‘Hannity’ on America’s role in Ukraine – Fox News

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This is a rush transcript from “Hannity,” March 16, 2022. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: Welcome to HANNITY.

And we begin tonight with a FOX News alert. We’re going to take you live to the ground on — in the ground in Ukraine, where military activity is now ongoing at this very hour.

Earlier, a new barrage of indiscriminate Russian bombing completely leveling a local theater in southern Ukraine where hundreds of innocent civilians were sheltering in place, by the way, including many young children. In fact, as you can see there on your screen, the word children was painted on the ground in Russian on either side of the theater. But Russia blew it up anyway, and now, an untold number of innocent kids are dead tonight.

Now, many major cities in southern Ukraine are being besieged. There are fears that Kyiv could be next.

And today, during his virtual address to Congress, the Ukrainian President Zelenskyy played this very powerful video showing the true horrors of Vladimir Putin’s bloody invasion and war. These images show a normal happy country and the aftermath of Vladimir Putin’s murdering invasion.

Viewer warning: what you’re about to see is extremely graphic. For many of you, it will be hard to watch but necessary. You decide.

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS, UKRAINE GOVERNMENT VIDEO)

HANNITY: Let there be no mistake, Vladimir Putin has blood on his hands. He did all of that. Ukraine will never be the same. The bloodshed is far from over and during his remarks, President Zelenskyy, he urged Americans to remember Pearl Harbor, September 11, 2001, when our country was under attack. Sadly, his country is experiencing their own horror now every single day.

He also invoked Martin Luther King Jr. and Zelenskyy said his dream is to protect Ukrainian skies. And now, President Zelenskyy is begging Joe Biden for help. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: Today, the Ukrainian people are defending not only Ukraine. We are fighting for the values of Europe and the world, sacrificing our lives in the name of the future. That’s why today, the American people are helping not just Ukraine but Europe and the world to keep the planet alive.

I am addressing President Biden. You are the leader of the nation, of your great nation. I wish you to be the leader of the world. Being the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace.

Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Many Americans tonight are asking this question what should America’s role be when you see horror of mass graves and dead children and women in the streets? What is America’s role in this?

Let me be clear what it shouldn’t be: a no-fly zone over Ukraine, that’s not America’s role. That can’t happen. That would likely put American fighters in a direct fighting position and in war with Russia. We cannot be the world’s police force.

U.S. boots on the ground, that can’t happen either. It hasn’t worked out well in the past. This would involve the United States engaging then with Russia in a war, and that could very likely signal the real beginning of World War III, with nuclear proliferation just a button away.

But America, we have a conscience and a soul, and we care about innocent men women and children there are many ways that we can help. I go back to Ronald Reagan. He provided, for example, the mujahidin in Afghanistan, the Stinger missiles. Well, that helped Afghanistan defeat the former Soviet Union in the 1980s. Reagan made that happen.

Reagan also provided weaponry to the freedom fighters, the Contra rebels in Nicaragua to battle Danielle Ortega and the Sandinistas. He was successful there.

Reagan never put a single American boot on the ground. These weapons help these freedom fighters defeat bad actors. We should learn the lessons from Reagan.

Give Zelenskyy what he’s asking for, the weapons that they need so they can battle back against Russia. The Ukrainian people, frankly, they’ve shown incredible courage and effectiveness so far against Russia. They are showing their willingness to do their own fighting. They’re just asking for the tools of war.

The late great Charles Krauthammer once wrote: Enter the Reagan doctrine, which relies on indigenous revolutionaries to challenge (for reasons that parallel but need not coincide with ours) the Soviet empire and its periphery. But this strategy effectively countered the Soviet communists, like I said in places like Central America, again without putting an American boot on the ground and not risking a single American life. This is similar to what President Trump did in 2017 with great success in Iraq. This is after Joe Biden and Barack Obama let this ISIS caliphate build out, without a large group presence.

Donald Trump utterly destroyed the ISIS caliphate using modern weaponry and technology to do it, pushing buttons in Tampa, Florida, and with pinpoint precision, taking out one target after another. And two years later, President Trump utilized a similar strategy he took out Iran’s top terrorist Soleimani with a drone strike in Baghdad right there on the tarmac of an airport, again without putting a single boot on the ground.

Trump projected peace through strength. This is peace through strength.

Look, I am a registered conservative. I like to say when people ask me, the media mob like, so how do you describe your political philosophy? Well, I’m a Reagan conservative, I’m Make America Great Again conservative, a save America conservative, and American First conservative.

Now, the Reagan doctrine worked. The Trump doctrine worked. We need to remember these important lessons from both Trump and Reagan and apply them to any future conflict where American interests and the cause of freedom are at stake.

And now in Ukraine, without the possibility of American air power or boots on the ground it is critical that the U.S. take a moral stand in Europe especially, give Ukraine the ability to protect their own skies and that would include sending dozens of MiG-29 fighters that were offered from Poland. But unfortunately, our weak and frail and cognitively struggling President Joe Biden single-handedly nixed that plan and today he refused to answer any questions about the decision to block these critical planes from being put to good use by Ukrainian pilots.

Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: Mr. President, what will it take for you to send the Polish MiGs that President Zelenskyy is asking for?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I’m not going to come on that right now. I’m not going to comment to any of them (INAUDIBLE). Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: They told me I’m not allowed to take questions. I get — they get mad at me and everything. If I take a question, they told me I’m not allowed. I won’t get my ice cream tonight.

Anyway, we need to be brutally honest here. I don’t trust Biden. I don’t trust Kamala Harris and I don’t trust Nancy Pelosi. They are all pathetically weak in terms of the leadership. The top three people, there’s your chain of command, and they are enthusiastically cheering on Zelenskyy, that’s fine, while denying him the planes that Poland was willing to give him.

American politicians generally, we learned this through COVID, we’ve learned it in past wars, they’re not to be trusted. I don’t trust most of those swamp creatures in Washington.

The last 60 years has taught the United States a lot. Politicians, they’re all gung-ho. They start their wars. They send our national treasure, our kids, to go fight these wars. They don’t fight to win these wars. They politicize them some point thereafter, and then say, oops, never mind. It’s hurting my poll numbers and they do that after how many American kids fought, bled and died.

How many come home, severely wounded — I mean, debilitating injuries. Never again, we can never trust them again. But we can stand on our principles. The leading one being freedom.

Now, meanwhile, Europe — Europe, I have a message for you tonight. You’ve got to step up to the plate. This war is in your backyard, not our backyard. It’s time for you to pay your fair share and your full dues to NATO. It’s time for you to get these important weapons and supplies to Ukraine and get them there one way or another and stop asking Joe Biden for permission.

But here’s where things get really strange and very concerning back here at home: the Biden administration is actually forging ahead with their idiotic Iranian nuclear deal which is still according to reports being brokered — this is unconscionable — by Russia and China.

And according to “The Washington Free Beacon,” this deal could include a plan that would let Russia cash in on a $10 billion contract to build a nuclear site in Iran. Now, if you think the world can’t get any nuttier, there you go, it just got nuttier.

But it gets worse. “Axios” tonight reporting that the Biden administration is also weighing a deal to remove terrorists from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard, that’s their top-tier terror list, so long as they promise to be good little terrorists in the neighborhoods in the Middle East. Are you going to trust them? They’re vile, murdering terrorists responsible even for the deaths of American soldiers in Iraq.

And remember, by the way, this is a week after Iran nearly blew up our own consulate in Iraq with a ballistic missile, not a peep out of Joe or Kamala Harris. If these reports are true, Joe Biden is truly the Neville chamberlain of our time.

And, of course, China, they’re watching all of this. They plot — they plot their violent what they call reunification of Taiwan, really a takeover of Taiwan. Recently, they vowed to impose the worst consequences maybe even nuclear weapons on any country that might help Taiwan militarily, which by the way we already do.

And a few days ago, my next guest traveled to Taiwan, a country that is now preparing rightly so for the worst and here with more is former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Mr. Secretary, good to see you. First, let me get your reaction to President Zelenskyy today, and I like the Reagan model and I like the Trump model. Am I wrong in my analysis? Do you have a better idea?

MIKE POMPEO, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: No, Sean, I think that’s right. Those two models were very consistent. They were — they were — speak pretty softly, but when it was time to swing into action, you did it with full force. You weren’t late. You weren’t behind, you weren’t slow. You were protecting America’s interest everywhere you went.

In your — in your opening, you talked about the moral imperative to do this. I think President Zelenskyy talked about that eloquently today. But there’s an important American set of interests here as well that we need not forget, right? The American economy is going to be impacted by this.

Fertilizer, food, oil and gas all going to be more expensive because the Biden administration put climate change ahead of protecting sovereignty and freedom in this place.

I think you have it right. We should be providing all the tools that the Ukrainian people need to defend themselves. We have them. The Europeans have them. They can do an awful lot more too.

But instead, President Biden has been behind. He’s allowed Vladimir Putin to dictate the pace and the response. He’s allowed — he’s allowed Vladimir Putin to dominate how we think about the structure of what’s taking place here.

And we can do better than this. Americans deserve it. The Ukrainian people deserve it as well. And I think President Zelenskyy spoke to that very, very nicely today.

HANNITY: Why when Poland wanted to give these MiGs to Ukraine, the person that vetoed that idea was Joe Biden. It went right to him. Why — why wouldn’t he say to Poland, do whatever you think is right?

POMPEO: It’s hard to explain, Sean, why he would take the posture, that said that it was a European country, one to provide weapon systems that belong to that European country to give to their European friend and partner, the Ukrainians that President Biden would say step in and say, no, we’re not going to let that happen.

I — it’s hard to also explain, Sean, why we’re second-guessing what Zelenskyy says he needs to defend himself. He has demonstrated his military leaders have demonstrated their capability to defend against a Russian military that we thought was really capable. If they’re asking for certain tools, we ought to do our best to give them to them, and we shouldn’t wait, we are months behind.

I know this war’s nominally only been going on for a handful of weeks. But we’ve known for months that this was in the offing and we should have been stacking these weapons, Javelins, missiles, Stingers, all the things that the Ukrainians need to defend themselves for months and months and months.

Instead, we’re going to get them to them. I hope we get them to them fast and in a serious way.

HANNITY: One of the things that we got to keep in mind as we see hostilities with North Korea heating up and their ICBM testing doesn’t always work out well for them. Then we have this Iranian deal now back on the table which seems to me almost it seems dramatically worse than the first bad deal that they did. I guess Joe wants to import oil from Iran and I guess Joe might be okay with Vladimir Putin building a nuclear facility for the Iranians.

And I guess Joe wants to import oil from Venezuela and Iran. Those are things that I can’t really comprehend, Mr. Secretary, but you were in Taiwan recently, but also you know President Xi. He’s watching all of this.

What is he thinking tonight and what is Taiwan thinking tonight?

POMPEO: I was just in Taiwan. I can tell you what the Taiwanese people are thinking. They’re thinking that being stuck in the middle without an American set of leaders that are prepared to assist you when a superpower, a big nation comes to attack you. They’re very concerned. It puts them on edge.

I think Xi Jinping has watched this too and while I’ve seen the Biden administration applauding and saying, boy, we have European unity, that unity came only after an enormous amount of destruction inside of Ukraine that continues to this day. I think Taiwan is certainly watching that. I’m confident that the Xi Jinping’s not only watching what’s going on in Ukraine today, but he’s watching us sit at a table in Vienna.

While the Russians are killing innocent women and children, we’re sitting on the same side of the negotiating table with the Russians about to hand Iran a clear pathway to getting Russian weapons systems. It sounds like we’ve let the Russians purchase — or excuse me — sell equipment to the Iranians as part of this deal as well.

I mean, Sean, this is — this is unexplainable. It is — it is a level of appeasement that we haven’t seen in the United States in an awfully long time. And it is dangerous not only for the Taiwanese, not only for the Ukrainians, but it’s dangerous for the United States of America to watch bad guys roll the West.

And when you watch the communist Chinese fly their fighter jets over Taiwan air space to the degree that they have, and they talk about reunification to the extent that they have, it seems pretty clear to me that they’re they have their own territorial ambitions and they’re probably soon going to follow through on them. I hope I’m wrong, Mr. Secretary, but I don’t think I am.

POMPEO: Sean, I hope you’re wrong too. Whether you’re wrong or not will depend an awful lot on how the United States responds, how the Japanese, the Australians, the South Koreans respond.

If we do this well, I promise you, the Taiwanese people are very capable and they’re prepared to fight the same way you’ve seen the Ukrainians fight. They can change the calculus for Xi Jinping. They can make this cost extraordinary for him.

But we can’t wait. We can’t wait until he’s got ships at the — ships at sea and airplanes in the air and a blockade established to say, oh goodness, now we’re going to gather it — gather it someplace and decide what we’re going to do. We should be preparing the Taiwanese with all the tools they tell us they need and make sure that Xi Jinping understands that we are serious.

When he — when he raises the specter, as he did just this past week when the Chinese talk about the big price that the United States will pay for sending equipment to Taiwan, he’s talking about the use of nuclear weapons, too. We cannot allow tyrants to threaten nuclear weapons to engage in coercive behavior. It didn’t happen for four years in our administration. We shouldn’t let it happen now.

HANNITY: I hope they’re listening. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, we do need the adults back in power. That would be really helpful. Thank you for being with us.

We take you live to the ground in Ukraine where our own Greg Palkot is joining us with more.

Greg, my understanding is that in fact there’s been a little bit of a shift in strategy by Russia. They’re using more air power rather than going in on the ground and they still are surrounding Kyiv but to a lesser extent, because of the fire power that’s coming in from missiles and et cetera.

Yeah, I mean basically, Sean, you’ve got Russia pounding away at various cities and we just had a really new expansion of offensive activity tonight. Not far from us on the Belarus-Ukraine border, a town was hit by shells coming from Belarus so this western area of Ukraine. It’s picking up as well.

A lot of attention though is being placed on Kyiv. That’s the capital. That’s the big enchilada that Russia is going for.

It was blasted again. One shelling happened just a mile and a half from the residence of President Zelenskyy, another 12-story building was destroyed. Yes, as you say, the bulk of the Russian forces remains still outside, eight or nine miles outside, but they are being dispersed, getting ready for the big kill.

In the port city of Mariupol, a huge theater was — it was being used as a shelter for civilians was destroyed, including a lot of children. No word on casualties there yet. A hospital was commandeered as a Russian shooting position and aid convoys once again could not get in.

And in the city of Chernihiv, 10 people were killed while they were waiting on the breadline when a bomb dropped on them. All this causing President Zelenskyy — as you’ve been noting — to speak to Congress today via a video link. His words: We need you now and also announced today President Biden more additional military aid to the tune of about million dollars.

Finally, finally, Sean, the update from the talks going on between officials from Ukraine and Russia, they were described today as serious and realistic, as some very unrealistic horror continues here across this nation.

Back to you.

HANNITY: Greg, can I get a little more clarity. We talked about there were, you know, eight, nine miles out around the perimeter. But you talk about the troops now being dispersed. Is that in anticipation of them dispersing to go into Kyiv or are they using more missile and air attacks instead?

PALKOT: The thinking is, Sean, that they will apply the same siege technique on Kyiv, that they have already done on Mariupol and several other cities. They don’t seem — they seem to be worried about getting into street fights with the very savvy, very, very handy and very turning out to be very skilled Ukrainian soldiers. They’re worried about the casualties there, so they’ll sit outside the city, they’ll cut off all the means of communication, all the means of transportation, they’ll pound the place and they won’t care about whether they’ll hit civilian targets or not and they’ll basically try to starve the city out.

And that’s the real concern for the next week or two in Kyiv, the capital right now.

HANNITY: All right. Greg Palkot in Ukraine tonight, thank you. Please be safe.

We’ll get back to Ukraine in a moment. First, breaking moments ago, convicted hate crime hoaxer Jussie Smollett has been released from jail after his lawyers filed another appeal. Here with the very latest, our very own Bill Melugin is with us.

Bill, what’s latest there?

BILL MELUGIN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Sean, a pretty shocking turn of events here. Convicted felon Jussie Smollett was literally just released from jail a short time ago. Take a look at the video here. This was after an appeals court agreed with his lawyers that he should be released pending his appeal of his conviction for faking a hate crime.

Now this ruling came out from the appeals court today after a Cook County judge sentenced last week to immediately begin serving 150 days in jail for his conviction on five felony counts of disorderly conduct for lying to police. Now, the Appeals Court said today Smollett can be released after he posted a personal recognizant bond of $150,000. Smollett’s attorneys had argued that he would have finished his sentence by the time his appeal process was completed and that Smollett could be in danger of physical harm if he had stayed locked up in Cook County jail.

As Smollett was leaving court last week, we also saw him make this outburst. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JUSSIE SMOLLETT, ACTOR: I am not suicidal. I am not suicidal and I am innocent!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MELUGIN: And, Sean, just moments ago, Jussie Smollett’s attorneys wrapped up a brief press conference where they essentially said they strongly disagree with the conviction in this case. They went after the judge calling him unprofessional for chastising their client. They said the family is happy that he is being released. They said this case is political and they said that Jussie Smollett hadn’t eaten since he went into jail.

We’ll send it back to you.

HANNITY: All right. Bill Melugin tonight, thank you.

Joining us now with reaction to all of today’s breaking news, Senator John Kennedy.

Senator, you not only watched President Zelenskyy but I’m quoting you. You said, we are at war with Russia. We need to win it militarily and economically. I want you to give us a little more detail what you mean by that.

SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): Well, I’d make a couple of points, Sean. First, I think it’s clear that the leader of the free world is President Zelenskyy. He and the Ukrainian people are tough as a boot and we need to have their back.

Point two, I think it’s important when we do something right to acknowledge it. The West’s sanctions on Russia’s central bank has hurt Putin and brought him to his knees but it’s hurting. So I suppose you could say President Biden has gotten it right once in a row.

Point three, the rest of President Biden’s economic response to the invasion and military response invasion to the invasion in my judgment has been a wimp fest. Let’s take it, first, militarily, President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people are holding their own on the ground. They need air cover.

Today, President Zelenskyy said, can you please help me get planes? Can you please help me get surface-to-air missiles? I’m not asking for American planes or pilots or troops. Help me with your allies.

President Biden’s response is the same as it always is: I’ll get back to you in three to five business days and he never gets back.

(CROSSTALK)

KENENDY: Well, I was just going to say the final point I would make, you know, unless you — unless you’re still living with your parents, you understand that you can’t put Putin on his knees without cutting off his cash flow and you can’t cut off his cash flow without cutting off his oil and gas. And a lot of our allies say, well, we have to buy his oil and gas, where are we going to get it? Well, the obvious answer is the United States, except for one problem, the woker darlings and the Democratic Party will not allow President Biden to adopt an all-of-the-above energy policy, which includes oil and gas and the president just doesn’t seem to have the courage to stand up to them.

HANNITY: He’s beholden to this new religion, the climate alarmist religious cult called the New Green Deal socialism.

I want to go back to the specificity of what you’re saying that America should do. I’m a Reagan/Trump/Make America Great Again/America First conservative. We saw what Reagan did to help the mujahidin and Afghanistan defeat the Soviet Union in the `80s, help the Contra rebels against the Sandinistas.

We saw Donald Trump use modern warfare weaponry technology to kick the living Adam Schiff out of that caliphate and feed him, that was grown under Obama and Biden. You’re saying no boots on the ground, but if the Ukrainians who I think have shown a real willingness to fight back hard, if they have the right tools and right military equipment, they’ll — they have a shot at winning this war. I would argue Vladimir Putin ran into a force he never — he never anticipated up to this point.

KENNEDY: Sure, and I’ll give you a perfect example. Poland said, look, we’ll deliver our MiG jets to a NATO and American air base in Germany and then from there they can go into Ukraine. President Biden said no, no, that makes me nervous. Well, I’m nervous too.

But there’s an alternative just have Poland either fly or truck their planes flown by Ukrainian pilots either directly into Ukraine or they can put them on a truck and put them next to the border and let the Ukrainians drag them across and President Biden won’t even agree to that it’s as if he’s looking for excuses.

I would — I would ask the president to consider. I know you know you don’t want to make Mr. Putin mad, but, you know, when — in the Vietnam War, you know who supplied planes directly to North Vietnam, Russia. In the Korean War, you know who supplied planes directly to North Korea, Russia. So I don’t understand the reluctance of the president.

I do know this though — I do know this though, some people in his administration believe that six dollar gas will make people buy electric vehicles. And that’s a hell of an attitude.

HANNITY: Well, we’ll get into more detail on my radio show. You’re going to be a guest on my show tomorrow. We look forward to it.

KENNEDY: I look forward to it, Sean.

HANNITY: All right, Senator. Always great to have you. Thank you.

Now, as Putin’s bloody assault rages all across Ukraine, millions of men, women, children — they’re now being forced to flee, to leave their homes as these Russian forces now continue to target civilians — nearly 3 million refugees since Putin’s invasion just a few weeks ago.

Frankly, they are showing no signs of letting up. And we’re also learning that Samaritan’s Purse, that’s Franklin Graham’s group, great group, they received its first patients at an emergency field hospital in Ukraine amid the growing refugee crisis.

Here now in the field hospital in Ukraine, FOX News medical contributor, Dr. Janette Nesheiwat is with us.

Dr. Janette, good to see you. You got your stethoscope on. You’re ready to go. What are you seeing coming in on this your first day?

DR. JANETTE NESHEIWAT, FOX NEWS MEDICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, Sean, we’ve been at it for a few days now and it’s intense, it’s severe. You know, the refugees keep coming in. Innocent people are still dying. I’m seeing hundreds and hundreds of people coming off the train at the mobile medical unit that I’ve been working at — more disease, more illness, more significant life-threatening conditions.

You know, I started off my morning today taking care of an 80-year-old male. He came in from Kherson. His hometown was bombed. He hadn’t eaten in days. He was confused, he was having chest pain. It turns out he’s having a full-blown heart attack with me in the tent.

Then, shortly after that, the train conductor rushes towards me desperately seeking help for a woman who collapsed on the train. So I rush over to her, her along with many others are suffering from dehydration. They’re fatigued. They’re weak. They’re cold. They’re injured.

And then, Sean, to add fuel to the fire, the sirens go off, the alarms go off. We have to seek shelter and go underground because of potential, you know, strikes and it — you know, the cruelty, the inhumanity, it’s appalling, and it’s the brutality and the incoming refugees, it’s not slowing down it’s not stopping, it’s getting more intense day by day.

HANNITY: Yeah. When you see the refugees and the we’re talking about now a couple million people that are now — that now are in need, are you also seeing the severity of injuries to civilians? And if so, how bad and how many?

NESHEIWAT: Yeah, well, we’ve had everything from lacerations come in to shoulder fractures. Some people have wounds that are infected and we do the best we can. I have — I’m working with a great team here with Samaritan’s Purse. We do the best we can to provide them with the care that they need.

But it’s a challenge because, you know, we’ve got a lot of people who have fled their home towns. They have medical conditions that need to be treated. They don’t have their medications, they’re without their insulin, with their asthma inhalers, you know, with their blood pressure medicines.

These are life-changing medicine. These are life-saving medicines and it’s a challenge. It’s very difficult, but we’re doing the best we can with the resources we have to give them you know the best care possible=.

HANNITY: I appreciate all that you’re doing. Samaritan’s Purse, Reverend Franklin Graham, please send our best. Thank you for all you do. It’s necessary and very important work and it’s the best in humanity. Thank you — in the worst of times sometimes.

Coming up, we’re going to bring you the shocking details. Putin’s continued brutality amid his ongoing invasion, we’ll check in with Victor Davis Hanson, Keith Kellogg. They’ll join us with reaction and much more as we continue our coverage, straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: More big developments on the ground in Ukraine, as Putin’s evil destructive rampage across the country is sadly getting worse, as he’s now targeting civilians left and right. Look at your screen. New footage shows that Russian troops are shooting in cold blood innocent civilians waiting in line for bread in northeast Ukraine.

That’s not all. Ukraine officials say Russian troops destroyed a theater where hundreds of residents were sheltering and by the way, they had children are in here written in Russian and they still attacked it. That’s evil. It’s plain and simple.

This is a complete disregard for human life, human dignity, international order. They are war crimes, not that it matters to Putin.

But like I’ve been saying, there needs to be a new rule for the international community. If you’re a leader, you invade a sovereign country, you kill innocent civilians and women and children, you forfeit your right to lead any country and you should forfeit your own life and be taken out by whatever means and necessary because when you cut off the head of a snake, the snake dies.

Now, the mayor of Kyiv was asked about Putin’s path of destruction. Here’s what he had to say. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VITALI KLITSCHKO, KYIV MAYOR: We will defend our city. It’s our homes. We don’t have a — we never seek to live. It’s our homes. We defend our children, family, our buildings, our city and our future — future of Ukraine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Here with reaction, author of the book, “War By Other Means”, FOX News contributor, Lieutenant General Keith Kellogg, along with Hoover Institution senior fellow, Victor Davis Hanson.

You know, it seems, Victor, that it’s not going as planned for Vladimir Putin, I would argue that targeting civilians is evidence of that, and that would — to me, it would be a window of opportunity for European countries and the U.S., now that the Ukrainians have shown they’re not only willing to fight but they’re very capable in their fighting if they’re provided the weaponry that to win, that this might be a window of opportunity for them to really make a significant gain because I sense that as Vladimir Putin gets more and more embarrassed on the world stage, he’ll go more and more scorched-earth on his way in or out. Your thoughts?

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON, SENIOR FELLOW AT THE HOOVER INSTITUTION: Well, absolutely, I think he’s had to pivot, so he’s cracking down on internal dissent. He’s pivoted to a medieval war against civilians the way he did in Grozny and he’s talking loosely about nuclear warfare and wild threats, and that shows he’s desperate, and things are not getting better.

And remember, we got this far, the Ukrainians did and the West with not very many supplies when we had the big controversy about the Trump initial shipment of Javelins. It was only 150 Javelins. So we haven’t really geared up yet, I think now, we’re gearing up and these weapons are pouring in.

I don’t know why we don’t take Ukrainians out of the country 90 or a hundred of them and train them to do say Patriot anti-missile batteries, and we could train them on that sophisticated weapon that has a lot of capability that SAMs don’t.

So I think that we can train them to use even more and more sophisticated weapons and ramp the pressure up and I think what’s going to happen now is that Putin is going to get wilder and wilder and given more and more threats. And we’ve got to be very careful because he’s a wounded tiger and he’s caged, and he’s going to try to expand the conflict even though — and in a weird way to win while he’s losing in his primary objective of taking Ukraine.

HANNITY: General Kellogg, is that your assessment as well?

KEITH KELLOGG, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTO: Yeah, look, Sean, thanks for having me. Look, he is creating generational hatred what he’s doing right now and if I had to write a book on this campaign right now and title it, it would be out of the Forrest Gump movie, stupid is as stupid does. Shelling those cities is just absolutely stupid right now because one he’s created rubble and you never want to fight in rubbled cities. He’s getting absolute hatred of the Ukrainian people.

And it just makes no sense to me. He’s not going to take Kyiv. It’s a huge city. It’s a 2,000-year-old city, and they’re not going to give up. They’re just not going to quit on them.

I think it’s reaching a point right now if this was a prize fight, Putin’s losing on points. He’s never going to get to the west crossing the Dnieper River. I think he’s really — he’d better start figuring out how he negotiates to a settlement because I don’t think he can win it. And when we talk about what Victor just made a comment about —

HANNITY: General, let me play — you know far more about strategic warfare than I do. So beg my — I beg your indulgence here, but if he goes scorched-earth and he’s like a cornered rat, what will he be capable of doing at that point? That’s Victor Davis Hanson, I hear that’s his concern and I share it.

KELLOGG: Yeah. Yeah, you know, my concern and that is a concern is they do have a military strategy of escalate to de-escalate, and the absolute fear that I’ve got is he’s going to use a as a sub-kiloton nuclear weapon and they’ve got them in their inventory. We don’t have those in our inventory. In fact, we did away with it in the `60s. We had a data system called the Davy Crockett and they do a demonstration.

What that means is you shoot it into the water or shoot it into a big field and there are some kiloton weapons but it makes it a demonstration that is using a nuclear weapon. I hope he’s not that stupid or crazy to do it, because to me, a nuclear weapon’s a nuclear weapon. But that’s going to be the sign of absolute desperation.

And the best thing I’m hoping is that we get an interlocutor out there, somebody who can talk him off the wall right now. Biden can’t do it because there’s no communications between Biden and Putin. But somebody needs to talk to Putin and get him off where he’s going because right now, he’s in the process of losing a war and when you start losing a war, you do go to extremes. And that’s the worst extreme we can look for.

But somebody’s got to tell him, don’t go there. We have to be very, very stern with him and tell the Russians: don’t go to this nuclear posture. We made a mistake, Sean, by when they raised their nuclear level, special combat readiness we should have responded in kind by raising our nuclear readiness.

We’re normally — what’s called defense condition, we’re normally at a four. It’s one through five, one’s the highest you can go. But we raised it to three during 9/11. And everybody took notice. We went it to two during the Cuban missile crisis, just raise it and say, look, you need to understand, you know — President Trump told Kim Jong-un which was when he said it was pretty funny when Kim Jong-un says, I have a red button, remember President Trump said back to him, well, I’ve got a red button it’s bigger than yours and mine works.

And I think we just need to tell Putin that. Don’t go to this level.

HANNITY: Let me — Victor Davis Hanson, what I see — what I see in Biden and Kamala and Nancy Pelosi, I sense that any time Vladimir Putin, you know, mentions nukes or mentions an escalation or throws out a warning against any country that might supply any weaponry to Ukraine, I sense that that Joe runs for cover, that there’s genuine fear and an unwillingness to confront Vladimir Putin, even simply by arming Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people and letting them do their own fighting here.

I don’t think you can be the leader of the free world and operate from a position of fear. Do you?

HANSON: No, I think historically anytime you assure an enemy what you’re not going to do, you’re ensuring them that they will do it, and Biden is always telling Putin what we’re not going to do, and that’s a mistake.

And you know we’ve had kind of a missile spree, Sean. It’s not just in Ukraine. After Afghanistan and this administration, North Korea led off more missiles in January than it has in its entire history, and then we had Iran jump in and send missiles pretty close to a consulate and then we had Putin send missiles near the Polish border.

And remember, I think it was in October, the Chinese sent a hypersonic missile.

So, all of these players have been watching Afghanistan and this administration, and they’re thinking, you know what, there’s no consequences and this is a rare moment to get real strategic advantage over the United States and in its allies. I really — I think we — looking back, it was really terrible when the Obama administration gave up missile defense in the Czech Republic and Poland.

If we have those batteries right now, even though they were ostensibly aimed at maybe an Iranian rogue missile, we would have a level of deterrence, if we hadn’t cut back on missile defense in 2009 to 2016. So, we’re going to have to rethink things. Pump in — pump more gas and oil really concentrate on continental and forward missile defense, and start arming people before when you have the — just the faintest scent that Putin’s on the move, start arming them in mass and we haven’t done it.

So it’s catch-up and the catch-up is working and he’s getting cornered, but we’ve got to get — we’ve got to pour it on now. HANNITY: Well, we now — we could look at the blunder here and start arming Taiwan now.

Anyway, Victor, thank you. General, thank you.

Straight ahead, Biden’s bizarre blunders — I mean, they just continue beyond humiliating, embarrassing. Wait until you see what he called Kamala Harris yesterday and what he’s saying today. Mark Meadows, Mike Huckabee, they’re next as we continue our coverage.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: All right. Now, another day, another batch of bizarre blunders from Joe Biden. Here’s Joey yesterday referring to Kamala Harris as the first lady. He did it in front of his own wife Jill Biden. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: Look at — I was going to say, look at this stage. But that’s enough too, look at the stage. But there’s been a little change in the arrangement who’s on the stage because of the first lady’s husband contracting COVID, but look at this room and what you see.

Pardon?

That’s right. She’s fine. It’s me. That’s not together.

The second lady — the first gentleman, how about that?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: I look so tired whenever I have to talk — oh, I’m sorry.

Anyway, of course, it only got worse from there because today, during an event at the White House — all right, Biden gave these rambling remarks about naked pictures and blackmail. I don’t know, maybe he was thinking about Hunter. That’s only a guess. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: So we established a new civil rights — a new civil rights cause of action for those whose intimate images were shared on the public screen. How many times have you heard — I bet everybody knows somebody somewhere along the line that in an intimate relationship, what happened was the guy takes a revealing picture of his naked friend or whatever in a compromising position, and then literally in a sense blackmails or mortifies that person, send it out, put it online.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: Can you figure that out?

Here with reaction, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, along with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

All right. Governor, I’m going to throw that to you because I’m being nice to Mark tonight. You want to handle that and explain that? Because I can’t.

MIKE HUCKABEE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Sean, you may know a guy down in Georgia. He’s a wonderful comedian by the name of Durwood Fincher. He goes by the moniker of Mr. Doubletalk. And he goes on and on and he says a lot of stuff but it makes no sense whatsoever.

And I swear I think we elected Durwood Fincher to be president of the United States. He talks and he talks. It makes no sense.

Otis Campbell on Andy Griffith’s Show when he would take the key and let himself in the jail after a three-day drunk made more sense. And it’s you know it’s funny in one way but this is our president and this is how the world is looking at him and it’s frightening.

HANNITY: That — you know, I made a lot of fun of her for a while and then I stopped because for that very reason. I mean, it’s that serious.

Mark Meadows, under Biden-Obama, the caliphate grew. Under Biden-Obama, Crimea was annexed. Under Donald Trump, nothing happened. Under Biden, this Adam Schiff show now takes place.

Why didn’t it happen under President Donald Trump?

MARK MEADOWS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Well, because we had a president who was not only a strong leader but made sure that our enemies and allies as well knew exactly what he was going to be about and that was about being a strong America, he got a rid of the caliphate. Al-Baghdadi is no longer on the face of the globe. You know we had other terrorist leaders that met their demise as well.

And so, when you see this, it’s all about having a strength and a will to lead. And what we’re seeing right now is a real weakness and sadly, the gaffes that you have there, you know, you take no joy in seeing that and obviously the more that they’re done, the more problematic they become because you try to make excuses for them. But really where we need to focus is again with our world leaders, whether it’s President Xi or President Putin, we need to let them know that we are not going to just roll over and take their domineering uh dictatorship and allow the American people to just sit back in a spirit of appeasement. We’ve got to — to really take a leadership role and Donald Trump did that.

HANNITY: You know in the 50 seconds we have left, Governor Huckabee, what should the U.S. role be for those Americans that don’t know?

HUCKABEE: I think it’s to show support for the people of Ukraine in every way possible. And what we’ve seen with President Biden is that, you know, he fumbles his communication and we would forgive that and not even care if he didn’t fumble the policies and fumble the decisions that he has to make at moments like this. But when the fumbling of your communications is equal to or sometimes even less than the fumbling of the policies where people’s lives are at stake like we saw in Afghanistan, that’s where we have a real problem and that is serious.

By the way, next time you guys are on, the hard question is going to go to Mark Meadows, not to Governor Huckabee, and just to be fair and balanced, but we do appreciate both of you. Thank you both for being with us.

All right. We’ll take a break. More HANNITY straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: All right. Unfortunately, that is all the time we have left this evening. Thank you for making the show possible. Thank you for joining us.

Please set your DVR. Never miss an episode. I don’t think it’s complicated. Reagan, he helped the mujahidin, he helped the freedom fighters and the Contras without putting a single boot on the ground. Joe, follow Reagan, follow Trump, and you’ll do fine.

Laura Ingraham’s next. Have a great night.

END

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