's records, and yet a year later in 2017, when they began executing search warrants, the use of the ledger in the FBI affidavit supporting probable cause saying this ledger exists, credible media reports talk about it, we think you should consider it as you give us the power to have a search warrant.
I've talked to criminal defense lawyers, FBI agents, FBI supervisors, they reviewed all the evidence I did -- they were shocked to see the FBI used, people called it inexplicable against the FBI manual. It's a really -- it's a second time we've now seen the FBI proceeding with evidence for which they had not yet vetted it properly.
HANNITY: You know, John, I just urge everyone to read this. It's on Hannity.com, FoxNews.com. It's on my Twitter account: FBI warned early and often that Manafort might be faked. They used it anyway.
You know, I've always said, why would you appoint a team of only Democrats? You couldn't find one Republican? You're really going to appoint Hillary Clinton's attorney? You're going to investigate Russia and not investigate the phony dossier?
John Solomon, thank you.
Joining us now, by the way, the president will be joining us in a minute. First reaction, former speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, Fox News contributor.
Mr. Speaker, I see literally unfolding before our eyes, something you are familiar with and that is a choice election. But you brought Republicans back to power for the first time in 40 years, I'll ask you.
NEWT GINGRICH, CONTRIBUTOR: I thought the president's choice of keeping America great was close to perfect. On the other side, you have a group of left-wingers who want to keep America weak, and I think the contrast for the average person by next summer -- and this is my message, frankly, to House Republicans too. I think Trump could win the kind of shattering election that makes it possible to take back the House, to increase our Senate majority, and I think when you look at where the Democrats are going, they are verging on crazy.
You look at their issue choices. I mean, let's have a big debate about whether or not we need reparations for slavery. Let's have a big debate over whether or not you should be allowed to kill babies after they are born. Let's have a debate about open borders, sanctuary cities and letting illegal criminals out.
The Democrats are just setting themselves up and I think the president -- he intuits it, he knows it's there, he's a great campaigner, and I thought his kickoff was just astounding.
HANNITY: Mr. Speaker, you've been through a lot of election cycles. You see the 24 Democrats.
HANNITY: We see the crowds the president draws everywhere he goes, and he doesn't sing or play guitar, or play the piano. I mean, seriously. I don't -- we don't see this.
GINGRICH: Don't --
HANNITY: You've been around a long time. What is the difference? And compare it to the Democrats that are running?
GINGRICH: Well, it's a huge difference. Donald J. Trump ran for office to represent the average working American patriot who is sick and tired of their country being sold out, sick and tired of an elite, arrogant bureaucracy, which you just discussed with John Solomon about the whole notion of what the FBI was doing. It was exactly why the American people were upset.
Trump has proven that he's got great courage. He took two and a half, three years of getting beaten up every single day, didn't back off one inch. He just kept coming.
And so, I think that the average -- you know, my guess is that Trump's potential now is somewhere between 55 and 60 percent when the election is over, because between the economy, more African-Americans employed than ever before, more Latinos employed, wages going up, and the value choice between the anti-American left that we are seeing emerge every single day - - the things that AOC said the last few days about, you know, the notion that we somehow have concentration camps on the border, just an absolute, total lie.
And I think the average American is going to look at that and say, that's not a party I trust and President Trump has proven I can trust him.
HANNITY: Mr. Speaker, I'd only interrupt you for one person, it certainly wouldn't be me. Thank you --
HANNITY: Thank you for being with us.
GINGRICH: Glad to be with you.
HANNITY: Joining us now is the president of the United States, President Trump.
Sir, good to have you back on the program.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT (via telephone): Hi, Sean.
HANNITY: You know, I watched you last night. You seem to really love what you did last night. Explain -- you know, why is this important to you?
And why -- there is a phenomenon that people show up at your rallies. We don't see the same thing at the Democratic rallies. Why is that in your view?
TRUMP: There was tremendous energy in that room last night. And there was -- and we've had a lot of energy in virtually every rally. But there was just a special energy. I announced we are going forward with the second term as you know.
But the level -- it was like being at a world championship college football game where the score was tied going into the last minute. It was the entire rally. It was an incredible scene. And outside, there was thousands of people.
And, I mean, we were asking people not to show up, we were saying, please don't come, letting the word -- because we had 121,000 people who I guess it holds 20,000 or 25,000 people inside if you include the basketball court which was loaded up with great, loving patriots. And it was just an electric evening, Sean.
HANNITY: You know, I want to ask you, I don't know if you saw the show on Monday. But Monday, we had our friend Lawrence Jones down there or I guess it was Tuesday night -- no, it was Monday.
And it looked like a tailgating party and people there, 40, 45 hours in the pouring rain before the event. I actually kind of regretted not going because I wanted to hang out with the people outside because they were having a blast.
TRUMP: They are people that love our country and they love seeing what's happening. And it was in a way a tailgate party for the country. Not for a team -- although it's a team when you think about it. But it's a tailgate party for our country.
And it was just -- the feeling was -- it was like love. But it's love for what we are all about, for the things we stand for. It was a beautiful -- it was a beautiful evening. It was -- and even the enemies, and, you know, we have a lot of people that don't like us so much. You possibly have heard about that, Sean, I'm not sure, but possibly.
HANNITY: I might have read about that.
TRUMP: The people were even saying --
TRUMP: -- some (ph) say that they never seen anything like it. It was special.
And you know it was pouring, they had a monsoon -- I don't think one person walked off line. They had a rain like you haven't seen. And it didn't -- nobody left. They just sat there and stood there and some brought tents. They were there for two days waiting to get in, incredible evening.
HANNITY: I bought a painting from this guy in Utah. His name is John McNaughton (ph) and it was called "The Forgotten Man".
HANNITY: I have the original copy, I paid a lot of money for it, and I bought it because it mattered to me.
If you recall in 2015 and 2016, I told everybody what the Biden-Obama record was after eight years. I said it almost every day on radio and TV for a year, 13 million more Americans on food stamps, 8 million more in poverty, worst recovery since the ‘40s, lowest homeownership rate in 51 years, lowest labor participation rate since the ‘70s, more debt than 43 presidents before them combined, and they never hit one year 3 GDP growth, for a year.
HANNITY: And those are all real people. You talked at length about record low unemployment, the best employment situation from 1969. I know that the media talks about Russia still after four investigations, they want a fifth.
But what does it mean to you that we now have 2 million more jobs available than people that are on unemployment? What does it mean to you?
TRUMP: Well, the media isn't talking about Russia so much. You know, the Mueller report concluded on Russia, there was absolutely no collusion. And, frankly, they led to the conclusion by the great attorney general that there was no obstruction.
It's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. It's a hoax. It was a hoax, a witch hunt, but a hoax, the whole thing.
Gregg Jarrett said it very well when he named his book "The Russian Hoax." And it's disgraceful that they are allowed, and they are very upset now because it didn't turn out like they thought because we did. We had 18 angry Democrats that hated Trump and many of them contributed to Hillary's campaign. And it came out there was no collusion.
So, they don't -- I don't hear Russia much anymore. You know, they've given up on that one. But, you know, they did something that is a disgrace.
I will say if the other side had won, if Hillary had won, you would instead of being up almost 50 percent since election, 5 million jobs plus, plus. Five million jobs, that's unthinkable. If I would've said we were going to create 5 million jobs in two and half years, people would have said how ridiculous. It would have been skewered by the press.
All of the things that have been done that we've done, nobody has seen it. We have the best and lowest unemployment rate for African-Americans, for Asians, for Hispanics. Nobody has ever seen numbers like this. We have the best numbers on living standards for African-Americans. The best numbers we have ever had in history. So many things are -- I mean, just one thing after another.
If the other side would have won, we would have gone into a depression and we were headed that way. We were headed that way.
The rules and regulations -- we've cut more regulations than any president, and unmeaningful regulation. We want regulation, but it's got to be meaningful.
It stymied our country, Sean. We weren't able to do anything. Jobs numbers would've been a disaster.
Instead, we have more people working today, almost 160 million people than have ever worked in the history of our country. Think of that. That's a great number. So, it's really been something.
The other side, you would've had -- I really you would have had a crash.
HANNITY: You know, Mr. President, I come from blue-collar roots. Ten years in the restaurant business. At 12, I was washing dishes by hand. Ten years in the construction business, every job imaginable.
So, I really identify with the forgotten man and women, and I think everybody in this job in the media were overpaid and most of them are lazy. And I just want to -- you know, when you think back on those statistics I gave you, it's 13 million, 8 million, those are real American citizens --
HANNITY: -- real lives and now they are really doing better. And I think one of the best things that is understated is we are for the first time in 75 years, energy independent, which means we don't have to go kissing the ass of --
HANNITY: -- countries that don't like us.
And we don't have -- we are now a net exporter of energy. And, by the way, if Putin remains hostile and Russia remains hostile, I think we out-produce them and we bring their economy to its knees.
TRUMP: Well, we are now number one in the world and energy. It used to be Saudi Arabia, then Russia. It's now -- we're number one and soon -- as soon as I get the pipelines in Texas approved which I'll do pretty quickly, it would have taken 10, 15 years. I'm going to have it done quickly. We could increase our production by 30 and 40 percent in terms of sale.
So, it's -- you know, what we have done in the last two and a half years has been great. We've had a lot of great people and they have worked hard. But the great people are the people of the country. They were being strangled.
If you look at what we have done, just energy all -- energy all over, all types of energy. LNG now is -- we are the hottest in the world, there's nobody even close. So, it's been an honor. It's been honor. We freed it up.
But you would've had, I really believed you would have had a depression or very close had the other side won.
HANNITY: Mr. President, all this -- Devin Nunes wrote a column, who was the former House -- ranking member of the House Intel Committee. In 2014, warning the Biden-Obama administration about Russian interference in the 2016 election, he laid it out perfectly in 2014.
This all happened on their watch.
HANNITY: All of it happened on their watch.
And my question to you, is there really was some collusion, wasn't there? There was Russian interference, we know that. But we also had a bought and paid for Russian dossier.
HANNITY: And we didn't look into that and the whole two plus years of Mueller. The media has ignored it. And even "The New York Times" suggesting it was likely Russian misinformation from the get-go, the dossier.
What are your thoughts about that?
TRUMP: I think it's a disgrace. It's turned out to be totally discredited. Steele was sued by somebody, I understand a wealthy gentleman in London. I hear what was revealed was incredible, just a total phony deal. And yet, they didn't look into any of that.
One of the things that amazes me because it's so simple, and, you know, it's -- when you get right down to it, the whole thing is very simple what happened. The fact is they were spying on my campaign, using agencies to - - intelligence agencies to do it, going after Page and George Papadopoulos and probably others.
I'm trying to -- we are trying to find out whether or not they actually listened in on my calls, that will be the -- that would be the ultimate. We'll see what happens. I think if it happened, we'll probably find out. We have a great attorney general who was working very hard and we'll see what happens.
I stay uninvolved. I like to stay uninvolved. But a lot of things are going to come out.
I mean, if they spied on my campaign and they may have, it will be one of the great revelations in history of this country. And I will tell you, it's going to be very interesting, I think we're going to find out.
Can you imagine if it were the other way around and I spied on President Obama's campaign? Could you imagine what the repercussions would be? Or I spied on Crooked Hillary's campaign. Can you imagine with the repercussions would be?
HANNITY: Let me ask you specifically, I want to stay on this topic because I think this abuse of power is very dangerous. You addressed it last night.
Sir, your campaign was spied on. In October 2016, Hillary's dossier, bought and paid for Russian dossier, paid for by her and the money she controlled at the DNC that was funneled through a law firm that hired -- op research group that hired a foreign national -- we now know that Bruce Ohr testified behind closed doors that everybody was warned that Christopher Steele hated you, that Hillary paid for it, and that it was not verified. That was August of 2016.
Fourteen days before Jim Comey signed the first FISA application and a FISA application I'm told says the word "verified" on it. Before he signed it, he was warned by Kathleen Kavalec of the State Department who met with Christopher Steele.
So, my question to you is, you are spied on as a candidate, during your transition, as president and then, abroad, we had Stefan Halper spying on Carter Page, Sam Clovis, George Papadopoulos. So, those are just ways we have already verified.
It's not in dispute anymore. Your campaign was spied on. Your transition was spied on.
Jim Comey, three months after he signed that warrant verifying the Russian dossier bulk of information is true, he then came to Trump Tower and told you it's salacious but unverified -- the opposite of what he was telling the court.
Do you believe there was a premeditated fraud committed against FISA court judges in these applications?
TRUMP: Well, again, people are looking into that. If you're asking just my opinion, I would say absolutely yes. It would seem to be yes.
And, you know, when you get the Strzok-Page, the two lovers who put right out on the public waves, I mean, they put the insurance policy -- well, we have been living through the insurance policy, that she was going to win but just in case she didn't win, we needed an insurance policy. Well, that's to subvert government. What they did was unbelievable that they could do a thing like that.
And they reported to McCabe who I think is a terrible, terrible guy. And, you know, the FBI, you have some of the finest people in the world, and you know that, and we sat all the time. I bet you if we took a vote, I would be so high in that poll, you wouldn't believe it. They're great people, I know so many.
But at the top, people were terrible, they were leakers, they were liars. I mean, look at the leaking and look at the lying. Comey admitted he leaked. Think of it, the top of the FBI, he leaked. And when you look at what went on, Sean, it's disgusting.
But the whole concept of they wanted insurance policy just in case she loses -- well, that's what we've lived through. We've lived through the insurance policy.
And yet, the House committee which I understand today was in a very close confidential meeting with the wonderful Hope Hicks, she's a wonderful person, she has been through hell. They put this young woman through hell. She has had to pay for legal fees and everything else.
I hear they were taking pictures of her. Congressmen, two congressmen in particular that I see on television all the time. I won't mention their names, we don't want to make them any more famous.
But two congressmen -- but they were taking pictures of her --
HANNITY: Oh, good grief.
TRUMP: -- with their cell phone and then leaking the pictures of her testifying. And this was in a closed room.
Look, it's out of control. These people are absolutely -- you know, they use the word, it's a good word, I guess -- unhinged -- what has happened to the Democrats, and in the meantime, they're not doing any work in Congress. We could do legislation to lower drug prices, very substantially, easily. We could do maybe almost like the thing we need the most quickly is border security. We've done an incredible job. But I have to do it myself. I can't get any - we can't get any votes from the Democrats.
We can't get any votes and infrastructure; we could do it so easily. But they are so busy interviewing Hope Hicks and taking pictures of this incredible young woman and putting the pictures out to the press of her testifying and they're not allowed to do that, it's probably illegal. It's a terrible thing going on, Sean.
HANNITY: Sir, there have been four separate investigations, let me remind you. The nine-month FBI investigation, the one that Peter Strzok said, there's no there-there. Lisa Page said, we had nothing after nine months as it relates to collusion. Then there was the House Intel Committee investigation; no collusion. Then the Bipartisan Senate Committee; no collusion. Then the Mueller Report directly quoted it, no collusion, no conspiracy. I had wanted you - I'm a talk show host, so I sometimes do straight news.
We do investigative reporting. Sometimes sports and culture and I give strong conservative opinions, I've been a conservative all my career. We don't hide that fact. What I have wanted you to declassify the 302s, declassify all this information, the FISA application, declassify the Gang of Eight, declassify exculpatory information. You have done so, but you gave it to the Attorney General. Why?
TRUMP: Yes. Because I think that he is a very honorable gentleman who wants to do the right thing and he is allowed to, under my agreement, he is allowed to give it out to whoever he wants. But I think it's really you know maybe some of this you need to have for purposes of other countries because I think other countries were involved. I think they perhaps just based on what I'm seeing, they used other countries, because they didn't want to get caught doing what they were doing in this country. You know that very well. So, I wanted to give to Attorney General.
HANNITY: Mr. President, I believe.
TRUMP: Bill Barr, he's got it totally everything that I can do in terms of opening it up and make it as transparent as the politicians like to use that word, transparent. I'm the most transparent President in history. I let Mueller have everything they wanted. If you think of it, 500 witnesses interview our attorneys, interview whoever you want. I think 2500 subpoenas. I didn't use presidential privilege because I didn't speak to Russia. Russia has - when I was winning in Wisconsin, when I was winning in Michigan and Pennsylvania and Ohio and Florida and all of these states, North Carolina, the last person or group I ever thought of calling would be Russia. It's a hoax. It's a terrible hoax and it should never happen to another President, because many of them would not be able to handle it. I don't care who they are. Many of them would not be able to handle it. Do you think Joe Biden could handle it? I mean Joe Biden right now; he looks like he's got some big problems. But do you think - can you imagine if this happened to Joe Biden, it wouldn't be good, but it should never happen to another President what happened to me. And it should never happen. Nobody should ever allow this to go forward again and people have to learn. There has to be a lesson taught. There has to be a lesson taught. Should never be allowed, so bad for our country.
HANNITY: Mr. President, I do have a question about this, because you didn't invoke executive privilege. You handed in 1.4 million documents. You encouraged your staff to cooperate with Congress, to cooperate with Mueller. I'd never like Mueller's team. I could not for the life of me understand, how does he hire Andrew Weissman, the worst record of any lawyer I've ever seen. People like Jeanie Ray, who was once Clinton's lawyer on the Clinton Foundation, and you gave written answers. You even let your White House Counsel, McGahn testify for 30 hours. I was a little shocked to be honest. Why would you allow that?
TRUMP: I let everybody testify. I wanted to be totally open, because I knew there was nothing there. There was nothing there. Nothing at all. But you know, Bob Mueller was conflicted, because he wanted to be the Head of the FBI, the Director. Again, he was already there for 10 or 12 years, but he wanted to be, and I didn't allow that. I said no. I said it respectfully. We had a business dispute in private life when he was out of the FBI. We had a commercial business dispute. How about having a business dispute with somebody, think of this and then he supposed to be ruling on you, but it was a business dispute and it was a nasty little dispute. You know not the biggest one I've ever been in to be honest with you. But we had a real business dispute. So, you look at that, that's a total conflict of interest. How can somebody when you have a dispute be ruling.
And his best friend to a very close to it is, Comey. And Comey played a big part in this because McCabe didn't do anything without Comey. McCabe was totally dominated by Comey. He did nothing. Andrew McCabe was a bad guy, but Andrew McCabe did nothing without calling Comey. He wouldn't - there's an expression. He wouldn't go to the bathroom without getting Comey's approval. And so, Comey is in and Brennan, you take a look at Brennan, you go with a horrible rhetoric, the horrible words he used--
HANNITY: He accused you of treason, sir.
TRUMP: To describe and then he said, well I guess I was misinformed. He was making all these predictions and then when it said, no collusion in the Mueller Report, which is amazing because they had 18 people that were Hillary Clinton people, that I think all of them actually were anti-Trump people in one form or another, but many of these people, they gave to Clinton's campaign, one or two of them were out including Weissman were at the event which turned out to be as you know her wake. It was a funeral. It was supposed to be a party at the Convention Center New York, it turned out to be funeral.
HANNITY: Yes, he was at the victory party. Yes, the so-called victory party.
TRUMP: It was pretty devastating looking scene. I saw the same scene as you did. But think of it, Bob Mueller was great friends with Comey right there, there is a conflict. He wanted the FBI job and we had a business dispute. And I would tell everybody who'd listen. I told you a long time ago, I said, how can he be doing this. But despite that, let him do it. I said let him do it, because I had nothing to do and they know that, they all know that, I had nothing to do with Russia. I love our country. I love our country. By doing this, I've sacrificed a lot. I had a very simple life. I had a great company, great everything, everything was great. I sacrificed a lot, but I've made a tremendous difference here.
So, many people come up to me Sean and they say, thank you, sir for saving our country. And I used to take it with a grain of salt. But they say it and they mean it. I went to the other day; I was the commencement speaker at the Air Force Academy. Incredible young people. And I handed out a thousand diplomas to the senior class. That's a lot of shaking hands and saluting. I will tell you, a couple of hours. But it was great. But so many young beautiful people, the young people at beginning of an incredible life. They came up to me, they say, thank you, sir for saving our country. I know exactly what they mean. Our country was in big trouble. And we've got to turn now in the right direction. HANNITY: Mr. President just as an aside, you did have the constitutional authority under Article 2 of the conflict to fire Mueller who would have been replaced and I would--
TRUMP: Absolutely right.
HANNITY: It will be interesting--
TRUMP: I had absolutely Article 2 powers. I could have done anything I wanted. I don't even bring it up because we don't even get there. Absolutely, I have Article 2. We could have used that and said, I wouldn't even have to bother talking to you about all of the other things I wouldn't have to talk to you about conflicts. I could have fired Mueller for conflicts. I could have fired anybody, but I didn't want to do it, because they said let it play, play out. It's a hoax, it's a disgrace and that they're allowed to go forward with interviewing people, having people like Hope Hicks and others, having to pay for a new set of lawyers.
HANNITY: Same questions.
TRUMP: We just went through it with the Mueller Report. Now, she was totally exonerated. She did nothing wrong and now they have to start paying for lawyers again. It's a do over because the report was terrible.
HANNITY: Sir, this will be - Mr. President this will be the fifth--
TRUMP: An absolute do-over, they're not allowed do overs.
HANNITY: This would be the fifth investigation. And you're right, those Washington lawyers are expensive, I had to hire a few of them in my day. But I just want to say one thing. One good question I want answer is, did Italy, did Great Britain, did Australia, were they outsourced intelligence gathering by high ranking people, not rank and file to spy on American citizens and circumvent American laws will be a big question. But I want to change gears here. I want to ask you about--
TRUMP: And Ukraine. Take a look at Ukraine. How come the FBI didn't take this server1. Podesta told them to get out. He said, get out. So, how come the FBI didn't take the server from the DNC. Just think about that one, Sean.
HANNITY: Let me ask you--
TRUMP: Think about that one.
HANNITY: There is 20 some odd candidates. I want to get your general thoughts on all of them and is there anyone in particular you'd prefer to run against, or do you care at all?
TRUMP: Well, we have to see how it plays out. I mean whoever it is, it is, I don't know. I mean I look at some of them. I don't see George Washington. I don't see Churchill. I don't see anybody in particular that I worry about. I think honestly whoever it is, it is. We will--
HANNITY: I don't see George Washington either, sir.
TRUMP: Did you see the polls that came out today, I read a couple of actually legitimate polls that came out today, not the polls that the media makes up. See, I'm fighting the Democrats and the media together, it's not - and you know that better than almost anybody, but the people know that. I'm fighting the Democrat Party and I'm fighting the media. They're partners. They're partners. I mean that's why they don't go after Hillary Clinton with her emails where she - anybody else would be in jail for what she did. The emails, to delete 33,000 emails after you get - after, not before. After you get a subpoena from Congress, you delete everything, so people never got to see them.
But the media and the Democrats are, and not all of it, but a big portion of it. They're a partnership and that's disgraceful. So, I'm fighting that partnership. I'm not fighting - actually fighting the media is much tougher than fighting the Democrats, if you want to know the truth.
HANNITY: Well, Mr. President, I call them the media mob and you know it's for looking for example. That I say it's every second, every minute, every hour of every day. And they all lied, and they all fell for the hoax and the conspiracy theory and they're trying to revisit it. But I want to just ask you this.
TRUMP: They didn't fall for the hoax. They know it's a hoax, but they write about it anyway. It's not like they fell for it. These are very smart people. They know it's a hoax and they write about it anyway. I watch when I have to. I just do it just to get a little ammunition. I always like to know - you have to know where the other side is coming from. I watch every once in a while, I'll turn to MSNBC and I'll see what they say. I know most of the people. And it's a fraud. They go back and they meet and what can we make up. Remember when they used the word, everybody used the word, manufactured and every newscast had the word manufactured, but it's not a word associated with what they were talking about. They were talking about something being manufactured and every newscast started with manufactured and they did it with numerous words, they come up with a word. They put it out. They were all together. It's a really disgraceful situation. Here is the good news. We're precedent. We've got - we've done it and we're going to do it again. When you see a crowd like that. Nobody has seen anything like that. I mean not only the crowd. Nobody has seen the spirit, the spirit and the energy. It's been incredible. I say the Republicans have far more energy. You know you hear about the energy on the Democrat side. They don't have energy. They're all fighting with each other. I say the Republicans have far more energy than the Democrats. I really believe that I think they have a lot more energy.
HANNITY: I think a few of them, sir.
TRUMP: Than the Democrats. Like the radical left, Dems.
HANNITY: A few of these Republicans frankly could use of a spine transplant in my view, but I don't want to go there.
TRUMP: I agree, no but we have some great ones too. We have some great ones. But you're right, there are some that really should look. Nancy Pelosi hands out subpoenas like cookies. Paul Ryan, nice guy, but I will tell you when Jim and when Mark Meadows, Jim Jordan and Devin and all these people, they're great people.
HANNITY: They are the amazing ones.
TRUMP: When they went to Paul Ryan to get a subpoena, because they found the same things that we're talking about. Paul would say, well, let's take it easy, let's not do this. Let's come back, come back in a week, let's see if we still think about, let's do this. It was impossible. You couldn't get a subpoena. She hands out subpoenas like they're cookies.
HANNITY: Let me ask you this, sir, about the Democrats.
TRUMP: They fight a dirtier fight. The Democrats fight a dirtier fight. It's too bad.
HANNITY: All right. So, the Democrat debates begin next week. They're supporting this New Green Deal. In 10 years, they want to get rid of the lifeblood of our economy, oil and gas. Everything is going to be free. They're talking about a 70 percent top marginal tax rate for individuals and 90 percent top marginal rate for businesses and a wealth tax on top of that. And then when you die, you've got to pay a tax. And again, everything is free. They all seem to support some version of it and Medicare for all. But you can't buy private insurance according to say, Kamala Harris. How did Obamacare work out for everybody, but what is your reaction to this agenda?
TRUMP: Well, first of all, with Obamacare, we took out the individual mandate, which is the worst part. Obamacare is a disaster and we've managed it really well. That's what you don't hear so much about it. But what we've really done a great job. Secretary Azar has been incredible the way they've handled Obamacare. But I got rid of the individual mandate, which was the worst thing in Obamacare. That's what you paid for the privilege of not having to pay for insurance, for bad insurance. OK, bad health care.
So, it's just one of those things. I think that when I meet somebody who even doesn't like me, let's say it's a businessperson and they're not Trump fans, I say you have no choice. You can't vote for anybody else, because they want to turn this country over to - I mean we will be Venezuela. It will take 10 years or 15 years. But if the wrong person got in, I've turned it around Sean, I've gotten rid of these rules and regulations that stifled everything. I approve the Keystone pipeline. I approve the numerous other pipelines. By the way, they're environmentally good as opposed to trains running across you know the plains and all of the other things. No, I approved so many different things that are actually good.
Do you know that a report came out, our water and our air today is cleaner than it ever was? Because in many respects, we're great environmentalist. I'm like I'm an environmentalist, but a different kind. A real environmentalist. But our water is crystal clear, our air, it's the best it ever was.
HANNITY: Well, I would agree, sir, we all need to be good stewards of the greatest country God gave man. Are you really going to live tweet--
TRUMP: We have to do that.
HANNITY: We're going to be - you're really going to live tweet these Democratic debates, sir. TRUMP: I wasn't going to, but I read about it in the Wall Street Journal or some place, and it's just fake news. No, I wasn't even thinking about it. Maybe I will now, I might as well make them right. But no, I was not thinking about it.
HANNITY: Well, if I can cast my vote, I'm a yes, I think it would be a great idea. Let me ask you a question.
TRUMP: They wrote about it though as though it was fact. I never even thought about it. It's just so ridiculous. But you know maybe I'll do it. Make them, instead of fake news, I'll make them correct news and that's OK.
HANNITY: I think it would be a good idea, it'd be very interesting actually. I see for example that you promised that ICE next week will begin the process of removing millions of people that didn't respect our laws borders sovereignty.
HANNITY: 90 percent of the heroin in this country comes across that southern border. Now fentanyl. We're losing 300 people a week in this country.
HANNITY: And my question to you is, there are some people that will ask me about you and they'll say, well, you've known them for over two decades, which I have and I've known you a long time and you said, he'd be conservative and you're right. And we didn't believe you and you're pro- life and you - conservative justices and tax cuts and deregulation and energy independence, all things I believed in 30 years of media. So, now you're fighting for the border wall. But people say, well maybe Donald Trump should maybe tweet a little less and not fight so much on the personal level.
But yet it takes a fight against China, against Mexico, you are kind of standing alone saying you hit him with tariffs, if they didn't stop these migrations from happening. So, my question to you is how do you respond to that? That people want you, I guess to turn off the switch that you fight for the borders and you fight for your agenda, but they don't want you to maybe fight on Twitter.
TRUMP: Well, if I don't have - I don't use the word Twitter, I say social media. If I don't use social media, I have outside of you and a few other great people, I'd call them patriots actually, but you're not really patriots as much as you want great - I mean you're getting great ratings in all fairness, Sean. It's like last night, you got tremendous - I heard the speech--
HANNITY: Yes, there were massive.
TRUMP: Ratings, you put it on. That was an easy night. You and Tucker and everybody else--
HANNITY: It was simple, I just showed up.
TRUMP: Do it and it was a great evening. But no, I think - I view it as social media as a way of getting the word out. Look, when you have the lies and the frauds committed by the other networks, many of the other networks, you look at what's going on. It's disgraceful, this way I get the word out and I'm getting it out strongly. I mean I have hundreds of millions of people that see this plus as soon as I do a tweet, it gets broadcast even on the places that you would least expected, because they're desperate for news. You know they're desperate to do anything for news. So, it's really a way of getting the truth out, because the media just gone loco. They've lost all control. They don't even call up for fact check. You know I remember 10 years ago, 15 years ago, I actually used to get great press, if you want to know the truth. But 10 or 15 year before I decide to become a politician and run on a conservative basis because that's what it is and that's what we're doing so well. That's why the country is doing so well now. You know we're probably doing better right now with our economy. Wages are up, haven't gone up in years and decades, wages are up over 3 percent. Think of the things that have happened, the jobs, the unemployment, the amount of people working. Companies are pouring back into our country from Japan. They're coming back from - frankly, they're coming back from China because of the fact that put the tariffs on in order not to pay the tariffs, they're coming back into this country.
So many things are happening. But the way I get the word out is through social media and it's a great thing. I don't know that I would have been successful if I didn't have it. And you know when I make a speech like last night, there was a fantastic woman right in the front. She had, please keep tweeting Mr. President, it matters. That was her side. Please keep tweeting, it matters. And I think it does matter. I don't do it because I enjoy it. I do it because when somebody says, outright lie on MSNBC or CNN, both of whom are really suffering in the ratings which is very interesting, it's incredible, because they've lost credibility. But when they put out lies, I can counteract those lies that I have many more followers than they do.
HANNITY: Let me ask you, you said, you're going to begin the process of removing millions of illegal immigrants.
HANNITY: I also want to get to the status of the border wall. I know there has been miles repair and miles built, you know is it going to be finished with your first term, because they were not able to override your veto and you were able to reallocate funds.
TRUMP: So, as you know, the Democrats are doing everything possible to stop the wall and they lost a big lawsuit last week. We won a big, big lawsuit against Nancy Pelosi and the House, it was the House actually brought a lawsuit. Can you believe that? The House, the Democrats, Nancy Pelosi brought a lawsuit and we won the lawsuit as you probably read. We will have - but we have four other lawsuits against us, all semi related and related to each other. We are building a tremendous wall right now. We're renovating vast areas of wall that's essentially collapsed, but it's good if you renovate, you save a lot of money by renovating it. And we're taking down wall and putting up new walls, some areas you can renovate, but we'll have over 400 miles of wall built by the end of next year, which is very quick. It's rapidly approaching. We have three sections being built right now, we're building them in sections in different areas and different states. New Mexico has a tremendous problem with people pouring across New Mexico and I'm hearing that because of this New Mexico is actually in play for me and for the Republicans because of what's happening. It's horrible what's happening in New Mexico.
HANNITY: If you get 400 though--
TRUMP: We have sections that started and are about to start in New Mexico. We just finished San Diego as you know. San Diego in California. They're so happy. The mayor was just up in my office. Great guy and he came up to thank me for having done the wall, because it's made such a difference. He said, it's like day and night. He said, people are flowing across and now nobody can come in.
HANNITY: Let me ask you this--
TRUMP: And I was able to design and redesign the wall where it's stronger, bigger, higher. It's actually got a little bit higher if you remember that. But it's a better wall and it costs less money. It's actually a stronger wall cost less money. So, we're doing really well with the wall and it's a very important element and we're doing well overall and we're going to start removing all these people that came in because the Democrats will not under any circumstances, they won't fix asylum, asylum is a big problem. They won't fix it, we can fix it in 15 minutes, and they won't get rid of the loopholes, because they want us to fail. It's more important than we fail than the country succeed. And you have drugs and you have all the other things.
But what we are doing is as the people come out and as we get the necessary paperwork, we're moving people out of the innards of the country and we're bringing them back. And the countries that see this and they see it happening, it's already started, but it's really started going to much heavier fashion next week. They're gearing up. It's sending a signal that you may get in, but you're not getting in for long and you're going out. And the other thing finally is Mexico for the first time ever, for the first time in many, many decades. They are respecting us, and we had a big fight and it worked out great.
HANNITY: Let me ask you about--
TRUMP: 6000 soldiers on the southern border, on their southern border, stopping people from coming in and they've been really stepping it up. And you know frankly I was going to put tariffs out, if they didn't, if they didn't do that, I would have put tariffs and I still will, if they don't. But they've been doing a really good job and people at the border will tell you that the traffic has really dropped down. So, a lot of good things are happening.
But if the Democrats would meet for 20 minutes, 15 minutes. It used to be 45. It's just a very short meeting. We could solve the border problem, but they don't want to do that because they think it's bad politically. I think what's bad Sean, what's really bad is what they're doing. I think it's terrible politically. People come in, it's crime, it's drugs. We could stop it all so fast. But we've got to stop it anyway even if we don't have the Democrats.
HANNITY: I say that Nancy Pelosi as speaker in name only and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has really become the big star and she even got Joe Biden come up with a New Green Deal plan. What are your thoughts about her and Congresswoman Omar and the position that Nancy Pelosi is in.
TRUMP: I don't really agree with you. I think Nancy Pelosi probably has control of it. I hear different things, but I really think she does, and she knows what she's doing. And so, we'll see how it all comes out. But look, we have the USMCA, the Mexico and Canada trade deal, which is a phenomenal deal for our country. And it's good for them too. But it's a phenomenal deal for our farmers and manufacturers and even unions. Everybody wants it. So, the Democrats could do that in a bipartisan way. Mexico just approved it today, you probably heard, they just approved it, their House just approved it in a big vote.
So, you know, we're just waiting to see whether or not they'll put that up for a vote. I mean think of it, can you imagine if they didn't, this is something that everybody wants, it'll be a very bipartisan approval. But let me add all of the folks in the House, they have to put it up for a vote and it'll vote, it's great for the farmers. Everybody wants him to do it. So, we'll see. Again., do they want to do what's right for the party and they can take credit for that bill because frankly make it bipartisan, we'll all vote for it, but it's a big bill. Canada is approving it Mexico just approved it. Very, very big deal. And it means hundreds of billions of dollars to our country and thousands and thousands of jobs and it replaces NAFTA. One of the worst trade deals ever made.
HANNITY: Let me ask you about foreign policy, if I may. You made promises to Israel. Jerusalem is now the capital, many other presidents promised that they didn't deliver. You recognize Golan, which other people promised and didn't deliver. You promised to get us out of the Iranian deal. I don't think you're going to drop $150 billion in cash and other currency on the tarmac mullahs that chant Death to America. I worry about Iranian hegemony. I worry about Iranian proxy wars and terror. I worry about their alliance with Vladimir Putin. And I'm not sure where China shakes out in all of this as you look at the geopolitical work up there. Iran, Russia, China. Tell me your concerns.
TRUMP: Don't worry about a thing. Everything is under control. Don't worry about a thing. You're right, we did that for Israel, Jerusalem. As you know every President said, we're going to - you move the embassy to Jerusalem becomes the capital of Israel. Every President said, we're going to do, we're going to do it. None of them did, I did it. The Golan Heights for 52 years, they've been talking about the Golan Heights. I did it. They didn't do it. And I understood why, because you get here there's a lot of people calling, begging you not to do it from other countries, heads of countries, but presidents of all practically all said they're going to do Golan Heights, they're going to do Jerusalem. They didn't do it.
And then terminating one of the worst deals ever made, the Iran deal that was made by President Obama, paid $150 billion, paid $1.8 billion in cash. I terminated that. And Iran is a much different country. I will tell you, much different today than when I took over, when I took over it looked like there was no stopping them right now.
HANNITY: Will you say, they never get nukes. They never get nuclear weapons.
TRUMP: But we'll see what happens. I would say if I were you, don't worry about a state.
HANNITY: What about Putin and China?
TRUMP: Well, they were forced together by President Obama and you never like to see that, but they were forced together by his attitude and by what they did. And when I got here, they were getting very close. But we're doing things that nobody will be able to even compete with in so many different ways.
Second of all, we are going to have a good relationship with Russia and we're going to have a good relationship with China. It's very important that we do. They're powerful nations and we are a very powerful nation. And I've rebuilt our military to a level that nobody thought possible $716 billion last year. Nobody thought it was depleted when I got in it. They had planes that were so old, they couldn't fly. And our military is almost completed in terms of being rebuilt and we are doing missile and missile technology that nobody has even seen before.
HANNITY: Mr. President, I would--
TRUMP: And I'm thinking about do we announce it, or do we not announce it, but we have tremendous - the levels of sophistication like you've never seen. With all of that being said, I want to get along with Russia and I think we will. I want to get along with China and I think we will. I am meeting actually both of them next week in Japan at the G20.
HANNITY: Mr. President --
TRUMP: -- the United States gets along. The Russian witch hunt really hurt us in terms of our relationship with Russia. I think it was just hurt -- I think it hurts in terms of relationship with a lot of people, but we have very good relationships with countries, and sometimes countries you wouldn't think so, because I've said, you have to pay for NATO.
HANNITY: Mr. President --
TRUMP: You know, the United States is paying for NATO. You have a lot of countries that were delinquent in their payments to NATO. I got them to pay over hundreds of billions of dollars toward NATO.
But I think we are going to get along with a lot of countries, but those two in particular, I think we're going to have -- I hope we're going to have a good relationship. But we are a very strong country again, and we are respected again, Sean.
HANNITY: I hate to interrupt you, but I actually took 15 minutes of Laura Ingraham's show. But I want to tell you --
TRUMP: I know that, Laura must not be happy right now.
HANNITY: It's her birthday today, sir. I thought you might want to know that.
TRUMP: She's a great person. I tell you what, I know her for a long time and she's a great person.
HANNITY: So, you can tell Laura yourself happy birthday and thank you for being with us.
Laura, happy birthday for me. And the president I think would like to wish you a happy birthday.
TRUMP: That's right.
LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST: Hey, Mr. President.
TRUMP: Thank you, happy birthday. Wow. That's right. We've known each other a long time, and congratulations on your show. It's a big success, Laura, big success.
INGRAHAM: I appreciate it. Thanks so much, Mr. President.
TRUMP: Thank you.
INGRAHAM: If you want to stay on for another few minutes, that's fine, but I don't want to take Hannity's interview and take the baton --
TRUMP: Could you imagine if she has the baton, we hand off to Laura.
INGRAHAM: All right, Mr. President --
TRUMP: I want to thank you both. But I'll tell you what, you're great patriots, you love our country, and you know what's happening, and I really appreciate it, and so does everyone else.
And that's why you do as well as you do. They do appreciate it. They really get it. The people of this country, they get it. They are smart.
INGRAHAM: Mr. President, did you get briefed on this Syrian attack or planned attack on a Christian church in Pittsburgh yet? News broke this evening --
TRUMP: I have been told about it and little detail, and I'm going to meet a little later about it, actually, tonight.
INGRAHAM: It looks like tragedy was averted, thankfully.
TRUMP: Yes, that's right.
INGRAHAM: Another concern. Mr. President, thank you so much.
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