‘Hannity’ on explosions in Kyiv – Fox News

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This is a rush transcript of “Hannity” on February 24, 2022. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: All right, Tucker. Thank you.

Welcome to HANNITY.

We start tonight with a FOX News alert.

Ukraine is now bracing for a long night of air strikes, and according to President Zelensky, Russian hit squads are now targeting him and his entire family. My full monologue is coming up in mere moments.

But, first, we take you right to the ground in Kyiv tonight, the capital, with our — with our own Trey Yingst is with us.

Trey, what’s going on, the latest there?

TREY YINGST, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Sean, good evening.

At this hour, Russian forces are continuing ground and air operations against Ukraine. We do understand that they are working their way towards the capital of Kyiv.

Earlier today, there were a number of battles across this country that were significant as the Russians tried to get the upper hand on a strategic location, specifically close to the capital here. There was a small air base and airfield that would have given the Russians the ability to land planes very close to Kyiv.

At first, they were able to use attack helicopters to take over this airfield, but the Ukrainians launched a counter-offensive and were able to take it back. In the north, this was not the case. Near the border of Belarus, Russian troops crossed into northern Ukraine near Chernobyl and they fought for hours with Ukrainian forces ultimately taking over this region just about two hours north of where we’re standing right now.

We understand there is continued fighting in Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine, and this as the entire country is bracing for the possibility of Russian troops entering this city.

Today, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy basically told civilians they need to pick up weapons and begin to fight if those troops do enter the city. Right now, martial law is declared across the entire country of Ukraine, and everyone from age 18 to age 60 who’s a male is required to fight. They are not allowed to leave the country, according to a new order that’s been released by the foreign ministry and the president himself — Sean.

HANNITY: All right. Trey, thank you.

Tonight, now, let’s turn to Lucas Tomlinson, and he’s in western Ukraine tonight. What’s going on there, Lucas?

LUCAS TOMLINSON, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Sean, officials say this is some of the fiercest fighting on the European continent since World War II. U.S. officials say the Russians launched over short-range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles across the country. Now, while the bulk of the strikes were in the north, south and east, there were some airstrikes here in the western part of the country. The mayor of this city saying strikes came outside of the city as well.

Now, as Trey mentioned, the Ukrainians are claiming that they annihilated a Russian air assault in airport outside the capital, killing dozens of Russian soldiers, capturing some and sending others fleeing to the forest. And Vladimir Zelensky, he claims that a Russian hit squad is after him and his family. He says he’s not going anywhere.

And, Sean, that’s all we have right now. In right here in Lviv, things are quiet. Of course, it’s past 4:00 in the morning. Earlier today, we saw fear on people’s faces. Long lines at the gas pump, long lines at the ATM machine, people getting cash.

And of course, tens of thousands of Ukrainians fleeing the capital coming here to what they think is the safe zone. But there were some people fleeing to the Polish border thinking that was the only way out. But there are some reports that the Poles are not letting in Ukrainians at the border — Sean.

HANNITY: All right. Lucas, thank you.

And here with more from the Pentagon is our own Jennifer Griffin.

Jennifer, the latest on your end?

JENNIFER GRIFFIN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Sean, senior defense officials tell me this is just the initial phase. Putin has used only a small portion of the forces he has arrayed on Ukraine’s borders. Russian forces began by attacking on three axes, from the south troops and tanks moved north to the city of Kherson, which sits at the mouth of the Dnieper River, which bisects the country.

From the north, Russian forces move south toward Ukraine’s second largest city, Kharkiv, where there is heavy fighting tonight. And then third and most important are the tanks on route to the capital Kyiv from Belarus. According to a senior U.S. defense official, quote, they have every intention of decapitating the government and installing their own government.

Incredible acts of bravery being reported tonight, including this audio tape being shared of Ukrainian border guards on the island known as Snake Island in the Black Sea. When approached by a Russian warship who demanded they lay down their arms and, quote, surrender to avoid bloodshed and unnecessary victims, otherwise the Russian forces messaged, you will be bombed.

The Ukrainian border guards responded over the radio: Russian warship, go F yourself. They were killed today. President Zelensky said they would be given the hero of Ukraine Medal.

A lot of heroes tonight, Sean, fighting back against the Russian war machine.

Here is Ukraine’s foreign minister speaking to Bret Baier earlier tonight as he drove into Ukraine.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DMYTRO KULEBA, UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: We are fighting on our soil for our land, and there were many cases in the history of the world where a smaller nation — a smaller — smaller nation would prevail over a bigger one simply because it was fighting on the right side of history.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRIFFIN: Seven thousand additional U.S. troops are being sent from Fort Bragg and Fort Stewart, Georgia. Members of the Third Infantry Division going to Germany.

Tomorrow, NATO will meet to discuss mobilizing the 40,000 strong NATO response force — Sean.

HANNITY: All right. Jennifer Griffin from the Pentagon tonight, thank you.

And tonight, total war in the country of Ukraine. Vladimir Putin is attempting to take every inch of the country by force. But while the government of Ukraine has its own history of corruption, we have chronicled some of this on this program, the people of Ukraine — as Jennifer just pointed out — well as outgunned and outmanned as they are, while they’re bravely fighting back for their country’s David versus Goliath struggle, for their freedom, their autonomy.

Take a look.

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)

HANNITY: At this hour, Russian forces are in the process of surrounding Ukraine’s capital city in preparation for that full-scale assault to Kyiv. In just a moment, we’ll get the very latest details from the U.S. Senate Intel Committee chair — that’s Marco Rubio. Minority chair.

Anyway, Peter Doocy will also join us with more from the White House tonight. Earlier today, he asked Joe Biden a number of questions and rolled out another round of sanctions today during a speech, how that will be effective or not, he says, oh, we’ll see in 30 days, anyway.

But he did miss the mark in a big way. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My administration is using the tools every tools disposal protect American families and businesses from rising prices at the gas pump. You know, we’re taking active steps to bring down the cost and American oil and gas companies should not — should not exploit this moment to hike their prices.

REPORTER: Is he threatening a nuclear strike?

BIDEN: I have no idea what he’s threatening. I know what he has done, number one. Number two, no one expected the sanctions to prevent anything from happening.

REPORTER: You said in recent weeks the big nations cannot bluff when it comes to something like this. You recently said that the idea of personally sanctioning President Putin was on the table. Is that a step that you’re prepared to take and if not —

BIDEN: It’s not a bluff. It’s on the table.

REPORTER: Sanctioning President Putin?

BIDEN: Yes.

REPORTER: Why not sanction him today, sir?

REPORTER: Mr. President —

REPORTER: Why not sanction him today?

REPORTER: Mr. President, if I can —

BIDEN: They are profound sanctions. Let’s have a conversation in another month or so to see if they’re working.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Well, let’s find out in a month. And by the way, it was Kamala Harris that said that sanctions would deter Vladimir Putin. That’s not a way forward.

John McCain actually once said Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country. The only way to really deter Putin and his cronies — there is a way to defeat Putin and push him back, and it doesn’t require one bullet to be fired, one American boot on the ground, it is to degrade Russia’s oil and gas capabilities. That is his financial lifeline.

Now, before his speech, Biden should have lifted all major restrictions on all drilling, all fracking, all exploration. He should have convened a meeting with America’s top energy producing companies and encouraged every one of them to produce energy like never before. He should have lifted every restriction that he imposed, including the permanent hold on new drilling in Alaska and ANWR, the suspension of new drilling on all federal lands and the pause of new permits for offshore drilling.

He should have also made guarantees to supply our allies with the energy that they need through American oil American coal and American liquefied natural gas. That didn’t happen today — in fact, just the opposite.

According to the White House the sanctions are not designed to cause any disruption of the flow of Russian energy to the rest of the world. Translation: Joe Biden is going to allow Putin to continue to get rich and Russia to get even more rich. Under Putin, under Biden, even the United States — look at these numbers, why are we importing nearly six — over 600,000 barrels of oil from Russia every single day? And keep in mind that the Keystone XL pipeline that Biden killed while giving the Nord Stream 2 waiver to Putin, that could pump 830,000 barrels of oil a day.

And get this, even over a million barrels of Iranian oil were imported last March, the first time since 1991. Now, sadly, Joe will not revive the Keystone XL pipeline. He won’t encourage more oil and gas production right here in the U.S. He won’t do anything to increase our production.

Biden takes his orders from the radical climate alarmists that is the cult of the Democratic, New Green Deal Party in America. And right now on cue, Biden’s climates czar, here he is John Kerry, he’s whining that war in Ukraine is distracting from his important mission to save the world from global warming. This is where his mind is at today?

Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN KERRY, CLIMATE ENVOY: Massive emissions, consequences to the war, but equally importantly, you’re going to lose people’s focus. You’re going to lose certainly big country attention because they will be diverted and I think it could have a damaging impact.

So I hope President Putin will help us to stay on track with respect to what we need to do for the climate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: John, he doesn’t care about your climate agenda. You have to be a complete idiot to say what you just said and believe what you just said.

And this is the same guy John Kerry flying around the world in his private jet, lecturing we the American people about our carbon footprint?

Now, clearly, the Biden administration, they seem to care more about their radical green agenda than actual peace and actual security. This is delusional but this is where we are, with war on the European continent once again.

And, of course, the mob and the media, they promised this wouldn’t happen. They told us that Biden was a foreign policy expert. He put Vladimir Putin in his place. He’s the only one he said that went toe-to-toe with Vladimir in June.

World-class idiot Jennifer Rubin authored this glowing article in “The Washington Post” entitled, the biggest winner in the Biden-Putin summit: democracy. Care to take that back? Anyway, a few months later in December, she proclaimed that Biden has effectively set a red line for Putin.

Last week, “New York Times” genius Thomas Friedman, idiot that he is, wrote, quote, if Vladimir Putin opts to back away from invading Ukraine even temporarily, it’s because Joe Biden has matched every Putin chess move with an effective counter of his own.

No, Joe’s playing checkers and it’s already been checked mate, Joe doesn’t know it yet.

Three days ago, one fake news CNN analyst tweeted, quote, whatever happens in Ukraine, we shouldn’t underestimate the fact that the U.S. has retaken the adult share in the world. Biden has restored American leadership so damaged by Trump. The world needs us and we have a president who can lead and does lead.

They must all be high and hallucinating on some kind of chemical that we don’t have at FOX, because all that is garbage.

And on Tuesday, Stephen King tweeted: Mr. Putin has made a serious miscalculation. He forgot he’s no longer dealing with Trump.

That’s right. He’s not dealing with Trump. He’s dealing with the always weak, always predictable, the cognitive mess Joe Biden. And Biden once found that he’d go toe-to-toe with Vladimir but now he’s barely willing to play footsie as Putin is now rampaging through a major European country. How far these ambitions go these territorial ambitions that’s anybody’s guess tonight.

So sadly, the question must be asked: where does this end? Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PETER DOOCY, FOX NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Did you underestimate Putin? And would you still describe them the way that you did in the summer as a worthy adversary?

BIDEN: At the time, he was — I made it clear — as an adversary and I said he was worthy. I didn’t underestimate him, and I’ve read most of everything he’s written. Did you read — I shouldn’t — I’m not a wise guy. The — you heard the speech he made, almost an hour’s worth of speech is why he was going into Ukraine.

He has much larger ambitions in Ukraine. He wants to in fact reestablish the former Soviet Union. That’s what this is about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: That’s probably right. Putin does have ambitions beyond Ukraine. His next target could be, what, the three NATO nations in the Baltic region of Europe, NATO members? Hmm, that’ll get interesting.

Then we’re looking at, what, World War III? Unless, of course, NATO is a paper tiger which unfortunately I have to report tonight is probably a real possibility. And sadly, we’re going to find out one way or another Biden and Europe failed to get serious and cut off their addiction to Russian oil and gas. So far, every indication is, that’s not on Biden’s agenda.

Our own Peter Doocy asking the White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki if the administration would ever consider restarting — restarting the Keystone XL pipeline.

Here’s what she said. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DOOCY: There’s this talk about a possible forecast for financial pain particularly at the gas pump —

JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Yeah.

DOOCY: — for Americans.

The president said today the notion that this is going to last for a long time is highly unlikely. Would he try to ensure that by lifting some of the restrictions that he’s put in place on the energy industry or rethinking some projects like the Keystone pipeline?

PSAKI: Well, first of all, the keystone pipeline is not flowing. So I’m not sure how that would solve anything. There’s also plenty of oil leases that are not being tapped into by oil companies. So, you should talk to them about that and why.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Yeah, go talk to the oil companies.

Here now with more from the White House, our very own Peter Doocy.

I really enjoyed all of your questions today, but I want to go through exactly what you were asking in detail because we know that Biden now took a wrecking ball to oil and gas production, Keystone XL pipeline. He stopped new drilling efforts in Alaska, ANWR, that’s on a permanent hold. He disrupted new exploration development auctions in the rest of the country.

He suspended new exploration on federal lands and he hurt America’s liquefied natural gas production by giving the waiver to Nord Stream while simultaneously shutting down the Keystone XL pipeline for example.

My question is, is he said today that he’s in negotiations with all oil producing nations. We have more natural resources than the entire Middle East put together. So why are — why isn’t he open to reconsidering the policies he put in place and go back to the energy independence policies of Donald Trump?

DOOCY: Most likely, Sean, because that would betray a huge promise to the progressive wing of the Democratic Party that helped get him the nomination and helped get him elected which was that he is going to put a bunch of things in place as president, even if he’s just here for one term, to move the country past fossil fuels and to start electrifying everything.

He wants to have charging stations in different places. That’s a huge emphasis. In fact, on his first day, he told every climate — every cabinet agency that every decision they make needs to have climate in mind, whether it’s the Defense Department or the Education Department, they have to have climate in mind.

But something that really stands out from what he told me — there in the East Room, he says that he thinks Vladimir Putin wants to rewrite the — or redraw the map so that it looks like it did in the old Soviet Union. That would suggest that Putin is not done in Ukraine and that’s why all these conversations that we’re starting to hear about with us officials and NATO, putting U.S. troops — not in Ukraine and they say they’re not going to do that but in all these NATO partners around Ukraine, they’re not going there for no reason. They’re going there as a signal to Putin to stop it.

You know, they’re not going to go into Ukraine. They are going to wait and see with the sanctions and whether or not that ever pans out. But they are sending a signal to Putin that he can’t go any further than that, and that is a big deal.

HANNITY: Peter this is important here because you’re basically saying that the president is willing to buy oil from even Russia, they’re not going to disrupt Russian production and the selling of oil worldwide. They’re willing to buy oil from Saudi Arabia and OPEC and even Iran which I didn’t know about until today, which they did in March of 2021, and they’re willing to allow a 40-year high of inflation economically in this country.

And for national security reasons, we have an opportunity to solve the problem of all our Western European and NATO allies and produce the energy here and create jobs and lower inflation, and he’s not willing to consider that because he cares about the Green New Deal fanatics?

DOOCY: And it’s not that he’s not considering it, but he’s the president and he gets to choose, do you disrupt the oil mar — or the energy market globally or do you put in place some sanctions that might deter Putin from — from taking over Ukraine in the next couple of days. He decided that he’s just going to go with this route of the sanctions even though now he says — he knows that Putin’s not going to say at any point in the next couple days, oh my gosh, there’s sanctions, I better cut it out.

HANNITY: Well, I tell you, you did a phenomenal job both with Biden and with Jen Psaki today, very important questions. You’re really the only one in the media that’s asking the hard questions. Peter, thank you.

DOOCY: Thanks, Sean.

HANNITY: All right. Joining us now with more analysis for this fast developing situation in Ukraine, he is at the big board. It’s not election night, but it’s an important night, our very own Bill Hemmer.

Bill, as we look at that map and we look at where the bombings have taken place, there’s a lot to tell on that map that you’re in front of.

BILL HEMMER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Sean, good evening to you and you’re right about that.

This was the image we had as of 1:30 this afternoon, our time. You’re coming up on 4:20, 4:30 in the morning in Ukraine. It was about this time 24 hours ago when the first missiles were dropped on that country. So, now, we’re quickly moving into day two.

Sean, just to give our viewers a bit of an idea here, the capital city of Kyiv, it’s a big town. Population, 3 million. This is Kharkiv in the east. This is a town of 1.4 million people. There has been very intense fighting in that part of Ukraine throughout the day.

Based on the reporting we’re getting in Kharkiv, the Ukrainian army is pushing back in the Russian military. We’ll see whether or not that continues.

Donetsk is a big town. One million people here in the southeast. Odessa as well, another million people in that city.

The point being that this is not a small place. It’s not a small country. It’s larger than the size of the state of Texas. And in order to take it over, you’re going to need some military might, and that’s what Russia has done. They have brought the might thus.

Three-pronged approach now. Simply speaking, this is Crimea down here. The Russians invaded there in 2014, took the peninsula. They have crossed that peninsula, excuse me, I’ll try and get this sucker back here, to go into the southern part of Ukraine.

They’ve come into the eastern part. I mentioned Kharkiv as well, there was some activity down here in the Donbas region, not as intense as some of the others as it’s been described to us. But Donbas was that was also taken in when Russian invaded took Crimea as well, that was eight years ago.

The third prong comes from Belarus at the top and the direction is toward what’s been described as a two-prong approach in the capital city northwest and northeast. And I’ll just advance this one time, and I’ll give you a better explanation of that. In the past 60 days, Belarus, very friendly to Moscow. They’ve allowed the Russian military to establish these military bases on this northern side of the border of Ukraine.

Remember, Russia’s to the east, but they’re very friendly governments here. So what happened earlier today, some 24 hours ago, here came the Russian army and they went right for the Chernobyl nuclear site. That’s the site that blew up in April of 1986, worst nuclear disaster in the history of the world.

There was a fierce fight we are told in this area, Ukrainian army fought back but they have lost that area to the Russian army. A little further south, capital city of Kyiv, before I get there, this is an air base, Sean, that’s 24 miles north and west of Kyiv. It has a long runway, can take massive cargo planes. If there’s a battle there today, we are told the Ukrainians fought back.

We don’t know what daylight, who will have control of it, but at last check, it was the Ukrainian military. If they lose that runway, well, Moscow can fly in planes and troops and military equipment 24/7, and that puts them only 24 miles away from the capital city of Kyiv.

I think that’s one of the most important things to watch, Sean, when the day breaks again in Ukraine. Does the city of Kyiv, is it penetrated by the Russian military, by the Russian army or can the Ukrainian military hold them out?

The president of Ukraine several hours ago said that the army had got — well, there were Russian soldiers who were spotted in Kyiv. We haven’t confirmed that. But Zelensky says he’s target number one, they’re coming after him.

If that continues to develop the way he describes, that would be a big story going into Friday for us and certainly for the Ukrainians.

Advance this one time. Sean, this is 1989-ish. This is the former USSR, the Soviet Union that Vladimir Putin had so much affection for. He comes out of East Berlin right there in Germany, heads back to Moscow. This is where he went home to.

But now just advance one time on this come up 2022, map’s changed quite a bit since 1989. That hasn’t gone back entirely to what his vision was in that year, in the early 1990s —

HANNITY: Bill, if I can add —

HEMMER: Yeah.

HANNITY: It — he took Georgia in 2008, Crimea annexed in 2014.

HEMMER: Right.

HANNITY: Belarus and Moldova become satellite states. So he recognizes the independence of two republics uses that as a pretext to go in as a peacekeeper, meanwhile he uses satellite states, surrounds the entire country and now he’s bombing the capital and in every major city it looks like he’s taking over the entire country, and it was all in a pretext of a lie, correct?

HEMMER: I was just — yes and I would just add to that, the end of the story. And the end the story is that if he’s successful in Ukraine, I just want to share what the map’s going to look like.

All right. You can draw a line from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania down here through Poland, come to the west of Ukraine, down past Romania, and look what you have here now, Sean, to the west, you have NATO allied countries and U.S. troops.

To the east, you would have the Russian army in Belarus and Ukraine in control. It would be Putin on the east would be the U.S. and NATO partners to the west.

Now, we can talk in the coming days as to what is next in this story, but as for right now and as for tonight and at this hour, Putin’s got to get done with finish with Ukraine first and we’re going to see how much fight the Ukrainian army has in it. If you think about where we are in this phase, Sean, we might be very early when you think about the size of this country that I laid out the beginning of this report. You know, larger than the size of Texas, talking about millions of people.

You know, can you get control of that country with the amount of military that Vladimir Putin is putting in there? And that’s being debated right now, and we’ll see how it goes into the next day as to whether or not the Russian military will be successful on Putin’s terms.

HANNITY: Very well done, at the big board. Bill Hemmer, thank you.

We do have major breaking news right now, explosions now heard in Kyiv — as — and here with the latest is our own Trey Yingst. He is live.

I guess just in the last couple of minutes, you heard the first explosions of the night, is that correct?

YINGST: Sean, that’s correct. Right now, the Ukrainian capital Kyiv is under attack. There are Russian strikes taking place right now. We heard two large explosions pretty close to the downtown part of the Ukrainian capital and then a smaller explosion a little bit further out. These are the first strikes to take place tonight and it was a night that people were anticipating in the region could escalate even further as those Russian troops get closer and closer to the Ukrainian capital.

Reports right now indicate that from the north east, there are Russian troops heading down a major highway toward the capital of Kyiv. This is significant because we talked about earlier today in Chernobyl, north of the city the ability of Russian troops to move on a key road after defeating Ukrainian forces.

So already, it is shaping up to be a multi-pronged attack on the Ukrainian capital and these airstrikes part of what we understand would be a larger campaign if the Russians continue to move forward with this assault on the city.

What we can expect in the coming days likely a deterioration of the situation. The Ukrainian forces say they are successful in many ways when it comes to using things like anti-tank missiles. They have not been as successful in using any sort of air defense and we have not even seen any air defense going off around the Ukrainian capital, but it was significant today that they were able to take back that airport about 40 minutes away from where we are right now just outside of the capitol. Russian forces attacked this airfield with multiple attack helicopters, the Ukrainians launching a counter-offensive and able to take it back.

But this can only go on for so long there’s a limited amount of military supplies and forces and as we know according to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, at least 137 people were killed today in less than 24 hours following this Russian invasion into the country.

And again as we can report right now, the Ukrainian capital is receiving some sort of strikes tonight. We’re not sure if there are cruise or ballistic missiles, both have been used since this conflict erupted yesterday — Sean.

HANNITY: All right. Trey, thank you. Great reporting. Stay safe.

Here now with the very latest, from the Senate Intel Committee, Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

While it’s fresh in people’s minds the map of Bill Hemmer, Georgia 2008, the annexation Crimea 2014, Belarus, Moldova, satellite states — Putin goes ahead, he recognizes these two independent republics on the pretext of being called peacekeepers, he goes in. But what he’d really been planning is to take over the entire country, hence we see he surrounds the country uses the satellite states and it looks like he has every aspect of the of the country under attack in some way, shape, matter or form.

Senator, what is the best way to handle this?

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): Well, first, it’s become popular for people to go around saying, I’ve seen this now a couple times lately, oh, we only would have agreed to not let Ukraine join NATO, which they weren’t going to join NATO, this would all have been avoided. That’s just fundamentally untrue. That’s just false.

Putin laid out his conditions and one of those conditions, Sean, in addition to NATO and not ever, you know, Ukraine never becoming part of NATO, one of those conditions was he wanted every country that joined since 1997 out of NATO. In essence, he wanted all troops out of any country after 1997. That’s Romania, that’s Lithuania, it’s all the Baltic States.

Right there, he’s telegraphing to you what his intent is, and that is not necessarily maybe to govern those countries, but he wants him to look something like Belarus that has a government in place that responds to him under his sphere of influence. And I think we need to make clear and I think indeed some of these deployments are making clear that that’s not going to happen.

But at the beginning of the program you touched upon what it is that gives Vladimir Putin leverage. Obviously tactical nuclear weapons in the battlefield is one, which is a Russian doctrine to escalate in order to de- escalate. But the other is oil and natural gas, he has weaponized energy.

And to hear Joe Biden say it’s not our goal to disrupt the supply of Russian oil in the marketplace, it’s not to disrupt, it’s to displace it.

American energy, if we really ramped it up, if we did what Putin is doing, we could begin to chip away at that advantage that he has and will certainly protect us which is our number one obligation.

HANNITY: Well, I think you’ve hit on the main point here and he said oh we’re going to look at our oil reserves and other countries will do so, and energy producing countries — we’re looking to them to increase their production and up their production, et cetera, et cetera. The only problem with the argument that I’m hearing from him is that we have more natural resources as you know, Senator, we have Rick Perry on this program, enough to supply the United States and our allies for over a hundred years, and yet that not that’s not even an option on the table.

How could it not be an option on the table knowing that that would be the one point of leverage that we would have? It would drive down the cost of energy. It would lower the cost at the pump for every American. It would create high paying career jobs. Everything we buy in, every store we go to would be cheaper, less expensive.

And for national security reasons, we wouldn’t need to worry about the Straits of Hormuz, the Middle East Russia and we’d be able to help our allies in NATO and Western Europe with their energy needs. Why wouldn’t we do that?

RUBIO: You know, Sean, you know, Vladimir Putin understands American politics really well. This is his fifth American president and here’s what he knows: Joe Biden won’t do that. He understands, okay? Because he watches American politics very carefully, he understands that Joe Biden won’t do that because of the squad, because of the radical Marxist left, because of his political base, because of the Green New Deal.

He knows he’s not going to do that. He also knows Europe’s not going to be able to sustain sanctions against him because when the oil prices and the gas prices go up, the people be in the streets rebelling and they’ll cave. He knows —

HANNITY: Senator —

RUBIO: — all of this because he watches it all very carefully.

HANNITY: How is it possible that the United States of America last year bought purchased 232 million barrels of oil from Vladimir Putin in Russia? When Joe Biden became president, we were energy independent. When Joe Biden became president, we were a net exporter of energy as a country. Why did he abandon that?

And what — and then when I found out for the first time since 1991, we bought a — what, a million barrels of oil from Iran? Six hundred and some odd — six hundred and some odd million barrels of oil from OPEC, you know millions of barrels from Saudi Arabia. Why aren’t we producing our own energy? Why have these climate alarmists literally stopped energy production at this high level? How did that happen?

RUBIO: Well, that happened because these people have a radical agenda. They have it — look, and Europe made the same decision. But these people have a radical agenda and the moment he stepped into office I think within two days of being there, he canceled the Keystone pipeline, no more leases on federal lands, all kinds of new regulations that really make it difficult to fully utilize our energy resources.

This is the agenda — these people — you won’t understand it, you put it at the beginning of the program. John Kerry is out there saying, I hope we don’t pay too much attention to this war because that means we’re not going to be getting attention paid to my — you know, my climate emergency.

It’s almost like a religious zealotry and except their religion, their god is all this climate change stuff. And the result is that — you know, we now have children in charge of these major geopolitical movements making silly, ridiculous decisions. And Vladimir Putin doesn’t live in that world. He’s making calculated decisions and our country’s being hurt by this.

HANNITY: Yeah, Senator, thank you for your help and you were the first to tell us last night that this full invasion was underway. Thank you for that as well.

Here now with more on the cyber security implications of the conflict, FOX News contributor, Lieutenant General Keith Kellogg, is with us, along with Indiana Congressman Michael Waltz.

General, let me start with you and I want to look at the military might and give you the comparisons because the numbers are very real here. If you look at the total number of armed forces in Russia, they’ve got 900,000, Ukraine has 209,000. Russia, 2 million reserves, Ukraine less than a million.

Tanks, artillery, army attack helicopters, armored personnel carriers, naval combat ships, patrol boat combatants, air force planes — I mean, it is a wipeout. There’s no way militarily that Ukraine can compete with the might of Russia.

I don’t see NATO militarily getting involved and I’m not even calling for them to do so. They’re not a member of NATO. But this is going to be a wipeout, I don’t see any way that they can stop what Putin’s ambitions are here. Do you?

KEITH KELLOGG, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, no, because I think it’s overwhelming for us.

But, look, Sean, you know, I’ve always believed it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fighting the dog. And you’re seeing Ukraine really fight back hard and it’s really impressive what they’re doing, and you’ve got to give them credit. They’re basically standing up by themselves against the entire Russian army because that’s what they’re facing.

He’s arrayed almost 80 percent of his army on the ground. He’s got a massive air defense, missile batteries all coming at Ukraine, and they’re standing tall.

Look, Zelensky is still in Kyiv. He’s not leaving. He’s staying there to fight it out.

So regardless of what happens, I would say Ukraine, well done. And I don’t think Putin has got the distance to be able to take all of Ukraine. He may try to take the eastern one third, but I’m beginning to think even though we’re only able to —

HANNITY: General, if I may interrupt you —

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: We have on the screen right now, the map of the areas of Ukraine that’s gotten bombed. It’s the entire country. So why is he going after the whole country if he only wants a small part of Ukraine? I don’t believe that. That map I think shows that I’m right.

(CROSSTALK)

KELLOGG: Well, Sean, he’s trying to create more problems for Zelensky to handle and you do that. You give multiple problems and then you can’t handle them all. He’s going against the whole country but his primary effort as Bill pointed out was to the North to the East and to the South.

And if you look at the Dnieper, which is a really dividing line, that’s kind of where he’s going right now. But he’s going to he’s got to watch out that he’s not overextended. He being Putin.

He doesn’t have the ability — I believe — to go all the way to the west without overextending his supply lines and his military support structure. He may have bitten off more than he can chew.

HANNITY: But he’s got more money than he’s ever had because Joe Biden artificially reduced the world’s supply of oil and he’s been the major beneficiary of that. And in fact, it’s our allies that have been purchasing billions of dollars worth of oil.

Congressman, let me let me go to you if I may.

REP. MICHAEL WALTZ (R-FL): Yeah.

HANNITY: There was if you will a manifesto written by Vladimir Putin. It was published on July 12, that stated all of his intentions here. There’s no surprise he doesn’t even recognize Ukraine as a country, yet there are still some people that seem surprised by what has gone on here in the areas that he is attacking.

I give a lot of credit to the resistance in Ukraine. Could we have a situation like the mujahedeen when Russia was fighting Afghanistan in the `80s and we provided the mujahedeen with stinger missiles that helped neutralize Russia’s military might? Possible, I don’t know what that equipment would be in this particular case. Do you?

WALTZ: Yeah, Sean, you know, I’ve served as a Green Beret. We specialize in insurgency and counterinsurgency, and we’ve seen how most of the Western world has struggled with countering insurgencies the last 20 years. So what President Biden should have been doing and should do now is make it very clear that we will continue to provide lethal aid to an ongoing Ukrainian resistance, sniper rifles, IEDs, secure communications, the things that they will need to bog Putin down and bog the Russian army down in these large cities with urban warfare.

It’s only when he and his oligarchs and his generals believe that this can turn into another Chechnya or another Afghanistan and be bad for him domestically do I think we’re going to slow him down because he’s not going to — he’s not going to stop with Ukraine if this is easy like it was in under Obama-Biden then, and Crimea and the Donbas, he’s going to continue.

The crown jewels are Belarus, he already has that. Ukraine, he’s taking that and then next are the Baltics, which are NATO allies.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: There’s one big difference you get to the Baltics and now we’re talking about a NATO alliance.

WALTZ: That’s right.

HANNITY: Joe Biden very specifically today talked about Article Five. If they attack one, they attack all. Do you believe that NATO has the will and the willingness to do it and stand up to what that that organization’s said and pledged to stand up for? Because I’m not so sure.

WALTZ: Well so far — yeah, I’m not so sure either to be candid.

So far, Joe Biden has been all bark and no bite. Everything he’s provided has been too little too late, so I have no expectation that he would do any better in terms of deterrence when it comes to those countries. Each one of them have Russian enclave. Putin is already pumping his propaganda in there, whether it’s Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania and he has said that not only is he going to reconstitute the old Soviet Union, but he’s pulling his ethnic Russian brethren back into the fold. That’s the ideological justification.

And as long as he has Europe dependent on his oil and gas, which by the way is some of the dirtiest in the world, so the environmental argument doesn’t even hold up, then he’s got checkmate.

And also, Sean, the United States has doubled its imports of Russian oil and gas in just the last year. So Congress is creating a dependency here and I don’t think he can turn that off.

HANNITY: The rhetoric is hauntingly similar in terms of what Putin is saying about the Baltics. It sounds exactly like what Putin was saying about Ukraine leading up to this.

We will see though, that will — time will tell. Thank you both for being with us, General Kellogg, thank you. Congressman, thank you.

Now even more big breaking news on the ground in Ukraine tonight as one Ukrainian official says that the country’s forces have lost control of the Chernobyl site, along with reports of increased radiation levels. Joe Biden’s weak diplomacy has failed. He is once again at the center of what is a massive foreign policy failure — seemingly with no option, no way out. Here’s Biden’s pathetic response today when asked about Putin’s threat of a nuclear strike. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: This statement that he gave last night will — that the what — the threat that he gave the West will face consequences greater than any you have faced in history, is he threatening a nuclear strike?

BIDEN: I have no idea what he’s threatening. I know what he has done, number one. Number two, no one expected the sanctions to prevent anything from happening.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Here with reaction, chairman of the institute for the study of war, FOX News senior strategic analyst, retired 4-star General Jack Keane.

General, thank you for being with us.

I guess what struck me the most today is when Biden said he would not be disrupting the oil business of Vladimir Putin. And I was asking myself, why wouldn’t he? That provides him the financial means to do all of this.

GEN. JACK KEANE, FOX NEWS SENIOR STRATEGIC ANALYST: I think you are right on the money, Sean. I mean, the fact is that he’s not doing that because the Europeans are dependent on it. It’s that simple, and we put ourselves in a terrible position here. And hopefully, this is a huge wake up call for European friends to cut the dependency of energy on Russia that they have.

I mean, it’s actually outrageous. I mean, we are buying Russian oil ourselves, 17 million barrels a month, right now, as this conflict is going on. That’s how absurd all this.

When it comes to the issue that you put your finger, this problem goes away if we solve those problems but we can’t solve those problems in the near term.

HANNITY: Is there anything you see we could do to aid and assist the resistance? I mentioned mujahedeen. I mentioned stinger missiles. I don’t know why NATO and European countries watching this build-up reading this in July of Vladimir Putin laying out his plans and nobody thought to arm Ukraine and provide them the ability to fight back if this happens?

KEANE: Well, we made terrible mistakes and we don’t need to go back the whole story. But this started in March with 70,000 troops there. All we talked about was rhetoric. Can you imagine what it would have been like back in March of 2021 when there were 70,000 troops we hit them with hard sanctions then. That’s the provocation to put 70,000, 90,000 troops on the border of a country. That is intimidation and coercion. We have the right to hold them accountable for that.

We made the decision we’re not going to defend, put our troops and defend Ukraine. I got that. It’s not a NATO country. But why weren’t we all in to help them defend themselves? That’s what they kept telling us, help us defend ourselves.

The shopping list they had was significant. We gave them I think a minimalist approach to what was on the shopping list. They don’t have any air defense of any consequence here. The air campaign is fighters and bombers and missiles. The Russians haven’t conducted a sophisticated air campaign. They dropped 160 missiles on these guys.

If it was us, it would be over 1,000. That’s what we’ve done in the past.

Their air campaign is one of the reasons why it came up short, one of the reasons why the Ukrainians have been able to slow the Russian advance on 3 of the 4 axes that took place there. They had a pretty good day.

These Russian are not 10 foot tall. We make them out to be more than what they are, in my judgment. They have planning problems and execution problems. Ukrainians are doing pretty well.

As General Kellogg mentioned, I totally agree with that assessment. But here’s something we have to watch, Sean, is NATO and the Baltics States. We have to take Putin’s suggestions seriously.

And I’ll tell you what, we are not ready. This Article 5 thing is — we take it for granted. I participated in a war game in 2018 on a congressional commission appointed by John McCain. And I’ll tell you what, they took the Baltics in 60 hours and we try to conduct the counteroffensive to get back in there, and we had major problems. We got real problems in NATO, Sean. We’ve got to have them stand up and provide the effective deterrents that are necessary.

HANNITY: General, I agree 1,000 percent. Thank you, well done.

Now, take a look by the way at your screen. Chilling footage shows massive traffic jams out of Kyiv, as Putin has unleashed his attack. Shaken families are now forced to flee the country at a moment’s notice, video showing packed crowds, all out chaos, Ukrainians trying to get out as fast as possible, as Vladimir Putin now appears committed to inflecting pain, suffering, all across the country.

Those trying to flee include our fellow Americans who deserve not to be left behind like the debacle in Afghanistan, by the way, Day 194 since we abandoned them. We are learning more about one military veteran is leading a group to rescue Americans in Ukraine. He’s the founder of Project Dynamo.

Bryan Stern is with us, an army-navy vet, who was rescuing Americans from Ukraine.

Brian, I have friends writing me and asking, could you tell, Bryan, about my family? They are in a basement hiding in Ukraine.

Thank you for what you are doing. We left Americans behind in Afghanistan. Joe Biden made is clear that for Americans there, we think there is like to 10,000 to 20,000, maybe more. Don’t expect America to help you get out there because we’re not going to help, we’re not going to have the means to do it, we’re not going to have the will to do it.

So, are you successful as of now getting Americans out?

BRYAN STERN, FOUNDER OF PROJECT DYNAMO: Great for having me — hanks for having me, Sean. I’m a big fan.

We’re almost successful. We’re hunkered down right near in a safe location close to the border. We’re able to get just about 20 folks rally this morning and on the road for 20 hours from pick up to now.

So, the borders are packed and jammed. We are not leaving until we get them across the border, and that’s just the way it’s going to be.

HANNITY: And how do people get in touch with you if they want to either help you and your mission, or maybe tell you about people, loved ones that they know are trapped there? How can they get in touch with you?

STERN: Yeah, ProjectDynamo.org is our website. There’s two very important buttons on there. One is the “donate now” button. We are volunteers. We are 100 percent donor funded. Every dollar that you give goes to saving an American life, or the life a NATO ally, or their family or their children as you see there.

But every penny matters, every dollar counts. Buses cost money, safe houses cost money, bus drivers cost money, visas cost money, COVID tests cost money. We need your help. Donate now, please, please. The problem is huge. The other button there —

HANNITY: Brian, last question, I’m running out of time. What’s the website?

STERN: ProjectDynamo.org.

HANNITY: ProjectDynamo.org. Bryan Stern, keep up the great work. We’ll have you back.

Now, remember, it was Donald Trump himself, he warned about the dangers of German’s dependence and NATO allies dependence on Russian oil.

Now, here with reaction, “Outnumbered” co-host Kayleigh McEnany, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

Mark Meadows, I did something I rarely do. I played a 5-minute tape of Donald Trump beating the crap out of the NATO head leader and it was on — it was all about these issues. How is it we are paying the bulk of money to protect our NATO allies from Russia while our allies that paid far less in terms of percentage of GDP are making Vladimir Putin and Russia rich again? That went on for a long time, and the president was in his grill and said this doesn’t make sense. It has to stop.

But yet, now, what, it’s continuing under Biden again?

MARK MEADOWS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Well, it’s continuing under Biden, Sean, and you’re spot on with your monologue because the answer to this — you know, listen, Americans don’t want a military conflict. What they could have had instead of this is energy dominance that got Europe and Germany and a number of others on this cheap Russian oil off the dole from Russia. And what we need to do is fast track it right now.

Joe Biden needs to come before Congress and say we need to fast track whether it’s liquefied natural gas or doing contracts to make sure we bury this Russian oil dominance. We need to do that right away. If we don’t, they won’t stop with Ukraine.

Let’s be clear: Vladimir Putin will not stop until Zelensky is no longer in the capital city. And he will not stop once he gets that done. There will be other countries in the bull’s eye.

HANNITY: Kayleigh McEnany, you know Donald Trump as well as I do. If he was called in to help solve this situation I know what Donald Trump would do. He would call every major energy company in this country and he would say to them, guys, we need Operation Warp Speed. I will lift every restriction and open every oil speed and every gas cap. We will out-produce — we will warp speed as much energy production as possible as quickly as possible.

And we will get that energy to our allies as soon as possible. That would solve a lot of problems. But Joe Biden said today he won’t stop the flow of Russian oil we are still importing Russian oil in this country. This is insanity.

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, “OUTNUMBERED” CO-HOST: Sure. Because President Biden is a globalist and President Trump is America first.

You know, with President Joe Biden, Europe is leading away, with President Donald Trump, America led the way. We would not be kowtowing to European allies. We don’t want certain sanctions in place because it would harm them economically. We would have the utmost of sanctions.

I’m sure, you know, the former chief of staff Mark Meadows did echo that. The fact is we are 400 days, Sean, into the Biden administration. We have two embassies that were evacuated. We have two countries that no longer exist. That’s the record of President Biden.

The record of President Trump is one of strength and peace through strength. Now we have violence, unfettered violence through the weakness of Joe Biden. Make no mistake, this is happening because of the guy who was in his basement during a campaign and now is in the White House.

HANNITY: Mark meadows, last word for you. So, Joe Biden is willing to allow a 40 year high in inflation and cause Americans to suffer because he is giving in to the climate cult in his party and he’s even willing to import oil from Iran and Russia to keep the climate cult satisfied. Wow. What a difference a year makes — Mark Meadows.

MEADOWS: Well, it’s a difference. And Kayleigh McEnany is right. I mean, when you start to look at the overall scope of what they are doing, it’s basically a — we are going to appease our friends and allies and we’re going to appease our enemies as well. Globalists view.

But here’s what we have to really go hard at it and learn our lesson. We have to make sure that our NATO allies are strong up in the Baltics. We have to make sure that we quit buying Russian and Iranian oil. I mean, it is time that we go ahead and use what we have and do it now.

HANNITY: Last word, Kayleigh McEnany?

MCENANY: Yeah, it’s exactly right. We had energy, what a novel concept. President Biden gets in and shuts down Keystone and green light Nord Stream 2. Wow, what a brilliant idea. Now, we’re all watching the repercussions at the gas pump.

By the way, Sean, in Florida this is because of Joe Biden’s signs they put an arrow up to the gas price. So, in Florida, people know what is going on.

HANNITY: They do, and we could have $5, $6, $7 a gallon gasoline. I remember in a debate, oh, that’s right, Donald Trump predicted that might happen.

Thank you both for being with us.

MEADOWS: He did, he did.

HANNITY: He did.

All right. The west reliance on Russian oil and Biden’s massive energy failures right here in America. This is now created a perfect storm. We have a 40-year high of inflation.

Here’s Donald Trump back in 2020 warning gas prices will, in fact, be $5, $6, $7 a gallon. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: And gas prices, you like that $2 gas. How about $5, $ 6, $7? Darling, let’s sell the car. It’s too large. Let’s get a compact. Biden’s plan is an economic death sentence.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Here is a guy that knows a thing or two about energy, oil, Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

Well, I don’t think the president could have been anymore right, Governor?

GOVERNOR GREG ABBOTT (R), TEXAS: He was spot on.

Listen, Sean, I’m coming to you tonight from San Patricio County. San Patricio County is on the Gulf Coast, right next to Corpus Christi.

Through this county runs a lot of natural gas pipelines that connect to a Shadir (ph) LNG facility. President Trump worked to open these LNG facilities to make sure we could provide natural gas to countries like Germany or to the E.U.

But also in addition to that, we had the ability to move oil around. Because of what you were talking about, about Biden’s closure of pipelines, because of shutting down leases and things like that, the ability to drill, that’s one thing that’s caused the price of gasoline to go up so much because the price of oil has gone up so much.

Biden knew when he was getting in this situation with regards to Russia and Ukraine, he knew the price of oil would be going up even more. And so, everybody watching this show, the price they’re going to be paying at the pump will be going up more in the coming days.

HANNITY: Governor, let me ask you this —

ABBOTT: If Biden would rely upon American-based energy, we could solve that problem.

HANNITY: Governor, rather than importing 600 million barrels of oil from OPEC and 5 million barrels from Saudi Arabia and 232 million barrels from Russia and 1 million barrels of oil even from Iran, how quickly could the oil industry get up and running and producing and extracting the oil from the ground in your view?

ABBOTT: Under President Trump, under a president committed to accelerating the permitting process, it could be done extraordinarily quickly. Especially on the pumping side, because many wells, they’re called drilled but not completed wells. And they could be up and running very quickly so we could provide the natural gas as well as the oil, not just to people across the country but to people in other countries such as in the European region.

HANNITY: And I would believe the same thing is for natural gas as well. And transporting it to our NATO and European allies? We could do that?

ABBOTT: A hundred percent, through LNG or through ships that could get there.

So, again, along the Gulf Coast here, but also in our neighbor, Louisiana and other parts of the country, there are many locations where we could ship both oil and natural gas very easily. What we need is a president who’s committed to accelerating the permits, not denying the permits.

Under President Trump, we were able to move rapidly and became energy independent. Under President Biden, the price of gasoline and oil are going up making America less affordable for our fellow Americans.

HANNITY: All right. Governor, great information. We appreciate it as always. Thank you for being with us.

Please stay with FOX News Channel for the continuing coverage on the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. We’ve got a lot of news happening, even as we speak at this moment. We know the bombs are going off inside of the capital of Ukraine at this very minute.

But let your heart not be troubled. In the meantime, Laura Ingraham, in “THE INGRAHAM ANGLE” will pick up the coverage. We’ll see you back here tomorrow night. Thanks for being with us.

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