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This is a rush transcript from “Hannity,” March 3, 2022. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: FOX will be on the story of course all night. We will be back tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. Eastern and, of course, we’ll see you then.
Sean Hannity is next. Have a great night.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: And welcome to HANNITY.
We begin with this FOX News alert. A very dangerous situation unfolding, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe is now under attack by Russian forces in Ukraine. Moments ago we witnessed explosions going off all along the nuclear facility, which appears to now be on fire. Now, according to the “AP”, elevated levels of radiation are now being detected near this power plant as fears that a nuclear meltdown is a real possibility tonight, and as you can imagine, this is a very scary and very dangerous situation.
Joining us now at the very latest on the ground in Kyiv is Trey Yingst with us.
Trey, this is an extraordinarily scary, dangerous development.
TREY YINGST, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Sean, as we speak, there is a battle ongoing at a nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine. It’s around a town of Enerhodar. This is just north of an area of land called Kherson, a region that is now controlled by Russian forces as they continue their advance into Ukrainian territory.
It’s significant because as you noted, it is largest nuclear power plant in Europe. It supplies Ukraine with 25 percent of its energy, and it has six reactors. Now, according to officials, this morning, three of those reactors were connected to the power grid. The other three were not in use, but still have nuclear fuel inside.
Now, a spokesperson for the plant said one of the reactors was hit with a Russian shell and that it was on fire. There are mixed reports at this hour about the location of the fire within the facility, but it is still significant because even if a reactor is not currently online and connected to the grid, it still has that nuclear fuel inside and it needs to be cooled. While the cooling is external, if it totally stops, this could lead to a nuclear meltdown.
Now, it’s not the most likely scenario, but certainly a concerning scenario with such a large facility in Ukraine and an active battle ongoing at this hour. We understand that firefighters are trying to get to the scene and at this time, we have not independently confirmed those reports by the “AP” that radiation levels are increased.
But honestly very concerning as an active battle is taking place at a nuclear power plant of this size in Ukraine, country with a history of Chernobyl and other things that are currently on the ground that are just significant and concerning to the population here as this battle and invasion continues — Sean.
HANNITY: And what if God forbid it gets hit again. Trey, thank you.
Also breaking tonight, the “AP” has confirmed that a top Russian general has been killed in Ukraine. This as the French President Macron issues a chilling warning to the entire world.
Here now with more from the Pentagon, our very own Jennifer Griffin.
Jennifer, what’s the latest there?
JENNIFER GRIFFIN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Sean, we just received actually a report from the IAEA and Ukraine regulator told them that they’re in fact is not elevated radiation levels as of yet at that nuclear power plant that is on fire tonight that Trey was just reporting on, so I thought it would bring you that update.
But we have also received a chilling readout from the phone call initiated by President Putin, who called the French president, Emmanuel Macron, today, and told him the, quote, “special military operation” in Ukraine is going according to plan. The Kremlin later gave no indication that he intends to back down, the call lasted 90 minutes. French officials said they now expect the worst, and the worst is yet to come.
Putin indicated, according to the French readout, that he would not stop until he controls all of Ukraine. The Biden administration again today said there is no talk of NATO setting up a no-fly zone despite the horrific images of civilians being killed. The reason Russia has nuclear weapons, the Department of Defense recently established a deconfliction line, we’ve learned, with the Russian ministry of defense on March 1st for the purpose of preventing miscalculation, military incidents, and escalations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Again, the reason why that has not been a step the president has been willing to take or we have been interested in taking is because a no-fly zone requires implementation. It would require essentially the U.S. military shooting down Russian planes and causing a — prompting a potential direct war with Russia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFIN: Western intelligence assesses one of the leading names on Putin’s short-list of puppets that he hopes to install after removing President Zelenskyy is former Ukraine President Victor Yanukovych, whom he tried to insert before, and who fled to Moscow in 2014 after he faced hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians in Maidan Square. We also learned today, a top Russian general, Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky, the commanding general of the Russian Seventh Airborne Division, was killed in Ukraine earlier this week. That’s according to the “AP” and Russia’s “Pravda”. He was reportedly killed by Ukrainian sniper.
General Sukhovetsky was a decorated paratrooper known for his role in annexation of Crimea. His death was confirmed by a local officers organization in a region in southern Russia.
The killing of such a high-ranking Russian general, Sean, during the fighting in Ukraine, will be a bitter blow to Putin and a morale blow to Russian troops — Sean.
HANNITY: Jennifer, let me go back to this report, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant on fire. It was the “AP” that reported elevated levels of radiation. You are saying that is not true according to your sources. Three of these reactors of the six are connected with the power grid.
The problem I see is that the attack is still ongoing, so we won’t know until the night unfolds how bad the situation could be.
GRIFFIN: We are in a very dangerous situation and in fact it’s so dangerous that President Biden just called President Zelenskyy to talk about this fire the nuclear facility. All of it takes — anybody remembers back in 1986 when Chernobyl occurred and how it was a power surge at that facility that led to the fire and led to the meltdown that then lead to the release of radiation that affected much of Europe, and remember Russia, Soviet Union at the time had to evacuate about 350,000 people from that area because of the radiation.
So this is a very worrisome development. There are 15 nuclear power plants in Ukraine, it is their main source of energy, and so clearly, President Biden very concerned tonight. The report I was mentioning was that Ukrainian regulator had called the IAEA in Vienna and said that they had not, as of yet, seen any raised radiation levels.
That being said, it is still a very, very dire situation.
HANNITY: And they are still under fire as we speak.
Jennifer Griffin, thank you, from the Pentagon tonight.
Now, if there was any doubt, clearly, Russia’s invasion is about to get way, way worse than even many anticipated, with more indiscriminate bombing raids against innocent civilians.
And today, FOX News learned that Russia has drafted plans to conduct public executions and Ukrainian cities once they’ve been captured. Now, Russia’s murdering thug Vladimir Putin, he’s got to be stopped by somebody and I have said repeatedly, no, not one American boot on the ground. I’ve called for both America and Europe, if you want the sanctions that will work, the first sanction, the top sanction, the most immediate damage you could do to Putin’s economy is to stop importing energy from Russia and for America to immediately return to energy independence as soon as possible like we achieved under President Trump.
Now, I support America supplying Ukraine with the javelin missiles like President Trump did. I had my doubts at the time. And America supplying stinger missiles to Ukraine like President Reagan provided the mujahidin in Afghanistan in the ’80s. I also add that anyone invades a sovereign country, even one with a history of corruption like Ukraine — we’ve been very outspoken about it — quid pro quo Joe, and if they kill innocent men, women, and children like Vladimir Putin has here, they forfeit their right to lead a country. They deserve to be taken out by any means necessary.
And our hope is maybe someone in Vladimir Putin’s inner circle has a conscience and a soul and would be able to refuse to be a part of a regime that is guilty of murdering women and children. Meanwhile, every dollar that we spend on Russian oil is a dollar that goes right into Vladimir Putin’s fund for his war crimes in Ukraine, and right now, we are spending billions of dollars buying over 600,000 barrels of oil from Russia every single day.
And as Democrat Joe Manchin said, we either expand our fossil fuel industry here, or we end up compromised just like countries like Germany. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): We have to have energy independence. You cannot be the superpower of the world if you have to depend on other nations to produce your energy. And I’m just in a different place than my caucus, or the colleagues, or the president, and they have a hard time coming to grips that you’ve got to use everything you’ve got.
You’ve got to use your gas. You got to use your coal. You’ve got to your oil and you have to develop wind and solar and hydro and geothermal and hydrogen. All of these things I’m for, but I’m not going to leave us in a void, Larry. I’m just not going to basically go down that path and end up like Germany did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Joe Manchin is 100 percent right. We have enough oil, we have enough gas, we have enough natural resources right here in America to supply our own energy needs and the needs of our allies for 100 years plus. In fact, the European Union also has tremendous amounts of national energy. They are not using it.
Take a look at your screen. Europe’s dependence on Russian gas is not out of necessity. It’s a choice they’ve made.
As a matter of fact, in a fake political effort to go green, European government literally stopped tapping their own supply of natural gas and then imported it from Russia. As a matter of fact, Europe gets 40 percent of their natural gas from Russia. Now, Putin has them, literally, no pun intended, over a barrel.
Now, the dependence on oil has got to end. In fact, today, even Nancy Pelosi came out in support of banning all Russian oil imports into the U.S., likely an election-year conversion, but she still has yet to speak out about America once again reclaiming energy independence.
Of course, Joe Biden, he just isn’t willing to make that commitment. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Mr. President. Mr. President, speaker — Mr. President, Speaker Pelosi says — Speaker Pelosi says Russian oil should be banned. Why not do it now?
REPORTER: Will sanctions be enough?
REPOTER: Out the door, let’s go.
Will you ban Russian oil?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Remember, Joe needs to get permission to answer any questions. It’s pathetic.
Then, later in the afternoon, Jen Psaki circled back to those questions and said there’s absolutely nothing the Biden administration can do to curb our dependence on foreign oil.
All of the restrictions that they have placed on energy exploration and production is something they can stop and lift immediately. And to blame the oil companies is laughable. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: On gas, you just said that, you know, less supply raises prices, it’s not in our strategic interest to reduce the supply.
REPORTER: We also know, you know, the president just recently as yesterday talked about increasing domestic manufacturing to bring down prices on inflated items like goods. So why not apply the same logic to energy and increased domestic production here?
PSAKI: Well, there are 9,000 approved oil leases that the oil companies are not tapping into currently, so I would ask them the question.
REPORTER: You think that opening the Keystone pipeline and having more energy-from the policies might do that?
PSAKI: The Keystone pipeline has never been operational. It would take years for that to have any impact.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: They shut down auctions. They shut down exploration. They shut down Alaska. They shut down ANWR. They shut down the Keystone XL pipeline, and Jen Psaki is basically just lying.
Under the last administration, the U.S. was a net exporter of energy. Joe Biden gave that up because he caved to the radical new green deal socialists that run his party. Now, that was before Joe Biden blocked exploration on lands, blocked new drilling efforts in Alaska, killed the Keystone XL pipeline, enacted a variety of regulations on the oil and gas industry, and he needs to lift them all now.
Joe Biden is not willing, of course, to reverse course on any of these restrictions no matter how high the price of a gallon of gasoline goes. It doesn’t matter how much you pay for groceries and every store and every product that you buy in any store. You the American people will pay the price.
It’s one of the big reasons we have a 40-year high with inflation. Joe Biden is too cowardly, too gutless to stand up to the radical climate alarmist cult that is the Democratic Party base. He’d rather just import the oil from Putin. Last year, 232 million barrels of oil from Putin, 600 million barrels of oil from OPEC, a million from Iran. We haven’t done that since 1991.
Putin, by the way, was still importing oil as he was waging assault on humanity in Ukraine. That’s right, he’s killing even women and children.
But according to Biden, now, Putin’s bloody invasion of Ukraine has nothing to do with Joe’s weakness on the world stage or the humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan. And, by the way, it’s day 201 since he abandoned our fellow Americans that are trapped behind enemy lines in Afghanistan.
Instead, according to Joe, Putin invaded Ukraine because of January 6th? Wrong, Joe. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Vladimir Putin was counting on being able to split up the United States. Look, how you feel if you saw crowds storm and break down the doors of the British parliament? I think you wonder, that’s what the rest of the world saw. It’s not who we are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Well, may be the speaker of House and the mayor of D.C. had taken Donald Trump, as required by law, he signed off on as many as 20,000 National Guard troops on that day, did it two days earlier. Maybe if they listened to the Capitol police chief, maybe if Nancy Pelosi did her job and Bowser did her job, January 6th wouldn’t have happened. That doesn’t meet the narrative of every liberal that just wants to bludgeon Trump.
The rest of the world saw what you did in Afghanistan, Joe. You abandon your fellow Americans and you turn the page and you never talk about them. The rest of the world now sees your light schedule, you know, less than one event — public event today. Everybody is watching your long weekends resting in Delaware and eating your ice cream and taking naps, and everyone sees your inability to speak coherently, your inability to answer questions off-the-cuff.
And now here we are, make no mistake, weakness is inviting war at a very high and dangerous level.
All right. Let’s turn back to the scary situation at Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant that was targeted by Russian forces and now appears to be on fire this hour.
Here with more from our big board is our very own Bill Hemmer.
Bill, the problem is the bombing has not stop and the other problem is the fire is ongoing. Three of the six reactors are active and we don’t know the status of the other three. What can you tell us?
BILL HEMMER, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Sean, good evening to you. I will break down the last 12 hours of this war to kind of give you a sense of where we are and I think there’s really three stories at the moment, two of them happening here in the south, one in the north.
Let’s go to the story of the moment, and that is that nuclear power plant. It’s in a town in Enerhodar, okay? It’s in the southern part of the country.
This is a giant, massive Dnieper River that really cuts the country in two, Sean. This is — again, this is a flat country. It’s largely farmland. It must be beautiful during harvest time, but not this time of year.
This is Enerhodar, the sits right on the Dnieper River. That nuclear plant that now is in question, apparently battles happening around it. That is story number one. Now, why is this taking place?
In part because the Russian military came out of Crimea relatively untouched, I would argue. And so, they made a beeline to the east, but they also went west earlier today. Now, we have some video that we rolled earlier this morning, I think we’ve got it queued up now, Sean.
There is a road that leads into this nuclear power plant and there are — you can see it here. We watched it this morning on “America’s Newsroom.” This is hundreds, is it thousands of people?
These are civilians from the nearby town that are intending to block the Russian military from moving towards the power plant. It was an extraordinary site. These are people who live there. So that is story number one.
Here’s story number two, and that is what is the Russian army doing, where are they successful? And largely they have been successful in the south. So, they come out of Crimea. They make a beeline here. This is Mariupol.
Now, what’s the significance of this town? About a half a million people, Ukrainian controlled. The Russians were not able to take it in the war eight years ago, and there was a fierce battle that’s been going on for the last three days where the Russian military firing from the sea of Azov, and also from the land above it, but we don’t believe that town has fallen to the Russian military yet. That battle continues.
Over here to the west, remember Dnieper River comes down, this is Kherson. Trey was talking about this a moment ago. We believe that is the one town in the country that has fallen to the Russian military thus far. The mayor confirms that a bit earlier today.
So, now you start to see the swath of land that Putin is going after. Southern Ukraine trying to get the land bridge from the territory he took in 2014 and cut off all the access from the black sea to the rest of the country.
What would be the target next? In all likelihood it would be the town of Odessa in the west. A million people, one of the top five population centers in the entire country. That could be the target next. Reporting earlier today suggested that the Russian military is moving on.
That might be the case — you know, 9:00, 4:00 in the morning there in Ukraine, and maybe by daylight tomorrow we have more information on this. So that is happening story one and story number two. Story number three is also significant. Talk about listening to our defense officials talk today and trying to get some reporting on the ground. We believe this is as far as the Russian army has been able to advance from the north and the northeast.
And we believe based on the reporting we are getting that this effort has been largely stalled out. Jack Keane was talking bit earlier today about the mix-and-match of soldiers that have come in from the north. Units that have been taken from different parts of the country that never fought before together, have poor communication with each other and as a result that’s being reflected in their lack of ability to proceed on the capital city of Kyiv, which is different from the south, because you have units down there that have been established now for eight years going back to 2014.
So we will watch that story here and see whether or not Putin’s army can get its — well, can get something together in the north, and if they can we are going to see some more news probably on this convoy that hasn’t moved either, and here’s the center part of Kyiv and this is the airport. We shall do this a night or two ago. There’s a road that runs up this way about 40 miles in the convoy basically has not moved. What’s the intent?
Well, Putin told Emmanuel Macron earlier today that he wants to take over the entire country but to do it he’s going to have to take the capital city and it is still believed by leading defense officials that he would circle this town and probably just bomb the daylights out of it like we’ve seen in other parts of Ukraine and try to get the people to concede.
One of the towns that’s really just taken some heat is the town of Kharkiv. Sean, I’ve talked about this, in the Northeast, 1.5 million people, Russian-speaking city just about 20 miles from the border with Russia here, and they pretty much have this town surrounded. It has not fallen, they have not surrendered, they have not capitulated to Russia, the Russian army, but Kharkiv is really — they’ve had a couple of really, really tough days there.
The other stories are going to develop over time and these numbers will only go higher by the day, and that’s the number of refugees that are flooding the rest of Europe. We are now about a million — half a million in Poland, 133,000 in Hungary. Romania is 51,000, others about 88,000 there.
So this number is a million and climbing by the day, Sean. So, that’s where we believe we are as of this hour.
HANNITY: All right. Thank you, our very own Bill Hemmer. Very informative as always.
Apparently, President Zelenskyy has put out an Instagram message in part, we are translating all of it now. He says that Russia wants to repeat Chernobyl. That’s a pretty chilling scenario. We are watching the fire still raging as we speak and distill ongoing fighting as we speak at this – – the largest power plant in Europe.
Joining us now is Senator Lindsey Graham.
If this is another Chernobyl — now, the “AP” had reported that in fact radiation levels were up. Jennifer Griffin says we believe that that’s not true at this moment, but the fight, the battle continues, and the fire has not been extinguished. So that has to be a top concern of everybody.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): Well, Chernobyl was an accident. This is an act of war. This is a war crime unfolding in front of us.
So, here’s the state of play. If Joe Manchin’s bill were put on the floor of the United States Senate banning Russian oil coming into the United States, increasing American production to make up for the shortfall, it would get 75 votes.
Here’s the problem: the Biden administration is to the left of the German Green Party and to the left of Nancy Pelosi. That’s our basic problem. You can talk about this until you fall over.
Here’s the problem: they didn’t do this on Trump’s watch, Russia, because Trump would have kicked their ass. What’s happened is that Putin looks at Biden, he sized him up, he thinks he can get away with it, and he’s going to keep going and going and going, and nobody in the West is going to stop him.
How does this end? Somebody in Russia has to step up to the plate. Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there more successful Colonel Stauffenberg in the Russian military?
The only way this ends, my friend, is if there’s somebody in Russia to take this guy out. You’d be doing your country a great service and the world a great service.
HANNITY: You can always hope that somebody has a conscious and a soul, and I’ve been saying that, but I’ve also been saying no boots on the ground, meaning no American troops on the ground.
HANNITY: Donald Trump did — you agree with that, no boots on the ground from America, right?
GRAHAM: I agree 100 percent with that, 100 percent.
HANNITY: Okay, let me ask you this —
GRAHAM: This is up to Russia to fix.
HANNITY: Donald Trump did provide the javelins. At time because of the corruption in the government I was somewhat skeptical. It turns out to have been the right decision. He was right, I was wrong.
At the time I have my suspicions, there’s been a lot of corruption within the government, the quid pro quo with Joe, et cetera. And then, of course, Reagan provided the stinger missiles to the mujahidin in Afghanistan in the ’80s, and that helped defeat the former Soviet Union at that time.
Those are two things that I think the West needs to do now, but the most important thing the West needs to do immediately, including Joe Biden and America, is immediately stop importing any oil from Russia, and that means our European allies, they have to stop importing any energy from Russia as well, and that will — that is the one thing that will take down the economy of Putin.
GRAHAM: Yeah, that’s his Achilles’ heel. The Russian oil and gas sector is the fuel for the Russian war machine. But I’m here to tell you, Sean, you can take this to the bank. If there were a vote in the Senate tomorrow to cut off Russian imports to the United States and increase American production of oil and gas, it’d get 75 votes.
The reason we’re not doing that is Joe Biden is holding us back. The reason Putin invaded is he sees Biden as weak. The reason he didn’t do this on Trumps watch is because he was afraid of him, and the only people that can fix this are the Russian people.
Easy to say, hard to do, but I’m begging you in Russia, unless you want to live in darkness with the rest of your life, be isolated from the world, be in abject poverty, you need to step up to the plate and take this guy out.
HANNITY: Well — strong words, the right strategy. And I guess some people might say logically the next question is what if the next person is worse than Putin, which is always a possibility. I would argue —
GRAHAM: I’d be willing to take that bet.
HANNITY: I’m glad to take that bet with you because in the back of a person’s mind is going to be what happened to the guy before him and I think it would be powerful.
Do you believe that there is a consensus enough now to return to the successful energy policies of Donald Trump? Energy independence and when he left office, we were net exporter of energy. Will we now — that would be good for national security. We wouldn’t have to care about the Middle East except our ally Israel. We wouldn’t have to care about the Straits of Hormuz. We wouldn’t get carried into a conflict there.
It would create high-paying career jobs in America. It would help the 40- year high of inflation because it would — now, we’d increase the supply worldwide, and that would decrease the price and that would help every American that’s suffering Biden inflation. I see win, win, win across the board, and we could supply our allies in Europe as well.
GRAHAM: I’m going to say it one more time. If there were a vote in the United States Senate next week to return to Trump energy policy, to ban Russian oil and gas coming into America, to expand America and oil production, to make up for the short fall and to help our allies in Europe, it would get 75 votes.
HANNITY: Why doesn’t Mitch McConnell move that bill immediately? Why doesn’t — Mitch McConnell can’t —
GRAHAM: Because he’s not in charge.
HANNITY: Okay, how about Mitch McConnell —
GRAHAM: He’s not in charge.
HANNITY: Mitch McConnell and Joe Manchin and a 75 people, you know, sign a letter, hand it to Chuckie —
GRAHAM: It’s coming. It’s coming.
HANNITY: — and say put this bill on the floor.
GRAHAM: You’re way ahead of me. I was going to say this next week.
So, there’s going to be an effort to Rule 14 this bill, which means to bring it directly to the floor —
HANNITY: Thank you.
GRAHAM: — and see if Schumer will top — see if Schumer will stop it.
If Nancy Pelosi is saying we need to stop buying Russian oil and gas, then that’s a sea change. Biden is to the left of the Green Party in Germany, who is allowing terminals to be built to receive gas outside of Russia. Pelosi is willing to shut off oil and gas imports into the United States from Russia.
The only people stopping this is President Biden. His people are under the thumb of the most radical folks on the planet, not just in America, but on the freaking planet.
HANNITY: Yeah. Senator Graham, thank you. We appreciate you being with us.
Joining us now with analysis on what is happening live on your screen, a raging fire at the Ukrainian nuclear power plant, the largest power plant in Europe, and it’s Nuclear Energy Institute Board member and Lightbridge Corporation CEO Seth Grae is with us.
Seth, my understanding, it’s the largest reactor in Europe, largest nuclear facility in Europe, nuclear power plant in Europe. It’s got six reactors. There are some conflicting reports whether three are connected or four are connected to the power grid. Let’s go with 3, which FOX is reporting, and you still have the other three there.
The problem I see is the fire is still raging and it’s still under fire, meaning under attack.
What are the dangers we’re looking at here?
SETH GRAE, PRESIDENT & CEO, LIGHTBRIDGE CORP: Yeah, Sean, my information from the International Atomic Energy Agency while you were speaking with Senator Graham is the difference between three and four is that the plant operator shut down one of the plants, which is closest to where the fire is, and I believe that’s accurate.
The fire is in buildings with windows. Nuclear reactor buildings don’t have windows. These seem to be administrative or training buildings. The IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency is saying there’s no increase of radiation on the site, there’s no release of radiation.
These are not Chernobyl-type reactors. They have very strong, concrete, and steel containment domes designed to hold in any radiation release from the reactors.
That said, these plants are not designed to be attacked by military. That is an outrageous act and as far as I can tell, there are heroic acts going on by the plant operators to keep this safe and so far that is the situation.
HANNITY: Yeah, very, very dangerous. Seth, we appreciate you being with us.
Joining us now, another nuclear expert, Brent Sadler, is with us, with the Heritage Foundation. He is a senior fellow for naval warfare and advanced technology.
What’s your take on this?
BRENT SADLER, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Thank you for having me on, Hannity.
I’m a nuclear trained submarine officer, so not a civilian nuclear power, not as familiar with that, but I do understand and we do study some of the histories of these designs and the consequences if you have a nuclear release.
So the fact that you have military ordinance and you have a military conflict that’s on — on this facility, there is a potential that you could breach the containment, and if you did that, then you have radioactive activity that could be spelled out into the immediate area around, and if there’s wind and if it’s actually — you know, the plant has not been shut down long enough, you might actually have more release of higher radioactive material spread out into the environment around. Just think of like Fukushima.
HANNITY: Let me ask you, Brent, more particularly. It’s not a subject I think most people wrap their arms around, nuclear energy, but it can be very safe. But when it’s under missile fire and when a fire breaks out at such a facility, we know what happened with Chernobyl. Because of the volatility of what’s happening this hour, one has got to imagine the worst- case scenario.
What is the worst-case scenario? I’m not saying this to scare people, I just want to know.
SADLER: So, probably the worst case but still, you know, rationally thinking about the dynamics that are going around this nuclear power plant is one that the plant hasn’t been shut down, it is still fairly operational, so it has lot of latent heat inside of it and pressure built up inside its core. And then you have an armor piercing round that actually hits and breaches the containment, the plant is no longer able to cool itself and you start to have a meltdown.
And that would probably be the worst kind of scenario, there would be some time for the operators and people around the area that try to fill in the breach and try to prevent the spread of radioactivity.
HANNITY: What is the likelihood, and how many miles around the perimeter of this power plant would we likely see or pick up levels of radiation that are dangerous to human beings?
SADLER: I think there’s a lot of unknowns that go into that. The first one is the direction of the prevailing winds. If there’s a strong wind, it will actually carry the radioactivity — think of like dust and if it picks it up and blows that it go downwind. The other is how close is water, is water flowing nearby and our rivers nearby their used for cooling. So if it gets into that, it starts being carried down into the population centers where people can get into the drinking water.
Whether or not it’s lethal immediately, you have to be pretty much right on the site and probably very close to it for it to be lethal in a matter of hours or days, so that’s very unlikely, probably very limited implications for people, but you’re going to have — if there is a significant release of radioactivity, and I get that, unless there’s an intentional attack to do this, if it’s accidental — and again, there are people there to respond right away, the likelihood is you’re probably not going to have that significant of a release.
HANNITY: Yeah, it’s a pretty scary scenario, long-term impact, too. We learn from Chernobyl also.
Thank you for being with us. We appreciate it.
Here with more reaction, former Democratic congresswoman and presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard.
Tulsi, thank you for being with us.
Let me ask you this because this frustrates me. We had energy independence for the first time in 75 years, we achieved it. When Donald Trump left office, we, as a country, we were a net exporter of energy.
Okay, new green deal socialism says that I guess it’s better to import oil from Russia, Iran, and OPEC than it is to be energy independent. As a result, we have record high inflation, average Americans paying a fortune more to fill up their tent, we are paying more for every product we buy in every store, it’s impacted our national security, and here, this crisis unfolds and we see our European and NATO allies dependent on Russia and the one sanction — and we’re dependent on Russia.
So, right now, today, we are importing, you know, all of this oil from Russia, what, 167,000 barrels a day, whatever the number is. And I’m wondering, the one sanction that would have an effect they won’t implement because they want the oil more.
Now, Donald Trump says we’re being really stupid. That, to me, is stupid. That is insane to me and I would return to the policies that were working that Joe Biden inherited.
You’re a Democrat. Your thoughts?
TULSI GABBARD (D), FORMER HAWAII CONGRESSWOMAN: Well, first of all, Sean, of course, achieving energy independence in the United States of America is critical. I think in this moment, we got to look at what are the impacts of the situation on the American people. Even prior to Russia’s invasion and attacks on Ukraine, people were already struggling and suffering because of inflation in these increasing costs of gas at the fuel pumps, wondering how much higher is this going to go.
So as we face this critical moment, we got to ask important questions like how long would it take, how quickly could we start to ramp up domestic production of oil. We got to make sure that it’s done safely, we have to make sure that there are no unintended negative consequences potentially long-term affecting our water aquifers, our water tables, contaminating those water sources for people. So, we’ve got to look and make sure we’re doing this and moving forward responsibly, recognizing all of the factors as we make these decisions in this critical moment.
Sean, I do want to — I do want to go back to, if you don’t mind, I don’t to talk a little bit about Chernobyl. You’ve had these experts on talking about the potential ramifications of this. Obviously, we’ve got to look at all the facts. I think the information, the facts are still rolling in, but I went to Chernobyl after my second deployment to the Middle East. I was traveling to Eastern Europe, traveled around Ukraine and went to Chernobyl myself to see for myself the aftermath of what this kind of disaster looks like.
And to hear them talking about this nuclear power plant in Ukraine being many times larger and therefore the applications of this potentially — potential explosion being many times greater, chills me to my very core. I will never forget as I walked down the halls of those classrooms where they are still deflated basketballs on the basketball court, empty children’s shoes lying in the streets, books strewn about, people who literally fled with no time, recognizing this disaster that was on their doorstep.
This place is frozen in time and is a living reminder to us all about the heavy consequences of what we are facing here and God forbid that this nuclear power plant also goes towards that path of destruction. It’s unimaginable with the impact of that would be.
HANNITY: It’s pretty chilling. I did not know your history on that and I’ve seen enough video to know you’re describing it accurately, except you had a front row seat to it.
Tulsi, we appreciate you being with us, thank you.
Now, also breaking tonight, a European official is telling FOX News that Russia’s intelligence branch is even drafting plans to conduct public executions in the Ukrainian cities that they capture in an effort to dissuade Ukrainians from fighting back.
Here with reaction, FOX News contributor, Retired Lt. General Keith Kellogg is with us, along with former CIA station chief, FOX News contributor Dan Hoffman.
General, let me go to you. I’ve been — obviously my top concern is the ongoing attacks on this power plant, possible radiation release, the fire that exists that they haven’t put out. But we had this 40-mile convoy just sitting there and it’s not that far from Kyiv. And if that 40-mile convoy with tanks, ammunitions and troops and fuel makes it Kyiv, my theory is this going to be a massacre there. So, we’re looking at two very different situations, both equally dangerous to me.
Do you agree with my assessment that if that convoy makes it to Kyiv, it’s going to be a massacre? Because I believe it will be.
LT. GEN. KEITH KELLOGG, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yeah, Sean, thanks for having me. You know, quickly, two answer — to quick answers.
One is Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, look, that would never happen in the American military. You would slap a no fire zone around that. You would not allow American soldiers in there or any good military would go in there because of the cost benefit. And the cost — you know, the costs are clearly quite critical and it doesn’t accrue good benefits.
So, any good military wouldn’t have gone in there because it shows a lack of organization and the good tactical skills that the Russians are showing.
Secondly, what you’re saying is correct about that convoy and about Kyiv. I think we are at the end of the beginning of the first phase of this operation and the beginning of the second phase, which is the assault on the cities, which will be horrific, because when you get into city fighting, you go block by block, house by house, building by building, it is brutal, it is hand-to-hand and it will be a tough fight for any army let alone the Russian army and Ukrainians are going to fight. They’re going to fight back hard.
So I think we are in the second phase and that will be the phase I think that is going to be the critical for the world to watch, because I don’t think the world is going to accept all these Russian soldiers coming into the cities and creating mayhem. I just don’t think they’re going to do it.
And this thing about public executions wouldn’t surprise me at all if they’re going to do this. Now, I really wish on that 40-mile convoy, I wish we could have had a land lease program and given the Ukrainians some A-10 warthogs, found some pretty good pilots so we could train a few months ago when this bill started and they have laid waste to that 40-mile column. They would be smoking holes. You know it and I know it because the A-10 warthog would have done it.
We had them available. It’s too bad we didn’t use them, too bad we didn’t plan for it, too bad we didn’t think about this months ago that President Zelenskyy asked about. So, we are living with it but it’s really unfortunate.
HANNITY: I asked — Dan, I’m going to ask you the next question. I’m going to read President Zelensky just put out a statement, we got the translation.
Quote: Europe must wake up now, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe is on fire. Right now, Russian tanks are firing at atomic blocks. These tanks are equipped with thermal imagers. That is they know where they are shooting. They were preparing for this.
I appeal to all Ukrainians, to all Europeans, to all people who know the word Chernobyl, who know how much grief and victims the explosion at the nuclear power plant brought, it was a global catastrophe, hundreds of thousands of people struggled with its consequences, tens of thousands were evacuated.
Russia wants to repeat this end is already repeating it. But six times more. Europeans, please wake up, tell your politicians, Russian troops are shelling a nuclear plant in Ukraine. There are six power units, only one exploded in Chernobyl.
He went on to say, he spoke with Biden, he spoke with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, he spoke with the IAEA head, and he said this is the — you know, this is the everything, not a single state except Russia has ever fired at a nuclear power unit. This is the first time in history of mankind that a terrorist state has also resorted to nuclear terror.
Russia has never fired at nuclear power units. It’s the first time in history that this happen. Russia propaganda has threatened, we remember to cover the world with nuclear actions, now it’s not a threat, now it is a reality.
We do not know how the fire at the station will end, when will an explosion occurred. God forbid it won’t happen but no one will ever figure this out, but our guys always kept the nuclear plants safe, so there were no provocations, so no one could go there, so no one could seize it so no one could mine it into mine, and to mine that would be to blackmail the entire world with a nuclear catastrophe. The Russian military has got to be stopped immediately, and he goes on to say don’t let Europe die from a disaster at a nuclear power plant.
President Zelenskyy moments ago. Your reaction, Dan Hoffman?
DAN HOFFMAN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yeah, so this is — this is why it’s so important, vitally important that we have press on the ground in Ukraine to cover all of these war crimes, these atrocities, these attacks on civilian infrastructure and the civilians themselves.
It’s also why Vladimir Putin had shut down the media in his own country. Just yesterday he shut down Echo Moscow (ph) and TV Rain, the last two semi-independent, semiautonomous, honest news stations in Russia. He wants to on the narrative, and that’s just not possible because we got media on the ground.
Second point that I want to make is the reason why President Zelenskyy is a marked man is because he is calling out all that Russia is doing to Ukraine, this bloody invasion, and he’s mobilizing international support. He’s done that from the very beginning.
Remember the United States offered him a ride up he said no thanks, the fight is here, I need ammunition. He is leading. He is leading in a time of crisis when his country is facing more apparel than arguably they ever have.
HANNITY: And, by the way, like many other leaders of the country, by this time he would’ve been on a private jet with — filled with, you know, millions of dollars in cash and golden reserves and on his way out.
Thank you both. General, thank you. Dan Hoffman, thank you.
We are continuing to follow this attack on Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in Ukraine tonight and we are now a week into this bloody invasion by Russia. The Ukrainian people are fighting for their sovereignty, their lives.
Here with more reaction, ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Republican congressman from Texas, Mike McCaul, who, by the way, is headed tomorrow to Europe, to the Ukraine border.
Congressman, as I look at what’s unfolding at this nuclear power plant, as I look at this 40-mile convoy that seems poised to invade and take over Kyiv, it’s not looking good for Ukraine tonight in my — from my vantage point. Yours? What do you think?
REP. MIKE MCCAUL (R-TX): No, I completely agree, Sean. I think Putin has made the decision. I think the initial invasion, he underestimated the strength of the resistance, the Ukrainians. He’s now made the decision to bring the hammer down.
And so what I think you’re going to see — I mean, to attack a nuclear power plant is one of the most reckless, dangerous things I’ve ever seen, and this is six times the size of Chernobyl and could have six times as much damage.
You have this convoy that, for God’s sakes, Keith Kellogg is right, why weren’t we arming Ukraine with better weapons? If they had the A-10 warthogs, these should be sitting ducks taken out that would not be able to go to Kyiv.
But you know what’s going to happen, they’re going to create a ring of steel with these tanks surrounding Kyiv and then they’re just going to blast it. And they don’t care about civilian casualties anymore.
HANNITY: Well, let me just ask, Congressman — this is I think a logical question because if that 40-mile convoy makes it to Kyiv, to me, the only outcome is going to be a massacre. I hope and pray I’m wrong, but that’s what I believe will happen.
So, my question is, you have even Google satellite images, we know where this convoy is, we know they’ve been there now for, what, two days. They haven’t moved.
Why has there been no effort at all to take out that convoy? And I’m not saying by the U.S., but I’m saying by Ukraine. I know we have armed them with javelins. Apparently, Europe is also sending javelins and stinger missiles, why aren’t they using them?
MCCAUL: Well, that’s the very question I asked to the intelligence community. As you say, if we do it, we provoke Article Five and will be in a world war with Russia.
But they do have MiGs that they could fly. They do have these Turkish drones that could fly in and cause a lot of disruption. I’m not sure why they haven’t launched some of this.
But here’s the facts, Sean, they’re running out of weapons. This administration — and I signed off on a lot of the stuff — held onto a lot of the stuff since last November and they finally got it into Ukraine just days before the invasion started. And now, we’re told by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, now, it’s too dangerous to get these weapons in. That’s precisely why want to go to the border to see, are we getting these weapons in to these people?
They are saying we don’t want American troops, but we need the weapons, and that’s what’s more important right now.
HANNITY: Yeah. Do you have any suggestions, any ideas in terms of what U.S. policy should be? From my vantage point, no boots on the ground under any condition, A. B, continue to provide the javelin, antitank missiles, and stinger missiles which I think other European countries are also providing.
And third, America and Europe have got to, tomorrow, stop buying Russian oil and Russian gas and Russian energy. That would be the one sanction that actually works.
All of this talk about tough sanctions, to me, I feel like we’ve been lied to. You know, we were told we stopped Vladimir Putin’s ability to access banking, but I doubt he’s continued to send all of those hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil and all that natural gas to Europe if he wasn’t getting paid. So there’s got to be a loophole in there somewhere, and which means probably Joe Biden and other allies lied to us.
Do you think he’s going to give it to us for free? Because I don’t believe that. That means there’s a loophole in that banking sanction. Your thoughts?
MCCAUL: Every one of these sanctions has a carve-out exception for Russian energy to be imported from Europe, and yes, the United States of America. We should not import one drop of Russian oil that is the lifeblood of Russia but now is spilling blood in Ukraine. And this is —
HANNITY: How dumb is that that we are actually making Putin and Russia rich and rewarding this behavior? It’s — Ukraine — granted, I’ve been critical of their government over the years and the corruption in Ukraine. Quid pro quo Joe is one example.
But with that said, it’s a sovereign country. He’s killing innocent men, women and children. And, you know, if you have a conscience and a soul, you know, you want to provide them the ability to fight back and not fund the guy that is — that is wreaking havoc on the entire world.
But, Congressman, I have to run. Appreciate you being with us. Thank you.
Here with more is “FOX & Friends” weekend co-host Pete Hegseth is with us.
Maybe you can make heads a tale of that, Pete, because it doesn’t make any sense to me.
PETE HEGSETH, FOX & FRIENDS WEEKEND CO-HOST: No, it shouldn’t be. At this point, energy independence is our path out of types of entanglements and a pathway out of enriching the enemy we’re fighting.
But this should all be a wake-up call to Europe, which is been my coattails of America with the NATO alliance. For decades, Donald Trump tried to wake them up to that reality. It’s on their doorstep. We should — we ought be limited in the contributions that we make, especially militarily in light of the fact — in light of the fact that Vladimir Putin believes he wants to provoke and there’s an inevitable clash between Russia and the United States.
So, supporting Zelenskyy is critical, but it ought be the Europeans were he is on their doorstep. And this moment, this is their moments to step up and say, we will stand next to them. Vladimir Putin otherwise has an encirclement of Ukraine, almost unlimited resources. He’s calling more reinforcements from across Russia all the way on the Pacific coast, reports we are getting tonight.
And because we’re switching for more targeted munitions to area munitions, he’s willing to sacrifice something like you are seeing on the screen right now, the possibility for nuclear fallout, but not to mention targeting civilians in infrastructure and heat and water.
This is — this is an inevitable development of a dictator bogged down who is not going to stop. He said that to Emmanuel Macron.
HANNITY: Obviously, Europe and the U.S. should not be putting any money in Russian coffers or Putin’s coffers. Okay, we agree on that.
HEGSETH: For sure.
HANNITY: Now that he’s taken it to this next level, and the next level is literally bombing a nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, then you’ve got the 40-mile convoy. What options do you see for Europe and for America in terms of how to respond to this?
HEGSETH: Arming the Ukrainians with and javelins. I think we can be — and our desire to be helpful, which we ought be, we can also play into Putin’s hands with a provocation, which he wants. He wants to draw America into this conflict to justify his own false propaganda that this is an offensive operation by NATO, and that’s a very, very delicate balance.
If we’re looking at America First foreign policy, we ought not fault into his trap of forcing that provocation. And that’s the delicate balance. I don’t necessarily trust this administration will handle that balance well, and that’s what’s unfortunate. But even reports today show that we are providing real-time intelligence to Ukraine, which we ought, and that’s a good thing.
But — and we should note also that Russia does not yet completely control the skies over Ukraine and that means that Ukrainian pilots should be supported in every way possible to be hitting those targets on that convoy, but it’s — the south is the vulnerable spot right now as well, as we saw. Crimea has been a staging ground for eight years, Sean. In the north they had military exercises so they don’t have the logistical train.
HANNITY: They have Belarus.
HEGSETH: In the south, they had a military base for eight years, so they are pushing.
Belarus is a client state and an ally, but it’s not the same as having full on military bases as Vladimir Putin has right now in Crimea, which he does.
HANNITY: I would argue it’s basically a satellite state that will do whatever Putin wants.
HEGSETH: For sure.
HANNITY: But, you know, only time is going to tell. It’s scary times.
Pete Hegseth, thank you for being with us.
Joining us now with more, FOX News contributors Lara Trump and Leo 2.0 Terrell.
A lot we are paying attention to. We’re looking at the 40-mile convoy wondering if it’s going to make its final push towards Kyiv. We’re looking at the ongoing battle and fire that’s happening at the largest nuclear power plant in Europe.
Lara Trump, it’s interesting, because nearly 65 percent of Americans say that if your father-in-law were president, this day wouldn’t have happened. This war wouldn’t have happened. Thoughts?
LARA TRUMP, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I mean, I’ll add to myself that 65 percent and I think as the days go on, Sean, you probably will see that number go up.
First of all, people knew that Donald Trump was a strong leader. Vladimir Putin was not trying to test Donald Trump in anyway. But of course the Trump energy policies as you’ve talked about the entire show, many would argue would have kept this entire situation from happening, from Russia having the ability, the money, and the leverage, to invade Ukraine and cause the situation, that is going on right now.
Donald Trump had energy independence for America. Donald Trump made sure that America did not rely on Russian oil, that the rest of the world was less reliant on Russian oil, and now we see the position that Joe Biden and the Democrats have put us in. It is horrific and it’s bad obviously for Americans. We’re paying more for gas. We’re paying more for everything.
But then you have a situation like this going on and, gosh, if COVID taught us anything, Sean, didn’t it teach us that we need to be able to manufacture things ourselves here in America? Whether it’s PPE, whether it’s microchips, whether it’s machine parts, or whether it’s oil and gas, it is vital to the future of America that we are self-sufficient, that we are self-reliant, and obviously we now see how unfortunately it has impacted the world. Ukraine is paying the price right now.
HANNITY: Leo, I argue that Joe Biden abandoning, as Lara just stated eloquently, energy independence policies and being a net exporter of energy, I argue that he pushed NATO allies, European allies into Putin’s arms by doing so, because we could have been providing their energy needs and we could have also created American jobs, and it would have been great for our national security.
I also argue it is unconscionable to me that Europe and the United States is importing energy at this very hour from Vladimir Putin and Russia, the one sanction that would have worked, as I’ve been saying. And the fact that we imported 232 million barrels of oil from Russia last year, the fact that we imported a million barrels of oil from Iran, first time we did that since 1991, over 600 million barrels of oil from OPEC, a lot of those countries don’t particularly like us, Leo, I know it’s hard to believe but it’s true.
I believe we created a vulnerability here, a national security vulnerability and an economic vulnerability because I believe this also has contributed to the 40-year high inflation. So draw it altogether for me.
LEO TERRELL, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I tell you exactly and I agree. It wouldn’t have happened with Trump. But here’s the situation, the Biden administration has basically adopted a green new deal principle and they are ignoring what’s actually happening in real time. They have basically sold our soul, this country, into a green new deal and made us dependent on foreign oil and made Europe dependent on foreign oil.
That sad part about it is, throughout your entire show, children being killed, women, men, the nuclear plant, you have a refusal, outright refusal by the Biden administration because of the commitment to the extreme left to not cut off Russian oil, not to cut off foreign oil.
And the problem is this: they refused to even acknowledge what’s happening. The last 50 minutes have been horrific, not just for the Ukrainian people, but for the entire world. And refusal for Biden to acknowledge the mistakes, Sean, the refusal, he won’t acknowledge, it’s an admission that this commitment to the Green New Deal is sacrificing women and children as we speak today.
HANNITY: It’s hurting every American economically and it’s making the world less safe and less secure and more dependent on a murdering dictator women and children.
Leo, thank you. Laura, thank you.
We do have breaking developers on the ground in Ukraine. We go to FOX’s own Lucas Tomlinson is with us.
Lucas, what’s the latest?
LUCAS TOMLINSON, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Sean, what’s the latest as officials of the plant to there no chance the radiations — there’s no significant damage to any of the six reactors. The fire that was reported took place away from the six nuclear reactors and administrative building to the south.
Now, officials say their — the biggest concern is the fact there’s ongoing hostilities. There’s a battle between Ukrainian and Russian forces at this nuclear power plant but the news tonight is that there’s no significant damage to the nuclear power plant. All systems appear online.
Remember, these nuclear power plant, Sean, are robust by design. They are thick reinforced concrete. There’s containment. They have come a long way in the 30 plus years since the Chernobyl disaster, Sean.
HANNITY: Yeah. Well, I hope if we have nuclear fallout we know how dangerous that would be for everybody and any bombs bursting near any nuclear power plant is extraordinarily dangerous. And our reporting was that in fact there is fire at the plant. We are watching them closely. We’ll keep everybody updated.
Lucas Tomlinson, thank you for being with us.
A lot of news breaking. Please stay with the FOX News Channel for ongoing coverage. Unfortunately that’s all the time we have left for this evening. We always thank you for being with us. You make the show possible.
We pray for the people of Ukraine, the innocent men, women, and children. And we hope that maybe somebody that has access to Putin with a conscience and a soul realize you don’t want to be part of this.
Let not your heart be troubled. Mine is. Laura is next. See you tomorrow.
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