Sean Hannity held a live phone interview with President Trump for nearly 45 minutes Wednesday night, ending only when it was time for Laura Ingraham's FOX News Channel program began. Trump revealed that he has the administrating investigating if his campaign was surveilled, calling it "one of the great revelations in the history of this country."
"The fact is, they were spying on my campaign, using intelligence agencies to do it. ... We're trying to figure out whether they listened to my calls. That would be the ultimate. We'll see what happens. If that happens, we'll probably find out. If they spied on my campaign and they may have, it will be one of the great revelations in the history of this country. It will be very interesting. I think we're gonna find out," Trump said to Hannity.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: Joining us now is the president of the United States, President Trump.
Sir, good to have you back on the program.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (via telephone): Hi, Sean.
HANNITY: You know, I watched you last night. You seem to really love what you did last night. Explain -- you know, why is this important to you?
And why -- there is a phenomenon that people show up at your rallies. We don't see the same thing at the Democratic rallies. Why is that in your view?
TRUMP: There was tremendous energy in that room last night. And there was -- and we’ve had a lot of energy in virtually every rally. But there was just a special energy. I announced we are going forward with the second term as you know.
But the level -- it was like being at a world championship college football game where the score was tied going into the last minute. It was the entire rally. It was an incredible scene. And outside, there was thousands of people.
And, I mean, we were asking people not to show up, we were saying, please don't come, letting the word -- because we had 121,000 people who I guess it holds 20,000 or 25,000 people inside if you include the basketball court which was loaded up with great, loving patriots. And it was just an electric evening, Sean.
HANNITY: You know, I want to ask you, I don't know if you saw the show on Monday. But Monday, we had our friend Lawrence Jones down there or I guess it was Tuesday night -- no, it was Monday.
And it looked like a tailgating party and people there, 40, 45 hours in the pouring rain before the event. I actually kind of regretted not going because I wanted to hang out with the people outside because they were having a blast.
TRUMP: They are people that love our country and they love seeing what's happening. And it was in a way a tailgate party for the country. Not for a team -- although it's a team when you think about it. But it's a tailgate party for our country.
And it was just -- the feeling was -- it was like love. But it's love for what we are all about, for the things we stand for. It was a beautiful -- it was a beautiful evening. It was -- and even the enemies, and, you know, we have a lot of people that don't like us so much. You possibly have heard about that, Sean, I’m not sure, but possibly.
HANNITY: I might have read about that.
TRUMP: The people were even saying --
TRUMP: -- some (ph) say that they never seen anything like it. It was special.
And you know it was pouring, they had a monsoon -- I don't think one person walked off line. They had a rain like you haven't seen. And it didn’t -- nobody left. They just sat there and stood there and some brought tents. They were there for two days waiting to get in, incredible evening.
HANNITY: I bought a painting from this guy in Utah. His name is John McNaughton (ph) and it was called "The Forgotten Man".
HANNITY: I have the original copy, I paid a lot of money for it, and I bought it because it mattered to me.
If you recall in 2015 and 2016, I told everybody what the Biden-Obama record was after eight years. I said it almost every day on radio and TV for a year, 13 million more Americans on food stamps, 8 million more in poverty, worst recovery since the ‘40s, lowest homeownership rate in 51 years, lowest labor participation rate since the ‘70s, more debt than 43 presidents before them combined, and they never hit one year 3 GDP growth, for a year.
HANNITY: And those are all real people. You talked at length about record low unemployment, the best employment situation from 1969. I know that the media talks about Russia still after four investigations, they want a fifth.
But what does it mean to you that we now have 2 million more jobs available than people that are on unemployment? What does it mean to you?
TRUMP: Well, the media isn't talking about Russia so much. You know, the Mueller report concluded on Russia, there was absolutely no collusion. And, frankly, they led to the conclusion by the great attorney general that there was no obstruction.
It’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. It's a hoax. It was a hoax, a witch hunt, but a hoax, the whole thing.
Gregg Jarrett said it very well when he named his book "The Russian Hoax." And it's disgraceful that they are allowed, and they are very upset now because it didn't turn out like they thought because we did. We had 18 angry Democrats that hated Trump and many of them contributed to Hillary's campaign. And it came out there was no collusion.
So, they don’t -- I don't hear Russia much anymore. You know, they've given up on that one. But, you know, they did something that is a disgrace.
I will say if the other side had won, if Hillary had won, you would instead of being up almost 50 percent since election, 5 million jobs plus, plus. Five million jobs, that's unthinkable. If I would've said we were going to create 5 million jobs in two and half years, people would have said how ridiculous. It would have been skewered by the press.
All of the things that have been done that we’ve done, nobody has seen it. We have the best and lowest unemployment rate for African-Americans, for Asians, for Hispanics. Nobody has ever seen numbers like this. We have the best numbers on living standards for African-Americans. The best numbers we have ever had in history. So many things are -- I mean, just one thing after another.
If the other side would have won, we would have gone into a depression and we were headed that way. We were headed that way.
The rules and regulations -- we've cut more regulations than any president, and unmeaningful regulation. We want regulation, but it's got to be meaningful.
It stymied our country, Sean. We weren't able to do anything. Jobs numbers would've been a disaster.
Instead, we have more people working today, almost 160 million people than have ever worked in the history of our country. Think of that. That's a great number. So, it’s really been something.
The other side, you would've had -- I really you would have had a crash.
HANNITY: You know, Mr. President, I come from blue-collar roots. Ten years in the restaurant business. At 12, I was washing dishes by hand. Ten years in the construction business, every job imaginable.
So, I really identify with the forgotten man and women, and I think everybody in this job in the media were overpaid and most of them are lazy. And I just want to -- you know, when you think back on those statistics I gave you, it’s 13 million, 8 million, those are real American citizens --
HANNITY: -- real lives and now they are really doing better. And I think one of the best things that is understated is we are for the first time in 75 years, energy independent, which means we don't have to go kissing the ass of --
HANNITY: -- countries that don't like us.
And we don’t have -- we are now a net exporter of energy. And, by the way, if Putin remains hostile and Russia remains hostile, I think we out-produce them and we bring their economy to its knees.
TRUMP: Well, we are now number one in the world and energy. It used to be Saudi Arabia, then Russia. It’s now -- we’re number one and soon -- as soon as I get the pipelines in Texas approved which I’ll do pretty quickly, it would have taken 10, 15 years. I’m going to have it done quickly. We could increase our production by 30 and 40 percent in terms of sale.
So, it’s -- you know, what we have done in the last two and a half years has been great. We've had a lot of great people and they have worked hard. But the great people are the people of the country. They were being strangled.
If you look at what we have done, just energy all -- energy all over, all types of energy. LNG now is -- we are the hottest in the world, there's nobody even close. So, it’s been an honor. It’s been honor. We freed it up.
But you would've had, I really believed you would have had a depression or very close had the other side won.
HANNITY: Mr. President, all this -- Devin Nunes wrote a column, who was the former House -- ranking member of the House Intel Committee. In 2014, warning the Biden-Obama administration about Russian interference in the 2016 election, he laid it out perfectly in 2014.
This all happened on their watch.
HANNITY: All of it happened on their watch.
And my question to you, is there really was some collusion, wasn’t there? There was Russian interference, we know that. But we also had a bought and paid for Russian dossier.
HANNITY: And we didn't look into that and the whole two plus years of Mueller. The media has ignored it. And even "The New York Times" suggesting it was likely Russian misinformation from the get-go, the dossier.
What are your thoughts about that?
TRUMP: I think it's a disgrace. It’s turned out to be totally discredited. Steele was sued by somebody, I understand a wealthy gentleman in London. I hear what was revealed was incredible, just a total phony deal. And yet, they didn't look into any of that.
One of the things that amazes me because it's so simple, and, you know, it’s -- when you get right down to it, the whole thing is very simple what happened. The fact is they were spying on my campaign, using agencies to -- intelligence agencies to do it, going after Page and George Papadopoulos and probably others.
I’m trying to -- we are trying to find out whether or not they actually listened in on my calls, that will be the -- that would be the ultimate. We’ll see what happens. I think if it happened, we’ll probably find out. We have a great attorney general who was working very hard and we’ll see what happens.
I stay uninvolved. I like to stay uninvolved. But a lot of things are going to come out.
I mean, if they spied on my campaign and they may have, it will be one of the great revelations in history of this country. And I will tell you, it's going to be very interesting, I think we’re going to find out.
Can you imagine if it were the other way around and I spied on President Obama's campaign? Could you imagine what the repercussions would be? Or I spied on Crooked Hillary's campaign. Can you imagine with the repercussions would be?
HANNITY: Let me ask you specifically, I want to stay on this topic because I think this abuse of power is very dangerous. You addressed it last night.
Sir, your campaign was spied on. In October 2016, Hillary's dossier, bought and paid for Russian dossier, paid for by her and the money she controlled at the DNC that was funneled through a law firm that hired -- op research group that hired a foreign national -- we now know that Bruce Ohr testified behind closed doors that everybody was warned that Christopher Steele hated you, that Hillary paid for it, and that it was not verified. That was August of 2016.
Fourteen days before Jim Comey signed the first FISA application and a FISA application I’m told says the word "verified" on it. Before he signed it, he was warned by Kathleen Kavalec of the State Department who met with Christopher Steele.
So, my question to you is, you are spied on as a candidate, during your transition, as president and then, abroad, we had Stefan Halper spying on Carter Page, Sam Clovis, George Papadopoulos. So, those are just ways we have already verified.
It’s not in dispute anymore. Your campaign was spied on. Your transition was spied on.
Jim Comey, three months after he signed that warrant verifying the Russian dossier bulk of information is true, he then came to Trump Tower and told you it's salacious but unverified -- the opposite of what he was telling the court.
Do you believe there was a premeditated fraud committed against FISA court judges in these applications?
TRUMP: Well, again, people are looking into that. If you're asking just my opinion, I would say absolutely yes. It would seem to be yes.
And, you know, when you get the Strzok-Page, the two lovers who put right out on the public waves, I mean, they put the insurance policy -- well, we have been living through the insurance policy, that she was going to win but just in case she didn't win, we needed an insurance policy. Well, that's to subvert government. What they did was unbelievable that they could do a thing like that.
And they reported to McCabe who I think is a terrible, terrible guy. And, you know, the FBI, you have some of the finest people in the world, and you know that, and we sat all the time. I bet you if we took a vote, I would be so high in that poll, you wouldn't believe it. They’re great people, I know so many.
But at the top, people were terrible, they were leakers, they were liars. I mean, look at the leaking and look at the lying. Comey admitted he leaked. Think of it, the top of the FBI, he leaked. And when you look at what went on, Sean, it's disgusting.
But the whole concept of they wanted insurance policy just in case she loses -- well, that’s what we've lived through. We’ve lived through the insurance policy.
And yet, the House committee which I understand today was in a very close confidential meeting with the wonderful Hope Hicks, she's a wonderful person, she has been through hell. They put this young woman through hell. She has had to pay for legal fees and everything else.
I hear they were taking pictures of her. Congressmen, two congressmen in particular that I see on television all the time. I won’t mention their names, we don't want to make them any more famous.
But two congressmen -- but they were taking pictures of her --
HANNITY: Oh, good grief.
TRUMP: -- with their cell phone and then leaking the pictures of her testifying. And this was in a closed room.
Look, it's out of control. These people are absolutely -- you know, they use the word, it's a good word, I guess -- unhinged -- what has happened to the Democrats, and in the meantime, they’re not doing any work in Congress.
We could do legislation to lower drug prices very substantially, easily. We could maybe almost like the thing we need the most quickly is border security. We've done an incredible job but I have to do it myself. I can’t get any -- we can't get any votes from the Democrats. We can’t get any votes.
And infrastructure, we could do it so easily. But they are so busy interviewing Hope Hicks and taking pictures of this incredible young woman and putting the pictures out to the press of her testifying. And they’re not allowed to do that, it's probably illegal. It's a terrible thing going on, Sean.
HANNITY: Sir, there have been four separate investigations, let remind you. The nine-month FBI investigation, the one that Peter Strzok said there's no "there" there. Lisa Page said we had nothing after nine months as it relates to collusion.
And there was a House Intel Committee investigation, no collusion. Then, a bipartisan Senate committee, no collusion. Then the Mueller report, directly quoted it, no collusion, no conspiracy.
You -- I had wanted you -- I’m a talk show host, so I sometimes do straight news, we do investigative reporting, sometimes sports and culture. And I give strong conservative opinions. I’ve been a conservative all my career, we don't hide that fact.
But I have wanted you to declassify the 302s, declassify all this information, the FISA applications, declassify the Gang of Eight, declassify exculpatory information.
You have done so but you gave it to the attorney general. Why?
TRUMP: Yes, because I think he's a very honorable gentleman who wants to do the right thing. And he is allowed to under my agreement -- he's allowed to give it out to whoever he wants. But I think it’s really -- you know, maybe some of this, you need to have for purposes of other countries because I think other countries were involved. I think they -- perhaps just based on what I’m seeing, they use other countries because they didn’t want to get caught doing what they were doing in this country -- you know that very well.
HANNITY: Mr. President, I believe --
TRUMP: So, I want to give to Attorney General Bill Barr. He's got it totally, everything he can do in terms of opening it up and making it transparent as the politicians like to use that word, transparent.
I’m the most transparent president in history. I let Mueller have everything they wanted. If you think of it, 500 witnesses, interview our attorneys, interview whoever you want, I think 2,500 subpoenas.
I didn't use presidential privilege because I didn't speak to Russia. Russia has -- when I was winning is Wisconsin, when I was winning in Michigan and Pennsylvania and Ohio and Florida and all of these states, North Carolina, the last person or group I ever thought of calling would be Russia.
It's a hoax. It’s a terrible hoax and that should never happen to another president because many of them would not be able to handle it, I don't care who they are. Many of them would not be able to handle it.
If you think Joe Biden could handle it? I mean, Joe Biden right now, he looks like he’s got some big problems. But you think -- can you imagine if this happened to Joe Biden? It wouldn’t be good.
But it should never happen to another president what happened to me and it should never happen -- nobody should ever allow this to go forward again. And people have to learn -- there has to be a lesson taught. There has to be a lesson taught.
It should never be allowed. It's so bad for our country.
HANNITY: Mr. President, I do have a question about this because you didn't invoke executive privilege. You handed in 1.4 million documents. You encouraged your staff to cooperate with Congress, to cooperate with Mueller. I never liked Mueller's team. I could not for the life of me understand how does he hire Andrew Weissmann, the worst record of any lawyer I’ve ever seen. People like Jeannie Rhee who was once Clinton's lawyer on the Clinton Foundation.
And you gave written answers. You even let your White House counsel Don McGahn testify for 30 hours.
I was a little shocked, to be honest. Why would you allow that?
TRUMP: I let everybody testify. I wanted to be totally open because I knew there was nothing there. There was nothing there, nothing at all.
But, you know, Bob Mueller was conflicted because he wanted to be the head of the FBI, the director. Again, he was already there for 10 or 12 years, but he wanted to be and I didn't allow that, I said no. I said it respectfully.
We had a business dispute in private life when he was out of the FBI. We had a commercial business dispute. How about having a business dispute with somebody? Think of this, and then he supposed to be ruling on you.
But it was a business dispute and it was a nasty little dispute. You know, not the biggest one I’ve ever been in to be honest with you, but we had a real business dispute. So, you look at that, that's a total conflict of interest, how can somebody whom you have a dispute be ruling?
And his best friend who very close to him is Comey and Comey played a big part of this, because McCabe didn’t do anything without Comey. McCabe was totally dominated by Comey. He did nothing. Andrew McCabe was a bad guy, but Andrew McCabe did nothing without calling Comey.
He wouldn’t -- there is an expression, he wouldn't go to the bathroom without getting Comey's approval. And so, Comey is in.
And Brennan -- you take a look at Brennan. You took (ph) the horrible rhetoric, the horrible -- the horrible words he used to describe --
HANNITY: He accused you of treason, sir.
TRUMP: And then he said, well, I guess I was misinformed. You know, he was making all these predictions. And then when it said no collusion in the Mueller report -- which is amazing, because they had 18 people that were Hillary Clinton people, that -- I think all of them were anti-Trump people in one form or another.
But many of these people, they gave to Clinton's campaign, one or two of them were at -- including Weissmann -- were at the event which turned out to be, as you know, her wake -- it was a funeral. It was supposed to be a party at the convention center in New York. It turned out to be a funeral.
HANNITY: He was at the victory party. Yes, the so-called victory party.
TRUMP: I saw the same scene as you did to.
But think of it -- Bob Mueller was great friends with Comey, right there there's a conflict. He wanted the FBI job, and we had a business dispute. And I would tell everybody who’d listen, I told you a long time ago, I said, how could he be doing this?
But despite that, let him do it. I said, let him do it because I had nothing to do -- they know that, they all know that, I had nothing to do with Russia. I love our country. I love our country.
By doing this, I’ve sacrificed a lot. I had a very simple life. I had a great company, great everything. Everything was great. I sacrificed a lot.
But I’ve made a tremendous difference. You know, so many people come up to me, Sean, and they say, thank you, sir, for saving our country. And I used to take it with a grain of salt, oh, there was a -- but they said and they mean it.
I went to -- the other day, I was the commencement speaker at the Air Force Academy, incredible young people, and I handed out a thousand diplomas to the senior class. That’s a lot of shaking hands and saluting, I will tell you. It was a couple of hours, but it was great.
But so many young, beautiful people, they’re young people, the beginning of an incredible life, they came up to me and they said, thank you, sir, for saving our country. I know exactly what they mean, our country was in big trouble and we’ve got to turn now in the right direction.
HANNITY: Mr. President, just as an aside, you did have the constitutional authority under Article II of the Constitution to fire Mueller who would have been replaced, and I would add --
TRUMP: Absolutely right.
HANNITY: It will be -- it will be interesting --
TRUMP: I had absolutely Article II powers. I could've done anything I wanted. I don't even bring it up because we don't even get there.
Absolutely, I have Article II. We could have used that instead. I wouldn't even have to bother talking to you about all the other things. I wouldn't have to talk to you about conflicts. I could have fired Mueller for conflicts. I could have fired anybody.
But I didn't want to do it, because they said, let it play -- play out, it's a hoax. It’s a hoax. It's a disgrace.
HANNITY: One of the --
TRUMP: And that they are allowed to go forward with, you know, interviewing people, having people like Hope Hicks and others, having to pay for a new set of lawyers?
HANNITY: Same questions.
TRUMP: They just went through it with the Mueller report. Now, she was totally exonerated. She did nothing wrong. And now, they have to start paying for lawyers again?
It’s a do-over because the report was terrible for them. And absolute do-over.
HANNITY: Sir, this will be -- Mr. President, this will be the fifth --
TRUMP: You're not allowed (ph) to do-overs.
HANNITY: This will be the fifth investigation. And you’re right, those Washington lawyers are expensive. I have had to hire a few of them in my day.
But I just want to say one thing -- one good question I want answered. Did Italy, did Great Britain, did Australia, were they outsourced intelligence gathering by high-ranking people -- not rank-and-file -- to spy on American citizens and circumvent American laws? It will be a big question.
But I want to change gears here. I want to ask you about --
TRUMP: And Ukraine, take a look at Ukraine. How come the FBI didn't take the server, Podesta told him to get out. He said, get out.
HANNITY: They’re offering (ph) it.
TRUMP: So, how come the FBI didn't take the server from the DNC? Think about that one, Sean. Think about that one.
HANNITY: Let me ask you -- there are 20-some-odd candidates. I want to get your general thoughts on all of them and is there anyone in particular you prefer to run against, or do you care at all?
TRUMP: Well, we have to see how it plays out. I mean, whoever it is, it is. I don’t know. I mean, I look at some of them, I don't see George Washington. I don't see Churchill. I don't see anybody in particular that I worry about.
I think honestly, however it is, it is. We will --
HANNITY: I don't see George Washington either, sir.
TRUMP: You see the polls that came out today. I read a couple of actually legitimate polls that came out today. Not the polls that the media makes up.
See, I’m fighting the Democrats and the media together. It’s not -- and you know that better than almost anybody. But the people know that.
I’m fighting the Democrat Party and I’m fighting the media. They’re partners. They are partners.
I mean, that's why they don't go after Hillary Clinton with her emails where she -- anybody else would be in jail for what she did, the emails, to delete 33,000 emails after you get -- after, not before -- after you get a subpoena from Congress, you delete everything so people never got to see ‘em.
But the media and the Democrats are -- and not all of it, but a big portion of it, they are a partnership. And that's disgraceful.
So, I’m fighting the partnership. I’m not fighting -- actually, fighting the media is much tougher than fighting the Democrats if you want to know the truth.
HANNITY: Well, Mr. President, I call them the media mob. You know, if you’re looking for example, I say it every second, every minute, every hour of every day, and they all lied and they all fell for the hoax in the conspiracy theory and they are trying to revisit it. But I want to just ask you this --
TRUMP: They didn't fall for the hoax. They know it's a hoax. But they write about it anyway. It’s not like they fell for it. These are very smart people.
They know it's a hoax. And they write about it anyway. I watch when I have to, just to get a little ammunition, it’s almost like -- you know, you have to know where the other side is coming from. I watch every once in a while, I will turn to MSNBC and I’ll see what they say. I know most of the people and it's a fraud.
They go back and they meet and what can we make up? Remember when they used the word, everyone used the word "manufactured" and every newscast had the word "manufactured". But it's not a word associated with what they were talking about. They were talking about something being manufactured.
And every newscast started with "manufactured." And they did with numerous words. They come up with a word they put it out. They’re all together. It's a really disgraceful situation.
Here's the good news: we are president. We’ve got -- we've done it, and we're going to do it again.
When you see a crowd like that, Sean, no one has seen crowds like that. I mean, not only the crowd -- no one has seen the spirit, the spirit and the energy. It has been incredible.
I said Republicans have far more energy -- you know, you hear about the energy on the Democrat side, they don't have energy. They are all fighting with each other. I say the Republicans have far more energy than the Democrats. I really believe that.
I think they have a lot more energy than the Democrats. I call them the radical left, Dems.
HANNITY: A few of these Republicans, frankly, could use a spine transplant, in my view. But I don’t want to go there. Let me ask you --
TRUMP: I agree, you know, but we have some great ones too. We have some great ones. But you are right, there are some really should -- look, Nancy Pelosi hands out subpoenas like they are cookies.
Paul Ryan, nice guy but I will tell you when Jim, and when Mark -- Mark Meadows, Jim Jordan and Devin, and all these people, they are great people --
HANNITY: They’re the amazing ones.
TRUMP: when they went to Paul Ryan to get a subpoena because they found the same things that we are talking about, Paul would say, well, let's take it easy, let's not this, let’s come back in a week, let's see if we still think -- let's do this -- it was impossible. You couldn’t get a subpoena.
She hands out subpoenas like they are cookies.
HANNITY: Let me ask you this, sir, about the Democrats --
TRUMP: It's a big difference. They fight a dirtier fight. The Democrats fight a dirtier fight. It's too bad.
HANNITY: All right. The Democrat debates begin next week. They're supporting this New Green Deal. In 10 years, they want to get rid of the lifeblood of our economy, oil and gas.
Everything is going to be free. They are talking about a 70 percent top marginal tax rate for individuals, and 90 percent top marginal rate for businesses, and a wealth tax on top of that. And when you die, you got to pay a tax. And again, everything is free.
They all seem to support some version of it and Medicare-for-All. But you can't buy private insurance according to, say, Kamala Harris, how did Obamacare work out for everybody?
But what is your reaction to this agenda?
TRUMP: Well, first of all, with Obamacare, we took out the individual mandate which is the worst part. Obamacare is a disaster and we’ve managed it really well. That’s why you don’t hear so much about it.
But we've really done a great job. Secretary Azar has been incredible the way they’ve handled Obamacare.
But I got rid of the individual mandate which was the worst thing in Obamacare. That’s where you pay for the privilege of not having to pay for insurance. It’s a bad insurance, OK? Bad health care. So, you know, it's one of those things.
No, I think -- I think that when I meet somebody who even doesn't like me, let's say it's a business person and they are not Trump fans, they say, you have no choice, you can't vote for anybody else because they want to turn this country over to -- I mean, we will be a Venezuela, it will take 10 years or 15 years, but if the wrong person got in, I’ve turned it around, Sean.
I’ve got rid of these rules and regulations that stifled everything. I approved the Keystone Pipeline. I approved numerous other pipelines.
TRUMP: By the way, they are environmentally good as opposed to trains running across, you know, the Plains and all of the other things. No, I approved so many different things that are actually good to.
Do you know that a report came out, our water and our air today is cleaner than it ever was, because in many respects, we are great environmentalists. I’m an environmentalist. But a different kind, a real environmentalist.
But our water is crystal clean. Our air, it's the best that ever was.
HANNITY: I would agree, sir, we all need to be good stewards of the greatest country God gave man.
TRUMP: We have to do that.
HANNITY: Are you really going to live tweet -- are you really going to live tweet these Democratic debates, sir?
TRUMP: I wasn't going to but I read about in "The Wall Street Journal," or some place, and it's fake news. No, I wasn't thinking about it, maybe I will now. You know, might as well make them right. But, no, I was not thinking about it.
HANNITY: Well, if I can cast my vote, I’m a "yes". I think it would be a great idea. Let me ask you a question --
TRUMP: Well, they wrote about it as though it was fact. I’ve never even thought about it, it’s just so ridiculous. But, you know, maybe I’ll do it.
HANNITY: I see --
TRUMP: Instead of fake news, I will make them correct news and that's OK.
HANNITY: I think it would be a good idea. It would be very interesting actually.
I see, for example, that you promised that ICE next week will begin the process of removing millions of people that didn't respect our laws, borders --
HANNITY: -- sovereignty. Ninety percent of heroin in this country comes across our southern border. Now, fentanyl, we are losing 300 people a week in this week.
HANNITY: My question to you is, there are some people who will ask about you and they’ll say, well, you've known him for over two decades, which I have, and I’ve known you a long time. And you said you’d be conservative and you are right and we didn't believe you and you are pro-life and you -- conservative justices and tax cuts and the deregulation, and energy independence -- all things I believed in 30 years in media.
So, now, you're fighting for the border wall and people say, well, maybe Donald Trump should maybe tweet a little less and not fight so much on the personal level, and -- but yet take the fight against China, against Mexico, you are kind of standing alone saying you hit them with tariffs if they didn't stop these migrations from happening.
So, my question to you is, how do you respond to that? That people want you, I guess, to turn off the switch, that you fight for the borders, and you fight for your agenda, and -- but they don't want you to maybe fight on Twitter?
TRUMP: Well, if I don’t have -- I don't use the word "Twitter", I say social media. If I don't use social media, I have -- outside of you and a few other great people -- I call them patriots actually. You're not really patriots as much as you want ratings. I mean, you’re getting great ratings, in all fairness, Sean. It’s like last night you got tremendous -- I heard the speech got --
HANNITY: Oh, yes, they were massive.
TRUMP: -- ratings you put on. That was an easy night. You and Tucker and everybody else --
HANNITY: It was simple, I just showed up.
TRUMP: -- having to, you know, do it and you did it.
TRUMP: And it was a great evening.
But, no, I think -- I view it as a social media, a way of getting the word out. Look, when you have the lies and the frauds committed by the other networks, many of the other networks, you look at what's going on, it's disgraceful. This way I get the word out and I’m getting it out strongly. I mean, I have hundreds of millions of people that see this. Plus, as soon as I do a tweet, it gets broadcast even in the places you would least expect it because they are desperate for news. You know, they’re desperate to do anything for news.
So, it's really a way of getting the truth out because the media has gone loco. They have lost all control. They don't even call a fact check.
You know, I remember 10 years ago, 15 years ago -- I actually used to get great press, if you want to know the truth. But 10, 15 -- before I decide to become a politician and one on the conservative basis because that's what it is. That's what we are doing so well at. That’s why the country is doing so well.
You know, we’re probably doing better right now in our economy -- wages are up, haven't gone up in years, in decades. Wages are up over 3 percent. Think of things that -- things that have happened: the jobs, the unemployment, the amount of people working, companies are pouring back into our country from Japan. They're coming back from -- frankly, they’re coming back from China because of the fact that I put the tariffs on. In order not to pay the tariffs, they are coming back into this country. So many things are happening.
But the way I get the word out is through social media, and it’s a great thing. I don't know that I would've been successful if I didn't have it.
And, you know, when I make a speech like last night, there was a fantastic woman in the front, she had, "please keep tweeting, Mr. President, it matters." That was her sign. Please keep tweeting, it matters.
And I think it does matter. I don't do it because I enjoy it, I do it because when someone says an outright lie on MSNBC or CNN, both of whom are really suffering in the ratings which is very interesting -- it's incredible, because they have lost credibility. But when they put out lies, I can counteract those lies and I have many more followers than they do. So, it’s a great thing.
HANNITY: Let me ask you, you know, you said you were going to begin the process of removing millions of illegal immigrants.
HANNITY: I also want to get to the status of the border wall. I know there has been miles repaired and miles built. You know, is it going to be finished with your first term? Because they were not able to override your veto and you were able to reallocate funds.
TRUMP: So, you know, the Democrats are doing everything possible to stop the wall. And they lost a big lawsuit last week. I won a big, big lawsuit against Nancy Pelosi in the House.
The House actually brought a lawsuit. Can you believe that? The House, the Democrats, Nancy Pelosi brought a lawsuit. And we won the lawsuit as you probably read.
We will have -- we have four other lawsuits against us, all semi-related and related to each other.
We are building a tremendous wall right now. We are renovating vast areas of wall that collapsed, but it's good if you renovate, you save a lot of money by renovating it. But -- and we are taking down the wall and putting up new wall, some areas you can't renovate. But we’ll have over 400 miles of wall built by the end of next year which is very quick. It’s rapidly approaching.
We have three sections being built right now. We are building them in sections in different areas in different states. New Mexico has a tremendous problem with people pouring across New Mexico, and I’m hearing because of this, New Mexico is actually in play for me and for the Republicans because of what’s happening. It's horrible what's happening to New Mexico.
HANNITY: If you get 400 though --
TRUMP: We have sections that started and are about to start in New Mexico.
TRUMP: We just finished San Diego, as you know. San Diego in California, they are so happy. The mayor was just up in my office, a great guy. He came up to thank me for having done the wall because has made such a difference. He says it's like day and night. He said people are flowing across and now nobody can come in.
HANNITY: Well, let me ask you this --
TRUMP: We are able to redesign the wall where it's stronger, bigger, higher, you know, it’s at actually got a little bit higher if you remember that. But it’s a better wall, and it costs less money. It’s actually a stronger wall, costs less money.
So, we are doing really well with the wall and it's a very important element and we are doing well overall. And we are going to start removing all of these people that came in because the Democrats will not under any circumstances, they won't fix asylum -- asylum is a big problem. They won’t fix it. We could fix it in 15 minutes.
And they won't get rid of the loopholes because they want us to fail. It's more important that we fail than the country succeed. And you have drugs and you have all these other things.
But what we are doing is as the people come up and as we get the necessary paperwork, we are moving people out of the innards of the country and we are bringing them back. And the countries that see this and they see it happening, it is already started on a much heavier fashion next week. You know, we’re gearing up.
It's, you know, sending a signal that you may get in, but you're not getting in for long and you’re going out. And the other thing finally is Mexico for the first time ever, for the first time in many, many decades, they are respecting us. And we had a big fight and it worked out great.
HANNITY: Let me ask you about --
TRUMP: And Mexico now has 6,000 soldiers on the southern border, on their southern border, stopping people from coming in. And they have been really stepping it up.
And, you know, frankly, I was going to put tariffs on if they didn't. If they didn't do that, I would have put tariffs on. And I still will if they don’t.
But they have been doing a really good job and people on the border will tell you that the traffic has really dropped down. So, a lot of good things are happening.
But if the Democrats would meet for 20 minutes, 15 minutes, I would say, it used to be 45 -- it's a very short meeting. We could solve the border problem but they don't want to do that because they think it's bad politically.
I think what’s bad, Sean, what is really bad as what they are doing, I think it's terrible politically. People come in, it's a crime, it’s drugs, we can stop it all so fast, but we are going to stop it anyway even if we don't have the Democrats.
HANNITY: I say that Nancy Pelosi is speaker in name only, and that Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has really become the biggest star, and she even got to Joe Biden to come up with a New Green Deal plan. What are your thoughts on her and Congresswoman Omar and the position that Nancy Pelosi is in?
TRUMP: I don’t really agree with you. I think Nancy Pelosi probably has control of it, I hear different things but I really think she does. And she knows what she's doing. So, we’ll see how it all comes out.
But, look, we have the USMCA, the Mexico and Canada trade deal, which is a phenomenal deal for our country and it's good for them too. But it's a phenomenal deal for our farmers and manufacturers and even unions. Everyone wants it.
So, the Democrats could do that in a bipartisan way. Mexico approved it today, you probably heard. They just approved it. Their House just approved it in a big vote.
So, you know, we're just waiting to see whether or not they will put that up for a vote. I mean, think of it -- can you imagine if they did? It’s something that everyone wants. It will be a very bipartisan approval.
But Nancy --
HANNITY: But let me ask you on -- sorry.
TRUMP: -- and all of the folks in the House, they have to put it up for a vote and they will vote. It’s great for the farmers. Everyone wants them to do it. So, we’ll see.
Again -- do they want to do what's right for the party? They can take credit for that bill, because, frankly, we’d make it bipartisan. We’ll all vote for it.
But it’s a big deal (ph). Canada is approving it. Mexico just approved it. A very, very big deal.
And it means hundreds of billions of dollars to our country and thousands and thousands of jobs. And it replaces NAFTA, one of the worst trade deals ever made.
HANNITY: Let me ask you about foreign policy, if I may. You made promises to Israel, Jerusalem is now the capital. Many other presidents promised it. They didn’t deliver.
You recognize Golan, which other people promised and didn’t deliver. You promised you get us out of the Iranian deal. I don't think you're going to drop $150 billion in cash and other currency on the tarmac of mullahs that chant "death to America".
I worry about Iranian hegemony. I worry about Iranian proxy wars and terror. I worry about their alliance with Vladimir Putin and I’m not sure where China shakes out in all of this, as you look at the geopolitical workup -- Iran, Russia, China, tell me your concerns.
TRUMP: I don't worry about a thing. Everything is under control. Don’t worry about a thing.
You are right, we did that for Israel. Jerusalem, as you know every president said, we’re going to -- you know, move the embassy to Jerusalem, it becomes the capital of Israel. Every president said, we’re going to do it, we’re going to do it, none of them did it. I did it.
The Golan Heights -- for 52 years, they talked about the Golan Heights. I did it. They didn’t do it.
And I understand why, because you get here, there’s a lot of people calling, begging you not to do it for other countries, heads of countries. But presidents of all practically, all said they were going to do Golan Heights, they were going to do Jerusalem, they didn't do it.
And then terminating one of the worst deals ever made, the Iran deal. That was made by President Obama, paid $150 billion -- paid $1.8 billion in cash. I terminated that and Iran is a much different country. I will tell you, much different today than when I took over. When I took over, it look like there was no stopping them. Right now, they’ve got problems.
HANNITY: Will you say they will never get nukes? They’ll never get nuclear weapons?
TRUMP: But we’ll see what happens. I would say, if I were you, don't worry about a thing.
HANNITY: What about Putin and China?
TRUMP: Well, they were forced together by President Obama, and you never like to see that what they were forced together by his attitude and by what they did. When I got here, they were getting very close. But we are doing things that nobody will be able to compete with in so many different ways.
Second of all, we’re going to have a good relationship with Russia and we’re going to have a good relationship with China. It’s very important that we do. They are powerful nations and we are a very powerful nation.
And I’ve rebuilt our military to a level that nobody thought possible -- $716 billion last year. Nobody thought -- it was depleted when I got in. They had planes that were so old, they couldn't fly.
And our military is almost completed in terms of being rebuilt. We are doing missile --
HANNITY: A lot of money.
TRUMP: -- and missile technology that nobody’s even seen before.
HANNITY: Mr. President, I would --
TRUMP: And think about do we announce it or do we not announce it? But we have tremendous -- you know, the levels of sophistication like you've never seen.
With all of that being said, I want to get along with Russia, and I think we will. I want to get along with China, and I think we will. I’m meeting actually both of them next week in Japan at the G20.
HANNITY: Mr. President --
TRUMP: -- the United States gets along. The Russian witch hunt really hurt us in terms of our relationship with Russia. I think it was just hurt -- I think it hurts in terms of relationship with a lot of people, but we have very good relationships with countries, and sometimes countries you wouldn't think so, because I’ve said, you have to pay for NATO.
HANNITY: Mr. President --
TRUMP: You know, the United States is paying for NATO. You have a lot of countries that were delinquent in their payments to NATO. I got them to pay over hundreds of billions of dollars toward NATO.
But I think we are going to get along with a lot of countries, but those two in particular, I think we’re going to have -- I hope we’re going to have a good relationship. But we are a very strong country again, and we are respected again, Sean.
HANNITY: I hate to interrupt you, but I actually took 15 minutes of Laura Ingraham's show. But I want to tell you --
TRUMP: I know that, Laura must not be happy right now.
HANNITY: It's her birthday today, sir. I thought you might want to know that.
TRUMP: She's a great person. I tell you what, I know her for a long time and she’s a great person.
HANNITY: So, you can tell Laura yourself happy birthday and thank you for being with us.
Laura, happy birthday for me. And the president I think would like to wish you a happy birthday.
TRUMP: That’s right.
LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS HOST: Hey, Mr. President.
TRUMP: Thank you, happy birthday. Wow. That’s right. We've known each other a long time, and congratulations on your show. It's a big success, Laura, big success.
INGRAHAM: I appreciate it. Thanks so much, Mr. President.
TRUMP: Thank you.
INGRAHAM: If you want to stay on for another few minutes, that's fine, but I don't want to take Hannity's interview and take the baton --
TRUMP: Could you imagine if she has the baton, we hand off to Laura.
INGRAHAM: All right, Mr. President --
TRUMP: I want to thank you both. But I’ll tell you what, you’re great patriots, you love our country, and you know what’s happening, and I really appreciate it, and so does everyone else.
And that’s why you do as well as you do. They do appreciate it. They really get it. The people of this country, they get it. They are smart.
INGRAHAM: Mr. President, did you get briefed on this Syrian attack or planned attack on a Christian church in Pittsburgh yet? News broke this evening --
TRUMP: I have been told about it and little detail, and I’m going to meet a little later about it, actually, tonight.
INGRAHAM: It looks like tragedy was averted, thankfully.
TRUMP: Yes, that's right.
INGRAHAM: Another concern. Mr. President, thank you so much.