This is a rush transcript of “Hannity” on January 12, 2022. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: Okay, it’s actually three, but I’m not counting.
Funny, I lived in Roswell, Georgia. My broadcast out of Buckhead as a local radio talk show host, and a beautiful area.
And I totally understand why they want to separate because, you know what, defund, dismantle, no bail, all these — all the craziness. People need to be protecting themselves and it’s going to be interesting to watch that vote.
Tucker, thank you.
CARLSON: That’s for sure. Thank you. Good luck.
HANNITY: And welcome to HANNITY.
And coming up, a HANNITY exclusive tonight. Paul Manafort will join us for his very first interview since being pardoned by Donald Trump. That’s moments away.
First, tonight, we begin Joe Biden. He’s breaking records all across the board. More Americans are now hospitalized with COVID than ever before in this pandemic. We have illegal immigrants are crossing our southern border at an unprecedented pace.
Fentanyl deaths in America are now higher than ever. Economic optimism is at an 18-month low. The backlog of cargo ships off the coast of California waiting to dock and unload, yeah, that’s also at an all-time high. And the price of oil is surging nearing barrel with $85, with predictions it may go as high as $125 a barrel. I guess he’s back begging OPEC.
And breaking today inflation, it is now the highest rate in 40 years, four decades. Now, November’s inflation report was bad, Joe told us it was going to get better. They also told us it was transitory. Now they’re backing off of that.
December was worse now than November. Now, every dollar that you earn is worth seven percent less than it was only one year ago today. According to two recent studies, this high rate of inflation is a massive tax, especially on the poor and middle class in this country. It is costing the typical American family more than $5,000 plus dollars a year.
Joe, you’re proud of yourself? That’s your record. Do you even know what’s going on? Do you know that today is Wednesday?
Anyway, according to Joe or whoever writes his tweets, this is actually a good thing. Okay, quote, today’s inflation numbers show a meaningful reduction in headline inflation over last month we’re making progress and slowing the rate of price increases but there’s still more work to do. I remain focused on lowering the cost for families and maintaining strong economic growth.
Okay, we don’t need bumper stickers. We don’t need lies and slogans and you know campaign crap because that’s what that is. The inflation rate month over month went up. It didn’t go down and it continues to go up.
Now, are they dishonest at the White House or maybe they’re really just that stupid? Is there anything that Joe Biden — and ask yourself, you know, is there anything that he has done well? Think to yourself. Any one thing that you can name or think of?
Now, he promised to shut down COVID-19. That turned out to be a lie, a big lie. He promised that you would get a vaccine — if you got the vaccine, you’d never get COVID. We know that’s a lie.
He promised not to mandate vaccines. He’d never do it. Another lie. He promised not to raise taxes on the middle class, also a lie.
And remember, above all else, he promised to unite the country probably the biggest lie of all. And instead of addressing the many crisis affecting the us or bringing both sides to together, and no bipartisanship whatsoever, Joe is now busy literally smearing, slandering, besmirching hundreds of millions of Americans. And yesterday, he referred to conservatives and Republicans as domestic enemies. He made comparisons to Jefferson Davis, the Ku Klux Klan, and George Wallace, the same George Wallace who Joe Biden praised as a senator.
Well, you remember that, Joe. Well, maybe you probably don’t.
And, of course, Joe is just following orders from his radical social base that is the Democratic Party. They want to completely transform this country into their socialist new green deal utopia. They want to maintain power in perpetuity. They love to call Republicans fascists and every other name.
But they’re the ones that are trying to stack the Supreme Court, not the Republicans. They’re the ones trying to federalize all elections, which is unconstitutional. They’re the ones that want to add — let’s see — D.C. and Puerto Rico as U.S. states. Why? They think they’ll get X number of senators in perpetuity and keep control and they are the ones that are attempting to eliminate right now the filibuster so they can ram through their insane agenda in the halls of Congress with the slimmest of majorities.
Now, today, on the Senate floor, Tom Cotton was brilliant. He read this impassioned speech actually defending the filibuster. I’ll explain. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TOM COTTON (R-AR): Constitutional scholars will tell us that the reason we have these rules in the Senate — unlimited debate, two-thirds to change the rules, the idea that 60 have to close off debate is embodied in the spirit and rule of the Constitution. The bottom line is very simple, the ideologues in the Senate want to turn the Founding Fathers — what the Founding Fathers called the cooling saucer of democracy into a rubber stamp of dictatorship.
Those are powerful words, but they’re not mine. Every word of my speech today was originally spoken by our esteemed colleague, the senior senator from New York, Chuck Schumer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Yeah. We’re going to be a banana republic if we do this.
That’s right. When Schumer was in the minority party, he defended the filibuster tooth and nail, said we’d be a banana republic.
So, also did Joe Biden, then a senator. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THEN-SEN. JOE BIDEN (D-DE): We should make no mistake: this nuclear option is ultimately an example of the arrogance of power. It is a fundamental power grab by the majority party propelled by its extreme right and designed to change the reading of the Constitution. Folks who want to see this change want to eliminate one of the procedural mechanisms designed for the express purpose of guaranteeing individual rights and they also as a consequence would undermine the protections of a minority point of view in the heat of majority excess.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: What changed, Joe? Even more recently in 2019 and 2020, Democrats — they use the filibuster a whopping three — over 300 times. Oh, okay, they’re against the filibuster?
Now, sadly, their thirst for power knows no bounds. That’s the real threat. Democrats have a major problem, almost no one approves of their platform or their decrepit cognitively struggling career politician that they put in the White House that I doubt knows that today is Wednesday.
Anyway, here’s another record for Joe. According to Quinnipiac, look at this, Joe Biden’s approval rating is at an all-time low, 33 percent. His approval rating among independents is even lower, 25 percent.
His poll numbers are so bad that even Democrats want to avoid appearing with Biden in public. For example, yesterday, Stacey Abrams completely blew him off MIA. She had an important lunch reservation or some other scheduling conflict. She just couldn’t make it across town to meet with the president and vice president of the United States, or as Joe calls Kamala, the president of the United States.
But according to the chief propagandist Jen Psaki, no one would ever avoid appearing with Joe Biden. Really? He’s the most beloved, most competent president in the history of the United States.
Okay, I don’t know if it’s an edible or they’re smoking something. You decide.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
REPORTER: As the midterms approach, there will be some Democrats plausibly who will want to stay away from the president for political reasons. What’s his — what’s his response to that sort of action?
JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think we’re talking about a hypothetical that doesn’t yet exist.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
HANNITY: In reality, Joe and Kamala are so toxic that in “The Wall Street Journal”, two lifelong Democratic strategists this is how bad this is getting, they’re now floating a new candidate for 2024. Guess who? Hillary Clinton.
Now, when Hillary Clinton, frankly one of the most unlikable people in the world seems like a better option, it’s pretty bad. So, you know, we will see if we get a rematch between Trump and Hillary. That would be interesting.
Here with more is the brand new co-host of “The Five,” we’re so proud of her, Judge Jeanine Pirro, along with former senior counselor to President Trump, Kellyanne Conway, both long-time friends. Great to have you.
Judge, congratulations on a well-deserved promotion.
And I’ll start with you. It’s not — you know, when you put it all in the aggregate, then you look at the poll numbers, you know, the only way out for Joe, there is a — there is an answer. He can adopt Trump’s policies on the economy, on energy, on the borders, his foreign policy, on judges and pretty much every other one. But that’s never going to happen, is it?
JEANINE PIRRO, CO-HOST OF “THE FIVE”: No, it’s never going to happen. Look, this is all about smoke and mirrors. What they’re telling us is that everything is great, inflation really isn’t as bad as you think it is, and by the way, you know, thank goodness for Pete Buttigieg because as a result of him, he saved Christmas and all of this nonsense that Americans know is not true, which is why he’s being held in such low esteem.
And the amazing part of all this is that it doesn’t affect Biden at all. He is involved in a power grab. Everything that he wants, if you’re against it, you’re a racist. If you are not in favor of getting rid of the filibuster, then you are without a doubt someone who is against voting rights.
When this guy talks out of both sides of his mouth, he was friends with George Wallace and he gave the eulogy for Strom Thurmond, he voted for citizenship for Jefferson Davis. I mean, it just goes on and on.
And the bottom line with him is, the American people see through the charade. They don’t buy it. They know that their dollar doesn’t buy as much as it used to. It’s that simple, and he doesn’t have a chance in — or nor does Kamala in 2024.
HANNITY: Kellyanne, you’re a well-respected pollster, political strategist. I don’t see a way out for him and I think the Democratic Party now knows it and I would expect if this year unfolds the way I think it will it will be a good year for the Republican Party.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, FORMER SENIOR COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yes, and you just saw Kevin McCarthy’s group raised million dollars a record number and people are giving money to because they actually have an agenda that they’re going to run on.
Look, these are not gaffes. Every single day, they lie. They lie from the podium. The president lies, the vice president lies other people lie on their behalf.
They just today put out a Bureau of Labor Statistics graph, Jeanine and Sean, that said Joe Biden’s created more jobs than any other president in his first term and everybody knows that’s just not true.
So, put them aside for a moment as these two very smart Democrats Doug Schoen and Andrew Stein have done. They are referring to Hillary Clinton in their op-ed as a, quote, change candidate.
Think about that. Hillary Clinton is a change candidate. Eight years ago, yes, eight years — that’s how bad Kamala and Joe are, eight years ago, Hillary Clinton’s campaign came up with 13 words you weren’t allowed to say about Hillary Clinton — inevitable, secretive, manipulative, out of touch, represents the past — this is eight years ago.
So, of course, she represents the past. But let me ask you a couple things about Hillary Clinton. What exactly qualifies her to be a three-time loser? You cannot run for president if people don’t particularly like you and if you don’t particularly like people.
This is someone who called half of the country deplorables —
HANNITY: Oh, man.
CONWAY: — and irredeemable, and waited —
HANNITY: This is —
CONWAY: — 2016 when we beat her. I’m ready for this one. I’m ready for her, Sean and Jeanine. We did better among women in 2016 than they did in 2020, and we ran against the queen bee.
This country is ready for a female president, just not that one, and certainly not Kamala Harris. And let me say something else, we have never had more women on both sides of the aisle involved in politics, including as candidates and officeholders, and there are some very impressive women on the Democratic side and the Republican side. They’re not Hillary Clinton.
And let me say one last thing. It is so last century for a woman to be known for her husband. The new trend is for husbands to be known for their wives.
HANNITY: That was an epic takedown. I can’t top that. If I spent a week writing that monologue, it wouldn’t be that good.
I’ll give you the last word, Judge Pirro.
PIRRO: It’s just great.
Look, and I agree, Kellyanne, you’re fantastic. You always have been. But, look, she is — if you’ll recall — she is the most untrustworthy, unlikable candidate.
But if they want to bring her back, terrific. We’ll beat her again. But in the end, there are so many women who are qualified. Kellyanne is right.
And the shame of it is, the first female vice president is a — she is a laughingstock and she doesn’t know how to handle herself. She is not a role model and it’s time if we’re going to put a woman in, we put a woman in, who is strong, who’s experience, who’s qualified and who is respected.
HANNITY: All right. Congratulations again, Judge. Kellyanne, great to have you. And we appreciate you both being with us.
When we come back, also breaking tonight, the House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, this just broke moments ago, he has now officially rejected demands from the January 6 Committee to appear for questioning and will not participate in the ongoing political sham. He says it is an illegitimate committee.
Meanwhile, tomorrow, Joe Biden will make another appearance on Capitol Hill, begging his fellow Democrats to use his special Biden charm and his quick-witted intellect to convince moderate senators to nuke the filibuster.
Here with us now to give us a preview is Senator Lindsey Graham.
Senator, I could play all your Democratic colleagues, all speaking about the — with reverence about maintaining the filibuster. But now all of a sudden, they want to get rid of it, when it benefits them only.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): Well, it’s pretty obvious that this is about power. They want power at all costs. They’ve called every Republican in the country a racist.
They call me a racist. They call Tim Scott a racist. Herschel Walker, anybody who supports voter integrity laws in Georgia, which are better for voters than in Delaware.
But I want to put this in context. I went to Strom Thurmond’s funeral. He’s the longest-serving senator in the history of South Carolina, and Joe Biden came and spoke for about an hour about his friend Strom Thurmond. He said, I didn’t agree with his policies but he was a good decent man I could work with.
Joe Biden — what — that Joe Biden is dead and buried. What you saw was a guy running scared, he’s afraid of the left. They’re going to throw him off the ticket, and he’s been a failure as a president, so he’s playing the race card. And I don’t appreciate it.
You know, I’ve got plenty of faults. I’m not by any means a perfect person, but I am not a racist. You’re not a racist if you want to have the law so you identify people that they are who they are when they vote by mail.
HANNITY: Let me ask you and switch gears on you a little bit here, and that is about Leader McConnell. He’s seeking another term as leader. Look, I’ve been pretty outspoken about Senator McConnell. I was beyond frustrated and disappointed most recently. He gives Chuck Schumer not one but two extensions.
And I’m a little sick of the game-playing and the swampiness of Senator McConnell. People know how I feel. How do you feel about it?
GRAHAM: Yeah. Well, elections are about the future if you want to be a Republican leader in the House or the Senate, you have to have a working relationship with President Donald Trump. He’s the most consequential Republican since Ronald Reagan. It’s his nomination if he wants it and I think he’ll get reelected in 2024.
I like Senator McConnell. He worked well with President Trump to get a bunch of judges including three Supreme Court justices on the bench. They got the tax cuts passed working together.
But here’s the question: can Senator McConnell effectively work with the leader of the Republican Party Donald Trump? I’m not going to vote for anybody that can’t have a working relationship with President Trump to be a team, to come up with an American First agenda, to show the difference between us and liberal Democrats, prosecute the case for Trump policies, and I’m not going to vote for anybody for leader of the Senate as a Republican unless they can prove to me that they can advocate an American First agenda and have a working relationship with President Trump, because if you can’t do that, you will fail.
HANNITY: I will tell you that is a perfect analysis and I don’t think Mitch McConnell can. I think there’s palpable hatred on his part towards all things Donald Trump and Trump supporters, and I don’t think that works.
So in this upcoming election, we’ve got Marco Rubio in Florida, Herschel Walker, we have — I think he’ll win Georgia. We have to the — to the south of you — I’m sorry — to the north of you, North Carolina.
We have Senator Tim Scott, he said to me on my radio show today, he’s the senior senator from South Carolina, just saying.
GRAHAM: — about that.
HANNITY: We have — I believe the head of the — the president of the Senate in New Hampshire. We have Pennsylvania. I like Dr. Oz myself, I’ve been outspoken about it. Ron Johnson, thankfully, we’ll be running. Ohio I think we can win.
I do believe that Arizona Attorney General Brnovich would win that race out there, and I think Laxalt can win in Nevada.
Am I missing any?
GRAHAM: Well, you know, there may be a surprise that we haven’t thought about yet because when you’re at 33 percent, President Biden, there’s a reason Stacey Abrams didn’t show up. It’s called Bidenitis. It’s a politically — reaction, allergic reaction to being on stage with Joe Biden in Georgia. Well, it’s going to spread throughout the country.
If you want to show Joe Biden he doesn’t understand Georgia, vote for Herschel Walker. Herschel Walker is an African-American, all-star, businessman, sports legend who’s running as a Republican. He would be the first African-American Republican conservative elected in the history of Georgia. There is not a racist bone in the Republican Party of Georgia. There are my friends or my neighbors, teamherschel.com.
So the best thing you can do to tell Joe Biden he doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about is for us to get behind Herschel and win in Georgia.
HANNITY: Big time.
All right. Senator Graham, thank you. We appreciate it.
Straight ahead, our exclusive interview. Paul Manafort will join us, his first interview since President Trump’s pardon. You don’t want to miss it, straight ahead.
HANNITY: Now, for years on this program, we’ve exposed the politicization of the Justice Department and weaponization of intelligence and criminalizing political differences. And, of course, the biggest abuse of power, corruption scandal in the U.S. history, that, of course, being the Russia hoax.
And one of the main figures targeted in Mueller’s witch-hunt and the deep state’s efforts to destroy Donald Trump and his allies and his family is former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Mueller and his team wanted Paul Manafort to die in jail, and they tried hard.
And they also put him in solitary confinement for nearly a year. Why? To hope to break him.
Ask yourself, prosecutors destroyed his life. Where is the accountability for those that filed false information with the FISA court? Those that used the dirty disinformation, Russian — Hillary Clinton bought and paid for Russian misinformation dossier, listened to Christopher Steele, even when they knew it was false. They continued to use the dossier, illegally spying on candidate Trump, transition team Trump, President Trump.
Now, last year, Paul Manafort was pardoned by President Trump. He’s now ready to tell his side of the story. He has a forthcoming book that’s called “Political Prisoner.” It will be out fairly soon, revealing new details about the unequal standard of justice and the Russia hoax.
He joins us now for his first interview since being pardoned.
Paul Manafort, you look — you look healthy. I’m sure it’s better wearing a suit and tie than orange suit, right?
PAULL MANAFORT, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: It’s great to be with you here, Sean, after all these years. Yes. Thank you very much and I appreciate this opportunity tonight.
HANNITY: You really in many ways — you, Roger Stone, Papadopoulos, General Flynn, you know, Carter Page, the president himself, all of this stems from a false phony narrative based on a false dossier and phony FISA warrants. Tell us about the whole experience from your point of view.
MANAFORT: Well, let me — from my point of view, it’s been a very complicated last five years and certainly not a fun experience. A lot of surprises, when things first started to break and the false narrative first started to be promoted in August of 2016, I didn’t take it very seriously because I knew how ridiculous it was to even say that there was Russian collusion going on with the Trump campaign.
But as time went on, as the drum beat got louder, and all of a sudden, anonymous government sources started putting out stories which I knew were fake, and working with social media and the mainstream media to promote this concept that there was a serious investigation going on. People around Donald Trump and particularly around people like me and Roger Stone, I said, I — how do I — how do I combat this? I felt like I was in the middle of a tsunami, you know, and there was no way my voice is going to be heard against all of this onslaught of misinformation.
And then, of course, when they did ultimately indict me, they threw a gag order on me, and made it impossible for me to speak, even though they kept leaking stories that were — have been proven false. And then when I started to fight against that gag order, they threw me in jail, where, you know, they deliberately knew what they were doing. They didn’t want me to speak to the media. They wanted to keep me from my lawyers and affect my ability to prepare for my trial.
And frankly, from day one, I always felt they were targeting me and a couple of others to try and get at the president — the president — then candidate Trump and then President Trump, which is one of the reasons why I find it sort of ironic that what’s going on today, with these claims about January 6, when the people who are pushing the January 6 allegations are the very ones who for four and a half years refused to recognize the results of the 2016 election.
So, this book that I’m writing is meant to, you know, tell my side of the story. Get out my side of the facts. To tell the truth about my career in politics and government, and to — and to let the reader understand what really was going on in the Trump Tower meeting of June 9th.
HANNITY: Let me ask this — you mentioned the gag order. Roger Stone, similarly, had a gag order. I thought we had something called the First Amendment that allows you to speak out. But apparently, I must — I must have been to a bad Catholic school for 12 years. But that was taken away from you.
Then they put you in solitary confinement. And I don’t know how much you want to reveal here before the book comes out, were there specific moments where they were offering to set you free if you said certain things?
MANAFORT: Well, there were moments, and I will talk about this in the book, when they were putting pressure on me to admit to facts that weren’t true and I’ll talk about those facts and those expectations, and the — and the quid pro quo that was understood was that I would be treated in a very lenient way. They didn’t understand that there was no way I was going to lie. There was no way that they could force me into giving up the president, you know?
And I never felt uncomfortable talking to them because I knew that as long as I told the truth, I had nothing to fear. But I was wrong. Because even telling the truth —
HANNITY: What was the reason then — what was the reason for solitary confinement? My interpretation was, they were trying to break you. And I remember at the time, you were suffering from some health issues as a result of it.
Were they — were they afraid for your safety? What — how were the prisoners when you got to finally see them, did they treat you well, were they nice to you or were they a threat to you?
MANAFORT: The prisoners were never an issue with me. The special prosecutor was. They are the ones who put me into my view is harm’s way.
HANNITY: So, then why solitary?
MANAFORT: Solitary confinement is a terrible thing. Solitary confinement is a —
HANNITY: Why solitary then?
MANAFORT: Well, they said it was to protect me. But, I mean, I never believed that for a minute. It didn’t protect me.
What it did was it put me into a situation that was — I’m in an 8×10 room with no windows, you know, with no access to people, no access to outside and limited ability to communicate with my lawyers.
And I talk about that in the book. And I talk about how, you know, it’s inhumane what they call solitary confinement. Then they tried to get me to go to Rikers Island and forced me to be there in solitary, which, fortunately, thanks to the Department of Justice, that didn’t happen because there was a fear — an issue of safety for me in that context there.
HANNITY: Only because of the constraints of time, I’m not trying to interrupt you, but I know — we’ll do a full hour when your book does come out, those details that you’ve told me, that when people hear it will be blown away. I’m trying to ask this in a way that we don’t give away the whole book here, because — and you also talk about the campaign, and how Mike Pence was chosen. And you bring us behind the scenes and the work that you were doing.
My sources have been telling me for a long time that Robert Mueller, he was kind of checked out. Let me — I’m being nice. In other words, he kind of suffered from the same cognitive decline that Joe Biden has.
A, is that true? Did you see him much? And B, if it wasn’t him, who was putting all of this pressure on you? His hitman, Mr. Weissmann?
MANAFORT: Yeah, I never — I saw Mueller walking down the hallway once. Another than that, I had no contact with him, and frankly, he didn’t look like he knew who I was when I saw him.
Yes. It was Weissmann. I mean, he was the one that was the lead prosecutor on my case.
HANNITY: His pit bull.
MANAFORT: And from day one — he was the one. I mean, you know, they so overcharged me on my case that Judge Ellis in Virginia actually admonished them from the bench, saying, why are you bringing all of these charges? You’re going to put this guy to jail forever?
And they were trying to put me in jail forever. I mean, if I — unless I would cooperate, that’s what they — what they were promising to do. In fact, you know, when we did the presentation in the Virginia — the D.C. case, they argued for the maximum penalty for me, because they didn’t want me to be free.
HANNITY: Even though you had — let me ask you this and I want to stay on Mueller’s pit bull, Andrew Weissmann, for a second here. Were there moments that you knew that they wanted you to say what they wanted you to say, whether it was true or not? Because they wanted — their real target was Donald Trump —
HANNITY: — not Paul Manafort. I’m asking if this is true.
And that if you would have said it, you probably could have walked out free? Were there very specific things that they were looking for to you say and telling you, wink, nod, you know, you can go home and have pizza tonight if you give us the answer we’re looking for?
MANAFORT: Well, I’ll be definitely talking about some of those details in the book because there was no doubt in my mind from day one that I was a means to an end. And frankly after they didn’t succeed with me, they used the same tactics against Roger Stone. I mean, they did the morning no-knock break-in to his house, just as they did in my house.
They — the only difference, they had a CNN camera there because he lived in an open community, not in a condominium. And, you know, they put the gag order on Roger, they indicted him, too.
So, I mean, the technique that they used on him and me was not because they cared about either of us. Who they cared about was Donald Trump, and we were the way they — without us, they didn’t think they could get Trump.
And I remember laughing to my lawyer when — when I did the plea agreement with them in the Virginia case — in the D.C. case, that there were all kinds of stories that Donald Trump was going down now. Paul Manafort was going to turn on him. And I turned to my lawyer and said, look, make sure they understand I plan on telling the truth. And when I tell the truth, not only is Donald Trump not going down, but their whole case is going to blow up.
And that’s what happened. And that’s why they came back —
HANNITY: Well, the inspector general —
MANAFORT: — afterwards.
HANNITY: Let me ask you about this. Was it clear to you that they wanted you to lie about — they didn’t care if you lied about Donald Trump. That their target was Donald Trump, and that you basically, they wanted you to lie about him.
Now, when you’re talking about, and remember, they wanted you to die in jail. Just, you know, they wanted, what, 25 years.
MANAFORT: Yeah, they do want —
HANNITY: They wanted you dead in jail.
So, now, you’re being basically offered your freedom if you say what they want — what they want to hear. But you didn’t do it. Why? Why didn’t you do it?
HANNITY: That’s a pretty — that’s a strong incentive.
MANAFORT: Well, they wanted me to say something that wasn’t true and I wasn’t going to do that. And, frankly, you know, once you start walking down that slippery slope, who knows where you will end up? I wasn’t going to do that, you know?
I mean, I felt comfortable from day one, and the whole Russian collusion narrative that it was — I knew it was phony. And in the book, I walked through all the elements of the prosecutor’s case and Russian collusion and show that from Adam Schiff to everyone else who said they had inside information, they had seen confidential information, I expose all of that in the book, because the truth is, there was no confidential information. They didn’t have any secret information.
It was a weaponization of law enforcement, the national security operations, and targeted — in my wildest dreams I couldn’t imagine this — targeting a president of the United States, to undermine his presidency and to try and remove him from office. And there was no way I was going to ever be a participant in that — charade (ph).
HANNITY: You know what I’ve concluded, Paul, as a result of this, we don’t have an America anymore and it saddens me to say, equal justice under the law, we don’t have equal application under the law. We now have the criminalization of — criminal — of political differences in this country, and prosecutorial abuse is far more rampant than people know.
I can’t wait to get the details. You’ve given me a couple of tidbits off- camera that I can’t wait for you to tell the country. Their eyes will open wide when this book comes out.
And thank you for sharing with us tonight.
The book is called “Political Prisoner.” You can get on first edition copy on Amazon.com.
All right, Paul Manafort.
Coming up, the left continues to fawn over Trump-hating Republican Liz Cheney. One New York columnist even suggesting she run as Biden’s running mate in 2024. We are about to interview Liz Cheney’s primary opponent, Harriet Hageman. That’s coming up next, straight ahead.
HANNITY: Now, “The New York Times” is facing more mockery tonight after publishing a column from Thomas Friedman promoting a Joe Biden-Liz Cheney ticket in 2024, once again showing how much the paper of record is so disconnected from the people in this country, all across the country, prompting scorn from both the left and the right.
And, of course, it comes as Liz Cheney continues to align herself with the very same Democrats that called her father a war criminal, a murderer, a crook and worse — by the way, all of which was not true. At the time, I was actually very fond of the former vice president.
And, Liz, if you really care about getting to the bottom of what happened on January 6, instead of your stern lectures call on Speaker Pelosi, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, to testify about why they decided not to go along with the lawful order of Donald Trump for 20,000 troops on January 6. He did that on January 4.
If you want to prevent this from ever happening again, that’s what you need to do. And why requests from the Capitol police chief, the National Guard, support went unheeded and why after Donald Trump signed off on the guards, why did they refuse and decline them? Then you might have an answer. If you had 20,000 guards that day, guardsmen that day, January 6 wouldn’t have happened. But, of course, you just want to bludgeon Trump.
Here with reaction, the House candidate running in the primary against Liz Cheney, and Wyoming’s at large congressional district, Republican Harriet Hageman is with us.
Thank you for being with us. You were friends with Liz Cheney. You endorsed her, I think in 2016, and supported her, right?
HARRIET HAGEMAN (R), CANDIDATE FOR U.S. CONGRESS FOR WYOMING: Yes. Well, and the majority of Wyoming did. In 2020, she received almost 70 percent of the vote in Wyoming. So, a lot of people in Wyoming supported her but they don’t anymore.
What she’s done since last year, she’s as adversarial to the Republican Party as is Nancy Pelosi. She’s not representing the states of Wyoming. She’s not doing the work that we sent her to Washington, D.C. to do. And it’s time for Liz Cheney to be replaced.
HANNITY: Well, everybody on that committee, they kicked off two people that would have asked the questions. Do you think — if you really care about protecting the Capitol and I do, and I said so that day, I said it on radio as it was unfolding and I said it on this TV show. If you care about stopping the violence like in the summer of 2020.
In this case, though, don’t you need to ask the speaker of the House why she declined the troops that were legally approved by Donald Trump in front of the joint chiefs, secretary of defense, chief-of-staff, Defense Department chief-of-staff, why wouldn’t they call in her, why aren’t they calling in the D.C. mayor, why aren’t they demanding their emails before that day and after? Why are they giving her a pass and why is she off- limits?
HAGEMAN: Well, I think we know the answer to that question, Sean, or those questions, very simply, because they know what the answers are.
They didn’t do their job. They didn’t address security on that day. We know it, and the question becomes, why didn’t they? Why didn’t they make an effort to do what Donald Trump offered, in terms of security, in terms of National Guard troops?
The fact is that Nancy Pelosi and the mayor of D.C. should be answering questions but they don’t want those questions answered because this is a witch-hunt. This is about going after Donald Trump. Your previous guest, Mr. Manafort, this is just a continuation of what they have been doing since 2016 when Donald Trump won the election.
They have been trying to destroy the man. It’s been nonstop. We’re now going on six years and it’s just the same people doing exactly the same thing which is to try to destroy an outsider.
This is about Donald Trump. It isn’t about what actually happened on January 6. It’s about destroying people that they disagree with.
HANNITY: Last question, how do the people in Wyoming feel about Liz Cheney today?
HAGEMAN: They don’t like Liz Cheney and they are embarrassed by her. And the fact is she’s going to be raising millions of dollars. She’s raising millions of dollars from the Democrats and from the Lincoln Project and folks in Virginia.
And I need people to go to my website, hagemanforwyoming.com, and let’s send Liz Cheney back to Virginia where she belongs and where she lives.
HANNITY: All right. We’re going to follow this race closely. Last poll I saw showed you up, I believe, by 18, is that right?
HAGEMAN: Twenty points, 38-18.
HANNITY: Twenty, off by two. I hate getting corrected on my own show. I really don’t like that.
All right. Congratulations. We’ll follow this race closely and many races.
Straight ahead, the left playing the race card yet again. This time, Biden comparing components of his election takeover bill to a renowned racist that he once praised, Leo 2.0 Terrell. He’ll weigh in, coming up next.
HANNITY: Now, the ever struggling Joe Biden who campaigned on unity again and again, used his rambling speech in Atlanta yesterday to fuel even more needless racial division, claiming that anyone who is against the Democrats’ federal election takeover, which is unconstitutional, the scheme will go down in history like George Wallace and Jefferson Davis.
Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Ask every elected official in America, how do you want to be remembered? Consequential moments in history. They present a choice.
Do you want to be on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace? Do you want to be on the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor? Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis?
This is the moment to decide.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Wow. Are you starting to feel that unity yet? And Biden failed to mention yesterday, he himself — he’s praised George Wallace numerous times in the past.
It shouldn’t shock anyone. It was Joe Biden that worked with the former Klansman Robert “KKK” Byrd. He didn’t want integration of our public schools because he didn’t want our public schools becoming in his words racial jungles.
Now the speech was so bad, even the Reverend Al Sharpton called it a “you’re going to hell” speech, not a vote-getting one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: In this particular case, dealing with my friend and brother Joe, if he was trying to get votes, it was not the vote-getting speech. It was, when you’re the preacher of a minister, either you get up and try to persuade people of their sins, and appeal to their better angels. But when they come to church and they still have to juggle with guilt under the pew, you say you’re going to hell. I think he gave a going to hell speech.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Here with reaction, FOX News contributor Leo 2.0 Terrell.
Leo, how does a guy that praises George Wallace, then use that example, how does a guy that worked to stop segregation with a former Klansman give that speech?
LEO TERRELL, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I tell you right now, he’s in denial. Joe Biden has been lying all his life for 50 years.
Let me be as clear as possible and calm. Joe Biden is a racist. He’s in denial. He’s been a racist for 50 years.
You know what he does? He’s the worst kind because he exploits blacks for his own personal gain, to remain in office. Even — the one thing I agree with Kamala Harris, he — she accused him on the campaign trail of cuddling with segregationists. So, he is a racist.
And the thing about it, for 50 years, he’s done nothing for black people, except kept them in poor public schools, opposed public choice and that 1994 crime bill.
I want to be as clear as possible. Donald J. Trump has done more for black Americans than Joe Biden. The First Step Act, funding historical black colleges. Joe Biden has exploited and used black Americans for 50 years and he has nothing to show for black Americans.
HANNITY: Explain this to me. Delaware has the most restricted laws and Georgia, 17 days in person voting, Delaware none. Drop boxes in every district in Georgia, zero in Delaware.
You just have to ask, no excuse need, you get a mail-in ballot in Georgia. You have to give a reason in Delaware. Both states have voter ID.
Why didn’t he give the speech in Delaware and why did he wait all of this time before ever speaking up about the issue of voting rights?
TERRELL: Sean, you just gave out facts. Democrats and Joe Biden, they aren’t dealing with facts. It’s lies. They have doubled down.
For him to have the audacity to go to Atlanta, after knowing all the facts you just articulated, they don’t care about the facts. They are desperate. He went down there and played the race card to the 15th degree, with no effect.
Even Al Sharpton, the speech had no effect. He diverted away from the chaos with the inflation, the southern border, Afghanistan, poor schools, and he’s done a disservice for black Americans.
Look at the urban cities, the crime wave, guess who gets hurt? Black people. Chicago. Joe Biden has not lifted a finger for black people for the last 50 years.
HANNITY: Is the committee looking into Kamala Harris’ support of a bail fund after what happened in the summer of 2020? They’re not going to stop. They shouldn’t stop. We’re not going to stop.
Big double standard, Leo. I still don’t have my 2.0 hat. You owe me one. I would like it delivered, please.
Anyway, more HANNITY after this.
HANNITY: All right. Unfortunately, that’s all the time we have left this evening. As always, we thank you for being with us. You make this show possible. We never forget it. We don’t thank you enough.
Please set your DVR so you never miss an episode of HANNITY. And if you don’t know how, Laura Ingraham will teach you. She promised me that.
Anyway, in the meantime, let not your hearts be troubled, Laura Ingraham takes it away.
Laura, big show tonight.
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‘Hannity’ on Biden’s first year, Manafort exclusive