Posts Tagged ‘Hannity’

Part of Donald Trump’s Telephone Kitchen Cabinet is Sean Hannity

April 18, 2018

Hannity’s rising role in Trump’s world: ‘He basically has a desk in the place’

April 17 at 7:53 PM

The phone calls between President Trump and Sean Hannity come early in the morning or late at night, after the Fox News host goes off the air. They discuss ideas for Hannity’s show, Trump’s frustration with the ongoing special counsel probe and even, at times, what the president should tweet, according to people familiar with the conversations. When he’s off the phone, Trump is known to cite Hannity when he talks with White House advisers.

Related image

The revelation this week that the two men share an attorney is just the latest sign of how Hannity is intertwined with Trump’s world — an increasingly powerful confidant who offers the ­media-driven president a sympathetic ear and shared grievances. The conservative commentator is so close to Trump that some White House aides have dubbed him the unofficial chief of staff.

This portrait of the interactions between the president and the talk-show host is based on interviews with more than a dozen friends, advisers and associates of the two men, some of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations.

For a president who feels, intensely, that he is under siege, Hannity offers what he prizes: loyalty and a mass audience. And Trump, in turn, has directed his supporters to Hannity’s show — urging people on Twitter last week to watch the commentator attack special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, who heads the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign.

Their bond intensified during the 2016 campaign and has grown stronger during Trump’s time in office.

“The bottom line is, during the heat of the campaign when relationships are forged, he was always there, offering good advice, in person and on television,” former deputy Trump campaign manager David Bossie said of Hannity. “The president sees him as an incredibly smart and articulate spokesman for the agenda.”

Before stardom on Fox News, Hannity found controversy on college radio

Trump and Hannity usually speak several times a week, according to people familiar with their relationship. The Fox News host, whose show averages more than 3 million viewers daily, is one of the few people who gets patched immediately to Trump. The two men review news stories and aspects of Hannity’s show, and occasionally debate specifics about whatever the president is considering typing out on Twitter. There have also been times when Trump has assessed the merits of various White House aides with Hannity.

The frequency of Hannity’s contact with Trump means that “he basically has a desk in the place,” one presidential adviser said.

Hannity and White House officials did not respond to requests for comment.

Several West Wing aides and friends of the president pointed to their running conversations — whether they take place over the phone or on the golf course in Florida, as they did in late March — as crucial to understanding this moment in the Trump presidency, when the president is eager to return to the combative and television-infused style of his business career and more isolated than ever from the traditional Republicans who have struggled to guide him.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer gives Fox News host Sean Hannity a tour of the White House press briefing room in January 2017. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

“There is a small group of people who Trump speaks with who truly don’t have to be obsequious,” a veteran Trump ally said. “Sean is one of them,” the ally added, and said that Blackstone chief executive Stephen Schwarzman, veteran investor Carl Icahn and first lady Melania Trump “may be the only others on that list.”

Hannity’s counsel hews to a core theme — distance yourself from Washington elites and trust the instincts that he argues won Trump the White House — the advisers said, and Hannity has emphasized that keeping conservatives happy on immigration and health-care issues is critical.

Another regular topic: venting about the Russia probe and senior Justice Department figures such as Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who oversees the investigation, the advisers said.

Read the rest:

The Washington Post

Kitchen Cabinet


Sean Hannity news is a real problem for Michael Cohen

April 17, 2018


Sean Hannity (left) and Michael CohenImage copyrightTWITTER/ SEAN HANNITY
Sean Hannity (left) and Michael Cohen

Fox News host is the mystery third client of US President Donald Trump’s lawyer, a court has heard.

Editor’s Note: Laura Coates is a CNN legal analyst. She is a former assistant US attorney for the District of Columbia and trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. She is the host of the daily “Laura Coates Show” on SiriusXM. Follow her @thelauracoates. The views expressed in this commentary are her own.

(CNN) — Fox host Sean Hannity just helped the government’s case against President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, tremendously. Even irony itself was not prepared for that development.

Courtroom drama peaked Monday at a hearing in lower Manhattan when Michael Cohen’s lawyer, Stephen Ryan, reluctantly revealed to Judge Kimba Wood — a judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York — that Cohen’s mystery third client was Hannity, the bombastic, unconditional champion of citizen-turned-candidate-turned-President, Donald Trump.
But the shock of that third-client revelation paled in comparison to Hannity’s shocking denial, soon after, that he and Michael Cohen were ever in an attorney-client relationship.
In fact, while responding on his radio show to news that he had been identified as one of Cohen’s three clients, Hannity explicitly stated that he was never represented by nor had he ever retained Cohen. He bent over backwards to deny the relationship, claiming nothing more than a few harmless chit-chats over real estate.
In an effort to distinguish his interactions with Cohen from those of Trump and Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy (the other two clients), Hannity implied that his own exchanges with Cohen did not entail the silencing of any alleged sexual partner, as these exchanges did not involve any third party.
Hannity: Cohen has never represented me
Hannity: Cohen has never represented me 02:30
Said Hannity, on his radio show Monday: “Not one of any issue I ever dealt with Michael Cohen on ever — ever — involved a matter between me and any third party.”
Although he later clarified his comments to suggest that he expected that some of his conversations with Cohen would be confidential, his earlier denial that a relationship ever existed renders that expectation unpersuasive. It is gratuitous doublespeak.
Hannity’s denial fatally undermined any credible claim by Cohen that their communications were protected from disclosure by the attorney client privilege. The privilege extends to only those private conversations that take place within an established attorney-client relationship, and even then, those conversations must specifically pertain to legal advice. The privilege does not extend to conversations simply because one of its participants happens to be an attorney.
Interestingly enough, this is precisely what the government argued in favor of the disclosure of Cohen’s communications with other purported clients. To get the search warrant in the first place, the government had to have convinced the court that Cohen and his so-called clients were not actually in an attorney-client relationship, and therefore their conversations were not privileged.

Sean Hannity's 'bromance' with Trump

Sean Hannity’s ‘bromance’ with Trump 02:47
Hannity just confirmed that to be true, at least with respect to himself. That certainly undermined the credibility of Cohen and perhaps explains why Cohen wanted to keep their relationship confidential.
But even if an attorney-client relationship between Cohen and Hannity did actually exist, it is the client, not the attorney, who controls the disclosure of communication. Even if Cohen wanted to disclose the discussions, he would only be allowed to do so if Hannity agreed to it.
But in this case, Hannity isn’t asserting the privilege, so Cohen lacks any basis not to disclose the information or to prevent the government from looking at any communications between himself and Hannity.
The accidental client is a legal possibility. It is an attorney’s responsibility to confirm the existence of an attorney-client relationship or clarify someone’s confusion as to whether one exists. But the notion of an accidental attorney is a legal absurdity. And yet, that is the very absurdity on which Cohen rests his claim.
In a political world of legal semantics and lawerly answers that hedge more than they clarify, some things are unmistakably clear: if a client doesn’t think you are his attorney, you’re not.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this commentary omitted the final two paragraphs.
Includes videos:
BBC News

 Fox News host is the mystery third client of US President Donald Trump’s lawyer, a court has heard.

A judge ruled that Michael Cohen, the president’s personal attorney, must reveal the link to Sean Hannity.

Monday’s hearing in New York City follows an FBI raid this month on the presidential lawyer’s home and office, which Mr Hannity has called an anti-Trump “witch hunt”.

A vocal Trump advocate, Mr Hannity denied he was a client of Mr Cohen.

The conservative host, who is known for passionately defending Mr Trump on his Fox News show against what he describes as biased attacks by the media, had never previously divulged any legal ties to the president’s attorney.

Agents were seeking evidence on various matters in the raid, including a $130,000 (£90,000) payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Mr Hannity visited the White House shortly after Mr Trump was electedGETTY IMAGES
Mr Hannity visited the White House shortly after Mr Trump was elected

The judge also denied Mr Cohen’s attempts to prevent prosecutors from reviewing the materials seized in the FBI raids.

Mr Trump’s attorney says the computers, phones and documents should be protected under attorney-client privilege.

But Judge Kimba Wood ruled his application for a preliminary injunction was premature.

The judge allowed prosecutors to proceed with the cataloguing of evidence seized in raids, while a system is set up to ensure that records protected by attorney-client privilege are not disclosed to investigators.

Mr Hannity issued a statement of denial.

“Michael Cohen has never represented me in any matter,” the Fox host said.

“I have occasionally had brief discussions with him about legal questions about which I wanted his input and perspective.

“I assumed those conversations were confidential, but to be absolutely clear they never involved any matter between me and a third party.”

In a later post on Twitter, he said the advice “dealt almost exclusively” with real estate.

He maintained it was no “big deal”.

After last week’s raid on Mr Cohen’s offices, Mr Hannity took to the airwaves to denounce the probe as a “declared war against the president of the United States”.

Stormy Daniels (Stephanie Clifford) speaks to the press, as her attorney Michael Avenatti looks on, outside of federal court in New York City, New York, USA, 16 April 2018Image copyrightEPA
Adult-film actress Stormy Daniels spoke to the press outside the federal court

Just before Monday’s hearing, Mr Cohen said in a statement that he had only provided advice to three clients in the past year.

One was Mr Trump. Another was a Republican fundraiser who admitted to paying a former Playboy model after she became pregnant during their affair.

The third client, Mr Cohen said, had refused to give him permission to be publicly named.

But Judge Wood made one of the lawyers identify Mr Hannity on Monday.

There were gasps and some laughter in the courtroom after the announcement, and some journalists raced out of the courtroom to report the revelation.

Non-disclosure agreements have been in the news a lot – but what exactly are they?

Also in the Manhattan federal court was Ms Daniels, whose appearance triggered a scrum by photographers outside.

Mr Cohen has admitted making a payment to the adult film actress, who claims the money was to keep her quiet about an affair she says she had with Mr Trump in 2006.

Mr Trump’s attorney says he made the payment just before the 2016 election, but maintains Mr Trump did not know about it.

He is facing a criminal inquiry, which the president has strongly criticised.

The payoff to Ms Daniels could amount to a campaign finance violation, say legal analysts.

The White House has denied Mr Trump had an extramarital affair.

How Steve Bannon Rescued Roy Moore’s Campaign Against All Odds

December 11, 2017


By Joshua Green

  • Alabama Senate candidate calls Bannon ‘the master strategist’
  • Polls show most Republicans now don’t believe Moore’s accusers
Steve Bannon welcomes Roy Moore onstage during a campaign rally for in Fairhope, Alabama, U.S., on Dec. 5

Photographer: Nicole Craine/Bloomberg

On the night of Nov. 14, Roy Moore’s campaign for an Alabama Senate seat looked all but finished.

After five women came forward with accounts of Moore’s alleged sexual misconduct with them as teenagers, including one who was 14 years old, the GOP candidate was abandoned by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and many Republicans in Congress, and the Republican National Committee cut off his funding.

But it was an ultimatum from Fox News host Sean Hannity, delivered on his Nov. 14 broadcast, that posed the direst threat. “For me, the judge has 24 hours,” Hannity told his viewers, after excoriating Moore. “You must immediately and fully come up with a satisfactory explanation for your inconsistencies.” He added, “If you can’t do this, then Judge Moore needs to get out of the race.” In 2017, a Republican candidate can overcome disapproval from party leaders, but losing the conservative media is usually fatal.

Four weeks later, Moore’s situation has entirely turned around: He not only survived, but leads his Democratic opponent in most polls. President Donald Trump has forcefully endorsed him. The RNC restored his funding. McConnell stopped saying he should quit and now says the people of Alabama should decide his fate. Most Republican voters there have decided the allegations are false: A CBS News poll found that 71 percent don’t believe them. Hannity, too, is back in the fold and a big reason why Moore received a hero’s welcome at a Dec. 5 barn rally in Fairhope, Alabama.

Rather than bury Moore, conservative media resurrected him — and the party followed. It did so thanks largely to the influence of the man who introduced Moore in Fairhope: Steve Bannon. “The whole thing was a setup, right?” the former White House chief strategist told the roaring crowd.

‘Master Strategist’

Through his staff at Breitbart News, his talk radio show, and his allies in politics and media — Hannity among them — Bannon has worked harder than perhaps anyone else to sow doubt about the accusations against Moore and to push the claim that his accusers are lying. In doing so, he’s illustrated the growing power of conservative media to shape the perceptions of Republican voters, something that may keep Alabama’s Senate seat in Republican hands when polls open on Tuesday.

No one appreciates Bannon’s efforts more than the candidate only recently left for dead. “He’s the counter to the ‘fake news’ — he’s been a stalwart,” says Roy Moore. “It’s helped us a lot. He’s the master strategist.”

Bannon’s efforts to save Moore from the fallout from the first Washington Post story laying out the accusations predate its publication on Nov. 9. Tipped by the Moore campaign, Breitbart News published word of its impending arrival in an article intended to undermine the charges by Leigh Corfman that Moore initiated a sexual encounter with her when she was 14. That did little to blunt Republican outrage in Congress or the White House. Although Trump was traveling abroad and didn’t comment, aide Kellyanne Conway said the behavior attributed to Moore “would be disqualifying for anyone in public office.”

Bannon dispatched Breitbart reporters to Alabama to discredit the Post story. He was so certain they would turn up evidence of collusion and unravel the Post story that he publicly predicted as much during a Nov. 10 speech in South Carolina. “They’re finding some collusion going on in stories about Judge Moore,” he said, while accepting the Citadel Republican Society’s Nathan Hale Patriot Award. “I think you’ll see tomorrow.”

‘Special Place in Hell’

Evidence of collusion between Moore’s accusers and the press never materialized. Instead, Moore’s situation worsened, not least because of an interview he gave to Hannity’s radio show that same day. Asked if he had pursued teenage girls as a grown man, Moore replied, “generally, no” but added that he’d “dated a lot of young ladies,” had known some of his accusers, and “if we did go on dates, then we did.” The performance didn’t help his cause. Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, told the Associated Press, “There’s a special place in hell for people who prey on children.”

Even so, Bannon was most alarmed by Hannity’s ultimatum to Moore and moved to intervene, according to three people familiar with his actions. Along with Breitbart’s Washington editor, Matthew Boyle, he besieged the Fox News host with phone calls and texts. Bannon, who recently told the New York Times that Hannity is “the single most important voice for the ‘deplorables’” — his term for Trump supporters — asked the Fox host not to call on Moore to withdraw and instead to let Alabama voters decide, said people familiar with Bannon’s activities.

One of the people said Hannity was skeptical, but willing to listen. The person said Hannity texted Boyle, “You pull this off it’s a f— miracle.” Hannity declined to comment on the text. Through a spokesperson, he denied that he was pressured by anyone.

Moore’s campaign also raced to convince Hannity within his 24-hour window, issuing a public memo — addressed “Dear Sean” — that sought to rebut the women’s allegations. “Sean is very important,” says Dean Young, Moore’s chief political strategist. “He’s a well-respected guy and we think he’s an honest man. Judge Moore is an honest guy, too, and wanted to be as clear as possible.”

Hannity’s Reprieve

The pressure campaign paid off. Even as three new accusers came forward, Hannity declared himself satisfied with Moore’s response. “I lived in Alabama,” he said. “I know these people. They’re smart, they’re great Americans — God, family, faith, country. I am very confident that when everything comes out, they will make the best decision for their state.”

It was Bannon’s message precisely. And it gave Moore the reprieve he desperately needed. The pressure to quit the race stopped building. “Steve has been a voice for the conservative movement in turning this around,” Kayla Moore, the judge’s wife, said backstage at the Fairhope rally.

Bannon worked to create a counter-narrative that ultimately would change many Republicans’ perception of the scandal. A former filmmaker, he’s long been captivated by the propaganda films of Leni Riefenstahl, the Nazi filmmaker, and the Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein for their power to shape public sentiment. Earlier this year, Bannon told the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer his 2012 anti-Obama film “The Hope and the Change,” had consciously mimicked Riefenstahl’s infamous, “Triumph of the Will.” Her film, he added, “seared into me” that unhappy voters could be influenced if they felt they were being conned.

“Riefenstahl and Eisenstein both created an image of their nation that coalesced in the minds of citizens and shaped public opinion through narratives, which is essentially what Bannon is doing in politics,” says Nadia Szold, a filmmaker and documentarian who has studied Bannon’s films and discussed his influences with him. “They all evoke emotions like nostalgia, patriotism or paranoia that strengthen a collective sentiment.”

Building a New Narrative

In the run-up to the presidential campaign, Bannon’s narrative-building energies were chiefly directed at the mainstream media. He helped conceive and produce the book “Clinton Cash” as a way of injecting negative storylines about Hillary Clinton into major outlets like the New York Times and the Washington Post to discourage potential Clinton voters and grease the skids for the Republican nominee.

In Alabama, however, Bannon needed to move Republican voters, which entailed exerting a different, more direct influence. Early on, he sent two top Breitbart editors, Boyle and Aaron Klein, to attack Moore’s critics and churn out a fusillade of stories designed to raise doubts about the motives of Moore’s accusers and the mainstream reporters covering them. The general theme, Boyle explains, was that the whole thing was a Democratic ruse abetted by a compliant liberal press: “This was a missile launched at the conservative movement by the mainstream media.”

An ardent believer in the power of talk radio, Bannon turned his daily SiriusXM radio show into the broadcasting hub of the Moore counter-narrative that was fast emerging. It disseminated Breitbart’s stories across the conservative universe, parts of which remained committed to opposing Moore. “Our voters turn to the conservative media — or what people thought was conservative — because the rest of it is fake news,” says Young. “That includes Fox News, which follows Mitch McConnell’s lead. Hannity is a bright spot there, but Fox News has gotten more liberal.”

Harnessing Talk Radio

Local talk radio was especially important because it reached voters who would decide Moore’s fate. Bannon sent his reporters to appear as guests.

“Without Bannon and Breitbart, it would have been almost impossible for us to get the message out there,” says Scott Beason, a conservative radio host whose show broadcasts weekdays on the SuperStation FM 101.1 and blankets the Huntsville and Birmingham markets. “They had a big effect. They’re giving people information that’s not making it into our local reports, that gave us a reference point to refute these stories and say, ‘Here’s the part you don’t know.’ And that often flips the situation on its head and changes people’s minds. I really believe because of the work they did that that’s how Roy Moore is going to be able to get over the hump on Tuesday.”

Although support for Moore fell sharply after the sexual misconduct allegations, it has gradually returned, something Beason attributes to four weeks of steady bludgeoning that Bannon’s operation has administered to Moore’s accusers and the mainstream press. “Not everybody listens to my radio show,” he says. “It took time to get the message out so people were hearing these things. My listeners go to the gym, or the ballpark, or Sunday school, and say, ‘Did you hear what Scott said?’”

And while Moore couldn’t count on Fox News to supply laudatory coverage, his campaign found a conservative alternative, the One America Network, an upstart competitor to Fox that had multiple crews in Alabama throughout the primary. “For us, as a network that’s continuing to grow, it was very important to our leadership that we could be a serious media organization on the ground in Alabama,” says Trey Yingst, OAN’s White House correspondent.

“They’ve gained momentum down here, I heard more and more about them,” Young said of OAN. “We get treated fairly there. When we want to get the real story out, we do it through the real conservative media.” Both Moore and his wife, Kayla, were made available to OAN for interviews, while Yingst landed an exclusive interview with Bannon after the Fairhope rally.

Courting Trump

Throughout Moore’s scandal, Trump, who hadn’t weighed in, loomed as the ultimate determiner of the candidate’s fate. According to three people familiar with his actions, Bannon made calls to Trump and Nick Ayers, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, urging them to withhold public comment and let the people of Alabama decide whether Moore belonged in the Senate. The Daily Beast reported that Conway also pushed the president not to condemn Moore.

Trump, an avid consumer of conservative media, especially Hannity’s show, was willing to go much further. On Nov. 26, he attacked Moore’s Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, on Twitter: “The last thing we need in Alabama and the U.S. Senate is a Schumer/Pelosi puppet who is WEAK on Crime, WEAK on the Border, Bad for our Military and our great Vets, Bad for our 2nd Amendment, AND WANTS TO RAISES TAXES TO THE SKY. Jones would be a disaster!” On Dec. 4, Trump called Moore to bestow his endorsement, then tweeted, “Democrats refusal to give even one vote for massive Tax Cuts is why we need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama,” adding “No to Jones, a Pelosi/Schumer Puppet!”

With Trump aboard, the RNC quickly followed suit and restored funding to Moore’s campaign — news that first appeared in Breitbart. “We stand with the president,” a senior RNC official told the website.

Attacking ‘Fake News’

The next evening, rain poured down on the barn at Oak Hollow Farm, in Fairhope, where Bannon and Moore were scheduled to headline a rally. Inside, amid all the Americana, homemade signs celebrated Breitbart News (“Who’s Your News Daddy/Breitbart #1/Not Fake”), with colorful pennants devoted to Bannon and Boyle. The Chestang Bluegrass Gospel band gave way to a series of conservative speakers, who lambasted the “fake news” media to rapturous applause.

Bannon, who has toured the country delivering populist stem-winders, painted Tuesday’s election as pivotal in the battle against McConnell and the Moore’s accusers. “Don’t let them take your voice away!” he told the crowd.

As Moore began speaking, Bannon ducked backstage to sit for an interview with OAN. Then he picked up a headset and joined a live broadcast of his SiriusXM talk-radio show, fighting to be heard above the noise of the crowd. Since the scandal broke, Moore had all but vanished from TV and radio, leaving others to defend him. But as soon as he stepped off the stage, he was ushered through a door and handed a headset, so he could join Bannon’s broadcast already in progress.

Peace between Israelis and Palestinians requires “the fundamental acceptance of the Jewish State” — Must stop “rewarding those who engage in terrorism”

April 21, 2017

Image may contain: 1 person, standing and suit

Palestinian Authority leader Abbas and Israel’s Netanyahu in 2010. AP photo by Charles Dharapak

Fox News

The spokesman for Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Fox News’ “Hannity” Thursday that peace between the Israelis and Palestinians requires “the fundamental acceptance of the Jewish State.”

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to Sean Hannity at the Sarona Market in Tel Aviv, where Palestinian terrorists shot and killed four Israelis and murdered 16 others last year.


“They ordered brownies. They were dressed in suits. They tried to blend in,” Keyes said of the attackers, “and they stood up and they murdered four people in cold blood.”

Keyes noted that “every time we’ve had a real partner for peace, Israel has actually worked out peace deals which have lasted decades, [as] in the case of Egypt and Jordan.”

“Look, everyone in this region deserves to live in peace,” Keyes added, “and there’s nobody who would want peace more than the Israeli people and the Israeli Prime Minister.”

Hannity also toured the market with Dore Gold of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, who decried Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas for “rewarding those who engage in terrorism.”

“The real stumbling block for making peace,” Gold said, “is the culture of hatred that the Palestinian Authority has built.”

Includes video:


Jeb Bush enters the lion’s den, touts conservative credentials

February 28, 2015

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. Fri Feb 27, 2015 4:24pm EST

(Reuters) – Republican Jeb Bush asked skeptical conservatives to consider him a “second choice” on Friday but refused to back down from policy positions that have led many right-leaning activists to view his potential presidential candidacy with suspicion.

“I’m a practicing, reform-minded conservative,” the 62-year-old former Florida governor told the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland near Washington.

Jeb Bush speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor in Maryland February 27, 2015.  Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

Many attending the annual gathering of grassroots activists made clear they prefer a potential Bush rival, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, among others.

Bush was heckled and booed, but the antipathy was balanced out by enthusiastic supporters who showed up shortly before he spoke and clapped heartily and aggressively.

While some audience members walked out of the packed auditorium as he began talking, there was no mass walkout and he was well-received overall.

“I like that he has a more moderate position on immigration,” said Aaron Degroot, 22, of St. Anne, Illinois.

Bush, the son of former President George H.W. Bush and brother of former President George W. Bush, has emerged as the favorite of the Republican Party’s establishment wing. He has been on a fund-raising binge that has raised millions of dollars for a potential 2016 presidential campaign.

But the party’s conservative base has been alarmed at Bush’s support for a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants and for an education policy known as Common Core.

Referring to skeptics in the audience, he said, “I’m marking them down as neutral and I want to be your second choice if I go beyond this.”

A Bush critic, conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham, reflected some of the right’s concern about Bush in an early morning talk at CPAC. She said she saw little difference between him and the overwhelming favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton.

“Why don’t we just call it quits, and Jeb and Hillary can run on the same ticket,” she said. “I’m designing the bumper sticker. It could be ‘Clush.’ What difference does it make?”

Facing a crowd angered by Democratic President Barack Obama’s executive order relaxing immigration policy, Bush stuck to his position that Americans should be more accepting of immigrants and be willing to provide legal status for those already here.

He said it would help expand the U.S. economic base, and help his party extend its reach.

“We will be able to get (the) Latinos and young people that you need to win,” he said.

On Common Core, Bush said the policy was one element of a broader education reform effort that included conservative priorities like charter schools, vouchers and an end to affirmative action.

Asked about gay marriage, Bush said he supported “traditional” marriage, meaning between a man and a woman, without the caveats expressed by others that it should be a matter for the states.

He said he opposed marijuana legalization but said it should be up to states to decide.

(Editing by Jonathan Oatis)


Jeb Bush was very, very good at CPAC

February 28, 2015

Before you read this, you’ve probably already seen a dozen negative headlines like these: “Conservatives Boo Jeb Bush” (The Boston Globe), “CPAC Attendees Plan to walk Out on Bush” (The Washington Times) and “Bush Confronts Skeptics at Conservative Gathering” (The New York Times). We’ve linked to each of those below.

Jeb Bush at CPAC February 27, 2015. Reuters photo by Kevin LaMarque

By Chris Cillizza
The Washington Post

Did people walk out when Jeb Bush started speaking at CPAC today in Maryand? Sure. Did he get heckled and booed at times during his q and a with conservative commentator Sean Hannity? Sure. Did Bush more than hold his own with an audience that was ready to embarrass him in front of every national reporter in the country? Yes.

Bush was energetic — maybe due at least in part to nervousness in facing a testy crowd — and informed. He refused to back down — particularly on immigration — from positions that he knew would be unpopular with the crowd.  He insisted that Republicans were good at opposing things but bad at “being for things.” He was composed. He was up to the moment. He looked, in a word, presidential.

By contrast, the opposition, which had promised a major walkout when Bush entered the room, seemed to fizzle.  Check out this video of the protests — and count how many reporters there are versus how many actual protesters there are.

Jeb was also helped by a friendlier-than-I-expected interrogator in Hannity who, while he did ask him about immigration and Common Core, threw the former Florida governor any number of lifelines by touting his conservative record on affirmative action, taxes and school vouchers. (Hannity even added in a Terri Schiavo reference.) And, Bush’s campaign team smartly made sure that the CPAC ballroom had its fair share of their own people in it — ensuring a built-in cheering section to overcome the boos.

Good luck, smart organization and a solid performance in the face of adversity is what successful presidential campaigns are built on.  Bush and his team knew they were going into a tough crowd and he (and they) did everything they could to mitigate those issues. Does that mean Bush won a bunch of converts in a room packed with an amalgam of libertarians, social conservatives and young people just there to have a good time? Probably not. But he didn’t — and doesn’t — need to in order to be the nominee. What he has to do is convince those folks that he’s not nearly as different from them as they might think.

Bush was, by far, the best that I’ve seen him in his just-started presidential campaign. Gone was the somewhat-bumbling, uncertain speech-giver. (He did make a weird reference to campaign finance law and an odd joke about the weather in Miami, for what it’s worth.) In its place was a politician of conviction who had total command of who he was and what he believed.  CPAC is a win for Bush — the first one in front of people who might actually vote in a Republican primary he’s had.

Chris Cillizza writes “The Fix,” a politics blog for the Washington Post. He also covers the White House.
“Conservatives Boo Jeb Bush” (The Boston Globe)
“CPAC Attendees Plan to walk Out on Bush” (The Washington Times)
“Bush Confronts Skeptics at Conservative Gathering” (The New York Times).


Dick Cheney on the Islamic Threat to U.S. — “I’m pretty convinced that we have a group of people at war with us”

August 22, 2014

Transcript from “Hannity,” August 20, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

 cheney hannity
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: This a ”Fox News Alert.” U.S. officials have confirmed that the video released by ISIS is, in fact, authentic and that it shows the beheading of American photojournalist James Foley.
And joining me now with exclusive reaction is the former vice president of the United States, Vice President Dick Cheney. Mr. Vice President, thank you for being with us. We appreciate your time.
HANNITY: You know, you said a while back– and a lot of people kind of hemmed and hawed at what you said– you predicted that America will likely get hit in the next 10 years in a way that was worse than 9/11. Did you watch this video?
CHENEY: I’ve seen not the entire video, just the edited version.
HANNITY: OK. The– I watched this video. You know, remember the 9/11 commission report conclusion, they are at war with us. We weren’t at war with them. After watching this video, I’m pretty convinced that we have a group of people at war with us. Would you agree with that?
Video shows apparent beheading
CHENEY: Absolutely, Sean. There’s no question what with the developments of Iraq and Syria, the development of a caliphate, that the ISIS organization in charge is very much a threat to the United States, to our friends and allies not only in the Middle East but in Europe.
And when you see them behead an American reporter, as they did today, that’s obviously a terrible development, but magnify that a million times over because that’s what’s in store for the rest of the world if we don’t deal effectively with this crisis.
HANNITY: You know, the president said the tide of war is receding, GM’s alive, bin Laden is dead, Ft. Hood– what happened, the massacre there is still officially referred to as workplace violence. You’ve heard the term ”man-caused disaster,” overseas contingency operation.
Here’s what the president said in an interview with The New Yorker about ISIS. He said, ”Well, the analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think it is accurate, that, you know, as if a JV team puts on Laker uniforms, that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.”
What part of this is the president missing, Mr. Vice President?
CHENEY: Well, I keep wrestling with this question, Sean, of whether it’s naivete or lack of experience or because that’s the way he wants things to work. I’ve just about reached the point where I’ve concluded that what he is discovering fairly late in his administration is that his basic world view is fundamentally flawed, that the world is a mean, nasty place on occasion, that you need a very strong America, you need superior American military forces to deal with it.
And I think every single day that goes by, he’s finding that there’s a bigger and bigger gulf between his hoped-for view of the world and reality.  He’s not up to speed and does not want to believe all that’s going on out there. But every day, we find new evidence that he’d rather be on the golf course than he would be dealing with the crisis that’s developing rapidly in the Middle East.
HANNITY: What did you– how was your reaction today when the president minutes after he gave that three-minute statement ran off to the golf course to play with Alonzo Mourning? What was your reaction to that?
CHENEY: Well, I noticed the reaction of David Cameron, the British prime minister, when he found out that the individual who apparently did the beheading was speaking with a British accent. He wanted to immediately leave his vacation spot, head back to London and go to work, trying to deal with the problems that that represents. And of course, our president headed for the golf course as soon as he made his relatively, I thought, ineffective statement.
HANNITY: I would think a more appropriate place might be the Situation Room. I think a more appropriate place would be the White House.
We have all these radical Islamic groups– Islamic Jihad, Boko Haram, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, ISIL, Al Qaeda. There are differences, but there seems to be one thing that they all agree on. That is, they want to wipe Israel off the map. And they also want to destroy the West and advance a caliphate.
Does the — do you think the president fully understands the danger of radical Islam? And what do you think the danger is, if you can explain it in your own words?
CHENEY: Well, I think the danger is enormous. I don’t think the president understands it. I look at things like the Rand report that was published a couple months ago that talked about a 58 percent increase in the number of jihadist groups around the world over a three-year period of time. I look at the statements by General Flynn, who’s just stepping down as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, who says over a 10-year period of time, there’s been a doubling of the terrorist threat in that part of the world.
The intelligence is there for all to see. There’s no question about what’s happening. But this president and the people around him refuse to recognize it and certainly refuse to deal with it. The damage that is being done as we talk tonight, Sean, to the American military, is enormous.  They’re taking our Army down below levels we haven’t seen since Pearl Harbor. They’ve made major reductions in the Air Force and the Navy.  There was a recent excellent study done by a commission, bipartisan commission, Republican and Democrat alike, studying the long-term trends of the defense budget that basically concludes that there’s no way under current circumstances we can execute the national strategy.
So it’s a train wreck. And there’s one more train wreck every day. It’s hard to believe that this president is as ineffective as he clearly is.
HANNITY: Mr. Vice President, we have seen the rise of ISIS, ISIL, throughout the region from Syria– we lost 4,000 Americans in the Iraq war.  City after city that they freed– and albeit, it wasn’t a perfect democracy, but they were an ally and they were a democracy, an emerging democracy, in Iraq prior to the administration coming into power.
There seems to be two issues that are the foundation for the situation now.  One was when the president drew the red line in the sand with Syria and did nothing after they used chemical weapons, and also the president pulling out training and intelligence for the Iraqi forces.
My question to you is, did ISIS gain control of these areas of Syria, now surrounding Baghdad– is this all a result of the president’s bad policy, the naivete that you discuss?
CHENEY: Well, I think that’s part of it. I think he has managed in so many different ways to be ineffective when he responds, to draw the red line in the sand and then never respond to it, to make threats and never act. It’s reached the point where I think around the world, people, other leaders see him as weak and ineffective.
We’ve seen it in terms of Putin’s actions in Crimea and the Ukraine. We’ve seen it in what China’s trying to do in the South China Sea. There is no question but what he is viewed as perhaps the weakest president of my lifetime and that he doesn’t have a clue about what needs to be done, and he is viscerally opposed to the use of military force.
We’ve had a bipartisan agreement, consensus, if you will, Republican and Democrat, since the end of World War II that the world’s a safer place when the United States is actively and aggressively leading, when we have a strong military and we provide the kind of leadership that the world needs to deal with these crises.
HANNITY: Can I ask you–
CHENEY: Barack Obama doesn’t believe that. Barack Obama doesn’t believe that. He’s the first in a chain of presidents going back to Harry Truman of either party that simply refuses to recognize the reality of the world we live in.
HANNITY: With that said, I’m not sure America has the appetite. You know, all those cities that Americans fought and died for in Iraq now, ISIS is controlling many of them– you know, what should be done if the country doesn’t have an appetite for war? And sort of– I want your answer viewed through the prism that you think something horrific is likely to happen worse than 9/11 in the next 10 years.
CHENEY: Well, I think the question of lack of desire for war– I think that’s a general proposition for the American people. We’re basically a peaceful, democratically elected governments. We periodically have to use military force, and you’ve got to explain to the American people why that’s necessary, what the dangers are, what the objects are, what the objectives are.
It’s leadership, and Barack Obama’s not providing it. Of course, it’s difficult to persuade the American people that we ought to send our sons and daughters off to fight a war. But sometimes, it’s absolutely necessary. And that’s why we have presidents. And that’s why they have the authority as commander-in-chief to make those decisions and why those of us who are involved need to do everything we can to support them and support our troops in the field.
Now, is there a great threat coming? Absolutely. Remember what happened on 9/11, when 19 guys armed with airline tickets and box cutters came here and killed 3,000 of us, took down the World Trade Center, blew a big hole in the Pentagon. I’m absolutely certain that some day, there will be another mass casualty attack against the United States. Only next time, they’ll have far deadlier weapons.
HANNITY: Let me ask you this. You’re the president of the United States, and now you know that if you respond to ISIS, that another American, another video like the one that I watched today, will be coming out. How specifically do you answer that? I don’t think you’re going to find the answer on the golf course, by the way. But you know, you know that if you respond militarily that another video with another American being decapitated is going to come out.
I would want to talk to all the best, brightest, smartest people in the country before I made my decision. I don’t think it’s– I like Alonzo Mourning. He’s a great player. But I don’t think he’s the guy that should be guy giving advice to the president on this.
CHENEY: Yeah. But Sean, with all due respect, it’s a tragedy when someone dies like that. No question about it. But that’s not the issue. They’re trying to use terror, obviously, acts of terror against us, especially against the press, in order to try to force us to change our behavior or to dominate that part of the world.
The issue is whether or not we’re going to allow them to succeed in their basic fundamental objective in achieving a caliphate, a true caliphate, representative of the kind of thing we saw centuries ago in the Middle East, and follow their ideology, which calls not only for the destruction of Israel but also the United States.
HANNITY: Let me– can I play for you–
CHENEY: Now, are we going to pull yourself up by our bootstraps and get on with the business of destroying ISIS, or are we simply going to sit back and agonize every time they commit another outrageous act?
HANNITY: I want to play for you CIA director John Brennan in 2011. He said the idea of a caliphate’s absurd. I want to play this for you.
JOHN BRENNAN, CIA DIRECTOR: Our strategy is also shaped by a deeper understanding of Al Qaeda’s goals, strategy and tactics that we have gained over the last decade. I’m not talking about Al Qaeda’s grandiose vision of global domination through a violent Islamic caliphate. That vision is absurd, and we are not going to organize our counterterrorism policies against a feckless delusion that is never going to happen. We are not going to elevate these thugs and their murderous aspirations into something larger than they are.
HANNITY: It sounds like a pre-9/11 mentality to me. And how do you answer what he said, as Israel got hit with 175 rockets in the last 24 hours?  Aren’t they pushing for a caliphate there?
CHENEY: Yeah. The thing that’s really disturbing, as I listen to that, is that it shows a man who clearly refuses to recognize what has to be crossing his desk as the latest intelligence. He can read the Rand study report. He can listen to what the director of the DIA says, the Defense Intelligence Agency, about a doubling in the size of the terrorist organizations that are out there. He can look at what has happened over the course of the last few weeks as ISIS has moved into and now controls the eastern part of Syria and the northern part of Iraq.
With a man like that advising the president as director of intelligence, it’s no wonder the president doesn’t understand what’s going on out there.  It’s absolutely–
HANNITY: How do you view the treatment of Israel?
CHENEY: Well, I think the treatment of Israel– I think there are a lot of nations in that part of the world that deserve to have strong U.S. support, and Israel obviously is right there at the top of the list. But that’s true also of the Jordanians and the Saudis and the Emirates and the Egyptians. What Egypt has done by way of overthrowing the Muslim Brotherhood is a master stroke, and we’ve now got a good man as president of Egypt, capable of military– a good military. And we ought to be backing the Egyptians to the hilt.
So there are a lot of things we could be doing, including working with the Israelis, to take on the terrorists, the Islamists, the jihadists in that part of the world. It’s in our interest to do so. It’s not an act of charity. It’s our danger (ph) that’s threatened. We’re the ones that are going to get hit with the next mass casualty attack that potentially kills hundreds of thousands of Americans.
HANNITY: All right, Mr. Vice President, appreciate your insight. Thank you so much for being with us. Appreciate your time tonight.
CHENEY: Thank you, Sean. Thanks for covering it.

Obamacare: From 2010 To Launch of Obamacare, HHS Secretary Sebelius Had Only One Meeting With President Obama

December 5, 2013

By Wynton Hall

A stunning new study unveiled on Fox News’ Hannity finds that President Barack Obama’s White House calendar records just one face-to-face meeting between Obama and his Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in the more than three-and-a-half years leading up to the disastrous Obamacare launch.

The startling statistic comes from a new Government Accountability Institute (GAI) analysis of Obama’s own official White House calendar, as well as the Politico presidential calendar, and raises new questions about Obama’s executive leadership and management throughout the implementation of his singular legislative achievement.

More alarming still, the president’s schedule lists 277 private meetings with 16 other Cabinet secretaries in the same time span from Obamacare’s March 23, 2010 signing to November 30, 2013.  Why Obama would devote so little face time to the person tasked with implementing what he calls his “most important initiative” is presently unclear.

According to the GAI report, technically, the official White House calendar contains zero meetings with Sebelius, as it only reaches back to July 12, 2010.  GAI researchers then used the Politico presidential calendar to assess listings between Obamacare’s signing (March 23, 2010) and the first date listed on the White House’s calendar (July 12, 2010). The study also analyzed the entirety of the Politico calendar from March 23, 2010 to November 30, 2013 and found a single mention of an April 21, 2010 joint meeting between Obama, then-Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and Sebelius.


Uh, Guys? Obama’s Really Sorry!

September 22, 2012

By James Taranto
The Wall Street Journal

Call it a video reprise of the Obama Apology Tour: “The American Embassy in Islamabad, in a bid to tamp down public rage over the anti-Islam film produced in the U.S., is spending $70,000 to air an ad on Pakistani television that features President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton denouncing the video,” the Associated Press reports.

The 30-second spot was released yesterday and is running “on seven Pakistani networks.” It’s also getting some free airtime here in the U.S.; yesterday Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” ran it before an interview with Sarah Palin (who was, not unpredictably, critical).

The ad rehearses, with Urdu subtitles, last week’s statements from Obama and Mrs. Clinton in which he declares that America “respects all faiths” and she asserts: “Let me state very clearly, and I hope it is obvious, that the United States government had absolutely nothing to do with this video. We absolutely reject its content and message.”

“Muslim protests against insults to the Prophet Mohammad turned violent in Pakistan, where at least 15 people were killed on Friday,” Reuters reports:

Tens of thousands of people joined protests encouraged by the government in several cities including Islamabad, Karachi, Peshawar, Lahore, Multan and Muzaffarabad.

The bloodiest unrest erupted in the southern city of Karachi, where 10 people were killed, including three policemen, and more than 100 wounded, according to Allah Bachayo Memon, spokesman of the chief minister of Sindh province. He said about 20 vehicles, three banks and five cinemas were set on fire.

Crowds set two cinemas ablaze and ransacked shops in the northwestern city of Peshawar, clashing with riot police who fired tear gas. At least five people were killed.

In Mardan in the northwest, police said a Christian church was set on fire and several people hurt.

Mohammed Tariq Khan, a protester in Islamabad, said: “Our demand is that whoever has blasphemed against our holy Prophet should be handed over to us so we can cut him up into tiny pieces in front of the entire nation.”

The State Department’s ad campaign looks like one of the greatest marketing efforts since New Coke.

The Reuters report underscores the basic conceptual problems with the Obama-Clinton apology. For one thing, it assumes that militant Islamic anti-Americanism is based on essentially the same critique as the multicultural left’s anti-Americanism. But how is the claim that America “respects all faiths” supposed to appease people who burn churches? Nor is the secretary’s assurance that the U.S. government “had absolutely nothing to do with this video” responsive to the demand that its maker “be handed over to us so we can cut him up into tiny pieces.”

It seems likely that this Mohammed Tariq Khan faults the U.S. government for failing to do so. Now of course Americans understand what Mrs. Clinton means when she says the government has nothing to do with it. The video’s makers are alive and free not because the government has permitted it but because the Constitution prohibits the government from doing anything else. Don’t blame Obama, don’t even blame George W. Bush. Blame James Madison.

Associated PressRioters in Pakistan today

What message does the ad actually send the Mohammed Tariq Khans? On the one hand, a message of weakness: Assemble a big enough mob, kill enough people, burn enough flags and churches, and you too can grab the attention of the most powerful man and woman in the world. On the other hand, a taunt. If Obama and Mrs. Clinton really mean it, the Khans must think, why haven’t they presented the video makers for public mincing? The State Department’s ad contains no answer to that crucial question.

If our government is going to run an ad to educate Pakistanis (or whoever) about American attitudes, wouldn’t it make sense to include an explanation as to why America’s leaders cannot and will not enforce the mob’s standards of blasphemy? To an American, what’s objectionable about this ad isn’t so much the apology for the video’s offense as the abject failure to defend basic American principles of freedom. That same failure makes the ad less than worthless as an educational tool.


KRAUTHAMMER rips US Embassy in Egypt, says appropriate statement to  mob would be ‘go to hell’ [VIDEO LINK]

Rev. Wright ‘Throws Barack Obama Down the Stairs’ in Explosive New Audio

July 16, 2012

SEAN HANNITY, HOST, “HANNITY”: And tonight, we take an in-depth look at the explosive new book that has all of Washington talking, from allegations that the Obama in a circle attempted to pay off the Reverend Jeremiah Wright to reports about the widespread corruption that still exists within the administration. We will be revealing a mountain of new evidence that shows just how unprepared Barack Obama was to hold the office of the presidency.

Plus, in a HANNITY exclusive, you will hear for the very first time, audio of a bombshell interview that took place in 2011 between the Reverend Jeremiah Wright and the author of this book, Ed Klein, joining me now in studio, the man behind this explosive new book, it’s called “The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House.” Ed Klein, how are you? Good to see you again. Welcome back.

From Fox News
May 17, 2012

See the story and video:

ED KLEIN, AUTHOR, “THE AMATEUR”: Great. Good to see you to.

HANNITY: You know, you have this habit of writing books that just get no attention.

KLEIN: I try my best.

HANNITY: I am not going to get to this now, but we are going to play some of the audio. You actually got a three-hour interview that you taped with Reverend Wright. How did you get that?

KLEIN: Well, through mutual friends who had tried over months to convince him to see me. Finally, he did see me in his office at the — get this — Kwame Nkrumah Academy, which is a high school, named after the late Marxist dictator of Ghana. He has his little office there because he has now retired — Reverend Wright. And he met me in a suit. He looked very, very proper. And we had this three-hour interview. And I had my tape recorder on the desk. The whole thing is on the tape.


Above: Reverend Wright

HANNITY: Well, I’ve listen to a whole thing. My name came up a few times.

KLEIN: Yes, it did.

HANNITY: It did. All right. We’ll get to that later. Let’s start with, I thought this was one of the more interesting parts of the book. And that is that, first of all, let’s talk about the title — Amateur.

KLEIN: Right.

HANNITY: Because I have said often that Barack Obama’s in over his head. Explain where the title game from.

KLEIN: The title came from Bill Clinton. He had a meeting with Hillary —

HANNITY: In Chappaqua.

KLEIN: In Chappaqua back in August, 2011. And the rumors — of their friends. Because, you know, Bill likes to hold court. He likes to use his ideas and bounce them off of people. And I interviewed several people in that room. And he was trying to convince Hillary to run against Obama in the democratic primary since 2012.

HANNITY: And he did some polling.

KLEIN: And he did secret polling. And he showed her that she was doing well with African-Americans and with women and with Jews. And she said, wait a second. She said.

HANNITY: What about loyalty?

KLEIN: What about loyalty? And he said, there is no such word in politics?

HANNITY: Yes. Now, you are going to come under fire for different aspects of the book. But your sources are — but they are not named– the people that were in the room.


HANNITY: And you had how many sources that were actually there? See, I wondered about this because I don’t think Bill Clinton ever got over when he said that he thought or felt that Barack Obama played the race card on him. Is that true? Is that where this comes from?

KLEIN: You could not be more right. He is still burning from that.

HANNITY: Seething.

KLEIN: Seething. That’s right. And he wants desperately to get back in the White House.


KLEIN: You know, but he has no — excuse me. He has no respect for this president. He has said so.

HANNITY: And the funny thing is, he doesn’t want Hillary to wait until 2016 because it’s about him. And he feels he will be too old.

KLEIN: He will be too old. And his health is not that good. He is worried that, you know, will I make it? And she is saying, you have to wait until 2016. I mean, there’s no question. They are planning right now — he has gone so far by the way to plan for 2016 that he is already talking to people about renting an airplane for her campaign.

HANNITY: So, he’s that invested in this coming election here. All right. As you talk about this, you go into some of the life and background of Michelle Obama and Barack Obama. What did you glean out of this that you didn’t know about them going in? What would you like the American people to know about him?

KLEIN: About obama?


KLEIN: I would like them to know that this guy is temperamentally unsuited for the job of president. You know, you look at Lyndon Johnson, he couldn’t give a good speech. He couldn’t read from the teleprompter, but he understood how to work the levers of power in Washington. Barack Obama is a wonderful speechifier, lovely guy. In front of the teleprompter, looks good, great tie. He has no idea how to work Washington. And he doesn’t really have any interest in it, either. I have people tell me that they attend meetings on foreign affairs with him and he gets a phone from the head of state and he complains in front of everybody, you know what? I have to deal with these congressmen from — to get my bills passed. Of course he does! He doesn’t like to do it.

HANNITY: Yes. Maybe that’s why there is this disconnect. Bill Clinton on the other hand, would be up into all hours of the night and talk to anybody who would talk to him.

KLEIN: How about Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill.

HANNITY: Is it after 6:00?


HANNITY: Interesting point. All right. Let’s talk about meeting Jeremiah Wright.


HANNITY: This is fascinating. We’ll play some other tapes. Tell us about the meeting?

KLEIN: It was — it wasn’t what I expected, tell you the truth. Because the guy who I met did not look like the guy on — on the videotapes with the dashiki (ph) and, you know, red face and screaming. He was very quiet, very polite.

HANNITY: Very measured.

KLEIN: Very measured. And talked about his — his academic credentials, very proud of the fact that he had a PHD. And answered all my questions and he was — it was just like you and me talking. There was no — there was no sense that this guy could go off the deep end.

HANNITY: You know, I felt some intensity — maybe when he was talking about me — but also defending G.D. America. He felt that he had been wronged.

KLEIN: That’s right.

HANNITY: But the overwhelming sense that I got Ed, out of the conversation, listening to the three hours was that, as I listened to him, he was throwing Barack Obama down the stairs. And let’s start with, he tells a story, I am going to play this first tape here, where basically, he is offered money through a third party to basically shut up and not speak until the November 2008 election.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Any time I look at that box, with all of those things in it, what’s in the box? And he offered me money not to preach at all between the explosion of the media in the first week in March and November election.



HANNITY: Interesting. You didn’t mention the name Whittaker in the book. But this was a bona fide offer.


HANNITY: With proof. Evidence. Did he show it to you?

KLEIN: No, he did not.

HANNITY: But he says, he has an email.

KLEIN: He says, he has a box, a cardboard box, in which he has put all kinds of things including this email from Eric Whittaker, who is one of Barack Obama’s closest friends, basketball player. They go on vacations together. During the campaign, he — Eric Whittaker traveled on the airplane, the campaign plane with him. Their families are very, very close. Eric Whittaker is a guy that Barack Obama turns to when he has something personal that he wants to have handled outside of the normal channels.

HANNITY: Why does this sound to me a lot like why John Edwards is on trial right now?


Think about this.

KLEIN: Right.

HANNITY: In other words, is it an offer for an in-kind donation to buy the silence of somebody that could hurt his campaign? Even Reverend Wright said at one point, when they cancelled him for the invocation of the announcement in Springfield, when he announced he was going to run for president — he was cancelled — he talked to you about that?

KLEIN: Yes, he did. And he was very upset about it and his family was even more upset about it. And he had to settle for giving a little prayer beneath the platform where he was not seen with his family. But he was not rolled out to give the invocation in front, you know, on the platform in front of everybody in Springfield, Illinois.

HANNITY: So, what does that — what is he saying to you here? And why is he saying it now? Because he obviously knows anything he says is going to have a big impact on the campaign. Why is he suggesting that they tried to buy his silence in 2008?

KLEIN: Because he feels that he has been turned by the Obama campaign into a pariah and that everywhere he goes, people who recognize him come up to him and say, how could you do that? How could you say those things on the platform in your church? And I think he wants to set the record straight.

HANNITY: But it’s also setting the record straight about Obama.


HANNITY: And this next tape that we are going to air is very revealing because when nobody knew it, they had a private meeting, during the 2008 campaign. And President Obama appealed to him himself, begged him, pretty much.

KLEIN: And you know, this took place —

HANNITY: Well, hold that. Because we are going to play this part when we get back.

KLEIN: All right. Pretty much begged him. And they had an exchange at the end of that meeting which I think is very profound. And I’ll let you explain it from your new book when we come back. We have much more of that exclusive audio from Ed Klein’s interview with the Reverend Wright.

Plus, stick around, Juan Williams will be here to respond to the stunning developments that Wright was offered in fact what sounds like a bribe for his silence by an Obama confidante. That and much more, coming up straight ahead. And a quick programming note. Make sure you tune in for Hannity Friday night, a one-hour special on the life of Barack Obama in his controversial auto biography. You will get to hear the President in his own words, something the mainstream media that wants interviews with Obama will never play for you, coming up Friday night on HANNITY.


HANNITY: And welcome back to HANNITY, as we continue to take an in- depth look at the book that everybody is talking about, it’s called “The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House,” and the author of that book, Ed Klein is still with us.

All right. So, this is interesting. So, they have a meeting, President Obama and Reverend Wright. And they hide it from — in the middle of the campaign — now Reverend Wright has already been offered money through an intermediary.

KLEIN: That’s right.

HANNITY: To stop talking.


HANNITY: OK. Now the President makes that appeal himself. You spoke to Reverend —

KLEIN: The campaigner. He is not president, yet?

HANNITY: OK. The campaigner. He is not president yet. So they have a secret meeting. And as part of that, President Obama is asking Reverend Wright, hey, you know, you can please stop? And this is Ed Klein’s interview with Reverend Wright about it.


REV. JEREMIAH WRIGHT, TRINITY UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST: He came to talk to me and said what the email said — I would wish — I really wish you would not be do any more public speaking until November.

KLEIN: Did he offer you any money?

WRIGHT: No, he did not. Eric did not say that to me.

KLEIN: Eric, did not say it directly to you?


KLEIN: He said it to one of the guys close to me. (INAUDIBLE) However, he signed it. (INAUDIBLE) And that’s in the box.


HANNITY: All right. So, this is after the President — he’s meeting with Reverend Wright after he gave the speech at Philly on race.

KLEIN: Yes. And basically threw the Reverend Wright under the bus.


KLEIN: And then he called the Reverend Wright, as the Reverend Wright told me and said, I would like to have a private meeting with you in a secure place. Reverend Wright said, what do you mean a secure place? You have come to my home a thousand times. Why don’t you just come here? So, so he did go there. And I have the Secret Service logs showing that he did show up that day at the Reverend Wright’s parsonage.

HANNITY: And it was picked up only on a small way by the media but you would think after the big Philly speech. Remember, this is the President that had said earlier that he is like family to me.

KLEIN: That’s right.

HANNITY: I could no longer disown Reverend Wright than I could the black community. So, I could see why the Reverend’s resentful. At the end of this meeting, you ask Reverend Wright about this and Obama says to him something profound. You can tell it. And then I will play it.

KLEIN: He says, the trouble with you, Reverend, is that you have to tell the truth. And the Reverend Wright says to him, that’s not bad trouble to have, Mr. Obama.

HANNITY: Wow. So, in other words, he is basically saying, he is saying, I don’t have to tell the truth.

KLEIN: That’s right.

HANNITY: All right. Listen to this.


KLEIN: (INAUDIBLE) Talk to him about being elected?

WRIGHT: At that point, he was — yes, and he told me as — as — yes. He was confident, he was very hopeful. But he saw me as a deterrent, which is why he didn’t —

KLEIN: How did you two leave each other that day in your living room?

WRIGHT: He said, I’m sorry you don’t see it that way. I said, oh — he said to me that day, he said, you know what your problem is? You have to tell the truth. I said, that’s a good problem to have.


HANNITY: So basically, Reverend Wright is telling the world right now, knowing that this is an important point in the election.


HANNITY: That Barack Obama is a liar.

KLEIN: That’s right.

HANNITY: Am I reading that right?

KLEIN: You are. He said to me numerous times during this interview, there was a Barack Obama that I knew before he ran for president. Not a bad guy. Wanted to stay home with his kids, tucked them in at night. And then something happened when he ran for president. He completely changed.

HANNITY: He said he became a politician.

KLEIN: That’s right.

HANNITY: You know, and he went into great detail on that. All right. There was an interesting connection that you brought up between Whittaker and Michelle Obama?


HANNITY: Because she had a huge pay raise. She worked for this hospital. That became controversial because they had this whole policy put in place where people would be sort of encouraged to go to other hospitals to save money.

KLEIN: To save money for the University of Chicago Hospital Medical Center, they would shunt poor patients when Michelle Obama was head of the Urban Health Initiative, they shunted these poor patients to local hospitals so they had more room for rich patient who could pay more. And that job that she had — which was paid I think $315,000 a year.

HANNITY: Which was a significant raise.

KLEIN: Oh, like triple what she was making before. This was after he became — he became senator.


KLEIN: That same job is now held by, guess who? Eric Whittaker.

HANNITY: Pretty interesting.

KLEIN: Yes, I mean, this is crony Chicago capitalism.

HANNITY: You know, I felt bad in the book, Oprah Winfrey I think paid a little bit of a price, but for the first time she came out supported a candidate, somebody I think she, you know, whole heartedly believed in.

KLEIN: No question.

HANNITY: And really you describe in the book where she was shunned by the White House, Valerie Jarrett, Michelle Obama in particular.

KLEIN: Yes. What happened is after Oprah, after the election, Oprah said to herself, well, I can’t say what she said to herself, but she acted as though, listen, I played a major role in getting this guy elected. And she and Barack Obama were on the phone all the time with her giving him advice about various things, how to conduct a — an administration that would be popular. And she knows a lot about how to be popular. Well, when Michelle Obama got wind of this, especially Valerie Jarrett, her very best friend, who is ensconced in the White House, they — they interpreted this as though Oprah was trying to be the first lady — that Oprah was trying to usurp Michelle’s position. And they really froze her out.

HANNITY: Right. I’ve notice, left-wing blogs that always attack you are attacking you now. I don’t see how they can attack you because you have a three-hour audiotape that you have now given me on the Reverend Wright interview. So, it corroborates everything you said there. What do you say about the other sourcing for and the information that you spent a lot of time researching the book?

KLEIN: I did. You know, I interviewed 200 people.


KLEIN: Most of them on the record, by the way, including President’s position who was his personal.

HANNITY: That’s a great story.

KLEIN: .for 22 years, guy who is worked with him at the University of Chicago Law School. People who worked with him at the Illinois State Senate. As far as Oprah is concerned, Oprah was so upset what she heard back from the White House which was — this is an Oprah quote. Michelle doesn’t want me in the White House working with her on this anti-obesity campaign because she says she doesn’t like a fat person waddling around the White House. Oprah was fit to be tied. Now, as you can see, Oprah is not campaigning for Obama this time around.

HANNITY: And obviously, you believe they are connected.

KLEIN: Absolutely.

HANNITY: All right. Ed Klein. A very, very bland, noncontroversial book, as usual. Thanks for being with us. I am sure there’s going to be reaction to this.